In the beginning

My earliest memory is of being propped up in front of ruffly pillows and enticed to do adorable things.

Is this cute enough?

Is this cute enough?

Willie as a young puppy

I look down on this procedure.


What do you mean I look like a box? I’ll have you know that papillons grow into elegant creatures. Just you wait.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: July 14th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

My first home

I was born an only pup into a house full of papillons (and one lone collie). There were other puppies in the house about my same age, so we did get to play together. It was a great place to start out in the world. My mother Ellie was a very good mother, and my human mom was wonderful to me too. She fed us shredded cheese and was exceedingly gentle and kind. My first home was a happy place.

Here’s my lineage. I don’t know what all those CH’s mean.

Mama's family tree

Mama's family tree

Dad's family tree

Dad's family tree

[No. 1 here... Willie has never been told that he is a 'mismark' for showing and was placed as a pet instead. According to the breed standard, a papillon can have no white blaze or a central white blaze. If they have a blaze, it's not supposed to touch either eye. Willie looks like a harlequin! Lucky us!]


Ch. Little Lord Far-fel, aka Dad

Ch. Little Lord Far-fel, aka Dad

No. 2 says I look just like him, except for the color of course.

No. 2 says I look just like him, except for the color of course.

Sadly, I have no picture of my mother.

One day, when I was about 4 months old, some very nice humans came to the house and played with me… in the living room! We puppies weren’t allowed to come in all that often, but I got picked up especially and lifted over the gate! Oh, that was a treat. I raced around and around, settled down for a minute on the knees of one of the visitors, then took off running again, then came back to the knees again. It was jolly good fun.

Going-Away Picture

Going-Away Picture

These new humans then took me away with them in the car on a long ride. I never saw my first home again.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: July 18th, 2009 under Puppyhood - 1 Comment.

My naming day

On the day that the new humans took me away, they were talking quite a bit during the long car ride. I wasn’t too interested in that, but I did find crunchy treats in the compartment that opened in front of me! I didn’t wait to be asked, and snagged one immediately. Open it again! More! More!

The human whose lap I was sitting on (later she would become No. 1) was gazing at me, petting me, and thinking and thinking. Little did I know that she was feeling her way along to my name.

In my first home, they were going to call me Warlock. This turned into Little Man. Now, in the car, No. 1 said, “It’s like he wants to be a Willie.”

No. 2 replied, “Only if he can be Bertram Wilberforce Woofster and Willie can be short for his middle name.”

“Deal,” said No. 1.

One of many hilarious Bertie and Jeeves books

One of many hilarious Bertie and Jeeves books

You see, the new humans were fond of reading books by P.G. Wodehouse about Bertie and Jeeves. Bertie’s full name is really Bertram Wilberforce Wooster so I kind-of got named after him. Of course Bertie is a dim bulb and Jeeves has brains for days, still I’m just as glad I didn’t get named Jeeves.

After that really long car ride, we arrived at my new home, where they had everything a puppy could want.

Settled in the kitchen.

Settled in the kitchen.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 5th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

My new pack

The first day in my new home was a little confusing. It was all new and I didn’t quite know what to make of things. The new humans stayed with me in the kitchen, and as long as they were there, everything was all right.

Safe in a lap.

Safe in a lap.


Even when I met my first Klingon.

The hissy one.

Here's what they look like, in case you ever run into one.


I had no prior experience of these creatures. They are about the size of puppies but they don’t smell like puppies, and the way they act… most startling. The first time one of them saw me on the other side of the gate, it got its back up and emitted a spooky, un-doglike hissing sound. I wasn’t at all sure I wanted any of that.

But nothing else happened. They stayed on the their side of the gate and I stayed on mine. The only really bad times that day were when the humans left me alone in the kitchen, behind the gate. No good! No good at all! I let them know that I did not like it! I used every bit of my vocal range, from barks and yelps to yips and whimpers and whines and yodels, etc. Finally, just when my voice got a little tired and I quieted down, they came back!

The next time they left me alone, I was determined that I was going to get through that gate. I jumped up onto a chair as part of my plan to use my butterfly ears to fly over the gate, but instead I took a header onto the kitchen floor. I was so surprised and upset that I started puppy-crying.

The humans returned immediately, and one of them sat down on the floor and drew me into her lap, petting and soothing me. When she tried to get up I clung to her lap, so she sat back down and gathered me in again. That’s when she became No. 1.

That night I slept in my crate in the bedroom with the humans. I was used to this plan, because that’s what my breeder mom taught me.

I like my crate.

I like my crate.


I went to sleep with the notion that my new pack was the two humans and the three Klingons. A dog likes to know his pack.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 9th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

Here’s the pack

My bestest human.

My bestest human.

This is No. 1. She is sweet, loving, and spends lots of time petting me and teaching me things.
My also bestest human.

My also bestest human.

This is No. 2. He’s silly, fun, and plays with me a lot.

What a great combo platter for a pair of my very own humans!

3-klingons These are the Klingons.
Sure, they look sweet now.

I’m beginning to realize that I keep hearing the sound “Willie” a lot. However, when No. 1 is brushing me, I hear something that sounds more like “Wiggleworm.”

Can't I just chew the brush instead?

Can't I just chew the brush instead?


Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 11th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

I help

One of my jobs is to help the humans. I help No. 2 a lot.

Working in the study.

Working in the study.

Reading math papers.

Reading math papers.

A dog knows his duty.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 12th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

Rebuffed

I was sitting on No. 1’s lap on the sofa, and one of the Klingons was sitting on the back of the sofa above us with her tail hanging down. This one.

The hissy one

Do not be fooled by this angelic pose.

I had been giving the Klingons a wide berth, but this seemed like a nice mellow moment, and I made so bold as to smell her tail. Apparently she did not appreciate having her tail smelled, because she reached down her paw and gave me a swat!

That was all I wanted of that, and I must say it was really very thick. No. 1 started boo-hooing a little bit, held me close, and told me she was sorry. Later on she told No. 2 that that’s when she knew she loved me.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 13th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

TP’ing the bedroom

What?

What?

That was the

MOST

FUN

EVER.


Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 14th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

I have a friend

One of the Klingons has decided that I am not evil.

Chutney

This is the one.

The other day, she came right up to me and started giving me head-butts. I didn’t know what to do, so I stood stock still and tried not to make a move. That was hard though. She’s bigger than me so I ended up being buffeted around the room. Being head-butted by a Klingon is a little nerve-wracking, but I tell you what, it’s a whole lot better than being swatted.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 15th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

Tug of War with Klingons

One of my favorite toys is my rope. This can be dragged around, chewed, rolled on, and if somebody gets the other end, it turns into a most delightful game called Tug of War.

You can growl ferociously, grab onto your end with your teethies and pull, and try to get more of the rope than they do.

wanna-tug Anybody wanna tug? How ’bout play with red ribbon… no, focus! Tug? Anybody? Anybody?

Tug of War with my rope is the recommended way to play with Klingons, because they’re over there and I’m over here.

chutney-tug

pixel-tug

I wonder why they use their paws instead of their teethies. Anybody knows teethies are better.

iwon I always win. See?

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 16th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

It’s white outside

My whole life so far it’s been brrr! outside. They say I’m a winter puppy. Now something happened. A whole lot of cold white stuff fell from the sky, and our back yard looks like this.

snow

Here’s No. 2’s ladder, which he climbs to get the Klingons down from the roof when they get stuck up there.

ladder

I’m getting the idea that the humans would rather I go outside for certain things. This is now a problem, since the cold white stuff is taller than me.

No. 2 got out a shovel and dug some paths for me. Before, one of the humans always accompanied me when I went outside. Now I can go outside all by myself! I have no desire to climb the tunnel walls and flounder around in all that.

In fact I’d rather stay inside where it’s warm and toasty. Here’s the best thing to do with a leash IMO… lie down with it near a heating vent. No. 1 calls this pose “the flying frog.”

flying-frog

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 17th, 2009 under Puppyhood - No Comments.

Walking with the pack

Now the white stuff has gone away and it’s a little warmer out. I’ve started going outside more, walking with my pack. That is, the core pack… the humans. (The Klingons are optional.)

I enjoy the walks. Dogs love walking. The way it should be on walks is, that both the humans are near me and I can see them. This is important. We all need to be together.

Hurry up, No. 2. You're lagging!

Hurry up, No. 2. You're lagging!

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 18th, 2009 under Puppyhood, The way we do things - No Comments.

My fringes are here!

The humans kept talking about “that awkward gangly stage.” I don’t know what that meant, but apparently I’m over it now. My ear fringes have grown out!

fringes

A papillon’s pride and joy are his fringes. We’re named for butterflies, you know, and our ears look like big fluffy wings.

They’ve also stopped referring to a “pipe cleaner” when talking about my tail. Now it’s long and fluffy too, and swishes all over the place when I wag it.

No. 1 has been teaching me things. I know lots of words and what I’m supposed to do when the humans say them. Each word also has a signal, and I know those too! Let me tell you, this is a great way to get treats. The way we do it is, the humans say the word or make the signal, I do the thing, and I get a treat! What a racket.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 21st, 2009 under Teenager, The way we do things - No Comments.

Détente with Klingons

The Klingons are warming up to me. I think. The hissy one chases me around now, and we have conversations. She uses that same voice that they use when they talk to the birdies in the back yard. When she blocks my way I bark at her and she goes eh eh eh eh eh at me.

She's No. 2's favorite Klingon. Go figure.

She's No. 2's favorite Klingon. Go figure.

One time she cornered me in a small place. I bravely stood my ground. She reached out with her paw to swat me — then changed her mind and touched noses instead!

The friendly one is now my bestest Klingon.

We hang out.

We hang out.

The white one makes the best stank face, but she doesn’t seem to care much about me one way or the other. I’m just as glad about that.

Just a little disagreement.

Just a little disagreement.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 22nd, 2009 under Teenager - 1 Comment.

I’m a Canine Good Citizen

Besides all the ways that I’ve learned from No. 1 of how to earn treats at home, she took me to a place where there were lots of other dogs and we all had to do the same things over and over again. It wasn’t that much fun. Particularly when we moved outside and they expected me to do a “down” on the GRASS. What? Put my belly down on that prickly, tickly stuff? Ew. I’m a much more civilized dog than that, thank you very much.

After we’d been doing that for a few times, we went to yet another place outdoors. There were tons of other dogs. Here are some of them.

No. 1 says this is a Brittany and a Boston.

No. 1 says this is a Brittany and a Boston.

A nice boxer.

A nice boxer.

Um... don't know, but he's big and on the table.

Um... don't know, but he's big and on the table.

The lineup.

The lineup.

No. 1 and I did a lot of different things while another human watched us and wrote things down. I had to sit, stay, come, walk nicely on my leash, get petted by a stranger, stay behind a barn without howling, and all kinds of things like that.

See how nice I pay attention?

See how nice I pay attention?

Finally it was over, and I got to go back to the car with No. 2. Soon No 1 came back all excited, waving a paper in the air.

got-it

This is what all the excitement was about.

CGC-cert

Of course I’m a Canine Good Citizen! My breeder mom and my human pack raised me right!

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 24th, 2009 under Other dogs, Teenager - No Comments.

Chipmunks are fun for all

Now it looks like this outside our house.

Green is better than white.

Green is better than white.

It’s warm instead of brrr! and I can run! Run like the wind! I can run just as fast as No. 2.

The Klingons have a little door just for them. They go in and out and in and out. Nowadays, a lot of times when they come back in they bring a friend with them. Chipmunks are the best.

He's inside and we're outside? That's just wrong.

He's inside and we're outside? That's just wrong.

I'm full of Little Friskies right now or else you'd be toast.

I'm full of Little Friskies right now or else you'd be toast.

chipmunk3

Chipmunks run really fast too. They are so fun to chase and if I catch one I bite its tail with my teethies. No. 1 tries to catch them but they get away and run up the curtains or hide under the kitchen cabinets. She tries to lure them out with Cheerios. Usually what happens is, when a chipmunk has been in the house for a few days it really slows down. Then No. 1 is able to put on her thick gloves and catch them and put them back outside. There goes the entertainment.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 27th, 2009 under Teenager - No Comments.

Marginalized!

Now that the Klingons are over being fazed by me whatsoever, I find myself being ooched off of laps.

It starts out innocently enough.

It starts out innocently enough.

Little by little, they advance on my position, sometimes even making so bold as to lie right on top of me.

Hey, I was here first!

Hey, I was here first!

This is really very thick. It’s obvious they have no respect for a dog’s personal space, or for the fact that possession is 9/10 of the law.

Really?

Really?

It always ends the same way. They move in inch by inch, until it’s too much and I give up the lap. I just can’t cuddle up to a Klingon.

The bed I can share. there's more room, and legs.

The bed I can share. There's more room, and legs.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: August 29th, 2009 under Teenager - No Comments.

Our walks after dinner

When it’s warm outside, we go for a walk after dinner. The whole pack goes… me, the humans, and all three of the Klingons. The way we do it is, one of the humans says “Walk!” and we all get ready.

Did you say walk? Now? It's time?

Did you say walk? Now? It's time?

I get my leash on and we all gather in the side yard. Then we go up the road a little ways and turn left. The Klingons are slow, so we have to wait until they all catch up. Then we go down a hill. We stop and look out across a field to an old house where nobody has lived for a long time.

No. 1 says this is her favorite view of all.

No. 1 says this is her favorite view of all.

Then the funnest part. We go into the woods! There’s a little path there and we all walk through. I stay on the path but the Klingons take the high roads.

cat-highway

At the end of the path we come out behind a house where there’s never anybody there, and my bestest Klingon goes and rolls and flips in a patch of dust. I really don’t know why she enjoys this but I guess it takes all kinds.

Then it’s a race to the finish. No. 2 goes out ahead and calls the race as the Klingons head toward home. I must say that they do not understand the concept of a race, because they go in fits and starts, and they stop to look behind them all the time.

race-to-finish

One time on the way home I walked through a patch of weeds, and they grabbed me! I was stuck! Couldn’t move forward, couldn’t move backward. The humans rescued me from these grabby plants and carried me home. “What a mess!” I heard. They took a long time to pick a whole bunch of little bitty green sticky things out of my coat. I heard No. 1 exclaim, “213!” That was not that much fun.

Woofs,
Willie

[No. 1 here... the "house where where there's never anybody there" is a non-residential frat house down the street from us in Gambier, Ohio, a tiny academic town in central Ohio, home to Kenyon College.

No. 2 and I cherished our walks with Willie and the cats. The neighbors always marveled to see three cats walking with us. In fact, they were known as "The Famous Gambier Walking Cats."]

Posted: September 4th, 2009 under Teenager, The way we do things - 1 Comment.

It’s getting cooler

The weather isn’t quite as warm now, and it looks like this in the back yard.

leaf-pile

Just like dogs, our trees are shedding. They’re turning all their leaves brown and dropping them on the ground. The leaves are crackly and crunchy when you step on them.

raking

For some reason, the humans are not content to let the crunchy leaves stay on the ground. No. 2 rakes them up into big piles. Then the Klingons come along and jump into the piles and scatter them around again. This is fun to watch, except that the colors of the Klingons and the colors of the leaves are about the same, so you have to keep a wary eye out in case of sneak attack.

lazt-cats

When they’ve had their fun, they lay around and don’t even help make the piles again.

No. 2 goes away sometimes. I don’t like this. The first clue is when the suitcase comes out.

packing

All of us help him pack. The way we do it is, No. 2 puts the suitcase on the bed. The Klingons get into the suitcase. No. 1 calls out “Socks, underwear, shirts, pants!” No. 2 yells “Check!” I watch with a sinking feeling in my stomach. It’s good to have a human and a spare.

Woofs,
Willie

Posted: September 8th, 2009 under The way we do things - 2 Comments.

They’ve taken leave of their senses

The humans have gone off the deep end. Last night they lined me up and subjected me to the following spectacle.

Not knowing what to make of this behavior, I figured it was best to play along, so I stood up on my hind legs and pawed the air, in the maneuver known as “the papillon wave.”

This episode was followed by tasty treats, which enabled me to get over the shock.

Jazz hands. Really?

Jazz hands. Really?

Woofs,
Willie

[No. 2 here. For those of you who are wondering, "What is that song?", I'll explain. I'm a folk music fan and dulcimer player, so one of my favorite musicians is John McCutcheon, a dulcimist extraordinaire. At almost every concert, John used to (and probably still does) sing this song, called "Cut the Cake." As John explains it, he wrote it to save the world from the Birthday Dirge, that ghastly song that most of us are subjected to on our birthdays. It's peppy and happy and up-tempo, the way a happy-birthday song should be.]

Posted: September 14th, 2009 under Teenager - No Comments.