Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Boys Are Back in Town

(L to R) Frank, Stanley and Chloë stake out their territory.

Finally got together with my bros Frank and Stanley. As regular readers may recall, the boys and I found out we share the same animal hospital (Elliott Bay), although under the new Obama health care plan we have different primary care physicians. The guys live with Tiffany and Andrew over on Queen Anne Hill, the next neighorhood to our east. 

Dachshunds unleashed somewhere in Seattle.

We met in the middle, at Magnolia Park on the south side of Magnolia, overlooking Elliott Bay. Typically hoity-toity Magnolia, it’s a very old school kind of park (after all, it’s part of the original Olmsted park plan for Seattle), with defined paths and lots of green lawn. It was a great spot for resuming my wrasslin’ matches with the guys. We didn’t even need to sniff each other’s butts to recognize each other immediately, and then the guys and ran around like banshees (that’s Mom’s name, after all!). 

Frank pins Chloë on the tarmac.

We must have caused quite a noisy ruckus, however, because after we had been there about 45 minutes one of the park neighbors blew us in to 911. At least that’s what I assumed happened when a truck from Seattle Animal Control (the kind that looks like a small tank and is used to pick up road kill) quietly pulled up on the path nearby. The two officials inside promptly reminded us that even three wild and crazy, 11-week-old dachshund puppies are required to be on leashes. Since none of us has yet learned a damn thing about correct leash walking, it took us about 30 seconds or so to get wound up into one tangled mess. Those Animal Controllers stuck around for a while, just to make sure we were going to remain in 100 percent compliance, so what had already been a fun party broke up early. I didn’t even have a chance to share any biscuits with the boys, let alone a libation or two. 

Chloë turns the tables on Frank.

Until those killjoys spoiled it, however, my homeys and I were having one hell of a time. Clearly, I have some long-held (well, from four weeks ago) issues with Frank (remember F for furry) and Stan (remember S for smooth) that have yet to be fully resolved. Just typical brother-sister things–who’s going to be the boss. Each of the guys already outweighs me by more than two pounds, but I’m a lot quicker than they are. In fact, it’s still pretty easy for me to kick Frank around the block (not only does Frankie look the most like Mom, but he’s a sensitive mama’s boy in more ways than one). But that Stash, well, he shoulda been a bulldog. Once he fully grows into those paws, he’ll be smashing me around like an NFL defensive end sacking a quarterback. That’s why I had to sneak up and bite his ass a few times, just so he gets the message that I can sting when I need to. He better not forget it, that’s all I’m saying. 

Frank: It's not my fault!

Chloë goes airborne to get Stanley's nose.

It was great to see them again. I’m sure we’ll be getting together again…certainly at the graduation ceremony for our upcoming puppy kindergarten classes, if not before. No doubt who the valedictorian will be. 

  

  

  

Brothers and sister share a quiet moment on the lawn.

  

  

 

 

A Few Milestones in My Young Life

Chloë reflects on her first few weeks in Seattle

There are some moments in a young girl’s life that she never forgets. A special Christmas. The touch of a snowflake on the tip of her nose. That first kiss.

But really, kissing is what mostly what puppies do all day (along with sleeping, of course). That first one has to be a good 2 MILLION kisses ago. So to me it’s no big deal, especially compared to these more unique moments to remember:

  • The first time I got to lick clean the plates with maple syrup left over from Mike’s and Heather’s Sunday morning New Hope Mills pancakes. “It’s our tradition,” Heather explained. I won’t argue.
  • The first time I got to sniff another dog’s butt (Esther, a Boston terrier on Magnolia Boulevard, who didn’t take it real well). I liked her buddy Gertrude much better; Gertie, a longhair dachshund, acted like a real lady, like me.

    Treats, please.

  • The first time I saw (and heard) the Skippy Ice Cream truck troll our neighborhood. For some reason, Mike didn’t make him stop. Maybe it’s that endless Scott Joplin song that it plays. I’m sure it was only an innocent oversight on Mike’s part.
  • The first time I got a biscuit from my favorite mailman, Walt Greene. I can feel a deep relationship building here (whole pieces, please).
  • And a real stunner: On our favorite TV show 24, President Allison Taylor has promoted my namesake, Chloë O’Brian, to head of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU). Gotta admit I didn’t see this coming, but I’m glad to see Chloë showed her normal puss face to the President. Chloë has grown so much and really blossomed in this show–and I am sure to follow, once I get a little more training under my collar (training of Mike and Heather, that is).

Chloë in Her Peanut Bed

Surely I have many more milestones to come. I merely wanted to note these briefly, before the inevitable “more important things” come along.

Chloë Has a Getaway

It’s been quite a couple of weeks, I must admit: very tiring, very stressful. Leaving the nest, of course. That’s always a biggie–and that was only the beginning. Then there are all these new things to get used to. Plus, unlike my mom Banshee, these guys NEVER feed me enough! Especially that tightwad Mike.

Chloë plays with chucker on the lawn.

So with all the stress I’ve been under, I was really glad to go on a weekend retreat to my favorite resort in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Fall City. This place has it all: mountain views, a pool and outdoor grill area, a huge HD TV, fully stocked bar and kitchen, plus horseback riding and hiking trails right off  the patio. All that stuff, of course, is mostly for Mike and Heather. For me, the best part was rolling around on the endless expanse of velvety green lawn. Plush. I also got to meet three horses, two humungous cats, and Tara, who got a bit snippy with me when I got in her way (that’s OK, I took her ball home with me to get even).

Chloe follows Heather across the lawn.

Chloë, Queen of the Wild Cascades.

So we made a few trips to the barn and hiked a little in the state forest (even though I don’t have all my shots yet and I’m not supposed to–shhhhhh!). Like everything else I’ve been exposed to so far, at first it felt a little scrary and I did some whining, but then if I stuck with it, it turned out to be fun. I think life’s going to be like that a lot.

Hope you enjoy these other snapshots of my most wonderful vacation yet. Sadly, on Sunday afternoon it was back to that old routine. There better be some new toys back there at the homestead, or else I could turn into one petulant puppy.

Tara, Heather and Chloë chill out after playing.

Heather, Chloë and Correy saddle up.

Chloë parties hearty on her getaway.

Chloë Goes to Work

Our Hero

This time, I’ve heard Mike and Heather say, they are going to pay stict attention to their puppy’s education and discipline. Since training their last puppy 18 years ago (that would be Heidi, the world’s longest dachshund, and we all know how that turned out), they have become avid followers of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. And from Cesar they got the idea that an owner should always make a dog work for food.

Normally this would include stuff like sit and stay, but that’s not enough for Mike. Last week he trundled me and my crate over to the office of the Washington Lodging Association, where Mike was getting trained on a Web editing tool so he could apply the finishing touches to the new WLA Web site. The lodging association was one of Mike’s first freelance editing clients when he arrived in Washington 12 years ago, and he still works for them today. (My guess is that they value his sense of humor, just like I do. He’s such a comedian.)

Chloe makes sure Alison Ippolito is at her desk in WLA office.

Anyway, before Mike got down to his training, I had real work to do. First I met briefly with the WLA staff to tell them what a great job they were doing, and how much I love the new edition of the Washington State Visitors’ Guide  (especially Mike’s articles). Then I herded them back to their desks, because all of them had important work to do, and then I

Puppy kisses, no biting!

waited quietly in my crate while Mike got a valuable  editing lesson  from Suzanne Tomlinson, WLA’s top-notch administrative assistant. Suzanne did such a great job that when they were finished and Mike got me out of the crate to leave, I just had to give her a special token of our appreciation.

All in all, going to work wasn’t bad. My first impression: Just do a little socializing, boss some people around, have a drink and a snack with your co-workers (if any), take a short rest and go home. Heck, I’m not even going to bill them.

Chloë Maps Her Financial Future

Renee, Caroline Alabach's assistant and fellow dachshund owner, and Chloë discuss bonds--the ones between people and their pets.

After starting my social rounds at the vet, there was little doubt where my next visit would be. Heather has already spoken to me about working toward my financial independence and a secure retirement, so I stopped in to see my broker, Caroline Alabach of the Magnolia Edward Jones office.

Chloë opens her gift from a posh Magnolia boutique.

Caroline already advises Heather as well as Mike’s mom Rosalie, but I’m giving my business to Caroline because she owns Pinot, the Magnolia dachshund who has been one of my blog’s biggest fans. Though we’ve yet to meet, after she sent me a plush stuffed toy and gourmet puppy treats from the swanky PJ’s Paws and Claws store, I am dying to meet her in person to thank her for the gifts and for sending me to Dr. Aimee Kimmel, my personal vet.

Caroline and Chloë discuss the word on the Street.

So while I was there Caroline put me into a couple of conservatively invested instruments for my 500-something college fund (too many numbers for a little girl to remember!) and my IRAs. Build slow, I told her, there are a lot of years ahead.  And when Chloë talks, Ed Jones listens.

Chloë’s Anatomy

Seattle Grace Hospital

The TV hospital show Grey’s Anatomy  is set at fictitious Seattle Grace Hospital, but they hardly ever do any filming here in “My Hometown” (of course I’m a Springsteen fan; you expect otherwise?). In fact, the building the helicopter lands on is actually the home of Seattle’s ABC affiliate, just across from the Space Needle.

No such fakery at the Elliott Bay Animal Hospital. This place is for real, and I pleasantly surprised Mike and Heather with how well I did there. Why not? Everybody was fawning all over me, which was very flattering. And I really, really liked my vet, Dr. Aimee Kimmel. She also takes care of Pinot, another dachshund living in my neighborhood whom I will soon be meeting (or so I have been told). I was happy to see Dr. Kimmel was using probes from Welch-Allyn in Skaneateles Falls, because Mike wrote some copy for them once upon a time. Even though Dr. Kimmel stuck something into pretty much every hole in my body, I didn’t react at all. I even laid down and relaxed for a while.

Dr. Aimee Kimmel examines Chloë.

Dr. Aimee Kimmel examines Chloë.

When it was all over, they told me I weighed 5.8 pounds (wow! I thought I was closer to 4 pounds; already I have to go on a diet.) and advised me to get “ear toupees” for my bald ears (FYI, they are NOT bald, just light tan).

I don’t want to brag too much, but look what Dr. Kimmel wrote under General Appearance: “Very Adorable Girl.” On the back of the form she added: “Chloë looks great! She has lovely teeth, great knees, normal eyes, and her skin looks fantastic.” What more could a girl ask for?

And yet, there’s more. A day later, I found out that I had my very own Pet Portal on the EBAH Web site. Don’t think I’m giving out the password, though–I may be vain, but I ain’t stupid.

Chloë's first vet visit: 5.8 pounds of pure muscle.

The very next day, I got my first Pet Portal message, too: Later the same day that I came in for my hospital visit, who shows up for a first checkup than two of my long-lost (well, a week) brothers. Turns out they have moved into the Queen Anne neighborhood, which is  just the other side of the hospital from where we live in Magnolia. I plan to call and get together with those guys soon. We can compare notes, although it’s hard to imagine they’re having better luck than I am.