About Me (The Egotistical Page)

Last updated: 4 May 2012, 9:49pm EDT (GMT -0400)

Places Of Residence

Education

Employment

In the spring of 2008 I joined Northrop Grumman Xetron, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. My job consists of performing all phases of the software lifecyle as a member of a small engineering team to create network communication software. I'm happier in my job than I've ever been. Every day I go to work I get to work with fascinating, cutting-edge technology for a clueful, well-funded customer, aware the entire time that the work I'm doing is important and has direct, tangible impact. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Prior to NG, I worked at Arxan Technologies in West Lafayette, Indiana helping develop their immensely powerful software-based anti-tamper/anti-reverse engineering technology. I had interned with Arxan during my last year of graduate school and they were good enough to hire me on full time a few months after I graduated, in March 2004. As it was a small company (I was employee 21) my duties included a little of everything, including software design/development/testing, information technology, and quality assurance. By the time I left in March 2008 they'd grown to almost 100 employees, sustaining a growth rate of almost twenty employees a year. It was a fun ride.

During my educational career, I had internships with:

Animals

I'm in a relationship with a young woman who brought eight dogs (yes, you read that right: eight) into the relationship. She has been heavily involved with fostering/rescuing so she developed quite the diverse pack, ranging from 11-pound Pekingese to an 175-pound Newfoundland.

With that many creatures running about we needed a sizeable yard, so the five acres (one of them fenced) that came with the house we purchased in Ohio come in handy.

We've done a fair bit of fostering for Newfoundlands since the spring of 2008. We've worked exclusively with the South Central Newfoundland Club. They've been incredibly helpful and supportive. I'm proud of the fact that we've been able to help them out through some very tough years. During 2007 the group rescued and placed 14 dogs. As of this writing (May 2012) the group has already placed 14 dogs in 2012 and has 15 in foster homes; we're on track to rescuing nearly 90 dogs in 2012 -- an increase of over 400% from 2007. In these tough economic times, many families are not only losing their homes but their lifelong family pets at the same time since many apartment complexes are unwilling/unable to allow renters with giant-breed dogs.

Pack Members

  1. Einstein (male Newfoundland)
  2. Prince (male Pekingese)
  3. Lucy (female Pekingese)
  4. Andy (male Border Collie)
  5. Steven (male Pug mix)
  6. Freddie (male Pug mix)
  7. Jimmy (male Newfoundland)

Fosters

  1. Bella (female Newfoundland), owner surrender in April 2012. Bella has been with the same family since she was six months old until now (she's about seven years old). The father in her family recently took a new job in Saudi Arabia. Her family thankfully realized the difficulties just getting her moved to the Middle East, not to mention how poorly a cold-weather dog would fare in 120°F weather. For her own welfare, her family reluctantly surrendered her to SCNC. She's a beautiful, well-mannered, and very sweet lady. It is often more challenging to find a good Forever Family match for a dog her age. Amy and I are in total agreement that Bella is welcome to stay with us for as long as it takes to find her the perfect home.

Hospice

  1. Zeus (male Newfoundland), owner surrender in October 2011. His owners were experiencing extreme financial hardships, so they (thoughtfully) surrendered him for his own well-being. He's four years old and has severe orthopedic issues in both his hips and knees. After having him seen by an orthopedic surgeon, his knee has been identified as the only joint that is in real need of surgery. Unfortunately the surgery he needs is VERY expensive and the rescue group's funds are very limited, so we are going to treat him as we treated our previous hospice dog, Richter; the rescue group will pay limited medical to keep him happy and reasonably healthy as long as we can.

Alumni

RIP

  1. Darth Vader (male Lhasa Apso), RIP, 28 Nov 2008. He was part of Amy's pack when I first started dating her. I met him after he'd already lost an eye, so he contributed to the popular quote that Amy had 8 dogs which would imply 16 eyes, but unfortunately there were only 13. He had really bad hips due to a botched surgery and his tongue was always hanging out.
  2. Kogy (male Poodle mix), RIP, 28 Nov 2008. Amy got him from the Humane Society in Indy after serious abuse and as a result he spent the first several months hiding behind Amy's toilet in her condo. After a whole lot of intensive love, by the time I met him he was absolutely obsessed with being in someone's lap 24-7.
  3. Richter (male Newfoundland), hospice from February 2010-November 2011. He was about seven years old and morbidly obese when we got him (target weight: 150 pounds; weight at first vet appt: 215). His name was a reference to his initial weight (think "scale"). As he literally could not stand under his own weight when we first got him, we immediately put him on a strict diet and he was able to get down to 170-180 within a very short time span, greatly increasing his energy and mobility. Amy and I discussed his case with the rescue group and we all agreed that he was not going to be adopted out, so Amy and I took him as a hospice where the group paid limited medical for him while we kept him happy and comfortable. He had a very unique personality, but he was incredibly sweet with both Amy and I. His favorite thing in the world was to lay outside on the deck outside our living room and survey the world for hours on end. "Mr. Grumpypants" will be missed.
  4. Marvin (male Newfoundland), hospice from November 2011-March 2012. He was seriously undernourished when we got him (target weight: 140; initial weigh-in: 98). We were able to get some meat on his bones and it was looking very good to get home adopted out. As he got ready to be listed for adoption, we had a cyst removed from his foot in January 2012. During this procedure they detected a lump and biopsied it. Unfortunately it showed that he was a very advanced cancer case. At that time we agreed to be a hospice home for him and keep him comfortable as long as we could. Marvin was always a very sweet dog, getting along great with all the other dogs in the house. He would have made an absolutely amazing dog for someone had the cancer not cut his time on this planet short. We'll always have fond memories of him as the dog that mooed instead of barked.

Rescued Dogs

  1. Big Dog (male Newfoundland), fostered, placed with a Forever Family in spring 2008.
  2. Dora (female Newfoundland), fostered, placed with a Forever Family in spring 2008.
  3. Pink (female Newfoundland), sister of Jimmy, fostered, placed with a Forever Family in summer 2008.
  4. Purple (female Newfoundland), sister of Jimmy, fostered, placed with a Forever Family in summer 2008.
  5. Annie (female Newfoundland), transported from owner to foster home when the owner turned her over to the group, March 2009
  6. Dozer (male Newfoundland), fostered April-June 2009, placed with a Forever Family near Bloomington, IN, 26 June 2009. Without a doubt, my favorite foster dog. From the first time he saw me, he was totally crushing on me. He came up and leaned on me every single minute I was every in the kitchen or back yard with him. It was very, very tough to not just adopt him, but after seeing him interact with his Forever Family at the annual SCNC Christmas Tree Pulls in both 2009 and 2010 I have to admit I've never seen a better dog/Forever Family match in my entire time rescuing dogs.
  7. Annabelle (female Newfoundland), fostered June-September 2009, placed with a Forever Family in Indianapolis, IN, 9 September 2009
  8. Bud E. Dog (male Newfoundland), fostered September-October 2009, relocated to a new foster family closer to the family who will be adopting him
  9. Fudge (female Newfoundland), transported from owner surrender to foster home, 18 November 2009
  10. Paula Deen (female Newfoundland), fostered June-October 2010. She had been abandoned by her previous owners and was set loose outside in the thickets of southern Indiana, where she had to fend for herself for at least a month. When she came to us she was horribly malnourished (initial weigh-in at ~90 pounds, target of about 120) and terribly afraid of people -- a likely indicator of severe physical abuse. Over the span of the time we had her, we got her weight and confidence back up, so by the time she left us she was one of the absolutely sweetest dogs we've ever had the honor of fostering. She's been placed at her Forever Home with a wonderful lady in northern Illinois who has decades of experience with special needs Newfoundlands, so Paula quite literally is in the best hands possible. The most special thing about Paula was watching her transformation, from a near-death, completely-terrified dog who cowered in the corner of our yard shivering for the first several days to one of the most lovable and loving dogs I've ever met.
  11. River (male Newfoundland), fostered Dec 2010-Jan 2011. He was a really sweet but malnourished 11 month old brown Newf. We had some initial concerns about a heart murmur but it turned out to be very minor and won't affect his lifespan or energy level. In a neat twist of fate, a coworker of mine expressed interest in adopting a rescued Newf while we still had River. The group agreed that my coworker and his wife would be a great forever family for River, so I am able to get regular updates on his progress.
  12. Sampson (male Newfoundland), fostered Jan-Feb 2011. Sampson (a.k.a. "Lil' Sammy") was an owner surrender at the tender age of eight months old. After we took him in, SCNC paid for him to visit a canine opthamologist at Met Vet due to concerns about one of his eyes. The specialist confirmed there was a genetic condition in his right eye, likely to have resulted from his parents having been either too young to breed, too closely related to breed, or both. While he doesn't have any sight out of the "bad" eye the doctor assured us it wasn't causing him any discomfort and would not affect his life span or quality. He was very quickly placed with a wonderful Forever Family in Akron, Ohio.
  13. Rufus (male Newfoundland), fostered March-September 2011. Rufus' owner had to be placed into a retirement home and could no longer take care of him. This was one of those particularly sad fosters, because Rufus had been with the gentleman for all five years he's been alive. There was no abuse or neglect, but due to a change in his owner's health they had to find Rufus a new home. You can visit the photo album to see pictures of Rufus. The previous owner's daughter works at Med Vet in Columbus, Ohio. (Side note: Med Vet has saved the life of two of our dogs, Andrew and Jimmy, identifying and fixing major issues that nobody else around could have. I couldn't be more grateful). The daughter surrendered Rufus to SCNC and Amy and I fostered him for six months until the group was able to find the perfect home for him in Westfield, Indiana. Rufus was the most easy-going, low-stress, low-maintenance foster we've ever had and will do wonderfully in his new home.
  14. Cindy Lou (female Newfoundland), boarded for a small part of November 2011. She was surrendered to the rescue group from the same owner who surrendered Marvin (see above). A very nice, gentle girl who stayed with us just long enough to get spayed, at which time she was moved to another foster home.
  15. Kota (female Newfoundland), boarded for a small part of February 2012. She was surrendered to the rescue group due to her owners losing their house and having to move into a trailer which did not suit her. She was friendly, nice and gentle and even in a week I bonded with her quite strongly. She was moved to a foster home in Illinois who, if the match works out, is planning on adopting her permanently.
  16. Koda (male Newfoundland), boarded for a week in March 2012. It's a strange coincidence that his name is so similar to our last boarder, but there is absolutely no relation. Koda was surrendered to us by a lady who lost her home and her entire family within a few short months. He was older, about seven, and fairly overweight. Still, he had a great personality and got along great with our other dogs. He was moved to a more-permanent foster home in Martinsville, Indiana where he'll get to hang out with four other Newfies while he awaits placement.

Felines

  1. Boo Kitty (male domestic short-hair cat), RIP winter 2009-2010. This cat actually came with the house, the previous owners asked us if we'd take over his care. He was a cool cat and an impressive mouser. He'll be missed.
  2. Margaret Thatcher (female grey tabby), MIA June 2010. She was a feral cat who was dropped off at Amy's clinic when very pregnant. They were able to adopt her kittens out, and we took her to replace Boo Kitty. She didn't like this plan as much as we did and was MIA within a couple of days after we brought her home and put her in the barn with a covered bed, food and water.
  3. Mama Cat (domestic shorthair cat), RIP September 2010. This was the mother of the six-kitten litter we're trying to place. For a stray she was very sweet and good with people, but unfortunately like many strays had feline leukemia and passed away shortly after birthing her kittens. The "good" part of this story is that all of her six kittens tested negative for the virus and are entirely healthy.
  4. Peeps LaRue (domestic shorthair cat), fostered September-December 2010. One of the litter of six kittens that we took from Amy's brother and sister-in-law. Placed with Amy's sister and neice.
  5. Frances Marie (domestic shorthair cat), fostered September-December 2010. Sister of Peeps LaRue, also placed with Amy's sister and neice.
  6. Detective Carla Whiskerson (domestic shorthair cat), fostered September-December 2010. Sister of Peeps and Frances Marie, adopted out to a client of Amy's vet clinic.
  7. Jorge Faiez, Kiki LeCat, Special Agent Ramirez (domestic shorthair cats), fostered September 2010-February 2011. The last three of the six-kitten litter. Adopted out to clients of Amy's vet clinic.
  8. Stanley (male short-hair domestic cat), rescued March 2011, adopted in May 2011. Stanley and his sister Sara were found inside a dog house after having been born less than twenty-four hours earlier. The mother cat had left them there, likely when the homeowner let his dog out that morning. Stanley and Sara were brought to Amy's vet clinic (the homeowner is a client). The kittens had to be warmed up in a warm water bath and then we brought them home. Amy's had to bottle-feed them every 2-4 hours. They were so little you could easily hold both in the palm of one hand. They were adopted out to one of the best clients at Amy's vet clinic.
  9. Sara (female short-hair domestic cat), fostered March-May 2011. Sara is Stanley's sister.
  10. Tony (male short-hair domestic cat), fostered September-November 2011. Tony and his sister Carmella were from a litter of feral cats where the mom had a Bad Experience™ with a car when the kittens were too young to survive on their own. Tony and Carmella were the only two of the litter of five to survive and the family that adopted the two of them in November 2011 is very lucky indeed; they're great cats.
  11. Carmella (female short-hair domestic cat), fostered September-November 2011. Carmella is Tony's sibling.
  12. Jacob (male short-hair domestic cat), fostered April 2012-present. Jacob's mom abandoned the entire litter that Jacob was a part of. Jacob sadly was the only one of three kittens to survive but he's doing really well and will be an amazing addition to someone's family.

Hobbies

Social Activism

I try to donate a reasonable percentage of my time and money to organizations that further social causes I support.

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