Monday, February 28, 2011

"Pet" Names

A contented, beloved canine will inevitably earn himself several nicknames throughout her life!! This is our testament of fondness toward these four-legged creatures. Evidence that they're cherished. These furry beasts are somehow more than dogs!! They're friends!! True, you bestow upon him a name, if she lacks one. Unless, of course, your canine had previous owners who called her "Carli-Ann", "Woodson", or "Trixie". Whether you change his moniker to encourage new beginnings, whether you keep it, whether you adopt this shelter canine without recorded pasts.... She will be given countless "pet" names!! Rose certainly has many!! Personally, I prefer "Babe". It fits her so flawlessly!! My bright girl even responds to that!! Because of idleness--Rose oft lounges around upon "our" bed--she has earned the "pet" name "Lazy Bones"!! Sometimes I am caught referring to her as "Rosaree".... For reasons unknown to me!! My brother has called our mongrel "Rosy-Posey", which I think is adorable!! Because of her unbridled sense of wonder, immediately following the adoption process, I swiftly began referring to that hound as "Curious Rose". It stuck!! Sometimes she is affectionately called "Rosie-Girl". Close family members refer to her as "Rosie". While years pass us by and Rose Elizabeth matures, inevitably we will add several more "pet" names.... For my Beagle mix is definitely beloved and contented!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Curious Rose!!

Snowfall is a remarkable work of nature!! For every individual flake which falls down from ebony, ominous clouds has the capability to touch Earth's environment!! Each snowflake, whether colossal, or minuscule, can immediately blanket our outside world in white!! And trees, fence posts, the grass, rooftops, plants, cars.... Everything glistens once accumulated!! All because of countless individual snowflakes!! The news channel weatherman promised us that our area would transform into a breathtaking Winter Wonderland. On February 24th, 2011. Before dawn, at 4:00 AM. That was his forecast--and every wise person prepared--regardless of the fact that weathermen are oft wrong!! Close enough.... Around five, our world brightly glistened!! By seven, there was at least an inch and a half blanketing the grounds outside!! I took Rose for her scheduled morning walk.... This short ten minute trek up and down our cu-de-sac. Tiny flakes were falling, their resemblance more like cold "white rain" than snow. This was Rose's first real flurry.... At least her first as my canine, anyway!! And she appeared curious as ever about it!! During our exercise time, Rose sniffed at the mysterious cold, wet fluffy white stuff!! Her neck bent, nose down, my mongrel looked like a hound hunting his game!! Rose's nostrils never left the sidewalk.... Until we reached her "favorite" strip of grass!! At one point, she even had some snow on her black nose.... Giggling, I swiftly brushed it off!! I walked my dog two more times that day. What a delight it was to witness this remarkable work of nature in Rose's eyes!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Contradictory Instincts

Rose has twain hunting breeds within her. The Beagle, plus the Italian Greyhound. One hunts solely by nose, as he was bestowed a keen sense of smell. The other uses his beautiful brown eyes to spy prey. Beagles sniff out game from far-off distances, roaming free for endless miles, their masters absent. Italian Greyhounds, canines that prey by sight and physical velocity, are also known as gazehounds. Both purebreds hunt rabbits. Our backyard wildlife does not include those cute, furry, floppy-eared critters. If it did, no doubt my mongrel would chase them with her swift, graceful gait!! Instead, we frequently encounter squirrels!! Rose is fascinating to watch as she witnesses a bushy-tailed rodent. While staring longingly outside through our great room sliding glass door, should my dog observe one scampering across neighbors' fences, or nibbling on birdseed, her body will twist repeatedly in excitable circles. Ready for the chase!! I open that door.... And with quick velocity, out she runs!! Thankfully, Rose has never caught one.... My canine may be fast, but they are much faster!! While already in our backyard when a squirrel enters, she shows silent patience. Rose will sit, stock-still, her eyes fixated upon that rodent for the longest time.... Until finally deciding to chase!! Once, she sat, beneath our patio roof, staring a bushy-tailed squirrel down. "He" was under the fly-through bird feeder, scavenging dropped seed. She had positioned herself on the edge of our patio's cold cement pavement. Rose was not sitting far from "him".... Yet for ten minutes, my mongrel watched the rodent, her ears perked, forehead furrowed, body trembling with immense joy. Until finally, she ran!! I oftentimes wonder when Rose hunts those backyard squirrels, which instinct, albeit contradictory, my dog inherited!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What's Wrong With My Dog?

Attention all canine owners!! I hereby declare that I'm recommending a book!! It is entitled "What's Wrong with My Dog? A Pet Owner's Guide to 150 Symptoms and What to Do about Them" by veterinarian Jake Tedaldi. This is an amazing canine health resource book. It contains boxes labeled "When to Get the Vet", but also provides you with home remedies!! This book covers behavioral problems, as some issues indicate health problems. It lists a vast range of physical ailments. This book also has "Warning" boxes throughout that expresses you exercise caution while tending an injured/sick dog. Every canine owner should possess a copy of "What's Wrong with My Dog?"!! I can tell when a canine is dehydrated. How? It's in the book!!

You Stupid Dog!!

Dogs are bright creatures, much smarter in my opinion than experts make them seem!! However, intelligence doesn't erase the very fact that these four-legged beasts lack a little something called "common sense"!! I survived myself a near-sleepless Wednesday, February 16th this past week.... And I'm finally recovered!! Around 3:20 AM, Rose wandered about. I slipped on my pair of blue croc-like shoes, linked her leash, then lead her to our backyard. She urinated, pooped, and we walked back inside. Then, my mongrel appeared antsy. I attempted to no avail in redirecting Rose toward our room. Usually, she redirects easily--frequently Rose desires playtime--but I gently snatch away her toy. "Not now, Babe!!" I often say. However, on Wednesday, February 16th, this was no simple task!! I lead Rose to her dog pillow three times!! Then suddenly, with little warning, my canine retched, and vomited a small yellow puddle!! Uncertain of when, or if, she will do it again, I hurried her outside.... Alone. After all, I had a mess awaiting me!! I was about to slip on the blue croc-like shoes and search for my dog, but Rose already stood at our door, tail wagging, this crazed expression upon her face. She looked rather pleased!! I brought my mongrel inside, stroked her velvet-soft fur and reassured the poor baby. "It's okay.... You're a good girl...." Or so I thought!! I lead her to our room. She preferred my bed, and, feeling sympathetic, I allowed Rose access.... But only for a few minutes!! Wednesday happened to be her second consecutive night with stomach issues, both occasions merely one time events, which was yellow bile. So meanwhile, I pulled out this fat pet health resource book, flipped through the Contents Section and found "My Dog Is Vomiting". Before I could read anything other than its handy "When to Get the Vet" box, Rose retched again and threw up.... All over my bedding!! Great.... As I cleaned it, I observed that something was different about this pool of vomit. No longer appearing yellow, the mess looked dark, dark brown. And there were small black pieces within this puddle. I inspected the vomit.... Was it dirt? Parts of a stick? Rain-soaked wood stove ash? Who knows!! Her happy-go-lucky tail wagging greeting was body language for: "Hey Mama!! You'll never guess what I just tasted!!" Then she threw up!! I love Rose, and feel emotionally attached to her. But what thought crossed my mind during those wee morning hours? You stupid dog!! Because there was no longer clean covers to sleep in, I "camped out" on our red couch with twain fleece blankets, plus a quilt, alongside Rose, who had her pillow. Worry kept me awake until nearly six. Rest assured, however, my pet health resource book stated that vomiting is actually a positive ailment in canines. Doing so rids their systems of whatever they ingested. Yellow bile? Normal!! Foreign objects in the vomit? No reason to fret!! Throwing up may have solved her problem. Rose never vomited again that night, which, obviously, is a good sign as well!! Plus, the three indications mentioned in my book's "Vet Box" were nonexistent!! Also, Rose wasn't dehydrated, either!! She accepted her dog food with much gusto at 8:00 AM.... And kept it down!! I am horrified to think that my Beagle mix may have had some unknown substance within her. But now, whatever it was is long gone!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Puppy Love

~Happy Valentine's Day, Readers!!~

When dog owners walk their canines every day, they meet some interesting and diverse individuals. Like a friendly bleached-blond haired homeless guy. Or an Arabic man whose beautiful skin tone is dark as the midnight heavens. You converse with these encounters, or sometimes pass along nothing but a smile. But when our exercise routines occur daily at the same time and location, opportunity presents itself frequently for those casual greetings with such unique people!! We have this neighbor, Gary, who walks a fawn-colored male Pug named Puffy. As characteristic to the toy dog, he is short, loose skinned, and has that scrunched-up black nose. I had for several years known of this duo, but until we adopted Rose, our paths never crossed. Once my super social mongrel saw Puffy, her brow furrowed, she grew excitable, her tail curled.... And she let out that eardrum-piercing "Beagle" howl!! Rose was new to me at the time; We were still in our adjustment period; Thus I had yet to correctly solve her baying!! So I asked Gary if Rose could meet Puffy. He said yes, we crossed our cul-de-sac and while the two dogs sniffed each other's private parts, I proudly introduced my canine. Thereafter, I secretly joked that Puffy is Rose's "boyfriend", because he was the only dog she ever howled for.... But then, the Pug happened to be our first canine encounter!! I would teasingly express: "She loves Puffy!!" "I bay for you".... Nearly every night, before ten, we met Gary and the Pug. Especially on Tuesdays. They would enter from the opposite side of our cul-de-sac and as I crossed, Puffy freely followed suit. Gary walked him on a retractable leash, which enables wanderlust. Our dogs both anticipated these meetings!! Puffy has not been neutered, so swiftly it became obvious to me that he was "flirting" with my mongrel!! In their case this seemed completely harmless, because Rose is spayed!! And what canine wouldn't "flirt"? She is this beauteous Beagle/German Shepherd/Italian Greyhound mix, with attractive slender legs, a cute face, plus floppy ears!! It was too much fun to watch them engage in dog greeting--Rose and Puffy sometimes played during these times, as well--I did not mind one bit that he probably lusted my canine!! Then, an unfortunate experience occurred. Darkness had befallen our skies. We were meeting and greeting, as usual. Until Puffy walked in circles around Rose. The black thin rope-like extension of his retractable leash inevitably tied up my mongrel's hind leg, trapping her!! It was 10:00 PM, dark, and most of Rose's fur color matches Puffy's retractable leash extension, so I did not even notice what had happened.... But Gary saw. By then, my dog appeared frightened, attempting to escape this trap, while Gary gingerly released her. What a traumatic experience that was for poor Rose--now whenever Puffy circles, she grows visibly nervous--yet my resilient girl still excitably anticipates seeing him!!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Dogs love to play!! For the central point of retrieving green saliva-soaked tennis balls, or reaching those deep blue skies while soaring toward bright-colored, hard plastic Frisbees is quality time with their owners!! Whatever it be.... Mind-stimulating games, something ingeniously thought up, ordinary activities.... Canines never take for granted this simple mundane thing, they relish bonding moments with their masters, and these eternally social creatures never quit seeking out play!! Rose owns a green frog plush squeak dog toy, which she loves. "His" belly is neon yellow.... Or at least it used to be!! Now the stomach appears more of a brownish-black/neon yellow combination.... Resulted from my mongrel's inevitable saliva!! "He" has long, skinny arms and legs for tug-'o-war games. Rose owns other toys, but this frog--that I named Kermit--happens to be her favorite!! If she is in the mood for play, my canine will run toward Kermit, pounce on "him", and sometimes lie down, frog between her teeth. But frequently Rose stands in a "prance" position--backside up, tail curled, as though doing stretches--toy between her teeth. During those opportunities, I slowly, comically, dramatically, inch forward. I swiftly drop to my knees. Now on Rose's level, I reach for the toy. If I'm able to grab a hold of Kermit's arm or leg, she will sometimes jerk that frog by whatever part of "him" is within her mouth. I pull in return.... Then a game of tug-'o-war rages!! But never for long. Rose releases her grip, surrenders far too soon, and I win!! If my hand misses Kermit, she will playfully back up, then excitably flee.... The toy still between her teeth!! One afternoon, my bright, furtive mongrel tricked me!! Everything preceded as normal. Rose was found carrying Kermit. I did my slow, comical, dramatic little act. She ran off.... In the direction of our bedroom!! I followed my canine.... And observed that Rose had abandoned her frog near the dog pillow. Or so I thought!! Lying upon my bed was Rose!! More times than not, she merely wishes to chew an arm or leg, and "play by herself", as I call it. Rarely, I miss a fleeting opportunity, and she is done, without my participation. This must be one of those times, I thought. Laughing at Rose's goofy behavior, I sat next to her, stroked my dog's velvet-soft fur.... Then, in one graceful, rapid leap, she exited the bed, snatched Kermit, and fled!! I was conned by a canine!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Secret Door

Canines can possess a sense of wonder in this world that is somewhat "child-like". Today is an adventure awaiting them. Tomorrow carries hopeful optimism. Yesterday's vanished and "the now" appears new or exciting. What an example these four-legged creatures can be.... Every first Saturday of the month, we host a men's meeting. Male gender only. No ladies--or dogs--allowed. So to evade any "accidents" from my eternally-social mongrel, Rose and I hang out together in our bedroom. I play three CD's, sometimes read a book and stroke her velvet-soft fur. Just the two of us. We always stay hidden. Nobody ever witnesses me walking through our kitchen, or observes Rose racing across the backyard. However, on February 5th, 2011, I had to use a restroom. And, knowing full well that I would need the cleaner, plus several towels when finished, I invited Rose outside. There is this white, magnetic door which was constructed on the farthest wall of my bedroom. It leads to a wooden porch and our backyard. Seldom do I ever open the door. There is even a white wicker chair positioned in front of it!! Only once has Rose been allowed access to this passageway which I call the "Secret Door"!! "Wanna go outside?" I asked my excitable canine. "Alright. I'll have to move the chair. This door leads to the backyard...." I unlocked its bolts. Turned the knob, and.... For a single second, there was that sense of "child-like" wonder in Rose's facial expressions. My "hound" beheld our backyard through this passageway she scarcely knew existed!! Rose's floppy ears perked up and her head tilted. Like she was Lucy from "The Chronicles of Narnia", when CS Lewis' little girl character entered that mysterious, magical world. If Rose could verbalize, my dog would have exclaimed: "Wow!! That leads to outside?! Why didn't you tell me?" The following morning, at 5, I was startled awake by Rose's shake. She needs to go!! So I linked my mongrel's red leash and out the sliding glass door we stepped. I prefer to walk with her during nighttime "potty breaks", for raccoons sometimes prowl about, but occasionally she will not leave our patio when I do. So I unhooked the leash. She fulfilled her business and then ran circles in our yard. Her final destination? That wooden porch which leads to the "Secret Door"!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Muddy Paws

They say that motherhood is a difficult, sometimes joyous, sometimes arduous experience. An important task of raising children right requires patience, grace, mercy, discipline, clarity and prayer. I do not have experience in parenthood, as I've never married or conceived any offspring, but canine ownership, along with its seemingly never-ending training can be difficult as well!! One afternoon, Rose had been frolicking outside, merrily chasing squirrels through damp, miry dirt. This "hound" of mine attracts mud like no canine I have ever met.... She will frequently enter our house with wet, brown-colored dirt covering her front legs, thighs, plus abdomen!! So, I've learned to swiftly grab Rose's collar beforehand on rainy days and wipe clean my mud-caked mongrel's body using a towel!! This practice, of course, prevents any unwanted paw prints on our great room carpet. But that afternoon, she appeared excitable and bound through the door.... As my fingers missed her collar!! Uh, oh.... "Rose, Come." I commanded. But the expression upon her face was one that I have witnessed countless times. She will most likely refuse to heed my leadership. Only, it is an expression far beyond disobedience. But that of rebellion. Plus, as she snatched Kermit, it became obvious to me her plan: Rose wanted playtime!! However, all I could see was every single dirty paw print on the carpet!! I slowly inched forward, attempted to evade smiling, firmly commanded "Come".... But she ran in circles from me!! Around and around and around.... I lost patience, for a brief moment, then mentally threw my hands up. Now, my agenda was to wipe clean every visible spot. Ignoring Rose, that's just what I did. Immediately following this incident, my attitude shifted.... I was in a more forgiving mood. I entered my room and found Rose, sulking on my bed. What I noticed next brought guilt into my heart. There, lying on the carpeted floor beside "our" bed was Kermit!! All she wanted to do was play, regardless of muddy paw prints. And I am only trying to train her well. Yes, canine ownership breeds its challenges....