American Icon

My dog Susie says

"The day the music died."

Recently, I overheard my Big Mommy, Sandy, and Daddy talking about a person in L.A. named Dick Clark that had just passed away. They both were very sad as they realized that Mr. Clark had been a part of their lives during most of their lives. Both Dad and Mom watched "American Bandstand" and learned the newest dance steps and music each Saturday morning. Years later, Daddy met him a couple of times at various events and attended Mr. Clark's annual production of the American Music Awards Show, which he also created. Dad said he was the nicest celebrity he ever met.

Big Mommy kind of cried while reliving the special day she spent with Mr. Clark on a movie project she had written about Elvis and The Beatles. Dick Clark knew the singers very well and shared some of his personal stories about those five entertainers. She said she laughed a lot that lively wonderful day, but I'll let Sandy tell you what the best and funniest part was:

"After years of research and after completing the screenplay about the "Fab Five," I told my agent that Dick Clark would be a perfect person to show the script to since he was also producing movies at this point. Since he had worked with Dick for 40 years, slam dunk, off we went to Dick Clark's luxurious suite of offices in Hollywood for our appointment called a "pitch meeting." When we announced ourselves to the receptionist and turned around to take a seat I couldn't believe the two beautiful Weimaraners that glided into the reception area like silky silver supermodels! You should know that the real love of my life (before Susie of course) had been my own Weimaraner named Longfellow, that I owned from 1975 until he was kidnapped in 1982. (Boy, that's a whole other story!!)

Of course, I immediately pounced on Dick Clark's Wemaraners and we three lapsed into kisses and hugs like long lost lovers. When Dick received us in his private offices his dogs followed because they had free run of the place. Well, that sure broke the ice of the pitch meeting since the first half was spent on "Weimardinger" talk. His dogs and I had bonded, and the bonding spilled all over the office with a warm glow, so we spent the bulk of our business time together laughing over our mutual, crazy "Weimardinger" stories. Turns out Dick was a devoted dog lover and NEVER went any where without his dogs. No doubt they went to heaven first a few years ago, and now Dick's by their side, frolicking with his beloved dogs once again."

Catch you later,

Sandy and Susie

P.S.: You might not know that many Weimaraner owners refer to that breed as "Weimardingers" because they're just so dog-gone dingy !!

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The greatness of a nation and its people's moral progress can be judged by the way their animals are treated."

"Mr. Gandhi must have welcomed Dick Clark in heaven with wide-opened arms"...Sandy and Susie Steele

For more barks from Susie, go to:

For more info on Sandy Steele's books go to


When you want a pet, do you buy or rent?

My dog Susie says

To reduce stress: rent a pet?

I've been hearing a lot about how owning a pet can reduce life's daily stress levels. I saw a university study recently that said if you take your dog to work, it will lower your stress level by at least 11%. I don't know how exactly they measure it, but it makes sense to me. How many co-workers show uninhibited love and respect for you at your job? How many listen to your every word and follow most of your commands? How many dogs have asked you for a loan or to "go get their coffee"? I rest my case.

Now for those people who aren't sure about adding a pet to your lifestyle, there is another option to consider. When you buy a car you can either "own" or "lease" it. Well, now you can lease a pet. I kid you not. These Rent-A-Pet services are available throughout the nation via new companies that target dog and cat lovers. My advice is don't rent one of each at the same time or your stress level will go up!

Because of the lousy economy many owners have had to give up their pets because they can't afford them. Sad. The benefits of these rental programs are that the dogs, which mostly come from animal shelters, get a chance to spend time running and walking outside in parks or the countryside. To keep these rented dogs from becoming lost, they are outfitted with a GPS location device from the Rent-A-Pet companies. Great idea even for permanent pets... so owners, you should look into this as well. One important point: The fees for renting the cats and dogs are zero. Free!

A couple of months ago I first "barked" about the military dogs who have served overseas and how much they meant to the troops they served with. These extraordinary dogs' primary job is bomb sniffing. Talk about stress! Anyway, I mentioned a particular German Shepherd named Sergeant Rex who served three combat tours in Iraq. His Marine handler was a lady soldier named Megan Leavey. Wow, I didn't realize there are women Marines fighting for all of us over there. Good for us girls!

Corporal Leavey was injured when a bomb went off hurting her and Rex. She was eventually returned to the U.S. after recuperating , but Rex was left in Iraq to continue his dangerous job. That was over six years ago. Megan tried for years to adopt Rex but to no avail. She went on TV and other media, but nothing happened until New York Senator Charles Schumer started a petition to allow Rex and Megan to rejoin each other. After 22,000 people signed the petition, the Marines relented and allowed Sergeant Rex and Corporal Megan Leavey to reunite for good at home in America. One veteran Marine said about Rex, "He's a combat-wounded marine and the person who'll understand him the best is another combat-wounded marine."

So stress is everywhere and it makes sense to try and reduce it by adopting, nurturing and loving animals like dogs and cats. It seems to be mutually beneficial for humans and animals. Who could ask for more?

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Dogs and cats may be better than many children. They don't ask for money, eat less, much easier to raise, don't drive, come home when called, don't do drugs, don't drink, don't wear your clothes, don't go to expensive colleges, and if they get pregnant, and if you chose.... you can always give the results to your friends.

For more "Susie says" barks go to:

For additional information on Sandy Steele :


"What do divorces and pet detectives have in common?

My dog Susie says

Fighting like cats and dogs.

A long-time friend of my mom and dad from L.A. recently got divorced. Unfortunately, since the divorce the ex-couple has fought much more over their beagle Sammy than their kids. In fact, divorce issues over pets has become big business. Two brand new occupations now exist, in part, because of these human breakups: "Pet Consultant" and "Pet Detectives." And I'm not talking about Jim Carrey!

It seems that in most divorce cases, the pet goes with the child. However, what's a judge to rule when the pet is the child? There are attorneys who specialize just in pet custody cases. Leave it to the lawyers to get ahead of the pack. Also, the pet consultant can be utilized as an expert to help everyone settle their disagreements. People are not embarrassed anymore, as in the past, to fight for custody of a pet. Couples are actually writing in their pre-nups what to do with their pets if they break-up. I wonder if that applies to goldfish?

So a divorced couple usually means shared custody of their animals. In the case of dogs, I wonder if the sharing means more treats! For couples now living in separate cities, it sure means more travel including airplanes. I sure hope my big mommy and daddy don't get divorced because I'd really hate to fly in that airplane dungeon. Maybe they would agree to fly me first-class? Just kidding.... I'm going to make sure that I entertain both of them so much, they'll never leave each other. Now what exactly is a pet detective and how did it start?

The pet detective occupation started with finding lost dogs and cats. With the advent of the rising divorce rate, it's grown exponentially to help lawyers and ex-spouses determine how a pet is being treated by the other person when they have custody. It seems that a few years ago, an estranged wife decided to have her husband's German Shepherds euthanized while he was out of town. That should be illegal! Hopefully, that won't happen again.

The pet detective business has become so popular around the country that professional people like nurses, accountants, and businessmen and businesswomen are doing it full-time. Some pet detectives have actually trained their own dogs to find missing or lost pets. One woman in Maine, Liza Nazarenko, has a 90% success rate for finding lost animals. She became a professional pet detective because she had lost her beloved Yellow Lab, Cappuccino. She looked everywhere, posted pictures, and asked for assistance from countless people, but to no avail. Cappuccino was eventually discovered deceased two months later and less than a mile away from her home. Very sad, but Liza turned a negative into a positive experience by helping others find their beloved pets.

Hey, I think I could get the neighborhood dogs to form a group to help find missing pets. We've got a Boxer, Dachshund, Border Collie, Irish Setter, Black Lab, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, and two German Shepherds. How about naming our dog detective group, the "Sherlock Shepherds"? What do you think?

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Author Tom Clancy once told me, "A trial lawyer is exactly like an attack dog, only without a conscience."

For more barks from Susie go to:

For info on Sandy Steele:


"Mitt and Barack come to my party"... April Fools!

My dog Susie says

"Party like it's 1999."

My big Mommy, Sandy, informed me that since I'm a rescue dog and don't know exactly when I was born, she decided that April 1 would be a great day for it. So "April Fools" everyone! I like it. Anyway, now we have to get down to the details of my very first birthday party.

First we have to make a guest list. All the neighborhood dogs will be invited except that horny poodle up the street. And the cats...what to do? Mom says we should invite them so we don't discriminate against anybody. O.K. That's fine as long as they don't scratch-up my presents or hiss at my cake.

My friends from out of town will be invited, especially Uggie. I hope his head hasn't grown too big since he starred in the Oscar winning Best-Picture "Silent Movie." I'll text his agent right away. I hope the other dogs I'm inviting from back there that I met on the Santa Monica beach, can fly back here on Uggie's jet.

Sandy decided if the weather's nice we'll have the party outside in our fenced back yard. I guess it makes for a much easier clean-up after the party's over. Also the fence keeps the squirrels from stealing our treats. Speaking of a menu, I'm hoping she fixes a liver pate as the appetizer. The main course should be chopped up filet mignon with a mushroom sauce. Dessert could be a fresh fruit bowl with sugar-free whipped cream. Of course the fruit would be sliced into small pieces so nobody chokes. The cats with smaller throats might have to watch out however.

Next is the entertainment. I would like some doggie-disco music playing while the humans throw Frisbees and tennis balls for us to catch. Maybe my big mommy can also bury a big juicy steak bone somewhere in the yard. Sort of an Easter egg hunt for pooches. At the end of the evening all of us could tear apart a Pinata which resembles the postman. Just kidding. We're lovers not fighters.

Sandy said that we definitely won't be doing the following things: Have candles on the cake. No plastic spoons or forks anywhere. No toys from China. No open doors into the house allowing for possible doggie bad behavior.
Nobody marking each other's territory. Now I understand that last request, but Mom... really!

It sounds like my first birthday celebration should be a lot of fun for everyone. Mom said she's going to take bunches of pictures of the party, so I can look back years later and see just how cute I was.... when I celebrated my first birthday..

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy,

P.S. If you believe for one second that dogs can't count, put three treats in your pocket, give out two and see what happens.

For more My dog Susie says go to

Info on Sandy Steele can be found at: