Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lots of errands

This week, Madison has been assistant chauffeur, as H-Mom has been driving here and there more than usual for the past few days.

This makes for some interesting quick walks around the parking lots of strip malls, through the car wash and into the bank, among other places. Madison is a willing co-pilot, happy to drink from her bottle of water, and hang her head out the window with the seats folded down and her pink and orange Mexican blanket spread across back of the roomy Explorer.

We have spotted a few interesting things, like this white egret standing on a yellow retention barrier in a murky canal along the highway, poking through the litter floating in the shallow water.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blue Belle

Madison with

Viviane Case-Fox, "Zero Degree Celsius," Mixed Media, 48" x 44"

in honor of True Colours Blue Thursday

Madison's Love

SBB iso SBD: prefers really big guy who can handle a wild wrestle with patience. Outdoorsy type, tolerant of small animals, with a fondness for chicken and rice poppers and not easily upset by a girl with willful, bossy tendencies. Will be wildly impressed with social skills, and if he can swim, WOW ... it's a deal.

Madison likes Nick. When he jumps out of his car at the dog park, she always runs right to the fence to greet him.

In Madison's eyes, Nick rocks. He is a big one-year old Rottweiler, with long legs and the attitude of a high school football jock. H-mom has given his dad a new nickname: Coach.

Nick loves to wrestle, will run in circles with her, either chasing or being chased, and doesn't seem to mind too much when she yaps in his ear. They start in the "mud pit" with a wrestle, take off for a chase, and then end up in the "mud pit" for a breather.

At first H-mom was worried that Madison was harassing great big, lumbering Nick, being an obnoxious giant puppy, but he keeps coming back for more, and they really seem to have fun with each other.

He is certainly large enough to put her in her place and not "take it any more." Nick is a gentle soul, a sweetheart, a push-over.

Actually, we think Nick likes Madison, too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Goober Spotting

Guess who was at the dog park this morning?

Four more days and Goober and his mom will be moved into their new place together.

They are both counting the days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Star on the River

Today was boat watching duty. Madison likes to stand at attention along the river and supervise the coming and going of the mega-yachts, the water taxis and the fishing boats, both huge and modest.

Right in front of our building today, there is the most intriguing boat.

Fort Lauderdale is one of the legs on the journey of the Southern Star, a 75-foot aluminum sloop on a scientific expedition around North America to raise awareness about global warming. The boat is very different from the usual sailboats and motor yachts on the New River. The Southern Star looks like a science boat, serious in every way. Her 12-month expedition is taking her through 9 seas, 9 countries, 18,000 nautical miles and 21 carefully planned legs. Read the short entry in the logbook for today and look at the photo the crew has posted - this is right where Madison is "yacht spotter."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Little buddy

Madison had an overnight guest last night. It was very strange. This little 8-pounder belongs to Man-Dad's teenager, and she is moving to Fort Lauderdale. They got in last night, so the little dude, named "Goober," got to spend the night sleeping on the sofa with his mommy.

She is staying for a week while she waits for her apartment to be ready.

Little Goober is staying over at "Emily's Playhouse," which is the home of one our dogpark friends who dogsits.

See, Goober has a couple issues ... he lifts his leg in the house and poops on a puppy pad, and H-Mom is being kind of crabby and says that his bad habits could make Madison start "using it" in the condo too. H-Mom worked really hard to housebreak Madison so that she is PERFECT in the house, and deals very gracefully with being on the 19th floor. And she has visions of Madison grabbing a soiled puppy pad and racing around the condo with it. Remember, Madison has a very un-princess-like affinity for STINKY things.

Goober is also a bit of a barker and very protective of his mommy. He likes to sit on her lap and growl. That makes Madison bark and bark ... not good in a condo either. Man-dad said that he doesn't need security knocking on the door with a list of complaints about the "dog party" going on next door.

This little guy has all his "EQUIPMENT" too, whatever that means. Sometimes he plays kind of weird, like jumping on and not letting go. H-Mom is going to try to help the teen-human get this FIXED by going to the low cost spay/neuter program at the Humane Society.

Anyway, Madison and Goober played in the living room for awhile before bed. Madison was pretty gentle, but she is a large, overwhelming 55 pound puppy, and even though Goober held his own, H-Mom said that Madison was too much for him. She didn't want things to "escalate." (Imagine broken lamps, chewed leather sofas and the large screen tv on the floor ...)

Goober also learned the sound of the treat jar really quickly. In about 20 seconds, actually. See him begging for a snack from Man-Dad? Madison is actually looking right AT the treat jar, and thinking that she will be able to reach it all by herself in another month. HA! try that Goober!

Anyway, he'll be around. His mommy can visit him at "Emily's Playhouse," and he is going to be at the dog park every morning. For now, Madison will be sleeping quietly and not roughhousing or being inappropriate in the condo.

Then in a week, he'll be living right down the hall. Maybe they can plan some play dates. How cool is that?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

stinky things and fluffly things

Madison found more than the usual wonderful things at the dog park this morning.

Among her favorite discoveries are what has become known as "Madison's stinky thing," and she finds one of them almost every morning. It is the grimiest, most chewed up, ripped and destroyed toy imaginable, something that has been abandoned by its owner and completely offensive to every other dog at the park.

This is fairly surprising for a diva-dog, but indicative of her multi-faceted personality. This princess can really get down and get dirty.

This morning, she found a macerated plastic and fabric frisbee. At least that's what H-Mom thinks it was. This inspired an hour of chase, run, prance and show-off.

After all that dirt, H-Mom takes Madison to the dog lake for a 10 minute dip before getting in the car. Madison loves the water, and she splashes, runs and almost swims.

This morning, there was a group of people already by the lake, unusual for a Saturday morning. They were sitting calmly, with a couple very friendly black labs circling, and a male and female Australian Shephard.

And a litter of 9-week-old Aussie furballs.

H-Mom says its nice to be in love on Valentine's Day, and it's nice to fall in love on Valentine's Day. Well, H-Mom loves Madison, and she fell in love with these little balls of fluff. They were little inquisitive, kissing, bundles of cuteness. This is our friend, a local dog trainer, and the new mom of the little merle girl sitting on her lap.

It was fun to pet rolley puppies in the morning, but H-Mom knows we already have enough "dog per square foot" in our condo.

Happy Valentine's Day! MUAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Working Dog in Training

Yesterday evening, Madison graduated from Puppy School. She was exceptionally well-behaved, and didn't even bark during class or sass the teacher.

She followed instructions and did a bit of creative thinking.

For example, when commanded to "Sit. Stay." she posed a perfect SIT for a minute and then just laid down.

Which meant, "of course, whatever you request. I will just PARK it until you tell me otherwise."

This was received with great praise by the teacher. She said that Madison was demonstrating complete acceptance of direction by the "leader." She said that Madison was thinking: "Fine, if you tell me to STAY, I might as well LAY DOWN because I might just be here for awhile."

(Madison was actually thinking: WHATEVER.)

And then at the end of the class, the teacher, said, "Madison, we have all watched you grow up over the last six weeks."

H-Mom was very proud. But also kind of put-off. I mean, really. Was the teacher IMPLYING that Madison had been especially badly behaved? Or just particularly diva-like in attitude?

Well, six weeks of class was over and, once home, Madison headed for her favorite place and put it in "park." Whatever.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FIRE! Evacuate!

So we had a very exciting Sunday morning.

Man-dad and H-mom decided to go out for breakfast on the motorcycle, which was fine because Madison had already enjoyed a two-hour romp and swim at the dog park. Her usual X-treme Bitey Face and Zoomie-racing had her tired out, and she was more than content to konk out next to the teen-human's bed.

Teen-humans, and especially OUR teen-human, don't usually rise before 1 or so on a sleepy Sunday. And Madison was all in for a companionable sleepy Sunday.

At about 10:30 am, though, there was a terrible noise. Sirens started ringing through the building, down the hallway. And an awful blonking warning buzzer was going off in our condo.

The teen-human rolled over. Annoyed. This has happened before, and it usually stops, with no action needed. Certainly no getting-out-of-bed-on-Sunday-morning kind of action.

After about 15 minutes, the fish in the dining room starting making stern statements:

"All residents, exit the building. This is not a drill. All residents, exit the building immediately."

This was very strange coming from Man-dad's dolphin. Madison was confused.

(See the intercom speaker conveniently hidden behind the giant blue trophy?)

The teen-human got out of bed, pulled on some sweats, hooked on Madison's leash and pulled her into the hallway.

Now the hallway is very long, and we live on the 19th floor. The fire doors were closed, the emergency lights flashing, and the sirens blaring. It was all quite frightening, actually.

Everyone knows that in an exit emergency, you follow the EXIT signs and head down the stairs.

Well, Madison is an elevator girl. The emergency stairs are down the hallway, in a direction that we don't usually take, through two frightening and heavy fire-proof doors, and into an industrial stairwell. They are made out of metal, and the noise from all the people stomping down them was terrible. They vibrate and feel particularly strange.

Madison tucked her little tail stub in and tried to crawl into the corner.

Then Madison dug her paws in and refused to move.

The teen-human tried to pick her up, but Madison weighs about 55 pounds now, and the teen-human is only a little more than twice that. So the teen-human coaxed Madison, stair by stair by stair, down 1/2 a flight, and then another 1/2 a flight. Then down the next 1/2 flight. Imagine the noise and the flashing lights.

Teen-human managed to get Madison safely to the 11th floor -- down 8 flights of red metal stairs, with lights flashing and sirens blaring - when suddenly there was calm.

The lights stopped. The noise ceased. Announcements were finished.

The fire emergency evaporated.

So the teen-human exited the stairwell on the 11th floor, rode the elevator with Madison back UP to 19, and got back in bed.

We have a few observations:

1) Teen-human didn't even HESITATE to take Madison with in the escape from the building.

2) Search and Rescue dogs brave enough to do high-rise disaster work (and our little emergency was nothing on the scale of FRIGHTENING) are incredible, brave and astounding animals. We can't even begin to imagine their nerves of steel and resolve to work in crises. It makes H-Mom all teary, just because that is how she is.

3) It is very strange to have announcements coming from the dolphin.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Madison received an e-mail

Dear Madison,
I've had a hellava three days. Some idiot blew up the beach and put a real scare into me. I went to ground. Only yesterday, I ventured out of my hidey-hole and met up with a couple of black lab pups who I like to romp with. Their humans were about to take me back home when my mom (who was doing her 4x a day ritual drive through the neighborhood) happened upon us all. We had a great reunion in the middle of the street. The humans were hugging. I was hugging. The Labs were hugging. We were all pretty excited that I had been found.
I saw your pics. You and I are dead ringers for each other. I hope we can get together one day and share stories.
Thanks for thinking of me. Your mom and dad were pretty great to post info about my ordeal on their blog. Tell them to just hold tight to your leash. Big sounds are sudden and scary. No telling what you might do in the same situation.
As for me, I'm just glad I'm home. I keep kissing my mom and dad and telling them so.
Your brother,
George (as in Gorgeous George)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Madison Hilton

We don't want to unwittingly encourage "Paris Hilton" behavior ... but sometimes it's just difficult to get past the mirror in the elevator lobby.

Man-dad helped us take some good photos yesterday afternoon. Before Madison got a marrow bone to make her beard and front legs all gnarly. And before the 1-1/2 hours at the dog park this morning, where she participates in X-treme Bitey Face with her Boy-FF Nick (the "football jock" rottie) and bark-and-yip with #1 BFF Kaylee the diva be-atch Irish Setter, and before the good swim at the chilly dog lake.


Best email of the morning:

George has returned home.
Don't know where he has been. Suspect he was hunkered down in the neighborhood. He was not ragged or matted. Who knows?

P.S. Thank you everyone for forwarding, reposting and just for CARING. We are all so relieved that her brother is home. This happened on Thursday around midnight, so we were wrong ... he was gone for way too long!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

LOST DOG! Help however you can!

This is Madison, who looks just like her missing brother, George


We are so distressed. Madison's brother, George, was lost yesterday. He was walking on-leash, the neighbor boy set off fireworks and George BOLTED ... he is now wandering with his leash and has been missing almost 24 hours. We are afraid that he is hung up on something with his leash and can't wander to get help. Please forward this to anyone you know who is in the area.


George is an 75 pound, 7 month old, black GIANT SCHNAUZER. He is not microchipped. His humans are distraught.

You can email his breeder if you have information:

it's show time

We were taking photos of Madison and a HUGE yacht went past on the New River. The yacht is called "SHOW TIME" and it is registered in San Diego CA.

Could it be an OMEN?

Is she dreaming? Is it possible? Is she seeing stars?

Friday, February 6, 2009

honestly daaaaarling

That handsome hunk of a giant white dog, Biggie Z - The NOTORIOUS D.O.G., CGC, has passed along an award, and Madison is smitten.

And we will get around to posting all the things that we have to post in order to accept this award, but first we have to be brutally honest, as is called for in the description of this award.

The rules:"When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she is real.

Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Weblog.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on! "

At 8:20 a.m. this is what Madison looked like (#1 honest thing):

She is mortified that we are posting this photo. She thinks that she looks like a drowned rat. Which is pretty close to the truth. It is only in the 50's here, but Madison thinks the LAKE feels great (#2 honest thing). Must be the hearty German girl in her (#3 honest thing).

The rest of the day, she has been primping (#4 honest thing).

At 8:30, she had an appointment at Continental Pets. For a bath, and a haircut with blowdry, and a pawdicure and an ear-fur trimming. When she arrived, they already had the warm water running and the beauty shampoo waiting (#5 honest thing).

Then we went shopping for accessories. Doggie bling. A jaguar print collar and leash were too perfect against her gorgeous black coat NOT to purchase. And the pink leather leash is perfect with her black martingale collar.

H-Mom had lots of errands to run, with very quick stops, and Madison went along for the chauffered experience, elegantly slipping her head out the cracked window at every stop, looking for papparazzi (#6 honest thing).

And then Madison had a few treats - sweet potato and duck - to boost her shine and add some gleam to her smile (#7 honest thing).

A quick walk and a dainty pee (#8 honest thing). Then a short moment to love her new toy. The balance of the day has been spent getting some beauty sleep (#9 honest thing).

She is serious about this Mango-minster thing (#10 honest thing).

Tomorrow is the photo shoot. We will stop over at her groomer to get a quick photo of her "people" too. They put a good two hours into preening the princess. And every princess needs PEOPLE.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

in my job description

H-Mom has been using that expression a lot lately, but as in: "it's not in my job description." That is the huge hazard of working in a small business. Often times things are not managed in a particularly business-like manner.

But that is HER frustration, not Madison's. The gallery is a wonderful place if you are a dog who prefers to be velcro-ed to your human. The cement floor is nice and cool. There is excitement and there are visitors, but not too much upheaval. The jar of treats is always on the desk, to reward self-control and good "greeting" behavior.

This week, Madison has a new duty. It is "gallery monitor." She has shifted her sleeping place from under the desk to next to the front door. This is rather disconcerting for H-Mom, who is worried that someone will open the door quickly and create a disaster. The street right outside is very busy. There are dogs promenading regularly and lots of tempting bags of food leftovers swinging from the hands of tourists. H-Mom keeps relocating Madison, but she is a stubborn pup and completely confident with her new responsibilities. This is going to take some stern reinforcing.

Right now, there is a sign on the door that says "OPEN." H-Mom is thinking about making a new sign. It will say:
Madison had another duty assigned this week.

H-Mom finally finished the teen-human's Christmas present. It's only February. She is a little bit sheepish, because she hasn't been working very hard on it, but you will remember that version #1 was mangled by Madison. And then H-Mom ran out of black chenille yarn and had to order a skein online, which took a week or so.

It is the 3-2-1 and you're done curlicue scarf from Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs.

So yesterday, Madison was recruited to be a MODEL as well.

Is this is her job description?

She was tolerant and didn't even try to taste-test the curly wool scarf.

She actually looked rather skeptical.

And tired.

And a bit disheveled still from the morning at the dog park.

Don't models get paid lots of money? Don't they get coiffed and shined and polished and adjusted?

Wouldn't someone have fixed that wayward hair above Madison's nose? And cleaned the dog park dust-tears from her eyes?

This is the scarf that H-Mom crocheted. It is in a heavy heather wool with blue and green flecks, with the final row of single crochet in black chenille. The scarf is long and actually weighs a lot. H-Mom thinks it's kind of silly (would be better in a very lightweight synthetic with a giant hook, to make it looser) but the teen-human is impressed. She may never wear it, but she is impressed.

Kisses, Sammy-Jo. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

cold Florida night

It is very chilly here. Downright cold. Madison is sleeping on the cement out on the balcony. She loves it.

Official reading: 53 degrees in Fort Lauderdale


Tomorrow morning will be in the low 40's. "Arctic plunge": 20's across the peninsula, 30's to the beach.

Watch out for falling iguanas. Bundle up. H-Mom has to find some SHOES. Sandals just aren't working!

musings on a giant schnauzer in a little MEDIUM LARGE package