Monday, November 28, 2005

Parkin the pups

While visitng our daughter and son-in-law, we discovered something new in our lives -- a DOG PARK.

Now, I know this is country come to city for lots of folks. Dog parks exist across our nation. But we live in a part of the world where people say "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" to leash laws, and most folks have lawns for their pets to play on and use other people's lawns for their pets to poop on.

We live in a place where people say -- pooper scooper? What is that?

So we go to a community where it's dangerous for dogs not to be leashed and a neighborhood where people really do care where dogs poop. And guess what -- the community responds with a special place for dogs!

We pile up the border collies and granddog Lucy for a trip to the dog park. They enter through the double gates. Lots of other owners and dogs are out playing, and as our dogs enter, we wonder how this will all turn out.

It turned out wonderfully. It must be dog neutral ground, because suddenly, there was a pack of dogs chasing the balls we threw. Big dogs, little dogs, it didn't matter. They were all having a doggie blast. And we were having a blast playing with the pack.

We liked the dog park so much we went for three consecutive days. It was just like any other playground. The kids played and the moms and dads chatted. We encountered the largest dogs -- a Newfie, for example -- and the smallest terriers. They all just chased the border collies for the balls.

Everyone sniffed. No one got mad. No one nipped. No one bit. Even the dogs who went submissive in the sniffing stage got right up and played with the big boys. How cool is that?

We loved the experience so much, we've decided we have to get a dog park here -- our new mission in life.

R BCs R TBD

Has anyone noticed how acronym-driven our language has become these days?

Let's see...

  • I drive an SUV
  • Our adopted nephew/soldier Wayne West eats MREs in Iraq (and the military is the epitome of acronyms)
  • Gumbo is a CGC and a TD, and would like to get a CD or even a CDX on him
  • Since Roux doesn't have papers from the AKC, I can get a ILP for her
  • Co-workers who tell you about their sex life are giving you TMI
  • IMHO and LMFAO are code de rigeur for instant/text messaging and e-mail
  • My recent physical involved HDL, LDL and EKG

and the list can go on and on and on...

So, what the hell does R BCs R TBD really say?

Very simply put - our border collies are tennis ball driven.

This acronym business can be quite a time saver. I think I'll try it some more.

CYA

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to all

This has been a long, hard year.

We have experienced extreme joy and extreme sorrow.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have ripped apart the earlier joys we experienced in 2005 as Anne and Jeff married, we went to England and then Jean and Mindy married.

Gumbo grew up and became a therapy dog. Roux came into our lives.

Yet, it's been an extraordinary time. We ache for the thousands of our fellow Louisianians who've lost everything.

This Thanksgiving, we are so grateful for our friends, family and pets. We are grateful and thankful for our soldiers like our friend Wayne. We hope our world will change for the better soon. And we hope everyone is safe and has someone to cling to in this uncertain world. That is our prayer.

First big road trip together

We're on our first big road trip tomorrow as a two-border collie famiily. Gumbo has been a good traveler, but we don't know how they'll both do in the back seat of the Caddy on a long drive...We'll let you know how it all works our.

Dog day afternoons

The border collies are creatures of habit, and they are time/daylight sensitive.

When our routine varies -- watch out!

Our morning routine is:

1. Wake up.

2. Get the newspaper and potty.

3. Get coffee.

4. Settle back into reading position.

5. Throw the ball.

They would happily skip steps 1 through 4 if the Chuck-It was in somebody's hand.

The past two days upon our awakening. the border collies have been sequestered in the den while I've been allowed to sleep late because I'm on vacation. It has not made them happy.

Lindsey gets dressed and goes off to work. I get up and I wish I could provide your the video of the border collies prancing for the ball the moment I wake up.

If you couldn't stand still for a big present you knew you were going to get while screaming, "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE"... Well, that might begin to describe the BC prance.

I comply and throw the ball until Roux, who doesn't play right, finally captures the ball and hides it under the sofa. Game ended.

Because we're gone all day, the BCs take big naps. After the ball tossing, they settle down.

I work all day in the house, occasionally letting them out for a break. I go outside in the afternoon and notice they haven't followed me. Not like my border collies at all.

They're both sound asleep on the sofa, basking in the afternoon sun. A true dog day afternoon....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Third Time's a Charm

Roux, our young, female, whippersnapper of a border collie, has a mysterious past. We know nothing of her lineage or where she came from.

Lois, the guardian angel for pets, hooked us up with Roux in early May. Roux had been boarded at Dr. Rundell’s clinic, and the owners never returned to pick her up. What little Lois could tell us was she was 14 weeks old (uh, that’s a big 14-week old puppy there, Lois) and the previous owners had been evicted from their home. That’s how Roux landed at Rundell’s, which is better than out in the country somewhere. We went through the process of letting Rundell’s office file abandonment papers and eventually we could “legally” own Roux.

Anyway, a few months back, Lois calls and tells me there was a possibility of Roux’s previous owners may have AKC papers on Roux. I need to call a lady who had befriended Roux’s previous owners to see if she could be a liaison to obtain the papers.

At this point, we’re pretty excited about the possibility of Roux having AKC papers. Even though she’s been spayed and couldn’t enter an AKC confirmation competition, she was eligible to enter agility, obedience and other AKC events. And at worse, we would get an ILP (Indefinite Listing Privilege) from the AKC, sort of a set of “unofficial” papers that allow purebred dogs to compete except for conformation, since the ILP does not have lineage records.

I finally call my liaison to discuss Roux with her. Much to my dismay, Roux doesn’t have any papers at all. But Roux’s guardian angel did tell me more about where Roux (then known as “Bella”) came from.

It seems Roux was found by an OTR (Over the Road, or cross-country) truck driver, based out of Alabama who was friends with the family that abandoned her at Rundell’s. Now where this trucker found Roux is the mystery. My new guardian angel friend said she may be able to see if she can get more information from the man of the family who abandoned Roux, since she still has some contact with them, but I’ll have to wait and see.

I did tell my guardian angel friend to let these folks know that Roux is extremely smart, a quick learner, is in a wonderful home with another border collie to play with. She’s learning agility and obedience, and has only one flaw – she’s a bed hog!

So Roux’s background remains cloaked in mystery, just like the Loch Ness Monster and Jack the Ripper. But after being found by a trucker, parlayed to a family who couldn’t keep her and at least conscientiously dumped at a place she would be cared for, she has found her home with us.

We will probably never know where Roux came from or anything about her lineage, but it doesn’t matter. We love her to pieces and she’s at home with us and Gumbo.

Third time really is a charm.

Friday, November 11, 2005

People who don't like dogs

I work with a very sweet man. I was trapped in a car and at a meeting with him for eleven hours yesterday.

The difference in our personalities, I think, is that I love animals and he doesn't.

Now, the very interesting thing is -- I have to trust him to love my work.

I like him. He likes me. He likes much of the work I do. He's very supportive of my work.

But he doesn't have any animals, and I don't think he even likes any animals.

He needs the love.

I think he's a kitty kind of guy. I might plant one at his house...

Two Benadryls and you can roam the 'hood

After several totally nasally stopped-up mornings, I woke up today with a lovely golf ball implanted in my right jowl.

I love my husband.

I am horrified, and he says, "Honey, I can barely see it now that you've pointed it our to me."

When you're horrified, I'm not sure that's the correct answer, but I love him just the same.

Wouldn't you know I had planned to take today as a VACATION day?

I took Benadryl and Advil to the max, puttered around the house playing ball with the border collies.

The combination got to me mid-morning, so I took a nap. The golf ball in my neck took that opportunity to swell to baseball size. The worst thing about it -- as I look at it, I'm thinking...I'm so chubby, the fat neck may be only something I can see.

Waking up with a baseball in your neck is enough to scare anybody to the doctor's office, particularly on a Friday afternoon. I sought the comfort of Dr. Tom Dansby, my "doc in the box."

Good ole doc saw it immediately, and gave me an enormous medical explanation, complete with multi-syllabic terms, on what it might be. Not the mumps. Maybe a sinus infection. Most probably a sinus and saliva gland infection. But could be worse, so he wants to see me in 10 days if it's not totally gone.

Now, here's the scariest confession from me in all of this... I absolutely do not remember letting Roux out at any time. And if I did, it would have been out in the back yard. When I went to take my nap, Gumbo was in his crate and I guess I thought Roux was under the bed.

When I woke up two hours later, I saw a black flash chasing Natchez in the front yard. It was Roux. She had evidently been outside the entire time, and I still haven't figured out how she got into the front yard.

She was hot and sweaty and out of breath -- evidently having a very good time. I was sick and thankful the Lord spared me dog grief for my evidently drugged state. (Two Benadryls, baby, and she's out!)

Now that Roux is spared from her outdoors adventure, I hope I can give an equally promising report on my baseball neck. Bless Lindsey's heart, he said the right things but I don't think he knows how worried I am about this thing I've never had before getting better.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A special present for me from Petco?

You'll remember in an earlier blog note that LINDSEY, the love of my life, objects to dressing up dogs. Dogs is dogs and they shouldn't look like Elvis, he says, or something to that effect.

I had a reasonably growly day today, needed to contact the love of my life and he is out there traveling incognito. Since I am the only person now who calls him on his cell, it's not always on his body. Imagine that!

Late in the afternoon, we chatted and he explained: There's a bag on the kitchen table from Petco, and it has "SOMETHING FOR YOU."

Now, last time I checked, you couldn't buy diamonds at Petco.

So, I joked: "Honey, you finally bought me that special collar I've been looking at."

He said: "That's right -- the one with all the spiky studs."

For most of you dear readers, that is just too much information. But, the studs were not to be because I'm really not a stud kind of girl.

I really want to be a girly girl, the kind who wears DIAMONDS.

So I anxiously ran into the house, thinking there MIGHT be a slim jewelry box sitting on the kitchen table from my husband who loves me so very very much.

Hell no.

It was HOLIDAY COSTUMES FOR THE DOGS!

We've got a Santa hat and a pair of reindeer antlers. Pics to come. But in the meantime, I think I'll be wearing the antlers when Lindsey comes home tonight.....

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