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Archive for July, 2009

In Memory of Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihauhua

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Gidget, the adorable Chihauhua who starred in the Taco Bell commercials, has died of a stroke at age 15. The memorable commercials aired from 1997 to 2000. Like many Hollywood pets, Gidget was cared for at the VCA Coast Pet Clinic in Hermosa Beach, CA, the same hospital where my dogs were treated for cancer.

“She made so many people happy,” said Gidget’s trainer, Sue Chipperton, in a post. Mostly retired, Gidget lived out her days lying in the sun – “I like to joke that it’s like looking after a plant,” said Chipperton – and entertaining at shoots when her trainer brought her along. “Gidget,” said Chipperton, “always knew where the camera was.” May Gidget be remembered for the smiles  she spread around the world.

A pooped puppy

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I’ve often said, “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.” This morning Alex seems to be saying the same thing.

I know I'm not allowed on the bed

I know I'm not allowed on the bed

He must have played hard yesterday at doggie daycare, which he loves. When I put him in the car, he has no idea where we are headed. Maybe the tailgate market? the groomer? or, horrors, the vet? He settles into the back seat, usually curling up in a little ball. But he’s learned to recognize the route to the doggie daycare place. As we get closer, he sits up and looks around. Then he stands in the seat and circles, looking out all the windows to be sure. If we’re stopped at a light, I’m sure the other drivers are thinking, “what a wild and crazy dog,” as he bounces around the car, leaving nose prints on the windows.

As the daycare place is on a busy street, I park as close to the door as possible. I’ve taught him the “wait” command; otherwise he would bolt out of the car the minute I open the door. When I have the door open and leash firmly in hand, I say “Okay!” Alex dashes inside and up the stairs to the play area, without even a “Bye, Mom!” But I’m happy that he has this opportunity for play, socialization, and working out that puppy energy. A tired pup is a happy pup!

Our summer vacation

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Alex and I are back from our summer vacations. Mine was a week in Maine, at a writing workshop. His was a week in Weaverville, NC at “Camp Airedales,” a beautiful home whose owner admits was “built for the dogs,” and is surrounded by acres of rolling fenced pastures to romp in with resident Airedales Pixi, a therapy dog and agility champion; Peach, a rescued Airedale, and Pubb, the elder statesman of the pack and therapy dog extraordinaire. I missed Alex, but Maine and the writing workshop were wonderful experiences. A week with twelve women writers, who by the end of the week had dubbed ourselves “the women weavers of Stonecoast,” as we shared poignant, painful, and sometimes humorous stories of our lives, woven into words on the page. Back at Camp Airedales, Alex was learning boundaries including electric fences, scat mats, and not throwing tantrums in the crate when confined. He also learned to use a doggie door, and had adventures hiking with the Airedales. In just a week, he seemed to grow up. It was a  memorable week for us both.

Pawprints in the Stars – a new book for pet loss

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

In my last post I wrote about looking up at the Dog Star in the early morning sky, a ritual I found healing following the loss of Byron and Emily. I mentioned that objects with star motifs began appearing in my life, as if the dogs were letting me know that we are still connected. Thus, I was surprised and delighted to come across a new book, Pawprints in the Stars; a Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet written and illustrated by Warren Hanson (Tristan Publishing, 2008). pawprints-in-stars (more…)