Friday, December 29, 2006

Harvey's Top Ten New Year's Resolutions

#1 -- NO MORE PARTY HATS! I mean, honestly -- I'm a dignified guy and just LOOK at me here!

#2 -- STEP AWAY FROM THE TRASH CAN. You'd think getting my head stuck in it a few weeks ago and suffering public humiliation on this blog would do the trick, but no ..........!!! At the Christmas Open House our friend Ramona caught me dead to rights trying to get tamale wrappings out and I was busted all over again. Maybe there's a chapter of "TA" (trashcans anonymous) I could check out!

#3 -- THE MAIL CARRIER IS YOUR FRIEND. I'm not sure what gets me going about her ... the hat, the bag ... maybe it's her boots ... but my mom says she's the one who brings us packages and catalogues and that I should BACK OFF ... so I'm going to try.

Which brings me to ...

#4 -- THE METER READER. Now that one REALLY makes me nuts and there really isn't any help for it -- so I'm hoping one of the moms will resolve to make sure I'm inside when she comes around in the future so I don't embarrass us all (again.)

#5 -- HUMPING IS AS HUMPING DOES. Our trainer, Lundi, explained that the reason old dogs like me hump young dogs like Luna's hyper friends at the dog park is that we're smarter and calmer and want THEM to calm down and behave so we hump them to dominate them and get them back in line. Great theory -- doesn't work. All it does is get me yelled at and I get enough of that from my other issues. Like ...

#6 -- QUIT MIXING UP THE WATER BOWL WITH THE TOILET BOWL. I don't know why it matters so much to the moms where we get water when we're thirsty but if they've said it once they've said it a hundred times: GET OUT OF THAT TOILET, HARVEY! So I'm going to work on it ... honest. (And they could help on this one by leaving the stupid lid down!)

#7 -- GIVE UP THE HYSTERICAL BARKING. It's not like it does anybody any good ... it just annoys the neighbors and gets my blood pressure up and doesn't make the moms come home a minute sooner from wherever it is they go when they leave me here to "guard the house." I'm gonna try on this one, but no promises.

#8 -- WHEN THEY SAY SWALLOW, SWALLOW. Spitting out the pills might feel like a momentary victory but in the long run they actually make me feel calmer and less frantic so I'm going to turn 2007 into "Better Living Through Chemistry" year and just go with the flow.

#9 -- BE MORE PATIENT WITH LUNA. She isn't a BAD dog, she's just a wild one ... and she doesn't mean to hurt me when she pulls my tail, yanks on my privates and chews on that saggy skin between my ear and my collar ... she just gets kind of full of herself and wants to play, play, play. And at the ripe old age of thirteen to her just-turned-one I'm going to have to be the more patient one. Either that or bite her back.

#10 -- COUNT MY BLESSINGS. Considering that last year at this time they were talking Dog Heaven like it was on my calendar sooner rather than later, I'm pretty darned lucky to still be hanging out at the dog park and snagging treats on a regular basis. Thirteen is positively ancient for a big old coot like me and my moms do their best to keep me active and happy and Luna is actually a great addition to our family ... Lord knows she's raised my activity level ... which more than balances out the occasionally raised blood pressure I'm sure!

So Happy New Year, everybody. Those are my resolutions ... what are yours???????

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A year ago today ...

... my mom drove up to Husky Camp and picked me out from my litter of siblings and I looked like this:

She said she picked me because I was the cutest and the best. My other mom was in Kentucky visiting my brother Brian and so she had to just see me in a cell phone picture to start with ... but what really matters is they picked me out of all the others and now here we are ... a year later ... living happily ever after.

Except for those Cole Haan loafters.

And YESTERDAY when we were at the Dog Park there were SIX OTHER DOGS there who had come from Husky Camp ... two from one family and four from another. We wished we'd had a camera with us so we could have gotten a picture ... "Husky Camp South" my mom said it looked like ... and we had a great time running and chasing.

So Happy Anniversary to me ... and to my moms for picking me out and for putting up with me. I'm a pretty darned lucky puppy!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Morning After ...

So here I am ... back on the couch where I belong. Turns out this Christmas stuff is hard work! The moms had a CONSTANT stream of people through here over the last few days ... everybody was really nice and in a good mood and everything and there were more crumbs than usual on the floor for us to do clean-up-crew.
And over at church I'm not sure what those people do all day but they sure did a lot of it ... Sunday there were six services and Monday there was one and my mom says it was "the best ever." Then last night we had seven people crowded into our tiny dining room having a big old turkey dinner that looked great from what I could see outside with my nose pressed against the french door window (to no avail, I might add!)
And then there were presents and wrapping paper EVERYWHERE and now ... as you can see ... things are winding down.
Harvey is sacked out in the bedroom on the new cedar-smelling dog bed we're supposed to "share" ... (I haven't quite got the hang of that sharing thing yet but I'm working on it) ... and the moms are back to hanging out on the computer and talking to people on the phone. Our Grandma called from Minnesota and a few minutes ago we got to talk to Jamie in Iraq (well, my mom talked to him ... we just listened on this end!)
She says the best present she got was a picture of him in his Santa hat handing out Christmas cards to the troops over there in Iraq ... the people at church signed over 400 of them and shipped them over to say "Merry Christmas."
I know my mom preached about the "Peace on Earth Part of Christmas" this year and I guess that would REALLY be the best Christmas ever, wouldn't it? For there to be a "morning after" all the wars and hatred and hurting people and everybody could just take a big old nap on their couch like I'm planning to do for the rest of the day.
So Merry 2nd Day of Christmas, everybody! And let' s not give up on the peace on earth part, deal?

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Our stockings are hung
By the chimney with care
And we’re hoping that goodies
Will soon show up there.
While we’re waiting for Santa
Down the chimney to fall
We’re sending best wishes
To one and to all
For joy and best blessings
In the New Year to come
And a Merry, Merry Christmas
To each and every one!

Harvey & Luna
Louise and Susan
(the moms who love and spoil us)
Birdy, Baby and Walden
(the cats who put up with us)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Luna: Having a Holly, Jolly Christmas

This Christmas stuff is SOOOOOO exhausting!
Wake me when Santa comes, OK?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

If they'd stuck to just decking the HALLS everything would have been fine!

This isn't my FIRST Christmas -- but last year I was a tiny puppy up at Husky Camp and so this is the first one I'm going to remember, so last night when my mom got home from work she sat down and explained to me that we were going to "Deck the Halls."

OK, I thought ... this will be interesting. (I had NO idea!)
. First they dragged a tree in from outside and stuck it up on the table and started putting lights on it. Kind of weird behavior, I thought, but around my house just when you think you've got them figured out they do something that doesn't make sense to a dog so I wasn't too worried.

Birdy, however, who is much older and wiser (she's pushing 14!) knew what was coming next and knew what to do about it: find a box and HIDE!

Walden didn't move fast enough and the next thing we knew they were decorating HIM! How humiliating!!

And Harvey was next! I don't know about you, but I figure if dogs were meant to have antlers we'd have grown them at some point ...

What were they THINKING????

So I said to Harvey, "Don't worry, buddy ... I've got your back on this!"And in the blink of an eye I snatched the offending antlers off his head ...

... and proceeded to render them harmless ... my way of saying, "Let the humiliation cease!"

So maybe I'll end up with coal in my stocking instead of doggie treats, but hey: I was raised to know a justice issue when I see one and this one was worth some civil-doggie-disobedience!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Harvey: "Ho, Ho, Ho" Is In the Eye of the Beholder

So the moms came home from Diocesan Convention last night with pictures ... one of them of this stupid reindeer they ran into at an overdecorated hotel in Riverside.

So they're all "Harvey, Harvey -- look ... a reindeer that looks like you!"

And I'm all like "Whatever!"

I don't think there's any resemblance at all ... what do you think???? (And just for the record, if anyone comes near me with a Santa hat this year I am SOOOO not wearing it!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Luna: Happy Birthday to ME!!!

My Very Busy First Birthday
by Luna Brooks-Russell

So I'm lying on the couch (my favorite place) minding my own business and all of a sudden my mom gets home from "Party City" and announces ...

... it's my BIRTHDAY! Now I'm not exactly sure what a birthday IS but since it seems to involve extra treats and lots of attention, I figure: How bad can it be?

(I'm going to learn to stop asking questions like that pretty soon!) First they drag out the camera -- everything around here seems to be a "photo-op" ... and this is the official Birthday Portrait. (Not bad if I do say so myself!) But then ...

... they decide to have me wear the birthday star.

If you're not used to dog-body language here's a clue ...

Perky ears in the Birthday Portrait = I'm feeling good about myself.

Flat ears in this one = where's a hole I can crawl in?

But wait -- there's more. As if the birthday star isn't bad enough, they bring out ...


They don't actually think I'm going to WEAR that thing, do they? I'm thinking to myself but ...

... evidently they do. And as much as I try to cooperate with the mommies when they're in one of these "none of this makes any sense to a dog" phases I'm really only willing to put up with so much humiliation so ...

... once they got their stupid picture, off it came. (I mean really, a dog has to have some standards!)

I think they're trying to make it up to me a little because now I'm back up on the couch and no one is fussing at me to get down. We're waiting for the USC/Notre Dame game to start and pretty soon there will be turkey leftovers for people dinner and I think we're getting the left-over left-overs tonight. All in all it has been a very good first birthday (except for the hat part) so ...


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Harvey: My Bad-to-Worse-to-Worse Day

Have you ever had one of those bad-to-worse-to-worse kind of days? Well, today was one of those for me. It was just one thing after another. It was bad enough that I gave into my dark side and stuck my head in trash can to try to get the empty dog food can out but then the stupid lid came off and got stuck on my head -- and while I was banging around in the kitchen trying to knock it off here comes one of the mommies with a CAMERA in her hand.

So not only am I caught in the act (no blaming this one on Luna!) I'm caught on the record (looking about as stupid as a dog can!) and then she goes and puts it on our BLOG so everybody can see (if it gets any worse than this I don't want to know about it!)

So now I'm going to go find a quiet corner and try to stay out of trouble for the rest of the day. (Note to self: step away from the trash can!)

Luna: In the News

When the first mommy gets up in the morning it's pretty much the same routine every day: put us out to "do our business," let in any cats who decided to stay out for the night, put on the COFFEE (an essential ingredient to mommies getting going in the morning, evidently) and then go out and get the newspaper ... at our house the New York Times.

It's ususally a pretty quiet time -- the mommies aren't real talkative first thing in the morning -- but yesterday when the paper came in there was a big "Woo Hoo." I'm not sure who the Democrats are or what a "midterm sweep" is but since we got an extra cookie-bone to celebrate I'm thinkin' it's all good.

And it's not just about the extra cookie-bone -- it also sounds like these guys are going to be smarter about getting that war finished so our brother Jamie and his friends can come home and I'm thinkin' that's VERY good.

So cookie-bones all around -- and prayers for those in harm's way wherever they are.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Day At The Dog Park

We LOVE going to the dog park...

We get to visit some of our best friend, like Jackson-the Labradoodle ...

And Luna spends as much time talking to the dog people as she does to the dogs!

And there are balls to chase ... (bigger, cooler ones than the ones we have at home!) ...

And even hydrants to sniff ...

And this day there was the extra, added bonus of an acrobatic poodle to chase! (Harvey thought she was REALLY hot!)

Then before you know it we hear, "Harvey and Luna ... time to go!" and there's our mom with our leashes ready to take us back home ...

For our afternoon naps ...

Which we totally need after our VERY busy day at the Dog Park! (Now that we think about it, that's when our moms get most of their work done ... while we're having our post-dog-park naps ... maybe there's a connection there, ya think???)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Harvey: So today is St. Francis Day ...

Today is the feast day of St. Francis ... the guy who prayed for not just people but animals so we think he's pretty cool.

Turns out "The Blessing of the Animals" is something people do around this time of year in remembrance of him but we didn't get to go this year ... our moms said they were holding out for "The Exorcism of the Animals" and that wasn't on the All Saints calendar yet. But if I know my mom, it will be soon ... I think she's just about ready to try anything to keep Luna from tearing up stuff.

The only good thing about that is that most of my destructo-dog days are behind me and so she's in trouble a whole lot more than I am.

Of course, there was that incident the other night with the chicken bones in the trash can. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know ... if I've heard it once I've heard it a hundred times "chicken bones are bad for dogs ... they'll splinter in your stomach and poke holes in your insides and you'll be heading to Dog Heaven before you can say "Colonel Sanders Extra Crispy, please."


I think my mom Louise laid awake half the night listening for the sound of perforating innards but I'm just fine, thanks very much ... and if the truth be told, this was not the FIRST time I've eaten the dreaded chicken bones and lived. Not that I'm proud of it, mind you: but I'm an old dog and there are just so many "living on the edge" things left in my reach.

Which brings me back to Luna and her recent flurry of activity on the front porch. Don't know what possessed her to chew the seat off the patio chair that's been sitting in the same place minding its own business since she came to live with us nearly a year ago but one day last week it caught her eye and "whammo" ... shreds of chair were everywhere and it was a shadow of its former self. Which really bummed our mom Susan out ... she'd been watching one of those "makeover your house without breaking the bank" shows and got all inspired to move some stuff around on the porch, buy some new plants and get seat cushions to jazz things up a little.

Oh well.

I think someone told her to think of St. Francis and remember to keep her mind on things heavenly rather than things earthly but that wasn't exactly received as a helpful suggestion ... at that point the only heavenly thing she was thinking was how in heaven's name was she going to keep from Luna from destructing her decor.

More walks.

More trips to the dog park.

More time throwing the ball in the backyard.

And when all else fails ...

... more "time out" in the Gulag. (Then EVERYBODY can have a little peace!)

Speaking of which, I'm told that St. Francis is also remembered for his "Make us instruments of your peace" prayer and we'd sure like some progress to get happening on that so we can get our brother Jamie back here from Iraq because that's ANOTHER thing that makes our moms upset.

So here's to all creatures ... great, small and naughty. And here's to peace. And to St. Francis -- the patron saint of all those things. Amen.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Luna: Caught in the act!

Okay, okay, OOOKAY! You caught me in the act and I just don't know what possessed me this morning to start tearing apart the chaise lounge cushion. I love to sit on it! It was soft and comfy like the couch you keep throwing me off of. I don't know what happened. So, I went on the net and this is what I found. I hope it will help. I don't like being scolded. I'm a good dog at heart, really I am.


It’s virtually inevitable that your puppy will, at some point, chew up something you value. This is part of raising a puppy! You can, however, prevent most problems by taking the following precautions:
Minimize chewing problems by puppy-proofing your house. Put the trash out of reach, inside a cabinet or outside on a porch, or buy containers with locking lids. Encourage children to pick up their toys and don’t leave socks, shoes, eyeglasses, briefcases or TV remote controls lying around within your puppy’s reach.

If, and only if, you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn't, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, then offer him an acceptable chew toy instead and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.Make unacceptable chew items unpleasant to your puppy. Furniture and other items can be coated with "Bitter Apple" to make them unappealing.Don't give your puppy objects to play with such as old socks, old shoes or old children's toys that closely resemble items that are off-limits. Puppies can't tell the difference!

Closely supervise your puppy. Don’t give him the chance to go off by himself and get into trouble. Use baby gates, close doors or tether him to you with a six-foot leash so you can keep an eye on him. When you must be gone from the house, confine your puppy to a small, safe area such as a laundry room. You may also begin to crate train your puppy (see our handout: "Crate Training Your Dog"). Puppies under five months of age shouldn’t be crated for longer than four hours at a time, as they may not be able to control their bladder and bowels longer than that. Make sure your puppy is getting adequate physical activity. Puppies left alone in a yard don’t play by themselves. Take your puppy for walks and/or play a game of fetch with him as often as possible. Give your puppy plenty of "people time." He can only learn the rules of your house when he’s with you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gulag Dog

OK ... I'll be honest ... I don't know what I was thinking either. Its not like I don't have toys to play with, bones to eat and balls to chase. But after a couple of hours in the Gulag I'm looking for just about ANYTHING to keep me entertained and the other day what I found was the pillow in my crate where I used to sleep when I was little.

They put it out here in case I wanted to "crawl in and curl up" (one of my moms said) but honestly ... can you see me doing that at this point? I know they call it a "crate" but it feels like a cage to me.

Which brings me to the whole "dog run" issue. "Dog RUN" my foot ... have you ever tried to actually RUN in one of these? I don't care how they try to spin it ... it's a jail and that's why Harvey and I call it The Gulag.

And last Sunday when they said, "Be a good girl: guard the house while we go to church" I figured a couple of hours and I'd be out chasing cats again.

But Nooooooo ...Turns out there was more stuff going on over at All Saints about the IRS (whatever that is) that involved CNN, CBS, ABC and a bunch of other letters I don't even remember and took a REALLY long time ... much longer than a regular Sunday morning, which we're used to by now, but really!

So at this point all I can say is I'm sorry about the IRS and I really do get that sometimes there's more work than there is time to do it and I'll TRY to stick to the tennis balls and the rawhide bones but I can really only be so responsible for what happens if they leave me alone TOOOO long. So I'll work on the not-chewing-up-everything-in-sight if they work on getting home at a decent hour ... IRS or no IRS!

Deal or No Deal?

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Like I said, I love the dog park and one of the things I like to do -- in addition to running, chasing, biting and jumping -- is listen to the people. It's amazing what they talk about when they think the dogs aren't listening ... not just about their work and the weather and what a lousy job the president is doing but sometimes they actually talk about interesting stuff: like us dogs!

One of the things I hear ALLLLLL the time when they're talking about dogs is "Iz-thata-wolf?" I finally figured out they were talking about ME! I guess I look more like a wolf than most of the dogs at the dog park even though I'm supposed to be a Malamute ... or at least that's what the Husky Camp people said we were.

So take a look at these pictures of some of my siblings ...

My mom had an AKC Alaskan Malamute before I was born (Cody ... she went to Jesus last November and my moms still miss her) and she says I'm actually a "Mala-Mutt" because there must be something else in there. So looking at my brothers and my sisters makes me wonder if maybe there WAS a wolf somewhere in the woodpile.
We are kind of a "wolfie-looking" bunch ... but my mom also found some stuff online about a kind of dog called MacKenzie River Huskies and after looking at pictures of them I think there just might be some family resemblence there, too ... Google them and see what you think!

And maybe I'll see you at the dog park one of these days ... I'll be wolfie looking one probably on my back getting my belly scratched by someone!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Luna: Long Time, No Blog

So it isn't that there hasn't been anything to blog about ... it's just that there hasn't been anything NEW to blog about. I've just been busy getting bigger and cuter everyday ... oh yeah, and chewing up stuff I'm not supposed to. But let's not get into that (unless you've got an extra Shop Vac filter lying around your garage you could let me have and get me off the hook for the one I shredded up this week -- bad choice, that one.)

On a happier note, we've also been going to the dog park a lot. My moms say it helps me and Harvey to run and get the ants out of our pants.

I'm not sure about that -- if I had any pants I would probably just chew them up -- but it IS fun to go run all you want and meet other dogs and their people.

When we first started going to the dog park, frankly it freaked me out. I mostly hid under my moms' feet and worried about the other dogs who wanted to come and play with me. They actually called me "The Omega Dog" which was kind of humiliating but it's hard to object too much when you're flat on your back hoping someone will scratch your bellly.

So here's the other thing about the dog park: the people. They're the best. Nothing like a park full of people who care enough about their dogs to bring them to the dog park and hang out with each other while we run around and chase each other.

We love the dog park. And it does seem to be cutting down on those ants.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Where's OUR vacation?

Our moms were on vacation at the beach for a week and even though we got to go to our favorite place -- I Dig My Dog -- we hate it when they go away and leave us. And to add insult to injury, they come home and show us pictures so we see all the fun we missed.

Neither of us has actually even BEEN to the beach ... well, if Harvey has it's been so long ago that he's forgotten ... but who knew there were not only birds to chase ...

... but that there was going to be all this FOOD to eat. Who was there to eat the leftovers is what WE want to know! (That's the only thing wrong with Doggie Day Camp ... no leftovers!)

Luna: Which Twin Has The Toni?

My moms have been emailing with the families who adopted my brothers and sisters and we just got this new picture of my sister Kami the other day -- boy howdy do we look alike or WHAT??? Hard to stay crabby at a face like this (thank goodness!)

I wonder if they call Kami "destructo dog" at her house, too? Think maybe I just won't be bringing that up -- I heard them talking the other day about "letting sleeping dogs lie" and I'm thinking that's a good policy on shoes, slippers, throw rugs, pot holders and ... oh yeah ... the hummingbird feeder. (What was I thinking????)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Harvey & Luna : Sad, sad news.

It is with great sadness that, today, we learned of the passing of Susan Butcher from leukemia. She fought a good fight. Susan was a role model for our mom, Louise. She was one of those women who broke the men-only glass ceiling in her field. Our mom met Susan when she worked for ABC Wide World of Sports when they covered the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska. Like our mom, Susan adored her dogs. When my Mom's husky, Gypsy, was diagnosed with liver cancer, Susan refered them to her vet in Huntington Beach where they still have a state of the art cancer treatment facility for dogs and cats. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Dave, and her two girls, ages 10 and 5. Susan is now at rest from her greatest race.

From the ABC News website:

4-Time Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher Dies at 51 From Reoccurrence of Leukemia

By JEANNETTE J. LEE Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher, who in 1986 became the race's second female winner and brought increased national attention to its grueling competition, has died. She was 51.
Butcher died Saturday in a Seattle hospital of a reoccurrence of leukemia after a recent stem-cell transplant, her doctor said.

She dominated the 1,100-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome in the late 1980s. Her other victories came in 1987, '88 and '90, and she finished in the top four through 1993. "What she did is brought this race to an audience that had never been aware of it before simply because of her personality," Iditarod spokesman Chas St. George said.

Read the rest here

Friday, August 04, 2006

Harvey: On Damage Patrol

There's no question I have the worst rep in this family when it comes to trashing things ... they're still withholding my allowance to cover the garage door, kitchen door molding and three window screens that were my fault. But I'm not the only one around here with some destruction issues and to prove the point I went on a little damage patrol mission yesterday. Exhibit A (above) is Miss "Butter Won't Melt in Her Mouth" Luna lounging under her latest masterpiece of deconstruction: they better not blame me for this one.

And then there was this crime scene: we don't even need to call in CSI on this one -- there's Walden hair all over this new hole in the front window screen. I think they should change his name from Walden to Houdini ... he seems to be able to escape from anywhere.

Some people think our moms are nuts to put up with us and some of those people are even in our own family. Before he left for Kuwait Jamie was shaking his head about some thing or the other one or the other of us had done and my mom said, "You must be wondering at this point why we put up with them." And he said, "No, actually I quit wondering that quite awhile back but I figure you must have a reason."

I'm not sure what the reason is but I'm sure glad they do!