Thursday, October 24, 2013

A lament from the costume-impaired

Miró has been invited to a multitude of Halloween parties. I was invited to be the costume judge at one Sheltie party to which Miró was especially invited.

 For my costume I had the clever idea of wearing a vintage trench coat and fedora and calling myself Sammie Spade. I’d need a toy pistol for my pocket. I’d also need to paint my fingernails 1940’s red. Who has time? I got as far as trench coat removing the trench coat from the closet. I gave up.

 I thought what a great idea if I could find a small trench coat for Miró for the next party. Probably at any other time of year I’d find one at Value Village or Salvation Army. Not now, of course. Costume stores offer sharks, elves, hot dogs, pirates, super heroes, and infinite variations of Harry Potter. You can even disguise your dog as a football. But a private eye? Nope.

I thought of putting Miró in a white shirt and black vest (mine) and pretending he’s—what? Sam Spade’s assistant? Paint him black and declare that he’s the Maltese Falcon? Or do what I did on Sunday and tell everyone he’s a Sheltie dressed up as an Airedale? Except that he wouldn’t behave like a Sheltie for even one second, as the photos below illustrate.

 Shelties stand around obediently, sit to watch the action, or parade when asked. 


They do not head out for the fountain.
Shelties especially do not flash thirty people and their dogs.
Nobody believed me when I said Miro was in a costume.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vote for Charlie!

An Airedale named Charlie is one of six finalists for Pets as Therapy Dog of the Year. That's a therapy dog in the UK. Charlie's rugged good looks and happy smile are sure to make him a favorite, but he needs your vote, too.

You can vote by sending an email to with "Charlie" in the subject line.  Or go to the PAT voting page here, scroll down until you see Charlie's photo and bio. There's a link where you can vote. You'll also be entered in a drawing for pet food, nice if you live in the UK or know someone who does. Visit Crafting with Dogs for Charlie's photo and more information.

Circus dog

Miro and his servant I went to a trick training class a few nights ago. The dogs learned to plant their feet on a marker, stand on a box, jump through a hoop, and turn a tight circle around a traffic cone. Miro has jumped through hoops many times. This time, however, he did not want to jump, walk, or otherwise move through the hoop because I was holding it. He cheerfully trotted around it, not looking at it, pretending it wasn't there.

Feet on the box? Turn in a circle? No problem. And no photos from the evening because I had hands full with treats, clicker, leash, and gestures. Here we have reproduced one of the activities.

Treats incoming!

I do not acknowledge the existence of a hoop.