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Today in My History

2000:  Where are the Heroes?
2001:  Greetings from London!
2002:  Size Really Matters
2003:  Help Wanted
2004:  Bye Bye Boise
2005:  Crème Brûlée
Mothers Day

2007: It's Over with Me and Tony
2008:  An Historic Decision
2009:  Time to Pack Your Bags
2010:  Thanks for the Turkey
Our Dam Day

Bitter Hack
Updated: 4/30
"Little Shop of Horrors"

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 5/14
"San Francisco Confidential"

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Santa Barbara, April 2012


Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark
Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark
Polly gives orders

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Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


16 May 2012

Buddyteeth.jpg (55456 bytes)"The better to eat you with, my dear!"

This picture is only peripherally related to this entry.  It was posted to Facebook by the woman who has hosted Buddy since he left here.  That cute little puppy we had is now this big ol' hunkin' dawg, but fortunately still as sweet he was when he was little.  I just thought this photo was pretty impressive.

Walt is back from London.  His plane arrived at the Sacramento airport at last night at 11:30 and life may be returning to normal around here.   Since the dogs are behaving the way they always have (but didn't last week), I can only assume that his absence shook them up, not in an entirely bad way!

Before he left on his 6-day walkabout, Walt reminded me to check the living room each morning for puddles.  I guess this is the way we are going to be from now on.  We have Polly trained to pee on a puddle pad which is designed for housebreaking puppies.  She is very good about going to the paper, but can't seem to get the idea of translating that to outside.  For pooping, she always chooses a corner of the living room.  It's a quick and easy pick up, so in the interest of keeping her from freaking out, as she does with anything unusual going on in the house, we just clean up after her.  Like having a cat, that one.

HOWEVER, one of the other dogs -- I assume Lizzie (because Sheila knows better), though I have not caught her at it -- also decides, once a night, to pee in the house.  Only she pees in the living room (which explains the soaked rug we had before we put in the Pergo).  With the Pergo the house no longer smells like dog urine and it is also easy to clean up and more pleasant than locking her up all night long.  Walt cleans up each morning and he told me where Lizzie pees during the night, so I would know where to check to clean up.  Only the entire time he was gone, she did not pee in the house once.  As soon as he got home, she left another puddle in the living room.

But the other change that happened last week was with the dogs' eating.  Things have gone along for months with a regular pattern.  They have kibble and cottage cheese for a meal.  While I mix it up, Sheila runs into the family room to sit in "her spot" until her meal is served to her. Walt usually takes Sheila's bowl in to her while I feed the other two.  Lizzie and Polly watch me mix the food up in the kitchen, then Lizzie runs to the water cooler, where her food is placed and Polly settles in by the coffee pot to eat her meal.

Only while Walt was gone, they were totally discombobulated.   Sheila took to going outside when I was mixing her food.  She would sit on the patio, her back to the house, and glance over her shoulder at me.  When I put her food down, she would ignore it.  In the meantime, Lizzie would ignore her own bowl entirely and eat out of Sheila's, while Polly, who wolfs down the cottage cheese out of her bowl, is finishing the cottage cheese in Lizzie's bowl.

Sheila eventually would saunter in and gaze, in astonishment at her bowl, and then at me as if to say, "What?  No cottage cheese for me?"

This went on every single day that Walt was gone.  This morning when I mixed their food, Sheila ran to her spot to wait, and the other dogs immediately went to their own bowls in their own spaces and scarfed down all of their breakfast, just as if nothing had changed at all.

It's nice to have Walt back!!

The one thing that didn't change while he was gone is Polly's insidious rise to the top dog (that includes Walt and me in the "pack") position.  She has decided that it is my job to be in contact with her 24/7, if she so chooses.  If I am in my office she will come in under my desk, stare at me, and whine softly.  If I ignore her, she will go into the family room and bark.   Bark....bark...bark.   Unrelated to anything.  Just "notice me" barks.  If I still ignore her she goes outside, stands on the patio and barks.  Not at anything, just at the wind.  Bark (notice me)...Bark (notice me)...Bark (notice me).  If I open the back door (I don't even need to call her) she races inside, tail wagging a mile a minute, licking my hand constantly.

She also does what I've seen Cesar Milan comment on--she won't stop licking my hand until I pet her.  I have to actually SIT on my hand to make it unavailable to her.  I know it's a dominance thing and, given Polly's easy ability to freak out, I am hesitant to try to break her of it.  So I either pet her, as she demands, or I sit on my hand so she can't bully me.

It's more difficult to have dogs than to have children, I've decided!


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This is not Lizzie (ears are too long), but Walt saw this painting
in London and brought me a post card to show me!


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