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Holiday Dog Date

We haven’t yet begun decorating our house for the holidays. But last Saturday, Scooby and I went on a tree-decorating date.

small dog with christmas tree

We didn’t tell Luke the date was with his sweetheart, former foster dog Minnie.

He doesn’t like it when others move in on his girl.

husky mix near christmas tree

She still loves belly rubs.

Minnie was happy to see her old friend Scooby, even though he leaked on the rug within five minutes of arriving.

He didn’t seem as embarrassed as I did 10 minutes later when I knocked over a wine glass. (For the record, it was my first glass of the evening.)

miniature pinscher under a blanket

Can’t promise it won’t happen again.

Lucky for us both, Minnie and her mama Holly are laid back, easygoing folks. They had recently entertained another canine houseguest – Minnie’s new cousin dog, a one-eyed Great Dane puppy named Baby.

I had a great time helping Holly decide where to put all of the pretty birds and other creature ornaments she bought for her tree.

christmas ornaments

In the end, the tree looked great, especially with the dogs in front of it.

dogs in front of xmas tree

What kind of holiday preparations happen at your house?

dog christmas meme

Do not actually give a dog egg nog.

I’m taking part in BlogHer’s December 2012 NaBloPoMo blogging challenge!

NaBloPoMo December 2012


From small dog playgroup to a pack of pitties

Jessica and her sister Amy.

My friend Jessica and I met through our min pins.

Several years ago, we both replied to a Craigslist ad from a gal who wanted help socializing her new Chihuahua (a rough-looking fellow who had been living the wayward life under a dumpster).

Jessica and I both made it to the second small dog playgroup gathering — she with two red miniature pinschers named Nic and Andy, and I with my black-and-tan elderpin Scooby. Jessica and I have been friends ever since, dog sitting for one another and trading perspectives on animals, men, good food, cheap living and what to do when you find a wayward dog on the way to work.

Jessica is the first person I ever met who fostered dogs. She is a proud mama to a beautiful baby boy now, but she still has a pack of furbabies.

The newest canine addition to Jessica’s household is Julie, a gray pit bull she and her husband rescued from a local shelter. Julie is petite, athletic, a little bit shy and fantastic with the baby. She was a well-behaved and well-dressed addition last Saturday to KC Pittie Pack and Friends, the new way Jessica and I have to help socialize our pets.

After a hike with the KC Pittie Pack through the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, I gave Jessica a belated Christmas present:

Of course, the gift was a hand-painted piece of doggy art by Magnet Lady Kathleen Henn. Jessica’s sister Amy took the photo of Julie.

To order a magnet featuring your pet, e-mail

To be part of KC Pittie Pack and Friends, “like” the community page on Facebook or e-mail Our next excursion will be a walk around Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri.

Five reasons to adopt a pint-sized elderdog like Scooby

A certain black juvy-bull gets a lot of attention on this blog, because he’s looking for a permanent family. However, in light of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, this post is devoted to the other black dog in our house. That’s Scooby, of course, the main character of my first dog blog and the canine love of my life.

A black and tan miniature pinscher, Scooby is an elderpin of indeterminate antiquity. He was already a senior of “10 or 12” when he came into my life five years ago. My original wayward dog, he’d been running loose for at least an hour outside of my apartment building, before I took him over from a neighbor who’d caught him. A few days later, his actual owner practically begged me to just keep him.

At 12 pounds, Scooby was obese. He peed on everything, and his teeth were literally rotting in his head. But with a whole lot of patience and TLC, Scooby has turned into one amazing dog who looks great in doggy clothes. Because of him, I am certain that if I am ever in the position of actually seeking out a dog — as opposed to compulsively taking on whatever ragamuffin follows me home — I will choose a senior.

Older dogs are awesome for a lot of reasons, chief among which is their typically lower energy level.

Although as a yappy toy breed, Scooby maintains the capacity to bounce off the walls, he’s definitely waaaaay chill. Here are five other reasons he and little old dogs like him are awesome.

1. Few people can tell that he isn’t a puppy. Unless they get close enough to see the graying of his face, many people have no idea that Scooby is an elderdog. In fact, because he’s so small and lively, many people assume he’s a puppy. Nope, he’s just permanently puppy-sized.

2. He can keep up with the big dogs, but he doesn’t have to. Scooby will race the rest of the dogs to the door if he hears a knocking. If it’s the UPS man, he might even wiggle through the door, dart down the sidewalk and jump into the delivery truck. But little, old Scooby doesn’t require a walk every day. Usually, he’d prefer a nap on the back of the couch. But sometimes, he insists on joining the rest of the pack for a stroll. Fortunately, if he gets tired, he’s small enough to stuff in a Scooby sack. (Or the pocket of your bathrobe.)

2. He is a master snuggler. Scooby is a marathon sleeper and the best cuddler in the whole world. (Although Charlie Machete is a close second.) He prefers to be under the covers, curled in the crook of a knee. In the absence of a human partner, Minnie will do.

3. He’s wise and confident. Through countless years of life, Scooby has figured out a lot of things, like “floor vents are a great way to stay warm in winter” and “people like it when you clean up the food they accidentally drop.” Most importantly, Scooby understands that size doesn’t matter. As the little old man of the house, he bosses around the big dogs, especially Machete, even though they are all five to ten times bigger than he is. (This is a classic min pin characteristic.)

4. He’s amazingly resilient. Since he became mine, Scooby has adapted to live in at least five locations, involving various roommates and new animals. He has survived cat bites and the necessary extraction of 9 of his own teeth. Of course, I know Scooby won’t live forever, and he’s bound to get more fragile with age. He’s already hard of hearing. But little dogs can live for a long time, and I know it will take a lot before this little elderpin gives up on life and its endless opportunities for snacks and snuggles.

If this post has made you fall in love with the idea of a secondhand min pin, the Internet Miniature Pinscher Service is a great place to start looking. Min pins are also frequently available at local shelters.

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