Posted by: francinehardaway | December 16, 2015

Helping People for the Holidays

Mommis and I love to help people. We just do it in different ways.

This morning, I was Dog of the Day. This is a big honor, because the chosen one goes for a walk around the neighborhood alone with Mommis. Yes, there’s a leash involved, but at least not the triple leashing system for when Sammy and Bruce are along.

On our walks, I try to help people by eating up all the cat shit in the neighborhood. There’s plenty of it, and I never get it all done, because Mommis hurries me along.

This morning we were passing through an alley behind a plumbing company. A man in the backyard of the company was trying to load a long length of waste pipe (Mommis told me what it was) on to the toprack of his truck. He hoisted it up there, and then the other end dropped through the fence behind his yard into the alley.

Mommis decided to help. She picked up the fallen end of the pipe and helped the man get it on top of his truck. She doesn’t know if he said thank you because when she did it she was listening to John Gruber interview Craig Federighi about open sourcing Swift. It was pretty geeky, but she gathered Swift is a good thing for Apple developers, which is what Craig wanted her to know.

Then we were almost home when Mommis saw a small white dog in the middle of the road. It looked like our BooBoo, but it wasn’t. Mommis knew where it lived, so she led it home and locked the gate behind it. She assumed the open gate was an accident and the owner wouldn’t want to have to come home to a missing dog.

Being Dog of the Day is something I really look forward to. I wish I could tell when it was really my day so I didn’t experience the disappointment of its being someone else’s day.

Posted by: francinehardaway | November 29, 2015

Mommis and I Are Aging Gracefully

This morning Mommis and Bruce and Sammy and I went to the Biltmore Golf Course at dawn. We go there less often than we used to, but we still go. I think I ruined it for every day when I swam into the lake and the man had to go out and get me.

Mommis got scared.

Yesterday we went and I went fimmin. Mommis was stunned. Once again I surprised her, because she was very cold. She couldn’t imagine why I’d fim. But I have an undercoat AND an overcoat.

Today I just nosed around, looking for some of that great turkey from Friday. Some dude must’ve had a Thanksgiving dinner and thrown the carcass over his fence, because there it was at the edge of the golf course.

Me and Bruce made quite a belated Thanksgiving dinner of it.

I can still walk four miles a day. Sometimes Mommis thinks I’m slow, but it’s more like I’m strategic. I’ll run for a while, roll over and scratch my back in the grass, and jump up again.

Mommis keeps waiting for me to ask to go over the Rainbow Bridge because I’m ten or eleven or something. But I’m not ready. I am not even blind or deaf and I don’t have much arthritis. I can still jump up on her bed, too.

Admittedly I’m a little grumpy around certain dogs, like Jackson dog, who bug me. But I can shut them up because I’m the A fella.

Some of the kids bug me, too, and I growl. But I’d never bite ’em. I’m just trying to train them how to treat a dog.

Happy Thanksgiving!





Posted by: francinehardaway | July 17, 2014

Police Bite Dog Owners

I’m an old dog, but I know what I smell. I know a stalker when I smell one. Phoenix, we have a problem. We have endowed policemen with the power to frighten ordinary citizens. This is gonna be a TL;DR, but Mommis says it is part of a bigger problem than just us, so listen.

1488129_10152587605417792_2946309154068011443_n Two days ago the policeman who tried to give Mommis  tickets at Los Olivos Park for having us off leash even though we are Canine Good Citizens followed us to Granada Park.  He said he had received complaints. Since we never see anyone there but our friends, we wondered who the hell had complained.

Besides, we’re technically allowed to be off leash while training if we are under voice control and carrying proof of our CGC. We were. Mommis is no dope, and I’m almost ten. We know the haps. We posted the City code about dogs on Facebook.

Mommis has a word for how much money she’s paid to have us trained. The word is shitload.

But Officer Carro is not a good citizen. He goes for the easy kill rather than work to find real criminals. He’s in the habit of driving his squad car through the grass warning people to put their dogs on leash. Since there’s no one there at that hour (6 AM) BUT people with dogs, everyone’s mad. 

Yesterday he came up to us on a bike  and yelled at Mommis, even though we were all on leashes. He called us aggressive and told Mommis she had to be under “complete control of us” at all times. We’re not aggressive. As I’ve said, I’m a senior dog. Bruce weighs 11. Sammy barks, but he’s under complete control because he has separation anxiety from Mommis. He’s ALWAYS next to her, even if she’s on the toilet. The only other place he goes is to fetch a ball.

Today we were all on leashes, and we had Gena with us. Gena owns Max. He’s a golden puppy and we love him. But Gena did not have Max with her, because she had already run into Officer Creepy once. Today, he backed his car into the trees and stared at all of us while we walked. Then he said, “Gena, come over here for a minute.” Why does he know her name? Why did he call her over when she didn’t even have a dog.

Gena is young. She’s blonde and beautiful. She’s getting married in a week, and she had come to the park without her dog to say goodbye to her surrogate moms who walk with her and Max every morning since her own mother died last year. She’s getting married out of town.

We all headed over, and he said, “No, Just Gena. This is a personal matter.” So Gena went over. Officer Creepy told her that he had been by her house yesterday, ostensibly to tell her she had an unpaid photo radar ticket. He told her he wanted to remind her to settle it.

When Gena came back to us, she was shaking and nauseous and she left the park immediately. I just know he made her miserable right before her wedding.

I don’t know what a wedding is, but I know it has made her nervous enough. She didn’t need this. 

Mommis is now furious. I was in my office behind a chair in the media room and she woke me up. “Buppy,” she said. “If you don’t say something about this, you won’t be able to live with yourself.”

Even worse, she called JonnyBeGood, our trainer. She hired him to meet us in the park on some days so we can be legally off leash with a certified trainer while being in training. Ugh. That means we’re getting MORE training.




Posted by: francinehardaway | April 21, 2014

Suicide Watch

All4dogsI’m on Suicide Watch. Which means I have to wear a leash.

This morning Mommis took all four of us (yes, we have Blu for another day) to the park with the reservoir and the ducks. I only sometimes try to swim there, because I’m on my electronic collar and it gives me a big vibration if I get too far from Mommis.

But this morning was the day after Easter, and the park was full of buffet items — leftover candy, cookies, and hard-boiled eggs from yesterday’s Easter celebration. It was a wonderful feast, and I had no inclination to listen to Mommis when she called for me. At least not until I had finished sampling every garbage can in the park and the stuff on the ground surrounding them.

Mommis was having trouble with Bruce, too. He wouldn’t come either. She thought he was on a sugar high from all the trash.

But actually, that was me. Blu always jumps in the reservoir, so when he jumped in I didn’t pay any attention. But then a couple of ducks came up on land, and Brucie started chasing them. I know he doesn’t swim, he’s very little, and he wasn’t going to catch them, but I thought I could. I went in after Blu. We were both trying to help Brucie, who stood on the shore.

Mommis, who’s a little hysterical, went nuts. But not about me. She was terrified she was going to lose Blu, who is Uncle Dan’s dog, and an only dog. She didn’t want to be responsible for losing him on her watch. He’s not exactly a puppy. Well, he’s my age. And Sammy was hysterical, on the verge of jumping in himself, although he doesn’t swim either. But he’s as hysterical as Mommis, which I think is why she likes him.

She looked hilarious running around the lake yelling “Blu, Blu” while I chased the ducks. I just paid no attention to her, especially after I realized I had already shorted out my electronic collar.

The park men were all around now calling me and Blu and saying we should be on leashes. But they didn’t look like they were going to jump in after us, so I didn’t see any leashes forthcoming.

Blu, however, must have gotten tired, because he abandoned me, came out of the water, and went to Mommis. Then she and Carol (mother of Jackson Dog) left to take all the other dogs to the car. I thought to myself “thank God she’s quit yelling and making a fool of herself.” But no, she left my brothers and Blu in the car with Carol and came right back, only now she was yelling “Buppy.” It was my moment of glory, as I pretended not to hear her and focused on the ducks as about six other women started calling my name from the shore. One woman called her vet to ask what to do. Another one called the Humane Society. Mommis would not have wanted her to do that; they could take me away and put me in foster care.

Mommis logged about 7500 steps — nearly three miles — just running around the lake yelling Buppy. I felt so popular and so wanted. But I realized we had already been at the park for two hours, so I decided to do her a favor and come out. Of course she must have thought I’d drown, because she had borrowed some treats from another person and immediately rewarded me for coming out with a treat.

Everyone thought I’d be exhausted, and sleep all day. I’m not, but looking at Mommis closely, I think she is. And how come she didn’t take us for a bath????? I smell. I hope that’s coming tomorrow.


Posted by: francinehardaway | April 11, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Last week was my birthday. I don’t know how old I am, but I sure am getting grey.  Mommis got me when she had her hip replaced at the end of 2006, and they thought I was about a year and a half then. So it’s 7 and a half years. So I might be nine.

A few weeks ago, I caught a duck in my mouth. It was trying to get to the reservoir from dry land. It practically flew into my mouth; I swear I didn’t really try to catch it. I think it was a stupid duck and deserved its fate, but Mommis made me drop it, and it wandered off and flew away.

Then I saw some very special ducks in the reservoir a few days later, and I couldn’t help myself; I swam right after  them. I would have kept swimming, because I was really happy in the water, but it was my day to have the electronic collar on me, so she pinged me. I hate that vibrator, so I came out.

I always feel so re-energized after I swim, even if it’s only in the irrigation. We got that on Tuesday and it was lots of fun. I especially like playing in the water and then coming in to wrestle with my younger brothers on the living room couch. I also still like carrying the toilet paper out of the bathroom into the back yard in one big stream.

I need some candid opinions here. Mommis gave me my Easter cut this week, and I am not sure it’s really “me.”photo 1 I see myself as more fluffy, with a little more substance. What do you think?

I think I’m cuter than this haircut.

But I guess it’s cool. Summer’s coming and we don’t go to the beach anymore. I still don’t know what happened, or where Paunnie went. We have Sammy and Bruce now, but Sammy’s on suicide watch (leash) because he jumped out of Mommis’s convertible this morning at 24th Street and Lincoln Drive in the rush hour. Just went right over the side like he usually does at the park. Only we weren’t at the park.

Mommis clicked him in the electronic collar and he came right back in, but now we’re going to take him to therapy.

What’s therapy?



Posted by: francinehardaway | January 30, 2014

What’s Aging Anyway?

I’m a senior dog now, but I haven’t lost my ability to surprise. I’ve got one special move down pat. I can fake left, go right, and end up in the lake at Granada Park any time I want to. All I have to do is act old, hang back, and they give up on me. especially now that we have Sammy, who is a real whack job even at five, and Bruce, the Shih-tzu poodle we picked up at Los Olivos. Mommis has her hands full controlling them, and she doesn’t have enough of those Dogtra collars for all of us, so I am usually the one who doesn’t have to wear one, because I’m the great pretender.

I’ll explain. I pretend to be mellow. And then when Mommis is having a conversation with Sharon and Felix or Uncle Dan or somebody else (Mommis talks to everybody, even total strangers, because she can’t smell things well enough) I veer into the lake. It’s real simple. I swim a little, just enough to wake me up, and then I come out shaking myself and running. Everybody loves that, and mostly they forgive me. Mommis says some stuff about me, but it’s not important. I can see that she’s really proud of me.

Truthfully, I’m bored in her house. We see the same six dogs all the time: Blu, who belongs to Uncle Dan, Trina and Tucker, who belong to our friend Max, and my step brothers Bruce and Sammy. And me. All they do is practice for triathlons in the house, jumping the couch, running through the irrigation, humping each other and chasing each other around the house. Mommis is usually out when that happens. When she gets home, she sees the muddy footprints, but she never says anything. She’s busy, and she loves us.

I know she loves me, because she lets me on her bed even when I’m really dirty. Yeah, she tries to brush me, and she takes me to the spa once a month, but mostly she says, “hi big puppy,” and hugs me. She lays down with me.

She and I have history. I’m the only one in the house who remembers when she had her hip replaced, when Chauncey died, and when Aunt Chelsea got Toley. Aunt Chelsea says she wants me, but Mommis won’t let me go there. This makes me feel wanted.

Mommis looks pretty good these days. This vegan stuff isn’t too good for me, but it’s been good for her. The only vegetable I like is carrots. Sammy likes kale and collard greens. Me? Not so much. But I really like fruit. Apples and blueberries.

Life is good.

Posted by: francinehardaway | May 19, 2013

Buppy and the Faux Down

Jonny Aguilar takes Sammy for training by his baby self now. Sammy listens to Jonny. I do not, although I try to act like I know what I’m doing when Jonny is around. I don’t want to go for training by myself. As things stand, I’ve got Mommis right where I want her; I only have to listen to her a small part of the time.

This morning we took a big walk in Steele Indian School Park, mostly at heel, although I know how to get lost behind Mommis and then run to catch up when she signals me. She thinks I am under voice control, but actually, I am making choice. I CHOOSE to follow Mommis, because I get hungry every once in a while and it’s nice to have a dependable food supply.

Buppy Fakes a Down

Buppy Fakes a Down


They don’t bother us at Steele, like they do at Los Olivos where they gave Mommis a ticket and she is fighting it.

But today, Mommis asked us to get in a “down” at the end of our walk. I really didn’t feel like bending my elbows. So I faked it.


Posted by: francinehardaway | December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

My new toy was really a duck, but I liked the skunk better so I traded Taylor for it:-)photo (3)

Posted by: francinehardaway | December 6, 2012

Small Mess-Up on My Part: Big Consequences

I made a big strategic error last week. When Mommis took us to Indian School Park, she let us out of the dog park for a minute to play with us in the field. I was playing with Sammy and Blu, and then I realized we were near the lake where the men fish. I laid low, so Mommis would think I was playing with Sammy, and then I took off for a swim.

The Remote Reminder Collar

The Remote Reminder Collar

Of course Mommis freaked out and called attention to me by yelling “Buppy Come” at the top of her lungs. This just makes me nervous, so I ignored her more, hoping she would stop.

The men were really angry, because I saw all the fish swim away when they saw me. There probably won’t be another fish in that lake for weeks.

But here’s the error. I didn’t realize this, but the remote collar we used to train Sammy has a version where you can train two dogs at once. I am now on restrictions — meaning I am always on the electronic remote when we go to the park, and Mommis is trying to train us to stay down when she walks away. Me, I don’t care, because I’d rather lay down anyway. But Sammy goes nuts when she leaves.

Here, I try to give him comfort. She’s about 20 feet away. I’m not scared.

Posted by: francinehardaway | November 24, 2012

In Which Uncle Nell’s Phone Disappears

Dear Uncle Nell,

I’m getting the feeling that you are my competition for Auntie Belle. She has been visiting Mommis this holiday, and we have been having a wonderful time. But every once in a while she gets this sad, far off look in her eye. I wondered how she could have that when she was with us all the time, so I started sniffing around.
And that’s how I found your phone.  I just knew it was yours, and that she loves YOU, not me:-(
So last night I carried it out to the banquette by the bay window, thinking she would never find it and she would forget you. But Mommis guessed that it was me, and they know I sleep in the banquette, so they found it and took it back.
But today, when Auntie Belle got in the shower, I sneaked into her room and took it again. And this time I carried it into the back yard. I have this great hole that I’m digging in the back yard, all the way to China.
In the meantime, it got dark. But when Auntie Belle got out of the shower, she realized it was gone, and ran around the house looking for it. When she couldn’t see it, she started calling it. And then she couldn’t hear it, so she sent mommis out into the back yard.
Mommis couldn’t see anything,so she had to come back in and get the big flashlight while Auntie Belle got dressed.
Then Auntie Belle and Mommis both heard the phone in the yard, but they couldn’t see it. Auntie Belle said, “it sounds like it is coming from here, but I don’t see anything.” And then Mommis spilled the beans and said that was my hole to China.
So Auntie Belle started digging while Mommis held the flashlight. And she unearthed (yes, a bad pun) your phone.
So now I am in the dog house. Auntie Belle is madly cleaning up your phone.
You win dude!
Love, B.Q. Puppis-Woo

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 112 other followers