Basenji Blogging Tuesday - In Which a Correction is in Order

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Jackson has been with us for over 2 weeks now. Her training is coming along, but we feel that some formal obedience training is in order to help her socialize around other dogs, as well as teach us a few things about how to handle the training of an older pup.

So off we went to PetSmart to see what the current schedule looked like. While I was trying to figure out which class we wanted, one of their "trainers" approached me, asking me if I needed assistance. It turns out he is a retired Marine K-9 handler, who works at PetSmart part-time. He spent over an hour talking to the Smart Man and me about Jax, training techniques, how to correct specific behaviors, and more.

The first thing we discussed was Jackson's breed. We had some suspicions about her mix, since she's far too small to be a Boxer/Akita (currently about 35-40 lbs at 8 months). The Marine took one look at her picture and said "She's a Basenji mix, no doubt." Once we saw a picture of a Basenji, it became glaringly obvious that he was correct.

Purebred Basenji

Basenji Shepherd Mix
We now suspect the black around her muzzle, the not-quite-floppy ears, her big mouth, and her larger size comes from a handsome traveling man of Shepherd-like origin, but the rest is pure Basenji.

The good news is now that we know her breed, our training strategies can be adjusted and we'll be more successful. Boxers are members of the Working Group category, and Basenjis are members of the Hound Group category. They're sight hounds, which means she should never be allowed off-leash.

The bad news is they're also categorized as a primitive or ancient breed, which means she'll be much harder to train than the Boogie Dog was, due to temperament and age.

Live and learn, and let the training begin.

Miscellaneous Monday

Monday, April 21, 2014

Who let the dogs out

Having a young adolescent dog is far more time-consuming and tiring than having a senior dog. Especially an adolescent dog who has developed some bad habits that need to be corrected. If you need us, we'll be dazed and confused on the couch, mumbling, "Jackson, no!"

Fringe benefits

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying the fringe benefits that come with my support of my employer's accounts in Southern California? Well, I am. I've seen more of the Mechanickys this past year than any other since I left San Diego for Denver in 1995. I LERVE that about my job.

Happy Easter?

As I'm sure you all know, Easter was yesterday. And Easter is a weird holiday for me. Because Easter is a Christian holiday in a way that Christmas isn't. Christmas is the Christian version of the mid-winter festival, which is also celebrated by many other communities for different reasons. And while Easter also has Pagan roots and symbolism (see: Ishtar and Eostre), Easter's status as a co-opted Pagan holiday by Christianity is not as well-known or internalized by our culture as Christmas. So it baffles me when people who know I'm an Atheist ask me what I'm doing for Easter. "Ignoring it" doesn't seem like a very courteous response (even though it's true), but pointing out the Christian entitlement inherent in such a question isn't appropriate either. Most Christians who ask this question don't mean it a negative way, and in fact are attempting to be inclusive. Since I have no desire to be an Atheist Asshole, my current strategy is just to dodge the question and move along smartly.

I'd be interested in how the other Atheists who hang around here handle this, as well as my Christian readers' thoughts on the subject.

2014 Flower Pr0n - A Rose by Any Other Name Edition

Sunday, April 20, 2014
So I was in Southern California last week on business, and we all know what that means - a visit with the Mechanickys!

It was cold and wet when I left, so I was happy to see the Mechanicky Gal's roses doing so well. And since today is kind of damp and overcast, I decided to liven up the joint with some Spring color.











C'mon, Spring!

It's Furry Scurry Time!

Friday, April 18, 2014
As you all know, we recently adopted a rescue pup named Jackson. She's cute as a button, and her manners are...coming along. 

Because we decided to adopt a rescue rather than buy a purebred this time, we're participating in the Denver Dumb Friends League's Annual Furry Scurry at Wash Park on May 3rd. The money raised from this fundraiser will go towards helping the DDFL rescue and place homeless pets with loving families.

We've set up a fundraising page for "Team Jackson," and are appreciative of any support we can get.

GO TEAM JACKSON!

Boxer Blogging Tuesday - In Which Introductions are in Order

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Several weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook about a young dog that needed a forever home. Her face was so sweet, I decided to try and find out if she'd been placed.



Hi.
Last week I finally had a chance to talk to her owner, and we made arrangements to go meet her last night. The result is that we now have a highly energetic, waggy pooch hanging around the house. 

Watcha doin'?
Her name is Jackson, and she's an 8 month old boxer mix. She has a few puppy behaviors that need some work (how to act around strange people/dogs, learning to "stay," etc.), but she wasn't surrendered because she was a problem. Her owners had to give her up because her dog mom developed an allergy, and they were very sorry to see her go. I really feel bad for them, but I also know that she couldn't have gone to a better home (if I do say so myself).

I must drag out ALL THE TOYZ from the doggie toy box.
The first night was pretty uneventful. When we put her to bed in her kennel, she cried for about 10-15 minutes and then settled down until morning. We've had our first walkies (about 50 minutes), and while she needs some training on-leash, she did pretty well for our first time out.

Welcome to the family, Jackson. You're going to be a good, good dog.

2014 Flower Pr0n - Now you see winter, now you don't edition

Sunday, April 6, 2014
So I was traveling for business last week, and left on Thursday morning. This was the view out the front window at the Big Yellow House about an hour before I left for the airport:

"Spring" in Colorado. Really?

When I landed in San Diego, I went to the Mechanicky Gal's house, because that's how I roll when I'm in Southern California. I mooch off my relatives for lodging, drink all their beer, and eat ALL the Taco Shop foodz.

After I was done working for the day, we took the obligatory tour of the property (accompanied by the fierce guard-cats), and I admired the flowers.




C'mon, Spring. I need some sunshine in my life.

And so the kleptocracy becomes our way of life

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I'm feeling especially cynical today. I think that's mostly because I'm now living in a society where it really doesn't matter if you're a good person or not, it doesn't matter if you break the law or not, it doesn't matter if you're a good citizen or not. All that matters is how much money you have.

Case in point the first: Professional cretin Richard Roberts IV, heir to the du Pont fortune, was convicted of raping his 3 year old daughter. Let that sink in for a moment. He raped his 3 year old daughter. He was convicted of this crime. And guess what his punishment is? PROBATION. Because such a delicate flower would not, according to the presiding Judge, "fare well" in prison.


Case in point the second: The Supreme Court struck down overall campaign contributions limits this morning in the usual 5-4 split. So the Koch brothers (or Jeffrey Katzenberg, for that matter) are able to pour their fortunes into political contributions to ensure they just keep getting richer and richer on the back of the middle class and the poor. You know, just like now but at a much larger scale.

Yes, I am apoplectic with rage, thanks for asking.

I hate the fact that the country to whom I gave my service willingly and conscientiously is now a fully formed kleptocracy. I hate the fact that I have no way of being an informed and contributing citizen in the society where I live. I hate the fact that my country - the richest country in the world - is now barely in the "civilized" category due to the undue influence exercised by the very rich. I hate the fact that the Constitution, the same Constitution for which I was willing to give my life, has been subverted to serve the privileged, rather than every citizen.

Fuck you, judicial system. Fuck you sideways. You're now just as corrupt as the other branches of government, and I weep for the Republic.