I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss my dog.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m in Arizona, and have been for a week, joining my brother and sister to help get my father settled in a place where he can get the care he needs.
Even though among loved ones, I’m pining for my significant other. Circumstances required Ace — a seasoned traveler — stay home for this trip, and this eight-day separation is the second longest in our seven years together.
It’s an empty feeling, not having him there when I wake up, or when I call his name (which I’ve only done about twice).
Fortunately for me, I have Roscoe, a yellow lab, to help fill the void. Meanwhile Roscoe’s owner, James has Ace.
Here’s how all this came to be — how we ended up in the company of each others dogs.
James, my brother’s partner, lived in Arizona but recently started working in Winston-Salem, N.C., where I currently reside. My brother, and their dog Roscoe, a yellow lab, haven’t made the move yet and are still in the Phoenix area.
Last week, when my presence in Arizona was required, James agreed to care for Ace while I was away. I, planning on staying with my brother, agreed to lavish Roscoe with attention, and — against James’s advice — give him at least one walk.
James ended up with the more labor intensive duty, between the feedings and the walks Ace demands. I don’t have to feed Roscoe (my brother does that), and one walk convinced me, and my shoulder, that Roscoe was more of an in-the-house, backyard kind of dog.
For Roscoe, it was just a matter of supplying treats and snuggling, and it was only a few days before it hit me that I had it backwards — James and I are not taking care of each other’s dogs, each other’s dogs are taking care of us.
James, who has been missing his dog something fierce since moving to North Carolina, seems to be enjoying Ace’s company. He posted the photo of him above on Facebook the other day, along with the words: “Thanks to Ace to keep me warm at night. I am dog-sitting Ace and he is such a wonderful boy!”
As Ace attends to James needs, Roscoe attends to mine.
The first few nights, he joined me on my floor mat, dividing his time between sleeping with me and my brother.
But when I got hit by a three-day bug, Roscoe turned it up a notch. He stayed by my side all night. He followed me to the bathroom — a frequent destination for a while there — waiting patiently outside the door for me to exit. He was at my side whenever I got up, generally carrying either his bone or a pillow in his mouth, tail wagging away.
He’s a totally different dog than Ace — a little more goofy, a little less needy, but equipped, it seems, with all the same sensors of human need.
Unlike Ace, who doesn’t like to get nudged in his sleep, Roscoe tolerates anything. A few times I woke up with both my legs atop him. He woke me up a few times sniffing my face, and a few more times by biting his toenails. Roscoe probably spends a couple of hours a day grooming his claws, and it can be a noisy affair.
But it was a small price to pay for all the attention he bestowed on me.
I was reminded, while scratching Roscoe’s big floppy ears, of the old Stephen Stills song, which had nothing to do with dogs at all: And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.
The lyrics always struck me as a tad slutty, but then that was probably just my dirty-minded interpetration. Maybe I never really understood it.
Dogs, on the other hand, totally get it.
(Photos: Ace photo by James Wong; Roscoe photo by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, arizona, away, dogs, home, lab, labrador retriever, pets, roscoe, senses, separation, travels with ace, trip, void, yellow lab
Chevy, the dog that survived a 110-mile journey last week in the engine compartment of a Chevrolet Silverado, is up for adoption at the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter in California.
And the contractor who pulled him out of the car engine is among those interested in taking him home.
No owner has come forward to claim the 25-pound mixed breed, said Kim Cholodenko, the shelter’s general manager.
Adoption applications are available at petprojectfoundation.org or at the shelter, which plans to review all of them before making a decision.
Applicants will be asked to visit the shelter, and bring any dog they have, to ensure that Chevy’s new home is a better fit than the last place he was found hanging out — under the hood of a pick-up truck.
Jaime Magaña, a building-restoration supervisor from Chino, found the dog under his hood after driving from Chino to Orange to Camp Pendleton to San Clemente on Oct. 1. When he parked at McDonald’s and turned off the engine, he could feel movement. Stepping outside, he saw some fur and opened his hood.
Chevy, as he’s been named, was uninjured, just a little scared and thirsty.
“He’s doing great,” Cholodenko told the Orange County Register. “He’s just such a good-natured dog.”
Magaña, 52, voiced interest in adopting Chevy, but the shelter says it plans to review multiple applicants before picking a new home for Chevy, who they say is a Keeshond-Tibetan spaniel mix.
To contact the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter, call 949-492-1617.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 110 miles, adopt, adoption, animal shelter, animals, available, california, chevy, compartment, dana point, dog, dogs, drive, engine, hood, keeshound, miracle, mix, pets, pick-up, ride, san clemente, silverado, tibetan spaniel, trip, truck, under
But that’s not to say we’re casting any aspersions on this one.
Mark Wessells of Myrtle Beach, S.C., says that six months after he dropped his black Lab mix off at his father’s house in Winchester, Va., the dog named Buck, managed to walk all the way back to Myrtle Beach — a distance of 500 miles.
Wessells was in the process of moving and had left the dog with his father to keep temporarily.
“I wanted him to be up in Virginia where my dad has all this other property and he would’ve been happy,” Wessells said.
But a week after Wessells dropped Buck off, the dog disappeared from his father’s home.
Six months later, Buck showed up in South Carolina, where he was found by Brett Gallagher. For two weeks, the dog played happily with Gallagher’s yellow lab mix Hannah. Gallagher eventually took the dog, who he was calling Deuce, for a checkup at Grand Strand Animal Hospital where a veterinarian found a microchip identifying the dog and his owners.
“The nurse came back and said, ‘Are you Buck?’ and he got so excited,” Gallagher said. “It must have been the first time he heard his name since he left.”
Wessells was notified and came to claim his dog, according to the Myrtle Beach Sun. (Click the link for video of the reunion.)
“I still don’t know how I feel,” Wessells said. “I’m just glad he’s back.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 500 miles, animals, buck, dog, dogs, grand strand animal hospital, home, labrador, loyalty, mark wessells, microchip, myrtle beach, pets, retriever, return, reunion, south carolina, trip, virginia, walk, winchester
Given we were among the first to suggest the saga of Seamus was worth a ballad, we’re proud to report there are now two.
Last week we told you about DEVO’s ”Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro!” a song written by band member Jerry Casale that mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his Irish setter, in a crate, to the roof of his car on a 12-hour family vacation trip.
This week, Ry Cooder is releasing his own Seamus-inspired song — “Mutt Romney Blues,” sung from the perspective of Seamus:
Hot in the day, cold all night
Where I’m goin’ I just don’t know
Po’ dog got to bottle up and go.
The song is the first on the album, “Election Special,” a bluesy collection of political songs from Cooder, who considers Romney “dangerous,” “cruel,” and a ”perfect creation for what the Republican Party is all about.”
Though DEVO got their song on the Internet first, Cooder’s will be officially released first — the album comes out Tuesday. “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro” is being released, both as a song and a game app on August 26, which is both National Dog Day and the day before the Republican National Convention.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blues, campaign, canada, car, crate, devo, dogs, don't roof rack me bro, irish setter, mitt, mitt romney, mutt romney blues, pets, politics, presidential, romney, roof, ry cooder, seamus, seamus songs, songs of seamus, station wagon, strapped, trip, vacation
President Obama made his first public reference to Seamus — the dog his opponent once strapped to the roof of his car for a family trip — while on the campaign trail in Iowa.
Appearing in Oskaloosa, a town named after all those actors who were nominated but didn’t win Academy Awards — (that’s a joke) — Obama referred to Seamus, though not by name, while discussing energy policy, specifically windmills.
Appearing in front of the Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum and touting the job-creating potential of wind energy in Iowa, Obama criticized Romney for saying, “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.”
“Now, I don’t know if he’s actually tried that,” Obama said. “I know he’s had other things on his car.”
Romney in 1983 toted his Irish setter on the roof of the family station wagon, in a crate, on a trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada, for a family vacation.
In response to Obama’s remark, reported by ABC News and many others, the Romney campaign said the president “continues to embarrass himself and diminish his office with his un-presidential behavior.”
“This election is about creating jobs, turning around our economy and helping the middle class. The President’s policies have failed on all counts and he will do anything to distract from his abysmal record,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement.
Obama’s appearance in Iowa came as the GOP nominee campaigned in coal country.
“Gov. Romney said, let’s end the tax credits for wind energy production. Let’s get rid of them. He said that new sources of energy, like wind, are imaginary. His running mate calls them a fad,” Obama said
The president, who is pushing Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy companies, added, “These jobs aren’t a fad. These are good jobs. And they’re a source of pride that we need to fight for.”
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, campaign, car, crate, dogs, energy, family, iowa, irish setter, mitt romney, obama, pets, politics, presidency, president, presidential, reference, romney, romney's dog, roof, seamus, speech, station wagon, strapped, trip, windmills
Revised, reconfigured and ready to get you all the way through 2013, the “Travels with Ace” calendar is back on sale for a limited time.
A heavy-duty, 18-month wall calendar, it’s illustrated with photos from our year-long, 27,000-mile trip across America — from the coast of Maine, where Ace was the first dog in America to see the sunrise one day in October, to the shores of Monterey, where Ace hopped up for a closer look at a bust of John Steinbeck — the author who inspired our journey.
You can buy it and get more information here, or by clicking on that ad to the left.
Fifty percent of profits from the sale of the calendar go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire (and also one of the stops on our trip).
We’ve added photos of one stop that we didn’t include the first time around — the Coon Dog Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
The rest of the calendar is packed with images from some of our other stops:
@Salvation Mountain in California, where Leonard Knight has fashioned and painted a mountain in honor of God.
@Niagara Falls, where Ace — ohmigod! — almost disappeared.
@The Lodge, a gentleman’s club in Dallas, where we met one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, and where Ace briefly took the stage.
@Various points south, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, where we kept running into kudzu dogs.
@The mountains of North Carolina, where we went in search of the elusive — and sometimes not so elusive — white squirrel.
@Rolling Dog Farm, where we reconnected with some old friends.
@John Steinbeck’s former home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., where we began retracing the route the author took in “Travels with Charley.”
@A marina in Baltimore, where we lived on a sailboat for a week, which Ace mostly liked.
Initial sales of the calendar raised $400 for Rolling Dog Farm.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, alabama, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, bandera, calendar, calendars, california, coast, coon dog cemetery, dallas texas, dog, dogs, fathers day, following, gentleman's club, gift, gifts, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, lancaster, maine, monterey, new hamsphire, niagara falls, north carolina, ohmidog!, oregon, path, pets, photography, photos, road trip, rolling dog farm, route, salinas, strip clubs, the lodge, trail, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, trip, tucson, wall calendar, white squirrels, winslow
Mitt Romney says, if he had a chance to do it all over again, he would not put the family dog in a carrier on top of a station wagon for a 12-hour ride to Canada.
“Certainly not with the attention it’s received,” Romney said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
In other words, he regrets getting caught. But does he regret the act?
His comments sound a lot like those Michael Vick has uttered since serving his sentence for dogfighting-related offenses. Like saying he regrets how the public perceived his acts. Like saying he’d still be doing it, if not for getting caught. Like saying it was all part of urban culture.
Dogfighting is no more a part of urban culture than putting a dog on your roof is part of suburban culture.
The tale of Seamus, the Romney’s Irish setter, is an old one, from the 1980s, first disclosed when Tagg Romney told the story in 2007 — how Seamus got sick during the trip, how Seamus got hosed down during the trip, how the Romneys continued on, dog still on the roof.
The question posed by Sawyer was submitted by a Yahoo! reader: “Would you transport Seamus like that again?”
Though the presidential candidate said no, his wife, Ann Romney, again pointed out how much Seamus “loved it.”
“He would see that crate and would … go crazy because he was going with us on vacation,” she said. “It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel…”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 12 hours, abc, again, animals, ann romney, apology, canada, car, carrier, crate, cruelty, diane sawyer, dogs, getting caught, irish setter, michael vick, mitt, mitt romney, perceptions, pets, politics, presidency, public, regrets, ride, romney, roof, seamus, statements, trip
Given that the story of Mitt Romney’s dog, Seamus, refuses to disappear, some are suggesting “Seamus,” the old Pink Floyd song, should be revived as well, and perhaps played during his opponent’s campaign rallies.
The lyrics, what little there are of them, don’t exactly fit the tale of Romney’s dog and his 12-hour rooftop ride to Canada, but the 1971 song does have a sad and bluesy feel that seems just right.
Perhaps a slight reworking of the words could make it even more relevant to the 30-year-old story that David Letterman, Rick Santorum and others refuse to stop talking about – how the Romney family dog rode in a crate on the car roof to a family vacation, with a stop to hose him down after he soiled himself.
Here are the real lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, which already features haunting, dog-like howls:
I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, that’s the dog, was outside.
Well, I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, my old hound, was outside.
Well, you know the sun was sinkin’ slowly,
But my old hound dog sat right down and cried
Here are some suggested new ones (and yes, they are for sale), just in case Pink Floyd has any interest in redoing the song:
My dog was on the car roof
I was nice and comfy inside
Seamus, he didn’t mind it
A 12-hour trip, bonafide
Now, you know, I want to run the country
I hope that you don’t mind a bumpy ride
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, campaign, crate, david letterman, dog, dogs, hose, irish setter, lyrics, mitt romney, new, new lyrics, new version, opponents, pets, pink floyd, presidency, republican, rewritten, rick santorum, romney, roof, rooftop, seamus, song, suggested, the story of seamus, trip, vacation, video
That’s Rick Santorum atop the car roof, and Mitt Romney behind the wheel, on the cover of next week’s New Yorker.
Robert Staake, the artist behind the New Yorker’s March 12 cover, apparently saw some similarities between Seamus’ 12-hour ride in a kennel atop the Romney family car and the less than smooth sailing Santorum’s presidential campaign has encountered of late as Romney appears to be taking control.
Romney, as we’ve duly noted, strapped the kennel containing his Irish Setter atop the family car during a trip to Canada in 1993.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, canada, car, cartoon, cartoonist, cover, crate, dog, irish setter, mitt romney, new yorker, pets, politics, presidential, republicans, rick santorum, robert staake, romney, roof, rooftop, santorum, seamus, trip, vacation
A dog that survived a South Dakota car crash that killed her owner has been picked up by her master’s three sons, who drove from North Carolina to reclaim the 12-year-old Australian shepherd.
Lester, Bobby Jr. and Troy Allgood traveled to the town of Kadoka in southwest South Dakota to pick up their father’s belongings and Ladybug.
Bobby Allgood Sr., 74, of Reed Point, Mont., was killed Feb. 6 when his car rolled over on Interstate 90. Ladybug ran away after the crash, but spent the next nine days in the general area, revisiting the site and eluding capture.
“She looks real good. It’s taken a weight off my heart,” Lester Allgood told the Rapid City Journal.
“Getting her back fills a big void for us. It helps fill that void anyway,” Troy Allgood said.
“It’s kind of sad and happy both,” said Bobby Allgood Jr. “My daddy really loved that dog. They were like two peas in a pod, those two.”
The dog was first picked up nine days after the accident, by Anne Harding and her son, Parker, of Rapid City, who read about sightings of the dog near the accident scene and coaxed her into their car after spotting her along Interstate 90. They turned the dog over to Kadoka Police Chief Forrest “Woody” Davis.
But when Davis took her to a city-owned dog kennel, she escaped. Hours later she was relocated, and, after a chase, recovered. This time Davis took her home with him.
“I haven’t dared to let her off the chain since, because I don’t want to have to chase her again,” Davis said. “She’s fast for an old dog.”
The police chief boarded her at his home and waited for the Allgoods to make their trip from North Carolina. “In the beginning, she was pretty scared,” Davis said. “It took a couple days for her to calm down and start making friends with me.”
The Allgood brothers gave Davis a gold chain in thanks.
“Here in Kadoka, I think there must be great people to help us get my daddy’s dog back,” Lester Allgood said.
“Ain’t many places you can go that will do stuff like that,” said Bobby Allgood Jr. “It’s a very special place.”
(Photo by Aaron Rosenblatt / Rapid City Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, allgood, animals, australian shepherd, bobby, crash, dog, father, forrest davis, kadoka, killed, ladybug, lester, north carolina, pets, pick-up, police chief, reclaim, site, south dakota, trip, troy