Thursday, June 19, 2014

MISCELLANEOUS

Today I'm going to tell you about some of the stuff that's been happening around here.  First of all, on Saturday, Mom and Tristan and Marius went to the LL Dog Rescue Alumni Reunion Picnic.  I wanted to go, too, and so did Jane, but Mom said she could only deal with two dogs at a time.  Besides which, Jane and I were adopted from a different group.


So Mom took the two boys to the picnic, and Tristan got to see his foster dad, Jack.  They were very happy to see each other.  Later on, Marius got to see his foster mom, Linda, but she didn't really remember him.  Uncle Jack said this was probably because she fosters lots and lots of dogs during the year.   Marius might have remembered her, but if he did, he didn't show it very much.  Of course, Marius was kind of scared during the whole time they were there, so he was very quiet and stuck close to Mom.  Whenever he could, he sat on Mom's foot because he always thinks that is the safest place to be.  I don't know why he thinks that, but he does.







Mom paid some money so that she could get a photo made of Tristan and Marius.  The photographer tried and tried to get the two dogs to sit on a little love seat thing and pose nicely, but Tristan only wanted to watch what all the other dogs were doing, and Marius only wanted to be closer to Mom.  So finally Mom got in the picture, too.















After a while, there was some food to eat, but Mom only gave a few pieces of Sun Chips to my brothers.  She didn't give them any hot dogs at all.  This seems very greedy and unfair of Mom, but that's how she is sometimes.  The three of them left before the costume contest and came home so that we could all take a nap.  Mom especially wanted a long nap because she had to work Saturday night at a wedding reception at the gallery.














Okay, so here's some more news:  the security officers at the gallery are getting new uniforms, and they will start wearing them today.  The uniforms have men's ties for everybody, so that means the women have to learn how to tie a tie.  Mom bought a couple of ties at a thrift shop last week, and she wore one on Friday, which is "creative tie day."  It took her like 15 minutes and 4 different websites before Mom figured out how to tie the tie correctly.  She was so proud of herself that she took a selfie.

The other day, a tragic thing happened to some of Mom's money.  If you ask me, it was all her own fault, but she tried to blame it on Tristan.  Anyway, what happened was that Mom forgot to take the money out of her pocket when she got home from work.  So after she went upstairs to change clothes, she took the bills and coins out of her pocket and put it all on a little stand thingy at the top of the stairs. This way, she could take the money downstairs as soon as she checked her email.


But in the meantime, some Bad Cat, who was probably named either Latifa or Anderson, knocked the money off onto the floor.  Tristan, and maybe also Marius, found the money and started tearing it up.  Mom  rescued several pieces, and she took them to the bank, but the bank would only replace the $10 bill.  Mom says she has learned her lesson, and in the future, she will always put her money away properly.

Oh, and another thing that naughty Marius did was he got hold of one of Mom's shoes while she was changing clothes, and he chewed through the lace in two places.  Luckily, these were not Mom's work shoes, but she was not happy anyway!

Here's one other piece of news, which is that AUNT CHERYL IS COMING FOR A VISIT!  She's supposed to get here on maybe June 30 or July 1.  I met Aunt Cheryl last year when Piper and I went with Mom to visit her in Austin.  The other dogs have never met her, but I told them that they would like her.  I know I'm right about this, and I'm glad I'll have the chance to prove it to them!

Monday, June 16, 2014

WORDS FROM THE MUSEUM

ARCHEOLOGIST, PALEONTOLOGIST

If you are like me, you have spent some sleepless nights wondering what the difference is between an archeologist and a paleontologist.  Well, wonder no more, because I have figured it out, and I am going to explain it to you.

A paleontologist named Matt Smith
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

First, though, I will tell you how these two scientists are alike, which is that they both spend a lot of time digging in the dirt.  Some dogs also like to do this, as you may be aware, but apparently that does not qualify them to be archeologists or paleontologists, even if they dig up a bone.  This does not seem fair, but it's the way things are.

Trilobite Fossil
Photo by James L. Amos

Anyway, when paleontologists and archeologists do their digging, they are mostly looking for different things.  Paleontology comes from two Greek words that mean "ancient" and "creature."  So paleontologists study fossils and such things that will tell them how life forms evolved, starting at the beginning of the Holocene Epoch, which was about 12,000 years ago, and continuing to the present.  Paleontologists do not try to figure out how humans evolved, because that's what archeologists do.

The kind of thing paleontologists like to find.
http://www.amnh.org/our-research/paleontology    

When archeologists go digging, they are looking for things that will tell them about human activity in the past, such as skeletons, artifacts, and buildings.  The earliest items that archeologists have studied are stone tools from 4 million years ago that were found in eastern Africa.  The goals of archeology include studying human evolution and also understanding the history of various cultures.

The kind of thing archeologists like to find.


TORQUE (also spelled TORC or TORQ)

A torque is a neck ring made of rigid metal.  Smaller torques could be worn on the arm, but most torques seem to have been neck-sized.  Cultures such as the Scythian, Illyrian, Thracian, Celtic, and European Iron Age produced torques.  Iron-age Celts who wore gold torques were known to be of high rank.  Some of the finest ancient Celtic art is found in torques.


A buffer-type torc from France, 4th century BC


Men among the ancient Teutons, Gauls, and Britons usually wore torques as neck ornaments.  When the Romans invaded Britain, they liked the torques so much that they awarded them to soldiers for brave acts.


Reproduction of a Gaulish torque

PLINTH

Plinth is an architectural term for the base of a column, pedestal, statue, monument, or structure.  Lots of pieces of sculpture sit on plinths in museums.  The base of a cabinet or an audio turntable is also called a plinth.  


The most famous plinth of all might be the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London.  This plinth was supposed to hold a statue of William IV mounted on a horse, but then the money ran out, and there was nothing to put on the plinth.  For the next 150 years, people talked, but couldn't decide what to put on the plinth.  Then in 1999, a commission was formed, and they came up with the idea of putting various pieces of contemporary art on the plinth.  


Eventually, the 4th Plinth will probably be used for a statue of Queen Elizabeth riding a horse.  But that will only happen after the queen dies.  In the meantime, there will be a series of contemporary art pieces at the location.







Monday, June 9, 2014

DOG-N-JOG! by Tristan the Chihuahua

Yesterday Mom made us all get up early, and then after breakfast and stuff, Mom took me on a special adventure called Dog-n-Jog.  It was really, really special because only Mom and I got to go.  Last year Mom took Dorrie, but this year she took me.  And for the last week or two, we have been busy raising money to help the poor, homeless dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.  We got $265 total in donations, and Mom said I should thank everybody who helped our noble cause.

When we arrived at Dog-n-Jog, I was a little bit scared because there were lots of people and dogs and loud noises there, but I tried to be brave.  Mom said she was very proud of me because I did not snark at any dogs or try to bite any people.  I growled a little at some big, scary dogs, but Mom said she understood why I did that.

Okay, so here are some pictures of what we saw and did at Dog-n-Jog.  First of all, when we got there, the two-mile run was about to start.  All the runners and their dogs were lined up.  That tall, bald man with his back to us is Gary Lezak, who is a weather reporter on TV.  He is always the host of Dog-n-Jog, and he also has two dogs of his own.


All at once, everybody started running!


We did not run.  We went to look at all the booths, and Mom introduced me to some people she knew.  They were all amazed at how totally cute I am.


I checked out the pee-mail in the flowers and bushes, and I peed on some things myself, just to prove that I was there.


I met some nice little dogs.  There weren't very many chihuahuas there, which I thought was kind of sad.  But we saw several Yorkies, like this one, who seemed like he would be fun to play with.


Finally, we found this cute little chi girl.  She was there with her sisters, who were dachshunds.  They were all wearing lavender checked dresses.


Whenever we saw a big, scary dog, Mom picked me up because she did not want me to get eaten.  There was one couple there who had two Great Danes.  As soon as we got close to them, I started growling, even though Mom was holding me.


The man said his Great Dane liked chihuahuas, but I think he must have been lying about that.  Mom believed him, but she said we didn't have time for me to learn that it was okay to be with such a big dog.  Even if a dog like that didn't eat me, I think I might drown if it drooled on me!


After a while, it was time for the event we had signed up for, which was the One-Mile Walk.  When we were standing around, waiting for it to start, Mom took a couple of pictures that were sort of from my point of view, which is pretty close to the ground because I have short legs.


Besides worrying about being eaten by a big dog, I also had to worry about being stepped on by some person with weird-colored shoes.


Then we all started walking!  Mom carried me a little way until there was enough space for me to walk without getting crunched under somebody's foot.


After that, I walked the whole rest of the way.  I even walked fast.  Mom was surprised because she didn't know if I could walk that far, but I guess I showed her!


After the race was over, Mom and I sat around and rested, and we felt very smug, or at least I did.  Mom took a selfie of us.  She drank some water out of a bottle, and she wanted me to drink water out of her hand, but that was just weird, and I couldn't do it.


Then it was time for the Cutest Dog contest, which we were totally sure I would win, paws down.  But guess what.  There were like 30 dogs who thought they were the cutest, even though some of them were just ordinary beagles or boxers.  And one was an English mastiff with a frilly ruff thing around her neck.  What's cute about that?  It's just dumb, if you ask me!


So then the judges chose 6 dogs to be the finalists, and we didn't even make the cut, which was totally humiliating.  But the mastiff with a ruff made it, and a one-eyed poodle with a dyed mohawk made it.  Mom said I should not feel bad because she knew I was really the cutest dog.  To console ourselves, we went shopping, and Mom bought little costumes for Marius and me to wear next week at the LL Dog Rescue reunion.  Of course, I don't even like to wear sweaters, so I don't feel very much consoled by the idea of wearing a costume.


But speaking of costumes, here are the best ones from the Dog-n-Jog contest.  One man dressed his pomeranians up as flowers in a flower garden.  Then he had a watering can and pretended to water them.  Mom has seen this man at some other events, and he always likes to make fancy costumes for his poms.


This woman put a wig on her sheltie and a blanket thing over the sheltie's back that had all sorts of Wizard of Oz stuff on it.  The theme of the costume was "There's No Place Like a Forever Home."  The woman said her dog would put up with wearing anything, which seems pretty crazy to me.


And here are two collies dressed as a cook and as a plate of spaghetti.  The one who is a cook has a diploma from the School of Collie-nary Arts


These three entries in the costume contest were the finalists, but we did not stay to find out who won first place.  Mom said we should leave and go home before everybody started driving out of there.  Which was fine with me because my little legs were tired!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

UPDATE ON OUR KITTENS

Okay, so Mom went out Tuesday and bought us a brand new iMac computer, which is the only kind of computer we like to use.  Our old one was slow and horrible and was always getting pop-ups and stuff like that.  The new one will be much faster and more wonderful, and I am sure that I will be able to write much more splendid blog entries on it.

Sadly, Mom hasn't got the new computer set up yet because she still needs to save a bunch of files and photos and things that are on the old computer, so she can put them on the new one.  Mom could do all this faster if she didn't have that dumb job to go to all day long, but she does.  Anyway, while she is saving photos, she said I should use some she took of the kittens the other day and write a little update.  Which is exactly what I am going to do.

The kittens turned two months old on Sunday.  They have had their second round of shots, but they haven't got their rabies shots yet because they have to be 3 months old before that can happen.  Mom made an appointment for them to be spayed and neutered on Tuesday of next week.  All of them weigh over 2 pounds now except for little Chamomile, who weighs 1 pound, 15 ounces.  We think that she will be fat enough by Tuesday for the surgery, except that Aunt Tania likes for the girl kittens to weigh a few ounces over 2 pounds, so that the surgery won't be too hard on them.  So I guess we will see how much Chamomille weighs by Tuesday.

Here are some pictures of Cammy, as we like to call her:



Darjeeling, the other girl, is already over 2 pounds.  She has thick fur and makes a funny purring sound.



Earl Grey is the smaller boy kitty, but he already weighs over 2 pounds.




And finally, here's Pekoe, the biggest kitten of all.  He was busy playing with Tristan and Jane while Mom was taking pictures, so he didn't get very many made of him.


Mom will have to get some more pictures before we can put the kittens on Petfinder.  We hope they will get adopted right away because they are so darned cute, but you never know what will happen in these cases.

Monday, June 2, 2014

WE GOT A NEW DOGGY SISTER!

I've been telling Mom that we needed another bitch in the house -- and I mean "bitch" in a good way.  It's okay to have brothers, but sometimes a girl just needs a sister.  So finally Mom listened to me, and she started looking around on Petfinder.

"I really need a sister, Mom!"

First she thought maybe we should adopt a shih tzu named Libby from LL Dog Rescue.  Libby was supposed to like everybody and be very friendly.  Mom is tired of having dogs that get all barky and upset anytime someone comes to the house, so she thought Libby might be a good choice.  Of course, Libby was 15 years old, so Mom wrote an email to ask if Libby had any big health issues such as arthritis, which would make it so she couldn't go up and down our steps.  Libby's foster mom said she thought Libby would be okay with stairs, but she said Libby needed somebody who was home most of the time, which Mom is not because she has that dumb job now.  So we got rejected and couldn't adopt Libby.

Libby, who did not get to be my sister.
Next Mom looked at the dogs that the New Beginnings group had.  Those are the people who rescued me and let Mom adopt me, so we think very highly of them.  And by the way, it has been just over a year since I got adopted, because it was on Memorial Day last year that I came here to live with Mom and Piper and Mel.

A picture of Jane that was on Petfinder.
She has the shortest, stubbiest tail I have ever seen!

Anyway, there were at least 4 girl dogs that seemed like they might fit in our family.  Some of them were chihuahuas, but some were other breeds.  Mom thought it might be fun to have something different instead of having only chihuahuas here, but the main thing was that the dog shouldn't chase the cats and kittens.

Mom and Jane

Mom filled out an application Friday night, and then on Saturday morning, she and I went to a Petsmart that was a long, long way from our house.  I was the only one that Mom took because I am the most special of all the dogs.  Hahahaha!  Okay, well, the real reason she took me was because she thought some people might remember me, and also it was too much trouble to take all 3 of us.  Several people did remember me, and I got lots of nice belly rubs while we were there!

The first dog we met was a Yorkie named Harper, but Harper didn't seem to like being held by Mom, and she struggled all the time to get away.  Also, Harper had really long, thick hair.  We did not realize that Yorkies had such very thick, heavy hair, although we knew they had to get haircuts sometimes.  So we decided Harper wasn't the best dog for us.

Jane in our bathroom

We also met a tiny chihuahua named Daphne, who only weighed 5 pounds.  Daphne was very sweet and let Mom hold her and let me sniff her.  She had very pretty markings, which were merle blue patches on a white background.  Mom did not think Daphne would chase cats, so she was tempted to adopt her.

Jane sitting in our living room, watching a kitten

But the dog we ended up taking home with us was Jane, who is a rat terrier.  Mom was afraid that any kind of terrier would chase cats, but Jane's foster mom said Jane just ignores her cat.  Of course, we heard the same thing about Tristan, and it turns out that he does chase some of the cats some of the time, especially Latifa and Anderson.

Tristan and Jane playing

Jane is 7 years old, which is probably a year older than however old I am.  This makes her my big sister, both because she's older and because she weighs about twice as much as I do.  Jane had a sad history because she was with her human dad when he got killed during a carjacking.  Jane did not run off, but she stayed there with him, trying to get him to wake up.  After that, she went on living with her mom until she died, too.  The couple's daughter couldn't keep Jane, so she took Jane to a shelter.

Stalking a kitten

It happened that some people from New Beginnings arrived in the parking lot of the shelter just when the daughter got there with Jane.  They agreed to take Jane in addition to the other dogs they had come to pick up from the shelter.  Jane's foster mom really loved Jane, and she cried when we adopted Jane on Saturday.

Jane and Pekoe, the kitten

Jane is getting settled in here, and I like having a doggy sister.  Tristan likes having her here, too.  He and Jane already started playing together Saturday.  But Marius was not so happy to have a new member of the family.  He barked and barked at Jane when she first got here, and then he finally stopped barking and just growled when she walked past him.  Now he doesn't really even growl, so we think he is getting used to her being here.  Maybe someday he'll play with her, too.

Jane loves Mom already

Last night Mom let the kittens come out.  This was the second time she has let them out without making us dogs stay in a pen.  Tristan likes to play with the kittens and grab them by the throat and drag them around.  This makes Mom nervous, but the kittens don't seem too upset.  At least the bigger, braver ones don't.  The littler ones hide under the sofa and behind the entertainment center.  Jane and I sort of helped Tristan play with the kittens.  Every once in a while, Mom came and rescued one and put it up on the cat tree.  Marius mostly just sat on Mom's lap.  I guess maybe he thought that he wouldn't be able to do that anymore with Jane around.