Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can dogs go crazy?


Life is driving me insane.  Everything I know and understand has turned upside down.  One minute my food and water are next to the kitchen and then they are in the back bathroom and then moved downstairs to the hallway ….oops, no, now in one of the spare bedrooms.  The furniture is all scrunched  together, plastic bags are covering everything, and then strangers come to visit and take over our upstairs. What the hell is going on around here?  If curly haired was here none of this would be happening.  In fact I heard owner say,  of course this happens when curly haired isn’t here.


What happened was Shannon (Marjenhoff)  dropped by and told us we were bland. Personally, I like bland.  My fur stands out against bland really well and  bland makes me happy.  Bland means nothing unusual is disrupting my world.  Anyway, Shhhhhhhannnnon  told us red and mustard, yup red and mustard was the way to go.  Owner has absolutely no artistic talents whatsoever so bought into the programme completely.  The night before the strangers arrived owner had a few nightmares….mustard, what was I thinking?  mustard?  Luckily there are all different colours of mustard and ours was just the pale mustard seed. 

Decorating advice led  to complete and total disarray in our household  and what felt like hundreds of trips to Alpine LP1050100umber for yet ANOTHER gallon of paint.  We couldn’t even sleep  in our usual spots. This made Don as happy as could  be since it meant he got paroled for the night (read out of the crate).   He bounced right on to the bed in the spare room and didn’t move a muscle for ten hours.

I’ve been watching him.  Creeping suspicion tells me that Don knew Shannon  from somewhere else and somehow he’s responsible for this entire shamozel going on in our condo. It’s obvious he’s in love with her.  He spent a lot of time fawning around  hoping she would take him home. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

While all this was going on we were still trying to take care of the birds.  They are actually getting downright demanding.  One bird spent a bit of time traipsing around our front step as if he wanted to come in and get his own damn bird seed.  Who does he think he is!  I decide, well really owner decides, if he gets fed.  We ran out of “cow fat” (yum my favourite) this week so the birds got a lot of peanut butter mixed with bread crumbs, oatmeal and a few cranberries. We are apparently running a restaurant for gourmand birds.  Our offerings had huge appeal…so much so that a neighbour’s dog came by and would not leave until he had eaten the entire mess.  I think he was just stupid; probably thought he was eating the cow fat because the snow retained that odour.   What self-respecting dog eats cranberries?  Well, maybe Eloise, she does eat carrots after all.


Don’s poster is up  at Mountain Tails and no, it isn’t a wanted poster.  Well, actually it is I guess.P1040897   It is a  “family wanted” poster.  He’s still looking.  We had a good lead but it fell through like leads tend to do. He’s settled right down and now owner can get out of the house and enjoy some of what Telluride has to offer.   We figured out he simply had to get out of his crate.  All he  wanted was to chillax with me in the front hall on a dog bed chewing yet another disgusting tendon thing that he likes.  Poor guy, he’s only nine months old but he’s spent a lot of time living in a crate.P1040839   Don’t get me wrong, he says everyone at Second Chance is super nice.  In fact we met his regular Wednesday dog walker in town the other day.  We were wandering around peeing on a few walls and benches when suddenly a woman yelled, “Hey is that my Donnie?”  My first thought was, well Lady if he’s your Donnie, what’s he doing with us?”  However, Don went berserk and jumped all around  kissing her and basically acting a bit nuts. He was happy to see someone from his past life who knew him “when.”  We all like to have people who knew us “when.”  In fact Summertime on the Lake  owner has a few of those old timers coming  to hang out with her in a week or two.  Can’t wait for those stories….oh wait I digressed, right?  Sorry.


P1050106  P1050102

Check out the new reds and golds….Yahoo.  We love it.  But what we really love is our painted hallway door.  It makes us all happy!



Anyway, the furniture has all been moved back into place, new places for us but soon they will be old places.  Everything is fresh and clean and bright.  Actually my fur looks pretty darn good up against the red walls in the living room.  Shannon was right.  We were bland. Wow, and I didn’t go crazy.   See ya later. 

Swamp Canyon 044

Monday, January 25, 2010

Would somebody please call the cops!


Don has had a few homes so he’s not too anxious to have any of us disappear from view.  This can be annoying as he loves me so much he’s constantly jumping me from behind and hanging on.  What is that all about?  Does he think we should glue ourselves together so as not to lose each other on the trail.  I think not.  A good swift(accidental) poke to the jawbone might just get him to untangle himself from my back end. My limit for this little game he’s playing is fast approaching.



This week has been a lot of fun for the both of us, however.  It is a lot more enjoyable to dive through snowbanks with a partner.  He may be short but he can leap and he can dive.  Being a dachshund he has a great sniffer and can spend a good minute or two with his headP1040910 buried deep inside a snowdrift.  I like  stinky smells  so occasionally dip my head in fresh snow to take a whiff,  but Don could do it all day long. 

Did you hear  the police may have been looking for Don and I and another dog, who shall remain nameless. Settle in and I’ll tell you the story. Our friend (----) and her dog (---)  came by to take us on a really great walk on Saturday.  It was the calm in between blizzard and snowstorm.  We left Bachman Village and headed out along the bike trail to walk to the poop cartoons, dog poop cartoon, dog poop picture, dog poop pictures, dog poop image, dog poop images, dog poop illustration, dog poop illustrations   I was feeling frisky so left something large for owner to carry all the way back to town…the things those humans will do for us dogs is amazing, don’t you think?  So she had her hands full….two dogs, bag of poop, one dog crossing from the left to the right to the left to the right as if we were all participating in a complicated dance routine. Guess who that was?

#23627 Clip Art Graphic of a Cute Brown Hound Dog Cartoon Character Jogging by toons4biz(----)  and owner were in deep conversation when suddenly an elderly jogger came by (well I say elderly but probably around owner’s age). The big dog (----) wanted the runner  to know that he was protector of the  pack so he let out a few good barks and Don thought barking sounded like a great idea and added in a little hind leg dancing and jumping.  Needless to say Mr. Jogger was not impressed.  Everyone apologised for the BAD DOGS  behaviour, not mine  since I always behave impeccably, but Mr. Jogger was  cranky and said he was calling the police.  We wondered what the call would sound like. Hello, I’m in Telluride and two dogs just barked at me. A leashed one jumped up next to his owner and barked. Come and (what?) arrest these people, lecture them, drive them home?   Owner is wondering if they will be in Cop Shop this week in the paper! She’s kind of hopeful.

Well, I have to run now.  I’m teaching Don how to relax when he stays home without owner Everything is moved out of the front hall just in case he should decide he is ticked off.  A ticked off dog can be a dog that eats things he shouldn’t…say a scarf, a hat, a pair of sunglasses. Luckily Don has done none of these things but we don’t want him to get any ideas either. I’m going to lie down, tuck my tail between my legs and bite him if he tries any of those hopping on my backside games he’s been playing lately. For God’s sake, I’m nine years old and I shouldn’t have to put up with this nonsense.



Mountaintails put a notice up that Don is looking for a home.  Let’s hope someone out there falls in love with his picture.  If they meet him they will definitely fall in love with his personality.  As we all say, his name is Don Juan and he is a lover not a fighter. 

This blog was completed and then owner humiliated herself and I have to share.  She had two phone calls in a row from a Georgia phone number. She picked up and heard a lot of chatter in the background and thought…. hmmph! someone wants to sell something.  I tried to get her attention that I knew it was different but she never listens to me.  The third time the phone rang she YELLED into the phone  YEEEESSSSS? WHAAAT?…..hoping they’d hang up and leave her the heck alone.  Well, if I’ve told her once I’ve told her twice, it never pays to be rude.  Who was on the phone but a potential family for Don. If they can put up with owner all could go well.

See ya later.


Casey Daily Planet Photo

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Play with abandon!



Recently, I was stuck inside more than usual.  We had a blizzard.  Finally. Yahoo.  Amen and all that jazz.  Trust me we really needed it.  Even I felt the snowbanks were looking P1040992 disgusting.  And to all you humans who don’t clean up after your dogs…there is a special hell waiting for you come Spring!  Heard the town is considering giving you all some rubber gloves and a small spatula around April 30…and you can imagine the rest of the details yourself.  Owner…..keep up the good work.  However, you have  screwed up a couple times and I think there may be a right  handed glove out there with the first few letters of your name etched on the palm.  This is warning number one.  Curly haired never misses an P1040978opportunity to clean up after me if he’s alone, but when he’s with you he cracks me up.  He hands you a  bag as if you are about to do brain  surgery.  He  utters one word curtly …BAG?  What this means, dear owner, is get cracking, clean it up. I’m waiting for you to respond  “No, no bag thanks,…I much prefer to pick up dog shit with my bare hands.”   Next time you hear me snorting in my sleep  you will know why; I think it is one of my favourite recurring dreams.

Anyway, I was just hanging out and came across the perfect expression to describe how we dogs live our lives.   Since I’ve already P1040995 let you in on the fact that we do laugh, you won’t find it out of place in this quotation.  If everyone took this to heart the world would be a happier and better place.  Reading someone else’s blog led me to this artist/writer from Oregon, Mary  Anne Radmacher.  Here is what she said and I try to be true to it every day.

Live with intention.  Walk to the edge.  Listen hard.  Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret.  Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn.  Do what you love.  Live as if this is all there is.

What more can be said about that?  I have run to the edge  many times and have nearly fallen over so maybe  she should say run to within five feet of the edge, especially dogs.  We live every moment with abandon.  When we  are out with our buds we put so much intention into  having a good time and sniffing so thoroughly that we forget to listen and  then sometimes  get  a little carried away. We don’t want to fall off a cliff but we so love running wild and free that edges come upon us with little warning.  And, isn’t this all there is?  (for the moment anyway.)

By the way, a heartfelt bark  to every single snow shoveller in the town of Telluride.  Holy cow.  Thursday night I had to get up for a drinP1040985k of water and took a peek out our front window.  It was 3 a.m The houses across the street were no longer visible.  Also did a double check that owner had all the windows closed on our vehicle  (she had left one open a bit earlier in the day and some snow got inside…but curly haired isn’t here to know, so what’s the big deal, eh?) She seems to have trouble pushing the right buttons that operate our windows…she’s an old-fashioned “crank the window up woman” I guess…the poor thing! P1050022   Anyway, as I mentioned I could not see across the street.  Quietly I trudged back to my quilt and curled up and slept some more.  Granted this is a very long introduction to a simple statement but the scene needed to be set.  On our constitutional the next morning we walked  through snow up to the top of Don’s back. Fortunately he was in my pink coat so we could easily locate him if necessary under the drifts.  Owner stopped to  speak to some snow shovellers. P1040991   They had been up shovelling out driveways and sidewalks since TWO IN THE MORNING.  They had been shovelling for FIVE HOURS ALREADY, through the worst of the storm.  She thanked them for their hard work and dedication and Don and I bobbed our heads at them and  wagged our tails to let them know we appreciated it too.  It is tough walking through chest deep snow! Pretty but tough.  Where do these guys sleep? Surely they didn’t have to drive into town in the middle of a raging blizzard to shovel snow so I could get around more easily.  Could be.  You guys rock!

Today Don and I are not arguing about going for a big walk, although we want one.   We both came in and curled up by the pretend fireplace.  Expecting lots of dynamite explosions today as those other tough dudes keep avalanches away from our ski runs.   Avalanches are on my mind as we have a gabled section on our  roof and every once in a while a monster pile of snow slides off.  It scares me every time!

EnjoP1040960y your day wherever you are. You could be on a patio watching falling flakes  of your big blizzard.  Some friends are in Texas sitting at Starbucks  and once again enjoying the warm temperatures.  One fab friend is down in Roatan, Honduras sitting with her feet in the water and the sun on her shoulders.  Another is in the deep South helping her mom recuperate from a terrible bout with pneumonia. Curly-haired is on a whirlwind trip to Colombia, where luckily he blends in with the locals so avoids having a body guard. He’s supposed to be on a plane to Australia but that trip is delayed. (I could use a new sheepskin curly haired, Don has eaten a chunk of  my  old one). Everyone is everywhere. May you all be living life a few feet from the edge (it is the female side of me that wants you to keep your toes from dangling over), practicing wellness, laughing, playing with abandon and living as if this is all there is, in case it is.  See ya later.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another dog joins the mix…God help us!



 What can you do?  When you have a friend in need they say they are a friend indeed.  Jeanne  has been called home to Mississippi because her mum has pneumonia.  Frank has to work. What’s a dog to do?  The answer turned out to be that Zak will join owner and Don and I on a couple of our daily ambles for the next four days.   Hope Zak likes Don; Don likes everybody. How much poop can owner actually pick up and carry at one time?  This is bound to be interesting.  So glad I’m not a pooper scooper. 

Well I say Don likes everybody but twice lately he has acted  very protective of owner.  The last two nights we have headed out on our final cavort around the neighbourhood when Don has stopped dead in his tracks and turned on his growler.  I mean GROWLER.  When he wants to keep owner safe he goes to town.  He’s a tiny little thing but I guess he likes her so he really turns up the volume.  When owner hears that Don is warning her he doesn’t like what is up ahead, she listens. His name is Don Juan and he’s a lover not a fighter. When he’s voicing his concerns we turn and head in a different direction.  I don’t do that. My attitude is don’t worry, be happy.  Guess I’m a loser in the warning of danger department.


Telluride is a beautiful place to live but  the snow situation has to change. Everything is dull, dirty and muddy with huge frozen puddles everywhere, some of which crack open should you dare to step on them. In you go, up to the ankle! Brain freeze!! or in our case more like Butt freeze!!  We are all feeling the lack of snow.  Owner hasn’t been out on the big mountain since before Christmas.  Personally this is fine with me and witimageh Don too.  We like her every waking thought to revolve around us.

Sometimes she seems to go bonkers and next thing I know I’m out on a comforter and dog bed on the patio and Don is locked in his crate chewing on a bone.  I’m starting to sense a pattern.  We get two nice walks, one particularly long, and before you can say abracadabra we are locked into our “no bugging the owner” zones.  Being older and calmer I get the better deal.  Don ate some insulation off the patio and then tried to eat a welcome mat so he gets the crate. Miss spending time with him?  Are you kidding,  I need down time too.

Curly haired took off so it is very quiet around here.  Benj is back at College. No guests on the January horizon.  We tried to lure  David home from China to spend time with us, but he turned us down.  My feelings were hurt. Gee it’s not like we can talk to him in Mandarin so he needs to lighten up on this studying thing.

Maybe  by the time the guests arrive in February Telluride  will be a winter wonderland once again and the dog sledding adventure will be a guaranteed success, like last year’s.  Owner had hoped to be a pro skier by then so Winter Telluride 035she could show her old friend a trick or two as they zoomed around the mountain – but at the moment that plan is dead in the water.  Her four lessons so far haven’t done much to improve her skill but she feels incredibly talented in the cross country aspect of Telluride living.  Every day she slips on her boots and skis, her IPOD, and takes off leaving us behind.  Only on the weekends do we all  head out of town to the “dog friendly” areas. Even I understand how it is tough to head out of town on her own with two dogs.  Plus she’s very directionally challenged.  It would be very embarrassing to have Search and Rescue come looking for us on  winter hike 030groomed trails.  It could happen to her though so we are better off waiting for curly haired to come home.

Hopefully by the time  you hear from us again tons of fresh snow will have fallen, everyone’s moods will have improved,  pristine will be the name of the game, and the house painting will be over with.  DSCN1112 Oh yes we have a weekend of major house renovation going on.  We will all be living squished in  two little rooms downstairs while the upstairs is transformed into a golden palace.  Well….that’s the plan anyway….as well as lots of red to fulfill the feng shui part of life.  I mentioned my Chinese heritage and suddenly we are getting a red and gold living area…it is going to look like The Forbidden City in here.  Who can understand how humans come up with these ideas.   See ya later.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

I was a puppy once too, you know!


Here I am in all my  majesty.  Wasn’t I absolutely gorgeous? How anyone could have abandoned me, I have no idea.  But abandoned I was. You all know my story so I won’t go into detail but let’s just say I had a bit of a bad time for a while and then got rescued by Michael and he found me  my family.   My story ended well.

It is hard to  believe how svelte I was back in the  good old days.  I could eat biscuits for hours and not put on an ounce. That was my summer hairdo; I can’t wear that kind of haircut here for too long because we don’t have many warm months in Telluride. In the top photo I’m about three and below I am nine….I ooze maturity in this photo don’t I?  Personally, and I always admit to my vanity, I doubt there is a prettier little black dog in all of Telluride.

P1040932I’ve been thinking about age a lot recently.  How could I not? I’m being bombarded daily with the energy level of a nine month old puppy…good old Don Juan.  He bounces around and one minute he’s here and one minute he’s there.  He can jump over a snowbank quicker  than I can  shake my head.  Those days are far behind me.  It wasn’t until Don moved in that it struck me that my pace has really slowed down. Yes, I love to go for walks and yes, I love to go for a cross country ski but I run out of steam long before a young pup.  It is awful having it thrust in my face on a daily basis.  Like owner, I am reasonably content to look a certain age but feel like a teenager inside, note the word reasonably. Of course I go to be groomed and pampered at any dog spa I can get into because I try to keep up appearances.   Luckily owner doesn’t have daughters to compare herself to on a daily basis….then there would be even more creams and magic potions in the glass torture room.  Thank God I don’t have to go through the humiliation of losing my fur like people do; I don’t know that I could bear it.

There are benefits to getting older though.  Owner spends long hours  brushing my fur and making me gorgeous.  She never bothered when I was little because I wouldn’t sit still long enough.  Another bonus is that when I  head into town on the River Trail I don’t need a leash.  I’m allowed to meander as I please sniffing here, sniffing there. Young upstarts like Don can’t do that because they are  stupid and  run away.  Let’s forget about me making a mad dash across the river the other day as I chased a small black furry object  scurrying like mad.  Don has been a bad influence on me I guess because for a moment I thought I was young!  Iced paws and an icy chest aren’t fun for old dogs; but, I recuperated quickly and my foray across the river led me to have very pleasant dreams that evening. Young  Don gets put in a crate when everyone goes out.  I have the house and furniture to do with as I wish.   I like to sit myself down in front of his jail cell and flaunt my freedom.  I run down the hall and have a very loud drink and return to taunt Don with water droplets shimmering on my lips. This drives him insane.  When you are young you don’t have the smarts to play practical jokes like this.



  One of the nice things about being older is that you realise you should take time to enjoy the moment, savour the flavour. For example, when I come upon a beautifully decorated tree trunk in the forest I have a good sniff and take in how pretty it looks set against the snow.  Don is so young that he simply pees on it and takes off never appreciating the fact that someone went to a lot of trouble to create whimsy. Wandering by a potential forest animal’s P1040944domicile, I don’t run in and send my fur flying every which way…no I peer in quietly wondering who lives here each evening when I’m sleeping at the end of the bed in a warm room. Not Don…..he could care less about anyone other than himself.  I guess that is the best part about growing older, when we do it selflessly we age gracefully.  That’s what I am now, I”m graceful.

Anyway, in my opinion I am far superior to little Don.  That said I think I shall go take my rightful spot in front of the little fireplace.  My old bones need warming and I’m not embarrassed to let everyone know. I’ve put in my time as a young pup and now I shall reap the rewards of my esteemed age.  Don should venerate me as the Chinese venerate their old.  Hey wait a minute…I have Chinese heritage.  I am Chowchow with the tongue to prove it so it makes sense that I should take such a dignified and intelligent approach to my creaking bones and cataract clouded eyes.   See ya later.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Words to live by.



Words of wisdom Don…..I know more than you.   Look into my eyes and see how wise I am. Actually, just read my lips….do as I say not as I sometimes do. 

First….when I’m lying down to have a sleep – back the heck off! This doesn’t mean back off and then pounce on me, back off and then hop over me, back off and then lie on top of me…it means back the hell off! I’m old; I have rheumatism, I’m losing my sight and you are just plain annoying.  Yes my looks are deceiving but  I’m nine X seven which makes me older than either  owner or curly-haired.  They don’t let you ping pong off of them so don’t ping pong off of me.

Lesson number 2…..don’t pee it all out at once. Why you do this I have no idea.  There are so many locations to leave a little note to remind people you’ve been around. You can take more thandog peeing cartoons, dog peeing cartoon, dog peeing picture, dog peeing pictures, dog peeing image, dog peeing images, dog peeing illustration, dog peeing illustrations a minute to pee because you only leave it in one spot.  I’ve never seen anything like it.   Perhaps in the  shelter it is common place  behaviour  but here you have to mark your territory.  How else will anyone know you are in town if you don’t leave  pee mail. Today you left five scent markers on the River Trail.  I was proud because it is apparent that you are learning to  follow my lead.  Bravo bud.  Cookie for you whenever I can steal one!  Remember…the longer it takes you to get the job done the longer we are outside and on the prowl for our friends like Zak and Shiprock and, god help me, the smallest of the Little Peppers.

Lesson number 3…  For God’s sake, shut up when you are in the crate. They have always come back to let you out; they always will come back to let you out…CHILLAX as they say.  P1040839 Ten minutes is a long time to whine and cry. Cut it down to ZERO Don baby….Z–E-R-O.  It is silly and undignified.  Your life has been tough and yes people have let you down but these guys won’t.  They are happy to be hosting you until you find your forever family.  Don’t drive them insane with your little (fake in my opinion) whimpers.  Whining in young and old, canine and human is unattractive so get a grip.  Just because owner has been known to whine does not make it right.  The dignity of our species is at stake so put a cork in it kiddo.

Lesson number 4…  The dog beds are MINE.  You actually shoved me off my own bed the other night.  This is unheard of.  If I had ever done that to Boris (whoP1040889 lived with these guys before me) he would have had me for breakfast.  The burgundy dog bed is from   when Boris was around so I’m especially attached to it.  The black sheepskin comes from Australia when David (the family member who brought me home) was living there so it also has special significance.  You can have the plastic yoga mat.  It is more than adequate for your needs. Got it?

Lesson number 5… My food is my food.  Your food can be my food if I want it.  Deal with it.

Lesson number 6… Quit farting.

Lesson number 7….Furniture is off limits.  Have you seen your claws? They are ginormous!  Think of the damage you could do.P1040828 Plus beds are my domain….you’d have to live here a long time until you got to sleep on a bed because curly haired barely fits in the bed when he’s home….owner and I take up a lot of room.  You are definitely not in this picture.

Lesson number 8…. Kitchen counters (and garbage pails)  also off limits. I’ve seen your head poking up over the counter top…..Benj caught you too. No go!  I ONCE (and I dream of it still) did lick the Thanksgiving Turkey as it sat on the counter.   Instantaneous banishment to jail (read crate).  Just so you know….they think we harbour germs.  Hmmmph….I think they harbour germs or why else would they bathe every day which leads me to rule number 9!

Rule number 9… Stay away from that room with the warm floor down the main  hall.  It has the glass torture box.  You do not want to go in there. Sure, sniff it out if you have to but you’ll be sorry.  I like  you so I’m  handing out this warning.  Oops, too late.  Rub-a-dub-dub as they say.

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Rule number 10….whatever owner says goes.   If you are looking for consistency…. think again.  She tries but admits some  days she’s on and some days she’s off.  It could be a freezing cold day and you’ll go out without a coat. Then on a relatively mild day she’ll pop you into my jacket.  Curly-haired just shakes his head in confusion.  After 22 years he has given up trying to figure her out.  At any rate be prepared to be completely baffled by her thought process. P1040915

You may be male, you may feel virile, you may think you are hot stuff… excuse me while I snicker….but when she decides you have to wear the pink coat you WILL wear the pink coat.  Hey…wait a minute…quit eating my coat.  Gotta run rescue my winter jacket.  See ya later.

  (I just have to ask, which part of Rule No. 4 did you not understand?)