Nell Pup Pix and a Heart Video

Three quarters done — I just have to edit and upload Heart’s photos, and my Sisyphean tasks for this week are done. OK, maybe it’s not quite that onerous…

In the meantime, here are my two favorites from the Nell photos –

Butters, French Bulldog Puppy
Butters — which is, or rather was, short for Butterscotch, but is now officially the poor little thing’s call name.

Cream French Bulldog Puppy

The still nameless cream boy, waiting patiently for Bryan and Allison to tell us what we should refer to him as… I’m just going to call him ‘Stache’ for now, in honor of his funky half mustache marking.

Here’s the rest, or see them full sized on Flickr.

.. and here’s Heart

It's About Freakin' Time

Yeah, yeah — I know I’m a slacker. In my defense, my home ‘net was down for a day and change (damn you, satellite internet!), and my camera battery bit the dust. My main excuse is simple – I’m suffering from “SQUEE!”.

“Squee” is the syndrome in which one becomes hypnotized by the sheer and utter cuteness of puppies. It’s like getting hooked on video games, or soap operas. You sit down to pet their little noses, and next thing you know, BAM! Two hours have gone by, and you’re cross eyed from staring at that little face as it sleeps on your chest. Oh, and all your shirts have puppy pee on them, so you smell faintly like that homeless dude who hangs in front of Starbucks.

Right, enough excuses. Here’s a video of Penelope’s puppies, with a (rather loud) soundtrack of snuffling, snorting and squeaking. I was on the phone with a design client while sitting next to the pups, and he asked me “Do you have a bunch of Gerbils or something?”.

I’ve also shot a video of Heart, and taken a bucket load of photos, and I’ll edit and upload them all tomorrow. For now, I have to get back to sniffing some puppy breath. It’s worse than crack, I swear to God.

Breeder to Donate New Pup to Family

From CTV News:

A B.C. dog breeder is offering to donate another puppy to the 12-year-old cancer survivor whose terrier was shot and killed by a hunter earlier this week.

Three weeks ago, South Surrey-based breeder Lois Clough sold Seymour, the 14-week-old Jack Russell terrier, to the Quadra Island family of Max Rose.

Seymour was killed Saturday morning after he bounded out of the family’s yard to follow a pair of hunters passing by the home.

Max’s father, Nick Rose, heard a gunshot and found the puppy had been shot in the head and quivering in death-throes by the side of the road.

Clough says she has been in touch with the Rose family often since they bought the pup, Seymour, and was devastated by the news.

“I almost fell off my chair when I heard,” says Clough. “I was only hours away from hosting my sister’s wedding on my property and it cast a shadow on the day. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

The Rose family bought the puppy to lift the spirits of son Max to mark the end of his three-year battle with brain cancer. They were in touch with Clough shortly after the shooting.

“We’ve talked a lot, and how terrifically hard this is on the family – just expressing the horror and heartbreak of the situation,” she says.

“When you raise puppies – and Seymour was a particularly charming fellow – it just seemed to be a match made in heaven for this family that has been through so much,” says Clough.

The breeder says she will give the Rose family a new puppy once they’re ready, and has already sent them pictures of the new litter of eight-week-old terriers on the farm. They have already selected a pup named Leo.

Nick Rose says the outpouring of support from the Quadra Island community has been overwhelming, with people offering puppies and financial compensation to help the grieving family.

On Monday, 31-year-old Cody Wellard turned himself into the Westshore RCMP detachment, saying the shooting was an accident.

He was released on a promise to appear in Campbell River court on October 13. Police are seeking charges for careless use of a firearm and endangering an animal.

Clough says she hopes the new puppy will bring the family some closure.

“You can’t ever replace a puppy,” she says. “All you can do is offer them another one and get past this and start moving forward in what’s obviously been a very difficult time.”

“In this situation to have a puppy in your life to provide comfort and joy and then to have someone blow their brains out is almost too hard to comprehend.”

Hunter Shoots Child Cancer Victim's Puppy

I should point out here that I’m not anti hunting, although it’s not my personal recreational activity of choice. That said, years ago I confronted two hunters walking up our lane way. They had obviously been hunting our posted property without permission. When I confronted them about it, one of them casually pointed his gun at my dog.

Ever since then, it’s taken a lot to convince me that there aren’t an awful lot of assholes out there playing ‘kill bambi’ every fall, and this story hasn’t done a lot to change my mind –

Police are hoping that a B.C. man, suspected of shooting a four-month-old Jack Russell puppy just metres away from its home on Quadra Island Saturday morning, will soon report to police.

“I’m hoping that he will turn himself in,” said Cpl. Craig Peterson of Quadra Island RCMP.

Owner Nick Rose said the dog — called Seymour — was a gift to son Max, to mark the end of three-years of cancer treatment.

“My kids were happy and laughing like they haven’t been in years. My son in particular since before he was diagnosed with cancer I hadn’t heard those kind of giggles and that kid of laughter out of him.”

But all that changed on Saturday morning outside the rose family’s Quadra Island home.

“We had our new puppy with us, and we had a great night just the three boys, and we’re staring our chores and down the road walked two hunters returning from an unsuccessful dear hunt.”

Both of these hunters had shot guns. Not knowing any better, Seymour did what most puppies would do.

“He bounded out in his affable, puppy-like way wagging and simpering and practically peeing himself wanting to say hi.”

But Rose knew the two men from an incident a few years earlier and he knew this was trouble.

Frantic he called Seymour back. But the puppy just followed the pair around a corner and out of sight. That’s when a shot rang out.

“I ran to the end of our driveway and looked around the corner and there was our little puppy, quivering in his death-throws at the side of the road.”

The hunters ran off leaving Nick and his kids in shock along with the rest of the island community. Even police are in disbelief.

“I’m like you, stunned, shocked that a senseless act like this has been carried out,” said Peterson.

Police know the identity of one of the hunters and are hoping they turn themselves in to face possible charges.

“Right now we’re looking at dangerous use or careless use of a firearm as well as endangering an animal, in this case killing a dog.”

For Seymour’s family, charges are taking a back seat to the emotional impact and senselessness of what happened.

From News MSNBC

Can I also point out how completely and utterly pathetic it is that the best our justice system can do to this heartless, soulless asshole is charge him with “careless use of a firearm and ‘endangering’ an animal”? Come on, Canada. It’s time to insist on laws that actually have some teeth. If you hurt an animal, you deserve a lot more than a slap on the wrist.

I’d wouldn’t want to be the Crown Attorney who tells Max Rose and his family that the best justice we could get for their dog was a $500 fine and a weekend in jail. It makes me embarassed of our justice system.

Der Tod ist gross

“Der Tod ist gross,” writes Rilke. “Death is huge.” But various psychologists deny that it as huge as all that when it is an animal who is mourned. I have read statistically studded reassurances that mourning for a cat lasts at most one month, for a dog three. I have read that when an animal dies there are no regrets, no rehearsal of the wail “If only I had …,” and also that the splendid thing about animals, what is said to make them so convenient to our hearts, like anti-depressants, is that when we mourn them we are only mourning a personal loss and not “the loss of life and potential,” according to ‘Between Pets and People’, by Professors Beck and Katcher, authorities on all of this at the University of Pennsylvania.

This is way that psychological authorities talk – “Eventually an animal can be replaced,” they write in their books – but that is not how the experts talk. I realize that psychologists and suchlike are generally understood to be experts, but I have met none who were experts in the various ways my good Gunner’s work with scent developed, especially when he began scenting out the human heart. Of course, I am just a dog trainer. My thinking, such as it is, I learned from the animals, for whom happiness is usually a matter of getting the job done. Clear that fence, fetch in those sheep, move those calves, win that race, find that guy, retrieve that bird. The happiness of animals is also ideologically unsound, as often as not, or at least it is frequently wanting in propriety, as when your dog rolls in something awful on his afternoon walk or your cat turns off your answering machine.

In over a quarter of a century of dog training I have never met an animal who turned out to be replaceable. Dick Koehler says, “Hell, even trees are irreplaceable, but we don’t know it, and that is our loss.” The loss the dog trainer has in mind is the loss of eternity, as for Wittgenstein put it, “Denn lebt er ewig, der in der Gegenwart lebt.” “So he lives forever, who lives in the present,” wrote the philosopher, and this is how the animals live, in the present, which is why the experts’ difficult and apparently harsh advice, advice they occasionally take themselves, is: “Another dog, same breed, as soon as possible.” Not because another dog of the same breed will be the same, but because that way you can pick up somewhere near where you left off, say that you have it in you.

Vicki Hearne, “Oyez a Beaumont” in ‘Animal Happiness’

“Hark to Beaumont. Softly, Beaumont, mon amy. Oyez à Beaumont the valiant. Swef, le douce Beaumont, swef, swef.”

T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Harken to Stone, that good dog, that valiant dog, who fought to the end, never complaining, never slowing, not til the very end. I think because he knew that he was needed, that there are only so many sorrows a heart can hold before it reaches the breaking point.

He was, above all, such a good dog. All of the things people say when they call a dog ‘good’ – valiant, kind to smaller animals, stoic, sweet natured, polite. All of the things that left little space for him, at times, when living in the shadows of a bigger dog. His loss is no less huge, however, and neither is the hole he leaves behind. I bred him, but it’s not my hole – it belongs to the one person who loved him above all else.

Swef, le douce Stone.

Harken to Targ, Jennifer’s heart dog, lost too soon, and missed just as much. Swef, le douce Targ.