Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A True Hero

Last Friday, John sent me this story about a Marine stationed in Iraq, who befriended a stray German Shepherd/collie mix, that has lived a life of hardship and survival, wandering around Iraqi border towns and military camps. Among other things, the dog, who was nicknamed Nubs, had his ears cut off to make him more aggressive and alert, survived on food scraps and in freezing temperatures, and was stabbed with a screwdriver. Well, Nubs found his happy ending, as the Marine, Brian Dennis, found a way to get him flown to San Diego while he finishes his tour in Iraq. Nubs landed in the U.S. last Friday, and is being cared for by friends until Dennis returns in March.

This is one of those stories that really struck a nerve with me, that in a horrific situation, these two souls found one another. Amazing that Nubs found Dennis's camp after it had been transferred 65 miles away. After everything Nubs had endured in his life, he's still a gentle soul that just wants to love and be loved. What a great spirit this dog has, to still trust and give unconditional love to people. Brian Dennis must be Nubs' guardian angel, and vice versa. Now Nubs gets to run along San Diego beaches, the warm sun on his face. He gets to live the good life as he deserves, as every dog deserves.

The first link is to the article that John first sent me. The second is a follow-up on Nubs and his arrival in San Diego.;_ylt=Ann6eAZ8o7qOSYr1TtP3006s0NUE

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Numero Uno!

Congratulations to Uno, for being the first beagle to win Best in Show at Westminster -- the Super Bowl of dog shows! Way to represent!

Photos courtesy of Associated Press/Reuters

Friday, February 1, 2008

An Ode to Treats

Pretty much everything Truman does is motivated by the reward of a tasty treat. If I'm at Petsmart or Target, I'll usually browse the treat aisle looking for something new that Truman might like (and hopefully isn't full of empty fillers). This is where Costco comes into the picture. John and I absolutely love Costco for many reasons. I can remember the first heady rush of purchasing 24 rolls of paper towels, 200-count trash-can liners, and an industrial-sized jug of laundry detergent, and the satisfaction of these products lasting for more than three months. We certainly appreciate a good deal on bulk items and Costco has yet to let us down. It was a matter of time before we discovered the glory of the pet aisle: 50-lb. bags of dog food packed ceiling-high, economy-size buckets of dog biscuits, even giant pet beds for an unbeatable price. About six months ago, John discovered a hard, chewable treat called Checkups and picked up a bag for Truman. We thought it might be something similar to Greenies since it was a teeth-cleaning treat. But at $11.69 for a 24-count bag, a much better deal than Greenies! Well, Truman absolutely loved them, and we felt pretty good that it was a fairly healthy treat and was cleaning his teeth. The Checkups were also a good replacement for another treat that he craves -- Pegetables. Another hard chewable treat that's molded into vegetable shapes and even has veggie bits in them. But pricey. At about $10 for a bag of eight treats, that comes to $1.25 per treat! So the Checkups were a fantastic discovery: a healthy treat that Truman loved, and much better priced than Greenies or Pegetables that last twice as long. We went blissfully along for three months, Truman enjoying his daily Checkup, unaware that Costco would soon do the unthinkable and discontinue these treats. Imagine our dismay when, our next trip to Costco to stock up on Truman's favorite treats, that we find out that they're. All. Out. We make a beeline for customer service, where they tell us that they regularly "rotate out" various products to bring in new ones. We were crestfallen when the customer service lady told us she didn't know when or if they would bring back the Checkups. We even drove 30 minutes across Kansas City to another Costco only to discover that their supply of Checkups was depleted as well. For two months Truman sulked around in a Checkup-less existence. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. I think it affected me much more than him.) So, last weekend, while John and I stocked up on our household products, imagine our surprise and joy to find that the Checkups had been restocked! The Costco gods had answered my prayers! I ran over and snatched up a bag in my greedy little hands, and in my giddy excitement grabbed two more bags and headed for the checkout. For all I know, they may discontinue them again and I'm not taking any chances of running out in the near future. Truman was quite delighted when we returned home with these treasures, and the balance of the universe has been restored once again. For another four months, at least.

I tried to get a shot as he jumped up to grab it from my hand, but my reflexes weren't fast enough. Imagine Jaws emerging from the water to chomp off your arm.

These are what the Pegetables look like, kind of like the plastic play food we had when we were little. Of course, after this photo set-up, Truman whined until I gave him one.

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