June 7, 2007 -- La Canada Valley Sun


By Anita Susan Brenner

Our newest addition is a dog named Dune B. Ortiz.

Dune belongs to a Naval Aviator. When his "mommy" got deployed, Dune got deployed. He got deployed right here. He got deployed to La Cañada Flintridge.

Dune began this adventure with orders: "Effective 10 January 2007, 8:00 hours, Dune. B. Ortiz is TAD from Whidbey Island, WA to Intel, LCF." I know this because I wrote the orders. "TAD" means temporary assignment of duty. Intel seemed like the logical choice for a large, male adolescent.

Naturally, I posted his orders on his blog.

Yes, I started a blog for Dune. Yes, I posted photos. Yes, I got him a YouTube account. I am still thinking about Facebook versus MySpace.

In the meantime, life goes on. Our black Lab-chow, Miss Audrey Hepburn, adores Dune. The two dogs are inseperable. They share their toys. They share their food. They share the sofa. They enter and exit the house together. When I open the door, they rush in side-by-side.

Miss Hepburn waits demurely by the stairs while Dune runs into the living room, skids twice around the coffee table, and gallops back. Together, they run up and down the stairs. The Cat escapes under a bed.

The Dog Whisperer might not approve of our methods, but we have lots of helpers. Our helpers give us feedback. Rachel says we are undoing their "training." Cousin Martha, a vet student, says not to overfeed them. Someone got us a calendar with dates for the flea medicine, but we do need to give them another bath.

Meanwhile, my friend Bruce sent me Internet jokes about cats and dogs. I re-wrote the sample diary for the blog:


5:00 a.m. — Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 a.m. — A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 a.m. — A walk in the yard! My favorite thing!

12:00 p.m. — Chase The Cat! My favorite thing!

3:00 p.m. — Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 p.m. — Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

8:00 p.m. — Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 p.m. — Sleeping on the sofa with Audrey Hepburn! My favorite thing!

The Cat's diary did not need much editing:

Day 983 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets … The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape …

My Diary, on the other hand, is a work in progress:

I was getting ready for work when I heard a big commotion.

The door wasn't shut all the way and Dune had broken into the house. He began to chase The Cat. The Cat ran up the stairs. Dune followed. The Cat got under the bed and began growling. Dune took a position between the bed and the stairs. Then Dune left and Miss Hepburn came over to look. The Cat scratched Miss Hepburn on the nose

Dune's deployment will be over in August. I joke and try to act brave, but whenever I play with Dune, I think about his real mom. I think about her and pray for her safe return.

Dune is a very brave dog.

Anita Susan Brenner is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident. She is an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner.