Friday, August 17, 2001

A Trip To The Park

It cooled off a little the past couple of days and it was pretty nice this evening so I thought the dogs would like a trip to the park. I opened the drawer where we keep the leashes and before I could pick up the first one, the Hoover & Ted Happy Dance Of Joy had started. Bouncing, jumping, yelping, dancing on their hind legs, racing to the door and back, wiggling and doing everything except stand still long enough to put the leash on. This goofy dog pre-walk celebration goes on every single time we go out and would be entertaining if I wasn't the one trying to hook a leash to their collars. 

Ten minutes later we were finally out the door and headed toward the park. When we got to the park I looked around to verify that we had the place to ourselves and I let go of the leash. This is my favorite part of our visits to the park because both dogs have to find out what other dogs have been there since their last visit. They rush off, noses to the ground, running in some random pattern following every scent. To me it looks like a kind of fast paced furry vacuum cleaner dance. It was still pretty hot outside so after they had run around a while we headed back home where they emptied the water bowl before flopping down on the kitchen floor to rest. 

A half hour later I had cooled off, the dogs were snoozing, the house was quiet, everything was fine, then as I was looking for a battery in the junk drawer I opened the wrong one. You guessed it, the Happy Dance Of Joy drawer. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

What Kind Of Name Is Hoover?

I had heard the name as given to a dog a some point in my life and thought it sounded like the perfect name for a dog. If you have ever watched a dog in the kitchen or around the dinner table, most dogs are watching the floor with great concentration for anything that falls. Since Hoover is the brand name of a vacuum cleaner, and just mentioned floor cleaning skills of dogs, what better name for a happy dog? So this would be the short version of why I named my dog Hoover, but you know that's not the whole story. Any dog cool enough to get a web site named after him has to have a better "How did he get his name" story than that, right?

Way back in the years before we meet Hoover, I had mentioned to my wife once that when we lived in a place where it was reasonable to have a dog, that I wanted to get a really great dog and that I wanted to call him Hoover, for the above mentioned reasons. She agreed that it would be nice to have a dog when we had a yard and thought the name was cute. A few years later we moved into a nice townhouse in Alabama where I had accepted a job with a local television station. One of the things I did at the station was to set up a program with the local animal shelter to feature a couple of animals each week in commercials to encourage people to adopt pets from the shelter. Every week a nice lady from the shelter would come by with dogs and cats to be used in the commercials. One week as we were watching the production team try to get the puppies to sit still long enough to take a picture, this nice lady told me that they had just received a litter of Lab/Rott mixed pups. That combination struck me as a wonderful mix and that it would make a good looking dog with many nice qualities. So I called the wife and asked her to meet me at the animal shelter to take a look at the puppies. 

When we arrived we were led to a pen that was full with no less than twenty puppies of various breeds. The only way to examine the ones we came to look at was to get in the pen with them. So I knelt on the floor surrounded by puppies all playing and running about while I tried to get a good look at the new batch. From the moment I touched the floor this one little dog was all over me, climbing up on my legs to get at my face, jumping, bouncing, barking and using every cute puppy move in the book to get me to notice him. He was not one of the Lab/Rott mix that I had come to see so I tried to ignore him, but this little guy with the short legs was not giving up. I could not get a good look at any of the other pups with this puppy climbing in my lap and doing everything he could to get as close as possible. He was a Labrador/Basset mix and he had decided he was going home with me. Unable to resist his charms, the wife and I decided he was right. We went back to the front desk to fill out the adoption forms and take home our new friend. While filling out the forms the nice lady from the shelter asked what we were going to name him. Now that long past conversation with the wife on this subject had all but been forgotten by me, but without a second of hesitation, my wife answered "Hoover, we are going to name him Hoover". 

So there you go, now you know about the day Hoover adopted me, how he got his name and you probably have a good idea of why I married my wife.
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Monday, August 13, 2001

What Is A Hoover?

I have a web site is called, the jokes are Hooverdog Jokes, so just what is a Hoover? 

Hoover is a Labrador Retriever/Basset Hound mix born in December of 1992. He is black in color to the casual observer, but actually a very dark brown, short version of a Labrador. The size of a Basset but the look of a Lab. Kind of a permanent puppy, the best kind of dog to have around! With his short legs and muscular body he is amazingly fast and strong enough to pull you or your car down the road. I have been tempted on several occasions to tie him to the truck for help getting out of the snow. All I would have to do is throw his ball and off he would go, pulling along whatever was tied to him. I learned this the hard way by holding onto his leash and then not letting go fast enough after throwing his ball in the park one sunny afternoon.

From the day we met he has been my best friend and constant companion. Loyal, attentive and completely unaware that he is too big to be a lap dog, he has accompanied me to work, occupied the passenger seat of my truck for thousands of miles, entertained countless friends and business associates, and offered anyone he thought needed it, a comforting Hoover hug! His favorite way to greet people is to stand on his hind legs, walk toward you front legs open until he grabs you around the waist and says hello. He likes long walks, romps in the park, small children and belly rubs. His favorite food is the last bit of whatever I am eating, it matters not if it is steak, pizza or salad, he figures that if it is good enough for me it is good enough for him. His favorite beverage is water but he does enjoy a little milk every now and then, and he does not care for Kool-Aid. Hoover does like to get e-mail, he seems to really enjoy hearing the comments folks send in regarding his latest joke. So if you wish to let him know anything just drop us a note, he is usually laying close by whenever I am at the computer and I will pass along your thoughts.

If you would like to see what Hoover looks like there is a photo of him.

Sunday, August 12, 2001


This afternoon I was in the kitchen digging through the fridge when I heard a really odd noise. I looked at Hoover, who was of course sitting at my feet waiting to see if I was going share whatever I found but he was not the one making the noise. I heard the sound again and this time I decided it was coming from outside. So as I walked over to the back door I noticed a second sound, this one I recognized as the siren from a fire truck. 

Standing on the back porch with his head in the air was our Pomeranian Ted doing his version of a howl. Now I have seen him howl at sirens before, but they were always just a short attempt. This time he was going for the full on tiny wolf impression. He had the stance right and his little nose was pointed toward the sky but the sound was just not right. His howl went something to the effect of whrooooo, whrooooo, which if I can explain this properly sounds a lot like a high pitched electric can opener but not as loud. Next time you use your can opener, try to picture that sound coming out of a small dog who thinks he howling like the big dogs. 

Ted's normal barks are loud and sharp enough to hurt your ears but this howl was low and soft and just plain funny. I stayed at the door to watch his entire performance wishing I had a video camera to catch this so I could share the visual instead of trying to put it in words. The show only lasted a couple of minutes but I think Ted was pleased with his performance, when he finished he turned to face us and gave a little bow.

Saturday, August 11, 2001

Kool-Aid Days Part 2

Yesterday I was telling you about the little town I live in having a celebration in honor of being the birthplace of Kool-Aid. In my rambling I forgot one important piece of information. We send out e-mail to people living in forty or so countries and only a few of them sell Kool-Aid. So many of the nice people who received my little babble fest had no idea what I was talking about or why I thought it was mildly amusing that my town was throwing a Kool-Aid party. First of all, thank you to those of you who kindly pointed out this error on my part, and I do mean kindly! If I am to ramble on about some goofy drink, I should have been nice enough to explain what the heck Kool-Aid is. So, lets correct that error right now.

In 1927, Mr. Edwin Perkins invented a flavored powder that when you mix with some sugar and water you get a nice pitcher full of fruit flavored drink. He created several flavors of his product and proceeded to sell the powder in pre measured packets from his home and through mail order. It was from these humble beginnings that the product known as Kool-Aid was born. With it's low cost and the fact that it is so easy to mix that a child could make it, Kool-Aid has become a staple of many American families. For children the added bonus is that if you chugged a glass just right it will stain the area above you lips the color of whatever flavor you are drinking, giving you a nice colored mustache, or Kool-Aid smile. So there you have it, Kool-Aid is nothing more than a inexpensive fruit flavored powdered drink mix popular with children and those still young at heart. Since I was so careless as to babble on about our Kool-Aid Festival and then not explain what Kool-Aid was I hope to redeem myself by offering to those who live someplace where Kool-Aid is not available a sample. If you would like, you can send me your mailing address at hooverdog at and I will mail you a free packet of Kool-Aid. 

Friday, August 10, 2001

Kool-Aid Days

Every town does their best to celebrate some event or special date by throwing a big city wide party. New Years Eve, 4th of July, Mardi Gras, or maybe it's a wine festival or even a garlic festival. Well those kind of parties my be fine for your town, but around here we wait with great anticipation for Kool-Aid Days! That's right - Kool-Aid Days. Starting today, three days of fun, frolicking and all the Kool-Aid you can drink!

Hastings, Neb. - The birthplace of Kool-Aid is hoping to become a tourist hot spot by holding it's third annual Kool-Aid festival. 3 days of fun including the largest Kool-Aid stand in the world where you can purchase a commemorative mug or bring your own glass and get free Kool-Aid all day. Whoo boy, I don't know about you but that sounds like a party to me. You know I'm not gonna slow down until I have sampled every flavor they got. I may even get a little wild and make some Popsicles!

Yes its not exactly Times Square on New Years but it is something to do and when it's really hot and humid outside, I guess wandering around down town drinking Kool-Aid is better than nothing. I do love the little facts you can pick up at these events, stuff like. More than 563 million gallons of KOOL-AID® are consumed each year, with more than 225 million gallons in the summer. In other words, 17 gallons of KOOL-AID® are consumed every second during the summer season! That is a lot of colored water folks.

So I'm gonna dig out a big mug and grab a bowl for Hoover and my weekend plans are set. I will let you know on Monday which flavor Hoover likes best.