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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.

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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.

 


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!


Canine Therapy

A lot of people already know that doggies are helpful with a lot of different jobs over the years.  They have been used to help with herding, sniffing down bad guys, keeping away predators, and hunting.  My ancestors, the silky terrier and the Yorkshire terrier, were originally bred to root out pests – specifically snakes and rats!  Traces of this hunting instinct can be seen in me when I try to chase after flying birds.  Or golf carts.

Anyway, these days doggies get to help humans with a whole lot of other things on top of the jobs listed above.  We don’t just sniff out bad guys, but also bombs, drugs – and even people that have gone missing or are trapped in disaster situations.  They help people with blindness or visual impairments navigate the world.  They are able to help people with physical disabilities or limitations do day-to-day tasks like getting the phone or turning on the lights.  Some people who have mental illness even find it helpful to have doggies around as therapy dogs: Mama attended an event where a woman from the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) spoke about how keeping a therapy dog (a rescued greyhound that had been a racedog – not the typical breed for a therapy dog, but the lady trained him well) helped her manage hallucinations that she had; having the doggie around helped remind her that the hallucinations were not real.

Mama showed me this article on our local paper: A human mother wrote about how getting a dog helped her son in his development.  As a dog myself, I would argue that having a dog around is going to be beneficial to anybody – but her son had some additional challenges a lot of other people don’t.  Apparently, he had a rare neurological condition that was making it really difficult for him to speak and even made him really scared around strangers.  Since he liked animals, his doctor encouraged the family to get a pet.  After getting a poodle named Hattie, her son started to thrive, both developmentally and socially.  Keep in mind that Hattie is not even a trained therapy dog.  These positive changes just came about when she was brought into the family.

He says his best friend is Hattie.  How sweet is that?

I am no therapy dog, and I am not sure that I have the temperament to qualify as one (there are all these tests and stuff you need to go through, and I’ve talked before about how I am no good with tests).  But when Daddy is bored, I climb next to him and he plays with me.  When Mama is sad, I curl up next to her, and she cuddles me and tells me I’m a good girl.  I may not root out vermin or have a slip from an official calling me legit, but I’d like to think I help My People just as much as any working dog.  Maybe not as much as Hattie, but in my own small way.


Got My Hair Did

I’m not terribly fond of getting groomed.  I like how I look in the end, but the process involves me being away from my People for a long time, and that makes me super-scared.  A lot of dogs that used to live in a puppy mill are actually pretty aloof around people and don’t always like to socialize.  Not me!  I love people, and my People are the best.  But now that I’ve come to love them so much, I get really anxious being away from them for too long (like say, five seconds), so even though the groomers that help keep me pretty are sweet, I don’t like going there.

I go to a place called Bandit’s Bathhouse, a place not far from home.  When I first came home, Daddy and Mama used to take me to a national chain pet store that has grooming services.  They took forever – like four hours! – and when I came home I would be so itchy I would scratch myself until I bled, causing a few trips to the vet.  Mama found out about Bandit’s Bathhouse, which was much closer and about the same price, so she thought she’d try that for my grooming needs.  They do a great job – and it doesn’t take nearly as long.  They understand I get anxious, and they are super-nice to me to try to help me feel comfortable.

I normally get groomed on a regular basis, but we went a little longer than usual in between groomings.  I was starting to look like a wild thing.  Daddy says I look like a Wookiee (whatever that is), and Mama says I look like a teddy bear, even calling me her “little woolly bear.”

Parents have such embarrassing nicknames.

Anyway, Mama and Daddy knew it had been way too long between groomings – and it being summer, having some extra fur gone would definitely be welcome – so when Mama brought me to Bandit’s Bathhouse, she asked they give me a shorter trim than usual.

I rather like the results.  How about you?

 

They even give me a kickin’ scarf when I go.

Don’t worry; Mama made sure she set up my next appointment before we left so I won’t be a woolly little Wookiee any time soon again.  Besides, I think this shorter ‘do is rather slimming, don’t you?


A Local Doggie Needs Help!

Mama and I are having trouble sleeping tonight.  I keep wandering around the bed trying to get comfy, and Mama keeps tossing and turning.  I guess my pacing doesn’t help, but both of us kind of took a break from the bed for a little bit.  Mama turned on the TV, and we both saw a story that made our ears perk up – well, metaphorically… Mama’s ears don’t perk up like mine do.

In a town on the other side of the city where we live, there is a family with a chihuahua puppy named Mia.  Little Mia was the last puppy born via C-section to the family’s chihuahua, and the vet was pretty sure that this last puppy might be delivered already dead.  Although she was weak, she was still very much alive – and born with a cleft palate, which makes it very difficult for her to eat normally: in order to avoid her accidentally inhaling her food into her lungs, she has to be tube-fed.  She also has a very severe luxating patella, or “floating kneecap” (basically it means the kneecap doesn’t sit where it should, which usually leads to walking funny and sometimes pain when walking), which is pretty common with smaller dogs – one vet that has seen me says he thinks I have it myself, but isn’t worried yet since it doesn’t cause me any issues so far.  At only one-year old, she’s already had multiple surgeries in an attempt to correct her cleft palate, and has seen more vets than she could wag a tail at.

You might think that all this would get a little puppy down.  Not Mia!  Her people say that she still likes to play just like any other puppy.  She has even helped with foster puppies and kitties the family keeps, is up for going out with her people (chihuahuas are the original purse dog, after all), including going to a nursing home to make the people there feel better!

Vets that have seen her right from her birth up until now have been suggesting it might be better to have her “put down,” but her people have been sticking by her no matter what.  She hasn’t given up trying to live a normal life, why should they?

If you have any way to help out Mia’s people with all her continuing health issues, that would be awesome.  When I came to the Rescue, I had a bunch of health issues that could have been prevented if I’d been cared for properly instead of neglected, though thankfully the health problems I had were ones that could be easily cured with some medicine and TLC.  My foster mommy was able to help me get those issues resolved because other people donated money to help doggies like me have vet bills paid for.  Mia has a website, and you can “like” her on this thing called Facebook (I don’t know what it is, but Mama spends a lot of time on it, so I guess it’s fun) by looking for “love for Mia cleft palate chihuahua).  If you have any way to help her, that would be super-nice of you.


A Big Update!

So it has clearly been a long time for me to update.  Obviously there has been a lot going on!  In some other country a prince got married (his grandmother, the queen, takes care of corgis!).  A bad guy got caught.  A lot of tornadoes have gone through this country and have left a lot of people and animals in distress.  But more importantly, there have been some major changes at home.

Remember in my last post I mentioned how I was sick of Mama’s new schedule?  Well, just a few days after I wrote about it, it changed: Mama left for work early in the morning right before Daddy.  I settled myself on the couch for another long day of waiting for my people to come home.  But then, only one or two hours later, Mama came back!  I was so excited to see her at such an unusually early time that I didn’t notice the sad look on her face at first.  Still, her voice was upbeat as she greeted me.

“Guess what, Piper?” she asked, “You’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of Mama for a while.  Not the way I wanted – but stuff happens.”

It turns out that Mama came home early because she lost her job.  I’m kind of selfish in that I’m really happy I have someone home with me all the time, but I kind of feel bad at the same time because I know Mama is upset that she lost her job.  She and Daddy are trying to work out something called a “budget” so we can get by.  Sometimes Mama gets really depressed about things, and so I snuggle her extra close.  I wish I could do something more helpful like go earn some money myself, but when Mama gives me a hug and a smile, she makes me feel like I’ve done just what she was hoping.

Because Mama lost her job, she lost something called health insurance, which helps pay bills when she has to go to the doctor.  She and Daddy were planning on getting married later this year anyway, so they went ahead and did that a little over a week ago; this way she could get on Daddy’s health insurance.  They couldn’t take me to the courtroom with them to do that, but they brought me to a party they had afterwards.  I had a lot of fun too!

(Maybe too much fun)

Also lately Mama has gotten to know Annie’s mom a bit more.  You remember me talking about Annie, right?  Well, Annie is still kind of hyper and crazy, but not necessarily in a bad way.  A few times Annie’s mom invited Mama and me into her townhouse, and from what I could tell it seems like Annie’s mom just loves her so much that she lets her kinda run around as she likes inside.  Annie’s mom is a nice lady, older, whose only roommate is Annie.  She sometimes seems to have people over, but as a rule it’s Annie and her.   She’s always been sweet to me and to Mama, and she has offered I don’t know how many times to take care of me if Mama and Daddy are both out.  I think that’s super-friendly of her, though I get the feeling that even with Annie, she is kind of lonely.  Maybe I can bring Mama over there more often.

So now that Mama isn’t working for now (but still looking for something!), I might be able to write here more often – after all, even though I have thoughts, doggie-paws don’t make typing very easy, so I need help from one of my people.  So even though I know Mama needs to get a new job, I plan to enjoy all the time I’m going to have with Mama at home with me.