April 17, 2021

White Dog came in after Opal scampered back outside to play with Bailey, Romn and Zsofia. "You are a very fortunate momma, Opal cares about you so very much. She constantly worries."

It started when Opal, enjoying her new found courage to play in the yard with the others, came banging breathlessly through the dog door and skidded to a stop at my feet. 

"I just wanted to tell you that I love you, momma and to make sure you were doing all right," she said looking up at me.

Reaching down, I stroked her ears and reassured her. "I am just doing some things on the computer," I replied. "I look out every so often and enjoy seeing you playing chase with the others. Your love is precious to me and I hope you know how very much I love you, Opal. Now, it is a lovely day...back outside with you."


April 16, 2021

White Dog walked almost a complete lap around the yard with Steve. "If you are thinking of carrying out dinner," she told himas she paused for a breath, "I know this has been a crazy busy week for you and it is a good idea. Anyway, I kind of have a craving for fried shrimp." Steve stopped and looked at her. "Really? You would eat shrimps along with your put on weight slurry?" "Count on me to eat six of them," she declared.

They came in and announced that we were ordering the fried shrimp and more family meal from the local seafood place for dinner WITH the green beans that are a family favorite. "Can I have a shrimp AND a fish fillet?" Bella immediately asked. "Lots of green beans topped with clam strips and three shrimp," Bailey placed her order. I kept count of the requests and before Steve called in the order I suggested he confirm that we would get two dozen shrimp, six fillets, a half pound of clams strips, 12 oz of scallops, and a large family-sized order of green beans.   

He was laughing when he ended the call. "The order taker thought we were having a party or if it was an ocassion. I told her we were celebrating Friday and a special girl who is working very hard at gettig well. She said those were great reasons to have shrimp."

Roman hopped into the Watching Chair. "I will let you know when the delivry guy pulls up," he said. 

April 15, 2021

White Dog watched us then shook her head. "Bella, you are absolutely the BEST eyedrop taker EVER. You sit there so calmly and don't move; even momma closes her eye just before the drop hits and it rolls down her face unless dad pries her eyelids apart. In fact, I think she closes her eyes when YOU  get the drops."

I kissed Our Tiny Dancer on the head. "With three different eye drops each twice a day it is a wonderful thing that you cooperate. Imagine how stressful it would be for all of us if you were like Zsofia when it is time to get her nails trimmed...she runs to the back of the yard and howls like she is being tortured!"


April 14, 2021

White Dog looked out. "Everypup is absolutely fixated on the new dogs next door," she observed. "And they do seem to be barky things."

"They are hanging out on the second floor balconies," I said, "and one of them sounds like a puppy. I think dad met the humans but not the four-leggeds."

"Well Roman, Opal, Bailey and Zsofia have gone out back several times and woofed introductions." White Dog filled me in. "but I am not sure with the trees leafing out that anyone has clearly SEEN them  Opal has been watching at the side window in case they go out for walkies or to the car; no luck yet."

"Maybe this weekend you and dad can go over bearing some peanut butter treats for the pups as sort of a welcome, then you could get the whole scoop."


April 13, 2021

White Dog is not a lover of vegetables. This news shocks Opal and Bailey who love every veggie ever offered to them...and a few that have "happened" to spontaneously fallen into their mouths (like from the grocery bags left carelessly on the floor waiting for unpacking). Unless they are ground so finely that they cannot be sorted out or come with a cheese or butter sauce, White Dog simply walks away.

So today when she pushed aside the turkey burger Steve made for her to share with Bella for lunch in favor of his spinach and artichoke bites the news spread like wild fire. The entire White Dog Army had to go to the office to see this miraculous event firsthand (and maybe also score a taste that made THESE vegetables so incredibly wonderful).


April 12, 2021

White Dog laughed. "Tell Lyndzy that the White Dog Army thinks she comes to visit them these days not to attend to you, momma."

Lyndzy is my home care nurse who comes by a couple of times a week. A while back she did a stint with me for other issues but has returned to deal with the infamous toe ulcer and be my hands on advocate as we watch some wavering kidney values. 

She is a familiar face in our socially distanced world and it takes her a couple of minutes to come in, greet each of the furry nurse's assistants, and tote her gear through the house before I see her (usually in the bedroom). 

Often her medical checks are supervised with Opal in the corner and Zsofia on the bed. Our nurse, a kitty momma herself, never seems to mind the double checks or free advice my home team offers.

This is a photo from her pre-pandemic visits....now, of course, we all mask up and are vaccinated. 


April 11, 2021

White Dog smiled and said, "Those two are not so much guard dogs as they are neighborhood busybodies. They have been watching the new tenant move in next door for over an hour. And Roman has already been out to the yard and barked at the new puppy who was up on the balcony." 


April 10, 2021

White Dog smiled at me. "It is kind of a very happy and a little sad thing. Finally Opal has gone out with the rest of the White Dog Army to supervise dad doing yard work. Not just on the deck right outside the door where she can still see you, but fully in the yard in the thick of things...that is wonderful progress. And on the other hand you must kind of miss your shadow."

"You know, White Dog, I am so excited Opal has found the courage and trust to participate. Watching her grow thrills me...like when Bella finally stopped hiding under the momma chair. If I am sad about anything it is all of the opportunities she has missed and her continued refusal to even consider going on a leashed walk in the neighborhood."

"Did you see today coming? No, of course not. So do not rule out walks forever. Time and love, momma. Time and love."

April 9, 2021

White Dog understood and was thrilled at Roman's reaction. Bella has had a rough couple of days with her foggy brain and has unintentionally been overwhelming to her siblings as she ignores personal space and moves compulsively. They are patient to a point but then seek to escape.

Bella's manic behaviors are often a trigger for Roman and he reacts by baring teeth and snarling which frightens our Tiny Dancer which increases her erratic-ness which heightens his reaction.

Today, however, Roman tried a different, better thought out, response...he walked calmly past her while averting his eyes and headed outside. 

I believe he knows Bella no longer remembers how to use the dog door and he felt safe in the yard warmed by the sun and lulled by birdsongs. I am not sure he understood why Steve came out to check on him and rewarded Our Boy with a couple of strips of duck jerky...but in our mind they were well deserved.


April 8, 2021

"White Dog," I said, "I am sorry but I need to turn you on your back and take a look." She did not like being hoisted upside-down in my arms or having Steve and I peer at her private parts. I understood but that look reinforced my concern that she has developed a urinary tract issue. "Sorry, for the invasion of your privacy, Sweet Girl, but tomorrow I will call and you will need to go see Dr. Julia before this infection rages and becomes painful." WD was NOT happy with my announcement.

Barely had I set WD back on terra firma when Steve said, "OH.MY.DOG!" He was in the bathroom doorway with the mission of releasing Bella from a calming timeout. Except based on the blood streak along the side of the bathtub and down Bella's ruff it had been anything but calming. He brought the kicking and struggling Tiny Dancer in to me so we could try to figure out the damage and what had happened.

It took a little rocking and soothing before Bella would let us look in her mouth which seemed to be the source of the red smears. "Baby Girl. what DID you do?" I asked her as we curled lips up and felt along gumlines. She snapped her head away when I gently felt along the inside of her check; I moved my hand away quickly to avoid getting nipped. "OK, Bella, I think I get it. You were pacing around and around and smacked into the tub, huh? THAT caused you to bite the inside of your cheek so hard it was bleeding. Poor Girl. Dad will help wash up your furs and then we will rinse you mouth with some water. I think you will be all right but just be more careful when you are whirling around."

"OK, Army, enough for tonight. Everyone stay in one piece and healthy; momma is not good with multi-car pileups."