Dogs are well-behaved Metro bus riders!

Arf! Gracie here.

Seattle Weekly published an article about bad passengers….the kind who drive bus drivers crazy.

My mom was delighted. She’s tired of all those articles complaining about bus drivers. Most, she says, are saints to put up with everything.

And, she said as she pointed to the article, “you’ll notice there isn’t one complaint here about dogs on buses!”

My mom and I have a little game. When we get to the bus stop on Bell Street, near the park, we go to the front door so we’ll be ready to leave as soon as the bus stops. We wait behind the yellow line and my mom says, “Sit!”

Of course I make a big production of sitting proudly on command. Everybody oohs and ahs.

Did you know that dogs who can do a good “sit” have higher self-esteem than those who don’t? Well, my self-esteem is over the top.

My mom has many issues (from the canine perspective) but self-esteem isn’t one of them. She always says to the driver (and anyone in hearing distance): “Now, isn’t this a well-behaved dog?”

Nobody argues.

Down at the Dog Park

My mom loves to take me to the dog park. It’s not too beautiful for humans. No grass, trees or flowers. But for us dogs…paradise!My favorite activity is jumping over walls. I make flying leaps and twists. I prance around like a little pony. Some people say I’m the most athletic dog in the park.

My mom wonders where I learned to do all this. She keeps trying to figure out what breed made the difference. She wonders if I spent time as a circus dog.

I know. But I’ll never tell.

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.

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.

Ha.

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. 😉

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.”

Dog and Owner Wondering if We Should Buy a Condo In Seattle

Every so often my mom thinks of buying a condo. She qualifies for what sh thought was a nice chunk of change.

“I’m trying to decide if I want a condo,” she said to someone at my networking lunch.

“I can recommend a mortgage broker. She’ll tell you if you can buy…”

“No, I’ve got a broker. I’m trying to decide if it’s a good investment with the Seattle market still high.”

“A real estate agent specializing in condos…”

“No. What I need is an economic forecast.”

I accompanied my mom as we  looked at 3 condos. We would have looked at 4 but Cathy rejected one before we got to the stairs…no elevator. Looks like a remodeled Motel 6.

One condo had bright yellow walls, just the color of a ready-to-eat tangerine. It also had the ugliest carpet I’ve seen in a long, long time.  A dog ie me could A northern exposure and a few small windows.

Another had a bizarre floor plan. Two mid-size bedrooms. Kitchen set up near the window…blocking off the living area.

Then Cathy brought the agent back our apartment. It’s not that big — it’s just got a fantastic layout with well-used space. It’s on the 3d floor, southern exposure, sliver of a view of the Sound if you look out the window at an angle. Fantastic location. Soundproofed.

All her optimism faded. “You’ll have trouble finding a place this nice,” she said.

See, Cathy’s apartment building was built to be a condo unit.
She’s not that young (don’t tell her). We might both be gone before the place goes condo. I sure hope so.

Or maybe I’ll move to a city where the real estate values are declining.

Gracie : The Dog is the Star

Awhile back we were heading home from the dog park. As usual, I sat in my mom’s lap. Who wants to si on the yucky floor?

Everyone around us asked, “What’s her breed?”

Answer: “Anything but a Rottweiler.”

Then we had a guessing game. Beagle? Corgi? Shepherd? Chihuahua? Australian ridgeback (doubtful)?

Everybody wants to touch me. I think people feel disconnected on a bus, in the city. Often people will pat my head, as if I were a good luck charm, as they leave the bus.

Occasionally someone’s scared of dogs. One guy said, “It’s against my religion to touch a dog.”

But usually I get compliments on “such a well-behaved dog!” “Looks so sweet!”

My mom threatens to buy me a pair of sunglasses.

Lost in Seattle on Metro Bus With Dog

[My mom wrote this post before I took over the blog.]

One recent Sunday I got on the 74 to go from Queen Anne to the U district for a concert. The bus was late – a very rare occurrence here.

Naturally, because we had a long wait, there were lots of characters at the bus stop. Two men with a big, barking dog struck up a conversation. They asked me my name. Surprised, I said, “Cathy.” I forget theirs.

When the bus finally arrived, the driver (a motherly-looking African-American woman) announced, “I need a navigator. This is my first day driving this route. I usually work in Tukwila. I’ve never seen this part of Seattle.”

Since we were in Seattle, and not New York or Philadelphia, everyone smiled, preparing to enjoy the adventure.

“Does anyone know the Fremont Bridge?” The driver began to sound really nervous. One sandy-haired young woman stood next to the driver, softly murmuring directions in a soothing tone.

Then the men from the bus stop where I got on yelled, “Hey, Cathy!” I tried to pretend I didn’t hear. I wanted to explain, “I don’t know them.” But I just said, “What?”

“How do we get the Number 16?”

“I have no idea.”

Another passenger handed them a schedule. They were looking for a dog park near the Woodland Zoo. Me, I just go to Belltown.

Returning home, the driver was a calm, experienced silver-haired man. No adventures. We were at Key Arena right on schedule.