Sweetpea. And Chet. And Joan-Marie. And dog-gummed angst.

Dear friends,

I’ve been telling you about my dogs Ed and Frito lately because I’m back on track with my running and they’ve become my fellow road warriors. (And can I just say how danged pitiful it makes me feel that my Chihuahua with four-inch legs scoots up the road faster than I do?)

Anyway, before I descend into old-lady despair about my declining mph’s, here’s another canine soul I want to tell you about:

Her name is Sweetpea, but I call her Sweetie Petey. She’s Kate’s dog and I introduced her to you briefly in this post. Parker took that adorable photo of her with his iPhone last week after she spent the evening moving from one lap to another, finally ending on his with that look on her face, which no one in this household has so far learned to resist.

And it’s not just us. The neighbors are smitten by her, too. Especially Chet. Chet lives three houses down and Chet has a doggie door for his two Chihuahuas. Chet loves Sweetpea and has apparently told her to make herself at home, which she does regularly, using his doggie door to let herself in and climb in Chet’s lap and give him that look. Then Chet gives her a doggie treat.

Here’s something you need to know about us: we are a very, shall we say, traditional family. How can I say this? Our dogs live outdoors, you know, where dogs are supposed to live. They have a doghouse and we make sure they are warm and well fed and exercised and bathed and combed and loved and doctored when need be, but they are dogs and, in our family, dogs live outside. And there’s one more thing: they eat dog food. And, oh yeah, we don’t have doggie treats.

So imagine our surprise when Sweetie Petey wormed her way into our home. I can’t explain it, but the little Princess now sleeps inside the house, that is when she’s not sleeping at Chet’s house. (Did I mention that Chet lets Sweetpea sleep under the covers at his house?  Folks, when Jesus said Do Unto Others, Chet was paying attention. I’ve never met anyone like him, which is to say I’ve never met anyone that lets his neighbor’s dog sleep under the covers and then thanks the neighbor for the privilege.)

It’s not like we don’t try to keep Sweetpea at home. We do, but she runs away every chance she gets to — you guessed it — Chet’s house. We used to worry endlessly when she disappeared because we live in the country now and some unnamed worrywart named Joan mentioned there might be coyotes out there!  Anyway, I think Chet was worried about our worrying, so now he just texts us “Sweetpea is visiting” and we eventually go and get her (because Chet would never turn her out to find her own way home).

And I don’t really have a point to this post except to say:

  1. Sweetpea is the cutest dog on earth.
  2. Chet is utterly amazing.
  3. I’m starting to feel kinda bad about the inequitable treatment of canines in our home.

But since there’s already a bird named MoJo in our house (a whole other story) and a cat named Sushi (yep, it’s very complicated), I’m not really prepared to let two more dogs in.

I’m so very conflicted. I might need counseling. Unless there’s a pill for this sort of thing, in which case, just email me the generic name and I’ll take it from there.

With gratitude {for the veritable petting zoo that inhabits my yard and house},

Joan, who named her first dog Mary-Ann because, duh, what would you expect Joan-Marie to choose at age 10?



  1. I should have named Henry, Frito Lay, all he wants to do is lay around all day. D&H

  2. Are the dogs worried about the inside/outside inequities? If it doesn’t bother them…..

    I wish Chet lived closer to my house. You figure I could send my non-furry family members to him to be fed and loved on when I’m out of sorts? I’d be willing to pay to get that doggie door enlarged as needed.

  3. I’ve been reading albeit quietly. Enjoying every last post. Lemon cake, running (I did mention impressed) and dogs who live outside. The way dogs were meant to live : ) Hubs lived on a farm, its the ways things are on farms.

  4. Cousin Beth says:

    I haven’t thought about Mary-Ann in years! She is the only poodle I have ever liked!!

  5. Beth — It makes me SO happy that you remember Mary-Ann! She’s the only poodle I ever loved too, because she was so non-poodle-ish. She died when I was in college and I remember coming home that first weekend after and it was so very sad. Oh, and since you know Mary-Ann lived inside the house and slept with me, you’ve surely guessed that “dogs live outside” is Mr. Mom’s rule.

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