Out of five house critters, I managed to photograph two of them; Annie above and Luke below. The all remind me of the saying that “The more I know people, the more I love my [dog|cat].” And in this day and time they are indeed my oasis in this social and political climate.
Archives For Annie
Dreamboat Annie, the Labradoodle, or just Doodle for short, turned 2 today. She celebrated with her big sister Ruby Tuesday, a yellow Lab female, with extra treats and a nice long walk. Living with a Doodle has been a “learning experience.” I’ve been living with Labs for the past 35 years. The Doodle is a cross between a Lab and a Standard Poodle. I can see the Lab traits in her, but the other traits I have to ascribe to the Poodle side; wild exuberance well beyond even a Lab is the primary difference between her and Ruby. She’s also extremely intelligent. This I attribute to the fact she’s the product of two of the brightest working dog breeds around. The only breed brighter then either the Poodle or the Lab is the Border Collie. And I shudder to think what might come with a purposeful interbreeding that includes the Border Collie.
Annie’s been a challenge in a good way. She is energetic and demanding of interaction from her people. Except when she wears herself out playing and interacting with everyone including Ruby. Then they both do some hard core napping on their Orvis beds. They’re well made, tough, and easy to clean.
And another surprising characteristic of living with a Doodle is she loves the two Ginger cats. They come up and rub her all the time, and she nuzzles them. I’ve seen them several times napping right next to both Annie and Ruby, but especially Annie.
And if I had to describe what Annie looks like, I’d have to say she’s my living Muppet, both in looks in personality. I love her curly coat and all the various colors. If she were a male, I’d have named him Jacob because of Jacob’s coat of many colors. I was told Annie was turned down because she wasn’t a pure color. That kind of reason is so wrong on so many levels. What those possible owners have missed by not having Annie, and what I’ve gained.
It’s been a while since I lead off with any of the household animals, especially the Labs. I can still call out plural Labs because Annie is a Labradoodle mix. Pride of place in this photo belongs to Ruby, who has perfected the side-long look like no other Lab that’s ever lived with us. She loves to hop up on the sofa next to me, sidle over close, and then give me that “come hither” look, which for a Lab means “walk hither.” Annie, back in the shadows, is watching, picking up tips. Her schtick are her flying leaps, which I’m assuming come from the Poodle side of the Doodle mix.
The Mackerel Tabbies seem to be getting along pretty well these days, at least in the big cat tree. I’ve not checked in about a month, but back in April, at six months, the Gingersnaps were weighed at nine pounds each. Lulu, resting at the bottom, is a little over fourteen. Everybody realizes Lulu is our special needs cat, and they give her reasonable wide berth. But when it comes time to nap, everybody gets along in the cat tree. As long as nobody but Lulu goes in the cat condo.
I’m photographing more, but posting less. The breaks are good as long as the don’t become indefinite. Top photo was taken with the Olympus E-M10 and the 14-42 EZ pancake zoom, bottom with the E-M10 and 45mm Zuiko. I also took the luxury of post processing with Lightroom 6.
Annie has been with us since late June of last year. She turned a year old on Valentine’s day. She’s still a long, lean dog, and she stands taller than Ruby. She’s grown into her big paws and legs, and looks more like an adult than a big puppy.
She’s still behaving like a puppy, especially her jumping. But we seem to be getting a handle on that, and it’s as much about training us, her owners, as training her to respond to our “no don’t jump” command. So we’re working on the finer points of doodle-human communications, and it’s beginning to work. I carry a bag of treats around in my pocket to reward her when she’s good, and I’m now beginning to hold off rewarding her every time.
There’s nothing wrong with Annie. She’s a good, sweet creature who wants more than anything to please us. When she jumps it’s out of enthusiasm and a love for us, not out of meanness. She just doesn’t understand. To be truthful I love the full out enthusiasm she displays. When she starts running, for example, her first move is a little leap into the year, followed by full-out running. And that energy and drive has re-invigorated Ruby. They play together for long and intense periods, and they are now truly bonded as a pair. Annie has given Ruby a second lease on life, and I’m truly grateful for that.
You walk a delicate line when you complain about a dog. You need to consider all of a dog’s aspects, not just the one that might annoy you. And when you do complain about a dog, remember that while a dog might be intelligent, it’s a doggish intelligence. You, the person, have he necessary brain processing to figure out what’s wrong and then fix it.
Annie has been a love as well as a challenge, with the love winning out overwhelmingly over the challenge. Annie makes life with her interesting and enjoyable.
The Florida Gingersnaps
The Gingersnaps are now 20 weeks old. They were neutered at our vets on 1 March, the day after this was taken of the two of them. While they are still known collectively as The Florida Gingersnaps, their individual names have changed. They’ve been renamed after the Dukes of Hazzard, Bo Duke and Luke Duke; Greebo is now Bo, and Ponder is now Luke. The names are shorter to make it easier for everyone to remember, and both cats have now learned their names and respond to them. I decided to rename them after the Dukes after watching them go leaping through the air, one after the other, like the General Lee from that TV show.
Annie, the Labradoodle, turned one year old this past Valentine’s Day. I would have said something back then, but Valentine’s Day this year was two days after my total right knee replacement surgery, and as a consequence I had other issues on my mind, like pain. What you’re looking at is Annie after her coat trim at a local dog shop that provides such services. With her trimed all over she looks about 20 pounds lighter. Her face and head in particular look a lot cleaner. I love the little curls around the top of her head. I would have taken a whole body photo but Annie still hasn’t calmed down enough to stay still long enough for me to do a proper pose and photograph. I was lucky to get a decent head shot.
Overall, the newest entries in the household are doing quite well. Although Annie still wants to jump up on me, and the Gingersnaps seem determined to turn the house into a cat version of the Daytona 500 track, their presence has brought me a lot of joy and happiness, especially as I recover. They are like four-footed little nurses, especially when they come up and lay next to me (Annie) or on top of me (the Gingersnaps). I’m so glad they’re here.