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Friday, December 29, 2006

Norton Simon Museum and New Year's Dog

Christmas can be a bittersweet holiday for me - the loss of close family members becomes too obvious. But, gotta say, Honey and I have really had a wonderful time. No moping allowed around a dog - especially Honey. She has seen me cry a couple of times and has shown absolutely none of that loving, comforting attitude I've heard other pets exhibit. She kind of looks away at first, a little embarrassed and uncomfortable is how I read it, then, with what I can only feel is her equivalent of toe-tapping, she'll sit and stare at me waiting for the whole thing to blow over. It really takes a lot out of the there-is-so-much-tragedy-in-life moment when you end up in a staring contest with a dog.

We did a lot of our favorite things. We did have to split up since hers were along the lines of running after dogs, rolling around, jumping in and out of a wading pool and lots of face licking and I was leaning more towards seeing a photography exhibit, strolling a street of small boutiques and bookstores and having a Ghirardelli hot fudge sundae. (Okay - she would've been up for the ice cream but I wasn't about to share.)

I dropped Honey off for a day of dog fun at Bow Wow Bungalow and went on to meet my friend Kiki in Pasadena - her hometown. There's so much to do there and I always have fun including going on tours of the amazing Greene and Greene houses, going to the Huntington Library and Descanso Gardens and, of course, the Norton Simon museum.

The Norton Simon is the perfect part-day sized museum. It's small but many world-class painters and sculptors are well represented. Also, the building is one of those it just feels good to be in and there are some very prettily landscaped outside areas to wander around in.

I hadn't been to a photography exhibit for a while and this one was interesting because it had work by the classic great photographers - Weston, Adams, Kertesz - along with quirkier, more recent ones. This exhibit also included a photograph I couldn't stop looking at because it was so beautiful: Magnolia Blossom by Imogen Cunningham.

Then, Kiki and I wandered around the permanent collection making many astute art comments like "was it the style to only expose the right breast when dressing up?" (sorry - that's the only one I can remember) when we came on a painting of someone's dog.

Aldrovandi Dog is described as a painting that "was likely hung fairly high in a large room or salon where the animal would appear to tower over the viewer."

How great is that? Even back in 1625, people had strong bonds with their pets and were boring people with their latest pictures of them.


It's been a whole year of traveling with Honey and, although she's done her best to bankrupt me, forced me to move - twice, cramped my work life with her rehab needs which lowered my tax bracket substantially and, finally, helped end an interesting relationship (okay, probably not a bad thing) --- gotta say, she's absolutely the best.

Honey and I wish everyone the best new year with many happy travels and even better non-travels.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Dog Tag

I'm very late on this - just haven't been able to blog with all that's going on before Christmas we go...

The player of this game starts with "3 things he/she would love to get for Christmas" and "3 things he/she definitely does not want to get for Christmas". Then he/she tags 5 dog friends and lists their names.

The ones who get tagged need to write on their blogs their Christmas wishes, as well as state this rule clearly, then tag 5 more victims. And the one who tags needs to leave a comment that says "you've been Christmas tagged!" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Okay --- 3 things Honey would love to get. Thinking like Honey --- something she's been trying to get me to do for ages - she stares at me, trying to hypnotize me into doing her bidding - which I think often involves opening the refrigerator door to get out some cheese, bringing me to:
1) a big block of cheese cut into squares hidden all around the house - the better to enjoy because each morsel has been discovered.
2) a group of people paying devoted attention to her - saying her name, rubbing her belly, letting her lick their necks and/or feet. I first discovered Honey's love of a crowd on the sad occasion of my friend's father's memorial. I picked up Honey after the church service and brought her to my friend's house (with permission) saying I would stay in their back yard - I wasn't intending to be there very long anyway. Honey and I sat in the back with a few other people (mainly ones who wanted to smoke) when my friend's son came out and started visiting with Honey and saying he wanted to go get his brother and show him Honey's trick repertoire. He wanted to take Honey with him to find his brother so I said he just shouldn't take her in the house - take her up to the door and have him come out (all out of respect for my friend's house). I said I would wait for them to come back I chatted with some second cousins three times removed (I'm making that up but I had no idea who these people were) and I waited and waited. Finally, I got up to see what was up. While I was ostracized in the back because of Honey, she had been enjoying herself in the living room. When I came in she was literally in the center of a circle of people, on her back stretched out with my friend's two sons sitting down on either side. She was having a blast at that memorial.
3) And, if I'm reading Honey's mind right, I'm sure she wants this.

I know cold is relative but, gotta, say, it's relatively very cold here - has gotten down to 36 degrees and for a short-haired/no-haired dog like a pit, it can be very chilly. Unfortunately for her, I think I'm going to try and knit her something instead. It will be my first knitting attempt in ages so it should be pretty amusing.

Three things Honey does NOT want:
1) To be left home alone.
2) To have to go through another TPLO (fresh in mind since it was this time last year her limp drove us to the vet to finally get operated on January 6 - followed by four months of limited play)
3) A bath and....maybe a handknit sweater.

Okay ---- I will tag Jan and the Poodle and Dog Blog, Cara and the DogNabbit Blog. I was going to tag Carina but I just noticed she was already tagged but not to speak for her dogs...for herself. Hey - if I'd known we could do that I would've had a completely different list....but it would've been hard to keep it to three...:)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Animal Family Photos

I love animal families. It's amazing and just so incredibly sweet how they bond together.

Right now Honey is an only pup. She has cat cousins that sometimes give her the time of day. She has also played mother to two young Rhodesian Ridgeback-mix neighbors (and sisters), Melon and Lucy. They are now taller than she is but still acknowledge her greater knowledge of the world and, probably, her greater weight (I have to cut back on the treats...) For now, that works for everyone and Honey is very happy with her extended family.

I do have some pics that people have sent of their pets. I'd love to see more if anyone has some.

This is Brody's family: Ripley the cat and Pip - the tall, thoughtful one. They are all apparently sunbathers...

I love this pic of Luca and his new foster sister, Trudy. I think what kills me are the stuffed toys they each brought to bed before they crashed.

And here's one of two inseparable brothers - Streak and Flurry - enjoying the view.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pitbull Photo

This is my new favorite picture of Honey. I like the whole picture - I think its odd perspective is very cute. But, what really makes me laugh is the pose - how Honey casually has her paw draped across the daycare assistant's legs. The world-weary party girl attitude is accentuated by her bleary eyes. Honey seems to be giving Paris Hilton a run for her money here.

I wonder if Paris has vacations like Honey: Chowing down on the I'm-a-spoiled-pet (and normally-forbidden) canned dog food with names like Grammy's Pot Pie and Cowboy Cookout; late night prowling as bark back-up for a canine friend's midnight howls; intense, unblinking daily squirrel watching; hours of Greco-Roman wrestling with an especially skilled Golden Retriever challenger and the ever-popular toy stealing and bone burying. Paris probably has a different idea of a vacation but I have no doubts who has more fun.


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