Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Favorite Game Take 256

We all know it's his favorite game!  Red Rocket and Rachsie engage in a game of tug-of-war with Rocket claiming victory!

Fly Catcher

When they were kittens, Sophie and Kasha hunted flies with vigor.  Insects that managed to invade the inner sanctum of their feline lair were soon exterminated, often through acrobatic assassination missions.  However, easy success breeds contempt (and a few extra pounds breeds lethargy and a Garfield philosophy towards life) so after a few years I had to break out the fly swatter.  Enter Hank, born with the hunting instinct but without the hunter's coordination or finesse.  Several days ago a fly entered through the back door and was immediately stunned by the frigid climate of our air conditioned house.  Hank caught sight of the fly floundering against the window and jumped into action, attempting to smash it with his big nose.  The result: a dizzy, stunned fly; a dizzy, stunned Labrador; and more money for the Windex corporation...

Calling Dr. Rocket

The celebration of Red Rocket's one year anniversary as a member of the family was marked by his annual visit to Dr. Olson for vaccinations.  Edward became fascinated by the workings of the stethoscope and after discovering its function he wanted to share his new found knowledge with the dogs by allowing them to listen to his heartbeat.

The Bone Collector

Hank's arrival in our household has precipitated an increase in the purchase, distribution, and consumption of rawhide bones after I caught him gnawing on the heels of a pair of my high heeled shoes (although at $15 a bag rawhide is not much cheaper than shoes...)  The acquisition of a rawhide chew is about the only thing that can fundamentally alter the personalities of our canines.  Red Rocket is a hider: he immediately takes his bone and retreats to the basement stairwell landing where he is relatively undisturbed.  Rachsie is a stealer: she stalks both Hank and Red Rocket waiting for any opportunity to snatch their bones which she assumes must be better tasting than the one she was given.  Hank is a barker: pretty much the only time he ever barks is when Rachsie steals his bone and then, instead of snatching it back or stealing hers he barks and barks until I intervene and confiscate the slimy piece of cow hide and return it to him.  And then there is Maggie: the hoarder and hider.  She intently waits, sometimes for hours, until the other dogs have become distracted and left their bones unattended, whereupon she quietly takes the bones and buries them in the furniture cushions.  She pushes the bones under pillows or fabrics by sliding her nose snowplow fashion.  Her diligence at this task frequently results in the development of a raw pink skinned spot on the top of her muzzle.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pretty for the Party

With ears freshly brushed and tail fluffed, Red Rocket awaits the arrival of our dinner party guests.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Indoor Goose Hunting

Yesterday during our Saturday errands we stopped at Petsmart to stock up on food and cat litter. PALS volunteers were there showing dogs available for adoption so we were able to give Hank's foster mom an update on his progress. We resisted the two sweet miniature dachshunds PALS had for adoption and instead of bringing home more live creatures we opted for the "stuffed wild bird" assortment of dog toys containing a pheasant, a mallard duck, and a goose. For Hank, these faux feathered were an acceptable substitute to hunting the real thing. For me, anything that does not deposit poop to be rolled in by Red Rocket is a fabulous idea. However, I did pick up a new bottle of "Tropical Hound" coconut shampoo just in case some evil dog toy designer who previously worked for Spensers Boutiques made the stuffed wild birds the "Betsy Wetsy" variety.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happiness is...

Happiness is having someone to snuggle with in a house with arctic cold air conditioning.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perched on the Pillow Throne

The Mughal Emperors of India were the first to be seated upon a famous jewel encrusted "peacock throne" composed of two of the magnificent birds with their tail feathers spread. As Red Rocket rested his head upon this arabesque patterned pillow case I was reminded of this famous throne, although my penchant for seeking out bargain basement bed linens perhaps takes something away from the metaphor.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Goodnight Kiss

Hank gets a goodnight kiss!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's Play "Shot of the Day!"

OK Red Rocket Report readers: let's play "The Shot!" August snapped this picture of Hank in bed this morning. Who can propose the best caption? Post your entry in the comments section: and remember the new RRR site allows everyone (even unregistered users) to play!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bad Dogs Have More Fun

I'm waiting in the checkout line at Barnes and Noble and there is a gift book on the display rack titled "Bad Dogs Have More Fun." I flipped it open to a page that tells the story of a yellow lab who opened up the kitchen cabinet drawers to make a ladder so he could get to chocolate on top of the refrigerator. Who does that remind you of???
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

It's a Dog's Life

Red Rocket sleeps in on a Monday morning.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Features!

Hello Friends and Fans of the Red Rocket Report! You'll notice lots of changes to our blog. Red Rocket can now post messages via his Blackberry to the blog to keep in touch when he's on the road and he's made it easier for friends and fans to communicate with him! You no longer need to be a registered user to post a comment - just click on the number of comments link and talk to your favorite dachshund! You can also use the icons next to the comments link to share your favorite Red Rocket Reports via e-mail, Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, or Google Buzz! Spread the Red Rocket love!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Redilocks and the Texas Two Step

Once upon a time there were two dogs who lived in a house in the Texas Hill Country.  One day, Big Dog Dixie came home and exclaimed, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed!" Little Dog Snookie agreed declaring, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed and he's still there!"  Redilocks, unfazed and unrepentant, slumbered on.


There are very few things that Red Rocket cannot do with three legs.  He can run.  He can jump.  He can climb the stairs.  But the one thing he is unable to accomplish is getting back down the stairs after he has ascended them.  He can do one or two steps, but anything more is mission impossible.  This isn't really a problem in our ranch style house because he is content to stay on the living level and he knows that if I go to the basement to throw in a load of laundry or get a toy for Edward that I will be right back up.  At Grandma and Grandpa's house, however, where the bedrooms and guest bathroom are upstairs, it's a different scenario.  It's not a problem when we're in the house.  If we go upstairs to get something and he follows us we just scoop him up as we start down the steps and take him with us.  The problem is when we leave the house to go to the lake or into town.  Inevitably, Red Rocket, even though he sees us leave, decides to either look for us or look for trouble when we're gone and scales the long staircase and gets stuck.  In the great echoing silence of the empty house he whines and whines for someone to come and get him.  But we are gone.  And he is stranded.  And so he urinates and defecates all over the top landing of the stairs out of anger and frustration.  When we arrive home, we are greeted with high-pitched Red Rocket wailing.  He is rescued.  He is bathed (because he has been wallowing in his self-imposed litter box).  The floor is cleaned.  Life is good again.  Until he gets stuck next time... 

Guess Who Loved the Lake?

Ummmm, no, not Red Rocket!  We suspected that Hank might like to swim.  And as you can see from the posted photo, we were right!  Our biggest challenge was finding an unoccupied spot along the shore of the lake on the 4th of July weekend because we knew that the only thing Hank would love more than the lake would be greeting his public!  Our next biggest challenge was finding enough sticks to throw into the lake for Hank to fetch.  He felt compelled to retrieve something (thus the breed name labrador retriever) and if he couldn't find the stick we threw for him he would swim over to a lake plant and try to grab it and bring it to shore!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under Construction

Longtime followers of the Red Rocket Report will notice some changes to the blog. We are "under construction" to update our look, our links, and our life circumstances. Keep visiting: we are "open during renovations!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Queen versus Full/Double Bed

Our bed at home is a queen size bed. As I researched bed sizes to write this post I came across a web site that recommended queen size beds for "couples who like to snuggle." I wonder what the author of that post would say about a couple who puts themselves and four dogs into a queen size bed? I suppose an optimistic writer would call us extremely loving and affectionate people. A pessimistic writer would call us nuts. Let me tell you what nuts is: a couple and four dogs sharing a full size bed - that's nuts. The bed in Grandma and Grandpa's guest room is a full size bed, which, according to my research, is 5 inches shorter than a queen size bed and has 6 inches less width. This may not seem like much space to sacrifice, but let me assure you, it is. To illustrate: a full size bed is 75 inches long while a queen size bed is 80 inches long. August is 78 inches long. Therefore, he cannot sleep laying straight on a full size bed and has to position his body at a diagonal which invades bed territory traditionally occupied by Maggie and/or Hank. Furthermore, the subtraction of 6 inches in width eliminates the area in the bed I call the "Berlin Wall" composed of miniature dachshunds whose body width is approximately 6 inches. As we prepared for bed the first night, all four dogs lounged on the full size mattress and I could see the handwriting on the wall. Someone was getting kicked out of the bed. Night one: Maggie abandons Dante's Inferno for the cozy comfort of Edward's cot. Night two: Hank decides a little bonding time with Edward is in the cards. Night three: Mommy surrenders and leaves the bed to August and the dogs.

Bedtime Story

Red Rocket joins Edward, Natalie and Nathan as Grandma reads them a bedtime story.

Guess Who Chased the Deer?

We tried to keep the dogs inside whenever there were deer visible in the yard. However, with so many deer it was inevitable that some brave doe or buck would enter the canine line of sight so we always stayed outside with the dogs when they were in the yard. The first one tempted was Hank and I was really worried. As a deer came up to the feeder Hank caught sight and took off running. I immediately screamed, "Hank!Stop! Turn around!" and to my great shock, he did. He was ushered back into the house. I was so worried about Hank it never dawned on me that perhaps the badger hunters would experience species confusion and would take chase. Thankfully, their upbringing as urban hounds has taught them that when you reach a building you should probably stop and greet the neighbors so when they hit the tractor shed they were torn between following the deer and stopping to visit with whoever might be inside. This moment of indecision allowed Mommy to capture them and they were carried back to the house.

"This is Just a Big Dog with Antlers"

Remember the story of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas? Too cheap to buy a reindeer, he tied a pair of antlers to the head of his dog Max. We hoped that our dogs would embrace this tale (no pun intended) and adopt the philosophy that the deer in the yard are just big dogs with antlers. To acculturate the canines to their new environment, August introduced them to former members of the deer population that now live inside Grandma and Grandpa's house.

There are Deer Here

This was Hank's first trip to Texas and our biggest concern was that his innate hunting-dog genetic code would kick into overdrive the minute he jumped out of the truck and saw all the deer wandering around Grandma and Grandpa's yard. If you look carefully just to the left of Hank's head through the window you will see two of the resident deer in the yard.

New Nicknames

Spending eleven hours within the confines of an extended cab pickup truck results in new revelations about the personalities of both the people and the animals you thought you knew well. The behavior of the four dogs led to the assignment of new nicknames to describe their actions during the trip. MAGGIE's new nickname is "The Veteran." Being the senior member of the clan she recognized that the truck was arranged for the long haul and settled right in on the bed constructed of a laundry basket, bed pillows, and dog blankets for an 11 hour nap. RED ROCKET's new nickname is "The Strawberry Flash." Edward selected a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar from the cooler at one of the convenience stores we stopped at and managed to take about three bites before it started melting. This resulted in an autistic sensory meltdown as he hates the feeling of ice cream dripping onto his fingers. I took the stick of the ice cream bar and held it to offer Edward drip-protected bites. As I moved the bar towards Edward's mouth, Red Rocket stuck his head out like a striking cobra and grabbed the ice cream, stick and all. He had it consumed before I could even react. RACHSIE's new nickname is "Little Licker a' Leapin'." She could not decide whether she wanted to share my lap with Red Rocket during the trip or be on August's lap as he drove so she spent most of the trip leaping back and forth between August's lap in the front seat and my lap in the back seat. Each time she lept from one of us to the other she would put her little front paws on our chests and lick our faces as if to say, "Hi, I'm back!" Finally, HANK's new nickname is "The Huffer." Hank has taken many car rides to Starbucks or Petsmart but on these local jaunts he can hang his head out of the window or the sunroof to breathe the fresh air. On the interstate, however, the windows had to be closed so Hank spent many hours with his nose pressed up against the air conditioning vent making exaggerated inhaling and exhaling noises. I think in a former life Hank was the guy who overdosed at one of those oxygen bars in Las Vegas...

On the Road Again

Hank celebrates the freedom of the open road as we depart for Texas...

Twas the Night before Texas

Red Rocket and the family spent the 4th of July weekend in Texas just as we did last year. I started packing the night before so that we could get an early start on the 11 hour drive. Packing and travel preparations always send the dogs into a frenzy of "don't leave me behind" behavior and they begin to stalk you as you move throughout the house. August went to bed first and the four canines slept closer than usual so that if he dared to make a move for the door they would know!