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Dog & Style

Wildlife vs. Wild Life

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DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com As I have been a resident of Southwest Florida’s Jurassic Park (a.k.a. Fiddler’s Creek) only since late 2009, I am often asked if I miss my Northern Virginia home. The answer comes down to a discussion of the benefits of “wildlife” vs. “wild life.” For example, up north, whenever Sylvie, our neighbor on Wild Ginger Terrace, would have her lady friends over for a nightcap – or ten – the event was typically referred to as “Girls Gone Wild Ginger.” Without a doubt, nothing was better than a spirited evening at the home of our ... Read More »

How to be a Party Animal, Part Two

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DOG & STYLE  Tony Wakefield-Jones  Tony@mindzoo.com As my loyal readers already know, I am the undisputed king of the “party animal” universe. However, as a professional journalist with a high-profile position at Coastal Breeze News, I have actually never been to an “office party.” Woof! New territory! Imagine my excitement as I hopped in the back of “Anderson Mini Cooper” to embark upon the journey of a lifetime—my very first official office jamboree. In my mind, such an extravagant event would almost have to be a cross between the literary brilliance of the Algonquin Round Table in the 1920s and Holly ... Read More »

How to be a Party Animal

TWJ wakes up after a RUFF night. PHOTO BY RANDALL JONES

DOG & STYLE As we all know, the pop culture term used to describe one who is exceptionally adept at having a good time is “party animal”—not “party human.” And there’s a reason for this, people. Of course, this also explains why so many of my bi-ped readers write for advice on how to host elaborate soirees, survive an afternoon with 27 screaming 5-year-olds at Chuck E. Cheese, and/or entertain visiting dignitaries. I certainly hope my personal response was helpful to you, Mrs. Obama. Basically, human party-planning problems can be fixed using the KISS theory: keep it simple, stupid. When ... Read More »

A Woof in Sheepcoating

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DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com  I recently turned 11 years old. Yes, mathematical wizards, that means I’m the human equivalent of 77. Of course, we’re never too old to stop learning. More importantly, we’re really never too old to learn something new about ourselves. Let’s take a look at the last year, for example. Our family added a second dog. I subsequently “learned” that I did not like having another dog around. Specifically, I “learned” I really don’t like Chihuahuas. However, I also discovered that my daddies were smart enough to see through my plan to return the “Chihua” to our ... Read More »

Home Dog-cor

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Believe it or not, one of the most common topics my inquisitive readers ask me to discuss is home décor. I suppose this should come as no huge surprise as my column is called “Dog & Style”—and when it comes to “style,” you simply can’t beat the Airedale. However, what shocks me the most is when a reader actually inquires as to the opinion of our family “Chihua” as well. For those who might have missed a column or two, let me explain once again, that second “hua” in Chihuahua is ridiculously redundant, so I have chosen to omit it. ... Read More »

Bunny Love

Lonely Mr. Whiskers finds company in the form of a stuffed animal. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Tony Wakefield-Jones Dear Tony: I’m the only bunny in my house. I really want to meet another bunny who will shred paper with me and scratch my ears, but the singles scene seems really weird. I snuck on my human’s computer once. She had all these messages from other human males: “I don’t do monogamy” and “that’s how I roll.” She told me guys who call themselves ‘ballerz’ need to go back in the toolbox where they belong and then promptly ordered me off her computer before I accidentally communicated with one of them. Can I really trust my human ... Read More »

Dog & Style?

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DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com     Dear Tony, Why does my human insist on dressing me up all the time? She even had a professional photo shoot for me. It’s ridiculous! Help! B.B. Wrinkles, Goodland, FL   Dear B.B.: Sad. So sad and tragic. Essentially, your human NEEDS A LIFE! It’s one thing for every groomer on the planet to think we dogs look “cleaner and cuter” sent home with those silly little homemade handkerchiefs around our necks; it’s another when our humans try to haphazardly channel celebrity fashion designer Marc Bouwer and accessorize us. I mean, Marc Bouwer ... Read More »

CELEBUDOG: The best of TWJ

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DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com  Each year, as we enter into the holiday season and begin to reflect upon the year behind us, many of us serious journalists “Best of” ourselves. Though I would like to believe my readers have committed every piece of my sage advice to memory, even I wag my tail a tad harder at revisiting some of my more clever 2012 bon-mots. As for 2013 and my upcoming 11th Birthday, don’t you worry—there’s life in the old dog yet. On Covers Ups As dogs, we are predisposed to being “naked.” However, we do not need to ... Read More »

A paws to give Thanks

Balloon Tony in the “Marco Thanksgiving Day Parade!” SUBMITTED PHOTO

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com The human celebration of Thanksgiving is once again upon us. Thanksgiving—also known as the day before humans set their alarms at 3 AM to trample over other humans for something they call “doorbuster specials.” One would think I would find this more appealing as I am a “doorbuster” every time our doorbell rings. I admit—I have not been feeling all that inspired lately. Yes, I have many things to be thankful for: two misfit daddies who make me look brilliant by comparison, a bumbling “Chihua” who seems to understand the household pecking order, an exhilarating ... Read More »

Motor skills

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com         Dear Tony: My family is crazy about this “sport” called NASCAR and a driver named Carl Edwards. As a dog, I understand liking to chase cars, but I am unsure what they get out of it? They don’t even get out of their chairs. There is a lot of screaming involved. Truman Schnoodle – Columbia, MO Dear Truman: As dogs, we can spend our lives evaluating human behavior and never fully understand all their idiosyncrasies. However, it’s important that we try as, like it or not, we are forced to live ... Read More »

Pawlitically correct

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com     Dear Tony: What are your political views? Lynn A. – Marco Island, FL Dear Miss Lynn: My views? Well, from my vantage point (mostly television), all the major candidates are actually quite attractive. Now, I’m not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but the views from my couch are not too bad. Nobody can work a suit and tie like President Obama. Joe Biden has really big teeth and an equally fetching smile. And if this run for office doesn’t work out, Romney and Ryan could easily be models for Abercrombie ... Read More »

Dogged Determination

  DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com           Dear Tony: You previously mentioned a family dog named Zoey who is no longer living with you. Is there more to this story? Holly G. Romeo, MI Dear Miss Holly Though I never knew Zoey personally, I have certainly heard the stories. Zoey, described by my daddies as “a little white cotton ball with legs,” was actually a Miniature American Eskimo—a lap dog with an attitude. In fact, Zoey aspired to be a Doberman Pinscher but seemed hopelessly stuck in a little dog body. Zoey came into the household ... Read More »

There’s No Place Like Home

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com Dear Tony: My human works from our house and somehow thinks I should be pleased about this. He’s suffocating me! What do I do? Deco, Labrador Retriever Potomac, MD   Dear Deco: Leapin’ Lassie, but do I feel your pain. My Short Daddy “works” from home too and I never get a minute’s peace around here. Yes, I’m aware that I’m getting older, but that doesn’t mean he needs to yank me outside to pee every two hours. I’m sleeping here, you fool. And just because he’s lonely and lacks the human interaction skills to ... Read More »

New Tricks, Old Dogs

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com We interrupt this advice column for a special message on the importance of aging—or rather, the lack of importance of it. First, as an advice columnist, I am all too aware of the significance of keeping the home fires burning. An odd proverb, to say the least, as I simply can’t see a benefit to a house fire of any kind. But I digress… For many years now I have known, when it comes to managing psychological trauma, there’s no place like home. My daddies, both the “Tall” and the “Short,” are turning 50 ... Read More »

Take back Wall Street

DOG & STYLE  Tony Wakefield-Jones  Tony@mindzoo.com       Dear Tony: What are your thoughts on Wall Street? Theresa G. – Marco Island, FL  Dear Miss Theresa: Why on earth would someone want to put walls up next to a street? That’s just absurd. Does the Marco Island City Council know about this? From a human standpoint, Marco Island is a lovely little beach community— and you bipeds seem to place a lot of value on your ability to view mass quantities of water. I say just take a bath but I digress…  Wouldn’t erecting walls on either side of, for ... Read More »

Opposable thumbs are overrated

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com         Dear Tony: How do I keep my dog, Mr. T, from helping himself to “people food” such as our peanut butter? Adam C. – Columbia, MO  Dear Mr. Adam: Forgive me for sounding a bit insensitive but you appear to be a somewhat shortsighted biped. In my home, I am encouraged to learn human skills. For example, in the past few months, I have discovered how to open the front door—unassisted. Yes, I may have surprised my fair share of UPS men, but I now provide additional value to my household. ... Read More »

Curse you, Sarah McLachlan

DOG & STYLE  Tony Wakefield-Jones  Tony@mindzoo.com       Dear Tony:  Here’s my dilemma. It’s all about that tear-jerk Sarah McLachlan commercial that runs endlessly on TV. You know the one: sad lonesome song, sorry little puppy eyes looking hopefully into the camera, Sarah McLachlan voice-over asking viewers to save homeless dogs. My human always sniffles sadly when it’s on and gives me nice loving attention. So far so good, right? But here’s my concern. What if my human actually reacts to all this sadness by adopting another dog? There’s only room for ONE dog in this house and it’s ME. ... Read More »

Answers from an Airedale

DOG & STYLE Tony Wakefield-Jones Tony@mindzoo.com   First, a big old high-paw to those of you who read and responded to my first Dog & Style column in the last issue of Coastal Breeze. With your questions, requests for interviews, and social invitations now pouring in, I’m starting to feel like the Prince William of Marco Island. Plus, I simply refuse to be compared to a squatty little Corgi! Even this week’s professional photo shoot with Marco’s own Peter Berec has been described as “unforgettable.” However, through his dogged determination, Mr. Peter finally managed to get the shot he wanted and ... Read More »

It’s a Dog’s Life?

DOG & STYLE  Tony Wakefield-Jones  Tony@mindzoo.com Yes—your hunch is correct. The forward-thinking geniuses at Coastal Breeze have engaged the services of a dog to write an ongoing advice column. But if you stop and think about it, this clever literary maneuver really makes a lot of sense. We dogs see and hear everything. For example, you don’t really have to watch your language around us because we’ll only hear words like “treat,” “walk,” “cookie” and “Tony, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on.” Besides, have you ever looked at your pooch and thought to yourself, “I wonder what he would ... Read More »