Blogger on the beach: lunch, laughter and dog talk

May 13, 2011

I had lunch with my friend Susan Hamil earlier this week. We sat out on the patio of a Mexican restaurant overlooking the ocean and ate guacamole and fish tacos. I indulged in a Margarita. We have known each other forever, and often see each other at events or talk on the phone, but we hadn’t just sat down for lunch in years. After we finished slicing and dicing the dog world, we began swapping stories about our old ladies.

Susan has a Pug named Xena, who is 14 years old. Xena was six months old and in need of a new home when Susan ran across her, and they’ve been good friends ever since. It still makes me laugh when I remember the time one of Susan’s show dog friends commented unfavorably about Xena’s conformation. “Xena’s a performance Pug,” Susan haughtily replied.
In their day, both Xena and Bella were athletic little dogs. Xena did the typical Pugtona 500, racing through the house, on and off the furniture, and Bella could jump three feet straight up onto our bed or launch herself perfectly into someone’s lap. Now their treacherous bodies have betrayed them, and they have trouble getting around. We love them dearly, but it’s hard not to laugh at some of the things they do.

Susan almost fell off her chair when I talked about finding Bella “splatted” on the floor (more, I think, at the use of the word splatted than at poor Bella’s predicament), and I laughed until I cried at her description of Xena’s commands when she wants something. On the sofa? “Gabble gabble gabble.” Off the sofa? “Gabble gabble gabble.” Neither Xena nor Bella “talked” much when they were younger. I can count one two fingers the number of times I’ve heard Bella bark. But in their old age they’ve found their voices. Xena gabbles; Bella huffs, trills and moans. The huff is my cue that she’s standing up and I’d better stop what I’m doing and take her outside. The trills and moans are distress signals. She is splatted on the floor or has gotten herself stuck in a corner. Mealtimes don’t require any vocalizations, just walking around me and nudging me until I put the food down.

We had a great time. Now, if I could just get Susan and John to come to the World Dog Show, we could do lunch in Paris…

Filed under: gratuitous blogging,pets, connected — Kim Campbell Thornton @ 9:11 am


  1. Maybe a couple of pairs of those dog socks with the anti-slip bottoms to prevent the splatting?

    Comment by mikken — May 13, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  2. I have never had much luck getting socks to stay on dogs’ feet, but I have thought of trying those out.

    Comment by Kim Thornton — May 13, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

  3. Ah, heaven! A post on cavs AND pugs. Doesn’t get much better than that. I lost my senior pug at age 13 last year, and cherish my 5-year-old pug all the more for it. My senior gal, Rhoda, provided an abundance of laughs in her old age. Much love to Xena, the aging “performance pug!”

    Comment by Dee Dee — May 13, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  4. I should add that we have a path of nonskid throw rugs throughout the house to alleviate the splatting issue, but occasionally she hits a bare spot.

    Comment by Kim Thornton — May 13, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

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