Tag Archives For: dog

29 May, 2012

Much bravery

/ posted in: FitnessPets

I had my first WOD today. That’s CrossFit talk for Workout of the Day. That means that I had my training wheels taken off. I was no longer in the beginner classes. They threw me in with the big guys. Scary. It doesn’t help when all the very friendly people in the class come up and say, “First WOD today? Great! How nervous are you?”

The warm up was a 1/2 mile run. I haven’t been running lately. But, I wasn’t last! Let me repeat – NOT LAST. I don’t think that’s ever happened. I may have had a bit of a head start but NOT LAST.

Then we did lifts. It was an upper body day which is my weak spot. We had to figure out our max weight for a few moves. I don’t think I found mine since I didn’t know where to start and guessed too light. Then I ran out of time before I figured out where I needed to be. We also did jumping pullups which sound like they should be easy. Just stand under the bar, jump up, and pull up some at the end. They add up though. After all that you finally get to the “workout”. It took me a while to understand the crossfit shirts that say, “Your workout is our warmup.” Yep, get it now.

The workout was 3 reps of 20 jumping pull ups, 25 push ups, and 21 dumbell thrusters (squat and then stand up and press the weight overhead). For a few hours my arms were numb and now they aren’t anymore. I preferred numb.

There was an older lady there who told me that she’d been coming since August. She wasn’t super fit and I really wanted to ask if she had started at 400 lbs. There’s just no way to do that. How am I supposed to know if this stuff works?

I took the dogs to the park again today. Under-the-Bed-dog was much braver. Any time she got nervous she came back to me for a pet instead of panicking and running back to the gate. She was very worried about a lady playing ball with 2 cattle dogs. A guy throwing a ball caused her meltdown on Sunday. She stayed right next to me as we approached them. But then Freckles saved the day. She ran up to the dogs and distracted them from playing ball long enough for UTBD and I to walk past them. UTBD did the whole circuit of the park off lead today!

Freckles learned about waves today. Waves are when things are floating near the shore and they come towards you and then they run away and then they charge you again. It is very rude behavior. She was play bowing to the floating pieces of wood but they wouldn’t play right.

28 May, 2012

Fun with Nervous Dog

/ posted in: Pets

Under-the-Bed-Dog is back. She is Z’s mom’s dog. They are on vacation and we take the dog. You might question why the SO is willing to babysit for his ex-wife but he explains that he feels sorry for anyone who “has to live with that &^&(*_” and wants the dog to have a break.

The dog has a name but we prefer Under-the-Bed-Dog because it is descriptive. She has loads of anxiety. She hides. Now that we’ve had her for a week, she’s coming out more. She’s sitting by me now. Last night she wanted on top of the bed for a bit. But mostly she hides. If you want her to pee you need to dangle the leash under the bed so she knows she’s wanted. Her food is put under the bed or she won’t eat. Fun times.

Yesterday we took her and Freckles to the dog park. It blew her little mind. She’d get brave and then something VERY SCARY would happen and she’d run all the way back to the gate we came in and we’d have to go get her. One VERY SCARY was when a guy threw a ball. He didn’t throw it at her or even in her direction. But she saw it in the air and ran off. After that we kept her on a leash and walked around with her. We’ve been Those Parents who have taken a screaming kid out of public places over our shoulders and now we are Those Owners who walk their dog around the dog park on a leash. Embarrassing. Freckles pretended not to know us all.

I’m going to take them back tomorrow and try again. She needs to be moved a bit out of her comfort zone. Whenever she would forget to be afraid, she was enjoying herself. Maybe if we can get her used to the idea of playing, we can talk her owner into taking her to the park too.

29 Apr, 2012


/ posted in: Pets

Freckles doesn’t like to make friends at the dog park but this Irish Wolfhound wanted to be her friend today.


He kept bounding up to her and standing on his hind legs to wave his front legs at her. I’m sure that was intimidating to her.

26 Apr, 2012

The Mighty Hunters

/ posted in: Pets

I don’t think the rodents around my house have had any predators for a while.  The other day Riley showed up with the body of the biggest, furriest mouse I’ve ever seen.  Mice don’t get that big if they have to run for their lives instead of shoveling food into their mouths nonstop.  We’d been joking that it probably walked up to Riley and introduced himself because it didn’t know to be afraid.

Now we know that it might be true.  Yesterday Freckles caught a mouse.  She didn’t really mean too.  She wanted to play with it.  She carried it around by the tail.  Then it didn’t want to play anymore. 

The SO got her to let it go but it was damaged so he called over an expert killer.  Freckles didn’t want to let Riley have her new friend but the SO lured her into the house with promises of cheese.  That trumps everything except maybe Greenies in FrecklesWorld.  Riley removed the evidence and we are telling Freckles that her mouse friend went to live on a farm where there is lots of grain to eat.

28 Mar, 2012

When good dogs go bad

/ posted in: Pets

One night I noticed Powder standing on her hind legs trying to look in the garbage.  That was weird.  That cat doesn’t normally acknowledge lowly things like garbage. 

All during the night Freckles was restless.  She was up and down off the bed.  I got up and let her out in the middle of the night.  It didn’t help. 

When morning came I saw the problem.  Someone had knocked over the garbage and spread it about until they unearthed a chicken carcass.  It was in the middle of the kitchen untouched.  The untouchedness led me to conclude that it was Freckles.  She had taken it out and then got so guilty that she couldn’t even snack on it.

I walked back into the bedroom and looked at Powder and Freckles.  Powder did not deign to acknowledge my stare.  She maintained her air of being so above petty concerns like humans and dogs.  Freckles, on the other hand, was a wreck.  She knew she had been bad and was busted.  She started whimpering and crying and snuggling up to the SO and begging for her life. 

We laid in bed and cuddled her.  She was punishing herself more than we ever could.  But, the cat – who probably put her up to it given her previous interest in the garbage – finally couldn’t take it any longer.  She calmly walked across the bed and proceeded to smack Freckles repeatedly on the head.  The message was clear.  “They got no proof on us if you don’t confess, you worthless mutt.” 

There was one other player.  Jules had a clear view of the crime from her cage.  She was squawking early that morning.  Apparently she was ratting out the wrong doers.  Now if we could just convince her to talk and learn everyone’s names we’d know exactly what happened. 

10 Mar, 2012

My Watchdog

/ posted in: Pets

Freckles has many fine qualities but being observant isn’t one of them. If you want to rob my house come on over. Try not to wake her up. We’d hate to have her beauty rest disturbed.

We hired a yard service to clean up the back yard. This house was owned by a woman who died unexpectedly several years ago. No yard work has been done since. There were years worth of leaves on the ground and all other kinds of debris. Today they came to haul it all away.

I noticed them first. There were several people. About 15 minutes later Freckles went ballistic. She had just noticed.

Then the SO told her that there was a strange man on the deck. You know, the deck, on the other side of the big glass doors, a few feet away from where she was sleeping. A guy with a leaf blower. It took her 5 minutes to see him and raise the alarm.

Bless her heart, she tries.

26 Feb, 2012

Pack Walk

/ posted in: FitnessPets

Freckles and I went on a pack walk today. I found this group on Meetup.com. They meet at local parks and go for walks with their dogs.


For some reason there was this weird statue.

There ended up being about 18 dogs.



There were two beagles. You always knew where they were. It is like trail riding with some mules. You can also see that it got a bit muddy. Isn’t that little white guy cute? He is also useful since he carries his own stuff. Freckles is not so helpful.


I do love it when tough looking dogs wear pink.

We walked for 3 miles. It wore Freckles out. The last half mile she was focused on the end of the trail. She walked right down the middle of the trail, not looking right or left, power walking back to the parking lot. No more socializing. It was time for a nap.

13 Jan, 2012

I see therapy in the future

/ posted in: Pets

Poor Freckles.  Her life is in disarray.

I have a sad


1.  I knew something was up even though nothing was moved yet.  My peoples are sneaky.

2.  Mommy took the kitties out in boxes.  The kitties don’t go out to the car EVER. 

3.  Attempts to throw myself on the boxes to free the kitties were thwarted.  So was the attempt to go wherever Mommy and kitties were going.

4.  Strangers came and starting stealing things and putting them in boxes.  Daddy knew it and said it was ok.  How can that ever be ok?!!

5.  Mommy came home without the kitties.  I needed hugs.


1.  Mommy moved bird to the travel cage.  This is good.  I go in the car with the bird sometimes.

2.  Mommy tore apart the big birdcage.  That is wrong.

3.  I decided to lay on birdcage parts so Mommy won’t forget me.

4.  New strangers came and walked all through the house and I couldn’t talk to them.  I had to sit on a chair while Mommy and Daddy talked about people who wanted to view a house in this state were stupid.

5.  Mommy left with the bird and a suitcase!  Attempts to go with her were thwarted again.

6.  Boxes went into a big truck.  You know what is left behind?  MY STUFF!!!!!!  My bowls and leashes and food! OMG OMG OMG THEY AREN’T TAKING ME!!!!!!

Attempts to explain to her that her stuff isn’t packed because she’s staying with the SO until he leaves tomorrow are unproductive.  He is going to a hotel tonight.  I told him he has to take her even though she could easily stay at the house because she’d have a total breakdown.  Poor baby.

Wait until she gets to the new house and finds the kitties and the bird but no me.  She’ll think I got lost in the move.  When I show up in a week I’ll be mauled.

02 Jan, 2012

New Year Same Ol’ Worries

/ posted in: General


Look at that very worried face! The SO and I were packing up the cars to leave my parents’ house. Freckles is just convinced we are going to forget to take her home with us. As soon as the first suitcase is picked up she is circling the car. I opened the door and she got in. She would not come out! We weren’t ready to leave yet but she decided to sit in the car just so she wouldn’t be forgotten.

I left the door open and eventually she realized that we weren’t going anywhere yet and she came out. But as soon as I said, “Ok, load up, Freckles” she was off like a shot. She ran down to the car as fast as her legs could go. We have never forgotten her but I guess she figures that’s pnly because of her extreme diligence.

16 Dec, 2011

My Corpse Outline

/ posted in: Pets

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t move.  Freckles’ butt was against my right neck and shoulder.  Riley was against my left neck and shoulder.  Powder was laying up against the top of my head.  No one would move.  I had to sit straight up to hit the snooze.  Then I had to lay straight back down exactly how I had been laying because the only space was the outline of my head and neck that the animals were making. 

Even after cycles of sitting up – hit snooze- lay carefully down no one would move.  I finally got up and Freckles gratefully sighed and stretched her hind legs out into the space previously occupied by my torso.  Apparently I take up too much room when I sleep!

13 Dec, 2011

My dog is a genius

/ posted in: Pets

My dog speaks perfect English.  I knew that she understood what we say but today she did some mental calculations that sort of freaked me out.

She went to work with me on Friday.  At lunch we went to a park for a walk.  It wasn’t her P-A-R-K where she can run off lead and sometimes other dogs show up uninvited.  But, it seemed to satisfy her.  She spent the weekend at home because of nasty weather and lazy humans.  She didn’t get pouty until Sunday night.  The SO pointed this out.  I said I was a bad mom for not taking her so I would take her on Tuesday when I had the morning off barring bad weather.  She was listening.

On Monday she was fine.  This morning I woke up with her nose an inch from my face.  She was staring at me.  Then she said, “Oh good, you’re up!  Let’s go.”

I went to the bathroom.  She went downstairs.  This was weird.  I haven’t been in the bathroom alone in ages.  When I got downstairs she was on the couch trembling.  She was holding her excitement inside in case her human disappointed her. 

I put on my shoes.  She stood by the door and whined.  I could tell she was expecting the P-A-R-K but there was no good reason why except for the conversation on Sunday.  We don’t go to the park on Tuesdays.  I could be putting on my shoes to go get the recycling container off the curb.

Then I picked up a plastic bag.  She exploded.  All the barely controlled tension released in the excitement of the moment.  She barked and spun and ran around the house.  I worry about what it says about her self-esteem that she sees plastic grocery bags as evidence that she is loved. 

Dog logic – grocery bags = pick up poop= I’m going wherever they are = They love me!

How did she count to Tuesday?  I didn’t give her any clues since she was anticipating the trip before I woke up.  We’re going to have to watch what we say around her even more now.

09 Dec, 2011

Freckles’ Day At Work

/ posted in: Pets

We have a showing of our house today so Freckles had to come to work with me.  What do people without this option do when they are selling a house? 

Freckles hates coming to work since I go play with other animals and leave her in the office by herself.  She barks her fool head off and then she gets people to feel sorry for her poor pathetic self.

Freckles and Melanie

“No one loves me.  No one ever pets me.  I’m so abused.  Sure, Mommy had to wake me up from sleeping on Daddy’s pillow to come here and I got bacon from McDonalds on the way in but that doesn’t count.”

Freckles and Melanie too

04 Nov, 2011

Strange Bedfellows

/ posted in: Pets

By bedmates are getting uppity.  I keep waking up with no covers.  The SO doesn’t have any either.  When two humans sleep under a cover, it is suspended between them.  So when a Freckles dog jumps on the suspended cover it pulls it a bit off the humans.  This is both understandable and expected.

However, when I wake up with no covers and Freckles is snoring happily on a nest made of ALL the covers, there has been foul play.  Even if the blankets just magically fell off of us and onto Freckles, it doesn’t account for how they all end up in a ball under her.  She claims no knowledge of how this happens but she defends her blankets like a dragon guarding her hoarde.

If that isn’t enough last night I found that I was sharing my pillow.  I recently got a satin pillowcase.  Powder has decided that it is an appropriate surface for her highness to recline upon. That cat is the worst bedhog I’ve ever slept with.  How an 8 lb cat can take up 3/4 of a bed is a mystery but she can.  You can’t shove her over either.  In repose she gains hundreds of pounds. Knowing this I guess I should be glad that she deigned to share the pillow with me instead of just shoving me off of it. 

She was draped around my head when I woke up.  She allowed me to roll over but when I put my hand on the pillow to move it, she put a paw over my hand in a very clear “DON’T” gesture. 

They have me well trained.    

03 Nov, 2011

Look What I Found!

/ posted in: Work

I just finished seeing a petite little whippit mix dog.  She was a very happy little dog.  You see, she had a big adventure yesterday.  She’s not what anyone would would generally consider a hunting dog but she showed them.

She was seen barking at something in the yard.  She was jumping at it.  Her people had just had time to ask what the fool dog was barking at when her prey decided he had had enough.  The buck stood up.  He picked her up with his antlers under the left front leg and tossed her. 

She ended up with a laceration from the antler.  Here’s where the story takes another twist.  The female owner’s fiance and her ex-husband decide to fix the dog before she gets home.

Consider that.  Why were they there together?  I’ve tried to picture the SO and the ex hanging out at home and then collaborating on canine first aid but it isn’t working.  Anyway, they superglued the wound.  Didn’t bother to clean it first or anything sissy like that.  They superglued the heck out of it.  It is superglued down with a good eighth of an inch of superglue on top.  All the rest of her skin will fall off before that flap moves.

Today the dog is bruised and swollen and a bit gimpy but is super proud of herself because just for a moment she caught herself a deer.

07 Sep, 2011

The Friendship Test

/ posted in: Pets

Freckles is test driving a new friend tonight.


Brutus is the neighbors’ new dog. He is going to stay this weekend but they are afraid because he has a reputation for not getting along with other dogs. We’ve had a group cuddle on the couch with no problem.

He did get in trouble for violating the most important house rule. He touched the bird cage. He was just curious and stood up to get a better look. The bird screamed at him and he was starting to back off when I started yelling. He cowered under the table until I gave him a hug to say all was forgiven. Everyone gets yelled at here on their first day for touching the bird cage.

He hasn’t met any cats yet but I think we’ll be fine.

18 Aug, 2011

Um, oh… what?

/ posted in: FamilyPets

T minus 9 and 10 days until my two acupuncture final exams and my brain is mush. Just figuring out those numbers took a bit too much mental effort. But strangely it calmed me a bit since I’ve been running around for days screeching, “It is NEXT #$%=&*ing WEEK!!!!!”  Nine days away seems farther off even if it is saying the same thing.

Anyway, I am deliberately not thinking about that right now and will instead regale you with the story of how my darling animals survived the weekend with a one year old human.

The cats:

I was most concerned about them in terms of my allergic brother. Riley used to sleep in the guest room but has been haughtily avoiding it since we changed the furniture. So I get up after the first night and the door to the guest room is cracked open. Riley comes strolling out. He had decided to go in for a cuddle. He can’t conceive of a world where this is not welcome and my SIL cuddled with him thus reinforcing this view.

Powder is still adjusting to life off the armoire. She is pretty brave upstairs but hasn’t ventured downstairs much. Last week she planted herself firmly in the living room to watch the new people. She’d casually swat the dog if she got fresh instead of running away.

Both cats were an object of fascination to the kid. We know this because they were laying on tables at her eye level and she kept talking to them. She says, “Hi” in a quiet, breathy voice and it comes out a lot like a hiss. So she’d get eye to eye with a cat, hiss at them, and grab their face in the palm of her hand. Repeatedly. Neither cat even flinched.  (I tried to face palm Riley and he didn’t tolerate it from me.)


She was very scared of Freckles last time they met. This time Freckles forged an alliance based on the fact that the kid has access to lots of food. Freckles’ name was now “WooWoo” which is baby for woof woof.

The kid could get a cracker from her mother any time she asked. Then she’d toddle off to another room with Freckles walking behind her. In a bit they’d be back for another cracker. Who ate the first cracker was never clear. This was going well for everyone involved until the kid got yet another cracker from her mom, turned, and gave it directly to Freckles. Freckles knew the gravy train was over. She took the cracker while giving the kid an I’m Very Disappointed In You look.

She was also disappointed in my brother who is tall and therefore takes up more than his share of space on the couch. He would not let her sit on top of him which baffled Freckles. In her world if humans are hogging the furniture you lay on top of them until they learn some manners.

The kid was encouraged during a car ride to share her crackers with her stuffed bear. I pointed out the double standard of sharing with the bear who didn’t appreciate it but getting cut off for sharing with the WooWoo, who clearly was appreciative. No wonder she was such an easy mark for Freckles to talk into sharing crackers!

11 Aug, 2011


/ posted in: Pets

Freckles has the itches. Every other dog I see this time of year has the itches and I totally sympathize with owners who just want it to stop so they can sleep through the night.

Usually I can stop it but not for Freckles. She’s had steroids and benedryl and special fancy schmancy Chinese herbal blends and all natural organic food. She still itches all the time. I have currently been treating it by yelling at her to, “STOP IT!”

(I have psoriasis and am often scratching while yelling at her to stop. I don’t miss the irony. I have a feeling she doesn’t either.)

I’ve even taken her collar off so I don’t hear the tags jangling when she itches.

This morning I was watching a lecture on acupuncture for skin disease. I know this exists but Miss Drama Queen screamed and cried last time I did acupuncture on her so I haven’t tried. Inspired by my lecture I went to see her on the couch. She was tired. I asked nicely and then started stabbing. To my shock and amazement she let me without a whimper. I had four in her head and one in her back. Under the Bed Dog was horribly jealous that she didn’t get whatever Freckles was getting and generally made a nuisance of herself.

Once they were placed we sat on the couch to let them cook. Freckles went back to sleep. Then about 10 minutes later she got up, went to the middle of the room, and shook. Needles went flying! She jumped back on the couch with a very satisfied glance at me. I went and got on my hands and knees looking for needles since I have a 1 year old human visiting this weekend. 

06 Aug, 2011

Under the Bed Dog

/ posted in: Pets

Under the Bed Dog is back. She lives with Z and her mother but we dogsit when they are on vacation. Many people question this arrangement but the SO says he is deeply sympathetic to any creature that has to live with his ex so he takes the dog in.

The dog is freakishly timid. The first time we kept her she hid under the bed all week. The second time she was a bit better. This time the ex warned us that she’s been tearing things up at home and “regressing”. Great.

After the first few days she started to come out of her shell. She was staying under the computer desk but on the third night she volunteered to come upstairs at bed time with everyone else. She slept under the bed of course. The next night she slept part of the night on my bathrobe beside the bed. I’ve invited her onto the bed but I get the feeling that Freckles has some rules that forbid that.

She gets excited when we come home from work. She all but mauls me since I smell like animals. I sit on the couch to cuddle them both. UtBD is slow in her brain and sits on the same side of me as Freckles does. Then she wants to cuddle me so she ends up on top of Freckles which does not go over well. Freckles is smart enough to move to the other side so there can be group cuddles.

She still won’t go outside to pee unless she is lead out on a leash. But she loves the park.


She’ll even go up to new people and say hi. She checked out all the agility equipment.


Freckles just likes to get smelly.


We have her for a few more days and then we give her back. We just get her acting almost like a dog and then she goes home and we have to start all over the next time.

We also accidentally exposed her to another new experience. You know, sometimes when grownups love each other very much they get… romantic. Freckles just sighs heavily and goes to another room. UtBD was fascinated. She was on her hindlegs with her front legs on the bed staring. Uncharitable nasty people might point out that is because she hasn’t ever seen this at her own house. Only horrible people who are going straight to hell would stop, look at each other, and say it at the same time! hanging head in shame while giggling under my breath

27 Jul, 2011

Watchdog Woes

/ posted in: Pets

It is hard to be a watchdog at our house.

Exhibit A:

We watched an episode of South Park recently that was about the morning announcements. Every announcement started with two chimes. Know what else has two chimes?  A doorbell.

Every time the chimes rang on the TV Freckles would bound off the couch, run to the other side of the house barking furiously, and then get mad because no one was there. Obviously for 22 minutes some ^!#$%=&* kept ringing the door bell and running away before Freckles could get there.

Exhibit B:

We hired a guy to scrape off some flaking house paint and then repaint that section of the house. Did you know that sometimes scraping sounds like someone knocking on the wall?  Freckles was not going to be fooled by people disappearing this time. She sat on a couch where she can look out onto the front porch. Since she was watching she saw the next crime happen with her own eyes. 

My version is that the guy came up and took the paint out of the box on the porch where we left it for him.

Freckles’s version is that a man who she did not know came onto HER porch and took something out of a box. Since the box was on her porch obviously the contents are also HERS, or at the very least, Not His. Then he walked off with it.

She wasn’t having that on her watch. She went ballastic. “THIEF!!!!  THIEF!!!!” She was running and barking and throwing herself at the door. It took me a few minutes to calm her down. “I know which way he went! Let me out I’ll show you!”

It is nice to see she is taking her responsibilities seriously.