Monday, December 31, 2007

The Fence Chorus

I love the sound of the trash talk at the fence. My pack's little voices and the mastiff's big booming voice. Sometimes the dainty husky throws in a howl. Of course, all hostilities are abandoned at the appearance of the common and eternal enemy-the squirrel.

My pack does, on occasion, howl. It's usually led by Greta and it is the most magical chorus of all. The sight and sound of any of my dogs with ears tucked back, and nose to the sky, howling, fills me with such love and wonder. But, they are chihuahuas, not timber wolves, so it's a rare and wonderful thing.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Beam Me Up Scotty: In the beginnng

Beam Me Up Scotty: In the beginnng

Omigosh, how time does fly.

Let's see-Scotty sold, cubicle bought, given away, Cosmic Cowgirl bought and ready to roll.
I had to add a new trailer hitch to the truck (the one I bragged about in January was crap).
Foot surgery -complete and healing.
Midlife crisis-still going strong-but I've moved back to Oklahoma City and into the frying pan that created who I am.

Uncle John-going downhill a bit, but still a few blocks away-he will never be far away from me until he passes away, and then he will still be with me.

Snakes-lost 20 ish in an ice storm, 3 survived. Dogs-picked up an elderly chihuahua and she's doing fine. Cat-still the boss.

I'm still toying with the idea of joining the urban chicken movement.

I dumped a lot of stuff moving to OKC but have picked up a lot more, however I no longer consider it a moral failing. I try to pass on what I don't use.

The Cruiser (bike) has a new friend coming next week-that was my Christmas/Birthday lost over 50 pounds present to myself, a really nice, road ready hybrid to take with me on the road-I'm thinking about having a carless month sometime in 2008.

Mom and Dad-two houses down, drive me nuts, and I love them dearly. And yes, I'm still glad I came "home" for awhile.

I still have the brand new saddle I bought-we'll just have to see what next year brings, won't we?

March On

Prissy's trainer really wants Prissy to come back to class, so we are going to try again when I get back in January. I was going to take one of the bigger dogs, and I may well enroll Greta in her own class, Courtney thinks Prissy would be a fabulous therapy dog, so we are going to keep working on it.

Truth is, Prissy was doing fine with class, life just got complicated. So, we'll march on in January.

Rough Night

Dottie had a bit of a rough night-she coughed a lot (fluid retention around her heart) and had trouble getting comfie. So I did my best to make her comfie and then just wrapped around her and held her. It comforted us both.

Today she's a little better (nights are rough on her) and she's dozing in the sun, my grizzled little companion of so many journeys, so many sleepless nights.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hot breakfast

Heated up the leftover canned food and gave to the kiddos this mornng. Hopefully th temp will hit 40 by the time they wake up and they can spend an hour or so outside. I'm running out of clever ideas for the younger dogs-napping all day suits the younger ones. I'll just have to resort to that old standby-stuffing a kong. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways....

Friday, December 28, 2007

Snowwwwww again?

Ok, if this is a dry winter then I'm not sure Oklahoma is the place for us....sheeesh. Although, the chihuahua haven in the bathroom is a big hit for the little bitty's. In fact, if I go through with my plans to pull out the carpet I am going to have to create an "alternate" space for them. The two old dogs especially seem to benefit from the extra warm room.

Greta, Cody and I can't get comfie at the temperatures they require, so this works out well for all of us. Makes me wonder how people with vastly different dogs-like a chihuahua and a newfoundland, cope.

The tiny ones do seem to have extra problems with both the heat and the cold. They really are more fragile creatures than my big dogs.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tiger Thoughts

Regarding thetigerincident in SF...

I do feel awful for the families, but I doubt very seriously the tiger just casually decided to jump out of the cage. In Deb's Zoo-anyone caught taunting the animals would be escorted out immediately, no refunds.

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, but people do stupid things sometimes. Taunting a tiger because you THINK it can't get out? Yep, that's a stupid thing. And not very nice.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And Snow the Day after....

The kids are insisting on their snow rations feeding schedule, a lot, and frequently.
The bigger dogs don't seem to suffer, but when it gets below 30 degrees the little dogs can visibly drop weight in a 24 hour period. I guess that is the big drawback of a superfast metabolism. Personally, I wouldn't know.

Cody is taking advantage of the devestation of the sycamore tree (limbs down everywhere) and is learning the command "over". Dogs use what they have.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sunny spots on Christmas

After the turkey coma the dogs staggered out in the sun light and had another good doze. They have now managed enough energy to bark at the squirrrels. We like sunny days here better than snowy ones.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I came home today from Jake's bearing gifts (green beans and rib scraps). But I've learned that table scraps are a dish best dined on at noon. Late night leftovers keep me scrambling for the door and the air freshner all night long. Ahhh, the reality of dogs.

Well, 5 little dogs keeping it real after a rib feast is a bit much, even for me.
Tomorrow is the turkey feast, followed immediately by the turkey coma.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dog Genius

Nat Geo put out an awesome program about dogs and how their minds work....and what they are capable of. Now many of us already knew that...but it's nice that Nat Geo has made it legitimate science.

Rotating Chihuahuas

Another snow storm, but this time the power stayed on. I've turned the bathroom into a little bitty dog haven-it's the only carpeted room in the house, so I put three beds in there, shut the door, and the temperature is comfortable for the three black and whites. In the meantime to rest of us don't melt. The little one's seem to like having their own "room".

I think I'll let Greta and Cody play in the sunroom today when it warms up. Right now, at around 25 degrees, the cold and the damp is just too much for Greta's hip. But, with a little heat, maybe cold and dry will work ok.

The sun is out today, so they might even find a sunny spot to snooze in.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dog Art

This is really a crosspost sort of, but it's some artwork that featured one of the pois passed-Dolly, my Mom's little dog who left us earlier this year. She is playing the part of an angelic being, both in this picture and in real life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh to Snooze like a Dog

Just to lie there, no worries. Stretched out in complete relaxation. No thought about tomorrow, only the eternal, warm, snuggly NOW. Dogs are lucky, they never really leave the womb.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Turkey Dinner Yum Yum

My Uncle's home had their Turkey dinner today and I brought leftovers for the dogs. Cody got mostly carrots, but the three black and whites are now in a turkey induced coma. Even just a little does them in. It's a hoot.

Monday, December 17, 2007

5 of the Sweetest Smelling Dogs EVER

Are snoozing in my house, MY house where the power is back on. Oh, my heart is full tonight because the pack is home.

The snakes did not make it through the power outage, and for that I am sad, but this is a blog for dogs, and the dogs are here and life is good.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Still no power

But my kids are all warm at the kennel. Please remember those who are not so fortunate.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Found a vet that still has electricity so all the kids are warm safe and dry. Please say a little prayer for those who aren't.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Between Storms

Little ones are down at my parent's, big ones are still warm enough in my house. No electricity. Snakes did not make it. Cat is doing fine.

I think we've lost all the life we are going to lose for now. It's hard and I know there are others out there who have it harder, so I am trying not to complain.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


My dogs aren't snow dogs or ice dogs either for that matter. After all these years and all those dogs, I still crack up every time I see a dog try to walk on the ice without putting his or her feet down.

Bitty and Dottie do it best-they have the long spindly legs that make it so much more comical. Tink tink tink tink tink tink they walk, legs splayed out trying to find a dry, warm not slick spot that does not exist. Wobble wobble wobble, heading for the potty spot, until finally the just give up and plunge squat wherever they happen to be.

Then they slowly turn, and tink tink tink they head back. A temporary truce has been granted to the dogs behind us, all seem to agree, even the husky, it's not worth barking about in this weather.

Tink tink tink, tink tink tink, back to the warmth of a cuddly blanket or lap, pausing to glare at me for allowing such inclimate weather.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We all love a Diva

Spotties bunked with me last night. Dottie took a long time to wake up, she was enjoying her rest an awful lot and she's tired, pour soul. Prissy got up and was stirring around and sniffed Dottie to see what the "energy level" was this morning.

Dottie got up on her rickety old legs, coughed a bit, then walked over to Prissy, tail high, and put her in her proper place. When she came back she had to lean into me for support, but the old girl was very content. There is only room for one at the top.

Friday, December 7, 2007


My dogs do something my child never did. They take regular naps, and not only that, they enjoy them. There is something so soothing about a sleeping child or a snoozing dog. I'm wide awake, and working but somehow their gentle, relaxed energy is being transmitted to me.

My dogs aren't fussy about nap arrangements. I'm welcome to join them, but if I opt out, they continue on without me. I love the somewhat windy chorus of snores and farts that come floating out of the room....Dogs rule!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oh, the bliss

I needed some comfort last night, so I took the two spotties to bed. Prissy hasn't howled in a couple of nights and I'm convinced I can ultimately teach her that I'm the decider-crate or no crate and howling doesn't sway me. I fired up the electric blanket-chihuahua heaven. Dottie stretched out in her spot in the crook of my arm.

Dottie's eye is dim, her coat fading, but she's still the loyal old friend who can comfort me like no other.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bogey is still looking for a home

And I want to screammmmmmmmmm-bring him here bring him here!!!! But there is no room in the pack for another little male, no matter how cute. I have two old dogs on their way out, and one newborn dog (Australian shepherd) on the way in. I haven't mentioned it yet, because it's a big Christmas surprise that I already know about. With any luck, the elders will last long enough to let the newcomer share in their wisdom, but it's going to be tight around here for awhile with potty training, sweaters to put on the seniors, heart medicine to dispense.

There is room in my heart, but not in my boarding bill. I can wrap my head around integrating another member into the pack, but not two, not right now.

And that is part of being a responsible dog owner, knowing when to say no, no matter how sad it makes me to do it.

Ugh Ugh, Thank Dog

I'm having a rough morning. Guess I'll load Greta up and take her with me today. She's enthusiastic enough for the both of us.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A New Habit

The big dogs were waiting for their walk this morning-Greta absolutely loves her walk. It is hard not to love it a little myself just because she is so enthusiastic. Cody is a little more stoic, but he's a game little fellow.

We time it so that Mom and Dad meet us on their return trip, and then the dogs and I are done we stop in for coffee and a dog treat. There are far worse ways to start a day.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bogey-looking for a home

Mastering the Walk

Greta and Cody went on their first mile long walk today-they did pretty well. Cody was a little whipped by the end, but that's good-he's the one that needs it the most. I think this is going to be a regular event for the big dogs now. Prissy still gets her visits to Mom's, Bitty and Dottie are happy at home.

Of course, Greta will ride shotgun on the hospital visit tonight-it's nice to have a pal to ride along.

I have a rehoming help request for a one eyed chihuahua. There is pretty much no room at the inn here, but I'll be happy to find him a place. He's a year old, playful, so he should be no trouble to place.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


6 of the 10 didn't make it from the amazing litter I wrote about earlier. It's truly a miracle 4 did, but now that the numbers are manageable, I won't need to step in. Part of me is relieved part of me is sad. It would have been nice to take care of a puppy.

Bitty is getting old dog lumps (tumors) which is par for the course for an elderly gal. Dottie is getting a little more hoarse each day. I'm providing what we humans call "Pallative Care" making their final days as nice as I can. We had a nice dog nap yesterday-all three of the black and whites staked out territory on my outstretched body and we dozed as a group. It was lovely.

I made arrangements to move Prissy's class to a weekend time slot. Evenings are busy with visits to Uncle John at the moment. I'm glad Prissy will get to continue her education. Maybe she'll even stay awake for the entire class since it's in the afternoon. Yes, during the lecture portion she climbs into my lap, curls up and begins to snore. Gotta love that girl!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Not one size fits all

You would think with 5 similar dogs, I could buy one dog food. NOT. I went through all I had, then reformulated again to see if I can get optimal health.

Bitty and Dottie will be eating a senior formula, canned, twice a day and have some small kibble available at all times

Prissy, who tends to be underweight, will get an adult formula, twice a day, and have some kibble available at all times

Greta, who is ok weight wise but just loves to eat, will get mostly kibble (small bites, with a little of Prissy's canned for flavor.

Cody, who is a porker, will get low fat kibble and green beans for his mushie.

The cat gets senior canned and kibble.

The snakes are on a high protien diet of rats, mice and chickens, but I have to order at least three sizes to accomodate the snakes.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

A midnight e-mail

I got an e-mail from Dottie/Prissy's breeder-one of her dogs had 10 puppies and died in the process, so she needs a little help with feeding. I almost broke my fingers typing me me me. I am practically lactating myself as I wait for her answer.....

My turn Ma!

One of the nicest things about dogs is that just pretty much tell you how they feel, no guessing required. Prissy reached critical mass today about 1:30. Yesterday was Bitty's morning to roam, then Greta got to go in the car, then Dottie spent the night on my pillow. There is only so much sharing a little dog can do.

First she got severly reprimanded by Cody for trying to bully away a bone. She moved into the sun light, flopped down, the picture of rejection and utter defeat. So, I waited a bit so she wouldn't associated stealing bones/fights with anything positive, then I called them all in.

"Let's go see Grandma Priss"

She could hardly contain herself walking down the street. Grandma was busy, but managed to chop up a bit of steak for her treat. She romped in the backyard a bit and was ready to come home again. All was well with the world.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Love is.....

letting an old dog sleep on your pillow because she has a tummy ache and in spite of the foul flatulence.

Greta's Finest Hour

Today she'll ride shotgun will I take care of my Uncle John. She'll be thrilled. I am a little sad-taking care of Uncle John has always been Dottie's job, but she's too frail right now for an all day debacle. Prissy is too needy herself at the moment. Steady little Greta is just happy to be with you, no attention required. And she loves the car.

This morning was Bitty's time to be out and sleep whereever she wanted. Bitty is a funny old girl-she likes a bed in the living room. But when she needs to pee she'll tip toe in and stare. "Do you want to go out?" I'll ask, and she'll make this funny little growl bark that sounds just like "out". First time she did it it really freaked me out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When Good Dogs go bad

I was listening to the bark fest outside and that popped into my head. My dogs are chasing a squirrel into the neighbor's yard and then the neighbor's little husky trees the beast and the entire crowd stands and barks like crazy. Sometimes the dachshunds down the way shout insults and encouragement.

Dachshunds always appear to me to be a little self conscious. Maybe that's why they are grouped with the hounds instead of the terriers. No self respecting terrier would ever be self conscious. There are perhaps 4 doxies within sight range of the backyard-until I moved in with my disreputable chihuahua pack they pretty much ruled the neighborhood.

I can just see them commiserating over a nice liver sausage...."yeah, this place was paradise till those damned Mexicans moved in...."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jack Mackeral

In honor of the snow I opened a large tin of the aforementioned fish. I think that is what huskies are fed on treks-or rather the smoked version is. It's very fatty, lots of omega 3's a too fishy even for me. But the kids love it. Finally a food all the furries can agree on.

It is best to feed in small quantities-I portioned out a tin between 5 small dogs and a cat. It was a dog food size tin, not a tuna can or one of those cat food cans or even a small dog can. It was the size tin that used to be the only size that could be found on the shelf.

Lastly, it is never a good idea to feed at it at night. Being fatty AND fishy, it makes it's smelly way to the outside in a few hours.

Yet, the slight inconveniences are worth it. There are five little furry animals who think all the world is as it should be and more, all because of a 1.29 can of stinky fish.

Snow Fell

Prissy was the most dismayed-she hates the white stuff. It was really just thickish slush. Sun is out, snow is gone, and there are now squirrels to chase.

Dogs don't sit an mourn the passing of fall.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Three Squares a day

Now that the weather is cooler, the dogs enjoy coming in more often and having small, regular meals. They are training me well. Bitty is just adorable in her little red raincoat (hooded,so she's red riding hood) but she no longer shivers and that's really all that matters.

Been through a lot of emotional mumbo jumbo the past week or so, and I've enjoyed having my pack nearby.

Dogs are so cool. They don't try to fix things or ask you why you feel the way you feel. A dog conversation is more like "Oh, feeling a bit low? I'm sorry to hear that, how about scratching my belly now?" Or "Oh, catatonic are we? Well good, fire up that electric blanket and lets' have a snuggle and a nap, shall we?"

Dogs just figure that when you decide to do something about it, you will and in the meantime why waste all that good body heat? Dogs are very pragmatic.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Around in Circles

I've run out of places to migrate the crates to in the house (for variety). I guess I'll move the kids back to the bedroom for a bit, I need them out of the kitchen. I thought about splitting the crates up in different rooms.

I decided against it for a couple of reasons; I don't think it's efficient during night time potty runs and I think the pack mentality is maintained by sleeping in one space.

Pack mentality is good for the dog's well being and it is the lazy girls way of training new members the basics like pee pee outside, go to your crate when told, sleep all night if at all possible....

After our little Fancy passed away, Dottie was an only dog for some time. She and I both became neurotic as hell, dependent on each other for our every emotional need. I see the pack as a way of perpetuating our relationship, dogs she has taught will teach other dogs, and so on. It's nice to have that continuity.

And, I truly believe dogs give each other something that we humans can't quite duplicate. I feel sad for "only dogs" who never get to socialize with other dogs. My Mom believed Dolly didn't like other dogs, but I think she just didn't have the social skills to get along with them.

Greta is slowly taking over leadership in the yard, barking at the door to be let in, defending the borders, etc. She's doing it in such a way that she's still "supporting" Dottie, there have been no fights or attempted coupe De tats such as Prissy tried to stage earlier this year.

Who would have thought that in less than a year she would go from wounded frightened little dog to leader of the pack?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In the Tub

We have biozones in the house tonight. Greta and Cody like it cold, I like it medium, the little ones like it HOT. Bitty wants to sleep with Dottie (for the warmth) and Prissy is jealous. So finally, I put a blanket in the bathtub and put the three black and white units in there. The bathroom is tiny, has it's own vent, and is the warmest room in the entire house.

This may be a good solution for the entire winter-last year was tough because someone was always uncomfortable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bragging-Baldface Unabashed Bragging

The tree guy came last night and the kids were out in the yard. With some refusal (on Cody's part) my four dogs "loaded" into the round pen. I've never attempted that when there was a stranger in the yard. Tree Man was nice and didn't talk while I worked with Cody a bit.

Bitty won't load with the other dogs-she has her own smaller pen, but she wasn't barking so I didn't work with her. Tree Man might not have been that patient.

Now, it's not a huge deal-but it does show that I have decent control over my pack.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ok, I'm thinking about removing the lovely old sycamore. Limbs are falling, big ones, and I have small dogs and my neighbors have windows. I love that old tree, but there are liability and grown up issues to consider. AND, since the electric company hacked it, it is shedding more limbs-they may have done the poor thing in.

More sun, maybe a garden. It's something to think about.

Even more blasphemous, I am thinking of taking out the pear tree. That really provided a health hazard last year after I got tired of picking pears. They fermented and drew flies. I'm sure there were squirrels and mice involved too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pork chops

Bitty is getting on the wavelength with the handouts. I called the dogs to the gate, faked them out and then toss her a bit (of pork chop)and she runs with it before they know she has it. My guys other guys aren't agressive, but four of them overwhelm her. If we are doing a sitting exercise, she can cope with that.

It's a fine line. I make sure to encourage her to join us, but I don't go up and cuddle her or give her special attention (at that time). The fringes of the pack seems her place, but she appears to be content.

I've noticed even during lap time, she'll happily stay in the lap as long as she's being petted, and when that's over, she goes off to lie down.

Today I have a special can of salmon dog food for them-got it as in my birthday package from Mom. She knows the way to my heart is through my dog's stomach!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Green Beans with Bacon drippings

Ok, this is probably a bit counterproductive for Cody's diet, but I brought home my shredded green beans from lunch and the kiddos went bonkers over them. I doled out the dried bits of rib meat which was also a big hit. I didn't bring home bones though, it just causes too many squabbles, upset tummies, etc.

But, I've ordered an entire smoked turkey for Christmas. That is the kids favorite meal of the year, followed by the most righteous nap ever.

Bitty seems to be wise in the way of table scraps, though the old girl will eat kibble too.

I also found another kennel just like the other 4 (nylabone collapsible) so now we have a matched set again. I've been in the house since June, have only hung 4 pictures in the hallway, but by golly my kennels match.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Dottie has another rough night-therefore I had a rough night. Bitty stayed with us in the bedroom, and it was thus revealed that PRISSY is the 3 am wake up bandit. Bitty curled up and never moved till I picked her up. Poor old girl was wrongly accused of late night pottery.

When I wasn't holding Dottie or ignoring Prissy's howls, I was listening to the husky behind us howl. I have no idea why she was left outside, but she was clearly unhappy about it. I tried just to enjoy the otherworldly sounds because I couldn't get up and go get her. (If there had been an easy way to do it though, I would have just brought her in with us).

Cody and Greta were on edge too, barking and growling. Clearly some tragedy was stalking the neighborhood that only the dogs were privvy to. I'm not making light of that-I really do listen when they have something to say.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trying to Stay Under the Weather

The dogs are challenged by a strong wind today. Buggy eyes and prick ears are not really suited for windy days. Fortunately, being short has it's advantages. They can easily bed down in the grass for a sunbath.

Being spoiled has it's advantages too-they can also use the sunroom.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Close call

Dottie has a seizure last night and there was really nothing I could do but hold her. When it past, she slept, and today is fine. There is really nothing more medically that can be done for her so it's just a matter of loving her and making her comfie.

I feel bad, because I was unable, as I have done with dogs past, to say "go on my love, it's OK." I held her, remained as calm as I could so as not to distress her, but I told her that I just couldn't let go right now. And she stayed. I'm glad.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Disturbing Trend

The 3 am pee run is becoming a nightly event. I'm sure it will stop when the cold front moves in-somehow it's easier to hold one's bladder when the temp is 40 or below.

It's hard to be more than annoyed-they all file out, finish by the time I go relieve MYSELF, and then file back into their own appointed crates, settle in and go back to sleep.

I've been letting them out immediately before I retire around 11. The dead on 3:15 thing makes me think there is something else going on, perhaps a neighbor leaving work, that wakes them up at 3. The mystery deepens though, because they rush out to wee, not to bark at anyone.

Wouldn't it be nice if dogs could talk?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Taming of the Shrill

Prissy did her best last night to be reinstated into the bed, but I was strong and did not give in. Cody is now getting green beans mixed into his kibble-I tell him "Look Cody, here's some good greasy food." and he laps it up.

It's time to move the crates out of the kitchen and back into the bedroom. I don't think it will be as traumatic for them as moving into the dining room was to begin with but I've run out of rooms to put them in for change.

I have x pens set up in the backyard still for training them to be in an x pen, however they really don't seem to mind. I think I'll prove this out by moving one to the front yard and putting them there while I garden.

Anyone who has ever gone through a dog class whilst someone's dog screamed from an x pen or a crate will understand why I do this, as will anyone who has ever been awakened at 6 am. when someone's owner left the tent to go potty without the dog.

I have wanted to throttle said owners, because the problem is fixed with no real effort, pen your dog and do what you were going to do anyway. AAAAAAGH

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Oh, where to begin. We ditched out double class on Thursday-I've been feeling truly and honestly lousy. I picked the wild gang up this morning and Prissy is glad to not be an only dog any longer. Cody has lost a bit of weight-yay Cody Mondo!

All the kids had baths and looked their shiny best and everyone was eager to get out to the backyard to chase squirrels. In fact I was able to pick up Biddy and Dottie and Greta and Cody hopped out on their own and ran to the gate, tails wagging. A passerby would have thought "wow, there goes a lot of well adjusted well behaved dogs," and at that particlar moment, they would have been right.

The neighbors have a new Rottie mix, so I'm on alert to stop any trash talking and get things off on a nice foot. They are apprehensive (it's the daughter's dog and I'm not sure of the particulars, but it's going to be up to me to be the calm one).

One of the vet techs said if Bitty ever needed a new home, she wanted her. And part of me was thinking "Oh yeah, one less mouth to feed," but the truth is, Bitty is home. She's a member of the pack and we'd all miss her if she were gone. It makes me happy though that other people see what a truly wonderful little dog she is.

All is well when the pack is in the house.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Do Bad Things

Prissy got to wear the new nylon jacket on our fall trip. In Poteau she got a new T-shirt that says "I Do Bad Things", however, she was a good soul on her first all day trip solo. She practiced her lessons at every stop and is now curled up asleep in her Bad Things T-shirt. What a good girl.

Tomorrow we have a make up class and a regular class, so we'll see how she does. I am leaving the kiddos at the kennel since I'll be gone either with errands or at the classes. Priss will get her time as an only dog, and then on Friday we'll all be a pack again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An Only Dog

At the last minute I realized I didn't WANT to be responsible for all three dogs and my parents on this trip. So Biddy and Dottie got packed up and sent to the kennel. I ratted out Cody's weight problem and asked that treats be limited. It really should be a more relaxing trip this way, other than the fact that the only dog is Prissy.

She's fine now but when the other kids got loaded into the car she through a wall eyed fit. I haven't seen one of those in awhile. In fact, she was still howling when I got back. I've pretty much ignored her and just let her snoop around the house. Just like a kid, it wasn't that she WANTED to go to the kennel and have a bath, it's that she didn't want them to get to do it if she didn't.

Hopefully we'll get some quality training time in during the next couple of days.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Making the Cut

Mom, Dad and I are taking our "Fall Tour" in eastern Oklahoma on Wednesday. I was planning on taking Prissy-good socialiation for her, and I can't bear to leave Dottie behind, so I might as well take Biddy too. She's a good traveler and she likes older people and heck, she's little.

My two big dogs will have to go to the vet-5 dogs and 3 people is just too much for a day trip. The little dogs can wear their sweaters and I think it will just be a nice day for us all. I hope.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Taming the Hungry Beast

I've been leaving the garage door cracked during the day and letting Pasht go in and out. Today she decided to join the neighbors and I down at Moms, where she sat on the porch and loudly proclaimed that she was hungry, very hungry and we should all feed her at once. Everyone was greatly concerned (except me, I know what she eats) so I called her over and we all saw just how "hungry" the girl is.

Everyone was impressed with a cat who would come when called. Mom is going to have to start stocking cat treats I guess.

Pasht will get her dinner tonight at the regular time. Right now she's curled up at my feed exceedingly proud of herself for making such a racket and getting all that attention.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Battle of the Bulge

Poor Cody is losing his battle of the bulge. I think I'm going to have to pull out the walky dog and attach it to the bike and see if we can use it to help him.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I have a thing for Mr. Jiggles

I love that stupid Bissel commercial set in a doggie daycare. And the star of the show is Mr. Jiggles, the chihuahua. His remorse at his accident is heart breaking, and then he rebounds to sit on the lady's lap during story time.

I guess it's the mark of a dog lover to have 5 of the little darlings and still be a huge fan of one more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

R.I.P Washoe

Washoe, the chimp, has passed away. It's front page news here, because the project took place in Oklahoma.

Washoe taught science what our hearts already new. Animals have their own minds and their own thoughts, and they can communicate those. Run free, little chimp.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Construction Work

Workers here today-going to be a barkin sort of day. Nerve wracking for all of us. AAAAAAAAGH

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Too much of a good thing?

Ok, Priss is over the top with self esteem-so much so that she took off down the street to follow after a short coated border collie male. Yes, he was a hunk, but she refused to come back and I ended up hurting my ankle chasing her. Little snot. And this not five minutes after she won kudos for being the first and best dog nail trim of the day. Grrrr.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I'm a draggin

I've been draggin all day, but I'll manage to pull it together in time to take Priss for her class tonight. Having exposed her to the world at large, it would be a shame not to allow her to continue. Dogs help us keep going even when we don't really feel like it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Geocaching with small dogs and Pit Bulls

Prissy did great for a little dog who had never been in the wilderness before. She was well behaved around people, she didn't complain on the three mile hike, and she bravely dove into places where there was no trail looking for the cache. She had a blast.

Best of all, we met three pit bulls and no noses where snapped or hackles raised. Little dogs are often the instigators of troublesome behavior. I've worked with my dogs at the fence, teaching them if I say the neighbor or dog is ok, that's the end of it. Period. No discussion.

The worst thing you can do with a little dog is scoop it up every time a big dog approaches, that just teaches them that big dogs are bad things. Now a couple of the bullies were not well behaved in their approach, but it was friendly enthusiasm, not agression. I kept an eagle (hopefully casually) eye on them, because I don't trust anyone to control THEIR dog around MY dog. I do, however, trust my ability to read another dog and these owners were trying valiantly to socialize their dogs in an area that doesn't really like bully breeds.

I was reminded of a lady in Dallas at the vet's office. She had a 20 pound English Bulldog puppy that was pulling her all over the office. I was in line with 2 chihuahas and an Australian Shepherd and the puppy kept charging at us in a not so nice way. She smiled and said "sorry I just can't control him" as if that made it all right. I smiled just as broadly and said "then you shouldn't have him".

Sunday, October 21, 2007


It's been awhile since I posted. Prissy was charming in her debut in obedience class and has decided going to places and being the center of attention is a very good thing. Today she'll go geocaching with me-socialization is important, and one more time she's the only dog mentally/physically up to the challenge.

The kids have taken up their sunning stations, trying to pull a little warmth out of th autumn sun. Cody of course suns in the shade-his dark fur makes direct sunlight not so fun for him. It's a very windy day and I notice Cody likes to turn his head into the wind-I think he likes having his ear hairs blow. Cody is a little vain.

Dottie, having established that the back fence is hers, huskies and mastiffs beware, is having a slow motion roll in the grass. Bitty is lounging under her pear tree. The angle of the sun makes UNDER the tree sunny and around the treeh shady-odd. The cellar door has heated up and Greta is warming her hips on it.

Even the dogs are different on Sunday mornings. They seem to know it's a day to catch your breath.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hot Breakfast

Poor Bitty looked so forlon I decided to fix everyone a hot breakfast. I had some tripe, so I steamed it and while it was going I added some free range chicken broth with some low cal kibbles and chunked up a pet aspirin. Cold is hard on the little old/young crippled dogs. I added some flax meal for that crunchy nutty omega three boost.

The tripe, when cooked, was too rubbery so I tossed it into the food processor to chunk it up for the kiddos. At some point the lid flew off and the kitchen was plastered in creamy, warm cow intestine.

The kiddos thought this was an amazing sight, flying food, warm and yummy. And you know what, it was. It was tripe, not an atomic bomb. Not a forerunner of doom, and not a perfectly awful start to a Monday. Dogs are so smart.

The Numbers Matter

Bitty's extra years and fewer pounds (one) are really taking a toll now that the weather has turned cool and wet. She's currently nestled between my undershirt and t-shirt trying to dry her feet and warm up. I'm going to get some piddle pads today because there is no sense in making her go outside when it makes her so miserable. The other dogs, even Dottie, don't seem phased by it, running in and out and having a good time.

I don't think Bitty is having a bad time, but the temp and wet just isn't good for those old bones. But I do think she likes playing joey kangaroo, and that's fine cause I like playing mamma kangaroo. There are worse ways to start a week.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I'm working out on the patio this morning and every dog has walked into the screen door at least once. The weather's nice and the A/C is off, but we didn't have screens at the other house-the door was either opened or closed. The screen is something altogether different.

It looks like nothing at all, but you can't walk through it. But you can smell through it. It doesn't hurt like a glass door.

The only dog that didn't walk into the screen door was Bitty, so she must be wise in the ways of household blockades.

Greta has taken up a station on the top step by the screen door, the better to solve this mystery. Dotty and Prissy can't be bothered It's prime sunning time, weather cool and the sun high and Daphne the dauschund is out next door.

Cody runs back and forth between the two groups, wanting to play but wanting to be sure the screen door is in fact still there and still a mystery.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Share the Health

I had a lap band surgery a few months ago, and I am being very conscious of what I buy to eat. Organic, low fat, extra vitamins. My guilty pleasure is baby food oatmeal in a jar, ready made.

Often I can't finish the food I prepare, and I've started evaluating it for dog fodder. If you stop and think about it, we've been told not to give dogs people food because table food used to be generally junk, high in fat and loads of bread. MY table food (I use the term loosely)is as a good as what I feed my dogs anyway.

Sadly, my dogs have always eaten good quality food, while me, not so much. Maybe our new motto should be "I want to eat as well as my dog!"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Don't Let your Dogs Overwhelm You

I love my dogs, but there are days.....What can I say? I'm just not up for barking and merrymaking and all that doggy stuff. That's when discipline-not punishment comes in. HINT: It works better if you've practice this a lot before hand.

My godsend is the crate. Crate means immediate quiet, a treat, settle in, relax. Because of that, there is never any reason for my dogs to "get on my nerves".

The point of this observation is that if you have a dog that is "too much for you" maybe the problem isn't with the dog. Animals, being animals, will exploit any weakness. What are you dogs telling you about yourself?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trash Talking at the Fence

I'm on the fence with this one. I've seen my dogs charge the fence, barking, and I don't like that. But they appear to love the neighbor's dogs behind us. They all charge up, bark, shake their tales and after some trash talk they will all settle down.

Now, Ceasar calls that fence fighting, but this does appear to me to be entirely agression. I'm going to watch it and form my own opinon of what is going on.

Initially, I think there was agression, but now it appears to be just re-establishing boundaries.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dog Days Of Autumn

This week is the true week of dog days. My kids are in love with their backyard, and the sun. Cool enough to stay outside most of the day, dozing in the sunshine. The pack is getting in touch with their inner wolf, at least until nap time....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Beam Me Up Scotty: What IS it?

Beam Me Up Scotty: What IS it?

The reality is, it MAY really be a winter dog potty, at least for the winter. The two old dogs are not going to be able to tolerate cold and wet. So I will either have to designate the new screen room as potty, or build a potty station in the old screen room.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Each What He/She Needs

I'm still working on pulling Prissy aside and giving her something to do that I can praise her for. She sucks up the attention like crack cocaine. Actually I think crack is smoked but you get my point. Where was I? Oh yes, Priss likes to show off.

Bitty and Dottie seem to hold back, wanting only snuggles. Their performing days are over.

Greta's great joy (other than feeding time) is to ride shotgun in the truck. She's happy when the entire pack goes for a ride (really the only one who is) but when it's just she and I, she melts into a blob of gooey doggy contentment.

Cody is another snuggle bunny, but he is happiest when the pack is together. One on one is a little unnerving for him. (He was a kennel dog, so this makes sense).

Even Priss, after making sure she's gotten all the food Mom is going to give her, will start to look outside, back towards the gang. A little showing off is nice, but nothing beats the security of the pack.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Homecoming Miracle

Sometimes what does not happen is as miraculous and wonderful as what does. I actually remembered to close the snake room door when I left and that probably saved Pasht's life. Bette, my biggest python, got out while I was gone. I don't think Bette could swallow Pasht, but she could easily kill her.

Now, honestly, Pasht might deserve it, because she teases Bette. However, I love them both and don't want bad things for either of them. So, apparently Bette roamed the snake room and knocked some stuff over and then settled down on blanket by the window and watched the workmen build the screen room outside. (I'm sure I'll hear something about that later on.)

The other kids are enjoying the cooler air and their new treats out in the backyard. Bitty was amazing, she was fine at the kennel, glad to see me and glad to see "her backyard". For her, it was just another homecoming. What an amazing, resiliant little soul.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the Road

Be back on Saturday with more puppy tales.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Dogs need security and a sense of boundary. I gave out treats this morning and Greta took hers into one of the playpens I have set on the back lawn. Bitty was curled up in the garage and I invited her in the house. She sat on the couch for a bit, then wondered off into her crate for a nap. Examples like this reaffirm my faith in crate training.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Prissy is the chosen one

I decided not to adopt yet another dog-so Prissy is going to the obedience class I signed up for thinking I was going to train another dog. Why not? She's a perfectly good dog and has as much potential as anything else. She likes attention from everyone and she's smart.

Sometimes I think we get all caught up in labels with our animals. Now ironically, the goal I had for this class and the successive ones is to "train a dog to CGC" status. Think about it-Prissy? Canine Good Citizen? No one who knows her believes it's possible, and that's why I want to do it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dog Poetry

I am a dog
I love
I laugh
I weep when you are gone
Well, I weep when you are leaving
Then I laugh and I love
I am a dog

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Everybody needs to be good at something

Prissy suffers from being the baby. She doesn't have any infirmities and she sometimes acts up just to be noticed. Today we were all playing Frisbee and I realized that I never praised her like I do the other pups who had rougher beginnings. So, when she brought the frisbee I called out "Yay Prissssssy, good girl" and that lit a fire under her.

She became the worlds first three pound Frisbee champion, showing the big dogs how it was done. Prissy is always very self possessed and self assured, but that little dog just glowed with pride. And that reminded me of how much we all need to hear "good job!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Little Buddhas

My dogs are my little buddahs-always willing to just be with me and let me know they are glad that I'm there, that the sun is shining and the wind is blowing softly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


We tossed the Kong last night until Cody showed signs of slowing down. He is generally an active little fellow, but clearly not active enough. Now that the weather has cooled off I am going to have to be diligent about getting in some good cardio for the kids. Even small dogs need SOME exercise.

I think they also need the release of the hunt and the feeling of accomplishment of the walk. I'm beginning to divide my pack up in new ways-according to age and ability. Priss, Cody and Greta are younger and they need more vigorous exercise.

Priss and Greta need more mind stimulation as well. Cody, well, not so much.

Prissy and Dottie are the thinking members of the pack. Greta tends to get over run by her emotions. Cody, well, he's a guy, what can I say? Miss Bitty just wants to sit and watch it all and snuggle. I think in her day she was a force to be reckoned with, but now she is content to sit and watch the younger dogs indulge themselves.

I'm glad she's got this chance to be just a dog again. A lot of little dogs are never really dogs-they are surrogate babies. That really isn't fair to the dog.

Dottie is fairly well traveled and sophisticated. But she loves nothing better than to throw herself on her back and lie belly up in the sun-just like any other dog.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dieting Dogs

My little dogs have rapid metabolisms,not so the big ones. Some of us have had to make changes in our eating habits.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Four on the Floor

Hey look who's walking on all 4's!!!!!!

Old bones old bones

I have hurt my back and I'm sitting in the chair with hot heat on it and the cat wrapped around my shoulders for a pillow. I've also announced my intent to be cranky and self serving today.

Bitty has been yelping when I pick her up, and laying her teeth on me. In a younger dog it might actually be biting, who knows. So I am going to revamp her crate with some comfie padding and massage her shoulders a bit-I think they are giving her problems. I'll continue with the old dog paste to see if we can lubricate those old joints.

Greta now uses her leg when she runs-it's nice to see her limp lessen. Dottie is pretty spry-it's still not cool enough for her to have problems, but she'll get a revamped crate too because, well, she's Dottie.

I am going to be proactive and set up a "sunny spot" in the sunroom-heat lamps/lights for the tropical plants, and a nice bed for the old dogs right in the middle. Both the old gals are used to Texas winters and I want to make the Okie winter as easy as possible for them.

BTW-the grouping is for the plants benefit as well, but, hey, if I were an old dog I'd love it if someone built me a tropical villa and I have the perfect corner for it. (It's ok if you think I need serious counseling).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Shaking it up Baby

You can shake things up in your house with little effort. I moved the crates into the dining room for a bit. I probably don't do it as often as I should-the purpose is really just to get the dogs used to being crated somewhere else besides the bedroom. This is useful if you are ever going to travel with your dog.

Of course, traveling with your dog is great stimulation and training too. Greta will be riding shotgun next month when I go to Houston. I'm still up in the air as to whether or not to take a second. Both Cody and Prissy could benefit from sharing Greta's love of the car.

Another good shake up is to train your dog while YOU sit down-useful if you ever end up in a wheelchair or need to shout a command from a park bench.

The thing is, those little changes provide mental stimulation for your dog, with very little effort on your part. Training is more about every day things than a once a week class. (Not knocking the classes at all-they are essential-even trainers take classes).

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Oldest and the Youngest

Prissy and Bitty were off to the vet this morning-Prissy to get her bum checked and Bitty for bloodwork. The oldest and the youngest (by two months). And Prissy was very well behaved in the communal crate this morning. She is really showing some hopeful signs of becoming a decent little dog.

It really is true-a dog isn't mature until at least 2 years old. Mentally mature, I'm not talking about breeding. Around about a year and half, the tide starts turning, and viola-you "suddenly" have a nice dog on your hands.

Sadly-many dogs end up in shelters at around 6 months-the worst stage of a dogs life and one that lasts for around a year. I have a theory that most people should not have puppies but rather young, trained adults.

That is one reason I would like to breed-because I could do the raising then place them in forever homes (Hah, it would never happen).

I really really would like to go pick out a dog, work with it, then rehome it-but it's the last part that I can't seem to do. And there is the almighty dollar factor, in that I can't afford to do that unless I am reimbursed for the time/vet bills.

The neighbors have all heard Bitty's story and agreed that she should be here and isn't a bit of trouble. (I'm two dogs over the limit, but I could, if I had to, say the old ones live at Mom and Dads'). Theoretically we have 6 dogs we can spread out over 2 yards and I think Carol would let me use her yard too.

Oh goodness-I just had a vision of a neighborhood that rescued dogs and built a community of caring. Imagine.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Department of Animal Welfare

I went by the "dog pound" on another errand yesterday so I walked in and checked them out. The new building is really nice, the cats have great playrooms and there are playrooms for potential adopters to visit with potential adoptees. AND, they have the most awesome wheelchair access in the city.

I'm glad I stopped in because it has vastly improved over the past 20 years and I needed to know that. There are people here in Oklahoma who care. Attitudes towards pets are largely rural here, but they have progressed.

I said a prayer for all the dogs and cats currently there and took a volunteer form to ponder.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Someone in a better mood than me


This is a link to a Chuck entry on the Dooce blog. Heather knows how to treat a dog right!

Rescue Community

The rescue community seems to be a bit warlike these days. One of the big issues on craigslist right now is how much to charge for a rescue and here are my feeling about paying for a rescue:

If you want a dog that has already been vetted and had shots and possibly some socialization so you can crow about how "I rescued a dog" and you want that dog for free-then shame on YOU. It costs money to vet a dog, time to care for administer any meds and work with any behavioral problems. If you can't afford a vet you can't afford a dog. (direct quote from Geraldine Whitaker). If you have to choose between beds and toys and things the dog needs vs. the price of a dog-you can't afford that dog.

I think people who want to "rescue" a fully vetted, possibly trained dog for "free" because they are just good people and want to do the right thing are kidding themselves. When you adopt a dog from a rescue organization, that dog has already been rescued and taken care of-by participating in the cost of said rescue, you are participating IN the rescue.

Go out and find a "free dog" that is full of fleas, heartworm, not potty trained and see how much it costs to rescue that free dog. If you don't have the time and money-you can't afford a dog.

I don't rescue dogs, but occasionally one comes along that needs a little help. The reason I don't run a rescue is because I couldn't stand the people lined up wanting a handout dog so that they can make themselves feel better about how they "saved a dog" without doing any work or spendng any money.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kitty Update

Pasht is old and has allergies, new rabies vaccines and a new vet file. But, she's gonna be all right, and that's what counts.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Old Dogs/New Tricks

Bitty came to stay on Friday. She started in with the pack routines on Saturday. Tonight she marched into the house at bedtime, waited in the kitchen while those that needed them got their meds, and marched herself down to the bedroom and got into her crate and waited to be fed.

Amazing and wonderful.

Sick Kitty

Pasht got ill again so I took her to the vet. It was after 5 when I heard that she'd be ok, but there till in the morning. I was fine till I got home (still not knowing her fate) and I realized this is what it would be like to come home to no kitty.

So, the official word with the girls on my lap band forum is that I have a sick critter-and I DO. Prissy's bum needs to be soaked. But there is no way I can make myself look decent in the time I have left to go have coffee and I don't want to start bawling again. And I would.

Pasht is fine (for an old girl) she just has some allergies that are causing her a little grief. And she's slow because, well, she's old. Probably around Bitty's age. But she's never been sick before and it scared me to death. Ok, not to death, but it really scared me.

Except for the time she got out and was gone a few weeks, Pasht has never NOT been here. Here is a relative term-she's always home. Even when the dogs are not. I can't imagine a home without her.

Concessions for the Elderly and Infirm

I'm not a good task master. Bitty is just too old and frail to spend all morning out-so after a romp and a treat, when the crew is ready to go back out again I let her stay behind and sleep on the couch while I work. She is bonding with the gang, and she adores both my parents, so I don't think I'm in danger of setting her apart from the pack.

We did work on a behavior before her nap-she doesn't like to take food from the hand. Cody was like this too. I can understand her not wanting to join the boisterous hand feeding circle yet, but we practiced a whole yummy sticks worth on taking food from my hand and eating it in the same spot-not running off with it. In my household, once I call a dog's name and hand that dog the food, no other dog will take it. Granted, that's the perfect scenario, but we have few issues over food.

I believe hand feeding is a time for training and bonding and I do a little bit each day and whoever goes to see Mom and Dad get hand fed as well from Mom. If I go down before they finish breakfast, Mom will feed her eggwhites to the dogs. I think that's good for both Mom and the dogs.

With the cooler weather I've put Bitty and Dottie and Prissy on a bit of that high calorie paste. The KD has put a little weight on Dottie but Prissy and Bitty are a bit thin. Just a little bitty bit.

Dottie is still on three heart meds a day, Prissy on her antibiotics and butt compresses 2 X daily-she loves that part. This week it's been a little like a MASH unit for dogs and cats. Oh, Pasht is over her hairball problem-finally.

My prayer today is that all the cute fashion accesseroy chihuahuas and yorkies are well taken care of when they are no longer young and fit. Maybe some of them are special angels sent to teach spoiled young girls about caring and compassion.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Letting Go

Oh my gosh-it's hard to do the right thing. I put Bitty out with the pack today for the first time alone-she trotted right out and part of me was happy and part of me wanted her to NEED me. I'm sitting here now typing and the cat is curled around my shoulder like a lovely tortoise shell muffler-yes dahling, I do wear fur.

Our relationships with our animals mirror those with people (well, we ARE human) only maybe more intensely. It is so tempting to keep Bitty for myself, just a little extra attention, a little favor, and she would me MINE, loyal and devoted and loving only me. AND (all caps for emphasis) she's old, so what would it matter? Really, woud it hurt anything?

But, it isn't the best thing for her. She's already bonded with one person, who had the ill fortune to die, leaving her alone an unbonded. I truly hope I outlive this old dog, but what if I didn't? And, she can love me and my parents and the crew, and that has got to be a more secure feeling than having all your heart in one place.

She's crying at the door and has been out for a good hour, so I'm going to let her in, along with the rest of the pack.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Too Good to be True

Ms. Bitty is a quiet, well behaved little old dog. She wants a lap, but doesn't whine or scratch for one. She rides in the car very nicely. My crew is a little overwhelming for her, and the hardest part is not to pick her up or cuddle her excessively. But I know, the sooner she bonds with and becomes a pack member, the more secure she'll be.

Before the crew arrived I took her down to meet my parents-my Mom was rattling around in the kitchen when I got there and it must have been really familiar to the old girl cause she ran in immediately, tail wagging. Of course, the person she was looking for wasn't really there, but Mom gave her a nice treat and then Daddy came in and provided a much longed for Senior lap.

I went and brought home the pack. Vet Bill was huge-Greta had her teeth cleaned and Prissy developed an anal gland abcess and had to have a flush and some antibiotics. The vet is as good as his word-I've told him not to wait to hear from me but to give the dogs anything they need short of a liver transplant. And, if they happen to have a liver and there is a good chance of a good recovery, that's OK too.

I don't feel the least bit worried that anyone there would take advantage of that-but they don't hesitate to treat the dog.

So, Prissy came home with antibiotics and orders to heat pack her bottom twice a day, Dottie came home with her three drugs, Greta came home with clean and shiny teeth and Cody just came home. I let the Spotties go see my folks while the bigguns played in the backyard. I then put the Spots in the backyard and went to get Ms. Bitty.

And the intro was completely uneventful. Prissy wanted to throw her weight around, but backed off immediately when I pointed. We all played then I put them away for a group (in individual kennels) nap. Tonight I put the two old gals in an ex pen and let the youngsters caper around a bit. It was good for Dottie to have someone a little less active.

No drama makes for very slow reading-but it's just the kind of introduction you want. I am looking forward to seeing how Bitty bonds with the pack-she's been an only dog, and probably a sheltered one at that, but doesn't have any of the really bad vices only little dogs get. My prayer for her is to look outside soon and see her lying in the sun with the Spotties, one of the pack.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cat Fashion

I woke up this morning with the cat draped across my forehead. Apparently the warm forehead was just what her belly ordered. I felt sorry for anyone who has never woken up with a cat draped across their forehead. Pasht is getting older now, so she snores a bit too. So, my headress came equipped with audio as well, nature's own white noise machine.

Cats are not selfless creatures-she was on my forehead because it pleased her. But it also pleased me too-it was warm and cozy and sounded nice. Not all self serving acts are selfish.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ooops, I've done it again

Ok, I'm going to Houston on Thursday and I'll be coming home with a new little friend. Again. Bitty is 11 years old, 3 pounds or so, former wife's dog-it happens. Lives change. But, I have a little old lady two houses down and I am pretty good at handling little old chihuahuas.

It doesn't help that while we were in Texas the big news story was about a lady who had 41 little chihuahuas seized from her home. My parents are convinced I am becoming a hoarder-but I fulfill my own requirements-I can afford adequate care for this new dog, actually better than adequate. She'll have two other tiny chi's to associate with, a backyard, and a little old lady and a little old man to visit. At 11 years old, we are not talking long term committment either.

Somebody has to love the little old ones too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh, what a kitty slut I am

I cavorted with my niece's kitty in Houston, and fed salmon to wild kitties in Austin. I hand fed deer. I caught a lizard. I've just been out having a big old time. I'm home tonight to wash clothes and then out the door again tomorrow.

Truth be told, I planned this whirlwind so I wouldn't have to take the dogs in twice-it's easier on them this way, but a little tough on my old bones. Truth be told I plan a lot of things around what is best for the dogs.

I am just an animal FREAK. Wherever I go, the resident creatures usually come to greet me because they know I like them and I think I welcome them spiritually because I miss my own crew.

Random thought: Jane Goodall travels so much, I rather doubt she has her own pet. Sitting here tonight, missing my dogs and loving my cat, that makes me very sad. Surely the airlines would allow JANE GOODALL's dog to travel with her. Jane, do you have a dog? If not, I would like to buy you one. Please, take something just for yourself.....

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yet another blog entry on...

On how quiet the house is without the dogs. It isn't really, the cat is meowing and there are still snakes to water and crickets to feed to lizards. But without the kiddos, the life that remains is slightly less dazzling.

Leashing and hauling four excited dogs to the vet is always a treat. It was fun today because my brother was here to help and the kids sensed that he didn't quite know what to do. Greta got to wear a new collar because somebody, probably Cody, ate hers. Cody did his best dramatic flattening himself to the ground, and Greta demonstrated how she would run right to the truck and load herself.

Once we got to the vet, Cody forget he was shy and retiring and oh so sad and ran right up to the attendant in an attempt to steal the first pet from Greta. Dottie and Prissy waited regally for his return-they do not walk themselves back but must be carried as befitting dogs of their stature.

Greta's in for a little surprise-her teeth need to be cleaned. It's always something-and with four dogs it's a little easier to get them on rotating schedules of maintenance than pay for it all at once.

I'm very pleased with how well all of them have settled in to the new vet/kennel. It is always easier to leave when they take it in stride.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Take your medicine

Dottie is very good about taking her medicine-she only sighs a bit for dramatic effect when the amoxicillan comes out. PINK is not her favorite color.

It's very hard to dose a tiny little dog. Just one more added issue with the ultra small chihuahuas. Yet, those dogs DO have a purpose. For the elderly, or for anyone who can't really exercise, they are the perfect pet. I am really torn-I don't like the practice of breeding for small size, but I do really like the result.

I guess it's a good thing it isn't up to me.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Smart Dog

I woke up last night and found Dottie had propped herself up on the pillow to breath easier. That is one smart little dog. She woke up with a lot more energy today.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A good day

The heat is not quite so fierce and the doggies spent a lot of time outside doing doggy things. Mom came down with compost and brought them a treat.

I filled the talking treat ball and let them play with it outside. Talking treat balls are not very pleasant in the house.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Yay! I Resisted Temptation

Yay me. I stopped (I KNOW better) at someone with a truck, and umbrella and a cage full of puppies. They were really cute puppies-the father was a "double registered" jack russel, but I had never heard of either association. The mother was present, a very large dog for a jack russel and blue and white.....hmmmmm. All that aside, the puppies were cute black and white pups with docked tails.

I didn't even hold a puppy, I just cuddled the Mamma dog and listened while the owners spoke with another lady. This litter was 7 pups, a big litter for a dog that size, and they told me she'd had even more when she was "bred by a labrador....".

I started to offer money for the mamma, but that would be rude, and despite her childbearing history she was a nice, well adjusted and happy dog.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Drugs Drugs and more Drugs

Dottie went in for her checkup and got a couple more drugs to add to her list. That old girl isn't going down without a fight. And I'm glad. I need her with me.

I understand Leona Helmsely

Ok, I understand this. I haven't ever seen my grandchild (maybe that's TMI, but it's true). She was born after I made a will that designated someone other than my daughter as a beneficiary, and specified that my animals be cared for.

Now, I know the press is always looking for the shocking angle, but is it mean to want to provide for the creatures that comforted you most during your life? Children, charities, etc. are not entitled to your money (after they are adults in the case of the kids).

There are people who will pity Leona for leaving money to her dogs. It reminds me of an exchange I had with a non-animal lover a few years ago. She said "You are weird going home to those little dogs each night", and I said, "You are sad, going home to an empty house where no one loves you.".

Granted, I should have not been so blunt, but I hope you get my point....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching Patience

First of all, that's a little bit like the blind leading the blind. But Greta begins scratching on her crate as soon as she knows I am going to release them, and it irritates me. So, this morning we began training. No treats The reward is the opening of the crate.

I first said NO to get her to stop scratching then reached for the door. As soon as the paw went up, I removed my hand. We played this game for like five minutes but she finally got it, scratch, the door will not open. Sit still, the door will open. I'm guessing that I will have to be consistent, but that she's already got it. Cody in the next crate, got it too. His default behavior is to sit quietly, so he just did that while I worked with Greta.

That was the first thing I taught Cody and the best thing. When he doesn't know what to do, he'll just sit down and look at me like "ok, WHAT NOW?" but it's far more enjoyable than pacing or whining or scratching on my leg.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The alarm sounded at 10 am this morning-there was a strange man IN the backyard! The cacaphony was deafening so I walked out and said hello and called all the dogs off. Most behaved well, but Dottie had to be picked up so determined was she to drive this intruder from our midst. With Dottie-the point is to keep her quiet, not do groundwork. But everyone else got groundwork-and sharp point and a shhhh if the they barked, and I insisted they all stay behind me. The meter man stayed around and was a nice subject as I worked my dogs-thanks!

One dog was absent though-where was Cody? As soon as the meter reader hopped the fence he came charging out of the flower bed, covered in pollen. Tail high, he charged the fence and barked, even kicking back grass.

"Too late Cody, you are a wuss" I said and he came trotting over, looking sheepish in his lion cut.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh Prissy! Bad Dog

Prissy was doing so well, but I took the off lease a little too far and she took off down the street. She doesnt' do well in the street so I caught her and then I figure out that I should carry her by the nape like a mother dog carries her young. I didn't shake her I just "showed her what I wanted". After walking a bit I sat her down and asked her to walk with me. She did, until distracted by a barking dog, so I picked her up by the nape, again quietly, and carried her in the house.

No fuss, no muss.

I did have a "what will the neighbors think" moment, but I carried her gently by my side, not up in the air-THAT is most definitely not a Momma Dog behavior.

Some dogs are just harder than others. I had to use a blanket to catch Cody the first time I let him go in the backyard, and he listens pretty good now. Greta would cut out her heart to please me and Dottie is just perfect in all things (not really, but she does mind). Prissy isn't a Bad dog, she's just a willful dog and she's teaching me so much about patience.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ok Ok

Yeah, I'm moping and sad. I don't want this blog or my life to become a deathwatch for Dottie, but hearing the words sort of solidified what I already knew and didn't want to think about. But now it's THERE, always in the back of my mind, relentless and inescapable. And I'm grieving for a dog that isn't dead and may not be dead for some time-or may be dead tomorrow.

And, I'm not paying attention to my other dogs like I should. I can only hold Dottie, only care for Dottie, because we have so little time left. The pain sometimes just wells up, even when I'm away from the house and my eyes tear up, sometimes I even sob.

I'm sort of embarrassed to report this behavior, but maybe it will help someone who is going through the same thing. You are not alone. We all crack up at times.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Death

A friend's (well cyber friend) 12 foot rock python died suddenly. He is heartbroken and sad. This blog is turning into a big old downer-but I don't want to NOT write just because I am sad. Dottie had a rough night but an OK morning. And that's the thing of it-pets, either snakes or dogs or cats aren't always about love and playing in the park. Sometimes they are about love and letting go.

I advised my friend to grieve openly-pets are open to us completely, and I prefer to grieve the way we shared lives together.

Only humans fear the future. I am already grieving for a dog that isn't dead yet. Said dog is out playing in the sun, a little short of breath, but not worrying about whether or not she'll be here tomorrow. She's here today, and that's enough.

I've been nearly overcome with a feeling of generalized dread lately-and there is my Dottie, once more showing me a better way of being. Today is enough-don't waste it with worry. Yes, sometime they are about love and teaching too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Horney Toads

Ok, they are technically horned lizards. I just bought 10 of em and I am going to breed them to return them to the wild and use them for educational exhibits. Of course, first I have to get them to survive and breed. Oh, details, details.

I haven't heard from Dr. Means regarding the blotched kingsnake project-I think he's in Europe, but Elvis is ready to do HIS part to save the species as well.

Now, these things have absolutely nothing to do with dogs, or do they? I think that herps make good pets and in many cases are appropriate where dogs are not. If you don't have a dog lifestyle, maybe you should think about a snake or a horned lizard.

Friday, August 24, 2007

FOUND Pomeranian in Wellston Oklahoma

It never hurts to post-maybe someone will google and find this.

Sleep therapy

Sleeping with me is good therapy for Dottie-my movements cause her to move and keep the blood from pooling-and reduces her cough. Sometimes it's the simple things that help the most, a friendly touch, a little body heat

Prissy is more insistent in her challenges to Dottie's authority. It's the way of dogs to sense weakness and try to improve their own lot. That was one of the first things that alerted me to Dottie's condition.

Dottie's appetite continues to be poor, and I will not force feed her.

In an odd truce, the cat slept at my head while Dottie slept at my side.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


My kids are home, but the vet visit was sad. We kept missing each other, so Dottie's test results remained a mystery until now. They confirmed what I already knew-early congestive heart failure and failing kidneys. So, it's KD and a water pill for her.

I knew it-I know the signs from being a vet tech and a dog person, but I really didn't WANT to know it. My girl will get the best care possible until the end, and if I have to, I will help her along. But I don't want to KNOW, even though I already knew.

The thing is, I am glad that I spent the money to have the tests run. One, I can extend her time left by treating what I can. And, in the end, I won't have to wonder if I did all I could.

End of life issues are tough with humans, dogs, everything. But, if we love them, we do not look away.

Dottie's little X-rays were amazing-such a tiny little thing, and enlarged, her heart was still a very small organ. A minature heart that has touched the lives of many. I just want it to keep beating forever.

Steve Irwin is talking (on a rerun of course) about death, one door shutting and another door opening. I wonder if he'd still say the same thing now? Humans leave things behind like TV interviews and books. What do dogs leave, besides the lives they touch?

My dog is going to die. Well, they all are, but her time is likely sooner rather than later. It's a moment I've dreaded for several years now, life without Dottie. But, I would still not trade the time we've had for any grief that may come.

Death of a Chicken

The chicken was not doing well-so I asked Bette to take care of it. The cycle of life goes on. I don't mind using the chicken as prey, I just couldn't kill it because I didn't want it. Either way, it ends up dead-but with Bette it will become food. Oh yeah, I guess I could've buried it and it would have nurtured the earth, but that seems a little far fetched even for me. Kill for food, not convenience.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Good grief-I've got full on missing my critters syndrome. I'll have cat and snakes tonight, and then the wild crew tomorrow. A week is too long to be parted, I'm going back to my 4 day vacations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A forbidden hug

At a pet store I ran smack into a litter of boxer puppies......sooooooo cute. I had to hold one, I had to snuggle one and smell that puppy breath. I had to fight the urge to bring another member home with me. But I still can't walk well, or long and a boxer would need both. Match the dog to the energy/exercise level you have not what you wish you had.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Missin the kiddos

I have really enjoyed Jay and Sue, the kids and the cast of thousands (Mia, Buddy, Lexi, Herman, Mistie and Killie) but I am hit every now and then with a real pang for Pasht, Dottie, Prissy, Cody and Greta. Oh, and my parents and Uncle John too of course! I'm usually not away from them for so long a stretch and it is a little difficult to be without them.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Guest Blogger-Maya Rudo

Yesterday we went to the river. We saw squirrels. We were throwing down nuts from Trader Joes to feed the squirrels. All squirrels are named Bob. We also fed crows. They were bigger than the squirrels. They said "get away from our nuts! They are our nuts to eat."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bon Voyage

We'll be coming to you for the remainder of the week from Florida-most likely seated on my friend's new lanai. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Vet Loves Me

Four to board....the Cowden's are here. Cody was his usual unenthusiastic self, until I said "Cody, that's enough." Those must be magic words because he pranced in like a show dog and ran up to the kennel attendant like he was his long lost friend.

The Spotties went down to visit Mom and Dad before we left. Dottie was having a good morning, but my heart tells me she is really slowing down, so I asked the vet to check her out.

Walking with a pack of dogs is about 4 times harder than walking with a single dog, but I think we are making good progress now that I can walk again. And what a dashing sight we are, the entire Cowden pack entering en masse. I'm sure Sparkles, the Yorkie, was very impressed.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Chicken Dance

We had "I am the boss training" today courtesy of the chicken. The chicken sat in its cage and pecked at the dogs and I corrected them every time they barked at the chicken. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why I will never make money with animals

I've ended up with too many male ball pythons and am going to rehome (sell) a couple of the young ones who are now feeding well and handling well. I ran an add and stated that I'd be asking question and would require parental permission if the potential buyer even looked under 18.

A Mom with two young boys responded, the ex-(still a friend) took the ball python with him in an amicable divorce.

So, now I'm struggling with the desire to just give her both the extra males (she has two boys and wouldn't that be something special for them to each have a snake?)

It's a choice between making money and doing real good in the world. And it doesn't matter if she has money or not (despite what mother says). What matters to ME is that I did something nice.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rescue Profile 3

This is Nacho, a sweet little 7-8 month old Chi/Brussels Griffon mix (owner surrender). He weighs about 5 lbs at the most and is very friendly. He is very small and built like a chi but has long wiry hair like a brussels. He would probably do best in an adult home as he has not been around children and we don't know how he would react. He is fine around other dogs but we don't know about cats. He is crate trained but we are not sure about house trained; however his previous owner kept him in an apartment so he might be. He is not a "yappy" dog and is well behaved. He is being neutered today and will be ready on Saturday. He is vaccinated (including rabies), heartworm tested and on preventive, wormed, and treated for fleas/ticks. His adoption fee is $175

Contact Information:
Elene Olah, Owner & Operator
Oklahoma City Animal Rescue
Oklahoma City, OK (Near Tinker AFB)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Not mother of the year...

So Monday I slept too long during my nap and didn't go pick up my dogs. Now it's not like I abandoned them on the street, but I felt really bad about it. They didn't appear to care on Tuesday when I picked them up-thankfully dogs don't use calendars.

Greta was more relieved than anyone-she isn't used to being an only dog. She likes the attention, but she's more relaxed and at ease when the pack is there. Probably in part because they can run and it relieves stress.

I took the Spots down to Mom and Dad's and then they did front yard chores with me. I've been pretty consistently rotating who I spend "alone time" with and it seems to be enhancing how the dogs behave as a pack as well.

Greta likes car rides and to visit Mom and Dad. Spotties like to visit Mom and Dad. I'm not sure what Cody's niche is-he hates the car and is awkward on visits-however he's doing much better with people we've all noticed-even the vet techs.

Greta, the abused one, is now an attention sponge. Cody is just shy-he's a shy dog. Having Mom and Dad one house down has been great for him-not everyone is a STRANGER.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Riding Shotgun

Greta had a big time riding shotgun to Lewisville, and I enjoyed the company. She was very well behaved in the truck-a real pickup truck with only one seat. She slept or sat in the passenger seat and was a decent little dog-except for the farts. She was also very well behaved at lunch time, waiting patiently for her share.

I was watching Breed all About it-and the featured dog was the collie. I immediately began searching for collies. Of course, I recognized the symptoms of a complete impulse and did not follow through. I really do understand how collectors get started-either out of the urge do "good" or just the desire for a dog who will make us something we are not. That's a lot of baggage to place on a "dumb" animal, or any animal.

I think a lot of people buy dogs with the energy level they "wish" they had, rather than what they truly have. If you are overweight, with bad legs and a pack a day smoking habit, a Labrador retriever is probably not going to inspire you to run 3 miles a day, but a nice Peke could get you started walking around the block.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Greta Report

I have to drive down to Lewisville tomorrow so I took the 2 spotties and Cody to board. Greta is riding shotgun-she's the only dog that truly enjoys riding in the car.

She was a bit nervous when we all left without her, and when I got back she looked for the rest of the pack. But, once we went for a walk down to Mom's she settled into the only dog spot with great enthusiasm. She let Mom feed her and insisted that they both hold her and rub her belly.

This was a dog that snapped at everyone when I first got her. When the male vet walked in for her first visit she huddled in the corner and peed from fright.

After I got her she was spayed and then had extensive hip surgery a week later. So you might say this year has been tough on Greta, as well as whatever happened before I got her.

This was also the dog that napped under my wheelchair while I recovered from surgery. Greta just happened into my life at the one time when I couldn't put an animal down for being crippled.

Greta's hip won't allow her to walk far, but that's ok because I can't either. Today I have real hopes for her as a therapy dog-she's young, she's enthusiastic, she isn't afraid of wheelchairs and she likes to be touched.

Once Greta understood I was pack leader, she never offered to bite me again (night one) and with a little work (mild correction) she came to firt tolerate people and now enjoys them. This is August, Greta came in late January. I would say that is remarkable progress for a remarkable little dog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rescue Profile 2

From Oklahoma Chihuahua Rescue

This is Maria. She is a 2 year old purebred chihuahua. She is very sweet and fragile and needs someone to be very gentle with her. She weighs about 7-8 lbs but is a little overweight. She would be a wonderful companion for an elderly person as she is so sweet and loves to sit in your lap. She is spayed, current on vaccinations including rabies, and is on heartworm preventive. She is very smart and loves to please her owner.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Divided Loyalties

The lady down the street has 5 chihuahua puppies-yes they are for sale. Gorgeous gorgeous creatures, each one it's own little furry person.

I always feel guilty when I "want" something like that, because there are other dogs that are just as deserving of homes that no one will want.

Now admittedly, sometimes I'd like a little roll with Brad Pitt....and I don't feel a bit guilty for it. But, wanting these chihuahua puppies makes me feel bad-probably in part because I could really HAVE one, whereas with Brad, oh well.

And yet, I couldn't love the gorgeous blue puppy any more than I already love Greta. An in fact, I could buy the whole litter for a lot less than I've spent on Greta's health. So, maybe I'm not such a bad person after all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I spent the day at my Aunt's house today and was enchanted by her rotund little schnauzer Mitzy. That dog put the soul in soulful eyes. I'm glad my aunt has such a loyal and devoted little critter to shadow her every move.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Sent in from Matthew ???? Matthew-what is your last name?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rescue Profile 1

No snappy titles for this one. This is going to be a weekly feature-profiling dogs that are looking for responsible, loving homes.

This little fellow is a young Yorkie Mix, around 5 pounds. He is current on all shots except rabies, (he's under 6 months old).

Contact Information:
Elene Olah, Owner & Operator
Oklahoma City Animal Rescue
Oklahoma City, OK (Near Tinker AFB)

Look at that face! I'm seeing a future agility champion or therapy dog-or just somebody's best friend. What I don't see is a toy, a passing fad to dress up or a dog that should ever be left alone in the backyard.

I am not affiliated with this rescue group-I just wanted to put out a photo/profile of a really neat dog in hopes someone would see it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sanity Reigns

I don't have time/energy for another dog. Despite what Daddy thinks-I do have plenty of space. But my travel schedule for the end of the year isn't conducive to a young pup's social development. Greta has blossomed with my travel, Cody has gotten begrudingly better. He is steadfast in his committment that he will only love me. Prissy backslides every time I travel.

I've got to get beyond the dialogue that all the moving, etc. is confusing to her and get back to the mindset that she just has to behave.

And, Dottie is aging. She doesn't need the disruption of another young dog in her life-she has plenty to do bossing the three she has. I am afraid this sudden interest in a young dog has to do with a premonition that soon there will be another empty space in our pack.

Dotty started out like Prissy-more of a pain than a blessing. But she blossomed into one of the greatest loves of my life. So much so, I once said "If Dottie died, I'd just have to go with her."....and truly, at that moment, I meant it. That's a lot of pressure to put on one little 3 pound dog.

I see it a lot-people make their little dogs the single center of their life. Industries are built on clothes and crap (yes I have them too) that the dog doesn't need or care about. I really like my new vet, they don't push the extras, they push the basics. Feed your dog well, vaccinate him as needed, and bring him in if he's hurt...THEN buy cute clothes.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Not a rescue, but a distant Dottie relative. I got accused of being a hoarder and breaking the law (by my parents). The same parents who almost wept with joy at seeing Prissy...but I don't think now is the time.

Yay Little Dog

This is pretty cute in light of the last blog entry.

Bette Blue

Sunday, July 22, 2007


The poidogz will be home tomorrow, the cat is taking full advantage of her "only furry" status. When Mom and Dad picked me up at the airport my eyes did water when I remembered that Dolly wasn't going to be in the car. She was always the official airport greeter. Run free little girl.

I cherish those little "visits" from the ones who have left us. If we hadn't loved them so we wouldn't think of them later, after they have gone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gone Fishing Again

Not really but I'll be back on Sunday.

4 dog Action

I couldn't resist the temptation to harness up everyone and walk them in as a pack. We were the only clients at the time. Greta/Cody barked at a little girl in the office, but she was dog savvy and just moved back while I corrected them. When I get back, I am going to ask them if I can bring them over individually and sit in the lobby for a bit-socialization practice.

Anyway, I got to practice my leadership skills and everyone was fairly well behaved-I wasn't completely humiliated anyway.

Cody is passive agressive, Greta is nervous/potentially agressive (no wonder), Prissy is completely dominant, and Dottie is just wonderful. Each one requires a different solution and it's really good for me to work with all of them-my little four legged teachers/friends.

They've been gone an hour and I miss them so much. I have tons of stuff to do, for pity sakes I'm having surgery in Mexico tomorrow....and what I want to sit and think about is my lovely dogs. How's that for human/animal bond?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Off to the Vet Ho Hum Ho Hum

The kiddos are off to the vet tomorrow-and I may take them two by two since the vet is only a few blocks from here. That seems more reasonable than turning the entire place upside down by walking in with 4 chihuahuas. However, it's not nearly as much fun, is it?

I'm heading off to Tijuana for surgery and I wish oh how I wish I could take Dottie with me. She's my rock of Gibralter. This is it, the solo trip to Mexico-but it sure would be more fun with a dog along.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ack A Giant Turd

A large loose roaming dog left a present in the front yard. A big one. I will spare you a picture lest this become a filthy habit (pictures of turds). But dang, people, I don't want THAT in my front yard.

I found the turd while I was photographing a snakeskin in a tree (see for that tale) but I didn't see the turd as part of the overall picture.

We have leash laws in Oklahoma City, but my neighborhood definitely has a lot of loose dogs. I don't like that. Some of the dogs are big, some are little. A am sure most are not spayed or neutered. A prescription for disaster....and a new chance for me to educate.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Queen for the Evening

Prissy got her turn in the bed-and she pranced around to the fullest extent of her prissy-hood. The goal of the exercise is "You will crate when I say, you will be allowed on the bed when I say." In reality, the dogs NOT on the bed are the dogs being trained, not the lucky pup.

I am also focusing on any type of insistent behavior-scratching at the door, etc. Greta is becoming increasingly vocal and excite able at feeding time, so we are all working on no treats, no food till calm and quiet.

Dogs are a constant work in progress, just like kids.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Leadership training and backyard reclamation

I think Cody's problem may be he is not secure with me as pack leader. (Ok, I KNOW it's been Dog Whisperer week)but really. He is displaying territorial behavior (they all do) in the backyard.

When I moved (last October) my foot was in bad shape and didn't spend time in the backyard like I used to. That, coupled with the kicking screaming man behind us, has made them fence barkers. So now I must reclaim my backyard. There just never ceases to be new worlds to conquer.

It was Cody's turn last night to sleep in the bed-part of my "my will be done training". Prissy is having a lot of trouble with "wait your turn" and it is confusing for her with my folks right down the street. Poor little goofball. It's tough to be just another member of the pack and not the queen of the universe.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A trap! A flood! A rescue! A Pupparoni!

Prissy almost managed to drown herself today. She decided to bypass my blocking of the hole that leads to freedom (and to Mom and Dad's) and got tangled. It started raining and the famous (that's all anyone is talking about) floods started. Now she was on a sidewalk, but the water next to the sidewalk was probably 7 inches deep and rising.

She was terrified, and rightly so. I sloshed through the water in my crocs (irony, eh) and untangled her silly self. Being a dog, the minute she was free she gave it no further thought.

Thought process, I imagine was "dang it, I want to get through that hole. Stupid Mom blocked it. Oh well. OH FINE, now I can' get out and play with the other dogs I'm stuck. Wow, look at that water...MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Thanks Ma, hi guys, let's play! Oh, Ma, it's time for our morning snack as long as you are up."

Ponder this-does that show lack of understanding of what MIGHT have happened-or rather real intelligence, i.e., it didn't, so why worry about it?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

I'll be flying home through Las Vegas next week. Last time I was in Vegas (for a layover) Dottie was with me. I let her have her own machine and we lost about 20 dollars a piece.

I'd like to take her with me this time too, but it won't be possible. It's a medical/surgical trip and I don't want to be doped up trying to get a one eyed elderly chihuahua across the Mexican border.

Noahs Ark

Omigosh, it's never going to stop raining. BAH humbug! Prissy is wired up like a kid on orange crush and vanilla wafers-she's wearing us all out. I haven't posted a picture in a while-this is my rare photo of a ball python turd-coincidentally about the same size as a chihuahua turd.

You will have to take my word for it that it is not, in fact a chihuahua turd posing as a ball python turd. A quiz will follow.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yay-I'm back

Had a problem accessing the blog.

Dottie paid a visit to Uncle John and Prissy went and had lunch with Mom and Dad. It's important to maintain a proper social life.

CODY nipped at a little girls leg-we are going to have to move into serious obedience training to give him confidence. I'm also working on "balancing" the pack and that means putting a sign on the door that says No touch, no eye contact to remind Mom and Dad not to come in with great excitement. I recorded an episode of the dog Whisperer where two dogs in a nursing home (maltese) were being nippy and aggressive-I'm going to ask Mom and Dad to watch it. Maybe if it comes from Cesar they will listen.

Prissy is the only one confused by the move. She spent a year with Mom and Dad, two months with me, back to Mom and Dad's while I had surgery, back with me, back to Mom and Dad's and now back with me....but only one house down. My other dogs are used to travels and changes and it doesn't seem to phase them. Home is where the crate is.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A poor little neighbor dog

The neighbors down the street have a dog I've dubbed the poodle thing-he looks just like my Aunt Hilda's dog Rusty. He's always running loose and the kids chase him mercilessly. I wish he could come live with me.

Why do people even GET dogs they won't take care of? He's in my prayer now, and I hope you put him in yours.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I was watching the morning romp today and I realized how much the dogs enjoy each other. Our relationships with animals are often people focused -"he's so devoted to me, I adore him...." but my dogs enjoy each other's company as well as MY company. Not an earth shattering observation, but one I hadn't really thought of before.

Prissy, on her back with Greta and Dottie chewing on her feet-is the picture of ecstasy. She is definitely a dog that will take a village to raise-more energy than ought to be legal.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Shrilling of the Shrew

Prissy has the most high pitched bark known to man. She puts the yap in yappers. And when she is not barking at squirrels, passerby and dauschunds, she is barking at her own pack in an effort to get them to chase her.

If that doesn't work, she will chase her tail-but she does it while lying on her back.

She is the youngest (by only a month) and the silliest and most stubborn of all the dogs. She also has the most beautiful head of almost any chi I have seen. Oh, and yes, I love her with all my heart....

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Between Showers

I tossed some kibble out for the kiddos to search and feed on. I don't really like them sniffing in the grass (some of them have allergies) but they ARE dogs and they love the game. Clouds are building so it looks like they are going to be indoor dogs again today-but Daddy is coming down to put together the patio furniture so they will have plenty to do assisting him a little later on today.

Most of the dogs on this street are indoor-outdoor only to pee dogs. A very big change from Oklahoma 20 years ago, and I'm glad. I will section off the house, or crate if I don't want to be bothered, but I'm happiest when the kiddos are in the house with me or playing outside the window where I can watch them.

I can't even leave them in the backyard if I walk down to Mom's, one house down. I wouldn't leave a diamond ring out in the backyard, and the pois are more priceless than treasures.

I left a lot of good "stuff" in Dallas, downsizing houses is tough/fun. But every animal, even the wayward Andy Warhol, made it here. I have critter friends all over the country-always willing to pile up on the couch or give me a snuggle. And I cherish them all. But "home" is where the pack is.