Welcome back to another rousing edition of Ted Talks, where friend of the blog and bon vivant Ted Andes tackles topics that are near and dear to his heart. Without further ado, take it away Ted!
“Do any of you have non-human building companion(s) that are always with you when you are building?”
Way back during the speederbike contest (you know the one), halfbeak posted the picture below of his dog Saffie. That got me wondering how many other FOLs build with their dogs, or other kinds of pets …excluding those hairless monkeys some of you call children…
halfbeak – Saffie helping build the speederbike chase
Our dachshund Pepper was my “building buddy”, and “playing Legos*” was our thing to do together. She was by my side anytime I went down to the basement to build, and she would get upset if I went down there without her. I’d just say the word “Legos*”, and Pepper would run to the basement door and paw at it, eager to get downstairs.
Her enjoyment was all about chasing the light reflections that occurred when I opened/closed my storage bins. Sometimes I’d get so focused on building and forget she was down there under my feet. But then I’d open a part drawer, and she’d start barking and pawing at the reflections (she was crazy about chasing laser pointers too, and the word “Legos*” sounded a lot like “laser” to her)… As for our other two dogs, well they couldn’t have cared less.
Eventually, I had to place cardboard along the basement wall, because Pepper would get “happy tail” injuries. She was so excited to chase reflections that she’d wag her tail hard against the coarse concrete wall (and dachshunds wag their tails a lot to begin with). The end of her tail would get rubbed raw, and then little blood dots would be splattered all over the place. At first, I thought it was some dirty/rusty water somehow being sprayed out from our nearby sump-pump. That “red spot mystery” took us few weeks to figure out.
Cardboard vs. butcher paper
Unfortunately, we had to put her down in June 2015 due to an inoperable cancer tumor. Seeing the photo that halfbeak posted above reminded me of the huge void that Pepper’s passing left in my building area. After she passed, it took me some time to want to go down into the basement and build again. I lost a true friend, and I still I keep that cardboard along the wall as a tribute to her. I’m not sure if there was ever a bigger “Pet-FOL” than her, but I’d love to hear your stories too. Plead your cases down in the comments below.
Pepper – Note: She was also as smart as heck, feisty, and an avid hunter. In this shot, she caught the scent of a mole and was probing the snow for it with her snout. If I recall correctly, her kill list included 17 garter snakes, 3 moles, 1 vole, 3 chipmunks, a couple birds, and a baby rabbit (ooh, that was a rough day, but at least she’d be considered a friend to Elvis)…she never caught a squirrel though, despite numerous attempts.
The other “FOL + Pet” tag teams that I’m aware of…
– Of course we have to start this list right with the person who the Manifesto is all about…
– I remember rowntRee mentioning his dog(s) name in the Manifesto comments somewhere. Here’s a photo of Coda in his “Matt Cave”.
– A local Louisville builder I know, Charley Harper, builds/sorts with his pet rabbit “Commander Carrot” by his side.
– Millie McKenzie’s cat actually did bomb her photos. Of course, we all know cats can’t resist slapping around toys on a string.
– Lia Chan has a least two cats to help her out with her builds too
–Shannon Young and the greatest threat to the city of Shannonia.
-The building of cathedrals is serious business for Stefan Johannes Kubin and his cat.
– And I don’t know who “LovinLego” is, but they’ve got a sizable Legoratory… and a cat running the show.
–Adam Dodge and his SHIPtember collaborator.
– John Patrick measures his SHIP attempts in dog lengths…
– Joel Baker was inspired by his pup Zoe, and he made her a brick buddy too. Dachshund pups, FTW! He said that “she is good around LEGO now, but she used to try to pick up bricks and move them around the room”
– You can count Dunechaser in the both the dachshund and pug camps…
– And of courseLino would have a pet dachshund. Since Lulu has no interest in the Lego (or at least no interest in destroying his MOC’s) I wasn’t going to count him at first. However, I then saw this picture of them being a luchador tag-team, and that earns major bonus points.
There are couple things that I noticed when I was trying to research other builders and dig up these photos:
1) There are a lot of people who have named their dogs “Lego”. When they call for them outdoors, I wonder how many people yell back “…my Eggo!”
2) There are quite a few other builders that have dachshunds too. Way to represent, fellow wiener lovers!… Umm , wait. That didn’t come out right…
3) Finally, I’ll end with this Public Service Announcement. – No pet in the world is impressed with photos of minifigs posed in real world environments (or Duplo), so leave your pets out of it. That concept is lame, and you should feel lame. You already put them through enough embarrassment by dressing them in your silly costumes. Enough is enough. End the abuse!
Sarah McLachlan – “In the Arms of the Angles”
(full disclosure: despite the levity of me linking this video, we actually donate to our local Humane Society, and have adopted a rescue too. Such a great dog)
So who else?
We need stories.
We need pictures.
We need videos.
*…and I don’t want to hear any crap about “It’s Lego, not Legos”, so “lighten up, Francis”. I didn’t get it correct in all my other articles just to forget that now. That’s a phrase I’m quoting, and me saying it to my dog was not going to erode TLG’s intellectual property by her ever repeating it. “Bark, bark.”