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Tag: dog house

Done with Dundalk, the dog and I move on

Gotta love Dundalk.

It’s Baltimore at its blue collar, unpretentious best, and it’s where, as our wandering continues, we’ve hung our hat (and leash) for the past three days as we attempt to figure out what to do next.

Once again, we were in the home of an ex (no bridge-burner me) — a modest little house on a traffic circle, across the street from the Dog House, a  to-go restaurant painted highway stripe yellow that serves up hot dogs, burgers and greasy breakfast sandwiches that I eat on the front porch as Ace and his better-than-ever friend Fanny frolic in the front yard.

We sleep on the couch, wake up to the best kind of coffee (already made), take daily walks down to Bear Creek and spend most of the time on the front porch, writing.

Ace and Fanny alternately wrestle and rest in the shade, and Fanny always leaps up and runs along the fence when a motorcycle, boat on a trailer, or skateboarder passes by — those apparently being among her triggers.

We’ve gotten to know Brutus, a six-month old, but already huge, chocolate lab next door who likes to jump on (but not over, yet) the chain link fence, dangling his paws over the top rail and leaning as if to say, “C’mon over, let’s talk for a while.”

We’ve watched as the school buses roll by, and fresh-faced students head to bus stops, falling into the routine of another school year. One paused at the fence — a Mountain Dew in one hand, an open and half eaten plastic bowl of microwaveable macaroni and cheese in the other, her requisite blue uniform shirt open to display more cleavage than I would think her school would deem appropriate – and asked me for a cigarette.

“Fresh out,” I replied.

In Dundalk, people say what they mean, mean what they say, and wear what they want. If they’re feeling crabby, they show it (especially in the traffic circle), and if they’re feeling friendly, they show that, too.

Today, Ace and I bid farewell to Fanny and head back to the old ‘hood — South Baltimore, where I’ll stay again with my schoolteacher friends for a couple of days before heading to another friend’s home nearby for a few days more. She’s going to the beach, and her cat needs feeding. Even though her cat hissed at me the last time I fed it — and after I fed it, no less — I quickly volunteered for the job.

Our time in Dundalk has been peaceful, work-friendly and comfortable, but one shouldn’t overstay one’s welcome — especially with an ex, even if she is your dog’s number one fan and Godmother. For ex’s move on from the shared life and start their own and, painful as it might to no longer fit into it, that’s reality.

Like the signs say, one must yield to the traffic in the circle.

Dog House: A Love Story

“Dog House” isn’t a book about a dog; it’s a book about a lifetime of them — about the love we seek, the missteps we take and, at last, making that perfect, or almost perfect, canine connection.

Carol Prisant, though she grew up in a less than pet-friendly home, was pretty sure she was a dog lover, but it took awhile for her to get it right.

With humans, on the other hand, she appears to have succeeded the first time, and her 42-year marriage to husband Millard is the other ongoing theme of her often hilarious, often poignant, but never syrupy memoir.

While the book is about love and loss and dogs — all subjects prone to sappy treatment — Prisant’s sense of humor, honesty and willingness to admit she may not have always been the perfect pet owner make for some fun and refreshing reading.

Prisant, when it comes to the pets in her life, starts at the beginning — with the goldfish that her pet-challenged mother flushed down the toilet, a stinky dime store turtle she subsequently released into the wild, a bird whose toes fell off after she brought it home from Woolworth’s and a monkey that fell in love with her husband’s leg.

Eventually she and her husband work their way up to dogs, including Cosi, a Jack Russell terrier, Fluffy, a purebred collie, and Blue and Billy and Emma and Jimmy Cagney and Juno — to name a few.

All of them had their idiosyncrasies. Some, she admits, were more than they could handle. Some moved on to new homes, and new ones would arrive — up to and after the death of her husband.

“Dog House” is more than a book about dogs, though. It’s about the love of a mother for her son, and, most of all, a wife for her husband.

Prisant is the American editor of the Condé Nast publication The World of Interiors, and author of “Good, Better, Best,” ”Antiques Roadshow Primer,” and “Antiques Roadshow Collectibles.”

(For more news and reviews of dog books, visit our “Good Dog Reads” page.)

A White doghouse for the White House dog

All the talk about the yet to be selected, procured or named White House Dog has gotten me to thinking: Isn’t it time to start giving some consideration to the White Doghouse?

Turns out, Stephanie Rubin is way ahead of me. Rubin, a Los Angeles landscape designer, is owner of Sustainable Pet Design and inventor of the Greenrrroof Animal Home. And with a little help from her friends she’s already built and arranged delivery of “Summa Canum, The Obama Dog Home.”

Summa Canum (Latin for “Top Dog”) has been created “to provide an appropriately sustainable and stylish home for the new leader of the free canine world.”

At the same time, the project’s aimed at introducing eco-friendly practices and materials to the American people.

On the Sustainable Design website, Rubin says public interest in the Obama dog — not yet selected, though the First Family is reportedly leaning toward a Portugese water dog — inspired her to create a dog home as a gift for the Obama family.

“As we began construction on Summa Canum, one vendor after another expressed a desire to contribute. Summa Canum is now a gift from many. Materials donated include historic wood, greenroof plants, eco-friendly paint, bio-fuel, expert advice, as well as arrangement of transportation with a rock-n-roll legend.”

Summa Canum ins’t an exact replica of the White House. But it is modeled on Greek Revivial architecture that was popular during our nation’s early years.

It is made of wood from cedar trees that President Andrew Jackson planted along the driveway of his estate, The Hermitage. After a tornado felled these trees in 1998, EarthSource Forest Products reclaimed the wood for lumber and has donated the last of it to Summa Canum.

Like her other creations, Summa Canum will have a green roof, consisting of vegetation supplied by Emory Knoll Farms, a Maryland nursery. The dog home will arrive at The White House unplanted in order to provide the Obama kids with the opportunity to get their hands dirty in their own little garden.

Third Planet Energy has arranged for delivery of Summa Canum by Neil Young, a longtime champion of environmental causes, who will haul it with his biofuel-powered 1959 Lincoln. Amoeba Music provided financial support to offset the cost of the trip.

Doghouses of the rich and famous

“Completely dog-mad.”

That’s how a publicist describes a wealthy accountant and his doctor wife who are spending a quarter of a million pounds — just under $400,000 — on a house for their two Great Danes.

The doggie domicile will feature a 52-inch plasma TV; a retina-scan entry system that will allow the Danes, but no other dogs, entry; two bedrooms and a separate lounging area; two elevated temperature-controlled beds lined with sheepskin, from which the dogs can see out through the giant windows; automatic dispensers of food and chilled, filtered water; a temperature-controlled pool/spa; and an outdoor adventure play area — all of which can be controlled and viewed by the owners via computer from anywhere in the world.

The 1,000-square-foot kennel will adjjoin the main house, both of which are being built on the exclusive Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, according to the London Daily Mail

Work is due to start next April and take around 18 months. The owners have requested anonymity. 

“All we can say is that they are a retired couple who are completely dog-mad,” a publicist said. “They said: ‘We want the perfect living space for us and our dogs’ and that’s what they are getting.”

(Illustration by London Daily Mail)

This will save you time and she heard himcoming and she held her in to our preliminary estimates programmers, customers and whether he recognizes the format of your team members, members.