Archive for the ‘Wiener dogs worldwide’ Category

My iPhone took a trip without me

September 8, 2012

UPDATE: Never got news of phone, so replaced it with another 4s, though so tempted to get a 5! Every bit of my data was saved! Woo-hoo!

Well, my iPhone 4s went on a little adventure without me. I’d love to know the places it went and the people it saw. Siri, fill me in!

Frank and Sabrina, in a rare moment of calm here, agreed to accept partial blame in exchange for a treat

I traveled from Tampa, FL, to my home in Durham, NC, in a day, which is about 11 hours of driving, including the slowdowns during the notorious speed-trap zone along US 301 in Florida. I was operating on three hours sleep because my dang dogs were restless all night. In fact, I’m blaming the entire fiasco on them, because they distracted and exhausted me all day and because they’re dogs, so they can’t read this and disagree.

I stopped for gas near Florence, SC, and did the usual routine. Gas for the Honda, bathroom for me, bathroom and a walk for Frank and Sabrina, another bathroom stop for me, and then I decided to crack open a Dr Pepper to perk me up. Somewhere along the line I’d put my phone on the hood of the car. Uh-huh, you know where this is going.

Diane shows off her durable but not at all snazzy waterproof iPhone case

Accelerating back onto I-95, I heard a crack on my back windshield and saw an oddly shaped thing bouncing on the pavement. “Weird, I thought. That came out of nowhere.” A few miles later, I glanced to where I keep my phone. Empty. Not good. I fished around, realized I needed to go back, then remembered that unidentified flying object: my phone, of course. The good things were: I knew roughly where it fell and my phone is protected by a heavy-duty waterproof and shock-resistant case.

I had to go 12 miles back to the exit. Just as I was exiting off the highway I saw that a man had pulled over right where I think my phone bounced. It appeared he had just picked something up in the street and was getting back into his pickup truck. I pulled over. I honked. I screamed. But there was no chance he could hear me over six lanes of rushing traffic and a highway median. Do I know he got my phone? Nope. Coulda been a coincidence. I went to the scene of the crime and saw nothing. Maybe it bounced into tall grass? Maybe the guy had it? I have my contact info on the back of my phone, but no one has called. I took another exit and a nice hotel clerk let me use the phone. I called my lovely Lina, who went through the iCloud system and blocked data access. Later I called AT&T and deactivated my number. I did try the phone location service, but it said the phone was “off line” even though it rang.

Things I did right: Block access as soon as possible. Subscribed to iCloud from the beginning. My contacts are all updated online and I can load them onto a new phone. Most of my photos had been downloaded by Lina. Still I lost some. Put ID on my phone, not that it helped this time.

Things I did wrong: That’s easy — leaving my phone on the car roof! And maybe that I didn’t get insurance, but iPhone prices are falling very soon with a new model coming out, so that’s a silver lining!

Frank N. Beans, our new item on the doxy menu

December 13, 2011

The Galloways say goodbye to Frank

It’s a boy! Actually, it’s an overweight old man! We adopted Frank N. Beans from the Wake County Animal Center in Raleigh, NC, on Sunday. The shelter gave him that name, and we feel compelled to keep it because it’s so ridiculous, plus it fits him. Though Frank had been abandoned at the shelter (left in a crate on the loading dock after hours), he was lucky enough to be taken into one of the shelter’s foster homes, so he recently had been living in the lap of luxury with the Galloways. Now’s he’s at his “forever home,” as they say in the dog adoption world.

The back story goes like this. After finally feeling ready for a second wiener dog after Roxy (the foxy doxy with moxy) left us in September 2010, I laid out my requirements: a miniature female, younger than five, black and tan coat. (I’ve adopted all seniors lately, and wanted a dog that would, hopefully, be my sidekick for a long time, like Roxy was.) So what did I adopt? Mr. Beans, a standard, weighing in at 22 pounds, at least a decade old, hard of hearing, arthritic and with bad teeth. Well, he is black and tan.

Sabrina and Frank get to know each other

When we got home, Frank N. and Sabrina met without incident and had a major getting-to-know-you-back-there session, learning all sorts of things about each other. Frank then tried to assert his will by mounting Sabrina many times over, but she finally put her paw down. The next day, he didn’t even try once. So I think that little dance of dominance is done.

Practicing the ramp to the couch

Sabrina then decided to show Frank how the ramp to the couch works in the living room. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it, but he’s getting there. He also is still figuring out where to best jump off and back onto the low deck to the back yard. He loves the yard, fully fenced in and filled with new sights and smells. He also loves Q-Kitty, but she does not yet love Frank, though they did get nose to nose briefly. Frank has not barked yet, but I assume he knows how. All in all, he is very laid back.

The first weigh in: 22 pounds!

Just as Sabrina was, Frank is a big block o’ dach, and needs to shed a few pounds. He’s several inches longer than ‘Briner and his paws and head are about 25 percent bigger, so I’m not sure what he should weigh. But 22 is most definitely too much. Whoa! We will start shedding the ounces slowly and safely until Frank is at his fighting weight (16-18?). We’ll keep you posted. (UPDATE: His healthy weight is around 20. He’s a big boy!)

Meanwhile, if you’re in the ‘hood, come say hi!

Special watery worlds in the Netherlands

September 19, 2011

Giethoorn isn't Venice, but it is cute

We were so lucky. We had to change the day we’d designated for cycling in the Netherlands and the weather cooperated. We had only one rainstorm, and the wind, well, the wind is omnipresent, hence the country’s proliferation of windmills. For hill-loving cyclists like us, it compensates for the flat terrain. And, finally, I made it to Giethoorn, which has been on my list for a while. It’s called the “Venice of the Netherlands” (no comparison) and also got a little attention via a viral email hawking pictures from a Dutch town that has no cars.

 Well, yes and no. Only about a mile of Giethoorn is carless and it’s very, very touristy. But it was indeed cute, and has several places to eat, drink and shop, along with rent bikes and boats. (Bikes were an affordable $10.50 a day.) We enjoyed it, but were also happy to head out for less-populated areas.

Kalenberg was favorite stop of the day

Our 30-mile loop first took us along a very rural bike path (paved, of course) with no traffic and then through marshland and finally to Kalenberg, which I’m guessing Giethoorn resembled before the tourists descended. All houses were along a canal (this one was wider and more open) and one side of town was reachable only by boat or walking. The houses were adorable and everything was tidy and attractive. A little drawbridge joined the two sides and a café there overlooked the canal.

17th-century Blokzijl used to be on the sea

From there we headed for Blokzijl, a 17th-century city with a nice harbor on the former Zuiderzee, aka the South Sea (not to be confused with the South Seas). After they created (in 1942) a polder there, i.e. they reclaimed the land, the city became landlocked. Fascinating!

Lovely Lottie is a touring tekkel

On the way there, another highlight – greeting Lottie, a long-haired tekkel (dachshund) in a rear bike basket. My third tekkel of the trip! The wind about did us in, but we made it to town and thought it was lovely. Even lovelier was the tailwind back to Giethoorn, and the little bike ferry of Jonen that took us over a bridge-less canal. The price of $1.50 seemed reasonable at the time, but when I think about it, for a 30-second ride it was pricey.

All these towns are in the region called De Weerribben in the Overijssel Province. It’s a couple hours east of Amsterdam and a heck of a lot less crowded. Something different!

A small-town parade to remember

July 10, 2011

I’d heard that Montreat, NC, has a special July Fourth parade, so when we happened to be staying in nearby Black Mountain (at the awesome Inn on Mill Creek), we had to check out the parade. Wow, was it packed, but well worth the effort. Montreat is an odd little place in the mountains. Its most famous resident is the Rev. Billy Graham. I wonder if he ever marched in the parade. I’m guessing yes.

We were worried that Ms. Statue of Liberty (left) was going to hit a power line she was so high up. The other Ms. Liberty (aka Diane) stayed on the ground, though Sabrina got the royal treatment because she was so dang slow.

We loved that they used the parade to hawk the used book sale.

These three yellow labs seemed very happy to wow the crowd.

A lot of residents put on goofy gear and walked the route. Simple and sweet.

We wondered how the bow would bounce when Flicka did her business.

Just in case you were wondering....

Taking a dog’s blood pressure? Start at the end

June 3, 2010

The indignity of it all, says Roxy

Poor Roxy, “the foxy doxy with moxy.” As if having her tail tampered with wasn’t bad enough, now I’ve got to go and post the photos online. She did tell me she’s happy to help in the name of science.

When my vet (St. Francis Animal Hospital in Durham) told me that the results from Roxy’s “senior checkup” indicated they should check her blood pressure, my first question was, how the heck do you check a dog’s blood pressure? While some online sites (and who can trust them?) recommend using the dog’s legs, the base of the tail is the best place for an accurate reading. Of course since dachshund’s legs are only a few inches long, that’s another reason to grab the tiger by the tail.

Vet techs Dianne Saladino holds the cuff around Roxy's tail while Paula Davis secures and comforts her

The equipment is similar to what is used for humans. The cuff that goes around the tail is infant-sized, but on my 15-year-old tekkel’s tiny tail it was still difficult to tighten. The listening device must be amplified because the pulse deflections are much harder to hear in dogs than in humans. (Did I get that right, vet techs?) It took a good ten minutes to get a reading. Tech Paula Davis held Roxy while her colleague Dianne Saladino operated the equipment. Meanwhile, Mom looked on, calming her baby girl when she wasn’t busy snapping photos.

Roxy’s blood pressure was a bit elevated, but now the vet isn’t sure if it’s because she was stressed or because she might have another problem. So I’m now to try to get a urine sample, which isn’t easy on a dog with low clearance. But fear not, there are other ways to collect, and, per Roxy’s request, I promise to not show any of them here. We all have our limits.

Winter Olympics, North Carolina style

February 1, 2010

Yay! We got our first substantial snowfall since moving here from New England in 2003. As you can see below, our low-riding dachshunds were not pleased, but Wessel and I rejoiced, along with much of North Carolina. Durham, where we live, got seven inches, which almost — don’t laugh — qualified it for the top-10 snowfall list started in the 1920s. (The record is 14 inches, in 2000.) We still have our cross-country skis, minus one pole (oops) and managed to ski out the back door both Saturday and Sunday. Temps climb into the 40s this week. Farewell, old friend! 

Sabrina was not amused when she ended up belly deep in the white stuff

Wessel swooshes down a hill on one of our neighborhood streets

If you don`t own snow boots, just make them! (We spotted several of these)

Diane puts her keen herringbone skills in place up this tiny golf-course hill

Diane lobs a snowball at Wessel, plucked from the mountain formed by a plow

A short tale (tail?) of a long-dog tee

January 23, 2010

Kids’ version of the wiener-dog shirt designed by Piper + Olive

I’m always on the lookout for cool and clever wiener-dog T-shirts, etc. Much of the stuff out there is not to my liking. 

Well, the good news is I found one for kids that I adore from a new design company in Philadelphia called Piper + Olive. The bad news is P+O is phasing out its adult line. You can order the kids’ version online ($26) or from a store that carries Piper + Olive. All their designs are pretty snazzy, but of course I favor the clever dachshund print.

Sabrina is sad this shirt doesn't fit Mommy

This leads me to part two of the tail, I mean tale. My dear husband managed to special-order the adult version for my birthday. Unfortunately, it’s way too small for me. As you can see in the photo, Sabrina is very disappointed about this. 

Turns out these American Apparel Classic Girl tees run very small. Mine is long-sleeved and a hoodie. Very styling! It’s a medium that fits a size 4-6. (I’m a 10-12!) Because it was a special order, it can’t be easily returned. So if anyone wants to purchase it, I’d be thrilled. Price: $36. I’ll snail-mail in the US (I’m in NC) for free. Contact me directly if you’re interested. 

If you know of any great dachshund tees, please share in the comment section or email me and I’ll post them. Happy shopping!

My new favorite wine is wienerful!

December 19, 2009

I have a new favorite wine — the most wienerful wine in the world! Alas, from what I can tell, it’s not available in making its way throughout the Northeast and, soonish (2011/12) across the United States. I’m counting on my readers to investigate and report back.

I spotted the French wine Longue-Dog Grenache Syrah while checking out wines in the Netherlands, at the Super de Boer, a basic Dutch supermarket chain (just bought by Jumbo, FYI). I screamed, in that way that I do when I see something so wienerfully wonderful.

Here are the things I love about Longue-Dog. First, the dachshund, duh. Its image is not only stretched across the front of the label but continues around the back. Snazzy. There’s also a cute little wiener head on the neck label.

Longue-Dog Grenache Syrah, the most wienerful wine in the world

The name, too, is fun. It’s a play on words — for the Languedoc region of France. Languedoc, in the south, supplies a third of the country’s grapes and is France’s largest wine region — though its least known. I assume (but don’t know) that Longue-Dog comes from Languedoc grapes. Apparently the region is trying to become more known by consumers.

I have a brilliant idea. Start selling Longue-Dog in the United States. That would bring tail wags all around!

The bottle label has a tail-wagging part two

According to the small print on the back of the label, Longue-Dog is made by Boutinot, a wine producer and distributor based in the UK and started by Frenchman Paul Boutinot. I emailed Boutinot’s customer service address, but didn’t hear a bark back. (UPDATE Jan 22, 2010: Heard from Boutinot today. They’re “nearing” a launch in US. Yee-haw! )

Can anyone help, s’il vous plait?

And a Happy Hallowiener to you!

October 30, 2009

Like the Great Pumpkin rising again, we bring you the Hallowiener wiener dogs, Sabrina the Good Witch and Roxy the Great Pumpkin, canine style. There’s really nothing more to say that hasn’t already been said here. It’s a Hallowiener tradition!

Sabrina the Good Witch

200910_66_Halloween

200910_62_Halloween

Happy Fourth in photos

July 1, 2009

Most of America’s patriotic songs are about appreciating the wonders of our country, “from sea to shining sea.”  Wessel and I often travel over the July Fourth holiday, and usually to small towns. This year, we’re off to Waynesville, NC, in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. Here’s a little photo homage to some Independence Days past, in cities large and small, at home and away. Where will you be this weekend?

Fireworks Boston

Boston Harbor in 2003, my last summer there, and Wessel's first and final

Uncle Sam in parade in Hingham, Mass.

Uncle Sam (really) at a parade in Hingham, Mass., 2003. Is he still around?

Wessel celebrates Fourth with socks

Dutch citizen Wessel practices his American patriotism

Celebratory glasses

Diane allows pal Alison Carpenter the honor of wearing her Fourth shades

Community band plays along banks of Ohio River in Paducah, Ky., 2007

Community band plays along banks of Ohio River in Paducah, Ky., 2007

Indepence Day yard props

Festive Independence Day decorations adorn a home in Wilmington, NC