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Author Archives: Marj Hatzell

Two Border Collies and a Frisbee

Last weekend we had a very special guest. (An)Gus is a local celebrity, the coolest dog in our little Mayberry-esque town. He’s a Border Collie, super-duper well-trained and fun to be around. Gus stalks his front yard and waits for unsuspecting folks to attempt a walk-by. Little do they know he will charm them with his powers of persuasion and they will be playing Frisbee or tossing a tennis ball for hours.

O Hai! I can haz Frisbee?

Border Collies are naturally smart, happy and entertaining dogs. They LIVE to work. Running and catching and doing and playing are all they really care about. Sleep? BAH! For the weak! I dare you to try to walk by a Border Collie and not get fished in by their charm. But don’t be fooled, they are as devious and cunning as they are lovable charming. So buyer beware. They aren’t a goldens, yo, and really need a special family. One that can keep up with the constant demand for attention and exercise.

O Hai! We Haz Frisbee!

Anywho, back to Gus. I was thrilled when his owner, my neighbor, asked me to sit him over the weekend while they attended a family wedding out of town. And my weekend looked like this:

Walk two border collies
Throw Frisbee with right hand, tennis ball with left hand
Walk two border collies
Throw Frisbee with left hand and tennis ball with right hand while kicking Hol-ee-roller
Walk two border collies and the lab who finally woke up for the day
Throw Frisbee, tennis ball, rope toy AND kick ball, nearly simultaneously
lather, rinse, repeat.


Seriously, it was one heckuva fun weekend. It was like having two Daisies at my house. Except one had three feet and one four. And now I know why I ended up with a lab who doesn’t move. One Border Collie is all I need for now( Or can keep up with, since I get about eight hours of sleep. Per week). And Daisy’s birth family, my cousins, have three.

Keep them in your thoughts.


O Hai! I Can Haz Blog Nao?

Did you miss me? Missed me. I have decided I need to keep this dog blog thing going so forgive my, um, nine month absence. I have had one heckuva life since the last post. Like, sick parents, a deceased parent, kids having massive behavioral issues, surgery to remove polyps. You know, the usual everyday stuffs. Anywho. Back to doggies:

I like dogs more than most people.

No! Really! I like kids more than grow ups, too. Let’s just say my social skills are stellar. I have rarely met a dog who didn’t see me and go all OH MAH GAHHHHH ILOVEYOUILOVEYOUILOVEYOU. I seem to have that effect on kids and dogs. Maybe because I act like a teenager? And dress like one?

And smell good to a dog?


After a few months off, dog season is back in full swing. The first holiday weekend since Christmas and everyone and their uncle has gone away. Except for us, because our Bugaboo doesn’t do new and different so we stay home and do same-same. I have a few regulars that come often for quick jaunts to the shore or a weekend to see family that isn’t so dog-loving. it’s nice, easy money. Except when it rains.

Guess what the forecast was ALL WEEKEND?


I am totally not mopping, y’all. If you come over, wear shoes and grubby clothes because its going to be the first mudfest of 2012. Unseasonably warm winter weather creates havoc in the form of mud. It ain’t gonna be pretty. And naturally all three guest doggies are ginormous. All three of them are also light-colored. Really light-colored. At least with Bristol you can’t SEE the mud, AMIRIGHT???

So who did we have with us?

Ella, part tank, part lab.

Ella, the Yellow Lab. She’s built like a tank and once knocked me on my arse. Literally. Feet in the air, gymnastics, stuff flying out of my arms. I am soooo graceful!

Here's Zane sitting behind my brother's dog, Bruno. Looking a little perplexed.

Zane the Collie, also known as Zanye (rhymes with Kanye) or Zanelander. Ever see Zoolander? Zhe had problems turning left in the movie? Well, Zane is a teensy bit uncoordinated. He got the moniker “Zoolander” due to the fact that when I walk him he tends to go on the wrong side of trees, poles and other permanently placed objects and can’t seem to navigate around them. The first time I walked him he got stuck to the right of a pole and couldn’t seem to figure out how to turn left to get on the correct side on the sidewalk with me. I nearly died laughing. Also? Since he doesn’t go upstairs at his house he couldn’t navigate stairs. Until recently. One day I came back from an appointment and called him and called him to let him out with my girls and I finally noticed him peeking around the corner down the stairs at me. He was stuck. And a little embarrassed. But we love him, he’s goofy and sweet and loves my girls. Even if he did walk into my sliding door. On more than one occasion.

Jasper, the big, giant, huge (did I mention large?) Teddy Bear.

Jasper is a golden doodle? Yellowlabradoodle? Dunno. One of those. Anyways, I have watched many doodle/oodle/noodle dogs and they are usually a little high-strung and goofy. Not Jasper. MELLOW. Sweet, laid back, obedient…I could go on. The quintessential dog at your feet. HS like a big teddy bear. And except for the fact that he likes to hump pillows (don’t ask) and once ate one of my throw pillows and left five pounds of down all over my yard, he’s pretty much the perfect dog. Do you know how difficult it isn’t clean up down from a lawn? I do.

And of course I have my own goofy duo.  Turns out it didn’t rain all weekend, we spent 99% of it outside and the dogs were happy (and tired) and my floors are much better for it. SCORE.

And there you have it. I’m back.


Nine Months Go By and I Still Love Dogs

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I never intended this to be a daily blog, but nine months have gone by and I am embarrassed.  Mostly because I had the intentions of keeping this dog stuff up.  And now that we’re back in high dog sitting seasons, I am making a promise, dear Internets, that I will keep posting at the Crazy Dog Lady Blog.  Honest. Cross my heart, etc, etc.  Not much has changed, really. I’ve watched a number of puppers in the past few months. I still cruise shelters and rescues wishing I could adopt them all.  And I still like dogs more than I like people.

So what has happened in nine months?

Daisy, our beloved new puppy, got bigger. Ever so slightly.  She has now topped off at a whopping twenty-five pounds and she is a wee thing for a border collie. Now, she has three legs and was the runt and had some medical issues in the beginning of her life to deal with so we aren’t surprised by this. Well, we were initially. We tried like mad to get her to gain weight, even putting her on a weight gain food and she LOST A HALF A POUND. Then we took her off of it and doubled her regular puppy food and she stayed exactly the same. The vet concurs that it is best she is a wee thing, since she has to put all of her weight on one tiny matchstick of a leg.  So being tiny is GOOD.  GOOD GIRL!  STAY!

Daisy had a scare at the Holidays and we thought she was getting that fourth, rarely used leg sawed off. You know, because it’s SO CONVENIENT to have your limping, bleeding dog at the vet right before you have an onslaught of folks in and out.  And better yet, it coincided with my brilliant herniation of two discs in my back and I ended up in a wheelchair for two weeks. SO MUCH FUN.  The good news was that she stubbed her “stub” and was right as rain in two weeks. They even gave her a super-cute cast:

See? Cute cast!

But she had to wear the cone of shame:


Not a happy camper that week. However, this is how she looks most of the time:


That’s her “red ball.”  Since Daisy is a border collie, she naturally picks up on stuff in seconds. Like, smarter than your honor student? Yeah. She knows the names of toys. And once red ball went missing and we had to substitute with green ball. And even though they are color blind, somehow she knew it wasn’t quite right that green ball was there instead. But she eventually gave in,  because a border collie’s drive? FIERCE.

And when I say fierce, I mean that in a must-slather-myself-with-mud-even-on-a-sunny-day-kinda-way. because she’s awesome like that and she LERVES looking like she’s chocolate dipped. And this isn’t even the worst picture, yo:

That eventually ends up on my floor. And bed. And couch, and on the walls and...

Her fur sister, Bristol, is the yin to Daisy’s yang. She is mellow while Daisy is energetic. She is stoic while Daisy is expressive. She is well-behaved and compliant while Daisy is mischievous and daring.  It’s a good matchup. Bristol basically has one facial expression for everything:


*YAWN* so bored. Sigh. Eyeroll. Yup. That’s her happy. And sad. And fed up with Daisy’s antics. And happy. And bored. And scared. And…you get the drill. She falls asleep sitting up, I tells ya. She sleeps and sleeps some more. At barely two, I’ve never seen a more mellow dog. Unless, of course, my brother’s dog visits.  When BruNO! is here, all bets are off:

The one where they try to eat each other

When BruNO is here, they spend a few hours beating the holy crud out of each other. They roll around on the ground, attempt to eat each other for breakfast and wrestle, all while making painful and high pitch doggy noises. People actually stop to see if they are ok and I’m all, “WHUT? Does not compute?” Until I realize they think BruNO and Bristol are in the midst of a fight-to-the-death match. Which couldn’t be further from the truth because these two dogs? OMG A BLADE OF GRASS!  SCARRRRRY!  HALP! Yes. Wimpy.  Both of ’em.

So there you have it. I’m back on the horse. I have plenty to write about, including my brother’s wedding and honeymoon and how I watched BruNO for two weeks and he freaked something major and ended up drugged but that’s a different story for a different day…

Dear Cute Puppy

Dear Cute Puppy,

I think you are the greatest, really.  True to your breed, you have boundless energy and you are SMAHT.  You have figure out the baby gates and doors and cabinets already and you’re only going on five months old.   You’ve figured out where two wider pickets are in our fence and wiggle through them routinely when people walk by because you’re convinced everyone loves you and thinks you are the cutest and should give you belly rubs.  And you’re right. You are the cutest. When you greet people on three legs you wiggle your little tush and it’s Freaking Adorable, yo.

You’ve learned many tricks so far.  THE MAN thinks it’s super cute because you “speak” or “crow” at us to get attention.  Shad Roe used to do this. You also admonish your fur sister, Bristol, if she barks at a passerby.  You can sit on command, sit when folks enter the house, shake paw, head down, lie down, fetch, come on command (most of the time or when you’re in the mood, like if I have a frisbee in your hand) and DROP IT, the most important command of all. Your sister ain’t the brightest so we were able to get her to drop A PIECE OF BACON.  Something tells me you won’t comply like that.

You’ve already got that Border Collie OCD thing down pat. You have that funny look in your eyes, fixating on the frisbee or tennis ball or stick. You’ll fetch for hours, even after we’ve become exhausted. We’re learning that fifteen minutes at a time is plenty. We don’t want you to start compulsively ripping shrubs and trees out of the ground to find sticks like our neighbor Border Collie buddy, Gus.  Unlike Bristol, you’ll fetch anything. If you throw a ball of frisbee for Bristol she’ll watch it go by and then look back at us like, “Um. What am I supposed to do with that?”  In a word, she’s obedient but fairly flat in personality.  Very calm and happy, super sweet but NOT A BORDER COLLIE.  Even though her mother was one. Apparently, her dad was about exciting as watching paint dry.  But You, Daisy?  Little mischievous thing that you are?  Non-stop fun.  Constant entertainment. You certainly keep me busy.

I do, however, have one small request. Do me a favor.  When you go outside and I ask you to go potty?  GO POTTY.  You tend to get distracted by sticks and balls and small vermin  and holes to dig under my Rhododendron and forget to go and forty-five minutes later I find a yellow puddle on the kitchen floor because you can’t hold it anymore.   Outside is for potty, mmkay?  And?  Stop crying in your cage at 5am. Wake up time is 6:30.  Just sayin’.


Best Fur Mommy obsessed with doggies ever.


Well now. Summer is over, the dogs are all gone and now we’re back to normal. Well, a new normal.  Life will never be the same as it was before the Dog Days of Summer started (gosh, I miss Shadow) but we’ll have a new version of our own life back.

Life with a Border Collie is fun.  Shadow was only half Border Collie but apparently she had the full-blooded half, because it turns out her personality was 100% BC.  The lab half fell asleep for ten years and never woke up, apparently. Now Bristol?  Who had a Border Collie for a mother (and they suspect a lab or plot hound father)?  Her inner Border Collie fell asleep, which may have been a good thing. Let’s just say Shadow was special.  She had personality.  Facial expressions.  She was smaht, yo.  But she was also trouble.  Shadow could open the lazy susan corner cabinet and help herself to beef jerky.  Baby locks?  AMATEURS!  She also figured out quickly how to step on the pedal for the trash can to raise the lid and then stick her nose in to eat the contents.  And could open sliding doors and level door knobs. And the list goes on.

Bristol?  Sweet.  Well-behaved.  But…boring. We love her, don’t get me wrong.  One night, when discussing how happy we were that we adopted her (even though THE MAN was totally resistant in the beginning) I said, “But she’s different than Shadow” and THE MAN said, “You mean…OBEDIENT?”  Yeah, Shadow wasn’t exactly that. We let her anxieties and phobias rule how we did things around here.  But this time around?  Different.

Enter Daisy.

She’s all Border Collie.  100%.  OCD. Anxiety.  Energy level.  GO GO GO GO GO.  We love it, it’s a perfect fit for our family.  Autistic dog for an Autistic Family.

And that’s normal enough for us.

Dog Days of Summer

This summer, while lucrative, has also been very busy.  Dogsitting has been in full swing since Memorial Day and shows no sign of stopping before Labor Day.  I’m loving the extra money (because money is fun and stuff) but the truth is, I’m glad it is nearly over.  I’ll have the occasional guest come fall and holidays, but for the most part will be done with the dog chaos until next summer.  This is what my summer has been like so far:




And the rest of the summer will be:


We’re coming down the home stretch.  Unfortunately, my camera has been under the weather and I didn’t get pictures of Cocoa (puggle,awesome except for the humping), Marley (chocolate lab. What can I say?  She was your typical lab) and Rudy (some kind of yappy Yorkie mix but mellow and sweet).   The good news is I have a few pictures of newer dogs, like Jasper (Goldendoodle, just about the sweetest and quietest dog ever):

And Chase:

But the real reason I’m telling y’all this is because this summer makes having a certain awesome puppy around, well, AWESOME.  We brought her home Sunday and we’re in love.  Bristol loves her, too. In fact, Bristol mothers her, snuggles with her and tries to carry her around the house like a mommy carries a puppy.  It’s too sweet.  Anyways, meet our newest addition, Daisy:

She’s a Border Collie that’s about twelve weeks old, sweet and sassy and totally holds her own around here, despite only having three feet.  We’ve ordered a bright pink puppy shoe for her (when she is full grown we will get her measured for a special prosthetic-like shoe) so she can be the envy of all the female canines on the block.  We’re so smitten with her. Really.

A Sucker For Hard-Luck Cases


I’m going to be bringing home a new addition to our family. One with four legs and fur, that is.  And no, it’s not a cat.  It’s a dog.  A Border Collie. And her name will most likely be Daisy.  I think.  Because that’s what we’re calling her.

She’s a puppy. Wanna see her?

I Can Haz Doggies, Plz?

My new baby, Daisy

I’m also a little crazy.  See, Our Beloved Shad Roe the Wonderdog just passed three weeks ago (barely) and I’m just now not crying every time I walk by her favorite spot in the house.  I still have a lump in my throat when I think about her but at least I don’t start sobbing.  I’d say it’s a step in the right direction, right?

Anyways, puppy.  The little girl up there just happens to have a special need.  See, she was born breech and puppies should be born breech. So her Mommy dog tried to pull her out. With her mouth. And kinda sorta hurt her wee paw and it got infected and…you don’t want to know. So she doesn’t have toes on that wee little back paw of hers.  Poor baby!

But that doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, it makes me want her more.  So my cousin (who owns the dog) is letting me have her.  Well, sorta my cousin.  It’s my Dad’s first cousin’s son.  So we’re second cousins or third cousins or twice removed or blah, blah, blah.  Cousins.

I think she’ll be perfect for our family.  And we’ll love on her something fierce.  Because doggies here? PAMPERED.  They all know it, too.  I have a few dog guests that hide from their owners when they get picked up.  My puppers don’t know how good they have it, yo.

And the countdown to Daisy begins…