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

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERRA MUCH!

December 24th 2010 9:28 am
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What can I say - one of the Diary Picks of the Day AGAIN? I think the voting button must be stuck. But I'm pleased to share the honor with my new pal, Rocky. (We look a little bit alike, but he has front teeth. I'm jealous.)

 

You Lookin' At Me?

December 20th 2010 7:12 pm
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I like looking at my Mom. I do it all the time. If I'm not eating or sleeping, I'm looking at my Mom. Sometimes she says, "Why are you looking at me? I gave you your dinner. We've played with your bunny. We went for a walk and for a ride in the car. I'm just sitting here watching t.v. What do you want?" She doesn't know that I'm doing what I want. It's my favorite thing to do. I can sit and look at her for a half hour at a time without blinking. She says it's unnerving.

Guess what I'm doing right now.

 

I'm So H-H-Honored!

December 20th 2010 9:03 am
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I'm one of the Dogster Diary Picks of the Day! For the second time! I am h-h-humbled and h-h-honored. How does this happen anyway? Does anydog know? Is there a Great Dogster Wizard behind the curtain who bestows these honors, or is there a jury of fellow dogsters, or is it a random occurrence? Anyhowl, I really liked the big, splashy CONGRATULATIONS sign on my dogster page! THANK YOU!

In other news: the green bunny lost another leg. Mom was proud that it was not the one she sewed on. She has not decided if she's going to sew this one on. She says it's just like everything else these days - planned obsolescence. If it didn't break, we wouldn't have to buy a new one. What would happen to the economy?

 

The Tale of the Leg

December 14th 2010 9:31 pm
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The leg of my new green bunny (the one you can see in Santa's bag in my Christmas picture) came off when Mom and I were playing TUG. Mom said she was going to MEND it. Now this is a big deal because Mom has always said, "I DON'T DO MENDING." But this time she said she was not going to throw away a brand new bunny whose leg had already come off, and it just isn't right for a bunny to have only three legs. So out came the shoebox with the needles, thread, and a lot of other stuff in it that must have had something to do with sewing but which we couldn't really identify. Some of it seemed to be sewing machine parts, but Mom doesn't HAVE a sewing machine, feeling about it the way she does. Before the bunny could be mended, the sewing box had to be cleaned out. If she didn't know what it was, out it went, along with the extra buttons from clothes she didn't have any more and couldn't remember ever having. Finally she got around to the bunny. She didn't have any thread that matched, but I don't discriminate colors very well anyway, so she didn't think that it would matter. Thankfully, the new bunny now has four legs again, even if one of them looks a little like it was put together in Frankenstein's lab. Mom told me I'd better ask Santa for a new, stronger toy for playing tug, that bunnies were for chasing, not for playing tug. Maybe so, but I think it's kind of FUN when they COME APART! Heh-heh.

 

Eat Your Heart Out,, Kyrstie Alley!

December 8th 2010 11:35 pm
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Since last January I have lost 5 pounds! That's HUGE! Since I agreed to eat vegetables, Mom adds beans, peas, or pumpkin to my dog food to help fill me up and I really LIKE it. She also gives me carrots for snacks instead of dog treats. Have you ever seen those charts in the vet's office that show obese dogs and normal sized dogs? Now I've got a WAIST like the normal sized dogs. It hasn't been easy - I spend a lot of time foraging for crumbs. If Mom isn't looking I like to get into the waste basket and pull out cookie wrappers and lick the smell off them. Today the vet said I could still lose one or two more pounds, so it isn't over yet.
Mom is also giving me enough supplements I could probably live forever without food (don't tell her I said that!) I get Ocu-glo for my aging eyes, glucosamine, chondroiton and MSM, cinnamon, fish oil, dental powder for plaque and to prevent gum disease, and Rimadyl for inflammation of my joints.
In addition to all that, she puts me through my vigorous workout program every day and we walk a mile if it doesn't rain. We're both wimps in the rain.
Mom's only complaint is that now that I have all this energy, I want to play bunny ALL the time. I don't know why she doesn't like it as much as I do. I guess she needs her own fitness program. ;3

 

Workout Video

November 26th 2010 9:27 pm
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Just thought you might like to see my performance at the rehab center. Today I warmed up on the Peanut Roll - I have to balance on it. It's pretty hard. Mom has to act like training wheels so I don't fall off. It helps my balance and strengthens my muscles. Then I had to do the wheelbarrow, which I'm finally getting used to - it's a little embarrassing so I didn't put it in my workout video. I'm supposed to do a cross-legged stand which is really, really hard! I'd like to see YOU do that! Finally, I get in the pool and do the underwater treadmill. The cute girl you see is my therapist, Melissa. I really like her. She tells me what a great job I'm doing and gives me treats. After I'm pretty tired out on the treadmill, I still have to do my free swim. This is the part, as you know, that I really don't like. Melissa puts a "swim cap" on me so I won't get water in my ears and then tries to entice me into the pool. Sometimes I'll start swimming on my own, but when I've had enough, she has to get a little more persuasive. But when I've finished, she praises me, gives me a treat and a good rub-down. I love the rub-downs! I wiggle and squirm with delight and then run all around the room in excitement!
If this work-out video goes viral, I might try to market it. I'll keep you posted.

 

Progress Report of Another Kind

November 20th 2010 2:11 pm
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I hate to brag (well, not really) but I learn stuff so fast! I don't like almost everything at first, but after the second or third time I'm a pro! Right now I'm talking about my travel carrier and how I'm getting used to being in it. I have to be in it for about 10 hours when we go to Paris next spring. I don't know how long that is, but the practice sessions seem long to me, so if we not there yet, it'll probably seem like a really long time. Anyway, I dogress; I'm up to about 15 or 20 minutes now. My Mom throws my very favorite treat into the back of the carrier and then gives me another one when I turn around and lie down. She tells me to WAIT, gives me a carrot and zips up the door. I used to want out as soon as I finished my carrot, but now I've learned to wait until she exclaims, "What a good boy, Patch!", unzips the door and gives me another one of my favorite treats. These treats have become the "carrier treats." The only time I get them is when I go into the carrier and stay there for a while.

I've even stayed calm when Mom carried the carrier to the car and took me for a little ride (three blocks, she said). I've even stayed calm when she put the carrier on a little trolley and wheeled me around the house. Soon, she says, I'll be ready to ride to the airport and get used to the plane noises. I'm becoming more and more confident that this might work out all right! I hope I can sleep on the plane. Mom hopes so, too.

 

Progress Report

November 16th 2010 7:53 pm
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I hate to admit it, but all this working out is paying off - I'm really a lot stronger, leaner and meaner than I was! Now when Mom and I go for a walk, I'm the one out in front. And I'm TROTTING instead of dragging behind! And Mom can hardly keep up with me! I feel like a new dog!

I've had five physical therapy sessions, which includes swimming (!), my most UN-favorite thing and Mom has really been working me hard at home. The latest thing was setting up a series of hurdles for me to step over. The agility dogs have a fancy name for them that starts with C, I think; I don't remember what it is. But Mom, being something of a cheapskate, decided I would never enter the professional world of dog agility, so she would make them. After shopping around for something that would do the job and not cost much, she saw a worker in a craft store throwing away large pieces of styrofoam. Hmmm, she thought to herself, (she told me this later - I was waiting in the car again) I might be able to use these in some way, so after asking permission, she went dumpster-diving for the styrofoam pieces. Having scored big there, we went to that big store that starts with W and there she looked for anything that might work for poles. No cardboard tubes available, but... wrapping paper has cardboard tubes inside it. Since the cardboard tubes at the office store were $2.89, she was looking for a price that was lower than that. Aha, wrapping paper for $2.50 a roll - but let's see if we can beat that. It was starting to turn into a game show! In the Christmas department she found Christmas wrap for $5.00 for a 4-roll pack - now we're getting somewhere! But wait! At the end of the next aisle were $1 rolls! Way to go, Mom! So she piled ten rolls into her cart and we had the makings of our C-poles.

When we got home, she put each roll of Christmas wrap between two chunks of styrofoam to make a low hurdle and then set them up in the hallway so I would have to step over them instead of around them. I caught on right away what to do, except that I wanted to do it really fast like the border collies, but Mom wanted me to do it slowly, so I had to learn CONTROL. Don't you think CONTROL is a really hard thing to learn?

Thanks to George for the yummy cupcake! I won't tell Mom because I'm on a diet, you know.

 

One, Two! One,Two! Pant, pant!

October 31st 2010 11:15 am
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We've been working out for four days now - yes, I said WE. I'm not doing it without Mom. She's complaining but it's good for her, too.

Here's what I like:

the obstacle course
push-ups
backing up with my bunny
walks

Here's what I don't like:

high fives
digging for a treat (I like the treat, but I'd rather burrow with my nose)
army crawl

I also don't like it when Mom stretches my front legs, and I don't like ice packs.

On Tuesday we have to go back to SPAW for therapy which means doing a bunch of stuff I'll HATE! Really, all I want to do is eat and lay around - what's wrong with that?

 

SPAW Treatment

October 27th 2010 12:40 pm
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So much has happened since my last diary entry, I hardly know where to begin. Mom has been spending most of her time putting my book together. It's almost finished. It's my diary entries illustrated with pictures of me and my friends and our adventures.

I had to go to the vet last Friday for a lot of x-rays to see why I was limping. I went to sleep for a while and I don't know what happened while I was out but I sure was sore when I woke up. And it took me a long time to wake up. I was still kind of groggy on Saturday, so Mom, being the worry-wart that she is, called the vet to see if that was normal. He said that often OLD DOGS take longer to come out of the sedation. I was pretty miffed at that, but Mom said to get used to it - she gets that a lot.

Well, the x-rays showed just a little arthritis, nothing really serious, so the next day we went off to the SPAW where I was evaluated for a hydrotherapy program for weight loss and muscle tone. When we got there I wasn't sure where I was - it didn't really smell like a vet's office but it sure wasn't somebody's home. Melissa, who will be my therapist, took us into a back room and asked Mom a lot of questions about me, including when was my birthday. We didn't know the answer to that one, so we just made it up - it will be my adoption day, July 5. Soon the doctor came in and he was a BIG MAN. You know how I feel about men, and this one did nothing to endear his species to mine. He grabbed my back legs and pushed and twisted me around like a wheelbarrow! As soon as I could get loose I ran under the bench Mom was sitting on and hid behind her legs.

Next we went into the hydrotherapy room and looked at the exercise pool. Do you know what it had in it? WATER! I don't like water! I'll have to walk on an underwater treadmill and swim against jets. Don't you think that's going too far? But they think I should still lose more weight and get stronger so my legs won't hurt. I thought I had done pretty well by losing three pounds, but they weren't impressed. So this is my program: walking on the treadmill in and out of the water, swimming (my favorite thing - NOT!), a variety of muscle-building exercises including crawling, high-stepping, digging, push-ups (yeah, right), and some stretches that Mom will help me with. In fact, I'm not doing any of this without Mom. She told me she thought I should do the work and she would sit and watch, but let me tell you, a little activity wouldn't hurt her either.

So we started today. She gives me these miniscule liver treats (crumbs, almost) when I work hard. But the aroma of them drives me on. Part way through I had this great stroke of luck - the phone rang! Listen up, all you pups, when your mom is on the phone, you can get away with ANYTHING! I walked up my exercise steps onto the sofa and found the rest of the training treats! I got a scolding when Mom was off the phone, but it was totally worth it! But now I have to work without treats for the rest of the day. :(

Give me a month and I'll look like a doberman pinscher!

 
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