Charlee Survives Finals Week

Thanksgiving 2014: Selfie with Mom and Cousin Morgan

Thanksgiving 2014: Selfie with Mom & Cousin Morgan

First of all, I extend sincerest apologies to family, friends, and blog followers for my hiatus during fall semester. My workload has been grueling. Despite that, finals are over, and I survived! And, I should even make the Dean’s Honor Roll (although I am a little concerned because the professor in my “Javelinas: Danger! Danger!” class put test questions on the final pertaining to things we never even discussed in class and which could not be found in our textbook). Whatever. Right? Anyway … my classes were as follows:

“Lizards of Arizona”

“Poisonous Snakes Indigenous to the Southwest”

“How Arizona Heat Can Heal and Kill”

“Javelinas: Danger! Danger!”

“Advanced Communications: Barking vs. Public Speaking”

As you can see, I had a full load. But, my mom made sure I had plenty of good food, treats, walks, baths, adventures, air-conditioned quarters, and a clean bed. (Dad made sure I had plenty of TV time.)

Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone for not giving up on me. I hope to be graduating soon and able to write more often after that.

Happy Holidays!



So, I Got Hurt This Morning

It all happened on my second walk around 8:30 a.m. My neighbor’s nine-year-old daughter was walking her two dogs. Technically, these little dogs are called Papillons. But to me, they look like long-haired Chihuahuas. And I hate Chihuahuas.

So, I barked. I may have barked a lot. Anyway, my mother was trying to pull me back, as I may have been a tad bit aggressive and feigned an attack on them. It just seemed that way. I mean, I would never attack, especially when the nine-year-old daughter and her mom always pet me and give me presents.

Anyway, I fell off the curb and howled. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt. And, it was my bum leg.

“What have I done now?” I wondered, as my mother bent down and tried to examine the damage. I, of course, would not allow her to help — at all. Remember, Chihuahuas. I have a duty to continue barking as I intermittently howl in pain.

So, Mom just picked me up and carried me home, scolding me (rather unsympathetically, I would say) along the way. I was still barking. To any observers, it probably appeared as though I was a naughty dog.

So, we get inside. The leg does not seem to be broken. However, I have a dangling, bleeding dewclaw, and it hurts every time I move. My mother Googles “dangling dewclaw.”

“In case of bleeding, call vet.” Oh no! The vet?

So, she called the vet. Closed. (Hooray!!! 4th of July; Independence Day; a holiday!) Oops. Celebrated way too soon because my mother then called the Emergency Animal Clinic and described the situation. (Why, oh why, does there have to be an Emergency Animal Clinic?) They wanted to take a look. Of course. Why not? Let them take a look. Ugh.

So, my mother (my dad is always gone in the summer, and she has to do EVERYTHING) carries me to the car and drives me way up to the Emergency Animal Clinic at Scottsdale and Williams.

Did I mention that I hate going to the vet? You know what happens, and it did. Yes, the thermometer in places it just shouldn’t be. Anyway, guess what you do with a dangling, bleeding dewclaw.

“Oh, well, we will just spray some antiseptic on it, and yank it out.”

I nearly pottied on the floor. They were going to “yank out” the nail. Oh my goodness. I started panting. My heart rate skyrocketed. “Yank?” Sounds onomatopoeic. What a terrible thing to do to a dog all because of “Papillons.” (And did I mention that they had barked first? Really, they did.)

Sigh. I am at home now … recuperating. The vet said bed rest for five to seven days. That’s like telling my mother to go on bed rest … IOW, not happening. Energetic. Can’t miss anything. I mean, there are lizards and baby quails and a baby dove even.

Yes, and those awful Chihuahua lookalikes. But, I’m not one to hold a grudge. In fact, I can hardly wait until my mid-afternoon walk. I just hope no one notices my bandage.

Charlee at the Vet – A Dog Poem

To the vet this week I went with Mom for my annual check-up.
Initially, my tail-wagging thought was: “Hooray! An adventure with Mom!”
But, unfortunately, once inside did I recognize sans aplomb
The scent of needles and sound of desperate dogs’ “yups.”

“Oh no!” I whined as I turned (tail uncurled) towards the door.
“Get me out. I want out. Out, out, out – out and now.”
My mom tried to soothe me, but I wondered, “How
Could she love me and to this place me lure?”

"Get me out. I want out."

“Get me out. I want out.”

“I can handle this,” I coached myself. “I really am a smart dog.
I write poetry, right? I can do math, too. I even have my own blog.”
So, how does a smart dog survive at the vet? Just think of a way to hide!
Outside, outside, outside, of course, but an option is not outside.
Do the Polka Dots Hide My Spots?

Do the Polka Dots Hide My Spots?

Beneath two polka-dotted chairs I hid – convinced my spots would blend.
In walked the vet, something in hand, and with a mesmerizing tone,
Coaxed me from my hiding place with a large box of milk bones.
Then came that dreaded booster shot, shattering my state of Zen!

Lured by a box of milk bones? Yes, and impetuously, I did not even read,
If they were organic and gluten-free, as my mom always does for me.

The irony of my imperfect rhyme is that while I am a smart canine,
I ate humble pie, thinking it was a treat, while I got a shot in my behind.

Charlee’s Top 2013 “Pics”

A Wounded Paw

A Wounded Paw

Water Tastes Better from SBUX

Water Tastes Better from SBUX

Mac-too Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Mac-too Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Mac-too Snatching Gumdrops

Mac-too Snatching Gumdrops

The Paparazzi

The Paparazzi

Holiday Tea at the CBTL

Holiday Tea at the CBTL

This FaceTime Is Amazing

This FaceTime Is Amazing

Hmm ... Not the Best Hiding Place?

Hmm … Not the Best Hiding Place?

A Mocking Dove

A Mocking Dove

Love My Grand Jack

Love My Grand Jack

9/11 Memorial - Human & Canine Heroes

9/11 Memorial – Human & Canine Heroes

One Day I Will Catch a Lizard

One Day I Will Catch a Lizard

Charlee & Mr. Bill

Charlee & Mr. Bill

Backside of Charlee's Business Card

Backside of Charlee’s Business Card

Curb Walking

Curb Walking

Charlee & Her New Blog

Charlee & Her New Blog

Farewell, Dear Mackie

Farewell, Dear Mackie

The Birth of Mac-too

The Birth of Mac-too

My Rawhide Is Bigger

My Rawhide Is Bigger

“Still, Sparkling, or Tub?”

The Water Cup

The Solo Water Cup

When Charlee was a puppy, she became fascinated with the bathtub faucet and its seemingly magical power to provide water. In fact, she would sit beside the bathtub and bark until someone (yes, I) came running to quench her thirst with the bathtub faucet water.

One day her dog sitter, not yet speaking “Charlee,” left a note: “I think Charlee wants a bath. She sat beside the bathtub all afternoon, barking at me.”

I finally bought red plastic Solo Cups, filled them with bathtub faucet water, and placed them beside each bathtub. “Et voilà!” I thought with satisfaction. (Admittedly, after filling Solo Cups for nearly 10 years now, I often think that was one of my less brilliant problem-solving initiatives.)

Why do I share this anyway? Well, having the privilege of wearing golden handcuffs during much of my career, I have eaten at some notable restaurants over the years. While I appreciate fine food, the Muleshoe, Texas girl in me cannot help but take note of the disdain with which many fine dining establishments sometimes offer water. Yes, water.

“Still, sparkling, or tap?” the server asks, often with an exotic accent and slight grimace before offering the “tap” option to ensure you feel uncivilized (despite being clad in haute couture) should you be pondering “tap” as your choice. Next time I encounter hauteur for not choosing the $12 water, I may just pay a bit of homage to my quirky Charlee and ask, “Got tub?”

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog?

What began as a simple adventure last Thursday ended with enlightenment. Allow me to explain.

Charlee had just returned home from an outing with her dad. Apparently, she found the outing rather disappointing because she immediately ran over to me and did her little dance, i.e., several 360-degree twirls, indicating she wanted something (or more accurately, wanted something more).

Having only a few errands on my agenda, I asked Charlee, ”Do you want Mommy to take you on an adventure?” That obviously was the right question because she ran over to her chain and tapped it with her nose. So, off to The Home Depot (conveniently located next door to PETsMART) we went for a product return now four weeks procrastinated (two birds with one stone, n’est-ce pas?).

The Home Depot's Spacious Carts Rank High on Charlee's List

The Home Depot’s Spacious Carts Rank High on Charlee’s List

Since our home renovations began back in July (yes, we are now in the fourth month after a brief hiatus during August), Charlee has become quite a celebrity at The Home Depot. She likes their spacious orange carts because she can take a nap if the mission there hits a time-consuming snag. Anyway, the return clerk greeted her, petted her and gave her an Alpo Snap. Charlee thanked her with a generous head nuzzle. “Aw. Is Charlee a therapy dog?” the clerk asked. “Mine,” I replied promptly. “Saves me thousands,” I added.

With that errand completed, we headed next door to PETsMART. This particular PETsMART is not Charlee’s favorite because it has a pet daycare and boarding facility, both of which concern her. (She has abandonment issues because I traveled extensively for work over a 10-year span.) Anyway, last Thursday, she wanted out of the store.

Needing to compensate for a rather disappointing PETsMART workout, we power walked the 15-store strip mall as we do in the cooler weather. Generally when we do this, we stop at Fry’s Supermarket, where Charlee jumps on a bench and takes a short breather before heading back to the car. But, not this past Thursday …

Instead, Charlee headed right past Fry’s to the front door of Barnes & Noble, pulling me towards it with determination. “No, Charlee. No dogs allowed in Barnes & Noble,” I said. Charlee, usually one to behave immediately, was insistent that we go inside and sat down on the pavement in front of the door, staring up at me expectantly. “Charlee, no dogs allowed,” I repeated firmly, as she was blocking the door where patrons were gathering. “There’s a Starbuck’s inside,” I explained, knowing without a doubt she totally understood me and the rationale for her outdoor confinement. “Now let’s go.” She obeyed then, albeit reluctantly.

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog? Pshuh!

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog? Pshuh!

As we walked slowly back to Fry’s for our short rest on the bench, I felt obligated to alleviate the disappointment I was so certain Charlee was experiencing. “Just think,” I said, trying to cheer her up, “maybe humans are not allowed on Planet Dog.”

Charlee looked at me as though to say, “Of course, humans are allowed on Planet Dog. Who else could we train so well?”

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.