Four Dogs


Here they come, I warn,

Make sure you’re sitting down.

Because Teddy is kind of flaily

And he’ll bark at you while wagging

His Shepherdy tail

But then he’ll turn his head and show off

His Rottweiler  profile

And you’ll think he’s mean

When he’s just shy.


Hush, don’t talk!

Piper will have meltdowns

And try to phase through the floor

Or forget how the doors work

And don’t let her kiss your face

(She eats poop)

But if she comes to you

She’ll let you pet her soft, soft fur

And she’ll lean against you

Sharing the warmth of her solid form.


Watch your step – Perry’s coming.

Skitterbug, I tease him,

Because he runs all akimbo and askew

On an angle.

He’s a pint-sized powerhouse

The main dog in charge.

(Just ask him.)

If you pick him up you may never move again

Because Chihuahuas control gravity

Everyone knows this.


Old man Max comes lumbering out last.

He had to check the others’ crates

In case they had better toys

Than he does.

His hips are creaky

And his blackest bits are salt-and-pepper now

But he chases flies like a puppy

And more than the others

He is Mama’s dog.

My companion, and defender.


Okay now, ignore them…

They’re eating their dinner, and then they’ll go Outside.



Are they being quiet?

This is never good.

Note: inspired by the work and writing style of Naomi Shihab Nye, for Covid’s Metamorphosis prompt 8 which is to emulate a favorite poet’s style.

Find a PetSitter, Help A Shelter Dog


This is quick and dirty because it’s Halloween, and I’m hugely busy, but I wanted to share this before the campaign ends tonight.

The folks at DogVacay, a site that helps you find a pet sitter, are providing a meal to a shelter dog for every new sign-up they get during October. They asked me if I’d mention it, and even though I haven’t used their site…yet…I think they offer a great service, and I’m a sucker for anyone willing to help an animal.

Max, Teddy, and Perry think this is pretty cool, especially since they were all shelter dogs, once upon a time, and are also familiar with what it’s like when their humans go away, and they have to stay with a pet sitter (or, more likely, have a sitter stay with them.)

We used to kennel Cleo (RIP) and Zorro (RIP) but switched to sitters years ago because it’s less stressful for the animals, and one less thing we have to remember.

So, check out DogVacay, and sign up today, and feed a shelter dog.

(I was asked if I’d write something, but there was no compensation for doing so…Happy Halloween!)

Dog Days of Podcasting: Darmok and Dogs

Dog Days of Podcasting

This episode really should be called “Swimming with Morgan,” but it’s not. It’s just a ramble. I’m tired and my throat hurts, and it just struck me that if I’d finished any of the three things I had started to write, I would have had a much shorter entry.

Eleven minutes on Darmok and Dogs.

Accompanied by Teddy Bear on the Rawhide Chew, if you hear weird chewing sounds

Listen at SoundCloud or click below:
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Dog Days of Podcasting: 13 Minutes of Dog Babble

Dog Days of Podcasting

Tabz suggested I ramble about dogs. Hemingway suggested we should write drunk and edit sober. I’m NOT drunk, but I had a beer with dinner and a benadryl about half an hour ago, so I’m not really as together as I should be, and tonight’s DDoP entry proves it.

I’m skipping the “edit sober” part.

Listen at SoundCloud, or click below:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

With One Hand Tied Behind My Back

I woke up this morning with my right elbow throbbing with pain. It hurts to bend it, and if I try to lift anything heavier than my iPhone, tears spring to my eyes.

Icy Hot Balm, ibuprofen, and a single, leftover flexeril got me through the day, mainly because I logged off everything and spent the day doing laundry, reading, watching comfort television (currently Season 3 of Gilmore Girls) and napping. Max was so worried about me (possibly because he hit my sore elbow causing me to send a glass of cranberry juice flying across the kitchen) that licking my face clear of tears wasn’t enough; he curled up on Fuzzy’s side of the bed, under the covers, and let me rest my sore arm on his warm, soft back.

Dogs make everything better.

Even when you essentially have one hand tied behind your back.

Thursday 13: Beau Melange

No theme, just miscellany.

1) This quotation about the recipe for coffee, according to Talleyrand, always makes me grin:

Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.

2) All day yesterday the word anamnesis was caught in my brain. It’s used liturgically to refer to a memorial act – the Holy Communion in high church. In English, we say “remembrance.” – Do this in remembrance of me – but anamnesis is a deeper memorial. Not just witnessing, but participating in the memory AND the mystery.

3) I watched MSNBC’s coverage of the introduction of the new pope yesterday. My favorite quote, from one of the commentators:

I love that he’s a Jesuit. This means he has a brain.

Sadly, I don’t remember the name of the person who said it.

4) Since the beginning of the year, I’ve reduced my coffee intake to one cup a day, but I’m spending the time to make really amazing coffee. Most recently, I’ve been using a tiny Bialetti moka pot. I love it to bits.

5) Last month, I splurged on tea from Teasim. They make an organic Earl Grey that is so fragrant, it makes me want to take a bath in it, but today I was drinking an herbal blend of peppermint, licorice root and cloves. It made my head feel better.

6) According to Henry Fielding:

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.

7) I haven’t been blogging a lot because I’ve been in a serious reading mood. Specifically I’ve been reading a lot of Star Trek fiction because I feel like I need to escape.

8) Fuzzy and I saw Oz the Great and Powerful last week. It was good, but I couldn’t help contrasting it with the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland. Both fantasy lands are interesting, but I think I prefer the darker, gritter Wonderland.

9) My favorite version of Oz is the SyFy miniseries Tin Man. This has nothing whatsoever to do with my undying love for actor Neal McDonough. Or rather, for his work.

10) The rules of Rock Scissors Paper Lizard Spock, as explained by Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) on The Big Bang Theory:

1. Scissors cuts Paper

2. Paper covers Rock

3. Rock crushes Lizard

4. Lizard poisons Spock

5. Spock smashes Scissors

6. Scissors decapitates Lizard

7. Lizard eats Paper

8. Paper disproves Spock

9. Spock vaporizes Rock

10. Rock crushes Scissors

11) As I write this, at a bit after 2 in the morning, there are five dogs sleeping in my room. Dog number four is Aztec, our current foster. The most Zen chihuahua in the world.

12) Dog number five is our new puppy, Teddy (he came with the name, and we think it suits him). This is his picture:

13) A Facebook friend shared this video with me the other day. It’s called “God Made a Dog,” and it’s awesome. Enjoy:

Dog Tired

three dogs

It’s just after midnight in my time-zone, and I haven’t even done much all day – except drop off paperwork with the Shelter 2 Rescue folks (Dexter’s final paperwork from when he was adopted last week), eat enchiladas, go to the comic book store, watch Fuzzy vacuum and steam-clean the downstairs carpets, finish reading a book, go to dinner with some of Fuzzy’s co-workers and some of their local friends (Hibachi scallops – yum), and help empty a closet and sort through the contents.

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but last night was a late night, and today I’ve felt over-tired and dehydrated even though I’ve been drinking water like crazy, and I think I just need to chill tomorrow, but I have more to accomplish.

I should want to curl up in bed with a book for the next hour or so, but somehow, sleep is calling, and I want to be up early enough to go to mass tomorrow.

My dogs kindly managed to all be still-ish at the same time, in the same room, earlier this week so I could shoot the picture in this post, allowing me to use the title Dog Tired, which I am, and so now, I’m off to bed.

Holidailies 2012

Happy Birthday, Maximus


Four years ago this weekend, somewhere in Texas, a black and white puppy squirmed into a cold, scary world. Not long after that, he found himself in a rural Texas kill-shelter.

When we met him nine weeks later, in February, 2009, we weren’t looking for a third dog, and we certainly weren’t looking for a puppy, but something about this black and white boy, all alone in the world, curled itself around our hearts. A week later, he was sleeping in a crate in our bedroom by night, and leading our first foster-dog, a heeler named Blue, around our house by holding the hand-loop of a leash in his mouth.

Max in the Park

At ten weeks old, he was already a problem-solving dog.

A week after that, Blue found his forever home, and our Zorro-dog died. Max knew something was ‘different,’ but he wasn’t yet terribly affectionate, more inclined to gnaw on our fingers or chew on our necks than give kisses.

Within five months Max had outgrown his first crate, and was rapidly expanding in all directions, to fill his second. At one point, I went to Mexico, leaving behind a puppy, and coming home to a DOG.

Over time, as Max grew into his current 70-pound (plus or minus) frame, he also became the sweetest, most affectionate dog ever. Sure, we’re still trying to curb his counter-surfing habits, and he’s picked up our nocturnal habits to the point where he won’t eat before ten in the morning, but otherwise, he’s a great dog.


And now…now he’s FOUR.

Happy birthday, Maximus. You came with that name, and we let you keep it, but you took our hearts in exchange.

Holidailies 2012

A Foster-Dog’s Christmas Wish (A Letter to Ms. Santa Claus)


Dear Ms. Claus,

I’m Dexter and I’m a one-year-old terrier mix.

I’m also a foster-dog.

I’m writing to you because I know the Old Guy is working on toys and stuff for human-type children. I’m pretty sure he leaves the requests from dogs to you. After all, if you’re like most women who don’t have kids of their own, you treat your pets like members of the family, and don’t mind a few stray hairs on your clothes. (I’ve heard you even have special treats for Blitzen, and know just how Donder likes to have the bases of his antlers rubbed.)

So here’s the thing. I came from a kill-shelter in rural Texas. I know what you’re thinking Ms. Claus – or, may I call you Ms. Santa? Great! – Anyway, I know you’re thinking, “Kill shelters are awful. Dogs would be better left to survive on the streets.” But the thing is, most kill-shelters would give ANYTHING to NOT be kill-shelters. The folks that work in them do it because they hope to save cats and dogs like me, who don’t have homes of our own anymore, if we ever did. Also? When a dog or cat goes to a shelter, especially a shelter like the ones in Glen Rose or Joshua, Texas, like I did, it means they have a chance to be noticed by a rescue organization.

That’s what happened to me, Ms. Santa. A group called the Shelter To Rescue Coalition saw me at the shelter, and asked one of their foster families to take me in and help me learn house manners, and find a forever home. My foster family is pretty cool, Ms. Santa. They pet me and feed me and play with me, and I have three other dogs to pal around with, and when I have an accident in the house because I’m having so much fun playing I forget to go outside, they don’t even yell at me. They just tell me they’re disappointed and ask me to do better next time.

But I’d really like a home of my very own, Ms. Santa. One where I’m allowed to sleep on the bed (the girl-dog here doesn’t like me enough to allow that), and maybe have a kid to play with, because even though I’m small, I’m pretty active, and love to run and play.

That’s my biggest Christmas wish for me. A home of my own. But I have other Christmas wishes, too:

– I wish every human would love and care for their pets, and get them spayed or neutered, so unwanted puppies and kittens don’t end up in shelters.
– I wish people who love animals would consider fostering a shelter pet, even if they can’t adopt, so that shelters have more room, and the fostered pets get seen.
– I wish the only time a shelter had to euthanize a dog or cat was when it was so sick or old that doing so was the kindest choice, and not just a matter of space.
– I wish no dog or cat was ever cold, hungry, scared, or homeless, because all we know how do to is love our humans, and we don’t understand when they stop loving us.
– I wish no one would give pets as Christmas presents, because while it’s great to adopt a foster pet for you, adopting one for someone else is usually a Really Bad Idea.

I know that’s a lot to ask for Ms. Santa, but that’s why I’m writing to you. I’m sure you speak Dog and Cat with equal fluency, and can use a shake or two of the Jolly One’s magic to help shelter pets get homes for the holidays, and every day.

As for me? My foster-mom says to tell people that I’m about 16 pounds, neutered, up to date on shots, and available for adoption through Shelter to Rescue. She also says, “Please adopt Dexter because we’re falling in love with him.” Don’t let her know this, but I kind of love her and her human mate, too.

Merry Christmas from DEXTER.

Happy Holidailies