May 27, 2020

White Dog shared pierogi with me for dinner and then went back into the office. She decided that the sardines and cottage cheese in HER bowl (a new one that matches our human white dinnerware) were more than she cared for after a big breakfast and sharing Steve's lunch sandwich. We are always glad when our picky girl eats well and are thrilled to see she is looking less sickly as time passes.

Steve put the sardines in a container in the frig; the rest of the army will share them as part of their Friday breakfast. NOTHING goes to waste foodwise in this house!

I looked over at where Pearl had settled after Steve closed the blinds. It was time for her pre-bedtime walk nap. She opened her eyes to peer at me and smile. "Has anyone ever told you, Pearly Girl, that are absolutely adorable?" I asked her.
There was a bump against my leg; Bailey had settled on my feet. "She knows, momma, she knows," my big beautiful baby replied.


May 26, 2020

White Dog and the White Dog Army know the drill when Steve returns from the grocery store. He brings the bags onto the sun porch, steps out of his shoes, carries the bags out to place them way back on the kitchen counter then he shuts the dog gate and heads in to shower and change.
The Army allows social distancing as they follow him to the gate and then wait outside the bathroom for him to emerge with his old clothes wrapped in his towel. Together they put the laundry in the washer, start the load and then turn to unpacking the groceries.

But first there are greetings and sniffs all around. AFTER he passes WDA inspection, it is time to consider the goodies each bag holds.


May 25, 2020

White Dog, a keen observer of her Army's behavior, wondered to me about a couple of early morning oddities. Both were kind of wonderful in a pack-sharing kind of way but she was trying to figure out why THIS day. "Some things you should not question," Little White Dog of My Heart," I told her. "It is like predicting when the rosebud will burst into bloom. Just enjoy the beauty of the moments."
Roman is VERY possessive of his sleeping crates. The one he sleeps in at night is kept with the door latched to prevent others from playing Goldilocks; he is uncomfortable with that violation of his space. The living room crate for timeouts and his safety zone during human meals or when visitors are here, is left with the door open but all avoid resting in it. Opal is the White Dog who regularly presses her brother by touching noses or doing her coy dating dance (both are fixed). At first, we were very nervous about her boldness and his social reactivity but they seem to have an understanding or mutual respect. This morning after breakfast Opal walked into Roman's timeout crate and settled for a nap; Roman rushed over. Steve was prepared to make opal exit but Roman accepted her presence in there and calmly stretched out in front of the open crate door and promptly closed his eyes. Steve watched for a while to make sure all was calm and safe before heading off to the kitchen. Shortly after, Roman, his sous chef joined him.
Zsofia's crate in the bedroom is always open and all come and go at their will to rest there. Our Darkest White Dog is generous to the point that we often have to ask the others to move over so SHE can fit in at night. Bailey likes to sprawl the entire length. Generally by early morning Opal has joined her sister and both are curled up together sleeping peacefully. We thought that was the case this morning until the girls lifted heads at the sound of human stirring...it was our shy PEARL sleeping with Zso not Opal. Pearl is uncomfortable in crowds and generally hangs in the fringe of the group. At night she tends to sleep in the office with White Dog and Tizenegy or on the Watching Chair in the living room. This morning she and Zso exited Zso's little "room," stretched, and headed out of the dog door for morning duty.  


May 24, 2020

White Dog helped plan the menu so she sat quietly and watched with amusement as word filtered through the White Dog Army.

"It is Taco night," Tizenegy drooled.
"Not just tacos, DUCK tacos!" Zsofia filled in the details. "with sour cream and avocado."
"And creamy calabacitas on the side," added our veggie lover, Opal.
"Oh, I heard there is mango custard for dessert," Bella surprised White Dog who has a sweet tooth with this news. Steve had made it after breakfast and little cups for each family member rested in the refrigerator under plastic wrap.
White Dog lifted her nose and sniffed. "It is almost time for a Fiesta."

May 23, 2020

White Dog laughed. "I bet if we could see the cool air stream from the vent it would drift down right about THERE and blow across her length. You can see her belly furs wiffling."

"She sure does look cool and relaxed," I agreed.


May 22, 2020

White Dog came rushing up and hopped on my lap. She put her face right in front of mine as Steve caught up with her. "Did you see the GREAT photo dad took of the new pillows?" she asked shifting to keep me from looking around her.
The "Momma's Chair" and WDA pillows were a gift from Andy, Sally and their mom.

"Nice shot," I said and dodged quickly to see past the two of them over to Roman who was madly dragging his face across the sofa. He was leaving clumps and streaks in his wake.

"What the heck do you have hanging on you?" I questioned. Everyone froze; all looked guilty.

"What?" Roman lifted his head to reply. He looked like some kind of creature from the Black Lagoon. His muzzle was dripping with ooze and chunks of grass and leaves clogged shut many of the mask's openings. He was dirty from muzzle to forehead to neck  and chest and paws. "Come over here. Now!"

Steve and White Dog inched toward the door. Roman stood and shook his head hard which sent splatters and divots all over the room. "Here. Now. Everyone else. FREEZE!"

Roman crept over and I began pulling wet organic stuff from his face. "I was out watering the back and he was helping," Steve started. "I am trying to get the trees in the back to grow taller because of the yeller in the second floor apartment behind us. Roman never has done anything like this before."

"Yes, I would have noticed."

"Next thing I knew he was digging in the muck and was in up to his shoulders." Steve continued as I wrestled with Roman to let me clear his mouth area. Roman struggled away and rubbed the side of his face against the window chair...leaving a gross smear on the chair cover. He shook again.

"In the crate, Buddy." I told him. "Let's let it dry a bit and we can get it to come off easier; drink some water to clear your throat." To Steve: "Take all the covers off and get them in the washer before the others decide to join in the body painting fun. Then vacuum the clots and when it dries we are going to need to shampoo the entire rug. It is everywhere."

Tiz made a noise that sounded like he was about to complain dinner would be late. I gave the momma look. "Before ANY one eats, you all better help dad find the mud spatters and clean off the walls and artwork and anywhere else it landed. THEN dinner."

White Dog tried to stop Steve before he attempted a "bright side" comment but failed. "At least," he said, "there seems to be some new growth. See."


May 21, 2020

White Dog and Steve were out in the front yard checking on the new rose bushes, raking up foxtails, and generally walking the perimeter. Pearl, in the Watching Chair, was providing those of us inside with a commentary.

"Whoa! There was a big flap and disturbance when White Dog and dad opened the door. I think something was sneaking around. Oh yes, there it is. Up in the tree now!"
"Looks like the red yucca is just  about ready to bloom. It is going to be spectacular."
"And the prickly pear always has such brilliant yellow flowers. There are a couple open already."
"Oh, they are out of sight right now. I think dad is showing White Dog the mourning dove nest. I can hear them."
"Here they are. The marigolds we planted in the blue container aren't doing so well. Looks like only one plant survived. Do you think they will spring back from the roots?"
"Dad is winding up the hose. He and White Dog are heading toward the backyard. You can go out there and see for yourselves what is going on. The swamp cooler just turned on. Feel that cool air? It is calling me to take a nap."

May 20, 2020

 White Dog and Zsofia walked through the ranks literally and through the magic of computer files to review the White Dog Army on this, National Rescue Dog Day. All of the members of the WDA have been rescues, beginning with Sheena who predated there even being an Army. It was her loss to cancer that sent WD to us (before we were aware of rescue) that began our legacy. Zsofia was a gift from Steve's students...THESE are our rescues, the White Dog Army of Love:
The Mighty Quinn

Our fashioista, Nuka

CA Stormer
Gentle Storm


Blogger and the Rainbow Bridge members of the White Dog Army conspired to pull a prank on White Dog by refusing to stand in order. But all are present and accounted for. Rescues, or as they laughingly call themselves here, "Used" dogs, are at the heart and soul of who we are. 


May 19, 2020

White Dog saw Dr. Julia today as a followup to the cyst drainage last week. Our healer was pleased with WD's progress and mending. She is walking with an almost nonexistent protective hunch. She is moving in and out using the dog door and ramps like normal. And for the past three days she has been on gentle prebed walks as Tizenegy's partner. (As he ages his hip dysplasia lends to slower and shorter strolls.

We have decided that part of the reason White Dog might eat only a few bits is because she might be experiencing acid reflux. Dr. Julia listened and could hear some of that esophageal fluttering. So for the next month WD gets pepcid before her meals and we will keep a journal of what she is eating, how much, and if we notice belching or gacking corresponding to when she stops. Dr. Julia wants to see The Little White Dog of My Heart in one month to do another ultrasound.

Her pancreas looks and feels less inflammed. To add some weight and to encourage her excitement about dining, Dr. Julia has given the OK for sparing bites of her favorite foods (like Brie or a splash of cream) as long as we keep her general diet lean and low fat. Fortunately, her normal duck or whitefish diet fits with the new restrictions so White Dog will not have to suffer much of a change. Egg whites cooked with sardines seems to have become her breakfast of choice. The thing with WD is that she in her mature years "tires" of routine in the meal department so something she loves for a month will be turned away without warning. But we can work with her if it means she gains a bit and is has healthy insides.

The WDA and I surprised the leader of our pack with a new snack assortment to try. It is sustainable, good for the earth, and the way of the future when it comes to clean healthy good fats protein...they are made of fruits, lentils, buckwheat and cricket flour. I KNOW My Girl's first reaction was "NO way!" but she watched Roman volunteer to try the blueberry peanut butter flavor first. "Heck," he said, "you would not believe what I had to eat to survive on my own. Bugs are nothing." One by one the Army stepped forward to accept the challenge and were surprised.

When Pearl asked, "Can we have seconds or do we have to wait for White Dog to try?" WD strode to my fingers. "Just toss it WAY back," she whispered. "Hey, these are pretty good. As a TREAT, not to become the WDA meal standard."   


May 18, 2020

White Dog is, we think, recovering nicely. As the days have passed she has gotten more lively and last night she joined Tizenegy for a bedtime walk. Tomorrow she sees Dr. Julia for a post procedure check to make sure the insides are less inflamed, no more fluid has built up, and all is healing.

Always a picky eater, WD continues her less than chowhound approach to eating...a few bites here...a few bites later. The others are astounded at her restraint. "For dog's sake Sister, you have SARDINES and EGG WHITES! Why are you nibbling? EAT!" cried a frustrated Zsofia after Steve warned her to back up and "Leave It" for the twentieth time.

White Dog has been fed customized meals built around things we know she loves in an effort to entice and get her back to eating solid foods. At breakfast whether oatmeal or rice the key has been a splash of cream and a drizzle of honey but lunch and dinner for her often involve trying a couple of things before finding a food she eats.

We have also discovered a few tricks to boost appetite: Feed her sitting next to Steve on the couch as we humans eat; Serve her food on a human plate and make a point of putting a couple of bites from our plates onto hers as she watches; Handfeed her with a spoon. This combination usually guarantees at least interest in four or five bites.

Right now we see our goal is calming the pancreatitis and getting her to eat enough to begin to regain some weight. (WD is spare to begin with and this pseudocyst matter left her on the thin side). Of course we are reducing her fat intake (not easy for My Girl who loves brie cheese and bacon) to avoid future complications.

Paws crossed that tomorrow our wonderful vet will give us a thumbs up on White Dog's progress.