Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Onesie v. Top Clip Harness - a video comparison

You know how I said putting on my top clip harness is a fun wrestling match every time? Well, I thought I'd make a movie to show you what I mean.

I had momma help me into my Onesie and then my Top Clip.

Check it out here or below and let me know which looks better to you.

 After we made this movie, I told Momma she would feel better if we took a longer walkie out in the fresh air. I was wrong. Sorry, Momma.

 Dexter done!

P.S. From Momma - There's no such thing as a "no pull" anything. If your dog is acting like he's attached to a sled, no harness is going to help. Dexter only does that when he's headed into daycare, in a strange place or pointed towards the swimming pool. Otherwise, our main disagreements are over how long to sniff in one spot, or what pace to set and a slight tug brings us back into alignment (I owe this to lots of training and the fact that he's a lab - which makes him kind of a suck up).

Yes, when he spots a coyote (yikes) or rabbit he goes cracker dog mental fits, but that doesn't count as leash pulling, right?

For walking comfort, I would rate the onesie and the top clip about equal. His clip on is a Cetacea Step-In.  His Onesie is a Harness Lead.

I purchased the Harness Lead from the vendor and the Step-In at a local pet supply store. They were about the same price.

I prefer the traditional harness if I am taking him someplace where I will be unleashing him (like to visit a pal) because I can clip and unclip the leash without fussing. But, as you can see in the video, the onesie is significantly easier to get on (and off).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Higher Education

Momma has had some sickies which means she is boring. There's no other way to put it. She just lays about in bed all day long. Luckily for yours truly, we managed an adventure walkie prior to her retreat to her sick room, so here goes.

First I need to show you my new harness. I thought it would be nice to compare a regular harness to the onesie, you know, just to see if they are different.

Momma likes the onesie better, but to be honest I prefer the new one. Why? Because when it is time to put it on, momma gets down on the floor and starts pulling on my leggies which means.... WRESTLE MANIA! Wow! That is fun EVERY time!

But on to the topic of the day, which is what, I wonder, is meant by the phrase "higher education."

I deduced a trip to our local university would answer that question once and for all.

To get there, we needed to cross the highway. No problem for an adventurous chap like me.

We sure are high up!

And here we are. This sign sure is big. Note that I am an obedient subject for the flashy as momma had to drop my string to get far enough away to capture all the words.

You see what a good doggie I am? No cookies even.

It didn't take long to figure out that the "higher" in "higher education" refers to the location. We had to go up some mighty steep hills to get to the main campus. Momma claims that she was already feeling the effects of her sickies or she would have been able to keep up with me better.

Hurry up, Momma, we're almost at the top!

And we reached the summit! Quite a view. I can almost see the Atlantic Ocean.

I feel smarter already.

Our local university is a blend of old and new. This is a newer thing. It must be. Nobody would have considered this art 100 years ago. In fact, I don't really consider it art now (no, I did not pee on it).

But here we have an official old thing. It's so old, I think it should be spelled olde.

My Master would love to have those doors on our estate.

Being at the top of the world has it's hazards. The wind was howling! 

My ears! 

Momma always wants me to pose in front of these signs on rocks. Can you even read it? It says the university was made in 1855 and was a "normal school." What a relief. I would hate to think there was a school full of abnormal so close to our estate.


At the foot of the hill is this conveniently located shopping plaza with liquor store and tattoo parlor. Perfect combination for the college crowd.

Liquor and body art. What more could one want?

I apologize for my somewhat bland prose today. It seems that when momma's head is cloudy, my writing suffers. Something to wonder about on another day.

Momma, you don't look so good.... uh oh.

Dexter done!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Adventure Walkie

Momma and I sure are walking a lot lately. I don't walkie on daycare days, which are twice a week, so that only leaves five days a week to get out and get going. Even still, we're averaging 15-17 miles a week, momma and I, which is about twice as far as we used to go. 

I think we should make it an even 20, don't you? So today I told momma we need to go on another one of those "just keep going" walkies.

Sure enough, we reached our usual turning around point but we just kept going and before you know it, we had arrived at Simpson Park. Sorry about the sign being so bright. Blame it on the fact that it was a beautiful, sunny day. 

Simpson Park is located on the banks of the Sudbury River. It's close to where momma and master's original estate was. Legend has it that my human brother used to take young ladies here to go canoeing and they would come ashore downstream, on a little island for some teenager, recreation. Why not?

These signs were everywhere. I think it means, "don't eat fish here." I checked to see if momma had brought any fish along, but she hadn't so we were all set to explore.

I asked if I could go for a swim.

Momma said, "Oh Dexter, you can't go in there because there is a current..."

Then she stopped talking. "Current what?" I wondered. Something recent that makes swimming impossible? Imprudent? Unpleasant? 

That little exchange sure was frustrating for yours truly and you can bet I gave a mighty tug on my string. Whatever unfinished thought momma had, it boiled down to "you can't go swimming because I said so."

But life is too short to dwell on these minor setbacks and I was off to explore.

Further back from the road is a tree in the middle of a circle that somebody donated to the town (that would be the tree, not the circle). That road used to be Fenwick Rd (well, I suppose it still is), but it got cut in half back in 1955 when the Massachusetts State Turnpike was built. There's no bridge or anything, so now half the road is on one side of the Turnpike and half is on the other which causes no end of trouble for hapless humans seeking an address.

I suppose this explains why momma neglected to bring cookies on this particular walkie.

When did they pass a law about public feeding? Now I'm going to feel like some sort of miscreant every time momma straps on the bag of noms for our outings. 

I sure am enjoying our new walkie attitude. Momma says that every day she and I are both healthy we need to take pleasure in that and spend time together exploring the neighborhood.

Right on, Momma!

Back home, I "relaxed" with my weekly raw nommy bone. I used to have mine inside while Mango had his outside. Let's just say there were some "issues" between us regarding recreational bones.

But now that I am the dog of the house, I am supposed to have my bone outside and, frankly, I am having trouble adjusting to that idea.

Dexter done!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dish Washing


Is there ever enough?


Eat first, ask questions later, that's my motto. 

I officially get two meals per day. After each one, I like to relax for an hour or so to enjoy that brief feeling of fullness.

Blood rushing to digestive system... feeling sleepy...

But in the morning, before I can assume my position of optimal digestion, there is something I MUST do.

You see, each and every time Momma or Master touch my foodable bowl, I cannot help but wonder if their plan is to put more food into it.

Yes, even if I have just recently snarfed down the meager offerings I receive morning and evening because, let's face it, I'm a lab, I'm HUNGRY!

Momma has an annoying habit in the morning of handling my bowl after breakfast. Now, I suppose a less optimistic chap would just let this phenomena go by, but yours truly cannot help but recall that glorious day when I was fed not one, but TWO dinners (although momma was a bit angry over that saying that I had somehow tricked her into feeding me after Master had already done so).

But just knowing there is a possibility of more food sets my heart racing and so I cannot rest until she has completed her strange ritual.

Maybe this time...

Some days she just picks up my bowl, splashes around with it in the sink for a while and then places it on the counter (not, take note, on the floor because she says that way she will not be fooled again).

Did somebody eat cheese food last night and forget to give me some?

While other days she puts my bowls into the magic washy machine. Do you have one of these? It is a truly amazing (but confounding) apparatus. 

It sure smells great and sometimes there are even little bits of peanut butter on the knives or crumbs of other tasties.

Is that peanut butter?

Such a waste, don't you think? Momma says our magic washing machine has a masticator in it that eats the leftovers. I've never seen the masticator, but I've heard it now and then crunching and munching away on what is rightfully mine. 

How can she feed the masticator when I am clearly starving?

Today, again, I was disappointed. There is no pleasure whatsoever in hearing the words "Oh, Dexter, you just ate. Don't worry, we'll feed you again tonight."

Tonight seems so far away.

Dexter done!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Celebration of Slobber

Sometimes I wonder why humans can't just let doggies be themselves. So many doggies with cropped ears and docked tails and other cosmetic surgeries that long ago crossed the line from utilitarian into fashion.

But what really irks yours truly is when feckless humans bring home doggies and then are surprised, dismayed, dare I say, repulsed when their furry friends shed, track mud indoors, and, yes, even SLOBBER! 

My friends, Sherman and Leroy, recently alerted me to an abomination that is euphemistically called the "Slobber Stopper." As difficult as it is to believe, there are simpletons out there who bring home gigantic flapping flewed monster dogs and then despair when generous portions of slobber are part of the package.

What is a "Slobber Stopper?" I am posting the photo below in small size as just seeing it causes me to shudder because it is nothing more than a muzzle. Oh, turn away.

This is seriously misguided and abusive towards our big slobbery pals. Sherman and Leroy posted an eloquent chastisement of the product that you can read here

Which brings me to the topic of the day, that being that Sherman and Leroy have declared today "National Slobber Appreciation Day." 

To help me celebrate, I am bringing out some archival photos of my brother, Mango the Relentlessly Huge, who was big, simple, sometimes fun, sometimes a bully, and, yes, always forever a champion of slobber.

I am particularly fond of this picture as it reminds me not just of the artfully viscous stringers that he constantly sported, but also of his annoying habit of presenting his lipstick in most images. But, as he always said, "It's all Mango.... it's all good."

And who could forget the full out facial highlighting of fun time slobbering?

Admittedly, yours truly could often be found sporting some Mango overflow. I was never terribly bothered. That's the thing of it. Dogs don't think slobber is nasty. So why should their humans?

Even Mango sometimes managed to use slobber as art on his absurdly large head.

Don't think for a minute that your narrator is not capable of some discrete slingers himself. You might need to bigify, but I've got a darn good labradroolcicle going here.

Sure, I'm not really able to match the foamy, adhesive goo of a mastiff, but I can get some impressive drips going on occasion.

In conclusion, dogs are to be celebrated in their full dogginess, slobber and all.

Dexter done!

P.S. Do you want to sign a petition to put a stop to the Slobber Stopper forever? Just click this link.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Samba

I am sorry to have to share with you, that my friend, Samba, has made her final journey over the Rainbow Bridge.

Her Mom put up a wonderful tribute to her which you can read here.

Run free, little princess.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Walking to the Edge of the World

Our walkie routes are usually confined to a one mile radius around our estate. That doesn't mean that I can't make sure momma gets her exercise because we take twists and turns and detours and usually manage one and a half to two mile excursions (twice every day that I am not at daycare).

I kind of like the familiar. Having walked those same highways and byways thousands of times, we've got it down. We know which houses have scary doggies in them, which walkers are afraid of yours truly (momma makes me pull over when they go by), and where all the bad places are in the sidewalk that I have to slow down so that momma doesn't trip over her big clumsy feet.

But sometimes, one seeks adventure, right? So yesterday, momma caught the fever of exploration and announced that we were going on an Adventure Walkie.

When the one mile mark came along, momma said "Let's just keep going, Dex." Sure, why not? Let's see what strange things exist in the great beyond.

Strange indeed.

The first oddity was this wee little stuffie that had found its way onto the sidewalk. I've never seen a turtle stuffie before. I wanted to take it along, but momma did that whole "leave it" thing. I figured time to play the role of obedient lab. No sense bringing out grouchy momma so early in our adventure.

Stand down, momma, I'm leaving it.

Could it be that the humans get smaller and smaller as one gets farther away from our estate? The anthropologist in me was intrigued by the midget basketball court discovered along the way.

Vertical object.... I'm going to leave a little calling card once momma looks away.

Momma told me this wasn't a house, but a train depot. I think she was pulling my leg (OK, I actually don't really understand what it means to pull one's leg since momma pulls on my legs a lot, but never at the precise moment when she says that she is doing it). 

If that's a train depot, where are the tracks?

Another leg pull? She said this is the street where the ex-patriots from the UK must live. I don't recall any New England Patriots, ex or otherwise from the UK. I'm not sure they really have the knack of football over there.

I wonder if Bertie lives here.

MUD! We don't have any good mud at our estate. Wow! All soft and squishy and wet. I'm going to find out if we can build a mud pit in our yard.

Mud might be good to eat as well... let's just see...

And then it happened. We reached the edge of the world. It has to be the end since there was no more sidewalk. You can't see it, but away in the distance there was a sign that said "Welcome to Southborough." That's a completely different town!

We could have kept going and who knows what we would have found in that Southborough place, but I confess that the rolling hill into nowhere combined with the lack of sidewalk decided things for me. Time to get back home.

Once again in familiar territory, momma's land speed had slowed considerably. I was still ready to go. If she had just dropped the string I could have helped show those little blue people how to play ball with labratude!

Uh oh, I'm sure this photo will go in the "Dexter's Bottom" folder. 

A rather anticlimactic ending to an otherwise marvelous adventure. I was asked to pose in front of our butterfly bush which nearly took flight during the recent hurricane.

I objected strongly to the request to "just pretend you are examining the roots, Dex." I KNEW that substandard flashy wasn't going to show the precariously leaning bush to any good effect. 

Note in photo below I have temporarily assumed the blank stare characteristic of taking a brief trip to my happy place until the cajoling and fussing ceased.

Take the picture. This is the only pose you're getting today.

So there you have it. My big adventure to the edge of the world. 

Dexter done!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Harness Lead (with video)

I have long since stopped wondering why I must always be on a string when out and about. That's just the way things are.  But that doesn't mean I can't be comfortable and stylish. Right?

I found a new invention called a Harness Lead. It's a harness and leash all in one. Amazing.

Here I am modelling it. What do you think?

Except for the fact that it took Momma more attempts than I care to count before she had it on me properly, I will give it four paws up.

I love that it doesn't clang and jangle against my leggies like that sports bra I've been wearing for years. Since the main pressure is on my chest, no more gacking when momma and I have disagreements over what constitutes an appropriate amount of time to snuffle in one spot (momma has no appreciation for the limitless discoveries one can make on a single telephone pole).

If you think you want to try one out, you can order a harness lead directly from the people who invented it by clicking on this link.

Momma helped me craft a demonstration video. I tried to spice up momma's boring zombie voice a little by adding peppy background music.

Watch it here.

 Dexter done!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pizza Deprivation

I do find momma's concern for the wildlife on and around our estate laudable.

But sometimes I wonder whether giving them leftover pizza is going a tad too far. Surely yours truly is as deserving of pizza as the odd crow or squirrel.

If I hide behind these ferns I think I can grab those slices of heaven without momma noticing.

Dexter done!

P.S. Some of you thought that my previous post showed snow during Frankenstorm. Nope. It was just gigantic raindrops reflecting off the flashy.