Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kirby's New Favorite TV Show

Ok, well, it's sort of a show. I saw an ad for our cable provider's "on demand" channel for the local Humane Society. I figured I'd give it a look... Other than poor sound quality, the little video clips of each dog were really quite sweet and, of course, I wanted to run right down there and bring them all home. (Not until I live on a farm...) The best part was watching Kirby. As soon as the dogs came on, he was riveted to the TV. He stood there, tail wagging, watching the dogs trot around, pant and look sweetly into the camera. I'm amazed at the length of Kirby's attention span when he's watching other dogs on TV. Westminster has a similar effect.

The really funny part came when I pulled up the local "Pet Finder" channel. This one features still pictures of the dogs, as one would see them on the Internet. At first, Kirby showed the same interest as he did for the Humane Society videos. He trotted up to the TV and stood there wagging. But as he realized the big dog on the screen was staring at him, unblinking, unwavering, Kirby got a bit freaked out by the whole thing. He started backing up and barking. The picture changed. He approached. Again, the dog gave him an unyielding stare. Kirby jumped back and started barking again. My husband and I couldn't help but laugh.

We could have sat there enjoying Kirby vs. the threatening Pet Finder TV dogs all evening except it was getting late and we were worried his barking would annoy the neighbors. So we turned off the Pet Finder channel and called it a night.

Interesting sidenote: we found Kirby on Pet Finder. Photo rerun ahead...

Kirby on PetFinder
asking to be adopted

Kirby Last Month
asking to go outside

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sleep Barking

Baxter is a sleep-barker. Shortly after he falls asleep, the eerie barkfest begins... Because his mouth is closed, it sounds as if he were barking through a pillow. He usually starts off with a string of muffled "broowoowoof" sounds, but at times it can vary from puppy-like whines to haunting howls to deep, intense, growls. These vocalizations are usually followed by some serious foot and leg twitching, as if he were in hot pursuit of something or other.

I think Baxter's sleep-barking is particularly interesting because he so seldom barks during the day. Kirby, on the other hand, is quite prone to letting his feelings be known in an audible way, and he rarely barks in his sleep.

This makes me wonder if the sleep-barking may be a manifestation of Baxter's repressed desire to bark all day long... Does Bax just lay there all day, quietly, when he really feels like cutting loose at every noise like Kirby does? And if we're ever successful at getting Kirby to bark a bit less, will he start sleep-barking more often too?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Labradoodle or Griffon? Labradoodle.

More photos from Cheryl in Baja...

This is Kuma. Cheryl tells me she's a labradoodle who spends a lot of her day in the Sea of Cortez. Given the resemblance to Baxter, the shape of the nose and the lighter hair around the muzzle, I'm thinking she could pass for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon!

Either way, she makes a lovely addition to the Scruffy Dog photo collection...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Scruffy Dogs of Baja

Cheryl, our Ashland dog park friend and parent of Nemo and Paco (Kirby's look-alike) spends winters along the beaches of Baja. Occasionally she sends photos that brighten my rainy Portland days and make me ever-so-slightly jealous.
The latest email from Cheryl included a cheerful wag of the finger at my extremely delayed blog updates (I know, I know, work has been NUTS lately and 10 hours/day sitting at a computer is enough). She also included some absolutely charming scruffy dog photos.

This is a little 5 lb. dog named Minnie Me, she's about 5 months old and was rescued from the gas station on the highway. Cheryl tells me that a lot of Mexicans don't want female dogs and they leave them on the road or on beaches where Americans will adopt them. There is an American vet in her town who runs an all-volunteer clinic, and with the aid of another vet from Oregon does a lot of spaying and neutering. People just pay what they can, or not at all.

Chicita is about 2 years old and is a rescue dog. I'm guessing Yorkie mix.

Vaca is less than a year old and is also a rescue.

Boomer is traveling the world with his Dutch parents. He is not a rescue dog. Cheryl tells me he had a lot of fun playing with Paco & Nemo.

More pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

grrrrrrrr, I'm such a pushover

A dear friend just sent me an email saying she noticed the last time I wrote in my blog was January 19. She was wondering if I was OK. I had to think about it for a second...well, yes, I'm OK. But I just couldn't fathom that it had been that long. Where does the time go?

Writing in my blog is one of those expendable things. It gets put on the back burner when work or personal things become too intense. And, truly, it shouldn't. It is precisely those times when we most need to be creative, to share, to enjoy our own stories and those of others. Trouble is, all work and no play makes ScruffyDog a dull blogger. And it's been a busy work time.

I guess the dog moments that stand out most to me in the recent past are all related to the dogs telling me it's time to stop doing whatever I'm doing. They need a break from watching me work. Somewhere, down inside, I know I need a break too. I just forget, especially when I have looming deadlines to meet.

But it's not just about taking a break from work...Kirby has developed this cute-but-annoying habit of thinking that the second I sit on the sofa, he needs to go outside. You see, it's OK to take a break, as long as it's a break with the dogs. Breaks that involve, say, eating lunch or sitting down with a cup of coffee and a book or watching TV are not acceptable. Not enough action. I might as well be working, as far as Kirby's concerned.

It's like clockwork. I sit down to relax and moments later I hear this little grrrrrrrr coming from behind me. I ignore it. I hear GRRRRRRRR. Then GRRRRRRR!!!!!!! Soon Kirby's front feet are on my thigh, he's looking me right in the eye. GGGGGGGGGGGROwowowt! (see previous post re: dogs speaking English). If I continue to ignore him, I get a full-on barkfest, complete with ear-piercing, terrier (make that terror) bark that could wake the dead. OK. I give in. Of course, he doesn't really have to do anything. He just wants to go outside and smell the rain and lick the grass and soak up a little Oregon winter.

And I know it will continue because I always end up giving in. "What if he really DOES have to go?" I think to myself. Yeah, right. What a pushover.

Kirby just stuck his little head up through my legs to rest his chin on my lap. grrrrrr. He knows it's time to get off the computer and go out for the late evening trip to the yard. This time I think he's right.