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.