Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Big Snip: Update

Apparently, the school is only going to neuter the males. Still no word on what exactly the trait is that the breeding manager doesn't want passed down, but we may never find out. Not a big deal, as far as I'm concerned, as long as everyone's healthy.

The best thing about this news is that not only could one of Lomax's littermate sisters still be named a breeder, one of his older sisters (same parents, previous litter) is already a breeder and won't have to be spayed. We're also thrilled that one of his other female relatives -- a sweet little peanut of a black Lab named Mika, whose "wiggle hinge" is even more flexible than Lomax's -- is also safe in her breeder status.

I had a chance to talk to the trainer who left me a message, and she seems optimistic that these guys are all still terrific dogs whose ability to guide won't be affected in the slightest. It was very encouraging! We talked a bit about Lomax's tap-dancing -- the poor little man just can't sit still when there's someone he loves nearby, and he tries SO HARD -- and she seems to think that it may be mostly hormonal. It will be good to see how things change when the testosterone has had a chance to work its way out of his system. I'm hoping that it won't change his personality too much...but I definitely could stand for him to mellow out a little.

So, Tuesday's the big day! I'll probably go to graduation at the school on Sunday morning, then drop him off at the kennels.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Gung Hay Dog Chow

Lomax would like to wish everyone a happy Chinese new year...apparently, it is the year of the dog.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Big Snip

I just found out they're going to neuter Lomax. According to a trainer in the GDA puppy department, they "found something in the lines" that made them decide to fix 'em. It sounded like she was speaking in the plural, so while she didn't specifically say the whole litter, if there's something in the lines they want to discontinue, it makes sense. She said "they'd still make great guides," so it's apparently nothing too serious, but I haven't had a chance to speak with her directly because I didn't get her message in time. I won't know until Monday, which kills me!

After all my lamenting, my soliloquies on the difficulty of reining in a four-legged teenage boy in spring-loaded furry tap shoes, I am feeling a little sad. My roomie is feeling the same way.

It's not just that there will be no little Lomaxes (Lomices?), or that he has individually been rejected. I think what makes me sad is the possibility that there will be no breeder from the whole litter. I didn't seriously think they'd make him a breeder (in my opinion, he's a little nuttier -- pardon the pun and sorry, Lomax -- than some of his sibs), but I was looking forward to hearing a happy announcement that Liam or one of his other littermates had been chosen to pass on their fine qualities. They really are terrific dogs, these guys.

But the...ahem, procedure...really will make the rest of our time together easier, on both of us, so I'm focusing on that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Return of Lomax

The kennel stay was a success. GDA kennel techs report that Lomax and Liam were "very good boys" with "NO signs of stress." Not shocking in the slightest, either of those things. Our happy bachelor brothers did, however, take every available opportunity to...attempt to woo the ladies, shall we say? And yet, still no word on their breeder evaluation schedule (Liam is ALSO still intact, as is most of their litter).

I had the in-house vet check Lomax for an ear infection, as he'd been a little "flappy" for a day or two before, and sure enough, he came home with meds for his left ear. But he's been a sport about that so far, sucker for an ear rub that he is.

The two of them must have played constantly for the whole three days, because I got an e-mail from Liam's puppy raisers, saying that he had effectively put himself to bed at seven o'clock. Lomax was so tired last night that I actually debated whether or not to take him to obedience class. Thinking it might be nice for a change to work with him when he's less wiggly, however, Slave Driver Jenny dragged the poor little man to class and experienced the phenomenon of having to encourage him to keep up during an average-pace heel.

I felt so spoiled! Free vet care, a few days of romping for him and total freedom for me, and they bathed him and trimmed his toenails to boot. There's nothing like getting back a clean, sleepy dog.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Lomax is "at camp" for a few days up at the GDA kennels. For those of you who aren't puppy raisers, I'll explain: we do this periodically so the dogs can get used to the kennel environment, where they'll be living when they go in for their six(ish) months of formal training. It makes the transition less stressful.

It's been a nice break for me -- and a great opportunity to wear all my black clothing without incident -- but I miss my little yellow man! No doubt he is having the time of his life, surrounded by other dogs, peeing where and when he wants to, and rooming with his brother Liam.

Since I won't have the opportunity to take any photos for a few more days, I'll leave you with one more from our LEGOland adventure:

"Trouble to the east, Lord Lomax!"

"I see it, Sir Bricksalot...take the leash and get me out of here."

"Yes, my liege."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It Is Awards Season, After All

I always knew Lomax was a superstar! To Tame the Wild Beastie has been chosen as Dogmark's "Cool Dog Site of the Day."

We'd like to thank the fine people at Dogmark for selecting us, as well as Julia and Rockwell for cluing us in on the existence of the award, and of course, our favorite roommate Amy for nominating us.

We would also like to thank every one of our visitors. It's a pleasure to share Lomax's training with you.

As to whether fame will change us, I am satisfied with posting this humble award graphic on the site and giving him an extra chicken snap or two, but Lomax thinks he should start looking for representation while he's still buzzworthy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Freudian Slip

I just accidentally saved a document to my computer with the extension ".dog" instead of ".doc" -- who says this puppy raising business is an all-consuming pastime?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lomax Takes LEGOland

Because the real city of New York might be a bit overwhelming for both of us, Lomax and I decided we'd try a smaller version of it first. Here he is, smiling for the camera as always, in Times Square.

As it turns out, LEGOland is a great place to go on a Thursday in January...especially if you have free tickets. The weather was perfect and it wasn't very crowded. Because the park caters to smaller children, Lomax had lots of practice ignoring little hands and cries of "doggie!" from passing strollers. He was as surprised as I when a free-range toddler managed to sneak up behind us and pull his tail, but he didn't do anything naughty.

There were so many new and exciting things to see, hear and smell that Lomax walked pretty fast most of the day, and it was a challenge to keep him in a nice heel position for any significant length of time. I did what I always do, which is change directions on him -- right, left, or a complete 180 -- to keep him focusing on me and anticipating the next move. It's effective, but it does make getting from Point A to Point B a little less direct. I hate to leash-correct him so much in public, because people tend to get the wrong idea...not that you'd think this dog is mistreated, looking at his happy face, alert ears and constantly wagging rear end!

Overall, he did very well. Loud, strange noises were met with curiosity but not fear, with the exception of a lifesized, beeping LEGO model of R2-D2, upon which he looked with great suspicion until later in the day when I brought him back to sniff and make friends on his own terms. He didn't even mark, as he is sometimes wont to do (even in jacket! aigh!) when we pass too close to a previously "decorated" shrub.

Lomax was allowed to go on one attraction, a slow boat ride on the river that runs through the "Miniland" section of the park. He wasn't sure about getting on board the boat from the dock, but he did jump in with my encouragement. Once I sat down on the seat with him seated on the floor between my legs, however, he decided he would rather climb cartoon-style over my entire body to exit, stage left. I got control of him and sat him back down, but he spent the rest of the ride with his front legs tap dancing on the floor of the boat, acting as though he would love nothing better than to ditch this lame tour and take a refreshing swim. He exited the boat happily, but not in an out-of-control fashion, and seemed just fine.

The only truly disobedient thing he did all day -- because there always has to be ONE thing -- was lunge for a piece of dropped food. He is very well behaved around food as a rule, so this was surprising! But it was one of "Granny's Apple Fries," so I can understand the temptation. I pulled it out of his mouth and put it back on the ground to set him up a few times. After one more successful Lab-mouth lightning-strike (fastest tongue in the West) and several corrections, he learned to leave it alone and was richly rewarded with hugs and kisses and praise. Also, the threat of jail time is very effective.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

1,000 Words in Lieu of A Picture

Many apologies to our regular visitors! Lomax and I have been quite busy since the holidays, and blogging has taken a back seat to our various post-Christmas, hit-the-2006-ground-running activities. Just a quick update....

1.) Lomax is maturing physically (and not just in that "ladies man" way which I have already lamented). I've noticed, and many others have commented, over the last few weeks that he seems broader in the torso, more "filled out." And he suddenly has quite the profusion of neck. When I retired his fancy Christmas collar and brought back his usual blue one, it was too small and had to be adjusted. I refer to this new over-the-collar spillage as "the wrinkled neck of wisdom."

2.) His strength seems to have increased as well, which is challenging when there are females anywhere near us -- as there always seem to be when we go to puppyraiser meetings, since there are so many breeders in our group. In the desperate hope that I will not someday find myself in the position of Monty Python's black knight, I have stepped up the amount and intensity of our obedience practice and am working like never before on getting Lomax to focus on his handler when in the face (or, um, other end) of very tempting distractions. He's doing well.

3.) He's still a cutie. I just got a brand new digital camera, so evidence of this will be posted soon...that is, as soon as I can figure out all the fancy bells and whistles accompanying such dizzying technology.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Even My Dog Knows Good Football

I usually save this sort of silliness for my other blog, but...it must be shared. I was making such a commotion at the TV (yelling and flailing and woo-hooing and celebrating) when Vince Young scored the national-championship-game-winning touchdown for the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl this evening, Lomax actually barked.

Just the once, one hearty woof. And I didn't stop him. Because he was cheering for the right team.