This is the third installment of the AMOEBLOG featuring Amoeba Dogs (dogs in some way closely connected to Amoeba Music -- usually the pets and best friends of Amoeba Music employees in the Hollywood, Berkeley, or San Francisco stores.) The three fine canines featured in this AMOEBADOG blog are Cugat and Stella (that is Stella pictured left), both of whom are the best friends of Oliver (Amoeba Music floor manager and electronic music buyer) and also Suki, who is the pet and best friend of Brandi Shearer, the Amoeba Music recording artist who recently released the album Close To Dark and who, you will recall from the last Amoeba Dog Blog Part II, knitted a doggie sweater for Amoeba Dog Melina.
I asked both Brandi and Oliver to talk a little about their respective pooches: the basics, such as what breed, age or weight the dogs might be and also how they originally got their canines (something that is often really interesting, I find). I also asked them both what their dogs really mean to them and if they have any significant impact on their lives.
CUGAT & STELLA
Oliver shared with the AMOEBLOG that Cugat (pictured right) should never be judged by his diminutive scale, warning, "Cugat at four years old may only weigh in at a mere 3.2 pounds, but [he] can scare you off just as much as any Pitbull.
Cugat was named after Xavier Cugat, because the band leader kept a tiny Chihuahua in his pocket while performing," said Oliver. "Cugat is a four year old purebred Chihuahua and Stella is a two year old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix."
And as to how Oliver came about getting his two dogs? "We wanted a small dog and Cugat was about as small as they come. He was so tiny as a puppy. He weighed .75 pounds...I wouldn't even hold him as I thought I could break him. Stella came along a few years later as a companion for Cugat. And they are best friends."
And as for what impact, if any, the dogs have on his life? "A lot more walks," laughed Oliver.
"I found Suki nine years ago at the Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo . . . she bit my finger through the bars of her wire cage and barked non stop. For reasons I cannot explain, this led me to believe that she was the dog for me. The heart knows itself best, I suppose," said Brandi of her dog.
"The staff assured me that she would grow to be a compact 40 pounds or so, and nine months later she was tipping the scales at a muscular, long-legged 85. I had a big apartment at the time and I figured she was simply taking advantage of all that space. Determined to avoid the dreaded all brawn no brains label, Suki developed her cognitive skills by learning to outsmart me in nearly every area of our relationship. Notably, I have yet after all these long years been able to find or fashion a garbage can situation that defies her craftiness. You might be saying, but Brandi, you have opposable thumbs and highly evolved frontal lobes -- can you not think of SOMETHING to keep your dog from breaking into the garbage? And I would reply to you without a trace of irony, No. I am, it seems, just too stupid to do that.
I can only assume that if Suki wasn't so obsessed with the garbage and had applied herself to other mysteries in life, she might have found a cure for cancer by now. Certainly she could help out around here by doing my taxes or something. But the garbage is her passion, her pride -- she is the Mozart of refuse. Despite our small differences, we are the best of friends. She is my constant companion, my ice-breaker, my always-good-for-laugh on dark days, my alert look-out while camping, my ever-willing dinner date, my sweet, cunning, beautifully big girl. And I got all that for the price of one demolished garbage can a week. Not so bad, really."