March 22, 2012

Canine-related Creative Endeavors

As you know from previous pics I've posted of our felted wool creations, we generally like to felt dogs, such as Casanova, pictured here in his "gladiator suit":

In fact, here is our latest project: spirit Gayle, a beautiful, inspirational Tripawd who was "sister" to my friend Charon. We miss you, Gayle! As Charon said, we know Gayle and Abby are together having a great time at the bridge, gossiping over margaritas.

In other endeavors, when I draw, I generally like to draw dogs, like Lou or Abby.

The other day, I even made a sculpture out of dogs. (My Facebook friend, who is a creativity muse, posted a challenge to quickly craft a "sculpture" from things around the house.)
"Plethora of Pups Pyramid"

And when I write, well, I don't always write about dogs, but I do include them in my stories quite often. Which brings me to my big news (which most of you already know), that I e-published my book, What the Dog Ate, this week! It's available via these links on Amazon and Smashwords.

I'm very excited about the book finally getting out to readers. That is my friend Ellen's tripawd Charley on the cover. Isn't he handsome??

Now, just so you don't think I am a crazy dog-obsessed lady, I also like margaritas and professional cycling, and neither of those things involve dogs. (Although those things aren't "creative endeavors"... well, unless you feel more creative after a couple of margs...)

Of course, having said that, I remember several times when dogs have been involved with the Tour de France, such as this instance below. It's usually not pretty when a dog gets involved--at least for the rider who goes down--but this time wasn't too bad:

That led me to wondering about dogs and margaritas and a little search turned up this:
Yep, it's the Bark-a-rita dog food bowl...
Rest assured that I am not ordering one of those for our own little 'Rita! But I hope you will consider ordering What the Dog Ate -- it costs less than a box of dog biscuits!

March 13, 2012

Dog Spa!

Those of you who know how lax the rules for pups are at our house know that this has earned our house the nickname "the dog spa." (Conversely, my sister's house, where our pups always stay when we go away, is known as "the doggy gulag." There are a lotta rules over there. Silly rules - like dogs can't lick the dirty dishes in the dishwasher! Rita says, "Wh...What???")

View from the "lounge" area
But this post is not about our "dog spa" - no, it's about the Dog Spa and Wellness Resort in Desert Hot Springs, which is where we went last week with Rita for vacation. It's a little embarrassing to tell anyone who's not a dog person that you are going to "the Dog Spa" for your vacation. They look at you like they want to ask, "You mean you're going to stay at a kennel?" But I know you dog-loving types will understand. The Dog Spa is a fun spot and the most dog-friendly place we've ever stayed. Once you are inside the gate your pup can go leash free; your dog can sleep with you in the bed (or in the provided dog-bed if your pup prefers); and the dogs are even allowed in the pool (although Rita wanted none of that).

We heard of it because our friends from Tripawds pointed out a photo of the resort in Sunset magazine -- a photo that just happened to have a photograph of their beloved Tripawd, Max, hanging in the background.
That is Max in the photo hanging over "Wrestlemania"

I took a ton of books and magazines with me, thinking I'd get a lot of reading done pool-side, but mostly I just ended up watching Rita have fun. Rita played a lot with the owner's dog, Brad Pit. (She also played with the other guests' dogs but I never managed to have my camera around then!)
Snuggling with Brad Pit
Sharing a drink
More wrestling in the lounge

"Come on, Brad!"

Our vacation exhausted Rita and she's needed another vacation to recover since we got home. It started with the car ride there. Luckily Desert Hot Springs is only ~2 1/2 hours from San Diego, but Rita was on high alert the entire time. She vigilantly watched out the window, turning and looking around at each intersection. We joked that she was memorizing the route in case we dumped her; she wanted to be able to find her way home - but really that's probably what the poor thing was doing. We kept reassuring her that we would not leave her in the desert. After that, we exhausted her some more by walking around the shops in Palm Springs (about 20 min from the Dog Spa) and taking her along to a dog friendly restaurant. Here she is being oh-so-good on her first ever visit to a restaurant.
"Where's my quesadilla??"

We took her along every night when we went out to eat. She was mostly good, but the last night we went to the fanciest of the places we'd been to yet - and of course that was the night she decided to bark at people across the patio when they stood up to leave. So embarrassing! We thought the old couple near us was giving us dirty looks, but they came by on their way out later, all smiles, and actyually thanked us (?!) for bringing Rita to the restaurant. Funny, and cute.

We also wore her out taking her on several hikes, which were generally pretty warm - it being the desert and all.
"It'th too hot! My tongue'th never been thith long before!"
With her pop at the top.

The best hike we did was ~7.2 miles at Mission Creek Preserve. It was breezy that day, so not as hot and it was also fairly flat. The best part for Rita was the creek, where she could lay down and cool off on the way out/back.

These were about the only wildflowers we saw.
Rita & me at the turn-around point
All in all, it was a fun vacation and hopefully we'll get to take Rita there again some time. Now that she knows we won't leave her there, she might enjoy it even more!

March 2, 2012


Those of you that never met Abby probably don't know how insanely light-obsessed she was! She would go nuts over any sort of light or reflection. It was especially a challenge to cook at night. You have NO idea how much your pots, pans, and spatulas pick up the overhead lights in your kitchen and throw them back up on the ceiling until you have a light-obsessed dog! Making dinner was always chaos. I'd have to hunch over the stove/pots in an effort to shield any bouncing lights. Otherwise Abby would go nuts, barking at the ceiling, jumping up on the counters - and I was always afraid she'd hurt herself on the slippery wood floors.

As much as we miss that girl, it's kind of nice to be able to cook without doing a Hunchback of Notre Dame imitation. Every time I pull one our shiny stainless pots out of the cupboard, I still flinch, expecting to be charged by a frantic tripawd.

Luckily, Rita is oblivious to the magical mystical powers of shiny objects! Hooray! This is our first dog who's not light-obsessed and it's wonderful. (Those of you who knew our previous dog, Bailey, know how crazy she was for the laser-light. She had to be "buzzed", as we called it, with the laser at least three times/day - chasing it up and down the halls and around the house. Crazy. We couldn't even show Abby the laser because she didn't know when to quit.) I got Rita the shiniest tag ever, with little pink rhinestones, and I'm constantly noticing it bouncing reflections off the walls of the house or the car, and she could care less. It's awesome.

"I'll wear these as long as you want. Just give me the cookie."
However, Rita does have other obsessions - mainly treats and, after really getting a taste for one, birds. She hangs out by our pantry, where the treats are stashed, a lot. I'm hoping to use her treat obsessiveness to train her to wear Abby's old Doggles:

"Are we done yet?"
Abby never liked to wear them for more than a second, but I'm hoping I can train Rita to wear them, since she loves to ride with her head hanging out the car window. Forget the safety aspect - it's worth the training time invested for the Cute Factor alone!