Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Story of Basil

We had planned on getting a Basil for quite some time but nothing about getting the real Basil went according to plan.

A few months ago, right around the time Sherman turned two, we started talking seriously about getting a second dog--a companion for Sherm that would make late-night trips to the dog park less lonely and hopefully quiet his separation anxiety as well. We came up with the name Basil awhile ago (perhaps after of a couple of rounds of Basil Hayden's whiskey) and started casually searching for our new mutt.

We became enamored with the Catahoula breed and scoured Petfinder for months looking for a new brother/sister from Sherman. After losing out on a couple of adoption opportunities, we began looking on the Minneapolis Craigslist site for a possible adoption that would correspond with our trip home for the holidays. There was a posting for an "Australian Shepard-Border Collie" puppy named Camo--who looked a lot more Catahoula than Aussie--located in Buffalo, Minnesota. We scheduled a meeting for the morning of Christmas Eve and brought Sherman along to see how the two got along.

Camo's (temporary) owner, Terry, emailed us photos of him in the days leading up to the meeting and some included his brother, a black and gray little gremlin of a puppy that they were calling Hal (above, left), since they originally got the two puppies around Halloween. We arrived at Terry's home on a snowy Christmas Eve morning and he went inside to grab Camo while we waited in their backyard with a curious Sherman. Camo, who was named after his desert-style camouflage coloring, came outside but it was clear that he sensed that something was up. He cowered near the house and stared blankly at Sherman. After some unsuccessful prodding, Terry decided to bring out Hal, thinking that Camo's brother would help break the ice. Hal came bounding through the door and started in on Sherman. The two chased each other around the backyard as Camo watched from the side. It was immediately clear that Hal, not Camo, was our Basil.

Terry suggested a one-week trial period with Camo but we voiced something that he already knew: that Hal was the better fit. After a quick family conference with his wife and young daughter, Terry said that they'd keep Camo and Hal would leave with us. Terry's wife Aimee explained to their young daughter that "Camo needs us more than Hal does." As we walked to the car with Hal, Terry admitted that he had preferred to keep Camo all along.

In the car ride back from Terry's house, Hal whined for all of one block. He had quickly, and unexpectedly, become our Basil.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monday, December 13, 2010


We moved to a new apartment recently and, even though the new place is larger and closer to the dog run, Sherman could not get over his anxiety about leaving the old place. He would sulk around the apartment as we packed, occasionally trying to jump into an empty box--just so we wouldn't lose him in the move.

Our friend Justin pointed us to a post on the MS Paint-happy blog Hyperbole and a Half titled "Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving." During our move, Sherman definitely acted similar to the author's anxious "helper dog":

When we started packing, the helper dog knew immediately that something was going on. I could tell that she knew because she becomes extremely melodramatic when faced with even a trivial amount of uncertainty. She started following me everywhere, pausing every so often to flop to the ground in an exaggeratedly morose fashion - because maybe that would make me realize how selfish I was being by continuing to pack despite her obvious emotional discomfort.

Sherman eventually came around after a thorough inspection of our new apartment.

The new place got high marks for its toilet:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Time Is It?

Sherman developed a little sore on his leg pad so we bandaged it with vet wrap. Of course we didn't want him to be self-conscious of the bandage so we made a clock face and turned it into a sweet watch.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

King of the Beach

As we say goodbye to summer, it makes sense to pause and reflect on some of the funner times had during the hot days of July and August. Sherman had to deal with an especially sultry summer in NYC and it seemed like he was constantly panting (which had the effect of locking his face in a near-constant smile).

In an effort to cool off, Sherman took the F train to Prospect Park a few times and swam in its pond. The park has a small dog beach carved out and Sherman was the undisputed King of the Beach...

(Photos by Sherman's dogmother Jessica; more photos from this afternoon can be found here).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


While we were celebrating Caitlin's birthday in New Orleans, Sherman stayed back in NYC and had a staycation with his dogparents. Upon our return, we couldn't help but wonder if Sherman was thinking, "Back so soon?"

Here are some photos that Jessica took of her beloved dogson...

Grass (!!!!!!) in Prospect Park...

Sherman's preferred mode of transport: the IKEA bag...

Sherman = Shiloh?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sherman Watching 'Bolt'

Besides the occasional head tilt, Sherman generally ignores what's on TV. Things were different, though, when we watched Bolt the other night.

Sherman ignored the action movie bangs and even Bolt's barking. It wasn't until an especially dramatic scene that Sherman looked up at the screen. As strings on the soundtrack elicited emotion and Bolt found himself in a difficult situation, Sherman sat up on the couch. His eyes were stuck on the TV as Bolt endured a harrowing experience. For a moment, Sherman wasn't watching the movie as a curious animal with good hearing but rather as a concerned viewer.

Here's the Bolt trailer...