Thursday, March 26, 2015


SO, you and your spouse are lying helpless, dying perhaps, or already dead due to bad mushrooms, or human-specific carbon monoxide poisoning (does that exist, no?) or whatever else. Perhaps, an zombie infection has come upon your dog or dogs, (cats too?) and human meat is the only thing they crave. Whatever the situation is, your dogs either have no regular food (good God, install a doggy door!) and you and your spouse or significant other are dinner for them. Who do they eat first? You or your spouse. Which one? The one who feeds them gets eaten last, or do they picture you as a source of nutrition?

Thursday, November 27, 2014



my obvious feelings...significant sniff...
and a spirited campaign,
the benefits of canine companionship
but not limited to,
my husband of 43 years,
my daughters, who litigate for a living,
to badger their father,
mass on St. Francis Sunday,
although deplorably dogless, never mind
any connection to the Catholic church,
tasteless T shirts festooned with
all manner of magnificent tail wagers,
and emblazoned with poignantly pithy,
poochy sayings like,
"Dogs are not our whole life,
but they make our lives whole..."
said husband of 43 years, who invented
stonewalling ,
stuck his nose nearer the New York Times,
almost inaudibly, “sorry...just not ready”

defeat after 5 long years,
I’d called off the dogs,
even a faint hope clause,
when my husband came home carrying Ava,
a 6 pound, 5 year old poodle with
soft, downy white fuzz ,
liquid black eyes,
earnestness in a tiny, white face,
for an inside pocket exactly her size

a somewhat hang dog expression,
my husband introduces Ava
as “my wife’s dog...”
the princess of powder puffs,
she prissily prances beside
this largish man, well over 6 feet,
even committed curmudgeons,
to crack a smile.
Upon hearing her name,
the usual comment is,
“Ava? You mean Ava as in Ava Gardner?
my husband responds:
“No...It’s Ava as in Ava Maria.”

my husband of 43 years,
wee Ava in a particular way;
complete confidence with exquisite gentleness,
opens a window to
why I fell in love with this man.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thanks to Linda Bullock for this fine poem about a rescue dog. We love them. My family has four and my daughter and granddaughter have been fostering them for several years now. 

For Mollie

Mollie is a rescue dog,
a Golden Retriever
with PTSD.
If I close the bathroom door
she parks her bum outside,
whimpers loudly
and head butts the door.
When I asked her
to cease and desist
she looked injured,
then advised,
“I’m just doing my job
Have you not heard of
Dogs Without Borders?”

Mollie is shamelessly
addicted to crotches,
but to her credit,
has no gender preference.
If you find it offensive
and shoo her away,
she’ll jump up in apology
and cover your face
with slobbery kisses.
I used to chastise her,
but now I go with
a choreographed response
taught to me by my mother-
First I raise my eyebrows,
as if somewhat astonished
and then furrow my brow
as I turn down my mouth.
These actions are followed by
a barely perceptible but significant sniff,
an exaggerated shoulder shrug
with head turned to the side
and a deliberate obfuscation like:
“Who knew?...problem with boundaries...
must take after me”
Thank God only I know
she drinks from the toilet.

She sleeps on the floor
right beside my bed,
with her front paws tucked into
my preferably unwashed ,
tattered pink slippers;
parfum de sweaty feet
with strong notes of damp dog
co-mingle to produce
her signature scent.
When it’s time to wake up
she buries her nose
into my arm pit.

She likes nothing more
than to swim in the ocean,
repeatedly retrieving,
a bright orange kong.
One very hot day
I decided to go with her.
As soon as I took
my very first stroke,
she set up a frenzy of barking,
frantically paddling
in tight circles around me.
In the end, I gave up,
grabbed on to her collar
and allowed her
to tow me to shore.

How perfect is that?
My rescue dog acts out
the inner reality
of who rescued who.

    Monday, March 3, 2014


    Heaven has gone to the dogs

    Frank Criscenti

    has gone to the dogs
    God brought them in
    because angels thought them cute
    and now
    a nasty little terrier
    sits on a special
    puffy throne
    at the right hand of God
    (He feeds it pate
    with a golden spoon)
    Now the mutts fly around
    and don't clean up after themselves
    The little ones yap
    whenever a new pilgrim comes in
    and some of them howl
    when the angels strum their harps.

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    Blaming the Wrong Mutt

    So Sophie, our little ten-pound mostly Maltese mutt took the heat for Lulu. Someone of the canine persuasion was busy crapping about the house, leaving little brown apples about in the most inappropriate places.

    So, new dog Sophie took the heat for this. We started putting her out very first thing in the morning, then breakfast, and then out again. Out, out, damn spot.

    Several weeks of this until we discovered that 12-year-old Lulu was the culprit. Well, now, we have a baby gate at night confining the dogs in our dressing room/closet area. There have been no disasters again. Sorry Sophie.

    The baby gate may come in handy. We have another grand daughter due in May. This we are looking forward to, though we have not had two young children running about the house since our children were little. Our oldest grand daughter, the amazing Anika, is attending college in the fall. We are not sure yet where she is bound. She got accepted to Colorado State University—nonetheless, she prefers to go to a college in her home state of California. Going to totally miss our number one grand daughter and traveling companion.

    Wishing all of you well. FC

    Monday, December 16, 2013


    Maurice the Dog
    FC 12/9/13

    Remember when we took the puppy
    to the snow?
    His black nose
    black fur
    amongst the white
    He'd nibble on my bearded chin
    I was handsome then
    so young and beautiful
    (no, you haven't changed much)
    We threw snowballs
    that Maurice the dog would chase
    We tried to slide on disks down the hill
    bogging down more than sliding
    We've rescued more than one
    puppy in our time
    And you rescued me
    from years full of winters
    all the snow's gone to my hair
    and I've been bogged down
    for as long as I remember
    but for those days
    when I felt the cold
    when I nibbled at your ears.


    Saturday, November 2, 2013


    There are lots of important things to remember when moving—including the health and welfare of your pets.
    While I am happy to share tips from personal experience, I’m not an expert on moving—one move in thirty years does not an expert make. But I do know that some pets are extremely vulnerable to the stress of moving. One of my dogs gets crazy with a car ride of even a few minutes. If your dog (or cat) is similar to my dog, moving any distance can be a nightmare. So, plan, plan, plan in advance. A move across town will be difficult. A move across country could be near disaster.
    As far as relocation goes, moving companies do not take pets. You will either have to fly your pets to their destination, or drive them out. If you drive them, remember to check on pet-friendly hotels. There are lists of them on the internet. Plan for lots of potty breaks for your pet. Remember to bring water, perhaps a favorite pet toy, and confine your pet to a carrier. While your dog may be used to riding in the car, surely most cats are not. And imagine having your cat freaking out and sinking its claws into you while you’re driving across country.
    Make sure your animal has its tags with a contact number that will find you—no sense having your old phone on the tag—or better yet, micro-chip your pet. Keep health certificates near and available. Some states require health certificates for your pets. There are a bunch of other tips available on the web. Check out the SPCA website (see link at the bottom of the page.) Also, no one is as in tune with bizarre pet behavior as Allie from Hyperbole and a Half, the hilarious web-comic. I also included that link.

    This blog originally appeared on the Junk King website in a different form. (More of a Junk King-centric blog, but thanks to them for allowing me to use this subject.)