Monday, February 25, 2008

More Brother Time

February 16, 2008 -- There is something in this litter...a freaky telepathic connection, at the very least between Truman and his brother Tai.

I know this, because every time Truman is driving me nuts with a multiple-day burst of uncontrollable energy that seems to refuse to be worked or played out of him by any normal means, I get a phone call from Matt and Amy:

"Is your dog on crack right now? Because our dog is on crack right now. Brother shuffle time is available in our yard, effective immediately."

So off we go to visit. Truman, predictably, knows which exit I have taken off the freeway and springs up to look out the window. How. Does. He. Always. KNOW?!?

The running commences. The wrestling, the chasing, the springing, the teeth-rattling. We are in the Doofus Zone for the next few hours until they're both manageable once again. Boys will be boys.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Truman Tours the U.S.S. Midway

February 8, 2008 -- With a title like that, how could I not have him wear his American flag collar?

A day-long outing in unfamiliar territory is an excellent test of a dog's ability to tolerate stress. I'm happy to report that Truman did well on today's adventure! Our first trip by rail went smoothly; Truman settled nicely onto the Amtrak train for the ride down to San Diego, home of the U.S.S. Midway museum. I guess he figured that after being folded up in the back of a Kia Sorrento on the way to and from Mammoth, this was luxurious travel.

Then came our tour of the Midway, and Truman's first brush with military accommodations. I think he's decided enlisted life is not for him. His closet at home is bigger than these measly lockers....

He does, however, want to steer. This is nothing new.

The ship was full of interesting smells and noises, and we even managed to find some unusual surfaces to walk on. Not too bad for a floor you can see through:

And here, Truman hopes the "remain very still until it goes away" snake avoidance principle also holds true for bombs:

Truman and me, all squinty on the flight deck at the end of the day:

We exited the ship a couple times during the day so Truman could relieve and have a bit of out-of-jacket time, which he seemed to appreciate. He's a confident dog, seemingly unafraid of anything, but he still has a tendency to get overwhelmed with excitement in new places, and it was nice to let him have a little on-leash shuffle time on the grassy area adjacent to the dock, to let off some steam.

After our tour, we had a quick bite to eat at a nearby deli, then boarded the train at about sunset for the enjoyable trip back home. He was more than happy to sleep the whole way.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Puppy Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day, Truman enjoys a reunion with an old love...Mr. Banana.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And How Did YOU Get Here?

Today's winning search query that led someone to the Beastie blog:

"yellow lab wild in evening time"

Yeah. Tell me about it, man.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Secret to Exhaustion

December 29, 2007 -- When they weren't running and wrestling and shuffling in the snow, they were running and wrestling and shuffling in the house. We had to separate them and make them lie down. And if they made eye contact, the epic battle raged on all over again. This is a rare moment: the two of them, in one place, touching, and not engaged in hound-to-hound combat:

When they weren't rolling around on each other, snorting like little bulls and knocking down knick-knacks with the swoosh of a mighty tail, they were busy starting their own quality assurance business: Tai & Truman's Toy Testing ("You Make 'Em, We'll Break 'Em!"). The end of our trip saw us packing a bag full of alleged indestructibles, in various states of disrepair, dysfunction, or disembowelment. The braided-fleece tug toy may be the only thing they were unable to vanquish (though in his defense, Truman did prove most adept at pulling out individual strands, which I think shows some excellent fine motor skills).

He was as good a passenger on the way home as on the way there, though there was an unfortunate incident in freezing wind-whipped Mojave, where the gales were such that he basically peed on his own legs. Neither of us was particularly thrilled about that.

We got home just fine on the 30th, and I sent him for a puppysitting visit to play with his sister on New Year's Eve.

There is, apparently, a magic combination of factors involved in making Truman tired beyond a one-day stretch. I believe we have finally stumbled upon this combination:

3 days in Mammoth with brother Tai + 1 overnight stay at sister Tia's house = 2.5 days of sleepy, sleepy Truman

I have never seen him so motionless. I had to keep checking to see if he was breathing.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Snow Dogs Allowed

Tell me they're not brothers.

Monday, February 04, 2008

There's No Shuffle Like A Snow Shuffle

December 27, 2007 -- Black dogs show up better in the snow. Here, Truman's brother Tai demonstrates how the boys spent their time in Mammoth:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Truman of the North

I realize I've been remiss (again...) in posting lately. It occurred to me today that I owe you some photos of our trip to Mammoth.

December 26, 2007 -- Truman was an excellent traveler. His first road trip, stuffed on the floor of the back seat with me and three people's luggage for several hours of traffic and bad weather, on our way up the mountain...not too shabby. He mostly just slept, with little complaint, and would occasionally raise his little yellow head to get sympathy and an ear rub from Matt & Amy in the front.

This was also Truman's first snow experience! While Tai was uncertain at first about this cold, wet stuff that made you work to move around, Truman leapt into a bank with nary a second thought. From there, it was a comic delight -- he would shove his snout into the snow to investigate, often resurfacing with a mouth full of pine needles and a springing leap into a land-dolphin maneuver over to Tai, who would meet him in the air Milli Vanilli-style to set off yet another round of brother wrestling.

I'm pretty sure he loved every minute of it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

We Needed the Rain, But....

The Dog (by Ogden Nash)

The truth I do not stretch or shove
When I state that the dog is full of love.
I've also found, by actual test,
A wet dog is the lovingest.