Tag Archives: critters

Morning Walk with Opie – A Pictorial essay

Hurrah! We’re going on a walk! I have a new leash! It’s longer!

Interesting smells here!

This is my neighbor’s garden. Isn’t it nice?

Mom is quite jealous of her Lantana. Mama says it gets more sun so it’s not her fault that ours looks all scraggly.

I blame the cats. They poo in the bed! Nobody poos in my neighbors garden, including me!

We have continued on. It’s starting to warm up. I love this grass!


Lemme Go, Lemme Go, Lemme Go!

No, now I won’t sit or stay for the Bird of Paradise shot. I’ve got my eye on you squirrel!

I’ve still got my eye on you squirrel!

Well, I got dragged along to the other side of the street. We’re a few streets over now!

This is the jewel of the neighborhood according to Mama.

There’s no sidewalk here and the property owners have planted a garden that goes all up and down the curtilage.

We don’t poo or pee here either for obvious reasons.

See, it’s all the way to the curb! Well, that ends my morning walk.

Gotta secure my backyard from crows and squirrels now.

Have a great day everybody!


Yeah, that Opie is one lucky hound- dog!

Hi All,

Opie’s Mom here. Currently, it is 5:30 in the morning. I’ve been up since 3:30 AM trying to get a certain little white Snorkie to go to sleep.

He caught a whiff of some creature outside and was making all kinds of racket. We tried calming him in the bed. Nope!

I took him into the other part of the house brought a blanket to sleep on the couch. Opie’s Dad has a 6 AM meeting and was trying desperately to get some sleep. As soon as I pulled my blanket up, Opie found every squeaky toy in the living room and proceeded to play with it.

This poem popped into my head as he started throwing his heavy elk bone across the hard wood floor.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child must work for a living,
But the child that’s born on the Sabbath day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.


Yep, that Opie is full of grace, because that’s what has certainly been protecting him this morning. Some of you may be asking why I don’t just throw his furry butt into the back yard to face the creature he so wants to confront?

Well, here’s a list of the possible creatures that could be out there to confront the 20 pound Snorkie.


Feral Cat






With the exception of the rat, all are bigger than Opie. They have teeth claws and nasty fleas, ticks and or West Nile. Yes, we have that here. Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago our local paper reported that few of the dead crows laying in the gutter had West Nile virus. So, confront one of these teeth and claw or disease bearing beasties… no. The burglar. Well, it’s too early in the morning for me to kill a burglar who kicks my dog ( Yes, I would do that!) Too much paper work! And heck!  I went to Church on Sunday! Definitely a commandment no-no. So, he’ll just have to traverse my yard unmolested. I trust the CCPD ( very big and very mean) to kick that larcenous booty. I’ve got friends in blue.

But what if he has just has to pee or poo? Well, I’ll clean it up in the morning or later this morning, or he can hold it. He had his last personal business run at 11 PM and that should be enough! Until 6:45AM!

So, bleary eyed, bad tempered and personally wrecked for the day. This dog is being protected for his own Danged Good!

Tuesday’s child is full of Grace.

Say good morning Gracie!

Have a good day fellow bloggers!

I’ll probably have to have a nap in the afternoon or the rest of Opie’s family will be wearing my tooth and claw marks.

Did I mention that my totem is the bear?

Take care,

Grumpy Opie’s Mom

I’m Back — Snorkie Snorkie– Fire department focuses on saving pets



Hi All,

First of all, I’m back! You may not have known this, but I’ve been in the doggy boarding for FIVE nights!  Mom and Dad and the boys went off to San Francisco. Mama checked on me on the webcam every day, but I didn’t know it.  I had fun, but I’m tired and I’m awfully glad to be back home. Mom says there were lots of dogs in San Francisco and they missed me terribly — Mom and Dad and the boys, those S.F. dogs don’t even know me.

Anyway, I’m home now.  Dad found this great article in the L.A. Times. I think it’s just great. What do you think?

Here is my first Snorkie Report since I’ve been back! Enjoy!  Click on the article link for the whole article. Find out why this funny doohinkie is on that stuffed cat in the picture.

Fire department focuses on saving pets.

Who Dat? Who Dare?!!!

“Good night Michael!”

“Good night Gregory!”

“Good night Mom!”

“Good night Dad!”

“Good night Boys! Sleep tight!”

“Good night Opie!”

“Yeah, Good night Opie!”

And all the lights are out. We sleep with the windows open. Yes, we live in the city, but the distant wail of sirens and the occasional person driving by with their music blasting is our lullaby. 

My husband is the first to drift off. Eventually, I have to shake him into a new position. His snores are drowning out the truck horn sounding in the distance.  Finally, it’s quiet and we drift off into that deep comfortable sleep, the kind you crave after a long and busy day — all muscles relaxed, deep in the cocoon of your warm bed, boneless relaxation.

I sleep , but the sound of Opie’s nails on the wood floor shift me to drowsy wakefulness.  What is he up to?  He’s fully house trained, but I have little boys who get up in the middle of  the night to pee. It’s hard for me to countenance that our 8 month old puppy can “hold it” until his 6:45 AM walk.  I look at the clock. It’s 4 AM. I wonder if the 2 hours and 45 minutes sleep is worth, the “clean up” if it turns out he’s picked up the boys’ late night  habits. 

It’s not.  I sit up in bed. Opie is standing at the window peering intently outside. His tail is up, not curved, but straight up like an exclamation point. We have french doors with window side panels in our room. He’s looking out of the open side panel.  There’s something out there.

Then I hear it. A low almost inaudible growl. Opie is not happy about whatever is skulking about in the ivy. He hasn’t even noticed that I’ve swung my legs out of the bed and am standing next to him.  He’s intent  on the darkness. Of course, I can’t see anything. Whatever is out there hasn’t crossed the motion sensitive backyard light yet.  When or if it does,  Opie will wake the entire neighborhood with his doggy outrage.

“Opie, go to bed!” He looks at me, clearly contemplating ignoring me. He looks back out the window and gives a soft “Woof!”

I close the  window panel. ” Go to bed, Opie!” 

Opie turns and goes back to his bed.  So do I.

I crack the window panel  near my head and just then catch a strong whiff of the scent that must have woken Opie! 


I close and latch the window.

I make certain the latch is set on both windows.

Through the window I can hear Wednesday, the little terrier next door. Obviously, she’s caught the scent as well. 

For now, we’ve dodged the skunk.

Snorkie Musings — Opie’s Thunderstorm Dreams!


 Do you every wonder what your dog is dreaming?   


Squirrel eating

Squirrel eating a nut. This isn't my squirrel, but it might as well be. Dirty Rotten Squirrel!

Hi Guys,

Opie here!

The squirrels were at it again. They were chattering at me, taunting me from their perches on the skinny branches.  I had had enough!

Rotten  &%$@#  Squirrels!

Mom took me for my walk in the afternoon. I could tell she was tired and it was going to be a short one because it was hot outside.  She put my big leash on, the one that let’s me go way far out in front of her until she hits the  “STOP” button.  We came out to the front yard and as usual I went to the pine tree in front of the garage. There’s a squirrel that loves to sit in the tree, eat the pine nuts and throw the cones down on my head. ( &$#*$&(!)  

Mom sat down on the neighbors wall and let me do my usual thing — scoping out the squirrel scent and letting them know that I’ve got my eyes on them.  She started talking to the lady across the street and that’s when I tried it. 

I climbed the tree!

Scoping out my climbing options

Here I am scoping out my climbing options

The leash was loose so mom didn’t notice  what I was doing for a while. She was busy talking to the lady.  The pine tree is really crooked along the bottom. The first foot of it is bent like a knee.  I can stand up on my hind legs and rest my paws easily on it.  I pushed off with my back legs and PRESTO!  I was able to jump up onto that bend.  I was up OFF THE GROUND!  I was standing up on the bend in the branch. I was trying to get to the next big

I spot my prey -- SQUIRREL!
I spot my prey — SQUIRREL

bend. I figured I could jump and use my claws and get to the next little twisty part. It would be hard but I was confident.  The squirrel had been chattering at me, but I could see him looking down at me with his beady little eyes. Soon he would be mine. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into his grey and red squirrely fur. Oh Joy! I was just about to make the jump and … 

Just about to make my move
I am just about to make my move.


“OPIE!!!! Get down from there!”

Mom was standing by the tree. She had a really strange expression on her face. I was about 2 and 1/2 feet of the ground up a tree!  The leash was tangled in these little starter branches on the knee branch that I was standing on. 

Mom was grumbling at me pretty good as she unwound the leash and pulled me out of the tree.  She grumbled pretty much during the whole walk.  I did n’t know humans could growl. 

I didn’t mind.  Now, I know I can climb a tree!  Those squirrels are in for a  BIG SURPRISE! 


“Oh I love them Squirrelies!
Squirrelies what I love to eat!
Bite they little heads off! Nibble on they tiny feet!
Dah, dah, dah, dad, dum, dee, dee, dee , tee, dum!”


Opie’s Many Names


O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.. 

                                                  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Opie has more than one name in our house. This is not surprising. We all have many names.  For example, I am Mom, Mama, Mommy, Josette, Honey, sweetie, and of course,  WOMAN!!!  As you can imagine, each of these names is evoked in a  different situation. The person using the name is usually in a distinct emotional state when using it.  Opie has different names as well. What follows is a list of his names and the situations which warrant each use.

Opie — Default name. He is referred to in casual conversation by this name. 

OPIE! – He’s being called for some reason.  Here are some  possible reasons:

  •  He’s on the couch trying to bury his bully stick
  •  He’s got  Dad’s cargo shorts in his mouth and Dad isn’t in them.
  •  He’s barking at a critter in the backyard after midnight.
  •  He’s knocked out the screen to get at the critter and bolted into the dark backyard after it.
  • He’s pulled the leash out of my hand in an effort to “climb” a tree to get at a squirrel.

DICKENS DAWG! –  My husband calls him this when he’s being a little Dickens and a rascally little fellow.

I’ve always wondered how that term evolved.  Charles Dickens is the only Dickens I can think of, but it seems odd to call evoke his name when calling someone a rascally mischievous character.  He certainly has some rascally characters in his novels.  The “Artful Dodger” comes to mind as well as Fagan from Oliver Twist and  Uriah Heep, the disgustingly “‘umble” character in Great Expectations.  Somehow, the use of the term “Dickens” to denote a rascally type fellow does not connect that well for me.   Wouldn’t it  be more logical to have developed specific references to the characters in our popular culture rather than  to their author?  I can easily see calling Opie, you little “Dodger,” and saying, ” Don’t give me those “Uriah Heep” eyes!

 If I make a reference to Cujo, you will immediately know I m referring to the vicious  dog in a Stephen King novel of the same name. If I say a dog sounded like the “Hound of the Baskervilles,”  you may not have read that  particular Sherlock Holmes story, but it sounds creepy and mysterious, right?  You don’t refer to a vicious dog as a little Stephen King or as a scary sounding dog as an Arthur Conan Doyle dog. We refer to them by their character names.  Cujo and The Hound!  It just doesn’t make sense. Okay, I digressed.

Honey Dawg — obviously, this is when he’s being sweet, nuzzling in for a pet, flipping over for a belly rub and showing his puppy adoration.  We call him this because it just feels right!

Crazy Nut Dog!  — This name is invoked when his squirrel frenzy will not make him mind!

Moron Dog — He’s usually done something stupid which has exasperated us — tied himself up in his leash, stepped in his water bowl and caused it to spill all over the kitchen floor, or worse yet stepped in another dog’s poo at the dog park, or gotten himself “marked” when he was smelling some dog’s underbelly while said dog was marking a pole. He got “baptised” today by Poppy, one of his little buddies.

Stink Dog — Well, I don’t really have to explain that do I?

Mama’s baby — When he’s the only sweet child in the house. He hasn’t forgotten his homework, had a tantrum, hit his brother, refused to do his chores or complained about the laundry not being done and not noticed that you are wearing a new outfit and feel a little fragile. Mama’s Baby always knows just when to come and sit  on your foot and look up at you and lick your knee. Mama’s baby knows just when a little doggy adoration is just what is needed.

And so those are the many names of Opie! He’s clearly a multi faceted dog.

I'm an onion. I have layers!