Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas Indeed.

So I had these big plans to write a bunch of posts over the holidays, since I was taking a vacation and would have time.

But then I decided to take a vacation and not do anything. At all. No writing, no pictures, no checking work e-mail, no nothing.

Happy Holidays from the most fun couple you know!

And it was great! I actually got yelled at a little bit by The Human Male and Mamala for not writing-- something about not knowing what I was doing since I didn't write about it, even though I was with them the whole time. Eh, I can take it.

We had a WONDERFUL time in the Motherland-- I can't believe how quickly eleven days can go! We got back late last night. Now it's time to unpack, recap, and enjoy the close-out of 2009.

Here's the brief rundown of some of the highlights:

1. The Alice and Izzy Love Connection. Alice and Izzy had a ton of fun together. I think my dad summed it up nicely when he said they're exactly alike, but Alice is smarter. Alice did spend some time trying to dominate all of the dogs (we think, much to our chagrin, that while she tolerates/plays with others, she should probably be an only-dog), but she and Izzy were like a semi-dysfunctional peas and carrots. They have a common bond: love of toys. Izzy walks around all the time with a toy in her mouth, so Alice would grab another one, run up the stairs (sometimes to the middle step, sometimes to the second floor), drop her toy, and walk back down past Izzy. Izzy MUST have everyone else's toys, so she'd drop hers and go after the one that Alice left. Alice would then pick up the one Izzy left while her back was turned and repeated the pattern. It was very funny to watch.

2. Pedro got Moneypants. My brother Pedro only wanted money for Christmas. So my mom made it interesting. She took a couple of layers of Press'n Seal paper, put the money inside of the layers, and then stitched the paper into TV pants. It was hilarious.

3. Hidden presents are really fun. All of the presents came hidden in other objects this year. My present was placed in a book with cut-out pages, and The Human Male got his buried in a canister of popcorn. Not realizing the popcorn wasn't his gift, the rest of the family had to eat popcorn until the present surfaced so he could find it. It was so precious-- The Human Male was so excited just about the popcorn, it made me cry.

4. Yaktrax attack! I've heard from multiple sources that Yaktrax are the only way to go outside during the winter and not fall over. So we went on a hunt for them and got pairs for practically the whole family. The Human Male and I took them for a run on Christmas along an icy/snowy/hilly path and they rocked-- not even a little slip. If they can handle Midwestern ice and snow, they can handle anything. I definitely recommend getting a pair!

5. We had satellite radio. The car The Human Male and I rented (a Kia Sportage, which rivaled the awesomeness of the beloved Subaru Forester we rented last year) came with satellite radio. It was great. We really only listened to about six stations the whole time we had it, but it was so cool. I heard some good new music and a ton of great old music. We brought the car back this morning and I already miss it. I think satellite radio might be a necessity for when I get a new car...

6. And the big'un... My sister C-Bond got engaged! The short version is that they've been together for three years, decided that they wouldn't get married until the youngest of their kids graduated high school (about seven years from now), and then decided to go for it. Jay-V is the nicest guy, a wonderful father, and has incredible taste in jewelry. C-Bond has a new career blinding people with her humongous diamond. My parents are so happy to have an awesome future son-in-law and more grandkids, my niece Mini-C is over the moon (the two of us decided to plan a Vegas wedding for them and she got so into it-- it was so cute), and I'm very excited to quadruple my number of nieces and nephews. Jay-V and his posse are a great additions to our family.

7. Too "you can't make this stuff up" not to laugh. Yes, The Human Male did drive for two days through a blizzard to spend 10 days with his very anxious-to-get-on-with-it girlfriend and her family in darkest Michigan, far away from anyone and anything he knows, only to find out 30 seconds after he got there that his girlfriend's sister and boyfriend who'd decided to wait to get married (and have been together for slightly less time) were getting engaged with a blowout ring. I can't believe he survived the whole trip.

I'm pretty sure good holiday Karma followed us back: our car rental ended up being $110 less than they originally told us, and I just checked my work e-mail and it's completely manageable and disaster-free. Alice is happily snuggled in the green blanket next to The Human Male, and we have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. I'm beginning to think that 2010's going to be a great year...

Best wishes for a happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little Bit of Holiday Cheer.

Greetings from the beautiful Midwest! We've made our yearly pilgrimage to the Motherland for Christmas. This year's trip was quite exciting. We'd decided to leave on Saturday and didn't change our plans when the Snowpocalypse happened. From the sound of it, we were some of the last few people that managed to get out of DC-- they started shutting down roads behind us (our town ended up getting 20.5" of snow). It definitely wasn't an easy trip-- it took us four hours to get through Maryland into Pennsylvania, or about 100 miles from home-- but we made it. My will to live, however, was a casualty of the storm and I spent a while yelling at The Human Male and crying that we should turn around. On the upside, we were able to find a room for the night at the Red Roof Inn in Monroeville, PA. It was really nice-- the staff was nice, the room was inexpensive and recently renovated, and the best part: not only dog-friendly, but had no added fee for pets. I recommend it!

Alice and my parents' posse are getting along quite well this year. Izzy and Alice have become the best of friends, and little Z seems to have eight times the personality of last year (she was just a puppy then)-- she's hysterical. Harry fleed to the Cleve for a few days and will be back tomorrow, but when we saw him on Sunday, he's still the happiest dog on Earth.

I'll write more about the cute game that Izzy and Alice have started playing a little bit later this week, but in the meantime, I have something fun to share. The Bark put out a call for holiday pictures for a slideshow, so I submitted Alice's sweater picture. And it made it! I think it just posted yesterday. A link to it is here: There are some really cute pictures on there.

Hope you're all enjoying your holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who Wants a Matched Set?

Yesterday afternoon I got a new e-mail from Noah's Arks Rescue, the group that's taking care of sweet Miss Daisy. Today's special dog was Lexus, the one snuggling her in that beautiful picture. She's some kind of beagle mix and has a paralyzed leg, so they're having her do rehab to see if they can get it working.

While the letters are typically tearjerkers, this one actually made me smile. In the listing it says that she's grown extremely close to Daisy and they'd like to see if they can have them adopted together. Yay!

I thought we could manage three dogs and maintain some sort of sanity and room on the bed, I'd absolutely put in an application. Alas, one little puggle's taken control of my life. Instead, I'm sending good thoughts their way with hope that it helps them find their family very soon.

If you have a puggle and beagle-mix gang-shaped hole in your life, Noah's Arks asks that you contact them-- phone, e-mail and address are on their website. And as a personal request, I ask that whoever adopts them to spoil those sweeties rotten and give them lots and lots of treats.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good News for Buttercup!

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned we met a wonderful dog named Buttercup, who the rescue believes is a basset hound-Great Dane mix? I noticed I've been getting a number of hits for that post, so I decided to go and check in on her profile.

And guess what? She's got an adoption pending!

Hopefully I'm not jinxing things by mentioning it. Buttercup is a special, awesome girl and deserves a family of her own. And right in time for Christmas, too!

Congratulations to Buttercup and her soon-to-be family!

***UPDATE: Her page now says ADOPTED! Yay!***

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Pug with MANY Studs Sighting!

One of my very favorite fundraising events was held on Saturday: the Santa Speedo Sprint in Albany, New York. It benefits the Albany Damien Center, a fabulous organization that works with people and families living with HIV/AIDS. The Damien Center also sponsors a program called Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS), which assists people with HIV/AIDS maintain and take care of their pets-- so cool.

Here's how the Santa Speedo Spring works: first, people get dressed in not much festive wear. Then they meet at a couple of different bars on Lark Street, build up some liquid courage, and then do a .8K down Lark in their finest holiday garments.

No, the decimal is not a mistake. It's a 0.8K. 800 meters. But seeing how it was a balmy 25 degrees this year, that distance probably felt a lot longer. Nevertheless, the Santas did awesome this year-- not only did they look fabulous, they raised $13,000 dollars. That's huge!

I was looking at pictures over at All Over Albany and found one that was QUITE enthralling-- a pug took part this year!

Hey, Alice-- want to go to Albany next winter? I'll buy you a Bombers burrito...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dear Mom and Dad: Sorry I didn't call this weekend...

We had one of "those" weekends in the Alice Palace. This is our last week before the holidays, and I know I'll definitely be having a very messy one, so we tried to pack everything we knew we'd need to do before Christmas into this weekend. This is the first second I've really had to sit, and it's now too late to call my folks and let them know I'm alive. Mamala and Popsy, please take a post as proof that I'll be there this weekend (and I'll call you this week)!

The big news for the weekend is that I have a new boyfriend. His name is Checkers and he's very handsome.

The Human Male and I were making a Target run and made a detour to the PetSmart next door when we saw a Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation truck outside. They were packing up their dogs and cats so we didn't get to talk to them (they also didn't bring any samples from the Lost Dog Cafe), but we saw some of their beautiful cats (including a Turkish Water Cat named Ashley that looks quite similar to my bro Pedro's cat The Sweez) and we met Checkers. He walked up to me in an aisle, leaned up against my leg, and rested his head on my kneecap.

I didn't know how to respond to that except to keel over swooning and fall in love with him. He is such a charmer.

So if you have a 55lb, black and white charmer-shaped hole in your life, I have a wonderful contender for you...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

O Christmas Z.

Once again, Z has proven to be one of the cutest dogs ever to walk this planet. Here she is, one of the few creatures enjoying the bad weather in the Midwest.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Glamour Shots.

On Sunday afternoon, our apartment building brought in Jim Poor, a professional pet photographer, for holiday pictures. Tenants with pets were welcomed to sign up for a time slot and got a free digital and 4x6" print. Let me just say, this event made our astronomical rent seem pretty reasonable.

This is the second time that we've had Alice's picture professionally taken. The first time was on Valentine's Day. I realized I never wrote about how the photos came out. The pictures were beautifully shot, but Alice had some issues and it showed.

[Cue Gloria Gaynor.]

First, Alice was afraid-- she was petrified. And then she got some treats and looked greedy-eyed. So we got duplicates of the best half-dozen or so photos (ones where she wasn't cowering or looking like she had better things to do than sit for a picture) and have plastered them on our walls and in my office (I have so many pictures of Alice in there now that my coworkers think I'm a Crazy Dog Mom*). I love how those came out, but we did want to give a professional photographer another go for some more variety.

Let me just say, what a different ten months can make.

When we walked in and took Alice off her leash, I actually thought she was going to be too wound up. She was dancing and jumping around like a hooligan. Then we told her to Wait, and realized that's one of the best command that you can teach your dog. She sat like a little pro.

Her pictures came out absolutely lovely. Here's the digital one we got:

I now understand why my parents got all excited when we had pictures taken growing up.**

I'm not a Crazy Dog Mom; I feel that my adoration for Alice is directly related to her degree of awesomeness and completely appropriate.

** See * above.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside.

It's officially turned into Sweater Season in DC. On Sunday, the high was 36 degrees-- BRRRR!!!

When we start seeing more dogs in the neighborhood wearing coats and sweaters, I start thinking about this Petco commercial:

I really do think that dogs care about how they look-- or at least know when they look good and/or feel embarrassed when they're wearing something they don't like.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sometimes Crying in the Store ISN'T Embarrassing.

The Human Male and I were at Trader Joe's Saturday morning. While exciting enough news on its own (I love Joe's!), I got a call from Mamala. Mamala doesn't call that often, so when she does, I know she has business.

And what great business she had! After a short conversation, she asked me a few questions about Noah's Arks Rescue, the group I posted about on Friday who is taking care of sweet Miss Daisy. And then she said that she and my Dad have decided to forgo giving the dogs presents this year and will instead be donating that money to Miss Daisy's recovery. They feel that she needs the money more than the dogs need more toys (especially when all Harry, Izzy, Z, and Alice really want is attention and people food), and are donating in honor of all of our dogs' mothers, who could have very well been in the same situation as Daisy.

At that point, the tears started flowing, right there in the check-out line. There are no words to describe just how happy this makes me. Even as I write this now, the apartment's feeling very, VERY dusty. As much fun as it is to buy the dogs toys and treats, I think this is such an incredibly great gift idea-- and a fabulous way to get around the whole "My dogs have too many toys" issue. I also like that it's kind of a way to initiate new members into the "Gotta Pick Up the Dog Toys Before Bed" Club-- the sooner Daisy gets better, the sooner her future family will be picking up her toys.

As an aside, I also feel very, very lucky to have the kind of parents that would think of doing something as awesome as this.

So if you're trying to think of a present for your pooch and wrestling with either what to get or if they really need anything else, I urge you to consider donating to an animal-related cause. I can guarantee it'll feel better than picking up toys at night!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

About that Sneer...

A few of you have commented on the Alice header picture.

This was the picture we used on our Christmas cards last year. It was not the picture we originally intended to take.

For weeks, I had this idea to send out "Attack of the 50ft Christmas Puggle!" cards. I have a little Christmas tree that's probably about 18-24" high, so we stuck treats in it and tried to have her look like she was attacking the tree.

The pictures weren't very... Christmas card-y.

After about two hours of trying, I threw in the towel and decided to try again later. She was looking really cute in her little sweater and hat, so I decided to take one last picture.

Alice was so done-- with treats, with me, with her stupid hat and tiny ugly sweater. I feel like she speaks for all pets whose owners make them wear silly clothing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Miss Daisy.

Just in case you've got a little spare cash and are looking to give a holiday donation, I've got a possibility for you.

I just got an e-mail from Noah's Arks Rescue in Okatie, SC. They're a group that takes in really awful animal abuse cases, nurses them back to health, and finds them homes. They send out an e-mail or two a week, and it's absolutely shocking to see what people will do to animals-- but it's also fantastic and reassuring to see that there are people out there willing to put in the tough work to help them heal and have wonderful lives.

Today's e-mail has gotten me. They have a new rescue named Miss Daisy, who they're calling a pug mix, and it's pretty clear she's a puggle-- and a very, very cute one at that. They believe she was a puppy mill dog and was dropped in a ditch, and now Noah's Arks is rehabilita
ting her.

Noah's Arks' e-mails are typically tweaking, but this one's definitely gotten me emotional. That's all I can say. Get well soon, Miss Daisy!

Just a Little More Holiday Cheer.

A few days ago Mamala sent me some pictures of Z and Izzy. I thought it couldn't get much cuter than the picture of Z in her Zanta suit.

It did. Zanta got a sidekick.

Don't Izzy's ears look real?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


A couple of nights ago, I went to bed after The Human Male. I walked into the bedroom and found this:

I started laughing and The Human Male kind of woke up and asked what was going on. I told him that Alice had made a cute little nest out of pillows.

"Oh, she didn't do that. I made it for her."

Ever have one of those moments when you just love someone a little more?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Found: Christmas!

Last night was our neighborhood's Christmas Tree-lighting ceremony. It's such a fun event. The tree is in the center of the main strip, where our fountain sits. They also put big Christmas presents around it. It's really cute.

Our neighborhood will close down the streets for anything, and tonight was no exception. They run two carriages up and down the main street and serve cider. There was also a very quiet bunch of carolers strolling around.

The best part of the night happened at Cakelove, our neighborhood cupcake shop. Remember a while back when I wrote about Alice's cupcake boyfriend, Warren Brown? He was there tonight! And he was checking people out. I'll admit it, I totally went in there and bought cupcakes so that I could talk to him.

We got a red velvet and a chocolate peppermint. Mine was eaten before we even made dinner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiny Cousins.

Here are a couple of "Too Cute Not to Post" pictures. The first is of Molly, The Human Male's family's new cockapoo. She just turned seven months old.

Molly's ten pounds of curly fur and cuteness. While we were in New York, Molly did everything she could to get Alice to play with her. Her signature move was to bat Alice repeatedly in the head with her left hand (six out of the seven people in The Human Male's immediate family are lefties, so it's not too shocking Molly's left-handed, too), and then fall over when Alice looked at her. Alice ignored her at first, and then learned that a really fun game to play is to push a tennis ball and make Molly run after it.

The second picture is of Z, my parents' chihuahua, in her special new Zanta suit.

This picture absolutely ruins me-- I love how it looks like she's just told a joke and is laughing at it. How could that sweet little face not put you in the holiday spirit?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Found: A REALLY High Bridge.

Alice, The Human Male, and I arrived back home from our Thanksgiving trip to New York on Sunday evening. We had a super terrific time-- we ate a lot, did a lot, saw a lot of friends and family, and had a ton of fun. It was a great way to kick off the holiday season.

One of the best things we did was visit the brand new Walkway Over the Hudson in The Human Male's hometown of Poughkeepsie. There's an old set of train tracks that span the Hudson River, and in the mid-70s, there was a fire that took out the tracks. The metal structure has stood there since then, basically decaying. Then last month (after years of planning and renovating), it opened as the highest pedestrian walkway in the world (212 feet up).

I should note that it's not even remotely as scary as it sounds. The Human Male went last month and explained it to me, and I had the image that it was as wide as one train track, and something akin to those walkways you see going over highways and busy streets. Talking to other people, this is the common perception. In reality, it's about two trains wide and extremely sturdy. There were a ton of people on it (jumping, running, walking) and it wasn't even remotely shaky.

I absolutely loved it. We went a couple of times: first, after dinner on Thanksgiving, and then on a run the next morning. On Thanksgiving, we were there right around sunset and it was absolutely gorgeous. The Mid-Hudson Bridge is beautiful most days, but with the sunset... wow.

Alice loved it, too. She was so excited to get out and walk around on it, and lots of people told her she was cute.

Additionally, a really nice couple stopped us and told us that they had a puggle, too. Yet another case of puggle-lovers being fabulous people.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had these big plans to post a special Thanksgiving picture taken today. I made sure that my camera battery was charged and that Alice had her special Thanksgiving attire. And then I left town without my camera-to-computer cord. Whoops!

So instead, I give you one of my favorite Alice pictures. It's the same one in her header right now.

My mom made the bandanna Alice is wearing. It has Alice stitched on one side and "Whatcha Eatin'?" on the other. It cracks me up. Alice spends a lot of her time begging for food (including right now, as I write), and helps drive the point home. You know, for everyone who has a hard time interpreting the beady-eyed stare.

We spend Thanksgiving with The Human Male's family, and what's typically an exciting holiday has reached a new level this year.

There are five dogs in the house: Alice, Max the golden retriever, Lucky the beagle, Brodie the Swiss Mountain dog, and Molly the cockapoo (The Human Male's family's new dog). Max hangs out near the door, Brodie sprawls out by her dish, making sure that no one goes near it, Lucky howls, and Molly spends her time trying to get Alice to play with her.

The cops have stopped by: The Human Male's uncle hit a fire hydrant while pulling out of the driveway last night. The hydrant's knob ran along the side, denting it in until the knob got caught inside the wheel well. A cop (and acquaintance of The Human Male's dad) happened to be driving by at the time and hung out while waiting for the tow truck to come (the car had to be pulled out sideways), lights flashing. Apparently even the neighbor that they refer to as Boo Radley came out to see what was going on.

I have a pretty embarrassing sleeping set-up: I'm staying in The Human Male's 9 year old sister's room. She recently got one of those bunk beds with the full-sized futon on the bottom bunk. His sister very excitedly made the futon for me... using their parents' fancy silk sheets. I have a very strong suspicion these sheets were... um... not intended for use by anyone but his parents. They're making me blush. Terribly. I swear I'm an adult, but I dare you to be in the same situation and not want to hide.

Gotta love family holidays.

Best wishes to all of you, your family, and friends this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Can I have a picture of you for above my bed?"

A Dog-Owned Life posted a super cool video on Monday of the Los Angeles Animal Services' PSA for pet adoption. Here it is:

I cannot stop laughing about the cop asking for the picture, then saying he doesn't deserve it. It makes me cry a little.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Avoid the Mall!

One of the biggest shopping days all year is upon us. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of shopping. Sometimes the hunt just isn't worth the hassle of having to deal with people.

I am, however, hot for online shopping. Not only can you get everything you need without getting out of your TV pants or fixing your hair, you get packages in the mail. Yay! I was even more excited to learn today that The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (the rescue belonging to The Lost Dog Cafe owners) has a link through Amazon where they get part of the commission. I've heard of this program before, but I've never seen one with a pet rescue. I love the idea of getting to be lazy, avoiding traffic, and still getting to help out a good group.

I know there must be other organizations out there that use the Amazon program (or anything similar to it). Know of any? Please share them below!

Did You Know...

That dogs can be blood donors?

I had absolutely no idea. Zero. But my folks' vet recently had a blood drive (take a look at
pictures of the donors-- so adorable!) and my mom sent me the e-mail notice about it.

As big as a proponent I am of blood and organ donation, I'm pretty embarrassed to admit I'd never once given a thought about where dogs get blood when they need it. Thank goodness someone thought about it!

The only catch is that weight and age requirements vary by collecting organization, veering toward the larger side. At my parents', dogs had to be big-- I think over 50lbs. But according to BellaOnline's article on dog blood donation, it mentions that one accepts dogs at 35-- probably the super high end of puggles, but feasible. Maybe as technology improves and the practice becomes more common, they'll be able to reduce the weight.

If you know some big guys, BellaOnline has a listing of donor programs around the US, Canada, and the UK, as well as additional resources for information. Wouldn't it be great to be able to help out fellow dogs like that?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Brownie.

I consider myself a pretty cautious dog-owner. If we get something with a silica packet, I walk it out to the trash immediately. I make sure that coffee cups are off the kitchen table and pens are off the floor. The cord for the window blinds are wrapped up tightly. And yet, I performed a cardinal sin of dog owning on Friday.

Some of my far-away coworkers were in town from for a meeting. On Friday, my new supervisor brought in brownies from Marvelous Market, a place in Dupont Circle near her hotel. On her way out to the airport, she stopped by my office to see if I wanted the end of them. I said no, but then she suggested that I bring them home to The Human Male. There are few things that The Human Male loves more than brownies, so I decided to take the end.

Several hours later, I left for home. I was absolutely exhausted and burnt out, and nearly fell asleep on the bus. So I got in the door, dropped my bag, and The Human Male and I went to the store to pick up a pizza.

We were gone for only about 15-20 minutes, and when we got home, Alice was chirping by the door. We open it, and I notice there's a plastic knife and dirt speckles on the floor. I immediately assume this is something that The Human Male did, and asked why there was a knife on the floor. Then I saw the container.

I'd completely forgotten that I had the brownie in my bag, and Alice had gone digging in my purse, pulled it out, opened the container, and ate the brownie. Always trying to get to anything chocolate, Alice was thrilled. The Humans... not so much.

The brownie wasn't very big, but you just don't mess with dogs and chocolate. We looked up how much was "safe", and The Human Male called the vet. Fortunately, we were in the non-emergency range, and Alice had no ill effects whatsoever, except for a huge case of happiness that she finally got some chocolate.

The moral of the story: Always remember when you bring home treats, and don't leave them where nosy, chocolate-lusting puggles can reach it.

(By the way, the brownies were pretty marvelous.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Lost Dog Cafe.

There's a restaurant here in Arlington called The Lost Dog Cafe. I mentioned this place briefly a couple of months ago-- it's a cafe and deli with a ginormous menu and benefits The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, a shelter the restaurant owners also run. We'd heard that it was excellent and somewhere in town, but I only know pockets of Arlington-- the road names sounded familiar, but we couldn't pinpoint where either one was.

That was until a couple of weeks ago, when The Human Male and I realized that one of the two locations is just a few minutes around the corner from us, literally across the street from the Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse, a movie theatre we frequent that not only shows movies for $5, but has a full, fantastic dinner menu that includes very good wine. Once we found out it was so close, we immediately picked up the phone and ordered.

I'd heard the place was good, but I completely underestimated how good. It's one of those places that can make something very simple into something that makes you want to jump up and down and utter the phrase "slap yo mama". STUPID good. Yes, we are talking sandwiches here.

We've done take-out both times, but I bought it this time and walked in to pick it up while The Human Male sat in the car with Alice. The place is freaking adorable-- it's cozy and clean, with huge, beautiful dog murals on the walls. The other location (the deli) apparently has pictures of its adopted dogs all over its walls.

The Human Male and I have tried four sandwiches: The Bureaucrat, the Purebred, the Cowboy, and Pavlov's Perro. They're all easily the best sandwiches we've ever had. The Black Bean Dip is something to write home about, too. What's even better, that delicious food benefits sweet-faced rescued cats and dogs. It's so win-win, it actually makes me a little weepy.

The weekend's just around the corner, which means Pizza Friday. Typically we just get a frozen one, but I hear one of 31 flavors calling our name...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Case of the Mondays...

I think Alice has the right idea today. Since I live in the Eastern Time Zone, can I choose which "Eastern" I follow? Because it's 11:30P in Australian Eastern Daylight time right now...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great Dane + Basset Hound = Buttercup!

Last weekend The Human Male and I stopped by PetSmart while we were out running errands. We saw them setting up pens outside for a rescue group and wanted to see who was there.

The group was called Homeward Bound, and they were up in DC all the way from Ellijay, Georgia. I'm still shocked they traveled that far, but truthfully, after seeing the dogs, it doesn't surprise me why they were here.

As pretentious and image-conscious as DC is, foufee dogs are the exception. Lots of people get theirs from shelters, and it's common to see odd mixes and less than mint-condition pooches. It's honestly one of the few situations where character matters in this town. The Homeward Bound dogs were not going to be winning any beauty contests, but we spent a good amount of time with each, and it was clear that any one of those sweet dogs were going to make a great pet. These were happy, kind-hearted dogs. I'm so thankful that they ended up with a rescue.

There was one there that was truly unique-- Buttercup. They think Buttercup's a Great Dane-Basset Hound mix. I'll give you a minute to wrap your head around that...

...No luck? Okay, imagine a Basset Hound on steroids-- half again as high, half again as long. Then stick a Great Dane head on it. Buttercup!

Still having a hard time? All right, here are some pictures of her.

I wish there was something near her to give some reference on her size. She was enormous. And low to the ground. And an absolute doll. I love that second picture-- that was the dog that we saw.

If you're near Ellijay, or if you have a Great Dane-Basset Hound-shaped hole in your life, I strongly encourage taking a look at Buttercup and the other available pets at Homeward Bound. I'm sure you'll find a great new family member!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Got Mail!

I got great mail today-- a letter from my niece Mini-C!

Mini-C turned 13 in October. I simply can't believe it-- it seems like she was four years old last Tuesday. But no, she went and grew up into an awesome kid.

Today, I got a thank you note from Mini-C. I think this is the first note that I've gotten from her in ten years, and that note was written on a typewriter (on beautiful blue sky paper). I can't even begin to tell you how cool it is to see her handwriting-- it's so pretty and grown up!

I left it on the kitchen table as I worked, and a little furry puggle face snuck up and grabbed it at one point. I figured that was just Alice trying to get in trouble, so I took it from her and absent-mindedly set it on the chair. Alice returned to her spot on the bed shortly after and stayed there most of the day.

Right after Alice got up around 4:30, she walked over to the chair and slooooowly started to pull the note out. Then she ran around the room like a crazy person, waving it in the air.

Mini-C has two boxers-- she might have smelled them. Or Alice might've just really wanted her own cool letter from Mini-C.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Little Helper.

Due to some minor flooding concerns courtesty of Ida and a bout of a sinus thing (I dare anyone to ride DC public transportation and not catch something), I've decided to work from home for a few days. I love working from home and not having to commute, but I find that it's easier to focus when the house is in pristine condition.

So this morning I made the bed. Alice loves to help-- or maybe I should say "help". Typically her efforts consist of sitting right where I need to pull the blanket and wagging her tail. Today she sat on the very corner of the bed, then jumped off and ran into the living room to lay in her "work chair". I took advantage of the situation, finished up the bed, and started working.

About five minutes later, I walked into the bedroom and found this.

I didn't even know she'd left the chair.

Thanks for the hand, Alice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Furry Welcoming Committees.

Via Andrew Sullivan's blog, I stumbled across the sweetest posting on Mental Floss today: videos of dogs welcoming their soldiers home. I highly recommend watching them-- and bring tissues.

I have nothing else to say about this, except that I'm really happy these people recorded the dogs' reactions. Now, can I have a Kleenex, please?

As an aside, when I was in fifth or sixth grade, one of my classmates brothers came home from Iraq (Desert Storm) and they had him come in and surprise her and her younger sister while we were in mandatory choir class. I remember her pouncing on him in pure joy... and then our teacher made us get back to singing. I had to be a lot older to really understand what I'd seen. I appreciate it far more now than just the 20-minute respite it gave us from stupid rehearsals. Hopefully the kids' classmates will one day feel the same way.

Who Doesn't Love a Man or Woman in Uniform?

Happy Veteran's Day!

I just heard about something fun going on in New York: Kisses for the Troops. Cosmo Magazine is collecting kisses on postcards at locations around the city today. The postcards will be sent to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and $1 will be donated to the USO for each one. Location info's located here. If you're not in NY, they're also accepting kisses by mail-- info's here for this.

Personally, I think this could be filed under "Love in the Time of Swine Flu". Can I just kiss a real soldier instead?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good Stuff for Friday.

Friday snuck up on me this week! Guess that's a good thing, right? I'm actually not sure if anything notable happened this week. The world didn't end, so that's a plus. Though it's barely 8A now, so maybe cautious optimism is in order for a little while longer.

I have three good things for the week:

1. Alice returned to normal. Occasionally, Alice goes a few days without eating much. She acts totally normal energy-wise, but gets super clingy. She's been doing this since we got her, so we figure it's one of those rescue dog quirks. Alice was like this for a couple of days, and then started eating everything. EVERYTHING. She tore through half a bag of food in less than a week-- typically that's about 2+ weeks' worth. She wouldn't stop eating. And because she was eating so much food, she was drinking a ton, too. And she was being obnoxious. While debating on if we should take her to the vet or not, we spent time on the couch snuggling her and giving her a lot of attention. Wouldn't you know it, the next day she was back to her old self. Sometimes dogs are really easy.

2. Alice kisses us at night. I'm adjusting to the time change a bit slowly. Monday night, I crashed out around 8:45. So we decided to just give in and go to bed early. The Human Male was up a bit (or maybe a lot) later, and discovered that Alice gets up at night, gives us each a kiss on the face, and goes back under the covers. I've woken up with her around my head before, but I just figured she was jumping on our heads. Nope, she gives us kisses and goes to bed. Just when you think your dog couldn't get any cuter, they do.

3. My favorite news story of the week. The Lantana, Florida Post Office is in jeopardy of being closed. To protest, around 1,000 residents mailed coconuts to the Postmaster General here in DC. No packaging, just coconuts-- with little notes stuck on them. Overwhelmed by what to do with so many coconuts, the office called up a local organization called Bread for the City, which provides a host of services for DC's low-income and homeless residents. The coconuts are now going into the grocery bags for their clients this week. There's no part of that story that doesn't make me smile. Lantana's folks are a very funny, creative bunch (plus they have a Barefoot Mailman-- I'm soooo moving), and now their work is helping others. I hope their plan works and their post office stays open!

Your turn-- share your good things for the week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The New Blanket.

Virginia falls are a little... erratic. One day it can be 83 and oppressively humid, then the next four days can be 50 with monsoon-like. While you can dress in layers and manage during the day, it gets a little harder around bedtime to figure out how many blankets you need.

Lately the sheets haven't been enough, but the down comforter is way too hot. So we bought a new blanket. It's this green, king-sized, silky, fuzzy blanket-- the kind that feels like a super luxurious Muppet monster. It ends up that the light weight of it is totally deceptive and it might be hotter than the comforter, but it's sooooo cozy. Alice in particular has taken a liking to it. She wads it up at night and buries herself in it-- always making sure her belly is on it.

What items in your home did you used to own, but lost to your pet?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


It's Halloween! I love Halloween, and it seems like people are really getting into it this year, too. One group that was really into it today was our local Pug Meet-Up. They typically meet the first Saturday of the month, but they decided to have a costume Pug-o-ween event today.

There are fewer things cuter than the regular pug meet-ups. One of them is seeing the pugs dressed up in costumes.

The little bumblebee was hilarious-- she had a crazy case of the rips and got all the dogs running around in circles. I caught one of her laps on video.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a Happy Friday!

This week has been extra, extra busy. My beloved boss' last day is today, and there's been a lot of last-minute scurrying to make sure we have everything under control (as well as thinking of ways to convince her that she really doesn't want that super great new job she got). It's been seriously cutting into my blogging time, but fortunately, it hasn't been impacting the number of good things this week. I have many to share this week!

1. Did you hear the story about the six-year-old girl with terminal brain cancer that left notes to her family stashed around the house? Her family started finding them after she passed away, and they turned them into a book. If this doesn't touch you, you're a freaking robot and need your battery pack changed. What a beautiful little soul.

2. I adore
this photo and blog entry-- and even the comments people are leaving. This is a recently-rescued pit bull who's found his best friend. If this doesn't make you smile, seriously-- your battery pack is low.

3. This picture:

This is my new happy place. Last Sunday, The Human Male and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon 10K-- both of our first race. This is the view after you cross the finish line. The course was very neat-- it started at the Smithsonian, ran onto the highway past the Jefferson Memorial and into Virginia, past the Pentagon, through one of the neighborhoods, onto another highway, and ended at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Marines lined up in pockets along the route and high-fived runners. Friends of runners and complete strangers sat along the route and cheered. A kid played the Rocky theme on his trumpet from one of the overpasses. It was very hard, but completely worth it. And we also got medals!

I have a new-found respect for marathoners. Our run challenging, especially the last 0.2 miles-- it was up a very steep, tight exit ramp. I nearly walked it, and I can't imagine how daunting that must've been after 26 miles! I seriously would've quit or crawled up it. Marathoners might be robots, too...

4. So many people have voted for Alice! Thank you so much! I really appreciate everyone going over and clicking for her. It's been really fun to watch so many people rally around sweet little pets in costumes.

What are your good things for the week?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Please Vote for Alice!

I just discovered something a few minutes ago: Alice is in a contest!

A few weeks ago I sent Alice's Halloween costume pictures to the Dog-Owned Life blog, and it now ends up that there's a contest to get into the print issue of the Times Union newspaper.

It's a very quick contest-- the pet with the most number of votes on Friday wins. The voting website is located here:

Can I ask for a click or two out of everyone? Bribes can be negotiated...