Monthly Archives: November 2010

It’s a Dog Life – Ain’t it Grand?


This is one of my best days ever!



I’ll get to it before you can HUMAN CHILD!!!



Respect the Snorkie – Ball!



I’ve got my teeth on you… Victory is….



Hey, that’s my personal space… Ball, you are tricky!



But I win in the end!





My Tree — What happened to it?

My back yard has a great tree in it. Squirrels hide in it.

I love to bark at them. I love it when they jump off the branches to the telephone wires that run to the neighbor’s yards. Once, one of them missed the mark and fell on the ground. Dog, that was a great day!

Best chase I ever had! He got away, but I have hopes – high hopes of a repeat! Mama says to tell you what kind of tree it is and how old it is so that you can imagine better how big it was. First of all, it’s a Ficus. My tree was planted in 1954. It is 56 years old! It is the biggest tree on the street and is taller than a two story house. The branches span the entire width of the backyard and even go a few feet over into my neighbor’s yard. Mama says this is the root of the whole situation – whatever that means. In the summer it is about 5-7 full degrees cooler in the backyard under this tree than the front yard. I can attest to that. It is HUGE!

Anyway, a few days ago I was banned from the backyard. A big truck pulled up to the house and lots of guys – strangers got out of it. I couldn’t see what they were doing, but they were up to no good!  I barked at them every time I saw one of them come back to the front of the house.  I was banned from the back of the house. I couldn’t look out into the backyard to see what they were up to.  I heard a lot of disturbing noises coming from my backyard — Mechanical whining, shouting, funny chopping sounds, whirring sounds and the sounds of heavy things dropping to the ground. Mama took me on a long walk cause I was going a little nuts in the house. 

I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

The men left before dark and Mom let me into the back room. I looked out the window and … Well,

Mom wouldn’t let me out there. Sawdust and sharp branches were everywhere! I think it looked like fun!  Mom went outside to take a picture and I could see that the branches were almost to her chin!  It was a jungle!

The next day, they came back.  Mam said they had to clean up and finish the trimming my tree.  The same guys came in their truck, but and I barked at them good!

They finished early in the day, and Mom let me out. We all went out.
What happened to my tree?

Where before there was this towering canopy of green that hid all kinds of stuff, now there was all this ….. Well… sunlight and sky! The backyard is so BRIGHT!

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I went sniffing around and I could smell those strange men. They’d been everywhere – even in the places Mama and the boys won’t chase me! They’d been in Mama’s flower bed. She wasn’t happy. Some of my favorite bushes were crushed.

I suppose the upside to this is that the squirrels don’t have a good place to hide anymore. The branches are NAKED! I can see all the way to the top of the tree!

I don’t know though. So far this trimming has not brought me too much backyard luck. I had that impromptu bath right after I went out  and rolled in something that THEY must have uncovered. 

I’m not sure that this wasn’t a bad omen.
Well friends, wish me luck!

At least the base of the tree is still the same. It still smells like it’s mine!

Well time for me to take a walk outside. I’ll put my own special imprint on it so nobody gets confused.

Smell you later,

Your pal,


Meeting the folks – Grandma and Grandpa

Hi All,

Opie Here!

Except for the impromptu bath on Thanksgiving Day, I’d say that this Thanksgiving holiday stuff has been a blast! I got this fabulous dinner! I have a new favorite food! TURKEY!

Thanksgiving also has an added benefit.

More people to ADORE ME!

Grandma and Grandpa came for dinner. I met grandma before when she came out for a “Girls Weekend” with Mama (Whatever a “Girls Weekend” is). She’s great. She looks and sounds a lot like mom. I could tell she really LOVED me! So I quickly loved her right back!

This Thanksgiving I met Grandpa Joe. He’s a little scary. He’s bigger than my Dad! He’s really tall. He also likes to wear a baseball cap. I don’t really like baseball caps. I think I’m going to chew his when he leaves it on the floor again. It hides his eyes, and I can’t tell what he’s thinking about me. He does give good treats. He pets me really nicely. I overheard Grandpa say that I’m really smart.

Well, I think Grandpa is smart too for realizing this right off the bat. He thinks he has to keep giving me treats so I won’t bark at him. I bark and they tell me to hush, and when I hush then they give me a treat. They think they’re teaching me to be nice, but we all know who’s coming out ahead on this deal. Grandpa Joe says he’s got my number. I don’t know what that means but he always has some chicken jerky for me and he gave me EXTRA TURKEY on Thanksgiving Day. To my mind, that makes him A-OK!

I may even let him wear that baseball cap inside the house. Tee Hee!

All in all, it’s been a great weekend. Mom, Dad and the boys and Grandma and Grandpa are home ALL of the time. Grandpa has even taken me with Michael on a big walk!

I love holidays – and I love meeting the folks!

Well, gotta run!

Smell you later,

Your Pal,



Happy Thanksgiving — Uh Oh…. No… Not Again!

Our Thanksgiving morning began beautifully. Sunlight came streaming into the bedroom. Opie was sleeping peacefully on his side in between my husband and me. He looked so peaceful and content. I woke up groggy but rested.  My husband let Opie out into the back yard and reported that Opie had bolted to his favorite tree and done his duty with enthusiasm and passion.  I dropped back off to sleep.

Spongebob smelling something foul

Oh My God! What is that Smell!

Sometime later my husband let Opie back in.  This is what I heard as I burrowed deep into the warm covers.

“Did you have fun out there? … Wow you are really muddy!  No, not on the bed… OH MY GOD! WHAT’S THAT SMELL? OFF! OFF! OFF! “

I caught a whiff of something … and my nasal passageways slammed shut — I am a veteran mom and I have great olfactory self defense.  I stopped breathing immediately.  I pulled the covers farther over my head and shoved my head under the pillow.

Honey — the dog is a mess you’re going ot have to clean him up!” Said my husband.

Okay, some of you are wondering why the person who let the dog out into the muck that he rolled in is asking the person who was innocently sleeping and minding her own business to deal with this dirty job.  Well, here it is. You may recall that Opie was pretty leery of Dad when he was first adopted. Of course, he adores Dad now, but Dad has a lingering concern that because he’s not the top love monkey for Opie he will not get forgiven as easily for cleaning “assaults” as the number 1 love monkey.  As you all know, I am Opie’s number one love monkey. He loves me even though I’m the one that takes him to the vet for shots and rude examinations as well as the hated pet groomers.  He forgives me every time!  So these tasks fall to me. Besides, myhusband had to take the turkey out of the brine and do his magical Thanksgiving voodoo on it — a very important job!

I got up — put on my slippers and my glasses and headed to the living room where there was a brand new bottle of dry shampoo and doggy deodorizer. I went for the Chicken Jerky as well — Opie was going to need some persuading to sit still while I worked this stuff into his hair and brushed and washed  him with wipes and rags. Chicken Jerky is my secret weapon.

I went to work.  Half a bottle of dry shampoo later,  I asked my husband to wet a rag with warm water and some Dawn dishwashing soap! Whatever this stuff was it was not coming out.  I’d knocked out 50% of the smell, but Opie was still quite pungent.  He was going to compete with the smell of the turkey roasting.

Two of these Dawn filled wash clothes later and Opie  and I were headed toward the bathroom. Opie would have his first bath in the house!  I should mention we’d been reluctant to do this washing ourselves because his hair is so wispy. I had a horror of washing him and matting him up so  badly that we’d have to have his little body shaved. 

Turns out it wasn’t so bad. We have a shower/bath that has shower doors.  I ran the water and  set it perfectly ( I am thankful for our New Tankless Water heater that gives us INSTANT Hot Water — no waiting)  Opie and I got into the tub. ( Yes, I was still in my PJ’s.)  I set him down in 2 inches of warm water and watched the mud swirl away from his little paws.  We didn’t have any special doggy shampoo, but I’ve got kids. Here comes the Suave Kids 2 and 1 Wild Watermelon scented shampoo.  It’s kids shampoo, but it even has a dog on it! 

By this time Opie and I now have an audience. The boys are up. Gregory gets Opie a big Spiderman beach towel, runs to clean his grooming brush and fetches my blow dryer.  Opie had three shampoos and rinses.   Michael gave Opie a lot of sympathetic pats.

I would have taken a photo but ALL hands were busy with the dog or with the Turkey, so no camera.  Let’s just say the fluffy dog you see in the  top right hand corner of this page looked more like a miniature Italian Greyhound than a Schnauzer.

Italian Greyhound from 1915

Italian Greyhound -- What Opie looks like wet!


His hair was slicked down completely on his body. I made the water warmer — he was shivering. We got a great lather going, and finally he was rinsed.  I dried him off in the shower and then sat down on the closed lid of the toilet to dry him off.  Luckily, our heater was going full bore at this hour so all of us were toasty.  After some towel drying, Gregory started up the blow dryer. He stood about 3 feet back. My blow dryer can straighten hair and I’ve burned myself with it. I didn’t want Opie get burned.  We brushed and dried and brushed and dried and soon he was silky smooth.  We took a break from the dryer while Gregory washed Opie’s collar which turned out to be caked in the malodorous stuff. It was even stuck to his tags. (I began to see how people lose their dogs. On Black Friday, I’ll be at the pet store buying Opie a back up collar.)

Michael fetched some diaper wipes so that we could get the last of the goo out of Opie’s eyes. Michael and Gregory dried Opie’s collar.

Finally, he was done — 95% dry, but 100% clean!  He looked just as good as he does when we come back from the groomers. 

Total time for home grooming operation — 45 minutes!

We just learned something. Opie doesn’t have to wait for the groomers for a bath. Additionally, his hair feels really, really good!  Suave is quite good– it’ll do in a pinch.

Opie stayed clean the rest of the day. No more unsupervised backyard time until we locate it, and  the gardners come sweep it or dig it away.   Our day improved from then on . We shared a lovely meal with Grandma Gloria and Grandpa Joe.  Opie had a his own Thanksgiving meal of Innova Kibble with a layer of turkey breast and thigh meat with drippings as well. — that doesn’t count whatever he managed to scavange as I was chopping things for the dressing.  He spent most of the day with his nose in the air.   I was happy to fill his nostrils with the smells of roasting turkey, candied yams, collard greens and pumpkin pie.

Thoughts from Opie on the situation

How the @#$% was I supposed to know that really cool smelling stuff was going to get me into so much trouble! It smelled different from the last stuff I rolled in.  Geez! They are SOOOOOO picky!

I must say that I’d rather spend 45 minutes at home than 5 hours at the groomers, just sitting around and waiting.  Mom didn’t cut or clip anything and she even got in the tub with me.   All my family was with me.  Maybe home baths aren’t so bad.   But I don’t like that dryer. It’s too loud.

I can go anywhere in the house.  I can roll on everyone’s bed and Michael and Gregory have a lot of sympathy for me.  I’ve gotten tummy rubs from EVERYBODY today – even Grandpa Joe and Grandma Gloria. Joe says I’m spoiled.

Thanksgiving Dinner

My dinner was AMAZING! And the house smells like HEAVEN!   Grandpa Joe fed me MORE turkey when he took his plate to the kitchen. I heard Mama tell him not too, but he did it anyway.  Grandma gave me some too.  Later that night as Mom was putting things in the refrigerator she tore me a really good delicious piece — juicey and dark. 

I LOVE Thanksgiving!

What Thanksgiving Means to Me — A Rescued dog


I was born near the first of December. Very soon after that I was sent away.  I lived in a shelter for a while and then I got rescued.  This is my first Thanksgiving so I don’t really know what to expect.  Mama says that it is a time for family and friends and to reflect on our blessings, the things we are thankful for.  She also says I’ll get a very special dinner that day – very meaty! Yum I can’t wait!

Mama is making me make a list of everything I am thankful for.

Here goes:

I am thankful for Mama and Daddy who adopted me into this family – I love them to infinity and beyond!

I am thankful for my two boys, Gregory and Michael – I love them. I wish they’d let me play with their toys. Their stuff looks so chewable!

I am thankful for Randi who first rescued me. She runs Lhasa Apso Happy Homes Rescue. I’m not a Lhasa Apso, but she loved my ears, so she saved me!

A Lhasa Apso.

Image via Wikipedia


I am thankful to Barbara, my last foster mom. She was great.

I am thankful that Mama and Daddy let me into their bed at night. I get to sleep with them and it is so, so nice.

I am thankful for walks in the neighborhood – It’s my job to keep it free of squirrels.

I am thankful for a big backyard to play in and the play set that I can climb up into to bark more effectively at the squirrels.

The squirrel is a red blur at the top of the ivy covered wall. When I jump, I'm just a foot short of the top.

I am thankful that Mama doesn’t seem to care about the big hole I’m digging next to the rose bush.

I am thankful for my bully stick. I love my bully stick. I wish I had a better place to hide it.

I am thankful for the ivy under the Ficus tree. I love that smelly stuff I roll in there. (I am not grateful for all the doggy deodorizer and doggy wipes mom uses on me when I do this.  I am also not grateful to the groomer. I hate having baths, and being clipped and brushed and being away from my family for so long. I hate it, hate it, hate it! )

I am thankful for my breakfast and my dinner. (Even though I wish I could have some of that ham and sausage Mama cooks on the weekend!)

I am thankful for the couch.  Need I say more?

I am thankful for the dining room table and boys who leave lots of crumbs.

Opie Crate Free and all over the furniture!

I am thankful for treats like dried chicken – I love that stuff!

I am thankful that Michael seems to drop lots of food off his plate under the table.

I am thankful for my Hedge hog toys – big Hedgie and little Hedgie

I am thankful for my doggy friend Chewy who plays with me a little when we meet on our walks.

I am thankful that Chewy’s Dad doesn’t seem to mind when we wrap him up in our leashes. He’s really nice.

I am thankful that Gregory likes to run on his walks with me. We go fast!

I am thankful for ALL of my dog park friends even if I haven’t seen them in a long, long time.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about your, hmm, hmm.. cup of tea..

I am thankful for all my pet blog friends – Sage, Chewy, Stella and Bocci in particular!

I am thankful for the Culver City Bone Yard – my dog park. I wish it were fixed now, but I’ll be really glad to get back to it.

I am thankful for my crate because it’s comfortable and smells like all the treats I get when I go in to it.

I am thankful Mama hasn’t left me alone locked up in the crate yet for more than 10 minutes.  I miss Mama so much.

I am thankful that Mama seems to be a pushover.

I am thankful that Daddy forgave me for being mean to him when I first was adopted.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  He gives the best chin and tummy rubs and always lets me on the couch and in the bed.

Ball? What Ball?

I am thankful for a lot of things.

I am thankful for the life that I have.

It makes me sad to think of so many doggies who don’t have anything to be thankful for. They don’t have food or mamas or daddies who love them. They have a steel cage and are scared and alone.

I am thankful that so many people are working to make those dogs (and cat’s too,  I suppose) lives better. I am thankful for all the pet adoption organizations and people that run them.

I’d be even more thankful if more doggies could get Mamas and Daddys.  I think I’d like that a lot.

I am even thankful for squirrels, crows and the cats that cross my backyard – they make life interesting. I enjoy a good chase!

Mama was right – writing down the things I’m thankful for really makes me feel good and lucky.   Well, I heard Mom’s going shopping for a big Bird later.  I wonder if it’s a crow. I’ll let you know later.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Pal,


Purely Adult Tantrum about the Dog Park — and Oil Companies

I’ve sublimated a lot of frustration about our Culver City Dog Park into these blogs, cartoons and potato chips.  I think I’ve been patient. I’ve found alternative places to take Opie. We’ve dealt with the issue of his boredom by letting him terrorize the squirrels, crows and whatever other creatures live in our back yard.  He’s had a liberal amount of time in the back yard.  I am trying as much as I can to break up his boredom.  We’ve waited with baited breath for the cleanup crew funded by the offending oil company to complete their work.  The giant crane, portable buildings and general mess made by this work is just a necessary evil, right?

Yesterday, we were notified that the cleanup crew has found ANOTHER well. This one was capped back in the 1920’s. It’s not leaking, but they decided since they’re already here… What the hell? … Let’s fix this one too.  I can’t really argue with that logic. 

 I guess my frustration lies with the fact that dog park lies on top these oil wells,  and that most of my quiet enjoyment of my environment is marred by the oil industry in some fashion.

I’ll bet you guys in the Midwest and East Coast didn’t know that you can drive down a street in Beverly Hills and see the top of an oil pump working behind a high landscaped fence.  Our family lives at the base of  a hill — the back side and uppermost section of the crest  is owned by PXP Oil Company. They have several active pumps and our neighborhood association is in a constant battle with them.  We tend to object to mysterious noxious odors wafting into our bedrooms at 3 AM! Driving North or South on Pacific Coast Highway you can see lines off shore oil platforms. Just South of L.A., several major companies have refineries. Drive down the I-10 and you’ll see them.  When you fly into Los Angeles the lights on their smoke stacks compete with the lights of the city.

Oil pumps in culver city -- this is on the same hillside as the dog park just higher up the hill.

Bottom line — we live in an oil town.  Cars and Gasoline are King here.  In the 60’s we dismantled a perfectly good mass transit system. We had the largest mass transit trolley system in the country, over 150 miles of track. Residents did not need a car to get anywhere.  In our infinite wisdom, we then built the biggest and busiest freeways in the world.  Gee whiz!  How did that happen?  Add two plus two and you get the biggest nastiest backdoor double dealing in history between big oil and the big four auto makers and their cronies.  It’s a story Michael Moore would love to have broken to the world!

What is my rant about?  I don’t know — it’s a rant, a tantrum! A cry of frustration against the industry that robs my family and my dog of the simplest pleasures!

I can’t see the sunset on the beach without carefully looking between Oil drilling platforms.

I can’t be certain that the hillside is not going to explode due to Methane gas.

See the oil drilling rig in the this lovely ocean view -- Santa Barbara

I can’t be certain that the bank I’m in or the store I am in is not going to blow up for the same reason.

The front page speaks for itself.

I can’t hear the crickets because of the semis driving on the freeway 2 miles from my house make that rumbling whine as they pass

I can’t take my dog to the dog park because they are capping oil wells underneath it.

The madness must stop!  Look at your life and you’ll find there’s a dirty oil thumbprint on it.

Take your pick — Global warming, Middle Eastern Oil grubbing,  BP Oil Spill disasters,  Illness, Explosions !

Or maybe some BLANKITY- BLANK -BLANK Oil company has dirty leaky oil wells under your local dog park.

This just burns me up 


Article about 1985 Methane Gas Explosion in Los Angeles , includes images of L.A. Times Headlines

Opie’s Video Recommendations: Did we evolve from wolves? Why humans need dogs? Why do we have curly tails and patchy coats? Check it out!

Hi all Opie here!

Here is a sampling of some really neat programs about Dogs. Mom and Dad watched a great NOVA program over the weekend. I watched it too. It had lots of dogs in it and I just couldn’t tear my eyes away.  I think you’ll like these programs.

Nova Dogs Decoded – Really, really excellent program!  This is the preview.  The actual program aired over the weekend and is currently not available yet for streaming. However, there are clips and clips of it on YouTube.  I highly recommend this one. This is where I learned that  when Mama cuddles me it’s the same as when she cuddles her sons — she secretes Oxytocin which is the Mama  hormone. I secrete it too, and it makes us all feel all warm and fuzzy and good and happy when we cuddle.  Oxytocin is really good for all of us.   Scientists  postulate that it’s one of  the reasons why humans with dogs live longer and recover better from heart attacks and things like that.  It’s our Mama Daddy — love hormone.

 List of films that look good

Nature – Dogs that Changed the world — this is really good as well.  It talks about how humans owe their very development to our canine companionship . What would you guys be without us? It also says that  some humans have forgotten to be nice to us, and that’s really not good.

Nova: Canine Domestication  — I like this, too. Mom like’s John Lithgow!  He narrates.  This program takes some of the genetic information about us and explains how we evolved from wild wolves to domesticated dogs.  There’s some sad footage of silver foxes, but the information is really interesting.

These are really just a few cool programs.  You’ll learn more about me and my kind. I feel very empowered right now! 🙂


Your pal Opie

Wordless Wednesday — Opie’s Gaze

Oh where, oh where has my dog park gone? Oh where oh where can it be?

Opie Ponders Leaking Oil Issue at His Favorite Dog Park

Hi All,

Opie here!

I’ve been getting into lots of trouble lately.  I can’t seem to control myself. I’ve figured out why,  though.  I’ve got too much EXCESS ENERGY.  Why do I have this excess? Well, I am  part Schnauzer, and I do need my OUTLETS!!!  I NEED MY DOG PARK BACK!

Mom was taking me to the dog park pretty regularly SEVERAL WEEKS ago but then that rotten, no good squirrel loving oil company had an accident in our DOG PARK, and it’s  been closed for over a month.  Mama says it’s supposed to reopen in another week or two, but look what damage they’ve caused!

I’ve gotten into trouble chewing stuff up,  and NOW I have to learn how to like this crate.  I kind of like it, but I like being free so much better.  I have too much energy to be left alone.  When I went to the dog park, I was good and exhausted. I played with my buddies!  The other dog park is BORING!  The humans don’t bring anybody to the park until LATE!  We have stuff to do when it’s late. I have to greet my boys and get belly rubs from them. I have to be HOME in the afternoon!

I’d really like to sink my teeth into some of those Oil company people who made a mess at my dog park. My mama always cleans up MY mess when we go on walks.  I think it’s just rude to make a mess, a BIG mess like that,  in someone’s dog park and take SO LONG to clean it up.  IT’S BEEN ALMOST TWO MONTHS!  I know what me and my friends would do to anyone we saw messing with our Dog park!   We would ALL participate! I am so STEAMED!

Doggy revenge against Oil Company Mess at Culver City Dog Park!

Opie’s Sixth Day of Crate Training — Mama Disappeared!

Day 6

On Day 4 we closed the door, and we’ve been building up the time that he spends in the crate. We are up to about 30 minutes in the crate. I should mention  that we continue to treat randomly and repeat the “Go to Crate” command. He’s doing really well with that. 

Today, we tried something a little new. Since I’m his number one love monkey we decided that if he could get used to me disappearing for a time while he was in the crate then we’d really be cooking with gas!   The training material talks about leaving the house for short periods of time and gradually building up to the time we really want him to be happy in his little home. So, we started that a tiny bit today.

Yes, the door is closed. So what, she'll open it in about 2 minutes, right?

I disappeared into the back part of the house for about 5 minutes.  There was one small keen and then he settled down.  I think this was harder on the other members of the family than Opie. Nobody likes to hear Opie cry.  Only a hard-hearted Mama like myself can tough this sort of thing out.

Yeah, who am I kidding. I’m just lucky he let out one little whine.

When I came back in the room after 5 minutes he was asleep — Thank God!   He stayed in the crate a total of 25 minutes that time. 

When I opened the door,  he acted just like he does when I return from an errand. He wiggled, tried to jump into my arms, etc.  I may have put my foot in it. I had started to praise him while I was opening the door. I had no idea he was going to be so happy to see me.  I didn’t go anywhere really.  All the material says we are supposed to be very blase about the whole thing.  “Oh, you’re out of your crate. No biggy.”   I wasn’t as nonchalant as the material said I should be.  Obviously, I ‘ll have to do some remediation on this.

In any case we tried it again later in the day, but errands and family circumstances kept us from training  in earnest.  Over the next few days, now that Opie’s Dad is recovering from his flu, we will put a little more intensity into this stage.  I’ve had a sick husband and child at home over the past couple of days. Once they are all back to their normal tasks Opie and I can “Git R Done” regarding this stage of crate training.

He still goes to the crate as his little place.  His commands are getting better and better.  I am optimistic despite this slowing down of our work.  As you can see, he’s very comfortable with his crate.  To close the door though sometimes I have to tuck him all the way into it.

Oh, I am so sleepy... Mom will have to tuck me into my Happy Place!

Once again, if anyone has any comments or suggestions regarding our training. I am all eyes and ears!  Feel free to comment and give us some feedback.

Have a great day everyone!