Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Didn't Like Last Night's Activity

So, for the most part, I don't mind this Christmas business. Aside
from Mom abandoning me at the vet's office to go visit her humans - my
grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousin, it wasn't too bad. I got extra
attention when she came back, and my cousin, Lucy the chocolate lab
sent me some bones; one to lick and leave on the floor, the others to

However, the gift-receiving thing is not all it's cracked-up to be.
Mom got a fur cutting thingy from my grandparents. I have one word
for you, Mom...


Hearing things like "oops" and "hmmm, well, it'll grow back" is not reassuring!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thanks For The Modification

So, I've always found myself a bit weepier than usual (if that's
possible) around the holidays. I suppose a lot of it is just feeling
sentimental with the year wrapping up, thinking about being with my
family and the slight, whisper in the way back of my mind that someday
they won't all be with me for the holidays.

I was in Walgreens a few weeks ago and I had to giggle to myself when
I started tearing-up at the sound of "Have Yourself a Merry Little
Christmas" coming through the scratchy speakers above me.
Cyd, Thanksgiving JUST passed!

But, I was flipping through my Entertainment Weekly, and came across
the history of that particular song. It was written for "Meet Me In
St. Louis", but its original lyrics were SO depressing, they changed

Check it out...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Wow, now there's an upper.

I'm grateful it was modified, even though it STILL makes me weepy -
even when Rolf the Muppet and John Denver sing it!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Barky, then Grumpy, Then Needy Day

I have zero patience for my dog today. He is not one of my favorite
living beings in my life at present. It started early when I took my
journal out to the yard on our amazing, cool and breezy morning. The
gate opened and in walked my neighbor with her ancient, sweet, blind,
deaf, arthritic, held together with duct-tape mini-scottie. Oliver
took off and while he didn't touch poor old Boris, he probably scared
the crap out of him by running at him and barking barking barking. My
neighbor knows Ollie and is patient with him. But, I was embarrassed.
I screamed at the top of my lungs, "NO! Oliver, NO!" Come here, I
shouted at him. He slowly lurched towards me, knowing he had done
wrong. I brought him into the house and to his chagrin (and mine, too
really) I put his bark collar on him.

The normally peppy, friendly dog transforms. He is now a grounded
thirteen year old GIRL, moping around the apartment with a
This doesn't however stop him from following me everywhere and getting
under foot like and anxiety-ridden toddler.

I start baking some holiday cookies. No hanging in the kitchen when
I'm cooking. You're in my way and the space is too small. "Go on,
Oliver. Out please" I say firmly, pointing to the other room. He
meanders in a different direction entirely from the one I am pointing
and lingers over his food dish in the kitchen by the fridge. He won't
make eye contact with me.

If the dog doesn't look at you, is he still in the way?

Um, yeah, you are still in the way.
I patiently coax him to move. Pointing again, which he usually gets.
"Ollie, that way please" I tell him nicely. He walks to my feet and
sits on the kitchen mat by the sink, "Did you mean here?" he says to
me with a look.
Um, no.

My dog has reinvented lollygagging.

Eventually I get him out of the kitchen and praise praise praise him
for going the correct direction. But rather than sit in the doorway,
out of my way as he usually does, he continues walking, disappearing
into the living room, which links to the bedroom, which links back to
the kitchen. "Fine, you don't want me here, I'm leavin'" he says. Off
to eat worms no doubt.

Having friends over tonight, I take the dog for a walk before they
show up. He has been cooped up a bit today and following me from one
room to the next as I sew, watch TV, bake, clean, vacuum, and pace as
I chat on the phone hardly counts as stretching one's legs.

So, we head out for a brisk one and he does his usually smelling here
peeing there bit. But he does so in a slightly slower than usual way.
I'm positive it is the collar that has him feeling blue. I know it's
uncomfortable kid, but I'd rather you be uncomfortable for a bit and
get instant distraction at the moment of barking until you catch on,
than you scaring the shit out of some poor little kid or old person.
Heck, maybe you'd even bite someone? I don't know.

No in fact, I do know, you little punk. You BIT your human girlfriend
Rachel when she was dog-sitting you once. True, she grabbed your
collar but still, nipping is not cool at all! If someone's attacking
ME, by all means go Kujo in his ass, but if someone's just trying to
get you outside to pee? Chill.

Back to the walk. He is meandering, again, back and forth, walking in
my path over and over.

I just can't decide WHICH side I want to commit to sniffing, he thinks.

Unfortunately, on one of his lane-changes I accidentally step on him.
He lets out a yelp and out of frustration, I shout, "Damn it Oliver,

And to my complete shock, He did! My dog walked directly at my left
side, if not a pace behind me, for the last half of the walk. This is
the thing with adopting - you never know what may come-up.

In my frustration and poor patience, I do forget that I have a very
good boy here.

My friend Shannon arrives for the movie and I tell her about my
frustrating day with the dog. I am preparing munchies for our movie
viewing and the dog is again under foot. I give a smile to Shannon,
wordlessly saying "it's been like this all day!"

"Go on, Oliver," I coax him with a point out of the room. He leaves.

I continue telling Shannon about the day as I arrange cookies onto
plates. I look up at her and she is looking from me to my knees then
back again giggling. I look down, and who should be at my feet,
sitting quietly and watching me tell stories but my stealth hairy

Yup, that's Ollie.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Indian Clay...Or Is It?

Oliver greeted me with his usual peppiness. I brought him outside
where I sat at our stone table and bench and checked-out my mail while
he wandered, looking for lizards and smelling the scents of the
neighbors' dogs. I look up for him frequently because although he
rarely wanders, the side gate out to the front yard is open.

About twenty-seconds after I check for him, I look up again and he is
gone. I call for him; no fluffy white head pops up from behind the
bushes. I take a little walk and find that he has, indeed, wandered to
the front yard.

He has leaves all over him and when I call for him, he shakes them off
before heading my way. As he gets closer it quickly becomes clear that
leaves are not the only things on him.

My dog is covered in POO! I mean, gooey, smeared, wet, fresh,
stinky-winky poo! By the looks of it, the Budweiser holiday
Clydesdales were passing through the neighborhood and decided to leave
a little present in our front yard. No, make that a BIG present!

One paw is covered like he's wearing a mitten woven with the
finest...doodoo. There's a giant smear along one side of his back,
there's some on his back leg and on the side of his face. I lift his
ear. Yup, it's gotten INTO my dog's ear. It looks like he had an
Indian clay-tossing contest with neighborhood teenagers or something!

There's actually so much of it that I find it hysterical rather than
disgusting. Not that it wasn't disgusting. It was, but Oliver has
never been a poo diver, as it were. He won't even eat anything off the
floor (see "Marbles" entry below!).

Apparently he chose to make up for six months of being world's
cleanest dog with one big effort.

Needless to say, he was hosed down in the yard, scrubbed, soaped,
sanitized, and fire hosed within an inch of his life.
He is a stinky pup no more.