watch me…

I know I talk about my dogs too much, but yeah, they’re cool. Also…other things
1) tonight Chester started his obedience training. He’s smart, he took to it right away. He also started to calm down and not be so scared of other dogs. By the end, he was wanting to follow the dogs around. Not ready to ‘play’ with the dogs, but at least he wanted to be by them.
2) practicing his training at home means a million tiny cut up treats. it also means maddie gets many treats as well. It’s been a good day for them.
3) Pierce Fleming, International Vet of Mystery called me today to follow up on Maddie and see how she was doing (he actually made the follow up call, he didn’t just say he would). We discussed her drugs and adjusted doses accordingly. Also, Dena told him that I call him the IVoM and sent him the url. Hi Dr Fleming!!
4) Maddie is actually getting better. sometimes you know your dog is miserable but it slowly fades into place and you don’t realize just HOW miserable they are until they start to get better and suddenly they are BETTER. She’s brighter, more responsive, she wants to play with chester. There was a point last month where I was looking at her and trying to weigh her quality of life. Just how miserable and in pain was she? Was this ever going to get better? Is it fair to never feel relief from this pain. It was a really hard time, a terrible thing to have to think about. I only want my dogs to be happy and comfortable. Pierce Fleming, IVoM, might just make that possible for me.
5) April’s friend Nate was on Jeopardy today! Weird! I think he won. I’ll have to go over to my sister’s and watch the tape.
6) I’m making robot scarves, beaded scarves and little beaded bags. I can’t work on the finger puppets until I get that yarn untangled from when Chester got ahold of it.
wooo I need me some dinner and some sleep.

International vet of mystery

When you don’t have kids, dogs end up being furry surrogate kids of sorts (except they’ll never call you at 2am asking to be bailed out of jail and you yourself can prevent unwanted pregnancies instead of just worrying). Anyway, Maddie has had an ongoing infection issue with her feet that we just could not get a handle on.
We were constantly going to the vet and the vet was stumped, just guessing and prescribing. It was frustrating to say the least. It was frustrating and expensive and worrisome and Maddie was visibly miserable throughout.
Dena and Levi recommended we go meet with their vet, Pierce Fleming, International Vet of Mystery! I appreciate personaly vet recommendations, it’s really hard to find a vet that lots of people love and you really want your dog to go to a good vet. You know, like you want your kid to go to a good pediatrician.
Friday I grab Maddie and David and we decide to also bring Chester. Chester needs to get out of the house and it’s a good place for socializing a bit and you know, he’s a good guy. Great idea! Except my great ideas are quite often doughnuts stuffed with the forgotten jellies of very bad ideas. Chester gets car sick. Really car sick. He’s the only dog I know who gets car sick. Pierce Fleming, IVoM is way way way on the northwest side of town, i’m on the south east side of town. it took almost 40 minutes to get there. More than enough time for Chester to vomit and for Maddie to freak out about the vomit and plot her revenge.
We finally get there and get in the consultation room (the room has posters for animal accupuncture written in German. I don’t know how I feel about that yet). As the vet assistant is asking us all kinds of questions, Maddie decides that it’s time for her to let us know just how upset she is with having to ride with pukeboy. She drops a gigantic stewy load all over the floor. Yep, my dog did me proud by taking a huge shit in the middle of the room. She was really pleased with herself. I was mortified.
After the bulldozer and hazmat teams leave with the offending load, Pierce Fleming, IVoM, showed up. Instantly, I’m in love. My regular ver faxed over Maddie’s records earlier in the week. He sat down with them that day and started doing research. He started doing research in advance. he immediately ruled out food based allergies, those would not affect the feet so much as the face, stomach and ass (thank god my dog does not have an angry seeping ass rash!), it’s also not mites. The common assumption is that it might be airborne or inhalant allergies, but his research showed that those allergies affect the toes, not the pads.
So he did more research and checked things out and all. All signs point to auto-immune disorder, something not especially common in dogs, but not entirely uncommon in shar peis (you know, as much as I adore the breed, the health problems are really out of hand). Apparently, all the symptoms are classic, you just have to know what you are looking at to make the connection and Pierce Fleming IVoM did his research in advance.
He spent a lot of time explaining the course of treatment we were going to follow, he answered our questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. He wanted to put her on cephalexen but I pointed out that that drug makes Maddie shit blood all over my living room, an activity I am keen to avoid in the future. Cephalexen is really the best drug for the situation so, instead of going with a lesser drug and getting questionable results, we’re going with the cephalexin AND another drug that will help prevent great big bloody shits. Also, there is prednisone, which I’m not keen on, but we’re keeping the dose low and after 5 days we’re moving to every other day.
Maddie wanted to express her thanks to everyone, so she peed on the rug in the lobby. Thanks Maddie!
So far, she seems to be doing okay. We’re not getting instant results, but that’s to be expected. This course of treatment could take 2 months or more.
In other dog related news…
Remember last week when we never got to obedience class because I didn’t call ahead and it all got cancelled? And then we changed to the Monday night class? Well, I called the teacher of the Monday night class to say “hey, we missed the first night, call me and let me know if I need anything other than a dog, a leash and some treats”. She called me. She was not happy. She doesn’t let people sign up late for her class, oh no she doesn’t. The first night is a very important lecture and she doesn’t people to miss it. I tried to point out that I’d been through dog obedience classes in the past, I kind of had a good idea of what was what in the dog obedience world.
Chester has his basic commands down, he can sit, stay, lay down and, on occasion, “SHUT THE FUCK UP”. I relayed this to her (not the STFU part, people don’t appreciate that as much) and she said “well, that’s easy…” Well, yeah, lady, that’s why i signed up for the class. Look, I’ve been through the classes, I’m prepared to carry babies for the Dog Whisperer, I’m down with pack order and dominance displays.
Fine. She gave me a “well, if you want to come I guess…”
I called the community ed offices and asked if I could switch to yet another class since this lady was so cranky and I really didn’t want to be in a class with a cranky teacher. It’s not going to help me and it’s not going to help my dog.
Well, huzzah and blow it out your ass cranky lady! Seems the original class we were trying to go to was only postponed, not cancelled! That starts this Wednesday, we will make it and not have missed anything.
Look, i’m not trying to train my dog for any kind of competition or anything, I just need him to not bark so much when I am not home, get socialized with other dogs so he is not afraid of them and not jump on people when they come over. Stupid jerk lady.
And today we set Chester up with the citronella spray bark collar as he’s been harassing the neighbors. It worked really well. In fact it worked so well that it seems he was completely still and silent as much as possible, or at least that’s what David ascertained when he got home and Chester didn’t even dance a little jig. Hooray!

The day of the things that didn’t happen

Tonight was the first night of dog obedience class. It’s not an important night to be in class, mostly they just tell you why you want to train your dog, and how it should be done and then you talk about dogs. You don’t bring your dog to the first night, you just talk about dogs and everyone is really sweet and nice and we all grab each other’s metaphorical butts.
So, David and I take a quickie nap after work and then get ready to go. Of course I picked the obedience class at Southwest High School which is way on the other side of town as opposed to the one at Roosevelt High School which is 1) 10 blocks up the same road my house is on and 2) the place where David works. I just thought the description for the obedience class at Roosevelt sounded mean, besides, Ghengis went to Southwest for his classes. We get in the car and I totally know where I’m going, I give directions and we’re off.
Yeah, we’re off except I’m convinced the school is not as far north as David is telling me it is. It can’t be that far north, I’m sure of it! No, it’s got to be down here near the creek because that’s where I went with Ghengis and that’s where I took my knitting class….but where the hell is it? We can’t find it and I didn’t write down the address because why would I write down the address when I know where it is?
So we stop at a convenience store and they’re having some sort of Turkish birthday party which I’m thinking is pretty cool and also I’m thinking the owner of the store is going to hug me any minute. He’s so fucking happy and he has an accent and he keeps yelling “SOUTHWEST!! SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL!!!” to his family. The teen girl gives me vague but good directions and I get out of there before they offer me cake because I’m pretty damned sure that if I was offered Turkish birthday cake, I would not leave and David would be stuck in the car waiting for me.
The school is, in fact, a full 10 blocks north of where I thought it was. Okay, fine. We get there and run inside ten minutes late. We go to the community ed office and ask where the class is and the girl actually looks sad! She’s sad! Apparently not enough people signed up in advance so they cancelled the class. David looks at me and I have to apologize for not calling in advance to make sure there was space and confirm the class was still going on. Do the responsible and smart thing? Nah, that’s just not how I roll.
We signed up for the class which started on Monday and I figure that’s fine because the first class always ends with somebody grabbing your ass. Or something.
We head out, wander around town and had dinner at El Norteno, (the place where we took Julie when she was in town oh so long ago). I wolfed down the chili verde with pork and potatos and drank one of the best horchatas ever. David ate something, I’m sure, but I couldn’t really focus through the haze of chili verde.
Speaking of food and dogs, we’re putting maddie on a homemade diet to see if we can alleviate some of the allergy issues she is having. Corn and wheat are common allergens for dogs, so we’re keeping her on plain beef, rice and carrot stews for now. So easy to make in the crock pot AND I roast the bones for Chester so it’s a win/win for everyone involved. Maddie LOVES her meaty dinners (like DUH) and I have no problem putting the effort in if this will keep her healthy.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, when I die I want to come back as one of my pets!

I can bore you to tears…

My mom came down this weekend and she and I went yarn shopping. Yarn shopping is one of those magical things for me that makes me wish I had a hundred billion dollars and 80 zillion hours. I’d do nothing but create fantastic and beautiful things from the end of my hook.
My big find this weekend (besides size 30 crochet thread and a 99 cent big eye bead threading needle) is this fabulous Chinese yarn. It’s extra fine lambs wool, spun out to a thread weight. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s fine enough to do lace work but lighter than cotton thread so it will actually drape. I promised a friend of mine a long time ago that i would make her a scarf. I’m going to string these light green seed beads on this pink yarn and make up a beaded lace scarf for her. I’d like to make something bigger, but at $20 a ball, I’m not really going to be buying a lot of this.
Let me just say, I just cannot tell you how lovely this yarn is. It’s so soft and pliable. I’d post a link to it, but I can’t find anything about it. I’ll keep searching, then you guys can buy me yarn!
I started making tiny beaded bags. It’s easier than I thought, but it makes my hands ache to work on it. I got 2 finished on Saturday night and started a 3rd, but I don’t like the way the 3rd is working out so i’m frogging it and starting over.
I’m hammering out my finger puppet pattern. The basic design is there, i just need to get proportions right. I’m stash diving for the finger puppets, just using those odd ends of skeins that accumulate in the bucket. I’d separated them out and put them in a bag to pull from as I needed them. I stupidly left the bag on Chester’s kennel and last night while David and I were out at the Guthrie, Chester ripped open the bag from below, pulled all the yarn through, chewed up the bag and then managed to unwind probably 187 different skeins and twist them together. Luckily he didn’t eat anything, I don’t relish the thought of pulling 100 feet of yarn out of my dog’s butt.
So there you have it. A post even more boring than the ones I do about food!


I’m cross eyed from the tiny lace making. Pillow case edging must be done in pairs and I just finished my second set. My second set of tiny little stitches with a tiny little hook. Now I am on to my new project, I need to make 50 tiny little beaded lace bags and 50 little bitty funky finger puppets.
If things work out I’ll post pictures AND tell you why the hell I had to make 50 tiny little beaded lace bags and 50 little bitty funky finger puppets.
If things don’t work out, I’ll never mention it again and you will forget because you were raised by MTV and you can’t remember when your last crap was (hint: your last crap was at 4:47pm).
Now my surgery hand in numb and my left hand is cramping up so I am going to bed.