Author Archives: Siege

About Siege

Hi, I'm Siedra. I live in eastern Oklahoma with my six dogs and my rats. I'm a writer, and scrapbooker/mixed media artist. My life revolves around my dogs, so I decided to blog about them and pet parenthood in general. When I'm not working, or writing, or scrapbooking, or hanging out with my dogs, or thinking about any or all of the above, I'm probably asleep.

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.

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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.


Writing Funk, Possible New Series

Lately, I’ve been in a writing funk. It’s not that I have nothing to write about, it’s just that I don’t have much time to write and when I do I’m so exhausted that I would rather veg on the couch watching art or Minecraft videos.

I wrote something the other day and found myself excited that I wrote and finished a story. It’s nothing that I’m going to show anyone, but at least I wrote something. I’m now ready to tackle a series.

I plan to, not necessarily will, start a series of blog posts which are “origin” stories of each of my dogs. By origin story, I mean writing about how each one came to live with me. Some will be longer than others.

I think that’s really all I had to say. I’ll try to start the origin series posthaste, depending on my mood and my tired level.

Until next time, don’t just sit on the couch, go and chase a tennis ball!


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!


Everyone’s Dog is…

younger, better trained, better groomed, has better breath/teeth/color, smarter, etc than my dogs. Or that’s how it seems sometimes. I look at my dogs and think if only I did [insert task here] my dogs, then I will be the perfect dog owner. Or I do so and so my dogs will be happy. As I write this, I feel like I’ve discussed this on one or more occasions.

Truth be known, my dogs’ quirks (minus the health related things) don’t bother me. However, I’m concerned that my dogs’ behavior will reflect on my parenting style. After all, as much as I hate to admit it, I judge people based on their dog’s behavior. I don’t mean to, but I do. Dogs that are like little soldiers, listening to their owner’s every command belong to owners who have put the time to train their dog. Flippant dogs means their owners haven’t been training them. I realize that some behavior is due to the owners, but there are also behaviors that depend on the breed or personality of the dog. Some breeds/dogs are easier to train than others. Anyone who had owned dogs knows that.

Maybe owners are a reflection of their dogs rather than the other way around…

Then again, if that were the case I’d be aloof, sometimes hyper-active, stubborn, only like a certain amount of affection. Oh wait, I am like that. So am I reflection of my dogs or are my dogs a reflection of me? I think both are the correct. Every successful relationship involves adaptation on both sides. I exhibit a certain behavior and the dogs adapt accordingly and vice versa. It’s a full circle.

In conclusion (like I’m writing a paper for school) I should stop comparing my dogs to others’ dogs. At the end of the day, I don’t have to live with their dogs (thank goodness!). I only have to live with mine, and if I’m okay with how they act, then that’s all that matters…right?

Until next time, that dog in the mirror is real, even though it isn’t behind the mirror, it is real. I just know it!


4 a.m. Less-capade

It’s not uncommon for one of my girls–never Buddy–to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and bark to inform me that they have to go outside. That early morning–a couple weeks ago–was no different. Luna’s barks invaded my dreams and woke me up. I groped for my phone and checked the time. It was a little after four.

Stupid dog.

I laid there hoping that she just heard something outside–perhaps another dog–and she was barking at the dog and would settle down soon. No dice. I sighed and drug myself out of bed.

In the back, Luna barked. I turned on the light and bleary eyes looked back at me, except Luna barked at Clara.

“Do you have to go outside?” I asked.

She didn’t give me the customary tail wag-butt waggle dance.

Clara jumped off the crate–a favorite spot for the girls to perch–and Luna jumped up.

I went to the backdoor and opened it to let Luna out. She refused. I closed it realizing that Luna had been barking at Clara because she wanted Clara’s spot. Mind you, there are two crates that the dogs can perch on.

Really Luna? I got out of bed to resolve a sleeping arrangement issue? Oh well. It wasn’t the first time I had to resolve similar situations. It’s just a part of pet parenthood, right?

I went back to bed, snuggling under my blanket and closed my eyes. A few seconds later my eyes popped open.

I had to pee.

Until next time, make sure your siblings know exactly where their sleeping spot or you’ll tell mom.