Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy new year

From prison when the various repair people were here over the past month--

to pawty Airedale-style--

have a New Year's eve without noisy fireworks!
Now that Alanis' hearing isn't so good, I'm hoping she won't be bothered by the explosions.

Monday, December 24, 2012

So good when it stops

The one good thing about day after day of torrential rain is that you notice when it stops. Today it didn't rain or snow. It wasn't windy or freezing cold. Enough diffused sun came through the clouds to create a pleasant light. People wanting snow for Christmas may disagree but, to me, today was perfect winter weather.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and a happy day to everyone.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How common is your dog's name?

In Seattle, one out of every 83 licensed dogs is named Lucy, according to a recent story in the Seattle Times. That's 540 dogs in the city's license database and does not include the much larger county database where my dogs are licensed.  The reporter consulted for the country's most popular dog names. No more Rex, Lady and Rover. Now they're Bella, Daisy, Lucy, Molly, and Chloe for the girls; and Max (in my son's generation, 1 out of 10 human boys seems to be named Max, too), Buddy, Charlie, Rocky and Cooper for the boys.

 I have never come across another dog named after the Spanish artist Joan Miro.  He doesn't look much like my dog but the artwork definitely reflects Miro's mind and personality.
Joan Miró, photo by Carl Van Vechten, June 1935
I didn't name Alanis but assume she was named after the singer Alanis Morissette, mostly because she's the only other Alanis I've ever heard of. Sadly, with her hoarse, one-note bark, the dog doesn't sound much like a singer.

Sometimes, no matter what your dog's name, the best name to yell is COOKIE!

I don't hear you.
I don't hear you, either; I'm squirrel-watching.

Somebody said cookie!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Miro's favorite hiding place

Also known as the smallest room in the house.

The little rug holds the door open. Sometimes the door shuts and I hear a mysterious moaning, as if there's a ghost in the house. After the first time or two, I learned where to find the juvenile delinquent in his hideout.

Friday, December 14, 2012

needing a frivolous note

I wrote my post hours before learning of the shooting. The entire nation mourns today and everyone who has loved is reminded to love a little more.

I took a glass mosaic class the other day. Rather than being taught what to do, I was briefly shown how to cut glass with tile cutters, given the equipment and left to it. After several minutes of total bewilderment--how was I to get a rendition of my photo onto the mosaic board, did they think I could draw?--I traced around the border of my photo of Miró and started clipping away at chunks of glass.

Probably not a good idea to put the photo first but it's such a cute photo.

I call it a fifth-grade project because while the other ladies carefully arranged patterns with tiny bits of glass and I glued down my chunks, a real fifth grader came in to finish a project she had begun the week before. Hers, like mine, was a mosaic of her dog. Hers, unlike mine, was a true likeness, composed of small pieces she had cut and arranged to look like a little white dog with black eyes and a pink nose. She even included the collar. I mention this to show what one can accomplish with meticulous patience, which I have not got.

 I had to place it on the floor near a window to get natural light and it was, as usual, raining outside. Somebody had to investigate.
 I call it my impressionistic Airedale. But you can tell it's an Airedale. What more would I want?
With a few minutes left over, I played with colors and slapped together a trivet.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Alanis!

Alanis is 12 today. I brought her home a little over 4 years ago. Sadly, my first photos were lost in a computer crash (now I have a double back-up system, both cloud and external hard drive!) but I do have photos from the following spring when the little monster Miro arrived.
Bitey face.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alanis makes a statement

Pre-op, looking sweet and innocent.

On Friday Alanis went to the vet to get stitches removed from three incisions where small tumors near her mammary glands had been taken out the previous week. I was happy to learn none of the tumors were malignant but I will need to keep an eye on her. Alanis will be twelve in less than a week and was not spayed until she retired at age eight from her career as a show dog and mom. A later spay increases the risk of breast cancer in bitches but a too-early spay increases the risk of incontinence. (Sadly, animal shelters have no choice but to alter dogs even as young as eight weeks before they can be adopted out, but I urge people who have bought a dog from a breeder to do some research about the right age.)

After surgery the veterinarian always advises the dog owner to keep the dog quiet for a certain amount of time, upon which the dog owner falls about the place laughing at the impossibility. In Alanis' case, my chuckle was for a different reason. Alanis is not a high-powered mover and shaker like Miro. Even when I brough her home four years ago, she was an atypical Airedale who did not leap about or try to knock your feet out from under you. No, the problem wasn't keeping her quiet but keeping Miro from bothering her, which I accomplished with judicious yelling.

Back to Friday. As the vet and I sat in the clinic lobby reviewing care information, Alanis moved to the nearby area rug, squatted and peed. Indoors! After a second of gaping like a fish, I shot to my feet, saying, "Alanis, no!"

Chuckling, the vet said, "She has just shown us what she thinks about being here."
The devil-dog reveals herself.