They grow so fast…

“To get back one’s youth one has merely to repeat one’s follies.” 

–Oscar Wilde

Lola Bug has been my best girl for almost four years now, yet I can remember bringing her home as clearly as if it were last week.  She was so precious–tiny and snuggly and warm–and we both knew we belonged together from the moment we met.  She came over, crawled up in my lap and settled in as if to say, “What took you so long?!”  She has been a source of love and laughter every day since.  I feel so lucky to have discovered Cavaliers–they are truly a fabulous breed.

And then there’s the Beau Man. I knew I loved chocolate, but didn’t realize how truly sweet it could be.  This little man came barreling into our lives last October and hasn’t looked back.  What began on a Monday as a *measured* search for a reputable breeder who might be having a litter in the spring moved quickly to a lead on a *fabulous* chocolate male puppy who by a twist of fate was available to a good home and ended that Sunday with Beau resting in my arms for the drive home from Barrington, NH.  A more loved animal you will not likely find….
Fast forward to the present, where we are blessed with two beautiful, loving animals who find *some* way to move us every day–be it to a moan of frustration, a helpless giggle or an intense wave of love.  These creatures give us love unstintingly and, at the risk of sounding maudlin, they are *always* gone too soon.  They grow SO FAST.
To wit, a photo of Miss Thing and Beau hanging out with me in mid October and in virtually the same pose last week!  All I can say is savor every day…..

Bug and Beau “do lunch”

“A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly.”  


As you may have gathered by now, Lola Bug and Beau are very social animals.  They love *everyone* — the mail lady, the UPS man, the kennel staff and visitors to the house.  They’re especially fond of the latter, as those individuals tend to stay awhile and while they’re here, chances are good that either (or both) of the dogs can craftily position themselves beneath an idle hand for a bit of rubbing and general adoration.

Yesterday David’s parents were visiting, so the ‘kids’ had a jackpot of two guests to shuttle back and forth between.  After some initial {ahem} exuberance on Beau’s part (have you ever witnessed a 6-mos Lab puppy jump up almost even with a grown man’s nose?!  Saw it yesterday with my own eyes), Bug and Beau settled down and played the perfect house guests.

Steve & Beau

Jacqueline & Beau

While Beau worked the crowd, Lola laid back and, in typical diva fashion, waited for the admirers to come to her. As Lola’s idol, Mae West, once said, “I’ve been in more laps than a napkin.”  When you’re this good looking, you can afford to play it a little cooler.

The queen on her throne

Chewing: A Postscript

Yesterday I talked about an assortment of chew toys that are popular here at Chez Feinberg.  As Beau helpfully pointed out this morning, however, there was one that I overlooked:  the TV remote.

Yep, just a few unguarded moments in the shower this morning and our remote is no longer REMOTELY functional.  Training is already underway for Beau as to how to move his little brown bum off the bed and over to the TV to change the channel for us during evening viewing hours.  🙂

Did I mention we started obedience classes last night?……

A paean to beds

The bed has become a place of luxury to me!  

I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world.”

–Napolean Bonaparte

Despite their monikers, Bug and Beau are  actually very easygoing animals, generally content with the simple things in life.  Their list of favorite things is long: walks, breakfast, treats, lunch, treats, dinner, treats, toys, car rides, bones, and cuddles to name a few.  But of all these things, few score higher than their beds.

Lola Bug goes to her bed and settles in each night with nary a peep.  She waits for her nighttime cookie dutifully, perched on her pillow like the Princess and the Pea.  We don’t hear another sound out of her (except for the occasional buzzsaw snoring) until the next morning.

In Beau’s case, conversely, there IS a place that’s more enticing than his bed…..OURS.  From the time he was a baby, Beau has slept better in our bed than anyplace else he settles.  (Somehow I doubt that this is a coincidence…..)  We indulged him when he was younger, as quite honestly WE were keen on a little sleep each night as well, but now that he’s older and BIGGER, things need to change.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good boy, crate trained and quite willing to trot dutifully into his little domain whenever it’s requested.  Unfortunately, however, at about 2:30 or 3 a.m. each night he decides he’s had enough and would REALLY prefer to rest his head on 300 thread-count sheets instead of on that silly little fleece mattress. (Perhaps you’re beginning to see, now, from whence the nickname ‘Diablo’ comes….)

And I must confess, neither of us is particularly good at playing the heavy when it comes to sending him packing. Ahhhh well, as Longfellow said, “Youth comes but once in a lifetime.”  Might as well enjoy it, and him, while we can.

Snow day!!

“It is better to play than do nothing.”  –Confucious

Lola & Beau ascribe to this philosophy, so when we awakened this morning to a mantle of white, they eagerly headed out the door.

We haven’t had any of the white stuff since our October blast (no, that isn’t a typo–our last (really only) big storm of the season came a few days before Halloween and dumped some 22″ on us.  

Since then, nada.  Other than an occasional dusting, it’s been a very quiet winter….until today!

Today we’re getting a decent storm (between 8″ and 10″ at last count) and the kids are lovin’ it.  Lola Bug was sporting her leopard print fleece (animal prints are still very ‘in’ you know), and Beau was working on his snow angels. (He’s still got a ways to go….)

As I watched these two play this morning, I was reminded of how life really is about the simple pleasures: that special quiet that envelops the world during a snowstorm; the invigorating feel of fresh, cold air streaming into your lungs; the delight that comes in blazing a virgin trail through fresh powder.  It’s a great way to spend the day.

Making their debut

Hello and welcome to my blog, “Donna & Diablo,” a daily chronicle of life with my canine companions. Before going much further, allow me to introduce you to the stars of our show:

LOLA, a.k.a. Miss Thing, Bug, Bugga, the Buggster and, on occasion, Donna.

Lola is a three-year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  She’s a diminutive 12 lbs., but in her mind’s eye she’s a Doberman.

Lola with her Doberman buddy Chance, may he rest in peace....

Now don’t get me wrong, Lola is a sweetheart–quite simply the easiest dog I have ever owned (and I’ve owned quite a few–including three Dobermans who are also incredibly sweet animals).

She’s sweet, funny, flexible, EXTREMELY tolerant and, unlike her mother, not the least bit neurotic.   😉  She loves everyone she meets ,and I daresay most love her back.

She is my snuggler, travel partner and steadfast companion.  Wherever I am, Lola’s not far, indeed oftentimes no farther than my lap.  Cavaliers were originally bred  in the 16th century to warm the laps of well-to-do women, and it’s a duty they take very seriously.

Lola lives a rather charmed life, which led to her being dubbed ‘Donna,’ as in Prima Donna.  While she would argue vociferously that this is NOT true, I must confess her nose gets a bit {ahem} “out of joint” if her schedule is disrupted.  Ahhhh, disruption, a perfect segue for introducing the man of the house: BEAU.

BEAU, a.k.a. The Beaumeister, Bubba, Mr. Man, Handsome Boy and, not infrequently, El Diablo.

Beau is a six-month old Labrador Retriever, and he is a 51 lb. (and growing, seemingly by the hour) happy, funny, rambunctious, goofy, TOTALLY food-motivated bundle of joy.
I have always heard that retrievers were incredibly oral dogs, and I get that.  Their mouths are their main business tool.  Bred to “hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions,” these dogs are serious about having something close at hand to mouth or chew at all times.  And right now, while he’s teething, Beau is NOT picky about what that chew toy is.  Recent items extracted from his mouth include a kitchen towel, a magazine, a book, a sports bra, a stick, Dad’s smart phone, a rock, a piece of mortar, Dad’s wallet, a bar of soap, and Lola.

Another thing about Beau–he’s wicked smart.  Among his current repertoire of tricks–bringing us his food bowl when he wants a meal, bringing us his water bowl when he needs a refill, banging the Venetian blind when he needs to go out, (and opening the door if we don’t get there fast enough to suit him).

Beau is a born comedian.  He loves to play (he and Dad have particularly great games of chase and keep away) that leave them both spent.

Beau & Dad share an afternoon snooze.

As charming as he is, though, Beau also has his moments when his alter ego, El Diablo, appears.  Not as in a nasty, aggressive ‘Diablo,’ but rather as in a “Why you little devil, when I get ahold of you I’m gonna…..”   You get the idea.

This is their story, and mine.  We hope you’ll join us now and again.