Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Roo Year

May your 2008 be joyous, prosperous, and filled with the blessings of family and dear friends. Truman and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Going Up the Mountain

Truman and I had a great Christmas day, with presents and family and food and a little time for reflection. We hope yours was lovely as well!

And now we're headed up to Mammoth with Tai and his people for a few days in the snow! Thus, there will be no blogging until about New Year's....

In the meantime, please enjoy the billions of posts that I just put up a few days ago. I hadn't blogged since about Thanksgiving, so if you want to see everything since then, be sure to click on the archives to your right.

We'll come back with lots of good brothers-in-the-snow pictures, I'm sure. See you soon!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Truman

May you be blessed today, as we are, and remember the true Source of hope and expectation, who is the reason for this holiday. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Seeing Other People

Truman has become very focused on me & very clingy lately, so I've begun farming him out to other puppy raisers, especially ones he does not know well.

Fellow raiser Tracy and her brother Steven took him for a few days. Truman had a great time -- he went to a couple of Christmas parties, the Cal State Long Beach campus, and a brunch at Knott's Berry Farm, where he and Tai both met Snoopy.

Aside from barking at door noises (even on TV) and stealing a piece of pineapple off a slice of pizza, he was a good boy. He and Tai spent hours and hours amusing the Dolan family in a typical display of what I like to call, "MUST...CONTINUE...PLAYING...!" The boys just don't get tired of each other. Or tired at all.

My favorite quote from Tracy: "Truman's a funny guy." Yes. Yes, he is.

I'm glad he burned off a little energy; I have a lot to do over the next few days. Thanks again, guys!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Truman at the Grove

As a fellow "employee" of the nonprofit where I work, Truman got to attend our annual holiday party -- a lunch at Maggiano's Little Italy. Because he was so good, tucked into a corner under the table where I was sitting, many people didn't even know he was there. But he wasn't left out of the merry-making! After our "white elephant" gift exchange, the VP of my department stood up and announced that Truman should receive a gift as well. She handed me a cute little bag, in which was a bone-shaped ceramic bowl for his Christmas treats.

After lunch, I took Truman for a little walk through The Grove shopping center, greeting the enthusiastic children of harried holiday shoppers, and stopping for photos in front of Santa's house. When we'd had enough of the crowds, Truman and I headed toward the parking structure to take one last picture before the trafficky drive home.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Favorite Meeting of the Year

The December puppy raiser meeting is always my favorite. There's plenty of food (and chocolate!), everybody's in a good mood, the photo-op decor is festive, and the holiday spirit abounds. Nobody seems to mind the chaos.

In addition to a raffle and a gift exchange (we got a fleece tug toy and an adorable paw print cookie jar filled with organic dog biscuits), recent tradition has added the viewing of a year-end DVD full of photo montages. This year's show included the usual "everyone's included" video as well as salutes to the South Bay breeder dogs, retirees, "doodles," and Christmas parade participants. Plenty of tears and belly-laughs to go around....

Funny how the humans are the only ones tired after such a long evening. Looks like whoever plugged in the tree also plugged in the dogs:

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ghosts of Christmas Past

One tradition at the GDA holiday potluck is the puppy Christmas tree. Puppy raisers bring an ornament for their puppy-in-training, and hang it on the tree. Ornaments from previous years are hung on the walls of the building.

Next year, after Truman has been turned in for formal training, I will find this little ornament I made for him, and hopefully have a good laugh.

Our Festive Friends





Party Time at GDA

Today was the annual GDA holiday potluck up at the school.

It rarely occurs to us puppy raisers because this is our everyday existence, but when you stop to think about it, it's pretty remarkable how well behaved these dogs can be. Dozens of them, all in one place -- and puppies, at that -- in close proximity to each other in the presence of food, people of all ages, and unusual sights and sounds. You might expect an explosion of barking, at the very least. But somehow, it never goes that crazy.

Not to say that it can't go a LITTLE crazy, especially when littermates are involved.

After Truman, Tai and Tori posed nicely for several photos in the little sleigh (did someone say "cookie," Truman?), the three of them -- as if on cue -- took a simultaneous flying leap over the decoration on the side, like furry little superheroes. I wish someone had captured it on camera...would have made great video.

Anyway, after that, I think they were a little concerned that Santa thought they were naughty.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

America's Next Top Model

Because it took me so long to sew the garland on Truman's jacket, I decided to leave it on an extra day or two so he could show off for my co-workers. When we went back to work on Tuesday, I was thrilled to discover that the lobby of the building had been decorated for Christmas. I took a few quick photos, then the graphic designer at my organization offered to take a few more with her nice camera equipment.

The folks at the building security desk folks are very nice, and they love Truman -- especially Yolanda. When she noticed Truman was getting distracted by passersby who stopped to watch his little fashion photo shoot, she very kindly (and unsolicited) directed traffic for us. We felt quite fancy and important.

Do I hear reindeer on the roof?

Santa? Is that you?

Monday, December 03, 2007

This Year's Christmas Card Photo

Sure, he doesn't look thrilled about the jingle collar. But come on -- he's even cute when he's mortified!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Truman On Parade

The South Bay puppy raisers march in the Downey Christmas Parade every year. It's a great opportunity to spread holiday cheer as well as awareness of the GDA program. The dogs get terrific exposure to crowds, marching bands, horses, and all kinds of other distractions. It's fun for the people, too. Everyone dresses in Santa hats and red vests, and gets to spend the first hour or so trying to prevent their puppy from chewing the garland off its jacket.

This year, our day began at Baker's Square restaurant, where we met the group for breakfast. After attempting to settle Truman under the table in the presence of some exuberant young puppies and apparently fragrant intact females, we relocated, I was able to use both hands on things like utensils for my pancakes, and he did just fine.

Here's how it went: The walk to and from the parking lot to the parade staging area was practically longer than the parade itself. Truman -- who is usually a champion loose-lead walker -- nearly decapitated himself by pulling so hard on the leash, he was so excited. My left arm was killing me by the end of the route, but I know he had a great time. Everyone applauded for the dogs, and the excited shouts of "puppy!" and "doggy!" from children lining the route were a welcome addition to the shouts of holiday well-wishing. And, this being Southern California, it was a brisk and Decembery 78 degrees outside.

He was NOT tired afterward.