The Daughters, the Doods and the Biceps

As some of you know, the daughters and the Doods have had a few jealousy issues. I hate to say it, but with what my kids went through in my really, really long bodybuilding phase, they should be thrilled at my obsession with the dogs instead of my biceps. Here are some of the top reasons:

1.  I no longer walk around flexing.   

 ELBEE Who is she kidding? She flexes for total strangers and almost anyone who walks in the house.

2. Instead of living in spandex, I have practical outfits for walking the dogs.

20160209_171423-1_resizedTHE DOODS We don’t like to be critical and may not be fashion plates but we know a schmata when we see one. Just because pants have pockets doesn’t make them cute.

3. Instead of a fake questionable shade of tan, I now wear ten layers of sunblock when I hike with the dogs.

THE DOODS We’ll take the credit for that. At her age, she should be using industrial strength sunblock.

4. I used to drag the daughters to countless bodybuilding competitions, even to the point when they were old enough to yell, “Mom, flex your abs” from the audience. Now I take my grandchildren to dog class with me.

5. Recently I was a little envious when I heard about a 68 year old woman who is the world’s oldest martial arts champion. For the record, they do have senior bodybuilding competitions. The daughters should be happy that I’m too busy with the Doods to train.

The DOODS Oh sure, blame it on us like that’s the only reason.

6. The daughters are no longer being bench pressed by future felons.

ELBEE I was eavesdropping again so I’ll explain. When the daughters were little she would bring them to a hard core muscle gym and sit them with their dolls and books while she trained. One of the bodybuilders who used to play games with them is now in jail for double murder. Really?

Ok, not my best parenting decision but he seemed very nice at the time.

7.  Do I have to say anything about this photo. Yes, it’s me and my partner Ray. No, it’s not photo shopped and yes, my husband and the daughters and Ray’s future wife Tammy were all in the audience using fake names.

Scan 17 get-attachment.aspxCHARLEY Although I am almost bark less, which is rare for me, I have a few questions.  Is that who I think it is? Why is she doing it? And can it happen again?


OMG I’m going back to being anonymous. What was she thinking? I’m on team daughter for this one.


20160526_153149_resizedGUS I give up. I’m more confused than ever. I’m afraid   to even look at the picture.

The Little Dood Solos

Recently Gus soloed at UCLA. Well, I went along but only to hold his leash and provide car service. I honestly think if he had a license, he might have gone by himself. When we got there, he strutted through the huge marble lobby  like he owned the place.


CHARLEY AND ELBEE We tried to tell him about Uber but he just didn’t get it.


While he was doing the lobby strut, a few people from administration happened to see us and invited Gus (and me) into their offices. They offered a rug to lie down on and a bowl of water any time we needed it so I think we know who they were trying to impress.

20150110_081629_resizedGUS If they’d thrown in a chew bone I would have spent the day with them. They seemed like lovely people.

Up on the fourth floor, Gus worked the neuropsych units like a pro. From the kids, to the teens, to the adults, he knew how to behave with each group of patients. It was almost as if Charley and Elbee had coached him. With his tail wagging, he pranced up and down the halls as the younger kids took turns holding his leash with me. One little girl was so taken with him that she ran to her room and brought her special stuffed animal for him to take home. By the way, he started doing some tricks that I didn’t know were in his repertoire.

My brothers better not take my new toy
Doctor Doods help out
Doctor Doods help out

CHARLEY AND ELBEE Of course we coached him. We have to protect our reputations. We’re practically doctors. Plus we’d get bored if we just sat around all day, so we chat. For fun we also help him work on his tricks.


Later in the morning, while we were waiting for my car, a woman quietly approached to thank me and to share how grateful she was for the work that we do with the dogs. She said her son was one of the patients that Gus had visited on the fourth floor and that it had made his day. She then walked away to wait for her car. It was one of those simple, touching moments that is its own reward.

20160331_143743_resizedGUS I loved going to the hospital and working solo because I got all of the attention. I just didn’t know it was going to be so exhausting. I have to talk to Charley and Elbee about this.

The Daughters, the Doods and Mother’s Day

EllenCharlie_edited-1 Charley was the first one to wake me up to wish me a happy mother’s day. Although I am not technically his mother, he is like an adopted son.  Danielle and her husband sent beautiful flowers the day before so they were really first but Charley was up close and personal.

CHARLEY Much as I would like to take the credit, I was actually trying to get her to wake up to let Elbee out because he had to throw up. I think he’s having stomach issues.

Later in the day I was stalking my daughters on Facebook and getting totally sentimental about a lovely message that Nicole had written on my page when I scrolled down and there it was! Perhaps my cheesiest bodybuilding photo ever, and believe me, there were many. I confess that I used a smaller version of the photo in an earlier post but this time she enlarged it and surrounded it with roses. No, I am not going to reshare it here.

 get-attachment.aspxTHE DOODS We were a little disturbed and confused at seeing the smaller version of the photo in the earlier post but this one was huge. We’ve discussed among ourselves and decided that Pack Leader kind of misses the eighties. Trust us we’ve peeked at some other photos. She must have been fake tan for the whole decade.

Apparently Danielle is on the same page as the Doods. She commented that she also thinks I miss the eighties. No doubt Jennifer completely agrees. Okay, they’re probably right. I was the queen of spandex. Somewhere (may it never resurface) is a photo of me dressed in turquoise spandex, singing into an egg beater. Horrifying in itself. Worse because I’m tone deaf.

Nicole, Christian and his daughter Lex came over to spend the afternoon. I thought, how can I “thank” Nicole for the lovely photo share. It was almost too easy…hiking. Christian and Lex love to hike. By the way, Danielle does too. Nicole not so much. It may have to do with a hike we took years ago. She was wearing a nicotine patch to help her quit smoking and unfortunately got a little overheated. Not a good combination, but she hasn’t smoked since!

20151009_121800_resizedCHARLEY  I would like to say that I am so proud of Nicole for not smoking. I indulge in an occasional cigar but that’s about it. 







 She made it!
                             We made it!

My Top 6 Hiking “Oops”


Again with the flowers

ELBEE Before Pack Leader gets started I would like to say that I have been following this woman into the mountains  for years and had no idea it could be hazardous to my health. What was I thinking?


get-attachment.aspxCHARLEY Let me add that all of these disasters occurred pre-Doods which is why my brother was clueless. With us she has remained relatively unscathed. Thank you very much.

My turn to over share. Whenever my daughter/mothers hear on the news that a hiker has been lost, found, or injured they just wait for my name so they can say, “See!”  That’s not going to happen because the first thing they do on the news is give your age. I would crawl down first.

Here are my top  6 “oops” in the mountains:

  1. Poison oak. No one ever told me  “leaves of three, don’t touch me.” I touched it, walked in it and broke out in a horrible rash.
  2. The broken foot. The dogs were walking nicely by my side when a biker approached like he was at the Tour de France. Watching him, I stepped in a hole, broke a bone and tore a tendon in my foot.
  3. The blood clot. Shortly after the cast came off my foot, I headed back to the mountains, tripped over a rock, hit my leg on another rock and got a huge blood clot on the front of my leg. And yes, I am a little on the clumsy side.
  4. The bee sting. A devious ninja bee stung me on the lip and I swelled up until my face was unrecognizable.
  5. The dog bite. Two very large, very mean dogs attacked my very sweet Golden Retriever Cody. As I jumped in to defend Cody, one of the mean dogs bit me on the neck. When I got to the emergency room (where I was quite well known by then) they said the bite had just missed my jugular.
  6. The rattlesnake bite. On a warm spring day, my husband, the dogs and I were walking up on a ridge through sage and wild mustard. Suddenly I felt an awful pain in my ankle and pulled down my sock to find two perfectly placed puncture marks. My buddies in the emergency room said it was probably an older snake because my foot swelled up, turned purple and twitched but I didn’t get sick. Well I almost got sick at the thought of being bitten by a snake.

On the bright side, I haven’t been air lifted out, eaten by a mountain lion (I’ve seen two) or bitten by a coyote.

 ELBEE She forgot to mention that one time a hawk flew so low his talons brushed her hair. My guess is he thought it was nesting material. 

 get-attachment.aspxGUS That’s it! I’m never going hiking again. Snakes, bodies and now a hawk that could carry me away.