Thursday, August 8, 2013

Off. The. HOOK!!

With many thanks to Todd Weiss for his "OFF THE..." resources and ideas! 

Me:  SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! I’m so excited!!!! I can’t believe you’re actually giving me permission to be FREE!!! Off the hook!!! Running rampant like a lone Wildebeest in the Arizona countryside!!!

Mom:  Wha..? HOW did you get that out of, “Roo, I’ve enrolled you in an off-lead class for a happier, more controlled hiking experience??”

Me:  It’s gonna be WILD!!

Mom:  It’s a class… a HIGHLY CONTROLLED class.

Me:  I've got so much to do! Outfits to choose, bling to display, my chaise lounge, my pillows…!

Mom:  Whoa there, Nellie. We will be taking a plain collar, a long lead and some tasty, smelly treats. I’d say we’re bringing water, but the last time I took you to a class you refused to drink anything and insisted instead on STANDING in the water bowl looking smug.

Me:  *humming* OK, here’s my flowered collar, my Swarovski leash, my sunglasses…

Mom:  ROO!!
Me:  Mom, this will be OFF THE HOOK!!!

Mom:  It’s a controlled class…


Mom:  …with an instructor and everything…


Mom:  …organized… well organized…


Mom:  …with a test.

Me:  OFF THE… Whoa…. WHA..?! A TEST?? Seriously??? How can I be a simple free spirit cavorting about the wilderness [in my designer outfit with my cushion and food and attendant *cough* Mom *cough*] with a friggin’ test hanging over my head??

Mom:  The purpose of this class is to make sure you mind me when we go hiking.

Me:  Are you OFF YOUR MEDS?!?!

Mom:  You, young lady, are getting way OFF TRACK!

Me:  PPPFFFTTT!!! I’m going OFF THE GRID to prepare for my debut.

Mom:  Crap… Is that your subtle way of telling me to buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride… er… class?

Me:  *whistling softly* I shall be the Perfect Little Roo.  *smirk*
Hmmm… now which of these hats shows off my fur better? And my backpack… where’s my sparkly backpack?

Mom:  *shivers* 

Me:  Yep. This class is gonna be Off. The. Hook.
Me in my simple hiking garb exhibiting a
'happier, more controlled hiking experience.'
                     Photo © Nick Hunseder

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Family: The Girls!

Onnie when she first came here!
In my last blog, I started introducing you to my family by featuring my older brothers, Auggie and Azi. This edition saves the best for last! That's right... It's all about us GIRLS!!!

Next in line is my sweet Sloughi sister, Onyx. Sloughis are Sighthounds, like me, but they come from Morocco and are a bit taller and thinner/more angular. They come in a number of colors too. Onnie's coat coloring is called Sand with Black Mantle. She was in the second litter born in the U.S. to have that coloration, so for a while she insisted she was a 'rare jewel.' I let her believe that because I like her. She's my buddy and is the least assertive member of my family. (I have got to teach her to stand up for herself more!)
She turned 5 at the beginning of the year and came to live with Mom at around 12 weeks of age.

She is a show dog too, but she doesn't brag as much as Auggie does. She's
On a beach near Solvang in 2008
my Homegirl, BOL! She prances and is funny and everyone loves her, especially when she jumps up and gives hugs when invited. Mom can also ask her if she wants a kiss and Onnie will look up and wait for Mom to give her a little smooch right on the lips!!! (eewwww...) She makes Mom laugh a lot... almost as much as I do! She and I have matching collars and matching jammies, but, alas, she is waaayyy less into bling and hats than I am. *sigh* I try... I really do... I have to admit, she is almost as pretty as me, though a good hat would spruce her up considerably... just sayin'...

Shortly after coming to live with us
Youngest, but 'old enough' in her opinion, is my Sloughi sister, Brentina. She turns 2 before long and is a very pretty girl who came to live with us at 8 weeks old. She's a little show girl (and she never lets me forget this) who is, I have to admit, growing into a very pretty young lady. She is also Little Miss Hell On Wheels and tough as nails! I am the only one who can really keep up with her, and she even wears ME out sometimes! While she has much better manners now, she was once heavily into "redecorating," having hollowed out the seats on two recliners, torn apart the newly repaired back porch bench, and it is rumored Mom walked into her bedroom a few months ago to find Brenti up on top of the dresser shredding Mom's clean clothes... but we won't even go there... *shudder*
Do NOT let that innocent face fool you, BOL!
Mom insists she is extremely smart, and apparently that makes her more of a "challenge." PPPFFFTTT!!! I'm BRILLIANT and I think other than pulling all the cable TV wiring out of the living room wall and shredding my share of shoes and eyeglasses, I've been a PIECE OF CAKE!!!! (Please ignore my mom as she rolls her eyes... I think it's a nervous habit... but I digress... ) Brenti is both my nemesis and my little minion, so it gets confusing at times. But I think we'll work it out... to MY satisfaction, anyway...

My "Denim Period"
My daring, fashion forward
Church Lady
You pretty much know me... My mom talked my adoption group (Greyhounds of the Verde Valley) into taking a bunch of us youngsters (from 4 - 6 months old) who were either too small to race (me and my sister), or who were "oops" litters. Little did Mom realize she'd end up fostering not just one of us, but eventually THREE of us, including my twin litter sister, Dahlia (whose name then was Onyx..)
No PhotoShopping here.
I really wore this for Howl-o-ween!
Imagine the confusion at our house)! Mom fell in love with a photo of me taken at the kennel where I was
raised, but said she wasn't adopting any more dogs. Period. Well... once I turned on the charm,
climbed up in her lap and rooed my little
I pride myself on my
subtle understatement
heart out with joy, she was a goner and I stayed. Period. Occasionally I heard her muttering something about, "Why didn't I keep the WELL BEHAVED one??" but I don't pay any attention to that whining. I have learned to tune it out. All I know is, I stayed, my friends and littermate all ended up in their perfect Forever Homes too, so all is well and right with the world!

So, this is us. My brothers, my sisters, my mom, and, of course... me. Yep, love really does make my world go 'round.

No matter when or where, I am always ME to the BONE!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Family: The Boys!

Roo here... Usually my blog is about... well... me... of course. But some people and animals around here have been whining (mostly Mom) that I wasn't sharing enough of the limelight, so I thought I would introduce you officially to the rest of my pack. As it would be very long to do everyone in one post, let me feature age before beauty and start with this blog about my two older brothers.

Note the kinda ragged ear tips. Auggie LOVES puppies and
when Mom had a litter of foster puppies back in Texas, Aug
was so loving and patient with them he even let them chew on
his ears when Mom wasn't looking! He would lie down in the
whelping box with them when their mama got out for a break!
This is Auggie. Mom got him when he was 9 weeks old and he will turn 13 years young this September. Auggie is a very sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback who is also a retired show dog with quite a successful career. Now, however, his job is apparently to hog the bed, play with Brentina, eat, pee and fart. Oh, and to follow Mom pretty much wherever she goes. He loves to back up and sit on humans' laps because that always earns him some extra butt scritches. Something about it being 'cute' and 'sweet.' He's getting a bit 'creaky' and sags in a few places he didn't use to sag, but he surprises us every day with a leap and a run, or some shenanigans!
He brags about all the things he won in his show career, but IMHO, if you don't win HATS, what's the big deal?!?!  But he is a pretty benevolent pack leader, behind Mom... and me, of course... me.

Next is Azi, the rescued Azawakh. He is the Fun Police at our house and won't hesitate to let us know if he feels we have stepped out of line. He's probably around 11, but that's not for sure as he was adopted. He was found beside a highway in Oklahoma by a truck driver who took him home. The thing about Azi is, he can climb ANYTHING. He kept climbing out of the truck driver's yard to go around and be with the neighbors and their dogs, so they took him to a shelter. At the shelter, he kept scaling the 10' fence around his kennel area and then he'd go around to the front door of the shelter and scratch at the door to be let inside with the humans.

Here's Azi with his very favorite person on Earth... Mom

Mom is VERY grateful he mastered this trick because she thinks it kept him alive at this kill shelter long past his *shudder* 'd-day.' The workers fell in love with him and some ANGELS (Shelter Walkers) contacted Mom's rare breed rescue group. She picked him up, even placed him in a wonderful home... but Azi apparently had other ideas. He had bonded with Mom and made his decision known, in no uncertain terms! Azawakhs are known for this, so he came back home and stayed. To tell the truth, I think Mom was really glad that placement didn't work... she'd bonded with him too. He lost one eye to Glaucoma a couple years ago but still goes everywhere with Mom and hikes and rough houses with the best of them. He has an unusual soft spot for Brentina (go figure) and she has convinced him to play and romp more than he's ever done before, so I guess that's a good thing. Mom says he's the most "obedient" dog in the household. Pppfffttt... I say he's just sucking up, but that's OK... Mom can believe whatever she wants...
These are my brothers... my protectors and my teachers, and I love them.

I guess that silly old song Mom sometimes hums really is right... "Love... love will keep us together... "  

We would ALL like to thank (over and over again) our dear friends, Nick & Deb Hunseder, for taking the absolutely wonderful photographs of the boys used in this blog, and for loving all of us almost as much as Mom does!

Next blog, saving the best for last, in my opinion, will feature the rest of our family - the girls!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Mom:  What a great morning! And just LOOK at all of you... being so peaceful and qui...


Mom:  Why did I even say anything...

Me:  Because deep down, you KNEW of the danger! It's a BIRD in the YARD!!! We're all DOOMED unless I can GET IT!!!!!!

Mom:  Oh for god's sake, Roo... It's a teeny, tiny Hummingbird. Just look how cute it is!

Me:  Do not be deceived by it's cuteness!! Hummingbirds... all birds... are shifty and not to be trusted! They can dive bomb you and make poop fall from TREES!

Mom:  Your enthusiasm is noted. Thank you for sharing this Public Service Announcement... at the top of your lungs.

Me:  How can you humans be so gullible?! Just LOOK at it! There is more to that bird than meets the eye. I'll bet it's NUCLEAR!!! OMDOMDOMD!!!!!! We're all DOOOOOOOMED!!!!!!!!

Mom:  ??

Me:  Don't you SEE?!?! It could go all ATOMIC on us at ANY TIME!!!!!!! LET ME OUT THERE!!!!!!

Mom:  Roo, don't you remember? You caught that young hawk last year? (And nice form, by the way, catching it in mid-air... gotta give you that one...  *fist/paw bump*)

Me:  *paw/fist bump back*  YES!!! I was a mighty HUNTRESS!!!

Mom:  Well, remember how gentle you were with it? You put it in my hand when I asked you, we put it up in the tree, gave it some sugar water and it recovered and flew off?? It never hurt anyone and it was a GOOD thing you did, being gentle and not hurting it.

Me:  *Shakes head*  Oh, Mom, Mom, Mom... you don't have a clue... I was being careful so it would not EXPLODE AND WREAK HAVOC AND SPREAD IT'S BIRD RADIATION AROUND THE WORLD!!!!! I SAVED YOUR LIFE, WOMAN... and you re-payed me by consorting with The Enemy!!!

Mom:  Why do I even try...?? sigh...

Me:  Apology accepted. Now let's get CRACKIN'! LET ME OUT THERE!!!

Mom:  Your case has been duly noted and recorded. Jury has adjourned to the to the conference room for consideration. They are conferring and comparing notes... comparing reality... to friggin' dream world. Oh, look! Jury is back in record time! Verdict??  N. O.      NO!!

Me:  Why must you mock me on matters of national security?

Mom:  Because it's fun?

Me:  You will be the first to die when the Zombie Apocalypse comes...

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ah, Halloween... a time when all Fashion Forward hounds can strut their stuff without being called garish. My kinda day!

In the past, Mom hasn't let me really do it up, but this year, I caught her when her defenses were weak, lined that up with a trip to our local discount store, and VOILÀ... instant amazing stunningness!!  (And yes, in case you're wondering, use of discount stores is officially allowable on Halloween as this qualifies under "Special Circumstances" and "Fashion Emergencies.")

Mom was very proud of me. I has fun in my outfit, and walked around actually using the little eye holes in my mask. Devilishly clever of me, don't you think? A couple of times the mask slipped a tad and I had to put my head down and walk very slowly. For some reason, this made Mom chuckle. I, however, handled it with my natural aplomb and just kept asking myself, "Would Elle MacPherson or Tyra Banks let this slow them down on the runway?? NO!! So I'll be darned if I will succumb to 'costume mishaps.'" 
The choice of this costume, you might ask?? Well, I was feeling a little bit prickly that day, but mostly, it was simply a matter of fashion. Red and sparkles show off my coat and eyes. We über-models must always be on the lookout for a greyt photo op... or for something particularly juicy and different in Mom's price range! BOL! I think the combination of discount and 'found in this closet you'd forgotten about' worked quite well.

Some may call it "cheap and cheesy." I prefer to call it "inexpensive exquisiteness." What about you? Are you taking full advantage of this perfect opportunity to strut your stuff? I sure hope so! If I come up to your door and bark, "TRICK OR TREAT!" you'd better have some bones ready, or the pitchfork comes out!
Stay safe and have fun!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Been a Long Haul Back!

Mom/Em at the keyboard this time. I just want to thank everyone for your patience as Roo has been busy playing nurse and had to miss a few weeks of her blog. I took a serious tumble on a hike with three of the dogs (the girls, of course) and have been recuperating ever since. The good news: I should make a full recovery.

The ironic part - the fall happened when the girls were being EXTRA GOOD at responding to my commands! We were in an off-leash area out in the boonies. Usually I call, wait... wait some more, and they come walking or trotting back. Well, this time Roo and Brenti decided to come at warp speed, and before I could turn around at the sound of their thundering paws and side-step them, they skidded to a stop, but not before they struck me from behind and flipped me up into the air where I did a [no doubt very lovely and graceful] cartwheel and landed on my back and head.

To their credit, all three girls stayed with me......

                                              ......and this is what I saw when I opened my eyes:

Oh... sorry... that's what I WISH I had seen when I opened my eyes... sigh...

OK, here is [the cheap, poorly staged, fake re-enactment of almost] what I saw:

Brentina & Onyx: "Hellooooo there! Are you alive? If not, is it OK if we go all Donner Party on you in order to survive??"

Roo: "I hope you made arrangements in your will to leave me to someone with money for hats."

Dogs know when their owner is not doing well and these girls were so careful with me as I slowly realized I was alive and in one piece, was finally able to breathe after having the wind knocked out of me, then limped back to the car. While recuperating at home, it's as if Brenti and Roo (my two rough and tumble girls) called a Time Out. They were quiet and docile... at least until I was better able to move and fend for myself! Now that I'm getting back to work, all bets are off and the household is again filled with scampering and growling and play bows and body slams... but they are playing AROUND me instead of ON me the majority of the time.

While I was temporarily living in a wonderful pain-pill-induced haze, my dogs, my FABULOUS local and online friends, and my very understanding bosses and co-workers made all the difference in the world to me. At work, schedules were shifted in order to give me sufficient 'down time' to feel better. Friends brought me food, helped me feed the dogs, were so very supportive, and even loaned me a wonderful grabby thingy so I could pick stuff up off the floor (a godsend since I couldn't bend down and the floor was getting pretty cluttered as I kept dropping things... thank you, Hydrocodone). You, my online friends, were also supportive and kept cheering me on, letting me know I wasn't alone. My dogs provided love, concern (nothing like a big snoot in your face first thing when you wake up.. "You still alive??"), gentle snuggles and the occasional laugh (ow... my ribs... ) throughout the healing process. They're amazing, these animal companions of ours.

Again, thank you all for your support and love! You have no idea how much it has meant. Seriously.
Miss Licorice Roo will be back... and with a vengeance, I'm afraid! (You know how she is!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Always Be Prepared

We are coming into the peak of hiking season here in Northern Arizona, so all of us have been updating our hiking accessories. Brentina has a lot to learn about creating and maintaining Diva Status on the trail. My job as Official Diva Mentor never ends... sigh...

As you can see, Brentina is a minimalist when it comes to... well... pretty much anything. She only has ONE collar, ONE backpack, ONE HAT!!! (can you BELIEVE that?!?!?) I have GOT to get her out of that little rut...

 Anyway, here she is with her backpack containing only two bottles of water, Mom's camera, and a little water bowl. Brentina wears her Gentle Leader (basic black, of course) and has a BLUE leash with a [non-matching] GREEN poop bag purse. At least you can tell she is learning how to strike a pose, thank dog! My training is finally paying off... albeit in bits and pieces. 

Brentina refuses to wear a hat on her hikes. She says she likes to have her ears "free" and "flapping in the wind..." Oy... She does love her hikes, I must say, and she is very serious about her carrying duties. She's becoming a beautiful, graceful young lady. (Wow... I can't believe I actually said that... ) Mom is very proud of her on her hikes and even says she walks better than ME sometimes! I just tell Mom to chillax... I am showing enthusiasm... spunk... interest in natural minutia, if you will.

Yet again, it was left to me to step up and be a shining example of Full Hike Preparedness & Accessorization. 

I showed Brentina how to properly load her backpack up in order to maximize the hiking experience, while still cutting a fine figure on the trail and allowing everyone to see that you are prepared for anything. 

As you can see, I am fully loaded: water (on the other side since it's not photogenic and will not impress anyone on the trail), binoculars, decorative collar with bling ornament, leash with MATCHING poop purse, coat conditioner, bug spray, chap stick (yes, I have lips), paw lotion, cell phone, camera, and a poncho that goes with the whole ensemble. But something was missing... 

...Oh yeah... 

...A HAT!! 

Now, not only do I look stylish on the trail, but I am prepared for any fur emergency, sunny weather, inclement weather, photo op, bug attack, or celebrity sighting. That little backpack probably never dreamed it could hold so much greyt stuff! As you can tell, I was giddy with excitement over my Outdoor Roo look. 

The only conceivable drawback: it weighs as much as me... sigh...
Fashion is a tough business...