A SLO RECOVERY FOR AN EYE WIDE SHUT and "HOW THEY MET"

You’ve heard the expression that some stroke of moderate good luck is “Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick”? Well I can vouch that it’s true. Almost two weeks ago, I was romping with my friends Porter and Lola in their yard when I ran into the branch of a bush. It hurt a little – we pit bulls don’t cry uncle easily – but I figured mom and dad would fix it right up. They couldn’t and so we turned to Dr. Lisa and our pals at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital who said that I’d injured my cornea in four places, one of which looked nasty. They sent us home with eye drops, ugh, and orders to stay calm, which meant no dog park, or play dates, and wearing the dreaded “Cone of Shame”. I’m on the mend now but still looking like I forgot to slip a Mike Tyson hook. Hopefully Dr. Lisa will give us the ‘all clear’ on Thursday and then I can get back to my normal jovial mayhem. 

with my pal Charlie D before the ‘incident’

Even though they’re worried about my eye, mom and dad still took me on a delayed Valentine weekend getaway to San Luis Obispo. As usual, they went shopping and tried the local restaurants, like Firestone’s (BBQ) and the Big Sky Cafe.  For me, the highlight was a new toy duck, and getting to share dad’s bed, something that happens at home only when the Santa Ana winds come roaring. While I love cuddling with my grumpy doggie daddy, I was thrilled to get home to my own bed and my toys. Speaking of delayed Valentine’s business, I thought I’d pull a fast one and post the entry mom sent to the local paper’s  “How We Met” contest. She didn’t win, but yours truly thinks she should have. Give it a look, and see if you don’t agree. Regardless, I’m sure glad they got together or who knows where I’d be living right now. – From the time I was 17, I knew the man I was supposed to marry was somewhere in New York. But first I had to get there.  After college, I left L.A. and headed to the Big Apple. ” Do what you love and you’ll meet the man of your dreams.”  For two years I followed my mother’s mantra and kept my eyes peeled at museums, and during lunchtime workouts at Jack LaLanne’s gym on Madison Avenue. Then one afternoon, HE walked into the club. Red sweatpants, black hair, devilish Italian smile – my whole being screamed that ‘Lou’ was the one. We were introduced by my best friend, Debbie. For the next 3 months, I played it cool, interviewing him while we ran on the treadmills. Then one day, he was gone. When two weeks passed and he didn’t show, I became concerned and called. He said his father had passed away and he was helping his family in New Jersey but would return soon. No more playing it cool. I’d tipped my hand; he knew that I was interested in him. When he returned to the City, he took me to a Halloween costume party. Five years later, we eloped and were married at Juliet’s Tomb, in Verona, Italy. We left New York and moved to Malibu, our home now for 24 years. After three decades, our time together keeps getting better.  Maybe it’s because he was born on Valentine’s Day? Or maybe my mother was right. 

Mom & Dad on their 2nd date (don’t ask)

Finally, here’s a shout out to this year’s Westminster Dog Show winner, a spry little Beagle named Miss P. As Beagles go, she’s pretty hot but I’m still longing for the day when an American Staffordshire Terrier or our English cousin, the Staffie, takes the big blue ribbon.

Miss P, 2015 Best In Show

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BIG GREY DOGS…LITTLE GOLDEN MEN…’SKY’

Mom and dad have been working very hard lately, keeping me in bones and dog toys. So to decompress, the three of us took off last weekend for the Central Coast. The ostensible reason was the 14th Annual Solvang Greyhound Fest. Billed “The Danish Capital of America,” One weekend every year, the town (renowned for its quaint, European-style architecture and decadent bakeries) puts out the Danish ‘Welcome’ mat for former racing dogs and their human adoptive parents. Over the course of two days, we saw hundreds of the sleek rocket hounds. I invited them all to play but only a few of the youngsters answered the call. At first I thought the leggy divas were just too full of themselves but then some rescue folks explained that Greyhounds spend their early lives in kennels, surrounded by only their handlers and other Greyhounds. Not surprisingly, they tend to view other dogs, even this lovable Pit Bull, as an alien species. At least no one complained about having a ‘gangsta’  pit bull crash the party. Whenever someone did ask about my lineage, Lou would say, “Tanner’s a Greyhound that’s been hitting the weights and taking ‘roods”. In addition to ogling dogs, we took the opportunity grab some fine eats at La Super Rica in Santa Barbara,The Hitching Post in Buelton and Root 246 in Solvang. 
Tanner & Eugenie crash the 14th Annual Solvang Greyhound Fest
Tanner & Lou soaking up the Danish sun

Every year, the three of us put our heads together to pick the Oscar winners. Lou thinks he’s the expert, but mom and I took him to school in 2012 when Uggie led The Artist to a Best Picture win. Thanks to SAG screeners, we managed to see most of this year’s nominees and here are our predication: Best Director: Alfonson Cuaron for Gravity. Best Picture: Dallas Buyers Club, with Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nods Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Kate Blanchett cops Best Actress for Blue Jasmine, while Jennifer Lawrence of American Hustle grabs her second golden dwarf for Best Supporting Actress. Finally, Best Screenplays to 12 Years A Slave (Adapted), and Dallas Buyers Club (Original).

Speaking of awards….A few weeks back, the American Kennel Club held its 138th Westminster Dog Show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. We watched both nights and felt that the American Staffordshire Terrier was clearly the pick of the blue blood litter. In case you’re wondering, our choice had nothing to do with the fact that I’m an AmStaff. We also liked the Pug (for Dudley) the Irish Setter (for Rebel) and the Miniature Bull Terrier (for Maynard). The crowd went gaga for Nathan, a goofy Bloodhound but, in the only pick that mattered, the Judge selected ‘Sky’ a wire haired Fox Terrier, as this year’s top dog. Disappointed as we were, we were happy for Sky, who’s a hometown Malibu dog.
‘Sky’ takes the Blue Ribbon at MSG