Harry Barker and the Furever Home

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Friends

April 25th 2007 9:07 pm
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What is a friend? A furry, furry friend? I'm still learning English (Muppet is my first language, in case you were wondering....)

I keep hearing "friend" and "furry friend" all the time. I think it means someone you like and who likes you.

Or, it could mean someone who bit you on the ankle and then tried to make you chase them on the beach.

I also hear it once with regards to Emma, the female beagle at doggie daycare. She has a "thing" about me. That's what I heard them saying. She likes to corner me and try to have her way with me. Maybe that is what friend means...having one's way.

A friend could also be someone who feeds you, or someone you run to when you need to be picked up because a big scary trash bag blows by in the wind and you will be killed by this horrible, plastic, puppy-eating monster if you don't get to higher ground, immediately.

(I don't think a friend gives you a bath or brushes your teeth.)

Personally, I think a friend might be all of these things, and also something more:

Someone that you've never met in person, but you understand completely from just a few short exchanges. Someone who understands what its like to be a dog, or a person with a dog, for that matter.

I think a friend is someone who understands love, pure and simple, the kind with no ulterior motives and no expectations.

This diary entry is about friendship, and I'm dedicating it to my friends Cooper and Jake.

 

Identity Crisis

March 18th 2007 10:08 pm
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Well, my friends, it has been a long many weeks since I've spoken to you all via my diary entry. And, I have to say that being Dog of the Week (aka King of Dogster) was quite a daunting task. As wonderful as it was to be King of All Dogs for a week , the experience left me somewhat tired and had the unexpected side-effect of quite a bit of soul searching.

In the weeks that have followed my reign, I find myself in the midst of a kind of canine identity crisis. Simply put, I'm not quite sure who I am.

Now, some of you might be thinking, "You're Jack!....that loveable, wonderful sweet dog we all know and love. The smart, handsome and thoroughly clever and alltogether wonderful dog who won DOTW and whom we love without condition or artifice." And, of course, you'd be right.

But, quite simply put, I don't know WHAT I am.

My doubts started to creep in after my first official haircut. Of course, everyone said I was cute and wonderful, as usual, with my new 'do. But, unbeknownst to everyone around me, I was starting to see someone in the mirror I didn't recognize any longer. Where there had once been black, frizzy, curly fuzzles of hair all over the place, there was now reddish brown and lighter black, silky fine and perfectly groomed hair. Where there was once long and curly arm fur and huge slipper like feet, there was now groomed forearms and feet that were trimmed into a somewhat macabre topiary likeness of tiny cat feet.

For hours, I stared at myself, daring my reflection to reveal even ONE clue as to what I really was. But, as soon as I felt like I was about to have an epiphany.....I'd have to pee.

Many passersby in my life have been kind, but totally unhelpful. People at the dog park offer their opinions on my background, and I've heard everything from Scottish to Irish to Welsh and even Australian. My own vet thinks I am an Airedale. Perhaps she thinks I've been put into the dryer at the groomers' once too often.

Just when I was getting comfortable thinking I was a Welsh Terrier/Wire Fox Terrier mix, something happened. My mother and I were walking on the beach, and this ray of sunlight hit my handsome visage. As we looked at each other, I knew we were both having the same frightening, insecure thought......

Yes, I think I'm part beagle, people.

 

I'll never forget the little people....and by that, I mean- the Rat Terriers....

January 28th 2007 8:35 pm
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Well, here I am, mid-way through my week as reigning King of Dogster.

I've been overwhelmed with emails and pup pal requests, so it doesn't seem right not to take the opportunity to thank all the dogs (and, yes, some cats) who have been emailing me, giving me rosettes and stars and inviting me to be pals.

I've been really touched by all of your friendship, your sweet messages of congratulations and most of all by your stories of your own rescue and adoption by your furever moms and dads.

Over the past few days, I've gotten to know some of you very well and have heard so many stories. Some have made me bark out loud they were so funny. Some have been touching and others triumphant. Some have been heartbreaking. But, all of them have highlighted the incredible, beautiful bond that we, the lucky few, have with our humans.

Growing up in the shelter, I always dreamed of being DOTW on Dogster and having a home where I'd be waited on hand and paw, with daily walkies, trips to the beach and to the dog park to see my friends, both human and canine. I dreamt of a warm bed and good food and more love and trust than I knew what to do with. Of course, some dogs said I was just a dreamer. After all, I had no idea what Dogster was. (In fact, I still don't really, but don't tell anyone.) And, I certainly didn't know what a real home was. Okay, okay, so I only dreamed of a home and not the Dogster thing.... But, my point is this:

I clung to my dream. And, its a dream that a lot of you doggies out there shared with me. Whether you came from a shelter or a rescue or were found on the streets or were from a breeder, we all have the same thing in common; a home where we're wanted and loved and, most likely spoiled rotten. Or, in the case of the aforementioned Rat Terriers, spoiled ratten.

And, what we give our moms and dads in return is the most special of all loves. The kind of love that only we, as dogs (and, perhaps one or two cats) can give our humans...Unconditional. Limitless. Forever.

So, please accept my heartfelt thanks for each of your notes and kind comments and emails. I feel I must tell you that you should all strive to be DOTW. Mostly for the extra cookies you'll no doubt be served on fine china or a silver platter. But, also so you can see for yourselves how many dogs like us are making the world a better place, just by being what each of us are: Perfect.

 

I'm The Dog of the WEEK!

January 25th 2007 4:51 pm
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Aroooooooooooo!!!!!

My mom just got an email from Dogster. I figured it must have been a doozy 'cause she almost fell on the floor when she saw. She made a werid squeak noise and then told me that I was the dog of the week!

Apparently, my goofy grin won over the 'dudes and gals at Dogster's Top Secret Dog of the Week Crew.

Yep, I sure was yukkin' it up in that photo. See, it was right after my first haircut, which meant two things:

1) I could see, and

2) I had "blow dry hair" which meant I was twice as big all over. My dad said I looked like myself, only really close-up.

Anyhowl, I have to tell you all, I'm pretty much smilin' 24 hours a day in my new, fur-ever home.

Since I'm dog of the week, I'm gonna take this opportunity to get on my kibble-box and encourage every human out there reading this to go to consider adopting a dog from your local shelter or animal rescue organization. I'm living proof that sometimes "happily ever after" is virtually free.....

 

Something HORRIBLE happened on the way to the forum.

January 17th 2007 5:53 pm
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What was THAT?

Yesterday, the strangest thing happened. It was a morning like no other. Mommy seemed to be doing a lot of sighing and kissing me. I thought maybe it was Kissmas time, again! But, no such luck.

We went to the place with doggies where I don't play, but I wasn't too concerned. I still like this place, but the last couple of times I've been there, well, I don't like it as much as the doggie daycare place, let's just say.

Anyway, my mom and dad left me with this nice girl who was going to take me back to see the other dogs so we could play! But, that never happened. They put this funny thing on my face, shaved my arm and my shoulder and then asked me to count backwards from 100. (Hey, note to hospital staff: I'm only one! I can count to 10 and that's it, okay?)

Anyway, when I woke up, I was in a cage (my most un-favorite place to be) and I felt like I'd been smacked around by a Newfoundland or something. My shoulder hurt something awful and then I saw it: They CUT MY SHOULDER and stitched it up again. WHAT??!

So, here I am in this cage and I FREAKED. I made a lot of noise and cried a lot. So much noise that the vet told my mom and dad I was very upset and crying a lot back in the cage. Gee, thanks a lot, lady. Why don't you just tell them I'm a big wuss while you're at it.....

I had to stay there such a long time. I was sooo happy to see my mom and dad that I forgot my shoulder and tried to jump up on them. I was whining and crying and my eyes were watering. I wasn't crying like I've seen people do, but they were really watery. Worked in my favor, though, because I think that made them feel extra sorry for me! (Read: more treats!)

I was super-sleepy when we got home and very hungry. I ate my dinner, but afterwards, I feel verrrry trippy. It was upsetting and I was NOT in a good way. I think I slept it off, though, because this morning, I was feeling pretty, pretty, pretty good!

I still have a huge gash on my arm. What the heck did they do THAT to me for? What did I ever do to them? Don't they realize I'm CUTE? Didn't my mom and dad notice what they did to me? Why didn't they smack the doctor and nurses around for hurting me? They would never stand for such a thing happening to me if they knew....

I know one thing for sure; I'm not letting my mom out of my sight. As long as I cling to her like a leaf, nobody can get to me and do this to me, again!

So, listen up, guys, be careful next time you get taken to the V.E.T. You might just come back as Frankendog!

 

Merry KISSMAS???

December 24th 2006 8:20 am
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Okay, so I keep hearing all this stuff about Kissmas. What is that? Does anyone know? I am thinking it is a day where I get more kisses than I usually get. Just as long as mom doesn't do it in front of the guys. (Aaaaawww, mom!)

People make such a big deal about Kissmas, so it MUST Be good. Mom has put up lights around the house and there are so many wrapped up things for me to smell that I think I'm gonna lose my mind!

Last week, we had Hannukah. Wow, that took me a long time to learn how to spell. My mom says not to worry, most grown up humans can't decide how to spell Hannukah/Channukah/Hanukah/Chanuka/Cha....

Regardless, Hannukah is now officially my favorite holiday. Not only did I get to visit and see my RaRas (grandma and grandpa!) almost every night, but I got PRESENTS every night. My RaRas got me a little blue bouncy ball that has a jingle bell in there, somehwere. It is my new best friend and last night, I got up to bring it into my bed so I could be closer to it! When I woke up this morning, it had rolled away a little bit, but I was still happy to see it!

Kissmas must be great. I can't wait. I can't wait! I CAN'T WAIT! More presents!! More RaRas, more PLAYING. And, as you probably know by now, that is my middle name...

Merry Kissmas, every ONE.

 

THANKSGIVING!

December 4th 2006 3:14 pm
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So, nobody told me about this whole Thanksgiving thing until the actual day. I kept on hearing everyone talking about it, but nobody actually told ME anything about it until that Thursday. THAT WONDERFUL THURSDAY.

I am sooo thankful. I'm thankful to be thankful for Thanksgiving. That's my new motto. I wonder when it will be happening again? Next week? Hope so!

Well, my day started with an early morning trip the beach. THE BEACH. THANKSGIVING. YAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOOO!!! So, at the beach, there was a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Bodi that I played with for almost 45 minutes. We chased each other (he never caught me 'cause I'm TOO DARN FAST!) and we ducked and dove in and out of the waves. THE BEACH! YAHHHHOOOOOOOO! Thanksgiving. Great. Thanks.....

Anyway, yeah, so we get back home and all this cooking and cleaning and stuff was going on in the kitchen. I was completely occupied with making sure I knew what was going on that I never once got a nap. Then, without warning....A BATH. Ick. Not so thankful. I was keeping that sand for a project, mom!

Back to my story......so, my dad took me to the park around midday to play with Bentley. BENTLEY!!!!! Yeah, yeah. Thankful for Bentley. Thanksgiving. FUN.Thanks......we played for ages! Then, back home to mom who was still in the kitchen. Such sweet smells were coming from the oven and the fridge. My mom gave me a piece of carrot and my eyes almost bugged out of my head (well, that's what she says, I don't remember anything but how great that carrot tasted!) Does everything taste so much better on Thanksgiving????

Later on, the family came around (arroooooooo!!!!) and that was the BEST part! We were all together. And, eating! I got turkey, celery and a piece of potato in my bowl. And, that was AFTER my regular dinner. I was stuffed, but happy.

Thanksgiving. Giving Thanks. Thanks. Food. Good food. Thanks. So, does anyone know when the next one is??? Anyone????

 

Of Mice and Airedales.....

November 20th 2006 1:30 pm
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Let me apologize for what is basically going to be a rant and not a diary entry, today. First off, I'm kinda in a grumpy mood because my best friend Bentley pushed me into a mud puddle.

Well, I wasn't exactly pushed. It was more like a launching.

See, I was playing with Bent and a couple of other guys we'd just met at the doggie park, last week. I was deep in thought (which is better...chicken or turkey?) and he ran up behind me and did a huge body slam on my backside. I was launched in the air, legs akimbo, before I even knew what hit me. Mom says I was at least up 3 feet in the air at my highest point. Then, I landed (face first) in a mud puddle. Now, the thing that gets my mom about this is that it is about 78 degrees here in California right now and there's not a mud puddle to be found......except, I guess, when you're catapulted into one by a goofball canine.

After I picked myself up out of the mud with a little help from mom, I immediately focused in on Bentley and ran over using his side as a springboard while howling all the doggie curse words I have learned so far at the park. I left some big muddy pawprints on his side, but I didn't succeed in knocking him into next week.

Then, for some reason known only to her, mom took me straight home. She mumbled something about not passing go, and not collecting my $200. I could have bought a lot of treats with $200. Too bad.

But, not as bad as what was awaiting me when we got home. Yes, my friends, my horrible ogre of a mom gave me a B.A.T.H. Playing in the mud is all fun and games until someone gets cleaned. I tried giving her the helpless eyes, which didn't work. Then, I tried climbing to the highest, driest ground there was, but she didn't appreciate wearing me as a hat. Luckily, it was a short bath just to get rid of the mud. Shudder.

On to my next rant.....why on earth do so many people think I am an Airedale? I mean, people, look at me!!! I'm 28lbs soaking wet. (Ack! WET! *Shudder* I just had a B.A.T.H. flashback.)

I also don't have particularly curly hair due to whatever it is my biological mom and dad were.

But, for some reason, people insist on asking my mom and dad if I'm an Airedale. Now, don't get me wrong. Even the folks at the shelter told my mom and dad I was going to grow up big and be an Airedale (shhhyeah, right!) so I can see how even people in the know could be fooled by my big dog 'tude and my great looks. But, come on! I'm about 1/4 of the size of an Airedale. This leads me to my next gripe....

I'm at the pet supply store the other day with mom and this man comes up to say hello and says, "I didn't know they were breeding Airedales with mice...." as he leans down to pet me.

Dude, that's just not cool. I have ears (big ones!) and I heard what you said. No way am I a mouse. I'm all dog, Mister.

My mom always patiently explains that I'm most likely a Welsh Terrier mix. She says, "....That's the one that looks like a miniature Airedale, so it makes sense that he looks like one to you." I wish I could remember what my mom and dad were, but when a guy can't remember what happened to him two hours ago, then there's not much hope for his long term memory.

The other thing that kinda bugs me is that sooo many people think that it is "amazing" or "unbelievable" that I came from the local shelter. As if there aren't millions of us great finds in shelters all over the country, every day of the week, waitin' for someone to come scoop us up and live in a fur-ever home.

People, don't go buyin' one of them designer dogs. At least not before you go to the shelter first and see the best dogs around....the mutts! You may have to go once or twice before you find your best friend, but I'm tellin' ya, you'll find him. Or, her, if she happens to be a grrrrrrl.

 

I Puked.

November 9th 2006 1:02 pm
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Today, I puked. Threw up. Vomited. Hurled. Tossed my cookies. My mom says it is all the same thing. I do this frequently, though my pediatrician says I'm okay.

Thing is, I HATE it when this happens. Especially if I am in the house. I feel soooo bad about puking in the house. I try so hard to get outside to do it, but sometimes I don't make it to the back door on time and it just comes out (you guys know what I mean.)

To me, it is just like doing my business in the house and I just HATE it. My mom tells me it is okay and I'm GOOD and not bad at all, and she pets me and tells me how sweet I am and how she knows I feel bad. But, I can't help it. I roll over on my back with my tail between my legs and shake. I guess there's no reason for me to do this since mommy never gets mad at me or raises her voice. Maybe it was something that happened before I came to my forever home that I just can't remember.....

Anyway, puking is not such a good thing.

But, to make up for it, my mommy took me to the coffee place today and we just sat outside. We didn't order anything, we just sat and watched people go by. I was still upset and nervous, but then I had a few admirers come to say hello. I did my cute puppy act for them, complete with my puppy talk that sounds like I am a donkey, and sitting on my haunches with my little fuzzy arms in the air, waving and pawing like crazy. Pretty soon, I'd almost forgotten the whole horrible incident. And, best of all, I managed to meet all these new people and not puke on a SINGLE ONE OF THEM!

Then, we came home and mom made me breakfast, which I scarfed down and, again, I didn't barf.

Yipee. My day is going great, again. If I could only keep my eyes open....zzzzzzzz........

 

Cats, Hairballs and Other Big Problems in My Life

November 5th 2006 8:21 pm
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Well, it has been a while since I've written a diary entry. Mainly this is because I've been very busy these past couple of weeks. Starting with my first close encounter with a C.A.T. since the shelter people tested me for cat attacking skills.....

I was at my grandpa's house, relishing my time playing ball in the backyard and doing general doggie exploration thingies/investigations/reports when I noticed my grandpa went into the house and left the door open! I followed him and completely ignored my mom, becasue, after all, this was new territory and I needed to check it out more than I needed to listen to my mom!

So, I go into the kitchen type thing following granddad and I turn around the corner and there's one of those cat thingies. I was shocked. I wanted to say something, anything, but nothing, not a squeak, would come out (unusual for me.) I just stared at that weird looking creature for a long time. I think it was just as startled to see me as I was to see it. It advanced, sniffing the air around my muzzle. I didn't have any idea what to do, so I figured I'd play with the thing. After all, playing is what I do best. I think I came on a little strong. I mean, I lunged forward in a play like fashion and put my pushy little paws out to entice the thing to chase me around the house, but it took off running. I followed and at one point, it stopped, looked back and seemed like it wanted to play with me, but then it took off again and I never saw it again. Late at night, I sometimes sit up in my bed wondering what it was doing there, and what it was thinking. Was it as interested in playing as I was, but afraid? Was there some code I should have followed?

Anyway, a few days later, I coughed up a hairball. Now, my mom seems to think it was because I was licking my arm all day long, but I talked to some of the older guys at the park and they just laughed and said I caught it from the cat.

My other concern lately is car door beeps. You know that obnoxious sound that people make when their car closes up for the night. Well, I've just started noticing these and I DO NOT want those beepy noises to come and eat my family and take my food and toys away from me, so I bark as loud as I can when I hear them......My family is so lucky they have me to protect them.

 
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