Friday, April 11, 2008

A stray

Maybe not a stray-this dog was well fed and quite self assured, walking down the middle of the street. He was black and white (one of my favorites) about Greta's size, with the same curled tail and yes the same bad hip. Unneutered, he was out and about looking to spread his bad genes around the neighborhood.

I considered a catch, neuter and release program. My vet already participates in low cost spay/neuters, but I doubt he'd agree to my guerrilla tactics. He's older, a probably wants to retire in peace.

As a former vet tech, I could do it myself if I had the sedative. I can see the headlines now..."Crazy Lady Found Neutering ever Stray Dog that walked Down Her Street...."

What a great book that would be. A story about setting up a mobile animal clinic in my travel trailer, going around the country neutering strays. But it would be sexist, I can only do the boys, the females are too invasive and there is too much other anatomy going on for me to figure it out.

Ah yes, thoughts of springtime are a little twisted for people who care about animals....

Thursday, April 10, 2008


The back yard is flooded sod
The piddle pads I bought for next winter
Will come in handy now

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oliver's Ears Make their Move

After flirting with uprightedness, and jolly askewness (that should be a word), Oliver's ears seem to have settled down into a button ear. The button ear, is the folded over ear, not a dangling ear like a hound or an erect ear like a chihuahua. As a child that was my favorite ear to draw-my dogs had pointed ears and of course we always want what we don't have.

Oliver seems to have no interest in achieving the size I dreamed of, which is fine because he would be a horrible watch dog and protector of the pack. Come to think of it, his father was pretty laid by for a chihuahua too, and had no interest in protecting his puppies. The mother dog just wanted them gone, as did the people in the household.

It's so easy to rag on this people, but it isn't right. They are ignorant, not mean. I too had dogs that bred and I tried to find them homes and the mother wasn't spayed because I couldn't afford it. (That was pre low cost spay neuter clinics).

Oliver is the first dog to make use of the lovely cedar dog house I bought in Dallas thinking "if it rains they'll have a place to go". No one ever used it, but I liked the way it looked and always thought it would make a spiffy rabbit hutch or chicken coop. Oliver uses it for home base in his daily games of tag. He runs into the house, sticks his nose out and barks until all the dogs in the pack want IN because he's the only one who is IN. Then, he leaps out, runs around the backyard, the entire pack in pursuit. If no one catches him, he goes back and says "ha ha ha....I'm still the only one IN...." and the game begins anew.

Cody and Greta are both losing a little excess weight.

Ironically, I had a sunroom in Dallas as well as here, so that is where they go when it rains. Really, the dog house is my 895 SQ Ft. Mansion, complete with dog transport vehicle, dog exercise vehicle (one of my bikes is rigged for dog jogging), dog alarm clock (a punctual parrot) and alternate dog laps (my parents live two houses down). The best part of the alternate dog yard (my parent's house) is that after going into the house to get the treat Mom has for them, the lucky dogs can go out into the backyard and prance around let the pack SEE that they are HERE with the nice old lady who hands out bacon bits and chicken jerky.

Yet, to a dog, they always seem glad to come back home to resume tormenting their packmates upclose and personal. That is probably what love is.

I wonder about that girl

Lily is hormonal right now-arguing with Prissy for her rightful place. She has learned to climb up on the steps and is quite proud of herself for that. But she does some odd things. Like, I put her food in her crate and she howled and carried on until I showed her it was there-she just doesn't think to look for herself.

Normally, I put her in the crate and then put her food in so she know's it's there.

She needed a few extra cuddles too. I was working on positive reinforcement, which meant no dog got a treat unless they were sitting quietly. Which meant Lily didn't receive very many treats. As with leash training, this comes a little harder to Lily who is used to having everything handed to her. The concept of "I need to do this in order to get THAT...." elludes her.

I didn't give her a treat that she didn't earn, but later, after the training session, I did pick her up and cuddle her a lot. It may be that she is learning disabled (remember, she was cut out of a dead dog at birth) or just spoiled. Whatever the case may be, she's a beloved member of the pack.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wake up and pee, the world's on fire!

Oliver has taught me well. Now we both call the dogs "slims". Oliver, a typical Okie African Grey, says Slim as a two syllable word.Now the slims formerly known as dogs would sleep until I got up-as they respected my position as pack leader and the pack leader is never awakened (unless you REALLY have to pee). Oliver has worked out that waking me up will not get him his morning peanut. So, he calls to the Slims, wakes Bitty up who has to PEE RIGHT NOW when she first wakes up (she's old). That will get me moving and get the whole peanut train headed in the right way.Of course, the slims put on a show for Oliver whose cage is by the backyard window, and if they slow down, he whistles and calls them and riles them up again. Slims are great fun.Oliver the dog is pretty horrified by Oliver the parrot. Prissy and Greta think he's cool, but Oliver the dog puts his head on my shoulder and closes his eyes when I take him in to see the parrot. Avoidance is the easiest way to handle something you aren't sure of, especially when you don't know what to do or say. Dogs are a lot like people.The older dogs have seen enough other critters to know if I put it in a cage and bring it into the house it's one of "us" no matter what it happens to be. The pups are mystified by this.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Haircut from Days Gone By

This is Cody's lion cut last year, although with his brindle striping, he looks more like a tiger, or maybe a liger.
Chihuahua haircuts on longcoats are not well thought of in the chihuahua community, nor are brindle dogs. Cody is his own little man, and he doesn't care about those things.