Saturday, July 10, 2021


Sadly, Drummer had to be put to sleep. He was ten days away from his 10th birthday. He finally succumbed to what is old age for an Irish Wolfhound.

Drawing my Govinda Holtby       

 "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul in unawakened."

Anatole France

Monday, May 10, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021

MAY 2021

 A few days ago Mr. Drummer was eating grass, presumably because his stomach was upset. He did throw up later in the day, including a rather large rock.

 That night I woke up to a horrible smell at 4am. Drummer had explosive diarrhea all down the stairs, even on the wall. It took me two hours to clean it all up.

He has also been having problems with his back legs and hips. He gets up with more difficulty, and literally fell out when trying to get out of the truck.

I took him to the Double Bluff beach, walking just a little farther than usual. On the way back he needed to lay down and rest every 60 feet.

Drummer will be ten years old July 19th of this year, outliving the average Irish Wolfhound by 2-3 years. But his clearly an old gentleman at this point.

Friday, April 9, 2021

APRIL, 2021

 Drummer enjoying the coming of Spring on Whidbey Island, where he can hang out in our back yard all he wants. For the first time in a long time he doesn't have some health issue going on. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

MARCH 2021: Drummer's New Friends

Liesel discovered me through our both being in the Whidbey Island Arts Guild called the Island Bohemians. She and her parents, Luther and Tricia own two Irish Wolfhounds named Katie and Clare. They are 18 months old, and as it turns out they live only five minutes from Drummer and I. The two of them ran around like the adolescents they are, while Drummer chewed on their bones, and acted like an old man- but his usual gentle, friendly self.


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wolfhound Puppy - One Month Later

 Drummer and I were again at the Double Bluff beach dog park, and by coincidence ran into Grim and his owners Boone and Katy. All the more incredible because they live in Seattle, but they came to stay overnight on Whidbey for Katy's birthday. Amazingly Grim is noticeably bigger in just a month. Drummer hasn't changed in a month, but has overcome his latest bout with inflammatory colitis with an even more rarified and expensive diet. We had some drama when another dog grabbed Grim's ear and wouldn't let go. Katy was the only one who drew blood in the scramble to get the other dog to let go. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


On the first sunny day in a week Drummer and I go to Double Bluff beach on Whidbey Island, ten minutes from our house. There we meet Grim, a 13 week old Irish Wolfhound puppy owned by Boone & Katy, who had come over from Seattle. They had to go all the way to Arkansas to get him. He was one of a litter of eleven, but finding a Wolfhound proved to require a cross country trip. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Today is Drummer's 9th birthday. The average age of an Irish Wolfhound is 7-8 years, and I've only owned one that lasted to 10 years of age. You can see Drummer's age by his difficulty with his back legs now. I assume this may be in part due to the burst disc in his back several years ago. Of all the dogs I've owned Drummer has had more medical problems in his lifetime, and always has some sort of malady going on but he just keeps on truck'n - outliving most of the dogs I've owned. He is a celebrity in the neighborhood.

Monday, March 16, 2020


Drummer spent a pleasant visit with his old caretakers, Wendy & Andrew who once owned his half-brother (whom Drummer has outlived). They now own Alfred, who is four years old and is the daughter of Drummer's only surviving sister (two others have died). Drummer is the smaller of the two (on the right).

Monday, March 9, 2020


Drummer is the most expensive dog I've ever had! His vet bills are regular and costly. Pictured here are his current regimen to deal with his chronic colitis and skin rash. We did an allergy panel and he's allergic to all grasses - so no more rolling on the greenway, which is one of his great pleasures (see photo Nov. 2018). Also listed here are meds for pain and inflamation. He wrenched his back while slipping on the stairs. His back legs don't work too well anymore. We decided its a quality of life issue to let him continue to use the stairs. He'd feel we were punishing him if we restricted him to one floor of the house. So now we have throw rugs all over the wood floors, particularly at the head and bottom of the stairs.

February, 2020: Drummer with Housesitters

Here is Drummer with Kris (taken by husband, Tom). I was in Myanmar most of February and Judy is working in San Diego. Tom & Kris came out from New York to take care of Drummer (and our house). I originally found them on, but this is the third time they've taken care of Drummer. They have a daughter and several friends in the area, and Tom can telecommute.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


A half block from our house is a skate park, which is often busy even after dark. There are a group of teenagers who have introduced themselves and want to love up Drummer. This is one of them, Isabel. They know I walk Drummer four times a day, usually past the skate park, and come to say "hi". Drummer is very popular in our Stapleton neighborhood, being the only Irish Wolfhound, which has lead to me meeting many of my neighbors some of whom have become good friends.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Drummer and Judy at Christmas. Drummer is now 7 1/2 years old, an old man by big dog standards. He doesn't run like he used to since his back surgery. He sort of gallumps, but he still has spirit, and is affectionate with all dogs and people. He has turned into a pretty obedient dog, but not liking going back on a walk and will lag behind, and he doesn't like baths. He also still occasionally poops in the house (life last night at 2am). But he will roll over to get brushed, and will come to get toweled off when wet from the rain. He recently had a lump removed from his back leg that was the size of a golf ball. Fortunately, it was benign, and he has recovered without licking and aggravating the wound. The cost ended up almost $1,000 in vet bills. Our doggie health insurance has not made a profit on Drummer.

Friday, November 23, 2018

November, 2018: Drummer's favorite thing

Here is Drummer on Thanksgiving Day, rolling out on the greenway grass. It is his favorite thing - scratching his back. Earlier in the week we got a warning from the Parks Department for his being off the leash.

Saturday, September 1, 2018


Photo by Jeff Peterson
Photo by Jeff Peterson

Photo by Raymond Bleesz

While camping Drummer got grass seeds that burrowed between two paws on his back right foot. They burrowed under his skin, and have taken numerous trips to the vet to try to eradicate them and heal his foot.

Friday, July 20, 2018

July, 2018: DRUMMER'S 7th BIRTHDAY

Drummer's 7th Birthday was the 19th of July. By wolfhound average lifespans he is an old guy now. He no longer runs like he did as a puppy. He gallumps along rather slowly. He will have to win lure coursing races in his next life. But he still has some pep, and occasional enthusiasm when not asleep.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Drummer is so gentle with all dogs and kids. He would tower over Samantha unless he layed down. He now weighs 168 pounds, and Samantha is maybe 20 pounds. His head is as big as she is! But she has no fear with him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January 2017: Drummer's Health Update

We got the results of an allergy panel on Drummer, and one of the things he's allergic to: beef, we regularly gave him. We thought he was allergic to chicken, but he isn't. He is also allergic to milk, liver, lamb, and pork... and kangaroo (kangaroo?!).

He continues to have his GI issues, and we've had him on pumpkin, rice and fish as well as his dry food (BilJack for sensitive stomachs). He is also taking tylan, an antibiotic; as well as a probiotic. He seems to be improving.

Photo by Katy Tartakoff.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December, 2016: Drummer's Sensitive Stomach

No, Drummer is not dead. This is how he relaxes.

Unfortunately, Drummer is going through another bout of GI problems. He is in the second week with two visits to the vet and over $800 of expenses. He seems to be getting better, but last night he threw up in the middle of the night all up and down the stairs.

Worse, is we got the news that his beloved brother, Brogan (pictured in older posts) died of stomach cancer. He was a half brother from the litter before Drummer.