>Lots And Lots Of Doggy Thoughts

>The other day, I said I had a dog-related post. Finally, I’m getting around to posting it. I warn ya, this one’s a monster.

Back a couple of christmases ago, I got a Furminator for christmas. I love this thing. It’s great for getting a whole lot more hair out than your run-of-the-mill zoom groom or slicker. But I have found there is such a thing as too much furminator. Woops.

I was a bad girl, and was grooming every day with the furminator. I figured as long as there was loose hair to lift out, it was doing a good thing, right? It would only get the dead stuff, right? So there I was, merrily grooming away every day. Then I started to notice that gee, her coat felt awfully dry, and she always liked to chew a wee bit, but the chewing had gone up a whole lot. She never made a raw spot, but it seemed like every time she had a free moment, she had to chew on herself.

Then I read a message that you can do the Furminator thing too much. So I’ve cut back to twice a week, and I think it’s having the effect I want. Her coat feels softer, and her chewing has gone down some.

One thing that drives me crazy about having a black lab is these little flakes they get. I can’t feel them when I groom, but people will comment on them. Apparently all dogs have them, but with black labs, they stand out more. Is there anything that causes them? Could the flake problem have gotten worse because I was over-furminating the poor beast? They always intensify right before I bathe Trixie, and then I don’t hear about them for a while. It’s really annoying to not be able to feel them at all.

It’s hard to find doggy toothpaste now. I used to always get the same kind, and it was in a tube, and all was good. Then they started supplying it in a pump. But the pump didn’t fit very well in the grooming pack, and I was grossed out by the smell of the stuff. It smelled like that gak slime stuff you could buy in the little containers. Yuck! Plus, when you got near the bottom of the pump, you ran the risk of having it explode all over the place. Once, it did, and that was hard to get off the Trixter. So I found some other toothpaste in a tube, but good god it’s hard to force any out of the tube. I don’t know what’s up with this stuff. Who knew dog toothpaste could be so difficult?

God Trix loves her flexi runs. In fact, she gets mad if I grab the flexi and then have to run back for a bag. It’s like she’s afraid I’ll put the flexi away. Trix, do I ever do that? Seriously? I really wish there was a closed area I could let her loose in the winter. I hate running with her on the flexi in the winter because it’s so treacherous and I always have to slow her down a bit and spoil a bit of her fun so I don’t fall on my ass. Anybody got any flexiing in the snow tricks? But then, if I could let her loose, there’s the trouble of finding any of her poopy presents that she may decide to unleash. She always decides to let one loose while playing, even if I give her a chance to relieve before we get started.

Trix has had another bath. Before we went for the bath, I was worried she’d try and lead me on a great stroll to anywhere but the door to the groomers, but no sir, she marched me right to the door! It was beautiful. I so totally love bathing her at this place. I totally love the way she smells after a bath, too. I kept calling her Shampooch for days because she was the pooch that smelled like shampoo. It’s so nice. The smell still comes out every so often when we get wet in the rain.

With all this construction going on, we weren’t getting out to walk for the long walks we used to do. I wasn’t too worried at first, but then I noticed her weight was creeping up a touch. I decided to get her weighed when she got bathed…and…eek, she had gained a few pounds! She used to sit somewhere between 53-55 pounds. Now she was close to 59! Eek! Then, as I was coming home from getting her bathed, my super, who never comments on Trix looked at me and said “Joo are feeding jor dog too much! She is getting fat!” This really freaked me out. I hoofed her to the vet and got her weighed there. Yup, their scales said the same thing. So I said I would cut her food back a bit.

She was eating 2 and a half cups a day. Stupid me, I thought I could cut her food by half a cup a day and she’d be fine. I have now learned that that was too much, and I will feel guilty about that forever. Things seemed to be fine, except I noticed her being a little more distractable than usual, and, well, she was pooping less. When I took her back to the vet two weeks after I started this for a weight check, I discovered she had lost all four pounds she had put on. Um, uh-oh! I expected it to take a little longer, it’s healthier for it to take longer.

I asked the mailing list, and…discovered that I should have only cut back by a quarter of a cup. Oh dear! So I’m back up to the regular amount of food, and we’ll just keep an eye on it. If she starts gaining, I’ll just cut back by a quarter of a cup. Poor dog, I feel like I’m learning everything you can do wrong with you as my poor guinea pig. The bone, the furminator, and now this. I shouldn’t have to be still learning after having you for 2 and a half years!

But I think she has found her own way to tell me what she thinks of being put on a diet. She has this inexplicable need to show me the door to Herbal Magic, a weight loss place. We have never been in there, but she’s bound and determined that I should go there. Trixie, what are you saying? You think I should lose some weight?

I started investigating those relieving harnesses a little more, and discovered a few surprises. First off, the toll-free number listed on the site doesn’t go where it should. Now you have to call 504-312-2609. Also, the relieving harness isn’t 10 bucks, it’s 20 bucks! Somebody needs to update the website. I know, the webmaster is gone without a trace, but let’s work on getting a new one, shall we?

I’m not uber keen on getting one now. I mean, I don’t mind paying 20 bucks, but the alarm bells are going off from my Mutt Mitt experience. It’s kind of on the backburner for now. But I have her measurements if I decide to go that route.

I unintentionally taught Trixie a new command. It ended up sounding like “fuggoff.” A few times, I’d notice Trixie going into the kitchen trying to do her snifferoo/hoover routine, and I’d look in her direction and go “Trixie, fuck off!” as in “You know you shouldn’t do that. Don’t make me come in there and chase you out of there.” Then after a while, she picked up that fuggoff meant get outa there, you know that’s against the rules. Trixie’s too damn smart.

I feel horrible for that last one. I sound like such an evil human being. But you have to understand, she picks up on everything! Even words that are just silly have become meaningful to her. Take neeny tunnel for instance. This is going to take a lot of explaining. Remember how Steve and I have both talked about the construction dudes making all kinds of noise? Well, they had this thing they used to go up the side of the building, and whenever they were coming up the side of the building, it would make a noise that sounded like “neeny neeny neeny neeny…” So, Steve and I started saying things like “Doh! I hear neenying!” Or “the neeny men are back!” whenever they would come back to make our lives miserable with their jackhammering and other noise. Then, we started referring to everything to do with them with neeny. There was the neeny bucket that they would take up the side of the building, neeny fensing that they’d put around various areas, and most recently, the neeny tunnel, or the narrow space you had to stay in to get to the door. I think they created it to keep people from being hit with falling neeny bricks.

Anyway, now that I look like a total dork, one day, Trixie was gunning it for the door, and forgot about the neeny tunnel’s sides. She was chuckin’ along, when…kabonko! She hit the side barrier on the narrow space. Without thinking, I said, “Don’t forget about the neeny tunnel!” Now, if she’s too far left, all I have to say is “neeny tunnel!” and she’ll squiggle over so she’s in line to go in it.

One thing I noticed that she does that’s weird is she tries to breathe in my cough. When I had that horrible cold back in October, sometimes I’d be bent over harnessing her up when I’d have to cough. I’d cough, and suddenly, her head would be extended right at my mouth. Honestly, Trix, you don’t want to breathe that in. It’s a good thing dogs can’t get human colds.

I’ve known that Trix is curious about stuff, but good lord, she loves poppies and I don’t know why. I don’t even mean real poppies. I mean those Remembrance Day poppy things. I picked up a poppy before Remembrance day, and I picked one up for Steve too. As soon as I had them, Trix was going nuts trying to sniff them! Chief, poppies have pins, and pins hurt a shnoz. Shnozzes need to stay away from poppies. It was so bad that when I got home and got them out again, Steve had to take them so she would stop attacking them! Why didn’t I notice that years before? I know one year I missed out on having a poppy, and felt bad, but I’m sure I’ve gotten them the other year. There’s no way I didn’t get a poppy in November of 07 and 08. I sure hope not.

And here’s another episode of Carin still hasn’t learned everything there is to know about her Trixter. The huppy, huppy’s mom and I went to the Santa Claus parade. I would never have gone on my own, but it was for the huppy! I wanted to see what he’d do. Plus Huppy’s dad had to work that day, so I went to keep Huppy’s mom company. I have never really gone to an outside parade with Trix where we just sat there for a long time. So I didn’t think to bring a blanket to put down for the poor Trixter. Trix was doing fine as long as we were standing, but as soon as I sat down and so she lay down beside me, she started to shakeshakeshake! The poor little thing. Huppy was bundled up nice and warm, so I ended up wrapping Trix in the baby blanket to try and keep her warm. Dumb old me, I’m always learning about new things I should have brought.

Trix was pretty unphased by the parade, even when floats full of dogs went by. But she did something hilarious at the end of the parade. I was walking back inside the mall thing near where the parade happened. I was following Huppy’s stroller…or so I thought. Then I hear Huppy’s mom yell from behind me, “Carin, come back!” We were following a stroller, but it wasn’t Huppy’s. Woops. Too many strollers!

One day, I had just finished running errands with Huppy’s mom, and we’d come back to unload stuff. I was standing behind the stroller, and we were talking to Steve, and I started fiddling with the toys hanging from the stroller like I like to do sometimes because I’m silly. Suddenly, I see a really fuzzy toy. I was just about to comment with something like “Ooo! That’s a new toy!” when I notice that it’s not a toy at all. It’s Trixie’s head! It fit right in at that spot among the toys.

Last night, something happened to me that made me chuckle. I was getting on a bus downtown. We had to squeeze through a narrow space to get on the bus, and Trixie was having a little trouble. So I said, “Aww come on, hop on the bus, Gus,” just because I felt like it. Next thing I know, the driver looks at me and says “So your dog’s name is Gus?” I chuckled all the way home. I guess he’d never heard the song.

Remember what I said a while ago about Luther not doing so well? Well, It sounds like he’s comin’ along. I’m so happy to hear the treatment is working. Come on big guy, we’re all pullin’ for ya.

Let’s end things with a few snippets of silly things the public has done lately to do with Trixie. I’m used to the kids yelling “Doggy doggy doggy!” What I wasn’t used to was one saying “Doggy right there!” Eek. Now I feel weird that someone’s definitely pointing at us. I can’t explain it. I know I’m in a fish bowl when I’m out with the Trixter, but there’s something really weird about getting pointed at.

One thing that drives me nuts is when people say to me, “I raise money for the school in Oakville. Did you get your dog from Oakville?” and when I say no, it’s as if I have personally insulted them by not getting a dog from where they send their money. Chief, it’s a free world, and there are several schools out there. Not everyone goes to that one. I chose another one. That’s all there is to it.

Here’s another dumb exchange I had with someone. I walked into Tim Horton’s, which I guess is like a Canadian Duncan Donuts. Tim’s is weird. They won’t take anything but cash or mastercard. No debit, nothin’. I remembered this just as I walk in the door to Tim’s. The lady was nice enough to help me get over to a convenience store so I can get cash. I got cash, and I was trying to get back over to Tim’s. Granted I hardly ever do this, and this is a crazy parking lot, so I was being careful. The person at the convenience store saw me having trouble and came out to help. First off, she said, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could just say go to tim horton’s and the dog would go there?” I don’t mind this question much. I laughed and said “If I came here enough, I probably could, but since I don’t, I can’t. She doesn’t know the route since I don’t travel it often.” Then she said “How long have you lived in this town?” I said “Ten years,” but before I can finish, she says “Then why doesn’t she know how to find this place?” I said “I’d only had her for two and a half years, and she can’t just suck in a city just like that. She just knows places I go to a lot.” She still looks at me and says “Two and a half years is a long time! She should know where we are.” Uh-huh. It was then that we’d gotten to Tim’s, at which point I could just shake my head and go on my way.

And this isn’t a snippet from the public, but more about how the public reacts to a guide dog. Does anyone know how to find that British skit about this blind guy with a guide dog? He walks in somewhere, and he’s a really rude, gruff man, but all the people notice is his guide dog named Ross. I’d love to post a link to it if I can get my mitts on it. I think it’s awesome, and a lot of it is true.

And this concludes the giant dog post. Hope you enjoyed it.

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