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Made the dog eat a bug June 18, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in Maggie, Other.

I realize that I haven’t posted in a while. So here is a not-very-entertaining-but-fairly short video of my attempt to get my dog to notice a fly on the window.

Apparently there are dozens of videos on youtube already that feature pets eating flies. This one’s the shortest one that I happened to notice.

That Blogging Staple – a Picture of my Dog March 31, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, Maggie, Other.

It has been a long time since I put up a picture of my dog. Surprising, really, considering how photogenic she is. Click the thumbnail for a bigger version.

Maggie is a little tired in this picture, having spent most of the day outraged at the squirrels across the street. These squirrels were fortifying their nests with leaves, because it has been unseasonably cold and windy, lately. They are pretty well camouflaged, normally, but when they are carrying a bundle of dead leaves they are pretty easy to spot.

She will be turning two years old in just a couple of short months. My, how time flies.

How to Fold a Westie December 4, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in DIY, Dogs, how to, Maggie, Origami.

A while back I posted a response to the 19 Things Meme that revealed that the header image you see above is actually a picture of a mirror in my house that has little origami dogs standing on top of it, all facing the same direction. Somebody (Diane) posted a comment a couple of days ago requesting instructions for creating these little origami dogs, and I am more than happy to comply.

I have always felt that the West Highland White Terrier (Westie, for the cognoscenti) is the pinnacle achievement in dog breeding. And this easy-to-fold origami stand-in seems, somehow, proof of that belief. No other dog is so recognizably rendered with a sheet of paper (not to mention the fact that for most every other dog you would have to use colored paper) and a few simple folds. They are the platonic ideal of dog-ness. They are friendly, smart, determined, persistent, cute and fun. And they fear nothing.

I didn’t invent this origami dog. I suspect that like many of the more simple diagrams it was invented quite a while ago. But I here render the folding sequence as a public service to those who would beautify the world with more of such likenesses.

Start with a piece of white paper, the thicker the better. I’ve folded hundreds of these out of business cards, while mired in pointless, endless meetings. Business card stock works really well. First find the center by folding and creasing in the middle so that it looks like the diagram below. (Click to enlarge. I am using paper printed with gridmarks to make the folding easier to follow.)


Then fold all four corners towards the center.


Then unfold two opposing folds. Fold one outward and one inward, as shown below–near the one-third mark.


Then fold the whole thing in half. It is beginning to look like a dog already. A headless dog . . .


Then fold from one corner to the other, one side at a time. This forms the ears.


Then the other side.


Then unfold the front legs, which are now tucked inside the dog.


Finally, you have to unfold the beard, and crease it flat.

It should look like this:


Notice the resemblance to the real thing (I didn’t have a current action shot of Maggie, who is now a little too big to play table tennis, so I used a shot from last year)?


Back from Vacation August 16, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Maggie, Other.

I returned from vacation on Tuesday morning at about 10:00 am (a red-eye flight out of Denver that started at 11:55 the night before). I have been trying to sleep since then, with mostly disastrous results, but last night I finally got a few good hours in.

It will probably be a few days before I start blogging regularly, partially because my job did not go away while I was gone. Indeed, even though I worked a little while out, there is plenty awaiting my attention. Eventually I hope to have enough free time to blog about my vacation a little.

Today I went to the kennel to retrieve Maggie. She was doing obedience training while we were away, and she learned a lot. The trainers called her a “trainer’s dog” because she was so smart. Instead of stopping after the conclusion of the 14-day course to which they committed, they kept training her for an extra week, seeing just how much she could absorb.

I turned around a minute ago to see if she could help me with linking to a video of the spectacular training results, but she’s clearly a little tired, and happy to be back home (see below, clicking for a larger image).


I have never posted a link to youtube, so I suspect that I have screwed it up. It doesn’t preview like it says it should. So, my apologies if all you see is some text below. I think I followed the instructions correctly, though, so I will give it a try anyway. Click here for a demonstration of her incredible discipline. Or you could try clicking here (that might work, I don’t know, really). Or, if youtube works, you would click on the triangle below.

Bees July 17, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Lowell, Maggie, Other.

Since my wife and son are on an extended trip, I am at home with Maggie.  So I’ve been going home for lunch and taking her for a walk around the neighborhood every day.  And then I go back to work for a few hours and come home for another walk, and to play ball somewhat endlessly.  I saw that there was a couple of trees down after the big wind and rain storm we had on Sunday night, so I walked her down there today (not our usual route) to take a look at them. 

Turns out the trees didn’t fall down, the nursing home had cut them down preemptively, ’cause they were very certainly dead (see picture below, clicking to enlarge).


The woman in the bee-proof clothing is Louise, who was working with John, another beekeeper to attempt to save the bees by helping them to migrate their hive.  Apparently the inside of the tree was an excellent place to have a hive, with maybe 50 lbs of honey.  The idea was to lure a bunch of their scouts into this box that smells really nice (to bees, but it smelled pretty nice to me, too).  And then the queen would follow the scouts.  John didn’t think that the probability of success was all that good.  But I am hoping for the best.

John said I could go under the caution-tape, then asked if I was allergic to bee-stings.  I said that I am not allergic, although I remember that it hurts a lot when you get stung.  I have an aversion to bees.  Louise kindly took this picture with my cell phone camera. 


Is that cool, or what?

Visible Dog May 23, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Dogs, Maggie, Other.

Maggie she went to the hospital this weekend, which was traumatic for the whole family, of course.  We knew that she has a thing about chewing, but we didn’t realize the danger.  She has destroyed a bunch of her toys, and we usually take them away from her after they start to fall to pieces, except for the rope toys.  These wouldn’t last a minute if we took them away from her just because she was ripping them to shreds.  She swallows a ton of the rope, of course.  But we didn’t realize that it could get all balled up in her system, create a dangerous intestinal blockage.  But now we do.  No more rope toys. 

Anyway, she’s fine.  Here’s a picture of her just before we took her to the hospital. This is her sad face (click to enlarge).


And here’s a picture of her insides (click to enlarge). 


Nice that the veterinary clinic provides you with copies of these things.  Otherwise the $1,300 vet bill would seem excessive. 

I’ll post another picture of her when her hair grows out a little more.  Currently, she has no hair on her front forelegs where the IV was attached.  They did both legs because they did the right first but didn’t find a vein there.  So then they did the left. I hesitate to post a picture until she looks less like a french poodle.  Not that there is anything wrong with that. . . .