Bunny Does Tricks, Mae Plays, and Evil Clowns Scare Me

Bunny has been doing the oddest thing lately – she jumps straight into the air, twists at the height of her jump, and does a barrel roll onto the ground. It’s the oddest thing I have ever seen. I’m going to try to catch it on camera if I can — she usually does it when she’s excited to see me, so I’ll have to get Sean to do it, and he’s camera phobic. What is it with some guys? They’ll obsess over minute details while shopping for cameras or camcorders, but actually use them? No thanks.

I shot some video of Mae – Solo’s mom – running around and playing with Delilah, Penelope and Dexter. In one scene, Dex gets right up into Mae’s face and barks his shrill ‘lookatmeLOOKATME bark, until she finally smacks him with a paw. It’s pretty classic. Mae plays exceptionally well with puppies – she just hates Sailor, and the feeling is mutual.
You can find the video embedded below, or here’s the link on YouTube –

I read a great article on how some kids find clowns terrifying.

From Reuters:

Bart Simpson Clown BedLONDON (Reuters) – Unhappy clowns from around the world say a study that reported that children didn’t like them has wiped the big smile from their faces, and have been falling over their large shoes to put their case.

A poll by researchers looking at what decor to put in hospital children’s wards found that youngsters do not like clowns on the walls and even older ones think they are scary.

“We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable,” said Penny Curtis, senior researcher at the University of Sheffield which questioned 250 children aged between four and 16.

But their findings, published in a nursing magazine on Wednesday, has put the red noses of the clowning community out of joint.

In a deluge of emails to Reuters, they say they misrepresent just how popular they really are.

“The ‘universe’ of 250 children used for the Sheffield University study was miniscule compared to the 250,000 one-to-one bedside visits made by Clown Care to hospitalized children annually,” said Joel Dein, director of communications at the Big Apple Circus in New York. he Clown Care programme has involved two million hospital bedside visits since it began 21 years ago, employs more than 93 professional “Clown Doctors” and has been copied across the world in countries such as Italy and Brazil, Dein said.

Other individual clowns pointed out how much children, especially those who are ill, are cheered by them.

“I have clowned in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, day care, corporate events ,telethons and am a part of many charity events,” said Elaine “Daisy D.Dots” Vercellone, who has been clowning for 21 years around New York.

“It gives people, kids and adults a reason to be silly, to imagine and gives their minds a vacation if only for a moment.”

Heather Myers, aka Pip

“There are those who are afraid of clowns, this is unavoidable, the same way that there are those afraid of dogs and spiders,” she said.

“It is the responsibility of the clown to know his environment, and take the necessary steps when confronted with a phobia.”

jitcrunch.jpegThere’s a shock – does anyone actually like clowns?

Personally, I’m with Bart Simpson – I once spent the night in a guest bedroom full of clown dolls, and it was impossible to get to sleep. I was convinced the horrid things were moving around every time I closed my eyes.

It’s one of the reasons this is my favorite t-shirt.

Mae video embedded below.

Breed Popularity, Email Woes & Puppy Photos

The AKC just released their annual registration figures for 2007. The list contains all of the usual popular breeds, with one exception – for the first time since 1935, the Bulldog has entered the top ten most popular breeds list. Bulldogs are most popular in Los Angeles, where they are second only to Labs.

This popularity has made Bulldogs one of the most commonly used dog breeds in wire transfer (or ‘phantom puppy’) scams – this is the scam where ‘breeders’ offer cheap or free puppies, with the prospective owner just paying for the shipping. Fees are to be paid by wire transfer, and once the scammer has collected fees from a handful of people, they disappear, leaving the victims with no puppy, and out the shipping fees they’ve wired. You can learn more about phantom puppy scams here –

French Bulldogs have exploded in popularity, more so this year than any other. Many of us remember when Frenchies were so little known as to be almost a rare breed – this year, San Francisco and Los Angeles include the French Bulldog in their Top 10 lists.

The increase in popularity of Frenchies is staggering in such a short period of time – they’ve increased +404%, second only to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, at +406%. This means we can look forward to more puppy mills pumping Frenchies into pet stores, more backyard breeders tossing untested dogs together to make quick buck puppies, and more cheap imports flooding the market and swamping rescue.

We can only hope that this surge in popularity is the crescendo, and that Frenchies can now slip quietly back into obscurity, becoming once again the dog most people assume is a Boston, a deformed eared pug, or a Pot Bellied pig on a leash.

Email Woes

I’ve been going through my semi-semi annual bout of frantic filing, desk re-organizing, correspondence answering and cord sorting out (where the heck do all of those electrical cords and chargers come from that end up buried in my desk drawers? Are they multiplying on their own?). This has all put me rather behind on my email answering, especially since everyone and their brother seems to have decided to contact me about Mae.

If you’ve emailed me, be patient – I should get caught up by Friday.

Puppy Photos

2197472603_3406bcf2b8.jpgSome new photos of my dapper little brindle man, Dexter. I tried to take some proper body shots, but he’s still at the ‘stop, you’re freaking me out’ stage of table stacking, and shots taken of him on the table show a cowering wreck who looks nothing like the pup I see standing on the floor, at ease. There are a few body shots in here, but in the best one Penelope decided to turn her head and block out Dexter’s. So, if you can ignore the fact that he’s headless, you get a pretty good look at his body.

All of the photos are here —

2192134837_9c5e8193d1.jpgSolo is rapidly developing into the world’s cutest puppy.

Don’t believe me? Check out this photo. Super cute, yes? Almost…. eerily cute?

Yup, it’s true – he has super powers. Eerie, evil, super cute puppy powers. Be afraid.

All the rest of the pix are here –

Happy New Year's, From the Boring Dog Lady

Sean and I spent New Year’s Eve at home, where we ate chips, a shrimp ring, and got wild by drinking a half bottle of wine. Woohoo! We’re officially boring dog people. Next up – I start whipping out photos of my dogs to show to strangers in the supermarket. Oh wait, I already do that.

Izzy, Dex and SeanWe spent most of the evening indulging in what he and I call “Puppy Freak Out Time”. That’s where we let loose Bunny’s seven week old hellions, and watch them tear around the family room, terrorizing any other dog foolish enough to get in their way.

Penelope and Delilah think it’s like having the circus come to town, only in this circus the clowns climb out of the center ring and bite you in the leg.

The older dogs pretty much just try to stay out of the way of the mayhem, but Tessa and Sailor set up some ground rules almost immediately – “I am older than you, and I will bite you if you piss me off”.

The puppies respect this rule almost all of the time, although last night Dex and Izzy spent ten minutes playing ‘barkbarkbarkBARK‘ with Sailor, in an attempt to get her to drop her nylabone. Since Sailor invented that game, she didn’t fall for it.

I took the time to shoot a ton of new video and photos, all of which can be found after the cut, including a compilation video of Mz. Izzy being super duper cute.

If you don’t want to watch them here, check them out on YouTube –

New Year’s Puppy Party
Dexter and Izzy Versus Sailor
New Year’s Day Puppy Freak Out
Growing Up Izzy

The Flickr photos are here –

Sleepy SoloAnd check out this cute shot of a very sleepy Solo, just after his feeding. He’s doing really well, knock on wood.

Like I said, I’m not talking about him much, because I am a superstitious nut job.

Don’t forget – videos embedded after the cut.
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