Category Archives: Nicknames

Neuter is Cuter

The poor little man got “The Big Snip” today.

Apparently, Tuesday is spay & neuter time at GDA, which I’m guessing is because we have a veterinarian in residence on that day of the week. They did procedures on several dogs today. When I picked up Jethro at 3:30pm, the vet department head told me that my little fella was the last done, but the first up. She said she caught him out of the corner of her eye as he wandered out of the wake-up area and into the hallway, figuring it was time to go home.

She also said they’d poked gentle fun at him because he had such tiny…equipment. They called him “Lima Beans.” Oh, the indignity!

But the procedure really is easier on the dogs when they’re younger. And since he’s going to move with us in March, it made sense for the school to do it now.

He has some very neat “invisible sutures,” which is handy because they don’t require a re-check for removal. And his extra-long nose necessitated a larger e-collar (yes yes, the “cone of shame”). Meanwhile, I’m supposed to keep him from “running, jumping and playing” for 14 days, and I’m not supposed to take him for long walks, either. (I will need some stronger pain meds, then. Possibly for me). The boy will learn to love his crate and x-pen, that’s for sure! And I’ll have to do something to keep Instigator-Dog Truman busy (pain meds for everyone, I say!)….

A few days before the procedure, his Amy visited us and declared solemnly upon her departure, “Bye, Jethro. Next time I see you, you’ll no longer be a man.” Then she turned to me and said, “It’s like a reverse bar mitzvah.” And she thinks she’s not funny….

It is night one of post-op puppy with activity restriction. Wish us luck.

Curses! Foiled Again

So, in a discussion with our puppy kindergarten teacher about my little Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping problem, she offered a creative solution.

I had tried everything I could think of by this point. He’d outsmarted me on regular leash, and even on the retractable leash I keep only for in-house training purposes (good for mysterious “self-corrections” from across the room when a dog is too sniffy or wants to jump, and thinks it has freedom to do so). Thus far the casual “I think I’ll go lounge on the couch” kind of jumping had been taken care of, but I’d still been struggling to arrest the “I’m so crazed and playful right now that my ten-legged momentum dictates that I simply must use the couch for a canine parkour party” kind of jumping. I had no ideas left. But Yvette had a good one.

Aluminum foil.

You read right! I went home, put the puppy to bed in the other room so he couldn’t see what I was doing, pulled my trusty extra-wide roll of aluminum foil off the baking shelf, then set to work covering the seats of my couches end to end with nice long strips. Heh heh hehhhhhh….

The next morning was hilarious. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to get it on video.

Truman and Jethro had their morning playtime, and started chasing each other around the living room.

Shuffle shuffle shuffle bark shuffle shuffle zoom zoom BOING (*crinkle*) “WHAT THE %*^& WAS THAT?!?!?”

He was off the couch as quickly as he’d gotten on; all it took was four little paws on that unpleasant surface — the feel of it, the weird noise — and a couple of hot-coals-dance foot prances, and he was back on the floor, with ears up and a furrowed brow, looking at the foil as if it were going to come to life and kill us all. I could hardly contain myself. I think my belly-laughs at his expense offended him, because he started running around again and tried it on the other couch.

Same thing. It was awesome.

The couches were safe for the rest of the day.

Jethro: Otherwise Known As…

October 1, 2010 — Jethro: Otherwise Known As…

Yes, yes, I know. They’re not supposed to have nicknames. They’re supposed to learn their REAL name.

Jethro does know his real name — his recall, in fact, is so much better than Truman’s ever was or will be…. Jethro is not just smart, he’s willing, one might even say enthusiastic. He’s also known as the following, around the house:

  • Mini-Wagger (I sometimes call Truman “Wagger,” and promised him he was getting his very own Mini-Wagger)
  • Mini-Man
  • Mini-Me (because…obvious)
  • Drunken Sailor (have you seen a tired 7-week-old puppy walk?)
  • Grumpling (Truman is “The Grumpus,” so….)
  • Stinkerpie
  • Lord Piddleton
  • Feisty Wee Beastie
  • Feisty McBiteyPants
  • Beeper (he makes this silly little sound like half dove, half…something beeping)
  • Justin Beeper (again…obvious)
  • Eucalyptus Breath (there’s a giant Eucalyptus tree right by the balcony where Jethro piddles…the tree sheds teeny tree-pieces and leaves and itty bitty pod-things….)

Most of these names are used to refer to him, not to speak directly to him by way of command or identification. But sometimes I will speak casually to him as if he understands English. For example, as I am digging tiny tree parts out of his mouth and saying, “Jethro, GIVE,” I often follow up — after “Good give, Jethro!” and other hearty praise, of course — with, “Nice going, Eucalyptus Breath. Now back in the house.”

Still, I promise you, when you call “Jethro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!” …he comes a-runnin’.

Welcome Back, Wagger

Another post in my continuing “Days of Yore” series, catching up on long-overdue photos of Truman’s final days as a puppy-in-training….

August 31, 2008 — Welcome Back, Wagger

After Truman came home and assumed his proper place as my forever dog, our dear friends from the puppy group threw him a welcome home party. Wolf and I especially enjoyed Ann’s giant hammock in the backyard, and Truman decided to join us. This was, in some sense, the first official photo of our little family.

And this is where the story of Truman’s time as a GDA dog ends. He’s completely our boy now, and now that Wolf and I are married, all three of us are living in the same place at the same time, and we could not be more blessed and grateful. At least, we think that’s how Truman feels…when he’s not giving us his patented Look of Canine Disdain over some offense to his delicate sensibilities, real or imagined. The Grumpus has officially been part of our family for two years now — it is hard to accept that it’s been that long — and he has had many other interesting moments with us. I’ll catch you up on those past stories and photos every once in a while, in between some current ones.

Meanwhile, this whole blog posting catch-up marathon has been in preparation for the arrival of the next puppy-in-training, and we’re excited to see how Truman will take on the very special role of Big Brother Dog and Teacher of Canine Social Skills. We’ll find out in less than twelve hours.

Guess I’d better get some sleep. Because if Jethro is anything like Truman was as a puppy…we’re all going to need our rest.

Stay tuned.

Imriel the Tailypo

Another post in my continuing “Days of Yore” series, catching up on long-overdue photos of Truman’s final days as a puppy-in-training….

August 21, 2008 — Imriel the Tailypo

Imriel had a presence about him. So handsome and debonair. And yet, also so reminiscent of a creepy folklore creature known as “The Tailypo.” My roommate at the time brought it to my attention, so I bought a book about it to remember him by, and sent one to his puppy raiser in Washington as well.

Here’s the photogenic Tailypo Imriel, hanging out at the apartment. Isn’t he gorgeous?

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Shuffles the Clown vs. the Humpopotamus

Wolf and I are puppysitting little Bronx this weekend; he will be eleven weeks old on Saturday.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a furball this young in my care, Wolf has never had the joyous experience of puppy-induced sleep deprivation, and Truman hasn’t had a canine playmate in a while, so we thought it would be a nice way to spend the holiday weekend.

Bronx is a mellow little guy. A champ at sitting, patient with food and water, cuddly and affectionate, excellent recall skills. A good boy, an “easy” puppy.

It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that MY dog-in-residence — Truman, otherwise known as Dingus McFreaktown — is the one causing all the chaos. They’ve done nothing but play and wrestle and squeak and chew and slobber and run in circles and follow each other around since Bronx got here last night. I’ve had to put the little man in the kennel a few times, just to give him a break from the Yellow Instigator.

Funniest thing? In just twelve hours’ time — including several hours of sleeping last night — Bronx has done *eleven* Labrador shuffles. Full butt-tuck-and-run, crazy-circle, energy burst shuffles. Indoors. Amazing.

And Truman is very excited to finally be the alpha dog over someone else. Unfortunately, this means that when I haven’t been busy getting up to take the little dog outside to pee, I’ve been busy getting up to pull the big dog off the little one.

I…won’t post a photo of that. But we’re going to take pictures of them sometime this weekend, and hopefully post those soon. Assuming we can get them to stop moving long enough to focus the camera.

Why So Many Pictures of Him Sleeping?

Deceptively innocent looking, no? Don’t let him fool you. Though I admit we seem to have turned a corner in the last couple of weeks in terms of his behavior, Truman (along with his “I’m the Dude” attitude, and his remaining sharp puppy teeth) continues to be a daily challenge. One of those challenges is trying to get a photo of him in a conscious state without my having to hold him still and be in the picture while someone else works the camera.

Meanwhile, the list of “why do they give me the crazy ones” dog nicknames continues to grow….

The Yellow Dervish
Greased Lightning
The Kraken