Monday, November 21, 2011

But it's cosy

Meg insists that this isn't too tight of a fit. She says it's cosy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In the drawing room with Teddy & Noel

Teddy tells the tale....

"So Noel told Dorothy that people are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what's wrong with it."

So I said, "What a pair of yobs you are" and glared at them.

And Dorothy said, "Don't look at me in that tone of voice."

Rest in peace, sweet Lucy

Lucy was hit by a car a few days ago. She ran off and we didn't see her for a day or so. On Thursday morning I found her lying on the cement walk in the pouring rain. No visible injuries, eyes open, no complaint when I hugged her and (eventually) moved her onto some cushions inside the garage. I think she was probably in shock. She didn't seem to be suffering, and I felt that an emergency vet visit would be traumatic for both of us and represented an expense that probably wouldn't save her. I checked on her once an hour before I left for work that afternoon. One time she kind of smiled when I petted her, but the other times she was fading.

When I got home from work that night, Mr. P. said (with tears in his eyes) that he had put her out of her misery. Poor Mr. P. Poor Lucy. She was a dear, sweet, goofy girl, and we're going to miss her.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A bit of roughhousing?

Teddy: Honest, Grammy, we've been sound asleep all afternoon. We didn't touch your pictures.

Jinx: What pictures?

Our very own panda bear

Mr. P. found one of those cutesy animal hats discarded on campus and brought it home for Meg

(it's far too big for Polly, and doesn't contrast very well with Patch's coloring). Meg was hurt when Berry stole the hat, but I got even with him by tying it onto his block head. In this photo, he's thinking, "Aw, man, I hope my friends don't see me wearing this stupid hat."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Big Grin

Mr. P. claims that Berry makes scary faces at him, revealing his teeth in a sort of growl, and calls him "Scary Berry." When I see Berry's toothy grain, I see something quite different, something that's actually quite adorable...

Meg's boo-boo ear

Recently Meg developed a big hematoma on one ear, probably the result of too much licking or rubbing. Ear-licking is one of the most popular leisure-time activities here at 9 Dogs Howling.

Georgie had a hematoma on his ear a few years ago that required surgery and a temporary drain. Apparently the procedure has changed, because Meg had surgery to drain the blood and about 1" x 1/2" of the interior of her ear was left exposed, with big stitches threaded through clear plastic tubes to hold her ear together. It's very strange looking but she doesn't seem to mind it, especially because Grammy has to give her medicine twice a day - a doggy ibuprofen (very tasty, according to Meg) and an antibiotic pill buried in a lump of peanut butter. Meg had never experienced peanut butter before and is now addicted to it. When I go to the cupboard where the peanut butter is kept, every dog comes running, and they're very disappointed if I pull out a bag of kidney beans instead. They'd probably like the kidney beans OK, but we're not going down that road right now.

One size fits most

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Big & Little

Please try to ignore how dirty this chair is while you enjoy this illustration of the lion lying down with the lamb.

Speaking of Chairs....

This little Goldilocks found just the right size chair.

Front Porch View

One of the most popular spots here at the 9 Dogs Howling Ranch is a chair on the front porch. I bought that chair in China about 10 years ago and had it, another chair, and a matching table shipped home in a container of goods going to my employer's warehouse. Mr. P. and I used to sit on those chairs while shelling beans and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Then our pet population exploded, and now we're seldom allowed to use the chairs. If Lucy isn't perched in a chair trying to chew the bark off, the cats are in charge of it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Can we come in now, pretty please?

It's cold outside. It's snowing and sleeting and we forgot to put on our mittens and hats. Please can we come inside now?

Goldilocks and the Three Chairs

When I got home from work a few days ago, I discovered a semi-circle of chairs in the living room. Mr. P. had brought home a tiny child's armchair (discarded on the college campus where he works) to add to the furniture grouping in the television viewing area. So now Goldilocks has three chairs to choose from: extra small, small, and medium.

Since I don't watch television, I'm not allowed inside the enchanted circle. My chair is the big blue one in the background, which Berry is keeping warm for me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Law of Nature #893

Law of Nature #893: where there is a box, there is a cat

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

While relaxing on the picnic table, Teddy shares thoughts about the end of summer.

"So yeah, George Hamilton and I really enjoyed sunbathing together this summer but he had to get back to L.A. I was sorry to see him go but he left me some really good weed and I gotta tell ya, I am baked. So, ya got any brownies or cookies or anything I could munch on?"

If Georgie can do it, so can I

Inspired by Georgie, Berry attempted to climb the stepstool to the table near my desk. After sniffing the table, he decided it wasn't worth the climb, but getting down again proved to be more difficult than he had anticipated. Luckily I was able to rescue him before anything truly humiliating happened.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I got you covered, bro


Three dogs in a tub! Kind of...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Responsible pet owners

Mr. P. & I often joke that our local animal hospital will soon be able to build a new 9 Dogs Howling wing on the money they've made caring for our critters.

I've been in their waiting room when people came rushing in with a dog they found abandoned and/or injured at the side of the road, or some other canine find, so I know they deal with discarded animals all the time. Surely they know how much it costs to provide veterinary care for all those animals?

I recently found myself in a conversation with one of the vets at that facility, who seemed to think we hadn't been providing adequate care for our gang. Well, no. We give heartworm medicine and yearly exams/shots to the indoor dogs, and the rest (canine or feline) get only flea/tick meds, food and water. Unless they come up with some obvious disease or injury (sad to say, we've lost 2 cats to bad injuries), they're on their own. So when the vet says, "Why hasn't Lucy had [xyz]?", I can only say, "We have NINE dogs and 3 cats and just barely have enough money to feed them all!" And I want to ask, "Can we get some kind of government subsidy for running an animal shelter at our house?"

You have HOW many dogs?

I don't go everywhere bragging about it, but occasionally it comes up in conversation.

I say, "We have 9 dogs."

And they say, "You have HOW many dogs?"

I repeat, "Nine."

And they say something like, "Why?"

And I say, "One day this stray dog came along and..."

Friday, August 26, 2011

We were so poor...

My mom and her friend Quimby used to try to outdo each other with stories of childhood poverty. "We were so poor, we slept on beds without mattresses." "We were poor, we slept on the floor." "We were so poor, we used newspaper for toilet paper." "We were so poor, we used leaves for toilet paper." And so on.

Well, Lucy has a similar story. In a recent conversation, Blackie said, "I was so poor, my only toy was a secondhand nylabone." And Lucy said, "I was so poor, my only toy was a summer squash."

Heeeere's Lucy!

I was finally able to get Lucy to sit still long enough for me to photograph her. She still looks kind of skanky but her skin infection is much better and her fur is growing again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Above and Beyond

Berry knows that we perceive him as a fat, lazy dog who could easily be converted into a coffee table, but he's able to think above and beyond that. He's a finer, truer, more spiritually developed dog, one who has spent many hours of meditation (that we thought were naps) achieving intellectual and spiritual heights that we may never know.

A Safe Haven

Last week, the new "shortie" chair in the living room got tipped over (it's a long story). But Georgie, who loves that chair, was somehow able to find a comfy spot in it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A man without a beard

Fritz's beard was so nasty, the groomer had to shave it off. Lisa says he looks like a lemur now, and I can tell by the look on his face that he knows he looks like a dork without his beard.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dog happy

According to my dog-a-day calendar, a study conducted by the American Kennel Club (clearly an unbiased organization) found that dog owners are more likely than non-dog owners to describe themselves as "happy". Well, duh. We needed a study to discover this plainly evident fact?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Georgie's new perch

A few days ago, Georgie noticed the step stool near my desk for the first time and decided he had to climb it. Because it was there, you know. Then he sat down and thought about it for a while. It gave him a good view of Mommy, but Mommy was doing boring computer stuff, so he flopped down for a little snooze while Polly tiptoed away...

Bring me another Margarita!

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

The new chair

Mr. P. often finds discarded furniture, electronics, packaged food, you name it, in the dumpsters at work. Departing students dump it all without much thought for its value. Occasionally, those items find their way into the back of Mr. P's truck and come home to serve us quite well for several years.

This week, the find was a shortened armchair, perhaps missing its base and/or legs. It turns out to be the perfect chair for our geriatric pup, Georgie, who can no longer jump up on Mr. P's blue platform rocker. We put it right next to Mr. P's chair so they can watch car races and other guy stuff together.

In this photo, you can see that Teddy is very intrigued by the new chair and thinking seriously about joining Georgie in it. It's just a matter of time...

Movin' In

The new crate in the living room is supposed to be for Polly & Georgie, but Patch has been asserting her rights as Senior Outdoor Dog (and reminding us that she has earned her Indoor Dog Good Conduct Badge) by moving on in.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The 3 Schnitzels

Ziggy (blue collar), Fritz (red collar) & Lionel (weiner) relaxing on the deck on a fine summer day.

The Sentry

WARNING: Schnauzer on Duty!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teddy's Head Rest

I am not at all fond of the bed here in my study - it came from Mr. P's family and while it's sturdy, it's also ugly. But if we didn't have a bed in my study, where would the dogs sleep? It would be so terribly cruel to make them lie on the the bed remains, and the undulating shape of the footboard turns out to be the perfect head rest (or should I say chin rest) for Teddy.

Porch Sitting

About 10 years ago, I bought some rustic outdoor furniture (2 chairs & a table) in China,had it shipped home, and put it out on our front porch. Smoky has taken over one of the chairs, and newly-arrived Lucy has taken over the other one.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Making the most of the warm spots

The new porcelain tile floor is, as we were warned, very cool. Actually, it's cold, and unless the dogs have been out in the 90F heat for a while and want to cool off, they are always in search of a warm spot.

Berry never disappoints

Berry never disappoints us, mainly because he's so lazy, we expect nothing of him.

Nothing but the plumpness and juiciness and deliciousness of a fresh-picked blackberry.

Happy to Be Here

This is a come-n-get-me pose we usually find Jinx in, but he's obviously taught it to his adopted son, Babe.

Babe is extremely proud of himself because he's finally big enough to jump up on the bed by himself. He's still very short and very long, but nothing's gonna stop him from going where he wants to go!

Jinx's not-so-secret smile

Jinx is a very earnest young man who takes his job as protector of his house, yard and family very, very seriously. He often looks almost sad, weighed down by all his responsibility. But sometimes, when he's relaxed on the pillows on the bed in my study, Jinx's secret smile can be seen.

The Downward Dog

I've been doing some yoga exercises as part of my Pilates classes for the last few months and learned how to do the yoga position called the Downward Dog. Although I'm quite familiar with many typical dog poses, I didn't understand the name of the Downward Dog until I saw Teddy doing some stretching exercises on the deck yesterday. Then I understood completely.

Skinny Dipping with Patch

Patch has put on some weight and is quite, um...matronly now, but she is not in the least concerned about fitting into last year's bikini. As soon as Grampa sets up the kiddie pool, Patch is going skinny dipping. Will you join her in jumping off the high-dive?

Bikini Season Approaches

Bikini season is fast approaching, and the owner of the fitness studio I frequent has launched her Summer Shape Up program with rigorous toning and shaping routines designed to make us all stunning at the pool or on the beach. Unfortunately, the studio is only for humans, and I fear that without some serious exercise, Miss Meg won't fit into her pink polka dot bikini this year.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


As always, Polly has a very busy schedule here. She supervises all human, canine and feline activity. She's responsible for the Mealtime Warning System, an important function even though no one has ever forgotten to feed her in all the years she's lived here. She also has to lick both ears belonging to the other dogs at least once a day, preferably three times a day. And she also has to administer her patented Pug Hugs to her mom and dad. Polly's a spry little lady, but even she gets so tired she can barely keep her eyes open.

New House Rules at 9 Dogs Howling

We just finished a big home improvement project here at 9 Dogs Howling Headquarters. We had the nasty carpeting in the living room, hallways, laundry room, and my study replaced with beautiful porcelain tiles. The dogs were not allowed inside during the project, which was hard on everyone. Earlier this week they came inside for the first time since we began the project weeks ago and were extremely puzzled to find cold tiles instead of their beloved, warm, stinky carpet. Since the weather here is in the mid 90's, you'd think they'd appreciate nice cool tiles, but no.

Anyway, one of the new House Rules here is that the indoor dogs must be crated at night and when all the humans are gone during the day. Polly & Georgie don't mind this at all, partly because their crate is one of the only soft, warm places here for a dog to sit now. We've gotten a bigger, wire crate since this photo of Georgie was taken. As you can see, he's resting comfortably.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Leaping Lizards!

Or napping lizards, as the case may be...

The World Is My Toilet

Smoky says: It's great to be an outdoor cat. I have a litter box in the garage, and the entire world outside the garage is my toilet.

Looking Good

The new porcelain tile flooring is looking good. We can only hope that it will be as impervious to pet damage as we've been told. Anything would be better than carpeting at this point.

Work in Progress

Polly stopped by to do a quick inspection of the flooring work in progress.

The truth will out

We knew that the dogs were piddling inside, drawn by the irresistible scent of the previous owner's dog's urine and compelled by the Canine Mandate of Marking Your Territory, but we didn't know how bad it was until the carpet came off the floor last week and revealed the disgusting truth. They were peeing in places that we didn't even know about. As John the Carpet Man explained, "That's the problem with carpet. It hides everything."

Rites of Passage

Last week, Licorice and Spice graduated from Kitten School and (as all 9 Dogs Howling residents must be) were neutered in the interests of population control. They came through this rite of passage feeling that Going To Camp (i.e., the animal hospital) sucks, but they were back on the job the next day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eenie, meanie, minie, moe...

Catch a puppy by the toe...