Monthly Archives: December 2007

Chewies!

The puppies are doing quite well.  I’ve been taking them out one at a time to do their business, and while it’s no problem for now, I needed to figure out something more efficient.  So, tomorrow I’m going to build them a simple play pen in the backyard.

This afternoon I gave them little chewies.

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There were a couple of aggressive moments, but they settled into chewing.  I had to get them a water bowl that attaches to the side of the crate because they kept stepping in the other one.

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The girls shared a chewy for a while.  The tan one is first out of the crate every time.  She’s very confident for a little puppy and let me rub her belly earlier this evening.  The black and white one is still very cautious.  She’s the last out and I have to crawl half way in the crate to get her.  When she’s done her business, she just sits down.  (The others all take a walk around before coming back in.

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The chocolate boy  (Murphy) is very sweet.  He got up in my lap and let me pet him for a nice long time.  He’s unafraid and happy-go-lucky.  He was the one that got a little aggressive about the chewies, but with time, he can be taught to stop that.  The black and white boy is still very shy.  He seems to want to come out of the crate like the other two, but just can’t gather up the courage.  I think he’s a little more at ease.

The amazing thing is meal time.  They go crazy — no growling or anything — more like manic vacuum cleaners.

Divestment and Bush’s Idea of Foreign Policy

Bush signed a bill that will allow state and local governments to divest from Sudan.  From an article in the Sudan Tribune, published last Friday,

The US House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of a Senate version of “Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007″ on December 18th.

The bill aims at providing protection from lawsuits to State and local divestment efforts in Sudan to sanction it over the Darfur crisis labeled genocide by the US administration.

The bill also allows asset managers to divest from foreign companies operating in Sudan without being deemed in violation of their fiduciary duty. Also no government agency shall grant federal contracts to companies believed to be conducting business in Sudan unless they certify otherwise.

The Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007 specifically targets the main sources of revenue of Khartoum; oil, power production, mining and military equipment. It will only impact foreign companies since most American businesses are prohibited from dealing with Sudan under executive order issued in 1997 by former president Bill Clinton.

The legislation was sent to Bush last Friday along with other bills which were all signed with the exception of two including the divestment bill.

The US administration has been intensively lobbying Congressmen to kill the bill citing concerns over limiting the president’s constitutional powers to conduct foreign policy.

To me, this is yet another way that Bush is still trying to increase executive powers.  I’m going to have to do a little more research, but divestment made a big difference in ending apartheid in South Africa, no?

From what I can tell, Bush added a signing statement instead of vetoing the bill.  I guess it’s one thing to side with an inmate on death row, but yet another to appear to side with something Bush himself called genocide.  From a Reuters article:

But he said some provisions of the new law could interfere with his ability to conduct foreign policy and therefore he would “construe and enforce this legislation in a manner that does not conflict with that authority.”

At least I can say this for the Bush administration: they have a unitary vision concerning the unitary executive.

More Puppies

It’s coming up on 24 hours since the invasion of the puppies.  I don’t have much experience with such young puppies, much less 4 at one time, but I think we are doing ok.  Their appetites are excellent.  I checked them all over, and except for a few fleas, they are in good shape.  They have been out twice today and no runny poops so far.  I’m optimistic!

On to individual pics and some more info on each pup:

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This one is a female and she’s also the first one I captured.  (She was sleeping.)  She’s been very good so far about doing her business and was the second one to wag her tail for me and the first to lick my hand.  She straddles her food bowl when she eats.  She also really likes the squeaky tennis ball.  She’s the second biggest.

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This one is a male and the second one I grabbed.  He’s the second smallest and stays at the back of the crate.  He was very good about doing his business, but I think he really wants to hide.  He mostly plays with his little sister and only wagged his tail when it was time to eat.  I’ll get him to come around.  They were just now making a racket and when I checked, he was on top of his little sister crewing on her :)

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I’ve started calling this one fat boy, but I think I will probably settle on Murphy (thanks D at R).  He’s the biggest and was, along with the next one, unwilling to come out of the drain pipe.  He’s the most gregarious now.  He’ll come out of the crate when I ask and was the first to wag his tail for me and also licks my hands.  At first his coat looked black, but in the sunlight, it’s a very dark brown — it’s also a little fuzzy.  He has started putting his front paw out to touch my arm when I reach in to get one of the others. 

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This one is the smallest and the most stubborn.  She was last out of the drain pipe and this morning instead of pooping, she sat down with her back to the garage and would not move.  She will learn that she can’t out-stubborn me, though.  She finally did her business and went straight to the back of the crate — where she stays — except when it’s time to eat.  She’s also the only one who yelps if I even touch her.  Maybe she’s just a little drama queen.

I’ve done a little searching, but I am still not sure just what type of puppies these are (outside of cute). 

Name suggestions are still needed!

Lucky

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Someone dumped these four little pups at the end of my block today.  It’s happened before, but this time at least I saw the four of them only about an hour after they were abandoned.  The tan one (female) and the black one looking up at the camera (male) were easy to catch.  The black and white one (female) and the black one in front (male) decided to crawl into a drain pipe.  My friend and I tried to get them out, but we had no luck.  A couple of hours later, they were both out and I grabbed them one at a time and brought them back to the house.

They are inside now, sleeping peacefully.  My puppy girls are very curious about them, but of course it’s best to keep them separate.

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I’ll never understand why people do this sort of thing.  The woman who saw them dumped said that she had seen someone dump kittens there before.  No doubt that’s one possible way that I got the four semi-feral kittens I now have.  Puppies are fairly easy to get adopted, or at least that has been my experience.  I’m pretty sure someone dumped my Tammy since she looked pretty good the first time I saw her.  When she came back a month or so later, she was in bad shape.  She was more than happy to stay and really doesn’t want to go anywhere now, even if it’s for a ride to the park.  Dora was abandoned along with her litter.  Someone rescued her litter, but left her behind.  Thankfully a very wonderful woman went back and got Dora before the people who were shooting at her could kill her.  I adopted her not too long after that.  She’s still damaged, but she’s much better now.

The last abandoned pup, Chase, didn’t make it.  He had already contracted distemper by the time he found me, and despite my best efforts, died last June after only living with us for a month.

These four look healthy — they are fat, their eyes and noses are clear, and but for one spot on the black and white one’s butt, their coats and skin are clear.  I’ll have a closer look at them in the morning — in the sunlight.  I checked on them again — sleeping, with a couple of big yawns.

Any suggestions for names?  I know there’s some sort of weird thing about naming and staying around, but as I found out with Chase, wherever I end up taking them, I’ll have to have names for them.

Update:  Around 8:30, Dora got up and went to the bedroom door (where the puppies are) and started squeaking.  I went inside and the puppies had eaten all their food and had curled back up in the back of the crate.  I took the tan one out and held her.  Like they had all done earlier, she clung to me and seemed a little frightened — understandable, of course.  The little black one that had been in the pipe let me scratch his head and he even wagged his tail.  A few minutes ago, (it’s about 9:30) I heard a puppy and went in.  Somehow I hadn’t locked the crate door.  The smart little puppies were all back in the crate, but had gone into the bathroom and pooped (x2) and peed (x2).  Wow!  I put a couple of squeaky toys and a chew rope into the crate and made sure to lock the door this time.  I talked to them the whole time, and the tan girl and black boy pups wagged their tails.  The other two, especially the black and white female, were still very wary.

I found Chase’s old collar and will use it to take them out in the backyard one at a time tomorrow morning.  They are seriously cute puppies.

Late Update:  I checked on them again and they had knocked their water over.  I changed their bedding, poked holes in a new plastic container (they had chewed on the other one) and tied the new water container to the crate.  Hopefully that will keep them with water and dry bedding at the same time.  I’m just winging this — I’ve never had so many little puppies in my care before.

Some Links re: Bhutto and Pakistan

I can’t say, like some others I have read today, that I expected Bhutto to be assassinated.  The News Hour replayed an interview Margaret Warner did with Bhutto this fall — and she knew the risk she was taking.  It doesn’t make things any better.

Warner also recently did a series of reports from Pakistan, which I highly recommend.  Here’s a page with many links to other reports.

John Edwards spoke with Musharraf today.  Here’s the content(from a very good original source blog by O. Kay Henderson in Iowa.

Henderson:  “In regards to the situation in Pakistan, if you were president, what would you be doing?”

Edwards: “If I were president I would do some of what I’ve already done.  I spoke with the Pakistani Ambassador and then a few minutes ago I spoke with President Musharraf, urging him to continue on the path to democratization, to allow international investigators to come in to determine what happened, what the facts were so that there would be transparency and credibility about what actually occurred and also about the upcoming schedule of elections and that the important thing for America to do in this unstable environment is first of all focus on the tragedy that’s occurred.  Benazir Bhutto was a strong woman, a courageous woman, someone that I actually spoke at a conference with a few years and she talked about the path to democracy in Pakistan being baptized in blood so she understood the extraordinary risk that she was taking by going back and it’s a terrible tragedy for the people of Pakistan, but it’s important for America to be a calming influence and provide strength in this environment.”

Henderson:  “How did you get in touch with Musharraf? What’s the relationship there?”

Edwards:  “I met Musharraf years ago in Islamabad.  We talked about many of the problems that his country was faced with including kids being educated in Madrasahs and some of the struggles that he was having within his own country and so when I spoke to the ambassador earlier today I said if Musharraf, if the president had time would you have him give me a call because I’d like to speak with him directly and he called.”

I can only hope that my former Pakistani students, as well as their families, are all safe.

ADDED (from the Chronicle):  Houston’s Mayor White has known the Bhutto family for 35 years, having roomed with Bhutto’s brother at Harvard.

Also, Bill Bennett’s analysis so far this morning (Friday) is that Bhutto’s assassination helps McCain and Giuliani because they are tough guys.  (With the caveat that McCain is soft on torture, but tough otherwise.)  He and Seth shrug their shoulders and say well maybe this helps Clinton, but you know, this sort of thing actually hurts the Democrats.  Oh, and Bennett has already decided that Musharraf didn’t have anything to do with it, despite the fact that he didn’t know until about 5:30 a.m. central time that AQ had claimed responsibility.  What would I do without Dr. Bill’s insight?

Potatoes are so over

Christmas is winding down and everyone is sleepy but me.  I’m a bit down.  It seems that I have lost my strangle hold on making potatoes.   Sure, I made them again this year — nothing special like in other years, but my sister-in-law decided — all on her own — to make a new recipe.  And everyone loved it and kept asking her about it.  My same old potatoes?  Nothin.  My brother even suggested that I move on to something like a green bean dish.  I’ve never made such a thing in my life.

I made a very nice gravy that no one asked about.  I buttered the rolls.  I saved the grease from going down the drain.  I glazed the freaking ham.  Did anyone say anything about the rolls as they gobbled them down?  Did anyone say, “why, this glazed ham is fabulous!”  No.  The gravy was gone, but did a single person say, “what’s that recipe?” despite the fact that I had to wing it?

Oh, and I got not one but two pairs of slippers, even though I have a perfectly good pair from two Christmases ago.

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For those possibly immune to humor, my lovely nieces were lovely as usual.  Before she even got out of the car, my sweet goddaughter was shouting for me to see the new highchair that she had gotten from Santa.  The other two showed me all of their treasures — one by one — explaining how cool each little present was.  We prepared dinner while my middle niece worked tirelessly at her new Dora the Explorer kitchen (from which she eventually charged me for my Christmas dinner!  But that’s a long story).

I realize how fortunate I am.

Amazing Race Episode Next

After two weeks off and being so very wrong so far (I blame it on commercials), here goes for this week’s episode:

Something weird happens and grandfather-grandson come in first and it is finally a non-elimination leg — for the HOLIDAYS!  Oh, and current favs Tk and Rachel get tagged.

just sayin’

Why isn’t John Edwards in the News More?

Well, in Chip Reid’s opinion, it’s because Edwards is disciplined, Elizabeth is awesome, he’s got big dreams, he’s a great communicator, and he’s a regular guy.

Well, duh.  I knew that.  That and more is why I have supported him for many years.

Sometimes I wish that presidential candidates did the same sort of retail politics in every state that they do in Iowa and New Hampshire, but I know it’s just the way things are set up, so I accept it.  It’s not like Edwards hasn’t been here — I signed up to attend a $15 dollar dinner he gave here in Houston, but ended up not being able to attend.  That was poor planning on my part, and I regret it.

My hope is that no matter what the out come in the early primaries, he will stay with it and give me another chance to vote for him.  (I’ve done better on my Christmas shopping than I had thought I would, so he will get another little contribution from me in this last week of the year.)

Edwards is, for so many reasons, the best choice for the majority of Americans — those of us in the middle and lower classes.

LifeStraw

I’m adding yet another good idea to my list.  The LifeStraw is an invention of the Danish company Vestergaard Frandsen.  Basically, the LifeStraw filters any kind of water into potable water through a straw.  Here’s their FAQ.

Bow Heads!

Just in time, the four-footed ones spread their holiday cheer!

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Caroline

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Cisco

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Stumpy

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Dora

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and poor camera shy Tammy.