Dogs Have Olympics Too!

My dog Susie says

13 Hundred Years of Sport?

All the current fuss about America’s “Chinese” uniforms for the upcoming Olympics in London, got me thinking about when, where and what the Olympics are really all about. Did you know that they first started in 776 BC and ran for almost 1200 years before being discontinued? The original games were held in Olympia, Greece during this entire period. The contestants competed in 20 events including track, wrestling, boxing and chariot racing. And a cool fact was that the first Olympic Champion was a cook but he didn’t win for cooking.

One of the most interesting facts about these “Ancient Olympic Games” is that during the two weeks of competition all wars and feuds between cities and nations were discontinued. The winners were so revered that poems were written and statues built to immortalize them. Is this where and when the idolization of modern athletes of today began? Anyway, the Olympic games were discontinued around 400 AD because Rome had supplanted Greece as the premier power nation on Earth. The Greeks really didn’t like Rome or Italians in general, so the games were placed in hibernation for the next 1500 years.

In 1859 the Olympic Games were restored in Greece because of the individual generosity of a wealthy Romanian-Greek philanthropist. In 1896 in Athens, the games brought together 14 nations with 241 athletes competing in 43 events. The next two Olympics were held in Paris (1900) and St. Louis, Missouri (1904). Bet you didn’t know America had its first Olympic Games back then. And, more importantly, women were allowed to compete for the first time, before they even won the right to vote. Now, the London Games are expecting over 10,000 competitors from 204 nations to compete in more than 90 different events. That’s a bunch of uniforms!

Most humans don’t realize that for 20 years or longer there have been “Doggie Olympics” held in May, September and October in numerous states including Indiana, North Carolina and Colorado. Awards are bestowed for twenty different events for “Best-Tricks, High Jump, Limbo, Musical-Sit and Kisses” I know I could win for the limbo because I can crawl lower than any dog I know. And the gold medal will definitely be mine for Kissing cause nobody kisses better or more often than me! Two major reasons I can see for watching dogs over human competitors are: dogs are true amateurs that aren’t paid any money, and they also don’t need any fancy uniforms from China.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Since the first Olympic Games were contested exclusively by male athletes who were completely naked, what’s the big deal about the manufactured uniforms they now wear today? Maybe we should go back to the original Olympic “uniforms” not created by any country, individual or company. And since women are now allowed to compete, think of the huge ratings!

For more barks from Susie: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more information on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com

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Marilyn Monroe and the hidden treasure?

My dog Susie says

26 Miles to Catalina?

Well, this is my first trip on a boat that actually leaves the harbor. My big mommy told me that when they moved to California over twenty years ago, their first sailing experience was really funny. They were visiting friends in Newport Beach at “The Balboa Yacht Club.” They met a couple of “free spirits” at the Club who invited mommy and daddy to go sailing with them on their 46 foot yacht. It was moored at John Wayne’s home on the water a few miles away. So they decided to take a chance and go with these two strangers for a day of sailing and sunbathing. Thank goodness they had packed bathing suits in their car’s trunk.

Mommy had never been sailing before, but Daddy had sailed a few times with his neighbor in Atlanta, Ted Turner. But that’s another story for another day. Anyway, after arriving at the boat, their two hosts, who were in their early thirties, invited them to partake of wine and cheese. The two sailors were smoking something that obviously made them laugh a lot. After an hour or so of getting to know each other, while inhaling the second-hand smoke, mommy and daddy were in really good spirits. The “captain” finally said that it was time to leave to go to Catalina Island which would take a few hours. As they started the boat’s engine to begin cruising out of the harbor, the captain and his friend who were completely stoned by now, started laughing uproariously and slapping each others’ backs.

Daddy asked what was so funny and the captain said, “Geez, I forgot that we took the sails down last week to be cleaned and we forgot to pick them up. We’ll just have to motor around the Newport harbor for a few hours and drink more wine!” Mommy and daddy thanked the captain and his mate for the unique “sailing” experience, but said it was time for them to return home to L.A. Thus ended mommy’s first sailing trip. I hope this one is more fun especially with me on board for entertainment.

The next morning we arrived in Marina Del Rey harbor, and immediately left on a beautiful sailboat owned by an old friend of mommy’s named Beryl, She also has a great pooch named “Buster,” a Black Lab, living on the boat full time. Lucky dog! Also, the trip over to Catalina is only 22 miles not 26 like the song says. Other interesting facts discovered after we arrived is the island is about the same size as Manhattan: 22mile long by 8 miles wide. But only 4,000 people reside here instead of the 8 million living in New York City. Different races of people had settled on the island for over 9,000 years, including the native Indian tribe Turai, Russians, Chinese and pirates. I also noticed that there aren’t many trees on Catalina. The reason for the lack of trees is pretty crazy, but when y’all understand that Catalina is  legally geographically part of L.A…..well…..

It seems that hundreds of years ago the Chief of the Turai tribe on his deathbed told a white hunter named Samuel Prentiss about a hidden golden treasure located on the island. He said that it was buried under a tree. So, Mr. Prentiss, who had hunted every living animal on Catalina or it’s surrounding waters, spent the next 30 years literally cutting down and digging up every tree on the island looking for the vast lost treasure. He never found anything. Maybe it was really just an Indian joke on the white man?

Buster and I thought about digging around a few trees to look for the gold, but decided to chase the big hairy cattle that we saw running all over the hills. Mommy called them Buffalo, and as we got closer, they were way too big for us to try and round up. Also on a much smaller critter scale, there are rattlesnakes roaming everywhere.  Mommy learned that Catalina was acquired in 1919 by a chewing-gum magnate named William Wrigley from Chicago. Another treasure seeker, Marilyn Monroe, lived here years before she became a star. And Natalie Wood who was a star, mysteriously died here a few decades ago. Seems like a lot of history for such a tiny island.

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy

P.S. Famous actor and heavy drinker  Humphrey Bogart was a frequent sailor to Catalina Island. On his deathbed his last words were, “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis!”

For more Susie says barks go to:  http://sandysteele.blogspot.com

More info on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com

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“Stardogs”

My dog Susie says

California Canines

As I’ve mentioned in previous barks, I’ve met quite a few dogs of celebrities during the time I’ve spent here. I was pleased to find out that while many are expensive high-brow breeds, many are rescue dogs like me. Even Uggie who won a special Oscar for his “Silent Movie” movie in 2011 was a rescue mutt. To me they’re all “Stardogs.”

One thing I learned is that while there are hundreds of different breeds of dogs living here in the Golden State, there are lots of different languages they respond to. Gee..English is hard enough for me without having to understand, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese or Cockney.

One of the first and definitely the biggest dogs I met, was George a Great Dane owned by Jim Carrey. Jim had dated a girlfriend of Big Mommy’s years ago. He’s really funny but George is so big he scares me a little. Mr. Carrey also made some funny movies like “Pet Detective” and “The Mask” which stared a really talented doggy. In Beverly Hills, I met Lucy a Boxer owned by Jodie Foster. She was really nice.

Some singer named Clay Aiken owns a Border Collie mix named Raleigh. Ashley Judd who’s from the south like me, owns a couple of Cockapoo’s named Shug and Buttermilk. Congratulations, Ashley, on your husband winning the 2012 Indianopolis 500! We also saw Pamela Anderson in Malibu and she had a Golden Retriever named Star. Charlize Theron, who’s really talented and beautiful, owns numerous dogs: all mutts.

In Bel-Air where Mommy lived, a neighbor of theirs, Nancy Reagan owns a Sheepdog named Lucky. Great name for a wonderful President. Steve Martin has a beautiful Yellow Lab named Roger. Oprah Winfrey, who we saw in Santa Monica, has a couple of Cocker Spaniels named Solomon and Sophie. Oprah’s original home isn’t too far from mine there in the Georgia mountains and forests.  Speaking of trees and such, I discovered that in downtown Los Angeles something wonderful was happening.

There’s an organization called “TreePeople” who, for years, have been planting trees and shrubs all over L. A. They believe that by helping nature recreate small robust natural forests, they are helping the city to heal itself. This group has enabled downtown parks to be reborn making the urban environment safer, healthier, and more fun and enjoyable for humans…and dogs. The people behind this aren’t celebrities but just ordinary people with extraordinary ideas. Good for them!

At one of the TreePeople supported parks, Coldwater Canyon Park, sitting on top of the Santa Monica Mountains, we met Clara Bo, a Pomeranian owned by Kate Hudson. My big Mommy has seen Goldie Hahn numerous times. They’ both seem really sweet.  We also met a French Bulldog named Coco Chanel, who was a famous French women who invented perfume or something. Sacre Bleu! Her owner is Reese Witherspoon, who is originally from nearby Tennessee. She is really perky and a wonderful person. So is Coco! The most interesting Stardog was Rufus a poodle owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, who daddy met at a party at the Playboy Mansion. It seems that Rufus liked the water so much at the grotto, which was an underground pool in a cave, that he decided to relieve himself there at every opportunity ONLY when the partying guests weren’t looking. I wonder if anyone noticed? Maybe Rufus doesn’t like movie stars and their antics so much either. Well, gotta go, because we’re getting ready to sail over to Catalina Island.

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy Steele

P.S. On Sunday we were all walking by a local church in Westwood and saw a Minister talking to a group of young boys. The boys had circled around a stray dog and the Minister asked what they were doing. The boys said, “This dog is homeless, so we’re having a competition to see who gets to take the dog home. Whoever tells the biggest lie wins! “

The Minister who was disappointed said, “Boys, it’s very wrong to tell lies. When I was your age, I never told lies!”

The boys all looked at each other and said, “O.K. You win. The dog is yours!”

To read more “My dog Susie says” go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele go to:  http://sandysteele.com

Has TV gone to the dogs

My dog Susie says

Springtime in the South”

My Daddy and Big Mommy love the springtime in Georgia. There are all kinds of beautiful flowering bushes and trees everywhere. Pink azaleas, white dogwoods, tulips of every color, honeysuckle bushes in bright orange, purple irises, blue hydrangea, yellow daffodils, violet geraniums, pink petunias, lavender daises, golden sunflowers, red roses, and more than fifty other species of flowering plants. They say that the reason for so many types of beautiful plants is the climate and the special soil found here. The smells and aromas I can’t even describe to a human, except to say… this place is like a garden of Eden especially for a scent-loving canine.

Now Mom, Dad and I spend half the year in California and the other half in the mountains of North Georgia. Dad especially likes the springtime in Georgia because that means he gets to attend the Masters Golf Tournament held each April. The very first time he went, he was awestruck at the natural beauty of the course. He discovered that the Master’s creator Bobby Jones had actually built the golf course on an old plant nursery. Daddy considers it the most beautiful man-made course in America. His favorite golf site for natural beauty is Pebble Beach in Northern California, which he considers one of the most beautiful places in all of the world. And speaking of California…

While we were back in Los Angeles a few months ago, my Big Mommy found a neat television program to help  working parents who have animals at home. And… let’s not debate who works harder, stay at home or working moms…please. Anyway, some smart people in San Diego came up with a brilliant idea for entertaining home-alone pets: DogTV. It’s TV programing shot from the “low” viewpoint of us dogs. Also, the colors are altered so animals can more easily recognize them and the sound effects and music are written especially for dogs.

You see, a dog’s eyes see mostly in blue and yellow colors, but not much red or green (bet you didn’t know that). The programming won’t have loud noises, commercials or high pitched sounds either, which really annoy us. And if you’re wondering what we dogs can see on these new high definition TV’s, we can see everything especially other dogs and their different breeds. In fact, studies have shown that puppies who watch video images of other dogs are more “socialized” than those that don’t. Individual programming segments show “stimulation” with dogs running, playing and even surfing, and end with “relaxation” themes of sleeping dogs in natural settings accompanied with doggy lullabies.

For all the 46 million homeowners with dogs, you don’t have to feel guilty anymore about leaving us alone while you’re gone. For just a few bucks a month on cable, DogTV will entertain and educate us without any commercials, explosions or sirens to frighten us. And that’s a very good thing!  What do you think?

Catch
you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. How many dogs or cats does it take to change a light bulb?

GOLDEN RETRIEVER: The sun is out, and the day is young. We’ve got our whole lives ahead of us. Who cares about a silly light bulb?

ROTTWEILER: Make me!

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER: I’ll just pop one in while I bounce off the walls and ceiling.

GREYHOUND: It doesn’t move. So who cares?

BLACK LAB: Please let me change it..please, please.

BOXER: Who cares? I like playing with my toys in the dark.

BORDER COLLIE: Just one. And I’ll replace the wiring if it’s not perfect.

CAT: You’re kidding..right?

To read more “Susie says” barks: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele: http://sandysteele.com

For information of DogTV go to http:www.dogtv.com

American Icon

My dog Susie says

The day the music died.”

Recently, I overheard my Big Mommy, Sandy, and Daddy talking about a person in L.A. named Dick Clark that had just passed away. They both were very sad as they realized that Mr. Clark had been a part of their lives during most of their lives. Both Dad and Mom watched “American Bandstand” and learned the newest dance steps and music each Saturday morning. Years later, Daddy met him a couple of times at various events and attended  Mr. Clark’s annual production of the American Music Awards Show, which he also created. Dad said he was the nicest celebrity he ever met.

Big Mommy kind of cried while reliving the special day she spent with Mr. Clark on a movie project she had written about Elvis and The Beatles. Dick Clark knew the singers very well and shared some of his personal stories about those five entertainers. She said she laughed a lot that lively wonderful day, but I’ll let Sandy tell you what the best and funniest part was:

After years of research and after completing the screenplay about the “Fab Five,” I told my agent that Dick Clark would be a perfect person to show the script to since he was also producing movies at this point. Since he had worked with Dick for 40 years, slam dunk, off we went to Dick Clark’s luxurious suite of offices in Hollywood  for our appointment called a “pitch meeting.”  When we announced ourselves to the receptionist and turned around to take a seat I couldn’t believe the two beautiful Weimaraners that glided into the reception area like silky silver supermodels!  You should know that the real love of my life (before Susie of course) had been my own Weimaraner named Longfellow, that I owned from 1975 until he was kidnapped in 1982.  (Boy, that’s a whole other story!!) 

Of course, I immediately pounced on Dick Clark’s Weimaraners and we three lapsed into kisses and hugs like long lost lovers.  When Dick received us in his private offices his dogs followed because they had free run of the place.  Well, that sure broke the ice of the pitch meeting since the first half was spent on “Weimardinger” talk. His dogs and I had bonded, and the bonding spilled all over the office with a warm glow, so we spent the bulk of our business time together laughing over our mutual, crazy “Weimardinger” stories. Turns out Dick was a devoted dog lover and NEVER went any where without his dogs.  No doubt they went to heaven first a few years ago, and now Dick’s by their side, frolicking with his beloved dogs once again.”

Catch you later,

Sandy and Susie

P.S.: You might not know that many Weimaraner owners refer to that breed as “Weimardingers” because they’re just so dog-gone dingy !! 

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its people’s moral progress can be judged by the way their animals are treated.”

Mr. Gandhi must have welcomed Dick Clark in heaven with wide-opened arms”…Sandy and Susie Steele

For more barks from Susie, go to: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele’s books go to http://sandysteele.com

“Mitt and Barack come to my party”…April Fools

My dog Susie says

Party like it’s 1999.”

My big Mommy, Sandy, informed me that since I’m a rescue dog and don’t know exactly when I was born, she decided that April 1 would be a great day for it. So “April Fools” everyone! I like it. Anyway, now we have to get down to the details of my very first birthday party.

First we have to make a guest list. All the neighborhood dogs will be invited except that horny poodle up the street. And the cats…what to do? Mom says we should invite them so we don’t discriminate against anybody. O.K. That’s fine as long as they don’t scratch-up my presents or hiss at my cake. 

My friends from out of town will be invited, especially Uggie. I hope his head hasn’t grown too big since he starred in the Oscar winning Best-Picture “Silent Movie.” I’ll text his agent right away. I hope the other dogs I’m inviting from back there that I met on the Santa Monica beach, can fly back here on Uggie’s jet. 

Sandy decided if the weather’s nice we’ll have the party outside in our fenced back yard. I guess it makes for a much easier clean-up after the party’s over. Also the fence keeps the squirrels from stealing our treats. Speaking of a menu, I’m hoping she fixes a liver pate as the appetizer. The main course should be chopped up filet mignon with a mushroom sauce. Dessert could be a fresh fruit bowl with sugar-free whipped cream. Of course the fruit would be sliced into small pieces so nobody chokes. The cats with smaller throats might have to watch out however.

Next is the entertainment. I would like some doggie-disco music playing while the humans throw Frisbees and tennis balls for us to catch. Maybe my big mommy can also bury a big juicy steak bone somewhere in the yard. Sort of an Easter egg hunt for pooches. At the end of the evening all of us could tear apart a Pinata which resembles the postman. Just kidding. We’re lovers not fighters.

Sandy said that we definitely won’t be doing the following things: Have candles on the cake. No plastic spoons or forks anywhere. No toys from China. No open doors into the house allowing for possible doggie bad behavior.  Nobody marking each others territory. Now I understand that last request, but Mom… really!

It sounds like my first birthday celebration should be a lot of fun for everyone. Mom said she’s going to take  bunches of pictures of the party, so I can look back years later and see just how cute I was…. when I celebrated my first birthday.

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy

P.S. If you believe for one second that dogs can’t count, put three treats in your pocket, give out two and see what happens.

For more My dog Susie says go to http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com 

Info on Sandy Steele can be found at: http://sandysteele.com