Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Easily Amused

To be fair, he's really mellowed with age. He used to emit the Greyhound Scream of Death whenever I brought the clippers out. Now he can be bribed with treats to endure the agony. He still screams once or twice every time I have to do his nails. Maybe you can imagine, that gets hard for both of us. When Drive went in for his dental, they took the chance while he was unconscious to really cut his nails back; I feel a little bad about that still. Poor guy was already miserable and out of it from anesthesia and losing ten teeth, and now his feet hurt too.

That said, I'm determined to be a more vigilant pet steward about his nails, and if that means I have to feed him an entire meals' worth of treats to keep it from being an ordeal where we both cry, so be it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here is a video.

Please enjoy this video of a small boy giving treats to a dog.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just a Hint

It would take me forever to count the ways I love him, but "tiny peek of tongue" is on the list for sure.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cast of Characters

I have to warn you, this one is a little emotional.

I'm one of those people that "forges on" when things get difficult. I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to deal with my losses, I don't want a hug. When I need to talk about some ache that feels too big, I just want to put my arms around my dog and press my face into his fur.

I've lost dogs before. I got a little terrier mix from a shelter when I was 20, and I held her when I was about 30 as they put her to sleep. I lost one to a divorce, and found out later she was dropped at a shelter (rather than given back to me.) I lost the best companion off my childhood, a vicious Dobie-GSD-something-huge mix named Nibbles (not kidding) who passed away when I was in college.

And still, those were Before.

I've always liked dogs. What's not to like? They listen as if you're brilliant, they love everything you feed to them, they think you're a genius, they care when no one else does.

And then I met Drive. And just like that, dogs ascended in my view. I understood "dog people." I became one of them. There can never be another Drive, I know that, but never again in my life will I be without a dog. Actually, just the idea of having only one dog seems a little strange, but that's a matter of finance rather than preference for me. When I think of my future, of the "lifestyle" track I want to be on, there's dogs everywhere in my imagination. When I answer the question of a hypothetical lottery win, I get teary-eyed thinking of all the puppies! With a million dollars I could save so many puppies...

This new worldview has an unexpected bittersweet twist. I didn't just lose a pet a couple of months ago. I lost a person. I lost a living soul who took up a big space in my world and now, all these weeks later and after an emotional few days, it's hitting me how much I miss my Bullie.

I'm not even going to put his picture on this post; I linked to it up there with his good-bye post. Even looking at that makes me remember, I was holding him when he passed. I was looking into his eyes when the lights in them faded.

We go to McDonald's, and buy the $1 box of four chicken nuggets. I hand the extra one to my husband.

"What are you doing?"

"That's the extra one. You can eat it."

And about then, I remember that we only have two dogs. That they can just have two damned nuggets apiece and there's no extra anymore.

And then I think of Drive, who is 11. And Lanie, who is 12. And I take a breath and remind myself that I'm strong enough to love this much and then say goodbye.

Bullie was almost 9 when we (accidentally, I'm serious) adopted him. It was a few years for us, that's all. A couple years with an old stripey dog, followed by months of this heavy, pushing grief and a place for him in my heart forever.

It's worth it, because for Bulldozer, it was the rest of his life. He did not die a lonely and unloved dog in a shelter. He didn't spend his remaining time in a kennel waiting for someone to want an old, shy dog that didn't attach quickly or trust easily. He died held by arms that loved him. Someone wept for him, and still does. He died with toys. He died after a thousand wonderful meals and uncountable treats. The rest of his life was warm, loving, interesting, and full of delicious surprises.

It's worth it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Problem Child

"I could be off hunting whatever tiny things live in those woods."

For every beauty shot I have of Drive, I have a few failures. He doesn't like to look at the camera. Lanie doesn't either, and she adds a level of difficulty: some angles make her look deranged. Her ears, her squinty eyes, her overbite, her "get offa my lawn" old-lady attitude... I try not to get offended when people (not greyhound people, of course) smile and ask so kindly, "Oh, what's wrong with your poor dog?"

Eyes: almost the same size!
Her habit of squinting whenever she's outdoors is so pronounced that every so often I look it up under "canine symptoms" to see if she's got a problem or if she's just narcoleptic. Even in the shade, she looks like a vampire with a hangover if she's deemed it "too bright."

(And while I thank you in advance for the advice that will surely come, she's not the sort of dog that tolerates things wearing things very well so we won't be buying Doggles anytime soon. Or a hat, which is too bad because I think she'd totally rock a little bonnet or fascinator. Something in teal or fuchsia. She does enjoy PJs in the winter.)

Might be my new favorite picture EVER. Look at that.

Proof that she can be pretty, too!

You'll have to take my word for it. When she's curled up on my bed looking at me with deep, soulful brown eyes and a quivering chin, she's the most beautiful little girl there is. It's sometimes hard to get that captured in an image, though.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Hey, I hope no one minds I took two weeks off from the internet. ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I haven't the mental wherewithal for a long post about what this day means, but today is Drive's 11th birthday. He and Lanie have been busy this week keeping me sane. But I want you to know we celebrated this momentous occasion with a ride in the car and a cheeseburger, his two most favorite things in the world. To further enhance his joy and wonder at the day, we've been randomly feeding them treats with no "Sit!" or "Roll Over!" attached.

And the children are out for the night with their grandparents. How much better could a dog's life get?

I'll tell you! The fireworks were postponed due to cloud cover! Score!

Lanie always wants to go on car rides, but the truth is that she spends most of the time terrified. Today I am pleased to report she did fairly well and kept her head out the window the entire time.

By the way, even the 4-door Toyota Yaris is too small for two dogs. FYI.

Eleven. More than half his life with me, now.