Thursday, September 29, 2005

Little. Yellow. Different.

I wish I'd been able to hug and kiss him when he looked like this! He's like the anti-Harvey!

Joanna, Lomax's previous puppy raiser, kept a page for him on Dogster. Check it out if you'd like to see more of his puppy pictures and diary.

Welcome to the Family!

We're very excited that Lomax has three littermates in the South Bay puppy raisers group. This photo, taken at the annual September picnic (before I even knew my little yellow dog was coming to live with me), shows brother Liam and sisters Kandy and Luca.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Official Personhood Status

I was putting Lomax's puppy jacket on him outside the building this morning when a co-worker breezed past. He was talking on his cell phone, but nodded in acknowledgment and shot out a quick morning greeting:

"Hi guys."

Would it have been the plural if I'd been accompanied by a cat? A parrot? A monkey? A hamster? Or is it just Lomax's job that makes him seem more like another person?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Working Class Dog

Lomax's first day work with me went very well; there was nary a peep (nor a woof) out of him all day, and he met all the dog lovers in the office, greeting calmly for the most part.

Snoozing under the desk is an enviable job description.

He did get a bit antsy in the afternoon, probably because even though he went to highschool with Joanna, I'm guessing he got to get up and stretch his legs every hour or so and was home earlier than 6:30 P.M. I can't help but think I'm spoiling my co-workers and setting them up for trauma when, after Lomax, I start bringing a whiny, immature, needy 8-week-old puppy to the office.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Blue and Gold and Furry All Over

Lomax is now a Bruin. Tim and I took him to UCLA today, to walk him around campus and experience a little college life (and no, we did not take him to a frat party). Unlike Janna, who is afraid of bronze lions, Lomax had no qualms at all about being asked to pose for a photo with the big statue in the middle of Bruin Walk.

We surveyed campus from the top of Drake Stadium, traversed Royce quad and ducked inside Powell Library, stuck our noses into the Kerckhoff Coffee House for a quick java sniff, and descended Janss Steps (though I couldn't expect him to skip the sixth step...hope that doesn't mean he'll end up an extra year in guide dog training). Lomax was well behaved in the student store while Tim browsed the philosophy section, and if it hadn't been $25, I would have bought him a blue-and-gold UCLA Bruins dog collar.

He even sat calmly while we listened to the UCLA Bruin Marching Band drumline warm up outside Pauley Pavilion. I, on the other hand, could hardly prevent myself from marking time during the cadence....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Lomax Has Landed

And so the great adventure begins...with fleas.

My poor little man! Itching, scratching, scabby, crawling with the nasty little vampires. This was surprising, considering Joanna said he'd already had his flea meds for the month. Maybe they were just really determined mutant fleas with iron-clad immune systems. Who knows.

So I promptly called my puppy group leaders -- the amazing Brian and Nancy -- to ask what our best course of action would be. They suggested a good bath and a rinse with Avon's miracle elixir, Skin So Soft. But who has an Avon Lady these days? Apparently, Nancy does. And providentially, she had an extra bottle she was willing to part with.

So we chucked the dog bed and soft toys that came from his old house and jumped in the truck to head to Long Beach. Brian and Nancy were waiting for us with the Skin So Soft, and they were kind enough to give Lomax a bath outside and apply some Frontline. We stopped at a pet supply store on the way home to pick up some of Doc Ackerman's deliciously orange cream scented shampoo; now he's the best-smelling dog in the west.

The rest of our evening consisted of a photo shoot courtesy of Amy's mom, who wishes to refer to my dog as her grandchild, and a relaxing session of working off the flea scabs and applying Neosporin. Welcome to your new life, Lomax.

Dog Day

In just a few hours' time I'll be up at GDA to pick up my dog, Lomax, from his previous puppy raiser, Joanna. I'll watch Joanna work with him for the hour-long puppy class so I can get an idea of what I can expect him to know, then we'll make the big switch and I'll get to bring him home with me.

This is my last free moment. I wonder if this is how first-time pregnant women feel....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Instant Jacuzzi

When Harvey's happy, he blows bubbles in his water dish.

Note the tray beneath the dish, which I foolishly thought would contain any spillage. I did not consider Harvey's frequent "Are you watching?" over-the-shoulder head tosses.

Not pictured: my bathroom floor, which is now a quarter-inch deep hazmat zone of black dog hair floating on slobbery water.

Thank God I left the toilet lid down.

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Little" Harvey

While I'm waiting for Lomax, I'm puppysitting Harvey, who is also one year old...but weighs about 90 pounds (that's about a 35-pound difference). He's got short legs and a broad chest, and a huuuuge head. It's a good thing he's so laid back.

What a sweet, silly, lovable oaf he is! Amy likens him to a horse, due to his tendency to prance and snort and toss his head when he's in a playful mood. The downstairs neighbors must hate me.

The stories his puppy raiser told me are priceless. When their family takes Harvey for a walk, the cat goes too (don't ask me how they managed THAT). But the cat knows that when Harvey's wearing his GDA "Puppy in Training" jacket, he's at work and can't the cat will swat at Harvey's hiney and attack his tail, and all Harvey can do is give him a dirty look.

Until they get home, that is, when Harvey can pick up the cat by the scruff of its neck and carry it around like a puppy.

If I weren't getting my own dog this weekend, I'd just not answer the door when the MacKenzies come to pick this one up. I mean, look at his sweet floppy face! Tim and I decided that if Harvey were a blues musician, his name would be "MooshyFace Jackson."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Habemus PUPam!

I've been waiting a long time for my very own dog...and today, finally, I heard from the Puppy Department at GDA.

I thought I would be receiving an 8-week-old puppy at some point before Christmas, but as it turns out, there are other joyous, important things in store for me in my favorite area of community service. This new task will be a sacrifice for me in some ways, but a great joy in other ways. For one thing, the dog I'm getting is already old enough to be well behaved in most public places and will therefore make the already busy holiday season less stressful than would a curious sharp-toothed destruction machine with a tiny bladder.

Also, this gives me an opportunity to serve another person who is probably heartbroken about having to give up her dog sooner than she expected.

Today I am ecstatic to announce that sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will be taking over puppy raising duties from another terrific volunteer who unfortunately cannot complete the commitment. My new charge -- and soon-to-be extension of my left arm, as it were -- is a year-old male Yellow Labrador Retriever named Lomax.