Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spruce Street Spa

The secondhand sun I get in my apartment during the summer is already departing, so once again Posy has had to turn to the table lamp for her "sun" baths and vitamin D. Here she is first thing in the morning, warming up:

It's like one of those hairdryers that fit down onto your head:

At any rate, Posy seems to be enjoying it very much.  She is probably deciding what spa service she should select next, the hot rocks maybe?  Cupping?  A mani-pedi?

Posy, dreaming of buttercream frosting on a cupcake:

And when the "sun" bath is over, it is time to curl up on a warm comforter (never mind the fact that when these pictures were taken it was still in the eighties).

Sleep well, Posy; sleep well!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dorothy at the Dog Park

We had a cool weekend, finally, and since Dorothy couldn’t use the heat as an excuse to collapse on the sidewalk, we decided to walk her the five blocks down to the dog park for some fun and frolic.  She walked all the way without complaint, and even got a few compliments on her new Red Sox leash!

Once we got inside the park, we took off her leash and she went running away to meet the other dogs.  Every few minutes or so she’d come back to where we were standing to check in, but she seemed to know the purpose of our visit and immediately began running and playing and doing her moves.

Here she is with Lupe, a dog rescued from the streets of Mexico, and Hendrix, a dog with fine ears. 

And here are a few other action shots.

It’s interesting to see what the dogs choose to do with their time in the dogpark.  One boxer spent his time racing around the perimeter—and he was FAST.  Sometimes other dogs ran with him, and sometimes he ran alone.  One large pitbull mix would go bark at the other dogs when they wrestled, so we called her The Ref.  She was black and white, too, so seemed made for her job.  Some of the dogs played ball, and some were more interested in standing around getting scritches from the humans. 

I’d say Dorothy ran for at least 45 minutes, if not longer.  I didn’t think she would make it back home on her own accord, but she waited to the next to last block before lying down for a quick rest.

A few days later she went back to the dogpark with Sean, and once again had a good time.  Apparently this time she was a little more aggressive, and more sure of herself amongst the other dogs.  Here she is playing with what looks like a stuffed black rag, but I've been assured is a dog.  By all accounts, it was biting Dorothy's cute hind legs, and she had finally had enough of that: 

Unfortunately, the heat has returned to Philadelphia, and when it is over 80 and muggy, Dorothy is not inclined to go on a long walk.  But I'm hoping to return to the dog park this weekend for Dorothy to continue her dog socialization and perfect her athletic moves.  Go Dorothy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dorothy's "Fudge" Foray

A month or so ago, I was enjoying the evening when I realized it was way too quiet in my apartment.  Quiet tends to equal destruction by bulldogge teeth when it comes to Dorothy, so it was with a sinking feeling that I went to find out where Dorothy was and just exactly what she was doing.

It was even worse than I had suspected.  Dorothy was in the bathroom munching on cat "fudge" she had taken from the litter box.  Does it get worse than that?  I don't think so.  Yelling and scolding ensued, along with a few shrieks, most of which had the gist of "don't you dare lick me with that tongue!"  Etc.

But I knew I had a problem on my hands.  There was always going to be "fudge" in the litter box, and eventually I would like to be able to leave Dorothy without having to put her in her crate.  One of the two litter boxes we have is shaped like an igloo, and Dorothy can't fit up its ramp so can't get to the innards.  But that style litter box didn't fit into my bathroom space, so I did some sleuthing and decided to try a litter box with a top entry.

Of course, when it arrived, the most exciting thing about it was the box it came in.  First Plum had to try it out:

And then Posy had her turn:

And then they both decided they would share the box.  At least for a few minutes, until Plum got a little randy.

The problem was that while all this box fun was going on, the litterbox itself was going unused.  I tried placing both of them in it separately, without the lid, but they did not take kindly to the suggestion.  I let things be and Posy eventually figured it out a few hours later.  Plum, however, was not too sure.  When I tried to show him the entrance, you would have thought I was trying to shove him down into a latrine.  He was having none of it.

The mostly unused box:

But I decided to be patient, and my patience paid off; when I got home from work today, it was quite clear that Plum had anointed the box and found it to his liking.

Now I no longer have to worry about Dorothy getting a sweet tooth and a belly-ache, not to mention hugely grossing me out.

Dorothy, thinking that fudge was probably not such a good idea.
And why was it kept in the bathroom, anyway?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plums and Roses

I'd like to introduce you to my beautiful bouquet of roses:

Lovely, no?

But what I see as a beautiful bouquet of roses belonging to me, Sir Plum sees as a lovely salad belonging to him.  He sees the flower below and thinks:  yum!  And:  dessert!

I thus have to keep said beautiful bouquet in a place high on the top of my secretary cabinet.  For if I move it to a lower spot on the counter, this is what happens:

And then this:

Which causes me to get out Plum's arch-nemesis:

To prevent this from happening:

Then follows a series of jump-bite-squirt-jump off.  Jump-squirt!-jump-off.  Ju-squirt!-jump-off.  J-squirt!-turn in mid air and land.  Then a lot of meowing and woe is me-ing and angry squawks from the purple cat.  Meanwhile this occurs:

But Dorothy has no idea why Plum finds the roses intriguing and/or edible.  They are not meaty!  They aren't even as tasty as Dorothy's new favorite treasures -- half-smushed, stinky gingkos found under the gingko trees on the streets.  

And from a nearby nook, another household member watches the commotion:

Cue ominous organ music: 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Singing the Bulldogge Blues

Apparently, it is Very Hard Being Dorothy.  I’m not sure why this is so, since she seems to live a life of relative luxury.  She gets served delicious foodstuffs and treats throughout the day.  She has so many beds to choose from – be they human, canine, or feline – that my apartment has even been referred to as the Land of 100 Beds.  She has a comfy crate, a large collection of toys to play with, bones to chew upon, two cat siblings to torment, and a ready supply of admirers right outside her building door. 

But apparently this is not good enough.  For lately, Dorothy has taken to lying under furniture and singing the blues.  “I want a little sugar in my bowl,” she’ll sing.  “I want a little sweetness down in my soul.  I could stand some lovin' Oh so bad, I feel so funny and I feel so sad.”  And all this takes the form of a disembodied whine/howl coming out from under the couch, say.

Or the dresser.  Or the bed.  And if we should not immediately pay attention to her song and join in and harmonize on the refrain while trying to entice her out with sweetmeats, she will stick her head out to make her song louder and get our attention.

I want a little steam
On my clothes
Maybe I can fix things
up so they'll go
Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on, save my soul
Need some sugar in my bowl
I ain't foolin'
I want some sugar in my bowl.

Could it be existential angst?  When she sings these blues, she doesn’t need to go out, or eat kibble, or exercise.  I suppose it could be an attention thing, because of course, attention must be paid to such a bulldogge.

You been acting different
I've been told
Soothe me
I want some sugar in my bowl.

My other guess is that it could be one of the ways she fights sleep.  Like a toddler, Dorothy seems to get angry when she gets tired.  She is all:  OMG!  I feel like collapsing on the floor!  What could be wrong with me?!  And:  my eyelids keep closing down over my eyes!  I’m sure I’m dying! 

She will whine when she is tired, and do everything she can to keep from giving up the ghost and lying down for a nap.  And singing the blues seems to be a great way to keep herself (and anyone else in the vicinity) awake. 

At least she doesn’t own a drum set.  Or bagpipes….

Whatsa matter Daddy
Come on save my soul
I want some sugar in my bowl
I ain't foolin'
I want some - yeah - in my bowl.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bulldogge By-Laws and the Passive Voice

Somewhere in the hefty tome that is the Bulldogge By-Laws -- no doubt on some back page that is stuck together with a crumb of kibble, or a section that is not a stranger to the many feet of a silverfish -- it must state that If A Bulldogge Is Caught Redhanded Doing Something She Ought Not, Her Best Bet Is To Use The Passive Voice.

Dorothy, admitting to nothing:

For if I catch Dorothy heckling the small cat, for instance, she might look guilty, yet refer to it as an "unfortunate incident" that might have occurred.  And if she should be so forward as to attempt to chew my slippers, while MY FEET ARE WEARING THEM, well, all she will admit to is that "mistakes were made."  She has the makings of a true politician, does she not?

Dorothy, wanting me to go away so she can 
listen to the Shangri-Las in peace:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dorothy and Nellie

This is Nellie:

I finally got a picture of her in which she is not covered with or standing in snow, looking like a yeti.  She is a Tibetan Terrier, and, well...let's just say they do things differently in Tibet.

She's a great dog, don't get me wrong, but she has an independent streak that, having lived with a pug for 17 years, seems a bit odd to me.  For instance, sometimes she doesn't wake up and come downstairs until 10:00 a.m.  My parents will have been up for hours by this time, DOWNSTAIRS, doing their thing, and Nellie is perfectly content to be in a different room on a different floor of the house from them.  She walks several miles daily, but has always much preferred the walk home to the walk out.  She'll test her four brakes several times on the way out on a walk; and then when her parents turn around to walk home, she is all, as I put it, Queen Victoria on the prow of a ship, head held high, nose forward, hair bouncing in a stately fashion.

Nellie was pretty good with young Dorothy, on the whole.  Dorothy would have preferred it if Nellie had been a little more playful, but they did have several good chasing sessions in the back yard.  Here's the first few pictures of such a session, when I hadn't yet figured out how to get both of them in the picture at the same time:

And then a few grizzly bear, gnashing of teeth, shots:

And finally, a shot of them indoors, resting, with Dorothy in Nellie's old crate and Nellie lying companionably beside:

That'll do, girls, that'll do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Breaking the Curse

September is usually one of my favorite months.  It is not as good as October, which is my absolute favorite, but usually by the end of it, the heat has broken its death-like grip on the city, autumn is in the air, winter squash is for sale, and candy corn is in the stores and in my pockets.  And all is well.

However, this September is turning out to be VERY STRESSFUL, and that is because my team, the Boston Red Sox, are playing worse than dreadfully.  So far, they have played eleven games this month and only won two.  TWO GAMES OUT OF ELEVEN.  It would not be stretching it to say that their dismal performance is ruining my month.

And so to try to break them out of their ghastly slump, I present to you one of their youngest and prettiest fans, Miss Dorothy Hyacinth:

Do you see what Dorothy is wearing?  Yes!  That would be her new Red Sox collar and her new Red Sox leash, both purchased for her by Sean, despite the fact that he is a Phillies fan.  Doesn’t she look spiffy in her fan gear?

Now all the team has to do is to begin winning once again, so that if and when we get heckled for her new ensemble on the streets of Philadelphia, we can both hold our heads up with pride.  Don’t let us down, Red Sox!

 And Dorothy, stop chewing on your new leash!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dorothy and her Massachusetts Cousins

Dorothy loves children.  When she sees a kid who is about 12 or under, she will immediately crouch down on her stomach so that she does not appear threatening.  If this doesn't work to entice the child hither, she will often roll over on her back and show the boy or girl her pretty belly.  And when they do come over, although she will sometimes spring up suddenly, she is generally very gentle with them, her tail wagging overtime all the while.

I knew, then, that she would enjoy having her three Massachusetts cousins in the house, and she did!  After greeting them all with a down-stay, she proceeded to follow them about, and was very annoyed at me when I made her come into our room for the night.  The first thing next morning she was poised outside of their bedroom door, and when it was opened a crack, she was in and giving everyone a hearty good morning with her tongue!  What a good hostess, Dorothy!

Here is Dorothy running around in the back yard with Henry, Josie, and Georgia:

And then here she is resting with her Uncle Gordy:

I am glad that Dorothy likes children so much, since my two cats detest anyone under the age of 12.  Posy spent the weekend hiding under the bed, or desperately running as fast as her stumpy legs could carry her in the direction of the bed.  And when Plum finally got tired of skulking in the bedroom, he ventured out into the living room only to scratch anyone who deigned to pet him (even me!).  Rotten beast.  The kids were being very gentle with him, too -- they were just giving him a pet when he did not want to be petted.  As Josie told me, "I was petting Plum until he scratched me."  Oh well!

The cats will like these cousins once they are no longer teacup humans.  In the meantime, Dorothy will have to be my pet ambassador, solo.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It Must Be The Trail Mix

For the record, I am no closer to understanding what is going on in Dorothy's little pea-brain when she refuses to walk, especially since while on vacation in Maine, she walked like a dream daily.  Go figure.  I don't know if it was that there were three of us walking, or if it was that another dog was in the group, or if it was just the quiet of the Maine roads and forest trails.  But for some reason, Dorothy set off at a fast clip each time and did not even stop to sniff once.

On her first walk in Maine, she walked 2.5 miles:

She didn't stop or slow down, but when we got back in the car at the end of the walk, I noticed with horror that she had bleeding blisters on three of her four paws!!  We felt horrible about this, although Dorothy didn't pay any attention to the wounds whatsoever.  She also hadn't limped or shown any sign of distress while we were walking, so the blisters were a surprise.  We decided after that to give her a couple of days off and then to walk on dirt roads that would be a little softer on her feet.  Since all her walking in Philadelphia is done on pavement, I would have thought that her little paw pads would be calloused enough for a 2.5 mile walk.  After all, she doesn't seem to like walking in Philly, but she still goes on 5 or 6 walks per day.

At any rate, we did a few dirt road walks, and then one walk on a forest trail which Dorothy loved!  I want to take her on more woodsy hikes, since she zoomed up and down the trails at a fast and sure-footed pace, stopping every now and then to pick up a pinecone and carry it like a cigar clenched between her teeth.

Dorothy, resting after one of her Maine excursions:

I had optimistically hoped that once we returned home Dorothy would continue with the good walking she did in Maine, but this has not really been the case.  She's perhaps a little better than she was, but she still has moments where she performs a little strike on the sidewalk, gathering the sympathetic attention of the passers-by.  I was wondering if perhaps the over-stimulation of the city streets could be the culprit, but I have a feeling that Dorothy just wants what she wants -- and sometimes what she wants is to sit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Plum and Posy in Bristol

I am no photographer.  I don't have the patience, the eye, or the aptitude with gadgets.  I can read a manual, but the little simple camera I have (which I got primarily because it was pink) came with a web address for a web manual (webual?), and needless to say I have not gone to that address, nor read that on-line manual.

What I do, then, is just aim the camera in the general direction of what I want to take a picture of and click and hope for the best.  And sometimes I get lucky.  I like photographing my cats in Maine, because there is so much sunlight in the house that I can take pictures in which their eyes are normal and not glinty little devilish pinholes.

So here are a few pictures of Plum looking dapper, and Posy beautiful, or at least very self-satisfied:

And a few more of them on surfaces which their grandparents would really prefer they stay off of.  This piece of furniture in particular usually has violets and other houseplants on it; they had to be removed for the duration of our visit, since Plum is a houseplant and flower and cut-flower gourmand.  Oops:

And in case you didn't realize it, having never tried it yourself, it is very hard work lounging and looking cute on an armchair: