Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of Dogs, Cats, Fishes and the Nicest People Ever!

What a fun weekend! I got to play with many friends. Have I told you about my friend Basil, a little hairy Cairn terrier? He is a crazy fella - full of energy and spunk. I can barely keep up with him. My dogwalker P was watching him for the weekend so she brought him over to play. We raced up the stairs and started wrestling on Mom and Dad's bed. Mom was rather nervous as Basil is a Pee-head - he is forever peeing everywhere...but we forgive him in the main, 'cos he is so cute. But Mom would not have appreciated pee on the our stint there was brief:

Today, Mom and Dad took me to visit my cousin Pepper, now known as Ricky Pepper - it was so nice to see him again and to meet his sisters Lucy and Chloe and many kitty siblings and fishies! Boy, his parents sure are animal lovers, and they have a great house and back yard to play in. I was mad at Dad for refusing to drive me to Massachewsits to visit Gracie when the parents go to South Africa soon - and frankly, I got really nervous when we went to check out a kennels two weeks ago. I can't imagine staying there for 20 days separated from humans and dogs alike. So I am VERY happy to report, that Ricky Pepper's wonderful parents have offered to take me into their home and look after me while my parents are away. I think I will be very happy to stay with them and to have such great friends to play with. Mom and Dad are ever so happy and relieved -- we all agree we couldn't hope to find nicer people to watch over me!

Here I am with Ricky Pepper - see how he's grown! We were both smiling at Cee, Ricky Pepper's Mommy and hoping she had a snack up her sleeve..

Here the two doxies - Ricky Pepper and Lucy (8 months) check out my private parts - it was mighty weird being the tallest guy in the house!

And here you can see Chloe the Beagle - she's more or less my age, bit older and she likes to bark!

And finally, here I am checking out one of three cats that share the house. I like kitties and look forward to making their acquaintance in the future...

After meeting these wonderful people and creatures, I came home, jumped up onto my favorite spot, and went to sleep while the Food Network played in the background (I prefer it to Animal Planet anytime! Scrumptuous!).


Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Best of Times!

The folks and I returned today from 5 glorious days vacation. I'd like to tell you all about it!

On Saturday, after packing up the car, Mom put a new contraption on me and fastened me practically to the back seat. I am partial to riding next to Dad in the front, so I started whimpering and letting my malcontent feelings known. Dad told Mom to ignore me. But dear old Mom couldn't take me being so unhappy, so she clambered into the back and released me from my bonds. I spent the rest of the journey with Mom on her lap while Dad assumed Taxi driver status.

After lots of traffic and stopping at Arby's on the way, we pulled up to a curious looking cabin in a little town called Townbank in Cape May County.

I hopped inside and took a look around. By the time I got to the couch, Mom had already covered it with a sheet to protect the dear couch from ME. I still liked it though, I had a good view from the top of the couch and from the front door.

I also checked out the big outside yard, it was awesome! I especially liked the patio furniture:

But the thing I liked BEST about this vacation was the BEACH! It was just two short blocks from our home - Dad told Mom it was the Delaware Bay. I had never seen so much water in all my days. Look how beautiful! And did I mention that they WELCOME dogs on this beach? Any time of day and night as long as we are leashed (but so few people were about, and I am so well behaved, that I was frequently allowed to run free!) . Mom loved that there were few people on the beach - it was far from the maddening vacation hordes!

On our first day we headed to the beach with all the necessary paraphenalia - umbrella, chairs, towels and lots of snacks! Mom wasn't sure if I'd behave myself - she thought I might want to gad about and be a pest. Oh ye of little faith Mother! I really showed her...I was such a good boy. I was allotted my own blue towel in between Mom and Dad's chairs and I sat there and just took in the scene...

And of course, I SWAM and I SWAM in the big enormous ocean, uh, bay! At first I was a little scared as the water ran towards and away from me. Here you can chart my progress from tentative at first to sea hound. Mom thinks I look like a spazzy otter at the end - I didn't care, I was having a blast in the deep water - I couldn't even stand half the time.

When we got home from spending hours at the beach...I collapsed on my spot and went to sleep!

On another day, Mom and I just hung out in the big backyard. I like to be with either Mom or Dad at ALL times. I need to keep them out of mischief. So when Mom took her chair and read in the sun, I insisted on having my own chair alongside her:

And as this was MY vacation - why else would they have chosen to holiday at a dog-friendly beach - I expected to be served an afternoon tea of crumpets and strawberry jam.

Ok, that's just a little fantasy of mine - that's what happens when you leave me at home all day and I have to watch too many GEIKO commercials!

After 5 amazing days, it was time to come home to Philly. There had been no bathtub at the cabin (see, very dog friendly too!) so despite all the sand and surf, I never endured more than a bit of a shower (it was easy to run away). So not an hour were we home and BOOM, into the bathtub! I watched the remnants of my holiday go down the drain...and had a moment of deep longing to be back on the beach. I guess it's just tiny fountains for me now, Gosh, how depressing after that godly ocean mass.

Friends, I must impress upon you to keep Townbank a secret! SHHH! We don't want every four-legged creature flocking there with their humans in tow...let's keep this dog-friendly town to ourselves, Fox Terrier Town, USA (and a few of our non-foxie friends).

Avowed Beach Bum
Future Mayor, Townbank NJ

PS When we got home there was a message from Petsmart! It seems Mom's letter to Corporate did help some. They came back to us with an offer of a $100 Petsmart giftcard. Mom and Dad decided to accept it and call it a day. I"m going to be in snacks for a very long time!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Complete Solution to the Itchies (not for the faint hearted)

I said I wasn't going to blog again until after we returned from the shore, but I had to share some foreboding news with you! It all began when Mom received these pictures from her friend Roz in St. Paul, Minnesota. The photos are of one of her wires, Bobby, taken a few hours after having his bath. Mom laughed out loud when she saw these pictures, and you can see why, he sure is a funny wiry guy, dirty and mischievious looking for sure!

After Mom saw Bobby in a Tshirt, she asked his Mom, was that his "bathing suit"? No Roz responded, he wears the Tshirt to help his itchies! It's that dreaded time of year when most of us wires get the itchies allergy - Roz said wearing the Tshirt prevents Bobby from scratching himself to death or until he is bloody. I have been scratching a lot post botched haircut - so unfortunately, Bobby and Roz gave Mom an idea! She plans to get me a Tshirt! Oh no! I hate wearing clothes (even if a Tshirt will cover my awful haircut)! I did hear Mom say to Dad though, that most of my scratching or biting of myself from itchyness is centered on my legs and head. My greatest fear now is that they will graduate from Tshirt to THIS....




Thursday, July 19, 2007

Shore Bound, Hurrah!

Mom, Dad and me are off to the seaside this weekend, for a 5-day holiday! We are all terribly excited. We'd be beach bums for sure if we had half a chance and the necessary income.

Mom found a little beach cabin (pictured) to rent in a town in New Jersey, called Town Bank. It is only TWO blocks from the beach! It is in Cape May county, a few miles from the quaint town of Cape May. Mom heard that Town Bank is very dog friendly, and even had dog-friendly beaches! Did I mention that we are excited?

Because of my radical haircut, Mom bought me some sun block today just in case. I'm itchy enough thank you without getting sunstroke!

So you might not hear from me for a few days as I have to pack tomorrow (I have a lot of toys you know), and we're off on Saturday and return on Wednesday. So toodles for now! I see a lot of water in my immediate future, and that sends me into paroxyms of jubilation and glee!!!


PS To all the folks who tagged me, sorry I haven't gotten to it. I'm a busy chap.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Name and Shame

I have decided to defy my Mommy a little. This after consultation with many of my wirey pals who all want to know which groomer ruined my coat and treated us so poorly. They want to know so they don't make the same mistake. So, I, Axel G Chocholoza, believe it is time to name the culprit - but by doing so I want to emphasize that I hold nothing against the company in general and fully support the charitable work they do for animals. I am only naming and shaming their grooming salon in South Philadelphia.

The place I got my botched haircut is PETSMART on Passayunk. Above left you can see a photo of my throat taken a few days ago. They shaved me so close (and look at the hair they left behind, I look so stupid), I am suffering from a terrible bout of itchiness and I can't help scratching myself till I bleed. My neck is one area, I also have a gash above my eye and on my one leg. Mom keeps dabbing me with "hot spots" liquid, but I just need to scratch all the time. So is it not just that the culprit finally gets named on my famous blog?

A company of that size and reputation should have done a lot more for us than offer us a refund or 3 free haircuts in their horrid grooming salon.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Before I update you on the showdown at the groomers who butchered my beautiful coat, I want to wish my dear Mama a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! She is just over 5 in doggie years, so she is still a pup (She made me write that!).

Yesterday Mom went to the chain petstore (we don't want to tell you which one because we still like the store in general because they do good charity work for animals and we don't believe in besmirching someone's good name over one nasty incident) where I got horribly groomed last week. She was all fired up to meet the store manager and get some justice for us. The store manager to whom she had written letters and sent photos was not in, so she spoke to a nice woman named Krystal. Krystal listened and cared about what we'd been through. Mom and her then went to speak to Josie, the lady who lied to Mom or who at least lied by omission in failing to tell Mom that Melissa did NOT groom me, but some ill-experienced novice did the job. Mom reports that Josie denied lying but did admit that Melissa had not groomed me but she insisted that Melissa had been with the novice the whole time, showing him what to do etc. Mom wasn't born yesterday (see above for proof) - you have only to LOOK at me to know that Melissa could not have supervised my haircut. Mom told them straight that she didn't believe it for a second.

Anyway, yadda yadda yadda -- Krystal and Josie offered Mom 3 free grooming sessions and Josie added that SHE herself would do the job {shudder}! Know what Mom did? She laughed! I mean seriously, how can you offer my Mom free haircuts in the salon that did this to me and by the SAME woman who lied and caused this all in the first place. Mom entrusted me to Melissa - clearly and explicitly - they deceived her in letting someone else groom me (who didn't know what he was doing) and then not telling Mom that that is what happened. Not to mention that they made Melissa look bad by implying that she had groomed me and did a bad job of it.

Krystal promised Mom she'd ask the District Manager if he could do anything. We believe we should be compensated monetarily so that another groomer can restore my coat to its former glory. We wait and see what transpires, but Mom is not holding her breath.

On a happier note. Mom asked me for a birthday kiss today. I did not oblige, I'm not a licker type of dude. I never lick unless peanut butter is involved. So Dad told Mom a secret. That if she gently stuck her finger in my ear and held it to my mouth, that I would lick it! How did he find that out??? Mom tried it, and sure enough, I licked her fingers like an idiot. I fell for it! Eek!


PS Later today Krystal called back Mom. She told her she'd spoken to the district manager and all they were willing to offer us is a refund on my haircut or three free haircuts! Mom said she'd collect the former but would NEVER accept the latter, ever. We don't think this is good enough, but that's the end of the matter as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Truth Comes Out

Mom finally found out the truth. I wish I could speak, I would have told her sooner. Mom called to speak to Melissa my groomer and finally got through to her. Melissa told Mom that she DID NOT groom me. Of course I knew that, but Mom didn't, she only suspected that to be the case. Melissa explained that the salon manager, Josie, insisted that some novice groom me instead because he needed to earn his certification - I believe you have to groom certain breeds to earn this.

I have never seen Mom so angry. Mom detests LIARS above all else. That the salon manager lied to Mom - that she made excuses saying they were busy and that Melissa was leaving so maybe she didn't care as she usually did - is disgusting. She knew all along Melissa was innocent and she LIED, LIED, LIED.

Mom is now taking this to the top. She called the store manager, but he is on vacation until Monday, she spoke to the second in command. He assured Mom that all necessary action would be taken.

I'd say Josie is in big doo-doo!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Grief at the Groomers: A Tail of Woe

I have mustered up the strength to post pictures of my horrible haircut I had yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I am still very distressed. Mom told me there are levels of grief - I think I hit the pissed off level today.

Before I went to the groomer I looked like this. Scruffy, yes. But my coat was nice and wiry, and tri-color. You can see my black saddle and brown patches.

And last time I came home from the groomers, I looked like this and we were all happy! My face looks like a wire, my saddle is still black - I look handsome.

Now prepare yourselves, for you are about to see how I, Axel G Chocholoza, went from being a beautiful debonaire wire, to one with Schnauzer shaved head, clipped body with a horrible loss of tricolorism and wiry coat.

Just look what they did to my face!!! Would you not cower under the table too, wishing it was all some hideous nightmare?

Mom and Dad are beyond upset. They cannot understand how Melissa, the groomer, could ruin my coat like this? Mom left strict instructions that I was to be stripped. Melissa knew that - she'd done it twice before. And yet, she clippered me and didn't make me look anything like a wire should look. My neck was shaved so close, it's red and it itches.

Suffice to say we will NEVER set foot in that Groomers again. Mom has written to the store manager to complain and will call tomorrow to yell at Melissa. The salon manager told Mom she was sorry, that they were busy that day (great excuse don't ya think?) and that Melissa is leaving their employ at the end of the week. Mmmnn, not sure I buy that. Tomorrow Melissa comes back to work, and you can be sure Mom will be calling her to demand an explanation!

Yours in abject misery,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

About my Family

I am very depressed because I went for my haircut today and the groomer did a horrible job on me. We are confused and upset as she did a good job last time. I told Mom and Dad they shaved me instead of stripping my ex-beautiful coat. I can't even bear to show you what I look like....Mom already wrote a letter to the groomer to complain...but I'm trying not to focus on it...luckily Ricky Pepper tagged me and says I have to tell you about my family. So here goes...

About my Mommy
My Mommy was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. That's her right - when she was a toddler. She is the youngest of three and the only daughter. She grew up in a small, warm Jewish community and went to Jewish day school and high school and LOVED it. (Guess school is different from obedience school!) Mommy grew up in SA at a time when there was a horrible government that oppressed the majority of South Africans who are black people - it was called Apartheid. White and black people were not allowed by law to integrate - black people could not live where they liked, own property, get a good education and never go to the same schools, universities, restaurants, movies etc as white people. Until Mom was in her teens, she didn't even realize people lived diffently in other countries. Then she realized something in her world was very very wrong.

Mom had three parents - her biological Mom and Dad and a black nanny named Tina (right). Most families had live-in servants. Mom loved Tina with all her heart - Tina was pure unconditional love and lived with her family for the first 25 years of Mom's life. She passed away 3 years ago.

When Mom was 10, her Dad suggested they get a wire fox terrier. Mom wanted a maltese poodle, but her Dad said wires had spunk. So she relented. Georgie was a wonderful wire and Mom was nuts about her. That's the two of them pictured left when Mom first got Georgie. Georgie lived for 15 years, and Mom vowed that one day she would have another wire. My middle initial is in honor of Georgie.

After high school, Mom went to Law school even though she wanted to be a journalist - at that time there was no university degree in Journalism in SA, so she followed her parent's advice and went to study law. She didn't enjoy it very much but graduated. In that same year, Apartheid ended and on the most memorable day of her life, Mom stood in line for hours with Tina and millions of other South Africans of all races, most of them voting for the first time in their lives.

She didn't know what to do then because she didn't want to be a lawyer, so she decided to travel - and went to Israel where her brother lived and some friends. Mom lived in the holy city of Jerusalem for 6.5 years. It was the best and worst of times - she met wonderful people, did well in her new chosen editing and managing websites career and enjoyed speaking Hebrew etc; but it was also the height of the Palestinian uprising (Intifada), and buses were exploding all the time, suicide bombers seemed to be everywhere - life was scary and precarious. At some point she met an American guy (not my Daddy!) and they dated for almost 2 years but then he announced he was going home to Florida. Mom decided to go visit him for 2 months to check out the relationship and the USA. After two months, Mom ditched the guy but was in love with the USA - the freedom, the peace, the huge array of choices in the supermarket! And of course the beaches in Florida. So she took a very big risk - put all her stuff in storage in Israel and decided to stay - she was able to still work for the Israeli company as it was a web job.

Mom had to find a job and visa sponsorship in the USA to stay...but then 9/11 happened. Mom couldn't believe it. She'd left Israel to avoid bombs and now they were there! And the terrorists had been living down the road in Mom's new neighborhood of Delray Beach! Yikes! After almost a year, noone wanted to hire Mom...her visa was running she thought she would have to go back to Israel. Before she left, she thought she'd go see some family living in Philly. And yadda yadda yadda - sent her resume to 2 places there for the heck of it, got an interview and got the job and sponsorship and moved to Philadelphia! She still works there today as an E-Communications and Marketing Manager!

About My Daddy
Daddy grew up in Philadelphia. He is the oldest of three and has two sisters (opposite of Mom). That's him at around age 5 taking a bath, heh heh! He had a few dogs growing up, including Bunnie a very fat mixed breed terrier and Ted, a German short-haired pointer. Growing up in the USA wasn't as eventful (or interesting) as Mom's life in SA - so fast forward to post high school. Dad went to school in NYC to study audio engineering. When he was quite young he got married (first wife). They then went to live in California where Daddy worked in Hollywood as a studio engineer in the music biz and an audio engineer in film (he worked for that boring movie The English Patient!) At some point he came back to Philly, got divorced and worked for a TV station as a broadcast engineer. Now he is in the security biz installing CCTV and video surveillance cameras to catch baddies etc...all I know is, he always finds time to take me on awesome walks!

How they Met
When Mommy moved to Philly in 2002, she joined an online dating website and met many many creepy guys. Then her cousin (the one she'd flown to visit) in Philly told her a friend mentioned that her friend had a nice son to introduce Mom to. So she said ok and they went on their first date to a Cuban restaurant. They got on really well and dated for quite a while....Mom loved Dad's loud, raucous laugh and his ability to fix anything; Dad loved Mom's petiteness (she's 4'11) and funny accent. Soon they both knew it was the real deal. Mom took Dad to SA to meet her family - they loved Dad - and he proposed during a Friday night (Sabbath dinner) in between mouthfuls of awesome South African roast beef and warm challah bread.

They got married on June 4, 2006 in Philadelphia. Mom said, let the family endure the 25 hour flight for a change - and endure they did. Everyone came from South Africa, Australia, Israel, London, Canada and around the USA - Mom has family and friends everywhere. I spent the day at doggy day care - don't think I ever let them forget it. No dogs at a country club my ass!

Mom and Dad's Likes and Dislikes
Mom loves writing! She writes and writes all those people around the world mostly. She also reads like a maniac - one or two books a week. She loves the Free Library in Philadelphia! Mom loves Marmite - a black yeast spread she grew up on. Most Americans, including Dad can't stand the sight of it. Mom also likes steak, fried liver and onions, cola tonic and lemonade (a SA drink), Cadbury's chocolates, salt & vinegar potato chips. She won't eat swine in any form, but lately relented and allows Dad to eat bacon (I get some too on occasion. I am not a Kosher dog) She is positively wire mad! She watches quite a lot of TV - loves British comedy, Rescue Me, Seinfeld...

Dad loves to read manuels! No magazines or newspapers in our bathroom, just manuals! He is very handy and can fix anything and everyone in his family knows it ("Son/Brother can you come and fix x?"). He knows music - name a lyric and he'll tell you the band. He has thousands of CD's - Mom has about 10. Dad doesn't like throwing out's Mom's pet peeve. The basement is his domain - Mom is too scared to go down there. Dad loves chocolate ice cream and he is addicted to Coca-cola. It is the only thing he drinks! No tea, no coffee - just Coke! Dad loves Diner food, especially breakfast. Dad enjoys video games and knows every episode of Seinfeld by heart. He watches all the reruns despite owning the box sets! He loves silly American movies, Mom loves foreign artsy fartsy movies. They order two Netflix movies a week; often one of each.

How I Came About
I came into their lives in July 2005 after Mom did a lot of research finding a good breeder. We are a very happy family. We live in a little house next to Lemon Hill/Fairmount Park where I walk every day and often find tasty snacks left by picnickers! Below is a photo of the street we live on - that's me and Daddy taking a stroll... Our family dream is to one day afford a home of our own with a fenced yard for me to run in, a garage for Daddy and no steps for Mommy! that is the parents and our family! What a long megillah! I need a nap after that!

Now can we please go back to Doggy stuff! And no discussion on haircuts please!
Just for fun, I am going to tag Koobuss and Bebe - I want to hear more about their families!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Great Philly Wire Get Together

This morning after my walk and swim with Dad (yay, no guards were at the fountain), Mom and Dad told me we were going to the Great Philly Wire Get-Together! So off we went in the car. We came to this house, we knocked at the door, and out came Bebe, the one and half year old wiry gal I'd seen online. Boy, what a pistol she is! We immediately started running around the house. Bebe jumped from couch to couch and we were off to a great start. We then went outside and I found, to my delight, that Bebe has a lovely back yard with grass and trees and flowers.

A few minutes later, we were thrilled to see another wiry face at the gate - and it was Elliot, who is just 5 months old!
(We were hoping that Willie, Bebe's cuz would show up, but alas he didn't. Hope we can meet him soon too...)

The Great Philly Wire Get Together was well under way!
Elliot and Bebe played and wrestled while I was a bit more sedate as I was tired from my long walk and swim, and boy was it hot out, even in the shade. Elliot found a shady spot in the dirt, a refuge of sorts from Bebe...

Mom gave us each a Dingo chew to enjoy - and then us wires had fun stealing from eachother. I buried mine in the dirt and Elliot found it with his sniffer. Then Bebe stole Elliot's and carried both hers and his in her mouth and tried to eat them both! Boy it was fun! I also showed the pups - being the resident elder wire - how a drinking bowl could also be used as a pool and to demonstrate, stuck my face and feet in Bebe's water bowl.

To all those fuddy-duddies who say wires do not get along and should be kept separated, all three of us say, PHOOEEY!! (We would prefer to use a more explicit expletive, but being ambassadors for our aristocratic breed, we will restrain ourselves.) We are living proof that we are friendly guys and gals and we play brilliantly together! And we love humans (Bebe gave my Daddy kisses!)

And in case there are still folks out there shaking their heads...I have more proof for you! Today I got an email from my pal Colby in Canada. Would you believe, he was part of the Big Canadian Wire Get Together this weekend as well!! He found four fellow wires living nearby and they all got together to meet up and play. And guess what - they all had a fun time too! I, Axel G Chocholoza, submit more photographic evidence of wires getting along just swell!

I had a brilliant day with Bebe and Elliot and their humans, and I'm really hoping that today was the first of many Great Philly Wire Get Togethers!