Monday, May 31, 2010

Don't Forget Us

Hi Bloggers!
Fudge here speaking for the pack.

Mom says we won't be posting for a few days , so we want to leave you with a reminder about Bandana Day.

Here I am wearing my bandana in a cool style. Actually Mom wanted to make me look like a pirate, but she couldn't figure out how to do it. Mom likes Johnny Depp and since I'm as handsome as he is, she thought I'd make a good pirate. Yea, right, Mom!

Samba is looking for something.

Morgan is looking, too.

Even big Tsar is looking. What are they watching for? Silly question, they're watching for your pictures.

Remember the rules are so easy,

1 Dress or wrap your pet in something red. It doesn't have to be a bandana. It can be anything you have around the house.

2 Take a picture. They can be individual or group shots.

3 Send your pictures to us at this address:
Include your pet's name, State or Country where you live and your blog or web address so Mom can link back to you.

4 Check our blog on June 10 to look at all the neat pictures and to make some new friends.

How easy is that? Even Noah could do it.

We'll see you in a few days.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Today we had an emergency visit to Dr B. Over the last few days it's seemed to me as if Samba was having a problem with her vision.
The picture above is Samba in better times. For anyone who hasn't been a reader, Samba was diagnosed with Masticatory Muscle Myositis last November. MMM is an auto-immune disorder where the body tries to destroy the jaw muscles. Eventually the dog with MMM untreated would be unable to open it's mouth. We caught Samba's early and have been treating it with high doses of steroids.

In March we had a double whammy. Samba developed facial paralysis on the left side of her face. It happened spontaneously and no one knows why. The same month we learned that she had a low thyroid reading and started her on medication.

Samba's left eye has been affected by the paralysis and she lost her ability to blink. I've been putting ointment in her eye twice a day to keep it moist.

Last week I noticed little signs that her vision was off. When she runs, she drifts to one side. She's been walking into things, furniture and doors and Monday she fell down several steps that she just didn't see. I had a consultation with her vet Dr B on Wednesday and we were concerned about something going on in her brain such as a tumor or infection.

This morning we went for an examination and the news while not what I was hoping for, wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Samba is getting a blink response back in her left eye. The eye is responsive to light and she can track a little which was not possible a couple weeks ago. The sagging on the left seems to be a little less. It's possible that the left facial paralysis is reversing and may eventually go back to normal.

The bad news- Samba now has right side facial paralysis. There is no blink reflex in the right eye and she's not tracking with it. The lip on the right side is starting to sag and she's currently in a position where one side is getting better, but isn't normal yet and the other side is getting worse. She is drooling more and having vision problems. She's also making a disgusting snorting noise as her nose isn't working normally on either side.

Samba is a trooper and somehow we'll get thru this. She's now getting ointment in both eyes daily to help with moisture. I'm watching her eat very closely, as it's hard for her to keep food in her mouth when she can't feel her lips. We increased her thyroid meds today and in two weeks she'll spend the day with Dr B having blood tests and getting her eyes dilated for examination. Then we'll speak with the experts at the vet school to see if they have any suggestions on how to proceed.

It's been a very difficult year for my girl and she's certainly not out of the woods, but we'll do whatever we can to keep her happy and active.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Talk To Me

Gaylen started an interesting subject on her blog today. She talks about conversing with her dogs. They hold conversations and she hears them with human voices. She tells us who each of her dogs voices would sound like to her.

I hold conversations with my dogs, too. But I hear their own doggie voices. I can't even think of human voices that would fit their personalities. Each dog has a distinctive voice and I know the differences. Rob used to be surprised that if I was in a different room and a dog barked, I knew who it was and often why they were barking. Now he can do it most of the time, too.

Morgan has a surprisingly deep, but clear bark, but when she's talking to us she uses deep moans. Think a cow in pain. That usually means she wants something, to go out, to have a snack or she want one of us to move so she can curl up in our place.

Samba has the widest range of sounds from a deep bark to a shrill yip when she's excited. She grumbles a lot. In case your dog doesn't grumble, it's a low gravely growl that she uses to express dissatisfaction with a situation.

Tsar despite his size has a surprisingly high pitched voice. He has a big bark, but in conversation he uses lots of high squeaks and shrill sounds that startle the others and let him do whatever he wants. If he's resting or playing with a toy, no other dogs can get near him without hearing that siren of his go off.

Tess has always been a barker and she has a very deep bark that doesn't match her at all. In conversation she uses more body language than vocal language.

Bailey and Lola are both breathy in a Marilyn Monroe sort of way. They come up to you panting fast and excited and you're supposed to guess at what they want. They both have staccato barks when you don't pay attention fast enough.

Norma Jean and Noah are both pretty quiet. They use their body language to get their message across. They both have big barks if necessary, but they don't often need to use them.

Since he was a baby I've called Sky my 'first alert system'. He's a big barker with a big voice. He just likes to bark and doesn't necessarily need a reason. He also groans in conversation .

As you may have guessed, Fudge has an enormous range of sounds to communicate with. He barks if you don't pay attention quickly enough, but he yips and squeaks and groans. When he's in trouble he goes "woo-woo-woo" to explain his actions. He sings which sounds a little like a yodel.

Since he was a puppy, every morning when I first get up, Fudge makes a throaty sound directed at me. First thing in the morning is the only time he makes that particular sound and now both Noah and Sky also make the same sound. I think they're saying "Good morning". If you use a little imagination it even sounds like "good morning". All three boys say it to me once each morning and I love it.

If the phone rings and I don't pick it up by the second ring, all ten dogs howl. Monty taught them to do that and it actually helps if I'm outside or in the shower. It lets me know I have a call. I am working with Tsar teaching him to howl on command and I enjoy when I can get them all howling at once. It's very primal.

I've never pictured human voices connected to my dogs, but I think I understand some of what they say to me in their own voices and their own language.

Speaking of voices, does anyone else have a Furby? These things are so much fun. My dogs race to see it when it starts talking. I don't think they like it very much. Anyway, Furby is reminding you to get your bandana pictures to me. I'll be offline part of next week as I'm having surgery on Tuesday. I won't be able to remind you, so do them this weekend and send them in.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Problem Solving

Well, now that we all know Fudge's complaints, it's time to address some of them. Fudge is a little bit prone to exaggeration as he showed in his complaint. He also has a very healthy ego. Yes, he did very well in obedience school and he did earn his title before several judges, but he failed to mention the time he showed off in front of the judge, doing tricks instead of "commandments" and earned himself a disqualification.

It's true that Fudge wears almost anything I ask him to, but he is well rewarded with treats and lots of attention. I don't know which that boy likes better.

He has a valid point about his school bags and last night I bought Noah his very own school bag and special treat bag.

I got Noah a bag with a big super star on the front. Noah is a strange little character. He's very quiet and timid. He hangs back when the others start playing and needs lots of encouragement. I'm hoping that his obedience lessons give him a boost to his fragile little ego. He's doing very well in his lessons and doesn't feel the need to show off, unlike a certain brown and white dog.

I've also decided that Fudge can have a refresher class immediately after Noah is finished with his class. Now everybody is relatively happy.

We've had a number of squirrels invade the yard this year. They cruise around the deck looking for food and empty the bird feeders almost as fast as we fill them. Lately one has begun standing on the living room windowsill with his front feet on the glass looking in at the dogs, safe in the knowledge that there's a pane of glass between them and him. As you can imagine it drives the dogs crazy and we've had a lot of barking.

More recently the squirrels have started sitting in the oak trees in the back yard and yelling insults at the dogs below them. Sometimes they throw acorns at them. The dogs are not pleased about this behavior. Last week a couple brave or foolish squirrels began coming part way down the tree trunk to yell at the dogs. They stay safely out of reach of the dogs.

Today one squirrel made a serious miscalculation. He came down the tree trunk to yell and he came a little too far. Bailey jumped up and grabbed him. I didn't see her catch him, but I knew something was going on so I called her. Bailey never obeys, but this time she came toward me and I thought she had brought one of her toys outside till I remembered that she doesn't have a squirrel toy.

I told her to drop it and for the first time ever, she did as she was told. The squirrel was still alive, it was blinking. There were no marks on him and no blood. I scooped him up in the poop scoop, much to his dismay and tossed him over the fence. By that time I had all ten dogs jumping around wanting to see the squirrel.

I don't know if he died, but something very strange happened. No squirrels came on the deck today. Not a single squirrel invaded the bird feeders. When we went in the yard no squirrels were in sight yelling insults at us. We did not see a single squirrel all day.

Were they all attending the funeral of their friend or.....

...were they busy plotting their revenge? Will we be getting a visit from Mr Boss Squirrel?

Is Fidel Squirrel on his way to invade?

Are we going to soon be under attack by the Army of Avenger Squirrels? Morgan will sit in the window and alert us if she sees anything approaching. Let's hope the little guy survived and he and his family are now in the next county looking for a new home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fudge Has A Complaint

Hi everybody in bloggerland, this is Fudge. Mom said I could use her blog today to tell you about my problem. You see, my Mom is being unfair. Yep, my Mom, to whom I am so very loyal and loving is being unfair to me, the worlds best dog.

You all know what a superior dog I am. I'm handsome and smart and tremendously popular with the ladies. Why would anyone want another dog when they have me?

As everyone knows, Mom and I went to school together. She wanted me to learn the million and three commandments. See that green bag tied to her waist? That's my special school treat bag.

See how I'm watching Mom very closely? That's one of the million and eight commandments, keep your eyes on Mom for any signals.

I did great in class. I paid very close attention to Mom and listened to everything she said.

See how intently I'm watching her?

Here I'm performing a perfect example of the commandments down and stay. These are hard ones for ordinary dogs, but obviously they were a breeze for someone as smart as me. When we finished learning all the million and eleven commandments Mom and I went to some competitions and showed some judges how smart I was.

The judges recognized my superior intellect and ability. They saw how well I had learned the million and seventeen commandments and awarded me these ribbons which made Mom very happy.

Well, here's the problem. In one word....

.....Noah!! Mom has started teaching Noah the million and twenty seven commandments. Can you believe it???

I saw Mom get out my school bag and I got all excited. I thought we were going to go off by ourselves and practice the million and thirty two commandments, but instead she took Noah.

She even let that little creep use my special treat bag and my blue school leash.

Noah... that little dork that was only about the size of a quarter pounder when he was born. I suspected he wasn't even my kid till the DNA test came back. He can't do anything.

I'm the one that can sing and dance and jump higher than anyone else. Noah doesn't jump at all.

I'm the one who brings the ball back when Mom throws it, not Noah. I'm the one who jumps in her lap every night, no matter what she's doing and tells her that she's a great Mom. Noah just puts his head on her knee and looks stupid.

I'm the one that models her silly clothes, not Noah.

I'm the one who lets her put dumb hats on me, not Noah.

I even let her take a picture of me right out of the bathtub, not Noah.

Noah just wanders around with Mom and stands behind her for protection when things get too rough. What a wimp!!

So I ask you, do you think it's fair for my Mom to teach Noah the million and forty four commandments, when she has me around, ready and able to do them?

Look at that sad sack. Do you really think that guy is capable of going in front of judges and demonstrating the million and sixty two commandments and getting ribbons to make Mom smile?

So, there you have it. My Mom doesn't appreciate the treasure she has in me.

Mom said I could use the blog as long as I reminded everyone about bandana day. Wrap your pet in something red and send us the picture. June 10 will be here quicker than you think.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro, Cinco, Seis

This morning Rob and I got up early and met K in Walmart's parking lot. She had something in her car that we transferred to ours. Six Chihuahuas. That's right six of them.

The little guys were being rescued and our part was to drive them from Springfield to Rolla where another K would take them on to St Louis. They will spend the night in St Louis, then tomorrow morning they'll leave for Chihuahua Rescue in Ohio.

We had four hours before we needed to leave on our part of the trip, so we took them home to get acquainted. Here they are in their carriers on our porch.

Uno and Dos are sharing a carrier. The little black girl was very scared and wanted no part of us. She refused to come out of her carrier and when we tried to help her out, she growled and snapped. We left her in her carrier with some food and water.

Her friend, Dos was very happy to come out and play. He had a drink and a little snack, then watered every tree, bush and rock in the yard.

He thought Rob gave divine back scratches.

Tres was a pretty little long haired lady who didn't want to be touched. She came out and walked around the porch, had a drink, then hid under a chair for a while. After a little rest, she came out and returned to her carrier.

Cuatro was a real cutie.

He came into the yard, had some water and a little snack, then pooped and had a pee that he must have been saving up for days. I thought that boy's little leg would give out before he finally finished.

What a relief! After that he sat in the sunshine for a while just looking around.

Cinco was so very afraid. She sat in the back of her carrier and trembled. Rob coaxed her out and sat gently stroking her for a long time. She finally walked around the yard a little and seemed to enjoy sun bathing.

Cuatro and Cinco spent some time together just relaxing in the grass. During our trip to Rolla a little later, Cinco made friends with me and I spent the last half of the trip rubbing those big ears.

Last, but certainly not least was Seis. From the minute she saw us, her whole body was wagging and she was begging to play.

It was hard to get a good picture of her because she was so active. Her very favorite thing is a belly rub and she'll roll over and beg for one if she thinks it'll work. She got lots of them today. She had a big drink and ate a pretty good sized snack. This dog should have no trouble getting adopted. She's a doll.

Finally we loaded them up and headed off to on our leg of the transport. Did I fall in love with any of them? Yes, several of them. Travel safely little ones and find safe, happy forever homes.