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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
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Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

Lets-Panic.com → 

« In which I complain about summer camp | Main | Bang. Bang. Bang bang. »
Monday
Aug022010

Charlie and Me

I wrote an essay about our dog Charlie for a forthcoming anthology about dogs. I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship!, edited by Wade Rouse, will be published in 2011, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Humane Society of the United States. All kinds of incredible writers are contributing, including Merrill Markoe, Rita Mae Brown, and Jen Lancaster. I'm honored to be included.

Charlie is one of my favorite topics to write about, as most of my friends have long grown tired of me jabbering about my dog's velvety ears and I have to get it out somehow. We adopted Charlie shortly after we got married, and when my mom saw us with him she rolled her eyes and said, "You two need to have a baby." The implication being that once we procreated, we'd calm down about the dog and stop, say, kissing him on the lips. Well, guess who was wrong about that? You were, Mom! YOU! So there! Now give your other grandson a kiss.

I needed a picture of me with Charlie for the book, so my pal Amber of The Amber Show graciously volunteered her photographic talents. The essay is about Charlie's insistence on sleeping in our bed, between me and Scott, under the covers. Amber took some boudoir pics. I wore my nightie!

IMG_0082 (orig)

You can't really tell that it's a nightie. But oh, it is. It's from Target. Mrowr.

Charlie hates getting his picture taken. I don't know who beat him with a camera, but someone clearly did, because the minute he sees one his ears go back and he tries to lick it. That's Charlie's tactic. If you upset him in any way, his defense is to wag his tail violently and lick you. He'll love you right into submission.

IMG_0116 (brighter, cropped)

This is him pleading with me to make the clickety-click sounds stop. Oh boy, do we need a headboard. Someday, my friends. Someday.

IMG_0032 (alice brighter)

Here I am, pointing. I'm saying, "That's a dog. That's Charlie!" I can identify my pets.

IMG_0157 (brighter)

I'm holding him down. The moment I loosened my grip he'd scurry to the next room. But oh, we got him back! Dogs are not bright.

IMG_0152 (orig)

I was trying to look vaguely unhappy with him being in the bed with me, and yet swayed by his canine charms. It was a complicated series of emotions. My face was breaking under the strain.

IMG_0019 (brighter)

I am absolutely covered in dog hair, here. The crazy heat wave we've endured has caused Charlie to shed like he's getting paid for it, plus he sheds when he's stressed out, so during this photo shoot, he unloaded approximately 30 pounds of dog hair on me. And Charlie only weighs 25 pounds, so this took some effort on his part. Fur was raining off of him, causing Amber to observe, "He's Pig-Penning!" Which I thought was adorable. And accurate.

IMG_0113 (brighter)

Charlie is now 13 years old. His face used to be mostly black with a white stripe running down the center, but as you can see, he's faded somewhat. His eyes are cloudy, but he can hear a slice of cheese hit the ground from across the apartment. He's still spry, and leaps and cavorts the moment we head outside.

IMG_0165 (brighter)

I'm sure, fellow dog-owners, that your dogs are fine, but Charlie is pretty much the greatest dog who ever lived.

Reader Comments (84)

Did the dog get "made up" for the shoot?
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMidwest Potato
I'd 86 that first shot, as it appears you're holding a dead dog. Not the look I thing you are going for.

But kudos to the photographer for capturing the cuteness, and not the get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-ness.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLL
Having had the pleasure of having Charlie stay with us one or two times, I can attest to awesomeness!! His "brother" Pinto also feels compelled to sleep under the sheets thisclosetome which is fine in the winter, but not so much fun in the summertime. And he also sheds when he is nrervous and hates camera's as well. I really do think they are long lost brothers from another mother.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Prince
Ya, I love my dog too, so much that I ask him to kiss me after he's been eating cow shit.I just blogged about that, actually.Do you talk baby talk to your dog? Cause we do, even my tough manly husband. I think he's worse than I am!Maybe there is something wrong with us?
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAriel
I want a dog! Charlie looks endlessly sweet!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea A
Gorgeous photos! I'm so glad I found your site! It's an inspiration!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLivewithFlair
Adorable! Congratulations on the book! Old dogs are the very best. I wrote a story about my dog Donner, who is now gone (sobs), and it was published in a book called Pets Across America. What an honor and a lasting memorial. Oh, and thanks for adopting. Wish everyone would give a homeless animal a chance.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Shaughness
Actually, I love that first shot.

Since I have two cats and zero dogs I can agree, wholeheartedly, that Yes!, Charlie is the greatest dog in the world!

And, as a San Francisco dweller, my eye went straight to the framed photograph above your bed. Earthquakes + rigid object hanging over bed = I don't want to think about it.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFranca Bollo
Speaking as someone with five cats, I'll let Charlie have greatest dog in the world. Seriously, these are great pics. I love, love, love #4.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterladykay
I know I should make some comment re: the dog, dog owning, etc. but really just wanted to say: pretty! You look so very lovely and serene. The blue eyes! Red hair! (Is that new?) Hope it's indicative of a happier you in the new home.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarolyn
If Audrey Hepburn had a dog, those would be the pictures. I don't know why I'm thinking that, but I am.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent
Aw. Love the snuggling shots! I understand the dog lubs. We still love up the dog even though we have two kids now. Still smooch her snoot. I want to have her cloned so I can keep her foreber. Sadly, my vet does not offer that service. She's 12 now and slowing down, but we try our best to match her pokey pace. :)
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWombat Central
P.S. We, too, are without a headboard. Let's start a club.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWombat Central
ok, seriously? you look so adorable. and i love the paint in your bedroom. what color/what brand? and oh, charlie is cute too.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjackie
Alice, I'm in LOVE with that 4th picture. Surely you MUST use that pic for the story. And yeah, Charlie I'm sure, is great and all but that's just because you haven't met our dog Anna. She's not only beautiful but I'm willing to bet 50 lbs. of dog fur, her ears are softer than Charlie's.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmbee
I am yet another commenter who is completely ignoring the dog theme to say YOU ARE GORGEOUS!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesiK
these are gorgeous pictures, and the dog is cute too
Older dogs are probably my favorite things in the whole world.
These pictures are beyond adorable. =)
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
Um. I'm booking a haircut ap't as soon as I finish this comment. And I'm totally going to steal your hairstyle.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHi, I'm Natalie.
Your eyes are stunning! I wish I could pet Charlie. :)
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Somehow, the photos strike a "Mad Men" chord. It's like you're a much more likable Betty, but without the ugly headboard.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Adorable photos, and while Charlie certainly looks like a prince of a dog, I think my childhood dog Tippsy was actually the greatest (who else would play Monopoly with an eight-year-old all afternoon?).
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMerie
I love it! My spouse and I feel the same way about our dear ol' Bella. Who also hates having her picture taken...weird. But, perhaps it's the aversion to photography that makes them the best dogs ever.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCora D
He is lovely. And so are you! What a sweet, sweet doggie, and what wonderful pictures!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCS

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