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

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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!

 

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.
Sincerely,
Aunt Connie

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

 

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!

 

SCO-O-O-RE!!!

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!

 

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!

 

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.

 

Feelin' Go-od, The Way That I Shou-ould...

July 11th 2010 4:59 pm
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I'm getting back in form again. That Adequan is just what the doctor ordered - literally - but it sure has helped! I can't say that I'm feeling NO pain, but my enthusiasm for playing bunny makes me forget about it.

Next week I have an appointment at the SPAW where my condition will be evaluated and a weight loss program will be set up for me. Mom keeps telling me it will be a good thing, because if I eat the right kind of food, I can have more of it and I won't get so hungry. MORE sounds good to me, so I'm willing to try it. But then there's the exercise part. I not only have to be on a diet, I also have to EXERCISE and, get this, UNDER WATER! At the SPAW they have a treadmill that's under water and I guess I have to walk on the underwater treadmill. I wonder if it will be better than swimming. At least my feet will be on something solid.

Tomorrow my new Tibetan terrier cousins are coming to visit. I wonder how that will go. Aunt Cindy says that since they've gotten used to their new home they've become very ... well, "comfortable". I think that's a euphemism for "naughty." If they make a move for my bunny, I'm not going to like them. Puppies are such a trial for us older, more dignified dogs.

 

What a Difference a Year Makes...

July 4th 2010 10:57 pm
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It's the Fourth of July and firecrackers have been going off in the neighborhood for hours. Fortunately, for me, it's no big deal, but they're starting to get on Mom's nerves. ENOUGH, ALREADY!!

Tomorrow is a very special day for me - it's my adoption day! One year ago Mom and I met for the first time and now it seems like we've been together forever.

I can't really say it was love at first sight, but she looked all right to me - I thought she'd do. I had the right qualifications for her; I was a black and white shih tzu, albeit a little worse for wear. I wasn't very happy when she put me in a crate in her van, however; I put up with this indignity for a few minutes, but then I started to get a little panicky and tried to scratch my way out. Mom pulled over, opened the crate door and I burst out and covered her with kisses! That was when the love began. I never had to go in a crate again until it was my own choice. Now I love my crate, but...it doesn't have a door on it.

We've been through a lot this year - swim therapy, losing Tanner, my scary "walk-about" and now my arthritis flare-up, but all this just brings us closer. I show her every day how happy I am with my wiggles, twirls and squeals. She shows me how much she loves me with hugs, belly rubs and play-times.

Tomorrow I have to go back to the vet for another shot that is supposed to make my arthritis hurt less; the problem is that the shot hurts - A LOT! And I have to have two a week for three weeks. I've even heard Mom say that I might have to go to swim therapy again. That was NOT my favorite experience.

The vet told Mom I should limit my activity for at least a week. I keep trying to entice her to play bunny with me, but she just keeps telling me that we have to stay quiet and can't play for awhile. I dangle the bunny's legs in front of her and whisk it away when she reaches for it; my eyes twinkle and I dance away, keeping just out of her reach as she admonishes me to "settle." Rrrr, it's going to be a long, hard week.

 

WOO-HOO!

July 2nd 2010 11:57 am
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BOL! It's a wonderful day! Mom's home and so am I! Camp was fun for a while - I loved running with the big boys, but I forgot that I'm not a young pup any more and I sort of over-did it. Now my arthritis is acting up and I'm limping badly. My camp counselor was so kind as to take me to the vet when she saw that my limp was getting worse, and he took X-rays that showed arthritis aggravated by an old injury in my right front leg. He also said I needed to lose weight. Grrr. Mom says MORE VEGETABLES, but I HATE vegetables. She says she does, too, but if she has to eat them, so do I. We'll see.

Another thing to celebrate - my diary was picked as one of the Diaries of the Day! I'm so honored! Mom reads me other dogs' diaries sometimes and it's grreat to be in such good company!

I have new cousins! Mom and Aunt Cindy brought home two Tibetan terrier puppies. I'll get to meet them soon and I'll let you know if I approve. At least they'll only be visiting and not living here. Heh-heh.

 

The Big Day

June 22nd 2010 4:18 pm
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This is it. This is the day I go to camp. Pretty soon now, Mom says. We have all my stuff packed except my bunny - I have to keep him with me. I'm taking two beds - my hidey-hole crate in case I need to "get away" from everything and my lounging bed. I had a bath two days ago, so I'm lookin' good. I think I will make quite a good impression.

I won't be writing in my diary again for over a week, but I'll let you know how I liked camp when Mom gets back and I'm home again. I was kind of interested in the other dogs when we went for a visit last week and I didn't really feel scared, but I did stand behind Mom until I felt comfortable enough to look around a little. I know I won't like it when Mom leaves me but maybe I'll enjoy the company of the other dogs. I'll let you know in my next diary entry.

 
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