The Doggie Diaries

The legend has echoed over the hills of Scotland for many years. The tall, thin man with silver hair — so distinguished, so cultivated, so in tune with the natural world — roamed the landscape from highlands, to moors, through glens and forests, treading the peat (redundant, peat is soil, unless you would like it to say “peat moss”), looking for his latest subject. Dog Man was on a journey to paint the portraits of dogs everywhere.

His legend came about one stormy night on the summit of a highland hill where Dog Man slipped on an precarious ledge hitting his head and falling unconscious. He never would have walked the cloudy paths again had it not been for a group of friendly dogs that brought him a tiny vial of Scotch to revive him.


When he woke from his stupor, he was renewed with purpose. To pay his debt to his canine hero’s he would honor the breeds by painting their portraits for all prosperity.


These are just a few of the images that represent Dog Man’s acquaintances and the stories of the Doggie Diaries.

I want to be a Cowgirl

I want to be a Bird Dog

The très chic French Bulldog named for the mysterious tulip she wore everyday between her ears, Tulip had a rich fantasy life. While all the other petite chiens sipped Evian, she would search the pantry for even a trace of tequila. Tulip wanted to be a cowgirl. She had grit. She could break horses, or at least bite their legs with her beautifully brushed teeth (that slowed them down). She liked lassos and cowboy hats and yearned to take her place as the Yellow Rose of Texas.

One fateful day Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show came to Paris. She slipped out of her Hermès leash, ran under a tent and watched, panting, as the troupe entertained. She knew that later that night there would be a grand soirée for the cowboys. She couldn’t wait any longer keeping her true identity a secret. She must break away to her future: performing in the Wild West show. Abruptly Tulip jumped from her Chanel dog bed, over the dining table filled with fruits and flowers, and leapt to her life in entertainment.

It’s not easy being a Standard Poodle girl in New Mexico; all those howling coyotes, real and other wise, the hunting dogs, the big barreling mutts. What’s a well-groomed girl to do? Besides, deep down, Zelda knew that her real identity was not that of show dog with pom poms, but as a noble bird dog running the range bringing down birds. She began to hunt birds in her owner’s back yard. She’d sniff them out and sneak up on them, run after them, or corner them near the shed. She began to understand the way of the bird and the possibility of her becoming Great Poodle Bird Dog Hunter. She even went so far as to commune with the enemy by wearing an eagle-feathered headdress disguise and hanging with some peacocks.

Brains can be a burden. Paco knew this all to well. He was studying for his medical exam because his destiny was to become a brilliant veterinarian. His lofty goal was not a selfish one; Paco wanted the world to know how smart, sophisticated and educated Pit Bulls can be. He wanted their tarnished reputation erased. He wished for members of his breed to take their rightful place as equals of the greatest surgeons everywhere.

Paco began his quest in the Boston Library surrounded by Audubon’s specimens. With his top hat and perfect grooming he knew they would never suspect that he had been brought up in the ghettos of Mexico City. He was not violent. He had not participated in dogfights, but so many of his friends had succumbed to the easy money and rock-star status the fights brought. But not Paco. When he and Dog Man met, there was instant chemistry and Paco became Dog Man’s trusted assistant, seeing to the health of the dogs whose portraits would be painted. The only downside to their relationship, Dog Man said, was the fact that Paco snored.

Paco San Lucas - The Audubon Dog

Rooms for Rent

Giorgio was a Corgi with class. He was not content to just sit at home whiling away the hours surrounded by the strains of Italian opera and sleeping on Gianni Versace sheets. He was industrious and, although quite short, felt his future lay in retail. So Giorgio opened a little boarding house for his Italian mafia bros with a gift shop known throughout Italy as the place to go for toys, Limoncello and Giorgio’s famous donuts, made of course without meat by-products.

Heidi in the Pumpkin Patch

Heidi is sweet on the outside and so taboo on the inside and she doesn’t care who knows it. Yes, she takes a nip here and there, but “isn’t alcohol good for the soul?” She saw what it did for her master. Her golden brown hair is naturally curly unlike that of other bitches and her big brown eyes are said to be soulful. But Heidi just couldn’t catch a break. She tried to get noticed. She starred in the adult film classic, “Lassie Did it,” as well as in “Doggie Does Dallas,” although she told everyone she was a boy. Go figure! Why couldn’t Heidi get the attention of the right agents?

One day her stylist came up with a fabulous idea. Why not sneak into the home of J.J. Abrams, producer of Lost, Alias and Star Trek and complete the Thanksgiving decorations. Posing at the center of the dining table with the pumpkins and squash would certainly impress the famed producer and Heidi would be signed for a pilot on the spot.

It was a great plan but Heidi was leaving nothing to chance. During the month of October she practiced in the pumpkin patch making sure to get her pose just right. She experimented with fabrics and took note of which vegetables made her fur look best. She was glad that when she had her colors done she was an autumn.

Turning Plastic into Pearls

Forget the sheep lets play golf

Fadden knew there was another dog inside him screaming to get out. He wasn’t like all the other little dogs in the neighborhood. He was special. He loved Marilyn Monroe, Jackie-O and her pillbox hats, fresh flowers, pearls and oysters of course. He made sure to make it to the groomer at least once a week to have his flowing hair blown out and he would never dream of going without a manicure for even a day.

But Fadden had a secret. He was really Miss Phaedra, the cross-dressing dog! Miss Phaedra’s life had been hard. Born poor white-trash in a town so small you’d miss it on the highway if you blinked, she had always aspired to be on the top of the social heap. She looked at the fashion photos in Dogue magazine and on television shows such as Housedogs of Beverly Hills. She knew she could move up and so, with a wink and a squeeze, she did.

There was only one place for Miss Phaedra and that was New York. From her home in The Dakota she reveled in guilty pleasures. She loved musicals, the cheesier the better. She often dressed as her favorite female character. But what she loved most of all was "Glee." Every week she would pose before the big-screen television with plenty of room to dance and follow along with the production’s numbers, loving every one of the cast of misfits.

Miss Phaedra’s neighbor Yoko Ono was not amused. Miss Phaedra turned the volume up on "Glee" so high it drowned out the continual loop of John Lennon’s song Baby It’s You blaring from behind Yoko’s front door.

Shadow knows she’s pretty and smart. A country-club Lassie, she loves everything Scottish. “Beam me up Scottie,” she barks at the girls at the club who sometimes smirk at the tam o’shanter she wears on the course. Shadow doesn’t care. It’s her signature look. She is well known for her fetching ability and her life-long friendship with Arnold Palmer forged on the greens at St. Andrews.


In fact it was her first job at St. Andrews, the ancestral home of the game of “gowf,” where she found that in her heart she was truly a Scottie. She had the physical characteristics of a few other breeds, but Shadow knew she had been blessed by the universe when she was adopted by a man whose last name was Scott. Shadow doesn’t believe in coincidences. 


Over the years she has fetched balls for the rich and famous: Tiger and his gal pals, the Golden Bear, Chi Chi Rodriguez. But her favorite times are those spent with her owner playing their own version of doggie golf. Shadow knows he should be working, but she also knows that when she puts on her tam and gives a bark with a Scottish lilt he just can’t say no.

Life is a bowl of cherries

Zoe just wants to have fun. She’s proud of her reputation as a par-tay animal. She loves Lady GaGa and Gwen Stefanni. She likes to get down and get out. Unfortunately, that is not always possible because Zoe suffers from depression. She wasn’t always this way. Things just started getting more difficult when she put on the weight. When it was time for her to come out as a debutante, she couldn’t go to the ball. She just couldn’t squeeze her jowls into the dress. She finally settled for a hat covered with cherries. She made it to the dance but sat on the sidelines all night.

("Life is a bowl of cherries," she thought to cheer herself up. As life would have it the very next day, she was signed by Wilhelmina as a plus side model with an assignment for the cover of "Vanity Fur. " Life is a bowl of cherries)

California is a big state and it takes a big dog to represent her. El Capitan had traveled the state, from Death Valley to Yosemite, and finally to Sequoia National Park where he met the famed naturalist John Muir. Muir could see El Capitan’s pedigree and his love of the natural world. When he saw how El, as he was known in the region, would often rescue squirrels from hunters or help a deer escape a predator, he asked El to become his companion. The two would walk the forested trails of northern California Muir wrote in his journals which would later become essays and books on the great Sierra Madres. El Capitan was always at his side and tried to encourage him with his writings. When Muir started the Sierra Club, El Capitan was the first member and although Muir was known as the "father of the national parks," El Capitan thought of him as a father too.

When he later broke into the film industry and began making action films like El Capitan and the Bandit (where he did his own stunts), he dedicated his performances and proceeds to the Sierra Club in honor of Muir.

El Capitan

Monet was on his way to rehab. Wine, women and song, or rot gut, bitches and howling at the moon. Pick your poison. A bon vivant born on the wrong side of the Seine, Monet was saddled with a life of the artiste. He had no choice in the matter. It was his name that brought the burden. But the market in paw print paintings dried up within days of the discovery of the Le Madoff ponzi scheme. His collectors were ruined. Monet was ruined. What was left?

Despondent and drunk on absinthe, Monet paced the Pont Neuf contemplating a jump into the icy river when a battered white van pulled up. A whiff of chloroform, an Hermès scarf tied around his mouth, and he was abducted, crated and shipped to Hollywood where a European breed brought in big bucks.

Monet had never heard of Charlie Sheen, but he soon found out this guy was alright. He was into the good life, the chicks, the booze, the washed-up rock stars. And the goddesses. Those bitches could really get down. They lavished attention on Monet almost every night before passing out.

It wasn’t long before he came to the attention of the well-heeled set, celebrities like Tinker Bell Hilton who would only sleep on a bed by Chewy Vuitton, Sandra Bullock’s bitch, Ruby who had daddy issues, Sienna Miller’s best-dressed Bess and Monet’s new bro-friend Bruiser, star of the movie Legally Blonde. 

Mon Dieu there were a lot of girls. Charlie taught Monet to never say no. Monet found out he had Tiger Blood. 

Monet started doing jello shots and lapping up the skinny margaritas left behind by Charlie’s girls. Monet often wondered why so many of them smelled like beef. Or brioche. He wrote it off to his being homesick.

Things got out of hand and when the police were called after Charlie did a great “play dead,” which Monet later learned was a drug overdose, Monet was hauled off too, to celebrity rehab to share a room with an aging Lassie VII.  

In rehab, Monet began to paint again and his work began to bring big prices on the charity auction circuit. If there was a ball for dogs in transition, Monet’s work was auctioned off with a percentage going to...Monet. 

He had given up booze and bitches but decided that he was not going to give up food. He used his money to buy a little bistro back home near the Tuilleries where you can find him to this day, sitting before a table of fine French food and a saucer of Perrier.

Wine and cheese please

It’s Boston baby! Poshie is a posh pooch, no question. Dressed only in the latest doggie daywear, she loves to lunch with friend and author Splash who was one of Ted Kennedy’s dogs. Splash wrote the best selling My Senator and Me, and Poshie always hoped he would write a book about her. She knew that Splash wanted more from their relationship but he was a Portuguese Water Dog and half the time she couldn’t understand what he was saying.

She did confide in him her desire to be a wild boar hunter. She was so tired of the social scene, the meaningless days, the lonely nights. What she really wanted was a romp in the fields chasing the boars to ground, the smell of fresh pig shit wafting past her nose. Now all she could do was go out with the blueblood hunt. What a bore to the Posh. She wanted real boar. When Splash couldn’t grasp the freedom concept (it was perhaps too much time at the Kennedy compound), Poshie couldn’t stand it another moment and broke out from the little window in her bedroom bringing with her some wild hog bait, her powder horn, and hunting leash she had secretly hidden away for months. It was a new day for little Poshie.

Poshie Bustin’ Out

Heidi, a.k.a. Miss Cherry, was never the same after she filmed the pilot for her new reality show, Gone to the Dogs. She was immediately selected as one of four glamour dogs in the series that “lived and loved” at the Fur Seasons in New York City. Of course, the hotel provided their food, linen change, and trainers for exercise and basic nutritional advice. With the filming on the first season underway, Heidi assumed the showbiz name Cherry. She felt it best described her sweet, although sometimes tart, behavior.

The first show aired on Cherry’s birthday so the cast threw a party for her that night at the elegant La Grenouille on East 52nd Street. All her dog and human pals were there, quietly nibbling on bone-shaped cake, sausages and Beggin’ Strips. The waiters kept their water dishes filled with pink champagne and before she knew it she was up on the table juggling one of Grenouille’s famous flower arrangements. It didn’t take long for the cameras to come out and Heidi/Cherry knew her party antics would be in the next episode. She was glad she had had her hair done that morning. She thought she looked good and with the juggling she wondered to herself how long would it be before a movie was in the offing?

It’s my birthday let’s party!

Jessie, sometimes known as José, was high up in the Cuban government. He loved the accoutrement of public office and was loyal to his owner, Fidel Castro. Many late nights on Fidel’s back patio with revolutionaries like Che holding forth with tales of Cuba Libre, Jessie, because of his Labrador blood, would be sent to retrieve the Havanas. He delivered only the best from the cigar factories on a tiny tray lined in black velvet to bring out the luster of the dried tobacco leaves.

One of the bennies of Jessie’s job was that Fidel paid for his education. At Doggie Day Care, Jessie learned which fork to use, how to wash his paws in a finger bowl before dinner and how to light a cigar. He learned the difference between fine wine and rot gut and how to howl at the moon when the boys broke into one of their Cuban rumbas.

His howling brought him to the attention of Ry Cooder who had recorded with the Buena Vista Social Club. He thought Jessie might be good on an album but Jessie demurred. He had learned it was not a good idea to get Fidel’s goat, so to speak, so he stayed put on Fidel’s back patio, sleeping on carpets woven with golden threads amid the loot from revolutions past. Instead of a howling career, he substituted a brush for his fork and took up painting.

José the Cigar Dog

It all began with the famed dancing French Poodle who caught the eye of rock star Elton John. “Tiny Dancer” was a phenom in Paris dance halls, a headliner at the Moulin Rouge, and often seen dancing on the bar at the famed Crazy Horse Saloon. She was thin and beautiful with big brown eyes, apricot curls, and the grace of a thousand Afghan hounds. She could have had her pick of any Rex, Bowser, or Laddie but it was the little German Schnauzer visiting from Berlin who ended her dancing career.

A professional athlete who soon abandoned Paris (and Tiny Dancer) for a reality TV career in L.A., the little Schnauzer soon ingratiated himself into Casa Kardashian, bonding with patriarch, plastic surgery addict and Olympic gold-medalist Bruce Jenner. Tiny Dancer was not only bereft, but left with a little bundle of halfbreed joy: Peaches, half Poodle, half Schnauzer, a Schnoodle with attitude.

Peaches inherited her mother’s happy feet and began dancing before she could bark. She danced the cobblestone walkways up and down the Rue de Rivoli, while shopping in the Marais, and before the patrons of St. Germain-des-Pres’s Cafe Deux Magot. 

Only weeks out of the womb, she demanded a tiara, pearls, and a feather boa. After all, now that her father had been adopted by a reality star, she was a Kardashian too. It wasn’t long before she launched the Peaches Kardashian Kollection, a line of doggie accessories for discriminating breeds.

It was the first lady of France, Carla Bruni, with whom Peaches was recording a cover of Elton’s Tiny Dancer, who encouraged her to move to the U.S. The girls - Carla, Peaches and Elton - decided to release the new single for the opening of the PKP boutiques in New York and L.A. and so little Peaches, finally able to hold her head high after the infamy of her birth, left Paris to launch her retail empire and super model career. She had no illusions; she knew she would have to start at the bottom as a celebutante, but Peaches wasn’t worried. She knew she had the hips, muzzle, and talent to make it really big. She couldn’t wait to meet her Kardashian sisters.

Peaches Kardashian

Dog Man

The Dahli Lama Dog

Achilles’ heel was telling the truth. A dapper dog who really wanted to do the right thing, Achilles just couldn’t hold to his moral code when things went south. An accident on the Oriental rug, a case of spilt milk, Achilles just couldn’t admit to the crime.

“Liar, liar pants on fire,” the neighbors taunted as Achilles sauntered down the street resplendent on a leopard leash. How it hurt to be outed by the riff raff; such torture, such abuse. Did Dante write the great Inferno with him in mind? Achilles was in his own downward dog ring of hell.

A dish of bourbon, a platter of bacon a good howl at the moon – sometimes these diversions would help ease the pain. The next morning he would swear never to lie again, but when faced with: “Who buried the family silver in the backyard? Who chewed the Louboutin sequined heel?,” Achilles would switch into autopilot or, more accurately, auto fib. And there he was, back in his own personal hell.

And so the great Achilles decided to give up the deception of being a good dog and accept his fate as a devil dog. After the fiasco with the family silver he had been kept inside and so, sprawled out before the big screen, he watched hours of professional politician liars and realized he was not alone.

He could still be top dog and embrace his lying ways by approaching life as his very own version of truth or dare. Henceforth it would be a game for him, a showcase for his superior intelligence. He would smile and sidestep, maybe hide under the couch all the while remembering lessons learned from Fox News. Could the presidency be far off?

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk

You can friend the Dalai Lama on Facebook and soon you will be able to friend the Dalai Lama Dog. That is of course if she decides to go the spiritual route. And for this gorgeous butterscotch Chow, “the way” has been marked with many contradictions.

First off she was thrust into an aggressive role when only a puppy. Known as the Mao Chow she was expected to serve and protect, no questions asked.

This can be a good gig for a Chow, but not for this girl. She had a hard time with the aggression part, not to mention with not asking questions. And toe the line? Oh no, this dog wanted to stick her toe in the water of life.

In reality she was the Tao Chow, a truth seeking canine with a love of cooking and nursery rhymes. Whenever she could, she snuck time in front of the television watching Martha Stewart’s many shows and appearances. After all Martha was a goddess, a domestic goddess, but to Tao Chow that was just fine. Martha could bake a pie like no one else - eat your heart out Nigella. Martha had mastered the zen of criss-cross pie crusts, bountiful fillings, and heavenly crusts.

But there was one pie Martha never demonstrated on TV, the blackbird pie, the Tao Chow’s obsession. Four and twenty blackbirds the nursery rhyme recipe said, baked in a pie? How could that be? Was it animal cruelty at its most dastardly? A literary device? A koan meant to be contemplated and understood?  

Tao Chow traveled to the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to find the answer to the rhyme. She meditated in the great city of Lhasa, where the Dalai Lama (now her Facebook friend) lived, and visited the Jokhang Temple. Chanting with rows of Buddhist monks, she realized the rhyme was a sing-song tribute to great cooks everywhere.

The blackbirds in the pie were released into the world spreading peace and recipes to the multitudes. Just like Martha. Tao Chow vowed her next trip would be to Connecticut to visit the domestic goddess herself.

Sammy the Shark was a bagman in Newport, Kentucky, before moving east to work as pit boss for his idol, Donald Trump. Atlantic City opened her arms wide for this tough-talking Bull Terrier with a heart of gold. In fact, the Shark is such a sweetheart he has had to resort to tricks of the trade – and we’re not talking card tricks – to keep the rest of the A.C. top dogs in line.

Sammy starts every morning with a big bowl of raspberries just to ensure that his gums are so red that the Jersey crowd will think he has been chomping on raw meat. They get the message: better raw meat than them. Nobody messes with the Shark.

Sammy can be seen around town or up on the boardwalk stalking the big guy with a comb-over. It’s Sammy’s personal quest to get the Donald to cut his hair short just like the Shark and to stop already with the embarrassing coif to cover his bald head. “That comb-over is fired,” he barked, “Get a hat, wise guy.” But Trump has been so preoccupied with failing real estate and his younger wife, that Sammy’s attempts have gone unheeded. Sammy’s friends are taking bets on when Trump will finally succumb.

Sammy The Shark


James was a gentleman’s gentleman, the dog version. He was a child protegé and at the age of only 1 in human years, but 7 in dog years, he was way past the fetching and sitting phases of training. He went off in the direction of hospitality and began assuming tasks such as answering the door, bringing wine bottles to table, and making sure the mail was delivered to his owners every day. He was wise beyond his years and, as he added human words to his dog vocabulary and assumed more and more duties around the house, he found himself to be indispensable. That’s when James asked for a raise and to be supplied with a uniform. He got both.

He loved his new black satin bow tie that set him apart from other dogs. His wages were enough to start a small art collection. He began buying gold frames, hoping that when the economy turned around, he could fill them with canvases, perhaps by his favorite artist, Dog Man.

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