Category Archives: Video Link Included

Chloë Grooms a Protegé

Heather and her girls

Heather and her girls

When we visited my personal getaway in the Cascade foothills last weekend,  I duly noted that the current resident dog Pumpkin has started to feel at home there. Sometimes she even emerged from her two favorite spots — her crate and her giant pillow full of toys — and hung out with the rest of us.

Pumpkin has gotten consistently more comfortable and congenial since her career as a puppy breeder thankfully ended. Probably she’s not sore and worn out all the time, at least. Now she really gloms on to Heather, goes for walks with us and and gives every indication of wanting to be included in our pack. Quite surprisingly, I’m letting her in.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin

But why not? Pumpkin obviously understands that I am the Alpha dog in this group, and she seems intent on following my every lead. I’ve already taught her to sit in a chair and hang out with me when Mike and Heather have dinner. And she’s only too glad to let me have all the scraps and plates to lick.

Pumpkin seems to enjoy us, too. Just check her out on this hike in the woods beyond where she lives. She was so excited the whole way. . . I’m not sure how much that girl gets out when we’re not around.

 

Chloë and Pumpkin solve world problems on a walk in the woods

Chloë and Pumpkin pause to confer about world problems on a walk in the woods

As you can see, I am apparently Pumpkin’s idol, and frankly, she could not have picked any other dog more worthy. The bonus that she’s cute and indifferent to all the treats she’s offered is the icing on the cake.

So we’ll see where this goes. We only had about 48 hours with Pumpkin this time, too short a span to make an informed decision. Let’s try out this new relationship for a bit before I offer to let her write a guest blog post or anything. Baby steps.

 

 

Chloë Gets a Squeaky New Toy

It’s high time I got a new toy. I’ve been good, right? Good enough, anyway. And yet,  I’ve gotten no new toy since I  silenced my last Mushabellie on my birthday back in February. That’s an eternity in dog years! So I was due.  And thanks to my pal Charlie, I got one. Charlie got it for me, his favorite Seattle Dog, because this toy is the only one his dog Logan, a Jack Russell terrier, has not been able to destroy.

 

With that recommendation, I was anxious to put the new toy to the test.

Cow

Cow

It is officially a Charming Pet Tennis Head Cow, and on some websites it’s listed as Out of Stock or a Manufacturer’s Discontinued item, which does not bode well for the future of its breed. It figures; the one model from this manufacturer that I heartily endorse is the one about to become extinct, or at the least an eBay-auction rarity. And that’s too bad: While I haven’t been able to destroy it or even silence its squeak so far, eventually I’m going to need another one, and I don’t want to be forced to mortgage my retirement dog house to get it. I guess I can always just switch to another model.

Initially I thought about giving this new toy a bovine name like Bossie or Elsie, but I have elected to just call it Cow. Mike told me he has a friend from college known as Cow, and what a great guy  he is. That sounded good to me…and to my Cow, who is suitably honored.

From the outset, Cow has given Wiffie a good run for my attention. After my initial curiosity wore off, I have thankfully backed away from nonstop squeaking of Cow, but I pay attention to him every day. Right now, breakfast, dinner, snacks, marrow bones, Frozen PBBs , sleeping and walks all rank higher on my food chain than Cow, but I do enjoy chasing and throttling Cow as well. I don’t need to squeeze him in my mouth every second….

 

…only when I feel like it. Thanks, Charlie.

 

Chloë Receives Birthday Gifts

I generally don’t like to make a big deal of birthdays (although if readers dig back to Februaries past, you can see some past violations!), and so I didn’t expect much at all (if anything) this year for birthday #6. But lo and behold!

In the morning, I got an extra-large Frozen PBB from Mike and a birthday greeting from my vet that even has a dachshund in it!

Dear Chloe,
Sniff Sniff…Do I smell birthday cake?
Happy Birthday!
Stay Healthy! Be Happy!
Sincerely,

Your Friends at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital /

And then…

 

Buzzie Bee, still in box

Buzzie Bee, still in box

Wow, I never expected presents like those.

Bliss didn’t last long, however. I knocked the buzzing out of Buzzie Bee in less than 20 minutes. Now I’m left with a trio of mute Mushabellies to take care of. But don’t worry; I’ll survive.

 

Chloë Practices the Neighborhood Play

Not much happened here in January besides dodging the raindrops. Rain doesn’t matter much to me once we start walking, but those first few yards out the front door and into the wetness take a bit more coaxing, to put it mildly. Once I get out there, I can handle it, unless it’s a cold, heavy, horizontal rain. When that hits, I want to take care of business and get back home to chase Wiffie ASAP.

Chloe practices the neighborhood play.

Chloe puts the ball in the neighborhood..

I’ve been using this quiet time to develop a new technique for my fetch repertoire. Mike calls it the neighborhood play. According to Wikipedia, in baseball, “a neighborhood play is a force play where a fielder receiving the ball in attempting to force out a runner at second base, catches and quickly throws the ball to first base in a double play attempt without actually touching second base, or by touching second base well before catching the ball.”

Nowadays, video replay has all but eliminated the neighborhood play in major-league games, but thankfully (and hopefully!) no surveillance cameras have been installed above Chloë’s Lane, my favorite field for fetch. Therefore, when I retrieve my purple-and-white ball and return it to the thrower, I don’t have to actually deliver it to their feet. If the ball is “in the neighborhood,” that should be close enough. At least, that’s the way I see it.

But it depends on who’s throwing, I guess. It’s usually close enough for Mike, who might even put his left hand in his treat pouch to get me to bring the ball another 5 feet. Heather, on the other hand, likes to be a hard-ass about it. She refuses to throw the ball again until she gets ball-to-toe delivery.

And here’s what my alleged best pal Charlie had to say when I tried out my neighborhood play on him.

That Charlie, he can be tough! He has obviously been in the game a long time and adheres to high standards. Personally, I like to cut corners as much as I can get away with.

 

Chloë Discovers Treasures on the Trail

Being of low stature and superior olfactory prowess, I find a lot of shit on the ground, literally and figuratively. Most of it is just flotsam in the sea of life, but every once in a while my nose leads to something of real value. A piece of ham sandwich, for example, or a half-eaten bag of oyster crackers.  In fact, that’s the reason it’s always important to sniff the block between the park entrance and the bus stop. Bus riders seem to toss a disproportionate amount of food compared to the general population of park-goers. Maybe they think they’re doing their bit for wildlife, such as the park’s rabbits, raccoons and feral cats, as well as me.

Playing hardball

Playing hardball

But last week, within the span of a few days, my daily travels turned up two more significant items. First I dug an old baseball from under a bush on a street above the Ship Canal. The ball was stuck under some vines, but I could smell its sodden horsehide, and I clawed at it excitedly until I pried it free, grabbed it in my teeth and carried it all the way home. They actually let me keep it.

It’s not official Major League Baseball material, but it is a regular baseball,  about the size of Wiffie, but a LOT heavier. It’s just small enough that I can get it into my mouth for gnawing, which I like. When it comes to chasing it around the house,  however, Mike cannot toss it around like he does with Wiffie. This ball makes a big clunk when dropping from my mouth to the floor, which is just a couple of inches. When I roll it around myself in the dining room, downstairs it sounds like a bowling alley. Here’s a sampling of the action:

 

Mike normally laments me gnawing on something until I break it apart, but in this case, I think he would rather I stick to gnawing this ball instead of tossing it around until something breaks. Unlike those purple racquet balls, there’s no way I can chew this one into oblivion.

Just give me money...

Chloë watches over her latest find (lower left): Just give me money, that’s what I want..

While he was OK with my baseball, Mike liked my next discovery even better.  Remember, it was just a couple of weeks ago that I rescued a woman’s iPhone, so I must be getting good at scavenging.  A couple of days after I found the ball, I led Mike to a wad of money. Well three bills, piled together and neatly folded into quarters, but wet, indicating they had been there a while, at the upper edge of the parade grounds, not far from the Discovery Park historic district’s flagpole. Since it wasn’t something I was interested in eating or even gnawing on, I let Mike pick up the soggy bills ($10, $5 and $1)  and put them in his pocket for safe keeping until we add it to our annual donation to the park’s plant fund. I’m sure all of you thought Mike would just buy beer.

Chloë Sets New Fetch Records

We finally came home from my getaway. Being there almost two weeks took its toll on my body, so I have been resting up a bit while Mike watches baseball playoffs on TV seemingly 24 hours a day. At the getaway, I get so busy that I often don’t get my full quota of afternoon naps, so it’s good to catch up.

On the back lawn

On the back lawn

The highlight of the recent vacation was the new dachshund fetch records that I set Sunday, Oct. 4, on my getaway’s back lawn. Heather certified that I set new marks for single-session (85 throws-and-returns) and single-day (175). My two-day total of 300 has yet to be certified, but we expect official word soon.

Let’s see…what else happened on this trip? As you no doubt recall from my previous post, this time I graciously shared my getaway with the mop-like Pumpkin and Mister Fuzz, a black-and-white former barn cat.  Pumpkin turned out to be more fun than I expected. I actually grew to like her, and we even engaged in some mutual butt-sniffing before this stay was over. That’s high praise.

Mister Fuzz, however, is another story. We had but two brief encounters, as Heather expended much energy on keeping us apart. Luckily, nobody tripped on anything, and our tete a tetes were well-controlled.

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That getaway place is just too much fun! Toys, carpets, lawns, forests, even a dog companion. If I can just get that cat back into the barn where it belongs,  it would be perfect.

 

Chloë Changes Her Tune

My pal Lynn brought this to my attention while she was here on a recent visit. The Aug. 4, 2015, installment of the comic strip Classic Peanuts shows my fellow hound dog Snoopy lying on top of his dog house in three identical frames. In the fourth frame, he lifts his head and wonders:

Peanuts Comic

Classic Peanuts comic

 

Indeed! But old Snoop left Lynn, Mike and me puzzled. To what song was my hound dog idol referring? We figured the tune must be fairly well-known for Charles M. Schulz to use it as a punch line, but none of us could hum this melody.

An Internet search led first to the pop-rock trio Emblem3, whose 2013 chart single “Chloe (You’re the One That I Want)” is allegedly about reality TV star Kloe Kardashian. We thankfully ruled that song out when Lynn discovered this “classic” Peanuts strip initially ran in newspapers on Aug. 6, 1968, when the members of Emblem3 were not even gleams in their parents’ eyes (they come from nearby Sequim, WA, no less!).

Also too late to inspire a 1968 comic strip would be the 1981 song “Chloe” by Elton John, with lyrics not by longtime partner Bernie Taupin but Gary Osborne, a B-list British songwriter who briefly collaborated with Sir Elton on The Fox, one of his poorest-selling albums, which included this song. Here’s a sample verse:

“How you handle what you live through
I can never hope to learn
Taking all the pain I give you
Loving blindly in return
And I need you more than ever
I will always be your friend
Chloe, Chloe.”

Sounds like romantic drivel to me. Two stars, at best.

Our next candidate was a Louis Armstrong recording from the 1930s, although how “Chloe (Song of the Swamp)” would register with Charles M. Schulz in the late Sixties is anybody’s guess. Here’s the chorus:

“Chloe! Chloe!
Someone’s calling, no reply
Nightshade’s falling , hear him sigh
Chloe! Chloe!
Empty spaces meet his eyes
Empty arms outstretched , he’s crying.”

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore

The song must have been fairly popular in its day, since it was recorded not only by Armstrong but many other jazz and pop bands and vocalists. Listen to this high-spirited 1941 version from Dinah Shore with NBC’s Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.

 

Other ideas?

Other ideas?

If any of my loyal readers have any other ideas about Snoopy’s reference to a song named after me, Chloë, let me know. Charles M. Schulz won’t be talking.