Tired…

My mom makes me get lots of exercise. She works out several times a week…so I have to, too. I have to go running in the dog park at least every other day. I go to the dog lounge, where I’m supposed to run with the big dogs…but usually end up eating treats at the front desk. Don’t tell my mom.

Yesterday I spent a few hours in the dog lounge while mom went to a lunch for her business (the lunch part sounds good). Then we walked all the way back from Queen Anne Hill. I am still snoozing!

We Visit The Photographer

Arf! Gracie here.

Everybody kept telling my mom, “Get some good photos taken. You don’t look like your pictures.”

Finally, she gave in. She found a photographer on craigslist who seemed good.

We went to his studio. Naturally, we had rain that day so mom looked a little frizzy. I looked fabulous as usual.

The photographer wasn’t sure he wanted me. “Dogs make more work,” he said.

But I am a natural.

When Mom said, “Stand here,” I did. When the photographer said, “Can the dog move a little to the right,” Mom nudged me over.

We all agreed I could be a model.

Mom was not as fortunate. She just got an email from the photographer: “You’re a great client. You’re very brave and you are a good sport.”

She’s terrified of what the photos might look like.

Gracie the Chewing Champ

Someday I will make a movie for MySpace: Gracie Chews.

The vet sold me a pack of chew strips designed for 100-lb. dogs. My 32-lb. Gracie polished off her strip in 2 hours of an athletic non-stop chewing marathon. My jaws ached, just watching. E

Evidently hers did too, since she soon fell asleep, still guarding
what was left of her chewy.

“Chew strips are expensive,” the vet warned. “A lot cheaper than my favorite hat,” I said. “Or socks. Or (Gracie’s latest) a pillow. With cotton all over the house.”

Seattle Metro to Sea-Tac Airport Seattle

Even people who have lived here for years often miss this one. You can get to Sea-Tac Airport for $1.25 ($1.50 in rush hour). From downtown, it’s a fast, pleasant trip.

From Downtown Seattle: Pick up the 194 at 2d and University (and other points along 2nd) – 30 minutes from boarding downtown to getting off at the airport. No need to make small talk with a cab driver or get stuck at the drawbridge! And you can’t beat the price of $1.25 off-peak. Buses come about every half hour, more often during weekdays.

The 174 runs the same route – slower but gets you there.

Dogs are allowed and it’s rarely crowded.

You get dropped off at the far end of the terminal so there’s a bit of a walk to the check-in area.

Returning buses move along 4th Avenue. When I come back from a rare plane trip, I sometimes stop at the library to pick up the books on hold and return the books I carried to read on long, dreary plane rides (aren’t they all?).

And from 4th Avenue it’s a quick ride to the Downtown Dog Lounge to pick up Gracie. She’s been having such a good time she doesn’t want to go home!

Look up Metro’s home page for more.

Bus Drivers: Unsung heroes?

I must admit I get really annoyed when people criticize our bus drivers. Sure, some are grouchy. Some have days when they’re especially grouchy.

Most welcome Gracie. A few ask if she bites. Gimme a break.

But compared to other places, we’re lucky. And some of these drivers deserve to be recognized for conduct way above and beyond the call of duty.

For example:

On October 30th, I was leaving a function downtown, so I boarded a #2 bus at 3rd and Pine, sometime between 8 and 8:30 PM.

After getting on, I noticed what appeared to be a woman in a wheelchair, completely covered in a sheet. It was almost like a Halloween costume. Even the woman’s drooping head was covered completely in gauze. Was she still alive? Was this some kind of joke?

Somewhere in Belltown, the bus stopped. The driver went over to the woman (I believe they are allowed to leave their seats for wheelchair passengers) and said, “We are at your stop.” She sort of nodded.

I was sitting up front and I asked, “Shouldn’t we call 911? She looks pretty bad.”

“No, you don’t understand,” the driver said. “She got on at Harborview. She wanted to get off here.”

So the driver wheeled this person, completely swathed in white, looking like a corpse, off the bus, out into a cold, dark night. I couldn’t believe anyone would leave her on the street.

The driver asked a stranger to wheel the woman to a nearby entryway, and the stranger did — a man who’d been waiting, presumably for a different bus. We then continued on our way.

This scene haunts me. On the one hand, I wonder why we don’t have resources to provide an escort (as well as a less public form of transportation) for someone in this condition. On the other, it’s a tribute to the bus system and the driver’s concern.

I wonder if a taxi would have offered the same type of thoughtful assistance, let alone easy wheelchair access.

In the Dog House

Hi everybody,

Arf!

Gracie here. My mom says I have to work for a living now. So I’m helping her with this blog.

Last week I got bored while Mom was talking on the phone. See, this is really all her fault! She left my leash attached to my color…a nice leather leash, the same consistency as rawhide.

So my mom finally gets off her long, boring phone call and gets ready to take me out. Ah, at last! I’ve been crusading for a walk for the past hour.

Mom goes to my collar and sees the metal clasp that holds the leash…and no leash! Well, I was chewing on a tiny piece of leather and she got suspicious. Sure enough, she found the top end of the leash, the braided end where the owner holds on. Several inches of leash were unaccounted for.

Well, I had no trouble accounting for the missing inches. They were sitting in my tummy.

Mom freaked. She called the vet. The vet said, “Wait a few days. If she shows signs of distress (too ghastly to mention in a g-rated journal), call the Vet Emergency service. And cut back on her food.”

Oh no! I hadn’t counted on that. I was one hungry pooch, happy to spend the day in my crate, looking sad.

Mom was furious. She took me in a cab to get a new leash from a pet shop. We also got a new chew toy, but I’d rather work on socks. When will she learn?

By the next day I was scampering around. And three days later, the danger period was officially over.

Mom hides my leash now. She vacuums all the time. I can’t even find a crumb to nibble anymore.

And she’s making me work. (Sigh.)

Fondly,

Gracie
a/k/a Amazing Gracie
a/k/a Princess Gracie

[originally posted June 6, 2006 – re-posted to new blog]

Dog Rescue: From Country to City With Love

Arf!

Gracie here.

When Cathy became my new mom, I had to make a major adjustment. See, Cathy’s a very urban person, and my previous home was in Bellingham, Washington. My previous owners left me in a yard most of the time. Being a sociable dog, I was very lonely.

Luckily, my first owner lived next door to a rescue group volunteer! The volunteer noticed I was unhappy and offered to find me a new home.

Well, of course I knew I’d love living with Cathy. I immediately saw possibilities: the bed, the couch…but I didn’t count on the buses and the coffee shops. At first I had no idea what to do and I wanted to play with everybody. But now I sit quietly and realize I’m not getting any food.

Believe me, it’s tough. Half the people on the bus are traveling with yummy-smellling bags from Safeway and Larry’s Market. Cooked chicken! Ribs! Hamburger meat!

None for me.