Friday, December 15, 2006

Google references in this blog entry.

The blog entry itself isn't very interesting, but the asplode reference (with link) to homestarrunner is certainly cool!

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend of 8/26-27:
We went to Chimney Bluffs today with the Finster roos. Here are the pictures...

Aug 27, 2006 - 10 Photos

If you couldn't tell, I think I've given up on the Blog :( and :) at the same time

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day 229 - Friday (Let the suck begin):
This weekend E and I are setting up another booth for the Summer in the city event in Batavia for the store. It goes from Friday at 6-11pm and Saturday from 10am-11pm. Trust me, this is the last time we are doing this sort of event. Finster and I went to the store around 12 and ate lunch there. Then we went to my parents to get the truck (for the event). Finster tried playing with Fred but he was having no part of it. He growled at the poor pup every time he got near.
After visiting for a bit Finster and I got in the truck and took off. It took Finster a few minutes to figure out how to get into the truck. He got pretty excited about being able to sit right next to me but he completely calmed down once I started driving.
I took Finster back home and dropped him off and then came back to the store. The rest of the night E and I sat at our booth. When we got home, around 1230 Finster had pee'd a few times on the floor ;( Before I left for the store he did drink quite a bit of water and we were gone for about 10 hours. He was pretty excited to see us and had tons of energy. I played with him until about 1 and then went to bed.

Day 225-228 - (Monday - Thursday: Trip to Philadelphia):
I left on Monday morning on a plane to Philadelphia for a DevCon conference for work. E took Finster to the store every day with her. She loves taking him to the store mainly because it gives her someone to talk to when it's slow. She pretty much talks his ear off, but he doesn't seem to mind. I didn't hear any complaints from E through the week so it went pretty well. She spent almost every evening in the basement hanging out with Finster.

On Thursday E brought Finster to the airport to pick me up :) When I got in the car I got a barrage of licks to the neck, ear, cheek and eye ball. He was relentless! After the making out was finished he laid down and took a nap :) When we got home I gave E her gift (some chocolate) and then gave the pup his gift. I got Finster a full size soccer ball to play with. He LOVED it!!! I won it playing video games in Philadelphia at a corporate sponsored (FREE) event at Dave + Busters.

Day 224 - Sunday (Letchworth it):
Today we went to church online in the morning and then did some clothes shopping for my upcoming trip to Philadelphia. After shopping E and I took the pups to Letchworth for a nice little stroll. We also stopped in Perry to check out the competition (the other book store). When we got to Letchworth we drove around looking for a trail that we haven't yet hiked. We found a little 2 mile trail and took it. It was a pretty crappy trial mainly just through some bushes; nothing nice to look at. It was a loop trail and the last mile was all on the road. On the way back to the car we passed another hiker. She did the full 7 mile hike and had another 5 miles to go to get back to her camp site. We offered to give her a ride and she accepted. Finster LOVED having her in the back seat with him. He gave her many french kisses, which she seemed to enjoy.
When we got home Finster collapsed in the basement. I finished up my editing and packed. I finally finished everything up at around midnight :) nothing like last minute preparations!

Day 223 - Saturday (Boring Day):
Today we didn't do too much at all. In the morning, my backup girlfriend/sis-in-law and I went golfing at Chili Country Club (It's no GreyStone) for the morning (Finster waited patiently in the basement). When I got home I played with Finster a bit and then did some editing from the Geneseo photography that I did. During the evening E did some paperwork for the store, I edited some more and Finster was bored out of his mind. All in all a suck day for the Finst-a-roos.

Day 222 - Friday (The swimmer):
Man I'm behind. I don't remember what happened Wed or Thursday.

On Friday I had a meeting with my Financial Advisor (read Insurance Salesman). I brought Finster to this; we just met in an office on the other side of the building. Finster liked Brian, big surprise. He wiggled for a bit in front of him, then he laid down and napped while we chatted it up. He impressed Brian in his calm sleeping abilities :)

After work we went to my parents for a birthday party. Finster was so excited at the amount of people at the party. He greeted and slimed everyone. After this party we went to the inlaws for a corn roast. Finster thoroughly impressed everyone there. It was dark by the time we got there but this didn't stop Finster from heading straight for the pond. Without encouragement (me throwing a stick) Finster dove in and continued to swim laps for literally 30-60 minutes. He was just swimming in circles, although it's hard to tell because no one could see him in the water, just hear the splashing. We all started getting nervous so I got him out of the pond after maybe an hour. After he got out he proceeded to shake near Hiroko several times and roll around on the ground. He didn't really do too much after he got out of the pond, just walk around the fire and sniff stuff.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day 219 - Tuesday (1337 Walking!):
Today for lunch Finster and I went to the canal for some walking. I had heard rumors of a way to get to the other side of the canal for some solitary walking. The paved side of the canal usually has tons of other walkers and dogs. I went to Clinton ave (where I heard the entrance was) and found an entrance, but it was for the paved side. So I turned around and presto!!! I found the Mecca of dog walking. I got Finster out and started walking. This path is great! I goes into the woods and is a decently maintained path. I didn't see anyone else on the path at all so I let Finster off his leash. It was great! Finster tended, too often, to run out ahead. When he got out about 20 feet from me I turned around and started walking the other way. After a few seconds Finster realizes what I did and comes sprinting back to my side. After doing this a few times Finster stayed closer to me and continually checked on where I was.

After work I dropped Finster off and went to finish up my Geneseo job. When I was done there I went to buy Finster some dog food and ended up getting him another toy. It's a rubber dumbell shaped toy with a cap so you can put water in it. He loved it! At first he was scared of it and did his little dance around it, threatening to bark.

Day 218 - Monday (Home):
Today Finster stayed home with mom. She had an appointment in the afternoon so she took Finster with her. At her parents Finster did a bunch of swimming in the pond. E said that she kept throwing out little sticks that Finster couldn't find in the pond. Eventually she gave up and went to the house and Finster just kept swimming laps :) Her dad actually had to call him out of the pond because he wouldn't leave the water :)
During her appointment E left Finster at her parents. While she was gone they took him up to the grandparents. I guess he got back into the sandbox and was playing in there for a while with the plastic toys :) such a kid!
When they got home I was already home; Finster bounded out of the car and gave me a big "hello dad" wiggle.

Day 217 - Sunday (R+R):
Today was a relaxing day, finally. We stayed at home pretty much all day. We started out with grand plans of going to Letchworth or some other hiking destination, but as it heated up we got lazy. Then around 11 the inlaws called and said they were going to come over :) so that decided for us. Finster thoroughly enjoys their company and wiggled by their sides when they got there. He followed us around the yard tour and then helped us measure our plans for a walkway. By helping I mean trying to eat the tape measure, much to the enjoyment of the onlookers.
The inlaws left around 4 or 5 and then E and I did nothing yet again :)

Day 216 - Saturday (This dog's life sucks):
Today was another sucky day in the life of my poor puppy dog. It started out well enough with a nice long walk. Then at around 930 I left for my 2nd job, photography. I worked from 10-12 and then came home to let Finster out, and then went to my last Baseball game of the season (we lost). After the game I went to the store to mow the lawn. We got home at around 5, showered, let the dog out, and then went to Rochester at 545 for Denise's birthday. We didn't get home until around 1ish and the puppy was quite excited to see us :) We played with him for about 30 minutes and then went to bed.

Day 215 - Friday (Ostricized 2):
Today Finster became a man (again). On Friday's E has to do a kids reading at Berry Patch Kids and on this Friday we had a visitor from NJ so our only option was to leave Finster at home, alone, all day! I started off the day with a nice long walk to tire him a bit. E said that she felt horrible leaving the poor guy home all day. But, he is after all a dog; and 99.9% of all dogs get left home alone all day during working hours. He did fine, I think he might have chewed up one Gap bag, not bad!
After work we did a whole lot of nothing, which consisted of reading and playing with Finster. During this nothingness I went to the dollar tree and got Finster a rubber tug toy. After dinner I gave it to him and he shredded it in a record setting 5 minutes. My quest of finding something that Finster can't shred has been thwarted again.

Day 214 - Thursday (Ostracized):
Today for lunch we went to the canal park to play with Oscar. These two dogs are a bunch of knuckleheads. About 1/2 way through playing I threw out a plastic water bottle for Finster to retrieve. I'm not sure who actually went to get it but it ended up along the shore about 20 feet away from the launch. Ivan and I couldn't go get it so we had to try to convey our intentions to our dumb dogs. We were able to get both Oscar and Finster in the vicinity of the bottle but neither would bring it back, or even pick it up. I was throwing rocks at it trying to get Finster to pick it up which only made Finster stick his head in the water to retrieve the pebble. Ivan was continually saying "Find it, Find it, Find it" which caused Oscar to stare at Ivan. Good times.

After lunch Finster got his own room on the other side of our office building (by himself) as we thought someone from NJ was coming for the afternoon. His plane got delayed so he never showed until after 6. Finster didn't seem to mind too much.

Day 213 - Wednesday (Drumming):
Man it's been a week since I've updated, I suck. Lets see if I remember what the crap we did.

For lunch we went to the canal boat launch, alone :( After a few retrieves Finster started digging in on the deconstruction of the boat launch. I took pictures this time (uploaded later). After work I dropped Finster off at home and then went to the store for the Drumming Event with Buffalo and Brandy. This was pretty fun! It was upstairs in the "air conditioned" room. The ac didn't really do too much to cool us though. There were 10 people upstairs on one of the hottest days of the year and we were all sweating. I got in tune with my inner self (or something) however.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Day 212 - Tuesday (Scoop):
Today for lunch Finster and I walked (big mistake) to the canal boat launch for a swim for the first time since Finster's surgery. I must note that today was the hottest day in Rochester for like 50 years or so. It was a scorcher, with a high of like 100. By the time we got to the launch I was sweating pretty bad. Finster greeted Oscar and then dove right in to chewing on the dock.) Then we played a little fetch with some sticks. I found a 5-6 foot stick/branch and launched that out into the canal. Finster, being the tough guy, went and got it every time :) The odd thing about Finster's retrieving skills is that you have to
1.) throw stick into water
2.) Finster looks at it
3.) gather some rocks
4.) throw 1 rock 1/2 way to the stick
5.) only then will Finster start swimming for the stick.
6.) occasionally he will get to where the rock splashed and then turn around
7.) at this point you throw another rock and try to hit the stick
8.) then he will make the retrieve.

He's one weirdo! About 10 minutes before we left another dog came over to join us. Scoop is a black lab/herding dog mix. Scoop is an excellent retriever also, she even jumps off the dock (instead of chewing on it) like a good dog should! I need to teach Finster this. My few attempts of getting Finster to follow Scoop off the dock failed miserably.
After the swim Finster slept until around 4ish.
After work we went to the store. Finster got to roast outside (in the shade) in his fenced in area. Before we closed up I took Finster for a walk over to the Chinese restaurant (our new favorite local diner). I tied Finster up to a post and put him in a sit/stay position and went in to grab our grub. When I came back out Finster was still in the sit/stay :) Such a good dog!

Day 211 - Monday (Home with mom) :
Today Finster got to stay home with mom. I love getting home to see his big body wiggling in delight like he's still a little puppy.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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The first 2 pics are from Erin from last weekend.

Day 211 - Sunday (The barn):
Today was another busy, family day. We started out by going to the inlaws for lunch. Finster laid on the deck during the whole lunch. It was much too hot to be doing anything. After lunch the neighbor's dog, Sadie, came over to play with Finster. She kept trying to coax him across the road back to her house. He would go into the front yard but wouldn't go near the road :) So I went with him and held onto his collar to take him across the road to play in the big yard. They ran and tackled each other for about 15 minutes and then called the game due to heat. A bit later Sparky showed up. They did pretty good today. They, for the most part, ignored one another.
In the early afternoon we went up to Grandma Glads to visit Chad. I brought Finster up on his clothes line rope. He was being so good that I eventually took that off of him. He played in the sand box for just about the whole time we were there :) he kept getting toys out putting them on the ground outside the sandbox and then going back for more toys; such a kid. With one of the toys I threw while sitting in my chair, Finster went for it (he still had his rope on at this point) and the rope wrapped around my sandal and yanked me to the ground; to the enjoyment of everyone watching. Before we left Finster and I went and took some shots of their barn (see above). He loved looking and sniffing around the inside of that sucker!
After we left the Grandparents we went to my sister's for an hour. Finster got to play with Cocoa, but was already too hot and tired to play for very long.
Then to a graduation party, then my parents house, and then back to the inlaws and finally home at 9pm; phew.

Day 210 - Saturday (Busy day... In the basement):
Today was a scorcher, but Finster was cool. I played some golf from 9-1230 and then came home and let Finster out. Then I went to Batavia for my last, regular season baseball game. This got over at 330 and then I went to the store to mow. E and I got home around 530 and did nothing for the remainder of the evening, and it was great. Finster had some serious energy to use up when we finally got home!

Day 209 - Friday (Slater):
Today for lunch we went to the canal for a bit. It was too hot again for Finster so we only walked for about 30 minutes. After work I went and took some more EA shots and left Finster back at work. I came back for him around 7ish and then we went to PetSmart for some toys. Finster's been chewing on milk jugs and logs/sticks for weeks now so it's time for a change. I, of course, took Finster in with me. Finster picked up a few things, sniffed many more things, and made friends with a beagle. While we were looking at the plush toys one of the clerks came over and asked to pet Finster. This got him all excited a wiggly. I told her I was looking for a plush toy that he couldn't shred in 10 minutes. At this point another clerk came over and pointed me to the tough plush toys. The sucker we got was an Aligator (we later names Slater) which was some thick canvas with seatbelt reinforced backing inside. This sucker was one tough gator. The 2nd clerk guarenteed it for at least a month and said to bring it back if it didn't last, I had a feeling I'd be seeing him soon.
We got home and ate dinner and then E and I gave Finster Slater. Finster's a pretty smart fella; he went straight for the weak spot, the legs. He chewed on the first leg for about 2 minutes, got that off and then de-stuffed the toy. Then proceeded on to the other 3 legs. He had the toy shredded in 30 minutes! He continued to play with the remains for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Some crazy cool pictures of my dog in a t-shirt.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Day 205 - Monday (Nothin'):
Today nothing happened (that I remember). Finster stayed home with mom.

Day 206 - Tuesday (Photography again):
Today was a hot one. For lunch Finster and I went to the canal park for a little walk. We walked for about 40 minutes and by that point Finster was panting pretty hard. I think it's a bit too hot for him to be walking in the sun. After work I went and did some photography for EA. I ended up leaving Finster at the office while I went and worked. I came back to get him around 730ish. At home I did some editing and some eating and some playing fetch in the basement. It's about 3 steps from wall to wall for the pup now.

Day 207 - Wednesday (At the store):
We had out of town visitors today at work so Finster got to go with E to work. E loves taking him to work ;) In the evening I went to watch the store during the book discussion group. E2 brought Sparky and put him in the fenced in area with Finster. Finster, again, tried to play with Sparky by bouncing around him and barking. Sparky did go after Finster once or twice but that's it. I stayed out there with them for most of the time trying to keep Finster calm. Towards the end of the meeting I had Finster and Sparky laying next to each other; which, I think, is a positive step in their relationship :) I also tried to take them for a little walk together. Finster was a bear! He was going nuts on the leash, as usual when Sparky is walking with us. He was bouncing, barking, running, pulling, you name it. Almost unbearable. I think Sparky was a little put off by the fool's actions.
After the meeting we adjourned back at my house. Finster and Sparky did fine together in the basement. We were down there with them most of the night and Finster stayed away from Sparky for the most part. At one point Sparky had Finster trapped on the stairs, which blocked E + E2 from coming down. Sparky was at the bottom of the stairs and Finster wouldn't descend because he didn't want to go near Sparky. I've never seen such fear :)

Day 208 - Thursday (Store again):
Today Finster got to go to the store again with moma. After work I went to my game. After my game I went home to eat and play with Finster. E said that Finster's new favorite toy is an old cement tube that he has re-found. It started out at about 4 feet and now it's down to about 2 :)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Day 204 - Sunday (More running):
This morning we went to the inlaws for their anniversary. The first thing Finster did was headed for the pond. In anticipation of this I attached a 20' long clothes line to his collar. He did great with the pond. He only tried to get in twice, both times I pulled him back. After we walked around the yard a bit we went in for lunch. I tied him to my car in the shade so he didn't go swimming; he barked his head off. I left for my game after lunch. E said Finster was good for the rest of the time there. She said that when they were trying to leave Finster refused to get into Erin's car, probably because Sparky was in there (in his crate though). They had to lift him up into the car to get him in.

At the game Finster mainly sat and watched us play. After the game we chilled on the deck and Finster chewed on some sticks, logs, and tree trunks.

Day 203 - Saturday (Stitches):
This morning we went to the vet to FINALLY get Finster's stitches out. When we got there Finster got onto the scales and weighed in at 94 lbs. For the record Finster weighed 43.6kg (96.12 lbs.) before his surgery and 38.6kg (85 lbs) after his surgery. So, he has gained back 9 of the 11 lbs. lost in almost 2 weeks! Finster was great during the removal. He laid down and George got the stitches out in no time. He flinched (basically just lifted his head) only twice. He is so good with the vet! Everyone there was happy to see him and commented on how good he looked. The bad news was that George said that he should stay out of the water for another week! George also took some blood work for Cornell.
After the vet we went to the store and hung out there until 4. The poor puppy had to sit outside in the drizzling rain all day :( A sadder puppy I've never seen. He got in a few walks around town and paid of .10 cents toward his surgery by picking up 2 empty bud light cans; he loves beer.

Day 202 - Friday (Here's your sign):
Today for lunch Finster and I walked to the Canal Park for a walk (here's a novel idea, walking to walk; which is better I suppose than driving to walk, which is commonplace). When we got there I ended up chatting it up with some random lunchers enjoying the canal. People love hearing his kidney story, and he got many compliments. On the walk back to work is where all the fun was had. After we crossed Jefferson Finster ATTACKED an old fluorescent garage sale sign. He ripped the sign off the wooden backing and carried it all the way back to the office. The sign was probably 2'x2' and bright. When he pounced there was a red light at the intersection so there were a bunch of cars that got to see the display of power. One guy in a PT Cruiser actually beeped at Finster in congratulations. As he was carrying it back I was watching the oncoming traffic. It was great to see the smiles and laughter on each of their faces :) When we got back to the office we took the sign over to Bill (Finster's sign mentor) to show off his catch. I let him rip off a few chunks before I threw it out.
After work E and I went to E2's for dinner (Finster stayed in the basement). This was one of the most amazing dinners anyone has given us. The seafood tasted like we were eating on the boat that it was caught from (it was that fresh and delicious). E2 treated us for our anniversary and boy was it a treat.

Day 201 - Thursday (Hot lunch):
Today for a bit of a change Bill, CA and I took Finster shopping. More like Finster stayed in the car while we went shopping. Not to worry, he was only in the car for like 10 minutes (in the shade). After shopping trip number 1 (Circuit City) we went over to Best Buy. I took Finster for a nice little walk while the boys went in. After about 10 minutes of walking in the sun Finster was panting like a pair of Levi's (I know, I know) so we went and sat in the shade and watched the people walking by.
After work Finster and I went over to Bills for a little game night. Finster was decent. He got a little annoying getting into peoples faces and nosing around the bird (in its cage). I put him in the basement for a while but he wouldn't stay down there for more than 10 minutes. Apparently because he is allowed to walk around their house he doesn't obey the basement threshold like he does at our house.

Day 200 - Wednesday (Big puddles):
Today for lunch CA and I went with Finster for a nice woods walk. The woods walk has been interesting since Finster's surgery because of the 2 big mud puddles that lure Finster in every time. To avoid this (Finster is off leash in the woods) I have to run by the puddles so that Finster chases me and forgets about the puddles. This time both CA and I had to run past the puddles, which Finster enjoyed.

After work we went to the store to mow the lawn. This wasn't easy because there was a ton of water in the gas tank. Getting water out of a gas tank is always piles of fun! Finster was no help at all in this endeavor.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Day 199 - Tuesday (The charmer):
Today was a fairly ho hum day at work. For lunch we went to EA to drop off a book and chill with the ladies (Erin, EriKa, and Rokes). They were all quite charmed by Finster to be sure, what lady can resist the handsome, rugged good looks of the Finsteroos.
After work he had a nice opportunity to charm some more ladies, and he succeeded quite well. At my baseball game Finster hung out with E and two little ladies (of 7 and 11), daughters of one of my co-players. The girls had a "gay ole time" with the handsome chum.

Surfing the internet I found some pictures of the Looney Tunes episode, Baby buggy bunny, that Finster is named after. Here are the pictures, and here is the wikipedia for the show.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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MMM TASTY CAMERA! I think Finster got sick of the pupperatzi.

SORRY ABOUT THE PORNOGRAPHIC NATURE OF THIS SHOT. You must be 18 or older to view it. Here is what his stitches look like.
Just Finster enjoying the heat.

Day 198 - Monday (Home with mom):
This morning we went for a little walk again. On our way we met a neighbor (Steve) and his froofy dog. Finster was great with the little guy. They sniffed each other a bit and Finster did do his little "Please play with me" jump but he never touched the puff ball.
The reports from mom were all good! She was sick the whole day so she didn't really do much with him.
When I got home he had some serious pent up energy. I played a little retrieve the log, ball, stick with him until the heat got to him. While we were outside Don and Sedona went for a walk. I had Finster "stay" but he only managed to hold off for about 10 seconds, then he bolted to the road to jump on Sedona. There's no stopping him once he sees Don, he can withstand the siren song of Sedona, but Don has treats! This landed him in the basement for a time out :)
After dinner E and I went to the store to drop off all the inventory from the store. We got back around 10ish and I sat on the deck with the pups for the remainder of the night.

Day 197 - Sunday (More thu sux):
We got up at 730 this morning and took another little walk. We went to the Oatka Fest again for the day. At 1230 I went home for lunch and to let the pup out. He didn't really have to go pee too bad; he was all like "dood, I'm a grown man now, I can hold it for more than 4 hours." After he gets his stitches out I'm going to try leaving him home from work all day, I promise. When we got home at 7 all was still good and great in the basement. Finster has uber amounts of energy so I played with him until it got dark out then we hung out on the deck. Finster's stitches are still looking pretty good. While we are outside I notice tons of little bugs flying around them, that makes me a little nervous, it would be quite gross if some bugs got in and laid some eggs.

Day 196 - Saturday (Thu sux):
Man today sucked. We got up at 6am and I took Finster for a little walk. Then we packed up and went to the Oatka Fest to setup the store's booth. Setup took from 7am to around 10am. After the setup I went to the store with the pups to man the station. Finster got to spend the hours in the fenced in area. I took him for about 3 little 5 minute walks throughout the day. During one of these walks I let him off the leash to poop in our garden (his favorite spot). He found the break in the hedge row and took off. He made it to the back of the neighbors yard before I caught up to him. Of course they were in the back yard too so they were a bit nervous seeing a huge black dog running loose. I left the back door open so Finster got tons of sympathy from the customers that came in. After I closed down I went back to the Festival with Finster. We made it about 1/2 way to the tent before Finster got kicked out, apparently no dogs were allowed.
This landed Finster in the basement from 5-7. Then after the Fest we went to the Soudan's for a 30th birthday party. We got home around 1 to a pretty happy puppy ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Here are the remains of a soccer ball that Finster fashioned into a hat.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Day 195 - Friday (Freedom at work):
Another drip free morning! His bedding was totally dry again, this is getting more and more exciting. At work Finster slept clear until 1125am. Chris and I took him for a little walk before lunch. At around 12 I took him for another walk because CA and I were taking Bill out for his birthday lunch. I left Finster in his crate in the office from 1230-130ish. While he was in his crate I put a T-Shirt on him so that he didn't lick at his stitches. After lunch I felt bad for not taking him for a long walk so I let him loose in our office for the afternoon. This he thoroughly enjoyed! He chewed some stuff, sat at my side, laid at CA's feet, slobbered CA's sandles, he had a great time!

After work we went home and mowed the lawn. Finster did a swell job of staying in the yard. He went as far as the trees and then stopped and watched me mow. Actually, at one point he ventured over into the neighbor's (the deaf lady, not across the road) yard. I got back into our yard and he was fine after that.

Eventually the inlaws came by to help set up a tent for the Oatka Festival. Finster did a great job helping. He shredding some of the materials that were in the box which was a great help! During dinner he just laid on the deck, which was a good test for his dripping. Again, not one drip ventured out from his... well, you know.
After the inlaws left I put Finster in the basement for about an hour before we went to bed. This was quite a relief to him as it was about 90 outside and about 70 in the basement.

Day 194 - Thursday (Back to work):
Ahh, back to the normal routine. This morning we got up at 630 (I had to get to work early) and took a little walk. Instead of doing the loop trail around the woods we just walked up the road so that Finster didn't get his stitches wet running through the stream, which he invariably does.
Work went well, everyone came over to greet him and all were happy to see him. Many noticed his weight loss and everyone was amazed that he was back to normal in 2 days after having his chest ripped open and his kidney taken. We did our normal morning walk at 11 and then a 30 minute lunch walk at 1 (I had a stupid meeting). During the walks Finster performed like a champ, even running at times. Seriously, if I didn't know better I would assume he went to Cornell for a nice hair cut (they shaved his tummy).
After work Finster amazed my baseball team too. I tied him up to the fence and then E showed up at around 630 to watch him. He did great, jumping around (a bit), barking at the baseball (a bit) and tugging at his leash to try to lick Jason's kids!
After the game we got home around 9ish and lounged around and played with the pup a bit. I am SUPER happy to announce that I have not seen any signs of dripping since he has returned! This is so cool, and fabulous!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Day 193 - Wednesday (Picking up da pup):
Here is another email from Cornell with some interesting news:

That's all kidney!! There's not much actual "kidney"'s mostly the capsule surrounding the kidney that's filled with fluid. The blog site is great! I may be doing my senior seminar on Finster (we have to write up a case report and present it to the school) since he was such an interesting case. I'd love to have some pictures of him for the power point. He's really a great dog....nobody wants to see him go!

I should be charging Cornell for supplying such an interesting study dog :)

E and I got down to Cornell at around 830pm. Finster came out and was pretty darned happy to see us! He was wiggling and shaking, it was quite nice. I honestly think he has more energy now than before! He didn't really settle down until we left. The only thing we really have to do is to keep him calm and out of the water until the stitches come out (on the 22nd).

Finster was fine during the 2 hour drive home, he slept most of the way, and looked out the window and at the back of our heads for the rest of the time. It sure is nice having him back!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Day 192 - Tuesday (Pictures):

Here are the pictures, beware, they are a bit graphic :) This is the email from our vet:

Here's some photos I took of Finster before, and during surgery. I tried to take one of him today but he wouldn't sit still. :) He looks great and has been playing with toys the ICU techs have given him. Everyone loves him! Some of the pics are graphic, but they are pretty amazing. See you tomorrow!

ps he lost 11 pounds after surgery!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 191 - Monday (Surgery):
Woke up this morning about an hour later than usual, no puppy to walk :) and :(.

We didn't get a call until 445pm with results. Finster made it through the surgery just fine :) Diane (the vet) said the kidney was HUGE and it took a little longer than they thought to get it out. She said the "tube" going into it was a few inches in diameter, normal is the size of your pinky finger. She said he would sleep all night and then they will try to feed him tomorrow. Apparently there were 8-10 people watching the surgery and they were excited to see such a big kidney because they'd never seen one so big before. They sent it down to pathology to have it tested. Diane wasn't sure how much the sucker weighed but they will weigh Finster soon and let me know what the difference is. She also said that they took a bunch of pictures and that they can email them to me tonight, so I'll post those pictures eventually.
At home it was weird without Finster to think about. We felt like an old couple whose kids just left for college. It was both great and sucky at the same time. We did nothing all night.

Day 190 - Sunday (Long drive to Cornell):
Phew, another long day. I had a game at 1pm that both E and Finster attended. I finally convinced E to tie Finster to the fence and enjoy the game. This worked great! She didn't have to use up all her energy holding him back. Him and Sparky got along great, until Sparky left for a more dog free environment (my parents and their dogs showed up). It was a pretty hot day so we gave Finster a nice big tray of water which he quickly finished. Then my dad took him over to the hose and sprayed him down :) This was clearly the highlight of both Finster's and my dad's day. Finster was rolling around in the wet grass like an elephant in mud.
After the game we packed up Finster and headed for Cornell for the big surgery. We got there around 7ish and talked with the vets there. They were happy to see Finster again and Finster was happy to see them. He slobbered up both of the ladies and then we said our goodbyes. Finster happily left us to follow his new friends, I didn't even see him look back :)
Before we left Ithaca we stopped by the theatre to see Pirates of the Carribbean 2. I wasn't a huge fan but E enjoyed (the eye candy) it.

Day 189 - Saturday (Party):
What another busy day. Today we had a big sale at the store so Finster, E and I went to the store at around 8am. Finster got to spend the day in the fenced in area behind the store. I took him for about a 20 minute walk around lunch time and that's it. He was a great dog! He didn't complain a bit about being locked in all day. At around 1pm I went to my company summer picnic and left Finster with E.
E said that Finster was a good boy while I was gone even with the lack of exercise. When I got home from the party at around 1030 E was sleeping on the basement floor with a blanket and a big puppy :) The odds of this happening is equal to the Queen of England sleeping naked in a pig sty, but it did happen :)

Day 188 - Friday (Rosco-P-Co-Train):
For lunch Finster had another Canal dock sandwich.

After work we had Erika and Brian over for some dinner. They brought their Beagle (Rosco) over to play with Finster. At first Rosco was a bit scared of Finster but once Brian let him off his leash he was running around and playing like they were good friends. Finster had no chance of catching that little guy. It's funny, seeing them together now. Last time they played together Finster was about the same size as Rosco; now he towers over him. We played fetch with Rosco for a while while Finster watched and chased Rosco; who is the retriever here? After a while Rosco got a bit tired out and slowed down so Finster could catch him. Eventually, Rosco got pretty annoyed with Finster jumping around and egging him on. He seems pretty good at egging on other dogs. He doesn't know when he's not wanted at all; like a little sibling.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Day 187 - Thursday (Delicious Dock):
Today for lunch we went to the canal boat launch again. Finster spent about 50% of his time there chewing on the wooded deck. He looks good and retarded scratching and chewing on the huge dock, but I guess it suites him well.
After work I had a baseball game (we won) and Finster stayed at home with mom. She mowed the lawn and had Finster out in the yard with her. He did great until Don and Sedona came out. He wandered across the road to pay them a visit. Erica went over and dragged him back with the help of Don. This landed him in the basement until I got home. It's funny coming home and not seeing Finster in the yard, I know instantly that he did something bad. :) We got a call from the vet in Cornell confirming that the surgery will be on Monday the 10th, woot, I guess.

Day 186 - Wednesday (Great Dane):
Today for lunch I had to meet with an FBI agent for a friend of mine who is trying to become an agent. Finster and I drove to the thruway exit to meet the agent for the reference check. During the interview Finster stayed in my car and I got into the agent's van. She asked me if Finster was a Great Dane, I smacked her in the face and said "No moron, he's a lab"; or something like that. That makes me feel real safe about the safety of our nation if an FBI agent can't tell the difference between a Black Lab and a Great Dane.

After the meeting I had to give Finster his lunch walk. I took him back to the wooded trail for a nice 30 minute walk. The walk got cut short when Finster rolled in a muddy mud puddle. He was a mess, mud all over his head and body. The only way to clean him was to take him to the canal. So off to the canal we went. When we got there I threw in his 2x4 a few times and then came back to the office all nice and clean.

Day 185 - Tuesday (The fourth):
Today we went and dropped mom off at the store and then went home. Finster helped me do a bunch of yard work during the day. At around 330 I took off for the store. After we closed at 6 we went to Matt's graduation party. We got home around 830 or so and Finster was patiently waiting for us in the basement. All around a pretty uneventful 4th.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Day 184 - Monday (Camping):
Monday started off nice and slow like Sunday. We didn't do anything until 2 when we left for our 4th of July plans. To start it off we dropped Finster off at my parents and then went to the Walmart in Albion to see my mom. After that we went back to my parents to visit with my dad. He actually got Finster in the pool for a quick swim :) We played with Finster around the pool for a while and then went up to the inlaws. I stayed there for a while and then went back to Albion to do some photography (which I forgot to do earlier when I was there). After the photography I went to my sister's to visit for about an hour. Then finally, at around 7ish I made it back to Finster. He was tied up when I got there and everyone was finishing up eating, not a good sign. He was being a bit obnoxious and annoying so he got tied up while everyone ate. After I finished eating I let him off the stake. Finster and Sparky got along great today! Not one issue that I know about! Finster was in and out of the pond all day so he maintained a smell of wet dog. At one point everyone was up on the deck except Finster, he was down playing in the pond. I went down to see what the deal was. He was digging at a rock like there was gold in it or something. He dug his nails down to little nubs. When it got dark Finster got good and close to the campfire and konked out. At one point after the fire was stoked up his tail was about 5 feet from a 6 feet tall fire, his fur was burning up; I have no idea how he slept through it but it didn't faze him one bit.
At around 12 we started picking up the campfire stuff and moving to our tents. While I was in the house Finster decided to take another dip in the pond, arg. We were planning on sleeping with him in our tent, but that was while he was dry. We started off just letting him run while we tried to sleep. E's aunt and uncle felt bad for him so they brought him in their tent. He got excited, sat on Butch's face and stepped on Sherri. He wouldn't lay down, he just sat up and stared out the window at our tent. Butch let him out and I took him up to the garage to sleep in there. After I got back into my tent and comfortable he started barking. So I got back up and put him in the car to sleep after drying him off a bit. When I got back to the tent and comfortable E felt bad for Finster and said to bring him back to our tent. So I got back up and got Finster. This is certainly what he wanted. He laid down in no time and was snoring after about 4 minutes. This didn't bode well with my ability to sleep. I got maybe an hour of sleep all night. At around 730 it started raining, and at about 8 the tent started leaking. E and I went inside to sleep for the last 30 minutes of the "night", Finster went to the garage.

Day 183 - Sunday (Lots of nothing):
Today was great! We did absolutely nothing. We hung out and read and played with Finster all day. We didn't go anywhere, have any company, nothing, it was great. I'm going to savor that moment with a short blog entry. Finster's eye problem is completely cleared up now, isn't medicine great!

Day 182- Saturday (Double header, then party):
This morning I got up and took Finster for his usual loop walk. I had a double header starting at 10am. This left Finster in the basement from 930 until 4pm, piece of cake. When I got home everything was fine except for the roll of paper towels that he absolutely destroyed. I really think he enjoyed himself with this one. At 6ish we had Bill, Denise, CA and Tina over for a little party. While I was gone to the store Bill, Denise and Tina showed up. Apparently Finster was fresh out of the ditch and a bit muddy when they pulled in. He proceeded to transfer some of his mud onto the girls clothing, which didn't go over too well. This landed him in the basement until I got home. Finster did ok the rest of the night. He annoyed a few and charmed a few. He did great during dinner. We put him on the upper deck and he stayed there the whole time we ate. After dinner and dessert we started a chiminea fire and Finster laid right in front of it :) Later in the night the neighbors set off a ton of fireworks, Finster's first experience with loud and colorful fireworks. It started off great, he pretty much ignored them. Eventually he got a little nervous and hid behind his favorite guest, Tina. He didn't whine or cower really, just laid under Tina's chair.

Day 181 - Friday (Tasty dock):
This morning I got to put Finster's meds in by myself, joy. I decided to abandon trying to drop the meds into his eye from the tube, instead I put the drop on my finger and then put my finger in his eye. This worked 100% better. He didn't get nervous and I got it right in his eye first try. I can already tell the difference in his eye, it's already looking much better. Today for lunch Finster and I went to the canal boat launch to do some swimming. To change it up a bit we walked to the boat launch instead of driving. It's only about a mile walk so I figured it was dumb to drive there. Towards the end of lunch Finster became highly interested in the wooden dock. He scratched at it and chewed on it for no reason, he was quite upset with it I guess.

Day 180 - Thursday (By by puppy collar):
This morning when I got Finster up I noticed his eye had more green goop in it and looked redder than yesterday and a bit droopy.
Today for lunch we went to the Laundromat and then to the Henrietta park for a walk. When we got to the park Finster and I walked across the fields to get to the walking path. I noticed a party was going on, the group was playing a bit of volleyball in the middle of the track but thought nothing of it. Finster, on the otherhand, thought a lot of the ball itself and took off one that was laying on the ground. I yanked back on his leash but that didn't even slow him down. In confusion I looked down at the end of the leash and noticed his collar still attached with no Finster secured in it. He snapped the plastic clasp right off and bounded enthusiastically for the ball. When he arrived at the ball he pounced on it and slobbered it all up trying to get it in his mouth. One of the party people announced that he wanted Finster on his team :). Corralling Finster was a bit of a feat with no collar to grab on to and lots of people vying for his attention. Eventually, I wrapped his leash around his neck and embarrassingly walked away.
In the afternoon I called the vet about Finster's eye and he said to stop by and pick up some eye ointment to get rid of the infection, which is what he assumed was the problem.
So, after work Finster and I drove to Albion to pick up the eye meds and then we stopped at my parents for some dinner. My mom and I tried to put the eye meds in; I held Finster in every way I could think of but I couldn't keep him still enough to drop the meds in his eye. He either wiggled out of my grasp or closed his eye. When my dad got home he was able to hold Finster down while I put the meds in his eye.

Day 179 - Wednesday (Boring lunch):
This morning I woke up and got Finster out of the crate for our walk. I noticed that Finster's left eye (our right) had extra green goop in it and it was bloodshot, what else could go wrong?
Today Finster got shunned for lunch. The boys and I went to lunch with RonB. and left Finster behind in my office alone. In preparation I took him for an intense 45 minute walk in the woods. He was good and tired by the time I went to lunch so he slept the whole time I was gone. I was a bit nervous leaving him alone in my office for that long but everything worked out fine.
After work we went to the store for the monthly book discussion group. Finster got to chill in his fenced in area until we went home.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Day 178 - Tuesday (More rain):
In the morning we did our usual loop walk. In the woods Finster got attacked by some serious deer flies and mosquitoes, maybe that's why they are staying off me. When we got back to the house I cleared 2 deer flies and a few mosquitoes from his head, oof. At around 1030 we did our normal morning walk through the wooded trail. I had a meeting from 12-1 so Finster was fidgeting in his crate, his internal clock was going nuts. By the time I was done it was pouring out so we were unable to go outside for a walk. Instead CA, Bill, and I played some tug with him in my office. At around 130 he went back to his crate after a quick pee break outside. It was still raining at 330 so I took him over to the other (vacant) half of our office building and played hide-n-seek with him. He loves this game :) I put him in a sit/stay and then go around the corner into a random office and hide on him. Then I call him and he looks for me. It's great fun! He whines until he finds me, which cracks me up; and then gets excited when he finds me. So, I guess I know what I'll be doing when it rains from now on.

At around 2 the Cornell Vet called and asked if we could bring Finster down that night for the surgery on Wednesday. I talked with E and we decided to put it off until we talked to George. So, still no scheduled surgery date yet.
In the evening we went for a little walk and played in the basement and outside a bit. Nothing too exciting. At around 10 George called and I chatted with him about the surgery. He said that it should be done asap for fear of his kidney bursting, which would be much more expensive and dangerous. I'm going to schedule an appointment tomorrow hopefully.

Before we went to bed E and I went down and played some hide-n-seek again with Finster :) he cracks us up with this game.

Day 177 - Monday (Home):
This morning it rained so Finster only got a quick walk outside. He stayed home with E today as usual. In the evening it was still raining off and on so we didn't do much outside. I worked on his "Take" command a little more which is progressing quite well. He forgets at first but after I tell him no once he remembers. I spent most of the night updating MSMoney which is about the worst way to spend a free night.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day 176 - Sunday (The suck):
This morning E and I took Finster for a walk around 930 or so. We walked about 2 miles round trip down Quinlin road to Kinney road (I think; I don't really know the names of the roads around my house). It was pretty hot, about 80ish and the sun was quite hot. Finster started slowing down at the last half mile. He was panting like it was nobody's business. When we got back to the house I went to the basement to get Finster down for some water. He made a b-line for the ditch to roll in it to cool off. In an attempt to stop him I went for the hose and called him, this got him turned around and back to me. I grabbed his collar and took him to the basement, I didn't want him all muddy in the basement. I gave him his food and water, both of which he ignored. He laid on his carpet for about 15 minutes just panting, eventually he got up and ate/drank. At 1115 we went to Ava's Christening and brunch.
After the brunch (around 4) we went to get me some new sandals and then to Erin's to pick up some store printouts. While we were there Sparky got his dewclaw bent all the way back, it ended up at a 90 degree angle with his paw, ouch. Erin called the vet and was told to snip it back so that it doesn't get caught. After Erin snipped it off E and I departed. We got home at around 630, so Finster was home alone for over 7 hours! There were no accidents but Finster did get hungry and helped himself to the rest of the food in the bag. I'm not sure how much that was, probably 2-3 cups, which is his usual lunch amount.
I tried to take him for a walk and made it to Quinlin road when it started raining. Finster and I sprinted back to the house and into the basement. The rest of the night was a wash, it pretty much rained the whole time. I played with Finster off and on and did some reading in the basement. I also started training him to never take something from my hand until I tell him to "Take". It's rude when you don't want him to take something, and he sometimes gets some skin when he snatches it. The training went decent, I think the hardest part will be for me to remember to reprimand him for taking something without my permission.

Day 175 - Saturday (The party):
This morning we went for our loop walk and then got to work. We took the garbage and recycling to the dump, went to the library, cleaned the basement, mowed the lawn, and weed ate. While mowing the lawn I had to get off the mower twice to stop Finster from going in the road. He only got close when I was mowing next to the road. The rest of the time he stayed in our yard :) It looks like I might get away without buying an invisible fence! Maybe that money will go into his surgeries. For the first 10 minutes of mowing the lawn Finster caught the grass that came out of the mower, his face was a mess with wet grass :) Around 2 I went to the store to do some yard work there. When I got back around 430 Finster helped me clean up the deck. At around 7 our guests arrived. Ed -n- Tracy got there first and was greeted by an energetic Finster. He especially liked Tracy, probably because Ed was an old hat. He immediately went to her side and started wiggling. Tracy was trying to stay slobber free so I pulled Finster back. Before Charlie and Jason got there Finster found a tasty LOG to chew on. This sucker was about 3 inches in diameter, I don't know how he got his mouth open that wide. He brought it over to show Char and Jason and I think they were amazed at his log toting abilities. He wiggled next to both of them for a few seconds before Jason and I started playing log fetch with the moron :) He was especially excited about fetching the log for some reason.
After a few minutes we went back to the deck and got ready for dinner. Finster actually chewed on his log for about 15 minutes and threw wood chips everywhere, which entertained everyone. He got some more log fetching in right before dinner thanks to Jason and Char. For dinner Finster stayed on the top deck while we ate on the bottom deck, we didn't even have to tell him to. Around dessert time he feigned the need to urinate so we let him off to pee and he stayed on the lower deck with us, but just laid next to the railing.

Finster had a special fondness for Tracy the whole night and tried to stay by her side wherever she went, even though she was probably the one least likely to appreciate his drool. After dinner we settled around the chimenea as Finster continued to chew on his log. He refused to chew it behind the circle of chairs, he had to lay in front of the fire in the middle of the circle (look at me look at me). A bit later I traded his log for a new beef rawhide for fear of him dropping his log on someone's foot. The night ended up being a success, Finster was a well behaved young man who entertained and delighted the guests. He didn't jump up on anyone, just wiggle and wagged his body vigorously against everyone's legs.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Going through some old baby shots, this is rediculous. Posted by Picasa

The playful Finstaroos! Posted by Picasa

Dog or Ape? Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

Pretty nose! Posted by Picasa

Some more eyes. Posted by Picasa

This one doesn't seem possible, I can't figure it out :) Posted by Picasa

Finster's love affair with logs. Posted by Picasa

BFF Posted by Picasa

The results of Finster rolling in the ditch, and then drying off. Posted by Picasa

Not so much Finster related, except that he wanted to play with this little guy. This is a baby chipping sparrow we found at E's parent's house, he wasn't too shy :) Posted by Picasa

Day 174 - Friday (Dog park trail):
For lunch today Finster and I went to the dog park again. Oscar was unavailable for play. When we got there and started down to the dog park we almost killed ourselves. One of the ways to get there is down a steep hill through some woods, I prefer this to the blacktop trail. On the way down I started running a bit, leash in hand. Finster decided to take one way around a tree and I decided to go another. It didn't work out very well. I got my hand brush burned from the leash yanking on it, and Finster got choked and yanked by the leash. We both brushed it off and carried on. Instead of heading straight to the dark park area I took Finster over some hilly trails. The verticals on some of the trails were quite steep. I had to hold onto trees on the way up and down. We probably walked about 3/4 of a mile through some hills before we wound up at the dog park. We got to the dog area with about 30 minutes to go. Finster romped with the other dogs and played in the water. I've had nothing but good experiences from the dog park so far. It's especially good at lunch because there are fewer dogs there so the likelihood of meeting a bad dog is much less.

Day 173 - Thursday (back to work): Finster got to go back to work with Pa today. He enjoys going to work to see all the people and go for walks :0 For lunch we went to the park to play with Oscar. Both dogs were acting sort of weird today. Oscar wasn't really in to retrieving his ball. He would get it but then stop about 10 feet from shore and play with it in the water. Finster on the other hand stayed in the water the whole time trying to tear down one of the water bushes. He played around it and tugged on it like it offended his mother. After work Finster and I headed to Ellison park for some doggy heaven. It was too, after 5 tons of dogs show up. There were probaly 30-40 dogs there! It was doggy overload. Finster found 2 pals that he spent most of his time with. He would chase one for a while and get chased by it, and then vear off to find the other one. One was a black poodle (with a hot body) and the other was a Wymaraner I think. A reporter from the D+C was there also taking pictures, Finster didn't get chosen to get his picture taken :( I think he is too normal of a dog, there were about 10 other labs there. He recked shop for about an hour and then we went home happy and tired!
When we got home we had the house to ourselves, not that we really did anything important. I finished up Marley and Me and Finster laid by my side. Man, what a sad book! That was the slowest 3 pages I've ever read, I had to look up after every 2 sentences for fear of crying like a school girl.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Day 172 - Wednesday (At Present Tense again):
I finally posted the picture from last week, enjoy.
Today Finster went to the store again with Erica. It was our anniversary today (4 years) so I went to the store after work. I took Finster for a bit of a walk when I got there. He gets quite bored at the store because E can't give him much of a walk. After the store closed we went to Main Street Pizza to enjoy a Grilled Greek Pizza, it was cool enough for Finster to stay in the car. We got home around 10ish and hung out on the deck for the rest of the evening.

Day 171 - Tuesday (Work alone):
Today I went back to work without Finster. He went to the store with E for the day because we had guests from NJ visit us at work. He did well at the store in his wonderful fenced in area. E said that he refused to pee in his area and ended up holding it until noon after E realized what he was doing. She said he pee'd forever when she let him out.
After work E and I went to my baseball game (we won!). Finster had too much pent up energy for E to control him. He pulled her over going after a foul ball while she was sitting in a chair. One of the foul balls that Finster retrieved E took from him and started walking back to the field; Finster thought she was playing and went for the ball and accidentally got her hand instead. This landed Finster in the car for the remaining 2 innings of the game. After the game Erin and Sparkles, Rokes, Swack, and Tim (Swack's friend) came over for some pizza. While Erin went to get the pizza Swack played rough with Finster. He thoroughly enjoyed it :) he was pouncing on him and wagging his whole body. The game was up though when he got Swack's hat off his head :) He also got to play tug and fetch his ball, so he was plenty happy to burn off some energy. We left Finster and Sparky in the basement unsupervised while we ate, and they were perfect, we didn't hear a peep out of either of them the whole time. They both stood on the stairs (Sparky on the top, Finster 6 steps down) waiting for us to come let them free.
After dinner and after the boys left Rokes, Erin, E and I had a rockin' printing party! All the cool people were in attendance and we got quite efficient once we got the printer to print yellow, that dastardly yellow! Rokes rocked out a few origami swans from the ruined prints. During the party Erin and I took the dogs for a walk. They did great on the walk, Finster pulled a bit, but much better than usual. It was either because it was pitch black out or because of the slip leash that I got from Cornell.

Day 170 - Monday (The big vet):
This morning we woke up and did the usual loop trail. Then got in the car and headed to Cornell University to find out what Finster's dripping problem is. Finster slept for the whole 2 hour car ride. He was still sleepy from the tiring Sunday. He generally sleeps a ton after the weekend. When we got to Cornell Finster took a nice long pee and then we went to the waiting room. There were a few dogs in there, all of which Finster was very interested in. After about 10 minutes of sniffing the floor (there were no dogs in our row of seats) Finster laid down on the floor and took a little snooze. Even the dog's barking 2 rows down didn't stir Finster, he was in complete relaxation mode.
Then the vet in training came to get us. She gave him the once over and asked us all the usual questions about his problems. She got Finster pretty excited while she was checking him out. She kept calling him handsome and talking in excited tones. Finster was wagging his whole body in glee. He was very good, even with the finger and thermometer crammed up his pooper. Then the first vet left to get the senior vet. She was gone for about 20 minutes, in which time Finster took a nap by the door and under the desk.
The second vet also gave Finster some lovin' and got him good and excited. Finster is one with the ladies I must say. Eventually, they took Finster in for the ultrasound and blood work and E and I went to cruise Ithaca, checking out some bookstores.
When we got back they were done with the tests and we got the verdict. Finster has one kidney that is dead to the world. It is completely non-functioning and is enlarged and full of urine. His 2nd kidney is also enlarged, likely due to the extra work it has to do to take on the responsibility of both kidneys. Their recommendation is to take out the dead kidney. The fear is that it may rupture, spilling all the urine into Finster's body, which would be bad. Also, the dead kidney greatens the possibility of internal infections. They said that pulling the dead kidney may or may not stop the dripping problem. They said it weighed 10lbs. and might be hindering the other organs due to its size. They said that it would be a routine operation for them, the only fear being that the 2nd kidney might not be up to snuff to manage all the work. Also, there is potential for kidney problems in the future. So, there you have it, we finally got to the bottom of the problem. The operation would have a nifty price tag of $1500-$1800, that's one expensive dead kidney.
After the verbal prognosis we waited about 45 minutes for them to write up the report. During this time Finster did some more sleeping :) We ended up leaving around 5 and stopped at Taughannock Falls State Park and took Finster for a little mile or so hike around the park. After we left there we stopped at a little soft ice cream joint for some dinner, during which Finster slept on the outside deck that we ate on.
When we got home Finster did some more sleeping while E and I watched game 7.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day 169 - Sunday (The long one):
Sundays are always long days and this one was not an exception. We hung out at home until around 11 and then headed, Finster in tow, to the inlaws. The first thing Finster did when we got there was headed to the pond for a dip. It was about 90 so it was warranted. While in the pond he found 2 dead birds and successfully rolled in one of them and sniffed the other. A little later Erin and Sparkles showed up and Finster tried, yet again, to play with Sparky. This time it worked much better because we both just let them off their leash to run. This works so nicely because Sparky can run from Finster and neither one of them seem to mind the running. We left them off the leash and free the whole afternoon and there was only one incident. After lunch Sparky and Finster were lying on the deck. Sparky was behind the bench and Finster was lying in front of the door about 7 feet away. This was much too far away for Finster so he kept inching closer and closer. When he got within 3 feet Sparky drew the line, he went after Finster and bit him (at least I think he did, Finster cried like a school girl). For a bit after that Finster kept his distance.
At around 230 we took the dogs up to Grandma C's house to see the rest of the family. I kept Finster on his leash so he didn't jump on the 70+ year old grandparents, that might be disastrous. He doesn't usual jump, but who knows. When they got the bean bag game out Finster has real problems with his leash. He kept trying to retrieve the bean bags on every throw. Eventually, I tied him up to the tire swing and he chewed on the rope a bit, but that only distracted him for 10 minutes. Eventually he got bored with the bean bags and he just laid down for a bit until we left for my parents.
When we got to my parents I put Finster in the huge fenced in back yard while we ate. I love it there, I don't have to worry about him. After lunch my dad went out to play Frisbee with all 3 dogs, Finster and his 2 dogs. Finster didn't bother retrieving the Frisbee (he doesn't handle competition well) rather he let Tilly get it and then he would take it from her about 20 feet from my dad and then he would bring it back to my dad; a relay-retrieve if you will.
When we finally got home Finster crashed in exhaustion :) It was a long day for him too.

Day 168 - Saturday (Work Work):
I had a baseball game at 10am (we lost) this morning so I got up and took Finster for a nice little loop walk. He was in the basement from 930 - 230 again without a problem. I think next week we are going to try leaving him home from work for a day to see how that goes. When I got home from the game and the store there was a big pile of mulch in our driveway (finally). I let Finster out and starting working. Finster dug into the mulch nose first, he loves chewing on the wood pieces! He quickly became a mulchy mess but enjoyed every second of it. He followed me around the whole afternoon while I mulched the gardens and the trees. When E got home he followed and helped us both out mulching the rest of the gardens/trees. He loves it when we do yard work and he is such a big help. His main tasks are to eat every weed, grass, dirt, etc. that we pull up and to protect us from the moths that roam our yard.
In the evening we watched game 6 of the Stanley cup finals while Finster hung out on the deck watching the neighbors and eating bugs.

Day 167 - Thursday (Don't remember):
Day 168 - Friday (Morning walk):
Today started out a bit different than usual. I had an oil change appointment at Monroe at 745am, an early bird special for 10.99!!! During the oil change Finster and I walked down (route) main street to the Oatka creek and back. It was a joyous occasion, a wonderful summer morning :)
After the appointment we went to work. For lunch we went to the Canal boat launch and Finster and Oscar swam for a solid hour fetching crap out of the nice clean canal.
In the evening E and I hung out with Finster on the deck. Finster loves being outside at night. We turn on the outside light for him and it provides him with hours of entertainment. His main objective is to eat as many bugs as possible. He stares at the wall calculating the perfect moment to attack his prey and devour his snack. Moths are his favorite, likely because they are big and slow and likely taste fantastic.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Day 166 - Wednesday (Just another day at the office):
Today was nothing special, walk in the morning, and then to work. For lunch we went to the Kings bend park to play with Oscar. We got there about 15 minutes before Oscar so Finster had a nice warm up swim. I was throwing sticks out 20 yards into the pond and he would continuously retrieve them. I love watching him swim, he looks so happy :) When Oscar showed up they did their usual routine of swimming after the stick/ball and occasionally playing with each other.

After work Finster and I played with his big soccer ball for a while and then I took a ton of pictures of the little guy. I posted my favorite on Day 172.

Day 165 - Tuesday (Long day in the basement):
I took today off to go to the NAIBA Trunk show with E. For the morning I took Finster on the usual walk around the loop trail, albeit at 545am :) Finster was still sleeping when I went down to get him up, and he didn't look too happy about going for a walk at that hour.
The trunk show was is Syracuse and was scheduled to go from 9-5pm. We had to leave at 7am to get there when it started. If we stayed until 5 that would put us back home at 7pm, a full 12 hours for Finster in the basement. I asked the neighbor (Sedona's owner) if he would come over and let Finster out around noonish, and he did.

We ended up getting home at 3 after we went to all the meetings, ate some free lunch and got as many free books as we felt right getting. Trunk shows rule! Finster did fine in the basement again. I think he was napping when we got home and Don let him out at around 1230 to pee.

After we got home E went back to the store and Finster and I hung out around the house after going for a little 30 minute walk. While we were home I decided to try training him a little more with the come command, the most challenging of all. I tied 20' of clothesline around his collar and followed him around for a while. I waited for him to drink out of the ditch before I gave him the first come command. He usually completely ignores me when he's drinking out of that, and he did again this time. Only, I had the upper hand ;) I gave him a nice tug and he came. Then he went back to drink again, and ignored me again so I gave him another tug. The 3rd time he listened, woot, and I didn't have to tug him to get him to come. We'll see how well it works later on though.

Day 164 - Monday (Home with mom):
Here is today's log of Finster and E:

(14:22:26) ptb: your dog is hilarious
(14:22:38) ptb: he just pounced on a piece of lint from the dryer vent
(14:22:43) ptb: and it got stuck to his nose
(14:23:01) buffyblice: lol
(14:23:03) buffyblice: omg
(14:23:11) buffyblice: i miss spending the day with that goofball
(14:24:10) ptb: hes so funny
(14:24:13) buffyblice: he makes everything so simple and fun
(14:24:14) ptb: then he started sneezig
(14:24:16) ptb: sneezing
(14:24:19) buffyblice: lol
(14:24:26) buffyblice: you were probably dying werent you
(14:24:29) ptb: omg
(14:24:36) ptb: i had tears in my eyes
(14:24:39) buffyblice: i bet that lint was scared :)
(14:24:44) ptb: yup
(14:24:57) ptb: i also started putting my head down in my hands and saying finster cant find me
(14:25:01) ptb: and he was going nuts
5:06) ptb: biting my ponytail
(14:25:11) ptb: poking his nose in my face

Needless to say, they had a pretty good time. The bad thing that he did for the day was to chew up the grease catcher on the grill. I'm not sure how much grease that thing actually catches anyways, doesn't it just get burned up in the flames?

When I got home Finster was pretty happy to see me as usual. I love it when he wiggles his whole body, cracks me up. Finster had a pretty boring night as E and I watched another Stanley cup finals game.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Day 163 - Sunday (Long long day):
This morning we got up and both E and I took Finster for the loop walk. E got to see Finster lift his leg to his favorite pole on the walk, which horrified her. :) With E along we slowed the pace down a bit which Finster didn't seem to like. During the loop walk he is on the leash for about 1/8 of a mile and then off the leash for about 1.5 miles through the field and woods. For about a mile of that he was out ahead of us due to our slowness. Generally he stays behind me for about a mile and then leads by about 10 feet through the woods. Cesar says the dog should never lead unless given permission which is probably good advice especially for a large dog; getting pulled by a dog during a walk sucks.

After the walk we rushed around to get ready for church. We made record time and all 3 of us were ready in 30 minutes. Finster stayed in the car during church (it was a nice cool 60 degrees) and then got out at the in laws afterwards. I took him back to the pond for a drink/swim and then walked around the fields and yard until lunch. For lunch I locked Finster in the garage with his food. I put his whole lunch in his food ball. After lunch I went out to check on him and he had his lunch and then some dessert provided by the garbage can. It looked like he ate some chicken wings and such, sounds good. I cleaned up the mess and gave him a little scolding (I actually caught him in the act). I went back in for my dessert and then came back out after about 10 minutes to find him munching on the spilled garbage again. I gave him another scolding and cleaned it up again. When Finster is really bad like this the worst scolding he gets is a "no" and I put my hand over the top of his neck (like a mother biting her pup). I barely squeeze at all so it doesn't hurt him at all. He knew he was bad and went to lay down on the entry way carpet. After about 20 minutes I came back out to check on him and this time he left the garbage alone :) it worked. He stayed away from the garbage for the rest of the day!!
In the afternoon we all took a walk around the yard with Erin and Sparky included. Finster is such a pain when Sparky is around. He pulls like mad to walk with Sparky when he's on the leash and he tries constantly to play with Sparks when he's off. I've taught him that whenever another dog is around it's play time, so I have to work on him being calm and not expecting to play with every dog in sight.
During the walk Finster got to play with Sadie (the neighbor dog) for about 10 minutes. Sadie was quite aggressive with Finster. I don't think she sees many other dogs so she probably isn't very socialized. I split them up after a while because I didn't like the way she was playing.
One good thing did happen during the visit with the in laws. After the walk Finster went to the pond again for a drink/swim and then came up to the house. We were all sitting on the deck and I told Finster to stay "Off", no one (but me) likes a wet dog, and he did. He came up on the deck twice in the 20-30 minutes that we sat and chatted. Sparky was even on the deck but Finster still stayed off.
At 4 I had another baseball game. E got to watch Finster. He did pull her over once trying to get to Sparky and barked at Sparky once but E squirted him with a water gun and he didn't bark again ;) He did ok at the game. E said he tried to play with Sparky a few times, but it was tolerable. I'll deem it a success because he didn't get sent to the car.
After the game we went back home to my parents house (I told you it was a long day). Finster chased their two dogs around a bit and played with my Pa. He is getting much braver with my parents two dogs. Fred still owns him though (the 10 lbs miniature fox terrier) and Tilly, well, she still humps him. He looks absolutely massive next to these two dogs.
We finally made it home at 9pm, Sundays are tiring. Finster was exhausted without any naps. He slept in the basement pretty much the whole time until 11. E and I finished up Heart and Blood : Living with Deer in America which is the book that we bought E's dad for Father's day. It was the most beautifully written scientific book I have ever read! It was so interesting to learn about one of the most prevalent large mammal in this country.

Day 162 - Saturday (Basemented and the phantom poo):
This morning I had a baseball game at 10am. I woke up at around 8 and took Finster for a nice loop walk to tire him out a tad. He brought back a monster stick with him and felt quite proud of himself. I left Finster loose in our basement during our game. I was gone from 915-230 (5 hours). I was a bit nervous to see the destruction when I got back. When I went down to let him out at 230 I smelled some poop. I let Finster out and then looked around for the droppings. I spent about 5 minutes looking under stuff and in corners for the phantom poop all to no avail. Then I realized that he must have farted in excitement right before I came down. I've never seen Finster with so much energy before. It's amazing the difference walking him makes. As soon as he got done emptying his bowels I took him for a nice walk around the neighborhood. He was quite energetic and was pulling more than usual. When we got back I fed him and then played fetch with him for a bit with his big soccer ball. After that I did some yard work, pulling up sod around the trees. Finster loves this because he gets to attack the sod as it's being thrown into the wheelbarrow. Every once and a while Finster would get bored and just start sprinting around the house. It's hilarious when he does this! During one of his sprints he got distracted by the neighbors dog and ran over the ditch to see him. I quickly gathered him up and put him in the basement for 20 minutes as a punishment.

When E got home we walked around the yard a bit and then hung out on the deck for a little while. By this time Finster was tired out again, it's hard work tiring an 86 lbs. puppy out :) We watched the Stanley cup finals game at around 8ish and Finster hung out in the basement. Finster will be glad when hockey is over. During the game I finished Cesar's way (the book). Out of 10 stars I'd give it around 7. I would certainly recommend reading it though. It was a little repeditive and a little long. He could have condensed it to about 100 pages (it is 270 pages) and not lost a thing. It gives a little more detail about his methods than does his show so it's a good read if you also watch the show. I wish it would have gone into more detail about his tactics though.

Day 161 - Friday (Singing in the rain):
Today's lunch was rainy, windy and a bit cold. Due to the rain we hit the wooded 1/4 mile loop trail in the woods behind out office park. We walked that path for a solid 50 minutes. After about 10 minutes Finster picked up a 3'x1.5" stick and carried it around with him the rest of the time. We probably went around 12-16 times (3-4 miles). I love walking in the woods when it's raining, I feel like I'm getting away with something because I'm not getting wet :) There are 2 mud puddles right off the path that Finster enjoys splashing in. He's like a little kid when he sees the mud. He spashes down with his 2 huge paws and bites at the splash; and then puts his head in the water and bites at the water, I guess he's showing the water who's boss!

After work it was just Finster and I. We played outside for a while with his new favorite toy, a minurature soccer ball. He loves big balls for some reason.

Day 160 - Thursday (Skip it):
Today we went to the park for lunch. Finster and Oscar swam swam swam despite the sub 70 degree temperature. They both have their own fixations, Oscar will only chase his ball and Finster prefers chasing a stick.

After work was a nice relaxing evening. We played a bit and read a bit, nothing too exciting. Whata boring day, I love it!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Day 159 - Wednesday (Moist pole):
This morning Finster lifted his leg again on the same telephone pole, I'm not sure what this one pole did to him because it's the only thing that he lifts his leg for.

For lunch today we went to the boat launch at the canal. Finster didn't jump off the deck at all today :( instead he leaned over the edge and barked at the sticks and balls that I threw in. Him and Oscar did a ton of swimming. Finster wasn't too sure about the wake from the boat that went by twice. It made him a bit nervous to see waves splashing up on the launch.

After work Finster and I went to the store to pick up some bricks for our house. When we got home I continued reading my Birthday book, Cesar's Way. It's Cesar Millan's book about dog psychology. It's a pretty good read and I'll give the review when I'm done with it.

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