Lupe’s 6th Birthday (12-14-16)

Lupe’s 6th birthday was a rather cold day, as December birthdays are apt to be.  However, it wasn’t cold enough to prevent the day from starting with a little flying disc action in the backyard.

Lupe’s birthday got off to a good start with some flying disc action in the backyard.

Lupe had received the flying disc as part of a PupJoy gift box at Thanksgiving.  She used to play with Frisbees when she was less than two years old, but she wasn’t used to the flying disc now.  SPHP wasn’t the best at throwing it, either.

Still, Lupe had some success at catching the flying disc in mid-flight when SPHP managed to get in a decent toss.  Short practice sessions were held throughout the morning and early afternoon, with increasing success as the day wore on.

Around mid-afternoon, it was time to brave the Christmas crowds at Wal-Mart.  Lupe went along for the ride in the G6.  SPHP bought a Dingo’s food chocolate cake mix and marshmallow vanilla frosting.

At home, SPHP baked the cake.  It was supposed to cool for a while before being frosted.  SPHP was in a bit of a hurry, so the cake got put outside in 10°F weather for 20 minutes.  It was plenty cool to frost then!  SPHP added sprinkles on top of the frosting.  Then it was time to go.

Every year, Lupe has her birthday party at Grandma’s house, and this year was no exception.  Lupe raced in to surprise Grandma wearing her party hat.  Although this happens every year, Grandma still manages to be surprised and glad to see the birthday Dingo.

Lupe arrives at Grandma’s house wearing her party hat, ready to surprise Grandma!
Grandma was glad to see the birthday Dingo, and Lupe was glad to see Grandma!

Lupe’s birthday party was poorly attended this year.  Only Grandma, SPHP and Lupe were there.  Even Butterfly, Grandma’s 3-legged cat, didn’t bother to come out to wish Lupe a happy birthday.

Lupe wasn’t worried about the attendance, though.  What worried her was a new addition to her birthday cake.  SPHP had added candles!  Whether she was afraid of the flaming cake, or how many Dingo years gone by those candles represented wasn’t entirely clear, but after a few minutes, Lupe got used to them.

Lupe seemed a bit scared of her flaming birthday cake at first. She’d never had a cake with candles on it before! Whether she was worried about being so close to the flames, or about the number of Dingo years gone by those candles represented wasn’t entirely clear.

Grandma and SPHP sang Happy Birthday to Lupe.  She liked being the star of the party!  When Grandma and SPHP told her the candles meant she could make a wish before they were blown out, Lupe liked that idea a lot!

I get to make a wish!? Maybe these candles are a good thing!

Lupe thought and thought about what she should wish for.  The candles burned so low on the cake, they were about to light the frosting on fire.  Finally, when Lupe had had enough time to settle on what her wish would be, SPHP blew out the candles for her.

SPHP succeeded in blowing out all 6 candles in one breath.  Lupe was very happy!  That meant her wish was going to come true!  She was careful not to let anyone know what she’d wished for, so her wish didn’t get jinxed.

Lupe was very happy that her secret birthday wish is going to come true!

Next it was time for Lupe’s birthday presents.  She got 4 presents, because she is loved so much!  Lupe received a package of Nudges brand jerky cuts chicken treats, a new Kong squeaker ball, an Ol’ Roy long-lasting chew stick, and a bottle of Alaska Naturals wild Alaskan salmon oil.

Lupe with all her birthday loot and her birthday cake.

After Lupe got to see all her new presents, it was time for cake and ice cream.  Lupe normally loves cake and ice cream, but she went for the new Ol’ Roy long-lasting chew stick instead.

Lupe chomps away on her new long-lasting Ol’ Roy chew stick.

Long-lasting turned out to mean about 3 minutes.  By then, Lupe had devoured the whole chew stick!  At least it must have been satisfying and filling.  Lupe decided not to eat any cake or ice cream.  SPHP put her cake and ice cream in the freezer to save it for later on.

Full of Ol’ Roy 3 minute long-lasting chew stick, Lupe decided to pass on the cake and ice cream. SPHP saved it for her in the freezer for later on.

When SPHP and Grandma had finished their cake and ice cream, SPHP asked Lupe if she wanted to go to the cul-de-sac.  Lupe loves to go to the cul-de-sac!  Even though it was pretty cold out, Lupe wanted to go.

Lupe was excited about the prospect of going to the cul-de-sac! It’s one of her most favorite things to do at Grandma’s house. She was anxious to go on a moment’s notice.

This time of year, there is a house near the cul-de-sac that always has the most beautiful Christmas tree.  Lupe stopped by to see it on the way back from the cul-de-sac.

Lupe dropped by to see the most beautiful Christmas tree on her way back to Grandma’s house from the cul-de-sac. It was pretty chilly outside, but Lupe was glad she came. The brightly decorated tree really was a wonderful sight under a frosty full moon.

When Lupe got back to Grandma’s house, her big 6th birthday bash was over.  SPHP gathered up her 3 remaining undevoured presents to take home.  Lupe didn’t see any deer or cows to bark at on the way home, but she did get to bark at the gas pipeline.  That gas pipeline never lets her down!

Lupe hopes not to let you down, either.  Being 5 is going to be tough to beat, but the 6 year old Carolina Dog promises more new Dingo adventures on the way!

May your birthday wishes and dreams come true, Lupe!

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe Adventures.

Lupe’s 5th Birthday! (12-14-15)

Lupe was born on December 14th, 2010 in the little town of Vale, SD (population 136 in the 2010 census).  Vale is less than a mile S of the Belle Fourche River, and about 10 miles N of Bear Butte, which is a few miles NE of the much better known town of Sturgis, SD, home of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in early August every year.

SPHP knows next to nothing about Lupe’s family, except that Lupe did have some brothers and sisters in the same litter.  As a tiny puppy, Lupe and her mother and siblings all lived outside in the cold South Dakota winter.  SPHP has no idea if they had a dog house, or some other kind of shelter provided for them.  They did have some outside cats as companions, and perhaps because of this, Lupe has always been friendly to all cats.

Lupe’s 5th birthday started out crisp and clear.  There wasn’t any snow, but the grass in the back yard was all frosty.  Lupe still had stitches where her left rear leg and abdomen meet, but she felt pretty good.  During the day, Lupe and SPHP periodically played some squeaker ball in the back yard.

Lupe gets an early start playing some squeaker ball on the frosty grass in her back yard.
Lupe gets an early start playing some squeaker ball on the frosty grass in her back yard.
Squeaker ball!
Squeaker ball!

In the afternoon, SPHP went to the grocery store to buy some things for Lupe’s birthday party.  The store was absolutely packed with people.  School was cancelled for the next day due to a snow storm in the forecast, even though not a flake had fallen yet, and wouldn’t until afternoon the next day.  SPHP finally got home, and baked Lupe a birthday cake.

The lines at Safeway had been so long, there wasn’t even time for SPHP to frost Lupe’s birthday cake before it was time to head out to Lupe’s Grandma’s house.  Every birthday since she has been born, Lupe’s birthday party has been at Grandma’s.  SPHP frosted Lupe’s birthday cake there, and the party was ready to begin!

Grandma had made chili and cornbread for dinner.  Lupe, Lanis, SPHP and Grandma all had chili.  Lupe likes to let her chili cool some before she eats it, but she had at least a couple of helpings.  After dinner, Lanis, SPHP and Grandma sang “Happy Birthday” to Lupe, being sure to include the part about “and many more!”

The Birthday Dingo arrives at Grandma's house expecting great things!
The Birthday Dingo arrives at Grandma’s house expecting great things!
Grandma's 3-legged cat, Butterfly, and Lanis were on hand for Lupe's party!
Grandma’s 3-legged cat, Butterfly, and Lanis were on hand for Lupe’s party!

After hearing “Happy Birthday” sung to her, Lupe was ready to go outside.  Lupe and SPHP took their traditional walk up to the cul-de-sac at the end of the road.  Near the cul-de-sac is the Most Beautiful Christmas tree in the neighborhood.  Lupe and SPHP paused to admire it, before returning to Grandma’s house.

Lupe and SPHP took their usual walk up to the cul-de-sac at the end of the road to see the most beautiful Christmas tree. Lupe is at the base of the tree.
Lupe and SPHP took their usual walk up to the cul-de-sac at the end of the road to see the most beautiful Christmas tree. Lupe is at the base of the tree.

When Lupe and SPHP got back to Grandma’s house, it was time for birthday cake and ice cream!  Dingoes love birthday cake and ice cream!  SPHP and Grandma even drank a whole bottle of wine, too.  Lupe had plenty of cake and ice cream, but she didn’t get any wine.  Lupe’s favorite presents this year were a new blue squeaker ball from Grandma, and a rawhide chew stick from SPHP.

Lupe with her birthday cake (with sprinkles!) and her two favorite new presents, the blue squeaker ball from Grandma and rawhide chew stick from SPHP. Lupe's cake didn't have any candles, because Carolina Dogs don't do candles.
Lupe with her birthday cake (with sprinkles!) and her two favorite new presents, the blue squeaker ball from Grandma and rawhide chew stick from SPHP. Lupe’s cake didn’t have any candles, because Carolina Dogs don’t do candles.
That's one beautiful Birthday Dingo! Happy 5th Birthday, Lupe and ever so many more!
That’s one beautiful Birthday Dingo! Happy 5th Birthday, Lupe and ever so many more!

Since The (Mostly) True Adventures of Lupe blog didn’t get started until February, 2015, its time to share some photos from Lupe’s previous birthdays, too!

LUPE’S 4th BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014:Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14

Lanis was at Lupe's 4th birthday, too!
Lanis was at Lupe’s 4th birthday, too!
A new Kong squeaker ball was Lupe's favorite new toy in 2014!
A new Kong squeaker ball was Lupe’s favorite new toy in 2014!

Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14

This squeaker ball lasted about 10 months before it finally quit squeaking. Lupe chased it hundreds of times.
This squeaker ball lasted about 10 months before it finally quit squeaking. Lupe chased it hundreds of times.

Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14Lupe's 4th Birthday, 12-14-14

LUPE’S 3rd BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013:Lupe's 3rd Birthday, 12-14-13

Lupe and Grandma on Lupe's 3rd birthday.
Lupe and Grandma on Lupe’s 3rd birthday.

Lupe's 3rd Birthday, 12-14-13

LUPE’S 2nd BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2012:

Lupe and Grandma on Lupe's 2nd birthday.
Lupe and Grandma on Lupe’s 2nd birthday.
Birthday loot!
Birthday loot!

LUPE’S VERY 1st BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011:

Lupe visits the dog park on her 1st birthday.
Lupe visits the dog park on her 1st birthday.
1 year old Lupe at the dog park.
1 year old Lupe at the dog park.
Carolina Dogs can, too, climb trees! Comin' for ya Squirrel!!!
Carolina Dogs can, too, climb trees! Comin’ for ya Squirrel!!!
Kinda, cold and wet here at the dog park! Hope my 1st birthday gets better than this!
Kinda, cold and wet here at the dog park! Hope my 1st birthday gets better than this!
Birthday Dingo Lupe arrives at Grandma's house for her 1st ever birthday party.
Birthday Dingo Lupe arrives at Grandma’s house for her 1st ever birthday party.
Chewing something good!
Chewing something good!
The Birthday Girl on her first ever birthday.
The Birthday Girl on her first ever birthday.
Party Pooper Puppy after her 1st big Birthday Bash!
Party Pooper Puppy after her 1st big Birthday Bash!

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Lupe Is Back In Action, Thanks to Emergency Veterinarian Dr. Erin Brown!

For pet emergencies in the Black Hills of South Dakota region, Lupe recommends the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital at the Animal Clinic of Rapid City.  The Emergency Veterinarian Hospital has a veterinarian and an assistant on duty 24/7, even on weekends and holidays.  Pets in Rapid City and the Black Hills region are fortunate to have such professionally qualified and caring help available at any time.  Lupe thanks lead emergency veterinarian Dr. Erin Brown for helping her late on the Saturday night of 6-27-15 following a bad injury that needed immediate attention!P1060503P1060504

About Dr. Erin Brown – Lead Emergency Veterinarian

Dr. Brown grew up all over South Dakota, but has always considered the Black Hills home. She received both her undergraduate and veterinary degrees from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) Her interests include emergency medicine, internal medicine and toxicology. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with her family. Her dog, cat, and rat also like to keep her busy!

Lupe and Dr. Erin Brown, Lupe's angel of mercy when injured. Thank you SOOO much, Dr. Brown!
Lupe and Dr. Erin Brown, Lupe’s angel of mercy when injured. Thank you SOOO much, Dr. Brown!

After climbing Peak 6820 and Crooks Tower (7,137 ft.) on Black Hills, SD Expedition No. 135 on 6-27-15, Lupe was seriously injured in Trebor Draw.  The entire front of her left front leg was sliced wide open when she ran straight into a 5-strand barbed wire fence that had fallen over across her path.  Fortunately, the barbed wire had only nicked the muscle beneath the skin.  The jagged wound with Lupe’s fur hanging loose and the muscle exposed looked terrible, but Lupe could still walk, even run.

Lupe on South Rapid Creek Road (USFS No. 231) with a nasty gash from a fallen barbed wire fence in nearby Trebor Gulch. The heroic dingo partly walked and was partly carried by SPHP to Black Fox campground to find help.
Lupe on South Rapid Creek Road (USFS No. 231) with a nasty gash from a fallen barbed wire fence in nearby Trebor Gulch. The heroic dingo partly walked and was partly carried by SPHP to Black Fox campground to find help.

Still, the wound was horrifying to look at and extremely worrisome.  SPHP carried Lupe as much as possible, but it was a couple miles to Black Fox Campground where there were people who could help her.  Lupe got at least half of the way there under her own power.  At Black Fox, kind people helped with some emergency first aid.  A man named Jim gave Lupe and SPHP a ride in his pickup truck to the G6, which was still many miles away.

Lupe needed to see a veterinarian right away.  SPHP called the offices of both of the veterinarians who have seen Lupe before.  It was late on a Saturday evening and their offices were closed, but a recording gave SPHP the phone number for the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital at the Animal Clinic of Rapid City.  SPHP called the number and was very happy when someone answered the phone.  Yes, they were open.  Lead emergency veterinarian Dr. Erin Brown was on duty.  SPHP could bring Lupe in right away!

It was close to 10:00 PM by the time Lupe and SPHP arrived at the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital to see the puppy doctor.  SPHP had to fill out a few forms.  An assistant explained that Dr. Brown was with another emergency patient, but said Dr. Brown would soon be available.  The assistant looked at Lupe and recorded some routine information.

It wasn’t long before Dr. Brown came into the examination room to see Lupe.  She was very kind and sympathetic to the wounded dingo.  Lupe seemed to trust her.  (Even before meeting Dr. Brown, SPHP had assured Lupe that the puppy doctor loves all puppies and would help her get better.)  Dr. Brown examined Lupe.  Of course, she was going to need a bunch of stitches.

Dr. Brown left the examination room for a few minutes.  She returned with a written medical treatment plan for SPHP to authorize.  All the treatment options were itemized, complete with exact pricing.  Dr. Brown calmly and clearly explained all the treatment options, what the risks were, etc.  She answered all of SPHP’s questions.  Within just a few minutes, SPHP had decided and authorized Lupe’s treatment.

Soon Lupe was being anesthetized in preparation for stitches.  An hour after disappearing into the operating room, Lupe was conscious and back with SPHP again.  The huge gaping wound on Lupe’s left front leg was now all carefully stitched up.  She looked like FrankenPuppy.  A plastic drain tube to help prevent serious infection stuck out of both sides of her leg.  Dr. Brown said she had to trim some of the edges of the wound where the tissue had already died.  (At least 3 hours elapsed from the time Lupe was injured before she got to the hospital.)

Lupe was going to be, OK, though.  Dr. Brown explained to SPHP what to do.  She said Lupe should wear a protective cone to prevent her from licking the wound.  In 3-5 days, one of Lupe’s regular vets should remove the drain.  The stitches could come out in a couple of weeks.  Lupe got painkillers and antibiotics.  Lupe and SPHP thanked Dr. Brown and went home.  It was around midnight.

Wounded dingo the morning after when it still really hurt. Thank you Dr. Erin Brown for your skillful and timely help late on a Saturday night!
Wounded dingo the morning after when it still really hurt. Thank you Dr. Erin Brown for your skillful and timely help late on a Saturday night!
FrankenPuppy
FrankenPuppy
Heroic dingo Lupe struggles to survive! Somehow Dr. Brown forgot to mention treats and vanilla ice cream as a pain killer and antibiotic delivery system, but SPHP took care of it. Lupe was certain treats had to be part of any decent "treat"ment plan.
Heroic dingo Lupe struggles to survive! Somehow Dr. Brown forgot to mention treats and vanilla ice cream as a pain killer and antibiotic delivery system, but SPHP took care of it. Lupe was certain treats had to be part of any decent “treat”ment plan.

American Dingoes are good at having adventures and lots of fun.  They are not quite as good at following doctor’s orders.  SPHP still had an old plastic cone for Lupe’s head to keep her from licking the wound.  Lupe despised it.  SPHP relented and just kept a very close eye on her.  Lupe was much happier and really pretty good about not licking the wound.  “No licking!” was the order of the day every time she did think about it.  Lupe liked her painkiller medicine, but refused the antibiotic.  Being July, it was really hot out though.  Lupe had no objections to the antibiotic as long as vanilla ice cream was used as a delivery system.

Lupe went in to see her regular vet on July 1st to get the drain out.  The vet said one stitch had come loose.  The vet reprimanded SPHP for letting Lupe get away without having the protective cone on.  The drain came out just fine.  There was no sign of infection.  After visiting the vet, Lupe had to wear the cone, like-it-or-not.P1060447

NOT! was the dingo’s answer.  She kept running into things and getting her neck twisted.  She pawed at the cone trying to get it off.  She laid on the floor staring into space looking totally bored and forlorn.  She didn’t want to eat.  Every time her spirit brightened, she ran into something else and got her head snapped around.  Depression set in again.

The old cone wasn’t up to this abuse.  It was made of a kind of brittle clear plastic.  By the morning of July 3rd, two chunks of the old cone had cracked and broken off.  Some of the remaining plastic came to a big sharp point.  It looked vaguely dangerous to be wearing that thing, but the sharp end was at least pointed away from Lupe.

That evening, on the way to her grandma’s house, Lupe tried to stick her head out the partially open window of the G6.  The cone snapped in half.  It was useless.  Lupe was thrilled.  At grandma’s house she ran around playing squeaker ball.  Late in the evening, on the way home again, SPHP saw that Lupe’s wound had partially opened up again.  Several stitches had broken loose, not from licking, but from racing around with joy at the demise of the evil cone.

So late at night on July 3rd, SPHP took Lupe back to the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital again.  SPHP bought another, bigger and better protective cone for her.  Dr. Brown wasn’t on duty, but another vet was.  SPHP didn’t even meet this vet, but Lupe got her wound stapled back together.  Done in minutes, at no charge!  The new, improved protective cone went right on.  And that was the last of the problems.

Stapled up again.
Stapled up again.
Cone-On the Luparian didn't get to go to Little Devil's Tower on 7-10-15. She had to stay home to continue healing up.
Cone-On the Luparian didn’t get to go to Little Devil’s Tower on 7-10-15. She had to stay home to continue healing up.

Lupe didn’t like the new improved protective head cone any better than the last one.  It was better built, though, and could stand up to dingo abuse.  It took a while, but eventually Lupe resigned herself to it.  Her wound started healing fast.  Her stitches and staples came out on July 14th.  The hated cone came off a day later.  The Carolina Dog was free once more!  Even so, for the rest of the month SPHP tried to just keep her quiet to let the healing process really take hold.

July, 2015 was a pretty frustrating and dull month for Lupe.  About the only real outing she got to go on was Black Hills, SD Expedition No. 136 on Xochitl’s birthday.  Even then, Lupe did not get to go on any long trek.  She just waded in the creek at Cascade Falls.  On a really hot day, she did enjoy it.  The rest of the month was spent doing some pretty dull stuff or just laying around waiting to get better.

Xochitl & Lupe at Cascade on Xochi's birthday.
Xochitl & Lupe at Cascade on Xochi’s birthday.
Out of boredom in July, 2015, Lupe takes up supervising required fence repairs.
Out of boredom in July, 2015, Lupe takes up supervising required fence repairs.

P1060449P1060450P1060457

All done! That was dull!
All done! That was dull!
Bored dingo takes up flower gardening.
Bored dingo takes up flower gardening.
I can't even chew my rawhide stick with this thing on. There is nothing to do!
I can’t even chew my rawhide stick with this thing on. There is nothing to do!
Will it ever end?
Will it ever end?

Thanks to Dr. Erin Brown at the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital, Lupe IS better – much, much better.  So much better, that Lupe went to see Dr. Brown again yesterday evening.  This time she just went to show Dr. Brown that she is all healed up, and to thank Dr. Brown for being there at Lupe’s time of great need – so late on a Saturday night!

Lupe and Dr. Erin Brown shake on a deal. Dr. Brown agreed to provide a treat. Lupe agreed to eat it.
Lupe returned to the Emergency Veterinarian Hospital on 8-5-15 to say thank you to Dr. Erin Brown.  While there, Lupe strikes up a deal with Dr. Brown and they shake on it. Dr. Brown agrees to provide a treat. Lupe agrees to eat it.
Dr. Brown, SPHP put this contraption around my head and wouldn't take it off for forever! That's puppy abuse isn't it?
Dr. Brown, SPHP put this contraption around my head and wouldn’t take it off for practically forever!  I got out of one, but I couldn’t break the other one.  That’s puppy abuse isn’t it?
Lupe and Dr. Erin Brown, Lupe's angel of mercy when injured. Thank you SOOO much, Dr. Brown!
Lupe and Dr. Erin Brown, Lupe’s angel of mercy when injured. Thank you SOOO much, Dr. Brown!

Now that Lupe well again, she is destined for lots more dingo adventures in August, 2015!  Within just a day or two, she is setting off on her action-packed great Summer of 2015 Dingo Vacation!  In September, she will return with tales from the American West.  In the meantime, she has new posts scheduled to keep coming all through August about her adventures on her 2013 Dingo Vacation to the Beartooths and Canadian Rockies.

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

Guilty as Charged!

Note: This post is the third and concluding post in a series that started with “How to Choose the Perfect Puppy” followed by “My Perfect Puppy – The Arrival of Lupe“.  All three posts can be found in the Dingo Tales category on the homepage main menu.

The reader may recall from an earlier post entitled “How to Choose the Perfect Puppy” that I had discouraged my spouse in January, 2011 from even getting a puppy with a rather long list of objections.  However, as related in a subsequent post “My Perfect Puppy – The Arrival of Lupe”, I was over-ruled and on February 11, 2011 became the unwilling new co-owner of Lupe, who converted me over in a single evening from not wanting a puppy at all to being delighted at becoming Lupe’s new best friend.

Despite this joyful near instant conversion to Lupe’s side, there was merit to many of the objections I originally presented to getting a puppy.  Having Lupe around made for all sorts of interesting new developments, some unforeseen and many others much as I had predicted.  My spouse had read a number of books about dogs prior to getting Lupe and worked quite diligently toward training her.  I, however, was not much interested in books and training and discipline.  I preferred to just have fun with the puppy.

Which do you prefer?  Discipline and training, or having fun?  Lupe took to my methods like a duck to water, and my spouse’s diligent training efforts suffered because of it.  Of course, some of the puppy problems were unavoidable.  It took a little while to house-break Lupe, our old cat fled to the basement and lived self-exiled in needless fear, and we had vet and other expenses associated with having a dog.  However, some problems were made worse, much worse, by my endless frolicking and rough-housing with Lupe.  I was teaching Lupe bad habits.  She loved them.

Lupe chewed.  She chewed holes in shoes and socks.  I egged her on by using old socks for games of tug-of-war with her.  As a result, anytime I carelessly left a sock on the floor, it was doomed to destruction at the enthusiastic jaws of the puppy.  Many a time I wound up trying to catch Lupe, who had just discovered a perfectly good new and unprotected sock, before she could chew a hole in it.

Lupe thought this was the best game in the world.  She raced with a mouthful of sock up and down the stairs, dashing in and out of various rooms, and leading me on a merry chase.  When I got too close, she usually disappeared under the bed where she promptly chewed a big hole in her latest victim before I could rescue it.  My brother-in-law could scarcely contain his mirth when one day I took off a shoe to unexpectedly reveal four toes sticking out of a huge hole at the end my sock.  It was about the best pair of socks I had left.

Lupe and her favorite nemesis, Mr. Woof, the pink puppy of Peace & Love.
Lupe and her favorite nemesis, Mr. Woof, the pink puppy of Peace & Love.

Lupe ate my feather-filled slippers and feathers were everywhere.  Lupe chewed my hands while we engaged in mock battles.  She grew so strong I had to get gloves, and then she shredded and devoured the gloves.  One day when Lupe was bored, I found her chewing a big chunk out of the drywall in the living room.  Lupe chewed holes in pillows which then leaked even more feathers.  Nightly she enjoyed ripping the stuffing out of the comforter on the bed and chewing holes in the blankets.  I awoke some mornings to find she had eaten embarrassing holes in my pajamas while I slept.  With great gusto, Lupe chomped and destroyed the dog toys my spouse got for her.

Chewing wasn’t all that Lupe did, though.  Dingoes are high-strung and loud.  Lupe right away understood the concept of territory.  She barked at anything that came anywhere near the house.  She barked at other dogs.  She barked at squirrels.  She ran full speed barking underneath birds flying over the yard.  She barked at our good neighbors, even though they gave her treats.  She learned to eagerly await the arrival of the mail lady, and barked in such a frenzy it seemed certain she was going to burst through the front window and go after her.

Lupe had certain fetishes that set her off too.  She was deeply suspicious of drapes and attacked them whenever someone attempted to open or close them.  She attacked shovels, rakes, the lawn mower and the garden hose.  It became impossible to get anything done in the yard when Lupe was around.

Most of the stuff Lupe destroyed was old anyway.  No one got hurt, though my hands regularly got roughed up a bit.  Through it all, I laughed and had fun playing with Lupe.  I followed her path of destruction, picking up after her when needed.  I looked on it all as just normal puppy stuff.  There was no doubt though that Lupe was guilty as charged.  She did most of the stuff I had predicted.  What I hadn’t predicted was that I would also be equally guilty right along with her.  I was her accomplice and sidekick.  Together we led a life of puppy crime and had a great time doing it.

No doubt Lupe would be a better mannered doggie today, if my spouse had been free to discipline and train her without my constant bad influence.  Nevertheless, I’m glad it all happened the way it did.  I’m pretty certain Lupe is too.

Who me? I'm innocent! What do you think I am, your sock's keeper?
Who me? I’m innocent! What do you think I am, your sock’s keeper?

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

My Perfect Puppy – The Arrival of Lupe

This is a continuation of the previously published Dingo Tale post “How To Choose The Perfect Puppy

On the evening of February 11, 2011, my spouse arrived home with the puppy I didn’t want.  I was still unhappy, and did not even go look at the puppy when I first heard it was here.  After a while, I did go take a brief look at it.  I had to admit that I really liked the looks of this puppy.  My spouse had named it Lupe.

Lupe was adorable – full of energy with bright hopeful eyes, an inquisitive black nose, ears with tips that flopped over just a bit, little freckled paws, and a curly tail.  She was friendly and wanted to lick me with her pink tongue.  Lupe looked like she would only grow to be a smallish medium-sized dog.  I liked the notion that she wouldn’t be too big or too small.  In fact, I liked everything about the puppy, but still spent only a few minutes with Lupe before retreating back upstairs.

Lupe & Mr. Woof
Lupe & Mr. Woof

The confrontation came later on that evening.  It was time for bed.  My spouse had locked Lupe in her transport cage for the night.  The cage was downstairs in the dark kitchen covered with a blanket.  I went to bed.  And then it began – the whimpering, pleading, begging, crying, sorrowful tiny voice of the lonely, scared 2-month old puppy.  Torn away for the first time ever just a few hours ago from her mother, siblings, and the cats with which she had lived outside enduring the cold winter ever since being born in December, Lupe was suddenly now confused, lost and alone.  Worst of all she was trapped, a prisoner abandoned and forgotten in a strange dark cage.

Young Lupe in February 2011
Young Lupe in February 2011

Soon I could not bear to hear Lupe crying.  I wanted to go get her out of that cage and let her sleep with us.  This was not permitted.  My spouse had been reading books by famous professional “dog whisperers”.  The cage was Lupe’s “den”.  She would soon learn to feel safe and secure alone there.  In the meantime, Lupe had to cry herself to sleep.  Apparently all dog whisperers understand this is just a part of normal best practices dog training.  If I didn’t believe it, I could have a look at the books myself.

I knew if I looked at those books, my spouse would be proven right.  I did not avail myself of the opportunity.  I am not a dog whisperer.  Something in me rebelled at being told a cage was the same thing as a safe, secure den.  I really didn’t care what the dog whisperers recommended.  Mentally I speculated that if I could throw the whole lot of dog whisperers in jail every night, there might be some revised opinions on how wonderful it all was, although I didn’t dare voice such sentiments.  But, right or wrong, I was going to set the sad puppy free!

Young Lupe
My precious little sweet, Lupe

And I did!  Perhaps it was an evil thing to do, but I abandoned my spouse for the night and spent it in another room with the happiest, most grateful, little puppy ever.  Lupe licked me 10,000 times.  Lupe was not sleepy.  It was a long night of puppy love, if ever there was one.  In one evening I had gone from a sullen, resentful new puppy owner to madly in love.  From now on, it was Lupe and me against the world!

The third post in this Dingo Tales series  is Guilty As Charged!

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.

How to Choose the Perfect Puppy

The following techniques which I used to select and acquire Lupe, my perfect puppy, are admittedly unorthodox and may not be for everyone.  Nevertheless, I find it difficult to argue with proven success.  I wish only the best to anyone intent upon finding their own perfect puppy, and share my methods with the hope they may prove both enlightening and helpful.  However, I leave it to you to judge the suitability of these methods in your own situation.  – SPHP

Actually, it was remarkably easy for me to choose Lupe, my perfect puppy and best friend now for over 4 years.  I used a simple 3-Step program:

(1) Get married.

(2) Subscribe to cable TV.

(3) Wait a very long time.*   (*as in years)

All 3 steps were essential to my success.  For, you see, I had no intention of ever getting a puppy.  I had never had a dog in my whole life.  I had always been a cat person.  The thought of getting a dog never entered my mind.

Our family has always had cats.  Cats are beautiful and generally undemanding creatures, if you regularly feed them the one and only food in the whole world they ultimately decide they are willing to accept.  It’s soothing when they purr.  Their fur is soft and fun to stroke, until they get tired of it and decide to slash you.  Cats can be amusing and fun to play with, but seldom play for long, leaving you free to move on to other activities.  Cats are not as needy as dogs.  Their air of quiet superiority and independence is an admirable trait, if you want a companion who doesn’t demand too much of you.  I still love cats.

My nephew Ryan cites a joke he once read demonstrating the differences between dogs and cats.  It reads like maybe it’s from an old Far Side cartoon.  The joke consists of samples from the diary of a dog and the diary of a cat:

Dog’s diary:

Day 1 – Today we went to the park.  I barked at squirrels!  My favorite thing!

Day 2 – Today we played ball.  I ran away with the ball!  My favorite thing!

Day 3 – Today we went for a ride in the car.  I hung my head out the window in the wind!  My favorite thing!

Day 4 – Today we went hunting.  I chased pheasants!  My favorite thing!

Cat’s diary:

Day 1437 of Captivity – Last night I hunted down a field mouse, ripped open its belly and ate its head.  I left the bloody entrails in the hall to show them what I am capable of.  Tomorrow I plan to weave between their legs at the top of the stairs…..

So anyway, after completing Steps 1 & 2 above, eventually (see Step 3) my spouse took to watching shows on cable TV that seldom interested me, but which we still sometimes watched together.  On occasion these shows provided me with a certain degree of amusement, although of a form different from that intended by the producers.  I found cable TV to be a source of insight into our constantly evolving culture.  Cable TV was showing me how much the world is changing.

History used to be about the rise and fall of nations, wars and economics, great leaders and social movements, exploration and scientific discoveries.  Or at least I thought it was.  However, we had the History Channel, which made it clear that history now has virtually nothing to do with any of these things.  Instead, history is about Ice Road Truckers – diehard rednecks who attempt to disprove global warming theories by driving heavily laden semi-trucks across (hopefully) still frozen remote rivers in the Yukon or Alaska, or better yet, some part of the Arctic Ocean.

On the History Channel, you could also learn about “Ancient Aliens” – highly advanced space travelers who have visited earth over thousands of years to help ancient peoples build all kinds of mysterious and once (perhaps still?) powerful structures, but nothing so practical as a McDonald’s hamburger stand.  Presumably only a massive ongoing US government cover-up spanning decades has been able to conceal the astonishing truth about these visitors from space and the global extent of their activities.

Of course, the History Channel just scratched the surface of the possibilities for unusual and unique programming destined to dominate the cable waves.  There were shows about “Bridezillas” (flee for your life young man!); shows where people weep and wail because they need to clean their house and might have to get rid of a fraction of the mountain of belongings they literally walked on every day because it was all “put away” in gigantic heaps strewn over all the furniture and floors throughout their entire home; still more shows featured night vision gear and all manner of scientific instruments you can use to detect ghosts which, as it turns out, are virtually everywhere.  And so it goes, channel after channel, as though the National Enquirer has achieved full control of the entire cable TV industry.

One of the cable TV shows my spouse started watching was about dogs and “dog whisperers”.  Typical of this channel were stories about rich neurotic women living in Manhattan skyscrapers, who had little to do in life other than spoil their cutesy little lap dogs.  They did things like throw birthday parties in their luxury apartments for “Fifi” where they would invite 15 or 20 other women and their yapping little dogs over to wear costumes, eat cake and lap up champagne.

When the whole birthday party fiasco was over, the hostess would tearfully hire a highly paid “dog whisperer” to learn why Fifi snapped viciously at her doggie guests, went wee-wee on the cake, bit the high-powered attorney’s wife’s ankles causing her to curse and bleed profusely, and in general did not seem to enjoy herself as anticipated.  Naturally the “dog whisperer” was always ready with all kinds of helpful advice on dog psychology, training and discipline certain to restore doggie control, happiness and tranquility until the next episode.

(I was always interested in seeing the sequel to these shows where the woman’s Wall Street investment banker husband arrived home from work only to be horrified to learn what had just happened.  I wanted to see how he managed to get himself out of this fix regarding the high-powered attorney’s wife’s bloody ankles, but apparently the channel carrying the “Attorney Whisperer” is a premium channel I never subscribed to.  It’s a pity, for you never know when, due to some sudden unexpected tragedy resulting in personal liability, you might really need an attorney whisperer.)

The upshot of all this was that one day in early January 2011, seemingly out of the blue (but not actually, as my 3-Step program had been long at work), my spouse asked me what I thought about getting a puppy.

My reaction was instant, and I quickly made the following extraordinarily valid objections:

  1. We did not need, and I did not want a puppy.
  2. A puppy would have to be house-broken, and would poop and pee on everything until it was.
  3. A puppy would chew up everything not out of reach.
  4. Our old cat would be scared to death.  It would be cruel to subject a very old cat to such treatment.
  5. We did not have a fenced yard to keep the puppy in where it could run and play.
  6. Dogs are typically larger, eat a lot more than cats, and would cost more to sustain.  There would be the usual vet bills.  We didn’t need these unnecessary expenses.
  7. Dogs are much more active and social animals than cats.  They need attention and get bored easily.  Someone would have to at least walk the dog every day.  I certainly didn’t want to do it.
  8. Once the cat was gone, which couldn’t be too far off in the future, we would have one less thing to worry about whenever we wanted to travel.  We would be pet free.
  9. The puppy would bark and annoy all our good neighbors.

After this fine, exceptionally persuasive speech, there was no more discussion.  Not a peep.  It was settled.  No puppy for us.  Until 6:30 AM on February 11, 2011 when heading out the door on the way to work, my spouse said, “I’m picking up the puppy tonight!”

Easy 3-Step plan complete!

This dingo tale continues with the post: My Perfect Puppy – The Arrival of Lupe

Want more Lupe adventures?  Choose from Lupe’s Dingo Tales Index or Master Adventure Index.  Or subscribe free to new Lupe adventures.