July 29, 2014

White Dog and half the White Dog Army are on lock down tonight...and momma is mad! I understand that NO one likes Steve's late nights...and the afternoon/evening monsoon rains are getting more than a little tiring. I even agree that I can be a pretty boring entertainer, especially when I am working on a project.

BUT this evening's game of "Mark It!" is totally unacceptable; and the Army knows better. It started with Sachi, who came to us with a marking habit that we have been working hard to break and have been pretty successful at. Not counting tonight. He marked the leg of the Watching Chair without warning or provocation...

...which raised the hackles of White Dog. So her Supreme Highness hopped down from the chair, raised her leg like a boy and marked OVER his spot and snarled a verbal warning that sent the Little Man scurrying....

...Taiko decided he needed to "claim" Michael who was making dinner in the kitchen, so HE marked the floor in front of the stove...

...causing Bella to react to Michael's yelling by leaving her message at the place in front of the sofa where Michael usually sits.

Only YoYoMa and Puff had the good sense to not join in the game. They are the two lavished with praise and a treat as I hauled out the carpet shampooer and the oxi-clean household spray. My mumbling and body language clearly spoke my discontent in Eskie.

The others are now closed in the office half of the house with me so I can monitor and prevent any more of these types of games. "Nope, every one gets to stay in here at my side," I told them, "we will have no more bad behavior." Yo and Puff are here, too, sitting on either side of me, reminding me that they are the "good" kids.

The others tummies full from dinner and freshly pottied outside (their idea), have all found places to curl up with their backs to me and are napping awaiting Steve's late return. They know not to rock the boat further because "when momma's not happy, no White Dog is happy."

I love my dogs. I love my dogs. I love my dogs. I love my dogs...


July 28, 2014

White Dog and the others rushed to the closed door to greet their brother through the glass. Steve and Taiko had just returned from Dr. Julia's where our Tender-Hearted Boy spent the day getting a dental. The WDA paused for a moment as Steve started to unleash our boy on the sun porch but thought again and opened the door with Tai still harnessed at his side.

"I wasn't sure if Taiko was stable enough to not get overwhelmed by everyone wanting to crowd him," Steve explained. Taiko, still groggy, tolerated the nosing and nuzzling but stayed firmly pressed against Steve's side. He was doing MUCH better than I had feared.

"Only lost 7 teeth," Steve explained, "and Dr. Julia was happy to still have all 10 fingers." Apparently, even drugged our boy is a fighter when it comes to protecting himself. He was not, said our vet, an "easy" patient.

The WDA, including Tai, sat and were politely waiting for celebratory treats. "No food until after 6pm," Steve dampered the party, "and he must take two kinds of meds to help him heal." Taiko was making clear his demand treats (he had not eaten since last night). I cupped his chin, "Sweet One, I promise just as soon as the clock strikes six, I will be sure you get treats...and dad is grilling turkey for your dinners this week." "It will be a nice easy to chew mix of diced turkey, rice, pureed kale, beets, carrots, green beans and blueberries in broth," Steve shared his menu plans.

Taiko looked into my eyes. "I promise. I am glad you are home but I bet you are still sleepy from the drugs. Why don't you go lie down on your bed and rest?" He checked to make sure that I would not disappoint him and then slowly ambled into the bedroom.

July 27, 2014

White Dog hopped up on the Watching Chair and shouted, "Really? Really? Yesterday we were stuck inside because of the heat and today we get storms? Is this fair?"

All day long we have been visited by waves of thunderstorms which have left YoYoMa an emotional wreck and played cruel games with the stability of our electrical service. Additionally it is humid, not good for either Puff or Sachi's breathing...or for the effectiveness of our swamp cooler which relies on evaporation for its cooling power.

Worst of all the White Dog Army is edgy and tired of being cooped up. They need some way to scrub off a little energy. But the rains have left everything mud and running water outside; the space between storms is unpredictable.

White Dog has made some attempts to entertain the WDA in the house and to help take Yo's mind off of the sky's grumbles and CRACKS.

They have played "RED ALERT," a game where WD waits until all of the pups are nestled and napping and then raises a warning bark that brings everyone charging into the living room, yipping and barking, and growling at full protection mode. They leap enthusiastically at the windows and doors.

Sachi has initiated several rounds of "Oh my dog! What is THAT?" as he stands on the couch intently staring out of the window barking like a lunatic. The rest of WDA pushes and shoves for viewing rights and to bark out clues as the group tries to figure out what it is that set Sachi off. Oh, and "nothing" is a perfectly acceptable final answer.

YoYoMa emptied all of the toys from the toy basket, bringing them into the living room where Sachi sorted through them and ran off with bee and several balls. Puff rediscovered the joy of eviscerating stuffed Pumpkin and removed its squeaker. White Dog grabbed Baby Lamby and carefully hid it on the window ledge to protect her treasured childhood toy from the others.

And the Army played Snarly Face which entails milling around Steve and making mean faces at your brothers and sisters who bump into you or who get too close to Dad. "Enough!" I ended this challenge game. "No meanness! Be nice."

Chastised, the WDA went off to separate corners to sulk. The rain was now a constant soothing flow. In no time all were fast asleep.


July 26, 2014

White Dog and the members of The White Dog Army sat before me. They waited for my attention and explained that they had something to share. "We know it is Opera night, Momma," Bella said. "So we are going to sing to you in the language of our people," YoYoMa continued. "This is our Song of Lament," White Dog concluded and then cued the chorus. The White Dog Army sang with full rich poignant voices...

It is one hundred and two
What are we to do?

We are tired of napping
And of Sachi's yapping.

The cool treats were nice
and so was the ice,

But we melt when outside
From the heat we can't hide.

Even the cooler's not evaporating enough.
The sweat on dad's forehead freely drips on our ruffs.

Whining in rhyme
Just helps pass the time

We fear there's no cure
We just must endure.

Maybe momma nature our plea will hear
and send lower temps to us White Ones so dear.

As they held the final notes the White Dog Army lay down, heads on paws, and looked skyward in unison with their deep dark eyes. It was compelling.

"BRAVO!" I shouted. "Bravo, bellisimo!"


July 25, 2014

White Dog looked up in surprise. "We know SIX people who have birthdays in August?" she asked. I listed them off for her and she shook her head. WD and I were working on the plan for Steve's birthday in the middle of August.

Steve generally does not make a big deal of his birthday, family time and a special meal usually suits just fine. But this year has been so structured and focused as he finishes up his MBA, that we have had little opportunity to socialize or, as Bella put it, "Get up on two-legs and dance!"

This year he has agreed to a cookout that celebrates all of our circle's August Birthdays with everyone bringing a dish. The White Dog Army is excited because the yard is large and walled so our guest list includes two- and four-legged (and three, sorry, Wyatt) friends.

The response from our friends has been enthusiastic, seems we all need to just chill and mill. But White Dog, like her momma, is an organizer. We have begun a list of foods being brought so that we do not end up with 27 bowls of potato salad. The boys have made a list of yard cleanup that will need to be done; a list they will use to supervise Michael's contribution. Puff came up with a great suggestion to grill chicken as the main course, but added a clever twist...we will grill sliced and marinated chicken and it will be part of a make your own chicken tacos bar.

White Dog has my plastic card and is seriously shopping for Steve's gifts (she is the only one I trust to not order him a case of duck jerky...but still, I DID give her a limit after watching her click onto the Jaguar website). Taiko is in charge of the dessert table; I had to limit his choices to five or fewer, since he and Steve share a sweet tooth. He is struggling to narrow the possibilities.

The 16th of August is still down the road, but we have learned in the White Dog Army to strike when we have time and no demands are upon us. It is this momma's dream, and I know it is only a fantasy, that on party day, a perfect day dawns, everything is all set up and sparkling by noon, and at three we all calmly greet our guests in pretty little hostess aprons and hand them a chilled beverage complete with fancy ice cubes frozen with flower petals.

"That's just gross!" White Dog opined. "Thank dog, Martha Stewart is not on the guest list," I respond.


July 24, 2014

White Dog said, "one of the most amazing things about our Blog Family is that although most of us never meet in the fur or flesh, we are there for each other in the most caring and magical ways." I stroked her side and nodded. "Remember when YoYoMa joined the White Dog Army?" she asked. "Well, kinda," I teased. It was May, 2011. "No, really, and Mesa, Baily, and Big Carl put him up for a couple of days and fixed the vet stuff that was screwed up in California so he could fly and got him to the airport?" "Yep, the family at Dog Is God In Reverse was awesome!"

"And when he landed in Arizona he was met by Lacey, Comet and Blu's mom, who drove him to meet us." (We have not met Sunny, Comet's new sister and miss our friend Blu who crossed the Rainbow Bridge).  "But we had the honor of meeting Comet and mom before; they came to meet and celebrate with us when we picked up Quinn from Prinnie and her family."

"True, but my point is that this is a wonderful world we are part of..." "You are so right Little White Dog of My Heart. You are SO right."

Throw Back Thursday: YoYoMa's Journey Home
Yo and Big Carl chillin' in in Hollywood, CA. Big Carl now lives in Alaska
Yo standing on the corner in Winslow, AZ, just like the song.
Meeting our boy for the first time in Winslow.


July 23, 2014

White Dog watched as YoYoMa determinedly gnawed at a piece of duck jerky. Normally our Big Boy wolfs down his strip in less than five seconds and eagerly returns to sit in front of me to ask for more.

He is still recovering from his dental work done on Monday. The swelling is gone but the inside of his mouth is still VERY tender; there were lots of extractions. Not only are those areas still raw, poor Yo has not yet figured out how to work with his new configuration of teeth. He is still pretty drooly and chewing sometimes pushes food to fall out of the new gaps. Dr. Julia says this will get better once he doesn't hurt and has some time to figure out a new chewing pattern.

But he IS feeling good enough that he insisted on jerky and did finally end up working his way through every crumb. We, the overcautious parents, are still keeping him on soft foods. He is not complaining. The plan is to start reintroducing a small amount of kibble tomorrow; we will see how that goes. He still has another two days of antibiotics and pain medication but his energy level is nearly back to normal and he is again interactive with the rest of the White Dog Army. (It is our hope he will be up to full speed before Monday...when Taiko goes in for HIS dental work.)

That is not to say YoYoMa is not smart enough to milk his recovery for every drop of sympathy he can wring from his momma. I am a doting slave to soft rubs on the side of his face, gentle kisses, and scritching the shaved areas. He enjoys both the moisturizing value as I massage coconut oil onto his shaved leg and ruff (where the fatty lump was removed) and the tasty licking treat as he slurps it off his bristly leg.

YAWD has had a rough week, White Dog and I agree he hurts and so he gets a little extra as a result...but neither of us is falling for the limp he tried out this evening.


July 22, 2014

White Dog and the rest of the Army reached that post-dinner point when it was time for a trip to the yard. Usually I can hear the dog door bang in sequence as they follow each other out to take care of business. Tonight just as the nervous pace that precedes the trip began, a loud crack and brilliant flash heralded the onset of a storm.

YoYoMa, heading the parade screeched to a halt inside the door and froze. Suddenly there was a traffic jam. He backed away from the door and laid down pressed against the bed.

White Dog pushed to the front and lifted the door; it was pouring. She, too, backed up then hopped up on the bed to wait out the weather.

Puff who in a previous existence lived outside in the dirt was unfazed. She slid quietly outside into the storm. She was followed by Taiko, also with experiences of life in the eye of the storm, who stopped outside of the door and looked up in challenge at the downpour before going down the ramp. Both were soaked when they burst back inside chased by another VERY close clap of thunder.

Bella laid down next to YoYoMa. Clearly both were prepared, along with White Dog, to wait out the inclement moment.

Sachi was not heading out either, nor was he settling into a "guess I'll just hold it" position. He was sniffing in earnest and it seemed an "accident" was inevitable...until Michael marched into the room with his umbrella and picked Sachi up in his arms.

"Come on Little Man," he said to him. "Let's at least go out on the deck." I heard him walk through the kitchen and open the back door, unfurling his umbrella before stepping out into the rain. Thirty seconds later, Sachi ran through the dog door and gave a shake. Michael came back through the house. "I set him down and he nearly peed on my foot. I think that he finished as he ran in the rain to get back into the house. I would have kept him dry."

The storm raged louder. "Everyone is fine now. Your umbrella was a very nice thought but even with that there is NO way you are going to talk any of the others into going out. They will wait out the storm; it won't last long."

Less than fifteen minutes later it was MUCH quieter...and I heard the dog door slam...once...twice...and again.


July 21, 2014

White Dog gasped, "Oh my dog, Yo! You look..." My glare stopped her in mid sentence and the rest of the White Dog Army took the hint as they gathered around their brother.

YoYoMa had just returned from a long day at Dr. Julia's. We had too long put off doing his dental and today he went for that and to have a skin tag removed. My poor boy was still groggy and looked a mess with his shaved leg, missing patch of his ruff, and swollen cheeks. His face was matted with drool and he had tape residue that he was NOT interested in having touched to be cleaned off. He DID look scary, which was no comfort to Taiko, scheduled for HIS dental next week.

Yo was obviously happy to be home and plunged his face into the water bowl drinking copious amounts of water...and then throwing up. I held him wrapped in my arms and whispered to him. He sort of groaned.

The surgical work on his neck removed the skin tag which looked nasty not, thank goodness because it was tumorous, but rather because it lay under his collar where it had rubbed. Dr. Julia looked at it under the microscope and found it to be a common (to Eskies especially) fatty growth.

Yo had several teeth removed. Rescue dogs always seem to come equipped with the worst teeth imaginable and his had been ignored while we battled Quinn's seizures, and Nuka's wasting, and Oso's dementia. In retrospect, it wasn't fair to my Big Boy but these catastrophic illnesses really zapped our budget. He is on antibiotics and a pain reliever for the next few days.

We knew everything was going to be fine when Yet Another White Dog lined up with the others demanding dinner. As prescribed he got soft food only, including his portion of the lamb burgers the entire White Dog Army shared. He will be sore for a few days but now his teeth are sparkly white. The longer reminder will be the missing thick luxurious furs that will take months to grow fully back.

No jerky tonight for my boy, but I am hoping he will not mind leftover coconut ice cream instead.

July 20, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army did not make it to the mountains this weekend. But there was time for a romp in the Park and the celebration of National Ice Cream Day!
Bella thinking of Caramel Ice Cream, her favorite.
Make mine Pistachio AND Coconut...a double dip, please!
I'm like dad; give me a good vanilla any day!
Puff has a hard time being patient as Steve puts scoops of the cold creamy goodness in bowls (She's hoping for vanilla). YoYoMa loves EVERY flavor but is truly a fanatic when it comes to coconut (You have to share, White Dog reminds him). Sachi is in the kitchen supervising and hoping for Strawberry.
Hope you all got to join the celebration! What is YOUR favorite flavor?