Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dogs and Deer.

Typically I'm not a fan of deer. Well, it's not that I don't like deer-- all in all, they're pretty cute creatures. I'm not a big fan of deer ticks. I don't want to see one, hear one, or have one anywhere near me. They're disgusting, vile, and... uggggghhhh!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Murphy Miles.

Last September, Alice and I walked with Hudson, Murphy, and Luke from 2 Dogs 2,000 Miles. The boys are walking from Austin to Boston to raise awareness for canine (and all companion animal) cancer. Amazingly, they're coming up on the end of their journey-- they're arriving in Boston in mid-June. WOW!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dogs and Soldiers.

While clearing out the DVR tonight, we came across a news item on a cool thing happening here in DC between Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Washington Humane Society. Some soldiers recovering at Walter Reed are involved in a six-month program where they train and work with shelter dogs. At the end, the soldiers are certified dog trainers, and the dogs learn great skills that make them more adoptable.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Dog's Gotta Eat...

This has been a week of highs and lows in the dog food department.

It started Tuesday, when I found out that, after a good 18 months of talking loudly about it around town in hopes that someone business-savvy was listening, that a dog store is going into an empty storefront in my 'hood. I was so excited! According to my neighborhood blog, the place is mainly a dog bakery and boutique, but expressly stated that it would have dog food (going so far as to say more dog food than cat food). Even better!

Friday, March 12, 2010

How to keep a puggle out of trouble.

Give them a nearly-empty peanut butter jar and tell them to clean it out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This guy's my hero today.

This morning Mamala sent me an article about a dogfighting case in Michigan. Nine months after seizure, a judge was to rule on the fate of on the dogs today. According to different articles, there are apparently laws in Michigan stating that dogs pulled from fighting situations cannot be adopted (I guess prosecutors also tried to claim that dogs pulled from dogfighting situations must be euthanized, including their puppies). Outrageous, right?


We got home from celebrating The Human Male's birthday last Thursday and came home to this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Box.

The Human Male's birthday was last week, and his parents sent him an awesome gift basket. It came in a large box, and we tried for a little bit to get Alice to play in it. No go-- she actually ran away when we showed it to her.

Then on Saturday, we started hearing some scruffling and mumbling from Alice. The Human Male checked out what she was doing and started laughing. I went out to see what was going on.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Big News kind-of weekend.

This has definitely been a weekend of highs. It started yesterday, when Old Town held its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. This is one of my favorite events here-- just a super fun day. There's a great parade, a classic car show, lots of people dressed up and ready to celebrate, and the Fun Dog Show. We stumbled upon it last year and remembered to go this year.

The Fun Dog Show is a contest that takes pride in this area's love of goofy dogs. Rounds include Dogs and Owners with Similar Hair, Best Irish Costume, and Largest Feet. A TON of people attend, some with dogs, some by themselves, and there's even a guy who brings his cat.

We saw him last year and were hoping he'd be here again. Apparently the cat enjoys crowds, dogs, and walking on a leash-- he's completely relaxed.

Last year Alice competed in Most Unique Look and Most Unusual Tail. She didn't win either, so we decided to try again in the Tail contest.

And guess what?!

The ribbon is HUGE. It's like the size of her head.

One of the funnier things about the Fun Dog Show is that the crowd is extremely opinionated about who should win. Last year people came up to us afterwards and indignantly told us that she should've won (in truth, the title went to a giant Wolfhound who had a hairy, two-foot tail that corkscrewed at the end-- it was super cool). This year, people stopped us and said, "She won for Unique Tail, right?"

The reward for winning (besides the ribbon and bragging rights) is that you get to walk in the parade (technically, I think anyone who competed can-- it's a very low-key parade). Alice doesn't do well with motorcycles, drums, or bagpipes (aka, 95% of the parade), plus she was getting pretty overwhelmed, so we didn't have her walk. But we did take her picture in the middle of the parade route.

So a bit later in the afternoon I went to download the pictures on my computer, and I got the dreaded Looping Black Screen of Death. You know the one-- it's more hopeful than the Blue Screen of Death, as it tells you that something didn't launch correctly, so you can try again normally or in various flavors of Safe Mode. Click the button, things move, and then... oh hello, same screen as before.

In all honesty, I've been expecting this for a while. It was old and all the telltale signs have been there for a few months. We took it into the Geek Squad today, not really expecting any miracles, but more to have an expert to give us the "It's dead, Jim" talk. After looking at the screen and explaining to the guy about its age and issues, he asked how much we'd be willing to pay for a repair. When I said the amount, he just smiled and said, "Repairs are going to cost at least $200, and that's without new hardware. Why don't you put that towards a new computer?" So I did.

All in all, it's a bummer to have a computer die, and I lost some more recent pictures of Alice, but I did a desktop save onto a thumb drive a couple of months back in case this happened. All's not lost, and now I have a new toy that'll hopefully give me at least a few years of happy Alice postings.

If you've come across any good software lately, please send ideas over! I'm particularly in virus software. I'd been using Norton, but since I'm not sure I can move my recently-renewed subscription to a new computer, I'm opened to new programs.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Studs. Just... Studs.

Mamala sent me an e-mail this morning asking if I saw the Today Show. Apparently they occasionally do an adopt-a-dog segment (!!!) called From Bow to Wow, where they clean up shelter dogs and put them on TV.

First off, what a FANTASTIC idea. No blame on the shelters at all, but sometimes the pets we've seen at shelters and walking around our 'hood from our neighborhood rescue are pretty dirty. In fact, we actually thought Alice was a different color until we gave her a bath and it came off in the tub. It's just a dirty environment and tough to keep up on, but it could impact a pet's first impression. I really think that sprucing up the dog's appearance a little is exactly what some of them need to get adopted.

On this morning's edition, they had the US Bobsled Team on to escort the dogs out. I freaking love the US Bobsled Team. Not only do they seem like pretty fun guys to be around (plus their captain Steve Holcomb has a pretty incredible story and a signature dance), they are CUUUUUTTTTE. The kind of cute that deserves medals for that alone.

I won't tell you what my mom's note said; just watch the clips. I dare you not to get misty.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

So, a single, gorgeous, successful guy with a signature dance and a fabulous new shelter dog? Excuse me as I swoon out of my chair!

As an aside, between this segment, the feature a few weeks ago on 2 Dogs 2,000 Miles, and her other postings, Jill Rappaport has just become my favorite news person. They should show more of her!

Another aside: Would someone in New York please adopt Seth? That dog is clearly a people-pleaser and needs a human. With Alice's background I have a soft spot for abandoned street dogs, but he looks like a furry version of a white boxer in our building named Star, a former shelter dog herself. I just want to give Seth a hug.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dog: 1. Humans: 0.

One night last week I told Alice that it was time for bed. She got all excited and ran into the living room. I heard a little bit of clinking around, like she was trying to get into her cage, where her little cage pad is. Alice loves to drag it around and throw it into the middle of the room (or on clean laundry), so I thought it was cute that when I said "bed", she thought of that.

Then she came tearing into the bedroom... carrying her bed. And then she jumped onto the bed with her bed. Like all dog beds, it's pretty gross, even after you wash it. And now it's in my bed. I told her no, no bed in the bed! (which she knows-- her beloved rug isn't allowed in human bed, either), and she just wagged her tail crazily and chewing on her bed, a big grin on her face.

She totally knew what she was doing, and she did it just to tease me.

Sometimes I wish I was smarter than my dog.