Archive for the ‘ Dogs ’ Category

Where I’ve Been…

As good as it gets when someone’s eyes have just opened.

Mind you, I’m not getting a puppy. I’m all for adopting dogs from shelters and saving strays. There are tons of dogs out there who need a good home, and I don’t encourage people to breed their pets.

HOWEVER, a friend of mine’s dog just had a litter and I haven’t held a puppy in seventeen years. There’s something wickedly adorable about holding a creature that fits in the palm of your hand which will grow to be about forty pounds in just six months.

I’ve been visiting my friend every weekend to participate in puppy-sitting and potty patrol. I’ve been bitten, peed on, and checked for milk (it’s amazing how fast puppies find your boobs, even when you’re holding them at arm’s length). I’ve broken up games when someone’s being a little too rough (which breaks down to having more teeth and being a little bit bigger in size). I’ve even chased a squatting pup so the poo doesn’t hit the carpet.

Me being a mommy? Highly doubtful. Me raising a puppy one of these days? Definitely probable.

Yes, I Still Count Them

It would have been my labrador’s 17th birthday today.

Day 9: Murphy

This blog has been quiet as of late, but it’s been a stressful month. As soon as things settle, there will be activity again.

What I’m Thankful For, Pt. 4

Almost two years later, you can still find me every other weekend at the Healthy Spot in Santa Monica, doing my volunteer gig with the Bill Foundation. I spend a few hours with dogs who need just a little bit of affection and attention. What do I usually get out of it? Dog hair, streaks of mud/poo on the front of my shirt, and multiple scratch marks from nails that are in bad need of a trim.

But every now and then you get a dog who thanks you for the attention you lavish. It’s not the dog that gives frequent kisses, or the dog who jumps into a lap as soon as you sit down. For me, it’s the dog that will give a cautious kiss on the cheek; the dog who leans into you as you hold him/her. And in a very rare occasion, it’s the dog that wants nothing more than to “hold hands:”

bill foundation

This is why I do what I do. And I’m thankful that these dogs put up with me, even when I’m cutting off their circulation from the hugs I bestow.

Dog Bite Recap

It’s been about three weeks since the “Cujo incident.” (That’s what the Bill Foundation is now referring to my accident.) How are things on this end? Let’s list them:
1. I’m almost back at my normal typing speed.
2. I can comfortably play my bass, and am working my way on being able to play the guitar and ukulele. (Who ever would have thought it’d be so much work getting a finger back into shape?)
3. Scabs are almost gone! Just dealing with dead skin that’s not quite ready to come off just yet. At the time of writing this draft, the scabs were still there. 95% of them are gone, with a stubborn one just refusing to fall off.
4. Yes, it’s taken me near forever and a day to just get this much done.

So what happened after my last post? It’s a little bit too gory for me to give details, so I’m going to do another list:
1. Large bite wound and high fever with swollen lymph nodes give worry to possible infection.
2. “Small surgery” performed to disinfect my finger.
3. A tetanus shot, antibiotics, and painkillers make for a very out-of-it girl.

I went in for a follow-up a week ago and came upon this unsettling discovery: the antibiotics weren’t so much to prevent finger infection as much as bone infection. o_O

I’ve done two adoption fairs since then and have come away without a scratch. True, I’m a little bit weary when I hear someone growl, but if Cesar Milan can do it every day, I can do it every other week. Without kicking anyone.

Dog Volunteering Day Is A Very Dangerous Day

I absolutely adore doing my part with the Bill Foundation. These people let me sit with tons of dogs and get free love. Every other Sunday I come home with dog hair, what are hopefully dirt stains streaked on the front of my shirt, and some minor scratches from overzealous Chihuahuas who demand love immediately.

Today was a little bit special, because I walked out with more than I usually do.

I arrived later than usual, due to Father’s Day brunch at Off Vine. (Yes! It’s open again!) Quick greetings to the volunteers all around before I slipped into the puppy room (where any dog under twenty pounds gets to play) to say hello. I recognized everyone in there except for one new addition: an adorable black and white scruffy dog named Banjo.

After a few minutes of observation, it was painfully obvious that Banjo was trying to show his dominance over the dogs in the room. Angus, another one of our scruffy dogs, had just returned from being shown and was being sniffed out. Banjo decided to try and mount Angus. Growling was heard, and the next thing we knew, the two were going at it.

Thank goodness there was another volunteer with me in the room. We tried to separate the dogs quickly, but somebody had the other in his mouth, so pulling them apart was a bit of a challenge. At this point it was a matter of trying to reach in and stop the biting as the dogs were rolling and snarling.

Somewhere down the line, I got bitten on the middle finger of my left hand. It started bleeding almost immediately, so I wrapped it in a paper towel and asked for a bandage. People were asking if I was okay, but it happened so fast that it took me a while to realize that my finger was starting to hurt.

The wound, which is pictured after the cut, looks a lot worse than it is. (If you’re squimish, don’t look and don’t comment on this post.) It’s going to bruise up nicely and should be a pretty good conversation piece at work tomorrow. Unfortunately, it does call for a tetanus shot to be safe, which I’m not looking forward to. And it takes a little bit longer to type with the bandage.

This experience does not in any way deter me from spending time with these dogs. True, this is the worst bite I’ve ever received, but accidents happen, and the bite wasn’t at all painful. I’ve slathered my finger in Neosporin (the one with the pain eliminating element), slapped an oversized bandage on it, and am resting comfortably.

hazards of volunteering

Tomorrow may be a different case after the shot.

Want to see the wound? :D Read more

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today was one of the most painful I’d ever experienced.

Two years ago, on this day, is the day I lost my beloved labrador to cancer.

It had been exactly a week since he was first diagnosed. We thought we had a little bit more time before he passed.


That was taken about a month before the end. He got lazy in his old age, but on this particular day, he had enough energy to go around the block a couple of times. In fact, he was kind of annoyed with me that I was only going to take him around the block once and stopped dead in his tracks. Since I couldn’t really drag a 14 year old, 95 pound dog who didn’t want to go back home, I let him have his way.

On closer inspection, it looks like he’s smirking at me.

I’d always heard the phrase “died from a broken heart” in stories but never truly believed it. Two years ago today, I think a tiny piece did die.

Sweet Sixteen

Today would have been my labrador retriever’s sixteenth birthday. You can retrace his life in this blog post.

I know some of you think I’m crazy for counting birthdays after his passing, but I still count birthdays for everyone special who has been in my life. I still acknowledge my golden retriever’s birthday; last December he would have been thirty. I blame my mom for this trait – she still notes birthdays and anniversaries of everyone she ever knew (even the ones who have been gone for twenty plus years).

Happy Birthday, Murphy Parker. I’m sorry I couldn’t remember the exact date for the first five or so years of your life, but I never personally filed my own taxes until I turned 19, so I wasn’t aware of the April 15th date and that your birthday would proceed it by just a day. But you know I love you lots.

Murphy's 14th birthday

Doggies are a Girl’s Best Friend

So back in 2004, I received the worst Valentine’s Day gift ever from my then boyfriend. What’s funny is that the general response I’ve received since posting that entry is this: NO ONE SHOULD EVER SEND CARNATIONS. EVER.

Normally Valentine’s Day makes me want to pull the sheets over my head and groan. The candy, the overpriced menus, the fake sentiment…I have to fight the urge to gag. (I think the feminine traits I was supposed to receive before the stork dropped me off got mixed up somewhere. I am kind of intrigued of being made up of “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails” – who doesn’t love puppy tails?) My mom often complains that I’m not a romantic and usually has to kick me out of the room whenever something horribly sappy comes on: “You’ve Got Mail,” “Kate and Leopold,” “An Affair to Remember,” or, worst case scenario, something on Lifetime Original Movies. >_<
However, I just realized that I get to spend tomorrow with someone special. Very special. Someone I know I love with all of my heart and would gladly die for.


Tomorrow is an adoption fair at the Healthy Spot with Bill Foundation. I’ll be there for most of the afternoon, basking in huge amounts of love. Sure, he can’t actually say he loves me, but when I get that accidental head butt in his eagerness to give me a kiss, I know there’s love behind it.

Bonus! A second blog post will follow later today, as it is also New Year’s Day on the Chinese lunar calendar. That story will lean more towards bittersweet, as the person who is the focus of the story passed away.

The Mind is a Terrible Thing

Last night I had a quick catch-up chat with Chia Lynn. Her mother’s dog had just passed away, and I wanted to see how Miss Chia was holding up. (The post she wrote is lovely – you are a fool if you do not read it.)

I think our chat, coupled with the fact that I have been sans-canine for almost two years, prompted me to have a dream where my dog came back to me.

In a method similar to creating Frankenstein’s monster, my dog was resurrected from the dead and was brought home. And I was so happy at that moment, I thought I was going to burst.

There were even moments in my dream when I thought I woke up and thought it was a dream. No one could possibly be that happy. Everything was so real, from hearing him snort outside of my bedroom to nuzzling him right between the eyes and getting those little hairs stuck up my nose.


The best part was trying to figure out whose ashes were in the urn on my dresser if my dog was right in front of my face.

So naturally, I am a little bit bummed out today, because my stinky bear wasn’t around when I really and truly woke up.

Murphy & I

I Hate My Neighbors

My next door neighbors are not the darlings of Candy Cane Lane. (And yes, my street has been nicknamed that due to its shape.) Pretty much every single neighborly annoyance you can think of can be attributed to this family, from being too noisy to possibly selling drugs (please see all items for the term “sugar”). I took one for the team and have reported them once to the police and once to City Council – that’s how much they irritate me.

For the past two years, my annoyance has grown tenfold. And it’s not because of the noise levels, the late night pool parties, or the decision to shoot fireworks towards the trees on the Fourth of July.

These people are guilty of dog negligence.

Almost two years ago, my neighbors got a puppy. I didn’t notice anything until my 14 year old dog attempted to lunge out of the front door to investigate the blonde blur that was running freely through the neighborhood. A new puppy is the equivalent to a new baby, and we were all excited about this new arrival.

Then the puppy stopped being a puppy and started to grow into a full-sized adult.

It’s almost like the kids stopped playing with him the second he started going through the awkward stage – the one where the puppy is all legs and elbows and not much else.

This literally broke my heart. Especially because the dog was a golden (who I mistook for a lab).

And who in this country does not want a golden? It’s always within the top fucking five of the top ten most popular dog breeds!

The lack of attention was just the start. The wife completely ignores the dog, the kids maybe pat him on the head, and the husband takes him out for a morning walk maybe four times a week.


That’s the face I used to get through the old fence. Any time he heard me or my dog walk out to the backyard, he’d come running over and put his nose through.

I have seen him left in the rain, seen him ignored by his family, and am truly tired of seeing him stare longingly through the kitchen window of the house (and occasionally crying), trying to get someone’s attention. The dog isn’t even two yet!

I absolutely cannot even tell you guys how angry this makes me. No dog should ever want for attention, and I wish it were bad enough for me to be able to report my neighbors. Unfortunately the dog is healthy and I do hear food being poured into a dish every day, so unless I get some hardcore evidence, I really can’t do anything.

Except make angry rants on my blog.

If he just pushed a little bit harder, he could make it to freedom.

I am near tempted to cut a bigger hole in the fence so he might be able to escape jump through for visits. And if you happen to see me in the local news being charged with dog napping, I will state now that I have absolutely no regrets.