Tag Archives: Charger

The Story of Charger

imageName: Charger

Nicknames: Pooter, Pooh, Der Tootendoggen, Pooh-dog, Stink-butt (can you tell I fart a lot?) Charger-Barger, cow nose and Sir Fartz-A-Lot (my hip-hop name)
Sex? Male (Fixed)
How old are you? When is your Birthday? We celebrate on November 1st, which is the day I came home(2003). The shelter thinks I was about 5 years old when I got left by my first family. (They loved me for many years, but then could no longer afford to feed me and I was WAY WAY WAY too skinny.)
What breed are you? German Shepherd/ St. Bernhard mix
Describe your physical traits.I have a ‘cow nose’ it is very white and pink and big. I have big floppy ears and lots of scrunchy jowls on my neck. My coat is a beautiful black and brown. When you stare into my big brown eyes you will notice that I have RED EYELASHES. I have a cute little white strip on the back of my neck. But my biggest and best feature is the one that won the hearts of my mommy and daddy the first second they saw me, MY SUPER SMILE.
Describe your personality.Besides being incredibly happy in my new home? I like to be with ALL my people. I herd them into the same room if they are all spread out. I am mellow most of the day and lounge around like the king of the roost that I am, but when mommy gets home I howl with pleasure and run around, roll on the floor and get my well deserved scritches.
Where do you live? I live in a nice house with my mommy, daddy, and Joshie. I have a nice neighborhood filled with dogs that I get to play with, sniff and bark at. I have a big backyard that I run around in, but only with my mom and dad, I don’t like to be in the yard by myself.
Do you have any siblings? There are these two cats that live in the house. Mommy had them before she met Daddy and they pretty much keep their distance from me. We both get a little curious sometimes and bump noses. We each have our own spot on the bed and sleep together without incident.
What is your favorite toy?ANYTHING that is soft and fuzzy and squeaks!!! Mommy has to buy squeakies in bulk to repair and make me new toys all the time.
Where is your favorite place to sleep? I ONLY sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Lately I like to lean on daddy’s legs and try to push him out of the bed (he he!)
What is your favorite thing to do to annoy your people? If I am not getting the attention I deserve (which if I am honest is rarely, after all daddy works from home, so I am rarely alone) I like to stare at mommy or daddy and woof at them and then turn my head away like, “That wasn’t me”. I do this about a dozen times in a row until they come over and play with me.
Anything else you would like to add? I have a couple of girlfriends that I get to play with all the time. Good thing we are all fixed because otherwise…. Also I am SO Lucky to have a grandpa that loves dogs and happens to be a doggy doctor, I don’t even hate him for the recent medicine that he squirted up my nose.

November 2003

Ruff I bought him a dog because he loves dogs and I love him and I thought I would tolerate it for the sake of love.

I was wrong.

He is HUGE and hairy and slobbers when he drinks. He follows me around everywhere. The cats still don’t know what to do about him. I have to sweep every day and vacuum almost as often.

I never knew I could love a dog this much. He bats those big brown eyes and plops his big golden head in my lap and I melt. I look forward to getting up at the crack of dawn and walking out in the freezing cold so he can water every lamp post. I am anxious to get home so I can get a big slobbery hug. I am still wearing black despite the fact that every hair that covers me stands out like a slovenly sign of my pet ownership. I am so glad that I don’t have to tolerate him anymore.

So Charger is a German Shepherd-St. Bernard mixed shelter dog. We brought him home from NOAH. They are an amazing shelter and we continue to support them whenever we can. He was about 5 years old (and had never been neutered) when his family could no longer afford to feed him.

By the time we found him, he had already been adopted once. The family that tried him out for three months had a big family with little kids and realized they could not handle such a large dog. Honestly, I can’t imagine having Charger for 3 months and giving him up! But I am a full-blown sucker now, when it comes to spoiling and loving Charger.

Charger came with the name, and after only a short time with him, the name so obviously fit that we couldn’t justify changing it. He has two speeds: sleeping and full charge! ut he quickly earned MANY nicknames!

January 2004

Obedience Training Today was our first day at “good manners” class. Both of us went to find out more. We weren’t sure if it was OK to train the dog with one or both of us at the same time. I am so thankful Shawn came with me! there must have been about 20 dogs there (all medium to big, but Charger was in fact the LARGEST dog there) and Charger was just bonkers with nervous excitement. He pulled so hard that we both had to work to contain him.

The trainer recognized him right away, Charger was a favorite at the shelter. She talked for most of the hour, telling about different training collars, ideologies and methods. Charger was shedding like crazy. We both wore black, as it is a staple in our wardrobe and we were covered with hair in a matter of minutes. He finally got friendly with the girl dog next to us.

The only command we worked on today (finally at the very end) was sit. Charger already knows that one. But in general we learned some very good do’s and don’ts about training and we will be going together for the next 6 Saturdays. It was so much work to hold onto him and keep him calm AND try to listen to the instructions. I could not have done it by myself.

March 2005 ~ Charger’s Sports Injury

Today at 11am, I was just getting ready to work in my studio when I heard an ungodly welp. I stuck my head out the window to see my dog on the ground with his back end in an unnatural position and he was twisting around in circles trying to get up. Shawn came running around the corner and I ran downstairs. In the stress Charger had totally soiled himself and scratched his own legs. It was obvious that something was very wrong with his back hips and legs. He wouldn’t put any weight on them and they were twisted in the weirdest ways. The only thing to happen to cause this was he was chasing after this possum that he has an ongoing battle with, and as he charged around the corner of the house he slipped either on the wet grass or possibly on his own poop.

Even though my dad is a veterinarian, AND was on his way for a rare visit. I knew this was beyond his current work. He does house calls, so he doesn’t have a clinic and he mostly cares for the shots, fleas and minor illnesses and allergies. Without a clinic it is not possible to do x-rays and surgery. So we looked up the emergency animal hospital and planned to rush him there.

BUT Charger is 120-130 pounds of raw determined German Shepard/ st.Bernard muscle. So getting him in the car in his current pain and fear took a first try of roomy Kath, My b/f and myself. But roomy Kath quickly threw her back out, so I got the neighbors. Tony, a construction worker and Paul, a burly 200+ lb weight lifter and My b/f and myself, managed to get him into the car on a blanket.

At the clinic they had to sedate him to take x-rays and found (thank GOD) no broken bones, no hip-dysplasia. BUT he still will not put any weight on his left leg and he is turning the paw under. He has plenty of feeling in the leg and hip, the right leg is fine. So it is muscle or something. He is staying in the hospital over night, getting major doses of steroids and anti-inflammatories. If he doesn’t get better before Monday, we will be seeing a neurologist or something. YIKES

I am very thankful, that with S finally working we can afford the care. But please send all your prayers and good healing thoughts to Charger. I have been on the verge of tears all day, so also pray for myself and S for our stressed out worrisome mommy and daddy emotions.

So ($650.00 later) we have brought Charger home and he seems happy to be here and is not experiencing much pain. This is what the emergency clinic doctor ended up thinking it might be
http://www.chclibrary.org/micromed/00046580.html He said there is really no cure for it.
We are going to try steroids, muscle relaxants and meds for pain as needed, while doing some at home physical therapy, as recommended by Doctor Grandpa.

~ So it has been two weeks since the accident. We have been doing our best to cure Charger with TLC and it is working. We had him taking some meds for the first week but have stopped all meds as he no longer seems to need any. He is walking normally, but his leg is still a little weak, so sometimes he looses his footing and the leg slips out from under him. He is back to regular amounts of eating, playing and sleeping. He is getting up and down the stairs and on and off the beds and couches without help. He is as angry at the postman as ever and makes it known. He has gotten to be his old spunky smelly self and we are so relieved. 2 weeks for a sports injury is pretty good. In fact roomy Kath hasn’t healed nearly as quickly, but she is getting better too.


December 2014

Charger has enjoyed a wonderful life with us, but the past few years have been rough. After more and more pain with his arthritis, going deaf and then he having night anxitey related to senior dementia… We finally determined that his quality of life was too diminished. We used a home vet to help Charger move on. It was a difficult decision but best for all.

Beaded Journal Pages

I am beginning to finish up some of the backs of my pages, while still working on new ones. I have ironed on some backing fabric with a stiff no-sew double-sided  interfacing and a back ribbon in the same way. This helps the pages to stand up. In my prototypes I sewed in some card stock, but I really didn’t like how that worked out. (too stiff)

Beaded Journal Project first 3 months ~closed~

I wrote up a little paragraph describing the feelings, reasons and thoughts behind each page. I printed the paragraphs onto some t-shirt transfers and then ironed on to white fabric. I can’t iron on these to my backing fabric because of the transfer surface and I can’t sew them on with the machine because of all the beads of course. So for now I am gluing them on with some tacky glue. (Wishing I had some of that great fabric glue)

Beaded Journal Project first 3 months ~backs~

So now I am trying to decide if I add the paint brushes to the fold points as stands (like in my prototype) or if the interfacing will be enough to help them stand, or if I even want them to stand. I like them each separately more than together.

BJP Finished September 2008

Written on back

~September 2008~
Back to School
This month is about fresh starts. New school supplies, Back to school clothes, new ideas for lesson plans and a fresh group of kids. A sense of excitement and refreshment after a long break. But ready to get back in the swing of things. Ready to learn, ready to share, ready to teach, I am an art teacher and
Ready to Reach

BJP Finished October 2008

Written on back

~October 2008~
El Día de los Muertos
Halloween has always been a favorite holiday of mine. Throughout the years I have made many costumes, some simple some more elaborate. All with the desire to be someone else for a brief time. Now that I garden, and live in a more Hispanic area, Day of the Dead has a little more influence. I celebrate the end of the growing season. The little deaths in my life that will make way for new things to grow in the coming year. I love the imagery of this holiday and its spirit for honoring and remembering those that have passed on.
Remember the Dead

BJP Finished November 2008

Written on back

~November 2008~
We adopted our dog in November, so this will always mark his “birthday” and entry into our family. He is one of the very best things in my life. I never knew you could love a dog so much. I love him more and more every year. He is often my muse, a friend to play with, someone who always listens to my stories, frequently my pillow and always
My Furry Child

BJP WIP December 2008

I need to finish the backing for this one, but the beading, I have decided, is done! I was going to add more, but I realized that I wanted the page to be simple and quiet with an essence of snow and cold.
Written on back

~December 2008~
December can be a hellishly hectic time of year. I used to work retail management and this was the most stressful time of year without a doubt. Now I get a break. This year it was a break filled with record breaking snow, impassible roads, and hours to snuggle in the quiet warmth of the house. All parties and gatherings were cancelled for safety. Most people probably don’t realize the introvert that lives inside of me. Parties are stressful and lots of work for me on a mental and emotional level. This low key, stay at home, forced seclusion was a
Winter Wonderland

BJP WIP January 2009

This one is January’s page… still a work in progress. I just want to finish the other brown butterfly and the left blue spiral. This page is about new beginnings. January is a big month for goal setting and resolutions. Butterflies are a great symbol of rebirth. Spirals are a symbol of life. So this page is about making a commitment to myself to continue in my self-improvement and fitness. I haven’t written my paragraph for this one quite yet. But it will be something similar to the above. This one also still needs to have a backing finishing, after the beading is done.

BJP WIP February 2009
This one is February’s page… still a work in progress.  This page was inspired by the landscape assignment in my Joggles mini art quilt class. Purple is my favorite color and I wanted to make a landscape that was based on a winter sunset. The heart fabric was completely accidental.  I am not a huge Valentine’s Day person so I was not trying to be sappy. Then I saw a great bead that my friend Pam created and I knew it was perfect for the focal piece. This one is more like January’s page, more abstract. While the other months so far have had a printed image that I have beaded on or around. It has been fun to bead in a less directed way, but it is harder to know when I am done.  This one also still needs to have a backing finishing, after the beading is done.

I guess it is about time to move on to March!

November Beaded Journal Project Begins

november BJP 2008 b4

November 2003 is when I became a dog lover, when I was completely won over by my first BIG dog. So this month’s page will honor Charger and his big stupid grin. This is the fabric quilt prior to beading. I have some scrabble letters to spell out the word “love” and then plan to bead some borders, bones and his hat and scarf. Not sure what other beading I will do, this one will probably be pretty simple.

See my other month’s pages here (plus theflickr album) and more about Charger here (plus HIS flickr album) .

I had contemplated doing something election oriented but decided that at this point, Charger is more of an influence… perhaps January will be about our new President.

Stretch Yourself Weekly Challenge Week #8 the comic challenge

(photo proof of Charger’s relaxing here, here and here)
So I tell my students that they should create art based on what they are passionate about… I also tell them that if they look at MY art they can tell pretty quickly what my biggest passion is… my dog! (see ceramic scupltures, photos, digital art and now this!)
This week’s Stretch Yourself challenge is to create a comic of your life… who else could it possibly feature?

Stretch Yourself Week #8 the comic challenge day 2

(and photos of me and scruffy Shawn)