Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Puppy Breath

I held a Corgi puppy on Sunday. Brian. A 13 week black headed tri. Named after the talking dog on Family Guy. One of my favorite shows. He was...*clears heart out of throat*...precious. That seems to be my go-to word for all things infantile, but he truly was.

We were at the dog park for a mini-meetup and there he was. Sitting on the bench with his mama because he didn't quite have all of his shots. She was good enough to bring Brian to the meetup just so we could fawn over him. Ok, actually it was for much better reasons, like socialization! Brian was all aflutter about the doggy commotion going on around him! He was so calm, so quite, so mellow! All in all, the complete antithesis of Theo when he was a puppy. Exhibit A: he sat in my lap quietly, content even, while I pet him for minutes upon minutes! Theo couldn't sit within 2 feet of me without trying to nip my face off when he was a puppy. Not to mention he didn't sit still unless it was to sleep.

But nevermind Theo as a puppy, we're talking about Brian here! I, of course, snagged the prime seat right next to little Brian on the bench as soon as I saw him. A few minutes later he wandered out of him mama's lap and into mine. My heart melted right then and there. He didn't seem frightened or anxious. He just chilled out, watching all the dogs play around him while I gently pet him and cooed how adorable he was. He didn't mind any of it. What a great pup!

My status as Brian's cushion made me quite popular with the other Corgis. Every few minutes one of them would run by, pop up on my legs or the bench, and give Brian a quick sniff hello. They all wanted to welcome him to our close-knit group. I ended up with a Corgi or two on my feet, and Theo, predictably, trying to compete for mommy's attention. At one point I was literally covered in sweet, adorable, goofy Corgis. I may have mentioned something about it being my vision of heaven. I came home from the dog park positively glowing. Tears might have welled up when I recounted the affair to Husband. They might be welling up as I type this. I'll never admit it, though. I am still thinking of Brian and how completely calm, adorable, and tiny he was. Puppies are dangerous, people.

But I learned something that day. Theo, from all experiences so far, which admittedly are very limited, likes Corgi puppies. Theo doesn't like puppies. They're whipper snappers! They jump all over you and nip and don't mind their doggy manners! They need to be told the ways of the world the same way Theo was told when he was a puppy. Like this:

That's how Theo usually acts around puppies. Except when it comes to Corgi puppies. Theo was so calm with Brian, and responded to him with an aloofness that bordered on friendliness! *gasp!* He let Brian sniff his ears! Crazier still, Theo pitched not a single fit to my giving all my love and attention to Brian. Whenever I love on another dog at the dog park, Theo always runs up, growls and barks at me, then gives me a look like he's been betrayed. He's not satisfied until the other dog is gone and I am patting Theo reassuringly that he is my one and only. When Brian was in my lap, Theo jumped up onto the bench, wedged himself between Brian's mama and myself, and calmly laid there. He just laid there! Every few minutes he would sniff Brian's ears, or his nose, or his you-know-what. Then he would stop and just chill out next to him, like there was no place he'd rather be than chilling with this puppy and me. My Theo. The non-chiller.

Crazier still, he seemed to get a bit protective of Brian. When other dogs would come up to say hello (ok, it was mostly Philip), Theo would chase them off! He would snap and bark at them, sometimes even jumping down to the ground to convey his point, until they ran off. He definitely seemed to be saying "look, don't touch you fur-truders!" If he hadn't started acting normal again once Brian was out of my lap, I would have suspected alien abduction and body snatching.

What else is there to conclude except that Theo was enamored of Brian. I was too. Not that I would consider anything but a Corgi for a second dog at this point, but this really drove home the point that Corgis just really love Corgis. There's definitely a camaraderie there that I've never seen him express with another breed. If we were to bring home a puppy, it would have to be a Corgi.

Not that I'm bringing home a puppy anytime soon.

But man do I want to bring home a puppy. Or just steal Brian. I think Theo would be ok with that too.

Oh, and Philip was definitely getting Theo back for his rude behavior last month. Theo might be louder and crabbier, but Philip is definitely faster! He kept giving Theo a challenging look bob of the head and then bolting with a "you're never gonna caaaaaaatch me!" look on his face. Mwhahaha! Payback is a female you, Theo! Also, Philip's owner's commentary during the whole thing was hilarious. All the Corgis were in quite a hilarious mood that day. By far the most fun I've had at a meetup!

So it's that time of year. Thanksgiving! While I wish I could say I'm getting ready to enjoy Theo's second Thanksgiving, I'm actually getting ready to drop him off at the boarding facility. I know. I'm a horrible person. But see, my only sister just had her first baby. She lives on the East Coast. I live on the West Coast. She can't travel with a newborn. I still haven't met my nephew. So guess how this ends? Yep, I'm going to Virginia for Thanksgiving to meet my nephew who is the cutest baby in the whole world! And yes, he's also extremely precious. There will definitely be more tear wellage this week. I hope she's stocked up on tissue. I am such a softy! Unfortunately, since Theo isn't small enough to fit under an airline seat. Or rather, since airline seats haven't been made to take Corgi cabin travel into account (can I write my local representative about this travesty?), that means Theo has to stay behind. He'll be boarded for five whole days. I am trying not to dwell. He'll be fine. We'll miss each other terribly. I just hope he's not too mad at me when I finally pick him up. I'm not completely depriving him of a festive good time. I think I'll try to host a holiday dinner of some kind in the next few weeks. Chanukah perhaps? Get my latke on?

The Theo random acts of cuddlage (I might just have to coin it TRACs if this keeps up!) have continued. Usually it involves snuggling on the couch on top of my favorite blanket (it's Husband's super old, threadbare, and thus super-soft comforter from college. I've promised him a divorce if ever he tries to throw it out behind my back (he's threatened!).), with a full belly, wedged between me and Husband. Now when I try to work out in the mornings, Theo is right there distracting me with wet nose sniffs and exposed soft bellies. How is a girl supposed to whip her butt into shape with that kind of a distraction? I've moved that portion of my morning routine to the gym.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone! Moderation is our friend, for both human and canine alike! And remember to be thankful for your furkids: adorable, troublesome goofballs that they are!

Friday, November 20, 2009

RIP Nemo

My friend and co-worker Mouth just lost his dog, Nemo, this week. It was completely shocking and unexpected and, I expect, rather traumatic. He was only about 3 or 4 years old. In the prime of his youth. Nemo had two other dogs that made up his pack and they must be just devastated to lose one of their own. I know Mouth and his family sure are.

I'm not sure exactly what happened. I don't think they are either. He was having tummy issues, vomiting, followed by some serious lethargy. They took him to the emergency vet, but he passed soon after they arrived. The vet thinks he was exposed to something that sent his body into shock, such as poison or a bug bite. Mouth thinks it's the latter. But it's crazy to me that a dog could live in the same environment for multiple years and never be affected by something until one random day. What was the bug? What was the environmental factor at work!? How can we prevent this to happened to our own furkids?! I just don't know, and I've been giving Theo extra hugs ever since I heard.

Much to his dismay, of course. What teenage boy wants hugs from his maternal figure?

The day I heard, that evening Theo unexpectedly and randomly vomited. It was before he had eaten dinner. Husband and I looked at each other uncertainly. Suddenly a random bout of upchucking had a whole other meaning for us. I tend towards hypochondria, and I overcompensate by always trying to tell myself that whatever it is is fine, and I'm just being a hypochondriac. When Theo is sick, he has to get pretty darn sick before I'll take him to the vet, just because adolescents get sick. It happens. And the vet can never do anything besides give him fluids and send me on my way. Right? Well this time the overcompensation didn't kick in. I didn't rush him to the vet for throwing up, but Husband and I both kept a very close eye on him for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, he was fine. No other symptoms reared their ugly head, and we rested easy. But what a time to decide to blow chunks!

Nemo was often a companion on our outings the last 2 years. He loved to play with other dogs, play fetch, and prance around on his goofy little legs. He was adorable and a joy. I will miss him terribly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A New Kind Of Giveaway

Kelly over at Corgi Butts, graphic artist extraordinaire, is doing a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers on Blogger. Wow, what an accomplishment! I was amazed when I got 10. Hehe. What's she giving away? Her graphic artist extraordinaire skillz! Awesome! You can win either a custom blog header or a custom illustration you can use through cafe press to purchase merchandise. Here's the catch, you have to decide which you want if you win! Ack!

I'm not too worried about it, since I have yet to ever win a blog giveaway, but if I lived in an alternate reality where I did ever win anything, which would I choose? I have no idea! They both sound awesome! I mean, a custom blog header would be great. Kelly's blog header is totally adorable. But...at the same time, I like my blog header. I love that picture of Theo's tushy when he was a pup. Then again, if it's custom, maybe I can still keep the picture but with other better stuff. Or I could go for the illustration. Of course that would mean spending countless hours debating which picture of Theo I would want illustrated. I may be too indecisive for that. On the other hand, how cool would it be to buy stuff that has Theo's mug on it?

Decisions! Decisions!

Anyway, head over to Kelly's blog to enter a chance to win yourself! Corgi ownership is not required!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Foot Warmer

I don't think I've mentioned before, but Theo has a thing for sitting on people's feet. I've never had a dog do this to me, but when I'm out with Theo on our evening walk, when we stop to chat with a person, Theo will walk over to the person, turn around, and do this kind of lazy backwards fall onto their feet. You know the one, where he just kind of slowly lets his booty skooch back until it hits something. Nine times out of ten the person melts, and then leans down to pet him. Yep, he's got them all pegged. When the person has a dog with them, Theo will do this sort of sniffing dance, where he'll pretend like he's walking around the dog to sniff his/her butt, but really it's so he can get to the owner's feet (without the dog going postal on him). As soon as he's there, he loses all interest in the other dog. What a tricksssssy dog he is!

There are a few of my neighbors (dog owners of course) who Theo genuinely adores. When he sees them, he will run up to them and practically fling his body onto their feet. Why? So they can love on him of course! They know just where the good scratching spots are, and he's all over it. Usually if we stick around talking long enough (more than a minute), he'll lose interest, get up and move somewhere away from us, and wait not so patiently for our conversation to be over.

Has anyone else seen the foot sit before? I wish I had a picture of it, but I don't take my camera on our walks, plus it's dark out. It's pretty hilarious when it happens to someone for the first time. They kind of go "Oh! There's a dog on my foot!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Word Verification Enabled

Some idiot has been spamming my posts. I was hoping it would go away, but it didn't, so I've had to enable word verification. I'm very annoyed by this because I hate word verification. I think it's a pain in the butt, and never thought it needed. Why does some jack arses always have to ruin it for everyone?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fresh New Attitude

So Theo has been on his new Deli Fresh diet for 3 weeks now, and the change has been unreal. We buy the slice and serve logs (we've tried both the turkey and chicken flavors, which are actually very similar, and Theo of course loves both), slice up about 1/3 of a pound twice a day, cut it into pieces, throw it in his bowl, and that's it! No cooking chicken, no cooking rice, no chopping vegetables, no shopping for multivitamins online because the pet stores for some reason never seem to carry anything that's not for joint health. It's fast, it's easy, and the price isn't that bad. Our local Petco sells it for $15/6lb log. We feed Theo ~2/3 lb per day, so it lasts about a week. $15 a week on food, while definitely not as cheap as kibble, by no means breaks my bank. Especially after seeing his reaction to it.

What I like about this food is that it's the closest thing to real whole food I've found (minus real whole food, of course). When you slice into it you see the bits of carrots and rice. It's the color of chicken, it smells like chicken, it feels like chicken, though processed. It's plainly clear that this is real food that's been cooked and then tightly packed into the log form, rather than torched and compressed like charcoal, a la kibble. I feel like I'm feeding my dog real food which makes me feel good.

Then there was Theo's reaction to the food. I wish I could somehow convey how dramatic the change was. Husband, Mr. I don't want to pay that much for food we can make ourselves, was 100% convinced after observing Theo on this diet for a week. No complaints. No hesitation about going back and buying more. Phew! It wasn't just the extra energy. And Theo had a ton of extra energy. (For about a week there our nightly walks turned into nightly runs. He had so much extra energy to burn that he would just run run run! Good thing I'm in shape!) It was his attitude. He was happy. He was cuddling with us, something he never does. He'd let me pet him whenever I wanted, something he never ever ever does! He was playing by himself, something he never does. And his facial expressions always held a smile.

He's since calmed down a bit. He's back to walking on our walks. And he only cuddles when we're eating. But that pep in his step is still there. There's no doubt it was the switch in food. So, of course, I would recommend Deli Fresh to anyone, and I'm heartily grateful it was recommended to me! (Thanks Philip's owner!)

As random aside: apparently Theo loves Golden Spoon frozen yogurt as much as I do. They have a pumpkin pie flavor this month that is so fantastic Husband and I got a quart of it on Halloween (they were having a special for $5, ooooh yeah!). Theo was eying my bowl big time when I was having some last night, so when I was finished, I put the bowl on the floor to let him have the melty bits. Now, if you'll recall, Theo is a big fat chicken who is scared of dishware. Usually when we try this, he backs away and looks longingly but warily at it. This time after his usual initial hesitation, he went for it! That's how badly he wanted some. I can't say I blame him. That pumpkin pie flavor is darn good! Too good, in fact! I've never eaten this much frozen yogurt in my life!

And in other Theo's exciting life news, we actually made it to the dog park, yeesh, two weekends ago. Man, it's been awhile since I updated, huh? In my defense, I was in St. Louis last week. Anyway, it had been forever since we had seen our other Corgi friends and Theo was very excited. I tried taking him to the dog park a few weeks ago, and he had none of it. He just laid there and looked bored. But with his Corgi friends around, he actually played a little bit! It's crazy, I know.

Of course, the picture here is not Theo playing. That's Theo bullying Philip. As I've said before, Theo is usually sweet and submissive with other dogs, but when he encounters a more submissive dog, sometimes he becomes a real bully. Philip is one such pup. It doesn't help that he's so people friendly. Every time I tried to take his picture, Philip would run up and wedge his head between my face and the camera as if to say "Nevermind pictures when you could be petting me!" I am more in love with that dog every time I see him. Yeah, that could be why Theo doesn't let him get anywhere near me. Heh. Fortunately, Philip has the most easy going personality of any living creature I've ever seen. So he's totally unphased make these kinds of faces at him. I wouldn't be so unphased. That's for sure. You can view the rest of the mini meetup photos here. I haven't had a chance to upload them all, but that's most of 'em.

Have you heard about the new dog flu virus that's going around: H3N8? Apparently it's serious enough that my doggy daycare is requiring Theo to be vaccinated by next week. That was fast! I don't even get myself vaccinated for flus. Yet another way in which Theo is better treated than his owners. Hehe. Is anyone else getting their little ones vaccinated?