Wishful Thinking Out Loud

Dear Poop,

Please stop waking my daughter up early. Please.

Sincerely,
Tired (of Poop)

Dear Baby,

Please get on a sleep schedule already. Pick a time you want to take your naps and let me know. Heck, pick a number of naps you want to take per day, we can start with that! For someone who insisted on rolling, sitting, crawling and standing before her brother, I would like to point out that by your age he was on a very regular schedule. This is when you took your nap yesterday and the day before, what do you mean you’re not tired??

Love,
Mommy

Dear Toddler,

Please be nice to your sister all the time, not just sometimes. Your truck did not run over her feet, you ran the truck over her feet.

Love,
Mom

Dear Cats,

Please stop with the hairballs. Just let me brush you once in a while, it will help!

Love,
Mom

Dear Dog,

Please stop eating the hairballs. Really, stop.

Love,
Mom

Reigning Queen of Drama (Update)

Reigning Queen of Drama by Geeky-Girl
Reigning Queen of Drama, a photo by Geeky-Girl on Flickr.

She’s fine. I would actually go so far to say that after spending a day at the vet she has made a 100% recovery. Their official diagnosis was “soft tissue damage” and they gave her an anti-inflammatory and said no long walks or big activity for 2 weeks, which is what I had expected and hoped for.

They also said if she was not showing any improvement by Monday to bring her back for the fun (expensive) tests like x-rays (which I would not let them do on Friday) but I honestly haven’t heard her yelp once since she got home.

In addition, she has been running up the stairs, lifting her (injured) leg above her head to chew her foot, and other things like that.

So I’m pretty sure the whole thing was just all in her head. Something hurt, it surprised her and she remembered how concerned we were, so she milked it. Sometimes she really is too smart for her own good.

My Dog, the Queen of Drama

So yesterday was Layne’s yearly vet trip and for the first time she registered in the “slightly overweight” category (as opposed to the normal/healthy weight range she’s been her whole life). I’m pretty sure this is because she used to walk with me, almost 2 miles like 3 days a week and then I got pregnant and felt sick and stopped walking and then when I stopped feeling sick I started feeling lazy instead and then just exhausted and now that I’m a bout 2.5 weeks from me due date let me tell you, I get winded walking around the block so 2 mile walks are out of the question. And so Layne porked up.

Also last night Jack spent the night at his GiGi and Poppy’s house (my parents) so I bought Layne a 99 cent squeaky toy at Target while I was running errands and was goofing off with her in the living room, watching her run around like a crazy dog. Good exercise, I thought.

So flash forward an hour, Nate and I were going out to dinner and he went to take Layne upstairs to her crate and she took about one giant leap up the stairs and yelped. We assumed she hit her head on the banister (it has happened before) but she squawked and squealed most of the way up. It was weird. When we got home Nate checked her out but couldn’t find anything specific wrong with her except that she yelped pretty much when you touched her.

She spent the evening yipping and yelping randomly when walking, sitting, or laying down (she was not limping, she was not favoring any of her feet, or sides to sit and lay on) so we figured she just stretched a muscle or something dumb while running around. Unfortunately this continued over night (apparently she moves around a lot at night, so there was a lot of yelping) and at one point when I got up to pee (the second time) she was standing in the middle of the floor when I walked back to bed and yelped like I stepped on her when I bumped into her (it’s hard to see a dog laying in the middle of the floor in the dark).

Nate said she refused to walk up the stairs this morning for breakfast so I called the vet and made a plan to drop her off. They had no open appointments but were interested in checking her out. She sulked around all morning, yelping sometimes, head down but still no limping and still didn’t seem to be favoring anything. Then when it was time to go she happily let me put on her leash and happily jumped into the back of my van. Without yelping. She squawked once when she laid down in the back but when we got there she hopped back out with no problem and when we were inside and I started rubbing her down, she was so intent on sniffing whatever she had found on the floor that she barely made a noise when I touched her back leg which had previously caused her to yelp horribly.

I debated all morning about whether or not to take her to the vet. She has a history of high drama when it comes to injuries. She will definitely yelp and cower if you bump into her in the dark overnight (which makes me wonder WHY she moves herself to the middle of the floor between the bed and the wall when I get up to go to the bathroom like she thinks maybe this time I’ll know she’s done it and see her before I step on her. I probably won’t). And I think the memory of the pain or discomfort is causing her to shy away from being examined or yelping when she does something like going up the steps (which is why she didn’t notice me rubbing down her previously sensitive legs while in the lobby of the vet’s office and had no problem stretching them out to jump into and out of the van, because she thought she was going somewhere fun).

All that leaves me waiting for the vet to call. I’m a little worried that sitting at the vet all day will just make her even more dramatic, but really that was our only option unless we wanted to wait til tomorrow and they sounded really judgey when I said maybe that would be a better idea so I went ahead and brought her in. I’m hoping they won’t find anything and maybe she’ll get an anti-inflammatory or sedative to encourage her to take it easy and not move it til whatever it is calms down.

Mixed Signals

I don’t think Layne ever actually developed useful signals to let us know when she has to go to the bathroom. Before when I worked it was easy. Nate took her out when he got up, I took her out when I left for work, Nate took her out again when he got home from work and I took her out one last time before bed. Now that I’m home all the time she probably only goes out 3 times per day for the most part, and on those days where maybe it’s been a while since she went out last (like today) she doesn’t do a very good job of letting us know she has to go.

Today we were sitting watching TV and she came out into the living room, and walked back into the bedroom. Then a couple of minutes she came back out and stood in the doorway just watching us. So I figured I’d take a shot. “Layne, do you want to go potty?” and she ran towards the back door and did a circle. I took that for a yes.

Really though, she went NO WHERE NEAR the back door to signal that she had to pee or anything, just the creepy dog staring. After the jumbone incident Nate suggested that maybe we should go back to the bell method we used when she was a puppy (because she also could not tell us she had to potty, instead she used to walk across the living room and just stop in the middle and pee. it was awesome). Basically it was just some bells hung around the door knob that she learned to ding when she had to pee… but I’m kind of worried she’d abuse it. As it is if we’re sleeping and she’s not she doesn’t hesitate to come over and sniff an exposed hand/arm/leg that she can reach in an attempt to lure us out of bed. So in the mean time I guess we’re stuck trying to interpret her creepy dog stares.

Why My Dog Will Never Have a Jumbone Again

Aka: Oh Shit. Literally.

That’s right, I gave the dog a jumbone for Christmas. If Gouda was still here I would have known better. I wouldn’t have given her one because I would have known it would tear his stomach up and we would all live to regret it. Without him here I thought I could get her a fun and tasty treat and she’d (temporarily) love it etc etc.

And so she did.

Christmas morning while Jack was opening his gifts (the ones he managed to open before he got tired of opening gifts and just wanted to play with the new toys he’d already opened, dammit) Layne was there shoveling that jumbone as fast as she could chew.

Fast forward to Monday morning, I heard Jack on the monitor so I got up to go pee before going to get him and on my walk to the bathroom I noticed one of Layne’s beds was moved and thought “well that’s weird” and I pushed it back to its home and then went on to the bathroom where I saw a pile of dog crap on the floor.

“Uh-oh,” I thought, and at that point I was really just thankful that she had the good sense to come do it in the bathroom on the easily cleaned up tile floor. So off I went, quietly back out, because Nate was still sleeping and I was going to be nice and let him stay that way, back around to my side of the bed to get my cellphone and then I’d go out to get a plastic bag and some spray to clean that crap up.

And then I stepped in it. That morning Nate quite literally woke up to me saying “oh SHIT” as I realized the dog bed had been moved to cover another pile of crap on the carpet and I had just stepped in it (thank god for socks). So much for letting him sleep in. Points for intent though, right?

So up we got and cleaned up the crap. My sister has my carpet cleaner, but fortunately we have a spot cleaner, little green something or other as a backup and that was enough.

So the moral of this story is “don’t try to do nice things for the dog, she’ll only poop on the floor.” (Not really, I’m sure she felt like crap (haha) and only went on the floor as a last resort and we did feel really sorry for her, but I definitely felt more sorry for me and Nate for having to clean that up.)

The forgotten child

My Dog Thinks I’m a Moron

I mean, I don’t know what other conclusion to come to…

At target last week I bought the pets their “Christmas presents” (aka: treats for the cats and a jumbone thing for the dog). The bone sat on the kitchen counter in a target bag for an hour or so before I took it upstairs with Layne (still in the target bag) and dropped it off in an unfinished storage space where we keep the pet food (safe away from prying noses and teeth). I also made her a kong and stuck her in the pet room so I could run a few more errands.

When I got home and let her out I found that she had kicked some bag-butt in the pet room while I was gone. In the closet in there I have some plastic grocery bags, stored in a target bag, to scoop the litter box into. The closet doors remain open at all times because we keep no treats in there (on account of the prying noses and teeth, and the best way to convince those teeth that there is nothing interesting in the closet is to prove it with an open-door policy). So basically the only thing I can think of is that she saw that target bag (which is on a hanger, hanging in the closet) and thought that I was dumb enough to hang her jumbone in the closet, in her line of sight and well within her reach.

I am not that dumb, and like 4 defenseless plastic bags had to pay the price for her doubting my intelligence. I’m almost offended that she really thought I was dumb enough to put it in there like that, but it’s really just too funny.

Side Note: I would like to point out what I believe to be a complete lack of ability to use her sense of smell to detect food/treats. If she really used it/knew what she was doing with it, it should have been obvious that there was no bone in there. But it wasn’t. You may think that means that she knew it wasn’t in there and tore the bags up for some other reason but you may be wrong. For example, today I found a cheerio in the middle of the floor in the living room. It had to have been there for at least 3 hours because that’s when Jack finished snacking from the cup that had the cheerios in it, and Layne had DEFINITELY been in and around in there before, during, and after the snacking time period and didn’t notice the cheerio once. I literally had to get on the floor and point it out to her in order for her to find it.

Sometimes I wonder how a dog who is otherwise so smart can possibly also be so dumb.

My Cat Needs a Trip to the Dentist

Nothing like having a cat who needs semi-regular dental care! Today I found myself scheduling 3 different vet appointments.

1. Layne needs her kennel cough booster

2. Colby needs a yearly physical exam

3. Tili needs a yearly physical exam plus dental work that I put off from last year.

Technically I was going to get the dental work done earlier this year during “dental month”  but then Gouda got sick and there went my pet emergency fund. So I put it off some more, and hopefully she won’t lose all of her teeth because of it, but it’s finally been scheduled! Thank god for pet insurance, I can’t wait to see the final bill.

And also, just for fun, I’ve asked if they could go ahead and do her yearly physical exam and shots while she’s anesthetized. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I’m just too lazy to search it out right now… but Tili does not do well at the vet. I actually give her a pill an hour before every vet trip to sedate her, but last year it was just not enough and the poor vet (who was the same wonderful young vet I had when Gouda was sick) decided she was too much of a handful (and she is. scratches were handed out and I think someone got bit), and this year she recommended that Tili be knocked out for the trip. SO! I figured two birds with one knock-out-stone, so to speak, right?

So now I have three separate appointments for three separate weeks for my three separate pets. I miss the good old days of shoving two cats into one taxi and getting it all over with together! The only good news is that Colby’s trip should be faster (and possibly less traumatic without Tili there to ruin it) and that Tili’s is an all day affair where I drop her off on the way in to work in the morning and pick her up on the way home from work in the evening. It’s a win-win-win! (Layne’s should just be a quick trip into the lobby with a dog and a toddler while they squirt something up my dog’s nose and then I cram her back in the car before she sees any other dogs and I have to kill her in public.)

I Almost Forgot the Best Part

So after the big mouse-killing event on Saturday my sister and her boyfriend came over to hang out and blah blah blah, we had dinner, put the baby to bed, were hanging out on the back porch and I decided the animals would probably like to be fed their own dinner. It was probably 8:40 by then.

So I went up to the pet room and fed everyone, and then I went back downstairs to the deck. At some point Nate asked me where Layne was, because I didn’t bring her back out with me. I told him I left her inside because I was tired of watching her stalk mice and birds. Back and forth, whine whine whine, back and forth. Enough already!

So eventually around 9:15 I think, they decided to leave and we all went inside and Nate went upstairs to grab a CD or something and asked if there was a reason I left the light on in the pet room. Of course there was no reason, go ahead and turn it off I told him. I figured I left it on because it was actually dark enough to need it on while I was feeding them and it’s normally still light out so I don’t have to turn it on so I don’t have to remember to turn it off. Brain fart and all that fun stuff.

Then he called me to come up the stairs and look at something. About that time I realized I hadn’t seen the dog since I got inside which was a little weird. Normally after being banished to inside she’s all excited to see us when we come in, but whatever. Maybe she’s tired. She had a rough day.

WRONG!

I totally left her in the pet room eating her dinner. I snuck out for a minute because I had to pee, which is not unusual, and I totally forgot to sneak back in and let Layne out of the room. So basically she sat up there for 30 minutes or so wondering what the heck happened, because doesn’t she normally get to go downstairs after she eats? Is she suddenly going to be stuck sleeping upstairs with the kitties? Someone?! ANYONE?!

Whoopsie.

The Mouse Killer Among Us

So I think I’ve mentioned before, that we have a mouse problem in the back yard, and we are plagued by a mouse-zilla. We also have a really good variety of birds and I enjoy watching them play in the back yard, so as much as Nate might want to sometimes, I’m not going to be shutting down the bird-zone any time in the near future.

That being said we’ve been letting Layne chase the mice in the back yard. She’ll usually spot them, stare at them obsessively, and then bolt from the screened in porch as soon as the door is cracked wide enough for her to go. We thought it was all in fun as mice are CRAZY fast and Layne just is not as fast.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

So Saturday afternoon, much like every other time she goes out, Layne ran down the steps, and immediately bolted for the bird/mouse area. It was almost too fast to even track, one second she was here, the next she was down there bouncing around. And then she was bouncing around with a big brown thing in her mouth. I think Nate and I almost died (Jack was napping). We both started yelling for her to drop it and come back up and eventually she complied and at some point Nate said “what do we do?!” and I said “oh my god” at least 50 times and we just sort of stood there in shock with our dog staring at the brown lump waiting to see if it moved.

It did not.

So I went out to the garage and put some work gloves on and went out to investigate. I was like 99% sure it was dead, although there were (thank god) no puncture wounds so I’m guessing it was (a) internal injuries, (b) broken neck or (c) a mousey heart attack. I’m kind of leaning towards heart attack though, just because I would imagine it would be pretty shocking to suddenly find yourself in a dog’s mouth. So I carried the carcass off behind the fence to drop it off because I didn’t really know what else to do with it.

And now Layne fancies herself a mouse-catcher and watches them even more obsessively. Like her life suddenly has a purpose.

I can’t decide if that’s good or bad.

And we still let her out to chase them, and I’m still 99% sure that she won’t catch another one, but if she does I can’t say that I’ll be sorry to see it go.

(More) Dog Training

So on Tuesday, Layne and I had an appointment with her trainer. After her first appointment we kept up with it for a while, made some improvements in her behavior, and then being pregnant at the time, I was easily distracted and we let it slide some and while she retained some of her new good behavior, she definitely did not hold onto all of it.

This time our trainer was there for about 1.5 hours working with me and Layne (but let’s be real here, mostly with me)  and I have to say, Layne made me look like such a liar. She was so polite and well behave with this woman that it was obvious the problem is me and not the stupid dog. Not entirely a surprise, but still disappointing because I actually thought I was being a relatively good alpha.

I have to say in the two days since training Layne has continued to be an angel (god help me, knock on wood!).  And hopefully this time we won’t drop the ball on our alpha-hood because it’s nice when Layne doesn’t bark like a maniac when my mom comes over in the morning to pick Jack up like she’s been doing for A YEAR NOW WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW YOU CRAZY DOG?!

I also need to figure out how to get people to fake knock at my door so I can practice keeping Layne in her zone so as to remind her that I’m in charge of greeting people who come to the door, not her. And also, I’m in charge of determining whether those people are a threat, NOT HER. She obviously has very poor decision making skills and the more anxious or excited she gets the worse they get and then it’s all down hill from there.

So! Wish me luck. There’s a good down in there somewhere, we just need to bring it out in her!