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I just found this footage from an old puppy class. It shows the Buhund from the Christmas video playing with a slightly younger (if memory serves) bulldog puppy. It also features an adult Brussels Griffon playing the role of regulator.


Please enjoy this New Year’s Day vignette out of See Spot Run’s exercise yard.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2013.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the kennel
Not a creature was stirring, save one wiggy spaniel.
The leashes were hung in the office with care,
Waiting for owners to return from afar.

The dogs were sacked out after a day full of play,
Stretched out in their runs and dreaming away.
My Lab and my pit bull following my lead,
We headed upstairs for some much deserved sleep.

When out on the curb there arose a commotion,
The kennel erupted– a bark-fueled explosion.
Down the stairwell I flew, and tried to begin
The impossible job of quieting the din.

Then unlocking the door and peering outside,
I struggled to take in a startling sight.
What to my eyes did appear through the storm,
But a sled and eight dogs parked in our loading zone.

Said I to the musher, “Please pardon me, sir,
You can’t leave that rig here, it’s creating a stir!
Besides, there’s two inches of snow on the ground.
Your sled will get towed, your dogs sent to the pound!”

He shook his head sadly and spat with a frown,
“Each damn year it gets harder to park in this town.
I’m beginning to think your Mayor makes laws
For no other reason than to fuck with Old Claus!”

I’m married to a physicist. Usually, that means scintillating conversation about the missing matter of the universe, or tales from underground laboratories involving desiccated bats.

On Thanksgiving, it means a friendly treatise on relative packing fractions, inspired by claims found in a turkey brining recipe regarding the weight of Kosher salt versus table salt.

It is commonly claimed that table salt is up to twice as heavy as the Kosher variety, presumably due to its higher packing fraction. My husband has always been skeptical of these assertions. Anyhow, here are the results of last night’s measurements.

Kosher salt: 1 cup = 8 3/4 oz.

table salt: 1 cup = 10 1/4 oz.

CONCLUSION: Whereas the brining recipe calls for 50% more Kosher salt than plain table salt, that represents a major overcorrection. Rather, 1 cup of table salt equals about 1 1/8 cup Kosher.

Glad we cleared that up.


See Spot Run trainer Nick Rodriguez carved this frightening specimen out of an unsuspecting pumpkin. Kinda reminds me of a smallish bull terrier I trained once.

© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2012.

I have a weakness for dogs with ridiculous overbites, probably because the one’s I’ve known, including the female pit bull pictured below, have had awesome personalities.

Not suggesting the “massive overbite” should be an element of any breed standard, but then again, why not?

Would breeding for only half a lower jaw be any more ludicrous than breeding for twice as much skin as necessary, or legs so short that running was an uphill battle, or a head so large that puppies need be delivered via c-section?

After all, there’s a fine line between deformity and fetish.

So, I’ve begun working on the first homework assignment from Silvia Trkman’s long-distance tricks course.

And I suspect Atlas is already pining for the days when all he had to do for his dinner was sit. Poor animal surely thinks I’ve lost my mind. But bless him, he keeps a stiff upper lip.

From The Observer today, in the wake of Christ’s no-show:

But other non-believers and cynics saw an opportunity to make money rather than jokes. There has been a mini-boom in firms and individuals offering to look after the pets of those who believed they were about to be raptured. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, set up by New Hampshire atheist Bart Centre, has about 250 clients who paid $135 (£83) for insurance policies that guarantee Centre and others will care for their animals when they ascend.

From the Eternal Earthbound Pets website:

You’ve committed your life to Jesus. You know you’re saved. But when the Rapture comes what’s to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

And from Eternal Earthbound’s contract page, under terms and conditions:

  • If subscriber loses his/her faith and/or the Rapture occurs and subscriber is not Raptured (aka is “left behind”) EE-BP disclaims any liability; no refund will be tendered.

Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.

In the office of my kennel, we have a small iron statue of a Boston Terrier in a display case. His nominal purpose is to model a micro prong collar, but he is actually stationed there for my personal amusement, as a minority of dogs will forever mistake him as a fellow canine. My own dearly departed Parson Russell was one such number. In fact, the statue was a gift from my husband and for a time was stationed in our kitchen, but had to be removed to the kennel due to my Lucy’s determination to fight to the death with it.

Venturing outside the kennel Wednesday, I discovered that the snow had been distributed somewhat unevenly among the vehicles parked along our street. This one got more than its fair share in my estimation.

Luckily, its owner was equipped with a good shovel, and the patience of Job.


spot-check: to sample or investigate quickly or at random

My Thought Exactly

"There's facts about dogs, and there's opinions about them. The dogs have the facts, and the humans have the opinions." --J. Allen Boone

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© Ruth Crisler and Spot Check, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruth Crisler and Spot Check with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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