Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Gone to the dogs and delightedly so with Nick and Nora on the road


Nick and Nora enjoy a recent trip to Glacier National Park in Montana. The Dancing Bear Inn is dog friendly.
Nick and Nora Charles, after whom
Nick and Nora, the Yorkies, are named.
Here they are (Myrna Loy and William
Powell)  with their dog Asta.


NICK AND NORA are our children.
No, we're not deluded. We're fully aware that they are dogs and we are humans. We know that I did not give birth to these two adorable Yorkshire terriers. 
We realize they're canines -- and, dear to us as they are -- we face the fact that they will likely not live as long as we will.  Still, I call them "our final dogs," hoping they will coast gently into their dotage as we do ours.
THEY ARE not my physical offspring, but I have nurtured, raised and coddled them.
Nick and Nora on a Montana ranch patio -- all eyes and ears.
Nick and Nora on the desert in Phoenix.
Nick and Nora are a part of our personal and professional
lives, here at a writing workshop on a ranch near Harlowton.
I've nursed them from the jaws of death (rattlesnake bites, grizzly bear encounters, run-ins with the gravel truck, a near fatal pit bull attack, a wheelchair run-over, a

illnesses, plus sprained legs and collapsing trachea, both common ailments of the Yorkie breed).
I'VE SPENT far more on vet bills than I have on my own medical care, and Nick and Nora have every shot and vaccination they could possibly need.
Nick's awake but Nora's napping at the Omni in Los Angeles. 
The hotel welcomes well behaved doggies, and offers amenities for them.
 I named them after that dapper couple invented by Dashiell Hammett, of "The Thin Man," fame.  I've long admired that 1934 portrait of the elegant, crime-solving couple who tackeled mystery with martinis and wisecracks. Myrna Loy's Nora was always gorgeous and William Powell's Nick suave and debonair, even in the haze of one martini too many.  The fact that Loy was born in Helena, Montana, added to the charm.
So Nick and Nora it would be. Since 2005, they've traveled the California coast with us on road trips.  They've flown back and forth between our Beartooth place in Montana and our San Diego town house.  They've visited Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco with us, staying in dog friendly hotels, delighting other guests.
Nick and Nora with Keller, here Oceanside
Harbor, California. They've also sailed
Mission Bay, San Diego, and elsewhere.
Nick and Nora at the dog friendly
Vagabond Bed and Breakfast in
Carmel, California.
IF THE AIRLINES awarded miles for doggie travel, Nick and Nora would have logged over 50,000 miles each in their action-packed near decade. Except for Europe,
Asia or South America, they go where we go, by plane or car. They're happy little road-trippers. We've kept track of the best of the "dog friendly" hotels we've visited and estimate that
Nick and Nora have bedded down in at least 75 hotels, motels and inns, besides many relatives' homes.   They've sailed Mission Bay and San Francisco Bay with us.  When they were tiny, we smuggled them into movies.
Nick, Nora (Nora's on the left) with Cookie sailing in San Diego.

THEIR LOYALTY and love are worth the weight of gold-plated Yorkie kibbles. We brush their teeth, comb their hair, talk gently to them, hoping they'll grace us with another decade of devotion. They truly are "the children" and we are humbled by their presence.
Nick and Nora Charles were fabulously wealthy. Our Nick and Nora give us far more than money can ever hope to buy.

Keller inspects the groundwork for a bedroom addition at friends' home.
COMING UP: We're off to Cody, Wyo., to teach another workshop and sign "Lilian's Last Dance." Then we're back to rural south-central Montana for a remodeling project, one that taxes the brain and the body equally. It's a hectic, happening summer here in the Beartooths. Coming up, a "Cody connection" and construction woes and wonders at www.whereiscookie.com
Remember to explore, learn and live, and visit us weekends and Wednesdays for fun travel tips and more on cruising, hotels, dining, living well and the arts.


  1. Yorkie loving forties film fansJune 3, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    We have a 14-year old Yorkie named Charles -- so reading about the Charleses and the canine Nick and Nora was a treat. Wonderful photos, too. We are old enough to know the "real" Nick and Nora -- dapper detectives -- not a pajama line or crazy adventure movie.

  2. Davis doggie devoteeJune 4, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Love it -- Nick and Nora are perfect. Can they be cloned?
    Our faithful "Westie" is nearing her 15th birthday, sigh.... I am sure they are long neutered, but hope springs eternal.