Sunday, December 25, 2011

The fat man cometh.

Quite frankly, I'm surprised.  I mean, who knew the Big Guy could actually squeeze himself down that narrow chimney?  It's rather a feat, really, given his girth and all.  I would have let him in the front door if only he'd knocked, but according to Pearl, that's not how it happens.  Seems kind of weird though.  This whole chimney thing.  I mean, we've got a driveway as big as an aircraft carrier.  It seems good old St. Nick could have just landed there and knocked on the door rather than maybe scratching the shingles and maybe taking out the power lines.  Just saying.

Pearl says that's just not how it's done around here.  Meh.  Needless to say, I was a little surprised when Abe and Elle woke up this morning and didn't bat an eye at all the snow the big guy left in the living room.

So, when Abe and Elle were doing some something (I don't know what they do when they leave.  I'm trapped in a crate.)  Pearl broke me out and I did a little net surfing about other ways of breaking and entering, I mean, Santa's arrival.

You'd be a little freaked out too if this guy woke you in the middle of the night and asked for a photo!

In Spain, apparently, Santa climbs in your window using a fire escape ladder.
Santa entering your window.
Uh... OK.

In Germany, one website said the following:
Children leave letters on their windowsills for Christkind, a winged figure dressed in white robes and a golden crown who distributes gifts. Sometimes the letters are decorated with glue and sprinkled with sugar to make them sparkle.
That's kind of cool.  It's a little less creepy than the Spanish version.
Finland, on the other hand, has its own take on Santa.  Apparently, Santa is Finnish.  Weird, because when I spoke to him the other day, he didn't have an accent.

Anyway, one website said:
The Finnish equivalent for Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas etc, is joulupukki, who has his origin in the pagan Nordic shaman tradition of people dressing up in animal disguises.  Joulupukki was once a symbol of fertility and more of a frightening figure back then than today. He was clad in thick fur-lined coat turned inside out, wearing a mask and a pair of horns on his head. The name joulupukki literally means "Christmas buck" (billy-goat).
OK.  Pearl is putting me back in my crate.  She thinks I might scare some of the younger pups.

Anyway... Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve.

Here's to wishing you all a happy, safe, and owner-filled Christmas, whatever that is.  The Christmas, I mean.
If I pee on the presents, will Santa be mad?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Torturing puppies?

Nothing gets my big ears a burning than torturing puppies.* I KNOW! How can I think such a thing, you ask, but how else can you explain this?

I mean, what else would bring dozens of people to their knees weeping so earnestly. Imagine, if you will, the poor little defenseless puppy, all cute and cuddly, it probably has a cute wet nose even. Maybe she has a lazy eye, and, you know, if it weren't for the lame leg, would be the best dog ever. Kind of like this one:

Yes, I am this cute.

Or maybe this one:
Right back at'cha, buddy.

Or this one:

Why would you ever want to hurt something wishing you a relaxing weekend? It's criminal, I tell you. C-r-i-m-n-a-l. Why, I think I ought to send a mass email or something, dew claws a typing, to all my friends and rally the troops, or march, or walk around the block. Maybe even protest or something.

Pearl noted that I misspelled criminal above. Sorry. I mentioned I have dew claws. Plus, it was in all capitals, and you probably missed it, too. Right?

Well, I mean, if I weren't a dog, which I am of course, I would cynically think these people were being forced to weep so openly for some dude who wore elevator shoes. I don't know what elevator shoes are, but Pearl says they're something people in tall buildings wear. Why you need special shoes for a building, I don't know. Pearl and I wear our shoes all the time, and they're called paws, so they say. Abe and Elle wear shoes, too, but not "elevators." Abe calls them "poop shoes," whatever that means.

Anyway, regardless of why these people are weeping, I kind of feel bad for them. I mean, something really bad happened, and they're probably really worried about the future, or food, or maybe how cold it is. It looks cold where they are. I hope they have warm coats.

*No puppies were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Some dude with a beard.

I'm not exactly sure why Elle thought it was a good idea that I sit next to this stranger.  I mean, yeah, the plump guy wasn't so bad.  Now, I'm no fashion guru.  That's Pearl.  She's the one who paws through newspaper ads for all the latest fashions, but something tells me that whatever this guy is wearing is a wee bit out of style.  I'm just saying.  I'm kinda certain red is not the new black, not that I can see color.  Nevertheless, something seemed to come over me when I saw him, all jolly and such as he was, and he "Ho, ho"ed a lot.

Then outta the blue, I grew some antlers and bells.  And, what the hell happened to my ears?  They don't look like that normally.

Well, Pearl said this guy is called "Santa."  I'm not sure what kind of name that is, but it doesn't seem to matter much.  He was nice, and he gave me treats and stuff.  Asked me if I've been a good boy or not, which was kind of rude given that we'd just met.  Of course I have, I said.  What kind of question is that?  OK, so there was that one time when I had an accident in the house, but I didn't know the basement was "out of bounds?"  Come on, I was new.  And, sure, there was that time I started eating the door trim.  Cut me some slack!  I'm not perfect despite what Abe tells people.

Pearl is warning me to be nice.  Sorry.  Something about all the stress of "Christmas" shopping has got my antlers in a bunch.  I don't know what this "Christmas" is, but if me shopping for presents makes Elle happy, I guess I can cope like everyone else.
Shopping gives me a headache.

It seems I've got a nose for bargain buys.
It turns out these gifts aren't for me.  Disappointment.  But, I heard Elle talking to Abe about how these gifts benefit my peeps at the Champaign County Humane Society.  Now I feel bad, like I was being selfish and everything.  I figure I might as well give back, right?  Not everyone is fortunate like me, getting a home and stuff.  The photo with me and the big red guy benefits Crisis Nursery and Catsnap.  I mean, who doesn't like kids, their mothers and cats?  It is this Christmas thing, after all.  It was organized by Pet Supplies "Plus" and Fetch Pet Care.

So, the house is changing too.  Suddenly there's a tree in the living room that no one noticed.  It kinda freaked me out.  You'd think someone would have seen that sprouting up through the carpet.  There are presents and stockings a little too close to the fireplace, too.  It seems kinda dangerous to me, hanging stocking by the fire.  A bit of a fire hazard?  But apparently it's "normal," Pearl says.  Abe mentioned something about Santa coming down the chimney, too.  How's that gonna work?  I mean, did you look at this guy?  Does he look able to fit down a chimney?  I didn't think so.

Oh yeah, white stuff fell from the sky last night.  Random.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RIP, "Dad."

Well, I'm bummed.  Word on the dognet.listserv came down that my brother, er dad, Semper, had a tough time of it a couple of nights ago, and he's "passed."  Some of you may remember Semper, er dad, from this post in September.  Now, I'm a bit confused, really, because Pearl said something about him "seeing the Pearly gates," the other day, and I thought she was talking about the backyard like she was being possessive or something.  You know, like, "take your filthy paws off the Pearly gate."  Well, then she got to talking about Carmen.

Apparently, another dog used to live in my house... our house, Pearl says.   Sure, I've heard rumblings every now and then from Abe and Elle.  Like, they'd say, "I miss Carmen."  Frankly, I thought they were talking about the opera.  Now, everybody has heard of that!  What dog hasn't?  Every time it comes on we start howling...

See, this is what happens when we hear this song...
In any case, I've been told there was a dog named Carmen who used to troll the backyard for goodies, even in her blind state.  Really, the stories I've heard Pearl relate are kinda hard to believe.  A dog found on the side of the road with puppies and heartworm.  She'd been shot in the leg, so she limped.  Then she went blind.  I mean, come on.  It's preposterous, right?  What dog could possibly have all that happen to them in 13 or so short years?  Anyway, I'm not entirely convinced Carmen lived here.

Wait a minute.  Pearl has rifled through Abe's computer while they were out, and she's pulled up this photo.  "See," she says.
Someone named Carmen
Well, I mean, yes, it appears this photo was taken from what looks like the living room.  And, I admit that I've seen that mean looking vacuum cleaner in the background one too many times.  I hate that damn thing.  But, if anything, this Carmen seems to be howling, too.  See... it's in the name.

I seem to have digressed.  Anyway, Pearl says that this Carmen passed away too, and it got me to thinking about my dad, and how even though I met him only once, I already miss him.  It was good knowing you Semper, er Dad.
Dad and me

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cocoa the Wiley.

Well... It turns out it's just me and Pearl.  I can't say I'm surprised.  Word on the Adopt-a-Parent listserv was that she was heading to Shin and Eve's, and low and behold, Shin and Eve got some dog named Wiley.  It's kind of weird because, seriously, Cocoa and Wiley sure look a hell of a lot alike.  Know what I'm saying?  Granted, I was swiping my dew claws through Abe's smartphone, and I wasn't able to sniff Cocoa like any proper greeting would entail.  And, since I don't have opposable thumbs I couldn't zoom in on the damn thing, I'll just have to assume that Wiley and Cocoa are one in the same.

Since Wiley is pretty, well, wiley, it's tough to get a decent photo of her.  Here's some, though.
Wiley doesn't smell like Abe's smartphone.
Although the patterns on her fur are similar, Wiley is her own woman.  And she and Bailey seem to be getting along just fine!  I've got me some new girlfriends.  Boom chica mao mao!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Life happens.

I've been told that I've been lax about posting. Of course, it was Pearl who told me, so I'm not all that concerned about it. What can I say? Life happens. If you were as cool and popular as I am, you'd know what it's like. There's parties, trips to the dog park, trips to the vet, and, of course, there's talk of a new family member floating around. It's times like these when I start to wonder just how little time I have. Who wants to do "homework" after excitement like that?

Nevertheless, there's much to report on, even if my dew claws haven't  much felt like tapping on keys to update you.

Abe and Elle hosted an All Hallows EveEveEve party. I don't know what that means, but it's what I heard when people were dressed weirdly in my house. I'm not sure who invited Johnny Cash, the Nationwide Insurance dude, and some zombie killer named Shaun. Anyway, Elle made me a costume, and Abe started calling me QR instead of J-roo. Random? Here's what I looked like. I am not amused.
In case you're wondering, this is what the code looks like up close. Apparently, if you point a smart phone at it, it takes you here. Why you would want a phone to do this, I don't understand considering you're already looking at this. People. Weird.
Trips to the dog park have been plentiful, for which I am thankful. I've also discovered the joys of squirrels in the backyard. Here's me treeing one. Pearl says I look like I should be working coons in Mississippi. I just nodded. I don't have a clue what she's talking about. She is getting up there in age. I suspect that might be playing a part.
Lastly, there's been talk of bringing a new bitc, er, lady in the house. Her name is Cocoa. And, if she didn't look as adorable as she is, I might be offended that Abe and Elle don't think I'm dog enough for them. Granted, Pearl's still around, but I mean, do I look like I need another girlfriend? And, she's a minor, too. Cocoa is a five month old. Jailbait, people. Here is evidence of her cuteness.
I mean, OK... she's cute, but I'm feeling kinda weird about it. It's like looking at myself. I don't want to be narcissistic or anything. I've got a reputation to uphold. I'd prefer to keep Abe and Elle all to myself, er... I mean to Pearl and myself. Three's a crowd right? Thankfully, Shin and Eve, Bailey's parents, might be adopting Cocoa. If that happens, at least we can be friends. Right?

Well... my dew claws grow weary from disuse. I need to work them out more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well... I got a boo-boo.  It happens.

I gotta boo-boo. ;(
Sometimes you just feel like licking and licking that, you know, the doc says, "Hey, how `bout we put a bandage on ya?"  Well... Elle and the doctor chatted it up.  I wasn't paying too close attention.  I mean, the doctor was throwing words around like epidermis, nonvascular, and vessels.  Yeah, like I said, I wasn't paying her mind.  I was more interested in whether or not she was going to give me a cookie if I looked at her long enough.  Granted, I earned the extra benefit of looking like I was engaged in the conversation.  I do have that stare thing down pat.

Anyway... Pearl's been down lately.  I think it's the change in season.  See how glum she looks?
"I'm wagging my tail," she said.
The change in weather is having an effect.  I can't play fetch in the backyard if it's all muddy.  Sigh.  At least with winter coming, the ground will freeze, right?  You can't have mud if the ground is frozen!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Trim this.

Okay.  I was bad.  I admit it.  What do you want from me?  Elle leaves town for a few days, and I get upset.  Wouldn't you if the only order in the house disappeared?  Seriously.  It was like "Bachelor Party."  You know, the 1984 movie where Tom Hanks is about to get married and all hell breaks loose.  If you thought my ears blushed at the dog park the other day, just imagine this scene!
Well... you'd be itching to get out, too.

By being bad, I snacked on the door trim.  I know, I know.  I was disappointed, too.  It didn't taste as good as it sounded.
Yes... those are my teeth marks on the trim.  But can you blame me?  I mean, it was crazy in here.  It was almost like "Animal House."
Thankfully, order returned if only after a weekend spent at the spa.  I know I was bad, but treating me to such pampering was entirely unexpected.  I got my nails done and a bath.  I even got blow dried.  Well... I could have gone without that.  Nevertheless, I should act up more often.

Shh!!!  Elle's coming.

Crud.  Order has been restored.
Dammit... me in class again.
Anyway...  Pearl says winter is coming.  If it's that time of year where everything turns white, I'm not looking forward to it.  Remember, I only see in two colors, and I kinda dig the other one.  It adds definition.
Awesome fall.
P.S. Pearl has suggested I add the "color" version of this photo to this post.  Wait a minute, Pearl... you mean they see color?
You can see this?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

F-u Dog Park.

"How many classes does one dog really need?"
Me learning.
That's what I heard Abe mutter under his breath the other day when I was in class with Elle.  Yes, Abe, I heard you!  He was sitting on the side of the ring practically falling asleep.  Granted, it was late.  Who has a class at 8 PM on a weekday?  I know!  He and I should have been playing in the backyard or watching TV together in the living room or something.  You think I'm not sympathetic?  Who's the one "learning" here?

Nevertheless, Elle has enrolled me in yet another class.  It's my thrid.  This is Prebasicsubnoviceagilitytraining or some such nonsense.  All I know is that we never get to actually say "hi" to my new friends in class.  We stand like six feet from each other.  How are we gonna nose-up on each other from so far away?  If there's an upside, it's the cookies I get for looking at Elle all the time.  She's stingy with the treats otherwise.  So, I guess I've got to stare at her to make her happy.  Who's got the ego here?  Meanwhile, Abe's asleep in the corner.  Sigh.  What I must do to keep this family together.  Geez.

Well, another bonus for the week was going to Allerton Park.
F-U Dog.
Wait a second, Pearl just informed me that there is no hyphen in Fu Dog.  My bad.  I thought this was in reference to last weeks run in at the dog park.  Well, Elle took me to this park where blue dogs sit on pedestals all day.  I looked around for some Democrats like it was some kind of political convention, but all I could find were soapboxes.

Anyway, these Fu Dogs don't look anything like a dog I've seen, but maybe that's just me.  They look more lionish than anything, but whatever.  People are weird.  Anyway, we hung out and hiked.  Here's me and a tree.
Me and a tree.
Well... seems like we have football again tomorrow.  All I know is that Bears are playing.  I can't imagine bears playing fetch being better than me, but Abe and Elle seem to like watching them.  I can only hope we'll get to play football, too.  Right?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why rest on the weekend?

I tell you.  Abe and Elle are LAME-O!  They want to sleep-in on weekends.  Not me.  Weekends are week-starters.  When else do I get to hang with friends around a fire, go to the dog park, and play football?  Heck, I even got to chill with my girlfriend Bailey.  I ♥ Bailey!

Friday, Abe and I went to Bailey's place where Shin and Eve decided to burn a Christmas tree.  I don't know why exactly you'd want to burn a tree.  Hello?  I mean, the last time we went camping, Pearl and Bailey didn't get along.  That's dangerous enough for me.  Add fire, and... well.  Fire's dangerous?  Let alone burning a Christmas tree, of all things.  I know nothing about them, you know... trees.  Yes, I like to tinkle on them now and again, so I don't really understand why burning one would be such fun.  But a Christmas tree?  Er... isn't that, like, anti-Christmas?  I don't know about you, but I don't want to be associated with that come December.  Just saying.

Nevertheless... the humans thought it'd be a good idea to light a tree on fire.  Here's the results:
The fire reached about 15 feet into the air.  It went off like a rocket.  Not that I know what a rocket is, but that's what Abe said as he stepped about 20 feet back from the fire.  I don't know if you notice me flying by behind it.  Active pants and all.  Bailey, on the other hand, didn't care for the fire so much.  Maybe she knows something I don't, but she made sure that Eve sat between her and the fire at all times.

On Saturday, we hit the dog park.
"You have something on the lens."

Me and a new friend.  He/she was friendly.  I like friendly dogs.

Bailey (♥) with her frisbee thingy.
Me and the new Chuck-it ball.
Sometimes there are people fights at the dog park.  Weird, cuz usually I associate dog fights at a dog park, but whatever.  Anyway, Abe told off a bully German Shepard that was picking on me.  I told Abe I could take care of myself, but you know how "owners" are.  Nevertheless, the German Shepard's owner, let's call her Frau(n), had some choice words for Abe.  Abe, of course, well... let's just say he made my ears blush.
Yes, they blush.
If Frau(n) had to say "he's just playing," obviously the German Shepard wasn't getting my communication that said, "get the f*** outta my face, yo!"   Shrug.

Well... Sunday rolls around and then there's football.  Abe, Elle, Shin, Eve and Darbage were all excited about bears playing saints.  Now, I know nothing about bears or saints, but it just seems to me that anyone with God on their side is going to win.  Let's remember that some of these people torched a Christmas tree on Friday, after all.  I mean, was there really any doubt who was going to win after that?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New relative.

I had no idea I had a brother, but apparently I'm related to this guy.  It seems that Elle's father also has a friend.  His name is Semper.
Me and my "dad"... Semper.

So, by extension, I think he'd be a brother.  Wait a minute.  Maybe he's actually my father?  I mean, if he's paired up with Elle's father, and Elle's father is her father, then that would make Semper my father.  Weird.  I mean, I've never met my father, but Semper, er Dad, wasn't what I pictured in my mind.

I guess I dreamed about the day I'd meet him.  Dear old dad.  You know, like one of those bad movies where an orphaned kid finds out that he was left because of liquor or other companionship (female K-9s).  Maybe my dad was roaming the streets, maybe with one of those collars with the pointed studs on them.  A real tough guy.  Like this guy.
The dad I always wanted.

Tough.  Rugged.  Snow covered.  Searching for his long lost son.  I guess I wasn't expecting a happy-go-lucky Yellow Labrador.
Some random dog that looked like "dad."
To his credit, Semper, er Dad, has been hit by two or three cars, and I'm sure he's fathered hundreds of thousands of puppies halfway across northern Illinois.  But, you know, part of me is disappointed that I don't look more like him.  It reminds me that maybe I'm just a random accident of fate, birthed on the side of some road.  A chance life form who happened to wander into someone's yard to get picked up and put up for adoption.  Because, that is what I am.  An adoption.  I still have worth, though.  Even if Dad, er... OK.  Semper isn't really my father.  I'm loved, as far as I know.  And others out there are far worse off.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Champion.

Me and my bling.
OK, ok.  I'm not really a champion.  I'm a graduate. But, since I used "the Graduate" for a blog post a few weeks ago, I've got to change it up some.  And really, this ribbon can't get any bigger.  It's champion worthy, in my opinion.
Ainsley graduates.
This is my gal pal, Ainsley.  She passed with flying colors.  Granted, it took a couple of tries, but she got it in the end.  Maddie, on the other hand, was not as fortunate.  See that lead?  Tight as could be.  She was doomed.  Maybe next time, girlfriend.
Maddie fails.
After my test, of course, I got to go to the dog park to release some pent up energy.  Here's me chillaxing with my ball.
Who's that foxy lady over my shoulder?  That's Janearoo, or Jillaroo, or some sort of combination thereof.  Weird how we have similar names.  Are we related?
Anyway... I'm proud of my bling.  What does it all mean?  Apparently, I'm good to go to the agility training.  From there, the sky's the limit.  Who knows where this degree will take me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Test time.

Now, no one told me that there'd be a test involved.  I'm starting to freak out.
I've been "auditing" a class (well, at least I thought I was auditing one), and everything was going great until I heard Elle tell Abe about a test on Thursday.  A test?  When were they going to tell me?  Shouldn't that be on a syllabus or something.  Granted, I can't read much, but still.  Notice would be nice.  I'm all nervous now.

They say I've got to test for Canine Good Citizen training.  Apparently, this is like a big freaking deal.  If I fail this, I can't do all the other stuff Elle wants me to do like therapy dog stuff where me and my posse go around and sniff old people.  OK, playing with little kids at some children's hospital might be fun, too.  Old people?  Not so much.  Well, unless they've got treats or forget to eat their Jello or something.  Maybe I can make a killing at the old folks home.

Wait a minute.  That doesn't sound right.  Crud, I wish my dew claws worked better because I'd probably delete that.  Anyway... no I'm not advocating killing old people.  What do you take me for?  Sigh.

OK, so this test is on Thursday and it involves greeting strangers, sitting, staying, coming, down, being separated for three minutes, and other tasks as assigned.  If I pass, then I can go to the class I've been dying (damn...) wanting to go to which is the agility training.
Can't you see the inherent skill there?  Anyway... Thursday approaches, and there's a whole bunch of new people in town.  You think maybe it's because they're taking the test too?  Crap.  I didn't think of that!  The pressure is on now!