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Meeting Perki the Pekingese this weekend reminded us that someone near & dear to our hearts raised Pekingese dogs in the 1930s… could we find vintage evidence of the cute little smooshed-in faces of those Lion Dogs of yesteryear? Mais oui!

We found a trio of lovable little munchkin dogs —

And one happy dog doing tricks for his treats … so long ago. A moment captured forever. A gift of remembrance across time and space.

The forecast was ‘cold & clear’ –and the morning was both–so we headed to a little bay by John Wayne Marina. Yes, THAT John Wayne donated the land for this pretty little port. Although the tide was out & the sands were perfect for beach combing, with the temperature stuck at freezing, we decided to forego the water & waves, and explore on the grassy path …..

It turned out to be a good choice, because we met other intrepid walkers and made a new friend–a little Pekingese dog!

His name was Perki, and he was 10-years-old. “I’d never guess it,” says the Coopster. “He was quite spirited & spry!”

The Pekingese–also known as the Lion Dog–is an ancient breed which originated in China over 2,000 years ago. There is a magical legend about the breed:

A lion fell in love with a butterfly. But the butterfly and lion knew the difference in size was too much to overcome. Together they went to see the Buddha, who allowed their size to meet in the middle. From this, the Pekingese came.

One Chinese Empress said, “Let the Lion Dog be small; let it wear the swelling cape of dignity around its neck; let it display the billowing standard of pomp above its back.”

“We were all ‘billowing’ in that cold wind!” says Cooper wryly.

Too soon, it was time to move on & explore more. Bye Perki, great to meet you!

 

With word that a late winter snow was forecast, we went to our local co-op feed store to stock up on critter supplies, and much to our delight the manager Jeffrey had his #1 helper at work–his fabulous Golden Retriever, Scooter. That dog takes his job seriously, meeting & greeting with boundless goodwill and a dazzling smile.

Scooter didn’t even object when we asked if he’d pose on a bale of hay (we’ll take a ton, Mr. Salesman Scoot, you’ve sold us!)… even tho that domain in usually reserved for the barn cat.

Scooter joined Jeff over 4 years ago, when he was just a wee pup, and co-op customers have watched as the lanky Golden Boy has grown up and up and up (“He’s a tall glass of water!” Cooper says). When Jeff’s at his computer, Scooter takes a well-deserved break in the their office.

Our friend Scooter epitomizes all that is good & great about Golden Retrievers… their loyalty to family, the enthusiasm they shower on their friends (BTW which is everyone!), and their kind & generous natures. Swirl wasn’t with us at the co-op, but if she had been, we could imagine a conversation between our pert Miss and that dashing Scooter, much like the one between Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in the classic movie, Charade:

Swirl: “Do you know what’s wrong with you, Scooter?”

Scooter, suavely: “No, what?!”

Swirl, demurely: “Absolutely nothing.”

Some people just bring out the best in their dogs, and this surely could be said for the owners of Mishka & Moki. While the Alaskan Husky is renown for stamina & athleticism, their intelligence and devotion are beloved by their fortunate families. And who wouldn’t like a relative just like Mishka?

Look out Justine Bieber — Mishka has her own youtube channel & her song is climbing the charts!

If you need some smiles on a gray or snowy day, click here to meet Mishka and listen to her sing!

OR, enjoy this conversation with Mishka:

 

“Good Dog!”

Hold the presses!

Cooper and Swirl’s best little buddy, Precious, tells us that:

it’s Aunt Marge’s 90th Birthday this week!

“Now, that’s headline news!” Super Coop declares. “Hey Precious, wake up sleepyhead … I guess somebody must’ve partied hardy at the Birthday Bash!”

Cooper and Swirl’s great friend Priscilla shares this sweet vintage photo of her husband’s father, Billy, and his Boston Terrier, Jackie, circa 1922. Priscilla has a couple of revealing stories about that angelic-looking little boy and his napping pup …

“Billy grew up in New York, so that’s where the picture was probably taken. His father was a violinist in burlesque theaters, but also played Carnegie Hall! Bill did not get the musical gene, but went on to become a big Pentagon mucketymuck. And he always liked dogs.

Many years ago, when my husband and I had a Boston Terrier, Bill asked my husband what Boston Terriers did. He asked this while the dog was snuggled on his lap. My husband answered, “She’s doing it, dad.” …Bill clarified his question with, “I mean, do they hunt, are they for sport, working dogs — what were they intended for?” … But my husband insisted, “She’s doing what she was bred to do: sit on your lap and keep your knees warm —  that’s it.” … He left out: they bite bad little boys….

You see, Bill once said to me, categorically, “I don’t like Boston Terriers.”  Why is that? I asked. “Because one bit me when I was a kid,” he said sullenly, and pouted like he was 5-years-old… What did you do to it? I asked… Indignantly, he said, “That’s just what my mother said!” But he never told me, what he had done … Yea, he was 5, you know he did something …”

“We love this photo,” Cooper says, “and thank Priscilla for sharing it with us!”

“……..  is Great!”

 

Especially if you don’t mind playing frisbee in the drizzle & damp …

We recently trekked west to Lake Crescent on a grey, moody day when the clouds reached down to touch the water … and the atmospherics reminded us of the Twilight novels. “Only no vampires in the trees,” Cooper says, “just bald eagles looking for lake trout for lunch… good thing Swirl wasn’t with us ~ she’d make the perfect appetizer for those big boys!”

Heavy moss dripped from branches and formed a canopy over the road … torrents of rain fell…. “Hey, you’re making it sound spooky & it wasn’t!” says the fearless Frisbee King.

In time, the sun broke thru the clouds, and we played frisbee in the little meadow by the lake… with nary a vampire in sight… but plenty of puddles to jump!

Every dog lover knows the heartache–and panic–of having one’s old dog wander off, even for just a few moments. So, this is a special alert for our friends in the Snohomish / Machias area of Northwest Washington: Roscoe, an 11-year-old Dalmation wandered off three and a half days ago, and has not found his way home. If you are in the area and see a sweet, old Dalmation with two black freckles under his right eye, PLEASE help him go home to his very worried family. Here’s what his mom, Michelle, just told us:

“He gets a bit disoriented sometimes. He’s a big mama’s boy, and if he’s outside and can’t find me right when he wants, he panics and wanders off… He had back surgery 2 years ago, but now has an inoperable herniated disc in his neck which we give him medication for–it manages his pain really well, but he’s been without it for 3 days now, so he’ll be going downhill as far as his comfort level; then his anxiety will go through the roof… I am so hoping someone has picked him up, and will call us! A BIG thank you to everyone for their help!”

Please contact Michelle with any information:  206-963-2443

Cooper adds, “We hope for some GREAT news really soon!”

Perhaps it’s a case of a boy & his toys … Perhaps in a deprived puppyhood, there was never a snow shovel … whatever the reason, Cooper loves our snow shovel … The first snow of the New Year has arrived, and he is ecstatic as he greets his old friend!

And while we make good use of the shovel, Swirl is busy collecting snow balls as only her full, feathery coat can …

And our fine friends look on as the landscape is magically transformed …

Peace

Cooper and Swirl’s friends, Patty & Tish, sent such wonderful New Year’s pix, we just had to share with Cooper’s wishes for you ….

May Your Cup Runneth Over

 

May the Love of Your Friends, Shelter You from the Cold

 

May You Avoid Boring Diets

 

And May You Have Oodles of FUN before Anyone Notices the Pillows are Missing !

Welcome 2011!!!

Cooper and Swirl

… And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring…

Not even…   Cooper!

… which is an invitation for snow dogs (a.k.a. Cooper & Swirl) to play in the snow

 

… and roll in the snow

 

… and roll some more!

 

Because snow–like so many opportunities–won’t wait, if we hesitate ….

We were so amazed by Wayne’s pix of his Rottweiler Merlin herding sheep, that we had to share his you tube video of Merlin in his first experience herding lambs. Wayne tells us that they’re a bit more ‘squirrelly’ than older sheep, but young Merlin handles them like a pro. Note the way he circled back to round-up a straggler!

Cooper says, “Good Boy! Really Good Boy!”