Cool Pictures That I’m In or That I Took: Stuff-I-Should-Have-Posted-Earlier-But-Didn’t Edition

Here’s another in a series of posts I’m going to make when I find some of these treasures. Some will be captioned, others will not. The only criteria for posting in this series is that:

a.) I’m in the photo or…

b.) … I took the photo.

In the summer of 2017, Nate, Garrett and I went on a biking tour of the National Mall in Washington, DC. We stopped at all the sights – and there are many. Here’s some select snapshots from the trip including the Lincoln Memorial, The White House, The Ohio column at the World War II Memorial and the Capitol.

Here’s a video of the ride.  It’s 15 minutes long and the battery gave out, but it captures the event.

I was sitting at a soccer game last year and turned my head to see this dog relaxing on the sidelines.  Glad I had my good camera with me!
The solar eclipse in August of last year swept across the United States. Prior to this event, no solar eclipse had been visible across the entire contiguous United States since June 8, 1918; not since the February 1979 eclipse had a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States. The path of totality touched 14 states, and the rest of the U.S. had a partial eclipse.*

The boys and I road-tripped to South Carolina to the home of Lisa Shuler, who graciously hosted us for the event.  This is an edited version of the photo I took at totality. The only change was to add color to the corona, as that’s what most people expect.  However, the actual corona was pure white.

This is an oldie but goodie.  I shot this in 2009 at the Dog Paddle in our community pool.  At the end of summer upon the closure of the pool to humans, the pool is open for one day for dogs to come splash around and enjoy the water.  These two were observing the action from a comfortable distance.

* Most of this paragraph was excerpted from the Wikipedia Page.

Another Emmettversary!

Last year, I wrote this piece on the second anniversary of Emmett’s arrival in our family, affectionately known around these here parts to be an Emmettversary.  Click the link and you can read all about last year’s anecdotes and there are more links to other stories about Emmett in which there are MORE links to other dog stories.  You know how the Web works.

Or you can click on “Dogs” in the tag cloud to the right.

I know your time is more valuable than that, so to get right to the point, today is Emmett’s THIRD Emmettversary.  With the passing of the year, Emmett continues to improve his interactions with the family and, much to my surprise, with strangers.

Over the weekend, I had zerorez come clean the carpets in the house.  This is the second time I’ve used their services and I recommend them highly.  Anyway, this time, I left Emmett out and about roaming the house rather than cooped up away from all the hubbub.

When Steven, the technician, came in, Emmett let out one little bark, far fewer than the usual tirade he emits when anyone — even family — touches the doorknob.  He eyed Steven from head to toe and then sniffed at his shoe.  Steven reached down against my admonitions and offered a couple of tentative fingers which Emmett gently explored, sniffing intently to find out who this new person was.

And with that, it was over.  Done.  Finito.  Emmett chose to go about his business.

Nice change.

Fuzzy Emmett, pre-grooming.

I’m much less worried about him biting anyone.  Repeated successful, non-nibbling trips to the groomers supports my relief.  He appears to be – dare I say it? – mellowing.

Nah…

He’s still a bit of a jackass from time to time though mostly he’s become charming, demanding, adorable and even occasionally cuddly.

Anyway, rather than write something ridiculously long, here’s some photos Facebook friends have probably already seen.

Happy Emmettversary to you, Mr. Dog, and to all of you readers as well!

Cool Pictures That I’m In or That I Took – Alternative Facts Edition

Here’s another in a series of posts I’m going to make when I find some of these treasures. Some will be captioned, others will not. The only criteria for posting in this series is that:

a.) I’m in the photo or…

b.) … I took the photo.

#alternativefacts: I am neither in nor did I take any of these. Unless that’s not true. Then maybe I did. Or not. Click on any photo to enlarge in a new window.

This has been posted on Facebook before but I was surprised to learn that I’d not put it anywhere on this site. This is my Dad in 1949 right about the time he started working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in our hometown.

F-Tower was the railroading equivalent of an air traffic control center. Dad routed trains through a complex network of five different railroads traversing Fostoria. This was his professional home for 30-plus years, not counting his multiple times on active duty in the Army. He retired from the B&O on December 16, 1980.

I have no idea how to credit this, but it looks like a publicity shot perhaps for the new electronic traffic control system at F-Tower.

 

Last post, I showed you photos of the pups that have blessed me with their presence over the years.  This one is also Addie, the Wire Fox Terrier, with my Mom in 1952 in Germany before he, Mom and Dad returned from duty in Europe.

My guess is that Dad took this one.

 

I miss the days when you got photo prints with the month and year on it.  Makes it easy to identify.

This was taken at the Camillia Apartments in Columbus, GA while Dad was stationed there for the Infantry Officers Advanced Course. We lived there for a number of months, but as I was just three at the time, I have virtually no memory of being there. That’s my sister, Bobbi Jo and my Mom in the photo with me. I suspect Dad took this one, too.  He was quite the shutterbug.

When I went back to Fort Benning for Airborne School, I had the strangest, spooky feeling when I walked through certain areas of the post, as if I had been there before, but had no real, solid memories. When I went there again with BJ in 2003, I warned her that she’d have the same spooky experience and she didn’t believe me until it happened.

This one was among my Dad’s photo collection so I suspect this is his. It’s a guess, but I’d bet substantially that this is from the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. A quick photo search on Google seems to indicate that this is the case.

That’s Chief Wahoo up there, by the way, who remains the mascot for the Cleveland team, for better or for worse. This article talks about what happened to this neon Chief Wahoo when the Indians moved to then Jacobs Field.

 

Some Cute Puppy Pictures to Sustain Us Through These Next Days

No politics, just puppies. 

More specifically, puppies and dogs with which I’ve shared space ever since I can remember.  You’ve probably seen some of these photos before, but I’m compiling them here because… well, because I want to. 

So there, too.

Click on any photo to see the large version.

Addie:

Addie was a Wire Fox Terrier born in Germany sometime in the early 1950’s.  My Mom and Dad brought him home with them after Dad completed his assignment there in 1953.  I don’t remember much about Addie except that he would often sleep with me on my bed.

He was a stereotypical male dog who wandered off for days on end only to return roughed up and hungry. He dashed out the door one night and never returned.

 

Schatzi:

A Collie, as you can tell, Schatzi was the family Christmas gift in 1962-ish.  She was loyal, well-trained and just the sweetest dog ever.  She was raised around me and my older sister when we were still in elementary school.  She tolerated without complaint all the relatively unkind shenanigans that kids inflict upon their dogs like trying to ride her like a pony or hitching her up to a sled.  She never fussed.  Not once.

We had to give her away when we moved to Camp Hill, PA in 1969 and she died shortly thereafter.  Dad said that her new owners told him that she was never the same after that and that she died of a broken heart.

 

Myrtle:

After our cat, Sam died, Dad brought home Myrtle from Lebanon, PA near Fort Indiantown Gap, the Army post where he was stationed after returning from Vietnam in 1969.  I remember watching him come up the front yard from the parking spots of our apartment building concealing something under his uniform overcoat.

Myrtle was all Poodle through and through, with all of the frenetic personality traits for which miniature Poodles are well known.  She was a good guard dog and doorbell, would play ball relentlessly, and was an excellent judge of character.  If Myrtle didn’t like you, then it was pretty clear that I shouldn’t either, which made her dislike of the first Mrs. Wolfe so much more contextually relevant.  Of course, by the time the two of them faced off, it was too late for me.

I used to take her outside and smack a tennis ball with a racquet as hard and as high as I could.  She would take off at warp speed often arriving in time to greet the ball as it bounced its first bounce, zeroing in on the sound of the impact.  The last time we got to play ball like this, she was much older. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.   She dashed after the first ball like she was a puppy and them came back so out of breath that it was clear that hitting another one was a very bad idea.  Myrtle and I had to be satisfied with that last moment of play together.

Somewhere I have a picture of Myrtle, but I can’t seem to locate it right now.  I’ll have to add it later.

Alexander:

Alas, I have no photos of Alexander.  He was a large mixed breed dog that we rescued in 1981 when I lived in Augusta, GA.  He was as sweet as they come and equally dumb.  He would jump the fence so we leashed him.  He jumped it anyway.  We discovered him one night hanging by the neck over the fence with one foot on the ground keeping him from hanging himself.  I was horrified.

Later, he went to live in Augusta with my in-laws and finished out his lazy life as the neighborhood dog, wandering about greeting the cul-de-sac house by house and returning home at night for food and rest.

Esme:

I was stationed in Belgium when I heard an AFN radio ad for an American family that was trying to find homes for a litter of puppies.  (Not unusual that I heard radio ads as I worked for the AFN station at SHAPE, Belgium.)  So after work, I dashed a few miles over to a small Belgian village and found Esme.

She was a fierce little thing, and playful.  We’d sit on the couch and watch AFN’s SHAPE’s fuzzy TV signal together.  One evening, Esme and I were roughhousing and she got a little too excited and bit me, not breaking the skin.  I yelped in pain and surprise and she immediately backed off, tucked her tail between her legs and decided that we were done with that for the evening and we should go back to watching TV.  So I sat down with a beer in one hand and started watching TV.  Esme snuggled up next to me and started licking the spot where her teeth had indented my hand.  She sat there soothing my “wound” for a half an hour until the beer finally had it’s effect and I got up to excuse myself.

She remained behind in Belgium with a trusted neighbor.  Esme subsequently had a litter of puppies and for whatever reason was afterward uncontrollable and dangerously aggressive, so much so that she had to be euthanized for the owner’s safety.

This is the only photo of Esme that I have.

 

Gizmo:

He’s a Papillon, for those curious about the breed.  Like most Papillions I’ve met, he’s ridiculously smart, friendly and craves interaction and activity.  Gizmo’s passion was playing ball, and he would — and has literally played until he fell over unable to move. He would come to you looking for something, a treat, his ball or frisbee or some other item he wanted.  If you couldn’t decipher what he was after, all you had to say was “Show me what you want!” and he’d show you.  If it was a treat, he’d stand near the kitchen cupboard and gesture to where the treats were stored. He was the best companion and while we’ve not lived in the same space for a long time, miss him terribly.  (P.S. He had his own web site at one time.)

 

Chloe:

Chloe was Gizmo’s pal until her untimely demise not too long ago. Although she didn’t share Gizmo’s size, she was otherwise all Papillon — gregarious, playful and happy-go-lucky.  In fact, she and Gizmo both would get together with about 15-20 of their Papillon friends, and not once do I remember any aggression breaking out. Pap’s are the most agreeable pups in my experience.

  

Charlie:

The first of the real canine hard luck cases in my experience, Charlie was a rescue who was in the worst shape of any dog I’ve ever seen.  His coat was matted and sheep-like, filthy dirty and greasy to the touch.  His breath smelled of rotting teeth and he was an emotional wreck.

While that last part only slightly changed before I was forced to find him a better home, the rest changed quickly. Once bathed, his coat grew out soft and luxuriously.  Once his dental issues were resolved, his breath improved because he had no teeth left.

He often tried to bite, but without teeth all he could do was gum you unexpectedly.  Disappointed that he wasn’t able to stay with us, a better home was found for him that immediately enrolled him in obedience classes for abused dogs.  While I have no updates on what happened to him, I am choosing to believe that his life is better now.

Bella:

Bella’s story is here.  Every time I read this it makes me laugh and tear up.  But there’s some fun pics of this truly lovely addition to my life that I hadn’t shared before.  Bella had a huge positive impact on me aside from burrowing under my laptop computer when she wanted attention.  I miss her terribly.

In Bella’s defense, it was warm under there.

This is a video of Bella just after she realized that she was going outside for a “romp.”  That meant that she and the kids and I were going out to the large field behind our home to romp and play off-leash.  She was like this ANYTIME she thought she was going out to play.  The neighbors thought wrongly that we were somehow abusing our sweet Bella, but we weren’t.  She was just that exuberant.  TURN DOWN THE VOLUME on this video.  She gets loud.

You’ve been warned.

And this is Bella behaving as she most often did.

Romping.

Bella and Nathan on a romp.

  

Emmett:

Yes, he’s still a jackass.  But he’s so much improved now that he’s almost like a real dog.  He’s cuddly on occasion, and craves belly and neck scratches, but ONLY on his terms.  He’s affectionate with the family and squeals with delight when he’s furiously licking our faces.  He’s also fiercely protective, as Dachshunds are.  But he’s really only mean to one person.

If he’s outside, off leash and sees the autistic kid down the street, he chases him.  And the kid runs.  Emmett thinks it’s a chase game while the kid is freaking out, being chased by a snarling little wiener dog.  If it weren’t so horrendously un-PC, it would be hilarious. Anyway, we put an immediate stop to that behavior and now make sure that the kid down the street isn’t in the area before we go out.

You gotta admit, that’s kinda jackass-ey.

He does not greet romps with the same exuberance as Bella did. Thank heaven for small favors.

“I’m not a jackass! And I’m hurt that you’d even think such a thing.”

    

That’s it.  Enjoy the puppy pix!

Things I’m Keeping in Mind Today

1. In spite of the political flame throwing, Facebook is still fun.

2. Regardless of who wins, we’ll all be OK.

3. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” notwithstanding, the Three Laws of Thermodynamics still apply.

4. Exercise still sucks.

5. News hasn’t been news for years.

benedict-cumberbatch-filming-doctor-strange-set-pictures6. Benedict Cumberbatch is a tremendous actor.

7. So is Tilda Swinton.

8. I’m the worst political pundit ever. I’m not making any political predictions because I’ve been surprised at every turn.

life-regular-50th-detail-sflbec4155418cb46e438643ff2300547e50

9. Life cereal is a gift from whatever gods there may be.

10. Emmett, the family Dachshund, is still a jackass.

img_20160818_185902-picsay

Yes, he’s wearing a bow tie.

Today is an Emmettversary!

13427775_10154250369179793_6982913790501233846_nI wrote about His Emmettship in this post a while back. Since then, he’s continued to grow and relax around people to the point at which I am no longer terrified that he’ll viciously chomp down on someone’s extremities on a whim.

Facebook readers will likely have seen these photos before.  For the record, he’s a good dog now, though since allergy season started, he’s added to his list of daily demands.

Fluffy Emmett, looking very much like a dust mop.

Fluffy Emmett, looking very much like a dust mop.

Emmett has hay fever.  At the start of the season, he was scratching his eyes and doing all the things that allergens do to dogs.  A quick call to the veterinary clinic solved the problem with a half a Claritin tablet daily.

The question:  How to get him to take the pill every day?

The answer:  Wrap it in something yummy just like you’d do for me.

Emmett's drug of choice.

Emmett’s drug of choice.

Bacon would have been my first choice ’cause then I could have some too, but that was far too much trouble. Besides, how do you WRAP a tiny pill in a crispy slice of delicious bacon?

We opted for a creamy slice of delicious Kraft American Cheese. Wrapping the tiny half pill in a strip of cheese torn from the slice did the trick.  No problems at all and, of course, he gets to eat the rest of the cheese not already torn from the slice.

Bottom line, every night he gets a slice of cheese with his pill in it.

Problem #1:  Now he recognizes the word “cheese.”  So you can’t say any word containing the one syllable alert notification “cheese” without eliciting at a minimum this response:

"Emmett, do you want some... cheese?"

“Emmett, do you want some… cheese?”

More often than not, though, there’s a lot of jumping around, barking, whining, wagging of tails, excitement and anticipation unmatched in canine behavior worldwide.

Problem #2:  Now he expects it and demands it just about the time I get home from work.

He’s still a good dog, but I suspect that he’ll be getting a slice of tasty American cheese every day for the rest of his rotund little life, hay fever or not.

12745872_10153927160624793_2782451975259189003_n

Anyway, please join me in celebrating our second Emmettversary, as the lovely and talented Beth Geyer proclaimed today to be in reminding me of the significance of this date.

IMG_20150805_180836

Emmett is a full-fledged good boy and member of our family now.

A Tale of Two Dogs

Chloe1Many of you will not know about my dog, Chloe. Chloe is a Papillon who came into my life in 2007. The former spousal unit and I got her as this tiny little puppy. She was full of the kind of energy that fuels puppies of all kinds and as you can see, she was incredibly adorable.

Chloe&Gizmo copy

Chloe and Gizmo

She joined the family shortly after Thanksgiving, if memory serves, and quickly made friends with the other creatures in the house especially with Gizmo, the other Papillon who came to us a couple of years earlier.

Chloe’s disposition was not unlike that of every other Papillon I’ve met, sweet and playful with a nearly complete lack of aggression toward anyone including other dogs. She and Gizmo were inseparable and they lived together harmoniously with a wide assortment of cats and parrots ever since.

ChloeSundress

Chloe, all grown up.

Unfortunately, I was informed late last week that Chloe was not well and was unlikely to recover. She spent a few days in the pet hospital receiving the best of care and her improvement was negligible. Even though she seems far too young to be at the end of her journey, it looks as though that’s the case.

DSC_0073 It breaks my heart to see such a sweet, delightful creature in such a condition. And even though I held her in my arms on Saturday and told her how much she meant to me, she’ll never really understand how much she contributed to my well being nor will she know how much love she gave me over the years I was fortunate enough to be in her world. Even though we’ve not lived in the same place for over five years, seeing her again and knowing that it was likely that I’d not see her again is devastating.

Goodbye, Chloe. You were everything every puppy ought to be.

Chloe2
Which brings me to the second dog in this tale, His Emmettship, Ruler of All Things Within Barking Distance. Most of you know him already from all the Facebook photos.

Emmett

I’ve done my best in the last couple of days to spend more time with Emmett — you know, concentrate on the living and all that. Emmett as you may recall had a tough life before he found us and has been growing and trusting us more and more.  Accepting affection from humans is something he’s still learning to do.

Emmett3He’s happy, healthy and hasn’t bitten me or anyone else in ages, which early on was a serious concern. In fact, last week, we actually roughhoused a little. I was scared to death that he’d lose sight of play and get too aggressive too fast. He did bite once a little too hard but he immediately backed off. From this one action alone, he’s demonstrated that he’s learned a great deal and that he clearly does not want to hurt us.

EmmettDriveThruEmmett loves to go in the car and if I ask him if he wants to go to the store, he hops around just like I would if I had won the Powerball. In the car, he’s relatively well behaved and if we’re going to the drive thru, he’s learning NOT to stick his head in the bag o’ food to see what’s there in spite of the wonderful aromas of freshly cooked fries. In return for his fine behavior, he gets to share a regular Mickey D’s burger, no onions, no pickle.   As we approach home, he dives out of the driver’s car door and heads toward the front door, with the occasional pit stop at a nearby piece of shrubbery.

If I play my cards right, Emmett and I have quite a few years left until the finishing touches are put on his story. Or mine. Now that Chloe is leaving us, the best thing I can do to remember her is to make that extra effort to love and cherish Emmett’s companionship to the best of my ability.

I still marvel at the ability of these creatures to impact our lives. Emmett, Chloe, Gizmo, Bella and all those preceding pups have found extra space in my heart in which to take up residence for good. And it’s my experience that there’s always room in there for one more.

DanEmmett