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Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category

Doggie Time

I am having such fun with my new dog! At approximately four years of age she is a bundle of energy. I have taken her to visit a neighbor twice now – they have a fenced yard and three dogs of their own – one a 4 month old dog (the breed escapes me) that just loves to play. The other two are a little older than my dog and not as energetic. The two younger dogs have been running and playing and doing summersaults over each other and leaping over the other dogs like hurdles. It has been so much fun to watch.

The other day the three dogs from my neighbors ended up at my house for a few hours (the neighbors had workers over) and the dogs ran in circles through my house – which literally forms a big circle when all the bedroom and office doors are open. My cat is not… I repeat NOT happy about the new dog, or the herd of dogs he was forced to hide from. He is not… big NOT… happy that he is no longer the only child. He has been pouting because of this. He is afraid of the dog (my last dog was there from the beginning of his life, and barely acknowledged his existence.) The dog is afraid of the cat, but wants to play. It’ll work out eventually.

It is raining here – again. Thankfully we get a day between rains for it to soak in a little.

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For some reason it feels like Friday here – although it is just Monday. Perhaps because I have been talking with a number of accountants over the weekend, and had quite a number of meetings and events that took place on Saturday and Sunday. I’m feeling a little tired.

It doesn’t help that it is raining here – again. The weather outside is warm so I have opened my windows. A little moisture in the dry house won’t hurt.

I’ve added an addition to my family. Maggie is an American Pit Bull Terrier and the sweetest dog you will ever meet. I got her from a no-kill/rescue place in mid-Missouri. A friend of mine volunteers there and saw Maggie and thought she would be perfect for me.

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Not only is she sweet, she is also incredibly smart, and appears to have been trained at some point in her life. Without a fence I was concerned, but she appears to come when called (I found this out when she went after a squirrel before I got the leash on her.) I gave up on running with her on a short leash, and just let her run or walk with me – or around the yard by herself.

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It has been a few days since Mandy died, and I still cry thinking about her (I imagine this will go on for quite a while.) I will be ok… I miss her, but I know she is in a much better place. Punkin, my cat, has taken this opportunity to assert his #1 position, and doesn’t seem to miss her at all. Life goes on.

I want to thank all of those who sent me emails or called. Mandy was more than just my dog – she was my baby. She was spoiled, there was no doubt about that, but that was exactly as it should be. She was well-loved and she shared so much of her love with me.

With a simple injection into her vein she peacefully drifted off to sleep. I can only hope that when my quality of life diminished and I’m in pain that someone will do the same for me.

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I’ll miss you Mandy

Mandy

I had my 15-year-old Aussie, Mandy, put to sleep last night.

For the last 11 years Mandy has been my good friend and companion. Through three relationships, two significant deaths, and four cats – Mandy has been there.

Mandy was 4 when I got her. She was well-trained and an incredibly smart dog. Since there is no fence around my yard, I was sure I would need to purchase an electronic fence, but after a week of her stepping outside of the property line and me telling her “our yard”, she knew where she could and could not go – and didn’t begin crossing those lines until just a few months ago (and only on the side of the neighbor she really liked). When we would walk to a neighbors (no leash was required) and she got bored, she would “run away” back home. Her house and her car were where she wanted to be, because I would always come back to these places.

When I first got Mandy the neighborhood had a number of children. There would often be crowds around her because she was so gentle. With the words “Say please”, she would sit up and wave her paws up and down for 15 or 20 seconds. This was a huge crowd-pleaser.

say please

The first few months she was with me she didn’t bark. One day I heard a small bark come out of her and when I turned to look at her she cowered. I guess she had been beaten for this in the past. Instead, I rewarded her, and from that time on she was a great watch dog. In fact she chased off a group of teens trying to make trouble in the neighborhood and became the sweetheart of the block!

A great traveler, we have taken road trips to Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Philadelphia.

Over the past year, Mandy had lost her hearing and control of her bowels. Her hips had been giving her trouble, and she would often fall down and find it difficult to get up (so I started watching her when she would go outside so I could help her up if needed). I think she knew her times was coming to an end, because for the past few weeks she was never more than a few steps from me and tried as hard as she could to go with me wherever I went (although that was usually not possible).

Last evening she started panting heavy and this increasingly got worse until she seemed to be gasping for breath. I knew she had a growth around her throat, but at her age there was little that could be done for her. Her breathing was more and more difficult and the vet said it was time, and although I wasn’t really ready to make that decision, I knew it was the right thing to do.

I will miss my baby.

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For the last several days it has really been nippy outside – right around zero when you factor in the wind chill. I have the temp in the house set at 55+ degrees… I raise the temp 5 degrees a few days ago because I was so cold. I don’t think it is good that I can’t feel my own toes while walking around in the house (with socks and slippers on). The toes did come back to life. I guess that is one of the down-falls of having a house on a slab.

On Wednesday I went to visit my 98-year-old friend. Heat is included in her rent, and it is always 75 degrees in her apartment. Usually it feels like a sauna, but it actually felt good to be in the heat.

Yesterday my mom called me to make sure I hadn’t died from the cold. She worries and tries to get me to turn up the heat for my own survival. I tell her that when I start to shiver I put on another layer (or two) of clothing and wrap myself in a quilt if I’m still cold. She used the “you have an old dog” thing on me, but I explained that for some odd reason Mandy just LOVES the cold, and asks to go out into it every 20 minutes (which, for the record, is making me a little NUTS!) The other day when it was so cold and the wind was blowing so fierce, she was happily sitting on the ground loving it! She’s a nut case, but I love her (mom as well as Mandy).

I have been cringing every time I walk into the kitchen, because it is right next to the furnace room, and furnace always seems to be running. I’m a little frightened about this. The bill should be arriving any day now for the last month.

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I broke down…

…and turned on the A/C: I finally turned on the air conditioner. Really, I was fine with the temperature of the house being 91 degrees – honestly, I was not uncomfortable at all. However, what I failed to realize was that just because I had acclimated, didn’t mean my 14-year-old Australian Shepherd had. Yesterday morning she started throwing up… a lot. And, even though her hips really bother her and she hasn’t been very steady on them for some time, she was swaying more than usual. I shaved some of her fur, put a wet towels around her neck and another next to her stomach, then brought in a fan from the bedroom and pointed it toward her cubbie in my office. She seemed to sleep pretty well. When she woke up she walked to the next room and threw up again and started walking into walls. I called the vet, closed up the house and turned the air onto 82 degrees. Actually the vet said it wasn’t heat-related (although many of the symptoms were the same) – rather he guessed she had found some rabbit poo, snacked on it and gotten an intestinal virus. However, I don’t want to take any chances, and at least until the heat breaks here in St. Louis (it has been in the high 90’s and sometimes hitting 100 degrees here), I will keep the air conditioner on. Here’s a picture of my pretty girl…

Mandy

…and Picked a Squash: I just couldn’t wait and I picked one. I guess the fact that it was so incredibly difficult to cut open should have been a clue that it was not ripe, but that said… I spooned out the seeds, peeled it, cubed it, and boiled it. Then I mashed it, put a little butter, salt and pepper on it and ate it. Eh… not exciting eatin’, but it was filling. I’m sure when it is actually ripe and I cook it in the oven it will have a little more taste. Gotta work on that patience thing. Today I will try and find out when the squash is ripe.

…and cut my front lawn: Honestly, it was getting so tall I just couldn’t stand it anymore. It was a little cooler last night, so I just did it. We’ll see how it reacts in the heat today.

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