Monthly Archives: April, 2010

Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative. ~ Mordecai Siegal

Last Sunday (4/18) Sadie and I took a trip. We went here:

I had been surfing the Humane Society website for a couple of weeks. After work on Friday (4/16) I went to the Humane Society to check out some of the dogs I had seen online.

I was open to just about any kind of dog, but I did have a few guidelines: between the age of 2-6 (out of puppyhood but younger than Sadie), around Sadie’s size (she’s a strong girl and I didn’t want a new dog to accidentally get hurt while playing with her) and I didn’t want a Malamute (I felt it would be disloyal to Kishka).

Within minutes of arriving at the Humane Society I spotted a Malamute (he hadn’t been on the website), but I walked right past him. A few of the dogs I had seen online were much too small and the others all had some fault (dog aggressive, destructive when left alone, a barker when left alone, etc.) that crossed them off the list.

I moved on to the dogs that weren’t on the website and they all had issues, too (female dog aggressive, cat aggressive, not good with kids, etc.). I considered every big dog in the place until I could ignore him no longer…I checked out the Malamute.

He was a stray and not yet available for adoption (the Humane Society holds strays for seven days to give their family time to find them). He was around 4 years old. I received the information sheet on him and the handlers reported that he was sweet, good with other dogs and loved people.

I stood in front of his cage and had an internal dialogue with myself. One side of my brain was telling me to walk away because even considering this dog would be cheating on Kishka. The other side of my brain told me I was being ridiculous and that it was stupid to disqualify a dog solely because of his breed.

The dog was not available for adoption until Sunday so I put a hold on him. (Each stray can have one hold which means the person with the hold gets first dibs on adoption if the dog’s family doesn’t show up.) That would give me a full day to ponder my feelings.

I talked it over with some friends who are much saner than I am and on Sunday I returned to the Humane Society and met him. (Sadie was not allowed to meet him due to a canine flu outbreak, but she waited in the car.) He was a big, lovable teddy bear so I brought him home.

Luka

Within an hour of arriving home this happened:

Sadie and Luka again

My greatest wish came true: a dog that loves to play. (Sadie’s never had a live in playmate.)

Since the dog was a stray, he didn’t have a name. It took me a week to name him and I’m sure I drove my family and friends a bit crazy. Every day (or even every few hours) I had a new name that I was trying out.

During this week, I discovered a lot about him.

He’s very curious.

Luka

Luka

He likes stuffed toys (I’m so glad Sam’s extensive stuffed toy collection is finally getting the love it deserves).

I like the stuffed duck

I like the stuffed bear

Luka

He likes tennis balls (Sam and Kishka’s collection will again see use).

Luka

Finally, on Friday night, he told me his name.

Luka

It’s Luka.

For the past week I have been astounded that no one claimed Luka at the Humane Society. He is very well trained and a very well behaved dog in general.

When I brought him home he could sit, shake, lie down and he walks amazingly well on a leash (better than Sadie). He’s house trained and is fine in the house all day while I’m at work. He’s very quiet. He’s actually mute. He’s been here over a week and hasn’t made a sound: no barking and no wooing.

He’s very smart and has already learned some of the rules of the house (sitting before getting treats, not rushing the door, not accompanying me into the bathroom). He does love to jump up on people and I’m working on that. He weighs around 100 lbs. and could easily knock someone over.

He constantly wants to play with Sadie (he nudges her with his nose and play bows in front of her). I don’t think Sadie fully understands that he wants to play, but she’s coming around.

Over the weekend we went to the park to test his socialization. He passed with flying colors. I kept him on the leash since he doesn’t know his name yet, but Sadie showed him the ropes.

Sadie and Luka

They splashed in the stream together.

Sadie and Luka

And they explored on their own.

Sadie

Luka

I think Sadie enjoyed the canine company.

Sadie

Welcome home, buddy.

Got my eye on you

When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure. ~ Alice Hoffman

Today dawned cold and foggy. It was also drizzling. It was the perfect day to hibernate at home.

Foggy day

Instead, Sadie and I went to our park. The usual spectacular view of the foothills was hidden by the thick blanket of fog.

Foggy day

Seeing the hills rise out of the mist reminded me of the movie Brigadoon.

Foggy day

Sadly, Gene Kelly did not appear out of the mist to dance with me.

In fact, we didn’t see many other people at all.

Sadie

On a warm day the walking trail is filled with dogs and their people. Today we often had it to ourselves.

Sadie

Sadie used the solitude to enjoy a moment of quiet reflection.

Sadie

The park is beginning to show signs of life after a cold and snowy winter. Today I saw the first buds of the year.

Spring!

Spring!

There is also grass sprouting in the woods and Sadie sniffed every bit of it.

On the trail

Sadie

At one point she was so absorbed in the grass that she walked into a bush.

She ran into the branches

As always, Sadie enjoyed splashing in the stream.

Sadie

She even explored the waterfalls.

Exploring the waterfalls

Splashing in the stream and the mist in the air combined to create a soaking wet dog. Sadie paused often to try to shake off the water.

Sadie

The weather was no match and by the time we got back to the car we were both wet and muddy.

Sadie

Despite the weather related misery, it was a lot more fun than staying at home.

Sadie

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~ Anne Bradstreet

It was another spectacular weekend here. Sadie and I spent time at our favorite park.

View from park

We walked across the fields.

Sadie

Sadie urged me to stop taking pictures and walk faster.

Hi

We climbed the hill…

Sadie on hill

…and I sat on this bench on top of the hill.

Bench on top of hill

Sadie sat beside me.

Sadie

We both enjoyed the view.

View from top of the hill

We made our way down the hill and went to Sadie’s favorite spot: the stream. Sadie immediately got comfortable.

Sadie

A few minutes later a lot of other dogs showed up.

Stream full of dogs

Then the playing began.

Chase

Chase

Much to Sadie’s delight, another dog decided to play Chase with her.

Sadie

Sadie

Sadie

Sadie

Sadie and friend playing

Sadie and friend

After the game it was time for a cold drink.

Enjoying the cold water

A quick nap in the sun…

Sadie

… and a real nap under a tree.

Sadie

If Sadie could give the day two paws up, she would.

Sadie

The latest pair of socks are going very, very slowly. This is how far I’ve gotten.

yarn

Hopefully I’ll have actual socks to show off next weekend.

Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning. ~ Norman Strung

It was another gorgeous weekend here. When Sadie and I arrived at the park I realized that spring is finally here.

Unfrozen

The stream is completely thawed. The little waterfalls are all flowing freely.

Waterfalls

Another waterfall

Tiny waterfall

As always, Sadie jumped right in.

Sadie

She barked with joy.

Barking with joy

She splashed.

Splish splash

She enjoyed the ice cold water.

Enjoying the cold water

And she shook it off when she splashed it all over herself.

Shaking off the water

Sadie loves the water.

Sadie

We also explored the woods. Sadie loves to run through the woods.

Here she comes!

She loves it even more when there’s someone to chase.

Chase

We explored the fields.

Sadie

In the middle of one of these fields is my favorite bench in the park.

Bench overlooking Cheyenne Mountain

I love to sit there and admire the view.

Foothills

It was a fun day and when we arrived home Sadie passed out.

Sadie

I finished the socks last night.

Socks

Socks

My intent was to get the stripes to match as closely as possible and look what happened:

Socks

They match perfectly. I’m still not sure how I pulled that off.

Full details of the socks are here.

I love this yarn so much that I’m going to use it again for the next pair of socks.

Good To Be Girl

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