Friday, November 30, 2007


Truman has been very affectionate, very clingy lately, which is quite nice in the chilly weather. Every time I turn around, it seems like he's on Amy's feet or at the base of whatever piece of furniture I'm sitting on, doing his best to look cute and cuddly. And there's nothing like snuggling up next to a warm puppy for a nap in front of the (fake) fireplace. Gaze upon the SnuggleRoo and envy his well-loved people and their nice warm toes!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Perhaps Something In a Sailor Suit?

After returning a costume I'd rented for the Victorian Grand Ball I attended with a friend from my swing dance classes, I walked Truman around Old Torrance for a while until we stumbled upon "The WWII Store." The proprietor was very kind and invited us in with great enthusiasm (which is not something you always get when you have a dog in tow). Neat place -- the store grew out of this one man's personal collection, and has since expanded to include an interesting selection of vintage uniforms & clothing, models & dioramas, films, memorabilia, military ribbons and insignia, and of course, books from floor to ceiling.

I didn't see anything there that might fit Truman, but I'll have to pay another visit before I go back to the Great Los Angeles Air Raid this coming year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Swear It Wasn't Me

Breakfast on Main Street

September 22, 2007 -- Restaurants are always an adventure with Truman, because if I don't do good enough under-the-table recon, there is potential for great mess making. It's happened before: the apparently delicious puddle of syrup I didn't see against the dark pattern of the carpet, the gum I completely missed until it was so embedded that I had to do hair surgery....

But this was quite a successful outing, despite the challenges inherent in an outdoor venue like the patio of the Omelette Parlor. Namely, birds and bird by-products.

Truman is quite the avian enthusiast around our neighborhood, typically going out of his way to acknowledge our feathered friends, greet them, and very thoughtfully alert me to their presence so that I may enjoy them as well. And there were plenty of birds on the patio this post-thunderstorm morning, having emerged from their rainy day hideaways in search of carelessly dropped breakfast tidbits. However, the boy was quite well behaved! He spotted them from his place on the brick floor beneath the table; he watched them, but he did not move.

When it rains, poor Truman is mostly relegated to my apartment because there's no suitably dry place for him to play outside, and this thunderstorm had given him quite a case of cabin fever. So, after exercising such remarkable restraint at the restaurant, I thought he deserved a little stroll down Main Street. So we window-shopped and people-watched and did our best to avoid other folks with dogs. Not too shabby! He pulled at the leash a bit, but was mostly cooperative, even for a couple of photos (though there is a limit to his patience).

"I will pose for your stupid artsy photo, but I will NOT be happy about it."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Definition of Trust

Leaving the burrito unattended on the seat of the vehicle while you walk around to get into the driver's side.

Truman and I have achieved trust.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Truman's First Thanksgiving

As much a part of our lives as these puppies become, sometimes it's hard to remember that the holidays we spend with them are often the first and only ones we get to spend with them. Truman is ten months old, so by this time next year, he will most likely be in formal training up at GDA. The thought is always bittersweet.

We spent yesterday at my aunt's house with her and my two cousins. While Truman had had an uncharacteristically mellow few days -- I'd been sick and thus he didn't get as much exercise as we all know he desperately needs -- he was very well behaved under the restraint of a leash and some marathon down-stays. It must have been difficult. He's always excited about visiting other people's houses, he knew there were cats on the property, and everywhere he turned, there was something forbidden that looked delicious and smelled even better.

I played with him for a few minutes in the backyard so he could get some of his energy out before I asked him to lie down politely next to my chair during dinner. Aside from a few "grumpus noises" of complaint (he is less a whiner than a grumbler, vocally speaking), he was quite patient. Nevertheless, while I was on the phone with my parents, Truman decided he'd had quite enough of this self-control business and broke into a gloriously unfettered Labrador Shuffle, much to the delight of my aunt and cousin, who had never witnessed such a display (they have two very dignified cats, no dogs). The house is hardly puppy-proof, but Truman is surprisingly nimble and managed to turn his speedy circles on the carpet with only one head-smack into the coffee table. The hardwood floor proved amusing but not as shuffle-friendly, so he returned to the living room for the finale. I haven't heard my aunt laugh that hard in a while....

An after-dinner stroll around a nearby park and a brief visit to the neighbor's house -- where he was greeted with great enthusiasm by young and old alike at their family-packed celebration -- rounded out the evening nicely, and we returned home to a good night's sleep: mine, due to the turkey; Truman's, a job well done.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

He may not look it in this photo, but I know for a fact that Truman is thankful for many things. Food. Naps. Playtime with his favorite canine buddies. Belly rubs. Ear rubs. Chicken chips. Ice cubes. Magnolia leaves. Denim. Birds. Wind. His Amy (pictured here).

I, too, am thankful for many things. Food. Naps. Playtime with my favorite canine buddies...okay, you get the idea. Honestly, there's just too much in my life to list in the blessings column without making this the world's longest post. I have a great "day job" and the most satisfying volunteer work I can imagine. I'm healthy, I'm loved, and I'm free. I have a lovable, goofy dog, and a lovable, goofy roommate who will tolerate posing with him just because I notice their outfits match.

There is so much more to acknowledge. Not only do I owe thanks to God for the grace He has extended to me in my life, I owe thanks to family, friends, and strangers alike -- anyone who has ever supported, protected, defended, befriended or encouraged me.

May you know your blessings today as well, and take hold of them, and give thanks.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Truman Makes a Shameless Plug for Devil Dogs

This post will remain at the top of my blogs until November 11, 2007. Skip on down to the new stuff if you've already seen this...but please read on if you're new here.

Truman and I are big fans of the U.S. military; you might remember our care package posts, and you might also know that I am a Soldiers' Angels volunteer. Both my dad and my grandpa served during wartime, so this is a cause that's dear to me.

Many of our young men are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with devastating hand and arm injuries that result in isolation and frustration in addition to the physical pain of the injury itself. Think about it: is your computer your lifeline? Your source of news and entertainment? Your outlet for self-expression? Your means of earning a paycheck? If your hands were burned, bandaged, missing -- such that you could not even scratch an itch or hold a toothbrush, much less send an e-mail from your hospital bed to a faraway loved one -- what impact would this have upon your life?

Project Valour-IT exists for this reason. The project that serves our wounded troops by providing them with voice-activated laptops is having its annual fundraising competition, complete with a little good natured inter-branch rivalry.

I made a generic pitch/bleg last year, but this year I'm aligning with Team USMC, in honor of my adopted Marine (and because Truman also fancies himself a devil dog of sorts).

Will you take a moment to make even a small tax-deductible donation (via PayPal or credit card)? Every dollar counts, and every cent goes to the purchase and shipment of the laptops. This is a perfect opportunity to show your gratitude for the sacrifices made by our military (especially if you live in an area not directly connected to the military community), or to teach your children the value of giving, or to be a vital part of someone's healing process.

Help Team USMC reach our $60,000-by-Veteran's-Day goal! Please give by clicking on the thermometer graph in my sidebar.

Thank you. And now, back to our regularly scheduled puppy posts.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Working Like a Dog

This is why passing co-workers often snicker.