30 November 2008

It's Mine! All Mine!

Early this week, the humans brought home a frozen 20 pound turkey. They didn't say so, but I knew they got it for me. They really are devoted to me. The turkey sat around on the counter for awhile so it could thaw. I also saw it in the fridge every time they opened the door. Yesterday morning it was stuffed full of something yummy smelling and shoved in the oven. I couldn't believe how thoughtful my humans were being. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into that bird. After many days of waiting (they claim it was only a few hours, but I know better) my turkey was finally removed from the oven. I was so eager I was drooling. I backed up so they could put it on the floor, but instead they put it on the counter. I was about to complain, but then they explained that they wanted to let it cool off a little bit. I'm telling you, these people are just the greatest. They even made sure I didn't burn my mouth. I have to tell you, though, it was extremely difficult to contain myself while the turkey cooled. I think I created a small puddle of drool while I was waiting. Finally, they deemed the turkey cool enough for consumption. Again, I made sure there was plenty of space on the floor for my turkey. But, they weren't ready to give it to me yet. First they wanted to carve it into neat little pieces. I don't know why. I certainly didn't need it cut up, my teeth work just fine. In recognition of their kindness, I continued to wait for my reward. I waited and waited and waited. I watched as all the nicely carved meat was neatly placed on a platter. I began to wonder if they had forgotten why they got the turkey. I don't eat off a platter, I eat out of a stainless steel bowl. Then I thought maybe they were going to give me a special platter to go with my special meal. Of course, that's exactly what they were doing. I would have to think of something really terrific to do to reward them. Finally, the turkey was all carved. I stood up to signal my readiness for dinner. And then I watched in utter astonishment as they carried my turkey to the table. They all sat down and started eating.

Wait a minute! Where's my turkey?! I waited so patiently. Surely you didn't forget about me? I'm the dog; how could anyone forget about me? I sat politely; no response. I downed on the rug; still no response. I gave them my best sad puppy dog eyes; nothing. I whined pathetically; that elicited a quick reprimand. Then I started thinking. I thought and thought and thought. Just one word was running through my mind: TURKEY! I was going to get some of that bird no matter what. I just needed to bend their minds to mine. I watched the turkey platter go around the table, I awaited the perfect moment. I needed the turkey to be in the only perfectly accessible place and then I would strike. When the turkey reached the end of the table near me I knew it was time to strike. The platter was balanced in mid-air, passing from one set of human hands to the next. I flung waves of thoughts at the humans: drop the platter, drop the platter, drop the platter. I could tell it was working. The platter started to dip towards the floor, then it was actually tipping. I shot my strongest thought waves and the platter actually fell! All the turkey spilled. I had done it! The turkey was mine! Oh, the excitement, the satisfaction, the power of a doggie mind. I was going to eat all that turkey. It was going to be so good.

Unfortunately, I stopped sending my thought waves a second too soon. One of the humans grabbed for the turkey and managed to actually save all of it. The platter landed on the table, and only a couple of the tiniest scraps ended up on the floor. And even those were snatched out of my reach when another human threw her body in front of me and grabbed those scraps. I was left to sadly watch as my turkey platter continued to make it's way around the table. *sigh* Maybe next year my plan will work better.

Well, We Try To Be Environmentally Friendly

Boss Lady was perusing her presence on the internet last night, because she had nothing better to do, and she came across a bunch of stuff she'd written on another website several years ago. Much of it was about me. She'd forgotten how much she wrote. Now, she wants to reclaim it. To do so, she will be recycling it through this blog from time to time. So, in the near future you might find yourself reading stories that seem a hair of out place. Don't worry, though, I won't let her go too crazy.

29 November 2008

Is This What You Meant?

I took Boss Lady's comments seriously the other night when she told me that I needed to do a better job as guard dog. As you'll recall, she was concerned that I was not fulfilling all my roles and responsibilities as guard dog. I wasn't greeting her at the door. I wasn't announcing the arrival of guests. I generally wasn't guarding the place.

To prove to her that I am fulfilling my dogly duties, I spent this week guarding the house. I barked at the people walking on the sidewalk in front of the house. I growled at the kids being vomited from that big yellow bus. I threatened to go through the window and attack the neighbor's dog that accidentally got loose and wandered into our yard. I greeted all humans at the door, and even remembered to bring Bone and drop it on their feet.

As reward for the perfect execution of my responsibilities, I was banned from the festivities on Thanksgiving. No scritches and scratches from friendly guests for me. No accidentally or otherwise dropped food on the floor. No opportunities to impress with my expanded repetoire of tricks. Nope. I was unceremoniously gated first in the living room, and then in the front hall. At all times within sight and sound of all the festivities, but not actually involved.

Supposedly this was not a punishment. Supposedly this had nothing to do with how well I did, or didn't, perform as guard dog. Supposedly this was simply because an 11 year old 2nd cousin was one of the welcomed guests, and I don't generally get on well with 11 year olds, be they 2nd cousins or not. Supposedly, as a dog, I don't have a memory long enough to hold a grudge. Supposedly, my tail.

So, when C and her boyfriend arrived later Thanksgiving evening, I made sure to threaten each of them as they came through the door. And when C arrived again this afternoon, I made double sure to bark ferociously, jump all over the door, and refuse her entry until Boss Lady came out and called me off. We can't be letting strangers who could be axe murders into the house after all. And when Boss Lady arrives home from work next time, you can be sure I will enthusiastically greet her at the door and I will be sure not to drop Bone on her toes until after she's been able to take off her shoes.

28 November 2008

The Cursed Middle Man

Most evenings Boss Lady, Boss Lady's Mother and Boss Lady's Father all gather in the living room to relax. Usually the television is turned on, although they tend to multi-task and/or fall asleep. During these times when all the humans are gathered together in one room, I like to gorge on attention. I'm not overly particular about who gives me attention, so long as someone is. And I'm not overly particular about what kind of attention is it. Getting patted on the top of the head until my brain shakes out my ear is pretty much the same as having someone throw Mr. Green, as far as I'm concerned.

This evening, the sitting arrangement was somewhat changed. Boss Lady's Father was reclining in the ancient recliner, while Boss Lady curled up on the couch. The ancient recliner provides a better position from which I can chase Mr. Green, so I presented Boss Lady's Father with Mr. Green. He wasn't interested in playing toss, so he handed Mr. Green to Boss Lady, and she tossed him. I fetched Mr. Green and presented him to Boss Lady's Father again. Boss Lady's Father handed Mr. Green to Boss Lady, and she tossed him. I fetched him and presented him to Boss Lady's Father. Who handed him to Boss Lady. Who threw him. We continued with this game for several more throws until Boss Lady's Father finally informed me that he would prefer to not be poked in the crotch with a tennis ball one more time. Boss Lady told me I'd probably have more luck continuing the game if I eliminated the middle man.

I tried Boss Lady's version of the game, and found it somewhat lacking. Half the fun of the game is hearing all the odd little squeaks and squawks Boss Lady's Father makes when I poke him in the crotch. It's hard to poke Boss Lady in the crotch when she has a computer on her lap. And even when she doesn't have the computer, she doesn't make any fun noises; she just tells me to get my nose out of there. What with the fun of the game ruined, I decided it would be more fun to take a nap. Sometimes you really do need a middle man.

27 November 2008

I Think You've Got Your Story Confused

Boss Lady didn't have to work on Tuesday, and I desperately needed an adventure. She promised me a lengthy adventure. And then she reneged. She says it was because of the rain. Had it been snowing, we would have gone hiking. But with rain, we couldn't. She seems to think 40* is too cold for hiking in the rain. She told me we could both catch pneumonia and die. I suppose I agree with her, but I still would have liked an adventure.

So today, which was only about 40*, when she decided to get me soaking wet with a bath, I was a little bit confused. What happened to the "it's too cold for the dog to get wet" business? You won't let me play in the water. You don't take me adventuring in the rain. But, you throw me in the tub and force me to endure a bath? What are you going to do when I catch pneumonia? Huh? You're going to feel soooo guilty. I could even die. Yeah, how about that. You gave me a bath in this cold, cold weather, and now I'm going to catch pneumonia and die. That'll teach you to give me a bath when I don't want one.

And another thing, I may have missed that whole puppy kindergarten thing, but don't think I don't know what a "bad touch" is. And that, missy, is a bad touch. Bad, bad, touch. No. No no no no no. Soap does not belong there! Stop scrubbing. Definitely no scrubbing! I am going to glare daggers at your back until you release me from this controlled drowning. No amount of popcorn and cheerful "good boy"'s will appease me.

When the whole thing was finally over, and she'd released me to rub my face all over the kitchen cabinets, I asked her what possessed her to give me a bath today. I haven't had a bath since early summer. She replied that it's the holiday season, and lots of company will be coming to visit, and I was getting rather stinky. She thought it an ideal moment.

Wait a minute. It's a holiday? What holiday? Is there food involved? And all these people who are going to be visiting....will they be sharing any of this food? What are the chances that a handsome, well-behaved dog will get some good treats? Pretty good, I'd say.

As you can see, Loyal Readers, there are positives and negatives to the holiday season. The positives involve greater amounts of fabulous food. The positives also include a steady stream of visitors. Large amounts of food+lots of people=yummy food for the dog. The negatives, however, include baths and the possibility of being banished to one room in the house.

All I've got to say is the food better be damn good to warrant a bath and banishment.

26 November 2008

Green Energy? That's not what it sounds like to me

Have I told you about Boss Lady's latest plan for me? She dreamt it up the other night while we were walking. I've gotta tell you, this after work, after dark walking thing just isn't working out for me. All summer long, Boss Lady would take me for walks after work. Most of the time Boss Lady's Mother would accompany us. That's when it stayed light until 9pm. Now, it gets dark at 4pm and Boss Lady's Mother doesn't wait for Boss Lady to get home to take a walk. She walks as soon as she gets home. Which leaves Boss Lady and I to walk by ourselves. Or, more pointedly, it leaves Boss Lady walking with no one to talk to. When she walks with somebody else, they chatter away about this and that. When she walks by herself, by which I mean with me but without another human companion, she thinks to herself. She thinks away about this and that. The this and that are starting to get a little dangerous for me.

The other night it was a little chilly, but not nearly as cold as it has been. Boss Lady got to thinking about deep winter weather; the snow and ice and sometimes impassable snowbanks. She got to thinking about how she's going to get me enough exercise when we can't bike and it's just not possible to cover as many miles on foot. Whenever she gets to thinking about other exercise options for me, she comes back to pulling.

I must have told you about her original pulling idea. She's been playing with this idea for at least a year. She wants me to pull a wagon. Think Radio Flyer wagon. A really big one, though. Because she wants to put two garbage cans in the wagon. She figures I'll pull the wagon around town, and she'll pick up garbage. She needs two cans so she can separate the nickel bottles from the garbage garbage. We could have our own personal Green Up day every couple months. Yeah, that's her grand plan. She's yet to enact it for several reasons. One, none of the pet stores around here seem to have pulling harnesses. Being as Boss Lady's not entirely sure what a pulling harness looks like, or how it should fit, she's not comfortable ordering one online.

So, like I said, she keeps coming back to this pulling idea. And she had herself a light bulb moment on our walk the other night. "Wouldn't it be great," she thought to herself, "if I could figure out a way to create a doggie snow plow. I could make Colyn plow the driveway. We could plow the sidewalk as we walk after those big snow storms. Heck, I could rent him out and make money on his snow plowing." I lost her for a little while as she fell deep in thought engineering this doggie snow plow.

The engineering certainly slowed her down. She's no engineeer; she wouldn't want to be after all the years listening to her father (the mechanic who cleans up the messes made by the engineers) curse idiot engineers. The thing about a snow plow, is that it pushes the snow in front of it. And you've never heard of a dog who pushes. Dogs don't push, they pull. But, you can't put the dog in front of the plow because then the plow will cover the dog with snow. Not to mention the added difficulty of the dog gaining enough purchase to pull in snow that's who knows how deep. Nope, somehow you'd have to figure out a way to have the dog behind the plow.


What if the dog was hitched up to something that he had to pull behind him? And that something behind him, was hitched to something in front of him? So, as he pulls whats behind him, it tranlsates the force to whatever is in front of him, which plows the snow? Yes, that idea has potential.

And, slowly, as our walk progressed, Boss Lady's Dog Powered Snow Plow took shape. In the end she'd decided that it would be a frame-type thing with the dog harnessed up inside the frame. The plow would be on the front. The whole thing would, maybe, be on wheels. She couldn't decide for sure about the wheels. Wheels would probably make it easier to move the plow, but would they get all clogged up with ice and snow and ultimately make it harder to move? Then there would be the question of the kind of plow. Should it be one of those double-angled, V-shaped ones that pushes the snow off to both sides, or should it be one that is angled in either direction and pushes it all to the same side? Probably a V-shaped one would make it easier for the dog, but then it would only be good for plowing sidewalks and walkways. The single angled one would be better for driveways. What about turning around and backing up, though? Aha! Put a plow on both ends, and then attach the harness to the top of frame in such a way that the dog can be easily turned around inside the frame and go in the other direction. Yes, the perfect solution to all of Colyn's winter exercise needs.

By the end of the walk, Boss Lady was all puffed up with pride at the thought of her ingenious invention. She imagined the first snow storm when she'd be able to use the Dog Powered Snow Plow. She imagined the people in the neighborhood coming out of their houses in curiosity to find out what this foolish contraption was. She imagined their loud ooh's and ahh's as she explained how the snow plow worked. She imagined them all exclaiming over her geniusness in creating the machine, and my amazingness in powering it. She imagined plowing all the sidewalks in our neighborhood, and how doing so would supersede the need for the regular sidewalk plow, which wastes gas. Oh, yes, she would win accolades and ride the coattails of the green energy movement.

Green energy? Green power? Are you colorblind woman? This isn't any green energy you're talking about here. You're proposing Black and Tan Power. As a Black and Tan myself, I'm not entirely sure I like it. Besides, who ever heard of a dog powered snow plow?

25 November 2008

Dogster World's Coolest Dog Contest

Dogster is running it's annual World's Coolest Dog contest. The contest is down to the Best In Show vote. I can't decide who to vote for. Out of 75 dogs, I narrowed it down to these 3.

Cody definitely looks like he's got game. Vote CODY for Best in Show!
Vote CODY for Best in Show at Dogster.com

more: dog pictures & breed info

Orson looks like the monster that might plague my nightmares if I don't vote for him. Vote ORSON the DOGGE for Best in Show!
Vote ORSON the DOGGE for Best in Show at Dogster.com

more: dog pictures & breed info

And Bella Mia is just so darn cute! Check out the winking. Vote Bella Mia for Best in Show!
Vote Bella Mia for Best in Show at Dogster.com

more: dog pictures & breed info

Every time I think I've definitively decided which one I like best, I change my mind. It's a good thing I've got until Dec. 5 to decide.

RCHS Update

This morning Boss Lady managed to make her way to RCHS early enough that she was able to take a hike before the weather started. Blazer was the dog of the day today. He's a big, beefy black lab mix. He was desperately in need of some exercise, so Boss Lady went outside to collect him from the outdoor exercise pen. As she was headed towards the pen, one of the fellows who works at RCHS offered to leash up Blazer for her. Well, Boss Lady isn't some wimpy toothpick, she's perfectly capable of leashing up a dog. Even a large, excitable, ill mannered black lab. Besides the fact that if she couldn't handle leashing him up, she probably shouldn't be walking him at all. Boss Lady thanked the fellow, but told him she didn't need any help. She also told him she planned to use a harness anyway, and she was perfectly capable of wrestling him into a harness. The fellow laughed and wished her, "Good luck with that."

He doesn't look so bad, now does he?

Boss Lady grabbed the harness and leash out of the car and marched up to Blazer's pen. She looked at him: big, beefy lab. She looked at the harness: a medium sized harness, currently sized just about as small as it could be. She took a couple moments to resize, all the while thinking that it just figures the one time she doesn't bring my larger harness is the day she needs it. Then she stepped inside the pen and greeted Blazer. He jumped on her, of course. And he wasn't particularly interested in being harnessed up. She managed to get it over his head, and to get his one leg through it. But, when she tried to clip it she realized she was going to have to expand it as much as possible. She managed to pull it off Blazer, and fix it, and put it back on him. Then she leashed him up (which really wasn't any trouble at all compared to the harnessing) and led him to the car.

Blazer turned out to be a pretty good boy. He jumped on her a lot, mostly immediately after he had run through mud. He pulled, but he also stopped and looked at her quite a bit. He sniffed a lot, and very much wanted to play in the water. He discovered that iced over mud puddles provide a certain kind of fun, as long as one doesn't go psycho puppy and try to spin in circles whilst in the middle of the frozen mud puddle. At one point he decided he was tired and, without warning, flopped down on his side in the middle of a particularly torn up and muddy section of the trail.

Aside from the drizzling rain that started about half way through, it was a nice hike with a happy companion.

24 November 2008

Wanted: Guard Dog

So, only a couple days after I fired Boss Lady for breaking my blog, Boss Lady fired me for not properly fulfilling my guard dog duties. As the sole dog residing in this home, I am expected to fulfill all guard dog duties. These duties involve announcing the arrival of any strange or unexpected animals into my yard, announcing the arrival of any strange or unexpected people/vehicles into my yard, announcing any strange or unexpected people who wish entry into my house, greeting any strange people who are admitted into my house, greeting any special humans who arrive home after an absence (absence being defined as any length of time outside of the house without me), scaring away any foolish Mormons who want to harass us, and generally sounding menacing whenever necessary.

Lately I have been failing at one of these important duties: that of greeting special humans when they arrive home. Twice I have failed to greet Boss Lady at the door when she arrived home late in the evening. Not only did I fail to hear her vehicle pull into the drive, I also failed to hear her open the door, and I even failed to hear her call to me. Boss Lady's Mother had to actually wake me up and warn me Boss Lady had arrived home. Then she had to instruct me to get up and say hello. Similarly, Aunt A has arrived home several times lately and I've not so much as twitched an ear. I used to loudly announce her arrival home as soon as she pulled into the driveway. While, Boss Lady is happy that I am now familiar enough with the sound of Aunt A's car that I needn't announce it as the arrival of a strange vehicle, Boss Lady deems me derelict in my duties for failing to properly greet Aunt A at the door.

Each time this has happened, Boss Lady has warned me that she expects better. "What if a stranger had just walked in?" she asks. "We could be robbed and you wouldn't even open an eye."

"But, it wasn't a stranger," I remind her. "It was you or Aunt A. Neither of you are robbers."

"Yes, but it could have been a robber," she maintains.

"Look, if it had been a robber, I would have announced him properly, but it wasn't a robber so I don't see what the problem is."

"What about C, then? Huh? You've let C just walk right in countless times lately. C doesn't even live here. You should definitely be announcing C."

"C doesn't live here, eh? Have you counted the number of times C has slept here lately. I have, it's a lot. Besides, C is over here all the time, she might as well live here. As such, she hardly qualifies as a stranger and definitely does not warrant an announcement. "

"There is still the issue of greetings. You are failing to greet us at the door. It's not as if you have a lot of work to do around here. Your chore list isn't exactly lengthy. The least you can do is greet us at the door. The bringing of a toy is totally optional, but you must come say hello."

"Fine. I'll work on the greetings. Now, can I get back to sleeping? I had a particularly tiring day, today. There were two squirrels in the yard this afternoon, and they couldn't be bothered to use the same bird feeder. I had to keep running from the living room to the dining room to keep track of them both."

23 November 2008

So, what gives?

I, Boss Lady, am going to address you, Loyal Readers, directly today in an effort to diagnose what seems to be a problem: lack of Loyal Readers. Heck, lack of any readers. I realize that I am not as prolific a writer as one would wish. I strive to post daily, although it more often ends up only twice or thrice weekly. But, I seem to have a severe shortage of visitors. Even during the times when I'm successful at posting daily, I only get a few visitors a day. What's worse, the visitors I do get don't stick around long enough to even read anything. According to my hit counter, the majority of my visitors leave immediately. When I pimp my blog, I do tend to get more visitors, but the visit lengths still don't increase. Far too many people leave before they even get through the door. I try to get around to other blogs I like, and even leave comments in the hopes of increasing my visitors. I'm not sure what else to do.

So, you've got to tell me what's wrong. Is it my voice? My writing style? My content? Is it simply that I don't write often enough? Is it really that picture at the top of my blog? Because I happen to think that picture is awesome and creative and just perfect for this blog. But, if the readers really think it's scary, I guess I can replace it with something friendlier. Or am I just stuck in a dark, unpopulated, little corner of the world?

22 November 2008

Colyn's Cure-All

The Boss Lady seems to be under the weather, as they say, lately. She's spending an awful lot of time sleeping and sneezing. I can hardly hear her when she talks to me because she's whispering so quietly. The rare times when she gets up and moves around, she mostly holds her head and moans about the guy with the jack hammer. I'm thinking that might be a sign that she's delusional. And she's been guzzling this licorice tasting stuff from a bottle like it's liquid chocolate. Huh, I wonder if that's what is causing the delusions? I don't know exactly what's wrong with her, but I do know what's wrong with me. I'm bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored out of my mind. Bored enough that I'm going to start chewing stuff soon. Dog, I'm bored!

In the interest of helping Boss Lady feel better, which should help me get some exercise, I'm going to offer her my special Cure-All medicine: outdoor play time.

Have you got a headache? Go outside; the fresh air will clear your head in no time.

Is your nose all stuffy and runny? Take it outside where the cold air will freeze it up and you won't have to worry about wiping it.

Are you hacking and coughing? Get out of that dusty, dirty house and play in the clean, fresh air.

Are you experiencing a full body ache? Obviously, you haven't been stretching and using your muscles enough so you need to get outside and play.

Do you just feel tired and lacking energy, but you can't seem to get a good night's sleep? Trust me, you just need to get some fresh air and exercise and you'll sleep like a baby tonite.

Are you seriously worried that your dog is going to destroy a prized possession if he's left home alone and unexercised for another 5 minutes? Well, then take him outside to play already!

18 November 2008

Can't You Behave For Just 5 Minutes?

The Boss Lady had this past weekend off. She ran away without me on Saturday, and tried to appease me with a fake adventure on Sunday. The fake adventure involved driving to The Mall, and leaving me in the car while she went inside to Play. With. Other. Doggies. Boss Lady and Boss Lady's Mother claimed they needed to go inside The Mall to do a quick Christmas shopping trip. However, the last time I checked, you couldn't get doggies at The Mall. Her story is that Fast Friends, a Grey Hound rescue group, had some adoptable Grey Hounds looking for homes. She claims that she simply couldn't walk by the doggies without saying hello. She claims that she only petted one of them for a couple minutes. She claims that I have nothing to worry about and she will not be bringing home any Grey Hounds. Just once I'd like her to go somewhere and not come back smelling like another dog. Just once I'd like her to come home without another dog's dog hair all over her coat.

Just so you know, taking me for a *very* short walk along the nature trail behind The Mall doesn't count as an adventure. Nor does it put you back in my good graces after cheating on me with those Grey Hounds.

You're Fired

I think I've mentioned that the Boss Lady is my typist. She's also my do-er of all things internet related. Which means she's kinda sorta pretty much totally in charge (and control) of this whole blog thing. And, as of the other day, she's fired. Why, you ask? Because she broke my blog. *I did not break your blog. It still works perfectly fine.* Yeah, well, it looks all ugly now. I'm a handsome dog, I can't have an ugly blog.

It all started when she saw the little update thing from the blogger people about this new "reactions" feature. Considering that my readers don't seem particularly willing to leave feedback in the form of comments, Boss Lady thought this "reactions" feature might be helpful. Plus, she had some great categories all thought up (we'll get into that later.) She went ahead and turned on the reactions feature, only to discover that her category names were too long. She pared them down and tried again. She finally got them all listed, then looked at the blog and discovered they aren't visible. So, she played around with the blog layout, and the format, and all that sort of thing. In the end, she still couldn't make the reactions categories visible and now I'm stuck with this ugly blog. I don't know exactly what's different than before, but I know something is. And I don't like it.

As for those reactions categories, here they are:

Shrew(woohoo!)sbury (always off leash, always fun)

Moosalamoo (sometimes off leash, always fun)

Pine Hill Park (never off leash, still lots of fun)

Walk Around The Block (never off leash, but at least it's not:

Stuck In The House (rarely fun)

You, Loyal Reader, may feel free to post one line comments including whichever reaction category you think best describes your enjoyment of any given entry. Or you can continue to not post comments, leaving me feeling unloved.

14 November 2008

Do You Think There'll Be A Recall?

I like to sleep in front of the couch. Right in front of the couch. Then I like to get annoyed when any of the humans put their feet over me to stand up. I give them dirty looks and dare them to touch the toy that is 3 feet away and I have been totally ignoring for the past 2 hours. Boss Lady gives me a dirty look in return, and then scritches my belly. Then she tells me I'm defective. I'm missing a tickle button. All dogs are supposed to have a tickle button, but I don't have one. No matter how much she scritches my belly, my leg never starts kicking. Apparently this is some sort of problem for her. So, I sneeze a big, wet sneeze on her. Then she stops looking for my tickle button. It's good to know at least my boogers aren't defective.

13 November 2008

RCHS Update

Better late than never, I always say.

Boss Lady duly visited RCHS on Tuesday. Upon inquiry as to who needed hiking, she was most disappointed to discover that her options were Flash the beagle, or Chelsea the beagle mix. Sadly, Boss Lady is not a huge fan of beagles. It's not that there's anything wrong with beagles, per se, it's simply that Boss Lady greatly prefers to keep her arms attached to her body and beagles greatly prefer to detach said arms. Boss Lady has yet to encounter a leashed beagle that did not immediately and at all times pull, hard, on the leash. Really, if you're going to walk a beagle you might as well simply detach your arm at the shoulder, hand it to the beagle and be done with it. Because when you're done with the walk, that's how things will stand. But, feeling too guilty to simply run away from the beagles and deprive one of them from a much needed hike, Boss Lady ventured forth to meet Flash and Chelsea.

As it turns out, Flash is your standard, every day, run of the mill beagle, and Chelsea is a cute little brindle beagle x pit bull mix. Being partial to brindle's, and having never had anything but positive experiences with pit bulls, Boss Lady opted for Chelsea as a hiking companion. She harnessed her up, and loaded her in the car. (And here is where I would like to happily thank Boss Lady for finally investing in a new and appropriately sized harness so that she no longer has to steal and resize my personal harness each time she goes and cheats on me. I mean, it's bad enough that she's playing with another dog, there's no need to steal my adventuring gear to do so.)

What with the increasing number of "designer breeds" these days, Boss Lady would like to suggest an appropriate name for Chelsea's "designer breed:" Pit Bugle. Chelsea, as the prime example of her breed, is as loud and obnoxious as a bugle at sunrise. So obnoxious, in fact, that after the short 5 minute ride to their hiking destination Boss Lady was ready to drop Chelsea in a pit and run away. Thus, Pit Bugle.

Aside from this noisy annoyance, Chelsea was a nicely behaved little girl and didn't even try very hard to pull Boss Lady's arm out of the socket.

Also at RCHS on Tuesday was an absolutely adorable GSD puppy. Just adorable. She was maybe 6-8 months old, and almost silvery colored. Her name is Lucy. I think I am quite lucky that Boss Lady is currently in a living situation where she is not able to bring home another dog. Lucy would surely have come home with her otherwise.

11 November 2008

Scrrrreeeeeeeech! *slam*

"You know, one of these days your brakes are going to fail and you're going to smush your nose up so badly you'll look like a pug. Mark my words, it's going to happen."

Well, it hasn't happened yet, so I don't know why Boss Lady is so worried.

When Boss Lady arrives home from work it is an exciting event. It means I'll get scritches and scratches and she'll take me out. When I'm done sniffing stuff and peeing on other stuff, we'll walk across the street to get the mail. I will sniff more stuff and pee on more stuff. Then we'll come back across the street and down the driveway. I'm usually so excited I can't control myself. See, when Boss Lady gets home from work one Extremely Important Thing happens: she feeds me supper. So, while we're doing the whole sniffing, peeing, checking the mail thing all I can think about is getting back inside so she can feed me. Which is why Boss Lady usually drops my leash and sends me flying towards the house when we're only about half way down the driveway. She's careful to make sure none of the neighborhood cats are visible. And she checks that there isn't anybody walking down the street. Then she lets me go. Without fail I race down the driveway as fast as I possibly can, leap over the two steps up onto the porch, and finally put on the brakes about 2 feet from the front door. I always manage to stop just barely in time. But, Boss Lady is convinced that one of these days I'm going to misjudge (probably the day we get the first slick coating of ice) and smash my nose right into the door. She's also pretty sure she'll laugh hysterically at my misfortune.

Speaking of slipping and sliding and smashing into things, the Rec Center Ice Skating Rink is in the works. Boss Lady took me on a mini-adventure to hike the Rec Center Town Farm Trail this afternoon. While we were there, Boss Lady noticed that the skating rink is being set up. It's nothing fancy, just a medium-sized, leveled off spot next to the t-ball field and behind the rec building. They set up a bunch of boards in a vaguely rectangular shape, flood it, and let it freeze. If we're lucky, somebody will volunteer to keep flooding it and smoothing it off. If we're not lucky, somebody won't volunteer and what little ice there'll be will be rather lumpy and bumpy. Either way, you're reminded to bring your own shovel if there's been recent snow. You'll be smart to bring a thermos of hot cocoa as well, because chances are the rec building will not be open.

Boss Lady hasn't been ice skating in years. She's not even sure where her ice skates are, or if the blades are sharp enough to use. Seeing the beginnings of the town skating rink, she thinks she'll make a strong effort to go out skating this year. She just needs to find a partner or partners. As interesting as she thinks it would be to take me out on the ice, she's pretty sure it's a bad idea.

01 November 2008

One Smart Puppy

Boss Lady agreed to take me for an adventure today, and so she did. Off we went to Pine Hill Park this afternoon and it was quite pleasant. I sniffed sniffs, peed on plants, and rolled in rotten stuff. We encountered hikers and bikers and puppy dogs, one of which was even a puppy. And that puppy might have been the smartest dog I've ever encountered, which would be quite a surprise considering it was a yellow lab. And labs are generally more better known for their enthusiasm than their brains.

This little pup, though, came barreling towards me in a puppy gallop, only to stop short about 4 feet away. Boss Lady was attempting to convince me to sit, or down, or at least hold still on the side of the trail. I agreed to the hold still part. And I puffed myself up to my bestest Big Scary Don't Mess With Me Dog look and stared down that vicious little puppy. As I said, it stopped short a few feet away and considered me. It tilted it's head to better understand the situation, tilted a little further, and concluded that perhaps I was not the dog to be messing with. Then it happily trotted by me with it's owner in tow and continued on. I'm telling you, that's the smartest dog I've ever met. That's one pup that knew enough not to mess with me. *puff puff puff* <--- That's my ego growing, there.

Boss Lady, being the lover of puppies that she is, chose to interpret the entire event in a completely different light. And I think there was a little bit of emotion shining from her lamp. She saw the whole thing as the wonderful beginnings of a great lifelong bond between master and dog, perfectly experienced through grand outdoor adventures. Shared lunches on the trail. Shared sunsets on a porch. Blah blah blah. It all stems from the foolish memorial she spied stapled to the back of a tree during our hike. We were just coming down Overlook trail to the rocky ledge overlooking Rocky Pond. We've traveled that trail a few times, but today was the first time she noticed something stapled to the back of a tree further down the trail. Being the curious person she is, she insisted we wander over to investigate. And this is what she found.

It is a bit difficult to read, so let me tell you what it says.

"Near this place lies one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices.

To sit on a hillside with a dog on a glorious afternoon is to be at peace. For dogs are our link to paradise.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this world, the one that never deserts, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. She will kiss the hand that offers no food. She will lick the wounds that come with encounters in the world. When all friends desert, she remains.

She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.

I adored her."

Now, if your eyes are still dry, you did better than her. She's read this 4 or 5 times since we got home and she cries each time. You can't tell from the picture, but there was originally what we assume was a picture of the beloved dog posted above the memorial. Sadly, the picture has been ravaged by the elements. It's quite surprising that the memorial has survived. Take a look at when this is dated: May 7, 2006. Two and half years this has been hanging on this tree. When Boss Lady realized that, right after she finished reading it the first time, the tears just poured down her face. What a stirring memorial for what can only have been a perfect dog.

I hope she realizes that now that I'm aware that such things are done, I expect a similar type memorial.

RCHS Update

I'm very happy to report that Julianne was adopted to what I am told is a wonderful family. So, when I arrived at RCHS today to give a dog a hike I got to take Manny. He was a total sweetheart. In fact, he was so thrilled to be going on a hike that he had to pause for a moment to consider his good fortune. Please forgive the blurriness, Manny wasn't particularly good at holding still.

I'd like to report that Manny only pulled on the leash a couple times, and was really quite an angel. Except for those couple totally psychotic spazz attacks. Manny apparently took offense with the harness and leash. Granted, the harness was a bit too large, but still. He twice found it necessary to attack the leash in a grand game of tug of war. And when I attempted to stop him from chewing my brand new rope leash, he decided to take out his frustration on the harness. While trying prevent him from destroying anything, I managed to get pretty thoroughly chewed on. Manny decided that my hands were fine chew toys, and my sleeves were fine tug toys. Fortunately, his heart wasn't really in it and I don't even have one scratch to show for the whole thing. So much for vicious, dangerous pit bulls with locking jaws, eh?

Isn't he just the cutest little brindle boy?

Now, I dare you to you to look into his eyes and not think he is the cutest thing ever.