Monday, March 11, 2013

Baron and Luke carrying their Toys in the Snow
We have had a lot of fun this year playing in the snow.  It has snowed so much that one must adapt.  One good adaptation is throwing toys for the dogs to return, even in the midst of flying snow.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Luke in Action - Baron Close at Hand

Luke is the consummate, persistent pursuer of Frisbees!  That is all he wants to do, well, except to run around the back yard barking at birds and planes that flyer overhead.  He manages a no-fly-zone over our back yard.  Ok, the planes ignore him.  But, the hawks, geese and other high flyers do leave when he starts leaping and barking at them.  And then with the Frisbee, if I throw it to the right place, he will catch  it 90% of the time.  Also, I simply have to be prepared to throw toys for him if I go outside.  He picks one up, follows me around, drops it and then barks repeatedly telling me what to do!  He is one funny guy!  

Ziva is learning to grab the Frisbee!! 

Then this is Ziva in action! She is learning and she is getting pretty good at chasing and catching Frisbees and Kong toys. She will leave the ground when leaping to catch it, bring it back and sit, at a little bit of distance, drop it on command, and then start following me around with a sense of anticipation and excitement, waiting for me to throw again.
Another good example of Ziva learning to catch.  She gets into it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

This is Ziva, the new German Shepherd.  She was adopted from a home in Southern West Virginia, a place where she was not getting the attention, socialization and training that she needs.  I picked her up at the beginning of February.  She has just turned 2 at the beginning of January, 2012.

Ziva comes from a really good breed line, with papers going back to Stuttgart, Germany.  She is a good mix of German and American lines, very high energy, athletic and affectionate.  However, she does get anxious around new people and new situations.  But, we are working on that.  I am sure she will settle down a lot as she matures and gets plenty of exposure to new settings.  Ziva is around 70 lbs. and is a longcoat GSD. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I have had a long standing “Ministry of Dogs” most recently with my German Shepherd, Baruch, Hebrew for blessing, who was adopted from a rescue group in Fremont, OH. Baruch, who died Dec. 1st, 2011 was a very happy, enthusiastic 85 lb. German Shepherd who loved people and needed lots of attention.  He was perfect for visiting church.

Because he was so majestic, he did attract a lot of attention, which he loved. He just wanted to be with people. Over his life, he participated a number of times in worship services, especially on Sundays that emphasized 'God as our Shepherd.' He assisted with children’s sermons and was completely trustworthy with children, and with everyone else because they were giving him attention.

Baruch was high-energy and was a great running companion. He loved car rides. As soon as the kitchen door to the garage opened,  he would be out there waiting for the car door to open so he could jump in with the expectation of visiting someone.

Baruch was also a good guard dog who would sound a warning bark on seeing a stranger. He looked threatening! But that was just his greeting,  and in a second his tail was swishing back and forth. Baruch was a blessing to many people throughout his life.

Baruch --blessing...the Hebrew blessing, Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam---Blessed are you o Lord our God, creator of the Universe.  Because Baruch had this name when I adopted him, I was compelled to learn the Hebrew blessing, the first part of the Sheva Brachot.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Luke and Baruch in the Snow - Dec. 2010

These guys were having a pretty big time together in the back yard, running and chasing and wrestling.

Luke just runs for no reason except to enjoy it, and anytime he feels like it. 

Baruch has to be provoked a little to get him moving.  

Luke, the provocateur,  is usually successful at making that happen. 

Holly Berry English Shepherd with us Dec. 27, 2001 -- Oct. 27, 2010

Holly Berry, presumably an English Shepherd, began her life with us in my office, and concluded it there too.  I pulled from the animal shelter/pound in Zanesville, OH on Dec. 27th, 2001.  It was kind of a fluke since I actually went out to pick up a German Shepherd, and was a little uncomfortable with the situation and said I preferred not to take him.  That's ok they said, we've got another one, and presented this little pumpkin-sable and white colored pup to me.  She sat there wagging her tail, probably about 9 - 12 months old, and I said, "ok, whatever" signed up for her and brought her home on that snowy afternoon, driving back across Interstate 70, about an hour and 15 minutes from home.  When we got home, the no-name dog came into the house, met the other two, Abby the tri-color collie, and Quincy the Shetland Sheepdog.  The meet and greet was inconsequential.  I went upstairs to my office, she followed me, came into the office, laid down in the corner next to the desk and claimed her spot.  When the other two resident dogs tried to come into the office, she stood up and growled at them, warning them away.  Of course, she won.  They stood down and backed off.  We had to work on that for awhile, making the point with her that the other dogs had the free run of the house and it was not her decision about when and where they would be in the house. 

On Oct. 27, 2010, in the evening, Holly did not come down for the evening feeding.  That was unusual as she had huge food drive.  I called for her, she came down the steps, into the kitchen, looked at her food and walked away.  Within minutes I was on the phone with the vet to make an appointment for the next morning.  My first thought was Auto Immune Hymolytic Anemia - AIHA, which is what killed Abby the tri-color Collie in 2006.  Lethargy and no interest in food were two distinct signs. 

Feeling anxious about the situation, I went back upstairs to the computer, attended to a couple of matters, came back down stairs to discover that Holly had thrown up all over the couch and floor.  About that time, Becky came home, I was back on the phone with the vet, and we determined that for now, an appointment was not necessary, so I cancelled that. 

Holly was laying on the couch, I talked to her, she thumped her tail up and down.  I went back upstairs to my project at the computer.  A little later Holly showed up, came into the office, seemed very uncomfortable.  She laid down by the desk in front of the door.  Laid quietly, moved around a little, then lurched a couple of times.  I presumed she was really sick and nauseated which explained the odd movements.  Then I looked at her again, and it was apparent that she had just died right in my office floor where she started her time with us almost 9 years before.

I tried some heart pumping, carried her downstairs, to the car and rushed to the OSU Vet Hospital.  It was, of course, too late.  They checked her and pronounced her dead.  I paid $75 for a necropsy report and left.

On Friday the lab called to report that she died from a turmor on her heart, hemangia sarcoma, undetectable until it started bleeding, then it quickly filled the heart sac with blood, stopping the heart from beating. 

It has been a very sad time, indeed, losing her.  She was a funny and lovable character. She loved to snuggle in and on the bed, as demonstrated in the one photo. But, she was also on alert when necessary.   As far as she was concerned, anyone who visited the house had come to see her.  She was very personable, slighly pushy with her presence, and could easily get anyone's attention. 

This posting is for Holly Berry, English Shepherd, a great companion and friend to everyone, who also kept the boy dogs in line by growling at them when she sensed they were going to get into trouble.
Holly Berry - English Shepherd - Dec. 27, 2001 - Oct. 27, 2009 in this household.

Monday, February 22, 2010

-- Doggie Blog Update --

This "Doggie Blog" is dedicated to the dogs that have been or are currently around our house.  There is a whole series of postings
and write ups down below on the current  and previous
dog population in the Cornett household. When I discovered
that Jeff Miller, math teacher in Florida who grew up
on our street, had a big collection of our most memorable
dog from childhood days, I had to tell the story of Prance,
which follows.  Below the historical piece
is the current day dog-saga.  

From the Past-Prance of Mankin Ave. Beckley, WV

This is the story of Prance of Mankin Ave, Beckly, West Virginia, in the era around 1963-1968 approximately, give or take a little bit.  Prance was born to a sheltie or sheltie-collie mother in Pineville, WV, probably around 1963.  Bobby Smith, about 7th grade in those days, had the mother dog, and claimed that the father was a Boxer.  That fits since she has Boxer colors, and looked vaguely like a short coat Collie or Border Collie.  Prance was adopted by the Cornett family in Pinville as a pup.  Since she obviously did not have an AKC pedigree, to raise her status, we named her "Sir Prance a Lot"  like "Lance a Lot"  get it!! However,  she was not a sir, but a madam, and that name went by the wayside before long.

Within a year or two of her assimilation into the Cornett household of 6 kids and 2 parents, everyone uprooted and moved (back to) Beckley, West Virginia.  Prance came along to the old homestead on Mankin Ave, the second time there actually.  It was not much more than a 50s type subdivision for middle-class people called the Bowling Addition. 

But, back to Prance.  She lived in a dog house behind the house, and to keep her around, she was chained to the house---yes, chained!!---mostly only overnight, to keep her from roaming the neighborhood.  This fancy dog house had two compartments,  an elegant entry way, and a larger bedroom with a large door that was latched, and it was always kept comfortable inside with straw that was changed about every couple of months.  There was also a small attic in the top of this little dog house, you could lift the top and prop it open in the summer time to keep it ventilated.  Quite a sophisticated dog house for anytime, much less for 1964 or so.  One morning I woke up to the radio announcement that the temperature had dropped to 24 below zero.  I panicked, scrambled into my clothes and rushed out the back door to the dog house thinking that Prance would have frozen to death.  No, she came romping out of her little botique dog house tail wagging and frisking around.  We nevertheless, brought her into the main house for the next few days.
Neighborhood Kids with Prance, 1964.  Also, the pug that lived with Harry Evans and family. This is a classic photo of small town living in the mid 1960s, the early edge of the baby boom generation.  Despite living in the somewhat isolated coal fields of Southern West Virginia, we were not all that far removed from mainstream American culture.
Dennis Miller, 1965.  Dennis was the one in the nieghborhood who really loved Prance.  She was up at his house constantly, much to the consternation of his primary keepers, the Cornetts.  Well, not really consternation, but it was true that she was hard to keep around the house for a variety of reasons,  including going to the Millers for table scraps and treats and lots of attention,  being one of them.

Obviously, Prance was willing to go where ever she could get something to eat.  She was certainly not underfed. She ate Pard canned dog food.  But, an ice cream cone has a special appeal.

This is on the front porch at Jeff and Dennis Miller's house, a very
creative rendition from 1965, a picture of their cousin from Pittsburgh
taking a picture of Prance.  Prance was a real attention getter! 

And Dennis again, with Prance, in front of their garage, also 1965. 

Jeff Miller, brother of Dennis, has retained quite a collection of photos from the Mankin Ave days, including all of the pics of Prance because she was at their house a lot. In fact, I understand that despite the prohibition on dogs in the house imposed by their mom, Prance managed to make it up to their 2nd- 3rd floor bedrooms on occasion.

Prance also accompanied me on my paper route, especially for the early Saturday and Sunday morning deliveries. I was the only person out that early in the morning and I was glad to have her along with me.

But, again, she was off on her own, exploring from house to house, disappearing into backyards, and inevitably she would find what she was looking for, a cat, which she would proceed to chase, it would run up a tree and she would sit there and bark at it at 5:30 in the morning. I did actually hear from a few paper customers complaining about that little annoyance.

One other predatory encounter with Prance was in the dog pen in the backyard of Sam Caseino's house. There was a rather large rat living under the doghouse. Sam and I turned the house over, let Prance go and she dug relentlessly until finally it scrambled out, she grabbed it by the nape of the neck, shook it, put it down, it bit her on the toe, she yelped, picked it up, and finished it off with more furious shaking.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Truly, the Last Line of Defense in our household!!

Baruch and Baron sleep in the hallway at the top of the stairs. 
They are ever vigilant, ready to protect the second floor from any intruder! 
Well, except when they are not competing with each other
to see which one is really the Big Dog in the house,
which is a constant preoccupation.