Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a . . . Dog Park!
In the last decade, Washington, D.C., developers have learned a Manhattan-style lesson: When you can’t expand outward, go up.
The above picture accompanies a Washington Post story on rooftop amenities aimed at dog owners. I guess it takes more than granite countertops to command $4,000 rents. Here’s the Post story.
October 10, 2016
Who Got My Dog’s Mailing Address????
Jeremiah gets worse mail than I do! This “helpful” magazine arrived one day. Love the personalization, but doggy breath indeed.
Social Media and Dogspotting
I’m at a loss to provide a definition of dogspotting, but this article in The Guardian tries to explain it all: http://tinyurl.com/hd8dmg2
September 28, 2016
Here’s a Real Designer Dog
Well, at least it’s a designer’s dog. Wally from Wal-mart cost interior designer Kelley Proxmire a few bucks (very few) at the big-box store on Georgia Avenue NW but nestles in a custom-made doggie-dog bed that cost quite a bit more. This detail is from Kelley Interior Design’s “Cozy Coral Family Room,” part of the 2016 DC Design House. And notice Kelley’s favorite print for such a pup-centric project: It’s Sanderson’s 100% cotton “Dogs in Clogs!”
The DC Design House, benefiting Children’s National Health System, opens Saturday, October 1, 2016. It’s at 2509 Foxhall Road NW, Washington, DC. Preview-day tickets (October 1) are $60. General admission starting October 2 is $35 at the door, or you can purchase online at the DC Design House site. The show house runs through October 30.
September 20, 2016
Coco, Phone Home!
Associate Bird Walter tipped us to this item from VOANews, the Voice of America website: The son of China’s richest man has given his Alaskan malamute not one of the newly released iPhone 7s but eight. Eight is, of course, the luckiest number in Chinese culture, connoting wealth and good fortune. But that didn’t keep Wang Sicong, son of billionaire Wang Jainlin, from last year “gifting” two iPhone watches to Coco. Two is also considered an auspicious number.
The Shanghaiist blog has fun pictures of the Chinese doggie dog and his goodies.
September 19, 2016
A Last Splash of Summer
Yesterday was sunny and warm and bright, perfect for one last dip in the pool. Just in time: The Town of Somerset pool in Chevy Chase closed yesterday but reserved the dinner hour for an end-of-summer Doggie Swim. Other area pools do this as well, but this was the funny, slightly chaotic event we attended.
September 14, 2016
What Was That Again?
We’ve seen this clip before; it’s all over Youtube. But Associate Bird Jim Kelly sent it over earlier today—and it cracks us up every single time.
September 13, 2016
Fashion Goes to the Dogs
Dogs inspire all of us, but not that many dogs inspire fashion. Fashion designer Thom Browne told The Business of Fashion website that what he finds beautiful about his wire-haired dachshund, Hector, is “It’s the fun, the pleasure he gets out of simple things.”
Presumably those “simple things” include butt-sniffing, but we don’t have to go there.
Instead, we’ll go to some accessories he produced for his fall and spring collections. The handbags are for real, ranging from a black leather clutch for $390 at FWRD to the beaver-fur structured top-handle bag for $2,930 at HBX. The runway headpiece (below), a dog’s “head” embellished with mirror embroidery by milliner Stephen Jones, is presumably not for sale. Woof.
September 12, 2016
You gotta see this, from Reddit by way of Mashable. We were tipped to it by Green Acre columnist LittleBird Stephanie Cavanaugh, who clearly notices things beyond her garden:
The tiny dog sanctuary is fully equipped with all the comforts a little canine could need (or just have), such as a dog bed, a chest of drawers, food and water bowls, a picture of dogs playing poker, a lamp, plenty of places to leave his toys and a hat rack.
Commenters joked that the chihuahua should have his name changed to something more magical, like “Harry Pupper,” “Harry Pawter” or “Barky Pooch, Jr.” (in reference to Barty Crouch, Jr.)
While the dog has no ties to the wizarding world for now, his new digs might mean he’ll be getting his Hogwarts letter soon enough.
September 7, 2016
Beauty and the Beastie
Beastie is this Irish wolfhound’s name, and the woman who sometimes walks him is Christi Cline. She walks several other dogs around the streets of Georgetown—and, with her husband, does a lot of other things too—checking on unoccupied houses, waiting for the plumber, even watering the plants. You name it, they probably do it. But walking Beastie has got to be the best.
September 5, 2016
Come an’ Get Me, Heat!
If this coming week is as bad as a couple of weeks ago, this is where I will find Jeremiah, again hiding out in the grasses. Check it: Maybe your doggie dog is in there with him!
August 25, 2016
Mary Had a Little . . . um, No . . .
Zephi, short for Zephira, is happy her young owner is back from college. A girl could get used to being carted around this way!
Heat Wave Broken (or At Least Interrupted)
Jeremiah’s not hiding from me, just from the heat one recent afternoon.
Sometimes a dog just steals your heart. This summer that would be Liliko’i. That’s the Hawaiian name for passionfruit, which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with her or her origins.
Liliko’i is a 9-month-old mini Australian shepherd. But her owner, Jim, tells us she has the heart and guts of bigger doggie dog, already holding her own against the more rambunctious of her species.
Holding her here is young Stephanie, who is just about as cute as the pup. Almost makes up for the loss of Stephanie’s Sadie, below. But not quite.
August 11, 2016
This I’m used to seeing—Picasso and Clementine on a picnic table at the park:
This I’m not:
But man, that Tiller is cute! He’s a little Havapoo. I know, everything is a Somethingpoo these days; this mixes a little poodle with a Havanese. I found him, and his friends, at around midnight last night outside Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown. And I’m quite sure he hopped up there just so I could take his picture.
|Nancy McKeon||In reply to Molly Schnabel.I just checked. There’s a Havasupai tribe and a Hoopa but no Havapoo that I can find. A couple of breeders call the little guys Poovanese, but i think Havapoo is better. My one question would be, Why? Havanese are small and cute as a button without the poodle added. Oh well.|
|Molly Schnabel||Ok! I know kids use LOL way too much but the Doggie Dog columns of today and the 7th are truly LOL. I think there are Indian tribes called Havapoo, but I doubt if there are dogs with that name. While trying to draw order out of my office, I will be chuckling, but I think I’ll get coffee first.|
August 7, 2016
Doggie Danger on the Waterfront
I don’t think of 12½-year-old Jeremiah as a killer; that would take far too much energy. But apparently one mockingbird (possibly two) in Georgetown Waterfront Park does (or do—I can’t tell if it’s one bird that claims the western half of the park or if it’s two who have subdivided the area).
For months now, every time J and I stroll down the walkway that runs parallel to the water, I hear yelping. It’s not really like a crow, but it is a high-pitched caw of sorts.
I’m sure these feathered felons have a nest they need to protect, but really! Dive-bombing the sauntering J from behind? And making contact two times out of five? This results in nothing but a very confused doggie and me slapping the air with an empty plastic newspaper sleeve (a/k/a a doggie poop bag) trying to fend off the marauder, behavior that might well get me into trouble.
What really burned me last Wednesday was that the same section of the park was populated by no fewer than 21 people (yes, I counted) stumbling around playing Pokémon Go. But the bird/s paid no attention to them.
Now I have the pictures—hard to read but nonetheless—to prove that the mockingbird/s of Georgetown Waterfront Park have designated poor Jeremiah as Public Enemy No. 1. The bird/s never hurt him—this isn’t a Hitchcock film—and he mostly doesn’t notice them. So what’s the point? I ask, but they won’t tell me.
August 2, 2016
Take This Course to Be As Smart As Your Dog
Not sure yet what to think about this, but Dr. Steve, the dog park’s friendly psychiatrist, sent a notice along from Duke University. It’s for an online course called Dog Emotion and Cognition, taught by Brian Hare, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology (the sound you just heard was the whummmp of Republican congressmen fainting dead away at the thought of such a “discipline”). It explores such topics as The Paradox of a Best Friend That Evolved From a Worst Enemy, and Problems That Dogs Can and Cannot Solve.
Dog psychology is a new field, and Professor Hare will tell us how dogs think and how they feel about us, potentially a startling development. I don’t know how many of us want to spend 10 to 15 hours on lectures and assessments . . . but we already spend that kind of time at the dog park, where everybody is an expert and happy to explain our dogs’ hinky behavior to us, so why not?
Well, I thought the why-not might be the cost of the course. But you can pay $49 for the course and have it lead to a certificate or you can take it for free with no credits at the end. It actually sounds fascinating, and I’m signing up.
July 30, 2016
Harrumph of the Week
I guess the answer is obvious, but why does Unleashed by Petco, and doubtless other pet-supply stores, put unwrapped, loose treats in bins on the floor while the packaged stuff is higher up?
Yes, Jeremiah availed himself of a bitty bone-shape thing while I was dragging him to the counter to pay for a $30 roll of beef-and-bison food for his dinner. Three things struck me.
First: He doesn’t usually like those things—you know, like the deer antlers and pig’s ears (ewww) pet stores leave lying about—so I don’t pay as much attention to his sniffing as I obviously should.
Second: They charged me $2.99 plus tax for the thing, which was now broken and slobbery.
Third: It wasn’t even in the shopping bag when I got home.
July 25, 2016
This advisory from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington contains important and very specific information. Thanks to Hamid Afsharieh for alerting us to this notice.
July 23, 2016
Attention, Bethesda (and Nearby) Dogs!
We just caught up with the July-August issue of Bethesda magazine: It’s The Dog Issue. Lotsa brave/sweet/loving doggie stories, a feature on Friendship Animal Hospital and a list of upcoming adoption events.
Plus, the mag adds a few more restaurants to the pooch-friendly list we started a few days ago. They point out:
7945 MacArthur Boulevard
Cabin John, Maryland
As an aside, this is part of the same patio we listed under Fish Taco, below (July 18 entry).
The Daily Dish
8301 Grubb Road
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Dogs are welcome on the covered patio. There’s an official Yappy Hour on Wednesdays, 3 to 6pm, May 1 through October 31.
Denizens Brewing Company
1115 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
The outdoor beer garden welcomes dogs, providing water bowls and selling $5 doggie bags with treats from a nearby pet store.
9751 Washingtonian Boulevard
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
The restaurant at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center allows dogs on the patio and offers water bowls and dog biscuits.
Buster’s Real Ice Cream
18519 North Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879
While you’re licking your super-double-fudge cone on this ice cream shop’s small patio, dogs are treated to a free 1-ounce scoop of vanilla ice cream with two dog biscuits. After which, of course, Rover will beg for yours.
July 20, 2016
And the Winner Is . . . Jeremiah!
From now on I’m sending Jeremiah in to buy lottery tickets. He gives me reason to believe I might actually win something if I do.
I base this on a walk we took a couple of weeks ago, up from the Georgetown Waterfront Park and onto M Street, which of course on a summer afternoon was crazy crowded. But the nice people at L’Occitane en Provence had a bowl of water near their front door and, of course, Jeremiah has never met a water bowl he didn’t like. And after slaking his thirst what better thing to do than saunter into the shop . . . To thank the people there? Nah, just to sniff around and, after some surveillance, to lie down where he could trip people. (Maybe it wasn’t his fault; maybe it was the dreamy scent of verbena and ultra-relaxing lavender from L’Occitane’s lotions and creams that hit his snooze button.)
Anyway, that’s when the lovely store manager asked if I wanted to sign up for that day’s giveaway: $150 worth of L’Occitane products. Now, I know what they really want is my email address—and yes, I’ve been getting at least one promotional email a day from them—but sure enough I signed up.
I never win anything. Except that I did. The guy at the store called later that afternoon (or maybe it was the next day) and told me my card had been picked for the prize. When I told him that Jeremiah and I would be around the following day to pick it up he reacted: He remembered Jeremiah and seemed happy that we had won.
So, Jeremiah, who has given me so much already (new friends, new places to go, new things to write about) gave me a whole box of fragrant stuff from what will surely become my favorite shop. You’ll notice in the pix I took that J seems less than impressed by our bounty. But that’s a doggie dog for ya.
June 18, 2016
Pups on the Patio
Many restaurants will allow Poopy to sit by your table if the table is on the terrace and, in some cases, if the table is at the edge of the patio and Poopy can be on the other side of the fence that corrals diners.
But some places go a step further, encouraging canine companionship. The times and places vary, but we’ll post every time we hear of one.
Our latest find is Silver, the New American Bistro in Bethesda, from Robert Giaimo and the team that brought us Silver Diner. There, Monday Happy Hour is from 4 to 7pm and features water and treats for Poopy plus craft beers, cocktails and small plates for us at the other end of the leash.
Down on the Southwest waterfront, Cantina Marina is known for its proximity to Arena Stage, its shuttle to Nationals Stadium on game nights and its lively outdoor bar. Mondays are dog days/nights here, from 5:30 to 6pm, with special treats. But the porch area is always a place where Snuggles can hang out while you and pals scarf nachos and the ever-popular fish tacos.
Our favorite new place is Fish Taco, out MacArthur Boulevard, where a leashed dog lurks under many a picnic table outside every night. Someone has to go inside to order, but you can tag-team it. This is one of the lively places that convince me that absolutely no one in Bethesda eats at home.
7150 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20815
600 Water Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
7945 MacArthur Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20818
June 13, 2016
This Is the One Way Dogs Break Our Heart:
Markus the Magnificent
Markus (with a K, as we were frequently reminded) was pretty much the elder statesman of our dog park. Owner Dave is even more so, in that he has been coming here since 1993.
Markus turned 12 back in May, but it wasn’t hard to see his fairly steady decline. It all ended last Wednesday. Condolences to Dave and Mercedes, German shepherd champions extraordinaire.
Response from Ben Bogounoff and Visiting Professor of Russian Literature Yuri Bogounoff (right), who has sharp opinions:
Markus was the most dignified presence of all of us—he classed up our joint. Yuri and I will set him as the standard of dog demeanor and will remember him with great love and respect always . B&Y
And from Rickie Brady:
Sad news. Hugs to Dave.
|Rickie||Hugs to Dave|
|Ben Bogounoff||Markus was was the most dignified presence of all of us– he classed up our joint. Yuri and I will set him as the standard of dog demeanor and will remember him with great love and respect always . B&Y|
June 6, 2016
Mutt and Jeff (above) seem ready for adventure on the high (or low) seas. Don’t know about your doggie, but I know all 75 pounds of Jeremiah would be quivering, heels dug in—yes, he can do both at once—at the prospect.
Chicken-poop J notwithstanding, the Fourth Annual Dog Days of Summer Cruise, benefiting the Anne Arundel County SPCA, will take place Thursday, July 21, 2016. The cruise starts with a dockside mingle at 6pm and then churns the waters of Annapolis Harbor and the Severn River for an hour, until 7:30pm. While you’re cruising, dogs will have the opportunity to cool off in kiddie pools arranged on deck.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for kids, and children 2 and under are free. Dogs cruise for free, of course! And while there’s a cash bar for adults, there will be some free doggie treats (as well as some free food for people).
Go to the Watermark Cruise site to see fun pix from the last cruise and for further information. And Watermark says doggos are welcome on any of their cruises. The cruise departs from Annapolis City Dock, GPS address 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, Maryland.
Be there or be . . . like Jeremiah.
July 6, 2016
Watch Out, Coyotes (and Neighborhood Bully Dogs)
I thought this little pup was a day late to an alternative-colors Fourth of July festivity, so I stopped the car to talk to the owner. Scruffy, it turns out, is wearing a coyote vest, or more properly a CoyoteVest.
All that orange whiskery stuff on top of his little turquoise coat has a purpose, as do the harder-to-see chrome-plated hard-plastic spikes and studs that trim the lightweight garment.
Scruffy, you see, was attacked by a neighborhood Labrador retriever back in April. And post understandable hysteria and post expensive surgery, Scruffy’s owner decided to protect him at all costs from the continuing attentions of said canine.
The CoyoteVest Pet Body Armor was introduced last year by Paul and Pam Mott and Nicole Mellom after the Motts’ little dog was killed by a coyote. The Motts and Mellom live in the San Diego area and started a family business to figure out and then offer protection for dogs (and cats, if they’ll tolerate the interference).
They started, according to their website, by thinking about how nature creates protection. Those plastic “whiskers” atop the dog’s back? Think porcupine. And they thought about the manner of predators’ attacks. The studs, strips of which can be Velcro-ed onto various places, might deter a coyote or another dog’s bite. The vest extending over the dog’s neck can thwart the coyote killer move of grabbing a small animal by the scruff of the neck and shaking till the dog is dead.
The accouterments ain’t cheap; nothing is. The vest is about $70, the whiskers about $20, strips of spikes are $19.95 a pair. A super-spiked CoyoteCollar custom-designed to give those coyotes a taste of their neck-grabbing medicine is $26.95 (and makes little Fluffy look quite bad-ass, I must say!).
The thermonuclear device against coyotes is the big-ticket ($69.95) CoyoteZapper. In case a coyote grabs a little dog anyway and tries to carry him off, rather than look on in horror, you can zap the strips of spikes by radio control allowing Pooch to “bite back” with a painful electric shock directed outward (apparently the dog doesn’t feel it).
The imagination of the Motts seems never-ending: They’ve also devised a lightweight Kevlar-lined HawkShield to attach to the top of the regular coyote vest to repel the talons of any bird of prey who swoops down on Doggie. (An added pleasure would be to see the Velcro-ed Kevlar layer detach and get lifted off by the bird while Doggie stays safe on the ground.)
Anyway, it’s a lotta look for this little Glover Park guy—and not a bad idea for any small dog.
|Kathy||Wow! LOVE the coyote vest. Great idea. Plus it looks hilarious.|
July 2, 2016
All in a Weekend’s Work
Jeremiah takes his weekly visit to the Apple Store very seriously (clearly).
June 26, 2016
‘Wiener-Dog,’ Coming Soon, We Hope
I’m not sure we’re going to like “Wiener-Dog,” a quartet of dark, funny stories by director Todd Solondz. But we gotta go see it: The stories are linked by this adorable little dachshund. I mean, we loved “Marley,” didn’t we? And we get not only a dog but Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Burstyn. The movie opened last Friday in New York and L.A., should be in Washington, D.C., soon, like maybe this Friday. UPDATE: I still can’t find this movie anywhere in the D.C. area.
June 20, 2016
Apparently photos of dogs patiently waiting at voting places have become a thing in England. So here are some of the dogs snapped and posted to Twitter while their owners decided In or Out for the U.K. in the E.U. OtherLittleBird Mary (and husband Walter) tipped us to the BBC claim that by noon British Summer Time, 10,000 tweets had been sent with the #dogsatpollingstations hashtag.
These guys below, posted by Hannah Mundy (@Shehanegans), say, “We voted IN because we are very much in favour of turkey . . . nom nom nom . . . “
A bunch more:
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals posted “our favourites so far,” above.
And a nod to another species:
The Twitter caption, from Innocent Drinks (@innocent), on this one reads: Quite a big dog, this. Not sure of the breed.
If you want to see a whole bunch more, the Twitter hashtag is #dogsatpollingstations and you can do a Search right at the top of the Twitter homepage.
June 20, 2016
Zehra the American University professor has been on sabbatical, doing research in Florida. But she says she’s heading home and should be back in Washington in a month. I suspect JonJon (the white dog, a real leaner), Dost and Sevgi (the black and brown shepherd mixes) will miss outings like this one:
On the other hand, Zehra will NOT be bringing this Florida neighbor, seen from her bedroom window, back with her:
But she says the Great Egrets in the neighborhood are quite tame. Who knew?
Here’s Jeremiah photographed a couple of years ago. I don’t claim that he has the largest paws in the dog park; there are a number of contenders for that distinction. But I do think he has the longest toes! Look at those digits! Feel free to send a pic (to firstname.lastname@example.org) to challenge my claim! We can measure later.
June 18, 2016
On Dad’s Day
LittleBird Kathy had a great idea: take a picture of the doggies and turn it into a puzzle for her husband, through Liberty Puzzles. It’s too late for the rest of us to get one in time for the paternal festivities, but it’s never too late to think of upcoming events that require forethought.
For other Dad ideas, see LittleBird Janet’s cover story on gifts.
June 17, 2016
Rate That Pup!
Not feeling so daily, are we? Our excuse? We’ve spent hours on Twitter looking at WeRateDogs (if you want to get as distracted as we did, it’s @dog_rates).
The above photo was DMed (direct messaged) to the owner of the Twitter account. The pictures are almost uniformly adorable or highly ridiculous. But the real payoff is the captions. The line under the underwater doggie read, “This . . . is a Tyrannosaurus rex. We only rate dogs. Please only send in dogs. Thank you.” The dog rater does this a lot . . . and it’s usually pretty funny.
As for the pic below, the pup (or pupper, as the Twitterer calls them) is Nollie, whose owner Chris says has just discovered she’s stuck in a boot.
June 13, 2016
Where There’s a Will . . .
Kevin: Thanks for the tip on We Rate Dogs. That escape artist is hysterical. Yes, a nice slice of life.
Gus the Great
August was Jane’s most recent whippet, at 10 years and 10 months still as elegant and as agile as the deer he resembled. Even if you knew Jane and Gus you might not recognize him from the photo at right; he was much more likely to be (barely) seen, nose and not much else poking out from under his comforter.
He was diagnosed in mid-February with severe inflammatory bowel disease. He died late last week.
Gus and Jeremiah spent a couple of weekends together at Jane’s house on the Chesapeake Bay. It still astounds me to watch two dogs in one space, both in supreme but peaceable denial that the other is there.
June 12, 2016
Bacon, Bacon, Bacon? How ’bout Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!?
The goodie bags at Saturday night’s Bark Ball contained packages of M&Ms. And, according to the Washington Post’s Reliable Source, one gala-goer wondered aloud why the organizers would include the toxic treats in the bags, which were, in time-honored fashion, lined up on the floor to be handed out to departing guests.
It’s true, according to PetMD.com and the Pet Poison Helpline and just about every other pet-health source, that the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can have a disastrous effect on our canid companions. And the darker the chocolate the more dangerous.
But next time Fluffy snarfs a chocolate chip cookie off the counter, don’t panic. Instead, go to PetMD’s Chocolate Toxicity Meter, plug in the numbers (weight of dog, amount of chocolate) and, with any luck, relax.
June 9, 2016
Come and Get ’em
Washington Humane Society will hold two adoption events on Saturday, June 11, 2016:
11am to 2pm, Doozydog! Club, 2301 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Noon to 2pm, 1328 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 (La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries). These are dogs from the Oglethorpe Street NW location (the Washington Animal Rescue site).
You never know who you might meet!
June 8, 2016
Cork Comes Into Its Own (Again)
HAVE YOU NOTICED cork-faced shoes and handbags popping up in catalogues lately? I think that’s the result of Portugal’s taking a good, long look at its cork harvest and deciding how to capitalize on it (maybe now that fewer wine bottles use cork “corks”?).
At any rate, Pelcor, the cork accessories brand, has turned its attention to our pups. At 75 pounds, Jeremiah is too robust for Pelcor’s elegant 46-inch leash (it can withstand doggie resistance—you know what I mean–of up to 66 pounds). But for medium-size dogs, it works and is available in Cork color, Berry, Sunset and Peony, for $38.
The collars, in those colors, are $29 to $32, depending on size.
Pelcor dog accessories can be found in some pet boutiques and online, at the Pelcor website.
June 6, 2016
Bark Ball 2016
WOOF! That’s the sound of the 2016 Bark Ball, benefiting the Washington Humane Society. It’s being held this Saturday, June 11, from 6 to 10pm at the Washington Hilton. Actually, the humans make more noise than the pups at this spirited event. But the humans promise to be well socialized companion animals to their furry friends.
Tickets ($250) and tables for 10 (much, much more!) can be purchased at the Bark Ball site.
June 6, 2016:
Introducing . . .
IT WAS DUSK, fast on its way to real dark. Nancy had rushed home from the office, but now she and Jeremiah had arrived at the park and it was empty and almost too dark to see.
Jeremiah stumbled out of the car and was headed over to a slope of grasses now brown and frosty in the winter cold. As if proving Nature’s point, a stray waist-high branch snapped at Nancy as she tried to follow Jeremiah, tugging her forward on his leash.
The trail was probably the better bet, even, or especially, in the dark. At least the National Park Service didn’t allow saplings and shrubs to lie in wait in the footpath.
Jeremiah strained at his leash and Nancy let go, watching him climb into the brush on the steep slope. He was an easy-going dog, but he did like his privacy in matters digestive. So now she stood in the middle of the trail, dog-less, and peered down the path, counting the railroad ties that keep the soil in check. There was nothing else to look at, except for a figure that emerged from around the bend in the trail.
He—she assumed it was a man—had a fur hat on, one with ears that gave him a bear-like silhouette. Good thing Jeremiah isn’t watching, she thought. Like many dogs, he was wary of shapes he didn’t recognize. The form advanced up the path. Nancy looked for the dog who must, must, be sauntering and sniffing behind the man. But there didn’t seem to be a dog. Just a man. And he was coming ever closer. . . .
No, no! The Daily D.C. Doggie Dog has nothing to do with bad fiction! It will be a serendipitous blog-type thing that will recount the adventures and everyday life of dogs and their people. There will be plenty of Jeremiah, of course—I adopted him three years ago at age 9, and he’s still going strong, St. Bernard genes and all. But there are thousands of great dogs, and their people, out there. I’m hoping they will send pictures and anecdotes to MyLittleBird.com (specifically, to email@example.com) that we can post in this space.
People regularly say they don’t know the owners at dog parks but they know the dogs’ names. There’s a lot of truth to that. But I’ve also watched as the dog owners who frequent my favorite park coalesced into a real social organism, exchanging email addresses, phone numbers, sometimes pet-sitting days. This group gathered protectively around John when he was diagnosed with cancer, then embraced him in his triumph after surgery. More than half a dozen of them attended the memorial service downtown for Gary’s husband. Everyone gathered ‘round for treats (human and canine) for Atari’s birthday.
Would the people in this doggie group, or in yours, come together under other circumstances? Maybe not. A former diplomat and the owner of a hair salon? A foreign correspondent and a caterer and a psychiatrist? A tennis pro and any number of lawyers (after all this is Washington, D.C.)? Who’s to say? Fact is, we’re here, all throwing balls, picking up poop, sitting under the big cedar trees when it’s really hot. It may be a Dog Eat Dog world out there, but here it’s just a Daily Doggie Dog.
Rickie: Love this and miss you all! Rickie and Louie
Nancy Gold: What a lovely “slice of life” article. Thanks.