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.