Dec 30, 2010

Meat? Yes! Fur? No!

I was shopping at my local butcher shop on a very chilly day when my 'meat man' asked me if the fur ear flap hat I was wearing was real fur. When I told him no, it's a very realistic-looking fake, he winked at me and said, "That's good, because no animals are ever harmed in this place." And while it was all very amusing, and we both had a chuckle, it got me to thinking about what exactly my belief system is and where I draw the line.

I'm horrified at any animal cruelty of any kind and yet I eat meat. Most meat, at any rate. I refuse to eat veal as the way veal calves are treated appalls me. And I don't eat lamb as the thought of eating a darling spring lamb is equally upsetting to me. Yet I have no trouble eating beef, chicken or pork and it isn't as though I don't find the creatures from which those meats originate unpleasing, nor that I'm not bothered by the slaughter of those animals because I am. And still I eat some portion of them just about every single day.

I'm repulsed by real fur. The torture those animals endure and the ridiculous amount of lives and pelts it takes to create a single coat or hat makes my blood run cold, yet I wear leather shoes and boots, pigskin gloves and I even own a leather coat. Is tanning a hide any less evil than skinning a mink or chinchilla?

As I stood there at the meat counter expressing my horror at wearing a real fur hat, collecting my steaks and pork chops, feet tucked snugly into my toasty sheepskin boots, I realized with a certain amount of disgust that I am a complete hypocrite when it comes to my commitment to animal rights. And as sad as it makes me, I'm not sure I'm prepared to change my present habits. That's bad, isn't it?

Dec 24, 2010

Wrapping the Gifts

Gift wrapping shenanigans and hijinks. While one of us was attempting to actually wrap some gifts, two small dogs (and a lazy cat) were doing their best to make the task as difficult as possible. Diving under paper, running across paper, tearing up paper, climbing into the bags with the unwrapped gifts, stealing gift cards and pens, and of course in the case of the boys, teasing the poor cat until she practically had a seizure. Ah, it must be Christmas again.

Merry Christmas One and All!

Dec 17, 2010

Four Old Disney Movies

I was recently at a dinner party and though I can't remember exactly how it happened, the after-dinner talk somehow turned to old Disney movies. And I was surprised by how many adults, most of whom are my age or just slightly older than me, had neither seen nor, even more surprisingly, ever heard of some of my childhood favorites. In the last couple of weeks since that evening, I've been thinking about movies that I hadn't thought of in decades and since then, courtesy of netflix (what a wonderful invention that is), been systematically devouring them in the evenings after everyone else goes to bed. Here, in no particular order, are my four favorite animal-themed movies from my early childhood. And of course they'd be animal-themed! Did you expect something else?

The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (1968). Dean Jones plays an ad executive who's about to lose his job when a drug company owner hates the ad campaign designed for him. With a daughter who wants a horse of her own and no money with which to buy one, Jones gets the idea to buy the horse, name it after the stomach pill in question and take it through the show circuit as a living ad campaign. If the horse doesn't win big, Jones loses his job and the horse and makes his daughter miserable. I loved this as a little girl because the horse was a dapple gray, always my favorite, and I found myself last week as giddy as I was at six years old, madly in love with horses once again and thrilled to be watching two hours of the most gorgeous dapple gray ever to grace the screen.

The Ugly Dachshund (1966). Suzanne Pleshette's prize-winning weiner is about to have puppies and when she does, the vet talks her husband, again (the luscious) Dean Jones into bringing home an abandoned Great Dane to be nursed in the litter as well. Hijinks ensue when the poor Dane, who believes himself to also be a little weiner dog, gets blamed for all the chaos the naughty weiners create. When the Dane is entered in a dog show, can he realize what a big beautiful specimen he is before it's too late?

That Darn Cat (1965). When a bank teller is kidnapped during a robbery, she slips her wristwatch around the neck of DC, Hayley Mill's meandering Siamese cat, hoping to lead the police to her kidnappers' hideout. When Mills sees the watch, she gets the FBI involved, including one agent (Dean Jones again, am I sensing a pattern here?) who also happens to be highly allergic to cats and the hunt is on.

The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964). The story of a little girl named Mary whose mother has passed and whose life with her depressed veterinarian father is anything but fun. Only her cat Thomasina brings her joy but when the cat contracts tetanus and her father puts the cat down, Mary becomes enraged. She runs away and brings the cat to a witch, hoping she can heal Thomasina and bring her back to life, possibly reuniting father and daughter in the process. Not exactly the rollicking fare of the previous three films, but still a very sweet little movie that I fondly remember from my childhood (even if it doesn't have Dean Jones in it).

Dec 13, 2010

Bullies With Antlers

I really do love to dress up my boys for the holidays. Strike that. I really do like to dress up my boys, period. I don't need any excuses to make them look adorable, but having a theme helps. I haven't had the time to think up or assemble any funky Christmas outfits for Edison and Bram, and while I'm sure they're pleased as hell I haven't, I'm going to miss them looking dapper and festive this year.

Last year I bought them two adorable little santa hats with fur trim. The hats played little twinkling versions of well-known holiday classics and I thought the boys would be irresistible in them with their giant ears poking out of the hats and merry tunes emanating from their tiny heads. What I didn't take into account was having two chihuahuas who were so freaked out by the music that was suddenly swirling all too closely to their heads, that every time I put one of the hats on them, they'd drop down, bellies to the floor, legs splayed out, with a look of sheer terror on their otherwise angelic faces. My guilt got the better of me after only one or two tries and with a heavy heart I returned the hats to the shop where I had gotten them.

This year I saw a gift set that included a tiny green fur hat adorned with holly that came with a set of four tiny curly-toed elf boots that had little jingle bells on theirs tips. It was meant to be for cats, but would have fit my boys perfectly. But being the loving mother I am, I decided to not put poor Edison and Bram through the horrors of holiday clothes again, for this year at any rate. I have told Maia Louise, when she's been naughty and abusive to the boys, that I know where I can very easily get an outfit that will not only be physically uncomfortable for her but will humiliate her in her uber-snobby cat world as well. So far, my threats have kept her nicely in line. And of course, there's always next year to go holiday-outfit-hog-wild on all my furry children.

These three adorable bullies sporting festive holiday antlers belong to a friend of mine. From top to bottom these cuties are: Sophie, the adorable little Frenchie, Chelsea and Charles. It's good to see some dogs have gotten into the holiday spirit, even if Sophie looks like she'd rather be asleep than posing for her close up.

Many thanks to Mary Lou for allowing me to use these photos of her gorgeous doggies.

Dec 8, 2010

How to Torture a Snowman, Chi Style

These are two of a friend's (nine) dogs enjoying a fun afternoon in the first snow of the season. That's tiny Pru, the tomboy, scaling a rather unfortunate snowman, first attempting to steal his hat and then deciding that the hat alone wasn't enough, thus going for his carrot nose and ultimately knocking his head off instead. Unfortunately, Beryl (the little black pug) wasn't quite quick enough when it came to joining in on the happy destruction.

Many thanks to Jo for the use of these hilarious photos of her girls torturing a snowman!

Nov 29, 2010

Dog Sweaters

Before I went utterly insane and took on a commission of four portraits in four weeks (to be completed by the third week of December), I had planned on knitting the boys two new sweaters for the holidays, a task which, trust me, does not come easily to me. And had it not been the holiday season when everyone who knits or crochets (another skill for which I have absolutely no ability) is presently knitting and crocheting their fingers off in all the beautiful yarns your mind can imagine, I may have had a few more choices as to available yarn colors, too. But alas, the sea blues and field greens my eye imagined were nowhere to be found and in their stead I chose two lovely chunky lambswools, albeit in rather 'serious' colors for my men. Edison's sweater will be in a deep charcoal gray which will play nicely off his dark sabling and Bram's will be in a rich oatmeal flecked with large charcoal and tan fibers which will not only complement his tan features, but this sweater and Edison's (and my boys too, of course) will look simply smashing when seen together. Once an artist, always an artist! So stay tuned to this site for photos of the boys in their finery should I ever not only have the time for knitting, but somehow manage to figure out how to actually make these sweaters as well.

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of a little chihuahua named Ollie who has an entire wardrobe of jazzy sweaters made by his loving mom, Kimberly.

Photos of Ollie in his knit finery courtesy of Kimberly Vogel.

Nov 19, 2010

World's Smallest Police Dog

Meet Japan's newest police dog- all 6.6 lbs of her. In what is a first for Japan, and perhaps the world, a long-haired Chihuahua named "Momo" (which translates to "Peach") passed her exams to become a police dog in the western Japanese prefecture of Nara. The tiny brown and white (and perky!) Momo was one of 32 dogs out of 70 to successfully pass her exams. She completed a search and rescue test by finding a person in five minutes after merely sniffing their cap.

"Any breed of dog can be entered to become a police dog in the search and rescue division," said a Nara police spokesman, but he admitted that news a Chihuahua had been entered may still come as a surprise to many. "It's quite unusual," he said.

Television footage showed the 7-year-old Momo bounding across grass or sitting proudly, long hair blowing in the breeze. Momo will be used for rescue operations in the case of disasters such as earthquakes, in the hopes that she may be able to squeeze her tiny frame into places too narrow for the more usual breed of rescue dogs, German Shepherds. The public response to the news of Momo's selection took police by surprise, the spokesman said, adding: "The phone's been ringing all afternoon."

Thanks to Reuters for the photograph and original version of this story.

Nov 12, 2010

Dog Language

I know everyone thinks their pets are the smartest and greatest animals in the world, but my animals actually are. At least when it comes to their comprehension of human words. My dogs (and to a slightly lesser degree, my cat as well) have a rather astounding vocabulary. This is probably due to the fact that I seldom shut up and as I've been yakking at them since the moment they came home as babies, it was only a matter of time before some of it rubbed off onto them and stuck.

They know all the key words a dog needs to know: those for walks, car rides, food, toys, and anything else that drives them to fits of doggie bliss, but they also know some more obscure ones, like "garage," "upstairs and downstairs," the names for various rooms in the house, the names of all their much-loved people and stuffed toys and, inexplicably, in one case, Elvis. And most unfortunately, they know the names for things we wish they didn't.

And it's these words that denote things, behaviors, or people that we try to hide from the dogs that sometimes makes talking around them difficult. Say something enough times and eventually a very smart dog will learn to associate the word or phrase with the action that accompanies it. And so we began to use Pig Latin when speaking of those forbidden things. That is, until it became apparent that the boys had developed an understanding of a fair amount of Pig Latin, which then forced us to speak in French. And now they're starting to comprehend the French. We figure that we have a bit of time left before we've exhausted all the more common languages on earth, which buys us some time before we're reduced to speaking of forbidden doggie things to one another in a remote African language that consists entirely of clicks and whistles. But at the rate we're going, it may be sooner than we think.

Nov 5, 2010

Ivy and Doris

Two sweet little English girls, recently captured in two very different portraits. The solid (dare I say, chunky?) pug named Doris was drawn in fairly heavy graphite on a very thick, hand pressed paper, while Ivy, the wispy little long-coat chihuahua was drawn very delicately on a soft blush-colored paper to enhance her fragility. I adore both of these dogs and would love to have them for my very own. Alas, all I have are the photos of the works I did of them, but that's okay because they are both very much loved and spoiled where they are, across the pond.

Portrait of Ivy, graphite on paper, 2010
Doris in Profile, graphite on paper, 2010

Nov 1, 2010

Glamour Shots

The boys posed in their tiny fezzes for some lovely glamour portraits to be used in a photo portfolio. I personally think they both look like tiny super models, but I have to say that Bram, the boy who will do anything for food, has now trumped Edison, the boy who will panic over anything, as the Next Top Chihuahua Model in my house. And the treats used to coax the boys into their glorious poses? Vienna Fingers. Far, far too many little pieces of Vienna Fingers. More than any healthy chi should eat. It's a good thing we don't shoot every day or these would be two very fat little men. And there's nothing glamorous about that.

Oct 27, 2010

Brammy Turns Two

Monday was Bram's second birthday and boy does time fly! It seems like just yesterday we were making the trip to Connecticut to meet a little female from the same litter only to find myself head over heels in love with a little boy who had more personality than could be contained in such a tiny body and who was equally suffering from love at first sight with me as well. We celebrated his big day on Sunday though, as I wasn't going to be home on Monday evening and didn't want to have to rush his gifts and cake. He got a gift of his own and one to share with Edison and both boys wore tiny fezzes with tassels I made for them last week. The little Man of the Hour also wore a lime green marabou boa to show just how festive he could be and both boys dined on a teeny tiny homemade butter sponge cake with vanilla icing. A grand time was had by all, even those who donned hats they may have preferred to have not been forced to wear in the first place!


Oct 25, 2010

Boys With Bling

Okay, so maybe 'bling' isn't exactly the best choice of adjective, but they are some well-accessorized boys. I made these necklaces for my little men in the hopes of balancing their energy just a teensy bit when we're out and about in the world. Each of the twelve stones used in them was chosen for their specific properties: grounding and centering, inducing a sense of calm, being outgoing and making friends easily, courage without swagger, and safety from theft or injuries. A few of the stones are simply to bring them a long, healthy and very happy life.

I was shopping for a second red stone to complement the coral and while in a bead shop asked the clerk if she had any red jasper, a stone known for its grounding energy. She looked around and told me she hadn't any jasper, but she did have carnelian. I laughed. She looked confused. I told her that yes, carnelian is a beautiful rich red stone, but it's used to give a fearless voice to those who wear it. I explained that I have two little chihuahuas, a breed known for its incessant yapping and which for my men is always even worse (if this is even possible) when we're out in public. The last thing I would want around my boys' necks is something that will give them even more bark.

Do I honestly think this dog jewelry will in any way modify the out-of-control behavior my tiny men exhibit when we're out and meet new people or, even worse, other dogs? No. But that doesn't mean I can't wish for it as hard as I possibly can, and for my boys to look uber-stylish while I'm doing it.

Edison and Bram's matching necklaces are made of aventurine, obsidian, polished red coral, aquamarine, amethyst, jade, tiger's eye, red jasper, smoky quartz, blue lace agate, turquoise and hematite. Each necklace also has a tiny sterling silver peace sign that dangles from the clasp.

Oct 21, 2010

Mouse Trouble

Literally every single night Maia Louise sits by the radiator in the corner of the dining room, waiting and watching, on the off-chance a stray mouse will climb up the pipes from the cellar and make its way into the house. She's done this every single night since one lousy mouse did this ages ago. Talk about stubborn. Well, her persistence finally paid off as one very chilly little mouse recently made the mistake of climbing up those pipes. And of course once it did, all hell broke loose. The cat grabbed the mouse and did what cats do to them, the boys went berserk because the cat was going nuts. I dove at the men to get them out of the way while Griffin cornered the cat and tried to get the poor mouse away from her so we could let it go outside. The dogs were thrilled that the cat was being both yelled at and shaken and insisted on being involved because they love when Maia gets in trouble (after all, what self-respecting dog doesn't love a good cat bashing?). The noise level was absolutely insane for quite some time with animals running pell mell all around the downstairs chasing mice, chasing cats and dodging humans. I finally managed to corral the boys behind a barricade at the foot of the foyer stairs, which of course only made them bark more, -and this was just pure luck- the now bleeding mouse got away and went right back down that pipe on its own. It probably figured it was far better off taking its chances out in the cold and rain of that night than to stay in this madhouse. It took another 20 minutes to get Edison to stop barking at everyone in a stern, lecturing voice about how all this was totally uncalled for. Edison is quite a persnickety little dog.

And then, less than a week later: another mouse. I knew there was a mouse in the dining room again as the cat was on alert and Bram was running around and around the table and chairs frantically sniffing the carpet, intently focused on the hunt. I couldn't find it though, which isn't a surprise given how tiny a field mouse is and the fact that with nothing but period lighting in our house, it's virtually impossible to even see your hand before your face after sundown. Three hours later I found Bram in the dining room, growling his hilarious little helium growl at David's Gibson propped in a corner. I picked the guitar up and sure enough, there was a little field mouse hunkered down behind it, bum against the baseboard, freaking out. I called Griffin down to help me. On went two pairs of rubber dishwashing gloves and out came a little bag in which to place the mouse for its trip back outdoors. I moved the guitar and Griffin grabbed the thing, plopped it into the bag and we both went outside together to let it go. Griffin set the bag down, the mouse came out onto the lawn, briefly looked surprised to find itself out there in the cold, and took off running with absolutely no hesitation around the side of the house, through the shade garden beneath my kitchen windows, up our ancient fieldstone foundation and right back into the house between those stones. It took it less than three seconds and the damn thing was back inside the warm house well before Griffin and I even reached the back steps, let alone got back indoors ourselves. I half expected to see it already up and out of the cellar, back in the toasty dining room, with a very tiny but smug and satisfied look on its face.

Photo courtesy of Mazart on flickr.

Oct 17, 2010

The Ride Home

And here are the men on the return trip home and utterly tuckered out from their day walking the beach and climbing cemetery hills in the wind and chill. Brammy refused to get into his bed that he had vomited in earlier, despite my having carefully washed it out and lined it with a thick dry towel. Eventually, his fatigue won out, and he climbed in and settled down for a long snooze on the ride home, much cozier in his bed than on the bare car seat.

Oct 11, 2010

Beach Boys

The boys spent a very blustery and chilly fall day at the beach. Despite the fact that at times they looked as though they would have liked to be anywhere but where they were, they did have some fun. Bram, who had never been to the beach before, was endlessly fascinated with the enormous piles of kelp drying at the high tide line, and both boys couldn't get enough of sniffing the various leftover dead bits of seagull dinners. They got good and sandy, smelled a bit too strongly of seaweed, dead marine life and a small amount of vomit (courtesy of Bram's brief episode of car sickness en route) and so after a very long and tiring day, they had a very satisfying dinner, a nice warm bath, and went to bed smelling like two sweet little boys once again.

Oct 5, 2010

How to Properly Cook Your Chihuahua

I'm forever telling my boys I'm going to bite their legs, or that they should come over to me so I can chew on their faces, and of course, they always do. Then while I'm snuggling them and munching on them, I tell them how, if I were to ever cook and eat them, I would prepare and serve them.

Edison, being quite lean, would be ideal for a summer supper, served outdoors on the patio with a gentle warm breeze blowing. He'd be grilled with a light lemon glaze, served with a tossed green side salad and some not-too-spicy watermelon salsa. We'd enjoy strawberry margaritas and we'd follow him with some fresh fruit and a homemade sorbet for dessert.

Bram, however, being the chubby little guy he is, would best be served on a cold, cold winter night. With that thick layer of fat he wears, he'd crisp up nicely as a roast and would be delicious with a rich gravy, assorted root veggies and mulled cider. A warm pumpkin pudding with french vanilla ice cream would follow him nicely.

And if you asked them, my boys would insist that the dreaded cat be served first as an appetizer, preferably as something filleted. They'd have it no other way.

Please note for those of you who either don't get humor or have no sense of humor: I'm kidding. I would never engage in any form of animal cruelty nor would I eat my boys. I might nosh on a cocker spaniel, but never a chihuahua.

Photo courtesy of jenida on flickr.

Oct 2, 2010

Vintage Chihuahuas

Here are two more vintage photos of chihuahuas from long ago and far, far away. The chihuahua in the first photo doesn't seem to be enjoying his summer beach holiday at all (who ever heard of a chi who didn't like the sun??), while the lady in the second one looks far too unhappy for someone who is holding (and most likely also owning) one of the tiniest and cutest little babies I've seen in a vintage photo in a long time. How could anyone be that depressed who owns a chi? Maybe that's why the little munchkin is gazing off with such a wistful expression on its tiny face. Perhaps it's dreaming of someone who's a bit more fun than this bummer of a human?

Top photo courtesy of carlafrances on flickr.
Bottom photo courtesy of mdchunko on flickr as well.

Sep 27, 2010

Glorious Greyhounds

The other day I was talking with a couple of friends about greyhounds and how utterly magnificent they are. There's nothing quite so regal as a long and lean greyhound mincing along (or better still: running like the wind). Years ago, when Griffin was young, we looked into adopting a retired racing greyhound but for reasons I can no longer remember, and despite meeting several lovely canine candidates, we never did adopt one. There's a brindle female who lives in my neighborhood who I secretly covet and there's a pair of tiny silver Italian greyhounds who live on the other side of town that I also am wildly smitten with. I watch for them every time I find myself driving in their area. Were those two ever seen being walked by a tiny, decrepit and very weak-looking old lady, I would be out of my car in a flash and knocking her butt to the sidewalk while I made off with those little darlings. Unfortunately, their owner happens to be one very buff, very burly gym rat who looks like he eats girls my size for a midday snack. Alas, my love of this breed will remain (for now) from afar.

Portrait of Cody courtesy of kimw_01 on flickr.
Photo of Nell at the beach courtesy of bredlo on flickr.

Sep 13, 2010


Bram is the world's greatest tease and Edison is his usual target of choice (though the poor cat isn't very far behind). The other evening I was working in my office and the boys were snuggled sweetly in their brand new cat beds amongst the piles of wrapped artwork. They looked so adorable that I just had to grab my camera and get some shots of them. My timing proved to be perfect though, as seconds later, the formerly snoozy Bram woke up and began to terrorize poor Edison. The entire sequence of shots is 21 frames which begin with two sleeping chihuahuas and progress through Bram waking up and briefly watching me, Bram discovering Edison sleeping quietly in the bed next to him, Bram poking Edison in the head repeatedly until Edison exploded in a fit of rage and then continuing the teasing until Edison finally (and with a very audible sigh) gave up and allowed Bram to chew his head, wash his ears and slap him in the face five or six times. It was at this point that Bram, once again, sadly realized that there isn't any fun in teasing if the tease-ee just gives up and so he, along with Edison, went back to sleep, each in their own little beds. And while the entire series of shots is a riot when viewed sequentially, I have winnowed it down to three sweet photos of my two boys doing what they do best: amusing the hell out of me no matter what they're doing.

Sep 9, 2010

Two Chihuahua Portraits

Two small portraits. The top fellow is Oliver, a cream and tan chihuahua who, in his young life, has been quite the world traveler. This is a very tiny portrait at just 4x6 inches. The bottom boy is Enrique Caruso, otherwise known as Neekie Pete. Neekie is a little tri-color guy who lives in (the often very frigid) upstate New York. This is a fairly recent portrait and at 7x10 inches, slightly larger than Ollie's rendering.

Head Study of Oliver, graphite on paper, 2009
Face Portrait of Neekie Pete, graphite on paper, 2010

Aug 30, 2010

I Love Cows!

"Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures."

-Thomas de Quincey, English author and intellectual (1785-1859)

Photo courtesy of shastadaisy on flickr.

Aug 24, 2010


I was fussing over some work in my front hallway when I noticed Edison watching me rather intently from his little bed, semi-drowsy from the summer sun that was deliciously warming his tiny back. I may be something of a nerd for always having a camera at the ready no matter where I am or what I'm doing (once an artist always an artist), but sometimes it makes for some very sweet shots. These were taken from the furthest end of the hallway with a close up lens so he didn't feel compelled to jump out of the bed and run over to me if I walked into the room he was in.

Aug 21, 2010

Watching the Horses

The boys love to visit the horses up the road and are always delighted when they're in one of the fields that we can easily access from the road, thus allowing Edison and Bram to get up close and personal with them. Sometimes, though, the horses are in one of those fields that won't allow one to walk right up to the fence. No matter how much I or my boys love to pet and sniff the horses (respectively, of course) there is no way I'm going to do it in poison ivy that's tall enough to reach my knees, or brambles full of thorns that would rip my legs to shreds from thigh to toe. On those days we sadly take a horse-free walk and then head home. Sometimes, later in the day when we're heading out in the car to run some dog-friendly errands, the horses will have switched fields and be close enough for us to enjoy them once more. But often I've got too little time to pull over, get both of the boys out of the car and carry them over to the fence for an intimate meet and greet, so we have to make do with a few quick moments of horse gazing from the car window. It may not be as good as standing nose to nose with a big beautiful horse, but we love it all the same.

Aug 16, 2010

Horse Farm

I love horses and have since I was a little girl (after all, what girl doesn't?) and the horse farm up the road from my house is one of my favorite places to be. All of the horses are beautiful, but I am especially partial to a dark dapple gray with a blonde tail. While there are several dapples on the farm, this one particular stallion is simply gorgeous and makes my heart skip a beat every time I see him grazing in one of the fields. If I was ever going to steal a horse, he'd be the one I abscond with. And while you may think this is just talk, be forewarned: I come from a long line of 18th and 19th century horse thieves, so it's in my blood. If you find me suddenly and inexplicably gone from this blog, you'll know exactly where I've gone: off into hiding with that beautiful, beautiful horse (and my boys) to live happily ever after.

Aug 8, 2010

But How Do the Squirrels Feel?

According to a headline article in the Christian Science Monitor:

Japanese macaques will completely flip out when presented with flying squirrels, a new study in monkey-antagonism has found. The research could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys.

Seriously? In my next life (or when I grow up into adulthood in this one, whichever comes first), I'm going to become an expert in some ridiculous field of animal research and I'm going to waste millions of dollars in grant money to study some incredibly dumb behavior that nobody gives a shit about (except in this case maybe the freaked out and clearly unhappy monkeys) and then I'm going to have the results of my exhaustive work plastered as the top headline in newspapers the world over, thereby ensuring that tons more grant money comes my way, thus funding my next absolutely retarded research idea and making sure I am set for life.

Aug 4, 2010

African Wild Dog

I'm endlessly fascinated with wild animals that look vaguely like our domesticated versions but still remain untamed and, well, different. In the case of the African Wild Dog, it would be (and I'll give you one guess- quick!) those ears. At a brief glance, this guy looks a lot like a German Shepherd, doesn't it? And that's rather cool given that this dog still roams wild in packs on savannahs and in lightly wooded areas, hunting and eating everything from wild birds up to zebras. But egads! Those ears! If this species was ever domesticated, as has been successfully achieved with some wild varieties of African cats, I don't think I could ever own one because I would be perpetually distracted by the poor animal's Mickey Mouse Club ears. They're mesmerizing in a really funky sort of way. I doubt I'd ever get anything done because I'd find it difficult to ever look away. That and the fact that its hearing has to be off the charts. Edison has really big ears and I swear he can pick up signals from space because he hears things (and summarily goes off on a wild barking tangent to sound the alarm) that no one else can hear. With ears like this, these dogs have to be able to eavesdrop on conversations in other galaxies. Frankly, I don't think I could take anymore nuisance barking in my life. And oh yeah, I would so not be up for cleaning the remnants of meals out of this thing's beard either.

Photo courtesy of Wild Dogger on flickr.

Jul 27, 2010


The boys went antiquing with David and I this past weekend and were the Belles of the Ball (even though they're not exactly little ladies). Everyone was cooing over them and insisted on crouching down and petting them and surprisingly, both of my men were fairly well behaved the entire time. Sure, there were a few rather dicey (and loud) moments such as when a dealer's Pug decided that Edison and Bram were not going to shop in his human's tent, or when that Brussels Griffon suddenly leapt out from beneath a table full of glassware and startled the hell out of the boys who then had an extended case of residual barking for quite some time afterwards.

It was a stiflingly hot day with much rest time in the shade as well as gallons of water for all. The boys didn't find anything to buy that interested them (though I found a lovely antique turquoise bracelet that I talked David into buying me for my upcoming birthday). I love it when my boys behave so well and charm the pants off of everyone they meet. It sure beats those days when I'm walking two obnoxious little dogs that have people looking at me like I'm the worst pet owner on the entire planet and one who hasn't a clue how to control her dogs. Or worse still, those days when I'm carrying two armpit piranhas who try to bite the fingers off of everyone within arms' reach. But this weekend was pure doggy bliss...sigh...
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