Friday, January 25, 2008

"Mr. Drama"

I have a new nickname thanks to one of my three vets: Mr. Drama. It seems they all know I am just mad and depressed to explain why I DON'T want to walk, DON'T want to eat, DON'T want to pee, and DON'T want to stop crying, hiffing, puffing and trembling.
Alice is clever. She got me to eat barley and chicken tonight. And, she made me jump over the dirty blankets in the laundry room, go outside in the RAIN!.... and so I RAN outside, turned around three times on the lawn.... in the RAIN mind you!... and I pee'd the biggest lake ever. Alice said even with all the rain, that bit of lawn will probably die. But she was joking. She called me a very good dog, very brave, and followed me back inside.
I realized then the laundry pile is MY BLANKETS! With MY SMELL on them. Oh joy! Sweet relief! I jumped all over them, pawed them up in a big pile and settled down for the best snooze of the day.
Isn't life great?! There is a heater vent right by the big pile. Wow.
It's still scary having all these stitches. And having my tail shaved a lot. Unnerving.
Back blogging in a week after my stitches will be out and my tail (tale?!) more presentable.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tritop Ointment!

Got a better lotion for the razor burns around the sutures. And a T-shirt vest so I can't so easily scratch those spots. And some Sucralfate to settle the stomach - a penalty for eating mostly protein the past two days.
Alice got me to eat some barley with beef this afternoon - but I didn't want to drink any water. So, she's tough, she put some down my mouth with a big syringe.
But that wasn't enough. Had to get an IV for fluids this afternoon.
I am rather glad Princess Chanel wasn't at the vets'. She would have had "harsh words" for my not being a good patient. I've "only" got about 15-20 sutures! That's no big deal, she would say. She's seen lots worse. And she'd have something to say to Alice, too, for not being tougher with me, food and water wise. Those two very small drive-through hamburger patties probably gave me pancreatitis. Rats.
One good thing today: the lab results for the tail bumps were negative so hopefully that's all over with in the wagger department.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Panalog Cream

Deep into dreams now thanks to Panalog Cream. Just a tiny amount where I've been scratching one spot where a stitch rubs against shaved skin. Not on the incision itself.
Happy thoughts now.
Alice told me about the wonderful meat spread at the Campo di Bocci in Livermore this past Sunday where some of her curling club played the bocci players. Those Italians know how to cook. Antipasto with lots of meat and a selection of olives. Plates of fresh fruit. Warm hearty bread with olive oil and balsalmic. Lots of ice water. Wine. Coffee. Alice knew if I had been there I would have parked myself under the meat plates all day long so she took a picure of them.
A saying goes in bocci, "God gave us two hands: one to hold the bocci ball the other to hold a glass of wine". For me, it's four paws for Greenies, Chicken, Beef and Liver, and a mouth for a plush toy for tug of war.
All the curlers decided they could learn a lot about good food and times from the bocci people. And the bocci players learned a lot from the curlers about how to get one's sport in the Olympics. Maybe one day I'll see a punto, raffa, volo game on one of the outdoor courts at Livermore or Los Gatos? Alice said she had a lot of fun learning to "lag" the ball and she even did one stunner of a "raffa" shot in a game. That's nice, pass me the prosciutto please.

For the Record: I'm not Happy

Not happy. Not comfortable.
Before Christmas, Alice noticed a new bump on my tail. It got big rather fast. Two vets said it had to be taken off and sent to a lab. I think it's just another cyst thanks to an ingrown hair. Should know results by this Friday.
Naturally, once vets start looking at one, they find other things. "As long as he'll be knocked out for that tail bump, we should clean his teeth! And how about those four skin tags on his shoulder and left haunch that seem to bother him a lot."
I admit, those skin tags were bad. I flinched when the one on the haunch was touched.
So.... yesterday morning.... Princess Chanel the Chihuahua's person took me to the Back Rooms. Very frightening. A bit of a relief to get the knockout drugs.
Chanel's person brought me back out of the Back Rooms a few hours later. Doesn't she look as bright-eyed as Chanel? (Who wasn't there that day... too cold.... taking a "snow day".)
Alice had to get some antibiotics down my throat "with food" so she took me straight to a place with some of my favorite beef. "One patty, plain, no salt.) It comes in a bowl just for dogs! What service. I chomped it down.
The stitches are very uncomfortable. Alice tells me not to scratch. Easy for her to say! Another 9 days and they come off.
Spin those prayer wheels for me to wish me some more patience. A Zen Master I may be... but even they have limits sometimes.
PS Zen Masters love topical doggie creams for "irritated skin". Alice found some in the house. Zzzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Woof, WOOF!

Some humans in Hungary have figured how a way to understand the meaning of dog barks 43% of the time. So far they just have been working on the barks for stranger, fight, walk, alone, ball and play.
I don't think I have ever barked "ball" in my life. I have, however, made major eye contact with humans for the foxy-tailed toys and the plush birds with the squeezy bird song inside. But more often, the urgent-playful-toe-clicking-walk to the toy is the signal I use to let humans know I want to play with one of those now.
Alice has my stranger-danger bark down pat. The get-in-here-now bark to arriving family and friends, too. I think she understands the how-dare-you-pee/poop-on-my-front-yard bark.
I don't do a walk or play bark. I do a door-stare for the former and a paw-push-on-human-knees for the later. The same paw push is also useful for give-me-that-salmon-skin now communications.
I have an oh-no-I'm-alone bark. I trot over to Alice after she lets me know I'm not alone.
I've never done a fight bark. I do a soft and firm growl instead as a warning which has always worked to prevent a fight.
And then there are the attempts to talk like a human. Alice sometimes laughs at that. And I laugh at her attempts to bark meaningfully. But really, the best is just ESP. Works almost everytime.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Here I am with Chloe late Saturday afternoon. We met on her sunset walk after I had a walk at my favorite park. I've met her before, but only a nose-to-nose through a car window. This time, we got to smell each other properly. She's very brave one for one so small. I can tell she's gentle, too. And, very active like my special dog friend, Picadou. Maybe I might see Chloe next at my favorite park or maybe Peet's?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chanelling Isabella

Last week, Alice visited Emily's house on the East Cape in Baja del Sur. I think I would have liked it a lot. It's a dog friendly place. Big kitchen, lots of sun spots for sun soaks.
Over Thanksgiving, Emily's family painted one wall bright pink! I bet they laughed a lot while doing that. Alice walked up the stairs to admire the paint job and when she got to the top, Anders Zorn's portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardiner popped into her mind. One night in Venice, Isabella saw fabulous fireworks from her palazzo's balcony, turned to go back inside to tell her guests they had to come out and see the fireworks. Anders who'd been trying to find a pose for a portrait of her said "That!" is how I want to paint you. Isabella would have loved that pink wall. And as a fellow dog admirer, she would also have loved Emily's portrait inside.
And who is Emily? Why that's the human family's corgi whose portrait and spirit are there.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Second "New" Casti Gym

Alice took me over on the bike to the opening ceremony of a new building at her old high school. She thought riding a bike over to see the new "Fitness & Athletic Center" would be a good idea. Something about avoiding adult-onset diabetes, she said.The last time she was on campus was for a 100th birthday party for the school last year. Lots of fun she said to watch each class year of students perform dances for each of the decades the school had been in operation. Ragtime, the Charleston, Swing, Jitterbug... Dance will be part of the "fitness" bit for the new gym.
In Alice's day at the school, there were several big events P.E.-wise. The original gym was torn down - a beautiful old shingled building with upper story sun decks and spots, but lots of splinters on the locker room benches. Then for almost a year, the Old Orchard House served as a locker room and rain or shine, they did sports outdoors without a gym. Around that time, field hockey was prohibited at the school thanks to too many shin injuries. Alice liked to be a goalie for field hockey during P.E. class since the goalie got to wear big shin pads. Flag football replaced field hockey for a few years. Yes, Alice learned how to body block.... and decided football was not her favorite physical activity.
She was there when the "new" gym opened in the 1970's. It had a lot of rough cut stone blocks on the walls outside. The locker rooms had lots of showers and everything was clean and new. Alice spent most of her time there in the gymnastics studio on the vault and balance beam. Like me.... sports involving balls.... just are not of interest. Music or sounds of nature, not squeaky shoes and echoing yells or screams, suit us best.
This new gym has two floors of basketball and volleyball courts. Those seem to be the popular sports nowadays. I wonder if in 100 years they will still be as popular?
Well.... speaking for Alice and myself we could see the current students were quite excited about this new gym. Mr. Ely who was there the last time a gym was opened looked a bit sad to Alice as she walked by him. He'd worked so hard to get the second gym built. Cathy Friedman who helped open the new-new gym today and who was a student leader for the opening of the last new gym seemed happy - but perhaps wistfull, too? She was a student athlete in the vanguard of the Title IX changes for ladies' athletics. I suppose she must have been thinking "What if?" she and her classmates had that new-new gym and the opportunties it gives to girls nowadays.
Alice remembers missing the old shingled gym very much when the cinderblock one opened. It seemed brutal. Hard. Cold. Dismissive of the past.
The new one feels like something from the 21st Century. Modern lines - yet with graceful nods to the past. All those new shingles. Big glass windows framing a lounge area with comfy chairs the students will fight over on rainy or hot days.Alice liked the floors with their colorful logos and looked at the empty walls in the lobby and stairwells which will likely soon be filled with art chosen by the students and trustees. Can't say I liked those floors at all: much too slippery for my furry dog feet. No grip at all! Like trying to walk on waxed slick hardwood floors. The basketball courts I did not want to go near - even slicker! (And besides, no scratchy dog nails or human street shoes allowed there!)
But, isn't change fun? And, aren't ceremonies great? Makes one think of the past, present and future all at the same time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Alice Curls While I Stay Warm Inside

Curling has started up again for the Winter in NorCal. The San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club went outside for the first time a month ago in downtown San Jose for NBC Channel 11 to promote the December open house in San Jose. Alice really liked curling in sunglasses that day.

League play has started in San Jose and Fremont has an open house January 12 with league and instructional play starting there on January 26.
Meanwhile, no word yet from the Canandian Embassy in Mexico City about whether they might haul those Mexicans out to the outside ice rink at the Zocalo Piste for curling before it closes on January 13. If not at the Zocolo Piste, how about at a Mexico City indoor rink like the one at a mall in Santa Fe?! At least the call I made with Alice for curling in Mexico has been heard!!!
Well..... me and sports....I don't do anything with balls..... that's for retrievers to do. Maybe one day I will sit on someone's lap in a bar overlooking a curling rink and watch as one can do at the San Jose rink. Or perhaps see Alice play outdoors again on a sunny day.

Rainy Days and Sunny Chihuahuas

Met yesterday a tiny chihuahua named Chanel. She sits in a little bed at the vet hospital by a window. It seems - oh no!!! - I have to have minor surgury soon to take off a fast growing bump on my tail. I suspect it's just another benign subcutaneous cyst. The whole vet thing is nerve wracking. I shake and shake and can't wait to leave. I don't know how Chanel can stand being there all day long. Her person says she, Princess Chanel, has a heater under her bed in the window and the real Chihuahua attitude.
Must think of other things. Sunny thoughts on this rainy day. Of Baja where I went as a puppy. Sun, sun, sun. And of Tibet before the Dalai Lama left.
I really do believe my ancestors in Tibet could spin those prayer wheels as the saying goes about tibbies there. Please "keep those prayer wheels spinning" for me when I go for bump surgery soon.
MUST think positively. Think of a sunny Chihuahua like this one who looks just like Chanel from Ida Victoria's Gallery painted by Andres Garcia-Pena. I bet he could paint herds of tibbies spinning prayer wheels in the sun. What a happy thought that would be!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I really did enjoy staying with Sarah and Abby, and their Mom and Dad, and their Penny and Eddie....but.... I am glad to be home. I think I may soon get to visit "the girls" for some walks and visits. I really liked cozy-ing with them during the recent rainy days. I even liked touching noses with Eddie, the cat. And having Penny to speak dog to.
So... Alice said she went to the beach again. But, she came back smelling like Bromie, the foxy-coated labrador. (Bromie is named after Brompton bicycles. Lots of bromies and baskets on this website.... More about "my" bike and "my" basket later.) Alice said she smelled like Bromie because she got a lick on the nose from Bromie at the airport right before she got me back home. Bromie had to go in the cargo hold she is so big. There was also the whiff of this other small dog on Alice. A very slight whiff. But there. If those dogs can travel with her, why not me? Alice said I would not like the cargo hold where those two had to go, nor these cargo trolleys, and besides, those two dogs did not stay with her overnight. Bromie just had a day visit and the little small one just waited in an airport line with her.
To bed, warm and safe. Lots of nice dreams tonight!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tanuki for Me

I am going for a visit with Sarah, Penny, Abby, David and Kristen. Plus a cat. Not sure yet about the cat. But! Alice says the cat is nice. I hope so. Meanwhile, Alice says she will be thinking about me while she is away for a few days. Maybe a tanuki like this one will look after me? Alice says one always looks out for me and all other furry pets who are loved by people.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goodbye 2007

Alice got lots of balloons yesterday. They made me shivery. Smells like the gloves the vets wear for surgery. Burrrrrr. I stopped shaking after Alice held me and explained things about party balloons.
Had a final walk on Main Street near the office. Alice liked the sunset. I liked the pee-mail from all the local dogs on the hedges by the street trees. Met an Irish Terrier over at Peet's Coffee who was scared of me! Imagine that!!
Got a special midnight walk last night and watched Alice release the balloons one by one. I listened to the fireworks and the sounds of parties inside the houses.
Funny how the people "celebrate" only a few times a year. Stopping to think deep thoughts.... I do that every day.