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

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Patch in Paris

July 14th 2010 7:15 pm
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Mom's been talking about Paris again. The big challenge is getting me there. After bringing home the terriers in the cabin of the plane, Mom is re-thinking trying to squeeze me under the seat for nine hours. Now she thinks it would be better for me if I traveled in a crate in the hold. I'd have more room to stand and move around, and the hold is pressurized and temperature controlled. Only thing is, we'd be separated and I know she'd really worry about me. There's also the time before loading and unloading the baggage (me). I wonder if anyone out there has faced this problem. I know we'd like some advice from someone who's been through this before.


The Rrraspberry Festival

July 17th 2010 9:50 pm
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Woof! Mom surprised me today! This morning she went for a bike ride with Aunt Connie and was gone for a long time. When she finally came home, she fed me dinner and then told me we were going to the Raspberry Festival in town. Well, I don't know what raspberries are and I've never been to a festival, but I sure was glad I was going with Mom! First we picked up Poochini and Aunt Connie, and then we drove for just a few minutes before we stopped and got out again. I was ecstatic! I didn't have to stay in the car! We walked about a block and I started to hear really loud music and started seeing a lot of people and other dogs. Some were walking around, some were sitting and listening to the very loud music (which kind of scared me at first) and nearly everybody was eating something. The tantalizing smells teased my sensitive olfactory glands. We sat on the grass and listened to the music - Mom said it was jazz. All I know it was really loud! Some little kids wanted to pet me but I wasn't feeling very secure, so Mom had to tell them I was too shy to be petted by strangers. Poochini barked ferociously at everybody - human and canine alike -but I was quiet and sat behind Mom until I got used to things. Pretty soon, when I saw nothing was going to hurt me, I let my tail come up and started to sniff around a bit for bits of kettle corn and hot dog buns.

There were dogs everywhere - pug puppies, golden retrievers, really great danes, chihuahuas, oodles of poodles - even two shih tzus with haircuts that were really short except for their long ears and tail. I never did like that look - reminds me of a mullet.

Mom kept telling me what a good job I was doing, being brave, keeping my tail up. Soon we walked a block or two so Mom and Aunt Connie could get an ice cream cone. Walking in a crowd is not my favorite thing to do - lots of shoes to dodge and wheels of all kinds: strollers, walkers, wheelchairs - it can be hazardous being only 10 inches tall. On the way back, I was careful to walk behind Mom and let her run interference for me. I was pretty happy to jump back in the van when we got there, but Mom was very proud of the way I had handled the noisy crowd and crazy antics of humans. She said I was going to do just fine in Paris. Patch in Paris - imagine that!



July 27th 2010 10:12 pm
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I'm sick of dieting! No cookies, no bites off Mom's plate, no biscuits at the drive-up windows... 'til YESTERDAY! I had to stay in the car for a long time while Mom went to a meeting and when she came back she said that I had been such a good boy that we would both have a treat (I'm not sure why SHE deserved one). So we went to Cruisin' Coffee where she ordered a mocha, but she didn't order anything for me, so I had to get on her lap and look out the window with my most appealing, expectant expression. Nothing happened. So, I put my feet on the car door and stretched out as far as I could, trying to attract some attention. When the coffee girl came back she said, "Oh, do you want a biscuit?" Du-uh. She asked Mom if I should have a half biscuit or a whole one and Mom (LOVE HER!) said that I deserved a whole one. YESSS! Cruisin' Coffee ROCKS!

I know I should have savored it and made it last, but I couldn't help myself - I chewed it up and gobbled it down before Mom pulled out of the parking lot!


Mom Knows Best???

August 1st 2010 6:27 pm
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OMD! I thought humans were the high-intelligence mammals! Let me tell you about the last couple of days when the decision-maker in the family apparently had a bad case of brain-fade.

On Friday we went to Starbucks for Mom's mocha fix and it was too hot to leave me in the car, so she thought no one would notice if she just casually walked in with me, and no one did until I peed on the floor in front of the counter while she was ordering her low-fat very berry coffee cake. Then when the man in front of us stepped in it, well, it all hit the fan! Mom was unbearably embarrassed, there was a lot of uncertainty about who was going to clean it up and then...the manager came out. To her credit, she kept a smile on her face all the time she was explaining about the rules of the Health Department, and someone FINALLY came out with a mop bucket, and we paid our bill and skedaddled out of there, apologizing all the way. (Later we gave them a big tip.)

Problem was, Mom forgot to let me relieve myself before going into a strange place - she knows how nervous I get.

The next day was even worse! Because I've been a stay-at-home dog and Mom wants to get me used to new situations (e.g. Starbucks), she decided to put me in the shopping cart and take me into Big Lots with her and Aunt Connie. I was doing my best to be brave and only shaking a little bit - Mom kept telling me what a good boy I was. Then Aunt Connie, who is a little vertically challenged, asked Mom to reach a dog bed on the highest shelf for her. Mom said, "Sure, but watch Patch for me." Well, instead, Aunt Connie watched Mom take the bed down and I bailed out of the shopping cart! I was surprised to find out how far down it was to the ground! After I shook myself off, nothing seemed to be seriously hurt, but I sure got a lot of attention! Good thing I have a little extra padding! Mom was horrified, Aunt Connie was remorseful, and I was glad to get out of there! I hope I survive Mom's mission to de-sensitize me to new experiences!


That's Why We Love Her!

August 2nd 2010 2:34 pm
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Aunt Connie felt so bad about my fall from the shopping cart (in reality, it was a jump, not a fall)that she brought me a gift and a card to say she was sorry. The gift was my FAV treat - cheese-flavored hearts in an edible, apple/oatmeal bowl. I got to have one right away, even though I'm on a diet! Then she gave me a TUMMY-RUB! I think I forgive her - in fact, maybe I'll take another dive if it'll get me more treats!

Mom was very touched by the message on the card, although, if I'm honest, I have to say I liked the treats better. Mom read it aloud to me; it said:

Dear Patch,
I wanted you to know how truly sorry I am for your "crash landing" on Saturday. You are a true friend to Sharon and I am her friend, too. We are all inter-connected, so then, by extension, when you hurt, we all hurt.
Aunt Connie

Aww. Thanks, Aunt Connie. You're the best!


Arts, Crafts, and Greyhounds

August 8th 2010 8:55 pm
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On Furriday, Mom, in her on-going effort to socialize me, decided to take me with her to the arts and crafts fair in a town far, far away. She knew that I would not be able to walk a long time and also that I'd get tired of looking at ankles and dodging feet all day, so she took Grandma's wheeled walker out of the garage and fixed it up for me to ride in. It has a basket and a seat, and although the basket is a little too small for all of me to sit in, it worked pretty well to sit my bottom in the basket and put my front legs on the seat. Mom had the basket lined with a comfy cushion so I wouldn't get grid lines on my derriere. When we were practicing with my new mode of transportation, I got nervous and bailed out a couple of times, so Mom put a harness on me and fastened me to the bar. I got used to it pretty quickly and was able to relax and enjoy the ride. We were quite the attraction at the arts-and-crafts fair - everyone thought that Mom had a great idea and that I was very spoiled - NOT! Sometimes I'd get tired of riding and Mom would let me get out and walk for a while. There were so many people and dogs to look at and the food smells...I wish Mom would stop taking me to these places if she won't let me eat the food people drop on the ground! All in all, it was pretty successful; I really am feeling much more relaxed in new situations.

Good thing, too, because the next day there was another new experience waiting for me. (Where does she come up with these things?) We drove very far again, this time in the opposite direction, to a birthday party for greyhounds! Mom took me along as an honorary greyhound because we had lost our Tanner last May. I was the shortest guy there (and the furriest) among all these wasp-waisted, needle-nosed really-tall hounds who all wanted to get to know me at once. They recognized that I was an outsider right away, and I had to put a couple of them in their place. (Good thing they don't know I'm missing too many teeth to be much of a threat. My snarl is so scary it's all I need.)
There were greyhounds of every imaginable color and lots of different sizes. At first they were running in packs and chest-bumping each other; after a while they slowed down and each kind of did his own thing. Some dug holes in the sand and lay in them, others napped on one of the beds or just strolled around getting acquainted. There was a LOT of peeing going on.
A dog psychic was giving readings; I was very skeptical about her abilities, especially when she kept calling me "she" and "her," (if she can't see what's right in front of her, how is she going to "see" what I'm thinking?) but she did say that there was going to be a BIG EVENT in my life (Paris?) and asked Mom if she did any writing (my book?) That was a little spooky... And she also said that she "saw" a lot of wings, a lot of angels' wings hovering over me, protecting me for the time that Mom would come and get me. I kind of liked that.

The two best things that happened were that I got a BIG piece of liver cake with cream cheese frosting and an ice cream cup! I was actually given two pieces of liver cake, but Mom took one away and said one was enough - bummer! Then, the lady who gave the party gave me my own T-shirt with Pooh Bear and birthday balloons on it! I was one happy dog! Socialization is GOOD!


Success is Measured in Small Steps

August 20th 2010 10:07 pm
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Hey, Teddy! I went to the vet to be weighed yesterday and I had lost a whole pound! BOL!!!
If I can lose a pound a month, I should be fit and trim by Christmas! I'll still be fluffy, but not extra-fluffy. Mom says weight-loss is a life-long challenge and that we both would be healthier with less belly fat so we're in this together. I have noticed, though, that it's easier for her to cheat than it is for me. She's in control of the can opener.

Last week, Mom bought me a stroller for $5 at a garage sale. I'm not sure what I think of that yet - on the one paw, it's a lot more comfortable than the walker. It's padded and it's just my shape and size when I'm lying down. It's a reasonable color - blue and green plaid - at least it's not PINK. On the other paw, however, I feel a little silly in it, and, to tell you the truth, I think Mom does, too. At least it hasn't come out of the bedroom, yet. I think she plans to take me on our usual walks, because I do need my exercise, and just use the stroller for long distances.

Oh, boy, it's time for bed! I LOVE bedtime because I get a SNACK of cottage cheese and then some cuddle time, which includes ear rubs!



Just a-Strollerin' Along...

August 21st 2010 11:09 pm
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Today Mom asked me if I wanted to go along with her to the Bite of Bellingham. Well now, anything with "bite" in it sounded pretty good to me, so she loaded our "new" stroller in the van, picked up Aunt Connie and Poochini and off we went.The Bite consisted of a lot of white tents with all different kinds of FOOD! There was pizza and Indian food and pork sliders; there was creme brulee and custard tarts and carrot cake - why, oh why does she do this to me? She did give me a bite here and there, but I noticed she kept most of them for herself.

The new stroller worked great! At first Mom thought we wouldn't need it, but after dodging feet and fending off agressive dogs, she changed her mind and we went back for it. It's very comfy - I can sit (forwards or backwards)or lie down, and it has a convertible top that not only provides shade, but has a porthole so I can see Mom through it. Mom liked it because people made way for us - just like the parting of the Red Sea, she said.

You'll never guess what we did next! Aunt Connie wanted a pedicure, but it was too hot to leave Poochini and me in the car, so she asked the lady at the desk if we could come in too, and the lady said Yes. It was a very strange place, all these ladies sitting around with their feet in water, and the smells weren't nearly as good as at the "Bite." In fact, I didn't like them at all - they tickled my nose. But I was very well-behaved, as usual. I lay quietly beside Mom while a lady rubbed her feet and legs and then painted this red stuff all over her toenails! She asked me what color I would like, but I wasn't having any of that! I do have my dignity, you know. Poochini was making a fool of herself, as usual, barking and jumping around. At one point she lost her chewstick in her mom's footbath and when the lady saw it she pulled her hands out of the water and said, "What's THAT?" But it was only a chewstick.

Finally, Mom and Aunt Connie were finished having their legs rubbed and feet massaged and toenails polished and we got to leave. They didn't even give us anything to eat. Although, I have to admit, I did score pretty well today - a buffalo chip, a Cruisin' Coffee biscuit, a chewstick from Aunt Connie and a few bites from Mom's lunch - better than the average day.

So, after the smelly place we got to go home, right? Wrong! Then Poochini and I had to stay in the car, which had cooled down by that time, while our moms went shopping. We waited and waited and waited...I was so happy to see Mom when she finally came back that I had to pretend-attack her and squeal. She always squeals back and tells me she's excited to see me, too. Gotta love my mom!



August 28th 2010 10:20 pm
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You know you're in Canada when you hear "eh?" at the end of every question, as in "Arf, arf, eh?" That's where we spent this afternoon, having lunch in Vancouver, B.C. Traffic was beastly because of road construction, so what is usually a 55 minute trip took an hour and a half. (That's 10 hours in dog time.) I was VERY happy to finally get out of the car and stretch my legs a little. We looked for a restaurant with tables outside, since Canada is not as forward-thinking as Paris and does not allow dogs inside the restaurant, but we were very surprised to find out that they don't allow us inside the enclosure around the sidewalk tables either! So I had to sit on the OUTSIDE of the railing while Mom sat on the inside and ate her lunch. I put on my sad face and she felt so bad that she kept slipping me bites of her lunch through the railing.
After lunch we strollered along the area called Gastown and even went into some shops. Riding in the stroller is really cool, because I get to go (almost) everywhere Mom goes. We looked at expensive clothes and expensive furniture and nobody told us we couldn't come in. In fact, everyone was very furiendly and thought I was just adorable! (One person said, Isn't that just the cat's pajamas!" I didn't get that - there weren't any cats in my stroller and I wasn't wearing pajamas.)
After shopping we strollered along the promenade along Burrard Inlet. Mom could see that I was just itching to get out and stretch my legs, so she let me walk and greet other dogs and their people. We met a French bulldog, two Chinese Crested wearing warm sweaters(they're bald, you know) a couple of chihuahuas, a gorgeous, tall black and white poodle (I especially admired him) AND two dachshunds in their own stroller!
I'm becoming very relaxed in my stroller - not much bothers me, not even the loud noises of a city. I just sit and watch all the fascinating goings-on around me. Mom says I'm becoming quite the sophisticated little traveler.

What an amazing world I've been missing.


"Too much of water hast thou, ..."

August 31st 2010 6:15 pm
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Rain, rain, rain...Mom has had trouble getting me to go out today. It's 6:05 p.m. and I've only been out once because I don't like to get WET! But now I'm getting a little full of you-know-what. And not only has it been raining ALL DAY, but I had to have a bath! I've been getting pretty itchy (happens about this time every year)so Mom decided to bathe me with my special shampoo that takes the itch away. I'm very good in the bath - I'm always good in every situation - but I'd rather not have one. The good thing about it is that Mom massages me for 10 minutes while the shampoo is doing its stuff - who doesn't like a good massage! But it just doesn't seem right that I have to get wet whether I go outside or stay in.

Happy Birthday to my pal, Teddy! I hope you don't have to have a bath today!

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