Sunday, October 30, 2011


First, in my defense, I waited until the day before Halloween when the costumes were 75% off.  Unfortunately, that meant the bumblebee costume that was really exactly Henry was sold out.  So you will not need to ask, Henry is a frog for Halloween.

It was either that or a footballer costume.  I don't want to encourage aggression - so I ruled that one out.  There were a bunch of girlish costumes too, but boy dogies are so easily embarrassed and I didn't want to add something to his background that would require trips to a puppy psych specialist in the future.

Now, for the best news!  We miss Halloween.  Henry is starting his intermediate puppy class tomorrow evening.  He has decided to go as a dog instead of a frog.  He just feels he will get more respect that way.  I have my doubts, but will not share them with Henry.

I am thinking of putting Henry in the PetSmart Puppy Hotel for our next trip to Eugene.  It can be arranged with play time visits and a treat time that looks pretty neat.  I checked out the facility and it looks very clean, well organized with lots of workers.  If anyone has first hand knowledge, I'd like to hear!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eugene and Whittier

One of my few pre-school memories - 60 or so years ago - is of my mom taking me for a treat at a drug store around the corner from Dr. Rutherford's office in Seattle. It was after an inoculation and I still remember being extremely miserable.

So what if she is in graduate school; she is still one of my baby girls. I asked Stephie what she wanted after her doctor visit, she was miserable too, but with more justification.  She wanted to have her bedroom painted. 

So my last day visiting, that is what we did.  It took most of the day scraping, filling, sanding and painting but we finished up just after midnight.
Heading home today,  I slept on the flight from Eugene to Seattle and the flight from Seattle to Long Beach.  I'm all caught up!  Just as well.  Arriving home, Henry welcomed me with enthusiastic jubilation.  This is the "after shot".  He used up all his energy but made me feel very welcome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Long Distance Henry

I am in Eugene.  Henry is in Whittier.  We just "talked" over the phone.  The phone slobber must mean he misses me.  (No!  I don't care what you say. He misses me.) I am sure Greg is spoiling him.

Now, back to the halloween theme - since I cannot torment Henry with halloween outfits at a distance, I had Stephie dress up for me.  This was at the more cheerful time - pre-oral surgery. A time still full of hope that the fractured jaw would all go away before it was time to collect halloween candy.  The right hand picture is ten hours after the oral surgeon finished with her. All thoughts of solid candy are out of her mind.  Melted chocolate and ice cream is about as close as she will get for the next six weeks.

It could be worst!  At least the jaw is held in place with pegs and bands instead of being wired shut - and as always, Steph manages to remain pretty cheerful or at least grateful for any small blessings.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Avid Henry Watchers Beware

Get well soon flowers for Stephie : )
You may be feeling Henry update withdrawals in the next few days.  I am leaving Greg in charge of the four legged boy and am going on an unscheduled trip north to Eugene.

My two legged youngest daughter went head over heels on her bike and needs a second set of ears when she visits an oral surgeon for her fractured jaw.  She tells me the cut up face is healing though still scary and the tooth cut mouth will be okay eventually.  The swollen knee would like to be driven to classes instead of biking there for a few days.

This means, of course, that Henry will be missing his Thursday final exam for his puppy class.  I promise this is not just an excuse to avoid the humiliation of failure.  Henry is doing quite well thank you -- but if it was an excuse, it would be a really great one!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Third Play Date

Building a clubhouse for five year old Otis is great fun especially with the help of two dogs and the curious and hands-on five year old. While the two dogs spent time discussing whether or not the extension cord would be more useful in two pieces, Otis experimented with cardboard box dwellings and construction scraps.

Henry thinks a five year old is just right, and the five year old thinks Henry is a bit too clingy.

Did we finish?  Nope. If you look at the photo to the left, you will see that it really doesn't look a whole lot different than yesterday's efforts. We did get the floor in and it is lovely and solid.  It will eventually be sanded and painted to avoid slivers.  We also got the board in place to create the roof pitch for drainage. I refuse to mention that we may need to jack up the left side  to get it totally level.

I also will not mention that Henry dug up a dead squirrel that Arlo buried at some point. There was a very definite over ripe odor. Henry is going to enjoy a bath this evening before bed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pooped Pup

Today Henry and I returned to Dana's house. Henry wanted another playdate with the big red dog, Arlo. I wanted to help Dana frame out a clubhouse for Otis. The house is going to be 5x4 and Arlo pretty much fills it up.

Henry was, of course,  excited to see Arlo again.  Arlo was tolerant. Henry was cautious. Maybe spending time with Arlo will make my boy less crazy during his Petsmart class. I doubt it though.

Tomorrow Henry and Arlo are having their third playdate. Dana and I will be trying to finish off the club house. I am getting a great erector set feeling.  Now we just need to fill in all the spaces....okay, maybe a bit more than that.  What you see to the right is as far as we got.  There will be a floor and roof (if you want a pre-cursor to see if we succeed).  The walls we may leave up to Otis.  Palm fronds - blankets, sheets.  Whatever a young mind can design.

Henry, of course, thinks it is great - in fact, we ended up having to tie the pup up during crucial development times.  He was just way too interested in being involved in the creating process.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yummy Chicken

One word:  CHICKEN.  I  saved all the moist yummy parts for my boy, Henry.  I used them for training today and we did great.  Best ever! Today was our practice graduation test and if this had been the final, we would have aced it. Yes, Henry is pretty hot stuff.  He is still so excited to go to PetSmart that he walks in on his hind legs practically turning flips.  We needed something tasty or there would have been zero focus.

Greg suggests that we do the next class.  Is that a hint we need to keep working?  Yep.  I think so.  Hum.  I'm thinking it is time to cook another chicken!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Earthquake Preparations

In the last month or two we have seriously acquired a whole lot of new cracks in the concrete surfaces on our home property.  The driveway, the patio, cement paths -- they all show a rise in the ground to the northeast.  We have our earthquake cupboard set for Greg and I and for our cats Otto and Vivika, but Henry is a relatively new family member.  It is time to get his box ready too.  So, lets see.  Food, water, treats, plastic bags, squeaky toys, blankets, towels, magazines to rip up, several cords to de-plug, one leather shoe from a pair or two, an extra collar and lead  ... a pup tent...?

Tomorrow is our last puppy class and my day to create his emergency box.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Three Headed Dog

So sweet he could almost melt like cotton candy - right?  If you have not met him yet, this is Henry, my adorable little teripoo.  Or perhaps, for todays blog page, terror-poo or even terrorist-poo.

He lives life with joy and curiosity.  He wags so hard he knocks himself over in his excitement.  He licks and loves with gusto.  And then, just when a moment of peace drifts over our space and I look around to admire him, I discover yet another decapitated plug. With a look of glee he grabs the piece and skitters out of the crime scene with his prize.

This is his third decapitation.  The first two were chargers for my IMac. I have been as careful as a new mom with crawling baby.  I keep him in my space - where ever that is at the moment.  I block and hide the cords and put nearly everything out of reach, but he becomes a tricky little devil whenever I have a moment of lapse.  Henry then switches from adorable puppy to the three headed dog of Harry Potter fame.

I guess if I asked Hagrid, he would tell me to play music.  Although that worked for Harry, Ron and Hermione, that doesn't seem to be working out for me.  Plug fun behind him, Henry is currently sleeping the sleep of innocence, but he cannot fool me, I see those spiky little devil horns poking out of his sweet furry head.

Just a quick update - Henry is up again and back at work.  His puppy pet will never bark or walk again.  Henry will, undoubtedly, keep dragging the poor thing around trying to get a reaction from the little guy to no avail.

The three headed dog strikes again without mercy and without thought of the consequences! Poor little mechanical pet.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


If you have already achieved that higher level of puppy training - the companion dog - you probably cannot sympathize with my glee when Otto and Henry achieved animal bliss: a warm and snuggy nap together.  Vivika came by to check it out, but decided it was definitely a "just boys" event.  She gave a little hiss and padded off to find her human male at his computer.  Looking at the photos, I still cannot believe it really happened.  I may awaken to find it was a dream, but it was a great one.Normally Henry is like a little buzz saw with Otto (the braver of my two cats).  Otto comes within Henry's radar and Henry is off with tail wagging and hopes of a friend to play with.  Maybe he is finally learning that cats will tolerate dogs within touch distance when dogs are not behaving like dogs.

Lick 'em and leave 'em

Henry is curled up on his blanket sleeping the sleep of innocence.  Really ... and no,  he still has not killed his pet dog.  Although he may have attempted the murder on multiple occasions.

Henry had a tap on the front door from the mail carrier and he bolted out to give a ton of kisses with tail wagging madly.  Responding to a knock on the side door, he bolted again and wagged madly attempting to give kisses to the fellow trimming our hedge. Lucky thing that the gate was blocked with debris and the feeling-the-love connection was so strong with the yard guy.  Otherwise Henry would have been out the open gate and attempting to lick drivers passing on our busy street.

I must be doing something right. He likes everyone he can see. So if our house is broken into and he spots the intruder, all is well. The guy/gal will be slobbered upon. That'll show 'em. If he hears but cannot see, he will bark, cower and hide. That's our boy!

The yard guy and three of his helpers are doing extra trimming for us. The hedge trimming is incredible. The guys arrived at 8:30 and it is after 12:00. The thing has been trimmed to half the height (about seven feet now) letting light in to the surrounding plants but still giving us lots of privacy since none of our neighbors are eight feet tall. The hedge is mostly oleander so I suppose it will get that nasty little beetle which is killing all of the freeway oleanders. My plan is to continue putting in privets so it won't be bare when the oleanders die out.

It is amazing to me that we can have four people and their machinery in the back yard making noise, talking, dragging limbs and foilage to their truck in the front drive -- and Henry is oblivious.  This from the dog who jumps and skitters after dark when a leaf falls from a tree.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Yes.  I did forget to go to puppy class.  I didn't remember until Henry, Greg and I stopped mid-walk to practice.  It was a high school moment.  "Oh my gosh.  It has already started.  I'm tardy already!  I will not be able to get to the class until half way through - so all the teaching will be done.  Henry will be humiliated to have to dopiest human."  Next week is the test week.  We are going to have to practice like crazy.

Today!  University of Washington Husky football.  Naturally it will not be on the television in Southern California - but we can stream it with on-line radio.  I'm listening now. The pre-game show really sounds like that sequence from Big Trouble about the Gator Fans.  Henry and I are going to listen.  We cannot see the UW Husky, but maybe we will get to hear him bark.

In preparation of that manly sport, football, Henry can be seen here getting hyped up for the game with his puppy partner.

Big news!  Greg found the game on Root TV.  Yippee!!

Yae Huskies!  Henry ...  I mean UW won!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This is posted in honor of my sister, Karrie!  I know.  It is an absolute no, no to make my puppy too cute, but I could not help myself.  Henry is cute.

He is even cuter in his new blue hoodie.  I got it from Baxter Boo on line - and no, I don't get a kickback for the referral.

The hoodie arrived today - and in Whittier it is suppose to get to 103 degrees second afternoon in a row.  Not the best timing, but it was chilly here when ordered and it is going to cool down soon - please!

We are now ready for those cold morning walks -- and I am motivated to go back and complete that red sweatshirt I started!  The sewing machine is came back from repairs yesterday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Best Costume Ever

This is not going to work for Henry. Not the right body type even if he would put up with it....

I am very seriously suggesting this for my brother's dog, Billy. Billy (of Billy and Momo fame)  is appropriately long and lanky.

Henry could be a fuzzy little Ewok.

The really amazing source:

A Day in the Life (part two)

Where did I leave you...ah yes, the trip to the nursery for plants.

1:50 p.m.  
Henry and I hopped in the van and headed to the nursery for inpatients.  Naturally I understand that putting them in this late ensures a rapid drop in temperature.  That is the plan.  It has climbed to 103 degrees and I am ready for some chilly weather. 

 Henry is great in the car.  On long trips we do use the crate and he does not mind that at all, but on short trips we do the see-eye-dog in training deal.  He is on his leash and the leash is anchored with the shut passenger side door.  He has enough leash to get up and turn but not jump on the seat or distract the driver, other than by his over the top cuteness.

He also likes to travel in the shopping cart.  I anchor his leash so he can't jump out when overexcited by all the inevitable admiration (I know - it is just his human talking).  

So, hot and sweaty, we return home to find a box from PetMeds on our doorstep.  How exciting!  Time to turn on the air conditioning and open presents.  They always include a little something for the boy.

A Day in the Life....


9:00 a.m.
Henry and I picked up coffee and drove around one of our walk routes.  It clocked at exactly one mile.

9:30 a.m.
Henry helped me put stuff away around the house.  I'm thinking I need to set up a Henry safe sewing area.  He is already pretty good in my ceramic studio for some reason despite the temptations.  Somehow, my boy finds pins, bobbins and scraps are very, very interesting.

10:00 a.m.
We are going for our walk before it gets too hot. It is only 71 degrees now but it is suppose to get up to 92 degrees and that is too warm for much of a trek for me! Southern California has its advantages:  right now we have blue cloudless skies, tomatoes still flourishing, oranges and lemons on my trees - very tasty, beautiful flowers flowering in my gardens. So....I guess I should shut up and take Henry for our walk.  He keeps giving me the "Hey, Sue, what's up?" look.


We only went around the block.  Here is the problem:  Henry has no concept of human-in-charge.  No, it is not that he needs a potty break.  We usually potty before and after our walk since he is so distracted on the trip. He is so overcome by the smells and sounds that he freezes in place.  It is more of a "Oh my gosh, this is so incredible" thing.  Unfortunately, I am walking along at my (admittedly not fast) human pace and end up with pulled puppy on my leash.  I know I look like an abuser - I'm not, I'm not, I swear.

I planned our one mile trek - and only made it around the block. It took the same amount of time that the one mile does on a good day. Okay dog lovers:  what is up with that? Why does Henry zoom, zoom, zoom all perky and ready to romp on one day and the next regress to Henry the day-dream-dog? A leaf, a sprinkler puddle, a dog's bark, a car passing, another human passing. They all work, but even a nothing-that-I-can-identify, distracts too.

Sometimes a training treat is not even enough to get him going. He is now at my feet on his stuffed puppy cube in his innocent "I am not a threat to the cats" pose.  This of course is not fooling any animal in my house but he is giving a pretty successful impression of one tired puppy. 

We need a shallow burbling stream with a tumbled rock bed to visit off leash.  Then I wouldn't get the "I'm bored with this" sit-down-strike from Henry. Now that is something we do not have in beautiful sunny Southern California and Henry would love it!  So all of you  "I miss the sun and warmth" folks up there in the cloudy, drizzly, chilly north" just remember ... oh, wait a minute.  I wouldn't even be outside to enjoy that burbling stream, so never mind.

We will have lunch and maybe go to the nursery to pick up some impatients. They looked great in one of the yards Henry and I passed during our non-walk today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day After Grooming

One day after grooming handsome Henry is looking less frothy and a bit more Henry-ish.

I do like seeing his eyes because I now know when he is paying attention when we are training.  Before it was a complete mystery.  We have been working on the down and stay.  It seems to be going well -- but of course, that is without distractions.  I am not sure if he is exhausted from his long walk with me before yesterday's trip to the vet or if he is pooped from the emotional trauma of the bath and grooming after the vet visit.  Whichever is true, he is a worn out puppy today.

I intended to duplicate the walk we did yesterday but half a block into the proposed hour he parked his little hiney on the ground and looked longingly at home.  Just as well.  I forgot my coffee money and it is already heating up in an attempt to becoming a late summer hot one.

Monday, October 10, 2011


10:30 a.m.
We will see!  Henry went in to visit Dr.Throgmorton to have his stitches checked - it all looks great - and since I was there, I checked out the grooming center.
I do not want Henry's beautiful locks buzzed off.  I just want a bit on his tush gone, between his toes, and a little off where it overlaps his eyes.  Nails trimmed, ears cleaned. I like his furry fluffy self.  So, he is there until four-ish and I am having separation anxiety. 

This is the "before" shot.
12:30 p.m.  
No Henry - no walk.  We did one hour earlier, but I'm getting used to this out-with-the-dog business. Guess I'll go clean up the doggie stuff in the back yard. Yes...quality alone time!

2:00 p.m. 
The clock seems to really slow down with Henry at the groomer. I must go do something!

3:10 p.m.
Hum. Is this desperation? I went to JoAnn Fabrics.  They are having a sale. I got three dog clothes patterns: $1.00 each (they were $13 to $15 patterns) plus velcro. Will I make the clothes? Am I just finding excuses to not clean the ceramic studio walls? They have not called for me to pick up Henry yet. I guess they really did mean 4 p.m.   Please, please, please let them follow the no-cut directions!

4:30 p.m.
Otto, our male cat met the transformed Henry with distain.  "What the heck?  He looks like a pinhead."  I thought that was harsh.  

Vivika, our female cat had another take on the transformation.  "Who could possibly care.  He is a dog."

Greg voiced a comparison to a "David Bowie" aging rocker haircut.

They over-trimmed the bit above his eyes, but he can see and as for the rest, he has already chewed off the scarf and when his nap is over, he'll go out in roll in the dirt. He does look a bit like the halo is just barely out of sight right now. 

I asked to see the boarding facilities.  I don't know what I expected, but I was not impressed.  Thank goodness we have Marilyn and Kathy to come and visit our guys when we cannot take them with us.  The boarding spot comes highly recommended and it is top ranked in our city.  It was clean and well organized, but although no pups were crying, they all seemed incredibly sad and that's not how it is suppose to be.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Play Date part 2

We had our play date.  Henry got to play with a big dog.  Mostly he found a spot that matched his comfort zone. Dana's dog, Arlo is friendly if way, way bigger than Henry.  Otis was darling with Henry. He wanted to help take care of the pup and of course Henry was beyond "help".

Check out the bottom picture if you would like to see a comparison of size for the two dogs.  It was pretty amazing to see them together.  Henry certainly knew Arlo was the big dog!

Henry's Sweatshirt

You know you are retired when you enough time to figure out a sweatshirt for your dog.  A favorite bright red sweatshirt belonging to Stephanie was the luck winner of the lottery.  I started with finding a simple design on the computer.  It had to be altered to work with the sweatshirt but the site offered a fill-in form for Henry's measurements.  It simplified the whole process!

Of course the second thing I did was break the sewing machine.  I am so predictable, right?  So a break in the action was inserted to drop the machine off and to discover the Singer had acquired a broken cog that requires ordering - ready in a couple of weeks.

Back at work -- I cut the pieces and basted the parts together - undid the basting and cut the parts down smaller -- safety pinned the alterations together this time.

Check out the one on the left. The length still needs shortening and tapering in under the tummy.  Velcro or button will be added at chest and tummy.  Edges finished somehow and legs loosened a bit.

The nifty thing about the whole process is how patient Henry has been so far.  Who would have thought that the same pup who chews on my fingers every time I put on his collar is easy going and almost welcoming when I put the sweatshirt over his head and his legs in place?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Play Date

A play date is in the offing on Saturday -- we will see how that goes.  Dana has a lab who is perhaps as nutty as Henry. While Henry did get along with Kathy's big dog and Roger and Karrie's handsome old guy, Henry did need constant reassurances of his probable longevity.  He spent quite a bit of time hiding between my feet.  

On our walk today we met a labradoodle.  He was really big and very good looking and good natured - however, his boss was trying to train him to sit and not pull on the leash (who does that sound like?)  Thank goodness Henry is not that strong.  I'd never manage to control him.  She said that when she first started walking her dog they always ran, so now he always pulls at the leash and retraining him is really a challenge.

I must be more consistent or my future is set!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steak or Chews?

Under the category of: "Okay.  I should have known."

As we drive into the PetSmart parking lot it begins again.

Henry and I went to his fourth puppy class.  Emphasis was on review and the command "stay".  Thank goodness there were only two of the five puppies in attendance.  Henry was absolutely insane with a bad case of excitement.  He even growled and barked at the big picture of a terrier hanging on the back wall.  We could not train anywhere near the thing.

He regressed back to the first week.  So my training teacher shared a little nugget of sirloin with me.  Oh my gosh!  What a difference!  Henry still had focus problems--I had to swish the beef in front of his nose if there was another dog in the area.  With a sniff of that yummy fat-laden beef he snapped to attention.  Henry even did the "sit and stay" for his 15 seconds (we are working up to 30).  During his sit and stay Henry offered a series of little barks and woofs but he stayed. Nice.  I'm going to have to cook up some chicken to mix in with his training treats.

I am still working on it. He is a smart little guy. I am not giving up. This weekend I hope to have a play-date with Dana's dog.  Maybe if he gets some one on one play time with another dog he will be able to get more serious when we are training.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Water! It comes out of that spout and goes down here...he can hear, smell and taste it, but he cannot seem to catch the flow from the downspout to the drain. The rest of the shots were way too blurred to post.

Henry is experiencing rain for the first time. So exciting!  I am experiencing understanding -- I now see why folks train their dogs to stay off the furniture until invited. In an excess of joy, Henry comes in after playing in the rain and hops on Greg's chair then down and on the couch to roll and wiggle off the excess moisture.