Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure

When Dorothy goes to the park with her father, they play a game called “Choose Your Own Adventure.”  This game, such as it is, consists of Dorothy going wherever in the park she wants to go.  She leads the way, and if she wants to go catty-corner, they go catty-corner.  If she wants to stop and lie down and chew on a stick, that is what they do.  If she wants to go sniff around inside the empty fountain, then sniff she will.  And as her father says, Dorothy likes to choose 4 or 5 adventures, and she likes for them all to “end in a squirrel.”

Of course, the one tiny problem with this game is that when I then take her to the park, I tend to be oblivious of  the course her last adventures took, and then get a little peeved when Dorothy tries to drag me in the fountain, or when she jumps from bench to bench, or cuts across a hedgerow.  I prefer the adventure of walking nicely along the path myself.  Call me stodgy.  

Dorothy thinking, my mom is a smidge stodgy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Free Range Dorothy

The last few weeks I have experimented with expanding Dorothy’s daytime parameters a bit.  In the mornings she becomes free range Dorothy, and when I leave for work I do not put her in her crate. 

The first morning I did this I was greeted by both cats when I got home at noon.  They were meowing and seemed agitated, and both let me know that there was something I forgot to do, ahem, cough, someone I forgot to lock up.

And Dorothy herself seemed very glad to see me.  She gave me a fine wiggly greeting, which she usually does not do when I let her out of the crate.

But I’ve continued to leave her out after that day, and all has gone well.  One of the reasons why I chose the morning is because I know she pretty much sleeps soundly for those three hours.  I’m still putting her in the crate for the afternoons.  She’d be fine until around 4:00, I think, upon which she might try to get a cat to play tug of war with her stuffed toys or perhaps a game of chase.

But we are getting there!  Soon Dorothy will be Free Range all the day long.

Free at last, I'm free at last!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Don't Like Mondays

One of us is not too fond of getting up at 6:30, especially on a Monday:

Would Miss like breakfast in bed?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A month or so ago Dorothy became aware of another dimension while walking in Rittenhouse Park.  That actually sounds a lot more science fiction-y than I had intended.  What I mean is:  Dorothy discovered up.

She had acquired a new interest in the park squirrels, but the first few times she chased one to a tree, when it ran up to escape her fierce mandibles, Dorothy would walk around the tree looking for the squirrel on ground level.  Then one day one squirrel ran straight up the trunk without spiraling around it, and Dorothy followed the squirrel’s climb with her keen eyes and craning neck.

And then a whole (high) world blossomed.  She realized that she could search for squirrels up in branches, and birds too!  It was quite a revelation.  And now she often hunts in the great world of the above.  She will also look up a lot as we walk around the city.  Yesterday she became mesmerized by a flag waving in the breeze.  Was it a moment of patriotism, or was she estimating if she could jump high enough to grab it?  I’m not sure—she IS quite a talented jumper.

Dorothy thinking, oh how the squirrels love me!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Next Time We'd Like At Least A Foot

On Saturday morning Dorothy experienced her first snow (well, since leaving Maine at 10 weeks, that is).  Unfortunately, it wasn't a serious snow--just about three inches.  And to make things worse, when we first went out in it, it was sleeting hard.  So because of the sleet hitting her back, Dorothy wasn't sure if she wanted to be out in this questionable substance.

At first she marched, lifting her feet high with each step and putting her feet down with precision.  But by the time we reached the park, where on the grass the snow was a little deeper, Dorothy had decided that she liked snow very much!

We walked all through the park, and Dorothy alternated between doing the snow zoomies and bouncing all around, and taking the time to sniff each and every dog footprint left in the snow.  It went a little like this:  ZOOMIES! sniff, sniff, sniff, ZOOMIES! sniff, snuffle, sniff, sniff, ZOOMIES! etc.  It was as if she was physically spelling out a message in Morse code, and that message was SNOW IS FUN!

Which just goes to show that you can take the girl out of Maine, but you can't take Maine out of the girl.

Dorothy thinking, I was promised hot cocoa:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bulldogge By-Laws: The Heating Vent

Every once in a while Dorothy starts feeling erudite and will thumb through the Bulldogge By-Laws.  Of course she also likes to make sure that All Is As It Ought and that she is receiving her due.  The other day found her fixated on a passage regarding the heating vents in our living room.  Dorothy was convinced that it said somewhere in the By-Laws that Bulldogges get first dibs on all heating vents, and that if a Bulldogge wants to warm herself on a vent, and a small cat is already there…well then the cat needs to move, plain and simple.

The problem is that Posy does not believe she falls under the jurisdiction of said Bulldogge By-Laws.  And so then this happens:

Dorothy complaining:  it says so in the book, yet still she will not move!

Sometimes they will share the vent, although when this happens, Dorothy will cry every few minutes or so to let me know that Posy has more than her share and by the way life is hard.

After a few minutes of whining, Posy will decide the warmth isn’t worth it and move.  But she does so professing that she is by no means accepting the jurisdiction of those By-Laws.  Exotic Shorthairs, she proclaims, have no unwieldy book of rules.  Rather, they follow one edict which one does not even have to store on a Kindle.  That edict is:  Whatever I am doing is the right thing to do.

Words to live by, from yours truly, Posy Fern.

And Plum’s contribution to this entry is that heating vents may be warm, but they will not scratch your belly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Dog Night

The temperature has been falling in Philadelphia, and I admit to being very glad that Dorothy is in the bed at night. 

The pros for her being there are that she is a little bulldogge furnace and generates a lot of heat.  Plus she likes to spoon.  The cons are that she tends to like to share my side of the bed, and in the morning she likes to hit me with her heavy meathook front arms.  I also tend to wake up with a faceful of paw.  There’s also the snoring, although I really don’t notice that so much anymore.

I’m also happy to say that Dorothy has now reached the age where she is happy to sleep in.  In fact, on weekdays, I tend to have to drag her out of bed once I am already up and dressed.  Here is Dorothy, reluctant to get up on a Monday:

Of course, to be accurate, the title of this entry should really read One Dog and Two Cats Night, for when it is this cold both cats are apt to be in the bed too.  Plum is either where your feet want to be or where your head needs to be:

And Posy is under the covers, so I couldn’t get a picture.  However, she is not under just any covers, mind you.  She is under the first blanket and on top of the second.  Any other configuration just won’t do, and she'll let me know this by repeatedly plucking the covers right by my ear until I lift the correct ones.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No Matter If It's Yellow Brick

Dorothy turned 1 a few weeks ago and I realized I am still no closer to unlocking the puzzle of our walks.  Some days Dorothy will trot along at my side, seemingly happy to walk and explore her surroundings.  But at other times she will still lie down every few feet, roll over on her side and refuse to move.

She’ll run with glee to the dog park, run non-stop while there, but then collapse on the pavement when I try to get her to walk the seven blocks back.  Not only does she lie down, but she will roll over with drama—and she tends to do this right when people are around, so that they will stop and ooh and ahh over her and offer her tidbits and liquids. 

On the particular walk pictured above, I found a good stick a few feet after this picture was taken, so then Dorothy trotted at my side the whole way home, leaping up into the air every few feet to try to grab the stick.

Sometimes if we give her something to carry—a stick, an umbrella, a mitten—she’ll trot happily with the item in her mouth.  Sometimes she can be coaxed on with treats, or with just a treat in the hand that isn’t given to her.

But the problem is one never knows if a tactic will be needed, and if so, what tactic will work.  Getting angry tends to make her go boneless, which makes things worse.

People have suggested that it is the city that inhibits her walking.  This is because when we visit the suburbs or the country, she walks like an angel.  At Christmas, for example, my sister and I took her for a long walk in Winchester, MA—perhaps 4 or 5 miles—and she trotted alongside perfectly the entire time.  She also seems to love a forest trail.  But I suspect that the allure is that these walks are new, so that if she went on them daily, she would revert to her habit of willful collapse.

Plus, she loves to get attention from all the passers-by in the city, and only rarely seems bothered by the traffic or city noise.

So basically, when it comes to Dorothy and whether or not she will walk, I simply have no idea.  Multiple times per day I just hook on her leash and hope for the best!  And then try to remain zen if she ends up lying prostrate on the sidewalk.

Dorothy, thinking perhaps sneakers, boots, or Manolos would help:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plum On Box

Lying in a box?  Oh so 2011:

Lying ON a box?  Well that's a stance for the new year.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dorothy Brinkley? Dorothy Turlington?

Dorothy had a little modeling session last month.  It took place in a pet store, so it was really hard for her to sit still, but the photographer did get a few good shots.

I'll show you the ones that are not holiday themed, since the Christmas picture made it into Dorothy's birthday post.

Dorothy, working it:

Dorothy, oozing charisma!:

And Dorothy, oh so noble!:

What a photogenic little beastie!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Very Dorothy Christmas

Dorothy received several gifts for Christmas which she likes very much.  This bone, for instance:

And she loved her new kong tennis ball toy given to her by her southern aunt and uncle and cousins:

In fact, this one she loves a little too much, according to me, since she is now constantly demanding that I hold one end of it while she tugs, or that I listen to how loudly she can make it squeak.

But even more than the gifts, Dorothy liked the busy-ness of her days spent at her Auntie's.  She liked having five kids to play with.  Five!  She liked joining them down in the basement for a bit of roughhousing and soccer.  She liked knocking Josie over and giving her kisses (you might not be able to tell, but that is Josie lying supine beneath):

Dorothy liked the wrapping paper, and she liked to watch people unwrap gifts:

Here Dorothy is making sure that a certain box that Josie had just discarded didn't contain something for her:

Dorothy especially liked spending four consecutive days with her dad!  It just doesn't get any better than that.  And more good news:  she was an angel in the car both ways.  I'm thinking next time we won't even need her carsickness meds....