Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stoned cat in a bag.

1: Put catnip in a bag.
2: Let drug crazed cat at said bag.
3: Take amusing pictures while cat rolls around getting blasted out of his little cat head.
4: Nod in empathy, fondly remembering one's own dissolute youth while cat crashes on bed sleeping off his high.
5: There must be rehab centers for cats? If Elvis sees me with a paper grocery sack he starts meowling piteously for a huffing session. I'm such an enabler.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cooper in Chicago.

It's hard having a dog in the city, with no yard. Cooper came down to Chicago with me. My brother and his girlfriend live in a great apartment in Hyde's a wonderful, funky, diverse part of the city. They're 3 stories up, though...I had to be really dedicated and take Cooper out first thing in the morning before I'd had coffee. Oh, the horror! And then late at night, even after eating myself practically into a coma on Thanksgiving. Gah. We did have some lovely long walks though, through parks and along the lakeshore and around the city. And one must always, always carry plastic poop bags. I wonder how many hundreds of pounds of dog shit are produced in a large city on a daily basis? Thousands of pounds, perhaps. Yikes.
I know I wrote some time back about the Quaker parrot population in Chicago. That's not the only wildlife in the middle of the city - raccoons survive and thrive right near downtown, believe it or not! When I was pulling onto my brother's street on Wednesday night, one strolled right across the street in front of me. We were many blocks from the park and I'm not sure where they hide out. The writer of this article I found mentioned seeing one on 57th in Hyde Park, the one I saw was near 53rd. Wild.
Cooper also had a lovely time lying (and drooling) at Sara's feet while she was preparing Thanksgiving dinner. He got to eat the turkey giblets and lick all the plates clean.
Daphne didn't have nearly as interesting a time at home alone with her cat. But John the petsitting dude did a fine job, she gave him no problems at all and everything was nice and orderly when I got home. I left him with a stack of bully sticks (dehydrated bull penis dog chews, no kidding), a stuffed Kong and a large beef soup bone to give her. These kept her amused - and from eating couches. I didn't think it was fair to leave her crated so much and she did fine.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lucky dawg.

I was just going to leave the Happy Turkey day post up while I buggered off for a few days.
Since Cooper is coming with me, Daphne will be visited several times a day by John the petsitter dude. So I figured she deserved an extra-special just me & her walk along Bluebell Beach at daybreak. It was cold, in the 20s but a really gorgeous morning. We had the entire county park to ourselves.
I took 123 photos (!) and here's some nice ones of Daphne running her fool head of, following deer scent and rolling on goose poop.
For all her frailties, she is a sweet and pretty dog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A silly photo, and a nice Iroquois prayer of Thanksgiving:

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here
to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered
that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products
to live on.
We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
for our lands.
We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming
from them for us all.
We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
for our shelter.
We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder
and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
that works for our good.
We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank
all its trees.
We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
the stars.
We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant
We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit's music,
and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
on this occasion.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all! I am going to Chicago for the holiday and plan to eat way too much and have a nice time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bang! Bang! Duck! Now delicately seasoned.

I Am Not Making This Up.
Heard about this product on NPR.
Ammunition infused with delicious flavors, no kidding. You shoot your bird. The food grade, biodegradable, yummy ammo melts into the bird as it's cooked. Your meat is seasoned and there's no need to dig around looking for pellets that can crack a tooth.
Hats off to American ingenuity! This could forever change duck blind conversation.
"Yo Earl, what flavor d'ya think goes with mallard?"
"Dunno Bud, I'm thinking Provencal Herbe with a hint of piquant lavender."

Shoots! Kills! Seasons!
Check out their website. I think this is great.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In which Daphne gets her ass crated.

After saying she only flipped out every few months, that's what I came home to this afternoon. She ate the rest of the Dog Couch. She also ripped up a large cardboard box (I left it for her to rip up) and horked up breakfast by the back fdoor. Well someone did; I'm sure it was her getting overwrought, she does that.
I was gone 7 hours. Both dogs got about a mile walk each this morning, plus plenty of playtime in the back yard before I went to work.
Fuck. :(

Daphne's story.

I saw a nice looking female Rottweiler on a Rottie rescue website. I went to the Ingham County shelter (sad place) to check her out...she was avoidant and squirrely so I sadly put her back in the pen and went looking at the other Rottweilers there (lots, unfortunately.) Daphne was small, extremely skinny, covered with diarrhea and at the back of the pen, hackles up, barking and showing teeth. So naturally I opened the door and went in! I could tell she was terrified, not aggressive. I sat down and she threw herself on my lap, belly up. So, I took her home January 4 2002.
She was emaciated with a raging staph skin infection. We got her a bit healthier before getting her spayed; the vet said her uterus was deformed, good thing she never got pregnant. She was maybe a year old.
AC said she'd been tied out on a short chain, no food, water or shelter, in Michigan winter. They had to shoot her with a tranq dart to get to her. She had never been in a house and everything scared her - doorways, running water, furniture. She is not a mentally strong dog and still gets anxious about new things.
She had horrendous seperation anxiety at first and had to be crated every time we left the house. You think the photo of the couch is bad? Ha! That's nuthin. The damage she did was awesome and really expensive. She was in the truck once when I went in to pay for gas, less than three minutes gone. Came back and she'd almost destroyed the passenger seat. Merely walking out of a room could set her off into a destructive fit. She has wrecked more things than I can even count. I called her the Destructo-Rott.
She has a congenitally poor immune system and airborn & flea allergies, which means she gets rashes, gunky ears, UTIs and random alarming swellings in the summer. Benadryl Is Our Friend. She has a small crate of supplements (which don't do squat, I have learned over the years) and medications (which do.) I monitor and manage. It took almost 3 years to finally get rid of her persistent, recurrent staph infection which at its worst was a raw, crusty scab from her chin to her vulva. Poor dog! She has been blood, thyroid and lord knows what else tested and "on paper" is quite healthy. Twice her kneecap has dislocated - luxating patella is common in small dogs, rare in big ones. Luckily it's only been twice so surgery isn't indicated but it's extremely painful for her. She is stressed by pain and will refuse to move. Thank doG for modern meds and good pain control!
She is prone to visually-triggered obsessions. The TV is the worst, good thing I rarely watch TV. She will get within 3" of the screen and go absolutely rigid. Her body starts to quiver, her eyes go blank (you could stuff a hot dog up her nose and she wouldn't react) and drool literally starts pouring out of her mouth. Of course I don't give her the opportunity. I think she would literally dehydrate to death if she was left alone in a room with a TV for long enough. It's very similar to photosensitive epilepsy. Mirrors and aquariums can set her off too. At one point I had all the mirrors in the house covered. Noise - fireworks, thunderstorms - don't bother her at all.
Small dogs can push her into this condition too. And puppies, which is aberrant adult-dog behaviour. She is absolutely unsafe around little dogs and would kill. She has tried. Weirdly enough, she isn't like this with cats and has a low prey drive.
The office floor is often littered with cardboard and paper that I give her. She must chew. If she cannot rip something up, she isn't interested in it. She can deconstruct an "indestructible" black Kong in short order. I think it's an anxiety-reducing behaviour. She never, ever swallows things like this or she'd either be dead, or even more expensive, from repeated obstruction surgeries by now.
She can go for months without destroying anything important, then something will set her off and there goes a rug, or a couch. Luckily she only does this to things on the floor, or the "dog couch." I do not have many rugs on the wood flors - only cheap ones, if at all. I can't have any dog beds. Poor Cooper. He'd love a dog bed.
Crate her, you say? She has suddenly "gone off" and started ripping the edge of a rug when I am right there in the room. I have no idea what triggers it and probably never will.
She has an anxiety wrap, though I'm not sure it works. She spent several months on Clomicalm. It made her extremely submissive and she started with the submissive peeing again; which was also a problem when I first got her.
She has been through obedience classes and I tried her on agility. She was too stressed to learn much, and then there was the little dog thing. Unfamiliar or busy situations make her a stress mess.
I've talked to behaviourists who couldn't offer any advice beyond what I already do.
I exercise her as much as I can. When weather is nice, I bike with her leashed. The dogs get frequent early-morning off-leash runs at the river park. In hopes that weraring her out will help. The dogs love all the exercise. However one morning after a run & three-mile walk I brought the dogs home, then went to the grocery store. Came back a short time later to a ripped-up rug. Overstimulation? Understimulation? Haven't a clue.
She loves going for car rides, though often I harness her. Because she pants and bounces from window to window and licks the glass, which is just annoying.
She has a very, very hard time learning new things, it's like she operates from her lizard-brain rather than socially. She doesn't know good dog-etiquette and wants to fling herself all over guests.
I try to be patient and calm when teaching her things and she eventually gets it. Usually.
Maybe if I'd been more savvy when evaluating and interacting with her at the shelter, I could've picked up on some of her issues?
Once, I considered euthanising her. Because she can be so difficult to live with. And, I wondered, how happy is she, really? I just couldn't imagine doing it, though. Just couldn't.
I can't imagine anyone else wanting to take her on either - if there was another place, a different owner, who she would be calmer and happier with, I'd do it. But is there? Maybe Cesar Milan; probably him!
I put a huge amount of energy into this dog - my wonderful vet says the next step is finding a veterinary neurologist/behaviourist but this could be expensive, almost beyond my capability. And no guarantees!
As long as her environment is managed, I believe she's quite happy most of the time.
She has never, ever exhibited aggression towards humans. She adores children. She is very, very sweet and cute much of the time, actually.
She is frantically happy when she gets to run at the river park.
She loves her cat.
My friends like her. Though when I jokingly say "then take her home with you" they all say "hell no!"
She is pretty and has great teeth. :)
I think she actually might have some pitbull in her mix, not that it makes a difference either way. She is small and light-boned for a Rottweiler. Who knows, she was a ghetto dog.
She is a good watch dog; barks and makes a fuss when she hears strange noises. She'd probably hide under the bed peeing in fright were someone to break in though!
Other than that, she is quiet and doesn't bark.
So, Daphne stays and I'm sure I've learned from her - you learn more from the challenging dogs.
But, were she to keel over from a brain aneurism or heart attack or something, a part of me would be relieved. I would be very sad, but relieved. Damn dog will probably live to be a 17 year old Rottweiler though. (Oh, I hope not.)
Phew. That was a long post.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wanted: More free couch cushions, please.

This is what I came home to a few days ago. That's Daphne's work. No, it's not seperation anxiety. I will write a more detailed Daphne post later.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ah. Summer.

I'm not feeling very creative this morning, so decided to put up some photos from this year's agility trials. I have hundreds of photos! Here's some. Cooper loves, loves, freakin loves agility.
These were all UKC trials, they have some equipment AKC doesn't, like the sway bridge and crawl tunnel.

Crawl tunnel.


LOVE to jump.

Hoop tunnel.

Airborne, again.

I love this one. At the start line. I am asking him to be a very good boy and get us a Q, if not a placement. Failing that, just having fun is OK too.

Git those contacts!!

Sway bridge, ooh, wobbly.


Dogs have to be aware of where they place their feet on the dog walk...

Teeter like a pro!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


With all the concern about voting errors (insert snarky comment here, haha) and malfunctions you might be wondering what problems have been reported in your state. Check
Thanks to Rhea at the Boomer Chronicles for that.
Here in Michigan the bedeviled Diebold machines aren't being used, so just a couple of typo errors are listed for this state. Like this one:
Ottawa County. 170,000 ballots were printed with a typo - the "L" was left out of Public in a proposed constitutional amendment.

OK, now go vote.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Monday I write about car-deer accidents, then on Thursday....

...Thursday night I have agility class. Quite a hike, it's out in the country - woods, marshes, farms, dirt roads.
I pulled in right after one of the other participants. She was driving a Chevy Suburban with three Belgian Malinois inside. As she pulled up under the lights, you could see the front of the truck was smooshed in and some pretty colored liquids were dripping onto the pavement below.
Yup, she had just hit a large buck (they are rutting now; their minds are on sex and not traffic.) It leapt out from the side of the road into her Suburban. Actually, I guess it collided with her and not the other way around! When the sheriff came out to get a report and call a wrecker, he said it was something he dealt with every day, this time of year.
The cute thing? Despite all this, she wanted to be sure the wrecker didn't come until after 9pm so she could complete the classes and run all her dogs! There's a pro for ya. :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just darn cute.

Type a command in the box and watch the little dog do your bidding!