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?


July 19, 2014

White Dog rushed out of the office in front of me. We had both heard the sound of plastic being crunched and in our house that is NEVER a good thing.The flash of white that we had seen scurry past the door just before the nomming started had been Puff so we sought her out.

We found her hiding next to the momma chair in the living room, hunkered down on the far side squished against the stereo speaker. Bella was watching her from under the chair. She had her paws wrapped tightly around the clear rectangular plastic, body hunched to protect her prize, jaws of death madly working to snap the box and get inside.

I yelled, "NO! Puff! Drop it!" and lunged for her but she scampered past me plastic still in her mouth over to YoYoMa where she climbed over him to rest between his body and the fireplace. Yo looked confused.  Suddenly Puff was the nearly feral girl we had first adopted so long ago.

I knew that any movement toward her would send her down the hallway and out of the dog door into the yard where I had no chance of getting the box away from her. It was a small ant trap filled with bait and it was certainly something I did not want her to have.

It seems our house is sitting on top of a giant ant hill. In days gone by, things were balanced and the Ant Atlantis lived and existed without problems. But our long standing drought and our slow terraforming to a xeric landscape has prompted them to come seeking water and food (of course Michael's period of hiding open food in the basement a few summer's back did a GREAT job of advertising food availability). To rid ourselves of the colony would require poisons and digging under the foundation. Most of the time, with herbs and natural remedies we can keep the little guys at bay but they seem to "bloom" cyclically.

Before we asked our exterminator for the ant traps, we researched the baits and chose one that is safe for pets and which is used in day care centers. So the traps are not toxic to the White Dogs but the bait still should not be ingested. Steve read that some dogs find the bait smell appealing so he went to great lengths to make sure their placement was hidden, high up as possible and inaccessible.

Inaccessible to all except an old Eskie girl hellbent on getting it. The trap she found had been placed in the bathroom behind the toilet on the wall brace for the water tank. She really had to work to extract it. And I have NO clue how she even knew it was there; she does not frequent that room.

White Dog came up with the perfect solution. She hopped up behind me on the chair and pawed at the purple jerky bag. Of course! The entire WDA drops whatever they are doing when the bag opens. I reached and all of the Army came to line up in front of me. The plastic pieces and mangled box lay on the hearth.

I handed out strips of duck and Puff moved to her usual spot in the hallway where she eats her treats. I crossed the room and snatched up the trap and pieces while all were occupied. I gave White Dog an extra portion in thanks.

Steve is now challenged to reassess his hiding spots and to find a new one for the bathroom. I only half laughingly suggested duct taping it 5' up the wall. If it comes down to a choice between living with temporary invasions of ants and the safety of the White Dogs, my clever Army and I will train those six-leggeds to have "Party Manners!"


July 18, 2014

White Dog directed my attention to the living room. We were all working in the kitchen, preparing the picnic for Saturday's tailgate picnic at the Opera. I was peeling peaches for the streudal.

It is that time of year when produce is at its most seductive. The fruit is ripe and juicy and available from our local growers market. At our house we nearly live on the vegetables and fruits of the season. The White Dog Army eats veggies in their dinner and will sometimes be coerced into a bite of carrot or cucumber (especially if it contains Steve's homemade bleu cheese dressing) but they are not like many pups in the blog world who find greens and crispies a swoonable treat.

The girls had all daintily taken one piece I offered then politely declined any more. Taiko was not at all interested and walked away in boredom. YoYoMa and Sachi, on the other hand were wild for the fruit and asked over and over to share thin crescents of the slurpy goodness. I obliged, thrilled to have TWO actual fruit eaters in the WDA.

That is when WD cleared her throat and pointed to the other room. The room now strewn with many pieces of peach. The room where YoYoMa and Sachi were on their backs squirming and wiggling on top of the fruit in absolute glee...our biggest boy and his tiny duplicate rolling and thrashing away!

Then they rushed into the kitchen for another round, coats matted with juice and bits of peach still clinging. "CLING peaches, get it momma?" WD laughed. I glared. I could see that the carpet fared no better.

The boys sat in front of me, in their best "asking" positions. "Please momma, we would like some more" their looks begged.

"What you are going to get when I am done with this streudal," I told them, "is plopped in the tub for a quick cleanup and then hopefully Michael will help me with the mess you made on the rug." They wagged in their most charming manner. "No, no more!"

"Sachi clearly you need lessons on how to properly eat fruit," Puff told him, "between the strawberry play the other day and now this...I shudder to think what would happen if momma handed out watermelon!" I petted Puff's head. "Don't worry dear one, THAT will NOT happen in the house or without outside supervision. Can you imagine the mess?"

White Dog walked into the room to inspect the damage, stepping gingerly through the squashed mess. Sachi ran out after her to defend his flavored Slip-n-Slide. YoYoMa walked out to the fruit, laid down and begin eating the bits. "You are pathetic," I called after him and he rushed back to my side expecting a fresh piece.

"Oh, fine, but you have to eat it here, in front of me. No rolling." Just call me a sucker, I can't resist that goofy loving face!


July 17, 2014

White Dog said, "The White Dog Army needs a get away day, momma. Summer is more than halfway passed and we have not gone farther than the Park. I know dad is VERY busy but can you talk to him and see if he can spare a few hours for a hike in the mountains?"

She continued, "We live in the Land of Enchantment. The very place fills the soul and refreshes the spirit. To step out of the rut for a brief time would be as good for him as it would be for the WDA."

White Dog stopped and thought for a minute.

She led me into the Office and climbed into my lap. We opened our photo files and I clicked as she pointed. Finally in a folder labeled "The Sandias," WD put out her paw to stop me. There was Puff.

"Show dad this," White Dog instructed. "He will understand."


July 16, 2014

White Dog laid on the couch watching Sachi. She looked across the room at me and rolled her eyes. The Little Man had come dashing into the living room from the kitchen like a circus acrobat tossing something in the air in front of him and then rushing ahead in an attempt to catch it.

His wind up and pitch were impressive but he was pretty poor in the catching department.

"What is it he has," I asked. Then I saw that his "treasure" was a large ripe strawberry. Steve moved to the doorway to explain that he had dropped the box of berries this morning and thought he had retrieved them all; apparently he was wrong.

Sachi's red plaything rolled under the coffee table. He carefully walked around the glass-topped piece of furniture, stalking the prize. Nose down and tail in the air, he inched and sniffed suddenly darting forward to grab the berry in his teeth.

He sank to his belly and held the fruit between his paws and took a dainty taste. He paused to savor the taste on his tongue before taking another tiny bite. Then he batted the berry across the room and chased after it, once again stalking and then capturing his "prey."
As he nommed the sweetness, Sachi made little moaning sounds of happiness. arrrrmmmmmaaaahhh! White Dog started laughing. "Only this Little Clown can make such drama out of eating a strawberry," she scoffed. He turned to look at her, a tiny bit of strawberry juice on his chin, then jumped up and zoomed off to the kitchen to hunt for more delicious treats.


July 15, 2014

Dog Dog and YoYoMa were leashed up and quietly led to Pumpkin early this morning. Steve hoped to avoid a noisy farewell scene and nearly made it into the van before Sachi's face popped up in the window barking up a storm. He continued well after the trio left for Scot's for a spa morning of grooming and catching up on neighborhood gossip. The Little Man's mad scratching at the window and howling (yes like a tortured mini wolf with throat issues) FINALLY caused Bella to leave my side to check on him. Puff in her oxygen crate slept through the Tyrant's tantrum and Taiko just moved his morning daydream dozing to the deck. When Steve returned a scant 10 minutes later without them, Of Course A White Dog let loose with another round of wailing before settling on White Dog's watching chair and going to sleep.

YoYoMa strutted in a little after noon perfectly floofed and blindingly white. He strolled slowly across the room to circle Puff and seemed shocked when she did not find his advances irresistible. He took a few steps and turned back as if to ask, "Are you sure? I am one HOT dude?" before he headed out to the kitchen to push around his empty bowl...reminding Steve that they HAD dashed off without breakfast.

White Dog jumped up next to me. I complimented her soft furs and glistening radiance. "I bet that feels much better, doesn't it?" Steve asked her, "all that itchy old coat gone."

Her response was to give him a long stare and then deliberately shift so that she could scratch her side.

July 14, 2014

White Dog sat with me on the chair. "Why are you crying, momma?" she asked. We were surveying the results of moving the portraits of Quinn, Nuka and Oso to the wall we had opened up for them in the office. Now the fireplace held portraits of Taiko, Bella, and Sachi as well as YoYoMa and Puff.

I put my arm around The Little White Dog of My Heart. "I can't even begin to explain so you would understand."