Category Archives: Frank and Stanley

Chloë Loses Another Mentor

Mike recalled that Tara was a puppy, just a little ball of fur, when he moved to Seattle in September 1998. He and Heather first met her during a party at Tara’s owners’ ranch, the place that would later become my personal vacation getaway whenever we go out there to take care of her and the horses. For me, Tara was the first dog beyond my own family (Frank and Stanley, et. al.) that I ever knew. Just a couple of weeks after Mike and Heather brought me home, all three of us stayed at Tara’s house for several days. I was young and tiny (see photo in slide show below), but I learned a lot that week, especially to stay out of Tara’s way when she gave me the Stink Eye.  In the overall scheme of things, that was a good thing to learn.

My friend was old and pretty gimpy when she died, but spunky and grumpy to the end. No matter how many times I tried to be nice to her and follow her butt around, she never stopped giving me that menacing growl whenever I got too close to her or to a toy she wanted (she didn’t really want it, only that I shouldn’t have it). After all, this was her house, she was the boss, and don’t anyone forget it. Regardless, I learned from, loved and respected Tara, and now I’m going to miss her a lot.

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On the other hand, all sentimentality aside, I hope they don’t pack away her Rattling Santa toy.

Chloë and Rattling Santa

Chloë and Rattling Santa

 

Chloë Honors an Old Friend

Spiff with Frank and Heather

Spiff with Frank and Heather

There are few dogs that I look forward to seeing, especially big dogs. Titan, a Great Dane puppy, sneaked up on me a few days ago and I just about died; at least I was immediately flat on my back with all four paws up in the air, pretending I had died. Luckily, he just sniffed me and moved on.

However, I always wiggle gleefully when I run into Spiff, who is a big dog. I’ve known him since I was a puppy hanging out on the sidewalk in front of our house in my exercise pen. Spiff’s owner, Andy, always made sure I had enough water and shade, and let Heather know about it if I didn’t. While I barked at most of the dogs that tried to walk up my street, I always let Spiff nuzzle me through the pen. I just liked his gentle way and the way he smelled. Spiff was old, even then. Now, more than four years later, Spiff is really old. But Spiff is still living large, thanks to Andy, who is a saint. Andy makes sure Spiff gets around to all of his old haunts. He calls him “honey” and uses a harness to help get him around. Spiff is a big boy; Andy is not.

Not his good side

Not his good side

Spiff usually holds court on the weekends near the parking lot in Discovery Park.  But the other day we found him  lying by a bench along Magnolia Boulevard, a popular place for dog walking, especially for senior citizen dogs who can’t manage the terrain of park trails. It’s pretty flat along the sidewalk, and there are lots of grassy areas for resting.

Spiff rose when we approached and let us all say hi.  I jumped up and licked his nose. Then I dashed off  to play ball with Heather and see what kind of rabbit activity I could find in the underbrush, while Mike paused to take Spiff’s picture. “Make sure you get his good side,” Andy advised,  but by then it was too late. As soon as Spiff sensed what was going on, he refused to cooperate any further.

Spiff and Andy Relax Along the Boulevard

Spiff and Andy Relax Along the Boulevard

Chloe on Steps-002

Facing the future

I just hope I can still enjoy life as much as Spiff does when I get that old. And that Mike and Heather remain as dedicated to me as Andy is to Spiff. I think they will. Mike, especially, seems very familiar with that particular stretch of parkland along the boulevard where old dogs walk, like he’s been there many times before. When my time comes, I’m sure I’ll be in good hands.

Chloë Turns Four with a Flourish

Frank and Stan upend Chloë.

Frank and Stan upend Chloë.

Frank

Frank

I got together with my brothers Frank and Stanley the weekend prior to our fourth birthday. It’s still good to see them, but it’s not the raucous good time of our youth. Not more than once or twice in an hour do the boys gang up on me, and I generally know how to steer clear of their shenanigans.  Besides, Frank is far more interested in rodents than he is in rolling me.

Stanley

Stanley

My birthday, Wednesday, Feb. 5, was celebrated as a holiday in Seattle and throughout the Northwest.  But instead of heading downtown to the big Seahawks parade, Mike stayed home with me and plied me with special treats, including a real veal shank that he brought all the way from Tampa. I pretty much ate the whole thing.

And if that weren’t enough of a treat, when we returned from our afternoon grocery shopping, my UPS guy had dropped off a package for Mike and two large Milk Bones for me. That’s the kind of service I’ve come to expect from UPS.

Chloë at 4

Chloë at 4

Victim points to evidence

Victim points to evidence

Lest we forget that there’s a lot of puppy left in me, I capped off my fourth birthday by surprising Mike with a flying leap as he was unzipping me from my downstairs crate, knocking him over and brushing my tooth against his forehead. No big deal. When Heather noticed Mike had another scab on his forehead, she assumed Mike had been to the dermatologist again. Just another brick in the wall, I guess.

And beyond my friskiness, I have obviously retained all of my puppy charm and good looks. Here’s living proof:

Mike and I were walking near the water tower when a car pulled over next to us at a stop sign, and a woman rolled down the front passenger’s window. “Is that a wirehair?” she asked. When Mike said I was indeed, she opened the car door and extended her hand toward me. “She’s so cute!” she squealed. The male driver and two girls in the back seat rolled down their windows, craned their necks and voiced their agreement. “We have a wirehair and a longhair at home,” the woman said as I sniffed her fingers. “How old is yours?” Mike told her I had just turned four. “She’s so cute!” she repeated, and at that moment I actually licked the hand of a stranger that didn’t even have a treat in it. Heck, I was close to jumping into her lap in the front seat and going home with them.

Chloë's new business card.

Chloë’s business card

Another car pulled up behind theirs, however,  and she had to close her door. Then the  car turned left and sped south on Viewmont Way before Mike had a chance to hand her one of my business cards. I was certain the gentleman in the driver’s seat was a noted Hollywood producer and his wife was his talent scout. It might have been my big break.

Oh, well; I still have Hurby to suck on.

Chloë Gets Accolades from Her Doctor

I have determined that going to the vet isn’t the trauma that it’s often made out to be by pets much wimpier than I.

Elliott Bay Animal Hospital

When I go to the vet, particularly for my annual physical, I come away filled with praise and a nonstop supply of treats. Other than the anal thermometer, what’s there to be nervous about?

When Mike and I went there the other day,  I had the crucial weigh-in first. My new assistant Corrie put me on a scale recently installed in the lobby that I didn’t even have to step up onto;  it was just flat with the floor. And after I finally planted my butt down, Corrie said, “18.1 pounds, even lower than last time.” Obviously, Mike is not feeding me enough frozen PBBs.

Frozen PBB., fully stuffed.

Frozen PBB., fully stuffed.

Dr. Kimmel

Dr. Kimmel

Then Dr. Kimmel came into the exam room and got things off on the right foot by referring to me as “the healthy one in the family.” She meant that my portly brothers Frank and Stanley, also her patients,  continue to be plagued by skin problems.  Hmmm. . .maybe the broth, eggs and yogurt that Mike mixes in with my kibble every day is having positive, probiotic effects on me, as Mike’s homemade pickles do for him and Heather. I just thought all that stuff he mixed in made the dry kibble taste better, which it does. But I digress.

Dr. Kimmel examined me head to toenail (had them clipped), and she dismissed as insignificant any of the little bumps on my otherwise perfect body that Mike dutifully pointed out to her. One of the bumps turned out to be my microchip, migrated from between my shoulder blades. No big deal, apparently. She also praised my weight and overall physical condition, but she gave her greatest accolades to my dental care. “Beautiful” and “awesome” are but two of her words describing my teeth and gums. On the chart she filled out and gave Mike, under Dental Score (mild to severe), she penciled in a new category below the lowest one the chart and circled it.  In other words,  my dental health lies in previously uncharted territory.

Check out those pearly whites!

Check out those pearly whites!

Mike was so happy about my behavior and my exam results that on the way out he scooped up a handful of the fancy organic treats they leave on the counter, and he gave me a steady supply of treats for the rest of the day. If this continues, that 18.1-pound mark might soon become yet another fond memory of my youth.

Chloë Gets Down with Her Bros

I got together with the boys a few weeks ago for a pre-birthday romp. All of us were otherwise engaged on our birthday proper, so we took advantage of this opportunity to marvel at how grown up we’re getting and how much Stan and I are starting to look like twins.

Stanley and Tiffany

Stanley and Tiffany

Frank, on the other hand, takes after the other half of the family. That Frank, he’s his own guy.

Frank and Tiffany

Frank and Tiffany

It’s easy to see which one I take after.

Our heroine.

Our heroine.

 

Chloë Threatens to Fire Her Agent

Up to now, I had thought Mike was doing a pretty good job for me. I mean, nobody has stopped me in Petco asking for an autograph, but strangers still stop us and tell Mike and me how cute I am.  And certainly through my blog, Mike has established me on a higher recognition plane than any other wirehair dachshund my age, at least the ones I know about.  I’ve had videos on the Visi-Ball site, for crying out loud. Think Frank and Stanley have built that much of a literary platform?

Kiki, before her TV debut

But I’ve got to reconsider my assessment of Mike’s worth in career-building  after finding out that Kiki–that tiny Havanese my friend Lynn takes me to play with,  has made her network TV debut. The nerve of her! (Kiki, not Lynn; I can’t imagine for an instant that Lynn had anything directly to do with my snub or Kiki’s good fortune.)

I refuse to hold it against Kiki, though. After all, she’s not nearly as cute as I am;  she’s just got a better agent.

Kiki and Chloë square off.

I’m blaming Mike. And unless he can get himself back on my good side, he’s toast. And if in the end I decide to let him stay on as my chauffeur, autobiographer and personal assistant, he’s gonna owe me, big time.

Come to think of it, there’s no way I’m letting Kiki get away with this, either. The next time  I see her, I’m going to have to remind her who’s the boss.

Chloë Educates Her Brothers

I hadn’t seen my brothers Frank and Stanley for quite a while when we got together on a drizzly afternoon last month.  I brought them over to the cemetery in the park, and they were happy to get this geography lesson since they had never been there before.  I showed them the cemetery is a great place to chase squirrels and balls and, at this time of year, jump around in piles of leaves. Just don’t take a flying leap into a stone wall behind the leaves like I did the other day.

Chloë fends off Frank.

Frank, Stan and I were all excited to see each other, but our usual  unabashed euphoria wore off more quickly this time. Then we all did our own thing for a while before coming back together for another brief bout of wrasslin’. Stan, of course, was much more interested in mixing it up with me than Frank was. Frank’s still the brooding intellectual type, whereas Stanley’s just a brute.

But, as you can see from the shot above, I  usually hold my own. Until they gang up on me together, that is, although it always seems to be Stan leading the charge. One time Heather had to raise her voice to Stan, who was growling a little too vociferously as he grabbed my neck with his teeth.

The boys gain the upper hand

Hey, we’re cool. Everyone calmed down long enough to shoot a family portrait with Frank and Stan and their humans, Tiffany and Andrew. I like them because they have no compunction about letting me lick them on the mouth and bite their noses. That’s the kind of humans I like to hang with.

Stan and Frank and Chloë with Tiffany, Heather and Andrew