Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Potter K. Schwartz

Everybody, meet Potter K. Schwartz!

He was found wandering on the streets of Camden County, NJ, emaciated at 16 pounds and with cherry eyes.  His eyes were fixed, and he was then rescued and adopted by my friends Heidi and David, and nursed back to health.  He is now a lovely little boy, with a healthy figure and a sweet disposition.  He's thought to be around three years of age.

Potter likes other dogs and has an adorable little fenced-in yard, so we thought it might be fun to introduce Potter and Dorothy and give them a bit of outdoorsy yard time.  And the playdate went quite well!  Potter didn't really want to play with Dorothy per se--which I think is a three year-old's prerogative--so when Dorothy tried to run with him, he very politely let her know with a short growl and a bustling away from her that he did not want to do that, thank you very much.  But he was happy to share his yard with Dorothy, and several of his tennis balls.

Dorothy seemed to really enjoy her first time since Maine being able to be outside and off the leash.  She ran and found sticks to chew and explored and ate a lot of grass.  Here is Dorothy chewing on her favorite plant by the fence:

What really pleased me is that after a hour or so of playing in the yard, we walked Dorothy and Potter around the block.  And Dorothy, whose walking problems have been oft documented in this blog, walked beautifully with Potter, without stopping and balking once.  We are definitely therefore going to go forward with plans to get the dogs together for a walk along the river.

Dorothy and Potter, a little oxen team:

Monday, May 30, 2011

With a Name Like Dorothy

Having given my bulldogge the name of "Dorothy," I suppose I should not be surprised that she does not like the wind.  Even a mild city breeze seems to have a whiff of twister to it, as far as Dorothy is concerned.  When I get to a corner that is a particularly strong wind tunnel, I worry about grit being blown into my eyes, whereas Dorothy, in contrast, feels the same breeze and expects all the buildings to rise spinning into the air.

Her response to a mild gust is to shake her head or twist behind to look at her tail, to make sure that her hindquarters aren't somehow complicit.  When she experiences a stronger gust, she will first sit, then crouch, and then do a down-stay, flattening her little body on the sidewalk.  Today when she did this, people walking by oohed and ahhed and said something about her good training.  Which, okay, except for the little fact that I hadn't asked her to sit, or to lie down, or to stay, so she was really obeying her own commands--which is not obeying at all, is it?

Then when I went to either pick her up or give her leash a little encouraging tug, she rolled over on her back with her legs up in the air and showed the world her pink belly!  So there we are, having just crossed a busy street in Philadelphia, people walking past from all directions, and there Dorothy is in the midst of the moving crowd, a stationary, flipped, centipede, her legs a-wiggle.  I laughed.

Here are pictures of Dorothy, trying to escape the wind by means of a self-imposed down-stay on a street corner in Philadelphia.  She very much does NOT want the wind beneath her wings, thank you very much.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lurvy, Pig's Out!

Almost every morning when I leave to go to work, Posy comes to the front door of my apartment, and when I open it she exits with me.  She likes to walk down the hall, as if she is about to embark on a long day's work:

She then will either roll on the rug in paroxysms of something, attack a tassel which is hanging from a runner on a table in the hall, or -- if she is feeling particularly brave -- she will go and peer out the door at the people passing by on the sidewalk.

After five seconds of this, I pick Posy up and carry her back to my apartment, and as I do so, she purrs loudly all the while.  I slip open the door and deposit her back into her home, and she doesn't try to exit a second time.

On occasion she will run upstairs, but if she is going to do this, she will listen first to make sure she doesn't meet someone coming down the stairs as she is going up.  One time the people who live above me opened their door to leave and Posy, thinking it was my apartment, went running in.  I heard an "oh, hello!" and by the time I got there, she was doo-doo-dooing as fast as she could out of their apartment, with the two dogs who live there following curiously behind.  After that Great Apartment Mix-Up of Ought-Nine, Posy didn't venture out for awhile, and then when she did, she most certainly did not go up the stairs.

But now each morning there she is by the door, carrying her invisible briefcase, out to confront what has got to be the most enviably short work-day ever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dorothy Needs an iPod

Sometimes I think that if Dorothy had a personal soundtrack, when we went outdoors it would be playing “It’s a Wonderful World.”  We’d step out the front door and hear Louis Armstrong’s voice begin to sing:

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I’ve mentioned before in this blog that Dorothy has fans.  And these fans can make our many daily walks slightly surreal.  I am constantly having to act as Dorothy's publicist, and I admit to having moments where I wish I could walk a few blocks without having to have a conversation with strangers.  (This morning at 6:15 a.m., for example, the guy driving the Red Bull delivery truck came running across the street to meet Dorothy; it turns out he was trying to decide between getting an English Bulldog, an Olde English Bulldogge, or an American Bulldog.  I had been awake at that point in the day for approximately six minutes, so I'm not sure my explanations were coherent; however, I think Dorothy’s kisses might have just tipped the scale.)

But I was wondering the other day what it must be like from Dorothy’s point of view.  She walks out her door to do her business.  She walks a few feet – maybe, sometimes she doesn’t even get that far – and someone is stopping to kneel down and greet her and get kisses from her.  We move on and sure enough, admirer #2 is asking me if he can pet my dog.  Dorothy obliges some more.  A few additional feet:  a person in a car pulls up to ask a question about her.  A child stops to give her a scritch.  And I continue to hear Louis:

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really sayin', "I love you"

I’m thinking Dorothy must by now have quite a sense of self-worth.

Maybe I’m wrong about the music though.  While I’m hearing Louis, maybe Dorothy is hearing “Who let the dogs out?” or “I feel pretty”.  She could be referencing the BeeGee’s “I can tell by the way you use your walk” as she struts, marching to Sousa, or doing a bit of headbanging to Zeppelin.  Since we all know her distaste towards her leash and collar, she could very well be humming a few lines from King Missile:  “There is a collar around my neck.  There is a leash in her hand.”  And then she has to stop short when the song converges with her reality.

Then it might follow that it is not the treat in my hand that makes her start walking again, but the opening phrase of “Flight of the Bumblebee.”  At any rate, Dorothy walks, I click the clicker and dispense the treats, the song begins.

Dorothy, a few days ago, with "I Feel Pretty" stuck in her head

Dorothy, ten weeks olde, humming a lullabye

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Am So Washing My Hands

A feather.  A chicken (?) bone.  A used Kleenex.  A wad of gum.  Enough sticks to build a child-size log cabin.

These are all things I have touched in the past few months.  And not out of any unconquerable curiosity of my own.  I have not become a budding naturalist, eager to gather specimens in the nearby urban park and bring them home for further study.  I do not see a bedraggled pigeon feather and think:  treasure!

Unfortunately, Dorothy does.  Not only does she think “treasure!”, but she thinks “edible treat!”  Thus when I write “touched” above, what I really mean is “tried to wrestle out of Dorothy’s clamped jaws for a good five minutes.”  As a bulldogge, Dorothy is naturally stubborn.  But as a me, so am I.  Thus we can on occasion be found in the park, Dorothy with her jaws locked on a bone, say, me with my hand locked on the bone locked in Dorothy’s jaws.  It’s a stand-off that so far I have almost always won, albeit not without a lot of exclamations of disgust. 

One of the many commands we have been working on in our training sessions is “drop it.”  This is probably the command that Dorothy is the least inclined to follow, but indoors she will respond, with the occasional thirty-second lag time.  And strangely, she is quite good at responding to “Leave it”, especially when “it” is “cat”; by now she almost always will leave the it she is concentrating on and come to me for a treat. 

But this is her response indoors.  I’ve noticed that outdoors is a whole other scenario.  Commands that she will follow in our apartment will just make her blink at me and continue on doing what she’s doing when we are outside.  So I can only conclude that at the moment, indoors Dorothy is my bitch, but outdoors I’m Dorothy’s.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


O sole mio!


sta 'nfronte a te!
O sole, 'o sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!

[Waits for applause]

[Applause apparently not forthcoming.  
Someone didn't like Posy's aria.]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freaky Friday

Oh it is a lovely cheesesteak-y kind of day in Philadelphia!  Let us go visit our friend Dorothy and see what she is up to!  It is mid-day on a workday, so she must be in her crate.

Wait, what?

Oh well!  Dorothy must be out for a walk.  So let us now go look for Plum, who must, like many a cat before him, be sunning himself merrily in a windowsill!

But wait, who is this?  Harken!

Why, it appears to be a bulldogge on a window sill, and she seems to be having words with us!

What is going on, Dorothy?

Why, if dogs are allowed on sills, then the apartment becomes a free for all, and we might even find something like a cat in a sink.

Oh help.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bulldogge By-Laws

There seems to be a little disagreement in my household over the contents of the Bulldogge By-laws (not to be confused with the Pug Handbook).  For instance, I like to remind Dorothy that the Bulldogge By-Laws state that she has to give me kisses--and not just strangers she meets on the street.  I tell her the By-Laws explicitly mention Walks, and the goings on thereof, at least thrice daily.  I believe that that passage even mentions something about going on walks eagerly, but Dorothy denies that it says this and when I went back and looked for it, I only found a page with a bite taken out.

Plum likes to referee during such disagreements

But when he is in control of the By-Laws, all of a sudden they seem to be peppered with phrases such as "and then thou shalt worship the Purple Cat" and "Henceforth the contractee will make sure to continually proffer the Purple Cat with sweetmeats of his choosing" and other similar Articles and Amendments.  And that doesn't sound right to me.

Dorothy insists that the Bulldogge By-Laws are a work in progress, and that it might make sense to remove the Section about No Bulldogges being allowed on the table, say, and replace it with something More Faire.

I'm pretty sure that clause will remain as is, though.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Olde English Bulldogge Bathtime: A Wettinge, A Dryinge, and A Zoomie Afterwards

First you taketh a washe-cloth, and proceedeth to gather ye squirming Bulldogge and place her in a half-filled basin or wash-Tubbe.

But enough of that!  Dorothy had her first bath in my abode and it was rather long overdue.  The girl was ripe.  I think I will now add Dog Grooming to my long list of professions at which  I would not succeed.  There’s a reason why there isn’t “A Sudsing” in the title above. 

I put Dorothy in about eight inches of toasty warm water in the tub.  She was pretty sure I had done so by mistake, so she considerately jumped right out, drenching me in the toasty water, and spreading at least one of its inch-age onto the bathroom floor.  I put her back in the tub.  Again, she was sure I hadn’t meant to do so, oh pardon me, and quickly and politely tried to jump out.  Did I mention that bulldogges, not unlike Bon Jovi fans, are slippery when wet?  They are.  More warm water on me; more warm water on the floor.

By this time I was struggling to open the Johnson’s baby shampoo, which had a top secured with a little foil circle that could not be punctured by a fingernail.  I decided I needed to reach back to the medicine chest to get the tweezers, while simultaneously trying to keep Dorothy firmly planted on the tub’s watery floor.  And all together now:  she jumped out!  Yes, indeedy, she did.

And back in the tub she went.  At this point, she began to realize that the whole Dogge In Tubbe thing was intentional and not a silly error on my part.  So she trembled.  I lathered.  Or tried to, but Bulldogge bristles don’t seem to encourage a very enthusiastic lathering.  Nor do trembling baby bulldogges.  I quickly sudsed her back a bit and got her tummy and her chest and her hind flanks.  I then cleaned her pretty face and massive head with a washcloth, and began to drain the tub and rinse her with fresh water, only to realize I had forgotten to clean her privates and her four sponge paws.  Oh curses.  Oh lazy me.

But the Drying had already begun, and unlike the Wetting, Dorothy really liked this part!  This was fun!  She was placed on a bath mat and rubbed with several dry towels, which she had to help kill a bit with her sharp mandibles and patented neck-breaking shake.  Once she was no longer dripping, I opened the bathroom door and the Zoomies began!  It turns out that post-bath zoomies are not just a pug thing:  Dorothy ran all throughout my apartment, up the hall, down the hall, sometimes chasing one cat, sometimes chasing the other.  She then began Zoomies:  The Sequel, and started to incorporate all upholstered furniture into her zoom.  Up on the chair, down to the floor, up to the couch, down the hall, up on the bed, over to the bedroom chair, etc. etc.

Dorothy zoomed herself dry, while I tried to mop up the swamp in the bathroom and launder the dog-scented towels.  I wouldn’t say Dorothy is as clean as she was when I got her.  She is not spick n span.  Not all of her body made it out of the bath sweet-smelling.  But her overall aura now is definitely more baby shampoo than rotten patch in park.  And that is something.

My camera ran out of batteries in the middle of the Wettinge, so I shall just put a random picture here from Dorothy’s past.  How about Baby Dorothy sleeping with her Aunt Suzie (pic by Jess Seiders):

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

My Posy has a sweetfang.  She won't eat savory cat treats--no pounce or pill pockets or anything like that for her.

What she will eat, however, is buttercream frosting.  I found this out the hard way:  I left a cupcake with blue icing on the table for one second, turned around to pour myself a glass of milk, and when I turned back to the table, my cupcake looked a bit mangled, and Posy--well, Posy looked like a sticky smurfette.  She had just performed a cupcake face-plant, and was hoping I wouldn't notice, despite the blue buttercream encasing her small smushed face.  She even had blue on the ends of her whiskers.

That's my gal!

She also has another habit, which seems very strange to me, being new to cats, and that is:  she'll sniff my plate, and if she doesn't like the smell, she will then proceed to "cover" the plate from all sides with phantom earth.  Someone told me that this is an old instinct to cover up food so as not to attract predators....but really?!  It seems like quite a charade to go through.

And last week while covering my felafel with phantom earth, she knocked a glass onto the floor, sending shards everywhere.  I should have just left them there so that the pretend predator could have cut its feet on the glass....

Cats are strange.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Intermediate Dorothy

Dorothy and I have had a few more training sessions with Perry from Philly Dog Training http://www.phillydogtraining.com  For the most part, her training is progressing really well.  She still has days when she is not unlike a donkey, but she is now quite often like a Von Trapp child responding to the Captain’s whistle—albeit the pudgy girl walking in late with her nose in a book.

Dorothy’s walking continues to be the most frustrating, although we definitely do have walks where she walks perfectly the entire time.  But more often, our walks are half good walking, half starting and stopping.  In general these days when Dorothy does stop, she stops to sniff something on the ground.  But a few times per walk she will stop in a “I Am Decidedly Anti-Leash” kind of way, and then she is like a tiny steed rejecting the bit.  She kind of stomps her hooves, and tosses her head and snorts through the nose, all while refusing to move forward an inch.  At these moments, I feel like I should offer her a sugarcube on the palm of my hand.  But the mood always passes.  All of a sudden she remembers that if she walks forward, she might get a treat.  So she resumes her trot, which she does while looking up in my face and making eye contact so that I will not forget about the treat.  I do not forget about the treat.

We’ve been working on “leave it”, too, which she pretty much knows now (as compared to “drop it” which is a concept that she pretends not to understand).  Perry taught me how to introduce Dorothy to the “leave it” command.  I get a handful of her normal dinner kibble in my right hand, and then a more tempting treat in my left, along with the clicker.  I’m to open my hand of kibble near her nose, but say “leave it” at the same time.  When she turns her head away from the kibble, I click the clicker and give her a piece of the tasty treat.  Once Dorothy learned the rules of this game from Perry, she decided to take it one step further, so that now, when I offer her the kibble, she snake crawls backwards away from it, to show just how much she is Leaving It.  In the dust.  She has never seen that kibble before, doesn’t know it, never spoke to it, had no relations with it, etc. etc.  See her leaving it!  By this time, I am offering her the tasty treat, while giggling.

She is also doing very well with her “Place” command.  When I say “Place” and point, she is supposed to go to her bed.  She will almost always now run to the bed and lie down.  So I have started to shake things up a bit by moving her bed around to different places in the apartment.  It is really funny to watch her figure it out!  She will stand still and do some thinking, and then run off to the bed in its new spot and jump in and lie down.  Sometimes, of course, she will go to where it last was, and then try to get a treat anyway by doing a down-stay in the phantom bed.  And sometime this works (because she looks so cute!).

Perry also taught Dorothy to come running to me when I make a kissing noise.  This is just a way to get her to come without over-using her name.  Perry taught her this in one session, and ever since, whenever I make the noise Dorothy comes running and gets a treat.  She will even stop chasing a cat and return to me, which I find impressive.  She’ll leave a cat alone when I say “leave it”, too, but at this point it is for the most part just a temporary leave-taking:  five minutes later will find her back tormenting the cat.

After Perry leaves, Dorothy is always exhausted from all the thinking, and full-bellied from all the proffered treats.  She always walks perfectly for a few days afterwards, and then some bad habits start creeping in.  Perry is coming this week for another session, and one thing we need to work on is learning how to pass a sidewalk cafe.  It is hard to avoid them where we live, and Dorothy has learned that she can get admiration as she goes from table to table (not to mention savory foodstuffs!), so it can take us a good ten minutes to walk a half block.  I can pick her up, of course, but not much else will distract Dorothy from her public!

Word On The Street

I posted this last Wednesday; it was removed on Friday when Blogger was having problems, yet it was never restored!  Grrr.  Here it is again, all out of order.

Walking Dorothy is like strolling around with a minor celebrity.  The attention she gets is amazing.  People melt when they see her.  They stop and get kisses from her and ooh and ahhh and ask questions.  Men speak in falsetto; women squeak.  I've had people cross the street to greet her, and pull over in their cars and get out to give her a cuddle.  And after getting a full-fledged Dorothy greeting with kisses and hugs, people will tell me that Dorothy has made their day or made their evening.  She is quite the bulldogge ambassador!

Now I, of course, think Dorothy is adorable, but sometimes I have a hard time understanding the degree of fervor of the attention she receives.  I think it is her half-and-half face, and her head which seems too large for her skinny little body.  At any rate, I often feel like I'm the celebrity assistant, walking along carrying the designer shopping bags, while the paparazzi goes to town on Dorothy's appearance.

I also get asked all the time what kind of dog she is, and I am always happy to say "She's an Olde English Bulldogge" and then even explain the difference between an English Bulldog and an Olde English Bulldogge, if the asker seems receptive.  (Or if the asker seems to doubt my answer and makes a comment about how she seems almost too skinny to be an English Bulldog.  Sigh.)

Here are a few of the dogbreeds that passers-by suggest Dorothy might be:

  • I have had two people ask me recently, "how old is your boxer-pit mix?"  I thought this was a strange question: if you think Dorothy is a mixed breed, why assume you know what the breeds in question are?  
  • Most people at the moment assume she is a boxer.  This makes sense, in a way, as she is brindle like a lot of boxers, and she has had a growth spurt in her legs, so she is tall in a boxer-y kind of way.  Plus, Dorothy loves boxers!  (She has a boxer friend named Jamison, and she loves to bite his jowls.  His owners, funnily enough, will often hold Jamison still so that Dorothy can do so...which doesn't really seem fair to me, or to Jamison for that matter, who will voice his protest.  Dorothy thinks it's a great idea though.)
  • A woman pulled over in a car today and asked me from her open window if Dorothy was a brown boston terrier or a pitbull?  When I said what she in fact was, the woman squealed loudly and then made that head-tilted, eyes-scrunched, oh-so-cute face people tend to wear when they see Miss D.
  • One man stopped us the other day and asked if Dorothy was a Shar Pei (I've gotten this question before, too; Dorothy has a very rectangle, wrinkly face at the moment, so it makes sense.)  When I told him no, she was an olde English Bulldog, he said: "but she has Shar Pei in her, right?"  I said, um, no.  "But one of her parents was a Shar Pei?"  (At this point I was getting a bit peeved.)  Nope, I said, she's an Olde English Bulldogge!  And we went on our merry way.
  • Many people think she is a pitbull, so I am used to that assumption too.  I did have a strange experience a week ago when a man walked by with his girlfriend and upon seeing Dorothy said in a loud voice, "A Teacup Pitbull!  I don't believe they are breeding miniature pitbulls now!"  And he said it with scorn, too!  I rolled my eyes, but refrained from saying anything, since he hadn't been talking to us (just about us loudly), but really!  Dorothy is a teacup anything the way babies are teacup humans!  She is a 4 month-old puppy and soon there won't be much that is miniature about her.

Then yesterday, a woman came running up and asked, English Bulldog?  But before I could answer, she started shrieking,  Shana Punim!  Shana Punim!  And then told me that is Yiddish for "pretty face."


Friday, May 13, 2011

Really, Universe?

I do not wish that Dorothy had fleas.  Nor do I wish that she had kennel cough.  Or ticks.  Or a yeasty ear.  But I found myself wishing for any of these afflictions over the one she did seem to have, as I stared horrified at a reclining Dorothy on Monday, who was letting me scratch her belly and thus also exhibiting what was unmistakably – UNMISTAKABLY – warts on her privates.

“Dorothy!” I exclaimed.  “What have you been doing while I’ve been at work?!”  I had been pretty sure that her days were spent curled into a comfy circle in her crate, but now I was beginning to picture less solitary activities—visits by thuggish Boxer friends, say, or one of the amorous little French bulldogs that saunter about the park, or perhaps that prickly terrier friend Iggy who had a bit of a leer when he looked at Dorothy.

At any rate, it was clear that my little innocent 4 month-olde Dorothy had a bit of a health issue, so back to the vet we went!

And I was right.  Miss Dorothy has canine papilloma virus, which seems to be making its way around the dog population of Philadelphia—no doubt as a result of too much abstinence-only sex-ed, and not enough funding given to Planned Parenthood.  :)  Dorothy got to see her beloved Dr. Dominic, and Dr. Dominic and Tara, the vet tech, got to make a lot of jokes about the ribald behavior Dorothy must have been engaging in, in order to contract her CPV. 

The good news is that it generally goes away on its own accord, without the vet having to burn off the offending lesions.  I’m just to make sure that Dorothy doesn’t worry the area too much, and so far she has not been.  And next time I am giving Dorothy a belly rub, maybe I’ll squint my eyes or take off my glasses so that if some other horror is perching on her person, I – o ignorance is bliss – well I simply won’t know.

Dorothy would like some privacy, please.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black Tuesday

Today was a beautiful spring day:  the sky a fierce blue, the temperature in the seventies, the trees in couture.  It was picturesque--but only if you were in the mood to ignore all the corpses that were lying about.

Well, the first carnage on display was a lack of corpse:  when I walked out my front door, I was greeted by one whole pigeon's worth of feathers, without the pigeon itself.  I think that pigeon must have fallen victim to one of the hawks that live in the city.  Every time the breeze blew, the feathers swirled, and Dorothy attacked.

On our lunchtime walk, as Dorothy was exchanging greetings with a schnauzer friend, Katie, I realized that Katie and Dorothy's mock wrestling match was taking place inches from a newly dead baby bird.  It looked vaguely robin-like, and had clearly fallen from a height above.  I bid Dorothy say good-bye to Katie before either discovered the gory treasure.

On my way back to work after lunch, I passed a purple finch that had met its death after trying to fly a shortcut through a picture window.

And then on our after-dinner walk, I almost stepped on a dead squirrel in the park.  It seemed like a healthy one, too, in that it wasn't one of the typical city park squirrels around here that are all skin and bones and curse words.  This one was plump, and its little hands were all curled into claws.  I'm thinking it fell victim to the rat poison that I've been told is rather recklessly placed in the park.  Luckily, Dorothy didn't see the squirrel either, as she was too busy eyeing a picnic she thought she might like to join.

To top things off, Dorothy was on her twenty-first kiss of a passer-by who had stopped to greet her, before I realized that said passer-by was at best crazed with drugs.  As a general rule, I tend to prefer that Dorothy only make-out with the sober.  Or at least the cheerily buzzed.  I extricated Dorothy from her still merry embraces and tried to do so without addling the already very addled.  And then we scuttled to our doorstep and I fumbled for the keys.

Move over, Dorothy.  I'm about to join you under that chair!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dorothy is Four Months Olde Today

Well, these pictures were taken a week ago, but you get the idea.  The sign says "I am 4 months olde today", but apparently my sharpie pen is not dark enough for my basic little camera.  And like any 4 month-er, Dorothy didn't exactly want to sit still for the pictures.  Once again, I had to resort to kibble:

And an out-take:

I think I probably should have gone with the weekly photo instead of the monthly, as watching Dorothy is not unlike watching time lapse photography--you can practically see her grow before your very eyes.  A sea monkey!  A magic rock!  Dorothy the growing bulldogge.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dorothy, The Cowardly Lion?

Does Dorothy like hearing bongos in the park, you ask?

The answer is No.  No she most certainly does not.  And she will show you how much she does not like bongos being played in the park by trying to climb to the top of your head to escape that strange thrumming.

In fact, Dorothy seems to be going through a bit of a skittish phase at the moment.  If she hears a noise that is unexpected or new to her, she will jump a mile and then look from side to side with her ears back and a funny frown on her face.

Here are some of the things that have made her jump in the past few days:

  • The afore-mentioned bongos played in the park.  She didn't like them when we walked into the park, and she still didn't like them twenty minutes later when we walked out.
  • Trombones being played in the practice rooms of the Curtis School of Music with the windows open.  She kept craning her neck to try to see where that horrible sound was coming from.  (Yet strangely, she was drawn to a Puck-ish man playing a black wooden flute.  Go figure).
  • Barking chihuahuas wearing black leather jackets.
  • Any dog that is having a barking fit, actually.
  • Bicycle brakes that squeak--this one almost made her refuse to walk at all.
  • Loud music coming from passing cars.
  • Poodles wearing bows on their ears.  (At first she wanted to get one of the bows with her teeth, but all of a sudden it seemed to give her the heebie jeebies.)
I also realized that she was perhaps a little overly cautious when we walked on a new route, so now I'm trying to take her in all different directions, so that she realizes when it comes to a walk, new is good.

Dorothy, upon hearing a bongo:

Has anyone else had this experience with an 18 week-olde puppy?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dorothy Is The Anticraft

Tune your air violins, people, and place them under your chins.  Pick up your airbow and ready yourself to play, for this is a real sob story that will call for some plaintive theme music.

This is a picture of the sweater I was knitting pre-Dorothy:

Pre-Dorothy, I had knitted the back, the fronts, the collar, one sleeve, and half of the second sleeve.

How many stitches have I had a chance to knit since bringing Dorothy home to my lovely abode?

Zero.  Zero stitches.

I know, I know.  Do I want a pen so I can write down my sad story? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dorothy Vogues

For the most part, I did not torment my pug, Tulip, with clothing.  She had a few warm coats that she would wear, but only when the temperature was about twenty degrees or lower.  Tulip was not a sartorialist; she wouldn’t try to get the clothing off, but she didn’t seem that excited to have it on (unlike her pug cousin, Nancy Alice, my sister’s pug, who was very proud to wear her winter coat with the faux fur collar, looking, as I used to say, like a toad in a prom dress).  It was also hard to find coats to fit Tulip, because as pugs are wont, her neck was rather considerable in girth.

Here for example is a picture of Nellie, my parents’ Tibetan Terrier, in a hand-me-down coat of Tulip’s that never quite fit around her neck:

Isn’t Nellie a vision in grape?!

Where I did lose it a bit, I admit, was on Halloween.  In Philadelphia, the pug meet-up group we attended went all-out and would throw an annual Pug-o-ween party.  Tulip, much to her chagrin, was forced to participate!

At first, I was motivated enough to make Tulip a costume, and I knitted her a sweater with dragon spines.  I don’t have any digital photos of her wearing the sweater, but you can take my word for it when I tell you that she didn’t like it much.  The best costume that year by far, was this one:


The next year I got a bit lazy, and Tulip was dressed in a purchased princess costume.  Doesn’t she look like a Disney vision?:

And the year after that, we celebrated my parents living in Maine by dressing Tulip up as a lobster for Halloween:

(Yes, I do know that it looks like she is being eaten by a lobster, and not like the lobster herself.)  She made it onto the evening news in this costume!

Oh poor Tulip!

I do still have the princess and lobster costumes, but I don’t think Dorothy will a) fit into them, or b) tolerate them on her little body for more than a minute.

On a whim, though, I got out the dragon sweater today, and dressed Dorothy in it!  I then had to distract her from attacking her own back by placing kibble in her food dish -- so that explains why in all of these (blurry) photos, she is a dragon eating kibble!

And this amused me so much that I decided to put on her trench coat, given to her as a welcome home gift by my boss.  Isn’t she spiffy?

And to end with some more cuteness, here is Dorothy in the baby sweater she got from her Auntie Heidi, a kicky stripe!

My next project:  a pinstriped waistcoat and bowler hat for Plum.  J