Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Alice has squished herself on the couch between The Human Male and me and is snoring.  This will be our station for the rest of the night.

New Year 2011

I couldn’t hope for a better night.  My favorite New Year’s Eves have always been spent at home with my loved ones.

Wishing you a wonderful and safe New Year’s, and a 2011 that’s at least three times better than 2010.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Four Days after Christmas!

Whoops, I missed posting on Christmas.  Chalk this up to “time flies when you’re having fun”!  We’ve had a really nice Christmas in The Motherland.  Alice, The Human Male (who flew in on Christmas Eve), and I are driving back to DC tomorrow.


Hope you all had a great Christmas, too!

Alice holiday 1

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festive Alice!

The great blog Dog-Owned Life is posting pictures of festive pets this week in honor of Christmas.  I sent in a picture of Alice, and it was posted yesterday.  Yay!

I highly recommend going through other Dog-Owned Life posts to look at other Christmas pictures.  They start the afternoon of December 21st.  The pictures are just adorable.  I love seeing people so excited about their pets at Christmas and how they get them involved.  And the one with the little girl just makes me smile.  Look at how proud she is!

Mark’s still accepting pictures.  If you have any good holiday pictures of your dogs and pets, his contact information is in with the picture posts.  Send them along!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I’m doing on my Christmas Vacation.

I’m officially on Christmas vacation.  Alice and I drove to Reading, PA to meet up with Popsy on Friday, and then the three of us drove to The Motherland on Saturday.

We’ve done some fun stuff so far, which will come in later posts.  But one thing that I wanted to share right away is that I bought Alice a sparkly little hat.  She looks mahvelous.

Alice hat

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The most important flow chart you’ll see today.

I haven’t lived in Albany, New York, in a few years, but I like keeping up with what’s going on up there.  It’s a really interesting city full of characters and lots of really unique opportunities, and I’ll always have a soft spot for it.

Besides talking to my Urban Family regularly, one of the best ways to keep in the know is reading All Over Albany.  AOA’s run by Greg and Mary, who used to have a really fun radio show on the local NPR station.*  They’ve since moved to the blog world, and it’s been dreamy.  They know everyone, are really interesting themselves, and they write well.  And the people who read AOA for the most part leave really nice, funny, thoughtful comments.  Reading it’s a great way to take a break during your day.

AOA is pretty dog-oriented (they have a dog on staff named Otto), so their postings occasionally are canine-centric (like pictures from a pug party, or where to get a good dog sundae).  Today they posted one of the best dog posts I’ve seen on any blog.

The title of the blog post is “It’s winter. Your Dog has pooped. What now?” Intriguing, right?  Very much so.  On the page, they’ve provided a flow chart of how to decide when to pick up after your dog and when it’s okay to leave it.  Clearly they’ve put a great deal of thought into this.

Our neighborhood is pretty dog-centric, and there’s a strong sense of being a responsible dog owner.  But our dog area turned into a battlefield during our blizzards last winter, and there’s one side of our complex where people NEEEEEVVVVEEEERRR clean up after their dogs—even though there are two garbage cans with poopy pouches right there.  For crying out loud, if your dog goes right next to the can and you’ve got bags right there, just pick it up.  It probably won’t kill you, and it’s not going to magically fly into the can on its own. 

I’m planning on printing this off and sticking it to the cans, and then take one over to the Dog Park.  I’m sure our local dog folks will get a kick out of this.

* Secretly, I appeared on a few episodes in roundtable segments and read an essay on how to speak New York if you’re a Midwesterner.  Seriously—the ALB’s a town of unique opportunities.  And doing radio’s really hard.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pouty Puggle.

My good friend $-Money was in town for a work training last week and stayed with us.  The Human Male and I absolutely loved having her here.  I think our excitement, though, was eclipsed by Alice’s.

Alice is pretty good with people, but sometimes she finds someone that she looooooves.  When she sits on your lap and gives you kisses, that means that you two are married.

Well, Alice and $-Money committed themselves as one last week.  Alice snuggled up with her, took naps with her, and had no problem stealing her food.  Big time love.

$-Money went home yesterday, much to all our chagrin.  Alice was very unhappy.  She looked around the house with her pouty face, then jumped on $-Money’s deflated air mattress, clearly waiting for her to come back.

Alice pout

It’s kind of sad, but her indignant little pout (and glowy little Jawa eyes) is way too funny to take seriously.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

If you hear about dog bites today, it’s probably my fault.

In the part of my life that pays me, I do a lot of writing.  E-mails, reports, contracts, proposals, web copy, notes to myself reminding me to write something else tomorrow.  Occasionally my work involves writing research articles.

One that I wrote was recently published is getting some mainstream pick-up (which has been weird, exciting, and pretty neat to tell my folks about).  Two of my favorite animal blogs covered it this week, so I felt it was probably time to mention it here.

The article discusses the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations related to dog bites and characteristics for these encounters.  The numbers are wild—more than 316,000 ED visits and 9,500 hospital stays in the US related to dog bites.  Now, we’re not talking all of them; these are just for the people that sought medical help for their bites.  Can you imagine how many there actually are that DON’T go to the doctor?  That number’s got to be astronomical!

The article can be found here.  By format definition, it doesn’t go into reasons why this is happening or make any conclusions or recommendations to prevent the situation.  But WE can discuss it here.

My recommendations would be take your dog to training school to prevent certain behaviors, approach dogs you don’t know carefully (both those that are pets and strays), and don’t harass agitated/nervous dogs.

Also, my inner 10-year-old would like to suggest not trying to catch an aggravated Dachshund in a box for fun, even if your friend’s grandpa’s done it a thousand times.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alice’s Glamour Shots.

Today we took Alice’s picture for our Christmas cards.  We went down to our neighborhood’s Christmas tree.  Here are some of my favorite outtakes.





Alice is not a hat-wearing kind of girl.  I had to tie that bad boy on so tightly, then we bribed her with treats.  And wouldn’t you know, it worked!


One unrelated picture, but well worth sharing.  Typically our Christmas tree is in the middle of our main street, placed on top of a fountain.  This year they moved it to our hood’s plaza and did something spectacular to the fountain.  Whoever made the decision to switch things up is a freaking genius.  Our neighborhood looks gorgeous.