Not Exactly Midas

Mom is in a mood, so I convinced her to let me write the post this week. I don’t know why she’s so miffed, we just had a lovely walk through the neighborhood. A “cold” front blew through yesterday afternoon and it was only in the low 70s with hardly any humidity. That is almost unheard of in these parts at the end of June! First an adorable picture of me, how can one be upset with this face to look at?

Louie being adorable!

Louie being adorable!

She giggled but still is muttering about tech support and judging by her language, some insurance company certainly has not been like a good neighbor! She also keeps saying, “be bullish my eye” and I think that’s calling B.S. on bulls or something. Ba-dum-bum! Mom always likes a good pun so every now and then I perform the “3-Legged Stool” where I find some particularly tall grass and do my “business” while standing only on 3 legs. Get it? 3-Legged stool? I’ll be here all week, folks, be sure to tip your waitstaff well. Thank goodness it’s Sunday or she’d be ranting about the lack of tech support at work.

Always ready to offer wise counsel

Always ready to offer wise counsel.

Wow, the dryer stopped 10 seconds after the washer, how often does that happen? Of course had mom put the fitted sheet in with the rest of the linens that she washed in the first load, she wouldn’t have had to do the second load at all. She didn’t seem too upset about that because it was me who distracted her from the fitted sheet to begin with. As she was pulling it off the last corner of the mattress, I leaped on the bed to help her and also to get a belly rub. We played for a few minutes and she got up and tossed the other linens in the wash without even once looking at the fitted sheet balled up on the corner of the bed.

Sort of like with this week’s blog post; she had originally planned to write about the new Thundershirt she bought me on account of I’m afraid of thunderstorms. But it hasn’t thundered once since she bought it. I have worn it several times and it seems quite comfortable and you must admit, I look smokin’ hot in it! I sure hope it helps keep me from trembling so much during a storm, I’m sure mom will keep you posted.

Too sexy for my shirt!

Too sexy for my shirt!

My advice to mom is to chillax, maybe have a glass of wine with lunch. Really, is the lack of tech support going to be the downfall of America? Hmmm, she’s not convinced it won’t be LOL! We do have birthday felicitations to send to Auntie Nantz who is younger than ever! Please tell Ms. Zen Kitty I said, “woof!!” Then there is mom’s best birthday present ever (I was a Christmas present) her nephew Chase Alan hits the big double digits tomorrow, while mom celebrates yet another anniversary of her 35th birthday ! Happy, happy birthday to everyone!

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” ~Ben Williams

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Ridges & Whorls

The first thing I noticed about Louie when we met 6 months ago was his beautiful topaz colored eyes. The second thing I noticed was the ridge of hair between his eyes and down his snout and wondered how he wasn’t cross-eyed.

See the ridge of fur on my snout?

See the ridge of fur on my snout?

It wasn’t long until I noticed he has little whorls of hair on his front legs. Little spirals of hair growing like some crazy, canine crop circle. He also has little vertical ridges where his hair grows in opposite directions. You can also see the ridge of white hair growing down his chest and belly.

Did aliens create these circles?

Did aliens create these circles?

One thing I didn’t really notice until this last bath was the ridge of hair going down his back. Louie has some wiry hair like a terrier, but that hair is concentrated around his neck and shoulders with a narrow strip going down the top of his back like a Mohawk haircut. The hair on his flanks is very smooth and soft.

My crazy hair and natural Mohawk!

My crazy hair and natural Mohawk!

I went back and looked at the pictures I took when he first came here and it wasn’t really noticeable because his hair was all brushed down plus he needed a bath and lots of brushing. He was shedding so bad back then, I could’ve made three more Louies from all the fur that came off of him.

December 2013, my Mohawk wasn't very pronounced

December 2013, my Mohawk wasn’t very pronounced

It’s amazing what six months of good food and grooming will do for a boy’s hair. I do feed Louie a high quality food and try to give him snacks that were entirely made in the USA. Some snacks labeled “Made in the USA” contain ingredients sourced from other countries and I try to avoid those for Louie. I think when Louie gets his next bath, I will have the groomer trim around his neck and shoulders for a more consistent, polished look. Plus summertime is here and it’s hot and muggy! Getting some of that hair off will make him more comfortable and oh, so handsome!

I wasn't clipped like this, it's my natural hair.

June 2014, I wasn’t clipped like this, it’s my natural hair.

“Dogs are how people would be if the important stuff is all that mattered to us.” ~ Ashly Lorenzana

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Walking with Louie

Louie is an absolute joy to walk with. He walks at a good pace and only stops a few times to do his business. The other day his pace was so fast, we knocked off about three minutes from our 40 minute walk. I think there has only been one day in our nearly six months together that we didn’t go for a walk.

My ray of sunshine!

My ray of sunshine!

I really should take a camera with me when we walk because every now and then he’ll do something totally goofy. One morning we were on a street where there is only 20-25 feet between driveways (this is the burbs, but these lots are particularly narrow) and he dipped his left shoulder down and went into a combination roll/slide down the entire length of the easement. He got up, took a good shake and continued walking as if he had done nothing out of the ordinary. I was hysterical, it was so funny and even if I had had a camera, I wouldn’t have been quick enough to catch that little stunt. He did it again the next day in the same spot, but with a little less enthusiasm. Now, he doesn’t give that patch of grass a second glance.

This toy didn't last long!

This toy didn’t last long!

Another day we were walking around a cul-de-sac and Louie found a black bra beside the driver’s side rear tire of a Corolla. Louie likes to play with bras, he grabbed it and tossed it in the air. Again, I was hysterical trying to get it away from him. I had to quit hanging my bras on the door knob to dry, he’d play with them there stretching and pulling until he got it off the door knob and then drag it out into the living room and chew it. It’s much cheaper to replace toys he chews than my unmentionables.

Two days after Louie came home to live

Two days after Louie came home to live

We’re coming up on six months since Louie came here to live. He certainly has come a long way from the skinny little dog who was sort of shy, but never seemed afraid of anything (except riding in the car, that’s getting better). He’s gained about 12 lbs. despite our walking most every day he’s been here. We probably average half an hour, but there were some cold, snowy days that we pretty much just walked around the block. I’ve always like to walk, but walking with Louie is much more fun than walking alone. And it is easier to take him for a walk than it is to deal with his constant, “is it time to go for our walk” schtick!

“I don’t understand people who don’t touch their pets. Their cat or dog is called a pet for a reason.
” ~ Jarod Kintz

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The Nose Knows

Toucan Sam always told us to “follow your nose” so when this stench began wafting off of Louie 10 days after he had a bath, I starting sniffing him. At first, I thought he had rolled in something, maybe where a cat had sprayed, and I wiped him down with some green tea wipes. He still stunk. I had smelled his ears several times and the smell didn’t really seem to be coming from there, but I caught a whiff of the stench on my thumb after I had just rubbed it on the underside of his ear.  I tried cleaning his ears (and feet, because they also get yeasty) with a white vinegar, peroxide and water solution, but I could still smell the stench Monday, so I called the vet.

It wasn't anything I rolled in

It wasn’t anything I rolled in

Sure enough, he had a little yeast infection in his right ear. She prescribed Mometamax drops for the next week and they seem to be helping. He’s going to need another bath once we’re done with the drops because the fur around his ear is greasy where some of the medicine has drained out while he sleeps. I wipe it with a warm washcloth, but it’s going to take a bath to get him looking handsome again.

I didn't have stinky breath, either

I didn’t have stinky breath, either

I have been quite remiss in posting to the blog. I really have no excuse other than after such a dreadful Cackalacky winter, we are having a very nice spring and I have accomplished a few onerous tasks over these weeks I haven’t posted. Louie has been his usual inspiring self, but I have lacked motivation to come back here and put his exploits into words. I’ll try and do better. I do want to link to this article in the Washington Post about dog play. Scientists are beginning to see what we’ve known all along, dogs  experience different emotions, much as humans do.

Not quite in "play bow" but close

Not quite in “play bow” but close

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” ~ Marilyn Monroe

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Happy Easter!

For Easter, we bring you live action with Louie. Apologies for the camera operator and I hope you don’t get seasick. Both videos are about a minute long and I hope show a little of why Louie is such a character.

King of the heap!

King of the heap!

We had a great Easter weekend and hope all of you did, too.

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Happy Spring!

I remember taking the picture below at the end of March. It was the first ray of sunshine that had appeared after many days of rain (I lost count). The camera happened to be on the kitchen table and I was able to get this picture before the cloud covered that one sliver of sunshine. It’s only natural that happened to glance off of my Mister Sunshine, who feels more at home every single day.

Sunshine at last!

Sunshine at last!

Penny joined us for a few days earlier this month. She’s the chiweenie who lives around the corner. Louie loves going to her house and he’s always been quite the gentleman when Penny and her human mom visit our house. But when Penny’s mom left, Big Lou became quite territorial, especially where I was concerned. He adjusted by acting silly and macho for the duration.

Louie and Penny in really bad light!

Louie and Penny in really bad light!

When they were alone together, everything was fine, but when I was around, Louie  constantly jumped up on me or over Penny. I had to stand between them at feeding time because even though Louie had a bowlful of food, he wanted hers. Penny more than held her own, she tolerated a great deal, but she would snarl at him when she had had enough of him.

Deck jumper!

Deck jumper!

The Friday afternoon that Penny was here was the first day since I had Louie that I didn’t take him for a walk. They ran around the back yard and yapped at all the other dogs in the neighborhood while I drank a beer and yapped with the neighbors. It had been a long week and I was whupped, but Louie scared me half to death when he ran onto the deck, jumped up on the bench and flew over the rail like he was setting a world record for the long jump. The top rail of the deck is about 7′ off the ground, but the ground slopes up, so Louie didn’t drop that far, but I had visions of broken Louie legs. He didn’t miss a beat and continued down to the end of the fence to yap with backyard neighbor Nahla. Quite honestly, I had two beers after seeing that.

It's spring!

It’s spring!

Louie settled down after Penny went home, but she’s going to come back next month. I hope to get some training for us between now and then.  I say “us” because I’m sure I need the training at least as much as he does. Louie is a good dog, but I want to have a command where he will stop instantly and come when I call. We live on a busy street, should he ever get loose, I need him to come when I call. But in the meantime, we are reveling in the spring. Even though there is yellow pollen everywhere, it isn’t snow and the weather is warm! Happy spring, at last!

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” ~ Charles de Gaulle

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March Madness

At the risk of offending Southern Baptists, here on Tobacco Road college basketball is an official religion. It is a magical time of year when fans vie for bragging rights as the players scramble for the ACC Banner and an invitation to “The Big Dance.” Loyalty to your family’s college team is right up there with God, Family and Country. So imagine my surprise when I, a devout UNC fan thought my new best friend might be an NCSU fan.

I'll chew on a stick while you watch hoops

I’ll chew on a stick while you watch hoops

Growing up, the Carolina v. State rivalry was the biggest rivalry in the ACC, but since State hasn’t fared so well the past couple of decades, I sort of root for them if they aren’t playing Carolina. I became an official NCSU fan when they beat the Orange Scourge during the ACC Tourney last weekend, it was the balm that calmed Carolina’s loss to the Yankee interlopers from Pitt.

Tyler Lewis

NCSU’s Tyler Lewis

Louie watched most of this curled up beside me with his eyes shut except during the NCSU v. Syracuse game and he seemed as excited as I was that the Wolfpack was doing so well. I started watching Tyler Lewis thinking if he had Topaz colored eyes, he’d be close to what I imagine Louie would look like as a human. Right down to being 5’11” exactly the height Louie is in my mind. Then it hit me, Tyler Lewis. Lewis/Louie, no wonder my dog identified with NCSU, or so I thought.

Louie getting some love from Va Tech Hokies!

Louie getting some love from Va Tech Hokie fans!

NC State lost the next day to Duke, but it was good enough to get them an invite to NCAA Tournament. They beat a very good team from Xavier to secure the #12 seed in the Midwest. They suited up against St. Louis and played beautiful basketball for 35 minutes. NC State was up by 14 with 5 minutes left and managed to lose by 3 in overtime. I looked at Louie, and asked, “Dude, what happened to your team?” He stared at me with those golden eyes until it hit me, Saint Louis. This made perfect sense as given the choice between mere mortal Tyler Lewis and a Saint Louis, I’d pick the saint every time.

I'm a Cardinal!

I’m a Cardinal or maybe just a good prognosticator!

I held this theory until Saturday when I noticed that St. Louis was tipping off against the Cardinals and I finally figured it out. Louie is a Louie-ville Cardinals fan. Or maybe he’s just telling me who will win that first Monday in April, in which case I wish we had had this conversation while I was filling out my brackets. Also, this house is Carolina blue (and WCU purple and gold) so if he’s expecting any Cardinal red do-dads, he is going to be mighty disappointed.  May your March be filled with mayhem and madness of the most marvelous kind! Go Tarheels!

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. ” ~ Archie Griffen

 

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Dog and Stick

Louie loves to play with sticks and pine cones when he goes out in the backyard and I don’t mind letting him run around with a stick, but I have started pulling it away from him if he settles down to chew on it. A stick can cut a dog’s mouth, splinter and get stuck in his throat or even cause an intestinal blockage. None of this is good for your dog or your wallet! Louie doesn’t really chew on the stick like he does a bully stick or an antler, but he does have fun trying to keep me from getting the stick.

The stick is MINE!

The stick is MINE!

He doesn’t grab sticks or pine cones on our walks, but he likes the long sticks that have fallen in the backyard over the winter. He had one that was a good 7′ long that he was dragging around the yard. It was an absolute howl to watch.

This gives you an idea of how long the stick was.

This gives you an idea of how long the stick was.

For awhile, he would grab it at the end as in the picture below and then run in a circle as the other end of the stick barely moved. He wised up though, and grabbed it in the middle and pranced around like a Flying Wallenda. I was heading back into the house to grab a camera when I saw him picking up steam as he headed for two pine trees that were only 5 or 6′ apart . . . with the middle of that 7′ stick in his mouth . . .

100_1053It was like everything switched to slow motion, both ends of the stick hit the pine trees and broke off, Louie looked a little dazed for a few seconds and then dashed through the trees with the remainder of the stick in his mouth and dared me to take it away from him. He seemed none the worse for wear and tear, but he really did slam into those trees.

Say no to this look!

Say no to this look!

I have to admit I nearly collapsed laughing so hard, but that’s what I love best about having a dog. They make you laugh every single day. Louie is a born comedian and as long as he doesn’t try and eat the stick, I’ll continue to let him play with them.

“Every dog must have his day.” – Jonathan Swift

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Crazy Weather (Again!)

Yesterday my thermometer told me it was 72 degrees on my deck.  It was a beautiful day and Louie and I took advantage of the mild day to take a long walk through the neighborhood. There were about a half a dozen kids who came running toward Louie wanting to pet him and he just reveled in the attention. Louie is good with most everyone, but he seems to particularly enjoy children, which is great. Even at 7:30 this morning it was still about 52 degrees on my deck. Now a scant 12 hours later, it is a miserable 26 degrees with ice pellets and a thin layer of ice everywhere.

Louie catching some rays!

Louie catching some rays!

I took Louie to get a bath on Friday and for the first time he willingly jumped in the car when it was time to go home. I had to pick him up and put him on the back seat when we went to Hidden Valley Friday morning. I could tell he had gained weight but I was pretty surprised to learn he had gained about 7 lbs. in 9 weeks! He now weighs just under 40 lbs. which is probably the ideal weight for him.

Positively beguiling!

Positively beguiling!

Louie and I were snuggled up on the couch Saturday morning and even though he was clean, I noticed he still has his own distinctive doggie smell. Louie gets an oatmeal bath and no perfume when he visits the groomer, so his natural scent wafts off of him, especially when he’s all curled up and warm. He smells like a tub of slightly stale popcorn. It’s not at all unpleasant, and Louie is a hound mix and hounds tend to have more of a natural odor than other breeds. It is important to recognize the different smells that come off your dog. Unpleasant smells may indicate an ear infection or a dental problem. Louie yawns right in my face and several times a week I deliberately take a whiff just to make sure everything smells normal. So far, so good!

Love the fu manchu!

Love the fu manchu!

Spring is what, 16 days away? I can hardly wait. After I dropped off Louie Friday morning, I stopped at the store and picked up a bouquet of hyacinth because it smelled so good. I added some tulips for good measure and it’s nice to have the smell of spring in my house as I look at the ice skating rink my deck has become. Typical of our weather, it’s going to be sunny and in the 50s this weekend. In the meantime, stay warm and take a whiff around your dog’s ears just to be sure everything smells alright.

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” ~ Charles M. Schultz

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Cackalacky Winter

I sure am ready for spring, but Louie really seems to enjoy the snow. We have been safely ensconced in our Shoeful of Drool kennel. We hunkered down at home before the snow started yesterday and we’ve had no problems at all. We got 3-4″ of snow, then it rained last night and this morning, then it snowed again today. It is one huge mess out there!

Action shot of Louie running

Action shot of Louie running

It’s hard to believe yesterday Louie and I took our constitutional about 10:30 a.m. and it was completely dry. Cold as the dickens, but dry. I was bundled up good, so we went for a long walk through the Brittany neighborhood, which Louie had never walked through. I figured (correctly) that we wouldn’t be taking a long walk today, so the extra hills were good for both of us. We came home and it started snowing about 12:30. It was coming down fast and heavy. I took these pictures around 4:00 and we had a good 3″ in this part of the county.

Louie and Fasa at the fence

Louie and Fasa at the fence

Carlin and Mike, my other neighbors (who have the wintry last name of “Slusher”) had gone to Virginia earlier in the week to go  snowboarding. They took Bourbon and Kenzie with them, along with their son Vance. They were coming home yesterday and after six hours in the car, they were still about 40 miles from home and going nowhere fast so they did pull over and check into a motel.  I haven’t heard all the details, but I don’t think anyone got a whole lot of sleep. They got home about 9:30 this morning and I was relieved to see them.

Louie digging the snow!

Louie digging the snow!

The snow yesterday was pretty and we spent about half an hour or so out in it. Louie ventured out on his own after supper last night and ran a couple of laps. Even this morning about 5 a.m. Louie went out after breakfast and putzed around for about ten minutes. The snow had long switched to a drizzly rain by then and I could hear the crunch of the ice layer that had formed on top of the snow when Louie went down the steps.

Stick or warm house? Decisions, decisions!

Stick or warm house? Decisions, decisions!

It started to snow again around lunchtime today, big fat wet snowflakes. I knew Louie wanted his walk, so on with the boots, earmuffs and jacket. We didn’t walk, we marched. The snow falling was pretty, but what was on the ground was a slushy mess that had frozen over. We didn’t walk very far and I was very glad to see Louie do his bidness so we could turn around and head back home. I hope everyone is warm safe and dry. Tomorrow will be about 40 degrees and most of this will melt and by Tuesday it’ll be in the 60s again and 70 by Thursday. Just one of the more positive aspects of a Cackalacky winter.

“Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” –Jeff Valdez

 

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