Mamas and Moose — Moose on the Loose

Mamas and Moose


Each fall, the moose are on the loose in my neighborhood. Just like the mama moose has a routine of walking the neighborhood and feeding her babies from the trees, my mama and I have a routine. We speak each morning, in the afternoon and at night, before we go to bed.


Today, I was a bit late calling my mom. I call her because she still has a landline and it costs extra to phone long distance.



When I rang, it was 11:30 and I was leaving to work in the boutique.


I apologized for calling so late in the morning and explained the moose on the loose had distracted me in my neighborhood.



Earlier, Juliann texted to tell our group of dog walking friends about the moose on Lincoln Lane. I was cautious when I walked Faith, Booker and Gus. Rounding the corner onto Bridge Parkway, we saw the baby moose and fled to safety behind Vanessa’s fence.


Knowing the mama had gone down the street toward my house, we moved with stealth.


Safely in our home, the moose arrived next door. The house does not have a fence across the front, so they simple meandered in for breakfast.

I ran from my window, to my deck, to my side patio trying to take pictures.


After my mom heard the story, she gasped, “Don’t you need to call animal control?”


“Nope. We don’t do that. We’re in their backyard. I’ll just be careful.”


Moms and moose.


Like the mama moose, my mom worries about me.


Posted in Dogs, For the Love of Dogs, mom, moose, neighborhood, relationships, wild life | Leave a comment

Three Important Things in a Home with Dogs

Three Important Things in a Home with Dogs


As far as I’m concerned, a house is not a home without a dog, or dogs.


But, when people without dogs visit, there are three things that are important to note.



A few weeks ago, my friend Tracey came to visit. From the guest powder room, I heard, “Julietta, we have a problem.”photo 1


Without waiting to hear what the problem was, I called, “Behind you. The toilet paper is in a basket on the tank behind you.”


“Got it,” she called.


With dogs, toilet paper does not stay on the roll. Instead, it turns into confetti because they want to surprise me when I come home.



A few years ago, a portly poodle with Cushing’s Syndrome arrived in our home. Unable to jump up onto the bed, I hoisted his 17-1/2 pound body up every night until a friend built a ramp. With the ramp, Mr. Sunny Sunny Bun Bun could waddle right up to his spot on the bed.

photo 2


Now, because of spondolosis and a bridging in his back, Booker T. Washington uses the ramp to go to bed.


It is, to say the least, somewhat surprising for someone touring the house, cleaning the house, or sleeping over to see the ramp.



With enough marrowbones to build a small dinosaur and mounds of stuffed squeaky toys, including a Chewy Vuitton bag, it is typical to trip over toys. On more than one occasion, I have almost fallen down the stairs after stepping on a bone.

photo 3


Prior to visitors, I roam from room to room scooping up toys and putting them in the toy baskets.


I would not change a single thing in my home . . . the scratches on the hardwood floor, the fur on the sofa, and the bowls of water all over the house – nothing. It is a home for and with dogs.

Posted in Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, For the Love of Dogs, home, life lessons, love, magic, Senior Animals, Special Needs | Tagged | Leave a comment

Designer Clothes and Careers — On Your Own



A few days a week, I work at an eclectic boutique on Main Street in Park City. Housed in an historic hotel, above the Thai restaurant and next to a fur store, the shop carries a variety of world designers from Brazil to Salt Lake City. Each designer has a story, just like every customer.


Currently, the window features a hand-painted dress and skirt along with lovely little cocktail dresses.


With the summer tourist season, people walk up and down Main Street all day long. Last week, a vibrant, talkative, authentic and articulate young woman came into the shop.


“Is this your first time in the boutique?” I asked.


With some shyness, she said, “Yes. The dresses are just so beautiful I wanted to see them.”


Tentatively, she reached to look at the dresses, scarves and jewelry.  I explained that the clothing ranged from a designer from Mexico who priced everything under $100 to much more.


“Are you visiting Park City?” I questioned.


“Yes. I’m from Provo.” (For readers outside the state of Utah, Provo is the home of Brigham Young University and is predominantly LDS.)


“Where do you go to school?”


“Provo High,” she replied. “Everything in here is so beautiful. I can’t get over it.”


As a schoolteacher, I have some idea about the age of children and asked, “Are you a sophomore or a junior?”


“I will be a junior next year. I just got my driver’s license. I love it here in Park City.”


She chatted amiably and comfortably.


With a longing look she said, “Maybe someday I’ll marry someone with a successful career and I’ll be able to wear designer clothes.”


Hiding my upset over the idea that she needed a man to wear designer clothes, I suggested, “Or, you can have a successful career and do it on your own.”


When should one wear designer clothes? Whenever one feels like it!


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Patience with Puppy Mill Pups

Patience with Puppy Mill Pups

I am not patient. It is not a quality I developed. In fact, I stand by Carrie Fisher’s statement that, “the only problem with instant gratification, is that it takes too damn long.”

Last month marked Gus’ four-year adopt-paw-versary into the Hooker Horde. His first three years were spent in a puppy mill.

At seven, he is finally a puppy!

Puppy Run

The curly blonde woman at the shelter told me, “He may never be a real dog.”

Once he came home in 2010, he spent the first few days cowering in the back of his crate.   When I removed the crate, he found security sitting on the stairway landing. From there, he knows what is happening both upstairs and down. Plus, with the railing, it probably feels a bit like a crate.

Gus' First Day

After six months, I heard scratching on the hardwood floor. I peered over the railing to see Gus secure in his seat on the sofa.

The changes happened so slowly, that they seemed unremarkable at the time. But, now, he barks with happiness when we head out for a walk, he chases the ball with his brother, when I say, “go to bed,” he hops up on the bed and cuddles into the pillow.



He still clings to the safety of his big Berner sister, Faith, when unknown dogs or people approach.


Often, he’ll sit opposite me and look at me. The pet psychic said he told her, “I love Julie and I’m better than any boyfriend she will ever have.”

Gus runs. He plays with toys.

While he does not like to be held, he tolerates it.


With patience, spirits and hearts heal.

Posted in Adoption, Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, For the Love of Dogs, Fostering, Kindness, life lessons, memoir, puppy mill, Special Needs | Leave a comment

Being DEPEND-abled

Being DEPEND-abled


Last weekend, the ladies and I spent quality time, with wine, at the Arts Festival. Since we had not seen each other in a while, conversation turned from school to homes to books and to bad dates.


I had forgotten about this story.


Once upon a time, there was a successful silver fox living in my town. His fifth wife took him for everything.


When he returned to town for a wedding, he invited me to lunch.


“Now that I’m selling real estate,” he explained, “I’ve had to give up my yearly birthday gift to myself – liposuction.”


I laughed at the way he saw the changes in his life and lifestyle.


After lunch, he invited himself back to my house to watch True Blood. I know. When I was re-capping this story for my girlfriends on Saturday, I couldn’t figure out how that happened.


He excused himself to use the powder room, came back, and said, “You know, I remember the first time I saw you. You were wearing a black v-neck dress with pearls at the Jazz Festival Gala.”


That was impressive. That event happened six years earlier.


I excused myself to visit the powder room. In the wastebasket, was his DEPEND undergarment.



I guess it is good to be dependable.


But, I cannot bring myself to depend on someone depend-abled – yet.


Posted in Friends, life lessons, memoir, relationships | Tagged | 3 Comments

Having Faith

Having Faith

Faith Barrel Faith flowers


Five letters. Monosyllabic. Still, FAITH is a big word.


It is a noun and means “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”


The smallest of her litter, my Bernese Mountain Dog was named “Faith.” Her family trusted. They had confidence would make it.


Faith brought faith into the Hooker Horde.


I have faith in Faith. She taught her little bro-fur, Gus, to be a dog, after he spent three years in a puppy mill. Faith understood that our neighbor with Alzheimer’s disease needed to hug her. Faith knows that the ten-year-old across the street needs to share her secrets with her.


Winston Churchill referred to depression as “the black dog.” This summer, the black dog of depression followed me taking my appetite, enthusiasm, and energy.


Faith started to walk less. Instead of our typical mile or two each morning, she stopped after a half mile and sat in the shade. I worried about her. I wondered if her back hurt. I wondered if the spondolosis was getting worse. I even had the surgeon remove 2.5 centimeters from her elongated soft palate.


But, still, she stopped. She sat in the shade. So, we walked home.


My weight dropped to 99 pounds.


Last week, she leaned against me, looked into my eyes and I knew that the reason she stopped. She told me, “You don’t have the energy to go any farther.”


With my Faith, I’m healing. I’m eating. My energy is returning.


Now, with Faith, we walk a little farther each day.

Posted in blogging, depression, Dogs, Emotional Support Animals, faith, For the Love of Dogs, Kindness, life lessons, love, memoir | Tagged | Leave a comment

Murphy Brown & Eldin, the Painter

From 1988 -1998, Murphy Brown brought relevant politics to comedy.  The show also introduced us to Eldin, the painter.  Brown, a journalist, hired Eldin to paint her townhouse.  Somehow, he never finished.

A few years ago, I hired my own version of Eldin, the painter.  He had a great eye.  

I love the colors in my bedroom.  Each wall blends like a cup of coffee, latte, cappuccino, or espresso.  My friend, Carol, helped me choose and electric purple trim.

photo 1

Each wall of the stairway is a different yellow blending all the way to the top where it culminates in bright yellow like the solar plexus chakra.

photo 2photo 3


While I went to school each day, my neighbor, Christie, checked on my dogs.  She came at random times.  Each time she visited, my Eldin was sitting in the side yard with his Great Pyrenees.  Never once, in a month, did she see my Eldin with a paintbrush.

On September 11, 2010, my Eldin greeted me at the door.  Tarps covered the furniture, only one layer of paint was on the bathroom wall, and he said, “Do you need a roommate?”

While I refrained from losing it entirely, I replied in a calm voice, “No.  No.  I need a painter who finishes on time.”


Posted in blogging, Dogs, Friends, life lessons | Tagged , , | 1 Comment