Tag Archives: Life with pets

Yappy Hour

Last Thursday wasn’t a good day for me, so after school I fed the dogs and crashed. My alarm went off announcing Yappy Hour, an event that I had programed into my phone earlier last week. I didn’t want to go. I was tired, cranky, and didn’t want to face a bunch of people. Still, I told myself that it might be fun, but if it wasn’t I could always leave and not bother going back to it the last two Thursdays of this month.

So, I dragged myself out of bed, put on “going out” clothes, grabbed Haley, and we drove across town to the dog park. On the way there, I told Haley that I wasn’t sure what the event would be like and that if she didn’t like being there, all she had to do was bark. She looked at me as if she knew what I was saying.

We arrived at the dog park and the event was smaller than I anticipated. I expected something huge, but it was a nice, personable event. The dogs were polite and playing together. It wouldn’t hurt to stay a few minutes.

We arrived at the same time as a couple German Shepherds. A dog barked at the gate. I tried to get Haley to go inside without letting the dog out. Being a princess, Haley feels that the gate or door has to be wide open before she can pass over the threshold. I pushed her through the small gap and tried to squeeze through, but the dog got out. The owner came and retrieved the dog and I walked away with Haley.

Most of the dogs there were big, but there were a handful of small dogs. Haley isn’t prone to interact with other dogs and sniffed around the tables because she knew that there was food on them.

After getting a dog biscuit and polishing it off, she went in search of another place with treats. Then she disappeared behind another table. I thought she was underneath the table, but when I searched for her, I found that she had made herself comfortable in a lady’s chair. The lady was one of the dog trainers and Haley used her charming skills to get several treats from her, even convincing her that the treats needed to be broken up into smaller pieces and hand fed. I just shook my head.

My neighbor’s mom’s dog was there. His name is Tito and he’s a four month old Shih Tzu-Chihuahua and a bundle of energy, never sitting still long enough for a pet. Despite being the same age as the Golden Retriever puppy, Tito quickly became the darling of the dog park, probably because he was so tiny and lightning fast.

There were drawings for prizes and even a trick contest. I thought about entering Haley into the contest, but I felt that her shake and speak were basic tricks. In hindsight, I think Haley would have done just fine. Several of the dogs were distracted and didn’t perform as well as they normally did when they were at home.

The contest winner was the most adorable black and white Pomeranian named Flower. I wasn’t surprised. Her cuteness alone would have won the contest.

Shortly after the contest, it was time to go. An hour and a half had passed that quickly? So much for staying only a couple minutes and leaving.

As we left, I called my mom and told her about how Haley had taken over the lady’s chair and somehow convinced her to dote on Haley. We agreed that it’s typical Haley behavior.

I plan on going back again this Thursday. This time I’m going to take Clara and Molly. I thought about taking all three Shih Tzus, but I decided that I didn’t want to try to keep an eye on three dogs. I just need to bathe them and give them haircuts, or at the very least trim the hair back from their eyes.

I hope this week will be just as much fun as last week. Or at least as relaxing as it was. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time, drag your human to the next doggy event. It will be good for them.

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Boring Update

I don’t have much to say, but I knew it was time to write. I’ve been out of it, probably due to being unwell and a touch of depression. However, the biggest problem is I’ve been battling fleas. I’ve been fortunate enough that my infestation hasn’t been as bad as others’ (a neighbor told me that her grandchildren can’t even go in the backyard due to all of the fleas), but it’s annoying.

Good news, I’m on the verge of getting rid of the little vampires from my home once and for all. My intention this year is to keep up with flea treatment even after the fleas are gone, even on into the winter. Make them see that my home is not to be messed with.

Then there’s the mice. Outside of parasites like fleas and tick, I rarely declare war on another living creature, let alone another mammal. I’ve declared war on the mice. They are kind enough not to chew on any wires (knock on wood), but they have been known to make their home in inappropriate places–the shelf that my computer speakers are on and the paper tray of my printer. They climb up my stove and poop on my counters. After evading the live trap that I set out, I realized that the only way to get rid of these nuisances is to kill them. I hate killing mice, but they have driven me to this extreme.

As for the dogs, they’re wonderful. I recently moved Buddy’s crate to the utility room so he can stay in the same room as his sisters and that was the best thing I have ever done for Buddy. Prior to the move, he would wake up early in the morning crying because he was lonely. Now, he and the girls sleep in and I’m the one that has to drag them out of bed rather than the other way around. I’ve also noticed that the girls seem to enjoy him more now.

There’s a wonderful peace that has settled on my little mixed species family. Everything goes smoothly now. I can’t complain. I wouldn’t say my life is perfect in society’s sense, but as far as I’m concerned, my life is fairly perfect right.

Now if only I can rid myself of the fleas and mice…

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. What has everyone else been doing? Hope all is going well with you and yours.

Until next time, knock on some wood for me…


Happy Gotcha (Adoption) Day, Buddy

One year ago today, I brought Buddy (then Ferguson) home. He has since become the sweetheart of the family and the neighborhood. I’ve regretted some decisions in my life, but I have to say that Buddy is not one of them.

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It was my intention to take him to PetSmart and get him a new toy or something, but that never happened. Perhaps next week after he’s had a bath…

Until next time, don’t forget to celebrate the day that your human came into your life.

Note: I got the term “Gotcha Day” from the Disney series Jessie. That’s what they called the day they adopted each of their children.


Guilt and Severed Ties

Sometimes I feel guilty for some of the stupidest reasons.

Today I feel guilty for leaving my dogs outside. It’s a pretty day–not too hot and not too cold. The sun is warm and the patio is shady. Needless to say it is a lot nicer outside than it is inside, so I put the dogs outside and I feel guilty.

Stupid huh?

I remind myself that they’d just be in the way while I clean the house. I tell myself that it’s just an excuse. That my dogs need to be in the house because that’s what a good dog owner is supposed to do. Never mind the fact that most of the dogs prefer to be outside rather than inside.

I’ll get over it.

Now onto a more serious issue. Nia.

Nia is thriving at her new home and when I sent her there I thought I’d never see her again. Unfortunately, I see her more often than I thought I would. I realize I said “unfortunately.” It wasn’t unfortunate until a couple of weeks ago.

Nia’s new owner has a tendency to give Nia more freedom than she really should have. I’ve told him time and time again that until she listens to him that he shouldn’t allow her to be off leash when he’s busy working on his truck. He doesn’t listen and sometimes, while he’s distracted, she’ll wander into the road, or onto other people’s properties, or on up to my house.

One particular day I decided to walk Buddy and Molly to the park. We enjoyed a revival and eventually walked back home. I decided that I’d walk the other three so they could get some exercise too. On our way home, we met up with Nia who tried to follow us home and ignored her owner when he called her back. Eventually she went back when she realized that we weren’t going anywhere. We went home and I decided not to walk the other three because Nia was on the loose.

Clara has gotten a bit chubby and needs regular walks and I figured that Nia was back home. So, against my better judgement, I leashed up Haley, Luna, and Clara and we left the house going toward the park. Nia was there and headed straight for Clara, attacking her. Luna, who will do whatever Nia does, also attacked Clara. I screamed for my neighbor, for Nia’s owner, but no one was around. I had to deal with these dogs by myself. I carried Nia while handling the leashes of Luna and Clara. Haley refused to go back to the house and I didn’t have enough hands to grab her too.

I put Luna and Clara in the house while leaving Nia outside. I put them in the backyard and Haley and I took Nia home. By this point in time, I was angry and frustrated. I didn’t blame Nia, but her owner. I put Nia in the backyard and told her owner that he needed to watch her closer because she attacked Clara. He apologized and as I walked home I regretted giving her to him rather than finding her a home far, far away from my house.

Clara, Luna, and Haley did end up getting their walk. We walked a different way and it was a relaxing walk. Luna and Clara were friends again. They walked beside each other, backing each other up when they “need” to bark at another dog, or cat, or squirrel.

I used to worry about Nia. I felt guilty about giving her away, telling myself that I didn’t try hard enough; that all they needed was time apart. That day I realized that Nia and Clara were never going to be friends again and that I had done the right thing by finding her a new home.

As much as I am annoyed at Nia’s owner and his lax dog ownership methods, Nia is genuinely happy at her current home. She’s put on weight and the wild look in her eyes is gone. She loves being held; she loves being with her people. She fills a need that they have and they fill a need that she has. It’s not the home that I think she should be in, but it’s the home that she needs and I realize that is a lot more important than my opinion.

Now if only he would learn to keep an eye on her and to close the gates after he’s finished mowing the lawn.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to the last couple months. School’s out and I finally have some time to write. Oh and I realized that I will have had Buddy exactly a year on June 1. I might take him to PetSmart and let him pick out a toy on that day…we’ll see though.

Until next time, keep an eye on your owners. They might stray too far away from you.


End of My Rope

I regret this morning. I regret not catching Clara soon enough. I regret dumping water on my dogs. I regret causing them any discomfort.

I regret ever bringing Nia into this house.

Back in December, Nia decided that she hates Clara. I hoped that it would go away with time, but it hasn’t. Things have escalated to the point that Clara no longer is defensive; she’s offensive; attacking Nia before Nia has a chance to attack her. Most of the time it is nothing serious, but sometimes it is.

This morning wasn’t serious, but it made me wonder. Will I ever have the peaceful house that I used to? Does the fact that I’m no longer on my depression/bipolar medicine have any bearing on my dogs’ behavior? Does Nia have a neurological issue which accounts for her constant pacing?

When Nia came to live with me, I realized that she had a bunch of restless energy. She was possessive of toys (something I’ve since worked with her on), she peed whenever someone wanted to pet her (yet another thing I’ve worked with her on), and she paces, never settling down; never relaxing.

She feels the need to keep moving. She doesn’t like being in laps. Human beings are just creatures that make her life easier. They throw the ball and feed her, but other than that Nia has no use for people. She constantly chews; toys stand no chance against her and if she can’t destroy a toy, she won’t have anything to do with it. She also doesn’t like if anyone else has a toy. She’ll gather all of the toys in one spot and lay on them, keeping everyone away from the toys.

As I write this, I’m beginning to wonder if Nia suffers from OCD. That might explain some of her behavior. That might even explain all of her behavior, except why she doesn’t like Clara, unless Clara did something to Nia.

Sigh.

I don’t want to get rid of Nia. I’m her third home. I know why her second home had to get rid of her, but I’m beginning to wonder if her behavior is why Nia was rehomed the first time. I don’t want to give up on Nia, but I have to ask myself, where do I draw the line? This morning’s fight didn’t even result in anything bad. It was actually more noise than anything else.

New action plan(s). 1) Determine if Nia has OCD or not. If she doesn’t, then we’ll go from there. If she does, determine what needs to be done. 2) Instead of keeping the girls in a rotation (Nia inside, Clara outside and reverse) put them in crates and keep them with me rewarding them when they’re quiet and being nice to each other. 3) Now that the weather is getting warmer, start taking them for walks/runs together. Preferably runs because that would keep them from fighting. 4) Resume Mommy-Puppy time where each dog gets undivided attention from me for about fifteen or twenty minutes.

Let’s see…this is the middle of February, I’ll give this until April 1 to see if there are any positive results. Who knows, maybe it was just a weather related thing and now that we’re having 60, 70, and 80 degree weather things might mellow out on their own. Wish me luck.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. I need all the help I can get. Also, if you’ve had this problem before, tell me about it.

Until next time please lay down…you’re making me nervous.


He Chose Me

THanks to his sisters, Buddy has developed a warped sense of humor when it comes to bedtime. After watching the girls refuse to come in at night, Buddy felt like he needed to put his own spin to the bedtime reluctance ritual and turned it into playtime.

He’ll start out on the porch and then run into the yard trying to get me to chase him. Not a problem on warm nights. Cold nights are a different story and require me to don appropriate attire. I know I didn’t/don’t have to indulge in this behavior, but there’s something fun and special about chasing a bear-like creature around the backyard.

He’s developed an arsenal of tricks when playing keep away. His favorite is to dash away when he hears the neighbor’s dogs barking. I feel like the dogs have this all planned out. You might think that I’m reading too much into it, but it never fails that one of the dogs will bark right when I’m about to grab Buddy’s collar. coincidence? I think not. I think they plot it the entire day.

A few days ago, it looked like history was about to repeat itself. It was a chilly night, too cold for a short-sleeved shirt, but too warm to expend the energy to go inside and get a jacket. I got all of the girls in the house and only Buddy remained. I crouched on the patio and inched my way toward Buddy, calling his name quietly.

Then it happened. One of Buddy’s friends barked. Buddy looked at the back of the yard. I knew I had lost and was ready to accept defeat. Either I was going to have to wait him out or go inside, get a jacket, and run him down.

The dog barked a second time and Buddy ran…

Toward me.

He allowed me to grab his collar and we went inside.

That was when I realized that over the past seven months my bond with Buddy has strengthened.

He chose me over his playmate.

He chose me over a game.

He chose me.

It was and still is a wonderful feeling.

Until next time, hug your bears and hug your dogs and if your dog is a bear or your bear is a dog hug it too.


Awaking from Hibernation

Hey Everyone. I know it has been a while. Last month my seizures started up again and I had to get back on seizure medication. If you haven’t been on seizure medicine, it makes you sleepy until your body gets used to it. Basically, last month when I wasn’t in class I was sleeping, ie I slept the month of September away.

Other than a couple seizures, everything has been going very well. Class is fun. This past week we’ve been working on logos for our businesses. I’ve learned how to draw and redraw using Adobe Illustrator. I try to challenge myself by making the things I draw and the things I redraw more and more complicated. My only wish was that I had the money to get Illustrator on my computer at home. Unfortunately, hospital bills are the priority. However, I only have 8-12 months left on the various bills so that’s exciting.

As for the pups, they’ve never been better. I think Buddy is enjoying this cooler weather. The girls don’t seem to mind it either. That is except Haley, but she’s a momma’s baby and knows that if she shivers I’ll take pity on her and bring her inside. Spoiled brat.

Going back to Illustrator, I want to get good enough so that I can create my own comic strip or graphic novel type thing. It would be about dogs–naturally. I have a lot of ideas, but I have to get better to materialize these ideas. Maybe by Christmas break…

Fall Break was Thursday and Friday of last week. I hung out with a couple of my friends on Thursday and relaxed on Friday. Today, I’m just watching YouTube videos because I can’t think of anything else I really want to do.

Part of me wants to do a mini album. But about what? This is my problem. I have to thoroughly think a project out before I can start on it. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes it is annoying. Sometimes I just want to do a random project and have no clue what I’m doing until I’m done. It’s just not in my personality. I need to step out of my creative comfort zone…one day…just not right now.

Well that’s about it. I’ll try to blog more often now that I’m awake more often.

Until next time…don’t let your sleeping owners lie.