Archive for the ‘Gretchen’ Category


May 8, 2014

Whew.  We almost missed it, but it’s National Pet Week!  You humans are supposed to “celebrate the way pets enrich your lives.”

Get to counting, Mama.

***Mama here.  It might be easier to count if the basset DIVA wasn’t drooling and spinning and spitting as she sails through the air whilst chasing the wee one through the house, over the furniture, through every room, using the sofa as a trampoline…

May 2013 006Meh, either way, I love this sassy, silly, awesome dog.  She has more charisma and character than ten Hollywood stars.

Even though I use HBO words and my back aches when she pulls like a freight train on a walk, her dogged determination live life to the fullest delights me and dares me to make the most of every moment.

13750539303_94811703b7_bI also adore this precious wee one.   She’s a strange mix of fearlessness and anxious timidity, but when she’s happy and secure, she’s a beautiful, bouncing girl.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing Gretchen Greer bound down a trail or bounce through a field.

Getting them the exercise they crave keeps me healthy too, but I also take great comfort in their companionship when I am trying to shut out the world and they quietly insert themselves into my walled fort.  Heck, I even find Sissy’s not-delicate snores amusing and reassuring.  All is right with the world when the DIVA can sleep so soundly, with her puppy – I’m pretty sure that’s how she’ll always view Gg – intruding on her space in the name of togetherness.

And we all appreciate that others are kind to our pets too.  The girls got some pet week lovins’ from some students at our firehouse for an emergency vehicle driving class, and from some of the regulars who are used to Sissy slinging slobber far and wide, and who know to talk sweetly and make no sudden movements around Gg.

Happy Pet Week to each of you from all of us!



Allergies 14.1

April 5, 2014

Things are blooming here in the woods, so that means allergies are showing themselves too.  Sissy – thankfully! – seems not to have seasonal, environmental allergies, but she and the Knight went back to have her anal glands expressed again and to drop off a special package (read: specimen) we gathered on a walk for just that purpose.  Sis’s bum is looking better, and there’s less scooting and such.  The vet also told me that it’s not unusual to need to express the glands twice in short order when they are as full as Sissy’s were the first time, so they’ll check her again when we go back in about 10 weeks for her next local eye pressure check.

UntitledI apologize for my inability to post consistently on Thorsdays recently.  I fear that trend will continue through at least next month.  But, we’re still logging 20 miles per week, and the girls hopped in the creek on the warmest day this week, so we’re all getting our exercise and Vitamin D, regardless of the otherwise chaos in my/our lives.

Unfortunately, Gg does seem to be true to her terrier roots, and she’s been doing a lot of sneezing and that reverse sneeze thing that almost every Jack Russell I know does.  If she shows any additional signs, we’ll consult the good doctor and make sure she isn’t too miserable.

In other news, I’ve resigned myself to a serious discussion on better living through chemicals for little Gg at her next vet visit.  Being a JRT, she insists upon pressing on, even when she’s having a panic attack.  She doesn’t want to miss a walk, even if passing the biters’ house is almost too much for her.  (And we have to pass it TWICE to get to the woods and home again, poor gal.)

Do any of you have any experience with … psych drugs for your dogs?  I hate the very thought of it and anticipate Gg fighting me every step of the way, because she doesn’t even like pain pills because she fears a loss of control (why yes, I do think I can read her mind), but I also can’t bear the thought that most days, she has some sort of panic attack for one reason or another.


White wool?!

March 28, 2014

UntitledAround these parts, March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  Evidently, lambs are COLD, white and fluffy.  We’ve had so much snow this winter that even Gretchen Greer now prances in it with just a wool sweater.

What you can’t tell from the photo is that it’s pouring snow, and Lady Gg is still bravely ripping and racing in the cold, wet stuff.  I’m especially proud of her because she was charged AGAIN by a neighbor-dog on Saturday, and while the weather helped us choose to skip the walk on Sunday, Monday she was ready to go, and Tuesday in the snow, she was actually the one impersonating Dora the Explorer and blazing new trails.

She wasn’t physically harmed, but I honestly don’t know how much more my skittish girl can take.  We have been assured that dog won’t be allowed loose again, but I REALLY wish my neighbors would just opt-in on the local leash laws.  Yes, we’re in a rural area, but there’s a reason for the laws and Gretchen and I are happy to advocate for the enforcement of said rules.

Happy Thorsday to you!  Are you ready for spring?

It’s Thorsday After All!

February 21, 2014

ace81740-5e8f-47e4-a60e-9b295ea8c9a4Mama is too busy being busy, so enjoy some streamside snow hopping from our attempt at a walk last weekend.  We’ll call this one…


There are goats across the river, and Sis is intrigued.  The snow drifted quite a bit in the riverside “alley” and so, we actually had to turn around right here because Gretchen Greer had to leap and bound to get through the stuff.

73b4ca43-84c4-42c2-bfd4-a5c9f23d4ebaAnd here’s Look Right.

Well, sorta’.  At least they’re both pointed in the same general direction…

That’s kinda’ how life in the woods has been going this week.

Sleeping In

February 13, 2014

UntitledThe furgirls just don’t love snow the way the boy dogs did.  They are hunkered down, napping.  They did accompany the Knight when he shoveled a path from door, down the stairs, into their pen, but Gretchen lost interest when she stepped off the bottom step and was suddenly buried in the snow.  (No photos…  I was still inside sipping my coffee!)

Local reports range from 8  to 20 inches of snow.  FINALLY.  My dogs might not love it, but I do!

What do your dogs do when it snows (or rains)?


So Cold…

January 9, 2014

… that Sissy wore a sweater.


Happy Thorsday!  It’s been quite chilly lately, and for those who have been around a while, you know that Sissy doesn’t get cold so she doesn’t wear coats and sweaters.  Hem.  Well…  when it’s not even 20 degrees and we’re trying to walk, even the Queen DIVA gets bundled up, whether she likes it or not.

Lady Gretchen Greer is sporting her warm, boiled wool coat.

Do you wear coats or sweaters when it’s cold?

And check out my blog for the latest care package – er, product review – from Chewy!


Ears lookin’ at you

December 20, 2013

f54f5626-2e4a-43c6-b3eb-4491d1b725acFirst, the good news.

Sissy’s eye is doing well.  No signs of anything that might indicate her glaucoma is raging, and her pressure was 12.  (Anything under 15 is ideal for her.)

She’d lost 2+ lbs. in roughly 12 weeks, but as another customer in a pet store put it years ago, “She’s a hard keeper.”  If Sis was a human, she’d be one of those annoying women who actually struggles NOT to lose weight.  The vet tech working the reception desk doesn’t know Sis well and was alarmed, and not terribly impressed with my very cavalier  attitude about the weight fluctuation that is Sissy’s norm.  Of course, our delightful vet just stage whispers to Sissy that most women’s weight goes up, so as long as it comes back down… it’s all good.

The not great news is the DIVA has an ear infection.  In most dogs, it wouldn’t even necessarily need more than extra (daily) cleaning for a week or so, but the basset/long-eared hound owners out there know better.   Dr. D. is confident that it’s merely a result of getting some beach ick in a toenail, scratching one’s ear after some sand blew in, and the rest is history.

UntitledSilly Gg thought she was missing out, so her ears got cleaned tonight too.  I’m betting she won’t take one for the team again.

However, in absentia, Gg still got some of the good vet’s time too.  Seems in a recent continuing education workshop, she heard that as many as 1 in 5 dogs has some sort of mental health issue.  This doesn’t include ordinary behavioral problems, but does include otherwise unmanageable anxiety.  (Hello, Gg?)  She doesn’t have any new treatment plans, but she did think of Gretchen when she heard it.   I don’t know whether that’s comforting or not.

Last but not least, we all have to thank Aunt Sus.  We took the DAP infuser with us, and I set it up as soon as we got in the exam room.  Dr. D. remarked when she came in that Sis was nicely mellow, so evidently, it helps a lot.  Gg has her annual visit next, so we’ll see how my head case does.

Doggy in the Window

December 7, 2013

A day late and a doggy short!  Hope you had a happy Thorsday.


We went to the beach for Thanksgiving, and we’re just thankful that Mama only brought home a photo of a poster of a puppy in a window.  (And doggy pajamas, but evidently, that didn’t impress them.)


Little ears blowin’ in the wind

It wasn’t the best weather for beach walks and runs, but we got in a walk every day anyway.  Sissy managed to get some bait (salmon, thankfully) off the shore and failed to LEAVE IT! when ordered, and then she was off and on sick for several days.  The Knight and I are NOT in agreement on what led to her episode (I say it was all the swallowed contraband, he thinks it might have been the water [filtered, but not bottled] or even a virus), but we did agree to go back to only serving distilled, bottled drinking water while we’re away from home with the dogs.

She’s all better now, finally.  The jury is still out on the back seat cover/hammock.  We might need a new one.

Boots vindicated

October 27, 2013

… or the post in which Sissy is diagnosed with motion sickness.

The good news:

  1. Her eye pressure was 9 – anything 15 and below is awesome for her.  Under 25-30 is normal for dogs.
  2. Her eye exam was also unremarkable, which is great news, two months shy of the third anniversary of our glaucoma battle’s start.
  3. I wore leather boots and they are water-resistant.  (That’s important… just keep reading.)
  4. We frequent Eye Care for Animals regularly enough that I know where they hide the paper towels in each exam room.  (Also important.  Keep reading.)
  5. Gretchen traveled relatively well, which is to say she only stood up the whole time and trembled, vs. her normal panting, whining, manic pacing.

The bad news:

  1. Sissy has crossed the line from, “Gee…  I wonder if her excessive drooling might mean she’s having motion sickness” to “Sissy gets carsick.”
  2. A basset who ate a full breakfast 2 hours before a 2+ hour road trip can still projectile vomit a TREMENDOUS amount.
  3. I was “that mom.”  The staff was non-pulsed and even gracious, while I was embarrassed and not too worried about Sissy’s own embarrassment and/or concern that she’d upset me.

photo.JPGHonestly, I wasn’t upset at all that the entire toe portion – meaning everything forward of the shaft of the boot – was covered during THE INCIDENT.   We all remarked that it was fortunate that it was below freezing when I left the house, so I did have on my trusty boots instead of cute flats or even sneakers or some other porous footwear.  I was just upset that Sissy and I – with poor Gg in tow – didn’t make it through the doors before THE INCIDENT.  (In Sissy’s defense, we did make it the entire length of a large lobby/wait area, but that pause to open the door was more than she could handle.)

But hey, what really matters is that Sissy had another great eye check-up, Gretchen traveled almost like a normal dog (no, really!) with only some pheromones sprayed liberally before we took off… and my feet were safe and dry throughout THE INCIDENT.

Do your pets dictate how you dress?

Here we go again…

September 17, 2013

The good news:

Sissy’s eye pressure is fine.  For the first time I can recall, all three readings were the same – 9.  Sissy appears healthy and happy.  Sissy is a wonderful patient.  We have a fabulous vet. 

The not good news:

Sissy’s stool/anal gland issues are back. 

How we got there…


Calm and … not

Her stools have been softer and sometimes just plain loose this summer.  I blamed it on heat stress.  Her diet hasn’t changed.  They did a fecal exam yesterday just because I wanted to rule out what we could, and it was “perfect” – whatever that means.  (Good bacteria was present, bad wasn’t…  I get that, but…)  Neither Dr. D nor I like to give the dogs antibiotics if it isn’t necessary, so that was nice to rule out.

So, before we restrict her already grossly restricted diet (just because we don’t have any better ideas), we’re going to try a probiotic.   I already know a few of our doggy friends and even one kitty friend have had very positive results with said supplements, so… stay tuned.

And yes, both girls went to the vet.  It wasn’t planned that way, but oddly, Sissy is more relaxed when Gretchen goes along.  Gretchen is NEVER relaxed, so it’s still stressful for me, but hey… at least Sissy seems to like having her anxious little sister along for moral support, and the fabulous Dr. D doesn’t mind either.

She did announce Gg is an aggressive kisser.