Registered name: "The Importance of Being Earnest"
June 1982- July 1993

(for his unfortunate puppyhood habit of piddling on dogmama's lap when frightened)
P-dog (abbreviated version of Puppy-Dog)
P (still shorter and more refined)

Philosophy: "Love me - throw my toy."

Prized Possession: The Rubber Hamburger. Always in his mouth, even while he slept.
He sometimes snuck it into the car for trips - it was with him on his last ride to the vet.

Earnest was a little gentleman - very anxious to please and sensitive. He was a welcome guest anywhere he went - an ambassador for dogdom. As far as he was concerned, he was "people". He never understood what all the dogs were for but he put up with them. He was "Mama's Boy", by my side every moment. I like to think he's still there -- in a way.

Registered name: "The Artful Dodger III"
(the III was the AKC's addition - apparently we were less original than we thought)
May 1983 - March 1998

(his talent for outwitting us was unnerving)
Artie Fart (some sort of madness overtook us...)
The Coot (an endearment for his golden years)

Philosophy: "Where there's food - there's a way"

Prized Possession: Arthur was never the least bit fond of anything that could not be consumed outright - probably due to a childhood trauma. His giant pacifier toy was shredded by the lawnmower - right before his eyes. It squeaked once as it was blasted into bits flung at Arthur's feet.

Arthur was our "clever dog", skillful and sly. Arthur never once showed any concern about winning our approval.
He was willful, yet patient. His exploits are legendary. We never broke him of a bad habit. He hated other animals but was kind and protective with children and the rest of his pack. He was really a loveable beast - the proverbial "diamond in the rough" and we miss our "old coot".

Registered name: "Three's a Crowd"
April 1987 - August 1995

Little Man
( a puppy all his life)
Piston (energy to spare)
The Wad (who knows where this stuff comes from?)

Philosophy: "Take time to stop and eat the flowers"

Prized Possession: Mr. Dragon(s) - Tristan loved big toys - toys almost half his size. His two giant dragons (one stuffed and one latex) were kept in his "house" (otherwise known as underneath the dining room table) where they were subjected to various tortures.

Tristan never met a stranger. He tried to walk off with everyone who passed us on the street. When we traveled, he tried to get in the cars of strangers and he never passed by an open motel room door without dragging mama inside to greet his new friends. He was enchanted by children but overly enthusiastic in his greetings - occasionally knocking them over to get a better look. He loved everyone to excess. He was exuberant - never walked when he could run - did the stairs two at a time - jumped over, rather than walk around. He died far too young (a rare liver disease) and we miss him every day.

Registered name: "Darbey's Skipping Stone"
(her sire was Darbey's Piece of the Rock, sired by Solid as a Rock -
we liked the stone motif, but Emma was anything but solid...)
July, 1995 - November 2001

(during her difficult puppyhood - "is It awake yet?" "has It been at Arthur again?")
The Little (still feared, but somewhat endearing)
The Chick (her "chick's rule attitude")
Chickie Doodle (we finally like her enough to give her a truly embarrassing nickname)
B*tchwoman (on her bad days...)

Philosophy: "Knock 'em over and sit on 'em!"

Prized possession: Piggy - a stuffed pink pig which she sucked on when she was tired and beat up when she was not.  Piggie was her favorite and had the scars to prove it. Piggy was the only toy she didn't disembowel within a week. This, to Emma, was devotion.

Emma was born the day a wicked storm, followed by a killer heat wave, knocked out power for most of lower Michigan and parts of Indiana and Illinois, leaving death and destruction behind. We once thought Emma was actually a part of this devastation (on bad days, we thought her birth might have been the cause).  She was a force of nature and she is deeply missed.

No registered name...the paperwork hung on the fridge for 8 years
June 1997 - March 2006

(oooh he's so cuddly...)
Mister Velour (pronounced "Meester Vulooooor" - a reference to his so-soft muzzle)

Dunkie Man (made him feel like some sports hero)
Hubby (the position in the home to which he aspired)

Philosophy: Eat (often), drink (gallons) and be merry.

Prized Possession:  His passion was tennis balls - he could hold two in his mouth at the same time!  But his amazing red ball with sirens and lights was his heart's delight.

Duncan invested himself totally in whatever he was doing - he played hard, cuddled with dangerous gusto and slept like a rock. He was a handsome devil and very popular with the ladies although we needed to explain the problems with inter-species dating to him every now and then.  


Another set of registration papers that never got sent in...

Born September 2001
Joined the pack in March of 2002

Franklin-stein (sometimes shortened to "Stein") - he's a clumsy boy
Frankie-wankie  - a little baby talk never hurt anyone, right?

Frankie was 6 months old when he came to live with us.  He was named Frankie by his breeder and then renamed Franklin by me but called Frankie most of the time anyway.  He was supposed to be a show dog but he is so timid and shy that his show career was a disaster.  His breeder was sure I'd bring him back after a few days but he's been here for years now.  He's my first experience with a shy dog and that's a challenge, but he let Duncan be the pack leader (when no sane dog would) and he is a loveable, if sometimes troubled, soul.  He's afraid of cameras so this is a rare shot of him curled up with a favorite toy for moral support.  He's a beautiful puzzle I hope to figure out someday.

Birthday unknown so we celebrate it on Easter Sunday every year - that's when she came to stay.
Joined the pack in April of 2005

Hollybaloo - that's Holly and hullabaloo combined
Ms. Baloo -  evolved from Hollybaloo
Little Girl - for when she is sweet

Holly is a rescue dog.  No one knows when or where she was born.  All we know is that some wonderful people rescued her from a high kill shelter in Ohio, brought her to Michigan and put her picture on Petfinder.  Through a series of odd coincidences, she joined place our pack and took her place as an honorary Cocker Spaniel.  I named her for Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" because she's a wild party girl but she has a mysterious and sad past. 


Born in March of 2008
Joined the pack in June of 2009

Coupe-de-Ville - he's luxurious and large by our pack standards.  Takes up two parking spaces on the couch!

Cooper is also a rescue dog - another lovely bit of serendipity .  I contacted Field Spaniel Rescue, certain that there would not be a young dog from this relatively rare breed available.  I was very specific that I wanted a young, game, happy dog who loved other dogs and had a zest for life.  Next think I knew, I had one.  Cooper is beautiful inside and out - just a happy sweetheart.  He has the zaniness of a young dog but he's very centered and calm.  He's a gorgeous present I get to open over and over. 


Tale Waggers - Stories for Dog People
Copyright 1996-2009 Elizabeth Cusulas
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden