One-dog Night

Bed (1 of 1)

Warm bodies

snuggle buddies

relax together

hear heartbeats

wrapped in arms

embrace warmth

comfort in each other.

 

We drift back

to mother’s embrace

perhaps the womb–

place of comfort and promise

perception of life–

so strong, so sure

protected and safe

loved and nourished.

 

Explains why we like bear hugs

shoulders to lean on

caressing hands.

So lie still, little buddy

and let me hold you

while knowing deep down

you are holding me.

 

 

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Ball Detective

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Chewy loves tennis balls. The first ones I gave him he immediately scalped and chewed until they were mere slabs of rubber. In the last year, he’s learned to take better care of them. He’ll chase them in the house or at the park and bring them back to me most of the time. It’s great exercise for both of us.

When I take him to the park to walk off leash, he makes it into a ball-finding expedition. As soon as he finds a tennis ball, usually one that’s worn and has been out in the dirt and rain so it’s disgustingly filthy (or deliciously so by his measure), he carries it with him for the rest of the walk, stopping occasionally to give his jaw a rest, guard it with one paw and check to see if I’m going to try to take it away. No thanks!

When there is more than one ball around, it creates a perplexing situation. At home, he’ll have one ball in his mouth when I throw the other one. He chases it and then stops, not knowing what to do, because he doesn’t want to release the one he’s got.

Today I brought a clean ball from home to the park. He chased it for a while. Then it rolled down a hill right up to a fence that provides a boundary between the enclosure and the street. There he found an old torn up and dirty ball. He let the good one from home go while he proceeded to chew on the yucky one. I refused to go down the hill to join him; there was no way I was going to pry that filthy ball away from him. So I went looking for another ball. There are always many balls in the fenced area. Sure enough, I found a nice newish one and threw it. Chewy ran after it, picked it up and took it down the hill to the area where he now had the ball from home, the awful one and the new one. I urged him to come back up the hill, but he wasn’t having any of it, so I went to a bench and sat.

I could no longer see Chewy from the bench, so that didn’t last long. I finally went to see what he was doing. He was standing at the fence wagging his little curly tail and trying to figure out how to get to the other side of the wire fence. You see, there was yet another tennis ball nestled in the leaves on the other side of the fence and he wanted that one too!

Oy! Enough of that. He wagged. He barked at the unavailable tennis ball. He looked the fence up and down, thinking if only he could jump over it or crawl under it. No such luck. I gave in and walked down the hill, grabbed one of the good tennis balls and urged him to come and get it. He ran up the hill, chased the ball and took it right back to the fence. This is the down side of having a smart (or is it just OCD?) dog. He wasn’t giving up on that unattainable ball.

Back down the hill I went, put the leash on him and dragged him out and back to the car. He can continue his pursuit of lost balls another time.

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.

Mud Muffin

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My dogs always have a special fascination for whatever is under the deck.  I had it closed up pretty well after Foxy kept going under there, but Chewy is a very clever guy.

I had no idea what was going on until I couldn’t find him. I called inside the house. I stepped out into the yard and called his name. No answer. I thought I heard a slight jingly sound, like his tags might make, but figured it was wishful thinking. He must have found his way out of the yard. So I went hobbling down the street in my slippers, calling his name. All the way around the park, but no luck.

When I got home, my gardener’s truck was out front and I heard a familiar bark coming from the back yard. Sure enough, Chewy was under the deck–not interested in telling ME, but eager to bark at the intruder in the yard. We couldn’t find Chewy’s place of entry, but Arturo helped me to get him out by digging a hole in the mud. I picked up the mud-covered pup and Arturo kindly closed up the hole and put some rocks there to discourage digging in the wet earth.

Chewy got an immediate bath and was finally mud-free. The gardener went on his way. Relieved the drama was over, I went about my business until I again heard barking from the yard. Chewy had found his way under there again! I now saw that his blue ball was there and he was trying to figure out how to get out with it in his mouth. I muttered a few nasty words and went to get a shovel. When I returned, I saw that he had extracted himself this time. Here’s how he looked:

mud3

I picked him up and carried him through the door, headed for the sink, but he wriggled out of my arms and landed on–get ready for it–the sofa! Ohmygod! Into the sink again, then I had to clean up the sofa and the floor full of muddy footprints.

I placed more rocks and boards around the deck and the next day a dear friend came and nailed a new barrier in place, but not before retrieving the blue ball. Chewy could probably still find a way under there, but he no longer has a reason!