Category Archives: Chloë’s Visitor Portraits

Chloë Vacations by the Shore

Along the Thornton-Cookstown Trail, Innisfil, ON

The last legs of our cross-Canada trip came at a slower pace. After skirting the northern shores of Lakes Superior and Huron (lots of trees) in a series of one-night stops, we landed for two nights in one place and four nights in the next. We had a whole apartment near Heather’s sister Alison’s house. The place was OK, since the wooden stairs to the bedroom was so slippery that Heather  had to  carry me up and down like I was Queen Nefertiti. (Heather slipped once, though, which wasn’t so funny.) One day many people from Heather’s family came over, which was cool with me because there were a lot of leftovers and more plates to lick, not to mention random chips falling on the floor.

Lakeside fetching, Cobourg, ON

My visit to meet Alison’s new puppy Sadie didn’t go nearly as well. She was only six months old and not very socialized to other dogs, so she was all over me and didn’t know how to set limits. After we rolled around for a minute and she wouldn’t back off, cooler heads decided to keep us apart on this trip; Sadie was in the yard and I was in the house, or vice-versa. That worked a lot better. It was pretty hot while we were there, too, so we took our daily walks mostly around the neighborhood in the early morning, but we did get to complete another leg of the Thornton-Cookstown Trans-Canada Trail before we left. We still have a ways to go.

With Aunt Robin

Our final stop before reaching Syracuse rated No. 1 on my list of favorite places on this journey to the East. We stayed at a house being rented by Heather’s sister, my Aunt Robin, and her partner Barry in Cobourg, Ontario, about an hour east of Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. Thankfully, there was a fence and tall hedge between their back yard and the beach, so I wasn’t constantly subjected to the sight and sound of waves lapping up the shoreline. Ever since Heather took me down to the beach on Puget Sound during a storm many years ago, just the thought of  water rushing toward me gives me the creeps. Rivers and boats are OK, but not lakes and oceans.

Heather throws, Chloë fetches.

Other than that big lake in front of it, this house had everything I’m looking for in a quality back yard It was totally fenced in, mostly flat and full of lush, green lawn and pockmarked with the dens of squirrels and chipmunks. For me, this was like going to a relaxing health spa with unlimited buffets dining and top-line entertainment. I got to chase my ball  for the first time since we left Seattle, and I was allowed off leash to explore the yard and flop anywhere I wanted to — at least until I dug a hole in the middle of the lawn while in pursuit of a burrowing chipmunk. Aunt Robin wasn’t smiling when she took a shovelful of dirt from a garden and filled in the hole I dug. I was on a strict “no dig” policy after that.

Frozen PBB, side view

Frankly, I could have stayed there in that back yard for the rest of the summer, but duty called: We had to get back to the good ol’ U.S.A. Each one of us had discovered something we missed. For Mike, it was ESPN. For Heather, it was a good cup of coffee and NCIS marathons. And for me, Peanut Butter Boneys that are frozen in a hollow marrow bone instead of the tiny plastic cups I’ve been getting on the road. I want my PBB!

Chloë Gets Auntsy

Backseat drivers.

The recent visit of my Syracuse aunts Susie and Debby was wonderful. They immediately picked up my cues on where my downstairs treats are located, and it had been years since I got this much constant attention. The best part was having company in the back seat of Heather’s car whenever we drove somewhere. Rather than my recent hesitancy about getting into the car and regular whining while in it, there was zero whining when I had my choice of two laps to lie on. Maybe they can come along with us when we drive across Canada to Syracuse this summer.

Pausing at Kubota Garden.

We took Susie and Debby on walks at Shilshole Marina, the Washington Park Arboretum, the Centennial Park trail past the grain elevator, Kubota Garden and around our Magnolia neighborhood to check out all the blooming rhododendrons. One evening my pals Caroline and Schatzi came over for dinner, but that was the extent of the partying. Other than that, the weather was cold and it rained a lot, so everybody did a lot of sitting around in the living room, talking and watching movies or slide shows of old family photos. Everybody in my pack was in one room, just the way I like it. That was my idea of a perfect vacation. I hope my aunts felt the same.

Chloë welcomes Susie and Debby to Seattle.


Chloë Entertains Her Pals

Chloë (center) with her pal Charlie

I spent  most of the fall settling back into my old routines after the three-month journey to the East and back. I played a lot of Wiffie with Mike and fetch with Heather, although she declared my favorite spot, Chloë’s Lane, off limits after I ran away into the dense underbrush in pursuit of rabbits once too often.  I can’t blame her, but it’s just the hound in me.

So instead of visiting friends and being catered to, I’ve been the one playing host the past few weeks. First we had a long weekend visit from my best pal Charlie, who came all the way from St. Louis just to see me and eat some of Seattle’s best pizza. Charlie arrived just after Halloween, which may explain whey he dressed like some kind of black-clad commando when we took a walk in Discovery Park. When Mike took our picture, we blended well together.

Schatzi in her car seat

I also spent a lot of time with Schatzi, the dachshund puppy who belongs to Caroline, my personal financial adviser and sometime hotelier. Schatzi got a lot longer over the three months I was away, and each week she’s putting on  weight. Eventually she’ll weigh more than I do, but for now, I’m the alpha dog and plan to keep it that way. She gets in my face a lot, but I can still flip her over by her nose if she gets too bothersome.

Over the fall we took several long walks with Schatzi. When we went to the military cemetery I tried showing her how to fetch, but mostly she wanted to chase me, not the ball. We’ll work on it some more next time.


Dachshund Wrestling Federation.

Amazingly, since I generally don’t want to be around other dogs, especially puppies, I really like Schatzi. Two weeks ago Caroline and David dropped her off at our house with her crate and food, and she stayed with us for a whole weekend. Even though Schatzi arrived with one front paw bandaged because of a nail-clipping accident, we had a lot of fun hanging out, walking in the park and wrestling in the living room. Plus, she brought her own treats and dog bed with her, and I liked them all. Sure, she pooped in the house once and whined a bit at night, but as far as I’m concerned, Schatzi can stay with us anytime. I’m looking forward to a lot more of this.






Chloë Visits Friends Back East

On Roaring Brook, Lowville NY.

After nearly three months on the road, we finally got home to Seattle a couple of weeks ago. We had lots of fun, but all of us were glad to be home and sleeping in our own beds. (Not to mention being able to chase Wiffie around the house, play fetch off-leash and burrow into bed with Heather, all off limits on the trip.)

Conferring with Heather about the seating plan.

Sometimes, I admit, it was tough on me, being hustled in and out of my harness in the car four or five times a day. On the other hand, as long as we were driving, everyone in the pack was together, which is always OK with me.

On the way back to Seattle we visited a lot of Mike’s and Heather’s friends and family, which was a lot more fun than staying in hotels. Everybody we stayed with was just so nice to me, going out of his or her way to make me as comfortable as possible, which is important to me. We went on many walks to new and exciting places, too.  Sometimes things got a little too exciting, as you’ll read about below. So I wanted to take a minute to thank all of my hosts for a job well done, and I hope they will all visit me in Seattle sometime soon.

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We were on the road a long time. After leaving Syracuse, first we spent a week or so in Canada and a couple of nights with my pal Penny in the Adirondacks. Then we wound our way through New England and northern Pennsylvania. All those narrow, twisting roads we took made Heather slow down the car, which made me start to whine in the back seat. She and Mike finally figured out that I was trying to tell them to open the window in the backseat so I could sniff the countryside. That’s all l I ever wanted with my whining–unless I needed a bathroom break or a snack, of course. I only whine for good reason, and it’s always a fine whine.

Letting it all hang out the rear window.

When they moved my bed closer to the rear window, things got even better. Soon I was sticking nose, my head, my neck and eventually half my body outside the car with reckless abandon every time we slowed to 30 mph or less. In fact, a few times Mike got nervous, reached out, grabbed my harness and yanked me back into the car.

Some of my other return trip highlights included hiking in Connecticut with Scott (although I was not treated to any leftovers from their lunch at Ted’s World-Famous Steamed Cheeseburgers). In Boston, I chased geese along the Charles River Esplanade and took a ride up the North River on Gary’s boat. We anchored where the water was calm, I didn’t have to worry about waves, and I could chase sticks unencumbered.

Swimming with Jake, Massachusetts.

A couple of days later, when we visited John and Peggy in Massachusetts, I went swimming again, this time in a pond with a loveable old retriever named Jake. That was fun, and so was running around Jake’s huge, fenced-in back yard when Mike and Heather went off to a wedding. That is, I was having fun until my enthusiastic digging unearthed a nest of yellow jackets, whose stings on my snout sent me to the doggie emergency room and brought Heather and Mike scurrying back from the wedding. I was in bad shape at first (I will spare you the gory details!), but Peggy and John took good care of me, and after the doctor injected me with Benadryl, I felt fine the next morning.

Rob showed me carcasses, Pennsylvania.

From there it was back into the car for the ride home. We drove from New England to northwestern Pennsylvania, where we got a cook’s tour of Warren, Pa., from favorite son Rudy and visited his camp on the Allegheny River. Then we spent a lovely night with Denise and Rob on their bucolic farm north of Pittsburgh. Mike’s friends Dave and Wayne drove up from the Burgh to see us, and Rob cooked lasagna for everyone (I licked a few plates, so I know how good it was.) Next morning Rob took us on a tour of the property and I got to sniff some really cool animal carcasses. Of all the places we walked on the trip, this was my favorite.

At Charlie’s house, St. Louis.

My biggest surprise, though, was when we stopped for a couple of nights in St. Louis, where I enjoyed a reunion with my best pal Charlie. I knew he had moved back there from Seattle just before we left in June, but I had no idea we would be visiting him on this trip. And I was really glad to find out his house was air-conditioned, because it was hot and humid the whole time we were there. I even got to nap in Logan’s bed a few times, much to Logan’s chagrin when he came home a few weeks later.

There’s lots more to tell, but I hear Heather calling me to go for our afternoon walk, and I don’t want to keep her waiting (not prudent!). I’ll continue next time. It’s good to be back.


Chloë Finds America Great Again

Great Sacandaga Lake

The final afternoon walk on the Canadian leg of our coast-to-coast excursion didn’t go so well.  While the place—Lemoine Point Conservation Area outside Kingston, ON—had nice, wide trails that kept me away from its Lake Ontario waves, in the middle of a large meadow on our trek, two dogs who were both a lot bigger than me and not at all under the control of their owner leaned far over to where I was lying down on the side of the trail and lunged. Even though they were on leashes, they got pretty close to me. Luckily, Heather reacted quickly and yanked me away by my leash. When I was safely out of harm’s way, she started yelling at the dogs and their owner, who was dragging them away and muttering apologies that Heather wasn’t buying.

Actually, that owner exhibited the kind of me-first behavior usually associated with Americans, and yet here we were in Canada. Apparently bad behavior knows no boundaries.

Chloe chills by the lake,

On the other hand, after we returned to the U.S., everybody from the border patrol agents to people we meet on our walks has been so darn nice to me. Instead of motels, we stayed at the homes of several of Mike’s and Heather’s friends, and every one of them lavished praise and attention on me, telling them how physically fit and well-behaved I am. (Let’s just say I am practiced at the art of deception.)

Our first stop on this part of the trip was with the people I already know the best, my Seattle friends Mike and Carol and my dog buddy Penny, who frequently comes over to our house when everyone except us watches Syracuse games on TV.  Before we arrived at their camp on Great Sacandaga Lake, Mike and Carol were smart enough to hide all of Penny’s Mushabellies (I tend to silence them forever), but I did get to play some Wiffie (I left some pretty good tooth marks on the ball, too).

With Heather, Mike, Carol and Penny at camp.

While we were staying there, Heather went to a local pet and feed store and bought me a new toy of my own, a stuffed one with a squeaker. It was the first new toy I’ve had in quite a while, in fact. And Mike bought himself a sweatshirt and a pair of scissors at America’s first “5 and 10” in Northville, NY.  Apparently the American economy is booming.

Yes, it was great to be back in the U.S.A.




Chloë Welcomes Spring

Tiptoe through Heather’s tulips.

After a long, cold, wet winter, I am really digging the warmer spring weather that finally got here.  Last week I enjoyed several longer walks with a lot of spirited fetching mixed in, punctuated by frequent stops to sample the unbeatable salad bar offerings in the South Meadow. And I could really tell that spring had sprung when all of Heather’s new tulips burst open  at the same time as the azaleas in the front yard. Heather has received many well-deserved compliments.

Ron and Cathy on a previous visit.

During our first hot spell my Alaska pals Ron and Cathy visited for a few days on their way back to Juneau. By now I have them so well-trained that I don’t even have to remind them where the downstairs treat container is. They just know. I made sure to spend a lot of time downstairs while they were here.

The Sunday after they left, Mike and Heather took me on a walk with my pal Charlie at Carkeek Park, where I have a few special places for fetch that are second only to my personal trail in Discovery Park. Unfortunately, all my favorite spots were in use when we arrived at them. Along the trail to the salmon-raising area, instead of throwing the ball I was forced to listen to a knowledgeable volunteer explain the salmon-rearing process. Heather actually fed the salmon fry right in front of me while I sat there, eyeing all the fish and starving.

Lounging in Piper’s Orchard.

Later, still brimming with my unreleased springtime energy, I dragged Charlie, Mike and Heather up and down some of the steepest trails in the park before enjoying a brief respite in the blooming fruit tree orchard another quarter-mile further up Piper’s Creek. Mike made a couple of half-hearted throws for me before deciding the tall, unmowed grass could eat my ball at any moment. Can’t say I could disagree. Anyway, we had a great walk that afternoon, and before I went back to the car Mike served me dinner al fresco, a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Chloë Wins While Orange Loses



My friend Penny’s back in Seattle for a few months after her summer in the Adirondacks. Two Saturdays ago, she came over to my house for a football game , and last Saturday we went over to hers. The Syracuse football team was routed both times (and pretty much whenever it plays, to tell the truth), but it’s always a lot more fun for me when we go over to her place. I get tired of playing around with Penny pretty quickly, but she has a great toy collection for me to rummage through, and another long, dull football game is plenty time enough to examine every single one. Wrestling with Penny and going on walks around the neighborhood with her is OK, but I’m much more interested in those toys. And the carpet. I can never get too much carpet.

George and Debbie with Chloë

George and Debbie with Chloë

My Alaska pals George and Debbie came with us to Penny’s house, apparently because they share an allegiance to the Orange Nation (class of 1972).  George and Deb stayed at our house for one night before flying to Europe. I was sorry they couldn’t stay longer, because they paid a lot of attention to me. They quickly picked up my visual and aural cues to find my downstairs treat container, too. Being dog owners themselves, however, they broke the biscuits in half before bestowing them, which was of course totally unnecessary. No need to skimp down here in the Lower 48.

I’m still holding out hope that Mike and Heather will take me with them when they go up to Juneau for a visit. I want to commiserate with George and Debbie’s dogs, Max and Bob, and both of them are getting on in years. Mike and Heather have discussed it, but they are reluctant to take me on a plane, having heard horror stories about stranded and stricken dogs on planes and tarmacs.

I’m torn on the subject. Penny flies on planes all the time, and she’s not complaining. But she’s a lot tinier and more docile than I am, however, so she gets to fly in the cabin with passengers, not with the freight and luggage. Steerage is not my style, and there’s no way I’m going on an intense weight-loss program just so I can squeeze into an under-seat carrier.

So pass me those treats, please. Whole ones!

Chloë Entertains More Visitors from the East

I  haven’t yet had the privilege of visiting “back East,” which is where Mike and Heather came from, long before I was born. But everyone I meet from “back East” is so much fun, I can’t wait for a chance to get there. Heather has told me many times that she’s going to take me there “after I retire,” whenever that may be.

Cruise ship off to Alaska

Cruise ship off to Alaska

Everybody I’ve met from “back East” is so nice to me. My latest visitors were Gary and Cindy, who came from Boston to go to a wedding near Seattle.  Gary and  Mike have known each other since the Seventies in Syracuse, many dogs ago,  and they have remained close friends. He and Cindy stayed with us twice, at both ends of a week-long cruise to Alaska prior to the wedding near Seattle.  In fact, the day they came back we took a walk and we could see their cruise ship sail past the viewpoints in Discovery Park.

Gary and Cindy

Gary and Cindy

The first part of their visit was too much of a whirlwind for me to make much of an impression on them. It was a record hot day in Seattle, and so I had to stay home, unable to sit on their laps during Mike’s official auto tour of the city. On their return visit, however, I had two whole days to teach Cindy the whereabouts of my downstairs treat container, and I got both of them to walk with me all the way down to the Ballard Locks and back, which was a lot more exercise than they got on that cruise ship, I’m sure. We were out walking almost three hours that afternoon, and trust me, there was no all-you-can-eat buffet laid out when we got back to our house, either. Gary and Cindy more than coped with all the hardships; they had smiles on their faces the whole time they were here.

I could tell they were OK people when they picked me up to pose for their official Chloë Visitor Portrait without regard to the fancy duds they were wearing for the wedding. I approve! I just hope they come back before that downstairs treat container is empty.

Chloë Plays Nurse

Cathy and Ron

Cathy and Ron

Among my many pals from Alaska, I see Cathy and Ron the most. They have pretty much become part of my pack, like Lynn and Charlie.

In fact, they had visited us just a few weeks ago, so when they showed up again I figured they missed me so much that they decided to come back quickly. But the morning after they got here, Cathy left for a few nights, and every night Ron came back to the house late, looking very tired.  Then Cathy returned, but I could see right away that she was hurting and probably needed to stay in bed for a while. That’s when I realized I could really help her out by snuggling close to her in her bed and in front of the fireplace, which was turned on a lot, just the way I like it. And  it didn’t take me long to train Ron about the treat container by the TV set. Whenever I stared at it, he got the message.

Ron walked in the park with Mike and I a few times. One day in the pouring rain, he recaptured me when I sprinted off from the parade ground to chase a fat gray rabbit behind the housing-renovation area. Ron cornered me in about two minutes; it would have taken Mike a half hour at least, maybe more because it was raining so hard. I was good after that.

Cathy has Chloë eating out of her hand.

Cathy has Chloë eating out of her hand.

A few days later, Mike tried  to get me to pose with Ron and Cathy for one of my patented Visitor Portraits,  but I was far more interested in chomping down the black  compost that’s been covering the front yard for about a week. Yum and um! Heather had been wondering why my poop was black, and now it’s apparent. No big deal. Mike can feed me something in tan to even things up before St. Patrick’s Day.

I  obviously did a good job nursing Cathy back to good health, because by the time she and Ron left a few days later, she was already able to walk in the park with us for more than an hour. I had a great time while they were here; something good was always happening, and even when I was left home for a while, I got another Wobbler to knock around. In fact, for a couple of days after Ron and Cathy left I kept looking for them in the downstairs bedroom, all for naught. Now it’s back to boring Mike and his NCAA Tournament bracket.

Chloë Entertains Her Fans

After spending some slow vacation time with my Chloë Care Team (that would be Lynn, Charlie and Jill) while Mike and Heather were away for a week,  my life turned into a social whirlwind  as soon as they returned. Heather’s sister Annabelle drove down from British Columbia for the weekend, and two of Heather’s cousins came dinner on Saturday. Not only was it a Tully Family Reunion (held last July) all over again, but it also gave me a chance to connect with several of my regular readers at one time. I reveled in the attention.

Chloë greets loyal readers Charlie, Heather Sue, Annabelle and Pookie.

Chloë greets loyal readers Charlie, Heather Sue, Annabelle and Pookie on the steps of the Headquarters Building in Discovery Park, Seattle.

Heather’s cousin Pookie lives in Montana and Cousin Sue in Oregon, and they were visiting Seattle for the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Heather and Annabelle were planning to join them at the show  on Saturday, but then Annabelle’s car started making funny noises and she had to deal with that instead. Just as well, as I got to spend the whole day with Heather, always a treat. Besides, Mike was at Scott’s house to watch his basketball game, and it’s always pretty boring there.

In the late afternoon, cousins Sue and Pookie joined Heather, Annabelle and my regular weekend walking partner Charlie for a stroll in the park, giving me a good chance to mingle with my fans.  Mike had to stay home and cook dinner, and because of the ample company I had with me, that was a much more efficient use of his time. It paid off, too, as Mike’s Greek Chicken with Red-Skin Potatoes was a big hit at dinner and yielded enough plate scrapings to enhance my twice-daily kibble for three weeks at least. On top of that, cousin Sue brought me meat loaf; I got a few mouthfuls after Mike and Heather ate most of it.

And then this:  Right on the heels of discovering a painting of a dachshund that resembled me in a San Francisco restaurant, cousin Sue revealed that she also has a dachshund named Chloe (where’s her umlaut?).  A couple of days later, she sent a picture.

Sue Tully's Chloe

Cousin Sue’s Chloe

What’s going on here! How come these other dachshunds get professional portraits and I don’t?  Am I supposed to live my whole life settling for middling photography from Mike to chronicle my existence? Not fair. Just not fair. I deserve Annie Leibovitz at the least. Look at that face.

A settler

A settler