Ode to Chilly Dog Blog

It’s once again the time of year where I get to do wild double takes over dogs in their winter finest. I have always freely judged and laughed at owners who dress their dogs in fancy fleeces. This year, thanks to the dog snuggie, my glee has run deeper than ever. One of the very first lessons ever learned at my mother’s knee assured me that animals had their own coats and they didn’t need ours. Thanks Little Bear (for everything). The thing is… I don’t remember New York being as cold-cold as it was this last week!!!

I’ve never had a New York City dog. My dog was all island.

I was raised side by side with the worlds noblest, greatest, most wonderful dog. He was more than a pet, he was a brother. Seriously, since the dawn of time there has been no greater mammal to ever walk on all fours… If there were any question in your mind I offer up the following:Here he is as the cutest puppy ever. See? Not up for debate.
He appreciated the years I spent undergoing obligatory french-braiding on my mom’s torture chair, even if I could not.

I’m sitting on the our front porch steps surrounded by my brother and sister in one of our many hours of puppy worship.
Palette never saw the difference between him as a dog and us as humans. Why should he fetch sticks when we were all throwing sticks? No. He’d throw sticks with us. We could all run into the water and get our own sticks. Pal was all about playing fair.
He was wonderfully patient and willing to waiting his turn, whether it was a family board game or…

opening our stockings Christmas morning… We’d all be gathered on the floor sharing everything we’d found in our sox and he’d stand alert pointing at the last stocking hanging on the hooks. He knew that our stockings were our loot and he was not interested. He wanted that stocking. Somehow he just knew it was his.Pal lived for Christmas. Santa brought him to us when I was eight and Ashton was five and April was a mere three years old. He was a Christmas puppy and he was all about tradition. It’s almost as if Santa really had bundled him up and driven him in a sleigh to Hawaii just for us. He would hop and jump and thrill the minute the holiday decoration boxes came out of storage. I truly cannot imagine my childhood without him. He always was and always will be the greatest gift of my youth. I miss him fairly often, whenever I see a good looking Retriever on my Carroll Garden Streets, or when I hang those first few garlands up in my apartment.

Pal’s one and only flaw was that he was a wimp. In the middle of Hawaii’s winter Oahu temperature might drop to a frigid 62 degrees on the coldest of nights. Pal would stand outside our double screen doors whimpering and whining. How could we be so cruel as to not make him a hat and a coat and some gloves to keep him warm in the wind?

If I were lucky enough to have him here with me today. I’d want him wearing a scarf.

These pups were drawn in freeeeeezing plein air at Madison Square Park.
OH and YES. That is a Scotty in a doggiehoodie.

listening to right this second: “every breath you take” — the police

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About last night. 🦌💛 Crawling home on all fours after celebrating at the epic Puppy Par-tay my brother and sister-in-law put on for my dog nephew, Milo tonight. It was everything and more, complete with a bone-shaped swimming pool. #dreamtheimpawssibledream 🤘#livewithnoregrets We otter go exploring more rivers. 😍
#lifeachievementunlocked A Mama said there’d be days like this😍
Totally alone in the Natural History Museum’s Hall of Mammals for hours! Hashtag Blessed. It’s 1 AM. Do you know where your mini gummi bears are? 
#fairgame #latenightinthestudio #goodbyeoctober We’re celebrating today. I opened my eyes to Matt  crowing, “Amber! Wake up. They made it!” We have been following the inspiring pilgrimage of my mom @incredimombo & sister @prilliegirl_shakazoozoo via text & @instagram for weeks. They set out to trek across Spain a month and a half ago. This morning they walked their 500th mile and crossed into Santiago. Having read a lot about their journey before they set out to do it, I felt concerned at their determination. The Camino is not easy. It requires walking 10-20 miles a day 7 days a week. You have to carry everything you need on your back. The toll is physical, mental & spiritual. Many prepared and experienced hikers do not make it to the end of the journey the first or second time they attempt it. ☀️ So we’re dreaming impossible dreams and celebrating too. It would seem today is a good day to set out to do the impossible. When we moved to Utah I was sure I’d been too spoiled by my childhood on the ocean and my twenties in Brooklyn, to ever find anything to love in the desert. I fully planned on dying of boredom. I don’t know what I’ll do when we outgrow this little Wasatch apartment of ours! Watching the Sun kiss the mountains goodnight from our tiny balcony is beyond description. This picture doesn’t begin to do it justice. Home again.
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