And what have we here? It looks like a very small, very spoiled dog. A pug, to be exact.
Pugs are very popular in Seattle, my mom says. We once met a pug when we were out walking. The owner told my mom, “I knew someone who worked in the shelter. They called when this pug came in. I had to get down there in an hour because so many people wanted a rescue pug.”
Hmm. Not many people were seeking a royal mixed breed like me. My foster home actually gave my mom a sales pitch. “Great dog. I’d keep her myself if I didn’t already have three dogs. She looked so cute playing with the puppies. She sits on the couch and chews on her chew toys.”
Uh-oh. My mom got suspicious. “Chews on her chew toys? And what else?”
“No way,” they lied. “Just her toys.”
By the time my mom found out about my Power Teeth, it was way too late.
This pug seems fairly useless. He just sits on his blankie and waits for people to come worship him. Even Ophelia moves around more than that. But you can tell he’s a sweet dog in his own way. I tried to get him to play, since I love small dogs. No dice.
Here we are exchanging pleasantries about our respective owners. My mom is much stricter than his mom. His mom has left him in the care of Lindsay, the dog park steward, so he will continue to be spoiled rotten.
Lindsay is the steward of the Regrade Dog Park. She’s a dog lover and an awesome Steward. Everybody behaves when Lindsay’s in the park, even me.
“Lindsay is a natural executive,” says my mom, who definitely isn’t.
Here’s Lindsay watching over a pug dog, whose name we forgot, and her own dog, Jasper. Jasper is a legally registered service dog so he gets to go everywhere. He’s very laid-back except when he doesn’t like someone who’s walking by the park. Then Lindsay has to tell him to be quiet. After all, she gets out the official Regrade Park Squirt Gun when other dogs bark. The uppity Belltown neighbors get upset.
Here’s where I am driving my mom completely nuts. When I get bored, I wander around, looking for something to nibble on. Usually it’s something unmentionable.
My mom freaks every time.
“Gracie, stop eating that!” she yells, clear across the park. Sometimes she squirts water in my direction. If I’m chomping on something good, I ignore her. These tidbits are more delicious than any of the stuff that comes in big bags, which (my mom points out) are very expensive.
I’m grazing. This is just what my mom does too. Instead of the ground, she goes to the refrigerator.
“That’s different,” my mom would say, if I dared to point this out. “I eat totally healthy food. Organic. No junk.”
We won’t comment on what I’m eating. My mom would censor the entry and some readers would start to feel a little ill.
Here I am in Regrade Dog Park, along with a bunch of other dogs. As you can see, we are all negotiating for treats. I’m more enthusiastic than anyone else.
Andy is a dog trainer who’s just opening up his dog training and dog sitting business in Seattle’s Belltown. I adore Andy. When he comes to the park with his two large chow mixes, I drop everything and rush over to say hello. (I mean that literally. Usually I have something in my mouth. The most mentionable is a tennis ball.)
Andy’s dogs are totally obedient. My mom sees them everywhere, unleashed, always obeying Andy. He can say, “Wait over here,” and they wait. I don’t think I’ll ever reach that level. My mom is negotiating with Andy for some training sessions, though. Just what i’ve always wanted.
A couple of weeks ago it was freezing cold when we went to the dog park. As usual, I went naked. My mom doesn’t believe in coats for dogs.
“The vet says you don’t need a coat if you’re not shivering,” she told me.
To be fair, she applies the same philosophy to herself. She doesn’t buy clothes unless she absolutely has no choice. Sometimes I don’t want to be seen in public with her.
Here’s one of the park regulars, Sue, with her dog Jack.
“Aren’t they adorable?” my mom said. She didn’t have her camera so she tried to take a picture with her new cell phone. If you’ve been reading this blog, you won’t be surprised to learn that it took her a couple of weeks to figure out how to get the photo from phone to computer. But she did.
They look cold, don’t they? As soon as Mom took this picture, they were gone.
Yesterday (Sunday) my mom took me to Regrade Dog Park in Seattle. The park was pretty busy. My mom said, “Well, we had about ten minutes of blue sky, so everybody came out to take advantage.”
I found a human to play with. This nice young man chased me all over the park. Yaay! I tried to scarf some food because he had some cheese, but he refused. Instead, we ran…and ran. My mom didn’t run. She followed me with her camera.
A little jagged, she says. “Now I understand what film makers mean when they talk about hand-held cameras.” See for yourself.
I was born friendly. When my mom adopted me, she asked the foster mom, “What if Gracie doesn’t like me?” (I think she was having second thoughts about adopting a dog. After all, my Petfinder.com photo didn’t do anything for me.)
“Gracie loves everybody!” the foster mom said. Thank goodness! So here I am, proving once again…
My mom just got her hair cut. She was so tired of fussing with the sides and dealing with frizz. So she marched into her hair stylist and said, “Cut it off! Cut it all off!”
I wasn’t there, of course. It’s illegal for dogs to hang out in hair salons. But that’s just fine. Why would I want to be there? They have cold shiny floors. There’s nothing to do. It smells funny.
My mom’s first dog, Keesha, was a guard dog. Actually she was a mix of two guard breeds – keeshond and chow – so she could be ferocious. She would rather be with Cathy on a cold cement floor than sit on a soft cushion in the next room.
Not me. Give me soft anytime.
But I like sitting on top of this ledge. Lindsay sits here, when she’s in the park, and occasionally she can be persuaded to give me a treat. She’s always good for a tummy rub or a good butt scratch.
Lindsay’s taking this picture. See how my mom’s smile looks more like a grimace? That’s because she’s within a mile of a camera, even if she reailzes she asked for it. She’s the least photogenic person on the planet.
I look like I’m bonding with my mom, don’t I? Don’t fool yourself. My nose is continuously on alert for treats and edible garbage. My mom and I disagree on the definitions of “edible” and “garbage,” but that’s another story.
Lindsay, who was Dog Park Steward until recently, is exempt from the “No Treats” ban imposed by my mom. Lindsay likes to sit on the wall surrounded by a bunch of dogs. That’s her big black lab, Jasper, on the right. Jasper is an official service dog. He’s all trained and he looks awfully impressive when he’s wearing his tags.
Hmm…have you noticed a pattern to the recent pictures in this blog? All about treats. Is my mom trying to tell me something?