Category Archives: our pack of wild animals

kitties v. baby

I know I’ve joked before about declawing the cats (after Minerva attacked me), but now I have to actually consider it. Yes, I believe it’s cruel, and I know it’s like having your finger cut off at the knuckle, but when it comes down between declawing a cat and letting a cat hurt my baby… well, the humans come first. And for the drive-by commenters googling so you can lecture me about how I shouldn’t have gotten a cat if I couldn’t handle the claws, let me go ahead and cut you off. Minerva is almost 8 years old, Sydney is almost 7. They’ve been part of our lives since before we got married, before we knew we would get married, before we knew we would have kids. We’ve let them destroy furniture (brand new furniture at that), destroy carpet, scar up our arms and legs, etc. We didn’t declaw them before we had the baby, because we wanted to wait and see how they reacted to her. If they were fine with the baby, no need to declaw.

And they are actually fine with the baby. Sydney mostly avoids her. Minerva likes to be near her and is curious and will even try to cuddle us both when Buttercup is on my lap. I don’t let Minerva near her if I’m not right there beside her.

This morning, Buttercup was on her play mat, and I was sitting right next to her while she played. Minerva was about a foot away from Buttercup’s head with her paws curled up under her. Just watching, studying. After a while, Buttercup got really wiggly (her favorite song was on), and Minerva reached out with her paw towards Buttercup’s head. With fully extended claws. I know she was just going to tap at her like she does me when she wants a scratch, but the baby doesn’t distinguish what *kind* of pain she’s in. Thankfully, I caught the paw in time and sent the kitty away.

But now we have to consider whether to let the kitties keep their claws or not. I don’t want to do it, but if it comes down between their claws and her safety, I choose to get rid of the claws. It’s a hard decision, because I’m against declawing cats. I would just cut their claws every day (both of them are okay with it), but I don’t have the time. I know, it doesn’t take long, but I have a long list of things that don’t take long that I don’t get to do right now.

I’ve never declawed a cat this old (I declawed one of my previous cats before I really thought about it and learned more about the surgery). Do they recover okay? Anyone have opinions on what we should do? Thoughtful comments only, please, no personal attacks. I’m not taking the decision lightly.

UPDATE: Has anyone tried these Soft Paws? They look hilarious, but I’m willing to try them before the more drastic step.

mouse in the house

Frank found a dead mouse in Rowdi’s water bowl tonight. This is either a gift to Rowdi from Minerva or a warning to Rowdi from Sydney.

I’m going to miss this house.


Frank dressed up as a ninja Friday night for a Halloween party we were going to. After he had his mask tied on his head and over his face, Rowdi was in her crate, and I asked him to go give her some cookies and lock her in so we could go.

Ninja Frank walked in, and when Rowdi saw him, she came out of her crate and ran behind the bed and started shaking.

What. A. Coward.

It took a while for us to coax her back to our side of the bed (by this time, I had joined the fun so I could make fun of the big scary pit bull who’s deathly afraid of ninjas), but we were able to get her to come over and sniff Frank. When she figured out who he was, she started jumping up and down, so happy that her daddy was back after being replaced by the scary masked man. Or something.

Then when we came back in after the party, Frank went to get Rowdi out of her crate, still wearing the ninja mask. When she saw him, she lowered her head closer to the floor, dropped her ears, and started shaking. She calmed down when he pulled the mask down so she could see his mouth.

We’ve only seen her react strangely to someone (besides barking, jumping, sniffing, wagging, dancing the pee-pee dance) one other time, and that was when my mom & stepdad came to visit two summers ago. When Pappy walked in, he stood in the livingroom behind the couch, and when Rowdi saw him, she freaked. She ran on the other side of the couch, and jogged back and forth in front of the couch several times while barking at Pappy. And she didn’t stop until we figured out why she was freaked, and he took off his baseball cap.

So my dog is afraid of ninjas and men in hats. Frank’s been telling me that if I leave my gun at home when I go for a jog, I shouldn’t worry, because Rowdi will protect me. Somehow I’m not so sure.

Hiding from Batman.

My sweetest

Y’all probably figure this is about Frank. Nope. Minerva, of course. Ever since Rogue ran away, Minerva has kind of turned back into my bebe, my sweetest, my snuggliest. She’d gotten out of the habit of following me around. If she was sleeping, she slept on our bed with Rogue. If she was up, she was playing with either Sydney or Rogue. Or hissing at Rowdi. She still slept with me at night, but things just weren’t the same. She’d found a new friend, moved on a little.

Now Rogue’s been gone for a month or so, and Minerva is all over me. She sleeps behind the crook in my knees at night, and in the morning I wake up on my back, and she’s between my knees. If I’m on the couch, she’s either curled up on my leg or softly purring behind my head. When I go to the bathroom, she has to come with. I go into the gameroom, and she sleeps on a box or in whichever ottoman chair I’m not using. When I cook, she splays herself in the middle of the kitchen floor and cries at me if I walk too close to her.

Do you think I’m complaining? I’m so not. I’m relishing.

When she was a kitten, I used to tell her, “You’re the sweetest and the cutest, and I love you the best!” I still tell her, only if Frank’s around, I have to whisper it. “I love you the best, but don’t tell Daddy!” I, of course, stage whisper it.

The bebe

I love it when she gets obsessed with things. I’m reminded of myself at such times. The obsession seen here is a moth that made its way into the fireplace.


It’s her favorite place to be.

Suddenly I’m no longer against declawing cats

I’ve always known that Minerva is the big protective mama cat; any time Rowdi has messed with one of her sister cats, Minerva has been the one to ferociously attack the dog and let her know that it is NOT okay to harm her little cubs. I have assumed, however, that Minerva loves me above all others. As we always say to each other, “You’re the sweetest and the cutest, and I love you the best!” (I’m the only one who says this out loud.) I found out tonight that I am not, in fact, number one in Minerva’s world. When it came down to a perceived fight between Sydney and me, my bebe chose Sydney and let me know in no uncertain terms.

Everything was going as expected: We leave tomorrow morning at i’ll-freeze-to-death-thirty, so I am doing laundry and dishes, cooking dinner, unpacking the gifts we ordered from Amazon, packing for the trip, moving furniture around so we can *finally* put up the Christmas tree, moving our new elliptical machine (thanks, Old Flemings!) to its place, and finishing the Christmas decorations. (There’s still a whole week until Christmas and two weeks until they have to come down.)

Suddenly I heard a wretched noise coming from the window next to the china cabinet. Sydney had apparently tried to jump down from the china cabinet to the window ledge and had managed to tangle herself up in the cord for the window blinds. I couldn’t tell if she was strangling herself or had her foot caught, but she was fighting hard with the cord and moaning angrily, as fighting cats do. I dropped what I was doing and ran to her. I grabbed her and lifted her up so that if she was strangling, the pressure would be off her neck and I could figure out how to get her down. Meanwhile, Frank was on his way over. Sydney started fighting with *me* now, slashing my left arm with amazing strength (and depth of slash). I was trying to get Sydney out of the cord (her foot was tangled up in it) and fight her off at the same time. Suddenly, I heard another vicious yell from behind me and felt cat claws punching me over and again in the back of my right thigh: Minerva was attacking me. So now I was trying to help Sydney, save my own arm, and free myself from Minerva. She nailed me several times and then jumped away. At the same time, Sydney managed to get loose of the cord and jump down to the kitchen bar. Not pleased that I was still standing, Minerva thrashed me some more, and Frank arrived and pulled Minerva off of me. By this time, I was on my knees, writhing in pain. (I am a wuss like you would not believe.) Rogue joined the party and head-butted me while cooing. Head-butting is how Rogue tells you it’s time to pet her. NOT NOW! TOO BUSY HAVING MY LEGS RIPPED APART TO PET YOU!

This all happened in a matter of fifteen seconds, if that, from the time I heard Sydney to the time Frank pulled Minerva off of me. I don’t blame her — she arrived late to the scene and thought I was harming Sydney, and she was just trying to protect her precious girl. Knowing that she chooses Sydney over me does kind of sting a bit, but as I am severely injured, my physical pain takes precedence over the pain of betrayal.

I’m going to show you my naked thigh now — I normally wouldn’t do this because of my whole modesty thing, but I’m pretty sure there is zero chance of any of you lusting after my cottage cheesy thigh. You’ll be too horrified by the wounds to lust anyway.
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This just in

I’m almost 100% sure that Rowdi has a skunk living in her butt. I’m pretty sure she’s the cause of fake global warming.

Cesar Millan on Bones

Yes, we have started watching Bones this season. We mainly gave it another shot because we like David Boreanaz so much after spending the summer watching Buffy and Angel. We added it back to the DVR last week, and we’re so glad we did. I guess the couple of shows we saw last season were off episodes? Or maybe we were looking for more shooting and less characterization. I don’t know.

Anyway, we are enjoying it, and I plan to buy the other seasons on DVD with my allowance.

In tonight’s episode, they found a dog-fighting ring. Grr argh, those things really chap my butt. And make me want to give Rowdi sloppy kisses and hug her really tight. (Don’t worry, I don’t kiss dogs, because they’re gross.)

Anyway, Cesar Millan was on there, and just watching him interact with the dogs and hearing the passion in his voice about the dog fights made me cry.

Oh, and the LOL moment: When Bones said she’d seen him on TV. “Thank you.” “It wasn’t a compliment. I was expressing a fact that I’ve seen you on TV.” And the look of comprehension on Cesar’s face. Comprehension of the crazy.

Anyway, great episode. And dog fighters are evil and will burn in hell.


We’re going to flexible schedules at work. Couldn’t have come at a better time, because starting yesterday, Rowdi is staying home alone during the day, and the cats are in the garage. With the flexible work schedule, I’m going to be able to work from home in the afternoons, which means we don’t have to drive home at lunch (a forty minute round trip) to let Rowdi out and make sure the cats are okay in the garage (I worry about the heat). Instead I’ll get to go home, let Rowdi out to pee, let the cats into the house, and get back to work. We won’t be able to carpool to and from work anymore, but we’ll save about $300 a month. $425 for unsupervised doggie “daycare” (if care means putting the dogs in the back yard and checking on them once or twice throughout the day) versus $120 extra in gas each month? Yeah, I’m good with that.

So now I need to find a desk for home. And a comfy desk chair (but not too comfy).

Cold front

We should watch the local news more, because the cold front (and the insane wind gusts it brought with it) caught us completely by surprise. We’re supposed to have a high in the seventies today.

I have pictures and an injured toe from last night, but those will have to come later, as the news kind of has me in no mood to finish my post about it. Meanwhile, ten homes were destroyed and one person is dead after the fires last night. We’re fine, but I think Rowdi is still angry at the big bad wind that attacked the house. If she could have caught it, I’m pretty sure she would have killed it.

Not a whole lot of sleep last night

Well, I suppose I got six hours (didn’t help my headache, but it was enough so I could function today). Frank, on the other hand, sleeps more lightly than I do, so he got up several times with Rowdi. She was panting and squealing, and since she sleeps in her crate in our room, she was not to be ignored. She had diarrhea all night long. 5 a.m. was the first time I heard her squealing, and I just remember saying, “Rowwwwwdiiiiii. Rowwwwwwdiiiii. Rowwwwwwdiiiii.” You know. To try to get her to shut up. Frank finally said, “Will you take her out this time? I haven’t slept at all.” I got up with her, and she was running from both ends. Poor girl. We came back inside, and I started writing — a few minutes after we got inside, she was snoring on the floor. Glad it’s easy for you, Row. I do love this one trait about her, though: She was sleeping, and suddenly she bolted to the back door. I ran over and let her out, and she wasn’t out there five seconds before she had blerged all over the place. And she trained herself on that after we moved here, peeps. “I know I’m gonna lose my cookies, so if you’ll let me out I’ll just do it there.” Good dog. She’s the only one of our animals that hasn’t blerged on the rented carpet.

halp! i deetatch mah hed!

Caption me, please

But so far I’ve only seen obese ones

Rhodesian Ridgebacks, that is.

Today at doggie daycare (we may possibly *be* those people — I just don’t know anymore), Rowdi had several dogs to play with. One was a min pin, which she played with yesterday very well, but today the min pin was fickle and would occasionally snip and snap at all the dogs. But I like that Rowzer the Bowzer (also known as Row-Row the Bow-Wow) is able to play with the teeny dogs at this place. At the place in Florida, they separated the dogs, large and small, and the two sizes didn’t get to play together, but here all the rat terriers, chihuahuas, and min pins jump around Rowdi and yip and yap and frolic and play, and she alphaly ingnores them all. There’s a giant lab named Duke that she lurves and also a puppy pit who can match her in energy and sprinting abilities. Y’all know we have pretty much the most high-energy dog on the planet, right? Well, these little yippers (the rats, chihuahuas, min pins) tire her out as it is… but today, she had a puppy chocolate lab, a puppy labradoodle, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. And the Rhodesian Ridgeback? Could outrun her. Dogs don’t outrun the Rowzer. And when I heard it was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, I was like, “But Sunny Lukis is obese!”

She sleeps constantly these days.

Another funny thing she does. In the mornings, we feed her before we leave for work (carpooling is awesome), because she’s going to need her energy playing with the puppies all day. Well. We usually feed her while we’re getting dressed, packing lunches, whatever. But as soon as she sees that we’re both downstairs and both wearing shoes, she won’t eat. Stops right in the middle — and this dog is obsessed with food. We coax her. “Rowdi, eat your food! Eat your food, puppy girl!” She’ll run and take a bite, then run back over to where we are to make sure she doesn’t miss us leaving for work. This is repeated a bite at a time until we’re ready to leave. She generally leaves about half a bowl (two cups) when we leave the house. A couple of times we’ve taken the bowl with us in the car so she can eat the rest of it, but that was just so much trouble, carrying something extra to the car and all. Now we just leave it in the house, as she is clearly not interested with the prospect of meeting new puppies nearby. And it’s so funny when we get home. I don’t know if she thinks about the food all day, like “as soon as I get through that door that I see so often, I’m going to eat,” or if she remembers food the second we hit the driveway, or if it’s when we’re standing next to the door fumbling for keys. But as soon as we open the door, she tries to bolt inside. I say, “No, first Daddy. Then Mommy. You last.” She sits politely until I finally motion for her to come inside, and the second she’s past the door, she swings around behind the door (where her bowl is) and starts chomping away, and she doesn’t even wait for us to take off her leash. I think the hunger pangs strike as soon as we step out of the car, because that’s when she suddenly forgets her manners and tries to lead us to the house. “I haz food there! Quick, hoomins!”

That’s all I’ve got. Work has been insane the past two days, and I only have three days until vacation, during which I need to do… oh… six days of work.

Today I think I discovered that one of my coworkers blogs. I went over to her desk to ask a question, and I saw that she had something that looked remarkably like Movable Type open on her computer. She quickly closed out of it. I don’t know whether to ask her about her blog or google her. They all know I blog, which is fine — I assume they read (not because I’m arrogant, but just in case) — but no one has told me about their blogs or anything.

Beddy-bye time.

Which came first, the biscuit or the egg?


The biscuit, peeps, the biscuit.

See, unlike Sunny and Maggie Lukis, Rowdi will not sit still if you put stuff on her. Put a t-shirt on her, and she mopes so sullenly, will not look at you, acts like you’ve just killed her favorite squeaky toy, and doggone it, that squeaky toy was hers to kill. Put anything on her head? You’ve got about a half second to snap your picture before she knocks it off and walks away. Bad dog.

But I am not to be thwarted (for long). I want pictures of my dog with stuff on her, and I’m going to get them. So your genius muser did what any would-be dog torturer would do: I made her sit still with a biscuit on her nose.

We all know that Rowdi is awesome at the Wait for the Biscuit game (witness). So I realized that I could put the biscuit on her nose and have her undivided attention for however long it took to get a decent picture. I had put the egg on her head several times, and she had just tipped her head to the side or whacked the egg with her paw as many times. I put the biscuit on her nose and told her to wait for it… and then I was able to get a couple of pictures pretty fast. I love the look on her face so much it hurts. She feels such indignity, can you tell?

Exit question: How about that body frame? She has such a buff, muscular torso, but then you get to her legs, and they are so skinny! She has very narrow hips, no doubt the reason that at five years old, we already have to mix glucosamine and chondroitin with her food due to hip trouble. Poor egg-headed puppy.

bad kitty

We’re going to have to start locking Rogue in a padded cell at night.

Terizt kitteh will eet ur soulz!

Rogue has come to be known in this house as “The Terrorist.” Minerva is sweet and cuddly — the worst she does when we’re trying to sleep is burrow down between my knees so she can be more comfortable, and if we try to sleep in on a Saturday, she comes up and starts gently clawing our chests or faces so we’ll know that it is time for her pets. Sydney just knocks everything off the counters and rips up my fake plants.

And then there’s Rogue. When we got her she was eight pounds. Within two weeks of unlimited supply of cat food, she weighed ten. The vet told us to put the food up where she couldn’t reach it but the others could (she can’t jump, so if she can’t climb or claw her way up onto something, she can’t get there — it’s her most awesome feature) and ration her food. We did that for a while, and then we moved here. Everything was just too hectic to bother with that. Until we took her to the vet a few weeks ago. She is now a twelve-pound beast.

So now Minerva and Syndey eat on the kitchen bar (the only place in the house Rogue can’t get to), and Rogue’s food is on the guest bathroom floor. And she gets rationings. The recommended food for a cat trying to lose weight is something like 3/4 cup per day. We give her about 1/2 cup twice a day. So she’s getting plenty of food. The only reason we do 1/2 cup twice a day is because occasionally, Minerva eats from Rogue’s food, so we can’t really be sure that Rogue’s getting her full 3/4 if we only give her that much.

Well. Around six o’clock every morning, Rogue starts climbing around on my night table. She knocks off anything that will make a noise. Then she walks across us and over to Frank’s night table and throws off books, keys, wallet, anything else she can find. Then she stands up with her front paws on the wall and starts playing the kitteh version of tetherball with the cord to the blinds. Just bangs the wooden knob around, making as much noise as possible.

Clearly this cat has been trained in kitteh-getz-fed tactics.

Not to mention (wait, this means I *am* mentioning) that any time one of us has food on our plate left over after a meal, she gets up on the couch, pretending to want to snuggle, grabs something off of a plate, and throws it onto the floor. Like “There! You’re done eating! So get me some food!”

She also headbutts us if we ignore her when she wants us to pet her. She’s really not a nice kitteh.

Wot? Fesh gotz ta swam, kittehz gotz ta eet.



After we got Rowdi’s head bandaged so she couldn’t shake her ear wound open again, it only took a few days for her to get it back off. We were constantly putting her left ear back under the bandage. What’s worse, they had folded her ear into “broken” position before bandaging the head. Basically, her ear was folded inside out, so any time the bandage moved (often, because she wouldn’t stop messing with it), she was making the inside of her ear raw.

This is iteration number two of the bandage. There is an iteration number three, because she got this one off fast, and we had to put it back on every other minute.

The bandages have been off a few weeks now, and the inside of her ear is still raw and chafed, because she keeps picking at it. Poor puppy.

Caption if you like.

Rowdi loves me because she has no idea

Frank took her into the daycare place yesterday so she could socialize with the other dogs. It had been awhile since she’d gotten to do that. When I went to pick her up, I walked up to the door, and my puppy was there to greet me. Only the screen door was closed (and locked), so she started jumping up and hitting the screen to try to get to me. I told her no a few times, rang the doorbell, and watched as she sat there so anxiously, her whole puppy butt wagging on the ground. Trying to sit, finding it impossible because she wanted to see me so badly. She whined this horrific noise that she only whines when she rilly rilly wants something and can’t have it (in this case, me).

Of course, as soon as they opened the door for me, she became completely disinterested in me and completely enthralled with all the smells of the inside play room (they play outside most of the time, but she doesn’t like being cold).

Anyway, she wouldn’t have been so happy to see me if she only knew. Frank’s been trying to put stuff on Rowdi pretty much ever since we got her — I have been the mom and told him no each time, because it’s, you know, demeaning and just awful to do. I have heretofore made exceptions at times such as Christmas and after she’s had part of her ear burned off. But my protection has now ended.

Rachl Lukis is making money off of putting stuff on Sunny. That’s all I need to change my mind, yo. I just said to Frank, “You are now allowed to put anything on Rowdi or the cats, as long as you take a picture. A good picture.”

It may be time to upgrade to that digital SLR I’ve been wantingneeding.

we told her the lobotomy would make her smarter UPDATED

Friday, as you know, we had serious issues with Rowdi’s ear flap bleeding everywhere. This is the bandage job I did before she shook that off with half a shake of her head:

Yes. As I said, I am untrained. How can y’all not be impressed with my natural gift?

Frank took her back to the vet a couple of hours later, and right when Rowdi got into the vet’s office, she shook her ears and promptly started bleeding all over the floor. I’m sure they will always look forward to seeing us. So the vet tried several things. He rebandaged her ear, and as soon as she could shake her ears, she splattered blood all over the office. Awesome. He tried cauterizing the wound three different times, and every time he was done, she would shake her ears and resume bleeding heavily. By the way, she was tired the rest of the day from all the bleeding (or the excitement and anxiety of going to the vet’s office).

Frank was at the vet’s office for over an hour, and Rowdi only stopped reopening the wound after this:
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we have pictures!

Here’s one.

doggy torture twice in one week!

Rowdi seriously needs a pedicure. I think we’ll find out when the groomer will be stopping at the daycare place this week, and we’ll take her in that day so she can play with the other dogs and get her nails done. The owner has offered to paint Rowdi’s nails because she loves painting doggy nails. I didn’t think Frank would go for it, but he thinks it would be funny. So now it’s just a matter of convincing Rowdi. That may take some doing unless there’s a whole lot of peanut butter involved.

first problems

Well, I can’t get the built-in card reader to recognize my xD card, and my Olympus software won’t install. I’m going to do some research, but that’s why y’all haven’t heard the conclusion of Rowdi’s ordeal yesterday (I want to post it complete with pictures). For the record, the pictures we took of her yesterday are by far the most pathetic pictures of Rowdi ever. Y’all can’t wait to see them.

I can’t wait to get them on my machine!

I never went to EMT school

For a couple of weeks, Rowdi has been growing a… growth on the inside of one of her ear flaps. It was red at first and then grew to be this giant (1/2 inch) black bubble. So yesterday Frank took her to the vet to get it checked out. They said it’s a common growth-type thingy that dogs get all the time. And they lasered it off. Also gave her shots and her kennel cough vaccination. Good day for the dog.

When she came in from doing her business last night, her ear was bleeding a little. Just a little. But the bandage was still firm on her ear, and the blood stopped quickly.

This morning I went to let her out of her crate, and as soon as she got out, she flapped her ears wildly, as dogs tend to do. And then her ear started gushing. All over the rented carpet. And when she flapped, she splattered blood all over the wall, so it looks like something went down up there on the landing. Poor puppy.

I put her back in her room so she could gush all over her washable blankets while I went to clean myself off and get bandages. My hands and foot were covered in blood (dog blood, ick!). Cleaned that up and then took the bandages right back to Rowdi’s crate. Of course, I first went the lazy route and tried to put a giant bandaid (I had a couple) over the tape bandage that the vet had on the ear. But the blood continued to pour, and by this time Rowdi was starting to eat her own blood. I was pulling on her ear to get the old bandage off while trying to keep her head up so she wouldn’t eat her blood off her blankets and gently saying, “No, Rowdi. We don’t eat our own blood in this house.” I think she was trying to remove the evidence that she’s in a weakened state so the cats won’t take the opportunity to kill her and eat her carcass.

So I finally got the old bandage off and pulled out the alcohol swabs. I wondered if she would bite me while I tried to clean her ear. Tried being the key word, because the lasered spot had a big mess of congealed blood, and I was starting to gag. Future career as a doctor: not possible. That’s okay, though: I already have a typical white person job. Anyway, I cleaned as much as I could without adding barf to the mess in her crate and then started patching her back up again. First I used one giant bandage, which she did not like, because I was putting sticky stuff on her ear. Then I patched up around the edges of the ear with smaller bandages so the blood wouldn’t leak if the ear started up again. When she was all sealed up, I got her several cookies, which she ate heartily before going back to eating her own blood.

Meanwhile, Frank was cleaning the blood off the carpet. When he got it all cleaned up, we decided to let her out of her room. As soon as she got downstairs, she started rubbing her head against the back of the couch. Awesome. I am scared to look and see if she got her doggy blood all over it. After the head rub, she went to the middle of what will eventually be the pool table’s spot and flapped her ears wildly. My improvised bandage didn’t work so well. She started dripping on the carpet again, but being the good dog she is, she ran right for the hardwood floor and dripped all over that instead.

So the poor thing is back in her crate. Frank is going to Walgreens to try to get better bandages, and when he gets back from having coffee with a recruiter, he’s going to take her back to the vet. I just don’t know how you get a dog’s ear to stop bleeding, especially a dog who thinks if she shakes her ears around, it’s like she never heard that command you just gave, so she doesn’t have to do whatever you told her to do. She shakes her ears a lot.

I’ll have pictures later (for real this time!), but I haven’t loaded my camera software on the new machine yet. BTW, the computer came with a digital media card reader built in. Uploading pictures will be so much easier!

educating the public, one boss at a time

So New Boss started Friday. He’s very nice, I think he’ll be a great boss (I make the judgment from the total of three short conversations we’ve had). But I did have to educate him just a little, in a very nice way. A much nicer way than I might have wanted. I was reasonable and just pointed out that his presuppositions about my dog are… presuppositions.

The whole department went to lunch, and I was sitting right in the middle of the table. All the guys to the left of me, all the girls to the right. I could hardly hear the girl conversation, and the guys were talking TV and politics, so I was talking to the guys. And the political talk was a nice segue to my story about Rowdi and the Democrat dog. While I was telling the story, they asked what kind of dog I have.

SARAHK: Oh, she’s a shepherd/pit bull mix.
ALL THE GUYS: Wowwwwwwwwww.
SARAHK: Yes. Very high energy dog. Very sweet.
NEW BOSS: Wow. [smiling] Just don’t bring her into the office.

Ok, I was so struck by this comment, not because he was judging Rowdi’s behavior without meeting her, but because he felt the need to tell me not to bring my dog into the office. Is it common practice to bring dogs into the office?

SARAHK: [funny look on my face] Um, I would never bring a dog into the office. [laughter]
NB: Wow, that’s a dangerous mix to have! But I’m sure she makes a great guard dog.
SARAHK: We don’t let her be a guard dog. She’s stable. And it could be a dangerous mix if we were irresponsible, but it’s the same with any large, high-energy dog. But we give her exercise, we discipline her, and we don’t let her get away with trying to be in charge. We’re responsible owners, so she’s a good dog.
NB: Oh, that’s good.

I was so proud of myself. I didn’t even get angry, I kept my voice reasonable, and I didn’t call him a dog racist. Yay for me!

Then the entire table made fun of me because we take Rowdi to daycare if we’re both gone all day. I tried to explain that we’re not one of those people, but they weren’t buying it. Oh well. I’m used to being laughed at.


Frank was painting at his parents’ place today, and he wasn’t sure how long he would be gone (turns out all day), so I dropped Rowdi at doggie daycare on the way to work. Ok, so this is kind of funny. Someone who is in charge of campaigning for one of the Democrats in Idaho has left her dog at this same doggie daycare for two weeks (I presume until Super Tuesday). And who is Rowdi’s best friend? The Democrat dog! Yeah. All day long today they howled at fire engines. Now, we have been trying to get Rowdi to howl, and the daycare boss said that any time the sirens get going, the dogs all start howling in response. I wish I could be there to see this awesome event! When they weren’t howling at fire engines, Rowdi and Buster (her new boyfriend) were standing at the fence barking at the cows in the valley below. Haha. She’s so funny with the big animals. Any time she sees a horse, she starts growling and barking her angry bark. She’s never barked at cows before, but daycare boss said that it seemed like Rowdi and Buster were just trying to see who could bark the most at the cows. That’s what those cows get for being lazy. But by far my favorite story from today? The daycare boss was in another room from the dogs, and she said that suddenly they weren’t making any noise. Which means that they were either napping, or they were getting into trouble. Now, Buster is staying overnight while his owner is campaigning, so his crate is in the grooming room, another place where the dogs play that is connected to their main playroom. The boss went into the grooming room and found them both cuddled up together in Buster’s crate.

HOW ADORABLE IS THAT? I know a dog’s crate is supposed to kind of be his own place, not invaded by other people or animals. I also know that dogs can be protective of their spaces (Rowdi doesn’t seem to be with her crate). So I’m just loving the idea that these two critters were snuggled up together in his crate.

On the other side of things, I’m going to keep my ears open. If I hear Rowdi talking about reaching across the aisle to write hyphenated bills, she’s *so* grounded.

first day

Today was your typical first day. Take the tour, meet the people whose names you won’t remember, meet with HR, get the accounting program walkthrough, history of the company, lunch with the department, meeting with Big Boss… we didn’t get to our desks until after three! My office mate (who also started today) and I only got to look over the books for our respective companies (the ones we’ll each be responsible for) for about fifteen minutes before it was time to go home. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to digging in. Maybe they’ll even let me post something. :-D

Also, Frank took Rowdi in for doggy daycare today at the place she’ll inhabit during the days when we’re both working. She made herself a high energy friend (just what she needed), and they played all day. So she’ll go once a week or so for all-day socialization until we’re both working, and then she’ll go every day.

I’ve gotta go to bed, but I’ll try to update y’all in the morning. I want to talk about gluten-free dining.

how awesome is my dog?

So awesome that when she knows she’s about to throw up, she gets up and zips to the back door. Yes. My dog understands that we don’t want her to puke on the rented carpet. Last night she bolted up from her downstairs bed and ran to the back door and let out a little yelpy whine. I was in the kitchen and looked over and said, “What are you doing, puppy?” Frank said she had her throw-up face on, so I ran over and let her out. Yep, as soon as she got outside, she ran to the grass and puked. What a gooood giiiiiiirrrrrl.


let it snow, baby!

We woke up with new snow this morning, and it is still snowing from overnight. Was snowing pretty heavily for a while. I love snow!

Minerva hasn’t seen snow since Amarillo, and this morning I opened the blinds in the reading room so she could get to the window sill. She’s chirping at the snowflakes as if they were insects or lizards.

She’s so cute!


I wish so much that the camera was within reach right now, but it’s in the car, and the car is in the cold outside.

This black cat decided we would be her family a couple of months before we left Florida. We named her Omen against my strongest wishes. We’re in the process of either changing her name or not changing her name. To Rogue. First, she’s completely black except for a teeny little white spot on her head. We were talking about it the other day, and Frank said it looks like she has a trauma patch like Rogue (X-Men). I begged. Oooh! Can we call her that? Please, pretty pleeeeease? And Frank likes it, and we also realized that it completely fits. Because she’s a thief. A big one. She will get up onto the couch while we’re eating, and she’ll sit perfectly still between us (this is when I know she’s about to strike, because if she doesn’t have intentions to be bad, she’s pawing at us or crawling all over us trying to get us to pet her). So she sits quietly, and suddenly, her paw (and claws) will come out, and she’ll swipe something right off one of our plates. She’s lightning fast, too. We can never keep from laughing when she does this, because she’s so intense about it.


And then she sniffs the food she’s just stolen and decides she doesn’t want it. Frank likes to eat peanuts, the kind that come in a bag in their shells. So one day he was reaching into the bag to grab a peanut, and Rogue reached out and swiped a peanut from the bag. Once she sniffed it, she was bored and left him alone, but you know, just in case there was fish in there, she had to swipe the food from the bag. Cracks me up.

We always know when the cats are out of food, because Rogue is quite vocal in that situation. She does not stop calling and standing with her paws on the garage door (she knows where we keep the food) or getting right in our faces and yelling at us until she gets food in her belly. When you go get the food bowl to fill it, she follows you upstairs, then back to the garage, then back upstairs just to make sure the food gets safely into her belly.

So just now the kitties had no food. Rogue was very vocal about it, and we still hadn’t fed them. So she jumped up on the couch between us, and Frank’s dinner remnants from last night were still on his TV tray. A few garbanzo beans. His phone was also up there. Well, Rogue kept trying to steal garbanzo beans off the plate. I kept pulling her back and telling her no. She does not mind very well. Finally, she jumped down off the couch, and I thought she’d given up. But then she walked over to the other side of the TV tray, stood on her hind legs, held on to the top of the tray with one paw, and started reaching for items with the other paw. Just stuck those claws out and started grabbing in all directions. See, she couldn’t actually see the top of the tray, because her head didn’t reach all the way. Anyway, she got one claw into Frank’s phone and just started pulling. Pulled the phone onto the floor, and we lost it.


One other funny thing she does. She’ll come up onto the couch and walk around, and I’ll see that she’s leaving wet paw prints everywhere. This is when she’s just been to the water bowl. She mainly only drinks out of Rowdi’s bowl, which confuses Rowdi during feeding time, because Rogue will be standing there drinking, and Frank will put the bowl down with Rowdi’s food, and if Rogue doesn’t go for the food (she usually doesn’t, but she used to every time), Frank will give Rowdi the word that she can eat, and Rowdi will just stand there and stare at Rogue, like she doesn’t want to get in trouble for eating while a cat is standing there (isn’t she great about her food?). Anyway, the way she drinks is that she dunks both paws in the bowl, and I mean dunks. She doesn’t just paw the water a little like Minerva does to test for proper temperature. Rogue dunks her paws in, sometimes separately, sometimes together, and then *drinks* the water off of her paws. She doesn’t actually put her face down to the water. Ever.

She’s a hilarious cat. I’ll have to videotape her doing stupid stuff soon.