Squeakers (Denver)

Denver was our purebred Siberian Husky sired by our other purebred Siberian Husky London and Born February 14th 2007.

Although it happened more than 2 years ago and I started writing this post almost right away, it’s taken me this long to decide to finish it and make it public. Even now finishing the last little bits it’s difficult for me to get through. He would have turned 9 today.

On January 3rd 2014 Denver was hit by a car traveling on Route 56 in the Adirondacks. I have no way of knowing for sure but from the injuries my assumption is that he died instantly. It’s an incredibly sad and unfortunate turn of events but I am thankful we have some closure. It didn’t start out that way, after realizing he was missing we searched for hours. Eventually the person from the DOT that found him, got in touch with someone who knew we had huskies, and they got in touch with us. Telling the kids was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Delilah grasped what was happening right away but Reece just hugged us and couldn’t understand why we were so sad.

When I think back to the last few days and weeks Denver enjoyed though, it makes me smile.

We hadn’t bought the dogs toys in a while, but for christmas we got Denver a fox with a christmas hat on it and a squeaker in each end and he was beside himself. We got London an identical raccoon and he couldn’t care less. Denver destroyed all 4 squeakers and couldn’t have been more excited while doing it. He always did. A squeaking toy never lasted more than 24hrs in our house once he joined the family.

On top of that in the few weeks before he was hit we had him groomed, got him a new nametag and let him sleep on the bed at camp. We had been grooming him (and London) ourselves for years but we had a coupon for 50% off a grooming appointment and we had both of them done. they looked better than they had in years and Denver in particular almost seemed proud of his new look. Seriously, he was literally strutting.

Denver was a funny dog. He would try to bury bones in the winter time but because the ground was frozen he would scratch it and just kind of push little bits of dirt (and sometimes snow) on top of the bone. In the morning time if he had to go outside he would jump on top of the bed, stand over us and just stare down at us until we woke up.

Like most huskies he liked to howl and talk. You could ask him “where’s London?” and he would go nuts howling.

When we got married we were gone for 2 weeks on our honeymoon and Denver missed us so much that when we got home he tackled Rachel and knocked her over, whining and crying the whole time.

Denver had a wild side too, he seemed closer to the wild than any other dog I’ve had. I got to see a whole different side of him when he investigated a porcupine in the woods at camp and ended up with 57 quills in his mouth. I Rode in the back of our truck trying to keep him calm while a friend of ours drove us hurriedly to the closest open vet (about 25 miles away). Eventually it seemed like he thought I was hurting him and so he tried lashing out at me but I was able to keep him calm long enough for us to arrive and get him a tranquilizer. When we brought him back he was the happiest dog alive.

I’m gonna miss that crazy lanky husky.

We love you buddy.

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Future Lilah will be Proud

A few days ago we found some baby bunnies in our backyard. If it was just me I’d have made em disappear. Weird though, felt some need to save them from my ruthless wolves. I think it had to do with picturing a few year old Delilah saying “no daddy, help them!”

Ugh.

Anyway, the past few days have been spent constructing various structures to protect the dummies from the fate their mother has bestowed on them. Not only did she place them in my fenced in backyard, but also the lowest point on the property and it’s been raining cats and dogs for a few days now.

Anyway, off to save the bunnies again.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and momma bunny will take them away before I need to mow again…

If you’re keeping track, this is not the first time bunnies visited us.  Every time the nest is packed full of dog hair, so I suspect while the dogs themselves are a deterrent, their hair provides some good nest material that is attractive for the bunnies.

UPDATE: My parents showed up at our house before us a few days ago and didn’t know the bunnies were in the backyard.  They let the dogs out and 2 of them met their demise but the 3rd survived.

UPDATE 2: Momma showed up and took her little one.  Hurray! We had a survivor.  Future Lilah will be proud.


House Insurance Sucks

InsuranceOur experience with insurance companies of all kinds is horrible.  We’ve had the absolute worst luck although We’ve never really written about it here in detail before.  Our car insurance has been canceled several times (for reasons beyond our control) and our house insurance is expensive because of a few punk kids in Fairport and a stupid AllState policy.

We’ve dealt with our high cost house insurance for 2 years because it was the best we could get at the time (thanks to AllState, jerks).   We figured after living with it for 2 years things would have settled by now and we’d be able to get a better rate.  Through phone calls to at least 15 different companies, we’re not gonna have any luck and it looks like we’ll be stuck with what we’re paying now: about DOUBLE what seems to be the local average.

Three reasons we’re having trouble:

  1. Our house is a Multi-Family Duplex.  Many insurance companies simply don’t offer insurance for these types of houses.  Although it reduces the number of quotes we can get, and therefor the possibility of getting a lower rate, I don’t fault them for this.  It’s their company and they can choose to cover whatever types of houses they want.
  2. Our house was built before the turn of the 20th century (approximately 1890).  It’s Old.  Many companies seem to think this is just too old so they won’t cover it.  I don’t get this one.  Yes older houses were built using different standards and fit to different codes, but that’s the point of risk pools.  Just put the old house into an appropriate risk pool.  This was totally shocking to me since there’s TONS of people with houses older than ours.  I hope the houses we’re building today last more than 100 years…  Will they stop covering houses built in 1990 in 2109?  Seems dumb.
  3. We have 2 Siberian Huskies.  They’re awesome family dogs and very friendly.  We didn’t really think anything of this, but every company we talked to categorized Huskies as an aggressive breed.  What a bunch of bull.  I’ve never seen a non friendly Husky and I’ve never heard of one.  Their rationale seemed to be that they’re related to Wolfs.  Well, hate to break it to ya guys but your Lab & Retriever dogs share the same ancestors as our Huskies… they’re all related and share some Wolf DNA.  Huskies just happen to have maintained their appearance more than others due to their natural work environment.

The first 2 issues I can gloss over because not every company had those restrictions and they almost seem reasonable since a company can choose what to cover and what not to cover.  The 3rd however; is inexcusable.  I simply do not understand where the idea that Huskies are an aggressive breed it’s coming from.

We were just trying to get a big win by getting our yearly insurance cost lowered.  It looks like this won’t be happening anytime soon thanks to yet more retarded insurance policies.  The whole industry is a giant scam in my opinion.  As soon as you want to USE your insurance, they drop you or raise your rates.  Why can’t we lower our rates every year (or month) we DON’T use the policy?

Dog excercise – A New Method

We found a new method of keeping the dogs worn out. I’d been eying our bikes for a while but the proposition was a bit scary. For whatever reason, I got it into my head to give it a go today and I’m glad we did. What fun! The dogs love it ALMOST as much as we do.

They got into it so much, they started pulling to make us go faster. The only tricky parts are turning, but they’re picking up on ‘right’ and ‘left’ commands pretty quickly.

This method seems to be far more effective at wearing them out than anything we’ve done until this point. A 15min bike ride has had them sleeping for 4 hours now. Not bad!

Dear London and Denver,

Thanks for the birthday card

But I’m a little confused as to how you were able to fill in your paw prints and get it in the mail without the card getting shredded.  Maybe now you won’t shred MY mail?  Wishful thinking I suppose.

You must have had help, I just wish I could say thanks to whoever it was.

Spring Lake Park

Denver at Spring Lake ParkA few weeks ago I discovered an excellent new park only a few miles from our house. Spring Lake Park is not a dog park but it certainly seems like one. I love exploring new places to take our canine friends as I get sick of walking the canal path every day. Our first trip to Spring Lake Park gave us an unexpected gift. Dogs dogs and more dogs.

As it turns out other locals take their dogs there to run and play. And all off their leash. This couldn’t come at a better time as I’ve been trying to find a place closer to home than my parents to let them run.

At first glance the park is relatively small. The real gem, the place where the dogs run and play free is in the back. After you park your car you have to walk back along a gated roadway until you get to the second field.
We’ve now been to the park 6 times in the past 3 weeks and we plan on going every time we get a chance. If you have a dog and live in the area I would highly recommend it. Letting them run and play with other dogs is great (for them and you).

Piers Promotions Denver and Wedding Plans

Sunset at Irondiquit Bay

Rachel and I went to the pier last Thursday. It was a beautiful day but there was some cloud cover to the west. A perfect opportunity for a beautiful sunset and a change to test out my new Gradient ND Filter. About 1/10th of a mile from the lake it dropped about 10 degrees (as expected) but the visibility also dropped to about 10 feet. The fog was so thick it was very difficult to get a decent photo. I was able to grab a few that came out decent. The fog even started to lift when we were leaving and I managed to get a shot of a dew covered spider web. If you’re interested take a look at the full album otherwise the picture to the left is a pretty good summary of how the shots came out (ie: crappy).

In other news Rachel got a promotion! She was previously working at Britton Rd Wegmans which is a level 4 (out of Wegmans reverse 5 level scale, 1 being the highest ie: Pittsford) which has to do with revenue. Usually when you move within Wegmans you move up one level at a time or you move laterally. This is to ensure you can handle the pressure and the different environment. Rachel had the opportunity to move 3 levels up to Perinton. She went from a level 4 straight to a level 1. Needless to say this is a great opportunity for her and she’s very excited.

Denver

Denver! We haven’t even posted about him yet! Obviously we’ve been slacking. Well a quick update… after bringing him home about a month ago he has learned a lot! Today he even rang the bell tied to the door to let us know he needed to go outside. We took him to the Lillac festival on Monday, and just like London he got compliment after compliment.

The wedding plans are certainly coming along (i hope…) its only 3 weeks away and I cant wait. Well… I can’t wait for the honeymoon that is. I’m pretty sure it’s a well known fact that the wedding is for the Bride and the families and that the groom is just along for the ride and for the vacation afterward. In that respect we’ll be in Hawaii in 24 days from right now. Best news I’ve heard all day.

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time

Mr Light Blue

Yesterday Rachel and I went to go see the Puppies again. They’re getting Huge! I think we’ve picked out the one we want. Rachel and I both like “Mr Light Blue.” Maybe I’ll setup a poll to let people pick which puppy they think we should get. We still need to decide on a name. If you have suggestions let us know.

Matt showed a few coworkers and myself two cool things to fight off SPAM. A feature built into all E-mail servers and a new telephone service. Both of which if implemented properly will significantly reduce the amount of SPAM you’ll get.The following E-mail addresses are all equivalent:

  • yourname@aserver.com
  • yourname+yahoo@aserver.com
  • yourname+newsletter+yahoo@aserver.com

Start only handing out E-mail addresses with +___ in them. This allows you to filter the incomming E-mails very easily, see where a lot of your spam is comming from (aka who’s selling it) and maybe take some actions in that regard.

Grand Central is a free telephone forwarding service that you can use as your own personal phone screener. One of my favorite features is the ability to send all incomming phone calls for anyone you dont already know to voicemail. If you do want to take all phone calls, people you dont know are prompted for their name and you are given several options before ever talking to them. The available options include recording the conversation, sending it to voicemail (and listening in) or simply taking the call. Check it out it’s really slick.

According to PC World the 50 Most Important People on the Web.

If you like to browse Blog’s In the WordPress development Blog‘s most recent post they listed the speakers of the SxSW this weekend. I started browsing a few of them. Some are very interesting, I’ll post my favorites later.

I’ve said for a while that the next car I buy is either going to have built in GPS or i’m going to build a computer (with GPS) to put in the car. It looks like BMW is getting it right. Check out their latest onboard computer, its pretty sweet:

I’ve always kept track of a lot of websites and with RSS it certainly makes it nicer. However I never found an RSS Reader that I really liked. Recently a friend alerted me to Google’s Reader. I’ve started importing RSS feeds that I like to keep an eye on and it’s pretty nice. However I found that it means there’s just another site I have to go to to see if anything new has happened. I did some googling and found a Google Reader Notifier Extension for Firefox. Seem’s to be exactly what I wanted.

I added a Wedding page to the site. At the moment it just contains a count down timer. We’ll add more relevent info later like time/date/place/photographer/dj/honeymoon/hotel suggestions/etc.

Rachel and I will be in Buffalo for St Patricks day. We’re going to see Piebald. They’re kicking off a new tour starting in Buffalo and Rachel’s friend Allison knows them. We’re tagging along and we might even get to meet the band. Pretty sweet. If you want to listen to some of their stuff take a look click here.

Puppies!

London's Girlfriend and her puppies

Not sure who knows this or not, but we studded London to some friends down the street who also have a pure-bred Siberian Husky. The gestation for dogs is only 60 days so they came really quick. We have 6 Valentines day Puppies!

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you’re interested in one. They’ll go fast. Nikita (pictured) is the Dame and London is the Sire.