Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Just One Thing, Mr. President

You really think one dog's enough?

I beg to differ.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Men at Work

Tommy and I stepped over electrical cables as we looped through Farnsworth Park. Mount Curve was lined with trucks and abuzz with activity. I love how a production adds Hollywood sparkle to the neighborhood, but let's be honest: a big part of the allure is the handsome men behind the scenes.

I considered striking up a conversation but was too shy. As we walked by, I played out the line I could've said, chastising myself for not having the nerve. But another opportunity awaited: up ahead three guys leaned against the back of a pick-up truck.

I boldly approached and said, “Guess who my dog is named after.”

“Charlie Sheen.”

If Tommy were a Charlie, I might call him "Chuck."
He didn't miss a beat!

"Look at him," I said. "He looks just like the actor he's named after."

The Charlie Sheen guesser struggled. It seemed to really bother him he couldn't think of Tommy's namesake. "God, there are so many of them. Give us a hint."

"He has three names," I offered.

"Jean-Claude Van Damme."
Can you imagine me calling Tommy "Jean Claude"?!
The youngest, too hip to even look up from his phone, said a name I didn’t recognize.

"You have to look at him. He looks just like this actor."

The hip dude looked at Tommy.

Tommy sat at full alert, expectantly looking at me. Then at the three men. Then back at me, as if to say, "Who's giving me the treat?!"

Too busy flirting, I ignored him. The guys looked at me with blank stares. They'd given up.

"Tommy Lee Jones," I finally said.

"He really does look like him!"

A few more guys walked up. The Charlie Sheen guesser called after them, "Guess the actor her dog is named after!"

"Danny Devito!"

Tommy as Danny? I don't think so. But Vito could work.
They were shooting “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” so it was an understandable guess.

Tommy was frustrated. I cut the game short.

"Tommy Lee Jones," I said.

Raucous laughter erupted from this crowd of good-looking dog lovers.

One guy asked if Tommy was friendly and as he moved closer, Tommy jumped toward him in his wild buck kind of way. He'd had enough of being ignored.

"Whoa! He even acts like Tommy Lee!" (Apparently the actor has a reputation.) The guy stepped back.

That's my Tommy: he lures them in and he chases them away.

On another note, let's for a moment forget that Danny DeVito cheated on his wife and applaud him for participating in the video, The Right to Know: Vote Yes on Prop 37. Or, as someone put it recently: we just want to know what's in our effin food!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Camelot Where Tommy Is

The fabulous Petrea Burchard over at Pasadena Daily Photo is holding a contest in support of the much-anticipated publication of her novel, Camelot & Vine.

The contest is called Camelot Where You Are, the idea being that Camelot is everywhere. Tommy and I like a contest just as much as the next guy, but where were we to find a Camelot by us?

Well, turns out there's one near my old neighborhood at Camelot Kids Preschool in Silver Lake.

The photo above is not the one we entered in the contest. Visit Pasadena Daily Photo (Wednesday, October 24) to see it. Then go back over the weekend to vote for your favorite Camelot photo of the week.

I won't tell you how to cast your vote (that's downright un-American), but let's get real: how could any Camelot top the Camelot where Tommy is?!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tommy Takes a Stand

I know this story is old news, but I couldn't resist such a photo opportunity. Tommy was happy to oblige.

On another note, look at how big Tommy's head is! We take the summer off, and he comes back looking like an oversized apple-head Chihuahua. No more cleaning out the cat bowls for you, Tommy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Men in Black 3, Starring Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones plays the mature yet still studly Agent K.

Mr. Jones is not quite sure how he feels about Josh Brolin playing Young Agent K, although he does admit there's a slight resemblance.

Will Smith is a fine actor, but you can't deny that Tommy Lee Jones steals this scene.

Tommy Lee Jones wonders why his Zap Gun is smaller than Will Smith's. Who's the star of this film anyway?

Photo enhancement by the multi-talented Veronica Ferrantelli of The Dog Rescuers

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Big Splash

When I walk Tommy down my street, the neighborhood kids run up screaming, “Can I pet your dog?!”

If I’m not in a hurry, I acquiesce, but only after I have Tommy in a sit-stay with my foot on his leash (added protection against him jumping up), his attention glued to me as I shower him with treats.

When I give the kids the okay to pet him, they descend on him, petting and patting the poor pooch.
Photo taken a couple of years ago in a Burbank park.
Note I should be stepping on Tommy's leash.
Tommy’s a real trooper, but one time a kid was too rough, and Tommy jerked his snout into the kid’s face. The kid threw his hands over his nose.

I was horrified. Had Tommy bit him?! The kid stared at me wide-eyed, his hands still covering his nose. Was he about to burst out crying or was he just stunned by Tommy’s sloppy exuberance?

The kid was fine (phew!), but it was a scary reminder how important it is for me to manage Tommy out in public. Unfortunately this slipped my mind when I brought Tommy to Pasadena Litfest a couple of weekends ago.

Tommy made a big splash. We ran into the fabulous Petrea Burchard of Pasadena Daily Photo. She's got a soft spot for Tommy and took the above photo of him.

Women cooed over his good looks at the Crepe 'n Around food truck. The Pasadena Humane Society adoption coordinator admired his exemplary behavior.

One bookish dog lover stopped to tell us all about her pittie mix. As I made polite small talk, I noticed a middle-aged hipster in a shiny shirt and striped pants walking in our direction with a huge smile on his face. He had a bit of the crazy about him. Was he smiling at me? Was he headed toward us? I smelled trouble.

"I love your dog," he said and knelt down to Tommy's level to give him some love. I got a whiff of alcohol. Tommy didn't mind. He slobbered all over his face. I tried to hold Tommy back. The guy said, "I don't mind. It's okay." But then Tommy's kiss turned into a love bite, right on the guy's face. Yikes!

The hipster stood up. I apologized. He laughed it off but as he walked away he said, "I'm going to sue you if you don't buy one of my books."

I laughed and contemplated following him to check out his book. Then I came to my senses: Tommy and I hightailed it in the other direction.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lucky Dog

A few weeks ago Tommy made a great pit bull ambassador at Pasadena's Doo Dah Parade. He traveled through the crowded sidewalk with his tail wagging.
He posed for pictures.
He drank water out of my coffee mug.
Rewards came in tortillas tossed from a float.
Unfortunately I'm a bit of a hard ass about his diet, and I nipped that tortilla with the snoot loop.
But Tommy got the last laugh. He scarfed down two tortillas before I could stop him or snap a picture. Lucky dog.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I’m a Ponderer

In the mid-90s I and my then-boyfriend left Seattle on bicycles, heading north on the Burke-Gilman trail. We cut across Washington, traversing five mountain passes along the North Cascades Highway. The ride was exhilarating and painful (my mantra as we muscled up the inclines was “never again, never again”). After pedaling through Idaho, we made it to Glacier National Park, where we powered over Rocky Mountain peaks, then continued across Montana to Havre, smack in the middle of the state.

Pretty impressive, huh? Here's another version of this story, also true:

In the mid-90s I and my then-boyfriend set out from Seattle to bike cross-country but we only made it to the middle of Montana, where we holed up in a Havre hotel for three days watching bad TV and scarfing down Dairy Queen Blizzards before hopping on an Amtrak train to New York.

Doesn't pack the same punch, does it? It’s all about how you frame the story.

I’ve been thinking about that as I ponder creating a profile for the online personals. How did I come to live with two pitties? What's life with Tommy and Louise like? What version of that story do I tell?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is It Harder to Find a Good Man or a Good Home for a Pit Bull?

When I met a guy last summer, I took it as a good sign he made me laugh. I took it as a bad sign he lets his dog wander around the neighborhood unattended. He bragged that his dog hides behind bushes when animal control, summoned by an irritated neighbor, arrives.

Not exactly a good candidate to help manage the two pitties. Apparently the guy agreed: he's disappeared, which is fine. I knew he wasn't the man for me. So who is?

Well, Tommy is the gold standard. He's handsome, smart, funny, and he adores me.

It'd be a good start if a man possessed Tommy's exemplary qualities, but that's not easy to find, especially at my age. In less than a year, I'll turn the same age as Sally O'Malley.

It's not easy to find a good home for a pittie either, even one as beautiful and sweet as Louise.

So what do you think? Will it be harder for me to find a good man or a good home for Louise? Because the search for each continues. (Of course it's possible I won't find either, but I'm going to try to be positive here.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Perfect Storm

On October 31, I walked Tommy & Louise together by myself. A leash in each hand and a bag of treats hanging off each hip, I showered the dogs with goodies whenever another dog (walking by or barking from behind a fence) sent Louise into a tizzy.

My thinking was as long as I could walk Tommy & Louise together on my own, I could keep Louise.

I continued to walk them like this without incident, cavalierly defying my trainer's emphatic warnings against doing so, until the morning of November 29, when the perfect storm sparked a full-on fight in the middle of the street just around the corner from my house.

The following evening, the wind storm tore into town. The photo above shows Tommy in front of a pile of debris in Farnsworth park a few days later. His snoot loop broke in the fight so you get to see his gorgeous mug in all its naked glory.

He looks sad, doesn't he? Maybe he was stressed from being without electricity for days.

I haven't walked Tommy & Louise together since. Sometimes you have to learn lessons the hard way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Occupy Hahamongna

I snapped these pictures of Tommy on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena just after Occupy Wall Street started in September.

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Occupy movement. It seemed vague and directionless. What was it trying to accomplish?

But as the movement evolved I began to empathize with the sense of outrage that sparked it.

Our society puts a high value on free speech, as it should, but what is the point if that speech falls on deaf ears? What is the point if those in power ignore it, no matter how loud the collective outcry?

Tomorrow Occupy protestors will march at the tail end of the Rose Parade. Joining them will be people against the massive, devastating tar sands project in Alberta, Canada.

I'm excited that the movement against environmental destruction is joining forces with the movement against economic injustice.

So why Occupy Hahamongna?

Pasadena plans to build soccer fields in the Hahamongna watershed, despite years of eloquent, passionate opposition from the community.

The majority of Pasadena City Council members seem unmoved by the many voices raised to save Hahamongna. Maybe it's time to take it to the streets.