Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
- A large stack of 8-year-old copies of the Detroit Free Press.
- Not one but two Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines. For those who aren't aware of this magical device, the Snoopy model is the standard for hand-cranked ice crushing.
- A troll doll.
- A grotesquely curled-up refrigerator magnet of Michelangelo's David.
- An ancient device called a "dot-matrix" printer.
- A litter box from an ill-conceived experiment conducted when I was a puppy in a small apartment.
- A baby gate, from another puppy experiment.
- A baseball bat autographed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
- A small kit labeled "The Art of Belly Dancing."
- A framed Presidential Academic Fitness Award signed by the first President Bush.
- A piece of the Berlin Wall.
- Most exciting of all, a package of vintage rawhide chew sticks, circa 2002.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I often watch Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel, but I hadn't really tried any of his techniques. (To be honest, I just thought it was funny to watch how Mugsy and Wendell would respond to some of the dogs on TV.) But little Wendell is one of those dogs who would gladly pull you through a walk, choking and wheezing all the way. So I turned to Cesar Millan's three-DVD set, Mastering Leadership, for some advice. The first DVD is just Cesar talking to folks about keys to keeping your dogs happy and healthy. If you've ever seen the show, the ideas in this part will all be pretty familiar — give your dog exercise, then discipline, then affection; calm, assertive energy makes you a pack leader; your dog is not a human. The second DVD was what proved really helpful for me (and Wendell). I watched the segment that featured Dixie, a Jack Russell terrier who yipped and pulled her way through every walk. I was happy to note that Dixie was even worse at walking on a leash than Wendell. After watching, I used Cesar's advice on walking your dog — have calm, assertive energy; don't let the dog walk in front of you; and correct bad behavior the moment it starts. The results were really good — by the end of the walk, Wendell was happily trotting behind me, and I only had to do an occasional correction. We've got a lot of work to do on having Wendell stay calm when we pass other dogs and people, but that's something Cesar covers in the DVD, too. I'm looking forward to trying those techniques, as well.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The dog park was swarming with canine activity. Wendell and I made the rounds and soon found ourselves snout to snout with a fellow pug (right) and her human caretaker. Though we'd never met the woman before, she seemed happy to see us and bent down to pat our silky heads. To paraphrase the great philosopher Will Rogers, "A stranger is just a follower I haven't indoctrinated."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
More details to come ...
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
As promised, here are some pictures from this year's Pug-O-Ween extravaganza. Among the costumes were a mouse, Pugerace (Liberace pug), Morticia Addams, couch pugtatoes, Elvis Pugsley, a hot-air balloon (excellent, though I did not get any good photos of it) and a pug with a superb Mr. T starter set.
I tried to make a montage of costumes as I had in years past, but because of the infidel Bill Gates and his inferior Windows Vista, it was difficult. It is impossible to manipulate images in Photoshop with any accuracy on my current laptop, so please excuse the rough appearance. God willing, the ministry will receive sufficient donations to purchase a decent operating system.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I have some catching up to do, my flock. As promised, here is the tale of New Dog:
The happy ayatollah clan was returning from Pug-O-Ween when I spotted a little dog roaming the neighborhood. We didn't want him to get hit by a car, so mother got out and offered him a biscuit. The canine accepted.
Soon, he was running around the ayatollah compound as if he owned the place. He wore a collar, but there was no phone number or address for a human caretaker. With the understanding that our new brother might be with us for a while, we named him New Dog, ND for short (pronounced "Indy"). While mother made some signs and posted them around the neighborhood, Wendell and I began to acquaint ourselves with ND. We learned that he was a Lutheran, and that he had worked in Las Vegas as a lounge singer. His nickname was "Old Blue Eye," owing to his distinctive one-blue-eye-and-one-brown-eye appearance. He was also fast -- nearly as speedy as Wendell. This led to at least 30 minutes of outdoor fun for the young duo. After a couple of minutes of watching the black blur chase the white-brown blur, and vice versa, I retired to the living room.
ND later laid claim to some pre-chewed rawhide, which could have been a source of friction. But thankfully, father opened a new pack, and all was once again right with the world. ND slept in Wendell's crate that night.
The next morning, mother and father took ND to a local veterinarian's office. They found that he had a microchip beneath his skin, and it provided the information necessary to track down ND's human caretaker. Mother and father left ND with the vet, and we thought that would be the last we'd see of our new brother. But last night, as costumed children prowled the neighborhood and set my hackles on alert, I spied the unmistakable gait of ND. He was out walking with his human. As my family drove by, ND looked up, his blue eye twinkling in the moonlight. He nodded in appreciation for what Wendell and I had done for him. I nodded back. Then, rolling down the window, I barked, "You owe me a stick of rawhide, you furry mooch."