Category Archives: Schatzi

Chloë Admits She Was Naughty, Not Nice

Berry Ball

A couple of posts ago I introduced readers to my two newest favorite toys, the Troll and the Berry Ball. At that time, we couldn’t remember where the Berry Ball came from, or how long it had been in the house. Luckily, two of my regular readers (shall I refer to them as the Chloëttes?) helped me figure it out.

First, reader Ruth showed us where it came from: Chewy.com. My Berry Ball is actually a Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Raspberry Treat Dispensing Dog Chew Toy! It is touted as indestructible, and so far it has been that. It is also supposed to emit a minty scent to dogs, and that’s for me to know and you to find out, if you dare. But–there’s always a but–while it has holes at both ends and the larger one (“the Treat-Spot”) is “perfect for stuffing,”  that’s not likely. The larger hole is so tiny that getting any treat into or out of it would be exceedingly difficult for man or beast. Its Chewy web page also claims, “This toy delivers 100 percent of a dog’s daily requirement of rompoflavin, chompohydrates, and dietary fun.” The jury is still out on that one, although gnawing it has been my primary Berry Ball activity.

Chloë and Schatzi.

Even if I don’t use it as a treat dispenser, Berry Ball remains my favorite toy, dependably fetched first thing in the morning and chased spiritedly before every meal. But learning it was purchased via Chewy.com didn’t explain how Berry Ball ended up in my living room. Then reader Caroline–my pal Schatzi’s owner, my sometime innkeeper and personal financial adviser– chimed in that such a toy was part of the famed and much lusted after Schatzi Collection. And since my young pal  had stayed a few nights with us shortly after we returned to Seattle from our summer trip, the initial arrival of the Berry Ball into my domain was clear. Schatzi brought it, and while she was there I stole it from her to keep as my own. I had plenty of toys of my own, but I wanted hers. It made me happy.

The Troll

 

But today I am remorseful. Such  a dereliction of decency on my part would be bad enough, but this was second theft–from another dog, no less! It inspired me revisit my earlier appropriation of the Troll, the cat toy I picked up at my aunts’ house in Syracuse last summer, took across the country with me and treasured ever since. At first, I was pleased with myself for capturing that prize from those two scaredy-cats, but in retrospect I realized this incident was just my first step in a spiral of lies and criminal behavior. I am ashamed of myself, and unless I can nip this behavior in the bud, I could be a raging kleptomaniac by the time I’m 13. And I can’t have that; I consider myself basically a good, moral dog.

Luckily, this recent deluge of self-awareness came at a fortuitous time, right before Christmas, when everybody (well, Mike and Heather, my Syracuse aunts and my cleaning friend Jere) is making a list and checking it twice, letting Santa know who’s been naughty or nice. Admitting my past sins now should put me put me in much better position for the near future. Santa’s coming and my stocking by the fireplace looks like it’s filled. I can hope.

Chloë Faces Fall

Schatzi gets a belly rub.

It didn’t take long after our summer-long trip trip for us to get back into the swing of things. Just a few days after our return, Schatzi came over for a short stay. I was excited to see her at first, and she seemed a bit more grown up since springtime. Aftr the initial thrill, however, she started to bug me. She still aggravated Heather when we walked together, and I don’t like to see Heather get cranky. Besides, Schatzi was horning in on my affection time, and I couldn’t allow too much of that.

Just a few days after Schatzi left, Mike, Heather and I into Heather’s car right after breakfast and drove onto the highway. For the first few miles I thought another long trip was starting. Then I realized my bed wasn’t raised to window level, so I figured we weren’t going too far. Our destination was Summit Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma, where I underwent the cardiology tests that I had conveniently put out of my mind during the whole summer trip.

Our pumpkin Chloë pauses with pumpkins on Magnolia Boulevard.

The experience wasn’t too bad for me. No sedation was required, all the staff people were very nice, and it didn’t take too long. I got treats. The doctor came out to the car to deliver the diagnosis: “Degenerative valve in heart causing murmur,” a condition not uncommon in older, smaller dogs. “No heart enlargement or visible symptoms like coughing, tired, lethargic, etc.,” the report said. “Recommended annual screening (we’ll see about that!). If heart gets enlarged, medication can slow it, but not necessary at this stage.”

Mike and his political consultant vote in bed, a Washington State tradition.

So that’s a relief. I’m feeling fine, and there’s going to be a follow-up examination after Thanksgiving with my personal physician Dr. Kimmel. We’ll  discuss my condition and general health with her and take it from there.

In the meantime, “Par-tay!” Fall colors are out in the neighborhood, although recently there has been a winter chill in the air. Baseball playoffs are finally over, thank goodness, and the colder weather means more frequent napping with Heather. Finally, all those awful political ads are over! The voting is important, however. That’s why I provided sage input to Mike and Heather while they voted in bed this week. Dogocracy lives! Joe Biden would be proud of us.

 

 

 

Chloë Gets Ready to Roll

Packed for the trip.

The past few weeks were hectic, with packing, route planning and getting the house and yard ready for our prolonged absence during our drive to the East Coast and back. With that in mind, I made sure to pee in each corner of of my domain, trying to give all cats and raccoons a remembrance of my presence  while I’m gone. Unfortunately, Mike’s repeated attempts to get his sprinkler coverage right no doubt washed away all of my best intentions.

Schatzi’s new dining spot.

Despite the bustle, the pack was able to get over to Caroline’s and Schatzi’s house to see their brand-new kitchen renovation before we hit the road. Details were not completely finished when we visited, but everything had been installed except the kitchen sink, so Schatzi and I might have to clean all the dishes. The new floor and cabinets are very modern-looking and sleek, but for me the highlight is certainly Schatzi’s built-in feeding station, which is strategically located a just few inches off the ground, so it’s at the right hright for her to chow downwhile more importantly holding the bowls in place to achieve total licking-the-bowl perfection. I’m sure she’ll really enjoy her kibble, yogurt and sardines! I only wish there were a couple of additional bowl portals for guests, like a motel’s breakfast buffet with side-by-side chafing dishes. I guess I’ll still have to eat off the floor when I’m vacationing over there.

Have nose, will travel.

There was one piece of concerning news for me before we hit the road. At my last vet visit about two weeks ago, I tipped the scales at 22.1 pounds, approaching my all-time highest weight, which has been creeping upward since Heather took over my feeding chores.  On our past journeys across the continent, for me it’s been all sympathy, extra treats and an occasional cup of ice cream. However, between the frequent tugs on my leash and admonitions of “MUTE” when I do too much whining in the car and a potential reduction of my rations and treats, this year’s ride may be much more bumpy. We’ll see!

Chloë Reviews Her Positions

Schatzi and Chloë tussle over stock options.

With spring comes my annual strategy session with my personal financial advisor and sometime hotelier, Caroline. As a senior dog well-versed in the intricacies of investing, I’ve been trying to impart some of my seasoned understanding to Caroline’s Schatzi, so I encouraged the young Schatz to tag along with Caroline that morning and attend my session. Mike and Heather were allowed to come, too, but just for backup and in case I needed to take notes.

Naptime on Wall Street.

While Caroline and her associate Rory discussed my investment positions and streamed impressive graphs and tables onto a large TV on the wall, Schatzi and I tussled, sniffed each other’s butts and eventually retired to opposite ends of the conference table for a well-earned nap. And why not? Obviously, no snacks would be falling on the floor during this session. I’ll have to remember to return for the next open house with catered hors d’oeuvres.

When everyone finally got up to leave, Caroline transferred her computer to the floor, so Schatzi and I could take a closer look at the changes and projections for my portfolio in the short- and long-term. Fortunately, I find this financial stuff easier to understand than the NFL salary cap.

Schatzi and Chloë gain valuable financial insight.

It was a productive meeting. Everything Caroline went over reinforced the analysis I had previously imparted to Schatzi: Don’t worry, stay the course. I certainly realize no one is immune from rampant inflation. Believe me, when every visit to the vet costs more than it used to, and a box of  Vita Bones  at Fred Meyer zooms from $2.39 to $4.29, I hear about it!

I resist panicking, however. I advised Schatzi to adhere to one of Warren Buffett’s favorite theories: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Schatzi seemed to grasp the concept.

Chloë Finds a New Neighborhood Landmark

Resting before dinner.

It has been a cold and rainy spring. Flannel sheets still adorn Mike and Heather’s bed, and I have been taking full advantage of that warmth when I burrow in next to Heather every morning while Mike exercises. I am definitely getting the better of that deal.

My dachshund pal  Schatzi was over here a lot, since her kitchen is being renovated. Schatzi can’t be trusted over there because she tried to rip down plastic sheathing that the contractor had installed. This week Schatzi and Caroline moved into an Air B’n’B in Magnolia while the kitchen’s being finished. Schatzi gets her own built-in feeding station in the remodel. I can’t wait to try it out!

Fetching at the water tower.

Heather, Mike and I have been doing a lot of walking around the neighborhood instead of into the park. That way I can take advantage of lying prone in all the lush lawns, and Mike and Heather can admire the landscaping and the bountiful rhododendrons blooming everywhere. On some days we wind up by the water tower, usually another favorite location for ball-throwing and retrieving. but I wasn’t too interested in throwing the ball there recently; too many distractions.

Free treats? Sign me up!

Anyway, one day on our way home, we passed something much more interesting than my ball: A homeowner had installed one of those Free Library kiosks near his sidewalk, except instead of books this station dispensed free dog biscuits. I marked the spot in my mental GPS,  so I can return frequently.

Aunts Susie and Debby are coming this week, our first overnight guests since the last time Juneau George and Debbie stayed here pre-pandemic. It will be good to have family around again, although I’ll have to train them about where the downstairs treats are kept. I hope my training methods are still as sharp after the long layoff.

Chloë Trades Vacations

Chloë and Schatzi ready to walk.

I am strongly pack-oriented. Whenever my pack is not all together, preferably in the same room, I am on edge. So in that respect, the pandemic has been good for me, since until recently my pack had not missed a single night together since early March 2019. That’s a long time. even for me. When on a Sunday morning, Heather and Mike hustled me and all my gear into the car and deposited me at Schatzi‘s house, I was ready for a vacation.

Pre-dinner snooze in the library.

Just the week before, my pal Schatzi spent several days at our house. I therefore deduced that our respective owners have finally shed their travel fears and are sticking their toes in warmer waters, leaving us behind. For me, having Schatzi around is like a vacation, since she’s always the one drawing Heather’s scolding while I get a temporary free pass. Schatzi celebrated her third birthday while she was with us, with Caroline leaving her special birthday presents but no cake or burgers. Schatzi can still get in my face more than I would like her to, but at least she’s smart enough to back off when I tell her.

Scattering of Schatzi’s toys.

As soon as I got on Schatzi’s turf, I searched for and recovered the squeaky bone toy from her birthday gift, which I had commandeered and since missed every second since she took it home with her (the nerve!). But I didn’t stop there, eventually scattering and discarding most of Schatzi’s largely ignored menagerie all over Caroline’s living room. That was fun!

Fetch in back yard.

During my stay we also played ball in Schatzi’s fenced-in back yard. That is, Caroline threw the ball, I chased the ball, and Schatzi chased me. Schatzi has yet to comprehend the “pick up the ball and bring it back” part of the game. But I did enjoy the freedom of a fenced yard and a lawn. We have neither at our house.

Slumber party at Schatzi’s house.

While long overdue, my vacation was low-key. Mostly I laid around with Schatzi, trading beds every once in a while, going out for walks together and sometimes with Marley from across the street, but mostly sleeping and waiting for Mike and Heather to get back from wherever they went (they claimed to have sent me a postcard, but if they did, it arrived at Schatzi’s house after I came home). Rather than feel ignored, however, I went absolutely nuts, with at least 10 minutes of jumping and squealing, when they walked through the door. My pack was back.

Chloë Takes a Field Trip

Tiring day for Schatzi.

My pal Schatzi stayed with us last weekend, and this time was much more fun than the last. That’s when I was on “bed rest,” and Schatzi had to pretty much leave me alone. Now that I’m fully recovered (and as demanding as ever), this time we were allowed to tussle. So we did, at least until I growled to let her know when I had enough. Schatzi  has calmed down a little, but she’s still a bit more energetic than my recently recovered bones allow. She gets the message.

A weekend with Heather is good training for Schatzi.  (“Tully Obedience Camp” is what Schatzi’s owner Caroline calls it.)  Saturday was a big day for her. In the morning, my pal Penny and her pack came over to watch a Syracuse football game, which usually makes all the people grumpy. We girls just hung out on the couch, chatted and hoped some food would fall on the floor.

Schatzi, Chloë and Penny root on the Orange.

Reining in the girls on a misty afternoon.

Mercifully, the football game ended early in the day. After Penny left, Heather hustled Schatzi and me into the back seat of her car, and we drove all the way out to the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail on what turnd out to be a rain-free but misty afternoon. This being Schatzi’s first visit to these rural environs, we walked all the way from the Lake Alice Road parking lot to the north end of the trail, 1.8 miles each way. Schatzi admitted this was definitely the farthest she had ever walked in one day in her life, but she did OK. I didn’t have to worry about her pouncing on me when we got home, though. She was plum tuckered out.

Trail dogs.

On the drive home, Mike and Heather stopped briefly at my country “getaway” for instruction on some recently installed kitchen appliances. We will be returning here for a longer stay in the near future, but on this rapidly darkening afternoon Schatzi and I stayed in the car, swapping beds in the back seat and curling up for the ride back to Seattle. We both slept well that night.

Chloë Goes on “Bed Rest”

Therapeutic massage.

Turned out all that slow walking I was doing the past couple of months might have been more than my natural dachshund stubbornness. Heather and Mike increasingly observed my back legs shaking when I was standing still, and sometimes limping during and after a rousing game of fetch. When Schatzi stayed at my house back in August, my discomfort boiled over. I tried to ignore her, but I had to nip at her a few times to let her know in no uncertain terms there would be no unbridled wrassling on this particular visit. I needed to take it easy.

Bed rest.

Heather called the veterinary  about an examination, but since my personal physician, Dr. Aimee Kimmel, was not available until the middle of September, Heather put me on “bed rest” for a five days. That meant no hijinks with Schatzi, no chasing my ball, no knocking Wiffie under the furniture, no tug of war with Lamby, no jumping in or out of my camp chair, no going downstairs and, most importantly, no long walks. Every day, just a few brief excursions outside for a pee and a 10-minute (tops) afternoon stroll just to get some fresh air and take care of business. When I finally saw Dr. Kimmel, she endorsed Heather’s prescription and extended it for another month. If this were baseball, that’s like being moved from the 10-day to 60-day IL (injured list). That’s a long time.

Rest in another bed.

Despite my relative lack of activity, so far my treatment hasn’t included special hospital rations – that is, portion reduction in my meals or snacks. Heather has been holding steady in that department, thankfully, although I will approach my next weigh-in at the vet with some trepidation. Other aspects of the plan aren’t so bad. For instance, since I’m not allowed to go downstairs, Heather moved my downstairs crate into the living room, so I can still get inside it for my morning biscuit. I immediately liked running up and down the short ramp they put over the steps by the front door. And, while I have missed the long walks and especially playing fetch, I do have to admit that these short afternoon walks are surprisingly to my liking. Every day, I have been prancing along enthusiastically, eliciting many smiles and comments on my gait from admiring passersby, and more-than-happy to be getting home for dinner that much quicker.

Wiffie under-furniture baffles in storage.

Rest and medication seem to be working, too. Heather noted just yesterday that I am showing more energy and more power in my stride. Sometimes I forget that I’m supposed to be taking it easy, and I jump out of a chair to the floor without help or coax Mike into having a brief tug  of war with me and Lamby. Heather has kept a watchful eye on me, and she scolds us before things can get out of hand, shutting me down but deflecting the responsibility: “No throwing!” she yells. “Dr. Kimmel says NO!” Doctor’s orders! End of story.

Chloë Scores Market Savvy

Heat exhaustion.

After the heat dome lifted, I spent some more time with Schatzi. She was a lot more alert on those occasions than she was the last time.

One day we met at her downtown Magnolia office. Mike and Heather were there to discuss financial stuff with Schatzi’s owner Caroline, who is also of course my own personal financial advisor. When Caroline talks, absolutely nobody listens to what E. F. Hutton has to say.

Nose for news.

When I found out Schatzi was going to be at this meeting, I figured she was there for the air conditioning. But as I wandered around the premises, checking every office and conference room for random potato chips or crackers the cleaning staff may have missed, it dawned on me that Schatzi might actually be getting the inside scoop on Wall Street from discussions she overheard in client meetings. Suddenly, I was concerned that her portfolio might outperform my own.

Searching under the mattress for stock tips.

While our people were yakking at the table above us, I investigated Schatzi’s office bed for tips, to no avail. But a couple of days later I was lucky enough to have Schatzi stay with us for a whole weekend. That’s when I was able to delve deeply into her market perspective. Not surprisingly, Schatzi is energetic and aggressive, likely to follow any scent and reluctant to let go. At age 2, she can afford to have that long-term outlook. At 11,  my investment horizon is shorter.

Schatzi and I danced around that issue one afternoon during her visit. Being a gracious host, I rolled over and let her win.

Face off.

Take down.

Pinned.

While Schatzi visited, whenever we went for walks in the park, Heather took Schatzi’s leash and Mike took mine, because Schatzi is a load to handle. It was the first time Mike had led me on a walk since we took care of  two dogs at the Getaway in April. And what do you know, I liked it! After two days of Mike, I deduced that he is not nearly as tough on me as Heather is. What can I do to bring him back?

 

Chloë Beats the Heat

Looking for relief.

As you probably heard, we had a heat wave here in Seattle, over 100 degrees for three days in a row. Unprecedented heat! We have no air conditioning, so during the day we retreated downstairs. With the windows closed, the shades pulled down and a fan blowing, it was much cooler than upstairs, where the living room thermostat read 98. We took our late afternoon walks early in the morning, and in the evening walked to the park’s breeziest bench and sat in the shade for a while.

How hot was it? When Schatzi came over for a visit, she didn’t even think about getting in my face and goading me into wrestling with her. The two of us just staid still and laid low all day long, and Heather put ice cubes in our water. That was about it. I’d really like it if this were the only heat wave I’ll have to face this summer, but readily admit this is wishful thinking.

Letting sleeping dogs lie.