The Duke Abides: a happy tail-waggin' Schipperke Tale.

Happy Third Birthday to our friendly Schipperke, Duke (Memorial Day Weekend 2010)

No, not the actual Duke of Albuquerque. And not THE DUDE who abides over at the Duke City Fix's Little Lebowskis Urban Achievers group. No, we're talking here about THIS DUKE:

DUKE, our Schipperke, now an Albuquerque resident for one full year.

Albuquerque is literally a crossroads town with two of our nation's largest east/west-:-north/south Interstates crossing at The Big I. Historically, airplanes have landed here for fuel on their cross-country journeys. My father, a USMC pilot in WWII, once told me, "Son, I landed in Albuquerque many a time, why do I need to go there again?" Thanks, Dad. Many folks tell me, "Yeah I drove through Albuquerque once." Two AMTRAK trains stop here daily with gaping passengers eyeballing the Sandias from their windows.

Many folks pass through; many move here; some folks hate the place; many love it and stay, even thrive here in the high desert. When my wife and I moved here from the Pacific Northwest in 1985, we weren't sure what to expect. When we first drove into the high desert, we noticed that the trees were a lot smaller than those in the northwest, but there wasn't any mold or rust. We love it here. And so does DUKE.

In March of 2009 when Duke and Holly came to join us, from a Dallas area couple who had to give up their pets, we weren't sure how they'd react to New Mexico. Also, it was not at all clear how they would deal with our elder Schips and our rabbits. All four of our Schipperkes are rescues. DUKE was born in Dallas; HOLLY was born in Mansfield, Missouri and lived in Charlottesville, Virginia before moving to Dallas. AIR JORDAN was born in Pollock, South Dakota, lived on Minot AFB, North Dakota, and was fostered in Montana and Colorado before coming here. MISS MELANIE was rescued from Hell, aka Yankton, South Dakota in spring of 2000. Each has adopted Albuquerque in his or her own way.

The Four Schippeteers at the gate in Albuquerque

None of the four seem to have taken to 'Burque as much as DUKE has done. By definition, The Duke truly abides ... accepts ... conforms ... is in accordance with ... is harmonious with ... melts into what is offered here in the high desert.

We set up a 'pond' for Duke on his arrival.

You can watch Duke blowing bubbles on YOUTUBE. YES, Duke blows bubbles underwater. Not since reading THE DOG WHO WOULDN'T BE by Farley Mowat as a child have I ever heard of a dog who would dunk his head under water, let alone blow bubbles. His first month here we had fun with goldfish, but the N.M. sunshine turned the 'pond' into an algae heaven and we gave it up for other amusements like DUKE ACROBATICS-DUKEROBATICS that is.

Duke's window on the world...


INSIGHTS ON The Duke ...he opens doors--opens windows--looks out blinds--has attacks of adorability--gazes at bunnies--chases chickens and pidgeons. he does every little thing with a full speed ahead attitude. He likes the altitude and attitude here apparently moreso than his Dallas home.

The Duke abides into people and chairs...

flying dog floors.

...and a favorite couch.

The Schipperke is a Belgian breed origanlly bred to chase rats/vermin on river-going barges. They are 'full of personality' and take a bit of owner patience. They are in my opinion as a life-long educator, the Gifted and Talented of dog breeds. If you place them in a well-lighted spot and can get them to hold still, they are a fun challenge to photograph. Schipperkes have a thick rough (coat) and love water...Duke thinks that having an aquarium in the high desert is a great concept.

Oh Boy, Oh Boy; Fish!

So calming:the ions, the bubbles, THE FISH.

There are RABBITS in there!

Let's Go!

Enjoying the outdoors at Tunnel Canyon.

Duke votes for his favorite at the Dog Show.

The TV (in HD with surround sound, of course) for the Dukester is an interactive experience: doorbells, strange knocks, the occasional creepy guy on screen who just has to be growled at, and, the creme de la creme, the dog show!

He's is always ready for a ride--enjoys a good pillow--drinks from fountains whenever possible--blows bubbles--jumps into Mom's arms--breaks kibble with friends--and loves the snow, the spring, the grass, everything in Albuquerque a-b-i-d-e-s, even balloons hissing gas...ooh, fun stuff to bark at. And spring winds: love 'em. More garbage to chase.

Not enough DUKE? Check out THE DUKE ABIDES Picasa gallery.

In other Satiddy Snewz:

We really got a taste of the Spring Winds this week with tumbleweeds tumbling and already a grassfire south of town. Latest chaos is that APS and every district in the state is up to their armpits in fear and debt for next year. In personal snews, someone pointed out to me that those basketball brackets I was filling out last Satiddy, should have been filled out BEFORE the NCAA tournament began, not as each game was played. Gosh, I felt so manly and with-it for a second.

Last night, Albuquerque scrapper, Holly Holm, knotched another win over Chevelle Hallback.

And today at The Pit...Albuquerque hosts the Rose Bowl of Bullishness-the Ty Murray PBR bull-riding event.

Filmed all over 'burque, Breaking Bad (AMC Sunday nights), makes a page in this month's Rolling Stone Magazine in an article called, Working Man's Dread (April 1, 2010 issue--Jimi Henrdrix on cover).

When the Albuquerque canyon winds blow, hang onto someone you love; hold tight.

[Photography courtesy Aquila Arts LLC]

Views: 289

Comment by cc on May 31, 2010 at 8:40pm
What a wonderful post! I have never known about this breed before Lita's Ruby (where I saw your link here from her post) - thanks so much, Jeff! I love how you are so attentive to your dogs and that you just happened to name this particular one of your dogs the Duke of ABQ. I will keep my eyes out for more Schipperkes - I want to get to know one in 'person.'
Comment by Jeff Hartzer on May 31, 2010 at 10:23pm
Kind of gotten lax on 'blogging there, but our Four Schippeteers have a website: .
Comment by Jeff Hartzer on March 14, 2011 at 4:19pm

Aaaah...the Springtime Blowcoat after a both is underway at our house Times Four!


Go Schipperkes especially our Four Schippeteers.


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