Friday, March 29, 2013

Did I just get had?

In the new house in Winnipeg, we have stairs. And Her Majesty refuses to do the stairs. I know she can, because she's done them once each way, but she doesn't. She does the stairs going in and out of the house, but not the stairs to and from the second floor. Instead I have to carry her.

Oh no my poor little dog she's so disabled!!!!!! Here, let me carry you, Your Majesty.

Fine. But I do insist she has to jump on the bed at bed time. I know she can, because she does it very easily whenever she wants. So I'm NOT going to lift her up on the bed. Even supposing it's a challenge (and there is no appearance of struggling when she does it), I still think she needs to do it to keep up her mobility. She has arthritis in her back end and I suspect neurological distemper, so I can expect her to be increasingly challenged, but the less she tries, the faster it's gonna get worse. Am I right?

Still, tonight, she was just NOT jumping on the bed. Just not. I asked her several times, and she looked at it and seemed to brace herself to jump several times, but then she decided to rest her chin on the edge of the bed and look at me mournfully instead of jumping.

No, dog. I am NOT lifting you on the bed. You have to keep working at it.

Staring contest.






Then I got out of bed and lifted her up.

Now I'd like to know, is there something unusually wrong with her hind end today, or did I just get totally manipulated yet again?

Or maybe I don't really want to know.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Negotiating: we're doing it right

Our new V-E-T, Dr. Zheng, sold me some expensive glucosamine cookies for Her Majesty's arthritis. "They're liver-flavoured," he said. "Dogs love them."


Her Majesty is not "dogs". She is Her Majesty. And she does NOT, as a rule, like dog biscuits. So sure enough, she didn't want the expensive glucosamine cookies. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh! I mean, bad enough that they cost a fortune, but I really want her to not be in pain. Sigh...

After several days of her refusing to eat the glucosamine cookies, I hit upon a potentially brilliant idea. Here in Winnipeg, I've found a brand of cookies that she does like. I call them "wolf cookies" because I can't remember the brand, I'm too lazy to look it up, and they have a picture of a wolf on the packaging. Cause allegedly they're made of what wolves would eat in the wild... or more accurately, they're made of what romantic city folk imagine a wolf would eat in the wild. But the important thing is, they cost a fortune too, and Her Majesty loves them. She's a dog of taste and wealth... at least she assumes the wealth is there. Cause she can't read my bank statement. But oh well.

So anyway, I took a wolf cookie and a glucosamine cookie, held them both in my hand, and offered them to Her Majesty, but with my thumb on the wolf cookie so she couldn't take it from me. Which she tried many, many times, of course. And every time I would move my hand to put the glucosamine under her nose instead of the wolf cookie. So finally she ate the glucosamine, and then I gave her the wolf cookie.

OMG I can't believe it worked!!!!!!

Totally. And I repeated this success every day thereafter. Which shows that a) she understood that I was offering the wolf cookie as a reward if she did something for me, i.e. eat the glucosamine cookie; and b) she was actually willing to compromise. Victory!

But then yesterday, I had been unpacking a box of stuff, and I stopped to give her her glucosamine. But she hates it when I move things around, so she wouldn't come into the room to eat her cookies. Oh well. I have things to do. I put both cookies on the floor and went back to unpacking. And while I wasn't looking, she crept silently (probably not, we have laminate floors and her nails click like mad) up behind me and ate... the wolf cookie.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh!!!!! You treacherous animal! You KNEW you're supposed to eat the glucosamine! Woe is me!

Ok, so I took out another wolf cookie, and offered her the glucosamine. And she ate the glucosamine and... didn't eat the wolf cookie.


See what she did there? She did her part of the deal even though she already had her reward. She has a sense of owing me something! After all these years she finally feels like she ought to do something for me once in a while!

I love you, little mutt. I really do. Please don't ever die.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I hate people

I got some stories to tell you when I feel less lazy, but for now, I'm a' bitch about my roommates' dog.

At the house here in Winnipeg, there are three dogs: Her Majesty, a two-year-old Jack Russel named Spencer, and a five-year-old shih-tzu named Fluffy. Of course Her Majesty is practically perfect in all respects. Spencer is a nice little dog, though he does pee when excited. (Well then don't get him worked up. Duh.) Fluffy is a problem.

But to make one thing clear: Fluffy is a problem because his people are a problem. His nominal owner is a 16-year-old girl who acts like a toddler. And she's babysat by her 19-year-old boyfriend, who seems like a fairly decent, responsible young man, but he has never had a dog and I don't think he particularly wants a dog. But since he was fool enough to shack up with this chick, he gets to clean up the dog's shit over and over in the living room while she does nothing. Ever. Once in a while she turns the dog out the back door, contrary to City by-laws of course, and lets him shit wherever and does not pick it up OF COURSE and also contrary to City by-laws. So now the back of the property is disgusting. And that doesn't really help the dog because he has no idea when he might next be let out. One time I told her the dog wanted out and she said "he ALWAYS asks to go out" and stayed in bed. So I took him out. But most of the time he doesn't even bother anymore. If he has to go, he craps in the living room. Poor thing.

After being spoken to repeatedly (I think it was after the sixth time he crapped in the house in eight days), the girl came up with the idea of turning him out in the little fenced area out front, which I was hoping to use for flowers in the summer. So much for that. And once he's in the pen, she figures she doesn't have to think about it anymore, so she leaves him for half an hour, an hour, as long as it takes her to remember. Then brings him back in without cleaning up, OF COURSE. But he, the dog, doesn't like that, so he's found a way to get out of there, and he simply runs around to the back door and asks to be let in. Earlier today he either was attacked by one of the neighbours' cats or fell on the icy stairs, because he was squealing and crying like a lost soul. Did anyone even notice but me? No. And the little bitch won't speak to me so much as to say hello, so unless I want to be constantly chasing her down to list the things I had to do because she won't look after her dog, I don't get a chance to talk to her. Let me tell you, I do NOT like her.

The other day, I think it was Tuesday, the boy and I had a long conversation, wherein I explained repeatedly that if they would take the dog out on leash at least every four hours, and walk him on leash until he craps at least once a day, the problem would not exist. So he, the boy, suggested we share the dog-walking. Ummmmmmmm... So how would that work? I take your dog out when I walk mine, and you take my dog out when you walk yours? Great, except you NEVER walk your dog so what this really means is "can you just walk our dog in addition to yours so we don't have to be responsible?"


Ok. So the boy has made some attempts to walk Fluffy, about once every two or three days. But he "walks" for about 45 seconds and comes home, which is hardly helpful either. Then, Friday, he sees I'm about to take Her Majesty for a walk, so he's like "can you take Fluffy?" Yeah, I guess... Of course I don't particularly like Fluffy and Her Majesty REALLY doesn't like Fluffy because he's not fixed and his goal in life right now is to lick her ass every time he sees her, so we're not too happy, but it wouldn't be charitable to say no. So I said "sure, where is his leash?"


He doesn't have a leash.

Dafuq????? How can you own a dog and no leash? Then again, the dog isn't fixed, vaccinated, licensed, trained or liked, and they never take him out, so why am I surprised? So, the boy and the dog tagged along. Dog crapped on the sidewalk. No attempt whatsoever to pick it up. Then it occurred to me: this guy doesn't even know that you just don't leave dog shit on the ground. Sigh...

So anyway. We COULD lock up the dog in their room when they're away so he would crap where it doesn't become my problem to clean it up, but then he freaks out and makes an insane amount of noise. He can carry on for hours. And it upsets Her Majesty. Sigh...

Today, they all got up late and with a sore head after a late night (that's another problem, but not dog-related). The girl went out in her skivvies to put the dog out, but he suspected they were going out so he ran right around and came back in, without relieving himself. And then as everyone was getting ready to go out, he remembered that he had to go and started begging to be let out. Little bitch kicked him away, and everyone left. Hmmmmmmm... Now I can either take him out myself, or wait till he shits in the living room, clean it up, and report it to the landlady. The first solution is kind, the other is better for me. So, I took him out. No surprise, he pulls on the leash.

And did that solve the problem? HELL NO! Now he knows he can get me to let him out, so he keeps annoying me for more. Fuuuuuuuuuh...

My consolation in all this is that he has shit sticking to his fur (that's not good) and... he lies on their bed when they're not home. Baaaaaaaaahahahaha! But then again they don't seem to mind dog shit, so maybe they're ok with that.

Also, I should mention the little bitch kicks Fluffy, yells at him, and when she's home, mostly demands that he stay in his kennel, which is not a pen but a small travel carrier not big enough for him. She had a ferret for about a month and didn't clean the cage once. And she has three hamsters and is always yelling at them to shut up. And that's nothing to how she treats the boy. If it weren't illegal, I'd lay the mother of all beatings on her.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another day, another dog fight

Her Majesty and I were in the elevator yesterday, going out to pee. We go out to pee very frequently these days, on account of her new obsession with pissing on her bed.

Anyway. The elevator stops on an intermediate floor, and a guy gets in. Then, Thor gets in.

Thor is an SPCA dog, I'm not sure if he's still being fostered or if his foster human adopted him. In any case, the SPCA identified him as a "pitbull cross". Because the SPCA here knows a total of five breeds: pitbull, shepherd, lab, shitzu and bichon. In reality Thor looks absolutely nothing like any of the above. He looks exactly like a Brittany spaniel, though a little larger. Like maybe 60 lbs instead of 40. But then, many dogs grow way larger than their breed standards. In any case, Thor looks like a big burly Brittany spaniel. And he's quite a personable creature, but he must have got into a dog fight before because every time his human sees another dog, she freaks out and wrestles Thor away. I don't think that's the best way to socialise him, really, but nobody asked for my opinion.

In any case, Thor was loose in the hallway while his human did who knows what, and he ran into the elevator and straight to Her Majesty, and pinned her in the corner. I don't think he had any hostile intentions, but Tinky-Winky freaked out on him, of course, so immediately it sounds like a major dog fight is going on. And I don't care for dogs freaking out Her Majesty, so I immediately grabbed him by the scruff with both hands (good thing there was no room for him to maneuver in the elevator) and yanked him away. The guy who had just got in the elevator took over, and between the two of us, we got him out of the elevator just as fast as he got in.

The funny thing is, Her Majesty obviously didn't see that we humans manhandled Thor out the door, so she figured she had scared him away with her Mighty Jaws of Death, and she was thoroughly pleased with the whole adventure. I don't think he even touched her, really, much less did her any harm.

But the moral is, if you get a dog, you should learn to break up a dog fight. Once upon a time when I used to read other dog owners' blogs, before I got aggravated with the Carebear ignorance of it all, all the dog owners who read each other's blogs freaked out over some dog fight that got in the news, and tried to brainstorm what to do in case your dog is attacked. One of them had once scared a dog off by waving a clipboard, but the others had no idea whatsoever. So again, here is how you break up a dog fight: use your prehensile hands to grab one or both dogs, and separate them. Seriously. Don't stand there screaming. Don't pull on the losing dog's leash. Just grab the dogs and separate them. Typically the safest place to grab a fighting dog is the tail or a hind leg, away from the toothy end. But if one dog has locked his jaw on the other, then you grab the jaws and pry them open. Srsly. Never mind freaking out and waving your clipboard.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Throw me a bone here, dog

Her Majesty and I are moving to Winnipeg in the new year. The decision was made October 15, but it's been a long time in the making, and part of the reason why is specifically because Her Majesty loves it here. But there are no jobs, so we have to get out of here.


So first of all I had to dismantle our garden before it froze solid, which caused Tinky-Winky to have a meltdown and pee on everything she normally sleeps on. It was weird. But yeah, the garden was a major thing for both of us. It hurt me to have to do it, but I did it quickly and turned my back on it. Tinky-Winky took it a lot harder.

After that, I've been hesitant to make any further preparations. Tinky-Winky has never liked me opening the storage room door to begin with, because I make all sorts of loud noises that make her nervous. Now as soon as I touch that door, or try to move anything bigger than a book from one side of the room to the other (we have a bachelor apartment, you'll recall), she goes into a dark corner and shakes like a leaf until I pick her up, sit down on the couch with her, and do nothing but pet her or brush her for half an hour. And that's kind of a problem, because I need to empty the storage room completely, mark out the amount of space that's available in the car, and then refill the storage room with boxed things, ready to load in the car the day before we leave. And I can't do anything without her freaking out.


You know, dog, I realise that you don't know where we're going, or why, or how things are gonna work out when we get there. I realise that we've moved lots of places together and you never know how long we're gonna be anywhere, and you can't tell when we're never coming back to a place you like. I realise that you don't get to speak your mind or ask questions. I realise that you have no way of knowing how much your well-being and happiness have been at the centre of my decisions all along. I realise that you know we're gonna go for a long, long drive in a tightly packed car, again. Ok, so it is stressful. You're not in control and you never know what's coming. And yeah, we've lived here a long time, we're comfortable, and it breaks my heart too to leave it. But you're not the one who has to find us a place in Winnipeg. You're not the one who has to find a job and make this move work out, one way or another. You're not the one driving that damn car 2500 km. You're not the one who has to pack, and to leave behind the things you can't pack - yet again. None of your stuff is getting thrown out or left behind, I can guarantee you that. You're all worried, but you're not the one who has to do any of the worrying.

Ok, so I don't expect you to hold my hand and be supportive and ask how you can help today. But it would be nice if after seven years together when I've never let you down or let you want for anything, you could at least trust that I'm taking good care of you, and I always will, and if there is a little thumping and banging here and there, you don't need to make me drop everything to address your little prima donna act.


I think I'm gonna try to send her to Otis's people a few hours a week so I can get something done here.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The dog who cried wolf

Her Majesty likes to lie right behind the front door. Which doesn't mean she's waiting faithfully for me to come home, because she also does it when I'm at home. Anyway. Yesterday she was a little slow in moving away when I opened the door, so the door hit her toes.


Of course she first let out a blood-curdling scream, and then since I had my arms full of groceries and couldn't attend to her immediately, she followed me to the kitchen, hopping on three legs and crying piteously all the way. So I put the groceries down, pick up the dog and go sit on the couch. There was nothing wrong with her foot, so I kissed it better. Then she squirmed free and carried on with her day with no further evidence of having just survived a near-fatal injury.

Ok, I know I said that physical contact with loved ones releases oxytocin which is a very effective painkiller, but still. Kissing doesn't cure injuries on little kids, much less on hard-hearted little dogs. She just totally faked it to make me grovel.

And I totally fell for it. Sigh...