I live in a sea of estrogen.
Two dogs; two cats. A woman.
Then there was the other male.
Another dog named D. J. Aka ‘the boy’, Don Juan, Boo-ba-do, Boo, Boob.
He kept the females in line. If the other dogs took to barking at miscreants outside (who had the indecency to walk down the public sidewalk in front of the our town house) he would bring up the rear, barking from under the toilet!
His other jobs were stealing others food, and inspecting hind ends for cleanliness.
He has been losing his hearing, sense of smell and sight for some time, making more like a Roomba than a dog. And he loved falling asleep wherever you needed to be!
He just turned 16!
The past couple of days he simply refused to eat.
He left us last night.
He was a good dog…
Herein resides one of three dogs. The only male. Sixteen years old Uneutered. And he’s mostly quite and gentle. He spends his time sleeping, and between naps and chasing the female puppy around. Who has been spayed.
But there’s a problem. He’s never been ‘trained’ to go outside, or use the paper. We got him as a rescue. He will make a valiant effort, though.
So, we place a ‘dog dydee’ on him.
And he goes #2 on the paper (mostly), and #1 where he wishes, mostly on the paper – in the dydee.
The problem is he’s now largely deaf and blind.
Actually, that’s not the problem.
THE problem is someone needs to change the used dydee. And my roommate is recovering from her second shoulder surgery. And I have arthritis and a fused right hip. Who would think chasing (and catching) around a 16 year old chi-hooa-hooa would be difficult?
Take my word for it, it is.
But you said “he is largely deal and blind”?
Remember the Jurassic Park lesson of Dr. Alan Grant about the Tyrannosaurus Rex?
… during the “main road attack” he tells Lex to stay still because
“[the tyrannosaur’s] vision’s based on movement.”
Well, that’s D.J.!
I try to sneak up on him when he’s asleep. Failing that, when he’s not looking at me. If he see’s me, the chase is on!
The other day (in the hallway) I was advancing from the rear, when he turned his head. I froze, until he turned away again, then pounced! He squealed and barked for a second, then I carted him to a secure surface to change the wet for the dry.
After much squealing and thrashing – SUCCESS!
Dr. Grant, we salute you!
But trying, nevertheless.
With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.
And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!
That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.
I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.
The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores. Because, they, too, want attention.
Or just to be in the way!
The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs. I know, not livestock. But just going down them can be painful. And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game. (Does this count as a second hurdle?)
Hurdle Two – the Cage. (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!) We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs. We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel. And that worked for many years. But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished. And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely. This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking. One yelp every eight seconds or so. ALL NIGHT. Or until he finally falls asleep. The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300! Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.
Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard. No plan is perfect.
(Back to the cage) We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs. They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing. And we don’t like that.
SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved. She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight. HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat! Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!
Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again. No, she’s not gone away. If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute! Which means flopping over and belly rubs! (the cat, not me) I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant. 😛
She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box. She always lets me know. But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay! 🙂
Okay, okay! I know. Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)
And four is not twelve. Perhaps I need to rethink this. But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it. 😛
A dog whose name “Dash” sounded too much like the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group prompted a security scare at a California bank.
The alarm was raised after Dash’s owner Bruce Francis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lives in San Francisco, tried to make an online payment to the person who walks his pitbull mix.
Francis wrote “Dash” in the memo line for the check, panicking officials at Chase Bank who mistook it for “Daesh” and canceled the payment, local news reports said.
The bank also flagged the payment to the US Treasury Department which sent a note to Francis asking him to “explain what Dash means.”
“I thought to myself, ‘great, they’re stopping the world’s stupidest terrorist,” Francis told the local KTVU station after the incident earlier this month.
In spite of the mix-up, Francis said he is taking the incident in his stride and didn’t mind the inconvenience.
His check for walking “Dash” has since been approved.
Ah, I remember the old days, when Bob Hall would write things nonsensical on the memo lines of checks – like ‘for cocaine purchase’, or ‘for gay sex’. My guess is those days are gone, what with corporate and governmental nosiness.
PS – For the unitiated, DAESH is what ISIS or ISIL calls themselves.
(Sadly, not the exceptional book by Paul Brickhill, nor the film based on it by John Sturgis)
I rent-a-room from my ex-gf J. We dated a few years ago for about four years, and have remained friends. Hell, she offered me a room in which to land when I lost my home!
The point being, we have been acquainted for going on eleven years(!) And I with her menagerie – a smattering of chihuahuas and cats. Some of whom have passed on (Mike was a terrific boy kitty!). Others remain, and continue to age.
Fooling us into complacency.
The drill used to be to make certain the gate from the back yard into the parking lot was secure, because DYLAN could escape. And has.
When I first met Dylan (which I privately spell Dillon – gun folk will get it), she was three, and very animated and active.
And she did get loose a couple of times, running willy-nilly, constantly checking for pursuers over her shoulder and laughing. She was a rescue dog, and had probably lived on the street for some time. Of course, the main fear was she’d run into the street and get killed.
Now, she’s going on 15-years-old, and has an arthritic back leg. Spends most of her time sleeping, sometimes with one eye pealed for the cats or the puppy. She moves kinda slow.
We were alerted by the (evil) HOA to keep our back gate unlocked (an impossibility, due to the spring-loaded lock) lest they need access to make ‘authorized’ repairs and improvements. For a specific three day period. And we were used to the gate being closed and secure.
So we had to leave it ajar for the three days.
I wasn’t worried. Dylan could barely walk, and D.J. (the happy boy idiot dog) wouldn’t leave, regardless. And Lola (the puppy) generally used paper inside by the back door. (She was a showgirl, ya know!)
Part of the morning routine was to check the backyard for maintenance folk, close the gate, THEN let the critters out. But the habit, based on years of programming, was just let them out.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
I let them out, then looked up to see the gate still ajar about a foot. I wasn’t worried.
Then, Dylan looked at me and bolted out the gate like a shot! I quickly ran (well, relatively quickly) and called to her. There she was, as if she were again three, running away, looking over her shoulder at me.
I let D.J. back inside, secured Lola in her kennel and yelled to J that Dylan was loose. She ran out back with her car keys. I searched the opposite direction on foot.
J. is asthmatic. Going to her car is her best bet. I’m crippled. Hobbling slowly after a very fast
puppy old lady dog is the best I could do.
Dylan did her best to stay about 60 feet ahead of me, even taking time for a ‘rest stop’ – just to mock my pursuit! J. drove around the parking lot slowly, searching. After about 15 minutes, I chased her to Judy, who scooped her up into her car and went home!
She ended up running a few hundred yards. Which I ended up walking. Slowly and painfully.
The important things are Dylan is back home safe, Judy is breathing okay, and I have additional pain medication.
Here is Dylan, after her little ‘adventure’.
I generally do not allow the livestock into my room. Because of mild allergies and annoyances – as it is my ‘sanctuary’.
HOWEVER, the ‘kitten’ Belle (who is now over one year; officially a cat) does sometimes get in. She is generally friendly and loving (except the whole trying-to-trip-me-on-the-stairs thing). And there is something soothing about petting a cat and hearing her purr.
BUT, she does like to explore, and find mischief. Like going to my desk and retrieving wrapped sugar-free cough drops as toys. Which she then drops to the floor, making them dog fodder – should they get in. And for me to step on, later.
The biggest annoyance, though, is as my computer is open on my desk – she walks on and sometimes lays on the keyboard! When this happens, two things occur:
The other morning, I began my usual rituals ending with sitting at my desk and starting to do my blog. Suddenly, it became VERY clear that anything I typed (No, TRIED to type) wasn’t working! It was as if the keyboard were haunted! Periods became <, even when the caps lock was off! Highlighting text (to cut and paste into my blog software) became very finicky and non-responsive. I actually began thinking I would not be able to use my PC to blog on and would have to resort to my tablet, which would be much more difficult.
Much cursing, whining and praying ensued.
After roughly 45 minutes, some combination of keyboard tweaks I tried actually WORKED! I was able to do the blog as I usually do, complete with correct punctuation! HUZZAH! Of course, I’ve no idea how I fixed things, exactly…
The plan, now, is to remove the wireless keyboard to an undisclosed location, if I am not using it, lest the kitten invade again.
And to figure out how she’s getting to those websites.
NO, not those ones!
correction – the COW wash!
SO…I come downstairs having concluded a short nap the other day, and I hear the water running.
NOT in the washer; NOT the downstairs bathroom toilet refilling.
But, running. Forcefully.
And I knew no one else was downstairs.
This warranted immediate further investigation.
And THIS is what I saw…
(This had been sitting, with additional bric-a-brac, on the window ledge above the sink.)
Curiouser and curiouser…
Further forensic investigation determined the kitten (who has recently discovered she can occupy the kitchen counter in our absence) had tried to climb up into the window sill, and knocked down the folk-art cow into the sink.
Then, being frightened by her action, she rushed to escape, turning on the faucet in so doing.
No permanent harm done, to the art or the kitten.
And, she didn’t mean to…
She’s not like the BAC (big-a**-cat) who is conspiring with the puppy to kill me!
(AND, if she damages roomie’s folk art, it’s no skin off my nose!)
Some time back, I wrote regarding the cat, and her predilection to walk, stand and suddenly change direction in front of a cripple (THIS cripple) whilst I trying to descend the staircase. Or walk anywhere. I came to the conclusion that she was trying to murder me, and, that if I were found at the bottom of the stairs, she should be considered a feline of interest!
Of course, as she has gotten older (and larger – resembling an 18″ long beanbag) these attempts have lessened.
Lulling me into a false sense of security, as though I’d been forgotten.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Enter into this equation the puppy dog. Now just over a year old, a wiggly, wriggly, jumpy, licky, all manner of puppy.
False sense, I’m tellin’ ya!
The other day, in a surprise search of her kennel, THIS was discovered:
(For the uninitiated) a shiv! A makeshift knife, manufactured through gnawing on a piece of disposed-of plastic cutlery.
Of course, she denies any complicity in the making of this implement, and continues to be all licky. As if she and the cat aren’t in this together! (She LOVES the cat!)
SO, if I’m found at the bottom of the stairs with such an implement imbedded in me, you know whom to question – both the cat AND the puppy!
I’M WATCHING YOU!
(Seriously, pets are the greatest! Just ask Brigid.)
In short, she is spectacular.
One reviewer said this of the book:
Here is the story of a jet pilot, a leader of men. A woman. And her life path with joy, pain, and pathos befitting any romance.
Except this is not about the love of a man. It’s about the love of a dog.
But not just any dog.
Barkley. Black Lab extraordinaire.
I think it was George Carlin who said owning a dog was automatically a sad proposition. Because with dogs not living 70 years like we humans, the outcome is pretty much a forgone conclusion.
But author L.B. Johnson takes us on her journey, his journey, their journey with both solemn and joyful remembrance:
“I will remember him, standing there in the light. the reconciled luminous-less of angels in stained glass, their form, a four legged one, lacking wings, but not their saving Grace. The light upon him was so bright, that when I looked at it, the body of the dog and face had clarity, almost brilliance, but without form or dimension, no longer animal, no longer flesh and heart and bone, but simply the brilliant inherent capacity to love as fully and as freely as possible.
That is the way I wish to remember him. His Light.”
If you’ve ever loved a pet, read this book. If you’ve never loved a pet, read this book. If you are not even a pet person, read this book.
And understand unconditional love can, and does, go in both directions.
Go and get The Book of Barkley. I gain nothing from hawking the book – FTC, get your own book and dog!
The littlest of the three chee-hooa-hooas, Lola, is now six months old, and has grown from under two pounds four months ago, to a powerhouse of almost SIX pounds! 🙂
She successfully survived her hysterectomy (with a barely visible scar) and now is content terrorizing the large boy dog (DJ), who is probably 15-20 pounds. Yes, he’s a throwback, every genetic trait one doesn’t ask for in a chihuahua. Including massive size.
But, he’s a big, stupid, happy lummox and we love him.
Lola is VERY bright. Try to lure her into a trap (like her kennel for the night) and she’ll fall for the bait. Exactly ONCE. And never again.
She also has an Early Warning System, if she’s penned up and wants out to ‘do her business’. We didn’t train her to do this – she trained us.
I’m usually awake around 0600-0700. Shower, dress, morning stuff and blog. And when the mistress-of-the-manor is absent, Lola bivoacs in MY room.
A Sample Morning
0600 – I Awaken. Kissed by a tiny dog who has been watching me wake up, who then curls up in my armpit and snuggles back to sleep. Then she produces 61,000 btus, forcing me to arise. (Well, that and my impatient bladder!)
0605 – Shower. Lola must be kenneled, lest she join me in the shower. She doesn’t require a bath daily. I do. Besides, I might accidentally step on her!
0615 – Dress. Lola remains kenneled, half or completely asleep, or sometimes therein quietly watching me check my email and blog.
UNLESS, NATURE CALLS HER!
Me, sitting at the computer, tiny kennel on the adjacent bed, containing tiny dog. All is quiet, except occasional keystrokes and the ever-present fan. (This IS AZ, after all!)
Suddenly there is a tiny, tiny bark. Not particularly high-pitched, but very slight in volume, as if distant outside. Usually no response from me. (We designate this DOGCON 3)
Then, a slightly louder bark, perhaps 20 seconds later. This is obviously from inside the house; inside my room. More apparent urgency (DOGCON 2)
(Followed by, if I choose to ignore it…)
DOGCON 1 – a loud, piecing, deafening bark, threatening immediate negative consequences unless she is allowed paper access IMMEDIATELY! This usually also agitates my chronic tinnitus!
My usual response is to get up from my desk, open the kennel, and she jumps up to my chest, sometimes my shoulder – and I carry her to the bathroom, containing the all-important morning paper.
And all is shortly right with the World!
(Until the tiny kitten Belle is heard screaming outside the bedroom door to be included in the blog process (aka walking willy-nilly across the keyboard). Please note, I usually learn from this and ignore her!)