Thursday, December 31, 2009

Puppies of the Decade!!!

This just in, Couper and Godiva have been named puppies of the decade!!! Puppies of the '00's? Well, yes, but that is not breaking news. They were named that a long time ago. Nope, they are the puppies of the new decades, the '10's. That's right. A panel of independent experts have given the prestigious award to Couper and Godiva. So, the rest of you puppies can take the decade off and hope for the best in the '20's.

Happy New Year from the Poop!

A Christmas Miracle

No, nobody saved a life, or rescued a child from a presentless Christmas, or made a 7 course meal out of gruel and tree bark. But I think this ranks right up there.

Take a look at the following picture:

Looks like an ordinary stocking ornament on a tree, right?

Now take a look in a wider context:

Looks like the ornament is near the bottom of the tree. Nothing extraordinary there still, no?

Now look at this picture:

Uh, oh. Trouble.

Here is the miracle. That stocking stayed in that position on the tree for a whole month of December. We had bet it would be gone by the 3rd.

Top that Tiny Tim!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Dachshund Tree

The world's largest and finest Dachshund tree*. (Click on picture for larger view)

Merry Christmas from the Poop!

* Based on no actual research. May not be the world's largest or finest Dachshund tree. May in fact be the world's smallest and lousiest Dachshund tree. However, it is the only Dachshund tree we have, and it is a mighty nice Dacshund tree at that.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Couper and Godiva Give Thanks

This year for Thanksgiving, I have assigned Couper and Godiva to sit down and write about all the things for which they are thankful. How did they do that? We have a WoofToEnglish Didactic Transmodulator 3000 hooked to the USB2 port. What, like there is another way?

Couper: So, Big Buddy wants us to list all the things that make us thankful
Godiva: What is thankful?
Couper: All the things we like.
Godiva: Tail waggers?
Couper: Sure
Godiva: I have one!!! Yummies!!! Yummies!!! Yummies!!!
Couper: Alright already. I heard you the first time. Yummies!!!
Godiva: Ooh. I love yummies! They’re delicious.
Couper: I know, they’re like, yummy. Maybe we should list all the things we do to get yummies. Like poop.
Godiva: Pooping is fun!!! Daddy says so. He says it is because it is stinky and we get to use our hinies.
Couper: Yeah, I’ve heard him say that too. I never thought pooping was quite as fun as he makes it seem.
Godiva: But we get yummies for it!
Couper: Yup, so it goes on the list.
Godiva: I guess peeing should go on the list too.
Couper: I agree. Now that is fun. I get to pee on things like trees, and bushes, and patio lamps, and house columns, and your pee.
Godiva: Why do you do that?
Couper: Because I am top dog.
Godiva: Says who?
Couper: Says me, because I pee on top of your pee.
Godiva: Oh. I don’t really pee on anything, but it is fun, because we get yummies, if we do it outside.
Couper: Yeah, outside seems important. I’m not sure why we have to pee and poop outside all the time, and I only see mommy or Big Buddy pee or poop outside sometimes.
Godiva: Maybe we should list going outside.
Couper: Going potty outside, or just going outside?
Godiva: Just going outside. Sometimes we get a yummie just for doing that.
Couper: I know. It’s confusing, but I’m not complaining. Know what else is cool? When we go outside and only I pee, then we go inside and both get a yummie. And then you sit at the door a minute later and we both go outside and you pee and we go inside and both get a yummie again. That’s much better than when we go outside once and both pee and then only get one yummie.
Godiva: Yeah! Thanks for teaching me that one early on. Should we list that?
Couper: Nope. We don’t want anyone to know our secret.
Godiva: Yeah, like the refuse the first yummie trick?
Couper: Right, where I refuse to eat the first yummie, so then Big Buddy gives me a second yummie and I then eat both.
Godiva: Genius!!!
Couper: Thanks. Let’s not list that either.
Godiva: So what should we list?
Couper: Well, we get yummies for sitting. Let’s list that.
Godiva: Good one. I don’t get that either. We just sit and get a yummie for it.
Couper: I know. How easy is that. If they gave Big Buddy a yummie every time he sat, he would weigh 450 pounds.
Godiva: Good one, Couper. Should we list all the yummies we like?
Couper: No, that would take too much time. Hey, know what else? We eat din din too. I like din din.
Godiva: Me too. I’m really thankful when Mommy or Daddy crush a liver yummie in it. I like to pretend I’m not interested until they do. So it’s kinda like another thing that we get a yummie for.
Couper: Yeah, I get one too. Thanks. Getting a yummie for eating din din. That’s pretty nice.
Godiva: And breakfast too! Let’s list that.
Couper: Yeah, that’s good too. I hear Mommy say all the time that it takes longer to make our breakfast than her and daddy’s breakfast. It is a delicious breakfast!
Godiva: Especially when we get liver yummies crushed in it!!!
Couper: How about Sunday Lunch, you know, where we get a chew treat while Mommy and Daddy eat lunch on Sunday.
Godiva: And Saturday too!!!
Couper: I know, but they still call it Sunday Lunch for some reason.
Godiva: Daddy and Mommy are strange sometimes.
Couper: Hey, enough about food, how have we gone this far without being thankful for playing?!?!?!?
Godiva: Well, playing is fun, but I don’t get to do it much. You always steal my toys.
Couper: Yeah, and toys too!!! Playing and toys!!! Oh I like playing and toys!!! Let’s quit this goofy list and play with toys!!!
Godiva: I think Daddy wants us to do this list.
Couper: Oh, yeah. I guess we owe it to him. He plays a lot. In the old house, he even played with me when he was in the shower. That was the best.
Godiva: I like playing too, but you…
Couper: And while watching TV. TV is great because daddy will just sit there and throw the ball while watching. He also plays when he is brushing his teeth. I sit around the corner and push the ball towards him, so he can’t see me, and then he kicks it out to me. Man, I could play all day with toys!!!
Godiva: always take the toy…
Couper: And outside is the best. Mommy says we got this new house just because the yard is big so that I could play. I like playing!!! And toys, did I mention toys???
Godiva: So I wind up chasing lizards. Hey,what about lizards? I don’t like lizards. Should we list that?
Couper: I think we’re only supposed to list things we like.
Godiva: I like chasing them.
Couper: But you don’t like lizards themselves. Let’s not list things we don’t like, like doorbells, and strangers, and loud noises, and other people playing, and other dogs barking, and unreachable toys, and baths, and wind, and cold.
Godiva: Yeah, let’s not list vacuums, and loud trucks, and motorcycles, and birds, and bunnies, and when Mommy and Daddy leave.
Couper: Agreed. We won’t list those.
Godiva: I like to chew things. Can we be thankful for chewing?
Couper: Sure. Chewing is great.
Godiva: We could list all our chew toys, like bones, and rope, and rugs, and blankets, and sofas, and toes.
Couper: Mommy and Daddy don’t like it when you chew a lot of those things. Especially toes.
Godiva: So, they can keep those off their list. They are making a list too, aren’t they?
Couper: Not sure. They don’t like when you steal laundry either. Should we put that on our list too?
Godiva: Yes!!! I love stealing socks!!! That’s the most fun.
Couper: Got it. This is tiring. Can we take a nap?
Godiva: Naps! Let’s list naps!
Couper: Great idea. Taking naps with Big Buddy on the sofa or Mommy on the bed are the best.
Godiva: And sleeping in the bed at night. That’s the best too!
Couper: I like sleeping between my Big Buddy’s legs.
Godiva: I like sleeping on my Mommy’s legs.
Couper: Sometimes I like to crawl under the covers and lick Big Buddy’s legs.
Godiva: I like to crawl on Daddy’s pillow and put my head on his face. Hey, should we list these?
Couper: We’ll list sleeping in the bed. They aren’t as excited about the other things as we are.
Godiva: I’m thankful they take me outside to go potty during the night.
Couper: They aren’t as thankful that you do that either.
Godiva: No wonder I don’t get yummies for that.
Couper: Hey, I’m thankful for neck rubs and belly rubs! I’ve learned that if you nudge under Mommy or Daddy’s hand with your head, they automatically give you a neck rub.
Godiva: I really like belly rubs!!! I can lie on my back for 10 minutes waiting for one.
Couper: OK, those are on the list. Anything else?
Godiva: Walks!!! I love walks!
Couper: Me too! We get to bark and pee and poop around the neighborhood.
Godiva: I just walk, but I like them anyway. I like to pull Mommy around. That’s fun.
Couper: I went to Kindergarten to learn not to pull Daddy. You’ll go and learn that someday too.
Godiva: But you still pull Daddy too.
Couper: I know. That’s what’s great about Kindergarten, we get a diploma and the people soon forget.
Godiva: Wow, you are the coolest big brother.
Couper: Alright, anything else? Are we forgetting anything?
Godiva: Did we list yummies?
Couper: Yup. And playing. We have playing and toys and playing.
Godiva: Hmmm. I can’t think of anything. Can you?
Couper: Nope, not really…
Godiva: Hey, what about Mommy…
Couper: and Daddy!
Godiva: Yeah, let’s list them. They’re pretty nice to us.
Couper: They sure are. I have been in other houses where I didn’t get this much stuff and attention. I’m glad they found me.
Godiva: I’m glad they found me too.
Couper: OK, I’m listing them. I hope we’re on their list too. They’re doing a list too, aren’t they?
Godiva: I hope so.

(Editor’s Note: Nope, we’re not doing a list)

Couper: This being Thankful is exhausting. Let's go outside, go potty, get a yummy, find Mommy and Daddy, take a nap, and get a belly rub.
Godiva: Sounds good to me.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. As always, don’t dress your dachshunds up as Turkeys this week

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloweiner - The Worst Day of the Year for Dogs

Happy Halloweiner from the Poop!

Without a doubt, Halloween is the worst day of the year for dogs.

First, you have the evil looking Halloween decorations:

Then you have all the kids ringing the doorbell:

And worst of all, you have those humans who just have to dress you up in some sort of ridiculous costume (or worse, multiple ridiculous costumes) and then have the nerve to laugh at you:

It has to get better tomorrow.

Happy Halloweiner. And please remember, don't dress your puppy up as a Butterfinger Bar. It might get eaten.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scenes From a Spoiled Puppy's Birthday

Scenes from Couper's seventh birthday party...

The presents sitting and waiting. One might observe that the table on which the presents are posing is awfully short. I wonder if that will come into play. One might also observe the stuff on the sofa. Yes, that pile was previously on the coffee table. Professional photographers might have moved them out of the camera shot. Professional photographers might also charge you for seeing these photos. I call it an even trade off.

"Come on mommy, let's go!!! We've got presents!!!  Hurry!!!"

Somehow, Couper actually knows what presents are and assumes all presents are for him. I have no idea how he could presume such a thing after six years here. Couper also is noticing that the table seems awfully short.

The present on the far end is his "big present" and the one he is supposed to open last. Couper has different ideas.

From here, we miss Couper jumping on the table and knocking down a gift bag.  In retrospect, I wish I had taken a picture of that, but in real time, I was shouting, "Couper, get off the table!!!!".  Not sure why I should have been surprised by him jumping up there.  Maybe I was just reacting the way I thought I was supposed to react.

Dachshund head in dachshund bag leaving only dachshund hiney.  He does this with all the presents he gets.  We have a hundred photos like this.  It's amazing that we get to reuse these bags year after year for birthdays and Christmas.  The tissue paper is a little less reusable.

The "big present".  A puppy boomerang.  It says it is virtually indestructible.  We'll see.

Couper gets toys.  Who knew he liked toys.  A very interested observer comes over to check things out.  "When is it my birthday???", thinks Godiva.

And it goes on and on like this.  He gets lots of presents.

The loot.  Toys, yummies, and cards.  Yes, he got three cards.  Nope, he still can't read.

And that's it for a spoiled puppy's birthday.  What have we learned?  Not much.  I guess just that it is good to be a spoiled puppy.  Where do we sign up for that gig?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Couper!!!

Happy seventh birthday to our site's founder and inspiration, Couper. Applying the seven years rule, he is now unofficially the oldest member of the household. Since he took control of the house years ago, there is little to be added for this honor.

Seven sounds old. It seems like yesterday that he was four. However, he has had a much better six than he had a five. Last year at this time he was coming off a summer of tummy problems and starting to have mysterious yelps whenever his nose was touched. He was sleeping in and not playing like he used to. He took a lot of medicine at five. I was almost ready to concede that he would never be back to his old playing self again. Thankfully the last year has been much better. He is like a puppy again. So, his six was a redo of his five, therefore, now he is six. Let's hope it is as good as his last six.

By the way, if he is six again, that makes me the elder of the house once more (I am not like a puppy again). It's kind of like getting a promotion without a raise. Congratulations to me!

Happy birthday Couper from the Poop!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lizards, the Suburban Desert Badgers

Dachshunds are bred to hunt badgers. Their floppy ears and long nose are for finding them. Their long thin bodies and powerful short legs are for tunneling to them. And their intense stubbornness is for fighting them. Living in the suburban desert southwest, we do not have a lot of badgers digging up the landscape. Not to worry, our dachshunds have found a worthy and plentiful alternative. Lizards.

It does not take a long time living in the desert southwest to become acquainted with lizards. They are to the southwest what frogs are to the northeast. They hang out around houses. They eat bugs. They scurry off to wherever they live. After a few sightings, you get over the fact that they look scary, and appreciate having them around. Unless of course, your unofficial job is to protect the house and the people inside it; in that case the lizard suddenly becomes your mortal enemy.

Our two dachshunds have taken fairly different approaches to lizards. Couper will chase them if he sees them. When the lizard gets away, Couper will easily shift back to his primary obsession, playing. Godiva, on the other hand, now has no greater obsession than lizards. It has overtaken stealing socks and biting toes. It sometimes interrupts her desire to eat. Way too often, it interrupts all our desires to sleep.

We are not sure when or how this obsession started. One day she was a normal puppy (well, kind of normal). The next, she was Wile E. Coyote. Somewhere in between she discovered lizards, chased lizards, found that lizards were fun to chase, found that lizards were very difficult to catch, and became amazed that lizards could disappear (escaping up walls or in holes). Suddenly, she went on a perpetual hunt.

She now likes to sit at the sliding glass door in the kitchen, looking out back. All of a sudden, you will hear her squeal. There are two choices, she has to go potty (unlikely) or she has seen a lizard. So, we let her out in the off chance that she has to do business.

Anytime she goes outside now, she sprints to one of the two places she associates with lizards. The first is in the back corner of the back yard. Behind our big mesquite tree, there are some extra tiles for the roof, which the previous owners stacked up and left. In the middle of the stack, there is an opening that a chased lizard must have crawled in once while escaping Godiva. She makes sure to check that gap and both sides of the tiles to make sure that lizard hasn’t come back. When she exhausts that corner, she goes all the way to the other corner of the back yard, which is actually a paved alley between houses which leads to a gate to the driveway. It is essentially where we keep the garbage and recycle cans. Apparently a lizard has escaped from her in the gap under the fence. Only when those two getaway routes have been cased, will she then get to the business of going potty, or just as likely, go inside until she wants to check again…usually 10 minutes later.

This is all well and good, except she has taken it to the next level. Instead of eating, she likes to sit by the door and look for passing lizards. While she stares, and squeals, and scratches on the glass, we have to make sure that Couper does not swoop in for a second helping of dinner. It becomes a little exhausting. However, not nearly as exhausting as when she wakes us up in the middle of the night for lizard patrol. Nothing is more aggravating than having her desperately wake us up, taking her out to go potty, and having her only check her lizard getaway spots. When she is done, she sits calmly on the mat at the door waiting to be let in while we go out of our minds pleading with her to go potty so that we don’t have to go through this again in another 45 minutes.

As for the hunt, when she actually does find a lizard, she has found that they are a formidable foe. They are very quick, very good at changing directions, very small which helps in hiding under things, and can climb higher than a dachshund can reach. Very tough to catch. Almost impossible. Almost.

One Saturday morning I was sleeping in. Godiva, Couper, and Couper/Godiva’s Mommy had gotten up to eat and do whatever it is that people and puppies do on Saturday morning (I have no idea). At one point, I heard a bit of a commotion outside. Couper/Godiva’s Mommy was yelling and there was some clanging. I didn’t hear any ambulances, and the shouting was over in a minute or two, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. When I woke up hours later, Couper/Godiva’s Mommy and I had the following conversation.

Couper/Godiva’s Mommy: Do you know what your daughter did this morning?
Big Buddy: Who? Huh? What?
C/GM: Godiva caught a lizard.
BB: What? Really? Cool.
(I see the look of disgust on Couper/Godiva’s Mommy’s face. I quickly recover)
BB: I mean, oh no, really?
C/GM: She saw one, started chasing it, cornered it, and somehow got it. I saw her running around with it. I started screaming at her to drop it, but she just kept running away. So I got a rake and tried to scare her. I eventually got it out of her mouth, but part of the tail was gone.
BB: Oh, no, that’s horrible. {Oh my god, that is the coolest thing ever. I can’t believe our little Godiva actually caught one of those things. Those are insanely impossible to catch. I wish I could have seen that. I bet it was incredible. Hey, can Couper/Godiva’s Mommy hear this? Of course not! Everyone knows when I put stuff in brackets and italics like this, I am only thinking this…Just have to put on the sad face and not say what I am thinking…which is this is freaking amazing!!!}
C/GM: And the lizard was clearly hurt. I tried to get Godiva away, but she would not go.
BB: Poor lizard. {I knew Godiva was quick, but this is incredible! I mean, I don’t like that the lizard was hurt, but, hey, it knew what it was getting into, coming into Godiva’s back yard. My little Godiva must be some kind of athlete. I am so secretly proud of her. Keep up the sad face thought…no prideful grins}
C/GM: The lizard started climbing the wall, but stopped about two feet up. I had to fight to keep Godiva away, but the lizard was just frozen there.
BB: Lizard must have been hurt or scared. {Damn right it was scared!!! It couldn’t escape from my girl Godiva when it was healthy, what chance does it have now! I wonder if any other dachshunds have ever caught a lizard. I bet Godiva is the first ever. I am so proud of her….must..keep… frowning…}
C/GM: So I had to push the lizard along with the rake until it got over the fence into the neighbor’s side.
BB: You mean the neighbors with the dachshund, puggle, and golden retriever?
C/GM: Yes.
BB: Oh. I’m sure it is fine.
C/GM: Anyhow, it was horrible getting that out of her mouth. Hopefully she didn’t eat the tail.
BB: Bad girl Godiva! {You awesome lizard catching dog} Don’t eat the lizards!

Eventually as time passed, I confessed to Couper/Godiva’s Mommy about how cool I thought it was that Godiva was able to catch the lizard. She decided that since I thought it was so cool, I could get it away from her next time. So, hopefully there will be no next time. Godiva’s proven her point. No need to repeat it. Anyhow, we like lizards. They eat bugs.

In the meantime, catching the lizard has done nothing to quench Godiva’s thirst for the chase. If anything, she is even more obsessed. At least our laundry is safer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Day at the Races

I’ve always wanted to get into professional sports. With limited height, speed, and talent, my dreams of entering as a participant were shot down early. With a limited bankroll and limited earning potential (the Powerball basically, and that won’t cut it either) my dreams of ownership were shot down years ago too. I’ve sized up unborn children, and they do not look promising either. That leaves two options. The first is streaking across a major league baseball field. The second is racing our dogs. Thankfully we have dachshunds and not some non-racing breed like collies or corgis. So, with that in mind, Couper/Godiva’s Mommy and I went to Wiener Mania at Phoenix Greyhound Park this weekend to check out the Dachshund races.

We decided that we were not going to enter Couper or Godiva in the races this year. Having never seen dachshund racing before, we wanted to check it out to see, (1) if we actually wanted to race them in the future, (2) which of our dogs (or both) we might enter in the future, and (3) if this was fun in the sun, or cutthroat competition. Despite the invitation to bring non-participating dachshunds, we went puppy-less so that we could spend our time scouting and not worrying who was pooping where or who was attacking whom.

As we pulled into the greyhound park (by the way, does every city have an ordinance that the greyhound park has to be in the lousy part of town?), we saw a lot of people had brought their dachshunds. Two things were readily apparent. First, these dogs looked like dachshunds, but they were very well behaved. None of the dachshunds were charging people while the sister dachshund was echo barking. This confused and amazed us. The second thing we noticed was how thin these dachshunds were. Every once in a while someone will say to us that Couper or Godiva is getting a little pudgy. We know they are a couple of pounds heavy, but we also are pretty sure they are tweeners, somewhere between a miniature and a full-sized dachshund. However, most of the dachshunds at Wiener Mania were way thinner than either Couper or Godiva. We were not sure if that was because they were trained to race, or if our dogs are just plain heavy. As we found out, these dogs were not trained to race. Couper and Godiva are now on a diet. Kindergarten (for Godiva at least) is also on the to-do list. If nothing else, Wiener Mania made us feel like the worst dachshund parents ever. And, yes, we paid money and gave up a Sunday afternoon to feel bad about ourselves.

The mania began with a dachshund parade on the track. Dachshunds and their owners essentially walked the 50 yards or so that some of them would later race on. It was the cutest thing ever. Many of the dachshunds were dressed up. Dresses, cowboy hats, football jerseys, wigs. I’m not big on dressing dogs, but in this context it was kind of cute. I could see Godiva’s Mommy’s brain spinning out of control picking out Godiva’s wardrobe for next year.

The website that we read prior to going showed 64 dachshunds racing in 8 heats. When we got there, the program showed 96 dachshunds racing in 12 heats. This was good news on two fronts. One, more dachshund racing. Two, a better chance for Couper/Godiva to get in next year. Entry is based on raising funds for the Adopt a Greyhound charity. According to the website, the top 44 fundraisers got guaranteed slots. The next 20 slots were drawn randomly. I am not sure how they got from 64 racers to 96. Maybe there was a massive tie for 44th. Maybe the entrants were so cute, they could not turn them away. Anyhow, we can only hope for 128 participants next year. Fundraising sounds difficult. We want to rely on cute.

A standard greyhound race is 550 yards which is roughly one and a quarter laps (I know this not because I know the first thing about greyhound racing, rather that they have “550 Yards” plastered on the greyhound starting gates – kind of like how things were labeled in the old Batman show – “Bat Computer”). The dachshund course was laid out on what would be the home stretch of the greyhound course. The finish line was the same, I guess so they could use the photo finish technology if needed. About 50 yards away was the starting gate. They used a smaller variation of the greyhound starting gate, with a lever to raise the gates in front for a fair start.

Each dachshund racer had two human team members with it. One person took the dachshund to the starting gate. The other person was positioned on a line drawn about 5 yards behind the finish line. The goal was for the dachshund to run from the person at the gate to the person at the finish line. Just prior to post time, the starting person held the dachshund on top of the gate to find their person at the finish line, each of whom was jumping, waving, and squeezing toys.

Now, in a previous post, I took exception to people who laugh at dachshunds. I still hold firm to those beliefs. However, these races were hilarious. Each heat was the same. Upon lifting the gate, one, at most two, dachshunds took off sprinting towards their person at the finish line. The other six or seven racers meandered out of the gate took a few steps, and then turned looking for their person behind the starting gate. Rarely did any amount of encouragement from the starting person or the finish line person help these dachshunds actually run the race. Keep in mind that the top two places advanced to the semi-finals, so in each race, there was a clear cut winner, and then a significant delay as the other seven racers were wandering around the starting line. After about ten seconds of racelessness, anarchy ruled. The start people would come out from behind the starting gate to move their racer along one way or another. Mostly they ran down the course and if they were lucky, their dachshund followed. The less lucky had to back track and either push or carry their dachshund to the finish line. Clearly our fears of this being cutthroat competition were quelled.

We took in three sets of heats (9 races in all). That, along with the two greyhound races they insisted upon having in between, took two and a half hours. That was more than enough for us to scout and get sun burnt. Total damage for the day: $6 admission, $25 dachshund souvenirs (they saw us coming), $0 gambling losses. I was thinking about wagering on the greyhounds. I figured I would try to pick the first race without actually betting. As they paraded the greyhounds out I chose what looked to be a fine athlete, #3. Strangely, on the board, he seemed to be the longshot. On the front stretch my #3 was looking OK (by the way, the greyhounds chase a mechanical rabbit instead of racing towards their owner – not nearly as fun). The first turn clearly pointed out my puppy’s weakness. He couldn’t corner. As all the other dogs hugged the inside rail, my dog meandered to the outside rail. Race over. He finished dead last. Made Santa’s Little Helper look like Secretariat. In the long run, it was good, because he taught me a valuable lesson: don’t bet money on something you think you might know about, but really don’t have the slightest clue about (though, to my credit, I did say that #4 looked feisty and he wound up winning the race). Or as they say in the mob, “never bet on anything youse don’t know the outcome of beforehand.”

So, other than I should never gamble, what else did we learn?

We should have no problem entering Couper or Godiva in the races. We can’t do any worse than most of the competitors. Well, I guess they could run backwards. Or they could attack somebody. Those might be worse. However, in one of the heats, the winner not only ran to its owner at finish line, he kept going. Not around the track, which would have been cool, but over the outside rail and into the park’s outskirts. It took all of the greyhound stewards to track him down. We certainly can’t do worse than that.

We went into this figuring that Godiva would be our racer next year. She is younger, faster, and would actually run to her mommy. Couper is fast, but would really only run if chasing a ball. We figured throwing a ball was illegal, and, not reading any ruled, we still figure it is as none of the people threw one, and most of dachshunds could have used the help. However, there are a couple of things to consider:

  • The racers have to wear a racing bib. Godiva hates wearing anything. She still is not thrilled about wearing a collar. When wearing clothes, she practically shuts down. At best she tries to chew herself out of them. We would have to get her used to this or I will have to carry her down the track.
  • The starting gate. I am 99% sure that Godiva will get freaked out by this. Basically it is a three walled room and then the front wall goes away to start the race. My guess is that most of the dachshunds that meandered around the starting gate were pissed off about the starting gate and looking for the moron who put them in there.
  • The crowd. Godiva may get freaked out by all the people. She gets freaked out and hides when people she has met come to the house. We are not sure how she will react to hundreds of people laughing. On the other hand, Couper would probably try to take them all on.
I have a theory that we could get Couper to race if we have his mommy at the starting line, and she acted like the person next to her was hurting her. He would race down to attack. Yes, it may cost a few innocent people some blood, but we might win a trophy. It all evens out in the end.

So, we have 11 months or so to train and decided which puppy to take. As you can see from the photo to the right, training is well under way. Look out next May!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Daddy's Day!!!

Happy Daddy's Day from the Poop!!!

Rather than write myself a self serving, if not well deserved, tribute, I will relate something that happened just yesterday.

Godiva has been very picky about eating recently. We figure it is one of three things: she is tired of what we are feeding her (which, considering what we feed her and that making it is a four step process, she has little to complain about); she is preoccupied with her new obsession, chasing birds and lizards; she isn't feeling good. She has, for the most part, been her usual feisty self, so we think she is OK, but she has been a little bit more cuddly lately.

So to rule out an upset tummy, we decided to try a trick that has worked with Couper. We take two slices of cheese (which either will eat, no matter how bad they feel) and fill it with Fortiflora, which is a pro biotic (think Activia - "I'm Jamie Lee Curtis, the bloating lady" - Hollywood is so cruel to actresses over 50). Anyhow, it works wonders for Couper, so we figured we would try it just in case Godiva was bloating.

The problem yesterday was with the cheese. One of the packages we had was already open and a few days past the expiration date. I opened it and it looked OK. It smelled OK. So, I decided to try one to make sure it was safe. Think about that for a second. I was the royal taster for our dogs. I'm no sociologist, but I am guessing in many other societies (and many families in our society for that matter) that things are the other way around; dogs do the life or death tasting for the humans. Yes, reason 548 that it is good to be our dogs.

Anyhow, Godiva did eventually eat her food. Couper got a nice unexpected treat (make a Fortiflora and Cheese sandwich for one, you make it for all). And we all made it to Daddy's Day, despite the iffy cheese.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Godiva Gets Potty Trained (By Jove, I Think She’s Got It)

The alleged point of this blog is to document our dogs’ events for future amusement or to use as a learning tool. Say the event is that our puppy is now potty trained. Now say that we got a puppy somewhere down the line (not in the near future, thank you). We could then go back to our blog and find exactly how we accomplished potty training with our previous puppies.

Guess what? You’ll never guess. Not in a million years. Give up? Godiva is potty trained. Unless we ignore her for hours on end, she does all her potties outside now. When she needs to go she either tries to get our attention and/or runs to the back door.

How did we do it?

/Crickets chirping
Uh, umm, ah…

/Scratches head
I guess it was, nope, wasn’t that…

/Stares blankly into space

I’m not really sure how it happened. It sure was not a planned coherent strategy brilliantly executed. It was likely more a bunch of random crap thrown together that somehow maybe worked. Kind of like Laugh In. So, what is this magical random crap?

  • Reward the heck out of her: Whenever she did a potty outside, we immediately rewarded her upon going back inside. It sounds like in and of itself, this would work. It might. Except that we made it confusing. Being softies, we also rewarded her if Couper went outside to go potty and she went along. This sounds like the following, “Good boy Couper for going potty outside. Here’s your yummie. Well, you helped Godiva, you get a yummie too”. Strangely, this somehow led Godiva to believe that she deserved a yummie any time that she went outside. Stranger still, she wants to go outside a lot.
  • “Encourage” her when she went potty inside. By encourage I mean, yell, point, say “bad girl”, stick her nose near the mess.
  • Take her outside constantly and wait out there until she went potty so that the chances are better that she will go while out there rather than inside.
  • Put down a pee pad in the kitchen and hope out of pure random luck she goes on it and likes it. This never really worked. She did hit it once or twice. Sometimes she came close. Usually she just chewed up the pad.

This, strangely, is the same way that Couper got potty trained. Amazingly, like Couper, Godiva demands to be watched while going so that she can be rewarded. Don’t normal people just send their dogs out and assume they went? Normal people are strange.

Godiva One Year Later

As usual, this is late, but on the first of May, Godiva has been with us for a whole year. So what do we know a year later?

  • We have documented many times on this blog that Godiva is a serial laundry stealer and finger/toe biter. This has not changed one bit. I think she steals laundry because she knows we will chase her, and she loves being chased. She bites fingers/toes for two reasons (other than they are yummy). One, to get attention. Two, when she has to go potty. Which leads to...
  • We are going to be like the networks on election night and declare her potty trained. All the votes aren't in, but the data is definitely leaning towards it. This deserves and will get its own post.
  • Couper is getting better with her, but still gets territorial with his mommy and me or his toys. Godiva can be very lovey towards Couper one minute, and then relentlessly chew on him the next. Her new favorite thing to do while Couper and I are cuddling on the sofa watching TV is to creep around the other sofa, poke her head out, and roar like a little Harley at Couper. On cue, he leaps from my lap (which hurts like hell, thank you very much) and chases her around the living room. This is often much more entertaining than what is on TV.
  • She still sleeps in her crate in the bedroom, but desperately wants to be like Couper and sleep in the bed. This is also a separate post.

Despite only being with us a year, it is hard to remember her not being with us. Sometimes I will talk about something that happened, say, two years ago and I will say something like, "and we brought the puppies, I mean puppy, we only had Couper then."

So, congratulations on making it a year Godiva. If you are good, we might make it two.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mommy's Day!!!

Happy Mommy's Day from the Poop! Couper and Godiva want to say thank you to their mommy for all the things she does and all the stuff she puts up with. Sometimes just barely puts up with. She is the nicest dachshund mommy in the whole wide world. They promise, if just for this day, to be good puppies and be super nice to their mommy. As for tomorrow, all bets are off.

Friday, April 3, 2009

DVD Review - Marley and Me

Marley and Me is the film adaptation of the book by John Grogan about the world’s worst dog starring the blond guy with the distracting nose from Wedding Crashers (Owen Wilson) and the popular girl from Friends (Jennifer Aniston). Owen and Jen (we’re all on a first name basis here) are newspaper writers in Florida who buy a discounted yellow lab as a test to see if they are ready to start a family. As it turns out, they buy the world’s worst dog. Marley cannot be controlled and worse yet, Owen and Jen do not seem to want to control him. Marley fails obedience school and then proceeds to destroy the garage, the living room, wedding rings, and baby sitters. Meanwhile, Owen falls ass backward into a newspaper column, and with nothing else to write about, he writes about his insane dog. He gains enough fame and fortune for Jen to quit her job and start a family. All the while, Marley grows older, but never grows up.

It all sounds like good clean fun, and for the most part, it is. However, I had two problems with the movie:

Problem 1. The ending. The movie is roughly 90 minutes long. Watch about the first hour. More specifically, get to the point where the family moves to Pennsylvania and enjoys their first snow fall. At the end of that scene, grab your DVD remote, click stop, eject the DVD, put it in the case, put the case back in your bookshelf, and enjoy your evening. The rest of the movie is Marley gets old, Marley gets sick, and Marley dies.

We saw this in the theater around Christmas when it came out. My sister and her family, including my 8 year old nephew had been out for the week. Of course my nephew loved playing with Couper (and Godiva too) and of course Couper was having the time of his life playing and didn’t know when to stop. By the end of the week Couper was exhausted. He was also throwing up, had diarrhea, and was very lethargic. We were afraid that he hurt his back and/or was having a re-occurrence of stomach problems that had plagued him the previous summer and fall. He was scheduled to see the vet the morning after we went to the movie. So I was already worried about a vet visit and concerned about Couper getting old and/or being hurt.

Right before the movie, we went to the puppy store in the mall. Being that it was Christmas time, I had been in the mall way too many times in the past month. There was a little male dachshund in the store that Couper’s Mommy and I kept seeing. Usually puppies get bought or cycled out, especially around Christmas, but this one was still there. At four months old, he was starting to get a little old for the store. So, when we stopped in the store that night (by law, we have to stop in the puppy store when we go to the mall), there he was again. We were sad that nobody had picked him up for Christmas. However, on the way out, we noticed that a family had taken our little dachshund out of the window and was playing with him in one of the rooms. We spent the next five minutes talking about how we hoped that family bought him.

So, going into the movie, I was already way too emotional about dogs. Finally, as the movie started I had a horrible thought. I remember having read the book and I thought to myself, “Uh oh, I’m not going to like the ending to this”. When I read the book, I stopped reading a scene beyond where I just told you to stop the movie. In that scene Owen and Marley go for their usual walk, but Marley can’t continue half way through and Owen has to carry Marley home. I was reading the book in a public place, and I knew if I read any further I was going to break down. I closed the book, removed the bookmark, brought it home, put it on the bookshelf, and enjoyed my evening.

In the theater, I began getting ahead of the film. How far are they going to go? This is a family film opening on Christmas; they can’t take the story to the end, right? How am I going to make it through this if they do take it to the end? The opening credits weren’t done, and I was already on the verge of crying.

They took it to the end. And I pretty much didn’t make it through it. The last half hour was among the most excruciating half hours I can remember. And even though I was a mess going into the movie, if you don’t cry at the end of this movie, you likely have no soul. Of course the movie spares no opportunity to make sure you cry. My questions to the producers/directors: Did we have to see the injection? Did we have to see Marley being put in the ground? Did we have to see the kids covering him with dirt? Do you even like dogs? Or your audience?

Problem 2. The plot sounds a little familiar does it not? Replace Owen and Jen with me and Couper’s Mommy. Replace writers with whatever it is we do for a living (I forget sometimes). Replace a yellow lab with two dachshunds. Replace a popular award winning newspaper column with a much neglected blog. Replace failing obedience school with passing puppy kindergarten as the only entrant. It is practically the same thing. I demand retribution for the theft of my story!

The theatrical release of Marley and Me made $215M at the box office. That is not including book sales, DVD releases, cable licensing, Pay Per View, and merchandise. What will we do with all that money? Make a movie of course. Since I am sure our new friends at the movie studios do not want to market a film called Couper’s Poop, so we’ll settle on calling it Couper, Godiva, and Us.

Who will we get to star in this blockbuster?

Couper and Godiva: Couper and Godiva. Yes, we are making screen stars out of our puppies. More money in our pockets. Hollywood will have to work their CGI magic to make them puppies. We are not splitting our piece of the pie with high priced doggie actors. Need more money to make it work, sue Grogan again.

Couper’s Mommy: Jennifer Aniston. I know, she played the similar role in Marley and Me. However, Couper’s Mommy likes Jennifer Aniston. I also envision that Jen is at the phase of her career where she plays a string of roles as the girlfriend/wife dog owner; just with different breeds each time.
For fun, let’s fast forward to the red carpet at the 2012 Oscars. Jen and her date Bubbles the Chimp has an accidental meeting with Brad and Angie. I think it goes something like this:

Jen: Excuse me. Oh, hello Brad. Hello Angelina.
Brad: Hi Jen
Angie: Hello Jennifer. Whatever are you doing here?
Jen: I am presenting this year. Best Director for an Animated Short…
Angie: Thanks for asking. Yes I was nominated again. Best Lead Actress for my work in Friends The Movie. I play Rachel Green. The critics adored me...said I brought depth and complexity to a previously dull one-dimensional character. Brad! Eyes front and center! I am the only starlet on the carpet! That Miley Cirus is barely legal! Anyhow, Jennifer, are you still working?
Jen: Um, yes. I just wrapped a movie where I play the wife of a Corgi owner called Corky and I. I start filming a movie next month where I am the wife of a Shih tzu owner called Shitzy and Myself.
Angie: Yes, my dress is stunning, thanks for noticing. It is a…Brad!!! Stop ogling that slut Jessica Alba! She is nothing but a home wrecker!!!
Jen: Yeah, uh, good luck…

Big Buddy: The late Bert Convey. Hollywood is going to have to work its magic again, but really there was nobody as versatile as the underrated Convey. In the 1970s and 80s if you needed someone to play the bad guy on Charlie’s Angels, you called Bert Convey. If were the producers of the Love Boat and you needed a swinging bachelor who had to decide which Landers sister to marry, you called Bert Convey. If you needed somebody to tell a few jokes and belt out a song or two on the Dinah Shore Show, you called Bert Convey. If you needed someone to wear a bad sweater and trade yucks with Dom Deluise on Win Lose or Draw, you called Bert Convey. So in 2010, if you need somebody who can play the owner of two dachshunds, you dig up the late Bert Convey.

We may not actually get such great actors for our film, but no matter what, our film will end better than Marley and Me.

Side Note 1: Couper turned out to be fine. Turns out he was just exhausted and a little dehydrated. Just for good measure, on the morning we were to go to the vet, Godiva had the worst looking diarrhea I ever saw. It was like eight colors. Given all the unknowns that she chews on and eats (pretty much anything she can get her jowls around), it is amazing she does not have diarrhea more often. So, we figured while we were going to the vet, we would bring her along too. She was fine as well. However, her poop cost us an extra $100. Nice timing Godiva!

Side Note 2: The next time we went to the puppy store at the mall, our dachshund puppy was gone. We are sticking with the theory that the family that looked at him that night bought him.

Side Note 3: The only other time I cried openly at the movies also involved my sister. She took me to Snoopy Come Home when I was 6 years old. The plot essentially is that Snoopy is called back by his previous owner, a little girl who is in the hospital. Charlie Brown and the gang have a big farewell party for Snoopy and all the characters start bawling. I completely lost it. My sister had to take me out to the lobby to settle me down. I probably should not be allowed to go to dog movies. The only time I remember weeping after a movie was when I saw Cocktail, and the theater manager would not give me my $5 back.

Side Note 4: This review is based solely on the theatrical release of the movie. I have no plans on getting the DVD. I am fairly certain that I will not be getting it as a present. The DVD may have fun extras or a “Family Cut” or whatever they do to DVDs. I don’t know and will not find out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Godiva!!!

One year ago today, God was taking it easy, when the following thought came to him:

You know, there's just not enough mischief in the world today. I don't mean evil mischief or idiots blowing crap up. I know there is more than enough of that stupidity. In fact, I really should get going fixing all that. No, I mean old fashioned honest to goodness fun mischief. Like stealing socks and running around with them. Or chewing things you're not supposed to chew. That kind of mischief. And only a special kind of creature can pull off such fun mischief without it crossing the line to bad mischief. That creature has to be the cutest creature in the whole world. Hey, look, there is a piebald miniature dachshund about to be born down there in Arizona. Her name shall eventually be Godiva and I shall give her the gift of fun mischief. Nobody could ever stay mad at her.

And so, Godiva was born. And try as she may, no matter how much laundry, or worse, that she steals, we can't stay mad at her.

Happy first birthday Godiva from Daddy (Big Buddy), Godiva/Couper's Mommy, and yes, even Couper.

(As it happens, I had to be out of town all is the saddest I have ever been. Even sadder than that time that I ... uh oh, I am quoting The Family Guy... we may have a new saddest ever)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Daddy, I’m a Big Girl Now

Godiva is done with puppy food and for some reason, I am desperately sad about it. Probably because it came too soon, in a couple of ways.

We were prepared to stop giving her puppy food after her first birthday in March. She was running out of her puppy food last week, so I went to the puppy food store for a final bag. However, they were out of the small bags of her food. All they had was a giant bag that would have lasted her until she was two and a half. The store clerk convinced me that 11 months is fine to make the full transition to adult food. So, I bought another bag of Couper’s food and headed home.

It isn’t as if she has not had Couper’s food before. From the first day we had her, she has tried to sneak over to his bowl to steal his food. I am not sure if that is because she preferred his food, or she just likes to steal stuff (like socks for instance). Just in case she preferred it, we always sprinkled just a little of his food in with her food. I am not going to miss getting two dog food bins out at feeding times, or buying different bags of dog food at different times at the puppy food store.

So why is this sad? Puppy food was the last connection we had to Godiva as a puppy. She is almost as big as Couper. She has been fixed. She is potty trained. She actually goes into her kennel when asked. She destroys things less frequently. Yes, she does steal socks and bite hands as always, but she will grow out of that as well.

There were many times during her puppyhood that we could not wait for her to grow up. Now that she has, we miss it. We reminisce about how little she was when we got her. We now laugh about her screaming in the middle of the night those first few weeks. It makes no sense. And now her puppyhood has ended a month too early.

But before she thinks she all grown up, she should know this: Couper is 6 years old, and we still call him our puppy.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Puppy Bowl V

Once again we here at the Poop encourage you to watch the big game on Sunday. Of course we are referring to Puppy Bowl V on Animal Planet.

And as with last year, we are disappointed that there are no dachshunds among the participants. However, unlike last year, we have a puppy dachshund this year. Yes, at almost 11 months, she is much older than the other participants (they seem about 10 weeks old), but who knows when this was taped.

Since nobody called, let's see how Godiva would have stacked up to Puppy Bowl standards:
  • Cuter than Cute: Check
  • Run around like a nut: Yes
  • Provoke other dogs: Yes and how
  • Play in the water bowl (filmed by the legendary water bowl cam): Whenever possible
  • Poop and/or Pee indiscriminately: Yes, especially indoors and on carpet (especially when 10 weeks old).
  • Tear toys apart: Yes, a specialty
  • Relentless (won't start something, get scared, and hide in a corner): Yes
So, clearly Godiva would have been an ideal Puppy Bowl player. It is Animal Planets' loss that they did not call.

As for the other game on Sunday, what should our puppies have been invited to play with the hometown Cardinals?

Well, Couper is a natural receiver. There is nothing he likes better than chasing thrown balls. Sometimes Godiva will line up opposite Couper just like a cornerback on a receiver. No matter that Godiva may have the speed advantage, Couper uses his strength and desire to get the ball (often while being interfered with - Godiva is not big on rules).

So, obviously Godiva would not be a cornerback. Her best position would probably be running back. She is great at taking an object, running with it, and eluding people wanting to take the object away. Usually that object is a sock, but the coaching staff could convince her that she is not allowed to have the ball. On the down side, she does not always run forward.

Unfortunately, neither Couper or Godiva were called to play in that game either. The Cards will have to make due with Larry Fitzgerald and Edgerrin James. Good luck with that. It's probably just as well. I would cringe at the Steelers hitting my little buddies.