Saturday, November 13, 2010

He Hates Monkey Lips

The lips were the first to go. Then he made his way around the rest of the face: eyes, ears, nose and finally, the brains. It’s impossible to know what your four legged friend will love or hate over the course of his life until you see him live it.

It’s a pretty good assumption that he’ll love you, extra tasty food, rolling on his back in the grass, running free in beautiful places – or – running free in any space.

My little guy is crazy about chasing balls, swimming and hunting flies but other dogs could care less about these things. And that seems odd to me given how much Uli loves them but it’s true. I've seen those dogs.

And then there are a few things that torture my buddy that don’t bother other dogs at all: the hair dryer, when I stand in front of the stove or oven, and baths.

It’s pretty amazing when you start off life with a pup because it takes years to figure them out. Not only does your pup develop his own personality but he also changes yours. You learn patience, you may or may not start to live your life in 6 hour increments and you learn what it means to be responsible for another being. It can be challenging at times but then there are the moments when you gain a new understanding of your pup’s personality and it is pretty awesome. Especially when you learn something like how much he hates facial features of stuffed animals because that's just silly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Hypnotized a Dog

I was a kid. Uncle Clifford and Aunt Sylvia had a Cocker Spaniel whose name I don’t remember. I was sitting outside, I think, and was petting the dog over and over in the same spot with the same stroke, same amount of time between strokes. I was just staring, not really thinking about anything. When I snapped out of it, I pet the dog in a different spot and she jumped up and bit me in the mouth. Bottom jaw inside my mouth, top jaw outside my mouth. So I guess I should say that first I hypnotized a dog and then got an angry dog kiss. True story.

I spend a lot of time petting Uli. But never in the same spot for a long time. Lesson learned.

Showering your dog with affection feels pretty great especially since the dog loves every second of it. Sometimes. Here is a bit of insight into Uli: He lets me hug him when we’re alone but when Paul is in the same room, he acts all embarrassed. And for those who aren't sure, here's how you hug an Uli: You tell him to sit and then you kneel down in front of him. Then you scoot forward until you are very close and then you wrap your arms around him. And if Paul isn’t in the room, he’ll lean his neck into yours and tilt his head so that it touches yours.

Friday, November 5, 2010

5 Pounds of Pup

5 Pounds of Pup turned into 70 Pounds of Dog in Mill Valley, California. And that is where he discovered his deep love of all things ball. Fetching, chasing and flying in the air - you name it. If it's round and bouncy, Uli is in. His high-pitched yip changed into a deep growl and woof, his razor sharp claws thickened into less scratchy nails, his teeth have been worn down because of years of chewing on stinky and delicious tennis balls and the little fella who used to sleep deeply and comfortably in my arms can now drag me down the street in pursuit of a squirrel. And his distinctive black and white coat is starting to turn a little more white. And that is a little hard for me to accept.

These are some of my very first photos of Uli. I love that little dog with a big belly!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Here we go

Meet Uli. If you see us coming down the street or a trail, it's pretty likely that we'll cross to the other side of the street or pull way off of the trail to let you go by. We like people but Uli does not like squirrels and if he sees one anywhere near us, he will do his best to dash across the sidewalk, trail or street to get that squirrel and it won't matter if he runs you over to get to that squirrel. So if you see us, you'll see us from a distance.

I decided to start this blog because Uli is a few months away from his 7th Birthday and he has made me laugh every day for the past 6 years and 9 months and I want to build out a memory/love book to look back at for the next 6+ years.