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1999 Dog News,
- and Dog Advice, Dog Park Dogs, Saline Dog Park, and About Laser.
Dec 27 - With the arrival of the baby, it's turning into Neglect Your Dog Month. Today started well with bacon for breakfast, left on a table for the dog by Anne's parents. However, his lazy owners have been neglectful with walks recently. Laser took matters into his own paws and decided to walk himself this morning. He slipped away through an open gate (Anne's parents again), but eventually was brought back by a neighbor, who found him running up and down the street.
Dec 26 - Anne's parents are staying with us. They have little experience with dogs (apparently), and today placed a large quantity of roast meat on the dining room table, then left it unattended i.e. for leisurely canine devouring. Christmas came a day late for Laser.
Dec 11 - Laser had his photo taken with Santa at Mill Pond Park in Saline. This was a Canine Social Club fund-raiser. Laser's only wish for the holidays is "No kennels".
PHOTO - LIZZ/CANINE SOCIAL CLUB
Afterwards, we squelched across the field to the Dog Park. The ground was very wet, with several large puddles. The dogs were happy, but the bipeds were frozen (particularly if she was wearing sneakers because a dog had hidden one of her thick-soled shoes). There were several seriously soggy dogs and a purposeful beagle (see below).
Dec 7 - An undergraduate at Rutgers University (NJ) asked if she could use a web site photo of Laser in a paper about animal play. She wrote: "The [play bow] behavior is very clearly visible in the image and to be frank, Laser adds a certain cuteness factor that my textbook images sorely lack."
Dec 5 - Laser visited the Saline Dog Park. There was one other dog, a Great Dane puppy called Lily. But that was enough for prolonged dog wrestling and running around through the mud.
Sunday morning lie-in
Saline Dog Park
Dec 2 - A reader sent us a photo of his dog, Bailey. Since Laser hasn't done anything interesting today, we'll put up the picture of Bailey instead. Laser blames us for the lack of exciting dog news. He went on a short and very cold walk down the street and back.
From the angle of the sun, we can deduce that Bailey isn't at the North Pole. Apart from that, we have no idea where this photo was taken.
Nov 26 - Anne's mom had a coughing fit. Laser trotted over carrying a paper tissue in his mouth. Maybe he is a dog genius, or maybe the coughing interrupted urgent tissue shredding duties.
Nov 25 - Thanksgiving. Anne's parents got up very early, but didn't let the dog out. Laser was forced to find someone else to let him out, and woke up Anne by placing his nose against her nose while she was asleep.
Laser raced out of the back door to chase a squirrel, or as Anne's father put it: "The enormously fat squirrel waddled towards the tree, and Laser waddled after it."
Nov 21 - Laser visited a local park, and was unimpressed by low-tech dog walking after someone zipped by on a recumbent bicycle accompanied by a running dog on a leash.
We nearly didn't make it into the park, as our permit was on the wrong side of the windshield. This is a rules violation that can lead to confiscation. The large orange sticker is supposed to be placed on the left, in the driver's field of view.
Nov 14 - Laser noticed it was a nice morning, and started campaigning for a drive in the dogmobile. He eventually got his way. We went for a short walk near Chelsea, and saw a large spherical rock called a concretion. Laser wasn't very interested.
Nov 13 - A bright and sunny day, so we took Laser to the Saline Dog Park. We went earlier than usual in order to gate-crash the Canine Social Club dog party. Fortunately, there were no bouncers checking invitations. Two small dogs of some composite breed repeatedly came over for prolonged synchronized dog petting.
Nov 7 - Laser walked through woods adjoining Washtenaw County Community College. There were a few ponds, numerous geese, and a great blue heron.
Nov 6 - Laser started the morning by telling us a story, using a long series of squeaks and whimpers. He told us of the misery and sadness of neglected canines everywhere, and the pitiful state of any dog, such as himself, unfortunate enough to have neglectful and thoughtless owners who won't get up early on the weekend to let the dog outside.
There was a large canine turnout at the Saline Dog Park. Afterwards, Laser was taken to the Dog-o-Mat for cleaning. Laser was then unpleasantly surprised by toenail clipping, another form of dog torture offered by the Dog-o-Mat.
Saline Dog Park
Oct 24 - Laser met a shepherd puppy called Hopi at the local park. The puppy was intent on herding Laser, but Laser was less than enthusiastic about that idea. Apparently, shepherd owners sometimes rent sheep by the hour for the dog to herd.
Laser was very excited when he heard we had painted one wall of our bedroom. He insisted on being taken on a wall right then. We checked - "Do you really want to go on a wall?", but he was certain. "An ambulatory one paw in front of the other wall?" Definitely.
Oct 23 - it was the afternoon of the Howloween parade. Unfortunately, one of Laser's owners was asleep, and the other was deterred by heavy rain. In any case, Laser's only costume was "Dry Dog".
Oct 14 - Laser met Bo the golden retriever at a local park. We hadn't seen Bo out and about in a long time. He had been confined to his own yard with a leg injury.
Oct 13 - Laser Lab has a listing at addresses.com. The listing is under "dentists". Laser points out that the only dental treatment he provides is mastication of rawhide. [To see this, Google search: laserlab Michigan].
Imagine sitting in a waiting room. An assistant calls your name, and says "The dentist will see you now". You are guided to a room, the door opens and a golden brown dog is waiting, wanting his ears rubbed. This would be an atypical dentist visit.
Laser prefers "Good dog" to "Good dentist".
Oct 12 - Laser had spent a few days in Dog Jail. After a brief walk round the block, he ran to his double stacked dog beds, lay down, and looked like he wasn't going to move for some time. This was a dog who had missed his cushions.
Oct 5 - Laser received more fan mail - "Laser's the best dog on the web". And this was from someone searching the web for armadillo information. (If you've never looked at our Armadillo News page, we strongly suggest you keep it that way).
Laser agreed that he is the best dog on the web. This clearly meant he should get several bonus dog treats. Laser enjoyed 150 nanoseconds of dog treat heaven - three particularly tasty dog treats, and 50 nanoseconds each to devour them.
Oct 3 - we bought Laser some tablets that claim to help canine joint health. He was more excited by a squeaky hedgehog toy.
Oct 2 - Laser was limping around. Apparently, recent cold weather is causing pain in his hip (rear right leg). He's ready to retire to Florida.
Sept 28 - Laser went on a tail-freezing walk around Buhr Park. Fall has arrived.
Sept 20 - Laser picks out a stylish sweatshirt for fall use.
Laser in a fall sweatshirt
Sept 19 - It was Day of the Beagle at the Saline Dog Park. One beagle kept escaping, the last time at high speed and far into the distance. The beagle was finally rounded up, leashed, and dragged away being told "No more dog park for you." It was a sad sight.
Laser wrestled with a Great Dane, working on his underneath move. That was really the only option with a Great Dane.
Sept 11 - took Laser to the Dog-o-Mat for scrubbing and deodorizing. A customer recognized Laser from this web site. That means (1) we have to update, as we always update following rumors someone has looked at this page, and (2) Laser gets a bonus dog treat for being an Internet celebrity.
Sept 8 - The Ann Arbor News had a front page article about a dog swim day at a local pool. An area resident was quoted as saying "We need more things for dogs. The poor dogs of Ann Arbor are oppressed. They need to stay on leashes all the time, and large dogs need more exercise."
Laser agrees that he is oppressed, but will not rule out being walked on a leash later this evening.
The AA News has become welcomingly dog-centric. They had an encouraging article about a possible dog park yesterday.
Aug 29 - Laser was tired out after a walk around County Farm Park. Things have changed, at one time it was impossible to ever tire this dog out by walking alone.
Aug 28 - Laser made a quick visit to the Saline Dog Park. There was a car show/fair in progress nearby, so we could in theory walk the dog and then eat an elephant ear.
Aug 25 - Laser got more fan e-mail from Columbus, Ohio - "Yer dog looks great". That deserved an extra dog treat, one of the special malodorous ones.
Aug 24 - The Canine Social Club reports progress towards an official Ann Arbor Dog Park. The now-expired unofficial dog park was a valuable service to the community, promoting good health through exercise and character development through socialization. That was also true for the dogs. We're hoping to meet old Dog Park favorites like Edgar the Lab again.
PHOTO - EDGAR NEWS SERVICE INTERNATIONAL (aka ROB)
Aug 21 - a very mellow visit to the Saline Dog Park. There was a good dog turnout, and much ambling around in the sun. The surprising lack of greyhounds may have slowed the pace of dog action.
Aug 19 - Laser set off a couple of beagles in a nearby house as we walked by. The main beagle stood on a couch, paws on the back of the couch, and barked through the window. A secondary back-up beagle bounced up and down on the floor, barking in mid-air when visible through the window.
Further along, Laser encountered a shepherd puppy, and went through the play bow routine. Why all this dog detail? Laser recently got fan e-mails from Saline and Leicestershire, England. He's very excited. (Laser gets an extra dog treat each time he gets fan mail).
Aug 16 - Great excitement after Laser slipped his leash after encountering another local dog. He eventually came back, after doing a rapid survey of neighborhood yards.
Aug 15 - Laser had a fast walk around a local park during a short window of dryness. Menacing dark clouds were approaching from all directions.
Aug 11 - Laser received an edible dog greeting card made from rawhide.
Laser eating his greeting card
Aug 1 - Laser visited Kelleys Island. He called in his favorite establishment, the Kelleys Island Brewery, for a big bowl of water and some complementary bacon bits.
Laser fails his golf cart drivers test -
"Failure to face forward"
July 31 - Laser's first visit to the Paw Run Canine Recreation Area, on Zeeb Road just south of North Territorial Road. There was a puppy to run around with, and various trails to explore.
July 24 - loaded Laser into the car, and headed south for a scenic drive. However, the car developed a persistent squeak, and we didn't get past the Saline Dog Park.
July 16 - Laser visited the Saline Dog Park. There were three greyhounds, a whippet, and several other fast dogs. Laser was outclassed in speed, and we left before Laser over-exerted himself.
July 15 - Dun and Bradstreet called and asked to talk to the business owner. There's no business here, we said. The representative sounded surprised, and asked again to talk to the proprietor of Laser Lab. We explained that Laser Lab was a labrador dog, D-O-G. The representative seemed even more surprised. A dog? Your dog? Yes. Maybe we'll now get less credit card offers and trade catalogs addressed to "Laser Lab".
Regular readers will know that Laser is only fractionally a Labrador. However, we thought Dun and Bradstreet probably weren't interested in the details of his mixed breed history.
July 12 - We have lost a great deal of foam stuffing out of our patio chairs. Rodents are suspected, though which sort isn't clear. Laser chases squirrels and rabbits when seen, but doesn't seem interested in chasing chipmunks. Their go-faster stripes along the side of their body may discourage him.
July 10 - Various rodents are visiting our back yard to eat flowers and wild strawberries. (They are welcome to the wild strawberries). We've seen several rabbits, and today the rodent menace escalated to a woodchuck. Laser now spends a lot of time on patrol along the back of our yard.
July 9 - Laser started sleep-barking in the middle of the night. "Erf, erf, erf, erf erf!" He sounded like one of his squeaky toys. Eventually, he woke himself up.
July 4 - Laser visited Molly, a black lab living in New York state. Molly acted as a tour guide, showing Laser the location of various mud patches.
Laser and Molly
July 3 - Laser went into a play bow on seeing a horse. The horse didn't seem impressed.
July 2 - Laser's longest ever car journey, 9 hours sprawled on the back seat on the way to New York state (a distance of 510 miles). This was Laser's longest ever car journey, almost the canine equivalent of traveling to another planet.
June 30 - Laser gets his new dog license. We're taking Laser to New York over the weekend, and didn't want to transport an unlicensed dog over a state line. That's not a crime (we think, unless it's for an immoral purpose), but it just sounds wrong.
June 29 - Laser's dog license expires tomorrow. If not renewed, he will revert to being a Giant Mutant Hamster.
June 28 - Laser spent a happy few minutes chasing a rabbit around our flowerbed. His tail was rotating in happiness. Fortunately, we prefer hardy perennials that can take a few stomps from a dog's paw.
June 27 - Laser spent the weekend in Low Security Dog Jail.
June 19 - Another good turnout at the Saline Dog Park. A very photogenic dalmatian was making his first visit. We didn't take along our camera, so you'll just have to imagine a photogenic dalmatian.
June 15 - Laser is a very communicative dog, and can convey a message in a single look. For example, he just gave us a stare that said "Well, you can give me my nightly dog treat now, or I can harass you for the next half hour, then you'll get up and give me the dog treat anyway. Wouldn't it be a lot easier for all of us if you just handed over the dog treat now?" He had a good point.
Apparently, scientists have discovered that dog barks aren't just random noise, they can convey information. We've also discovered that dogs are furry. Maybe this all can be published in the Journal of Extremely Obvious Information about Dogs.
June 14 - we went for a walk around Lillie Park. We saw one other dog and swarms of mosquitoes.
June 13 - Laser made an early afternoon trip to the Saline Dog Park. There was a good canine turn-out, with two greyhounds and two labs. The labs enjoyed plunging into the murky water of the Saline River to chase tennis balls. Laser preferred to trot along the shallows.
June 5 - Laser visited Kelleys Island in Lake Erie. He's almost OK with the ferry, but still has trouble finding a mutually satisfactory position in the golf cart. At one point, he sat on the gas pedal foot of one of the bipeds. The golf cart surged ahead, leaving burning strips of rubber on the road. Our speed reached 9 mph, 10 mph, ... even 11 mph. Eventually, Laser readjusted his hindquarters and the awesome speed was controlled.
Laser also encountered two young raccoons while walking along a boardwalk. The raccoons didn't run away, so we had to keep Laser on a short leash as we walked by.
June 4 - Laser met two very small white dogs at the Saline Dog Park. He didn't know what to make of them at first. They were a canine comedy double act.
June 3 - A terrier called Tucker stopped by our yard for a run around, including a vigorous headbutting one of the bipeds in the shin.
May 29 - visited a local park north of town and took Laser for a short walk around. When we returned, our car was surrounded by golf carts, each with a flashing blue light on the top. The Park Police had discovered our lack of permit. We bought an annual park pass, then went on to nearby Skeeter Lake Metro Park. We took Laser for a walk between Big Skeeter Lake and Little Skeeter Lake (which is larger, but the insects are smaller).
May 15 - had a party to celebrate Laser's promotion to Senior Canine Individual. Laser lay in the middle of the room, watching for dropped food.
May 13 - Anne bought Laser new "Senior" dog food. It's a good job he can't read, it would be difficult to put a good spin on that. It's like a biped receiving an AARP membership application in the mail.
May 4 - Laser livened up dramatically after taking the expensive medicine.
May 1 - Laser had slowed down considerably in the last week or so, and was reluctant to descend stairs. We took him to the vet, where an x-ray revealed slight hip problems. The x-ray looked surprisingly human, apart from the tail. The vet recommended what is technically known as a gold-plated COX-2 inhibitor. Whatever it was, it was very expensive.
April 27 - Laser went on a very cold walk around Gallup Park. What looked like snow flurries (surely not?) were blowing around.
April 21 - spent a few minutes searching the house for the source of pitiful squeaking. Eventually, we found that Laser had shut himself in a bathroom.
April 18 - sunshine persisted, so we took Laser for a long drive around SE Michigan. He visited a small airport, a small park, and had a small ice-cream. He seemed most disappointed with the small ice-cream, definitely wanting the human size. Laser then showed a burst of energy, apparently hunting for more ice-cream.
April 17 - we took Laser to Gallup Park in the afternoon. It was unusually warm, so Laser deployed slow amble mode. We stopped at a park bench for emergency dog petting, then turned back after less than half a mile.
April 16 - Laser encountered another retired greyhound at the Saline Dog Park. He's probably starting to feel slow and overweight. The greyhound alternated between standing around being petted, and explosive bursts of speed. Laser does the standing around thing too.
April 14 - a sunny evening, but Laser was the only canine at the Saline Dog Park.
April 11 - We went on a long walk through some woods east of Chelsea. Laser had recovered from yesterday's exertions, but convincingly impersonated a dog-shaped piece of furniture after we got home.
April 10 - Laser ran around with young dogs and two retired greyhounds at the Saline Dog Park. It was a bit much for our canine weekend warrior, who could barely lift himself off his dog bed for dinner that evening.
March 28 - Laser and a squirrel spent long moments staring at each other. Laser eventually gave desultory chase.
Casual attitude to chasing
March 21 - took Laser to Stinchfield Woods for a brisk walk. Afterwards, he adopted a relaxed position on the back seat of the car.
March 20 - bought Laser a big bag of chews that were on sale very cheap. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, they are the most disgusting smelling things imaginable. Fortunately, Laser likes to take them outside for further moldering. There may be problems later when he decides to start bringing them back inside.
Anne rounded up and laundered a large collection of dog toys from our yard. Laser now has a replenished dog toy box (who says he is spoiled?).
March 15 - Recently, we've been taking Laser on a short, time-saving walk in the morning. Today, he stopped half-way, unable to go on. There was no point in sniffing anything, nothing had changed since yesterday, the day before, or the day before that. It might be time to choose a more interesting route.
March 14 - Anne's sister's dog Molly (see below) and cat proactively teamed up in inter-mammalian synergistic behavior to achieve a rodent elimination goal. The cat caught a mouse, then the dog ate it. Also, Molly proved more effective than the best anti-virus software. The internet connection went out after she chewed through the phone line.
March 12 - Laser now has a canine cousin called Molly, a black lab living in NY state. She is a non-stop chewing machine, stalks the cat (much to the cat's disgust), bawooos all night, and knocks over baby gates. Anne's brother in law was sent to sleep on the sofa to keep the new dog company at night. Molly was originally from Pennsylvania, and was bought for cash from a dog dealer in the parking lot of a local store.
PHOTO - BETSY NEWS SERVICE
March 10 - a sunny afternoon, a good time to meet up with neighborhood dogs.
Laser and Logan
March 6 - Laser was totally covered in mud after running around the Saline Dog Park with a much younger dog. We then took him to the Dog-o-Mat for refurbishment, where he wasn't immediately recognized as his fur was several shades of brown darker than usual. We got particular good value for the cost of a dog wash. Afterwards, Laser spent a long time lying motionless on his dog bed. We covered him with a towel to keep him warm.
Feb 15 - Laser was driven around Southern Michigan in the dogmobile, with the occasional brief constitutional walk.
The Noble Canine
Feb 14 - met up with Bo the Golden Retriever at a local park. Bo has a favorite dog game, stealing gloves and running off with them. It's easy if the glove is in a coat pocket, but he'll also pull them off people's hands.
Feb 8 - visited the Saline Dog Park again. The snow was covered with an ice layer, making traction difficult even for quadrupeds. There were a few dogs around after lunch, probably due to the un-Michigan like sunshine.
Feb 7 - the Redford Dog Park web site recently linked to Laser's Saline Dog Park page. We visited Saline to see if the dog park was still there. It was, but the park was an icy tundra devoid of all life-forms except us. A park bench had been pushed out onto the frozen river, it will be difficult to use in a few months.
Feb 1 - Laser met up with Logan and Bo at a local park.
Laser's play bow
Jan 24 - Laser had a run round a local park. He doesn't seem bothered by the cold at all, despite being a short-haired dog.
Jan 19 - Laser's paws are sensitive to salted sidewalks. He started ineffectively limping on three paws after walking through salty slush.
Jan 18 - took Laser to a local park for a trudge through snow. Laser was much happier than the bipeds.
Jan 10 - Very cold, so we took Laser to the pet store for his morning walk. Everyone was happy.
Jan 9 - Hard to convince Laser it was too cold for a walk. He rested his chin on any persuadable-looking biped (Martin) and whined forlornly.
Jan 4, 2004 - Rescued Laser from the pet sitter. For technical reasons, Laser had spent part of the holiday season in their garage.
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