Saturday, March 28, 2009
Allow me to introduce you to Rusty, my neighbor. He is a Brittany and quite talented. Sometimes I feel a tinge of jealousy when I see Rusty; I understand we all have inborn talents...I retrieve...no matter what you toss, I will go get it and bring it to you.... I may not give it to you but I will without fail bring it.
Rusty oh Rusty. He points! I have seen him do this on a number of occasions, humans react as if he was a parting the Red Sea. They say, "Look at Rusty..OMG look at how cute that is." I roll my eyes and think to myself no one cheers and laughs when I go get a ball it's expected of me. I AM HARRY the RETRIEVER! He is Rusty the Brittney, that's what he does.
The last time Rusty pulled this *act* was at MY house. So freakin' embarrassing. Dena gets all mushy and tells Rusty how smart and beautiful he is. Heavy sigh. He pointed...big deal he POINTED! I do have to admit when no one is around I have tried to point and it's like doing a Yoga pose, I got a cramp in my paw and limped around for days.
The other thing about Rusty that I have been dealing with is his hairdo. Granted we both have delicious red tresses but Rusty's coiffure is amazing. Again the humans think it's adoreable. Words really can't describe the power of Rusty's tuft of head hair. I've pulled Rusty aside and asked he confirms he uses, "No special shampoo, no sprays, gells or waxes." Just his natural Rusty-ness. Dena and Robert think it is sooo cute. After hearing about this for weeks I was feeling rather insecure about my appearance I walked into the bathroom while Dena was fixing her red tresses.
I mustered all of my energy on focusing on the hair wax...it worked! She reached down and said,"Let's see if we can make you look like your friend Rusty." She brightened up and looked at me saying, "Harry you are beautiful but your hair won't do what Rusty's does, I'm sorry sweetie." Another heavy sign. But she did say I was beautiful. I love her.
In conclusion: I'm jealous of Rusty but it is another issue I'm working on along with FIRE in the HOLE. My focus is going to be on my fabulous traits and being proud to have a friend and playmate like Rusty right next door.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I've been thinking about squirrels lately, and the misconceptions that many humans have about them. I would finally like to set the record straight - squirrels are not the cute little furry creatures you think they are. This perception is actually a well orchestrated public relations campaign that squirrels have been able to exploit because many in the main stream media lack the editorial courage and independence to investigate the rampant deception and corruption that is pervasive throughout the squirrel community.
Squirrels are in fact merely furry tailed insurgents who ingratiate themselves among humans in an attempt to foster divisions within the natural alliance between humans and canines. I know what you're probably thinking, "Harry don't you think you're taking this conspiracy theory a little too far?" And my answer is an emphatic, "No!" Let me give you a specific example. You probably all think it's so cute when you see me and my fellow dogs chase squirrels up trees, and invariably watch us barking at the smirking squirrel above our heads. I know that I speak for all dogs when I tell you we don't find this remotely funny. This is precisely what the squirrel is trying to accomplish - getting a cheap laugh out of our packies by making us dogs look foolish. Their actions continue to perpetuate the stereotype that we dogs are just like the cartoon character, Wyle E. Coyote, who hopelessly pursues the Road Runner despite his long history of incompetence and failure.
I'm here to tell you that I am not Wyle E. Coyote, and squirrels are arrogant, self-indulgent manipulators, who will do anything to advance their agenda of securing positions of authority and influence among humans. So I would like to remind you that the next time you see me, or one of my friends, chasing a squirrel up a tree don't think that this is some kind of playful game. Think of it instead as the blatant exposure of abusive behavior that it is.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Monday news cycle started out with a bang this morning with the unveiling of the Treasury’s long awaited plan to clear out the “legacy assets” that are rotting away at the balance sheets of many of our largest financial institutions, which in turn has caused credit markets to spasm and to deepen the current economic death spiral. I grabbed the WSJ from my dad this morning, so I could get a first look at Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Op-Ed article.
Now I’m not an economist, though I may play one on this blog from time to time, but I think the Treasury Secretary deserves a pat on the head for his efforts, and maybe even a juicy steak bone. Lately, he has been bashed by just about everyone, while practically doing all of the heavy lifting himself in
My dad is just as angry and frustrated with the current situation as everyone else, so it’s been my job to calm him down and give him some encouragement when he needs it. That’s why he has me in the first place. He, along with millions of other people who have been thrown out of work through no fault of their own, has every right to rage against these faceless institutions who made reckless bets on questionable assets, and now require mind boggling sums of government assistance to keep them and our sinking economy barely afloat.
Being the well read Golden Retriever that I am I showed dad Tom Friedman’s article in the Sunday NYT. He liked the point Mr. Friedman made and said he would help me type this post. We both agree that the time for venting our populist outrage is over, and now is the time to start demonstrating leadership and making constructive efforts to get us out of this mess. Judging from the market’s reaction today, it would seem as if the Secretary’s plan is a good start, and will hopefully redirect the public’s attention away from the AIG distractions. This may also mute some of the criticism from pundits on both the right and left who seem to favor either a laissez-faire solution or complete nationalization, respectively. I think this problem is too large, too interconnected and too complex to be solved by an all or nothing approach. This plan is a hybrid solution that provides incentives for participation, and is worth trying.
Now is the time for President Obama to seize on this opportunity and provide the leadership needed to squelch this wave of populist outrage that is sweeping the nation. He needs to spend all his political capital on this plan, or else risk losing it the same way our financial institutions did on subprime mortgages. Personally, I also think he should take Secretary Geithner to the park and throw a ball to him a few times. For those who are interested, you can read my dad's post in the Dealbook section of the NY Times.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Lately I have been having an issue, I'm trying very hard to work on it, it's difficult to talk about but today was the topper. I must vent.
Robert is a great, no fabulous cook. He makes meals fit for the King of Golden Retrievers. But in the last few months he has set the fire alarm off several times. Do you know how crazy loud that things is? I want out of here when it happens so I head for the front door, only trouble is I can't open it. Once the excitement dies down, Dena coaxes me to come down and I feel safe again. Nervous but safe.
Here's where the head trip comes in...because I don't want to hurt Robert's feelings or make him insecure when I hear him start to cook I sit on the third stair just in case. I try to act nonchalant but Dena usually catches me and tells me, "Be brave Harry Ho, some sit down with me." She massages me and tells me how beautiful I am (which is pure truth) it's a nice distraction from the potential disaster brewing in the kitchen.
Fast forward to today. They decide to have Nachos for dinner. Robert pops them in oven, not more than 2 minutes passed and you guessed it; there was FIRE IN THE HOLE and all hell breaks loose. FIRE real fire with flames kinda fire!!! I was doing good, peacefully on my rug resting doing my breathing exercises. I'm thinking this is the real thing not a fire drill. Holy guacamole!!! Thankfully they get the fire out just as I am heading up the stairs. There she is again she catches me and said, "No, Harry this way, let's go outback." Thank God my ears are killing me.
I'm not upset with either of them but come on this is what I have been thinking is going to happen! Granted I'm a little OCD, I work on it everyday. But from now on banging around in the kitchen means FIRE IN THE HOLE...whew thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
I'm not very fond of watching guys bounce a ball up and down a court. Sometimes my dad bounces one of my tennis balls in front of me and it drives me crazy. I just want to grab the ball and not give it back. As I settled down on the rug to accept my fate, I actually started to get into the Villanova vs. American U game. The Villanova Wildcats were the heavy favorites in this one, but American at one point had a 14 point lead. I was getting excited thinking that a team of cats was going to get their tails handed to them by an underdog. Unfortunately, those sneaky cats found their mojo late in the game and beat American. That's okay though because my Huskies will show them what real dogs can do. They're going to be scrambling to find the closest trees.
I don't find all cats distasteful. I just find the vast majority of them to be aloof and condecending. In some ways, they remind me a lot of the Adams family. They tense up and get all nervous when all I want to do is sniff them and say hello. I know that not all cats are that way because I am actually related to one. I have a cousin named Joe who lives in Southern CA. We've never really met, but we exchange the typical birthday and Christmas greetings, along with some email correspondence from time to time. Joe is your pretty typical laid back CA surfer dude type as you can tell from his picture.
I figured that after the Villanova game, dad would be ready for bed, but much to my chagrin there were more games to play. We ended up watching a team called Gonzaga. You can imagine my surprise because I thought Gonzaga was an Italian blue cheese. I've had it before because it's one of my packies favorite cheeses. It's actually quite delicious, which I suppose is why you have to go to school to learn how to make it. By that time, I had had my fill of basketfull for one night, so I decided to spend some quality time with one of my chew toys. There is only so much loyalty a dog can tolerate. Most people don't have a clue of the responsibilities that go along with being man's best friend.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Since it seems as though everyone from here to Timbuktu has something to decry about the latest situation with AIG over bonus payments, I thought I would share my views on the subject today. I watch the news and, as you can see from my picture, read my dad's WSJ, so I feel just as qualified as the next dog to weigh in on the latest populist outrage.
I think the whole situation stinks, and I know a thing or two about stinky stuff. There aren't very many things that get past this nose, especially if it smells food, or occasionally other dogs' butts. The fact is I have smelled a lot of butts in my day, human and canine for that matter, but AIG makes them all smell like a rose bush.
The idea that somehow these people deserve to be paid bonuses just to unravel the mess they created in the first place is beyond absurd. And the one that really gets the fur up on my back is the comment made by AIG's CEO, that they needed to pay the bonuses to attract and retain the "the best and brightest talent." This was apparently the same talent that generated the largest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history. That's not a performance based compensation system, that's wrecklessness bordering on financial fraud. If you ask me, these guys don't even deserve to be given Milk Bone dog biscuits. My packies give me a treat when I do something good, not when I do something bad.
The reason I am so familiar with this subject is because lately I have gotten to spend endless hours with my dad every day. He used to go to work Monday through Friday, and sometimes on the weekend, and I would be picked up by my sitter, Karen. She would take me to play with my friends, Oden and Louie, most days. My dad worked for one of those banks that took money from the governement last year, and as a show of their undying gratitude they laid him off along with 1,800 other people. My dad didn't trade CDS's, or even remotely cause the bank to lose a single penny. In fact, he worked his tail off to complete two very important projects for the company just in time to be handed a pink slip. I really love being able to hang out with dad all day and help him with his search for new employment. Now my job is to make dad happy every day and give him encouragement. I think if I'm successful he will give me lots of special treats. That's the real definition of performance based pay.
For those who are interested, you can read my dad's post on this in the Deal Book section of the NY Times.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
March madness is here, and the fun starts this Thursday. Personally, I don't understand what all the excitement is about. It's not like you're out at the park chasing squirrels up trees. You're sitting in front of a TV for hours on end drinking beer, when you could be doing something constructive like taking me for a walk. Dad seems to enjoy it, so I'll just go along with the program. He's pretty good to me after all.
Being the good canine companion that I am, I helped dad with his picks last night. There are a lot of teams to choose from before you get down to four, and it's not as easy as it looks. I kept smudging up the screen on Dad's laptop, trying to convince him to go with Connecticut (the Huskies of course) all the way. Do you think he took my advice? Of course not! Mr. College Basketball Fan has my Huskies losing to Memphis in the Elite 8 round. He has Kansas, Memphis, Pittsburgh and North Carolina in the Final Four, with Memphis taking the championship from Pitt in the finals. It looks like his losing streak in picking Final Four teams is going to continue uncontested. The only way Memphis is going to beat Connecticut is if they field a team of hungry Pit Bulls.
I think I'll make my dad a bet that if my Huskies go all the way, he'll have to play football with me in the rain and mud. Now that sounds like fun.
To all my Irish Setter and Irish Wolfhound friends out there, Happy St. Paddy's Day! Enjoy a Guinness on me (but please drink responsibly). Slante!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Goldens love everybody...well we try. Humans can learn from us...sniff, wag and sniff again...how hard can it be?
College basketball is more my dad's thing than mine. Truthfully, my favorite sport is football. My favorite position is wide retriever because I love going out for passes when my dad throws the ball. He's pretty patient with me, especially because I'll catch the ball, but won't give it back too easily. Besides, I usually tire out his arm and shoulder long before I ever get tired. My mom thinks I'm obsessed with my football. I don't know where she came up with that idea. I wouldn't call it an obsession as much as an acute attraction. What does a human know about balls anyway? They will never experience the shear pleasure of gnawing on a saliva soaked ball covered with dirt. It doesn't get any better than that.
Thanks for visiting. I'll let you know my dad's picks for the Final Four as soon as we figure it out.
I think the snowy days are almost over; as much as I love the snow it's nice to get out in the sunshine. On Saturday we had to go into mommy's office to do some work, I can't believe all the stuff she does for Shaun. Filling out applications, copying, scheduling and the filing was stacking up (she says it's not her favorite thing to do). I was going to offer to help but couldn't remember my ABC song.
Then we walked all over Beacon Hill; John Kerry must have been having lunch with Teddy cause he wasn't home. Then when we turned on Charles Street, my backpack was starting to get heavy...do you think that my humans asked if I needed a hand??? No...but I trekked on cheerfully tail wagging and smiling at all of the tourists. Finally we got to rest in The Common. As you see Robert got tired and I let him cuddle up on the bench with me. He has such a comfy lap.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
As you probably could tell from my previous postings, I am a pretty low key individual who is cool with everyone and everything. My motto would be: "Hey, if it doesn't hurt you, or the person next to you, go for it." My personal and political philosophy tends to lean toward the left. I am not prejudice when it comes to religious or political affiliation, sexual orientation or breed for that matter, although I'm still a little weary around Chihuahuas.
This brings me to my animus toward my neighbors. My packies call them the Adams Family. I don't think that is their actual name, and in fact, I believe this is a term of ridicule to which my packies refer. I did a search on Google and found that the Adams Family was actually a 1960's situation comedy of a macabre and dysfunctional TV family, but I think that probably suits my neighbors well, maybe minus the macabre part. The thing that really gets my knickers in a twist (can someone please tell me what knickers are? And what the sensation would be when they are twisted up?) is that these people react to me like I'm some kind of rabid wolf. These people literally tense up in my presence, and it really freaks me out to no end. Their reaction to me makes me so agitated that I actually want to bark and snarl at them just to see them quiver! I've never met a bunch of cowering twits like these people. And please don't even get me started with that little snot Wednesday. I don't think that's her real name, but that's what dad calls her. She's one of these little brats who likes to tease the hell out of me when no one is looking, and then plays "Little Red Riding Hood" in front of Morticia and Gomez.
As you can tell, just thinking about these people gets me frothing at the mouth. Don't these morons know I'm a Golden Retriever - I just want everyone to be my friend. I guess my packies are right, you can only be yourself and some people will be drawn to you, while others won't. You just need to be true to the canine inside you. Thanks for putting up with my rant, but I needed to get this off my chest.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
So you may be wondering what I have been doing for the past 3 years. Basically, I can sum it all up in two words: growing up.
As you can see from the first picture I was a little furry bundle of joy who weighed about 8 pounds. In those days, my dad would have to pick me up and carry me down the stairs. Then, the world seemed so big and everything felt like it was my very own chew toy. Sometimes I would sneak a nibble on the dresser drawer knobs when my packies weren't looking, but mostly they gave me lots of my own toys to play with, so I didn't have to chew on many household items.
When I turned one year old, I noticed that my bark changed, I got much taller and heavier, and started to get more hair down around where my privates used to be. I think humans call that puberty. By the way, I wasn't very happy about being made a eunuch without my consent.
In between, I've been to doggy training, where I learned how to sit, stay, heal (when I feel like it, which isn't very often) and leave it (providing my packies see it before I grab it first). I've also taken a few road trips with my packies. I thought NYC was a really cool place. Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is awesome. They have lots of dogs there. My dad said he went to graduate school there. I'm not sure what graduate school is though; my guess is it's something like doggy training, but more expensive. When I'm home, which is most of the time, I get to play in the snow, which this year has been the best ever, and in the summer I go swimming at a place called Stoddard's Neck. I love to swim almost as much as Michael Phelps.
I hope this gives my readers a little better indication of who I am and how I got to this point. I'll keep you apprised of my thoughts and comments as long as my packies are willing to type them for me on this blog. It's difficult trying to use a keyboard when you only have paws and a big wet nose.