Sunday, February 20, 2011

The newest Golden Child: Introducing Yaxley

I've mentioned before, this philosophy of veteran CCI puppy raisers, that after you've got three dogs in the house, it doesn't matter how many you bring in after that. Ever always on the alert on how many dogs I can get in here and still be married, I have now brought in Number Three.

The little lord Yaxley is our third puppy to raise for Canine Companions for Independence. He is also the third dog leaving hair on my carpet here, along with CCI pup Micron and our family dog, Jager. We do have a cat too, but as I haven't seen her since the first CCI puppy, I don't really count her. I fill up her food bowl every day, though, so I know she's still here somewhere. Or we have some well-fed mice that leave cat sized nuggets in the litter box.

We welcomed Yaxley to our home this past Friday evening. He flew in from California that morning, made it to CCI's North Central Regional Center for a quick check and a bath, then a two-hour car ride back to our place.

So how did he handle this life changing day? He walks into the kitchen, says wassup to the other dogs and then asks, what's for dinner?

I'm thinking we've got a confident little guy here.

More updates and photos to come over the next few months. For a start, how about some flying puppy shots?

The dark side of snow

This winter has brought some news worthy weather our way. Well, just about everybody's way, really.  Last month it was said that 49 states had snow on the ground. And the holdout wasn't Hawaii, like I thought. There was snow on some mountain there, they say. Turns out, it was Florida that was free of the snowflake.

Here in southwestern Ohio, we had snow. And we had a spectacular ice storm that glazed the landscape. Pretty stuff, but what a nightmare to get around in. When the dogs had to go out to do their business, it was Godspeed to y'all.  Try not to get hurt out there, now.

But now, mid-February, the snow is gone. It's been traded in for mud. Lots and lots of mud. Shoe sucking stuff and a squishy lawn that pools around your feet as you walk. This is crappy enough, but add two dogs to the equation and things get serious.

Ok, so Jager is a Felix Unger reincarnate. He is absolutely the cleanest dog, just will not get dirty. Ever. I don't even bathe him; he doesn't need it. Weird.

But Micron is a Lab/Golden cross - a water dog. One that apparently feels deprived of his web-footed heritage. An otherwise quick play session in the backyard brought me this little surprise.

Can you tell what the goober head is doing?  Not sure? How about now?

Oh, that's not just a mud puddle. It's run-off from a nearby creek that fills that area of the yard. After this shot, he laid back down in it playing yellow submarine. Then he started rolling. And for a finale, starting a vigorous bout of digging.

He couldn't have been a happier dog.

I hope he was able to hang onto that happy thought during the obligatory hose down. What I don't get was all the complaining about the cold hose water. Was it really colder than that mud puddle, Micron? Really?

And look at that face. I believe that to be a look of defiance.

 That's right, Food Lady. And I'd do it again, too.


A reminder to never underestimate the power of a new puppy in the house. Not to be topped by Micron's mud adventure, Jager found something very dead in the backyard. And rolled in it. He has never done anything like this before.  And so, Jager got a bath.

Not sure who is going to win the "I got the food lady's attention and you don't" contest, but it sure ain't gonna be me.

A little bromance for Valentine's Day

Holy cow, but these two dogs are best of friends. I was trying to think of the word for when two guys like each other a lot, but the relationship is completely platonic. 

Ah yes, bromance. 

Micron and Karsen really enjoy each other's company. And personal space.

I love ya, man

As a puppy raiser, I consider these play dates as very helpful in the training process. Of course, we expect these dogs to follow the basics whether the training cape is on or not. Playing with other CCI pups encourages good play behaviors and we can reward their appropriate interactions. 

These two have grown up together at our office. When the leash is on and the cape on their backs, they can pass each other in the hallway with just a wink and a nod. But when the capes are off and the Release command spoken, then it's Tag! You're It!

Two good dogs.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The need for speed

Micron looks like he's working some complex problem in his head, finally gonna solve that pesky world economy thing. Those deep, soulful eyes; the wrinkled brow. What's really going through his fuzzy noggin?

Gotta run why do I have to sit here why won't she let me run there's snow and I gotta run. Pretty much stuff like that.

Fair enough; it can't be all work and no running in the snow. Let's take the cape off and give the release command.  And let 'er rip through the backyard.

I call this next shot: G-force. Feeling the need for speed, Micron has the wind whipping through his hair and is running so fast his lips are pulled back from the sheer force of it all.  If it were warmer out, he'd have a moth or something stuck in his teeth.

For a fun comparison, here's the blog post on his first snow day ever in December 2009: Snow Day

Reminds me of why it's a bad idea to smile when on a motorcycle

Now this guy understands the difference between work and play. Yeah, most of the time.

So we're walking along the sidewalk to our favorite lunchtime diner, Micron at my side in perfect heel position. La la la, I think, just walking along. Maybe I'll get the ham and cheese omelette today, when Micron dives front end into the snow. With his butt in the air and his plume tail as a flag, he's playing like he's a Bob the Builder Snow Plow. Just chugging right through the snow with his snout and actually leaving a wake behind him. 

While I'm mortified and wrestling him back to heel, my lunch partners are laughing at it all. Yeah sure, it was about the funniest thing I've seen him do.  And a puppy raiser lesson learned. Don't forget to keep your  attention on the dog. You can think about omelettes later.

And anyway, I got the cheeseburger special.

You know what, Food Lady?
I don't think Bob the Builder even has snow plows.

All American Mutts can love the snow, too.
Now there's a snow plow nose.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Turns out, the girl's a Steelers fan

Inga says "Go Steelers!"

Who knew? But here she is, the lovely Inga, showing her support for her team this weekend. Her family shared this shot with me this morning and I'm so glad they did.

It's pathetic, but true, that I'm not a big football fan. Nothing against the game, of course. I listen to the football chatter about the office and it seems to me that there's as much drama in this game as a good soap opera.

I recall being stuck at an office dinner with some new hires on my team. By new hires, I mean people much younger than me. The topic went to fantasy football teams. And then the topic pulled up a chair and stayed there and ordered drinks. They finally exhausted their excitable chatter and paused to look at me like they forgot I was there; polite looks on their faces inviting me to join in. 

So, I say, anyone scrapbook?

I've since decided it's not helpful to my career to hang with the new hires.

But hey, I'm paying attention to keep in touch. For example, this morning listening to NPR (not an old people station, so you can stop thinking that), it was mentioned that both the Steelers and the Packers are named after the trades in their respective cities. Ironically, trades that no longer exist in those areas.  So what if we updated some of the football teams to names like the Seattle Baristas or the New York Hedge Fund Managers.  Yeah, it's NPR humor, but I laughed.

And just because I'm clueless about football, doesn't mean everyone else in the house is. The kid is all over it. Pretty big fan, it seems.

So Inga's a Steelers fan, huh?  Well, she certainly wasn't raised that way.

Micron & Jager say "Go Pats"

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