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    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    The Great Christmas Puppy Hunt

    Well, last week I told you about our impending trip to the big house to interview a dog for possible adoption. Darbetta the Labradoodle turned out to be an entirely new breed of Labradoodle that looks nothing like a Labradoodle and in fact looks like a mutt. We have nothing against mutts, and it wasn’t her fault she was misrepresented. We met and interacted with Darbetta but quickly figured out she just wasn’t the dog for us. Also, she wasn’t finished with her training and couldn’t come home with us that day.

    So we headed back to the Springs—disappointed and dogless. A stop at the Humane Society yielded nothing so we picked the boys up from their grandparents and never breathed a word of our failed mission.

    Later that afternoon, I got a hot tip that Labradoodles were being sold in the Safeway parking lot in Falcon. Mom and I jumped in the car, but by the time we got there, they were gone.

    The next day we checked back. No Labradoodles. We hopped over to the Wal-Mart across the street just in case, but the dogs weren’t there either. We did get another hot tip though. Blue Heelers for sale at the Circle R. I understood four words of that sentence. What are Blue Heelers? What is a Circle R?

    The GPS units in the van and the Blackberry were equally stumped as to the elusive Circle R, but we did find Blue Heelers on the browser.

    “Are you sure?” I asked Mom, looking at the pic of a large, mottled gray dog on her tiny screen.

    “Oh, I’ve seen these dogs,” she answered. “They’re smart.”

    After doubling back between Falcon and the Springs so many times that I couldn’t rightly define ‘back,’ we finally located the Circle R—a feed store. Oh.

    We were greeted by Mommy-dog who happily showed off her babies, including this little sweetheart.

    Yep. She came home with us.

    Kory had Monkey and Chunky waiting in the living room when I walked in holding Willie, named after the whiny blonde in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Chunky’s eyes got big and a slow smile spread over his face.

    Monkey said, “You got us a dog. Great. Now we’re gonna have to pick up poop!” Since then he’s warmed up to our fuzzy new friend. Chunky is absolutely 100% in love with Willie. We’re amazed at her patience as he bear hugs her, carries her around the house, and over-loves the daylights out of her. She thinks he’s another puppy.

    The vet gave her a clean bill of health and told us we better give her a “job” or she will “dig up the backyard, take down the fence, and build a catapult into the neighbor’s yard.” Sounds like construction to me. Maybe a doggie hard hat is in order.

    Willie has become part of the family in four short days, and I think she’s the best Christmas present any of us could’ve asked for.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Labradoodles, Prisoners, and Johnny Depp--Oh My!

    So the big news in our house is the possible addition of a new furry member. No, we’re not adopting Jacob Black. Although…

    Ok, I’m back from my Teen Wolf fantasy.

    This Saturday Kory, Mom, and I are off on a stealth mission to meet a certain Labradoodle with the unfortunate, hopefully-changeable name Darbetta. We discovered the 11-month-old dog through a program that pairs inmates with dogs for the purposes of socialization and training. We’re not exactly sure if the socialization applies to the dogs or the prisoners, but we’re happy to support any ambiguous cause this time of year.

    When we called about Darbetta—cringe—we were told we were fourth on the list to meet her. We figured there was no way we had a chance since Labradoodles are the Johnny Depps of the dog world. They’re cute, smart, agreeable, hypoallergenic, and don’t shed. See, exactly like Johnny Depp.

    But last week we got a call saying she was still available. Being something of a pessimist, my first question was, Why?

    Does she bite? Are we dealing with Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street?

    Or maybe she doesn’t have the best personality—Johnny in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    Does she steal things, drink too much rum, and wear eyeliner? Ok, I’ve taken the comparison too far.

    Needless to say, we’re excited to see this pooch—excited enough to drive to Canyon City and visit Darbetta at the Women’s Correctional Facility. Doesn’t it just give you the warm fuzzies? A waggedy-tailed, floppy-eared new dog. A Christmas surprise for two oblivious little boys. A secret trip to the clinker.

    And here’s what I need from you: Does anyone have any suggestions for a new name for our potential puppy?

    I lobbied for Leia since all my boys are Star Wars fans, but Mom says it reminds her of the thing you wear around your neck when you go to a luau. Since it’s non-stop grass skirts and coconut bras around here, I guess we better come up with something else.

    For some reason, I’m stuck on Ls.


    This is starting to sound like a Sesame Street song.


    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Indoor Competitive Walking for Seniors and Dumpy Stay-at-Home Moms

    This week I started a weight loss clinic at my doctor’s office. Because I dearly love the staff, I am not going to make snarky comments about skinny people trying to empathize with fat people. After all, why alienate the few who don’t leave a flaming pile of blame at your door, ring the bell, and hide in the bushes?

    So now I’m following the groundbreaking program of “Eat less, Exercise more.”

    I like to walk in the mornings, but it’s been a bit nippy here in Colorado. So the other day I went to the indoor track at the Y. This turned out to be more than a little humbling. I followed a trim sixty-five-year-old up the stairs to the elevated track. Grandma then left me in the dust with only a glimpse of her toned fanny.

    The only other woman my age was jogging—and clearly had developed the habit throughout all her adult years.

    I stuck to the inside track, the slow track, the arthritic track, the recovering from heart surgery track—you get the idea. I got excited when I caught up to one of the seniors. I knew the protocol for passing. After all, Mrs. Career Jogger had lapped me plenty of times.

    I sped up and moved to the right—the fast track!—to pass the gray-haired trotter in front of me. But he must have sped up too. Ah, he’s like one of those drivers who won’t go the sped limit but won’t let you pass. I sped up a little more. The old geezer stepped on the gas!

    So I’m huffing and puffing in the fast lane, eyeing Grandpa at my left, with Jogger Lady bearing down on me. Who knew you could have road rage on a walking track? Like any respectable, aggressive driver, I responded to the situation by cranking my music up. This backfired as I was wearing headphones and simply blasted my own eardrums with Matchbox 20.

    Finally, I managed to pass Gramps, and swerve back into the slow lane in time for Speedy to zoom by. But by then, I was too tired to keep up the pace. My victory was short-lived. Seventy-year-old Recovering Heart Patient passed me with a gleam in his eye.

    All in all, it turned out to be a good workout. I plan to go back for a rematch this week. And this time, the gloves are off. I’m bringing a bike horn.