Saturday, October 9, 2010

Out and about in Williamsburg

Annie is lying on the futon licking her wounds after a devastating loss to the Michigan State Spartans. Besides the depressing Michigan football game Annie was able to enjoy a nice morning walk to historic Colonial Williamsburg. While on our walk Annie became quite upset with me because I didn't have our camera with us. You see, Annie is an extremely big fan of and when a man in full colonial garb including a three cornered hat whizzed by on his segway Annie yipped under her breath: "colonial reenactment fail". We shared a good laugh over that one. Other highlights of the walk included hearing General George Washington declare battle against the British - what an exciting day! Lowlights included Annie barking at two Colonial officers on horseback and unsuccessfully chasing a squirrel . . . one of these days she hopes to catch one . . . but until then she's content to dream about catching them in her sleep.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writer's Block

Annie has had a severe case of writer's block. As you can see from this photo, it's not for lack of trying. She sits in front of her iMac . . . thinking . . . typing . . . erasing . . . Annie claims she's been busy. Something about her master receiving his PhD, staying out of her masters way as they prepare their condo to be put on sale, vacations, BBQs. "Excuses, excuses" I tell her.

What's my excuse? About the same as Annie's excuses. Dan celebrated his graduation in May with a visit from his siblings, Angie & David, President Barack Obama, and Gabrielle. We now have our condo on the market after cleaning, organizing and many donations to the Salvation Army. Last week we vacationed up North at the Kelly Family Reunion. We also enjoyed a long weekend to visit our future hometown, Williamsburg, in June. In fairness to Annie
I've also posted a photo of Annie and me collaboratively trying to write something. Dear readers, the writer's block hit The Livesay household hard and we apologize profusely to those of you who have been checking here on a daily basis for your Annie fix ;-).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Out of town guests

Our good friend Betsy Crouch was in town visiting in March. Annie and Betsy LOVE each other! They had lots of fun playing tug of war and snuggling. While Betsy worked from the Livesay home office on Tuesday Annie watched her with rapt attention.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Addendum to dog-friendly spots in Ann Arbor

Recently I wrote a post about places in Ann Arbor that welcome doggies. I left a few off the list that deserve mention. Iggy, a rescue dog, is master of the house at Serendipity Salon on S. Ashley St. Renay adopted Iggy from near certain death and now Iggy enjoys the high life trotting around the salon and having other pups over to play with him. Last time I was in to get my hair done Annie accompanied and happily spent her time running around the salon chasing Iggy and stealing his toys. A great day to be a dog.

Iggy Pup, Annie's littler mate, is often treated to a trip to Copernicus, a Polish market and deli in the South Main Market. Iggy has learned Polish from Voychek and the Polish ladies who work in Copernicus always dote on little Iggy and give him bits of meat from the deli as a treat. Annie has not yet been over to Copernicus but is anxious to go there soon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Trip to the Diag

My parents and I recently went to a wonderful piano concert featuring Bright Sheng in the UMMA apse. My god-daughter, Maya, Anne and Zully joined us for part of the performance. Afterwards we went to the Diag where we met Dan and Annie. Maya and Annie were both thrilled by the squirrels running wild in the Diag. Annie was a little shy around Maya - she's still a bit weird around children.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A birthday party

Annie was recently invited to a birthday party in Tecumseh, Michigan. Samantha, a german shepherd mix, and Annie met for the first time and they got along swimmingly. Samantha lives out in the woods along the River Raisin - she and Annie had quite a nice time tromping along the river.
Maybe next time Annie is there for a visit she can have a swim! It was rumored that Schrodinger (aka Schrody), the resident feline companin, was somewhere in the house but Annie got nowhere near her . . . probably for the best!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Weiner Dinner Party

A couple weekends ago Annie was invited to a dinner party with two, count them two, dachshunds! Geyser and Lucius (aka Luc) were the dogs of the house. Geyser, a nine-year old dachshund, had just welcomed Lucius, a two-year old dachshund, into his family. Sadly I brought the malfunctioning camera to the soiree and captured no pictures of the doggie romp. Geyser and Annie played chase around the dining table. All in all it was a good night except for Annie's one small set back (an accident of the #1 variety); guess she just wanted to make sure the weiner boys don't forget her anytime soon.

There's another weiner in Annie's life . . . Rebel her dog-cousin in Alaska. Rebel moved from Colorado to Alaska over a year ago and Annie has heard all sorts of stories of Rebel's adventures and can't wait to meet him!

Just the other day Betsy and I ran into another adorable weiner, Clio. Clio is a miniature dach and is so friendly. :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Planned Visit with Iggy Pup

On Sunday Annie was lucky enough to have a lunch date with Rebecca and Iggy Pup at Wurster Park. Iggy and Annie are spoiled by living in the same neighborhood as one another. At the park Annie and Iggy chased each other in leaf piles and made friends with other dogs.

We met two nice ladies, Jane and Trista, who were at the park with their nine-month old pup, Pojke. "Pojke" means "good dog" in Swedish. Pojke is a mix; part Australian cattle dog, a herder, he could run and run and run and run. He ran circles around our puppies.

We also met a Law student who had a four month old beagle mix, June. June was quite shy but very adept at hiding under the bench from the bigger dogs. She showed off her newest trick of high-fiving :-).

The dogs enjoyed their time together immensely. Rebecca and I often couldn't tell the puppies apart, especially when they were in their heap of wriggly puppy battle royales!

It was a fun visit for all dogs involved. Annie went home, found a sunny spot on the floor and took a well-deserved nap . . .

Surprise Visit with Iggy Pup

On Friday Annie and I went on a walk to the Washtenaw Dairy. When we were walking past the Dairy we ran into Rebecca and Iggy Pup! Annie and Iggy were so excited to see each other. They wrestled and wrestled and basically ignored the rest of the world.

Iggy's neighbor, Amanda, happened to walk by with her dog, Odin, so Odin got in on the doggy sniffing and exploring. All in all it was a great day to be a dog and out on a walk.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Annie's First Vacation

Annie is on vacation right now. She's in Miami! Miami of Ohio, that is. We're visiting friends, the Firsts, who are professors at the University of Miami.

Allison, Dan, Annie, and I arrived on Friday afternoon and Annie quickly ran around the house sniffing about and trying (unsuccessfully) to play with Tom and Midnight, the First cats. Starting on Friday night it rained cats and dogs all weekend long. Annie had previously experienced snow and ice in her little doggie life but this was her first encounter with rain . . . she was not fond of that “wet dog” smell. The plus side to all the rain for Annie was that it softened her furry coat.

Her Saturday consisted of chasing Samuel, making Samuel cry (by chasing him), chasing the cats, and making the cats hiss (by chasing them). Annie was included in the Wii action when Sara created a doggie mii profile for her. Annie weighed in at 13 lbs but then wasn’t actually allowed to play the video game. Instead she had to entertain herself attacking feathered cat toys to no end.

On Sunday we went to the Hueston State Park and Nature Center. The Nature Center had a 210 lb cougar, Cougie, who had been rescued from a man in Ohio who was keeping him as an exotic pet. Cougie had been declawed by its owner so he couldn’t be released into the wild. Cougie had a pretty sweet set up and when we walked by his massive den he was taking shelter in his wooden house. Annie wasn’t interested in this large cat but she was very keen on the birds of prey and the owls that were being rehabilitated. She was quite curious when she heard her master crowing “whoo whoo” at the great horned owls, but alas our feathered friends did not respond to Dan’s calls.

Annie behaved quite nicely during the four hour road trip. She alternated between sitting on Allison’s lap in the front seat watching the road go by, napping in Allison’s lap, and dozing off in her den in the backseat.

Annie loved Oxford and was supremely thankful to her gracious hosts; Josh, Sara and Samuel!

Dog-Friendly Downtown Ann Arbor

Annie loves walking through downtown Ann Arbor. She and Dan walk me to work every morning at Pure Visibility. When we're out on the town we look for places that are dog-friendly and we've found quite a few awesome spots. Dogma and Catmantoo on Fourth Avenue is, of course, extremely welcoming to our four-legged friend. Another spot where we've made friends is the new Pot and Box gardening shop on Felch Street. Megan, Annie and I went for their Grand Opening and were told that the owner, Lisa, has a friendly black lab. Annie looks forward to going back soon! Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams' Three Chairs Co and their signature store on Ashley are both pet-friendly. We have fun going in and looking at the beautiful furniture while Annie sniffs around. The best spot we've found so far is the meeting place on Liberty and Fifth Avenue. Not only are pups welcome but they also have free wireless and a comfy space to hang out, read or relax in.

The coolest thing that we've done on walks with Annie is when we go to the parks around the Old West Side. We go to Wurster Park on Madison and if no kids are on the playground then we'll let Annie go on the playground equipment and we'll have her run through it as though it's an obstacle course. It's awesome to see how quickly Annie got over her fear of running across the bridge and up the metal stairs. Dan and I were thrilled when Annie went down the slide. What a brave puppy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Annie at the Movies

It’s that time of year again. Time for winter’s icy grip to loosen for the spring thaw, as we indulge in our most debauched and ribald fantasies, slaves to nature’s immortal code.

It’s also Oscar time! I thought I’d rundown my picks in the Best Picture category, for those of you who weren’t able to make it to the theaters.

First up is Joel and Ethan Coen’s "A Serious Man." A semi-autobiographical tale of the brothers’ childhood growing up Jewish in suburban Minnesota, the film is one of their best in years. I was confused at first by its title, as the ticket boy told me that it was a comedy, but then I remembered that the Coens’ sense of humor is less like "The Big Bang Theory," and more like "The Big Bang Theory Without a Laugh Track." Wanting everyone sitting next to me to know that I was "hip" to the subtle comedy, and "in on the gag," I made sure to laugh at everything remotely approximating a joke. I howled with laughter every time the actors made a dry delivery of innocuous dialogue. The rest of the audience was right there with me, with some people shouting, "Shhhhhhh," and "Quiet down" at the hysterical dead-pan. That’s what’s great about living in a liberal college-town like Ann Arbor: we are all finely-attuned to anti-humor, and able to appreciate its hilarity the instant we see it. When we left the theater, everyone seemed abuzz about what they had just watched. I heard one woman proclaim, "That howling dog really ruined the movie." Someone else said, "I don’t think the dog got it," to which his friend responded, "Her strained laughter came across as vaguely anti-Semitic." I wasn’t exactly sure what part of the movie they were referencing, but I did take a brief nap mid-way through, so maybe I missed something. For the most part, though, the movie did a great job of keeping my attention. I was only distracted twice by garbage on the floor, and spent no more than six minutes gnawing on my paws. "A Serious Man," is a serious contender for best picture, but it is devoid of the most basic components of dramatic plot. Couldn’t the Coens have thrown in even a token reference to squirrels running up trees, leaves blowing across the street, or other dogs’ rear-ends? Better luck next time, guys.

Next is James Cameron’s "Avatar." This film has received a lot of press, mostly about its expense, coming in at nearly $500 million. With no conception of human money, I asked my masters to explain that sum. They said that for the same price, I could eat 456,621 rawhide bones each day for a year. You can imagine how excited I was to see it! Avatar is a visual masterpiece, but as many of you know, it’s very long. I took five naps during it, spent three minutes growling at a carton of "Milk Duds," and licked myself throughout most of the film’s second act. Needless to say, I was a bit distracted. From what I could pick up, though, the movie is about a race of blue people called the Na’zi. The Na’zis are very connected with the earth, and can fly on pterodactyls. I was so excited watching them swoop around, that I yelled out "I LOVE THE NA’ZIS!" during the final fight sequence. Apparently the theater is very strict about staying quiet, as I was immediately escorted out. Licking my proverbial wounds outside the theater, I received ovations of support by a pack of Samoyeds who gave me some pamphlets to read about "mongrels." Cameron’s use of animals gives him a leg up over the Coens in the Oscar hunt, but a similar lack of concern for wagging tails and dirty underwear plagued the movie. I won’t "Avatarnish" the film’s reputation, but it is not this year’s best.

Quentin Tarantino also examines Na’zis in his movie, "Inglourious Basterds." As a "basterd" myself – I got your stinkin’ "papers" right here AKC! – I was itching to see Tarantino’s new offering. Unlike in Cameron’s film, these Na’zis aren’t blue – but red…with blood. It was a highly visceral movie, which many of my animal companions will enjoy, punctuated with a number of scenes containing milk – a nod to all feline friends. I liked this film a lot, particularly because it reminded me of a German Shepherd I once dated back in college. The interracial couple at the movie’s end brought me back to those wild days. However, I left the film more confused than ever; these Na’zis are a complex bunch. When I remarked to a stranger as we cleared the aisles, "I guess the Na’zis weren’t so good after all," I was met with only an awkward silence. However, I would still recommend this film to my doggy comrades, and it’s my pick for Best Picture.

Kathryn Bigelow’s "The Hurt Locker," keeps things real by letting us not forget about the Iraq War (thank God that whole mess is finally over). Focusing on a bomb-disposal squad being replaced by robotic diffusers, "The Hurt Locker" is a middle-class fantasy about blue-collar specialization, and the longing for a prelapsarian world of manual labor in the face of increasing industrial technology and business outsourcing…or something. For the purposes of full disclosure, I must admit that I have a personal history with such issues. The army turned me away from its bomb-disposal unit, due to my inability to distinguish color. I tried joining the less-prestigious "sniffer squad," but routine squabbles with a hot-shot Weimaraner sank my career. Nevertheless, the chaps in the 172nd's "Ole-Factory Fighters" division shouldn’t be forgotten. Shame on you Ms. Bigelow for failing to include them in your story.

Many people stop me in the street to talk about Pixar’s animated movie "Up," certain that I loved it. Unlike the other films reviewed here, "Up" contains many scenes with dogs. While I appreciate the effort, I must take umbrage at the depictions. "Up" can only be described as canine minstrelsy, seeking to portray us as either villainous attackers, or comical dupes. I noticed, when reading the credits, that not a single dog was consulted in the making of the picture. We’ve come a long way, but we have much further to go.

I didn’t see any of the rest of the movies nominated for Best Picture, so I’ll give you a rundown of what some of the other blogs are saying.

"An Education" received low marks from an ocelot’s blog. The ocelot complained that the film did not portray enough fur that resembled that of a Clouded Leopard or Jaguar.

A marmoset’s blog panned "Up in the Air" for not addressing family groups of 3 to 15, consisting of one to two breeding females, an unrelated male, their offspring and occasionally extended family members and unrelated individuals.

Wilfrid Priest gave a "thumbs down" to "Precious" for not including any characters who were Honorary Fellows of Queen's College, University of Melbourne.

Flaxton Railway Station criticized "The Blind Side" for its utter lack of mentioning the York to Scarborough Line, but praised "District 9" for its fair treatment of the York and North Midland Railway.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to this year’s Best Picture Nominees. Until next time, see you at the movies!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Ode to Sticks and Leaves

by Annie

O sticks and leaves
Thy earthiness and crunch
With fresh snow weaves
A delectable lunch
No flower shall be spared
No bush left unchewed
By my nibbling jaws
All for myself; nothing shared
Though I hate to be rude
These treats are for only my paws

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Annie the Sledding Dog

Annie has been enjoying the Vancouver Olympics at home with Dan and me. Last night she wanted to get back out in the snow (a fresh 8 inches of pow) and try her paw at more winter activities.

She's already proven herself at skating and hockey so we thought she might like to try out luge or "sledding at Slauson Hill".

Dan, Annie Pup and I met up with Megan, Craig, and Brent for some serious night-time sledding. Annie was hesitant to get on a sled with anyone but she loved chasing after the sledders up and down the hill, up and down the hill, she even made new friends running after the local kids racing down the hill.

Dan took Annie down for a ride and let's just say that Annie probably won't be the best Luge teammate . . . so don't expect to see her in Sochi, Russia in 2014. Unless there's an opening on an ice-dancing team for a puppy skating mascot . . .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Annie Photos

Annie capturing the light
Annie's out of breath from chasing her tail
"Yawn . . . I'll catch you one day tail!"

must . . . nap . . . in . . . the . . . sunny . . . spot . . . now . . .

"Finding" our dog . . .

I've wanted a dog my whole life. I dog-sit, I pet strangers' dogs, I drool over puppies and I read dog books all in the name of my canine love.

Dan and I have been discussing adding a dog to our family for a while, so I would often surf the Humane Society of Huron Valley's site looking at dogs seeking for a "forever" home. This past December I was admiring a friend's FaceBook photos of her adorable new pup, Iggy. Rebecca referred me to Petfinder where I could see Iggy's sister Jessy (aka Annie).

I went to the link to check out little Jessy and from the moment I saw her little puppy face, puppy paws and floppy ears I knew I wanted to our home to be her "forever" home . . .

The adoption process has been amazing and the rescue center, Homeward Bound Rescue, does a terrific job.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Annie and Friends

Thursday is "A day in the life of Annie" so I'll let her take over now . . .

Thanks Mary. Wittgenstein once wrote that "if a lion could talk, we could not understand him." Yet the great philosopher remained silent on the issue of dogs, and blog posts. So if you're confused about my internet intelligence, then mouse here to have your mind blown.

I thought I would take you on a brief tour of my daily eating routine. Much like the French, I live to eat. In fact, I'm known as a bit of a gourmand in the neighborhood. Consequently, I'm not immune to the hottest fads in the culinary world. Everyone knows that bacon IS IN!!! Now, Daniel Boulud may insist that this is only a recent trend, but everyone knows that dogs founded the bacon craze. Hoping to nosh on some retro tastes, I asked my parents to buy me Beggin' Strips. Turns out that Wittgenstein was on to something. So instead, I'm resigned to kibble. To paraphrase Q-Tip: "Kibble for lunch; kibble for dinner; kibble, kibble, kibble, I'm a paw-lickin' winner." However, I am occasionally allowed to indulge in a bull's dried nether-regions, so it's all good.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Annie the Hockey Dog

Dan, Annie and I are house-sitting right now for BB and Oreo. BB and Oreo have a frozen pond in their backyard that their owners clear for skating! Score for Dan and his skates and double-score for watching Annie biff it on the ice. She looks like Bambi out there.

Dan invented a fun game for Annie on the ice. He makes snowballs then throws them on the ice for her to run after, leap on, and generally attack until they no longer exist. He made a little YouTube video of Annie the Hockey Dog in action!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Annie's First night at home

As we drove off with Annie in my arms Dan and I realized we needed "stuff" for her . . .

We didn't have anything for her!

We stopped at the Petco in Canton and bought food, bully sticks, a leash, a collar, a toy and a kennel.

Our friends Erika, Tim and Gracie the pug gave us all sorts of cool doggie gifts that we didn't know we needed but now can't live without!

When we finally got her home we played and then Dan and Annie fell asleep in snuggle mode on the couch while I packed for our trip the next day to Colorado . . .

Annie and her Littermates

Annie was in a litter of three that was rescued from a puppy mill in Kentucky. She and the other pups were "accidents" their mother was a Miniature Schnauzer that got impregnated by a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel . . . oops!

Puppy mills usually like to only produce pure bred pups to sell in pet shops. So these mutts were of no use to them. That's where Homeward Bound Rescue in Canton, MI came in. Homeward Bound rescued the three puppies.

Our friend, Rebecca Carol, adopted "Louie" aka Iggy Pup and then told us about little "Jessy" aka Annie. Annie was being fostered in Canton with Anne and 3 other puppies! Wow-ee! There were a lot of cute pups running around that house when we first arrived.

Annie was the sweetest though and an amazing mix of my favorite (Cavalier) and Dan's favorite (Schnauzer) breeds - it was fate!

So we took Annie home on December 23rd.

About our dog

My husband and I adopted our puppy, Annie, on December 23rd, 2009. She's a mutt: part Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and part Miniature Schnauzer. She was born on October 14th, 2009. This blog is about raising a puppy in Ann Arbor, MI.