Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Just wanted some snacks

Tonight I decided to clean out the sink and the dishes from dinner (mmmm, tacos) to get a little nourishment so that I can work on my column tonight. And wouldn't you know it, the humans in the house were yelling at me. Can you believe it? It's my house, my kitchen, and I should be able to clean it up if I like.

Also, I want to be able to put my paws up on the counter and see out the window just in case there are any toads coming.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Here is Myrtle

If I was a turtle, I'd say she was hot! But as I am an Estrela Mountain Dog, my tastes run a different way.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

A new ally in the toad battle

Today I met a new friend. Her name is Myrtle and she is some kind of roundish creature with a really hard outer part that I was unable to chew on or penetrate with my Estrela claws. She was heading towards the pond, and she says she heard about the hatching and came to investigate because she hates toads. Any enemy of toads is a friend of mine.

I got some pictures and I'll post them as soon as my computer is hooked up again.

Oh, and it is junebug season. I hate those things!

Friday, May 27, 2005

A new danger

While on polliwog duty, I noticed a new threat to my family. It's red with a long bushy tail. It appears to be some kind of rodent. It was climbing the trees in a most impressive manner. I think it is called Tamiasciurus hudsonicus.

Is there no end to the dangers in my realm? Am I Estrela enough to ward off the dangers?


The evil tadpoles

I snuck out this morning and got some pictures of the tadpoles. Don't let their cuteness fool you! The whole pond is just littered with them like this. Maybe the number is higher than I originally estimated.

Can anyone tell from this closeup whether they are going to be toads or frogs? They are looking very toad-ish to me!

Carolina Classic 2005 photos

It was a long time ago, but I finally got around to organizing (somewhat) our photos from the Carolina Classic. Go here for the gallery.

There are some pictures of Bart there, plus a handful of other Estrelas (and Vic's Central Asians) who were there. Hmm, it's kind of light on pictures of people!

Something going on with IE

We have noticed that for some reason, this site does not display properly with Internet Explorer. Kind of a reversal of the usual state of affairs! I will see if I can fix it, but I recommend firefox anyway!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stopping the toad invasion

I have come up with my first step in stopping the toad invasion. I will sit in the corner of the yard nearest the pond, and bark incessantly in the general direction of the pond. This will let the little toads-to-be know that I am here and ready to take them on.

As a bonus, it's something I do anyway, so it's no extra work for me.


Well, Michelle made a t-shirt out of the photo referenced below. It turned out really nice. I think we should make more to sell, to defray Bart expenses (chewing damage, fencing, concrete, citronella collar, etc. etc. etc.)!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Anonymous comments allowed

I thought that I enabled anonymous comments last night, so that you all don't have to sign up for blogger accounts... apparently that didn't "take" so I have enabled the setting again and we'll see if it works.

Toad invasion brewing

Something bad is happening....

Over the weekend we had a hatching in the pond. There are now thousands of polliwogs (or tadpoles, if you prefer) swimming around in there... or perhaps actually lying in wait. I must now prepare for a possible toad invasion. I don't know how to tell at this stage whether these beasts will indeed be dastardly, dangerous toads, or merely harmless frogs. It is safe to say that they will waste no time in staging their brutal invasion, doing so as soon as their legs have developed and while they are still at their most potent tiny size.

I have written before in my "Ask Bart" column about the treachery of the toad. A single toad is bad enough... but thousands! I cannot even estimate the possible danger to my family. This is truly a job for the Estrela Mountain Dog. I can't trust the bumbling Irish wolfhounds in my house to help me out. I'm not sure if they would run away, or step on the toad-beasts accidentally (which would be somewhat helpful, but ineffective due to the large numbers involved). The little mutt Daisy has proven her mettle with rodents, but I don't know if she is up to the toad challenge. I would love to have the fair Gisela, or my sister Pinta, or perhaps fellow Champion Choupo, here to help me at this important time, but alas, they are all too far away to make it in time. I shall have to deal with this myself.

The more optimistic among us would probably hope that these are indeed frog tadpoles and not evil toad tadpoles... but I can't take the chance. I will be formulating my plans and monitoring the situation over the coming days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Photo of Me

There is a new, excellent photo of moi on the emdaa.com website (small version at left). This was taken after my group placement and clearly shows why the Estrela is the king of all breeds. Go browse the gallery on www.emdda.com.

None of the other pictures my humans took are worthy or up to my standards. Next time I will get a professional photographer who knows something about photographing real beauty. Know any?

Now I must get back to my vertical blind chewing.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Back from Randolph, Ohio

Here is a message from Bart:

We are back from the Belgian Shepherd Dog (with other breeds allowed to show up) show in Randolph, Ohio. All in all, a fun trip, despite having to ride in the pen in the back of the van... an Estrela really needs to be on the lap of one of the people in the car when riding, you know?

My agent held the leash in the first show, on Friday night. The judge was really nice and friendly and all, but I just wasn't into showing. It was a long drive and a long wait, and while showing off is always one of my favorite things, standing still was not really among my priorities. So, I may have embarrassed my agent a bit. He'll get over it.

Supper that night was pretty late. The motel where we stayed was nice but there was no magic room with sliding doors, so I chose to be quiet all night so that my agent didn't have to cart my pen up to the room for me to sleep in. The bathroom floor was nice and cool, and I decided it would be a good place for me to lay where I could protect my humans. I got up at 6:30 on the dot, just like at home, so that they would not feel homesick or anything.

Saturday I met a nice young Kangal pup and his owners. I would have liked to play with him... if only it weren't for that darned leash! I could tell he didn't like his leash either, by the way he kept biting it in the ring. He'll grow out of it.

After more waiting around, Michelle took me into the ring for the morning show (by this time, morning was almost over!). I wasn't in the mood to behave then, either... but I must have looked GOOD since I placed in group. The Leonberger in group, who was right behind me, looked like my dear mom Castica, and I would have loved to investigate her a little more closely. Unfortunately she took group.

I took a bit of an afternoon nap, and lots more waiting before the afternoon show. I was really wanting to play with that Kangal. This judge was faster (not as chatty) but she must have something against the king of all breeds. Michelle promised me a hamburger if I behaved during group... you know I can't be bought off like that, but I chose to behave anyway. I just can't understand why I didn't place in group... but that same mom-like Leonberger took group again. Grrrrrrr... a sad day for Estrelas. But my new buddy looked really good and took second in group among the puppies. Yay for him!

On the ride home Michelle tried to give me that ketchup-laden hamburger. She actually expected me to eat it in the pen! I expected her to give in and let me out to eat it, but it wasn't happening, so I ate a little bit to appease her and saved the rest for a rest stop a little later.

There are some rumblings about "practicing" before the next show. I don't know, you'd think these judges would be a little more shallow and only care about looks, where I got it goin' on... this expectation for standing still is a little ridiculous!

Bart now has a blog!

Bart has so much to say that he has asked me to create a blog for him. Here we will chronicle the daily activities of Bart, UKC Champion Estrela Mountain Dog.