Monday, March 29, 2010

Good News

Just wanted to thank everyone who kept their paws crossed that Echo would get better soon.

She's home now with her family. She can't have any doggy visitors yet and gets her temperature taken twice a day and has hot packs too. But she's very glad that people food is back on the menu and she loves sleeping on her mom and dad's bed too.

It's still a mystery what caused her sickies, but the medicine is helping her get better and stronger. I'm so happy for my friend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paws Crossed

Kharma's BFF needs your good wags. Echo collapsed Sunday and has been in ICU with an undiagnosed ailment (symptoms: abcesses, pustules, ear infection, high fever) and our neighbors don't know if she'll make it. We are all hoping the blood work shows something that can be treated.

We've combed the Internet and gone through back issues of The Whole Dog Journal looking for clues.  Parvo vaccination?  Systemic bacterial infection?  Staph?  Something caught at her last grooming session?  Allergic reaction?  She hasn't been anywhere new, changed diet, or gotten into garden trouble.  It's all a mystery that we hope gets solved soon.

Echo taught Kharma about playing nicely with other dogs.  The girls love to play frisbee and we laugh when one of them catches the frisbee then they both carry it back to us.  It's real cooperation!  I puppysat Echo when she was a little black fluffball of a baby.  We feel like she's part of our extended family.
Join us and keep your paws crossed for a happy ending.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just prescribed a large dose of happiness for myself.
Nothing else could be better at banishing my blahs than a summery photo of my happy little girl.  I'm feeling lighter already.  Excuse me while I go downstairs and give her a cuddle.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pink Paws

Is there anything sweeter than memories of your new little love? I read this old post and melted...

From 4/21 /06

she's sitting in my lap,napping, as i type one handed so there will be no capital letters today.

she doesn't have a name yet, but we have a list of possibilities going. she's smart and loves exploring her new world. life from a puppy's point of view is magical, i am finding. grass is wondrous. a leaf is amazing. a breeze can create toys to chase around the yard. a scrub jay high in the pin oak should be studied carefully. i am living on puppy time.

she explores EVERYTHING! we have picked up "stuff" in anticipation of a pup, but she is finding things we never thought about: dead ants around the maple, the part of the chair glide that sticks out beyond the chair leg, the texture of the braided rug. nothing is safe.

she follows us everywhere. she curls up at our feet. she naps on our laps.

we are wearing old shirts so she can sleep surrounded by our scent tonight. we hope to have a more restful night. she's just a baby and we are as sleep deprived as any new parent. and like any new parents we can't believe how wonderful she is. we've memorized her freckles, her patches, her texture.

we smile all the time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Four-Year-Old

Kharma had a birthday earlier this month--I blogged about it at Meadowsweet Cottage.

Later I looked at the posts I wrote when she was a new wee puppy,

They're so sweet, that I thought I'd share them with you here on Kharma's very own blog.

From 4/20/06:

Our wonderful, loving, faithful dog died in early December. Her last days were happy ones--she was lively and interested and thrilled that her oldest boy was home visiting. We knew her final visit to our vet would have to be made in a matter of days and we were glad her last days were filled with all the people she loved. We didn't have to make that trip--she made a graceful exit, at home, in her bed. We shed tears and gathered up all the belongings of our beloved friend so that we would not have so many daily reminders to stab at our hearts. Our house seemed empty without her welcoming presence.

Finally in mid-January we were ready to begin looking for a puppy to fill the empty spaces in our home. We went to the animal shelter; we went to the humane society; we searched on-line. We didn't expect to find the perfect animal right away. Both our previous dogs took at least a month of repeated visits to the county animal control or humane society. But a month passed and no prospects. Well, we thought, it's still winter and maybe Spring will bring adoptable litters. We continued to look and look without success. Well, we thought, maybe during Spring Break we'll find something and have an entire week to bond with a puppy. As Spring Break approached, the search went into full swing--continuous online monitoring of PetFinder, of our area pet-rescue websites, and frequent visits to our new County/Humane Society adoption center. We left no stone unturned--looking at postings from Southern California, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Idaho, Colorado. If the perfect puppy was out there, I wasn't going to let a little geography interfere (my sweetie wasn't so sure about traveling long distances to get a pup, but I was beginning to be desperate for some puppy love). Some possibilities began appearing and we kept adding photos and descriptions to The List. Of course, some of those were adopted and disappeared, some were just far-away pipe dreams, and some were good but just not quite right. We knew what we wanted: Aussie/Collie/Golden Retriever mix, 5 months old or less, female. We were willing to fall in love with an adult dog or a male if it happened, but we were pretty set on the breed mixtures.

Finally, Spring Break arrived. We survived our Easter blizzard and were ready to take to the roads went they were cleared. If Nevada didn't have the puppy for us, we were going to California to look. Tuesday was nice, but we didn't get an early start and decided to wait a day. In the rush of getting together pound names, addresses, and maps before we started we still found time for one last search on PetFinder and something new turned up--cute, golden, female, aussie-border collie cross pups. Well, Gridley wasn't real close, but maybe if nothing else panned out....

We find the Auburn pound after many false starts but the staff are on lunch break. Off to Roseville but only adult doggies to be seen and not much of a selection at that. Let's hope Sac has more. They do and we are happy to see an older couple adopting the grown aussie that we like, but know isn't right. Back in the car for another couple miles to the animal control--hey! puppies and a good selection. Still just not the dog for us there. (Yeah, we are pretty picky, but this is a new family member we are selecting, not a new shirt.) We think Stockton probably has the next best amount, so we brave the rush hour traffic and head south on I-5. They have two lovely female golden mixed breeds. We even visit with one, but she's just too timid (hence unpredictable) and we have to think of our two little neighbor girls. Guess we'll pass her up.

Time to sit in the car and talk about options. We have our bags packed for a possible overnight stay, so we could continue in the morning closer to the Bay Area. It's just that the shelters all open pretty late in the day. So I make my first long distance call on my Christmas cell phone and ask about the Gridley puppies. They are still available so we get directions and make an appointment to see them that evening. Gridley's a LONG way, my sweetie offers. But right then I would have flown to Indiana to see a good puppy. Almost two hours later, we pull up to Sierra Buttes K-9 Rescue and look for Darrell, our contact, only to have our eyes captured by a rambunctious knot of black& white and gold puppies rollicking around a large pen. The fuzzy gold one from the website is there, but we are captivated by a lovely curly blonde with white markings. There's no question--this is OUR puppy, the one we've looked for and dreamed of.  It took 4 months and hundreds of miles, but we've found her!

Don't you just love happy endings?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's In A Name?

I don't know you you feel about crossbreeds.  It's all we do here.  Pound puppies with a little of this and a little of that in them. Zelda is the exception but technically she doesn't belong to us but to The Big Guy. 

We met a lot of crosses on our summer walks, We did have fun making up names for the various crosses.  Goldendoodles and Labradoodles and Cockapoos are fairly mainstream, but what would you call the schnauser-poodle cross that we would have taken to the Queen Mother immediately if only her owners would have relinquished her? A Schnoodle?

I guess we're not the only ones who like inventing names for the cross-breeds.  What would you call a Pointer crossed with a Setter?  Probably a Poinsetter, a traditional holiday breed.  Or a Pekingese crossed with a Lhaso Apso?  Someone suggested a Peekasso--but that's too abstract for me.  A Great Pyrenees and a Dachshund?  Definitely a Pyradachs--a puzzling combination.

No, I didn't think these up, but I was banished from the family room where everyone else was trying to watch a movie while I was howling with laughter in the corner.  Even Kharma seemed to think I was making too much noise.

  • Irish Water Spaniel x English Water Spaniel would created an Irish Springer, a dog as fresh and clean as a whistle.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier crossed with a Skye Terrier--Blue Skye, the perfect dog for visionaries.
  • Newfoundland and a Bassett Hound would result in a Newfound Asset Hound, for CPA's and other financial advisors.
  • Bloodhound and a Labrador Retriever would create the dreaded Blabrador which barks incessantly.
  • Crossing a Deerhound and any Terrier would result in the Derriere, a cross-breed true to the end.
  • A Collie and a Malamute would produce a Commute, a dog willing to travel to his work.
  • Whereas a Malamute and a Pointer would produce a Moot Point, usually owned by...oh well, it doesn't really matter.
  • A Terrier and a Bulldog cross is not recommended as the Terribull is prone to horrible mistakes.
  • Bull Terriers and Shih Tzus, alas, produce the Bull Shihtz which is a gregarious but unreliable breed.
  • On the other hand, a Labrador crossed with the Curly Coated Retriever results in a Lab Coat Retriever which any scientist would be proud to own.
  • No list would be complete without a Cocker Spaniel cross, so let's pair the Cocker with a Rottweiler and see if we get a Cockrot--the ideal pet for a woman with a philandering husband.
Kharma's bugging me to think up some Border Collie crosses.  I'll have to get back to you on that one.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    An S&S Turkey Day Hike

    Whenever Mom's walking partner is otherwise occupied, I get to hike with her instead. Today her walking partner did Thanksgiving Boot Camp, whatever that is, but Mom still wanted to burn a few calories so she took me with her. Yippee!

    Mom put the leash around her waist so I HAD to heel no matter what good smells needed sniffing. At least as soon as we reached the shortcut (the first S) she let me off-leash to climb the hill and run on the Ditch trail. When we reached the switchbacks (the second S), I was very patient with my slow Mom--it's easy to be patient when there are so many interesting smells to investigate, BOL! Mom jogged the downhill sections on the way back and it's fun to go faster than a walk.

    Best of all, the quail were waiting for me near the end of our walk. I chased them all over the hill and into the street and across the road. Mom wasn't happy when she finally got me back. Somehow I can't hear her calling my name or yelling "NO!" when I'm chasing birds, but I think the neighbors probably could. (Did I mention it was only 7:30 a.m.? Poor sleeping people.)

    Mom told me that I was a naughty dog, then added that at least I had fun. She's a pretty smart human because as soon as she said it, she laughed and said that naughty dogs always have fun, that's why they're/I'm naughty!

    Happy Turkey Day, everyone--I'm off to scarf some leftover skin and broth with my kibble. I wish it was Thanksgiving every day!

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