Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bed Asked For It

Dorothy has always behaved beautifully in her crate.  She is in the crate from 8:45-12:00, and then again from 12:45-5:15, and it has almost never been a problem.  She goes into the crate willingly, knowing that I will give her a treat when she does so.  As far as I know, she has never barked or cried while in her crate.  In fact, as I have written about in this blog before, it is sometimes hard for me to get her out of the crate at lunchtime.

Starting a few weeks ago, however, Dorothy began attacking the bed that I put in her crate on top of the crate pad.  Spaced apart by about two weeks, there were two incidents where she tore the cover off the bed, turned the bed over, and then began snacking on the foam rubber that makes up the bed.  Finally this past week she began to do so every day.  I'd come home and be greeted by this sight:

So on Thursday I didn't bother putting that bed back in the crate.  Which means that she had just the crate pad plus the quilt her Aunt Elsie had made for her.  Now when I come home she has the pad and the quilt scratched up and arranged in strange lumps upon which she then perches herself.

I don't know why she is doing this, whether she is getting tired of the crate or just realized one day that it was fun to take her bed apart.  I think she is almost at the point where she might not have to be crated, and I've been experimenting for the past few months with leaving her free-range when I go on errands or to exercise for an hour.  I don't completely trust her yet though--she will still chew things she shouldn't, and she can also be a bit too rough with Posy.  She'll stand over Posy and look down on her half-playfully, half a bit threateningly.  For the record, Posy isn't fazed by it, but it still makes me inclined to not leave her out on her own yet.

One family member was very happy that the bed is no longer put in Dorothy's crate.  Plum is now quite pleased to be able to get in that bed whenever he is so inclined:

Plum thinking:  It's quite comfy, and the dog smell disguises my scent.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rats in Rittenhouse Square

"Does Dorothy have a prey drive?" you may ask.

Yes, yes she does.  I answered this in the affirmative to myself the other day as Dorothy was flying me like a kite.  She was zooming after a rat she spotted in the park at 9:00 pm and was pulling me with such strength and such speed, that I was sure that I would soon be flying out behind her like a horizontal Mary Poppins.  Turns out Bulldogge is STRONG.

I don't know what was going on in the park that night.  I have seen the occasional rat there before, but always on an evening when it was 95 degrees out even late at night, and I always assumed they were out looking for water and refreshment, something in the slurpee family mayhap.  But this night was a cold one.

"Do rats hibernate?" I mused as Dorothy spotted another rat in a tangle of rose bushes and tried to pull me behind her into the thorny thicket.  For if they do, maybe this was their last hurrah before slumber, a kind of rat rumspringa.

An alternative idea was that perhaps rat poison had recently been distributed throughout the park and these rats were all woozy from hemlock.

At any rate, I realized that Dorothy has perhaps inherited her mother Nancy's penchant for hunting and catching frogs, only being a city bulldogge, her prey of necessity was varmint.

I also realized that night that it was a very good thing I had looped her leash twice around my wrist.

Dorothy being walked by a park denizen in an empty fountain,
sniffing for Templeton:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Many Furry Turkeys

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for two this year....two humans, that is.  There were three four-legged creatures lurking about, two of whom showed much interest in helping cook the turkey.  Every time Sean opened the oven door to do a little basting, I had to hold Dorothy and Plum back from reaching their snouts near the bird and sampling the wares.  As the time for eating was nigh, Plum was practically pacing back and forth in front of the oven door; and Dorothy at one point saw her reflection in the oven window, and as you can imagine, it was love at first sight.

While we ate, we had a hard time keeping them off the table:

Dorothy, wondering if we know that bulldogges love turkey?

Dorothy just can't bear looking to see if Plum was given turkey:

Posy, wondering if we have buttercream frosting somewhere on our plates--
for what is a feast without it?:

Posy actually spent the entire day completely uninterested in the goings-on in the kitchen, and I in fact had to carry her away from this spot in the bedroom to see if she wanted to eat her normal meal:

Plum was finally given a tiny taste of turkey and gravy.  Here he is in the midst of his subsequent tryptophan food coma:

Considering that my kitchen has only one 18 inch by 18 inch square of counterspace, our many-course feast was quite an accomplishment.  And for once, I made a cheesecake that turned out perfectly (a pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger cookie crust and candied pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.  Yum).

And I'll leave you with a few thematic pictures that capture the essence of the holiday:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Dorothy of Your Very Own

I am sure that after reading this blog, you often sigh and say to yourself:  "Oh, if I could only have a Dorothy of my very own!"

Well, perhaps your wish could come true!

For Dorothy's Aunt Dharma and big brother Dozer are having puppies that are due on December 2nd!  And Dorothy's parents, Nancy and Grimm, may also have puppies on the way.  You could own the second prettiest bulldogge in the world!

For more information, go to Jess and Pete's website, Wicked Good Bulldogges.

I mean, look at these pictures below.  How could you resist?!

Sure, there are times when Dorothy is lying on her back on the sidewalk several blocks from home and refusing to budge, when I think I should have adopted a chihuahua instead--something tuckable under the arm--but in general, Dorothy is a smart, loving, healthy, and beautiful dogge, and my experience adopting her from Jess at Wicked Good Bulldogges was 100% positive.

Just this morning, I was told by a passer-by that Dorothy was the most beautiful bulldog she had ever seen--and such comments happen almost daily.

Go on, you know you want a baby bulldogge.  :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Posy's Potty Mouth

Miss Posy Fern has a bit of a potty mouth, I'm afraid.  Yes, we make our pets talk (oh you do it too, fess up), and Posy has a lot to say...and a good portion of it is rude.

She does not suffer fools gladly.  She is the Greek chorus of the household--a furry, Greek chorus of one, with attitude.

Posy tends to end most of her comments thusly:

And it is best not to answer back.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dorothy's Pinwheeling Ears

I would be very happy if I did not have to go to the vet's office for the next few months. Whereas Dorothy loves going to the vet's, I tend to sympathize more with the feelings of my pug, Tulip, who would basically rather have chewed off her own paw then visit a veterinarian.

In the past two weeks, however, Dorothy has had a few incidents which have made me think a vet visit was in my future.  First, she began pinwheeling her ears non-stop, which I know is a sign of an ear infection.  She was always scratching at her ears and shaking her head so that it flip-flopped more than a political opinion of Mitt Romney's.  At the time the pinwheeling was occurring, however, we were having a stretch of oddly warm and rainy weather, and I remember that Tulip would occasionally get yeast infections in her ears when the weather was like this, but they would go away on their own accord when the weather changed.  And it has now been a few days since Dorothy has shaken her head, so she is either all cured, or has gone deaf.  Ha.  I'm betting on the former.

But we are not out of the clear yet, apparently, for at the dog park yesterday, Dorothy all of a sudden began urinating every few minutes--or at least attempting to do so.  She'd get in position, but then only a few drops would come out.  She then asked to go out frequently last night, and squatted down the minute her legs touched sidewalk.

This morning I gave her a little bit of vitamin c in her breakfast, which the vet told me once can help if a UTI is just beginning.  Then I also gave her a teaspoonful of a concoction called "Harmonize Bladder" at breakfast and at dinner.  This is an herbal mixture that is meant to help stabilize the bladder of a dog prone to getting UTIs.  It does seem to work, although while it harmonizes her bladder it will often cause problems with her bowels--a choose your poison kind of situation.

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have to visit the vet's this week, as I don't have the $200 that our vet visits always seem to end up costing.  Wouldn't a glass of cranberry juice be much cheaper?

Dorothy, looking to see what other ailment might be coming her way:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Et Tu, Brute!

Nothing upsets Dorothy more than when her Sean leaves.  When he packs his bag she starts to mope and hover, and when he walks to the door, she is already there hoping that this time he will take her with him, and man and dogge can walk off together into the sunset.

But the other day when Sean got to the door, this is what was waiting for him:

All my pretty ones?!  Oh stab, twist, ouch!

I need to find me a more loyal pet.  A potbelly pig?  A tree sloth?  A ferret?

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Exotic Shorthair To Go, Please

Nothing pleases the cats in my household more than when an empty box appears.  It is never empty for long.

The arrival of this particular box was a lucky day for Posy, since the box was too small for Dorothy and too small for Plum.

When I left to go to my Lithe Method exercise torture class, Posy was sitting thusly in the box:

And when I crawled hobbled back an hour later, I opened the door and saw this:

Still in the box!  And still sitting up in the box.

I'm sure she has her reasons, right?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

She's Got The Whole World...

In her hands.  Er, in her paws rather.

And she is clearly working hard to eat off all the continents.  I thought this ball might be a good "soccer ball" for Dorothy.  They were selling them in all different sizes at the dog shop down the street, and the tag mentioned all sorts of things about "durable" and "sturdy" and made to last, etc. etc.  Of course, after five minutes of chewing she had torn off Ireland and the British Isles, and was going to town on Africa.

Dorothy does seem to have strong jaws, and she has very impressive powers of concentration, but 5 minutes?!  I expected the toy to last a bit longer than that.  Soon she'll have eaten off all the countries and then perhaps the toy can just be used as a regular bouncy-type ball, instead of something that Must Needs Be Destroyed Pronto! Apparently chewing trumps chasing and fetching.

In a few more sessions, however, the phenomenon of global warming will have happened in her spherical world, as it slowly is in ours, and Dorothy's globe ball will be all ocean.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dorothy's Pack

It has become quite clear as of late that according to Dorothy, I am number three in the pack.  And that is on a good day.  There is Sean, who is number one.  And then there is Dorothy, number two.  And really, she would like the counting to just end there, thank you very much.  I don’t really need to be a member of the pack, after all, I can just be a kind of servant figure who scoops kibble into her bowl and has a comfortable lap for lying on when she is feeling sleepy and Sean isn’t sitting.

On the whole, I am okay with Dorothy seeing Sean as number one.  It would be stressful if my dog did not like my boyfriend, so I would much rather she adore him, as she does—even if she does so to the point that I am totally ignored when he is around.  In case you think I exaggerate, let me give you an example:  when Sean is in my apartment, and it is my turn to take Dorothy out to do her business, she almost will not go without him.  Despite however many times I tell her that we are a feminist pack, I have to pull with all my strength, while she puts on all four brakes and bucks her head to try to slip out of her collar so she can stay with her dear. 

We even have to do a walk feint, in which Sean pretends to come with us and then doesn’t go out the door at the last minute.  Which really doesn’t completely work, since I then have to pull Dorothy down the hall and out the door like a ton of bricks.  She’ll do her business the second all four feet touch the sidewalk, but then will turn around instantly to go back in to her pack leader.

And there’s more:  she barks when we dare to hug, not because Sean is hugging me, but because number three (me) is daring to touch number one (Sean), while leaving number two (Dorothy) out of it.

Finally, last night things came to a head, when Dorothy tried to claim the side of the bed next to Sean by MARKING it.  With her urine.  The comforter is now at the cleaners getting washed, and tonight Miss Dorothy and I are re-starting our stalled training regimen, so that she can be reminded, a tad, of her place in the scheme of things.  I’ll keep you posted.

Dorothy, thinking the apartment 
should really just contain a boy and his dogge: 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Posy is a small cat with a large set of vocal chords and a lot to say.  In other words, she has a big mouth.

She believes in narrating her day, and she believes in narrating her day loudly.  


Such constant cat arias can get a wee bit tiresome on occasion.   

Plus, she has a very LOUD voice for such a little cat.  Plum is 14 pounds and stocky like a British Shorthair should be; despite his size, however, he has what my friend, Elisabeth, once described her cat as having--and that is "a girlish meow."  Plum definitely has a girlish meow, except for in the middle of the night when it seems less "girlish" and more shrill.  Posy is about 5.5 pounds, yet she uses two settings when she speaks:  loud and louder.

She will also get even louder if she thinks you aren't paying attention, or if she is carrying her favorite ball around.  If she has her ball in her mouth, she projects her voice in such a way that it sounds like it is being broadcast between your ears.

In short, Posy caterwauls; she rings in all the hours; she is woman, hear her roar.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Venus on the Half Shell

While up in Maine this summer, Dorothy colonized one of her Aunt Nellie's beds:

As you can see, the bed is shaped kind of like a clam or oyster shell, and the dog is meant to lie in it, as, say, the pearl.  Nellie, who inherited the bed from two pug nephews, would occasionally lie ON the bed, but the only time she ever went IN it was on a day that was over 95 degrees, and thus not one that would seem to require the added warmth of a snuggly bed. (But Nellie is a Tibetan Terrier, and they do things differently in Tibet.)

Dorothy right away seemed to understand how the bed worked.  She would flip the top up deftly with her snout, and slip inside, turn around, and then lie with her head facing out.  She became so fond of it that when we were racing Hurricane Ilene to Philadelphia at the end of our vacation, the bed was tucked into the trunk with the rest of our belongings.

And Dorothy is still very fond of the bed.  It is now her lair--and thus a place to which she brings her favorite found treasures, such as brassieres:

Plum and Posy both made the mistake of trying to lie in the bed, only to discover that if you are in the depths of the bed, and a bulldogge joins you, then you are trapped in the bed and have to claw and hiss your way out.  Which is undignified and not fun.

So Posy has come up with another way to enjoy the half shell--she has made herself a comfortable nest on the upper deck, so if need be she can make a hasty getaway:

Apparently, what is good enough for the goose,
is good for the gander: