Saying Goodbye to Lola

Occasionally, I have the great privilege of placing a dog with someone who seems to have been custom crafted for just that single, unique, particular dog.  Among dog people, we sometimes refer to that once in a lifetime dog as our ‘heart dog‘. I don’t really know of a better way to describe it – this is the dog who occupies a special place inside of our hearts. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that we don’t love all of our dogs, and it’s not even about loving that one dog more than we love the other ones (no matter how many other ones there might be).  It’s something different – something ineffable. After a while, we you’ve seen or known those two beings together, they become so enmeshed that their names almost start to run together (CharlotteHammer, comes to mind, and for me I hope it’s CarolTessa).

In this case, it was MaggieLola, or since we had more than one Lola at the time, it was usually Maggie’sLola. That wasn’t the most accurate way of putting it, perhaps – I think maybe calling her Lola’s Maggie might have made more sense to most of the people who knew them. Technically speaking, Maggie and I ‘co owned’ Lola together (formal name, Bullmarket Chiquita Lolita), but there was never any question of who Lola belonged to (and certainly not in Lola’s mind there wasn’t). On the occasions when Lola came for a visit, she behaved something like Royalty in Exile – she knew she was better than this, and she knew that soon would come the day when she was returned to her rightful Kingdom, where her loyal subject (Maggie), was waiting to pay her homage (which she was).

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Happy Thanksgiving & Costume Contest Photos

Maggie Cacciotti, mom to Sushi (Penelope’s sister) and Lola, sent me some wonderful photos from this year’s Canine Costume Contest, at Socrates Sculpture Park in Brooklyn. Lola, of course, went as her famous alter ego, the Dread Pirate Lola, but Sushi dressed as – a Butterball Turkey!

Maggie sent me this update about the contest:

For this year’s costume contest at Socrates Sculpture Park, Sushi took 1st place as a Butterball turkey! We handmade the costume, but apparently it was so authentic that people thought we’d taken the wrapper off an actual Butterball turkey. I don’t even know how to cook a turkey, so that wasn’t going to be happening! The crowd was chanting “Butterball! Butterball!” and everyone was taking pictures of her and we were interviewed for two different newspapers.. Lola was The Dred Pirate this year (or again, but no one here in NYC has seen the costume before) – and didn’t mind handing over her “Halloween Queen” crown to her younger sister. I think she was just happy to get out of her costume once it was all done. Plus, she gets to enjoy the spoils.. tons of treats, toys and a day at the dog spa. 🙂
So, in case you’re keeping track, that’s two wins in a row for the Bullmarket girls. Lola won last year as the disco diva. 🙂 I’ve included a shot of Lola’s winning costume from last year, as well as photos from this year.
Way to go, Maggie and girls!
I couldn’t think of a better time than today to premiere these photos, starting off with this one!

The rest of the fabulous photos are after the cut.

Happy Birthday, Dread Pirate Lola!

The Birthday Princess - 11 years young

The Birthday Princess - 11 years young

Lola Banana – aka Lolita, aka Bullmarket Chiquita Lolita – celebrated her 11th Birthday over the weekend, and boy oh boy, can that girl party!

Even when one eyed and wearing a cone (another surgery, on her other eye – poor baby), little Miss Lola still looks simply divine and utterly fabulous. Lola, who was quite obviously a drag queen in a former life, has never met a feather boa or sparkly pink collar she would not gleefully wear, and her motto seems to be “If you’ve got it, add glitter to it”.

Lola unwrapping her present

Lola unwrapping her present

Shockingly, I just realized that Ms. Thing is actually a great great GREAT grandmother to Tula’s kids, and a great grandmother to Bunny’s. No babysitting, Lola – we promise.

The little brindle darling in the photos is Sushi – Penelope’s (possibly) smarter sister, who has discovered that you can abstain from motherhood and still achieve spoiled diva-dom. Way to go, girlfriend.

Photos below the cut.

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Polka Dot Matriarch, Penelope Swells & Zucchini Banana Bread

La Grand Dame of ear polka dots, Ms. Lola Banana, presents her deliciously butterscotch colored ear spots for your viewing pleasure —

Rumor has it that, just like a Pug, she smells faintly of scented kleenex, in addition to having soft, downy, double coated fur.

I was planning on sharing a nice post about some lovely UK dogs, but their owner never got back to me with permission to publish their photos. C’est la vie. If you’re showing Frenchies in the UK, send me a note and some photos, and I’ll write a blog post in which I blather on about how cuuuuuute your dogs are.

Seriously, I’d love to know how things are over there — Frenchies in North America are getting more and more group placings, and more Best in Shows than I’d have believed possible just ten years ago. Has the same happened in the UK?

Penelope is swelling up like a zeppelin. She can’t seem to lie on her tummy anymore – she has to lie on her side, or flat on her back, with all four legs waving in the air. She looks like a beached manatee.

Tula is carrying her weight low, but Penelope is carrying hers wide – she’s swelling out on the sides. Some days, it looks like she’s going to explode. As you can tell from her expression, she’s un thrilled about impending motherhood.

That crust on her nose is because I let her lick the spoon after I made a batch of zucchini banana bread. Yes, yes, bad me for spoiling her, but it was just a spoon, and she seemed to deserve a treat. She’d said what she’d really prefer is a surrogate mommy Rottweiler. Since that isn’t happening, I’m going to feel free to let her have the occasional treat.

The zucchini banana bread is pretty good, by the way — but I skipped the cranberries, and added chocolate chips in half the batch. Health food – yum!

Here’s the recipe, just in case you are also swamped with zucchini, and are running out of things to do with it.

Banana-Zucchini Bread
Submitted by: heather duncan
Rated: 4 out of 5 by 28 members
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Yields: 20 servings
“This moist and delicious breakfast bread is a blend of two all-time favorites. The flavors of banana and zucchini intensify when the bread is cooled. Serve this walnut and cranberry studded bread with sweet cream butter or your favorite jam.”
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup grated zucchini
2 bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8×4 inch bread loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light yellow and frothy. Add oil, brown sugar, white sugar, grated zucchini, bananas, and vanilla; blend together until well combined. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the cranberries and nuts. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool in the loaf pans on a wire rack before removing and serving.

Petal Freaks, Lola has a B-Day and Butterscotch Ear Spots

Happy Birthday, Lola! Happy Birthday to youoooooo!

Lola's Birthday Party

Ms. Lola Banana – aka Bullmarket Chiquita Lolita – celebrated her 10th birthday this past weekend. Birthday cake (OK, grass fed beef burgers), party hats and presents were on hand, and Lola’s little ‘sister’, Sushi, was more than happy to share in the booty, even if it meant wearing an octopus hat as partial payment.

Octopus Hat Sushi

Maggie, mom to Sushi and Lola, asked if Lola and Weezie were related. The butterscotch ear polka dots and wanton toy chewing just seemed to be too much of a coincidence. They are related!

Lola is mother to Diva
Diva is mother to Bunny
Bunny is mother to Weezie

.. that makes Lola Weezie’s great grandmother. Here are Bunny’s ear polka dots –

Bunny's Ear Polka Dots

.. Now I just need a photo of Lola’s ear spots, and we can make a sort of ear polka dot family album. God, I need a hobby.

Poor Petal is having a hard time adjusting to life as a house cat — well, to life as our house cat, that is. I suppose part of it is having lived as an outdoors cat for this long – she gets panicky if she doesn’t have constant access to a door open to the outdoors.

Petal Blends In

We’ve arranged sort of a compromise. I leave the door from the kitchen into the garage partially open, and the door from the garage to the outdoors cracked open a bit. This lets Petal go in and out of the house when she feels panicked or threatened (She’s not used to the dogs yet, even though they mostly ignore her). She spends a lot of time sleeping on an old chair we had stored in the garage. I’ve set it up, and put a fleece pad on the seat for her to sleep on. We call it her ‘throne chair’.

Petal's Throne Chair

When I’m upstairs, Petal seems to enjoy hanging out in the kitchen and living room. She sleeps on the couch, even if it is with one eye open, and she enjoys walking on the kitchen island while I’m prepping food. She’s a very curious little cat – very interested in everything going on. She is also incredibly affectionate – she enjoys climbing up and riding on my shoulder, and will happily roll over to have her belly tickled.

Tula has three weeks to go, and she looks like a little moo cow more and more every day. Poor girl!

Tula's Pregnant Belly