Saturday, December 27, 2008

A letter to Grandma and Grandpa

Dear Grandma and Grandpa:

I'm writing you today for a number of reasons. I'll start off with something positive.

1) I had so much fun at your house yesterday. Thanks for inviting me over for Christmas. Thank you too for the treats and the Christmas ornament. I also liked that Grandpa was wearing his hat "I love my Granddog" that I gave him for his birthday last year.

2) I'm sorry for peeing on Grandpa's chair. I got so excited to see you both and Aunt Kathy too that I had to let loose. I was really trying to claim a place in your house because I like it there so much--and Grandpa's chair seemed to be the best place. I know now that it's not.

3) I'm sorry too for tearing up your rug a bit and then peeing on your garbage bag. Sometimes I just don't know why I do these things. It was very unlikely and it won't happen again. If you notice, I was a lot calmer when I came back after dad took me for a neighborhood walk.

4) Thanks for all the treats and the few pieces of turkey I had. It's always fun to come and visit your house. Thank Aunt Kathy for exchanging the clothes she bought me for a bigger size. I'm bigger than I look.

5) Finally, thanks for raising Dad. He's been so good to me after saving me from the shelter. I know that's because you raised him to be a good man and that he learned so much from your example. While he may never have human children of his own with mom, know that he treats me with such kindness and love and that it's all because of you. You can be proud of him--I think you already are. He is also very proud to be your son. I know because he tells me so all the time on our walks.

I hope I can visit you two again soon. Merry Christmas and a Happy Dog-urine free New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Why does your dog pretend to like you?

I read this article in the Atlantic. I hope Dad and Mom don't read it because it has sniffed out us dogs in a rather scientific manner as genetic responders (for lack of a better term). Here are two quick quotes:

If some advertiser or political consultant could figure out just what it is in human psychology that makes us willing to believe that dogs are loyal, trustworthy, selfless, loving, courageous, noble, and obedient, he could retire to his own island in the Caribbean in about a week with what he would make peddling that secret. Dogs belong to that select group of con artists at the very top of the profession, the ones who pick our pockets clean and leave us smiling about it. Dogs take from the rich, they take from the poor, and they keep it all. They lie on top of the air-conditioning vent in the summer; they curl up by the fireplace in the winter; they commit outrages against our property too varied and unspeakable to name. They decide when we may go to bed at night and when we must rise in the morning, where we may go on vacation and for how long, whom we may invite over to dinner, and how we should decorate our living rooms. They steal the very bread from our plates (I'm thinking here of a collie I used to have whose specialty actually was toast). If we had roommates who behaved like this, we'd be calling a lawyer, or the police.

WHAT is so exploitable about human society? And how do dogs manage to exploit it? We are, as the animal behaviorist John S. Kennedy called us, "compulsive" anthropomorphizers -- always on the lookout for behaviors that mimic, even superficially, human social phenomena such as loyalty, betrayal, reciprocity. These are useful things to look out for when one is a group-dwelling animal whose survival is threatened less by ravenous wild beasts than by back-stabbing fellow group dwellers. Our cognitive ability to ascribe motives to others is a large part of what makes us human. But it truly is compulsive. Human beings do it so instinctively that they are forever ascribing malignant or benignant motives even to inanimate forces such as the weather, volcanoes, and internal-combustion engines. Our very cleverness is the start of our undoing when we're up against an evolutionary sharpshooter like the dog. We are primed to seize on what are, in truth, fundamental, programmed behaviors in dogs and read into them extravagant tales of love and fidelity. Often dogs need do no more than be their simple selves to amaze and beguile us.

This is a long article but I poured over it to keep one-up on Dad. Then I ate the magazine which upset my tummy but it keeps me in Mom and Dad's good (albit stupid, according to the scientists) graces.

Read it all here. Fascinating.

And a great additional comment on their blog:

Wednesday October 22, 2008, Adrian
I remember this original article and how angry it made me. How dare the author sugget that my dog doesn’t really, earnestly love me?

But having had several more years to reflect on it (throughout which I’ve been person to one or two dogs), I still start by quarrleing with the way the question is put. It’s hard to impute intention as complicated as pretense to an animal that we don’t fully understand. I mean, do we fully understand pretense in humans? Then how can we possibly do so in dogs?

But then I go to the concept of pretense itself. Is it pretense if we express affection because we get something in return? I guess it leads me to the realization that there’s a selfish impulse in so much of what we do. I love my partner in part because he loves me. Does that mean that I’m pretending to love him? I don’t think so.

For people who have and “get” dogs, at the end of the day, the real reaction to the question is, does it really matter? My dogs get from me what they need and want to live (happily I think), and I get pure, unbridled joy from the way they express their “love,” pretend or other, for me. I think I get the better part of the bargain.

And the proof, to me, of the sincerity of the transaction is that when my arthritic, half-blind, and increasingly grumpy old golden retriever finally sloughs off the mortal coil, I will be heartbroken and cry like a baby.

Dad's found the article by now, for sure. He came to me in the midst of my typing and told me not to worry. He agrees with Adrian who believes that dogs and humans are rather symbiotic. I lick dad's head and he assumes I love him. So he feeds me and rubs my belly. Not a bad deal for both of us.

Merry Christmas

While I like to dress up as Santa, we all know what the real reason for the season is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thanks Father Dave

Fr. Dave gave me a Petco gift certificate and lo and behold, there was a nice pet carrier that I thought I'd feel comfy in on sale so we got it.

I jumped right into it and was happy to hear that it's airline ready. It fits under the seat and I can go through the airport in it. So now I can go and visit Mom's nieces and nephew in Milwaukee someday.

Thanks Fr Dave, for the nice gift and for putting up with me when Dad brings me to the office.

Marley and Me is going to be great.

If you haven't read the book, Marley and Me it is awesome. I cried really, really hard at the end of the book and laughed throughout most of it. The movie is hopefully going to be as good. Here's a preview.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm a star--The BustedHalo Christmas Video

Dad and I are major stars in the BustedHalo Christmas video. Hope you enjoy this and Merry Christmas from Dad and I and all the folks from Dad's office at Busted Halo.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fr Jim Martin and I can no longer be friends

Fr Jim has this to say about holiday cards that feature dogs:

Family (Christmas) cards display — on the front — a photo of a happy family, typically wearing red-and-green scarves or red-and-green sweaters. Sometimes the family dog is included, wearing a scarf covered with slobber. Just as often, family cards show the clan on their summer vacation, posing jauntily in bathing suits in the Caribbean. These cards don't say "Merry Christmas" as much as "Look where you didn't go!"

But I enjoy the photos more when they're inside the card, not the card itself. Because more and more, even devout Christians have been replacing Jesus, Mary and Joseph with themselves.

Now "God" spelled backwards is "dog" but that doesn't mean that I'm pure evil. What's the deal, Fr Jim?

He did indeed reply to dad's email with the following:

Of course your card is lovely! It has not only you but the Holy Family, too! Who could object? Actually, that NPR piece really hit a nerve. I think people missed the point that I wasn't saying I was against family photos, just ones that usurped the place of the Holy Family.
Anyway, Merry Christmas from Father McScrooge, SJ.

Oh OK--all is forgiven. I thought he was originally trying to say because I occasionally slobber on a scarf I should be banned from Christmas photos! Merry Christmas, Fr Jim. You're no scrooge after all.

Why do I lick Dad's head?

A few people have been asking about the numerous times that I lick my dad's bald head. Here are some possibilities that some friends have suggested:

1) Dad wears a baseball hat and it makes his head sweat and I use him as a human salt lick--YUM!

2) I'm grooming dad--like a puppy grooms his mother. This was the one that intrigued dad the most and made him think that it was the right answer. His buddy, Paul just laughed at him.

3) I'm just showing him my affection and love.

4) Dad shampoos with ground beef or peanut butter.

But the real reason comes to us from some friends at Yahoo answers, one who has been breeding dogs since 1968.

"He is acknowledging you as the is a show of subordinance..
Wild dogs do this to gain favor of the pack leader, or when younger, of their mom. Actually, wolves groom each other by licking each other, and it's meant as affection, so he's treating you as part of her pack."

So dad's suspicion about his friend Leslie's suggestion on grooming was partially right. And Paul laughed at him. I think that's gonna cost him a beer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coming to a Website near you

I play two major roles in the upcoming BustedHalo Holiday video. Dad is so proud. Uncle Jarrad came to the house and did an on-site shoot just for me because I'm a Diva and I wouldn't perform in a place that was outside of my natural habitat.

Regardless...once the video is published (most likely on Wednesday night/Thursday morning) we'll post it here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My last video with Dad

I really enjoy licking dad's head--our trainer said that this is how I show him my affection and she's right. It's not like Dad shampoos with ground beef or anything.

You should know, for the record, that Dad loves his co-workers and that the video is a joke. We were thinking of things to put in the Busted Halo Holiday video and this is just one of the outtakes. So, no...Dad doesn't hate his co-workers. And no, Dad does not think that nobody takes hime seriously. And no, Dad hasn't gone postal.

Just wanted to clear that up for Dad.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dad's College Roommate Rocks!

Paul T. Daly--one of Dad's college roommates and Houston's favorite son, came to visit the great land of Haze, along with their other roommmate Kevin and Paul's brother, James. They came by the house and we watched the Jets game together. Fun times. Dad feels really refreshed after a day with 3 old friends!

I liked these guys--they didn't mind if I jumped on their laps and Paul even let me give his face a lick! Paul is heading back to Texas and I was a bit disappointed that Kevin's wife Jen didn't come by. She's cool--we'll have to get her to come by another time.

A disappointing day for football--not only did the Jets lose, but the Giants also lost to the hated Eagles. Ugh. The late season collapse for the Jets has arrived and the Giants may have just not shown up today in the frigid cold. Let's hope so for their sake and also hope that the Jets can win out from here on.

Thanks to the guys for coming by and I hope that they can come by again soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dad's home!

Yay! Dad just got back from a great conference at the National Conference of Catholic Youth Ministers in Cleveland where this year's National Catholic Young Adult Ministry forum was held.

A great showing for their pre-conference of 80 people. And now dad is back home. We sat on the couch tonight and simply napped. I've never felt so secure!


Tomorrow I get to hang out with Brittany (pictured above) while Mom and Dad go to Mom's family Christmas Party.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Dad's friend Al took an Alaskan cruise and found cute little Husky puppies being raised to possibly run the Iditarod--the famous dogsled race.

Cute pic. I met Al once and he is definitely a beer expert. I mean, if you name a country, Al can not only tell you not just a beer that comes from that country, but the BEST beer that comes from that country (and he just might have it in his fridge). Dad's favorite story about Al is the following from Al's rehearsal dinner.

Waitress: Can I get you a drink?
Al: What do you have on tap?
Waitress: Oh, we have everything...
Al: You DON'T have everything!
Waitress: No we really do!
Al: Ok, I'll play. What's the most obscure beer you have on tap?
Waitress: I mean...we have everything. We even have Michelob Dry!
Al (without missing a beat): I'll have a Sam Adams!

Hopefully, Al (or as he's known to others--Alex) will make his way to see me again. I was staying at Aunt Barb's, which happened to be in his neighborhood, so he came with dad to meet me. He's a great guy who often shares his Giants tickets with Dad.

I'm missing Dad--who is in Cleveland. But Mom is keeping me company after a long day at work. I spoke to dad on the phone though and he sounded like he missed me already. I know I miss having him come home but I know he'll be back soon. This weekend I get to meet his college buddy, Paul. Should be fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oh sure, fine...go to Cleveland...see if I care...

Dad is going to Cleveland until Friday and then on Saturday is the family Christmas party (which I'm not invited to) and Sunday he has one of his old college buddies in town. NO TIME FOR HAZE!

Oh sure, when you're all depressed and down it's fine to come running to me--but when I have the holiday blahs you can go off and run away to Cleveland. Fine, I'll be extra good for Mommy so she'll let me sleep in the bed with her and I'll pee on your pillow. We'll see how you like them apples.

Brittany is coming over on Saturday to play so that makes me excited. See Dad, you are easily replaced!

I'm kidding Dad, no Dad, don't cry...I didn't mean it. Really! I'm just going to miss you when you're away...It's OK. (Lick, lick, sniffle, whimper). Give me a belly rub... you know you want to ---come know you want to rub my belly...yes you do....ahhhhh there ya go.

Have a good trip, Dad. Bring me back a Chief Wahoo Hat even if it isn't politically correct.