Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Friday, Everybody!

Today's video should leave you saying, "Um... what?"

It's from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. And if you know anything about this show this video shouldn't seem strange at all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lucky Star

Last night Lynette caught something out of the corner of her eye in our salt-water aquarium: a tiny starfish moving slowly across the front of the glass. It's white and very small. The interesting part of this story is that we have never purchased a starfish of any kind. Ever.

Keep in mind though that we do have roughly 50 lbs. of "live" rock harvested off the coast of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean. The live rock acts as a natural form of filtration for the water via biological processes from all the millions of living creatures within the rock, mostly microscopic. But every once in a while there are "hitchhikers" in the live rock that rear their heads shortly after the tank stabilizes. During the first month of our tank, we had feather dusters, which are a type of beautiful worm with long flowing feather-like protrusions. Some people claim to get different types of crabs, anemone, corals, urchin, shrimps, etc.

Well, the mystery in our situation is that this little creature appeared almost three years after the tank was set up. Three years! That's amazing. I can only assume he was tucked deep within the rock. If he ever ventured outside the rock into open water it must have been in the middle of the night.

Regardless, Lynette and I have taken this surprise to be a good omen. Since Christmas is right around the corner, the appearance of any type of sudden star can only mean good things, right? I'm generally not a superstitious man, but I'll take any kind of luck or positive energy I can get.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dogs, Blogs, and Taco Bell

Actually, I have nothing to say about Taco Bell. Well, we did stop and eat at one in Breezewood, PA when we finally exited the Pennsylvania Turnpike Sunday night. I think I ate a Chalupa. I still feel slightly dirty for ingesting it.

We received a telephone call from Blue Ridge Greyhound Adoption last night... looks like they're willing to give us another dog. Let's hope the new dog doesn't have the same issues Abe did. I have to assume they wouldn't give us another dog with the same problem (separation anxiety for those of you not paying attention).

His name is Royal Flush and he looks just like Abe. Which is a good thing because now our neighbors won't know that we switched dogs. "Hey, didn't those people have a different greyhound a couple weeks ago? How many greyhounds do they have up there?"

Obviously, we're going to change his name. I thought Roy would be good, but Lynette's grandfather was named Roy. Then I thought, "How about something Christmas-y!" The reindeer names are out of the question because a lot of greyhound owners name their dogs Dasher or Comet.

No, I need something that rolls off the tongue, like Vince. Or Bert. Or Harvey.

How about Barry?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Black Friday, Everybody!

I hope everyone had enough to eat yesterday. Who's ready for some shopping? Meet me at Best Buy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Goodbye Abe

For those of you keeping up with our Adventures with Abe, I'm afraid this story does not have a happy ending.

After getting home from work on Friday I was pleased to see that the software we used to record Abe in his crate all day actually worked. The entire day was documented and ready for viewing. Unfortunately, the results were not good. Abe basically barked and cried all day. We were hoping he only barked for the first hour or so, but what I saw was an entire day full of anxiety and fear and within minutes my heart was broken. I knew at that moment that I could not leave this dog alone another day. Doing so would be nothing short of cruelty.

After some discussion, we decided to do one more test. On Saturday morning, we woke up early and took Abe to the dog park. It was a long walk. We tried to wear him out. Then we came home, put him in his crate, and left for the gym, camera rolling.

We were gone for 45 minutes. We came home and watched the tape. What we saw was extreme fear and anxiety. Sheer panic. Abe cried, barked, and howled. He shredded his dog bed and tried to chew on the bars of the crate. Then he urinated in his crate, which is the highest level of indication of anxiety.

And that's when we knew: He couldn't live in our home.

I called the adoption agency and coordinated a time for us to take him back. Unfortunately, we had to wait until Sunday. Without going into much detail, it was a sad, painful weekend for us. I know we only had him for a month, but the bond was beginning to develop.

The agency assured us that this failure was by no means a reflection on us as dog owners. Sometimes it's just not a good fit. Sometimes the chemistry is not there. They tried their best to make us feel better. And they pleaded with us to not give up. They want us to try another dog. But this time my only prerequisite is that the next dog can handle spending time alone.

Work has already begun on finding us a dog that fits that description. In the meantime, we're happy Abe is currently living somewhere where he doesn't have to spend another day totally alone. We feel deep regret that we put him through what what must have been a miserable experience. I'm hoping he already forgot about it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Friday!

Let's laugh at someone else's misfortune, shall we. This one is a classic. Makes me laugh every time. Enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Round 2; Or, Love LIfts Us Up Where We Belong

The dog. Oh, the dog, Abe. Sweet, sweet Abe. We received another phone call on Tuesday night from the adoption agency where Abe is currently staying. And apparently he's doing great. Granted, there are other dogs around him.

According to the agency, he is not crazy (as I first suspected). And he is able to learn how to stay home alone. The agency seems to think we're not showing enough leadership in the house. They want us to give it another go. But this time really exude our leadership. We cannot feel stress or anxiety because the dog will pick up on these panicked emotions and exhibit like emotions.

So Abe comes home tonight. We're picking him up and we're going to start fresh with a whole new attitude. If it's a leader he needs, then call me Louis Gossett, Jr. (He played the drill Sargent in An Officer and a Gentleman... He won an Oscar for his performance... Come on, people, it's a very famous role... don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about). Anyway, Round 2 starts today. Be sure you'll hear all about it.

If you like the image above check out Brian Despain's work here. I think it's swell. I like robots and such.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dependent on the Pack

I called to check on Abe. Long story short, he's very dependent on the pack (their words). In the company of other dogs he's a dream. An angel. He apparently is not an alpha male. He sidles up to any dog, male or female. He shares beds with any other dog who will have him. He is constantly in the presence of other dogs, going where they go, doing what they do.

With that said, we have some options. Unfortunately, one of those options is not to keep Abe as a single dog. I mean, it is an option, but the training would be long and difficult on all involved. Technically, all dogs can be trained. And all dogs inherently have a need to be part of a pack, but I feel that it wouldn't be fair to put Abe through this type of "reprogramming."

The other option is to care for two dogs. I expressed my concerns about having two dogs due to our modestly sized condo. After some discussion with the adoption people, I agreed to foster another dog with Abe to see how he acts with a companion and to see how well we can handle caring for two dogs. This way we;re not committed and can back out at any time. Sort of like a rent to own situation.

According to the adoption agency, if space was the only issue we had then there really is no issue. As I already know, greyhounds take up minimal amounts of space. Caring for two is not much different from caring for one (their words). Truthfully, the most important issue should be money. Obviously, caring for two dogs requires buying double of everything.

So, perhaps this Saturday we will be bringing two dogs home. The experiment continues!