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Thursday, January 26, 2012

You Know You're Still House-Training Your Puppy/Young/New-To-You Dog When:

Your older, beautifully house-trained dog thinks you've gone stark raving mad. She even rolls her eyes at you.
You can't wear any clothing that doesn't have pockets for poop bags. Every jacket, bathrobe has at least one.
Your head, eyes and ears hurt from listening, watching, waiting...Tylenol is your new drug of choice.
You may have whiplash from turning your head to check where the heck the dog is.
You wonder if you can have a flashlight surgically implanted into your forehead.
You had to buy expensive dog-safe Ice Melt so you don't fall on your a** every time you go out into the yard.
You've actually picked up a random poop with your bare hands so the dog doesn't get to it first and eat the damn thing.
Your hands are raw from washing them.
You get to sit down for about 10 minutes. Max. Unless he's napping.
Your dog toy budget has quintupled. Overnight.
You have some kind of treat/clicker stashed somewhere near your computer.
Since you don't have DVR or TiVo, your ancient VCR is getting a work-out or you've become a real fan of NetFlix or Hulu!
You are afraid to leave the room to go potty etc. without crating the dog first.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Google, Blogger, Facebook....and Puking Puppy

My brain hurts. Trying to get all this crud under one sort of umbrella. Google Calendars is the WORST offender. I have two damn Google calendars. Don't ask me why, I don't NEED two damn Google calendars. Can I delete one? Oh, apparently NOT!

And why, for the second day in a row, is Artie puking up his entire breakfast, poor little guy. I get the car ride, class thing yesterday. A lot of treats etc. But today? God only knows what crap he's been eating the back yard. Yesterday, it was projectile vomiting out the door of his crate. Smart little dog, he doesn't want to lay in that crap. brain hurts.

Letting A Kid Cry

Now, before everybody gets all Waco & Postal on me, and calling me an unfeeling Bitch, let me be clear....

A few fussy moments is way different than a full blown crying jag as is a full blown "this has worked before, I'll throw a fit cuz damn, I've got Mom running" thing. I'm not saying little itty bitties should be left to cry but honesty, I can get where some poor mom or dad is so fkg tired themselves they can hardly stand it. Most people do NOT have all that extra family around any more to give you a break so you can take a G.D. nap.

I think where people may be misguided in this whole "letting the kid cry it out" is in enforcing bed time but that's for older kids, not wee babies, not little kids. It seems to coincide with being wholly potty trained too.

Come on, let's be real here. WTH is wrong with a schedule?

You have some 3-4 year who is up all night, throwing temper tantrums when others in the house have to get some sleep...that's crazy. Adults have to work unless they're independently wealthy, they NEED sleep, real sleep or that's a disaster waiting to happen! We're sleep deprived already as a society It's been shown in who are staying up all night are for crap.

Come on, take a group of real parents....the biggest of the biggest issues with toddler and young kids is that whole bedtime thing. Everytime you see SUPERNANNY or the American SuperNanny lady, it's always a big issue. There is NOTHING wrong with regulating bedtimes. Hey trust me, your agricultural?hunter societies, you better sleep kid, cuz it's field/gathering/hunting time in the a.m.

It's like: it's time for school, time for play, time for meals, time to unwind, have a story, time for bed. By the time it's kindergarten time, with no schedule in place, the kid is fkd and so is the rest of the family. Trust me, I've seen this habit of just letting them determine bedtimes really screw up an adult whgo was permitted to determine their sleep times.

However, 2 items nobody usually takes into account is: Diet and exercise play a huge part here too.... It's too much sugar, too much HFCS, too much caffeine too late in the day.

Does NO one have ANY compassion for the PARENTS who are not getting any sleep??

MIdwives & All That Jazz

Pregnant ladies have a lot of nice choices these days. Have babies in the field, your bed, the bath-tub, birthing suite, hospital. Filmed or not, by yourself or with the whole damn family. You can circumcise or not, tattoo or pierce your kid. Boob, bottle, formula --- even a nursing partner. Shots, no shots. All natural or Gerber-generic food. Great. You have choices. Isn't that special? All that fussing for this emergent life-form.

What we really need are Menopause Wives. Someone to guide us through hot flashes, body betrayal, the lessening of desire, energy, day/weeks/months of no sleep. Bio-identical or synthetic hormones, bone loss, exercise, getting fatter even when you're a friggin' marathoner, being undesired, overlooked, left behind, dismissed. Where is our caring Wife who helps us through this trying time in our live? It's not as much fun as bringing in new life.

And where is the Caretaker Wife, or the Screwed UP Family Member's Fallout Wife? The person with the illness --- their family members and friends bust their nuts, rearrange schedules, put their lives on hold, worry, hope, resign, bargain. Everybody is praying for the ill person. But what about a little relief for the family members? Nobody cares really for the caretakers.

And the addict/alcoholic/perpetual screw-up kid or grown-up? They can get prayer groups, 12 step groups, etc. a-plenty pulling from them. While they get sober or get their heads screwed on, everyone is cheering them on, patting them on the back, helping them move forward, But what about the family mess left behind or left inside the mess? It seems we are forgotten. We can go to Al-Anon and yes, it does help. But we get no pats on the head at all. We don't get any 1 year coins for coming week after week. Oftentimes we're blamed for the addiction or screw-up. Where is our Midwife?

I guess it's one of the perks of pregnancy. And it's nice the pregnant ladies can have so many choices.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Wish I Knew Who Wrote This!

(Author Unknown, but it's wonderful!) Could go for cats too!
My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets, be on your way.
They share my home, my food, my space, this is their home, this is their place.
You will find dog food on the floor, they will alert you're at the door.
They may request a little pat, a simple "no" will settle that.
It gripes me when I hear you say, "Just how is it you live this way?
They smell, they shed, they're in ...the way.. "
Who asked you is all I can say..
They love me more than anyone, my voice is like the rising sun,
They merely have to hear me say "C'mon it's time to go and play"
Then tails wag and faces grin, they bounce and hop and make a din.
They never say "No time for you", they're always there, to Go and Do.
And if I'm sad? They're by my side and if I'm mad, they circle wide.
And if I laugh, they laugh with me, they understand, they always see.
So once again I say to you, come visit me, but know this too...
My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets, be on you're way.
They share my home, my food, my space, this is their home, this is their place.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Dogs Today!

Today was better than yesterday, thank God! Here are some pictures! We were working on fetching!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Dogs In Review

There are so many things about the Dogs Of The Past (and one of the present) that stick with me. The interesting thing is some of these dogs came to me deliberately, others by happenstance or "just meant to be." In many ways, Artie is a Happenstance Dog.

I certainly did NOT plan in this or in any other Alternative Universe to get another damn puppy, that's for hell's fire sure. And certainly acclimating to an adolescent dog, one who is a real pain in the ass makes me wonder if he hasn't somehow channeled all the crud from all the dogs I've had in my adult life. And there was a lot of crud, trust me. (See the previous blog, DESTRUCTO DOG.)

But each dog had their virtues, their amazing lovable, wonderful, awesome traits too. Here they are!

My Dogs In Review:

Elke 7/?/2008 - Present) is smart as a whip, lovable, huggable, laid-back, willing, able, sweet to humans, a kisser and cuddler. She's a sleeping pill...."Schmoobien K9!" She lays on you, and after thoroughly cleaning your face it...Sleepy time! Easiest "keeper" I've ever had. So good in the house, you can leave her for hours and is learning to be neutral with the cats. she is pretty good with little kids as well. Great about being poked, prodded, dremeled, whatever. She is very deserving of her CGC and Therapy titles and I think would enjoy the work. She is probably the smartest dog I've ever owned.

Jesse Ann's (199? - 8/22/2011) virtues were her calmness, her quietness, her stoicism, her easy-going, unflappable nature. Very seldom did anything faze her. Well, OK, maybe the lawn mower, vacuum, weed whacker.... but other than that, you could probably set off a bomb next to her, and she'd maybe jump a little bit. She was The Boss from Day One with any dog who came in here.Truly calm-assertive. Good about being groomed and Dremeled. Great easy traveling dog. Wearing a cone for a year....putting up with having open sores treated, always stoic and tolerant, her frail body just gave up. CGC/TDI

Winger's (3/14/1999-2/11/2011) fine qualities were his true-blue loyalty to his family circle and his ever-loving nature. Once he got over his fear of men, he was a lover. His athletic ability, focus on fetching toys and ball-playing skills were wonderful and funny! He loved water and would fetch in water. He would have made a great dock-diving dog or water retriever, a good agility dog too. Great hiking dog. Best traveling dog EVER! Even my Mother-In-Law welcomed Wingie! Great about being groomed. It figures that a tumor in his heart is what made us have to let him go --- his heart grew to be too big for his body; his love and devotion were enormous. CGN (Canadian Good Neighbor title).

Drighten (10/1/2002-present) was the best dog I have ever had with kids. Hands down. Simply the best. He was also the most comical dog I've owned. He was always good for a laugh! A good snuggler too! Very good with grooming. Gave us the opportunity to show and title a dog in Conformation and educate the public on dog breeds. I learned a lot about The Fancy from having Dri in my life.
He also taught me that letting go, and finding a better place is sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a dog. Rehomed through German Pinscher Rescue, he is living La Vida Loca in NYC.

Druid's (3/14/1999-?) high points were his herding ability and sweetness with kids, he was very tolerant. And he was very good with other dogs in a park situation; would run, play and herd them. Great naturally off-leash with a beautiful, natural recall. Never had to teach him to stick with me, he just did. He is another one who ended up in a different home than mine. He is a true testament of a responsible breeder, as she took him back and found him another wonderful home.

True (6/1/1991-?) was just True Blue.
He got me started (and interested) in Dog Safety Awareness, Dog Bite Prevention, Dog Breed Information presentations and classes. He made me aware of the importance of "Education The Public" about "Things Dog." He is the dog that changed my perception about certain breeds, and it has influenced my life ever-after.
His steadfastness, calm demeanor, commanding presence and impeccable judgement of people and situations was unreal. He was a great therapy dog for Seniors and extremely tolerant of little kids. Easy to groom, he would hold up his paws for clipping or Dremeling. Beautiful natural stick-to-you quality. Awesome hiking dog. Outstanding, very subtle herding dog. Loved water! Great traveler. We had him for a year and a half and his breeder just decided to take him back. Broke my heart; he was an extraordinary dog. CGC/TDI.

Hart-Marie (4/22/1993-8/26/2009) had great train-ability (once she got through her bratty, fearful, whiny, clinging stage). Her smarts, her knowledge of commands was pretty outstanding; she probably knew 50+ different commands. Best recall ever, no matter what the circumstances. Only dog I've had so far that had an Obedience title. Ball-player par excellence! Would have made an outstanding Agility dog, knew all the obstacles but the weave poles when I stopped training her. Superior hiking dog! Loving dog to her circle of friends. She had an uncanny ability to know if a person was disabled, either physically or mentally and was gentle and understanding and soft with them.
I would have worked hard on her around others dogs and strangers if her "dad" hadn't really, desperately wanted her to live with him. And that was meant to be; they were inseparable for the rest of her life. Superior traveling dog! She was my first canine teacher. CD/CGC/TDI

Tzara (1975-?) was my first "real" dog, MY dog. Not our family's dog. First dog I got to name too. He went to college with me (highly illegal). He was smart as a whip, had a long distance recall like a damn hunting dog (a mile away with a whistle) and was the best discriminatory guard dog I've ever known. (There's a story there.) Funny, dopey, affectionate, he got along with darn near every dog he ever met. He taught me about responsible dog ownership. First dog I had to rehome unfortunately. But from what I've heard he was a treasure all of his life with his new family. This is the only picture I have of him.

Little Smarty-Artie has some big pawprints to follow. I know it will take hard work and maybe i need to think about all the goodness that he can achieve. Maybe i need to focus on alll the Good, the Positive aspects that have gone before. Instead of the really crappy, shitty, bewildering, maddening, infuriating qualities each one of these dogs had in the beginning or throughout their lifetimes.

Maybe, just maybe, he will be exceptional in a positive, extraordinary way I've never thought of.

Please, God(s), make it so!

Tell Me It Gets Better

Oh, the joys of the Adolescent Dog. Not.

Your adorable, sweet puppy has turned into Conan The Destroyer! The Teen-Aged Termagant. They chew everything, eat everything, pull up floor tiles and devour them, jump, mouth, bite, nip, scream at cats. cars in the driveway...any weird noise. They incessantly bark in an ear-shattering, annoying scream-bark-shriek at everything. The rarely shut up, they are noisy, whiny, mouthy. They pretty much ignore you unless they REALLY need something. They focus one absolutely the last thing you want or need them to focus on. They are messy and destructive and disrespectful and defiant (if one can use that word with a dog). You can't leave them out of your sight for a minute or they are into something. Something Bad. They are sneaky little bastards, like a stealth bomber. They very seldom cuddle and they torment their older dog siblings. It does't matter what the breed is but I tend to think herding breeds are the worst offenders. (At least in my experience.)

You know....looking at this, this reads like a teenaged human. I bet some kids tear up floor tiles too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Destructo Dog

Here am I, baking and cooking like a fiend for Artie's Meet The Puppy Party tomorrow. I made Monkey Bread in Margie's Mississippi Mud Pot, yummy and easy. (Thanks to my MIL!)

Marty helped me make Chocolate Chip cookies and my sister's recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies. I made spaghetti and cheese (didn't have any macaroni) and two kinds of bite-sized chicken, one with an Apple-Cranberry-Maple sauce. I'm NOT saying this to brag about my culinary skills but just to set the scene.

While I am in the middle of this prep, sauteing, baking and cooking crap, I hear...



Now the last time I had a puppy was Elke in 2008. Her thing was fabric, so you'd heard that awful fabric rending sound. "Rippppp!" and find something disemboweled or torn apart. The last time I had a Cattledog puppy was Druid (Keltoi's Burning Man, winger's litter-mate) in 1999. he was a stealth chewer. He could be tethered to me and I would never hear him chewing on the wooden leg of the table I was sitting at. I damn near killed him when he destroyed a very rare first edition of a book called YANKEE STRANGER.

There are now in this narrative, by this time, a sh*tload of people who are starting to chuckle. Especially the ACD people. You all know what's next.

I look into the den (where the dogs are) expecting to see two sweetly sleeping dogs on various pieces of furniture. No, I couldn't be that lucky. Artie is sitting in the middle of the floor amidst the leftovers of not one but TWO library books.
OK, now all my animal pals are laughing. Because, yes, i was stupid not putting him in a crate.

Oh, yes, and to top another joyous aspect of this little bugger....he is a major sh*t eater. A charming habit that is almost never broken. Oh, yes, and while this chaos is going on, I hear: "Skitter-skitter-skitter" of cat claws across the floor. Somehow Dink and Envy had gotten out of their room and were having a rumpus with Rufus. Sh*t!!! So I've got chicken periously close ot burning, a dog who has annihilated two expensive library books and wants to continue and also needs to potty and I am going to need to herd cats.

"Marty!" says I feeling rather guilt ridden that I have to as him for help. he works hard and he normally doesn't have to help with this aspect; he does other stuff fabulously!

I sure as hell that someday I'll look back on this as I gaze at my wonderful, sweet, balanced, socially adept, accomplished boy Cattledog and think, "Man, it was all worth it."

Right now, you laugh because crying or killing your poop-eating Destructo Dog in probably not in the cards....I know it's not his "fault." i was a trusting fool. I should know much better. this ain't my first rodeo. I sure hope this will get better. Because right now I'm wondering how much I had to drink When I thought about getting him or if someone spiked my milk.... Gayle, Jen, you know who you are.

Won't it? OK, you can all stop laughing now!

Don't let those innocent faces fool you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Dogs Today

The first day of the year, windy, sunny, rainy, wet, dry....and the dogs (Artie and Elke) have some play-time!