Advertise Here

The Slice

Posts tagged: dogs

Just wondering

Have you ever, as a child or adult, had a dog named Lady?

While dog owners are at Hoopfest

Their pets just might get together and decide to run amok. “Hey, check it out — we're all service dogs.”

How many WSU families…

…have dogs traditionally associated with the University of Washington?

Area pooch on today

Baffled about the dog's puppydom nickname, but am hoping there's some benign explanation. Don't want to believe it's just INW-style casual racism, because I really like this dog and don't want to think her owners are dim bulbs.

This date in Slice history (1996)

Nikki Sauser was in the Kinko's on the South Hill when this guy came in and started making photocopies.

He hadn't been at it all that long before a loud car horn sounded from outside. The guy's face scrunched into an exasperated look and he scurried toward the door.

Sauser noticed that several people near the front windows were chuckling. Then she saw why.

Inside the guy's pickup truck was a big dog with a paw on the horn.

“You could see this was no accident,” said Sauser. “The dog knew what it was doing. And you knew from the way the guy acted that this wasn't the first time.”

Sauser got a kick out of the scene. But she said she hopes her dog, Eddie, doesn't learn that trick. “My life would never be the same.”

Bing and a German shepherd

Some people are scared of this breed, but I've always found them to be pretty reasonable. Don't try anything funny and there's usually no trouble.

I had an elderly neighbor whose shep would jump over the fence while his owner was away. But this dog always let me return him to his yard without incident.

Dog days of summer

When do you consider them to be upon us?

I always think of August. Can you believe that starts tomorrow?

Dogs riding in the backs of pickups

What do you think when you see that?

A) “How cute.” B) “Isn't that actually illegal in Washington?” C) “It's probably not all that safe but I know the dogs love it.” D) “The driver must not be especially familiar with the concept of sudden stops and the laws of physics.” E) “Freedom, freedom, freedom, blah, blah, blah.” F) “Last time I expressed reservations about that practice and noted the unenforced statute prohibiting it, the person to whom I was speaking got all up in arms about how there's no law saying kids can't ride back there. I didn't bother to mention that most children don't see a squirrel in the distance and bolt out of the truck while it's zipping down the road.” G) “I have been doing that with our dogs for years and nothing bad has ever happened.” H) “It's the spirit of the West.” I) “Don't really approve of that in city traffic. Out in the country, OK.” J) “Im sure those people really love their dogs. I hope they don't have to learn the hard way that there are big risks for the pets.” K) Other.

Get me rewrite!

Someone has been taking liberties with pet-control signage at Corbin Park on Spokane's North Side.


Photos courtesy of John Blanchette 

A dog and a mail carrier

We're used to the notion of dogs barking at mail carriers.

But this seemed ridiculous.

An occupied postal service van was parked on a South Hill street. And a dog that looked like a schnauzer stood in the adjacent yard barking at it.

Talk about holding a grudge. The mail carrier can't even get out of the vehicle before the dog starts in?

Eventually the dog put its front paws up on the white van and continued speaking out.

Sometimes, though, things aren't always as they appear. After a moment, the woman taking the dog for a walk came over and picked it up. It seemed she was going to have to haul it away from the van and the female mail carrier inside.

But no. This hadn't been canine hostility. It had been a greeting. Or maybe a request.

The woman held the dog up and leaned the front half of it in through the open passenger's side window. Maybe there was a cookie or dog biscuit presented. I couldn't see.

In any case, it was a reminder. There is barking and then there is barking. The two are quite different.

More on dogs fetching the morning paper

Here's some spill-over from a theme addressed in today's print column.

“Libby, our black Lab, has been faithfully bringing us our paper for eight years,” wrote Carol Bending. “She listens at the front door for the delivery car and the plop of the paper in the driveway. If she's slow to return, we know it's icy and her coat tells us if it's rainy or snowing. Then she drops it inside the front door for the young Lab in-training to carry it to the treat bowl where they both sit pretty for their reward. It's all about the food, you know.”

Then there was this from Cheri Knox.

“Our loyal Labrador, Maizey, knows that her job every morning is to retrieve the newspaper from our driveway. She always brings it to the front door and waits patiently, newspaper in mouth, for someone to open the door. From time to time, we have forgotten to let her back in, so she carries the newspaper to the back kitchen door and peers through the glass, newspaper in mouth, until someone notices. We have sometimes failed her, but she has never failed us.”

Release the hounds

The televised dog show in New York always reminds me of my close encounter with greyhounds.

About 20 years ago, I was down in Pullman spending time with a WSU vet student who commuted from the South Hill every day. This was for a story.

The school operated some sort of blood bank for greyhounds. And at one point during the day, the student I was following and one of her classmates walked a couple of the resident greyhounds over to a big fence-enclosed ball field/park nearby.

Once safely inside the fence, the two women unleashed the dogs. And the greyhounds took off with a speed that was utterly astounding.

One moment, they had been right next to us. And then, in the next, they were way, way over on the other side of the park. It was as if they had made the jump to warp 9.

It was thrilling to witness. And what made it even better was sharing in the unbridled joy the dogs seemed to experience when getting to do what comes naturally to them.

I knew that breed was fast. Everybody does. But until you see them move up close, it is impossible to appreciate how truly blazing their speed is.

Spokane, Saturday morning

Rode my bike up to the North Side for an 8 a.m. haircut.

Had I known how much fuzzy frost coated the streets, I might have reconsidered. But the ride went fine and I was glad to get the exercise.

Stopped at the Huck's beer sale on my way back up the hill and purchased a Boddington's Pub Ale. Don't know a thing about it, but the tall yellow can caught my eye.

Spoke with Mike the butcher about the Super Bowl (he hates both teams) and Scott the cashier about his guitar playing (sometimes the neighbors aren't wild about it).

But here's what I found myself wondering during my ride home.

Are people with dogs healthier?

Not because of the emotional connection and blood pressure-lowering implications of canine companionship. I'm thinking of the benefits of getting out and taking your dog for a walk.

If I'm any judge of expressions, some of the many dog walkers I saw this morning would not have ventured out if not for their responsibility as pet owners. And it just seems like, over time, all that daily activity has to add up to something good.

And, of course, the dogs like it.   

Can’t cite a study to back this up, but…

…I would estimate that this old picture of the “All Creatures Great and Small” cast reflects the dogs-to-humans ratio found in 5% of Spokane area households.

Lack of snow creates a few openings

For would-be sled dogs anyway.

This afternoon a skateboarder who looked like a youngish teen boy was being pulled at a surprisingly decent clip by two small dogs on long leashes. This was happening on Arthur, south of 29th.

The pets really seemed to be into it. And though they were the size of RV dogs, they didn't appear to be straining.

But they weren't the most disciplined team. When a bigger canine in a fenced yard barked at them as they went by, the two skateboarder-pulling pooches veered off to tell the yard dog a thing or two.

I was too far away to hear if the boy tried to recover the situation by yelling “Mush!” or whatever. But I suspect it wouldn't have done any good.   

Creative dog-breed name

“I told my vet my dog was a curbstone terrier (as opposed to setter) and found out later that was what had been entered in her file,” wrote Lynn Lowery. “Closest I could get was a beagle/basset/terrier mix. She had a big bark and looked like she shoulda been taller. After that, I started telling people she was a fuzzy-butted cookie hound and am still surprised/horrified at how many people think I'm serious.”

Maybe people think they heard it mentioned by the master of ceremonies at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

“The fuzzy-butted cookie hound is descended from a long line of kitchen-floor cleaners and dining table beggars. Originally bred in Germany as a ratter and herding animal, this dog today excels at watching nature shows from the couch and accepting belly rubs. Intensely loyal and good with children, the fuzzy is an ideal family companion. Here now is fuzzy-butted cookie hound No. 43, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.” 

Corgi owners are a pretty easy audience

At least that has been my experience.

And I have been using the same material on them for years.

Today, riding my bike home from work, I encountered a couple walking east on 40th Avenue with a pair of corgis.

I didn't have to think hard to know what to say: “Well, they're heading in the right direction if they're off to see the queen.”

Always gets a laugh. Today was no different.

But I couldn't help noticing that the dogs didn't think it was all that funny.

Here's Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on The Slice.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here