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Putting the Mo in Moorpark

1 Aug

Moorpark summer 008Here is where we walked this morning, and it was the perfect place, because I’m definitely a happy camper. Guess why! We’ve moved to a place with a big backyard and no stairs! The backyard is great for sunning and patrolling and general lollygagging (which is considerably more fun than it sounds…maybe lollypops should have longer sticks, so humans don’t gag on them).

Speaking of weird things that humans do, Big Red got her head shaved a few months ago to help raise money for a children’s cancer research group called St. Baldrick’s. (No, really.) Now she isn’t red at all. At first she was smooth and shiny; now she is bristly, but I’ve found that licking her head can be pretty relaxing.  We knew her hair wouldn’t be red when it started to grow in, and we were right: it’s a splotchy gray and brown. She laughed when I diplomatically called her “dappled,” and said that I wasn’t the first to liken her to a horse’s patoot, and surely wouldn’t be the last. Encouraged, I stuck with the equine theme and suggested “Old Paint,” but she said that applied more to her “henna decade,” so Lola and I aren’t sure what to call her. We shall ponder it while sunning ourselves.may 2013 021

Our new neighborhood is perfect for us. Right around the corner from Casa de Momo is a strip-mall with a donut shop and a breakfast café, both of which I sniff approvingly on our morning walks. And, believe it or not, there is a Harley Davidson shop just down the road!  I’m planning a visit soon, because where else would The Biker Chihuahua be as welcome? (Lola maybe not so much, but, hey, she’s with me.) Just the thought of those rumbling engines gives me delicious piss-chills, and makes me want to jump up and cavort for no apparent reason.

And our new backyard is perfect for cavorting. Lola runs around it in frantic figure eights, making the tight little turns of the truly obsessive. There are two sliding glass doors, and when they are both open, I chase her around in a big circle: out one door, across the lawn, in the other door and through the house, over and over. We skitter on the wooden floors and scratch up bits of grass as we go, while The Dog Mom Formerly Known As Big Red watches us, laughing and clapping in delight. She really is a simple creature, and so easily entertained. (Now I’m feeling a little misty. “Big Red” she’ll stay, because that’s how she looked at the animal shelter that fateful rainy day: tall enough to be a tad unnerving, and red enough to stand out like the proverbial turd in the punchbowl. Hey, wait…I still had my boys back then. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling nostalgic.)may 2013 026

I’d better get back to work; I’ve got a lot of places yet to investigate and christen here in the new ‘hood. Summertime, and the sniffin’s easy. Most of our neighbors like to grill and ‘cue, which is a very welcome addition to the olfactory world of living with a vegan. (“Wow! What smells so good? Is that TOFU?” said nobody, ever.) Note to self: practice sucking in cheeks so as to appear meat-deprived to neighbors. My “Howie-Do” list just gets longer and longer. I’m burning daylight, y’all. Happy Dog Days!

Feliz Navidog!

26 Dec

Sometimes I think Big Red is losing her mind, as demonstrated here.  022

It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon. I was reclining majestically on Red’s leopard-print Snuggie, contemplating the true meaning of Christmas. Okay, I was dreaming about deep-fried Spam, but fuzzy polyester has that effect on me. Anyway, with an unsettlingly gleeful look in her eye, Red bundled Lola and me up unceremoniously, carried us out in the rain, and plopped us into the car. When we got to PetSmart, she put us and one of our car-beds into a shopping cart and wheeled us inside to get our picture taken with Santa. It was pretty corny, but I went along with it because Red was so excited.  Santa asked what I wanted, and I said that I just wanted to get through this photo-op without Lola panicking and wetting herself like she did at the groomer. Thank you, Santa; another crisis averted. I’ve been good this year (really a saint for having put up with Lola as pleasantly as I have), so I’d love to wrap my lips around that Spam whenever you’re in the neighborhood, but I won’t be at Casa de Momo.

You see, we’re going for a visit this week, Lola and I, while Red takes a trip. She says she is going to investigate Lola’s “roots,” like she’s a shrubbery or something, and learn a bit about her past. I have a feeling that the crazy-eyed critter (Lola, not Red), is envious of my book’s success and wants to write one of her own. Here is how I think it would go: “Blah, blah, blah, shudder, shudder, blah, blah, blah.” And then more of that. Well, good luck to her. She’s a bit of a novelty, to be sure, but she’s no Biker Chihuahua!

Be that as it may, Red is taking us to stay for the week with a nice lady named Patti. Patti likes to look after other people’s dogs in her house, which is nice and has a big backyard. I’m fine with it, because I can lay in the sunshine a lot and bark at the tortoise that lives in the side yard. Red wasn’t sure how Lola would cope, though, since she’s never had a sleep-away before. So she took us to see Eddy, the animal communicator, and asked him to explain it to Lola. She actually listened to him, which proves how good he is, because in order to get her to listen to me I have to growl at her until she cowers, then tell her things while I lick her face gently.

I’m going to be a good big brother and watch over her while we are visiting with Patti. Just for fun, though, I’m going to tell her to make sure that the last thing Red sees is Lola looking trembly and devastated, just so she doesn’t get into the habit of going away too often. (Red, not Lola.) Then we can start exploring and having fun, and Red can desperately try to un-see the tragic mental image tattooed on her guilt-ridden maternal psyche. “Roots,” my ass.

It won’t be too hard to be a good big brother, though. Lola can be kind of sweet when she’s not being a pain. And after a week in that big, sunny backyard, I might not even be in such a hurry to go home! Just kidding. It’ll be a fun week, and I’ll be happy to go home when it’s over. After all, home is where the Snuggie is.

Gobble, Gobble!

22 Nov

Gobble, Gobble!

Here are some things I’m thankful for today: my sunshine time in the morning, Lola when she’s asleep, car rides, the kind of back-scratching that makes me curl my lip like Elvis, long walks, the dog park, and Big Red’s distaste for dog sweaters. The list goes on and on, because there are lots of people and things I’m thankful for, and not just today, but every day. Dogs actually spend a lot of time being thankful; it’s part of our daily routine. If we saved it up for only one day out of the whole year, we’d be just as exhausted and cranky and ravenous as most people seem to be around this time. Spread it out, I say; pace yourself. (Also, I’m not sure why people dedicate a whole day to celebrate some people in funny hats who stole everything from the Indians. I mean, I enjoy snatching a toy or a bone away from Lola every now and then, but I wouldn’t dedicate a whole day to it.)

If I did, though, my special celebration food of choice would be Vienna Sausages. It seems impossible that anyone could be unacquainted with these tubular boons, but they are bite-sized weenies from Sigmund Freud’s own hometown. You can make your own joke about that. (For some reason, the label says that they’re made in New Jersey rather than The City of Music, but no matter.) They’re chock-full of “mechanically separated” chicken, water, beef, pork, salt and corn syrup, so your purchase keeps lots of machines employed and embraces all the major food groups! Plus, the can has a cool pop-top, and the only side dish you need is a good burp followed by a long nap. Vienna Sausage = Party in a Can! The holiday doesn’t have to be complicated, although I know that humans enjoy that sort of thing.

Finally, I’m very thankful for you, my loyal readers. What’s the point of telling stories if nobody listens? You might as well be Lola. (haha) And, all you dogs reading this, remember that our coyote brothers and sisters are getting pretty hungry these days, so keep your people on a leash when you’re out walking, no matter how well-trained they are. Happy Howie-days!



Hi Again

4 Jul

Happy Dog Days of Summer, everybody! Why so Sirius? I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, but two pretty cool things have happened in the last few months. First of all, I have a new friend! For some reason, as you can see, she thinks she can sit on my pimp chair, and for some reason, I let her do it. She’s only seven months old, she’s a Chihuahua, and we’ve named her “Lola.” The most important thing to bear in mind about Lola is that she has Crazy Eyes. One is blue and the other is brown. It still gives me the willies sometimes.

The day she first came home from the shelter with Red, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I tried to send her a message with my mind while I was sniffing her butt, but what came back from “Her Trembliness” sounded a lot like, “Piss off, you!” I herded her into the kitchen just to show her who was boss, and kept her there for a while so I could check her out at a distance. Even accounting for her cowering mien, I could see that she was only about half my size, with some freckly, bovine little brown spots on her white fur, two brown ears and a brown patch over the brown-eye side. The side with the eerie blue eye is white. I sat purposefully in the doorway, looking at her, for maybe ten minutes. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she raised up on her hind legs, did this weird Frankenstein-arms thing, and silently bared her teeth at me. Never in my extensive adventures have I seen something as batshit crazy-looking as her eyes at that moment. Flabbergasted, I took several steps back, at which time she walked casually past me and curled up in my bed next to my kittaboo. We settled into an uneasy silence. Later, I asked Red if we could call her “Batshit,” because it suited her.  Red said no, it would be “Lola,” because that was her real name.

Lola is extremely unpredictable, and has way too much energy for her (or my) own good. From a dead sleep, she will fling herself at me during my periods of contemplation and proceed to bite me up, or tunnel under my bed like a feral ferret and attempt to topple me. She will steal any toy or chewy-thing that isn’t nailed down, and has a peculiar fascination with hunting out unwashed socks or underwear and then hurtling pell-mell down the hall with them in her mouth like an Olympic sprinter crossing the finish line. She likes to carry all manner of things between her teeth when we’re walking, and appears thrilled by the even the grungiest little stick, or wad of paper. She is terrified by sudden movement and guests, but will snarl and bark unceasingly on-leash at any passer-by. I was really insulted at first that she wouldn’t pee on things after me when we were walking, like Brother-Dog does, but then I grudgingly decided not to take it so personally. It’s not about me. It’s about her. (Right, guys?)

In short, she’s squirrelly and can be a real pest. But sometimes, she comes up and starts licking my face with her tiny pink tongue, at which time my heart melts and I respond in kind until she falls asleep. Then I can finally get some rest. Whew. When she was first in residence at Casa de Howie, I didn’t sleep at all. I was afraid that I would wake up with a start to find her standing over me, staring at me, her head turned to the left and her spooky blue eye emitting some sort of soul-sucking rays, or at least glowing in the dark.

Depending on my mood, and her behavior, I have several songs that I sing about her. The first one I came up with is to the tune of “Copacabana,” and it starts out: “Her name was Lola. Her eyes were crazy.” There will be a part about me, of course, that goes: “His name was Howie. He was a biker,” but I haven’t worked out all the kinks in it yet. Speaking of Kinks, I also have a few variations about my new friend, set to the tune of their immortal classic. When I’m feeling kindly and big-brotherly towards her, I sing this one: “Lola…She bubbly like cola… Too shy to say Hola’.” When she’s being little-sisterly, though, sometimes the nicest thing I can think of to say about her is: “Lola… She don’t got ebola… She full of crapola.” Red says that there is a showtune called “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets,” sung by some female in league with the Devil (which figures), but not if I can help it. My customary haiku, perhaps, sums up my feelings best: “Inexhaustible / Aggravating. Kinda cute / Crazy-Eyes Lola.”

Oh, the other cool thing that happened? My memoirs are finally complete! The heretofore untold story of my checkered past can finally be shared with the world. Once I’m famous, maybe I’ll get my own room, so that I can get away from you-know-who once in a while. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.