Meet Dottie, the dog who found me when I wasn’t looking for another dog.
Long story short, a friend of mine met her at her foster’s house and shared her admittedly adorable photo. I was charmed, but wary of adding a young dog to my household since I’ve only ever had one senior dog. I met her anyway, I’m a sucker, and here we are.
My friend decided she should be called Dottie because she has a cute little dot above each eye. It makes me think of Dottie from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (“I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.”) so I decided to go with it, even though I realize it basically means I have a dog named Spot.
I’ve been fostering her for several weeks, she was spayed yesterday, and I finalized her adoption today. She’s seven-and-a-half months old, so she may grow a little larger, but probably not too much. She weighed 10.2 pounds yesterday, which tells me I’ve been overfeeding her a little, although she’s still fairly svelte. Her mother is a chihuahua and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some miniature pinscher in her genetic makeup, but she may just be a big chihuahua with min-pin markings.
The cats are...not thrilled. They’re okay with her today because yesterday’s surgery really took the edge off her, but it’s going to be a process getting everyone on the same page. Between crate training, puppy training classes and lots of walks, I think we’ll get there.
She’s only had one training class so far, but she’s clearly very smart and interested in being rewarded for things. I’ve already taught her to sit and take a treat gently from my fingers, which is a huge improvement over the baby shark situation I was dealing with at the start.
And that’s the story of how I became a dog person again.
In the past year or so, I’ve been branching out and discovering more online entertainment than ever before. For the longest time, I was not big on watching online videos, but now I subscribe to a whole bunch of YouTube channels. Also, I’ve run across some Twitter niches that are very absorbing. Want a rundown? Of course you do!
Average Jane’s 8 Favorite Online Entertainment Sources
Lost in Vegas - There’s no shortage of reaction videos these days, but Ryan and George are by far my favorites. They choose genres they aren’t very familiar with, like heavy metal and classic country music, and really listen to the music and lyrics. I’m a long-time metal fan, but watching their reactions to songs I’ve known for years makes me feel like I’m hearing them for the first time.
Sled Dog Twitter - Particularly Blair Braverman, but also Quince Mountain and Chrissie Bodznick (and other mushers you will see retweeted along the way). Until I stumbled across the story of Grinch, I’d never thought very much about sled dog racing. Now I can recognize individual dogs when I see their photos in my Twitter stream, and I can’t wait to see the latest updates from Alaska while the teams train for the Iditarod. I’m not a big sports fan, but I know what I’ll be following on March 2nd next year.
Hydraulic Press Channel - Except pronounce it like “hygge” so it sounds more like, “hyoodraulic.” Lauri Vuohensilta is a young Finnish guy who owns a machine shop and likes to film what happens when he crushes things with a hydraulic press. He and his wife Anni are mostly off-camera, but their verbal reactions to how cool it looks when, say, a deck of playing cards explodes all over the shop make the fun contagious. The couple get more face time in their other channel, Beyond the Press, which documents their non-hydraulic-press-related destructive impulses. Check out the video where a crew explodes 110 pounds of dynamite in a swamp to make a pond for reindeer, which may be the most Finnish thing that has ever happened.
Ask a Mortician - Caitlin Doughty is a mortician who is striving to overhaul the traditional funeral industry and advocate for more consumer choice, greener options, and more open discussions about death. This channel is chock-full of interesting information about the work of being a mortician, iconic corpses in history, funeral practices of other cultures, etc., all presented in a quirky but exceptionally informative and respectful manner.
In the Kitchen with Kate - Millennial British siblings Kate and Alex sit at their kitchen table and try various snack foods from all over the world. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but they’re charming and fun and their channel is a lovely brain break after a long day. I don’t think they ever rate anything below a six because they’re just too nice.
Hope for Paws Animal Rescue - Eldad Hagar takes to the streets and deserts around Los Angeles and sometimes further afield, filming as he and his team members rescue abandoned animals. I’ve been watching these videos for a long time, so I made the classic, “Have we met before?” mistake one time when I happened to meet him at a BlogPaws conference several years ago. Awkward! The videos serve as a great way to bring attention to the needs of adoptable pets and fundraise for the organization and the other rescue groups that partner with them.
Epicurious - Cheap vs Expensive - This is my one Big Media entry here, but I have really been enjoying their videos where experts taste and evaluate foods and beverages, explaining why they believe that one is more expensive than the other. There’s a significant amount of education packed in as each person talks through the qualities of a good coffee, beer, bread, chocolate, etc.
Tango the HORF - This Twitter thread just started last week, but it went viral enough that Tango the HORF now has his own Twitter account. It’s the story of a young, stupid, goofy yet beautiful horse told hilariously by its owner’s daughter. He’s not dead, he just looks that way when he’s sleeping.
What are your favorite YouTube channels and Twitter accounts to follow? Is there something great I need to know about?
It seems like only yesterday that I had a house full of kittens, but now Xena is suddenly 11 years old, Trillian is 10, and even my youngest, Dr. Jones and Kaylee, are nine years old.
We lost our foster failure kitty Izzy (formerly Sooty) in February. He was already elderly with chronic kidney disease when he came to live with us in late 2014, so we felt lucky to have the three years and change with him that we did. We still miss him every day, though, because he was such a sweet and loving cat.
Now the big concerns are Toby and Velvet. Toby was eight when we got him, which makes him 15 this year. The shelter told us that Velvet was seven or eight when we got her, but considering that it's been a decade already, we think they may have been overstating her age. Still, she's in her teens somewhere.
Toby was recently diagnosed with heart failure, and he'll be on medication for the rest of his life. It seems to be helping and he's not coughing as much as he was, but obviously he needs to take it easy from now on. Of course, he's the guy who only has two teeth left and he also has noticeable cataracts, so he gets the full senior dog treatment now.
Velvet seems to be having tooth problems of her own. I noticed yesterday that one of her bottom canines was sticking out at a weird angle, so I presume it will be falling out soon. She's also starting to get that old gal skinniness, but she got a clean bill of health at the vet recently, so she's probably doing as well as can be expected under the circumstance.
It's such a shame that pets add so much enjoyment to our lives, but only for a short time. All we can do it love on them as much as possible while we have them.
Over the weekend Toby and I had a nice four-mile walk, which made him extra stinky (not that he wasn't stinky before). The next day I took his bedding to the laundromat, which meant that the dog himself needed to be destinkified next.
We don't have a bathtub or a utility sink in our house, so the dog becomes an unwilling accessory to my own shower when he needs to be washed. His shampoo sits on the shelf in the shower next to my Dr. Bronner's combination bathtime reading material and soap.
One of the first people I met at my first BlogPaws conference had a sweet and wonderful old Italian Greyhound. I'd been thinking about getting a dog, and meeting Lucky showed me what kind of dog I wanted.
That was in 2011, and I adopted Toby not long after I got home from the conference. I've been to a couple more BlogPaws Conferences in the meantime, but for various reasons I haven't been able to take Toby with me...until now!
Tomorrow I'm getting in the car and heading to Nashville, Tennessee for BlogPaws 2015 and Toby is coming with me. He's not a big fan of riding in cars, so I got some nerve-calming medication from the vet so he'll sleep most of the way, I hope.
If you're going to BlogPaws, look for me and this goof head starting tomorrow evening.
I took Toby to a playdate with other Italian Greyhounds a couple of weekends ago and he had his usual good time. Because it was December, there was an opportunity to make a donation to the Missouri/Kansas Italian Greyhound IGCA Rescue and get your dog's photo taken with Santa. So of course we did that.
Can you tell Toby asked for treats?
Despite a lifetime of enthusiastic pet ownership, this is actually the first time I've ever had a pet's photo taken with Santa Claus. Usually I get some shots of the cats under the tree or licking a gingerbread house, but that's been my limit. This may be where it all turns around.
Speaking of holiday pet photos, Wellness Natural Pet Food is hosting a "Naughty or Nice Photo Contest" through December 23rd. You can visit their Facebook page and submit up to four photo entries. Two grand prize winners (one dog and one cat) will each be chosen to receive a year’s supply of Wellness Pet Food. There will also be up to 10 runners up who will each receive a Wellness cat or dog prize pack. As I've mentioned before, Wellness is our cats' favorite food brand, so I am always happy to share them with my fellow pet people.
Disclosure: Wellness Natural Pet Food is sending me with some free cat and dog treats at no charge in exchange for my mention of their promotion in this post. I retained full editorial control over the content of the post.
This is a sponsored post for which I am receiving some Wellness pet food in exchange for posting. It's the brand my cats all eat and love anyway, so I am happily supportive of them. My specific wording and opinions are my own.
This Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST, Wellness Natural Pet Food’s veterinary consultant Dr. Cindy Bressler will be doing a live Twitter chat to discuss pet safety during the holidays.
At this time of year perhaps more than any other, pets are exposed to unusual foods and tempting decorations that could put them at risk. Learn more about keeping them safe by following the hashtag #HappyPawlidays, along with @wellnesspetfood and @DrCindyBressler.
I'll be following along and participating if my evening meeting wraps up early enough. I need all the tips I can get for keeping the cats away from the ornaments on the tree!
Today's the day when my desire not to fail NaBloPoMo and my life choices finally came into conflict. I'm not going to miss a day, but I am beyond tired and I need to go to bed, so this is going to be super short.
Last night my husband and I went to a jam and didn't get home until almost 2:30 a.m. I got up at 8:30 a.m. today, had lunch at my sister's house and went to band practice to work on new songs later in the afternoon. My biggest triumph of the day was being able to stay up and watch both "The Walking Dead" and "Talking Dead," but I'm dead tired myself, so that's it for me.
Enjoy this cliched but still cute photo of Toby checking out a fire hydrant.
I was never much for a set morning routine until I got Toby. As a former cat person, I had no inkling that adding a dog to the household would mean imposing a strict temporal framework that you could set your clock by. Of course, the dog's rigid internal clock has no concept of spring forward/fall back, so we're wrangling over that right now.
Our first wakeup time every day is between four and five a.m. This one is completely dog-driven. He wakes up, crawls out from under the covers and gives himself a good shake. That's my cue to get up, put on my robe and shoes, and take him outside to pee. Then I give him a small treat and we go back to sleep.
Lately I've been tacking on a few extra activities to our first wakeup period for my own benefit. First, I started drinking a pint of water while the dog was eating his treat. Yay for extra hydration!
Then it occurred to me that it would also be a good time to take my B-12 and D vitamin supplements. Monday morning was the first time I remembered and it all worked out well except that when I went back to bed, I had a sudden worry that I'd forgotten to give the dog his morning pill. Then I realized that I hadn't actually fed him his breakfast yet, so all was well.
Toby and I generally wake up for the day between six and seven a.m. I haven't used an alarm clock in years, so sometimes this wakeup is my doing and other times Toby leads because his treat has worn off and he's hungry. All I have to say is, "Do you want your breakfast time?" and he's out of bed like a shot.
He gets his little scoop of dry food with a bonus pill pocket stuffed with half a thyroid pill while I finish waking up.
The rest of the morning is taken up with making a breakfast shake, choosing and packing a frozen or leftover meal to bring to work, and making myself presentable in whatever way is necessary or practical, depending on how much time I have.
The one thing that's missing is some kind of exercise. My goal is to introduce a quick 5- to 7-minute yoga workout or something similar to the early part of the morning. Of course, it will have a lot more involvement from the cats and dog than I would strictly prefer, but that's just the kind of household I live in.
Today I'm up early to bake a cake for a co-worker's birthday and go vote when the polls open. Thanks to the dog's ongoing battle against Central Standard Time, it wasn't too difficult.
What's your morning routine like? Do you have any adjustments in mind to make it work better for you?