Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Friends Fur-ever.

Do you ever see something on the internet and just have a super visceral reaction to it?
No?  That's just me?  Maybe I should spend less time on the internet.

But whatever.  So this popped up on my tumblr feed the other day.  And I immediately shrieked "Ahh noooo! no no no no no!" and threw my computer a few feet away ala Penny realizing her horrible addiction to MMORPGs.

When I was but a child, my family had two cats:  Reggie and Otis.

Reggie was a black short-haired cat with a little white patch on his chest.  He was not timid, but he wasn't exactly a fan of small children either, so I didn't have a whole lot of interaction with him, because he had access to places higher than I could reach.

Otis was a "well-fed" brown tabby that my mum had saved from the pound (aka the local vet clinic where she worked that doubled as shelter for abandoned critters) because he was about to be put down for overcrowding, and also because at the time she was convinced that Reggie needed a friend.

Otis loved literally anyone. So much so that when I was  a baby, my parents had to put a screen door on my bedroom so Otis didn't sneak in at night to "snuggle," and accidentally smother me in his folds of tubby tabby-ness.  I give you all this context because logically then when I became a ripe old age of four and decided I needed to claim one of these two cats as my BFF, you might not have thought I would cast Reggie in this role.

And though Otis was probably sitting next to me on the couch when I made the decision of needing a bestie, I tracked down and dragged Reggie back into the living room for this meaningful crowning of BFF title.

You'll have to excuse me, as I was a toddling kid, my memory isn't what it should be.  I have no idea how I managed to catch Reggie in my stubby little hands.  I do remember that I didn't have an actual friendship bracelet to share with Reggie.  But I did have a hair-tie.

Specifically, I had THESE things:

Once around was too big for Reggie's svelte little cat-wrist.  So I did it twice.  Maybe three times.  I don't remember quite how many.  But I made sure it was snug and wasn't coming off.  Then I re-released poor Reggie into the wild living room, he tore off for the sanctuary of my parent's bedroom,* and I went back to arranging pizza tables for my My Little Ponies, with Otis leisurely playing the role of "mountain the ponies all had to trot over to get to their stable."

don't even lie, I said pizza table and you knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.

The rest of the story I was not actually present for, but I've had it retold to me about a thousand times, so I feel confident that I can reasonably pass it on to you.  Somewhere around 3 or 4 in the morning, my parents awake to a horrible, agonized yowl coming from under the bed.

[if you have never heard a cat properly yowl before and would like to know exactly what Reggie sounded like, click HERE.  Also if you are at work or near other cats, turn your speakers down just a tish.  I've warned you. Bubba was less than pleased]

Poor, traumatized Reggie had hidden under the bed all day, while my BFF bracelet had cut off all the circulation to his toes.**  His paw had swollen to the size of a baseball, and upon her first inspection, my mother was fairly certain she'd be taking him to the emergency vet to amputate his leg.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this tale:  Mum was able to use a scissors to snip the band on Reggie's paw, then massage the blood flow back to his little jelly-bean toes, all while he continued to scream.  Because there's no way to explain to a cat that the pins and needles tingling one feels as circulation returns to an area that was previously "asleep" or "that had been banded off by a small child" was a good sign and meant he was going to be okay.

Reggie got to keep his foot.
In the morning I got a long talk about how kitties are our friends, but they do not wear jewelry.  Ever.
And Reggie spent the rest of his days (another 11 or so years) avoiding me like the plague.  I can't say I blame him.

Moral of the story?  Don't put a BFF bracelet on your cat's foot.  It's not cute; it's horrific.  Also if you're old enough that you have the finger dexterity to MAKE a bracelet for your cat like that picture, you are old enough to go outside and meet real people to be your BFF.  You should probably do that instead.

How do you let your pets know you're BFFs?
Were you ever a horrible child to your pet?
Do you have a good Child - Pet story? 
Tell me in the comments!

*Obviously, kids see rules as things to be bent and broken.  But the one rule I don't think I ever once broke?  Mom & Dad's bedroom is off limits.  For-bodden.  Cat's under the bed in there?  Well then the cat is safe.  I still feel weird about being in any parent's bedroom.  

**Once, the Mister told me a story about his childhood dog.  As a small child, he decided to pierce her ears, and she, being apparently the CHILLEST dog on the planet, let him do it.  I remember thinking at the time "Oh my god you were a horrific child"  but as I wrote this post it occurred to me that I should probably apologize for that initial jump to conclusion.  So... sorry Mister.  Apparently we were BOTH horrific children. <3

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Original Rump Shaker

Great.  Now I have that song stuck in my head. (by which I mean I have that one part- Blackstreet and Teddy, the Original Rumpshaker- of No Diggity stuck in my head, not Rumpshaker.  Though both are equally cliché songs to age myself by, No Diggity has a puppet playing piano in the video.  So they win.)

Where was I?  Oh right.  Rumpshaking.

I'm trying to find a way to be concise about this explanation.  Here's my best attempt.

Last weekend, we were asked to do something a little different -
Mac is a contestant in the 2013 Kalamazoo Greek Fest Shimmy Contest.

What are you doing Saturday, June 8th?  From 4:30 to 5?  Because if you were gonna check out Greek Fest anyway (and why wouldn't you?  I plan to eat my weight in grape leaves.), might I suggest you carve out that time to come watch my dog compete against local human celebrities in a BELLY DANCING competition.

Would I make that up?  No.  Come on, you know you want to see that ridiculousness.

Each contestant has a cause they are dancing for, and you can "vote" for your favorite by donating some money to those causes.  Highest earnings wins.

Mac, obviously, will be dancing for the Southwest Michigan SPCA, and if you see volunteers walking around with SPCA canisters, we would be much obliged if you'd pop in a buck or two.

Also bring your friends, if for no other reason that I've more or less decided I have no hope of running for political office ever, and the more cell phones to capture this absurdity as future blackmail for me, the better.  Hell, I might even post them here next week.

we're practicing inside because Michigan is trying to rain ALL THE WATER today.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to sewing jingle-bells on his belly-dancing costume, practicing our best dancing commands, and brainstorming a stage name for him.  (I rather like Mac-in-toddy Shakes-his-body, don't you?)

I'm all ears for good stage name suggestions, friends.  Krista Hatcher from the radio is going as the Ginger Shaker, and I'll be darned if I can't at least top that for a dancing pseudo-nynm.  Tell me in the Comments!

Keep in mind this is the last weekend for SPCAwesome month - where 50% of my etsy monster proceeds goes to the SPCA.  So check out the store while you're at it!

Wow, I'm really demanding lately.  I promise if you put up with it a bit longer, I'll share a silly story on Wednesday. :)  Also no post on Monday - enjoy the holiday weekend if you're in the states!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Assembly Required: Professional College Student Kit

A few weekends ago, The Mister had a cousin graduate from high school.  Many congrats to her are in order, of course (and while I'm at it, let's echo those CONGRATULATIONS to my cousin across the pond Lake Michigan, who will be doing just the same in a few weeks now!).

We headed out to the other side of the state for her graduation celebration, and is customary, we brought a congratulatory gift.  But unlike custom, the Mister and I decided to have a little fun with it.

We put together a "Professional College Student Kit," filled with the things that she's going to find come in super handy, but that might not be the first things on her list of stuff for college.  I came up with this list based on my 9+ years of living in a residence hall (aka dorm) while working at various colleges cross-country.  So I feel fairly confident in bragging that this kit is a universally awesome and helpful gift to bestow upon the college-bound high school grad in your life.

Do you need a gift for an upcoming graduate celebration?  Well today friends, I have for you a FREE PROFESSIONAL COLLEGE STUDENT KIT TAGS printable!

It's a three-page pdf file - here's a close up example (aka my favorite) of one of  the tags

Click HERE to download the kit's printable tags, and then head off to your local Big Lots (or similar conglomerate super-store) to pick up the following supplies and put together your very own kit:
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Baby Wipes
  • Lysol Wipes
  • Paper Towels
  • Plug-in Type Air Freshener
  • Under-The-Bed Size Tupperware Container
  • Silly Animal-Shaped Novelty Pencil Sharpener
  • Paper Plates
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Electrical Plugs
  • Small Lamp/ Fan Clip Combo
  • Trash Bags
EXAMPLES: Just in case the fan lamp combo or novelty pencil sharpener were confusing.

For a few nice details, you might also like to grab some ribbons that match their new college's colors, a hole punch, some tissue paper, an envelope (for the delivery bit) and a crisp twenty dollar bill (also for the delivery bit).

When you return triumphantly from the store, make sure you take all the price tags off what you purchased, print and cut out the PRINTABLE tags, use your hole punch to make "ribbon holes" in said tags, and with a few sprigs of ribbon and fluffs of tissue paper - assemble the kit all in the tupperware container!

  • The Delivery Bit:  So there's a tag in this printable that I think is really kind of the cherry on the pie here, folks, but it'll take a little work on your end.  Google the University or College that your grad is off to, and compile a quick list of places in that college-town that deliver.  Jot those down and stick them in an envelope with that aforementioned twenty dollars and tape the "Delivery" tag on said envelope. Viola.  Personalization.

Slap the "Professional Student Kit" Tag on the top of that tupperware and gift it to the awesome high school grad in your life.

And then, tell me about it, because I'd be pleased as punch to know you liked this idea as much as I do!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Audience Participation Friday: It's Almost Caturday!

I didn't post a Mac Does Something Awesome episode on Wednesday.  You may have noticed.
If you were really jonesing for a dose of silly dog videos, well, I apologize.  Reasons this didn't happen?  I've had some open design gigs that needed attention.  And, honestly?  Mac has like 6 new tricks in the hopper, but none of them are "video-ready" quite yet.

So I think, folks, we're going to have to put MDSA episodes onto a "when they're ready we'll share them" basis.  This is good though, it means Wednesdays open up for more silly stories here on KpQuePasa.

But since you might be feeling jilted in your usual dose of silly animal-themed things here (or did you read Monday's post? Because that might do it for you.),  I thought perhaps we might celebrate Caturday a day early today with an Audience Participation Friday!

Before we get to the actual APF for today, I'd like to take a second to plug a couple of things.  Because this is my blog and I'll do what I want.  Also, I'm making you a free cartoon, so you can read a few extra sentences for me. :)

Firstly - Today is cat themed because the SW Michigan SPCA has officially hit kitten-season.  They have a bunch of friendly felines looking for their forever families, and if you're in the area and need a friend, I'd like to urge you to check them out.

Secondly - on a similar note, poor Argo is STILL AT THE SHELTER.  Pass on his story if you know someone, please and thank you.

Thirdly - If you don't live in SW Michigan, but would still like to help, the KpQuePasa Etsy Monster is still running SPCAwesome month, where 50% of my sales will go straight to the shelter so the kittens and puppies can have food and toys while they wait for their perfect people.  Remember, if you don't see something that's just right for you already listed, I do custom work as well, just message me over Etsy!

Alrighty.  Thanks for reading all that.
Ready?  Here are the APF rules, if you're not familiar.

  1. Check out this handy-dandy info-graphic.
  2. Discover what your sign/ phone number/ favorite color dictates as your (or your friend's / husband's / child's / pet's) purrfect Cat Name.  Try not to weep in joy at how perfectly this simple exercise embodies your existence into one beautifully described and culturally relevant feline moniker.  [or, you know what? if you have a cat already and just want a silly, very quick caricature of them, I'll do that too.  I'm feeling doodly today.]
  3. Post your "Fresh Step Cat Name," or your actual pet cat's name (and if this is a real cat I'm depicting, a brief description) in the comments. 
  4. I'll read the comment, and create masterful pieces of art*
  5. You return to this post later and I will have added a jpeg of cat drawing which you can cherish forever and ever.  Or just giggle at, whichever.
  6. Spread this like catnip! - share this blog post with your friends, because it's way more fun to have a cat name if you also have a surly pack of street cats to join your antics.
  7. You have until Saturday (5/18) at midnight central time to make the above 7 steps happen.
*Example of aforementioned Masterful pieces of art created by moi:
I really felt a cat like this would have a proper whisker mustache. Yes.

EDIT: Here they come, folks!
"Count Snuggly Von Scooper likes to take tea in his study most mornings. Although if the morning has been especially difficult, as in instances with that pesky neighbor cat, or being ghastly mortified by the dog, he will not say no to a drop of whiskey in his cup either. And if the morning has involved the dreaded vacuum, he might also be heavily in need of a cigar. You know, to keep up his fortitude. "

"Chancellor Kitty Von Litter! I'm having a hard time deciding between a cat with a monacle or a lady cat with a fabulous hat. It could go either way. "  I thought monocle and cravat would do the name justice.

Monday, May 13, 2013

But He's Super Friendly.

The neighbors across the street have a dog that looks just like Mac.  Except he's got long, fluffy fur.  He is not yard trained (aka stays in his own yard), and his people do not put him on a lead or even a collar.  I have thoughts on this, allow me to share them.

The weather has been nice enough lately that I've been able to be outside soaking up some sun while getting the yard back under control.  Raking leaves, tilling the garden; you know the spring-time drill.  While working on these projects, obviously Mac sits outside with me to enjoy the breeze.

The other day while raking, Mac gets up and goes to stand next to the fence, wagging his tail furiously. On the other side of the fence stood what appeared to be a mirror sponsored by Rogaine - a big, fluffy black and tan Mac-dog wagging his tail right back.

We've met Bear (the aforementioned fluffy-pup) before, once or twice when walking past his house.  So I knew where he lived, and since he wasn't wearing a collar for me to hold in order to take him home, I let him into the backyard to play with Mac for a few moments while I got out an old lead and collar to borrow.

I estimate Bear had been away from his house for around 30 minutes by the time we rang the doorbell.  His person hadn't noticed he was gone.  "But don't worry, he's friendly!"  Bear's person assured me.

I tried not to immediately judge.  Not everyone's as keyed into their dog as I am with Mac.  Not everyone would notice within a minute or two that their dog had left the yard. Back to raking.

I had moved a few yard bags to the front yard for collection, so I had the big front garage door and the garage's back doorway to the yard both open.  Usually when I do this, I just prop a broom in the back doorway, and Mac understands this is his "puppy gate" to keep him in the back.  Apparently it is not a puppy gate to keep Bears in their own yard though, because maybe 10 minutes later, the fluffy Mac impersonator was back to bounding around the backyard.

"I'll be back," he barks in a heavy Austrian accent.

This time, Bear's person was sitting on the front stoop of their house.  How did he not notice his dog crossing the street?  I waved him down and he came over to get his dog.  "Don't worry, he's friendly!"  He chimed at me.

Listen.  Stuff happens, and I'm not saying I've never had to say the exact same thing to someone as I walked over to retrieve my own puppy.  But I am saying that it's never happened to the same person twice in the same day.  Because it's kind of humiliating to have to admit your dog was disobedient to you.  And also because a dog that big needs to look like it is somewhat under control or it is likely police will be showing up at your house rather lickety-split.   Regardless of how friendly your dog is, it's probably scaring the bejesus out of someone running around like that.

But not judging.  Nope.  KpMcD, you need to chill out.

So Bear's person came and gathered his pup again.  And I went back to raking.  For about a half an hour. At which point Bear, once more, bounded across the street and into the front yard, as I dragged a bag of leaves to the curb.

"Hi Bear."  I said, as loudly and as exasperated as I could, because Bear's person was still outside and thankfully he heard me and stood up to come and once again retrieve his dog.  As he started walking over, I started on the small speech I had formed in my mind since Bear's last visit, about how I don't mind Bear playing with Mac, because yes, he is a friendly dog, but I worry about him coming over without his person's knowledge, and I worry about him getting hit by a car while crossing the street.

Bear apparently didn't care for this speech, and instead of bounding up to Mac and playing this time, he marched straight up to me, lifted a leg, and whizzed on my left shin.

This is not the first time I've been peed on.  I work as a dog trainer, it's happened.  But I wasn't working.  I was wearing nice comfy yoga-type pants, not my work pants which are thick enough that a little pee doesn't immediately soak through to my skin.  I could feel dog pee trickling into my shoe.  All of this context ran through my head as Bear's person came up and grabbed for his dog*.  And thus, the first thing I said once this gentleman came up to me was thus:

"I'm not working today.  I should NOT be getting peed on!"

Because I was [rightfully, justifiably] upset, and because I had the context in my head to be making that statement, I gave my neighbor across the street NO further information about why I SHOULD be getting peed on while I am working. We don't know each other, he has no idea what I do for a living.  So he hastily apologized, grabbed his dog, and headed back across the street with a VERY puzzled look on his face.

We haven't seen Bear at our house since.  And I haven't stopped wondering, since then, what profession our neighbor now thinks I hold.

In what profession besides a dog trainer would one 
possibly expect to be peed upon while working?  
Let's keep it PG, folks.  
But if you can think of a good one, tell me in the comments!

*You know the drill:  the thoughts and opinions shared here are mine and mine alone.  They do not represent the thoughts or opinions of the company I train dogs for. 

That said - have you ever had someone viciously, angrily, snatch their hand out to grab at you?  What's  going to be your immediate reaction?  To pull away!  It's not any different for a dog.  If you want them to come to you, don't make them feel like they're going to be punished for doing what you're asking.  And don't make it a game of tag by chasing after them either.  They'll come if you're happy and fun enough.  The more you know.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mac Does Something Awesome: Kids Say the Darndest Things

Hey all -

Mac and I didn't record a MDSA today because we were busy helping with a presentation about the SPCA and rescued pets at a local elementary school.  I figured that we had a pretty good chance of getting fun quips out of the group of third graders we talked to, and I could share those instead of a video.

Luckily, those third graders did not disappoint.  My three favorite quotes from today:

Someone asked why Mac's nails were blue.  The actual answer is that he went to work with me last weekend and one of the girls in the grooming salon was bored so she painted his nails for fun.  I liked this little girl's answer better:

Then we took a walk with the class outside so they could get a group shot with Mac for the SPCA newsletter.  We encountered a line of kindergarteners on our way through the school, and one of them was ADAMANT that Mac was clearly a police dog.

That last bit he angry-whispered over his shoulder, like pointing out that Mac was a police dog wouldn't have blown my cover in the first place. Hahaha.

They asked me why I picked Mac out of all the other dogs at the SPCA, and I gave them the honest answer:  when I was looking at all the puppies there, I liked his little eyebrows.  And then I got this excellent jem:

All in all, we had a blast, the kids collected some great donations for the SPCA, and Mac got SO MANY COOKIES.  We're going to a first grade classroom in a few weeks.  I'll let you know what they have to say. :)

Any good kids + pets anecdotes you've witnessed?  
Share them in the comments!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Doing ALL The Landscaping!

Whew, ya'll, it's hard to sit down and write a blog post when it's gorgeous outside and there are outdoorsy-type projects to be done.

What all did I do yesterday when-I-was-supposed-to-be-blogging you ask?  Well.
  • I mowed the lawn.  I heart mowing our lawn, and this was the first trim of the year.  I get a pseudo-high from the fresh cut grass-smell that permeates through everything, and I LOVE those little groove lines that happen in the lawn from the lawn mower's wheels.  And I didn't hit any rocks, thank you very much.
  • I prepped the garage for summer entertaining; updating the fridge to best reflect the stock inside, and putting together a space for The Mister and his buddies to plink with the air-soft pistols.
  • I decided the far corner of the yard looked sad and needed something in it.  Since grass refuses to grow there, I put out a Shepard's hook, and hung a strawberry in a planter from it.  For the other side of the hook, I made a birdhouse.  I can't even tell you how stupid proud I am of this birdhouse.  I put shingles on it made of cut up soda cans.  It's pretty.  Under that, I made three planters out of some scrap wood we had laying around (the same wood used for the birdhouse) and planted spinach and lettuce.  Those went at the bottom of the Shepard's hook, along with a new water dish for bird baths and or Mac water breaks.  It still looks a little empty, but I think once the "salad bar" grows in and gets fluffy, it'll be nice.
  • I planted a few new seedlings in the garden.  (You haven't seen the garden in a while - I made it way bigger and added a fence and wood chips so now it looks like it's part of the landscape plan instead of just a chunk of dirt in the yard.  But that wasn't all yesterday.)  We've upgraded; last year we had meager crops of basil, cilantro, oregano, rhubarb, jalepeños, onions, tomatoes, and like, three tiny strawberries (also there was catnip, but I don't eat that so I'm not counting it.  Bubba does.)  This year, in addition to all of that, we'll also see cucumbers, raspberries, carrots (maybe, I'm not too optimistic), radishes (also maybe), peas, string beans, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, lettuce and spinach.   I have space to add one more plant in there.  I'm stuck between yet another tomato plant, or an eggplant plant.  I'll take suggestions though - something hardy and not squash (I'm allergic). 
  • I finished the patio set.  Which was actually a small dining room set that I found at a thrifty last summer and refinished with outdoor paint, polyurethane, and a big old hole in the middle to accommodate some shade.  Adding in the umbrella and the seat cushions, the whole shebang came out to a total of $100 bucks, and I made it, and my favorite part, is the part where I found The Mister's Dremel and became a bit of a vandal.  So now we can go back to grilling outside and then eating outside and it makes me so incredibly overjoyed to not go inside when it's this nice out.
I had before pictures of this little set - the black metal chairs with a light-wood top that had seen some love from a family with little kids (paint marks and scratches).  Except that was on a phone camera which maybe met it's end the day after I took those photos last summer. Whoops.
  • And after all that?  The Mister and I took Mac for a walk, and he made some friends.  They were maybe 20 feet apart.  Brave deer.  Then again, Mac had literally zero idea what to do with that business, so he just stared back.
click to see larger- objects in photo look further away than they a

Do you have a garden?  
What do you recommend for me to try out there in my last remaining plant-space?  
What have you done to your landscaping recently that you wanna brag about?  
Tell me in the comments!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Kp and the Argonaut

Remember back when Mac won that SPCA contest?

Okay, well we'll be visiting a school next week and we're pretty pumped to tell you all about that when it happens.  More importantly for today, I want you to introduce you to someone with a ton of potential to be just as Mac-tastic as Mac himself.

Back when I wrote Mac's entry essay for the contest, the bottom of the form invited participants to enter either online through e-mail or by stopping into the SPCA in person.  The Mister and I choose the latter option because visiting the SPCA is a fun thing to do on a sunny Saturday.  I recommend it.

just in case you needed to know where it is.

While we were there, I convinced the Mister to walk through the adoptable dogs with me, which I think made him nervous (I promised the Mister no more puppies until we have a big enough house for it, and Mac is 6 years old.  Part of our marriage pact).  We did not adopt another dog, as I'm sure you're aware, because I would have blogged about that like WOAH.

Now, I've always been a little biased toward medium/ bigger dogs.  Because I get more out of them as a pet. You might prefer small dogs.  I'm not judging, I'm just making the point that while there are many small dogs at the Southwest Michigan SPCA, my eye caught on the big-guys there who are awaiting their forever families.

There were two puppies in particular who snagged my attention:  A Shepard-mix gal, and a little black Pointer-mix named Argo.  They tugged at my heart strings, but a promise is a promise, and besides, puppies don't usually stay at shelters for long, so after cooing over the cuteness, the Mister and I bid the SPCA adieu and went home to take Mac for a walk.

The next day at the pet store, the Shepard-mix came in with her new family, and a new name, and I am happy to report that she is a brilliant, happy little pup and I see her often.  But meanwhile, Argo was still at the shelter.

A few weeks went by and Argo was named the pet of the week on the local news in an attempt to garner him some attention, because he was still at the shelter.

A few weeks after that, Mac won the contest and when we went to be awarded the prize, I heard that Argo was STILL.  AT.  THE SHELTER.

Why is Argo still at the shelter?  I'd like to say I don't know.  But truthfully, it's because he's a black, medium-to-large breed puppy, who very likely has a bit of pittie mixed in there somewhere.

In an age where the internet is the first place people look when they adopt pets, black critters are at a distinct disadvantage because they don't photograph very well.

Larger dogs are not as easy to adopt out as the little dogs.  If you live in the city, you see them as more work and more commitment than something you can carry in your purse.

Add to that the word "pittie."  A word which is sadly intimidating to most people, even though Pit-bulls as a breed were long considered nannies for children, are really remarkable for their loyalty to their families, and drive to please people.  The fighting reputation is a product of someone doing really, truly traumatizing things to a dog, and if you're not the type of person to torture a puppy, then I urge you to please think twice before dismissing a Pit when you next look to adopt.  </soapbox>

A few weeks after all that, we're at today.  Where I went to the SPCA and borrowed little Argo for a bit.  I figured having all this dog training knowledge, the best thing I can do for the little guy is give him some basic obedience lessons and hopefully those good manners would give him a leg-up in the search for a new home.

We had a blast.
About 2.5 hours later, Argo was predictably very tired and just wanted a nap (dogs usually keep focus on a training session for 20 minutes or so.  Argo worked hard today!).  So we dropped him back off at the SPCA.  I believe he got some great practice in, drilling commands and behaviors today.  While I got a better look at a great pup.

Plus, though yes, it is hard to get good pictures of black dogs, when Kp has basic knowledge of photoshop and a black dog of her own to practice with, we can get some cute shots.  LOOKIT THIS HAPPY SMILEY FACE.

Are you in the greater Kalamazoo area and looking for a pet?  
Or know someone who is?  
Here's what I want you to know about Mr. Argo:
  • They've worked very hard with him at the SPCA.  By which I mean he would hands down pass a basic obedience course.  He sits when asked with such immediacy that his butt makes a "thunk" noise on the ground.  He can stay for about 5 seconds, even when I break eye contact (that's great for a puppy!), he can lay down, and he comes when called, even if he's distracted by a good sniff of something.  
  • For a young pup (about 4-5 months), he's got a remarkable control over his mouth.  He gives a lot of kisses, but he doesn't nip, and even when I put my whole hand in his mouth, he didn't bite down.  He let me touch all his feet and his face.  Know what that means?  Argo would be a FANTASTIC dog with kids.
  • He walks really well on a leash!  Loud noises made him pause in our neighborhood, but as long as you keep going and praise him when he follows, he'll become more confident there in zero time.
  • He rides in a car like a pro.  Curled up and went to sleep.
  • He has good bird-drive.  This could make him a pretty good hunting dog with some training.  Or just a fantastic "fetch" partner.
  • Argo gets along well with others.  This includes Mac, and the random neighborhood dog that was not on a leash (thank goodness for that, then).  We also met some people-type neighbors on our walk, who were happy to pet him.  He jumped up a bit, but with more practice I don't think that will last long.
  • Lap, meet lap-dog wannabe.  Every time I sat in the grass today, he plunked down in my lap.
  • He shared well with Mac, who had a bit of a brat moment when he snatched his squeaky duck back from the pup (as seen below).  But as that was quickly followed by an epic tag session, I wasn't too worried (also seen below).
  • He was happy to respond as I called him Argo, Argie, Argonaut and my personal favorite: Argo-pants.  (get it?  Like cargo pants!  ha.)  Really he was just happy to be called at all.
  • He's adorable.  Come on now.

"You should take me home.  I have a cute face, I learn super fast, and I will be your friend forever.  "

**As a quick reminder, if you want to help out little Argo but are not in a position to adopt him, The Etsy Monster's SPCAwesome promotion is still going on until the end of May - 50% of proceeds will go straight to the shelter!**