Registered name: "The Importance of
June 1982- July 1993
Pee-pee (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
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
(the III was the AKC's addition - apparently we were less original than we
May 1983 - March 1998
Dodger (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
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
(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
It (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
No registered name...the paperwork
hung on the
fridge for 8 years
June 1997 - March 2006
Baby-cakes (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
Prized Possession: His passion
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.
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
Frankie-wankie - a little baby talk never hurt anyone,
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
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
1996-2009 Elizabeth Cusulas
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction without written permission is expressly forbidden