Friday, April 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I sleep better when the dogs (at least some of them) are home. I get up easier when the dogs (at least some of them) are there. They are my pack, my furry security blanket, and much as I enjoy the snakes and adore my cat, I need my dogs too.

I was thinking about want vs. need, but for me to function reasonably well in this world I have created, I need the connection that I have with all my animals. Someone in a chat room observed last night that it is the loss of our connection with the natural world that will doom the human race, and I tend to agree.

We human folk have intellectualized our existence to the point where something like being a few minutes late can really ruin a big chunk of our day. I think sometimes we pay a big price for our big brains.

Dogs can help connect us to the natural world, if we spend time with them and let them do their magic. Putting a dog in the backyard 24/7 doesn’t do anything for either of you. Now, my kids spent a lot of time outside last night because they have been kenneled (in daycare) and inside for a better part of a week. They had to bark and the schnauzers, evict any other living thing from the backyard and just roll around in the grass. Along about bedtime they came in, ate dinner and then plopped themselves in the chair by the computer that they have claimed for themselves.

This morning they were happy to be in the routine of getting ready and getting into “their” crate for the day. There is no crate like home.

Poor Greta has gotten a crash course in being kenneled, what with her surgery, followed by my surgery....but she has taken it all in stride. I think there is some benefit to traveling frequently, because to my dogs, the vet/daycare is just another place they go sometimes. When I don’t travel, I take them in to daycare every couple of weeks or so just so that it remains familiar.

Ginger (my first Chihuahua-a half chi half manchester) lived in the backyard but visited in the house, though not as much as my current dogs do. She also went camping with us on the weekends. Home was where we were.

My current dogs get out a lot more (it’s easier to get out when you are 46 instead of 10 years old....) and have more activities to keep them busy. But home is still where we are.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Hopefully the kiddos will get to come home tonight-it’s now Thursday, but we’ll see. I’m not trying to be a martyr, like Spock said, sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

The neat thing about the dogs is they'll just be glad to see me and will enjoy running about the house and barking at the schnauzers. My neighbors on the other side have stray schauzer at the moment-there hasn't been such an influx of dogs since the Great Cockapoo Patio Invasion of 1998 when Dottie and I awoke to discover the gate breached and 2 large cockapoos running around our OUR patio outside OUR bedroom window.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No poidogz yet

Uncle John was out of soap (or so he thought) and I couldn't deal with gettng the dogs, getting them home and then shopping again, so I left them for one more night while I took care of business. Tomorrow, come hell or highwater, I am getting my dogs!

Will the rains stop so I can bring home my dogs?

Getting a little frustrated here-we have therapy balls to utilize and Cody has a new red collar....Hopefully those are just clouds and I can go pick up the kids.

Getting ready is really a chore in the morning without a couple of dogs underfoot. How can people say "I don't have time" for an animal who only wants to BE with you?

Now granted, the chi's have little exercise requirements, but I have little exercise ability. I haven't heard anything from Nellie's new Mom regarding agility in some time, and that kind of haunts me. They have land, and other Aussies, so I am sure she's well taken care of, but she really loved learning and she loved agility and I wanted that to continue for her.

I am actually going to train a friend's lab (a BIG, POWERFUL girl from East Coast hunting stock) on the dog cart just to get a feel for working with the cart and what it will take to train. Sue doesn't think it can be done with Mia, but Mia and I have a heart connection and I know she can do it. That will give me a better understanding of what is required of ME (and my leg) before I go commit to another dog. Sue also has two small children I can stick in the cart for practice-I'm really going to miss them when they move to Florida....

Of course, I have to be able to walk before I can do any of this...grrrrr

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Differing points of view

First the facts: I went to Pet Supplies Plus because Cody chewed through any collar that could possibly fit him. A light spring rain is falling and my reptile magazine fell out of the sack while I was loading the car. While I was bending down I heard a lady call “sir! SIR!” and proceed to tell a gentleman in a red truck that the big yellow Labrador wagging his tail shouldn’t be out in the rain.

This struck my funny bone because I was enjoying the sprinkle, so I know the dog was happier than a pig in poo. My friend Sue’s Lab will run out through the SNOW and ICE and plunge into the pool. It’s kind of funny till she tires and throws herself in your lap for a moist snuggle.

He said something back (yes, I rolled down the window to listen but he was soft spoken) and she yelled “YOU’RE WRONG, TAKE CARE LITTLE FRIEND” and I assume the first was directed toward the gentleman, the last towards the lab.

Now I believe in crating your dogs when they are in the car and that’s how I do it. Oh, I’m guilty of the occasional uncrated trip to the drive through, but for the most part, for safety’s sake, my dogs are crated. But if that lady’s goal was to educate the fellow on dog welfare, she missed the entire target, not just the mark. Yelling at a stranger in public isn’t going to solve anything, other than make for certain his mind is sealed the other way.

Perhaps a better way is to change public policy-a 90 pound, untethered ANYTHING that extends over the sides in the back of a truck is a hazard. This fellow probably wouldn’t drive home from Home Depot with a loose air compressor in the back of his truck. Find the real, and the most common risk, and address it.

If she were concerned about that particular animal, she could have taken the guys tag number and reported it to the police. I don’t even think she made herself feel better by yelling, because she didn’t look happy when she went inside.

I love the Animal Planet’s new ROAR program. Reach Out Act Responsibly...I especially like that last part. Making a difference in an organized, constructive way may not be the flashiest solution, but I bet it’s a better one than yelling at strangers.

Poidogz Progress

The electric wheelchair gods smiled on me and I got a “ride” in Target. So I was able to actually look about and not only get Greta’s exercise ball but some sterlite and weights for the snakes and a few other things. The dynamic duo comes home tonight and we’ll start on therapy.

I think right now we are just going to work on the ball and see how that goes. The theory is that it will “force” her to put her foot down to remain stable. Another thing I want to try is to train her to step up on a step; keeping her back feet down. I didn’t want to spend 20 bucks on a step when a cardboard box will do the trick or even some boards, anything to put her on a slope. Standing her on an a-frame might be a good idea too, but I wouldn’t want her climbing it. Well, shoot, we can just work on the wheelchair ramp outside my house-synergies!

Right now I am committing to 10-15 minutes a day-I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I don’t HAVE much time to give. My own body is causing delays in almost everything I do, but we well all cope together.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Ok, I spoke with the vet and told them I’d be glad to do hydrotherapy with Greta, as well as set up an A frame and work on her range of motion, but I am just taxed out as far as driving 20 miles 3 x a week to pay someone to do it for me. So now I’ve got to design a doggie therapy center. My two bedroom house is a bit crowded with snakes right now...too. A new rack is coming, but right now the individual serpents are spread out across three rooms and the Butt Sisters are bunking together right now.

Alice Cooper is going to his new home later this week-he was in shed and I didn’t want him to leave until he was feeling better. There is still going to be some shuffling to do, because what was designated as the Gerbil House currently has a dwarf tiger retic in it-Tarzan would welcome the Gerbils but they might not be so pleased to see HIM.

I did figure out I could order fresh food from for less than I am paying to have my lunch delivered each day-so with all the time/money I will save not going to the grocery store, I can work on Greta’s leg.

Cody has to lose about a half pound. Treadmill time for him and feeding in kennels is now the order of the day. No more free range grazing in the cat box either. Boot camp time!

Where is the line?

Got a call while I was on Spottie visit that Greta isn't using her hind leg at all-well, I knew that-she stands on it. Anyway, they want to talk to me about therapy. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all-I'm late for work today waiting on a check for Uncle John's condo, it takes me 10x longer to do anything because of my leg and now I've got to find time to drive Greta across town for therapy? Geeze, I don't even have time to do therapy on myself...Damn I hate Mondays.

Oh well, just tackle one thing at a time and I will get done what is necessary to keep the universe spinnng properly on its axis.

I got a huge dose of peace on my road trip-baby foals and calves running all over the place, and of course naps with my Spotties. Leaving them was a bit hard, but just having them in my arms gave me a nice infusion of peace and well being. As did Ms. Dollie-she's a little down in her back, but she's still running the household. She's a blonde longcoat-if she were a human she'd run the house in a dress and pearls like June Cleaver.