doggie doctor’s orders

i'm plottin' mah escape
i'm keepin mah teefs clean

The day before yesterday, we took our two dogs to the vet for their annual checkup. Bessie was her usual rock solid, reliable self, lying down on the floor of the waiting room and patiently waiting her turn.  Olive was….well…Olive.  She barked insanely at every dog who came in, including a poor deaf dog who was already so confused and scared that he just cowered in a corner.  I have no idea if she thought that the trembling deaf dog was a threat, or if she was just trying to speak up loud enough for him to hear.  HAI! I’M OLIVE! WHY U NOT TALKIN?  MEBBE IF I’M LOUDER U CAN HEER ME? HELLOOOOOOO?  Jon eventually took her outside to wait our turn where she couldn’t terrorize any other people or puppies.  Thankfully our vet has separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs or it could have been worse!

Once we got back into the exam room, everything went great.  Both girls were patient as they were weighed, as the scale suddenly rose and became an exam table, as they were palpated and poked and probed, and even as they had blood drawn, stool samples taken, and shots given.  And through it all, I swear, Olive must have been LISTENING.

See, the vet was very impressed with how clean our dogs’ teeth are, and he also discussed how much of an ordeal it is for pets to get their teeth cleaned, as they have to be put under anesthesia.  He also explained that chewing food and rawhides helps clean the teeth and prevent the need for teeth cleaning.  And I swear, the threat of anesthesia and another trip to the vet must have scared poor puppygirl, because when we got home, she had her same puppy dinner, but she ate it at 1/4 speed, carefully chewing every bite.  She has so far kept this up through two breakfasts and two dinners.  Watching her eat so carefully, where usually she’d be swallowing each bite whole, I could almost hear her singing to herself, “brusha brusha brusha!

cats rule, dogs drool, & i’m fine with that

happee puppee trofee wife
happee puppee trofee wife

Generally, people fall into one of two categories: cat people and dog people.  Sometimes the two categories overlap, but most of the time, they don’t.  And there can be as much animosity between the two camps as there are between Democrats and Republicans, jocks and nerds, Razorback fans and LSU fans.  Cat people pride themselves on their emotional superiority.  They don’t need an animal to worship and adore them, they say, they can handle an animal who isn’t always happy to see them, who doesn’t always welcome their affections, who doesn’t require constant stimulation and attention.  Dog people enjoy having an animal who can be trained, who responds to commands, who can be taught tricks, and who can be taken to parks and out on other fun outings.  Some people even try to genderize cats and dogs, suggesting that cats are more like females, and dogs are more like males.

I think I take a different tack.  I am firmly in the dog-person camp, though I think cats are adorable and sometimes wish I had one to sit in my lap, purring while I read or watch TV– though I am convinced that the mere fact of this desire means that any cat I ever had would absolutely refuse to participate in such activities.  No, to me, a dog person, there is division even among dog people.  Dogs are, you see, like different types of girlfriends, and I fear that in this respect, I’m like the dog-owning equivalent of a male chauvenist pig. Continue reading “cats rule, dogs drool, & i’m fine with that”

two dogs are better than one

Last night, we spent about an hour sitting on the back porch, enjoying the weather once the sun sank behind the trees

Bessie thinks Olive was the best Christmas present we ever got her.
Bessie thinks Olive was the best Christmas present we ever got her.

and the temp sank to a level that seemed downright nice compared to the sweat-pooling-in-my-bra-while-standing-at-the-bus-stop it had been at 5 when I spent about 10 minutes standing on a sidewalk in the blazing full sun.  We also swatted at mosquitos (curse you South Carolina marshes which are apparently heaven on earth for the lil bloodsuckers), wondering why our geraniums weren’t doing a better job repelling bugs– seriously, we were sitting with a giant geranium in between us, ruffling its leaves periodically to release whatever it is that supposedly makes geraniums repel bugs.  We even lit our citronella torches and wondered how in the world they managed to have such insanely huge flames.  Guess Jon’s going to have to spray the yard with poison again.

But we endured the bugs because it is such fun to watch our two dogs playing together.  They chased after tennis balls, chased after each other chasing after tennis balls, and just plain wrestled.  Sometimes they paused to graze.  Yes, graze– I’m starting to wonder if my dogs are either watching their ladylike figures by munching on salads, or perhaps suffering from some sort of nutritional deficiciency, as they munch on our grass like it’s the best snack ever.  Anyone know what’s up with that?

Anyway, as we sat their watching our hilarious puppygirls romp and play, tails wagging and tongues hanging out, just enjoying their lil puppydog lives, Jon said, “You know, most people who have one dog say they don’t want another because they don’t have enough time for the one dog as it is.  But really, two dogs are way less work than one.”  It’s totally true!  When we just had Bessie, we were the be all and end all of Bessie’s social life.  We were, aside from the scoundrels who dare to pass by our house and must be barked at like the bad people they are– HOW DARE THEY PUSH THEIR STROLLER PAST OUR HOUSE, THOSE ROGUES!– her only source of stimulation.  We finally had to cave and install a doggie door because we couldn’t get through a 30 minute TV show without Bessie wanting to be let in and out at least 3 times.  We had to throw balls and tug ropes and take walks all the time.  We’d take her to the dog park, where she’d have so much fun playing with other dogs, and we’d talk about how we really needed to get her a buddy, and we’d wonder if we had the time to devote to such a buddy.  Surely two dogs would be twice the work, right? Continue reading “two dogs are better than one”

a tale of three puppies

Those readers who know me are probably already confused.  But Ernie Bufflo, you only have two dogs, you’re already saying.  Ah yes, physically I have two dogs, but psychologically, you see, I have three.  I guess I should start at the beginning…

Our Bessie girl at the beach.
Our Bessie girl at the beach.

One of the things I was most excited about when we moved and bought a house with a yard was the chance to get a dog.  After all, for a year of studio living, I had been dreaming of the day I’d have a dog of my own.  I always had a dog or two growing up, and I just love having a dog in my life.  As soon as we could, we went to a local shelter to find the newest member of our family.  We took many dogs out into a little yard to play and get a sense of each other, but we ultimately settled on our gal Bessie, a catahoula/lab mix who was around 3 months old at the time.  Bessie came to us already potty trained, and, for the most part, was a great dog from the get-go.  She had a bit of a puppy chewing phase, with a particular taste for electronics– Xbox cords, remote controls, cell phones.  She also hated throw pillows with a fiery passion and loved nothing more than to rip their guts out, leaving pillow-innards strewn about the living room like a blizzard’s aftermath.  Still, she quickly grew out of all of that.

Two years later, Bessie is the perfet loyal labrador.  Sure, she has her quirks, as I’ve blogged before, but for the most part, she’s a mellow, sweet girl.  She just wants to lie at our feet, catch a few tennis balls, and will eagerly let us know when mealtime is approaching.  So, having had such a great experience with our first dog, I began dreaming about a second.  Ok, Ok, more like obsessively checking The Daily Puppy and Craigslist and begging Jon to get another puppy.

When we went home for Christmas, we had the perfect opportunity– a stray pup was staying with my parents in search of a permanent home or a place in a rescue.  She had been found so starved in the woods that the friends who found her thought she was dead.  They nursed her back to health but couldn’t keep her because they had a new baby on the way. My parents thought she’d make a good companion for my grandmother, but the poor dog was scared to death of Memaw, who was, I must admit, a little harsh with the dog.  So, by the time we met her, the poor little black pup was on at least her third home and looking for a fourth (my parents had their hands full with Roxanne the airdale and my littlest sister who has autism).  The dog played very well with Bessie, and after watching them romp and wrestle for a week, we had fallen in love and agreed to bring her back home with us.

Pretty Olive.
Pretty Olive.

And so she became Olive, a member of our family.  At home with us, Olive is a great dog.  Bessie had never been to fond of my snuggling and cuddling schemes, but Olive will savor and enjoy every bit of affection we give.  She’s a true snuggle pup, and she couldn’t be sweeter.  She is also heartbreakingly cute, and a tiny bit mischievious.  Ok, a lot a bit mischievious.  For a while there, she escaped from our yard every. single. day. Jon did a LOT of work on our fence, and between his Olive-thwarting and her finally feeling comfortable enough with us to decide to stick around, she’s finally decided she likes it here enough not to try to run off every single day.  Continue reading “a tale of three puppies”

hydraphobia!

I am the mother of two rather large mutts.  Bessie, a catahoula leopard dog/labrador retriever mix, weighs in at about 75 pounds. She’s like a lab, spotted like a cow. She even has webbed toes. We joke that between the spots and her whiskers, sometimes she resembles a leopoard seal pup. Olive, a petite lab/border collie (we think) mix, weighs in at around 45 pounds and bounces and leaps like her legs are made of springs. Watching her run is like poetry in motion. Watching her jump up and down is just plain hilarious. The one thing these two crazy girls have in common? Hatred of water.

We like to sunbathe and snuggle! Water sux!
We like to sunbathe and snuggle! Water sux!

That’s right.  My two dogs, despite the fact that they supposedly have retriever running through their little puppy veins, have no interest in plunging into some body of water to retrieve dead waterfowl.  In fact, they’d rather not even wade in the shallow end.  Or walk through a puddle.  Or go out in the rain.  Or take a bath.  Or, even on the hottest of hot Southern summer days, get into the kiddie pool you lovingly provided for their refreshment.  On a rainy day, they will poke their little heads out the doggie door, and, at the sight of precipitation, sigh and refuse to go outside, no matter HOW BAD they have to pee.  And heaven forbid you try to take Bessie to the beach.  I’m sure we look like animal abusers every time we’ve tried it, because if we get too close to the waves, she basically digs her paws into the sand and refuses to go any further.  And here we are, dragging her by the leash, “It’s the beach! You are such a lucky puppygirl that you get to come to the beach! Puppies LOVE water! You even have webbed toes! Isn’t this fun?”  All the while our dog is acting like we are attempting to drag her into a WOOD CHIPPER.  We basically don’t even bother any more.  Continue reading “hydraphobia!”