Frequent Flyer

Frequent Flyer

Monday, December 27, 2010




Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How well do you know your dog? (Part 2)

My human mum used to think she knew me well. If I wagged my tail, she figured I was happy. When I twitched my ears, she believed I was paying close attention. If I tried to climb up on her lap (and, remember, I weigh 52 pounds), she thought I was pretending to be a lap dog.

Then she read Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. It was like a whole new world opened to her -- my world. Now she's watching me closely, trying to figure out the real me.

But, I'm still a mystery to her, just like she's a mystery to me.


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Monday, December 6, 2010


A correction from my last post:

Tigh is my nephew, not my cousin.  I guess that makes sense, since I'm older than he is. Does it? 
I won't know for sure until I get a good whiff of him.


Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Human Puppy

Big news!  My human brother, Peter, and his wife, Christine, had a human puppy this morning!  His name is Tigh Scott Hall, and he weighs a little more than five pounds. I thought it was odd they had only one puppy. But, then, humans are so strange, nothing surprises me. 

Anyway, if Peter is my human brother, I guess that makes Tigh my human cousin. Come to think of it, I've never had a human cousin.

I can hardly wait to meet him. I hope he'll want to play "sniff the tail" or "bite the ear."

I tried to upload a picture of Tigh (from Christine's FB page), but I couldn't figure out how to do it.



My human mum is sick.

How do I know?  First, off I can tell by the way she moves (not quickly like she usually does). I can tell by the way she smells. This morning, for example, she smelled of cough medicine, herbal tea and antibiotics. Last night, I caught a whiff of lemon, brandy, honey and cinnamon. Mom told me it was a "hot toddy," a British "cure" that Dad whipped up for her.

To her credit, she took me for a walk yesterday afternoon. But she was coughing so much, she forgot to give me any treats.

I hope she gets better soon. I want my healthy mum back.



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm in love! (I am?)

"Look, Gracie!" shouted my human mum. "They're here!" a big white van pulled into our driveway and parked.

On these occasions, instinct (not training) kicks in. I bolted out the door and barked and barked and barked.  Two humans and a huge white dog got out of the car.  I didn't give a rat's ass about the humans. (I picked up that expression from my dad.) All I saw and smelled was Bailey. Bailey is a drop-dead gorgeous Old English Sheepdog with huge eyes and a winning smile (only visible right after he's been trimmed).

I first met Bailey a year ago, when Liz started tutoring his human brother, Harrison. At first, we did the usual "sniff-the-tail, etc." routine humans expect of us. Sometimes we "played" (e.g., fought over my bone. Bailey usually won 'cause he's bigger.) But, most of the time we ignore each other, or so the humans surmise. 

Now Liz refers to Bailey as "Gracie's boyfriend."

What's a "boyfriend"?

Grace (confused as usual)

Bailey at home in Alexandria, Virginia

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aunt Abbey

I wasn't always the only Airedale in our house. For most of my life, I had Aunt Abbey for company.

When I was a little puppy, she showed me the best places in the woods to do our business.  She taught me how to look adorable, so Liz would give us treats. She was my role model for "sit, stay and heal."  We ate together, slept side by side, and flew in an airplane without our humans all the way to London.

Sometimes, we got into trouble, like the time we chased rabbits in England and upset Liz. (Dad told her it was "just instinct.") Abbey tried to teach me how to climb up on the kitchen counter and steal pork chops, sandwiches and whole loaves of bread. But, I was never as quick as she was. 

Abbey died while we were living in England. She was almost 14. Now, I don't have anyone to play with, except for my human mom and dad. I want a puppy!


Aunt Abbey (right) and me in Cornwall, UK

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Why do you groom your dog? Let me guess. You don't want your house to smell like a kennel. You don't want your dog to look "scruffy" ("woolly" is the one I hear). You think your dog is more "comfortable" with a neatly trimmed, clean coat.

Well, speaking for myself, I don't notice the difference. I don't care if I look like a lamb before the shearing season. I don't mind when my coat gets all knotty. Most important, I love smelling like a dog. It's who I am.

So, don't waste your money on high-cost groomers and herbal shampoos. Just be happy that your dog is healthy and friendly and doesn't attack the UPS delivery guy or gal.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pet Birds

Yesterday, I happened to follow my mum, Liz, up to the third floor. I follow her everywhere. I can't help myself. That's what dogs do.

While Liz was sorting out old clothes, I sniffed around. You'll never guess what I smelled -- not one, but two small cages. I knew they weren't for me (I weigh 50 lbs.) Not even my cousin Sadie Rose (she's a Miniature Schnauzer) would fit into those cages. Besides, the cages smelled like feathers.

"What are those cages for?" I asked.
"They're bird cages, Gracie," said Liz. "I used to have pet birds. That was before your time."
"Pet birds?" I was confused, as usual. I had never met a pet bird. A pet bird would make a great companion for me.
"I don't think so," said Liz, reading my mind. "I wouldn't trust you with a little bird."

I can't imagine what she's thinking.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fish & Chips

Anyone who has a dog knows that we crave human food. Speaking for myself, I'm bored with the same old dog food, day after day. OK, in all fairness to my human mum, Liz, she only gets me that top-of-the-line Biljack Select. But, let's face it, the stuff tastes like cardboard. (Sorry, Mum.) Of course, she tries to vary things a bit -- with our morning yoghurt, of course, carrots, apple cores, chicken scraps, etc.. But, like you humans, I need some slack, in the food department.

Now, Dad, on the other hand (my human dad), is a different story. When Mum isn't looking, he shovels all kinds of treats into my food bowl -- French fries, stir-fried beef and veggies, chunks of pork. Yummy!  I still dream of that weekend when Mum was out of town and Dad and I shared (and I mean shared) a meal of fish & chips.

This weekend Mum is visiting her family in New England, and Dad and I have the place to ourselves. I'm in food heaven. I'll save the details for another time.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yoga and Yoghurt

English is a strange language, at least for me. Take the words, "yoga," and "yoghurt." To my ears, they sound like the same word. So, when Liz tells me it's time for yoga, my mouth starts watering, my stomach growls and I can't stop wagging my tail.

But, instead of bouncing down the stairs, opening the refrigerator and grabbing my favorite morning snack, she sits down on a blue mat and gets into these stupid poses. 

 A half hour later, I'm still waiting for my yoghurt.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cat Alert

The other day my human mum posted a picture of a her "new friend" on her Facebook page. I figured it was just another dumb human. But I snuck a look. It was a cat! A cat!

Rather than sulk with my tale between my legs, I confronted her.
"What's that cat doing on your Facebook page?"
"That's Willy. He lives in Phillie."
"And he's your friend?" I couldn't believe it.
"Yeh. He's cute, for a cat."
"I thought you hated cats."
"I don't hate them. I just prefer dogs." She laughed and rubbed my neck. But I wasn't fooled. What if she adopted a cat to keep me from getting bored? What if she invited Willy to visit us?
Later I took another look at Willy's picture. I had to admit he looks pretty cool. But, I won't tell mum.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Road Trip

I've been wanting to write about my road trip to Warm Springs, Virginia for the last couple of weeks. But, my human mum has been hogging the computer 24-7. (No offense to hogs.) Anyway, she finally took a break, so here I am.

The occasion was her birthday. (I won't tell you which birthday, but she's not exactly in the full bloom of her youth.)

As soon as we hit the road, I fell asleep. I only woke when Mum nudged me so she could stretch and I could "do my business."  Frankly, the trip was boring. I didn't see or smell a single dog sticking out of a car. The only thing I smelled was gasoline fumes and rain.

Warm Springs was great. I got to bully the neighbors' little dogs. I chased a couple of squirrels, Mum and I explored the village. And, best of all, we all took a four-mile walk in a forest. (It ended up to be four miles because we got lost.)

Much to my embarrassment, Mum took this picture of me while I was "sleeping." I wasn't sleeping. I was just thinking with my eyes closed.


Monday, May 10, 2010

A Room of my Own

My mom took this picture of me
 when I was just a puppy. 
I admit it. I'm spoiled. I have my own room. Not just some small alcove off the kitchen or a pathetic dog house outside. I have a big bedroom, complete with a double bed, desk, huge closet and a reading lamp.

It didn't start out as my room. First it was Peter's room. (He's one of my human brothers.) But, then Peter got married and moved to Texas. So, my mom turned it into a guest room.

I figured, why waste it on the occasional guest when I live here all the time?

Now all I need is a TV and a laptop.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Forest Walk

Last weekend my mum took me for a walk along the bluebell trail in Nokesville, Virginia. Good thing her friend, Michele, and Michele's mummy, Inez, came with us. Without them, we would have gotten seriously lost and never found the bluebells. Mum has a terrible sense of direction. 

Just as I got into the smells and rhythm of the forest, we had to stop. Mum insisted we pose for a picture. Michele whipped out her camera and snapped away. I couldn't just stand there and pose, like some show dog. I felt restless, so I just kept moving. I just couldn't help myself. 

Anyway, here's a picture of Liz and me with the bluebells. 


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Have you ever taken a shower with your dog? Why would you?

My mum takes a shower with me once every two weeks! Why so often? Because I have a little skin condition. The vet sold her this rip-off shampoo and "suggested" I shower once a week. That's a bit much, even for Liz. So, we've settled for a bi-weekly routine.

Here's the scenario:  I know it's shower time, when I hear the word "shower." After ten minutes of chasing me 'round the house, she grabs me by my collar and drags me (yes, drags me) upstairs and into the bathroom. Then she pushes me into the tub. I then suffer the humiliation of being hosed down, shampooed, rubbed and rinsed while she sings to me.

I don't care if it helps my skin condition. I don't care if I smell like a dog. I hate showers.


Friday, March 26, 2010

My Weight Update

I hate to admit it, but my mummy's "boot camp" is working. After a week of afternoon speed walks, fewer treats (except from my human dad), and more romps 'round the surrounding woods, I'm back to my fighting weight and shape. 

So, does Mum loosen things up a bit and let me get back to pigging out and lying around all day? No way. "Your challenge is to keep the weight off and stay in shape so you can take care of me in my old age," she tells me. 

I know she's no "spring chicken," but to me, she's just a tall, young two-footer with no fur or tail.  

What would life be without a tail? 


Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm in trouble (again)

I've put on weight!  My mom (who works hard to stay at her "fighting weight") says I'm turning into a fat American dog. 

So, I'm now on a "diet" (fewer treats, less generous dog food portions) and more -- much more exercise. Yesterday we walked (very fast) for more than an hour. Every time I turn around, my mum pushes me outside. "Run around! Chase squirrels!," she orders. "Burn up some calories!"

I know my mum still loves me, even if I'm a bit heavy. But I'm starving!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Today is my 6th birthday. A bit of history (in case you've already forgotten): I was born in St. Louis, MO on March 2, 2004, the first in a litter of six.

Six months later, I met my new human mum (Liz). (My first human mum -- "Mum#1-- is Carolyn, my breeder. She's a lot like the Dog Whisperer -- cause she has a magic touch and heart, when it comes to Airedale Terriers.) 

My day started out with my barking and waking up my mum. She bounced out of bed, headed down to the kitchen and let me out to do my business. Then she fed me my birthday breakfast (Bil Jack for adult doggies -- as usual) while singing the birthday song. It's a family tradition, or so she told me. I can't sing, so I just wagged my tail.

For my birthday, Liz gave me two new chew-proof tennis balls. I just hope she doesn't make me wear that stupid pink "birthday girl" ribbon. 

Uh, oh. Too late. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I always wondered why my human mum spent so much time tapping away at her computer. Yeh, I know she edits my blog. (Grammar and punctuation are not my strong points.) But what else was she doing? Why did she spend so much time staring at the computer screen? Perhaps she was ordering doggie treats for me. Maybe she was looking for an Airedale Terrier play group. 

One day, I decided to find out. She had left on her early morning swim, and I knew she'd be gone for a couple of hours. So, I sneaked into her office to look for clues. 

I climbed up on her big swivel chair (and nearly lost my balance). I sniffed around a huge stack of file folders. When I placed my paw on the pile, it toppled to the floor, scattering papers everywhere. What luck! I put on her reading glasses, jumped down and dug in.

I was so absorbed in my task, I lost track of the time. Before I knew it, I heard her footsteps on the stairs. I had to think quickly. So, I lay down and pretended I was asleep. Within seconds, her familiar smells filled the room and she was standing right over me.

"Gracie, why are you wearing my reading glasses?" I opened my eyes, stretched, sat up and tried to look adorable and innocent. Was she laughing or crying? I couldn't tell.

"Come on. Let's go downstairs and have some yoghurt."  (We both love yoghurt.)

My human mum is one cool lady, if I must say so, myself.


Monday, January 25, 2010


O.K. Here it is the end of January, and I'm already sliding a bit. Well, more than a bit. I still haven't figured out how to brush my own teeth. I still stare at humans, like, all the time. I could go on and on, but I'd just get depressed. I've even developed a new -- and irritating habit -- trying to climb up on my mum's lap.

I can't help myself. Maybe I need to see a shrink.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I'm one tough dog. I have to be. First off, my mum is a bit of a klutz. About a month ago, she stepped on my tail. Did I yelp? No. At least once a day she trips over me. It's not like I blend into the background. She just gets distracted. At least that's what she tells me.

My tactic:  When she looks dazed, I stay clear of her.  If she's walking fast (which is just about all the time), I retreat. Fortunately, I have pretty quick instincts, except when I'm sleeping.

My human mum and I, Skyline Drive, Virginia

Saturday, January 2, 2010


1. Learn how to brush myself (so I don't look so scruffy).
2. Learn how to brush my own teeth.
3. Try not to eat so quickly (unless I'm starving).
4. Let my mother sleep later than 5AM (except when I really have to go).
5. Be kind to all animals, humans included.
6. Get my mom to walk me more often, no matter the weather.
7. Do not stare at humans, except when they're eating.  
8. Be a loving friend to my human mom and dad.
9. Learn how to bark in Greek.