November 2018
« Jan    




The animals in our life

Weird furry four-legged things

A while back I wrote about the mousey that caused me to do strange things like jumping up and down and waving my arms and making the dogs look at each other and wonder what the hell this was all about…while the mouse looked at me like he’d like to make friends. Maybe. Anyway, he went to mouse heaven courtesy of a bar of baking chocolate. Turns out chocolate isn’t any better for mousies than it is for dogs. (Although, if I had my ‘druthers, death by chocolate sounds like a fine way to go)

Now we have another 4 legged critter that I THOUGHT was maybe another mousey but I’m just not sure of this one’s provenance. I’ve only seen the hind quarters of it and they are very strange. It is bigger than a mouse but nowhere big enough to be a rat; it’s brown, not the dark grey of field mice…or even the color of pet mice, for that matter; it has a short, stumpy, FURRED tail. (Mice and rats have scaled tails) Oh yes, and the hind feet were furred.

I’ve been researching rodents on google and haven’t found anything that fits yet. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve got a whole new species here or just a mutant. This one I’d like to capture alive just to see what we’ve got. Little chance of that, though. Anywhere I could set a live trap would be someplace Willie, our terrier mix, could get at it. If that happened, I doubt there’d be enough left to even identify the splat.


So, now my lemon grass is growing beautifully. It’s at least a foot taller than it was when down where Odie could get it.

She couldn’t, however, just let it go and realize that she’d been caught and would not be getting those good tasty plants any more. Oh no!  She let us know how upset she was by eating all the summer Romaine lettuce that was almost big enough to start making salads out of.

Didn’t just munch on it or nibble around the edges…ate it ALL and didn’t care who knew it. Came in the house with lettuce stuck between her teeth. Grinning at us.

The Mystery Chomper Unmasked

I decided that this year I’d put in more lemon grass as my last plants didn’t get mulched in time to protect them from winter.

Three new tender plants arrived in not so hot shape and one immediately expired. We’ve been nursing the other 2 and seemed to be having good effect. Then we started noticing that every time the plants got up to a decent height, something would chew them off.

After out problem a couple years ago with squirrels (or something) eating the tomatoes as they ripened I figured it was the same bunch using the lemon grass as an appetizer, waiting for this year’s tomatoes to ripen.

The other day, Leo called me and said ‘bend down to Odie’s face and tell me what you smell’. Our chomper is none other than sweet ball of fur, Odile.

It’s a good thing that the plants are still in containers so we could put them up higher. When they get bigger we can put them in the ground. The leaves then get a very sharp edge which, I’m sure, will deter predation.

But maybe I should get an extra one for her to chomp on. Sure beats dog breath.




As you know, we have had the privilege of giving a home to the Bouv Brothers, Jake and Elwood for the last 3 years.

Elwood has been steadily going down hill for the last few weeks and in the last 2 days he’d gotten worse. In the last couple weeks, from not eating, he’d lost 9 pounds. Day before yesterday he wouldn’t even take the chicken that he loved. Last night he stopped drinking water and couldn’t stand on his own.

This morning we took him to the emergency vet and said goodbye to him. He was a great dog who got a bum rap in life…owned originally by people who wanted a ‘status symbol’ instead of a family member. Taken care of when it came to physical needs but never truly appreciated. Then surrendered to rescue where he and his brother languished for 2 years in a kennel with even less true support. I wish we’d had more years to give him the comfort of the couch and hand-feeding when he needed it and trips to the park, rides in the car and a rosemary bush to rub in and munch on.

We will all miss him.

Then there were none

For the first time in 36 years, there is no cat in the family. At one time there was as many as 13, now there are none. Moe was put down this morning. His regulation for the diabetes has been off for months and there was just no getting it back. I can’t be too sad that he’s gone. He hasn’t had much of a quality of life for some time.

I remember when we first saw him and his brothers in early 1990. Mama cat was feral and we saw her walking across the patio next door with something in her mouth. Two more trips and we realized they were kittens. She put them down behind a bush, not really much cover and little protection from the elements. Their eyes were barely open.

We started feeding Mama cat so she wouldn’t have to leave the babies to hunt. She didn’t want anything to do with us, hissed and spit, but allowed us to handle the kittens, which was a total shock.

At 6 weeks we brought the kittens inside. Larry, Curly and Moe. The only time they ever went out again was for trips to the vet. Of the 3, Curly went first from cancer of the jaw. Larry died this past spring while I was visiting my son. And now Moe is gone.

No, we aren’t going to get another. Moe was very close to 20 years old. Buffy had lived to 22, Cotton to 23, most of the others lived to 17. We don’t feel like we have that many years to put into another cat.

Maybe I’ll volunteer to foster for the SPCA or just go down there and play with the cats occasionally.

Not again, not this soon.

On Saturday, Dot started the day coughing. She was eating good, drinking, going out, running the fence with the dog next door. Sunday she was a bit worse. Still eating but not as bright. Monday she went to the vet and we were told she had kennel cough. Strange because she hasn’t been exposed to other dogs. We don’t board her and it came on so suddenly. But since she had no fever, and her lungs were clear, that’s what they said. Put her on antibiotics and a cough suppressant.

Yesterday morning she looked like she was getting better. By last night she wasn’t moving much, didn’t want to eat and seemed weak. This morning she was breathing hard, too weak to move, couldn’t eat, dehydrated. So back to the vet.

It isn’t kennel cough but they don’t know what it could be. She still doesn’t have a fever but now her lungs are full of fluid but she’s otherwise dehydrated, which makes the treatment tricky. Hydrate her and you put more fluids into the lungs. Try to get the fluids out of the lungs and you risk making the dehydration worse.

Dot’s only 9. A month off from her 10th birthday. She should have a good few more years and I’m just not ready to lose another dog right now. But the fact is that we very well may. The vet is doing his best but he doesn’t know what it is and that means you can’t adequately treat. All he could tell us is that he’ll do his best. But if he can’t find out the cause, we may lose her. My Dottie could very well die.

Boy am I on a Roll today

From time to time I do online surveys. It passes some time and I’ve gotten some nice products to try. I’ve also gotten some stinkers. But today’s just blew me away. The survey was about dog food. After the questions about what types of dog food you buy, how many dogs you have, their ages, etc, they ask if you’d be willing to have dog food sent to your home to try.

Products for evaluation are always unbranded. They don’t even have ingredient lists. You get absolutely NO information on the product at all except for how to use it.

Do they really think that this is a good time to be sending people canned dog food to try if you can’t tell who made it? Where it came from? What company was involved? I just can’t believe they’d do such a thing, the timing is so incredibly bad.

I’ll have a full rant on this situation soon but I just can’t believe people. I sure as hell hope they not only get no takers on this one, but plenty of indignant emails.

The survey company is Synovate. (Just in case you might want to add your $.25)

Morning Singalongs

I know it’s been a while but I’ve been kind of busy lately. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and, of course, taking care of dogs.

The title of this entry? Oh, I guess I haven’t told you. Jake and Elwood sing. Sometimes they even get Dotty in the act. It started a couple weeks ago after they had had breakfast and I had gone back to bed. I heard what I first thought was a distant siren that kept getting louder. Then a second one chimed in, harmonizing with the first and I realized that it was Jake and Elwood.

When Rosie and Bailey and Dot would sing because of a plane going over, walking into the same room with them would cut it off in mid-note. Not so with Jake and Elwood. They look at you as if to ask ‘well, are you going to join us?’, pull their heads back and sing.

This would not be so bad, in fact it’s hilarious when Jake imitates bagpipes being tuned up, but Leo only gets home from work at about 5 AM. So howling practice at 7:30 isn’t really appreciated. (My inability to not giggle over it is also not appreciated.)

At first we tried just keeping my door open so that Jake (the instigator) could see that he was not alone. No dice. He’d stand in my door way, pull his head back and sing to me. Quite by accident, we found that if Leo’s door is left open, we do not hear a peep out of them. No problem at night when Leo isn’t home. No problem in the morning until after breakfast. I’ve taken to just opening Leo’s door after they finish (I have to sit with them while they eat to prevent poaching) and that works.

This morning I forgot. Lovely serenade. Oh and some really good news about the boys. Jake is down to 113 lbs from his 125 and Elwood is up to about 92. It’s lovely seeing them even out.

Jake, the instigatorJake, the Instigator


PET Peeve

I am becoming appalled at the numbers of dogs I’m seeing advertised as ‘designer dogs’. The deliberate mating of 2 different breeds slapped with a cutesy name and being sold for totally ridiculous prices. You know what I’m talking about…the ads you used to see in the paper for puppies ‘free to good home, mother German Shepherd, father traveling man’. Now they’ll call it something like a ‘shepador’ and charge you $600 for it.

Hey, people, you want a designer dog? Go check out your local shelter. They’re full of ‘designer dogs’. Here at ours you can get some of these same ‘breeds’ that are selling for hundreds of dollars for $75. And for that $75 you’ll be getting an animal that’s already neutered, has had all its shots, been wormed, is heartworm negative, microchipped AND you’ll get a certificate good for your first vet visit. Free.

Don’t be fooled. They’re selling ‘designer dogs’ but what they’re doing is deliberately breeding mixed breeds…mutts, if you want it crude…with no research into the genetic problems of the breeds they’re mixing or the heartbreak they’re leading up to. Mix 2 breeds subject to SAS (a serious heart defect) and you’ll get really cute puppies. Who will drop dead before they’re 2.

Or 2 breeds subject to Von Willebrandt’s, a bleeding disorder. Nice dogs until you clip nails too short and they bleed to death. Many more examples in that vein.

Please help put these people out of business. Check your shelter. Don’t be one of the reasons for breeding more dogs that will end up there.