Friday, September 28, 2007

Hey Baby, What's Your Fairy Name?

Your fairy is called Columbine Elfshimmer
She is a cheerful sprite.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the first flowers begin to blossom.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has delicate green wings like a cicada.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meeting the Grandparents

So my little dog met her grandparents this weekend. On Sunday morning, I volunteered at an adoption show held by the Lab Rescue from 10:30-12:30. My lab's name was Sunny and he was a big bruiser of a puppy - 16 months - who must have weighed at least 100 pounds. He was quiet and calm as long as someone was petting or feeding him but all the excitement of the other dogs made him very bouncy and he was definitely jerking me quite around a bit. I just made like I was riding a bucking bronco and held on for dear life! Next time I'll know to bring gloves.

Sunny has a hip issue - in his ball-and-socket joint, the socket part of the pelvis is flat instead of being curved around the head of his femur. Doesn't seem to cause him any pain or mobility problems now but may in the future. Also some of the hair had been rubbed off of his nose because he was caged and he was trying to scoot out under the cage door and he had a weird lump on his tail. So he wasn't as popular as most of the other labs who were there. But he was so funny because he kept flopping down with the huge water bowl in between his massive paws and drinking while he was lying down, as if he was too exhausted and just couldn't handle standing up to drink. Pretty cute.

So we were there for two hours and Sunny met lots of potential adopters but didn't go home with anyone. Oh well, I'm sure there's a home out there for him.

After the show, I hightailed it home and picked up the baby dog. We headed up to Boyds and went around to the backyard. I figured introductions would be easier outside. Semaj was out on the deck sunbathing. My little dog scampered up the stairs and nosed him. Granny Lynn and Big Poppa came out, then Anyhc, who No Name liked, and Telmah, who was bouncing around like a fool and scared No Name so she gave him a little warning growl. I bopped her on the nose and she hung her head and wagged beseechingly at me.

Her grandparents began a heated debate that lasted all evening about what her name should be. Dad was lobbying pretty hard for Snickers while Mom went back and forth between Mardi (for Mardi Gras)and Trixiebelle. Approximately 208,476 other suggestions were also offered.

Little No Name is afraid of tall people with deep voices, i.e. men, so she kept shying away from her Grandpappy, but she'll come around. Her grandmother fed her people food and her furaunt and furuncle immediately began to teach her the fun and fascinating art of eating and then regurgitating empty birdseed hulls. Later on in the evening, she took a nap on the couch with her furuncle right next to her. And one point the behemoth Telmah tried to shift position, nearly flattening her with his big head, and she gave him another little warning growl, but quieted down when I shushed her.

Anyhc was an entirely different story. No Name kept following Anyhc around, batting at her with her paws and nudging her with her nose, trying to initiate play, but Anyhc just stood there looking around helplessly. Guess she thinks she should be the one to say when the Games begin.

No Name has also just discovered crickets and spent quite a while racing around the backyard in pursuit of the elusive little hoppers. Never caught one, though. Good thing Granny Lynn was nice enough to give her some dinner along with her furuncle and furaunt.

Dad grilled some chicken and Mom made some pasta and beans and we had dinner out on the deck, which was wonderful. After dinner we watched a bit of tennis and Granny Lynn petted and cooed over her new granddog. Finally little No Name and I said good night and headed home, full and happy.

Life's A Peach . . .

. . . and then you get chewed up and spat out.

My boss is driving me freakin' crazy. She always says completely obvious things and then says, "Know what I mean, jellybean?" And if I don't respond adequately, she asks me again if I know what she means. For example (these are just from the last nineteen minutes that I have been at work):

Her: I really need a cushion for my chair.
Me: Mm-hmm.


Her: Know what I mean, jellybean?

Me: Mm-hmm.

Her: Do you know what I mean? (beady-eyed stare to make sure I acknowledge the full weight of her need for a cushion)

Me (in my head): Of course I know what you mean, you freakin' nutjob. Let's see, you said, "I need a cushion," so I'm guessing you mean, "I need a cushion." Do you think you're Sappho or Emily Dickinson or something, "Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me, The carriage held but just ourselves, And no cushion for my hiney????" What do you want me to do, write a little jingle to sing in lament of your cushionlessness? Get over yourself, princess.

Me (in reality): Mm-hmm.

Or another:

Her: I want to make sure I give the patient the right forms.

Me (nodding emphatically in agreement): Yup.

Her: Know what I'm saying, Ronald Reagan?

Me (stifling gag reflex): I sure do.

Her: Because if we gave the patient the wrong forms, they would have the wrong forms.

Me (struggling to grasp the advanced arithmetic that one (1) batch of wrong forms equals, erm, one (1) batch of wrong forms): Uh-huh! (trying to sound bright and perky)

Her: You know?

Me (in my head): Maybe if you pulled your head out of your hee-haw long enough to notice that you are actually speaking audibly to another person and said person is responding audibly to you, then I could stop spending half of my workday figuring out new and ingenious ways to say, "Yes," and we could actually get some work done around here.

Me (in reality): Yes.

Anyway, just thought you'd enjoy a slice of office life to go with your morning coffee. (HAHA!)

Monday, September 24, 2007


Okay guys, I'm feeling a little bit nervous. You see, Semaj agreed last night to come over to my place and let the dog out since I have been trapped in my interminable "staff meeting" for most of my "lunch break." But will he come through? I've tried calling him but no response. I hope he is not passed out in his bed, having forgotten yesterday's conversation and blissfully unaware of my little girl's bursting bladder. But I am praying for peace of mind and just acting in faith that he remembered. I hope.

Anyway, it was really awesome of him to offer to do it for me. Thanks bro! Now answer your phone!

Sorry to freak out. I just hate the thought of my little girl sitting in her own pee for six hours. But I'm sure she's fine.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I am beyond tired. I am so tired that my muscles weep just from sitting upright.

We had our Grand Opening last night. It was a huge success but I basically worked from 8:30 in the morning till 10:30 at night. Which means I performed heavy labor - setting up an event - in heels and with a perky smile for fourteen hours.

I will write more as soon as I am able to get some sleep, but let it suffice to say that I am very happy and I love my little dog.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Our new baby comes home tomorrow! I got a call yesterday saying that we were approved to adopt Rags, the little multi-colored long-haired chihuahua mix. We pick her up tomorrow and then I have to take her to be groomed. She has heartworms so she will be resting for the next eight weeks while she recovers from the treatment. She has to have a course of injections to kill the worms. Once the worms are dead, she has to be on bedrest while the little bits of decomposing worm work their way through her circulatory system. If she exerts herself too much, a particularly hefty chunk may clog a vein or artery before it can be broken down into small enough bits.

She will be ready for her grand debut right in time for Thanksgiving!

Our Adoption Counselor also told us that because I came in on that particular Saturday, Science Diet had agreed to sponsor the first 25 applications they received. So she's free! The adoption fee is usually $150. God is good!

I went to PetSmart yesterday and picked up the necessities. The only place I went a little crazy was in the collar section. So many cute options! I got several so we can see which one most flatters her complexion when we pick her up, and then I'll return the others.

Don't know what we'll name her yet. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Heaven on Earth

Mancub-less weekend! It was so strange not to have him here. Poor little guy. Even though it was a pretty busy weekend for me, it still seemed so quiet compared to the whirlwind created by the Mancub's arrival. T-Bone took him to the hospital Friday night because he had some bloody discharge coming from his ears but the docs said that it was no more than usual after getting tubes put in.

But that's not why this post is titled "Heaven on Earth!" No, not by a long shot. T-Bone's arrangement with the Mancub's mom was that he would stay with the Mancub Saturday while she worked and she would be with him Sunday. So on Saturday morning I decided to go down to the Washington Animal Rescue League because it seemed from Petfinder that they had quite a few small dogs. Since the Mancub is terrified of dogs, a pup that is smaller than him is pretty much required.

So I woke up, got dressed, downed a protein shake to keep the hunger at bay and headed off for Northwest. Mapquest did me wrong, however, so I had to pull over - no cell phones in DC! at least not next to your ear and I can never understand anyone on speaker - and call the rescue for directions. I finally found my way there, signed in and headed back to the kennels.

Where my jaw dropped. I have never seen a boarding facility like this for people, much less animals. You walk in and immediately notice the soft relaxing new age music playing on the PA system. Each kennel is covered in a domed skylight so that the animals will have light and a sheet of water runs across the skylight, adding the soothing sounds of water flowing. Dancing light beams flash and wink across the walls.

A shelter volunteer tells me that underneath the concrete floors, half of each kennel is heated and half is cooled, so if a chihuahua and a Siberian husky are bunking together, they can each be comfortable. Instead of wire cages, the walls are made of frosted brick so that the dogs do not feel confined but cannot see each other, so there is no cage aggression. The kennel is remarkably quiet; except for a few dogs passing each other in the hallways, there is none of the frantic barking that you find in the county shelter.

Each of the kennels opens with a Dutch door, the top half of which can be pushed open by visitors. Instead of having to ask a volunteer to show you a dog, you can just open the top door and pet the animal and get to know him or her yourself. If you like what you see, you can ask a volunteer and they will lead you out to one of their five specially designed exercise and visiting areas to play with the animal and see whether you like each other. They also have a special room just for puppies and small dogs where the cages aren't floor to ceiling so the dogs feel more free. It was pretty incredible.

Anyway, so I walked in and started peeking into kennels. I think I petted and played with every single dog in the place who didn't have a yellow "Not Yet Available" placard on the front of its kennel. Sometimes they had a card next to their names saying "Adoption Pending" or "No More Applications Are Being Accepted." I didn't care whether they were going home in fifteen minutes - I have years of dog deprivation to make up for and I wanted to take advantage of every furry face.

I ended up visiting with five or six dogs in the exercise area. I was there in absolute heaven for a total of four hours. At the end of my visit, I put in an application with three names on it. They are, in nor particular order:

Rags: She's a teeny tiny long-haired chihuahua mix, white with black patches and spots and brown patches. She's a little timid but very very sweet. Likes butt scratches and lap sitting - preferably at the same time. Probably around 10 pounds, if that.

Sweets: She just arrived from New Orleans. She's a basset hound mix (but not smelly!) with the sweetest disposition you could ever hope for. Very mellow and affectionate and loves other dogs. Her front right paw is twisted so that she walks on the top of it - she has a huge callous on the top of her paw from walking on it. The vet has to evaluate it and decide what they're going to do but I have a feeling they'll amputate the leg. She's probably around 35 pounds.

Bud: Bud literally walked in the door from West Virginia as I was filling out an application for the other two. He looks kind of like a cocker spaniel/dachshund mix. He was a "chain case" - had been chained up outside his whole life. While his transporter was waiting for a shelter attendant to come pick him up, I got down on the floor with him and petted him and told him he'd be okay. He's still intact but the transporter said he was not aggressive at all when he was rescued so I don't think he'll have any over-protective issues. He lived with other dogs and was not aggressive toward them . Technically I couldn't really apply for him since he hadn't been evaluated and hadn't yet had his shots - there is about a ten-day waiting period after a dog first arrives before you can apply for him. But I put his name down anyway because as uncertain as he was, he still managed to crawl up into my lap and wag his tail and give me kisses. I'd say Bud is around 15 pounds.

I dropped off my application and interviewed with an adoption counselor. She told me that T-Bone had to visit with them as well before they could vote on our application so on Sunday, I dragged T-Bone down to the shelter and we visited with Rags and Sweets. He loved Rags, which I knew he would, mostly because she is so small. He said in no uncertain terms that he does not want a three-legged dog but I asked him to meet Sweets anyway. Really of the three of them, she is the most ideal temperament-wise. So he met Sweets and said she was a very nice dog but I think he still doesn't want a three-legged dog. Oh well. I don't really care as long as there is a cold wet nose at the end of this process.

So I have to get a copy of my lease to the rescue or they'll cancel my application. We signed the lease a few weeks ago but still haven't received a copy of the lease signed by our property manager. The leasing office at our complex keeps telling me that they sent it out but I still haven't seen it so I am going over tomorrow to get a copy to fax to the rescue. After that we'll have a home visit and if we're approved, the adoption committee will decide which dog(s) we're eligible for. Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Mancub's Surgery

The Mancub has his surgery yesterday. I couldn't be there but I got the full report from T-Bone. He said the surgery went very well and that the Mancub is recovering well. He told me that when the surgeon removed the Mancub's adenoids, they were so big that the surgeon didn't know how he was breathing before. Apparently a lot of fluid drained out of his ears when they put the tubes in, too. After the surgery, T-Bone said the Mancub was sleeping SO peacefully - no more desperate heaving chest. "He sleeps quietly," he told me. "He sleeps like you!"

He wouldn't eat or drink anything today so the doc wouldn't release him from the hospital. Finally T-Bone had the idea to use a syringe to get some juice into his mouth. The doc said he needs at least 20 squirts a day; I think T-Bone said he got about 30 squirts in the Mancub before he came home for the evening.

T-Bone is really happy and relieved at the result and is very eager to get himself examined to see if he has an issue that can be corrected with surgery. Wouldn't it be awesome if T-Bone could get a decent night's sleep?! I just feel so bad when he is tearing it up next to me. Poor wookie.

On another note, he told me last Friday that people at work were making fun of his snakeskin shoes, calling him a pimp and laughing at him. I felt so ashamed when he told me that because I know that I have been really mean and poked fun at him pretty hard in the past for his snakeskin shoes. My heart just crinkled up and I felt like hanging my head because I realized how much I could have hurt his feelings. So we went out on Saturday and since Mom just paid me for dogsitting after a couple of mixups, we were able to get him a really nice pair of brown oxfords. Perfect timing! Now he feels so much more comfortable and I feel a bit absolved of my past meanness.

I rejoined Curves today. Even if I don't lose weight, I can at least put the breaks on my weight gain. But somehow when you are working out, you feel more motivated to cut down on your food intake. And Curves is such a happy fun place and they make it so easy! I feel bad for you dudes that you don't have a place like that. I know the Curves founders use their money to support right-wing politicians but frankly I feel like me staying alive and healthy is more valuable both to me and to the struggle than for me to deny myself a fun and motivational workout on principle. It felt good to work out today.