Tag Archives: dachshund

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 Takes a Hike

Fit as a fiddle.

My annual physical confirmed what I already knew: The doctor confirmed my weight held steady at 21 pounds (the most important thing!), my teeth looked great, and none of my lumps were dangerous. But Dr. Kimmel, my personal physician, also detected for the first time a slight murmur in my heartbeat, which she said was not a concern right now but a possible red flag for the future. She recommended further testing with canine cardiology experts, the nearest one in Tacoma. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment I could get is in October. There must be a lot of these canine cardiology concerns going around.

In the meantime, nothing much is going to change in my behavior or my life before the exam, unless I start to slow down noticeably or start coughing during or after vigorous exercise. Whining doesn’t seem to count, or I’d have been shut down long ago.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in early April.

With the weather warming up a bit, one Saturday we drove to the foothills and took an early-spring hike on the new Oxbow Loop Trail trail along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. While this is only 40 miles from Seattle, it was far enough into the wilderness that there was no cell phone service, which is wilderness enough for us.

Current events.

River walks are my favorite. While any puddle large enough to generate a ripple scares the bejesus out of me, rivers are my friends, no matter how fast the current may be roaring by. Excavating mud and moving stones along a river bed is one of my favorite sports.

On this trip, I investigated the Middle Fork closely in several spots until the trail veered away from the riverbed and into the moss-covered forest surrounding Oxbow Lake, which was once part of the river.. Plenty of good smells out there in early spring, but it was also a lot of up-and-down walking, so I was pooped by the time we got back to the parking lot. Heather kept me moving along at a good clip.

Keeping up the pace.

Resting after a walk in the woods.

Luckily, there was a bench nearby where I was able to relax and unwind a bit before the drive back home. Right after receiving my “look forward to getting in the car” treat from Mike, I snuggled up in my bed in the back seat. I slept all the way back to Magnolia with nary a cough or whine.

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 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 Stands Her Ground

Schatzi searches faux takeout container for faux dumplings.

She was back. Schatzi, that is. And in the weeks since she’d been here (but who’s counting?), she hadn’t aged a bit! She was still  a whirling dervish of energy, barking, jumping on the furniture, taking over my bed and my chair. and getting in my face every second that she wasn’t sleeping.  In classic “the other dog’s toys are much better than mine” mode, almost all of my toys came out of their corner bins and onto the living room floor. Some had not been out of their bin in years.

Most of the time, I just let Schatzi do her thing. Whenever I had enough, I gave her a growl or a lip curl, or just stared her down. She would always back away, thank goodness.

 

Side by side by side.

Somewhere along the line, however, I had to put my paw down. Schatzi is the ultimate affection hound, demanding constant attention, but there was no way I was going to let her get more affection from Heather and Mike than I got.  I’ll allow her takeover of my dog bed and my camp chair, but I’m not budging from my space in bed between Mike’s legs on a fleece blanket. I reluctantly let Schatzi in the bed at all (I turned my nose away),  but she was not getting my personal favorite spot. And when we were sitting in front of the TV in the living room, I would let Schatzi have my usual camp chair, as long as I  got the chair closest to Heather, even if I had to crawl over a TV table to get there. Not on my watch, girlfriend.

Waiting for Heather.inside the front door.

While I was able to maintain my position in the pecking order during Schatzi’s visit, I’m not totally sure that she got the message. Not from the way she followed Heather around from room to room and whined whenever Heather went outside  without her to work in  the garden or talk to the neighbor kids. Those kids were all crazy about Schatzi, until she barked at them or pulled them along when they were trying to manage her when Heather let them hold her leash on a walk around the neighborhood. That was OK, though. Compared to Schatzi, I was easy to handle,  so the kids liked walking me, and they finally started to appreciate me a little. I got more comfortable with them as well.

Chloë with Schatzi’s toy.

Having Schatzi around was fun (and she even brought a scary Halloween tug toy that I liked a lot), but I needed a good rest after she left. Asserting yourself as the alpha dog is tiring when it’s another dog you have to dominate instead of just the usual humans.

The afternoon Schatzi left was the first one without Daylight Saving Time. That means taking an earlier afternoon walk every day, and as a result having time to get in an extended nap before dinner. I’m looking forward to sinking back into my restful winter routine.

Guard dogs relax in each other’s beds.

 

Chloë Earns High Marks

Resting in cemetery.

It had been such a quiet summer. No traveling across the country. No long Sunday walks or playing fetch with my pal Charlie. No ear infections or other unwanted trips to the vet. Just one chance visit with my brothers Frank and Stanley, a bit less food on my plate (remember, I’m on a diet) and lots of rest.

Then Schatzi arrived.

Schatzi guards front yard.

I’ve always liked Schatzi, the pride and joy of Caroline, my personal financial adviser. And all the wrestling and running around Schatzi and I do is fun. For a while. Until it’s not.

Schatzi, only a few months past her first birthday, has yet to receive that memo. The most common refrain  of the week she stayed with us was, “Schatzi! Leave her alone!” The second most frequent was, “You’re a real trooper, Chloë,” because I was being so patient with Schatzi’s intrusions, and never attempted to rip that ever-twitching nose off her pointy little face. Let’s always remember who’s top dog around here.

Dog day afternoon.

I did observe Schatzi’s behavior toward ne improved a bit as the week wore on. Maybe some of Heather’s instruction seeped in, but more likely she got the message very time I growled or barked at her and flashed my teeth. By the time she left, we were blissfully napping together again. And in the meantime, I got high marks from Heather, a gift of a tug toy margarita. plus a few of Schatzi’s treats and a taste of the juice from her canned sardines (I’ll have Mike look into this).

Schatzi in cemetery.

Schatzi and I also had some good walks in the park, a visit to the military cemetery for some ball throwing and wrestling, and also some interesting strolls around the neighborhood. On one walk with Heather, for instance, we passed a dead rat, chatted with my friends (and our house-cleaners extraordinaire) Jeré and Channon, and found a bushy gray cat hiding under a car—all on just one lap around the block! Schatzi even ran into people who live further south on our street who recognized her when we walked by. What a celebrity.

 

When Caroline picked up Schatzi, she came inside, knelt on the living room floor and took off her mask so we could greet her properly. I jumped up to bite Caroline’s nose, but Schatzi’s leap took her a good foot higher. Schatzi hasn’t shown much interest in fetching a ball, but she seems like a natural for agility, field trials and steeplechase. If anyone asks me, I’ll recommend any activity that directs her attention and excess energy away from me.

 

Schatzi attacks Mike’s stretch.

Everything considered, Schatzi’s visit was a lot of fun, and I’ll welcome her back anytime. After all, the older she gets, the easier it should be. Right now, however, I need a nap.

 

 

Chloë Plays the Gracious Host

Schatzi stayed with us for two nights and three days.  I enjoyed engaging with Schatzi for a while, and she’s been developing sparring skills that made her a challenging foe.

But let’s face it, I’m 10 years old and she’s still a puppy, and she’s as reckless and impulsive as the maskless throngs on the beach in Florida. She hasn’t learned when to quit.

Schatzi charges: En garde!.

Office workers.

Luckily, Heather cast a careful eye on things, and was ever-mindful of keeping Schatzi at bay whenever I was being harassed unmercifully. When Schatzi finally gave in to her tiredness for brief periods, we did share some quieter moments. In the afternoons, we went downstairs to where Heather was working on her computer, and, even though it was July, we turned on the fireplace. Heavenly.

Three on a mattress.

I did exhibit some signs of jealousy when Schatzi cuddled up to Heather once too often, but I also tried to integrate the puppy into my pack. On Saturday morning, I even let Schatzi get into bed with me and Mike while he read the paper. I guess there was enough room for both of us. And despite the inconveniences, there are two big positives to having Schatzi visit. First, whenever Heather is yelling “No!” or scolding a dog, it isn’t me. Two, on the other hand,  is that I’ve never been told more often what a good girl I am for putting up with Schatzi’s constant in-your-face barrage.

Schatzi is still learning, of course, and I’m sure she’ll settle down by the time she’s oh, four or five. Later this summer, she’s coming to stay with us for a whole week, so I will have another opportunity to teach her a few life skills, such as the dachshund flop. I’m going to rest up for it.

 

Chloë Ascends Her Throne

Preparing the site.

Sheltering in place provides ample time for do-it-yourself home improvement projects. That’s why Mike volunteered to create a perch for me in the front yard.  Until then, when Heather wanted to tie me up ioutside, she would put the bed on the sidewalk, where I could be a nuisance when anyone came by, or in the garden, where plants got ruined, which made Mike unhappy. We don’t want to make Mike unhappy.

Removable weatherproof floor.

My perfect site would give me a good view of the street, ample shade and enough distance from the sidewalk that I couldn’t physically threaten innocent passersby, man nor beast. So Mike selected a site above the rockery next to the driveway, a bit above sidewalk level. The maple tree above supplies a thick canopy from April through October and doubles as the anchor for a rope attached to my harness to refrain me from taking off after the Bartons’ cats. I guess I could still try to lunge at a toddler on the sidewalk, but I wouldn’t get very far, and there’s a wrought iron fence in between. And no, I’m not dumb enough to try to jump off the rockery into the driveway, which would no doubt leave me dangling amid the crocosmia.

Her favorite bed fits perfectly.

Mike prepared the site by transplanting a couple of perennial geraniums, digging out roots and dirt in the vacated area and ringing the circumference with rocks and bricks. He then filled the center with gravel for drainage and to level it off.

A thick plywood board became the removable floor. Mike lined one side with the shiny plastic packaging that protected the new TV, and then he wrapped it tightly with heavy-duty plastic that originally came around an area rug. After centering the weatherproofed board within the ring of rock and brick, Mike deftly placed my long-treasured Peanut bed over the board, and Heather led me through the garden to my new throne, where I immediately turned around  in a circle twice, made myself comfortable and began my reign.

Silent sentinel.

First impression: positive!  I’ve got my own water bowl and a great view of the street down as far as the Bartons’ house, so I know whenever a UPS truck, a mailman, dogs or cats are coming my way. I’ve been an effective sentinel, too. Not one cat has tried to pass while I’ve been sitting there. Unless the geraniums encroach my bed completely, I should be good here at least until the heat of summer. If the southern exposure makes this spot too hot for me, I’m sure Mike can attach some kind of pull-up screen to the maple tree. It’s the least he could do.

Chloë on Her Throne

 

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.