Sunday, September 27, 2009

My main squeeze

Medically speaking, is Dr. Edward Schettino at VCA Westboro. He's smart, patient, explains everything and has a great sense of humor, which often is necessary during my frequent visits! I love, love, love him. I also really like Larissa and Tania and everyone else there, who all think I am both handsome and adorable. They don't seem to mind my stubborn streak at all. In fact, I love everything about VCA, especially leaving. That's when I head over next door to Especially for Pets for a bone, which Mom hopes will entice me into the wayback of the wagon.

I really think I'm getting too old for the wayback. First, I can't open my own window. Second, because of the pet "barrier" (the word must be used loosely, just as in the "squirrel-proof" bird feeder outside the kitchen window) the options for curling up in a cushy corner are nil. Major bummer. It's a long drive back and forth, and a hard-charging pup like me needs his rest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On top of spaghetti...

OK, so it was rigatoni, and the meatballs—there were about a dozen—weren't on top of anything, yet.

Dad left a pot of sauce and meatballs on the back burner tonight while he went out to shoot a few hoops. Mom wasn't home, having taken my sister to her singing audition. I was feeling a bit abandoned, you might say. Dad usually gives me a bit of meatball for a special treat, so I figured, why not help myself?

Not sure how I'll feel tomorrow, but they sure tasted good. And my family? Well, they had to make a quick run up to Tilly's for dinner. Their chicken parm tastes just like homemade, or so they said. Somehow, I was too full to try it.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Had a super playdate with a new friend. Bella's eight months old, part black lab, part hound (love her for that!). She was adopted just last month through Petfinder.

Anyway, we ran around like the maniacs we are while our folks sat on the patio in the sun and gave us treats whenever we seemed droopy. We showed off our tricks, bayed at the neighbors and generally caroused. Fun, fun, fun. Thanks, Bella!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Foxhound meetup!

I'm sort of famous around my neighborhood and beyond, which is both a good and a bad thing.

The great thing is being recognized around town. Today, Mom was walking me, and a woman rolled down her minivan window. "Is that Tucker?" she asked. The same phenomenon occurred while Mom was shopping at her favorite gourmet grocery, Tilly and Salvy's Bacon Street Farm. In fact, it is the only grocery she deigns to enter. I was just hanging out, hoping to go in, and and, bingo, someone recognized me.

There's a downside, too, of course. First, it's really easy to tell which dog is doing the baying. At least I don't bark like so many of my neighbors attempt to do (those incessantly yippy creatures). But it's a sure thing that I can be heard many, many, streets away. "Oh, yep, that's Tucker," another neighbor says he thinks every a.m., around 7 or so. Nothing like a good deep bay to clear away that morning frogginess, uh huh. You should hear it ring right across Lake Waban, waking up those Wellesley girls.

Mom always was glad there was another Dalmatian in the neighborhood, just to serve as a body double. Truly, though, she was offended anyone could have mistaken the other, far less handsome one, for le grand Sparky. There really was no comparison.

So I was thinking, it might be good to team up with some other foxhounds for a bit of a romp.

Looking for: energetic foxhound (is there any other kind) to play, play, play for a good hour or so. Remember, must be kind to rabbits, and, no jumping in the fish pond.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So, if I hadn't chewed my toy bin to pieces, my sister never would have made this cool basket for her bike, right?

One day I was bored, just staring at my toy box. I didn't want to play with all the old stuff, so I thought, hey, why not play with the box
itself? It was wire-framed, with a fabric covering—flowers–not really my style.

My sister is
so resourceful. The bin looks much better now that it's laced with ribbons, and it's functional, too. Martha Stewart would be proud: it's a good thing.

P.S. Martha, Mom is thrilled about today's news that you're teaming up with
Home Depot. While you're into teaming, how about teaming up with Dreams du Dog? We realize you're partial to the Daily Wag, but change can be a good thing, too.

Psst...She noticed that my sister's bike basket is way more creative than the flower trimmed, store-bought version featured in a craft how-to on your website. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I did it my way, or, umwelt prevails

If you're interested in learning about a dog's perspective...wait, that's why you're reading my blog! However, if you'd like something with a bit more of a scientific gloss, you might try “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz. Today's Times Book Review features the book, and the Times website has an excerpt from the first chapter.

I like the part about the raincoat. Me, I hate going out in the rain. If I even hear water gurgling through the downspout, it's back to my beanbag. No, thanks. That's why I moved up here from the South, remember? Fluffy bed, name it.
But no raincoat for me.

Sparky loved to dress up. To put a Horowitzian spin on that phenomenon, it wasn't because he thought he looked dashing in his various outfits, but to please mom and dad. He knew there would be treats and hugs if he put on the
bowtie, or the tutu, or the firefighter costume.

The word of the day, then, is
umwelt. Look at things from my point of view. After all, is there any other way?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And they lived happily ever after...

In honor of Alison Morris on her wedding day, I post these adorable pix of the Booksmith bear (with moi, of course). Alison is the fabulous children's book buyer at the Wellesley Booksmith. She's incredibly smart, witty and fun, and she always pretends she's glad to see me. Alison's the kind of girl who can turn rain into sunshine with her smile, and I'm sure she's doing that today. The photos were taken on one of my visits by mom, but cropped by Alison and tagged with these clever titles (she is a born storyteller):

The Bear's Distressing Secret

The Bear's Shocking Secret

All the best to Alison and Gareth for much happiness!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tucker meetup

News writers hunting for charming local stories have lately been going for the tried-and-true: mining data for conversation-starting topics, in this case, dog names. The latest piece, which ran yesterday, evaluates names in Wellesley, Natick and Newton. The trend nationwide, apparently, is to name dogs after people. Seems like there's something wrong here...I'd go about it the other way.

Here's what the experts say:

"People are choosing human names to give their pets relevant places in their household. By making the name personal, or even a person’s name, they’re establishing their pet’s place as a genuine member of the family, too," notes Veterinary Pet Insurance after an analysis of 450,000 pet names.

I learned that 23 other Tuckers make Wellesley their domain, and I would like to meet every single one of them. (Out of 2,702 registered dogs, Tucker is the 6th most popular name, according to data from license registrations.)

Hmmph. And Mom extensively checked the US census data before naming her human child.

Presumably Tucker the Shih-Tzu was napping while his mom, Fran, was browsing last week at my favorite boutique, Tails (of course), because Fran was sans canine. This tiny Tucker was so named because he likes to tuck his head into his favorite person and snuggle.
I'd like to meet him!

In our family,
we hew to dog-like names rather than people names, although we do know of one human Wellesley Tucker boy. So, does he have a dog name, or do I have a people name?

The Wellesley data shows that naming pets after drinks, both alcoholic and otherwise, also is pup-ular.
Our family is opposed to pumping commercial products, which is why we rarely mentioned Sparky's pre-adoption moniker of—shh—Dr. Pepper. Horrors!

Apparently, we're bucking the trend.
If the number of beds one can sleep on in a household is any indication of one's place in the family, it's a wrap for me--humans only seem to only be assigned one, that is, if they get along. I claim: an early evening nap spot (bed #1), dead of night sleeping spot (crate), early morning sleeping spot (bed #2), late morning sleeping spot (bed #3) get the idea.

My sister said that my especially gorgeous ears and markings led her to think I needed a name beginning with the letter T. Given that my pre-adoption assignment was Bandit 1 (or Bandit 2, I'm not sure which) and I was fortunate enough to escape a hunting fate, I didn't especially mind the name change. Bandit is a rather apt description for my behavior, although I'm more of a steal it, chew it, and leave it lying around type of thief.

So Tuckers, let me know where you are, and we can trade name tales.

Gear review

For those of us who remain rather, say, undisciplined despite rigorous training, gear is a necessity.

For the record, I am the holder of two graduation certificates, and my trainer, Elaine Stern, even kissed me while handing over the diplomas. She doesn't do that for just anybody.

However, gear still is important. For example, someone set off a firecracker during an evening stroll in Newton. I was a bit startled. OK, Mom says I bolted— in the direction of the car, but a street, and a bicyclist, were in the way. Fortunately, I was in my harness, saving the bicyclist from being hit by a canine missile.

Needless to say, I have tried it all (the gear, that is).

The results:

Gear: Harness and leash with handle (which I am modeling above)
Control: Good
Plop O'Doom allowance: Medium—requires a push and a pull to outmaneuver
Restraint: Good, depending on your viewpoint
Chafing: Good, except during the POD outmaneuver
Vet approval: Yes
Ease of use: You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out...
Public acceptability: Good

Gear: Prong collar
Plop O'Doom allowance: Maximum (good for me!)

Restraint: Good
Medium to Poor

Vet approval: No
Ease of use: Good
Public acceptability: Poor (you can see why)

Gear: Gentle Leader halter (the one that goes over your nose and behind your ears)
Control: Poor—like trying to stop a freight train with a ribbon
Restraint: Ditto (although it worked beautifully for Sparky)
Plop O'Doom allowance: Maximum (excellent!)
Chafing: No more nose hair!
Ease of use: Medium
Public acceptability: Thinks it's a muzzle