Sunday, March 21, 2010

You Should Hear The Noises They Make!

It all starts innocently enough - a little flirting, a little teasing ...

And then it heats up a little ...

Then Sunny grabs a leg and chomps, gently ... I think ... I hope ...

Then it escalates to the next level ...
(it looks worse than it is, but oh the noises they make)

Mom: "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!"

Sunny: "Sorry, Mom."

Star: "He started it."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Smart Little Girl

I know I thought this a week ago, before all heck and uveitis broke loose, and I'll dare to say it again - I feel like we are settling into the new double-dog routine. Except during the morning walk when I really really wish we had a yard so they could take care of their business on their own time while I enjoy my breakfast. But alas - something to look forward to in 2011 or 2012. For now we are committed to apartment living until at least April 9th, 2011. Maybe a new house would make a nice happy birthday to me at that time. Hmmmmm.

It is amusing to watch the interplay. This morning, Star was chewing on the bone so I invited Sunny to "up" on the bed where he likes to lie in the morning sun while I shower. Star wanted to know what she was missing out on, so she abandoned the bone, jumped up on the bed, and just that quick, little Sunny Sunshine slipped off the bed and stole the bone.

Then he took the bone away out into the living room, while Star soaked up the belly rubs and ear scritches, and soon Sunny realized that he wasn't being envied or challenged. So he brought the bone back to where the rest of us were to show it off. Just like kids sometimes.

Now here's something really fun: After every meal, I ask Sunny to hand me his bowl. He picks it up and hands it to me, well - mouths it to me. This can be a simple one-shot process, or it can take a crazy long time depending on how buzzed up he is and how many times he throws it in the air and kicks it around on the ground trying to turn it back over so he can get a grip.

This morning we came back from the walk and I went to the bowl and asked him to pick it up. However, he had already grabbed the hollowed out carcass of the sheepskin ball (which you may remember from a previous post as the sacrificial lamb) and wanted to engage me in play with him and the, um, that thing. So, little Miss Star walked up, picked up the bowl and handed it up to me, just as pretty as you please! She had been observing this routine for the past 2 weeks and figured that she could do it too. Testing that it wasn't just an accident, I moved to the second bowl, gave the command and was rewarded again by her eager compliance. Of course Sunny jumped in and tried to make it a tug of war game.

And now they are settled into their morning naps, Star curled up on the dog bed to my left, Sunny soaking up the sun by the window. Oh how nice it is to have the sun moving north again so that it stays in our window longer in the mornings. Sunny and I are sun worshipers and love to soak up the rays.

Monday, March 8, 2010

12 Year Old Mystery Solved?

What a contrast between the bright-eyed Sunny in the picture from yesterday's post to the "blind" dog that greeted me when I came home last night. He was his usual happy and energetic self, but he couldn't or wouldn't open his eyes. After placing a call to the emergency vet, the 3 of us jumped in the car and headed out across town.

Suddenly this all felt too familiar. Flashback. 12 years ago. Network at a year or two old. I woke up one morning to find my young dog sitting up like an old blind man, eyes closed. The regular vet sent us to the eye specialist. My most acute memory of the incident is that she did not see what a handsome and wonderful dog he was. Of course, I have to give her a little slack - she was a shepherd lover and floppy eared dogs probably just didn't float her boat. But she did eventually, on a follow-up visit, acknowledge his beauty, once his big, expressive eyes were open again.

Eyes are the window to the soul.

I was reminded of that again this morning, driving my second "blind" dog to the eye specialist. The diagnosis on Network was never clear - possibly tetanus or strychnine was the most she gave us. But sometime between the 3 1/2 hour wait in emergency last night and the drive across town this morning, I started to wonder if this could be a stress-induced event, and if the introduction of an energetic new dog into the calm waters of a spoiled mama's boy's life wasn't possibly the culprit.

Why did I think this might be so? The exact situation accompanied Network's episode - I had brought home a kennel-stressed but very loving Border Collie mix named Yule, in honor of his Christmas arrival at the shelter some 6 months earlier. He was my first attempt at fostering, while volunteering at the shelter. Even without considering that he might be the cause, I had to take him back to the shelter because Network needed a more peaceful setting for his recuperation.

Shortly after all this took place, Yule was chosen by a family with a female just like him, and at last report, they were living happily ever after, romping together through the vineyards in Sonoma County. I hope by taking him out of the kennel for at least a few days, I was able to buy him the extra time needed for the right family to come along.

The nice but efficient vet today did NOT think my idea was crazy, and in fact noted that it is not at all uncommon for this to happen to cats when a new one is introduced into the household. Better yet, today's vet noticed immediately what a great boy our little Sunny is. In contrast to all the big scary possible diagnoses thrown out by the emergency vet last night, as she attempted to cover all the bases, this morning we were told that we would start with conservative treatment with eye drops and pills, and come back in 3 days and he will probably be looking much better. He does already with the eye drops.

And he snored all the way home . . . after I relocated him to the passenger seat.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Girl End of Week 1

We survived the first week and made it to our official adoption day. On the record books, she was the first Safe Harbor adoption of March, 2010, exactly five months after Sunny was the first one in October, 2009. But we didn't get together with Anna for the official adoption family portrait until yesterday, a week after we brought her home.

Kara's Dog Family Version 2

Kara's Dog Family Version 1

In case it's not clear from the photos, the dogs in Dog Family 2 are about 2/3 the size of the dogs in Dog Family 1. The girl looks about 2/3 the size as well, but I guarantee you it's all coat in the "before" picture.

The first week with Star - oh, she has an official name now! I went with Star after all.

As I was saying, the first week would have been perfect, except for one little problem that became evident after the first 8 hours - the little girl wouldn't go potty, except for once every 24 hours, on the far end of a 20 foot leash, with me hiding under the hood of my coat with my head stuck in a tree. I'll spare you the details, and simply report that after a week, she is finally pottying like a normal dog on a six foot leash our walks. She still likes her privacy and prefers I let the leash go so she can put a little distance between us, but she is so eager to come over and claim her treats for a good potty that I don't have to worry about her taking off.

The kids are playing well together. Mouthies is the only game they are allowed to play so far, as Sunny is only 4 weeks past his knee surgery - 8 quiet weeks to go. I swear Sunny has a jaw that unhinges. He can put her whole head in his mouth, and does so frequently...

She retaliates by grabbing hold of his over-sized ear...

And then they go their separate ways...

And so we begin week 2, settled into our new routine. 8 weeks to go until Sunny can play ball, and 9 weeks from today the truck will be loaded and we will be pulling out for the 1000 mile drive to our next temporary home.

We've secured lodging, and this will be our new view...

It's not as stunning as this ....

But then not much is.