Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Marley and Me

Marley is one of those dogs that one never forgets. He is the ultimate canine grump.
At first, I thought Marley hated me. He would stalk up to me, head lowered, eyes down, low pitched growl eminating from his throat.
Not knowing what to do, I petted him. The growling increased. I stopped scratching his chin thinking he didn't like it. I was rewarded by a series of demanding barks.

Then I realized that Marley's brain was wired in reverse order. He was growling to signal approval and contentment rather than aggression. His bark was to say, "Pet me more, Man!"

Now we are best buds. Sometimes, I even growl back.

Don't Tread on Me!

After a tough day at the Cemetery, Nekoe rests his hot belly on the cool bricks under the Eastern Market's Farmer's Shed.

Gavin -- The King of Cute

"I am the King of Cute!"
"There ain't NO Higher!"
"Other puppies got to call me SIRE!"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Curious Encounters with Critters

There are many curious critters in the Cemetery. BT is among my favorite. He is a Schipperke, a small Belgian breed that dates to the early 16th century. BT is blind in one eye. His human mother spends their walks giving him instructions. "Up BT!" she says he navigates the steps. "Other way BT!" she enjoins as his is about to fall into a hole. BT as a very large directional vocabularly.

Here is BT in all his glory barely restrainted in his mother's arms.
BT thinks this is his best side.
I like this photo.
While there are many pedigree dogs in the Cemetery. Mutts make up the majority of its canine population. Here is a particularly pretty girl, Calli, jumping off a mound.

The thing about dogs is that they really enjoy life to its fullest. They hold nothing back. Just look at Calli's face.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


"My name is Spike." "I am at my favorite paradise, Congressional Cemetery. Here I am working it."
"Hey! You! Why are you pointing that funny looking box at me?"
"My mother works hard to keep me fluffy, since my coat attracts dirt like a Swiffer."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Size is Does Not Matter in the Dog World

Whenever a pack of Corgis prowls the Cemetery, it quickly becomes clear that size is overrated. Working in tandem they quickly herd anything in their path, dog or human.
Here, your valiant photographer is stalked by an excellent specimen of the Corgi species.
Corgis possess a stare that is both intimidating and ferocious.
Now, the photographer is treated to a loud Corgi greeting.
Luckily, there was only one Corgi. Usually, they run in twos or larger packs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pooches Who Know Their Own Minds

There are several cemetery denizens of the human variety that dispute my contention that HIM (His Imperial Majesty, a.k.a. my dog Nekoe) is the most stubborn creature in the world.

Actually, many of us are often reduced to the level of fish wives as we scream invectives at our canine companions blissfully engaged in some behavior that is quite reasonable from a four-legged perspective. At least in the case of HIM, I can pick him up to make my point.

Here, Willie is engaged in scenting herself with some delicious odor that she really believes should grace the counters at Nordstrom’s.
As her "owner" looks on in horror, Willie gets the scent right where she wants it.
Look at the grin below as she rolls. What could be better?
"Ah, that was a lot of work, but now I can go home and spread the scent all over my house," she thinks contently.
By the way, size does matter. Willie's owner would be hard pressed to pick her up, since she is as big as a small Bernese mountain.
Stubbornness is often inversely proportional to size. The infamous BT, pictured above, in his "owner's" opinion gives HIM a run for his money. To begin with, BT is the most famous blind escape artist on Capitol Hill, having escaped from his yard and sightlessly navitaged the surrounding major thoroughfares. I am convinced he has build in radar.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

His Imperial Majesty

Most cemetery members think of themselves as dog "owners." If asked, I firmly believe that their furry companions might offer another opinion. This is especially true for those of us who live with canines who are of the Alpha variety.

I have always envied those “owners” whose dogs came when called, chased the ball or walked at their heels. My dog, Nekoe, a.k.a “His Imperial Majest” (HIM), pictured above, seems incapable of any of those wonderful traits.

While he looks like a stuffed animal, Nekoe’s personality resembles that of the bully who stole your lunch money in grade school. Don’t let the perfectly inflected play bow above fool you. This dog, the scion of Satan himself, is the most stubborn creature that walks the earth, either on two legs or four.

Here is the HIM unusually at rest on his favorite cemetery illegal perch defying all human attempts to remove him.Last Saturday, after several vain attempts to call my dog off the top of a tomb, I simply gave up, walking up to the cemetery gate out of sight. (Mind you, before leaving, I told him in a voice that resembled a fish wife to write when he found work.)

The two volunteers on gate check thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen. They kept giving updates on HIM’s position.

After 15 fruitless minutes, I walked out the cemetery gate to my car in frustration. I tried repeatedly opening the doors with the remote key, which gives off a district beep.

No reaction from HIM. Not even and ear flick. I got in and started the vehicle. HIM, doing a perfect imitation of a gargoyle, remained unconcerned.

At my wits end, I seriously considered driving off and leaving HIM to his own devices. Instead, I got out of the car, sat down out of view on the sidewalk by the fence, and waited…and waited.

Twenty minutes later, HIM, realizing his human had gone missing, ran to the gate. After all, humans, only so trainable, are hard to replace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jazz Visits Puppy Wonderland

Greetings are a big deal in canine society. In the cemetery, dogs and humans tend to walk in packs. When they encounter one another, there is much circling and butt sniffing. Some dogs even drop into a stalk position so they “can’t be seen.”

Here is one such story about a dog named Jazz.

"Here I am. Walking all alone. Just a small white dog adrift in the world. Where are all my friends? What is the good of a puppy country club if all the doggies stayed home?"

"Does this big white bully want to eat me? He should learn some manners and not stare!"
"Look here's my girlfriend Moses! You go girl! Jump on that rude dog's head!

I guess this might qualify as extreme dating in the doggie world.