Dogs don’t do real estate,,,

Thank goodness! I have a small castle known as The Crate. I have a few vacation homes, otherwise known as dog beds. I also take over the cat bed since Ophelia has usurped my spot on the couch. That’s as far as we go.

My mom, on the other hand, seems determined to get herself into a condo. I had to listen to her swearing over the paperwork (which wasn’t too bad, thanks to her awesome dog-loving real esetate agent Sarah Odegaard). And I had to go along for the inspection. The inspectors immediately recognized my role.

“She gets to decide where you live,” they said seriously.

My mom went out for coffee with Sarah while they gave the place the once-over. It was a nice day, although a little warm. They had to sit outside because coffee shops don’t take dogs anymore. All this fresh air was too much. We were exhausted the next day.

My mom has started thinking about hiring a mover. “We’re very close,” she told me. “She muttered something about title and negotiating on items to be fixed. Fixed? You lost me there, mom.

We’re getting rid of a lot of stuff so the movers wll have a lighter load. I’m nominating a new home for our housemate, Ophelia. Mom put her on a diet but it’s not working. At this rate we will need to rent a whole truck just for her.

Do we need a separate truck to move this cat?
Do we need a separate truck to move this cat?

So what’s the big deal…

Of course I sleep. Dogs sleep most of the time. So do cats.

What’s unusual, my mom says, is that dogs and cats rarely sleep together. she keeps taking pictures of me with Ophelia on our own special corner of the couch.

This time I got to the couch first and Ophelia went into the dominant sleeping position that only a cat can take.

“What’s wrong with your dog bed?” my mom asks. “It’s nice and fuzzy and you would have room to stretch out.”

“Who cares?” I say. “The important thing is that Ophelia’s getting way too confident in this household. She’s the most recent acquisition. She started out as a timid, fearful feline and now…she’s taken over.”

Alas, my mom is the kind of person who roots for the underdog. She’s thrilled to see Ophelia making such great progress. She’d like to see Ophelia and Creampuff getting along, instead of this triangle where both cats adore the dog.

Well, what’s not to love? Total strangers come up to say, “Aww….what a cute dog.” Even a cat can recognize an adorable housemate when she sees one.

Meanwhile, back to the nap.

WNBA Seattle Storm Basketball Game Surprises My Mom

Mom came home later than usual after the game last night. I was more than ready for my evening walk. But she was in a great mood.

“The game was not at all boring! The score was never more than 5 or 6 points apart! We went into overtime!” she exclaimed, hooking up my leash. “Can you believe it? The reserves held off Taurasi and Pondexter! We’d have won if we hadn’t gotten a couple of really bad calls from the referees. WNBA officiating is so bad.”

“Right now, mom, the call is one of a more down-to-earth kind,” I said.

Nobody at the rescue group warned me. If you’re looking for an owner, try to choose someone who’s NOT a basketball fan. And my mom should listen to her friend Bill more often. He was right about the game, wasn’t he? So she needs to pay attention when he advocates spoiling all dogs rotten. No diets for his dogs.

Dog Gets Bath Followed By Treats

On Saturday night I was totally zonked. Friday of course I went to Magnuson with my Aunt Sara. Saturday mom took me for a walk and I got to run a little in the local dog park. So when bedtime rolled around, I was stretched out on Mom’s bed, ready for a snuggle. I didn’t move the whole night.

“Gracie, if you’re going to sleep up here, you will need a bath,” Mom said on Sunday morning. “Whew! You smell like a dog.”

Like, duh. What am I supposed to say? Cats smell like cats and…

So Sunday morning we headed over to the Downtown Dog Lounge on Elliott. Mom was cursing the day DDL lost their lease in Belltown. “This is SO inconvenient,” she muttered. Nevertheless, she dropped me off. On Sunday baths are half price. I told you Mom is cheap.

Mom caught a ride from the gym so she was here early to pick me up. Just before I went home, the staff gave me a beautiful bandana and a treat. I could do without the bandana but DDL has the best treats. My mom’s camera caught two staff members fussing over me, paying the homage due a true Canine Urban Princess.

Am I a cattle dog?

My mom and I went to the Farmers Market in Upper Queen Anne today. As we were getting close to the market, we were stopped by a couple around Mom’s age who exclaimed over me.

“She looks just like my friend’s dog!” they said. “Looks like a cattle dog.”

“Well, she knows how to herd sheep,” my mom said, peering at me.

We were interrupted as a large brown dog  of uncertain breed passed by. I had to jump over to see what was going on.

“No!” my mom yelled. “Where did I put my squirt bottle?” She dug into her big Farmers Market bag.

“She’s protecting you.” The nice stranger patted my head and rubbed my back. “Now Gracie,” she said in soothing tones, “you don’t have to protect your mom. Your mom can take care of herself.”

Obviously she doesn’t know my mom very well.

“But isn’t she part German Shepherd?” my mom said after I calmed down. “Look at that tail!”

“Could be part dingo.”

“And she’s from Snohomish County,” my mom said, puzzled. “What’s a cattle dog doing up there?”

“Cows are everywhere,” that nice couple said, getting into their car. “Have a nice day.”

And off we went to the market. Lots of goodies on the floor for me to gobble up, while the squirt bottle got buried under a bunch of Walla Walla onions. Saved from an identity crisis by distraction. You people could learn something here.

Rescue mutt turns sheep dog

Would you look at this? When Cathy adopted me, I figured we’d stay in our nice, clean city apartment. I’d sleep on the couch and rarely get my paws dirty. Okay, I go to Magnuson twice a week with my Aunt Sara. But we stay on the paths and on the beach.

Herding sheep: dont I look like a pro?
Herding sheep: don't I look like a pro?

But Summer from the Downtown Dog Lounge took me out for a day of sheep herding. We went to Ewetopia, a place that specializes in uniting dogs and sheep.  Summer took a whole set of pictures of me working sheep.. Although I am a Canine Urban Princess (CUPPIE), it seems I may have descended from some common shepherd dogs.

I don’t know what came over me when I saw those sheep. Don’t I look like I know what I’m doing?

Now my mom wants to go out there. Personally, I think I’m getting a little old for this herding. I slept for 3 days afterward. It’s tougher than it looks.

Dog walk, continued…we climb more stairs…

Here’s another set of stairs.

I hope you’re impressed. Mom says, “This walk is so good for us, Gracie. Good for our quads and glutes.”

Earth to mom. Dogs don’t have quads and glutes. I’m just here to keep you out of trouble.

Mom wanted to include  the jonquils in this shot. “Maybe spring will be coming soon,” she said.

Come on, Mom. It’s cold.

Dog Walking: The Perfect Profession

My mom just read me a story about a banker who lost her job. She couldn’t find a corporate position so she started walking dogs. You can read the story here.

Here’s what she wrote: “…I get so much gratification from walking dogs. They’re so appreciative of the simplest things you do for them. No matter how bad my day may be going, when I walk into a home and the dog is so happy to see me and gives me kisses, it puts a different spin on the day.”

I know just what she means. When my Aunt Sara comes to take me for a trip to Magnuson Park, I jump up and  down. Aunt Sara tells me to sit so she can put my leash on but I am so excited! Dog walkers are saints in my book.

More people should be dog walkers. My mom says we need cat groomers even more than dog walkers. She was hoping to find a mobile unit to groom Ophelia. Finally she gave up and just ordered a new comb. She’s become quite the do-it-yourselfer these days.

Mom looks great and I’m exhausted.

My mom has been getting compliments on her new svelte self. Back in August, she declared 2008-2009 the Year of the Body. I must admit, I’m surprised. She keeps to her self-imposed diet (based on a combo of the Food Ranger and a couple of books she read). She goes to exercise classes.

She won’t get on a scale, but the other day she said, “I can’t wear these shorts anymore. They’re fallinglosingi inches off! I can’t hold them up when I’m holding your leash.” She gave me a look that said, “Somebody needs to walk better on leash.” Who, me?

She’s always complaining about sore muscles but I have no sympathy. Mom’s got me on a good behavior program. That means I go to Magnuson Park twice a week and the Dog Lounge at least once a week. I’m tired too. Mom says, “Dogs are supposed to feel a little sleepy all the time.”

Great idea in theory, but I seem to be in a one-down position when it comes to the cats.

My paws get tired…

With the beautiful weather we’re having, my mom decided we should walk to her gym in the evening. Actually, she walks to the gym. I get dropped off at Downtown Dog Lounge to sit on the couch and hang out with my friend Summer and all the other dogs.

We walk about a mile and a half. Yesterday we were running late so my mom insisted we walk fast. No time for sniffing, she said. And besides, she added proudly, walking fast is better exercise.

Well, I sure don’t need to lose weight. I am in great shape. Maybe my mom could stand to drop a few inches here and here, but why do I have to go along with the program?

Cathy is very sensitive about weight, though, so I’m not saying a word. She holds the keys to my treats.