Monthly Archives: February 2019

Origins: Clara pt 2

Then Luna came along. Clara didn’t care for Luna at first. Later I learned that Clara doesn’t like any new dog that dares to darken the door of her house and interrupt her life of love and devotion. Life needed to revolve around Clara and only Clara.

Eventually, Clara and Luna became friends, best friends even. Well, they had, and still have, a love-hate relationship. They play together, but will also bicker with each other. They have barking competitions that can get out of hand if it isn’t handled within the first two barks.

Clara was fearless…at least that was before Nia decided to take a disliking to her. Nia was a Shih Tzu that I had adopted. She was full of nervous energy, had an unhealthy obsession with toys, and in general, there was something wrong with her. I was her third owner and that may have had something to do with it.

Clara and Nia lived together for a year or so until one winter Nia began attacking Clara. I’m sure there was a reason, but it didn’t seem like it. It wasn’t all the time at first. They’d be fine and then Nia would attack her and that prompted Luna to attack her as well. I don’t know how many fights I broke up. Fortunately for Clara, she was able to defend herself and sometimes Nia was worse off than Clara. Even still, anytime she even smelled Nia Clara would shake. After several months of trying to get to the root of the problem and rekindle their friendship, I had to give Nia away as it was obvious she was trying to kill Clara.

She was no longer as confident as she had been, but with Nia gone, Clara resumed her wild, piranha ways. She made sure that Luna knew her place. She was Haley’s little protege. Haley would lay in one chair on the patio and Clara claimed the other. From time to time she allowed a sister to share her throne.

Sometime before Nia took a disliking to Clara, Buddy joined the family. As always, Clara didn’t like him. He was bigger than the other dogs and played rough. One swipe of the paw and the girls would get knocked over. Eventually, he learned that the only way the girls would play with him was if he laid down on the ground. The girls warmed up to him and they enjoyed greeting him with a nose touch.

Clara hasn’t slowed down and she’ll be six this year. She’s still a wild child and a “baby piranha.” She and Buddy haven’t gotten along much lately. He’s so active and he still hasn’t realized that his playful gestures are not as playful as he thinks when it comes to the little dogs. He would never intentionally hurt her though and when he’s not hyper, Clara still greets him with a nose touch.

She didn’t like Scarlet (and I don’t blame her there) and she’s still not sure what to do with Eevee. I’m sure they’re going to learn to get along; they’re about the same size and have the same energy level. We’ll see…

Until next time, bask in the glow of your mom and siblings’ attention.

P.S. Scarlet is doing well at her new home. I see her a couple of times a month when I visit my boyfriend’s mom. She’s getting fat, though. The older dog, Gracie, doesn’t like Scarlet getting all of the food and tries to hoard it. Needless to say, she’s fat too. They both need some extra exercise. Still, Scarlet is happy where she is. I can see it in her face and I can see that my boyfriend’s mom really enjoys her. I feel bad that it didn’t work out with my family, but I’m glad that she found a great home. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was how it was supposed to be…

Origins: Clara pt 1

Molly was about ten months old when a friend of a co-worker contacter her and asked if anyone wanted a Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix puppy. He had two little puppies (both female) and he wanted to find them homes before his children bonded with them. I quickly agreed to take one. I agreed to meet him on Sunday. I don’t remember what day it was, but probably about a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Prior to the arrival of the puppy, I got food dishes and a rhinestone collar. I thought about names, but decided that I’d wait until I got her to choose her name. I was restless.

Sunday finally came and I scooped up Haley and we went to go pick up the puppy. We reached the gas station before the man got there and waited. He arrived.

I thought I was going to choose between the two puppies, but instead he handed me this little ball of fluff. I was in love. This was my new baby and I couldn’t have been happier. Haley sniffed at the puppy and accepted her. We drove home.

I don’t recall how Molly acted when the puppy got there. She probably was excited and tried to play with her. I don’t know if the puppy played with her or not. I just know that they were in a playpen together.

I settled on the name Clara because if I had a daughter I’d name her Cora. I didn’t want to call her Cora in the unlikely event that I’d have a baby girl. So Clara it was.

We’d been puppy sitting mother’s Poodle mix, Ebony, and that evening, mother came in picked her up. She wanted to take sleepy, calm Clara home with her. I wouldn’t let her.

That evening and the next day Clara was a sweet puppy. She was quiet. I once put her on my desk while I was working at my computer and she fell asleep. I have a picture of that somewhere.

Then it happened. Clara was no longer the sweet, quiet puppy I brought home. Instead she was a tiny ball of energy, my “wild child.” She didn’t slow down except to sleep.

Sometime later, I had to send all of my dogs to stay with my mom for a spell. Clara lived up to her nickname “Wild Child” and earned a new nickname, “Baby Piranha” because she snatched food and dove into her bowl and didn’t come back up until it was empty. She also learned how to open the container her food was in and one evening Clara, Ebony, Molly, and Haley got into the food and ate every piece (it was probably close to a couple week’s worth of puppy food). Their little sides stuck out and they waddled around the house for the next twenty-four hours. Served them right.

Clara and Ebony loved to play together. They’d chase each other, then Clara would slide under one of the kitchen chairs. Ebony would get upset and “tell” my mom about how Clara was playing unfair.

Clara was the baby of the family for a couple years. The older girls allowed her to get away with things that they wouldn’t allow each other to get away with. Clara was doted on and thrived under the love and affection that her sisters and I gave her.

Origins: Molly

Shortly after I got married, I decided that I wanted to get another Shih Tzu, so I contacted some friends of mine who were Shih Tzu breeders and asked them if they had a Shih Tzu, preferably male, that I could get from them. They responded with that they only had a female that they didn’t have time for to train. It was their marriage present to me.

Molly was about three or four months old when she came to me. I soon learned that she liked to dunk her whole face in her water bowl and shake her head, flinging water all over the place.

I was working at PetSmart around that time. I was just a bather, but I wanted to be a dog groomer. I watched the dog groomers and mimicked them at home when I groomed my girls. That’s the advantage to having a breed of do that frequently needs to be shaved if you don’t want to deal with long hair. The first haircut I gave Molly was a lion haircut. I had to give her food in order to take a picture of her. When I find it, I’ll post it.

There were some absent months where Molly and Haley went to stay with my mom due to a flea outbreak or just because there were too many animals in the house (four dogs and four cats). I know I called to check on her almost every day, but I don’t remember many of her antics. She loved (and still does) to play with dog toys. Well play isn’t quite the word, she carries the toys around until someone takes it from her. I rarely had the heart to, but sometimes some toys just needed to stay indoors. Molly never understood that. She still doesn’t. Buddy doesn’t seem to get it either.

During her stay with my mom, Molly and Ebony (mother’s poodle mix) got into a tiny fight. Well the fight wasn’t tiny, but the dogs sure were. They were trying to establish their pecking order. I don’t know who came out higher than the other. Most likely Ebony because she was several months older than Molly.

A few years back, when I still lived in Moore, my mom and I took the pups to the dog park. There was a particular dog there that loved to paddle out the water in the water bowl. Every time a new person would come in with his or her dog, they’d fill the water bowl up. I think that dog waited for some fool to fill the water, because within a minute or so, the dog was back at the bowl paddling out the water. Each person who came into the dog park did the same thing with the same results. If it was the same person, I would call it insanity, but since it was different people, would it be called “collective sanity?”

That dog was in the larger dog side. My mom and I were on the other side with the smaller pups. For the most part, our dogs ignored the bigger dogs. If I remember correctly, that’s when Penny was with us (she’s either dead or someone took her in when she ran away). Penny, being a rat terrier, barked at the bigger dogs. The other puppers couldn’t care less and did their own thing.

About a week or so later, it happened. Molly was at the water bowl and decided she’d try her paws at the water paddling. It was a big hit…for her. It required vigilance on my part as I had to frequently fill the water bowls to make sure the animals didn’t get dehydrated. Like the other dog, she would paddle the water out again. It was a summer thing because come winter she’d stop. I think she still does that in the summer because sometimes I’ll find the water bowl bone dry and I know I filled it up earlier. At least she’s having fun, right?

As a Shih Tzu, Molly has the stubbornness down. If she doesn’t want to do it or go there, nothing can make her do it other than physically lifting her up and moving to to or away from the situation. Flip side, once she gets something in her head, she just does it…over and over and over (refer to the water paddling for an example).

Despite her stubbornness, Molly is a love bug. She loves getting attention, I mean, really loves getting attention. So much so that she won’t allow anyone to stop petting her once they have started petting her. For fun, I once put her on my dad’s lap and my dad petted her, then stopped. Molly nudged his hand until he started petting her again. When he stopped, she looked up at him. He started petting her once more. This went on for fifteen to twenty minutes. It was entertaining.

One thing Molly hates and that’s getting her nails trimmed by me. The groomers, on the other hand, have no problems out of her. Traitor!

Yesterday or the day before, Molly got to interact with my new puppy, Eevee. Eevee wasn’t too sure of her at first and made sure Molly knew what was Eevee’s, not that Molly really cared. After about ten or fifteen minutes (or longer) Molly and the puppy began playing together. They played for about ten minutes before I separated them. Eevee slept most of the evening after that. Thanks Molly.

Like with all of my dogs, I wouldn’t give Molly up for anything. She makes me laugh, frustrates me, puzzles me, and loves me. She asks for nothing in return except for a scratch on the head…then another scratch on the head…and another…and…well you get the point.

Sorry this post was long, not put in multiple parts and more…spacey. I’m really tired and not feeling a 100%. It’s cold outside, people are coughing, and I’ve had a mild to moderate headache for the past week. So…that’s my excuse for the lack of quality in this post and I’m sticking to it.

Until next time, make sure all the attention belong to you.

Origins: Haley, Pt. 2

*Note: I apologize for the length of this post and the previous one. I’ll try to keep the rest of the origin stories short.*

Haley wasn’t always a brat. She enjoyed relaxing on the couch next to me. She was a good cuddle bug, something she hasn’t grown out of.

Fast forward a few years. Haley was eighteen months when I brought her to stay with me while I got my Master’s. She was a great companion and kept me from going too crazy. Sometimes she would race around the apartment for no particular reason. Also, she would bark at me if I didn’t pay her enough attention. This was when I taught her how to bark on command.

Haley came with me when I got married. She wasn’t fond of my husband and ignored his cats. She was my baby and she knew it. Somewhere in my past blog posts are some of Haley’s antics during the time I was married. I’d give links, but I don’t even remember which ones they are. Perhaps I’ll hunt them down and in my next post, I’ll provide links.

Haley was with me when I kicked my husband out. She was the first one that told him that he was unwelcome. She peed and pooped in the middle of his “man cave” right where his game controllers were. I found it amusing, but cleaned it up. I didn’t want Haley to get into trouble.

Haley will be nine this month. She’s settled down some, but not much. She’s found more dignified ways of being annoying: refusing to go outside to use the bathroom every single morning, barking at me when she doesn’t even want anything, pretending like she is asleep when she doesn’t want to get up, and so on.

Lately, I’ve been letting my boyfriend (probably more on him in another post) handle her. She listens to him and even likes him. When he was gone for a week, she gave him the warmest welcome home I’ve ever seen. No, I’m not jealous. I’m glad that she, and the rest of the dogs, have absorbed him into the family. It shows me that he really is a good guy.

So, now I’ve come to the end of Haley’s origin story. I’m sure there is a lot I missed, perhaps if I remember anything of interest, I’ll write another post.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Haley. There are five more stories to come. Yes five. I’m back up to six dogs, but more on the sixth one later.

Until next time, chew those shoes like there is no tomorrow.

Origins: Haley, Pt. 1

I first met Haley at an open flea market named the “Dog Trade.” Unlike its name, the Dog Trade has little to do with dogs. It’s a combination between a farmer’s market, a citywide garage sale, a livestock sale, small animals like rabbits and birds and yes, some people bring dogs, mostly “oops” litters. It’s rare that an actual (reputable) breeder would attend this function, but she did. Her name was Stephanie Good, if I remember correctly.

“But how do you know that she was a reputable breeder?” I can hear some ask. My answer: it was how she treated the puppies in her care. She’d pick up one every couple minutes or so to sit on her lap and get brushed so they looked their best. The puppies all had names, came with their registration, and shot record. This may not sound like a reputable breeder to you, but to me, she was the best one I’ve met and I’m usually pretty good at sensing if someone really loves their dogs or not.

Haley was one of four puppies tussling in the playpen. Her companions where her two brothers and a female Yorkie puppy. I remember the Yorkie puppy because she would beg to be let out of the playpen because the Shih Tzu puppies, mainly the boys, played rough. Haley, on the other hand, had the ability to best her brothers and fight back. I don’t remember if she was the smallest one, but she had a temper and didn’t hold back when she got upset.

Mother and I passed by and watched the puppies. The little black and white girl caught our eye and we adopted her. I stayed behind while my mom went back to the car to get her checkbook (it’s easier to just carry cash while walking around). A lady came by and asked about the price of the puppies. Stephanie told her the price of the boys. The lady wanted to know about Haley. Stephanie told her that she was already spoken for. The lady then picked up Haley and placed her into my arms.

After a little more shopping, we took her home. Unlike most puppies, Haley didn’t cower or whimper when she got inside the house. She was confident, walked in the house, looked around, and decided it was her domain, despite the fact that the house belonged to our three pound Pomeranian, Yannah. Yannah, not used to sharing her house with other dogs, let alone two puppies (I had another puppy named Sasha) one of which could follow her under the couch.

Haley showed her personality immediately. She was a tiny terror bent on taking over the house, then the city, then the state, then the country, then the world. She showed a bag with a Scentsy in it who was boss. She attacked the threatening shoe. And, when she finally met the larger and older Blue Heeler/hound mix puppy, she would pull on her ears until Sasha cried out. Haley didn’t let anyone bully her.

When Mother took her out to the bathroom, Haley didn’t want to go potty. She wanted to play. My mom would try to push her away so she’d go use the bathroom, but Haley would jump back at her. This amused the neighbors. Mother wasn’t as amused then, but today it is a fond memory of ours.