Posts Tagged ‘Zoey and Shelley’

The Work (and Poetry) of an Assisted Living Facility

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Poetry, Poetry Readings on October 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm


Zoey the Cute Dachshund is her BFF Shelley Widhalm’s co-pilot when she does her writing.

My BFF Shelley Widhalm wrote about me in her blog about poetry, assisted living facilities and how everyone thinks I’m adorable. Here is her blog:

Every time I visit my mother at her assisted living facility, I walk down the halls, feeling wonder at the corkboards filled with cutout magazine pages.

One of the residents, Deloros, considers it her job to fill the white walls with images of wildlife, birds, historic ruins and travel—and sometimes people at work. She cuts out the images, tapes them to construction paper and highlights the text, turning routine magazine articles into art, education and entertainment.

Deloros says she needs to finish her work before lunch as I stop to talk and let her pet my dog, Zoey, a long-haired miniature dachshund. I commiserate, because I know I would want the same thing in my retirement years—some sense of work and purpose. She tells me it helps her get up and going with her day.

“Some feel lost until they have work,” is a line from a poem that perfectly fits our weekly encounters.

Good Work! Poetry Reading

The poem is about life at an assisted living facility and one of 15 that poets read Sept. 23 at the seasonal poetry reading hosted by the Community Poets in Loveland, Colo.

The poetry reading, “Good Work!—A Post-Labor Day Celebration,” featured an open mike and the reading of poems focused on the autumnal equinox, work and going back to school. The poems were on subjects as varied as working in a mailroom, doing a long list of random jobs, going to a job interview, questioning choosing college over steady work, disliking repetitive factory tasks and seeing the act of pushing a pencil across the page as heavy work. My poems were about doing dishes and taking the trash to the trash room.

“It’s easy to get lost in your career,” was a line from one of the poems, and I related.

I find that working too much pushes out real life and fun if the hours become too many—and then I realize I need to work less to be a little more balanced. I wonder what I will do when I retire and how I’ll fill my days. Will I think I have to work, just like Deloros does? Will I be writing my novels and journaling because I believe it’s incredibly important? Will I be published and have “my work” continue bringing in money? Or will the work be something that gets me up to be doing something, anything, just as long as I keep busy?

One of the poems was about Bud, whose job is listening to stories—and it turns out Bud is a dog. Zoey’s jobs involve going on walks, doing tricks and offering comfort to her human companions and those she passes by, like Deloros. She stops to visit Deloros and listens to her stories about her work, wiggling her body at the excitement of being included. I always smile, fascinated by the Deloros’s artwork and the love she gives Zoey.

Taking Poetry Notes

During the poetry reading, I didn’t take very careful notes. I scribbled on tiny yellow and orange piece of papers with poems on them, writing on the back sides of “The Real Work,” by Wendell Berry and two copies of a poem by Gary Snyder, “Hay for Horses.” I forgot my work of being a journalist, absorbed in being a poet and a listener of poetry, marveling at the beauty of the lines and images the poets presented. In other words, I forgot to work.

“It was so much creativity and beauty and heart and soul put into versions of work,” said Lynn Kincanon, a member of the Community Poets, adding that the poets sharing their work was “a community gift.”

The Community Poets, a group of local poets and organizations that organizes poetry readings and workshops in Loveland, will hold the next seasonal reading Dec. 16 on Frosty Nights and the Pleasures of Winter, inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost, at the Loveland Museum. The poetry readings are held every season, and the workshops are held twice a year in April and August.

Cute Dog Advice: How to Get Attention

In A Dog's Need for Attention, Center of attention, Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, On Being Cute, Zoey the Cute Dachshund on July 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm


I am cute waiting for attention at a coffee shop.

My favorite thing in life is to be petted, and I found the best way to get what I want.

Greet people.

This is how I do it. While my BFF and sidekick Shelley does boring work on her laptop, sitting outside the coffee shop, I sit on her lap and wait. I’m a lapdog, and she’s got me the lapdog alongside her laptop (or close enough). Or, think of it as Top Dog (and a lap!).

As customers of our favorite downtown Loveland coffee shop (or Starbucks, too) walk by, I stare at them and wiggle my tail, hoping they’ll notice me. If they look my way, I smile, showing off my white, nearly-daily brushed teeth, and look some more. They usually stop, and here’s the kicker, my BFF asks those being greeted by me if they want to say hello.

Duh. Of course they do.

I let them pet me, and I sigh with happiness. They use several adjectives to describe me: cute, adorable, pretty and beautiful. They say I have a beautiful coat (sable colored) and look like a girl with my floppy, black-tipped ears and two kohl black lines extending from the edges of my large, brown eyes.

Some say I’m spoiled.


I just need treats and love and attention, just like cats and humans.

Anyway, the customers who get my special greeting go in for their coffee and often come out for a second round. On it goes, my continual revolving door of hellos. I get to give a greeting and get back a big pet and lots of love.

This greeting tactic I’ve developed is mentioned in my BFF’s newsletter, Shell’s Ink Spot, which releases the first of the month. The section where I get a big spotlight and even more attention is called Puppy News (or a puppy update on Zoey, the CEO of Cuteness). For the July issue, she wrote:

Zoey is my sidekick and occasional writing partner. I like to take my lapdog to work on my laptop, sitting outside my favorite coffee shop. She greets customers as they come in the door with a tail wag and intense stares, welcoming anyone and everyone to stop and pet her. She loves people, and she helps me be more social. I still can focus, but I get fun little breaks of people saying how cute and adorable she is, and she eats it up, seeking even more attention. People remember her name first before they recall mine, though our names go together: Shelley and Zoey, or S and Z.

If you want to receive her newsletter, send her an email at shellsinkservices@gmail.com.


Back to Blogging (after a long PAWS)

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Dog Blogger, On Being Cute on June 4, 2017 at 11:00 am


I am really cute, and I know it. I also can write!

Hi Everybody, Friends and All!

I know you’ve missed me because I’m the cutest dachshund in the world. Call me Zoey or Cute Zoey. I know I’m cute because I get told. I hear through word of mouth, and that’s how I market my identity. Cute Darling Dachshund Me!

I wasn’t blogging for awhile because my BFF Shelley started a writing and editing business, Shell’s Ink Services, and I had to help her. That’s because I’m the CEO of Cuteness. I’m going to blog once a month about how to treat and love your dog and how to do dog behavior training–not that I need any because I’m all about goodness and being good. Just look at my face. Adorable, I know.

Shelley used a photo of me in her blog this week about creating a blogging voice. I have a loud barking voice, and I bark at big dogs and trucks and wheels and things that move. I don’t bark at cats, because I love cats!

Here’s the link:


Zoey the cute dog invites guest blogger

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Dog Blogger, On Being Cute on July 17, 2016 at 11:30 am

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Zoey the Cute Dachshund normally writes her blogs in her voice, but this week she’s invited me to be a guest blogger.

The caveat is I have to talk about her.

I’ll start from the beginning, or the back story—I got Zoey, which means “life” in Greek, when she was nine weeks old and weighed 2.8 pounds. I brought her to the house, and she immediately took off to explore.

Zoey and I went through puppy kindergarten and intermediate training. We worked on tricks. And we became BFFs.

She was my first dog, so I started reading books about dog training and behavior, including a couple of books in the Dummies series. I liked the bright yellow cover for “Dachshunds for Dummies,” as well as the title, because who’s the bigger dummy when the dog is the boss?

I learned about Zoey’s breed and how to handle any issues, like barking, but really, she won the big bark battle. She barks at wheels and large dogs, and she glares at me when I say in my snappy, alpha voice, “No bark.”

Zoey likes dogs that are her size or smaller and cats, unless they’re bigger than her. She hides her tail, or if she’s safe in my arms or on the patio, she does her bark thing.

Zoey also likes, or I should say, loves people. We go on lots of walks, where I alternate carrying her and setting her on the ground, because I like to take long walks, and she has short legs.

On our walks, she stops at nearly everybody, practically running up to them to see if they’ll say “hello” and pet her. I keep her leash tugged tight, reading the body language of my sidewalk neighbors, and if they seem interested, Zoey gets to share herself.

She gets told she’s cute, pretty and beautiful.

She gets oohs and aahs.

And she triggers stories and memories of dogs lost to old age or disease, dogs at home and how many and their breeds, and dogs from their childhoods. We hear about why they love dogs. We hear about their bonds with the animals. And we learn a few training tips.

Zoey opens up conversations, gives people a moment to get lost in her loving nature and provides a dash of happiness, because nothing bad has happened to her. She’s all about loving and being loved.

And that, I believe, is what makes her a magnet.

Dog Poet wants invite

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Zoey the Cute Dachshund on April 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

Zoey3I am so excited my BFF Shelley is reading her poetry, though she’s not letting me come. It’s at the museum, and because I’m not a service dog, I can’t go, which I think is quite unfair.

Doesn’t the museum realize I’m the cutest dachshund ever?

Here’s the link to Shelley’s blog and invitation to her reading April 14 at the Loveland Museum/Gallery (I really, really should be invited!):


More specifically, here’s what she says in the blog:

Before I read my poetry, I have to do some preparation work to make sure I make the best use of my mic time.

I will be reading one of my poems, “Cranky Town,” on April 14 during the Poetic Geography: Mapping Loveland poetry event at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Loveland, Colorado.

Poets submitted their poems, which three judges selected for a final reading and booklet, about Loveland’s buildings, streets, art and places to visit to help create a poetic geography of Loveland. The idea is to make connections to place through poetry.

The reading will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave.

Both “Cranky Town” and “Snow Cougar” will be included in the booklet, which I’ll be excited to give to my parents and brother (I have a large fan club!).

The reading and booklet together help honor National Poetry Month, an annual celebration of poetry started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 as a literary celebration of poetry and its place in society.

Anytime I give a reading, I think of my reading as a performance, remembering to look at the audience to make eye contact and making sure I don’t read too fast or in a monotone.

To give a good reading, here are some other things I’ve learned poets need to do:

  • Mark up the poem to indicate where to change voice or emphasize certain lines or ideas.
  • Enunciate all of the words in the poem, so none of the images and ideas get lost.
  • Put the poem in a large font and make the last two lines even larger to remember to not let the poem drop at the end.
  • Rehearse the poem several times, reading the work out loud and timing it to keep a good pace.
  • Remember to look up and memorize a few lines, so it is easier to connect with the audience.
  • Put emotion into the reading voice and spoken words. Make sure gesture when appropriate to add some drama to the reading.

Lastly, publicize the reading via social media, flyers and emailing friends.

Canine Poet Speaks Up About Other Poets

In Canine Poet, Canine Poetry, Poetry on April 3, 2016 at 11:30 am

ZoeyBed1This week I’m going to defer to my BFF Shelley, because she blogged about poetry.

I’ve written a couple of poems as a canine poet, but I don’t really know what to say about poetry. I do know that poetry, like green lawns, can be a thing of beauty for running and playing with words, smells and sounds.

Poetry has rhythm and meter, just like I do when I get going around the yard, chasing circles as I try to capture the sounds of birds and wildlife into the sight of friendship, but the animals usually don’t want to play with me.

From my backyard, going-on-walks and being-around-town experience, I’ve learned cats generally don’t like dogs, and dogs, which, if they’re bigger than me, don’t like me (or is it the other way around?). I bark at them to let them know I am the bigger dog, except they look at me like, Are you kidding?

As I bark, I wag my tail as Shelley says, “Zoey, that’s not how you make friends.”

So how do you make friends? I hope I can find them in poetry, or in life as I try out the sounds and beauty of language.

See Shelley’s blog at shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com at https://wordpress.com/post/shelleywidhalm.wordpress.com/1175.

Cute dachshund shares all

In Being Cute, Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs on February 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

I would like to share some photos of my cute self. I am a very cute dachshund that gets lots of attention for my cuteness. I consider myself the CEO and COO of the word “cute.”

Here I am being loved by my BFF Shelley:

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Here is a closeup photo of me to better demonstrate my cuteness (I’m tucked in bed):


Here I am on top of a snow pile (and on top of the world!).


Loving your dog on Valentine’s Day

In Loving Your Dog, The need for spoiling, Treating Your Dog Well, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

ZoeyModelToday is Valentine’s Day, and that means you should love your dog, cat or pet—I mean extra, not just ordinary.

I like the extra love because I’m an extra cute dachshund with big brown eyes and a big heart.

I love lots of people and greet everyone with a tail wag, jumps in the air and, if they let me, kisses. I love other animals (except big dogs). And I even love cats.

To show us love on Valentine’s Day, the big day of romance, card giving and candy, give us our own valentine.

Here are some suggestions I have:

  • Give us an extra special treat (I like rawhides, heated-up milk bones and pepperoni sticks).
  • Give us extra long playtime, because play is good for mental stimulation and physical exercise.
  • Take us on an extra walk, because we love to explore smells, or let us run extra long, because again the smells are fascinating and running is something we love to do.
  • Take us somewhere that allows pets, such as a coffee shop or retail store, so that we can spend extra time with you and meet new people.
  • Spend extra time with us, just because you love us and we love you back.
  • And a present would be nice, too. I like stuffed animals, balls to chew up (not to chase) and Nylabones (I really, really like to chew, even though I’m six and not a puppy anymore).

Lastly, say that you love us and that we’re cute in the lovey-dovey voice, because we do understand.

Dog blogger’s year in review

In All About Me, Being Cute, Dog Blogger, Treating Your Dog Well on December 27, 2015 at 7:56 pm

ZoeyChristmas-2I like the end of the year, because my birthday is on Dec. 20—I turned seven—and I get lots of presents then and on Christmas.

Using my paws and teeth, I rip off the wrapping paper to find treats, toys and doggie teddy bears. My BFF Shelley always takes a video of me having fun, which lasts about two minutes as I get to the prize.

I also like the end of the year because I can be reflective and think ahead at the same time. I blogged nearly every week in 2015—and in fact have been blogging since 2011—about my life as a cute dachshund, sharing stories and photos to demonstrate the fact.

I blogged about being both a dog blogger and a canine poet able to write poems from a dog’s perspective.

I wrote about dog behavior and what dogs need and want from their owners. I wrote about how pet owners—I call mine my BFF—need to let us know how much we mean to them, pay attention to us (like all of the time) and give us lots of treats (even healthy ones).

I explained the elements of responsible pet ownership, while telling really interesting stories from my own life.

And I wrote about cats, even though most of them don’t like me too much. I like cats, birds, geese and anything else in the animal kingdom, but not dogs, at least those larger than me. I bark at them, and they look at me as if I’m silly, so I bark again, while also wiggling my tail. I can’t tell if I want to be friends or not. That’s why cats are safer; they’re not keen on dogs, and I can just pretend they are.

In 2016, I’ll continue blogging about the dog life, my life and how best to love on and care for your pet dog (or cat, or other animal). I may be taking off the month of January from blogging, because my BFF will be recovering from surgery, and I need to give her some love and attention after all that she’s done for me.ZoeyChristmas 2013-1.jpg

Paw on NaNoWriMo

In NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month on November 1, 2015 at 11:30 am

I'm hanging out at one of my BFF Shelley's favorite writing spot at a Loveland coffee shop.

I’m hanging out at one of my BFF Shelley’s favorite writing spot at a Loveland coffee shop.

My BFF and writing partner, Shelley, is planning to do National Novel Writing Month this month, so I wanted to cheer her on. I also think it’s cool she’ll let me participate, at least sit on her lap while she works away at her favorite coffee shop in downtown Loveland.

Here is what she blogged about her plans to write 50,000 words in one month. One month! That’s a lot of words,