Friday, June 30, 2006

Welcome, Chandler!

Joanna, Lomax's first puppy raiser, picked up her new charge today...and she's created a blog for him! Everyone go say hello and welcome to Chandler, the goldendoodle.

And while you're there, be sure to read Joanna's wonderful entry about the early days of our very own Mr. Lomax. Perhaps I'm biased, but I don't think you will ever see a cuter photo of a cuter puppy than the one at the beginning of that post. It's true -- our Mr. Lomax is almost unbearably attractive.

Father's Day, Brother's Day

I know, I've been remiss; it's been two weeks since my last post. But I've got some great pictures! Does that count for extra?

While I was in Fresno, Lomax had a great time here with Liam and his people. In addition to seeing a movie and having a nice Father's Day with "grandpa" (Matt's dad), the boys went to an Angels game.

Here's Lomax in the stadium, questioning the umpire's call:

And here's Liam, doing his impression of Lomax, who is not amused:

Wonder Dog powers, activate!

By Monday, Lomax had exhausted poor Liam, but the Unstoppable Yellow One was still ready to play. He was nice and wiggly for me when I got home, which was just what I needed. There's nothing like a Lomax, that's for sure.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brother Weekend

Lomax is spending the weekend with his brother Liam! I'm going on a quick trip and won't be posting for a few days, so I'll just leave you with this picture of the two handsomest dogs in town:

Lomax As Hero

Okay, I'm at work here, but I have to stop for a minute just to recognize a Lomax achievement.

I've noticed in the last few weeks that -- usual playtime wiggliness aside -- Lomax has been easier to handle and control in general. He's walking much more consistently on a loose lead in excellent heel position, he's a little more focused (or easier to bring back to focus in the face of distraction), he just seems more grown up all of a sudden.

So when the fire alarm went off in my office building about 30 minutes ago, I thought nothing of it. I just picked up his leash (and my latte, because really -- who knows how long we'll be standing out there, and if it's a real emergency I want to be fully caffeinated and alert, right?) and walked calmly to the nearest emergency exit.

In the midst of a crowded stairwell, loud "whoop-whoop-whoop" alarm sounds and flashing emergency lights, I hardly even noticed that Lomax was perfectly calm and steady. It was only after we were all standing outside talking, when someone asked me if he had freaked out, that I realized what an excellent job he'd done.

So I rewarded him with a little greeting and ear-rubbing time from his many admirers before the fire marshall gave us the "all clear" to return to the building.

It was a false alarm, fortunately. If there's ever actual smoke and fire, I make no guarantees.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Groovy Day at GDA

The annual GDA Open House fundraiser is always crazy good fun, but this was my first time in attendance with a dog of my own, so it was even more chaotic. This year's theme was "Back to the '60s" which, as you can see by the photos I've posted, afforded all sorts of goofy opportunities. The clever event planners outdid themselves this year, posting signs like "Drool is Cool," "Puppy Power," "Mellow Yellow," and my personal favorite, "Black Lab is Beautiful."

Lomax and I participated in the "puppy trials" distraction/obstacle course, and while we didn't place, I feel pretty good about how we did. Lomax is so distracted by other dogs that I was concerned he would...well...explode into uncontrollable wiggling, I guess. But I was able to rein him in fairly well and he took on the most difficult challenges (including getting on and off a bus filled with blacklights, loud psychedelic music, incense, rabbit furs and another dog) with relative confidence. It was the easy things -- you know, distractions he couldn't possibly care less about when I'm out working him in the real world, like water -- in which he suddenly took interest. Ah, well. The trainer who's been keeping in touch with us said yesterday that Lomax looked the most mature she'd ever seen him, so that's great news.

The South Bay puppy raiser group works the "Puppy Kissing Booth" every year. One dollar for the privilege of receiving a puppy kiss is a pretty good deal, but Lomax was especially generous with l'amour. Here's Bob, getting his money's worth.

And of course, these events are always a good time for family photos. Here's Lomax with his beloved brother Liam (on the left) and sister Kandy (on the right -- who by the way is going in for the last phase of her breeder evaluation, woo hoo!).

The day went so quickly, I didn't even have time to watch the guide dog demonstration or wander around and look at all the silent auction packages, which are always fantastic. So I did my part by purchasing a comfy GDA sweatshirt, enjoying the tri-tip sandwich lunch as well as the Girl Scout bake sale booth, and buying a raffle ticket for the "Spend a Day With a Guide Dog Trainer" program. Lomax, meanwhile, gave kisses until he was all kissed out.

Grateful to have spent the day with my little man and all of our puppy raiser friends, at least one of us slept very well when we got home.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Retrievers of Truth

This one's for you, Nat and Petey!

Fans of the TV show Lost will appreciate this site, sponsored by the Hanso Foundation, "Documenting the mental mastery of the Yellow Labrador Retriever."

I guess Lomax has greater powers than I ever imagined.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Notorious B.L.O.G.s

With all the swollen-dog-with-yeasty-ears excitement of the last several days, we almost forgot to welcome our new readers! Lomax's humble online abode has been added to GruffPuppy's list of Dog Blogs.

Thanks for the link, and welcome! Lomax sends you all a big, sloppy Labrador smooch.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just Add Flour, Bake Some Bread -- Dog's Got Yeast Inside His Head

So, it looks like Lomax has a yeast infection in his ears but no hematomas, according to our new vet (whom we LOVE). I'm guessing he got it while he was kenneled at the school for a few days, since his ears were immaculate before that...and since that's the only place he could have caught it from water play or other dogs, any time recently. I have some Otomax to give him, and plenty of love, and he should be just fine. He has already returned to 100% Wiggly Mode, complete with Full-Scale Moof Power.

It continues to amaze me just how happy he is all the time. During both doctor visits we had due to this little spider bite, even when he was so swollen he could barely open his eyes, it was all I could do to keep him from wagging himself right off the exam table.

"I'm going to look in your ears now."

Yippee! (WiggleWiggleWiggleWiggle.)

"Now I'm going to take your temperature."

Hooray! (WiggleWiggleWiggleWiggle.)

"Now I'm going to give you a couple of shots."

WooHoo! Ouch. Yayyyy! (WiggleWiggleWiggleWiggle.)

I forgot to warn our new vet about Lomax's affinity for ear kissing, and consequently, as the doc was listening to Lomax's heart, he got the Labrador lightning-strike right upside the head. Good thing the stethoscope was in there, or he would have had to swab.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Signs of Summer

Heat. Shedding. Bugs. The harbingers of the season....

Lomax greeted me this morning with less than his usual fervor. Upon inspection, I found his ears to be hugely swollen, and his eyes starting in as well. Horrors! His cute little face!!

So I called GDA and up we went for a little vet visit. The poor little man was puffed up severely; he looked like he'd gone a few rounds with Evander Holyfield. It had come on so suddenly, I didn't know what to think. The vet took his temp, looked in his ears, and ruled out an ear infection. Finally, she came to the conclusion that he must have been bitten by a spider. There's a tiny bump on his nose...which likely means he stuck it someplace it didn't belong, and is now paying the price.

After a couple of shots and a Benadryl capsule, the facial swelling has gone down, but the ears are still pretty big. The vet said it *looks* like he could have hematomas, but other signs don't point to that (both ears at once, and he hadn't been "flapping" before the swelling occurred). So here I am in my apartment on this beautiful summer day, keeping my eyes on his ears, rather than running the errands I'd planned. The sad thing is, Lomax doesn't want to be cooped up inside either!

If he's still swollen tomorrow morning, I'm supposed to take him to a vet near me. The good thing is, if he does have hematomas, it's not considered an emergency...the bad thing is, it does mean surgery, and nobody wants that. So we're keeping our fingers and paws crossed, and praying the swelling will subside.

We'll keep you posted!

EARWATCH UPDATE: As of Sunday morning, the ears are looking much better. The swelling is almost gone, and the exuberant wiggling has returned to about 98%. I'll most likely take him to a vet tomorrow for a re-check, but he's looking good.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Evil Jenny" Emerges

Lomax and I were crossing a very busy Wilshire Boulevard intersection during lunchtime today (we had the "walk" signal) when a guy in a gigantic SUV made a right turn directly in front of us. He was going way too fast, for one thing. He had been looking, and knew exactly what he was doing. Looked right at us and stuck his hand out the window in a kind of wave, a signal of thanks that we were letting him go as well as a signal that he was going whether or not we were letting him.

Judging his distance to be just far enough away, I didn't react physically -- kept face-forward but pretended not to see him, and kept my pace, which was moderate and measured. A split-second of terror flashed across his countenance, which I confess delighted me.

Sometimes people think I'm blind when I'm wearing my black sunglasses, and walking Lomax in his GDA service jacket.