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Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

As many of you remember, when the puppy we were originally going to adopt died, we found solace in a chocolate lab that resided on the property where we live.  His name was Nuka, but we would call him Haiku because of our general confusion as to what exactly his name was.  He would come to our house just about everyday to lay on the cool tiles of our living room floor, snuggle with us, and eat some bacon carbanara whenever we left it unattended on the kitchen counter.

Nucca-2

When we got Olie, his affection for us, and our house, quickly dissipated.  He realized he was no longer the only dog grabbing our attention, and Olie’s overwhelming amount of energy caused him to run in the opposite direction when he saw us coming.  There were times that Olie would chase Nuka (a dog 4 times his size) around the entire property simply because he wanted to play.  Nuka wanted no part in this, and the only way we would locate the two was by hearing the screams of the people who had discovered a pair of dogs had barreled into their living room and were knocking over their furniture.

Nunka

So when Jillian came running down the hill towards our house with a look of terror in her eyes I knew something was wrong.  “Somebody killed Nuka!” she said.  “What?!” I responded, that’s ridiculous. “Olie saw him in the bushes and ran over and jumped on him and he didn’t move!,” she explained, out of breath. “He’s impaled on something up the hill, go check on him, hurry!”  I jumped on Pinotage and sped up the hill, thinking this had to be some terrible mistake.

Sure enough, I looked into the bushes and there was Nuka on his stomach, with all four of his legs splayed in different directions, and his head against a post, pointed stiffly towards the sky.  I called his name over and over again, but got no response.  I looked closer and realized that he hadn’t impaled himself at all, he had gotten his collar caught on a short metal pipe attached to the ground, struggled to get away, and in the process just caused the make-shift noose to tightened.  He was gone.

We called our land-lady over and she called the property’s groundskeeper, Blanc.  Nuka and Blanc were close, they were always seen together, walking around the gated community side-by-side like they had known each other for years.  They had, actually, and that’s what made this part so hard.  “Men no! Men no!” (But no! But no!) he cried as he ran into the bushes, checking if there were any signs of life.  This was his buddy, his companion.  After sitting there with Nuka for a few minutes, holding back tears, Blanc sent for a knife and started to cut away the collar that had killed his friend.

We stood there for another few minutes before going our separate ways.  Nuka’s owner was not home, so that news would have to be broken later.  They covered him with a sheet, and then went home, the next day they would bury him.

This was a tough one, Jillian and I were jarred for the entire evening, and it was one of the first things we mentioned when we woke up this morning.  While Nuka wasn’t our dog, he was a fixture here, and the reason why we decided to get Olie.  He was a beautiful dog, graceful yet dopey, and was never aggressive or mean.  Jillian decided to get a chocolate lab for us because Nuka was such an awesome dog around our house.  He came in, laid down, would appreciate some petting if you were in the mood, and then would take a nap.  He was perfect.

But now, after this freak accident, everyone in this complex has lost a friend, and it hurts.  As if we needed another reminder of how fragile life is; trust us, God, we know already!  The sanctuary of our gated community is now marred by the image of Nuka’s dead figure gruesomely posed on a pipe in the bushes, and every time we walk Olie we will be reminded when he looks up the stairs that Nuka would lazily sit on top of.  Olie will miss you, Nuka, and so will we.

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I quickly introduced the newest member of the Thorp family last Thursday, but it is now my distinct pleasure to formally introduce you to Oloffson (or Olie for short)!  Now that we’ve gotten a couple days with the guy, we’ve learned a lot about his personality, and he sure is a firecracker!

He’s named after the Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince, a place that made it through the earthquake relatively unscathed, and has tons of character.  We wanted to name him something that gave him a connection to Haiti, but that also fit, so Olie (pronounced Oh-lee) seems to be perfect.

But as I’ve learned over the past four days, it’s incredibly hard to take pictures of a puppy, as they are in constant motion.  It’s for that reason that it’s taken some time to accumulate enough photos for this blog post.  Olie likes to do a lot of things, none of which we should be allowing him to do.  For instance, on the patio outside, it’s practically his full-time job to rip apart decades of beautiful gardening work that grows almost exactly at his eye-level.  He clearly hasn’t been told about Haiti’s deforestation issues yet.

But when not destroying the foliage, he likes to play, and by play I mean mercilessly bite your appendages.  We’re in the process of teaching him that he can nip and not chomp down, but unfortunately he’s having a hard time soaking it in.  Take the picture below.  He looks so cute and peaceful laying on his back, but just as you go down to pet his belly and tell him how you just want to take a bite out of him because he’s so adorable, he lunges at your face and rips off your nose.

And while Jillian and I have found is that raising a puppy is not a fun and glamorous as it looks, we are learning as we go.  For instance, he has a hard time staying upstairs without barking when it’s time to go to bed, so our inexperienced solution is to just stand in front of him saying “NO!”, shuffling back and forth so that we are always standing between him and the barrier that blocks the stairs.  It seems to work, even if it means you have to stand there for 20 minutes before he gets it.

So while we haven’t really gotten a good night’s sleep since he’s arrived, there have been some major victories in the training department.  While Olie clearly has no control over his constantly exploding bladder, he now no longer poops in the house!  He saves that for our walks around the property that we now do about 10 times a day.  He’s also learning to fetch, but it’s become clear that he really only likes the part where he gets to jump on you when he returns the ball.

So there you have it!  I promise I won’t be posting every time he does something cute, but we’ll keep you updated on how he’s doing, and how many plants he has destroyed.

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Sometimes things have a way of working themselves out.  After hearing the news that our puppy had died, we wrote off the idea of getting a dog, taking it as a sign that maybe this just wasn’t the right time.  Well, the reality is that we don’t really need to get a new dog when it appears we already have one!

The chocolate lab carelessly splayed on our living room floor above is named Nunka…we think.  We actually aren’t really sure what his name is, it could be Luka, or Nuka (without the ‘n’).  Jillian has dealt with this uncertainty by naming him herself: Haiku.  If there was a Haiku poem written about him, I think it would go like this:

Brown dog…
Sleeps on our floor and
wants our food.

I’m not sure if that’s even a proper haiku, but that encapsulates our relationship with him perfectly.

But the best part about Haiku is that he sleeps in the wildest positions I have ever seen a dog sleep.  He will stroll into our house, without knocking of course, and just roll over on his back and chill.  It’s kinda the coolest thing I have ever seen a dog do.

He didn’t used to just stroll into our house, we actually had to train him to do so.  Initially, he would walk to the open doorway and then stop.  When we called him to come in he wouldn’t, as if there was an invisible barrier blocking him from the interior of our house.  But after coaxing him with a little bacon carbonara, he’s broken that invisible glass ceiling and is now a daily fixture in our ti kay.

So we have now semi-adopted him.  When he comes in I will sit down and pet him for a while, and he just hangs out with us until he gets bored and leaves to go sleep in a weird position somewhere else.  We’re actually not sure who really owns him, so I have proposed making him OUR permanent dog, an idea that Jillian opposes until we find out who he belongs to.  I find that unnecessary, as he clearly likes our floor more than anyone else’s.

But the reality is that he’s just a dog that trots around the complex and wants some food and attention.  There’s also a BIG German Shephard that lives on the grounds as well, but we know he belongs to our neighbors.  So until the mystery surrounding Haiku (or Nunka, or Luka) is solved, he will be our anonymous adopted dog that hangs out with us and that we don’t have to feed.  We don’t have dog food anyways, but we are getting a kitty…

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Hmmm, this makes things a little complicated…

As you know, Jillian and I will be adding a kitten to the Thorp family any day now.  Luna is about twice the size she was before getting knocked up, and we are anxiously awaiting the call from our friends saying, “Luna exploded and there are kittens everywhere! Hoorah!!!”

It’s something that we’ve put a lot of thought into.  After looking at our family budget and figuring out if a new kitten was even economically viable for us, we weren’t really given a choice in the matter as we were party to Luna getting pregnant.  It’s therefore our responsibility as the irresponsible temporary parents of this cat to take one of her bastard children in an effort to alleviate the responsibility from her (semi)responsible permanent parents.

Well, we thought we were going to have our hands full already until Jillian got a non-kitten-explosion related phone call.   Jillian’s old co-worker, JeanBa, has thrown a kink in our spokes, and it’s is in the form of a cute ball of puppy goodness!

“Awwwww” is right!  JeanBa’s dog just had 6 puppies that are waiting to be snuggled and posted on youtube for all our family and friends!  Their mother is a mild-mannered Rottweiler mix, and the father is whatever mutt that got lucky with her about 3 months ago.

But now the debate begins, a dog is clearly more responsibility than a cat who could care less if you are home or not.  Transporting a dog also creates it’s own roadblocks as Jillian and I only have our trusted Pinotage at the moment.

You also can’t leave a puppy at home for an extended period of time, and add that to the work of having a kitten, you have a full time job.  It’s almost as if you would need a husband who works freelance and is home most of the time to be able to handle all of this…….WAIT A SECOND!!!

The puppies need to grow for another three weeks before they can be harvested, but we’ve already put a hold on the spotted one above in the event that we decide to convert our house into a baby animal farm.  It doesn’t help that Jillian’s parents have just purchased the cutest little puppy in the world, named Jack.  You can see a picture of him, and more of the puppies if you click the “Continue Reading” link below.

I think we have made a decision, which I will not post here in a brash attempt at creating suspense.  We are definitely still getting one of the kittens, so that’s a lock.  But we would love to hear what you think, and I found this cool button on our blog’s website that allows you to create polls, so vote (OR DIE!)  Just kidding….

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