February 12, 2012

gerret I Ride Inside!

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Yes! The Gerret has joined the Dogs Against Romney Super Pack and their "I Ride Inside" movement. Everyone knows that animal crates on the roof of a car are for cats. (Just kidding Slippers. Maybe.)

I've even gone so far as to update my universally loved and award-winning feature film with new scrolling subtitles. Enjoy!

December 23, 2011

gerret Yes, I'm Finally Famous

by Gerret, file under: About Me

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So yes, that's me, The Gerret, on the front of a greeting card and soon to be on T-shirts as well. I just can't imagine a better holiday present for all you out there. So Merry Happy and Happy Merry and see y'all next year!

September 15, 2011

gerret Swirlin' on the Beach

by Gerret, file under: About Me | Doggedly dogging the dogs | My Pack

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Well, The Gerret learned two things last weekend. First, I never want to do anything that requires a life jacket, and second, I never want to do anything that requires a parachute.

And that's not weird.

I Googled me and sure enough it said I was a land mammal, emphasis on the "land." That's "LAND" mammal. It doesn't say anything about water and nothing about air except when it comes to drinking and breathing which I can do just fine with all four feet resting on dirt.

You see, Stump and Tweet tricked me and Maggie into the car and hauled us off to a couple of places called Nags Head and Kitty Hawk. What a bummer. One place was all about drowning, and the other was about jumping up and not coming down. This isn't what dogs are paid to do.

There we met up with Irene, Girlfriend, Sassie, Andage, Chap and Bodee.

Andage was all about surfing, which is apparently some variation on taking a big flat stick out into the world's largest water bowl, jumping on top of it for a while and then falling over. If I did that they'd take me to the vet.

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We did a lot of this at sunrise for obvious reasons. Who'd want to get caught trying to find a gnarly tubular something-or-other in a giant, over-seasoned water bowl? Plus Stump and Tweet kept picking up our turds and putting 'em in plastic bags. Gross! What are they saving 'em for, Christmas? How weird is that? And they complain about dog breath.

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So on the left that's Maggie at sunrise, then Bodee with Girlfriend and Maggie watching Andage with his giant flat stick, and finally The Gerret trying to educate Maggie about riptides.

Speaking of which, Maggie drank the water. Yours truly did not. Now she's cross-eyed. What a putz. With her weight problem she should be avoiding salt big time.

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This is me and Maggie with our new housemate Irene. She showed up at our place right around the same time as Hurricane Irene, so we all call her Irene. Stump says she's a foster dog. I don't know who the Fosters are, but I wish they'd pick up their dog because she's cramping my style. You do the math. Pork chop leftovers divided by two dogs vs. pork chop leftovers divided by three dogs. I rest my case.

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The problem is Stump and Tweet and Andage can't say enough good things about Irene, so if you really care about The Gerret you'll adopt this dog NOW. Or I'm gonna start sending out resumes.

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As for Kitty Hawk, that was even weirder. People sitting on sticks and jumping into the air and not coming down in a timely manner. Sheesh. I know you're with me on this one. Plus it isn't even in Kitty Hawk, it's in Kill Devil Hills. And what is a kitty hawk anyway? Could we get a few around our place? We got kitties.

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August 29, 2011

gerret How I single-handedly scared off Hurricane Irene

by Gerret, file under: About Me | Our universe

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So last weekend The Gerret collided with Hurricane Irene and I'm guessing you know who won. I knew you did.

Anyways, Stump documented the whole thing over on Bourbon, Dogs and Art (click here), even if he did downplay my role in saving pretty much everything he holds sacred. But that's okay. I'm a dog. This is my job. To protect, and serve, and run in circles with crazed abandon until even hurricanes decide it might just be safer to tiptoe past quietly and move on down the road.

P.S. - Maggie helped.

July 04, 2011

gerret Born on the 4th of July

by Gerret, file under: About Me

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Yep. The Gerret was born on the Fourth of July. This is only my fourth party, but it calculates out to 35 dog years, so I don't want any of you Gen-Y folk trying to pull rank.

And Happy Birthday to the good ol' US of A! It is now 1190 dog-years old. Not bad for a failed experiment in corporations-are-people-too democracy.

So anyway, since I'm talking about me, and talking about the USA, and just happened to get photographed making a political statement the other day (see above), I'd like to request that once you get that whole Civil Rights thing settled, and that Gay thing straightened out and those rich folks relieved of all taxation, can dogs be next?

June 16, 2011

gerret The Hazards of Duke

by Gerret, file under: About Me

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Yes, dear friends, yours truly, The Gerret, got accepted at Duke University. At least for today. And not just because I'm smart, but because they wanted to test just how smart I really am. Little did they know.

I was invited to participate in a study being done by the Duke Canine Cognition Center, run by Professor Brian Hare. I jumped at the chance because I remember hearing Dr. Hare's name on the Animal Channel one time. Rumor has it he's almost as smart as some dogs I know. He thinks that by studying dogs humans will "gain a window into the mind of animals as well as the evolution of our own species." It could happen.

But not today.

In retrospect, the problem was in the premise. "The majority of problems we present to dogs are very similar to those presented to young human children..." said the printout. I mean excuse me?! Young human children? Ever been around a young human child? You would waste The Gerret's intellect on child's play?

So what started out as mild amusement soon turned into a gripping battle of wills. And by the time it was all over, The Gerret had crushed the competition.

But I jump ahead.

While I didn't meet Dr. Hare, I did get to interact with several of his well-trained, loyal assistants. I believe their names were Courtnea and Mona, but I don't hear so well so corrections appreciated.

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Here's the scene of the throwdown. Note that humans use lots of color tape to mark locations because they can't smell very well.

Mona started the problem solving by placing a small treat in each of two different bowls of different colors (yellow and black). I'm supposed to wait until the bowls are placed on the floor, then run over and eat a treat out of each bowl. The idea was that I'd learn to look for treats in the bowls. The problem for me was that the treats sucked.

So I said to myself, I can't keep doing this for those store-bought pieces of cardboard. How will I train these folks to provide better treats? I hit on a plan. About the third time they put treats in the bowls, I just sat there. I didn't move to either bowl. After repeating this behavior several times, I noted a learning response in the humans. Stump, who was in the room observing, offered Mona some ham jerky treats he opined might be more effective.

So they tried it again with the ham jerky. And in an effort to reward their growth and reinforce their behavior, I obediently went to each bowl several times in a row and retrieved the treat.

So having taught them how to upgrade a treat, I decided to see if I could train them into an even more complex behavior.

I quit going after the ham jerky treats in the bowls. Stone cold. When Mona put treats in the bowl, and Stump released me, I just went over and sat by the door.

Stalemate.

Mona was thwarted. She brought in Courtnea to consult. Courtnea left and returned with an unopened can of Vienna Sausages. Human Food! I considered this a major cognitive breakthrough, and rewarded it by visiting each bowl several times and retrieving the sausage treats.

To be honest, I was overjoyed by the amount of training I'd accomplished in such a short period of time. I'd gone from cheap dog treats, to expensive dog treats to human food in maybe three-and-a-half dog hours. But I decided that now was not the time to stop with such valuable research. So the next time they put Vienna Sausages in the bowls, I just moved to another part of the room and lay down. No coaxing, no entreaties, no treat-flashing could make me budge.

The tension was palpable.

Finally, I witnessed the greatest breakthrough up till that point. Courtnea said, "If Gerret won't come to the treats, we'll bring the treats to Gerret." Hallelujah!

So Courtnea sits down in front of me with her two bowls and her Vienna Sausage and creates a treat-game where I don't even need to get up. She was practically sticking the sausage in my mouth. Since I was on a roll, I reinforced her behavior a couple of times and then returned to a state of boredom.

I probably should have stopped there, but it was obvious the staff was not tired yet so what the heck. After a bit of discussion Courtnea and Mona decided to abandon the treat-based research and see what they might learn using toys. Of course they didn't have any real toys. No sticks, no bones, no cats. But I was willing to play along.

So I'm still stretched out on the floor and Courtnea puts a blue rubber bone-sorta-thing on the floor and walks away to see if I'm interested or afraid of it. I walk over, check it out, lay next to it. No big deal. Then she puts a green toy on the floor. Again, I walk over, check it out, lay next to it. No big deal. Then she puts a yellow toy on the floor. I'm like, "been there, done that, no reward" and don't move.

Another crisis for Duke crew.

That's when Courtnea pulls out the heavy ammo. It's a remote-controlled squirrel-bear robot thing that runs around the floor and makes me get up and move. I checked it out, but it didn't smell like a squirrel or a cat or mouse or a mole or anything else I could chase, eat, kill, or intimidate, so I lay back down and started to go to sleep.

Apparently at that point they put down two toys at once to see which one I would gravitate to, but I was lost in some dream involving Coco and puppy kindergarten and ignored the whole thing. From a training standpoint, it was tough love time. I responded to nothing. My eyes drooped. I yawned.

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Here I am dozing off with a weird animatronic squirrel/bear on the left and a pink rubber thing on the right.

And VOILA!

Next thing I knew, Mona and Courtnea were kneeling next to me, having abandoned all attempts to test my behavior and instead were both petting my belly while I lay on my back with my feet in the air.

I had achieved the Holy Grail of human training and I'd accomplished it in less than seven dog hours. I will be writing up my findings in the Journal of Human Cognition Research later this year.

December 16, 2010

gerret Merry Merry and Happy Happy

by Gerret, file under: About Me | Major Motion Pictures | Our place

Guarding The Yurt

You know, sometimes my wiki leaks. Just sayin'.

Here I am guarding the art. What with the global rise in terrorism, the miserable economy and all the deer in these parts trying to hide from hunters, I've made it my job to make sure nothing gets in the way of Stump being able to afford dog food. He sells the art, he buys the dog food. It's as simple as that. So The Gerret is guarding the art. You should buy some. I can cut you a side deal.

Lane Watson took that photo. Genius! Caught my good side. Ha. Like The Gerret has a bad side.

Anyway, here now it's cold and snowing and the sun goes down before I've hardly had a good stretch. That can mean only one thing. It's the end of the world.

So to celebrate I've summarized another year with my annual Christmas movie to wish you all the best. It features birds and ducks and gooses and chickens and cats and terrorist squirrels, plus I make Maggie say "uncle" and as a special treat, superb crooning from yours truly. Enjoy!

P.S. - The soundtrack music is courtesy the generous Kevin MacLeod. Many thanks.

August 29, 2010

gerret Tall Tails

by Gerret, file under: Major Motion Pictures | Our universe

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There are people out there who actually believe that dogs have psychic abilities. That we can talk to each other without moving our lips. That we can predict the weather. That we can diagnose tumors and recognize evil humans as they approach. That we can tell when Stump's coming home before his airplane has even landed and that we know when you've put a pill in our food no matter how deeply you bury it in some fancy meat product.

Okay. Okay. Some of that is slight-of-paw, some is misdirection, much is careful observation. (If you spent 24/7 observing me the way I spend 24/7 observing you, you'd have a much better understanding of why I hate playing "fetch my stinky slippers." Argh.)

Yes, there's a rare few, like your humble author The Gerret, who truly have some psychic abilities. For instance, I know that at this very moment you are reading my blog.

Now you're thinking, "that's a stupid joke."

Now you're thinking "how did he know what I was doing and thinking?"

Psychic powers!

But let's go back to the "talking without moving our lips" thing.

Because people anthropomorphize dogs, they expect them to talk with their mouths. But mainly we talk with our tails. You probably wouldn't know about that since you don't have tails, just booty. In fact, some folks think dog tails are superfluous and they cut them off. Sheesh. Try cutting out your tongue and going to a cocktail party. You get the picture.

Dog tails are like billboards, and GPS systems, and cell phone towers and dog podcasts all rolled into one. To wit, my newest movie:


August 20, 2010

gerret You be the judge

by Gerret, file under: About Me | My Pack | Our place

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Just read that the label "free range" doesn't mean what you might think. Whatever. Around here it means chickens go where they want when they want and there are certain restrictions on dogs following them at high speeds. The Gerret considers this unnecessary regulation. I'm arguing that we replace "free range" with "affordable range" just as a way to reduce the deficit around here.

But I ramble.

In case you weren't aware (I'm talking to you, Maggie), there's a universe out there bigger than Frog Pond Farm. It's called Alamance County. It's HUGE! And they have something called a humane society, which sounds like it's about humans, but it's really about animals and the people they care for.

Around here we rely on the Humane Society of Alamance County to keep track of the passage of time, and in order to meet that responsibility they issue a calendar every year. And that calendar features 12 of the hottest adopted/rescued animals in all of Alamance County. Why 12? I dunno. Ask them.

Anyway, this year we entered yours truly, The Gerret, in the contest to appear in the 2011 HSAC calendar. And then, as an afterthought and in order to avoid lots of jealousy and bitterness, we also entered Maggie, Slippers and Sophie. Personally, I look at me, I look at them, I look at me, I look at them, I look at me... and well let's just say I was pretty confident.

But this probably wouldn't be worth writing about if it just turned out that The Gerret got what he deserved.

When the announcement arrived we learned that the HSAC had selected Sophie - SOPHIE - (heck we call her "Soapie") to appear in their la-de-da calendar. I'm stunned.

I can't believe that Sophie would be the choice in a popular election. And so I turn to you, the citizens of the world. Please vote on which of the four of us you would have included in the calendar. To cast your vote, write the name of your first choice [in order below: THE GERRET, Maggie, Slippers, sophie] on a dollar bill and mail it to P.O. Box 68, 27340. Don't worry. I'll get it. And I can count.

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August 14, 2010

maggie Hot Chicks!

by Maggie, file under: Maggie Unmuzzled | Our place

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Hi y'all! It's ME! Maggie! The hardest working tongue in two counties!

How am I? Awesome! How are you? Awesome! Isn't that just totally awesome! Been just soooo totally busy lately, what with all the eating and sleeping! Woof!

maggietongue.jpgHad to take a moment from my busy schedule to belately introduce some new members of the pack or flock or what-ev-ah! It's our newest chickens Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato! They are the three young thangs appearing in the above photo in eggs-actly that order! From left to right! They are... you guessed it... TOTALLY AWESOME! Around here we just call them "The Sandwich!" Ha-ha-ha! I make myself laugh! Oh well! Gotta go! Food to eat and naps to take! CUL8R!


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