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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.


Abby-da-Puppy

A little while ago I mentioned my furry cousin, Abby, in fleeting.  Let me tell you a little more about her.

Abby is owned by Mama’s sister.  She is called Abby-da-Puppy, as when Mama’s sister brought her in, she was, well, a puppy.  We don’t know a whole lot about Abby’s background before she came to live with Mama’s sister and her family.  We know that she was owned by one family, then another, and then eventually found her Forever Home.  For a lot of doggies, this would make them anxious and uncertain (I think I’d have trouble adjusting), however Abby is pretty happy-go-lucky and settled in just fine.

That was years ago – I wasn’t rescued yet.  Now Abby is about four years old, but she is still very much a puppy at heart.  She has crazy energy and loves it when people or dogs come to see her.  Whenever she gets company she jumps on the humans non-stop and tries to play with the dogs.  Mama was kind of nervous at how hyper Abby gets because Mama’s sister just had a baby; she was worried that Abby might accidentally hurt the baby without meaning to just from being so excited.  Thankfully, while she remains exuberant as ever, Abby is actually very protective of her human-boy.

Here she is with him when he was three months old.  Too cute.

Don’t let that calm facade fool you.  I have no doubt that before this picture was taken Abby was bouncing all around off the furniture and people in the room.  That’s just how she rolls.  I don’t remember having anywhere near that level of energy when I was four, but then, she and I were in different situations.  Any time I have seen her she has started pouncing on me almost instantly – not in an aggressive way, but sort of the doggie equivalent of shouting “oh-my-God-hi-I-like-you-will-you-be-my-friend-you’re-my-friend-let’s-play-let’s-play-let’s-play-let’s-play!”  I don’t mind playing a little, but I’m too old for that kind of rambunctiousness.

The past few weeks Abby’s family has been having a rough time.  Abby’s dad had two deaths in the family in two weeks time.  A few days ago Abby’s mom, my Mama’s sister, joined her husband at a funeral out of state while Mama’s mother watched the baby and Abby.  When Abby’s mom came back, Abby was throwing up non-stop and pooping blood.  Like they needed something else on their plate.  Abby is now at a doggie hospital getting IV fluids (she felt so icky she couldn’t even keep water down) and treatment.  The vets say she should be OK, but she’ll need to spend the weekend in the hospital.

I feel bad for Abby.  Even though she’s four, I can’t help but think of her as a puppy given her high spirits.  I’m glad she is getting the help she needs.  To kind of relive her more high-spirited times, here is a video from when I met Abby-da-Puppy for the first time:

As you might imagine, I was pretty beat from that play-fest.  I had fun, but play like that wipes me out.

Here’s hoping Abby-da-Puppy is back on all four paws in no time.

Update 8/13/11: Abby is home from the hospital and recovering.  Way to bounce back, cuz!


A Visit from Uncle Scruffy

Lots of friends and family of Daddy and Mama have dogs of their own.  When I talked about camping, I mentioned Spike and Brodie.  Now let me tell you about Scruffy.

Scruffy is a dog that lives with Daddy’s parents.  They live out of state most of the time, but when they come back to New York, they always bring Scruffy with them.  He’s a bischon frise they got from friends of theirs who couldn’t take care of a dog anymore, and he’s 14-years old.  That’s about 98 in dog years!  I first met him in the cold weather when his fur was huge and bushy.  Daddy said it made him reminiscent of Jerry Garcia, but I don’t know who that is.  Now that the weather is getting warmer (especially in Florida, where Daddy’s parents live), they have given him a short hair cut so he can keep cool.

(Daddy says he thinks Scruffy looks girly, but we dogs don’t really see things like humans do.  What do you think?)

Friday night Mama took me for my evening walk.  As we came close to home, she stopped and talked with one of her neighbors who have a nice shaggy dog named McGill.  Before we left, Daddy had left somewhere, and as Mama stood there talking (boooring!), Daddy came home – yay!  Imagine my surprise when I saw that he had Scruffy with him!  I had only seen Scruffy over at his parents’ place, never around here.  What was going on – and why did Daddy have a doggie bed and a bag of special food with him too?

It turns out that Daddy’s parents, in state for the month, were making a weekend trip out of town.  Normally Scruffy would be taken care of by one of Daddy’s sisters, but she was going to be out of town too, so Daddy and Mama agreed to watch him while they were out of town.

I didn’t care for this too much.

Don’t get me wrong.  Scruffy is a nice dog.  We’ve never had an issue before when on his home turf.  In fact, pretty much every time I have gone over there, we have a nice time sniffing each other, then go our seperate ways and ignore each other the entire time.  Maybe not as friendly as humans are, but dogs are different: We weren’t fighting, so really everything was OK between us.

But that was on his territory.  I didn’t like having another dog in my territory.

Daddy set up Scruffy’s bed by the dining table.  He and Mama set down some extra pee-pads because Scruffy sometimes has problems with incontinence (he’s getting pretty old, after all – give him a break!).  Scruffy had never been to our place before, so he smelled all over and got a feel for his surroundings.  I followed him closely to make sure he wasn’t messing up my home turf.  Most upsetting to me was when he came near my food bowl.  Scruffy had already eaten his dinner at home, and he doesn’t eat much anyway.  Scruffy was not even trying to eat my food or anything, he was just exploring the place.  But I wanted to make sure he knew that this food was mine.  I didn’t have to growl or anything like that, but any time he came close, I made sure I ran between him and the bowl to intercept him – even once it was empty.

Yeah, he looks innocent… But you never know… Constant vigilance!

Anyway, it became clear to me that he wasn’t going anywhere.  He may not be an actual threat, but I still didn’t have to like it.  He was just as pleasant as he always was, but I felt put out having another dog messing up the smell I’d worked so hard to put all over my place.  He explored the place some more.  I sulked.

Hmpf.

Well, being an old-timer, Scruffy did spend a lot of his time sleeping or resting, as one might expect.

Seriously guys, he’s 14.  It’s understandable.

As he started to settle in, Mama came over to him and pet him.  She cooed what a good boy he was being.  What the heck, I thought, he’s not your baby!  I am!  I would leave whatever perch I had found to insinuate my head under her hand, insisting on pettings.

(About 30 seconds before me diving from the chair to get pettings)

I spent the night dealing with his being there.  We dogs don’t have much concept of time, so I didn’t know what all this meant.  Was Scruffy living here now?  What was all this?  Why?  Why?!

As it turns out, Scruffy was only spending the night.  Saturday night Daddy’s sister and her boyfriend came back home and picked Scruffy up.  That was fine by me.  I even asserted my dominance over the space by peeing on the rug – I normally don’t, but I needed to do something to remind anyone who came along that I was the only dog in this space!

But at least I had one sense of superiority while he was here: I got to sleep in Daddy and Mama’s bed, and Scruffy didn’t.  Not that he wanted to – or even could jump up into the bed with his bad knees.  But still, I got it and he didn’t.

All in all I suppose it wasn’t so bad.  But that doesn’t mean I want another dog over here again any time soon.


An Inside Dog’s Outdoor Adventure

Ever since coming to live with Mama and Daddy, I have been an inside dog  This is fine by me: In the summer there is something called central air which keeps me cool.  In the winter there is heat to keep me warm.  When it rains or snows, there is a roof over my head.  Plus there are lots of comfy surfaces on which I can snooze.

Like this.

And this.

And of course this.

In fact, even though I love going out for walkies, I am actually something of a diva.  A lot of dogs, for example, like to tramp through mud puddles on their walks after a good rain.  Not me.  I will steer myself around a mud puddle – even hop onto rocks if I have to in order to avoid getting my dainty little toesies wet.  Maybe it’s because of the time I spent on the street, maybe it’s just how I naturally am, but  I guess you could call me a bit of a prima donna.

So knowing this about my personality, let me paint this picture for you: A few weeks ago Daddy and Mama put a bunch of things into the car that I’d never seen before.  Then they brought me out into the car with them – yay, car ride!  They said we were going some place called “camping.”  I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew I liked car rides!

We drove for maybe an hour.  Even though I like car rides, I was getting nervous.  Where were we going?  I started whining a little bit.  Where was this “camping,” and why did it take so long to get there?

Eventually we ended up at this place full of trees.  It smelled like dirt.  It was getting dark.  Oh, and it was pouring rain.

For a while Mama and Daddy left me in the car (after letting me out to pee, of course) so I could stay dry while they set up “camp.”  But I didn’t like being apart from them and started getting really anxious, so they eventually let me out and hooked my harness into a tether so I could only walk to certain areas.  I was drenched with rain and soaked with mud.  So were Daddy and Mama, as well as some of their friends who were there with us.  Whenever she walked by me, I would jump up on Mama’s legs to try to look for reassurance.  When camp was set and a fire was made, the humans set some chairs around the fire pit and sat down.  I jumped into Mama’s lap and shivered.

So far I didn’t think much of camping

Thankfully, things did get better.  The rain stopped.  The humans other than Mama and Daddy are ones I have met before, ones that are really nice to me!  Two packs of humans even brought other dogs, a male mutt a little bit older than me named Spike…

(this picture was not from camping)

…and a male cocker spaniel puppy named Brodie.

At this age pups are all paws and ears.

To be honest, I didn’t get along much with either of them.  They weren’t bad dogs, mind you.  Spike spent a lot of time on the other side of where I was, so that wasn’t a big deal, but we both felt the campground was ours.  Clearly it was mine, but every now and then Spike would bark at me as if it was his.  Still, when he did come over closer, we both sniffed each other and agreed to a cautious truce.  Besides, he was definitely less trouble than Brodie.  At only 14 weeks, Brodie is still in that phase where he wants to jump and chew all over everything.  I tolerated it mostly when he would jump all over me, but after a while I gave him a snarl to tell him to back off.  I’m getting to be an old lady, I don’t have the energy to put up with that crap.  He’s young enough though that I know he’ll grow out of it.

The humans who owned Spike also have a human pup called a toddler.  She was sweet and liked to give me pettings.  She also had a chair that was perfectly sized just for her.

        And for me.

After a few days we headed back home.  We all smelled like sweat, outside, and mud.  Mama scrubbed me down for an extra long time.  She said the water was running brown with dirt, but dogs can’t see colors, so I have to take her word for it.  We all had a nice rest and then went over to Spike’s house for a cookout.  His family has a nice fenced in backyard, so I was allowed to explore off my leash.  In doing so, I found something really nice.  It smelled so good, and after all, I’d just gotten a bath and didn’t smell too good anymore, so I rolled in it and rubbed my fur into it as much as I could.  Hey, I may not be interested in Spike, but sometimes a girl wants to feel pretty!  Not long thereafter, Spike found this intoxicating smell as well, and he rolled in it too – we dogs don’t differentiate between perfume and cologne: If it smells good, it smells good.  Spike’s dad came over to see the source of our interest.

“They just rolled in a dead bird,” he announced.

When we came home, this time Daddy scrubbed me down.

“Nooo, I smelled so prettyyyy!”

So that was my outdoor escapade.  I’ll take sleeping in my puppy-bed any time, thank you.