Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Newmanic (Mnemonic) Device

Not that I'm going to poll the audience. However, if I did, I'm sure that my research results would reveal that many of you, like my Dad, suffer from age-related CRS syndrome? Can't Remember Shit.

Although countless hours of research have been conducted on ways to counteract the debilitating disease, no real antidote is presently available on the market - black, stock, or otherwise.

Dad's remedy, like many other sufferers, is the infamous Post-it. He has Post-its sticking here. Post-its sticking there. Post-its sticking everywhere. Post-its that read "Change underwear!" Ok, that's a lie, but it rhymed.

Long before the invention of the Post-it, people used a form of memory aid called the mnemonic device to remember something, especially lists. Based on the principle that the human mind can more easily remember spatial, personal, sexual or humorous information than arbitrary sequences, mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered.

Common examples of mnemonic devices include:
  • Our good friend, Roy G. Biv, to help remember the colors of the spectrum - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

  • Roger, my brother's call name, has been used in radio communications to mean - Received Order Given, Expect Results.
Roger: Being French, I am often confused by constructs of the English language. For example, I can never remember the sequence of the two vowels "i" and "e."

Newman: Ironic that you bring up that topic, Bro. I use this "Newmanic" device to help me with spelling:
  • "I" before "e," except after "c," or in sounding like "ay" as in "neighbor" or "weigh."

Newman: See how that works?

Roger: Oui, oui!

Newman: Good. Here's another one:

  • Red sky in morning, sailors take warning; Red sky at night, sailors delight.
Newman: Know what that phrase means?

Roger: Mad in the morning when the alarm goes off and happy at night when it's time to hit the sack again?

After that recent incident with the medicated Gold Bond cream, I'd prefer that you refrain from using the word "sack." Back to the issue at hand, although your answer was not a bad one, the phrase actually refers to the weather. Red sky in morning means bad weather is coming. Red sky at night means a beautiful day is on its way.

Roger: Thanks for the lesson, Bro. Since you've designated me as caddie for your show career, a job that I take very seriously, I decided to think of a mnemonic device to help me memorize what to pack for the road. Seeing how we accumulated a lot of gift cards this holiday season, I decided to use the term "Gift Card" to help me remember a lot of the important stuff to have on hand.
  • Grooming Bag
  • Identification
  • First-aid Kit
  • Towels
  • Crate
  • AKC Registration Papers
  • RedBarn Bait
  • Dog (can't compete without a dog)
Newman: Good job, Rog. You're a quick study. Maybe you do have a brain in that over sized head of yours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Year End Review

With all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday, I've barely had time to breathe let alone blog. Although I am a “newbie” in penning these end-of-the-year newsletters, I am trying to carry on the custom of my late sister. (Dog rest her soul!)

After the passing of Beulah Ruth in February, M&D sought long and hard to find a fawn, female boxer to win over their hearts. Three days after BR’s passing, they found exactly what they were looking for — me — a flashy, brindle boy!

From the minute I met M&D, I knew I had a tough row to hoe. Sure, most parents carry at least one photo of their kid with them, but these clowns showed up for their prospective parent interview with a calendar that featured Beulah on every month of the year. Now I'm thinking, "Who are these lunatics? Sure, I would love to find a home where I would be Top Dog, but I could just as easily be content staying here with Grammy Lee and the rest of the Gang."

Having her paws full with running “All for the Pet” and showing boxers year-round, Grammy Lee decided to take a chance on the two fruitcakes who I now call Mom and Dad. So, on February 23, 2008, I officially became Newman Knowlton. Imagine the weight on my shoulders knowing that I was going to have to live my life in the shadow of this famed fawn, female boxer. I have stripes and a penis for crying out loud! Ain’t nobody, unless they are completely blind, going to mistake me for a fawn female.

So after traveling two hours from Severna Park, MD, in a Chevy S10 pickup truck lacking all the amenities of the luxurious motor home that I’d grown accustomed to traveling in, I arrived in Brushtown, PA, the place I now call home. Once I entered the house and saw the many pictures of BR having fun at the beach and tail gaiting at Penn State football games, I realized that I had hit the jackpot and life was going to be good, provided I met one condition— learning to wear ridiculous costumes and posing for a portrait to memorialize the moment.

Being that I inherited my Dad’s good looks and charismatic nature, it was suggested that I take a run at show biz before making the ultimate decision to retire a certain dangling participle that is near and dear to my heart. So besides being able to keep “my boys,” I have had the additional bonus of getting to “hang out” with Grammy Lee and the Gang on the show circuit. Although I’ve yet to garner a point, I’m keeping my head high because I’m still a baby.

Speaking of babies, one August afternoon after a show, Grammy Lee mentioned that she needed to find a home for a French Bulldog. On the ride home, Dad asked me if I wanted a little, older brother to which I replied, “Roger that!”

So the next day, just as quickly as I had become a Knowlton pup, so did Roger. Since the addition of the little Frenchman, we’ve all been brushing up on our French to make him feel at home. Dad’s favorite phrase is “Excuse moi, Monsieur Roger, where in the #@%# do you think you’re going? Venez, non!” English interpretation — get those short, stubby legs moving now!

Knowing that I had mighty big shoes to fill, I realized that I had to do something “new” in hopes of generating my own fan club. So, being the computer savvy pup that I am, I created this blog to chronicle my adventures and share with the world. Since its inception in March, I’ve have 4,314 hits from 33 different countries.

Happy Howl-i-days and best wishes for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Red Bag of Courage - Warning "R" Rated

It started out as an ordinary evening on the couch. Roger was lying upside down in between the safety of Dad's legs. I, on the other hand, was lying upside down between M & D with my under carriage fully exposed, including the "nut sack."

Being the attentive parent that she is, Mom noticed that I had developed a pink rash on the inside of my thighs caused by the friction of my "Sacky Joe" rubbing against them.

Deciding that she has to somehow treat me for this horrible affliction, which isn't bothering me but an occasional lick or two, Mom goes to her handy first-aid kit and returns with a fresh tube of good ol' medicated Gold Bond. After applying a healthy portion to the inside of my thighs, the ride of my life began!

I remember the moment vividly. I'm penned in the stall. An invisible rider jumps on my back and secures a good grip on flat braided rope. Then comes the cinching of the flank strap. The gate on the bucking chute opens and I storm out into the arena. Knowing that the imaginary rider has to stay mounted for at least eight seconds to qualify, I literally go "ball-istic" trying to throw the rider off!

Then out comes rodeo clown, Rodger the Dodger, who adds more fun to the excitement. Not only does it feel like my "down unders" are on fire (aka the "Red Bag of Courage"), I now have to contend with this menacing little joker who finds great amusement biting my ankles as well as other sensitive dangling body "participles."

While I am no forensic scientist, my best guess is that the tube of Gold Bond must have been laced with Jalapeno peppers. One thing is for certain, I can relate to the phrase "Fire on the mountain, run boys run!"

Although the entire incident lasted only seconds before Mom broke out the baby wipes and cleaned "the boys" off, it felt like an eternity at the time. You can only imagine how "nuts" the situation truly was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Roger and Newman discuss "thanks"

Roger: Well, establishing a colony of Frenchies in Brushtown would be nice. But seeing how you are of German descent and we live in the heart of Amish country, also known for boxer puppy mills, I don't see that happening any time soon, which is a good thing.

Let's see. If I had those short, meaty legs of yours, I'd definitely be thankful that I didn't end up on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

True. But what I am fur-ever grateful for is Grammy Lee finding me my forever home with you, Mom, and Dad.

Yeah. I know what you mean, Pilgrim. Besides the ridiculous outfits that we have to wear, life doesn't get any better!

Oh Great Newmie, can you enlighten me as to the meaning of this holiday in the Knowlton family?

You know, Pilgrim, I'm not sure since this is my first Thanksgiving with M&D, too.

Since we recently started a grain free diet, I'm hoping and praying that it involves that 23 pound turkey that I've heard mentioned.

Me, too. I don't want to get your hopes up, but I think this "Day of Thanks" of which we speak might have potential to surpass your birthday celebration. Just last night, I heard Mom exclaim, "Good Gravy, Steve, have you lost your mind?" so I'm thinking that gravy might also be on the menu.

I hope you speak the truth, because I love gravy. In any event, let's take this moment to give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

Agreed. That's the most thoughtful and insightful thing I've heard you say. What do you say "we bury the hatchet" over me stealing and gutting your birthday presents within minutes of receiving them?

As long as I am still on target for turkey and gravy tomorrow, I honestly don't care that you ate that tasteless, stuffed octopus that Aunt Janice and Aunt Lisa bought me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bro!

Today my little, older brother Roger turned two years old. Joyeux Anniversaire, Monsieur Roger - or Happy Birthday, Mr. Roger, in your native tongue!

Rog did such a bang-up job planning my first birthday party in the Outer Barks that I am fearful of his expectations. Although I don't have as exotic of a venue to work with, I plan to make up for it with cool games like Bobbing for Weenies, Pin the Tail on the Piglet, and Spin the Kong.

One only needs to venture a guess as to why the following GEICO
commercial with Verne Troyer reminds me of Rog:

a) his pint-size stature
b) he's silly looking
c) it's his birthday
d) all of the above

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We support our Troops and honor our Vets!

We support our Troops and honor our Vets!

Newman: Do you know what day today is, Rog?

Roger: Could it be Veterans Day?

Newman: Bingo, maybe you're not as dumb as you look.

Roger: By the way, Sarge, Bingo is not my name-o! So does Vets Day mean that we have to go to the vet for a check up?

Newman: Negative, dingbat-pig. Veterans Day is an American holiday to honor the millions of military veterans in the United States usually observed on November 11. In other parts of the world, it is also celebrated as Armistice Day because it falls on the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

Roger: So it's a day to honor vets who are not our primary care physicians?

Newman: Affirmative.
As hard as it is to believe, Roger and I did not meet the stringent qualifications when we tried to enlist. While I passed all the physical tests with flying colors (Red, White, and Blue), the recruiter discovered that I was not of age to join.

Roger was disqualified immediately for being vertically challenged. Even by including his exceptionally large bat ears in the measurement, he still could not meet the height requirement because of the deficit created by his little legs.

"Freedom is not free!" In addition to honoring our vets, I think that we should take a moment to thank all the soldiers, like Andrew Gage, who are currently fighting for our country. While they courageously look out for the safety of our great nation, we diligently look out and pray for their safe return.

Roger (and Newman in tank) on Look Out

If you have a special soldier or Vet you'd like to thank, drop me a line at newmanontheblock@gmail.com and I'll happily post your message.

Soldier of the DayAndrew Gage is an E2 serving in the Airborne Division at Fort Drum.
He is currently stationed in Iraq with his tour to end in November 2009.

On behalf of boxers Blush and Torch, I'd like to personally say, "Thank you, Uncle Andrew!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Know what's real S-C-A-R-Y?

Newman: Ok, Pumpkin head, I'll take the bait. Enlighten me as to what is scarier than I am.

Roger: Well, for starters Scary Movie is scary!

Newman: Duh!

Roger: And then there's the melt down on Wall Street.

Sure, but we're young enough that we can ride that out. I just hope our 529 Educational Funds don't tank so that we can afford the first-rate education at
Penn State Law that we deserve.

Roger: Do you know what else is scary, Dude?

Newman: No, enlighten me, O wise one.

Roger: All too often we take things in life for granted – like expecting blood to be available for us when we most desperately need it. Eventually, there will be a time when you or a loved one are faced with needing blood. And, with Howl-o-ween upon us, the possibily of a vampire draining our blood in the middle of the night is greater than any other time of the year.

Newman: Hey, Bat-Pig, I know it's Howl-o-ween, and you are a distant relative of the blood-sucking vampire. But, what are you trying to do? Scare the daylights out of everyone!

Roger: No. All I'm saying is that there is nothing scarier than a shortage of blood! Whether it be human or canine. And, we can do our part by helping our friend Wyatt become the blood donor SpokesDog for America that he aspires to be.

Newman: We beg of you to help put Wyatt's "mug" on the cover of a Milk-Bone box to relay the message of how important it is to donate blood, both human and canine.

Please take a minute to visit Milk-Bone.com and vote for Wyatt to help him carry out his mission to become Milk-Bone's SpokesDog for America.

Wyatt's Mission to Save Lives!

Wyatt and his Mom, Dr. Jacqueline

My name is Wyatt, and I have been chosen from thousands of dogs as one of the Final 100 Dogs who will ultimately become the Milk-Bone Spokesdog!

My mom, Dr. Jacqueline, is a veterinarian and I help her save other dogs' lives by donating blood every 7 weeks at the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank. Becoming the SpokesDog for Milk-Bone will allow me to spread the word to millions of dogs about the importance of donating blood!

Just like people, animals need life-sustaining blood and plasma transfusions in emergencies. Lots of pets and their people don’t even know that they can donate blood to help other pets in need.

In order to fulfill my dream of spreading the word as far as possible, I need to become the Milk-Bone SpokesDog. And, the only way I can do that is with help from YOU! Please vote for me, Wyatt, every day from now until November 18 by visiting Milk-Bone.com.

I hope that you will not only vote for me, but that you will share my undertaking with your friends so that my message to GIVE BLOOD reaches far and wide.

For more information about canine blood donations visit the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank.

Thank you from the bottom of my blood-pumping heart!

I’m Wyatt and I approve this message.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sexy at 60!

Guess who's 60 and still sexy?
Is it Scooby #1, Scooby #2, Scooby #3, or Scooby #4?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sick as a dog

As many of you know, earlier this month some kind of bug bit me in the butt - most likely a tick - and knocked my socks off. Ok, I did not literally lose my socks, but I was "sick as a dog."

At first Mom thought that I might have been suffering from a case of nerves since I was supposed to compete in a big dog show that weekend. Granted, it wasn't Westminster but there were 80 boxers registered to compete, including my sister Marla, my half-sister Samantha, and my Aunt Kandi.

After 24 hours of lying around the house listless and showing no interest in eating let alone chasing my bat-pig brother, M&D agreed that I needed to pay a visit to the doctor. So, rather than getting all buffed up for the show, we headed to the vet to be poked and prodded which revealed that I was running a fever and had the start of an infection.

After receiving fluids, antibiotics, and an inflammatory injection, I felt much better in a couple of hours. However, Mom, Dad, and Grammy Lee all agreed that it was best for me to stay home and recuperate. After all, I'm still a baby and have the rest of my life to compete.

In any event, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say "Thanks" to everyone for their prayers and "Get Well" wishes! I'm sure that they played a much bigger part in my speedy recovery than Roger's dim-witted idea of chanting spells with Dodger, his evil identical twin brother, to ward off any wicked spirits that may have inhabited my soul.

Roger and his evil twin brother, Dodger

In return for your consideration, I'd like to share some photos submitted by my faithful followers to help lift my spirits. Thanks again and enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Feel Your Boobies - Are you doing it?

Although Dad doesn't normally pay much attention to the clothes that Mom purchases, he did show an overwhelming interest in the new "Feel Your Boobies" T-shirt and literature that arrived in the mail last week. Mom had to explain that it wasn't an open invitation for Dad to feel her breasts, but rather an effort to spread the word that early detection of breast cancer helps to save lives.

Each year, Feel Your Boobies hosts National Feel Your Boobies® Week in October as a way to help celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The current campaign, “Are You Doing It?”® aims to remind young women about the importance of “feeling your boobies” to get in touch with what is normal for you. This year, National Feel Your Boobies Week is October 10-17, 2008.

Roger and I beg of you to help spread the word and make Boobies bigger by getting involved in the campaign! Please visit feelyourboobies.com to find out more about the effort.

Real men wear pink!

Did you know that?

  • Breast cancer is the second most deadly cancer among women (behind lung cancer)

  • One out of eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime

  • Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is considered rare

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Still no pot to piss in

So today we did something that we vowed we'd never do again - visit Pottstown, PA. You still can't find a pot to piss in, so thankfully Rog and I don't need one. However, we did christen many of the trees bursting with fall foliage in Warwick County Park where the annual Eastern Boxer Club Match Show was held.

Unfortunately, there were only three boxers, including myself, who registered for the event. Through no fault of my own, I got my butt handed to me by Tess, a very cute, 22-month old brindle bitch. And, I do mean bitch! With my own eyes, I saw her put an almost 80-pound boxer boy named Ben in his place when he tried sniffing her butt.

Tess gets a congratulatory hug from her dad

The event concluded with a wonderful picnic luncheon sponsored by Eastern Boxer Club, during which time I got to speak to many people including my Uncle Tony & Aunt Mary Louwerse and Aunt Cathy Sylvester, who told me what Mom tells me every day - that I am a beautiful boxer, but I'm still a baby who needs to fill out before I take the ring by storm.

I also had a one-on-one chat with the judge who told me point blank that my biggest fault today was my handler, Daddy Dawg. He must have had NASCAR on the brain and thought it was a race around the ring because at one point the judge asked him to slow down so that I wasn't just a brindle blur. Thank Dog Grammy Lee will be handling me next weekend at the Potomac Boxer Club Fall 2008 Sweepstakes and Specialty where there are 80 boxers registered to compete.

Quite frankly, we were all lucky to come out of the day unscathed because of the black walnuts that were pummeling the picnic area. I had to reassure my little bro' Rog who kept crying, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" that the world was not coming to an end. It makes you wonder about the wiring between those bat ears of his.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shop 'til you drop

Looking for a special gift for that boxer lover in your life? Want to avoid the crowds and get your holiday shopping off to an early start? Then plan to visit BoxerHaus.com this Sunday for the ultimate Boxer shopping experience and help to raise money for Boxers looking for loving, fur-ever homes at Adopt a Boxer Rescue (AABR).

Beginning at midnight on Sunday, October 5, 2008, BoxerHaus will donate 10% of all sales for the day to AABR. Simply grab your seat, scoot up to the computer (credit card in hand, of course), and enjoy browsing through all the fun boxer items. But, don't forget to put a few in your shopping cart.

With more than 250 boxer items available for purchase, BoxerHaus is sure to have the perfect gift for that crazy boxer lover in your life. After all, anyone who's ever gotten to know our breed falls in love with us. What can I say? Our lip appeal is infectious!

Seriously though, what's shopping without picking up a little something for yourself? After all, somebody needs to boost the economy and you deserve it! So, what better way to do so than by getting yourself a little pick-me-up while helping boxers in need?

Remember that with every purchase you make throughout the day on Sunday, October 5, you are supporting Boxer Rescue. And as an extra bonus, all orders totaling more than $150 always receive free shipping!

Thank you, Aunt Beth Downey, for your generous and continuing support of Boxer Rescue. I can't wait to give you a big, sloppy Boxer kiss when I see you next for your generosity!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm gonna soak up the sun

Most of our days on vacation, Roger and I lived by the lyrics of Sheryl Crow's 2002 hit, "Gonna Soak Up the Sun." However, long gone are the days of lying on the beach in the warm sun without a care in the world. As you can see, Rog and I have struggled to find a place to catch rays at home. Although quickly waning with the onset of fall, we did manage to find a tiny spot in our dining room to share.

Bad weather at the beach is better than wonderful weather at work. During the two days of wind and rain, Roger and I passed the time by learning some essential homemaking skills. Mom says that at the very least, a well-rounded man needs to know the basics of cooking, computing, and child rearing.

Cooking - Lesson 101

We did so well with our culinary course that at the end of the evening, we were both knighted "Weber Grill Masters," a longstanding tradition in the Knowlton Family.

Computing - Lesson 101

Whether you use an elaborate software program, an old-fashioned calculator, or an ancient abacus, another fundamental life skill is being able to balance a checkbook. As you can see, Roger got caught asleep at the wheel and failed this exercise miserably.

Actually, I think Rog got tired of crunching numbers and decided to check out potential prospects on eHarmony. After all, he took it pretty hard when his little lady friend Stella left without giving him her contact information - the heartbreaking end of summer love.

Child Rearing - Lesson 101

Since I'm the only intact male in the family, including Dad, with the potential to reproduce, I was designated official diaper duty and honed my skills using Rog as a guinea bat-pig-baby.

After singing his favorite lullaby, "Rock-a-Bye Bat-Pig," to him, I put Rog down for his afternoon nap.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to never put a bag over your head - no matter what the circumstances.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Premature E-postulation

Having turned one-year old last week, it seems as though I am entering a new stage of life. During vacation, I heard Mom exclaim, "OMG, he's ambidextrous! He's not just lifting his right leg but also his left one and christening anything and everything in sight, including bushes, fire hydrants, and even his little brother when he's under the gun, so to speak."

I also overheard M & D discussing my blog posting yesterday. The conversation went something like this:

Dad: Well, it looks likes Newman experienced a definite case of premature e-postulation, today.

Mom: Oh, no. What happened?

Dad: He published the "Double Trouble" post before adding the callout balloons.

Mom: Not a grave error, but hopefully one that he can avoid in the future. I know what a perfectionist he is and how hard he tries to keep his fans up-to-date with cutting-edge news and photos. He'll probably lie awake tonight in bed beating himself up over it.

Dad: Don't worry. I'll talk with him tonight and tell him to not sweat the small stuff. I'll also reassure him that premature e-postulation is a natural response that happens to a lot of adolescent bloggers.

Mom: Thanks. I'm sure we'll all sleep better tonight.

After getting some technical help from my IT Department, I added a few comments to yesterday's photos. So if you haven't seen the captions, you might want to revisit the "Double Trouble" posting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Double Trouble

Don't you just love parents who think it's cute to dress their kids alike even though they aren't twins? Believe me, it's anything but attractive when you're sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away and you have a bat-eared, pig-dog sitting beside you wearing the exact same duds. Not cool, I tell you.

The sailor suits must be a family thing because my late Grammy Knowlton dressed Dad and Uncle Mike in them, too. At least they are twins!

Being the trend-setting clotheshorse that I am, I have to contend with all the wanna-bee fashion bugs trying to copy my wardrobe. Take for instance, this nasty little Frenchman who purposely positioned himself beside me on the beach sporting the exact same OBK-9 scarf and replica pair of Tommy Holedigger swimming trunks. What's a guy to do when trying to charm the chicks and has to compete with such charlatans?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember 9/11

Roger and I beg of you to observe a moment of silence today in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 innocent people who died on September 11, 2001, during the attacks on our country.

Although we were yet to be born when the assault occurred, M & D have told us stories about how horrible it was. Ironically, they happened to be vacationing in the Outer Barks with our late sister Beulah and remember the day vividly.

Daddy Dog says this of that horrendous day, "What I remember most, besides the actual attacks, was how beautiful the weather was. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and although not in the mood to go to the beach, I gave in to Beulah's plea to go for a walk and get away from the dreadful scenes on the TV.

"What we encountered was not a single soul sitting on the beach relaxing. It wasn't a day for relaxing. It was a day of sadness and mourning. A day that will never be forgotten."
Roger and I plan to proudly display our American flag bandannas today to help raise awareness of Patriot Day. We hope that you will do the same. And remember, flags should be flown at half-staff.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

They say it's your birthday. It's my birthday too, yeah!

After spending the afternoon lounging by the pool, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my little older brother Roger had been planning a small birthday celebration in honor of my first birthday. Thanks, Rog. You did a bang up job. The Scooby Doo party hats were definitely a nice touch as indicated by the look on Mom's face. Perhaps that's why Dad offered to serve as cameraman for a change.

Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish my litter mates, Punchy, Jessie, Juniper, and Marla, a Happy Birthday, too! As you can see, Punchy partied 'til she was pooped.

And Juni, enjoyed her cake after a romp on the beach with her best friend, Nola.

.S. - Jess and Marla - If either of you girls follow my blog, I'd love to see some updated pictures of you. Please send them to Newmanontheblock@gmail.com.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ruff Surf

Just hours after Tropical Storm Hanna ripped through the Outer Barks, NC, weatherdogs Newman on the Block and his faithful sidekick Roger the Dodger headed to the beach to assess the damage. As you can see from the following video, play on the beach was more than a little "ruff."

Life's still a beach

Roger and I are into our second week of vacation at the beach. We're really starting to get into the groove and could very easily get accustomed to this lifestyle. Perhaps Rog and I could start our own reality TV show and call it Lifestyles of the Not so Rich and Famous or Mister Rodgers' Neighborhood - no wait, I think we might infringe on some copyrighted material with that last title.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Grandparents Day

Did you know that today is Grandparents Day? The brainchild of West Virginian natives Marian and Joe McQuade, Grandparents Day was first proclaimed a national holiday in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the bill into law designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as national Grandparents Day.

While some cynics might view Grandparents Day as just another money-maker for the card companies, many passionate pups like Rog and me choose to celebrate the occasion with cards and calls to our loved ones. If you haven’t done so already, we urge you to take this opportunity to do the same.

The sun rises and sets with grandparents

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Night Yappy Hour

What's a pup to do in the Outer Barks on a Friday afternoon while waiting for Hurricane Hanna to roll in besides watch Jim Cantore yammer on about the severe conditions on the Weather Channel? Host a Yappy Hour!

It just so happens that my fuzzy cuzzins, Hannah and Cooter, some of the biggest yappers in the world, were also vacationing in the OBX less than five miles from Rog and me. So, we picked up the phone and invited them over for drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Whether it was out of familial obligation or just plain boredom, Hannah and Cooter gladly accepted the invite and very graciously partook of the complimentary munchies provided by the Lobster Lounge which included wedges of beef flavored RedBarn, chunks of cheddar cheese, and yummy yogurt drops artistically arranged in a smiling sun-shaped face.

Although Yappy Hour is an excellent time to meet new friends, unlike Rog who met a cute little French bitch named Stella, I have yet to encounter any bitches to my liking. However, I have a feeling that if I am lucky enough to ever get any tail, I will have very little say in that matter because it will be one of those prearranged deals - a very small price to pay for being able to keep the family jewels.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Life's a Beach

Roger and I spent our first day on the sandy beach of Corolla, NC, yesterday. Lots of cool stuff to check out. Roger is particularly interested in catching ghost crabs. He's yet to catch one, but that doesn't damper his determination.

Roger on full ghost crab alert

As you know, swimming is not really my forte, so what's a guy gonna do on the beach besides "bitch" watch? Bury his little older brother in the sand!

I'm gonna kill someone when I get outta here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Roger That

As most of you know, Mom is a shop-a-saurus when it comes to the pet department. One thing that she hasn't been able to find, however, is a stuffed toy that I can't disembowl. Believe me, she's tried them all, including the virtually indestructible ones by Go Dog and Coleman, which really aren't much of a challenge.

First, I very methodically remove the grunter. Then, I rip every last piece of stuffing out of 'em. I rather pride myself in having been able to silence each and every last beast with which I've come into contact. That was until this past Monday when I think I might've finally met my match.

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my new little brother, Roger, a 21-month old French Bulldog.

I keep trying to find the seams to get a good start on skinning him, but so far, to no avail. Furthermore, I can't find his grunter. It must really be hidden deep within the confines of the little bat-eared beast. I think that we might finally get our money out of this one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take your money to the bank

Even though I won my first blue ribbon at the Talbot County (MD) Kennel Club show this past weekend, I didn't earn any points. Mom, Dad, and I still had a really great time cheering on my relatives, Blush, Jackson, and Frankie, who took Best in Breed two days consecutively. Not that I'm a betting man, but if I were, I'd put my money on Frank, because you can take your money to the bank of the Chesapeake Bay when my Uncle Frank is in the ring.

After Frank's Best of Breed win on Saturday, Dad's hands were once again called into action to showcase his purple and gold ribbon.

Frank takes a chill pill after his win on Saturday

Highlights from the Talbot County Kennel Club Show

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm a handful

Just checked into the Tide Water Inn in historic downtown Easton, MD. So far I give it four paws up. There was a fresh bowl of H2O outside waiting for me when I arrived. And, they provided me with a "Paws Off - Pet on Vacation" sign for my door so I'm not disturbed during my afternoon beauty nap. I am particularly enjoying the ultra-comfortable down bedding. However since there are only two queen beds in the room, I guess that M & D are going to have to share one because no one is cramping this pampered pup's paw space.

If you read my last post, you know "hail" famous my Dad's hands are. However, I never imagined that he would have received a "hand job" so quickly after arriving in Easton, MD.

As you can see, I needed a helping hand from Dad because my first trip over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge took the wind out of my sails and rendered me incapable of holding up my head.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Puparazzi catches chilling storm on film

Although the start of yesterday promised to be an outstanding day of sun and fun at my favorite state park, the day literally went to "hail" in a handbag. At approximately 2 p.m. when the clouds started to roll in and thunder rumbled from above, Mom, Dad & I decided that it was time to beat feet and head out before getting soaked.

Ignoring the ominous black clouds to the west, we set out on Gullibles Travels and moved on to our next destination, Long Pine Dam and Lake, for some much needed swimming lessons. As we crossed from Cumberland County into Franklin County, we had quite a chilling experience when the temperature dropped from approximately 75 to 45 degrees, and we were pummeled with almost two inches of hail during the course of ten minutes.

Being the up-and-coming Puparazzo that I am, I had my trusty Jazz Elite Hi-Def video camera in my hip pocket and caught the following on film which was submitted to our local news stations. Much to my delight, I awoke this morning to find that both the ABC and NBC affiliates decided to air the photo of my Pop's paws presenting a pile of precipitation. Thank Dog he had just filed his nails.

Since the film's air this morning, the phone hasn't stopped ringing from hand modeling agencies and tabloids begging for more phenomenal photos. Although I doubt that anyone will be able to portray Pop's paws as perfectly as I, we are happily accepting offers from respectable hand modeling agents because his part-time job as Library Dawg is never gonna make us rich.

Although the award-winning weather photos are definitely a nice resume builder, I'm not sure how much more mileage I'll get out of them. My next leg of weather watchin' will take place in a couple of weeks in the Outer Barks, NC. While I hope to avoid seeing the Weather Channel's notorious storm-chasing meteorologist Jim Cantore, in the unfortunate circumstance that it were to happen, I will gladly exchange weather "tails" with him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Aw shucks!

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth. It's just that I've been busy entertaining family that was visiting from Savannah.

In any event, many of you football fans, like me, are looking forward to another season of fun-filled college football. While I will be packing on the evening of August 29 for my upcoming trip to the Outer Barks, NC, the Nittany Lions will launch the season with activities on Penn State Football Eve beginning at 6 p.m. outside Beaver Stadium. Keep in mind, it's never too early for a tailgate.

With M & D both working at Penn State, we bleed blue and white in the Knowlton household. Don't get me wrong, I know from where my meal ticket comes. But if Joe Pa and his legendary Nittany Lions can't come any closer to winning the National Championship in 2008 than they did last year, I am seriously considering "shucking" my Blue & White jersey, packing my bags, and heading west to try out for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

While many of you might find my decision to possibly leave the Lions a bit characteristic of a turncoat, I must take my talent where it leads me. With sweet corn being in season in right now, my personal trainer, Hymie the husking house husband, and I have been honing our husking skills practically every day. After all as a member of the canine species, I would only be "lion" to myself if I thought I had more innate talent impersonating a feline than being a corn husker.

Personal trainer and junior husker hone husking skills

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Name Game

All expectant parents are faced with the name game dilemma at some point before the arrival of their bouncing bundle of joy.

  • What are we going to name junior? Or perhaps even more contentious, will he be a junior? After all, who needs two people in the same household with the same name?

  • Will the initial letters spell out some horrible word that kids will use to torment him on the playground? Take Alex Samuel Smith, for example.

  • What would the name be spelled backwards? Case in point, Lana.

Expecting to bring home a little girl, I was supposed to be Thelma Lou. Finally, on the eve before my arrival, M & D agreed upon "Newman," derived from Old English meaning "newcomer."

With Mom being one of the biggest Seinfeld fans in the world, she finds the name doubly appropriate - especially when she catches me tramping through her flower beds, plucking whatever plant happens to tickle my fancy at the time. With nostrils flared, lip up-turned in disgust, and teeth clamped together, she mutters "Newman" just like Jerry does after he discovers that his archenemy, Newman, is responsible for something bad that happens in the show.

Enough about the history of how I got my name. What I really need your assistance with is helping my 9-week-old friend, Peanut, decide what her nickname should be. Her sophisticated name is Amity Hall’s Ticket to Vegas, but obviously that's too long for everyday purposes. Just imagine her mom calling out "Amity Hall’s Ticket to Vegas, NO!!!"

Dear Newman -

My name is Peanut. I was named Peanut 'cuz I was the runt of my litter. I was so small and cute that my mom thought Peanut was a good name for me. But now I am turning 9 weeks old and I need a big girl name. My fancy name is Amity Hall’s Ticket to Vegas. My mom has narrowed down the choices to call me either “Nevada” or “Vegas.” But, I just can’t make up my mind! What's a girl gonna do? Could you please run a poll on your blog to help me decide? Thanx a bunch, big guy!

Love - Peanut (for now)

What should my new name be?
Please cast your vote now!

(Poll located at the top right of your screen)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Remembering Ruth

From the minute I met M & D, I knew that I was going to have a tough row to hoe. Sure, most parents carry at least one photo of their kid with them, but these clowns showed up for their prospective parent interview with a calendar that featured Beulah Ruth on every month of the year!

During the course of their interview with Grammy Lee and me, I find out that the famed Beulah Ruth calendar has quite a long history behind it - one having been produced for each year of her life.

Now I'm thinking, "Who are these lunatics? Sure, I would love to find a home where I would be spoiled rotten as Top Dog, but I could just as easily be content staying here with Grammy Lee and all the other dogs."

Having her paws full with running All for the Pet and showing boxers like my uncle Frankie, who recently finished his championship at the American Boxer Club National Specialty taking Winners Dog and Best of Winners, Grammy Lee decided to take a chance on the two fruitcakes who I now call Mom and Dad.

Seeing tears well up in my eyes, Grammy Lee took me aside and reassured me that Tony Louwerse had given the Knowltons a glowing reference. For further consolation, she whispered in my ear that she had slipped a prepaid cell phone card in my "going home folder" in case I ever needed to call for help.

So on February 23, 2008, I officially became Newman Knowlton. Imagine the weight on my shoulders knowing that I was going to have to live my life in the shadow of this famed Boxer that they called Beulah Ruth.

For those of you, like me, who never had the pleasure of knowing Beulah Ruth, Mom put together this show, "Remembering Ruth." Kick back and enjoy the show!

For full-size slideshow, scroll to bottom of page.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Brush with the Law

Even though our vacation in the Outer Barks, NC, is more than a month away, it's never too early to start working on a good base tan so as to not come off the beach looking like a lobster. Don't get me wrong, M & D love lobster. But eating one and looking like one are two completely different stories.

There are state parks in 61 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, which nearly reaches Pennsylvania's goal of having a state park within 25 miles of every resident in the Commonwealth. So finding a quiet place to kick back and soak up some sun is relatively easy for a PA resident like myself. With the price of gas, fortunately we live less than five miles away from Pine Grove Furnace State Park where we can do just that. In addition to swimming, camping, and hiking, the park is also a good place for me to practice my free stack. Heck, they even have a sign indicating such.

Newman practices his free stack

Free stack - A pose taken by the dog, usually at the end of a gaiting pattern.

After taking a short stroll on the Appalachian Trail, part of which runs through the park, Dad and I had worked up quite a sweat. And, even though Dad was probably thinking, "Let's blow this popsicle joint and get home so that I can have an ice cold beer," he gave into my plea to take a quick dip in the lake so that I could cool off and practice my Boxer breaststroke - a newly sanctioned swimming event for the upcoming Olympics.

Newman illustrates the Boxer Breaststroke

As the video clip illustrates, I definitely need some more work on my breaststroke before the Olympics in Beijing. Not at all pleased with my breaststroke display, Mom ran out and bought me a life jacket to wear until I can prove, to her satisfaction, that I am not a sinker.

Well, it turns out that the life jacket was so big that it practically swallowed me and had to be returned. Thank Dog! So, rather than have Mom worry about me drowning, I've decided to bag the breaststroke competition and concentrate on perfecting my Doggie Paddle.

At the end of my practice session, Dad and I got busted by Ranger Rick, who politely informed us that dogs are not allowed in the main swimming area of the lake. So, it looks like there will be a change of venue for my practice sessions. Details to follow.