Monday, December 26, 2011

one more thing...

Don't even think about buying this....ever ever ever!

I thought I was clear...

Water to drink...good.
Rain...not so much.

Apparently I forgot to mention that it's not okay with me to lure me outside with promises of a walk and then cart me straight over to the groomer for a bath!

So just so we have it straight.

Rain...not a fan.
Bath...worse than a thunderstorm.

Are you clear? Crystal?
Good then.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's not about the gifts...kinda

I swear, I'm not that materialistic.  Really, I'm a dog. How much stuff could I need? (My mother is muttering something in the background about treats and coats and poop bags and food and grooming and vet bills but we'll just ignore her.) I'm perfectly happy with a good tummy rub and a long trip to the park in lieu of wrapped presents.  And I definitely am not a fan of the trying-on process where my mom proceeds to stuff me into sweaters and coats she sees at the pet store and expects me to stand still in the face of possible treats on the floor to go and find! really woman, have some perspective!

That being said, apparently I have a material girl just waiting to escape because I'm pretty proud of my snazzy new collar and this deluxe car seat I got as Hanukkah gifts this week. I know, it's been a pricey week for someone who loves Gracie!  Even though I object to being buckled into the car seat over having free reign of the car, still, it's my seat! and it has plush lining! I know, i know, you're all drooling...try to contain yourselves. Maybe your inner material girl will come unleashed next year!

In the meantime, I have to go don my new jewels and pink ruffled coat to hop into my first class ride to the park...where i will promptly roll in mud and act the true un-materialistic dog that I am!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lost! Please return to Israel. Large Reward

So some two-legged folks are all in a tizzy over some billboard ads that have now been taken down.  From what I can gather as I scrounge under the picnic tables in a hunt for food, the Israelis launched an ad campaign targeted at Israelis living in America to convince them to move back home.  And this seems to have pissed off some tall Jewish Americans. 

Were their feelings hurt that the Israelis didn’t want them? That I could understand.  When I was in the shelter, there would be all of these nice looking families that would come and walk right by my cage to go and ooh and aah over the wriggly puppies.  Fine. Just because I was almost five doesn’t mean I’m not cute and adorable.  I guess my old home wasn’t as attached to me as the Israelis seem to be about their former citizens because I was just abandoned…no signs, no ad campaign, nothing. 

So maybe the American Jews were hurt that the Israelis didn’t take them home from the shelter.  Or maybe they felt slighted that the Israelis were saying their home wasn’t as good as the homes in Israel.  Really? Are we all in kindergarten? It reeks of “my dad can beat up your dad” mentality.  But the American Jews have a forever home already, so I’m not really clear on what the problem was.  The Israelis that seem to have gotten lost were the ones that the ads were for.  Kind of like those “Lost Puppy.  Large reward if found” posters that always make my mom cry.  I would think that they would be thrilled to know that their parents were searching for them all the way across the world.  That’s a far way to wander away from home.  No wonder the Israelis needed large billboards!

So I’m not sure what the big deal was.  If I got lost, I would hope my mom would put up billboards to look for me, and I wouldn’t care if the other puppies were mad that she didn’t want them.  She’s my mom and it’s my home. 

Everybody deserves a forever home, and if you wander too far away, sometimes you need a big reminder which direction to travel. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Are you talking again?

Like I’ve said before, I have limited resources.  Licks to give kisses, tail wags to convey happiness, entire body wriggles to impact absolute joy, jaws with which to grab my treats along the way, as well as to fetch my plethora of stuffed animals.  I bark rarely and randomly, usually at men in hats and things with wheels.  That’s pretty much all I’ve got.  So most of my communication and understanding of the world comes from the pauses in the day, the gaps in the conversation, the shadows in your eyes.  I’m not stupid.  I can see when you tall ones are upset.  I know what that salty eye rain means.  I understand coughing and sneezing means no long walks and furrowed brows signal annoyance (occasionally at me for not listening but that’s for another day).

It’s funny.  For all of you tall people’s chatter, it seems like the bulk of what you have to say doesn’t have a sound.  I don’t even understand English and yet, I get the message within the silence.  It’s usually a whole lot simpler than you make it sound with your fancy words and analyzing sessions.  You’re sad.  You’re angry. You’re lonely.  You’re hurt.  You’re disappointed. You’re anxious.  You’re thrilled.  See how easy that was. But no. You spend hours explaining and side-stepping, talking around the issue, under the issue, and between it’s edges.  You discuss the same point from every possible angle, with new adjectives, less emotion, more emotion, no emphasis, irony, sarcasm, and back again all in this desperate need to be understood.

Don’t you get it? I understand you without all of the words just as you understand when I’m mopey and pouting, glaring out of anger, or exuberantly happy to see you again after the three minutes you were gone to do switch the laundry.

I know, communication is a tough one.  You don’t know what you want, how you feel, what you need. Or you know and you’re scared to say it.  Or you don’t say what you mean but rather what you think she wants you to say.  Or you don’t say what you feel out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings.  Or you say one thing and mean another.  It’s a very confusing world you people live in. 

So I get it.  Communication is something we’ll keep working on.

Next week’s topic: Eggshells are for cracking not walking on.

It must be getting close...

I can feel it looming...the rainy afternoons combined with muddy parks...

Every time she starts to run the water for her shower, i hide under the desk.  I just know she's itching to do it.

Hold out! Don't do it!! Fight the urge!!

But bad news is a-coming any minute now... I can feel it. If not now, then for sure this afternoon...

It's B-A-T-H time!!!

Crap, this desk-disguise just isn't cutting it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Long-distance kisses

It's my favorite uncle's birthday today and I'm at a loss.  No matter how much i lick the phone, it doesn't seem like my gift is getting through.  Houston we have a problem!!

I have limited resources here: no credit card, no job, no cash of my own. All i've got is my extraordinarily long frog-like tongue with which is cover you with kisses, and this long distance thing creates somewhat of a snag.  Crisis!! Hence why all the people that I love should be mandated to live within tongue's distance away...or at least within often-visiting distance.  I know, I know, he's coming to visit in a few months.  But his birthday is today.  And my tongue just can't reach to New York no matter how hard I try.

Plus this phone tastes like windex...thank you obsessive-compulsive mom!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just so we're clear...

When I say we have a communication breakdown what I mean is that she needs to come over to my way of interpreting. We're at the park and we're sticking with my definition!! Come = sometime in the next ten minutes... Just so we're clear.

Oh, and "LEAVE IT RIGHT NOW" means wolf down the chocolate cake and then trot over and lick your face

Big trouble

I was in trouble yesterday.  BIG trouble.  The kind where I know my mom wants to shake me silly but instead gives me a time out and glares at me.  Well I can glare right back Missy, and you just foiled me attempt that snatching that ice cream sandwich.  It seems that when she yells, “Come”, we have a communication breakdown.  

I heard my name, glanced over at her, acknowledging her existence, and then went about my merry way.  I vaguely remember some background dim of “Come” but I was busy.  When I’m busy, I turn my cell phone off! Status update: Not available…hunting for food. Straight to voice mail!

Hence I didn’t get the memo detailing the definitions of “Come”, namely "Come right now, do not pass go, do not collect $200." 

Ok, that makes sense…but we were talking about an ice cream sandwich.  Where’s the compromise? Where’s the love? I propose “Just a sec” as an alternate command.  Yes, I hear you, and I fully intend on returning to you just as soon as I’ve wolfed down this morsel of food I’ve managed to find.  No? Not so much? Hum…we’re at a standstill.

Needless to say, yesterday I didn’t even come in a sec because once I know I’m in trouble, what’s the rush? Not my wisest move.  There were harsh words and forced sits and long time-outs.  But as soon as we’re done, I’m over it and she feels horrible, whispering apologies and giving me tiny treats and lots of hugs.  Thinking she might not be quite ready for one of those small humans I see around. 

The part that’s different between us is that I’ve already forgotten the incident and am moving towards my next target.  She’s still stuck in the past, beating herself up for getting mad.  And I’m the one that did something wrong! Does anyone else see a problem here?

Like I said, it’s a communication thing, which I notice being a problem for a lot of you humans.  Someone hears a comment with a slant that was unintended, or gets their feelings hurt over a perceived slight that the other party neither meant nor has any clue that something’s wrong.  Then the resentment starts and the eggshell walking begins and no good comes from that.  At that point we all just need to lie down before we hurt ourselves!

 I just need her to spell it out for me.  I’m not a mind reader, so her “Right now!!” probably means something other than how I take it – “Mosey on over here at your leisure.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The view from down here

She said she felt bad for us, having to live our lives ten inches off the ground.  That the view “must be so boring.”  Oh, Tillie Lou’s mom, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Have you spent time down here in this doggy wonderland of sights and scents? I think not! I don’t know about Tillie, but I’d much prefer the view from down here.  

Up there, where you guys live with your heads in the clouds, it’s all air and open spaces…boring.  Down here there are blades of grass with pee-mail, dropped morsels of picnics, mud crawling with wriggly worms, sticks to munch, flowers to sniff, and puddles to splash in.  I don’t have to sit at my computer to catch up with friends via email– I get to do it at the park, sniffing bushes and branches marked by friends and answering back with a quick squat.  And some of those socks you guys wear make for entertaining views themselves.  

I guess it would be nice to stare at something other than your ankles while we’re walking and to be able to reach the kitchen table.  But don’t feel bad for me.  It’s a whole different world down here and I literally get to watch the grass grow.

By the way, mom, you might want to vacuum under your sofa.  For someone as obsessively clean as you, you do not want to see what’s under there!

When one doggy door closes...

I might be in the minority, but I think this is great.  Less work = more time to play with Miss Gracie Joy.  What’s the problem? The way I see it, we have less obligations, less stress, and an increased availability to romp at the park.  Win-win situation! No? What’s that? Ah, right…those grown-up piddly concerns of bills to pay and gas money.  My bad.  Ok, so perhaps not all is rosy. But still, let’s keep some perspective.  There’s more time for her to do her own writing which always makes her smiley, more opportunity to write about things she’s actually interested in, and more chances for snuggling with me.  So yes, I get it.  Less work might not be the greatest news, but still…when one doggy door closes…

Plus don’t forget…the world is well managed.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I like water to drink.
I like puddles to splash in.
I like ocean waves to run beside.

Rain? Not so much.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holy days

I keep hearing all of this chatter about the holy days…groans of how they’re almost here, how hard they are, and mutters of family time accompanied by shudders.  What is it about these holy days that gets everyone in a tizzy? Does it depend on what religion you are? Because in our house, there’s no muttering or groaning, but there’s also no decorations or party invitations covering the fridge.  There’s no extra obligations or family events, no long lists of gifts to buy or requisite cards to send out.  

So maybe we’re missing something, but it seems like the country is taking a collective whining session and I’m not clear what the problem is. 

They are holy days…and by definition they should be exempt from complaining and stress.  Perhaps that’s the problem. There’s so much pressure to have an amazing time that it ends up backfiring.  Kind of like my birthday when it’s my one extra-special day all about me (as if that’s so different from my daily life – yeah right!) and I’m supposed to have a fabulous, perfect, wonderful day.  Well that’s a lot of pressure and usually it’s just a normal day with some gifts and cards thrown in and maybe an extra trip to the park.  

It’s all about expectations.  When I don’t know it’s my birthday, lacking my own iphone or calendar, my birthday is great because I don’t even know when it is! But once it’s all built up and the specialness factor is in play, then expectations soar and we’re in trouble. 

I think it’s the same with the holy days.  Maybe if no one knew it was December, and the 25th, new years, and those roving Hanukkah days rolled around without anyone’s knowledge, they would just be sweetly ordinary and everyone would relax.  Maybe if there weren’t expectations about the ideal family sitting down to the perfectly cooked meal and everyone being blissfully happy, the stress factor would plummet.  Maybe if new years were a time to self-reflect and cuddle with loved ones minus the flashy parties and fancy gowns, everyone would be happier.  I don’t know – I’m just a dog so consider the source.  But somewhere during the season of holidays, the holy seems to have gotten misplaced. 
Don’t worry – I’m on the job.  As long as its been rolled in some nutmeg or latkes, I’ll sniff out the holy. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Worth the Wait

Let’s be clear – I’m well aware I’m a lucky dog. I get to go to the park every day – sometimes two a day, I get tummy rubs, treats, games of fetch, and lots of cuddling pretty much just for breathing in and out.  Plus, I have a clique.  That’s right, I’m part of the in-crowd at the park. I’m one of those cool girls you want to be wagging her tail, sporting a pink puffy jacket, and racing around the grass…I know, I know, you want to be part of my clique too.  But the best part of the park is my friends.  Tillie Lou is my best friend, and there’s Parker and Coltrane and Jack and Navarre that I get to play with every day…I know, wipe the drool from those jowls.  I’m a lucky girl like I said. 

Plus, my mom has her whole group of friends that she gabs with while I wander around looking for food and sniffing tushes.  I pretty much take full credit for her friendships and joy that she gets from the park though since it’s only because of me that she met any of them.  It’s true – we would come to the park for me to play two years ago and she met all of these ‘park friends’ who’ve turned into real friends.  And now she has her group that she gets to see every day too – and it seems like the park must have some kind of magic power because no matter how rushed and stressed she is before we get to the park, once we’re there it all melts away. 

It’s our grassy temple, our meditation center, and our place of peace all wrapped up with trees and fields.  And while the rolling hills and sunny patches are gifts in and of themselves, the biggest blessing is the friends we’ve made. 

She’s sitting there (leaving me at home, I might add) in the hospital waiting room, biding her time until her friend is ready to be taken home.  They left her house at 5:15 am, shared sleep-deprived giggles in their slaphappy states, and kissed goodbye when her Tillie Lou’s mommy walked down the sterile hall.  And now my mommy waits for her friend because that’s what friends do.  Because Tillie Lou’s mommy is a true friend, which humans apparently only get a scant few of in a lifetime.  My mommy woke up at 4:30 because her Tillie Lou’s mommy hears her and listens to her, supports her even when she doesn’t agree, makes her laugh when she’s stressed and cries with her when she’s sad.  Tillie’s mom shares inspiration and compassion, patience and kindness, and mostly loves her exactly as she is, just because, every day.  And that earns her endless puppy licks from me and the title of true friend.
So that’s the blessing of the park – we get to play and run and lie in the sun all while cultivating friendships that go beyond grassy fields but rather are rooted deep, strong roots that withstand California winds. 

Like I said, I take full credit for all of the joy of the park because if it wasn’t for me, I wouldn’t have my doggy posse and my mom would still be sleeping cozy in bed right now…wait, wait, that doesn’t sound right….
Oh right, she’d be cozy and snuggling with me but without her true friend. No question about it – she’s happier in the waiting room.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


It seems like a silly question to me.  Maybe I’m missing something.  Asking yourself “Where are you”?? Hello…sitting right here waiting for you to feed me, drop food, give me treats, or pet me.  What do you mean “where are you”? How do you lose yourself? I’ve mastered this one.  I’m never lost, despite what my mom might say about me wandering out of eye sight.  I’ve got it.  Here I am, living right in the present moment, fully focused on the smell right in front of my nose.  How could I lose myself? I don’t get it. 

But apparently this is a problem for some of you humans.  My mom has been asking herself “where are you?” throughout the day as a way to get centered and remember to breathe. (Ok, really, you humans need reminding to breathe?? You guys aren’t as smart as I thought!)  It seems that its easy for less intelligent beings than I to get lost in the daily shuffle, to forget to appreciate what’s right in front of their noses, and to wander out of eye sight in their crowded brains.  I guess what comes so easy to me just doesn’t translate well to you guys.  

I actually got admonished this morning for stopping to smell the roses for too long! Seriously?? Where are you??

Hineni – Here I am, living in the moment.  Come join me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lost: one Bubby Ida. Large Reward

Turns out the enemy suitcase wasn’t the true enemy.  The real foe was this little yellow pill that she tried to trick me into eating by camouflaging it amid string cheese and which I fell for because, I mean hello…cheese! But if there was an airplane, I have neither memory of it, nor pretty much the rest of the travel day because she drugged me! Sure I wasn’t scared on the plane, but come on – slipping me a tranquilizer just doesn’t seem fair.  Then again, I did get to accompany the enemy suitcase on our trip, so I guess I can’t complain too much. 

So we went to go visit bubby and Zaidy at my old stomping grounds.  As soon as I pranced through the door, I realized, hey, I remember these smells! I have a backyard here and a doggy door (though I prefer for them to cater to me by opening the door and coming outside with me so I play dumb for that one). But yippee, I’m back! Hello Arizona! Plus, bubby and Zaidy had my back, pressuring mom to give me more food and at least more treats, so they fit the spoiling grandparents role just fine.  And turned out that the enemy suitcase had treats and a toy for me, so we’ve now made our peace…for now. 

But after just two days we had to go to that strange building with the huge flying birds again, and what do you know, another piece of string cheese, which I fell for again! My short-term memory apparently needs some work because next thing I know, it’s Monday and we’ve been home a whole day. 

Still, there’s something missing today.  My bubby and Zaidy are still in Arizona and my mommy’s bubby and Zaidy don’t seem to be anywhere we can go to visit. I can’t quite figure out where they live, but today she seems so sad, lighting this long-burning candle and staring at pictures of her bubby Ida with that salty drink she sometimes makes from her eyes.  I don’t get it.  

It seems so unfair that I got to visit my bubby and she doesn’t get to visit hers.  There’s something wrong with this picture and I see my mommy searching her gardenia plant for the possibility of a flower and flipping through pictures of the two of them hugging, always hugging so tight.  Where is that great-grandmother of mine who used to laugh so easily, hug so tightly, flow with wisdom, and make my mommy feel so special? There’s no bubby Ida book club anymore or communal crossword puzzles.  No games of gin rummy or Friday night sleepovers.  

Without bubby Ida, we’re missing our matriarch, the one whose mere presence completes the family picture, but whose hand is the one my mom always sought.  I’m not sure where bubby Ida is hiding, but wherever she has been for the past three years, I think it’s time for her to come back.

In the meantime, we’re both missing our bubbies and zaidies today.  I’m not sure if the missing part ever ends…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The enemy box

Just so you know, I see that suitcase there.  I see it and I’m not happy about it.  I know what that empty box means.  I’ve soused it out. I’m no spring chicken.  I’ve been around the airport terminal a time or two.  I know what happens when you promise you’ll be right back as you lug that wheeled box behind you.  Liar! Liar! You’re not right back! You’re back eventually, days later, all smiley and missing me and what do you bring me?  Nothing! Just hugs and kisses and lots of snuggles.  Well let me tell you missy that just isn’t going to cut it this time.  I’m putting my paw done. 

I tried peeing on your backpack once, but that didn’t stop you from trotting off to Canada.  I’ve moped, sulked, given you puppy eyes, and attempted to hide inside the enemy box, all with no success.  Well I just want you to know I’m on to you.  You think you can leave the suitcase out for a week in a kind of reverse psychology and then I won’t be as upset when you board that strange bird that flies you away? No! give me a little credit here.  I’m a smart puppy and this time I’m gonna outsmart you…

I haven’t necessarily figured out how but just know I’m working on it so don’t get any ideas about “being right back”….

What? What’s that you say? Ooohh, I’m coming with you??

Never mind…

(a la gilda radner)