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Tag: captain larry’s

Home park advantage

How happy was Ace to see Riverside Park again?

Let’s put it this way: He woke me up early today, much earlier than I intended, and all but pushed me down the stairs of the home in which we are temporarily freeloading. Thinking he was in urgent need, I — before getting coffee, which is unheard of  – stumbled across the street to the park with him, where he sniffed around for 20 minutes. We weren’t back in the house five minutes when he was back at the door, nosing the knob, lifting both front paws off the ground at the same time, telling me it was time to go to the park again.

Back from that jaunt, he went back upstairs and into my bed, but 15 minutes later, he was at the top of the stairs, looking down at me and staring longingly at the door again. There are friends, canine and human, that he hasn’t reconnected with yet, and he seems to be eager to find them, especially those who have given him treats over the years. Somehow, he manages to keep meticulous records of those people in his brain. I imagine its something like Facebook, but more smell-based.

Seven months ago, Ace and I left Baltimore on a journey that took us around the country twice, covered 22,000 miles and ended up lasting seven months.

And while I think we both enjoyed our time on the road a lot, it’s good — if I may speak for us both — to see some familiar faces, smell some familiar butts and remark what once was and may be again our territory.

Our first day back in Baltimore — yesterday — Ace was eager to revisit Riverside, see and sniff old friends and remind one and all that (the way he sees it, I think) he’s the sheriff of this particular park and answers to no one, unless they have treats.

He stalked about proudly, as if to tell all other dogs, “This is my domain, and, in case you’ve forgotten, I’m the master of it.”

We hit the park twice yesterday, and he’s already dragged me there twice today.

Last night he came along for my first book signing for DOG, INC. — at the bar he spent a lot of time in during his formative years, the Idle Hour. (Thanks to all the friends who showed up, all the folks who bought books and to the Idle Hour management, to which I apologize for walking out without paying. Put it on my tab, please.)

There will be another book signing tonight — sans Ace — at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, from 7 to 10 p.m.

By then, Ace will have been dropped off at his godmother’s house because I have to go to New York tomorrow for another radio interview, this one with Leonard Lopate.

Then — just when we’re both ready, after all our travels, to sit still for a bit — we’ll be driving back down to North Carolina Saturday for my mother’s birthday and another radio interview.

So, in a way, our travels aren’t over; and I guess they won’t really be until we figure out where we’re going to live. Between that and any book related traveling we’ll be doing, this means you might have to bear with us a while longer before “Travels With Ace” officially concludes.

And that won’t happen until we figure out where home is.

Meanwhile, anyone need a housesitter?

This ain’t no Motel 6 …

 

Ace and I woke up yesterday morning in a Motel 6 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was the cheaper of the two in town, at $29, probably because it lacked a certain amenity — that being hot water. At least my room did.

We woke up today at the Hotel Monaco in Washington — after an evening that included a long hot bath, washing my hair with complimentary Aveda products, drying off with big fluffy towels, then cloaking myself in the complimentary leopard print robe.

Ace, because I wondered what he’d look like as a leopard, tried one too.

After seven months of living on a shoestring, and staying in dozens of Motel 6′s during our 22,000 mile journey, checking into the Hotel Monaco was culture shock. I like culture shock.

Upon arrival, Ace immediately ate an entire bowl of dog treats left by the front desk, then asked for more. One of the desk clerks proposed to him, and he received a gift bag to take the room. Hotel Monaco is very dog friendly, charges no fees, and has no size, weight or breed restrictions, which is as it should be.

The hotel’s awesomeness goes beyond that, though. It’s in what was once Washington D.C.’s General Post Office, built in 1839 by Robert Mills, the architect who designed the Washington Monument. We were able to enjoy  our nicest lodgings yet courtesy of my publisher. At least it better be courtesy of my publisher. Otherwise, I am officially over my credit limit.

We’re here for an appearance on the Diane Rehm Show this morning to talk about my new book, “Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning  Man’s Best Friend.” Ace will luxuriate in the hotel room while I do that, and tape another radio show in the afternoon.

Then we’ll head back home to Baltimore for a book signing party tonight, and another tomorrow.

The one tonight — and everyone is invited to both — will be from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Idle Hour, 201 E. Fort Avenue.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we’ll be signing books (and of course selling them, too, with help from The Book Escape) at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, also from 7 to 10 p.m.

Adios, desert: Working our way back east

It’s time to pull out of Petite Acres, say goodbye to Arizona and make our way back east.

We’ll hit the road tomorrow morning – bound, eventually, for Baltimore — having accomplished most of what we stopped here for.

First on the list was sleep, and I got lots; followed by catching up on work, at which I was somewhat less  successful; and getting organized, a goal I didn’t fully reach, either.

We had our recreational vehicle experience, staying four weeks in a camper in the desert – though, come to think of it, I didn’t recreate in it. Nor, it being a detached trailer, anchored in a trailer park, did I use it as a vehicle.

Nevertheless, we got to spend Christmas with family. (And, yes, they all liked their regifts.). We got the car washed, our clothes clean, and did some hiking in the desert.

And, last night (though this isn’t one of them), I finally saw some javelina.

I peered out the window of my camper before I went to sleep and saw three of them, about 30 yards away, walking through the shadows of the trailer park, appearing almost comical with their giant heads and tiny legs. They walked in a row, one behind the other, from trailer to trailer, looking like a family shopping at the mall.

It was one final offering from the desert, in whose wild side I find serenity. I’ll miss it.

I’ll miss my little trailer, which – with its pop-outs popped out — actually is quite big; I’ll miss Petite Acres, my modest trailer park, which actually is owned by a millionaire, who lives in a trailer, too; I’ll miss Cave Creek, which transforms from a quiet little town during the week to a hopping destination on weekends.

I’ll miss my neighborhood bars – the Hideaway Grill (the biker one) The Buffalo Chip (the cowboy one, with live bull riding two nights a week) and Harold’s (the Pittsburgh Steelers one).

Crowds gather at Harold’s when the Steelers are on TV, and, with their cheerleading led by a guy on a microphone, I can hear them from my trailer: “Here we go, Steelers, here we go.” Once you hear that phrase chanted 300 times, it tends to keep replaying in your head, long after the game is over.

I stopped in for a beer there last Thursday, not knowing a game was about to start. When I took a seat at the bar, I learned that they were all reserved. People buy season tickets to sit at the bar and watch the game. Each stool had a placard with a name on it, and I had inadvertently taken “Wild Bill’s” spot. I thought about moving over one stool, to one marked “Brenda,” but decided if Wild Bill showed up – hopefully without guns a blazin’ – I would just explain I was keeping it warm for him. Wild Bill never showed up, but then I only stayed for the first quarter, as the game, against the Carolina Panthers, wasn’t much of a showdown.

Ace seemed to enjoy the break from traveling – tune in later this week to learn more about his feelings on that – especially his visits, several of them unauthorized, with my closest neighbor, Ramiro, who dispensed a few treats, including slow-cooked pork and a tamale. Ace, not understanding Mexican culture, ate the corn husk, but returned it later, in my yard.

Knowing a soft touch when he sees one, Ace would station himself in my yard, waiting for Ramiro to come outside. When I wasn’t watching, he’d sneak over to Ramiro’s, taking a seat at his feet and leaning on him. Ramiro, who thought Ace looked like a lion, called him “leon,” which is Spanish for lion, or would be if I knew how to make an accent thingy over the “o.”

Before leaving, we’d like to thank, first off, our landlord, Tami, for providing our housing, teaching us the ropes of trailer life and showing us around town.

Thanks as well to Desert Foothills Library – the first library on earth to get a copy of my new book, “DOG, INC.” They – in addition to being where I checked out free movies to watch in my cable-less trailer — allowed me to use an office and landline for a radio interview.

Thanks also to the Sonoran News for letting me do another radio interview there.

The book — about the cloning of dog, and the marketing of that service to bereaved pet owners — officially comes out Dec.  30, and promoting it is the main reason for my return to the east coast. Assuming we make it across the country in one piece, I’ll be in Washington for the Diane Rehm Show Jan. 5, and in New York for the Leonard Lopate Show Jan. 7.

In between, with help from The Book Escape in Federal Hill, we’ll be squeezing in a couple of book signings in my old south Baltimore neighborhood – Jan. 5 at the Idle Hour, 201 E. Fort Ave., and Jan. 6 at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Ave.

(Javelina photo from BisbeeBirders)

Some Christmas music, courtesy of Sierra

Singing Sierra is back, and just in time for Christmas.

Adam Yamada-Hanff, a Baltimore area community college student, has posted several videos on YouTube of Sierra “singing” as he plays his saxophone. This latest one also features Cody, who clearly considers himself a backkground vocalist.

We met Sierra and Adam back in May, when they — well, Adam, anyway — agreed to a quick sidewalk performance during my “Hey, That’s My Dog!” photo exhibit at Captain Larry’s, a bar and restaurant on Fort Avenue in South Baltimore.

Adam uses Sierra’s singing abilities to help raise money for animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Last night for “Hey That’s My Dog”

“Hey that’s My Dog,” a photo exhibit of South Baltimore dogs that has raised more than $1,000 for Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), concludes tonight at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue.

Starting with about 200 photos of neighborhood dogs — all hung on clotheslines (the photos, not the dogs) — the exhibit is now about half that size, but lots of dogs, maybe even your’s, remain.

The prints have been selling for $25, but tonight I’ll be willing to accept any reasonable offer — even if it’s just a promise to donate to BARCS in the future. In other words, if you haven’t yet, come get your dog.

The exhibit opened May 3 to a huge crowd, and a musical performance by Sierra the Singing Dog (though she wasn’t in the mood to sing.) It was scheduled to run for a week, but after our closing night ceremony, featuring the accordion stylings of Don Plehn, the good folks at Captain Larry’s agreed to leave it up an extra week.

That allowed us to make, after expenses, more than $1,000 for BARCS, a non-profit organization that, given cuts in its city funding, can use some donations right now.

(BARCS is where I adopted my dog, Ace, five years ago.)

On Tuesday, I’ll be taking the photos down, and those not claimed will be going into the storage unit that will be home to my stuff when Ace and I, and ohmidog!, hit the road next week on our destination-less journey of an undetermined duration.

If your rescue organization or shelter is interested in sponsoring a similar fundraising photo exhibit of dogs in your town or neighborhood, get in touch. Maybe, during my upcoming travels, we can work something out.

Thanks to everyone who supported the exhibit, especially the management of Captain Larry’s, fellow sponsors K-9 Kraving and Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe, and David Israel and the South Baltimore Hootenanny for providing the music for the video version of the exhibit (above).

By pupular demand, photo exhibit extended

“Hey That’s My Dog,” my photo exhibit featuring more than 150 South Baltimore dogs, will remain at Captain Larry’s for an extra week — through next weekend.

The exhibit benefits Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).

In its first week, about 70 of the exhibit’s 200 photos sold, raising nearly $1,000 for BARCS.

To see if your dog, or one you know, is in the mix, check out the video, or drop by Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Ave.

“Hey That’s MY Dog!” enters final day

Today is the last day of “Hey That’s MY Dog!” — a photo exhibit featuring more than 150 South Baltimore canines.

The exhibit, at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, will be open through tonight.

Sales of the prints ($25 each) benefit Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).

The photos were taken over the last year and a half by ohmidog’s vice president of visual communications (aka me).

To see if your dog is in the mix, watch the following video presentation of the exhibit — but don’t blink or you might miss him.

Hey That’s MY Photo Exhibit

“Hey That’s MY Dog!” a photo exhibit featuring more than 150 South Baltimore dogs — on display until May 10 — got off to an amazing start last night at Captain Larry’s.

Dog lovers packed the joint. Close to 50 of them took home photos of their dogs. And I only ripped off one customer.

Before we get to that, allow me to point out that proceeds from the exhibit go to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), and to issue special thanks to two Philadelphia friends — Margaret Grace, who helped me put the exhibit up, and Don Groff, who took the accompanying photographs

Thanks as well to Adam and his singing dog Sierra. While there were too many distractions for Sierra to focus on her singing, she howled a bit, and her presence, and Adam’s sidewalk saxophone playing, were appreciated.

The idea behind the exhibit — the culmination of about two year’s worth of my dog photo-taking — was that dog people would pay big money for photos of their own dogs. (The prints, all hanging from clotheslines, are selling for $25).

One of the first friends to drop by was a former Baltimore Sun colleague who owns a Boston terrier named Buster. She was very happy to see Buster’s photo hanging in the exhibit.

Sadly, I informed her that the photo was not Buster, but another Boston terrier friend, the irrepressible Darcy.

Not long after she left, Darcy’s owners showed up and forked over the money for the photograph. Then they took a seat and looked at it a little more closely. The dog in the photo looked older than their’s, and the markings were slightly different.

Turns out it wasn’t Darcy (top); it was Buster (bottom).

Most graciously, they did not demand their money back. And, since I have dozens of Darcy photos from the times I’ve babysat her, I’ll be getting a new print to them — their own dog this time.

We’ll be back tonight at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Ave., in hopes of selling more photos, and none of them, we hope, under false pretenses. The exhibit will be up through next Monday.

150 South Baltimore dogs featured in exhibit

In the year and a half I’ve been writing, taking photos and assembling ohmidog!, I’ve amassed quite a few dog photos. And, thanks to my trademark photographic technique — take 100 pictures and one or two  might accidentally be good — some of them are even exhibit-worthy.

So an exhibit it is: “Hey, That’s MY Dog!”

Starting with opening night festivities on May 3, and through May 10, my photos of more than 150 south Baltimore dogs — possibly even your’s — will be on display at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, with profits from the exhibit going to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).

Above is a preview of the exhibit, set to music by David Israel and performed earlier this month at the South Baltimore Hootenanny, a semi-regular gathering of semi-regular musicians who congregate at Captain Larry’s.

Thanks to Captain Larry’s for providing the venue, and to sponsors K-9 Kraving and Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe.

All of the dogs in the exhibit are, or at least once were, from south Baltimore. Most of the photos were taken at Riverside, Federal Hill and Latrobe parks. A handful of dogs now residing, and available for adoption, at BARCS are also included. (BARCS is where I adopted my dog Ace, almost  five years ago.)

Those familiar with Captain Larry’s might wonder how one might exhibit photos there — given that nearly every available inch of wall-space already has something hanging. You’ll have to show up to see my solution.

There will be free doggie treats Monday night (while supplies last) and all the unframed prints will be available for purchase. (Dogs will have to view the exhibit from outside.) There is no cover charge, but you are welcome — even if you don’t buy a photo — to make a donation to BARCS.

Hope to see you there.