Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Not Coptergate, but Puppygate

Little Sparkle isn't about to miss a meal, even if it is someone else's.

Not Coptergate, but Puppygate

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While controversy has swirled around New Jersey’s high-flying governor in recent days, we’ve had some trouble of our own with a high-flying pup.  After confidently explaining in a previous post about how we separate the three dogs during meals, I thought I had a foolproof system in place.  Sparkle blew that notion out of the sky Sunday morning when she vaulted the three-foot-high baby gate in our kitchen and shoved aside our geriatric golden retriever Timber and began gobbling his meal after she polished off her own kibble.

  Not to let this go uncorrected, I pursued the pup and grabbed her by the collar. She was lunging so hard at the food bowl that I couldn’t pull her away. So I unwisely reached my right hand in front of her muzzle to push her back while I yanked on her collar with the left hand. Ouch!  I felt a stab of pain as one of her sharp little teeth gouged into a finger. She did not bite me. Rather, I stuck my hand in front of her mouth while she was chomping as fast as she physically could.  

Trying to put pressure on the gushing puncture wound on my right hand, I managed to push her out the door and onto the deck, saving about half of old Timber’s meal. It was a costly partial victory, one that I was unwise to attempt.  Luckily, the incision was so sharp that by the time I got the Band-Aids out of the cabinet, I barely needed one.  I stuck one on for good measure and headed off for church. Most fortunately, Sparkle herself was not injured in the fracas.  The lesson here, of course, is to expect the unexpected, and never let your fingers get between a ravenous pup and a bowl of chow.  I never thought that she could jump that high, but she did. These pups are smart and creative in getting what they want, and they will surprise you! 

Incidentally, if Gov. Christie takes any more copter jaunts to the ball field, Sparkle would love to ride shotgun.  The exposure (for Sparkle, that is) would be priceless.

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About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at

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