Sunday, January 29, 2006

gung hay fat choy

Happy New Year! Today is the first day of the lunar new year, 4074 in the Chinese calendar, and the year of the dog. I have only ever had two dogs, and I still have them, a geriatric mutt named Zoe, and her perpetually adolescent nemesis, an Australian Shepherd named Zappa.

As a child I would have done almost anything to have a dog, but my parents were against the idea, so the minute I was in a position to have a dog I did, though I lived such a transient life during the years after I left home that it definitely didn't happen immediately. I adopted Zoe from a shelter where I worked as a volunteer 15 years ago. And now, after ACL surgery on both her knees, just getting up the stairs is a major challenge for her and I realize that she won't be with us for much longer. Zappa came to us in 1999, and with his perpetual high energy, turned out to be the perfect kids' dog and running companion. I adopted him through a rescue group with whom I worked myself for a couple of years, fostering and adopting out abandoned Australian Shepherds. Zappa was an escape artist, which is how he eventually ended up in rescue. He still likes to go on reconnaissance missions when the opportunity presents itself, which it almost never does, fortunately, though I have had calls from as far away as the local pub. One beer too many and he blew his cover I figure.


Blogger Toni said...

beautiful dogs Andrea
i just have a kitty

29/1/06 8:54 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Happy new lunar dog year!

I've been out taking photos of dogs today too... will be posting some shortly!

As I don't have a dog these were just those that I caught whilst out of course.

Your two sound like they are quite a handful on ewith its infirmities and the other its sheer sense of freedom!

And I love their names.

29/1/06 9:18 a.m.  
Blogger kan said...

Zoe & Zappa what a handsome pair. Happy Year of the Dogs to them. Have you read Marley & Me? You might enjoy the true adventures of this dog.

Love your blog!

29/1/06 10:47 a.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I think you have unintentionally made me feel a little guilty. My girls have been asking for a dog for several years now and we are now in the perfect location to have a dog. I have always wanted one as well but when I look ahead, I get bogged down by thinking about how much work they are to keep. I am running out of excuses. I keep telling them that if we do get one, we have to name it Sparky, as, in my opinion, all good dogs should be called by that name. :)

29/1/06 11:28 a.m.  
Blogger carla said...

What a sweet "family" portrait:> My family had a dog for a short time when I was a child. His name was (unimaginatively conceived) Lucky, but he was always getting loose and causing trouble, so we had to give him away to a boy in the country. Two summers ago we got Heidi, our was like having a newborn baby! The first year was awful, and I kept thinking we should give her away. But she's turned out to be such a sweet and wonderful dog - so good and friendly, but fierce when she's worried about our safety. I'm so happy we kept her:>

I hope your "business trip" went well. I've been thinking about you and sending good vibes to all those patrons of the arts out there...I was saying ..."Buy Andrea's paintings...they're beautiful...ask her to paint more for you..." Do give us a report!

29/1/06 6:03 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Toni: We have one of those, too. She rules the roost.

Caroline: Must go and check your photos on Flickr now...

Joli: I haven't read it but I've heard of it. Thanks for the tip.

Brian: I hope you feel *really* guilty (and I hope my parents do, too!). Just one word of advice, though: make sure your youngest is out of diapers first (can't remember how old he is). BTW one of the dogs I fostered was named Sparky. He was adopted by a friend who has a disabled child. Apparently Sparky won't listen to anyone except tiny little Liam. It's a match made in heaven.

Carla: I have started dealing with my photos now so a report will follow. Thank you for your support-by-remote! Zoe is half GSD so also has that highly-develped sense of duty to the family. Usually it's the mail that gets the brunt of it, though. :)

29/1/06 6:22 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

aaaaaaaaaaaah this is the sweetest post!!! I have only had two dogs too and my mom never let me have animals as well. Your dogs are so darling and super furry, i love that! Your dogs are so beautiful

29/1/06 9:39 p.m.  
Blogger Joyce said...

Its nice that Brian and I can communicate this way..... the guilt is mutual, hence the cats, and hamster. "Sparky" never- we had two by that name on the farm. Both were badly spoiled German Shepherds who bullied me up a tree for at least a summer (eternity for a child).
Beautiful photo, and thanks for the shots of terminals, love it.

31/1/06 6:56 a.m.  

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