Friday, February 29, 2008

The Results Are In!

The following is taken from Winnie's "mixed breed analysis." "Winnie is unique, unlike any other dog in the world. Results like Winnie's are found in about 70% of mixed breed dogs in the U.S. (I'm not quite sure what that means) Winnie's ancestry contains some Australian Cattle Dog and Boxer and also includes distant traces of Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Pit Bull). There are also faint signals from other breeds which are not strong enough to identify." Basically, she is really a mutt.

Of the 16 votes, many demonstrated expert breed identification skills, successfully spotting Winnie's Boxer and Pit Bull geneology. However, no one recognized her Australian Cattle Dog roots. Therefore, choosing a winner has been difficult, but after thorough deliberation between Lia, Anna Rose, Winnie and I we have concluded that "Bobo" (a.k.a. Kojack a.k.a. Quota Boy a.k.a. Joe Extraordinaire a.k.a. Kerry Koberg) is our winner. Congratulations! You have achieved Apprentice Dog Whisperer Status.
australian cattle dog.............boxer........................pit bull

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bowl-O-Rama 2008

The 2nd Annual Bowl-O-Rama was on all accounts a huge success. In the end, the championship difference came down to one pin. Phil and Christal Murray of team "Slippery Spur" saved their best bowling for last, and it was down to Ben of team "Striker" to do just that. But though all ten wobbled, only nine went down. It was quite a finish.

Props should also go to Tim and Lindsay Musser of team "Justice League" for bringing home the Best Dressed Award, Caroline and Katherine Bell of team "Pinhead" for dancing to the Spirit Award, and Mary Beth and Lexi Edens of team "Gutterball" for appropriately going home with worst bowler honors.

Lia and I were sore the next day. My lower glutes were giving me problems and Lia's wrist was out of whack (which isn't surprising if you've ever watched her bowl). But despite our injuries, it was well worth the effort. Thanks y'all for coming! And special thanks to Pam, Jean, Deborah, and everyone else at AMF Lanes on Jonestown Road. We'll see you next year!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Winnie has now been with us for two and a quarter years. She was found by a dumpster in Walsenburg, Colorado on September 16, 2005, a three day old pup of an unspecified mutt of a mother. She was eight weeks old when Lia brought her home from the rescue. The above picture was taken shortly thereafter.
I was less keen on the decision than she was (an understatement). We had recently gone through the pain of losing our fourteen year old extremely well-bred English Springer Spaniel, Chelsea, and I confess I wasn't emotionally prepared for another longterm relationship. However, Lia was on a mission, and so against my better judgement I allowed her to go on her own to choose us a next pet. I left her with the instructions that I wanted the largest, fattest, laziest dog in the pound, something that would keep my feet warm as I wrote. She said, "Sure thing," and proceeded to disobey every word.
Winnie was energetic from the start (an understatement). She took her first nap, I think, when she was three months old. And she took everything out of me. It didn't help that when I asked the vet her opinion on what breeding background Winnie might have she said that she looked to be mostly jack russell terrier and had a winning chance of making it to 25 lbs someday. Just what I needed.
I started feeding her triple the prescribed amount and added stretching and calisthenics to her already rigorous natural training regimen. Winning chance...I wasn't going to give up without giving it a fighting one...
By her one year birthday, she was 45 lbs, stood as tall as any lab, and was faster than every dog, every dog, at the dog park. She could catch a frisbee like a champion. During the spring, summer and fall, I show off her leaping prowess for the neighborhood as we wait for Lia to come home from work. She jets across two lawns, launches all four feet off the ground, snatches the disc, ducks around a looming oak tree, and sprints back to my feet to await the next toss. She has become the most obedient dog I have ever been a part of training. One whistle and she comes flying to your side. She is patient and passive with the most vicious of children. She has never growled a day in her life. She takes long naps (not at my feet). Her one behavioral question mark is her ardent tongue. She is one heck of a licker. "Fastest tongue in the west," is what I usually say. We have been able to do little to assuage her ferver.
All in all, Lia made a wonderful choice. We love Winnie. She is family. Yet we still have this ongoing debate on what she is. Is she part pit bull, greyhound, boxer, border collie, lab, jack russell? If there was only a way to find out...
Well, it turns out there is. We were at the vet yesterday and learned of a test you can take to find out your dogs exact breeding. Eric, our vet, said he had always wanted to try it out but had never found a pet owner willing to go through with it. "We will," I said without even consulting. Didn't have to. Lia said it at the exact same time.
So the blood test went out in the mail this morning. We should know in a couple weeks. And so, I ask you: what do you think? What is Winnie? What is this love child of two mutts?
We'll see...let us know what you think. We're giving a prize to the winner.