The U.P.

It seems that whenever there are functions with Derek’s family, there are always just as many kids as there are adults.  It’s hectic and loud, but it’s wonderful.  Whenever there are functions with my family, however, the dogs seem to take over the role that kids seem to fill.  It’s just as hectic and loud, and it’s just as wonderful.

We went up north earlier this month to celebrate my grandmother’s 88th birthday.  And just as always, had a very relaxing trip.

We got there and Derek went fishing with my cousins and their spouses, while I sucked it up and put my toes in the freezing lake to give the dog’s their bath.  Because the last bath they’d received was the last time we were there, and that was two years ago.

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They met up with all their “cousin” dogs and played the afternoon away on the beach.  Here’s the beginning of the pack.

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My sister-in-law showed up and brought her husky.  Those three absolutely love each other.  And notice how Kirra just sits and watches over her men?

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And because eight dogs just wasn’t enough, she had to go and adopt this little creature.

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And Derek and I almost left with another.  What a trip that would have been.  I’ve puppy-sat that little girl only a few times and boy, am I glad we didn’t get another puppy.

As far as the people go.  Remember, those human beings?  Well, we didn’t actually do a whole lot of anything.  There was plenty of this going on.

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And this.

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Up North.  I miss you already.  And I almost kissed the beach before we left, knowing there would be a peaceful ride home.

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They didn’t make a sound the entire six hours.  Those are some worn out puppies.

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All I have to say is…why?

You know, sometimes being curious can be an adventure.  Other times?  Not so much.

Last night, I walked into the living room to find Keiko pouncing around on the rug like a cat, putting something in his mouth, throwing it and then chasing after it once again.  He does this with tennis balls and other toys.  But last night, it looked to me that he was simply being a little insane and chasing after nothing in general, probably a burst of air or something.  Because he’s done that before, too.

Turns out, as I turned to walk away, a small black ball landed near my feet and he was once again pouncing on it.  Well, not so much on it, but next to it.  Then carefully picking it up again and continuing to play with it.

And okay, here goes.  I cannot believe I am about to type this.  Just thinking about it is forcing me to relive the entire experience, and that is one that I would gladly go another hundred years without reliving.  It was THAT bad.  Thinking it was  just something simple, I picked up the black ball, which then decided to do away with it’s protective ball shape and turn once again into a spider.

I picked up a spider.  With my bare hands.  And what happened next wasn’t my brightest moment, I’ll say that much.  To use the phrase, ‘I screamed like a girl’, is an understatement.  Because I didn’t, I threw that thing and was quivering on the couch probably within two seconds of actually picking it up.  And of course, Keiko is thinking we’re playing, so he chases it, picks it up and brings it back to me.  Why thank you, Keiko.  How generous of you!

Anyway, the story doesn’t end there.  I worked up the courage to pick it up with a tissue and put it in a glass.  Only then did I notice how friggin huge the thing was.  I mean, I’m talking the size of a nickel, maybe bigger.  And just for the record, I still can’t believe I am still talking about his, because if you asked me at this moment, I’d tell you that millions of spiders were burrowing underneath my skin, ready to eat me from the inside out for killing their cousin.  So I carried the glass into the office and looked up the spider on the internet.

The internet is no longer my friend.  Not when it can produce such disturbing images.  Images, by the way, that kept me up half the night.  I never did find out what type of spider it was because the thing decided to start crawling around in the glass and I couldn’t stand being within inches of it anymore.  So I put it on a tissue and hit it with my shoe.  Because, hello, I am not squeezing that thing between my fingers.  And then I even thought about throwing the glass away.

After literally half an hour of researching spiders (who EVER thought I’d say that in my lifetime?), I stumbled across a picture of a black widow and it did me in.  But not before etching nightmares into my brain that will probably stay there for eternity.

I think I may have a slight problem.  And I may have to wear gloves for the rest of my life.

The drunkling

So, do you want to hear about my drunk dog?  Because that’s all I’ve got right now.

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About a month ago, Kirra ran into a little abscess on her bee-hind and I took her to the vet one evening.  Not having any openings at our normal vet’s office, they recommended one of their sister offices, so I took her there.  Turns out, the two women vets there are Simply. Awesome.  So I decided to keep going there, but that’s beside the point.  The one that took care of Kirra that night recommended a sedative before her follow up visit.  At which point I wanted to throw myself into the vet’s arms and thank her for finally suggesting something to get us through those uncontrollable visits.  So that’s what we did.

The other day I had another follow up appointment and had to give her the same thing.  Now, this is only supposed to calm a dog a bit.  Put them at ease.  However, a larger dose was recommended for her due to her high distress level.  So, from now on, before her appointments I will have a drunk dog who stumbles around the house with streams of drool coming from her mouth and bloodshot eyes.

Does it make me a bad mother that I think it’s hilarious?  The first time I honestly was worried because she was acting like she was paralyzed and crying in a way I’d never heard before.  Then I remembered that if there was one sole drama queen on this earth, it’s her.  She spent her time milking it for all it was worth, pulling whatever treats and attention she could from me before I finally realized that she was just playing it up.

So the second time around, she was a little stronger and seemed to fight the effects a bit better.  But she still chose to lay in the living room and pout the two hours between the dose and the appointment away.

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Of course, that’s when she wasn’t trying to make me think she couldn’t walk and decided to scooch on her belly around the rug in order to move from one spot to another. 

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As it happened before, the moment I grabbed my keys she bolted up, albeit a bit wobbly, and was waiting at the door.

Welcome back, Kirra.

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Is this thing on?

So, ummm…hi?  Remember me?

I didn’t actually mean to disappear from the blogging portion of my life.  It just sort of happened.  I won’t make any promises, just say that I will try not to let that happen again.

In the meantime, Keiko will be today’s feature in all his goofy, nerdy glory.  Him and I spent an evening together when Kirra stayed overnight at the vet a few weeks ago for an abscess on her…well, let’s just say it wasn’t in a very comfortable spot.

This is the essence of Keiko.  With his ears drawn back and that long tongue with nowhere to go.  Except, when he was a puppy, he was all ears and tongue. 

See?

Why did he have to go and grow up?

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The three that almost came to be

A fifty five pound dog slept on my stomach most of the night.  The thirty five pound one slept on my legs.  The power went out yesterday and when I reset the alarm, I set it for pm and not am.  I woke up extremely late this morning. 

At our old house, our bedroom held enough free space for both of the dogs to have a bed of their own.  This house doesn’t.  We got rid of one, and Kirra promptly began sleeping on our bed.  Usually at the bottom, across my legs.

A few weeks ago, I got rid of the other one, because we barely had room for that one.  And almighty Keiko, after refusing to sleep near anyone for his entire three years because if that someone moved an inch, his entire day would be ruined.  Literally.  He got that upset.  Anyway, he finally moved past his issues and began sleeping on the bed.  At first, he would only take my spot on the bed once I got up each morning.  Little by little, he would come up earlier and earlier, eventually turning into the entire night.

So I now spend my nights with Keiko nestled between Derek and I, the upper half of his body resting on my stomach, and and Kirra stretching out as far as her little frame will allow across my legs.  It paints quite the cozy picture, the four of us on our little queen size bed.

And when I saw this sweet little girl, as much as I wanted to make room for her in our picture, I couldn’t.

I still don’t know how I passed up that sweet puppy breath, or that soft puppy fur.  But most of all, those pink ears and pink nose were almost the deal breaker.

I even named her.  Then I came to my senses and reality came spinning back to me.  I don’t need any more creatures that shed in our house, especially not a white one.  We don’t have time for all the training they require. 

So I walked away.  Only because it was the wrong time, not because I have a problem with getting another dog, because I really don’t.  Someday.

Keiko is three today!  Happy Birthday Kakes!

Calling her Princess probably doesn’t help matters

Kirra had her annual trip to the vet last night.  But if you asked her, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t use the word ‘trip’.  Something more along the lines of armageddon would suffice.

If you ask me, a trip would consist of a quick, painless walk into the office, a few shots and then a painless walk back out.  Perhaps I shall rename it to ‘the one day a year that my 38 pound dog beats me up.’   That’s persistent with what happened last night.

I’ve gotten used to her fear over the years, have had to deal with it since we got her, but it seems each year it gyrates further and further out of control.  And for such a little thing, that girl is solid and she PACKS. A. PUNCH.

For the life of me, I could not hold her still last night.  I put a muzzle on her before I lifted her to the table, and from the first touch of the vet’s fingers, she lost it.  I could feel her heart drumming under my hands, you could probably hear her breath heaving from her lungs a mile away.  Not to mention the highly skilled acrobatic acts she was conducting in my arms.

Aside from the few kicks she landed to my stomach and the half dozen times her skull connected quite hard with my chin, we got through it.  With FIVE people in the room.  My sister was sitting in front of her, trying to calm her while Keiko was trying to hide under the chair, me and two vet tech’s were trying to keep her still, and the vet himself managed to get the shots in and the blood drawn.

I felt absolutely terrible.  And this time, I honestly expected her to stay traumatized.  But, as always, the moment I took the muzzle off and put her on the ground, she was herself again.

She is quite a complex dog, I’ll admit to that with no hesitation.  And I really wish everyone could see who she really is.  She’s smart, adorable, loving, loyal, with a little stubborn and bitchy thrown in there along the way.  But you’ve gotta take what you’re given, right?  I honestly wouldn’t change one thing about her.

I don’t think many people can see past what they experience with her.  We’ve been at this vet since Keiko was a puppy, and they all love him to death, but I don’t think they ever came to accept her.  There was another before this one she went to and the Doctor there loved her, and was very gentle and considerate of her, but not one other person in that office liked her.  Granted, she did bite one of them when she was there overnight to get spayed, but I believe that is just as much their fault as it was hers.  But they always blamed it on me, telling me I didn’t socialize her enough.  So, we left.

I’m beginning to think that a new vet would ease a fraction of that tension for her, atleast for a few years.  I adore that girl, and will continue to do what I can to ease her unease for that one annual visit to the vet.

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