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Chloe's Corner

One of the most popular feature in our monthly newsletter is an article written by our Bichon-Frise, Chloe. Her views from "under the desk" are very perceptive in a simple, doggy kind of way. Here is an archive of some of her best work.

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July 2002
Fireworks! People seem to like ‘em, but I’m not so sure. I think they’re probably best viewed from beneath Dad’s Expedition. Mom and Dad took me to Buchanan on the 4th of July for the big fireworks show. I was just marching into the fair when a really big guy in a brown uniform told us, “Sorry no dogs allowed.” He obviously didn’t recognize me, but there was no persuading him, so we walked over and visited the ponies. I love the smell of ponies in the summer.
After sharing some of the “world’s best French fries”, we walked up the hill to Main Street and visited with Nicole and Ken Thorn, the new owners of The Fountain at Ransone’s. They introduced us to that “famous guy”, Harry Gleason, he was nice, but I actually liked his dog better. I don’t think “Buddy” was too impressed with me until Nicole told him I ran the print shop and had a monthly column, I could feel his sense of appreciation increasing.
Later, we went back to the car and waited for the fireworks, Dad gave me a little bit of his funnel cake. I think funnel cake may be the best snack ever created by humans. Funnel cake and fireworks will forever be linked in my little pea brain.
We also took a stroll on the swinging bridge over the river . . . just a little scary, but only a foreshadowing of my first experience in the Cowpasture River which I’ll tell you about next month.

August 2002
Last month, I told you about the excitement of our visit to the fireworks in Buchanan along the James River. Well a few days later I had my first close encounter with the Cowpasture River. For years we’ve been printing a newsletter and now a calendar all about the river, but I had never seen it, much less been in it until Mom, Dad and my Grandpa took me up to Bath County to visit Dad’s old swimmin’ hole.
Mom carried me out to where the water was over my head. I was a little nervous, but being the trooper I am, I just stretched my neck up high, ears back, tail straight up and my feet starting doing a serious “dog paddle” even before I touched the water . . . then Mom just set me down and quicker than you could say Mark Spitz, I was swimmin’. Who would have guessed I could swim. Mom asked me how I could tell it was over my head. I don’t know, I guess it just came naturally. It was a glorious day. But the best part was when they finally quit laughing and let me get out of the water. I sat on the picnic table with Papa and “shook off” in the sunshine. Yep, sure did love that river.

September 2002

This month’s topic is “lunch”. Definitely my favorite time of day, because it often produces french fries. Seems like a couple of times each week Chris puts me in her car (as seen at left) and we fly through the drive-thru at McDonalds in Troutville. I love to hang my fluffy little head out the window and feel the wind flapping my ears and drying out my eyeballs. My girlfriends at McDonalds really know what I like and I guess they think I’m cute ‘cause sometimes they even give me a hamburger, sans the bun. They must love to see me smile.
On Friday, we do Chinese take-out. Chris pulls right up to the door at Best Wok and rolls down the window so Eileen can wave at me and I can yelp back. I like the Hunan beef, but my favorite Chinese treats are the fortune cookies my Mom gives me. My big challenge is to eat all of the cookie and leave that little strip of paper on the floor. That’s not so tough really, who would want to eat paper when you can have a yummy cookie. That’ll put a smile on anybody’s face!

October 2002

Trick or treat . . . can you believe the ridiculous costume they made me wear for this picture? The mere thought of me as a “little devil”, how nutty is that? Sure, I may get into a bit of trouble now and then, but everyone knows I’m really a “lover not a biter.” I am, however, very excited about this whole Halloween thing. I understand that the “treat” part is the best element. I also enjoy seeing all the little kids in their costumes. I’m sure that none of them are “little devils”.
I hope my friend John “Sparky” Boothe comes by to see me again soon. He was here last week hooking up those little boxes on the walls that Dad plugs the big presses into. I guess we’re expanding again. John made a really big mess, that’s something I can appreciate. He had sawdust and drywall all over the place. He really makes me smile. Have you ever seen my smile? Some folks would think its more of a snarl, but when you get to know me you’ll realize that I’m actually grinning from jowl to jowl.
I know I’ll be smiling “big-time” after we finish the Halloween night adventure. Dog treats, anyone?

December 2002
Can you believe this picture??? My Mom and Dad hanging out with that “goofy” dog, and having a great time! They were living large on a Disney cruise while I was back here in Virginia suffering in the cold and snow. I hate it when the snow is over my head, and walking through drifts and falling through is no fun at all. I can’t see a thing. But the worst is when my tummy rubs in the snow, I left a rut just walking into work and I collected iceballs the size of ping pong balls on my undercarriage. Thankfully, after that first day, Chris put my sweatsuit on me, I look especially sporty, it’s quite slimming.
The most humiliating part of the snow is that I still have to go outside to . . . . well you know. It’s just not fair, the “kitty” has her own special litter pan in the cozy garage. I swear, I think I saw her laughing at me one time when I came in looking particularly “snowman like”. I get really frisky after being out in the cold and I usually attack the cat and roll her over a few times, she’s pretty old and only pretends to swat at me.
I don’t want to sound negative, but I hope we don’t have a “white Christmas” enough is enough. Happy holidays everyone!


July 2004

A couple of months ago I got to attend Mom's surprise birthday party. Even though I was tied up outside the deck at Three Li'l Pigs, I thought it was pretty much fun. But recently I attended a REALLY exciting birthday party for our friend Maria Webster. Mom and Dad couldn't make the party since they had made plans to to go DisneyWorld (again!). So Chris and I were on our own to drive all the way out to Bernard's Landing on the lake. It was a warm Saturday night and we were like two wild women with the windows open and heads hanging out (mine) letting the wind dry out my eyeballs. We listened to "Born to be Wild" on the radio and felt empowered like Botetourt's answer to Thelma and Louise. This is a whole life I didn't know about...but it was just the beginning of my "grown-up" experience.
There were lots of people at the party but I was the only really short one, and I think the only one with four feet. I wasn't required to wear my leash, since the party was upstairs on the deck and there was no way I was going to make a break when there were so many snacks to be had. I circulated freely getting nibbles of party treats from Maria's other friends. I amazed everyone with party tricks, especially my ability to eat shrimp cocktail whole and spit out the shells. I danced with Maria's husband, Jim, (talk about "two left feet," try six), I hope she wasn't too jealous. I ate ice cubes out of the cooler and even had a little sip of beer....if Mom had known she would have killed me AND Chris! But I wasn't worried, after all, I am an empowered woman now.



If you want to see my famous swimming adventure in the Cowpasture River pass your mouse pointer over the photo below....it'll turn into a movie of yours truly. Be patient, it might take a minute to load.


August 2004

There’s a whole side of me you probably don’t know about...I’m a close friend of McGruff The Crime Dog. I recently paid a visit to the sheriff’s office for a high level meeting with the staff there including McGruff. I have to say McGruff is very quiet and a little serious, as one might expect from a “crime fighter.” He was just a little bit fresh though. As you can tell from the picture , McGruff did have a tendency to slide his arm down and touch me in an inappropriate way. I don’t like anybody to touch me near my hind quarters. Of course, this McGruff is only a stuffed toy and not a living breathing crime dog like me. It was all I could do to restrain myself from shaking him good and carrying him around the office.
I spent time visiting with DeeDee and Sharon at the sheriff’s office where I was named an “honorary crime dog”. I wonder what my duties are as a “crime dog”? Will it interfere with my active social life? How about nap time? I may need to consider this appointment carefully since my life is already very full.
I tried on a deputies cap, but it just didn’t work well with my ears. I even got to sit at the sheriff’s desk (fortunately he was out). You just never know how some humans will react when you invade their territory. Even though I have been chosen as an “honorary crime dog”, the sheriff might frown on the idea of a bichon frise sitting at his desk, so please don’t tell him I did it, he might toss me into the Botetourt County Jail.....and I definitely don’t look good in orange.


January 2005

We’ve had an addition to our family! On Christmas Eve our family had it’s much anticipated meeting with “Rawls.” Rawls is my “sister” Cathy’s new puppy. Everyone oohed and aahed over the little floppy eared guy. They considered it fun to put us outside in the fenced backyard behind my sister and Dave’s place. I guess they thought I would enjoy running around with Rawls. Why would I want to run around with a crazy hound dog pup? He wasn’t even mature enough to play games, he just ran and ran with an occasional blood curdling howl, oh my gosh “Rawls, get a grip!” I decided to just sit out the excitement and watch him fly around the backyard.
We finally went back into the house and before Dad could get my leash off, Rawls grabbed it. He started pulling it like he was going to lead me around. I don’t think so!!! The more he pulled the more I dug in. Pretty soon he was pulling the leash so hard the collar was about to pull my ears off the front of my head! I tried to let him know who he was messing with, but he was so wrapped up in all his puppiness he just didn’t get the message! My family just stood there laughing at us. Where’s the respect I usually get? Does being a cute puppy trump sophistication and panache?
I’m anxious to see the little guy again soon, I hear he’s growing up a little, maybe I can educate him on my importance in the family.
P.S. After my close encounter with Chris’s scissors, my poofy tail is growing back-in quite nicely. Thanks for your concern.




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