Tag Archives: dog


At my advanced age I hate to say this but I really don’t trust people who have never had or loved a pet. Someone who has never cared for a spouse or living being their entire life because they’re “too busy” or wish to collect coins.

A guy asked me this morning about the white stuff on my dog Zoe’s coat. I said she was shedding her winter undercoat. Yes, spring is coming late up here. Of course she sheds her undercoat 365 a year, 366 on leap years. It’s all over floors and carpets even though I tend to it every 48 hours!

She has tufts coming out so needs a brushing, bath (I do that at home). 24 hours drying by herself then a comb-out. I need to pay some bills and do some business here so won’t get to that ’til the weekend.

As a young woman I asked why someone’s cat jumped on my lap and put his butt in my face. He was purring like crazy. He liked me! Yes, that was the answer.

I adopted two kitties after that who I had for many years and I knew their personalities, and neither placed their butts in my face, they walked aong my kybotf. Yes, mess up the keyboard. Nate was older and did not want to be chased by Mickey. Both purred. I bought them a blanket for Christmas one year only to lay on the sofa under it for five minutes while one went over and one went under and then wiggled out after they slept and they snuggled, unbeknonwnst, with each other so I could work.

There’s no disdain, just a lack of understanding of people who don’t “get” either people or animals. Zoe loves to be lifted up onto the bed but when the sun begins to come up she goes underneath, under my pillow so I can’t leave her. She’s a herder and a chow hound. She loves her one and only indestructible toy, we call “Precious.”

I believe one needs to take care of something, hamster, bird, fish, cat, dog, horse, cow or whatever before taking on a spouse and creating a family. Zoe’s hip surgeon, Dr. Val, used to have us stay over. When Zoe and went out the earth shook at 6 a.m. There were a horse and huge STEER, Pork Chop, following us in the yard thinking it was Val coming to feed them! It was a good lesson for both of us. Pup Zoe freaked out.

People I meet these days are living in a bubble. They’ve little or no family, no spouse and no pet and they hang out with strangers and talk about the weather or newspaper.

It is my wish that we build a cabin in the mountains and I have a huge chest freezer and shop at a grand market once a month and perhaps have a book club with ladies from town, and tea. On our own land I can toss a ball for our old Zoe without a $300 off-leash ticket. Get to know the neighbors, bring over banana bread or corn custard with chorizo. Take care of their dogs when they’re out of town. And host dinner parties with Texas Chili or whatever else is on my menu.

That’s who I am. They call me the dog lady. I can’t help it. I would be the cat lady as well but my husband is deathly allergic. There’s a story! Cheers, Dee



Ah, that dog. He is so smart. They needed to give him away and no-one wanted him because he was too smart. So he kept on tending the goats and cattle for a while.

Then one day someone wanted him. Then they said he wasn’t smart enough. Years of experience and excellence in the field and they say he doesn’t have the chops to deal with a new herd. He begs to differ with that opinion. Yes, this dog has opinions, he’s my neighbor and I know him well. We’ll see what happens.

Of course I’ll miss him on another farm but will wish him well as he meets other challenges. That’s what life is, a series of challenges. Life, health, work. We do our best and become experts. We have a Zoe dog, who has traveled nearly everywhere with us and adapted to new lifestyles.

We’re in a high-rise at present and guarding me is boring so Zoe guards the entire floor. A new pup moved in a couple of weeks ago and he’s clueless. She knows when he’s old enough they’re going to have a showdown and divide the floor. She’ll lose half her territory. She must keep our neighbors across the way. Their grandkids come by a few weekends per year and whisper her name at the door until she hears them and barks to come out and play or go for a walk or help us make parfaits for their family. I don’t know about the kids but Zoe is exhausted after a weekend with these kids.

Rusty loves new things as well, and excels at challenges, revels in them. You should have seen him with his first two goats, who were a bit weak so needed strong names. I named them after strong women. He is smart, a protector, a savior, a problem-solver and someone who knows the bottom line. Dee


Our dog Zoe is a herder. She has herded us every day for over 11 years. No herding knowledge, only Obedience 101 (she aced it). She has beds positioned in order to keep us from leaving without her knowledge. The beds were placed because she has no hips, so I put them in the areas she frequents. In summer when the sun comes up early she gets off the bed before 4 a.m. to crawl under the bed under my pillow, must have her beauty sleep, also so I can’t leave without her.

My husband took a multi-hour video of her in a crate years ago after we left the house. That was traumatic to watch because she was biting at the wires. We went to lunch and a movie. We never crated her after that. Now, I know she sleeps. She can go anywhere in our home and sleep.

She just wants to be with her pack, which is us. mostly me because I’m the disciplinarian and food wench.

Years ago we went to the ranch and the folks had bought two female baby goats. They were a bit weak and frightened so I asked as a newbie in the family if I could name them. OK. Eleanor (Roosevelt) and Rosa (Parks). I knew they needed strong names to survive.

We let Zoe in and she herded them for perhaps 30 seconds then ran away. Hey, these gals have hooves! She’s always been terrified of the cattle, especially the bulls, and should be. She only herds people.

When we’re with family she protects us and watches for my father-in-law from his special reading spot on the sofa to come home safe on the four-wheeler. She definitely lets us know (Grandma and I are in the kitchen) when anyone arrives.

She’s almost a grandkid where my husband grew up, maybe even a great grand. I’m lucky to be called a daughter and grand-daughter to my husband’s family. All I know is that my M-I-L is disappointed when Zoe doesn’t show up for our now five day Thanksgiving cooking marathon! She licks the floor. Everyone has a job. It’s Texas. Cheers! Dee

Safety and Security

I feel safe here. When my husband is off at work for a week or months I know I have a safety net. Where? Everywhere. At all levels.

It’s called friends. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. We’re in transition again, three times in a month. We’re not moving anywhere unless something’s real. I have home base and will cook. Husband will be able to come home weekends. Dog will like him again. Yes, she loves him again, he’s the Fun Guy and I’m the Walker and Food Wench.

Security hits me like a brick wall (or slipping on a wet walkway) as it also means monetary security and having three jobs in a month is crazy and doesn’t lead to contentment on the wife’s part.

He has his job, I try to keep our lives together by making his job easier. He has someone who takes care of the home, meals, dog. I review contracts, pay bills, do taxes, and am also a problem solver and former consultant. I’m retired from all and getting used to not being paid for what I do.

We need to move simply for airport access. No, we won’t be at the back of the runway but I’ll need safety. To be sure, my dear husband always checks out everywhere we live. He sleeps through the night and I’m up at every dog whine to get up to the bed or go out. He wants to make sure I can take our older dog out in the middle of the night and be safe. I love him for this. Zoe loves him.

It’s no longer Good Friday so Happy Easter! Make those eggs and Hot Cross Buns. Send the kids on an egg hunt. We’re going to enjoy a good day together before a flight elsewhere…. Dee


K Knows

Our neighbor knows that her grandchildren stand in front of our door to whisper her name and get our dog Zoe to bark, thus making me walk outside and let her play with our dear young friends.

Until today I never knew that Grandma knew but the grandkids love our dog and are getting older and will get over it and ask Grandma and Grandpa for horses or Ferraris so the dog thing for ten minutes a day is looking good right now.

All I wish is to tell every young person to be all that you can be, as I see these children loving our Zoe for years I know that they will be good emotionally because their hearts are true. Even if I couldn’t see it, Zoe does as she runs out to see them and she can smell a rat. She does not like bad people or bad dogs. She loves cats!  But these kids are smart, have good hearts, and are kind.

They are arriving soon. I will assure that their canine neighbor is ready for their arrival. Why? Because she loves them as well and would do anything to assure their safety.

Perhaps we can have one or two walks this weekend. Zoe, you and your charges have to ask parents and grandparents and we have to cross at the crosswalk. Yes, the one I had the city create and needs to be repainted. I was thinking of you all the time. Slainte, Dee


No, I don’t have one. Happily married for over 12 years. Way back in college I used to go out for a white sangria with a dear friend, a lawyer best friend of an ex-boyfriend, about once a week for an hour, then my boyfriend at the time would pick me up and we’d go out somewhere else. Once I believe they may have passed each other in the dorm hall.

Well, the cougar got in the middle of it this morning. Yes, my aging dog Zoe. We ended up in the elevator lobby with her two young flirtations, M & M. One a huge Akita and the other a Boxer mix. It was quite funny but we got out of there quickly, each to a different location, because the big one doesn’t like other males and the young buck likes people more than other dogs and they both like their Aunt Dee. Young M’s “big brother” J, RIP, used to go into our bathroom and shut the door to get a few moments of peace from playing with my dog’s precious (to her) toy.

Yesterday, her new collar finally arrived. Hand-made from Asian silk. Emerald green with cherry blossoms, just in time for St. Patricks’ Day. An Irish friend and I have agreed to change Zoe’s name to Colleen (“lass”) for the one day. I’ll need to find something green to wear as well. I’ll have to try to look at least as good as my dog. It’s a tough act to follow, nudge nudge wink wink as I’m at the back end of the leash….. Cheers! Dee


Cooking for…..

kittens? Yes. In 1987 my sister sent a five-week old kitten from CA to NYC on a plane with my brother as a surprise. Surprise, dog gal, you now have a kitten that fell off the 7′ shelf he was born on at two weeks of age and his mother would not feed.

Gorgeous Burmese/Tuxedo talker. I never got the last word until I held him in my arms 13 years later as he was euthanized with heart dysfunction exacerbated by pneumonia.

I knew absolutely nothing about cats. He didn’t even know how to drink water because he couldn’t see it. I left him milk when I went to work, had no A/C so it curdled during the day because it was so hot.

The first day I got a book on cats that told me to only feed him raw kidneys and to keep them in the freezer for four days to eliminate bacteria. OK. Then I got a book I still use (or did, when I lend it out it tends to disappear) that said build a mouse from the ground up.

I bought a chicken, ate the breasts over a couple of days and took off all the other meat for my Nathan. Hebrew for “gift.” My current dog is Zoe, Greek for “life.” Yes, that’s how I name my family, you’re glad right now I don’t have kids.

I mixed it with all kinds of stuff, cottage cheese, lecithin powder, kelp, bone meal. He barely ate it. I finally learned about organics. When he died at age 13 he was on Innova canned. I do much better with what is out there today.

For birthday and Christmas I got him and his little brother, Mickey, each a can of Fancy Feast trash food as a gift. Mick was named Mick Dundee, after Crocodile Dundee, because he was fearless when I adopted him at nine weeks. He took my dog’s bed for a year and then taught himself to fetch crumpled up post-it notes and retrieve them to me. His name morphed to Mickey Mouse and then just Mickey. He liked the twice a year Fancy Feast treats as well. Dogs ran away from home just to play with him.

My dog just turned eleven. She is on frozen raw and dry food. The dry is to prepare her tummy for long road trips. We’ll be moving soon and I can’t get dry ice here to keep her frozen food cold so I’m mixing the two now.

In my life I have “owned” two cats and two dogs. I love all of them but can no longer have cats because my husband is deathly allergic to them. I yearn to live on a farm so all the unowned cats will visit and I can see them outdoors, capture and have them spayed/neutered and if they forgive me for that, feed them. I continue to bathe Zoe every two weeks so her dander doesn’t make my husband sneeze. She loves the bath, not the comb-out 24 hours later.

After my first Nathan surprise, all our animals are from shelters. Please adopt from shelters. I worked with Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) for years and saw pitiful dogs coming off the racetrack of last resort, Caliente, and turning around in two weeks with good food, health care and human care. You may get a diamond in the rough, but it’s your diamond to polish.

I follow the no grain formula, frozen raw and my dog has the softest coat in the neighborhood. Yes, it’s expensive but at 11 our Zoe is happy and healthy. I bet she’d love that chicken mix I made for Nathan back in the day! Dee

“Thanks, Dee,

you’re the best.” That’s what I like to hear.

Dog Zoe and I have guests coming Wednesday. Oh, no, I have to clean! Every day, again, dog fur. Luckily they’re used to dogs. I have to clean out the pantry and have good stuff for one last trifle, which they love. We’ll pair it with heavy appetizers and a bit of vino.

Tonight I had an experiment. Cornbread bread pudding with smoked sausage. It could have used a spicier sausage, and more pudding and Gruyere cheese, plus an undercurrent of shallots and garlic. It was a last minute thing, placing this mixture in a bit of bacon fat in the oven in a cast iron skillet. It could have really used some hash brown potatoes, then it would be a perfect tasty and not really pretty brunch dish, or dinner for a busy couple.

But it’s not often I’m told “Thanks, Dee, you’re the best.” And it was from my recipe taster. My husband didn’t even say that on our 12th anniversary yesterday. He didn’t remember the date even though he had me inscribe it into his wedding ring. Here’s to new recipe creations, Dee

Dogs in Heaven

My path took me to a Franciscan college before I knew it. I believed in St. Francis of Assisi as a child growing up in the HRC church. Of course there is a place for our loved ones where we’re destined to go.

Pope Francis told a young boy whose dog had died that there was that place. My first cat Nathan (gift from God) never let me get the last word in even as he took his last breath in my arms. He said “I can’t believe they let dogs in.”

Not too soon, but I look forward to seeing my dear friends when I go. Oh, both Nathan and Mick loved dogs. Chani, my first rescue dog, loved cats and raised Mickey; as does our Zoe (Greek for life). Cheers! Dee

Rabbits, Hats and Air Force One

I would have loved to be by the red carpet when our President, visiting a union rally, shook the hand of the Governor, noted union buster. Air Force One was right out on the tarmac while my husband and I were eating a burger outside of security. Yes, we were allowed real silverware. I asked if I could leave his bag for a minute to go twenty feet to the window to see the plane and the waiter said “there’s so much security here no-one will take it.”

This was a quick visit after many weeks and we got some business-type things taken care of, he slept a lot, we kept him on his time zone while I worked both with the dog, and we bought him some clothing to get by.

The two shirts didn’t work and he just asked me to go back to the store and get our money back later this week. I am noted to be sneaky, legally, as in finding ways around traffic. I called the store to tell them of their error, and they said the shirts could be returned. We’re talking $80 dress shirts. I then called the store by the airport and ordered two shirts sight unseen and asked them to put them up at the counter so no-one could purchase them.

We arrived, one shirt was un-pinned and ironed and my husband put it on, I drove him to the airport and he’s off again. He arrived safely.

Do you think I ruined all my rabbit and hat trick? We’re facing deadlines in life and work, the same deadline and we’ve thirteen days and the clock is ticking.

At the store, I saw a gorgeous paisley tie on the associate who was working there, a gift from his daughter, not from the store. I’m picking out bespoke shirts from Hong Kong and India/London and found two paisley ties. My shirt choices are from pink and purple, a new look for suits and being approachable as a tall guy.

My gut always tells me what to do. Right now we have to order shirts that will go with suits and ties because I know that’s the next step. Now it’s business casual and he always dresses 1-2 tiers up. This has been and is a rocky road but we always get through it. Hope your kids are happy being back at school and that you even got a vacation this year! We did not.

Here’s one half of the snack/lunch I brought the staff from the herb garden I envisioned and keep up and the photo didn’t come up. I made boursin with cream cheese, butter, all of our herbs and a clove of garlic. It was served on two vibrantly striped melamine trays with cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, snap peas and yellow peppers. A ramekin with our herb mix was in the center.

Life and work. Sometimes I really hate that my husband’s work determines our life and that I gave up my work to travel with him. Now we need to make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives, forever.

The cabin on a lake beckons. As long as there’s a Whole Foods nearby! I know what to do and need to make it happen. Don’t worry, Hipless Wonder Dog, you’re a part of it, too. Cheers! Dee