Archives for May 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

I’m literally running out the door after I hit “Publish” on this post to catch the train to Hudson. Spending the long weekend at Nanny and Poppy’s. Will try to update with fun tidbits, but I make no promises. I will have my netbook with me, so I probably won’t drop off the face of the intarwebs.

For now, content yourself with this cute video of Yara and her new soccer ball that I snagged during our tour of pet supply stores in CT:

Confusion Has Me

One-way ticket from Albany to Hudson: $25.50
Round-trip ticket from Albany to Springfield: $23.80

Amtrak pricing has always confounded me. I get that the train to Hudson, N.Y. is a more expensive ticket to purchase solely because it’s on the line that goes to New York City, but it just baffles me that a one-way ticket is more expensive than a round trip ticket to Springfield, M.A. By the way, this is WITH a discount!

Just seems fundamentally wrong to me.

A Trio of Dog Photos

I’m very slowly trying to organize all these photos from my vacation, which led to me poking through my own Flickr stream at stuff. While these have all already been posted here in the corresponding babbly posts about the goings-on at the time, I thought I’d share the photos from the last few years of all of Raechel and James’s doggies.

Me and Raechel with Giselle, Otis, Spock, Yara, Scarlet and Dasha

Raechel and me with Otis, Dasha, Scarlet, Yara and Yancy

Raechel and me with Yancy, Otis, Dasha, Scarlet, Yara and Nerys

I have to say that the first photo was probably the easiest on me; Giselle was (and probably is) a total sweetheart and thus far has been the smallest puppy I’ve had to wrangle. This last one, as I mentioned, wasn’t exactly fun since Nerys bit me a fair few times — on the nose, twice. But I actually have no real memory of taking the second photo, so I guess Yancy wasn’t too bad to handle. I do have to say, though, that Dasha and Scarlet break my heart with the sad faces. You’d think we were forcing them to sit on the hot coals from the fireplace. It also cracks me up that if you see all the “outtakes” from these shots, Yara is the only one who never moves the entire time. Guess shoving a camera in her face constantly does have some merit. ;)

Vacation Wrap-Up

Yara and I have made it home safe and sound. We’re both wiped out; in fact, Yara is already asleep. She didn’t even lift her head when I called her for dinner and earlier I gave her a new raw meaty bone to gnaw on and she just took it and fell back to sleep. I think she might perk up tomorrow, though, since it’s back to our normal routine and she’s always eager for work. That makes one of us. I’m dreading the return to work tomorrow.

Anyway, since my daily posts over my vacation were pretty lacking due to my supreme exhaustion each night I went through and edited the original posts (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) with more fun details and pictures for those of you who care about every small tidbit that I could recall. I also thought I’d go through some of the finer points (read: random) of my most awesome ten days and show off some more of the many, many photos we took just to wrap things up. Especially since there wasn’t much of interest to report for today since it mostly consisted of riding the train back to Albany.

Yara and Felix

Perhaps you remember how much fun Yara and Felix had last year. Interestingly, they really didn’t have much interaction this visit. Yara did spend a good deal of time supervising the cats, especially when one was in my lap. But we mostly had her with the puppies in the kitchen so her stalking was a bit limited. She did try and play with Felix a few times, though. But the night we took that photo she wasn’t so nice to him and tried to bite him and got herself swatted in the face by a kitty claw. Better luck next visit, Yara.


One of my favorite things about German shepherd puppies is how they sometimes look like teddy bears. I think this photo shows Nerys looking particularly teddy-bear-esque. She really is a cutey. Which is good for her given she’s possibly the worst biter of a puppy I’ve ever encountered. Also, she spent the entire ride to her Windsor walk hitting me with her paws. I kept shoving them off the seat and she’d put them back and/or smack my legs or hands with them. And when I ignored her, she’d bite me. Oh, well.


Scarlet has one thing in common with both of the guide dogs I’ve worked with thus far: she’s very good with her plush toys and she loves squeaky toys. She also tends to use that bed as more of a pillow, which is one thing I’ve never understood about either of my guides. Anyway, the puppy was very aware of this lone toy left in the front room and EVERY single time she was out there (en route to “get busy”) she’d try and make a grab for it. Yara actually succeeded in sneaking it into the kitchen at one point, but thankfully the puppy was in her crate so no damage was done. Phew.


So, my friend Sarah has a pop-up crate, which I told Raechel about since she and James take their foster puppies to a convention each year and, well, long story short they bought themselves one and got one for me, too. I haven’t had any need for it since, though, so it’s been collecting dust at their house. But I set it up for Yara to use over our stay and she seemed to think it was homey enough. It was slightly bent when I popped it open but a few shoves straightened it out. And, then, of course, Yara bent it all over again by leaning on it funny in her sleep . . . Okay, well, I thought it was pretty funny. It did straight out again rather easily. And now we have a portable crate for when we go places, too!

I leave you with this very cute video I took of Otis going through his “sit-down-rollover” routine with Raechel. Like all of her dogs, Raechel’s trained them when they were puppies, but Otis never quite got that all those commands were separate and he tends to run through his gamut of tricks if there is a treat available. Enjoy:


Raechel and me with Yancy, Otis, Dasha, Scarlet, Yara and Nerys

Our last full day in CT was a pretty laid back one, which was rather appreciated since I think both Yara and I are fully exhausted by all our fun activities. Went with Raechel to run some errands and brought Nerys with us. Then we all went to Nita’s for lunch, along with Yancy, and ran a few other errands. Back at the house we took our customary photo of all the dogses, which was quite an experience with “bitey, bitey, bitey dog” in my arms. Little bugger bit me on the nose. Twice! Raechel and I also watched some Witchblade and we had grilled homemade pizza for dinner. It was very cheesy and delicious and an excellent excuse for eating some more of the sauce I made the other day.

Tomorrow we take the train back to Albany, but for now you can check out the HUNDREDS of photos here on this Flickr set. Me? I’m going to go fall into bed.