Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - VI - Leashes, Love, & the LabraDave

Ha roo, readers! As promised, it's me, Zim! Ready to field today's questions!

First up is a really great question from my very favorite Beagle babes - Jazz & Dixie! They read my post yesterday and went to the cool Colors of the Siberian Husky website. They commented, "One thing that caught our eye at the bottom of the page was this quote: 'Siberians have been bred for centuries to RUN and WILL RUN at the first opportunity. DO NOT trust a Siberian Husky OFF LEASH. NOT EVER!!' Is this true of you guys?" In a word, YOUBETCHA! We can NEVER be off lead - except in the safety of our own backyard (6-foot fence with a concrete strip underneath) or in the house, of course! You can see our fence in the picture of Stormy, to the right here. (That's the quiet, reflection part of the yard; picture taken a summer or two ago.) As you can see, sometimes we even wear our leashes out there, though Mom doesn't usually hold on to them. Usually the girls don't have to ... but me and Dave do. Something about not coming when we're called ... I'm not sure. Anyroo, unlike most canines, we Siberians have no homing instincts. Combine that with our ability to cover over 50 miles a day, and it makes for a real scary combination. Great question, girls!

Next up is a concern my Sibe pal Marley has! Marls wrote, "I actually have a question for Zimmie...going right along with your suggested question. I have a new neighbor-pup, a 4 month old Lab/Rottie/Retriever mix named Lexi. She comes over to play, and even though she's 1/2 my size, she tries to dominate me!! I really like her, but am I going about things the right way? Should I keep letting her win? I look forward to sniffing time every night when we go for big walkies together. What's a pup to do?Help this lovelorn guy out, please!!" Wowzers, Marls! Lexi sounds like such a babe! That's cool that you get to play together! First you need to remind yourself that you are one very handsome red and white Siber-boy! You don't have to prove anything to anypup! So she likes to dominate! So what? Let her think she's in charge! Who cares about that? Not me, that's for sure. Storm and Mom both say I don't have a dominant bone in my body. Because of this, I get along with everypuppy and have tons of friends! You sound like you really like Lexi and enjoy your walkies together - so hey, let her dominate! You don't have to prove anything! You're a Siberian! Stand tall, Marley! But let Lexi think she rules. Besides... a Lab/Rottie/Retriever? She may be half your size now ... but she may not be for long! Good luck, pal!

My last question du jour comes from my very sweet Lab friend Maddie! She wrote in, "Hiiii, it's me Maddie the Chocolate bunny! You know I DO have one question today! What color Lab Lab fur does Dave Dave have underneath that ever so sweet Black & White Sibe costume? Oh please do tell!??????" Ha roo roo rooo! We're all STILL laughing over that one, Maddie! I had to do some sneaking around to find the answer to this one! I saw Mom petting Dave and sort of going through that Sibe suit of his.


You know, she goes through our fur all the time, checking for bugs or lumps or stuff like that. Then I could have sworn I heard her say, "Hey, what's this?" under her breath. At first I thought maybe Dave had a tick even though we're on Frontline Plus. I mean, you never know! Then I crept behind her with the camera. WOWZERS! Check this out!

Sorry the image is a little fuzzy, but it just surprised the daylights out of me! Dave really is a Lab! A Black Lab, Maddie! No wonder he's able to camouflage the zipper so well - it's deeply embedded in black on black. Ha roo roo roo!

Keep those cards and letters coming!

Play bows,
Zim

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - V - Bedding and Sibe Colors

Ha roo, puppers! It's me - Zim! My turn to field a couple of the great questions you've sent in! We really appreciate all the inquiries!

Our wonderful friend and fellow Sibe Echo asked, "How do we keep Mom from washing the rugs and blankets that are in our crates? Just when we get them all smelly and full of fur she takes them out and washes them. Do I go upstairs and take her blankets away to wash? I think not! Go figure!" This is a tough one. Call us "different" if you must, but we all love the smells of fresh laundry and fabric softener.

Mmm... original scent Downey!

As a Drill SGT, it is my duty to inspect all bedding and to make sure the beds are made properly. This means our beds and the one the bipeds call "theirs". (Ha roo roo roo.) Here is one such inspection, in progress. Check the right-paw side of the photo. That's me. Helping.

For some reason, that kind of help seems to slow Mom down, as does this sort of action:

Mom calls that picture "My sheets have a tail." Ha roo roo roo. Oftentimes, help like this makes my mom give up - not when it comes the the bipeds' bed, but at least when it comes to ours. Maybe you should help out like this, Echo! Not only is it great fun, but I know my mom is always real appreciative - I get lots of "Thank you, Zim, what would I do without your help?" type of comments. And she always appreciates me turning a 5-minute task into a 20-minute one. I'll bet you'd get the same thanks from your mom! And who knows? You might learn to like the smell of Downey!

Our little hamster-berian friend Girl Girl asked a great question: "Can I ask why are some huskies black/white while some are red/white?? What other colors do huskies come in?" I asked Stormy about this, and she went into a VERY long discussion about genetics that was WAY over my head... so I'll go for a simpler version of the answer. I could tell you that when God invented the Siberian Husky, we were so special that He decided we should come in lots of different colors, but that might sound breed-conceited. But what is true is that we do come in a variety of colors - black/white (like Storm and Dave), red/white (like Am and me), grey/white (like our great-sister Jesse!), all white (like our bee-roo-tiful friend Frankie) -- and others! (Please check out this hyperlink to see all the wonderful varieties!) Just like Labs come in different colors (Yellow, Black, Chocolate), so do we! Cool, huh?

That's it for today, readers. More tomorrow - from me! Ha roo!

Play bows,
Zim

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - IV - Furminators, Small Guys, Digging and Grazing

Hi everypuppy, it's me - Amber! Stormy said I could answer some of the Ask the Ao4 questions today - I hope you like my answers!

Jazz and Dixie, our very special Beagle friends in Japan, wrote, "What do you think of the Furminator?? Mum has one that she used once towards the end of autumn last year. It seemed to take out a lot of our downy undercoat and mum was worried that we would need that for winter to keep warm here in the cold Tokyo winter. So she put it away. However things are warming up over here and of course we are both shedding like crazy. So she has dug it out and used it again. Its not coming up with the longer hairs that are falling out all over the floor but the undercoat. Please advise AO4!" I do believe I'm the right member of the Ao4 to field this one, and it's a low soft-ball, right over the plate. Let me refer you to Dave's Haik-woo #17, and the post at that hyperlink. The simple answer is, "Brushes are evil, Jazz & Dixie! EVIL! And the Furminator is perhaps the most evil of all!" Oh, sure, our mom thinks the Furminator is great - like you two said, it gets our undercoat out. She thinks that it's great to remove the old part of the undercoat (which is what the evil Furminator gets), and that come Fall we just "know" to grow it back in - so we'll be plenty warm come winter. Our mom has another torture device called a "comb" that she uses to get the guard hairs out. (She used to use a softer bristle brush on her Beagles to get those longer hairs.) I love my mom VERY much, but I think she is way off base here. Brushes are EVIL and it's MY fur! I want it! I wish she'd stop taking it! I hope that helps.

Bruin, a very sweet Boston Terrier, wanted to know if I "like smaller guys???" Ha rooo! Oh, Bruin, you're so sweet! Yes, I like almost EVERYpuppy I meet! Probably the smallest puppies I made friends with were two Yorkies who came to visit us. There is a picture of all of us at that link... and here is one of just me and the boy Yorkie, at right. There was some concern about me playing too rough with him, so there was no rough-housing allowed. There was also some concern about me stepping on him, so I tried not to do that, either. He and his sister were carried when we went on walkies together ...

... so we actually didn't get to do too much, but he was a nice little guy. Are you as little as a Yorkie?

Ruby Bleu, another sweet Boston Terrier friend, sent us this question, "When I'm at the doggie park, my mom insists that I shouldn't dig in the mud or eat grass. Is there a good way I can convince her it's ok for me to do that?" I ran my answer past Storm and she gave me the green light to post. First, the digging issue! Ruby? Your mom knows that you're a Boston Terrier, right!?!? Isn't digging part of what you do for a living? I'm sure she knows that. So you have to wonder why she doesn't want you to dig in the mud at the park. The obvious answer there is that she wants you to dig in your own yard! Maybe that's a good compromise! Some bipeds have set up special designated "digging areas" in their yards for pups who like to dig; perhaps your mom is waiting for you to choose where in your yard you'd like one! Then you won't dig at the park. :) As per eating grass, Stormy said that we are canines and the world is our salad bar. (She can be very profound sometimes!) We members of the Ao4 eat grass sporadically - sometimes if our tummies are upset or sometimes because we just feel like it. Storm said perhaps our diet is lacking in veggies. Siberianly speaking, I love fresh baby spinach (at left) and can't get enough of it. How is your veggie intake, Ruby? Maybe your mom needs to check with your vet about what green veggies you can have and give you a little supplement! Or again... maybe she wants you to eat the grass at home and not at the park. Hee hee hee.

Thank roo for the great questions! We'll answer some more tomorrow!

Love to everypuppy,
Amber

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

It is Memorial Day here in the United States today. Celebrated on the fourth Monday in May, we set aside this day to honor our fallen service members. Originally, this was a day on which flags and flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers who died in the American Civil War; today we remember all service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

In President Bush's Prayer for Peace, the proclamation he issued for this Memorial Day, he says in part, "...When it has mattered most, patriots from every corner of our Nation have taken up arms to uphold the ideals that make our country a beacon of hope and freedom for the entire world. By answering the call of duty with valor and unrelenting determination, they have set a standard of courage and idealism that inspires us all..."

We are truly inspired by these patriots and will never forget the sacrifices they have made for us. We will spend time today to honor our fallen American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen. In the words of the late General George S. Patton, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

We will leave you with the lyrics to a song we found on The White House Commission on Remembrance website, On This Day, by Charles Strouse. (Please click here to listen!)

The bugle has sounded
Its notes drift away.
This time now belongs to you….
Verse:
On this day for one brief moment
Hear the silence fill the air.
Think of those, who walked beside us;
Now no longer there.
Then, don’t cry, but hear their laughter
For their spirit lives inside,
Let the mystic stream of mem’ry
Fill our hearts with pride!
Make us humble,
Make us knowing,
And reflect on what is done…
On this day
For now, forever
Make this nation one!
On this day,
For all the fallen,
Make this nation one!

Music and lyric by Charles Strouse
© 2003 Charles Strouse Publications

God bless them, one and all.
The Army of Four

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Salute - Our Vets!

This week, our Sunday Salute goes to the men and women at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine - commonly referred to here as our vets! In saying "our vets", we'd like to make it clear that in this we also include the ladies at the Small Animal Desk and the Discharge Desk, the Pharmacy bipeds, all the technicians (especially our wonderful vet tech Beth!), the students and the veterinarians! We hope we haven't left anyone out.

We know some of you readers don't share our sentiments about your own vets, but we really like ours! As we've said, they're always incredibly kind to us, and not only give us the best care possible, but some mighty tasty cookies, great tummy rubs and ear scratchies, too! We've told you tales about Dave's visit to see the Tooth Fairy (Zim and Stormy have also seen him!). Amber has shared pictures of one of her trips to the vet's - it's as though they designed the whole place to put us at ease! No claustrophobic exam rooms or anything! Very nice! We try to eat right, get plenty of exercise and take other precautions here at home so we stay nice and healthy, but it's good to know that for our routine care as well as emergencies, we can always count on our vets! We are all very grateful to have such wonderful care available to us. Take a few weeks ago, for example....

Stormy was due for her Senior Health Care exam. Mom had noticed a couple new lumps on her (remember, Storm is 11-ish) so she wanted to be sure to have those checked out. The vet had the student do a FNA (fine needle aspiration) of each new lump; one was nothing to worry about, a tiny one was "questionable", and the third, one that Mom said was fast-growing, had cells that "displayed cancerous properties". Woo. The Senior Care appointment was on a Tuesday (1 May), and the vet who saw her was able to get her an appointment (a consultation) with the surgeon on Thursday. He and one of his students examined Storm and agreed that the fast-growing lump needed to come off now and it wouldn't be a bad idea to remove the other one while they were at it since it was questionable. Storm met with the Anesthesiology team, then they scheduled her surgery for the next DAY! Where else can you get such fast care? Specialized care?!!?

Mom and Dad were scared to death, of course, as were the rest of us. When Mom took her in, all the ladies at Discharge were just as reassuring and sweet as can be to both Mom and Storm; that really helped make them feel a bit better. Stormy's senior student was great, and promised to take good care of her and to call with updates when he could. To make a long, long story not as long... Stormy's surgery went really well, her recovery went well, and even though she couldn't come home that night and we ALL missed her like crazy, we knew she was where she would be safe and have 24-hour care. Her student called several times that day with updates for us. That was really kind. Storm was able to come home the next day!

She was really drugged up, shaved up, and stitched up, but she was home! We later got the incredible news that the surgeons had a clean margin, meaning they got all the nasty cancer cells! (Oh... and the other lump was benign!) She needed a lot of extra care, especially for the first 2 weeks after surgery, but she is doing GREAT! Mom and Dad took turns watching her - and had her umbilical corded to help keep Storm from jumping or running or hurting herself, and to send a signal to everypup that there was to be no "horsing around". (No, Marvin... we don't know what horses they're talking about either! Ha roo roo roo!) Mom put a big quilt on the living room floor for Storm - along with a huge puppy bed. Mom slept out there with Storm, with the leash around her wrist. She only slept if Stormy slept, so she could watch over her. Dad took lots of turns, too. The rest of us tried very hard to be good and not to disturb Stormy. Mom and Dad kept telling us what good, good puppies we are. :)

After several days had passed, Dad was out and Stormy was sleeping and Mom needed a potty break. We were all off in other parts of the house snoozing, so Mom thought she could just drop the lead, go do what she needed to do, and Storm would be fine. Want to know what she found when she returned? Dave. Holding Stormy's leash. (Editor's note: That's a hyperlink to our Flickr photo site - a picture of the scene we just told you about. One of Stormy's incision areas is quite visible. Even though the surgical team did an outstanding job, some readers may find it troubling to see. We wanted you to be prepared before you saw it!) Anyroo, as we've also told you, we may joke back and forth, but we ARE a tight, loving pack!

Again, due to the superb care Storm received from our vets and the entire team, she is now up and raring to GO! Here is a picture of her from the 2-weeks after surgery mark.


She wasn't allowed to jump or run or go on walkies for those first 2 weeks, but she was finally able to play with Mom a little! On the Flickr site, there are two other pictures of her playing in the yard; they show the two incision sites - see how much better she looks!!??!! We are all totally amazed at her progress. We are so thankful to our friends who joined us in prayer and who sent good thoughts Storm's way - AND realize how blessed we are to have this marvelous KSU Vet Med Teaching Hospital so close by and available to us.

Stormy wants to reassure everypup that even though the surgery was just over 3 weeks ago, she feels REALLY good. She's still not allowed to rough-house, but is doing everything else just like before! Her progress has been incredible to watch!

I'm ready to PLAY!

We were holding off on posting about this, but thought we would share it now, as an example of the fabulous care we receive from our vets. If anyone from the KSU vet school is out there reading ... thank you for all you do for us and all of our fellow "animals". You can see how great Stormy is doing now -- the perfect pairing of prayers and good health care. What a great team! You can see the smile on Stormy's face - that picture was taken after her play session in the yard!

To our vets and all who help care for us at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, we salute you!

The Army of Four

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - III - Photos, Keeping Cool, Squirt Bottles, and Beverages

Tail wags, everypup! It's me, Stormy! I wanted to field a couple of the GREAT questions some of you submitted to Ask the Ao4. We promise to get to every question, so please bear with us.

Our very dear friend Holly asked the following question:

MGI PhotoSuite 4, Holly! It's a fun program that came with our camera. We can do all sorts of fun things with it, as you can see from the photo above. Dave really likes that "water color" look on you. We can email you just that part of the photo, if you'd like. It would make gorgeous note cards! This should also answer Sitka's question about where the beautiful picture of Amber came from the other day, too!

Joe Stains complimented us by saying we are "the experts on being cool" (verrrrry sweet, Joe!) and continued to say, "and since you are Siberian on being COLD! It is always hot here, how can I keep cool without going in the evil pool?????" Another excellent question! It's SO important for us pups to keep as cool as possible! Joe, you and Tanner have an added challenge since you live in Arizona. Our heat is just starting here. Some readers of our blog enjoy a dip in the pool. Like you, Joe, I think the majority of us here at Ao4 Headquarters would find it evil. With one possible exception. We've never tried one, but they seem way too much like an over-grown bath tub to me. I think you're right to avoid it, and need to find alternate means of cooling off. Some tips you might find handy are:
1. This one might be obvious, but if any bipeds are reading, they might need to be reminded. Exercise before or after the heat of the day, then spend the day relaxing in the comfort of your own home. With the air conditioner on. Forget all that "provide shade, access to water, shelter, etc." stuff. An air conditioned house. It's the only way to go. Bipeds - if it's too hot for you out there, it's too hot for us.
2. Air conditioning not set low enough for you? Seek out your bipeds. Preferably when they're a tad hot themselves. Pant. Heavily. Then try a little whine. Stagger a bit, if it's in your repertoire, or lean up against them to share your body heat. The piece de resistance is the "Sad Eyes Look". That should buy you a few degrees lower, at the very least.
3. Dave also recommends laying on top of the AC vent. Not only will it help you cool down, it'll make the bipeds hot so they lower the thermostat. He is demonstrating his technique here in Haik-woo 31, at right.

Another question was from a new friend of ours - Nugget! It's great to see you here, Nugget - and thanks for reading! Our biped mom was raised by Beagles so we're quite partial to your breed! They helped train her for us. Ha roo roo roo! Nugget's question was, "My Mum keeps squirting me with a water bottle when I bark; I am a Beagle and can't help it, what should I do?" Nugget, I agree whole-heartedly with your approach. You ARE a Beagle. Barking is part of what you do for a living. Doesn't your mom understand that you are barking for a reason? It's up to her to discover the reason (someone outside where you can see him/her, toy under a piece of furniture and you can't reach it, desire to play), praise you for alerting her, and give you a cookie. If she does those things, it's OK to stop barking. If she gets out that water bottle - I recommend a yelp (Beagles are good yelpers, too!), then the aforementioned "Sad Eyes Look" in my response to Joey Stains' question. Use those gorgeous Beagle eyes! Give your expression the most painful look possible. "OW! That HURT! How could you?" Couple it with a mind-meld message that she hurt you. Even though she didn't. Lay on the guilt, Nugget. It can help you achieve all kinds of goals.

Finally, a question from dear Girl Girl, the Hamster-berian. She wanted to know, "What is the favourite drink for each of you?" We're all big fans of water, Girl Girl! Zim would LOVE to enjoy a cappuccino every now and then, but he's not allowed. Coffee is on the Forbidden Foods for Pups list ... though that hasn't prevented him from trying. You can't blame a guy for dreaming... but water is the way to go for us! We have cool canteens the bipeds carry for us if we go on a really, really long walk.

The Hudson Trail, one of our favorite walking areas!

Thanks for the great questions! I hope the advice to Joe and Nugget works - keep us posted, OK?

Keep those cards and letters coming in! We will respond to each one!

Tail wags,
Stormy

Friday, May 25, 2007

Assignment for the Troopers in the Ao4

Ha roo! It's me, Stormy, Supreme Commander of the Army of Four! Listen up, Troopers! I have an assignment for you! Yep, your first mission!

I know some of you have been anxious to get going. I had to finalize all the plans before I put this in motion. Mom started shooting a video of me a couple days ago, asking me about it. Now... even though I speak human, I decided if I answer her in human, that's not great OPSEC. We really don't want the bipeds to know what we're all about! I would have roo-ed or woo-ed the mission statement to her, but I realize many of the Troopers in the Ao4 are not Siberians and might not understand our language. I decided to go with the universal canine language, Bark. Most Sibes, though they may not speak Bark themselves, can understand it. For those of you Sibe Troopers who may not, Dave is in the background translating. Tia, I would have summed it up in Cat-Speak for you (I also speak Cat!), but your sister Sitka can translate for you. Girl Girl, hopefully you understand Bark (or Dave woo-ing, since I know you're working on your Siberian language skills!) or you can put it through the Babel Fish Translator or something. So... here it is:


I think you all understand, don't you? Yes, I was a bit hesitant to speak Bark in front of my mom; I was afraid she might understand. I don't think she did, or else she would have reacted differently. Besides, with that whole "no opposable thumbs" issue, none of us Sibes can work the video aspect of the camera.

Troopers - to your posts! You know what to do!

Tail wags,
Storm

PS: We still haven't heard from some of you on the Trooper list about getting the cool code for your side-bar! Please be sure to email us so you can be linked up with everypup! Also ... Stella, Joe Stain's friend? We can't find you! Are you still out there?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - II - Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Hi everypuppy! It's me - Amber! I thought I'd take this opportunity to post an installment of Ask the Ao4!

My very good friend Fargo asked me a question. Fargo is a really funny Siberian, and I really wish he'd post more often! He's also very handsome. Anyroo... he wanted to know: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road, Fargo? To chase after a fowl ball. Hee hee hee!

We really appreciate all the questions everypup posted and will answer each and every one! Keep them coming - we'll keep a list and will respond to one and all!

"Fowl ball"! Hee hee hee!

Love,
Amber

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ask the Ao4 - I - Sitka's Haik-woo

Ha roo, readers! It's me - Stormy! Welcome to a new feature here at the Army of 4 Digest - Ask the Ao4! We welcome you, our loyal readers, to ask us all those questions that are troubling you - anything from help training your biped to advice for the lovelorn! You've got the questions, we've got the answers! Maybe you even want to just learn a little more about us or one of us and have a specific question in mind! It can be any family-friendly question!

Just leave your questions in our comments section or shoot us an email and we'll do our best to respond! You can even specify which one of us you have a question for! Want to know my secret of house-breaking puppies? How Amber comes up with those silly jokes? Perhaps you'd like some advice from Zim about how to win over the new Poodle at the end of the street! Dave has already received a question, and we'd like to use it to launch Ask the Ao4!

Dave's question came from our friend Sitka. She sent him a very polite email in which she said: "Woo Dave... OK, I got inspired tonight and wrote a Haik-woo according to your rules. Let me know what you think!!!" She then wrote out the Haik-woo and asked Dave, "OK, so how did I do? Tia says that it is OK and that I have a ways to go to be good like the handsome Dave!" That made Dave blush and the rest of us ha roo roo roo!

Dave responded, "It's brilliant! Very well executed and the message - really perfect!" He liked it so well that, with Sitka's permission, he teamed it up with a favorite picture of Sitka and put the whole thing into a cool Haik-woo picture. Without further ado -- here's Sitka's Haik-woo #1!

Amber especially likes the whole sentiment behind Sitka's Haik-woo. You may recall Dave has written one summing up the very sweet Amber's thoughts on brushing. Remember Haik-woo #17? Ha roo roo roo!

Thanks for a great question, Sitka - and a great Haik-woo. Who's next? Who has a question they'd like to Ask the Ao4?!?

On behalf of all of us - tail wags!
Stormy

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pillow Talk

Woo, it's me, Dave! Have you read Holly's blog yet today? Remember the items I helped Mom make for the MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue fund-raiser? The quilt and pillow, that's right! Guess who "borrowed" her human's credit card, bid on them BOTH and won? Our very dear (and bee-woo-tiful) friend Hollybollyboo! Woooooo!

Did you see the pix of her resting her pretty head on the pillow? Oh, she looks so comfy and snuggly, doesn't she? I'd love a pillow like that for the living room.

All I have to lay on is a dinosaur bone.

Woo is me.

I hope Mom will make me a pillow like the one Holly has. Oh, sure. I have my cool Texas flag pillow - but that's in the bedroom. I have a cool denim one in there, too. But it's in there! And my fluffy work place pillow/bed, but that's downstairs in the Quilt Studio. I think Mom needs to make me a new one for the living room. I want to be as comfy like Holly! Woo.

Luv - and sweet dreams to Holly!
Dave

Monday, May 21, 2007

Haik-woo Time

Woo, it's me - Dave. I thought it was time for a Haik-woo! (Please remember that any typed word or words that shade of blue are a hyperlink, taking you to more info!) I've been looking around for inspiration for a while now and have found it! I was so moved by the bravery of these pups ... here goes! I give you ... Haik-woo #37.


I hope you enjoy it. Amber is insisting that I let you know she was (oh... I don't really have to write this, do I? OK...) she was very moo-ved by my latest Haik-woo. (She made me say that! She MADE me!)

Luv,
Dave

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday Salute - Girl Girl!

Before we begin our post, Girl Girl asked us all to be happy and not to dwell on the loss of her dear brother and our friend FuFu. We were going to salute him today, in fact, but out of respect for Girl Girl's wishes, we've changed our plans. We do miss him so much and had friends email us their condolences to pass along, too. We'll put that in as the first comment here.

We admire Girl Girl's spirit, spunk, and celebration of life - and want to honor how bravely she's following in FuFu's paw-prints. This week our Sunday Salute goes out to a new friend in the blogging world and the tiniest Trooper in the Ao4 - Girl Girl!

She's jumped right in already and has started her training! Here she is, doing what she loves to do - run!

Girl Girl doing PT

She seems to have a lot in common with us, so we have deemed her a Hamster-berian! Ha roooo! (She's even working on learning how to "woo"!)

Here she is, working out by climbing on the bars to her cage.

We couldn't help but notice this bears a striking resemblance to the "weaver", a traditional component of the Army's "Confidence Course". HOOAH, Girl Girl!

OutSTANDing work, Girl Girl! You'll be ready to sneak behind enemy lines and infiltrate their camp in no time! Not that we have any enemies ... but we're still keeping our eyes out for the C(un)IA.

For all you do, Girl Girl - we salute you!

The Army of Four

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Armed Forces Day 2007


Hi everypuppy! It's me - Amber. Here in the States today, we are celebrating Armed Forces Day. To quote from The Patriot Post ...

This Saturday, 19 May, is Armed Forces Day, first set aside in 1949 by President Harry Truman to recognize the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense and to acknowledge the extraordinary dedication of America's uniformed Patriots standing ready in harm's way at home and around the world.
In the words of President Dwight Eisenhower, "It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world."
Since the opening shots of the American Revolution on 19 April 1775, American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen have plowed the ground for freedom. We remain the proud and the free because they remain on post today. For this, we, the American People, offer our heartfelt thanks.

Here at the Ao4, we offer our heartfelt thanks as well - we are so grateful to the brave men and women of our Armed Services! We appreciate you, we honor you, and we love you. Especially our daddy ... our favorite soldier of all time!

We encourage our fellow Americans to find a way to honor our troops today, even if it's "just" flying the flag or finding a service member to hug! We know our friends China & Madie's and Peanut & Flash's daddies are in the Army, too -- so a big thank roo to them and any other members of the military who are reading our blog today!

Love to all,
Amber

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tagged!

We've been tagged by China and Madie's mom! We're supposed to tell 7 things about us then tag other friends! How fun! Thanks for tagging us! I, Stormy, will answer for all of us.

1. We love to run. Us girls would make great sled doggies, as we love nothing better than having Dad hook us up and take us on a run. I have some hip issues and am well over 11 years old, so I don't get to go as often as I'd like. But I DO get to go sometimes! Dave likes to run, too, but since he has a bum shoulder he's more into zoomies with Zim and running after his Kong-on-a-Rope in the back yard. Zim ... um ... he loves to do zoomies. And he does go running with Dad, but his heart isn't in it. He didn't get a real good start in life and has some lingering issues with stamina and heat exhaustion.

2. We love being a pack! Siberians are pack animals by nature and we LOVE being together. We love each other something fierce, despite some of the joking we do back and forth.

3. We like going to the vet's. I know ... a lot of you get upset about it. But we love meeting new people and seeing old friends. We're all social butterflies and love being adored by one and all. All the bipeds at our vet hospital are REALLY nice and we love seeing them. As long as we're not having to fast before blood work or a dental or something, they give us COOKIES! Lots of COOKIES! And ear scratchies. And for Dave - hugs and tummy rubs, his favorites!

4. We're not destructive. Some Siberians are, but our bipeds (a) keep us gainfully occupied, (b) get us tired, (c) don't leave much laying around that interests us, and (d) I don't know ... we just aren't. Sure, there has been a little incident here or there ... or perhaps here, but for the most part, those all happened during our training periods. Really.

5. We shed. A LOT. This is why Mom and Zim have 4 vacuums. And Mom has a collection of different brushes for us. Keep it interesting, I guess.

6. Cameras. Zim LOVES the camera! Seriously - he loves to pose. Dave does, too, but not as much as Zim. Amber doesn't like the camera in the house, but thinks it's all right outside - probably because there is so much else going on out there to sniff and see! I'm OK about it, but if I don't feel like cooperating, you might as well stick the camera back on the charger. If I do ... you could get a picture like the one at right. Mom took that about 2 weeks ago. It's my "happy" look. Like it?

7. We all have jobs. I am the Supreme Commander of the Ao4 and I supervise everypup. Amber is our Security Specialist and Top Negotiator. She guards us and always intervenes if there is trouble around, calming everyone down. Zim is our Drill Sergeant - always inspecting, revving everyone up, pushing them to their limits and beyond. Sometimes ... way beyond. Ha roo roo roo! Dave is, as many of you know, Mom's Guide Dog for the Color Blind. He's not limited to work in the Quilt Studio, he chose the tile and grout for the Library/Media Room and the brick pavers for the cool path in our back yard. He's very good at what he does, don't you think?

We tag Joe Stains & Tanner, Holly, and since this was started by a biped - we're going to tag our biped friend Tierre!

Tail wags,
Stormy

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bear With Me

Bear with me

Marvin left a comment on our Amaversary post the other day in which he said, "...ooooh Stormy, but being Marvin, as you know, I always misunderstand stuff I read.......but try as I might I cannot see the 'bear with me'????? Is the bear hiding? Why is there an invisible bear at Ammy's anniversary.....so many questions, so little answers, the world is a puzzling place for me Marvin you know!..." Well....... here it is. The bear and me. Bear with me. Hee hee hee! Get it? Hee hee hee!

Love,
Amber

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cool Collar Color

Ha roo, everypup and Girl girl! (We were really happy to see a comment from you!) It's me - Zim. Two days in a row. Cool, huh?

Speaking of cool, my very cool friend Sitka asked about my collar yesterday. She said, "Hey, blue looks awesome on you and what kind of collar are you wearing???" Ha roo and thank roo, Sitka. You're really a sweet girl!

As some of you may know, we're all assigned cool collar colors. Mine just happens to be blue. Storm has red (a power color, as is fitting!), Amber wears green (it looks really nice with her red and white fur!) and Dave has purple. He claims it signifies royalty ... whatever. I think it might have been one of the few options left, since he was the last one of us to be adopted and assigned a collar color. But again ... whatever.

I had Mom take this picture of me out on the deck yesterday, so you could get a good look at my collar. It's called a "Limited Slip Collar" and we get them from a place called Wolf Packs.

All the hardware is a very strong metal and the nylon part is an inch thick. Very strong! They are nice and comfy - but if you pull, they tighten! But only up to a certain point, which is nice. It prevents us from being able to do the "back up, shimmy, twist, gotta get free" maneuver. Mom and Dad are always worried about our safety.

Could you see it OK? Here is a shot of Dave and Storm, modeling their collars - an action shot out on a walk! You can see they've tightened up, but only as far as the little "Wolf Packs" tag, so it won't choke them or hurt their throats. I mean ... we're Siberians. We HAVE to pull. It's in our contracts.

You also might notice that in addition to our city tag, rabies tag and another ID tag, we all wear a dog tag. Yeah, like soldiers in our real Army wear! Cool, huh? I like it 'cuz it's COOL! Mom and Dad like them because the info doesn't wear off like it can and does on our other tags! Everyone's happy this way!

The girls got to wear silencers on theirs at first. Mom had this wacky idea that Dave and I might eat ours (yeah, I couldn't believe that accusation either!), so we didn't get to wear them. Storm and Am's wore out fairly quickly, so they didn't get to be commandos real long. They were really cool while they lasted, though. Here's an old picture of Storm wearing hers.


See the black rubbery thing? That's the silencer. Cool, huh? Everything about Stormy is cool!

Anyroo..... that's our collar, Sitka! They're comfy and safe and come in cool colors! How about the rest of you? What kind of collars do you wear?

Play bows,
Zim

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flowers for Mom!

Ha roo, pups! Sunday was Mother's Day here in the States, as many of you already know. I thought I'd do something especially nice for my mom. She took me out front do shoot some garden pix and I thought I'd found JUST the right way to say "I love roo, Mom." Flowers! Girls love flowers! Am I right here?!?! She was taking pix of something called "peonies", which at first I thought were called "pee on me"s, but hmm, my mistake apparently. Who knew? She's got some pretty full double ones:


Oooh, look! There's a bug on it! Cool! And she has some single, old-fashioned ones:

I really liked those single ones. I thought I'd found just the thing for Mom for Mother's Day and tried to pick one for her!

Mmm.... yum!

Before I could even get the tasty petals all the way into my mouth, I got one of those confusing "NononoZimmienonono" things. What does that mean? A guy tries to do something nice for his mom, and that's the thanks he gets? Bipeds. I'll never figure them out.

Play bows,
Zim

PS: For those of you who are wondering - yes, they were real tasty!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tummy Tagged!

Woo. It's me - Dave. I've been Tummy Tagged by the bee-woo-tiful Holly. She said, "Here's how it works; you have to post a picture of yourself in a vertically reversed position. A.k.a., tummy up!! Then, just tag three other bloggers and you're done!"

I love to have my tummy rubbed! But I AM a Siberian Husky ... which means if a biped WANTS me to do something, I should try my very best to resist. Especially if Stormy's watching. Even if it means not getting tummy rubs. Which I really enjoy. But I don't want somepuppy to keep accusing me of not being a Siberian. So this is what I did when Mom was looking for me to rub my tummy and take a picture of it:

Woo.

That's right - Storm and Zim aren't the only ones who can hide out up here! Woo.

Not wanting to let Hollybollyboo down... here's an older picture of my tummy-tum.


I'm going to tag Jazz & Dixie, Magnum, and China & Madie! Let the tummy rubs begin!

Luv,
Dave

PS: A VERY special thank woo to Opy and Charlie's dad, Greg, for getting our animated .gif to work! Check out our new "We are Army Strong"/"Proud Trooper in the Ao4" graphic in the side-bar!!! Wooooooooooo!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Salute - Nikki & Her Excellent Adventure!

This week, our Sunday Salute goes out to our friend Nikki of South Africa! Yes! You know Nikki! We've featured her a few times before! In fact, remember in March we posted about her having to have a ... b-a-t-h? She said it was because she was going on holiday with her bipeds! We had a great email from her a few weeks ago and we've been waiting for JUST the right time to share her adventure with you!

In her email, she said, "Hey Everysibe!! 'Member a few weeks ago I was tortured by my Mom and Dad and they gave me that dreaded bath because they were taking me on holiday!? Well we went and we came home and we had a good time!!!"

She initially was very worried when she saw suitcases and boxes coming out of cupboards, so she carefully watched every move. As she said, "You never know with these humes, the last time this happened, McKinley and I were sent to prison (what humes call kennels) for 10 days so I was very worried. Mom kept saying 'Don't worry Niks, you are coming with', but I wasn't sure what was happening."

Nikki's bipeds packed up the car and her mom put a lovely quilt she made on the back seat. (We've seen this quilt - it's a Woodland Clover and is STUNNING! Beautiful enough for a pup!) "Anyway she put this quilt on the back seat and I got in and off we went. I still was not sure where I was going as I sometimes go and visit my boyfriend Sasha (he's very handsome - we've seen pix of him!) and that is an hour's journey. We drove and we drove and we drove and I started to relax as I knew we were past the 'prison' so I wasn't going to jail!"

Their first stop was a place called Belfast - not the one in Ireland but one near where she lives, in South Africa! Nikki told us that when her Mom was a biped puppy, she used to live there! Here is a picture of Nikki's mom, her grandma and her dog Jock; it was taken at the dam there. (Her pup was named after Jock of the Bushveld, one of her favourite books when she was little.)

Jock, Nikki's mom's grandmom and Nikki's mom as a biped puppy!

And here is Nikki and her mom in the same place now!

Nikki and her mom at the Belfast Dam!

"Our next stop was a very busy place where we had to feed the car," Nikki continued. "Mom walked around with me; I needed to stretch my legs and quite a few people were totally overcome by my beauty (naturally!) and had to give me tickles and I kissed them in return! Some people thought I was a wolf!! Now I ask you ...what would a wolf be doing in the middle of Africa???" Woo.

We eventually got to our new sleeping place and I was delighted to make friends.

Nikki and a new little friend

After they unpacked, they went for a walk. Nikki told us, "Mom and Dad had to refresh themselves after the walk and we went to 'The Pub'. Once again I was much admired. The lady that lives there had a Husky called Nikita but because it is a farm and she ate the neighbours chickens and also because there was no fence she went to live in the big city of Johannesburg. I got special treatment because I was so like the other Nikita and was allowed to sit in the door way of 'The Pub'. The lady said people could just walk around me! Very fitting for someone of my breeding and beauty!" We hope they also bought you beverages and a snack, Nikki!

Nikki at "The Pub"

The next day brought even more adventures! Nikki and the bipeds drove for quite a long time and eventually came to a little village with pretty little cottages. While there, they saw wild horsies!

Look, Dad - horsies!

Nikki said they were really big and wanted to check her out! "They wanted to check me out and I wanted to check them out but my spoil sport humes would not let us get too close." Bipeds are like that sometimes, Nikki. We have no idea why.

Nikki continued to tell us about her adventure, "When we got back to our new house my Dad went to do some fishing. I sat and watched him; silly biped, does he really think that the fish are so stupid that they are going to get themselves hooked on a line? We had steak for supper that night (yum)!!" Glad the fishies were smart enough to avoid being caught, since it meant steak for you! Ha roo! (Amber said she's heard fish spend a lot of time in school. Hee hee hee.)

Go away, fishies! I could get a steak out of this deal!

Nikki's holiday was almost over. "Next day our big adventure was over and we drove home, we stopped at a few more places, a big dark tunnel that was quite scary but I was very brave and protected my humes from any danger." Wow! Very brave, indeed! Nikki sent play bows and said that if we come see her, she'll take us on a big adventure since she's such a well-travelled lady now!!! Let's ALL go!

Nikki, for taking your bipeds on such a cool holiday adventure, making new friends, snagging a steak dinner, protecting your bipeds in the tunnel and so very much more ... we salute you!

The Army of Four

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Troopers in the Ao4

Ha roo, troops! It's me - Drill SGT Zim! Listen up, pups! Stormy, Supreme Commander of the Ao4 has asked me to post the list of Troopers in the Ao4. Everypup who has contacted us about joining the Ao4 should be in this list...

Bailey the Mini Doxie
Bama and the River Hill Pack (Bama, Chili, Cracker, Mikki)
Bumpass Hounds - Jubal, JEB, Shelby, Jack, Abby, Max and Shilohand AND the Bumpass Cats - Alex, Boru and Jenny
The Colorado Crew: Stormy, Thunder, JoJo and Bow
Cyber-Sibes: Star & Jack-A-Roo
The Dachsies (Roxie, Andy & Sammy)
D'Azul Siberians' SGT Preston and PVT Silver
The Dogs of Jackman Avenue: Lola, Sherman & Penny
Fleas Gang: Simon, Scarlett & Shelly
Girl Girl - the Hamster-berian
Guinness & Shiloh at the Stoutino Inn & Foster Kennel
Holly and her pack: Samuel, Abby, Monty and Kona
Huffle Mawson, Explorer Cat!
Jan's Funny Farm: The pups: Merci, Buddy, & Samaritan and the kitties: Crystal, Cotton, Cyndi, Percy, Cameron & Rusty
The Kapp Pack: Kelsey Ann, Sky & Canyon
Moxie & Izzie - The Corgi Girls
Peanut & Flash
Piappies - Fudgie, Princess, Scrappy, Bullet, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar
Pippa
Pippin and her flock: Tansy, Hamish, Renzo, Rafe and Kyzer
Rudy and his 3 fellow Bedlington Terrier housemates
Sitka and her "sister" Tia
Team Husky: Prince & Summer
The OP Pack: Thunder, Dakota and Phantom
Toto
Tubey and his roommates: Roo Roo, Fargo, Misha, Nikki and Lex
Please submit any additions or corrections as soon as you can. Check in, Troopers! It's GREAT that so many of you want to join us!

We have been working on an animated gif file and it's cool. We just can't get it to upload properly, for some odd reason. (If any of you can help us out with any tips, please shoot us an email. It's worked for us before ... just not now!) Once we have that squared away, we'll notify you. Until then, send us an email at SibeTracker(the at symbol)yahoo(the dot thingy)com. (Is that how you're supposed to do it to avoid spammers?) We'll email you a special code for your sidebar! Show the blogosphere - show the world! - you are proud Troopers in the Ao4!

Play bows,
Zim

pUpdate: Charlie the Big Dog's dad fixed us up with the animated .gif file. Shoot us an email for the code! TW, Storms

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bento Box - To Eat or Not To Eat

Ha roo! Zimmie here! I was reading Jazz and Dixie's blog the other day - you know them, they're those gorgeous Beagle babes in Japan! They mentioned picking up a Bento - a Japanese lunchbox. How fun! I wonder what was in theirs?

We don't have that kind of Bento box here in Kansas, but as I told Jazz & Dixie, Dave helped Mom make a quilt in a pattern called "Bento Box"! Here it is:


I'm not sure why they call it "Bento Box" - Stormy said maybe because it looks like it has a bunch of little compartments to tuck different foods into. Mom hasn't quilted this yet - after she does, I wonder if she's going to put rice, meat or veggies on it!?! Ha roo roo roo!

Mom made her Bento Box in her and Dave's favorite colors, white and bl-wooooooo! It will probably go somewhere in the outer room of the Quilt Studio where there is a bunch of other blue and white stuff, like the celadon lamps Mom bought in Korea. You can see a couple of those in this picture of the "outer" studio.

She has some of the traditional Cheong-ja or green celadon, too, but Dave suggested it would be better if it was grouped together somewhere else in the house. You know... since it's green and all. Dave's really good about knowing stuff like that.

Well, that's our version of a Bento Box. I like it just fine, but I think Jazz & Dixie's sounds much more like something I could sink my teeth into! (And not get scolded. Ha roo roo roo!)

I just love learning about different cultures, don't you?

Play bows, all!
Zim

Thursday, May 10, 2007

It's Our Am...aversary!

Ha roo, everypup! It's me - Stormy! We're back from Leave and just in time to celebrate a VERY important day around here. The day we adopted Amber! That's right - it's our Amaversary!!! Here we are - I know you've seen this picture before, but it's one of my favs, so bear with me.

I just couldn't believe it when Mom and Dad brought her home to me back in '99 and let me know I'd just had a puppy! I was ecstatic! She was already 4 months old and we took to each other right away! I'd always wanted a puppy of my own! She was and is perfect in every way!

I helped train her, of course. I even house-broke her! That was easy - she wanted to be just like me and our great brother Booter. Here I am, tiring her out - you know that old adage is true: A tired Siberian is a good Siberian. Of course, I think ALL pups are good .... but that's another story.

Come on, Ammy! Catch me if you can!

Since Booter was half Lab and half Australian Shepherd, he could herd us up for Mom, which was very cool! In that picture above, he was waiting for the "Round 'em up, Boots!" request. I mean "command". Whatever. He usually got her corralled first.

Here's the little one!

We're all so very happy to have Ammy in our lives. She is the best girl puppy I've ever had - kind, playful, strong, loyal, brave, a little silly, and ever-so-sweet. Celebrate the day with us, friends! Happy Ammyversary!!!

Tail wags,
Storm

Monday, May 07, 2007

MaPaw Auction Items!

Woo! It's me - Dave, everypup! I came in off of Leave to remind you about the important eBay auction going on to support the MaPaw Siberian Husky rescue group. You can bid on and win all KINDS of great things, regardless of where you are around the world! All the items are really cool - but I wanted to tell you about a couple I helped Mom with! Here I am with them:

Woo. I'd love to take a nap on this quilt!

The quilted throw measures approximately 32 x 32" and is great tossed over your bed! Doesn't it look comfy? We have a couple like that, so Mom can toss them in the wash a couple times a week and make them all clean and Downey-fresh! It's made using the popular "fray edge" technique and only gets better with subsequent washings! Really! And those seams are great for scratching your back, if you roll around on the quilt! It feels SO good! Mom didn't let me try this one out, but the others are like that.

The front is 100% cotton fabrics, all in dog-themed prints. I matched them myself, so you know they're all color-coordinated. The pet shop fabric features all kinds of puppies and kittens - to include a play-bowing red and white Siberian! I'm SURE they are all from a rescue group or the local shelter. ...Or they could be shopping for toys or treats! There's a dachsie on there, a Scottie, some kit-cats, a spotty dog, all KINDS of pups! The back is made from "recycled" denim and Mom stitched it all together with the goldish heavy-weight denim thread.

Are you sure I can't take a nap on this? It looks so comfy ... and it's calling me!

Here's a good shot of the pillow. It's 14 x 14 inches and the cover can come off for washing. The back is the pet shop fabric; there are some cool close-ups on the auction page!

Please check out the MaPaw fund-raiser. They have some sweet, sweet puppers in their care right now who need a lot of medical care. Wouldn't it be great to help them out?

To answer a question posed by a very adorable somepup... I do not come with the quilt! I would miss my mom too much. Woo. If any of our blogging pals are the winners of either item, though - let us know and we'll include special sniffie bags for you or maybe something else really special that you'll like!

Thanks for checking out the auction! And for your well-wishes while we get through this stormy weather!

Luv,
Dave