Monthly Archives: January, 2007

The worst day.

Maxwell Klinger

Adopted:  November 21, 1998

Died:        January 29, 2007



My sweet boy.

He came into my life on November 21, 1998.  I walked into the dog section of the Humane Society and locked eyes with a gorgeous German Shepherd.  At that moment, I knew that this dog was mine.

Yes, it’s a cheesy story, but it’s true.  I didn’t know anything about this dog.  Male?  Female?  Age?  Temperament?   I didn’t know any of these things.  I had never owned a German Shepherd before.  Heck, I had never been around a German Shepherd.   I just knew that this was my dog.

I soon found out that Max was around a year old and had already lived with three families.  He had no training and to sum it up:  he was a handful.

I took him home and my life changed forever.  

At first, all of my time and effort went into trying to control this 90 lb. bundle of energy.

He was housebroken and that’s about the only positive thing about those first few weeks.

He had a reaction to his vaccines and developed a huge abscess that required minor surgery and a round of antibiotics. 

Max ate people food wherever he could find it:  on counters, on the table, out of the refrigerator, etc.   He wasn’t shy about doing it, either.  It was obvious that no one had taught him that this was unacceptable behavior.  

He was horribly offended by my houseplants.  One day when I was in the shower, he knocked all of them over and dug in the dirt.  Of course, I had just watered them.   Then, with muddy paws, he ran all over the house.  

He didn’t like his dog toys.  He preferred to chew on shoes, furniture frames, furniture cushions and door frames.

I could barely walk him.   In fact, he walked me.  Think of those cartoons of a person getting dragged behind a dog.  That was me.  

He played rough and didn’t know that his teeth hurt me. 

I took him to obedience school.  He was kicked out.  Twice. 

The highlight of those first weeks was the day he consumed the contents of a tube of Krazy Glue.  Somehow, he suffered no ill effects.

The low point of these first weeks with Max was one sunny afternoon that I remember like it was yesterday:  I sat on my couch crying because I could not get this dog to behave.  He was out of control.    I considered taking him back to the Humane Society.

Then, I looked at him, sleeping on the floor, and decided that I would not do that under any circumstances.  I had made a commitment to this dog.  I was his fourth chance at a family.  He deserved a loving home.  I would do everything I could to train him and turn him into the dog that I knew he could be.  

It was not easy, but in time, I tamed the wild beast.  He was never perfectly behaved.  In fact, he was the ‘problem child’ among my eventual three dog family.  He was the one that would get away with whatever he could.   He was a free spirit. 

A year after bringing Max home, I went back to the Humane Society and returned home with Samantha.  Their introduction was rough, to say the least. 

They fought for the first 24 hours or so.   Then, Sam jumped on Max and tore his ear.  The walls of my living room looked like a murder had taken place.   If you look at the picture above, you can see the notch on his right ear where it was torn.

However, that bloodbath was the start of an amazing relationship between my two Shepherds.  They were best buddies.  Sam was the dominant dog and Max was (usually) fine with that. 

They shared food and water dishes, they slept curled up together and they loved to play together. 

In the past few years, Samantha (who’s 11) has been sleeping more than she used to.  Max never accepted that she would rather sleep than play with him.  He would often stand over her as she slept, barking and nudging her with his nose.  This would go on for several minutes until Sam would snap at him.   Max would get the hint and leave her alone.  But not for long.  Within a few minutes he would be trying to wake her up again.   Sam would snap again and this cycle would continue several times.  It would end in one of two ways:  sometimes Sam would give in and play with him and sometimes she would go hide in my bedroom. 

Max was my first German Shepherd and one hell of an introduction to the breed.

He was so intelligent.  And he was maddeningly strong willed. 

He was also so sweet and learned to be so gentle.  He loved to nap with his head in my lap.   Often, I woke up in the morning and he was snuggled right up next to me, snoring away with his head on my pillow. 

Max hated car rides.  Whenever I picked up my keys, he would make a beeline for the other side of the house. 

He hated water, but loved snow more than any other dog I’ve ever owned.

When Max was diagnosed back in November, I hoped for a snowy winter so that he would be able to enjoy the snow.  I knew that this was probably his last winter. 

Boy, did that wish come true!   This is the snowiest winter since I moved to Colorado ten years ago.  

Max loved to roll in the snow and to eat it.  His favorite snow activity was to just sit on a snow bank and watch the world go by.  He would do this for hours and be perfectly content. 

During the worst blizzards, he would ask to go outside and then he would just sit in the storm, getting covered with snow.   I would make him come inside after a short time to warm up, but he always asked to go right back out in the storm. 

Most dog owners are lucky enough to one day have That Dog. 

That Dog that you just connect with in a different way than other dogs.  That Dog that just seems to be totally in tune with you.  That Dog who spends days in bed with you when you have the flu.  That Dog who eases the pain of a broken heart with slurpy kisses.   That Dog that you don’t love more, just differently.

Max was That Dog. 

Max was not the perfect dog.  But he was the perfect dog for me.

He only lived 9 years and I only loved him for 8 of those years.  

More than anything, I wish I could have had more time with him, but I am so grateful that I had the years that I did.

He made me laugh every single day. He often made me crazy, but I loved every second of it. 

Rest in peace, my sweet boy.  Thank you for eight wonderful years.  I’m going to miss you.  Your paw prints will be on my heart forever. 

The feast and nothing but the feast.

Friday’s Feast:

If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?

Either the violin or the piano.   Maybe the guitar.    🙂

Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?

I don’t think I ever have. 

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?

9.5.  If someone tells me a secret, it’s going to take a hell of a lot to drag it out of me.  And even then, I probably won’t tell.

Main Course
What’s the closest you’ve ever been to a dangerous animal?

I used to work in wildlife rehabilitation and I worked with hawks and owls on a daily basis.  They may not be large like a tiger or lion, but they have the ability to do great bodily harm with their talons.  

When was the last time you lost your patience?

I honestly can’t remember. 


Ribbing.  Done. 


Maybe now these socks can get somewhere!

Last night, in the midst of procrastinating about the ribbing, I decided to patch my beloved Fuzzy Feet.  Three of them were getting quite thin:

 So, I knit up the leftover Noro:

Half felted it:

Then I patched the Fuzzy Feet and felted them again:

Viola!  Good (actually, better) than new!

Darling Kishka:

I think this picture of Parker is quite regal:

Knitting, critters and maybe you can help.

On Saturday, Felicia and I spent the day down in Canon City.  We attended the monthly Warm The World meeting and then went to lunch with the founder, Nan.  Felicia wrote a great post about our day here.     If you have anything you can donate, please consider Warm The World.  All of their yarn is donated.  They have no budget to purchase yarn.  Even a gift card to a craft store (Hobby Lobby, Joann, Michael’s) would be a huge help.  

My Emerald socks are coming along:

I was hoping to knit these faster, but I hate ribbing.   I really hate it.  With the fire of a thousand suns.    I need to just knit it and get it over with.

I was trying to watch a movie this afternoon, but someone kept flipping the TV to Animal Planet:

I snapped this picture of Kishka tonight:

 I took the picture on the fly and love it.  It really captures her personality. 

Feasting, animals on parade and a new sock.

This week’s edition of Friday’s Feast:

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?

The Amazing Race and Grey’s Anatomy.

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?

My parents.

How many pillows do you keep on your bed?

Five:  a body pillow, a king size pillow, two standard size pillow and a neck pillow.   I sleep with all of those pillows.  I don’t have any decorative pillows. 

Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you’d love to have.

An external hard drive. 

What is your favorite foreign food?

I’m an insanely picky eater and am not fond of very many non-American foods.   My favorite “foreign” food would be hard tacos.  I adore them and could survive on them.

The animals were particularly cute today, so (of course) I took pictures.





Kishka and Max:

The Emerald socks went on the needles earlier this evening:

Stick a fork in them.

Candy Cane Socks

What: Candy Cane Socks
Yarn: Knit Picks Superwash Bare, fingering weight. Dyed with Kool-Aid.
Needles: size 2, Knit Picks dpn’s
Pattern: basic cuff down pattern as outlined in Knitting Rules, page 144-145*
Date started: 1/10/07

Date finished: 1/18/07
Lesson Learned: None. I just need to be careful of ladders

Destination: my feet!

* Modifications to pattern: after 4″ cuff, I decreased to 60 stitches (from 68). Decrease was done over four rows. The heel flap was done on 30 stitches and the leg is 7″.

This is another skein of yarn from my dyeing session last month. You can’t really see it in the pictures, but I used 5 or 6 different colors of red/pink. The result isn’t really variegated, but there are subtle changes of color throughout the sock.

The next pair of socks will go on the needles in the morning. I’m in the groove now and can’t wait to start another pair.

Thawing out. Maybe.

When I went to bed last night, it was -9 outside my house.  And the wind was blowing, so I’m sure the windchill was much colder. 

Tonight, it’s 1 degree.  This is progress. 

Kishka looks cold:

Max had a Kong chewing session last night:

And then he konked out on the Kong:

The Candy Cane socks are on the home stretch:

A close up:

Sky, socks and furry friends

The frozen landscape for Saturday Sky:

The Candy Cane socks are ready for their heels:

A rare shot of both of the kitties together:

Romeo (the one on the left) is very camera shy, so it’s hard to get pictures of him.

Max and Kishka also enjoy hanging out together:

One of Kishka’s favorite things to do is to look out the front window:

She’ll sit like this for hours.  I think it’s absolutely adorable. 

Finally, here’s my Max;  enjoying the snow and cold: 

Feasting with dogs and socks.

Friday’s Feast:

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?

A pumpkin.

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?

I was actually very shy and quiet all through school.   Okay, I was a goody-two-shoes.     I can only remember three specific times I got in trouble:

  1. In 5th grade, I was caught eating Smarties on the playground.  I had to write “I will not eat candy on the playground” 100 times.
  2. In 6th grade, all the girls in the class ganged up on another girl.   We received a stern talking to from the principal and our teacher.  This was certainly not my proudest moment.  Meg Jamison, if you’re out there, I am truly sorry.
  3. In my senior year of high school, I was kicked out of the National Honor Society because my grades dropped below their standards.    The assistant principal of the high school personally kicked me out and thought it was a horribly solemn occasion.  I was actually quite amused at being kicked out and he kept trying to impress upon me how serious the situation was.  It didn’t work.   Flash forward six months to the Senior Party (held after graduation and lasting all night) and this assistant principal was in the dunk tank.  I was the first person to dunk him.    🙂

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?

Papa Murphy’s Papa’s Favorite Pizza.  Hold the mushrooms and add tomatoes.  

Main Course
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?

I don’t necessarily believe in them, but I don’t not believe in them, either.  

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?

I don’t have any of the above.   My bed partner is quite hairy, so I cover the bed with a blanket.  I have three blankets that each serve a couple days on the bed before being moved into the washing machine.  The blankets are hot pink, lime green and mauve pink. 

I was driving out of Colorado Springs at sunset today and snapped this picture of Pikes Peak:

The Candy Cane socks are on the needles:

Earlier tonight,  Kishka was holding court with the Shepherds.  I don’t know what she was saying, but she was very emphatic:

Warm feet.

Splash of Red Socks

What:    Splash of Red Socks
Yarn:     Knit Picks Superwash Bare, fingering weight.  Dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring.
Needles:   size 2, Knit Picks dpn’s
Pattern:    basic cuff down pattern as outlined in Knitting Rules, page 144-145*

Date started:   1/5/07

Date finished:  1/10/07
Lesson Learned:  None.  I just need to be careful of ladders.

Destination:  My feet!

* only modification to pattern was 6″ leg, instead of 7″.

I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would have left over, so I only knit a 6″ leg.  I was worried about running out of yarn. 

I shouldn’t have worried.  Here’s the leftover:

This yarn is the result of my first dying experience.   I dyed several hanks of yarn last month with Kool-Aid and food coloring.  I definitely prefer Kool-Aid, but I couldn’t find Berry Blue Kool-Aid, so I had to use blue food dye.  I had no clue how the yarn would turn out and I’m very pleased.  This skein was my least favorite, but it’s grown on me since I’ve been knitting with it.

The next pair of socks is going on the needles tonight.  I’m in the sock knitting groove now and can’t wait to see how this pair turns out!

An outtake from the photo session: