GONE TO THE (WEE) DOGS
Oh no! The worst possible thing has happened! I’ve become one of those crazy little old ladies with the tiny little dogs. Bear in mind I’ve had dogs all my life. Large, sturdy, hardy, independent mixed-breed dogs. They were good old dogs, who did normal dog stuff – chewed furniture, hid slippers, chased cars, ate regular dog food out of a can when they were lucky, were bathed a couple of times a year in the backyard under a garden hose. When we went out, they stayed at home; when we went on vacation, either neighbors came in and fed them or they were sent to a kennel.
And then we got wee dogs, and our lives turned topsy turvy. First came Archy, the mega-Maltese. He’s supposed to be 3-5 pounds, but the Archmeister comes in at a hefty 16 pounds. Next came Spenser, a wee dog that looks like a cross between a werewolf and a fruitbat.
The first thing I noticed was that I felt an absolute need to buy them wardrobe. I can pretend I did this because it was cold and little Spenser got all shakey and shivery. But how cold does it really, really ever get in sunny Southern California? Okay, when we moved to Oregon, and it rained and snowed, wardrobe made a certain amount of sense. But if I’m being honest (a practice I do NOT recommend), I have to admit the wardrobe has nothing to do with the weather. It’s just that they look so darn cute when wearing adorable ensembles.
These two have also completely changed the way we travel. We don’t go unless we can take them. This eliminates travel on airplanes, trains and buses. I used to have book shelves filled with thrillers, mysteries, women’s fiction and humor. Those have been replaced with titles like “Travelling with Rover,” “Fido’s Favorite Hotels” and “Dining Out with Pooch.”
For hotels, Archy and Spenser have been most happy with the Holiday Inn Express in Corvallis, OR. They’re especially partial to the walking trail beside the Willamette River. They meet the nicest dogs there.
There’s no place finer for canine dining than The Forge in the Forest in Carmel, CA. Here, they are immediately presented with a water dish, kibble and treats, and a doggy menu. What’s not to like?
For lower-end dining, they fancy Quizno’s, where they can get a bowl of turkey for a buck. Such a deal!
And, of course, with a Maltese, a groomer is de rigeur. Archy gets fluffed and folded every month. While Archy is at the groomer, we bathe the fruitbat in the kitchen sink, with scented shampoos and specially-formulated conditioners. On Grooming Day, Archy and Spenser look like they just stepped out of the pages of “Dogue Vogue.”
Today, as I was preparing their dinner of brown rice, carrots, broccoli and chicken gently sautéed in butter and olive oil and lightly seasoned with salt, garlic and rosemary, I happened to catch my reflection in my spatula and noticed that my bangs were hanging into my eyes, my hair was shaggy and spikey. I looked like a cross between an Olde English Sheepdog and an Irish Wolfhound. For the love of Mike, I definitely could use a trip to the groomer. But that will have to wait. I grabbed a Pop-Tart for myself and headed out the door, for you see, Archy and Spenser are looking forward to a nice ride and a proper lunch.