Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When George was a mama

The first time I met our chi-weenie, George Eliot, she came into the clinic for a prenatal check up. She waddled out of the cat crate and wagged her tail. I fell in love immediately.

Waiting on the x-ray table, ready to love you.

She was close to term and so were taking x-rays to estimate the number of fetuses. This can be a tricky business with the small critters layered on top of each other. One counts the number of spines and skulls.  The consensus was 4-5.

Georgie was living in foster at that time, rescued from a Milwaukee shelter after she got knocked up. She seemed pretty young, one or two. And she loved every one.

Her foster mom, Julie (the same one who took care of Tiny Dog), helped with the delivery of five healthy red-headed babies, one which needed a little extra gentle tug from the birth canal.  They looked just like her—fawnish-strawberry blond, short legs, pointy ears, and all tails always wagging. They even potty trained themselves on a piddle pad, so much smarter said her foster mom than the Italian greyhound babies who never seemed to get it together, and spent a lot of time stepping in poop and spreading it all over.

Always moving, the quintet of tiny.

G weaned her babies at three weeks. Sharp teeth! I waited until six weeks to go see her, knowing my heart was soft and it also wouldn’t take much to convince Sue we should take her home.

We went over there to just visit G, named Sunny then because of joyous constitution. Well, Sunny flopped over, big nipples and all, and pretty much insisted we pet her belly.  (This behavior continues today.)

Slim, post-natal. It didn't take much to say yes.

The pups went out into the world soon after that. It didn’t take long to find them good homes. I believe one lives close to us and does agility, fast and low to the ground.

Georgie has been a light to our days. When Sue’s sweet Rottie-X Taiko died, G decided she needed to keep an eye on Sue and went out on the cabin trail with her, minding the chainsaw, but sticking close, a little amber shadow, ready for kisses and belly rubs.  We are so lucky. Chihuahua number two ambushing us with affection.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Surgery day

Yesterday, I got a taste of my own veterinary medicine. Tiny Dog went under anesthesia for a dental, and I just want to say, vets are not immune to anxiety about their pets having procedures done. Tiny Dog was in the incredibly capable hands of Dr. Brooks, but my worry machinery started up and it was just better if I ran errands at lunch, bringing back kettle chips and Dove chocolate, than staring at my inert, open-mouthed small creature who engulfs me with love every day.

This year she only had two teeth extracted. Previously, six last year, then eight the year before that. She’s a fine example: chihuas have terrible mouths. But now her maw is minty fresh, hooray. I occasionally catch her tonguing the dissolvable sutures in her mouth. You know how it is when you loose a tooth, and your tongue continually fishes around in the socket.

Tiny Dog is exhausted today, spilling over from the big day. I am not sure how she jumped up on the couch to take a nap. Last night she urinated while sitting down; she wasn’t sober, in the least.

I set her outside to go to the bathroom this afternoon, and then five minutes later, heard her faint cries from the kitchen. You have to strain to hear her, but it’s clear: help me. She’s perfectly capable of walking, but I think the expanse of kitchen overwhelmed her, and she felt lost, maybe even psychically.  

I helped her sad loose bones up on the couch next to me. I have my headphones on to block out the neighbor’s generator.  A tree fell down in a morning monsoon, and wacked out our block’s electricity. I have the windows open to a nice breeze and Atticus is on high alert, protecting our house from passerby dogs. Sheesh. He went through the window, again, last week, a double pane that we had replaced the original infraction. No one was hurt but my irritated heart.

For now, the light is slanting over the backyard plants. A male red chested house finch sits eating at the feeder. Wren is smelling the backyard air, and Chibi is back asleep at my side. One small dog day at a time.

Monday, June 9, 2014

How we get winter amnesia

I just want to say: 75 degrees during the day, a cool breeze, and then 50’s at night, and yeah, I blocked out all thoughts of the previous hideous, dark and endless winter. There are house finch chatting on the bird feeder, George is out on the porch in the sun. And Tiny Dog, despite the warmth, is again under a blanket, next to me on the couch.

Wren is upstairs, like always, but with a scent of sadness. She scratched her cornea a week ago and I just can’t get it to heal. I had to do mean vet things, like stain her eye to find the ulcer, and give her eye drops six times a day. Then on Friday, I numbed her eye surface and took a sterile cotton swab—folks, you might want to skip this next part—then I slowly and carefully rubbed away the loose outer cell layers, the epithelium, making the ulcer area bigger, boo, but hopefully the cells can stick down more. If not: repeat. And if this fails: ophthalmologist.

There have been less kisses around here lately, as Wren is hiding from me.

Wren is the most sensitive rose of the house. A spoon set down on a plate, a lingering look at her while she eats, a purse falling off a shelf—all of these will set her rigid and her belly to the floor. So you can imagine she LOVES to have eyedrops put in. I feel like such a jerk. One of the two kinds of drops makes her squinting worse, but I persevere, seeing that Remend drops help the corneal build what their website says is cross-hatching. And a bunch of other big science words.

No matter. I still feel like the monster with the eyedropper. I did trick her into thinking her flavored liquid pain med is a cookie. Then I smother her with kisses. She’s not really sitting by me much these days, but again: eye dropper. Run, holy moly, run.

She is, as vet tech friend says, A very sad panda.

Trying on these legged PJs makes Wren feel the same way as giving eye meds: AWFUL.

I have been taking her to the dog park, though, with her sisters, and she loves to ride in the back, standing up, looking out at the cars in the next lane. She creates smiles and comments at the red lights, and my little spotted ambassador, corneal ulcer or not, goes on, vibrant, as we drive along. Summer, she smells and pants, summer!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Farm dogs

After a long and sometimes sad week at work, I needed some respite. So I took the trio out to Bird and Amelia's Running Chicken Farm to hang out with them, as well as the flock of teen chickens, the smaller flock of egg layers, two guinea fowl, the stunning Percherons Tom and Henry, the rams and their harem with fast-growing lambs, and also of course, the two farm dogs, Moss and Grendel.

Friends & dogs. Sun. Beer. Pizza. Revived. The three prevailed in their ATC, all terrain chihua, natures, especially George who went for a creek swim and then a mud bath. The trio rolled in eau de farm: ahem, poop. So each's neck ruff is rough smelling, ack.

Here is what else we were up to:

100 chickens strolling!

About 4,000 lbs of horse: Tom and Henry, gentle & genteel gentlemen.

Same size!

Size is a matter of perspective, eh?

Wren helping us water the chickens. She was a good girl.

This is a bad dog: me holding George off the ground after she went after 2 chickens.

Tiny Dog does not looked thrilled but she is very VERY brave.

Brave ATC snuck under the fence, talking to the big guy, who could care not 1%.