Month: January 2014

“Lassie, Come Home!”

We all have those dreams that come back to haunt us–the dream about running, the one about the haunted house, that nightmare about missing the first day of work/school–and we have daytime fears that make us crazy.  One of mine is losing Izzy.  

Izzy has never learned how to come when called.  Even in the house, if I ask him to come so he can get a treat or his supper or a ball, he’ll come just-so-close, then stand out of reach, ignoring me by turning his head from side to side, as if when he doesn’t look at me, it negates my need to have him come right up to me.  Outside, it’s worse.  Occasionally, I will let him off the leash to play with his friend Ellie, but that stopped when he took off after a groundhog one day and it took me almost fifteen minutes to catch up with him and get him to come to me so I could click his leash back on.  When he was younger, he would see one of his dog friends across the street and immediately lunge, trying to run across the street.  If I didn’t have a good hold on his leash, he would get away from me.  And there have been a few times he’s dashed out of the house, across the street without looking, disappearing into a neighbor’s yard.  

Yup, losing Izzy is one of my fears.

Years ago, I actually did lose a dog.  My German Shepherd, Jessie, was 18 at the time and well trained.  She would come and sit/stay at my heels until I told her to leave.  We had gone to obedience school with police dogs, so she knew all of the tricks and was smart enough to pay attention.  I can honestly say she was the best trained dog I’ve ever had — and the best trained dog I’ve met.  Izzy, on the other hand, is not and never will be.  The day Jessie disappeared, we had just moved from Vermont to Florida.  We had spent three days unpacking and were ready for a break, so my husband and I took the afternoon off and went to the beach.  As it does every day during the summer, a thunderstorm rolled in around 3, and we headed home.  When we arrived, the garage door was open and our Mastiff, Joshua, was lying in the garage, staying cool, but Jessie was nowhere in sight.

For weeks, we went everywhere looking for her, posted signs on telephone poles, visited every animal shelter within a twenty-mile radius.  Finally, we figured that Jessie was on her way back to Vermont since she really didn’t know her way around Florida.  She had lost most of her hearing, making it difficult for us to walk the neighborhoods calling her.  How could she hear us?  

One night, we took Josh out and walked a different route around the neighborhood, letting him do his “boy thing,” urinating on every pole and bush we passed.  Josh wasn’t much of a walker.  If we took him out with Jessie, she led the way and he plodded along behind.  Lazy was a good way to describe him.  He’d much rather mope around the backyard than go out on the leash.  But we thought that Jessie’s olfactory sense was still in good shape.  Might as well see if it would bring her home.

The next morning my husband went to the front door because he heard a noise.  He cried out Jessie’s name, which I thought was a cruel way of teasing me, but he wasn’t teasing.  There she was:  bloody paws, ribs showing, but her tail wagging as if proud of herself that she had found us.

She was never the same after that and we lost her about six months later, but she had found her way home.

I told that story to the woman who trained Izzy when she lost one of her Huskies over the weekend.  Postings on Facebook were almost frantic.  She formed a search party to comb Duke Forest in Durham where the dog had last been seen.  I told her to take her other Huskies out in the neighborhood, walk each of them in a different direction, then go home to wait.

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The good news is that Winter, the Husky, came home Sunday morning, greeting his pack early in the morning, bringing them all to full howls that woke up the neighborhood.  He had found his own way home.

I only hope that if Izzy ever gets away from me, he won’t make my nightmare a reality.  I hope that he can find his way home, too.

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K-10+ Review

Occasionally, I review dog food and products.  Last week, I was sent a sampling of K-10+ Supplements that are pre-measured vitamin supplements meant to dissolve in your dog’s water.  The product is designed to give dogs a number of vitamins that they need yet might not want to take.  The vitamins included in the sampling were Multi-Vitamin, Glucosamine, Omega 3, Calming, UT Support and Senior Care.

I have to admit that I only tried three of the packages, largely because Izzy doesn’t need UT Support or Senior Care or Glucosamine.  Besides, by the time I tried the Multi-Vitamin, Omega 3 and Calming vitamin packages, it was obvious that Izzy wasn’t going to be drinking his water with that “stuff” in it.  Disappointing.  I thought he was less particular than that.  Guess I was wrong.

The first packet I tried was the Multi-Vitamin.  Though the directions said it would dissolve in water, it didn’t quite dissolve all the way.  Little drops of the powder floated on the water and stuck to the sides of the bowl, no matter how much I stirred it.  Izzy (who isn’t much of a water drinker to begin with) sniffed the bowl, looked at me, ate some food, then went back to the water, sniffed it again and walked away.  I left the bowl down all day in the hopes that he would try it later on, but the water bowl was still full when I got home from work.  I don’t think he ever dipped his tongue into the bowl.  By late that evening, it was obvious he was thirsty but wasn’t having any of the vitamin water, so I emptied it.

The next day, we tried the Omega 3.  Same situation.  It didn’t dissolve and Izzy didn’t want any of it.  The makers of the product state that it is water soluble, but perhaps it makes a difference if your water has iron in it or other “ingredients” that don’t interact well with the the vitamin. Whatever the case, the Omega 3 didn’t dissolve — and Izzy “knew” something foreign was in his water bowl that he wasn’t crazy about (I have to add here that Izzy doesn’t drink out of puddles or anyone else’s water bowl.  He’s just not that crazy about water.  He’s the first dog I ever met who doesn’t want to dip his head into a water bowl after being out for a walk on a hot summer’s day.  Yup, I have a weirdo.  What can I say?)

Day 3:  we tried the Calming vitamin.  Same result.  It didn’t dissolve totally and Izzy didn’t like it.

I hate giving anyone a bad review, especially when it’s a product that is good for my dog, but this one didn’t work for my picky little boy.  Hope someone else has better results!

January Surprises with a Fairy Dusting for Izzy to Sneeze at

This morning when Izzy and I stepped out the door before the sun rose, our backyard surprised us.  When I was a kid, I thought that the light dusting we often got — you know the one:  the grass and trees have a coating of white that disappears before lunchtime — was powdered sugar and I wanted a taste.  This morning, that’s just what it looked like outside.  My lawn furniture (which I should bring in, but I’m too lazy) had a coating, as did my car.

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This is our first true snow of the season, so to see the ivy bushes with their heavy red berries looking quite Christmas-y almost felt like the holidays were upon us once again.

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Izzy, half asleep as he usually is on our first walk of the day, did his duty by making sure that every telephone pole  and bush got a generous dose of his pee.  He didn’t pay attention to the snow until we came back to our street.

Walking along the neighbor’s grass, Izzy lowered his face to the snow and did as he usually does when he’s getting ready to poop — he sniffed, a good long one.  And he got a snoutful of icy cold snow.  He popped off the ground as if he’d just snorted coke — and did a little dance like the one I do when I have an ice cream headache:  part pleasure, part pain, tickles but it hurts.  Then he did it again, and again, he did a little dance.  Not until the third time he lowered his nose did he realize that he couldn’t take a deep inhalation.  Though he paced back and forth a million times like he usually does, he kept his face at least four inches from the ground.  And he gave me a dirty look when I couldn’t stop giggling at him.

When we got back to the house, he retreated to my bed, only  lifting his head when he saw me get my coat on and get ready to leave.  He didn’t move to go out again, though.  Wonder why.

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Yellow Dogs — Keep your distance

Because Izzy was antisocial when I first adopted him and would often charge strangers — growling, barking, snapping — I sometimes crossed the street when we saw someone that was new.  This morning, I saw an article on Cesar’s newsletter about dogs that talks about dogs that are marked with yellow ribbons.  It’s information I think we all need to know — whether we have dogs or not — so I’m sharing.

Keep warm, everyone!

http://wp.me/p3TxBb-9w

Nominated for the Liebster Award

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I’ve been nominated by Reading for the Masses for the Liebster Award for new blogs!  Whoohooo!

The Liebster Award is a “favourite blog award”, as Liebster is the German word for favourite, beloved, or dearest. It is meant for smaller blogs with less than two hundred followers to help expose them to the world and help them discover other new and upcoming bloggers.

Rules for nominees:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • When you receive the award, answer the 10 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Pass the award onto 10 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!)
  • Write-up 10 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your blog!

My questions from Reading for the Masses:

1. What is your favourite book?

Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

2. What is your favourite movie?

Out of Africa

3. Would you rather live in a treehouse or an underground house?

Treehouse (I’d go crazy underground!)

4. If there was one outfit that you had to wear for the rest of your life (you could wash it), what would it be?

A long, soft sleeveless black dress

5. What’s your favourite room in the house?

My bedroom

6. Do you fold or scrunch your toilet paper?

scrunch

7. Which do you prefer, shower or bath?

shower

8. What is your earliest memory?

I remember seeing my dog get run over by a car in front of our house.  He broke his leg and was in a cast for a while.

9. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet.  I’d eat chocolate all day every day.

10. Which would you prefer, ice-cream flavoured poo or poo flavoured ice-cream?

neither!

My nominees are as follows.  Go pay them a visit!

Readful Things

Tosta mista

Shoot the Scribe

Miranda Stone

Nancy’s Notes

Positive Words

Simple Life of a Country man’s Wife

Serendipity

Russel Ray’s Photos

Haiku by Ku

 

Here are my questions for the people (above) who I’ve nominated:

1.  What is your favorite city?

2.  If you have one day left to live, what would you do?

3.  What’s your favorite song?

4.  What song do you know all the words to?

5.  Who’s the one person (dead or alive) that you would like to meet?

6.  What’s your favorite season?

7.  Name the one book you’d recommend to others and why.

8.  Favorite types of foods and can you cook them?

9.  Would you rather wash the floor or mow the lawn?

10.  If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Run Like the Wind, Izzy!

As everyone in the U.S. knows, the whole country is experiencing some frigid weather, and it’s only going to get worse.  Though Izzy seems to get invigorated by cold weather, I don’t, so when we had a chance to visit a fellow writer in Durham this weekend, we took it . . . especially since that writer has a dog and a fenced-in yard.

Izzy hates riding in the car.  As soon as he knows we’re going somewhere, he commences shivering.  Nothing helps.  I put on his Thundershirt whenever we have to take a ride, I’ve bought him a sheepskin seat that basically boxes him in so he’ll feel safe, and I’ve given him treats.  Still, he shivers.  But since going out in the car often results in a positive experience, I keep taking him (though it breaks my heart to see him sitting beside me, tongue hanging out, his little body shivering and quaking as if he is convinced I’m taking him somewhere that will result in pain and horrors beyond imagination).  Funny, because he rarely goes to the vet’s and absolutely loves going to the groomer’s and our visits to friends far outweigh the vet visits.  I think it’s the actual traveling itself that has him terrified, which is why I bought the seat for him.  Suffice it to say, he’s going to continue traveling with me, shivering or not.

Yesterday’s visit resulted in a pure, unadulterated treat for him.  Our walks are always leashed.  Rarely does he have the pleasure of running freely since he cannot seem to get himself to listen to my calls to “come” when he’s free.  Being in a fellow dog’s fenced in yard is something akin to my feelings of bliss when I have a dish of salted caramel ice cream topped with hot fudge in front of me.  Orgasmic!

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my little guy running as fast as he can, ears flying, tongue hanging out, eyes bright.  If he could, I’m sure he’d be yelling, “yippppeeeeeeeee!” as loudly as he could.  You know how sometimes you can “hear” a dog’s voice without actually hearing it?  Some dogs have deep, Southern drawls (basset hounds), while others have foreign accents (poodles) and others are likely to be intellectual (bulldogs) while some would sound like hippies (yellow labs).  I imagine Izzy’s voice to be fast and chatty,  an adolescent’s nonstop silliness in a high-pitched, friendly, happy tone.

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He still glances at me questioningly whenever I open the door to my friend’s backyard, as if to say, “You’re coming too, aren’t you, Mom?” but to see him enjoy being a dog with Alfie, my friend’s rat terrier/bully mix, is worth driving him shivering to the next doggie play date.

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Fly, Izzy, fly!