Lexi’s Memorial Service – Recorded

For those of you who were unable to watch live this morning, here is the link to the recorded service. The sound levels are not great on this raw footage, so please bear with it. They improve a bit into it. Later, when my dear, over-worked husband has a bit of time to work on the sound, I will repost it. But for those who don’t want to wait, here it is on Vimeo:

Lexi’s Memorial Service at St. Luke UMC

 

 

Memory Monday – Two Years Ago Today

Yep, as Lexi would have said, I’m at it again with those time-line thingies.

During September of 2014 Lexi was in rehearsal for her third run as Toto. We (Lexi and I) were working at the “church on the mountain,” as Lexi called it. From there, it was a mad 40 to 60 minute drive down the mountain, through downtown during rush hour traffic, and onto the interstate to get to the theater in North Georgia. Once we got parked, Lexi ran to the grass to relieve herself so that she didn’t have to take a break during rehearsal. Then up the ramp she ran and into the propped door, now focused and all business. This picture is of Lexi Toto hanging out with “The Piano Man” while listening to the director’s instructions to everyone.

Lexi with Piano Man

Blogsville Mayoral Candy Date Debate #2 – Bring It On!

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Here we are again with Debate Tuesday, Week 2. I, Lexi, asked the questions this week and am hoping for some revealing answers to help you make an informed decision (to vote for me) in November. Be sure and grab one of the badges in my sidebar and display it prominently on your blog page to show your support!

For more information on us, the Candy Dates, you are invited to visit our blogs:

Lexi at Lexi the Schnauzer

Arty at Dory’s Backyard

Christmas at Paw Province

Now, let the debate begin!

1. If you could wish for any one thing for Blogville and have it come true, what would it be?

Lexi: There’s been a lot of medical problems lately. I would wish for perfect health for everyone throughout their lives.

Arty: My wish for Blogville and every-ville is that all our friends in shelters and roaming the streets find furr-ever homes real soon!!

Christmas: I know it isn’t possible, but I wish EVERY SINGLE Blogville peep could be in the same place all in one time and everyone would get a chance to talk about their experiences and meet the people and pets who they’ve loved from a distance for so many years.

2. Blogville includes anipals and peeps from all around the world. What experience do you have with foreign dignitaries that would help in your role as mayor, if elected?

Lexi: Let’s see. I had the French to my house one evening for an American meal served in the French tradition. Then I took them all for a walk around my neighborhood to observe and admire our American way of life. I hope they returned to France with stories of our American hospitality. Before a stressful production of Home for the Holidays I offered my therapy services backstage to the Chattanooga Symphony Director Kayoko Dan, originally from Japan. I went on to do therapy with several of the performers. Miss Dan was so appreciative that she sent me a Christmas card. I hope she lets the Japanese know of the kindness of Americans.

Arty: Hmmmm, well I love french fries and would love to try Chinese food someday. Other than that, I will be meeting with dogs from all over the world (well, from the USA and Canada) in June, when I attend the B.A.R. and hope to use this time to help refine my foreign policy!

Christmas: Well, because dog shows are full with top dogs from all over the world, I’ve met dogs from all sorts of places. I’ve met a Standard Schnauzer from Croatia and some other dogs I’ve met have probably been from 87 different places, too. Us Dachshunds are German dogs (wiener schnitzel, anyone?) so I’m part German! I am actually very fluent in German, but it’s a shame that my mommy is a human and can’t understand my German.

3. What is, or would be, your choice for a volunteer service and why?

Lexi: Since 2007 I have been doing monthly therapy with children of all ages at the local children’s hospital. My times onstage at the theatre were also volunteer work, besides being my very favorite thing in the whole world. Putting a smile on a sick or hurting child’s face and making people happy keeps me in touch with my purpose in life, to bring joy to others.

Arty: If given the chance, I would love to be a spokesdog for our anipals that need homes. Coming off the streets myself (when I was only 7 months old), I feel I would do a great job telling the humans out there Rescue Doggies Rock!!

Christmas: My mommy is thinking of training me specifically to be a therapy dog within the next couple of years. I love peeps and I’m very sweet and well behaved. I work well in public and I love to make peeps happy. My long body and longing eyes usually earn me lots of attention on my walks.

4. What is the hardest decision you ever had to make and how did it turn out?

Lexi: Mom and I play the “Leave It, Find It” game with treats. She puts a treat down, says, “Leave it,” and I have to ignore the treat while we go to the next spot in the house where she does it again. Eventually, Mom says, “Find it!” and I get to use my excellent memory to find all the treats and eat them. If I grab and eat one while Mommy is still in the first part of the game, the game is over. So the hardest decision is to leave the treat so that I can have more or satisfy my immediate desire to eat it right then. Things always go better when I listen.

Arty: Hmmm, being just 4 years old, I haven’t had to make many hard decisions except for deciding to resign myself to being an “Alpha in Training” under Dory. After living here for only a few months,  I decided she is the best girl for the job. Now I listen to (almost) everything she has to say! This has helped to give me the patience needed to be a good Blogville Mayor, and the ability to listen to others!

Christmas: My hardest decision? In my short life (I’m 2!) I haven’t had many hard decisions to make, except for one EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ONE!!! It was to decide if I wanted chicken canned dog food or beef canned dog food for dinner one day. Can’t you feel my pain? It was a very difficult choice, but I eventually chose the chicken. Where’s the beef?

5. A good mayor has to use empathy and common sense. Give an example of when you have done either one or both.

Lexi: Empathy: I do that every time I stay home with Dad when he feels bad and give him therapy instead of making demands. I do that when I give up my front car seat to Piper because he gets car sick in the back. Common sense: Sometimes when I come out of work the sun is shining in my eyes. So, instead of walking out into the parking lot without being able to see, I wait for Mommy to leash me or pick me up. Mommy says that is smart; I think it is just common sense.

Arty: I always feel when my Mama or Daddy are upset and am right there fighting for attention to soothe them! Also, as a member of a pack of four, I have the common sense to get to our food bowls first! Can’t have my brothers and Dory eating my dinner!!

Christmas: For empathy? Well, I always look out for my mommy. I make sure she’s happy and I have lots of fun taking walks with her. In the show ring, once I got very nervous. I tried to back off the table in the ring where my mom stacked me for the judge (a stack is a way a show dog stands in the ring). I don’t really know why, I was just nervous. Dog shows can be overwhelming sometimes. So she picked me up and talked to me and made me feel better, and when she put me back on the table, I was calm and happy and let the nice judge look at my teeth and pet me. The judge chose us for first place because my mommy put her dog’s needs first. I do the same for her. If my mommy is sometimes nervous in the ring or just in casual life, I like to lick her face or do one of my tricks to lighten her up!

One Lovely Blog Award – for ME!

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Woo hoo! Another award! I love awards. Like my Annie Award for being the best ever dog in a play (or something like that). And I love this award. It is so pretty.  Thank you, Puppy Doc and Samantha at Musings of Puppy Doc. You are my newest friends.

Now, according to the rules (below) I have to share 7 facts about myself. Hmm, how can I limit this to only 7… he, he.

  1. I am a svelt 20.5 pounds because I lost 4.5 pounds over the last few months. Mom took away my canned food and topped my kibble with veggies!
  2. My most favorite thing in the whole world is acting on stage. I even got a special blue lucite award with my name on it (the Annie Award I mentioned above) for “Director’s Choice.” I could be on stage every night and never get tired of it.
  3. My second most favorite thing in the whole world is therapizing kids at the kid’s hospital. I only get to go once a month because there are so many dogs who like to do this, but I am the only smaller dog. I sit in the bed with the little ones, and grin the whole time I am there.
  4. Of course, my very, very most favorite thing in the whole world is treats. I get treats while I act and before I therapize. I get a go to the mailbox treat when I am home with Dad and a night night treat. My BFF Carrie brings me treats to work at St. Timothy’s and my new BFF Dave brings me a treat to work at St. Luke. And now my newest friend Beth brings me a treat on Thursdays to St Luke.
  5. I hate being groomed and I hate getting baths. Mom says I creep when I am on the groom table, and I should know better after 12 years of getting groomed every month. I still think I could creep right off that table one of these times.
  6. Even more than being groomed, I hate wearing clothes. I mean, I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate wearing clothes of any kind. When I was younger I would stand like a statue if Mom put clothes on me. She could pick me up and set me down somewhere else and my body would remain rigid like it was made of plaster. Now, I run around in spurts like a crazy dog. Run, freeze, run, freeze.
  7. I am not a cuddler or a huggie girl. I like my space. If I want pet I will let you know. I will continue to let you know until I feel you have pet me enough. Then you need to leave me alone. Don’t hug me. I let the sick kids at the hospital hug me, and my Auntie Jen, but that’s it. Don’t cuddle me. I will run away from you.
  8. Yes, I can count, but I have one more thing to tell you. Here it is: I am smart. Don’t try to pull anything over on me, ’cause it most likely won’t work. And if it does work, and I figure it out, I will pee in your bed, on your side of the bed. And you won’t know it until you are so tired you can barely stand up and you start to slide into bed and suddenly realize it is cold and wet and smells bad. Bwahaha!

Here are my nominees: (Noodle, dear, you have already been nominated, or you would have been first on my list, sweetie pie.)

Shoko and Kali of  The Canadian Cats

Ray of A Dog’s Life? (Stories of me and him)

Rachel of rachelmankowitz

Belle, Bess and Bonnie of Three Pups and a Couple of Kitties

Sidney, Shelby and Sophie of corkscot

Dante of The Dante Diaries

Jasper and Nellie of  jaspersdoggyworld

Kismet (you mean old bird, you) of kylascott

Sammie of  Saving Sammie

 

The Fine Print for the Nominees:

1-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog in the post.
2-Copy the rules and add the blog award badge as an image
3-Share 7 facts about yourself to your fellow bloggers.
4-Then nominate 15 people (I of course didn’t do this many ).

 

Memory Monday – Theater Finale

Before I tell you about my final gig as Toto, I remembered that I wanted to show you something from the first show. The Theatre Centre had these cool buttons made. That’s ME!

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Now, I am back to give you what you crave: details of my final appearance in a production of the Wizard of Oz.

It was spring of 2014. I was eleven years old, limber, sharp of mind, and jonesing to get back on stage.  My first Dorothy had been one of the managers at Rock City ever since I knew her. Every year she would hire Dad to teach Irish folk dance in March at Shamrock City and polka at Octoberfest. She deserted us left after having her second baby and Rock City hired a new person, Jonathan. During the Shamrock City gig in 2014 Dad heard Jonathan talking about bringing WOZ back to the Colonnade. Dad came home and told Mom she needed to go with him the next weekend and bring me and some of my calling cards. Of course we went, and the next thing we knew we were being asked to submit my bio for the play. It’s pretty impressive, so I know you will want to read it, too. Lexi’s Bio.

Even though it had been a couple of years since my last performance, I was still active in Freestyle. That kept me sharp and responsive to movements. I still did a bit of preparation for my part, which you can read about in a previous post. There were lots of rehearsals, too. I knew what to do, so I tried to help everyone else so we could just get on with opening the play. Here are some pictures from rehearsal:

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Why isn’t anyone up here rehearsing with me. Chop, chop, people!

 

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                                                   Always listen closely when the director gives directions.

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 See how close I am to the drop off? Mommy held her breath a lot.

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Hi I’m Toto. Nice to meetcha.

 

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That’s Dorothy on the left, Glenda the good witch on the right, and a couple of  munchkins in the background.

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This young man had never held a dog, so Mom convinced him to hold me. Now he wants a dog.

 Finally, rehearsals were over. Every night for a week we didn’t get home and in bed until eleven o’clock. Mom and I were exhausted. We were barely getting to work the next day.  And there was too much to do for us to sleep at work. Our schedule was get up, eat breakfast (me), go to work, eat lunch (Mom),  starve the schnauzer, go to the theater, rehearse and get treats (me), go home, get a treat (me) and go to bed. Over and over again. I lost a whole pound.

The play opened in September of 2014. I loved being on the stage again. It was on Mommy’s birthday that I posted my thoughts about it, which you can read here. Of course, I had a different Dorothy again. Here is a picture of us on stage. I know this is while we are in Oz because her dress is blue. In Kansas, everything is black and white. Isn’t it funny that I am still  black and white in Oz, BOL!

Me and my 3rd Dorothy

Me and my 3rd Dorothy

 I look at the picture now and am embarassed about my weight back then. No wonder she grunted every time she picked me up! What an extra 5 pounds can do to a little schnauzer!

On opening night, those munchkins kept getting in my way. They started dancing as I was entering from stage right and almost danced me right off the front of the stage. Now that would have been an opening night to remember! It shook me up. I wasn’t myself the rest of the night. I hear people say that, and I think it is funny. Who are they if they aren’t themselves? Of course, in my case, I was Toto. BOL. The next night Mom adjusted my entrance to be from stage left. It worked much better.

I performed every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, plus a matinee on Saturdays. I’ll tell you, by the time Saturday night came around I was almost too tired to walk onto the stage. I know my acting Saturday evenings suffered from it. At first Mom would take me out shopping – like to Lowe’s Hardware or the pet store  – after the matinee, just to kill time. We live an hour away, so it was too far to go home. When she realized how tired I was she let me sleep in my kennel in the wings, just off the stage. That helped, but I was still ready to go home. By the end of the second week I was posting about that.

One night my Dad came and watched me perform. I didn’t realize he was there until I saw him in the lobby at the meet and greet. He held me while everyone pet me and asked if I was his dog. He had the honor of saying yes. I was really tired from my performance so I laid quietly in his arms. However, when he put me down, I tried to scamper down the hall, where I could smell the Mexican food from some other event. I am never too tired for food.  After that, either Mom or Dad held me until it was time to go home. Drat, foiled again.

WOZ 3

The last day of the play was a Sunday. Before the curtain opened on the evening performance Mommy said she had something very important to tell me, and to listen closely. She said it was not only the last performance of this production, but probably my last performance as Toto. She said to do my very best; push away being tired and give them a show they will never forget. So I did. I acted my little heart out. I think it was my best performance ever. I took my final bows with Dorothy and the cast and walked to the door. I was too sad to say goodbye to anyone. At least I have my memories.

My all-time favorite thing…the stage. And this is a montage, so it counts as one picture, as Noodle said!

When all the world is a hopeless jumble, And the raindrops tumble all around, Heaven opens a magic lane. When all the clouds darken up the skyway, There’s a rainbow highway to be found, leading from your window pane. To a place behind the sun, Just a step beyond the rain. —- Somewhere over the rainbow…*

*The opening lines from the song “Over the Rainbow.”

Memory Monday

I was laying around the house thinking about all the fun I had as Lexi-Toto in the local productions of the Wizard of Oz. To kick things off, we all attended the Annie Awards (like the Oscars, only at our local theater) in 2006. This is where I first met lots of the people I would be working with. A couple of people asked why I (a dog) was there, but as soon as they heard I was going to play Toto, they welcomed me to their ranks. It was a formal affair, so Dad made me wear a tux collar and bow tie. It matched Mom’s red dress! Don’t they look like proud parents? I still had a few months before the play opened to grow out my hair for the Toto look.

Annie Awards Reception 2006

Annie Awards Reception 2006

Here are pictures of me with my Dorothy from the first production in 2006 and the third one in 2014. You can probably see where I put on a pound or two in those eight years. Dorothy #3 used to grunt every time she picked me up. Mom said she was sorry about the extra weight, but that she wouldn’t be able to grunt like that during the live play. BOL

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2006 with my first and favorite Dorothy

2014

2014 with my last Dorothy

I must admit, I do look and feel better since I recently lost some weight on my green bean and carrot diet.

There was a lot of publicity surrounding the production at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Sometimes during our six weeks of rehearsals my Dorothy and I had to stop to have our pictures made for the newspaper and playbills.

Publicity shot 2006

                Publicity shot 2006

For this picture, Mommy hid a piece of cake under my Dorothy’s right shoe. When she realized how focused I am when there is food involved, my Dorothy started rubbing hot dogs on her skin and hiding treats in her socks. See why I loved her so much? It certainly kept me with her – at least most of the time, as you will soon see.

The play ran for six weeks and I reported for duty every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. I would arrive in time for warm ups. I would run to the room where I could hear everyone singing, “Doe, ray, me, fah, sew, lah, me, doe,” and scratch at the door until someone opened it and let me in.  I would run to the front row and do warm ups with the cast. “Aroooo, arrrr, woof, woof!” I was so good that everyone would laugh with joy. Then we would all sing warm ups together again and everyone would laugh again. It was so much fun!

There were two distinct episodes when hot dogs in the socks did not keep me with my Dorothy. The first week on stage, I realized I could run down the stairs behind the good witch, Glenda, and visit with the audience. I had a limited amount of time so I visited quickly with just the first row, letting them know I was glad they had come. Then I tore up the opposite set of stairs and across the stage to stand next to my Dorothy in time for Glenda to point at me and ask, “Is this the witch?” Even though I never, ever missed my cue, this whole thing made Mom and my Dorothy a bit nervous, so Glenda started blocking my exit stairs with her big skirt. Drat.

A little further along into the production I realized the Wicked Witch of the West was sneaking across the back part of the stage while Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Lion were near the front of the stage, discussing which way to go. Since not much else was happening, I thought it would be great fun to chase and bark at the Wicked Witch. She kept waving her hand and stage-whispering, “Shoo, shoo”  at me. Later I found out that my Dorothy and her friends weren’t supposed to know the Wicked Witch was there, which explained why they only looked from side to side while saying things like, “Is that Toto barking?” and “Where is Toto? Do you hear him?” The audience laughed so hard that I kept doing it every night.

I have lots more stories, but my brain is a bit tired from all this remembering, so I will share more next time. Is it supper time yet?

Memory Monday – Winning at Freestyle

Hi friends. Today is….Memory Monday! I have been thinking about my first Freestyle Competition. For those of you who don’t already know, Freestyle is coordinated movement between a person and a dog, set to music selected for the dog’s tempo. In other words, it is doggie dancing! Woohoo! Here we go…

May, 2011

I had spent a grueling six or more months preparing for my first competition. My tempo had to be determined (145 bpm), then music picked out. Mom and I tried out lots of different 145 bpm music until we came upon Dan Landrum’s Split Rail Fences. He plays an instrument called the hammered dulcimer, and the beat and sound of the music made me pick up my feet, lift up my head and prance around the floor. Voila, we had our music.  I was starting in Level IIa,  where there were standard moves we had to include, such as right and left side heels, face work including backing and different crosses. We worked hard on all that, and being a natural, I quickly perfected the moves.

The next step was putting together a routine using all those moves. Mom and I went to the dance studio and worked on the wooden floors where it wasn’t too hard on our joints, and we had plenty of space to m-o-v-e. After about 40 minutes I would get tired and lose interest, so we kept the workouts down to around a half hour each time. Sometimes we would do what Mommy had sketched out on her writing pad, and sometimes we would do what I thought went best with the music. That’s part of being a team. Combining both our ideas, we finally had a routine. Now to practice, practice, practice that routine until we could both do it without hesitation (and without Mommy looking at her notes).

Finally, the big day arrived. My good friend Pierre is one of the bosses at C.G. Roxanne water bottling company, and he sent over tons of water for the thirsty people. I was the official spokes dog for the company that day.

Lexi with CG Roxanne Water (1)Mom bought me a new travel kennel so I would have my own private place to rest. It is sort of like a celebrity dressing room. I was very happy and excited and kept popping up to see what was happening next.

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I had my music edited to fit our routine and we brought that to be played for My Performance our dance. When I got there I receive my Freestyle medallion. I also got a program with my name and stats in it, along with all the important info about our dance. (I don’t know why they called me a b…ch!) I was number 203, and Mom had to wear a sign rubber banded around her arm so everyone would know it was me.

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Mom and I went onto the center of the floor, where we both bowed to the judges (well, at least in my mind I did) and assumed our starting positions. Mom nodded at the minion Jim who was running sound and we started our routine to Split Rail Fences. I was brilliant. I was so brilliant that I got some points deducted. The judges said I wasn’t allowed to do laterals at this level. (Laterals are where Mommy and I both move sideways by facing forward and crossing our legs. I am a natural “leftie” so that’s the direction we moved. It’s lots of fun.) No one had told Mommy that the rules had changed since she ordered the rule book. Even so, the judges wrote that on the bottom of the score sheet. They also wrote,”A delightful and joyful team.” I still won a medal, and we went home tired and happy!0712151619

Now, my amazing four year old boyfriend, Noodle, shares a Monday Memory.

Noodle 2 (You will see that we are a good couple – both so talented! 🙂 )

Memory Monday with Lexi and Friends

Lexi with annieToday is Memory Monday and I was thinking about my first performances as Toto in the Wizard of Oz. Mom had gotten down my Annie award and my head shot and I got so excited when I saw them again. I poked at the Annie and wiggled all over. I remember winning it! Me and Mom and Dad were sitting in the audience. I was wearing a strand of Mom’s good pearls, so I know I looked extra-good. I had already run down the aisle and up the stairs to the stage to help My Dorothy present an award. So we were just sitting there politely waiting for the awards to end when the director, Geoffrey, announced that the Director’s Choice award went to….wait for it….Lexi!!!!! I jumped out of my seat and ran back down the aisle so fast that I left Mom in my wind. The audience was cheering and clapping for me as Mom mounted the stairs to the stage and picked me up. I leaned into the microphone to give my acceptance speech, and everyone laughed. I decided to leave it at that and let Mom talk for me. I worked very hard for that award and am still proud of it.

After reminiscing a bit about my award, I poked at my head shot picture with my nose until it almost fell over. Mom knew I was saying, ‘That’s me!” I asked Mom to share some of my memoirs from that time.

Lexi with headshotMemory Monday

October 2, 2006
I am the star. That’s what everyone says. They say I steal the show, but honest, I didn’t steal anything. I just run out on the stage (at least most of the time) when Mom says, and get treats, and run off, back to Mom who is always there waiting for me. Now I have found that I can go down the front stairs and off the stage into the audience. That’ a hoot. Mom seems kinda freaked out when I get back, though. She says she can’t see me and isn’t sure if I am coming back. I know when I have to be back for when the good witch points at me and says, “Is that the witch?” Silly Mommy! I haven’t missed my cue yet. And those monkeys – oooooh I don’t like those monkeys. I run as fast as I can when I see them coming and Mom picks me up. But then she hands me to one of the monkeys! So, the last time they came after me, I ran into my kennel off-stage where I would be safe. When I came out of my kennel, thinking they were all gone, Mom picked me up and handed me to one of them again. I don’t know how I am going to stop her from doing this. Doesn’t she know they are scary?? I am Lexi the star.

October 5, 2006
I keep adding things to my part as Toto, as the audience notices and responds. I have, however, decided to leave one thing out, and Mom has finally stopped trying to make me do it, because I am not going to do it anymore. Period. End of discussion. Those trees scared me. They walk around and dance and act entirely not like trees. Well, they got in my way after I skipped – well I try to skip – with Dorothy and the Lion and the Tin Man and the Scarecrow across the stage. It is the third time I sort of skip down the proverbial yellow brick road during the play. The first two times went fine. Then that third time those trees, oh those nasty moving trees, got in my way and it scared me and I will not do that again when they are on the stage. Absolutely, positively not. I am LexiToto.

October 12, 2006
So there I was near the front of the stage close to all my adoring fans, and I was getting a bit bored just standing there with my good pals – no one was feeding me or petting me or singing to me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the wicked witch sneaking across the back of the stage. Thinking it would be great fun, I turned and ran after her, barking as loudly as I could. She kept stopping and motioning with big waves of her arm to go away. I glanced over at Mom in the wings (isn’t that a funny name for part of a building that can’t fly!) and she was making big waving motions at me too. She must have been really enjoying my impromptu performance. Then my good pals, the lion and the scarecrow and Dorothy all started looking from side to side and saying, “What can Toto be barking at?” Silly people, I was right behind them!  The audience started laughing so of course I kept it up until the witch was clear off the stage. What a great time that was! I tried it again the next night to see if people still thought it was funny, and they did, so I am just going to add it to my part. Won’t the wicked witch be surprised!

Now, for more Memory Mondays from some of my friends:

Here is Ziva the Blackberry Bully Monster last summer. (Ziva is my newest friend!) Check out her blackberry memories.Ziva the pit

 

 

 

Memory Monday by Noodle the Schnoodle (my boyfriend). Check out his peanut butter memoryNoodle

Hmmm, do you detect a theme starting? Well, we are dogs!

https://noodle4president.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/memory-monday-2/

The Temperamental Thespian Schnauzer

Weekend two of the play is over. Friday night my people brothers and Jentry and the boy came to watch me perform. I wish Riley had come too. He could have seen how it is done – not that he could ever do it.  Nobody told me I was going to have to perform two times on Saturday. That’s just too much. At the second show I got through the first two scenes – my favorites – where I run out onto the stage to Grayson. Then I wanted to go home. I was tired and hungry and the treats weren’t coming fast enough. Mom was trying to make one cheese stick last through two performances. That’s not right, it’s a cheat. And it is me who is being cheated. So I ran off the stage every chance I got. Mom got mad at me, but I don’t care. What are they going to do, fire me? I don’t think so. They will never find another Toto as good as me, especially on such short notice – or ever! I have rested and am ready now to be on stage again this weekend. I am Lexi, the temperamental thespian schnauzer.

My Thoughts on Being Toto

I am back!

Everyone still says, “Ahhhhh” the first time I run out onto the stage.

I like Grayson, who plays the part of Dorothy. She is the keeper of the treats.

I like the Lion – no one has told me his name. He is soft and I am comfy when he holds me.

I like the flying monkey. He isn’t used to dogs, but he loves me and I am sweet to him so he will know that dogs are good. I have to be reminded to run when he puts me down. Grayson yells, “Run, Toto, run!” and Mommy is in the wings waving a cheese stick for me to come eat. That helps me remember.

I like the wicked witch. We remember each other from last time. She gave me a present, some bling for my collar. I like bling.

The trees do not scare me this time.

I have to remember to stay away from the edge of the stage where it drops way down into the music pit. I can feel Mommy’s fear every time I get too close to it. Sometimes Grayson calls to me when I get too close.

I am doing a good job. Everyone says so. Once in a while I run off stage to my Mom so she can tell me I am doing a good job. I need that reassurance at times.

I am Toto. Hear me bark.

Wizard Weekend

Rehearsals are over. Every night for a week we didn’t get home and in bed until eleven o’clock. Mom and I were exhausted. We were barely getting to work the next day.  And there was too much to do for us to sleep at work. Our schedule was get up, eat breakfast (me), go to work, eat lunch (Mom),  starve the schnauzer, go to the theater, rehearse and get treats (me), go home, get a treat (me) and go to bed. Over and over again. I lost a whole pound.

 The first weekend of the Wizard of Oz is history. I am a star. Of course. Again.  On opening night, those munchkins kept getting in my way. They started dancing as I was entering from stage right and almost danced me right off the front of the stage. Now that would have been an opening night to remember! It shook me up. I wasn’t myself the rest of the night. The next night Mom adjusted my entrance to be from stage left. It is working much better.

After  my bows, I greeted the audience in the lobby. No one brought me any treats. Saturday night my Dad was there and he held me while everyone pet me and asked if I was his dog. He had the honor of saying yes. I was really tired from my performance so I laid quietly in his arms. However, when he put me down, I tried to go down the hall to where I could smell the Mexican food from some other event that was happening there. I am never too tired for food.

I am Lexi, the Thespian Schnauzer.

Off to See the Wizard

August 2, 2014

            I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz. It is official…I am Toto again! It is at the same place as last time, the Colonnade in a city called Ft. Oglethorpe in a state called Georgia. I have been practicing vocalizing since I found out I am Toto again. Even my people brother Andrew came running up the stairs to “see what all the noise was about.” Mom said I was just telling her about my day, since it was one of those two days I stay home with Dad. I didn’t correct her, mostly because she hadn’t given me my supper yet, but she was wrong. I was working on my voice and expression for on stage.

I love being on stage. I have been practicing a lot of things on my own. Mostly barking. And projecting my bark. And acting like I haven’t been fed. And acting like I have to go out, then running to the kitchen when Mom gets up off the couch. That last thing is improv. Mom has started teaching me how to bow down for when the play is over. I keep thinking she wants me to lay down. She needs to be clearer with her signals. Sometimes Riley hears us working and comes in the kitchen and performs a perfect bow. Show-off dufus. Then he gets one of my treats. He is not in the play and does not need to intrude on our practice time.

I hope you can come see me. The play starts September 12th, so this is a limited time offer. I hear that all the time when the TV is on, and it always sounds good. I am once again Lexi-Toto.

The Tivoli Experience

December 17, 2012
Precious fans, I know you have been waiting with bated breath – or maybe that is kibble breath – to hear about my command performance on stage at the Tivoli. Let me just say it did not start out well. Mom and I went in the stage door and the doorkeeper – sorta like that guy with the big mustache and top hat who kept the door at the Emerald City – said, “That dog can’t be here.” Without missing a beat Mom said, “Yes she can.” He said, “No she can’t.” Mom said, “Yes she can,” the man said, well you get the picture. They finally called in the folks in charge and had a big discussion and looked at rules and you won’t believe this, no I couldn’t. It seems the place is owned by the city and I would have had to have permits from the Humane Society and the ASPCA and I think God himself. They said it is easier to get permits for fireworks than for animals. Everyone felt bad since they had, after all, invited me, so they said I could stay, I just couldn’t perform on stage. What was I to do…I’ll tell you what! Therapy! There were a lot of stressed-out people around there, and I didn’t waste any time. That sweet lady maestra was there and spent time petting me and talking so nice to me in her pretty voice. In fact the next day she gave Mom a Christmas card with my name on it too and asked why she didn’t bring me!

After about an hour or so my Dad showed up and I was so happy to see him. I had just finished my therapy work – and believe me, there were a lot of folks there who needed it – and he and Riley and I went home where I took a much deserved nap.

I didn’t tell Riley I wasn’t on the stage. Let’s keep that our secret, ok?

Lexi, the Tivoli therapy dog

I’m on stage again, yea!

December 14, 2012
Hello my loyal and awesome fans. Well, I did it again. Headline news: I am starring (Mom says appearing, I say starring) in the Chattanooga Symphony Opera’s Home for the Holiday Production at the Tivoli Theater this weekend. Saturday and Sunday. If you remember, I already did one gig for the Tivoli when I rode around with “Dorothy” in a pedicab to promote their Wizard of Oz symphony production. Anyhow, here’s how it all came down this time:

I went to work with Mom yesterday so that I could A. Hang out and get fed and pet and B. Go to one of the local hospitals to help make people there smile. A. happened, B. cancelled – odd, I’ve never had them cancel before, but something about the pet therapy person having knee surgery.

Mom had a Home for the Holidays production meeting that evening at the church where we work, and since I was itching for something to do, I followed along with her to the meeting. I was busy mingling and checking for food when the producer caught sight of me and without so much as an introduction, glance at my bio or anything, said, “I want
that dog in the show.” I am a natural, I have to admit. One look at me and someone in the know, just knows. I belong on the stage; it is like my second home. Adoring fans, treats, what more could any schnauzer ask for? Mom answered that yes, I am a stage dog, very happy and comfortable on the stage, and if he really wanted me (come on, Mom, didn’t he just say he did!?) that she would bring me. Other than running down the aisle (Mom thinks we are walking; won’t she be surprised) she said she doesn’t know what I am going to do after that while she is dancing, but the maestra (who fell in love with me last night at the meeting) could hold me. The producer said no, he wanted me to be able to run around. Woo hoo! I get to ad lib! I am really good at that, as I am at most things. I can’t wait! I will let you, my devoted fans, know just how it went and what I do on stage.

Lexi, the Tivoli dog

Theatre: Riley out, Lexi not in either

December 14, 2012
Here’s an update on the Riley might be on the stage fiasco. HE DIDN’T GET THE PART. Big surprise there. (Yes, we schnauzers understand sarcasm.) The really big surprise is that I didn’t get the part as Sandy in Annie, either. So what I didn’t audition. They should have known! Considering my considerable stage experience and talent, not to mention my last name is Sandy, I simply can’t believe it. What I do believe is that I hear the mismatched mixed breed that was chosen is bombing. I don’t mean to besmirch anyone’s reputation – he’s doing a good enough job of it on his own – but it seems that he’s afraid to be on the stage and won’t go to Annie, even when she implores him with treats in hand. Sure, I’m a bit short in stature, but if you remember my motto (one of many) “You’re as big as you think you are,” then you know I would have been perfect for the part. Everyone would have seen me as a big dog because that’s how I would have played the role! Heck, I already played Toto as a BOY and a CAIRN TERRIER.

Maybe next time…

Lexi Sandy, not Annie’s Sandy

RILEY’S DIARY: Sandy Audition

November 13, 2012
Hi friends! I had an audition last night! Not sure what that was all about, but Mom said I could be Sandy, which really confused me since that is already my name – Riley Sandy. Who can understand these people sometimes. But I got to go in front of people and do stuff like sit and say, and I know I did good because I got treats. I showed them all how much I liked them by jumping on them. The little girl looked kind of alarmed, so when she was done singing to me, I put my front paws on her and tried to lick her face. I also tried to get the treat she was holding because I think she forgot to give it to me.

Lexi came with us and when people asked with a laugh if she was auditioning I knew it was because she had been Toto and everyone loves her. Mom explained she was too small, but she was here as my talent agent. Everyone laughed again except Lexi. She scowled at me a lot. I wonder if that is what talent agents do.

I hope I get to go back and be famous like Lexi. I love you.

Riley

Rocktober Fest time

Rocktober fest J A L

That’s me in my dad’s arms.

October 17, 2012
Hello my loyal fans. (I am a theater dog, after all.)
It is October, the wonderful month when my dad spends all day every Saturday and Sunday at the place where my “Dorothy” works, Rock City. They have this festival with lots of good food and beer all month long. It is called Rocktober Fest. I know that’s where we are going when we start driving up the mountain. Oh, I get so excited. Why? I’ll tell you why:
1. Food falling on the floor
2. My beloved Dorothy – I think her not on stage name is
Kim, like mine is Lexi, not Toto
3. Food falling on the floor
4. Beer
5. Food falling on the floor
6. Music and dancing
7. Food falling on the floor

Well, you get the picture (he,he, I made a funny). I have decided I don’t really like their beer, but there is always Food Falling on the Floor. And great music and dancing. Refer to comment: I am a theater dog, after all.

The first Saturday, Mom and Dad dressed up in their funny German costumes and off we went to Rocktober Fest. Mom got cold, though, and went to the car. Then she got a call from Dad and started driving away! Aghhh! Seems that he had forgotten something, so she drove real fast back home to get it and changed her clothes (did I mention she was cold) and I was standing at the door ready to go back with her when she grabbed my annoying brother Riley and left me behind!!! Can you imagine the indignity of it all? Huh. Sometimes I just hate him. I know, I am going to have to ask for forgiveness for that one!

Lexi the Rocktober Fest Dog