Friday, August 27, 2010

Everything goes better with DOG

Dog Pile

If you look at this dog pile very carefully, you will see one gleaming, smiling human eye. It belongs to my dear friend Lisa, who as you can see is just as nuts about dogs as I am.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Today I was working at the computer in my study and most of the dogs were outside enjoying the cooler weather (upper 80's instead of 100+). I paused to mentally search for a word (which I do more and more often these days), swiveled in my chair, and saw that I was alone in the room except for Berry, who was conked out on the spare bed (that's the bed that guests used to sleep on before dog pee made it useless for that purpose).

As usual, Berry's eyes were closed and his face was smiling. And why not? He's a lazy guy resting on a cushy bed in an air-conditioned house with his head on a pillow and his Grammy a few feet away. Who wouldn't smile? That scene happens a dozen times a week. A dozen times a day. But this time it was different, because Berry's tail was wagging. Thump, thump, thump against the bed. I thought, maybe he's awake after all. But on closer inspection, his eyelids were closed while his eyeballs did the rapid eye movement that indicates deep sleep. My boy was asleep and dreaming a happy dream. Not the anxious kind of dream that Jinx has, with twitching, "running" legs and desperate, muffled woofs. No, Berry was wagging his tail at something wonderful.
When Mister P. got home, I told him about Berry's dream and asked him what it could have been about. Mister P. said, "He was dreaming about eating a cat."
Maybe. But I think he was dreaming about being a sultan in a luxurious tent, with apricot poodles fanning him and bringing him sweet-meats and flagons of chicken liver wine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's all about Mia

Look into my eyes. Yes, that's right. Just lose yourself in the depths of my eyes. You're feeling very relaxed. Your whole body is limp and your mind is at peace. You can hardly keep your eyes open, but don't close them quite yet. Just keep looking into my eyes and nod when you understand me. Do you understand? Yes, good. We will now begin the program.

You're still very relaxed and happy to be here with me. When I tell you to wake, 1-2-3, you will wake up at the sound of "three" feeling as if you've had the best sleep of your life. You will not remember anything I have said. That's perfectly OK. You will know simply that it is vitally important for you to open a box of mini dog treats and pour it into my food bowl three times a day. It will be easy and natural for you to do this and you will never question why you must do it. Doing it will give you immense happiness. Do you understand?

Yes, good. OK, now we will slowly walk up three steps, one, two, three. And you are awake, feeling refreshed, and ready to do your duty.

A Man and his Weiner

A man and his weiner are never parted.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Footprints in the Sand

God wants us to remember, we are never alone in the world.
Especially when we have 9 dogs.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Portrait of a criminal

Don't be fooled by the photo. This woman is actually a savage and calculating criminal. Here she looks like she's cuddling a dog, but in reality she's wondering if he's big enough to roast yet.

Ziggy vs The Intruder

Ziggy: Who said you could get up on the sofa?
Abby: Auntie Jean said so.
Ziggy: She did not. I'm her favorite dog, not you.
Abby: She did too.
Ziggy: Did not!


I do love nice, juicy chicken legs, baked until tender and brown.

Good grooming

At 9 Dogs Howling, just getting a dog's toe nails trimmed is a major project requiring heavy sedation (for me, the dog, or both). But my friends have dogs who are (almost) always beautifully groomed. Lisa is taking the Schnauzers to be groomed today in honor of my 57th birthday, but I don't think they'll be getting a pert purple bow like Lukie's Millie gets to wear.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Girls have cooties

Lisa's canine nieces, Abby (Scotty) and Muffin (small scruffy terrier) brought their mom (Lisa's sister Judy) to visit for a few days. The boys are not at all happy about that. Abby (shown here) is far too friendly and doesn't seem to understand that girls have cooties that boys must avoid at all costs.

Rub-a-dub-dub, 3 dogs in a tub

I'm on vacation in the Pacific Northwest with Lisa and her family (human, canine, feline). We spent the weekend at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, where the dogs enjoyed running on the beach, chasing seagulls, and exploring the tide pools. Only Lionel (aka Weiner) figured out how to swim when a tide pool turned out to be deeper than his extremely short legs could manage. His paws are like paddles so he may have had an advantage over Fritz & Ziggy. Everybody got very wet and very sandy so Lisa popped the boys into the bathtub for a quick rinse that wasn't nearly as fun as playing on the beach.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The service here is terrible


Jean: You rang, Madam?
Reiki: Yes, about forty times, and no one came! The service at this spa is terrible!
Jean: I'm so sorry, Madam. I was in the middle of giving pedicures to Polly and Patch.
Reiki: Are you saying their pedicures are more important than my bone?
Jean: Your bone, Madam?
Reiki: Yes, my bone. That big one there on the floor.
Jean: Is there a problem with it?
Reiki: Of course there's a problem. I can't reach the bone without getting off the chair. Put the bone on the chair, and make it snappy.
Jean: Of course, Madam. Your wish is my command.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A new 9 Dogs guard post

Yesterday Mr. P. bought a picnic table at Lowe's, not for us to sit at while we enjoy our hotdogs and hamburgers, but as a sort of jungle gym for the dogs. To deter chewing, he sprayed it thoroughly with a disgusting mixture of habanero pepper, alum, dish detergent, and rubbing alcohol. So far Georgie and Patch are not very interested, but Teddy immediately adopted it as a new guard post.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The watch dog

Years ago, Mr. P. gave me a cut-out metal yard decoration in the shape of a French bulldog looking up at a butterfly. We also have a pug-shape decoration next to it but the Frenchie is bigger and more noticeable. Before the Schwann's driver gave up on trying to sell us frozen delights, he told me during one of his visits that he was kinda nervous of that dog in our front yard. As far as I could tell, he was not the teasing type and quite sincere about his dog anxiety, so I reassured him that the dog would never hurt him because it was made of metal.
"Dang!" he said, "I thought it was real!"
I suggested that he have his vision checked.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The more, the merrier

"The more, the merrier."

That ought to be the official 9 Dogs Howling motto.

I'm also thinking that we could have our own reality TV show in which Ty Pennington, Cesar Millan and Stanley Steemer get together to do an Extreme Makeover on our tired old house. Though I don't know why it bothers me that this blue chair is so grungy. Only the dogs use it nowadays, and they certainly don't care about the dirt. The more dirt, the better.

A day at the pool

The Burnetts' cows spent all day yesterday at the pool, sunbathing and swimming.

The heat index was 115 degrees. You can almost see the heat shimmering in this photo.

Miss Neurotica 2010

It's Pageant Season here. Every weekend brings another community event, county fair, corn festival, soybean festival, hog calling festival, you name it, and every event brings flocks of little girls (and boys) with fancy dresses and anxious stage mothers to the stages and sidewalks of west Tennessee.

Although our own Miss Meg is a world-renowned beauty of inimitable charm, she refused to get out of bed this morning for her pre-pageant toilette.
Jean: Meg, I thought you were excited about this pageant. Don't you want to wear that beautiful new pink dress I bought you in the Girls' Plus department at JC Penney?
Meg: That dress makes me look fat.
Jean: Meg, a burlap bap would make you look fat. You are fat.
Meg: But everyone will laugh at me.
Jean: They're laughing with you, darling, not at you.
Meg: No they're not. And Teddy said the pink dress makes my butt look like the back end of a bus.
Jean: He's just jealous, Meg. I caught him trying on that dress in the bathroom yesterday.
Meg: I don't care, I'm not wearing it, and that's final.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Georgie - DUI

No, ossifer, I haven't had anything to drink. Well, some water, but that was hours ago. I'm just a little light-headed. I haven't eaten a poop in at least 45 minutes. The roach burning in the ash tray? That belongs to Teddy, not me. Well, I did inhale once or twice, but that's just secondhand smoke. No harm done, right? You won't mind if I just lay my head down for a minute and have a quick snooze, will you? Then I'll sign the citation and you can be on your way. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Allow me to introduce myself

Dear Ms. O:

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Herr Bernard Von Püppenpüken (known as Berry to friends and family), and I understand that your fine facility is accepting applications from qualified German dogs. I am part Rottweiler and part dachshund, and while I feel that some of your previous applicants actually belong in the Washington State Canine Penitentiary, I am well known for my good deportment. I am housebroken, polite, steady, devoted, and multi-talented. For example, I will clean floors, toilet bowls, food dishes, dishwashers, and windows, and my unique size and shape make me the ideal coffee table. I believe I would set a good example for your youngest resident, Herr Weiner, and provide pleasant if not very intelligent companionship to your entire family and staff. Here is a photo of me. Please let me know when would be a good time to conduct a telephone interview.
Thank you for your kind consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
B. Von Püppenpüken
Dear Herr BVP:
While I'm sure your pedigree is flawless and you are an extremely handsome young man, as the hotel manager said to Mary and Joseph, "Sorry, no room at the Inn". Although, if you are a dog that doesn't poke and scratch when you want to be petted, your Grams and I may work out a deal or swap. How are you at keeping your beard clean? Fritzy Von Schnauzer has a terrible time cleaning his beard and often relies on Lionel Von Weiner to clean it for him! You clearly have all the brains and good looks of the your pack and that would make Zigfeld Von Schnauzer very jealous as he believes that he holds the title of most "everything" dog in our brood! And besides, Grammy would never give you up or you would have been taken to Walmart a long, long time ago! We are now busy preparing for you Grammy's arrival and the deck is only half stained! There's a lot of pressure to look your best when royalty visits! We're looking forward to it though even though Queen Grammy would rather have me out of the house at work so she can be alone with "the Germans"! I'm beginning to think she actually prefers dogs to people!
I wish you could at least come for a visit, but by the looks of you, you're not exactly "carry on" size! Thank you for sending that sweet picture though!
Auntie Lisa
Dearest Auntie Lisa,
I am very handsome, aren’t I? Grammy tells me that every day without fail. And I don’t poke or scratch when I want to be petted. No indeed! Instead, I lick. A very gentlemanly lick. And speaking of licking, I greatly enjoy cleaning other dogs. I specialize in ear wax, eye boogers, and heinies, but I’m sure I could manage Herr Fritzy’s beard as well, and that would give Herr Lionel a rest from his labors, wouldn’t it? When Herr Zigfield realizes what an easygoing fellow I am, he will be happy to share with me the Crown Princehood of the Federal Republic of Snoqualmiestadt. Being a lady of superior intelligence, you have cleverly deduced that I am not carry-on size, but Grampa says that if obese 14-year-old boys can be given two seats for the price of one, surely a well-behaved 50-pound dog can be given one seat (in first class, of course).
Your devoted servant,

The dog days of summer

Summer heat in west Tennessee. Sunny, dry, dusty, with a heat index of 110. Patch spent the morning digging at the trench that Mr. P. swears is Goober's grave and brought a cloud of dust inside when she was done. Her white coat is dingy and she leaves rust colored dirt wherever she lies. I dampened a paper towel and rubbed her down before she settled on a living room chair.
Jean: "How is your day going, Miss Patch? Have you been having fun out there in heat?"
Patch: "Blah."
Jean: "Would you like to watch some soap operas now?"
Patch: "Blah."
Jean: "Well, can I get you anything, Madam? An iced tea? A mint julep?"
Patch: "Blah."