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Things I Love About My Dog
A list in progress
Alison Pace with Carlie.
  1. She likes to use my ankle as a chin rest.
  2. She is fond of nectarines.
  3. She smiles. She really does.
  4. An empty yogurt container can entertain her for the better part of an afternoon.
  5. She has no problem with sleeping in.
  6. She responds to several nicknames including Carlie, Noodle, Noosie, Noo-del, Rosemarino, Carleen, Carlata, Shamu and, occasionally, Le Pamplemouse.
  7. Before I met her, her personality was described to me as ambitious, and this truly fits her.
  8. She is very busy.
  9. She is the most curious dog I have ever met.
  10. If I am at my desk for more than three hours in a row, she will go to the bathroom door (the farthest she can get from my desk and still be in my apartment), take a running start and hurl herself into my chair legs, repeatedly, until I leave my desk.
  11. She snorts.
  12. When she wants attention, she does what I call the chomp-chomp. She bites at the air, twice, with an additional burst of growl.
  13. She loves my dad.
  14. When she is pleased she will slide one side of her face across the floor, tail in the air, while grunting.
  15. Did I mention she likes to use my ankle as a chin rest?
  16. She taught me squirrel is a verb.
  17. Carlie’s coat is supposed to be straight, but hers has a curl to it.
  18. With new people, she keeps it close to the vest.
  19. She is not wild about little children, but she is kind to them.
  20. About two weeks after I brought her home, Carlie and I were walking on Lexington Avenue. A woman, who was by my estimate well into her eighties, stopped me and said, “I had a Westie.”  I smiled. Her eyes filled up with tears and she told me, “She was the love of my life!” Now that I know Carlie, I can understand how that would be true.
Alison Pace is the author of four novels, including, Pug Hill and City Dog.

Photo by Amanda Jones.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Kerry | February 9 2012 |

One of the funniest things about dog ownership is how strangers are compelled to come up to you and talk about the dogs they've had. I have a Chow mix and I get so many people stopping to talk to me about the Chows they had, sometimes quite misty-eyed. My dog is not generally friendly with strangers on the street, but several times now she has patiently sat for a grieving human to pet her and get a little comfort after their own dog has passed.

Submitted by Tricia | February 10 2012 |

I would be one of those strangers on the street having lost my chow Bear a "short" 6 years ago and now living with Shadow and Trina. Chowa are a special breed and they have quite a devoted following. I will cross a street into traffic if I see a chow on the opposite side.

Submitted by Jen Febel/Avivagen | February 9 2012 |

Sounds like your Carlie is a real special little girl :)

Submitted by RJ | February 10 2012 |

Hi Alison,

Great list! One thing that caught my eye is your 2) She is fond of avocado.

Please do not feed any dog avocado as they are toxic for dogs.

please view my facebook page, I just posted an article for you that lists foods and plants that are poisonous for dogs.

Kind regards




Submitted by Lisa Wogan | February 10 2012 |

RJ, Thanks for your note. Alison has asked me to revise her post to include another favorite food of Carlie's, nectarines. In the past, she has only permitted Carlie tiny tastes of avocado, which is considered dangerous in large amounts. She appreciates the heads up, and will be steering clear of avocado in the future. —Lisa

Submitted by Anonymous | February 10 2012 |

Most of what you said is also true about my dog, but the thing I love the very most about her is that she is the VERY BEST company whether I am under the weather or at the peak of health.

Submitted by Melissa | February 10 2012 |

I love the way my Nemo snores like a freight train!

Submitted by Kathi | February 10 2012 |

I love your comments about Carlie. I am on my 2nd Golden Retriever male, this one being about 9 1/2 months now. They do fill our lives with all sorts of intersting things and love..
Thanks for sharing a little bit of Carlie with us:)

Submitted by Kathy | February 10 2012 |

Your comment about the woman who approached you on the street reminded me of myself. A few years ago, not long after losing my precious black cocker spaniel, I was in PetSmart and ran into a lady with a clone of my girl. I asked to hold her, and before I could stop myself the tears flowed and I was sobbing into this dog's fur and hugging her like there was no tomorrow. The dog was an angel and just let this unknown lady cling to her. I was so embarrassed. Then I looked up and the pup's mom was standing there crying, too. Dog people are pretty great. And dogs, well, they just understand.

Submitted by Chris | February 10 2012 |

Great list! I need to write up one for my tow Britts. Gertie, who is 12.6 & has had a rough year, was just at the vet today for blood work. She greets everyone that comes in--sides right up to them for some love. Dogs-no matter what breed, recognize those that love them.

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