TO TRIM OT NOT TO TRIM

before haircut

BEFORE

I’ve known men who were hairy. Some who could take a comb to their arms or legs or backs. But I’d never seen hair on a male’s penis until I had a boy dog. Chewy is my first pet who needs grooming. That is, he has hair that grows, not fur. I’ve put off taking him to a groomer and use my own scissors to snip the hair on his cute Yorky face, hair that would otherwise be in his eyes.

For six months since I brought Chewy home, I’ve watched him develop a real beard, something akin to a lion’s mane next to his ears, and a beautiful silky coat that is a pleasure to touch. What I keep noticing with concern, however, is the one inch long tuft of hair that hangs down from his little penis. Sometimes when I’m rubbing his tummy, I have the distinct feel of something oily and not too pleasant smelling. I figure it’s leaked from that adorable tuft of hair.

I can’t blame Chewy. He spends a lot of time cleaning himself every morning and at other times when there’s nothing else to do.

There’s no way I have the guts to trim that myself. One wrong move and I’d have a lot of explaining to do to the vet. Does one ask the groomer to cut penis hair? Is it a routine part of the package, just like cleaning out the anal glands and trimming the claws?

I guess I could look on some Yorky website, but those folks who adore their pure-bred canines would certainly find me odd. Like who cares about a part Yorky, part Chihuahua, part who-knows-what mutt?

I could Google “hair on dog penis,” but I fear what pictures might come up.

I suppose I could get out the wipes or a wet towel and clean him off after every walk, but I’d really rather not get into the habit of touching my dog in a way that could be considered fondling. So I guess I’ll wait until I get to the groomer and just ask casually, “So is it customary to cut the penis hair?” I may look like an idiot, but only once.

P.S. I needn’t have worried. The groomer smiled and said, “Yes, that’s all part of the ‘Sanies’ or personal trim, which includes shaving the hair on his butt.”

AFTER:

after haircut

 

Therapy Dog

knee recovery

In March I got a new knee. Yeah, the kind that requires two nights in the hospital, a mountain of opioids, and a lot of TLC. Chewy was a great therapy dog. During the first couple of weeks when I spent a lot of time on the bed, he was right there beside me. He was such a comfort, I relaxed all my rules and had him sleeping under the covers with me! I knew full well I’d have to retrain him to his own bed, but it was worth it.

Every day (still!) I have to do my #@$% stretching exercises. This one is called the Ottoman Hang. Perhaps it’s not named for what was in Turkey before it was Turkey, but rather for the hassock-like piece of furniture you can hang your foot on. In any case, to me it is an evil warlord–very painful to have my hamstrings stretched by the weight of my leg for ten minutes at a time. As you can see, Chewy does his part–that is adding to the weight by sitting on my stomach and leaning on the leg. It’s our new daily activity.

Doggie Aid

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I haven’t wanted to eat and moving hurts too much. Ellie takes me out for a walk, but it is so much easier to just sit down. One foot really is hurting me. I howl at Ellie after she turns off the lights at night. I howl when she goes out. I howl when people come in, but nothing changes.

Then Ellie gets up in the morning and mutters to herself as she moves around the house. I pee on the floor before she can put me outside. So she stops and cleans that up. Then she’s in the hall bathroom making lots of noise. She comes looking for me, picks me up, and puts me down into the bathtub in some warm water. I would rather not have a bath, thank you very much. But the water just comes up to my tummy and she doesn’t do the usual scrubbing with soap and bubbles. She just strokes my back and keeps me from falling down. I relax a little, but then I’m ready to be out of there.

Ellie lifts me out of the tub, without much cooperation from me. I just want to get away, wagging all my legs like I’m still in the water and swimming. She dries me off with the usual big towels. While she’s drying me and I’m struggling, she handles my sore foot again and I hear a loud, “Yes! The water loosened it up!” She holds on tight and I howl as she pulls something that’s stuck to my paw. Finally she lets me go.

That was a few days ago. Whatever was making my foot hurt is gone. I can walk and jump again, although I still fall down a lot. Most days I’m doing my peeing and other stuff outside and that makes me feel like jumping for joy.

I love it when Ellie knows what I need! Time for a long nap…

PEE ZONES

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It used to be that my favorite part of my daily walks involved leaving my mark on all the important places in the neighborhood–that bush at the edge of our lawn, a big rock at the entrance to a house around the corner, newly wet weeds and grass. Hey, you other dogs, Foxy’s here! Not so much anymore. Nowadays I am happy to be able to let it all go when the urge strikes, which is usually as soon as I get outside.

Several times a day, Ellie picks me up, carries me down the steps, puts me on the grass in the back yard and says, “Go pee.” If I was sleeping when she picked me up, it takes me a while to get with it, but I know what she wants and it usually sounds like a good idea. So I yawn a couple of times and then here you go, let me make your day. Other times she puts the leash on me and carries me down the front steps so we can take our walk. We take a short cut across the front lawn to the sidewalk.

I usually pee as soon as I get to our lawn.  Now it’s mostly dirt along that path. Not long ago, I saw Ellie  scattering something over the bare ground, covering it with some dirt from a bag, then sprinkling it with the watering can.

I like to walk on the soft grass in front of most houses we pass, so sometimes I wait to pee at one of those, often without even sniffing to see if someone else has marked a juicy spot.  One day we were rounding a corner and I was on the grass  doing my thing when a man came out the front door and said something unkind to Ellie. I didn’t get the words, but she answered him in a downcast way. I’m not sure what that was about, but since then, she usually pulls me off the grass of that yard.

Not so today. We were doing our usual walk and I was enjoying the release of letting it all go on that lawn–ahh, I love my walks–when I heard the sound of the house’s garage door starting. Ellie jumped and pulled me, mid-pee, onto the sidewalk, leaving me quite unsatisfied and dribbling all over myself and the sidewalk. She scooted me down the walkway to the corner. I saw her turn to look back at that house and then she hurried me around the corner. Humans are such a mystery!

Foxy’s Wild Ride

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The ride to the beach wasn’t that bad. I fell asleep and then suddenly we were there at a house on top of a hill. The wind was big and cold. Ellie brought me into a strange house, lights and music everywhere. We walked around and checked out the rooms. Even with my fur coat, it was cold in there. I saw some steps going down a dark passage, but we didn’t go that way. I heard Ellie mumble about “wood” and “go to the store.” She packed me back in the car and we drove a short distance to a parking lot.

Ellie left me in the car but returned after a little while with groceries and a big bundle  that smelled like trees. We drove up the hill to the house and she brought me inside. Then she went back out and closed the door. I heard her grumble and push on the door from the outside, but who could figure humans, so I wandered around and found a rug to curl up on to try and keep warm.

Ellie was gone for a while, but there’s nothing unusual about that. I smelled someone else in the house and a strange man came up the steps from the cavern below. He stomped around while I hid in the room with the bed. Then the front door opened and I heard Ellie.

“Thanks for coming to let me in,” she said.

“The slider was wide open,” the guy said loudly to Ellie. It sounded like a scold–no treat for you, lady.

She answered, “Hey, I didn’t open it! Did you see the dog?”

“I didn’t see any dog,” he said. I saw Ellie run in, panic all over her face until she saw me. “Are you OK, boy?” she asked. All I could think was, I’m fine but could you warm this place up and give me my dinner?

Ellie made a fire in the stove in the main room and it got a little warmer. We had dinner and then she took me for a walk outside. The cold wind was blowing like crazy and I kept falling down the hill. I couldn’t see the ground in front of my nose. She kept picking me up and carrying me like a baby back up the hill. Yuck. I was glad to return to the house and find my bed.

The next day she moaned and groaned while she packed up the car and we were off to another house not too far away. This house was nice and warm inside and there was a glass door in the bedroom so I could watch the grass and the wind and the ocean from my bed. I even got to see some big four legged creatures with stand-up ears like mine. We stayed at this house for a few days, only going out for my walks, which were pretty easy in the daytime, because the ground was flat. At night it was still really dark and hard to see where I was going, but it was less windy than up on the hill.

Ellie spent all her time, when she wasn’t cooking, sitting at the table in the big room and clicking the keys of her writing machines. She seemed to enjoy herself. I had a lot of nice naps in between my meals, walks, and wandering around the house.

When it was time to go, Ellie put everything in the car and took me for one last walk. Then I was in the car too, in the back seat as usual, but I felt trapped. I couldn’t just sit there, so I jumped to the front seat next to Ellie. I missed the seat and landed on the floor, where she had put some coats and a box of tissues. I climbed back up on the seat, but then needed to get out of there, so I jumped to the back. I did this a few more times, then thought I might try the part of the car where Ellie was sitting. She was talking to me in a calm voice this whole time, making her “shhhhh” noises. The world was rushing by outside the windows. So I jumped onto her lap. The car slowed  and suddenly stopped with a jerky motion. Ellie made grumpy noises, then picked me up and moved me back to the other front seat. I was panting happily, drooling all over.

The car started up again and I jumped to the back seat. I tried jumping onto her lap again, but she held up her arm when I was in the front seat, so I couldn’t get there. She stopped the car again and scolded me. “No, Foxy. That’s dangerous! No more car trips for you, buddy.”

By this time, I was pretty tired, so I curled up in the back and went to sleep. Soon we were back in Napa and I watched the unpacking. It was a relief to crawl into my bed in its familiar place. So much for vacation. I’m happier at home. I think Ellie is too.

I WALK THE LINE

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From the front lawn I leave Ellie in the dust and run straight to the door. As soon as she gets the door open–sure wish I could do that myself– I race down the hall, slipping and sliding on the wood floor, and skid to a stop on the rug in the TV room. That’s  near my food bowl and I like to check it often to see if anything new has turned up. Then I trot back to the bedroom and lie down. Or go through Ellie’s office and down the other hallway to the front room or the garage. Most of my walking is back and forth between the bedroom and the kitchen. If that floor was more like the dirt in the woods, I’d have worn a path into it by now.

At night I’m not sure where I want to be. Ellie is in her bed and the lights are out. I look around the bedroom, not seeing much. I walk to my water bowl in Ellie’s bathroom and give it sniff. I step out into the open space by the front door. What now? Where to? I saunter into the kitchen, sniff my food bowl, walk around the sofa. Do I want to go out through my door? Not really. Check the food bowl again–empty. Everything else the way it should be here, I walk back to the bedroom. Click, click, click, my claws mark my pace. I walk in, hear Ellie sleeping, check out my beds–the old one I never use any more, the comfy one that smells like me and is lumpy and ripped, and something new that Ellie keeps throwing treats on. It’s thick and spongy, hard for me to walk on. None of them seems very interesting, so I walk back out to see what’s going on in the kitchen. Click, click, click…