Friday, August 27, 2010

Ride Inspector

Nobody awake on this particular midway this morning so we didn't find any (other) carny dogs to photograph. Stella's nose was getting some work out though. Hot dogs, I'm guessing.

Yesterday she walked up to a planter at LP Field, where the Titans play. Obviously there was something in it she was totally interested in. When I looked down into it sure enough, there was a whole bag of popcorn from Monday nights game. I offered her a piece but after all of that sniffing and snorting, she didn't take it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Litter Patrol

I've been fantasizing about teaching Stella to do smash and grabs on the neighbor's grills around seven in the evenings. I'm thinking she could just tear off into the yard, grab the short ribs, and be back at my side trotting along - like nothing happened. We might have to work on the "drop it" part of that routine.

I don't have anything to write about - busy cleaning up and litter training kitties. Stella and the mama cat hung out in the same room today for a little while. Gigi is boycotting the entire house. She stayed out two nights in a row. Bad cat.

Here's a video I shot with a camera purchased at Big Lots. There are some dead spots in it and the music ends abruptly but otherwise it has a pretty high cute factor.

I mentioned in the last post that I was planning a trip to Baltimore. It's more than that really.

Some of you may remember my/our old friend Barney. A cheerleader and patron, Barney was one of Stella's biggest fans (mine too). Hopefully this won't horrify anyone (beyond my mother) but when he died this last March, I had him cremated and he's now spent an entire summer as the centerpiece on my tiny seldom-used kitchen table. Not a terribly exciting place to be, granted; but then Barney needed somewhere to take a little break. He hasn't had a drink now for going on five months.

So here's the good part. Stella and I are driving Barney home to Baltimore in a couple of weeks. I expect it'll be mostly a grand adventure. Our itinerary is already looking pretty sweet and barring some technological catastrophe, you all are welcome to come along with us. I'll fill you in on the details as the time gets closer. Meanwhile, there's a nice woman at the Nashville Cat Rescue who is actively trying to find us a foster home for the cats until our return, whereupon I will officially become a foster mom myself. Actually thinking about it now, I should have a PhD in that by now. Not exactly what I had hoped for but the safest way I can think of to save an entire family of felines from the needle. Have a great Tuesday. Meow.

Friday, August 20, 2010


(clockwise: Minnie Pearl, Buck, Roy and Lulu)

Speaking of cats, we seem to have inherited a flock of them from my irresponsible neighbor, Judy. Today is her birthday so again I'll refrain from telling the world exactly what I think of her behavior. Back when her son impulsively gave her a kitten for Thanksgiving - I saw this entire scene play out in my head and now here it is, larger than life, just two weeks shy of mine and Stella's much anticipated trip to Baltimore. We're scrambling to find homes for a mama cat and three kittens (I hope you all will call me if you're looking for a new best friend and feel free to pass this link on to anyone in the Nashville area or anyone on the way to Baltimore for that matter. They're free but if I get a vibe that says you won't spay or neuter the animal, or generally love the socks off of it, the deal is off and I walk away with the cat. Furthermore, I'm not optimistic about their future although I may agree to officially foster this clan if I can find them a babysitter from September 5-11. At this point I can't think of who to call exactly. In my circle of friends, the exact right person may not exist. If anybody has an idea on that I'd love to hear it too. Meanwhile - neither Stella nor Gigi have seen the kittens. Gigi is kind of fired up about there being one cat in her basement, let alone four.

It's amazing the mother cat is so great considering how young she is and that she's been living on macaroni and cheese for the last eight months. Wish us luck :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Friends & neighbors

Stella and I walk twice a day. One of those walks is usually outside of our neighborhood, I try to schedule it between errands or work so I'm not just burning gas to walk the dog. The second walk is through our neighborhood. Over time, like all dedicated dog walkers, we've learned where all the dogs and cats live. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would know the names and locations of so many dogs. It just isn't something I ever thought of before. About half a mile away from the house, there's a place in one of our walks that I refer to as the cat house. There's a dog that chases us every time we walk by. It comes high-balling up the driveway and out into the street with us, barking like mad. I might actually be frightened by the whole scene were it not for the fact that this dog is the size of a hamster. Stella just stops and stares. When it gets within five or six feet of us it turns and runs and I always think of an episode of the Dog Whisperer where Cesar says (I'm paraphrasing): "If these pit bulls were not well-balanced, this little dog would be an appetizer."

Regarding the photo above, I may have mentioned it once before, but when we go outside first thing in the morning, we ALL go out. It's like a little parade down the street. The pit bull, the tail-free cat and me. Gigi doesn't have a leash of course, she just chooses to follow us out and then back in again for breakfast. Occasionally, she'll get distracted by one thing or another and stop but she always catches up and comes back in for breakfast with us. I may have to get one of the neighbors to videotape it sometime. It makes that first scoop of poop in the morning a lot more tolerable.

p.s. We took possession of a mother cat and three kittens a couple of days ago. The hell they were living in was indescribable without the use of raging epithets. I'll post some pictures but meanwhile, if you all know anyone in or around Nashville who is looking for a new best friend, please don't hesitate to comment below. Me and Stella will deliver it to your door.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tomato Sandwich

Ordinarily I might have tossed out this goof ball picture but I was reminded in that instant when the shutter clicked, of how well-adjusted a dog can be, given the right amount of exercise, which these days is not so much what with the 110 degree heat index, or whatever it is. I don't check it anymore. I'm not complaining (since some of you are bearing up under considerably more) but I will be giddy happy when things begin to cool off. Typically, that's the first week after Labor Day. Typically.

This public art piece also serves as a bicycle rack. It's made of metal and although you can't tell it in the photo - there's a three-year-old kid beating on the other side of it (on Stella's left) with his fists. It sounded like an adult beating on an aluminum trash can. He and his mother came out of nowhere and I still can't believe Stella didn't jump out of her skin when he started. Mom could plainly see that I wasn't holding onto Stella's leash at ALL, but she seemed to think the whole thing was really entertaining. He did three or four different rounds of it, Stella blinked and flinched a few times but never moved. Finally when mom didn't make him stop. I picked up her leash and we moved on. That was the same day we met Ernest (on litter patrol in the park) so it was all good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Critter Patrol

We walked up on some goats yesterday. It's Tennessee people. Stella knew something was up even though we couldn't get as close to them as I would've liked. I told her they were Irish Setters but seeing as how she can smell the last bite of a nine-day-old corn dog from two miles away, I'm thinking she knew better. Just minutes before that we were attacked by a flock of butterflies. If everyone could get attacked by butterflies on a regular basis I decided, the world would be a much nicer place. Pretty fun but no camera.

This morning we were coming in the house and a fox ran through the yard right past us. I felt a broken wrist coming on but somehow - Stella missed the whole thing.

This article discusses a new law that bans dogs from cemeteries in Concord New Hampshire. I felt conflicted about letting dogs run in the cemetery myself but over the last two years, I've done a complete one-eighty on it. I think off leash they add a joyful quality to a cemetery that not even a mean ghost could resist. What do you all think?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Morning

We went for a walk downtown this morning at Nashville's, or I suppose I should say Tennessee's Bicentennial Capitol Mall. It's a great place to walk or jog and Stella seems to have a good time whenever we go down there. Unfortunately, the flood in May did some serious damage to the fountains so we were unable to cool off. The signs say no dogs but I have several photos of kids and dogs all playing in the water together. If they're ever repaired, we plan to plead ignorance.

We met a nice man named Ernest who was picking up litter. He really liked Stella although she was a little suspicious of his litter collecting equipment. Eventually she got over herself and they got to be friends but it took a few tries. He had that same sparkly energy that kids do. Next time we're taking his picture.

Here's a different version of the Dennis Leary (has a Labradoodle) meets the bear video. Maybe this time it'll work longer than ten minutes. [LINK]

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Love and Moon PIes

I found this photo attached to an old e-mail. The subject line said: "Uh...I got a dog".

There should've been a big "D" right before that "Uh" part. Check out Baby Giraffe there in his glory days.

Warning: What follows is icky sweet, like deep-fried Moon Pies. I'd offer you a glass of milk if I could.

Dear Stella:

I love it when you lie upside down and your lips fall open.

I love that you can fall asleep while someone is grinding your toenails off.

I love it when we pass by Big Mean Dog's house and you don't bark back.

I love it when you sit at the crosswalk and then when all the cars stop, you take the leash in your teeth and try to trot me across the street.

I love it when I stop the car and you step up onto the console long enough to lean your head against my head.

You make it easy to forget that mouthful-of-shit feeling I get sometimes.

I love that when we go out in the morning, you hesitate at the door to let the cat go first and I love how when she rubs against your legs it makes you shiver a little bit.

I love the look on your face when we're out walking and I pull out your tug toy.

I love that four days a week we come home soaking wet or covered in mud or both.

I love how you race from side to side at the creek - right before you run out in the water. It's like you're building up your nerve.

I love that metaphorically speaking, I do exactly the same thing.

I love knowing that when the Devil is asleep, your people are my people.

I had a dream we lived in Mexico. Remind me to get a Tetanus shot before we go.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Digs

There's a spare room in my house I call the red room. There hasn't been much activity in the red room for the last few years, mostly because I turned it into a big storage closet. We had a yard sale here a couple of weekends ago. The neighbors joined in and lots of people came. I didn't manage to sell everything that was in the red room but what with putting most of it out in the driveway, I have to say it was creatively redistributed. This allowed me to completely redo the room whereupon Stella claimed it.

It fits in with her movie star persona I suppose.