“Adopted dogs are better!”

My mom Cathy just read me an article from today’s New York Times. Takng the Plunge with a New Dog by Jill Abramson.

Apparently Ms. Abramson was mourning the loss of her beloved dog who died at 15. She decided to get some kind of golden retriever dog and to name the dog Scout. Her family went to a breeder and chose a small female, who came “almost housetrained.”

“So what do you think?” my mom asked.

“Who cares?” was my first reaction. “I’m still sleeping off the effects of yesterday’s Big Walk.”

(Have you noticed a trend in this blog? When the mom wants to exercise, the dog gets worn out.)

Naturally, I am all in favor of adopting dogs from shelters. There are so many wonderful dogs in all shapes and sizes. But it sounds like this breeder was responsible. The family had to apply for a dog and get accepted. That’s a good thing. My buddies at the Dog Park are mostly adopted and some of their first owners should have been screened a LOT more thoroughly.

But there’s one thing my mom agrees on, 100%. Ms. Abramson wrote:
“Although we are bonding, no one quite prepares you for the fact that a new dog makes you miss the old one. When Scout rests on her side, I see an image of Buddy, curled similarly, on our old rug in a house we no longer own.”

So true. My mom looks at me and sees Keesha sometimes, althogh it’s happening a lot less these days. Fprtimately, she thinks I channel Keesha when we’re out in public. “When people compliment me on a well-behaved dog, it’s like hearing echoes from the past,” she says.

Recycle your old collars and leashes

My mom always wondered what to do with my old leashes and collars. Today, via Twitter, she discovered that the folks at  http://www.BigDoggyBling.com will recycle doggie hardware to make new fashion accessories for rescue dogs.

I’m so glad she found this site. My mom doesn’t like to throw things away. She’s a great believer in, “Buy what you need…and only what you need.” My current leash looks just a little tired.

Recently she’s thinking of getting me a prong collar. She’s assured they don’t hurt me. She’s just determined to stop me from jumping and pulling, especially when I see a squirrel or an interesting stranger on the street. I’m not thrilled about the idea, but then again, my life could be worse. I get lots of exercise and have a whole fan club…even two cats to torture.

But it would be nice to get a new leash and collar every so often.

Being the #2 Sibling Dog in the Family

My mom left me in the boarding kennel all weekend while she went off to an Internet marketing seminar. Why would anyone want to learn Internet marketing when they could run around and play all day?

Then my mom read me this article from the NY Times: First Siblings have Higher IQs. She pointed out that Keesha, my predecessor in her life, was a smarter dog.


I think the First Dog gets all sorts of attention. By the time I came along, my mom was familiar with dogs. She’s harder to fool. She doesn’t take thousands of photos, measure my food and follow the dog book religiously. She tosses the food in my dish (“that looks right”) and lets me share the couch. When I cross the bridge and meet Keesha, we will have a lot to discuss.

I think my mom got lucky with Keesha. She was clueless about dogs. I would have run rings around her. 😉

Perfect Job for a Dog

Here’s an article I found in today’s New York Times.
Dogs and Their Fine Noses Find New Career Paths
By Jennifer Lee
Published: June 13, 2006Click here.I’d like to get a job sniffing out food. I can sniff anything even remotely edible and some things that aren’t.

My mom has a career website for humans…like, why bother? Taking care of me could be a full-time job.

So…who’s the good dog here?

Arf! Gracie here.

A few months ago Mom was sitting in her favorite coffee shop, Uptown Espresso in Belltown. She was working on her laptop. I was sleeping off a hard morning: we walked all the way from Lower Queen Anne (about 25 minutes) and then I played with a nice Rottweiler in the dog park for another ten minutes.


A nice lady came up to Cathy, my mom, holding out a napkin. Mom was so caught up in her computer she almost jumped out of her comfy chair (they have cool armchairs at the Uptown).

“Can I give your dog a muffin?” asked the nice lady. “She’s being so good. And she’s so beautiful.”

“You want her?” my mom asked. She always does that. I don’t think she’s serious. “And I’m afraid Gracie isn’t allowed to have muffins. She’s on a special diet.”

Hmmph. My mom can be so unreasonable! My “special diet” is premium dog food and dog treats (if I sit), and absolutely no people food unless I steal it from the kitchen counter. Who wouldn’t want a nice muffin now and then?

As my mom turned back to her computer, I heard her mutter, “Don’t they realize I’m the reason she’s such a good dog? It’s always the owner. How come they’re not offering me a muffin?”

A lot of good responses came to my sleepy canine mind. But, realizing Mom holds the scissors to my dog food bag, I decided it would be better to maintain silence and go back to dreaming about that cute Pomeranian I chased last week.

Gracie: From Dog Rescue to Urban Princess

Gracie: One year anniversary of dog adoption
Guest post by my mom, Cathy Goodwin

Just one year ago January 2, 2006, the foster mom delivered Gracie from nearby Bellingham, WA, to my home in Seattle. I don’t have a car so they drove her down. I made an extra donation to cover the cost. I chose her from a photo on the Internet, mainly because she was the right size and she got along with cats.

Christopher Aust (a dog trainer you can visit on the Internet) gave me a long list of questions to ask the foster mom and LOTS of advice, like, “Don’t get a dog like the one who just crossed the bridge!”

He was right. Gracie is totally different from Keesha, my first dog. She’s s short-haired and very athletic. I wish I could say it was love at first sight but actually she drove me nuts. I thought I’d have to send her back! She was just 3 years and 3 months and she had the energy of a puppy. She wandered around the apartment looking lost. She ran and ran around the dog park and never got tired. She pulled on her leash. She chewed everything in sight; she even pulled a book off a shelf and chewed it up. One day she chewed her leather leash into tiny squares and ate most of them.

Fast forward a year. The vet says Gracie doesn’t look like the same dog. She had her first professional grooming, ever, and now she looks forward to baths and nail trims. She adores the dog lounge and they adore her: the receptionists often keep her up front during doggie day care because “she’s so cute and so much fun to hang out with. In fact, she has a fan club all over Seattle.

I vowed she’d never be allowed on the furniture. Well, we made a deal. She doesn’t chew if she gets to sit on the couch or the bed. She has her own cushion on each place. At night (or when I go out) I tuck her into her crate. At night she gets a peanut butter kong and she starts licking her lips as we return from the last walk of the evening. Oh yes, she’s very good on walks now, rarely tugging.

I must say I am astounded at how a dog’s personality can change in a year. We have a coffee shop that allows dogs. At first she would nervously stand and try to walk around. Now she knows the drill: she sits quietly while I drink coffee and half-heartedly looks for crumbs on the floor. On buses she sits in my lap, looking adorable and passengers always come over to pat her. One woman insisted on keeping Gracie on *her* lap. (Yes, in Seattle dogs ride buses. They ride free if they fit on your lap.) We love Seattle Metro.

And while I’m working, I’m training her to sit on a cushion in my home office and watch me adoringly. We’re making good progress! Usually after a couple of treats and worshipful looks, she’s sound asleep.

She spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with me as we visited friends. She was the star of the holiday. She didn’t care for the fireworks at the Space Needle or the cannon at the Seafair Parade.

I changed her name to Gracie after I adopted her, after the book Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye. Now we are calling her Princess Gracie.