Monday, January 26, 2015

Penny For Our Thoughts

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, penny, dog

There are plenty of hugely important news stories to talk about today, but we're not going to address them because we're taking Hydrocodone for our back pain and we're having some trouble with those...uh... things...what do you call them? know, those things...oh, yeah - words!

Fortunately, we have a simpler and happier subject that we can write about - the one year anniversary of our adoption of Penny, The Official Dog of Hope n' Change! 


Penny has gone from pup to energetic princess around here and is now a full-sized 50-pound mutt who is pleasantly thunkable (we believe that a good dog, like a good watermelon, should have a robust resonance when thunked).

Surviving puppyhood was easier for Penny than for the Jarlsberg household, as she can be a whirlwind and a dynamo. And from the way she treats furniture, we suspect that there is both mountain goat and beaver in her family lineage. But time has mellowed her a bit, and she's now developing "big girl" manners.

Penny has changed a lot over the last year. She grew stilt-like legs (appropriately enough), and her coloration has changed: she's turned out to be not as black as everyone expected, sort of like a certain president we could name.

This first Penny-versary is very meaningful in the Jarlsberg household. We adopted her at a time which was challenging for the family, and the passing of a full year helps us reflect on (and be grateful for) the many good things that have happened since then. Plus - we have a dog!

Penny is ever alert, watching for drones, black helicopters, ISIS insurgents, liberal looters, Constitutional scofflaws, and miscreants in general. Also squirrels and UPS trucks - you can't be too careful.

And quite unlike a certain president we could name, she makes us happy every day. And will for many Penny-versaries to come.

In only one short year she's got us perfectly trained.


REM1875 said...

Happy birtday (plus) penny. Penny don't give up, it takes longer than a year to train some people.
Our five large pure breed north texas (maybe oklahoma) cheese hounds are still working on us but are getting the fast food catering and butler service down pat pretty well.
Remember penny, 2am is always a good time for furious barking just to warn the family that the ups man may be by to kill them all sometime that week plus it shows you are doing your job.
Glad you are here Penny.

Mark Holbrook said...

Happy 1-Year Celebration Day. You are doing a great job training the humanoids. It took me a little longer than one year. Check out my blog and Twit-er account and maybe we can schedule a play date.
Oh, if you search: 'the O-file' on the blog, you will see we have a lot in common!!

Fred Ciampi said...

Happy birthday Penny. Aren't we as civilized people blessed to have our four legged babies for all the comfort and pleasure they bring us. And our own babies said to tell Penny "arf bark bark woof woof howl" and a friendly "grrrrr". Oh, and "meow" too.

Anonymous said...

Very cute dog..
Just a new one myself.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@REM1875- Penny is usually an excellent sleeper, although last night she pulled the 2 a.m. trick on Mrs. Jarlsberg (I was there too, of course, but I sleep with a variety of machines strapped to my head and didn't hear the commotion).

@Mark Holbrook- Even now, Penny is looking up your blog on her I-Pawed.

@Fred Ciampi- What better way to show our openness to diversity than sharing our homes and lives with other species?

@Anonymous- Penny is a joy. In fairness, it took us a while to get there - we underestimated the needs of a rambunctious puppy. But she settled down quite a bit after her first birthday (on Halloween).

Geoff King said...

Having spent perhaps 2 years total of my 58 without a dog in my life, I do not understand how someone can get by without their unquestioning love and devotion. I have also owned a couple of cats, but there is no comparison in my mind. Dogs treat you as family, cats treat you as hired help.
If only dogs could learn how to type:

mjloehrer said...

Happy Birthday to you, Penny. I'm happy to share my birthday with such a wonderful friend.

Judi King said...

Congratulations on adopting such a cutie!

Bruce Bleu said...

Stilton, this is my offical [sic] "thumbs up" for your "State of the Dog" speech. You deserve all the love given to you.

CenTexTim said...

Thanks for the update. It's refreshing to start the week off with something positive for a change.

Add in the fact that obama and mooch are out of the country, and things are looking up.

The only bad news is that they're scheduled to come back...

Butterkäse said...

You mention a lot of viable threats that Penny protects you against but lets face Doc, UPS trucks and squirrels are the only truly important ones. My Aunt's chihuahuas are always up to those UPS trucks - and I remember my Mother's miniature Dachsy trying to take on squirrels her own size (the Dachsy, not my Mother) - through the safety of my Mother's windows, natch. But she would climb all over my Mother on her couch in a maniacal hissyfit when a squirrel came by.

BTW, Penny's sound effects are quite good. You have trained her well.

Too cute - Happy Anniversary. And I hope the back pain clears.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- The years I've spent without a dog would be the same years I was mourning the loss of a dog. We adopted Penny much sooner after losing of our dear Maggie than we've ever done before. It was a huge leap of faith (which isn't exactly characteristic around here). Maybe we need to take more of those.

@mjloehrer- Happy Birthday to you! And technically, Penny's 1st birthday was on Halloween - this is her anniversary of joining our family.

@Judi King- I don't mean to objectify a complex being, but yeah - she's purty.

@Bruce Bleu- Wish I'd thought of "State of the Dog" for the title of today's post! I'd wanted to do a Bark Obama cartoon, too, but had too much brain fog to pull it off.

@Butterkäse- I've always felt like there's an inverse relationship between a dog's size and it's aggressiveness. Little dogs will yap, show their teeth, and spin like a Tasmanian Devil to show that they're tough. Big dogs just check you out and nod their heads: "Yeah, I can take you down if I need to."

Regarding sound effects, I come from a background in radio and love sound effects. They make everything in life better.

BillH said...

"Dogs treat you as family, cats treat you as hired help." So true. But from one who has done for several cats through the years, a bit of free advice: When you go to the shelter to select a kitten, pick out one that comes to you and reaches out, literally. We have found these to be far more like dogs in temperament and behavior than the usual stand-offish type.

TrickyRicky said...

Love the photo of Penny on the couch. Our late and much lamented doggies were never allowed on the couch. Perhaps we have become softies in our old age, our 6 month old lab Tucker has become one with the couch as well as the bay window. "How much is that doggie in the window" was my favorite song as a kid, so maybe it's all coming full circle.

Happy First Anniversary Penny!

PRY said...

Lets just all talk about the dog for a while...much more enjoyable and I can back off the pepto for a bit! Happy happy to Penny!

Geoff King said...

On replacing a dog that has died. After leaving home where my parents had dogs, I immediately got one of my own that lived 15 years. He was a terrier mixed with a box of rocks, but was none the less my beloved companion for a decade and a half. When he died, I acquired a Beagle puppy within one month. He was the most subborn animal I have known, but also was with me for 15 years. It took a Diamondback rattler biting him twice to take him out. Within one week, I got a 1 year old replacement from the pound. He was a Border Collie/Retriever mix and the most intelligent dog I have ever encountered, and loved by all who knew him. Unfortunately, he only made it to 11 and died a few short months ago. My current dog is a Border Collie/Australian Shepard mix that I got from the pound within days after my last one died. He is now 3 years old and has many of the qualities I loved in my last dog.
In my opinion, getting another dog as soon as possible not only quickly eases the pain of your loss, but also is a tribute to the previous dog in that it meant so much to you that life and that huge hole in your heart needed filling ASAP.

Cookie said...

Aaahhhhh....what a good posting today. It's good to take a break from the heartbreak of bad news around us. It's good to see Penny is bringing happiness to the Jarlsberg home...and to us when we get these updates! May there be many Penniversaries to come!

REM1875 said...

Our dogs love cats-with or without garnish, so I must ask someone with a more feline friendly experience, do cats ever love you so much that they bravely, stubbornly and fearlessly take on pole cats and then come back proudly to 'savor' and share the accomplishment with you? Just curios.

TotallyPeeved said...

She is adorable. I needed this post in the worst way.

Anonymous said...

Mutt?!? Nay, say I, that is a purebred American Mudtracker. Happy anniversary to all. Oh, I was *so* right about the Flying Nun ears :-)

Hope you feel better soon.

Chuck Baker said...

Awesome, and thanks for sharing.

We in the Baker refer to our Pup as a Purebred Cur, especially when she is present in the room. She likes the sound of that better than “mutt”, somehow.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@BillH- It's been many years since we've had a cat, but oh how we loved the one we had: Ralph. She was runt of the litter, remained quite small, and didn't know how to meow (she would look at birds through the window and make a nick-nick-nick sound with her tongue).

We used to make little newspaper tents on the living room floor for Ralph to dash into. Put them in a circle and it was better than owning a toy train.

She was mischievous and loving, and despite her tiny size, one battle-scarred veterinarian pronounced her "pound for pound the meanest cat I've ever seen." She wasn't - but she really didn't like vets.

So we've loved cats and dogs, but in different ways. A cat is a luxury - a dog is a necessity.

@TrickyRicky- There comes a time when you need to choose between having a dog and having nice things. We chose the dog.

@PRY- I know what you mean. I can easily fantasize about turning my back on politics in favor of hosting a happy dog blog.

@Geoff King- Great dog stories, although the rattlesnake detail is going to give me nightmares. I'm glad that the "fast adoption" system has worked for you. This was the first time we'd done anything like that (after about 3 months) and it was weird and hard at first. I felt like a cheating spouse.

One thing that helped ease any guilt was the realization that Penny wasn't Maggie's "replacement" (and was never intended to be). Rather, she was a very considerable distraction during our grieving.

Actually, she's a very considerable distraction right now, too - she's barking her hiney off at someone with the audacity to walk down the street on OUR freaking sidewalk in the morning.

@Cookie- I think we all enjoy a break from the woes of the world, even if I usually try to put a humorous spin on them here.

@REM1875- I don't cats will do the "pole cat" thing, but a tomcat will happily "scent" your drapes to give you much the same effect.

@TotallyPeeved- Glad to oblige!

@Anonymous- We're tempted to run a DNA test on her someday just to find out what all went into the genetic Cuisinart to create such a lovable, muscular, and energetic beastie.

And if Obama describes himself as a "mutt" (which he does), I suppose we should find a kinder way to describe Penny.

@Chuck Baker- Purebred Cur does sound good. And, as Dave Barry would say, it would make a good name for a rock band!

Buck O'Fama said...

Awesome pup Stilton. There is nothing better than 4 legged friends.

Anonymous said...

With 400 years of canine privilege in this country, no wonder cats can't get ahead.