Saturday, March 24, 2007

Holding sheep

Here's a view of one of Tomokee's massive hind feet, showing the double dewclaw[1]. While we were reading about Beaucerons, there was this odd phrase about how the double dewclaw helps them "hold sheep." Now, if you have a nasty streak (as I do)[2], you're probably wishing there was photographic evidence not blocked by COPA (ding-dong, that witch is dead!).

In yet another description of the breed, there was substantial detail on how herding dogs actually do their "thing." It seems "holding" sheep isn't what I thought (and we're all plenty grateful for that)... it means to maintain a flock in one place without fences. Ohhhhh, I hear you say, of course that's what it meant. How the dewclaw does its thing, they didn't say.

=== footnotes ===

[1] You can see the dog hair on the rug -- 1 week without clogging the vacuum, time to run it again, oh joy (see the 1-down post for details).

[2] My frame of mind can best be indirectly illustrated by the following bit of "humour" (yes, it's based on one's national origin, but I'm part Scots, so please don't whinge about it):

Q: Why do Scotsmen wear kilts?

A: The sound of zippers make sheep nervous.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dog hair: 1 Vacuum Cleaner: 0

Tomokee has never liked the vacuum cleaner. He growls and lunges at it whenever it is in operation. This is probably his way of getting revenge, in an indirect way. We noticed recently that our vacuum cleaner was sort of constipated. Actually, I'm not sure if constipated is the right word, since it was having trouble getting stuff into it, not out of it. The problem was that it was just stuffed full of dog hair, in all these places where we didn't know it had places. The photo shows the hair that came out of just one section. There was about three times the amount total.

Unlike the situation with Tomokee and the birdseed, there is no way to give the vacuum cleaner an enema. Bruce had to just pick everything out. The metal knitting needle shown is actually a useful tool for this purpose -- its non-business end is a small flat disc that can go in and loosen and pull stuff out.

We're now vacuuming up tons of stuff because it turns out that everything was being filtered by dog hair before.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ivan Pavlov, we salute you

When we walk downtown on weekends, Tomokee (a/k/a "T-dog") usually gets treats from the 5-Paw Bakery. He knows this and, in homage to the Nobel-worthy work of Ivan Pavlov, he develops one or more drool-cicles (showing here).

If you just saw the head shot, without the Alien slime effects, you'd just think him to be a noble, thoughtful creature, full of deep thoughts. With the slime-trail, maybe not. Just another CFO talking options or IPO.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"Loud all my playtimes"

Last weekend, we took a short trip to the Lake Tahoe area for some snowshoeing, and also enjoyed some fine dining in Truckee. So, Tomokee went for his first kennel boarding experience at the local PetsHotel. They gave us a "Pawgress Report" of his stay. All in all, he did just fine, although it was noted that he was "Loud all my playtimes". This probably goes along with the "He's not aggressive...just annoying".

On our way back from Tahoe, we did some brief shopping at the Vacaville outlet mall, where Bruce picked up a pair Big Dogs lounge pants. (I believe "lounge pants" are just a form of sweatpants with printed fabric). As you can see from the fabric design, they are very dog-appropriate.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Oh, the excitement of it all

We took our usual Saturday walk to downtown Los Altos last weekend, and there was so much going on, we could hardly contain ourselves. First, there was a gas leak, which brought out many emergency vehicles, although only one is shown here. Then a local airedale terrier club was out for a walk, both humans and dogs. They all stopped in front of the local Five Paw bakery.

Some of the dogs got overly excited and knocked over the sale toy box.