Tag Archives: birthday

Chloë Hits Double Figures

It’s hard to believe, I know, but I celebrated my 10th birthday this week. Ten years! It seems like only yesterday that I was rolling around with Frank, Stanley and the rest of my littermates up in Monroe, WA. I wonder what has become of them all. I never hear from anybody anymore; the rest of my Cousins’ Club must have marked me lousy.

Chloë (center) and two of her sisters, 4 weeks old.

So at 10, I’m still feeling—and often behaving—pretty puppy-like. I’m as stubborn as ever, and as apt to take off after a squirrel or scarf up mud from the ground as I’ve ever been. I’m spry enough to jump in and out of my camp chair several times a day and play fetch for 50 or more throws at a time—if I happen to be in the mood and there are no interesting distractions nearby, that is. My weight holds steady at a solid 20 pounds, which means Mike can’t cut my daily rations even though he’ like to. I have a few gray hairs, sure, but none around my muzzle yet. And that spot between my shoulders where I seem to be losing some hair? No problem; if it gets any worse, Mike will give me a combover when he grooms me before dinner.

Chloë at 10.

Although I received no birthday cake and nary a  card in the mail, I did enjoy a little recognition that day. Mike and Heather’s friend Kevin from Syracuse sent Mike an email: “I see on my calendar that Wednesday is Chloë’s birthday. When I mentioned it to my cat Tucker, he yawned, wondering why anyone would celebrate the birth of a dog. But tell her that I wish her a happy birthday.”  What a magnanimous guy! I might have to pay Tucker a visit this summer and give him a growl.

My Aunt Susie in Syracuse sent her regards via telephone, and contributed all the gourmet chewy treats I enjoyed all week. There was also a nice voice mail from Yankee, the doodle dog who belongs to my pal Juneau George. I want to get up to Alaska to visit him before I’m deemed “too old to travel” or some other nonsense.

Unwrapping her present.

Even Mike and “No Presents” Heather came through. They gave me extra treats all day, and after my cheese-laden dinner that evening they delivered the piece de resistance: a double-barrel gift of a Racket Raccoon Mushabelly AND a gourmet dog chew  stick made from 100 percent, open-pasture, grass-fed beefhide. The chewy treat was tempting, but there was no doubt which one I squealed for: There is nothing like a fresh Mushabelly.

Although this Racket Raccoon Mushabelly was hard to get out of his box, Heather finally helped me extricate him, and when we hit the floor together Mike started his stopwatch to see how long it would take me to break Mr. Racket Raccoon.


Beefhide tastes so good!

Luckily for you, my faithful readers, I won’t subject you to every second of my tussle with the aptly named Racket. Mike soon realized that Racket shut up whenever I wasn’t applying constant pressure to his belly, so he stuck the chewy stick in my mouth and earned a respite for the six minutes or so it took me to grind up and inhale the gourmet chew. I must admit I enjoyed it, and I would have gladly gobbled down a second and third, but when none was offered I turned my attention back to Racket and proceeded to throttle him but good.  It didn’t take long. By the 27 minute and 43 second mark on Mike’s stopwatch, I had Racket’s innards scattered around the living room rug, his infernal voice box silent by his side.

Throttling Racket Raccoon; Innards to the left of me, voice box on the right, stuck in the middle with Chlo,

Mike dutifully picked up Racket’s innards and stuffed them back inside his torso, and the next morning Heather sewed up him back together and gave him to me, alleviating much of my angst over his disappearance. I chased Racket around the house, just like I do with Lamby and Wiffie, but without his constant cackle his appeal to me will soon wear off, just like it did with all my previous Mushabellies after I silenced them. I never pull any of them out of my toy boxes anymore.

Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to wait until my buddy Penny returns from Florida in March. She always has some fresh Mushabellies at her house.



Chloë Lets Her Birthday Slide

On the Spokane River, May 2017

As the calendar turned to February, things started looking up. Rain lessened, days got a bit longer, we got a new rug in the living room with more pile than the old one, so it’s better for scratching my back.  Heather’s attention to my tummy cleared up my skin rash and my diet reverted to normal, as in never enough.

I had been looking forward to celebrating my birthday (Feb. 5) in style, but it turned out to be no big deal. There were no cards, no presents, no extra treats, no fuss. Although I’m more or less at the halfway point of my canine career (in dog years, at least), I suffered through no midlife crises. At least none that I can remember.

This is the first birthday that I didn’t get together with my brothers Frank and Stanley, who are vacationing in Arizona. They got presents, according to an email Mike received from their dad Andrew. Did I mention that I got no presents, and that I have to go outside every day in Seattle’s horizontal rain and blustery cold with no raincoat or other protective gear?

In tamer times.

Instead, I’ve been cooped up and getting into still more trouble with Heather. She even yelled at me a couple of times. OK, I have to admit that sometimes I deserve it, but more often this happens because Heather continues to deny the notion that everyone was put on the planet to serve me, on my time-table. Heather maintains that I am supposed to serve her, pay attention only to her (Mike, sometimes), and always do exactly what she tells me, when she tells me. Mike, on the other hand, harbors no such delusions. Mike gets it! But Heather, she can be so–dare I say it?–stubborn!

Amidst the tall trees.

Anyway, I turned 8, and I feel and look no different, save for one random gray hair between my shoulders. During my birthday week I went for a long hike in an old-growth rain forest, I dug holes, I ran away a few times, I ignored orders, I chased a ball as long as I wanted to, I ran down our block to chase cats, I barked when the mail came and at people who park their cars in front of our house, I got into Mike and Heather’s bed whenever I could, I whined every time I got impatient, and I taught Mike a new way to play catch on the kitchen floor. So do I feel any older? Hell no. Where’s Wiffie? I’m ready to rock and roll. Check out Heather and I playing fetch in the rain forest.




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!

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 Turns Three!

Lest anyone forget that my third birthday was Feb. 5, they do so at their own peril. I am making a list and keeping it in my little black book.

Chloë surveys bag of bags.

Chloë surveys bag of bags.

My friend Lynn gave me my first birthday gift last weekend, unannounced and unexpected,just before Mike and Heather came home from Florida: A sponge bath in the kitchen sink. Boy, did I need it! I rolled in something, for sure. But Lynn pampers me so. She washed me using some empty milk containers full of warm water, a wash cloth and a little of my special shampoo. I tried to escape a few times, but then I gave up and just buried my head in Lynn’s armpit and cooperated. When I was all dry, I smelled a whole lot better, even to myself, and the hair on my back had a nice curl. In other words, I was even cuter than usual for a few days.

Needless to say, Lynn gave me many treats when my bath was over, bless her heart. Lynn treated me well all week, of course. I was still leaving behind monster poops two days after Mike and Heather returned. Now it’s back to Mike’s hard rations.

Luckily, Mike brought me a couple of birthday presents back from Florida, and one came not a moment too soon. Grandma Rosalie sent me about a month’s supply of plastic bags from her newspapers to use for picking up my poop. These bags have been in short supply in Seattle since last summer’s drought; no rain, no newspaper bags. Our stingy newspaper guy only uses them in the wettest weather, so I thank Rosalie for sending hers.  I want Mike to make every effort to clean up after me, all the time.

Susie's Chloë book

Susie’s Chloë book

Mike also brought me a wonderful gift from my dear Aunt Susie: A glossy,  hardcover book that includes some of my favorite photos from the first three years of this blog. And wow, how time flies! This beautiful volume will serve as a loving chronicle of my puppy years. Click here to view the book, and believe it or not, all of you fans can actually order your own glossy, hardcover copies right from that website (on the other hand, you don’t have to join Shutterfly or buy anything to view the book online). I think you’ll like it as much as I do; heck,  some of you are in it! Just make sure you view it in the full screen mode, so you can get the full effect of my cuteness. Thank you, Aunt Susie.

My personal UPS Guy must have known it was my birthday, too. Mike and I were out for my midday stroll that day when his big brown truck rolled up in front of cat lady Sandy’s house. Even though he may have been delivering something to my nemesis Mittens, he still found the time to toss me one biscuit on his way to her door and a second birthday biscuit when he got back in the truck. That’s my guy.

Chloë in fall

Chloë in fall

Even Mike came through. All day long, he kept telling me Happy Birthday and how good and how grown up I am. All praise warranted, of course, but always nice to hear. Later, on our afternoon walk he let me run by myself for almost the whole hour, and provided extra treats every time I ran back to check in with him. Mike tries to act tough, but he’s a softy underneath; in fact, I think I saw him crying during the Super Bowl ad for the Budweiser Clydesdale last Sunday.

I guess the only one who didn’t remember to wish me Happy Birthday was Heather “No Presents” Tully. I’m not going to sulk about it, though. That’s just the kind of girl she is. As long as she keeps letting me sleep under the covers when she’s napping, I won’t make a big deal of it.

Official age 2 photo of Chloë

Official age 2 photo of Chloë



Chloë Sends Thanks For All Her Birthday Gifts

To gird me against a pyschological letdown, Mike had explained that when Heather and he moved to Seattle, Heather had instituted a “no-presents” rule. Whether it was Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, even Canada Day–no presents! This was of course very convenient for Heather, who has neither the time nor inclination to buy presents, even if she should happen to remember the occasion at all. But I digress.

Chloë models her new fleece sweater.

And when all is said and done, I am pleased to report that I did not suffer from the “no-presents” rule. Even though they did desert me on my official “birthday,” Feb. 5, they have already managed to redeem themselves with the weekend in Port Townsend and assorted trinkets along the way. (I’m still sucking on that lamb shank they brought back from Tampa!) Meanwhile, other friends and relatives, no doubt fearful that I might be forgotten, also added to my birthday haul.  Yes, that beautiful sweater from my brothers Frank and Stanley was but the first of many gifts I accumulated during the month-long Dachshunds Day celebration.

Deli Wraps from Aunt Susie

Chloë’s football and…

Aunts Susie and Debby came through with a nice birthday card, a squeaky football and some deli-bacon cheese treats. Appealing to the Canadian side of the family, the football has labeling in French as well as English, and the deli treats are flavored like cheddar cheese and Canadian bacon. Since the deli treats were impossible to break into pieces, Mike was forced to give me a whole one. I devoured its cheesy outer shell and hard, bacony interior in about 15 minutes, and Mike noted that it came out the next day in about the same colors and proportions as it had when it went in. Didn’t take no 15 minutes, either.

Chloë’s blue balls

After a month of enjoying all of my gifts, I have to rate these bouncy blue balls, a gift from my best friend Lynn, as my best present. They are really fast and easy to find outside, so we hardly ever use tennis balls on our walks anymore. I might as well give them all to the Seattle Animal Shelter.

And here’s the biggest birthday surprise. Even Heather “No Presents” Tully got me a gift. He’s lime green, soft, and relatively light, so when Mike picks him up and bops me in the head with him or sticks him under my collar so I have to carry him around on my back, it’s not too bad. He’s OK. I call him Gator, like he’s a tough guy, but really, he’s not very fierce. He’s certainly no Foxy!

Chloë and Gator

Even better, I’m pretty sure Heather got me some other toys along with Gator. She must be saving them for some other celebration. Maybe they’re for the anniversary of the day I came home with them last  March. Hmmm…that must be it. Now there’s something else to look forward to. Let’s do it all again.