Frequent Flyer

Frequent Flyer

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

My New Year's Resolutions

  1. Love my human mom and dad unconditionally (duh).
  2. Perfect "sit" and "stay." (I'm out of practice.)
  3. Only beg when encouraged.
  4. Look loving and adorable, even when I'm feeling grouchy and mean.
  5. Only bark at strangers (not family members and friends).
  6. Act in a friendly (not rough) manner with smaller dogs.
  7. Stay in shape.
  8. Find doggie playmates (to ease boredom).
  9. Avoid staring at humans when they're eating (unless the smells are driving me crazy).
  10. Obey my mum (unless instinct kicks in).
Grace Sylvia Hall
December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


You're probably tired of hearing all about the blizzard that hit the DC area (where I live). While the news has dribbled down to boring reports on humans (two-legged uprighters) digging out their driveways, shoveling their walks, blah blah blah, we (and I speak for all snowbound canines) are still stuck. Why? After almost three days, the snow is higher than I am.

In all fairness to my human parents, they carved out running paths for me surrounding the house, so I wouldn't just do my business in the garage. But I need more than just some pathetic circular path. I need access to the front and back yard and the woods. I need room to do my rounds. 

Desperate and bored, I've begged my mum to shovel out the yards and the woods. But she's complaining of a sore back. My dad's no help. He's in bed with a cold. I'd do it myself, but they don't make canine-friendly snow shovels.

What's a doggie to do? 


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


OK. I may be a dog, but I do know something about Hannukah. That's because my human mum is Jewish (and reminds me, like, a million times a day, that the mum defines the kid's religion). No matter that I'm not her birth child and that my ancestors came from Yorkshire (and were, no doubt, raised in the Church of England). Who am I to squelch her insistence that I'm a Jewish Airedale?

I thought at least we'd get to celebrate Hannukah. (I had read up a little on the customs and figured I'd get eight doggie treats, one for each night.) But when the first night rolled around, my mum took no notice. The next night? Same thing. 

It's now the fifth night of Hannukah. So far, no sign of candles or extra doggie treats.

Oh well. At least there's Christmas next week!


Sunday, December 6, 2009


For almost half of my little life (I'll be six in March), I lived in England.

What fun!  I got to run on a heath and in a forest without a lead (that's the Brit word for "leash" in case you didn't know); bark at dogs who dared to walk near our cottage; ride in the back of my mum's Mini while she negotiated all those roundabouts and chase deer and rabbits.

How did I get to England? On an airplane, just like you humans. I'm now a card-carrying member of Virgin Atlantic's Frequent Paws club. My Aunt Abbey flew over with me, so we got to compare notes. But she died while we were over there, so I flew back to the U.S. all on my own. I miss Auntie Abbey. But, I don't think my mum will get me a puppy. She says I'm enough to handle.


My mom took this picture of me in a wheat field in the Midlands.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


It snowed today. The first snow of the season.

I love snow. Why? Because I can roll around in it, eat it and do my business on it (and the stuff stands out nicely against the white background).

Then, when I'm one smelly wet dog, my humans have to stop what they're doing and rub me dry, which feels great.

Of course, I don't have to drive in the stuff. So, let it snow! 


Monday, November 30, 2009


How well do you know your dog? 

Take my human mum. She thinks she can read my every mood, whim and need. "Time for tea, Gracie," she chirps at exactly 5PM. Then, when I gobble up all my food, she assumes I was hungry. Right? Not exactly. You see, like most dogs, I'm hungry all the time. All the time. I have no concept of "breakfast" time or "tea time" (the early evening meal British parent feed their kids, in case you didn't know).

I pretty much experience the world low to the ground via my nose. 

Try getting down on all fours and poking around your kitchen for an hour. Or, head outside and do the same. Tell me if it doesn't put you at an advantage. 
Drawing by Daphne Miller, 2009


Saturday, November 28, 2009


What's with you humans? First, you spend hours food shopping (in crowded stores surrounded by intense-looking people with screaming kids). Then you spend days cooking a meal for 30 (when there's only three of you, not including me). You then pile mountains of food onto your plates, stuff yourselves sick, and then what? Unless you have servants, you have to clean it all up. 

And you call that a holiday?  

Now, here it is the day after and everybody's sleeping. 


Friday, November 27, 2009


Good old dad. He (my human dad) took one look at that upturned BBQ and he laughed. Not just a little chuckle. A huge belly laugh. Then he picked up that half-cooked turkey with his bare hands, brushed it off and plopped it back on the grill. Disgusting! (Not for dogs, of course. I'd eat anything.)

"Gracie! Gracie!"  His voice had that put-on gentle tone he learned in obedience class. But I wasn't about to trust it or him.

So, I kept a safe distance behind my favorite tree and waited and waited and waited some more. Until I saw my mom. She was all bundled up in her rain coat and hat and holding my lead. 

"Grace! Let's walk!"

So, the day didn't end too badly. Dad even gave me a piece of turkey.

Humans are strange.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


While all you humans are pigging out on turkey and all the trimmings, what am I eating? Dried dog food. Same old boring dog food. 

Mom tells me she'll be taking me for a walk this afternoon (to "earn" the calories). But I'm not holding my breath. 
God. The smell of that BBQ turkey is driving me bonkers. Maybe, just maybe I'll grab a piece off the grill when nobody's looking. 

Oooops. Looks like I tipped over the grill.  Now I'm really in trouble. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2009


OK, all you humans out there.

I know most of you -- my human mother in this case -- don't like to walk in the rain. God forbid if she gets her hair wet. But what about me? I have fur -- well, two layers of hair, to be scientific about it -- so the rain just rolls off me like a, um, a um (I can't think of the animal, the one with the feathers.) I don't care about the rain. In fact, I love the rain.

You can't just push me out of the door for a ten-minute run around the yard. Yes. Yes. I always do "my business" (as you gently put it) while I'm out there. But I'm bored. Bored, bored, bored. Same old trees, same old squirrels. Same old smells.

I want a walk, a long walk in the rain.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Here I am in my favorite forest in England

My name is Grace and I'm a black and tan Airedale Terrier. I was born in St. Louis, the oldest of a litter of six. I weigh about 47 lbs.

My human mother named me after her favorite movie, "Saving Grace." Someone once told her that "Grace" was a posh name for a dog. But I'm not at all posh. True, I come from a line of show dogs. But, I lack both the discipline and focus for that life. I don't care. As my mom reminds me whenever I'm acting a bit insecure, "We can't all be show dogs. It's what's inside that counts."

Grace Sylvia Hall