Category Archives: Truman’s Humans

A Snuggly Send-Off

The boys figured they needed one more good roll-on-the-floor snort-&-snuggle with their pack leader to wish him well on his journey. Watch closely for the elusive Double Labrador Bellyrub maneuver. It’s very impressive.

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Jethro’s First Public Appearance

I had to work today, but Wolf was available to take Jethro to his first official public appearance as a representative of GDA — a GDA booth at the Disability Awareness Fair at Honda headquarters here in Torrance.

GDA is always looking for donors and puppy raisers (especially now, in the middle of the Great Puppy Glut of 2010), and the presence of a tiny puppy in his tiny puppy jacket does wonders for recruiting. We live close by, so despite Jethro’s not-yet-fully-vaccinated status, he was allowed to participate because it was a short time period and he was small enough to hang out on top of the table, with the literature.

Seriously, could you say no to this handsome face (or the puppy, for that matter)?

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PennsylWHAT, Now?

We’re moving to Pennsylvania.

As I write this, it’s not official-official that we’re going yet, but I just have this…something. “I have a feeling” is a silly notion to me in practice, and I imagine myself covered with a filmy, insincere, New-Agey residue just saying it. I guess it’s more of an inexplicable confidence based on circumstances that seem promising right now but could really go pear-shaped at any time. Or maybe it’s a coping strategy to prepare myself, in case it happens for real. Anyway, in a matter of weeks — or, who knows, even days — I’ll either be able to publish this post or delete it and laugh at myself. (UPDATE: Clearly, I published it, so…there’s your update.)

Wolf and I are on the cusp of a massive undertaking, a huge and momentous adventure: a job he was seemingly born to do. It’s all come about quite suddenly, as these things often tend to. Over the course of the last few months, this idea has grown from, “I just got a phone call from so-and-so who wants to fly me out for a meeting” to, “They want me there in November.” There was a lot in between, more than you might believe, and it all happened too fast and in too much convoluted detail to recount.

So we’re moving to Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania.

(And I am collecting money for the pool, the wager on how long it will take my parents to give me the old “Come get the rest of your crap out of our garage” line. Any takers? Hurry — the “less than 24 hours” slots are being snapped up quickly.)

Wolf will head out for a 120-day trial period on the job, with time to come back for holidays and the like, in early November. I’ll stay here (my job, my dogs, and a whole lot of packing to do…all that stuff is here). If all goes well, he will return in early March or so, and we will get our stuff together and make the move for real. Yes, it’s a “trial period,” but unless something catches fire in a big way, we have reasonable expectations that it will work out, so as of this moment, we’re full steam ahead. If something else happens along the way, we’ll change plans and deal with it as it comes.

Truman, of course, is our permanent dog and will be making the trek with us, but you may be wondering what will happen with Jethro. He will be coming with us as well! We’ve been granted permission to take him to PA with the understanding that we will be responsible for transporting him back here for his evaluations, turn-in, etc. It’s an unusual situation, and let me make the official disclaimer here that GDA owns Jethro, and this permission-to-move may be reconsidered at any time, for any reason, at their discretion. For now, I’m just grateful for the possibility. Moving across country will be stressful, and while a puppy in the midst of that will also bring its own chaos, I think I would be heartbroken to have to give the little guy back now. He’s a good dog; I’d like to raise him all the way to turn-in if I can, and hopefully see him graduate.

As for me, I’ve been a California girl my whole life. I was born in Southern California and I eventually spent more years living in Los Angeles than I did in Fresno, where I “grew up” (quotes apropos, depending on the day) in the intervening time. L.A. always felt like home to me even before I moved back here for college; I thought I’d die in this city (not soon, mind you, though the road rage might have eventually done me in by way of heart attack or life in prison for vehicular murder). If anyone would have asked, I might have said I was more likely to experience an organ transplant than a hometown transplant.

But there are mysteries aplenty in this life. God is full of them, love and marriage are full of them as well, and those three are the mightiest trump cards in the deck.

Holy crap. I’m moving to Pennsylvania.

Stay tuned.

When the Pack Leader Naps…

…everyone naps.

“Do You Have Children? Oil Spills? Bad Joints?”

Surely this is what people wonder when we show up at the Costco checkstand with industrial-strength sized packages of baby wipes, shop towels and glucosamine (which is actually for Truman).

Nope. Just raising some puppies.

We Had a Big Year

I’m so behind this year that I sent out my Christmas cards late, and without my usual semi-snarky (but fun! come on!) Christmas letter. It’s a shame, really, because this year I actually had some significant goings-on to report (in the human department, that is…there always seems to be something four-leggedly significant happening in my home).

I had all sorts of grand plans for the format and the content, but I dare not give away my ideas…there’s always next year, when I will hopefully have my life a little more organized. Truly, the way things have been lately (which is to say, swirling around my head in a tornado of activity and circumstantial frenzy), I am most impressed we even got a card put together.

Merry Christmas, everybody. We hope and pray that 2010 will be as unbelievably blessed and joyous for you as 2009 has been for us.

RIP Tigger

Princess Tiger Lily “Tigger” Ackerman Fengler
May 20, 1989 – June 4, 2009

Tonight we celebrate the life of Tigger, who — having reached the impressive feline age of 20 — passed away peacefully at home, in her favorite basket, with her adoptive mom (me) and her biggest fan (Truman) by her side.

She lived a full and adventurous life, and was dearly loved by many.

Tigger’s many achievements included avid bird hunting, balcony napping, Labrador taunting, ceaseless purring, sofa jumping, ice cream begging, carpet piddling, high-decibel mrrrrRAYRRRing (as any of you who have spoken with me on the phone will attest), and the occasional surprise special guest appearance in my morning shower.

She and Truman shared more in common than either would probably like to admit. Both were accomplished “vocalists,” both were the proud recipients of battle-scar notches in their ears, and both had tails that were bent at the tip (Tigger’s was due to her having survived being hit by a car when she was a kitten). Though Truman never could get her to play with him on his own terms — not even when he dropped a toy or a bone in front of her face and waited with ears-up, tail-wagging expectation — Tigger did secretly enjoy playing her own special games, the most popular being “I will cross the room and go out of my way to walk three inches in front of your face as I know you are under ‘down-stay’ orders, ha HA.”

Tigger is survived by her humans in Arizona and California, her dog, and anyone else she may have considered staff at one time or another.

No doubt she is now making her first deposit at the Big Litter Box in the Sky. Or, more likely, just *outside* the Big Litter Box, on God’s freshly steam-cleaned living room carpet.

We’ll miss you, Tig.