Tag Archives: Zoe


I’ve a sterling silver Claddagh ring. I actually bought it for my birthday a few years ago, thank you Husband! The hands are for friendship, the heart for love and the crown for loyalty. Mine also has a Celtic knot on the back which means everlasting.

The ring is worn on the ring finger of my right hand, as my left had already been taken over by an 18K gold band, a wedding ring, going on 15 years.

If one is single and looking, the heart is pointing outward and the crown is facing the back of your hand. If one is taken, the heart points to yours. Mine does, and will, always.

To get an 18K gold Claddagh I may have sources. It would mean a trip overseas and would have to be made for me. I do not need that right now. What is needed is to take care of my husband and our old dog. But I just found a men’s one from Ireland. Don’t know the size, though. I’ll look into it and let you know.

I’ve fitted out Zoe’s new handmade Asian silk Martingale collar (two loops, no clasp) that is of a pattern that evokes a computer chip. I also got him a charm for it with an Erlenmeyer flask, a graduated cylinder and a microscope. His roots are in math and science, physics.

He likes the heavy 16′ lead. I like 6′ twisted leather with a gold dragon pattern from the same handmade works for a collar. I’m older and have control of our old Zoe. He does not and is always on the phone, so she gets to eat icky stuff and vomit on our bed. Guess who gets to clean that mess up? Yep. Cheers, Dee


Do Dogs Dream?

Cesar Millan asked this question last week and his site would not allow me to respond. Yes, they do dream. Our 13 year-old Zoe just had one and I hated to leave her to come in here and write this. She’s a herder and will be by my side in under three minutes.

The tail wags, ears twitch, eyes open and close. Then the entire body twitches and the paws run like crazy. Sometimes she awakens for a walk and breakfast, and sometimes the REM phase just puts her back asleep. I like to guess whether it’s a squirrel, bunny or mouse. When she was young and faster she did kill two mice with precision and my husband took each out of her mouth immediately and fed them to the baby birds over the fence in the protected wildlife area. 1,200 acres, five feet away. Moose crashed a wedding and elk jumped the fence and crossed the highway. I used to make our bedroom balcony available for credentialed photographers. What a view.

The baby colts (young Greater Sandhill Cranes) would make sounds at night. I’d awaken and tell my husband that mom was going to the 7-11 to get them something to eat. There was no 7-11, and we didn’t see any this year. Years ago there was a fox that hung out there for hours every day, waiting for the 6′ parents to leave their colts. They never did, “married” for life and raised colts every year. The fox always left, disappointed. Hey, you just chose the wrong prey!

Yes, dogs do dream. She’s never had a thing for any bird, as there is a turkey who lives in our neighborhood and he is pardoned by all of us every Thanksgiving! She just ignores him as she walks by on leash.

She has been with me for 20 minutes and can jump down, just not up. Time for “last chance” and bed. You know who’s the boss now. It certainly is not me. Cheers! Dee


Zoe is a herding dog, an Australian Shepherd mix probably with a Border Collie and/or Golden Retriever. I got to see her pack when she was five weeks old and they looked like Aussies. She thrives on routines. First permit me to say that she is an indoor dog who loves frozen raw food and dried food for travel, that she is lifted up to our bed to sleep at night and goes out 4-6 times per day. She is now 88 in people years.

We’ve also our routines, my husband and I, that have changed. Zoe and I were out at 5:30 this fine Saturday morning and husband is sleeping and snoring before nine. I’m wondering what to make for breakfast.

He’s gone during the week so we make do and I eat fruit and yogurt and perhaps some fish (he’s deathly allergic) and Zoe’s routine is similar but she knows Daddy’s gone so goes to extra lengths to protect me. When we’re both at home she just lies where we can’t get away and no-one can get into the front door without her knowing about it and making some noise.

I used to make bacon and eggs and toast with jam, and tea and OJ for breakfast for my husband, not me. Not anymore. My routine took about ten minutes, including the tea. He used to bring me flowers.

Now I use one vase (asters and accents/fillers last week) and clean it and buy him flowers every week. Friday, half price Friday, but at another spot I found him some wonderful tulips, cut them down and arranged them. For much of our lives together he’s bought me flowers. Now, as he arrives home late Friday night I get them for him. The routine has changed and everyone who rings me up sales-wise compliments me not just on my choices, but the fact that I buy flowers for my husband. I’m guessing most women don’t do that.

So, there is routine and breaking routine. I like both. Our Zoe loves routine. My husband gets to change it at will, sleeping ’til noon and when I’ve a full normal breakfast for him arranged will ask for oatmeal with milk and fruit. I roll with the punches. Over the past year this non-cook has asked to learn how to make pancakes and fresh pasta. He must be looking for a new wife!

Yesterday I ran into a neighbor with a gorgeous dog we’ve taken care of for a few weeks. Our dogs get along great together (another change in routine). There’s a four month-old pup of that wonderful breed available that makes me salivate but Zoe is the only dog in my life for now except when L moves in for a week or two. They’re two peas in a pod.

She’s sending me a link to the pup. I can’t do this. It’s against routine. Dee

A Lot

First, I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. We did, quietly and went to a lovely dinner with former and current neighbors last evening. I got to make my usual trifle for dessert. We were home before the fireworks started, to take care of our old dog Zoe and assure she was not afraid of the noise.

Our friends F and M often make a great deal about dinner and appetizers. Last night F did a lot of work to make a true American feast. We had BBQ baby back ribs, potato salad and grilled corn on the cob. He never lets me work but allowed me to shuck the corn. Now that they’re a few blocks away we only see them a couple of times a year and it’s always a treat.

We’re going off on a trip to celebrate my father’s 85th birthday. Tomorrow we’ll trim Zoe’s nails (with an expert groomer, not me but I’ll be there to assist and keep her calm). Then she’ll try a couple of hours in open daycare with the older dogs and we’ll see how she does. A couple more of these half-days and I think she’ll be ready for an overnight. Yes, we’re leaving her there for a week. There are many phases to planning the trip, Zoe must be taken care of by the best people we can find.

As to vision, Zoe has an appointment for nails (no polish, thank you) and fun, and I’ve one to get a new lens for my new, expensive glasses I use every excuse not to wear. I’ve only had them for a month. They’re top of the line and there is a sweet spot on the right eye where I can actually see.

The problem is that I was born with a congenital defect. Certain vertebrae did not fully form, a fact I found out 30 years later. When I hit the “sweet spot” on the glasses they cause me spine issues. I’m more worried about my spine than I am a pair of glasses. It’s my first pair of gradiated bifocals and is taking time to learn to “follow my nose” as Zoe does, and use them. It is frustrating.

There’s another matter. Should we prop up my computer and television so I can hit that sweet spot on which I recently had surgery for a growth and was just diagnosed with a tiny cataract. I think the proof is in the pudding. Why keep glasses in the case all the time and use cheap readers for computer, cooking or television? I say make these work and have my old ones work as well if the new prescription is a winner. Old ones will be single vision, not bifocal.

I’ve many visions as to life and world and would love to see them through my eyes as well as my brain and heart. Cheers! Dee


What She Brings

is way more than we ever could have expected.  Of course Zoe is a herder. She is so kind with adults, kids, other dogs and in her lifetime has always liked cats as well. Sorry, two mice digging out from winter snow out west.

She’s getting old but is healthy. I’m calling her vet to ask if she needs more that the kennel cough vaccine as to a postcard reminder.  Another senior blood panel may not be warranted as yet.

I’ll check my Dallas vet. She’s my husband’s cousin, who excised Zoe’s hips as a pup. Yes, our Zoe had the worst hip dysplasia in a 24 lb. pup she’d ever seen on an x-ray. She grew her own hips and at age 12 is 32 lbs. They never made hips for dogs under 6o lbs. back then so we had to give our girl a chance. I don’t know what she could do today but back then when she recovered she could corner around a tree, get a ball, bring it back to me and the Retriever or Lab would be looking around clueless. Who got the ball?

Hips from one’s own cartilage. It took a while to heal. When she stole a pound of prime steak off our counter I thanked my husband for putting it away because he doesn’t go into my kitchen except to get ice or Dr. Pepper and he said “I didn’t do it” then we looked at Zoe and she was licking her paws. We laughed.

Zoe brings joy to our days, life to our years. Everyone in the neighborhood knows her name (not usually mine) and they introduce their kids and dogs to her, knowing that she is cute and friendly.

In olden days she, at age 84 in “people years” may be called the Grand Dame, the highest status, but she is a dog. I prefer to call her my, our, Zoe and leave it at that. She herds us in the house and makes friends with everyone out on a walk. She brings love to our home and life and is family. Please adopt and spay/neuter. Cheers from D and Z

ps Thanks to Nathan, Chani and Mick Dundee (Mickey) as well. They were also my rescues over the past years I worked in shelters and spay/neuter clinics.

pps Someone asked me while I was volunteering at a community services event for a shelter showing a pup years ago why I was so mean that I couldn’t adopt this cute puppy. I told her if adopt all of the unwanted and strays that would be an untenable situation. I’ve had four wonderful pets over 30 years.

Sleeper, Keeper, Herder

My husband is off on business for a few days so old dog Zoe is following me around. I am the Food Wench, after all. I walked a few feet from bed where she has taken my husband’s side, to the office to write this and in less than two minutes she was at my side.

I got her a small dog bed and placed it on the carpet. A minute later she is sound asleep again. A week ago she turned 84 in people years. She’s gorgeous, vivacious, loves everyone and is kind of a mascot around here. She sleeps probably 20 hours per day, plays, walks, entertains visitors and people think she’s a puppy. She looks for blue pants with a dark stripe (the mail man or her favorite postal worker Lynn who is still in the neighborhood but not here) because she loves them. And neighbors’ grandkids come over and whisper her name hoping she’ll hear and bark once and I’ll open the door. I’m younger in people years and wish I looked as good.

Now she herds me room to room, whatever I’m doing. My Aunt L used to call it “being by.” Make the bed, I have to walk around her at the foot of it. Fold laundry. You get it. But the best place is her Magic Room, the kitchen, where food is unloaded, prepped and served. She has her own menu but will occasionally be slipped (not by me) a sliver of apple or a grape. OK, my husband likes making popcorn and one or two popped kernels may go her way. He’s the fun guy, I’m food wench and disciplinarian.

As she is so old I’ve been thinking dog names and breeds. I don’t really want to get a pup that will drive her crazy but don’t want to get a pup that I’m too old to raise and my husband will not wish to carry on.

All my life I’ve dealt with damaged goods and have made good of two cats and two dogs over 20 years of volunteerism on their behalf. Zoe was our first shot at formative behavior, not a violent environment. Education, not rehabilitation. She and her litter were in a bad home and she needed to be rehabilitated for health reasons but was six weeks old, spayed at the shelter (too early for me) and got out of a filthy environment with her litter mates with severe coccidia and hookworms. That was remediated in two days with fluids, antibiotics and de-worming. I asked the vet if he was going to do sub-Q fluids and he came clean with me on her condition. Thank you, 2,000 feral cats and your ER!

After dealing with thousands of feral and other cats and hundreds of dogs, this shelter pup, now 12, is the happiest I’ve ever met. She’s so friendly to everyone. I must say she doesn’t stand for new pups chewing on her legs but she stands up, doesn’t growl and though my father has never met her, she’ll give the pup the “old eagle eye” stare Dad was famous for with my high school dates! They got me home before 11:00 because my parents said “bad things” happen after eleven. What bad things?

No-one challenges Zoe because, like Dad, she’s got a good heart, is a marshmallow inside, and is persistent to get whatever she wants. I hope he reads this. It is a tribute. Now I’ve gone and married a version of Dad and adopted a dog like him as well. Cheers and have a great day, Dee


What Will I Do?

Of course I would be there. I’ve only had four rescued pets over the past 20 years. One was sent to me as a “surprise” that fell off the 7′ shelf upon which he was born. My brother smuggled him 3,000 miles away and I had to learn how to take care of a cat. He was a Burmese mix, a talker, and always got the last word in until heart disease and pneumonia had me hold him while he got the pink needle.

My Chani was a fighter. She’d bled out, a tile man helped me lift this 90 lb. dog to the back of my Jeep and she stood up five times. We were tougher at the shelter then home for  ten years while she learned to trust children and man. The clinic was great and has buttons to push and now a separate wing for dying animals.

My other cat loved a Corgi named Ein who recently passed, and I could not marry my husband with a cat, as he is very allergic to the feline species. Mick was about seven and had a back yard and tree house and loved it. I think the coyotes got him as all the neighborhood dogs would run away from home to see him and I’d get phone calls. I’d look out the window and say, yes he’s here!

Now my husband and I, after a year of marriage, went to adopt a dog. She’s an Aussie mix, a herder. She drives us nuts, staring at us for food, going out, her “precious” ball. She is a shelter dog but the first one we got to raise, train and be our own. My husband can’t deal with euthanasia but if we decide she is too ill to live we will need to be there together. He helped raise her, and must be there with me.

Today I pour a cup of water on a tree that was a favorite place for two neighborhood dogs. When my Chani died neighbors bought a tree for the park and we all poured water on it, I can now see it on Google Earth. I bring it flowers.

My dog is getting old and so am I. I don’t know if there’s a “next.” I can’t see it as my mother-in-law always expects Zoe to clean up crumbs and father-in-law doesn’t pay her any mind but knows she always looks out for him and his grandkids. Yes, standing on his place on the sofa, looking out until her herd comes home.

This is for Liam, thanks Wurli for being a good friend, Zoe and Dee


I agree with many, starting with the Ten Commandments. Maybe fifteen but as Mel Brooks broke the tablet in History Of The World, Part I, I do not know that content.

So, I’ll add one of my own, “Thou Shalt Pick Up Dog Poop.” There’s been little snow this season so no reason to have to wear thigh-high boots to traverse through 4′ of snow covered with ice to pick up after Fido. As an irresponsible dog owner, you are littering, being a lemming (just because others do it doesn’t mean you have to so), and inevitably denying the privilege of my dog, and yours, to live here. That is unacceptable. We are responsible dog owners and always have an extra bag for you to pick up.

Saturday is my dog’s 12th birthday, yes, we had her at six weeks, or as Renee Zellwegger would say, she “had me at hello.” No, we’ll not have a party. She only had one, when she turned one year old after having both her hips removed, not replaced. She had to grow her own from cartilage.

Where we were living the dogs and their owners were so kind to this pup who had the worst hip dysplasia her surgeon had ever seen. Even when other dogs chased her before her surgeries, she just laid down on her back, exposed her tummy and because of her sweet, Beta personality they left her alone. No-one knows my name but everyone knows Zoe.

For that party I brought three hors d’oeuvres for the humans, and three for the dogs, plus water dishes and soda. This year I may make dog biscuits and deliver them to the dogs she likes most. Practically everyone in the neighborhood. May as well leave a bowl out!

As to other prohibitions I get tired of them as they are unnecessary and mean. You may not have any ornament on your door, a mezuzah or a wreath or a welcome hanging with bluebirds for Spring. You may not have a door mat. What? This is a land of snow and mud. Where am I supposed to leave my boots for 20 minutes to dry?

A woman has been burglarizing our homes for months now. What says that people don’t really live here? Lack of a door hanging (mine is on a Command strip so I didn’t put a nail there) or door mat. When my husband is away on business I like having a door mat and door hanger and a dog to deter trespassers. Zoe’s Beta so will bark but if I open the door, she will lick. It works for me. I just don’t open the door. “Down, Jezebel!!!” Enjoy the day. Dee and Zoe, Greek for “life.”

p.s. There are enough prohibitions in life. I prefer to live my life. Oh, they caught the thief last week and I hope the people she stole from will testify against her. She’s caught on surveillance video here and elsewhere.

Our Girl

Zoe took food from my plate tonight. She will be 12 years old end of the month, knows better and had a great meal this evening.

I had to call my husband’s mother to find out what to do with an errant child. She said to pull out Zoe’s cage and put her in it for a while. We’ll see about that. Right now she’s back in our bedroom and my husband is working and wearing headphones. Perhaps I’ll take away her bed.

She seems to know she did something wrong. She just has to not do it again. I don’t eat out of her bowl. She should not steal from my plate while I am eating. I love her and will be with her all her life but these are rules. I just took her comfy bed out from under her and didn’t “Otis” her to our bed. My husband has been on the phone and working so she’s been closed back there away from me, dog mom and food wench and taker-outer. Husband’s taking her for “last chance.”

I’ve closed the door to our office. The kitchen is closed, as is my work space. If she is mad at me for writing my first childrens’ book this morning this is no way to act. I am the food wench. Deal with it. Dee


The pup I cared for yesterday, and my husband, display similar qualities and differences. First I must say that several hours with the pup sent me to nap from dinner-time until 1:00 in the morning! I laid down for a few minutes, my husband came in and placed a blanket over me and I crashed for hours.

He also is perfecting spaghetti with meat sauce. Yes, this from a guy who can’t make a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s pasta from a box, good sauce from a jar and lately summer sausage, He is called the Human Tornado because of the mess he makes everywhere he goes. But after puppy terror he learned to do the dishes, wipe up, and even run the dishwasher, first time in 14 years! Thanks, pup!

I do have great hopes for Mr. H, the pup. He has potential to be a fantastic dog if his folks take a firm hand and turn his headstrong nature to learning and being useful. One year our old Zoe was barking at a female parking attendant below our loft. We got her a backpack and my husband had it tailored for her unique frame. Then we loaded it with 8 oz. water bottles and walked out to the parking lot attendant and gave her a bottle of water. Three days in a row. Zoe never barked at her again. She is a herder. We gave her a job.

Learning from errors. Hard-headedness has its place, so does the ability to learn new ways and learn from mistakes. He ruined my new sweater. Can I take these teeny bandages off the needle-teeth marks now? H is going to be nearly twice the size of Zoe, who is now her “great Aunt,” and needs a firm hand (leash control and responding to NO) and training so he doesn’t pull his owners around the block when he’s 50 lbs.

That’s all from Camp Dee, Canine Station 101. Dee

ps Thanks to the miracle workers at Nature’s Miracle. No, they don’t give me anything but are wonderful for occasional pet clean-ups. I only use it on the bed for Zoe every couple of years when she eats something icky from the sidewalk, but five pees in four hours was amazing as H kept looking at where he’d gone before and couldn’t smell it. Perhaps he was just marking territory and I kept erasing it……