Posted by: francinehardaway | November 20, 2012

Train Me? Why?

In my mature years, I’ve become known as Zen Dog or the Saunterer. I don’t fetch, I only run short distances, and I only wrestle with Sammy. So it boggles my mind why Mommis has decided NOW is the time to train me.

She hired this trainer, JonnyBGood, for Sammy. He put a collar around Sammy’s neck that vibrates when Mommis hits a remote control. The vibration gets Sammy’s attention. She wears the remote around her neck, and every time she issues a command — and she issues a lot of them — she presses the button on the remote and vibrates Sammy. I actually think this will work for him; he is already riding in the back seat of the car, which he never did before, and he has stopped acting like a scarf around Mommis’ neck when she drives.

But the other day I had a real shock (no pun intended). It seems that Mommis thinks she can stop me from running after cats and not following her at the park by putting the collar on ME!.

The command I’m supposed to learn is “Buppy Come.” Of course I already know this. I just feel like it’s a matter of personal choice whether I come immediately or five minutes later, after I’m through investigating what was left on the grill in the park or what’s in the overflowing garbage after the weekend picnics.

But that damned vibration is so annoying that after a while it’s less trouble to come than to assert my individuality. Oh, and I’ve gained 8 pounds, so I guess I shouldn’t be eating that leftover pizza and fries anyway. I’ve never weighed 80 before in my life, and Mommis really wants me to diet. She thinks it will improve my energy.

Good luck, Mommis.

Jonny Training Sammy

Posted by: francinehardaway | August 11, 2012

Tango With the Mango

It began as an ordinary day, until Mommis opened the front door and I saw the black cat across the street.

Mommis thinks I am more responsible now, so when she loads us into the car she sometimes doesn’t put our leashes on if we’re going to the park. Usually I want to go to the park, but in a choice between park and cat, I’d always choose cat.

I chased that cat from Carolyn’s house over to the next neighbor. I was winning all the way. I trapped the cat under a trailer in the neighbor’s driveway and began to work on it. Unfortunately, I was too big to fit comfortable under the trailer, so I tried to move the cat next to it and continued my work.

But by that time Mommis was furious, ran after me with the leash, and threw it at me, buckle first. It startled me, and I backed off. The cat went away, but it didn’t look very good. I knew Mommis was mad, so I hightailed it home and jumped into our car.

When we got home from the park, Mommis had to clean my ear, because it was bleeding where the cat scratched it. She also had to put ointment on it. I’ve had cat scratch infections twice, so she was right on it, although I didn’t really think it warranted all that care. I would have just let it dry up.

About an hour later, Uncle Max was peeling mangoes. Mommis was working at her computer. Sometimes if we all hang around Uncle Max, he will give us a small piece when he slices them, but this time I got lucky! He dropped an entire mango seed, and I saw it. I vacuumed it down. Uncle Max freaked out and ran to Mommis.

Mommis called the vet. She is such an over-reactor. The vet said it wasn’t toxic, but it had to pass through. I already know that. Then another miracle happened. The vet said to give me fiber to make it pass, so Uncle Max sliced up a piece of fantastic Artisan bread and they actually fed it to only me.

I have had a great day. I almost got the cat, and I did get the mango pit and the bread. Mommis is in a heap on the floor though. I think she’s meditating. Why???

Posted by: francinehardaway | June 9, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

In retrospect, I probably should not have done it. But it seemed like such a good idea at the time. I should have stuck with chasing the rabbit, like Sammy did. We didn’t get the rabbit, but we pinned it under somebody’s air conditioner before Mommis put us back on our leashes.

Mommis took us to the BIltmore Golf Course this morning for the first time in a long time. She was watching for coyotes, but we were watching for bunnies, and we saw one almost immediately. She punished us by putting us on leash, but when we got to the big meadow golf course by the lake she let us off again.

I waded into the lake, like I usually do, and swam around the edge. My little brother Sammy, who I don’t think can swim, tried to copy me by belly flopping in, all four legs in the air, but it scared him to hit the water, and he went back to Mommis.

The golden in me wanted to go for a swim, however, so I paddled out a little ways. And then I saw the ducks. Dozens of them, swimming almost where I could get them. If I could just go a little further. So I went up the lake. Then I went down the lake. Then I went up the lake. Then they changed direction and I followed them side to side.

I heard Mommis calling and whistling from the shore, but I was having too much fun. And then, suddenly, I started to cough and got tired. A couple walking a dog came by, and Mommis spoke to them.  They couldn’t help her get me, though. I just kept swimming after the ducks. I stopped coughing and kept swimming.

Mommis called 911. They told here they didn’t have a boat. Then she called the hotel maintenance for the golf course, and a man came out in a white uniform on a golf cart. He stood and watched. By this time, Mommis was freaking out, running up and down and around the lake. Five different people were watching and calling and whistling.

I thought I was just about to get the duck, though, and I didn’t want to stop now! I was so close. The damn duck kept taking off and landing a few feet from me. I was sure I was going to get her. All the other ducks were yelling at us.

And then two men with fishing poles came by. They saw what was happening, and one of them had a dog of his own. So he took off his shirt (wow, he had a lot of  tattoos) and jumped in and swam across the lake toward me, yelling. I was scared of him, so I swam away from him toward Mommis. I figured the jig was up. The duck got away.

Mommis pulled me out and then put me on a leash.Sammy was watching all this; he didn’t know what was happening.

And then the man said he needed help. Mommis reached in and pulled him out.

After he got out, he said that was a hard swim, and then they both realized that he was fimmin in his shoes and his jeans. And in his pocket, he had a wrench. No wonder if had so much trouble.

Mommis threw her arms around him and offered him a reward, but he refused. She begged, and he finally told her he had a dog and she could get something for the dog. She took his phone number, told him she loved him, and we walked back to the car. She made both of us heel the whole way.

Posted by: francinehardaway | November 27, 2011

My Retriever Secret Unveiled

I can retrieve. Today in the dog park I finally let my secret out; I’ve always known how to retrieve. I just didn’t think they were ready for me. Uncle Dan found me the orange balls, and I decided it was time to tell all.

Posted by: francinehardaway | October 30, 2011

Steve Jobs’ Biography

I couldn’t put it down. Even though the cover slid off it and got stuck on the floor of the office, I kept the rest of the book and devoured it. Mommis has great taste in books. But I am glad this man didn’t own me. It doesn’t sound like he would have been someone I would understand, and it didn’t seem like he had much joy in his life, I am all about joy. But I am also about Zen, although I don’t recognize how he lived his life as the Zen I know.

Posted by: francinehardaway | October 21, 2011

Joe’s Birthday Party

Every morning we jump for joy

When we see you, boy oh boy!

Then we get our treat

And we think that is really neat.

On this special day

We want to say

Hey Hey Hey

Happy Birthday

To our favorite Candy Manz

From your number one fanz

The Los Olivos Woofus Gang

Mommis was away, but it was Joe’s birfday this weekend, and the park peeps, including Parker, Wendy’s special dog who was found in the park and rescued by Wendy, had a big party. Pam.I.Am Shakespeare, mother of Wrigley, the dog who loves to shower in the sprinklers, wrote Joe a poem for us and we all signed it.

And Pam also baked a cake with a dog on it.

The party was for Joe’s birthday, but it was also a big wet thank you for the treats he gives us every morning. And I mean Every. Morning.

Happy Birthday, dog’s best friend Joe.

Posted by: francinehardaway | August 12, 2011

Dogs Live Like People! Finally

This hotel lobby has three different sizes of dog treats for me, canine toilet paper, and USA Today to shred.


Posted by: francinehardaway | July 7, 2011

In London Dogs Get to Go Places

A dog goes on trains here and in restaurants



Posted by: francinehardaway | June 30, 2011

Chillin’ on Mommis’ Bed

Sammy doesn’t usually let me up here, but tonight he was kind of mellow and I got to hug Mommis for a while.

Posted by: francinehardaway | June 24, 2011

What She Doesn’t Know

Is that I much prefer to sleep NEXT to my bed. I don’t want to make her feel bad, but it’s hot.


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