I think a nice new home is in your immediate future.
And on behalf of the human race, I can only offer apologies for what some unknown lower-than-a-snake-belly total waste of space did to you before you were found and rescued.
Happy birthday to a happy, friendly little guy who was born on Christmas Eve last year.
You’ve been worth it, dude. I hope we have a lot more Christmases together.
Now, go out, locate a nice guy for me. And fetch.
Jasper seems to be thinking about calling his agent to ask if the hat was part of the deal.
Jasper was born on Christmas Eve last year and came into my life four months later. He’s sweet, smart, and loves to run and play the whole time he’s at doggie day care. When we are out walking he’s calm and confident and ready to go forever, except at night. When it’s dark outdoors he tends to be cautious and sometimes doesn’t want to stay out very long at all.
They brought in a professional photographer at doggie day care last week and I signed him up. I ended up buying the CD with all the pics and the rights.
Ain’t he cute?
I blogged the other day about my feelings, and now for the facts. Here’s a succint online article that summarizes US government bailouts of private sector firms/industries for the past 30 years. You’ll have to visit the site to see what the bubbles mean. Hint: they read from left to right and show the relative size of our government’s cost for each bailout. And a surprising number of those bailouts have happened THIS YEAR. In size and pace, this is unprecedented.
My feelings today? Happy because I just got a call from the doggie day care place, and they said that on his first morning there, Jasper is having fun and fitting in just fine. Which makes me smile, remembering that he’s a 12.5 pound guy and almost every other dog there is big: Labs, German Shepherds, Newfies, and the like. Cool. While I’m downtown working he’s playing and not just lying around the house.
I’m looking at all the toys I’ve provided to Jasper. Because I just read this blog post about terrible injuries to a dog from getting his tongue trapped in a toy ball.
So far, I’ve found one toy that could be dangerous in the same way as the one in the story: a single opening in which a doggie tongue might be stuck, without any other opening for air, so that a vacuum could be created to keep the tongue trapped. (However it’s not the same type of toy that injured that blogger’s dog.) That toy is now out of play unless I’m playing with him at the time. Maybe I’m overreacting. So be it.
And the little guy has *lots* of toys anyway.
Yesterday Jasper and I went to Washington Park for the Furry Scurry. So did 10,000 other humans and 5,000 other dogs.
It was a hoot. I got there early enough and hung around our corporate team area but none of them ever showed up there and I didn’t see any of them in the crowd elsewhere. Which doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
As we had first walked into the park and toward the event area, Jasper was scared by the noise and the crowd. I picked him up and carried him then, and for almost the first time ever I felt him shaking a little.
The time we spent hanging out in our designated corporate team area turned out to be good for him. It was a safe spot where there were friendly people and dogs to meet, and after 20 minutes he seemed to lose the anxiety. Despite the absence of our teammates, we had a good time. Jasper’s so cute that many people talked to us, and were impressed that he was only 4 months old.
He walked a lot more of the 2-mile course than I’d expected. It was a breakthrough on his learning curve about being out on a leash and walking along with me in a straight line. I suppose it’s the pack thing – he was doing what the other dogs were, learning from them. And he definitely wanted to be in the middle of the pack most of the time, after we got going walking the course. I started to worry that he was going to blister his pads walking so much on pavement, because he’s used to wandering around on turf here at home.
I wish I had pictures, but handling Jasper was all I could deal with. After all, I did carry him for probably half of the distance all told. I do have the memories, including Jasper and the big sweet Newfie we walked with for awhile. And Jasper and a bunch of dogs about his size playing tangle-the-leashes in the corporate team area.
We got home at 11 am, both very tired. He could use a bath after all that, but I’m not an experienced dog bather so I may wait until I have time later this week, then give it a try. In the meantime I’ll wipe him down again with a damp washcloth to see if I can remove a little more of the dirt.
Thanks for all the good wishes, donations, and moral support.
Okay, I know he’s not a genius. But Jasper’s been busy this morning as I’ve been sitting here at the PC catching up on things. (That little unhappiness-of-the-tummy on Sunday that I thought was just something I ate? By Sunday night it was accompanied by a temp of 101.5F and overall achiness. I’m better now but yesterday wasn’t very productive.)
I looked up a few minutes ago and saw that Jasper was in the living room. And discovered that he had gathered his big soft toys into a group in the middle of the floor. Honest. The big toy was near that spot earlier, but the others were scattered around the room.
I summoned Jasper over for a picture – by shaking the little triangle-thingie at him and dropping it near the big soft toy pile – but he was more interested in asking me to pick him up than sitting still. I finally got this shot of him near his pile of cuddly buddies.
Jasper and I have signed up for the Furry Scurry next weekend. We’re going to raise a few bucks for the Denver Dumb Friends League while enjoying a morning out in Washington Park with a few thousand old and new friends.
We’ve had quite the week, kind of a personal furry scurry. Little Jasper has had to adjust to a whole new world. Instead of living in a house on 10 acres in the country with lots of other dogs and a few people, he’s now living in a condo in Denver with one crazy old lady. Instead of hearing just birds and country sounds when he goes outdoors, he hears all the big city background noises that people can be so oblivious to. And he often rides in an elevator, which was a whole new experience too.
He’s met lots of new neighbors and visited his new vet and new groomers – all very pleasant experiences.
The worst thing, is that now and then he is left absolutely alone in the condo. Which causes him to yip and yap for quite awhile. Or so the neighbors tell me.
So far everyone I’ve spoken to is understanding, and I hope he eventually will mature and learn that the barking doesn’t help and that I will always come back. And when I come back I will free him from his “prison” – which is a room outfitted with his crate (into which he can come and go), toys, water and snacks, and a puppy pee pad, and a gate across the door which he can see through.
Early last week I had some kind of tummy upset bug, and now this morning don’t feel so good – again.
I think Jasper and I will go outdoors for a leisurely ramble and then come back indoors for a Sunday morning nap. The fajitas I ate last night, when we went out to celebrate the 23rd birthday of my nephew first cousin once removed? A good idea at the time. But perhaps not the best possible choice after all.
The puppy’s home. I’m calling him Jasper – a name with an interesting heritage* and also a nice mineral. We are both still resting up from yesterday’s epic travels, and I have things to do besides play on the innernets so this will be short.
Jasper is cute as can be, with beautiful markings, including a lot of white. The colored parts of his coat shade from a lovely red down to almost black such as at the tips of his ears.
He’s also sweet and friendly and amazingly poised. Yesterday he was driven by his humans down to a new place (SUX), where he was playing around on some grass outdoors when this new person walked up. Then eventually his mom and grandma left him with this lady.
He was in and out of a new building with noisy big sliding doors, and got to ride around awhile in a rental car, and then back to that building.
Next, it was into a carrier that he didn’t like much but put up with. Ending up under a seat in a very noisy contraption in which he experienced very odd sensations.
(The Lynx turboprop planes are brand new and comfy and this flight was so sparsely passengered that the flight crew just *might* have looked the other way when I took him out of the carrier and let him snooze on my lap for a lot of the flight. But since that would be against the rules I must assume they just didn’t *see* me doing that.)
And then being carried in that carrier through a big noisy place (DEN) and onto something she called a “shuttle bus” and then into yet another car…
That’s a lot of excitement for a six pound 4-month-old fella to handle. But he took it all like a little champ! He’s well on his way to being housebroken and I will forever be grateful to his breeder for producing such well-socialized pups. He’s used to car rides and house noises and meeting strangers. He’s also cool with going into his crate at bedtime and just generally being sweet and adorable and busy keeping me wrapped around his little paw.
*Derived from “Casper” who was one of the Three Wise Men (he brought the gold), it’s not all dignity and honor which would be boring anyway. A “jasper” in 19th and early 20th century British and US slang was variously a villain, a troublemaker, or a guy who brought bad luck.
This is my puppy at his home in S.D. this afternoon, after his big road trip to and from the Minneapolis airport, and staying overnight away from home. He was more interested in playing with his brothers than sitting still for a picture or having his hair combed up into a topknot, but L got some quick snaps and emailed them to me.
I’m going to fly to a city not far from their home next weekend (not Minneapolis). L will bring him to me at the airport, and I will fly back to Denver a couple of hours later with the pup in the aircraft cabin. No more cargo for this guy! We’re flying on Frontier, my hometown airline which I hope emerges in due course from Chapter 11 reorganization, because it’s also my favorite airline.
About his name. Winston? Rusty? Ozzy? Or . . . ?
Northwest Airlines can kiss my grits. They accepted my puppy for shipping. VIP shipping, yet. They literally took his crate from the hands of the breeder’s husband at the Minneapolis airport.
AND THEN THEY DIDN’T PUT HIM ON THE PLANE.
Thank goodness L, the breeder, called NWA to confirm that both puppies they shipped today (mine and a dog headed for another city) were on their way. Because that’s when they told her, well, we didn’t really get that little guy on the plane. NWA gave her some convoluted tale about there being “too much cargo” on the plane or something – although I’m damned if I can see how one tiny puppy and his plastic crate could overload a commercial jet. That would have been Flight 563 from Minneapolis to Denver, just to be specific. And that’s Northwest Airlines, NWA, just to be really specific. I suspect some ramp rat was sneaking a smoke break or something instead of tending to business, and the pup was left off the plane by negligence. But we’ll never really know.
Because bad weather’s moving in up there and they were making noises like the later flight might get scrubbed, L called her hubby who was on the road headed home and told him to turn around, go back to MSP to get the pup and bring him home. A four hour drive to South Dakota. Where a serious snow storm is moving in as we speak. Blizzard warnings are in effect for their area, according to weather.com. I pray they have a safe drive home this afternoon and evening.
I am so disappointed. It will probably be another week now before I get to bring my puppy home.
Another bad experience with Northwest Airlines. I haven’t flown NWA for nearly ten years, just to avoid crappy experiences. And now I get to have one without leaving home.
UPDATE on Friday morning: L’s hubby went back to the airport and picked up the pup, but didn’t get all the way home to SD last night. Blizzard conditions, interstates closed. He and the pup stayed overnight somewhere about an hour from home and will get home after the roads are reopened, which I hope is later today.
L told me this is the first time they have ever had to come back home with a puppy because of shipping problems. I’m so glad that the pup is with someone he knows and not Lord knows where in whatever kennel accommodations NWA would have put him in if he had been left at the airport! But just consider how much trouble NWA caused by accepting the puppy for VIP shipment and then not putting him on the flight. What a mess.
And thanks to everyone for the good wishes about the new puppy, and the condolences on this setback.
MUCH LATER SECOND UPDATE: NWA’s story to L’s husband when he went back to pick up the pup, was that the live animal cargo area in the aircraft was not heated due to a mechanical problem so of course they couldn’t load any animals into it. And of course there is no way to know if that was just a convenient cover story, or the truth.
It’s early morning. I’ve had breakfast and coffee, read the newspaper, checked my emails and it’s time to head for the shower and get dressed, and then out of here.
My stuff to take with me is stacked on a table:
Because late this afternoon I’ll head out to the airport, to PICK UP MY PUPPY.
I really feel like a kid just before Christmas. And not just because we’re having a spring snow storm today.
To paraphrase the Chipmunks, “Hurry, puppy – I can’t wait!”
This morning between the first cup of coffee and leaving the office to go to lunch, I made an Important Decision.
I decided on my next puppy. Put down the deposit. The breeder and I will firm up the shipping arrangements soon.
Within a week or two I should be hearing the patter of little paws around the condo.
Which I have to get ready for a puppy!
I am so excited! There will be pictures, never fear.
EDITED to add: Click this link to see a picture.
I think the US Transportation Security Administration is trying to reassure us regular peeps who fly commercial with this section of its website about its National Explosives Detection Canine Team. And it’s interesting.
But I find something unsettling about their breeding program logo. Unsuspecting yellow Lab being approached from behind by aggressive commercial jetliner.
Result: airplane that can sniff its own explosives, or dog that can fly itself to work?
Odd thoughts, thunk while sipping that last cuppa coffee before heading out the door this morning:
He weighs 165 pounds and works at a home for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed kids in California. Rather than fuss about the idiot in the White House, the deterioration of the US economy, my sore toe and whatever else is bothering me, I’d rather think about this Newfie and look at this picture (LA Times/Ken Hively) – story and photo from this morning’s Denver Post. Aas usual, story below the fold if the link has expired.
From the news:
Dog takes bullet protecting owner
German Shepherd may lose limb after robbery
By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER
Last Updated:01/12/2007 02:32:59 AM PST
OAKLAND — An Oakland family’s German Shepherd could lose a leg after being shot by a robber Wednesday.
Buffy, a usually docile 100-pound dog, was shot once in her upper front left leg while trying to defend her owner, Will Bartley, outside his East Oakland home. He was not injured.
The rest is below the fold. (more…)
On this date 30 years ago I moved to Colorado.
On this date 20 years ago the Denver Broncos won a big NFL playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland: Elway and The Drive.
On this date last year, my little old dog Dusty died.
I’ve never regretted moving to Colorado.
I’ve had phases of following the Broncos and even going to the games.
I still miss Dusty a lot.
Today I have a routine appointment at the dentist, followed by a routine day at work (I hope it’s just routine). And I have 49 days left until retirement from this job.
They have 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth. Regardless of breed.
I just learned that while watching one of my favorite shows: Barkitecture. It’s on the DIY Network. Veterinarian Karen Tobias hosts, along with designer Kenny Alfonso (“Barkitect”). Some of the doghouse designs are just way cool and fun.
I also have a serious soft spot for Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer.
These aren’t must-watch TV shows. I couldn’t tell you when they’re scheduled. I just love clicking around and finding one of them. Little delights.
George in Denver has posted a letter to his dearly (and recently) departed wonderful dog, Sweet Melissa, about a recent weekend camping trip. My favorite parts are about all the damn schlepping it seems to take to get yerself out into the great outdoors. Here’s a bit of George’s explanation to Melissa:
Camping is when you load up the car with food and shelter and blow-up mattresses (and the pump to blow them up) and toilet paper and snacks and booze (lots of booze) and flashlights and bug spray and seven layers of clothing and sunscreen and zip-up bags to sleep in and pillows and coolers filled with ice and a shovel (to bury you know what!) and a saw and a hatchet and fold-up camping chairs and hats and ten pairs of socks (they get wet!) and hiking boots and running shoes (for me, at least) and trail shoes and underwear (if you happen to do underwear) and cameras and feelings of adventure and good tidings ’cause you’re going to be in the wilderness and might see Bambi and, well, lots of gas in the tank and air in the tires. But, sweetheart, that’s just the beginning.
The whole thing is here.
The Fragile Circle
“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”
– Irving Townsend
George in Denver reports sad news, the passing of his beautful majestic dog, Sweet Melissa. My deepest sympathies to George and David on their huge loss.
This story has been circulating in emails for awhile, but I received it recently and love it enough to post it here too. I haven’t discovered the author’s name.
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”
“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered.
“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.
“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
“Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
“Excuse me!” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”
“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.”
“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.
“There should be a bowl by the pump.”
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
“What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.
“This is Heaven,” he answered.
“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.”
“Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”
“No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”
. . . and I still miss Dusty. It’s not time for another dog yet. My daily schedule for the next several months is just too tough for a puppy in terms of being left at home too long alone, and I’m pretty sure that my next dog will be a young ‘un. I have a long commute to and from a sometimes overlong work day, and can’t take a dog to work with me.
Um, if anybody sees me hanging around in a Petsmart store on a weekend, would you steer me out the door with a kind but firm grip on my arm? I have no need to buy anything they sell, and I should not be ogling the dogs and cats up for adoption.
Rest in peace, little spirit. Run and play in the meadows of Heaven. Nap on God’s lap.
Until last month, all my life I had pets around the house – dogs, cats, or both. Usually more than one. When the inevitable parting came from a dog or cat, I could come home to the surviving one(s). But last month old Dusty went to the Rainbow Bridge, and I had no dog or cat to hug at home after that horribly hard trip to the vet. He was a rescued dog with, as they say, some issues. He lived with me for eleven years, issues and all. I’ve cried a river.