August 3, 2020

"What are you doing, Tiz?" White Dog asked her brother.
He opened one eye. "Momma told me if I close my eyes and wish really hard that I can make good things happen. that is what I am doing."

"What are you wishing for?" she asked. "I can't tell you," he said, "or it won't come true. Just watch later and you will see...hopefully."

The White Dog Army has been enjoying the deliciousness of dried Baltic sprats and again chose the little fish for their afternoon snack. Tiz gobbled his down and then watched intently as Steve offered one to Pearl.

Pearl is still not seeing a huge improvement to her mega colon issues. In fact, I talked with Dr. Julia this morning. We added immodium liquid with the agreement that if Pearl was not eating and keeping it in by Tuesday morning we would "just bring her in so we can take a look; if she is not eating we can't wait until her appointment on Thursday." Steve's treat offering was a first test.

I could feel Tizenegy's wish flowing from his heart and I added my own to his. Pearl looked up at Steve. She sniffed and turned her head. Tiz and I both closed our eyes.
"THAT'S my girl," Steve cooed. "These are so yummy and even good for sensitive tummies." She only ate one but that was enough to give us all hope.

I swear I heard Tiz very clearly breathe, "YES!!!!"


August 2, 2020

White Dog and all but Bella and Tizenegy were still fast asleep when Steve sprung out of bed at 8:30 this morning. It was late for him and he resisted the urge to pull the covers back up and to join the rest of us sleeping in. "I scheduled grocery pickup for 8-9am," he said. "I run and get them and come back and THEN make Army breakfasts." "If they are awake," I laughed and closed my eyes.

Everyone was trying to recapture sleep lost when the VERY loud and VERY fierce storm hit in the middle of the night. The thunder cracks were louder for the absolute quiet on the streets and the lightning lit up the bedroom with its intensity. Roman was awake in an instant and Bailey begin to whimper. Steve and I were both awake and tried to calm our frightened pack. As the wind whipped up and the torrential rain turned to hail, poor Pearl indicated she had to go out.

Steve carried her out to the sunporch. "Pearly Pearl, this is an emergency. It is ok to go out here just this once and we will clean up the concrete. You are sick and I know you cannot hold on. It is ok."

The storm raged for about two hours and it took a bit longer to convince our family all was safe again...and no sneak attacks were planned. We were all exhausted.

And this is why Steve found the White Dog Army like this at nearly 9:30 in the morning:

August 1, 2020

White Dog came in first. "Get towels ready," she said. Bella followed in moments later. I snatched her up it the towel Steve had tossed to me.
"Guess what momma," my Tiny Dancer beamed at me as I dried off the monsoon wetness. "I was dancing in the rain!" I kissed her head. "That sounds like much fun Little One, let me dry you off before you shake that rain all over the living room."


July 31, 2020

White Dog came in and looked around. "Nope, don't see it." I made Zsofia move from her place next to me; it wasn't there. Steve came in and even took the flashlight down and looked under the dresser. We moved my computer cart.

"It cannot have just vanished," I cried in frustration. I had been working on the grocery list and set my pen on the desktop to click open my electronic calendar of meals for the week so I could crosscheck needs. The pen rolled off my desk and when I went to pick it up after opening the document on screen it had disappeared. I checked around where I was sitting, the desk drawer, all around me on the floor. Then I called in a search team. No one could find it.

I am a pen lover. I have a favorite that I use all of the time; that has traveled the world with me. My Little Red Tombow had gone to Costa Rica and back and I had lost it in my bedroom!

"Don't think about it," White Dog advised, "it will turn up when you are not so focused on it." Steve volunteered to do a thorough search after we had put the cart away and I had gone into the living room.

But it did not turn up. Sadly we ate dinner and closed up the windows against the darkness. Opal, sitting on the Watcher Chair, jumped off as Steve reached across her to close the blinds.
Something flashed as it fell to the floor and pinged against the "Timeout" crate. "What was that?" WD wondered. Steve bent down as he moved the crate aside. "How did this get out HERE?" he asked looking at Opal.

"It doesn't matter," White Dog answered, her mouth full of my pen as she returned it to me. "What was lost is now found."


July 30, 2020

White Dog came in followed by Steve. "I think you better call and see if we can get a vet appointment for Pearl," WD told me. I raised an eyebrow. Steve answered, "She still is just not right. She eats and then there is an explosion. Then she won't eat. It seems to be a cycle. I just cleaned up a huge mess that she considerately left on the sun porch instead of the carpet."

Pearl does not travel. Period. Sitting in the van in the driveway is enough to make her ears flatten and her heart race. She cannot drive to the end of our street without trembling and emptying her bladder. And if the ride is longer, she exhausts her bladder and her bowels in nervous excreting. And she is an emotional wreck.

For that reason Pearl has always seem Dr. Spohn, a mobile vet, who comes to the house. Her office, however, is quite a distance away in the foothills. I called, but I already knew that mobile service had been suspended due to the pandemic. "We were just meeting this morning," I was told, "we have so many clients who need this service and we are trying how to do that safely for all." I understood. They agreed to send Pearl's records to Dr. Julia and to work with her to make sure Pearl was brought back to health. Pearl would still have to go for a ride but Dr. Julia is only seven minutes from home without too many turns or stops.

I called the number I know by heart and asked if there was any way Dr. Julia could see our Little Gem. "Jackie, I am not asking for favors and if you are slammed..." I told her the situation as she pulled up the schedule. "Let me take down her usual vet's name and number, having the chart will save some time. Can Steve bring her at 2:45 and be patient?" I covered the phone and asked. "Yes," I told her. "Friday probably is worse for you, right?" "Yep. And Mondays are the worse, not that we should leave this go over the weekend. Come in."

Poor Steve had to wait in the car in 101 NM heat while Pearl was taken inside and put through the paces. Periodically, Dr. Julia or one of the nurses would call him with an update or questions. We cheered when Steve phoned home to tell us the blood work was all good. But our spirits sank with the news that the X-ray showed a problem. "Let's stay calm and not jump to scary and probably wrong conclusions," White Dog cautioned. "You know Dr. Julia does not tease.

Jackie called Steve about 3:20 to come in to talk with Dr. Julia. He was glad to slide into the darker cool waiting room and went directly into the Exam room where Pearl and our vet were waiting.

"You NEVER throw anything normal at me, do you?" Dr. Julia said as she called up the X-ray. "See this?" Puff's colon was stretched and widened. It was empty but the vet said it was painfully full of air.

"It is mega colon," she told Steve. "Cats get it but it is rare in dogs." She chucked Pearl under the chin. "Maybe you think you are a kitty?"

"So what is the treatment?" Steve asked her. "Metoclopramide and Metronidazole," was the answer. "And I will want to see her next week for another X-ray."

"I knew you are going to ask. We think it might be a genetic thing but there are lots of potential triggers. Most of the time in cats it is just called idiopathic. And I KNOW Sue will ask," she sort of chuckled. "Yes, there is a human version; there are two main forms, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. I looked that up just for her." 

Pearl was so glad to be home she did not even mind being held in my arms while the Army made sure she was all right and while Steve tried to coax the medications down her throat. "You were a VERY brave girl," I told her. "I am so proud of you." 

My exhausted Pearly Pearl headed off to catch a pre-dinner nap and Steve out to pick up the soiled blankets and air freshen the van.


July 29, 2020

White Dog looked up from our reading and nodded at her sisters. "Our pack is really a very clever group," she complimented. "Anyone who sees this photo will think it is just a cute shot of sisters relaxing on the bed."
"They won't know the real story unless we fill in the details unseen."

Zsofia and Opal came in through the dog door, which you can see to Zso's right. Roman is stretched out on the floor sound asleep. He is blocking passage around the bed to get out of the room; it is a narrow very aisle.. No one ever wants to "poke the sleeping dragon" aka Roman by stepping on him, startling him, or otherwise awakening our reactive boy who often comes alert breathing fire.
So in the dog door, up on the bed, smile for momma, and then walk the length of the bed past Roman, hop down, exit the bedroom is the alternate safe route. 

And they shared their tip with the others. A few minutes later Bailey wanted to go outside and knew all about the recently discovered safe passage which she used in reverse.


July 28, 2020

White Dog thinks it noteworthy that the White Dog Army at one extreme has Bailey who is unflappable. No change of routine or event (other than loud noises which she just hides from and goes to sleep) or ill-advised food choice rocks her balance. And then there is Pearl our fierce defender at the window who hates people coming into the house and car rides to the point of getting physically sick. AND who has a tummy so sensitive we keep a supply of prilosec just for her because what is fine one day often is not the next. "And" White Dog added, "we have members who fill in every segment of the spectrum between the two."
This is how Pearl spent most of the day, hunched up in the corner of the chair, looking sort of pre-green. Her little tummy gurgled and she belched. Our Watcher was given the day off to just focus on curing her glickies.

She bolted for the dog door mid-dinner and came back inside necessitating a bath. "Hopefully she will start to feel better now," Steve said as he tucked her into bed after the cleanup.


July 27, 2020

White Dog said to me, "Keep saying this over and over in your head. I love my blue-eyed baby girl...I love my blue-eyed baby girl..."

"Is there a reason for this advice?" I asked somewhat suspiciously.

"You know that little mat on the ottoman to keep it free of dog hair and um, other, stuff? Well it met an unfortunate end this afternoon."
White Dog continued, "Yes, it kept leaping over and over between Bailey's jaws. I fear some parts may now, at least temporarily, reside in her gut."

"Momma," Bailey rested her head on my leg, "I got rid of that old cover and now you can get a brand new one in a new style. I was just thinking of you and how you love to shop."
"Bai, momma hates shopping. Better turn on the charm and give her THE look," Bella counselled. 


July 26, 2020

White Dog gently said, "Marcellus, Pearl, please be careful waving that rapier. I know you have been practicing but remember you have no thumb and consequently your grip is not the most secure."
Our Marcellus peered out of the window in watch then sniffed theatrically.

"Something is rotten in the state of Demark," she cried out in alarm. She was so convincing that all of the WDA rushed to the window, prepared to defend our castle.

"OK," said White Dog, "lets return the sword to the prop room." "Acting is exhausting," Pearl yawned, "maybe a little nap will restore me."


July 25, 2020

White Dog spent the day checking in via internet on the cast who were rehearsing at their homes on this rainy damp Albuquerque day. First she and Joey zoomed and she listened as he read lines with his dad. She smiled at his confidence and the gentle nuance his dad coached out of his Bernardo.
Next WD checked in on Rosencranz and Guildenstern, Sally and Andy who were practicing "best friends hanging out" looks. "Perfect," she told them. "You look exactly like pals that grew up together with Hamlet and are just totally buds. You are so comfortable, relaxed, boundary-less."
Charly was out with his dad at the park exercising. His mommi said he was working hard to stay fit so he would be a poster model of a loyal guard. White Dog and Asta did have a conversation about her dual roles. Asta had Fontinbras down pat but was having a hard time cutting down her wardrobe for her Reynaldo, sent to Paris to spy on Laertes. "You know me and Paris," Asta told WD. "I want to be prepared for anything." The Director reminded the fashionista that the part was just a few lines at Elsinore and then the character leaves. "By the way," White Dog added, "I love your profile photo...so summery."
Finally, White Dog turned attention to home. She summoned Roman and Tizenegy to the office and bade them to get comfortable.

"It is wet and nasty outside with snails everywhere," she told them. "Let's do a read through of the Scene in Act 1 when you talk about Yorick." The boys stretched and settled; Tiz on his bed and Roman on a chair.  Tizenegy started barking. "What?" he asked. "I am just warning up my vocal chords. NOW I am ready."
The director pointed at the skull. "And...go!"

Roman as Hamlet spoke. "Let me see. (takes the skull) Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. —Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.—Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing."

Tizenegy as Horatio was about to answer when a great clamor arose out in the living room. It was a White Dog Army red alert! Everything was put on hold as the Army ran to the windows and began singing. The noise brought Steve to the crowd and he pushed his way to see out. 

"I'll be right back," Steve called and I heard the front door slam. The WDA song continued and then stopped. Steve poked his head into the room. "Chaco from across the street had escaped and was standing in the front yard wooing Bailey. I grabbed him and took him home."

Roman came in, pressed against my leg, and said, "Now that we have secured the perimeter can we have a treat break? That was kind of intense."