Oh, by the way, a teaspoon of Greek yogurt eases doggy digestive tracts. A teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar also helps.
Dear Ask Dog Lady,
I have a severe case of Lassie lust. I am dying to get a dog. Whenever I see a cute one sashaying on the street, I follow the dog and its human to try to get all the info about the type of dog, its name, breed, temperament etc. I usually find dog people are very chatty.
The other day, I saw the most adorable dog. The dog was white and gray. It was low to the ground and shaggy. I asked the woman holding the leash what kind of dog and she said something that probably can’t be printed on a family Website. When I looked surprised, she smiled and shrugged: “It’s a mix of shih-tzu and poodle. Don’t blame me. That’s why they’re called.”
Dog Lady, I know you’re one smart cookie. I’m sure you can figure it out. How can the most innocent-looking animal be saddled with this toilet title? Why not shihtzudoodle?”
-Felice, Colorado Springs
Felice, Dog Lady’s first reaction is to scold you for playing mutt moniker police. It’s not literally an expletive. The mangled name for the fur ball just sounds weird. You might feel better to know the correct title for this mixed breed is actually “shihpoo.”
But I have to agree that the breeders who first concocted the shih-tzu/poodle combo could have thrown in an “oodle,” considering all the other mixed breed “oodles”: Labradoodle (labrador-poodle), shnoodle (schnauzer/poodle), and goldendoodle (golden retriever/poodle). But there are plenty of “poos,” including yorkiepoo (Yorkshire terrier/poodle), corgipoo (corgi/poodle), and the most famous, cockapoo (cocker spaniel/poodle).
You didn’t ask, but Dog Lady will tell that these “poo” and “oodle” mixes are actually the trendy dogs of the moment. Some “poo” puppies fetch oodles of dollars, which is amusing since the dogs are mixed breed mutts – considered a lower caste in the canine world.
What’s most prized about these poodle mixes is their low allergen quality. Poodles have hair instead of fur. They do not shed and people with allergies can live under the same roof with them.
Poodles may have good hair, but they are viewed in some hindquarters as having limited brain power. (Dog Lady, mind you, does not have a dog in this fight). The theory goes that if a poodle is crossed with a breed that has a keener aptitude for something other than French circus tricks, the resulting puppies will have both smarts and hypo-allergenic hair.
Felice, Dog Lady applauds you for doing such thorough research before you get a pet. Don’t let a dipsy-doodle name deter you from surrendering to your dog desire.
Dear Ask Dog Lady,
What’s the latest on celebrities and their dogs? I read somewhere that Cindy Adams’ dog, Jazzy, died suddenly. What happened to Jazzy? And what will this mean to sales of Adams’ book, “The Gift of Jazzy?” Meanwhile, I hear Shirley MacLaine has been acting nutty with her dog on a book tour. Ellen DeGeneres had a naming contest for her dog on her new TV talk show. And I’m worried about Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell. Not only has the poor creature been dragged around as an accessory in a Hermes bag, but now that Paris has become the poster girl for bad behavior, I’m worried that the carry-on pooch will be crushed in all the bad publicity.
-Bennett, Boulder, CO
Bennett, you cast a wide net filled with celebrity doo-ings. But you’ve come to the right place to dump your questions. Dog Lady admits her own fascination with the paparazzi-hounded and their pets.
Here’s the poop in no particular order: Cindy Adams’ Yorkshire terrier Jazzy died of mysterious circumstances in August. The New York Post columnist first wrote of the tragedy earlier this month but did not give many coherent details. She explained only that Jazzy returned as a corpse after a weekend away in the country with its trainer. “His blood-caked body was handed back to me dead,” writes Cindy in the November 7 issue of the New York Post. An autopsy revealed some E-coli in Jazzy’s system, but Adams says she has no idea how the harmful bacteria got there.
She writes that the “trainer,” whom Adams hired to watch Jazzy because the columnist had a heavy workload that summer weekend, has not been seen or heard from since: “I have not received a phone call, a note, a flower, a photo, a message since the day that trainer placed (Jazzy’s) cold, bloodied body in my arms.”
Dog Lady stops here and asks everyone to use this Jazzy story as a cautionary tale for your own tail. Make sure you leave dog in the best of hands, in the best of circumstances.
Adams had adopted a companion for Jazzy, another Yorkie named Juicy. Also, the Jazzy franchise continues with Jazzy Jr., yet another Yorkie. Adams says she didn’t write about the tragedy because she was too grief-stricken. Yet, other New York papers, notably the astute New York Observer, had been sniffing around about Jazzy’s fate, particularly since Adams was slated to open a new “Jazzy’s Boutique” at Saks Fifth Avenue, an emporium of pampered pooch accessories and dog wear. On the day before the opening, Adams finally reckoned publicly with the fate of Jazzy.
As for Shirley MacLaine, she’s out on the stump promoting her own dog book, “Out On A Leash: Exploring the Nature of Reality and Love.” The title, of course, is play on MacLaine’s original bestseller, “Out On a Limb.” In appearances, the actress, who’s makes no bones about her flaky belief in reincarnation, has been toting her dog muse, Terry, a rat-terrier. In a past life, Terry might have been Jack Paar because MacLaine insists that Terry get his own paperwork when signing releases for these TV promotional appearances. MacLaine uses a pawprint stamp to seal the documents on Terry’s behalf.
Ellen DeGeneres, seeking to pump up ratings for her new talk show, ran a quickie contest to name her new dog, an adopted shelter mutt. The audience chose “Lucy.” No surprise since Dog Lady has written of how “Lucy” has become the hottest canine moniker of the moment. (See “Come, Lucy, Come!” under “Social Creatures.”)
And Paris Hilton? Seems the woefully rich society’s child can’t take care of herself, so you’re right to worry about Tinkerbell, her purse-bound Chihuahua. All Dog Lady knows is that a former boyfriend of Hilton’s, a Versace model, sent a diamond necklace to Tinkerbell as a token of comfort to Hilton when she found herself embroiled in a sex-tape scandal. Let’s hope Tinkerbell leaves her Hermes prison long enough to provide Hilton a few licks of innocence.
Dear Ask Dog Lady,
I saw an unusual job posting on the Internet: “My pit bull needs medicine twice a day for the next two weeks (and possibly longer the vet says). The problem is that I’m a small lady in my 50s and can’t hold him down and make him swallow the pills at the same time. I need a STRONG man to help me – he’s a good dog but can snap. I can pay $50 each time you hold him. Over 2 weeks (or more) twice a day that could really add up.”
What do you think? I’m tempted to apply. I’m a struggling — and strapping — college student. I need the cash.
-Craig, Providence RI
Craig, you ain’t too proud to beg. Go ahead, make Dog Lady’s day, and answer the ad — if you don’t care about losing a limb. Even the woman admits her dog “can snap.” Believe me, when a pit bull snaps, you are in dire danger.
What galls Dog Lady most is not your desire to do the job, but the woman who offers it. People who can’t control their pets at all times pose a danger to themselves and to others. Why a “small lady” in her 50s keeps a pit bull is beyond me. That she must hire a “STRONG man” to help her dispense medicine to the dog is absurd. She endangers the hired hand and herself.
Get a cushy job. Part-time aerobics trainer for a border collie?
Dear Ask Dog Lady,
I’ve always been an admirer of William Wegman, the photographer. Wegman’s Polaroid portraits of Man Ray and Fay Ray, his Weimaraners and their successors, are some of the most creative, absurdist, compassionate photos of dogs ever taken. Although Wegman dresses up his dogs in human costumes and poses them in unnatural settings, the surreal photos have always struck me as among the most of brilliant expressions from a dog lover.
That’s why I was so disheartened when I read a recent interview with Wegman in the New York Times magazine. The interviewer asks the artist about his least favorite variety of dog and Wegman, who now has four Weimaraners, replies: “I don’t like the little dogs. I have an aversion to anything doggy. The first dog I bought was a Weimaraner, and they aren’t really doggy. Even though they’re dogs, they’re not doggy dogs.”
Dog Lady, small dogs take a lot of bum raps but it’s the first time I’ve heard them dissed as “doggy dogs.” That the insult came from William Wegman is most disheartening. What’s a “doggy dog?” Do I have one? My pet is a Lhasa Apso.
-Peter, Brooklyn, NY
Peter, on the dog-o-meter you’ve got a small fry. Why should this bother you? Wegman is entitled to his temperamental rants. He’s an artiste. Weimaraners are objects.
The dogs stir his imagination in the same way Parisian prostitutes inspired painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
Just because you’ve idealized Wegman as an expansive wag-man doesn’t mean his art is diminished by his loutish views about small dogs. He doesn’t get a creative jolt by decorating a Lhasa in a gingham dress — just as Toulouse-Lautrec wasn’t fired up to paint nuns in their wimples.
Dog Lady shares your frustration about the phrasing of “doggy dogs’’ Psst, Mr. Wegman, hate to tell you but a Weimaraner is a “doggy dog” like any other. If it sniffs like a dog, marks like a dog, steals table scraps like a dog, and sleeps like a dog, it’s a doggy dog.
In that same interview, didn’t Wegman also brag about his huge car, a studly SUV? Hmmm. That should tell you something right there.
Wegman sees his dog muses as a breed apart. Indeed, the Weimaraner, with its yellow opaque eyes, looks like a blank canvas compared to other dogs with more expressive mugs.
Wegman is not alone in his bowser bias. Weimaraner owners tend to take macho pride in their noble breed. Alas, Dog Lady is a softie for all those loopy doggy dogs who grumpily pose for pictures in their shaggy birthday suits.