Happy Holidays 2015

December 2015

Hello, Zoe here. My family has brought a tree INTO the house again. Don’t pee on it, though, unless you want Alpha Male to go nuclear. It’s that time where the pack decorates the inside and outside of the house with lights and giant fat men that I am not supposed to bark at or attack. They put colorful boxes under the tree and hang socks in strange places, like they’ve all gone temporarily insane. Oh, and they make me wear this RIDICULOUS thing on my head that looks like antlers. I AM NOT A DEER! Thank goodness this only happens once every seven years!

This is my ninth tree-in-the-house (I call it “Treetime”) with the Goodrich pack. It seems as good a time as any to bring you up to date on its various members - it’s been 7 years since Alpha Male wrote the last one. Plus, this means I can control what is said about me, meaning no more “The cat rules the house” garbage.

Among the many, many things I do not understand about humans is that they are all in more than one pack and constantly going places all the time. This multi-pack thing really goes against dog world order, but they keep feeding me, so I don’t say anything. Before we get started, can you throw this tennis ball. HA! I got it before you picked it up. Seriously, could you throw it? HA! I got it again! Man, you are TERRIBLE at this game. Seriously, though, could you throw this tennis ball?

OK, OK, enough games. Let’s get to the update.

Untitled The oldest pup (Alpha Male calls him “Boy” and Alpha Female calls him by his given name, Logan) is going to a new place these days. I think it’s called “high school.” He leaves well before the sun comes up and gets back in the middle of the afternoon. His voice sounds different now, often cracking to the point of hurting my ears. Also, his face is getting fuzzy, like he’s turning into a dog. Maybe that’s why this pack let me in, to help their strange hairless pup socialize with normal dogs. This experiment has failed with Boy, as he pays very little attention to me. Alpha Male and Female seem to praise him for whatever he is doing in high school, so my guess is that he is doing well with other bald puppies. Humans are weird. Boy is working toward some status in an all-male pack called “Eagle Scout.” I thought it meant he could find Eagles to eat or something, but all he did was build something at the little pups’ school. Finally, Boy played that game where you hit a ball with your feet, which he seems to enjoy. I don’t get it, because the ball won’t fit in his mouth. Boy’s latest obsession is something called “Retro Video Games.” They have names like “Super Mario” and “MegaMan” and he has some that are, like, 210 years old that he just keeps in the box! It’s a bit odd, but I do love how he focuses on something and learns all he can about…HEY! WHO’S TAIL IS THAT! WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF! Oh….it’s mine. False alarm.

Emma likes ButterbeerThe oldest girl pup, called "Emma", I think, is in her second seven years in her middle school pack so she is now among the pack's elite. Emma recently joined a pack called NJHS, which Alpha Male and Female were excited about and continues to excel with something called art. It's hard to tell if Emma is ever excited, as she has reached that pup age where showing any emotion other than boredom is a weakness. Emma is also always walking around on her front legs, rolling around, flipping, or walking on thin beams - and she doesn't even get a treat after each stunt. In fact, she goes to some place where that is all they do. No sniffing or peeing on stuff, just rolling around. I'd understand if there was a carcass or something else to roll in. She does seem to get outdoors some in a pack called Cadette Girl Scouts - earned some big award called her Silver, whatever that is. All I know, is she and her follow Cadette pups built this great bridge that makes my daily walk across the gully to the greenway more enjoyable. She also is constantly looking at and typing on some small screen. I bet I could chew her leg off while she was on that thing and she'd never notice. She does, however, work very hard and she is often reading. Emma is a true enigma to me, as she is MUCH more into the accursed cat of the house. I can't stand that cat. She is constantly referring to him as her FLOOOOOFIE, and for goodness sake, even I know his name is Skylar! In fact, one of these days I am going to bite that cat so ha…..shhhhh OMG, here it comes…*whistles* Oh, hi cat! How's things??? You look great, have you been working out??? OK, well, see ya later! Whew! That was close.

Untitled“Lily,” the older of the “little” pups, has aged up into something called “Upper El,” which I guess means a new level in her “school” pack. Lily spent a lot of time holding these bound sets of paper and saying things like “Harry Potter” and “Expelleramus!” In fact, recently Lily will walk up to me with a stick in her hand, wave it around, and say “Reparo!” I just look at her until she scratches my head and gives me a treat. Lily is, by far, my favorite pup. She is always nice to me and fills my bowl with food nuggets. That pup is destined to great things, I tell ya. Lily is a part of another pack called “Junior Girl Scouts”. I don’t know what they do, but every so often they leave boxes of sweet treats on the table. I ate 5-6 of these boxes once and Alpha Male went bonkers. I guess they were his cookies. Oh, and she seems to enjoy that strange game of kicking a large ball. Finally, Lily also sits at this large instrument with white and black keys and taps out noise. I have NO CLUE what the point of this is, but I use this time to sit on the deck and make sure those bloody squirrels don’t come to close the den. There’s one now! HEY! SQUIRREL! YOU BETTER NOT COME ANY CLOSER! THAT’S RIGHT, RUN UP THAT TREE, YOU BIG CHICKEN!

UntitledThe youngest pup, "Becca", is truly the runt of the litter and, by far, the loudest of the pack. For some reason, the rest of the pack treats her as if she is an Alpha. I don't get it. Becca also bangs on that large instrument, but she often howls and whines while she does it. She could never, EVER sneak up on a squirrel. Becca is something called a "Brownie," which must be a pack where they try to teach young pups to be quiet. It isn't working. You remember that rolling around thing that Emma does? Well, Becca does it too, she is just much closer to the ground when she does it. You ever see a puppy try to jump? They try and try until someone helps them over and then they look at you like they did it all by themselves. That's Becca. Becca isn't very nice to me, often yanking on my ears or laying on top of me. I tend to freeze at these times, hoping she'll get bored and move on. Alpha Female will reprimand Becca sometimes, but it never lasts very long before I am been pulled and tussled again. One of these days I am going to bite her so ha….oh crud, here she comes, I'll just turn around and go the other wa…OH NO! There's the cat. Maybe if I freeze they won't notice me…….HA! It worked! Becca yanked on the cat, who scratched her and now they are both unhappy. VICTORY IS MINE!

Alpha Male (AM) spent this year as he spends most of his years, sitting in front of a screen and keyboard. When he talks about it, it must hurt people’s ears because they all tilt their head and look at him befuddled. Often, he goes to some other pack, called “Skookum” where they get what he is saying. AM still suffers from the disability of not being able to shed, so he spends much of his time looking like he has a dead cat (which is the best kind of cat) on his head. He seems to also suffer from some kind of identity crisis, as he is always wearing things that have characters on them. Apparently, he often thinks he is a wolverine that is “strong with the force.” He must be getting old, like me, so I just go along with it. I really like it when AM goes outside to make the grass shorter with this really loud machine. He’ll throw the ball for me while he does this, and he’s the best ball thrower I’ve ever known. I feel like we could’ve gone pro with our fetch game.

Alpha Female (AF) never sits down; it’s as if no one taught her that trick. She spends less time around the house, which bums me out, going to a some kind of “work” pack. I don’t get it though - it’s some kind of garden so she gets to be outside a lot (doesn’t sound like work to me). She coordinates educational programs for pups at the garden (none of which involve marking the various plants in the garden so other dogs know you’ve been there). As a part of her work at the garden, she brought in chickens to raise. CHICKENS. So, she comes home smelling like chickens all the time and it’s unbearable. If I ever get into that garden, I swear I am going to have the biggest chicken dinner and then mark that place from top to bottom. AF continues to be the busiest of the pack, agreeing to all kinds of things, including leading something called the “PTO”, a move that Alpha Male seems to equate with soaking your tail in catnip and slapping the cat in the face with it. I really love the walks I take with AF, as she is always saying things in a wonderful tone of voice and scratching me behind the ears. She’s the best.

The Alphas did celebrate 20 years since they started this pack together. Here they are at the beginning of those twenty, giving each other a bath, I guess….????


With those two as Alphas, I am stunned that the pack has persevered. Oh, a more recent picture below. Apparently bathing each other causes things with stars on them to grow out of your head:


The pack left the den often this year, leaving me behind to find various ways to hide from the cat. Here is a picture I took during one of those trips. Woohoo.


And here are some of their 100% DOG-FREE travel pics:

My life this year has been pretty low key. I spend much of my time avoiding the cat and looking for stuff to eat around the house. I recently discovered that the pack keeps a bunch of food in a silver bin that they empty every so often. If you can get that bin open right before they empty it, it’s a wonderland of treats. Alpha Male seems to get angry when I beat him to the bin, but such is life in the pack! In other pet news, Jingles (the guinea pig) moved in with another pack. My guess is this is because of the cat always sitting outside Jingles’ cage and looking at him like a walking Snausage. Also, Clara the Frog tragically went missing, jumping out of a bowl while the pups were cleaning her aquarium. While Clara was never found, I did hear the cat talk about “eating French cuisine” around the time of the disappearance. A Green Alert was issued to no avail.Skylar

Well, that wraps up this Treetime season. Y’know, if you had told me nine and a half years ago while I was living under a bridge that a pack like this would take me in, I’d have said you were on chocolate. Looking back at how the Goodrich pups have grown is bone-crazy. I’ve enjoyed the life indoors, the walks, the games of fetch, and (especially) the head and tummy scratches. I can’t imagine my life in another pack. I hope your holidays were great this year, and if you see the cat, remember to freeze.

Zoe Zoe Zoe
Happy Holidays! Zoe, and the rest of The Goodrich Clan: Glenn, Jill, Logan, Emma, Lily, Becca ..... oh, yeah, and Skylar