Monday, June 24, 2013

Sorrow, Celebration, Betrayal, and SWIMMING!


SORROW

Two friends made their final journey recently.

Miss Blueberry, the ever elegant Greyhound.
We will miss you, elegant lady. I hope that Bunny is up to filling your place as the queen of the household.
You can visit her blog here.




And Remi, the giant Dalmatian (well, not really, he's a great dane dog).
Our giant friends are never with us for long. Remi was just seven (like my Mango).
You can visit his blog here.





CELEBRATION

Momma passed her stupid exam. She's now a certified actual Project Management Professional (makes me wonder what she's been doing the past 87 years operating without a license).



BETRAYAL

Did anybody read momma's blue words yesterday?
Did everybody in blogland know that she was on a puppy quest besides yours truly?
It isn't about "get a puppy" or "don't get a puppy." It's about trust.
What else has she done without consult?


SWIMMING

The cement pond next door opened just in the nick of time. It is surface of the sun jungle hot here and I, for one, think that nothing heals sorrow, or feels more like a celebration, or lightens the load of betrayal like a dip in the pool.

Try it, you'll see what I mean.


Sorry for the blurry photo.
Momma should have used the high speed action setting on the flashy.
I ZOOM through the water. She calls me her little otter. 

Dexter done!

P.S. From Mango Momma - thank you for all your considered responses to yesterday's post. It is wonderful to read many different experiences and perspectives and to know that there is a community of crazy dog people who spend a lot of time considering what is best for their beloved friends.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Puppy Search Suspended by Mango Momma


As many of you know, we have, unbeknownst to Dexter, been conducting a search for a puppy to add to our family. It was a near thing when Dexter's sister, Flirt, was bred, but the breeding did not take, so no puppies there. We've also spent a lot of time talking about different kinds of dogs that might or might not be a good addition to our family.

However, after a lot of soul searching and getting to know Dexter better, we've decided to at least temporarily halt our search for a second dog. This is a big deal as for almost 20 years, we've continuously had multiple dogs except for the year of sorrow between Raja and Dexter (during which Mango was terribly despondent).

I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences about multi-dog and single dog households. 

Now, allow me to indulge in a retrospective of our dogs.

Our first dog was Angus the Airedale. There was no question about getting an Airedale. We both love dales and Angus was a typical nutty dude (shown here at his one and only obedience competition).





But even with two kids at home and lots of action, Angus was a bit more dog than we bargained for and we started thinking about another dog to keep him company and work off steam.

A series of mishaps brought Pi into our lives. I admit that the relationship between Pi and Angus gave me the view that dogs just love having other dogs around.

Pi and Angus were love at first sight and I have never since had any two dogs bond so closely.




Angus was 10 when Pi crossed over the bridge and we wanted him to have another friend.

So along came Raja. We'd often discussed getting a mastiff and after scouring dog shows and visiting kennels, we found our Raja.




And learned our first lesson in multi-dog households. Not all dogs love each other.

Raja was too much for poor old Angus. As a gigantic, bumbling puppy, she would grab him by the neck and playfully toss him about like a stuffy. While a two year old Airedale might have loved it, a more mature gentleman was not keen for that sort of treatment.

Luckily, they found their way and managed to live together in relative harmony.

But Angus was wearing out and when Raja turned two, we thought she was at the right age to have a companion more suited to her size and temperament.

Mango made us a three dog household.



With three dogs, I learned another valuable multi-dog household lesson. You need to be prepared to manage three dogs with different needs separately. Because they were all, indeed, very different. Primarily, I couldn't walk any combination of them together. 

Mango walked with Angus at first, but Angus was getting too infirm to keep up with Baby Mango. 

Walking two mastiffs just wasn't in the cards for me. Too much to handle (not to mention the poop bags). I was taking three walks a day and spending "quality" time with three different dogs. 

I'm not sure Mango ever really internalized that Angus was an actual dog. By that time, Angus rarely left his bed.

Raja, on the other hand, was Mango's true love. Great, right? Well, not really, because while Raja tolerated the Baby Mango and overall liked him well enough, she wasn't terribly keen to have him around.





But Mango needed another dog. His light totally went out when Raja crossed over the bridge.

We chose a lab as a compromise, "enough of difficult dog situations" kind of dog. After meeting Dexter's relatives and talking to his breeder, we knew we were bringing home a good sport who could deal with Mango's, um, "special" personality.

Mango adored Dexter from the start. Yes, he bullied the little guy sometimes, but he also was very depressed when Dex wasn't around. In fact, when Dex came home from daycare, Mango was happier to see him than me.








Dexter always seemed happy enough. Sure he was wary of the big guy's moods, but I think he liked having Mango around. He would often tease Mango and bitey him and I think he liked having Mango as back up when it was time to sound the intruder alert. And Dex stayed close to Mango after Mango had a seizure or he was feeling sick.

It only seemed natural to get another dog to keep our little household running after Mango left us.

But you know what? Maybe not. Or at least not now. 

Dexter loves daycare. He can't wait to go and he hates to leave. But he also really likes his space.

He's not good at telling other dogs to go away when they bother him. He's just learning (after nine months without the RH) that he really can lay down in all the good spots. He really can enjoy his chewie anyplace and he's almost learned that he really can go out in the yard by himself. 

But he remains a rather shy and emotionally closed dude. I've seen him come out of his shell a lot these past months, but I'd like to see more. I'd like to see more times when he forgets himself and acts nutty. And I am going to help him with his timidity about meeting new humans. 

Would Dexter like another dog? I suppose he would, at times, but at times not. Would another dog give Dex more confidence? The right dog could. The wrong dog could send him back into his shell (and being me, I would likely already be in love with the second dog and do my best to keep the peace over the long run rather than let him or her go).

Why rock the boat? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? For now, it ain't broke and we're going to be a single dog household.






Never say never. Just say "this is right for now."

Mango Momma

P.S. Please share your thoughts in the comments about one dog, two dogs, more dogs, dogs who like each other, dogs who don't like each other, whatever.

P.P.S. My big test is tomorrow. Thanks for your patience. I studied as much as I could today, but reached the point where more was leaving my brain than going in. Pass or fail, I'll be home mid-afternoon for some quality time with my little buddy.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

POTP for Benny


My pal, Benny, could use some POTP.
He is in the vet critical care unit and was diagnosed with liver cancer.
His family is heartbroken and so very worried.

You can visit his family here.


I'm sending all my good labravibes your way, little French dude.

Dexter done!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Momma Reads a Dog Book and I am Bored


Momma takes her stupid exam in ten days. In the meantime, in order to turn off her mentals at night, she has been doing the usual... reading.

She really liked this book, Rottweiler Rescue by Ellen O'Connell. Of course she loves Rottweilers. It figures. She is such a sucker for dogs with heads like bowling balls. You can read her review here.






As for yours truly, well, I'm bored out of my labramind. Yes, we are still doing (somewhat abbreviated) walkies and I am thankfully going to daycare on schedule, but even still, it is not an easy time for me.




Counting the days until things return to normal. 

Dexter done!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blogging Break


Dear friends, we are taking a three week blogging break while Momma studies for her PMP examination. That means that we'll be apparently marking all as read with great abandon and the flashy will be collecting dust so that she can cram her wee little brain full of knowledge. I have even offered to forgo exactly ONE day of daycare so that she can attend a special study class (now THAT, readers, is love).

Fear not, I will make certain that spending quality time with yours truly remains a top priority.

So I'll be doing some of this...



Come on out and play, momma, I will drill you on the subtleties of procurement. 



A little of this...

Lighten up!


And if the cement pond next door opens on schedule, a lot of this...




I am 100% labradorable!


But what I won't be doing is reading your wonderful posts, so do let me know if anything of import transpires.

Dexter done!

P.S. Thank you for all your good wishes for my nephew, Misha. He is feeling much better thanks to the wonders of pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just in Time for Father's Day!


NEW THIS YEAR!





Le Stinky Charpentier
$24.99 
What woman can resist a man with a fully loaded tool belt who knows how to use it?
Foot fud and sweat with undertones of Camembert to add an exotic touch.
A father's day filled with romance awaits.






Angry Kitty
$24.99
Mr. Whiskers is long gone, but Dad's eyes will tear up with the sting of fond memories when he catches the unmistakable fragrance of kitty excreta.




OR CHOOSE FROM OUR CLASSIC LINE OF CANDLES




Wet Dog
$24.99 FATHER's DAY SPECIAL $9.99

The sun is hot outside, but it's cool and delightful inside when you fill your house with the dank bouquet of wet dog.
A delightful reminder of a fresh April shower.









Puppy Breath

$24.99 THIS ITEM TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK
SQUEEEE!







MangoToot

$24.99 SPECIAL! TWO RELENTLESSLY HUGE CANDLES FOR $12.99
The uniqueness of The Mango captured for all time.
Sweet, rotting flesh with a fetid hint of broccoli.






Always exercise appropriate caution when using candles.
Do not leave unattended.
Keep out of reach of children.
Vendor is not responsible for peeling paint, temporary blindness, or explosions when candle is in use.