Posted in Life in general

Phoebe

In 2003, shortly after the spouse and I moved to Little Rock, a miniature fox named Phoebe came to live with us.

PhoebeSnow2 (2)

My sister had acquired Phoebe from another Pomeranian breeder to diversify her kennel. After a failed attempt at showing her — because she was just too timid for the show ring — Phoebe came to live with us as a pet. She was about two years old at the time.

CleanPhoebe2

Spouse and I already had cats, and we had never owned a dog together. We both grew up with dogs — his large, mine both large and small — so we were no strangers to the canine persuasion. Phoebe launched herself into our hearts and onto our furniture in no time flat.

Although Phoebe lived with us, my sister still used her in the kennel breeding program now and then. She had two litters of pups, six in total, and even fostered a puppy when that little one’s mama didn’t have any milk. Phoebe was an excellent mama and made pretty puppies.

Puppies

When we moved from Arkansas to California, we left Phoebe behind for a while so she could have one last litter. After they were weaned, my sister had her spayed. Sometime later, I flew back to Arkansas for a quick visit and to bring Phoebe home. She packed herself.

PhoebePacksHerself

It was the cutest thing I ever saw.

Phoebe was a great traveler and we took her with us to a lot of places.

Like 17-Mile Drive in Carmel.

And out for lunch in Seaside.

Preparing to run the gauntlet

And the Peach Festival in Marysville.

HikingToGlassBeach

Hiking to Glass Beach.

PointReyesWind

And windy Point Reyes.

Phoebe loved her walks. She also loved her fellow critters, and got along with the cats who graciously shared their space with her.

What do you mean, this is YOUR sofa.

And years later, when Chloe came to live with us, she pretty much adopted the new fuzzball as her own.

100_1278

Told you she was a good mama. She also tolerated the occasional goofy dress-up.

Phoebe goes Hollywood

And was especially beautiful when she was fresh from the groomers.

After the groomer

We loved her every minute of every day.

Today was her last day. She had kidney disease and had been steadily failing since last Christmas. Today spouse and I made the decision it was time to break our hearts and let her go.

Sweet dreams, my sweet sweet Phoebe. Run fast, run free. The beach and the butterflies await you.

All smiles
Phoebe, 10/10/2001-8/15/2019
Posted in Book review

Book review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Enzo the large breed mutt tells us the story of Denny Smith, a mechanic with a passion and talent for high-performance racing: his life as a single man, his courtship of and marriage to Eve, the birth of their daughter Zoe, the death of Eve from cancer, and the fallout from that untimely passing.

The life of one family as seen through the eyes of their dog is not the type of novel I would normally choose. But The Art of Racing in The Rain was a book group selection; so, like a good little group member, I bought it. Then I moved and left that book group behind. Thus, Garth Stein’s book sat on the To Be Read shelf for many many months.

After I finally decided to read it, I nearly put it down when the first chapter made me cry. Wiping my tears, I persevered. About halfway through the book, I got so angry at the direction of the storyline, I nearly put it down. But I cheated and turned to the last few pages of the book to find out the resolution to that particular turn of events. What I saw convinced me to go ahead and finish the story. Grudgingly.

In other words, I did not enjoy the time spent reading this book. That one star rating has nothing to do with the quality of the writing, which is excellent; or the development of the characters, who are fully-fleshed for the most part; or the voice of the narrator, which is surprisingly enchanting.

It’s just that books with animal narrators almost never end well, and that tends to make me rather angry. I generally don’t enjoy fiction that makes me angry.

View all my reviews