Category Archives: animal planet

View From the Top

Who loves having front row seats to the show on Ainsworth?

Gibson does!

Gibson View


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Dog Days of Summer

We’ve had some really hot days this summer in Portland and to battle the heat Zach and I have been taking advantage of our central air system. But we don’t want to waste all the sun inside so we’ve also been spending lots of time in our backyard. The dogs, with all their dark hair, love to be out there with us, but start drooping after just a few minutes so a couple of weeks ago Zach invested in a kiddie pool. They love it! Gibson “dives” for rocks and Pete mimics as best he can without actually putting his face in the water. Pete’s favorite part is being toweled off and sometimes he’s tries to do it himself. It’s fun for the whole family!

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Adrienne sent me this adorable picture of Zulu who had her first “big girl” meal yesterday. As you can see, she LOVED it!

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Big. Wild. Fun.

A few years ago – the summer before we moved to the east coast – Zach and I went to the Clark County fair with my mom. We walked through the rides and games on our way out and I paid a couple of dollars to toss a few plastic balls into some water-filled bowls. Every shot you made won you a goldfish. I didn’t actually get any of my balls into any of the bowls, but a couple of young girls across from me got one of theirs in. When no one – not the girls and not the game officiant – noticed that the girls had made a shot, I claimed it for myself (I know, I know… how could you?) and took home a handsome goldfish whom we named Frank.

When Zach and I decided to move across the country to the Washington, D.C. area we put Gibson and Troy in the bed of Zach’s Toyota Tacoma, put Frank in his bowl under my feet in the cab, and drove for 3,000 miles and five days across the country. It was the end of December and very cold and we carted all of the animals into cheap hotels with us every night so they wouldn’t freeze outside. Everyone survived the trip and we changed Frank’s name to Frank 3000 in honor of his survival skills.

Frank 3000 lived with us through the winter and well into the following summer when I got a call at work from Zach telling me that he had accidentally bumped Frank’s glass bowl and it had shattered, spilling water and the fish onto our kitchen floor. Zach was able to recover Frank and re-home him into a large drinking glass until we could get to the store for a more proper container. That glass would have to do for the afternoon, though, because Zach was heading out for an appointment.

Unfortunately, Troy had a penchant for knocking glasses to the floor when left home alone. While Troy and I lived together in my studio apartment on Queen Anne, he was known for knocking one glass out of my cupboard for every night I spent away. And, although he wasn’t left alone for the night, he was left alone that day and Frank’s glass was spilled onto the counter. Troy had no interest in Frank 3000 himself, and left our fish alone on the counter to be found by Zach after his appointment.

I made a tribute image for Frank 3000 that day that hung in my cubicle in Maryland until we moved to L.A. and we haven’t had another goldfish since.

Until last week.

Last week Zach and I went to the Clark County fair with my parents. I love the fair. My family used to go every year when I was a kid and now it holds a certain nostalgic tone for me. We ate as soon as we got there – giant turkey drumsticks, gyros, elephant ears, corn on the cob, and nachos – and then we walked through the commercial booths, met all the animals, had milkshakes from the Clark County Dairy Women barn (something we never miss), watched the amazing Dock Dogs, and finally exited through the rides and games area.

I paid $5 for 20 little plastic balls and threw them all at the water-filled bowls. I hit one, was given credit for two, and went away with two lovely goldfish whom we named Tula and Reuben.

It turns out (according to the all-knowing internet) that goldfish really aren’t suited for life in bowls and unless we want to find room for a five-gallon tank with a filter, Tula and Reuben will probably need to find another place to live. I’m considering asking the woman next door if they can join her koi pond, but if anyone else has suggestions for them I’m all ears!

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Last Sunday was a big day for me. It started out as an ordinary day, but then I got a bug up my ass and decided to shake things up a bit. Or, I was just bored.

I’ve been considering a style change for a while now and I was spurred forward by an interview I participated in last week where the woman assumed that I’m in my first job. (Anyone who’s known me for a while will feel that this is a familiar story.) So, clearly something had to be done… and a haircut seemed like just the answer.

I took my inspiration from Anne Hathaway and Nicole Richie and chopped it with a little side swept bang. I like it… it’s much more styled, but still modern. Zach has been out of town so we’ll see in the next few days if it really gets full approval.

And then I went straight to Adrienne and Seth’s to meet Zulu, their new (ADORABLE) puppy.

Maybelle did a great job giving birth and little Zulu just looks perfect. She’s about a week old and her ears are starting to take shape and her little pads and nose are the smoothest black leather you’ve ever seen. She still fits in the palm of your hand, but Adrienne says not for long, and her eyes are supposed to open this week. I can’t wait to go back over and visit when you can really see her face. How could anyone not love a little critter like this?

PS – How cute is my new jacket? It’s for the French soccer team… I’m so sporty and worldly.


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Weekend Highlights

The weather in Portland (and from what I hear in Seattle as well) has been crazy since Friday. We’ve had rotating bouts of snow, hail, heavy rain, and sunshine. Between the hail storms this weekend Zach and I found a great wine bar in Beaumont, went to Ikea to make some returns, bought some more plants and worked in the yard, had a delicious dinner at Portland City Grill, and did some other stuff not worth mentioning here.

The hightlights:

Wine Bar in Beaumont – Friday night we decided to have a little date night away from the kids (read: dogs) so we went for Italian at Amalfi’s and then decided to try out one of the wine bars in Beaumont. Vicinato was delicious and had such a great atmosphere. The walls are covered with paintings by a local artist (who happened to be there Friday night) and they had a live music duo playing the saxaphone and guitar. I had some delicious champagne and Zach tried a recommended Zin. Yum!

Ikea – We have made about a million trips to Ikea in the last month and Saturday’s excursion was solely to make some returns. We really wanted to get some window treatments up in the guest room before Daveen’s visit this weekend and bought some green linen curtains that we thought were going to work, but the color just wasn’t quite right. Sorry Daveen… bring your sleeping mask!

Planting – Ever since planting our first pot of flowers out front I’ve been wanting to add another and we did that on Sunday. We went to a different nursery than the first time so our pot is a little different and the plants are different, but I like the variety.

Second Planter


Pete hung out with me while I worked. Gibson did too, but he wouldn’t let me take his picture.

Pete Planting

Dinner – Finally, last night we had dinner with some of Zach’s colleagues at the Portland City Grill. I broke some of the food rules and had a delicious steak with crab and bearnaise sauce. In honor of the occasion I bought myself a new sweater last week and I think I’ve discovered a new favorite clothing line – Edun. It’s by Bono’s wife and uses sustainable fabrics and business practices… now if only I could afford to do my part for the global community by buying one of everything.

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Introducing: Pete

Ever since we thought we had adopted Cash, Zach has been talking about bringing a second dog into our family. This weekend we went out to a few shelters “just to look”. I should have known that two animal lovers could not possibly go out “looking” without bringing someone home.

The first shelter we went to – the Oregon Humane Society – had so many dogs! It broke my heart to walk through there and see all of their sad eyes begging for you to love them and I ended up crying in the car after we left. It’s amazing to me that someone could have a pet as part of their family for years – some of the dogs were eight or nine or more – and then just decide that they don’t fit into their lifestyle anymore. The people move into an apartment that doesn’t take pets, or they move across the country and don’t want to deal with transporting a dog, or they just tire of the time and care that an animal requires. The animal doesn’t understand why they’re suddenly ripped from their home and family and put into a small, windowless cage where they can smell and hear other animals, but can’t see them or play with them. They all just looked so sad and lonely and confused. We saw a girl there that we discussed for a while, but Zach and I had set some very serious criteria for the kind of companion we wanted for Gibson and in the end she did not fit everything on the list. It was hard to leave her and the other dogs. I think if I had my way I would just take them all and stay home all day making sure they each got enough love and attention and play time.

The second shelter we went to was Multnomah County Animal Control. They had far fewer dogs and most of them were puppies. Again we seriously discussed a couple of options – two male pit bull puppies who couldn’t have been more than eight or nine weeks old, and a female shepherd mix who was probably about six months. But again, they just didn’t meet all of the criteria we had laid out and we had to leave them.

Finally we ended up at an adoption event put on by Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals in Beaverton. OFoSA is an all-volunteer organization that saves endangered animals from local shelters and houses them in foster homes until they are adopted. Because they do not have an actual facility and only operate out of volunteer foster homes, OFoSA hosts adoption events every weekend. This is where we found Pete. We knew as soon as we walked in that we were in trouble. He is a small three-month old puppy who is black, but has the same white chest stripe as Gibson. The people at OFoSA say he’s a collie/lab mix who will only be about 30 pounds. We walked him around the store and sat and talked about it for a very long time. I’m not sure right now was exactly the right time for us to be making another household change, but Pete meets every criteria that we had laid out and Zach was already in love… again. I think he will be a good addition and we’re happy to have him.

We introduced the dogs at the park near our house and then brought them home to romp in the backyard for a while. Pete is a little bit intimidated by Gibson and for now we think that’s a good thing. Pete got a bath this morning and they both have vet appointments tomorrow. Gibson isn’t the best at sharing so far, but he spent about two hours cleaning Pete’s ears last night and I think in time they will be good friends. It will be nice for Gibson to have a companion during the long days at home while Zach goes through his busy season again next fall. We’re hoping the separation anxiety and nervousness that Gibson displays will be lessened by the distraction of Pete’s company.

Here are some pictures to get you by until you come to meet him. (My folks are coming tonight and we have high hopes that they will immediately fall in love and be okay with taking on two dogs for sitting when we’re out of town!)

Pete Day One

Pete Day One

Gibson and Pete Day One

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