Tag Archives: dog owners

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

26 Dec

 

parade floats and fridge 077

Surprise.

 

 

He knew she ate in the morning.

He knew she waited anxiously.

He knew he couldn’t open the air-tight dog food container.

But nevertheless … he forged on.

He knew he had to do something.

He stretched, he tiptoed, he reached the kitchen table … he got it.

Surprise Pinta … Cheerios for breakfast.

 

 

My Marley And Me Moment

26 Nov

I couldn’t take her to the movies, but she enjoyed watching LOST, 24, and the National Geographic Channel. However she wasn’t a fan of Law & Order … any of them. I think it was the DOINK-DOINK sound. I couldn’t take her out for dinner, but we often had picnics in the park and she was a great lounger. She didn’t really say much during conversation, but she was an awesome listener. Her arms weren’t long enough to hug me during troubled times, but she’d sit next to me on the couch, sniff my pants, wag her tail, and nuzzle her head under my hand. She was a good therapist.

 

Pinta hanging out ... smiling after playing fetch.

Pinta hanging out … smiling after playing fetch.

 

Being a Dalmatian, she got a bad rap for belonging to a breed that is considered to be hyper, and extremely needy with temperament flaws.

Dude.

So not true. She was an exception to the rule. She was my exception. “She was a unique constellation of attributes,” who loved chasing squirrels, back massages, playing fetch with her FAT CAT Inc. dog toys, going for walks, pretending she was a horse for my son, being a pillow for my daughter, and hanging out in the kitchen as I cooked dinner. Wishing, and hoping, and praying that something savory and tasty would hit the linoleum floor.

Seventy-three years old. She passed away at seventy-three. That’s a lot of lint brushes. To think I don’t have to buy another one makes me kind of  sad. I used to get irritated that every time I hugged her or pet her, I’d be covered in black and white dog hair. I must have spent thousands of dollars on lint brushes. But now … no more lint brushes needed. No more Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dog Food. No more Greenies. No more Snausages. No more chasing Penn Tennis Balls. And No more plastic trash bags filled with stinky poop.

 

 

A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?

— – John Grogan, Marley & Me

To answer Grogan’s question … not many. Other than my children and my Dad … not many. But Pinta made the list. She thought I was amazing, even in Costco sweatpants. And she loved me unconditionally. It didn’t matter if I was a short, struggling writer who was prone to bouts of crankiness when woken up from a profound sleep at six in the morning. She loved me anyway. She was a great dog. She was loyal. She was a member of my family. She was Guat. She will be extremely missed.

Cause of death? Complications due to a herniated disc that put pressure on the spinal cord which resulted in pain in her hips, lameness, and loss of function in her hind legs. Apparently the degeneration happened because of age. We could have put her through more tests, examinations and surgery, but considering her age … the most humane course of action was saying good-bye.

I held it together as long as possible, but watching her go was very emotional.  Next to losing my dad and uncle it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever experienced.

After leaving the vet, my son said he wanted to visit my dad in the cemetery. He said he had something very important to tell him. Considering what had just happened, I thought it would be the best place to let everything out.

He sat next to my dad’s tree and said:

“Papa … I have something very important to tell you. Very important. P doesn’t feel good. [He calls her P] She went to the doctor to get more medicine. Her legs don’t work. She’s a little old. She needs medicine. But she’s going to go to heaven with her medicine. You need to take care of her. She likes Snausages.”

Dude. I so needed another minute after that little speech.

After a while we drove back home and as I entered the house the first thing I noticed was her empty dog bed.

It was a tough day.

“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.”

— John Grogan, Marley & Me

I Bought an Extra Bag of Greenies and Some Snausages

23 Nov

You got osteoporosis, hearing problems, cognitive impairment, hypertension, and aches and pains in about every joint in your body.

Dude.

Being a senior citizen is tough. My dog. She’s a member of the club.

I’ve known her since she was two, she’s currently 14 going on 15 and apparently the life expectancy for Dalmatians happens to be around 16.

 

My dog Pinta … hanging out at the fire house

 

She’s walking The Green Mile.

It saddens me to see that her clock is slowly winding down. Earlier in the week she was having problems walking. Her hind legs weren’t really doing their job — they weren’t being very supportive so I found myself picking her up and helping her get outside. But she only needed a little lift and then she’d get the hang of it again. One foot, and then another and another. However yesterday … yesterday was quite different.

The Thanksgiving feast was well under way and the aroma filled the house. This aroma would usually get her up and trotting towards the table, hoping that someone would drop a piece of turkey. However she didn’t get up and in fact when she tried, her hind legs wobbled and she fell.

My dude gave me the look. The Dr. Kevorkian look and I strongly suggested going to the doctor and getting a professional opinion before he made plans to pull the plug on her. He initiated the “I-know-what-I’m-doing” conversation. The one that included his speech about having owned dogs before and how he just knew what would come next.

This began the heated conversation about veterinarians. I felt we should go to the office and have her assessed by one … you know to see if there was anything I could do to help improve my dog’s situation. He felt differently. He felt there was no need for doctors, you know seeing how he knew everything there was to know about dogs. He felt the need to tell me this repeatedly. However I still insisted we visit the doctor.

Unfortunately everyone was closed on Thanksgiving. They were closed the entire weekend, so we had to take her to urgent dog care. This is where our heated conversation continued. For a minute I thought she wasn’t going to come back with us, and I got extremely depressed about the whole situation. I started imagining the worst-case scenario and started thinking about the past and all the things we’ve been through. She was part of my family. I had plenty of time to think. We were there for three hours. Three, and they weren’t even that busy.  We’re going to see our regular vet on Monday and run some tests.

I guess it’s probably old age, but it could be something else. The hopeful possibility occurred to me, but it failed to enter the imagination of my dude. And that just burned me out. I was stressed out and so worried about the dog and there he was with his Dr. Kevorkian mentality and sassy attitude, which of course didn’t help. Now I know that we don’t want our dog to suffer, and we don’t want her in pain, but I would like all the facts before making that tough decision that all pet owners have to make.  I mean people say “putting them to sleep,” because I imagine it sounds less drastic. But it still sucks. It’s still death.

I’m hoping for some good news on Monday, but I’m preparing for the worst. I bought an extra bag of Greenies and a large bag of Snausages.

She’s living it up this weekend.

Don’t Forget to Feed the Dog

22 Jan

She’s a cranky senior citizen now. Barks at her shadow and stares at herself in the mirror just to see if the other dog blinks first. She drives me crazy, but I still love her, even after the incident.

She usually eats twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Once cup. That’s it. Apparently she overweight. Complete strangers come up to me and say “Wow a dalmatian, haven’t seen one in a while. She’s overweight isn’t she?”

I feel like saying…”well you’re ugly and you don’t hear me saying anything.”

 I got her on some kind of senior citizen dog food with weight maintenance and glucosamine. Suppose to help her function better although I don’t know if it helps her hearing…she’s got selective hearing. Husbands have that too. And on this particular morning they were both exercising that skill.

Life was hectic as always in the morning when trying to get two kids ready to leave the house. Brushing teeth, combing hair, breakfast time, clear the table, change diaper, prepare bottles, potty break, change of clothes, more diapers, pack the snacks, walk the dog, another potty break, and fix the diaper bag. Ready to go out the door. I check the dinner table and make sure the computer is off. I do a double-take as I got some cash on the table. I was going to put it in my wallet, but decided to leave it at home. You know the rule with cash…the more you got in your wallet the more you spend. Then at the end of the day you open your wallet find a lonely George Washington and say what the hell happened?

So I left the cash on the computer. Three hundred-dollar bills, two fifties, four twenties, and three dollar bills. We had just cashed a check and were going to deposit the funds in the bank, but it was a Sunday…so we thought we’d wait.

Off I went on my adventure with the kids, returning in time for lunch. I place the diaper bag on the table and see the bills on the floor. No money on the table. It’s scattered. I must have dropped it while rushing out the door. I find two hundreds, two fifties, four twenties and three dollars.

Crap!

Where’s the other hundred? I’ve been known to lose money…falling out of my jacket pocket, dropping it as I pull the keys out of my backpack, falling out of a hole in a plastic grocery bag. It’s all been done and lost. And this time I thought I did it again. 

As I’m searching under the table and in between the couch cushions, my husband walks in and asks me what I’m trying to find. I explain I’ve dropped one of the bills and I’m just trying to look for it.

“Oh. Man. Not again!”

“Dude. Just help me look.”

As we’re both in search of the money the dog gets up and starts sniffing around.  She’s in dire need of a Tic Tac.

“Ugh. Did you feed the dog?”

“I thought you fed her.”

“No.”

“No wonder she’s so friendly.”

“No wonder her breath smells.”

My husband walks over to her food canister, but stops midway. He sees something. Our dog stands at her dog bowl and starts whimpering.

“Dude. I thought you were going to feed her.”

He walks over to the dog bed and sees a crumpled up bill.

“I found it!”

I smile and turn to look at him. He’s not smiling

“Well at least half of it.”

My Dog...looks guilty right?

We both stare at the dog…out of all those bills this bitch decides to eat the hundred-dollar bill. What is that! There were only three of them. She doesn’t eat the twenties or the ones, but hunderd-dollar bill. I’m trying to get out of this living arrangement here at my parents and she decides to have a hundred-dollar appetizer.  Well…fifty I guess.
 

We both stare at the dog. I open the canister, my husband pours in one-two-three-four…four cups of food. Screw the weight maintenance. This bill is coming out.

And now I wait.