Normally, our posts focus on dog matters, usually the exploits of one especially charming pit bull. This time around, however, we’d like to shine the spotlight on some of our favorite two-legged creatures. Longtime bff and poet/painter extraordinaire, Linda Simone has several ‘Charley’ poems in an upcoming anthology of dog poems titled “To Unsnare Time’s Warp” (Main Street Rag Press).  The volume is due out in October, and you can order copies at the mainstreetbookstore.com. I’m particularly excited to read them since I was with Linda and her awesome playwright hubby Joe (another buon amico from my Iona College days), the day they first brought Charley home from the shelter. The lucky rescue mix lived a long, healthy, happy life as a part of their amazing family. He’ll always be in our memories, and now he’s immortalized in verse as well. If your poetry jones won’t wait until October, grab a copy of Linda’s amazing collection Archaeology and prepare to be blown away by her searching, soulful mastery.

Charley Simone

The girl power shout-outs continue, this time to our favorite badass lady stone carver, my mom, Eugenie Spirito, who is profiled in the Fall issue of Malibu Times Magazine. The writer, Kamala Kirk, really captured the spirit of Eugenie’s artistic focus and inspiration. To make matters even sweeter, mom’s mentioned on the cover along with rock legends Stephen Tyler and Peter Frampton, and acting giants Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey. Thanks to the lovely Roxanne McCann for setting up the story and for the beautiful photo of mom and her work at Canvas Malibu. I’m proud to say that the other shot – of my ‘smoking’ hot mom hard at work – was taken by ‘dad’ during a break from his scribbling.

Eugenie – Heady Company

‘Smokin’ Hot Artist

At Canvas Malibu

While humans get the glory this go-round, Cesar Millan had a nice blog article about the different approaches needed when dealign with fearful and fearless (assertive) dogs. As his fans know, Millan claims it’s much easier to rehabilitate ‘aggressive’ or fearless dogs than a timid ones, since all that’s needed it to redirect their positive energy in a way that puts you, the pack leader, in control of the situation by showing them that good things happen when they do as you ask. “The interesting thing about fearless dogs is that, because they want to be in control, once you teach them what they have to do before you’ll do what they want, they’ll go out of their way to do it because, in their mind, they’re not responding to your actions; you’re responding to theirs. It’s the ultimate in reverse psychology. Fearless dogs like to show off. Once you’ve taught them a routine, don’t be surprised if they start performing the actions before you ask. The second your body language says “walk”, they’ll be sitting by the door waiting for you – which is what you wanted all along.” Fearful dogs, like a certain handsome pit bull we know, pose a thornier challenge since you need to first rebuild their shattered trust by assuring them that nothing bad will happen if they do as you ask. As fans of GIMME SHELTER know, it can be a long, slow, even messy process, but with patience and gentile assertive energy, the transformation can be startling and oh so rewarding.

Tanner – TLC Cures a Fearful Pup


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