O Angelina

A Girl and Her Dog: Living, Loving, & Enjoying the Little Things


Guest Post: That Time Fin Learned How to Drive

Adventures, Charlotte NC, Doggies, Love It, Pet Guest Post, PetsLayla Comment

Yep. That's right. I learned how to drive. I mean, after all, I'm like 35 in dog years. It was about time my mom let me. 

My friend, Greg, came over to our house, and Layla and Bogart had to stay outside because I'm the best. Obviously. 

First, my mum got in the car with me because I sit in the front seat a lot, but I usually don't have to reach the peddles or use the steering wheel. Greg was nice and a pretty good coach. (Me thinks he coaching swimming, too. That's what mum said.)


And then they let me take the wheel! 

My friend, Chantal made sure I didn't hit anything, and our neighbors even came out to watch. 

And I was in two videos! Check them out! 

My first vine appearance! Where are you going Finley?

My YouTube Premiere! Planet of the Pups - Dogs have taken over, and they now own their humans! 

Mum- take me to the dmv! I think I could get my license. Are thumbs required?

Running Again

Adventures, Doggies, Charlotte NC, Love It, Laylatude, RunningAngelina OberdanComment

In a recent interview, I said that I wanted to start running again. See, the deal is that I have a bad hip, and so my ability to run sort of comes and goes, but when my mom puts on her running shoes, I get really excited no matter how I feel.

I used to be a great runner: 

I mean, I've had this bad hip since I vaulted over a pile of logs when I was a pup and got nailed by one of the logs in my hip. But I guess since I'm getting older (I am not that old yet!), my hoomans worry about me a little more. 

They do lots of things to keep me in good shape like taking me on walks everyday and giving me glucosamine chondroitin and puppy pain killers when I need them, but I still really want to run again. 

I really do just get so excited when my mom puts on her running shoes. 

So I begged and begged, and finally my hoomans are letting me run a little. We don't go very fast, but that's okay with me. I just like to feel the wind in my ears. 

Last Tuesday, we got to go to Matthews' Beer Temple Running Club.

Bogart didn't do so great with the traffic, but I showed him how to handle it. And Fin got to run with my dad because they're both pretty fast. 

It was so much fun because there were lots of people to pet us afterwards. Again, Bogart was kind of bad--jumpy and scratchy--, but Fin and I are so good I don't think anyone minded.

And then last Saturday, Mom took us running on McAlpine Greenway because it was so nice outside. 

And we are so good on and off leash that we got tons of compliments! Clearly this means that I should get to go running a lot more. 

The Great Lake Escapes

Adventures, Charlotte NC, Doggies, Love It, PetsLayla Comment

Even when our humans are busy, they still escape with us to the lake! 

I'm not going to lie to you. Since we haven't been hiking or swimming in awhile (freakin' winter), we were a little uncoordinated at first.

Fortunately, our mom is patient. She didn't kill us, and she let us swim! 

Fin and I love swimming because when we lived in Clemson, we got to run on Lake Hartwell's dyke all the time. On the other hand, Bogart is brand, stinkin' new to swimming. He did okay, but like always, he just wanted to play fetch. [Eye roll.] 

He learned pretty quickly that logs can be really slippery. Mom had to help him out of the lake once. She said next time he's wearing a life jacket (if she can find it.)

Really, we like wading in the muddy parts just as much as we like swimming. And even though the lake we go to now is little-bity compared to Lake Hartwell, there are lots of herons to watch. 

So we've tried out best to keep it together and actually listen so that they'll keep taking us on Friday afternoons. 

See? Ma? How cute are we? 

Getting Finley - Angelina's Guest Post

Adventures, Doggies, Love It, PetsAngelina OberdanComment

In early November 2012, I rescued Finley Aloysius Oberdan from a shelter in rural South Carolina.

It all started a few months before: when Dan moved to Charlotte in May, Layla was devastated. Despite seeing Dan almost every weekend, she actually threw up after every visit. I am not kidding. I had to call the vet, who convinced me that dogs don’t get eating disorders. (Only cats are that stubborn of pets.) Anyway, Layla was also just about four years old, so she had also started losing that puppy energy, both her ears were finally standing up, and I suddenly had a smart, sad, and adult dog.


The obvious way to cope, both for me and Layla, was to consider a puppy. Okay, I did try the obvious things, like regularly walking around the neighborhood, taking her on hikes in new places, but those were really part of our regular routine, so they didn’t help much.

Let me just say that it’s really difficult to think about getting a puppy without getting one; once I started thinking, I started looking, and they are so freakin’ cute. So like the meticulous choice-maker I try to be (ha!), I started running all of the cons through my head, and eventually, there weren’t enough. House and crate training and all of the chewing didn’t seem like much of a big deal in exchange for a cute, smooshy, bundle of puppy-breath and kisses.

And then I downloaded the Petfinder App (bad idea), and started searching for Carolina Dog puppies. Of course, they’re not always correctly labeled or they’re labeled incorrectly, etc., but I thought I knew enough to be able to identify one: great ears, fishhook tail, thicker chest, high belly.

I found two locally; I thought about them both for about a week. I remember that I travelled to the Clemson-Duke football game with my amazing friend and colleague, Ashley Cowden, and the football team, per Dabo’s request. (Okay, Ashley was per Dabo’s request, and she brought me.) I found both pups on one of those bus rides: there was a female in Greenville, SC and a male in Seneca, SC. I thought about them for the week after the football game, until Dan came back down to visit.

Okay, I did sneak to Petsmart and buy the most adorable collar with sweet little flowers on it because I wanted another female puppy. My only reasoning was that I’d never owned a male dog or cat (potentially I had a male goldfish once); I was comfortable with females. I also bought a crate, and put it in the back closet so that maybe I would forget I was so committed to getting a puppy.

So Dan came in, and we talked about the puppy, but I’m not sure he listened. I told him, while running, that if I got a male puppy I would name him Finley after Chuck Finley, the alter-ego of Sam, my favorite down-on-his-luck spy from Burn Notice (played by Bruce Campbell). Chuck Finley was super suave, but Sam was sort of a messy, drinking, ole sweetheart; it seemed like the perfect name for a dog. I didn’t have any good female names picked out, but that sweet collar with flowers on it was still tucked in my glovebox. Anyway, before Dan left, we were sitting at our favorite frozen yogurt place, and I looked at Dan, and said something like, “Look, this is happening. I’m getting a puppy. If you want to have some input, this is your chance.”

Dan’s only comment was, “It’s hard to have two females. Get the male.”

I agreed; that was fine. I decided I would go “look” at the puppy, not necessary get him, after work on Tuesday; I spent Monday thinking about it and then cut out of my office hours early on Tuesday and headed straight to the shelter. It was way out in the country, where the roads are basically gravel, where most of the gas stations are shut up now.

When I got there, we went out to the big dog pen in back; I just wanted to look—they didn’t have to get him out for me. However, all of the other puppies keep jumping over the little guy I wanted to see, so the volunteer had to let him out.

And then he smothered me in kisses.

I don’t even like dog kisses, but this guy was so adorable. He was pretty clearly a Carolina dog mix, and his face was stark white and his eyes were killer cute. And I drowned in his kisses. That was it; it was over. I adopted him.

So here’s the best part of the story. I had to return the flowery collar I got him/her, so we went straight to Petsmart. Before we even walked in the door, a little old lady who was walking out of Petsmart got down on her knees to pet him. On her knees on the sidewalk! She started telling me about how she’d lost her old dog a year ago, and wanted a puppy.

And then she asked if she could buy Finley! That’s how stinkin’ cute he was.

Of course, I said, "No way." I had just adopted him after all! And that was that; Finley was mine.