Tag Archives: Syracuse

Chloë Loves the ‘Cuse

Wow! Rabbits and squirrels and deer galore!

Although my trip eastward was a bit harrowing at times,  as soon as we hit Syracuse my mood improved right away. As soon as we pulled into our neighborhood,  I started to whine with recollection. And when Heather put my window down, I went crazy. Syracuse, just like I pictured it.  It even smelled the same. I was happy to be there.

I was also looking forward to staying in one place for a while, too, especially now that our gracious hosts have installed air conditioning. Not having to pack up and move on every morning means everyone’s pace is a lot more relaxed. I even caught up on some sleep.

Chloe and Olivia at Lorenzo State Historic Site’s garden

Mike and Heather have already taken me to several of my favorite local spots: Mill Run Park in Manlius, the Meadowbrook Basin, the Old Erie Canal (in two separate sections), the Syracuse University campus and Oakwood Cemetery, whose abundance of wildlife (deer, squirrels, rabbits and birds) makes it my equivalent of Disney’s Adventureland. I even got to strut my stuff at the annual horse and carriage driving competition at Cazenovia’s Lorenzo State Historic Site. Mike’s and Heather’s friend Ginger watched me while they went to the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, continuing to waste valuable time with baseball fandom when they could be home or in a park tossing a ball for me. Luckily, Ginger had a Wiffle Ball in her house, and she let knock it around and gnaw on it for a while, my first near-Wiffie experience since leaving Seattle. Ginger also gave me a ride in her car to pick up her granddaughter Olivia, who was very nice to me, bestowing many treats while we were together at Ginger’s house and Lorenzo. Luckily, we just walked around in the gardens at the back of the house and avoided all the horses and crowds, which was fine with me.

Sleeping off her IPA-flavored treats

The other highlight of my first week in the Salt City was receiving a package in the mail from my good friend Charlie, who just moved back to St. Louis. It turned out to be, as I suspected, a bag of dog treats. That Charlie always comes through for me. This time he sent a 30-piece bag of “peanut butter IPA”-flavored treats from the Crafted Bone of St. Charles, MO, which is near Charlie’s new hometown. “Share the passion of craft beer with your dog,” the package said. Consisting of “spent” grains left over from the brewing process, these handmade bickies are alleged to contain no alcohol, but I ate two of them and conked right out.

Matriculating on the SU Quad

Charlie enclosed a nice, handwritten note with his gift, and Mike read it to me. “Chloe,” he wrote, “Finally an IPA for dogs. Make sure Mike and Heather don’t imbibe yours! I cannot believe how many rabbits there are in my neighborhood. You would be gone in a second. Say hi to Mike, Heather, Susie and the cats for me.”

Consider it done on the human side, Charlie, but Susie’s and Debby’s cats have yet to show their faces in my presence. I’m not giving up, though. Every time we leave the house I try to guide our walk in that direction, hoping somebody will be home to let me in.  I’m looking forward to making visual contact one of these days. After that, fur will fly.

 

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Chloë Journeys to the East and Back

On the Kootenai River, Idaho

So, did ya miss me?

I do apologize to my loyal readers for not writing in such a long time, not even a postcard. Sorry, but life on the road turned out to be more time-consuming than I had originally anticipated. As we traveled from place to place,  we usually rode all day in the car, and at night Mike was too busy putting together the next day’s itinerary to sit down for an hour and listen to my prattling. Reluctantly, I deferred. Besides, I was having too good a time.

Mike, Heather and I left Seattle on June 15 and didn’t get back home until Aug. 23 – 10, 939 miles, 20 states and provinces and 69 days later. Quite the journey! While I can’t deny that I endured some minor hardships along the way, I had a blast. I had never dreamed there were so many neat places and people to see and sniff beyond my Magnolia neighborhood.

Although this extended road trip upset my normal routine, I got treated so well that I was able to settle into a new routine after only a day or two.  In the car, I had the back seat all to myself, and from my propped-up perch I could keep track of everything going on inside and outside. I happily report that Heather never fell asleep at the wheel once, while navigator Mike dozed off more times than I did. Good thing he wasn’t driving. In case of a sudden jolt, I was strapped to a harness so I couldn’t fly through a window, but I could still move around as much as I needed to, which wasn’t much. Any time I needed anything, such as a cold drink, a Frozen PBB, a pit stop or a treat, all I had to do was whine a couple of times. It drove Mike and Heather nuts, but it got results. “Stifle!” Heather would bark at me, applying a sternly worded reprimand. It worked – until the next time, that is.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

After a day of driving, every afternoon the three of us  took a long walk, and we visited some incredible locations. We didn’t do a lot of ball-throwing on these walks, because Mike and Heather were afraid of me running off. Right, like I would have the nerve to do something like that so far from the security of home. Not me; the pack was all I had. So I stuck close to the pack when we hiked in forests from Washington to New York and back. I really enjoyed all the places we walked, even when they turned into harrowing experiences. Once Mike got us lost at dusk, deep in a Ohio forest preserve. Another time Heather carried me down and back up several flights of metal-grated stairs to the base of a waterfall on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The steps had a sharp surface that hurt my feet.

While I never had to sleep in a tent, thank god, my travel crate was wedged in next to the air conditioner in many a cheap motel room. And there were other minor tribulations as well, such as navigating my way around a couple of cats (I got along with docile Dinah, faced off with snarling Spanky, who stalked me for my whole time in Syracuse). I sniffed out and chased after wild animals (deer, elk, prairie dogs, chipmunks and buffalo), managed to ignore many dogs, backed away from many children who wanted to pet me, and turned my back on too many strangers who gushed about my cuteness or my breed, usually guessing incorrectly. “Wirehair dachshund, but not a textbook wirehair,” Heather replied every time, often providing further information on the three dachshund coats and apologizing because I wasn’t a better illustration of my breed. Thankfully, no one demanded to see my papers, not even on any of my border crossings into Canada and back.

I also really enjoyed getting to meet so many of my loyal readers, and to finally give them the opportunity to press the fur with me after reading about my exploits all these years. I hope nobody was disappointed. If so, I’ll try to make it up to you next time. I’ve already overheard Heather talking about making the drive East again. Get my throne ready – with improvements, of course.

Until then, enjoy some scenes from my journey, starting with the test run through Washington state in May, followed by the trip to Syracuse and back. It’s kind of like my version of The Red Couch, starring me instead of a red couch. Enjoy it while I get Mike to take me outside to check whether there’s any new entrees on the Wendy Way* buffet table.

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Chloë Misses Her Guy

Playing fetch outside Heather's office

Playing fetch outside Heather’s office

Heather and I had a pretty good time while Mike was away visiting his mom and friends in Syracuse. I finally got to go to work at Heather’s new office, which was relatively dull. Everyone there was so busy there that they barely noticed I was around. The days I stayed home were more exciting. One day my best friend Lynn came over in the afternoon to hang out. We went for walks, had treats and went crazy, strewing toys all over the house. It’s always fun when Lynn comes by.

More excitement came on the weekend, when I stared down a raccoon in our neighbor Claire’s backyard. Claire finds great joy in feeding and observing the coons, and one showed up in the middle of the afternoon while I was waiting for Heather on Claire’s patio. When it saw me, it hopped to the top of the fence and stared at me before leaping into the yard next door. It knew better than to mess with this hound.

Visi-Ball

Purple-and-white ball

Later the same afternoon I pulled a muscle, or maybe threw out a joint, or something. Whatever happened, I limped through the latter part of my walk with Heather. My front right leg didn’t hurt exactly, but it was weak and I couldn’t put my weight on it. Then, as suddenly as it started, I was cured. I immediately wanted to chase rabbits and cats, or at least my purple-and-white ball. Heather wouldn’t let me.

Heather was worried about me until the next day, which worked to my advantage. She let me sleep with her in her bed all night, and on Monday she decided to work at home so she could take me to the vet if necessary. I was fine, however, at least from a health perspective.

Treats for Chloë

Treats for Chloë

In other ways, however, Mike’s absence meant sacrifices for Heather and me. I got no treats for waiting inside the front door to have my harness removed, for example, and no treat each morning for going downstairs to watch Mike exercise. Heather didn’t do much better with Mike gone. Although Mike left plenty of salads and casseroles for her to eat, she had nobody home to put her beer in the freezer so it would be ice-cold but not frozen when she got home from work, which is one of Mike’s more important jobs.  Too bad she doesn’t have an app for that.

Milk Bone Dental

Milk Bone Brushing Chew

Yes, I had fun while Mike was gone, but I also missed Mike badly. So when he walked into the house after coming from the airport,  I jumped him and bit his nose until he finally had to push me off his head, and as soon as he relaxed, I did it again. I think I got my point across,  too, and he’ll think twice before leaving me again. He even brought me souvenirs from his trip, gifts from my aunts Susie and Debby in Syracuse: several Milk Bone Brushing Chews  (“Tastes Like a Treat, Cleans Like a Toothbrush” —free samples from BJ’s Club in East Syracuse) and a dog-friendly cookie, shaped like a baseball, that the aunts got on a  trip to Cooperstown, N.Y.

But what’s going on? Several days have passed, and I’m still waiting for Mike to unwrap the cellophane off that cookie.

Chloë Answers Some FAQs

During a short lull in my social whirl, let me catch up with some of the e-mail and letters piling up in my inbox.

  

Q: I’ve never seen a dachshund with blue eyes before. Why are your eyes so blue?

A:  “Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?” Always loved that tune by Crystal Gayle! But my eyes aren’t really blue, they are brown. It was the flash on the camera made them blue. We don’t know why. Mike explained to me that he knows how to eliminate redeye in a photo, but doesn’t know squat about removing blue eye. That photo peering down at you from atop this page  was one of the first photos of me. Now, of course, there are dozens (maybe hundreds!)  of photos of me to choose from, so we could change that heading photo; that would give my distant readers (and there are many!) a more accurate representation of my regal countenance. But I just don’t know. We’re kind of attached to that surreal, Village of the Damned look. What do you think? 

Q: Are you really bald on the top of your ears? 

    
 
 
 

 

A: Come on, isn’t that silly? My ears are not bald, they’re topped with light brown fur that isn’t nearly as long as the fur around it. Heather thinks it’s starting to grow in, while Mike thinks I’ll have these doofy ears forever. The vet, of course, told me I need ear toupees. Eleven weeks old, and already doomed to the character roles. 

Q: I saw the photos of you and your brothers Frank and Stanley. You three are really all from the same litter? You don’t look anything alike! 

 

 A: That’s what everyone is saying, but it’s true. We’re just a small part of the endless mosaic of wirehaired dachshunddom, I guess. Remember, America is a melting pot, Canada is a mosaic. But I digress. Check out these photos of mom and pop to see where we get the different seeds of our wiredness.

My Mom, Banshee: Happy Mother’s Day!

William, my dear old Dad: A real champion, especially with the ladies.

Q: Are you coming to the East Coast this summer? 

 
 
 
 

 

A: The genorosity of my Eastern fans is overwhelming. Fans in Syracuse, New Jersey, Florida and even international fans in Ontario, Canada, have been clamoring for me to come east with Heather and Mike this summer. I am flattered and honored, but sadly I must decline. While I’m sure these guys don’t want to be away from me for even ONE SECOND, I decided it’s just too much schlepping around (to quote Mike). We would have to change planes, change cars, change where we sleep…just too many ch-ch-ch-changes, as my buddy Dave “Diamond Dog” Bowie would say. I’m into my routine. Maybe some other time, when Mike can drive me across. In the meantime, you’ll just have to come out to Seattle, or settle for this crumby blog.

 

Well, that’s about it for now. As you can see from this photo below, I’ve got some more serious business to attend to. But do keep those questions coming!