The Joys Of Owning A Dog!

Being a pet owner is mostly a joyous and wonderful thing. However, there are mornings when I wake up and the first thing I must deal with is, what I’d like to term a doggy disaster!

So it was today, when I got up, opened my bedroom door, and was assaulted with the smell that every owner dreads. Poop!

Apparently, Lili was ill in the night. I am so careful what I feed her, but she must have gotten into something that did not agree with her because there was poop on the rug near my door. There was poop on the rug near the outside door. There was poop in the hallway, and poop on the kitchen floor.

It was one giant (Think German Shepherd size!), mess!

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So, I went around getting up everything I could with paper towels, I washed down the places I could with a mop, and then took the throw rug to the basement and tossed it into the wash.

When I came back upstairs I got out the carpet cleaner, made especially for dog messes (yes, they make these), and I cleaned the carpet by my bedroom door.

I did all this before coffee!

After I had everything washed and cleaned, I sat down at the computer to write about all of this, and for some reason, that I still cannot fathom, my computer did not instantly connect to my Wifi and I had to go through a repair process.

Seriously, I was tempted to say the heck with it all and go back to bed!

After that, I finally had my first cup of coffee.

A Bit Of Everything

I used to travel a lot. Packing a suitcase and heading anywhere was nothing to me in the way of planning. Somehow, since I have not traveled for a while, the part of my brain that does all the preparations is a little slower than it used to be.

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In the old days, (Berlin 2009) all that I needed fit into that green suitcase. I still have and use that suitcase, but now I have tote bags as well!

I already know I have over-packed. Since we are not flying, I can bring whatever I like, and I would be all set if I wanted to change my clothes three times a day.

Of course, this is silly, but I do like to have backups for any situation. And I am also bringing shoes to match.

You know I bet Princess Kate doesn’t bring this many clothes when she travels. Or perhaps she does. She always looks perfect for any and all situations.

Now it is not just me that I am packing for, but Jack as well. I asked him what he wanted packed, and after mumbling a few things he abrogated all responsibility for his suitcase. Ugh!

Jack did prepare the car today, and tomorrow we will finalize our packing. I would like to have the car completely packed on Monday afternoon so we can just relax a bit before the big drive.

Here is our route.

Our Trip2

Our house sitter came again today, and all is set with them. But in the year since they were here so much has changed. New air conditioners, new coffee maker, new toaster oven, etc. They jokingly said I needed to write instructions in a little book! Honestly, I think of all the little eccentricities of my house and the dogs living in it and I believe that the house sitter is correct!

It’s bedtime now on Saturday night,  so I will get this set to post in the morning and off to bed I go with my Arnie-man, pup!

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The New Normal

I started Wednesday by going to WW Class. I did very well this week, and I feel like I am starting to actually live the plan.

It was tough to get up and actually get ready for class today. I hadn’t realized how much I’d actually been doing for Greta recently. I would carry her outside, wait for her to finish, mostly carry her back in, get her little panties on, and then try to start my day.

Today I actually just got myself ready, with no distractions, but boy, did I miss my girl! You know, she had this way of kind of, growling, talking, that no other dog I have had did. I miss that.

Arnie has been spending a lot of time under the coffee table in what I call the Man Cave. All you can see is his little face peeking out. Anneliese has been sleeping on the rug by the back door, and she has been looking for Greta. And when they aren’t doing that, they are sticking together.

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Lili is confused and she also keeps patrolling the yard on the lookout for our departed darling, Greta.

It’s tough, you know. After fourteen years of having this little being in your life, to suddenly not have her just plain hurts. You go on, but it isn’t the same. Even the dynamics between the three remaining dogs has changed.

It’s the new normal.

Yearly Exams

Monday found me bringing the dackels out to our Vets for their yearly exams. All in all, things went very well. The three had their shots and did fairly well with their physicals.

Of course, Greta is almost 14 (three more weeks!) and she is slower than she once was, doesn’t see as well as she once did, and has become more and more dependent on me. But at her age, I guess that is to be expected. She weighed in at 23 pounds, which is a little heavy but heck, it is just 1 pound off.

I have never had a dog that has lived as long as Greta has. Every day I share with her, is a very good one and I feel blessed to still have my darling companion.

Arnie did well too. He weighed in at 22.5 pounds and is one long, lean dog! He has a little growth on his chest, that is probably just a fatty tumor, but it was a little harder than she liked to see, so we are watching it for now and if it changes in any way, we will have it removed.

Surprisingly, Anneliese passed her exam with flying colors. She was at a perfect weight for her 19 pounds, had no problems to speak of and she continues to be my little cuddle bug in bed.

Interestingly, both Arnie and Anneliese are 11 right now and they are in the category of Senior Dogs, along with their mother, Greta.

If I had one wish it would be that my pups would live as long as I do.

What’s In A Name?

Recently I was talking with a friend about our pet’s names. When we carried our little bundles of fur home, we had worked feverishly to find just the right name for them. Often the names are rather Grand! But then, what happens over time, is that you develop silly nick-names to match their personalities. So, in honor of  National Dog Day, August 26th, here are mine.

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  1. Greta’s Registered Name is: Xochil Vom Geestmoor. It’s her overly grand German, registered name. It starts with the letter X because she was from this Kennel Owner’s X litter.  Well, Xochil, just didn’t seem right to me, for a tiny 8 week old German baby girl doggy. So we changed her name, (unofficially) to Greta. I’d always loved that name, and it seemed to fit her. The funny thing is, that as we were walking through the Frankfurt Airport in Germany, an old woman stopped me to admire Greta and when she asked about her name I said, “Greta“! She laughed and said, “Oh like the actress “Greta Garbo“! And at 8 weeks of life, Greta had her first nick-name. Sometimes, I will be calling her and I will jokingly say, “Miss Garbo, Paging Miss Garbo!”, the way they would have, back in the days of old Hollywood! Of course her other nick-name is “Gret-zky” after Wayne Gretzky! And the weirdest part is that she knows her nick-names and responds to them!
  2. Arnie’s Registered Name is: ,Dackel Princess’s Arnold. He was from my first litter of German registered pups, and thus had to have a name that started with A. Arnie’s nick names include, Arnie, of course, Mr. Arnie Man, Mr Bud-er-ino and My Boyfriend! But the one we use most often is Mr. Arnie Man! It just seems to fit.
  3. Anneliese’s Registered Name is: Dackel Princess Anneliese. She is also from my first litter of German registered pups, and thus had to have a name that began with the letter A. I’ve always loved the name Anneliese (pronounced AHN-Ah-LEE-SAH) and the first few years of her little life, I never gave her a nick-name. But as she and I got closer I started to come up with a few. Lisa, (LEE-SAH) Lisa Marie, and Miss Marie! I love it when I am playing outside with her and I call in a silly voice, “Miss Marie”!!! And she comes running toward me with her ears flying in the breeze!
  4. Lili’s Registered Name is: Princess Lili Marlene of Noblewood. Also rather grand. She is only registered with the AKC. Since Lili’s name is rather short, she didn’t a nick-name for some time. But the girl is super high energy. She is always jumping around, like Mexican Jumping Beans. So, one day I started calling her “Lili-Beans” and it stuck. Also just plain old “Lil” But Lili also has a tonal nickname. I just change the tone of my voice to a higher pitch and call out, “Lil-EE” and no matter where she is, or what she is doing, she comes running.

 Anyway, I love my doggies, and having them around is so much fun. And they take all my silliness in stride and make me feel so loved!!!

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day, so here are my tales of being loved by our dogs.

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Top: Arnie & Greta

Bottom: Anneliese and Lili

A year ago, my Vet told me that Greta was not doing well and she wouldn’t make it another year. Guess what? With tender love, and care, Greta, age 13 and a half, is still here and having a good life. She is quieter than she once was, but the joy she shows, each day, brings a smile to my face.

Lili, age 3 years old,  is finally settling down and she has found her place in our home and hearts. Since Jack’s surgery, she now follows him all around the yard, stays right there with him, and if we whistle or call, she races to our side. She also has made a special friend. An 18 month old baby named Estella, who adores her. She stands on our neighbors balcony and calls “Lili, Lili” and Lili races up to her, stopping short and allows Estella to love her! This makes me so happy!

Anneliese age 10 and a half, is healthy and after her disagreement with Greta two years ago, Anneliese has finally found her way back into our bed. She sleeps cuddled up next to my belly and I feel so very loved! She is also sitting in my chair again and all is right in her world. She just had to learn that for always and forever, Greta is the Alpha Dog in this house!

Arnie, also 10 and a half,  is Jack’s car buddy. He goes everywhere with Jack. To the bank, to McDonald’s, to the Post Office, and the Liquor Store. Everyone knows Arnie and they all adore him. I woke in the night to find Arnie cuddled up to me with his head on my pillow. He is full of jokes and fun. What a great dog boy he is!

People often tell me that they don’t like animals. I tell them that they are missing out on one of life’s greatest gifts. The ability to be loved unconditionally by an animal. My dogs are always happy to see me, whether I have been gone 5 minutes or 5 days! I am so blessed to share each and every day with these wonderful pups!

The Definition of Insanity!

The definition of insanity is having four dogs! I decided this today at 5 AM, when two of them woke me, to go outside and commune in the -2 degree (F) frosty, snow and icy darkness.

Now Greta was smart and she hurried out and came back in, because we all know that when you are low, slow, and reliable, the snow and ice get to you quickly! If it had just been her, I’d have crawled back into bed and gotten another hour or two of sleep. But no. Lili, super thick coated, and full of two year old energy, decided that 5 AM was a great time to explore the field behind our house.

She ran and she jumped and she had a splendid time, while I whistled for her to come in. After 20 long minutes, during which time, the other two dachshunds went out and did their thing and hurried in, Lili finally turned and came in.  By then, I was cold and wide awake!

So I slipped into my jeans and warm shirt, put on my bulky socks, and pulled out my heating pad. I snuggled up with two dachshunds in my chair, and turned on the TV to watch the end of a movie I have seen a million times, and start my day!

But as I sit here I cannot help but wonder how I got here. Me, and four dogs? Truly, it is insanity to have 4 dogs that all wake you up before the sun is even in the sky. And why, why do I have them? Well, perhaps because, insane or not, these guys give me so much love, that in the end, I feel blessed!

It’s “Love Your Pet Day”

I was looking up something on the Internet and I stumbled across the fact that today is “Love Your Pet Day”. I found this pretty funny, because in our house, every day is Love Your Pet Day.

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In fact a few years back a friend of mine said that when she died she hoped to come back as my pet! It cracked us both up, but today I look at how our pets are treated in this house, and I would say, that yes, it’s always “Pet Day” here.

In fact when I think about it, my dogs, my pets, are probably my best friends. And here is why.

  1. They listen to me, when I need to talk.
  2. They never talk back or answer in a sarcastic manner.
  3. They love to snuggle. Even when it is hot.
  4. They will never complain about your cooking.
  5. They actually feel bad when you are away from them.
  6. When you come home, they are always happy to see you.
  7. If you can’t finish your meal, they never get angry, they finish it for you!
  8. They always want to go out for a ride.
  9. A dog will follow you all around the house, just so you will stop and pat them.
  10. And best of all, their love is unlimited.

So take your dog for a walk, or share a nice snack with them. It’s “Love Your Pet Day”!

TBT: Arnie & Anneliese

I was looking at old puppy pictures this week, remembering when Greta had her first litter. Arnie and Anneliese were her first babies in that litter, and our relationship with them is unlike any other we have had with our dogs.

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Arnie is on the bottom with the blue collar, and Anneliese is on top to the right in the green collar. The yellow collar was Anita, and the pink was Angelika and the perky red collar was Anja. All are still living good lives, except Anja. She escaped her owner and was hit by a car the first year. Too bad. She was a sweet puppy.

Jan. 20 Anneliese and Arnie

Anneliese & Arnie

 

Anneliese Age 8 3/4

 

Anneliese age 9.  IMG_6964   Arnie age 9.