August 29, 2016

White Dog laughed. "The best measure that a new recruit is gaining confidence and health is when he or she feels safe enough to push the limits."

Trixie, our big Nearly White Girl, came to us a few weeks ago kind of dragging. The poor senior had gone through the tremendous upheaval of relocating and being rehomed and had a UTI to boot. She just wasn't sure.

But the meds had a good effect on the infection, and she began to find things she LIKED about New Mexico and living in the Army...the sun porch couch was a perfect place to sleep...the food was fantastic...leash walks with siblings was fun. Life was undemanding and all were kind. Even being brushed out felt good...AND ended with a training treat!

Trixie has begun spending more time with the family although she still mostly enjoys "her" space. She and Sachi rest side-by-side listening to the birds and traffic from famous Route 66 out there. The new exercise routine has begun to add muscle tone to her hind end and her arthritis is not quite so crippling (thanks to the dry NM air and supplements). The pain-free mobility has allowed her to explore and begin to claim her environment. It is wonderful to watch her stride.

This afternoon, she joined the usual kitchen help in supervising Steve as he cooked and bagged for freezing the special diet that she and Benson eat. It was a long time standing and being social...but well rewarded when Steve offered tasting samples.

My chicken strips for lunch sat on the counter while Steve took a phone call in the quieter part of the house. They smelled tempting to me but also to the parade of White Dogs who cruised past the spot with noses uplifted. Zsofia in a moment of wisdom (I tell her all of the time that "Wisdom" is the meaning of her name) came and laid at my feet.

The biggest girl, our phoenix of black and white. walked up to the counter spot, looked both left and right at the others, then directly at me. She agilely lifted herself on hind legs to snag the biggest strip. Trixie turned her back on all and wolfed my lunch down before Steve even came back to the room to discover the plate and remaining strip in the sink.

"What happened?" he asked. All eyes turned to the remorseless Trixter, who merely licked her lips.

August 28, 2016

White Dog "I Am the Queen" Sunday...


August 27, 2016

White Dog buried her head under my arm at the sound of Steve's plaintive "OH NO!" He was out in the kitchen with a passel of supervisors and we could not see what was going on but his cry made it clear that something was not right.

I expected a blizzard of guilty looking white and not entirely white dogs dashing past White Dog and myself  but there was no evacuation. Instead we noticed the small refrigerator creeping into our view. "What the..."

WD and I saw Steve grab the broom and dustpan from the closet. I raised an eyebrow. "You know," he said, "how you are supposed to eat before shopping and we didn't? Well I was starving now so I was munching on peanuts from the jar while I unpacked. I didn't have anyplace to put them so I put the jar on top of the toaster oven on the little frig. Well the copper hanging baskets, the bottom one just broke lose and swung down and knocked the peanuts behind the refrigerator."

That explained it...and the ensuing conversation. "Stormer get out of back there." "Come on Zso, I am trying to sweep up the mess." "You guys could cooperate a little, Trixie and Sachi. OUT!"

He finally got the area behind the refrigerator swept clean...and removed the "helpers" so that he could return the appliance to its rightful place. It started moving backward again...

...and then "OH NO!"

Steve had put the peanuts in the dust pan on top of the little counter next to where the refrigerator fits. All of the supervisors were directing and trying to oversee the completion of the task. Zsofia, tall and limber, but her front feet on the counter to see better...

...and knocked the dustpan back into the refrigerator space.

"Timeout!" White Dog called. "Every one out of the kitchen. You, too, dad. Now shut the door. Dad sit down and have a glass of water. Every one needs a ten minute break."

"The groceries," Steve protested trying not to be flustered. "Nothing will happen in ten minutes except you will catch your breath, hydrate a bit, and step away from the stress. Now, SIT!"


August 26, 2016

White Dog, Trixie, Stormer, Nilla, Bella, Opal, Pearl, Sachi, Zsofia, Benson and YoYoMa hope every pup receives extra love and attention on this, National Dog Day.

Our prayer to the Universe  is every dog know a kind smile and soft word...and that for even a moment they know in their hearts the idea of being safe and loved...healthy and with treat-filled tummies.

We dream of a world where all have homes, special arms to hold them, and an opportunity to give and receive devoted commitment.

August 25, 2016

White Dog smiled. "Progress takes little steps," she said nodding at Trixie.
Learning to be comfortable with her new family...discovering the neighborhood and exercising...enjoying the taste of new home cooked foods...little steps.

At human dinner time, Trixie was brave enough to throw herself into the dance that is the WDA begging for bites...and scored a shrimp for her efforts.

Trixie insisted on joining Nilla, Benson, Storm, and Bella for their night-night walk. Steve is amazing to see leading FIVE members of the White Dog Army down the street. Then she went for a second round with White Dog and YoYoMa...our girl will sleep soundly all night.

Little steps moving forward...making her one of us.


August 24, 2016

White Dog and the others had a lovely song prepared...which went on for WAY too long. Sleeping Trixie protected the door so well that Steve had to slide her over to allow entry. Zsofia felt the need to examine our guest's nostrils with her tongue. Sachi was safely sequestered in the bathtub to avoid a flesh tasting but was screaming as though he was drowning.

Steve and Officer M from Albuquerque Animal Welfare came in from the sun porch where they had been trying to have a quieter conversation. The WDA ramped up their volume and everyone pushed to sniff the woman here to review us and grant our multi-dog permit.

"Are you all crazy?" I hissed at the WDA and WD in particular. "Are you TRYING to sabotage our chances?" They looked at me and continued to bark. Then Benson and Storm decided to demonstrate family unity by having a lip curling smack down. "All is lost," I groaned.

Those who have followed us for a time know that every year we are snagged by some requirement or additional piece of information that needs to be provided in order to receive the precious permit. Puff was a conundrum to the City in her old age, medical exception from spaying, not fitting into licensing categories. We were hoping this would be a smooth year.

Steve and Officer M went out to check the yard...and the dog door banged with a charge to follow and was held open as the less brave peered out from the safety of the bedroom...barking their bravery from a distance.

They both came back in and sat down. Zsofia took that as an invitation to tongue bathe the enforcement office. "Zso! Manners! Please!" Officer M is not the warm fuzzy type and was not very comfortable with all of the attentions.

"Everything looks good," she said as she began filling out the permit. My heart sang. "You will have 10 days to get your new dog licensed but if you need a little extra time just let me know and I will grant an extension." Really, is this the same woman who last year left me digging my fingernails into my palms in aggravation?

"You always have things in perfect order. I know people with only five dogs whose animals are in bad shape and yours are all groomed and clean and they have all they need." This was a dream. I silently thanked the Universe.

We talked for a few more minutes about HER dogs and rescues. And when she left the Army sang her out. THIS time she actually turned back into the house to smile and wave.

"We charmed her, didn't we, momma!" White Dog bragged. "From now on she is putty in our hands!" "Oh, I am pretty sure she will remember the White Dog Army," I told them. "And the permit is ours!"


August 23, 2016

White Dog came to me looking concerned. "I am not so sure the new recruit likes it here," she said. "She is not interested in playing with or hanging with any of the White Dog Army, she just wants to sleep and she is not eating. I am worried that she is depressed. Even silly Sachi sitting with her could not get her to crack a smile."

I could tell WD was concerned...that the entire Army was. I watched them all morning make attempts only to come back in from the sun porch shaking their heads. I called the WDA together.

"It makes my heart sing that you are all so caring about your new sister. And it makes me sad to see you feeling rejected. I want you to consider a few things and maybe you will understand better and not take it so personally...

"Trixie is an older girl who is sort of set in her ways. Suddenly NOTHING is the same in her world. She is trying to sort it all out and is trying not to be afraid. Everything is different...where she lives...the smells...the family...the food. Imagine how hard that must be. And I know you are all being very friendly and trying to let her know she is safe but she must feel it in her heart before it becomes so for her.

"When Trixie went to the vet right before she came to us, the vet thought that our girl had a UTI infection. That by itself can make you feel pretty bad and make you just want to curl up alone. But she is on a very strong antibiotic. Dad looked up the side effects. The drug makes you feel sleepy, takes away your appetite and can make you feel queasy. In the long run it will clear up the infection but right now the medicine is kind of kicking her butt.

"And we need to consider that despite coming from a big family, that Trixie might just like solitude. Remember Taiko? He loved Dad like he was sewn to him but when Dad was not here, Tai preferred staying by himself in the kitchen. It is not that he did not love us. It's that he was wired differently. And it may be the same with Trixie. Which is OK.

"Let's just continue to make overtures and to be welcoming but let us give her time and space. Our patience while she processes and heals will tell her a lot about who WE are and how she can trust us. I bet we will start to see little changes for the positive in a very short time." With that I kissed heads and smiled at my Army. "I am proud of you. Trixie will learn just how wonderful each of you is...and Sachi, you are very kind to just quietly sit by her side; it is VERY mature." He wagged his appreciation at being recognized.

And guess what? Trixie ate ALL of her dinner! "See," Benson told her, "I told you dad was the best chef ever!"


August 22, 2016

White Dog called to the White Dog Army, "Come on everyone! Let them in it is beginning to rain!" Reluctantly, they all backed up...just enough for Steve, I and Trixie to get inside and close the door behind us.

Trixie moved behind Steve's legs at the onset of the blizzard and Zsofia's song of welcome but she was not fearful. She was instantly curious about the surroundings and calmly wandered from room to room...finding and trying out the water bowls scattered throughout the house. My gosh she is a BIG girl compared to some members of the WDA. Bella is a bit intimidated not by our new girl's gentle personality but rather by just how much room she commands.

It did not take long for Trixie, the Nearly White Dog, to discover the dog door. The White Dog Army was delighted to learn that she was adept at its use. "Come on, sister," Stormer and Zsofia invited her, "Let's go check out the yard."

Meet Trixie...
Push and jump out
Wow! We have LOTS of room and places to sun ourselves!
And nice shady areas
OK, I guess I like it AND I can go out anytime I like. Now if I can just talk White dog into getting some Big Dog furniture...


August 21, 2016

White Dog and Zsofia...Sunday at the Park on an absolutely perfect Albuquerque late summer day. Cool breezes, soft grass, filtered sunlight, a momentary sprinkle of rain, conversation with friends...and walkies!


August 20, 2016

White Dog helped me calculate the amounts needed for the ingredients on the shopping list. Beginning next week, we will be preparing Benson's special kidney diet ourselves. AND Trixie will be on the same diet which means we have had to make adjustments to the recipe in terms of quantities.

Benson tried not to sound worried but clearly he is going to miss his personal chef, Tami, who previously had cooked his meals, two weeks at a time and delivered them to him frozen in individual servings. "Are you sure dad can do this?" he asked nervously. White Dog glared at him, "Dad cooks for all  of the rest of the Army, I think you can be confident that you will get delicious meals just like you are used to." "But Tami's food was perfect," Benson swooned. "Always just right." "How about this," Stormer pushed his way into the conversation to defend Steve, "if you don't like his cooking, I will eat it!" Ben got all flustered, "I did not mean to offend."

He came over and leaned against my leg. "Are you and White Dog figuring that Trixie and I weigh different amounts?" "Yep. She is about twice your weight." "And that we will both need two meals a day?" "Got it." "And you are going to being making enough food to last two weeks?"   "Of course, it is a math problem," White dog told him. "Do you want to see it?"

(25+55)...that is your weight plus Trixie's
x 14         that is the number of days
= 1120     that is the number of grams of protein we will need in total

Since 1 ounce is 28.34 grams, that is about 39.5 ounces...or about 2.5 lbs. of protein like tuna or hamburger.

And you get one cup of green beans a day and Trixie will get almost 2 cups...it is easy, 3 cups x 14 days...or 42 cups, which is 336 ounces....

Benson was giving the "too much information" look. "Are you SURE it will be as good as Tami's," he asked. WD looked up from calculating sweet potatoes. "You will be VERY satisfied with what our team produces. Now want to figure out the coconut oil needed?"

"Ummm," Benson backed toward the doorway then turned; we heard the dog door slam. "I guess not everyone loves a good math challenge," WD chuckled as we continued our number crunching.