Aug 1, 2011

Bad Cat!

Maia Louise Being a Good Girl (for a Change) and Staying Close to Home

Maia Louise has been a royal pain in the ass of late, making her escape whenever possible in a bid to get to the ever-growing number of birds in our backyard since we added several new feeders to the big old crab apple tree, and being a cat, who can blame her? I'm very diligent about keeping her indoors, safe and sound, but sometimes she manages to make a break for it anyways and when she does it can be hours before we get her back inside. If I'm lucky enough to catch her fairly early in the act, and being the elderly cat she is and knowing she no longer can move faster than me, she'll gaze wistfully at the avian cafeteria ahead, sigh deeply, and with a sad little meow turn and skulk back to the house. But should she get free without my seeing her right away, she'll stay gone till long after her old body has grown tired and craves a nap and I worry endlessly for her safety. I long for cold winter days when her stiff achy bones prefer to do nothing but laze by the fireplace rather than plan a prison break every other minute.

Jul 12, 2011

Chihuahua Art

I adore this work! There's such joy on Norman's face, it's palpable!

Norman, by Rebecca Collins courtesy of

Jul 11, 2011

Chi Propaganda

I love the idea of a tiny chihuahua leading the doggie revolution to world domination!

Jul 4, 2011

Out for a Stroll

As neat as the shopping cart cozy has proven to be (see "Riding in Style, April 27, 2011), not all shops have shopping carts. And then there are the endless antique fairs throughout the summer which are far too crowded to allow two little dogs to walk on their leashes, lest they nearly get stepped on and flattened by one overly zealous treasure hunter after another. And have I ever mentioned those stores where dogs really aren't allowed? Well now I can usually get away on a technicality provided the men are zipped into what amounts to a mesh canopied cage on wheels. Canopy down for those days that are either too sunny or too rainy, canopy down and soft-sided mesh zipped up for stealth shopping in no-no stores, or canopy up and all sides open for the perfect (and safe) ride anywhere at all. And I totally dig the crazy plaid fabric. Here's to two little boys riding everywhere and anywhere in mega-style, safe from indifferent foot traffic and less than friendly store managers. Yay!

May 7, 2011

Bath Time!

Bath time is an event in our house, with one boy loving it and one boy hating it. Edison is not a fan of baths (and just about everything else, for that matter) and spends the entire time he's in the kitchen sink making these odd little old man whining sounds. It actually takes two adult humans to keep him in the makeshift bathtub, lest he leap out and seriously injure himself. Or worse. The joy he feels when he's been rinsed off, removed from that torturous water, toweled off and finally- at long last!- set free is palpable. Bram, on the other hand, loves the bath. But then, with the possible exception of children and Griffin's girlfriend, he loves everything anyways. Bram also needs two adults to supervise him, but only because while one quickly bathes the little monkey, the other has to perpetually keep him from eating the shampoo, drinking the yucky bath water, and any other thing Bram could possibly get into while immersed in a tub of warm water. The two boys are handfuls in their own unique ways.

They have their own sets of brightly colored and luxuriantly thick (and soft) bath towels and face cloths, as well as dog perfume to mask that corn-chip-and-dog-fart scent all dogs seem to develop as they ripen between baths. I'd been using a lovely sun-kissed raspberry scent on them till I found the only bottle of lavender-rosemary I have ever seen. Oddly, the first time I used the lavender fragrance on them, both boys instantly smelled exactly like the sort of lime rickeys you could only get at an old soda fountain/luncheon counter. Remember those? The lime rickey dog scent is actually quite delicious-smelling, and then it occurred to me: if I sprayed the lavender-rosemary perfume on them and then sprayed the sun-kissed raspberry over it, would I get two chihuahuas who smell like raspberry lime rickeys??

I can't wait to try this, but I'm going to wait till just before their next baths, lest I end up with two small dogs that smell not of sweet raspberry lime rickeys, but rather some heinous brew of multiple dog fragrances and dog farts, too

May 4, 2011

Your Friend

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.


Photo of painted dog courtesy of idyllewilde on flickr.

Apr 27, 2011

Riding in Style

Trying to juggle two antsy (and usually barking) chihuahuas, carrier bags and a purse while out shopping with the boys is frequently more than I can handle. I can't carry them both loose at the same time and while Edison will happily ride in a doggie purse (see "Christmas Tree Shopping, Doggie Style," December, 13, 2008), Bram wouldn't get into one if his life depended on it. Shopping carts are often the answer (when stores have them- and most stores that allow pets do), but the boys' feet are so small they just slip right through the holes in the bottom of the cart. It isn't particularly comfortable for them to shop while immobilized to the tippy tops of their thighs, legs dangling through the cart and out the bottom, not to mention that I'd be terrified of an injury to one or more of their tiny legs.

The remedy? Whip up a quick cart cozy, quilted to keep tiny bums comfy and fleecy soft in the event anyone might wish to lie down and take a quiet snooze while riding (yeah, right). It can be rolled up, secured, and even worn over a shoulder for hands-free carrying while walking the boys into a shop or across a busy street. It weighs next to nothing and is the perfect solution for all three of us being able to enjoy our shopping experiences together. Now all I need is to get Bram to stop lunging and snapping at every small child he sees. Man, does that boy hate kids.

Apr 22, 2011

Portrait of Maia Louise II

Another portrait of Maia Louise, this time in nearly three-quarter profile and also drawn from those photos that appeared here a few weeks back (see "Maia Louise," January 4, 2011 and "Portrait of Maia Louise I," February 27, 2011). I've been commissioned many, many times to draw dogs but no one ever hires me to do a portrait of their cats. I wonder why this is? Even I never draw my own cat. While I enjoyed the novelty of working on a cat portrait (or two), her stripes were far too fussy for my liking for just a couple of drawings in a sketchbook. Sorry, Maia.

Portrait of Maia Louise, graphite on paper, 2011

Apr 17, 2011

Spring Afternoon

Two boys enjoying a quiet moment in their favorite chair in the afternoon sun. There's often much vying for the choicest sun spot here where it's all warm and cozy, from lunchtime till the sun dips below the horizon at the end of the day. As usual, Edison is showing his quiet manners nicely, while Bram hogs the camera, front and center, always Mommy's little ham bone. Frankly, it'd surprise the hell out of me were they to behave any other way.

Apr 10, 2011

Baseball Season's Begun

This billboard is actually from last season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. And while we have just two Chik-fil-A restaurants in my entire state (neither of which is near me and neither of which I've ever seen. Who knew? I had to look it up on the ever-useful web to discover this fact) I certainly wouldn't be at all bummed if a billboard like this went up around Fenway this season. Heck, I'd love to see a cow actually charge the mound in protest for eating beef. Honestly, how awesome would that be?
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