Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whatever Happened To Dorothy?

It has been a long time since Dorothy has been featured in this blog, and since this was originally a Blog About Dorothy, I feel a bit guilty about concentrating on other beasties, be they two-legged or four.  It’s partly that I am busy, and Dorothy really doesn’t like the camera and tends to scamper away when I point it at her.  And who wants to read a blog post about Dorothy when it isn’t punctuated by cute pictures?  But it is also that although Dorothy and I are quite fond of each other, she is very much a one-person dog, and that one person is her beloved Dad.  Sean sometimes feels like he is being stalked by Dorothy, because she is attentive to his every movement (sometimes rather annoyingly so), yet she is always ready for a fun game or outing.

So if it were up to Dorothy, all entries about her would consist of:  Dorothy spent the day playing out in the yard with her beloved Dad.  They rested inside on the couch and indulged in some kind of meaty dinner followed by a wrestling match.  The end.

But I’m sure Dorothy doesn’t want me to give you the erroneous impression that her life is all fun and frolic. For life as a bulldogge in Bulldogge Manor—nay, make that The bulldogge of Bulldogge Manor—is often Hard.

For example, Dorothy doesn’t just have to wait for Plum and Posy to be fed before she gets her breakfast these days; she often will have to wait until Owen is done as well.  And although Owen will sometimes share his meal and scatter his food off of his tray for Dorothy to pick up, more often than not, Dorothy ends up with the dog equivalent of a sign on her back that says “kick me,” when the food Owen drops lands squarely out of reach right onto the middle of Dorothy’s back.  Who wants to be covered in banana and cheerios?  Not Dorothy.

But eventually Dorothy does get her breakfast—a nice venison kibble with some soft venison food as well, and a zyrtec for allergies.  And then she gets to go out in her yard!  She likes to parade the perimeter and make sure nothing untoward has happened to it in the night.  She will likely chase a squirrel or a robin, and get yelled at if she dare go in the direction of the wild rabbit.

All Sean has to do is rap quietly on the window and Dorothy puts up her head in a Dad needs me?! kind of way and then goes running so fast up to the sunporch door that her front legs scissor behind her back legs.

Then often Dorothy is left behind to guard Dad’s Young, a job she takes very seriously. 

On a weekend, Dorothy loves nothing more than to help her father out in the yard, although if he is using machinery, Dorothy will be locked into the porch so she doesn’t attack the lawn mower, say, or get whacked with the weeds.

If you need further confirmation of Dorothy’s feelings towards the leader of her pack, I proffer exhibit A, The Nap:

Need I say more?

We often will take Dorothy on a walk with Owen, and you’ll be happy to know that all of Dorothy’s previous walk aversions seems to have dissipated.  She now is more than happy to be included and she walks like a champ.  One of her favorite things is when we walk to the nearby campus that has tennis courts on it—Dorothy will often walk home with a new tennis ball in her mouth.  Finders Keepers!

All in all I'd say Dorothy is happy in the suburbs being a bulldogge in her yarde.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Owen and Martha

Owen is at the age where he can be a little suspicious about strangers.  But although the last time he saw his Aunt Martha he was only four months old, enough about her seemed familiar so that he wasn't wary for very long.  Besides, he seems to have a thing for blondes:

Martha came for her biannual eat-a-pa-looza visit, of which a good proportion used to be devoted to fine dining.  Since my fine dining these days generally consists of me being the restaurant, and Owen the dinee, we spent a lot of time with Owen, thus allowing an Aunt and her Nephew to have some quality time.  Sean offered to stay home with Owen on Saturday night, while Martha and I went to our favorite Philadelphia restaurant, Buddakan.  We've probably been there about 15 times now and the food is still incredible and the service exquisite.

Martha came to visit after Owen was born, and she basically gave Sean and me a quick Babies 101 tutorial for which we are forever grateful; simply put, we had no idea what we were doing, and I have a feeling that Owen somehow knows to be thankful as well.

He definitely enjoyed his Aunt Martha very much.  Martha and I sound alike when we talk, so I think at times Owen was a little confused and thought perhaps he had two mommies?  Just like that book.  And since Martha and I don't see each other that much, and since my pre-work phone time has been curtailed due to my train commute, we had a lot to say to each other, so Owen heard us in stereo in perpetua.

Martha is a good photographer, so I was also glad she was able to get some good photos of Owen while she was here.  (If you want to see more, head over to Martha's blog here).  Here is my blue-eyed boy flashing a bit of pearly whites:

And lest you think I'm forgetting someone, another member of our household was very happy and excited to see her Auntie.  Dorothy gave Martha constant lovin' while she was here, insisted on being a lap bulldogge, and would have spent the night with Martha if Martha so allowed.  In fact, I really think Martha rates a very close second to Sean in Dorothy's pack.  She even dusted off her bed zoomie skills and treated Martha to quite the display of raucous bed runnin.

Dorothy thinking, Auntie is lucky to have me as a niece!

We are all looking forward to Martha's next visit!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Animals, Wild, Otherwise, & Just Plain Strange

We have a yard rabbit whom we call…drum roll…Peter.  I know.  Rabbits probably hate that.  But Peter he is, and the other night as I was reading in bed, I was pretty sure I heard the very HORRIBLE sounds (and I mean HORRIBLE) of Peter fighting for his life.  We’ve had eastern screech owls around our house before, and I figured one of them was eating Peter for breakfast, although it sounded like Peter was fighting as hard as he could to not be on the menu.  Dorothy heard it and came running; Posy heard it and jumped up from her sleep, and I texted Sean who was downstairs and thus perhaps able to stop the carnage.  He turned on our new backyard light, but whatever slaughter occurring was in the neighbor’s yard, and by then he could just hear a strange clicking noise.

Anyway, the whole thing was very traumatic to hear, and I even thought a bit about moving back to the city, where the only carnage is mano a mano, but lo and behold two days after the Horrific Event, we looked out the window and saw:

Well, you can’t see it, really, but that brown dot in the yard is Peter, happily munching on dandelion leaves.  Huh.  I decided to research the matter, and being a modern gal, I did what one does, which was to youtube “animals screaming in the night” and then play the videos until I found a match.  It turns out that raccoons will make sounds like a rabbit being horribly dispatched by a hungry owl.  I’m not sure why they make these sounds.  We did once see a big granddaddy grizzled raccoon walking on the other side of our fence one foggy morning, so perhaps he was having a bad night?

At any rate, Peter is safe for now, although it is beginning to be a pain making sure that he isn’t out there before we let Dorothy out into the yard.  She did chase Peter once, but then Sean called her off and she came back to the house.

On another note, Plum has not been having any spraying issues, but that is no doubt because I have been keeping him drugged on clomicalm.  (Or some such name that ends in -calm.)  It’s like I operate a methadone clinic:  while I wash the dishes each night Plum lines up behind me to get his hand-out wrapped in a pill pocket and then happily scarfs it down.  He thus spends a lot of time sleeping.  Here he is on the chair in the sunporch, before and after he decided to rearrange the cushions.

And on to strange:  we had a gift bag sitting on the stairs for a day or so, waiting for someone to take it upstairs and put it with the other such bags and wrapping paper, etc., and last night when Sean went upstairs past the bag he noticed this:

Posy is not one to let a nice fancy bag go to waste!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Owen In May

I was going to unoriginally call this post flotsam and jetsam, but then I was distracted by wondering about the etymology of flotsam and jetsam, and then by the fact that unbeknownst to me, flotsam are goods floating on the sea, and jetsam are things thrown into the sea.  And then I had to think about that for awhile, since that is what my sleep-deprived brain does these days:  it hooks onto a little factoid and then floats away with it, not unlike flotsam, but not quite like jetsam.  Who knew.

So anyway, this shall be odds and ends, or as Virginia Woolf would say, orts and fragments.

Owen had his 9-month appointment this week and he basically cried from the minute we walked into the exam room until we left.  He is officially On To Us now, and knows that a doctor’s office equals a long needle stuck into a fat thigh, namely his own fat thigh, the worst kind to be stuck with long needles.  He also now cried all throughout what I, personally, would find the worst part of the visit—which is lying nude on a scale in the hallway and having his weight proclaimed loudly to all the world who might be listening.  24 ½ pounds.  Which I don’t think is much more than he weighed last visit, but still puts him in the 95th percentile for weight.  He is now only in the 81st for height!  And his head gets a solid D- at 64%.

Here is Owen in happier times with cool shades on 
and then with—hello ladies!—cool shades off:

His “communication” skills and his gross motor skills are a little borderline worrisome.  I’m not bothered by his gross motor laggings, as I think he really could be doing what he “should” be doing if he indeed was less inclined temperamentally to be okay with lying on his back and having one of his three adults bring desired objects straight to his outstretched hands.  But the communication issues—namely that although he talks non-stop, he doesn’t really say consonants yet—trouble me a tiny bit, so I think I am going to go ahead and call the Early Intervention folk for a visit.  Since the doctor’s visit, however, I was told by Martha that Henry’s first word wasn’t until age 14 months (“da” for dog), and told by my mother that Martha herself said “da” for everything for a very long time—so it seems Owen’s “issues” (such that they are) run in the family.

And now this entry is getting longer than I had intended, so perhaps I’ll make it all Owen and not odds and ends after all.  Bear with me.

Owen came into work on Friday with his father to pick me up.  It was his first time here, not including all the days he spent here in the womb, and many folks were eager to see him (or pretended to be in front of his proud parents).  My boss was out for the day, so we took the opportunity of taking a picture of Owen at her desk (and then promptly texting the picture to her).  Here is Owen, the big cheese:

Apparently at 11:30, Owen likes to watch a show on PBS called Daniel Tiger.  I have yet to see it myself, but said Daniel gets very close to the camera and talks directly to the kids watching, and this cracks Owen up.  Here he is laughing at Daniel Tiger:

 And finally, Owen is still not crawling forward yet, although he does get up on his hands and knees and pretends.

And here he is having propelled himself backwards under the couch in the sunporch, whereupon he was distracted by the wonder that is our ceiling fan.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

She Bites

Posy is in the proverbial dog house this morning.  She needs to sit in a corner and think a bit about her recent behaviors, which include biting and late-night caterwauling.  She was cleaning herself on my lap last night and I was petting her, and all of a sudden she sunk her teeth into my palm while staring at me steadily with her light-blue, increasingly serial-killer gaze.  It made me so glad the vet didn’t remove all of her teeth, ahem.  She was literally biting the hand that fed her.

Then she screamed outside my door last night at around 2 a.m. (Sean swears she is screaming MOM?!  MOM?!).  I finally let her in, because I figured she’d make less noise outside then in.  And she did settle right down until 5 when she got up to cough up a fur ball, complete with thorough histrionics.

The vet had said we would notice a difference in behavior after her mouth was cleaned up, and she does seem more playful.  If only that playfulness didn’t come with a side dish of brat on a bed of brat with a brat coulis, etc.

I also think the Feliway pheromone dispensers, which calm Plum, have a kind of adverse affect on the already calm Posy, making her all spazzy.  She’s been doing a lot of running around, and it is always a sight to see, since you can tell she is running as fast as she can go—and thinks she is exhibiting g-forces—yet to our eye it looks like she is running in slow motion.  Girlfriend will not be winning any sprints anytime soon.

Posy thinking, Bitches!  I'm so fast you didn't
even see me run away and come back!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sid and Nancy

Sean got Dorothy a punk rocker costume for Halloween, but we had a hard time getting her to wear it.  She would immediately pull off the spiked necklace and bracelet when we put them on her, and don't even get me started on the purple mohawk.  We found the costume when we were cleaning the other day, and tried again to get her to wear it.  This is what ensued:

She definitely got into the punk spirit!

Then we decided to try the mohawk on Owen.  At first he was equally as unhappy to have it on his head, but then he was willing to smile for the camera:

Sid and Nancy in Pennsylvania!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Good. Tooth. Avocado

Owen reached two milestones this past weekend.  He has a top front tooth coming in, and he said his first new word (if you don’t count uh-oh, which he also says).  His new word is Good.  Which he says with the period.  In fact, he kept me up last night from 3:30 – 4:15 as he happily lay beside me practicing it a few inches from my head.  Good.  Good.  Good.  I of course was thinking “NOT GOOD!” after the first fifteen minutes, but I didn’t want to interrupt his linguistic practice.

He is still only crawling backwards and continues to be annoyed by this, as he ends up getting farther and farther away from the object that brought him to his knees in the first place, not to mention stuck under things like the couch.  He did spend a lot of time this weekend getting on his hands and knees and then rocking back and forth, so I feel like he is on the verge of forward movement.

He has a walker which he uses in the sunporch and he has gotten quite adept at navigating hither and thither around the room like a pinball.  He hops and has figured out how to steer the walker, following Dorothy around and trying to grab at her head.  Dorothy gets a pained look on her face, and you can tell she is wondering just when Dad is going to call off his Young.

So I have a feeling that our days of being able to place him down and have him stay right where we put him are nearing an end!  That is okay, though, as he is getting to be quite entertaining.  He has started trying to rip off his bib (or, as Sean calls it, his force field) while he eats, and when he does this we say No, rather sternly.  And he stops with his hand on the bib, and one can see him processing the “No” and trying to decide if he should cry at the stern-ness, or perhaps laugh at us perhaps only pretending to be stern, and then getting solemn when he realizes we mean it.

We fed him avocado on Saturday and each mouthful we gave him he would make a face like there were squirming grubs on his tongue, yet at the same time continue to eat the avocado.  So was it the texture he didn’t like—which was a good bit different from his usual jarred purees?  Or was he just processing the new taste?  Meanwhile, Sean and I were eating avocado with extras—a fine tub of Whole Foods guacamole, so I suppose it was a bit unfair of us to serve him the plain stuff….