Introducing … Greta Curbo!

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It took nearly 3 months but I did find me a dog — or did she find me? Meet Greta Curbo, a hound-mountain cur mix that I adopted from the Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter. A spirited two-year-old, Greta has brought some much-needed comic relief to my home. And to that, all I’ll add is that there’s a bit of Max in this one.

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Adoption photo

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Speaking of Max, I want to thank you all for your kind words and heartfelt expressions of sympathy. His death was quite sudden and within 36 hours I was aboard a flight heading to Rome. (My vacation post is in the works.) The timing of my holiday was in many ways heaven-sent, although my home was just as empty when I returned as it was when I had left. That’s not the case anymore, however. Greta may be less than half Max’s size but she has made her presence known from the moment she crossed the threshold.

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At the shelter

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Like some rescues, Greta does have a few health issues. She was terribly thin — even emaciated — when rescued (see above photo) and I’ve fed her any and every thing she may want. If there’s anything I can do, it’s help with weight gain. (it’s a gift.) She’s gained 10 pounds and has another 5 to go. The rest of the issues are being addressed and some have already been eliminated. She returns to the vet at month-end and I’m sure she’ll get a clean bill of health. I’m looking forward to getting that approval because without it, Greta is pretty much quarantined. True, we do take daily walks but she is considered contagious and can’t come in contact with other dogs. She is highly spirited, however, and needs more exercise than these walks provide. Once she’s given the all clear, we’ll be hitting the dog parks, doggy day care, and eventually the dog beaches. Just like Max, the more exercise she gets, the more peaceful my home.

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Noticing Lucy for the first time.

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I may have happily welcomed Greta into my home but the same cannot be said of Lucy. She greatly disliked Max and it looks like she’s even less impressed with Greta. Whether in her large cage (above) or the smaller one in the living room, she will march up to the cage’s wall to face-off with the new-comer. For her part, Greta responds with barking and, much to her surprise, Lucy doesn’t give an inch. In fact, if Greta moves close to the cage, Lucy will charge and try to bite her snout, the barks being interrupted with the rapid-fire taps of Lucy’s beak against the cage’s bars. Kids!

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All facts considered, Greta’s adoption is going smoothly, although we are still learning about each other. Just last week for example, Greta learned that she’s a lap dog, something I learnt only moments later. Up until that time, I would sip my coffee every morning in my backyard on the famed Bartolini Cafe Patio. Since her epiphany, I now gulp my coffee, trying my best not to spill it as Greta tries to find the most comfortable spot on my lap. It’s apparently not as easy as I would think — or hope — and I’ve a number of coffee-stained shirts to prove it.

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Lap dog

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So, there you have it. Greta is home and you’ll learn more about her as time goes by. Heck! I didn’t even mention her “help” when I was making butter. All in good time …

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Most of the photos here have been shared on Facebook and/or Instagram. Not all of you visit those sites, however, and I wanted to announce Greta’s adoption. As I’ve mentioned, my Italian vacation post is in the works and, as you’re about to see, I’ve the next recipe ready to post.

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Greta today

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Pasta with Raw Tomatoes

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91 thoughts on “Introducing … Greta Curbo!

  1. Oh John! Oh Greta! What absolute joy you have finally decided that perchance a blog entry might not be such a bad idea!! A ten-pound-weight- gain from the ‘forgotten days’ in such short time is fantastic . . . well, Lucy darling: do slowly make peace with the inevitable! Max could be a bit of a handful as I remember from days bygone . . . . but now you are dealing with another lady who has won John’s heart and become a challenge . . . do come half-way!! Here’s to ‘clean health’ and long runs in doggie parks and giving Daddy the occasional break at doggy day care! Now, Greta: just one task for you above eating all the goodies Daddy puts in front of you: DO make sure he regularly sits down at his office desk and tells us too how things are going . . . please!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am thrilled to hear that you now have a new furson in your home. I can’t tell you how many times I have declared that I will never have another furson thru my tears only to be looking thru the pictures of the local shelter for a new member of the family. I really believe that those that pass over lead the next one to us. Every one that I have had managed to show me something, even for an instant than one of my other babies did… just like a “look mom, I’m still here”. The new member may never do it again but they look directly into your eyes and soul when they do.
    Enjoy you new companion… they are definitely Angels sent to us purposefully. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I agree with all of what you’ve written. I’ve said all along that I’d know my dog when I saw it. That’s exactly how it was with Greta. Our eyes met and I knew she was the one. My house is a home again. 🙂

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  3. Oh my is that a king parrot in that cage? We have a family of 13 come most days and eat the pine cones in the trees next door. The dog will surely know about if the parrot gets its bolt cutting beak on her nose, our dog found out the hard way. Now when he runs when the parrots come. There are big flocks in our area. Pity yours in a cage they are very mischievous biting off the tv antenna bars and squark loudly. I suppose if it was bread to be in a cage that may be different. Despite the bright red and irredecent green on the wings they are hard to see in our Aussie trees. I think you’ve got your hands full with your new dog. Cheers Helen

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Helen. Lucy is an Eclectus, native to the Solomon Islands. In the US, no “exotic” birds are allowed into the country. Every parrot and parakeet must be bred here. When traveling, I love seeing parrots in the wild. Beautiful! Our climate in Chicago is far too severe for all exotics save 1 type of parakeet. Monk parakeets have taken up residence in Lincoln Park on the south side. They’re amazing!

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    • Thank you, Debi. Yes, Greta is a very welcome addition to my home. I’m one that needs a dog around to feel complete. And the Italian holiday was truly special. I’m blessed with such a wonderful family. It’s such a treat spending time with them.

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    • Thanks, M.D. You know, it was kinda nice being able to cook without worrying about a sous chef underfoot. That nirvana experience was short-lived. It didn’t take Greta long to realize that hanging out in the kitchen could be “rewarding” — not long at all. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am – as you know – thrilled for you! and Greta! My favorite shot is the one of her sniffing the air, my gosh that is gorgeous!

    cannot wait for all the stories – butter and dalmatians are a match made in hell, actually…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sally. There was never any doubt that I’d get another companion and Greta was definitely worth the wait. As for her pose, that nose of her works overtime. If she’s not sniffing the air, she’s following tracks of some sort on the ground. So far, she’s “sprung” a couple cats and a bunny. I’m hoping her quarry remains cute and cuddly. Does any dog really need to learn about skunks?

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  5. Welcome Greta, what a beauty! I lost my beloved Max just over a month ago, and it has been very hard. I am not ready yet to get another dog, it will take some time. I am looking forward to learning more about Greta and seeing your photos of her. She looks like a sweetheart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truly sorry to learn of your loss. Having lost my Max in April, all I can say is that you’ll know when the time is right to welcome another companion into your home. I still miss Max but Greta has brought much joy back into my home. And yes, she is a real sweetheart. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Greta Curbo is adorable. She also appears to be wise, along with not being conceited one whit about her beauty. Congratulations! E Benvenuto a America dal’Italia!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh John, what a fitting name! Greta is beautiful and strong and confident. I pray all health issues resolves as she setting into her forever family and home. New adoptions do not replace, but make new room in our hearts for even more love and joy. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Judy, for your thoughtful comment. It’s so true. One cannot expect 1 dog to replace another but our hearts, as you said, grow to accommodate them. It’s really wonderful, isn’t it?

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  8. Greta is a beauty! Lovely looking dog, and you really wanted a lap dog, didn’t you? 🙂 Besides, the first cup of coffee is for gulping (to wake up). It’s the second one that’s for sipping. Glad you found Greta. Bet she’s glad, too. 🙂 –John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. Greta is a very welcome addition to my home. So what if a few shirts get lost in the process? It’s not like I dress for breakfast. Lunch, on the other hand … 😀

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    • Thanks for the chuckle. Se hasn’t “discovered” toilet paper yet but she has found paper towels. Are they the gateway-obsession to toilet paper? Only time will tell — but I’m keeping it high, out of reach, just in case. 😀

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  9. I love this post and what a lucky dog. I bet she already knows it, too. Great that she has gained weight under your guidance and care, John.
    I’m headed to the Pirates game vs the Cubs tonight so I’ll be thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think i’m the lucky one, Ruth. She’s a real sweetheart — with a touch of mania for good measure. Once she’s fully healthy, we’re going to set the dog parks on fire!
      That was a good game you saw and a perfect night. Love spending a warm summer’s evening at a ballpark.

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    • You may be right, Lidia. It’s becoming more evident that she was terribly neglected. She’s starved for attention and positive reinforcement. She’s already improving and I’m sure she’ll be just fine. So will I. 🙂

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  10. What gorgeous girl you’ve got to share your life with. I’d say your Greta is a very smart girl, look at those eyes. Lovely golden tiger brindle. I know Max is watching over both of you. Enjoy being together and learning about each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! We are in the honeymoon period and I’m enjoying every minute. Yes, there have been a couple surprises but nothing that cannot be handled. Being o malnourished, she’s definitely food-motivated and that makes training much easier. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, E.D.. Greta has already become a true part of my household. As fo Lucy, well, parrots hold grudges for decades. She probably thinks she outlast this upstart. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Glenda. I included that last photo to show how much she’s improved. My first glimpse of her at the rescue shelter was heartbreaking and I hope her previous owners never have another dog.

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  11. I am so happy for you and for Greta! She has proven she is your dog and so very grateful to be there. I applaud you for taking in a Rescue with all the problems they bring with them! All my animals are rescues. And, by the way…you have a cool bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I did see her initial photo and announcement on Facebook…or was it Instagram…or both! Anyway, love seeing more photos of her and reading your wonderful account of her adoption and settling in period. She’s really a beauty…I love the cur/tortoishell look. Congrats daddy John!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks, Betsy. I admit it was the brindle coat that first caught my eye but when I saw just how malnourished she was, well, there was no doubt in my mind. She was mine and I was going to nurse her back to health. To that end, she’s doing very well. Next week is her last vet appt and I hope it will be nothing but good news, After that, we’ll make the rounds at the dog parks and doggy daycare so that she can meet her new friends. Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great’s adoption warms my heart–for the two of you! When we first rescued our Zena we went through quite a bit of adjustment because she’d been neglected and had so many needs. But the joy, as you’re aware, is offering the security to these wonderful companions, and watching them transform. Greta is a beautiful dog and she’s definitely chosen the right home! It’s wonderful to picture you sitting on your patio with this big dog in your lap. I hope Lucy isn’t too upset, but it sounds like she can take care of herself quite well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Debra. Yes, I remember your adoption of Zena very well. When I saw how malnourished and (probably) neglected Greta was, i was a little concerned about her adjusting to my home. Well, those concerns were put to rest the minute she entered my home There was no adjustment period at all and she walked in as if she owned the place. She does, however, stick to me like glue. I think that’s what riles Lucy more than anything. She’ll just have to adjust. Greta is going to be like this until she’s knows that I’m not going anywhere. This is her home now. And I couldn’t be more pleased.

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      • It’s such a lovely picture thinking of Greta stuck to you, John. Zena was very much like that for a long time, and still can be. We sometimes laugh, however, at how now we don’t want to be away from her very much either. Such a sweet bond. I’m really happy for both you and Greta! Now Lucy, that’s such an interesting case! She is one very smart bird! Poor thing. She thought she finally had you all to herself! 🙂

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    • Thanks, Mandy. That’s such a kind thing to say. Once you rescue an animal, you just cannot go back to getting a companion any other way. That was perhaps Max’s greatest lesson for me. m 🙂

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  14. How blessed Greta is to have found you! I love that she’s a lap dog!! I can’t even imagine how that must be that as mine are only 7 lbs! There is nothing like a dog in your life, happy days are definitely ahead once again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I think I’m the one that’s blessed, Linda. Greta’s a real sweetheart. Yes, she’s a bit large for a lap dog. Once she gets settled on my lap – and that takes a good 5 minutes of her shifting and circling – all’s well, kinda. I don’t think it will be much different once she hits her target weight of 40 lbs. It’s only a few lbs more. (Unbelievably, when rescued, she was just 27 lbs!!!) We’ve a fet appt on Wednesday and hopefully we’ll get nothing but good news. After that, look out dog parks and beaches!

      I’ve not been around much, Linda, and it sure is good to see you here. I hope all is well with you and your family. Enjoy summer’s last days!

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  15. Greta Curbo is beautiful, John, we are so glad that you have found someone to help fill the void that Max left. I was so happy to chat with you at the airport, it’s too bad that we couldn’t meet up that time but our lunch in Chicago made up for it. I am looking forward to reading about Ms. Curbo’s (mis) adventures and have my fingers crossed that she comes up with a clean bill of health. XOXO

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    • Thanks, Eva. Greta has done much to fill that void, all right! Watching her, you’d swear she’s been here for years not weeks. From her arrival, this is her home. Period.
      Yes, I really do wish we could have met at the airport. That was such a hassle but I’m very glad you weren’t there waiting for me. Next time will be better. I’m sure of it! 🙂

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  16. She is soooo beautiful and of course she made herself at home, she’s the boss…right?! Love that she wants to sit on your lap, best seat in the house of course. So glad she’s putting on weight and getting fighting fit again. My two would love to meet their Chicago “cugina” but I’ll have to make do with showing them photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a tribute, what a dog.  I just now got a chance to see/read it.  Thanks for meeting us Sunday.  It was so good to see you again.  Now that we lost our anchor (Lea), I was afraid we would all go adrift, so to speak. 

    We had a lovely long evening with Pedro’s family.  All his sibs and family came over.  Very much like Longview.  The wine flowed freely and the stories more so. 

    We made it to the Meijer Gardens & Sculptures and were not disappointed.  It was lovely and quirky.  So much to see and they are expanding. 

    We’re home and exhausted.

    Keep in touch,Donna

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    • I am so glad we could work out some time together, Donna. Cannot believe the art fair was so close to Pedro’s home! Glad, too, that you guys made it to the Botanic Gardens. You’ve reminded me that my return visit is overdue.
      I need to come back to Michigan sometime next month. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll be traveling alone or with one or both “kids”. Much will depend upon how long I’m in town. I’ll be sure to let you guys know my schedule once it’s settled.

      XOX

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    • Thanks, Bobbi. Yeah, just a tad too big, if other lap dogs are any indication. She is, however, still small enough to keep trying. Greta is one determined dog, that’s for sure! 🙂

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  18. What a sweet heart. Rescue dogs can be hard as you’ve discovered but the appreciation they feel toward the rescuer is huge. I bet, that because of her, you start everyday with a smile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, MJ, on all accounts. THis little one has a lot of Max in here and as exasperating as that may be, she keeps me smiling and laughing every day. Jackpot!

      Like

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