Tag Archives: Dogs

Dog Gone It

Yesterday I had one of those moments where I was paying attention.  I wasn’t harried by the kids or in the middle of something and not paying attention.  I had been in my room and walked out, passing my husband in the kitchen doing the dishes (the dear).  I had a prompting, a little voice, the Spirit, whatever else it’s known as to look for Toby.  I glanced outside through the storm door and couldn’t see him.

“Where’s Toby?”
“He’s outside.”

Again, I felt prompted to investigate.  There have been times where I have let things slide from these ‘little thoughts’:  Move that, Cameron will destroy it, and I haven’t done it, either thinking I would see him and catch him in the act, or the idea of him even getting something out-of-reach was completely insane.  Well, I have paid for it too, believe me.

I listened this time and stood at the back door, tracing the looping of his 30-foot leash snaking in the snow against the blinding non-warm sun and seeing it disappear.  I looked beside the small bush where the part of it I could see was, and he wasn’t there.

Again, I felt compelled to open the door and get out there, despite the -10ºF weather.

Where’s your shoes?  Did you put them away?”
“I have them on–”
“Not those, the brown ones.”
“–I put them away, do you think Toby’s leash snapped?”
“I’m not sure, but I need to check, I just have a feeling–”

At that point, he was at the door, and edging it open.

“There he is, by the bush over there.”

I was looking in completely the wrong direction, thinking he was further off than he really was.

“Toby, come on, let’s go inside!”  Bryan said, lifting the intonation in his voice to chipper level.

It was then that I saw it.  Half a foot of leash attached to his collar, dragging just enough in the snow.  It had snapped — at some point — and he had become loose AND TOTALLY UNAWARE!

He bounced back through our back door, completely oblivious to the sinking feeling edging into my stomach and creeping up my throat.

“How long was he out there?  Long?”
“Yeah, about 15 minutes.”

It may have been small, but that?  That was a miracle.  I have risked life and limb for this dog when he has escaped from me four times, once as he was let loose out the front door by the 4-year-old and chased after the traffic half a block to the end of our road and turned the corner towards and on-coming truck 3 times as big as myself.

I know how lucky we all were and I realised that although that little thing has turned my world upside-down, I love the scruffy little mutt!

I’ll never admit it though.

And while I’m sitting here in denial, I’ll be listening.


Photo Hunt: Aftermath

This.  Is what happens when you accidentally leave two doors open: Your bedroom door and your adjoining bathroom door, leaving them to the mercy of a small terrier puppy, still the intruder two months on.  It also helps if you possess the leg reflexes of a greyhound and have the speed of a champion racehorse.  Both of which, I do not.

This dog can run about 4 times the average speed of a human (we won’t talk about how I had to stop traffic about a block from my house — and by traffic I mean I first had to run in front of a big rig — for 30 minutes to catch the bloody thing because my 4-year-old accidentally let him out).  And, he has hydraulics in his hind legs, to boot.

img_1804October 2008
I think the addition of the sock was genius.  The dexterity that took to grab it from the hamper on the way in is just incredible.

October 2008

Karma Kure and Bone Throwing

My past two mornings have been hellish enough to warrant any self-respecting mother to hit chocolate/marshmallows/swedish fish/drug of choice intravenously with zero shame or self-hate and loathing.

Just to recap: We have a cockatiel, his name is Mauricio. Mauricio came with the marriage license, he’s basically been around longer than I have – nine years at least. Back in 2002, this bird survived a 3-hour stint lost outside in the dead of winter, five days before Christmas. He got spooked off his cage, rounded the corner and up the short flight path to the open front door with three flight feathers each side.  We eventually found him three blocks away in a tree in someone’s back garden.  I will add that we had to cross a four-lane road to get to him.  He was unhurt and fine, just frightened.

Fast forward to 2006.  Ian was almost two and we’d just got home from his cousin’s fourth birthday party.  Having placed his helium balloon in the house, accidentally scaring the bird off his cage, I went to retrieve Ian from the car.  As the words “Careful! Birdie is on the floor” slipped out my mouth, his attention was broken by said helium balloon and he stomped after it gleefully, crushing Mauricio underfoot.  He had a huge lump on his back next to his wings.  Unknown to us, he had ruptured an air sac and barely escaped death.  You may like to know that not only are very few vet offices open at an unearthly time of night, the number who see birds diminishes greatly.  The closest vet he could go to was an hour away in Sandy, Utah.  We were in Layton at the time (read: a different county entirely).  With rest and minimal interaction, he recovered.  If you really want to, you can read the full account here.

Months later, as Bryan was preparing to fix the car, the bird flew off his cage again, scared by the loud noise he’d heard coming from the garage, and flew out the door into the open garage.  Luckily for us and him, he had dumbed down that day and landed on the window blinds adjacent to the open wide garage.  He was retrieved again and life resumed.

Fast forward with me, if you will, to yesterday.  The mobile/cell phone rings and I stumble to retrieve it past our carpet cleaner, vacuum and a few other tripping obstacles of choice.  The bird, obviously flummoxed by something, decides to leave his safe haven on the cage and lands flat on his face on the floor – sans flight feathers.

These past few days, Toby has been given longer visitation rights throughout the house thanks to good behaviour.

With my back turned, I was oblivious to the bird’s new room perspective — that was until I heard the screeches.  I bolted right to see the dog chasing the bird across the floor, millimetres from his teeth, feathers strewn in his path.  As I scrambled to retrieve Mauricio, I screamed loud enough to draw attention from Alaska twice.  Thankfully I was able to get to him before the dog did any real damage, but I had to pry the bird from under his front paws.

That was yesterday.

Today not long after Cameron woke me up at the crack of dawn (remember he can climb out of his cot/crib now), I took the dog out on his 30-foot leash to relieve himself – he told me his back teeth were floating and to get a bloody move on.  Not twenty minutes later he was whining again.

He’s been really good this past week at doubling back when I shout come! if his attention is sparked from the front of the house.  I will, however, note that I did NOT have treat in hand, and he knew it having come back to me twice.

Minutes after 8 o’clock, and as I stand there in our back yard fully dressed but unshowered and entirely disheveled, he decides to take for the hills at the sound of a car engine pulling into a driveway across the street and 300 feet from us.  Knowing I am without treat, he ignores my pleas to come! and runs in the opposite direction directly into the path of not one, but two on-coming work-bound cars.

If you just said ‘you should have leashed him’, that’s the kind of fancy College talk that’ll get your head butted around here, pal.

I am not a morning person.  I wouldn’t even be as bold to say I am a mid-afternoon snack person.  I sped towards the oncoming cars (not in trainers/sneakers, mind you, but thankfully not in flip flops) knowing that they would have a better chance of seeing me coming than a small, speeding Cairn Terrier on an acid trip.  He rounded her car five times making me flounce around like a beanbag with legs before she was able to move.  I stand there, still dogless, completely helpless and muttering to myself.  She made it about 40 feet down the street before she stopped again seeing the dog belt towards her at full non-human speed, opened her door and loving said “come here Toby, aww what a cute little thing you are–“.  She then scooped him up as I sheepishly made my way to her door affronted and embarrassed with my tail between my legs.

The SUV behind her smiled at me and I half-grimaced back, hoping these poor women would never have to see the living dead gallop past their windscreens chasing a belligerent arsehat pooch again anytime soon.

Running theme?  I think so.  THE DOG.

It’s been 5 glorious weeks and 4 days of Puppydom.

Having made it thus far, you may be wondering the reasoning behind my sudden verbiage.  Well, I am hoping that I can spread good karma across the blogosphere – pay it forward, if you will.  Karma and I are planning on becoming good friends tomorrow morning.

So, without further ado, I present to you my very first awards ceremony.  Having been given quite a few in my 3 years+ of blogging – two of them just last week – it’s about time I gave some back.  Even if you’ve received it before, take it anyway you ingrate.

I pass this Excellent award to Aye Wonder, A Brit Out of Water, Mom or Mum Wars, Magneto Bold Too!, From The Planet of Janet, Burgh Baby, If I Could Escape, A Day in the Life…One Glass at a Time, Blok Thoughts, Mum of 4, Wundurful Wurld and XBox4NappyRash.

Thanks to Blok Thoughts for this one last week.  I now bestow this award on: Seeking Sanity, Anglophile Football Fanatic, Momisodes, Let’s Go Away for Awhile, Big Apple Little Britainer Just Chicken Feed, LongAyelander in Glasgow, Shamelessly Sassy, Twists and Turns of Life with Curls, Immoral Matriarch, Plain Jame, Playgroups Are No Place for Children and Secret Agent Mama.

I also got this award last week from Mumof4 and Blok Thoughts, so I’m passing it along to: Suburban Scrawl, Mocha Momma, Lilac Colored Glasses, A Calm in the Chaos, Lou Cee L, A Murder of Crows, Boss Sanders, ExPat Mum, If Mom Says OK, Jameil Et Cetera, Licensed to Blog, Glass Half Full and Synchronization of Us.

If I never have to link again in a single post, it will be too bloody soon.  I love all of you.  You complete me in so many ways.  No really.  Some make me think, others feed my soul, some tickle my fancy, and the rest of you make me chortle.  If I have missed anyone, please feel free to cyber-slap me in the comments section.

P.S.  Do you read a load of blogs like I apparently do?  I highly recommend throwing yourself a frickin bone and utilising Google Reader or Bloglines or the like.  While you’re at it, go ahead and subscribe to me, it’ll do wonders for my unswollen Scottish ego.  Muah.

HF: A Dog’s Life

Haiku FridayIt’s been three weeks now
Since our impulse buy puppy
I still think I’m nuts

Such a cute wee thing
He’s hypoallergenic
And he doesn’t shed

So what have I learned so far?

1. I’d rather potty train a puppy than a toddler
2. I’d rather chase a toddler with contraband than a dog
3. Terrorising a dog is a 4-year-old’s full-time job and mission in life
4. I now know when Cameron has pooped because Toby follows him bouncing around his nappy/diaper
5. I must never say “I need to be more impulsive when I buy things” out loud EVAH again
6. Crate training is easier than I initially thought
7. Whilst sitting on the laundry room floor with the door closed coaxing a small dog into his crate, anything can happen outside of that realm. After a few minutes, I heard Cameron screaming bloody murder for me, obviously unaware of my whereabouts. I leapt from my position, sprinted across the kitchen area and located Cameron beetroot red, in distress and unmistakably butt naked. I located the offensive material on the floor on MY SIDE OF THE BED, and for the most part, it was empty. The contents had been deposited directly onto my carpet. If it wasn’t the dog doing it, it was him. I can’t win.
8. Dog farts stink. Maybe that’s why they’re called Blame Hounds?
9. Puppies will bark at ANYTHING including a shrub moving in the wind, their own shadow and the bloody vacuum
10. This dog has kicked my butt into domestic shape. My floors haven’t been this picked up in months. I hate that dog

HF: We Only Came in For T-shirts

Haiku FridayThe draw of school sales
“Let’s go to the mall” I chirped
First, The Children’s Place

Next stop, Gymboree
Nothing really stood out there
I left and walked on

The pet shop? Our zoo
The kids love to look around
Innocent visit

“Would you like to hold one?” she quipped. Bryan gave me that look. He’d spied the Cairn terrier. “Yeah, how about that little one?” She brought him out and I waved off any fear there was in being roped into a purchase. I held the little scraggy thing and melted, we put him back and wandered off for some Subway dinner and talked. We’d come for t-shirts! Did we really need a dog? We were leaving on a road trip in FOUR days, that would just add to the stress!

I walked back in alone to look at him and think about it. We already have a bird and he’s much more versatile than a dog! I don’t have to worry about a bird if we leave for hours or go on vacation… I like my carpets and couches poop-free and unbitten,

“So what do you think?” she asked, smiling at me like the Grinch. Eventually I said, “alright, let’s do it.” That was a week ago. I must be insane, it’s like having two 18-month olds! His name is Toby and he’s 4 months old. He’s so stinkin’ cute.