The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 29, 2008

BeagleFest 2008: Tale of the Tape

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:08 pm

By this time, things have pretty much settled into a routine with Imola and Minardi.  As long as they get their two trips to the dog park per day, they’re generally pretty well behaved, although they’ll still get worked up about one thing or another if the opportunity arises.  Since this doesn’t leave a whole lot of adventure and/or misadventure to report, I thought I’d go ahead and take a chance to discuss the two dogs, and their personalities a bit.

Imola is pretty typical for a beagle in many ways.   She has a slightly smaller build than some beagles, and a fairly typical appearance for the breed.  She is by far the more adventurous of the two, and when we’re out and about, she will usually be the one to lead and Minardi will be the one who follows and the one whose attention will be caught by whatever happens to be interesting.  At the dog park, this means that she will wander a lot more than Minardi does, although it doesn’t take much to get Minardi to follow along.  Of course, if  one of the two gets to barking, the other one will usually be barking right along in no time at all.  And man, can these two bark.  If one of them finds some reason to start barking, you’ll know it, and pretty soon half the neighborhood is going to know it as well.  On the other hand, Imola also likes to be around where people are, and when the time comes to wind down. she’s usually going to find her way into someone’s lap.  She also gets very enthusiastic at times, and will frequently try to lick your face whenever she gets excited,  She also seems to spend a lot of time just sniffing around at various things, and is generally a lot more excitable than Minardi is. 

Minardi is a bit unusual for a beagle in a number of ways.  Both of these dogs (as well as one of the two owned by my sister) came from the same breeder at the same time, and if I understand correctly Imola and Minardi have the same father, but came from different mothers, which would make them half-sisters.  Some of Minardi’s personality and appearance are a bit different from that of a typical Beagle, which has led us on occasion to wonder if she might actually have picked up a bit of Jack Russell Terrier in her genetics somewhere along the line. For all intents and purposes we just consider her to be a Beagle, and she passes off as one just fine.  The fact that her and Imola have grown up together has made the two inseparable, and you will very rarely find one of these two without the other close by.  Minardi was the runt of her litter, and has a bit of a crick in her tail as well, but at her fully grown size she is only very slightly smaller than Imola.

Compared to Imola, Minardi is a bit more reserved.  Although she will gladly follow Imola around in a lot of instances, there are also times when she will just stick close to the pack leader at the dog park, especially if there are other larger or more aggressive dogs around.  At home when things are quiet, she will often find her own little place to take a nap away from the hustle and bustle, although she has no problem with people being around her when she’s napping.  On occasion, she can be excitable though, and frequently she ends up being the first one to start the frienzied barking if something gets her attention.  She also has a cute little bark that she makes when she gets excited, mostly as a result of being given food or treats. 

Compared to some beagles that I know, these two are actually rather well behaved a lot of the time, although if they get ramped up there’s not going to be a lot you can do to get them to calm down until they managed to get it out of their systems.  As I have said previously here, Beagles are very friendly and very loyal dogs, but they can also be too smart for their own good at times, and also tend to be very high-maintenance at times, especially for a small dog.  Still, I enjoy having these two around, especially when I can actually go home and let my parents take care of all the dog-keeping chores.

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At Least My Face Isn’t On One of These Yet

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 2:36 pm

As I’ve noted here previously, milk is one of the numerous free beverages provided in the drink coolers in the breakrooms here, and at this point just about the only one I actually drink.  It comes in the small 8-ounce cartons that are more normally associated with school lunches than with humongous software corporations, so that means we get milk cartons that have this kind of stuff on them:

I guess they couldn’t get “Sit around and play video games all day” to fit on the carton, so they had to go with these two options.  I don’t know if this is supposed to be considered entertaining or what, but I don’t think you could even keep a Kindergartener occupied for more than two seconds with this type of thing unless they have to ask what some of the big words are supposed to mean..  Apparently, you’re supposed to be able to go to this site and find the answer to this, but at the moment it claims that this particular activity doesn’t exist.  I can’t say that I blame them too much…

BeagleFest 2008: A Tour of the Marymoor Dog Park

Filed under: Dogs, Redmond — Tags: , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:29 am

 As much as I enjoy the chance to hang out with Imola and Minardi this week, there are very good reasons that I have never given much thought to getting a Beagle of my own.  Sure, I might have names picked out already if I ever do happen to get a beagle or two of my own (the next ones would be named Mugello and Fiorano,) but in my current situation I would be ill-equipped to take care of any dog, much less a challenging breed like a Beagle.  Most beagles do not do well at all in confined spaces, and very few beagles do well in apartments.  Even in a decent sized single family house such as this one the dogs can get a little loopy if they aren’t given the chance to run around for a while use up some of the energy that they seem to come by so easily. 

It is for this reason that we are fortunate to have the Marymoor off-leash dog area nearby.  Although there are a number of other off-leash dog areas in the general vicinity, the one ar Marymoor is the closest, and by far the largest, encompassing nearly 40 acres of space.  To a human unfamiliar with the place, it doesn’t look like much more than a big open field with some trails crisscrossing it and a couple of places to access the river.  To a dog, on the other hand, this place must be something like Disneyland, with all sorts of open spaces to run around in, plenty of interesting new dogs to meet every day and scents to follow, and places to go for a nice refreshing ball-fetching swim.  The nice weather we had on Saturday brought a multitude of human and canine visitors to the park, so I thought it would provide a good opportunity to take some photos of the place.  After the jump, a tour of the Marymoor off-leash dog area.

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