Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Be Illin'

And now, as promised, the latest road trip video, starring Ruth, Duncan, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope your holiday was exactly as you'd dreamed, that your spirits were bright, that your home was filled with family and friends and delicious food, warm laughter and glowing hearts.

Duncan and I wish you only the best. Thank you for all you've done for us.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Duncan loves my mother. A lot. After working hard at keeping him from begging for people food, or even coming in the kitchen, it was my mother who undid all my hard work by introducing him to turkey, feeding him in the kitchen and letting him beg for it. And even though I scolded her and continue to tease her about it, it's become a bit of a tradition whenever they're together. They sneak and connive and plot behind my back and there's nothing I can do about it.

When we pulled up the drive last night after a ten hour trek across the vast bland yellow that is Wyoming, Dunc was more than ready to get out of the car. Except for the soft blue and green and red lights glowing along the eves, the house was dark and quiet. I was afraid no one was home but soon the door opened and mom was standing on the walk beaming from ear to ear. Duncan, who'd already begun pacing and whining softly went from zero to eight thousand at the sight of her. He jumped up and pawed at the window, his whine turning into a prolonged, high-pitched jet engine wail. I turned off the engine as Mom rushed forward and opened his door. He jumped up, straight at her, chirping like a rabid parakeet as he clutched the sleeve of her jacket in his teeth and led her back and forth through the dusting of snow on the yard as though he were showing her around.

This morning we went to her shop to get my hairs cut. I had barely turned my back when she fed him a lollipop. She held it up hoping he'd take a few tentative licks, which he did.

She was not, however, prepared for what followed. He quickly decided that cherry suckers were his very most favorite things in all the world (right up there with a roll in the snow and turkey fed directly from Grandma's fingers). Before she could react he slurped up the entire thing and fought her for control of it.

She squealed and pulled and fought back as hard as she could but he can be surprisingly tenacious, especially when it comes to things as wonderful as cherry-flavored lollipops.

Eventually her only recourse was to beg and plead.

He's spoiled rotten but it looks like I'm going to have to keep my eye on mom rather than Roo.

Monday, December 14, 2009


On Saturday night Duncan and I were invited to dinner at Heather and Zach's house. Heather was our first Golden friend in Denver and her dog Riley, who passed away last summer, was one of the reasons Ken and I adopted Duncan. Heather was devastated when Riley died but not long ago she met Eli and brought him home. We have been planning on introducing our dogs and finally got the chance Saturday over dinner.

Eli is one hundred percent puppy, beautiful and precocious, curious and timid all at once, ambling about on paws bigger than they should be, managing a tail he hasn't quite mastered. The two chased each other around the yard, argued over who got to look after the bully sticks and got along famously. And the three grown ups present could only sit and watch them, stupid grins of amazement on our faces.

On her Facebook page Sunday morning Heather wrote, "There is nothing more enjoyable than watching two golden retrievers playing together. The room fills with joyful energy and you can't help but smile." She couldn't have been more correct and I can't wait to do it again.

Monday, December 7, 2009


This is how the mornings go. My Chi-Gong phone alarm goes off at 5:30 but I don't normally get out of bed until 6. Duncan will move from the bed to his pillow at the foot while the cats, particularly Olive, follow me around as I stumble down the dark hallway, through the living room and into the kitchen where I turn on the small light above the stove and turn the kettle on for tea. Olive coils herself around my feet while Pip takes up his spot in front of the food dish, yowling as though I've forgotten to feed him every day of his life. Winnie stays on the back of the couch where she watches the rest of us with bemused indifference. Only Duncan doesn't move. He curls up on the pillow and doesn't get up until it's time for his morning walk.

This morning, though, after I'd made the bed and jumped in the shower, after I'd prepared my lunch and even Duncan's breakfast, after I'd pulled the blinds and discovered a snowy world where the temperature hovered around two degrees, Duncan still hadn't appeared. I stepped back into the bedroom and found him in a nice cozy spot, shameless and unapologetic.

He'd somehow crawled back under the comforter I fold up at the foot of the bed, slid around and snuggled under it with his head poking out.

It took some coaxing, but eventually we made it outside, although after he finished his breakfast and before I'd even left, he was back up on the bed and under the covers. Clearly he had his priorities straight.