Dog curled up like a cat

graciecurledupAs an indoor city dog, one of my great virtues is that I don’t take up a lot of room. I keep thinking, “If I curl up like a cat, maybe Pumpkin will share her food? Or I can get spoiled like the cats?”

“You’re already spoiled,” my mom said firmly. “You get to eat good food, enjoy treats and walks, and sleep on the couch and the bed. What more do you want?”

Well, for one thing, Pumpkin the cat has taken over my fuzzy bed.

Working Cat In Our Neighborhood

My mom loves the shops in our neighborhood. They’re not very practical, she says. Mostly vintage clothing and high-end furniture, like $6000 for a couch.

My mom says $600 is a lot for a couch when you’ve got 3 pets. From my vantage point on the couch, I say, “No comment.”

Here’s a charming shop with lots of beautiful objects, guarded by one of the toughest cats on the block. This cat is not afraid of anything, even dogs. She tried to take a swipe at my nose when we stopped in.

We do have an exceptionally good pet store and a wonderful cafe where I get a biscuit while my mom orders take-out. Otherwise, I’ll stick to the parks, thank you very much. This history is wasted on a dog whose a mixed breed princess without a past.

Luxury dog houses: I wouldn’t mind one

My mom just read me this story from the New York Times online:
Luxury Doghouses and the Dogs That Couldn’t Care Less.

The article shows some canine residences that are truly fit for loyalty – homes that cost thousands of dollars.

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind an upgrade. Since I can’t be trusted to stay home alone, my mom always puts me in my crate when she goes out. When someone asks, “Does the dog mind?” she answers snarkily, “We didn’t take a vote.”

But if you think about it, a big dog crate like mine isn’t exactly a decorator’s dream come true. So a nice, tasteful doggie home would make sense for a home like mine.

Alas, my mom says, her first priority is to remodel her bathroom and maybe get a new washer/dryer before the old one dies. And she’s thinking seriously about a fountain for Ophelia, who likes to drink from interesting places.

Dog is exhausted after walk

My mom took me on a LONG walk this morning – a good 40 minutes! Here’s what I’m doing afterward.

In case you’re wondering, I’m sleeping under my mom’s desk, surrounded by cables and cords. You can tell I’m REALLY tired: I’m not chewing anything.

Cathy keeps worrying, “Is Gracie getting enough exercise?” She likes to say, over and over, “A tired dog is a good dog.”

OK, mom. I’m a great dog!

Dog checking out the historic district

My mom likes to take me for walks in the historic alleys. There’s less traffic, she says, and people are more dog-friendly.

She’s especially fond of Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the US. She talks about the historic homes and tries to educate me about brick work, fan lights and architecture. Since she is a volunteer AIA guide she knows a lot about Philadelphia history so we keep stopping to view a particularly quaint structure from 200 years ago.

As a dog, my attitude is, “Who cares?” But I insist on taking time to stop and sniff the history of each post on the street.

“I wonder if people tied up their horses there 200 years ago,” my mom muses. I have more recent activities in mind.

Dog gives new meaning to “under the table”

Hmm…my mom said she’s heard of people getting paid under the table but I’ve set a record for being a dog who’s under the table.

This coffee shop allows dogs. My mom’s visiting with her friend from improv. They’re talking about boring things. They’re not talking about food, treats, toys or dog parks.

Meanwhile I just had a long day with my Aunt Sara. I really hate sleeping on wooden floors. I’m a cushion sort of dog. But hey, there aren’t any pillows around here. We royal folk are flexible. Queen Elizabeth would keep her dignity. My mom says Jackie Kennedy used to sleep on long airplane flghts, right in the cabin. So I’ll be doing the same.

“She’s so good,” everybody says. “So well-behaved.”

My mom just rolls her eyes. She’s given up explaining that I’m actually a high-maintenance spoiled dog. And she knows the truth: no dog is perfect. I come close.

Meeting an old friend

A few days ago we were walking to the park when we heard someone calling us: “Gracie! How are you? You look great!”

Of course i look great. Why wouldn’t I?

It was our old friend Cynthia, from the old Downtown Dog Lounge on Bell Street. We loved going there. They always fussed over me. I never had to hang out in the pen with the other dogs; I was the assistant receptionist and my photo was on the wall as a staff member. Then the place closed.

Cynthia was one of the managers. Now she has another job and she’s probably doing well. But she remembers when Cathy first adopted me. “Gracie is so much more confident,” she said, giving me a scratch in that special spot on my tummy. That feels SO good. Can you tell I was thrilled to see Cynthia?

Our Dog Park Gets Artistic

Before my mom moved to Seattle, and well before I was born, our Regrade Park was a bad place. Bad people would go there and do drugs, my mom says.

The only drugs we have are my prescribed medicines and some catnip for our feline housemates. I like a little catnip myself but I am  a sensible creature. I eat it. The  cats go nuts: they’re rolling on the floor in all sorts of undignified positions. So if that’s what humans do, count me out.

This wall originally was supposed to be a handball court and once someone had a basketball hoop. That was a long time ago.

When the park became a dog park, my mom learned, all the crime vanished. As she points out, “If you’re up to no good, you don’t want to walk through a park with large German shepherds and Rottweilers.” Frankly, I avoid the large boys myself.

Recently the park’s residents donated funds for a mural to celebrate the park. So far we’ve got the background – Seattle, what else? – and eventually dogs will be added. My name will be there somewhere because Cathy donated in my name. She didn’t ask if I’d rather have a doggie coat, an extra walk or a new toy.

I guess the mural’s okay. Today my mom heard that the artists may draw dog pictures, including a poodle. A poodle? This is a dog park for mixed breed royalty, like me. We run the gamut from purebreds to … well, dogs like me who have several breeds integrated into a pleasing, perfect mix. Words like “mongrel” and “mutt” are not allowed in my presence.

Doing what I do best: dog seeks treats

Accepting a treat from Lindsay.
Accepting a treat from Lindsay.
Lindsay came back to the park today after a week away, wearing a new jacket and bearing a bag of treats. Naturally I had to stick my nose in, literally.

My mom said, “Gracie, if you don’t want to play, we’re going home. Anyway, you look tired.”

Well, I should be. Yesterday I played with a charming miniature Schnauzer from New York. I enjoyed meeting a fellow urban dog while my mom got caught up with the schnauzer’s owner on what’s happening in New York, where she’s from originally. I ran all over the park.

“Stop fussing over her,” Lindsay said. “Can I give her a treat?”

Well, does it rain in Seattle? I’m ready. Someone snapped this photo and my mom immediately said, “Can you send it to me for Gracie’s blog?”

Shortly afterward we headed for home, where I zonked out immediately. I need to get rested for tomorrow’s jaunt to the big park with my Aunt Sara. A dog’s life, right?