Happy New Year

2008 has been one hell of a year. Personally: my son turned two, my sister had a baby, we went on a great trip to Disney World in the summer, I ended my golf season with my best round all year. Business: I had some great opportunities to work with some great clients and really develop my skills more than I have since I started doing web development.

There were some less than happy times in 2008 as well. I lost my beautiful girl Triscuit in October to a bone tumor and her first friend Wish to lymphoma. Fortunately we were able to adopt Triscuit’s brother Colby who has been amazing and Wish’s parents adopted a spunky new girl Ada.

In 2009 I am going to focus on simplicity more than ever. Time to tune out the noise and focus on what is really important. Time to get healthier, to work less and to enjoy not working more.

With that said – time to do some Wii Fit!

Busy Busy…

I have not been a very good poster lately – and I apologize. I have had a lot going on. We got our new dog Colby last weekend, been busy with all the WordPress 2.7 update/compatibility issues, preparing for Evan’s 2nd birthday, re-organizing my office space and development environment, getting ready for holiday travel, and just trying to take a break. I also have started the process of updating my web site Jappler.com from the ground up. I am not sure when you will see the new version – but it is in the works.

Colby is doing good. Triscuit was my first dog ever so there are a lot of things I thought all dogs did – but I can definitely see a lot more of Triscuit’s personality vs. generic dog vs. Colby and that has been pretty cool. Colby hangs out with me in my office for most of the day and like his sister Triscuit – is not a fan of the dog crate. I have been working with him on that as well as teaching him how to go up and down the stairs, how to walk on a leash, that the window is glass and not a hole for him to jump out of (windows really confuse him), and how to take treats from my hand. It has been both rewarding and sad to see him in action. Rewarding because he is such a good dog that is so curious about everything…and he loves just being around you. Sad because he is four and does not understand treats, toys, or a treats/peanut butter in a kong. I will be sure to work on that.

I have not seen him run yet in a sprint, but I am sure in the next few days I will be able to get him to do a sprint in the yard (he was an excellent runner and I want to see him in action).

Other than that – life has been pretty crazy/hectic. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to take some time off and really enjoy just being. 😉

Meet Triscuit's Brother Colby

Colby and Lori Ann On Saturday, Evan, Amy, our friend Lori Ann, and I made the trek up to the greyhound kennel in Wisconsin. We had the pleasure of meeting, walking, and getting to know Triscuit’s half brother Colby. It is amazing how similar they are in so many ways. We look forward to getting to know him better next weekend when we pick him up and bring him to his new home.

New Greyhound…

Well – it was a month ago yesterday that my beautiful girl Triscuit died. We started the adoption process (application/class/etc) that goes into adopting a greyhound. Yesterday after completing a “greyhounds and kids” class that we were required to take (because of the strong pack mentality of greyhounds fresh off the track). We go next weekend to the greyhound kennel to meet some dogs…and one in particular – a brother of Triscuit: Ricky He looks pretty much exactly like Triscuit which I initially did not know if I could handle, but then thinking about the possibility to have one of her family members – I knew it was right. I hope we like each other and that in a few weeks we would have the honor of having him in our home.

Clean Up that Photo Library!

In the past few days I have found it really hard to focus on work because my mind keeps drifting back to Triscuit. Because of this I have tried to do some things that I have been meaning to do but have not had time/want to do them. One of them: take a break and walk every single day. The other so far: clean out that nasty iPhoto Library. Gone are the blurred, duplicates, and photos I really do not care about. I feel so much better about my photos now. Not only did I decrease the size of my library, I made it easier to backup/restore, and have made it much more manageable. If you are like me and are overwhelmed with something like this – do it in steps. Go through a few to a few hundred pictures at a time. Scared? Make a backup first. Trust me, you will feel so much better!

Quiet House

Today was my first full day without Triscuit with me. Working at home was such a treat for both Triscuit and me. Every time I would get up to get a drink, check the mail, etc I would go over and see her, pet her, and talk to her. She kept me company and tried to convince me to take her for a walk. Today – the house was especially quiet without the click clack of her claws, and her tags on her collar shaking as she would do a good shake. To round out these past few sad and trying days – I ended up having to get a root canal today while at the dentist getting my crowns (from July) redone. Hopefully my luck will change and this weekend will be great!

My Beautiful Girl…

The first day we met TriscuitOn June 10th, 2000 – Triscuit came into this life, and without us knowing it at the time, the perfect dog was born. She bred to race and had a successful racing career (Triscuit’s racing stats) for two years. The first race she ever raced in she got 3rd and the next race she got 1st. Almost to the day, our little racer got 3rd place in a race in 2002. Within a few months of retiring, Amy and I had were the luckiest two people to meet her at the the Greyhounds Only rescue kennel where we instantly fell in love with our girl. Greyhounds will often lean on someone if they feel really comfortable with them and as soon as she leaned on me – I knew we just had to have her in our lives.

My girlShe was the best dog I could have ever asked for. She never complained, rarely barked, never jumped up on anyone, had amazingly soft “bunny fur”, and was always the first thing I saw coming home (she would greet me at the door) and the last thing I would see when I left (she would stand by the window as I would leave). Everyone that met her loved her – even non-dog people. She loved to run in the backyard as I would cheer her on “Go Triscuit go”, take walks (oh my how she loved to take walks), eat McDonalds food, and more than anything, to relax with me and Amy. She loved peanut butter, cheese, hot dogs, and hearing the microwave oven (possibility of hot dogs) eating grass, small dogs and other greyhounds, and hated sitting.

When Evan was born, Triscuit was very curious about him but grew to love him, even if he did pull her leash on the walks because at the end of the day, he gave her tons of table scraps.

She was the best dog that I have ever met and I feel so fortunate to have known her. She showed me patience, calm, and unconditional love. She will be forever my beloved girl who brought a smile to my face everyday.

Triscuit's last few minutes

Her last moments in life were around 230pm today (October 15th) with me and Amy by her side. The neurologist found a tumor in her spine that was causing Triscuit to lose function of her tail and her back legs, and soon other parts of her body. Since her quality of life was really bad and the fact they could not operate, we made the decision to give her the peace she deserved. She was calm and at peace right until her last breath. She was one of a kind and I will miss her forever. Thanks to everyone who offered to watch the cats, Evan, brought us food, and sent positive thoughts.

Tonight I will eat a hotdog and a piece of cheese then take a walk because I know that is what my beautiful girl would want more than anything in the world. I will miss you Triscuit!

Triscuit Update

My /Beautiful Racer We just got a call from Triscuit’s neurologist. He is going to do a MRI in about an hour to see what is going on. He thinks there is a good chance it is either a slipped disc or possibly a tumor. If it is a slipped disc – they can do surgery and the outlook is good. If it is a tumor – they are usually inoperable and the outlook…not so great. Send positive thoughts.

Sick Triscuit

I was hoping to use the WordPress iPhone app while somewhere fun or boring but instead I find myself in an animal ER while my beautiful girl Triscuit is getting looked at.

A few days ago T started having problems with walking and today I had to carry her everywhere. We are not sure what is going on but it looks like a spine issue. T is only 8, but with that said, just lost her best friend Wish (a fellow grey) last week.

Please send positive thoughts…she is such a sweet girl.

Cool Insect

Leaf Bug This post was going to be about updating jappler.com from WordPress 2.2.x to WordPress 2.3RC 1, but on the way back from my daily walk with Triscuit (my greyhound) I noticed a super cool bug on the side of my house. I decided to share my picture of it instead of talking about the bugs I ran into when upgrading to the latest version of WordPress (Don’t be too jealous of my sweet sandbox). Speaking of bugs – I also had 3 swarms of flying ants in my house yesterday that I noticed while on a conference call. Good thing I handle these situations very calm, cool, and collected.