Archive | Pets RSS feed for this section

Leprechaun Breakfast

17 Mar

Green Waffles. Green Milk.

Leprechaun pails packed with green shirts, new summer flip-flops and new green toothbrushes.

Leprechaun fingerprint on the dog so she won't get pinched.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Just Keep Swimming

28 Jan

Saturday morning, the rest of the house is asleep. Even the dogs, one of whom has already claimed the pillow I vacated, just raise a canine eyebrow when I ask about going outside.

So it’s just me. And the fish. Continue reading

Shhh. It Happens

28 Sep

We were so close, weren’t we? The whole posting every day thing? On a veritable roll. Then, *woosh!*

So I need to closely examine the reasons for the derailment: fear of failure, fear of success, writer’s block, commitment phobia? I  wrestled with them all, and here’s what it comes down to:

Poop.

Lots and lots of poop. Please stop reading now if you’re of a delicate constitution. Poop in many forms, none of them welcoming. Poop in many places, none of them appropriate. Poop, poop, poop. And the contributing harmony of barf. Barf to be analyzed and discussed in detail as it was searched for clues.

You see, last Monday, our little Jack Russell terrier, Bailey, went in to have her girly parts removed. Now, we have owned many pets (or, if you are with PETA, have “shared our lives and hearts with many companion animals.”), and all of them have gone through the spay and/or neuter process.

But Bailey’s initial bloodwork showed some tricky liver enzyme levels, so we expected it might be a tougher ride than usual. The vet did all sorts of things to make it easier, but we still brought home one stoned little puppy Monday night. Tuesday, she seemed a little better. Wednesday morning, better still.

And then, I went to drop something off at my daughter’s school and left her crate door open.

I returned home 30 minutes later, and found, from foyer to back door, a veritable minefield of bodily fluids. It was if  someone had turned a poo-filled blender onto “liquefy” and then left the cap off.  Bailey stood, staring at me unblinkingly. Given her size in relation to the size of the disaster, I am certain she had to be completely hollow. Y’all, things happened to my floors that Dick Cheney wouldn’t approve for prisoners at Guatanamo Bay.

I gagged and cleaned and gagged and cleaned and called the vet and then gagged and cleaned some more.

The medicine they gave her Wednesday didn’t work, she went on a hunger strike, and by Thursday night, when I HAD A MID-TERM, I was completely frantic.

Finally, a second round of medicine kicked in, the poo-storm subsided, and now, she’s fine. My Bissell steamer and my psyche are recovering, albeit more slowly.

So the moral to this story? Sometimes crap really does get in the way of our best intentions.

On a Roll

27 Sep

As you may have noticed, the “post every day in September” goal has been derailed. So I’m playing catch up. Pretend this is Saturday, not Sunday. I’m totally going to cheat and post four quick posts in a row. And they’ll all have a question for you at the end, so pay attention.

Silliest video someone’s sent me a clip to this week? The rolling bulldog puppy who just can’t get over. I totally have days like these.

So the next time I’m having one, what’s something you’ve seen that made you laugh? Go on, leave us a link.

Saying Goodbye

17 Jun

Even when we know it’s coming, death catches us unprepared.

Quince

Quince had been doing pretty well, all things considered. A little slower in the step, to be sure. But still,  jumping up on the bed to greet us in the mornings. Standing sentinel at the door in case he was needed for a trip to Sonic.

Then one night, he kept coughing while trying to eat, and walked away from a full bowl. For a corgi, that’s serious.

We switched to soft food, but the cancer had spread, keeping him from controlling his jaw. He bit his tongue, and it lolled out like a prize fighter who had been one too many rounds. Still, he would bob his head up and down with that tongue out, trying to offer broken kisses as best he could.

We knew, hearts broken, that it was time to let go. I made a final vet appointment, and the night before, as he shuddered to breathe, my daughter and I sat with him until early in the morning, both crying and petting him. And she, in the wisdom only a child can have, prayed, “God, it’s OK. I just don’t want him to hurt anymore.”

She told Quince, too.

“You can go. We’ll miss you so much, but it’s OK for you to go.”

Between sobs, we talked about whether or not there would be dogs in heaven, and I told her “yes, I thought so.”

And, as I often am for so many reasons, I was grateful that I have spent a decade of Sunday mornings listening to Max Lucado preach. Because Max believes there will be pets in heaven, too. And although it is hardly the most pressing theological issue of our time, early Monday morning as I cried with my girl, it was the most important one in the room.

Quince settled in and slept that morning, and eventually, so did we.

When it came time for his appointment later that day, my husband  and I met at the vet’s office, barely holding back tears until we got to the exam room.

Our vet, Dr. Kyle Crowley, was gentle and reassuring.  He joined us in petting our brave little general, and told us what we needed to hear, that this excruciating choice was the bravest and kindest we had. That cancer was killing him, we were sparing him pain. We stroked Quince gently while Dr. Crowley gave him those final shots, and we told him what a good dog he was over and over until we knew his heart was not beating.

And then, I told him a few more times. Because he was such a good dog.

We stayed for a while, and then, the vet came back in and told us to take all the time we needed. We gathered up his collar and leash and turned to go. But Dr. Crowley stayed, and he kept petting Quince so that we would not have to walk out of the room and leave him alone.

I will tell him, when I trust my tears to let me talk, how that small kindness was a balm to my bruised heart. That sometimes the simplest moments of compassion mean more than we can imagine.

But because I can write and cry at the same time, I will tell you the same now. Your comments and emails have been a reminder of all that is sweet in this world, a reminder that has made the bitterness of loss easier to swallow. Thank you for that.

Move Over, Ann Landers. Wait, you’re dead? AWKWARD.

15 Jun

For those keeping track at home, we’re beginning the second full week of summer vacation, complete with triple-digit temperatures which serve as a barometer of how loud the “I’m bored” whining will get.

And when they’re not whining, they’re asking things. Lots of things. Questions I was not aware I was going to get to answer this summer.

Upon the sad diagnosis of a beloved pet:

“Mom, when IS he going to die?”

“Can we get another dog?”

“It just feels like God hates me and what did I ever do to him?”

You see how they do that? Get me off-guard with the inappropriate inquiries and then deliver the sucker punch to the gut?

Of course, I try to give as measured, reasonable responses as I can about how even though God is loving and just, we live in a fallen world where sad things still happen. And we have deep theological debates about the nature of free will versus the question of why an omnipotent God allows the suffering of the innocent.

Unless the whining has been going on all morning. Then I just say “God is mad at you about a lot of things. But He told me He would let the dog live if you cleaned your room every morning without being asked and stopped fighting with your brother over the Wii. It’s all on you.”

No, of course I don’t say that. I’m kidding.

I tell them it’s because Daddy votes Republican.

Hahaha. Kidding again. Maybe.

When we aren’t tackling theology, we are tackling sex ed. Because, as my regular readers reader knows, the Jack Russell Terrier went into heat last week. And even though the corgis are both fixed and one of them is terminally ill, hope springs eternal. So one recent morning, I got this round of questions.

“Why are Tutter and Bailey stuck together?”

“If Tutter can’t make puppies, why is he doing that?”

And of course… the question of the hour: “Do you and Dad get stuck?”

I answered them all without my head exploding. Like this: 1) In the animal kingdom, that is how the dominant male ensures he will be the one to father the babies, by making sure no other males are also trying to get the female pregnant. 2) Because he and Bailey apparently ran off to Vegas and got married without telling us and 3) Would you like to go get some ice cream?

So as you can see, my question-answering skills are getting totally awesome. And you know, as much as I enjoy my children’s excellent inquiries, I’m a giver. Why should they get all my expertise?

So how about if *you* fire off some questions? Surely there’s some issue I can help you with. You can post it in the comments or email me at: lettergirl@live.com.

What’s that? You want to know if this is a ploy to get some blog topics and comments? Uh, would you like to go get some ice cream?

Also, you know that red button over there? You should lick on it and vote for me every day. Wait, I mean “click” on it. Although licking is fine if that’s what you do. I don’t judge. Either way, you should vote for me. If you do, God will make it cool off in San Antonio. No, really. It’s all on you.

Summer Heat

10 Jun

My life experiences to date have included voluntarily climbing into a pit of live rattlesnakes, rappelling down a cliff, seeing a child through 4 heart surgeries and producing 9 hours straight of live flood coverage without a break to pee WHILE PREGNANT.

None of them have in any way prepared me for the horror of trying to wrestle protective panties onto a Jack Russell terrier in heat.

Bailey

Now before you start with the spay and neuter lecture: I know. Bailey went in for her surgical appointment on schedule, but there were issues with her blood work, and the vet wanted to wait until they cleared up. And while we were waiting, things happened. She does not leave the house without supervision, and the corgis are fixed.

We will not be contributing to the pet overpopulation problem. Put your freaking pitchforks down.

So, we are starting off our summer with an informational biology lesson. Unfortunately, Bailey will not sit still to watch the very special “Blossom” episode where Mayim Bialik learns all about the facts of life.

I would love to share that episode with you, but I can’t find it on You Tube. However, in this one, Blossom chair dances in the intro and then plots to go to a “Makeout Party” with her friend, Six. It also contains the following gems of comedy gold.

“This, this is premeditated kissing. That’s a lot of pressure.”

Also:  “Andrea said that Mel put his tongue in her ear.”

But back to Bailey. She can’t watch “Blossom” because she’s too busy spending half her waking hours fighting off our corgi, Quince. Who yes, is a) neutered and b) the one with the terminal lymphoma.

Apparently he missed the memo about dying with dignity and is instead trying to cross “sex with a minor” off his bucket list.  Bailey, not one to to outdone on the inappropriate futility scale, spends the other half of her waking hours trying to hump him back.

I’d love to relieve her boredom and take her for a trip to the dog park, but I saw that Jodie Foster movie, and I am not interested in re-enacting the bar scene from “The Accused” with dogs. So until this is over, she’ll have to amuse herself by tearing off her puppy panties, ripping them to shreds and stashing them under my bed.

At least she’s leaving my underwear alone for a change.

%d bloggers like this: