Monday, April 27, 2009

Kelly's Spring Walk

Kelly and I went out to see what was growing around the neighborhood. The weather was unseasonably warm, 85 degrees, for April. I think she's ready for her summer trim!
Kelly's tongue got a workout!
This tree is such a pretty pink.

I love the symbolism of a bold dandelion growing in the pavement cracks.

Paws for Reflection: Nature's beauty can be found in the city. Sometimes we just have to hunt a little harder.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bo on the New Yorker

New Yorker magazine cover, April 27, 2009. Illustration by Bob Staake.

How many books do you think we're going to see about Presidential pup Bo? The pets of famous people always attract interest, especially those of the leader of our country, and even more so when involving children in the White House.

I've written several articles about presidential dogs; from FDR's Scottish Terrier Fala, to LBJ's beagles Him and Her, to Gerald Ford's Golden Retriever Liberty. Then there was George HW Bush's Springer Spaniel Millie who "wrote" her own autobiography.

One new book that should be popping up on the bookstore shelves soon is author and illustrator Bob Staake's "The First Pup; The Unofficial Story of How Sasha and Malia's Dad Got the Presidency-- and How They Got a Dog."

This book explores the excitement leading up to the selection of the First Dog, and shows illustrations of poodles, schnauzers and other dogs vying for the spot, until the end reveals the Portuguese Water Dog on his way to the White House!

According to, however, at this point Staake's manuscript has not yet found a publisher.

Staake also created this month's cute New Yorker magazine cover, stating his illustration "also works as a metaphor for Obama."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dieting Slump

Kelly was in a dieting slump lately. She refused to eat her baby carrots. This led to me offering her dog biscuits as treats again. How quickly we fall into our old habits! Of course, she loved the doggy treats. But I realized her weight was starting to come back again. Was that a waddle when she walked? Yup, we'd better get back on track. I tried other healthy snacks--celery, apples, green beans. Not so much. One day at the grocery store I saw a bag of carrots sliced into little coin sized discs. I decided to try them and, success! Just the different shape renewed her interest. And, with the nice weather now, we've been able to increase our walking time and distance. So that should help.

Like Kelly, I've recently hit a dieting slump too. I was excited to have joined a gym. At first we couldn't wait to go. I bought a new gym outfit, laced up my sneaks, filled my water bottle, and off we went. I was working out 200% (random arbitrary statistic) more than I'd been doing at home. At least 30 minutes on the treadmill, and then a circuit of weight machines. I was sore and sweaty, so that must mean I worked hard right? But day after day, week after week, no difference on the scale. So frustrating!

Then I made a logical decision: I figured since I wasn't losing any weight doing things the right way, I might as well eat whatever I wanted. My husband and I used an awesome coupon for Buy One Get One Free burritos and ordered these monstrosities with steak, cheese, fried onions, peppers and mushrooms, oh yeah and more cheese. They were huge! And we ate them with abandon. About 20 minutes later my stomach turned on me. I still feel that burrito rolling around in there today. I felt nauseous from all that grease. Whatever losses I might have eventually seen on the scale had now been altered by the increased calories and fat I'd consumed in one meal, which was probably more than I should have had in two days (I'm afraid to calculate it!) Plus, it tasted great at the time, but felt awful afterward.

Did I learn a lesson? I hope so. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. After all, most all of us have diet slip ups. But for snacks today, I'm going to go join Kelly in some carrot coins.

Paws for Reflection: Convoluted logic to give yourself permission to do what you know you shouldn't do just doesn't work!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Welcome Bo Obama

Photo Credit: AP, by Pete Souza/The White House

I'm sure by now you've all heard about Bo, the First Dog of the presidential family. Bo is a totally adorable 6 month old male Portuguese water dog.
Although President Obama had stated a preference for a mixed-breed dog, the family ended up with a Portuguese water dog--partly because they have a hypoalergenic coat, which was necessary due to daughter Malia's allergies. President Obama has pledged to donate to the District of Columbia Humane Society instead.
The dog's former owners were unable to keep the dog, they'd named Charlie, and returned him to the breeder. The breeder commented that it was not because of a problem with the puppy. President Obama reports that the pup has a very good temperament and "star quality."

The family will take turns walking the dog, which needs a lot of attention and exercise. President Obama is shown here doing his part, running with little Bo. Cute.

Paws for Reflection: Although he didn't rescue a shelter dog, the president did take in this older puppy, which had been returned to the breeders. I know this dog would have never ended up in a shelter or on the streets, but at least I feel he's trying by donating to the shelters too. Still, I would have liked to have seen the family with a rescued dog, it would have helped promote the cause.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Look what the Easter Bunny brought

Mommy with her little ones. Here's Proud Papa.

Look at these Puppies! Aren't they the cutest?!
Tony and his family Of Philadelphia, PA have a new spring addition--these 6 adorable puppies born to Dachshund mommy and Pomeranian daddy. They are about three weeks old and growing fast.

Tony and his wife Holly say the puppy experience is bittersweet--they've become attached to the pups, but know they can't keep them all. They already have 2 poms and 2 dachshunds. They plan on keeping the runt of the litter.

In the meantime, these little guys are growing, experiencing their first bowl of food, and keeping everyone busy and happy! p.s. Check out Tony's blog!

Paws for Reflection: As Charles Shultz says, Happiness is a Warm Puppy.