Wednesday, December 26, 2007

For Angela and Truman

Hi Angela! (I wasn't sure how else to reach you except here :)

Congratulations on being a guest on beagles-on-the-web on Christmas Eve ... I'd been hoping to see a photo of your boy sometime and there he was! Very handsome fellow!

Diesel and Marvin are wondering what the most central dog park between Kansas City and Milwaukee are so they can play.

I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Holiday bling: the outtakes

Dog Aunt Wendy gave Diesel and Marvin "dog bling" as a St. Nick's gift this year. We thought these glittery collars would add a "refined" look to our Christmas card insert we send with the cards. They didn't need antlers or Santa suits as I humiliated them enough with costumes earlier this year.

Don't they look regal?


(Jan 01 2008: I was surprised to discover that Diesel and Marvin were guests on beagles-on-the-web Daily Digital again. I sent one of the "bling" photos to Laurie and she posted it during the holiday week. Thank you Laurie!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

As seen through the eye of a fish

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saturday was (another!) snow day

Snow snout

Diesel plowing

Pouting and smiling

What's she got?


The head on the right is not wearing a yarmulke, although it may appear that way. You will also notice two perfect snowflakes if you click the photo to view it full size.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A blog I like

I was introduced to a year or so ago because she occasionally posted photos and entries about her dog, Chuck. Apparently she got some slack from readers for posting about something as trite as *a dog* (heaven forbid these naysayers come across a dog blog!). To spite the naysayers she now includes a Daily Chuck photo. Her photography is amazing and I visit almost daily.

Earlier this week she posted a link to this video. It's a 10-plus minute Japanese short film about a girl Mika and her dog Marimo. This film comes from the compilation of short films named All About My Dog (2005).

Watch it. It's beautiful. It will make you cry but it's worth it.

At the dentist

This morning I had an early morning dentist appointment. My hygienist and I were talking in between the pokes and prods of dental instruments and, knowing that Mark and I have beagles, she mentioned the new receptionist has a beagle too.

So after my cleaning I went to the front desk to set up my next appointment. The receptionist and I swapped beagle tales.

As we were finishing our stories another patient arrived to check in for her appointment. While I was putting on my coat she asked what kind of dogs we have. She mentioned she has a Bichon who she's hoping makes it to her 16th birthday as she hasn't been well lately. As she told me about her dog and a few of her health problems I could see this woman's heart was breaking over the imminent loss of her long-time companion. I wanted to give her a hug. I wished her my best as I left and in my mind hoped her little dog would make it through the holidays.

Until adopting Diesel and Marvin I could never have imagined how integral a part of my life and my emotions they would become. I wouldn't have it any other way ... even though not everything about this kind of love is easy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

For Mum

(This post is for Mark's Mum in England lest she forget what her son looks like! :)

Hellooooooo Mum! Here he is! I'm not sure if we've e-mailed you this photo before. Hopefully not so this will be a surprise.

Your handsome son and a goof ball beagle ...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The natural state of Marvin.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Unhappy feet

Since December began we've had an unusual amount of snow. And, in these parts, snow means a heavy application of road salt.

This is actual text from our city's snow removal policy: Normally, the City does not plow streets unless the total accumulation of snow is three or more inches. Anything less is typically covered by salting operations.

And there is plenty of salt out there with no signs of going anywhere until heavy rains come spring.

Mark and I have a ritual of washing and drying eight paws after our dog walks that involve the city streets (which is early morning and before bed at least). It takes a while, and Diesel and Marvin comply, but it's not ideal.

I've noticed on cold but dry mornings the salt doesn't seem to bother them. However, the typical mornings we've had lately are wet and the roads are covered in a slushy, salty mess. This has a noticeable effect on their comfort. Diesel suddenly pulls a paw up to his body and hobbles along on three legs. When I stop to wipe his hurting paw with my gloved hand he gives me a look that says he wants to go home pronto. Marvin is less subtle. When he's uncomfortable he stops dead in his tracks, front paws forward and braced. He shoots me a look as though I've committed the ultimate betrayal and refuses to budge. I go to his side and, with a gentle tug, pick up the pace and he'll move forward again only to stop within a few feet. Eventually we make progress but it's not been a pleasant few mornings.

I thought yesterday I would remedy the situation by buying the least obtrusive dog boots I could find. I decided on Fido Fleece because they are soft and flexible (rather than the tough Cordura boots I tried with Diesel last winter) and they have a coated sole and toe so they should hold up for at least one winter season.

Last night I had the boys wear the boots around the house and their reaction was the typical freezing motionless followed by high stepping when lured by treats. We tried them outside and they did pretty well considering the newness. Marvin actually finished our brief walk with a normal gait while Diesel did some hopping along on three legs mixed with slow motion walking.

This morning was the moment of truth and it was a disaster. Marvin did "his business" and then braced himself for the long haul. I took him home and continued with Diesel. Diesel perfected a three-legged canter, favoring his right rear leg, just like he did with the Cordura boots last winter. Although he was amazingly fast, it wasn't natural, and I felt guilty.

I wish I had an answer. We have months of this ahead.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Random snouts, Part 1

While doing shoots with the beagles, they inevitably find the camera irresistible and pop up for a sniff. This leaves me with plenty of close snout shots which I find quite charming.

Most of the time they aren't in focus because they are so unexpected but I would say that puts them into the category of "art". Or better still, "darn cute".

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Blank slate

Diesel, in his downtime, striking the classic "frog dog" pose.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sunday morning at the window

I couldn't help stalking the beagles with a camera as they stared out the front window at our new blanket of snow. They don't share the window seat on a regular basis, after all Diesel is a bit claustrophobic. But there was plenty of squirrel activity so their minds were focused on that more so than on the close quarters in which they sat.

Vigilance is exhausting.

Might that be a squirrel in the red bushes? Why, yes, it is.