December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

May the new year be full of love and may it bring you continued happiness & prosperity!

Lola & me

Lola's brother (almost)

(click on picture for a larger view)

That cutie is Brownie, a nine month old mutt (~45lbs). (It's hard to tell in the picture, but his coat actually has a lot of red in it.)

Brownie's Story (skip if you wish):
His former owners are my aunt's tenants. They always kept him outside & underfed - they didn't seem to understand that a growing, large dog needs a lot of food. UGh! Stupid humans! Anyway, when the hurricanes (Katrina & Wilma) headed towards South Florida, my aunt took him in for his protection. My aunt & her husband reside in a condo, but they own a house across the street from my parents (my aunt's mother-in-law used to live there). Brownie now stays in that yard.

Brownie escaped from the yard & was hit by a car. As you can see, he's recovered very well - he still limps a little, but is doing very well.

Why I love Brownie
Yes, he's cute. And yes, he's a puppy (a large one!) which automatically makes him lovable. But that's not why I wanted to take him home with me. I love Lola for many reasons, but the main thing that made me fall in love with her when I met her was her totally mellow attitude (that, and her blonde eyelashes). I fell in love with Brownie for the opposite reason - he's a spitfire, full of energy, but not a spaz. He has this incredible joie de vivre. (That, and his goofy ears & spotted tongue :) And he's smart & eager to learn & too sweet. Other than some mouthing, he played really well.

If I owned my own place (with perhaps a little yard), there's no doubt I would have brought him home with me. I think he would have complemented Lola - Ying to her Yang, so to speak. Maybe next year... :)

Brownie starts training with my Aunt Celia in January. Good luck, Brownie! :)

December 29, 2005

Merry Christmas (Belated)!

The antlers blink (click here to see).

Lola and I both hope that everyone is having a festive holiday season.
[More about holiday shenanigans in the next few days...]

Happy Holidays to everyone!

December 15, 2005

Grandma Loves Lola (possibly more than me)

My mom loves Lola. She says Lola is not only beautiful, but also a very good girl, even though she has never met Lola. Lola can do no wrong - I am a mean mom, for example, if I don't let Lola bark at other dogs. Or if I don't let Lola eat treats just before dinner.

I'm pretty sure my mom loves Lola more than me.

Most recently, my mom and I had this conversation:

mom: I have a whole bunch of spare change in bags & tins. I want to give it to Lola for being a good girl.
[the hell?]me: What?
mom: I've been saving it for a while and I want to give it to Lola for being a good girl. Will you help me count it when you are here?
me: uh, sure...wait, are you saying Lola has an allowance?
mom:What's that?
[I explain to my Cuban mom what an allowance is for a few minutes, since she has no concept of what that is...which, yes, also means I never had an allowance growing up.]
mom: Yes, exactly. An allowance for being a good girl.
I repeat: neither me nor my brothers ever had an allowance. But Lola apparently does.

Then, shortly after:
mom: I need you to do me a favor.
me: Sure, mom.
mom: I want you to get Lola a Christmas present for me.
[For a moment, I'm shocked that my mom is being so practical, i.e., not making me bring Lola's present back from Florida.]
mom: And I want you to have the folks at the day care give it to her on Christmas day.
[Wha?Wha? Also: giggle] me: What?
mom: I want her to have a present on Christmas, like the rest of us.
[She sounded so much like a little kid, that I relented.] me: okay, mom.
mom: Promise me.
me: I promise.
mom: When are you going to get her present?
me: Thursday or Friday - whenever I have to get her food.
mom: Alright. And be sure to take it to the day care when you drop her off for boarding.
me: Yes, mom.

More evidence she loves Lola more than me: A few months ago, I was talking to my folks about bringing them out to SoCal for New Year's. My holiday visit is short, b/c I don't want to be away from the girl that much, and my folks wanted to spend more time with me. I thought New Year's would be great: they could be out here for the Rose Bowl parade - which is the only parade that my mom sits and watches. I live a few blocks from the parade route, so this was a good plan.

Then My mom hurt her foot -sprained & fractured - and needed a long recovery. Their trip to SoCal was now in doubt. I called my mom one day, knowing she had been to a follow-up visit with her doctor, to see if the trip was possible. Mind you, at this point (about a month into her recovery), my mom was going stir-crazy. She hates being dependent on other people and being unable to go wherever she wants; and she was stuck in the house.

mom: I don't think I'll be able to go. I'm walking better, but I'm still pretty immobile.
me: well, you could still come out. Even if you just stay at my place, at least it's a change of scenery.
[her reply, I kid you not] mom: If I can't take Lola out for a walk or play with her at the park, why am I going to go?

See? She loves Lola more than me. :)

Lola sez, "Check this out": Pious Jindo Pooch

December 11, 2005

Gobble, Gobble Day (finally!)

Lola and I were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner at Denise & Wesley's place. [Okay, I was invited, and I asked if Lola could come, too, since it was our first Thanksgiving Day together. Because they are awesome people (and because Wes welcomes any opportunity to torment their cat, Grim), they graciously welcomed Lola into their home.]

Wesley made the turkey (as yummy, if not yummier than last year's) & the mashed potatoes; Denise made veggie stuff and her very yummy bread stuffing (did I mention it was yummy?); I brought candied yams & home-made flan. (See picture.) Lola luuuved the turkey and the mashed potatoes (and sez, "Thanks, Wesley!")

Now, what you really want to know about: When Lola met Grim

Grim is Denise's black kitty and Wesley's archnemesis. :) [I hear he had been taunting Grim for several days before Thanksgiving with something along the lines of "A dog is coming on Thursday, Grim. Just you wait!"] Whenever I've been there, Grim's been sweet...but he is a kitty & can be surly & evil. This was a test for both Grim & Lola. Wesley hopes to have a doggie someday & wanted to see how Grim would react; I wanted to see how Lola would do. Lola has seen kitties before, neighborhood kitties within a few feet, but she has never had the opportunity to see one up close and personal, since they usually run away from her. Then she barks at them which is really her telling me, "Mo-om! The kitty is running away! Let's go!" The bark is always playful, so I don't think she would ever harm a kitty, in that situation.

When we arrived, Lola and Grim had a face off. They both just looked at each for a long time. They weren't sizing each other up so much as coming to grips with what they were seeing. Slowly, they got closer (as I recall, Lola made the first move) & started to sniff each other. Grim had a little trepidation, but seemed okay, until Lola started sniffing his butt.

Grim's Expression: What the Hell...?
Wes: That's what dogs do, Grim.
Me: Hee!

After some more sniffing, Lola started to get a little more sniffy (maybe it was dawning on her that Grim was a kitty) & Grim was justifiably spooked. A quick hiss & Grim was off to hide under the futon in the office. Which of course only made Lola bark ("Mom! Let me go! He went in there! He wants me to chase him!")

We didn't want to close the door to the office, in case Grim decided to come out so we hitched Lola up to a heavy piece of furniture so she wouldn't go after him. To his credit (or his hunger), Grim did try to brave it out a couple of times, but Lola saw him & was immediately excited that Grim was coming back...which only spooked Grim again. Denise eventually retrieved Grim from the office so he could eat his dinner in the kitchen (I distracted Lola to keep Grim out of her line of sight.) Grim then curled up in a little spot in the dining area. At first, he was within Lola's line of sight ("Mom! It's Grim! He's right THERE!"), but with some distraction (and not letting her see Grim), she quieted down. There was no blooodshed, and no apparent animosity between the pets. I guess that means Lola & Grim passed the test.

We entertained ourselves making fun of "The Core" [Lola was happy to sit with us] & walking around downtown Glendora [You know how much Lola luuuves to be OUT.]

This Thanksgiving I was grateful for many things - my loving (if crazy) family, my awesome friends, and my Lola-girl.

Lola & I had a wonderful time - thank you, D & Wes! You made our first Thanksgiving very special.

November 27, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Turkey & a kitty named Grim - more about Gobble Gobble Day activites later in the week.

November 11, 2005

Butt Tag

Last night, Lola and I had our first full game of what I can only call Butt Tag.

When I got Lola, her rescuer told me that he would play this game with her in which she ran around like a loon. He was never quite sure what was going on, but he was sure that Lola seemed to have a grand ol' time playing it. And while Lola has run around my place like a loon, I had never played this game with her...until last night.

I am also not sure what the exact rules of Butt Tag are, but I can describe the gameplay. First, Lola is in a playful mood, playing with a chewie on of her three lounging areas. I skritched her high on the back of a rear thigh (near the base of her tail - one of her favorite spots), and suddenly, TAG! She was It! Lola ran to the next nearest lounge area, on full (playful) alert and jumping toward any movement. She seemed to be waiting for me to do something, so I "tagged" her again and she ran to her bed. TAG! Back to lounge area one. TAG! She glances at her tail, chases it for a split second, then runs off to the nearest safe haven, lounge area two. Before I can tag her again, she goes to her bed. She quickly runs in a circle at least 10 times, then collapses like a runner at the end of marathon. She's a little out of breath but looking really happy.

If any one knows more about Butt Tag, please let me know.

October 30, 2005

October 26, 2005

Too Much Puppy Love

[sorry for the lack of posts - been really busy] Because of my work schedule, Lola goes to Doggy Time daycare 1-3 times a week. She hangs out with other doggies and plays a bit and it's good for her. :) I did not witness this Tale about Lola with the two black lab puppies (they are Doggytime regulars with Lola), but it was told to me by Doggytime owner, Tara. Also note: these puppies are just about Lola's size.

Lola likes her personal space. She does NOT like dogs to be in her face (at least, not without her permission), nor does she allow other dogs to take a long time sniffing her butt. She will give these 'rude' dogs a warning growl: "Yo, step back." If they persist, she will not hesitate to let them know they are not cool by barking/snapping at them: "YO! I said, step BACK, bro."

One day, the two black lab puppies flanked Lola on either side, cutting off any means of retreat, and proceeded to lick either side of her face. Lola was frozen in place with a look (according to Tara) like that of a deer in headlights. Tara, ready to step in if they bothered Lola, waited for Lola's warning growl/bark. But it never came, much to Tara's (and my) surprise. Getting no reaction from Lola, the puppies moved on to another victim. As soon as they left, Lola's relief was evident in her doggy sigh, as if she had just endured some great test of faith.

And now I have to wonder - did she not snap at them because she was outgunned or because they are puppies? If the latter, is it a female instinct for the young or did she have puppies of her own some time in the past (which gave her some infinite patience with the puppies)?

...sigh...there's so much I'll never know about my Lola...

September 24, 2005

No Fly Zone

The skies immediately surrounding Lola are restricted airspace. Any mosquito, fly, moth, butterfly, jumping cricket or other small animal that enters Lola's space is summarily engulfed by a quick snap of her jaw. And sometimes she misses, but she will pursue the intruder.

Yeah, Lola is a mighty fly hunter.

Silly pup.

September 14, 2005

The Forest for the Trees

Jindos were bred as hunting dogs, and Lola, being a Jindo, likes to "hunt". During one of our afternoon walks, she picked up A Scent and proceeded to sniff it out. She tracked the scent with focused intensity, sniffing along a row of bushes, not even bothering to give me her patented "exasperated with mom because I move too slow" look. So focused and so intent was she, that she did not see the object of her hunt lounging on the sidewalk about thirty feet in front of us: a black kitty cat. Hee. I had to laugh. Hard.

As for the kitty, he watched us for a bit with that look of disdain unique to kitty cats and then scampered off. Lola never saw him.


September 11, 2005

Lola Meets Her Bed (or Why Lola has a Giant Bed)

[approximately 8 months ago] I brought Lola home for the first time on a Friday afternoon. She was a little apprehensive (understandably so, since she had only met me briefly a few days before and had no idea what was going on), but she was going with the flow - she's a mellow dog and that's what she does.

I led her around my apartment (so that she understood she was allowed everywhere) then to her water bowl (so she would know where it was) and finally to Her Bed. We stopped in front of the bed, and I looked down at her. She looked up at me, then back at the bed, and back to me. Her face lit up with a doggie smile and had an expression like, "Is that my bed?" I nodded to her and before the words "Go on" were uttered from my mouth, she had jumped into Her Bed and made herself comfortable. The apprehension was gone, replaced with...self-possession and, I think, happiness. In that instant, she may not have known what was going on, but she knew she would be okay with me.

On the day I went to get Lola's moving-in supplies, the pet store only had x-small and x-large beds. I opted for x-large(which is more than a little big for her), figuring I'd exchange it for a large or medium in a few days when they restocked. She was so happy when she saw that bed, though, that I couldn't bring myself to exchange it (not even for one just like it except for the size).

I guess I'm just a sentimental fool.

So the Tales Begin

I needed a place to keep my Lola stories (since I cannot rely on my "wetware") and here it is. Although Lola is pretty awesome (at least to me), there may not be a tale to tell everyday. I have had Lola for a while now, so some of these stories happened a while ago - I'll make a note of that.