Kristine Smith ยป Blog Archives

Tag Archives: life with dogs

the ups and downs of sharing life with two canines

gaby life with dogs

Mud season

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‘Tis the season where I have to towel off Gaby’s feet before letting her in the house. Except today we awoke to rain, which added in with temps above freezing for several days in a row and the resulting thaw and someone named Gaby’s overwhelming desire to bury something…

MUD. I mean, paws like snowshoes except snowshoes made of MUD. I tried toweling them off. Then I tried wet paper towels. Then dipping paws in a pan filled with warm water.

I finally gave up and bundled Gaby into the tub. Directed the detachable shower head at her paws, and marveled at the never-ending stream of filth. Dried Gaby off, then cleaned the tub. The floor. Bundled towels into the washer. Vacuumed.

I should learn to ignore the muddy footprints until they dry, at which point I can vacuum the resulting fine dirt. But then I need to put up with a floor dotted with paw prints, like a canine Marauders Map.

I will have to admit that once I got Gaby into the tub, she stood still like a good girl, and needed to be urged to jump out so I could dry her off. I gave her a cookie. She is dozing on the couch now, where she will remain until July.

animal planet gaby life with dogs

Sunday dash-off post

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Saw one of these during the morning walk. I need to take my camera on these jaunts.

Herself got skunked last night. A minor assault, as these things go, but enough to make her rub her face in the grass for a few minutes. Luckily, I had bought a bottle of Nature’s Miracle after friends raved about it. Managed to get rid of the worst of the stink. I will still try to get her to the groomers this week, though. There’s always that last bit of whiffage that I can’t get out no matter what I do.

life remembering

Another year

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I will be 55 tomorrow.

Have yet to adjust to the 50s. The 40s still felt, if not young, at least pre-middle ages. But 50s butt up against the 60s, which is Social Security/Medicare territory and no I’m not ready. I know, I still have 5 years left to kid myself that 50 is the new 30 so that means that 55 is the new 37.3 or some such. But I know how quickly time passes now–events from 5 years past still replay in my brain as if they happened yesterday. One of my fave t-shirts is a navy blue trad cut with a Santa Barbara crest that I bought for my Dad 20 years ago at my first writers conference ever. 1993 was 20 years ago. I still remember walking along the beach and listening to the lectures and surviving the workshops and receiving validation in the speculative fiction workshop that yes, I could actually write.

20 years.

It doesn’t matter that to some folks, I may not look my age. I’m not sure what that means. This is what 55 looks like. There are lines that weren’t there a few years ago. Skin no longer as taut. There’s more gray hair. Stuff hurts. I’m at the age where Doctors test All The Things. The body, it has changed, in most ways not for the better. I am, knock wood so hard it splinters, blessed with decent health, and to be honest, fuck the skin and hair, that’s all I want. If I have that, I can push/pull/adjust/survive anything else. This, I tell myself. That’s my bargain with whatever inevitable is out there. Just grant me this one thing.

I understand, though, that shit happens. Seen it up close over the last 10 years.

I understand that I am blessed with resource. I am a child of the First World, and though I made countless bad choices over the years, I ended up okay.

I understand that unless there is some startling medical breakthrough in the next few years, I’m on the downward slope.

If nothing else, this understanding is driving me to take some chances, so that I can spend as much time as possible doing what I really want to do. Last year at this time, I wasn’t at this point.

Not much else to say. Wondering where I’ll be a year from now. Lots to do between now and then.

gaby life with dogs

Different dogs

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T-storms last night and this morning. Rumbles. King would have been pacing, pawing me, trying to climb onto the bed. He hated thunder. Over the last few years, he even grew restless as the pressure changed.

Gaby…sleeps. Unless it rumbles hard enough to rattle the house, she pretty much ignores storms.

It’s strange, getting used to not having to do certain things because King is no longer around. No more emptying tissues and paper towel out of the open-top trash cans so he wouldn’t eat them. No more lowering the toilet lid to keep him from drinking. Last week, I put the pale green and white bedspread on the bed–King would always brush against the edges of bedspreads when he followed me around the room, and his hair really showed up on anything light-colored.

Yeah, I know. Trying to keep dog hair off the bed–what was I thinking?

I can even contemplate switching out the lava rock in the backyard for wood mulch. King used to love to chew on anything wood, and whenever he had a stomach upset he would eat anything to try to quell the burning, including mulch. Gaby’s not a wood eater.

Bladder capacity, however, is another matter. I have to make sure to set out the pads before I leave for any period of time because little Miss Teaspoon-and-a-Half sometimes can’t hold it for more than a couple of hours….

gaby life with dogs

Happy Saturday, with doggy details

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Ya-flippy dippin’-hoo.

Awoke around 8ish, and started getting prepped for a busy day of shopping and working when Gaby threw up on the hallway rug. Yellow liquid with foam. Good old bile, which had built up enough to irritate her tum because she hasn’t been eating enough.

She had yet to eat breakfast, and hadn’t eaten since Friday dinner, which was at 5pm. I fed her the canned duck food with the better consistency, and dressed it up with cooked chicken breast and dehydrated duck hearts. She did eat, but I had to add more hearts to get her to finish.

Took her for a long walk after. Everything stayed down, so I piled her into the car for our shopping trip.

There’s a newish pet food and supplies place in the small strip mall where I usually shop. I decided to check it out, and was happy to find a pretty extensive assortment of food that included a raw duck variety. I bought a sample bag, and gave Herself a few bits when we got home. She sniffed it for a minute or so–it’s a frozen variety, and even though it’s thawed before serving, it’s still colder than her usual food. Anyway, after she figured out what it was, she ate it. Licked the bowl clean, then hung around the kitchen as I put stuff away, coming close and sniffing every can and box. Welp. It was lunchtime anyway, so I gave her a half-cup more, which is one third the daily serving for a pup her size. After a few minutes, another clean bowl and additional sniffing around for more. I stopped there, though, because I didn’t want to overload her after a month of light eating.

I will get a little bit more of this stuff. If she still seems as enthusiastic, I will probably make the switch. Whether it’s upset over all the changes, missing King, food boredom, or all of the above, it doesn’t matter. She needs to eat more.

Hoping the balance of the weekend is nice and boring.