Oh My! An Update!

I have been such a bad doggie about updating!  My New Years’ Resolution will have to be updating this blog more regularly.

Well, I may have been a bad doggie about updating, but I have been a pretty good dog otherwise.  After all, it is the holiday season – and I want to make sure I get something from Santy Paws!  Last year he left me three whole pig’s ears – my favorite!  I could have made my own piggy pudding that song keeps talking about.

Well, what has been happening since my last update?  Mama and Daddy got married, making me a legitimate puppy.  They went on a honeymoon – and I was wrong, I didn’t get to go with them.  I did spend the week at Mama’s parents’ house, so I got my own sort of vacation, but it’s not the same as spending time with My People.  Not long after they came back, they took me with them for an extra photoshoot with their wedding photographers at Mendon Ponds Park.  Doggies are only allowed in certain parts of the park, but I didn’t care: I was with My People and there were so many new smells!  I even saw something called a horse, something which was simultaneously intriguing and upsetting: I could not help but stare at it, and I growled and barked at it in order to protect My People from it (who knows what such a creature could do?!).  The photographers were really nice to me, telling me what a pretty dog I was – and they took some super-awesome family portraits of us!

(I love cuddles from My People, but sometimes I get embarrassed)

In these pictures I had sight of that horse… And I was none-too-pleased.

Daddy stopped my barking by employing some “corporal cuddling.”

Mama put her crown-thingy on my head… I don’t know why people do such weird things.

Anyway, that was the big excitement.  Mama is still looking for a “job,” which means I get to spend a lot of time with her – which I like, even though I know that despite thinking I am the best dog ever, Mama wants to be working again.  I am not liking the cold winds that come with winter, but I know it could always be worse, and I am grateful it isn’t.

Oh, and for a bit of nostalgia: A year and a day ago, Daddy and Mama had some people over for a holiday brunch.  They even dressed me up for the occasion:

Soon after everyone left, Mama got a text from her sister: “You’re going to be an aunt soon.  Like probably in a few hours.”  Well, of course Mama wanted to stay up until she heard about the arrival of the little one.  Not one to leave one of My People in a time of need, I tried to stay up, too, as did Daddy:

As you can see, it didn’t work out too well.

At any rate, shortly before midnight, Mama’s nephew was born!  I have met him a few times, and he is a sweet little guy.  He knows how to act around doggies since he lives with my furry cousin, Abby-da-Puppy – and My People are happy to see that my good nature extends to Very Small human-pups.

Here he is with Abby-da-Puppy in August.  He’s not even my species and I think he’s too darn cute!

Anyway, that is a somewhat scattered account of some of the goingson here with me.  And in case I don’t update before they happen for you, here’s wishing all of you a Happy Non-Denominational Holidays!  If he comes to your house, may Santy Paws be kind to you – and even if he doesn’t, here’s wishing you all comfort, joy, and peace this season.

Quick Note

I know I haven’t posted in a while.  Things have been so busy and exciting over here!  A while ago, you may remember, Daddy and Mama got married at a courthouse.  Since that wasn’t really what they had planned originally, they are also having a wedding so their friends and family can celebrate with them.  Sadly, I can’t be there with them, so I am going to be hanging out at Mama’s parents’ house; I’ll be alone some of that time, but don’t worry, I’ve been told someone is going to be taking care of me.

After that Daddy and Mama say they are going on something called a “honeymoon.”  I don’t know what that is.  They say it will be a nice getaway for the two of them – but I always get too be with them (remember camping?), so I’m sure I will be getting away with them too, and we can all cuddle together in bed all snuggly-like as always.

…Right, guys?

Well with all the excitement I won’t be posting for a little while – which is kind of a shame, since I have a lot of awesome videos and pictures to share with you guys!  Don’t worry: As soon as I can, I’ll be sharing.  Maybe I’ll have some “honeymoon” pics of my own!  In the meantime, I’ll have to give you this to tide you over.  The picture is a little blurry and from almost a full year ago, but I like it: I was helping Mama with wedding planning – and showing the attitude Mama has been having the past few weeks towards the whole process.

I’ll post again as soon as I can!

Furry Heroes

Ten years ago yesterday an awful thing happened in this country.  I wasn’t around for it – I hadn’t been born yet, actually – but I heard about it.  I don’t have my own story to tell of that day, but it affected countless humans the world over – I doubt I need to tell you that.

Rather than wax poetic about something that never directly affected me, I wanted to share a little bit about heroes.  There are more human heroes than can be properly named in this setting, a lot of whom didn’t make it out alive.  As a dog, I want to look a little bit more at the canine heroes of that terrible day.  They helped locate survivors – and also the remains of those who were killed.

Human Mary Flood and her rescue dog, Jake.  Jake is now deceased and was found, upon necropsy, to be riddled with cancer.  The results of his necropsy have been cataloged by a medical center studying the effects of working in the World Trade Center on the body.  Here you can see Jake almost sensing how this was different from other search/rescue missions, but maybe I am projecting.

Rescue dog Porkchop, here being treated for dehydration with his person… This picture makes me sad.

Human Scott Shields with his dog Bear, also being given water (from his owner’s hand – something I like to do myself – rather than through an IV like Porkchop).

Rescue dog (name unknown) being transported out of the debris.

A canine officer and his furry partner (names unknown) taking a much-needed break September 18, 2001.

This is Apollo, the first rescue dog who was on site on what was known as Ground Zero.  I like this picture because it shows sort of the eager-to-please nature of dogs.

This makes for an amazing story… This is Roselle, who is not a search/rescue dog – but a guide dog for the disabled.  She is here with her owner, a man who worked in the World Trade Center whom she led to safety down 78 flights of stairs.  Here she is receiving an award for her dedication to duty.  As you can tell, dogs aren’t terribly impressed by awards.  All the thanks we need is love – and treats don’t hurt either.

And even out of tragedy comes hope.  These two little ones are named for victims of the attacks – Hoey and Hatton.  They are sniffer-dogs in training for the TSA – trying to follow in some majorly brave paw prints.

If you are interested in more stories of 9/11 rescue dogs, click here to see this story from the New York Times; this article has all to do with privately owned dogs who were mobilized to help with the rescue efforts.  Even more stories are available at The Daily Mail, as well as this piece on therapy dogs who helped workers deal with the devastation they witnessed.

Scooty Booty

A few weeks ago Mama and I were coming home after going out for walkies.  She stopped and talked with the mom of a neighborhood dog named McGill, a big black shaggy bear of a thing.  I get so bored when Mama does this – but this time I also felt itchy.  Specifically, my butt itched.  A lot.  As any of you who have met dogs know, we don’t really have a sense of what you humans call “shame,” so I decided to just scoot along right there on the sidewalk.  This, unfortunately, led to a distressed outburst from McGill’s mom.

“She’s got worms!  She’s got worms!” she cried out.  She went on to tell Mama that Annie, the poodle who lives next door to my family, has worms.  She described some major scooting she had seen Annie doing and told Mama that she should check my poop for worms and take me to the vet.

Mama tried to explain to McGill’s mom that I’d had issues with scooting before that had nothing to do with worms.  One time Mama took me to the vet because I was scooting and chewing on my butt a lot, and he had to “express my anal glands.” Every dog has two glands in his/her anus, and these glands contain liquid with a distinct aroma.  To humans it smells icky, but it tells us dogs a lot of information: the scents from these glands tell us the other dog’s sex, health, age, if s/he is interested in mating, etc; that’s why we like to smell each other’s butts when we meet – so much more informative than shaking hands or whatever you humans like to do.  Normally, when we poop the liquid gets released, but sometimes, especially with small dogs like me, the liquid can build up.  Apparently that has happened with me a lot.  Thankfully, this has never resulted in infection, as it sometimes can (according to the vet), but it does make for some major discomfort for me, leading to the vet having to put his fingers in my butt to get the liquid to release – which is even more uncomfortable!  One vet said that one of my two glands wasn’t quite in the right position, leading to that gland not getting released when it was supposed to be., which is why I kept having issues with scooting.

Anyway, like I said, Mama tried to explain this – but McGill’s mom kept insisting that I must have gotten worms from Annie.  Mama and I did actually see Annie do a lot of scooting, but Annie’s mom said it wasn’t a health issue.  Besides, we have heard McGill’s mom and Annie’s mom don’t really get along, so who was to say what was right?

Well for a while I stopped scooting, but then it came back with a vengeance.  My butt itched so badly!  Daddy and Mama didn’t see anything icky in my poop that made them suspect worms, but I kept scooting, so Mama made an appointment with the vet.  Again.

The vet office we go to is actually quite nice.  The people who work up front are always really nice.  There usually isn’t a long wait.  Mama doesn’t usually have to pay much.  And even the vets are nice.  I always get excited going for a ride, and when I get there I always have to sniff around.  Around the time I get into an exam room I tend to get a little nervous.  I can smell the other animals that have been in the room before me and the cleaning materials they use to disinfect, so I go nuts smelling all over… Also this is when it starts to sink in that I am here to see the doctor.

Here Mama smiles, but you can see the realization that I am soon to have a vet touching my butt dawning.

Mama decided it might be amusing to document how interested in the smells I get… She is a bit quiet, so in case you can’t hear, at one point she does say “Does it smell like vet in here?”

“So many smells… Mama… What is going on?!”

When the vet came in, he asked Mama “Is someone doing the booty dance?”  Mama assented, and explained there was the possibility that a neighbor’s dog had worms.  Before Mama could say anything more, he cut her short and said “That’s an old wife’s tale.  She doesn’t have worms.”  Well, that was the end of that.

He did express my anal glands, as the other vets I have seen do (it doesn’t hurt, but I don’t really like it).  But he said this wasn’t the main issue.  He looked at my skin all over and said that I probably had allergies.  Yes, dogs can have allergies too!  We can be allergic to things in the environment, but also to things in our food.  He said it can be hard to narrow down exactly what it is that is causing the allergies, but that I can feel better by getting half a Benadryl with my food twice a day.  He also said that if I get really scooty, Daddy or Mama could put some hydrocortisone from my butt all the way up the underside of my tail – and keep me from licking it for ten minutes or so (human medicine can sometimes make dogs sick – but we dogs have a hard time resisting our natural urge to lick things).

So I don’t have worms (I didn’t think I did!) and My People have a way to make me less scooty.  And on an unrelated note, I lost a little weight (I was getting a bit heavy for the vet’s liking), which is also good for my health.  All in all, it was a successful visit to the doctor.  After all that, I thought I deserved a rest.

Hattie and Huxley

This has been such a busy week for me!  It’s been so exciting I have had trouble figuring out what to talk about first  and I wish I could talk about it all at once, but I think things would get confusing – more confusing than when there’s a treat on then floor, then Daddy or Mama points out something else and when I return to the treat, it’s magically gone.  So I’ll have to break it down into a few separate posts, I guess.

A few days ago Mama took me with her to visit a friend of hers that she has known pretty much since she was a pup.  Her friend is leaving town so she wanted to say goodbye, but she thought it might be nice to introduce me to her friend’s two dogs, both of whom are Yorkies.  One of them is a 3-year old male, Huxley.  A teacup Yorkie and the runt of his litter, I think he is the smallest dog I have ever met in my entire life.  Seriously, I have met puppies bigger than this little guy!  He had spunk and spirit though.  When I peed on the deck, he sniffed it with interest and peed on top of it – a bit of re-establishing that this was his territory, but good-natured about it really.  And he was cuddly with my Mama.  Even though it makes me jealous, I’m still glad he treated her well.

Here he is on a stair above me, trying to get to know me… Yeah, that’s a sweater on him – and he didn’t seem to care!

Here you can get a little bit of a better idea how tiny this little guy was.

However what Mama and her friend were more interested in was my reaction to her friend’s other doggie, Hattie, the female that he got a year or so before he got Huxley.  Why?  Well, to  answer that, I’ll have to go back to when her friend first met me.  He came over and I ran up to greet him  – I love meeting visitors!  After fawning over me (as well he should), he commented how much I looked like Hattie.  He then gasped and asked Mama, “Omigod, do you think they’re related?”

Mama commented that it was possible, and while I couldn’t really offer my input, I silently agreed.  After all, I do have some babies out there in the world, and she is young enough that it’s possible I had her during my breeding years.  Some dogs seem to recognize their parents or litter-mates after being separated for years, so I figured that if this was, indeed, one of my puppies, we’d know each other right away.

Well, it turns out that we’re not related.  Or at least I don’t think we are.  Hattie didn’t seem to either.  Of the two dogs in that house, Hattie is definitely the alpha.  As soon as Mama and I came into the house, I could hear Hattie barking her head off, warning me that this was her turf.  Even Huxley joined in, though less vehemently: He didn’t really know what the fuss was all about, but he knew that the alpha-dog was barking, so he figured it was probably time to bark.  Once Hattie got a couple of sniffs in, she was mostly OK with me.  She did bark and even growl a couple of times, but that was as far as it went.  As a whole we were fine with each other, but it was clear we didn’t have much affinity for each other.  Definitely not one of my kids.  Probably.  But I will concede that we do look an awful lot alike.  Let’s examine the resemblance.  On the left is Hattie, on the right is me.  Can you tell?

And some more pictures of the three of us playing… There were a lot of blurred shots because we were having so much fun sniffing each other!

I think they liked me… They sure seemed to be sniffing my butt a lot, at least.

I love meeting new people – and new doggies too!  Even with the barking, I had a fun time.  Even though Hattie is going to be staying in town (she lives with the parents of Mama’s friend, with whom he was living), Huxley is going with Mama’s friend out of the state.  I’ll miss that little guy.  Probably not as much as Mama will miss her friend though.

Update on Abby and a Weather Warning

A few posts ago I wrote about my cousin Abby, who wasn’t doing too well.  Well, Mama saw her today.  I wasn’t allowed to come with her because she had some other stops to make where dogs aren’t allowed (such a lame rule).  She had a bit of a hard go after getting out of the hospital, but she slowly got better.  She had to be on a special diet for a while to help with her intestinal issues and she laid low for a while – and with her level of energy, you know that she was feeling icky if she was laying low.  Well Mama reports that Abby was just as bouncy and energetic as ever.  And, well, a bit frisky.

Abby lives with two kitties, a male named Tommy who is rather quiet and submissive and a female named Ella who is something of an alpha.  Apparently Mama looked over and saw Abby mounting Tommy – well, the way that males mount females to mate.  That may sound funny that Abby tried mounting a boy since a) both are fixed so they can’t have babies, b) they are different species, c) usually it’s the male mounting the female!  But as I’ve said many times, dogs are different than you humans: We might mount another animal whether it’s our species or not – not necessarily to mate, but sometimes to assert our dominance; alpha status has nothing to do with gender, so even though it might sound funny that a female tried mounting a male, really Abby was asserting her dominance over Tommy.  Apparently this is a habit of hers, as Abby’s mom told Mama that she knew Abby was feeling better when she started trying to mount Tommy.

You might remember in the video of Abby and me meeting I put in the last post about Abby, she tried mounting me too.  Abby’s mom told her off for it, and I appreciated that.  I’ve had enough of that back in my breeding days, thank you very much.

In other news, there is apparently a hurricane headed towards the East Coast.  Keep safe, humans – and keep your animals as calm as possible.  Scary weather sometimes equals scared animals.  I normally don’t mind scary weather (well, as long as I am inside), but sometimes I get on the alert with loud noises.  Almost two weeks ago there was a thunderstorm around here, and I got a little on edge:

This was right after a clap of thunder.  Before I had been laying next to Mama as she read.

“It’s OK, Piper… Calm down.”

I think I’ll be OK, but you never know.  Mama did get me something called a Thunder Shirt, which helps a lot of doggies stay calm in stressful situations.  I’ve only worn mine once, so I’m not sure how well it’ll work, but I guess a lot of other pups find them really relaxing.  You might not have a Thunder Shirt, but I bet you know other ways to keep your animals calm.  I hope you don’t need it though.

Dropping Off and Showing Off

This weekend the Rescue that gave me a second chance at Life is having a rummage sale.  All the proceeds will be used to pay the medical bills of doggies who aren’t in the best of health.  I think this is both awesome and a pretty big deal.  After all, if some people weren’t generous enough to donate some money to the Rescue, I’d still have some serious health issues – or worse – so I am glad that My People wanted to do what they could to help out.  Mama went through the house and gathered a bunch of things that she and Daddy don’t use anymore and today she brought me with her to donate the items for the rummage sale.  Mama has been donating a lot of things lately to some other places, but she wanted to give as much as she could to the Rescue because she knows there are doggies out there that need even more medical attention than I ever did.

By the time we got there, Mama was kind of juggling my leash, one of the smaller boxes full of items for the Rescue to use (old towels, a doggie sweater that doesn’t fit me – thankfully – and a chew toy I never really liked), and a tube of gift wrap she wanted to donate.  I was excited to be taken out for a ride, so I probably wasn’t making things to easy for her – but thankfully there were a bunch of volunteers there who were able to help Mama with her other two boxes (like I said, she really got into looking for stuff to donate).  One of the volunteers there was my foster mommy!  She was there with a new foster-girl, a pug-beagle mix (or puggle) named Daisy Mae.  She was 4 but way energetic!  She was pulling on the leash to come over and meet me, and she liked to cuddle with our foster mommy too.  Daisy has a paw that got run over by a car at some point, but that doesn’t seem to slow her down at all!  In fact, she had way more energy than I did.  She looks like she’d make a fun playtime companion for someone.

It’s always nice to check in now and then with the Rescue.  Of course I prefer being in my Forever Home, but it’s nice to see some familiar faces, the first nice humans I really met.  And I like meeting the other doggies because I know that just like me, they’ll be matched with a wonderful person or family that will love them utterly.

On another note, I now have a Facebook  page!  I love meeting new people, and I thought it might help to do that by getting a Facebook page.

And finally, I’ll leave you with a picture.  I groomed again last week.  Here I am relaxing after getting my hair did.