Walking Tessa

March 15th, 2016

     Tessa and I have been doing morning “walks” for more than a week. They’re laughably called “walks” or “walking the doggy”, but nothing could be further from the truth. Her brisk pace, despite such a small size, greatly exceeds my own and she pulls ahead as if urging me to run.

     Some have rightly questioned who is being walked and I perceive their assumption being that she’s not the one.

     Tessa still reacts and is often frightened by strange (new) loud noises. Also loud barking dogs we encounter are on her list to be avoided.

     She won’t be receiving her 4th and final puppy vaccination until March 25th so we continue to avoid getting close to other dogs.

    Have signed up for a series of puppy obedience training classes (wonder if I’m the one who’ll get trained?) starting April 10th. Looking forward to when she learns, accepts and responds to words from me. Not convinced the word “commands” is one that works for her.

Tessa on Leash

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Tessa – She’s now 4 lbs

March 8th, 2016
     Contessa Le Rouge (“Tessa”) had her third puppy vaccination from Dr. Cutler at VCA Desert Animal Hospital last Friday. She was three months of age and her weight had increased to over 4 lbs. Her veterinarian noted she has dry skin and prescribed capsule medication designed to address the problem for that’s believed to be the source of her scratching.
     Tessa is teething and anything that can be chewed is fair game. She goes after anything white, anything moving, anything I wear, anything made of paper, anything that is or is not a puppy toy – in fact, remove all the words from each phrase other than “anything” and you get the picture. My walking shoes, paper copies of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, my clothes, me standing motionless, me moving – anything appears to meet the needs of those extremely healthy teeth! Her nails are also quite healthy! My supply of Band-Aids is running low!
     This week we’ve started doing a morning walk. She’s finally becoming accustomed to the retractable leash and often leads the way (at a very brisk pace). She’s also quite social and runs to greet anyone we encounter. Have to keep her away from other doggies for a bit longer (until that fourth vaccination has been administered – probably on March 25th).
     She’s also learning to bark and does so indoors for no apparent reason that I can detect other than her personal amusement and experimentation. Puppy-hood is a great time – for her, that is – and one that leaves me looking forward to her next phase. Tessa’s fun to watch for she’s extremely playful with lots of running, giving her dozen or so little toys a workout and alert to every move I make. She quickly learned which room in the residence is the source of all food and makes her presence (behind me) known anytime I enter the kitchen. Loves Milk Bones, doggy treats and anything I’m preparing for myself. My role as puppy-valet is one she assumes I’m here to perform and it’s one to which I’m apparently being trained.
     Also looking forward to our upcoming move to a new residence where she will have a fenced yard, a doggy door from the house with more tile floors (and fewer floor rugs to chew).
Tessa 4 lbs
Contessa Le Rouge – Red Toy Poodle puppy

Happy Chinese New Year 2016

February 8th, 2016


Happy Chinese New Year



Female Toy Poodle Puppy Search

January 25th, 2016

          As many know my lovable little puppy, Princess Camo, passed away last year a month before her 17th birthday. I continue to mourn her passing and am also grieving a bit over not having a doggy companion. So I’ve finally started searching for a new little doggy friend.

          Camo was an apricot hair color female toy poodle who weighed less than seven pounds. She was the third toy poodle I’ve shared my life with. Her two predecessors were both black and male. Camo left me preferring female doggy companions and a preference for an apricot or similar light hair color. 

          I’m now actively seeking a female toy poodle puppy under a year in age and preferably with apricot hair color or a similar lighter color shade. I’m prepared to travel anywhere in Southern California to see a puppy for I’m not interested in getting one I’ve not seen. I also have no interest in working through a third-party puppy broker. Also, I have no intention of showing or breeding the puppy I hope to find.

          Please share this message with anyone who might be able to facilitate my search. (UPDATE: My search ended January 28th when I found a new puppy. Thanks to all who sent information and notes of support).


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On Stage With the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles

December 20th, 2015

          December 19, 2015, my sister Judy and I attended an evening performance of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) in Glendale at the Alex Theatre. GMCLA was founded in 1979 and currently has over 200 members along with a talented professional and artistic staff. Their website acknowledges they’ve “built an international reputation for musical excellence”, “toured nationally and internationally, released thirteen compact discs, commissioned more than 300 new works and arrangements and appeared frequently on national television”.

          GMCLA produces a spectacular program during the Christmas holiday season and this year was no exception. Titled “Brassy, Classy & Sassy”, the two-hour event was an absolute delight, an opinion shared by Los Angeles Times reviewer Alysia Gray Painter.

          This first half of the program featured the chorus accompanied by a ten member handbell choir from Pasadena. They were the Crown City Ringers. Chorus music selections, including those with the handbell ringers, included Puer Natus Est, Gloria, The Time of the Season, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Carol of the Bells, Alegra, In the Bleak Midwinter (Crown City Ringers solo), The Bells, What Sweeter Music, Ocho Kandelikas, Ave Maria, Chanukah in Santa Monica and Silver Bells.

          The Art of Handbell Ringing has not been widely popularized. It’s a sound and performance that may not appeal to all and possibly qualifies as an acquired taste. The rather lengthy handbell performance with GMCLA may fall in that category. For others it appeared to provide a welcome opportunity to listen and observe a unique musical art form.

          The second half of the GMCLA program consisted of chorus support for eight staged skits. They included Bad Boy Rhapsody, Christmas is for Children, Be a Santa, The Man with the Bag, Santa Baby, Yes Virginia There’s a Santa Claus, Marvelous Holiday Sweater and All the Santa Clauses. The skits, as in years past, were performed by talented chorus members and included tap dancing, singing, slapstick comedy, and visual stunners. They poked fun at a bit of Catholic tradition, Santa Claus girth, and engaged in other mirthful antics. Funny does not begin to describe the scenes and performances. The talented performers, great choreography, staging and lighting combined to produce outstanding bits of humor, parody and song.

          This year audience members were encouraged to wear Ugly Christmas Sweaters and the chorus was entirely decked out in them for their “Marvelous Holiday Sweater” number. Earlier in the evening ushers throughout the theater approached selected patrons and invited them to appear on stage during the sweater number. I was wearing my Ugly Christmas Sweater and was approached about appearing on stage. My wish to decline failed for my sister volunteered me twice. I decided it was useless to argue. Later, immediately prior to the Marvelous Holiday Sweater number, young men, dressed in practically nothing, escorted individual audience sweater performers backstage. My arrival there was greeted with a “go out to the middle of the stage” – which I did. Two young men then grabbed me and said “you are ours”, locked arms with me, and guided me through the dance and other movement steps our sweater group performed while the chorus sang. My sister was delighted by the performance and with her decision to insist that I participate.

          Saturday evening in Glendale was rainy but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. Judy and I had dinner before the performance at the nearby Carousel Restaurant, noted for its “Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine”. The Armenian-Lebanese menu choices included traditional American fare, as well. We had an excellent meal. One unique aspect of our visit to the restaurant was in the men’s restroom. The top flat surface of the urinal had a mini video viewing unit mounted and it was displaying news items about water conservation. I later asked about it. The restaurant manager said the video was able to display anything that could be filmed – news items, commercials, pornography, etc. We both laughed at the latter when discussing whether an interesting or fascinating video would result in longer time at the urinal.

GMCLA Dec 2015 Flyer

          The evening was quite enjoyable and certainly worth the two-hour drive into the Los Angeles area to see the GMCLA performance. I’m looking forward to doing the same again next year.

          View LA Times review of this year’s GMCLA performance:

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