Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

Hey, where is everyone?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Charlie the Gardener

Gardening, with Charlie in the yard, is always an iffy proposition. He loves being outdoors, but he's just so inquisitive, playful, and mouth-/food- oriented that everything I cut or dig seems to want to end up in his stomach.

And this has always been true. As a puppy, he would mill around where I was working, and he would snatch dirt clods or cut branches or seed pods and run off with them.

Magnolia seedpod in mouth

As an adult, Charlie still exhibits all his puppy characteristics, plus a tendency to want to help... If I'm digging, Charlie feels he should dig. If I cut branches, he pulls off more with his teeth. Heck, I've got him pulling weeds out of the lawn now! And the amazing thing is - he knows what's a plantain weed and what isn't!!

Helping plant tulips

Now if I can just convince him not to eat everything, I think we'll be a great team!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Battle Tactics

It's a hoot watching Charlie play with his friend Gabbie. Their play-fighting tactics are very much like humans. And, while they each have their preferred techniques, they learn from each other and adapt.


Ear Chewing

Going for the Throat

The Body Slam

Baiting the Hook

Face Chewing

The Pin

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Play Ball

Monday, October 16, 2006

Now We Are Two!

Today Charlie is two years old! Almost two years ago, Aunt Karen in Indiana found him (and his sister Sophie) and told us about him. Almost two years ago, we flew to Indiana to pick him up. Almost two years ago, we began learning what it means to be ruled by Charlie!

Two years ago, we were in California, and Charlie had to sit on a lap to help with his blog.

Now we live in Oregon, and the lap is no longer an option. Charlie directs from the floor.

Happy Birthday, Big Guy!! We can't imagine life without you!

p.s. Happy Birthday, Sophie, too!

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Rose by Any Other Name

Call him anything you want:




Chuck Chuck...

Charlie Horse...


Big Guy...

Little Dog...

That Good Dog We've Heard About...

...just don't call him "late for dinner"!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hurrah for Catfood!

Slurp slurp.

Just a little to the left...


Monday, October 02, 2006

Crazy Dog

Charlie has always had an overdrive gear. It starts with "the zoomies," and then quickly escalates into "pogo stick to lick mom's face," followed by "nip mom's clothing," and culminating in all-out play biting. With mom, of course.

At such times Charlie seems beyond listening, beyond caring about consequences. He lives to play and play hard! I expect it's about extreme excess energy and needing someplace for it to go.

We tried to train him as a puppy to "sit" and "down" at such times and then diverted his attention with treats and legal toys.

And to an extent that works with adult Charlie. But it requires patience, discipline, and a toy within reach. When the "down" finally does get through, you can't pet his head or expect to just walk away unscathed. You are a target. The only options are to scratch his chest and stomach until he calms or to throw a ball and make an escape when he goes after it.

As he's gotten older this has manifested less. And since he started playing with Gabby, we've experienced hardly any episodes. But when she's not around for a few days... look out! Trouble on the hoof!!