For The Love Of Dog

On Sunday morning, my alarm woke me from a deep sleep. I noticed that our dogs, Seamus and Marlowe, were tucked into us on our bed, barely opening an eye to see that I was awake. It was too early for all of us.

I did the usual roll out of bed, open the back door to let the dogs go outside. I noticed that the sky was surprisingly gray, and our patio and lawn were wet. “Holy crap, it actually rained.” I thought. We are having the worst drought right now so any rain is appreciated, although it did seem unusual to me that it would rain on the day of the Wiggle Waggle Walk. This would be the fifth time we have participated in this event for the Pasadena Humane Society, and every time it’s been ridiculously warm outside. I realized my dogs had no interest in getting out of my bed this early, so I shut the door and got myself ready to leave.

We met Seamus at our first WWW five years ago, when we were asked to walk a shelter dog to promote adoption during the event. We had lost our dog, Ferris, to cancer just 6 weeks earlier (that’s why we started doing these walks) and our dog, Riley, had torn her ACL in her knee four days before the walk, so she couldn’t attend because she was recovering from surgery. Seamus was 7 months old at the time and even back then, he had no interest in walking the 3.2 miles around the Rose Bowl for this event. He loves to go for walks around our neighborhood, but anything over a mile and a half and he parks himself on a lawn and is over it. Riley has developed osteoarthritis in her surgery knee and since she’s pretty anxious anyway, we just bring Marlowe to do the walk. Yesterday was her third one (she did her first one 6 weeks after we adopted her) and seems to really enjoy it.

It’s funny,  Marlowe is only 2 years old so in small settings where there’s a few dogs, she gets super over-stimulated and practically turns into the Tasmanian Devil running laps around dogs she wants to play with. The Wiggle Waggle Walk brings out hundreds and hundreds of people and their dogs, which I think borders on overwhelming for Marlowe, so she becomes a very polite, well-mannered girl who just does the walk and enjoys the scenery and all the other dogs that are out there to do the same.

As we were nearing the end of the walk, we passed a woman who was walking a chihuahua. Marlowe was cruising along, looking forward and minding her own business when this chihuahua lunged at Marlowe’s face and snapped at her. Marlowe just looked at her like she was weird and kept going. The dog lunged again, snarling and showing it’s teeth, which Marlowe again ignored, but it was making me really uncomfortable, so we walked quickly to get ahead of them. I heard the woman tell her friend, with a chuckle, “Yea, she likes to get in the face of Pit Bulls and challenge them. Hahahaha!”


I was trying to figure out if she thought it was cool that her small dog was essentially trying to pick fights with other dogs that she decided were bad, and that her dog was such a badass that she was up for the challenge or what. But all I could think was what a terrible pet owner to think it’s funny that your dog lunges and shows its teeth at other dogs ESPECIALLY in an environment where we’re all here to support an organization that does so many great things for animals. Either way, that was pretty shitty and I’m just glad our dog wasn’t hurt.

We finished the walk and I realized I hadn’t seen Pixie at all. Pixie is my awesome photographer friend who did all the photos for our rescue pet calendar. She has loved working with animals so much that she volunteered to take pictures before, during, and after the walk. I found her at a little booth, where she had brought all kinds of adorable props (bow ties, glasses, hats, feather boas) so people could get cute pup pictures taken. We decided Marlowe would look fashionably glamorous in a purple feather boa, and surprisingly, she didn’t protest wearing it.

Marlowe and her feather boa

Feather boa girl

I am so grateful for all of the support, both in helping to spread the word about our project to help PHS and the donations that were made. The rescue pet calendars are being delivered from the printer to me today, and I will start shipping them out to donors this week. I will be taking down our donation page this Friday (October 3rd) so if you would like one for yourself, or to make a donation in honor of a friend or family member who loves animals, so they receive the rescue pet calendar gift for the upcoming holidays, there’s still a little time to do so.  And remember, if you’re considering becoming a pet owner, the best breed is rescue.

Marlowe and Wil

Trying to get Marlowe to focusMarlowe face!

After several attempts, we finally got Marlowe to look at the camera.
After several attempts, we finally got Marlowe to look at the camera.

14 thoughts on “For The Love Of Dog

  1. That’s terrible about the chihuahua owner. I’m glad that the rest of the event went smoothly. When my dogs eventually pass on, I’m fairly confident that I’ll be looking into rescues.

  2. Marlowe is really such a beautiful dog. You are all so blessed to have found each other.

    and I hope the lady that “owns” that Chihuahua is actually a reader here … maybe she just didn’t know that “delighting” in your own pet’s aggression is, um, stupid?, and she’ll learn it here.

    You, Anne, are MUCH more diplomatic than I ever could or would be!

  3. Marlowe has the sweetest face I’ve ever seen! Good for her for ignoring the chihuahua and continuing on her merry way.

    It will be a shame when the dog decides to “pick a fight” with a dog (any dog) with lesser manners than Marlowe; I’m sure she wouldn’t be laughing at it then. It’s people like that who help continue the bad image so many already have for pit bulls and the like.

  4. Years ago, I was walking my Collie when a Chihuahua ran out from a lawn, unrestrained, and bit her in the face. My dog just freaked out and ran away, scared and startled, especially given the fact that she was blind (had been from about a year old – congenital). I never walked down that road again. Why? Because if my dog had retaliated, she was quite capable of killing that dog if she got it, and because even if she didn’t get it badly, I, as a large dog owner, would have been the one with a dog in trouble over any event that happened, despite my dog being on lead and the other being at large.

    The owner of that dog also laughed. There is a disconnect with some little dog owners that makes their antics funny instead of dangerous, and that’s not a good thing. As an emergency veterinarian, I can tell you that I see BDLDs nearly every day. Tonight included. (Slang for “big dog, little dog,” and the injuries are almost always the same – and always bad to deadly.) The small dog isn’t being cute, or Napoleonic, or anything else. It is merely being dangerous. To the large dog, to humans, and to itself.


    But like Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas are wonderful creatures. I know some that I would rank among the very best of dogdom. It’s just some owners who epic fail at being, well, owners.

    But on to better things!

    Hooray for rescue!

    1. Thank you, wabbit89, for that. Throughout my childhood, I was afraid of all dogs. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned to get along quite nicely with medium-to-large dogs, but I will still avoid the little ones (possibly out of fear?)… so maybe it’s a case of BPLD-anxiety on my part. Or maybe I just fear the epic fails of the owners.

      I dunno. I’m a cat person. I do appreciate dog people who live epic win lives, like the Wheatons.

      1. I have kitties, too. And I love them in an entirely different way. My dogs are my hiking buddies, where my cats are my babies. 😉

        And the older I get, the more I like little dogs, for cost and ease of care and so that I have to worry less about a bite to a cat being serious (not because large dogs are mean, but simply because their bites are by nature worse if they happen) and because some of them are just super cool, but I haven’t gone below 28 pounds yet – with the great Hobie Wan Kenobi! 🙂

        Also, it’s ok to be nervous around dogs. Not everyone likes dogs, and that’s ok. It’s the job of the dog owner to understand this and constantly be vigilant on the part of their dog. Keep them safe by always watching – as much as one can, anyway. And part of that is being responsible around other dogs and all humans.

      2. I’m also afraid of little dogs. Especially the ones that are yappy. Eventually I just get sick of their “YAPYAPYAPYAPYAPYAPYAP!!!!” and yell “BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK!!!” at them. That usually shuts them up. But snarly little dogs? Get them away from me or I’m out of the room. Never bit as a kid, but there’s just something about them.

        I love big dogs. Even big “mean” dogs like dobermans, german shepherds, rotties or pitbulls. All they want is love, and I’m a sucker for a dog (or cat!) that wants love 🙂

    2. This pretty much sums up my fears of walking our pittie regularly. We have a small dog, chihuahua mix maybe, that the owner constantly walks without a leash. Our pittie is a first degree rescue – by which I mean she was found chained to a fence with bites and scars on her neck and had obviously been there long enough to have skinned her paws – and doesn’t do well with other dogs on the best of terms. She thinks she knows how to play but she sounds so angry that it turns into a fight for alpha. (ironically – she is amazing with cats).
      Anyway – this dog has charged at her more than once – and i have had a heart attack nearly every time we walk past that dogs house. Our pittie could take one snap at that dog and hurt it – and I worry (always) that she will react to something that will get her taken away from us. Being a bully breed, if she were to hurt a dog (even one that initiated a fight) we would run the risk of loosing her.
      I hope this post reminds all dog owners that just because they think its cute or funny doesn’t meant their dog’s behavior is appropriate. I also hope it reminds people that not all dogs are good at being social, and that leash laws exist to protect everyone.

      Im glad marlowe is such a great dog – and that she didn’t react. She has such a sweet face, and sounds like a saint.

      Thank you for advocating for all rescues including breeds that often deal with discrimination.

  5. This reminds me of the time I was volunteer dog walking for an animal shelter. I was walking a staffie and passed a woman walking her own dog. Her dog started barking at the staffie, who was just ignoring it. This woman had the gall to yell at the staffie, because her dog was barking at it.

  6. The second photo of Marlowe in her purple boa, lying on the ground, is just beautiful. What a photogenic girl!

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