Charlee’s Disney Connection (No, Not a Princess)

The Moon Isn't Far Enough

Sigh. The Moon Isn’t Far Enough

Remember the Disney Classic, Pecos Bill? Pecos Bill and his horse, Widowmaker, were best buddies. Then one day, Pecos Bill met Slue-Foot Sue, and it was love at first sight. Ah, but as is often in life, it wasn’t quite the fairy tale ending. You see, Widowmaker was jealous of Slue-Foot Sue. So, when she insisted on riding him on her wedding day, Widowmaker bucked Slue-Foot Sue so hard that her bustle bounced her uncontrollably higher into the stratosphere.

Being an expert with the lasso, Pecos Bill tried to rescue Slue-Foot Sue with his rope. Surprisingly, he was unsuccessful and watched while she eventually landed on the moon. With Slue-Foot Sue out of reach, Pecos Bill and Widowmaker were best buddies again. (Little did Pecos Bill know that Widowmaker had stood on the rope, thwarting Pecos Bill’s efforts to recover Slue-Foot Sue.)

So, what do Charlee and this Disney Classic have in common? Well, for Grand Jack’s birthday celebration, Charlee and I met him, Nano, and Mac-too (yes, still a naughty puppy) for a morning of shopping. Translation: my mother and I went shopping while my dad sat in his car, dog sitting both dogs. (Happy birthday, Grand Jack. Love, Nano.)

Anyway, recall that on Charlee’s first encounter with Mac-too, her brown eyes turned green with jealousy. ( And while Charlee hasn’t really wounded Mac-too (yet), she does not miss an opportunity to snap at him. On Grand Jack’s birthday, however, Charlee had Grand Jack exclusively to herself in the front seat of the car, ignoring Mac-too’s Tazmanian Devilish efforts to get her attention.

As the story goes, Grand Jack decided the puppy needed a walk to burn some excess energy. Charlee, still smarting after months now from Mac-too replacing her as Grand Jack’s best buddy, had zero interest in sharing Grand Jack on a walk with the puppy. So, she remained in the car to enjoy the spa-like tranquility of life “sans Mac-too.”

After a few minutes, Grand Jack and Mac-too returned to the car only to find it locked. Grand Jack peered inside to see Charlee, sitting in the front passenger floor with the car keys under her paw much like Widowmaker standing on Pecos Bill’s rope. But sadly for Charlee, Mac-too did not share the same fate as Slue-Foot Sue.

Instead, two AAA trucks and their Good Samaritan drivers were parked near Grand Jack, witnessed his misfortune, and quickly rescued his imprisoned keys from Charlee. With the car now unlocked, Mac-too jumped into the backseat again, thrilled to be reunited with Charlee. Good-natured Grand Jack, impressed with Charlee’s dog dexterity, gave her a pat on the head. (Yes, I know, rewarding bad behavior.) And, while Charlee coveted the petting from Grand Jack, she sighed heavily as she peered into the backseat at Mac-too. No, the moon simply would not be far enough.

A Memorable September

September was memorable (and not in the best way). Forget about the water damage (six walls in a small condo being ripped out and replaced, including my closet), my clothes being piled on the dining room table for over a month, ruined floors and baseboards, the desert dirt (and scorpions) being inside instead of outside, the bathroom renovations and countless trips to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware.

Quick Home Depot Trip

Quick Home Depot Trip

Renovations are exhausting!

Renovations are exhausting!

While these took their toll on Charlee, none of this mattered when she heard that her Grand Jack had tripped and fallen on a parking lot while chasing his runaway puppy. (Mind you, this did not help her opinion of the puppy at all.) Anyway, Grand Jack and my mother were vacationing in California to celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary when Grand Jack fell. A Good Samaritan helped him stand and get back to his room, as Grand Jack was unable to walk on his own. Fortunately, three long weeks later, Grand Jack is walking and driving on his own again. Charlee spent time with him this weekend. Yes, that meant she spent time with the puppy, too. (Maybe the puppy will get away next time.)
The Naughty Puppy

The Naughty Puppy

Exclusive Media Interview: Charlee, Celebrity Dog with a Blog

Reporter: What’s it like being a celebrity dog?

Charlee: I am photographed a lot more than most dogs.

Reporter: You mean you dislike that? You’re so photogenic!

Charlee: Thanks. It means my mom weighs me a lot. Remember, I lost eight pounds two years ago and have to keep it off. That’s hard when you are a foodie like I am.

Reporter: I see. Well, you have beautiful brown eyes, although I understand they were green recently. Can you explain?

Charlee: Sure. That would be Mac-too, my grandparents’ new Westie puppy. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about him … maybe somewhat jealous, according to the blog post. We’re okay now though. He understands I am still the favorite.

Reading about My Green Eyes

Reading “Charlee’s Green Eyes”

Reporter: Speaking of favorites, I understand from your most recent and quite impressive sonnet that your mother takes you on an adventure everyday. What is your favorite adventure and why?

Charlee: Well, Petco sells ferrets. They live in big glass houses. I love the ferrets, but they get sold quickly. So, a long-term relationship is not possible.

The guinea pigs at both PETsMART and Petco are fun. I get photographed with them a lot. They have glass houses, too.

Guinea Pigs in Glass Houses

Guinea Pigs in Glass Houses

So do the fish.
Fish in Glass Houses

Fish in Glass Houses

I think PETsMART is my favorite adventure overall because I get a complimentary treat when I leave.
Treat from PETsMART

Complimentary Treat from PETsMART

Reporter: How do you respond to people calling you a spoiled princess?

Charlee: I just matter-of-factly point out their inaccuracy, and explain how I would characterize myself as a “well-behaved” princess. Yes, my mom treats me very well. It’s true. However, she does have rules. I follow the rules.

Reporter: Give me some examples of the rules.

Charlee: That’s easy. I am not allowed to nap on the sofa unless I am on my blanket. I am not allowed junk food of any kind. I have to get my teeth brushed regularly.

Reporter: What’s your sign?

Charlee: My favorite sign is PETsMART. Remember … the complimentary treat?

Reporter, chuckling: No, what’s your Zodiac sign?

Charlee: I don’t know what you mean.

Reporter: Rumor has it that you have a great disposition. Is there anything that irritates you?

Charlee: Chihuahuas.

Reporter: What or where is the famous “magic window” we have heard about?

Not the "Magic Window"

Not the “Magic Window”

Charlee: It’s at In-N-Out Burger. Once a week, my mom drives there to sit in a long line so she can talk to a black box. Once it talks back to her, she drives forward behind other cars until she gets to the first of two windows. She pays at the first window. Then, we sit with other cars and watch people prepare delicious food behind a huge glass window. Finally, we pull up to the second window. That’s the magic window. The teenager at the magic window hands mom a protein-style double meat, and my mouth waters. My mom always laughs and says, “Pavlov,” as she gives me a bite. It’s magical.
At the "Magic Window"

At the “Magic Window”

Reporter: How did you prepare for this interview?

Charlee: My mom prepped me. She does this for a living and is very good at it. She gave me a bath.

Reporter: What made you consent to an interview on M&A Monday?

Charlee: From what I hear, the M&A scene has been pretty slow this summer. So, I was not concerned about the timing.

Reporter: Well, I’m so glad you took the time today. Thank you for sharing what it’s like to be a dog celebrity. I wish you the best in your blogging.

Charlee: Thank you. It has been my pleasure. I appreciate your interest and that of my readers. I wouldn’t be a celebrity without their support. Until the next blog post …

“Adventures” (an Elizabethan Dog Sonnet)

Sunrise with Charlee

Sunrise with Charlee

She spoils me is what some may often say.
PetSmart, Petco, Pet Club and sometimes Lowe’s …
She takes me on adventures everyday,
(and wants to take me flying with “Dog Bose”).

She bathes me weekly and brushes my shedding coat,
Puts cream on my paws and checks my face for stains,
Fastens the pretty pink collar around my throat,
In the ‘Benz we speed to Starbucks drive-thru lane.

An iced venti unsweet’nd green tea for her,
Grande water (and treat she brought) for me,
To the pet store next where cats are adopted and purr.
Lizards, parrots, ferrets and fish we see.

Adventures with my mom are always fun.
But my favorite with her is watching the rising sun.

Charlee’s Boarding Pass Diet

Charlee's Boarding Pass

Charlee’s Boarding Pass

Charlee is a foodie. She loves food, lots of food. One day, Charlee woke up about eight pounds too heavy. With an upcoming airplane trip on the calendar, we had to diet aggressively. The vet recommended some expensive diet food. Charlee did not like the expensive diet food, however. In fact, Charlee would not eat the expensive diet food.
Poster Dog for "Diet Drama"

Poster Dog for “Diet Drama”

Fortunately, a colleague told me about canned green beans. Her dog had lost 40 pounds eating canned green beans. So, I substituted unsalted green beans for the expensive diet food, cut her kibble in half and supplemented the “hungries” with roasted beets, red quinoa and baked sweet potatoes (including the skins, but sans butter and other toppings). Voila! The weight peeled off in two weeks.

Today, “diet” is no longer in Charlee’s vocabulary. There is no need. She enjoys delicious, nutritious food (plenty of beets and green beans) and maintains a healthy and “airline-friendly” weight. Charlee, of course, could care less about a healthy weight as long as she gets to eat good food and fly.

Passengers Traveling with Pets DO NOT BOARD FIRST

Charlee loves to travel via air. Here she is pictured underneath the seat in front of me on Southwest Airlines in her Sherpa pet carrier, which I highly recommend. Sherpa offers what the company calls “Guaranteed On-Board” for peace of mind. (See their website at for details.)

Charlee was a bit skeptical about being wheeled around in a confined bag at first. I trained her by putting a salmon jerky treat inside; saying, “Let’s go on the airplane!”; and zipping her inside the Sherpa bag to eat her treat while wheeling her around our home. After a few days, she would get excited whenever she heard me get her Sherpa from the closet. (Pavlov was a genius.)

Despite “fitting” in the Sherpa bag, Charlee was 7 pounds overweight (and over the maximum airline-approved pet weight) when I made the purchase. We had dieted to no avail. By chance, a colleague mentioned her dog had lost a lot of weight eating green beans. That night for dinner, I introduced Charlee to unsalted green beans with 1/4 of what kibble she normally ate. Within 8 days, she had slimmed down to a healthier (and airline-approved) weight. (I later discovered how much more pleasant this made the ticketing/boarding process, as the airlines DO NOT APPRECIATE if you try to sneak an over-the-weight-limit dog or cat aboard.)

Charlee and I do attract a lot of attention when we travel together. Being a very social and loving dog, Charlee has soothed crying children, evoked dog stories from fellow pet lovers and even offered solace on several occasions to those who have lost pets. Despite all of the smiles she has brought, never once have we gotten to board first. But, after sitting on the tarmac a few times in sweltering cabin temperatures, I think not boarding first has been quite the blessing, too.