Monday, December 31, 2007

Squirrels In My Neighborhood

I live in an area where there are several types of squirrels, all good for chasing. There are lots of ordinary ground squirrels with burrows in the ground. Some people call these squirrels "prairie dogs" which is pretty silly because they don't look or act anything like us dogs.

There are also common gray squirrels who mostly live in trees. They scamper back and forth along the power line in our back yard. When we see this type of air space violation, we charge out the doggy door and bark like crazy until the intruder squirrel goes away. One squirrel actually sits on the power line and flicks his tail to taunt us. He has no respect for our territory! One of these days, squirrel, you'll get yours!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How To Dig For Squirrels

This afternoon, we went to Lost Lake Park, a real paradise for squirrels. Here in Fresno, it's still cold and gray. My mom said that's why the ground squirrels weren't outside like usual. That didn't stop me from doing a little digging on my own to see what would turn up. Too bad! Despite my best excavation techniques, there wasn't a squirrel to be found. Maybe next time...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Inaugural Flight of the Dragonfly!

My dad took us down to the park for the inaugural flight of the remote controlled dragonfly. It looks like we'll be able to catch this dragonfly easier than the real ones. With a few more attempts, we should be able to bring it down. Once, we do, we'll probably be able to shred it, too. What fun!

Thanks for the Remote Controlled Dragonfly, Santa!

Santa gave us a remote controlled dragonfly for Christmas! Who knew such a thing existed? It's been so cold here, our parents haven't wanted to spend much time outside. But, they said we'd try it out today to see if it flies. Just think! If it flies, we can chase dragonflies year round instead of waiting for the season every year. This was the best Christmas ever, except for the videocam mom got!

Who's Bed Is It?

This is some more humor from my friend, Nick Massie. My mom and dad only let me get in bed with them when I'm really scared so don't think I'm sleeping in the lap of luxury. But, it is good to know when people are onto us....

To my dog: I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to insure your comfort. Dogs can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. My cousin, Louie, illustrates how this is done perfectly. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to me stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm. I treat you with respect and will henceforth, demand the same of you. Or else!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bina Dreams of Squirrels

It's a gray, rainy day here in Fresno. Here's my housemate, Bina, dreaming of chasing squirrels in the sunshine.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

This Vlogging Thing Is Driving Me Nuts!

My mom works with Jerry Martin, an IT superstar. Jerry told her what she's doing is called "vlogging" when she blogs with a videocam. I call it "annoying." How would you like to have a videocam stuck in your face right after breakfast? I hope this is just a passing fad that mom gets bored with!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Message From My Cousin, Scout

Hi Ripley,
I saw my picture on your blog - thanks - I was pretty cute don't you think?

I still help in the garden, mostly with digging. I still carry pots around and chew them up when I can. My mom says I am not digging where she would like to plant so it's not that helpful. But, I'm thinking I'm a good garden designer and she should plant where I dig. I also fertilize the plants but my mom says that's not that helpful, either. Sometimes, humans are hard to understand!

By the way, I did not get Best in Show - it was High in Trial - a big difference to humans who know about dog shows. I am extremely gorgeous but judges wouldn't put me up as Best in Show. Also, I'm not an obedience champion, yet. That takes more points that my mom and I still have to get. In the interest of editorial integrity, you might want clarify this on your blog.

Keep up the good work!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Without Squeaks

We got lots of presents this Christmas. It took me less than 10 minutes to remove the squeakers from all my toys. My dad caught some of the action on our new videocam! It was the best Christmas ever!

Merry Christmas To All and To All a Long Walk!

Santa came last night! I got a new collar, shiny new choke chain, and lots of tennis balls. My house mate, Bina, got some rope pull toys and liver treats. We both got a golf ball driver that launches tennis balls for dogs rather than golf balls for people. Can't wait to see how well it works later today.

Best of all, my mom and dad got a cool new video camera. They told me once they figure out how to work it, I'll be able to post videos of me and Bina doing cool herding dog stuff. Maybe we can show Solid Gold Dancer our little doggy dance that finally annoys our mom and dad so much, they take us for a walk. Or, maybe we can show you our best begging techniques and see if you have tips for improving it.

Merry Christmas to dogs everywhere! Here's wishing you warm beds, new things to smell, lots of adventures, worldwide eradication of puncture vines, and peace and harmony at the dog park!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Can I Nap At Your House?

My friend, Nick Massei, sent me this story. I thought it was worth sharing. I apologize in advance if it's a re-run or has already been posted on another dog's blog. I'm not a politically correct dog and I'm new to blogging. Forgive me if I'm stepping on anyone's paws!

An old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. He followed me into the house, down the hall, and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back. He resumed his position in the hall, and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with ten children -- he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Scout Helps In the Garden

My cousin Scout is an obedience champion, too. We watched Scout win "Best In Show" at a big dog show here in Fresno. She was really good that day!

Scout's interest in obedience and helping out started long ago when she was just a puppy. She liked to help her mom in the garden. It's a puzzle, though.... how to get a flower pot from Point A to Point B without obstructed vision?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

This is My Sleek New Friend Bella

My new friend, Bella, knows my cousin, Scout. Bella lives in Hollister where she goes on long walks with her mom. She likes to chase cats, squirrels, rats, mice, and gophers. When I chase cats or squirrels, they always escape. I'm not sure what I'd do if I actually caught something. Maybe Bella has more experience and can give me some insights?

Rules of the Ball Game

My mom and dad don't understand the rules of the ball game. I drop a tennis ball in my mom's lap. She's supposed to throw the tennis ball, preferably to me. If I catch the tennis ball, I parade around for a few minutes, then return the ball to her lap so she can throw it again. My housemate, Bina, barks her silly head off until my mom throws the ball to her. Then, Bina runs around the house with the ball in her mouth. I chase her, barking wildly until Bina eventually drops the ball. I put the ball back in my mom's lap so she can throw it again. The game is supposed to continue for hours. My mom usually ends the game when the ball is dripping wet with dog slobber. I don't know why that grosses her out so much!

Can anyone help explain the rules of the game to my mom and dad? I've tried so many times but they just don't get it!

P.S. See the elephant in the background? My mom collects them.

P.S.S. Sometimes, we don't catch the ball like we're supposed to and things break. By my count, two wine glasses (with red wine in them) and a glass cabinet door have fallen victim to the "ball game."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

And Now, Dogs With Jobs

My dad believes all creatures large and small should have jobs. At our house, my housemate, Bina, is the pre-wash cycle. She does a great job licking the plates clean! But, my mom has to put the knives in "blades down" so she doesn't cut her tongue. What a chow-hound!

I have a seasonal job. I herd dragonflies down at the park. In Fresno, dragonfly season starts about June and lasts until late October. A few months ago, my dad tried to videotape me herding dragonflies but the dragonflies didn't show up on the video. I looked pretty silly running around, looking up and barking at nothing, and jumping into the air for no obvious reason. Fortunately, he deleted the clip by mistake so my mom can't put it on the Internet.

Check Out Dogs With Blogs!!

You can't tell it when I'm sprawled out on the couch but I'm so excited! I have a new friend! Opy, the original gruffpuppy, visited my blog. So, I checked out Opy's blog. Opy lives in Australia and her blog is so cool! Opy is linked into Dogs With Blogs from all over the world. There's a map that shows where all of us blogging dogs live. I signed up on the map and I'm hoping Opy will invite me to join the Bone Zone so I can talk on the boards. Check out Opy's site at

I have a wonderful life in Fresno. I am very lucky to live with a mom and dad who think dogs are a part of the family. They include us in just about everything. We go to the grocery store, help with the yard work, and my mom even has a "Take Your Dog To Work" day. I've been so fortunate, my blog is happy and upbeat. But this morning, I saw a story about LaPorte, a man who shouldn't have ANY dogs in his life. I signed the petition and added a link about this tragic story in case you want to sign the petition, too. Thanks for indulging my sadness and melancholy this morning!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lizzy's Problem Is Separation Anxiety

This is Lizzy, our newest cousin. Lizzy is a very lucky dog. Lizzy's mom saw her at the dog pound and decided to take her home. That makes Lizzy a rescue dog! When people are around, Lizzy is calm and quiet. But, when her mom and dad leave to go to work, she goes crazy. I'm told Lizzy suffers from separation anxiety. She barks non-stop and tears things up until her people come back home. So, they have to keep Lizzy in a crate when they're not around. Lizzy's parents are patiently working with her, trying to help her overcome her problem. We hope Lizzy will settle in with her new family and start to lead a good life. This summer, she can come up to Shaver Lake with us and chase squirrels.

Three's a Rat Pack

When my cousin, Louie, comes over, we become a real dog pack. You can sure tell the difference between Louie and Bina and me. Louie behaves like a typical yappy chihauhau while we're cool herding dogs. But, I like Louie. For one thing, he's smaller than me so I can dominate him. For another, he ranks lower in the dog pack which makes him one of the few dogs I rank above. My housemate, Bina, is the dominant dog in the pack so she keeps us all in line. But, we all look up to my dad as our true pack leader. Or, is it because he has treats in his hand? We're lucky he believes in fair play. When one dog gets a treat, all dogs get a treat.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm the Product of Unauthorized Breeding

My housemate, Bina, is a full blooded Australian Shepherd. She has an official pedigree and bloodline. Look at her regal portrait! She loves just about everybody, whether they have 2 legs or 4 legs. Motorcycles are the only thing she hates. When we're riding in the car, she barks viciously at motorcycles that pass by. Go figure!

I, on the other hand, am the result of "unauthorized breeding." My questionable lineage means I can't compete in any American Kennel Club dog shows. My mom tells me it's who you are that counts, not who your parents were. So, I try to be a good dog. I keep digging projects to a minimum, bark only when it's appropriate, stick close to my family, and am respectful to other dogs and people.

Licking Our Lips Waiting for Santa

Our dad told us Santa would be coming soon. So, we're hanging out by the Christmas tree, waiting. When Santa comes, he usually bring us special treats. From years gone by, we've gotten more stockings than we can hang on the mantle. I've still got chew toys left over from last year. Santa, if you're reading my blog, I've been a very good dog this year. I'd like tennis balls rather than chew toys, please. Just 4 more days!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Cousin, Scout, Is Almost Famous

This is my cousin, Scout. Scout lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with the Mueller family.

Scout has an excellent pedigree and she's had lots of obedience training. She also tells me she's good with rodent extermination. She even offered to help me with that pesky possum the next time she visits!

Scout's sister, Dream, won the 2007 AKC National Obedience Invitational in Long Beach. That makes Scout almost famous, maybe like Brittany Spears' younger sister who's now pregnant? Anyway, you can watch the video of Dream on You Tube. Dream looks like the most obedient dog in the world. But Scout looks like she's having more fun floating on an inner tube! Like I always say, it's a dog's world!

Pesky Possum In the Yard

That pesky possum snuck back into the yard last night. Bina and I rushed out the doggy door into the back yard, barking like crazy. Our job is keeping the back yard clear of intruders like this ugly possum. We kept barking until our dad came out to see what the problem was. Our dad grabbed a long pole and tried to poke the possum to get it to move along. It played dead, hanging off the telephone cable that runs behind the house. Finally, my dad told me and Bina we had to quit barking and go back inside the house. The possum was gone the next morning. We felt bad because we hadn't done our job. But, we're on high alert, now.... let that possum show its face again!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day at the Lake

I love to fetch sticks at Shaver Lake. I'm a good swimmer and I like to cool off on hot summer days. A black fur coat gets pretty hot with the sun beating down on it.

When we're playing sticks at the lake, my housemate, Bina, is a big bully. If my mom throws one stick for both of us to chase, Bina tries to drown me to get to the stick first. So, my mom throws one stick for Bina and a second one for me. She's pretty good about taking care of me!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Special Morning Time With Mom

I'm not supposed to get on the couch but every morning, my mom gets up really early. While she has coffee and reads the paper, she lets me lounge on the couch with her. I jump down when I hear the bedroom door open because it means my dad is coming. If he catches me on the furniture, he scowls and tells me to get off.

Bina, my housemate, lounges on the floor in the morning. At 10 years of age, she's getting older and grumpier so she sleeps more than I do.
Mornings are definitely for sleeping. Even though we've spent the entire night sleeping in our parents' bedroom, we're still lazy and sleepy. Our day doesn't get started until a pesky squirrel runs across the back fence. That's when we have to protect the perimeter against unauthorized intruders.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My First Modeling Job

My dad is a dentist and he makes dentures for his patients. He needed models to show how attractive smiles can change lives. I can chew bones with the best of them so dentures aren't in my future. But, I wanted to demonstrate that my dad can make a beautiful smile for anyone. Wasn't it nice of him to maintain patient confidentiality?

Dirty Dog Just Wants To Have Fun

Last summer, we went to Shaver Lake. I like to swim out to retrieve sticks. My older housemate, Bina, likes to swim in the lake, too. But, she also likes to roll in the sand. Look at her! She's ready for another stick to be thrown! She doesn't realize how dirty she is. She's really lucky our people love her and didn't abandon her up in the mountains. Instead, they dried her off, cleaned her up, and brought her home. Then, they called Fancy Pawzz, a mobile dog grooming service. Now, we get groomed once a month whether we need it or not. Sometimes, we even get blueberry facials. What a dog's life!

Check out Fancy Pawzz's website: I like everything they do except the blow drying part!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dog Phobia Not Healthy For Kids

The publicity about viscious dog attacks has caused the public to way overreact. Parents are teaching their children to be scared of friendly, social dogs like me. Cities and counties have responded by enacting extremely restrictive leash laws. So, how can an energetic and non-threatening dog like me get adequate exercise when tethered to a slow moving human?

Dogs have been man's best friend for millenia. But, the new environment of fear is making children scared of dogs. It upsets me when children shy away from me when I'm playing at the park.

But, I don't like children who pull on my ears or tail, either. That hurts. People need to teach their children how to take good care of their dogs so we dogs can be the loyal companions that earned us that "best friend" reputation.

2008 Presidential Candidates NOT Pandering To Dogs

There are 73 million dogs living in 50 million homes in the U.S. So, why aren't ANY of the Presidential candidates talking about important dog issues? Where's the promise of a dog bone in every bowl or doggy doors added to the Uniform Building Code? What about bigger and better dog parks with clean, running water and real shade trees? Better pay and more time off for working dogs? Hazardous duty pay for dogs like me?

The United States President is the ultimate leader of our pack. It's the duty and obligation of every American dog to insist that these issues are addressed in the campaign rhetoric. If we have to nip at the candidates' heels, or bite the hands that feed us, then that's our patriotic duty. What dog doesn't like pork so politics should be right up our alley!

Bear Invades My Territory!

Every summer, we spend a week at our cabin in Shaver Lake. I love to chase squirrels and lizards and roll in the manzanita. This year, for the first time ever, we had an intruder! Fortunately, I wasn't around when this bear showed up. I don't know what I would have done.... barked, or turned tail and run. But, I'll be on high alert next summer!

Summer Vacation With My Family

During the summer, my family and I spend time at our cabin at Shaver Lake. We like to hang out on the deck when we're not boating, swimming, or hiking. I can't be sure but I think my family tries to wear us dogs out. They keep us so busy, it takes us several days to recover when we get home.

First Birthday Party

I was born on March 11, 2001. Don't tell because they don't allow bloggers who are under 13 years old. Maybe will understand, though, 6 dog years is 42 in people years. Anyway, I had a wonderful first birthday party. After blowing out a candle, I wolfed down an entire can of lamb and rice dog food. Yumm....

Ripley Goes Online

Today, I decided to start sharing my life as a dog online. I'm a 6-year-old McNab. If you haven't heard of McNabs before, it's a relatively new breed. A little more than 100 years ago, John McNab crossed Queensland Healers with Border Collies. He wanted dogs that were better suited to herding cows and horses in the California foothills. So, like my ancestors, I have shorter hair. And, I herd by jumping up and nipping a cow's nose rather than nipping at its heels. That's how I get the cow moving without getting myself kicked.

My people named me Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver in Alien. At the time, they didn't know that I was a shy dog, with nowhere near the level of courage the real Ripley had. They love me anyway and I've overcome a lot of my early puppyhood fears.

As it is with dogs, I don't care much about looks. But, I'm told my long fluffy tail is one of my best features. It's also been said I have a very long tongue that offsets my tail. Who knows?

I've got a lot of stories to tell but those will have to come later. Right now, it's time to patrol the neighborhood and keep the streets safe on my daily walk.

Monday, December 10, 2007

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