Sunday, November 20, 2016

Settling Into A Routine

It's been a busy time here at chez Wing. Tidbit and Bear went back to their mommy, the outdoor blog is getting more stuff for review than I have time to review, and the Facebook page has been literally blowing up. I spend most of my day answering fan mail, looking at fan-sumitted photos and dealing with scammers trying to scam me out of my page.

Even working at home for 15 years, I never seemed to get the time I wanted for my doggos. If Zoey or Ty were on my lap when an important call came in, I had to put them down. Teenager problems, plumbing emergencies: sometimes I just wanted to cuddle in bed with the doggies and turn my phone and computer off.

Now money is still an issue living a frugal existence, but at least I'm my own boss. And now I can ignore a call and spend 10 more minutes giving kisses to my honey bunny. Ty is my truck buddy, and Smokey and Spot get all the attention they want.

The doggies are doing good. Zoey is as ornery as ever. She's got a little red spot on her belly that she's been scratching, so I'm keeping an eye on it. No more tummy problems for her and Ty. Smokey has mellowed in his old age and he's a happy old man. His right eye still gives him issues from all those eye injuries fighting with Spot's mate, Lenny.

Spot had to go off the doggy Prozac because I couldn't afford all the lab tests to make sure it wasn't hurting her liver. But I got to thinking that it wasn't worth it for the results I was seeing anyway. It made her kind of listless, and she seems to be doing well without it.

So we've settled into a kind of routine here. The Facebook page is about to hit 80,000 subscribers, and soon I'll be selling T-shirts with dog pictures on them to earn my living, which sounds almost too good to be true!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Full House

Bear and Tidbit left today to go back home to their mommy. It was great seeing them for a couple months, but I'm not really setup to handle 6 dogs living in an RV. It's a large RV, and their tiny dogs, so it wasn't too much of an issue. I hadn't seen them in almost 2 years, so it was nice having some cuddle time with Bear and being around Tidbit's antics.

Zoey with Bear and Tidbit

The doggos Facebook page is doing great! Last week I reached over 8 million people, and the page should hit 50,000 subscribers in the next couple days.

It's been a busy time: legal threats for the other blog, health issues, RV issues, and now running a meme page that gets numbers Taylor Swift would be happy with. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tidbit & Bear Come To Visit

My old friends Tidbit and Bear are coming to stay for a bit, while the ex looks for an apartment. I have mixed feelings about this: I love these two dogs more than I love most people, but it will be 6 Chihuahuas in a small space, and we have a very modest existence. But dogs are forever, and there's no way I could turn my back on the sons of Lenny.

 Bear and Ty used to be best buddies, so hopefully they will pick up where they left off.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ty Demands The Bed

Ty was born in my living room, but he spent the first two years of his life with an elderly woman who spoiled him rotten. She also kept the same hours most elderly people keep. Me, not so much. I pretty much keep vampire hours, so Ty has been slowly adjusting.

Sometimes, he gets tired early and demands me to take down the baby gate. Dinner time gets his mommy Spot all worked up, so I keep the baby gate up most of the evening so she doesn't pee on my bed.

Since Ty's little brain doesn't have a speech center, the best he can do is run back and forth between me and the gate, jumping at it. Chihuahuas are like cranky children when they need to sleep, and he gets impatient if I don't move fast enough to take the gate down.

Uh, a little help here...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ty Fell Out Of The Truck

It's been in the upper 90s the last couple of weeks. Ty loves to go outside but it's just been too hot.

So last night I took him with me for a midnight snack. He loves riding in the truck and standing on his tippy toes to see what's going on.

When we got back, my arms were full and I opened the truck door. He tried to jump in my arms but they were full, and he bounced off me and landed on the ground with a *thud*. As I'm mentally calculating the best route to the doggy ER, he coughed, got up, and started wagging his tail.

He seems fine today. Last night I was pressing lightly on his ribs where he landed and he just had some minor discomfort. Today there's no sign that he did a belly flop onto asphalt. Chihuahuas are hearty creatures, but I think I'm going to stop allowing him to jump into my arms when we're in the truck!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Healthy Snacks

The new doctor has me on a short leash, with drastically less carbohydrates. I've been making the pancakes for their treats even though I don't eat them myself, but lately I have more leftovers of chicken and veggies, so they've been getting more of that for their treats.

Everyone likes grilled chicken, whether you're a doggo or human.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Doggo Humor For The Masses

The Bork Bork I Am Doggo website and Facebook page are getting some good traffic, so I will probably keep posting at least some of my original work. With so much pain and suffering in the world, people need to laugh more.

The humor and memes are one of the few things I like about Facebook. That and seeing people's baby pictures, which is all the "awww" without any of the responsibility :)

Doggos - Has Science Gone Too Far?

The first rule of doggo club is don't talk about doggo club

For this one, I turned my Zoey into a meme. She does have the crazy eyes, so she's cute and scary at the same time.

Doggos - we are legion

DFF - Doggo Friends Forever

The web site has an area to submit photos if anyone has a dog-related, meme-worthy submission!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Portland Air Show

There was a big air show here last weekend, complete with fighter jets buzzing the whole area at 100 feet off the ground, with full afterburners. It's quite an exhilarating experience seeing a fighter do a barrel roll over your house, almost touching the tree tops.

Not so much exhilarating for my four doggos. It wasn't just all the planes; they were setting off car alarms all over the place, not to mention all the extra traffic, honking and other barking doggos.

"Pet, I think those monsters are still out there"

Poor Zoey was convinced we were under attack, and still occasionally looks at the ceiling for the metal monsters she was sure were coming to murder us. I've thought of putting her on doggy Prozac just like her mommy, Spot, but her anxiety is more situational, and more of what I'd consider normal for a Chihuahua.

Ty had a little anxiety, though I think he more wanted to go outside to see what was going on. And Smokey did fine. If there's no food involved, he could care less.

I can only imagine all the little trembling dogs during the air show. It was incredible seeing the Blue Angels do a loop in formation, but I'm glad it's over, and so are all the neighbors ... and their dogs.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Chihuahua As A First Dog

Today I was reading an article on a dog-related web site where they asked "Does a Chihuahua make a good first dog?" and I was surprised that most Chihuahua owners answered yes. I guess people who love Chihuahuas really love them. I know many who don't.

It's hard to explain to even a dog owner. Many people only see one side of the coin: an ill-tempered, yappy little dog. But what the owners see is a fiercely-loyal companion: small in stature but huge in spirit, and very protective.

The people who take the time and the patience to get to know a Chihuhua are usually rewarded with an amazing dog. They have more personality than other breeds I've had or known. Not to mention cheap to feed and easy to clean up after.

But getting a Chihuahua as a first dog wasn't something that immediately came to my mind even having seven of them at one point. The more I think about it, though, the more I agree that they can be a great first dog with a few caveats:

Everyone else called him Tank, but for whatever reason, he just seemed like a "Lenny" to me. He loved children.

  • They are higher maintenance than most other breeds and require above average dedication from their humans. Dogs have bonded to humans since the beginning of time, but the Chihuahua has an even closer bond. They are loyal like dogs but cuddly like cats.

  • They are small and fragile. If you trip over your Labrador, it will still be licking your face on the ground even after you land on it. If you trip over a Chihuahua, you could kill it. And if it survives, you'll get the cold shoulder. Zoey has been underfoot her whole five years, and even being super careful, she's probably been punted twice in her life. But there's other dangers, too, just because they are so small. 

  • Children. They can do well around young children, but should never be left alone and unsupervised with no training. People underestimate how smart dogs are, but they also underestimate how smart small children are. I've seen an 18 month old toddler say "nice doggie" to Zoey's papa Lenny and gently give him a treat when he was a puppy. Where Ty's last owner told me he was aggressive to children, and Ty doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He's even more gentle than Lenny was. The difference of course is the supervision and guidance. And of course your Labrador would share the same benefits, but the Labrador is more likely to be able to shrug off an unsupervised encounter with an untrained toddler.

  • Food. Chihuahuas obviously eat less than most other breeds because of their size, but they like food probably the most of all breeds. Even overfeeding them a tiny bit, they get porky and start having knee problems. Underfeed a Chihuahua, and it can go into hypoglycemic shock from low blood sugar. Feed them correctly, and they are tiny, well-oiled machines. It's just that there's a very narrow band that they thrive in.

  • The Chihuahua is my favorite breed of dog. They're as high maintenance as children, but I wouldn't change a thing. It's just that I didn't know what I was getting into when I said "sure, get a couple Chihuahuas!"

    Saturday, August 6, 2016

    More Doggo Humor

    It's been fun playing with Photoshop and my doggos meme page. Even my mom likes some of these.

    Doggo In Hyperspace

    Doggo Hunting Prey In The Wild

    Doggo On The Moon

    Penguin Doggo

    A World Without Doggos

    Doggo Feeling Abandoned

    Doggo Doing A Fabulous

    Wednesday, August 3, 2016

    Killer Instinct

    Lenny had the killer instinct. Even in the final stages of congestive heart failure, he would race across the house and beat all his young, able offspring to get a piece of food dropped on the floor. We were aghast every time he did that, but Lenny was a beast. He lived every day of his life loving hard, playing hard, and he was a good daddy to his puppies.

    We always joked that Spot is crazy and Lenny was a beast, so all the puppies have those two qualities to a certain degree.

    Zoey is a beast, with a full dose her mamma's intelligence/crazy and her daddy's beast mode. She has her daddy's killer instinct. Now beast + smart + crazy = Zoey is always the first one to the treat. A piece of chicken falls out of the pan, and within milliseconds she eats it and throws it up because it's ... piping hot. I throw a treat for Ty and she gets it 9/10 times.

    Ty is smart and gentle, with none of the beast or crazy. I like to think he's what his mamma would be if she were normal. She came from a puppy mill and was abused, but we didn't realize some of the crazy was genetic. So Ty is basically a tiny Labrador--unlike a Chihuahua at all. But that means he loses most of his treats to Zoey. Or would lose if I didn't compensate by giving her treats last. Most of them catch treats out of the air, but I almost never specifically give her one because she's been known to leap in front of Ty and snatch his treats out of the air.

    Smokey loves food as much as Zoey does, but he's getting old, and all the eye injuries from battling with his nemesis, Lenny, means he can't reliably catch treats out of the air, and Zoey is just too fast and agile for him.

    Spot loves food, but could care less if she gets a treat outside of dinner. She doesn't have the killer instinct as far as getting to treats, but once you give her a treat, she turns into a foul, dangerous beast if another dog comes too near while she's eating it.

    So, as usual, Zoey is the criminal mastermind of the bunch, and she always seems to get too many treats no matter what I do. Thankfully she's too small to get into the pantry or on the counters like my brother's husky.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2016

    My Chihuahuas Are Tiny, Well Oiled Machines

    With a big house and a full pack of Chihuahuas, our life was pretty chaotic. There was just so much going on, that we never seemed to settle into a routine with the dogs. They always seemed to eat, play and potty at different times.

    Now that the doggies are the main focus of my life, they finally have the structure they needed. Little dogs are are like small children, and they're definitely creatures of habit. With dad, they eat, play and potty on the same schedule every day.

    They seem to prefer being on a set schedule. My Chihuahuas are now tiny, well oiled machines!

    Sunday, July 31, 2016

    Chihuahua Of Habit

    Spot has to eat behind a baby gate because otherwise she will claim the other dogs' food. She has to have a piddle pad next to her dish because she will go potty right after she eats, wherever she is.

    She has to be given extra time to eat and go potty, but if she's done, and she thinks she was left too long behind the gate, she'll making harumphing noises. When she thinks she's sighed and hurumphed long enough, she'll bark a couple of times, at which point she ends up pacing like a caged tiger.

    Even with the doggy Prozac, she's high strung and high maintenance. I vaguely remember feeding small, fussy children, but Spot is even more fussy!

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Warm Doggos

    Chihuahuas are strange animals. My pack and I live in Oregon, but their little hearts will always long for the warmer climates. Even in 97 degree heat, they still burrow in the blankets with the air conditioning on. And since I'm not going to turn the AC off, my doggos still get cold when it's roasting outside!

    "Don't patronize me, Pet--it's still freezing in here!"

    Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    Bork Bork I Am Doggo

    So many irons in the fire, but I decided to do something quick, fun and tangible. I love dogs, and humor, and the internet, so it seemed natural to pick a dog meme Facebook page and put a web site there.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Pokemon Go Buddies

    The last few weeks I've been walking with my sister, playing Pokemon Go. I didn't get it at first, but it's getting thousands of people out of the house who wouldn't normally be outside the house, and it's hard to see that as a bad thing.

    Out of four of my dogs, only one is well behaved enough to function around a huge number of people--my little guy, Ty.

    He's a dream to be with out in public. He's a little shy though, but he's still made lots of friends.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Two Feet Of String

    Zoey is about as smart as a mute, three year old human. But three year old humans aren't exceptionally bright, and I've had some of the same issues with Zoey as I did raising little kids.

    Today she proved herself by swallowing about two feet of string from a blanket. What's worse, she had apparently been swallowing string for a couple hours, because string was partially digested. As I very slowly pulled it out of her, it kept coming. And kept coming.

    She was fighting me every inch of the string, and I was scared as hell to give her an internal rope burn, so I had to hold her pretty firmly. 30 years ago my cat did the same thing and it kind of freaked me out. But at my age, I've raised kids and have cared for hundreds of animals. I was calm and did a good job preventing her discomfort or having to be rushed to the doggy ER.

    Who me? I'm a little angel

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    Bonding With Smokey

    Smokey was our first Chihuahua, and he was my dog the first day we brought him into our home. He chose me. The missus got him as her dog and he chose me from day one, which meant that she now needed more Chihuahuas. But we never really bonded. More like he bonded to all the food I gave him. He chose me because I dropped food when I ate.

    Then in  a large household with seven Chihuahuas, kids, work and all the other life stuff, he never really bonded with anyone. The little bit of time I had to devote to him personally wasn't enough. He seemed to want food much more than attention.

    Now it's a much different living situation, and he's really been flourishing. A smaller pack, more time, less stress--whatever is different is really agreeing with Smokey.

    I knew that Spot finally accepted Smokey when she started "Spot-blocking" him

    I remember when Smokey had his knee surgery, the surgeon called me to give special instructions for him because my dog "was kind of an asshole." It's like he was a grumpy old man since the day he was born.

    He had a little tiff with Spot today over the prime sun spot, but overall he's getting along great with the whole pack. He's not only bonding with the pack, but he's been bonding better with me. Today I was petting Zoey and Smokey came up and wanted some love, too.

    It kind of sucks that I'm only properly bonding with Smokey after 10 years, but better late than never. It's gratifying seeing him so content. He's always been the typical high strung Chihuahua, so it's nice seeing him so relaxed and happy with his place in the world.

    Sunday, July 3, 2016


    The other day I had to carry Zoey the last 100 yards or so of our walk. Sometimes she gets scared and stops and sometimes she has to stop and go potty. But mostly she keeps up with me and likes looking and sniffing at the scenery.

    At first I thought she was just scared of something. The day before a big Labrador had run up to a chain link fence and scared both of us. So I thought she was a little scared and tugged on the leash a little to give her the cue to catch up.

    I could tell she was trying to keep up. She's been a really good listener lately. And then she gave me a pitiful look and I knew she was having issues. I picked up up and she felt a little warm. So I carried her the rest of the way. She didn't feel that bad because she perked up in my arms and was trying to snap at flying insects while we walked the rest of the way. I said "get the flies Zo Zo" and she looked at me like "I'm working on it, Pet!"

    Ty acted like he would've been happy with three more walks. He has his mommy Spot's energy.

    Sunday, June 26, 2016

    Zoey Watches TV

    The only two dogs I've ever seen watch TV are Zoey and her brother Tidbit. We normally watch TV together but today I noticed that she was intently watching Intervention while I was doing the dishes.

    Friday, June 24, 2016

    Pretty Girls

    It's rare to catch Zoey with her mommy without her being Spot-blocked. They were both scared of the work I was doing on my office, so they put aside their usual politics.

    "Who's a pretty girl?"

    The redesigned office is about halfway done. A desktop tower, server tower, laptop, raspberry pi and tablets/phones replace what used to be a whole room full of computers not too long ago. Add about 10 TB in storage and a good sound system, and I'm all set to do some mobile app development. Maybe a dog walking app or something.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016

    Brother & Sister

    Tidbit had made peace with Zoey relatively early when we lived in Spokane. He was little, and she bites, so they didn't have any problem cuddling with each other since it was clear she was the boss.

    But Ty is the proud son of Lenny, and he's much bigger than Zoey, so it took him much longer to realize that she is the boss. Ty may be a proud beast like his papa, but Zoey is crazy and bites like her mommy, Spot, so it was just a matter of time.

    Now instead of looking at me and sighing, Ty will often jump right behind her and plop down. Sometimes they even share the blanket. She doesn't "Spot block" him like her mommy does, but you can see in the photo that she does claim him when they're cuddling.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Xena, Warrior Chow

    The neighbor just got a Chow puppy. Xena is only 9 weeks old but she has the same gleam in her eye that Zoey does. She's super sweet but also really coy. I can also see the same stubborn streak I saw in Zoey at about the same age. Except Xena will be the size of roughly 15 Zoeys.

    She probably won't meet Zoey but I think Ty is the perfect temperament to socialize Xena with.

    Sunday, June 12, 2016

    Old Married Couple

    Spot was the mate of Smokey's lifelong enemy, Lenny. Smokey has never been a big fan of Lenny's puppies, either. Smokey has also been a grumpy old man since he was a puppy, so it was surprising that when get got settled in our new life, Smokey got less grumpy and befriended Spot.

    Now, Spot has a very strange way of showing her affection to another dog. She will lay down next to her victim and that dog is then "Spot Blocked" and can't leave. She's sweet and cuddly until her victim tries to leave, and then she turns into a rabid beast.

    In the picture below, Smokey realized he was Spot blocked and just went back to sleep. Spot still found it insulting that he tried to leave in the first place and sneered at him (and me) for a while.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    Father's Daughter

    If I catch Smokey or Ty doing something bad, just saying their name will freeze them in their tracks. But Lenny was the opposite. If I caught him eating something he wasn't supposed to be eating, he would eat faster if I said his name. Whatever he was doing, he would do four times faster once he was caught.

    Zoey is the same way her daddy was. Tonight I was making their usual chicken and rice dinner. I flip the chopped chicken in the pan like a chef would, and every once in a while a little piece of something goes flying out of the pan. I then pick the piece of food off the floor and throw it away.

    The few times that food has fallen onto the floor, I say "NO" and whatever dog stops long enough for me to pick it up and throw it away. But Zoey is a carnivore like her daddy, and when she saw the piece of chicken fall onto the floor and heard me say "NO" she ran twice as fast and had it down her gullet before I could get to her.

    The chicken was very, very hot, and I was surprised she swallowed it with no ill effect. She didn't yelp or give any indication that it hurt. She even gave me a smug look of "nice try stopping me, pet" as she jumped onto the bed. She had that smug look on her face about a minute or so until she suddenly horked up the piece of chicken and part of her dinner.

    She then looked at me like "you tried to poison me, pet" and went to curl up next to her mommy, Spot , in indignation.

    Tonight made me think of something similar with her brother, Tidbit, who lives with the ex in California. Except that Tidbit, who is also remarkably like Lenny, ate a piping hot chunk of jalepeno instead of chicken. So not only was it physically hot, but spicy hot, too. And just like his sister, he didn't cry out. He basically gulped air for a couple minutes and then came begging for more!

    Monday, May 30, 2016

    This and That

    It's been a really busy couple of weeks. My dad randomly showed up right as we were getting ready for the grand opening of my brother's brewery. I did all the food for the opening and was the grill-master, so between the work, the drinking and the socializing, I'm pretty much wiped out.

    The big party was fun (other than the hang-overs) and the doggies did great. I was really worried that having 100 people standing next to my trailer freaking the dogs out, but they were fine. I even passed Zoey around a crowd of people. She's so smart--she calms down when I take her outside to see what noises she's scared of. Ty even got to run around the party on his own steam, and he had a great time roving through the crowd introducing himself.

    I've been gaming, too, with a new set of friends I met online. We use team speak, which lets a group of people talk voice chat with each other, and it's been a blast. And of course I built a web site for our new gaming group. It's great to have some new friends with nothing to do with my previous life.

    The grill master, peering through the haze...

    Johnny passed away yesterday. My sister is in Peru and had to tell her assistant to take him in, since it was clear he was in so much pain. He actually looked pretty good other than being miserable, so I understand completely. My little sister took me to visit him last week, and he seemed really happy to see me. His new friend Satin was curled up to him trying to comfort him. Satin is 15 and has lost her last 4 best friends.

    It's funny, as I'm looking for some photos of Johnny as a kitten, I'm seeing that in almost all of those photos, he was following Salem around. Him and Salem ended up having 12 years where they were literally never apart, so it's touching to see that it was that way from day one. When we got Johnny, our house in Anaheim was up for sale and it was a colossal venture even moving all our animals. There was a lot of little moments we missed, so I'm glad my camera was there to catch some of it back in 2004.

    So it's been a roller coaster of highs and lows the last couple weeks. It's hard not to see my scattered family coming together in spiritual terms. I told my brother that I want to be with my siblings whether I'm building his web site or making potato salad, or both.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    Johnny Cat

    My sister took my two cats when I lost my house. Salem fell ill, and his ashes are now on my night stand. Now it looks like Johnny isn't long for this world. He's in full kidney failure and there's not really much anyone can do. My sister found all this out on the day she was leaving for Peru, which was also her birthday.

    Hopefully I'll be able to say goodbye to him in time. Zoey has a hard time dealing with me being sad. She tries to hold me down so she can give me kisses to cheer me up. It's really sweet.

    Johnny has been on borrowed time for about 13 years. My step daughter's friend's mom asked us to take a litter of kittens, and I think at the time we already had 6 rescue cats, so we declined. So what she did was get extremely angry about us not taking the kittens, and said something like "I'm going to have the kittens put done one by one until you take them," and after making good on her threat by having two of the kittens euthanized, we finally took the other 3.

    I'll save the tale of Buster and Moo for another story, but after about a year, Johnny was the only one of his litter still alive.

    Salem and Johnny became outdoor cats when we got the Chihuahuas, which was kind of a mutual choice as neither group of animals liked each other.

    Together they were inseparable and kept the neighborhood clear of mice for almost 10 years. I don't think I ever saw Johnny and Salem individually the whole time we were in Spokane; they were always together. And they were inseparable at my sister's until Salem passed away last year.

    After Salem's passing, Johnny became great friends with my sister's 15 year old cat, Satin. She sent me some photos of them together last night, which I'll get around to posting. It's like finally when I start to feel like my new life is not going to have so much pain, something comes by and kicks me in the sad place.

    Sunday, May 8, 2016

    Better Weather

    The better weather has been nice. I'm going three times a week to a new gym with my sister. In high school I used to prefer to work out alone, but my sister is right that the workout goes quicker when you have a workout buddy. I was sick for a week, then didn't feel up to working out for a week after that, and so now it's nice to be back into some sort of groove.

    Smokey was never a priority for walks because he's old and has a titanium pin in one of his knees. Today I was going to walk Zoey and Ty together, but Smokey started hopping around as I was putting on Ty's harness, so we took him instead. He had a great time. Today was the most enthusiastic I've seen him in quite a while. He's much less grumpy in our new life, probably because I'm much less grumpy.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Forbidden Love

    For the most part the people in my life are more accepting than I thought they would be. My sister still says "how's your dog wife?" and people tease me, but most of the people who care about me accept that Zoey is my girlfriend.

    In my whole life, probably 3 women have looked at me with the same look Zoey gives me. As I'm typing this, she's on the bed peeking at me, hoping that I'll come back to bed. Sometimes I'll jump on the bed and just cuddle with her for a long while.

    Some people define their life entirely based on whatever relationship they are in. I've never done that, but what I have with Zoey comes close. My female friends think it's cute for the most part, but I can hear a tinge of sadness in that.

    So I want to put it out there that it's not only not sad, I think it's wonderful that there's a little dog in the world that has the same devotion from her owner that she gives to him. My dogs are the most important thing in my life and my devotion to my "dog wife" is total.

    I just peeked over and saw her staring at the ceiling. She hates flies.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    Where's The ... ?

    If you ask Ty to go get the monkey, and he's feeling playful, he will sometimes find it and bring it to you. If you ask Ty where the pancakes are, he will run as close as he can to wherever they are and start whining like "right there, man! right there!" That's about the extent of what Ty will find for you on command.

    Zoey has many more interests as well as the ability to make it clear that she has no interest in something. If I ask her where the monkey is, sometimes she will look over to where Ty normally puts it. She'll look in the direction of the toy, look at me and do the dog equivalent of rolling her eyes.

    I can usually get her to look in the direction of things she knows, likes, or in the case of flies, absolutely hates. I'll say "Zoey, where's Smokey" or "where's dinner" and she'll look at what I ask her to, and then look back at me like she's saying "don't patronize me, Pet, we both know damn well where Smokey is."

    The biggest reaction I usually get out of her is when there's a flying insect buzzing around. I'll say "where's the fly, Zo Zo" and her eyes will get wide, and she will scan the area. Sometimes I can point and say "there's the fly! get it!" and she will race over to see where I'm pointing.

    Just now she jumped into my lap, and I said "where's the fly Zo Zo?" and she looked around the room, frowned, put her ears down and looked at me like she was saying "that's a very good question, Pet."

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Man Servant

    We've been working on some of Zoey's behavioral issues like jumping on me and pawing at my face to get attention. She's very smart, and when I assume a leadership role, she falls into line. She'll come to me and obey a few basic commands.

    But she still considers me her man servant, and that's a tough nut to crack without it being an "I'm the human and you are a dog" relationship that we should have. So, like with everything else lately, I've been trying to plot a middle path.

    The important thing is that she will follow commands in an emergency, and we're already at that point. Now the tough part is getting her to be a little less bossy. I'm still her man servant, and she will often scold me for giving her a command.

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    Middle Path

    Sometimes I get really scared that something will happen to one of my dogs and I won't have the money for it. I didn't have that fear when I made metric shit tons of money. But back then, the family and dogs had everything they needed except for me. Work was so stressful that when even my body was there with my loved ones, my mind was still at work.

    Sometimes I vacillate and want to go back to that life. Today was one of those days. But my life 2.0 is more big-picture (spirtually?) focused, and I think that I want to find a more middle path. Being able to foot a multi-thousand vet bill for my dogs would mean a life mostly without me present. I could accomplish the same thing by finding them homes with rich people.

    So I did a mental exercise and looked into my dogs eyes, and tried to visualize what their answer would be, and I have no doubt that faced with a choice of guaranteed health with me gone most of the time , or an uncertain future that involves me always being there for them, they would rather be with me.

    A few of my family and friends think I've lost my mind because now that I'm physically able to go back to the life of a six figure income, I should do that. It shouldn't even be a question. Stopping to question it shouldn't happen. The wife would come back, the kids would start talking to me again. But I've changed, and I'm getting older. I look back at the last 20 years and the money in retrospect wasn't worth what I gave up to have it, no matter how much everyone in my life enjoyed the money.

    So, the last month or so I've been very introspective. The life I would really like is exactly what I have now but with a little more money. I pay my rent helping my brother out with his brewery, have a few small clients and the outdoor blog is making a little money. Other than for an emergency or sudden vehicle repair, I have everything I want.

    There's a middle path somewhere in this sea of opportunity. The new business is like this unfinished sculpture in the living room that I chip away at. Sometimes I spend a few days at a time on it, and sometimes I go a week without doing anything with it. A sculpture is much better when it's not forced. I don't want to create the wrong thing.

    Every day I wake up and the first thing I see is Zoey looking at me like I'm the most important thing in her world. It's very rare that I have to shove her aside to jet out to something important. Sometimes I'll lay in bed for an hour petting her and Ty before I get out of bed. I'm going to choose a middle path that doesn't give any of that up. The ability to lay in bed with my honey bunny is worth thousands of dollars to me.

    "Come back to bed, pet"