Friday, January 19, 2007

Big Dog Blogging, My Favorite Blonde Edition

My old Golden Retriever Jackie died in September. I was very sad. I had been promising myself to take a break from dogs, with the three remaining dogs all well into senior status. I really didn't think I could handle the whole thing. Then the phone rang. It was a neighbor of my sister's who is a breeder of Goldens. She told me that she had a litter that she wanted me to see.

There were twelve puppies, and this one
ran right up to me. My heart was taken over. All my apprehensions disappeared. That picture was taken at the beginning of December when Katie (I let my niece name her, the full name is Katie Jack) was five months old.
Ever since I brought her home I have known what was missing while I was moping around after Jackie died. What was missing was the sunny and sweet disposition of the Goldens. We have been working every day and I am completely impressed with Katie's willingness to learn, her eagerness to please. That's a very Golden trait. I remember working through the training process with Abbie, the German Shepherd and it's a whole different world with a Golden. Katie isn't firmly convinced like the shepherd that people are either stupid or evil and need good dogs to point out which ones are which. The picture's pretty blurry because at five months the "sit still" muscles are not developed in puppies yet.

This is not meant to be considered as an expression of anything other than my continuing affection and admiration for the fine ladies (and couple of guys) over at Blondesense. Far from it, Liz, Jersey Cynic, and the irrepressible Ms. Mule of East Jesus Missouri are still among my very favorites when it comes to blondes. But, alas, there can be only one true favorite and my friends. . .Katie's it.
This is her this morning as she was attempting Doggie Hypnotism on me. She's right there by the kitchen table putting out the brain waves that are saying "Apple Crumb Cake is Good For Dogs"

Her theme song is, of course,

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore,
When the m-moon shines over the cowshed,
I will meet you at the k-k-k-kitchen door.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's almost platinum!

While I don't desire to own a dog (much to my housemate's dismay), if I had the room and the inclination I would probably choose a golden. Tolerably intelligent, but God, what beauty and sweetness of disposition!

Given that I don't have the room, my present circumstances probably call for something small like a West Highland White - reasonably intelligent, reasonably accepting of human strangers (for a terrier), nice looking (for a terrier), not especially yappy (for a terrier).

- oddjob

6:23 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Oddjob, if you don't have room for a "pack", get a cat. Dogs are pack animals and really suffer when they are alone. Cats, on the other hand, like having their humans around but if their human isn't around... eh, time to take a nap, big deal.

Or as the saying goes: Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

When I lived on a farm, a couple of dogs were nice to have around the place. Other than when they tangled with the skunks, of course. Now that I live in the city, I sensibly let other people have the dogs and rescued two wonderful loving cats from the gas chambers at the animal shelter (nothing special about one or two cats -- they don't associate with each other very much, cats are not pack animals -- I just couldn't stop with one when there was another beautiful cat who also needed a home before he got sent to the gas chamber). No, it's not the same as a dog, but they tolerate being left alone while I work much better than a dog would. And a cat purring on your lap is every bit as soothing as a puppy exuberantly letting you know that playing is far more important than every bit of that politics BS that's raising your blood pressure so much...

- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I realize one cat is a far better proposition than one dog. (Leaving a dog alone all day is a truly excellent way to make the dog psycho, and not in a fun way, either.) Unfortunately a cat's concept of physical pleasure is WAAAYYYYYYY too close to my concept of pain!

- oddjob (who in reality probably needs to get a couple of parakeets or canaries for pets if he's going to have pets)

8:14 PM  
Blogger Musings from Myopia said...

It's been too long since I visited, and your post has reminded me that I need a dog, more than a dog needs me. My wife isn't completely convinced, but I think it's time for this geezer to recover his youth and bring a dog home.

8:16 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there are rescue societies for specific breeds, there are shelters (i have a halfbreed's fondness for my fellow pound puppies) that all make coming home with a dog an easy thing to do. i tell people at AA meetings that my main goal in life is to be a fraction of the man my dogs think i am.

aside to tux: i spend time watching my barn cats (a mostly feral lot that) and they have a pride structure to rival anything you could find on the serengeti. there's a definate hierarchy (led now by the huge and dangerous barn monster) the young are fed and cared for by committee, the females do most of the hunting and most of that is done in teams of three and two (they are teaming, definately not packed) it's really cool to watch the ebb and flow of their society. they do a great job keeping the rodents out of the barn, the rabbits out of the truck patch, and woe unto any gopher with the gall to raise a head when the cats are on the prowl.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

great looking girl ya got there MB. Dogs are great. My guy is a Blue Heeler/Aussie Shepard mix and he is the joy of my life.

yo soy Horsedooty!

5:29 AM  
Blogger Red State Blues said...

I'm telling the Blondes that you're seeing other Blondes!

Congratulations on your new addition, she's too sweet.

6:19 AM  
Blogger konagod said...

Sometimes I think I'd be happy with a single canine. Like right now after I broke up a very loud screeching feline fight. It's OK, it's past time for txrad to wake up anyway! :-)

7:32 AM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

There's a saying 'one can never be too rich or too thin'.
Bullshit.
Better is 'one can never love too many dogs or laugh enough'.
She's certainly a cutie-patutie.
All my dogs and those of my family members have either been from the pound or were strays.
I believe dogs know when they've been rescued.
They ARE smart enough to know.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous shades of blue said...

p.s.
Last nite The Farmer had to have his chest cut open.
He's pretty scared.
So are we.
Any prayers/chants/good thoughts you all can send would be most welcome.
I'm heading out to feed cows.

9:29 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Now that I'm feeling better and back among the living, seeing that little dog's face was such a welcome. Man, she is a heart magnet! She already stole mine.

My little dog is very old. He's deaf and almost blind. Don't tell him that though. He romps around like he's a puppy still. I know he and I have not much time left together and you know how I dread reality. He is no longer affectionate or loving. He's busy taking care of himself. I do miss the return love of a younger dog and often wonder where the next little dog in my life will come from. Like you, my intentions are to have some break time between dogs. We'll see what fate has to say about that.

Katie, you are a honey!

9:43 AM  
Blogger JackGoff said...

What cute little sweetheart! :)

11:40 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i'ts nice to know that some of her inherent sweetness comes through on a cell phone picture. she really is that wonderful. today we were working on one of the hardest things in the world, sitting still while another dog chases a ball (it's an important thing to know for keeping the peace out in the yard) and she tried so hard. she tried hard enough that abbie noticed it and relaxed "german rules" ball playing which can get way to rough for a puppie.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the "shepherd" in Abbie took over?

- oddjob (who can easily imagine the torture a retriever puppy must feel upon being told not to retrieve a moving ball!)

7:52 PM  
Blogger nc gal said...

Katie is sweet. Her name fits her.
My Blackie is Golden Retriever and Black Lab and he is just a big ol' loverboy.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience with both black and golden retrievers has been that their basic temperament can be summed up in this sentence:

"Hi! I know I've never, ever met you before, but would you be my best friend forever????"


Meanwhile, I've once met a Chesapeake Bay retriever and had a wildly different experience (although I was warned by her owner that I would). Apparently they are not bred from the same parent breeds, and their temperaments are far, far, far less friendly! (I wasn't bit, but only because there was a door in the way, and all I did was gently offer my knuckle for her to smell if she wanted to.... She didn't!)

- oddjob

2:24 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there is a great passage in michener's chesapeake about the differences between chesapeake retrievers and the labbies. there is a complete and total change of temperment. the labs and goldens have an innate desire to please that the chesapeakes could give a rat's patoot about. they are hunting fiends though. i have seen chesapeakes launch off a dock or bluff into icy chunks in pursuit of a duck or goose. the goldens are not only outstanding water dogs though, they can be easily taught the ways of upland game. jackie was a quail sniffing machine who held a beautiful point. (p.s. i would rather go to the store and buy squab than ever stoop to canned hunting slaughters like our v.p. does. our quail out here are wild, and on their own turf, canny prey)

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is with that anyway????

Why not just go to a skeet shooting range???

Damn, that shit is weird!

- oddjob (who has never hunted and doesn't desire to, but grew up in Pennsylvania, so he "gets it", via unavoidable cultural osmosis)

11:37 AM  
Blogger Missouri Mule said...

Okay fine! I guess everyone is tempted by the allure of youth from time to time. If we haveta share ya with Ms.Katie, we will, but only cuz she's the very cutest little thang.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it is in the field where having your dog be able to restrain itself can be critical. one of the first times i took jackie out on a real hunt she was off at every shot, bringing back every bird or at least making a run on them. it was a good thing that i was with friends who understood that there was a rookie pup out there. we all had a great time, them ribbing me over how my dog needed to get other peoples birds because i wasn't a good enough shot to keep her occupied. i have never understood the canned hunt thing. it appalls me. but then, lately i haven't been all that much into modern weapons. i have a few very nice shotguns, all of them breakaway doubles (and some over-unders), but that's about as modern as i care to get. almost everything else is blackpowder. for me, it's more about the hunt than the kill. i even get a little perplexed by the ultra-modern-high-tech archery equipment. the sighting technology, the let offs that allow hellacious draw wieghts and a rapid fire capability that rivals bolt or lever action firearms. but, the game ranch guys are a whole other aspect of disgusting. the best i can say about them is that they keep some of the assholes out of my woods.

2:36 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

ms. mule, she is so sweet it makes your fillings ache.

2:37 PM  

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