Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home again, Happy Gonzo

Yes, I made it back home, and Gonzo was thrilled to see me. Of course, it's the same reaction I get when I've been gone 20 minutes to the store, or hours and hours on errands. "Oh my gosh! I can't believe you came home again! You're amazing!" How can anyone not love dogs?

My cat on the other hand, has not greeted me as of yet. More like,"Oh, you again."

I'm going to give Gonzo a chewie, and unpack.

Good Boy, Gonzo. I've missed you, too.

More to come, so come back if you're interested.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vacation post day two

I imagine that if my parents didn't still have dial up, I would try to post from their house. But they do, so I won't, hence another video post.

I hope this makes you smile:

Good Boy, Gonzo. The babies are smiling at you.

More to come, so come back if you're interested.

Vacation posts

I'm heading up to my parents' house for the next few days, so video posts!

An homage to the first blog that made me laugh until I cried (for humanity:) Cake Wrecks, blogged by Jen Yates (look for her book!)

Good Boy, Gonzo. You've got frosting on your nose.

More to come, so come back if you're interested.

The Sofa Weasel! (Not half as naughty as it sounds)

Our boy, at first, was not allowed to sit on the sofa with us, as we were told that it's confusing to a dog to be allowed to sit on furniture and sleep in your bed as an equal. Confusing? I don't know. Less comfortable? Decidedly so. Anyway, we got a grip, and slipcovers, and our boy sits with us.

Gonzo is devoted to my husband with a passion that would rival any bromance, and wants to not just be near him, but as close as caninely possible. If our boy can get on my husband's lap, he is in heaven. However, having a 48 lb. dog on your lap is not what my husband would call comfortable. So, when our boy tries to squeeze in, sometimes he gets the heart-breaking,"Off!" and Gonzo slinks off the sofa with the most pitiful look on his face.

Then the Sofa Weasel starts his approach: First, Gonzo turns and faces the sofa. Then he'll lick the closest hand or leg to the planned point of attack. Soon, he'll put a front paw, then the other on the sofa. Then our boy goes into full weasel mode. Holding his body close to the sofa, balancing his weight forward, he'll bring his back legs up and slide himself back onto the sofa. Usually, he's so slick, we don't even realize he's back on the sofa until our boy tries to get back into my husband's lap. Hense, the Sofa Weasel. (I usually call our boy that in the annoying sing-song way that Paulie Shore used to say "Weas-el!")

Good Boy, Gonzo. It's more comfy up here, anyway.

More to come, so come back if you're interested.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is there anything cuter then a dreaming dog?

Gonzo has his share of "puppy dreams," and usually they seem to involve running, yipping, and eating. Sometimes, though, at night, I'll wake up to hear him whimpering and whining. He seems to be asleep and dreaming, so they're not the happy dreams of the afternoon naps on the sofa. Our boy is a rescue dog, so it makes me wonder.

Do dogs have dreams of things they don't know? I mean, if they haven't experienced it, can they conceive of it? Are all they thoughts of actuality, and not fantasy? When our boy is dreaming, is he remembering something that had happened, or do dogs have imaginations? I sort of hope they do, and can have nightmares based on things they haven't experienced. Otherwise, our boy might have have some mean people in his life before we came along.

Our boy just loves older people. Where my parents come for a visit, Gonzo will stick with my mom or dad like glue. The same for any older visitors to our house. When we first got our boy, I was walking him around the neighborhood when we passed the apartment building two streets up. There was a little white haired lady walking into the building, when Gonzo spotted her. Our boy whined and pulled toward the lady, which he hadn't done before for anyone but my husband. I believe that our boy thought he knew that lady. I started to think that maybe, just maybe the reason our boy was given to the humane society had nothing to do with him. Maybe he was owned by a sweet older person who couldn't keep him anymore. Maybe that poor person had to go live in a home, or worse, passed on, and the owner's family put Gonzo in the pound. I hope that's the life our boy had before us, and that the nightmares come from his stint at the pound. I'd like to think that he's never met mean people that would hurt him, but sadly, I can't be sure.

Good Boy, Gonzo. Dream a little dream of me (or Mama Cass).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Knock, Knock! Who's there?

Our boy, Gonzo, fancies himself a guard dog, although we teasingly call him a panic-attack dog. When someone knocks (or God forbid rings the doorbell) he sets off in a cacophony of barks, yelps, growls and other odd noises to scare off the intruder. (He must imagine Attila the Hun comes to our neighborhood on a regular basis.)
I call him our dog-bell, and one can set off the dog-bell by knocking on any wooden surface in the house. I find great entertainment in this some days. I will knock on the end table or coffee table and call out,"Who is it?" and let him go to town. Of course, then I praise him up and down for saving us all from horrible intruders. However, this can be a tad embarrassing for us when our boy won't stop barking at company. Soon enough, Gonzo stops barking and goes and grabs one of his toys to parade around with, but our boy can make it quite loud at our Christmas open house.

The other major threat in Gonzo's mind other than the mystery knock is the dog next door. Sarge is a gorgeous rust colored Akita mix with a sweet face and a great disposition. He doesn't bark at passers-by in his yard, and is generally sweet and lovable. But Gonzo will absolutely flip out when Sarge in out the yard while he's out. He barks, growls, snaps and acts completely out of character. Sarge doesn't seem to even notice that Gonzo is there. I am glad that there's no access between the yards, because I don't know that it would end well. I have a theory why Gonzo acts this way with Sarge although he ignores the other two dogs our boy can see from the back yard.

Sarge is also a rescue dog. As a matter of fact, he was adopted out of the same shelter the same week as Gonzo. If I remember correctly, they were across from each other in their cages. So Gonzo met Sarge in the "big house" and apparently someone must of talked some smack. Now that they're both sprung, Gonzo's got a score to settle. Sarge is trying hard not to get sent back to the slammer.
On the other hand, Sarge's owner loves Gonzo to the point that she buys him special treats. She insists that it's Sarge that instigates the barking, although Sarge never makes a peep. I guess I should be very grateful I have such a wonderful neighbor who loves our boy almost as much as we do.

Good Boy, Gonzo. Everybody loves you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Isn't it supposed to be instinct?

A few years ago (two I think) my husband and I decided to take our boy Gonzo to the family camp. Up until this point, we really didn't go anywhere on vacation, and when we did, it was no dogs allowed. I wanted to go back to camp, my husband wanted to fish, and Gonzo wanted to be with us, no matter where we went. We took a few test-drives around to get Gonzo used to the idea of being in the car (without it ending at the vet) and he did alright. No car sickness, no anxiety, all around good behavior. We packed up the car, put in our boy, and away we went.
Well, the length of the trip caused a bit of anxiety for our boy, but he did really well over all. The boat trip across the lake to the camp was another story. He apparently hadn't seen a boat and he wasn't sure about sitting in a box in that scary stuff that moves around in a weird way:

But we got him across the lake, and we went about having a nice vacation. When my husband decided that he was going for a swim, it made sense to us that Gonzo would want to go swimming too. But we were quick to realize that Gonzo had never been swimming before. Our boy wanted to be near by my husband, but he was afraid of the water. I tried wading in the water and leading him in behind me on his leash, but no, that didn't work. So my husband came back into shore, scooped Gonzo up and slowly carried him into the water. When the water was waist deep, he put Gonzo down in the water slowly. ( My husbands's sort of squatting down in the water here)

We expected a few things could happen. Gonzo could totally freak out and scratch the heck out of my husband trying to get back into his arms, he could have a more ,"Thank you very much but this is not for me," response and just swim back to shore, or he could swim around and have fun in the water with my husband. We did not expect his actual reaction.

When small children (for that matter, anyone) is taught to swim, they are taught the rudimentary dog-paddle. It is so named, presumably, because it resembles the way a canine flails its front paws while swimming. I thought it was an instinctual thing, something that they just do. Well, no. Our dog, once free of the protection of my husband's arms, didn't do anything. No movement. My husband called to him, but our boy just looked as us and floated, like a log. My husband went over to him and showed him how to move his paws in the water, and then our boy (buoy?) took off like a toy boat with a rubber-band propulsion system. I couldn't breathe from laughing.

Good Boy, Gonzo. Swimming's for Labradors.

More to come, so come back if you're interested.