Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Constant Gardener

Though our neighborhood walks have become less costly in terms of my wardrobe, Truman is now helping himself to unsuspecting foliage. Errant stalks and wayward flower stems, beware: you will be stripped by a passing Labrador with lightning-fast reflexes and an insatiable taste for leaves and petals.

I am waiting for the inevitable rose thorn. That should be a hoot.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sleepy Memorial Day

Someone is still tired from his big weekend.

I am enjoying this sedentary moment while it lasts.

Puppy Swap!

This weekend we traded brother for brother, Truman for Tai. I enjoyed hosting the little black dog! Okay, not so little: at last check, four-month-old Truman weighs 34 pounds, and Tai weighs in at an even more studly 38.8 pounds. In addition to their sturdy builds and handsome faces, the boys have more than a few things in common. For example, they BOTH know how to play innocent for the camera. Perhaps you see the resemblance....

Truman and me, at a coffee house on Friday:

Truman, asking if we are ready to leave the coffee house:

Tai and me, at church on Sunday:

Tai, asking if we are ready to leave church:

While Truman was busy chasing Paige and "getting his wiggles out" at Matt & Amy's house on Saturday, Tai and I had snuggle time and ran a few quick errands. Sunday afternoon, Truman had a lovely 3-hour kennel nap while the rest of us joined other puppy raisers at a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Truman did, however, manage to join us for dinner at El Torito, where he snored away contentedly on the tile floor, despite being in close quarters under the table with three other dogs he knows.

The key is to exhaust him, which is easier said than done. But we persist....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Never a More Fitting Blog Title

April 21 - In a death-defying gamble, I opted to take Truman with me when I went to lunch with an old college friend and his fiancee, who were here from out of state.

Let me first say that it's unbelievable, how much exercise this dog requires.

I had taken him for our customary morning walk, then played with him for a while in the hope that he might be sleepy enough to snooze under the table at lunch. Foolish mortal! What was I thinking? After a 30-minute drive, he had recharged enough to cause plenty of trouble at the restaurant.

Fortunately, it was a fairly casual place, and not crowded, and we were sitting outside. The wait staff was lovely about the fact that my dear little beastie is a loudmouth -- we weren't seated five minutes before he decided that I wasn't paying proper attention to him, and began barking at me. And growling. And biting. I spent much of the rest of the meal with a fork in my right hand and a compressed rawhide bone in my left, in an attempt to simultaneously enjoy my food and keep His Majesty from further speaking his mind. I had exhausted all my tricks for keeping him still under the table; he simply refused to cooperate. And heaven knows you can't do a whole lot of correcting in public...there are people who just don't understand, and you don't want to leave a bad impression of the school or the program.

The four of us took a seemingly endless (to Truman) 45-minute walk after lunch, which I thought would certainly bring the mantle of sleep to his little eyes. Worked fine in the car, but as soon as we got home, he was back to full speed and flashing teeth mode.

It was frustrating, and loads of fun to explain to my friend and his fiancee (whom I was meeting for the first time) that this is the WORST I've ever seen him behave in public. They seemed to like him anyway, though, at least enough to risk being close enough to his Gaping Jaws of Peril for a photographic souvenir:

And that is the mark of a true friend. Thanks, Jeremy. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Decorate Your Dog Neck

Our friend & fellow puppy raiser Denise makes fantastic dog collars, and has FINALLY put up her website: Kamra's Kloset.

You will see Truman (and perhaps some other pups you recognize?) featured in the Happy Puppies gallery, sporting some of the merchandise. Seriously, check out her wares! Truman has a terrific new Kamra's Kloset collar you haven't seen yet, made out of appropriate fabric for our upcoming pirate-themed GDA Open House (June 9th, if you're in the area).

He Is An Halibut

"I chose him out of thousands. I didn't like the others; they were all too flat."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Like a Crossover Episode

Truman and I braved monstrous and mostly unnecessary traffic (is there any other kind, here in Los Angeles?) to visit our friends today -- Deborah and her lovely little girls. Deborah has a glorious back yard full of delicious plants, and two beautiful toddlers who were remarkably restrained in the presence of Flippy McBoingBoing. After some "Labrador Shuffle" time around the tree, a hearty chase involving his squeaky toy mouse, and a thorough taste test of every single leaf on the ground, Truman enjoyed some on-leash time in the house with me, watching the girls intently as they giggled and played and eventually burst into tears over the enforced sharing of storybooks (as toddlers are wont to do).

It was good practice for Truman, and also apparently for three-year-old Maggie, who is not usually a fan of the canine set. We must visit again soon...especially if Deborah once again insists on feeding us pizza and freshly baked cookies. Next time perhaps Truman will be self-controlled enough to sit still and unrestrained for a picture with the girls.

Thanks for the fun afternoon, ladies! We love you mucho!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Weekend with the Gang

Because I had a non-dog-friendly wedding to attend, Truman spent the weekend at my area leaders' house, with all the usual suspects plus a few cameo appearances: their two breeder dogs, a couple of pets, a (visiting) working guide, And four other puppies in training (Paige and brother Tai, and a couple of pups from the litter born before his). Yes, there was a point at which all those dogs -- all Labs -- were in residence at once.

The day I dropped him off, I had the pleasure of observing his discovery of the Lixit dog waterer in their back yard.

For all the genius Truman displays in other areas, he sure did look like a doofus with the Lixit. He did figure out how to make the water come out...then he proceeded to snap at said water in an attempt to catch it before it hit the ground. I'm sure much of it was just play, but the show would certainly not have earned him any IQ test points.

Endless fun to watch for the rest of us, though.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

On an Unrelated Note

Those of you who are aware of my other silly, mostly-non-puppy-related personal Web journal may have given up hope that I would ever update it again (to be honest, I was almost there myself). Looks like we were both wrong!

If you're a Star Wars fan, you might enjoy these posts. If you're not a Star Wars fan, you might enjoy them anyway. Or you might just mock me. This is the chance we take.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Big Weekend

May 7 - We had a busy weekend.

Saturday morning puppy class up at GDA was yet another adventure in dog distraction madness. It's to be expected, of course, since the little man is still a little man, but I can tell Truman shares that exuberance and zest for life (and other dogs, and people, etc.) that Lomax had. I admit that when he's being a spaz in public, I feel a little spazzy myself, because I know how it must look: can't control my own dog! I'll tell you what, though -- after raising two high-energy Labs, I do *not* judge other puppy raisers who look like they're not in control, either. Instead, I silently empathize and say a quick prayer for them.

Afterward, we burned some energy by romping with Paige and Tai. And subsequently drank lots of water with Paige and Tai:

Sunday was graduation (congratulations to Janna and Kamra!), and knowing the campus would be full of dogs and people, we came a bit late and sat behind the seating area in a shady spot, where I could keep both hands on the little dingo without disturbing people who were trying to see and hear the ceremony. He did surprisingly well; I think the key to controlling much of his distraction is proximity (or rather, the lack thereof).

Another milestone: Truman is now sixteen weeks old, and having endured the requisite rabies shot, is fully "street legal." We have yet to take advantage of his newfound ability to go into a pet store, but it is a relief to not have to worry about where I can safely relieve him in public. We're all smiling about that one.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Regular Maintenance

At least Truman's "doctor visits" are taken care of. My truck, not so much.

I promised him he won't have to be flushed every three thousand miles, but I'm not sure he believed me.

Bat? Mouse? Elephant?

April 24 - Just showin' off my nice clean ears.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More Spellbinding Adventures

April 23 - Truman takes his first trip to Barnes & Noble, where we reserve our copy of the last book in the Hairy... er, Harry Potter series.

He refused to pose in front of the books on dog training, so we went with my favorite fantasy author instead. Truman is, after all, a little "Feist"y.

New Favorite Toy

April 21 - Truman receives "The Banana," a very silly toy that instantly becomes his favorite, from Auntie Tina and Uncle Ron. As of this writing, The Banana is miraculously still intact and very popular.

Asleep at the Wheel

April 18 - Mom says that when I was a baby, all they had to do to get me to go to sleep was put me in the car and drive around the block.

Guess it runs in the family.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Have you seen the movie "The Prestige"?

If you haven't seen it, and you intend to (highly recommended, by the way), do NOT read this post. It will spoil the whole thing.

If you have seen it, you will understand when I say that some days I spend my time looking all over the apartment for Truman's twin.