Category Archives: Career Change


He even barks in his sleep.

Canine Indiscretions

Trooper has been better behaved this morning, content for the most part to lie quietly beneath my desk, hidden by the cubicle wall that separates this office into two little rooms.

He does occasionally wander out, though, to sprawl beside my chair. As long as he’s quiet, I don’t pay too much attention…until I hear a comment from a passerby.

“Well, THAT’S a pretty picture.”

Modest Trooper, snoozing comfortably on his back in a pose reminiscent of an untressed Thanksgiving turkey, is apparently visible from the waist down to everyone in the hallway.

Chained to My Desk

This week I’m watching Trooper again; I haven’t spent much time with him since he was a wee ten-week-old potbellied pup. He’s now six months and wee no longer! He’s very strong. He’s very “mouthy.” And he likes to bark.

The Troop spent a few days up at the GDA kennel before I started caring for him. Madeline, his vacationing puppy raiser for whom I’m dog- and housesitting, will no doubt be thrilled to learn that he left a generous yet unnoticed gift for her in the back bedroom. It was nearly four days before I found it myself…better to discover by smell than by step, I always say.

Today finds me on my first day at work with the little tyke. A brand-new executive assistant has moved in to share an office with li’l ol’ part-timer me, so there’s all manner of change afoot here. This new employee presumably did not know upon her hiring that she would be A.) sharing an office, and B.) in residence with El Barko. Welcome to your new job!

Trooper wants to follow me everywhere, which is fine at home but not so good when I have to go to, say, the fax machine or the printer or the kitchen or the ladies’ room. The first time I tried to get up this morning, he went to the end of his tie-down and sat there, staring at the door. I gave him a firm but wary “stay” command. Really, he could do nothing BUT “stay” at that point, since there was no more lead.

But he could also make his displeasure known throughout the land.

Sorry, new officemate, for the barking while you were on the phone with a person who I hope was not our company president.

Things I Have Learned From Ohana

1. Toilet paper makes a delicious between-meal snack.

2. Humans are not the only ones who snore.

3. Male dogs are not the only ones who…ahem…”assert dominance.”

4. Labrador is just another name for “landshark.” You know those stories about great whites where somebody catches one and cuts it open to find things like license plates? Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

5. Rain is very exciting. Must bite rain! Rain must be conquered! WHY CAN’T I KILL IT?

6. If guide dog work is not in her future, Ohana would make an excellent drug-sniffing dog — she seems very excited about my neighbor’s apartment door every time we go into the hallway.

UPDATE 9/2005: Unfortunately, Ohana has been “career changed” (this is what GDA calls it when a dog is dropped from their program). She has a tumor behind her eye, which renders her ineligible for guide dog service. But while she may have a few medical challenges ahead of her, she’s now headed for a life of leisure and TLC with a wonderful person from GDA’s “I want to adopt a career change dog” waiting list.