Monday, November 5, 2012


After a bizarrely hot summer, things were just getting back to normal in our house when Tanner, and his 2-legged daddy, were thrown another curve.  Back in August I had undergone outpatient surgery.  The procedure was minor but the bill, as anyone who's been there knows, wasn't quite so trivial.  Having covered my insurance deductible, I decided to see a specialist about my achy left hip.  I knew there was some wear and tear (thirty years of marital arts will do that) but I was stunned to learn that the cartilage was gone, leaving me with bone on bone.  Since the condition and pain would only worsen, Eugenie and I decided I should have it fixed asap.

On October 4th, we drove to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, where Dr. Andrew Yun and his team worked their magic performing a minimally invasive surgery that left me with a matched set of bionic joints (the right hip was replaced in 2006).  A mere thirty hours later, I was back home in bed.  While I could stand, shuffle a bit and even climb our four flights of stairs, albeit with great difficulty and some pain, walking Tanner was out of the question, and so Eugenie stepped into the breach.

First thing each morning, she got me out of bed, tugged on my TED socks and shoes, and got me moving.  Then hit the road with Tanner, who was sorely miffed that she didn't know, or didn't care about our routine, which included a long stroll on the grounds of the church next door. Back at the house, Eugenie focussed on getting us fed and making sure I did my walking and PT, leaving no time for morning 'play'.  Tanner was forlorn and confused.  "Why was dad acting so strangely, and why was he neglecting me?  And what was he doing walking with that scary black stick?"

At first, the painkillers made me queasy and just eating breakfast left me exhausted.  About the only thing I could manage was lying in bed, blowing through the detective novels (Daniel Silva's 'Rembrandt Affair', Michael Connelly's 'Echo Park') I had stacked up like planes at LAX.  Tanner seemed perplexed to see me horizontal (It's rare I even nap) but that didn't deter him.  If dad couldn't or wouldn't fuss with him, he would fuss with dad.  Ignoring a mound of pillows, and the cords from the portable ice machine, he popped up onto the bed and nestled up against my ailing left leg.
The patient, with 'Florence Nightinbull'

It went on that way for a week, until I finally recaptured my chi and abandoned the bed for the upstairs recliner.  Once I quit our Tempurpedic, Tanner returned to his own bed where he could keep a watchful I on me.  When I made a run to the kitchen for ginger ale or Gatorade, he shadowed me. If I mummy-stepped my way upstairs to the bathroom, he tagged along and flopped down on the rug until I made the trek back down.  When I joined Eugenie and him on the afternoon walk, he slowed his pace out of respect for his gimpy owner.  Around the 2-week mark, I finally shed my cane and a few days later I took the reins for our morning walk, as if nothing unusual had taken place.  Tanner's brief nursing career was over.

Although he's quit nursing for the time being, Tanner stills wants to be of service to his fellow creatures, both the 2-legged and 4-legged sort.  That's why he said to mention our dear friend, M.C. Callahan, a terrific ballroom dance instructor, who generously devotes her free hours to two animal charities in the Coachella Valley where she lives.  Healing Horses in Indio, CA offers equine therapy to improve the lives of special needs children.  Located in Desert Hot Springs, Save-A-Pet offers food and shelter to dogs in need.  It's an outdoor facility so, with the cool desert winters nights coming, they need donations of old towels, sheets, and blankets.  So clean out those closets and put your old and unused items to a good use.

Monday, September 3, 2012

SUMMERTIME BLUES (Goin' To The Chapel)

When Tanner & I penned our last entry, Summer was in full bloom and we were bracing for an invasion of Spirito relatives that were about to descend on Calif for our niece's, Margaret's, wedding.  As it is most years, the weather was sunny and cool so I phoned my brother and sisters and told them to pack accordingly; this wasn't New Jersey with it's scorching temperatures and brutal humidity.  Hah.  Mere days before their arrival a heatwave hit, bringing unseasonably high temps and tropical moisture.  My sibs were miffed and poor Tanner, who hates the heat the way most people hate taxes, was drained.  He lazed around panting and huffing like he was circling the drain.  

Bad enough that the 'monsoonal' flow (whatever the heck that is) wrought havoc on our routine, forcing us to cut short morning walks and to skip our dog park play dates.  With the heat came an onslaught of ravenous fleas that feasted on Tanner's delectable pink belly and rump.  Every morning Eugenie and I would decimate the little buggers only to have them return in greater numbers the next day.  Frontline, borate powder, flea shampoo - nothing stemmed the insatiable horde.  

As often happens with Pit Bulls, the bites led to a nasty case  of folliculitis, and a three-week round of Keflex.  At first, getting Tanner to take the pills was a snap.  We'd wrap them in a piece of cheese, and down they'd go.  Somewhere around day 3, he sussed out our ruse, and so we moved on to turkey, deli ham and Prosciutto di Parma.  For the briefest moment, I thought about trying to force-feed the pills to him.  Then I thought about his timid nature (and his shark jaws) and decided to spring for rare roast beef.  The bloody meat did the trick, and the bumps disappeared.  To prevent another attack, we blasted the house with diatomaceous earth.  The cleanup was messy, but the fleas have cleared out.
                                                                       ~ ~ ~
One month later and the heat has finally begun to ease.  Football dominates the sports pages, crowds are enjoying one last beach hurrah, and we're celebrating Labor Day working like dogs, that is, doing nothing in particular.  Despite the heat and my sister's emergency root canal, the wedding was a huge success, as Margaret and Ryan pledged their love surrounded by their dearest and dearest.  Eugenie and I gladly played host to family I hadn't seen in years, and Tanner got to meet and charm a host of two-legged 'uncles', 'aunts', and 'cousins', all of whom fell madly in love with him.  Natch.  We'll do it all again 4 months from now, when we fly to NJ for a second niece's (Margaret's sister, Kristina) nuptials.  If the cool weather holds, we'll resumed our long morning jaunts and our doggie play dates with Kona, Luna, Dexter and Charlie.   Fingers crossed.
                                                                       ~ ~ ~
I wanted to share a photo from my oldest sister, Honey, a Lieutenant with the Hudson County (NJ) Prosecutor's Office.  A lifelong dog lover, she's had a slew of big, feisty pups.  The current roster includes 'Aldo' a 100-pound hurricane refugee, and Harley, a Rottweiler rescue (her 4th Rottie).

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Spent the morning cuddling with Tanner who was lucky to make it out of the shelter after spending seven weeks on death row.  We left him resting in his bed and made our weekly stop at the Malibu Farmer's Market, where dogs are not allowed.  There was a pet adoption adjacent to the market and about half the dogs were Pits, no surprise there.  One was 'Benny', a beautiful white boy who was also deaf.  Dogs like him usually do well in homes where another dog can act as their ears and get them to follow commands.  There were two Pit pups, a blue fawn with the same tan and white markings as Tanner, and a cute brindle.  We have a friend will who says she wants a dog like ours and so we're hoping that she might adopt one of them.  If you know anyone who might have room for a 'ferocious'  bundle of love and kisses, contact The Forgotten Dog Foundation at 310.990-2020, info@theforgottendog.org, or check them out online at www.theforgottendog.org.

In other Pit Bull news, the Maryland state legislature recently passed a law declaring that all Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous:
Tracey v. Solesky, No. 53, September Term 2012, Opinion by Cathell, J.
Upon a plaintiff’s sufficient proof that a dog involved in an attack is a pit bull or a pit bull cross, and that the owner, or other person(s) who has the right to control the pit bull’s presence on the subject premises (including a landlord who has a right to prohibit such dogs on leased premises) knows, or has reason to know, that the dog is a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull, that person is liable for the damages caused to a plaintiff who is attacked by the dog on or from the owner’s or lessor’s premises. In that case a plaintiff has established a prima facie case of negligence. When an attack involves pit bulls, it is no longer necessary to prove that the particular pit bull or pit bulls are dangerous.

In practical terms, the law means that in any incident involving a Pit Bull, the owner or a or a landlord who rents to the owner of a Pit Bull will automatically be guilty of owning or harboring a 'dangerous' dog, exposing those people to legal liability.  In all likelihood, it will making adoption of Pit Bulls much more difficult, leading to more euthanized dogs.  If this rankles you (Imagine a law that said, owing to the nature of the Mafia, all Italians are inherently criminal), contact the Maryland State legislators and tell them to reconsider their prejudicial, misguided law.
The Writer and 'inherently dangerous' Tanner

Sadly, Maryland doesn't have a monopoly on stupidity and Pit Bull-phobia.  After a 2-year battle, Lennox the Pit Bull was euthanized because of his genetic makeup as a banned breed.  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/07/lennox-the-dog-is-put-to-death-in-northern-ireland.html  One way to end the senseless slaughter of unwanted dogs is to eliminate puppy mills.  If you would like to help, you can voice your opposition by signing a petition to encourage the USDA to crack down on them. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Those of you familiar with Tanner's story will remember that, when he first left the shelter, he was one very skittish pup.  A scuffed shoe or a dropped plate would send him flying.  Thanks to Eugenie's constant affection (she never took her hands off him) and my concerted efforts to reform my foul temper, he finally began to relax.  First, we were able to coax him up onto the sofa for TV cuddles.  Then, he learned to stretch out on our bed when invited.  Of course, he stayed in the middle, close enough to let us touch him but far enough away to avoid us when he chose.  Just recently, though, that's begun to change.  When we're watching movies in bed (been enjoying Ric Burns epic documentary New York) he been allowing Eugenie to drape her legs across his body.  And the other night, he curled up in my lap!  I'd been busy working at probation and doing a hurry-up rewrite on my play so we think it was his way of saying that he missed me.  Regardless, it was awesome to see him acting like the beloved family dog that he is. 

We'll see how he handles the fireworks and firecrackers this week.  Even if he freaks, we'll be there to buck him up. 

note:  Since I penned the 'June Gloom' headline, we've had most blue, sunny skies.  Maybe my public kvetching moved the weather gods.  Either that or we've been lucky for a change.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

JUNE GLOOM (AWOL From The Dog Park)

Dudley and Blanche
Ever since his 4-year anniversary, Tanner and his humans have been busy with a host of projects, including finding a home for GIMME SHELTER. The journey continues and we hope to have an agent in place by Eugenie's birthday (June 21). In addition to tweaking the book, crafting a proposal and starting a rewrite on my play, "All That He Could Be" (the true story of the only solider to successfully challenge the ban on gays in the U.S. Military - a black drag queen!),  I've been I've been teaching at Probation and Eugenie has been carving like a mad woman. She's submitting to several galleries and competitions and applying for grants as well.  On top of that, we took a quick trip to Palm Springs to visit Eugenie's mom, for Mother's Day. It was 100+ and Melissa's AC was out!  Thankfully, our friends Toni, Ron and Alana let us stay at their place in Palm Desert. Tanner dislikes the heat and long drives but he bore up surprisingly well.  On a sad note, Melissa's beloved Pug, Dudley passed away recently, a few months shy of his 15th b-day. Dud was a funny, mischievous little imp who trained his owner to do his bidding. For most of his life, he spent the summers with us when things got too warm in the Desert, so we'll miss him terribly, too.

'Make-Up' cuddles
In addition to work and travel, we've been fixing up the house in anticipation of our niece Margaret's wedding two months from now, when all of the Spirito famiglia will descend on SoCal, many for their first visit since we moved here in 1991. We can't have them thinking we live in a slum, albeit one with palm trees and an ocean view (if you stand on your toes in the upstairs loft). Like his grumpy 'father (and our late cat, Blanche) Tanner HATES changes to his environment or routine. Sprucing up the master bath fits that label, and he's been on edge the entire time.  It doesn't help that we've been AWOL at the dog park lately so Poor Tanner has had to make do with local play dates, extra treats and cuddles in bed.

As it too often does, the 'June Gloom' has settled in bringing overcast skies and chilly (by California standards) temperatures. Tanner likes it cool but not foggy, and he detests the rain. I like it warm and sunny, so I'm bummed. 
                                                                                               ~  ~  ~
"Our first year here it rained all spring and the lousy weather lasted well into fall.  Like a kid who’d been promised a trip to Disneyland but forced to settle for a T-shirt, I felt gypped. And ill. Before we quit New York, Eugenie’s mom graciously supervised the fix-up on our Malibu rental. Under her decorator’s eye, the place was painted top to bottom, the floors and furniture refinished, and new carpeting installed. The work took all of February.  During that time it rained so fiercely that she kept the doors and windows shut tight, allowing the petrochemical fumes to reach critical mass. When we boarded the plane that would take us to the Left Coast, we had no idea that we’d be moving into a toxic time bomb. Shortly after we arrived my head began to pound. I was green, listless, and in constant agony.  I tried aspirin, massage, and meditation. Nothing could blunt the pain. Either I was dying, or I was allergic to California. I agreed to give it one more week; then I was flying back to New York where I’d stay until I recovered. In desperation, Eugenie took me to see a homeopath who diagnosed me with chemical poisoning. I scoffed, but I took the little sugar pills and the headaches went away." (from "Gimme Shelter: A Damaged Pit Bull, an Angry Man and How They Saved Each Other").
                                                                                              ~  ~  ~
Right now Tanner is crashed out on his bed, taking advantage of a lull in the hammering and sawing to catch up on his sleep. He'd better since we're off to Fashion Island in Costa Mesa tomorrow to visit with Eugenie's godfather, Gene, and his wife, Jennifer. There will be tons of Yorkies, Shih Tzus  and other pocket pooches at the mall so Tanner will makes lots of new 'friends' and probably scare a few uptight O.C. residents.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Tanner and I apologize from the recent inactivity but I've been busy with a different kind of 'rescue' program.  

Back around the time Tanner came to stay with us, I started thinking that I might want to combine my two very different skill sets, writing and martial arts, to help 'at risk' kids.  I wasn't sure if I still had the patience and energy required so I decided to take a trial run, substitute teaching at the L.A. County Juvenile Probation schools here in Malibu.  It took several months to get my certification and paperwork in order (back in the last century, I taught English before leaving to become an actor).  There were tests to take, forms to complete, interviews, orientations, fingerprinting - you would have thought I was applying for CIA clearance.  

After all the hoopla, I started in March, right around the time we started looking for a rescue dog three years earlier. The first couple days were interesting.  The 'kids' - all juvie offenders who've committed assorted crimes, some serious, some minor - felt they had to test me, just like we did with high school subs.  Nothing personal.  They were high energy and noisy but I never felt threatened.  Now that they've gotten to know me, and I them, I'm enjoying our time together.  Just like shelter dogs (I love dogs so this is a compliment), many of them are desperate for genuine affection and interest, and any special perks, like candy or magazines, they think they can wheedle out of you.

I'm not sure I'm up for a full-time job (45 kids of varying abilities and backgrounds, working on 6-7 subjects!) but I'm thinking of proposing an after school Tai Chi program.  I've also spoken to our good friend and superb dog trainer Tony Rollins, about starting a program where they can help train shelter dogs for adoption.  

In the middle of all this, I was busy reworking GIMME Shelter for submission to agents.  Now that the manuscript is done (for the moment), I'll be back blogging and devoting myself to Tanner, who just celebrated his 3rd 'anniversary' with us.  He recently had a systemic bacterial infection that was causing skin rashes and lethargy but Dr. Lisa gave us a prescription and some ointment and now the big guy's fine and friskier than ever.
Tanner on the Colony Beach

Friday, March 2, 2012


I love movies and have been watching the Oscars since my teens, when I used to earn extra coin handicapping the winners, a skill I inherited from my dad.  Throughout the years, my dogs have kept me company, usually just hanging around, hoping that some party food will find it's way to the floor.  Even Rebel, my majestic Irish Setter, never offered an opinion on the outcome.  Tanner was eager to share our steak dinner (he got a sliver of fat and some juice) but he was more interested in predicting the winners.  

Eugenie and were leaning toward Hugo, a moving, visually resplendent  fairy tale about making broken people whole.  There were other notable nominees, The Help,  Midnight In Paris and some clunkers (Tree of Life - what the...?) but Tanner was adamant:  Uggie would win for The Artist, a charming homage to conema's silent era, and Cosmo for Beginners, a young man's meditation on his father's sexuality and illness.  Hugo also featured a dog, a Doberman, the canine sidekick of Sasha Baron Cohen who played the villain with a heart-of-gold, but he was a snarling, ornery bugger, the opposite of the cute, perky, indomitable Jack Russells.  Tanner was right.  Christopher Plummer earned Best Supporting Actor for Beginners and The Artist went on to cop Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.  According to Tanner's unnamed canine sources, Uggie claimed he was happy for Jean Dujardin but he secretly felt that he'd been robbed.  
Instead of gloating, Tanner offered his thoughts about this year's show and the lack of drama.  There were some very good movies like The Help and Midnight In Paris but most of those didn't have top tier stars in the leads.  Then there were films with A-list names (Money BallIron LadyThe Descendants) that were good but not great.  Tanner says people get excited watching big stars carry big movies.  Kind of like watching Kobe or LeBron hit the game-winning shot.   He found it interesting that several films (Midnight, Hugo, The Artist, War Horse) had French locations or were set around the time of WW I.  He thinks it has to do with the economic downturn and a nostalgic yearning for distant, 'better' times.  Sorry, Woody.  Anyway, if the recession continues into next year, I'm thinking about putting down some cash on Tanner's Oscar picks .

If you dig cinema and would like a more nuanced and intelligent analysis, check out my friend Dan Cohen's blog.  Tanner often plays with his dog, Luna (pictured below).  I wonder if he stole his picks from her?  Hmmm.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A 'SIDEWAYS' VALENTINE (aka Tanner's Birthday Blues)

We were desperate for a Valentines getaway but February 14 is  also Tanner's birthday, and we didn't want to leave him behind.  Nobody actually knows when he was born, a fact that drives my astrology-minded wife crazy, so we decided to celebrate our Pit Bull baby on Valentines Day, the same as his pop.  We discussed Palm Springs and San Diego but finally opted for Santa Barbara.   Finding a place that accepts dogs isn't easy.  Most hotels and motels don't and many of the ones that do charge a hefty fee.  Why?  For the same reason Tanner chews his tail, because they can.

If you're new to our saga, Tanner's not fond of the car.  Seriously.  He used to barf every time he rode in it, even if we were only going down the block. We've made real progress since but long trips are still iffy.  We stopped along the way so I could join him in the back seat for 'encouragement' but we made it to Santa Barbara without incident.  After a taco run to La Super Rica, we dumped our bags at the State Street Motel 6, and took off for Solvang,  and the wine country made famous (infamous if you ask the locals) by Alexander Payne's movie, "Sideways".   

It's not the Amalfi Drive (forget Tanner, even Eugenie can't ride there) but the San Marcos Pass (Rte 154) is a scenic, winding road that passes by picturesque Lake Cachuma.  Tanner wasn't happy but he closed his eyes and hung tough. 

Solvang's a quaint (cheesy?) Danish village that's also super dog friendly.  Once a year, in late February, they host a Greyhound Fest in which town opens its doors to a swarm of sweet, speedy rescue dogs.  We spent the afternoon shopping (the pet store and the Sock Guy got the bulk of our coin), then we took the birthday boy out to diner at Root 246, one of our favorites.  The three of us ate outdoors, on the patio by the fire pit.  Then we made the harrowing drive back. 

By the time we reached our room, Tanner was toast.  He ignored his food and water and hunkered down in his bed while we watched the Westminster Dog Show

Monday, January 30, 2012


Lou took me to Dr. Lisa today to update my shots.  I can't believe it's been almost 3 years since he and Eugenie brought me home from the shelter.  Seems like only yesterday, I was a scared, skinny (okay, not really skinny, I'm a Pit Bull, but underweight for sure) boy and now look at me, 63 pounds of solid muscle and no shaking, unless the winds are up or fireworks are booming.

While we were waiting to go in, I heard Lou talking with a nice lady about her dog.  Starr is a Rottweiler rescue who lives at the Agoura Shelter and Craig was there to have her examined.  One thing led to another (it always does with Lou) and he mentioned that I used to live there, too.  She got the strangest look on her face, then she blurted out, "I remember Tanner from the shelter; he was the best!"  I loved hearing that even back then, people could see how hard I tried to be a good dog.  She took our picture and promised to tell all the staff how well I'm doing.  Dr. Lisa and the gang at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital are really, really sweet, but this mini-reunion made the visit even better. 
Kickin' it at the crib

Before I forget, Cesar Millan had dedicated February to helping Pit Bulls beat the bad rap they've gotten in the press.  You can read all about it online at Cesar's Way

Thursday, January 26, 2012

'THANKS' for dropping by

Just wanted to send a quick 'grazie' to all of our friends, 2 and 4-legged, that checked out our first blog entries.  There will be more to follow, and a FaceBook page, too, but Lou needs to get busy.  In the meantime, I'll be posting photos of some of my dog pals who appear in the book, and some who joined the gang later on.  Hope you dig them as much as I do.

LUNA ' The Girl Next Door' (really)
Had a really crazy time at the dog park the other day, just five of us - me, a young gray Pit, a crazy brown Poodle, our friend's beautiful Husky and some little dog that looked happy just watching us crash around. The Poodle was an ear-chewer, and found mine particularly yummy, until I gently told her to knock it off.  The Pit boy was interested in the other end, but I made it clear I don't roll that way.  Not that there's anything wrong with it (for you Seinfeld fans).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

VENI, VIDI, VINCI: We came, we saw, we didn't barf!

For those of you new to our story, Tanner doesn't like the car.  'Doesn't like' as in used to puke every time he set foot in it.  That soggy stage lasted about a year, then he calmed down (a relative thing) to only profuse drooling and shaking.  It's all chronicled in GIMME SHELTER: a Damaged Pit Bull, and Angry Man and How They Saved Each Other, which we hope will be available soon.

The past six months or so, however, he's made a quantum leap.  I used to sit in back with him whenever we went out but he now rides 'up front', with his butt resting on the rear seat, his back paws on the floor, and the bulk of his muscular torso stretched out on the console of our Prius.  He still looks miserable but the barfing as stopped and the drooling has slowed to a mere trickle.  This past Wednesday, we took a last minute trip to Palm Springs to visit Eugenie's mom.  Her 14-year-old Pug, Dudley, is failing and we thought it only right to say 'goodbye', especially since Dud spent a good portion of his first ten years living at our house.

Tanner & Dudley 1/18/12 (Palm Springs, CA)
Tanner made it all the way to the Desert huddled in his new car pose, with me cupping his massive head in my free hand (I was driving!) and Eugenie cuddling him from the passenger seat.  Eugenie's mom was thrilled to have us and Dud greeted us like long lost pals.  He looked like Methuselah - limp, gray all over, missing teeth - but much better than we'd feared.  He took three walks with us, doing his best to set the pace like the old days, and he made sure to chase Tanner away from any and all treats.  He's on all sorts of meds that might be propping him up but, for the time being, he's still here.   

Tanner spent the night on his travel bed, sandwiched between Eugenie (sofa) and me (inflatable bed).  At home, our mattress is two-plus feet off the ground which requires some effort on his part (and an invitation from us) to reach.  But my inflatable bed was on the floor and he took full advantage of the situation to crawl in next to me for morning cuddles.  Boy, was Eugenie jealous. 

Tanner gave an encore performance on the ride home.  He yawned and fussed a bit but he kept his food down.  Eugenie drove this time and somewhere around El Monte, he began inching forward until he was curled in my lap, where he fell asleep until we reached  our complex.  It was a far cry from the days when a ten-minute run to the store left him wrung out and car reeking of vomit.  Even with his new attitude, the journey left him gassed and he spent the evening at home, snoring away.    

Friday, January 13, 2012


My name is Tanner, and I'm a Pit Bull.  I was what they call a stray, a homeless dog, or, as I like to think of it, a free spirit, living with other dogs on the street.  

I had an owner once, but that was a rough situation.  Let's just say I was better off  going hungry and sleeping outside in the cold and rain.  Then one day, some lady lured me into her car, and took me to the shelter in Agoura Hills.  The food was better, my bed was warm, and there were lots of other dogs, including dozens of Pit Bulls, but I was no longer free to roam about as I pleased.   I was in doggie jail.

Unlike street dogs, the jail dogs were anxious and scared all the time.  Like me, some of them once had owners who'd either died, or moved, or sent them away.  The lucky ones got new owners.  But the other ones, the shelter people took them to a place where they went to sleep.  Those dogs never came back.  The people who fed and walked me said I'd probably go to sleep, too.  But then this man and woman brought me to live with them.  

I'd tell you all about it, but my paws aren't suited for typing, so I'll let Lou (that's the man's name), help me.  We'll discuss our friends (two and four-legged), my toys, the dog park, the cute tricks I've learned and other details of our life together.  If he gets off track (he's a writer and really likes to talk) I'll step in to set the record straight.  

Along the way, you'll also hear about our first year together - how my people found me, how I helped Lou deal with his 'issues', and how he and Eugenie helped me overcome mine.  It wasn't easy, and it wasn't always pretty but things worked out just fine.  We've written a book about it, GIMME SHELTER. If you want the full scoop, you'll just have to wait until it's published.  Until then, drop by from time to time and we'll keep you posted on what's new with us.