Nothing to Write Home About

Dear (Insert Your Name Here),

I know I haven’t written in quite some time, but there is a reason: there just hasn’t been anything to write about. My life has gotten dull and quiet. It’s great. No drama, few tears, etc. but for the most part, uneventful. I’ll just tell you how everyone is doing.

Haley is doing well. I need to give her a bath, shave her, and restart her medication routine (ear drops and allergy medicine). She spends most of her days sleeping and glaring at anyone who dares to put her outside. Lately, I’ve been letting my boyfriend handle her so she won’t resent me. She grudging likes him (and me to be honest). One time he was working in Texas for a week and when he got home she was excited to see him and begged for his attention. I see how it is Haley.

Molly is being herself. Stubborn. We recently put up a baby gate that swings so we don’t have to step over the tension baby gates. Only problem is since it is an actual baby gate, the spaces are wide enough for a small dog to squeeze herself through the bars and Molly has learned to do that. Many times she’s greeted me at the front door and ran back and forth between me and the utility room. She’s usually thirsty and lonely. Well Molly, if you would stay in the back, you wouldn’t be thirsty and lonely.

Luna is part spring, I just know it. Her hobbies include jumping, running, and barking–sometimes all three at the same time. If she didn’t get carsick, I would love to teach her agility and take her to events. She’s be great at it. I talked to the vet and he said that the best way to get rid of her carsickness is to take her in the car more often. Really? No medication? At least some peppermint tablets. Oh well, I have some peppermint essential oil. I can give her that. Maybe, just maybe, Luna, you’ll get to ride in the car one day without vomiting.

Clara tries to use her cuteness to get her way. If she doesn’t want to go outside, she looks adorable and rolls over on her back. “See how cute I am.” It doesn’t work. Some people would say that she’s submitting to me. No, that’s just how my dogs tell me that if you want me to do something, then you’ll have to make me. Clara is also bossy. She and Luna have barking matches. It’s fun for them, but annoying for the humans. I took Clara and Molly to PetSmart a few weeks back. Everyone exclaimed over how fluffy Clara was. Yes, admire my dog, love my dog, give into the cuteness. Clara, you’re going to take over the world one day.

Take all of my girls’ little quirks and put them into a fifty pound Chow and that explains Buddy. He’s watched his sisters and he’s picked up on many of their behaviors. He jumps like Luna (a scary sight even for me). He loves to run and play chase (Luna). He plays with toys (Molly). He rolls on his back when he doesn’t want to do something (Clara and Haley). He recently got fixed. I thought it would calm him down some and it did to a certain extent, but he also seems a lot more playful. Sounds great, right? Not when you have a fifty-some odd pound bear-dog barrelling at you full speed. Buddy, thanks for looking out for your sisters, the house, and me, but stop batting me with that large paw of yours!

I don’t remember if I told you about Scarlet. If I haven’t, Scarlet was a dog my boyfriend and I adopted to be a companion to Buddy. She and Buddy didn’t get along and she started acting like Luna. A twenty-pound Luna. My boyfriend’s family took her in for a week to see if she would fit in with the family. His mom fell in love with her. Scarlet has calmed down thanks to the resident Boston Terrier Gracie, who makes sure Scarlet minds. Scarlet, I’m proud of the dog you’ve become. Good job Gracie.

What about me, you might be asking. I’m doing okay. I’ve calmed down quite a bit since I got on the correct medications. I have fewer anxiety attacks and my manic and depressed episodes and the ones I do have aren’t as severe. I’m enjoying my job at the newspaper. Soon I’ll be getting married. By soon, I mean sometime in the near future, but no date has been set. Everything is fine in my life. Oh, I have a new car (2016 Honda CR-V, my dream car) and new furniture. I’m finally adulting!

So, that’s the update on my life. I told you it wasn’t that interesting. I’ll try to write more, but I can’t guarantee. Maybe next time I write it will be worth writing home about.

So, until next time remember that being a dog is a lot more fun than being an adult.

Sincerely,

Me

P.S. Happy New Year!

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Missed My Dogs

These past two weeks have been rough. I was filling in for one of my co-workers who went on vacation. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that some days–due to computer problems or people problems–I wasn’t getting home until midnight. My comment about “the newspaper never sleeps” was accurate these past couple weeks.

The result of this was I didn’t get to see my dogs very often. They get put to bed between nine and nine-thirty and with me coming in after that, I only got to Eevee (she sleeps in the living room in her crate). There were sometimes that I felt that I didn’t even know what they looked like anymore. It was a terrible feeling.

As for the dogs, they were cool with BF taking care of them. They like him and seemed to like him more after he was the only one to take care of them. Eevee even seems to love him more.

Fortunately, I hope all of that will change. Today my co-worker came back from vacation which means I get off at 5. I now will get home at a decent time and be able to take care of my precious puppers. I can’t wait!

It’s kind of sad to sum up my past two weeks in four paragraphs. I haven’t had time to write and my brain is so fried that I’m good to be writing this much.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in so you wouldn’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the world.

Until next time, make sure your humans remember what you look like…


Picture Entry: Eevee

I don’t really have much to write about. Life has been busy and will be busy over the next few weeks. June please come quickly!

So sit back and relax and enjoy some pictures of Eevee (sorry if some are blurry, it is difficult to take pictures of an active puppy). Until next time, enjoy basking in the sun while you still can…


The Makings of a Good Dog

What defines a good dog? Similarly what defines a bad dog? Is it all about perception from the owner? From others? I’ve been binge watching episodes and clips from It’s Me or the Dog and several of those dogs are “bad” dogs. But are they really bad dogs or products of their environment. Usually that’s the case. They’ve been (unknown to the owners/pet parents) conditioned to act a certain way.

Dog training is more about the training the human than training the dog. How to be a “pack leader” as some might say. Or, in my eyes, how to be a pet parent. Some people say that dogs are dogs and they are not children. I say that dogs (or cats, or other animals) and children are more similar than many think

That reminds me of a time I was talking to my friend who was a mom to a toddler. She would say something about raising her daughter and I would tell her that I experienced the same thing with Haley (she was a year and a half at that time). We talked about having to take things out of mouths, potty training, talking back (yes, Haley did and still does like to have the last word, Eevee is showing those signs as well), and in general just being a mommy. We discovered that being human parents and pet parents aren’t that dissimilar.

I don’t know if I would call any dog “bad” per se. Many people would probably disagree. I believe that dogs are a product of their environment and their genetics. I also believe that dogs become what their humans (knowingly or unknowingly) want them to become: a friend, a protector, something to alienate other people, a device to get dates, a fighter, a coward…well you get the drill. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps there truly are bad dogs that no matter how well they’re treated they will always be bad dogs.

What makes a good dog? What are their traits? Does it depend on person to person? What do you think makes up a good dog?

For me a good dog is: a dog that listens but is not autonomous, a dog that knows how to dog, a dog that I can walk with without dragging me, similarly a dog that I can run with whether or not they’re dragging me, a dog that I can relax on the couch with, a dog that will kiss my tears away, a dog that will argue with me, a dog that makes me laugh, a dog that makes me feel like I’m not an ice queen (I’ve been called things like that and have called myself that), a dog that makes other people smile and brighten up their day a little. Wow I have a long list of things. I guess that’s less of what I want in a good dog and more of what kinds of dogs I have. Unless they’re annoying me (something they are prone to intentionally do), I love my dogs and I feel like I have a pack of good dogs. I might be biased.

They could use some work, but ultimately I love them no matter what. Except when Buddy slimes me…that is something I could do without.

Until next time…who’s a good dog? You’re a good dog!


Why?

This is a more somber post…well somber for me. For other people probably not so much.

Tuesday evening. I arrived at home as usual and went inside while talking to my mom on the phone. I took Eevee out to potty. Then I got off the phone to feed the adult dogs. Everything was routine. I scooped the food in the bowls and let the dogs eat.

Clara had pooed in her crate, so while everyone was eating, I took the towel outside to shake off. I wasn’t paying much attention until I was about to go back inside. I see a baby opossum squirming around. Oh no! Buddy had gotten a hold of a baby opossum. I had let Clara out and I quickly called her back in.

I went back outside and saw another possum and another one, then I saw the mom. All were struggling to live. I felt awful. Why had Buddy gone after them (he thought they were toys)? Why was she out during the day? How did she get in my backyard (I have a six foot privacy fence)? Other possums usually walk across the fence, or climb through the trees.

I went back inside and called my mom and told her. I cried. I didn’t know what to do. I called the animal shelter hoping to catch the control people before they left for the day. Wouldn’t you know they closed early. I tried another place and they said they’d get someone from their local branch to call me (spoiler alert, they didn’t call me that evening).

I called BF and told him what was going on. Then I waited for him to get back. The dogs were restless in the back. They were used to going outside to play.

The mom and babies were still hanging in there when BF got home. We loaded them up in a carrier, wrapped them in towels to keep them warm, and put them on the front porch while trying to figure out what to do with them. I had BF walk the yard checking for more babies. He didn’t find any, so I figured that was all she had.

I located a twenty-four hour vet in the city I work in (about twenty miles from me) and called them. They said they would take them. We loaded the family up in my vehicle and drove to the vet. GPS took us a round about way, but we made it there. By the time we got there, mom and one of the babies had passed away; they were bagged up. The other two were hanging in there. They were put on a heating pad and would be fed later (the babies were skinny and if I remember correctly so was mom). We left. They assured me that we’d done the right thing. Still, I felt guilty. I love possums, not as much as foxes, but still…

We arrived home after eight. The day had been exhausting. We relaxed the rest of the evening.

Wednesday evening, I went outside to find three more babies (dead) in various places in the yard. One of them had died right where mom had laid. The other two were farther back in the yard hidden in clover. Two of the babies had no marks on them. I figured they died of “natural” causes (probably hypothermia). The third baby had a scratch on its eye and no other marks. I guessed a cat or raccoon had scratched it, but it ultimately died of hypothermia. I disposed of the babies and when BF got home, we walked the yard again making sure there were only three babies. Thankfully that was it.

He researched about why possums would be out during the day. Either they were disturbed while sleeping or food was scarce and they had to venture out to find food. I’m thinking the latter due to the skinny state of the mom and babies as I have no clue what could have disturbed them other than the resident (annoying) raccoon family that has taken over the space above my porch.

On a lighter note, we thought we had found a dead squirrel, but upon closer inspecting we realized it was a chipmunk toy that had been abandoned to the elements. Eevee took delight in playing with her “new” toy. She tried taking it to Buddy so they could play, but he wasn’t interested so she played with it by herself.

Oh and Buddy and Eevee are getting along really well. He’s slowly learning not to chase her. She’s learning to stand still when Buddy tries the chase her. Needless to say, Buddy doesn’t find her as interesting anymore. I was hoping they would become friends, but it looks like they’ll settle in the same relationship as the rest of the dogs. All my dogs get along, but for the most part they go about their business outside content that they are not alone but equally content that they aren’t being bothered by each other.

I love my dogs.

Until next time, everything that squeaks is not always a toy.

 

 

 


Poor Eevee

BF and I have come to the conclusion that there is no Shih Tzu in Eevee and she may not even be Border Collie (eventually I’ll post a picture of her). Due to her long body and sweet face, we think she has some Dachshund in her. There also might be a bit of Beagle. But who knows? I’m tempted to waste the money on a dog DNA test to see what the results are. I know they may or may not be accurate, but I’m just curious if she is indeed Shih Tzu or if she’s Dachshund as we believe.

That’s not what I came to write about. I came to write about how Eevee gets left out of things when it comes to the older dogs. The girls grudgingly tolerate her, but don’t want to be bothered with her puppy antics. They often get onto her. She needs to learn, but I feel so bad for her. Should I have bitten the bullet and gotten her another puppy to play with (seven dogs, I think not)? She does have fun with Buddy, but he can play rough. It would probably be in all our interest to teach Buddy how to play nicely.

Another option is finding someone with a similarly aged and size puppy for her to play with. That would require socializing with people. The would also require going in search of “friends” for Eevee. How does one go about doing that?

I do have to say that Eevee is the dog that I’ve wanted to have for awhile. Eevee will howl when I how. My other dogs don’t do that. They’ll howl with each other, but if I try to get them to howl, they look at me like I’m stupid. Not Eevee, she gets excited and howls with me. It’s so adorable!

Last week, a lady came by with a four month old large breed puppy (I don’t remember what breed she said he was, but he looked like a Great Pyrenees). He and Eevee played for a good thirty minutes while his mom and I talked about dogs, the neighborhood and the people in it. I enjoyed talking to her. Maybe she’ll walk Mongo again and they’ll come over to play.

Sorry this was a boring post. I’m so busy at work these days and by the end of the day I’m too brain-dead to think of a post to write. I enjoyed writing the Origins series because I already knew what to write. I’ve got to come up with another series or something…

Until next time, make some friends or annoy your older siblings one is just as good as the other…well maybe not for your siblings.


Dog Hair and Other Musings

Sorry about not writing last week. There have been a lot of (frustrating) changes at work and I was so sick and tired of looking at the computer. Anyway, I don’t really have much to say, I’m just writing things down as I think.

I gave Luna and Clara haircuts on Sunday. The amount of hair they had grown over winter was astounding. I think I shaved off the equivalent of two Chihuahuas. When I was done, I was covered in hair and had to take a shower. Later that afternoon, I gave my mom’s three pups a haircut. Needless to say I was in need of another shower when I got home.

It rained last night. My dogs hate the rain–hate going out in it, rather. Most of them don’t fret over the thunder, but lately Molly has been sensitive to it. Even though she is snuggled next to one or two of the other pups, she freaks out when there is thunder, but only if it starts thundering before she falls asleep. Once she is asleep, thunder doesn’t bother her. Go figure.

I have watched almost all domestic dog documentaries that are out there. I’m yearning for another one or two to watch (if you know of any, let me know in the comments so I can check them out). If I were a cinematographer, I would create my own dog documentary. I think it would focus on people just talking about their dogs, or something like that. I should make a friend who is one so that I can pitch this idea to him or her. I don’t require much in return, but a quick mention in the credits and a short segment dedicated to my pups. I could always be the interviewer…

BF and I went to the zoo last week. I don’t particularly care for zoos, but sometimes that’s the only place I’ll see certain animals. I didn’t go to the zoo to see the giraffes, elephants, zebras, tigers, bears, etc. I don’t mind the animals, but my interests were somewhere else. I went there to see all the wild members of the dog family. Unfortunately there weren’t that many: a couple foxes, a couple coyotes, and a pack of African Painted Dogs. It was the last one that I went to see, but they were far from the observation deck, so I only got to see them from afar. I was disappointed that there were no wolves and no hyenas (I know they aren’t part of the dog family, but I do find them endearing). I really wish I could see some of these animals in the wild (I’ve seen foxes and coyotes). I know that requires travel and maybe someday I’ll visit Africa.

I’ve been yearning to do something creative. I don’t know what. I either want to write, draw (as much as my skill will allow), scrapbook, or do an art journal. I recently got a new toy–a Brother Scan-N-Cut–that I have yet to play with. Tomorrow I’ll be getting in some more crafting supplies. What’s stopping me? Well, I’m usually tired by the end of the day, at least that’s the excuse that I like to use. There’s nothing stopping me except for my own laziness and/or forgetfulness.

Buddy and Eevee’s relationship is getting even better. Eevee loves her big brother and whines when she can’t go in the back to play with him. He’s still a bit rough, but he’s trying to be gentler. The other day Molly felt like Buddy was playing too rough with Eevee and made sure that Buddy knew it. She got between Buddy and Eevee (much to Eevee’s annoyance), barked and got up in Buddy’s face. She wasn’t going to let Buddy “bully” her baby sister.

Well, I think the musings are done..for now. Until next time, just because there is nothing exciting going on in your life doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for it.


Origins: Eevee

Eevee was an “accident.” I know, how can a puppy be an accident? Well, here’s the story. I had been talking to my coworker about getting a puppy. I casually looked around, but I wasn’t looking for anything in a serious sense. I was planning on fostering a young dog, but that didn’t pan out. I decided that I’d stick to five dogs.

Then my coworker asked me about a puppy. Had I gotten a puppy or something like that. I said no and then immediately started looking for one. So, that’s why I said Eevee was an accident. She wasn’t planned. I blinked and she was there.

That’s the overview of the story. Here’s how it happened. I was browsing dog classifieds, specifically Shih Tzu or Shih Tzu mix dogs. I came across an ad of Shih Tzu Border Collie puppies. I clicked on it and was greeted with a black and white puppy that looked like a Border Collie with the silky Shih Tzu hair. I fell in love with that puppy and the next one. The third didn’t look like a Shih Tzu Border Collie mix, or even one or the other. He looked like he might be a Pit, with his sandy coat and beautiful, sandy eyes. The fourth looked much like the first two. Then there was the fifth one. It looked weird compared to its siblings. It had cherry eye, white paws and belly, a dark face, long ears, and a brindle back and legs. It was a funny looking puppy to say the least.

I contacted the people to see if they had a female left. We texted back and forth about price and the puppy pack. They also sent me a picture of the puppy. Guess what? It was of the funny looking puppy. I was already committed to getting a puppy and I didn’t want to back out. I sucked it up and decided to get the funny looking puppy.

It was a two hour trip to pick her up (in hindsight, I could have let them deliver her, but I didn’t). We waited in Dairy Queen, BF ate while I anxiously kept looking at my phone. I couldn’t sit still much longer and went outside to sit in the car. Dairy Queen closed around the time they arrived. It was cold outside and they pulled a tiny puppy out of the car. She had just had a bath so she was shivering (I later learned she has a thick coat that doesn’t like to dry). BF tucked her in his coat until we got her crate situated. We put her in the nice warm car, I filled out a contract, handed over the cash, got her vaccination records and headed home. We got back late, situated the puppy and the adult dogs, and went to bed.

She slept all night in her crate. She didn’t wake up until the next morning. I realized that they had done a lot of training before she came to my house. She was a good puppy. The best puppy in the world.

We named her Eevee after the Pokemon. We figured that since there is a Pokemon with my name–Seadra the Seahorse (although my name is spelled differently it’s pronounced the same)–that she should have a Pokemon name as well.

We took her to visit my mom and on the way there, I decided that she’d stay with my mom for a spell so Eevee could get her next round of puppy shots. She got carsick on the way to my mom’s house and when we got there she had to have an emergency bath. That was when I realized that her coat doesn’t dry easily. We spent the afternoon with my mom and left Eevee there.

My mom enjoyed her company, taking her to the vet and confirming that she had Cherry Eye, but it was cosmetic. I decided to have it removed and she stayed another week with my mom.

In that time she came into herself. She found her voice. She showed her stubborn side. She demonstrated that she was determined and when she had her mind made up, it was difficult to change it. If you didn’t want her to have it, then she wanted it even more.

When we picked her up, she had a cone on her head. I exchanged it for a soft cone and we took her home. The cone did little to stop her. She was in love with life and she felt no shame wearing the cone. She didn’t want to hold still for anything, let alone eye drops.

I kept her separate from the adult dogs most of the time, but I let her play with the girls after her cone came off. They didn’t mind her much, except Clara. Clara hated her (and still does). Buddy was curious about her, but she was too new and he got too excited, so they only saw each other with a gate between them.

I thought life would be difficult with a puppy and it was for a few days, but once I got into the swing of things, it wasn’t that hard to add another dog to my routine. She just melded into our life and it felt like she’d been with us forever.

I think of how I thought she was the weirdest puppy out of all of them; how I felt like she was the reject puppy. I’m glad I didn’t let all of that deter me from getting her. Now, I look back on the pictures of her siblings and I think she’d the cutest one out of the bunch. Biased, I know.

She’s now had her last round of puppy shots and her rabies shot. When she gets too annoying, she gets put in the room with the adult girls. Last week, Eevee and Buddy got to interact with each other without a gate between them. He was gentle with her and she didn’t seem to mind him much. I like to think that when she’d reached her adult size (somewhere between 15-20 pounds) that she and Buddy will be friends.

So that’s the story of Eevee and this is the last story in my origins series. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Now I have to come up with something new to write. Maybe I can come up with another series. I haven’t thought that far ahead though.

Until next time, don’t take no for an answer and continue to pursue whatever they’re trying to take from you.