Monday, November 26, 2007

The Fun House

It's been a while since I last blogged but thought I better play catch up today. The temperature has dropped so Halo is more miserable than usual and the winter coat goes on when we head to the park. She looks like such a prima donna in her coat when everyone else is running around nekid. She gazes down her nose at them like the barbarians they are; she doesn't seem to realize she's dressed for a ball and but she's actually at a frat party. Especially The Boy; he does not believe there has been any significant change in weather and parties on, dude, as usual.

The Boy played with a very small and quick 6 month old Ridgeback puppy yesterday. I mean ... it was teeny tiny. Not much more than 40 pounds I'd say - initially I had mistaken it for a 4 month old puppy - but perhaps my eyes decieve because The Boy is BIG so proportionally everything else is eency weensy. However, at a show these two dogs would be competing against each other in the same class (different sex tho) - a judge would be hard pressed to determine which was correct. Anyway, this bitch kicked Raimi's ass all over the park and he loved it. I'll delve into the size debate some other blog.

Petal is tottering along at a Petal sized pace - I do wonder what she and the cat get up to when I'm at work because one evening Petal was having a roll on the floor and the cat started to play with her; chewing her ear, licking her face, grabbing her around the neck ... seems like they have some sort of a "relationship" I was not previously aware of.

Raimi was playing with Ceilidh to a few days back, she was sitting on my bed and Raimi stuck his head onto the bed to poke her. She grabbed him around his head and he went SNIFF into her tummy. His head and the cat are the same size so it was a bit of a gas - and not a little worrying seeing a blinded-by-orange-fluff 90 pound Raimi with a backwards cat for a head. The cat doesn't have claws but she was biting and licking the top of his head ... crazy kids. She leapt off his head and shot down the hall with Raimi in "hot" pursuit. I've seen Ceilidh bolt down the hall with Riami right behind, she puts on the breaks, he skids wildly, she does an about-turn and literally winds back through his legs and shoots back down the hall. Nothing like living dangerously when you're an indoor cat.

Raimi's frustration with this new pregs version of Halo is a bit hysterical. He nibbles her shoulder and generally irritates the piss out of her til she retaliates and he thinks it's play. Poor guy. It must be annoying for Halo because she obviously doesn't feel altogether herself and there's this giant puppy poking you in the side of the head or neck or ... better he takes her ENTIRE head in his mouth and goes "MWAWAWAWAWA" or something akin to a Wookie noise. Halo eventually plays for a millisecond and The Boy is satisfied for about 2 milliseconds.

And so it goes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

River Walk

We've started heading to the lower park at the river for our walks - there are fewer people, more lovely smells for the dogs and it's very peaceful after a stressful day. Pictures say more than I could of the reasons we go there ...

My Beautiful Ridgebacks.

Halo & Raimi on the river's edge.

All the good smells ...

Dry bed makes a great path through the bush.

See? Petal really does come. As if I could leave her.

The handsome boy. (You can't really see but there's a person in the sunlight that startled him)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Geriatric Walk

So yesterday we were at the park and Petal did something cute and geriatric. Petal is a super sticker - the mantra for walking with Petal is if I want to know her location I just have to look down. This is a Catch 22 because if I look down I shift my body and that shift of weight tells Petal I'm turning, so to stay right behind me she shadows me, thus we can (and have) spun in a circle; she is scooting round while I try to look down and find her. In a word; yes, we look stupid doing this.

This reliablility of Petal's has led me to almost completely forget she's there. Danger. Because occassionally she catches a scent and she gets left behind. Danger. She has poor eyesight now so she can't see me very well. I seem to have some sort of a proximity alert tho and when I'm too far away it goes off and I stop to look around for her. Usually she's only about 30 feet away and I wait for her to notice I'm waiting and she trots to catch up.

So this brings me to yesterday. I was wearing tan colored pants, black shoes and a black coat. My dog park clothes. I had stopped to look at the view over the river, it's peaceful and pretty and was half thinking I'd go down there on our next walk for a little variety. I continued walking; Ridgeback one: check. Ridgeback two: check. After about 20 feet my proximity alert went off. I looked down; no Petal. Looked the other way; no Petal. Spun in a circle. "Petal? Petal?" There were miscellaneous dogs roaming, no Petal. A woman I'd passed a few minutes ago waved and pointed at her feet and there was Petal. Religiously following her. I called and called and called and eventually Petal looked round ... took a few more steps to follow the woman, sniffed her leg and finally realized her mistake. The woman laughed it off and pointed at her own clothes then at me. We were wearing the exact same colors and Petal, after having a little sniff at some grass, saw a pair of familiar legs and resumed shadow duty.

Who knows, maybe she was trying to tell me something.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

At Least She's not Craving Pickles & Peanut Butter

So far since coming home Halo has been a grump, a cow, a bitch, a suck, a worry wart, and generally not herself. Goods signs if you like that sort of thing. The last time she was like this she was in whelp but since I'm not sure she is I'm pretty annoyed with the whole drama queen thing. It's getting old like day old bread. It doesn't really affect me much, except there's more somber looks and simpering gazes. More occassionally she acts as tho I screamed it at her instead of asking her nicely to go lie down. Everything is a tragedy.

Last Sunday she ate a sandwich I left in the van while getting a coffee at the gas station. I didn't give her shit for it right away cuz I was in a hurry and it's was snowing, I wanted to concentrate more on not getting killed so I forgot about it. Well, 9 hours later after the dog show I get back in the van and show her the empty wrapper. One day I'll get a photo of what her face looks like when she's suffering that kind of guilt. It's priceless. Her ears pin against her head, her lips draw back into a frown, her neck recedes into her shoulders, she sits and fidgets and the best part? Her eyes close. We're talking extreme guilt. I bet she thought she was off the hook. How do I know it wasn't Raimi? Because Halo is crafty and food driven and KNOWS when I walk out of sight of the van she has at least 2 minutes to rifle thru and see what I've forgotten. She's gotten me on this a couple times so far. More than a couple. So I'm showing her this wrapper and she's in a lot of discomfort. I let her off the hook since it was my mistake and told her I hoped it was tasty but that it was really fattening so it was probably good I didn't eat it.

As an aside, ever try to type with a cat draped over your hands? Wrist mobility is drastically reduced. Thankfully it's a laptop keyboard so it's smaller and my fingers don't have to walk as far. The cat is getting an occassional lick in every second word for some reason. Perhaps she enjoys the tummy massage my wrists are giving her.

Anyway, Momma is acting like a wet bag of lettuce and The Boy doesn't get it. The other day he attempted to get her to play by nibbling on her neck and succeeded in annoying her into retaliating which he interpreted as play. Normally a good neck bite will illicit a play time but she wasn't buying.

Needless to say Raimi is frustrated. Today that was abated by the unexpected appearance of Kenya at the park. Halo gave her the what-for which seemed to make her feel better about herself. Nothing like a little bullying as a pick-me-up. So Momma Bear went around telling the kids what hooligans they were and they played for ages til it was too dark to even see them. Currently they are comatose on the couch with Raimi snuggled right up to Petal with ultra-adorable cuteness ...

Awwwwwwwww. Since this picture Petal has moved to under the table because Riami's head is too hot. His little brain cells must be snapping away. Perhaps it's about to explode and Petal has vacated the area to beyond the blast perimeter. Anything's possible - especially if Raimi happens to be actually thinking(which I personally believe is unlikely given his history). More likely he's just remembering the park since a foot is twitching.

Halo has situated herself on the couch behind me and is currently dreaming up more ways to apologize for existing. It's very tiresome. More another day about her stinky feet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bad Case of the Wiggles

Raimi's first show was on the weekend. It was certainly a fun time for all involved. He got a bad case of the wiggles when he realized the judge intended to TOUCH him and TALK to him and LOOK at him. He was a complete disaster. He did actually finally stand still so she could look at him. It was a really positive experience; except the bouncing, galloping, pacing, jumping, biting, silliness that ensued when we were gaiting. Puppy group was much much better and he stacked quite well and gaited very well indeed.

Day 2 was much much better and he looked really nice in the class - I think - well, people told me he looked WAY better than the day before where you could tell he was a nice dog who was behaving like a disaster and the second day he was a nice dog who looked like a nice dog. Phew. This from a hound judge who was exhibiting.

Raimi was TIRED but we all know what a tired puppy is ... a good puppy. In all it was pretty much the experience we wanted in that he enjoyed himself. I'd rather have a disaster of a puppy now than a robot show dog in 2 years. If he has fun now he'll temper it in a couple years but special well. I hope.

His next show is in 4 weeks and he's also in puppy sweeps - we'll see how that goes!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Poo Foot

When you have dogs inevitable things happen that involve bodily functions dogs have no control over. The longer you own dogs the less affected you are by this phenomenon. I can recall sifting through vomit, being sprayed with a mixture of pee and shit, pee on my bed, a dog vomiting in my lap, scraping shit out of the intricate tread of a shoe, stepping in a pool of pee in socks, I could go on and on. Invariably all of these things happen or are realized at the most inconvenient time; pee on the bed is discovered at midnight after a long day, the shit spray happens when you're dressed for work and already late- it's the primary law of dog ownership.

So today I will etch another notch into the collar of dog ownership. Everyday the dogs go out first thing while I prepare their food. Everyday they come racing in, career around the corner and gallop down the hall. So today as they go streaking by I think "I smell poo."

Because I'm standing at the open back door I think nothing of it because who's to know - wafting fresh poo from the yard can't be unusual can it? I'm pretty good at cleaning up the yard but 6:30am in my jammies ain't happening EVER.

So off I toddle to put down the dishes and as I step into the hallway to shut the door foot meets squadge of poo. Barefoot. I prefer barefoot over sock foot or intricate tread shoe so I'm not so bad off. I think it's Petal because the only dog EVER to come into the house and bring her poo with her is Petal. Sometimes it gets stuck in her coat around her bum, we wrestle in the tub to get it off, scissor the hair and it's all good again. But today she was innocent.

I walk on my heel to get the food down and since I only leave myself a finite amount of time in the morning I glance at the Raimi sized shit prints and turn the other cheek(for the moment). I step into the shower and wash off my foot and then get out and prepare for my day. While I'm doing so The Boy, for some reason only known to 7 1/2 month old puppies, climbs into the tub and gazes up at me through my duck shower curtain. Cute but has consequences.

He steps out after a moment of Raimi thought and instead of having a mostly dry poo foot he now has a sloppy wet poo foot. He exits the bathroom but slips on the tile leaving a couple thin streaks of poo the size of his foot and jumps onto my bed. Fortunately I have a dog blanket on my bed to protect the duvet cover but STILL. I tell him to get the F*** off my bed. I finish getting ready for work and turn a blind eye to the poo prints in my hall.

So tonight instead of a quick getaway to avoid teeth grinding traffic out of the city - I have to wash my floor so I don't come home on Sunday to poo prints.

AND I washed the floor last night.

The Dog Park for Kicks

So I head with the dogs to the park everyday. Almost without fail. Otherwise they make me crazy with the eyes and the wrinkles and the whining. Raimi pulls his best hopeful face and I pulling out my shoes and coat and have a big nose jabbed in my eye before I know it.

So yesterday was our first official park run since Halo's return. All excitement were the dogs. I generally walk and read. I see this as no worse than being on the phone because frankly, people who walk their dogs with a phone jammed in their ear are about as effective as people who drive while on the phone. You're not really paying attention either way. I'm re-reading Harry Potter 1-7 so I take the book with me and the dogs romp happily.

So off they bounce. I look up and see The Time Warp '80's Guy - you know him - bleach blonde hair, round sunglasses, tight jeans, skinny legs, puffy jacket - 'the '80's called, they want their hair back' sort of guy. He's walking his black lab. Halo and Raimi beeline for the lab and I glance up, read a couple lines, glance up again just in time to see this guy aim a KICK at Halo.

Anyone who's ever met Halo knows she's bouncy. Loves people. But bouncy and normally I'm pretty good at forstalling the inevitable bounce. The bounce is usually a straight up in the air kind of thing with no actual contact. This time I'll admit I was lax and didn't look up in time. Sure I should have been paying attention but she's not dangerous or aggressive, she just exuberant. Well, I looked at this guy and he defended his KICK at Halo (which didn't quite connect with her HEAD) with words like "Dangerous, bite, draw blood, etc" to which I replied "Would you mind not KICKING my dog". Now as before - yes I should have been watching and normally it's a pre-emptive strike that when I see a person I immediately say "HALO. OFF." before she even gets to them. However, I was out of practice with her at the park and didn't see what she did.

So I said that he didn't need to kick her and that she didn't touch him, she jumps straight in the air -which she conveniently demonstrated just at that moment. He was seriously acting like she was attacking him. Because I enjoy being a difficult person I deliberately said nothing to stop her harrassing this guy. She was wagging, smiling, trying to rub against his legs, jumping up but not touching him, the whole thing to show him she was friendly - he continued to berate me and I continued my meandering walk with my book and loudly re-iterated that there was no reason to kick her. I flipped him the bird a couple times and left him to his rant. I am not saying I'm totally in the right - but I'm pretty darn sure that kicking a friendly dog who he's seen before at least twice is uncalled for.

The next time I see him I'm going to loudly recall Halo and tell her to watch out that he doesn't kick her.

I do know that people who own dogs occassionally can be afraid of other people's dogs. Really, if you're afraid of them - don't go to the dog park where's there's lots of dogs.

In the end Halo was upset by him yelling at me and I just told her not to worry - he's got a Rad casting call he's got to get to.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halo is Home

After two weeks of restless sleep Halo is finally home. Raimi is sooooooo happy! Halo lost weight, which she seems to do when she's in heat. Must remember that. Troy had to up her food - actually doubled it - and she still lost a couple pounds, stress and being in heat I guess means her metabolism skyrockets.

She is napping on the couch in her pretty blue panties and The Boy is foiled again. Halo is telling him off if he sniffs her but I'll keep them separate for the next week. Poor boy.


Hopefully 8 weeks from today we can expect puppies. That's Boxing Day ...