September 30, 2005

"beagle and something, possibly a rottweiler"

a friend of mine adopted a very pregnant, very un-housetrained, very non-adoptable stray a couple of weeks ago. she had no idea what the puppies would look like. "beagle and something, possibly a rottweiler". whatever they are, they certainly look very adoptable to me:

September 29, 2005

sun beats softness

would you rather lie on a big soft cushion in the shade or on the wooden floor in the sun? a no-brainer, for some:

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September 28, 2005

Benator? ("Did you mean Benatar?")

o.k., bennifer was mildly funny and also quite popular (128,000 google hits). the urban dictionary gives it its own entry and does not even list the affleck/lopez connection first:
n. 1. An attractive couple that have money, fame and beauty yet are still universally hated by everyone.
adj. 1. A horrible combination that may ultimately bring about the apocalypse.
2. Combination of two things that seperately suck but when put together can achieve a level of sucking not understood by physics.
but what's up with brannifer, brangelina (66,000 hits) and, most recently benator (as used by the washington post today)?

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 27, 2005; Page C03

If you liked him as Bennifer . . . you'll love him as Benator!
That's the hot new idea being tossed around by Virginia Democrats, who are desperately searching for a big name to challenge the reelection bid of rising GOP star Sen. George Allen next year, now that outgoing Gov. Mark Warner has ducked out.

not sure about either, the word and the actor-turns-politician idea.

September 27, 2005

the history of dog

where does the word dog come from? suprisingly, this is far from clear. here is what the oxford english dictionary has got to say:

"dog: late OE. docga (once in a gloss); previous history and origin unknown. (The generic name in OE., as in the Teutonic langs. generally, was hund: see HOUND.) So far as the evidence goes, the word appears first in English, as the name of a powerful breed or race of dogs, with which the name was introduced into the continental languages, usually, in early instances, with the attribute ‘English’. Thus mod.Du. dog, late e 16th c. dogge (‘een dogghe, vn gros matin d'Engleterre, canis anglicus’, Plantijn Thesaur. 1573), Ger. dogge, in 16-17th c. dock, docke, dogg (‘englische Dock’, Onomast. 1582, ‘eine englische Docke’, 1653), LG. dogge, Da. dogge, Sw. dogg; F. dogue (‘le genereux dogue anglais’, Du Bellay 15..), It., Sp., Pg. dogo, Pg. also dogue; in all the languages applied to some variety or race of dog."

the idiom it's raining cats and dogs was first recorded in 1652 ("It shall raine..Dogs and Pole cats"), to dog-sit is about 10 years younger than dog-sitter (another case of back formation), dog's meat is rhyming slang for feet, to see a man about a dog has been around since 1867 and it has been used as a euphemistic expression for buying liquor, visiting the restroom, and for absenting oneself.
  • and what about puppy?
well, first of all, puppy is older than pup. secondly, puppy corresponds to French poupée "a doll, a woman likened to a doll as a dressed-up inanity, a lay figure used in dressmaking or as a butt in shooting; also, contextually, a plaything, hobby, toy (e.g. il en fait sa poupée), whence app. in Eng. ‘a dog used as a plaything, a toy dog’, a sense unknown to French. The doll- and woman- senses of F. poupée are usually represented in Eng. by puppet."

The word has been around in English since the 15th century, but the first usage in writing in the meaning "small dog" is from Shakespeare ("One that I brought up of a puppy: one that I sau'd from drowning, when three or foure of his blinde brothers and sisters went to it.", Two Gentleman of Verona, 1591).

verbspotting: enthused by back-formation

i was looking for new verbs created by back formation (enthuse and intuit just don't have that ring of "you're not serious!" anymore) and came across to buttle, from butler. it can't be all that new, though, it has already made it into merriam-webster!

Main Entry: but·tle
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): buttled; buttled; buttling
Etymology: back-formation from butler
substandard : to serve or act as butler

"buttle." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. (27 Sep. 2005).

i must say i quite like it, a lot better than another verb i spotted today: chillax, but then, i find blendings usually quite boring.

islands in the sun

I don't know how she does it, but she always senses where the next sun spot on the floor will be. Sometimes, she will lie down next to it, patiently waiting for the sun to create that perfect island of light and warmth.

September 26, 2005

You'll never walk alone

Pictures from Madison's Annual Dog Jog (sponsored by the UW School of Veterinary Medicine). The event raised more than $34,000 for homeless animals and shelters.

  • Ready, steady, go:

These guys made it to the UW weekly magazine. No need to explain why:

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I'm not really into boxers, but this picture shows that the puppy factor beats breed. The little guy on the left, or rather his owner, won some sort of prize because his owner had raised the highest amount of pledges.

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And finally - a girl and a puppy sharing a stroller - a popular mode of transportation for puppies towards the finish line:

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All pictures: Photo © UW-Madison University Communications, 608-262-0067

September 24, 2005

Let's fetz!

In case anyone is wondering if the schnauf really had such a bad time at the posh pet place - the answer is "no". (I didn't book a swimming lesson, but a run in the park seemed like a "luxury item" that I wouldn't feel too guilty about).

September 23, 2005


Who needs a wand when your dog has got eyes like these?

(The picture was taken at a fancy boarding kennel where il snofo spent a couple of days this summer. As part of the package, each dog is given a massage once a day, presumably to relax the dog. As you can see, the prospect of being massaged by two total strangers made il snofo glow with anticipation.)

September 22, 2005

Bagel hour

doggie bagel (one of the first pics shot with my new digital camera)

September 21, 2005


Two new verbs I spotted recently. The Onion brings us "to home-church"

Report: More Kids Being Home-Churched

Norville Tucker, who moved his family to the woods outside Shelby, AL in 1998 to "escape the damaging cultural influences of urban Mobile," is widely credited with pioneering the home-churching movement. Tucker said he was inspired to home-church when his 10-year-old son Macon returned from Sunday school singing a lighthearted song about Zacchaeus, a tax collector befriended by Christ, and then later recited the parable of the Good Samaritan.
and HP invited me "to 5 x 7" my dog jog pictures. Not bad, but I declined.

September 18, 2005

Puppy alarm!

First I saw my neighbor carry a crate across the street. Then I saw his friend with a bundle in her arms. The bundle turned out to be a down-on-your-knees adorable Border Collie pup covered in a towel (leakage protection?). Welcome to the neighborhood!

September 16, 2005


Am Sonntag ist es so weit: Team Schnauf geht an den Start.
"Don't tell your dog, but proceeds benefit cats too," notes Dr. Linda Sullivan, a veterinarian at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine who oversees the Dog Jog. "Actually, many more cats than dogs find themselves homeless."