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Thank you Bentley.

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I mentioned on plurk the other day that  I had to take Bentley to the Vet, what I didn’t mention was how proud I was of him.

For years I’ve harboured resentment towards vets in general and my vet in particular. It’s not that they are bad people, it’s just that once the emergency has passed, the only pain remaining is in the hip nerve. I’ve often wanted to make them feel pain just a little too, call me a bad person..go on I dare ya!

But before we get to Bentley’s revenge, lets go back to the beginning. Last Friday Ben seemed to be limping on the other front leg (not the one that just paid for the vet’s new plasma TV, the other one). I monitored him for a while and he seemed to forget that he had a sore leg after about 5 or 6 steps, so I went on with my miserable sex-free life and let him do the same.

By Saturday he was still limping, but now he was whimpering a little when he moved. I resumed monitoring him and he seemed fairly stable, but was moving a lot slower. However on Sunday he was clearly in a good deal of discomfort, and so was I because he let out one of the most toxic farts I’ve ever encountered. Even after I opened all the windows and turned all the ceiling fans up full blast, you still couldn’t see across the room.

At this point I realised that he probably had a bowel blockage (he’s had them before) that was causing him to limp, or he had a bowel blockage and a limp for another reason. Of course, all my dogs are extremely aware of the days of the week, so he planned his rapid decline for Sunday afternoon when the vet rates quadrupled.  But he was in a bad way so I called the vet and discussed it with him, and he was of the opinion that unless Ben was at the vomiting stage, we could wait until tomorrow (apparently there was no room for another TV anyway).

Bright and early on Monday morning we arrived at the veterinary hospital and he was seen immediately. We put him up on the exam table and the vet had a good look at him. No matter what the vet did, not matter how much pulling and pushing of  his front leg, an no matter how many awkward angles he tried, he simply could not get him to wince or pull away, so he declared that a non event and started to focus on the other issue. Speaking of issues (I’m sure you all know what’s coming next, but I’ll tell you anyway). Ben appeared to be arching his back and in addition to this, he seemed to be bending his body in a ‘C’ shape horizontally as well. At this point the vet manoeuvred him so that he was facing directly away from him in order to get a better view of the curvature of the spine.

Come on, you really don’t need me to lay this out for you, do you? Well ok here goes,  so if Ben was facing away from the vet, that meant that his butt bazooka was facing directly at him. Being the perfectionist that he his, Ben waited until the exact moment when the vet’s face was closest to him before he let fly with a blast that took at least three layers of paint of the exam room wall and left the vet alternating between gasping for breath and retching. Damn! I was one proud doggy daddy; good boy Bentley! It may not make up for all the gouging I’ve suffered over the years, but it sure as shit (literally) helped.

It was now determined that he would be kept under observation in one of the cages out the back for a few hours, and if nothing happened they would knock him out and x-ray him to see what the deal was (that’s vetspeak for “get this goddamn putrefying dog out of my exam room!”).

Later that day I got a phone call to tell me that they called in another vet (one who had lost his olfactory glands in a childhood accident) to examine him before they resorted to a general anaesthetic, and by poking and prodding he found that there was an impaction rather than an obstruction, so working on him from head to tail (ie a heavy duty laxative and an enema) they were able to move it.

So it seems that not only am I full of shit (as I’ve been told many times), my dog was too! Good boy Bentley, and thanks for the memory of the vet with the ghastly green face.

It must be the colour scheme.

I have a huge apology to make to Belle (aka the Walking Disaster). All this time I’ve been accusing her of being an accident prone airhead, who refuses to pay attention to the world around her. It has been my opinion that she is just plain dumb, and that she throws herself at everything regardless of the consequences.

That was until today when I saw this at I Can Has Hotdog…

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So it seems that it has more to do with a combination of the white tip on the tail, the tri-colour patterning and the size of the ears that is causing all the trouble, rather than her being a silly young pup. I apologise Belle, it’s not your fault.

PS.  In case you’re unsure — No, that’s not Belle.

This is Belle…

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It’s Buddy’s turn…at last.

Poor old Buddy doesn’t really get much of a chance to feature in our pet clips, not that he’s boring or ugly (well, he’s a little ugly), it just that he’s not accident prone or goofy like Belle and Bentley respectively. Yesterday he finally got the chance to strut his stuff on the Silver Screen, ok I know it’s a monitor*, humour me will ya?

*This is also a monitor, although we call them Goannas, and there’s quite a few of them around here too. Notice how it’s standing on it’s hind legs? Trust me, it’s scary when they do that because they’re getting ready for ‘fight or flight’

The time we got Bentley pt 2.

It was painfully clear to us that the orphaned beagle was, at best, eccentric (but as that is an adjective reserved for those with money, it was unlikely), or at worst, just plain crazy (the term more cimmonly used for those who don’t have any money). Ok then, since he couldn’t be eccentric…psychotic it was! Obviously, no-one in their right mind would take on a brain damaged beagle, that left us with little choice other than to make our way back to the office and announce to a bemused volunteer, “we’ll take him”.

“Oh good, she gleefully replied”, in a manner not unlike a used car salesman who has just unloaded four wheels connected to a ton and a half of bondo. “But you can’t take him just yet, he has a severe throat infection and an intense flea infestation. Oh, and we need to loosen a couple of nuts, actually we need to remove them completely”, what she didn’t mention were the five ticks that they were yet to find an remove, (also done at their expense), or the almost fatal ear infection and the chronic skin condition (which were to become our (financial) responsibility), however, they were remedied in due course simply by connecting him permanently to an ATM.

“Ok, fine” I said, thinking this would give me time to build a gate, (not that I’d really need one, he’ll be so glad tho have a home, no way would he want to run away. Naive? You could say that) but as it’s a requirement of the RSPCA, I was happy to comply. Turned out to be a pretty good idea.

About a week later I was given the go ahead to come and get him.

After grass surfing out way back to the car, I was expecting him to jump into the back without hesitation and eagerly await his arrival at the new digs. Ok, no prizes for guess that he stopped dead in his tracks an stared in abject terror at the 18″ that he’d have to jump in order to get into the car (in case you don’t already know, beagles escape by going under fences, not over them). There was no way in the world that he was going to make the huge leap required, so I picked him up and tossed him in.  I’m not sure how he managed to get himself to the shelter in the first place, but he sure hadn’t been in too may cars, his consternation would have been sad if it wasn’t so funny. Two or three days later,  having exhausted every device known to dog training, and in a state of severe depression/desperation at not being able to get my new dog best friend in to my car without a dogapault, I discovered exactly how food driven beagles really are! One doggie treat did the trick, with two I could get a double backwards inverse pike with half twist.

The second day that he was with us I learned a very valuable lesson: beagles do not respond to voice commands if there are open spaces in sight. Would have been nice to have learned this before we were actually in open spaces. Three hours later I managed to get a leash on him and drag his arse bring him back home. That was a lesson well learned, too bad I didn’t learn lesson two at the same time. Lesson two: do not buy cheap crappy leashes with non industrial strength fittings (that son of a bitch could really put some stress on a lead, and apparently he feels no pain, at one time I had quite a collection of broken fittings).

But even with his new-found ability to get into the car, and his exuberance at the mere hint of going on an expedition, he was still extremely quite and reserved in the house, so much so that I began to appreciate what a great little dog we had. Needless to say that feeling was short-lived.

The time we got Bentley.

Ok kids, stop your bitching and gather round, Uncle WT is finally going to tell you a story….

It’s hard to imagine how the current financial crisis and me owning a dim-witted dog have anything in common. Well they don’t, so you can stop trying to imagine it. There is however, a link between mortgages and me owning a dim-witted dog. There is also a link between the financial crisis, mortgages, dim-witted dogs and me trying to make a story that’s only a paragraph long into a full-length post.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a beagle, and while I’m not really sure exactly how long that is, on account of my memory being shot (all those drugs have certainly taken a toll on the old grey matter, but it’s at least 7 years, because that’s how long I’ve had one, and I’m assuming I wanted one before that).

It all started here I think, not only did that beagle appear in their print adds, but it also did some cute things on their TV commercials too, and every time I saw it I said “I’ve always wanted a beagle!”  (which we all know was bullshit, because I had never even given it a thought before I saw the adds, but for the sake of the story we’ll go with it).

Well, one day as I was looking for free things in the free ad section of the free local newspaper, I spotted a beagle up for adoption at the local shelter. I spoke to MDW about it and she didn’t think it was a good idea, and needing no more prompting than that, I went up to have a look at him. As luck would have it,  I couldn’t see him as he was in the infirmary with multiple health issues (it’s only just now as I write this that I realise someone must have stolen the clapper out of my alarm bell, cause I sure as shit didn’t hear it ring!). They said that I could see him in three days, which happened to be the weekend; oh good, MDW could see him too! And yes, she was a thrilled as you’d expect a person who didn’t think it was a good idea.

So come the weekend, in that usual state of manic excitement I get when I have hatched a really stupid plan, I grabbed MDW and headed back to the shelter. MDW was in her usual, ‘fuck, not again’ mode. We went to the office and told them we were here to pick up the beagle, they gleefully replied “that’s great, he’s all yours once we’ve vetted  you, and the 30 people already lined up to look at him have decided that they don’t want him“. This I took to be a good omen (yeah I know, what can I saw, I was in my manic phase).

Heading down to the enclosures I was relieved to find that they had seriously exaggerated the situation  in order to prevent me from being too over confident, I swear there were no more than 28 people lined up, and half of them were kids anyway! While everyone had their turns, we were able to get a look at him. He was a good looking little guy, and really quiet, he just sat there through all the poking and prodding of the little furless animals, many of which should have been on the other side of the protective barriers, I’m telling you some of those kids were feral!

Bizarrely, most of the people checking him out seemed to be unimpressed with how quiet he was, now that I think of it, he was actually more catatonic than quiet, but anyway we got down to the last family, and they seemed to present some pretty stiff competition, but one there was a weak link on their team. While mum, dad and the young boy went in to pet the pooch (ooh that sound’s dirty), the young daughter would bit to go in with them, rather she stood on the other side of  the fence saying “ooh, I love him daddy, let’s get him“, her father was not convinced, so he kept telling her that he wouldn’t get him unless she came in an actually touched him, which she steadfastly refused to do. At this point the father led everyone out of the cage in disappointment, and as he passed me said “he’s all yours”, with a somewhat baleful look on his face, not unlike the one the beagle had.

It was finally our turn! We went in and he just sat there motionless with those big ole beagle eyes pleading with us to get him out of this mess! MDW said, we should see what he’s like to take for a walk, so I asked the girl if we could do just that, she said “sure,” and gave us a lead. This is where things got really interesting!!

Everything was going just fine, he bounced along like a new dog, sure he tugged on the lead a little but that’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed easily enough (wrong! fast forward 7 years…I never did manage to fix it, and not through lack of effort either), but then we hit the grass. Holy Shit!

No sooner did we reach the grass, than he just folded his front legs by his side and using only his back legs for propulsion, proceeded to run his head and chest along the grass in a snake-like manner. Both MDW and I stopped dead in our tracks and just looked at each other in stunned silence, which was broken by the most uproarious laughter I can ever remember. We have since named this action ‘grass surfing’, and he still does it  (though just for fun these days). We found out out later that he was doing it because he had one of the worst flea infestations they’d ever seen. Poor bastard was locked in a concrete and wire cage all day, the itchies must have been sending him crazy.

Right about now, a sane person would have put him back in his cage and slowly backed away. I’ve never been accused of being sane. More later…

Poncho’s Adoption Day

Three years ago today I adopted Poncho!  It’s really pretty amazing that I ended up with him.  For one thing, he was in the shelter about 4 hours from where I live.  I was really sick at the time, so my parents drove me all the way up there because I had seen a dog on their website that I liked.  We FINALLY got there and I walked in and said I would like to meet “Hunter”.  The girl said, “Hunter’s been adopted.”  I told her he was on the website that morning.  She said, “Oh, well I haven’t updated the website for a while.”  I was very disappointed.  After standing there very dejected for a while, I finally decided that since I was there I might as well take a look around at the other dogs who were up for adoption.

I didn’t have high hopes, but I walked out to the outdoor kennels, and this quiet dog caught my eye because he looked like a German Shorthair.  (I grew up with shorthairs, so I’m partial to them.)  I told my parents, “Look at this one!  I like him!”  They kept trying to drag me away from his kennel to look at other dogs.  “Yeah, he’s ok, but look at THIS dog…”  But I didn’t care about the other dogs, there was something about this dog.  And he was so quiet…all the other dogs were barking and carrying on…he was just sitting there quietly.

I asked if I could take him to the meet and greet room.  We took him in there.  I took a look at his teeth (I can’t help myself, I worked for vets, I brushed Marley’s teeth every night for 12 1/2 years…I always look at teeth!) and was quite shocked to see that he still had PUPPY teeth!!!  This was not quite what I had planned on, but I was in love so I said, “I want THIS one.”  I did ask them to give him a bath before I took him home…you’ve never seen anyone look so pitiful!  They kept telling him, “this is a GOOD thing!”  He did NOT believe them!!!  They gave him a nice crocheted blanket to take home with him, especially since he had a long ride ahead of him.

Seems he’d only been in the shelter a few days.  He was found with a dog they think was his mother, walking along the side of Highway 93.  He obviously had a hard life…when I got him home he didn’t even know how to play with a toy, didn’t know how to hold a bone!  He was 5 months old and no one had ever played with him!!!

Now he’s gone from being a poor little shelter puppy to being spoiled rotten!!!  And those teeth, they’re pearly white!  I tease him that Hollywood will be calling any time!  I brush them every night!  And toys!  He’s got more toys than most kids!!!  I’m so lucky that Hunter had been adopted so that I was able to find my Poncho!  But I still tease him when I give him baths that they are “good things!”

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Poncho Raincoat

Just a short clip

Not much happening around here lately, but I did finally leave the house and go for a walk, and I filmed some of it for you viewing pleasure. I think it may be a bit jerky as I made it low res to upload quicker, sorry.

Did you notice the stiff legged pee position that Belle has now?

Updated: My apologies to those who asked about the music, I realised I hadn’t put it in the credits until it was too late, and it takes too long to redo the whole process, so here it is… it was the Canadian band Bourne and MacLeod, the song was Dance and Celebrate.