Tag Archives: Living with 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.


Origins: Luna

The only reason I can think of why I looked on the animal shelter website was my puppy biological clock was ticking…again…as usual. If that wasn’t it, I don’t remember why I looked. Either way, the result was the same. I visited the animal shelter website to look at the dogs they had up for adoption.

I saw her, our eyes met…well my eyes met with her photograph. She was a dirty, scraggly, terrier type looking out from her pen at the camera. She looked so sad…so lost. My heart broke and I called the shelter to see if she was still available. They told me that her holding period wasn’t up and told me what day it would be. I vowed I would be there as soon as they opened that day.

That day came and I went to the shelter. I wasn’t able to get there right as they opened, but it was early in the day. I requested to look at the dog. They called her inside and closed the outside door so she wouldn’t run back outside. She was scared and wouldn’t come to me. I decided right then I’d adopt her.

The guys told me how it was difficult to catch. Apparently she ran them tired. They weren’t even sure she was a female or male, even though the website stated the dog was a female. Either way, the dog was coming home with me.

The adoption process was simple: go to the vet of my choice, get a spay voucher, then return to the shelter to pay the adoption fee (most of which would be refunded to me after she got fixed) and take her home. Some vets require payment as service, but this vet required payment ahead of time, I suppose as a collateral thing. I didn’t have the money right off, but they told me about Care Credit. I signed up, was approved, and paid. Then off to the shelter to get my dog.

I learned on the way home that she got car sick. I cleaned up the car and took her inside. I bathed her and while bathing her, I either encountered a tick or thought about ticks. That led to the word lunatic, which led to her name Luna. It worked on all levels, she was a white dog and–I learned later–she was crazy.

I introduced Luna to the other girls. They didn’t mind her and she didn’t mind them. She was skittish of me, though. I let her be, confident that she’d come around eventually.

Eventually didn’t come for two weeks. Up until that time, I had to be gentle, move slowly, and use quiet, encouraging words. She’d cower in a heap. I’d scoop her up and bring her inside.

Then she got fixed and she opened up. She became the friendliest dog I had ever met. She begged for attention, jumped for attention, and barked for attention. Clara, who had been unsure of her at first, played with her and I nicknamed them Clair De Lune (my favorite Classical song). They were my rambunctious twins, inseparable.

When she met my dad, she fell in love with him. She insisted that he give her attention. He obliged. They became good friends. There was one time that she bit his shoe, but that was because he came into the backyard from the gate and she was protecting her territory.

After seeing her abandon my lap in favor of a male family friend, I figured that Luna’s previous owner was a male. I imagined that he was doting on her; they were best friends. Then one day she got out of the yard and she couldn’t find her way back. He looked for her, but couldn’t find her. She ended up in the shelter where I adopted her. I wondered if her owner would see me walking her and recognize her. Though I had already bonded with her, and she with me, I knew that I would give her back in that situation.

It never happened. I’m neither glad nor disappointed. It is what it is. Luna is my baby and she will forever be my baby.

Luna still begs for attention…actually it’s more like she demands attention. She can’t stand when one of the other dogs is getting love and not her. Often I have to pet Luna and the other dog at the same time. Of course that gets complicated when a third dog decided that she wants attention too.

I’ve learned a lot about Luna in the five years I’ve had her.

  1. Luna is pack oriented. When she’s not with at least one of the other dogs, she is a nervous wreck. I’ve walked her by herself and she usually walks directly behind me and keeps her tail tucked between her legs. That tail goes up and she walks ahead whenever one or more of the other dogs accompany her on the walk.
  2. Luna is a follower. She does whatever the more “dominant” dogs do. She follows the crowd. Whatever the crowd is doing, she’ll do too.
  3. Luna is hyper. Enough said.
  4. Luna makes a good, and annoying, watchdog. Everything is worthy of being barked at: squirrels, moles, swaying trees, the wind, nothing…Nothing gets past her. I try not to let her outside after ten because she’ll run outside and start barking just because she wants to bark.
  5. Luna is a great comforter. Whenever I have a panic/anxiety attack or am just not feeling well, I get Luna or have my boyfriend bring Luna to me. She sits on my lap, puts her paw on my nose and does whatever she can to make me smile and laugh. Once I start laughing, she gets excited and starts jumping around and licking my face. She is the only one that I have this bond with.

Luna annoys me something awful with her constant barking, attention-seeking, and jumping. I often tell her that I hate her and try to “give” her to my mom. She’s so frustrating sometimes. Yet, at the end of the day, I love that dog. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. Although an off button would be nice.

Until next time, pet me…pet me…pet me…pet meeeeeeeeee


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.


Yesterday…My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 32 years old. It was a fun day of laughter, eating, shopping, and in general hanging with my family and my boyfriend. That’s right, I have a boyfriend. I finally freed myself of my ex-husband and I’m starting a new life.

Concerning my health, I finally got the answers I was seeking for, though it wasn’t the answers that I anticipated. I found out that all of my panic/anxiety attacks, collapsing, confusion, and many other symptoms stemmed from Bipolar Disorder. I had a feeling that I was bipolar, but I was never sure and said that “I suffer from Depression and I have diagnosed bipolar.” Well now it’s diagnosed.

So now what? Well I just continue my life and keep myself on a routine and all should go well. I know that I’ll have the occasional relapse, but that’s to be expected.

You’re probably wondering about the dogs. They’re all great. Haley is having some problems with her allergies, but that happens every summer. I just make sure I give her some allergy medicine every day or so. Other than that, she’s still the demanding brat that she’s always been.

Molly, Clara, and Luna are the same: bratty, playful, wild and loving.  They can’t get enough attention, especially Molly. She craves attention, begs for it, seeks it out. Typical Molly, but that’s okay.

Buddy is his usual self, easy-going and sometimes aloof. He loves being outside and hates to come in, even though it is sometimes in the upper nineties. Most of the time I leave him outside, but sometimes, if it is really hot, I make him come in the house. He grumbles some, but overall he obeys.

There’s a new addition to the family. Her name is Scarlette. She’s a Blue Heeler mix. The mix is probably American Pit Bull Terrier. When she smiles, she looks like a happy Pit Bull. Whatever she is, I love her even though she is crazy and gets jealous if I’m paying attention to her brother or sisters.

Sometime over the next couple years I’m going to get a Pomeranian or a pair of them. I know, what am I supposed to do with seven or eight dogs. I haven’t decided, but by then I’ll have it all figured out. Or at least I hope. I just need to save up the money and with no job, it might take a while. I guess I’ll have to start making crafts and selling them.

Anyway, that’s the Reader’s Digest version of what’s been going on for the past eight months. As always, I’m going to try to write more often, but we’ll see how that turns out.

Well, I’m off to go do…something…I don’t know what.

Just remember, make sure your human gives you as much attention as you demand, and attention only stops when you make the decision.


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…


Nia, pt 2

On the fourth of this month, I took Clara and Nia for a walk, hoping that a pack walk would clear the tension. Hey, I’m not 100% for Cesar Millan, but some of his tactics work. The pack walked helped Nia and Luna. Why wouldn’t it help Clara and Nia.

I kept them from fighting, most of the time. Sometimes, they even walked side by side and didn’t even cast a glance at each other. I’d correct Nia when she thought about biting Clara’s backside. It was going smoothly. Once at the park, I realized that Clara shook anytime Nia was near her. I also noticed that Nia waited until Clara’s back was turned before thinking about attacking. That’s why Clara attacked Nia sometimes, to keep from being bitten from behind. Nia couldn’t take Clara head on and went the coward’s route.

We walked home. The girls got into a fight. I just ran them. They couldn’t fight and keep up at the same time. Then I saw them, two men close to my age getting out of a car. One asked me if they were Shih Tzu; asked me if I had puppies. I said “no,” but turned aside to talk to them. During the course of the conversation, I explained that I was looking for a new home for Nia. It just popped out.

He was more than happy to take the dog. If only he could convince the mom. She declined at first, but relented. The family had Shih Tzu in the past and apparently Nia looked like one that a family member had. The mom said  she’d give it a week. I went home with Clara.

Nia escaped two or three times that day, there were small gaps in the fence that looked impossible for any dog larger than a Chihuahua to get through, but Nia got through, and came back to my house. The new owner was distraught. I explained to him that the same thing happened to me when I first got Nia. I told him to give her time. By the next day they were bonded and he thanked me for giving him the dog.

I found out that his mom fell in love with her. His mom works at night and sleeps during the day. Nia sleeps with her. It was perfect, except Nia kept escaping and coming back here to make sure I didn’t forget about her. It had become a game. I think we got the escaping problem under control.

Nia is a different dog there than she was here and at her former house. Here (and at her former home), she paced the house, looking to get into trouble; to get to one of the other dogs. He told me she doesn’t pace much at their house. That was when it was confirmed that Nia needed to be an only dog. Or at least an only female dog.

I feel guilty on so many levels. I feel guilty that I had to get rid of Nia. I feel guilty because I didn’t realize that Nia had special needs (and might have a touch of OCD).

At the same time, I am so glad that Nia found a place where she can be the center of attention and not feel like she’s competing with another dog. Plus, she lives down the street, so I get to see her quite often. I’m glad that Clara has gone back to her easy-going self. I’m glad that both dogs are happy. because that’s what I really wanted in the end.

So, now I have five dogs again. My house is quiet; the tension is gone. Everything has gone back to normal or as normal as a multi-dog household can be. I can’t complain…

So until next time, listen to your heart, snooze all day in that patch of sunshine.