Life With Sharon, or, How Much Can a Dog Take?

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"Exposition"

April 20th 2010 9:34 pm
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Mom's an Engish teacher; the exposition in literature is the necessary background the reader needs to understand the story. Mom met me for the first time in a cemetery; I don't know if that has any significance or not - maybe it means "till death do us part." Anyway, she sort of liked the looks of me and I went home with her - in a crate! Well, I didn't put up with that for very long; I let her know that I had claustrophobia and when she opened the door to comfort me I burst out onto her lap. Wiggles and kisses later, she was convinced - no crate necessary.

From the very start, I was determined to make myself indispensible to her well-being. It was a little rough going at first till she explained clearly where I was supposed to go to the bathroom, but, even though I still have an occasional lapse of memory, we've now come to an agreement on that subject. I show her how much I LOVE everything we do: I LOVE going in the car, I LOVE coming home to the same place I left, I LOVE going for walks, I LOVE my dinner and treats and marrow bones, I LOVE my Salvador Dali bunny, and I give lots of nose bumps and kisses to show her how much I LOVE her.

The first night at my new home, she thought I'd sleep in a DOG bed in her bedroom! I made it very clear that that was not acceptable, not even thinkable! I jumped right up on her bed and snuggled up. There was no further discussion about sleeping arrangements. She did have to get me some stairs to get up and down from the bed, though. Those deep pillow-top mattresses are pretty high for a short guy.

The only thing I would like more of is FOOD. Just because I don't have a wasp waist, Mom thinks she has to ration my food. I even took swimming lessons for twelve weeks to work off some pounds, but it didn't work. So now I'm doomed to diet.

 

Travelin' Dog

April 20th 2010 9:52 pm
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Mom has decided she wants to take me to Paris with her. I don't know... that's quite a change from living with a hoarder in a house with 80 other dogs. Of course, Paris is a very dog-friendly town... I'd be able to go with her almost everywhere. But getting there is a challenge. I'd have to be in a CRATE under a seat for 9 hours. I may have mentioned that I'm no lightweight, so that's a pretty tight squeeze for me, not to mention my claustrophobia. I can't decide whether it's worse to travel or if it's worse to be separated from her for three months. I know it would break her heart to be without me for that long.

Mom thinks that I'll gradually get used to being in the crate if we work at it little by little every day. She uses treats to encourage me, which I LOVE, but it's kind of counter-productive since I can just barely fit into the crate as it is. I have a feeling that once I agree to this, it's going to be major diet and exercise for me until we leave.

 

Dog-gone too long!

April 22nd 2010 8:40 pm
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I'm pooped! Who knew that one of my favorite activities would become an endurance test! Mom asked us (me and my BFF Tanner) if we wanted to go in the car today, but she didn't tell us how long it would be before we could get out again. Between a couple of shopping stops where SHE got to go shopping and we got to WAIT and the long ride to the final destination, which was NOT a dog park, we had to be in the car for three hours, with only one potty break. At least I got a really big dog biscuit when she stopped at Cruisin'Coffee - they give much bigger biscuits than the bank or the pharmacy - and when Tanner didn't eat his quickly enough, I helped him finish it. Mom tried to hide part of one in the front door pocket, but when she was out of the car, I found it! The smell of fresh crumbs on my breath was a dead give-away, though, and she told me I wasn't going to get any dinner! I wasn't worried, though, I knew it was just a bluff.

Well, after more shopping, and driving, and shopping again, and one more potty break where there weren't even any good smells, we finally headed for home. Thank Dog, she took us for a walk after dinner (I did get some), so we could get some of the kinks out. Now I'm taking a nap, too tired even to play revolving bunny.

 

Wha' the ...

April 27th 2010 8:58 pm
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I'm worried. Today Mom was busy, busy, busy. Vaccuuming, de-cluttering, wrapping and putting things in boxes, moving furniture... she hardly paid any attention to me at all, even though I followed her around all day looking very anxious. She didn't sit down in our chair at all - something unusual is going on and I don't like the looks of it - too much activity is not a good sign. There also have been strange people in the house recently and I don't like strangers very much. I usually just go and lie very close to Tanner on his pillow when there are strangers in the house and watch them carefully from a distance.

Tanner is not having a good day. He's hardly eaten a thing, even when Mom tried to tempt him with liver pate. He didn't want to go in the car today, and, even though I'm always excited to go, I don't like staying in the car alone. I start to hyperventilate. Mom spent a long time lying on the bed with Tanner, stroking him and rubbing his ears. I get a little jealous when she does that, but I know it makes him feel better.

Mom keeps trying to encourage me to become more independent and not to rely on Tanner so much. I know she worries about Tanner and also about how lonely I would be without him. But I don't want to think about that...

 

P'tooie!!!

April 29th 2010 8:49 pm
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Sometimes a dog just has to be clear in his message. Today, just before dinnertime, my tummy was a little upset so I threw up on the living room carpet. Twice. Mom had to get out her Little Green ProHeat Bissell carpet cleaner and said, like she always does, "Thank goodness for this little carpet cleaner!" and clean it up. (I really like the L.G.P.B. carpet cleaner, too, because it always saves me from a scolding when I make a mistake on the carpet.) Anyway, as I said, this happened just at dinner-time, so Mom decided I should just have DRY KIBBLE for dinner so as not to further upset my stomach. What she doesn't get is that my stomach wasn't upset any more - that's what vomiting is for - DUH! Well, I just took a big mouthful of that DRY KIBBLE, walked over and dropped it at her feet. I think she got the message.

 

Goodbye...

May 6th 2010 9:32 pm
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This is a very sad day for me. My BFF Tanner is gone and I am alone. Today Mom could tell that the pain was too great without any hope of getting better. Dr. Jordan and a helper came to the house and gave him a shot which didn't hurt. Mom sat with his head in her lap and stroked him and cried him to sleep. I was beside him on his bed with my bunny. I don't like the car rides so much now because I'm afraid of being left alone. But I'm glad that Tanner is chasing rabbits over the rainbow bridge, free of pain and pills, but we will miss him so...

 

Prince Tanner

May 10th 2010 4:44 pm
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I wanted to share some pictures of my BFF Tanner in his better days, when he was feeling good and liked to goof off. He would also tear around the living room (hard to get a photo of that) in tight circles for about 5 minutes, somehow avoiding all Mom's precious decor. I guess he was used to a circular track, but must have thought it was really compressed!

I went out to help Mom in the yard today - we pruned trees and pulled weeds. I had to be on my leash (grrr) because I like to explore outside the yard and she doesn't want me to. You know how Moms worry - but my yard is no fun. I already know all the smells - I made them myself.

On Saturday Mom took me in the car with her friend and her friend's dog, Poochini. Poochini didn't like me at first and wasn't shy about telling me so, but when the Moms got out of the car, all we had was each other, so we managed to work out our differences. Mostly we just ignored each other, but it was nice to have company in the car again. The Moms took us for a really long walk along the boardwalk to Boulevard Park. I had very good manners meeting all the dogs that were on the walk, but Poochini growled and snapped at everyone. Poochini weighs about 3 pounds, so most of the other dogs just looked out of the corner of their eye and said, "Yeah... right." I like meeting other dogs, it's just people I have a problem with. I'm not really sure I can trust them, so I'm very cautious at first... and second... well, actually for quite a long time. I like to stand behind Mom when strangers are around.

I'm sending loving thoughts to Tanner, waiting at the Rainbow Bridge.

 

Patch's Not-So-Excellent Adventure

May 11th 2010 6:43 pm
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I'm OK! But this is a day I won't soon forget. Mom left me home alone this morning at 8:00 for the first time since Tanner passed away and I panicked. I'm not sure what time it was when I found a way out of the yard and went to look for her. I went to the park and a lot of people saw me and called to me, but you know how I feel about strangers, so I ran away. Apparently they called the police, because Mom was able to track me (it just took her a dawg-gone long time to catch up to me!). A lady told her she had seen me around the Heritage Apartments, but when she didn't find me there, she called the police again, and they told her someone had spotted me heading down the Hampton Rd. toward Northwood. She was incredulous because that's out in the country! She said, "Are you sure it was a LITTLE black-and-white dog?" So she drove down the Hampton Rd. AND the Northwood Rd. AND back again, and stopped at two places to ask if they had seen me. One said no and his dogs hadn't either, so she knew she had gone too far. She drove way back to the park and started over again, this time stopping at a place where she saw some people coming around from the back of place that looked a field office. A young man said, Yes, he had seen a little dog who was going down the road and then went into a raspberry field. So Mom said she drove into the field and walked and walked, and the young man and his wife and brother helped her look for me. I was lying in the grass, on the other side of a drainage ditch, too exhausted to go on after swimming across the ditch when I heard her call my name. All I could do was raise my head, but she saw me and told me to stay there. Like I could move! The young man, our hero, whose name was DOUG DAVIS, took off his shoes and shirt and waded into the thigh-high muck, came across the chest-high water in the ditch and rescued me. Mom and I were so happy, but I think we were both in shock. We were also very stinky - do you know what's in a drainage ditch? in cow country? Among other things, fertilizer in its raw form. I hope Doug was able to get all the stink off, but I know that I've had two baths and I still have something of an "aura." Mom used a loofah on herself and threw away her shirt. I don't think it smells that bad - I would have rolled in it anyway, but Mom's going to make an appointment with the groomer tomorrow.

By the way, for dinner I got...CHICKEN!!! in bed...by hand.

Well, Mom learned her lesson. She won't ever let me out of her sight again unless she knows I can't possibly escape. That's OK with me - my legs are tired and my pads are sore. An eight-hour walk is too much for an old, fat dog like me!

 

Thank Dog for Rimadyl!

May 13th 2010 10:02 pm
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I'm finally starting to feel normal two days after my misadventure, but, boy, was I stiff and sore from my very long walk. I did a lot of sleeping and groaned a little whenever I had to get up or down. I'm starting to recover my good humor and playfulness - it sure is good to be home! Mom's trying to get me used to going in the car again - she takes me for short drives and sometimes lets me get out with her and other times leaves me in the car alone, but only for a short time and scatters treats around the car to take my mind off being left alone. I'm gradually getting better, but I'm always REALLY glad to get back home again.

Today we went to see Grandma in the nursing home; all the grandmas there want to pet me because they really miss their own dogs, so I try to be friendly even though it's hard. They reach out their fingers and I lick them a little. They talk to me in soft voices and I know I'm safe. I especially like going there right after they've had lunch so I can help them clean up under the tables.

Tomorrow Mom says I can help her work in the yard while some strangers are working inside our house. She says we're having an Open House on Saturday, whatever that is. I'm a little concerned because if the house is open that might mean that strangers can come in. Mom says we have to do something about my fear of strangers - if I hadn't been afraid to ask for help when I was lost, I might have gotten home a lot sooner.

 

Spa Day

May 21st 2010 5:46 pm
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I AM GORGEOUS! I had to wait a long time for my grooming day after I ended up in the drainage ditch - good thing Mom got most of the gunk off right away. I have a lot of empathy for the animals caught in the oil spill!

Mom posted some pictures of me with my new haircut - LOOKIN' GOOOD! I am so-o-o relaxed after my spa day, as you can see in one of my pictures. My pal Poochini had a hair day today, too. Mom kind of shuttled us back and forth.

Mom's thinking about looking for a friend for me, now that Tanner is gone. I'm so afraid of riding in the car alone, but I do feel better when Poochini is with me. I'd like a pal, I just want to be sure that I won't get any less attention with someone new in the house.

I'd write more, but I'm still kind of sleep-y...

 
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