Feeling blue

We said goodbye to Portia on the 15th of August and to be honest, the rest of August has kind of been a long, washed out blur. I was so surprised the other day to realize it was nearly the end of the month. Didn’t I just start August? But saying goodbye to Pcakes has really hit us hard. I call this picture her Disney Princess shot – the eyelashes! the tail! so precious!


Letting her go was definitely the right decision, but it’s still pretty shitty. When we knew she was sick, and that it was serious, I prayed that the decisions I knew I would have to make would be clear and obvious. And they were. I’m quite grateful in that respect. It’s never easy to lose a pet, but it was completely obvious it was what was best for her.


For a large dog, she was surprisingly quiet and I wasn’t sure how that would translate to our household. She’s left a really big hole. While she wasn’t loud, she was always THERE and she had a big presence. Her personality really was larger than life!


She was a very HAPPY dog, although sometimes she got a little pissy at us for not giving her enough food. I always said, anyone who says dogs don’t or can’t smile must not have seen Portia’s face!


We’ll be missing her a long time for sure.


Pcakes update

Portia is doing SO MUCH better! While she is still in liver failure [and we go to the vet next saturday to determine the extent of that] she is almost back to her normal self this week! Stealing food and counter surfing, she is 100% percent better

I won’t lie – the fact that it may be the beginning of the end has been on my mind this week. but she’s such a cutie and I’m just so glad she is enjoying food and life again. Food is a HUGE part of her life. when she was off her kibble, I feared the worst. She LOVES to eat. If she couldn’t eat? that would be a big dent in her happiness.






Portia – coming to the end?

I adopted Portia from the animal rescue foundation in December of 2003. We’ve been besties since although we’ve had our rough patches. As a rescue, she had health problems and pretty much had potty accidents until she was 6. As you can imagine given her size, this was no small issue. Pun intended. I know more about a host of dog maladies I never thought I would have to know. All to keep this cutie happy and healthy.

She’s a sweetheart. For all she looks fierce, she LOVES people. Way more than I do, that’s for sure.

She seemed under the weather this week so I took her to the vet. She ended up needing to stay two nights and so far, the early diagnosis is age onset liver disease. We’ll know more in two weeks when we go for follow up tests.

Here she is at the vet during one of my visits. You wish you looked this good when you’re in the hospital.

Like I said, she’s a sweetheart and I’m not sure how I’ll handle her going to that big kennel in the sky. Maybe we’re not there yet. But she IS 12, so if it isn’t now, it will be soon.

It may sound cheesy but she’s taught me a lot and I’ve grown as a person having her around! She’s definitely the better ‘person’ in our relationship. She wears her heart on her paw and gets what she wants!

So, I’ll be waiting to hear what her numbers tell the vet in two weeks but I can’t help but feel like all I want to do is stay at home and hang out with her now.

If you invite me somewhere and I say no, I want to hang with Portia, I’m serious. Unless you have somewhere to go that takes 70 lb dogs.


Letters from the Dogs

So, my sister and I are still very much like children. We sometimes have the combined mental capacity of 10 year olds. We amuse ourselves more than any one else with our antics.

One of the things we like to do when one of us is away, is write each other Letters From the Dogs. We have three dogs and tend to miss the little rats when we’re gone. Since we’re generally not on vacation with each other, one of us is still at home on dog duty while the other is away. Let’s see if you can match the dog to their letters. 😉


L. Beans

IMG_0072IMG_1357 from top to bottom: Lola, Rocky, Portia

Letters from when Jennifer was gone about 3 days:

Dearest Mother,
Your absence is like a burr in my fur; Obscured to others eyes, but quite noticeable to myself.
I am eating fine now, I thank you for your concerns.
There has been much riff raff in the neighborhood, but I remain ever diligent in reporting any shenanigans I see.
Fresh poultry was served as a snack yesterday. it was very tasty.
Dinner tonight was quite bountiful as we received two servings. I am sure you had something to do with it.
The manservant, Mark, came today to take the dogs for their sojourn. I do not know why he insists I accompany them, but he is quite adamant that I do.
Warmest Regards,

Mummy Jennifer,
Park is fun. I like to sit in the shade. WE got TWO helpings for dinner tonight, TWO. I didn’t even need to beg pork off G-ma afterward. Just went outside and lay in the shady spot by the lilac bush.  Good times.
We got chicken yesterday. I was just sitting there and it started flying. I ate the skin and the dark meet and other bits mummy margarita didn’t want. then she threw the rest out. Crazy! Who does that?

We gots TWO DINNERS tonight!
Perhaps you have noticed how shinies my coat is? it’s cuz we gets fish oil in our food now. Makes me silky smooth. I like it.
And we got chicken too.
I’m a little bit sleepies right now, so I better go have my late evening nap.

Letters from when Jennifer was gone for the whole month of August
Dearest Mother
Mother Margarita slept in your room the other night. I don’t know why she thought she had the right, but there you have it. She found the quilt somewhat bothersome and took it off and put it on the dresser. She just made that change like she owned the place. It was most distressing. I have not been spending full nights in our room, but quite often take myself downstairs for a little while, enjoying the silence.
There is much afoot in the neighborhood today. Much. I have been working hard at barking and alerting the women folk. Grandmother shared a piece of chicken with us for dinner. Mother Margarita informs me it is five more sleeps until you come home. I look forward to your return.
Warmest Regards,

Mummy Jennifer
I like flowers. I was sniffing the red lillies outside and now I have orange and red pollen all over my face. It’s pretty funny. I helped out with bbq-ing tonight, staying by the grill and making sure all was good. am sacked out right now by the fireplace on the cool tile. Life is pretty good.

My mummsies says I knows you and you used to live here and that you’ll be back real soon. She says we knows each other real good. Maybes you lived in the other bedroom? the one we slept in on friday? that’s where Rocky sleeps. Sometimes I go in that room and I cry a little bit but I don’t know why.

When Jennifer was away in Hawaii
Dear mumsies
It has been very chillies. I hope it is warmer in hawaii this year than it was when I went. It has been a good sissmas bacation. Mumsies has been at home a lot. but when she leaves I miss her extra much and I sometimes go back to the door she came in from to see if she remembered to bring yous homes. we gets lots of treats because rocky is barking outside a lot. Today mumsies friend Auntie Donna came over and I sat her in lap and she petted me lots.  we get up at 6 every morning. It’s great.

Mummy Jennifers
I like the nightlights last night. I didn’t get confused. I like auntie donna. we get lots of treats. today, I wanted to pull the blanket but that little one was sleeping on it so I dragged her across the floor. funny.

Mother dearest
I sleep in our room most of the time but sometimes venture out. There is much trickery afoot in the neighborhood. I hear sounds. I bark. Mother Margarita is extremely unhelpful, coaxing me inside with treats. I refuse to abandon my post without one. I go out regularly however and patrol. I will ferret out the usurpers and bring them to swift justice.
Mother Margarita’s ‘friend’ Donna was by. She is loud. I do not like her. I barked at her. I circled her the whole time so that she knew I was there and was on to her. I barked when she laughed or spoke to loud. Finally, as she left, I barked her out the door. I was tricked into the laundry room by Mother Margarita at the last moment and missed the actual gloriousness of her being herded out the front door, but I imagine it was a wondrous site. She’ll not be coming back soon, I don’t think. I retire to bed around ten so that I may be up at 6 when the women awake and start my rounds early. It’s been long and laborious without you but I sally forth.
I remain your humble guardian.


Oh, the shame!

So, Jenge and I decided to hire a dog walker. She will come twice a week and suit up all three dogs for a half hour walk.

Yesterday was her first day.

My mum emailed me when the dog walker came to get them, and then again, half an hour later when she returned.

Someone got a bad report card.

Was it Portia? Known for trolling for garbage and trying to chase rabbits?


Was it Rocky? Who barks non stop for the first 20 minutes of a walk? and also likes to chase large trucks?


Nay, the dog walker said that it was Lola. Lola!

LolaThe Dog walker wrote that she was “Ill Behaved” and that her behavior would be “unacceptable” in a large dog.


So guess who has to have special training lessons now.

I’m so embarrassed! Lola!


An Excerpt from the Diary of Lola

L. Beans

L. Beans

Dear Diary,

Rocky still doesn’t want to talk to me. Every morning, as soon as I’m out of my box, I run to him and try to snuggle in his fur, but he barks at me and runs away. I’m starting to wonder if he’s not just playing hard to get. Nah!

Portia is very bitchy grumpy lately. When I do my happy-skippy dance in front of her and try to nuzzle her, she has been growling at me. The mummies say I need to leave her alone at this time, but I maintain, this is the time I need to DOUBLE MY EFFORTS. So I dance more, add in some nibbles on her fur, and even wag my tail in her face. when she growls, I just look over my shoulder at her, show her my butt, and bat my eyes. I just KNOW I’m making progress.

Lately, I’ve taken to having dinner in my crate quarters. Although I’ve been rather off the puppy food lately. this morning, mummy Margarita gave me big dog food and it was SO MUCH BETTER than my stupid puppy food.

I got to sit next to mummy this morning and chew my bone, and when I dropped it, she picked it up for me. FIVE times. she must like it as much as I do.

Mummy Jennfur let me go Off Leash yesterday and I got run and play with another dog named Sophie. I had fun.

Mummy set up a twitter account for us. She said she would post it on her blog. We are all allowed to tweet no matter what Rocky says.

Love Lola


The Way Things Are – A post by Portia

P. Cakes

P. Cakes

There’s been a lot of bitching and whining talk about how I get my mummy up early in the morning, and I’m here to set the record straight. When I was a puppy, I would stand in front of the door when mummy would try to go to work. And she would sigh and say:

If mummy doesn’t go to work, there is no kibble and portiacakes goes hungry.
If mummy doesn’t go to work, there is no heat and portiacakes goes cold.
We don’t want portiacakes to go hungry or cold, do we?

Hell no! we don‘t want Portiacakes going hungry or cold!

Lately, my mummy is very tired and I’m worried she will not wake up in time for work. So I do my best to get her up and at ’em. The fact that she feeds me kibble has NOTHING to do with it!


An Excerpt from the Diary of Lola



June 23, 2009

Dear Diary – This morning Portia and I woke mummy up at 5.30. I know she loves getting up early as much as we do! she put us out and then she stretched out on the couch, like she usually does and when I came back inside, after my potty, she left me sleep under the blanket. It was nice. I know she loves me.

Portia almost stole my kibble again this morning but mummy saved it for me. I know Portia loves me.

BUT I was put in the box AGAIN today when the mummies went to work, and although it is big enough for Portia and would fit 10 of me comfortably, I don’t know HOW MANY TIMES I WILL HAVE TO TELL THE MUMMIES I DON’T WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE. I cried for Grandma, but she must not have heard me. I will try again louder tomorrow.

I’m super exicted to be going to work on Thursday. I work very hard keeping mummy’s lap warm while she is at the office. Portia is going to get her nails done and then play with the big dogz at day care, so mummy said I could go to work with her. I asked Rocky if he wanted to go too but he said

“Shut up and leave me alone.”

He’s a bit of a grouch in the mornings. And the afternoons. And sometimes the evenings. But I know he loves me.

and then I got to sit with Grandma. She says I look like I was built by committee and she doesn’t know why my back end is higher than my front.  I know she loves me.

And I’ve got big plans for tonight. I have supper time and then potty time and then a nap, and then play time with Portia and then another nap and then more play time and then I will chew on my shoe, and then it will be bedtime. Sometimes mummy reads in bed and lets me sleep on the bed until she is done. One of these days, she will forget to put me in the box for night time. But she says she’s still mad about me pooping in the closet, so probably not tonight.

Love Lola


Buckets of crazy

Oh. My. God. It’s buckets of crazy here. Portia has decided she cannot stand downstairs. Downstairs is EVIL and BAD THINGS happen. and she MUST be upstairs. Even if she has no where to go but the hallway. The problem is, we put a baby gate up for Lola, so that she can’t go upstairs unattended [as she is still working on her housebreaking]. Portia finds this unacceptable and will paw at the baby gate. And eye the slats in the staircase, as if pondering if she will fit [she won’t. She’s a 60 pound malamute and the slats are 4 inches wide]. And then Portia starts to press her paw against the baby gate, testing how tightly we’ve put it in. This makes Rocky crazy and he’s taken to jumping up on my lap and trying to press himself into me. The worst was this morning when Portia was going through her routine when Rocky jumped up, TURNED HIS BACK TO HER and pressed against me. As if to say I CAN’T EVEN LOOK AT HER WHILE SHE DOES THAT. All the while, Lola is rolling around on the ground, chewing a running shoe. Until she decides that she wants to be in my lap as well.
Buckets of crazy. We’re all stocked up here.


Oh, Portia!

Portia. She just can’t help herself. I always tell her she’s lucky she’s so good looking because she’s bad. Super bad. Bad squared.
Yesterday she counter surfed and got grapes and whole wheat wraps. Jenge and I thought nothing of it, but then this morning, here’s what happened.

[scene- Gita’s bedroom. It’s dark. Early morning. Before 6. Lola is already harumphing and sighing in her crate. Gita rolls over]
Gita: Quiet. It’s bedtime.
[this does not deter the puppy who harumphs and baby-growls]
Gita: Lola! Quiet!
[down the hall, there is a thump. A bump. Mummy Jennifer has awoken. Gita listens. Perhaps she will come get Lola and Gita can pretend to still be asleep. Then, a door flies open! The hall light flares to life!]
Jenge: That’s it! Portia! No more sleeping in my room! EVER!
[Dogs come flying out of Jenge’s room. Jenge comes and gets Lola, Gita sits up]
Gita: what happened?
Jenge: She puked. and not just a little, a lot. Right on my bedskirt.
Gita [thinking that she should get up]: Oh…….
[Jenge storms downstairs, tosses the girls out to potty, dispenses food. Gita comes downstairs. Portia is not eating! Jenge and Gita stare at her]
J: I don’t feel bad for her. I don’t. She did it to herself. Yeah, I bet you feel sick Portia.
[Portia picks at her food and forces it down. She drinks two bowls of water until Gita steps in]
G: Too much water, Portia.
[Portia looks up, guiltily]

[Flash forward to early morning, Gita and Jenge on phone]
J: so it turns out, grapes are toxic to dogs.
G: oh, great.
J: I called the vet, and I’m gonna go home at lunch and check in on her.
G: Call me if she is sick, I can come home from work.
J: Kay.

[afterschool, on the phone]
J: so the vet said she’d probably be fine, but the house smells funny. I can take her in. They have an opening at 6.
G: Oh, Portia.
J: I guess that grapes can cause renal failure in dogs. how much would you say we had?
G: I dunno. 1, maybe 2 pounds?
J: 2 pounds is the toxic amount for portia’s weight class.
G: Maybe I should come home.
J: Go to bootcamp, I’ll take her to the vet and let you know.

[after bootcamp, on the phone]
J: So she’s dehydrated, and they wanted to admit her but I said no. We’re waiting for blood work.
G: How’s she look?
J: I mean, she looks okay, but she’s depressed.
G: She’s been depressed for a while.
J: Yeah, I’ll call you back.

[later, Jenge comes home with Portia]
J: so they watned to keep her over night, but that’s 500 bux a night. I said, listen, you don’t know how much this dog has eaten. You don’t know what we’ve pulled out of poop and 99 times out of 100, she’s fine. We’ve had moles checked for cancer on her face, we’ve had an entire work up done on her bladder. We’ve gone for tests, etc. And she’s always fine. I’ll take her home.
G: I agree, I’m pretty sure she’ll be okay.
J: Her kidneys looked good, although her liver had some high numbers. [shrug] we’ll see.
[they both eye Portia who clearly does not want to talk about her trip to the vet
J: I mean, she was so nervous at the vet, I couldn’t leave her there.
G: No, you did the right thing.
[Portia jumps up on counter. Jenge and Gita stare at each other incredulously]
J and G: She’s fine!