September 26, 2007


Well, that's about the oddest looking Eskimo spitz I've ever seen.


But how could I refuse the little girl who was going to have to pay for it? Rebecca's been doing volunteer work for the animal shelter that sets up shop at PetSmart, and this little pup came in a couple of weeks ago with a couple of littermates. It took up with her almost immediately and she wound up spending most of last Saturday and the Saturday before that sitting around holding it while it slept in her arms. And thankfully, her association with the shelter meant that she was able to pick up a new Dogloo for it free. It had been returned to PetSmart because it was cracked, so they were going to donate it to the shelter, but they don't use them, so the shelter's volunteer coordinator said Bec could have it for free. Which was nice, because it was one of the $150 models. So that was nice. Aside from it having a crack, which Daddy will have to fix.

ANYway, as for the puppy, it's some sort of beagleterrier, and it's relatively calm as such dogs go, and last night (its first night at Casa de Possum) it was quiet and didn't whine too much. And definitely didn't bark any. About the only thing that remains is for Rebecca to give it a name. Nothing has quite struck her yet, but I suppose it will come.

So there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:57 AM | Comments (33)

September 17, 2007

I have five minutes.


We have a fence, but no puppy.

I have new glasses, but find it difficult to see.

Alabama is 3-0, and Auburn is 1-2, and I blame global warming.

I remember now why it was nice to blog regularly, that being that it forced me to remember stuff. As it is now, I find it difficult to remember interesting tales of suburban bliss to share with you.

My yard has a fungus infection, which is worse than weeds, because if nothing else, weeds ARE green. The fungus just makes the grass turn black and die.

My car radio has given up. It's not the original one, and I'd think about replacing it except none of the car stereo places act like they make anything that will fit in a stupid twenty-year-old lump of iron. I have been reduced to riding around with a little transistor radio sitting in the pencil tray on the dashboard.

I'm not drinking nearly enough Diet Coke these days.

I finally got the paycheck with my raise included on it, and that is a very good thing indeed.

I have run out of my five minute allotment.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:22 PM | Comments (19)

September 05, 2007

Nope, nothing to see here.

No pictures or anything!

Which is probably okay. The new job has continued to take up a goodly portion of the day and I kinda like that, especially since the stuff I've been doing is stuff I know how to do.

It's not like it's particularly fun, like playing tickle'n'slap with Miss Reba, or people-watching at Wal-Mart, but it's also definitely not like slowly trying to strangle yourself to death with a spaghetti noodle. It's engaging and requires actual thought and junk like that, but even with having to be thoughty and all, it doesn't make my head hurt. It's been more than a week since I had my afternoon dose of Stanback and Diet Coke. (I've managed to cut out the Stanback part.) And so, I don't dislike it, even though it's work.

'Nother nice thing is that I get out of the office more. Got to go this morning with my old supervisor and watch him hammer on some bricks, and it was nice to just be the guy standing back and observing things with slight bemusement, rather than looking goofy hammering on the corner of a building. Then when we got back, I got to drag a carpet guy through the building looking at our pitiful carpeting. Remember one of my Rules of Architecture? The one that says, "put on a hard hat and carry a clipboard, and you can go anywhere in the world." Well, most of the time, you really don't need either one--just tell folks you're with the architect's office and you're showing the carpet guy around, and you pretty much have the run of the joint. Obviously, it helps not to be swarthy and shouting "Allah Akbar!" and the like (or a balding wide-stanced Idahoan with a liking for sparkly clean restroom floors), but still, I've found that it's nice to be able to wander around again acting like I'm supposed to be able to wander around wherever I want.

As for the update from the Home Front, we're supposed to be getting our new backyard fence this week. Got the utilities marked, the property lines staked, and everything approved by the pretty police. Left the drawing for the fence guy yesterday, and when I got home it was gone, so I guess he picked it up and took it to get his permit. I hope. Maybe I should call him...

Anyway, this is in preparation for the arrival of a puppy in the coming weeks. We haven't picked one out yet, aside from me telling everyone in the family we were going to get what I've always called an Eskimo spitz, but that Google now informs me is called the American Eskimo Dog.

When I was growing up, these were the only dogs we ever had, and I've always had an affection for them. They're smart and tough and outdoor-hardy, and pretty little dogs, and don't leave giant honkin' piles of crap everywhere.

The biggest thing we're doing differently is that I've gotten Cesar Millan's book about dog rearing. When I was a kid, dogs were dogs, sort of the way they were for Millan when he was growing up in Mexico. Dogs stayed outside, and they minded what they were told, and that was it. They weren't anyone's baby or brother, and they weren't little humans. (Even if they had lots of common sense, like our dogs Phyllis and Wendy had.)

But I'm sorta concerned about my kids, who've been exposed their whole life to this weird, media-driven celebrity culture thing where people such as Paris Hilton lug around odd little animals as accessories, or where the animal rights idjits treat dogs as people-equivalents, and I want them to understand before we even get a puppy that they are going to have to treat it like a dog if they want to ever be able to control it. Spitzes aren't particularly aggressive-natured, but they are active and intelligent (or wolfishly cunning), and so need calm leadership to be great fun dogs.

But my kids haven't been exposed to that idea--they've been fed this thing about dogs being like little people for so long, I was concerned that we'd have problems, especially with Catherine, who is still young enough that she anthropomorphizes everything, stuffed toy animals as well as living ones. Poor Lightning gets lugged around like a Beanie Baby, but he's a cat. Doing that with a dog has the potential to reinforce some bad behaviors such as jumping up on people and what we used to call "whiffliness," that constant nervous agitation some dogs have around people.

SO, the book has been a nice way for me to learn what I knew all along, and be able to explain it to the kids in a way that makes sense to them. I was talking to Catherine this morning when she got up about what all I'd read, and after a few minutes, she began to understand some things, and asked me if the retriever next door sees itself as the pack leader, and if that's why it's nearly impossible for his owner to take him on a walk or otherwise control him. (The answer is 'yes.') She also understands that the shih tzu who lives on the OTHER side of us ALSO thinks she's the pack leader. All that jumping up and down on Catherine isn't because she likes Catherine, it's that she is attempting to show dominance. And she gets rewarded for it by getting petted and cooed over.

It was quite nice to see Catherine think all this through and begin to understand what a puppy is going to require. Maybe if I can get her with the program, Mom and the rest of the siblings will take to it better. (He said, with much trepidation.)

Anyway, other things continue as they always have at the house--school, church, band, cheerleading, a certain teenager who thinks she's leader of the pack, a sudden infestation of ants, laundry, and hey! It's getting to be autumn! Here it is lunchtime, and it's only 87 degrees! And with autumn, there's FOOTBALL! Hate to say it, but my beloved Auburn Tigers stank up the joint last week against the Kansas State Miscreants. Yes, a win's a win, but one more such victory would utterly undo them. At least according to Coach Phyrrus.

Let's see...anything else?

Eh, probably, but I've got to go get a bite to eat.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:36 PM | Comments (28)