Monday, June 05, 2006

Pictures speak louder than words...

Why haven't there been any posts here lately? I've been workin' more and writin' less. And we've been exploring more than we've been sittin' in front of the computer. Our passin's are detailed in the creekwalking section of this website.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Behold the glory of the Easter hambone

What a wonderful Easter Day was had at Mom's house. I learned that The Dude isn't worth a darn when it comes to huntin' plastic Easter eggs, but that's not much of a surprise. Mom fixed up a delicious lunch, and then we all retired to the backyard to watch The Dude do what he does best. We ran, and chased rabbits, and ran, and chased frisbees, and ran... you get the idea. Mom was unsuccessful in her attempt to train The Dude to pee on dandelions (assuming puppy urine might be an effective dandelioncide), but she seemed quite amused by her "grandson" all the same. He burnt through so much energy playing at Mom's that he curled up on the sofa just as soon as we got home and slept through the night with barely a movement.

Today, The Dude's Easter joy extends again as I presented him with the hambone leftover from yesterday's fine meal. Normally I'd reserve such a fine hunk of yum for a tasty pot of beans, but being that its Easter and all, well... I think I get as much pleasure from watching him as he gets from gnawing on that hambone, so I guess it all works out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Fish fry, yo, doggy style.

Dude likes catfish. He doesn't dig my breading so much. I mix in a fair amount of peppers (black, cayenne, etc.) and he's not a spicy food hound. But he LOVES the succulent critter inside, so he bumps off my superior crust to dig the critter out. I also think he digs the blues. When we fish fry 'round these parts, we fish fry to the Fish Fry, courtesy of our peeps at 89.3 and especially Chuck Haddock. This particular Fish Fry was capped off by a good romp in the yard (Dude) and a good gnaw on a Cormack McCarthy novel by lamplight from the porch (Daddy). Should you have the chance to purchase a significant quantity of catfish at a great discount, do it. And share with whatever critters you have chosen to take into your care. All y'all be better off for it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Creeks & woods are goods

We like the woods. There is something about following a shallow creekbed with your dog that makes you feel one with the world. Today was all about Jackson County parks that for some reason I had yet to explore. We started our creekwalking along the Pa-Hu-Ska trail in Lake Jacomo Park, a trail which was quickly abandoned in favor of following an adjacent creekbed and ridgeline.

We then ventured north on MO 291 to La Benite Park in Sugar Creek, MO. This city park extends along the north and south banks of the Missouri River for a good long distance (we didn't reach the terminous). This leg was about finding wildlife, and our path didn't disappoint. We found lots of water foul, and lots of deer signs (prints, feeding areas), and the occasional bobcat track.

Both of us were so happy with the day, the things we saw, and, and the whole shooting match, that I am making a motion to do this every weekend (but in other unexplored areas) until hell freezes over.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Your dog wants steak...

No major headline there, just pointing out the obvious, but more on that in a minute.

So, dear reader, you may be asking, "Why no recent posts?" Well, there hasn't been any amusing or exciting stories to tell. What has been going on is behavior modification training for The Dude. He's of an age and size where it is important to impart things like good manners (no jumping on strangers, etc.) and control commands (sit, stay, come here, etc.) to make our future together safe and comfortable. This is a very necessary process... and very tedious. The process involves training me by watching "The Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan on TV so that I can get pointers on what and how to correct behaviors, followed by hours and days of repetition, and reinforcement.

Behavior is enforced and reinforced through either reward or punishment. Now to all my damn hippy friends who think spanking is bad... I've got a can of Shut the F**k Up with your name on it. Trying to modify behavior with only rewards or only punishment is silly. You have to balance the two. And by punishment, I'm not saying, "kick the damn dog," I'm saying that the dog needs to understand who the alpha dog in the pack is (me) and needs to be put in a submissive position occasionally, and this is a physical act.

Now regarding rewards: your dog wants steak. Not satisfied with the flavor or content of commercially prepared dog treats (those "beggin' strips" DO NOT taste like bacon) I decided to make my own. My recipe is as follows:

  • Go to the grocery store on Sunday. The butcher marks down cuts that haven't sold during the weekend sales promotion.

  • Buy the cheapest cut of beef available.

  • Cube the meat while pre-heating the oven to 200-250 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Arrange the cubed beef on cookie sheets, spacing the pieces evenly, and place the cookie sheets on the top rack of the oven.

  • Dry out (jerk-ify) the beef, by leaving it in the oven (door slightly ajar) for the next 4,5,6,7 hours until satisfied with the final moisture content of the treats (taste 'em).

  • Keep the treats in baggies in the refrigerator until ready for use and they'll last quite a while, although if you make a big batch you may want to freeze some portion.

  • Give treats to dogs and watch them spaz out in glee!

    Sunday, February 26, 2006

    Dude likes bubble wrap, I reckon.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    The BEST doggie treat ever

    So The Dude and I had a big day on St. Valentine's Day. After I got off work, I picked him up and we ran by the Bank where he helped me pick up some litter that had blown onto the grounds. Then we went to Westwood Park where many of the 'hood's dogs congregate. The Dude met another little puppy there named Mike who had just as much boundless energy as he did, and I met Mike's frazzled owner who was just as perplexed as I was about how to drain that energy from our pups so we could relax. After much running and howling and play we worked up quite the appetite, so I ask him, "Dude, what sounds good for dinner?" He replied that Oklahoma Joe's BBQ seemed to be a good option as it was close by and damn yummy. So I took his advice, and procurred a bit of grub for us boys. It turns out that they'll sell you just one rib (The Dude likes 'em dry -sans sauce). And when he got home with his rib you would have had to search the world over to find a happier puppy. He propped that meaty morsel between his paws while daddy chowed on his Jumbo Smokie Joe (side of beans, side of spicy slaw, please) and the only sound to be heard in the house were two mouths chomping through some serious meat. Nah, we're not spoiled. We just have good taste.