Thanksgiving is NOT for Sissies!

In the spirit of the season, I was planning to share my appreciation of the Doods and all of their hard work. Then Thanksgiving happened and gave new meaning to the word chaos.

Do you see this photo?  That is definitely not me. I don’t know what Norman Rockwell was thinking but obviously he didn’t have Doodles.

But check out this photo of my family enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah right! Who are these people and what meds are they on?

THE DOODS We don’t like the direction that this is taking!20161007_114744_resized




It started the day before Thanksgiving when my three year old granddaughter, the one who calls me “Grandma with the dogs,” arrived. She immediately decided she liked Charley and Elbee much better in photos than in real life. Apparently, in person they looked like huge, scary beasts. Gus, being small, made a more favorable impression.

CHAREY & ELBEE Isn’t that body-shaming not to like us because we’re large?

The Doods did nothing to help. They don’t like being ignored and take it personally if you don’t love them. They will make every effort to win you over.

On the day of Thanksgiving they seemed to be everywhere and hairier than usual. They enthusiastically greeted each person who arrived. They started doing tricks on their own. They sat and stared at people until they petted them. When we put them outside to keep them out of the way, they sat at the door and looked pathetic. Elbee did so much barking I’m surprised he didn’t lose his voice.

THE DOODS Hello?! We’re used to being the center of attention. That’s our job. And we resent the hair remark. We looked fabulous.

When my husband was carving the turkey, some juice ran over the cutting board and onto the floor. The Doods were all over it. Gus, short as he is, figured out how to get into a tall trash bag.

CHARLEY & ELBEE Way to go little guy. We’ve taught you well.

I admit that some of it, okay a lot of it, was my fault. They’ve had tons of training but I let it slide that day. With food and family and company, things got out of control.

THE DOODS At least she’s taking responsibility!

After everyone left, the Doods were worn out. They didn’t move for the rest of the evening. Just look at this photo of Gus and Charley.By the way, Elbee isn’t in it because he had to go to the ENT to check his throat after all the barking.

ELBEE Not funny, nor is this old picture!





Grandma with the Dogs

When I was a little girl, my uncle, who was prone to giving everyone nicknames, asked my younger brother what was the worst thing he could think of to call me. Fortunately, the worst thing he could come up with was “Watermelon.” I say fortunately because the name stuck. Looking back I realize that this uncle may have had issues. His name was Ibsen.

20160525_091431_1472427293345_resizedELBEE Again with the issues. Last time she thought the rattlesnake had issues. I saw this t-shirt recently that I wanted to buy for Pack Leader. Unfortunately, I don’t have a credit card although I do enjoy window shopping.

Over the years I have had more than my share of nicknames. Elaine and Elliott, two of my closest friends in the world since we were kids in Syracuse, refer to me as  “Jones.” None of us has a clue where the name came from.

THE DOODS Hello?! Shouldn’t a nickname have some significance?

“Dingbat” is the name I was given by Ray, my former bodybuilding partner and his wife Tammy. I call him “Musclehead” so I guess we’re even. My husband refers to me as the “little hulk,” another leftover from the 80’s.

20160404_140354_resizedCHARLEY I hate to say it, but aren’t they perpetuating bodybuilding stereotypes?



get-attachment.aspxELBEE I’m just surprised that she didn’t pull out a photo from the archives. Oops I spoke too soon.




20160910_132308GUS I am still so confused by these pictures. As for those tans, my fake one when I was running for mayor looked better.


Are the Doods planning to comment on every name I share? And remember they call me Pack Leader or P.L.

THE DOODS One of her friends picked that name. We’re a little disturbed by it. Do you think any self respecting dog would give that title away?

To continue, my friend who’s as tone deaf as I am (sorry Lillian) and I have given each other very special nicknames for obvious reasons. If we could sing we would have been on tour years ago. We also would have had Bob Mackie on speed dial. That is my alter ego on the left and Lillian’s on the right.


My three year old granddaughter always refers to me as “Grandma with the dogs.” Okay that’s not a stretch but whatever happened to nana or granny?


ELBEE Wait! She left one out. The daughters call her “Crazy.” 

Excuse me, that is not a nickname.






I Love Rattlesnakes


Trailhead Warning Sign (Not kidding)

I love rattlesnakes? Seriously? Do you think I’m insane? The daughters are not allowed to answer that question. Remember I’m the one who screamed and ran a half mile in the other direction the first time I ever saw one.

Over the years I’ve encountered so many that I’ve come to terms with them. I’ve even forgiven the one that bit me on the ankle. I don’t panic unless they’re coiled up or shaking their rattles at me. The other day when I was hiking, I saw one that obviously had issues.

20160722_142050_1469301227649_resizedELBEE The snake had issues? Isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black?

I say it had issues because it was out crawling around on a cool morning.  Apparently it didn’t get the memo that it was cold-blooded and not supposed to come out until it was warm. I considered taking a photo to show the grandkids but it slithered away before I could get a shot. It was probably going home to get a sweater.

ELBEE Is that supposed to be funny?

It reminded me of a time years ago when I was hiking with Cody, a Golden Retriever who pre-dated the Doods. Unlike the Doods and Riley, our Golden Retriever, none of whom know how to fetch, Cody was obsessed with retrieving. He would fetch until he dropped. If we were watching television, he would roll a tennis ball across the table for us to throw.

Riley and the Doods

RILEY & THE DOODS Is there a point to this? Should we be offended?



As I was saying, I was hiking with Cody when a couple of inexperienced hikers came walking up behind us. Okay, I’m judging but they were carrying large cups of coffee from Starbucks and the woman was wearing a dress so you tell me. Then they asked me if I knew where the trail went.

Following us, they also wanted to know if there were any snakes. It was starting to warm up so I said there was a good chance. I also told them about Technu, a soap that would wash away all of the poison oak they had walked through in a nearby creek bed.


Sure enough, five minutes later there was a huge rattlesnake stretched across the narrow trail. Since there was thick brush on either side, there was no easy way around it. I told the coffee drinkers that we should just leave it alone and wait until it slithered away.

Instead, the man decided to throw a rock, not to kill it but to scare it away. Cody saw the flying rock and jumped over the snake to retrieve it! I yelled for him to stay. The “hikers” turned around and ran. Considering the coffee cups and the dress, they were surprisingly fast.

THE DOODS And you wonder why we don’t fetch.



You Did What??


Last week, Charley, Gus and several other dogs in the UCLA People Animal Connection brought trick or treat to the patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital.  Cheering up the kids was an absolute delight but having another excuse to dress up the dogs was the icing on the cake. I have to say they looked fabulous in orange tinsel, mylar pumpkin wreaths and festive headbands.

ELBEE She forgot to mention the wig on Gus. Personally I think she took advantage of his age and inexperience. I refused to wear it which is probably why I got left home.     

20161027_100846Everything was going well until someone from Telemundo, a huge Spanish language TV station that was covering the event, asked if anyone could speak Spanish. I can “habla” a little and I like practicing so I raised my hand. Next thing I know I’m in front of the camera for an on air interview. Then the camera man from another Spanish language station came over to ask a few questions.

At first it seemed like fun. Then I realized that being able to “habla” a bit is not the same as having it recorded for posterity. People would be able to pause their televisions because they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Some might even think it was a weird new sitcom.

Later that day the middle daughter was over to visit and confirmed my worst fears. When I told her about the interview, her response was, “You did what?” Then I told her about the second one and she gasped, “What were you thinking?”

20161105_084012CHARLEY  I hate to say it, but I’m on team daughter for this one. And yes, I wore the wig last year. I should be up for sainthood.


On the bright side, I didn’t get any hate mail from the Spanish speaking community. Hey, maybe I can extend my 15 minutes of fame. Dancing with the Stars has never wanted me but how about a telenovela?

THE DOODS Ay, Dios Mio!!