Thursday, December 07, 2006

Good Count, Bad Count

After hearing some stories last night about naughty newfs, I got to thinking mine is amazingly good. That is, when he's good. Yesterday was an example of his angelic behavior.
I take The Count pretty much everywhere. I even take him to church (he sits in the truck while we are in for 45 minutes, then we take him for a walkie around town). I took him grocery shopping yesterday, as I normally do. He takes the cargo area of the station wagon, and the groceries go on the back seat. We have a cargo barrier, so I know he can't get to the groceries if he wanted to. Yesterday I took the truck. This means no cargo area, no barrier. Nothing to seperate The Count from the goods. I arrived at the store pretty early, got a nice spot near the sidewalk, "primo parking." I ran in to get the week's worth of grub while the Heavily Upholstered One sat in the truck. On my return I loaded the parcels into the truck with The Count, and looked across the lot at the Walmart Parking. I had to make a stop at the Wally to pick up some goods, but the lot was filling up fast. Hmmmm. I decided to leave the Newf, groceries, and vehicle right where they were and run over to the Wally on foot. Faster than finding parking, that's for sure. I told The Count I'd be right back and shut the door, ran over to finish the shopping, and returned in about 20 minutes. You are thinking, "I can't believe she left that beast in the truck with groceries! Didn't she have fresh meat? Fish? Loaves of bread? Vegetables? Is she out of her mind?" Well, when I returned, all was exactly as I had left it. Orion never touched a thing. I really didn't think he would, he doesn't even take his dinner until I tell him what to do with it ("Eat it!"). When he's good, he's so good.

All things have their darker side, and my angelic one is no exeption.

He has a job, a very important job which gets done every morning. It is his job to bring down the newspaper. He takes great pride in his job, and if he drops it, you can forget about reading it, because he will not let anyone pick it up; he will try to pick it up himself, which usually results in it being ripped, muddy, and disassembled. He takes his job that seriously.
Let me paint a picture of our daily routine. Up at 5:30 -6am, I make coffee, then take His Highness out for his morning duties. He has a pen by the front/side of the house where he tends to his needs. The pen is far too big for a lavitory (we thought he might like a pen to go out and play in, but he rejected it for that purpose), so when he goes in his pen in the morning, he can spend a good deal of time looking for "The Ideal Spot". I wait outside the pen, watching the sun rise. From there we walk across the yard to the driveway and half-way up the driveway (my driveway is a hill, half-way up the driveway is the top of the hill). He sits at the top and waits for me to walk down to the road and retrieve the paper from the tube. I bring the paper to him, he takes it and we race each other back to the front door (I even win, sometimes!). He carries the paper in the house, hands it to Daddy, and gets a cookie for a job well done.
This particular morning Daddy had to leave for work early, so I was pressed for time getting him ready. I took Orion to his pen, and instead of waiting by the pen, I snuck off to get the paper. When I retrieved it and came down the driveway, I stopped where he could see me, and I could see him exiting the pen. I called him, "Where's my baby?!" and he spotted me, I said, "Orion, Come!" and he took off at full speed toward me. Now how do we all stand when we tell our dogs to "come"? Right, bent over a bit with arms open wide. That's how I was standing when he ran full speed into me, his concrete head hit me right in the chest, sending me airborne, knocking me to the ground, feet in the air. From there he decided I must need help, so started licking me, which got me rolling down the driveway trying to get up (and away from the slurps), with him trying to "rescue" me. Did I mention I was also wearing a skirt?
I was so glad hubber was still in the shower and did not witness this scene. I'm sure he would never let me live it down!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Orion and Oscar-kitty (part 2)

At night we put the kitties in the garage for bed. They have their pillows and cushions there as well as their "necessity box" so it is a comfy place for them. Last night I hoisted Sophia-kitty from my bed and put her in the garage for bed. Then I checked the other bedrooms for Oscar-kitty. I had seen him earlier in the day eating crunchies in the kitchen, but since he goes in and out all day, I had lost track of him. So I opened the door to the outdoors and called him. He responded with a gurgled cry. I freaked, was that Oscar? I called again, got the same answer. It wasn't the sound of two cats fighting (the neighbor's cat and Oscar have been at war for 8 years, so I know their sounds), but it sounded like a very strange cry. I panicked, is he hurt? I called again, trying to place his location. Suddenly, Orion, who had been asleep in another room, was squirming past me through the door, down the steps and around the garage. that's when he saw something, gave a low, loud "Woof!" and took off at full speed. I ran in to turn on the outside lights in front of the garage and to grab a flashlight (it's really hard to find a black dog at night!). I saw Orion run across the property and into the neighbor's field, and I caught the sight of Oscar running under the porch. Once I knew Oscar was safe, I called Orion back. He came marching back, stopped at the bushes bordering the neighbor's field, and marked his territory. Oscar was extrememly grateful to Orion and they have been chummy today. I think Oscar has figured out what Orion's purpose in life really is.



Orion and Oscar-kitty

We have two kitties, the aforementioned Sophia, and Oscar. Oscar is Sophia's brother, and her nemesis. Where Sophia is very lazy with an attitude, Oscar is as playful as a kitten. He's very trusting, comes to me whenever I call him, and will pretty much play with anything, which makes him a very entertaining kitty. It took him a bit of time before he realized Orion wasn't going to use him as an appetizer, so he is beginning to get used to having a dog. He even will sometimes willingly play, "Chase the Kitty" with The Count. Orion likes him best, I think, because he seems to be able to read Oscar's language better (perhaps because Oscar does more than growl and hiss). When Oscar wants to be chased, he runs, when he doesn't want to be chased, he sits. Orion understands this.
I realized they had some kind of tolerence for each other when I discovered they both act differently when they think no one is watching. If the family is about, Oscar will act scared of Orion, but when no one is looking, Oscar will walk right up to The Count, climb over him, saunter under his nose, you name it. I have caught him on several occasions, so Oscar knows I am on to him.

Orion and Sophia-kitty

The Count has a thing for kitties. He is convinced they were put here on this earth for the sole purpose of being chased, preferably up a tree. We live with two kitties, and needless to say, he keeps them in tip-top shape.
Orion met Sophia-kitty the day we brought him home. Sophia is a fat, lazy, black and white kitty with a real bad attitude. When I brought Orion home at the tender age of 8 weeks, I took him for a walk around his new yard. Perched on a low stone wall was the corpulent one, Queen Sophia. Now I have often heard dogs don't exactly have the best eyesight, so his response to her was quite understandable. Orion was one of a litter of three, his two brothers are Landseers (white and black) so it was an honest mistake that he thought this corpulent, black and white being was a fluffy littermate. Boy, was he ever glad to see one of his brothers! He happily approached her and she had no idea what on God's Green Earth this thing was but she was pretty certain it was a) stupid or b) going to eat her. She stood up, growled and hissed. Orion didn't get it, he just playfully trotted up to her. She swat, he jumped back. "This isn't my brother!" I don't know what he thought she was, but when she took off, he stood there completely stunned. His future run-ins with her were met with the same hissing and growling. She couldn't believe the beast was actually going to live in HER house.
One day he figured out if he marched right up to her, she would run. Hence the invention of "Chase the Kitty". Now, whenever Sophia so much as walks into a room, Orion is on his feet and off like a shot. Sophia, I must add, is no longer corpulent.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Poem

Pregnant chad
Political ad
All this talk about Baghdad

Turning coats
Cutting throats
All to see who wins the votes

It's pretty lame
They're all the same
They just want their claim to fame

Come what may
We'll shout, "Hurray!"
'Cuz all of it will end today

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why you should have a cargo barrier....

A friend of mine sent this story to me, reminding me I had sent it to him. I'm very glad he saved it! We were discussing cars, and I told him the car I drive is a Passat station wagon, which has plenty of room in the cargo area for one newf. Then I told him why he should get a barrier....

We have a barrier in the cargo area (his crate does not fit in), and I would recommend getting something which covers the back of the back seats, as well as the floor and wall to make it easier to remove hair and slime. One of his favorite things to do was to sit up while riding, chin resting between the two headrests of the back seat, and slime drooling down onto the horrified child below (to the amusement of her brothers). Once, while training him I gave him a mini marshmallow in order to coax him to get into the vehcle himself. After the kids were fighting in the back seat over who was going to sit where, they finally settled (pretty much had to, since I was leaving with or without them). Daughter was pretty smug since she won the arguement and got the spot of her choice. A few minutes down the road I heard a load "Haaaack!" and looked in the rearview mirror. He had coughed out the marshmallow. I'm not kidding. All down the front of daughter's jacket and seatbelt. I had to pull over because I was laughing so hard I couldn't drive, though my precious daughter was shrieking. We bought the barrier shortly after, the barrier keeps his head in his own space.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lessons from Sweetie

Greet every morning with a song.
Take a nap every day.
Flirt with disaster.
Talk to yourself.
Talk to everyone else.
Tell yourself how pretty you are.
Yell at the TV.
Go to bed early.
When you see a swing, get on it and swing.
Have a special friend to tell your secrets to.
Shiny things are pretty.
Let people know you love them with your eyes.
Play with your food.
Strut your stuff.
Love life and every single minute you are given.
Life is too short.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Grocery shopping

Usually I do the grocery shopping on Monday mornings. Same store, same line, same check out gal (Judy), and same bagger (Dan). They ask how the kids and dog are, I ask about their grandkids. I will wait longer if I have to just so I can stay in my same line. They know me.
This Monday I had to make a change in my routine. I had to clean daughter's room. It took all day, so I didn't get to shop in the morning as I usually do. I waited until the younger kids came home, threw them in the car and went shopping. Since we were in a hurry, the two kids helped get the items on my list, and when we had one item left (bathroom tissue), I asked daughter to pick us out a line and wait, while I ran to get our last item. When I returned, she had selected the shortest line and they were already unloading the cart.

I forgot to remind her the shortest line is not always the fastest line.

It turned out the checkout boy was being trained. The trainer was also a boy. The checkout boy had also never seen produce before, at least, not in its natural state. As he picked up a baggie he would hold it up and ask me what it was. Holds up garlic, "That's garlic." He looks it up on his chart for the produce code, types it in, and picks up the next bag. "What's this?" "Potatoes." Looks it up. Next. "What's this?" "Broccoli." Looks it up. Next. "What's this?" "Rutabega." Looks it up. Next. "What's this?" "Celery." Looks it up. Next. "What's this?" "Shrunken heads." Looks it up. Stops. Looks at the kid training him and says, "What do I do?" Trainer says, "What did you say these were?" "Shrunken heads." By now my kids are in hysterics, I'm standing there completely straight faced, and these two boys are totally baffled. I took pity on them, and told them it was celery root. "Is that celery root spelled with a C or an S?" "It's spelled with a P." I don't think they believed me. They couldn't find the code for it (nor for shrunken heads, BTW), so they had to ask.
When we came home daughter regaled her Daddy with the story. Eldest son thought it was good sport, and suggested I might have identified alll the produce as the cheapest thing I could think of. Holds up garlic, "What's this?" "Onions." (celery) "What's this?" "Onions." (broccoli) "What's this?" "Onions." (bananas)"What's this?" "Onions." "These look like bananas to me." "They're banonions. Look it up."
Next Monday, I'll go in the morning. Judy and Dan will love to know who's working the evening shift.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Confucius Say....

A friend of mine from my newf-list was looking for some ideas for fortune cookie filler. So she presented the idea to the list, and the listers came up with some marvelous words of wisdom. With their permission I have posted them below.
Newfucius say: Newf who eats clock is just killing time.
Newfucius say: Play nice with others and they will play nice with you.
Newfucius say: When life gets busy, take a nap.
Newfucius say: If you want something, put on your cute-suit.
Newfucius say: Shady area make good place to sit.
Newfucius say: Long walks are good exercise.
Newfucius say: Life is a winding staircase, best taken one step at a time.

Confucius say Newf who snores rattles the windows.
Confucius say Newf with drool bib loves to kiss.
Confucius say Newfie in the water means sand in your car.
Confucius say Newfie smelling the roses means thorn in nose and trip to vet.

Confucius say: He who is blessed to have a Newfoundland in their life is truly blessed.
Susan and Deacon

Confucius say She who drools, rules.
Abbey J.

Confucius say: Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.
Noofucius say: Better a Newf with a flaw than a Poodle without.

Confucius say: Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.
Noofucius say: Every slime has beauty but not everyone sees it.

Confucius say: I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.
Noofucius say: I see, I remember. I sniff, I know. I eat, I run.

Confucius say: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Noofucius say: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a long nap.

Confucius say: It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.
Noofucius say: It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you stop to sniff.

Confucius say: Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Noofucius say: Study the counter, if you would divine the roast.

Confucius say: The object of the superior man is truth.
Noofucius say: The object of the superior Newf is salmon cookies.

Confucius say: The cautious seldom err.
Noofucius say: The cautious seldom get caught.

Confucius say: The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Noofucius say: The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the refrigerator door.

Confucius say: When anger rises, think of the consequences.
Noofucius say: When anger rises, think of escape.

Confucius say: You cannot open a book without learning something.
Noofucius say: You cannot own a Newf without learning something.

Confucius say: Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
Noofucius say: Wherever you go, go with all your heart, a slime towel, a coat rake; in a minivan, with your human.

Confucius say: To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.
Noofucius say: To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. Looking innocent doesn’t hurt.

Confucius say: He who droolz, is very coolz!
Confucius say: He who likey hair, have Newfie in Lair!
Confucius say: He who have slinger, knows Newfies are King'er
Confucius say: Your fortune for today, is to have Newfies to play!
Ted & Judy

Newf who run in front of car get tired.
Newf who chase car get exhausted.
Newf hit by car feel run down.
Vegetarian Newf owned by lousy hunter.
Newf is friend who wag tail and not tongue.
Enjoy life like Newf and work not.
Man who sleep in cat house during day, sleep with Newf at night.
Newf who run through screen door will strain self.
Friendly Newf get crack in face.
Newf say: world smell different when on 4 leg.
Newf who surf prune will run.

Confucius Say.... It is wise man who puts toilet lid down before getting kiss from Newf.
Sharon and Watson

Confucius Say.... Newfoundland Dog who eat photograph will be spitting image.

Confucius Say... Newfoundland Dog who fart in heaven must sit in his own pew.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I am taking Chinese. Folks keep asking me why in the world would I want to learn Chinese. Because I don't know Chinese, that's why.
Plus, wouldn't you like to know what they are saying when you stop at the Chinese Buffet?

Speaking of the unmentionables...

This happened about ten years ago. I was outside working in my front garden. The area I was working in was right near where the road used to be before the state moved it, but there was brush between where the road was and where I was working. Here I am, minding my business tending my plants when this cop pulls up off the road, gets out, walks over to the edge, unzips, and, you guessed it, takes a whizz. Right there, near where I'm working. Might have been ten feet away or less. I could hear everything, but didn't dare look or stand up. When I heard him replace his machinery and zip up, I stood up and said, "You know, you really shouldn't pee in peoples' yards."
I think I scared him.

Port-o-lets (not about the dog)

I have this aversion to port-o-lets. Portapotties, as they are also called. I come by this aversion with good reason. It all started with one by the side of the road. This particular portapotty was placed by the road in front of my house when road construction was going on. The road was being moved, a curve straightened out, and the workers needed a potty to keep them from urinating in my yard (for which I am very grateful). The only way to access this 'let was by driving halfway up my driveway.
The amazing thing was the number of other people who would see this potty and suddenly feel the urge to use it. With a firestation and gas station 1/4 mile up the road in one direction, and several restaurants 1/4 mile in the other direction, couldn't they just wait? I came home from Church one Sunday and as I was driving up the road a jogger was making a bee-line for the potty! Didn't she go before she left? Once, this one guy drives up my driveway (essentially blocking it), gets out of his car while I am standing in my yard, looks right at me and goes in. He was in there for a loooong time. Twenty minutes at least. Gave me plenty of time to think. I thought about having my boys go tip it over, but they were too small at the time. I did consider it. When the guy finally emerged, I leaned on my gate and yelled, "You know, you really ought to eat more lettuce!" The guy was horrified, ran to his car and drove off. I mean, what is it with the public toilets?
My driveway is a hill with a slight incline from the road. This means at night, around 2am, someone would come up the driveway, radio blasting, THUMPAH, THUMPAH,
THUMPAH; lights blaring in my bedroom window, and someone would get out and go. This drove me absolutely crazy. I plotted my revenge: placing one of those toilet monsters under the lid, a tape cassette with ghostly noises set to go off after the person sits, saran wrap on the seat; you name it, I thought of it.
Unfortunately, the road crew moved up the road a bit and took the toilet with them before I had the courage to pull something off. Maybe next time I see a potty by the side of the road, I'll grab my plastic wrap and make a pit stop.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Most Deserving Newf

Hi all, This is Orion here.
Since you all thought I was very deserving of my Eggs Benedict yesterday, I thought I'd pass along that I had a a blueberry pancake and a sausage on my kibble this morning (Mom brought 5lbs of tiny blueberries from Nova Scotia this summer. Dad thought she was crazy, but she popped them in the freezer and has been adding them to her pancake batter. A little bit of Nova Scotia in my tummy! Yum!). I love Mom's pancakes, she even puts on a bit of maple syrup on mine (Dad does not). Then for dinner she served Chicken en Croute, which is chicken, Canadian Bacon, and a stuffing made of wild mushrooms, shallots, dates and pistachios (Mom made it up, she's so clever!) all wrapped up in a puff pastry. Mom had the meatless version (just the stuffing) and shared some of that with me, and one of my boys shared his chicken on my kibble. Mom says I earn my keep by just being so darned cute. I love it! Ahhh, life is good. I wonder what's for breakfast tomorrow.......

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Orion in 1966 Karman Ghia

Orion going for a ride with his Daddy

The License Plate to be

We bought a van. A full size van. A huge, monstrous house-on-wheels with loads of room. I'm a small car person. I like the idea of me driving around with my newf in the passenger seat of a mini cooper, or the 1966 Karman Ghia. Now wouldn't we look cool? The kids are getting big, and need more room (notice, the dog doesn't need the big vehicle, it's the kids who do)so hubber bought this van. To pacify me, he might get me a vanity plate (I already put on the newfie decals). So I posted the idea to my fellow newf listers who helped me come up with some license plate ideas. In my State, they have rules about these things; only six letters/numbers combinations, no numbers between two letters, and I have to check to see if the plate has already been taken (TROUBL is taken, MONSTR is not). Here is the list which has been edited to fit the rules. Perhaps my faithful readers will take a vote and let me know what they choose. I left out the Drulzelot ones, they might be taken that the driver drools, and we wouldn't want to send that kind of message, now would we? All of these are available as of this date:
(okay, that last one looks like New Flavor, doesn't it? I'll skip that one!)
THOOP (the sound the newfie makes when he is licking his nose!)
BURP (teenage son's idea, maybe I'll save it for his car)

So the list is out, now go ahead and send your vote.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And More......

Billowing clouds
long ago friend floats above
Missy, my newf JS

Resting my head back,
I raise my eyes to see slimers,
Shining Stalactites. LH

Four newfs on my lawn,
Grazing happily on greens,
Two black bears and two Holsteins. LH

Buying groceries,
Clerk asks, "holding a baby?"
Slime on my shoulder. LH

Pressure on my chest,
Waking to see slimey jowls,
Happily hovering above. LH

The legacies abound -
The memories astound!
Where would "Best Friends" be
If it wasn't for Cree.
This was one written by Jane Evans Cree passed away. LSC

My Newf Boy Zander
Not as pretty as Mollie
But loves Mama, too. SA

Our newf cora is
the sweetest girl around town
quick she needs a treat! AM

Our newf kira is
celebrates her sixth birthday
the second of may! AM

Our newf Sailor man
waits patiently at the bridge
we miss him so much AM

Sun gleams off black fur
Catch the butterfly in flight
Newfy pas de deux RK

Look! a broken limb
Grab the stick before it runs
Prance with the treasure RK

Muscles tensed, on alert
Dad is cooking, what will fall?
Cleanup is my job RK

Two Newf boys are love
Their sweetness oozes throughout
Come see them today ED

The clouds settle in
Two newfies begin to play
Storm brews in the West ED

Fresh toilet water
Dripping from black hairy chin
Let me kiss you now JK

Dead stinky reeking
I roll my body with glee
Pet me I love you JK

Pounce kill shake kill toss
The squeaky toy will not live
Sleep and dream of cats JK

More Newf-Ku

I posted some of our newf-ku in a previous post which is way at the bottom of the page, so I have added some of the newf-kus sent to me by my newfie friends. I know many creative folk read this blog, so I want you to post a reply with your own newf-ku. We should share our incredible brilliance with the rest of the world. I used the writer's initials instead of name, but we know who you are

Dead Toy
Sniff, snort, roll
What a lovely smell
Human runs LH

Rainy Day
sudden Spring downpour
splash and roll in muddy pools
find a dry lap quick! JK

Dad's Towel
The towel on the Rack
It is calling Zander back
Watch out boy…Dad’s Mad

It’s Dad’s towel Zander
Not for you to slobber on
But Mom…it feels good SA

slurp; pummel; forget.
but nostalgia overwhelms
cottage cheese exhumed RC

Little Newfy girl
Eyes alert and shining bright
Near her nose – a treat JW

three newfs in a row
aroma tempting; steak gone.
too tired to run RC

Sleeping black Newfie
On his back with legs in air
Drooling, needs a bib MW

Scary insects moving
look, fright, catch, stomp, scream,
Scurrying, NEWF HAIR JS

oh da pooh on my mom's shoe,
now it's stuck on my webbing.
follow my mom around the yard

Shovel and bag in her hand
I look at her with wondering eyes
and alas make another pile. D~

Josie is my name
Im a Newf without a doubt
Naughty is my game T&J

White billowing clouds
parade of memories float
Draw Missy, my newf JS

Maddie, happy girl
Slinging slime above her head
Angel Newf is she. RL
Or perhaps a "toy haiku" should be 3-5-3...

eat, slap, what?
not for long... RC

I am a newfie
I am brown
I am a handful NH

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dog-gone, Dogged Dog

Two weeks before we left for the Canadian Maritimes this summer, Orion decided we were taking too long to get up in the morning and decided to come get us. We sleep upstairs. Orion doesn't like stairs. He doesn't like us lingering in bed even more, so he decided this was the best time to tackle his phobia. After climbing the stairs, he rushed into our room, and since dear Hubber's side of the bed is closest to the door, he was greeted face-to-face with the wet snoot of the newf. Then he ran over to my side to snoot me, but I was able to roll out of reach. He did this every morning until we left for Canada. In Canada, he either slept by the door of the motel we were staying, or in our bedrooms if we were at a B&B or cottage. When we returned home, he took up his place at the foot of the stairs, guarding the front door, having forgotten how he came to greet us. That lasted two weeks. Then he started coming up to get us out of bed every morning. Which leads to last night.
A couple of nights ago, Orion thought he might like sleeping upstairs in the Master bedroom. Hubber didn't really think that was a good idea, so when Orion came up at 9pm, Hubber took him back down and placed him on his chill-bed. He came up to wake us the next morning. Last night, Hubber was out so when Orion came up at 9pm, I told him he could stay until his Daddy returned home, then he'd have to go downstairs to his own bed. Hubber came home, Orion jumped up at the intrusion downstairs, ran down to see who it was, saw his Daddy, turned on his heels and ran back up! Hubber came up and told The Count, "No, young man, you do not sleep up here." He stood by the door and called him. Orion didn't budge. Hubber called him again, The Count just pressed himself firmly into the side of the bed. Hubber called again, Orion lay down. Hubber came in, took Orion's collar, and led him down to his bed. Hubber gave him a drink of water, some cuddles and affection, then came back up to bed. I was sure Hubber would give in--Orion is so incredibly cute, even when he's being stubborn--but Hub stood his ground. Lights went out, all was quiet. 30 minutes later we hear, "Galump......galump....silence....galump, galump, galump......silence. I whisper, "I think he's coming back up," to which Hubber replied with a giggle, "I think you're right." Galump....galump, galump, galump....silence. A few minutes later, someone quietly creeps in, walks over to Hubber's side of the bed, sits there for a minute, and, taking Hubber's silence as surrender, lies down on the floor by the bed.
He was still there when we woke. I told Hubber, "Before you know it, he'll be on the bed." Hubber replied, "There is no way that drooling, drippy-nosed bag a fur and bits is going to be sleeping in my bed! I will definitely not give in!" Yup, Hubber's real good at not giving in....

The Count in New Brunswick

Looking for sand dollars and fossils

First Day of School (March 2005)

Orion had his first day of school today. This has been a big deal since dear doggie is terrorfied of......stairs. Yes, those awful scary things you have to climb up or descend. Now he will go up the two front steps to the front door, no problem. Never has been. It took some begging and coaxing, but I did get him to go up and down the four steps out the back door. The stairs going to the second floor, however, he will not go up come hell or high water. The class was on the second floor.
There were two Bernese Mountain dogs and one St. Bernard, so I was glad he could be around a couple of dogs his own size. The Berners went up the stairs with some coaxing and pulling, but as soon as Orion saw the steps, he bolted right out the door. I can tell first hand that the rubber leashes do burn, it took the skin off my fingers! I tried pulling, bribing, pushing, but in vain. He was not going up those stairs under any circumstance. I fianlly had to carry him up the first six (not an easy task, I only weigh 40 lbs less), then on the landing he huddled in a corner and wimpered. There was no way he'd go up the last six. He's as stubborn as one of my children! I finally carried him up the last six, burst into the class, landing on the floor just inside the door, which was very embarrasing since they could hear all the commotion on the steps. I was glad I arrived early, as it took 20 minutes to get him in.
He was perfectly behaved for class; demonstrating his sit, down, and leave-it, which he already knew. When he had to go from a stand to a down, he put his paws on the ground, rump in the air, and when he didn't get the treat, he slammed his backside down into a roll. He was quite the clown. Then it was time to leave, and once we headed to the door, he turned and bolted in the other direction! I waited until everyone left and the instructor and I pulled him down the stairs, then back up, then down, then up and down again. Now I think he knows he can do it, but we will see what we get next week! Needless to say, I had quite a workout. He came in, took a nap, and that is where he still is. School is such hard work! : )

No Steps, No STEPS! (March 2005)

Orion is seven months old, and he hates stairs. We have two long steps leading to the front door, which he learned to go up and down with no problem. We also have four steps leading in the house through the back door, and with some coaxing, was able to navigate with no trouble. It's the long flights that get him. I think he's afraid of heights (he's quite the wuss), so as soon as he sees them he runs. He's never, ever, even tried going up or down them! He just looks, turns and runs. When he was very little, I carried him up the stairs the few times he needed to go up.
He did this with the car, as well. I drive a station wagon, and the cargo area is his. When he was little, there was no way he could jump in or out so I always lifted him in and out. As he reached 80 lbs, I figured he was big enough to learn himself. He was so stubborn I could placed a raw steak on the ground and he wouldn't get out. My breeder had no idea why, neither did my vet. I found out he was playing me when we went to visit my parents and my husband was driving. When he opened the trunk, Orion jumped right out! I said, "Look at that, he can get out all by himself!" and my husband said, "He never has a problem getting in or out when I take him places." The beast! I bet if my husband took him to school, there would be no problem. We practiced those stairs at school, going up and down, so he has no trouble now, but he won't try the stairs at home. I think these dogs get ideas in their heads, probably sitting there right now plotting his next move as we speak...

Mommy's Little Helper (NOT!)

January, 2005

Ahhh, New England weather. Last week was snow, then ice, then snow, then ice, then 60 degrees and rain which cleared away the above mentioned. Last night old man winter dropped about 4 inches of powdery snow. Dear hubby was in a hurry this morning so I told him I'd clear the driveway (and my boys would take care of the deck and patio). Now if I go outside for any reason, I must be accompanied by my guardian angel (lol), Orion. He decided he would "help" me shovel the snow by grabbing hold of the lower part of the shovel while I was pushing. After ten minutes of this "assistance", I handed him the other shovel so he could "shovel" his own snow. Of course, once I got going again he dropped his shovel and ran back over to "help" me. Just like a kid, when they "help" it takes twice as long to do anything. When my imaginative hubber gets home tonight, I will set him to work straight away to invent a snow shovel for a newf.! Now that would be something to see!
Donna (with frozen fingers)
and Orion Count Drulzelot (I love to help my mommy!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

me, again

me in the h2o
Does Your Dog Like Spicy Food?
May, 2006

One friend asked me this question as we were discussing what beggers our animals are. Her dogs like chili, the spicier the better. This got my fellow newf-listers talking about the spicy foods their dogs like. As for spicy food, does anything get spicier than candied ginger? This he loves, and when he finds out I have a piece, he will sit, stare, and salivate until I give him some. Drip, drip, drip; the saliva drips from his jowls as he gives me the begging-look. One can only eat two or three pieces before the tongue is really burning, so you'd think a doggie wouldn't like it, but perhaps it doesn't burn his tongue (or he thinks, "If she can do it, so can I!").
Orion's New Toy
May, 2006

This morning, Hubber and I took a walk around the yard before hubber left for work. Orion always joins us for our morning stroll, and this morning he was feeling very frisky. At the end of our walk he started making "play-with-me" noises, grunting, growling, woofing and running in front of us and then darting back. Not really wanting to play "chase the puppy," I looked around for a stick or ball. I did spot an old lime I threw out the door for the crows. It was hard as a rock, having been neglected at the bottom of the fruit bowl. I picked it up and tossed it, thinking Orion would never find it in the tall grass. Find it he did, though, and he picked up his prize and started back toward us when he stopped in his tracks. He dropped that lime so fast and jumped back shaking his head, as if it had bitten him, then he batted it, pounced on it, tried to pick it up again, flung it, and ran around it. It was so funny, my stomach was hurting from laughing so hard. He was sure it was still alive, and waiting to bite him again! He played with that thing, batting, pouncing, picking up and dropping, for a good ten minutes! Finally, he figured if he gently picked it up he could carry it without it "biting" back, so he trotted with his prize to the front door, where he fully intended to bring his treasure back into the house. I had him give it to me and I placed it by the front steps, where he could (and did) grab it on the way to taking my daughter to the bus. After playing with it some more at the bus stop (by this time it was pretty soft and squishy), he finally did lose it in the grass. Someone once said dogs can't taste sour, but I can tell you, this one certainly could taste lime!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Orion Saves Me (or so he thinks)
August, 2006

I really would love to get into the brains of these nooves, especially the one I reside with. First, I'll give you a bit of background info. It's been cool here in New England; 48*F when I awoke this morning. Definietely light sweater weather. Second, I have some neighbors who live behind me, I have a field which comes between my house and theirs, and I walk Orion around the perimeter of the yard, including this field. Third, the neighbors can see us if they look out thier window.
I noticed a huge black, furry rug on my livingroom floor this afternoon, and it had been there for quite some time. I decided the rug needed some exercise, so I called Orion to join me for a walk. He was a bit miffed I had roused him from his slumber and headed out with an attitude and, as I went out, I tossed my black shawl over my shoulders. We walked around the yard until we reached the field bordering my neighbors' front yard. I noticed he had been lagging behind--sniffing the hedges and grass--when he noticed I was ahead and took off at full speed (flews aflappin'). When he reached me he started barking and acting crazy. Okay, he must want to play. A bit unusual, as he prefers to play in the front yard, but I figured, whatever. So I started jumping around, playing "I'm gonna get yer tail", and "chase the puppy" (in full view of the neighbors, who think I'm a bit nutty anyway). I found my shawl was getting in the way, so I stopped, took it off and tied it around my waist and continued playing. When I was done I told him, "All done!" and had him sit for a few minutes to settle him down. Then I turned and headed back up to the house. That's when he came barrelling up behind me and bit my butt! I turned and he was barking and pulling on my shawl! It suddenly occurred to me he figured it didn't belong there. I took it off and tied it around him, then he strutted off as if he was the "finest tiger in the jungle". Either he figured the shawl was attacking me and he was to save me from such attacker, or he just thought it pretty and wanted it for himself. Fortunately, I am well padded on the backside....
The Count Loves Licorice

After dinner this evening I went to my cupboard and pulled out a bag of licorice. I love licorice, turns my teeth black, tastes so yummy, and two pieces make a lovely after dinner dessert. Of course, The count came up after eating his dinner and sat in front of me with his "cute suit". Hubber said, "He won't eat licorice!" I must mention Hubber hates the stuff. Orion kept begging, so I looked in his empty bowl and said, "What a good boy! You ate all your dinner!" and I handed him a piece. He loved it (of course, I knew he would, since no one could eat licorice without him finding out and begging for some!). Hubber said the dog was out of his mind and wouldn't dare eat another piece. So I gave him one and sure enough, he snarfed it with glee and begged for another. Hubber is astonished, but I told hub it was good for digestion (is it? I have no clue, but it must be good for something...). I bet it makes your hair grow or something.
Orion visits the Local Elementary School
June, 2006
Today Orion was a surprise guest at my daughter's school! Her class had just started reading Thunder from the Sea which features a Newf as an important character, so we thought this was the best time for a visit. Her teacher and I planned the visit and kept dear daughter in the dark (VBG). So, after his grooming and a nice long walk this morning, we put on his new backpack loaded with books, and his fancy bib from Newf Emporium, and off we went. We talked about newfie anatomy (why they have flews and jowls, webbed feet and a rudder tail), talked about his training and the Delta Society, Newfie temperament, and their search and rescue abilities, ending with showing the photos from Hugger to the Rescue. Then we asked the children (who were leaning on him and hugging him) to go to their seats and we proceeded to walk around and spend a few moments with each child. He behaved marvelously, I was very happy with him. Some kids who were previously afraid of dogs were put at ease when they fed him a frozen green bean or carrot.
Since several of the teachers, the secretaries and the nurse remembered when I first got him, they were thrilled to see him at almost two years old. My, how he had grown!
I'm afraid I didn't get any photos since we were a bit busy.
Orion Makes a Mess
May, 2006

The past few days have been most entertaining, from this dog-owner's point of view. Twice in as many days I've wished I had the camera -the video camera, that is-with me. Yesterday, I left The Count home with my oldest son and youngest daughter, as I took younger son to his piano lessons and picked up groceries. As I came around the corner to my sliding glass doors to go in, arms full of groceries, out runs Oscar-the-kitty with Orion in hot persuit, nearly knocking me off my feet. What greeted me in the house was my oldest son is laughing uproariously, while my daughter is shrieking, dog food is scattered (no, flung!) all over the kitchen floor and a pile of yogurt is splopped right in the middle of it, the table is skewed sideways, the chairs are tipped and pushed every which way. I stopped dead in my tracks and said nothing. Son finally gathered his wits about him to explain what happened. It seems that Orion was getting ready to eat his crunchies, topped with the aforementioned splat of yogurt, when Oscar walked into the room. Now Oscar was put on This Great Earth for the exclusive job of being chased by the huge black wooley creature, and Orion knows his job and does it well. Oscar took off under the kitchen table, under which Orion doesn't really fit, but that didn't stop him from trying. As Oscar ran one way, Orion countered, moving both table and chairs in the process. Oscar tries to make a run for it, but, while turning, skid and lost his footing. Orion turned the corner as well, nailing his food dish and scattering the contents, and also lost traction on the tile floor. So you have these two critters, legs moving madly but neither of them going anywhere; Oscar heard me coming and shifted direction, which gave him enough traction to bolt out the door, with The Count right behind him, with laughing son yelling, "Where's the kitty, Orion?" and daughter shrieking "Knock it off!". Definitely camera worthy.
Dogs Do Talk (in their own weird way)
April 2006

I've been teaching The Count how to say, "yes". Not by barking though. Today I was nibbling on a coconut macroon, when he came over to me; I ignored him. He poked me in the belly with his nose, so I looked down at him. He sat down and gave me his "Cute-suit", so I asked, "Do you want a bite?" and he replied by theatrically licking his chops twice. So I gave him a bite. I took another cookie and walked to another part of the room, same thing. Called hubber in to watch, and he did it again. And again. Too funny! Now he is sitting by me giving me that "cute-suit" and chop licking while keeping his eye on my glass of wine. Macroons I'll share, but my vino is a no-no! When he tried the same trick with my eldest son, dear son replied, "Grrrr, I have food aggression! Back off!" I guess it doesn't work on everyone....
My "Talking" Newf
April 2006

Orion "talks" when he first gets up in the morning and we come down stairs. I first feed the bird, then make coffee, and then call him over for his morning attention (he will follow me at a distance until I call him over). Then he gets a big hug, lots of kisses, and then ear scratching to which he will moan and moo. He flops himself down for a belly rub, and if he thinks he ought to have more, he will "give me a talking to". This he does every day as part of his "routine". When Hubber is giving one of the kids a talking to, Orion will come over and first stand by Hubber and "talk" then move over to the kid being scolded and "talk" back to Hubber. This makes everyone start laughing but, needless to say, drives poor Hub crazy. Throughout the day he will occasionally talk, first by looking at the person he's talking to, then he starts "raawWooWoorawwoo" and if we mimick him, he will get louder and eventually start barking, to which we bark along with him. When he finishes, he will always try to get the last word in, with a "RawRawRaw" which sounds like he's muttering under his breath. It is hilarious, though I don't know what he's saying or even whether or not he thinks it's funny. Knowing him and his sense of humor, he probably does.
Morning Musings....
September 2006

I was going through some of the stuff I have for Therapy Dogs, looking over books and articles so I could refresh my mind before Orion and I go off visitin' some area nursing homes, when I came across this photo of an elderly lady in bed looking up at a llama. Now I don't know about anyone else, but if I were an elderly lady in a nursing home and woke up and saw a llama peering down at me, I'd sh*t the bed! I mean, really, I know what went through that old lady's mind (I've worked in retirement and nursing homes), and it probably went something like this:
Someone comes to the door of the lady's room, knocks, and says, "Would you like to see my llama?" Now this old lady is thinking, "Who on earth is this? Am I supposed to know this person? I must know this person, but for the life of me I can't think of who it is!" She's also a bit hard of hearing, and trying to be polite she says, "Uh, yes, sure." In through the door comes this person, followed by a LLAMA! Now it"s not likely the old lady has ever seen a llama before; basset hounds, yes, llamas, no. When asked if she wanted to see a llama she was probably thinking it was another resident or maybe a piece of jewelry and she hadn't heard correctly. The lady is thinking, "What the...Holy Geez...Are you trying to KILL me? I know, it's that no good son of mine and his greedy wife, sent this person here with this creature to give me a heart attack so they can get their greedy hands on my money! Well, I'll fix them! I'm calling my lawyer and having them removed from my will! Trying to scare the life out of me, I'll show them!" The visitor and llama leave, the old lady calls her lawyer, and when she dies her loving son and his sweet wife are completely baffled that they've been disowned. The old lady must not have had all her marbles or something, they think.
All because of a llama......
"How Much Does He Eat?"
January 2006

The last time I was out walking Orion with my kids, someone stopped and said, "Wow, he's a big one! I bet he eats a lot!" I looked at my 5'10 190 lb teenage son (standing next to his 5'2 mom) and said, "You bet! I can hardly keep any food in the house, you should see my grocery bill!" My son was embarrassed, but we all had a good laugh. Now why don't people ask me, "Do you have a huge house to have such a big kid living in it?" Since the kid (who is only 14 and still growing) takes up a whole lot more space than the dog does.
Spontaneous Generation
January 2006

I had an amusing situation with the kids. We used to have a little coffee shop right up the road. The owners were very nice and since I live in a small town, they knew everyone, and everyone stopped in there for coffee and a chat. One day I came in with my three rambunctious urchins (at the time 6,4,and 3 years old) in tow when one gent, sitting at a table having coffee, said, "Where are the rest of your kids?" I gave him a puzzled look, and he said, "Don't you have, like, six of them?" I nearly died laughing! Told him it sure seemed like there were a half dozen of them on some days!
Hubber just said this morning (while perusing the paper for a bigger vehicle), "If we didn't have to drive Orion around, it would be a whole lot easier to get a bigger vehicle. Some of these cars are quite roomy." I told him the fact is we now have four children (I now consider the dog a kid), and why didn't he say, "If we didn't have to drive Thing One around...." since he takes up the most room!
Orion To The Rescue
December 2005

Last week the morning temperature was zero degrees (F) here in Northwestern CT. I had to bundle up to take Orion for his walk, get the newspaper, and bring in a load of wood for the stove. I put on my long, wool coat, a wool cape over that, leather work gloves (with shearling lining), cashmere scarf, and topped it all off with a new hat, sheepskin with the fur on the inside, with a huge shearling brim around the outside. Looks like a Swedish kind of hat, or maybe Russian. Now take a moment to form a picture of this spectacle in your head.

I take Orion to his pen for his morning "chores", then up to get the paper. I hand him the paper to carry down to the house, which he takes and runs off at full speed down the driveway. The driveway having icey spots, I was walking slowly and carefully. Orion noticed I wasn't keeping up, so he stopped, turned around, took one look at me and dropped the paper. Bummer, now I have to remove my gloves to pick it up and it is soooo cold outside! I take off the gloves and bend down to pick up the paper when Orion jumps up, grabs the hat off my head, SLAMS it on the ground, and backs up to see if it was still alive! I was laughing so hard at the thought that he just saved me from having my brains sucked out. Now I have this really warm hat, and I can't wear it!
The Count Has a New Friend
November 2005

Thanksgiving came, bringing with it 3-4 inches of snow (our first this season here in CT). My dear daughter and her cousin went outside after dinner and built a snowman in the front yard. A cute thing with two sticks jutting from the sides for arms. That evening when all company had left and I set myself down with the last of the champagne and dear hubber let the doggie out for his evening business, I heard a ruckus coming from the front yard. Orion was barking and growling up a storm. Yes, the same dog who wouldn't bark to wake up his daddy when I was locked out was barking at the snowman! I called hubber over to see this, as we watched him give that snowman a talking to. Finally, Hubber called Orion in and told him he was very silly for barking at a snowman. The next day when I went out to get the mail, I noticed Orion had decided the snowman "belonged to him." I figured my daughter would be very upset, but when I returned to the house she came in the room, set her arms on the table and gave a deep sigh. "Orion marked my snowman," she said. I guess he wasn't afraid of it anymore.
How I Burned My Fingers....
October 2005

Well, my dear younger son (11) came home yesterday and went off to play. I hollered for him to do his homework, which he said was already done. Right. I told him I KNEW he had homework (since he didn't seem to have any the past few days) and he brought me over a paper with the instructions for a project he was to do. "Wow, this looks like a fun project, when is it due?" I asked. "October 28," was the reply. "You mean it's due tomorrow?!" This was at 5pm (he is in a math club at school so arrived home late), I had to leave in fifteen minutes to take older son to piano theory class (a 15 minute drive, one way, for a 45 minute class, which means I had to stay there). This meant arriving home after 6:30, making dinner, washing dishes (did I mention my dishwasher broke?), and helping him with his project. So needless to say, I was not happy. On the way home with eldest son (whose lesson ran late, of course), my darling daughter (9) informs me she is going to have a terrible day tomorrow. "Why?" I ask. "You don't want to know," she said. "Okay." After a few minutes she changed her mind and decided to inform me (now at 7pm-with no supper yet) that she has a project due tomorrow as well! She "forgot" about it, and now she knew I was going to be upset. So, while making stir-fry for dinner, I was on the floor with the hot glue gun, gluing penguins to posterboard (and before anyone cries "animal cruelty", they were origami penguins!), when I stuck one finger into freshly squeezed hot glue, and to get the glued object off, stuck another finger in more glue, and then again, by now yelling, "Son of a ....gumball machine!!!" So the tips of several fingers on each hand have second degree burns. Makes typing a tad difficult and slow. By the way, the projects were finished (I don't see any A's coming, but at least they were done), and all the children are still alive. Where was dear hubber? Trying to unfold black paper cranes (from my thousand paper cranes, the only black and white origami paper I could come up with in a pinch) so they could be refolded into penguins.
The (Mis)Adventures of SuperNewf
November 2005

We finally finished putting together costumes, gathering up pumpkin-shaped goodie bags, and had everyone loaded in the car for our annual visit to "all the houses with the lights on". After stopping at our first house and exchanging pleasantries for candy bars, we returned to our darkened car to behold the greatest fright of the night! There, in the back of my stationwagon, loomed the figure of a newf, GLOWING IN THE DARK! I had put him in the car dressed as a Superhero, but this was not part of my costume. My oldest son (who is too big to t-or-t) is laughing his a** off, my dear daughter is standing, speechless, with her mouth wide open, and my younger son is saying, "Oh, no. Oh, no." I'm staring in horror when I turned to younger son and ask, "Where did you leave your glowstick?"
Flash back to fifteen minutes earlier. I am rushing to get the kids ready, since we are pressed for time. Two of my kids have piano lessons (a 20 minute drive one way) we have to head to at 5:45 and they would return at 7:30. So we figured, with the time change and all, that we would head out at 5 and hit a couple of houses in the neighborhood before going off to the lesson. It was just getting dark, so I gave each of the kids a glowstick to wear so they would be seen. As I was stringing them, younger son comes up, grabs his stick and goes off. "Where are you going with that? You need to get ready and brush your teeth before we go!" So off he went to finish getting his costume on as I strung the other two and handed them to my daughter and my eldest son. After gathering everyone into the car younger son says he can't find his glowstick. "Go look upstairs," I tell him, as I get out and help him look. We can't find it and it's now 5:15, so we decide to go without it. Well, we did find it, a few minutes later. It would appear my superhero found it on the sofa, carried it out discreetly as any newf would do, and when left in the car, punctured it. It would appear that when you puncture one of these glowsticks, they "explode", which is exactly what this one did. All over my car, all over my black newf. I rushed him home, dropped him off with younger son and told him to wash him, and ran the other two to piano where I called dear hubber, stuck in traffic, and told him to finish washing the dog. Fortunately, he didn't get any in his mouth (I should say, nothing in his mouth was glowing!), and they are labeled as non-toxic, and a call to the vet provided him with the most unusual halloween story he had heard. Fortunately, he knows us pretty well, and he's already seen everything (except this, of course).
No, I did not get a single picture of super newf, glowing or not, nor did I get any pictures of the rest of my trick or treaters.
A Song I Wrote

A fellow newf owner was telling me about his dogs in the car. He stopped off at McDonald's for a quick breakfast before heading over to the feed store to buy grum for his three newfs. He left the dogs in the car while he ran in for all of five minutes, jsut enough time to grab a bag of nuggets and pay for them. When he returned to his vehicle, he found some very satisfied doggies awaiting his return. I wrote him this little song....
To the tune of Michael Jackson's "Beat It"

I picked myself up an Egg Muffin with cheese,
I rolled the bag up tight as I heard the newfs' pleas,
"You dare to touch my grub and you'll be in the deep freeze!
So Leave It, just Leave It!"
I set my coffee down and stepped out of my car,
I had to make one stop, wasn't going far,
"You stay in the back seat, this ain't no snack bar!
So Leave It, you don't wanna be bad!"
Just Leave-it! Leave-it! Leave-it! Leave-it!
Now doncha go ahead and eat it!
I already fed ya, this is my feed,
don't ya dare touch it, my words you must heed!
Just Leave-it!

Two newfs in the back seat, Mc Dee's on the dash,
Do I dare trust them? Will they loot the cache?
"You two sit tight, don't you dare touch my stash!"
So Leave It, just Leave It!
I come back to the car and to my shock I do see
Ollie in the front seat, smiling with glee,
Muffin crumbs all over, paper bag debris,
They ate it, yes, they wanna be bad!
Just Leave-it! Leave-it!
Leave-it! Leave-it!
Now doncha go ahead and eat it!
I already fed ya, this is my feed,
don't ya dare touch it, my words you must heed!
Just Leave-it!

Good morning all. Last night Hubber and I decided to think up some haiku about newfs (we think up haikus about everything). Here are a few we came up with, wonder how many more the listers can come up with! Haiku has a rhythm of 5 syllables for the first and third line, and 7 for the second line (5,7,5) and the object is to capture a moment in time. Here's a few we came up with:

Time to light the grill,
wet chin marks on the counter,
sausages are gone.

Gloppy bowl of chow
newfie gobbles greedily,
brown chunks on my pants.

Newf takes a long drink
turns his head to look at me,
stringers reach the floor.

Running like the wind,
tongue and flews madly flapping,
grinning ear to ear.

I had a good one about goobers last night, but forgot it, I'll have to think of another. Come on, gang, lets add to the list!

Friday, August 18, 2006


This is The Count, Orion