Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mini D

Last weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Walter, one of Dempsey's little brothers.

As adorable as Dempsey is, it's even more adorable to have a Mini D, too. Mini D spent most of the weekend following his big brother around, doing what he does.

Walter is such a sweet little boy. He loves giving kisses!


I wonder if any other puppies need babysitting this summer? (Hint, hint.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Big Dog field trip

Last week, Dempsey went on a field trip to the airport, along with 21 of his "Big Dog" colleagues. It was quite a sight, seeing 22 dogs riding the light rail to the airport and then practicing their skills by the baggage carousels!

Dempsey did pretty well, with one exception: The quart-size Ziploc bag with containers of toiletries 3.4 oz or less. I told Dempsey that it doesn't matter if he thinks it's a dumb rule, he's still not allowed to rip open the bag and try to retrieve the toiletries one by one. Fortunately, we weren't going through security, so Dempsey didn't have to do any explaining to the TSA officer.

Obviously, we'll have to practice more to keep Dempsey off the "no fly" list.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


You may have noticed that this blog has become less funny as Doreen and I have become less incompetent. Loyal blog readers may consider this a negative, though there's a lot to be said for not getting pee in your eye.

So in an effort to improve this blog's sagging ratings, we introduce: Jesse!

We first met Jesse when the Helping Paws foster home coordinator asked if we'd be willing to have a play date for a new foster mom who was worried her little boy wasn't getting enough socialization with other dogs.

We said yes! We figured that any foster parent who worried so much about their puppy must have a very well-socialized, calm, confident puppy. We weren't disappointed.

The first time Jesse came to our house, he marched right in and helped himself to Dempsey's toy box.

Of course, being a little baby boy, Jesse got stuck, and Mom had to help him get out.

We had forgotten about Dempsey's raised water bowl, but Jesse didn't mind that it was a bit high for him. He just marched right up and helped himself anyway.

Jesse is even very talented at playing squirrel tug. I laughed at Dempsey when he lost to a little puppy, but Dempsey says he was letting Jesse win. Hmm. Here's the evidence:

We think Jesse will grow up to be a great service dog!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A real retriever

Long-time blog readers may recall that Dempsey used to be afraid of the water, staying on shore and barking at the waves.

Last weekend, just for kicks and giggles, we took Dempsey back to the St Croix river, tossed in a tennis ball, and watched in amazement as Dempsey jumped in, swam out, and got the ball! Dempsey is finally becoming a real retriever!

Sort of, anyway. You may notice in the video below that swimming alongside Dempsey is Paul, the paranoid parent, who was afraid that Dempsey might swim away, or get tired and drown, or get knocked unconscious by a piece of driftwood, or bitten by a rogue Asian carp, or whatever else Paul was neurotically obsessing about that day.

We didn't get videos of the whole afternoon, but every time Doreen lobbed the tennis ball into the river, Dempsey would dutifully swim out to fetch it, followed closely by Paul.

If Dempsey was embarassed by Paul's overprotective parenting, he didn't show it. He kept happily fetching for two hours, until Paul got tired, and Doreen had to drive everybody home.

What a good little dog!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Speak at last

When I was in high school, a guidance counselor came to class one day to give everybody career guidance. Using a high-tech "computer program" that asked probing questions such as "Do you like to lift heavy objects?", the counselor came up with the top 3 career choices for everyone. Mine were, in order:

1. Bartender
2. Dance instructor
3. College professor

Oddly, this list was somewhat accurate. In college, I worked one summer as a dance instructor. Specifically, I was a teacher's aide, and I taught 5-year-olds how to do the hokey pokey. The kids were impressed that I never got my right foot mixed up with my left foot, disproving Doreen's assertion that I have two left feet.

Unfortunately, no one over the age of 6 has ever been impressed with my dancing skills. This includes Dempsey. The first time I tried following along with Doreen's Cardio Salsa workout, Dempsey started barking as I flailed my arms and narrowly missed bonking Doreen in the head. Bingo!

We gradually raised the criteria by "dancing" less and less, and eventually we were able to get Dempsey to "speak" on cue.

There may be a future yet for me in dance.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Independence Day

Last weekend was very special for Dempsey: It was Independence Day.

In our ongoing effort to teach Dempsey values, we told him about the Declaration of Independence, and how our nation's founders wanted people to have freedom and to be able to pursue happiness. Smart dog that he is, Dempsey understood right away how important Independence Day is: He said that when he grows up, he'll help make every day Independence Day for somebody.

To celebrate this special day, we decided to take Dempsey to a fireworks-free zone, viz the drive-in movie theater.  We got in some good training in the arcade and by the barbeque grills, but most importantly, we had the chance to snuggle with Dempsey in the back of Jeep. Since he's not allowed to sleep with us in bed, the drive-in was a great opportunity to snooze with him in an approved fashion.

And sleep we did. The drive-in is a great value, since you get 3 movies for the price of 1, but unfortunately, all three movies this time were pretty bad.

The first was Furry Vengeance, which earned 8% "fresh" from Rotten Tomatoes -- exactly half the 16% that the much-maligned Sex and the City 2 earned. This movie confirms my theory that every movie starring Brendan Fraser is awful. (Which makes sense, considering he got his break as Pauly Shore's sidekick.)

The second movie was called either Twilight or Eclipse; I can't remember. It is apparently about a teen love triangle consisting of a werewolf, a vampire, and a zombie. Or maybe it was three zombies; sure seemed like it.

The last movie was The A-Team. If we had stuck around for this, I imagine I'd have a snarky comment about this one, too.

The good thing about bad movies, from Dempsey's perspective, is that he got more attention from us. Everything really is better with a puppy!