Our First Year Together: A Furry Love Story - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at Allrecipes.com - 270803

The Sensibly Organic Cook

Our First Year Together: A Furry Love Story 
Mar. 21, 2012 1:24 pm 
Updated: Apr. 20, 2012 9:11 am
I've always thought of myself as a cat person. Don't get me wrong I'm a card carrying animal lover period. It has been said of me that I like my animals better than some people I've met. I can't refute that statement! But now I can say that I am officially a dog lover also. Again don't get me wrong, I've always liked dogs and there have been a few that have shared time here with us. The last being, Spot, Ryan's dog of 12 years. She was a dump that I took care of and that would tell me if we had unexpected company. Beyond that she pretty much did whatever she wanted. When she passed away June 2010, I missed her but I didn't really want another dog here. Because I swore if we EVER had another dog it would be trained and become a part of the household which meant ALL the care would be my responsibility. So I politely didn't listen anytime the DH would bring up an ad for a puppy. Until that fateful day in December when a little old lady walked into my house and used my bathroom. Then I was all ears because having a total stranger just walk in made me realize exactly how much I needed a four legged companion who would at least say someone is on the property.

Yes, we drove all the way to Tyler, Texas to get a Chow puppy. The DH insisted on getting a dog with papers for various reasons. A pound puppy would have been fine with me but he who was footing the bills vetoed that idea. So back we came with this ball of fluff.

We picked this breed for several reasons. I had read somewhere Chows are catlike in nature. This is true, but they also have a protective nature not only for their owner but towards the "whole" family of the owner. They are definitely a one person dog. My cats would disagree with the whole family protection bit and Pip has his own side of the story.

Besides having my heart stolen by Bane what have I learned about dogs?

Don't get a puppy in the winter time.

He loved the snow even when he had to slinky his way through it in my footsteps. I didn't love having to deal with potty training since about the only area without 3 foot of snow was the driveway last year.

Also a dog with a beautiful thick coat, has just that and it must be taken care of!

This is one brushing, something that has to be done regularly or we have dust bunnies bigger than our cats!

Since we had such snowfall last winter, Bane and I played in the house. One of our games was "what's in your mouth". It was a chase game and Bane had lots of fun because he was getting exercise and he could easily slide under all the furniture.

He also liked to sleep in cat territory.

They still fit, Bane not so much!

Ok, so I had lots to learn about raising a puppy properly. The one thing I did do right was find a very good trainer. We had a private lesson and then we took an obedience class. What I learned in class was worth every penny because Chows can be aggressive and they are most decidedly stubborn. Bane proved he had both of those traits one night. He thought helping himself to a hamburger off the counter was just fine. Granted they were Rachael Ray's meat lover hamburgers and very tasty but Bane didn't want to give up his purloined burger. One of Charlotte the dog trainer's mantras is "you get the dog you deserve" and I was sliding by letting Bane in the kitchen. To say he got in a lot of trouble was an understatement but if Charlotte hadn't given me the knowledge to deal with Bane we might have had a serious situation on our hands. Being banished from the kitchen, Bane has appointed himself the guradian of it. He will place his toys and himself at the entrance to keep thieving felines out!
He is especially good at alerting me to Glove's misguided attempts at helping himself.

Since the kitchen episode has really been our worst experience, I can truly say I get dog lovers now. There are so many positives that have come from having Bane. I have someone who loves to play and go for walks so I get exercised. He really loved playing in the one an only snow we had this year. Although, that is a basketball he plays soccer with it. Quite well I might add.

It is kind of like having a little child in the house. I find myself picking up toys on a daily basis or walking on them. He always wants to know what I'm doing. I certainly never have to worry about getting lost because my every move is noted. He is funny with an odd quirk or two, like not wanting to get his feet wet. It takes a behind foot push to encourage him to go out in the rain for potty duty. Sometimes he will go out if I go first; today wasn't one of those days.

Unlike my child, Bane loves anything I cook. He is not allowed table scraps but he would eat them happily if given. I do make treats for him. So far I have made carroty crunchies and liver treats. Finding hormone free, grass fed beef liver was a trick but I have his full attention when he sees them coming out of the freezer. I also had my DS's full attention when I made them. It has been requested that I NEVER make those in the house again. It is very rewarding for the cook to have someone get so excited over her cooking that they practically dance down the hallway to have some.

It is surprising how fast this first year has flown by. Maybe it is because Bane is never grumpy or in a bad mood. He is up and ready to go at the drop of a hat. He is always glad to see me and he greets me when I came back home with lots of love. He makes me feel safe knowing while he is on duty no one will open my front door and just walk in. Most of all who could resist this loveable face?

Certainly not me!
Mar. 21, 2012 2:00 pm
Just enough time to pop in a say "hi" as I log off. Haven't seen you much - miss you! I'll come back and spend more time later [and actually read the blog (=]
Mar. 21, 2012 2:10 pm
So cute! You have to give me tips on making treats. I want to start making some for our pup. We got him on Sunday and he is just 8 weeks old. Not sure when to start him on the goodies yet..... Gosh, Cat,Bane is so cute! :)
Mar. 21, 2012 2:12 pm
Barb, I've been weeding! And I miss everyone here too! Stop in for a chat after work :)(:
Mar. 21, 2012 2:13 pm
WFDM?, I don't know a lot about Danes. Bane can't have a lot of wheat or corn in his diet so I have to be kind of careful. He loves those carroty crunches but the trainer says keep them to a minimum because of the grain and his coat. He loves the liver treats!
Mar. 21, 2012 2:34 pm
Hi there, Cat! We got Gus in the winter also - not something you really think about at the time. Puppyhood was a lot more eventful here so consider yourself lucky. Glad you are enjoying your pooch - they are fun!
Mar. 21, 2012 2:37 pm
Have you tried plain old carrots for treats? Mine loved carrots (and broccoli) so I pretty much quit making him treats and just gave him pieces of raw carrot. Glad you all are getting along so well :)
Mar. 21, 2012 3:00 pm
What a cutie-pie! I'm so glad that you have such a sweet and fun-loving bodyguard! I had some gluten free flour left over from the cafe and used it to make Bess's last batch of Bacon/Cheddar 'Barko's' -- I was quite pleased as most dog bikkie recipes have a corn/wheat base. Try GF flour or even plain rice flour.
Mar. 21, 2012 3:10 pm
Maggi, I was told spring was the best time to get a furchild. It is a little warmer for those night time walks. LOL Oh well, live and learn and he was and is worth it :)
Mar. 21, 2012 3:15 pm
linda2d, the kid is a carnivore for sure. I tried giving just raw veg and let's just say I found it in some odd places. Completely whole but totally untouched. Could be why he had no qualms absconding with that meat lover's burger. Heavens and he loves fish. He is worse than the cats :)(:
Mar. 21, 2012 3:18 pm
GoodEatNZ, Bane says hey to Bessie! He is a cutie! I have layers now so maybe, when they start laying, I can do some treats for him using GF free. Eggs are supposed to be good for the coat right? At least he doesn't complain or mutter under his breath when I offer homemade treats. Gotta love that! :)
Mar. 21, 2012 3:27 pm
Cat Hill, I enjoyed reading about Bane. He is so cute. I like the way he looks up at you waiting for some sort of surprise. I have had cats and dogs and I loved them all. Thanks for sharing your story.
Mar. 21, 2012 4:35 pm
O.M.G. ... he looks like a little bear. He's really cute!! I've always thought of myself as a dog and bunny person and in October we took in a cat. We don't regret it for a minute, she needed help and picked us to help her. Nice blog!
Mar. 21, 2012 4:49 pm
Well Bane is just the cutest dog I've ever seen! DS & DH agree. Thanks for sharing. :)
Mar. 21, 2012 4:51 pm
You've got a cute dog!
Mar. 21, 2012 5:37 pm
How sweet is that face?! I am not an animal-lover [yes, despite the three kitties - and piddly kitty seems to be less piddly - PTL!] - I categorize myself as "animal-tolerant (= He is gorgeous - and sounds like a wonderful companion! They recently put my uncle's dog down, and I'm wondering about replacing him - for a companion for my mom. Definitely not a puppy, but a more sedate older - but not old (= dog. I'll have to ask my man-child if she's said anything . . .
Mar. 21, 2012 6:56 pm
Ah, Cat Hill, your love for this dog comes shining through! Your blog warms my heart, thanks for sharing this with us!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:07 pm
I haven't had a dog for many years. You know, I do get visitors that I call granddogs and I have taken it upon myself to totally spoil them. When they come here or I go there, they'll sit very close to me and just stare at me until I give them a treat. Same thing with the neighbors dog only she gets so excited she loses control of her bladder! Makes my neighbor become agast as I laugh. So far, I total five spoiled dogs that can't wait to see me. I'll show you how easy it is when I'm down there for the roundup. Bane won't mind, at all!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:07 pm
Lela, it is that face that gets me every time! He is just thrilled with life and so happy. Except when it rains, he is just not a puddle dog :)
Mar. 21, 2012 7:12 pm
Linda (LMT), I think if you like any kind of animal you can open your heart to all of them. Cats were all I ever had growing up so I might have just learned more about them. Bane may have stolen mine but he shares with it others. Poor kid is with Pippin and the cats, not really sure if the horses will eat him :)(:
Mar. 21, 2012 7:15 pm
AllieGeekPi, thanks for dropping by! I've been thinking about your question the other day about the corned beef and yes, homemade is pink like store bought. IMO, homemade is better. And yes, that Bane is a cutie :)
Mar. 21, 2012 7:16 pm
Hey, sueb! Sorry I haven't kept up with you. Your book club looks like they are reading some really cool books. Way to go!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:16 pm
Oh heavens! What a cute puppy Bane is!!!! I want to dye my hair that color! Such a rich brown... LOL! I just love that you're an animal lover. It says alot about you as a person Cat. AND, I'm thrilled to hear you got your hens. They LOVE carrots too. It snowed today and I was gone all day. I felt sorry for my hens, so when I came home, I made them some nice hot oatmeal with shredded carrots. They gobbled it down in about 5 minutes. I'm always making my hens special treats. Your doggie treats look good enough to be "People" food Thank you for sharing about your furry family member.
Mar. 21, 2012 7:20 pm
xraybarb, you know what? My kid says all the animals have me well trained around here so maybe I'm animal serivant. Is that a word? I don't know what to advise for your Mom. I can't imagine life without a fur person but then my mom couldn't wait for me to move out and take all my furry kids with me :)(:
Mar. 21, 2012 7:27 pm
Wyattdogster, ahh thanks. I am glad I have Bane. I think he was meant to live here with me :)
Mar. 21, 2012 7:31 pm
LOLOL! Mike, we have Alan that you will have to contend with. Bane loves Alan but he has never given him a treat. Alan used to bring them for Spot and she would look for him on Sundays. She knew every car he drove. Now all we have to say is "Is that Alan?" and Bane is all excited. We say it must be his animal magnetism, I should have known you would have it too!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:38 pm
Candace, really?! I would never have thought to feed the girls (I Hope!) hot oatmeal but that makes so much sense. I've been picking weeds and bugs up for them to supplement their feed right now. They seem really happy. Pippin would be happier to see them up close. Not going to happen! I swear Bane has more hair than I have ever had in my life! Wait till you see him, the DS says he is defective cause his hair isn't all the same color. I love his coloring but then I am the Mom :)
Mar. 21, 2012 7:50 pm
Oh yes! In the winter, Feeding them warm oatmeal keeps them laying... or so I was told once by an old chicken farmer. They'll eat just about anything. You just can't feed them RAW potatoes or onions. I save all my leftovers for the hens, throw in the food processor for a quick twirl and throw in the coop. Better than having a dog.... ALMOST!
Mar. 21, 2012 7:52 pm
Really! I was told potato peelings was one of their favorites but then I wondered about that and onions since it is a problem with dogs and cats. Thank you so much, Candace. I may have to take notes when you are here. And no matter what animal you have they are all great :)(: IMO
Mar. 21, 2012 8:03 pm
My DH was not much of an animal affectionado, but he used to tell people when he died he was coming back as one of my pets, since I love them like kids. I spoil the pets. These days I can't have a dog, the building doesn't permit them. I must admit I can't see myself out walking one first thing on a snowy morning or late on a rainy night. When I had a huge yard and could just open the back door it was enjoyable. So my "girls," BigShot and Lulu, get all the spoiling now - well except for the bulldog across the street. Your Bane is adorable, he looks like a friendly little bear. I'd spoil him too! Oh, and give a special treat to Pippen from me.
Mar. 21, 2012 8:18 pm
BSM, I think my DH has the same wish. Let me tell you pulling on a snowsuit over jammies to take someone out to piddle was not a high point of my night back then! We managed to get thru potty training though. Spring probably would have been nicer even in the rain. Not so cold. Bane actually loves people and remembers them very well so you would be on his guest list :) Pippin just wants a chance at the little tweetie birds right now but my catnip is going strong this year so that will just have to make him happy :)(:
Mar. 22, 2012 3:32 am
Oh Cat! You have absolutely no idea how perfectly timed this blog came for me! When I'm able, I'll be writing a blog, but I can't talk or write about it just yet. Bane is adorable and I've fallen in love! I am also a card carrying animal lover but dogs have always been at the top of my list. Thank you so much for sharing his first year with us. I love the pic of him sleeping in "cat territory" hanging over the edges. LOL
Mar. 22, 2012 5:06 am
The only dogs I have ever owned have been Chows. Or should I say it's nothing like being owned by a Chow. My husband and I had a Chow, Bigfoot, before we had children. We lived in the country and I always felt safe when I was alone at home with him there. He was so fearless and loveable. There's nothing like a kiss from a blue tongued teddy bear! Thanks for bringing back good memories. Since 1999, however, I have been owned by cats :p
Mar. 22, 2012 5:35 am
Uh oh, Mother Ann, I confess I've been a little worried about you since Prince passed away. Bane is now big enough he doesn't even sort of fit under that table. Pippin's thrilled because I covered the table and it is now his cat cave once again and he can jump out at the unsuspecting! LOL!
Mar. 22, 2012 5:39 am
Godzilla, you are absolutely right! I am not a dog owner but am undeniably owned by Bane. :) My son says all the animals have me well trained too. Oh well, I wouldn't have it any other way because I can't imagine life without them :)(:
Mar. 22, 2012 7:03 am
AWWWW! Reading this made me smile and get teary-eyed. I miss my Etta so much. Great blog! :o)
Mar. 22, 2012 7:36 am
Bane is simply adorable. I am a dog lover. Not so much cats. We now have a mini dauchsand(sp). She is 7yo. We had two chineese pugs before that. They are my favorite of all time. We had vowed when the last pug passed away that was it, no more pets.It just hurts so bad when they die. Two years later we decided to get Princess. She is a pleasure to have around. Only problem is she barks at everything that moves almost. No one can even walk down our street without her letting us know about it. That barking gets rather annoying when someone comes into the house. She does soon settle down unless she takes a dislike to them. Like she did a guy coming to the house to give us an estimate on flooring. She never did stop barking and growling at him. We did not give them the job. Thought Princess might have known something we didn't.
Mar. 22, 2012 9:30 am
Hi Cat. Great blog, great pics! I had to LOL @ "card carrying animal lover" (I'm one too! :D) When my last rescue Boxer left us, I too vowed I would not "own" another dog. On the very day I was selling all my "dog stuff" at a garage sale, a friend of ours called to tell us about an all-white deaf boxer that was up for adoption. I left my then teen daughters to tend the garage sale while I went and checked him out. "I'm just going to look at him" I remember saying. Needless to say, I took one look at that sweet little face and knew I wouldn't be leaving without him. All I could think about is how no one would want a deaf dog and I just HAD to save him! It can be very challenging owning a deaf dog, but it exceptionally rewarding as well. Strangers have no clue he's deaf, it's just our little secret. :) Give Bane a bog 'ol hug for me!
Mar. 22, 2012 9:31 am
Umm...that would be BIG 'ol hug...
Mar. 22, 2012 10:11 am
As always, love the blog Cat. Hugs to Bane from me too!
Mar. 22, 2012 11:37 am
cheepchick, I did think about you when I wrote this blog because I know how much Etta meant to you. And I know how it feels to lose a beloved companion no matter which fur coat they are wearing. I'm glad you liked the blog :)(:
Mar. 22, 2012 11:46 am
char, I had a friend that had Chihhuahau(sp?). She barked and growled at everyone. I mentioned one day that I was surprised she never became friendly with me. Animals usually like me. The owner said "oh no, she likes you. She hasn't bitten you. She bites the people that she doesn't like" I guess they had someone in their house that dog picked out as slime and sure enough, that person tried to steal from them. For me I VOWED never to have another horse after my 23 year mare died. I had her for 17 years. No way not gonna happen. Uh huh, tell that to the two in the pasture :)
Mar. 22, 2012 11:50 am
Mi Being Mi, uh huh! Just gonna look, right. LOLOL! Bet that visit took all of 5 seconds for you to make up your mind :) We animal lovers are such softies :)
Mar. 22, 2012 11:51 am
MB, thanks! Bane is growing up so fast! When I looked at those photos yesterday I couldn't believe how small and fuzzy he used to be.
Mar. 22, 2012 10:09 pm
I love a good, happy dog story, Cat, and Bane sounds like a sweetie. May you enjoy his companionship for many years to come. We have two big English pointers who think they're poodles. The last puppy we had was in 1987, and I also said I'd never get a puppy in the winter...but he was available in January. So when we went "just to look," of course he came home with us. Since then there have been four other pointers adopted from assorted situations (two retired show dogs), and they've gained more liberal house privileges with each passing year. The last one came from death row in a county shelter and was going to be our foster dog until the pointer rescue folks could find him a forever home. After spending Thanksgiving Day with the local vet (and about $600), and the entire weekend giving the rescue dog IV meds, he had his paws firmly planted on our hearts. Giving him up to someone else was not even a consideration. That was almost 5 years ago. We got an "F" in Rescue 101, but gained a great dog to add to the pack. Life just wouldn't be the same without our critters, whatever species one prefers.
Mar. 23, 2012 5:16 am
Ahh, thanks PointerSister, yeah I get an "F" in Rescue 101 too. That's how I got Pippin, my avatar. He was just supposed to stay till my sister got back from vacation. That was 5 years ago :) I agree with you 100%, Life would not be the same without any of them!
Mar. 23, 2012 7:40 am
It takes a special and attentive person to own a chow. It is difficult to train the people around who do not know! Sweet guy.
Mar. 23, 2012 9:33 am
I'm curious how you came up with the name "Bane." Great pics, too...don't think I've ever seen such good face pics of a dark-colored chow. A cutie, even beyond the puppy stage!
Mar. 23, 2012 10:53 am
Thank you, redly! You are absolutely right! That is why I went to the trainer and she is good at training the owner. Chows have a different mindset for sure but I absolutely love him. He is a character.
Mar. 23, 2012 11:05 am
PointerSister, does the phrase Isldur's(sp?) Bane sound familar. I've run across so many that don't know what bane means. A few got it, "the bane of my existence". I knew ALL the dog care would be mine just like I knew ALL the horse and chicken care would be mine to do. Bane popped into my head and it fits. He can be a pill but I wouldn't trade him for the world! That last picture I took is how he looks when I ask him a question. I have his full and undivided attention because he wants to hear what I have to say. Just in case, it might mean a car ride, a treat, going for a walk or just hearing what a beautiful dog he is :)(:
Mar. 23, 2012 11:45 am
Sweet blog! He's such a beauty! He's got you wrapped around his little paw! How I know you feel...they are great company! Marley says arf! arf!
Mar. 23, 2012 11:59 am
Ah Cindy, he and all the others do so have me trained. Hmm, wonder why that isn't working so much for the furless ones here :) Bane says wooooaha. He makes the funniest noises :)(:
Mar. 24, 2012 6:22 pm
Hi Cat: I haven't been on here lately, my father passed away on March 3,I have been busy. I always love reading your blogs, you know me I love my cat ut also had a dog when growing up, he was so special. I think you must love all your furbabies equally, just like children, you can't say you have a favourite. I wish I could come out there for the round up, it is a little too far to travel. Thanks for your blog, take care!
Mar. 25, 2012 4:08 am
Awww, what a cute blog. It's been a long time since I've had a puppy (my lab is 12 1/2 years old). They are a lot of work but totally worth it. Love the pics. : )
Mar. 25, 2012 5:34 am
Oh Janet, I am so sorry for your loss. I had been thinking I needed to email you to see how you were. I'm getting quite the herd here and I understand it would be a bit of a drive for you to visit here, but if you are ever remotely close to this area you are invited to stop in. I'm glad you liked the blog and again I am sorry for your loss.
Mar. 25, 2012 5:36 am
wisweetp, thanks for stopping in. Bane is in the dog house today. Instead of playing soccer yesterday, he thought we were playing football. Knocked me flat on the ground. It must have been the weather here. It has been absolutely beautiful!
Mar. 27, 2012 9:54 am
Does he still have his penchant for human female visitors,lol! I can't believe how big and furry he's gotten. I have pics from last year when he took up residence under the kitchen table. The good weather has put my dog Manny in the dog house the last couple of days as well. I'm wearing my flip-flops and he follows so close behind me that, occasionally, he steps into the shoe with me. I went head long in the in-laws pasture sunday. You should have heard the 18-month old nephew laughing at me on my stomach with Manny licking the side of my face:) I survived without serious injury. Glad to have you in the dog-lover category!
Mar. 27, 2012 11:28 am
LOLOL! Yep, he still loves girls more than food although he was licking his lips when he found out there were chicks in the garage :) My ear still hurts were his head made contact after knocking me down. I bet the baby had a goooood laugh at Auntie expense. Now off to hunt morels! Weather is right for them.
Mar. 27, 2012 3:14 pm
Oh my, I have fallen in love with Bane and want to give him a huge hug! He is soooooo cute! Chows rate high on my "world's most adorable Dogs" list!
Mar. 27, 2012 3:55 pm
Great blog! He is gorgeous! I have no dogs and am getting ready to lose my old kitty. I am glad I do petsitting to get my doggy fix, but then they go home and that is OK, too!
Mar. 27, 2012 7:36 pm
CookieWeasel, Bane is a cutie and he loves hugs. He is a stubborn one but I'm with you, chows are cool! Hey, thanks for dropping in on the thread for Mother Ann. She needed some hugs that day!
Mar. 27, 2012 7:41 pm
Shanon, I saw your post on FB. 20 years, oh my. Did you see Mother Ann's blog about Missy. There is a poem on it that will bring tears to your eyes but if you have to make "that" decision for your girl it might help. {{Hugs}} I'll check in on you this week and see how you both are doing.
Apr. 3, 2012 7:32 am
Wow... so many comments... lol. Anyway, I'll add mine -- Loved your story & pics! Bane is such a little doll! I am grandma to a dachshund, and we have two old (big!) dogs, too. I love cats... my one tattoo is of a cat... but I only feed random wandering outdoor cats now, haven't 'owned' any for a while.
Apr. 3, 2012 1:51 pm
Thanks, Wendyws. Bane is pretty catlike in nature but I've always loved cats for sure!
Apr. 20, 2012 9:11 am
Hi Cat Hill, taking a minute for my first post to this well written fun blog. Looking forward to what the future is going to bring. Soap still working for the deer.
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Cat Hill

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

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About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
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