Friday, May 29, 2009

a dog blog

So much for art! Since there ain't none happenin' here lately this is going to be a dog blog for a post or two.

For those of you who are aware that we're puppy-raising a Lab for PADS, Jesse, the baddest service dog who ever lived, is going back to the training facility for advanced training on June 9th! I can't believe he'll be 14 months old already. Last week, to get the dogs prepared (OK, OK -- to get the PEOPLE prepared) for the transition, we did a puppy swap for a week and had a female yellow Lab named Mala (short for Malaysia -- a pup from the 'Asian countries' litter) with us. What a good girl! She was a total charmer and a REAL Lab who, unlike Jesse, loves water and can destroy anything in a matter of minutes. But, like the people pleaser she is, she only destroyed approved items. Jesse, on the other hand, spends half his life with a shoe, a tea towel or a pair of my undies in his mouth, staying just out of arm's reach. How I'm going to miss my bad but beautiful boy.

To ease the transition I think it's time we finally got a permanent family pooch. It's been nearly a year and a half since we prematurely lost Zappa, and though I didn't necessarily want another Australian Shepherd, when I saw Coco's photo I had a funny feeling that she was the one. She may be part Border Collie but is probably a purebred Aussie of older, working lines. Not the frou-frou type like Zappa (who was, nonetheless, all athlete under that unbelievable coat). This photo of Zappa and me was taken in the summer of 2006.

When I emailed Mary Ann about her, giving her my wish list for a dog (temperament requirements that is ~ breed and gender were not so important to me) she seemed to fit the bill exactly. She's just under a year old, athletic like Zappa, good with dogs and cats and a little more reserved with people than the yahoos that came before her. Yay! I've known Mary Ann from the days in the early '00s when I worked in conjunction with her, fostering and rehoming Australian Shepherds. She is a rescue saint, not a nut job like some, who has found new homes for over 750 dogs, much of that time fighting cancer. The bad news is that it has now spread to her brain from two other sites and though I was going to meet her in Olympia, Washington, this weekend, she suddenly had to start radiation therapy for the new tumours so had to stay home near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. My good friend Sonya came to the rescue so we are now leaving tomorrow on a road trip (I must be Thelma to her Louise since I'm as tall as Geena Davis) to the Idaho panhandle to pick up Coco. Sonya has a nice Acura, the weather is stellar, I've packed up some CDs and my camera and off we go! I'll let you know if we see Brad Pitt on our mini adventure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great thing to be involved in. Are the service dogsalways long-haired like that?

30/5/09 2:28 a.m.  
Blogger Melody said...

How wonderful. Can't wait to read your next post about the road trip and the new adventures of Thelma and Louise

30/5/09 6:47 a.m.  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Have a great trip, Andrea! Coco is a very cool looking dog! And I'm sorry about your friend... that is very tough. ((hugs))

30/5/09 7:40 a.m.  
Blogger Laure Ferlita said...

Best travel wishes for you and "Louise" and Coco! Enjoy the trip!

Healing thoughts for your friend, Mary Ann.

30/5/09 10:37 a.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Had a feeling she'd be the one...

30/5/09 8:16 p.m.  
Blogger zIggI said...

Andrea what a great thing to be doing, although personally they'd have to catch me before I handed a puppy back! Coco looks the beans - I hope you've had a successful trip and you're too tall for Brad - send him along, don't be greedy.

31/5/09 1:12 p.m.  
Blogger EmPrint said...

Good luck with your new dog, Coco. I understand about doggy bad manners; I inherited a 2 yr old "cockapoo" when my dear friend died. She, the dog, loves sock, dirty or clean, wash cloths, toilet paper, and kleenex. We've been to obedience where I learned a whole lot. The dog learned a little. We may be in for a lifetime of training. Coco looks like a sweetheart. I hope she is.

31/5/09 6:01 p.m.  
Blogger nadine said...

Yay! What a face :-) I am all for this being an art plus dog blog. Safe travels.

1/6/09 6:37 a.m.  
Blogger Kikipotamus said...

What gorgeous creatures and friends dogs are. I often wonder what it would be like to have a dog in my life, but I don't have a lifestyle right now that fits sharing it with a dog. Maybe one day!

2/6/09 6:48 a.m.  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Very cool - congratulations! Enjoy your trip and can't wait to hear about the new pup.

2/6/09 8:42 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

The only problem with following the Thelma and Louise model is the ending ;-(

Hope you are back safe and sound complete with the dog with the funny ears.

2/6/09 1:11 p.m.  
Blogger San said...

You are doing such good work, Andrea. And it's clear that it brings you such pleasure.

An inspiring post.

3/6/09 12:26 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Thanks for the great encouragement and comments all. I am in chaos control mode right now with the two young dogs in constant motion, but will be back with photos and anecdotes soon!

5/6/09 8:44 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Truly wonderful!!! I am so happy for you and what an amazing time you are having with the dogs and now choosing your very own! Zappa was one of a kind and will have a place in your heart forever but you have lots more space, I can tell :) I'm glad your blog has gone to the dogs...

7/6/09 5:00 p.m.  

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