Friday, April 17, 2015

Canines of Culpeper and Their Humans (Dogs and People, People and Dogs)

Once again here I am downtown and I do not have a dog with me..... that is because I am one of seven people in Culpeper who doesn't own a dog.  Maybe it is twelve without a dog, but whatever it is, it appears to be a small number.  When I saw someone that I wanted in this blog I quit asking if they had a dog and started asking what kind of dog they had.  This is the honest truth: of those I asked that question to ..... not one did not own a dog.  My son suggested that I do this blog on Culpeper people with dogs and here we are!   I have blogged about beards and tattoos before and the number of folks with those two items pales compared to those with dogs.  I found interesting dogs and fun dogs, not so friendly dogs and lots of dogs......  enough that someday I will do a second dog blog....  I like that little rhyme!  This project has been alot of fun!   So let's get right to it and meet some of these dogs and check out the humans who claim to own them.

Norah Manus is a Type 1 Diabetic.  That means that she was born with diabetes.   Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas which is the insulin producing organ.  The purpose of insulin is to cause cells to accept the glucose or sugar that is the fuel for our bodies.  Without insulin a person can starve to death even while consuming large amounts of food, because the glucose never gets to where it can be burned.  Diabetic symptoms are high blood sugar and excessive thirst and unusually frequent urination.  Left unchecked, major organs are damaged and often blindness is a result.   If left unattended it is life-threatening.   I  have Type 2/Adult Onset Diabetes.  Norah and I each take approximately five insulin shots a day to keep our bodies in balance.  High or low blood sugar can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms that occur and in the extreme can be life threatening.  I can self report when I get the symptoms, but it is much more difficult if not impossible for a child to do the same. Clover, a Golden Lab, is a highly trained service dog and he can tell when Norah's sugar is rising or falling to dangerous levels.  When that happens Clover bumps Norah.... repeatedly if necessary until she receives insulin if the sugar is too high or glucose if the sugar is too low.  He is an amazing animal and it is a great thing that dogs like this are available.

On a very cold day in the park I found Bradley Bennet, his daughter Ava and Huck, their Toy Poodle.   Bradley runs a marketing business called Big Bamboo Marketing. He is a very engaging guy.

I used this group picture as the "Big Finish" in my last blog and the teaser for this blog about people with dogs.  So they get double exposure from me.  Vicky Hale and sons Hunter, and Jackson are here at Wash and Wag  with Clementine.  She has just been all spruced up and really shows it.... glued on earrings, painted nails and all.  Clemintine, of course is a Bloodhound.... a great big bloodhound!  Vicky told me that Clementine looks "regal"  in this picture.... ummmmmmh.  She, (Vicky not Clementine), is a dentist who lives in Culpeper and practices in Orange.

This was fun!  These big old St. Bernards were among the best behaved dogs I have shot for this blog.  Burkley, on the left is just one year old and weighs 175 pounds.  Bernie on the right,  is three and weighs a mere 135!  That is like two extra people in the house and in the car and in the... whatever!  As I said though, they were well behaved.  Their owners are Pat and Leigh McPartlin.  Pat is a Deputy Sheriff in Fairfax County.  Leigh is (hang on now) the Executive Assistant to the CEO of Ortho Virginia which is the largest orthopedic group in NOVA and Richmond.  These guys  have lived in the Peper for the last five years and came from Northern Virginia by way of Warrenton.  They told me that they had always been small town people in their hearts.  Now they are small town people in their bodies and their minds.

 Andrew  and his Doberman,  Dieter

Here we have Julie Mies Asst Manager at Wag and Wash.  She is grooming her mom's dog, Kona who is a Poodle.  Kind of cute how her eyes disappear in all of that fluff.   Julie helped me on this blog.  She put me in touch with some of the people here.

Leighann Leary and Olive

I often say that if I want a specific kind of picture I will always be able to find it in Yowell Meadow Park.  This is another example.  One day I was looking for  people in the Peper and their dogs ..... especially the more exotic dogs for a picture.   My wife and I were walking in Yowell and lo and behold here comes a couple with a pair  of big frisky dogs.  Perfect!  The dogs have Celtic names: Ciara and Keili.  Their breed is Bouvier des Flandres.  Pretty cool!  As for the owners, they are Pat and Richie Rose.  Richie recently retired from British Airways and Pat is a Phlebotomist at Fauquier Hospital.  Oh, Phelbotomist means that she is a medical professional who draws blood from people for a variety of tests.  Anyway these dogs were certainly well mannered and Pat and Richie are very interesting people.

Shawntell Grayson and her friend, Cairo.   Shawntell works as a finance officer in Reston and so has a long commute every day. Cairo is a Shitzu.

This is Mandy Murphy and her Dutch Shepherd, Gator.  Mandy lives in Orange where her father trains dogs, but she is training Gator.  Not a resident, but a face that often spends time in the Peper.

I have featured David Eddy in this blog before.  The first time I met him at his most interesting store,  I noted that he kept two Standard Poodles with him.  They seem to have a great temperament.  David told me that this summer would mark fifty years that he has been in this same store called, David Eddy's!    That is an amazing accomplishment.  It is a fabulous store.  Right now David is recuperating from a knee replacement but says it is getting better all the time. The dogs are Gabby on the left and Olivia on the right.  If you have not been in this store yet you really owe it to yourself to stop by.

It was not as easy getting pictures of people and their dogs as I thought it would be.  So I took my camera just about everywhere hoping that someone might be out walking their dog in the cold.  One day I was driving down Ira Hoffman and saw this man with his long saw (laying on the ground here) topping off a smallish tree and his dog was with him.  I whipped around and caught up with James Franklin and Chico.  James is a life long resident of Culpeper who moved to Myrtle Beach recently.  He was home for just a brief time when I found him.  Chico is a pure breed German Shepherd.  A couple of years ago James agreed to cut down a pine tree for a man who gave  him Chico in exchange for his work.  Now three years old, Chico was one at the time.  He is a big old friendly dog.

These guys are the kind of people that make me want to keep doing this blog.  Friendly, happy, cooperative and pretty darn interesting besides. They are Justin and Ayern (love that spelling!) Barton.  He is a carpenter who is skilled in working creatively with wood and repurposing old pieces into new creations.  She works for Family Preservation Services and Environmental Systems Services (whew).  I know for sure that she has an important and difficult job, but there is just not enough room here to go into it.  She is also a clothing designer who previously had an interesting online company.  Perhaps one day they will combine their talents and create a combination store featuring both sets of skills. That would be cool!  Right in the front of this group is their Bulldog, Sherman. Since we are dealing about dogs... he is the most important...the star of this picture.  It seems to me that Bulldogs consistently have the greatest names. Sherman (as in Sherman Tank) is a good example.

You can tell from the background that we are in downtown  Culpeper.  In fact, we are on  E. Davis and kitty corner from the Depot.  Amazingly, right there was Ashlee Smith and these two beautiful Siberian Huskies.  That is not something that you see on the streets of Culpeper too often.  These guys are going to be big dogs someday, but right now they are pups.  Nala with the purple scarf is only four months old.  Simba on the right is nine months.  Ashlee is a dog groomer and really had these dogs under control.

Sometimes dogs just don't do what you want them to.   I met Dan Hill and his son, Aiden on my second visit to the dog park at Mountain Run Lake Park.  The dog is named "Blue"  and if you could see his eyes, you would know why.  He is and Australian Shepherd and he has a mind of his own.  Dan wanted Blue to be over by him for the picture and so did I, but  Blue wanted to be a little ways away.  You can see who prevailed.  Dan works in direct mail and he also has an adult child.

My very first visit to the dog park and I ran into this group.  James Clinton and his girlfriend, Alicia Strathman were there with their kids and their Pit Bulls, Luke and Whiskey. They just recently moved to the Peper from the Manassas area.  He is a school bus driver and she is a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) auditor.  Her daughter, Alyssa Guiffre is standing in front of her and Jordon and Hayden Clinton are James' kids.   They are, as they say,  a blended group.

 I ran into Judy Van Skike and her Great Dane,  Zeus just outside the dog park.  He is a handful, but stood still for this shot.   Judy is an office administrator.

Parker Alexander is a horseback riding instructor and her friend is Missy.  Missy is a Border Collie.

We had our challenges getting this shot.  First the wind was really blowing... not just a little,  but hurricane force winds.  Well...... maybe that is a slight exaggeration or a gigantic exaggeration, but trust me it was blowing.  Second have you ever shot a picture of a family where one member is four years old?  It is an experience.  Cameron is four and he willingly gave me two minutes and eighteen seconds and then he was pretty much through.  Bella, the dog had no use for me or my picture at all.  Thank heavens for India, who is seven and was perfect in every picture not to mention the mom, Jamie Clancey who does not know how to take a bad picture.  All of that said, it came out darn good don't you think?  Unfortuately the oldest child Jayce who is eight was not there.  I would have loved to have all the kids in this picture.  Jamie is one of the most interesting people that I have happened onto in the four plus years I have been producing this blog.  She and her family came to Culpeper the same year that we did and so are going on eight years of Culpeper residence.  She has a private counseling practice AND  she is planning to run for the Town Council!  I am excited for her.  I have to learn exactly what her goals are, but I will tell you that she is sharp!  She comes from a family that has been actively involved in politics.  Her father is James Dyke who was the Secretary of Education for Virginia.  I was working in education at the time he was the State Secretary and I had a lot of respect for him.  So look out, Culpeper.... here comes Jamie Clancey and she is a winner!

I had recently been shooting behemoth size dogs,  some weighing 150 to 180 pounds and was on my way to pick up my cleaning when I saw something that stopped me in my tracks.  Near Chilli's restaurant was Yolanda Chitwood and she was carrying what appeared to be a small toy.  Seriously, the toy appeared to be one of those that you can get out of a machine using a mechanical shovel that you carefully manipulate to grab it  and then drop in the opening.  A task that is the closest thing to impossible, by the way.  Or maybe it was a small toy the kind you win at the State Fair when you knock over just enough milk bottles or pop enough balloons to claim the cheapest possible prize. However, as I watched the toy moved and I rolled down my window and said, "Tell me that's a dog you are carrying."  She told me exactly that because that is what it was.  This dog weighs an amazing 1.5 pounds and is a Havapoo, a combination between  Poodle and Havanese, a rare Cuban breed.  Yolanda breeds these dogs and informed that they are a great family dog, cuddly and non shedding.  If you are interested in learning more about this tiny guy or getting one like him (or her), Yolanda can be reached on email at


This is the tale (no pun) of two dogs and their K9 officers.

The Culpeper Police Department K9 team consists of two officers and their dogs.  First is Officer Eric Grant and Titan, a German Shepherd.  You can see from the pictures below that Titan and Officer Grant have a very friendly relationship.  In the first picture below,  Titan does some face licking and in the second gets his ears scratched.

Officer Eric Grant and Titan.
Officer Grant is a fourth generation policeman.  His great grandfather began it all in Pittsburgh; then his grandfather was a Washington D.C. officer;  his dad was a motorcycle cop right here in Culpeper... and now Eric.  He began his career at age 19 as a community services officer. Eric is a Culpeper "lifer".... he has lived here all of his life. Titan is used primarily for "automobile scans and tracking."  If while scanning, the dog detects drugs then the officer has just cause to search the car.  Officer Grant alerted me to the fact that he and Titan are "more laid back" than the other half of the team.  However he said with a smile,  "Titan bites just as hard!"

Next the other half of the CPD K9 team.
I met with Officer David Cole and his dog, Jackson on a Saturday afternoon in the front parking lot of the police station.  Officer Cole was just as advertised... all business.  When he got Jackson out of the car there was no nuzzling between Officer Cole and his dog.  There could not have been even if Officer Cole wanted  because Jackson was focused and totally ready to do what he was asked to do.  There is a lot of energy in that dog. He is a Belgium Malinois and has shorter hair, a more pointed face and is larger that a German Shepherd.  Other than that, the two breeds resemble each other a lot.  Jackson's job is the same as Titan's and they both have excellent track records.  Officer Cole has been on the K9 team in Culpeper for three years and an officer here since 2007.

Officer David Cole and Jackson

I was impressed with these two men for very different reasons.  Truthfully, I would not want to run afoul of either one.  As I observed them and their dogs it was obvious that they are close to polar opposites.  I kept thinking about Officer Grant's comment about the fact that despite their differences, one dog  bit just as hard as the other.  I thought that was an apt analogy about these two more laid back and one more intense.  But I'll just bet that they both bite hard.


In the meantime, don't forget to follow my pictures and words in the Culpeper Times.  My piece is called, Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper.

Thanks for checking us out here.  If you have comments or questions, I can be reached at