Thursday, October 30, 2014

Papa Hanging In There

They gave papa Lenny 1-2 years to live, and that was a little more than 3 years ago. I know I keep
saying he doesn't have long, but he keeps proving me wrong. The couple of times we ran out of his heart medicine, he didn't look like he would make it through the night.

He's got a bad knee, a bad back and a bad heart, and he is in the end stages of heart failure. Sometimes he coughs uncontrollably and we start to think it's his time, and sometimes hopped up on steroids and doggy narcotics, he acts like his old self, and his old self is 100% pure beast mode.

I've said it before, but it's hard not to give respect to any creature that lives life completely to the fullest. Even up until the last couple weeks he continued to eat every meal as if it were his last, and he still comes into the kitchen to beg every time I'm in there making something to eat.

He's such a great dog. It's weird being in awe of him and sad for him at the same time.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tiny Stalker

At some point Tidbit realized that being small has its advantages. He can squeeze through some of the gates, and bypass the other ones by squeezing through the bars in the stairway. For the most part he's had full run of the house since he made these discoveries.

Now, because he's our only dog with full run of the house, he shows up at the most interesting times. Sitting on the toilet brings a small creak of the door and a tiny face peeking in. Folding laundry? Yep, tiny little face peeking at you. Last week I was taking a bath, and he poked his head in, saw that I was in the tub and stole one of my socks right in front of me.

So far we've allowed this to continue because most of the time he only escapes the family room when his siblings are picking on him or when he wants to go curl up next to Smokey in the sun. But there's been a few times where he's gotten spooked and suddenly he's running around the house screaming at the top of his tiny lungs.

"I'll be joining you in a minute to help you eat your lunch."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Doggie Benadryl

Most of my adult life was spent without substances like Benadryl or Advil in my medicine cabinet. It wasn't until I was married with kids that I understood the benefits of these common medicines. All those years of needless aches, pains and sneezes. These days I will hardly leave the house without items like band-aids or Benadryl.

The last few days most of my dogs have suffered from a doggie cold. All these little sneezing Chihuahuas. It's not a pretty sight. It started with "Typhoid Zoey" but quickly spread to the others. At least papa Lenny didn't catch it. Today he passed out cold on the kitchen floor and had to be revived. He probably won't be around much longer. I wish there was a magic pill I could give him.

But at least there's some Benadryl for the puppies. I cut the pills in half with a pill splitter and give each doggie half a pill. They are tiny dogs but seem to tolerate half a pill well. They also get it sometimes for thunderstorms and long car rides. This time it seems to be helping with some of their cold symptoms. They sneeze less and seem to sleep better with it. Benadryl is pretty amazing stuff.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thunder Buddies For Life

Lately Spokane has been having these crazy thunderstorms where it feels like the almighty is kicking our house and deciding whether to light us on fire. The thunder has made me jump a few times, and I'm a veteran of dozens of heavy metal concerts in the 80's.

So if it makes the humans take a gulp of air with some of the big booms, think of what it does to my poor Zoey. She's a delicate flower. And as I've mentioned before and the missus and I always joke about, we're pretty sure that she thinks I am her pet. So to the best of my dog whisperer instincts, my dog is trying to tell me this when she dives under the covers:


The thunder is so scary, and Zoey is so smart that after the thunder booms, she will peek out the blankets to wait for the flash. She knows the boom comes after the flash, and duck back in the blankets when she sees the flash and starts shaking until the boom.

The rest of the pack doesn't seem to mind the thunder so much, except for Ty, who sometimes barks at it. Bear seems more inconvenienced by Zoey's anxiety than anything happening outside.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Box Fan of Doom

Ever since I lived in Southern California for all those years, I still have the habit of putting a box fain in a window of a hot room to give it some air flow. Yesterday the box fan fell out of the window in the bedroom, and Zoey was pretty sure that it was coming to kill all of us, and that it was vitally important that none of us sleep until we escape the killing fields for a safer room. She kept going to the door, and I can almost picture what she was trying to tell me:

"Pet! Pet! Use your thumbs to open this door and help us escape the BOX FAN OF DOOM!"

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Spot will bite a fool
Spot isn't right in the head. We got her as a rescue and we've never known what to make of her. She will suddenly look in random directions and bark at things only she can see. She will be walking through the house and suddenly start spinning in circles. I know she has a lot of energy because she sometimes runs her "crazy laps" through the house or back yard.

She is such an enigma to us, that I came up with the idea that we need an expert for Spot, a "Spotologist" so to speak. If I were more skilled in Spotology, then I would have a much better idea of what's wrong with her. Physically she's extremely healthy. I know some of the crazy is genetic, because here daughters aren't completely right in the head, either.

However, some of Spot's issues are definitely mental. Now all we need is a real Spotologist.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beef Flavored Narcotics

Lenny is starting to feel his age. He's lived every day of his life balls-to-the-wall beast-mode full-bore and it's starting to show. Bad knee, bad back, bad heart. The vet said that at 8 years old, he has the heart of a 15 year old dog. The last couple months it's been looking like he wouldn't be with us much longer. He was coughing so much and his lungs were filling up with fluid.

But then they changed his medication. They gave him a diuretic for the fluid and beef-flavored hydrocodone for the cough. It's the same stuff they give me for my neck pain. I had no idea it worked for coughing, but it's turned Lenny into a whole new dog.

Just in the span of a couple weeks he's gone from hardly being able to move all day to trying to steal my lunch and personally dominate every member of the pack just to show them he's still in charge. I don't know how much longer he has, but it certainly looks like for now he definitely has a good quality of life.

And for now Lenny, being the lecherous moxy dog that he is, jumps on the back of the couch every day when it's time for his beef flavored narcotics. It's nice to see the old Lenny back, even if I have to guard my sandwich.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


"Pet, don't point that thing at me!"
Zoey is a great little Chihuahua. Never far from my side. Never causes problems with the pack. The only real issue is that I'm pretty sure she thinks that she is the owner and I am the pet. We even joke that she calls me 'pet'. I can almost hear it.

When I am sitting on the couch, she will come up behind me, stand on my shoulder and paw at my face like I am a bad pet being scolded. If I leave her alone in the baby-gated family room, she will sometimes go to the edge of the gate and bark sternly at me, almost like she is saying "PET! COME USE YOUR THUMBS TO OPEN THIS THING, PET!"

I've thought about it, and I don't think that her being the owner changes our relationship much. As long as she listens to me when it counts, which for the most part she does. If there's stranger danger, or a car coming, or some reason I need her to come to me or move away, she does listen to me.

I'm happy to have a little dog like Zoey, even if she thinks that I am her pet.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mighty Tidbit, Lion Slayer

We originally had five or so of these tiny lion toys, and we've been rationing them over the 2 1/2 yeas of the puppies' lives. Tidbit loves this toy so much, that if I say "bring me the lion!" he will at the very least run around frantically looking for it. They say dogs are either food motivated or play motivated, and Tidbit is definitely the latter.

Oh to be a little dog, where every day is a new day, and every battle with a tiny lion is an epic struggle. Like his papa Lenny, Tidbit has maximum moxy. It's hard to believe he's a full grown dog!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Return Of Ty

When he first left the nest, he was named Scout, but his new owner called him Ty. She had a stroke and was hospitalized, and they told her she couldn't keep her beloved Ty. But it looked like Ty's luck was about to improve. We finally found him a good home, and his new owner was going to start calling him Scout, a name she liked much better.

But alas, it wasn't meant to be, and now, after two months away, Ty is back home with his brothers Tidbit and Bear, as well as his mean sister Zoey. Once again the sons of Lenny are all under one roof. It's a bit ironic that there are three sons of Lenny and three failed homes between them: 1 for Bear and 2 for Ty. I'm not especially superstitious, but I'm starting to think that the sons of Lenny will just stay under one roof unless something happens to preclude that.

We decided to avoid all ambiguity surrounding his name and call him Ty from now on, for a few reasons. He's back with us and fitting in famously with the pack. Out of the entire pack, only Lenny even gave him more than a cursory sniff. His siblings simply acted as if Ty had never left. He seems none the worse for wear, other than now refusing to come into any room, even if invited. He's slowing getting over that, though.