Sunday, August 31, 2008

Congratulations Karazan Music of the Night

Well, 'Drew has endured his adventure with Screetch rum to such an extent that he's been awarded a certificate of distinction by the purveyors of this fine ale. He took Best in Breed and Group Rum.

He's even back on his feet and free of hangover, but remains the clumsy doofus who I love so much.

As for me, I got bitten inside my mouth by a Doberman yesterday and had to endure three stiches. Those buggers still scare me from "The Omen". I think I need a drink!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Andrew Screeches Into Hangover Day Two

Unbeknowst to the rest of us, 'Drew thought he could rid himself of his hangover with a nightcap. Well, it didn't work and now he's looking and feeling as pathetic as ever. Yes, Karazan Music of the Night is now covering his ears at the sound of any music. So I've been barking a bit just to get under his thick skin.

It turns out that that he got hold of the Screech "Dark & Dirty" recipe and consumed what appears to have been more than one shot. Poor boy. He needs to leave such activity to professional drinkers (I can think of two) and just concentrate on not tripping when he's completely sober. (I'll bet Gizmo can handle his rum!)

So for those of you up to the task, we're attaching the recipe for this particular concoction. It's like Sinatra used to say: "We feel sorry for people who don't drink, because when you get up in the morning, it's as good as you're going to feel for the rest of the day."

"'Tis the rum, me son".

See if you have what it takes to be a Newfoundlander!
- 2 oz. Newfoundland Screech Rum
- Cola or Diet Cola
Fill a tall glass with ice, add Newfoundland Screech, and top with your favorite Cola. SCREECH DARK & DIRTY.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum

The Story of Screech

As you can see, 'Drew got hold of some of this and is now nursing quite the hangover. So we thought we'd bring the story of this fine brew to you.

"Long before any liquor board was created, the Jamaican rum that was eventually to be known as Screech was a mainstay of the Newfoundland diet. Salt fish was shipped to the West Indies in exchange for rum; the fish became the national dish of Jamaicans and the rum became the traditional drink of Newfoundlanders.

"Not being overly concerned with alcohol content, the early fishermen tended to drink the rum at incredibly high strength with no attempt made to temper the taste. When the Canadian government took control of the alcohol trade in the early 20th century, they put the rum in a sophisticated, unlabelled bottle and fortunately did not alter the rum itself. This delightful product may have continued indefinitely as a nameless rum except for the influx of American servicemen to Newfoundland during World War II.

"As the story goes, the commanding officer of the first detachment was taking advantage of Newfoundland hospitality for the first time and was offered a drop of rum as an after dinner drink. Seeing his host toss back the liquor with nary a quiver, the unsuspecting American adhered to local custom and downed the drink in one gulp.

"The look of shock and the glorious shades of color on the American's face were overshadowed by the bloodcurdling howl made by the poor fellow as he managed to regain his breath. Sympathetic persons from miles around rushed to the house to assist the poor man in such obvious agony and of course to satisfy their curiosity as to what was going on. Among the first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded 'What the cripes was that ungodly screech?'

"The taciturn Newf who had answered the door replied simply, 'The Screech?' ‘Tis the rum, me son.'

"Thus was born a legend. As word of the incident was passed around, the soldiers determined to try this mysterious 'screech' and finding its effects as devastating as the name implies, adopted it as their favorite.

"The liquor board immediately pounced on the name and reputation and began labeling Famous Newfoundland Screech. Over the years, the alcohol content of Screech has been toned down and the flavor mellowed, so that in 2003, Screech Rum won a gold medal for excellent taste at the International Rum Festival. Today, Screech remains a Newfoundland favorite."

Poor 'Drew; whether it's a bee sting or brew, he's no clue what to do. But he is a big time licker!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Newfoundland Water Rescue

(From the Colonial Newfoundland Club -- serving Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.)

"The Newfoundland is exceptionally well built for water work. He has a water resistant double coat, a strong muscled tail which is used as a rudder, webbed feet, ears that cling close to the head, and a strong swimming style resembling a breast stroke.

"Newfoundlands are used to help patrol the beaches in Britain, France, and Italy. During their annual water training demonstration at the Molveno Dog Show, the Italian School of Dog Training showcases circumstances in which Newfs and their handlers jump out of helicopters hovering 15 feet above the water's surface. The French Coast Guard has determined that a well-conditioned Newf can tow an inflatable life raft with 20 people aboard two miles to shore with out being unduly stressed.

"The water rescue instincts of the Newf are particularly evident when children or other family members are in the water. The Newf takes his life guarding responsibilities very seriously, quite often circling around and herding his 'family' to shore. They have an uncanny ability to sense when someone in the water needs help, whether a family member or stranger, an will immediately swim out to assist. Some dogs circle around the 'victim' until they feel the person grab onto them, then head to shore; others will take the person's arm in their mouth and proceed to tow them to safety that way.

"The Newfoundland is primarily a dog of the sea. Long ago they were the constant companions of fishermen, and boats would often not leave the shore without a Newfoundland on board. History is full of old tales recording heroic rescues made by these courageous animals. Today, the breed standard stresses that the dog should be 'at home in the water and on land.' The Newf is exceptionally well built for water work. He has a water resistant double coat, a muscled tail which is used as a rudder, webbed feet, ears that cling close to the head, and a strong swimming style resembling a breast stroke.

Water Tests

"Great Britain first sponsored formal water tests for Newfoundlands in the late 1800's. The Newfoundland Club of American began its water tests in 1973, with the first test in this country being held by the Great Lakes Newfoundland Club in Michigan.

"The Water Test offers the Newfoundland an opportunity to perform a series of exercises designed to show their natural life-saving instincts. The test is composed of Junior and Senior Divisions. Each contains six exercises with suggested time limits. A dog successfully completing the Junior exercises is awarded the NCA title of Water Dog (WD). Successful completion of the Senior exercises earns a Water Rescue Dog (WRD) title.

"The Newfoundland Club of America encourages its members to foster and maintain the working dog abilities that are such an important part of the history of the breed. To this end, the NCA sponsors Water Tests across the country. The Newfoundland Club of America Water Tests are a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the water work abilities of purebred Newfoundland dogs. The Newfoundland has historically functioned as a working companion to its owner, and members of the breed have participated in many heroic rescues. Performance of these exercises is intended as a demonstration of skill developed through both natural ability and training. The emphasis in the Water Test is on teamwork between dog and handler in realistic work and rescue situations."

* * * * * * * * *

Again, all of this is quite worthy and civilized but "at home in the water"? Well, they never interviewed me for that opinion and I must take issue with it. Someone said my water bowl was too deep for me but I shall not respond to such insipient fabianism.

I'm "at home" on the dry beach, but Plonker doesn't take us there because of the show-world nonsense and something about our coats. I may go after my Canine Good Citizen Award as I am particularly good at the "lay down" technique. But all the water rescue rage taking place this summer is putting too much pressure on me. Towing 20 humans in a boat? Just the thought stresses me out. Time to sleep.

Come-on 'Drew. (He really listens to me now -- my powers are ever-increasing.)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Newfoundlands Get In The Swim

(By Carley Thornell, Boston Herald, Sunday, August 17, 2008)

"You might think dog fur and water don’t mix, but for Newfoundland owners and trainers nothing could be further from the truth.

"Twenty-five pooches and their posses are competing for Newfoundland glory this weekend in Auburn, where Newfoundland Club of New England-sponsored water rescue tests were conducted yesterday and continue today.

"Events including water retrieval and rescue went swimmingly for top dogs Jersey, 4, owned and handled by Molly O’Connell of Mashpee, and 6-year-old Ellie, owned by Nancy Brown of Woodstock, Conn., and handled by Donna Thibodeau of Union, Conn.

“'They’re sweet, gentle, obedient dogs, and they love water', said Thibodeau. 'They’re not good watchdogs - they’ll watch anybody take anything. But they can be intimidating because of their size.'

"That size is advantageous to the breed in the water, where Newfoundlands’ broad chests and webbed feet help propel them in pools and lakes. Basically, they’re big whelps that swim like Olympian Michael Phelps.

"Thibodeau, who has four “newfies” of her own and has trained dozens, including 36 New England club champions, started training Ellie last summer.

"So can you teach an 'old' dog new tricks? Absolutely. 'I find the older ones are more steady than the younger ones. You’ve got to counteract that puppy exhuberance,' she said. 'An older dog will take direction more easily and doesn’t get flustered with strange situations and new surroundings.'

"Ellie would know. After failing to complete all of her challenges last year, she passed in the 25-dog junior division yesterday. The similarly sized senior division builds off junior challenges: retrieving articles in the water, taking a line to a person drowning, getting a line from a boat and towing it to shore, retrieving fallen paddles and retrieving objects underwater.

"Competition continues at 8 a.m. today. Events are free to the public at Century Sportsman’s Club."

* * * * * * *

Again, this type of activity is quite worthwhile and noble, although not for everyone, and particularly not for me. But I don't mind the sprinklers at the park from time to time and I certainly love my water bowl!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Newfoundlands Can Go Home: The Great Newfoundland Dog Trek of 1997

(Ozzie Foreman wrote this piece for "Dog Owner's Guide" about the Great Newfoundland Dog Trek, an exciting and rewarding trip across Canada to participate in the 500th anniversary celebration of the voyage of John Cabot from Britain to Newfoundland. The Foremans took Redi and Spirit, their two Newfs, and Kitty, their American Staffordshire Terrier, and headed for the wilds of Canada to join the trek that began in British Columbia on June 1, 1997. The trek reached Newfoundland in plenty of time for the June 24, 1997 ceremonies — 130 Newfs strong! Before the trip was over, the Foremans made new friends, demonstrated their breed's prowess at a variety of activities, and spent a few minutes with Queen Elizabeth and other dignitaries in town for the ceremonies.)

"Did I leave my phone number, credit card number, and date of arrival intelligibly on an answering machine, in French all those weeks ago? Even without knowing the French word for 'zero'?

"I was about to find out as I registered at Camping Des Voltigeurs campground deep in French speaking Quebec.

"My husband, Rick; our brown Newfoundland Redi; our black Newfoundland, Spirit; and I were staying at Camping Des Voltigeurs as part of The Great Newfoundland Dog Trek, a recreational vehicle caravan on a pilgrimage to Bonavista, Newfoundland. The caravan of more than 100 Newfoundland dogs and their owners from across the United States and Canada was camping across Canada to be part of the Cabot 500 festivities commemorating the 500th anniversary of John Cabot's arrival in Newfoundland.

"The message on the Camping Des Voltigeurs' campground answering machine was in French. I had studied six years of French in high school and college, but never learned a word for 'zero.' I left a reservation request in French. Upon hanging up, I thought, 'that was pretty bad. I'll call again and leave the message in English in case someone there is bilingual.'

"As I checked in, the lady registrar said, 'Your French was very good. My boyfriend took the messages from the machine, and he doesn't speak a word of English. He gave me your information, then said 'that odd lady called back a second time? This time I couldn't understand a word she was saying.'

"I guess my French wasn't so bad after all!

Calling All Newfs
"Lloyd Nelson of Whitby, Ontario, was the organizer of the Great Newfoundland Dog Trek. He got the idea when he heard that a replica of John Cabot's ship the Matthew was being built in Bristol, England, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Cabot's coming to Newfoundland. The ship would sail from Bristol to Bonavista, Newfoundland, duplicating Cabot's voyage.

"Nelson learned that six Newfoundland dogs served as mascots on the Matthew until the ship left Bristol. Due to British quarantine laws, those dogs could not come to Newfoundland, so Nelson thought that six dogs from his side of the Atlantic should be on hand to greet the Matthew when she sailed into Bonavista Harbor on June 24, 1997.

"Nelson set out to locate other Newfs whose owners were interested in joining him on his journey to the province. He put out the call via the internet, and was overwhelmed by the response — 130 Newfs and owners would be assembled for the landing of the Matthew!

"The trek began on June 1 when Mike and Vivien Fritz and their Newfs Moose and Tasha, departed from Seattle, Washington. They joined Rod and Joan Leach, their son Chad, and their Newfs Goofy and Maxi in Cranbrook, British Columbia, to begin the drive east across Canada. Along the way, the two families were joined by other trekkers at designated campgrounds. Rick and I joined in Oshawa, Ontario.

"According to plan, Newfs and trekkers would promote the breed, demonstrate draft and water rescue skills, mingle with tourists, visit school children, raise money for dog-related charities, and march in parades when we arrived on Newfoundland. At the climax, trekkers in red and white uniforms with their dogs in their luxurious fur coats would form an impressive honor guard for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the President of Italy, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and other dignitaries visiting Bonavista on June 24.

"All 130 dogs would line the walkway for the procession of dignitaries as they dedicated Ryan Pemises Park that morning. Nelson had the awesome task of selecting six dogs and owners to serve as the official honor guard when the Queen and dignitaries presided over ceremonies as the Matthew docked that afternoon. The question in the back of most trekker's minds was, 'Will my dog be one of the chosen six?'

A Newf of a Different Color
"Our Redi, the only brown Newf on the Trek, drew a lot of attention. Brown is disqualified in the Canadian show ring, and most Canadians had never seen a brown Newf. The Newfoundland Club of Quebec welcomed our caravan with a reception at Camping Des Voltigeurs with cake, coffee, balloons, and French comments about Redi's color. New Brunswick welcomed the Trek with a morning reception at the Visitors Center, serving coffee, donuts, a basket of large dog biscuits for very large dogs, and more comments about Redi's color. Sixty-eight of the Newfs walked onto the ferry at North Sydney, Nova Scotia, on June 18 with an audience of newspaper, Canadian Broadcasting Company, and British Broadcasting Company reporters present to cover the boarding. A rarity within a news making event, Redi charmed the reporters. Redi appeared on the 11 p.m. news; Redi and Rick were celebrities.

"At every public appearance spectators turned out to see the Newfoundland dogs. The most common questions were 'Where's the brown one?' and 'Why is he brown?'

"Rick facetiously answered, 'We were up all night dying him' and then he explained that brown Newfs are not disqualified in the US.

Canine Paradise
"After a five-hour ferry ride, the dogs ended their pilgrimage by setting foot on the land that had spawned their ancestors and shaped what they are today. I did not observe any dog kneeling down to lick their ancestral soil, but within a few days it became evident that this was where they belonged. They ran across the sand and rocks, climbed into boats, and swam in the Atlantic. The west coast greeted us with rugged mountains, capped with snow that does not melt until August. The coasts are sprinkled with rustic little fishing villages that smell of fish. Wooden houses painted in bright hues of pink, turquoise, blue and purple dot village hillsides. Newfoundland has no snakes, skunks, poison ivy, fleas, ticks, or heartworm — a true canine Utopia. Most residents of Newfoundland were very cordial; and, amazingly, had never seen a Newfoundland dog in person.

Bonavista or Bust
"'Bonavista or Bust' read the big sign in the back window of Emmy Stevenson's minivan. She was driving with her niece, nine-year-old Amelia, and her two Newfs, staying at bed and breakfasts instead of camping. On the evening of Saturday, June 21, the Trek rolled into Paradise Farm Trailer Park, at Bonavista. The Great Newfoundland Dog Trek had reached its destination on Newfoundland's east coast. Campsites offered a spectacular view of a pond where moose came to feed at twilight. Trekkers could walk on vast spongy tundra beds and view the icebergs in Bonavista Harbor.

"Though the calendar said 'June', it was very cold.

"That night, we dined at one of the best restaurants in the area, Bill's Bar and Grill, to sample another Newfoundland tradition, a Jigg's Dinner. The dinner comes from the old comic strip, “Maggie and Jiggs” and is composed of the foods in Jiggs' favorite meal. We were served salt beef (very similar in taste to corned beef, only saltier), boiled cabbage, cooked turnips, carrots, potatoes, bread pudding, and peas pudding (another traditional Newfoundland recipe).

"Later that evening, Nelson told me that he was considering Spirit and me for the position of second alternate for the Queen's Honor Guard. The next day Spirit and I had to take the 'Queen Test'.

The Queen Test
"A group of Newf-owning natives had insisted that three of the six dogs in the Queen's Honor Guard live on the island, and they informed Nelson that their three were chosen. Trek dog positions were now down to three.

"All dogs considered for the three positions had to pass the “Queen's Test” — they must be obedient, a good example of the breed, and totally non-aggressive to dogs and humans. An 11-year-old student from Bonavista's Matthew Elementary School had been selected to stand with each Honor Guard dog. Dogs, owners, and children were evaluated on how they interacted.

"The first trekker Newf chosen for the Honor Guard was Pat Coffee's Belle, the number one conformation Newf bitch in Canada. Belle's selection left two spots open for the honor guard and one or two spots for alternates.

"Second position went to Sandee Lovett of Michigan and her Landseer Newf, Polaris. Lovett and her husband, Mike, were the leaders of the Midwest trekkers, and worked exceptionally hard to make the whole Trek pleasant for everyone. Their dogs never tired of greeting people and giving cart rides to children.

"The third position went to Pauline Buchan, from Collingwood, Ontario, and her Newf, Jack. Pauline had a stroke when she was 23 years old, which left her paralyzed on her left side. As Pauline put it, 'I guess I represent the handicapped owner, and her Therapy Dog'.

"Spirit and I became the first alternate to replace a designate if something went wrong, and we were assigned Michael Bradley as our elementary student.

The Royal Visit
"Arrangements had been made for school buses to pick up the trekkers at 9 a.m. The weather had turned colder, with a 40 miles-per-hour wind blowing a cold mist. The shivering trekkers and school children waited. No bus came. At 10 a.m., heartier trekkers decided to walk the four miles into town. At 10:30 a.m., one of the shuttle bus drivers took pity on the remaining trekkers. The Newfs had to board a crowded school bus, then sit on the seat beside their owners. When the 130 Newfs arrived an hour and a half late, Canadian security guards hastily arranged them along a pink gravel foot path. They placed Spirit, Michael, and I in the middle of a roped-off path where two paths crossed.

"Within five minutes, the royal motorcade approached and stopped. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and other dignitaries walked straight up the path toward me, turned, then were seated for the park dedication ceremony. I had just aimed my camera when Queen Elizabeth II walked within eight inches of me. She looked elegant, wearing a mint green felt hat with a very wide white hat band. The hat was secured with four mint green hat pins. The Queen wore a beautiful knit mint green coat with multicolored threads running through it. The coat did not appear to be warm enough for the cold blustery day.

"Following the dedication, the Queen led the procession of dignitaries down our Newf lined path. She walked with Jolene Tobin, wife of Brian Tobin, Newfoundland's Prime Minister. They approached Sandee and Polaris. The Queen said, 'Oh, a white and black Newf?'

"Sandee replied, 'Yes, he's called a Landseer after a famous English court painter.'

“'Where are you from?' Queen Elizabeth asked.

“'Grand Rapids, Michigan,'” Sandee replied, 'But Polaris was whelped in Ottawa, so he's 100% Canadian.'

"One of our Matthew Elementary students heard the Queen say, 'There's a brown one too', referring to Redi.

"Queen Elizabeth and Mrs. Tobin approached Rick. 'Isn't he a pretty color?' Mrs. Tobin said to the Queen.

"The Queen answered, 'He's a pretty dog.'

“'I hear they are trying to breed them not to drool?' asked Mrs. Tobin.

“'I haven't seen one yet.' laughed Rick. The Queen smiled then walked on. Other dignitaries stopped to pat almost every dog on the head, and to talk to the owner.

Then There Were Seven?
"After the dignitaries had exited, the Honor Guard Newfs, their owners, and their students were separated from the other trekkers and herded into a large ship construction building filled with singers, dancers, and other acts that would entertain the crowd until the Royals arrived and the Matthew docked. Present were only two native Newf owners wearing sashes made of the Newfoundland tartan. Pauline and Jack were missing. Jack had refused to get on the school bus. Spirit and I were now part of the official Honor Guard! Our second alternate stepped in to fill the third Newfoundlander position.

"Only 73 feet long, the Matthew is amazingly small. The wooden gangplank is four feet wide at most. To think that three dogs, and six people would line each side as the Queen boarded was ludicrous. Instead, the Honor Guard lined the driveway down to the wharf where the Matthew docked. The Royal motorcade drove past Canadian Sea Cadets holding flags and seven Newfoundlands. The six chosen teams had been joined by our third alternate. No one seemed to notice that seven Newfoundland dogs greeted the Matthew.

Puttin' on the Dog
"The day after the royal visit, 130 Newfs and owners paraded through Bonavista, past the booths and carnival atmosphere to the wharf where the Matthew was docked, to receive a VIP tour of the ship. Each Newf climbed up the gangplank onto the ship with ease. The crew did not seem amused when Rick, holding Redi, asked, 'Where's the poop deck?'

"That evening, trekkers returned to a reception and dinner hosted by the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada. The trekkers were given cans of Luxury Beef Stew dog food featuring a photo of a Newf head on the label. As if fearing that what is pictured on the label must be the contents of the can, Spirit refused to eat it.

"June 27 the Trek moved on to Harbor Grace to march in another parade, then to St. Johns for Canada Day. A Super Dog Show featuring an agility demonstration by Companion Dog Trainers Ltd., then a fly ball demo and workshop, marked the end of the Great Newfoundland Dog Trek.

"Amid sad good-byes to new-found friends, trekkers reminisced about the high and low points of the journey. My most thrilling moment was seeing the Queen. Rick enjoyed the celebrity of having the only brown Newf.

"In 2001, St. Anthony, Newfoundland, will celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Leif Eriksson's landing. Perhaps the Norwegian Elkhound club would like to organize another trek to this event. Meanwhile, Newf owners eagerly wait to participate in the next Great Newfoundland Dog Trek; but, remember, it only happens every 500 years."

* * * * * * * * * *

'Drew and I can't decide which way to go, so we're watching each other's back. Of course, if he gets in to trouble, he's on his own. This whole "trek" thing is really not for us, as we prefer drinks aboard the "Martini". And as for the French, we've always understood that the French word for "French" is "zero".


Friday, August 15, 2008

His Soul Shadow

San Francisco morning coming clear and cold
Don't know if I'm waking or I'm dreaming
Oh the thoughts of times when he was still around
He was everything, the rest was seeming

Oh, deep pain,
Feelings that won't go away
There's the sound of his soul in the air
I can feel it up there
And I know..........
He left his soul shadow
On my mind, on my mind, on my mind

He left his soul shadow on my mind
On my mind, on my mind
Oh on my mind

Standing by water as the fog rolls in
I swear I can hear a far-off music
Giacomo is playing up in heaven's sea
Satch and 'Drew are wading in their sorrow
You should have seen him play
Feelings that won't go away
He left the sound of his soul in the air
I can feel it out there and I know

He left his soul shadow on my mind
On my mind, on my mind
Left his soul shadow on my mind
On my mind, oh on my mind.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Newfoundland and the Little Dog

'Drew and I read a story last night (actually, I read it and he drooled on it so it's a good thing I have a photographic memory) entitled "The Newfoundland Punishing the Little Dog", a chapter in W.H.G. Kingston's book, "Stories of the Sagacity of Animals". The guy must be British with such a proper name and title, but we need to be careful in that regard because of our ancestry and fear of reprisal from the Queen.

Here goes:

"You remember the way Byron punished his little assailant. Another Newfoundland dog, of a noble and generous disposition, was often assailed in the same way by noisy curs in the street. He generally passed them with apparent unconcern, till one little brute ventured to bite him in the back of the leg. This was a degree of wanton insult which could not be patiently endured; so turning round, he ran after the offender and seized him by the poll. In this manner he carried him to the quay, and holding him for some time over the water, at length dropped him into it. He did not, however, intend that the culprit should be drowned. Waiting till he was not only well ducked, but nearly sinking, he plunged in and brought him safely to land.
Could you venture to look a Newfoundland dog in the face, and call him a brute beast, if you feel that you have acted with less generosity than he exhibited!"

Okay, the story is written so British-proper that it loses a bit in translation, but you get the point. We're Gentle Giants but will only put up with so much. At some point on the patience scale, we might "seize" the "cur" by the "poll" and leave him "well ducked", but in the end act with "generosity". It's the civilized way of getting on with life. After all, we are anything but "brutes".
Very well, we're off to the "quay". Pee Time!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Puppy" and the Bee

As only he is capable of doing, 'Drew got stung by a bee today in his big lip, which now looks like Mt. Olympus. Whether it's tripping over his own feet or laying down in mud, "Puppy" has an uncanny ability to be a doofus. That he is sweet as honey may explain the attraction.

So off we went to the emergency room, exactly where I never want to bee (he he), and they gave him a shot and gave Dad some instructions and charged an arm and a leg (how do they get away with this pay-first-treat-later-ripoff?) and now we're back home and Mr. Calamity is getting ice applied to his jowels. I think he did this to get all the attention. Sigh!

Anyway, we found some helpful advice on dogs and bee stings at and thought we'd pass it along.

"Some dogs are allergic to bees and need immediate attention!
If your dog gets stung by a bee, here are some suggestions on what to do:

1. Possible allergic reaction - get veterinary help immediately.
Seek veterinary help immediately if you dog exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- has difficulty breathing
- has difficulty swallowing
- exhibits hyperactivity such as excessive barking possibly followed by fainting. Bee sting reactions can sometimes mimic seizures.
- swelling spreads beyond the sting area

2. No allergic reaction

- Remove the stinger. Scrape the visible portion with a card, fingernail or other thin and rigid object. Pulling on the stinger could cause it to break or even push more venom into the skin.
- If you cannot reach the stinger, leave it as it should eventually be shed.
- Place some meat tenderizer into a bowl with a small amount of water and mix it into a paste. Apply this to neutralize the venom which will help relieve pain and swelling. Keep it on for at least 30 minutes. You may have to wrap gauze or cloth around the area to prevent licking. Afterwards, you can simply rinse it off.
- Alternatively, you can place an ice cube on the site for a few minutes to relieve the pain.
If your dog does not exhibit additional symptoms from the sting then all you need to do is avoid letting him run through flower beds. Flowering ground covers such as Vinca can also attract bees and may lead to stings."

This calls to mind my feelings on the subject of such varmits:

"Summer" A Poem

"Oh! Summer's Day!
A day so hot that the fleas on my stomach
are sweating.
...(Excuse me one second.)
...(Please forgive me. Where was I?)
Alone. Adrift in this bleak living hell.
An olive-sized tick on the back of my...
...(Uh Oh. Excuse me.)
(Pardon me again. I'm sorry)
My empty dish mocks me.
Will the folks with the food never come home?
Flies buzz in my brain now. My mouth full of gravel.
I search for...
ah...the hell with it."


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Debunking Common Myths

Phew. 'Drew and I just read an article from entitled "Very Creative Ideas of How to Spoil Your Dog". Now, it's not that we don't like the site or that they don't offer helpful tips from time to time, but this one must immediately be tossed into the deep blue sea (from which I shall never retrieve it - but that's a whole other subject).

We feel compelled to reprint the article so that other canines do not allow themselves to be so incredulously shortchanged.

* * * * * * * *

"We all love to be pampered... and our pets are no different. So how do you make your dog feel special and appreciated?
"Well, there is almost an infinite number of ways. I know this because over the last few months many of you -- my loyal Petplace readers - have sent in some very creative ideas of how you spoil your dog. Our team has started compiling these ideas and have posted a few of them on the site.
"Here are a few examples:

"1. A Little Back Scrachin' - From: Sherry H.

"My peekapoo loves sitting on my lap in the evening and have his back scratched. This seems to make him happy and satisfied. When he's ready to get down and chew his bone, he does."

["Back scratched"? That's it? No way. Full and complete body massage or don't bother. Starting off with a complete scratching is one thing, but only the beginning. Deep tissue massage for me; I trust you feel the same way. We pity "Sherry H's" poor loyal companion.]

"2. I Talk to My Dog - From: Dottie

"Every night before bed just like you would with your kids I talk with my dog. I call her and tell her it is mommy and me time I know she laughs when I talk silly to her.. . ."

[The very last thing I want after a long day of hearing "sit, "stay", "no", "no Satchie", "Satchel, I said no", "that's it, we're going home", "you're lucky I'm feeding you tonight" - just a few examples) is a bleeding talk with the Plonker. Just give me my dinner, my treats, and leave me be.]

"3. A Daily Hug - From: Hunter's Mommy, from NH

"My dog is very happy because each and every morning when he gets up he gets a big hug from me and then I lay him on the bed on his back and he gets a massage of his shoulders, lets and tummy of course and then he rolls over and I massage his back and neck. I do this every morning and then he gets a big hug and he hugs me back."

[Now here is a woman who has it partially correct. Of course, she misses the feeding (steak is nice), and I could do without the hug and instead receive more massage, but on the whole, not a complete Plonker. By no means hug him back or he will think you are satisfied!]

We need to keep ourselves apprised of some of the nonsense on the internet and under no cirumstance allow our caregivers to think they know what is good for us when we are perfectly capable of expressing what we need and how wrong they usually get it.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Congratulations Champion Karazan Axl

Wow, what a weekend. I was off at a show and 'Drew was Home Alone, Part IV.
Most significantly, cousin Karazan Axl finished this weekend and is now the chamption we all knew he should have been long ago.

Here's the story as only a Mom can tell it:

"Hi everyone and thanks so much for your notes of congratulations. For those of you who weren’t there on Sunday, Axl finally finished his championship in rather dramatic form. He only needed two points to finish and we were in danger of not having any other class dogs show up either day, so Steve graciously allowed me to borrow Satchel for the weekend so we could have a least 2 dogs show up and make 1 point each day. It’s a good thing we did, because the other dogs didn’t show! Steve was in trial so he couldn’t make it all weekend so Satchie had a sleep over at my house. He reminds me so much of my sweet Peabo with his “screw you” attitude that I fell instantly in love with him. He and Ax got along great and he immediately let Axl know who was in charge.

"On Saturday, Axl was WD and got 1 point. Little Bella was WB but also took BOW so she got her first point!!! Yea for Bella, Teri, Dave and Mama Sophie. Only 14 more to go for that little Liger. Jolie was BOS.

"On Sunday, Axl didn’t come wake me up at 6 as usual so I went looking for him. I found him sleeping in the lawn sprinklers and he wouldn’t get up. This was my first clue that something was wrong. I touched his head and felt his left ear was swollen to 5 times its normal size and extremely painful. I threw Axl and Satch in the van without grooming either one of them and raced off to the emergency vet where he diagnosed a probable hematoma. He prescribed painkillers, prednisone and antibiotics and sent us on our way. Ax was very subdued and sad looking. I gave him some pain meds and off we went to Dixon. Satchie thought it was a great adventure. When we got to the show grounds, Axl was clearly not himself as he didn’t squeak or lunge to play with the other dogs and quietly climbed in the crate that Claire so generously provided. When Jolie came over to say hi, Axl thought he might like to jump on her so I figured he might be well enough to trot around the ring once or twice so Claire groomed him up and I sent him off with his handler, Larry, to the ring with instructions to tell the judge about his ear and that the vet had said it wasn’t too serious, just very sore. Well, Larry got in the ring with Axl and then got called away to another ring so he handed him off to Lizzie but forgot to warn her about the ear so when the judge came up to him, she was immediately alarmed by the huge ear that made his whole head look lopsided. She asked Lizzie about it and of course she didn’t know what to tell her. Despite the rather unusual looking head, Axl moved well, though a bit slower than usual, and was given WD. I then explained to the judge what was going on and she was very gracious. When we went back in for BOB, I handled Ax because Lizzie had to take her Special in and he went BOW. I have to say that he has never been so well behaved and easy to handle. Drugging this dog may be the solution at every show from now on.

"Jolie was beautiful and went BOB for the 8th time out of the last 9 shows. If we had had a decent group judge, I think she would have won the group.

"Axl slept very hard last night which was expected, but I went to check on him at 4:30 this morning and he didn’t even move. I picked up his head and shouted at him while shaking him and he finally opened his eyes and looked at me as if I had interrupted a really good dream. Payback is a bitch, Ax. Anyway, the ear was as bad as ever and he clearly wasn’t himself, so back to the vet we went this morning (his regular vet this time) and she did a workup on him, shaved the ear and found that he had been bitten by a very large spider, probably a black widow, and that he will be recovering for the next month or so. So you see, Axl got his championship in the style that only Axl could have dreamt up.

"Now I just want to go home and hug my poor baby and try to get him to eat something so he can keep the meds down until he feels better. The vet says that we should be past the worst of it by Wednesday. I guess we won’t be showing in BOB at Santa Rosa in a couple of weeks, but I’ll sure be there to cheer on the other Newfs!"

* * * * * * * * * * *

As for me, well, as Aunt Jill says, "payback is a bitch". No sooner did I get home than 'Drew wrestled me to the ground and beat the living daylights out of me. He was really pissed for me leaving him. But by late evening, we were cuddled up in brotherly love. I had a great time with Axl and Slugger (and bunking with Hummer) and plan to vacation at Aunt Jill's more often. Big Congratulatios to the Axl Monster -- he can now spent some nice time recovering, both from shows and black widows!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

So Lonely

Uh, hi, this is Andrew, er, "'Drew", er "Puppy". I'm confused now.

Well, Satchie is up at a show and I'm kinda all alone and I really miss him, and so that's why I'm so lonely.

He's up there with Hummer and Axl (see them in the picture with Paris and Preston?) and Bella and Jolie and Satchie's staying with Aunt Jill and playing with Slugger and Axl. And Gizzy is in a show in Canada or something so I can't even text him. He got, uh, Best of Winners and BOS!!

Okay, so what should I say? Oh, Axl took Winner's Dog which means he only needs one point and then he's a champion. Cool. Satchie finished second or something like that but I wasn't there so I can't really say. And Bella got some kinda win and Jolie got something so Team Karazan did okay, I guess. But I wasn't there or anything. Maybe tomorrow? I dunno.

There's like nothin on TV and I miss Scoldy and it's hot out so I'm mostly inside. I dunno how much more of this I can take. It's like the weekend and I don't have to work but Dad's at work and I'm getting baby-sitted which is kinda okay but I dunno.

It just doesn't seem kinda fair, really, if you see what I mean. Mrs. P says that a lot but I can never actually see what she means because, like, there are no letters or anything so there isn't anything to see. Okay, now I'm really confused. Time to sleep and dream dreams of my Scoldy brother who I love so much.