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Category Archives: Christmas

Wordless Wednesday: Caption This #13

What is Micron saying to Jager?  Worse, what is that look on Euka’s face?

It was likely at this point when I should have been warned that things were about to go awry during last weekend’s Holiday photo shoot.

But of course I was too distracted by trying to put the dogs in a pretty sit while keeping the Santa hat straight on Jager’s pointy little head.

Gotcher your stoopid hats right here, Food Lady!

This top photo feels like a Caption This to me. There’s a conspiracy plan being gelled, a coup in the works, a disturbance in The Force. Or something.

Your thoughts?

DYK? More puppy goodness on FaceBook

Like us at RAISING A SUPER DOG

Did you know you can find more photos of Euka II and her friends on Raising a Super Dog‘s FaceBook page?

Two new albums were added this week of the polar bear pup’s acts of derring do and holiday celebrations.

Click the photo captions below for a direct link to adorable puppy photos.  We hope you enjoy!




Euka’s Snow Album
Euka’s First Christmas Album





Four point mutt

Where does this persistent optimism come from anyway? It’s not like I’m bolstered by past successes. I’m not even an unnaturally upbeat kinda chick. Yet there we went into the backyard all confident – the pup, the big goober dog and me – accompanied by the Canon and two sets of reindeer antlers.  

Gonna get me some cute holiday photos for the CCI card exchange, said that child’s voice of naivete inside my head. Oh yeah, this will be so awesome.

And if awesome involves repeated lamentations of aargh! quit knocking them off! then yeah, we got yer awesome right here.

Because if one wasn’t shaking the antler things off his or her own noggin, he or she was pulling them off the other’s.  Then Euka would take off in a full gallop of puppy happiness with the merry sound of jingle bells coming from the head boppers in her mouth.

Oh sure, I expected this. It’s not like this is the first time I’ve put head boppers on a dog, you know. But I really want this to work out so I can get those holiday shots.

I set the antlers on the lawn, then pause to putz around with the camera settings. Then this.

Look closer. Do you see the antlers held oh-so-gently in that puppy maw? The look of daring in those brown eyes? It’s like she knows.

We’ll start with the mighty Micron. He’s been through this fun before, so he’s experienced enough to realize the sooner we get this party started, the sooner he gets the good-boy treat.

But Euka says Incoming! She leaps, Micron blocks. With one meaty, baseball mitt paw, he insists she keep her teeth to herself.

Minutes later, still only one dog is wearing antlers. Micron is savvy enough to recognize that I’m wearing down, which he knows will be followed next by seriously lowered standards. So with a hopeful tip of the head, Micron helps Euka to snatch off those blasted antlers. And she will. Or sever his carotid. Odds are pretty even here.

Alright, that’s it.  Wiping dog spit and mud off the antlers, it’s time to change what I had in mind. No, not defeat. That’s crazy talk. Instead I need to call in for back-up.  What are you doing right now? I ask the Husband. Nothing, right? He sees the look in my eyes, sighs and turns off the lawn mower to follow me back to the dogs.

Ok, I want antlers on both dogs, I explain as if he’s not been through this exercise with me before. And the puppy will be right here in front of Micron. See, like right between his front legs. Exactly like that. And both of them looking at the camera. Here’s a dog cookie. Got it? What? Don’t look at me like that! Ugh, all right, get the puppy in a Sit and put the stupid antlers on her.

No, they’re looking at you and the dog biscuit! Fine. At least turn Euka so her body is facing me.

Well, that’s not any better.  

At this point, we’re like a badly choreographed dance. The husband’s moving back and forth to plop the head boppers on a moving dog, then stepping quickly out of the frame. I’m circling the three of them, clicking the shutter with that one last shred of hope hanging by a loose thread to my fragile sanity.

And hey! This one’s kinda cute.

And with my fresh, but healthier, lowered standards we go with that shot. And the Plan B shots of close ups of the two of them individually.

Euka II

The Mighty Micron

And that’ll do. Dog cookies all around for a job well done. A glass of chilled white for the photographer and her assistant.

Now, where are the Santa hats? Oh, Jager …I got a dog cookie for you …

Dog bling

Welcome! Come on in and have a seat. Grab yourself a Diet Coke and make yourself at home. No, no it’s ok. I’m not going to show you the slide show of our last Grand Canyon vacation or try to sell you plastic bowls that burp for freshness.  Nothing like that.

Well, maybe just a little like that. Now we all know this isn’t the place in the blogosphere where you can count on finding the latest in product reviews. This sort of thing ain’t my bag, baby. (Austin Powers, 1997).  Having my choice of druthers here, I’d druther just talk about the derring-do’s of the yellow dogs and post a photo or two.

And because product reviews of my favorite things might be something like . . .

The heated cat bed!  

No longer the place I was going to store those old CD’s.  Instead that cardboard box I was saving was commandeered by the cat. And setting the thing on the printer keeps those privileged feline nether regions nice and toasty warm.  Energy savings in one little corrogated package.   

It doesn’t bother him a bit that he’s oozing random body parts out of it. I guess the side benefit is the natural face lift.

 
Levitating dog toys!

When tennis balls aren’t bouncy enough, we have the gravity defying Go-nut!  After your dog gets the hang of catching this rubbery toy, keep the challenge going by having them fetch it while walking on two legs. 

Designer doggie pharmaceuticals

After a second trip to the vet to staple Jager back together, I asked if there were such things as anti-terrier meds.  Can’t we just knock him down a notch on the hyperactive scale?, I ask. You know, drop the needle from Completely Maniacal to maybe just Flipping’ Freaky?

Apparently not.  Obviously our vet doesn’t have a terrier.

But of course, I know she’s right.  I just need to keep Jager on a shorter leash, so to speak. And anyway, I have other dogs in the house to consider.  I mean, what would happen if, say, Micron got into the anti-terrier meds?

I’d never the college drop-out off the sofa.
 

The Super-Grip Camera Strap!

Handmade and customized by special order by Sassy Strap. The super grip feature is actually a manual setting. And by manual, I mean it’s me gripping the camera while two yellow dogs play an impromptu game of tug o’war.

  

Stylin’ Dog Bling!

Ah, but there’s a shiny gem in this mixed bag of treasure. And while Micron likely looks upon a Christmas gift of a new dog collar kinda like the kid and new crew socks, well, I’m rather jazzed about the bling of it all.

Micron models the Celtic Knot design

A dog collar?, you say, can’t you just pick one up at the pet store?  Sure, you could. If you were happy with some ho-hum look for your dog. As they say, don’t dress for the job you have. Dress for the job you want.  As for us, we’re motivated to keep Micron looking good.  I keep telling this dog, he has a destiny.  A destiny that doesn’t involve daytime TV and a can of Pringles. Now that life as a service dog is out, we don’t know what’s ahead just yet for the mighty Micron.  But let’s keep up the GQ metro style while we figure things out, ok Mikey?  We chose Woof Wear Dog Collars to update his haberdashery.

So why this particular collar for my extra special dog?  Well, for one, it comes in so many snappy and clever designs, it’s tough to choose just one. Even seasonal choices are out there for the opting. But this dilemma is easily remedied by the extra little removable tag switcher. The tag switcher can be removed from one collar and attached to another in a blink. Easy peasy to move the dog tags around, no pliers needed.

But the best part of it all?  These fancy collars are handmade by a fellow Canine Companions for Independence puppy raiser, Nancee Wright.  Afforable, durable and stylish, Nancee sells her canine bling online at Etsy.  A special added bonus – she donates part of the sale to CCI.  

Don’t be envious of Micron. I’ve asked him to dial down the handsomeness, but he just can’t help himself.  And with the new Woof Wear, he’s too cool for school. But your dog could look this good too.  Check out Nancee’s shop at Woof Wear at Etsy.  Tell her Micron sent you.

Are we done here? Oprah’s on.

Not purely altruistic

Now don’t go off and get the wrong impression of me when I tell you this story. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m all stuck up or anything as I talk about an article from the New York Times. While, yes, I do have the New York Times drop an email update to me on a daily schedule, I really only scan the headlines. Put the Sunday issue of the Dayton Daily News and the New York Times side by side and watch me grab for the Dayton paper. Because DDN’s Sunday issue has the comic pages in color.

So I admit it’s not often that I actually open an article from the NYT email to absorb a story. I discovered that not only do the Times writers tend to use obscure words outside of the common tongue, they use several multi-syllable of the things in a row.

But here’s an exception.

Is Pure Altruism Possible? says the headline. Blog readers who have stuck with me over these past couple of years may recall my ramblings about teaching catechism to seventh graders (Rambam’s Ladder explains in further detail of these years of penance for me).  I have a foundational belief that I valiantly attempted to fit into the heads of these young people. Regardless of circumstance, each and every one of us has experienced blessings in our lives. And each and every one of us has a resource available to make a difference to someone else. This process of “giving back”, my young friends, is the very least we should be doing within our lives
 

Tell ya what, chick-a-roni, says Bodine.   
If you fill my food bowl, I’ll write your cards.  
How’s that for altruism, feline-style?

So this altruism headline in the Times intrigued me. I got as far as the byline and saw that this opinion piece was written by Judith Lichtenberg, a professor of philosophy at Georgetown University. Well, that should have been my first warning to stop right there before my brain exploded. Who did I think I was anyway?  Reading a NYT article written by a philosophy professor? But I bravely trudged onward hoping for a nugget of information that I could actually hold in my humble gray matter.

But, oh!  I got it!  Well, most of it.  Ok, ok, some of it.  Anyway, it’s full of some really great profundity and I’m finding it tough to summarize it here. I welcome all you curious folk to read the article in full here:  Is Pure Altruism Possible?  Grab that latte first, though. You’ll likely be there for a few minutes. For the truly courageous, read on through the reader comments, where you will find even more deep thinking as provided as critique by Dr. Lichtenberg’s fellow philosophers. My poor quivering brain sprung a leak after the first couple of those and I found myself reaching for that glass of Pinot Grigio.

The thought of pure altruism remains interesting to me as a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Sure, my very hope is that this incredible pup I’m raising will become an assistance dog for someone. Which in turn would provide a level of independence, companionship and a sense of security to someone else who is looking for such things.

Pure altruism however? Well, no.

Inga taming a polar bear at the
Cincinnati Museum of Natural History

Why not? Oh, as if, people. Because I got me a puppy in my house, that’s why. I get nearly a year and a half of  happiness as only a fuzzy canine can give. Puppy breath and Frito scented feet in a cotton ball body, followed by months of having a constant companion. And adventures! Have you ever taken your dog to a museum? To the movies?  Well, I have and I gotta say, it’s a blast. The dog is a social bridge as well.  I meet amazing people I never would have without this dog at my side.

And we work hard, too, with the socialization and training. Some different doggie rules than the pet dogs have. And at the end of our time together, this dog we love so much, this dog who is not our dog, leaves our home and is entered into the advanced training program at CCI.

Every puppy raiser has their own reason for doing this stuff, for going through the hard work, the happiness and then the resulting heartache. Hey, I’m no philosopher, but here’s my thinking. During the short time we have these fuzzies in our lives, we fill them with our love. It’s not a conscious choice to be sure, it just kinda happens along the way. Then, with a kiss and a long hug, we send them off to share that love. So when they are placed with someone in the next part of their journey, well, they carry that very love inside them to give forward.

And indeed they do, so I’m told. Person after person, story after story, I hear. Pure altruism? No. But I don’t doubt for a nano-second that what I’m doing with these dogs is totally where I’m supposed to be.

During the holiday season, I joined up in a card exchange with other CCI folk.  Puppy raisers, graduates and others involved with the CCI program. Rules were simple, really. Just make sure you send a photo of a dog or two with your card.

Oh, it was wonderful picking up the mail every day to see what dogs were gracing the photo cards that day. I couldn’t even wait to get the cards in the house before opening them. Dogs in Santa hats, dogs in snow, dogs at the beach, dogs smiling. Then one day, opening the day’s postal treasures, I find myself standing in the driveway with tears in my eyes.  It’s a beautiful Christmas card from a CCI graduate, a young lady I’ve never met. Along with a photo of her and her blue-caped CCI dog, she’s left a handwritten note inside the card for each of the volunteer puppy raisers on her mailing list:

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season. Thank you so much for all the time, energy, patience & socializing you invest, in order to give someone else more independence & a greater quality of life. Loving & caring for a puppy you know you will have to give back is such a selfless gift.

Thank you for everything you do.

Dogs and dog cards.  It’s a blessed life, it is.
Now if Micron could just plant his blessed behind into a decent Sit.

So in answer to your question, Dr. Lichtenberg, is pure altruism possible?  You know, of course it is.  But I can’t stake claim of it here.

Because someone gave back to me.  And I’m feeling especially blessed today.

The photo we used for the CCI card exchange.
“Santa? Stop him, Micron! 
He’s goin’ for the dog cookies!”

Yaxley, Micron and Jager share some
Christmas spirit.

Aw, is Christmas over already?
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