Category Archives: Dogs

Duncan — Back By Popular Demand

I have been remiss.  A bad girl.  No treats for me.

Yes, it’s true.  Today I was reminded that I haven’t posted any pictures of Duncan recently.

You remember Duncan, don’t you?

Toy Basket

Here he is right after we brought him home, sitting in his toy basket.

He doesn’t quite fit inside it any more.

No Room!

Duncan is quite camera shy.  We get loads of pictures of his butt, which, in my opinion, is not his best feature.  The face doesn’t stay still long enough for photo-ops.  Apparently, he will never run for Congress.

But the little guy has had quite a good time.  He is love, played with, pampered.  He has even had a vacation at the shore.  Here he is on a rocky beach in Maine.  When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where’s Waldo.

When the rocks are wet, looking for Duncan is very much like playing Where's Waldo

Got any Sushi?

Now, let’s see if I can do this.  I took some video inspired by Will of Marking Our Territory, alerted me to a fast and easy way to destroy my iPad.  So naturally I tried it!

And I uploaded my very first YouTube video.

Shit, I’m a rotten videographer …. but I’m a great dog mom!  How many dogs get $300 dog toys?

Anybody got an extra iPad?

73 Comments

Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Fashion, Health and Medicine, Humor, Pets, Wild Beasts

Angel/Demon

My mother used to caution me:

“Be careful what you wish for,” she’d say.

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Because you might just get it.”

Her response usually baffled me.  As a kid growing up in what I thought was abject poverty (ummm, not even close), I felt like I never got what I asked for.  Or if I did, one of my four siblings had used it first.  Or “it” didn’t really live up to my expectations.  Or getting “it” not precisely what I expected.

Getting what I asked for always held a surprise.

You know what?  Mom was right.  And it is just as annoying now as a grownup as it was when she was right when I was a kid.

You guys know that recently I got what I asked for:

A Puppy! !!!!!!

Yup, here is an update on Duncan, that fluffy little guy who gave us such a scare last week when we brought him home.

You know what?

He came with teeth!  I knew that he would, but I had forgotten what it felt like to have razor sharp puppy teeth inserted into my arms.  Or my legs.  Or, during one memorable cuddle, into my nipple.

He came full of energy!  I knew that he would.  But I had forgotten just how much.  And how much energy went into those teeth.

He came determined to destroy my house.  I knew he would.  But I had forgotten just how many times I can say “no — chew on this”  during a single hour.  4,682 times to be exact.

Yes, this is a brief Duncan update — he is doing great.  He is full of mischief, sharp teeth and a desire to rule the world — or at least the household.  John, Jacob and I are holding our own, but it is only a matter of time before Duncan realizes that he is King Duncan.  And while none of us would ever murder him, I’m not sure I want Duncan to know that just yet.  At least not until he loses those teeth.

Who you gonna believe? I’m an Angel. (Well, except when I’m a Demon.)

 

Thank you all for your concern about the cute little guy.

I really did get what I asked for.  And Mom?  He’s wonderful!

 

72 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Huh?, Humor, Out Damn Spot!, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Blame Duncan if I Didn’t Respond to Your Comment

Thanks, everybody, for all the nice comments about Duncan.

Sorry if yours was one of the comments I didn’t answer.

You see, I was afraid.  Afraid of what was happening with Duncan.

Yup, things didn’t start smoothly at all.

Twenty-four hours after bringing our new son home, we were at animal emergency, with a dying puppy.

We don’t know what happened or why, but he developed a fever of 106.3 degrees — dogs are normally 99-102.  Our puppy was sick, and possibly dying.

If I am ever reincarnated as a dog, I want to be my dog.  I’m not quite sure how I can work that out, though.

Anyway, Duncan was admitted, treated with antibiotics and IV fluids (at great expense).  We left him last night, certain that he was going to die.

Thankfully he didn’t.  He spent some more time with our own vet, closer to home, this afternoon before we brought him home early this evening (Monday).

So far, Duncan is acting very much like a puppy — he plays, eats, poops and pees.  We are keeping a close watch on him.

I will never let him see this picture of himself during the interval between the ER and our vet.  Because I fear he’d die of embarrassment.

"This is Embarrassing"

“This is Embarrassing”

When I texted this photo to Jacob, he responded:  “When did we switch to Dish Network?”

Everybody was saying sweet things about Duncan — and I just couldn’t answer when I didn’t know if he was going to make it.

We have no idea what caused the problem.  It may be a bacterial infection, a virus.  It could be all kinds of things.  Tests to possibly determine what caused it would have cost $THOUSANDS, and we opted to treat, rather than investigate.

So far he is doing OK.  Keep your fingers crossed.

 

85 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Dogs, Duncan, Family, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other

Crikey! Say “G’day” to Me New Mayte!

OK, I wanted to be clever.

Sorry.  That’s not going to happen.  Nope.  Not today.

I wanted to write something that would make you wonder.  That would keep you at the edge of your seat.  That would make you laugh with joy along with me.

Nope.

Instead, I’m just going to introduce you to me new mayte.

Duncan

Duncan

 

Duncan is a rescue puppy — a mixed Springer Spaniel/Australian shepherd.  He came to us through a program that finds homes for the pets (and their pets’ progeny) of deployed service men and women.  John’s sister found him on-line, sent me a link to him on petfinders.com, our application flew in and it was approved right away.  All of this happened on Monday.  Since then, we’ve been in a flurry of activity getting ready for a puppy.

I’m absolutely possible he will be an angel.  Always.

I will probably be a bit scarce around these parts for a while!

 

72 Comments

Filed under Diet tips, Dogs, Family, Humor, Mental Health, Pets, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Vote for ME Please, If It’s Not Too Much Trouble

One of the many reasons I’ve never run for public office is that I hate asking for things.  It makes me uncomfortable.  It makes me feel unworthy.  Unloved.

Votes have always been especially hard for me to ask for.  So this is really hard for me to do.

But one of my earliest bloggin’ buddies, Lorna of Lorna’s Voice, nominated me for the BlogHer “Heart:  Feel it” Award!  And I need your vote to avoid total humiliation.

It is for my story/blog post, Letting Go.

Letting Go is a very heartfelt piece.  You see, it was written with my dog Cooper asleep at my feet.  Written knowing that the vet would soon come for his last, and saddest, visit with my ailing Cooper.  But it isn’t a sad story.  Because it is about a very special walk with a very special dog who made a very special friend that day.  Or tried to, anyway.  And it happened many years earlier, when Cooper was young and healthy and carefree.  The story really did help ease the pain of his passing, even as I was facing it.

So please click on this link, register (sorry!) and vote.  For me and for Coops.  For Letting Go.  (There’s a link to the post through this link.)

http://www.blogher.com/node/1393485/voty?category=VOTY%20-%20Heart%3A%20Feel%20it.

And pretend you’re in Chicago — vote early and often!

Thanks, Lorna!

82 Comments

Filed under Awards, Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Cooper, Dogs, Elections, Humor, Pets, Writing

Be Careful What You Say To Strangers

When Madam Weebles wrote about three rude teenagers who insulted her, I was incensed.  I wanted to verbally castrate them, but then they have no balls, not even metaphorical ones.  But I’ve been thinking about it all day.  I’ve never been able to stand people who inflict themselves on others like these girls did to my friend Weebs.

Because for most of my life, I’ve attracted weirdos.  People just say strange things to me, often for no reason.  Jaw dropingly rude.  Sexist.  Inappropriate.  Some of them are purely mean spirited, like in Weebs’ case.   All  uncalled for.  I’d like to get back at all the people who do that sort of thing.

Do you always think of just the right thing to say if it happens to someone else?  Or, when it happens to you, do you think of a clever retort five minutes after the person is gone?

Yeah, me too.

But sometimes I come up with just the right way to get the asshole back.  OK, maybe twice I did it.  This story was one of those times.  And I’m still proud of this moment.

***

It was long, long ago.  So long ago that I was still living with my Mom and Dad.  Circa 1975, I’m thinking.  And Mom had sent me to Medi-Mart, a drug store, on an errand.

I must have been waiting for something, because I was standing in the aisle with the paperback books when a heavy-set greaser-type guy walked up to me.

Who wouldn't want HIM? (Google Image)

Who wouldn’t want HIM?
(Google Image)

“Nice tits.  I’d like to get my hands on them,” he said to me.

I looked at him, my eyes widening in serious indignation.  My retaliatory options quickly ran through my head.  In that split second of decision, I knew that could:

  • Walk off in a huff;
  • Swear at him;
  • Hit him with my purse

I also knew that none of those options would be at all satisfying, so I quickly rejected all of the above.  Instead, I decided that I would make sure he was never quite so rude to any other young woman ever again.  Ever.  In fact, I wanted to make sure that the word “tits” would cause his balls to shrivel up and fall off.

So I started flirting with him.

I batted my eyes, laughed.  Tipped my head suggestively.  Made him think that a guy saying “nice tits” to me was just what I was hoping for in a man.

“Well, how about if I give you a call,” he said after an indecently short time.

“Sure,” I said, I stuck my hand in my purse as if looking for a pen to write down my number.  “Why don’t you give me a call, just as soon as …” I looked at him with adoration, “just as soon as your voice changes OK?

“OK,” he said, a bit confused right off the bat.  And then he realized exactly what I meant.

“Why you BITCH!” he shouted at me as I walked away.

Fortunately, my dog, Kling, a large, protective German Shepherd mix was waiting for me in the car.  Because you should never piss off a greaser  unless you have backup.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Dogs, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity

Crisis Management

Normally, I am the best person to have around in a crisis.

I keep my head.  I think the problem through.  I react intelligently, organize other helpful responders and do what needs to be done.   Yes, that’s just the sort of person I am in real life.

Generally, I also manage to keep a running humorous commentary which is invaluable to the hoards of folks standing around doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Because, let’s face it.  Not everyone handles stressful situations without becoming certifiably stupid.

Of course every rule needs an exception, and this story is no exception to the exception requirement.

*    *     *

It was just after John and I bought a house for Goliath because nobody would rent to a young couple with a gigantic dog.

We were incredibly lucky in buying our first house.  It was a tiny split level cape cod type that defied description.  But it was just right for newlyweds.  The whole inside had been redone – we bought it from a contractor who’d lived there.  The kitchen was new, the paint unmarked.  Everything was bright and clean.  The coral colored carpeting was newly installed and didn’t have a single blemish on it.

It had been a long stressful day at work for me, so after John and I walked Goliath and had dinner, I decided to take a long, hot, relaxing bath.  The one bathroom was on the “second floor” which was four steps up from the living room.   As it turns out, it was my last relaxing bath.  Ever.

So I wasn’t far when John announced from the living room below

“Uh, Lease?  We have a problem.”

John was fairly calm, actually.  Of course that would change.

“What’s the problem?” I said.  The water was still warm and I was just starting to wash away the day.

“The red ball is stuck in Goliath’s mouth.”

Shit!  I thought as I got out of the tub and grabbed my robe.  Why couldn’t he just pull the damn ball out and let me have my bath?  I was a tad annoyed at my new husband at that moment.

I went down the two steps to find John holding Goliath steady, calming him down, even though Goliath was relatively calm.

Goliath turned towards me and I immediately saw what John was talking about.

Goliath’s favorite tease-toy, a hard red rubber ball with a bell inside, was there in his mouth.  But it didn’t look like any big deal.  I looked at John with an I can’t believe you can’t handle this without me look.  John didn’t notice.

Red ball with bell

Still available.  Photo Credit

That ball really was Goliath’s favorite.  He’d pick it up and taunt us when he wanted to play.  He’d wag his tail ferociously, and drop the ball, catching it in his mouth long before we could grab it from him to throw it.  It never hit the floor.  Goliath would drop and catch, drop and catch, drop and catch.  The bell inside would ring and he would wiggle his eyebrows and his back end.  Come on, grab the ball, he was clearly saying.  Let’s play.  But of course, he would never let us.

This time, as I dripped on the new carpet and assessed the situation, I could see that Goliath had caught the ball too far back in his mouth.  He couldn’t drop it again, and the ball’s size was just a little bit smaller than his windpipe.

First I petted Goliath, soothed him, although he wasn’t really terribly upset.  In fact, he was just a little bit confused and uncomfortable.   I looked at John, astonished that he hadn’t just reached into Goliath’s huge mouth full of huge teeth, and pulled out the ball.

So I did.  Or at least I did the first bit — I reached into Goliath’s mouth, firmly placed my thumb and forefinger on the ball, glancing at John to make sure he would know what to do next time.  John and I watched in horror as the dog-slobbery ball slipped out of my fingers, lodging further into his mouth, right at the top of his windpipe, blocking most of his throat.

No longer able to breathe comfortably and no doubt pissed that his Mommy had made things worse for him, Goliath began to panic.  He started running around the house with John and I chasing after him. Trying to catch him, trying to pry the damn ball out of his mouth.

I’ve never felt so helpless.  So terrified.  It was later when I felt like an idiot.

John and I tried everything we could think of – we put the stem of a wooden spoon behind the damn ball and tried to pull it out.  But  it didn’t budge.  The spoon broke, naturally.  We went through a lot of kitchen equipment that night.

Stupidly, in spite of the fact that it hadn’t worked, we kept reaching into his mouth and trying to pull the ball out.  Each time we made it worse and the ball went down further.  With each effort we only made it more difficult for him to breathe, and the more panicked poor Goliath got.

Goliath ran back and forth between the kitchen, the dining room and living room – the three tiny rooms of our tiny little house.  John would catch him as he ran by and try something.  I would catch him on the rebound and try something, anything else.  Poor panicked Goliath raced across the three rooms, a half-dozen times.  And then a half-dozen times again.

Once when he caught Goliath, John reached into Goliath’s mouth behind the ball.  Goliath’s gag reflex, in constant action by that time, led him to clamp down on John’s right index finger.

“Shit!” John shouted as he pulled his hand away from Goliath and let him go.  Blood dripped from John’s hand.

Almost immediately I caught Goliath and did exactly the same thing, only Goliath bit my left pointer finger.  Then it was John’s turn again to be bitten, and Goliath got John’s left middle finger.   Blood was flying all around our new house, our new carpet.  We didn’t really care, though, Goliath’s panic had spread to John and me.

Goliath was going to die.

There was nothing we could do.  My boy would choke to death on that goddam ball in front of us.  And with each movement that Goliath made, the cheerful bell inside of it rang.  Alfred Hitchcock was directing the scene.

Maybe the image of Alfred Hitchcock led me to do what I did next.  Yeah, let’s just assume that that’s what happened. It is the only explanation.

I had to do something or my crazy, psychotic, beloved life-saver of a dog was going to die.  I was about out of ideas, and then I remembered a show John and I had watched on TV just the night before.

I went into the kitchen and took out our largest knife, knowing I had to give my dog a tracheotomy.

At the time, I was not yet a fake medical professional.  I had never done a canine tracheotomy.  I did not, in fact have a clue if dogs have tracheas, and if so, just where Goliath’s might be located.  I didn’t know if it would make a difference if I, ummm, otomied it.

But just the night before, Radar had done a tracheotomy on a wounded soldier on M*A*S*H.  And if Radar O’Reilly, another animal lover, could do it, well, so could I.  Goliath needed me.

Besides he was going to die.  That reality had become crystal clear.  I had to do something.  Something drastic.  And likely messy.

So I took the butcher knife from the kitchen to the living room to perform my surgery there, on the new carpet in the room that was now looked like a crime scene.  My blood and John’s was speckled all over the living room and dining room  rug and smeared onto the walls and door frames.  I stood, knife in hand, and looked around the living room for a clean spot on the rug.

Henkels Butcher KnifeAlso still available here where I got the photo

John had at that time caught Goliath who was still terrified, still panicked, but running out of energy and oxygen.  When John saw me with the knife in my hand and heard my plan, he must have thought

This woman can never get near my (future) children.”

But “Are you nuts?” was all I recall him saying.  Perhaps there were expletives mixed in there, somewhere.  Maybe.

At just that moment, Goliath keeled over.

“Oh my God,” I shouted.  “He’s dead.”  And I began to sob.

“No,” was all John said.  But he started punching Goliath in the stomach, which did not seem like a very respectful thing to do to a dead dog.  To my dead baby.

Out popped the ball.  John, holding tightly to Goliath’s muzzle with his two bleeding hands, breathed into Goliath’s mouth.   Magically, Goliath’s eyes opened.  Goliath took a very deep breath indeed.  So did we.

The Heimlich maneuver.  It works on dogs. 

There’s another thing I should tell you about the Heimlich maneuver.  It’s best to try it before attempting a tracheotomy.

*     *     *

Other Goliath Stories:

For Medicinal Purposes Only

Dogs and Other Nuts

What’s In A Name?

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Filed under Dogs, Family, Goliath Stories, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, History, Huh?, Humor, Science, Stupidity, Wild Beasts