Recently, one of my Facebook friends sent me an article about Blogging Wills. I guess if you have a blog as successful as mine has been, it is important to specify someone to carry on your Legacy after you go into The Light. I had never really thought about it before, but I would like someone to carry on my Work after I'm gone.
Flannery immediately volunteered to be my back-up, but I'm not too fond of her writing style and, while I am into deep, esoteric topics, she is into the fluffy, frilly things. The Flan is just a little too pop culture for my tastes. I made a list of everyone I know who might fit the criteria most important to me-- the two most important being impeccable writing chops and a working knowledge of how to change the world for the better. Although I have a wide circle of friends who might fit the bill, I finally decided to keep it in the family.
I am going to ask my Big Brother, The Boy, to carry on for me. He's a newbie when it comes to the whole changing the world thing, but I think he has potential. He is super busy right now with work, school, and of course, The Girl, but I don't plan on going any time soon. I will sleep better tonight knowing my Work will carry on...
Mom has been into genealogy for awhile and now Dad has been bitten by the bug. I don't mind much as long as he lets me snooze in his lap while he cruises the Internet looking for his long lost Great Grandfather. But this is the thing that gets me about Humans. How is it that they know the stats on all of their favorite sports stars, the nutritional composition of their favorite drink at Starbuck's and value of their investment portfolio (okay that last one may be important), but they don't know who their People are?
Here's the thing. I KNOW who I am. I have papers that tell me that I come from a long line of Yorkies with ridiculous names like Cupcake's Crissy (I love cupcakes, by the way) and Fairytales Thunderbolt Joe. I know this because a long line of Humans who didn't know thier grandparents' names wrote it down for me. Puzzling.
Flannery, being a Rescue Dog, doesn't know who she is. I told her they have doggie DNA tests to determine her genetic breakdown, but she is afraid it would hurt Mom' s feelings if she tried to reconnect with her Birth Mother.
In the Big Scheme of Things, it doesn't really matter anyway. We're pretty happy in the Pack we are in and, in the end, that is what is most important after all.
Old Town Alexandria did the nicest thing for Mom and Dad today. It's Mom and Dad's anniversary, so we decided to celebrate in our new Home Town. We were doing the tourist thing, drinking Mimosas, walking by the waterfront, and basically just enjoying all the history of this beautiful town when the townsfolk decided to throw together an impromtu parade to support our celebration. How cool is that?
It would have been nice if they would have asked me to be the Grand Marshall, but one of the nice policemen did let me pose on the reviewing stand.
Everybody was dressed in green (Mom's favorite color) and there were lots of bagpipers (a tribute to Dad's Scottish roots).
Even the dogs got into the festivities dressing up and having a Dog Costume competition.
We all had a wonderful time! You have to love a community that makes your family feel so welcome.
I'm a little disappointed. My Auntie B came all the way from the Vineyard to Alexandria on "business" and didn't even stop by to see me. I was expecting a little Ear Kissing and Back Scratching (mine not hers). Mom and Dad snuck out to have dinner with her which I totally don't understand. We have food at our house. She could have at least stopped by for a little dessert and snuggling on the couch. She reads my blog, she e-mails me words of encouragement, she totally ignores me when she is four miles from my house.... I don't get Humans at all. Flannery says that when dealing with Two Leggeds, one must remember that it is Always About Them.
I'm hoping that when I go home to the Vineyard this summer, Auntie B spends lots of time with me to make up for this major Faux Paw. I'm counting on her to do the right thing.
Researchers released a report last week discouraging pet owners from allowing their dogs to sleep on The Big Bed. Something about germs and licking and stuff. I'll be the first to admit that I've eaten a few unsavory items Back in the Day and maybe I don't floss as much as I should, but other researchers say that a dog's mouth has less bacteria than a human one. And I always wipe my feet when coming in from doing my business. I'm basically a paragon of cleanliness. Where are we supposed to sleep-- the FLOOR? How clean (and comfortable) would that be for us? I can't believe with all the problems that need solutions out there-- childhood hunger, Third World poverty, World Peace, come to mind-- that these scientists couldn't spend their considerable brainpower on more redeeming research rather than trying to disrupt the sleeping patterns of canines around the world.
Best friends may come and go, but your dog will faithfully stay by your side forever.
I lost my son yesterday. Barkley had been battling lymphoma for a few months and Mom, Dad and I decided that it was time to send him Into the Light. My Boy was always afraid of everything, but Mom says that at the vet's office, when it was time, he was Very Brave.
I am comforted knowing that he is frolicking in Heaven with his mom, Murphy Brown, and our big brother, Max. I am so happy for him, but sad for us because even though he was a quiet little guy, the house seems so much quieter and emptier without him.
I know someday we'll all be reunited and I am finding solace in that. Mainly, I am trying to be strong for Mom and Dad who are trying to be strong for me.
As you may remember, next to meeting my hero, Wolf Blitzer, my main dream in life is to have a play date with Bo Obama. I've asked My People to call His People to arrange it, but for some reason, they refuse. He comes to my Island every summer and I have yet to even run into him at any of the Hot Doggie Spots.
So imagine my surprise when yesterday, after a brief outing with Mom, Flannery casually mentions, between sips of purified water, that SHE just met Bo. I guess he was a perfect gentleman and didn't sniff any inappropriate places. Really classy dogs always wait until the second or third meeting for that. Apparently, Bo had a handler, or Staff as he told The Flan. I have Staff too-- and I call them Mom and Dad.
Anyway, Flannery is all full of herself now and won't shut up about meeting the Boster. She goes on and on about how silky his coat was and how great he smelled. I think she may have a little crush on him. Sometimes Life is a little unfair. I think this must be one of those lessons I am supposed to learn.
The Boy sent Mom a gift certificate for a pair of shoes for Christmas from Tom's shoes. She likes anything The Boy gives her, but this was particularly special because the people at Tom's donate a pair of shoes to kids who have none whenever they sell a pair of shoes to people who have lots of other pairs of shoes. Pretty cool. The gift certificate came with a DVD telling the Tom's story. I try to control my emotions, but I have to admit I got a little choked up watching all those children getting their first pair of shoes. Warms my heart and makes me feel a little more optimistic, but still confused about the Human Race.
As you may know, every year I think of a word that I focus on for the next twelve months in order to become a Better Dog. This year I actually came up with a phrase that is getting a lot of press lately--"Keep Calm and Carry On". Apparently, it was used during the Blitz in England during World War II, but I think we need it just as much today. And, as I tend to get a little hyper about almost everything, I thought focusing on calmness and just "getting on with it" (as the canines across the pond would say) was an admirable goal.
I was contemplating whether I should commit to this mantra--this is a BIG decision, after all-- when I got the SIGN. You might think it is a coincidence or synchronicity, but I think it was a God Wink. You know, those times when something happens that is just too big a leap to believe that it isn't on purpose and you're sure God is sending you a message to make sure you know that He is looking out for you. Anyway, just as I had picked this phrase, my Auntie B wrote me out of the blue and said that it was HER mantra for the year. Isn't that cool?
So then I KNEW. I'm glad God is still sending me winks, because I'm small and don't want Him to forget about me.
As you may know if you have been reading my blog for awhile, I am a HUGE fan of Wolf Blitzer. So you can imagine my concern when I read yesterday that President Obama had sent the Wolfster on a Top Secret Mission to get everyone on the Korean Peninsula to play nicely. I have no doubt in his Persuasive Abilities. If anyone can do it, Wolf can.
They sent some nice Governor along with him as a cover so that Wolf can work the Diplomatic Channels behind the scenes. All that and reporting the News as well. I think that is what Humans mean when they talk about Multitasking.
I won't really sleep well until he is back in the States and in The Situation Room.
Poor Franklin. First the Lobster Costume for Halloween and now this. I tried to prevent the situation, but Mom and Dad didn't listen. They went ahead and sent him a Santa suit for Christmas. Just look at the Poor Little Fellow. As if that darned hat wouldn't drive him to distraction, he also has to wear a collar with bells on it.
The Boy and Girl are raising him right though. Mom and Dad got a very nice thank you note from Franklin in the mail which thrilled them to no end.
What Franklin doesn't realize is that this will just encourage them even more. I hate to see what they come up with for Easter.
Sometimes we just don't understand our little rescue sister, Flannery. One minute she can be very sweet and the next she is jumping in the air barking at nothing. And she is really only happiest when she is hiding underneath something soft. Mom and Dad used to explain that she was a little "disturbed" because of her past lives. The Flan won't talk about it much, but apparently in the two other homes she had, they didn't let her sleep in The Big Bed and treat her like a Princess like they do here.
Anyway, one day last week when Mom was running an errand and The Flan was napping, Barks and I decided to discuss The Situation. Neither of us would like to be called disturbed, so we brainstormed to come up with a better description.
Demented.... no. Irrational... nope. And then it hit me!
Quirky! Quirky explains the need to be out there sometimes, but it sounds like it is just one more fun intriguing aspect of a great personality. We ran it by The Flan and she said that she really likes it. She told us that she knows there are parts of her that exceed explanation, but that she just can't help it.
Today was the Scottish Walk in Old Town. The staging area was in front of our house, so The Flan, Barks and I got to watch the dogs and their Humans getting ready for all of the fun. There were groups for every breed imaginable, but the Yorkie group was noticeably missing. I asked Dad where my group was and he said at home sitting by a warm fire watching the parade on television. Makes sense as it was pretty cold outside. I wore my favorite sweater with the ice cream cone on it so I was toasty warm.
I asked this Scottie what he wears under his kilt and he told me that he really gets tired of that question. If one gets all dressed up like this and jumps into a wagon draped in Christmas finery, one should expect a few inquiries from passersby. I'm just saying...
Anyway, we have all of our decorating done, Christmas cards mailed, and are getting ready to help Mom with a little baking next week.
Yup, The Boy and Girl went and made the poor dog into a Lobster. I warned Franklin that once he agreed to Obedience School, they would be under the False Assumption that they were the boss of him. It's a domino effect. First it's Sit, Stay, Down, and then it's Hold Still While I Force You Into This Ridiculous Looking Halloween Costume. The Girl says that Franklin won't take a treat while he's in his costume. I don't blame him. It's the only thing left he has any control over. And humans don't understand how difficult it is for us dogs to refuse a treat to prove a point when every fiber of our being is saying, "Eat it!!"
Sometimes a dog just has to take a stand. I told Franklin to stop sitting when they tell him to and let the Natural Order of Things fall back into place.
He says he is going to start hanging out with the tough crowd at Obedience School. No good can ever come from making your dog wear seafood.
Although Fall is my favorite time of the year, I'm not a huge Halloween fan. Always thought it was more for the pups than us adult dogs. But the dogs in Old Town Alexandria apparently don't feel the same way as they got all decked out this week for the Doggy Halloween party at the Hotel Monaco.
They happily posed for Mom to take pics of them and even pranced down a runway competing for best costume and best pound puppy awards. Mom says we should dress up for next year's party. I told her that I'd think about it. There's no way I'm going for it though-- maybe she'll forget about it by next year. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for wearing a cute sweater to keep warm in the winter. I just don't see any redeeming value in publicly humiliating myself.
Flannery is all for it and wants to dress up like a Princess next year. Figures. She can be a little bit of a kiss up when it comes to giving Mom what she wants.
I haven't written in awhile as Mom has me in Yorkie Boot Camp trying to get my broken heart in better condition. The vet told her that walking is good for me so she has to take it to the "nth" degree like she does everything else. I don't mind too much as we are back in Old Town Alexandria and are having a beautiful fall. Plus all the tourists tell Mom how adorable I am which is better for my heart than all this walking. We ventured out into Georgetown to see my new vet and realized quickly that the "driving karma" practiced on the Vineyard--letting cars pull in ahead of you, not honking your horn, etc.-- is NOT practiced in D.C. I saw people doing all kinds of hand gestures that I didn't recognize. Mom says that her goal is to spread driving karma in D.C. So far she has enlisted the support of her yoga teacher, but there are no other takers. I'm not overly optimistic that she'll be successful, but watching Mom trying to spread the love on the Beltway is cute.
By the way, my new vet let me give her doggie kisses on her nose, so I'm sure we are going to get along just fine.
I'm feeling much better and wanted to thank everyone for sending me their wishes for my speedy recovery. The doctor started me on some medicine for my heart that came with two pages of warnings. Kind of frightening. It also said that I can't drive or operate heavy machinery either. No great loss there. My doctor also said that my prognosis is good. I don't even know where my prognosis is or, to be honest, that I had one in the first place, but it is comforting to know that it is okay.
I've been resting lots and decided to use a file photo for this blog. Not really feeling photogenic this week. Just didn't want you to think that Mom took me for a walk to the cemetery when I was sick. I am enjoying getting doted on so this whole episode has had its upside.
We are getting ready to head back to Alexandria next week. I'll miss the Vineyard, but I'm ready to feel the energy of the City again.
I didn't mean to worry her--I just couldn't catch my breath. Needless to say it was a long night waiting until the vet's office opened. We both thought that I might be going into the Light. In the morning, Mom called them and asked if they would check under the hood. They told her they would do a "geriatric" workup on me. I don't know who they are calling geriatric--I'll only be 13 years old in December! Anyway, Mom dropped me off and they did all kinds of tests on me. The doctor said that lots of things are going on in my body-- heart problems, trachea issues, disk disease and pnuemonia on top of all that. He told her that, after all, I am going on 13. Kind of reminds me of Dad's high mileage car that recently seems to have lots of things going wrong with it. I am on all kinds of medicine, am getting lots of rest, and am keeping a positive attitude, which is the most important thing of all.
but Mom went to Dairy Queen tonight. And she didn't get the fat free, sugar free healthy option either. All I know is that when she got in the car she was carrying this huge bowl that had chocolate and strawberries and whipped cream dripping off of it. She didn't share either using some lame excuse about chocolate not being good for dogs.
None. Zip. Nada.
Martha's Vineyard is a place that goes by the opening and closing of the local Dairy Queen to mark the seasons rather than the calendar. People will greet each other in February reciting the upcoming opening day in April and lament the closing day in the fall when planning their schedules. I don't really get it, but Mom did take me on a lovely walk through Edgartown after which made the trip worthwhile.
I think I might have been a Sea Captain in a previous life. Being by the ocean and feeling the salt air in my whiskers makes me feel alive.
Well, not really her birthday as she was a Rescue Dog so we don't know when she was born. But we decided to celebrate her birthday on the day Mom adopted her one year ago today. She had been given up two times before, so Barkley and I thought we might not have to accept her into the pack, but she is starting to grow on us. And The Flan has her little paws wrapped around Mom's heart so she isn't going anywhere.
We even let her be lead dog on our walk (temporarily, of course).
I haven't blogged in awhile as I have been busy enjoying my favorite season-- Fall on the Vineyard. We have been taking lots of long walks, cooking out on the beach and having campfires at night. The tourists are mostly gone so the local dogs have the place to ourselves.
I love walking by the house known locally as the "Norton Anti-Virus House", but known in my family as "Walter's Dream House". They stenciled "A Private Home" on the stairs to keep Yorkies off the rocking chairs on their porch. I guy can dream though. I'll bet there are plenty of Yorkie napping places in that house.
I went with Mom to the airport yesterday to pick up Dad. He flew in early to help us batten down the hatches, whatever that is. I'm not really sure where our hatches are or if we have them, but Mom says we are ready to ride out the storm. She went to the store to stock up on provisions in case we had to fend for ourselves for a few days. You know, all the necessary stuff you can't live without like water, kibble, dog treats and organic baby carrots.
The Flan says that this will be her first hurricane, so Barks and I have been showing her the ropes. We lived through Opal and a couple of others whose names escape me, but the drill is always the same. Stock up, watch the Weather Channel, and snuggle in the Big Bed. Then watch Mom and Dad try to find the yard again.
I'm relieved Earl has been downgraded and is heading out to sea for several reasons. In addition to the obvious one of safety, I was also dreading being in a crate with The Flan if we had to evacuate to the local school, which in our town, allows four leggeds.
Mom went to a Krishna Das concert last night. If you don't know, he is a Rock Star in the yogic world and she says seeing him in concert was on her List of Things to Do Before She Dies. The fact that he came to our home town just made it more convenient for her. She met one of my heroes, Belleruth Naparstek, in line and said that she was very nice which made me really happy. I listen to Belleruth's Guided Imagery tapes for Stress which has calmed me down some, but hey, I'm a Yorkie--anxiety is my middle name. Anyway, Mom's list got me thinking about my own list. I thought long and hard before my second nap this morning and this is what I came up with:
1. Win Best in Show at Westminster
2. Have a play date with Bo Obama in the South Lawn
3. Zipline through the Rain Forests of Costa Rica
4. Lead a daily group Yoga Break in Congress
5. Volunteer as a Therapy Dog for our Wounded Veterans
We are so excited to be back on Our Island! Unfortunately, this is the third straight day of wind and rain. I thought I might run into Bo Obama at the Dog Park or maybe out in town meeting the locals, but it is not to be. They even cancelled community Pizza Night tonight at the Orange Peel Bakery up-island. There is really nothing left to do but nap. I was so desperate for company, I even let The Flan snuggle me a little on my favorite snoozing spot.
I sent Mom to the Beach to get photographic evidence of what we are going through (there was no way I was going out in that weather!)
The Dog Parade was moved to Saturday, so maybe I'll see Bo then.
Yup, it's official--Bo Obama is due back on My Island today. I had to drive up with Mom and Dad for ten hours last week in a hot, overstuffed car and he flies in on Air Force One like he owns the place. I'm not even going to try for a play date this year. He is staying "Up-Island" and I am strictly a "Down-Island" kind of guy. I get the distinction. I do find it interesting that his Family comes to my town when they like to eat and socialize so it does show that they have impeccable taste when it comes to food and friends. I plan to spend lots of time on my Secret Beach just relaxing and catching up on some down time. DC is a great place to live, but it's exhausting trying to keep Mom safe there.
I was cruising the Web for a little inspirational reading the other day and happened upon The Happiness Project. This lady took a year to study what steps we could take to maintain a happy outlook on life and one of the steps she recommends is to write your own personal commandments to keep you focused on being a Better Person, or in my case, a Better Dog. I came up with a few to start on:
1. Think Big even though I'm Small
2. Try not to twirl so much when Mom is making
3. Listen to birds instead of chasing them
4. Yap less
5. Appreciate squirrels
6. Take up less geography on The Big Bed
7. Figure out what "The Flow" is so I can go with
8. Surrender to The Adventure
I tried to get The Flan to write her commandments, but she said that her outlook was just fine, thank you. Sometimes she can be a little irritating.
Mom and I went for our walk today and I insisted on going by my favorite Bridge. I don't know what it is about this structure--maybe the graceful curves, the realization of how many Humans it took to plan and execute the design, or maybe it's just how imposing it is. Makes me realize my place in the Universe. Sometimes it even takes my breath away just looking at it. I get the same feeling when I look at pictures of the flying buttresses at Westminster Abbey. I must have done something architectural in another life.
Anyway, Mom always wants me to sit down and pose for a picture for my blog. I had to put my paws down on this one. Doesn't she realize how hot concrete gets in the middle of the summer in the South? No way I was putting my Little Bum on that frying pan. I let her make all her little "Dog Whisperer" grunts, growls and shhhhhhhhh's. I was not budging. She finally gave up and snapped the shot.
My Bridge may make me realize my size in the world, but even little guys have to stand up for themselves now and again.
Barkley and I were so excited last night as we FINALLY got to meet The Girl's Parents. We were afraid that they might bypass us when they went out to dinner with Mom and Dad, but they actually walked back to our house just to meet us Yorksters. I particularly bonded with The Dad and discovered that he is a pretty good ear scratcher. You can tell a lot about a person by their ear scratching capabilities. And it is a proven fact that no Bad Human is ever a Good Ear Scratcher. The Mom said we were adorable and she might even have used the word "amazing"-- I'm not totally sure.
The Flan acted all aloof until she saw how nice they were and that Barks and I were getting all the attention, so she sat in The Mom's lap and got friendly. I don't really care because the Jack Russell spot at their house is already filled and they were here to decide if they should fill the Yorkie-sized opening in their hearts.
I have full confidence in my powers of Charm and Persuasion.
We are so excited at our house because The Boy and The Girl adopted a "little" eight week old Lab/Chow mix puppy. They named him Franklin Dog Roosevelt and apparently he wants to be known as Franklin not FDR, Frank, or Frankie.
The Boy says that the lady they got him from says he is going to be "medium sized" which is what someone trying to find a home for a soon-to-be-huge dog tells the people that they hope will take the dog home. I mean, look at those feet! At eight weeks, he is already the size of several Yorkies! It doesn't matter. Once The Boy and The Girl realize that they've adopted Marmaduke, they'll be so attached to him they won't care!
Flannery is particularly attracted to his ears and Barkley hopes he'll share his rope chew with us as we destroyed ours quite awhile ago. We hope we have a Play Date soon, as he might get too big to play with us. I'm not worried about my safety, of course, but Flannery and Barkley can be delicate.
I went to Doggie Happy Hour again this week with Mom and Dad. This is a twice weekly event put on in the courtyard of a local hotel where pet loving people and their dogs get to meet each other and socialize. This week not many of the dogs seemed "happy". Lots of barking and whining. Walter would have fit right in! I tried to ignore the chaos and took a little nap on Mom's lap.
My indifference seemed to compel some Humans to come by, hear my story, and rub my ears. I gave them my best Little Rescue Dog pitiful gaze which I have perfected over the last two years. Mom says that she is never giving me up so I should start trying to look a little happier and a little less like they beat me at home.
I know I've got it made, but I think I'll keep this set of Humans on probation for a few more months. Keeps them on their toes.
Mom decided to go with Dad on one of his business trips last week, but first she had to find a Pet Sitter with impeccable credentials to watch us Yorkies and, of course, The Flan. When Miss Nancy, a highly recommended sitter came to our house, Mom asked her all the questions that a responsible Pet Parent should before entrusting someone to care for their four-leggeds. Things like, "Please demonstrate the proper technique for Yorkie ear kissing, belly rubbing and back scratching." Miss Nancy passed all the hands on tests with flying colors. Then the day for Mom and Dad's departure arrived and Dad calls home to tell Mom that the hotel is pet-friendly and she can pick ONE of us to go along for the fun.
Of course, I knew she'd choose me. Her little blogging soul mate. But no, guess again--she took The Flan, who is posing here with my Aunt Susan, who faithfully reads my blog, but missed her recent opportunity to meet me.
I was pretty ticked off until Dad told me that one of us gets to FLY to the Vineyard next month with him thus avoiding the twelve hour drive with Mom and that he picked ME.
My son, Barkley, is basically afraid of everything. His mother, Murphy Brown, and I could never figure it out. We just thought if we heaped lots of love and discipline on the boy, he'd outgrow it. He's ten now and I've resigned myself to the fact that this is just how he is hardwired. Mom has been taking us out for separate adventures in Old Town so she can give us lots of attention and ecouragement which would make her hero, The Dog Whisperer, very proud. The problem is that Barkley has developed a fear of Riley, The Golden Retriever down the street, who seems to have to do his business on the exact same schedule as Barkley does. Mom says that Riley doesn't even look at Barkley, but the boy shakes and cries whenever he sees that dog. I guess yesterday he hid behind a tree until Riley went into his house. It's not like he's never seen a Golden Retriever as our big brother, Max, was one, but he's been gone a long time and I guess Barkley just forgot. I've been giving him some tips I use when dealing with other dogs like barking my head off and acting like a Rotweiller. Mom says that she wants me to be a little more Barkley and him to be a little more Walter.
Mom got an exciting e-mail the other day. In order for you to fully understand the significance of this news, I need to give you a little background. Our older brother, The Boy, is madly in love with The Girl. And he thinks she likes him quite a bit as well. Anyway, The Girl's Parents are coming to our town "on business" and want to get together for dinner. I know the business part is just a ruse to meet us Yorkies as The Boy says The Parents are always asking him questions about us because they are thinking about adding a Yorkster to their family. You know, questions like, "What is it like to have won the Yorkie Lottery?", "How can you handle all that Yorkie Bliss coming your way?" and "How can we possible find a Yorkie as adorable as yours are?" The Flan is a little full of herself as they already have a Jack Russell so she doesn't feel the need to impress them whatsoever.
I am so excited because Barks and I just got back from Spa Day. Mom is used to The Vineyard where you have to get on a waiting list for everything. For example, you might have to have gone to grade school with a plumber's mom and know the Secret Handshake just to get on his waiting list which may be several years long. I use plumbers as an example because they are one of the hardest people to get on The Vineyard and when you do finally get one there is usually a big catered event with a band at your house to celebrate. Dog groomers come a close second to plumbers for wait times. Some Vineyard businesses don't even take new clients at all and Mom says they laugh when you call and ask.
Here, they laugh when you ask if they are accepting new clients because, OF COURSE, they are! We all miss The Vineyard, but there are some perks to living in America. No waiting, cute patriotic bandana, great haircut and blow dry. One lady I passed on the street said that I thought I was a "Stud Muffin".
I don't want to be immodest, but if the harness fits......
Mom and Dad decided it was time for us to leave the big city for the weekend and get back to basics so we hit the open road with our little Shasta travel trailer to commune with Mother Nature. This is the first time we have gone camping with The Flan and it seems like the trailer is just a little smaller this year. The Shasta owner's manual says that it was designed for two adults and three small dogs, but we were stepping all over each other. Even Mom and Dad got a little testy and usually they are blissfully happy when once we get our campsite set up.
I think part of it is because Flannery is basically a City Girl (our walks were hampered by her refusal to get her little feet dirty) compounded by the fact that we are all still disoriented from The Big Move. Mom even mentioned selling the trailer once or twice after Dad had stepped on her foot for the second time, but Barkley and I talked her out of it after she calmed down.
We are all acutely aware that the Trailer is On Probation. I'm hoping that I can convince The Flan to take the Diva thing down a notch the next time we go.
Barkley and I were all set to go on an outing yesterday until Mom made a Big Mistake. As you may know, for us Yorkies going for adventures is right up there with eating carrots, watching Animal Cops Houston reruns, and getting belly rubs. But it was not to be.
Mom gathered all the necessary gear--her cell phone, money, keys, and of course, doggy "business" pick-up bags. Barkley and I did our usual Happy Dance as she hooked us up to our twin harness and then we went outside and she shut the door behind us. And that is as far as we got for our walk.
Mom had forgotten her keys (she tried to blame it on us Yorkies) and the door locks automatically when you shut it. So we had to flag down a neighbor, call the locksmith, and stand on our front step for an hour waiting for him to come. The good news is that it took him a long time to "break in" to our house, so I can sleep a little sounder knowing we are so safe. The bad news is that Mom gave us a "Rain Check" for our walk which I hope doesn't mean we have to wait for it to rain to make up for this outing.
Mom says this is just one of my lessons to learn patience and humility. Barkley and I think it shows Mom is getting a little scattered.
Ever since I watched the movie, Food, Inc., I've been trying to be more responsible about food and the environment. Today, Mom, Dad and I went to the Old Town Farmer's Market to check out the offerings. Us dogs are not allowed in the actual market area, so Mom and Dad took turns keeping me company and I tried to learn that I'm not supposed to carry on a conversation with all of the other dogs in the doggie staging area. I thought Old Town was supposed to be pet friendly!
I did enjoy the brisk walk there and back and Mom bought us some organic carrots which makes all the waiting in time out worth while!
When Mom and Dad went on a recent house hunting trip they had to leave us on The Island with the People who watch us. Mom mistakenly mentioned that they had stayed in a pet friendly hotel, so us Yorkies and The Flan insisted on staying there when we were waiting for the moving truck to bring our doggie beds, toys and treats.
This place, The Hotel Monaco, is a dog's dream. The decor is ecclectic-- a hodgepodge of different patterns, lots of animal prints and teal walls, but somehow it really works. They brought up this GYNORMOUS dog bed for us to sleep on (of course, we slept in The Big Bed, but it was fun to lounge on it while we were watching a movie) and a big water dish to ensure we stayed hydrated. And everytime we returned the nice doorman said, "Welcome back, Walter." How great is that? Made it hard to go to our new house and camp for a week while Mom put everything away. Once we're settled, we're going to the Doggie Happy Hour there and see if we can meet some of the locals.
Before we left The Vineyard, Mom, Barkley and I had a family meeting about Murphy Brown. Murphy died last year on June 4th and we had her little body cremated, but hadn't decided where and when to lay her to rest. Mom kept saying she would know when the time was right and, the day before the movers came, she told us she thought we should bury her near the peony bush that one of our friends gave to us in honor of Murphy.
We had a little ceremony with sage and incense and lots of prayers. It was pretty emotional for Barkley and me. The Flan tried to pay attention, but sometimes she just had to give in to that "Barking at the Wind" urge she gets now and again. We felt comforted when we left the island knowing that Murphy is in the garden with Max, our Golden Retriever, who is buried under a weeping cherry tree nearby.
Mom says that the peony bush will be blooming on the Anniversary of Murphy's death.
We are getting ready to hit the road and Mom is running around packing up all of our belongings to take to our new house. Barkley, The Flan and I are laying low for fear she'll put us in a box by mistake. It took four boxes just to get all the doggie stuff packed. There was a box for our grooming supplies (looking this good isn't easy!), a box for our winter coats, and a box for bedding and toys. We also needed a box for our road trip supplies-- you know the toiletries and treats we'll need when we travel. The Flan is pretty clueless as she has never moved with us before, but Barkley and I know the drill. We had put down some pretty deep roots here in The Vineyard and never thought we'd leave, but Dad says we have to go where The Work is so we're trying to be flexible and supportive.
Our weeping cherry tree is blossoming right now and it always reminds me of our Big Brother Max. Max was a Golden Retriever who watched out for us Yorkies and showed us the ropes when we were just pups. He passed away in 2001 and we all still think about him a lot-- especially when his tree is in bloom. When he was really sick, Mom told Max to go into the Light and she would take him to the Vineyard with us and bury him in her flower garden. We didn't get our Vineyard house until two years later, but when we did one of the first things we did was to lay Max to rest.
He and Murphy Brown had a special bond right from the start. He outweighed her by seventy pounds, but he always let her be The Boss which was the smart thing to do when dealing with Murphy. He was bigger, older and wiser than the rest of us (sometimes even Mom and Dad). We know they are frolicking in Heaven together waiting for us to join them someday.
Today was one of our favorite days at our house-- Big Bed Sheet Change Day. Mom asks us not to get on the Bed until she's done, but we just can't help ourselves. As soon as the first sheet is down we run up on the Bed and frolick. Barkley and I love the feel of fresh sheets on our backs and the aroma of laundry dryer sheets filling our lungs. The Flan doesn't really get it, but we're trying to show her the ropes. It can be a dangerous game, so she needs to learn the pitfalls. Once I got trapped between the matress pad and the fitted sheet. I've been a little claustrophobic ever since.
It's the little things in Life that are important.
This really nice Census Lady came to our house yesterday and Barkley, The Flan and I were so excited to be able to participate in this historic event. I had worried that Mom might not be home when they came, but couldn't believe our luck when the Census Lady said this was her first try. She said she wasn't allowed to come into our house so we all waited patiently on the stairs with Mom while the lady asked The Ten Questions. We slogged through all the boring stuff about whether Mom and Dad own our house, Mom's pedigree, and her birthday. Then came The Big Question. On April 1, 2010, Who was living in our house? Mom is into geneaology and says that the Census results are released every 72 years. We were so excited to think that in 2082, Mom's great-great-great grandaughter could read the 2010 Census and know that we were all here. Even Katia was impressed and it takes a lot to impress a feline. But it was not to be. Apparently, the 2010 Census is only counting two-leggeds. We were all shocked. I have been following the Census news on CNN, but didn't see this coming. Barkley was so upset he spent the rest of the day in the Big Bed. What a shame that Mom's ancestors won't know about our little family.
Maybe they'll find my blog and learn the real truth of what was going on in our house in 2010.
Everywhere I go, people ask Mom, "What is she?" Mom usually tries to avoid the question because when she tells them we think I am a Chihuahua/Wire-Haired Jack Russell mix we always get a big "Ohhhhhh!!" Like there is something wrong with my genetic makeup or something. I think people make stereotypical assumptions about what a Chihuahua is like (yappy, annoying?) or the potential irritating traits of a Jack Russell (hyperactive, eats drywall?), but that is so unfair. Mom tried to make me feel better by pointing out that I am really a "designer dog". Apparently some breeders call my combination a Jackhuahua or a ChiJack. I can't decide which sounds better. Mom says I'm a Princess (which sounds good to me!) and it doesn't matter what people say because I inherited the best traits of both breeds. She hasn't really been wrong about anything up until now, so I believe her.
So it's been confirmed. We are packing up and moving to Washington, DC. We knew something was up when Mom and Dad kept spelling things lately, but then they sat us down and told us what was happening and that everything would be okay. Barkley and I took it all in stride because we've done this whole moving thing before, but The Flan always worries that this is the time she's going to be dropped off at the Shelter again like she's been two times before. We told her that Mom and Dad had her microchipped and put tags with their cell, work and home numbers on her, but she is always waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop. I hope someday she'll believe. Mom says that they have a Doggie Happy Hour where we are going. I've really cut down on my drinking, but it won't hurt to have a little sparkling water and make some new friends.
It was a beautiful day on The Vineyard today! Mom salvaged what started out as a really bad day into one that I'll always remember. I woke up first this morning and decided to entertain myself by playing with Walter's hippo (his new favorite toy since the unfortunate stuffed lobster incident) and then, for no reason, he attacked me! I did my best "Mom he's killing me yelp" and hid under the covers. I don't know if Walter has mentioned it or not, but Mom is NOT a Morning Girl. She was not happy to be woken up this way, but to make it up to me she took me to the Doggie Park all by myself. She used a really long leash so I could run ahead and catch my breath while she caught up with me. Mom kept an eye out for airplanes as small planes still land there occasionally and apparently us dogs don't have the right of way. Silly rule if you ask me. Anyway, once I got home and settled down for a nap, Mom and her friend walked The Boys into town for a little exercise as well. Walter's crashed on his little bed so I could play with anything I wanted to at this point and he'd never know. Just another benefit of walking.....
Sometimes you do the Right Thing and it comes back to bite you--literally. I spent hours teaching The Flan how to play with soft toys and she rewarded me by destroying my Lobster. My favorite toy that Santa brought me two Christmases ago. Chewed it up and spit it out.
Every self-respecting canine knows that you don't play with a soft toy like that. You throw it up in the air and mouth it a little until it squeaks and when you get tired you take it into The Big Bed for a little rest. But The Flan apparently didn't know this. I woke up the other day to the remains of my beloved eyeless Lobster with its insides hanging out. And Flannery was barking and growling at ME. I was going to kick her little behind until Mom stopped me and promised to make things right.
We went on an outing to my favorite pet store. Mom picked up a little lobster and handed it to me. I refused to take it, went to the barrel with the BIG LOBSTERS and gently place it at her feet. Then I gave her The Look. Mom got the message. My new Lobster is off-limits to The Flan.
Flannery got an e-mail from one of her little doggie pen pals telling her that she didn't make the semi-finals in the Most Valuable Pet photo contest. She took the news a lot better than Mom did. Mom really believed in the power of the Internet and thought that there was a chance The Flan could actually win. She's trying to analyze where her strategy was off and how they could have run the campaign differently. Flannery says that she is proud that she never went negative like some of the other dogs and that she will be able to sleep just fine tonight.
I'm kind of glad she didn't make it as she is such a Diva as it is--she might be impossible to live with after a professional photo shoot.
And no one I've ever known is the same after their picture shows up on a vacuum cleaner box. Hard to believe, but true...
As you might know, I was trying to get into the semi-finals for the Bissell MVP photo contest to raise money for People Who Rescue Animals from Death Row. My voting period ended three days ago and they still haven't posted the results. Mom says that sometimes even Presidential elections take time to determine and that I should be patient. Patience is not really my thing. It wasn't really looking very good for me before the polls closed, but Walter says to stay positive which I am much better at than that whole patience thing.
We got hit with another big snowstorm this week which has left me with lots of time to think about all the things I need to think about. Flannery just complains about the weather and how it limits her Outdoors Time, but I like to focus on the positive impact the weather has on my life. I had a huge pile of reading to catch up on (in addition to my thinking, of course) so this gives me a perfect opportunity to do so.
I was rereading 'The New Complete Yorkshire Terrier" by Gordon and had forgotten the chapter on past Yorkie writers. Gordon writes,"...it was brought to our attention that the breed has the unique ability of being able to speak for itself. Yorkshires like to write autobiographies and, unlike many would-be writers, over the years they have--with the help of fond owners--been capable of having their manuscripts published."
Who knew? Except for the "helping" part--that's me. It's in my blood!
I am going to start writing my book proposal tomorrow.
Hal Herzog: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat I wanted to read this to help me figure out what humans think about animals and why they do the things they do to them. It's a great overview of the human/animal connection, but left me more confused than when I started. There is one concept that stuck with me. "Psychic numbing" means that the larger the tragedy, the less people seem to care. Guess that explains it.
Benjamin Hoff: The Tao of Pooh I liked reading about the Mystery of the Uncarved Block. Who knew the Meaning of Life could be explained by cute little animals?
Dalai Lama: The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living I just finished reading this during our Christmas road trip. The Dalai Lama had me at the dedication of this book- "Dedicated to the Reader: May you find happiness." What I learned is that happiness is an art and creating art is a learned skill. Suffering is part of life and happiness comes from accepting where we are and what we have. I tried to discuss this concept with Murphy, but she gets bored pretty quickly with these "meaning of life" talks.
Wayne W. Dyer: The Power of Intention This guy has it all figured out. The principles made a lot of sense to me- just don't read it just before bed because you'll be up all night cotemplating the meaning of life. (*****)