Friday, April 30, 2010


When I talk with people about Theo and being unemployed, they usually comment that Theo must be so happy, having me all to himself all day.  The truth is, when I was working Theo wasn't home alone all day.  At least, not every day.  2 or 3 days a week he was in doggy daycare, and with the weekends, he was only ever home alone 2 days a week.  He loves the people that work there, and I'm told he might have even developed a friendship or two with some of the dogs.

I know.  Theo?  Develop relationships with those of the canine persuasion?  Never!  But it's true!

Anyway, the point is that he wasn't some pathetic dog, moping around the house all day, awaiting my return.  And it's not like I'm hanging around the house all day playing fetch with him now.  Job hunting is time consuming!  And with my laptop dying, I'm now stuck in the dreary office, a place neither Theo nor I like spending a lot of time.  Oh, did I mention my laptop inexplicably died?  Yeah, it happened the same week as the death of my car battery, garage door, and Xbox.  No joke. That was a hard week for me.

But that's not the point.  The point is that Theo and I are both adjusting to my new schedule, and I think we're finally getting used to each other, and understanding our needs and wants.  I understand that when I get back from working out in the mornings, Theo needs my full, undivided attention for a good long play session.  Done.  Theo needs to walk just down the street a bit for his first pee of the day, so I don't try and make him come back inside after the first leg lift I see.  Any lunch or bathroom breaks Theo will interpret as "Theo breaks", meaning that he gets attention, either in the form of fetch or a walk.  And, of course, our evening routine hasn't changed.  He still gets a nice, long walk after dinner

Theo understands after breakfast, I need some me time to get ready.  He knows that after I get ready and play with him for a bit longer, I need to get to work, and when I go into the office, that playtime is over.

Yeah, that's pretty much all Theo understands.  He knows when I'm in the office to leave me alone, unless he needs to go out, in which case he lets me know as he usually would.  But anytime I leave for anything, he immediately wakes up and finds a toy for me to throw.  It can be annoying sometimes, but I try to remember that he's probably bored out of his mind.  Which is also why I try and get to the dog park as often as possible.  Theo still won't play with the other dogs, but I think just seeing other dogs interacting is good mental stimulation for him.

Also, a woman in the Corgi meetup group organizes small meet ups on Thursday mornings at different points in the area where we can go for walks, or let the dogs play.  I could never go before, obviously, because I was working, but now that I'm unemployed, we've both been really starting to look forward to our Thursday meetups!  If you ever find yourself in my situation, having a group where both you and your dog can socialize a little is amazingly invaluable.

But it's not all inconveniences and annoyances.  If I have to be unemployed, I'm glad I have Theo around.  He helps me not go completely insane being home alone all day.  I can handle the solitude well enough, but it's nice to be able to completely turn all my attention to something else and get my mind off things.  Whether that's sitting down for a long fetch session, going for a sunny afternoon walk, or hanging at the dog park.

And if anything, I'd say this new arrangement has increased Theo's love and appreciate of Husband.  Funny, right?  It's just the two of us all day, and the minute that Husband walks in the door after work, Theo is all over him.  Play fetch with me, Daddy!  Don't hug Mommy, Daddy!  Watch me catch this, Daddy!  It's adorable.  He loves when his pack is all together.

PS: As requested by my mother, a post without anal gland leakage or diarrhea.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Expressing Himself

Warning to the faint of heart, this post is going to be a doozy.  As in gross.  If you don't currently own a dog, this might scare you off.  If you are so lucky as to be a current dog owner, then, well, let's commiserate, shall we?

So the Husband and I drove up to Monterey last weekend to spend Easter with his family and family friends.  It's a thing.  We decided to bring the little rug rat along, since Rex was going to be there, and any place is an adventure when Theo is involved, right?

Theo is by now pretty experienced with long car rides.  We've driven him to Reno and back several times now, and that's a few hours longer in the car than Monterey, so I wasn't expecting any problems.  So what was wrong this time?  I have no idea!  I think it must have been me.  And I'm not being mopey.  See, I hurt my back last week, a few days before we left.  Jump squats in combination with too much lifting of my Fatty McButterpants of a nephew.  I don't want to talk about it.  Anyway, have you have sat in a car all day with a hurt back?  It was rather excruciating.  So my only guess is that Theo was picking up on my discomfort (read: pain), and added it to his own stress.

Ok, that was a little mopey.

So how do I know Theo was stressed out?  Well first off he kept laying on the floor on the front passenger side, rather than wedging his body on the seat between me and Husband like he usually does.  Second, and more importantly,well...we noticed a smell.  Husband caught a whiff of something he said smelled like fish.  Rotten fish.   He said he thought it was Theo, I said no way it was him, then I smelled my hand, which had been on his butt.  Oh my goodness my hand has never smelled so fowl.

Have you ever heard of dog's having this little thing called anal glands?  They are glands on the rear end of a dog that can secrete some kind of nasty compound.  It's called expressing.  Some breeds get a bit...backed up in the gland area and have to have them expressed by a person.  That's why some dogs drag their butts on the ground. They are trying to relieve the discomfort from needing their glands expressed.  Anyway, from my experience, Corgis are not one of those breeds, and Theo, at least, has never expressed, um, back there.  So we were a bit taken aback that he did it in the car.

And of course he did it in the car, when we were trapped!  For hours!  With that nasty fish smell!  Thank goodness for hand sanitizer and doggy wipes is all I'm going to say on that subject.  That, and I hope you never have to smell the smell.  Ew.  I'm scarred.  For life.  Possibly my next life too.  I'll be a Jungle Princess who at random times smells a mysterious fish smell she can never quite place or identify.  Because by the time I die and get reincarnated the world will have Jungle Princesses.  Mark my words.

In other savory Theo life events...I had another one last night.  Remember that fatty tumor the vet drained a few weeks ago?  He had described it as a waxy buildup, which I didn't understand, since what I was draining was definitely what I would describe as fatty (um, cottage cheese?), and not waxy.  Well, I noticed last night the bump had returned (it was very small), but it was at a head, so like a pimple, I figured I would go ahead and try to pop it and get out any buildup I could.  Well after a couple of squeezes that seemed pretty painful to Theo (poor pup!), and I say seemed because he never verbally complained.  What a trooper!  Anyway, after a few squeezes something popped out that was definitely not cottage cheese!  It looked like a tiny corn kernel.  I showed it to Husband (after I asked him to bring me a paper towel because no way I was going to touch it, ew!), and he reminded me that that was probably the waxy buildup the vet was talking about.  Interesting right?  If you can see past the gross factor.  Poor Theo had a little hole in his skin where the wax had come out.

Husband wanted me to title this post "Wax Balls Under My Dog's Skin".  He might have gotten the idea from me.  But I decided to lead with the expression.

And because I think all things should come in 3s, here's another picture of Theo:

Yup, he's pooping.  Nope, I don't pull any punches on this here weblog.  It's not the best poo shot.  Sometimes his front paws are all the way on top of his back paws, and his back is super hunched.  That's the cutest.  Next time.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bunny Hunter

I'll get to the bunnies in a minute.  First I have to share with you how absolutely hysterical Theo is being right now.  I threw my back out on Tuesday (yes, I'm having just the best week ever), and laying on my stomach is really the only comfortable position for me to be in for extended periods of time.  So right now I'm laying on the floor on my stomach, typing away on my laptop.  Theo, fresh off his after breakfast nap, just came up to me, pulled off my socks, nibbled my feet, jumped on my head a few times, then laid down in a similar position to me, play growling while I gave him my hands to chew on for awhile.  When I went back to the laptop (to blog this here post!), he laid his head down on my legs and now he's taking a nap.

This is owning a Corgi.  When I say Corgis are goofballs, this is what I'm talking about.

A commenter on my last post brought up an excellent point I didn't mention.  Not only does Theo miss the dogs at doggy daycare.  He also misses the humans working there!  He absolutely loves the woman who runs the place, and I miss our conversations when I would come in to pick him up.  I'm sure they miss him as well.  I can't wait to take him back.

Ok, back to your not so regularly scheduled post:

Bunnies.  I know why a bunny is the figurehead for the commercialized Easter.  They are everywhere!  Little jackrabbits with white cottontails.  And Theo has become my little bunny hunter.  I always know when one is close by when I see his ears fly up.  And here's the thing. They are brave!  They don't fly off at the first jingle of Theo's collar.  They hold still, they wait, and when we're almost upon them, that's when they bolt.  This, of course, drives Theo crazy!  If he sees a bunny run somewhere far ahead of him, he watches with interest, but nothing more.  If a bunny bolts right in front of his face, his reaction is to bolt right after it.  It's like he can't help himself.  So it's like these little buggers are baiting him!  I can see it in their bunny eyes!  "A dog is coming!  Wait for it....wait for it....wait for it... RUN!  You're never gonna caaaaaaatch me!"

And did I mention they're everywhere?  My little bunny hunter has been on the prowl all through our walks the last few weeks.  Nevermind an Easter egg hunt, Theo is all about the Easter bunny hunt!