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.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dog Bless American

Proud to be an American, born and bred Boxer

I kicked off my Fourth of July Holiday by traveling south of the Mason Dixon line to West Friendship, MD, to compete in the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club dog show.

The ceremony began with a lovely, live performance of the National Anthem which sent chills up my spine. From my snoot to my toot, I stood at full attention. During my routine in the ring, I kept my stub completely erect, giving the judge the ol' one tail salute, indicating that I am confident and ready to kick some boxer butt.

Although I only took second place in my class, Grammy Lee was very pleased, as were M & D. And while a blue ribbon for the fridge would have been nicer, I achieved my goal of bringing home a second-place red, in keeping with the holiday theme. Before you know it, I'll be on Katandy's Rising Stars Web page. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. I am listed there!
After the show party highlights