Category Archives: Holidays

The Holiday Spirit

The boys are sporting some brand-spankin’-new festive collars for the Christmas season, thanks to our good friend Denise, who keeps GDA puppies-in-training stylish throughout the year. You’d think they’d get into the holiday spirit wearing something like this:

But mostly, they just moped around the house looking depressed. Sheesh, it’s not like I made them wear elf hats or something. Get with the program.

Come on, guys! You look like a European fragrance ad! (“C’est dommage… C’est Labrador Ennui….”)


It’s been great to have Wolf home for the holiday. Unfortunately, it’s been a little hectic around here because we traveled to my folks’ house in Fresno for Thanksgiving. Truman went to stay with his favorite aunties — fellow puppy raisers who adore him and are always enthusiastic about hosting him while we’re out of town, despite the presence of their own legion of dogs and puppies-in-training. I think they’re nuts to take on that much dog all at once (Truman’s a good boy, but he’s still a fair amount of work), but I love them and appreciate them to no end! It’s a load off my mind to know my boy is with people I trust.

Jethro came with us. He was due for his 16-week vaccines, which include a rabies vaccine, so we stopped at GDA on the way out of town to take care of that. Traditionally, this is the “walking shot” — the one that allows us more freedom in taking our puppies out and about. Unfortunately, the parvo thing rears its ugly head once again and now we’re being asked to be more cautious, treating the 20-week shot like we once treated the 16-week. Kind of a bummer to have to hose piddle off my balcony for another month, especially considering the increasing capacity of the little man’s bladder….

Anyway, he did well on the trip. It’s about a four-hour car ride, and Jethro was nestled safely in a crate in the back of my vehicle. I did relieve him once on the trip, in the middle of a mostly-empty parking lot, so as to avoid any places other animals may have relieved themselves. You always get really interesting looks from people when you do that….

Since my parents have a dog and a non-puppy-proofed home, Jethro stayed on leash for most of the weekend, though he did get to run and play from time to time. He slept in a crate, relieved on command, did all the things puppies like to do (eat, cuddle, destroy play with toys, sniff the back yard, etc.), and generally behaved himself. He even got to come with us to a sit-down restaurant on the way home, where we met some of my friends from high school days, back in nineteen-ahemmfllsqrmmwhflm.

Aside from Wolf getting a nasty cold on the way there, the weekend was just fine. I heard later that Truman had a nice time as well, as the spoiled, beloved, sole male representative at the Thanksgiving celebration of his favorite aunties and their friends.

The pack leader leaves again tomorrow, and it will be another three weeks until his return. We miss him already….

“Hail, Pee-sar!”

I told you I’d show you Jethro’s Halloween costume. While we didn’t take home a prize at the October meeting this year, I’m still pretty proud of his Julius Pee-sar outfit, crafted out of a pillowcase, some fancy napkins and a napkin ring from a discount linen store, and the pure cuteness that is Jethro.

Okay, yes, and the laurel crown was painstakingly made from wire-edged gold ribbon with hand-sewn gold bows. That’s the…crowning glory, I guess.

My tiny emperor:

Reasons to Love Target

October 1, 2010 — Reasons to Love Target

Cute Halloween collars on the $1 aisle.

(Also, my annual box of Count Chocula cereal. But I digress.)

Once, Twice, Three Times a Grumpus

It’s hard to believe that The Roo turns three today. THREE! He went to work with my husband, which is his usual Thursday routine, but tonight’s celebration will include extra belly rubs and a very special “dessert”…peanut butter.

(Which we have taken to giving code names, by the way, as he has figured out that “peanut butter” also translates to “butter of the peanut” and “butter of the nut of the pea.”)

Happy third birthday, my smartypants grump-dog Truman!

On Very Important Dates

I’m one week away from my six-month wedding anniversary. Among the many things I am foolish enough to have believed I would be able to do by now:

1.) Get the thank you notes out. Emily Post says I have a year to do this, and now I understand why. Still…I’d like to get them written and mailed before I have to start thinking about sending out Christmas cards.

2.) Be entirely unpacked. Grandma used to say that after a move, you should unpack the kitchen and bedroom/bathroom stuff immediately. Whatever’s left packed in boxes six months later should be left in the sealed boxes and given away, because clearly, you didn’t miss it. Alas, I do not subscribe to this philosophy. I do indeed miss my Jedi action figures and my craft supplies and my Post-It flags and the box of 3×5 cards on which I have written many of my favorite recipes. But life gets in the way of efficiency sometimes. For the record, I am also hoping to have the bulk of this done before…mmmmmmChristmas…?

(Please let me dream, people.)

3.) Get back to regular blogging. Holy cow, I have been busier than the proverbial one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest (another gem from Grandma). Truman has been here through all of it, and I’ve missed many an opportunity to regale you with his nutty adventures. I know I’ve promised updates and not delivered — including wedding photos (another thing I can’t seem to get done by the six-month marker, unbelievably)!

This is just a note to say that YellowDog and I are still alive and kicking, and continuing to settle into this new life with the Wonderful Man Who Loves Us Both More Than We Could Ever Have Hoped. If there are any of you still hanging in there, clinging to the idea that I might someday return…many thanks! We’ll be back, I promise. And next spring or summer, the puppy raising madness will begin all over again.

And on a happy note, today is Lomax’s fifth birthday. And in honor of The Moof, who is living the guide dog life somewhere in Tennessee, I smile and give thanks for the many blessings God provides in the lives of everyone involved with Guide Dogs of America and other service dog organizations all over the world.

The Roo is Two!

My tiny Truman is two today! Seems like puppy pick-up day was just yesterday…

And now he’s a full-grown grumpus and permanent member of my family. Happy Birthday, Truman! We also wish a very happy birthday to fellow forever-dog Tori, and to Tai, Tia and Thatcher — our littermates still in formal training. We all know that January babies are the cutest. 🙂

You’d Better Not Pout

The look on his face? Oh, don’t worry about Truman. He’s already received his fancy new dog bed for Christmas, and he’s getting a fun road trip (where there will be two other dogs to play with), a new chicken-flavored Nylabone, and apparently some fun toys from my mom & dad. I told him that if he’s not paying his share of the rent around here, the least he could do is let me take a few shots of him in a ridiculous hat for my own amusement. Apparently, he feels this is beneath him.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and may you all be blessed this holiday season!

Guess Who’s Four?

Today is Lomax’s birthday…unbelievably, The Moof is FOUR YEARS OLD!!! Somewhere in Tennessee, there is a smiling blond dog in a black harness, guiding a smiling blond woman.

Happy fourth, little man. 🙂

Not Exactly Truman Cottontail…

…though there was plenty of hippity-hoppity happening this lovely Easter morning.

This time last year, Truman was still a small and feisty pup who hadn’t yet had all his shots OR mastered the art of appropriately-timed piddling. Consequently, I didn’t get to attend my favorite sunrise service on Will Rogers State Beach. But this year I was determined to take him!

Last week, I realized he hadn’t ever been to the beach, and I wondered how he would do walking on the sand. So at our obedience class, where there is a sand pit full of playground equipment, I tested him. Two steps in, and I had a dog spinning in circles at the end of the leash, butt tucked in and shuffling madly. Then he peed.

Okay then.

We did a bit more walking for practice, until I was confident he’d be able to handle the service. And this morning, he did well! We arrived in the dark, made our way to an open spot and sat down on some beach towels. He was a little antsy for a bit, ears on high alert and fidgeting to get comfortable, watching birds and children, sniffing the salty air and snorting up sand, but he eventually settled in for the sermon. Good dog! It was a fine test of his self control.

This is not to say he was not right on the verge of shuffling his way back to the parking lot after the service, back legs hopping wildly in the sand as I gripped the leash with both hands and ushered him quickly back up the walkway…but we take what we can get, especially for a first time.

And now, after some time at a friend’s house for post-church breakfast and fellowship (thanks again, Kristy & Emily — and Truman would like seconds on the belly rub, please), we are filled with joy and pancakes, sleepy from a day well spent. Happy Easter, everyone!