Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Here's a collection of funny and heartwarming videos enumerating the reason why children should be allowed to grow up with pets. Roll the tape!

Here's another first: an apparent makeup test of Heath Ledger as the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie. I'm not sure if it's legit, just click the above image to read the background of this one.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I have seen both pups as of this writing and though the one down south impressed me with its height and size but the one up north gave me a lot of info and support to quell some lingering doubts I was entertaining at the time because up until then I was all set to get the bigger pup and the visit to other breeder was just incidental to cover all bases. Now I don't like to be a jerk and all but then I already gave my word that I will get the pup from the one down south but the other one had a lot of things going in favor for him: very good lineage, after-sales support, honesty, he didn't blackmail me into reserving a pup, and this pup was a lot cheaper than the other who didn't have those same qualities. I know I was being a jerk when I marched to the first breeder, asked some more questions and finally asked for a discount. If being a jerk was the flipside of living with a purchase for the next decade or so without a peace of mind and lots of regret then I guess I had no recourse but to be one in this instance. I hated myself long afterwards but at the same time I felt as if a thorn was plucked out. I sent a text message to the other breeder informing him of my intent to pick up the bigger pup on Tuesday. I now know better and I'll steer clear of being a big jerk the next time around.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I finally found my lab puppy after weeks of searching! I initially narrowed down my search to two breeders, both from opposite sides of the Metro. I met with the breeder from down south last Thursday and the other breeder from up north yesterday (incidentally a bank was robbed some minutes after I passed the mall on my way home). I was impressed with the puppies they showed me, one was pushy with the sale and didn't answer much of the questions I learned to ask breeders while I was impressed with the other's candor and demeanor. One puppy impressed me because it came from a huge stock of breeding parents while the other came from a titled sire. While the other impressed me with the ancestry which not only included a huge number of red and green marks (signifying champion and dogs of merit respectively in its ancestry) but the sire himself is one of them titled dogs! Not to mention the all important price which is also a big factor to consider.

I've no pictures of the huge pup but I have these pictures and one video the breeder from up north sent me through the mail yesterday (the bigger pup on the right is the one I'm considering getting):

He's the pup that jumped on the barking pup in this video.

I paid a visit to the said breeder earlier today and the scene with the pups with the video above was the same thing they did after the novelty of the new visitor wore off. The breeder separated the two male pups from the rest of the litter and after a while the compact and rounder pup started barking towards the other side where his sisters were located, crying for their attention while the bigger pup starting mouthing and nipping his younger brother everytime the barking started to get out of hand as if to say, "Quit yapping, you!" The breeder informed me that the yappy pup was brunt of the entire litter's bites and nips (one female was the alpha of the group while the bigger male was the beta). There were also a couple of Huskies and a huge female German Shepherd posited near the gate. The entire set up was even a dream for me! Oh man, this makes the entire decision making a lot harder than it is. I struck a deal asking if I could hold off at least up until tomorrow afternoon after paying a visit to the other breeder to see how it goes. I still have a lot of questions to ask.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another prospect from another breeder in Cavite. This one looks a lot more promising than the ones I've been seeing these past weeks. He's not pushy like the other breeders I've been talking to, he only asked that I personally come and look at the puppies he bred. He says the sire (or father of the pups) is "Brandon" son of "Adolph's Call of the Wild" (these kennel names sounding like racehorses are still new to me so it sounds really weird). Here's what the dam (or mother) looks like:

Looks like a real beauty. I can't find a picture of Brandon or the breeder in the messageboard he gave me but it's OK. I'll take his word for it anyway. He's offering me the first pick of the litter and sent pictures of the male pups available. So far I'm leaning towards getting this one:

Good body conformation, the head's nice, color, ears, paws, eyes, and nose look good. And here's my fallback in case the breeder changes his mind and decides to get the first pick himself:

I've got an appointment with the breeder to see the pups on Tuesday. He also said it's ok to take my time to evaluate this potential pup against all the others I'll be looking at. This presents a dilemma as my frustration with previous breeders clouded my judgment and reserved a puppy with a breeder whose puppy I've only seen in pictures he sent through the phone. Though he did made a large loophole wherein he didn't push my commitment to take the puppy but rather ask if I'm still interested with his pup. I'm also in talks with another breeder in Taguig whose pup, he bragged, has parents larger than the standard, big boned, and yellow to boot. I've seen it and also made a reservation. What compounds the problem is that I've also made a commitment to see another breeder's pup tomorrow which he also informed me is the son of a champion sire. Decisions, decisions. Darn.
The quest for the best yellow lab continues as I just got back from another breeder to check out his litter. The pups are only one and half months old and they're a cute bunch. They're not as rambunctious as the ones I saw previously (or at least, not yet anyway). These pups are as close to the general conformation as far as the muzzle goes: neither long and narrow nor short and stubby. Here's puppy #1

And puppy #2

Here's a video of all the puppies available:

And the dam which was caged on the other side of the premises:

The only red flags with this breeder was the fact that the breeder treated the whole procedure with the snobbishness of a businessman conducting a transaction. I'm going to have to live with this dog for the next 10-12 years and he was pushing the sale on me. Not directly pushing it but I keep getting the impression that he was with his words. He also didn't have any medical certifications for the sire and dam (all he bragged about was the red marks on the dam's reg certificate). Except for those annoying points he's ok. The pups' cream colors will darken in time as they grow old with the exception of a couple of reddish pups whom he's proud of I think I'll pass. The dam's too short for my taste too. As far as what I'm looking for goes, I'm partial to a yellow lab that's as close to white or orange as possible that has a short stubby snout like these pups advertised middle of last month:

I didn't get there as fast I should because they were all sold out and the one left was as expensive a potential show champion (despite the fact that it has a lot of serious faults and cannot be shown at all). Or something like Bardagol here who's got a muzzle like a bear or a chow chow:

They're really faults that could probably disqualify the dog if it's entered in a show arena or gain minus points for having one. Cute fella ain't he?

This is a picture of another prospect a seller in Laguna sent me. This is also the same age as the one I checked out earlier but cheaper than the price the other guy set for me. I haven't seen his papers but the seller bragged to me about his impressive pedigrees from both sides of his parents. I haven't got a clue how far back these pedigrees are but they can be traced back to the one known breeder and the other side goes back to one of the best, if not the best, yellow labrador breeders in the country. Kinda lanky looking. I'll ask for pictures of the dam and sire so I'll get an idea what he'll look like when he grows up.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An orange cat massages a black German Shepherd puppy. Hehehe... Real funny and cute if you're into pets and all.
Just got back from checking out the second prospect from a breeder in Quezon City. This one puppy's a lot better looking than the previous lab I saw some two weeks ago and I was sorely tempted to get this one. It's not the cream color I was hoping for but it's still beautiful nonetheless. It's a 3 month old "orangey" pup who in all probability grow up to be as beautiful as the dark yellow lab you can see here (with the addition of a wide orange stripe running down its back). Here are some pictures I took of the lab with the owner's daughter helpfully keeping it posed while I worked the camera:

This was also the biggest pup in the entire litter which I should mention is an entirely boisterous group composed of two males and one female. Everything's great with this one, there were a lot of red and green lines in his registration papers signifying champion lines in his ancestry. You'll have to trust me when I say he's gorgeous, really (the entire litter and their cage took a quick hosing down in preparation for my visit) and I'm willing to forgo the cream color and short haired lab I was hoping for except there were a lot of red flags warning me not to take this pup. If I didn't known about lab standards and scrutinizing breeders then I would have secured the deal and walked out of there happy and ignorant. Times like these make me almost wish that I shouldn't have read up on those. Almost. I gave my word I'll inform the seller of my final decision on Saturday night. That means I still have four days to work this out on my own. If I don't get this one then he will be a standard whom all future prospects will be measured against.
Still in the process of looking for that perfect yellow lab retriever, I'm studying everything I can about the breed including puppy temperament tests and recognizing reputable breeders from backyard breeders (BYB). Those coming from reputable breeders costs twice as much as those from small breeders not necessarily BYBs but I'm not looking to put them on show or offer them as studs what's important for me is that the dam and sire look as close as possible to my ideal. I'm set to visit a small kennel later this afternoon to check his puppies, in the meantime why don't y'all get a good chuckle from this humorous pieces I got from a local lab forum:

A passenger is sitting in an airliner about to take off, when another man sits next to him with a Labrador Retriever. The passenger looks quizzically at the dog, prompting the second man to explain that they work for the airline. "Don't mind Sniffer. He's a sniffing dog, the best there is. Once we get airborne, I'll I put him to work."

After the plane takes off, the handler says, "Watch this." He tells the dog, "Sniffer, search!". Sniffer jumps down, walks along the aisle, and sits next to a woman for a few seconds. It then returns to its seat and puts one paw on the handler's arm.

The handler says, "Good boy," then turns to the passenger. "That woman is in possession of marijuana," he says, writing something in his pad.

Once again he sends Sniffer to search the aisles. The Lab sniffs about, sits down beside a man for a few seconds, returns to its seat, and places two paws on the handler's arm. The handler says, "That man is carrying cocaine." Once again, he makes a note in his pad.

A third time the handler sends Sniffer to search the aisles. Sniffer goes up and down the plane and sits down next to someone. After a second, it comes racing back, jumps up onto his seat and craps everywhere.

The passenger is grossed out by this behaviour from a supposedly well-trained sniffing dog and asks, "What's going on?"

The handler nervously replies, "He just found a bomb!"

* * *

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful Labrador along for company. One day, the Labrador starts chasing butterflies and before long the Labrador discovers that he is lost.

So, wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The Labrador thinks, "OK, I'm in deep trouble now!"

Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

Just as the leopard is about to leap, the Labrador exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That Labrador nearly had me."

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree and figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the Labrador sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine." Now the Labrador sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet...and just when they get close enough to hear, the Labrador says........"Where's that d**n monkey? I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cartoonist Hart, Creator of 'B.C.,' Dies
Apr 8, 5:22 PM EST
The Associated Press

ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Cartoonist Johnny Hart, whose award-winning "B.C." comic strip appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, died at his home on Saturday. He was 76.

"He had a stroke," Hart's wife, Bobby, said on Sunday. "He died at his storyboard."

"B.C.," populated by prehistoric cavemen and dinosaurs, was launched in 1958 and eventually appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers with an audience of 100 million, according to Creators Syndicate, Inc., which distributes it.

After he graduated from Union-Endicott High School, Hart met Brant Parker, a young cartoonist who became a prime influence and co-creator with Hart of the "Wizard of Id" comic strip.

Hart enlisted in the Air Force and began producing cartoons for Pacific Stars and Stripes. He sold his first freelance cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post after his discharge from the military in 1954.

Later in his career, some of Hart's cartoons had religious themes, a reflection of his own Christian faith. That sometimes led to controversy.

A strip published on Easter Sunday in 2001 drew protests from Jewish groups
and led several newspapers to drop the strip. The cartoon depicted a menorah transforming into a cross, with accompanying text quoting some of Jesus Christ's dying words. Critics said it implied that Christianity supersedes Judaism.

Hart said he intended as a tribute to both faiths.

Besides his wife, Hart is survived by two daughters, Patti and Perri. He was a native of Endicott, about 135 miles northwest of New York City, and drew his comic strip at a studio in his home there until the day he died.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced.
God saw fit that he came home on the same day that Mr. Hart espouses every year in his strip. This reminds me of a verse from the Bible appropriate to this occasion:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
In a way I'm envious that he's now enjoying what he's already been promised.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Meet my possible new puppy. What do you think? It's due to be released later this month but I opted to take him first week next month when it reaches its second month BUT I'm having second thoughts because of the small ears and the slightly pointed muzzle, and the not so stocky build. His brother's quite the opposite plus the bigger size but this one's got the color I want (his brother's of rich choco color). I haven't checked out my other options so I might forgo this one if I find a better prospect elsewhere. I'll try to pay another visit to the breeder next week, ask some more questions, check the dam and sire's registration number, and take some pictures in the stacked pose.

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