"Writing is not for wusses."--Lynne Main
Ooh, what a beautiful puppy. Those sad eyes and that fluffy baby fur make my heart melt.
Yeah, yeah, OK. I'll pose for ONE more photo. Geesh. Would you look at the camera-happy peeps here?
Gorgeous puppy! Can that puppy come live with me? So precious.
Sleepy? CheckFluffy? Check.Itty bitty? Check.What a great way to start the morning!My own puppy (all dogs are puppies) is none of those things anymore (she's huge, she's short haired, and very alert and looking at my breakfast right now), but I always start the morning with her and it's still pretty rad.
oh my. I'm a cat person but I'm mighty tempted by that face. So, is this dog a specific breed or mostly one breed? A border puppy? Shepherd puppy? (Do their ears perk up as they grew into adulthood?)
Ah, what a beautiful puppy. Look at that sweet face.
Love that expression!
Now I have kiss smears on my screen.
Caption: "How much longer? I need to peeeee!":)
Why do I feel like I've seen that face before? I'm anxiously awaiting the PO (Pet Owner) to show up and tell us the name, and the backstory because s/he is so adorable I want to know all about her/him!Such soulful eyes. A while back I learned couple things about dogs I thought amazing. In a study, it was explained that dogs look at our faces the way we look at other people. They said people tend to start their "scan" of someone's face by looking at the right hand side. It's a split second thing we don't even notice. we think we view a person's face all at the same time. Dogs do the same thing. The second thing is dogs are also able to understand the significance when a human points at an object. This study said for all of the work done with chimps, they still do not comprehend this.I think about all that when I see such intelligence like we have here in that long distance gaze.
It's a German Shepherd puppy. My husband, DogMan, learned Schutzhund training for dogs in Germany. Back in the early 1970s, he was very instrumental in bringing the training to the US. It involves obedience, tracking, endurance and protection. The training was a breeder's "tool" to weed out the best dogs for breeding. Here’s a family picture of the puppy with his Mom & Dad and siblings
Donna, dogs are astoundingly adapted to the relationship with humans. I still have to work with Penelope on the significance of pointing, but yes, that is a unique communication we share with them. Goss looks at me pointing and waits patiently for the finger in question to pivot in his direction and do its job, which is to say, petting and scritching him.Pen is the single worst dog I've ever met, for finding dropped food. Her attention is so fully on me she finds it hard to realize my finger's direction is meant to be extended; she will hang on a fingertip as if it might bear revelations all its own, sometimes. She does fairly well with toe-pointing, though - if I tap in the general vicinity of that kibble she dribbled, she'll clean it up. After a couple light-speed passes.Jennifer, your puppy sounds rather like mine.
So, Kitty - this puppy is/was Dogman's/yours? Or just one of a litter from some dogs he might have trained?The vet I take Little Dog to does Schutzhund training. Here she is with one of her Trained Shepherds
Awww, poor Pen, she's owner focused. When I got Little Dog he didn't understand the significance of that point either. Having lived most of his life in a stinking playpen, everything scared him to the point he couldn't focus. Now, he gets it. Throw the toy - and if he can't find it, he looks back at me and I point. Off he goes in that direction and voila! Toy!
Donna, the feeling of Pen literally looking to me all her life has always been kind of remarkable to me. She brings out this incredible tenderness in me, and I feel something almost like honored/humbled that we communicate at all.Penelope is an acquired taste. I have friends and family who are ... not her fans. Which is sad, because UGH she is such a delightful girl. She is very cute, but I also marvel at her incredible energy and agility and strength. She is ur-puppy (her "breed" is actually basically what dogs are when humans don't breed for traits; she is just the dog seen in ancient stelae, in New Guinea, in Korea - she is untouched, and yet so attuned). She's everything I didn't want when I went to find a new dog - she was a puppy, in need of training, she is hugely energetic, she's a spaz - and I would not be without her. It makes me sad her strength and enthusiasm turn people off, because she is a love.When I picked her up from boarding last week after travel, I just said to her, "I will always come back for you."She is beautiful all over her facebones.
Noooo, take it away, take it away. I melting, melting I say. Cursed puppy eyes alwa...
Donna, it was our litter -- or DogMan's, depending upon my mood at the time ;~) Here's a picture of DogMan (wearing the sleeve) and Dietmar during typical training session. Dietmar, btw, was a German who, with his wife and family, escaped East Berlin shortly after the wall was built.
"This is a smile. Take the picture."
Cute puppy, Kitty. (Kitty and DogMan - hmm)P.S. Today is the day I drive to Nashville for the Guy Clark Tribute show. Unfortunately, I only slept four hours last night and I feel terrible
This floof! So beautiful. I love German Shepherds. One of my friends has a Shepherd puppy right now and I may puppynap him!
That's one handsome puppy. Here's a topic: in one of my stories, unpublished, a private investigator is looking into the disappearance of a young woman with anorexia. In the the final scene, having solved the case, driving back from Spokane, a famous Carpenter's song, "Rainy Days and Mondays" comes on the PIs car radio. Is it cheating a little to deploy a popular song most people know to assist with your closing effect?
DLM: Penelope sounds delightful! I do feel bad when my friends aren't super into my big, so-excited-to-see-you girl, but that's their choice. Typically she's pretty call off-able (or I say "If you don't behave, you're going on the leash", and that helps). The studies and articles about how dogs look at our faces (and share gazes!) are endlessly fascinating, as are the pointing ones. I've used pointing and hand gestures a lot; some of our cues are doubled up, hand gesture or verbal, which is useful if you're in a situation where you want to be quieter, have an "I lost my voice" illness, or sometimes just can't find the right words. But, as a result, I sometimes don't know what to do with my boss' dog, who doesn't follow pointing and doesn't really look at my face!
Mark: I think as an assist to the scene, it would be okay. As long as the success of the scene doesn't depend upon it, since it is a rather subtle cue. If you just mention the song coming on the radio, you are assuming: a) your reader knows the song; b) your reader knows it's by the Carpenters; c) that Karen Carpenter was the singer; d) that Karen Carpenter struggled with, and eventually died from anorexia. There may be a large number of your readers in group a), by the time you get down to group d) your audience will be, I think, significantly smaller. Hence my advice not to hang the success of the scene on your audience getting the reference.That's my 2c.
That is one gorgeous ball of puppy fluff. I love the patient wisdom in his expression that seems so mature for a puppy. I hope he's the one who's wrestling on the ground in the family picture."If I pose for one more picture can I sleep in your lap?"
Mark, I agree with Colin. I once asked my twenty-something kids if I mentioned "boiling bunnies" would they get the reference. They said no, but put it in anyway because the readers who did would feel smart. So I'd say layer the song in as an extra cue for the readers who get it. It sounds like an interesting story.
Whew, these pics are cute. Looks like this little one knows it, too. Mark I agree with the others. I do love layered stories, but you want to make sure the audience 'gets' the scene and what you're trying to convey. It's hard knowing how much to explain!
Mark, if the scene takes place on a rainy day, or a rainy Monday, or if it's a rather melancholy moment, then a song called "Rainy Days and Mondays" wouldn't necessarily need to be explained. It really depends upon what the scene involves.
Puppy!!!!Really, what more is there to say?(Catherine, you made me laugh out loud. Luckily, I hadn't just taken a drink of my coffee. But I can sure understand that!)Kitty: Beautiful puppy!Dogs can also read human faces better than some humans can. And even using pictures, they recognize their humans. They've developed to become ideal companions for humans not just through human intervention (breeding, etc.) but because both are social animals. It's a prime case of mutualistic symbiosis - we give them food (dogs are naturally scavengers) and social benefits, and they return it with the same social benefits (love) and with whatever we ask them to do.I remember teaching Koko what pointing meant. He caught on quickly once he realized that if he followed my finger, he'd find food. Koko was a very food-oriented fellow, having nearly starved to death before being rescued.Mark Ellis: I don't think it's cheating, but it may not necessarily have the effect you mean. A) I doubt many young people will know that song. It would have been better known twenty years ago (I know it's older than 20 years, but it would have been better known then.) B) Not everyone feels the same way about the same songs. Yes, the words say 'Rainy days and Mondays always make me sad', but some readers may find the song annoying, many people don't like the Carpenters (Heaven knows why, I think they're wonderful), and some readers may think it's just plain sappy. Using the song may not be a bad thing, but make sure the reader knows what the character feels about that song. It's the character's emotions that the reader needs to be a part of. I can see why this song would fit, though - not just the emotions in the song, but the fact that Karen Carpenter died so young of anorexia.
Kitty That is one awesome picture. You must be proud of Dogman and actually, I'm actually proud of Dogman for letting that other creature known as a feline sleep on his chest that time.Mark what the others said, but to help nail down a place in time, (not a mood, but similar) I used the song AQUARIUS in DIXIE DUPREE. On page 2. Here's a bit of it: "It's 1969, The Age of Aquarius, at least according to The 5th Dimension on the radio." There's a couple more sentences of narrative, then this: "The 5th Dimension's song said that when Jupiter aligned with Mars, peace would fill the planets. I figured if that could happen, there was a chance things could be perfect here, as well."Diane I saw that picture of Penelope - and she's gorgeous. She must be a Heinz 57. And sure, high energy can be off putting to some folks. I'm sort of like a Grandma with dogs like that - in that, yay, big dog!, Love, love, love, then yay! You're taking her/him home. I'm partial to the wee ones, but I love them all. I've ventured to think I'd get Blaine a "real" dog - one of these days.
Donna! Are you tempting us with a few lines from your SOON-TO-BE RELEASED NOVEL? Excellent!!:D
Gen. Jeb Stuart had his setters Nip and Tuck with him in the war. I've used them in a few scenes, particularly when the picket shoots a spotted hog for not giving the proper password scene. A visiting officer ridicules Stuart when he says his men are partial to their pet cat. So, Stuart strolls past a cannon with the visitor where Bob the cat is sleeping. Bob is the company mascot, a huge, territorial bobcat who comes out to greet the stranger. Animals make some of the best characters.
I am a tried and true cat person, but that puppy face could make a true doggie believer out of me.
Oh my gosh! I love this little fluffball! Going back through the posts of the week has been such a joy today (seriously, T.A.R.D.I.S. the tortoise? Hilarious!). Last week, I had a bit of a cancer scare with my dog. He's ten and has a bunch of lumps on him, so I took him to the vet to get checked out. When she noticed his lymph nodes were swollen, coupled with his lethargy, she decided to send a sample to the lab to get checked out. My family dog had died from a form of lymphoma many years ago when she was only eight; my cat died unexpectedly two years ago from cancer when I took him to the vet and he never made it home. Those experiences were traumatizing enough--I wasn't ready for anything to happen to my Riley. But my vet, who is amazing in her compassion and kindness, called on Friday night to let me know the labs came back normal. It turns out the lumps are fatty tumors. I've never cried so hard from relief in my life. Nor have I ever hugged my dogs quite so tightly before. These animals become our family, stealing pieces of our hearts and leaving tiny paw prints behind. Thanks to everyone for sharing these stories and pictures of their fluffer-nutters! I'm certainly enjoying learning all about them--and you!
Colin, I'm seriously considering hiring you as my Marketing Prime :) Thank you for always seeming to find a way to promo my book without really seeming like you are...!It sort of reminds me of what the Shark said earlier this week about how you sort of drop in sentences that beg for explanation without seeming like you're expecting to 'splain yourself.:)
That puppy is adorable.
Gorgeous photo, Kitty! We have a shepherd (our third, now) and those ears when they're puppies just make me go all gooey :)
Awwww, what a sweetie. I'm such a sucker for puppies. You can tell by the size of those paws just how much growing is going to happen. Thanks for sharing, Kitty.It's interesting, reading the discussion about pointing and realizing I did that with all our dogs. And that I've also been doing it with the cat and feeling slightly frustrated on occasion that she doesn't seem to "get it." When, really, she's just being a cat.
Susan - so glad to hear your pup is OK :) Donna - I think that example of using a song fits perfectly. It evokes something of a mood to those who know the song, and it explains its part in the story to those who don't.
Thanks everyone for the feedback. (I should have mentioned, and I'll blame a caffiene shortage because that seems to work here:) that the missing woman was a big fan of the Carpenters. Appreciate all comments.
Jennifer and Donna, Pen is a Carolina dog - in fact, far from being Heinz 57, she's of a strain long untouched by human breeding - Carolinas (also called Dixie Dingos or Yaller Dogs) have been in the Midatlantic region possibly as long as 8000 years. What I mean when I say you see dogs like her in ancient stelae and across the world is that canis familiaris looks like her on every continent, when they haven't been bred for traits. I was NEVER interested in breeds until I accidentally found out what she is, and now I am fascinated by her lineage. She is the type of her type, and I would have her no other way.Penelope is 65 pounds and has the power of a pit in her bite, is skittish with strangers and can be iffy with other dogs - generally submissive - and achingly eager to please. Her intelligence astounds me.Jennifer, she knows voice and sign commands, and I have always encouraged anyone who met her to give her commands; she is almost extreme in her eagerness - sometimes takes one command and goes through several others; I have to rein her in. "Just sit" or "That's not sit!"The thing about people not liking her is that her overeffusive ways pretty much end at greetings. Pen is a perfectly wonderful sitting-at-your-feet-chilling-out dog once a first flush of seeing someone is past.Okay, I need to go scritch her now. Then off to bed, where Goss will curl up with me. Ugh, what I have to live with.
Susan, you and the furry one will have joyous scritchings tonight! Huzzah!
Donna: You are most welcome, and too kind. :) I can only hope I will be as good at promoting my own work. I doubt it. ;)
I was sure I commented this morning, but it seems to have disappeared.Anyway I said something like, "Adorable puppy!" and commented to Mark that I thought using the song was fine. For those who got the symbolism, that would be an extra perk. For those who didn't get the reference, they might get a mood from the song's title.
Auch du lieber, das ist eine schon hund!(my remnants of German from High School.)
Thanks Lennon and Diane! Riley and his sister are happily snoozing on the porch right now as the sun comes up. Not a bad life for these two :)
Diane, Very cool - I'm familiar with the Carolina dogs actually. I researched them once - possible for part of a book, can't recall. I think it was your wording in your comment that made me think she was a hodge-podge of breeds. (sorry!)Now I'm actually wondering if OLD YELLER (not YALLER but close) was a Carolina dog...hmmm.Seems our new pic for Day 17... is...delayed?
We do seem to have a delay for day 17. Perhaps, this sweet faced puppy simply warrants extended conversation. How needy am I when I worry about this blog so much? I need to get a hobby. Or another fur friend.
ruh roh. Is there a snag with the interweb system for Day 17?
These dogs just get more and more adorable. Beautiful pup, Kitty!
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