Thursday, January 31, 2008

Satchel Is Recovering (Sort Of)

Uh, hi, this is Andrew -- "Puppy" again.

I just wanted to drop a note that we brought Satchel home from the sanitarium today.

The doctors would only say that his condition is delusional and that he believes he is back at about eight weeks of age. (Maybe not a bad thing since I heard he was really sweet at that age.)

They think that this too shall pass.

Okay, bye


Monday, January 28, 2008

A Karazan Newfoundland Weekend

Hi -

This is, um, Andrew -- yeah, me, although I kinda like being called "Puppy".

Satchel is resting comfortably after considerable trauma in the wake of two-days being on the bench at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Show at the Cow Palace this past weekend. At first he seemed alright, standing up to greet guests and even running (okay jogging) around the ring. But as the weekend wore on, he began sitting down, then laying down, then dropping his head to the point where it was dragging on the cement below the benches. The doctors at the Cow Palace seem to think it's just exhaustion but just to be careful, they injected him with a very high dose of Prozac. As you can see, he is, at present, completely immobile.

I think I know why Dad named him after Satchel Paige, who once said, "I don't generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench."

But there is a lot of good news: Karazan Preston won Best in Breed both days, Karazan Axl won Winner's Dog on Saturday, and I (yeah me, Puppy) won something called "Open Dog" on Sunday, even after I peed all over the ring. (Satchie was second). So it was a big weekend for the Karazan clan and I also got to hang out with Gaia, Westly, Ty, Bella, Tickel, Rain, and big boy Hummer!!! Totally cool. (Too bad Gizzy and his parents could not make it because of the storm.)

There were a lot of other Newfies there too, but their parents wouldn't let them play with us. In fact, their parents even whined about a great board we had up with really nice pictures, and some beautiful ones of Big Jack. Why would anyone have a problem with that? So try as they did, the Plonkers could not beat us or even put a dent in the fun we had and the joy we brought to all the people who came by. And that's what a Newfie does -- even Satchie.

We're pretty sure Satchie will recover since he regularly gets these bouts of scoldiness.

I also want to give my love to Mr. & Mrs. P, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Claire, Aunt Jill, Aunt Terri and Uncle Dave. (I'm not even going to hold a grudge for Aunt Meredith for not knowing who I wuz!!!)

Um, okay, bye,

Andrew, er "Puppy"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Newfoundland Hero Of The Titanic

"If the Titanic had not sunk in the early hours of Monday, April 15, 1912, first class passengers would have participated in a dog show latter that day. Many pets were on the fatal voyage. Francis-Millet noted with some irony that the ladies in first class 'carried tiny dogs and lead husbands around like pet lambs.' A French bulldog, Newfoundland dog, Chow, Airdale, Pomeranian and Pekinese were some of the dog breeds on board.

"It is not surprising that there were animals on the Titanic. Ships have always transported animals between the east and the west. During slavery, animals and slaves were placed in the same cargo hold on sail ships. The subsequent years saw steamships carrying animals in the lower deck that was known as steerage. In the nineteenth century when steamships started to move many immigrants from Europe to America, third class passengers were placed in steerage with the animals. The owners of these animals paid for their transportation. But some animals – most notably rats - took a free ride. Consequently, ships tried to control its rodent population by bringing cats on board.

"At the beginning of the twentieth century, shipping companies built bigger and bigger steamships in order to make as much money as possible from transporting the many immigrants to America. The idea to build the Titanic was conceived in the summer of 1907. The great ocean liner was constructed in Ireland and launched on May 31, 1911. Sea trials followed. When the steamship set sail from Southampton, England on its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, it is believed that there was a significant rodent population on the vessel. The liner struck an iceberg in the late evening of April 14th and forever changed the lives of 2,236 people, an estimated 2000 rats, many dogs and at least one pig on board.

"The chivalry of the day required that women and children be placed on the lifeboats first. This act doomed many men to an early death. The women were understandably scared, but some were also self-centered and selfish. Referring back to Francis-Millet’s remark that the ladies in first class 'carried tiny dogs and lead husbands around like pet lambs,' it may come as no surprise to learn that women took their dogs and a pet pig with them into the lifeboat, while husbands were left to drown with thousands of rats.

"Having said the above, one should note that one animal actually earned his right to be rescued. When it became evident that the ship would sink, men released the dogs from their kennels. Most of the dogs eventually drowned. But Rigel, a black Newfoundland dog, was able to swim until the rescue ship, Carpathia, arrived. Survivors in one lifeboat were too weak to shout when the ship was about to run them over. But Rigel who had been swimming in the icy water for three hours, was still strong enough to bark. Captain Rostron heard the dog and ordered the ship to stop. Swimming in front of the lifeboat, the dog led the survivors to the starboard gangway.

"The first officer of the Titanic was the owner of Rigel. This officer went down with the ship. So Jonas Brigg, a sailor on the Carpathia adopted the dog. Rigel was called a hero and did not seem to have any ill effects from the disaster."

(From The Sinking of the Titanic)

"Oh me", you ask?
Well, I'm going up to the kennels tomorrow to get groomed for a show this weekend ('Drew too), so the ocean is just out of the question. (It's an indoor show; quite civilized "if you know what I mean".)
What's that? Me, "defensive?" Oh no, my good man. I would not hesitate, if and when the Titanic comes my way and a similar fate she encounters, to dive into the icy artic waters of San Francisco Bay and do my duty. "Swim and rescue people"?
I'm sorry, but we're getting off today's topic and this interview is going to have to come to an end. After all, I need some work on the feathering of my trousers and tail!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Day We Went To Grandma's


"The day went to Grandma's,
Oh what a fuss she made,
Wipe those feet and dry your paws,
That carpet's just been laid.
Gran put me in the garden,
So I had a sniff around,
I pulled up all her flowers,
Till there were no more in the ground.

Gran just started shrieking,
She really got quite mad,
So I gave her some of the flowers,
To make her feel less sad.

Later on that evening,
All warm and in my bed,
My tummy started rumbling,
It's time that I was fed.

I went into the living room,
But they were watching telly,
'come on nan' I barked out loud.
'its time to fill my belly'.

I went into the kitchen,
To see what I could find,
'Oh wow' I whined, 'a loaf of bread'
I'm sure that they won't mind.

Look left, look right,
the coast was clear,
I love the smell of bread,
I gabbed it quick and hurried out to eat it in my bed.

Now for a drink to wash it down,
But my bowl's outside the door.
I go back to the living room,
and pace up and down the floor.

Grandad got the message
And let me out the back.
I shot straight past my drinking bowl,
And headed down the track.

There was something in the garden
That a Newf just can't resist,
An ornamental pond of course,
With lots of pretty fish.

After clearing out the pond for nan,
I went back to the door,
pushed it open, went inside.
Dripping pond onto the floor.

Nan she started yelling,
Grandad, well he just laughed,
She said that I was stinking
And had to have a bath.

Cleaned and dried and let back in,
I tried to sit with nan.
'Get off me lap you silly dog,
You're bigger than I am'!!

I got back down and left the room
and went back to my bed,
Two pairs of shoes and a slipper later,
Time to get those zzzzzzzzzzzz,s.

Breakfast at Grandma's is great,
As I get tea and toast,
But after I was still not full
So I ate the Sunday roast!

I couldn't understand them,
But I knew that I'd been bad.
F's and B's were mentioned
Time to look real sad.

I looked at them with big bown eyes,
My head held down quite low,
It did the trick - it always does
I'm still their little Beau.

We didn't stay as long as planned,
As my Dad he got quite stressed,
Having chased me out the pond again, he thought it for the best.

I kid you not, it's how it was.
I'm telling you the truth.
The day we went ot Grandma's
She got well and truly NEWF'D!!!"

(Thanks to PaddlePaws)

Satch & Drool

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Remember That Puppies Grow Up Into Dogs!

December 30, 2007
A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan incredibly took out a US $7,000 full page
ad in the paper to present the HOW COULD YOU? By Jim Willis, 2001

How Could You?
"When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was 'bad,' you'd shake your finger at me and ask 'How could you?' but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because 'ice cream is bad for dogs' you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad
decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in
love. She, now your wife, is not a 'dog person' -- still I welcomed her into
our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because
you were happy.

Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was
fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a prisoner of love. As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered 'yes' and changed the subject. I had gone from being 'your dog' to 'just a dog,' and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now, you have another career opportunity in another city, and you and they
will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the
right decision for your family, but there was a time when I was your only
family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal
shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear and hopelessness. You filled
out the paperwork and said 'I know they will find a good home for her.' They
shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a
middle-aged dog, even one with 'papers.' You had to pry your son's fingers
loose from my collar as he screamed, 'No, Daddy! Please don't let them take
my dog!' And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him
about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about
respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely
refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and
now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably
knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked 'How could you?' They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow.
They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever
anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you and you had
changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at
least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I
could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies,
oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a
sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature,
I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I know your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort her so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured 'How could you?' Perhaps because she understood my dog speak, she said 'I'm so sorry.' She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself -- a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my 'How could you?' was not directed at her. It was directed at you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you. I will think of you and wait for you forever.
May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Brand Newf Year

Satchel is still recovering from his traumatic refurbishing and showing and is not yet available for comment.

So we thought we'd start the Brand Newf Year with the nicest piece of writing we know of on Newfs and with a picture of the greatest water dog we've ever known.

Happy Newf Year to all,



"There is a land where the waves explode upon the reef in a boiling foam, there the legend was born.

As the story is told, God turned one day to contemplate all of his creations and saw on that Newfoundland Isle, flailed by storm a small nation of fishermen, whose rough, weather-beaten people fought courageously against the impervious elements of nature as the freezing cold winter and the unforgiving coastline took its toll, and the sea often asked the sacrifice of human life. Nevertheless, they remained deep-rooted, these men of Newfoundland with the stubbornness as great as their courage.

God saw, and in his infinite compassion, thought how he might alleviate their suffering. He searched among the creatures of his creations but found none that would serve. It was then he decided to create one anew.

He took the body of a bear, whose bone structure lent well to such arduous labours and whose thick fur would resist the bitter Newfoundland cold. Then he thought to sweeten this silhouette with the lithe, flexuous lines and movements of the seal, with all it’s prowess to swim and speedily slip between the waves.

Now turning to the sea, he saw the playful dolphins happily following the ships, their sweet, joy-filled eyes revealing their serene temperament, and more; they so love man that they often rescue them, saving them from the sea. Yes, they too would be part of this creature.

When he had done the moulding and casting, there suddenly appeared in his creative arms, a superb animal with glistening black fur; powerful and sweet in the same moment.

This new being, however, had to have an allegiance and faithfulness, tried and true, to be able to live beside man and be ever ready to offer his life for his master. It was at that moment that the Lord opened and placed in his chest, the heart of a dog, and the miracle was complete.

From that day onward, those men of the sea had beside them, their courageous companion ever strong, ever faithful the, Newfoundland Dog."

(Reprinted in translation from the book Il Cane Di Terra Nova by Emmy Bruno, editor Mursia-Milano)