Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Dory’s Life: The Soundtrack

Opening Credits - Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
Waking Up - Atomic Dog
Average Day - New Leash on Life
Going for a Walk - Me and My Shadow
Happy Dog - Here Comes the Sun
Even Happier Dog - C is for Cookie
Mental Breakdown - Round and Round
Riding in Cars - Life is a Highway
Life with Liza - What a Wonderful World
Thoughts on Pizza - Minnie the Moocher
My Toys - Rubber Biscuit
Happy Dance - Give Me Some Lovin’
Partying - Crazy Train
Final Scene - The Rose
Closing Credits - Spirit in the Sky

I saw this survey thing asking you to list your favorite songs and it comes up with your personal soundtrack - I thought that would be a fun idea to see what Dory's soundtrack might sound like. I'm not sure if these are her favorite sounds, but it's music we have listened to together.

Window Shopping

This is Zeus, he is 8 years old and for adoption through Labs4Rescue.

Don't get me wrong, I love Dory to pieces and I am thrilled she has become part of the family, but I must confess I still visit the Labs4Rescue site and window shop.

I believe if I had a bigger place I would have more dogs, I always had two dogs before moving to Massachusetts. My theory - once you have one, having one or two more is just as easy. I know some people reading this think I'm insane, and maybe you are right, but I was raised where having 3-5 dogs around was the norm and there was always enough dog chow and love to go around.

There are three dogs in particular that I always see to visit in my spare moments on-line. All three of them are senior dogs, all around 8 years old, and for some Labs that can be almost mid-life. Mom's Burr lived to 16 and was healthy as a horse until just before passing. Mandy was another long-lived Lab, she had to be at least 14 before drifting off to sleep one day.

This is Olive, she is also 8 years old and for adoption at Labs4Rescue.

This one yellow male, Zeus, has been on the Petfinder list since at least June. Every time I see his picture I just want to pick up the phone or dash off an email and say I will take him. His picture and story just tug at my heart and someone needs to give this oversized lug a little loving.

The other two dogs who I also visit frequently are Olive and Bean. According to the listing they are sisters who are being surrendered. I'm not sure if it the cute as a button faces or the scenic fall "Lab pin-up girl" photos of them that draws me to them, but what ever it is I always leave the website saying to myself - who wouldn't want two such cuties.

I know some people may consider senior dogs a hassle, or perhaps they want a little more time with the dog they adopt, but I have to disagree. When I decided to adopt a second dog after I had moved into the first house I bought, I had no idea how old the dog was.

I already had Lucy since puppy hood, a gift to me after Gillie had passed and at the time she was only about 4 years old. My mom's friends run a boarding kennel and a golden was brought to them, apparently the owner had dies and his family didn't want to keep the dog. Fox was cute as a bug's ear. She was round and petite and feisty. We can only estimate that she was somewhere between 8-10 years old. She came to live with us and it was great to have her in the family, as she was definitely the "class clown"

This is Bean, Olive's sister and she is also 8 years old and available for adoption through Labs4Rescue.

Fox was only around a few years, but I am proud to say the few years I was able to provide her with were full of love, good medical care and lots of spoiling.

More than likely I will keep visiting these dogs as long as they are posted, and each day I will include them in my thoughts and prayers so that they find a loving home and have a wonderful rest of their life.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Well after all - it is fall.....


The seasons in New England are crazy, one day you are sweating and the next Dory and I are all set to hibernate for the winter.

Not much is going on this week - Thursday Dory and I get to show off how little progress we've made on loose leash walking, but we seem to be great on sit, better on down and she seems to like to sit and stay.

If I could only stop her from countersurfing - today's take was a cream cheese containter. Thank heavens it was almost empty. If you are reading this and have some thoughts - please don't hesitate to share!!!! I'm too short to keep everything out of her reach.

The plan for the week, pack to go visit Mom and her furry friends and practice, practice, practice all our dog class homework!!

Now the picture below IS NOT DORY - but it is a very cute Lab in SCUBA doggles - hee hee! I saw it while scoping out other blogs and I just couldn't help myself. I had to share...

Sunday, September 24, 2006


This morning I went to vacuum and wash the car. Just an average Sunday morning, but it got me to thinking. Well what actually got me thinking was the fact I couldn’t hear NPR on my car radio over the vacuum noise and thumping rap beat of the car at the next vacuum, so my mind began pondering my task.

Anyhow, Buoy was with us as foster dog for a little over a month, but somehow his yellow labbie fur will be with me forever. As I stood there all hunched over my tailgate working away at vacuuming up all the fur, all I could think was - how on earth did this fur become so embedded in my car's flooring rug?

I mean I can vacuum up my loose humna hair no problem, but dog hair seems to have this way of infiltrating any sort of fiber - has the scientific community given this phenomenon any thought?? Surely the technology could be of some use to humanity.

Well I suppose if science has no used for it, at least it’s longevity stands as a tucked away, appears at any time reminder of our loved labs of the past and our beloved Dory of today.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Okay, first it was the great choke vs flat collar debate. Then, we moved onto harnesses, the harness was too big, she found a way to wiggle out of the harness.

We then moved on to the "Gentle Leader" head collar, $28 bucks to lead my dog around by her nose. It did keep her from pulling, but she hated it and would literally wince when she saw me take it out.

I used the head collar until last night, when nicely but firmly the lead trainer said she would really rather me use the flat collar or a harness. Well $15 dollars more and now I am the proud owner of a "Gentle Leader Easy Walk" harness. I'm not sure it's going to work, but I swear by oh mighty Isis to give it a try.

I felt really positive about class after the first one, I worked all week with Dory and even got her to do "down". I felt good, I felt we had moved forward - till last night.

LOOSE LEASH WALKING. Words that will forever send a shiver down my spine. This is not Dory's forte - and with a newly implanted titanium knee, walking is not really my best skill either. I have a feeling I will have to put in alot of hours on this skill, that and pray, pray, pray!!

It's Friday night, so I need to go get my "Dive Day" stuff together for tomorrow, that and Dory and I need to discuss LOOSE LEASH WALKING!!!

Have a great weekend.

When the moon is in the seventh house....

Okay I know this is corny, but I typed in zodiac sign dogs into Google and I landed on a web page that not only gave a “doggie” description for each zodiac sign, but it gave a pet/owner zodiac comparison! This was too funny!

All I really wonder was what traits do Sagittarius dogs have, you know, just for laughs. When I got to the website I nearly fell over laughing. Under the words Sagittarius it had the words - problem dog. (oh no…)

The moral of the story kids is don’t believe everything you read but I must admit the owner/pet comparisons were pretty on the nose.

I am an Aquarius so it says:

The Aquarius human will have a lot of fun with a Sagittarius pet. The energies here blend harmoniously and there is seldom (if ever) any friction between pet and human in this relationship. The Sagittarius pet will be flexible enough to go along with any strange ideas the avant-garde mind of the Aquarius human might conjure up. In addition, both Sagittarius pet and Aquarius human are full of energy...although the human may not possess the physical stamina of his or her pet. At the end of the day, however, this is something that can be worked out and is unlikely to make any difference to what will undoubtedly be a marvelous relationship.

I have to say this is pretty on target. Now Chris, our dear fellow is a Virgo and it said this:

The Sagittarius pet will most probably prove to be a little too wild for the taste of the Virgo human. Virgo natives (regardless of species) like to direct their energies in a methodical and quiet manner, whereas Sagittarius natives (again, regardless of species) prefer a gregarious and ubiquitous approach. The Virgo human will want to stay put and get things done, but the Sagittarius pet will probably have an entirely different agenda...one, which will likely involve some type of physical activity. It will be difficult for the Virgo human to keep this pet quiet while he or she is busy with all the Virgo-appointed chores. In short, the energetic Sagittarius pet will want to "go" and the Virgo human will want to "stay" or, the Virgo human will want to work while the Sagittarius pet will want to play. A Sagittarius pet prefers to be constantly active, but the Virgo human can only take that in short doses. All in all, this relationship could easily turn into something of a tug-o-war between pet and human.

Oddly enough, right on target, Christopher makes Mr. Clean look like a slovenly hobo. So based on my web research Dory and I will be frantically romping and all over the place while Chris quietly tidies up behind us.

I know it sounds crazy, but this isn’t too far from how it is. Chris is the king of tidy, neat and ship shape, I on the other hand take an Aquarius/artist tact, and like things a bit more how shall I say…messy. Each night Chris puts all of Dory’s toys on her bed in the family room and every day Dory and I work really hard to have as much fun and frolic with them.

Next time I get a “you need to be more tidy” lecture from Chris – all I have to say is apparently it is written in the stars!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dory's turn...

Hello. I have taken over the computer and will be writing today's post. As you can see by my photos, I enjoy blogging, email and posting photos to my web album. My computer of choice is a Dell. I am much cooler than that "Dude gotta get a Dell" guy - maybe they could use me for their ads!

I just want to say hi, as you can see by the blog here I have been very busy inspiring my Mom's posts. I have also been busy learning new things like sit, stay and the dreaded down. My Mom was very disappointed that I wouldn't do a "down" so this evening when she offered me meatloaf I finally had to cave and actually did "down" three times for her.

I have also been wondering - is there a doggie version of Match.com?? I'm a SBSF (single black spayed female) looking for a SBNM. Must love humans, frolicing at the park, rawhide chews, stealing pizza off the counter and playing tug with a rag bone. I am a Sagittarius who enjoys boating, sleeping and blogging. Woof!!

Monday, September 18, 2006

News Blues...

Okay, just one more thing to worry about as a pet owner. I was looking at the Boston Globe on line today and saw a story about a Therapy Dog. I thought cool, and clicked on the link only to find not a happy go lucky, heartwarming therapy dog story but a full blown cry and sniffle at the mere thought therapy dog has cancer story.

I mean here is this beautiful Golden Retriever, doing work she loves with sick children and the elderly and the story says the owner noticed a small bump that looked like a bee sting. I’m thinking no big deal till I read that it was cancer and if the dog doesn’t respond to steroids and chemo they may have to remove a large portion of her snout!!

Here is the link to the story:


I was just crying my eyes out as I read this thing, not only was it a story but there were about a dozen photos of this poor dog doing her therapy work. It was heart wrenching.

I suppose pets like children remind us that each day is a gift and as their caregivers we must be vigilant about their health, for dogs have no way to say, “hey something is wrong here.”

All I can say is thank heavens Dory is in good health. This weekend was low key, I imagine she thinks all the singing when the University of Michigan (our favorite team) scores is a bit silly but she always comes over to me and wags her tail as I shout out “Go Blue!”

I know nothing is for sure in this life, but every day I pray for Dory to have a long and healthy life. (and I confess – I add a little prayer that UM gets to the Rose Bowl too)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Heel? Here is my heel...

When I was a teenager and doing obedience and confirmation training with my first Lab Gillie, there was this great Peanuts cartoon with Charlie Brown and Snoopy that I cut out and saved it for years.

The cartoon showed Charlie Brown with a leash on Snoopy and he says “Heel!” the next frame is Snoopy saying “Heel?” then the next few frames show Snoopy doing a little dance and singing “Here is my heel, here are my toes, these are my paws and this is my nose, heel, toes, paws, nose. Heel, toe, paws nose, heel, toes, paws, nose!” The cartoon just made me laugh out loud, because while Gillie was very good at obedience, there were dogs I knew who I swore were singing the “Heel, Toes, Paws, Nose” song.

Anyhow, at the first meeting of obedience class owners had to come without their beloved canine, which was a walk in the park, but tonight is Dory’s first night at obedience and I have to say I’m more than just a little nervous.

She is a sweetheart, but even good dogs can have their moments. Dory tends to pull on the leash, for no other reason than she is excited to get where we are going. I tried a chain link collar or “choke chain” as some say, on her (they clearly had one on her at her adoptive home in the pictures), but that doesn’t seem to faze her and Chris thinks they are cruel. I don’t get the cruel part, but sometimes it’s just too much effort to argue.

I am now trying a “gentle leader head collar”, which is supposed to be effective but I’m not having a huge amount of luck with it. Plus, Dory has learned to rub her head all over the ground and furniture until the across the nose part comes off. Another $28 misspent.

The training leaders gave us homework last week that I have tried with Dory during this week. The first activity was the “Get it Game” in which you toss a treat and then recall with “Dory, Come” and try to get a hold on her collar as she returns. She did well with this but we were in the house – outside has way too many distractions so who knows what tonight will be like.

She has been excelling on her sit command and the other activity they group encouraged trying was a “check in”. This seems to work, although Dory would shave her own fur off her body for treats. The activity was to give your dog a treat and praise every time they looked at you. My problem is that with nice smell semi-moist food cubes and string cheese there was no way Dory would look away from me – I was positively stared at!

So who knows – if you are near the Cambridge Armory around 7 PM you may hear Dory singing a few rousing rounds of “Heel, Toes, Paws, Nose” while at class!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Work, what work...

OKAY – I am supposed to be working – but who can work when your dog is sitting beside you with her head on the coffee table????

Seriously, I have a ton of reports to review but Dory has determined that if she sits next to me and rests her head on the coffee table that I will be so distracted and give up working to play with her. She is a VERY smart dog.

Tonight I am scheduled to go to the introductory class at New England Dog Training Club (NEDTC). It's not that I can't train her myself - but working with trainers gives you perspective plus I get to see how she is out in public with other dogs. I'm sure she will have no trouble learning new things, I'm just not sure she will like new rules.

As I look over at her she has moved from the coffee table to the window - in Camelot she would be known as "Dory the Vigilant"! I've never known a dog who can stare out a window and keep herself so amused!!

Back to the grindstone for me!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Falling into FALL!!!!

Where has the summer gone????

All this week work has been crazy busy because kids are headed back to school and it just seems so hard to believe that the summer has flown by. Next thing you know I will have to start getting out my fall “work clothes” and start visiting schools again. The thought of having to wear stockings, tights, suits and dress shoes again is just too much to bear on such a sunny day!!!

Summer 2006 has had it’s ups and downs. Things started off badly when Emily was diagnosed with Canine Dilated Cardio-Myopathy and then quickly succumbed to the disease.

The summer plodded along, Buoy the Wonder Dog came into my home, but quickly he needed more space and one on one time than I could give him. Because of Buoy I got to know the folks from New England Dog Training Club, they are great folks who really know their stuff. Buoy also taught me it’s good to know your limits and most importantly he taught me I could love a dog enough to work with him and even let him go. Buoy, now called Tucker has settled in nicely in his new home and I feel grateful to have known him and had those experiences with him.

The Fourth of July was glorious as usual and of course there was the annual unexpected boat snafu. The additive ethanol kept the boat off the water and in for repairs for over 3 weeks.

August brought Dory to me and I am constantly amazed at what a great dog she is. After being here a month now she is truly at ease in our home now and each day she brings a smile to my face. Chris mentioned just the other day how funny she is and how each day some new small trait pops out – she has a great personality. Dory is a mischief-maker, a cuddle bug, a camera ham, an attention hound, counter surfer and just a big goof.

Who knows what September and beyond holds. Fall is my favorite season and I am looking forward to sunny days, crisp nights and everything apple!! Work has me traveling around a bit, to places like Plymouth, New Bedford and even the Berkshires. On the personal side more boating lays ahead and settling in with Dory. Dory and I also have a visit to Mom's planned to meet "doggie family members" Zachary, Mollie and Lucy.

I can hardly wait winter so Dory can see her first snowfall and snow piling up in large quantities – I wonder if she will like it. The holidays also are on track to be busy; we are traveling out to Saratoga quite a bit and others are making their way from all over.

My one parting thought today – I wish everyone a peaceful and joyful fall season this year.