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Archive for January, 2013

It’s an anniversary, Charlie Brown!

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One year ago today, I drove up to the New Hampshire border, on a somewhat warm, sunny January day, and met a little puppy named Charlie Brown at the home where he and his litter mates had been fostered since Christmas.  Charlie Brown went home with me that afternoon.  The brood had been discovered in an abandoned house in Tennessee, with their mama dog, who was eventually named Kate.  Great Dog Rescue of New England dubbed them the Kate-Plus-Eight litter.

Charlie howled on the way home in the car, just like his predecessor, Hector did 10 years earlier (see Hector’s story here)  Here are the first pictures I took of Charlie, after he eventually laid down and went to sleep in the back seat.  Awwwww!

We got Charlie Brown home and he met Hobie.  Here are some pictures of that.

I never realized how much black was in Charlie’s coat!
Charlie Brown settled in, and we took a bunch more photos.  He immediately slipped through a space in the fence (smart little bugger) and we had to patch that up immediately the first night!  Then, he promptly swallowed something he should not have, barfed it up, and had me so worried that I slept on the couch with him that first night, with him in my arms, fearful he would die!  (Ok, so we were still a little shell-shocked from losing our beloved Hector just 5 months before.)  So much for establishing boundaries and making the pup not sleep with you on the first night!  

That’s our Charlie Brown!  Look at the size of those PAWS!
Today, one year later, he’s 14 months old, HUGE, and about to go for his annual check-up at the vet’s this coming week.  That should be fun (not!) 

Subaru campaign

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Oh my DOG!  As a Subaru owner for nearly 30 years, I’m very excited right now about the Subaru campaign being offered by BlogPaws. I’m currently on my 5th or 6th Subaru and will NEVER own any other type of automobile… I have always said I should be on their commercials!  I’ve recruited many Subaru owners at my workplace… I estimate there are about 7 or 8 out of the 20 people who work there, who drive Subarus, thanks to my “insistence” LOL.  Hey, you can’t survive a central New England winter without a trusty, dependable Subaru.
So anyway, I just signed up to be a blogger with BlogPaws for their Subaru campaign.  It’s going to  be somehow connected to the Puppy Bowl, that runs as an alternative to the Super Bowl.  I hope I get chosen as a blogger for BlogPaws and Subaru!  Weeeeeee!!!!

                                Here’s a picture of Charlie in my 2009 Subaru Forester

Here’s the late, great, Hector, in the same car
Hobie, my co-pilot!  Also in the Forester
A few more of Charlie, when he was little, in the ’09 Forester

Mom, in my 2006 Tribeca

                                   Me, in the car before THAT… a 2003 Legacy wagon

Hector and the ’03 Legacy wagon 
and in 2000, shortly before she went over the Bridge, Timba 
with my 1999 Subaru Legacy wagon in the background.
I don’t have photos of my previous Subarus!  But they were all Dog Tested; Dog Approved!
(Have I mentioned that I love my CAR?)
Here are 5 of the 7 or 8 Subarus driven by me and my co-workers.
Approving of the vehicle, Cooper, coming home to his forever 
home for the first time… in the Subaru, of course

Cooper’s blue chair

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When we were about to bring Cooper to his/our forever home after his amputation, we realized we were in a bit of a conundrum since both puppies wanted to sleep on the bed.  I got the brilliant idea to get a child’s bed and put it alongside of our bed so he would sleep there.  While driving past an old friend’s house, who happened to be the first dog person I connected with when I first came to Spencer, lo and behold there, in her front yard, was a child’s bed with no sign on the front saying “FREE”, like people often do around here.  I couldn’t believe it, but we always say Dog works in mysterious ways.  I backed up the car, drove up    
her driveway, pounded on her door; she wasn’t home.  I said, “What the heck,” and put the child’s bed in my car (it just squeezed in to the way-back of my Subaru — have I mentioned how much I love my car?).  I called her from my iPhone, “Hey, haven’t seen you guys in a while, hope you’re ok.  Anyway, I just saw that child’s bed at the end of your driveway and, well, I took it.  Hope that was ok.  If it wasn’t ok, call me back and let me know.”  I should mention that I never drive past her house on my way to the grocery store (that’s where I was going)… ever.  Weird, huh?

I got the child’s bed home, I was so excited at the freaky coincidence!  Of course, Gil pointed out that it was too big for our tiny little bedroom, and how on Earth was I going to get in and out of bed if it was alongside, since the metal-framed bed has built in headboard and footboard (see photo, above) as well as protective sidebars to prevent said child from falling out.  Groan!  Oh well, child’s bed gets relegated to the basement where the cats slept on it for months (another friend managed to find me a barely-used mattress that fit perfectly!), and then one day I brought it upstairs into the guest room to use it exactly for the purpose intended — uh, sort of.  Ok, truth? Cooper and Charlie use it to hop up onto the antique brass bed which is way too high for even the most sprightly of dogs to jump onto.

But that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today, oh no, that’s not it at all.  It’s the blue chair!  Once the trundle bed (ha ha) was banished to the laundry room/cat bedroom/icky basement, I went in search of option #2 for Cooper, who was still recovering from aforementioned amputation, but was destined to arrive on our doorstep any minute.  I had recalled seeing some pictures of him, when he still had four legs, sitting on a lawn chair… he seemed to have an affinity for the things (still does) so I figured I’d find something similar, but possibly for indoor use.

Cooper demonstrates how easy it is for him to get into…

…and out of lawn furniture, with only 1 front leg

A-ha! Wal-Mart enters the picture.  Wally World has these great chairs that are sort of like the kind you’d keep in your car’s trunk for viewing your kid’s soccer game or the next tailgate at Gillette Stadium.  Only these chairs are made for indoors, slightly larger, cushiony, aimed at dorm-dwelling college-bound kids.  (Hey, it was August, whatd’ya want?)  There I am, in the middle of Wally World, I took the chair out of the box, unfolded it from its collapsed position, and checked it out.  I sat in it, I measured how high up off the floor it was, I imagined a Charlie-sized dog, minus one leg, curled up in it.  Perfect!  I heaved it into my cart.  While I was at it, across the aisle, I spied a beanbag chair throwback from the ’70s, ah memories.  I jammed it into the cart as option #3.

Blue chair was a dismal failure.  Firstly, once again, me and my measuring skills (not!), it didn’t quite fit beside the bed.  Secondly, both dogs (Charlie and Hobie) looked at it like it was a foreign invader from another planet.  “Get thee the hell out of our room!” they seemed to cry in unison.  I relegated blue chair to the (ahem) “dining room” which, if you’ve been to our house isn’t for dining at all, unless you count three dogs chomping on rawhides while sprawled across the teeny-tiny floor.  Our dining room is the library/music room.  It’s where grandma’s Hammond B3 church organ resides, along with gazillions of CDs, photos, DVDs, books and of course a computer.  We have a seating issue in our house — if you come to our abode, be prepared to stand… that is, until blue chair made its appearance.  We’ve used blue chair quite a few times since I hurled it into that cart at Wal-Mart.  But no, no dog ever used it for a bed.

Newman, the cat, liked it, though.

Until recently!  You see, the neighbor (who lives on the street BEHIND us and who was, up until recently purportedly… how do I put this nicely? well, “not a dog person” how’s ‘at?) they got a dog!  Yup! And where’s the best place to look out the window and spy on the new dog if you’re a k9 in k2’s pack?  You guessed it!  Blue chair!!

Charlie Brown, blue chair

Charlie Brown in blue chair
 Cooper on the floor in front of the Hammond’s Leslie speaker cabinet
 Hobie, upside-down in front of the library shelves

Charlie was first, he hopped up there and then decided “Hey!  This is comfortable!” and took a snooze one day.  But blue chair was originally supposed to be Cooper’s, and it took him five months, but lately, for the last couple of days, there he’s been, sleeping in blue chair!!

P.S.  No one ever sits in the bean bag chair.

Tangled paws

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Sometimes you can’t tell where one pup begins and the other one ends.
and yes, the carpet is gross!

mid-January Cape Cod sunset photos

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Yesterday was my monthly trip to Cape Cod to attend the Eastham Dog Owners’ Assocation monthly meeting.  It was like spring there — 45 degrees and party cloudy.  Another world from life in central Mass.  You’d never know the two places are in the same STATE!

I didn’t bring any of the dogs with me this trip, and by the time sunset came around, I needed a doggie fix.  I knew right where to go:  Wiley Park where everyone walks their dogs in the late afternoons.  I had a lovely walk with three of my acquaintances and their pack of dogs.  Sorry Charlie Brown, next time!

Here are some pictures I took of the sunset.  I’m not pleased with the photos, my new camera doesn’t take the glorious photos the old one did (same brand, same model supposedly).  The light on Cape Cod is miraculous, and these pictures do not do it justice.  It hardly picked up on the pinks and reds.  Ah well, next month I’ll look at the settings more closely, maybe I have something set incorrectly, who knows?  (click on a photo to enlarge)

View from the parking lot at Coast Guard Beach, looking east (north!)

The rest of these are Coast Guard Beach

The last four (which were really the first four!) were shot with an iPhone.  
These are at Nauset Light Beach, 10 minutes earlier, and east (north!) of Coast Guard Beach

Note the seagulls lined up in formation where the sand meets the water.  
They were gathered like that along the entire beach.
Not viewable in these photos are the several seals floating out past the breakers.

Dress Up Your Dog Day

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Today, January 14th, was Dress Up Your Dog Day.

The closest we come to dressing up our dogs is when Hobie goes to the groomer and comes back with a bandana.  Here’s a picture.  Ok, it’s not the greatest!

I bought little mitten galoshes for their feet.  Nobody will wear them.  If I do manage to get them on, they either kick the mittens off, or pull them off with their teeth.  Oh, do behave!  
It was suggested somewhere that three-leggers, such as Cooper, should wear sweaters in the winter.
Considering he won’t go outside when it’s too, too cold anyway… not a problem!  No need for the sweater.
We’ve never been the type who dress up our dogs.  It looks like fun, but Jay Leno doesn’t think so! LOL!
And then, there’s this:  childhood friend’s dog, Caesar, playing dress-up!

The Best Dog In The World, 2013

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Happy birthday, Hobie.  Today, you are thirteen years old, and it hardly seems possible that I have known you this long.  You’re the Millennium Dog, you know — born in January of 2000, and you’ll live on forever as the inspiration behind Millennium Dog Productions and  If it wasn’t for you, I may not have started writing about you, and Hector, Charlie Brown, Cooper and Timba (and of course, the cats… the many, many, many cats).

Here you are, snoozing at work with me, just a few weeks ago

And here you are, at just 4 months old — this is the photo we used for the k2k9 logo
How can there be more than one “best dog in the world”?  Timba was the best dog in the world.  Smart, beautiful, loyal nearly to a fault, a true best friend.  Hector– he was the best dog in the whole, wide world.  Lovable, brilliant, strong, athletic, handsome and he had the sweetest heart of any creature I’ve known.  Then, there’s you.  The best dog in the world.  Perceptive, a mind-reader, intelligent, friendly, gentle, angel-soft fur, and those beautiful eyes that stole a piece of my heart the second they met mine.  How lucky we have been to have the three best dogs in the world, and right now you are the one.  It’s like a Best Dog In The World pageant, and you currently wear the crown.  After you, Charlie and Cooper will probably be best dogs in the world, some day.  Right now, they are double trouble!  I know they drive you nuts, and I am sad that I didn’t get as much time one-on-one with you as we both would have liked.  I’m grateful to you for letting me indulge my neediness to have a pack of dogs.  I know it has not been easy for you.  Cooper loves you, though — you’ve got a great friend in him.
My birthday wish for you, as you emBARK on your 13th year, is for less arthritis pain, more love and hugs, a comfortable place to snooze, and a warm sunny day.  A short walk up and down the Lane, and maybe even another r.i.d.e. like we took yesterday.  I’ll bet there will even be a treat for you.  Maybe… STEAK!
I love you Hobie.  You, YOU are the Best Dog In The World.

A dog named mini-Cooper is brought to you by Tripawds.