Matisse's Meditations


Hello my fellow friends (furry and non-furry)! I want to invite everyone to take part in "National Animal Celebration Fiesta Day" on Saturday, June 28 - otherwise known as my birthday! I feel as if I have matured into a proper prissy pup so I am changing my nickname from "M-Dog" to "Lady M", and a lady never reveals her age. I'm going to have my friends from the neighborhood over to my yard for some "squirrel-chasing" and "hole-digging". Maybe we can find a snack of something dead in the yard then finish up the party with a vigorous game of ball fetching. That's how a lady does it! I need to keep an eye on Bandit; last year there was an unfortunate incident involving too much catnip and the koi pond. One of the other cats threatened to put it on youtube (I thought that sounded neat, like an inflatable raft for two)!

As I look back on my life I would like to share with you important things I've learned over the years.

Things I've Learned

Licking electrical outlets is not as fun as it sounds.

Rolling in smelly stuff outside equals an immediate soak in the tub.

Just because toads are slow does not mean they taste good.

Bandit is cranky in the mornings.

If the food bowl is empty, make as much noise as possible flinging it around the kitchen and it will get refilled.

I can scare the garbage man away by barking very loudly at him. Sometimes it takes a while.

Snakes in the yard are not chewy fun sticks.

Mom is cranky in the mornings.

Never let a cat dare you to do something (no matter how cool it seems!)

Do not walk or run on pine cones.

Last but not least - the best place in the world is anywhere with my Mom!

I hope everyone has a fantastic National Animal Celebration Fiesta Day! I especially want to say Happy Day to my new buddies Snoopy and Divit - I'll save you a piece of dog cake with extra gravy! I can't help if there is any hair in it....


Hey Guys! M-dog here (It's me, Matisse!) I've been away for a long time, kind of like a sabbatical or a walk-about where I spent long days sleeping late, eating a glutton of greenies, rolling in the yard and digging through too many trash cans. My family and friends staged an intervention and yanked me out of solitary. They convinced me to bathe, shave my dreadlocks (and beard - not cool for a girl) and come back to reality.

It's a new year and a new start. I'm looking forward to watching Puppy Bowl X on Animal Planet February 2, I keep telling my Mom I want one of those water bowl web-cams but she says she is not interested in a close up view of my inner nostrils. I think they are also letting other animals play since I hear a lot about broncos and sea-hawks (underwater birds? That is SO cool!) The weather is downright chilly, even the palm trees have icicles. It is important especially for a pampered pooch to bundle up and stay warm. Here is a picture of me in my hat and scarf - I am a furry fashionista!

Well it's time to strut my stuff outside and see if Bandit ever caught that one-eyed squirrel he has been chasing. Before I go I want to give a shout out and paws up to my new friend Max, a handsome little poodle mix who came to the clinic last week. Thanks for reading, Max! I hope you like my new hat! Bye bye Jacksonville, you stay classy.


Well it's been a while and I really have no excuse for not blogging recently (cat ate my homework?)  Mom says I have a short attention span.  I'm here now to "bark it all out".  Let's start with what's noteworthy in the news.  I heard on TV that the debt ceiling was raised - does that mean we can get solar panels?  Bandit said he could climb up to it no matter how high it gets but I think he is boasting to impress the new lady kitty next door (she's a real cougar!)  Once again it's too hot and steamy to spend a lot of time playing with the neighbors so I've been busy perfecting my "flip the bathroom garbage can" move and indulging in tissues, Q-tips, and dental floss.  Somehow Mom doesn't appreciate the sheer joy of trash treasure hunting and I tend to get sent to the dog house.  My other fave hobby is to nibble on the fake flowers in the guest room (I enjoy the flavor of dusty plastic!  I may have seen a show like that on A&E...)  Once again, not a habit that Mom is thrilled over.  Sometimes when I'm feeling real adventurous I stratigically place all my toys in doorways because it's way fun when Mom walks through and kicks them (kick, trips, it's all the same to dogs).  After a long day of funning I get sleepy and take my afternoon nap - in this picture I'm dreaming of the ceiling.

Catch everyone later!  Wags and kisses, M-Dog (Matisse!)


Happy Spring, everybody!  I hope everyone's Easter was hopping and all hidden eggs are accounted for - otherwise you may be in for a smelly surprise come May.  Since I'm not allowed to eat chocolate (something about seizures but I'm not 100% sure since Mom lost me after "no") the Easter Bunny brought me new stuffed animals to play with.  I'm glad I slipped the neighbor cats some catnip so they didn't chase him away!  I guess it also helps that he comes at night when Bandit is sleeping.  I wonder if Bandit got new toys as well?  I suppose I could share one of my toys if he didn't.  Here is the latest picture of me with my Easter toys.

Mom gave me another job title - now I can add "Squirrel Sentry" to my list.  Squirrels are a lot smarter than they look (but not as smart as me - HA!).  They jump on the bird feeder in the window, so when I hear a loud thump from the kitchen I run to the back door so I can chase them away.  They are really fun to chase and that tail looks like a fuzzy stuffed toy.  I always let them get away (I could catch them, you know, I just choose not to!)  The hummingbirds are back and so is the dollarweed.  I think the NFL may be seriously contemplating my name suggestion (The Jacksonville Lhasa Apso's) since Mom says they are having a lot of "closed door" meetings.  Cool!


Hello hello, it's M-dog, finally back after a small hiatus.  Or siesta.  Or both, since time off and naps make up a large part of my canine career.  Mom has been so happy lately since football season is in full swing.  She makes a lot of noise when the Gators score and I help out by howling really loud until they finish the Point After Touchdown.  I didn't go to the University of Florida (apparently they don't even have an obedience school!) but as an "honorary" alumni I have to do my part to show my support.  Plus it's great fun to howl with Mom.

Sundays it's the NFL and in Jacksonville it's always a barking-good time to tailgate at the Jaguar games, although to be honest I think it should be renamed the Jacksonville Rottweilers or at the very least the Jacksonville Lhasa-Apsos.  I mean really, have you ever seen a cat throw a football?  I have, and trust me Bandit has no arm - all weak force and zero accuracy.  He also gets a lot of claw marks on the ball which intereferes with everyone's grip. 

Here's a picture of me in my game day get up - yes I'm an MJD fan (along with everyone else in Jacksonville!)  I wonder if he would help me in my quest to change the team name... hmmm, I'd text him but I don't have thumbs (or a good 3G network).  I'm just getting into fantasy football this year; I fantasize that I can actually fit the ball in my jaws and run around the house with it.  My little pink squeaky soccer ball just doesn't cut it.  Oh well.

Whatever team you root for, I hope everyone enjoys the season!  Have a great weekend.  I'll bark at you later - Bandit!  Get back here with that football, you're running the wrong way!  Stay away from that bird and focus!  Ugggh - cats!


Hey Friends, it's me, "M-Dog" (cool, huh?  I got that from Bandit, he said it makes me sound "off the chain") here to say hello and keep you up to date on all the happenings in my yard.  There was a lot of activity out there today!  The morning was cloudy and not as humid as usual - Mom was able to finally pull some weeds and clean up around the hibiscus and gardenia.  Out the back door I saw red and brown birds eating seeds that Mom put out for them.  They made a lot of noise while they ate and I thought they were pretty messy since they threw empty seed bits everywhere.  I know when I nose around in my food bowl and get pieces all over the floor Mom isn't happy about it.  Then I saw a black snake eat a lizard not two feet from my door - it was hanging from the arbor and looked pretty big!  Maybe that's why all my potty walks were in the front yard today (it's like a field trip out that way!)  After I saw a squirrel on the arbor eating from the bird feeder (guess the snake took off) and an itty-bitty bird Mom calls "Hummie" by that glass jar filled with clear red stuff.  Mom picked some sweet white flowers she called butterfly ginger and placed them in glass bowls floating on water.  Then she put some baby banana in my food dish - is my life great or what?  I wouldn't trade it for a ham bone! (By the way, Mom hates ham bones)

After the rain stopped I did a quick reconnaissance mission on the front yard perimeters (snake in back, Mom said), barked a brief hello to Shadow (Bandit's brother), and made sure all my toys that had squeaks in them still squeaked.  I forgot to mention the occassional nap (okay, five naps and two all-out slumbers) that rounded out my day.  Now before you think my life is all bones and biscuits...  it isn't.  I had a bath and - horrible - nail trim yesterday!  Oh, the indignity!  I think week-old puppy dog smells just fine but Mom clearly disagrees.  Maybe I shouldn't have rolled in that dead frog...  How much fun was that?!!

Anyway, hope everyone out there is enjoying their own banana, squeaky toy or dead frog.  Bark at you later!



Hello pet fans, it's me, Matisse, giving a shout out to all my new friends around the water bowl.  The news says Jacksonville has set an all-time record for the most days 90 degrees or hotter in a row.  Ouch!  I've been spending most of my time sleeping in the air conditioning during the day - it's like going to a sauna just to go into the backyard and take care of business!  I like the evenings, when the sky gets all thick and gray and Mom and I sit under the porch and stare at the curtain of rain pouring down from above.  I like to see how far I can stretch past the porch withut getting drenched.  My head and face usually wind up pretty wet!  The rain relaxes Mom which of course relaxes me.  Thunder doesn't scare me (I'm a mighty warrior!) but if it gets a bit too loud I'll growl back, just to show who's top dog around here.

Mom went to something called a Farmer's Market today.  I didn't know they sold farmers but I guess she didn't buy one, because she came home with muscadine grapes, tiny bananas, mango, and something green she said was baby bok choy. I was pouty since she was gone for hours but then she put a little banana and peach in my food bowl and all was forgiven.  Tonight we are going to watch a Jaguars game on TV - Mom says it's "pre-season" so I think it needs salt and pepper...  I don't know for sure.  All I know is that we will be together on the couch in the air conditioning making a lot of noise, which is one of the best places for a dog to be.

Stay cool, sleep well, play in the rain and bark freely!


Hey there pet fans!  So the question around the block is "Do pets really take after their owners?"  Well let's see...  I tend to be bossy, opinionated, and I am a natural blonde - what do you think?  This may be a hard question if you have lots of cats.  Our neighbor has about four cats (in addition to my friend Bandit) and they are all as different as Alpo to Purina.  So I guess no question is ever as simple as it seems, which is why I don't do my own taxes (I have a CPA for that).

On another note - how fun are tennis balls?  They bounce, they fit in your mouth (sorry chihuahuas!) and they are covered in this soft layer of velvety fabric that you can "skin" with your front teeth...  Happy happy joy joy!  I like them almost as much as I like things that squeak.  The louder the better - let's Mom know I'm really enjoying myself.  I like to squeak out when Mom is talking to herself on that flat thing she holds up to her ear.  If I had thumbs I would hold one of them up to my ear too (I want to be just like my Mom and it looks important).  In the meantime I'll settle for a greenie or a dental chew.  Or a piece of fresh fruit.

Oh, and for the record Mom doesn't like Alpo.  Bark at you later!


Hey there!  My name is Matisse and my mom is the one everyone calls Dr Szachacz.  I was named after a French artist, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense since I prefer composing music rather than painting.  I am a four year old Lhasa Apso and my best friend is a cat next door named Bandit.  My job is to follow my mom around the house and to bark at outside noises and I take my job very seriously!  I love the Florida Gators, fruit and dead earthworms; my turn-offs include baths, being on a leash (so pedestrian!) and the garbage truck.

In the spring I used to supervise mom gardening and try to make off with the occassional cherry tomato but now it's too hot out there for either one of us.  I don't know why they call it the "Dog Days of August"...  my favorite month is December. Anyway, even though I don't have thumbs I'm going to do my best to keep this blog fun, up to date, and totally flavored with Matisse-isms.

Well, it was great meeting everyone!  I'm off to see if the bathroom garbage is full or if there are any napkins on the coffee table next to the couch.  Talk to you again soon!


Hello fans!  Here is a picture of me and my best friend Bandit, he lives next door to us.  I know other dogs may giggle since my favorite pal is a cat but I don't mind.  It just proves that I'm a progressive pup and I get along with everyone (except when they get too close to Mom's office - then I do my best werewolf impression!)

I haven't been spending a lot of time outside in this heat (fur coat and all) but I do watch the yard through the back door.  I see butterflies, dragonflies, bees and birds.  My Mom's fav right now are the hummingbirds.  She put four feeders out there for them - that's like 28 in dog numbers!  I personally like the lizards.  Everytime I try to chase them, they just disappear.  They're like magic lizards or something.  One day I'll catch one, I just know it.

Nice barking with you! I'm going to crunch on an ice cube and see if Mom put any more of that fresh mango from this morning in my food bowl.  Maybe I'll save a piece for Bandit.  Do cats eat mango or just bugs?  I'll have to think on it.


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