Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

The handsome and sophisticated Mr. Lomax wishes you a happy and blessed 2006.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Our Fresno Christmas

Fresno was a bit chillier than L.A., so I made sure Lomax was warm and comfy in his little bed on Christmas Eve. It had been a full day -- Lomax accompanied me and my folks to a "barn breakfast" hosted by my dad's friend Rod, who grows the most sublime Navel oranges (I eat the ones I pick for a month or two after Christmas, and can't bring myself to buy any from a grocery store the rest of the year). There were about 20 people out in the barn, feasting on Mom's blueberry pancakes, fresh squeezed orange juice, and sausage and eggs cooked outside.

Lomax was, of course, ever the goodwill ambassador for Guide Dogs of America. Everyone complimented us on his fine behavior and his rugged good looks, and we had the opportunity to explain the program to many people. I'd have let him off leash to run around the groves with me if there hadn't been such a cute little female Golden Retriever escape artist living across the street. Lomax was far more interested in the other dogs and cats living at Rod's than in the Canadian geese who use his pond as a mid-migration hangout.

He got some nifty new toys for Christmas! The pictured "Holee Roller" is loads of fun, as is the Orca, but his favorite seems to be what I refer to as the "crinkle cat" -- a purple raccoon Tim gave him, which both squeaks and crinkles, and is the perfect size and weight for tossing around in my apartment. Until it gets completely disgusting and has to be taken away for a good rinse, that is.

He did well on the four-hour Fresno drive each way, in the wee rental car I drove in lieu of my ancient (and increasingly cranky) pickup truck. The car wasn't even too covered with yellow hairs, which is more than I can say for my parents' dark blue carpet.

Other highlights of our trip? The fabulous thunderstorm that happened around five A.M. on Monday morning -- he seemed less concerned about the storm than in making sure he peed everywhere he needed to in the front yard during our "get busy" trip. Then there was church on Christmas morning, where Lomax made many friends, among them an adorable young girl with severe physical and mental disabilities...her face absolutely lit up when I asked if she wanted to pet him. But my favorite memory is snuggling up next to a warm Labrador and falling asleep on the floor in front of the Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Me and My Shadow

So much blogging to catch up on....

Our Fresno Christmas went well for the most part, if you don't count the fact that Lomax wouldn't leave poor Shadow alone the whole time. I've seen the "magic marker," the "little soldier at attention," the "lipstick," and various other semi-comedic euphemisms for his intact male proclivities, but until this trip, Lomax had never been..."The Caboose."

Seriously unauthorized sniffing was a regular occurrence, and not just butt-sniffing, I'm sorry to say. Then there was the heretofore unseen humping! Ah, well. Poor Shadow, pictured here in the position I saw him in most, managed to deal by either running and hiding behind Dad or simply gluing his hiney to the floor.

The boys did run around a bit (guess who did the chasing) and seemed to have been at least pleasant acquaintances by the time we left, but Lomax got a LOT of work on his down/stay. And Shadow, who has never in his history with my parents been inclined to play with or chew on toys, heartily enjoyed Lomax's favorite Nylabone.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Over the River and Through the Woods...

...or north on I-99.

Lomax and I are headed to Fresno for Christmas, to visit my parents for a few days, so I don't know how much blogging we'll do while we're there. I'm sure we'll come back with lots of stories, though. Mom and Dad's dog -- a handsome, black standard Poodle named Shadow, who loves to run -- is hopefully going to enjoy the company of another canine in the house. If I ever catch the two of them sitting still, I'll be sure to post a photo...but like the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch and the like, I'm betting any photographic attempts at capturing the boys will be blurry and indistinct.

Meanwhile, Lomax continues to bring moments of hilarity. He is fascinated with polar bears, to the point where he will get up from his comfy place on the living room floor and walk to the TV, sniffing the screen whenever he sees the Coca-Cola or car insurance commercials that feature the fluffy white beasts. What gives? When the penguins come on, he turns around and walks away, but the polar bears keep his attention.

My theory is that they remind him of his friend Trooper. At any rate, the roomie and I are considering renting him some kind of polar bear movie or National Geographic special. I suggested we just show him the first season of Lost, but Amy objected, on the grounds that that particular polar bear is "too mean and scary."

Anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

One Week 'Til Christmas!

"Dear Santa, I have been REEEEEEEEALLY good this year. Will you bring me a basketball, some toys, girlfriend?"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Joys of Boys, or "Insert Euphemism Here"

No photos to illustrate this post, for reasons that will quickly become clear.

As an intact male dog, age 14 months, poor Lomax continues to race around this world with hormones coursing through his little body.

Why still "fully equipped," you ask? Well, Lomax -- along with most of the other pups from his excellent litter -- is still being considered for GDA's breeding program. Fortunately, according to the head of the GDA puppy department, they're working right now to schedule his breeder evaluation dates. I'll be sad to leave him at the school for the three weeks of testing, but relieved to finally have an answer with regard to his

Things get nuttier (?) as the weeks pass. The little yellow dog who once relieved perfectly on command is now the little yellow dog who leaves little yellow drops. He'll still go when asked, but he does a "non-committal piddle," preferring instead to keep a reserve in his tank for important messages he wants to leave for his friends around the neighborhood. A potty break can take forever; every blade of grass must first be sniffed, even in the spots he knows. I do my best to correct any ridiculous behavior (like marking, or gluing his nose to the ground in one spot), but I also don't want to tell him to go then yank on his leash, sending him mixed messages.

His man-status doesn't help when we're working on dog distraction issues, either. How is one person's upper body strength supposed to triumph over the instincts of a girl-crazy teenage canine? "Gosh, she's didn't need that arm, right?"

And here's one for the memoirs: lately, Lomax has been very much "on display" as a fully locked and loaded love machine. He likes to roll onto his back when people are petting him, which I let him do when he's out of jacket. But, man alive! All he needs is some bad dialogue and some "wakka-chikka-wakka-chikka" background music....

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Lion, The Witch and the Labrador

Lomax gives the new Narnia movie two dewclaws up.

"Couldn't get enough of the wolves," he says,"and the battle sequences were riveting! Full of animals! I hope the man sitting in front of us didn't mind my snout on his shoulder."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Love a Parade

Lomax and I marched in a Christmas Parade last Sunday, along with some other folks in our puppy raiser group. The crowd loved us, of course! Lomax was more than eager to strut his stuff for the public in his fancied-up training jacket and the special light-up collar I bought him as an early Christmas gift. The marching bands didn't phase him; neither did the horses. He was tempted to go play, however, with the adorable little girls from a local Brownie troop, who were dressed as gingerbread houses.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole bunch of photos...just the few quick ones I could snap while we were milling about in the parking lot, waiting for everyone to arrive and "suit up."

Christmastime in Los Angeles...

Looking our holiday best...

Sweet Darla looks like a wee angel...

But Lomax is always best dressed!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Just Making Sure You Get Your Laundry Money's Worth

"These don't have enough hair on them. Let me help."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

One Ring To Rule Them All

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Dog on his dark throne
In the Land of Labrador where the Shadows lie.

Some say the Ring brings madness....