Archive for April, 2007

Apr 21 2007

Now We Are Six

Published by under Dogs,Rita

My blog turns six today! Hope Mike doesn’t think I have to start doing chores now!

Rita has been celebrating the upcoming blogiversary, or possibly the fashionably late arrival of Spring, with extreme naughtiness. If she had a dog house, she’d be in it.

On Thursday, I arrived home to discover the contents of the garbage can scattered all over the house. Rita the miscreant was lying calmly in the middle of the mess. I think she knew it was pointless to try and blame it on the mice. She didn’t wag her tail or jump for joy when I came in the door, probably because my entry and my yelling were pretty much simultaneous.

I’m sure it was the aftereffects of this domestic misdemeanor which led Rita to wake me up at 6:30 am. That means “in the morning”. I knew I’d regret it, soon and for the rest of my life, if I didn’t get up and take her out. Without coffee. After I had coffee, I decided to take Rita with me when I went to the library. It’s a nice walk, and the library is conveniently located next to a park, so Rita could chase squirrels and pigeons to her heart’s content.

I figured that would hold her until the evening walk, but I was wrong.

A couple of hours later, I was on the phone with an investment banker in New York. Rita started whining and scratching at the door, dog code for “let me out of here or you’ll be sorry”. I couldn’t immediately give in to her demands, or tell her to stop making them, because the banker would wonder why there was a dog in the office. While we do have an office, in beautiful downtown Oakland, I usually just work out of my kitchen, but I didn’t think the banker needed to know that. My professionalism is all an illusion (but he didn’t need to know that, either). He didn’t seem to hear Rita’s pleas for an early release, so when I got off the phone, I took her out again. And again, later that night, when Rita tried to chase a cat, and was forcibly restrained. Cat-chasing in my opinion is not good.

On the way back from the Final Four, a passing child wanted to pet Rita, but Rita wasn’t interested. I have noticed as she has gotten older that she’s less than thrilled with the attentions of puppies and children. The little girl got really upset as Rita tried to slink away, so I stopped her and let her be petted. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices for your public.

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Apr 16 2007

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy (or 8)

Published by under Uncategorized

I can personally recommend the lamb.

Before I unleash the puppy cuteness on you – and be warned, these pix are rated X for Xtreme Cuteness – I’d like to note that this is my 1,000th post. And it only took me nearly 6 years to achieve that milestone (the official blogiversary is the 21st, for those who are sending cards and gifts). I really am the slothiest of them all. And it doesn’t look like I’m planning to change my lazy ways any time soon, since this is only the third post of the month. To quote a recent New Yorker cartoon, “If we’re all just energy, then why don’t I have any?”

But enough about me. It’s puppy time!

K and I were greeted by the puppies’ breeder, which we expected, and by a month-old lamb, which we didn’t. The lamb is a special variety whose fleece doesn’t grow long and never needs shearing. Her mother didn’t have any milk, so the breeder was bottle-raising her. She’s quite a sassy little thing, as can be seen by her kissing a total stranger. She also kept nibbling K’s butt when she was on the floor taking the puppy pictures.

But enough about the lamb. It really is puppy time!

Here is the mother with her eight babies. They are three weeks old, and of truly breathtaking cuteness. See for yourself. Here they are sleeping and snuggling. And finally…can you tell which one isn’t a real puppy?

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Apr 12 2007

While You Were Out

Published by under Uncategorized


When I was an office drone, I hated those “While You Were Out” things. It seemed all I had to do was step away from my desk to provoke a flurry of phone calls, all of which had to be returned immediately upon my return. Actually, I hated pretty much everything about working in an office except leaving, especially on Friday.

There wasn’t a flurry of phone calls while I was away in Detroit – at least, there were no pink slips of any kind awaiting me – but there was some unusual activity.

Patricia, who knows everything there is to know about what goes on in our neighborhood, tells me that while I was in Detroit, a film company took advantage of my temporary absence to film in the courtyard all night, right outside my wondows. Apparently they had a noisy generator announcing their presence, along with the actors yelling and brandishing rubber crowbars. And then there were the bright lights. I don’t think I really missed out by missing it.

I wonder what will happen during the absence currently in progress. Instead of writing at my messy desk in my messy kitchen, I am writing at my fab friend K’s beautiful, tidy dining room table. I’m spending a couple of days with her, enjoying the peace and quiet of her lovely little house and lovely little town. Makes a nice change of pace from taking Rita for an amble-ette behind our building and discovering a fiesta of seven – yes, seven – previously-enjoyed condoms in a fiesta of colors, the way I did yesterday afternoon. No wonder I felt the need to get out of town, at least temporarily.

Still shuddering in horror and considering moving.

I will now replace that horrifying mental image with a charming one: tomorrow, I am reprising my popular role as K’s lovely assistant at a photo shoot…of 3 week old Australian Shepherd puppies!!! Guess who brought her digital camera? And I promise to share – I’m not all bad.

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Apr 09 2007

Rita Light and Dark

Published by under Dogs,Rita

I’m only getting up for admiration.

My dog* is so pretty, she doesn’t even need to leave the house to get compliments.

The Thai food delivery guy asked me where she was when he brought dinner the other day. I went and got her (she was napping too much to bark when he knocked at the door), and she went up to him wagging her tail. He petted her and said he couldn’t remember her name.

“Rita,” I said.

“Ah, yes, Rita! Like Rita Hayworth, only more beautiful!”

However, like many beauties, Rita, I learned, has a somewhat shady past.

I took her around the back of our sprawling building. There’s a parking lot, a wood-working studio, and a place where movie and TV sets are built. Behind all this is a vacant lot, which looks like a field, but which is actually the former site of a battery factory. Apparently it’s too toxic to build on(!), but not too toxic to walk your dog on.

While Rita was sniffing and strolling, another dog owner arrived, along with PD, an artist who also lives in the building. In fact, he is Former Owner’s next-door neighbor. When the dog owner saw Rita, he pulled his dog closer to him and told me that Rita had been known to fight with his dog on more than one occasion. PD chimed in with the fact that she nipped his hand once. Imagine my surprise to learn that my old girl was so OG. I have to blame it on the bad old days of the Former Owner. She’d never do that now. I hope. I certainly don’t want to have to send her to rehab and reach out to the canine and artistic communities, begging for fashionable forgiveness.

*After more than a year of Rita’s companionship, I think it’s safe to say she’s my dog. I even managed to avoid The Talk with Previous Owner (previously known as Actual Owner). Bonus! How many girls get what they want without having to talk about their relationship?

Last week, I ran into Previous Owner. He lives in the same building, but I rarely see him. So we were catching up, and he never asked me about Rita. I brought up the topic, telling him she was doing well, and so far so good with all the pet food recalls. He said he’d call us that night or drop by, and guess what? Nothing. Girls, I know you won’t be surprised by this, and neither am I. But it’s all good, since I get Rita, discussion-free! I win!

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