Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

13 weeks

little alex isn't so little anymore.
i can still carry her, but each time i pick her up i 
think about putting her back down and asking her to 
walk. we have several dog beds in the house. 
this one is her favorite for sleeping on her back with 
feet in the air.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

strike a pose

puppy party!

alex got to play with her brothers and sisters today.
everyone had a lot of fun and slept soundly
when it was over.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


baloo's compassionate side

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

drag reduction

big floppy ears can slow a dog down.
when alex wants to really take off, she
knows just enough about physics 
to convert them to an aerodynamic
position. ridgebacks are intelligent.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

play time!

since getting alex, i've had the opportunity to watch
an adult dog play with a puppy up close and 
with frequency. one observation i've made is the way 
baloo curls her lips over her molars when she
plays (you can see her black lips curled over behind 
her lower canines here) - presumably to soften her
mouth and not hurt the puppy. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

reluctant santa

jazz doesn't usually like to 
wear hats. but she humors me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

everything tastes good

alex pretends to lick the coffee table, moments 
before she tries to get a little corner nibble in.
she's currently about 70 percent sweet, 30 percent
rotten. she's busy and always looking for something 
to get into. i'm very fortunate to have taken 
"puppy leave" from work. alex has caught on to our 
daily routine and is fully housebroken. 
now i hope we can get through this chewing stage
relatively unscathed...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

after the first week...

today was overcast and rainy, so tug o' war with
 a sock was the game of choice. after one week of 
vigilance, alex is housebroken (when a ridgeback 
goes outside in the rain to pee, it's confirmed); and she
slept through the last couple nights - yea! she's 
 a little busy body during the day though - that's 
going to keep us busy for a while! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the best things in life are free...

all these expensive toys in the yard, 
and alex and baloo would rather play with a stick

fun and games

baloo's favorite game is keep away. today
she spent the morning teaching alex 
the essentials: first you get a stick, then show it to
your friend, and run!

Monday, November 24, 2008

friendly warning

jazz is 14.5 years old; she does well and is pretty
active. since alex arrived, jazz has taken several 
opportunities to sound warning barks - always 
with a wagging tail and not overly vicious. alex is 
pretty bold and takes the bark as an invitation to 
romp. lucky for jazz, alex would rather play with

Sunday, November 23, 2008

dog tired

on her 4th day with us, alex continues to do well. 
today's challenges and experiences included: 
a ride in the car with big sister baloo; a short visit to
aunt aggie's house - alex watches baloo for cues - they 
explored aggie's yard and were very good; alex was 
brave enough to meet tyson, the next door dog, through
the fence today; there was play time with baloo; and two
short sit practice sessions. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

alex and baloo

baloo has taken little alex under her wing
sort of like a new hobby

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

brothers and sisters

eight weeks old today

hot pink at rest

coming home in 4 days...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

destined for adventure

it's official, pink collar will
join the pack in a little over a week.
we visited her and her 12 
brothers and sisters on sunday and
got the news we were hoping for.. 

morning coffee run

baloo rides along with me to get a morning coffee

Saturday, November 08, 2008

give a dog a bone

jazz enjoyed keeping this bone away from baloo
more than anything. i think she enjoyed gnawing it 
a bit too...but the keep away was the real fun. 

Sunday, November 02, 2008

she's a beauty

so many beautiful puppies to choose from

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

what a face

resting today

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

pink collar

(4 weeks) little pink collar puppy, so tired her head drooped over the step. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


baloo gazing out the door as i unpacked my field gear from
the latest outing 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


a dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.
irish proverb

Sunday, September 28, 2008

jazz and baloo are getting a sister

we are planning to get another ridgeback, probably from this litter of 13 beautiful puppies born to kirbi and zag on saturday, september 20

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

favorite way to pass time...

baloo loves nice grass - like the grass at her favorite dog park, short and soft. she usually ends up rolling around, feet in the air. we actually went to the park last sunday morning - it was cool enough. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

spent the day indoors, chewing on a bone...

It was just one of those days, summer wears on while we anxiously await a sign that the weather has broken, has reached that point where it becomes comfortable to be out in the evening. That day will be here soon, but until then we'll just take it easy, chew a bone....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Baloo's Best Friend, and Mine too

Before Baloo was Jazz. Jazz has been with me since she was found as a small undernourished pup that wandered out onto Route 66, at Peach Springs, AZ; sat in the road, looked at my coworkers and wagged her tail. We had stopped on the Reservation on our way to the Music Mtns a few miles west; we needed a permit. I waited in the parked truck, my coworkers had gone into the office and were walking back. It was 1994, my second summer as a wildlife biologist intern and I was on my way with 2 others to trap endangered Hualapai Mexican voles for study. When the scrawny dog came out to the road, I watched the ooooh factor hit double digits as she used her best puppy in need face and wagged her tail at a distance as if to say, "it would really be great if you'd take me and help me, but I'm kind of afraid of being rejected so I'll wait over here while you decide". There was no way 3 women were going to leave a small starving puppy sitting in the middle of the road. We loaded her in the truck. Who would keep her? None of us felt our situation was ideal - one lived with her parents, one was spending the majority of her summer in a tent, and I lived in an apartment that wouldn't allow a second dog. We decided at least we could take her to a shelter so she wouldn't waste away or get hit. After arriving at our camp site, as we pitched our tents the little puppy followed close to our every step. Later we took a hike to watch the sun set at a nice lookout. We forgot the puppy momentarily and she evidently decided to explore a little. When we realized we hadn't seen her for a couple minutes, we began to call (we were nervous then, we had seen a bobcat cross the trail on our way). No answer for what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes (but was probably less) and then suddenly a rustling under the brush and puppy whimpers as she burst back into view. She jumped into my arms and started licking my face and her relief was so apparent and so real that it sealed the deal - Jazz was my dog from that moment on.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends." Alexander Pope

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just like a William Wegman Dog

Baloo is one of those dogs, like the weimaraners in William Wegman's famous photos, that will just sit and pose no matter what sort of thing I put on her head. I am out of town this week and missing Jazz and Baloo!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Backyard Life

This weekend we're mostly enjoying ourselves in the back yard.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


A beautiful Saturday morning, in the backyard, in the shade of the leafiest biggest tree. Baloo decides to wriggle and roll next to a tennis ball in the sun. Jubilant. Jazz sits under the shade tree, chin between her paws. We are each taking it all in, this gorgeous, lazy day.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog." - Gene Hill

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Baloo's First Show

On Saturday, February 23 Baloo competed in her first agility trial. It was my first one too. We arrived early and set up Baloo's crate near a few of her classmates and under a big shade tree. I had thought about buying a canopy tent and ground mat, but decided to "rough it." It all worked out, we met a nice young lady who had two american eskimo dogs and was happy to share her shade with us. As the trial got underway, I ran Baloo around in the nearby soccer field and worked through our nerves. We really didn't feel too nervous though, we were just planning to have fun. The first thing we had to do was wait in line to get Baloo measured. We waited behind several other dogs. When we got to the measuring table, the judge started to measure Baloo and realized she was so tall it wasn't necessary. She let me know that Baloo is easily taller than the highest jump category in "Performance" competition. Therefore, we don't have to get measured 3 times, we don't have to bother with any measurements at all. It wasn't long before it was our turn to compete. The first dog was on the line around 8 am and Baloo's run was around 8:30. I could tell she was super excited, she wanted to run. When I put her in start position and let her go it was as if she saw a rabbit on the other side of the field. She ran like she was shot from a cannon. Across our ring (no obstacles taken). Through the neighboring ring where elite level competitions were going on. Luckily she ran during a break between dogs, I would have felt so bad if she ruined someone's run. She may or may not have ran over the A frame or a jump. She finally stopped running when someone asked her to sit for a treat. All the while she ran her ears were streaming and flopping and she was full of excitement. Who are all these people?! Have they come to watch me?!? Look at me, I'm fast!! As she ran, I ran also. After her, yelling "BALOO!" I tried to whistle for her, but it's not easy to whistle when you are desperately trying to get your dog's attention.

Once I collected Baloo we ran around a bit and then Baloo got to rest in her crate. After a couple times in and out of the crate Baloo wasn't as eager to get inside. Good thing it's a big crate, I would crawl in too and Baloo would go in to join me (that's us in the crate in the photo). As the afternoon wore on Baloo was actually pretty content to rest in her crate. It was a long long day. Baloo's second and final run, in the Gambler competition, was about 4:30 that afternoon. By then, she was more subdued. But even then, as I let Baloo go she became fully excited and into her run. This time, she stayed with me in the ring and jumped a couple jumps I asked her to jump. She added a few obstacles that are her favorites, then did a few more that I asked. We didn't get a "Q" but we learned some valuable lessons in our first trial, we made new friends, and we had fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

All knowledge, the totality of all questions
and all answers is contained in the dog. Kafka

This photo of a three legged brindle-colored mongrel was shot in the small community of San Martin Tilcajete, about half an hours drive from Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. One of the best places in Oaxaca to find alebrijes - fanciful, colorful wooden folk carvings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Baloo named Good Dog of the Month!

Baloo was recently named Good Dog Agility Club's January/February Good Dog of the Month. What an honor, but she hasn't let it go to her head. Big sister Jazz still gets to eat first in the morning. Here's the website posting:
Baloo is a happy-go-lucky, 22-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback. She is new to the sport of agility, and the confidence she has gained in a short time has been amazing to see. Once totally panicked by tunnels, now they are her favorite obstacles. With her patient, calm demeanor, Baloo aspires to be a therapy dog, and especially would like to someday help children learn to read – she even raises money for charity on her own blog. She was so proud to finish Beginners class and insisted on wearing her ribbon around the house. She plans to enter her first event in February – Baloo is truly an awesome dog.

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich." Louis Sabin

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Baloo's Quote of the Day

"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend,
and inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx