Friday, October 31, 2008

Wrigley's Halloween Costume

People do the craziest things to their dogs. The empty nest Mom can be the worst with our dogs as they often times are the "replacement child" in our lives. A friend of mine sent me these shots of dogs dressed in Halloween costumes and frankly, I think they are adorable.

The costumes seem to fit the personality of each dog so perfectly. Having seen these, I search for the perfect costume for my golden retriever. Which do you like best?

Wrigley is going as an obedient, well-trained puppy as he is staying with his trainer while we are off visiting Laura at her college parents' weekend. It's a hard outfit for him to wear, but he will look adorable as ever.

Happy Halloween. Don't let your dog get spooked by the fireworks and loud noises this holiday can bring. And chocolate is definitely a no-no. (Eat all of it yourself!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Using a Shock Collar on Your Dog

I look over in the corner of my little office and see Wrigley curled up sleeping the afternoon away while I am busing reading blogs and writing posts, and I think to myself, if anything ever happened to him I would be so upset.

Which brings me back to the decision of calling Altmoor to discuss the use of a shock collar for discipline. You see, we live on a golf course and they are kind enough to allow us to roam freely on the course before and after the golfers are playing. Wrigley has his gang of dog buddies that he romps and plays with daily. They really live the life! But the course also has many coyotes and a mountain lion every once and awhile and my puppy likes to take off and explore. Also, a busy road is just behind some large hedges and if he ever decided to take off in that direction, I fear he would be hit by a car. I have done some training and that works well most of the time. I am thinking for those emergency situations, the shock collar might come in handy.

It's a difficult decision, so maybe a poll will help me decide.....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wrigley Reinvents the Game of Fetch

Finally, Arizona is having a day when the wind blows it doesn't feel like a giant blow dryer is aimed at your face. Husband Bill is off for another fun-filled day at the office, so I decide to take Wrigley out for swim and maybe get some color. You can always tell the natives of Arizona as we are always one shade away from officially being called an albino. (Think: 'John McCain White'). I throw on my little green bikini that only the poor dog is allowed to see and we head out to the backyard.

I know...this picture looks like it should be from the movie 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', the way it's positioned. I tried to reverse it and it wasn't any better. But this is pretty much what Wrigley's been up to since the demise of his beloved Chicago Cubs. He's watched one Red Sox game and a few innings of the Rays' game, but mostly, he lies upside-down, up against the wall in our hallway!

Beth: "Come on Wrigley, get up. Do you want to go swimming and fetch the tennis ball in the pool?"

Wrigley: Groan...(stretches and scratches the wall).

Beth: "Come on, I'll get in and swim with you!". This is special because when it's finally cool enough to layout, the temperature of the pool water is almost too cold to enjoy!

Wrigley gets up and saunters out the door acting as cool as can be. But he's a puppy and I know he's totally excited to jump in a fetch the tennis ball. Brrr, it is kinda cold, so we both swim a few laps to warm up. I throw the ball and he dutifully swims to get the ball. Yet, even though Wrigley is a golden retriever, he has no intention to returning the ball to me. He juts by me and swims to the steps. Now the real game begins. I lunge at him and try to get the ball. He starts running around the yard, around the furniture and up to the raised grassy area. I cut him off at the pass but just miss him. He's loving this game!

We live on a golf course and I look out and two of the maintenance guys are watching us and chuckling it up and I think to myself, don't laugh at the poor dog. I check to make sure the suit is still covering all the important private parts we Americans love to hide.

I capture him and he drops the ball for me. "What a good dog!" See, he's not dissing me it's just we play the game of fetch a little different than most people do. As Jen at Steenky Bee would say, "that's just how we roll".

I check for lines yet. I try to lay still for more than a few minutes on the chaise but it's difficult. Wrigley heads to the rose bushes and decides to chew on a rock. One-year puppies do the darnest things. "Drop it," I say with master-like authority. He knows not to run around with a rock in his mouth so he obeys me but decides to join me on the chaise. Oh how I love that wet dog feel as he shades me from the sun. (He's probably worried that I might get skin cancer).

Time to call it a day. Wrigley's ready for his afternoon nap in the hallway.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Last Good Season for the Kitchen Chairs

Chicago Cubs get sweeped in 3 game series! I am in shock still. I have no words (at least that will be allowed on my blogger/Google agreement) to describe this miserable ending to what was supposed to be the best since 1908.

It was definitely a terrible ending to this most promising year for the Chicago Cubs. I go away for a few days to see my middle son at his College's Parents Weekend and we lose 3 games in a row and just like that...our season is over!

On days when I need to be away from the house and Wrigley is home alone I often leave the television on, especially when there is a Cubs game scheduled. He actually will sit and watch for long periods of time. However, it is not such a good idea when they are losing, because he starts to chew on the rungs of my kitchen chairs. This weekend proved to be disastrous for the Cubs and Wrigley was not at all happy.

The kitchen table and chairs were given to my Mom and Dad as a wedding present and then when I got married in 1980, they were passed down to me. The kitchen table is in good shape and may be able to be passed down another generation. The chairs, I am afraid, are not going to make it past Wrigley and the 2008 baseball season.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Laura and Beth Pick Chicago Cubs to Win the World Series

My family has always been amazed at just how well my daughter does at selecting teams to win whether it be college basketball or professional baseball. We are amazed because she rarely pays attention to the games that were constantly on the television. She didn't collect baseball cards or study the stats of each player.

Her choices for who's to win are based on a complex system she devised when she was about 5 years old. First, what colors are the uniforms? Next, you must consider the level of cuteness of the team mascot. Finally, you throw in emotional ties to the team, such as if the team is located in the town where a favorite Aunt lives.

This unique system has crushed her two brothers, a step Father and me (Mom), all devoted sports fans. We know stats, history and know the current injuries of all the teams and use this information to create our choices. So, I thought as the division series for the NL and AL begin this week, I thought I would show you my selections versus Laura's selections with her compelling arguments for her decisions:

National League Division Series:

Beth: Cubs over Dodgers

Laura: Cubs over Dodgers (Cubs have the cute bear mascot and the Dodgers left Vero Beach where her Grandmother lives and that decision made Gran mad!)

Beth: Brewers over Phillies

Laura: Phillies over Brewers ( Laura's college is in Pennsylvania, only 2 hours away)

American League Division Series:

Beth: Red Sox over Angels

Laura: Red Sox over Angels (She loved the movie with Drew Barrymore and Aunt Aimee and Uncle Dave live in Boston)

Beth: Rays over White Sox

Laura: Rays over White Sox (She LOVES fish and marine biology)

National League Championship Series:

Beth: Cubs over Brewers

Laura: Cubs over Phillies (Hard one to call, but cute bear and the fact the her step Dad was a bat boy for the Cubs during spring training when he was little, trumps closeness to College connection)

American League Series:

Beth: Red Sox over Rays

Laura: Red Sox over Rays (Family ties wins out over love of fish, plus she likes the color Red better as this is one of the colors for her College)

World Series Championship Game:

Beth: Cubs over Red Sox

Laura: Cubs over Red Sox ("It's because of that 100 year thing that Bill is always talking about!")

Well, there you have it! We will just have to see how our predictions hold up in this very exciting year! The good news, we both ended up with the best Winner even though we came to our selections in a very different manner. Go Cubbies!