Monthly Archives: July 2014

Spoiled Dogs!

Ready for the Dog ParkSpoiled? My dogs? Nah….

Last weekend we embarked on a new type of vacation. A trip dedicated to travel with our dogs. They are old enough to have reliable good manners and can be trusted not to chew up the decor at the hotels!

We did select a dog friendly place to stay in Oak Harbor. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many places are listed as “pet friendly” when searching the internet. For those of you wishing to plan a get away with your pets, check out sites like . Lots of options are listed no matter where you intend to roam. The most important parts were the reviews and comments from happy pet owners.

So are my two Norwegian Elk hounds truly spoiled? I certainly did enter them in the “Spoiled Dog” contest! Our travels on Whidbey Island lead us back to a winery by that name that we’d discovered on a previous, “BP” (Before Pups) trip two years ago.  We’d enjoyed their Pinot varieties especially and were back to ensure a purchase of their lovely dry Pinot Rose before it sold out this season.

Yes, we planned an entire vacation around two pups! That is what parents do when traveling with children or grand-kids if they want to enjoy the trip. Plan ahead, make good choices and spend the time relaxing and enjoying….not struggling against situations that are fraught with peril from the get-go.

For dog owners lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest, it is a true paradise of pooch playgrounds!  Seattleites love their dogs! The numbers available confirm it. There are now more dogs in Seattle than children, by a lot: about 153,000 dogs to 107,178 kids, according to figures from the U.S. Census and the Seattle Animal Shelter. The area’s canine oriented facilities certainly bear out this. One can’t sling a dead cat (apologies to cat owners for the bad pun!) without hitting a “Doggie Daycare” or” Pet Parlor” these days.

I want you to know there are at least six Off Leash dog areas on Whidbey Island alone.  There is a non-profit organization called FETCH- (Free Exercise Time for Canines and their Humans!)that maintains five of these parks. See  We hit them all and went back for a few extra visits to the pup’s favorite one, the Patmore Pit! This off leash area is 40 acres of open grassland dotted with lush islands of brush and trails through the trees on the outer edges. Our female pup, Elki was in dog heaven as she romped through the bushes, struggling out the other side with vines and branches trailing behind her. Her brother Gordon seemed content to follow her lead or possibly just couldn’t keep up with her pace. She is lighter than he by about 20 pounds and she can run circles around him on most outings.

When we finally could coax our cavorting canines back to the car our boy would flop on the back seat to nap. His sister was doing a great imitation of the scene in “Foot Loose” where the troubled teen daughter of the local preacher is hanging out of her boyfriend’s truck with her hair streaming in the wind. Elki struck a similar pose sticking out the window as far as she could squeeze her head and front paws, barking “Yippee”. She was on the look for the next opportunity to run wild and free. We wondered if she’d ever truly get tired.

I will say that when we settled in for the evening that Elki was so deeply asleep she was snoring! This is the pup that usually sleeps with one ear cocked so as not to miss a single sound.

My definition of “spoiled” pertains to fruit that isn’t picked and eaten at its peak of flavor. In the case of our pups, the Oxford dictionary says to spoil someone is to “Treat with great or excessive kindness, consideration, or generosity”. I think my pups must have read that one! They love us excessively and are so generous with their affection toward their human family members that we are probably the ones who are spoiled.

Maybe Gordon and Elki will enter us in a contest … one called “spoiled humans”… cause we certainly are!

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Not the “good” towels!

“No way!”

I leveled what I hoped was a stern enough look at my husband to convey the seriousness of my message.

“What?” he looked genuinely puzzled as he stopped in his tracks.

“No way… are you going to use my brand new pale yellow tea towel to scrub the windows on the deck outside. That is WHAT!”

My trip to Europe this past spring had presented me with many opportunities to support the various local economies I visited.  I’d made space in my already bulging suitcases for these lovely pale yellow linens, purchased in the gift shop at Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Holland. The design, crafted and woven in Holland, depicted cheeses created by the weave of the fine cotton fabric. Wiping down grime on the deck door outside windows would certainly to ruin that look with indelible stains.

I plead temporary insanity for actually putting the linens on the towel rack in the kitchen. I’d forgotten previous life lessons around males and their utter lack of understanding regarding the use of cleaning apparatus. The universe was providing me with yet another reminder.  This was after all, the same man who’d used the leaf blower to clean up construction mess during our flooring replacement project.

Guys just don’t get it!  It must be genetic. They all seem to have no clue that grabbing the first handy thing to do a grimy job is not the best choice.  They totally ignore the bins of “cleaning rags” that are placed strategically in the same cupboard with the cleaning solutions.

My brother used my brand new champagne gold bath towels to dry off his 1965 Ford Fairlane sedan. This vehicle had spent many years in the Arizona sun. The towel was forever stained with the oxidized teal colored paint that came off with every swipe of the drying towel.

My husband has made a career out of ruining his “good” clothes by refusing to change out of work attire when his attention is sucked into the vortex of a particular gross, nasty mess that demands his immediate attention. This same very manly male has been observed polishing the wood floors of our home by twirling about like a figure skater, in his stocking clad feet!

He claims the dogs do a lot of damage to his socks. In fact I’ve heard the phase “How did they get these anyway?” so frequently that it has become a family joke. The floor of his corner of our walk in closet is littered with discarded stockings. I know from his basketball playing days that if he chose, he’d make a perfect shot every time. Maybe a hoop needs to be installed above his hamper.  I purchase his Merino Wool socks in bulk 6-packs at Costco to counter this abuse.

A recent gag gift for my husband was a pair of Evriholder® Slipper Genie for Men. For the uninitiated these are open toe slippers with microfiber fingers on the bottoms that catch hair, dust and dirt; just walking around the house. He thought they were a hoot but I’ve only seen him use them the one time and they disappeared into his home office, never to be seen again. The good part is that he has ceased scrubbing the floors in his stocking feet.

I recently fished them out of his “junk box” from under the desk… I have them handy just in case the sock-skating starts up again!

Back to the towel issue, I recall reading a confession from a similar minded woman regarding protecting the guest towels in her powder room. In preparation for her bridge group’s arrival that next day, she had scoured that sink and spiffed up the area by hanging some of her cute hand towels. As a precaution against the unlikely event that one of her guys would utilize this particular facility, she’d pinned a note to the towels. It read “Don’t you dare touch these with your grubby dirty hands, Mom.” Of course you know she forgot to remove the note much to the amusement of the card playing gals. My friend still gets kidded about her guest towels!

I can’t use notes…my guys do NOT read them. Even on bright colored paper, placed strategically in the center of a completely empty counter top. I will still get inquiries, via phone that could be answered if they’d just read the note!

I do get my revenge. Every once in a while one of my husband’s favorite ratty old T-shirts is “lost in the wash”. After all some clean up jobs are just so ugly one has to throw away the rags when finished.

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