Month: December 2013

The Nurse Dog

The holidays mean a two week vacation and usually Izzy loves that I’m home.  This time, he liked it even more because he got to cuddle with me constantly, because I’ve been sick.  That’s also the reason for the lag in blog posts.  That said, he did have a good time on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with my daughter’s two dogs. They were in the kitchen (my grandson loves to grab at them, so no need to tempt them).   Here’s a pic to make up for my silence.  Izzy’s lying on the floor next to Gordon, a Cockapoo, and Wilson (a Rat Terrier mix) is sitting in the background.

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Beginnings and Endings and New Car Seat and the Holiday Dog Spirit

Grades were due yesterday, but some of my faculty didn’t get them in until the last minute — always a nail biter.  But they’re done now and we’re all heaving a huge sigh of relief.  Today is our holiday lunch, and when it’s over, I’m going to pick up a new desk for myself.  I’ve been writing on my dining room table, which means the center of the house is a disaster area.  Not that anyone sees it except for Izzy and me, but I would love to be able to sit in front of a window where I can daydream and write and have space rather than sitting where I eat.  And I’m loving this new desk . . . .

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During the holidays, I’ll be seeing my friends and family, which means Izzy’s going to see some of his friends, too.  Unfortunately, that means traveling.  Not one of Izzy’s favorite things to do.  BUT he now has a new car seat, and I tested it out last week when we went to my daughter’s house.  He still shivered during the whole hour and fifteen minute trip, but at least he wasn’t sliding all over the place, and I think that, with time, he’ll feel better about the traveling . . . especially if the end of the trip means he gets to run around with two other dogs in an enclosed backyard sans leashes.  Nothing better than seeing dogs running around free!

 

Izzy’s getting into the holiday spirit, too 🙂

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Holidays from a Dog’s Point of View

When Izzy and I walk our neighborhoods in our small town in North Carolina, most of the time the only things we need to worry about are other animals — skunks, raccoons, cats that tease Izzy unmercifully, and dogs (most are friendly, but there is that one Nasty Dog . . .).  During the winter months, however, we also need to worry about . . . da da da duhhhhh . . . Horrendous Holiday Decorations.

Right after Thanksgiving, the decorations started going up.  I always put my tree up the day of Thanksgiving, so Izzy’s used to seeing strange sparkly things in our living room, lights that blink, boxes that sing jingles, and packages that he can’t quite reach but would love to rip up.  But seeing strange things on our walks, well that’s just simply and totally unacceptable to Mr. Izzy.

The day after Thanksgiving, he had to put up with our own doorway.  His red eyes are an indication of his confusion about this sparkly gold and silver thing that suddenly impedes his way in and out of the front door.

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And our next door neighbor followed suit with a door that Izzy likes quite a bit.  It’s tastefully done and doesn’t scare him at all.

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Around the corner, one of the local attorneys has a particularly lovely house and always an elegant display.  This one is far enough from the street that Izzy doesn’t notice it (it’s one of those houses that’s not on his radar anyway, because they don’t have any furry animals he can greet during our forays around the neighborhood).

 

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But there are others that he DOES notice, and the most obvious of them all is the house that was decorated so completely for Halloween.  This house is home to an incredibly aggressive Chihuahua that has attacked both Izzy and me.  We’ve run past the house many times in our attempt to get away from the little bugger.  

The people who own the house have outdone themselves for Christmas, putting up so many blow-up figures and flashing lights and moving wire figures that I can’t possibly get them all in one photo. On the roof, there’s a penguin popping out of an igloo, three moving polar bears, and a Mickey Mouse Santa; on the lawn, there are at least 8 wire reindeer of various sizes and shapes, a sparkly Cinderella type sleigh and horse (replete with a plastic Santa stuck in the seat), a plastic 8-piece nativity set (the shepherd boy has a missing nose), and various Christmas trees, as well as an 8′ tall blow up Santa and matching Snowman.  At one point, they had a wire figure of a moose alit with lights next to the Chihuaha’s pen.  (Izzy looked at it, then back at me, as if to say, “What does a moose have to do with Christmas?”) but they removed that one.   And I noticed when we walked at 6 AM this morning that they’ve just added a small wire pig dressed in a Santa outfit at the end of the walkway.  This one is close enough to the sidewalk that Izzy cautiously stretched out his whole body until he was nose-to-nose with the brightly lit pig (that’s, ironically, the same size as he is).  When he realized after tense moments of hyper-active sniffing that the figure wasn’t real and was utterly ridiculous on top of that (the question remains:  what does a pig have to do with Christmas?), he pee’d on it.  That’s a dog for you.

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Nighttime Walks and Dog Sweaters. Okay, I give in . . .

After my post about dog clothes and my aversion to them, it’s turned into a chilly winter here in North Carolina, and I must admit that I’ve put Izzy’s Thundershirt on him during cold rainy days and chilly evening walks.  He had a haircut less than a month ago, and I was aware that he didn’t have that extra layer of warmth, so I gave in.  And this morning, I got my newsletter from Cesar Millan and read this article on walking at night during the winter.  Guess it’s not so silly to dress your dogs.  Mea culpa.

http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-training/dog-walk/How-to-Keep-Your-Dog-Safe-on-Evening-Walks?utm_source=BlueHornet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Dec4GuideDogs

Holidays in the ‘Hood

In our neighborhood, we know who lives in every house (I know the humans, Izzy knows the animals) and have begun to learn their habits.  The old guy with the pit bull-mix that doesn’t like Izzy walks Main Street around 6 PM.  If we’re there at the same time, we have to walk on separate sides of the street, because he can’t quite control his young, angry dog.  (It’s not his fault.  The dog came from a home where he was tied outside in the back yard all the time, and he’s frustrated.  I think the dog could use a LOT of exercise, but the old man can barely do the walks down Main Street a couple of times a day, never mind run with the dog to get rid of some of his aggressive energy).  On Main Street, the artsy couple walks their two dogs very early and when we didn’t see them one day, I wondered why.  We found out the next day that the older dog had passed away.  And two houses down from us, the Spanish teacher at the community school takes out his dachshund at the same time that Izzy and I make our second walk before I leave for work.  They have a sniff every weekday morning, then happily trot away.  When I heard the dachshund barking every day over the Thanksgiving holidays and didn’t see the teacher’s car, I started to worry, but it was okay.  He was just away for the holiday.

During the holidays, certain houses decorate over the Thanksgiving weekend (I’m one of them) while others don’t decorate at all.  Izzy watches them out the window, patrolling the couch to make sure that no one puts any extra decorations on our lawn.  

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And when we walk the neighborhood, we check out the sights that we see along the way.  The yellow Victorian house that had such wild decorations for the Halloween holiday has now put out their figures and lights for the Christmas celebration.  But one of them seems oddly out of sync with the others.

In the middle of the lawn, in front of the sparkly horse and Cinderella-type carriage that the folks used as their focal point last year, stood a life-size brown wire moose.  A moose.  Izzy looked at it, then looked at me, then peered back at the moose again, as if to say, “What the hell does that have to do with Christmas?”  I started laughing.  I’m thinking the same thing.

That’s what holidays are like in my ‘hood.

A moose.

Damn.