Tag Archives: Charlee Bear

Chloë Uncovers Further Rewards

Recent birthday girl.

When you’ve been around the game as long as I have, you learn that you win some, you lose some. And thus my favorite new fetch ball, discovered in front of the house barely three weeks ago, just as suddenly vanished, the victim of an apparent miscommunication between Heather and me about who would be carrying it. But no sooner did that happen that another, more mysterious and desirable ball dropped into my life.

Here’s what it looks like.

Restore Ultimate Foot Massager

Gnarly ball.

Mike got it so he could massage the bottom of his feet. He tried to use it while watching TV, taking his shoes off and rolling this ball under and between his feet. I was having none of that. I immediately decided it  was my ball, and I’ll do what I want with it. For example, I can chew on it, I can knock it around, I can push it under the coffee table and whine until somebody gets it for me. I can sit on the floor beneath the basket where I know it’s sitting and stare up at it. Lots of neat stuff.

Water trap.

Heather acknowledged it was my ball, and she advised Mike to get himself a second massage ball. Mike’s too cheap for that, however, so he and I now share the ball. He rolls it around under his foot, and I watch intently until he flicks it across the floor and I pounce. Mike’s not allowed to throw it, because this ball is so bouncy and hard that it will break something. That’s what Heather said, anyway. We try to comply by just rolling the ball along the floor, but even then, it takes some funny bounces, like into my water bowl.

So we’ll see how long this ball-sharing arrangement lasts. While this new ball has currently pushed all other balls, including the two that were Christmas presents from my Syracuse aunts, into the surplus toy bins, this tends to be cyclical. Only Wiffie has real staying power. Besides, Mike will no doubt lose interest, too, once he admits that, despite rolling the massage ball under his arches and the ball of his right foot twice a day, it still hurts.

Birthday munchies.

A bigger surprise this week was a belated and unexpected birthday present from my Syracuse aunts Susie and Debby. Inside a big box from my new favorite online store, Chewy.com, were two bags of Charlee Bears, including a new cheesy flavor, and one bag of premium jerky. These Charlees came not a moment too soon, too: The last time Mike went to Trader Joe’s, he saw no Charlees on the shelf. Meanwhile, our favored brand has redesigned it’s packaging, making it slicker, and added to its product line. I fear the days of cheap Charlees at TJ’s may be over. I’m glad to have a good supply, just in case.

Chloë Finds Eleven Heaven

Celebrating birthday #11 in her chair with Lamby, Ranger and Foxy.

Tampa Tom

I turned 11 years old this week. But like a fine wine (and with some fine whine), my life only gets better with age. Think of me as the Tom Brady of wirehair dachshunds, older but wiser, retaining legendary  athletic skills and getting better looking every day. My energy is constant and my coat is shiny.  I have but a few gray hairs here and there, and even that little spot between my shoulders has gotten thicker. It must be the cheese Heather has been doling out to lure me into my detested teeth-brushing every day.

Wiffie: Chloë Official Autograph Model

My routines remain the same. I still sprint after the ball whenever and wherever Heather throws it, deft at plucking it midair off the pavement or sniffing it out in the underbrush. I may stop after 15 or 20 throws instead of 100, but I’ve got other stuff to do on a walk. Sniffing out rabbits and squirrels, eating dirt, signing the guest book–important stuff! And when I get back home, I still goad Mike or Heather into tossing Wiffie around or tugging with me and Lamby, and I still leap into my camp chair with ease, albeit more of a head start. I still like to run downstairs just to roll around on the throw rug in the guest bedroom, and I still pull old toys out of their corner holding bin and strew them all over the floor just because I can. If I get the chance to do that with another dog’s toys, even better.

Awaiting bedtime snacks.

There’s no evidence of diminished brain function, either. My spirit remains as strong and stubborn as ever, and my internal clock still ticks accurately. Any time Mike or Heather forget any treat (downstairs bickie at 8:30 a.m., breakfast Greenie at 9, the 10 a.m. PBB, the 2 p.m. jerky, the post-walk, harness-off Charlee Bears or the two-part bedtime snack, my internal alarm goes off and I loudly call attention to it with a whine or two. No sundowning to worry about: Every night, when Mike says, “Let’s go to bed, Chloë!” I always know where to go, rushing right into my bedroom crate. Nobody has to draw me a map.

A last treat from Donna.

Oh, regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again–well, I’ll mention them  any time I want to! The only downside of my birthday week was finding out that Donna, my favorite UPS driver, will be leaving her delivery route to take an inside job and save her hurting knees. I respect that decision, although this will be my second heart-breaking separation from a Brown hero. Hopefully Donna’s eventual permanent replacement will be another dog lover who won’t need too much breaking in, although in this day and age I wonder how many more UPS drivers I’ll have to train. Continuity is out the window.

I know the mailman already visited on my birthday (I barked when the metal mail slot flapped, as I usually do to Heather’s chagrin)), and no birthday cards arrived with my name on them.  In fact, the only card I received came from Chewy.com. So my legions of fans will no doubt ask, Chloë, didn’t you do anything special to celebrate your birthday? No, not a thing. When you’re as young at heart as I am, every new day is its own celebration.

Chloë Diets

At Shilshole Marina near Erikson statue.

The week started out on such a high note. The pack and I went on a long walk  with my Juneau pals Debbie and George, who had just gotten good news about his response to treatment. We walked next to the Sound through Golden Gardens Park and Shilshole Marina, but we stayed far enough away from the water that waves weren’t an issue for me. Before we left, I got a chance to relax under a bench near the statue of  the Norse explorer Leif Erikson, a big idol around these parts. If protesters decide to pull it down because of some sordid indiscretions in his past (I’ve heard he beat his dogs), I was able to get one more look.

Just two days later, however, my world came crashing down. What started out as an innocent trip to the vet to get my nails clipped and glands drained (you don’t want to know any more about this, trust me) finished as my worst nightmare. Heather had to wait in her car per the vet’s pandemic protocols, the technician who ushered me back to the car unfortunately divulged that they weighed me on the way through the lobby. He really didn’t need to do that! He could have just updated my information on the computer and not told Heather, because as soon as she got home, she told Mike. Uh-oh.

22 pounds! Less than 17 months ago, Mike, Heather and Dr. Kimmel, my personal physician, determined that my ideal weight would be 20 pounds. Unfortunately,  I blew past that point some time ago.  In this case, at least, the statistics don’t lie.

4/1/19 20.13
6/13/19 19.1
10/31/19 20.1
12/13/19 19.5
2/26/20 20.2 (high)
4/13/20 21.0 (higher)
7/14/20 22.0 (highest!)

Top selling point for Charlee Bear dog treat.

I’m sure Mike will want to put an immediate stop to this disturbing trend. He’ll no doubt institute a diet plan, and I will hate it. Regardless of the details, I already know it will mean fewer treats, less peanut butter in my Frozen PBBs and less food in my bowl at meal time.  Sure enough, the very next day I saw him use a Sharpie to draw a new line in the small blue plastic scoop he uses to dole out my kibble. Filling to that new line will barely fill a thimble. I see no way around it, either. Even if I manage to behave exceptionally well, the only rewards I’ll get will be those tiny Charlee Bears, which are OK treats but only three calories each. Mike will  starve me.

Actual size!

This will be quite a turnaround for me. During the past three summers, the pack and I drove to Syracuse and back, and I was living high on the hog each time. I had a perch in the back seat of the car where I could see everything and stick my head out the window whenever we slowed down. Wherever we stopped, there were exciting new places to sniff and every person and every dog I met doted on me. There were plenty of extra treats from family, friends and even strangers. Sometimes we stopped for ice cream, and Heather gave me a lot of hers (Mike gave me a little). This summer, I’m stuck here in COVID quarantine and on a diet. It will be a long, hot summer indeed.