A little gift to raise the spirits

It’s been rainy in Central Texas lately, which is a real blessing. We’re in the midst of a historic drought, so a little bit of moisture for the earth makes us pretty happy.

It’s also been raining gifts and surprises in our house over the past few weeks, since the Dude was diagnosed with severe, late-stage heartworms. We’ve been amazed at the kindness and generosity of our blog and facebook friends, who have sent cards, notes, emails, photos, and even a couple of little packages to help the Dude make it through his nasty ten-week treatment (and help the Chick be the sweet, loving big brother he needs to be).

A few days ago, we got this package in the mail from our facebook-friend Rachel from Tumball, Texas:

It was a beautiful card with a historic photo of a pit bull type dog dressed up in a jaunty top hat, pipe, and party suit, and a pair of custom, hand-knit, perfectly sized scarves! Naturally, the boys –who LOVE to dress up — couldn’t wait to wear them on the first chilly occasion they god, and pulled them out this weekend for the 10-minute “snow” storm we had.

The scarves are so cozy and chic that they make the boys feel like 1920s artists and writers, sitting around at an outdoor french cafe drinking cognac and tea, arguing about love and politics!

Thank you Rachel!

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Chix-a-Lot Friday: Big brother worries

Yo, it’s me: Big Brother. You may be wondering: what am I doing here, sniffing this empty dog t-shirt that I got as a gift from my foster-great-aunt Margaret (thank you Aunt Malgosia)?

Well, I’m just practicing being alone. For what, you might ask? For next Monday, I will tell you. When my Foster Kid, the Dude, has to go in to the vet’s office for his second round of heartworm treatment.

It’s been almost four weeks now since the morning he woke up coughing blood and had to get his first injection to kill the evil worms that are trying to eat his heart and soul (go to hell little wormies, we quite like the Dude’s heart and soul and would prefer to keep them for ourselves, thankyouverymuch). And mama says that means he’s due for his next round. I’m not sure what’s so round about these special heartworm shots (all the shots I’ve ever seen are pokey and come in a tube and are most definitely not round). But anyhow, this next time he has to go to the vet on Monday, get a shot, and then stay there for a whole 24 hours and get another shot. After that, they’re going to keep him for even more hours so they can monitor him and make sure he’s doing ok.

I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds like an awful lot of hours for a dog to be at the vet’s office. I’m thinking about sending him a care package to keep him company, and maybe putting myself and his “Foster Kid” t-shirt in the package too. I wonder if we’d help him make it through ok!

 

Is it love?

Dog people love to anthropomorphize their pets. We have all done it.

Chick feels guilty for stealing the trash.

Doodlebug is proud of this new Sirius Republic bowtie.

People love to project our own dreams and emotions onto dog-dog relationships, too. We throw big words around — Love. Hate. Jealousy. In the case of our dogs, we do it too. We invent personalities and draw conclusions about how the dogs feel about each other, even though in reality we can rarely know for sure. In our own house right now, the Dude seems like the goofy, child-like little brother who is obsessed with his Yoda, Chick. Chick is older, wiser, too-cool-for-school, and tolerates the young ones with a stoic patience that only the most magical of dogs possess.

Of course, we wish with all of our might that he adored each of the dogs that come through our home, and actually preferred having another dog in the house. But does he? Hard to say. There is no doubt that in a choice between people and dogs, Chick has always chosen people. He learned early in adoptive life that people are the ones who control all the food, beds, walks, toys, and games, so we’re more interesting than other dogs. And fosterdad and I prefer it that way.

And yet, from time to time a dog comes along who Chick not only tolerates, but genuinely seems to enjoy the company of. When former foster Stevie Wonder would try to snuggle on Chick, he would tolerate it sometimes, and run away other times. But he never seeked it out. With other dogs, he has been more willing to cuddle, though I wonder if it was more that he wanted a piece of the prime real estate where the other dog happened to be sleeping, and not the warm furry body that he was seeking out.

But his relationship with Snickerdoodle has us wondering whether this is a different kind of thing for our grumpy old man.

Pre-Dude, Chick’s favorite resting spots were the bed in our master bedroom, the Stevie-chair in the living room, and underfoot in the kitchen. The Dude right away took to sleeping on The Dora in our guest room. Pretty soon, we started finding Chick in there, too.

Is this love? Maybe.

And there’s more. It used to be that Chick was clingy and needy to an unhealthy level. Wherever we were, he needed to be no more than four feet away. Now when we come home, if they’re in the middle of a particularly satisfying nap on The Dora, they will both come greet us, and quickly retreat back to their dogpile in the guest room. It’s new ground for us, and we’re trying to figure out whether it means anything at all. What we know for certain is that it is both unprecedented and oh-so-adorable.

Chix-a-Lot Friday: Handsome devil, or just a devil?

Mama sometimes says that when she calls me a handsome devil, she doesn’t mean that I should actually act like a devil. I don’t really get what that’s about, but she sits me down every now and then and says those words. Maybe I need to pay better attention.

So remember how all week mama has been making a big deal about my foster brother Dude’s heartworms, and how they made him real sick? And how he is also very anxietated when they leave, which is extra super dangerous because it makes his face drool and his heart go thump-thump-thump and it makes the headboard turn into sawdust, and I guess drool and thumping and sawdust are Very Bad when a dog’s heartworms are being killed?

Well. Mama and some of her big-brained dog loving friends got their heads together and thought: we wonder if that Dude were allowed to be together with that handsome devil (not actual devil), if that would help the Dude not feel like he has to thump-thump his wormy heart and make sawdust on mama and dad’s bed and leave big foamy puddles of drool by the doors and windows.

So they tried it. Now friends, you have to understand that this is a really big deal because even though I am a very good boy, I am also a handsome devil and so mama doesn’t normally ever leave me alone with any of my friends or frienemies, in case something happened to go wrong. But I guess I’ve been seeming extra trustworthy recently or maybe the Dude seems extra get-along-with-able, because she started leaving us alone together for a few minutes, then an hour, then two.

The first time, we were very good boys. The second time, we were very good boys. The third time?

Some of you remember when I admitted my former baking habit — I also have a garbage disposal habit, which mama says is related. I thought I had quit it, but it’s just so hard, especially when there’s a youngster around who needs to learn the ropes. How could he ever become a proper housedog without knowing the secrets and smelly wonders contained in a kitchen garbage can?

Well wouldn’t you know, mama and dad sure were surprised when they walked in to the house and discovered this masterpiece in the kitchen. Mama started laughing so hard that she almost fell down, and dad just kind of stood there — but he started laughing too when the Dude trotted into the kitchen and instead of looking kind of bashful and confused like I coached him, decided to go right back to work on the masterpiece. Silly Dude.

And before I knew it, mama invited us to go outside, where we had to stand for a good, long while.

 

Chix-a-Lot Friday: What I think of the Dude

Last Friday I confessed to you that I like dudes, remember? Well this Friday I have the following to tell you: My new foster brother is called The Dude. And I like him.

Here’s how it went down.

On the first morning, we started off like this:

And then that afternoon, we were like this:

And then I blinked and it was morning again and I woke up like this:

Now. A less gentle-dog-ly fellow might be peeved to wake up to a noseful of his brand new foster brother’s feet, but not I. Because first, as I mentioned last week, I promised my mama that I would love my new brother. And second, I secretly love the smell of dog feets (my mom loves it too so I guess it runs in the family).

Here’s the thing about the Dude. He and I are really, really good-looking together. He doesn’t have the beautiful brindle furs that I have, but otherwise, we go together so nicely. I am white with browns; he is brown with whites. Observe:

He is my perfect accessory, right? And really, there’s more to it than just how much he adores me the colors of his furs. He’s a pretty cool Dude. For one, he is majorly into snuggling, as am I. For two, he doesn’t try to play with me, which I appreciate (being the distinguished older gentleman that I am). And for three, well — I hate to reveal myself to be a big softie, but — I know he’s had a hard life and like mama says, he just needs a soft spot to land for a while. I don’t really remember what that’s like, but mama says I was in his shoes about 8 years ago (which is so silly because I don’t ever wear shoes). It only took me a day to give the Dude my full stamp of approval (the fastest of any of our fosters yet), and last night I told him a Very Sweet Thing. I said: Little Dude, I’ll be your soft spot to land on for as long as you need.

Chix-a-Lot Friday: I like dudes!

Now that I’ve shipped off foster sister Dora the Explorer to her new home, can I get something off my chest that I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time?

I. Like. Dudes. Girls are ok, but I just really, really prefer boy dogs.  You still love me, right?

All of my best friends are boys. Remember how famously I got along with my first boy foster dog, Gonzo Bunny-Ears? Yeah, it’s no coincidence that he was a dude.

And yet, mama keeps bringing home foster sisters for me. What’s the deal with that? I ALWAYS whine and complain, and mama says that rescue groups think it’s a good “rule of thumb” to place opposite gender dogs together for the best chances of success. But that’s dumb. I don’t even have any thumbs, so why would I care about a rule of thumbs? And she’s always talking about how “every dog is an individual,” so why doesn’t that apply to these kinds of preferences? If a Chick likes dudes better, let him foster dudes, I say!

So I begged and pleaded and begged and pleaded, and finally mama relented. She said that if I promised to be totally tender-sweet and love him like a true brother or best friend, she would bring me home a dude instead of a girl. And I promised. And I delivered.

Meet the new dude on Monday!

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