Sunday, December 1, 2013

Art imitates life?

Or is it the other way around?

This photo shows a friend's black Lab, Spencer, resting beneath an art print that looks suspiciously like him. Or he looks like it.

Like the dog in the print, Spencer prefers to rest on his mom's bed, but when Mom's in the living room, he has to make do with the sofa. Tough life, huh?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My 2nd best boy

Jack was very, very shy when he first arrived. It was pretty clear that he had had no safe or friendly interactions with humans. It was hard for me to hold back because I just wanted to hug and kiss and pet him, but I managed to restrain myself. In the past 2 months, he's gotten more comfortable with us. When I put out my hand, he wouldn't cringe but would carefully sniff my fingertips. A few days ago he was in the yard when I got home, galloped up to me to say hello, and actually nudged my hand, as if to say, "Pet me!" So I did. Since then, he's been eager for any attention or petting we can offer. He was so miserable when he got here, and so happy now, it does my heart good.

Here's a photo of him taken yesterday. Except for the white spots, he looks like a black Lab, doesn't he? His coat is thicker, his eyes are clearer, and although he's still pretty stinky (like most dogs, he loves rolling in dead things), he has won my heart.
Now that Georgie is in heaven, I think it's safe to say that Jack is my best boy. Well, 2nd best boy. Babe is still my #1 boy:
And Polly is my best girl. Followed closely by Patch and Meg. Sadie still falls into the Devil's Spawn category.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Missing Georgie

In some ways, Georgie’s departure has been the hardest on Polly, who was his little buddy since the day she arrived here. (Well, not the very same day, because Georgie hated her guts for the first 24 hours.) They slept cuddled up in the same crate every night, even when Georgie’s incontinence made a  mess  in the crate. Polly has been barking  - first pitifully, then impatiently, then furiously— until I get up to let her out of solitary confinement in the morning. 

So I retrieved her beloved stuffed squirrel from the closet (kept safe from the plundering Dunderheads) so she would have some comfort at night. Unfortunately, pulling the squirrel out of the crate (before the Dunderheads come inside) has proven too  difficult for Mr. P. and his bad back, so I found a largish stuffed horse at Walmart  to fill the role of  bedmate. The horse is easier for Mr. P. to grab, but Polly wasn’t too sure she liked him at first. I allowed Polly into the master bedroom (usually off-limits to all dogs), sat down on the floor with her, and made the horse gallop around Polly so she would understand that it’s a plaything. Polly’s no Rhodes Scholar (bred for beauty, not brains), but she immediately grabbed the horse (which is almost as big as she is) and set about the important work of breaking his neck (over and over again), and now she’s content to share her crate with him at night. He’s not Georgie (for one thing, he doesn’t poop in the crate), but he’s company for her. On a side note, I’m not sure why a toy company thought to make a stuffed horse and how it ended up in the Union City Walmart. I have to wonder if Polly’s new horsey is a Tennessee Walking Horse, in which case he needs to start a diet and exercise program, pronto!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gone home

Well, Georgie went home for good at around 10:15 this morning. I took him to the vet and she said that she could try to treat the inflammation in his throat, but she'd have to sedate him and that alone was risky. So I said goodbye to him, told him he'd be with his Grammy McMillan again very soon and that she'd be so happy to see him. I couldn't bear to watch him euthanized so Dr. Betsy took him to a back room. About 5 minutes later, she came back and said that when she was done, she put a scope down his throat and saw a large mass growing in his trachea. She might have been able to remove it, but again, that would have been risky.

So I brought him home in a shipping carton and Mr. P. is now burying him in our pet cemetery and near his Grammy McMillan's grave.

I was so glad that Dr. Betsy was the vet on call because she is so kind. When we had to have one of our cats euthanized, Dr. Davis asked me why I was crying.

Here's a photo of Georgie in his youth.
Goodbye, little man.


This photo shows my little old man Georgie sunning himself on the deck a few days ago. I wish I could show this to Mom because his backside is doing what she used to call "skooching."

I'm not sure why Georgie wasn't eating the turd in the upper left hand corner of the picture.

Little old man

Georgie is senior dog here in more ways than one. He's 13 years old and has been with us the longest. His vision and hearing aren't great, and he's lost a lot of the time. During the night he started wheezing very heavily, and I'm worried about lung problems or congestive heart failure. He's in his cage and I can hear him wheezing all over the house. I don't know what to do. Place an emergency call to the animal hospital? Wait until tomorrow (Monday) morning? I can't bear for him to suffer. I can't bear the thought of losing my little old man.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Small but mighty

My friend Tanya's little kitty Fiona is spending the weekend avoiding the dogs at her house, including some guests who are Labradoodles. She has found the perfect spot to monitor and taunt them: the little door to the basement (where her kitty litter box is located).

Fi is small but mighty, and a thousand times smarter than any dog.

Friday, June 14, 2013


My friend Tanya has been a bit worried about one of her dogs. Katie has been very subdued since starting Prozac to treat OCD. I'm not sure that first sentence is clear enough, so I need to emphasize that it's Katie, not Tanya, who's taking Prozac. Katie is an obsessive water drinker, but otherwise a wonderful, lovable girl.

Except when she does stuff like this:

Tanya said she's acting more like her old self again. I told her to be careful what she wishes for.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Home delivery

Yesterday afternoon I did some errands in town. When I got home I discovered that UPS had made a delivery. We never know where the driver is going to leave a package. Sometimes on the front porch. Sometimes on the cement apron in front of the garage. Sometimes behind the driver's seat of Mr. P's truck. This photo shows where I found it. Mr. P. thinks that the UPS driver encountered Ginger at the garage door and decided he better not mess with a big ol' pitbull. He doesn’t realize that the biggest threat that Ginger poses is sharing her ticks!

"I'll be happy to sign for that package, Sir!"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Caught in the act

My trip to and from the Northeast was wonderful, and I was never dogless for long. For some reason, all of my friends and family are animal lovers. I wonder how that happened.

Yesterday, however, I received notice from authorities in New Hampshire that I'm being charged with contributing to the nutritional delinquency of a dog. They have photographic evidence of the crime:

In my defense, I will mention the following facts:

1. At home, I never feed dogs people food unless it's something that falls on the kitchen floor and they get to it before I do.

2. But I admit that I lost my head while in someone else's house in NH, possibly because I'd had a few sips of wine.

3. Please be aware that my act was intended as therapeutic because Chelsea, my so-called victim, was moping and clearly in need of some TLC.

4. And finally, my so-called victim is a mistress of manipulation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Possum's Revenge

This is the first day of a 2 week road trip I've been planning since January. Yesterday I decided it was time to retrieve a suitcase from the attic. I pulled down the hatch door and a large suitcase (not the one I wanted) fell out of the hatch and crashed down onto my left foot. When I had finished (for the moment) cussing and screaming with pain, I gingerly climbed the ladder to find the right suitcase, and at the top of the ladder found Possum sitting on a suitcase (not the one I wanted), watching me with wide-eyed innocence which didn't fool me for a moment. Since I couldn't find the suitcase I wanted up there, and the dogs were leaping around at the foot the ladder, all eager to join Possum in the attic (or better yet, chase her around the house), I exited the attic, shoved the door back up, and examined my grievously-injured foot.

When I saw the damage the suitcase had done - the day before my freaking vacation began - I had to conclude that Possum had pushed that big suitcase out of the hatch for the sole purpose of hurting me. She is probably the most disagreeable cat I've ever met and that kind of murderous intent is entirely consistent with her character. It's just as well that I won't see her again for 2 weeks because my own intention for her is murderous right now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Makin' tracks for home

Blackie is the senior Outdoor Dog now. While she's grateful to live here in the lap of canine luxury, she's still very much a neighborhood dog, long used to roaming wide while socializing, sniffing, accompanying our neighbor to church 3 times a week, and begging for treats wherever she goes. How anyone could look at her chunky body and believe she's starving is beyond me.

When Mr. P. mowed the front yard (calling it a lawn would be torturing the truth) last week for the first time this season, he discovered that Blackie's habitual path to and from the house had worn a track across the yard.


When we took the Dunderheads to the vet for their annual exam and shots last week, one of the assistants gave us 2 kerchiefs imprinted with the name of a flea & tick medication. I wanted to put them on Meg and Berry, but they weren't interested. Teddy and Jinx quite liked them, though.

Guardian of the Garage

Ginger is our new Guardian of the Garage. It's her main hang-out. She likes to play in our next door neighbor's pasture, but basically she's a homebody. When Mr. P. is at home, Ginger is like a tick stuck to his butt when he's puttering around in the garage or working in the yard.

Speaking of ticks, they adore Ginger. Unfortunately the medicine we give her to deal with her heartworms can't be used along with the most effective tick medicine.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ginger's Puppies

When Ginger first arrived here with distended teats, we assumed that she had been nursing puppies. Mr. P. took her to the local animal hospital for a check-up and shots, and scheduled her to be spayed 2 weeks later.

Yesterday she was spayed. When the procedure was done, someone at the hospital called to let us know she was OK, and to tell us that Ginger had been pregnant still and that her puppies were aborted.

I can't imagine how Dr. D. failed to notice her pregnancy during her first exam. Her teats were still distended. When Patch was pregnant enough for her teats to distend, the vet was able to palpate her puppies. So I have to ask if Dr. D. didn't bother doing that because he was lazy or uninterested or what on earth. I don't like him anyway so it's hard for me to be objective about this.

A different vet (Dr. M.) did the surgery yesterday, and I can't really blame him for the abortion. Dr. D. would've put nothing about a pregnancy he didn't notice in Ginger's file, so I suppose when Dr. M. opened her up and saw the puppies, he assumed we had decided to abort them rather than calling us to ask what we wanted to do.

We certainly don't need another litter of puppies to care for and adopt out, but if we had known that Ginger was still pregnant, we wouldn't have decided to terminate the pregnancy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cheez Ballz!

Santy Paws brought Polly a huge jar of cheese balls for Christmas. When he presented it to her, her curly tail wagged so fast that we thought she might take off like a helicopter.

As you can see in this photo, Polly is already on the verge of obesity (she takes after her mother). Our vet says this is a common tendency in pugs. I have a hard time understanding how a little dog with such a big personality, who is so very, very busy in her roles as Ear Hygienist, Beard Inspector, Hall Monitor, Dining Supervisor and Traffic Management Director, would not be burning at least as many calories as she takes in. I worried a bit that the cheese balls would add to her girth.

As it turns out, Polly has little opportunity to overindulge in cheese balls because the instant my hand moves towards the jar, all the dogs come running. Cheese balls rain down from heaven and are gobbled up the instant they hit the floor. Then everybody licks the floor for 3-4 minutes. With all that competition, Polly's lucky to get a single cheese ball to savor.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The new living room

Our living room used to look like the rec room at an insane asylum. An ancient television set, a hodge podge of 2nd or 3rd-hand chairs, and a hodge podge of "residents".

Now it looks more like a bedroom at a frat house the morning after a beer bash.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome, Ginger!

     We seem to have acquired a new stray dog, a pit bull with enlarged teats who must’ve been nursing a litter fairly recently. Don’t know where the puppies are, which is just as well. I hate to think of what may have befallen them. Ginger is hungrier for affection than for food, but she definitely needs to eat on a regular basis instead of scrounging, poor girl.

     She wears a collar and can't understand why we won't let her inside, so she must have been someone’s pet at some point, and an indoor dog at least part of the time.
     She’s a very “bully” pit bull and far too big to qualify as a 9 Dogs Howling Indoor Dog (though Polly could probably give her a run for her money), but she’s determined to come inside nonetheless. She lies on the welcome mat on the porch or stands with her paws on the windowsill looking inside. The day she arrived here, the rest of the dogs spent 4 hours barking and screaming and running back and forth because of Ginger. I finally shut the blinds in the living room so they can’t see if Ginger’s on the porch. Which gives the living room all the warmth and charm of a funeral parlor. 
     Mr. P. had a wonderful, sweet pit bull, Peach Pit, when we were first married, so we’re OK with pit bulls. But…in this part of the world, they tend to be bred as fighters rather than pets, so we have to be careful with Ginger. Pits are often well-behaved with their humans but badly-behaved with other dogs. Ginger gets along with the cats OK, which is in her favor, but I haven’t seen her interact with Blackie yet. Poor Blackie was attacked by a neighbor’s German shepherd last weekend and has a wound on a front leg from that. And it’s time for Babe’s annual check-up and shots. And we need to get Ginger spayed. Ugh. Dog rescue is a mighty expensive proposition.