Me, Myself, and the Voices in My Head

A place to ramble and maybe make some sense about a thing or two.

Archive for the tag “cat”

Boycotted yesterday and might not post today

Oh….well….yeah….  That is a sort of stupid title since I do have to post something so people can see it.

Doesn’t matter.  I spent yesterday which, which was Fathers’ Day here in America, with Husband and Youngest Son and didn’t feel the need to post.  Plus, my biological father is a complete and total waste of air that could be used for something productive.  Like horrible balloon-animal thingys that clowns make.  He’s refused to acknowledge that I exist in over 20 years so *pppbbhhhtt* on him!

And today is a slow day at best.  I’m not complaining.  I could use a nice slow day to be able to relax and think about things that have been and will be happening.  Plus, I’m making sure that Youngest Son is completing his chores and assignments as expected.  In the past I was always deployed away from home in the summer and he could get away with not doing things because by the time Husband got home from work he’d be too tired to notice something skipped.  Youngest Son and I have had a little talk about needing to mature and learning to do things around the house that will help him when he’s out on his own in the future.

I might post again tonight and I might not.  The voices are arguing over who should write, about what should be written, and whether it’s worth writing anything at all now.  I have to remind them that this whole thing was their idea so they can’t jump-ship on me now.  Only six months to go with this project and now they realize it’s not as easy as I told them it would be.

And now if you’ll excuse me….  I have to dislodge the family cat from the only air duct in the room and she’s hogging all of the cool air conditioning.  It’s hard to write when you’re wiping sweat (and cat fur) out of your eyes.

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Good riddance, Petland!!!

I’m feeling much better today, so I don’t think I’ll be ripping my own head off anytime soon as was considered yesterday.  I did take some medication, put ice on my head, and took a long nap until Husband and Youngest Son got home from work and school, respectively.  I was hoping yesterday that today’s weather would be good and I was surprised.  It’s not only good today, it’s awesome!  So nice and just the right temperature with just a hint of a breeze to make you feel like springtime is here.

Today we went and took Harley to the groomers at SetPmart.  She needed a bath and her nails ground again.  I clip them often but it’s much nicer after they’ve ground them down with the Dremel tool because she’s much quieter on the hardwood floors.  I know Cat doesn’t like it because Harley can sneak up on her, but I find it enjoyable.  We decided that since there was still the chance of cold weather in this area for the next few weeks we wouldn’t get her “Spring Shave” done until the weather stays warmer for a while.  Now because she’s part poodle, she’s all fluffy and “poofy” but still has the schnauzer face.  I know it won’t last because she’s not a girly dog and has already attempted to roll in something unpleasant in the backyard already.

One thing I was very glad to see in the town we visited is that another pet store — Petland — has gone out of business.  They’re notorious for selling dogs from puppy mills and even though they’ll tell you they don’t it’s so obvious they do.  I went into that store once when Cody (my previous service dog) was getting older and thought about self-training another sheltie to take-over his job (that’s before the state laws were changed and you could train your own service dog).  I’d been to the shelters and pounds and Humane Society kennels and hadn’t found a sheltie.  I thought, just for giggles, I’d go into Petland and see what they had.  They were stocked with all of the designer dogs and purebred puppies everyone has been trying to get their hands on.  So many kids were sitting in the little “viewing boxes” where they could play with a puppy while their parents sat there and listened to the kid promise and promise to take care of it every day as they were actually trying to decide how to finance the cost of the dog because, being a designer dog, they were very expensive.

I looked around and finally one of the underpaid worker-drones came up and asked if there was something specific for which I was looking.  I said that I was looking for a sheltie because my current service dog was getting ready to retire and I wanted to have another of the same breed so that they would bond and the new one could learn quickly from the old one.  She said that they didn’t have any there that day.  I feigned disappointment (I knew about the company and wasn’t going to buy one of their dogs anyway) and thanked her for her help.  She told me to wait a moment and ran off to the back room.  She quickly came back with a piece of paper that said if I paid $1000 that day I could have a sheltie puppy in a week.

What??  No reputable breeder is going to just happen to have new puppies available johnny-on-the-spot.  The only way you get what you want, when you want is when you use a vending machine — and that’s just what puppy mills are like.  They cram dogs into small wire cages and breed the heck out of them.  Then when they’re no good for breeding or have gotten older, they dump them or, usually, kill them.  Puppy mill dogs are so inbred they have many diseases and deformities that aren’t identified to the new owners who take their lovely/expensive new puppy home and watch it begin to get sicker and sicker, if it doesn’t just up and die first.

Cody was a rescued puppy mill dog.  They used him as a breeder and dumped him when he got older.  You could tell he’d never had human contact.  Food was just pushed into a cage and if it stayed there he could eat and if it spilled that was too bad for him.  He had no idea how to play.  You could roll a ball towards him and he’d either look at it as if it was something amazing or he’d run and hide.  When we got him after he’d been dumped, they’d shaved all of his beautiful long fur off except for his head and tail.  Many puppy mills will do that so they don’t have to worry about the dogs’ coats getting matted or caught in a cage if they’re a profit-making dog.  If they’re just one of the many waiting to be sold, they often don’t care what happens.

I told the Petland clerk that I was not interested in a puppy mill dog and she became quite angry that I would even suggest that their dogs came from puppy mills.  I told her that I’d reconsider my opinion if she would provide me with the name and phone number of the breeder so that I could check him/her out and see what types of reports might have been filed by other puppy owners from their dams and sires.  She said she couldn’t give me the information because I might go to the breeder and just buy the dog myself there instead of through the store.  I asked for just the name of the breeder so I could check with the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the Department of Agriculture (that inspects breeders) to make sure I’d be getting a healthy dog.  The clerk adamantly told me that she could not give me that information and that my puppy would be healthy because they have a vet on-staff (next door) who checks all of the puppies as they come into the store.

Sure, I’m going to trust a veterinarian that I’ve never met; never seen references regarding; and who isn’t always there at that store to check-over an animal that the company plans to make a large profit on and believe that they’re not being pressured to say everything is okey-dokey.  I even went back to the vet’s office and couldn’t get any specific information on the vet, where he/she went to school, their specialties, etc.

After this encounter I saw reports on the news about Petland and how many groups were protesting their sale of puppy mill dogs.  The state where I live is one of the largest puppy mill “sanctuaries” because people don’t report the owners of the puppy mills and, if you did try to report them, they have no problem showing you by force (usually through the end of a firearm) that they don’t want you messing in their business.  There are many veterinarians in and near the town in which I live that I researched before I ever took my pets to one when we moved here that had many, MANY bad references and notices online for dealing with puppy mill dogs and signing health certificates of dogs that were transported across the country to new owners — only to have the puppy become critically ill or die soon after arrival.

I am SO happy that Petland is closed.  Okay, yes, if people want to argue about it, it’s not good that there are workers from the store who now don’t have jobs in this poor economy.  But, I usually do research on any company/organization with whom I’m applying for a job, so if I knew that Petland was marketing in puppy mill dogs, I’d never work there.  I’d rather work somewhere else for less pay than to watch the dogs suffer as they come in, aren’t well, and are handled repeatedly by people who are “just looking” and can’t really give the dog a forever home.  Heck, I’d work part-time for minimum wage at the local pound or shelter before I’d take a full-time higher-paying job at a store like Petland.  What kills me is that the website for this particular store is still up and the parent company is still taking “special orders” and operating out of another town.  They had said they were closed for remodeling.  Guess it was to remodel their way the heck out-of-town.

As I walked into SetPmart to pick up Harley from her beauty appointment, I took a moment and looked at the dogs and cats inside and outside the store that three different shelters had brought in hopes that they would be adopted.  I saw many families looking at the dogs and playing with them.  The puppies were obviously the most popular ones but I saw a few looking at some of the older dogs and even overheard one family saying they wanted to adopt an older dog because it wouldn’t chew-up the house and they wanted to give it the best last years it could have.  I smiled and looked down at Celeste who was staring at me as if to say, “You already have another pest in the house.  You don’t need any more.”  I scratched her ears and smiled at the shelter personnel and the families there.  True, when Celeste’s time comes to retire I’ll have to have another certified service dog and will 99% get one from the breeder/trainer where I got Celeste.  But when Harley’s old and gray and her time here on earth is over, I’ll definitely be back at the shelter.  And whether it’s a puppy or a senior dog, it doesn’t matter.  Shelter animals love you even more because they know that you’ve just saved their life and they’ll do anything to make yours happy and safe.

Snow Day!!!

It’s the first snow day of the year, so I’m taking the day off.  Youngest Son is out of school.  Husband listened to the scanners and watched the news this morning and saw all of the accidents occurring on his route to work, so he wisely decided to stay  home.  The dogs have frolicked briefly in the snow and don’t care for the bitter cold.  The cat won’t go near anything that looks like it’s got snow on it.  It’s still snowing and the continued forecast says it’s supposed to start sleeting soon.  We’ve cancelled our play’s rehearsal for the evening, too.

The rest of my schedule is nap, fix dinner, watch the Westminster Dog Show, and possibly nap more before going to bed.  And get this post published.  We still have Internet and electricity, so I’ve got to post something!

The Battle of the Pets: Winter Edition, Day 2

Well, we didn’t get the snow or rain they forecast yesterday.  The weatherpersons in our area have decided that it will be tonight/tomorrow that it shall arrive.  Actually, today is much nicer outside than it was yesterday — that always gives me an awful feeling of wintery foreboding.  I’d blame my knee hurting on the impending snow, as it usually does, but it’s still hurting from the reenactment back in January.  Maybe I should get a professional to look at it sometime.

Anyway, this afternoon after running our errands and fighting the crowds of people in the grocery aisles who believe that any weather forecast for a single snowflake means they should go and stock-up on bread, milk, Pop-Tarts, and beer like it’s the coming apocalypse, we decided to allow the dogs to play in the backyard for a while.  Since it is warmer today they both were much happier frolicking around and chasing the football Youngest Son would throw towards them.  Husband commented that he was stunned at how quickly Celeste could run and what sharp turns she made.  I told him that he’d just never seen her at her playtime enough to get to watch her dig those extra dewclaws Beaucerons have into the ground and make her spin on a dime.  Large divots and ruts began to appear in the moist soil from her high-speed turns as she raced Harley for the ball.  Poor Harley, being a Schnoodle, has Schnauzer-like front legs which gets her really running but is stuck with the stick-like Poodle back legs that don’t give her a lot of balance when turning quickly.  Or the ability to walk on snow well — they just poke right through and her belly freezes.  Celeste is also a massive 85-pound dog designed for herding and running in the mountains of France, so she’ll outrun Harley who’s a lot younger any day — regardless of weather, terrain, or treat waiting at the finish line.

Oh, allow me to digress for a moment.  I’m sure some of you are wondering why I put the Pop-Tarts and beer in the list of things to stock-up on before a storm.  Yes, I know you read it and thought it was there just to be funny or tried to skip-over it but still wonder what it has to do with anything.  I can’t find a copy of the report I read at the moment, but after Hurricane Katrina there was a survey done of the items that sold-out the fastest in the New Orleans area before the hurricane made landfall.  Items number one and two were beer and Pop-Tarts.  No kidding.  You don’t have to cook Pop-Tarts, so I assume that’s why they made the list.  Beer was for all the landfall parties that ended up not going quite the way they planned.  So, there — a little trivia for you.  Now back to our regularly sponsored blog post.

After the dogs ran themselves silly I brought them back inside the house.  I figured they’d each find a place on the recently-mopped hardwood floor or my new area rugs to crash.  Nope.  They’re still wandering around the house, just like little kids who get wound-up on sugar or a good does of fresh air and sunshine.  Celeste is still hunting for Cat but having no luck finding her.  We were gone for a few hours, so Cat got quite the head-start on hiding today.

I will say that I was very impressed at the big box mart when we were shopping over how many people were respectful of Celeste’s job as a service dog.  I heard many more people telling their kids to not pet and trying to keep them out of the way when we were passing through.  No drive-by pettings that I noticed, anyway.  One young man, about age 8 or 9, had his hands full taking milk back to where his parents were.  He walked past Celeste, making sure not to touch her at all, and said, “What a very nice dog you have, ma’am.”  I thanked him and waved at the parents when he got back to them.  I had many other people come up and ask if she was a German Shepherd or a Doberman or both.  I quickly explained that those breeds came from the Beauceron and was met with many “ooohs” and “aaahs” from interested people.  Celeste kept watching everyone and making sure no one snuck up on me.

We were in one aisle and suddenly a lady with a thick German/Eastern European accent came up and started not quite yelling but really raising a fuss about Celeste.  I couldn’t quite understand what she was saying and since she came from behind me, I couldn’t hear her very well. (I have a hearing problem where if I can’t see your lips, I can’t understand you as clearly.)  It sounded something like, “Dog, very scared, danger” or “Dog, scare me, danger.”  Regardless, I have no idea where she came from ’cause we’d not passed her nor were we approaching her.  If she wanted to run across the store to yell at me, she could at least have made sure I heard her.  When I turned to face her, she ran away and we didn’t see her again.  Everyone in the aisle was stunned.  I shrugged, gave Celeste a pat on the head, and everyone went on about their business.

So, that’s the big excitement for the day.  I’m sure they’ll run around outside again later and keep searching for Cat all evening.  Tomorrow night I’m going to watch the Westminster Dog Show — Celeste’s “niece” (for lack of a better term) Chaumette is going to be there.  She was one of the top-five Beaucerons to be invited this year.  Last year, Chaumette (who’s three months younger than Celeste), En Theos (another Beauceron that’s now a service dog), and Elias (also a service dog and specialized as a gluten-sniffing dog) all appeared at Westminster.  Celeste received her championship and Rally Novice titles a few years ago, so she’ll sit with us watching the show on TV.  We’ll be cheering all the Mes Yeux Vigilants dogs!!

The Battle of the Pets: Winter Edition

Holy crap on a cracker!  It’s flippin’ COLD outside!  What is it that has Mother Nature thinking she can just suck us in with spring-like temperatures all through December and January and then drop the bottom out of the thermometer like this?

Even the dogs who’ve been long awaiting the new fence being built so they can romp around the backyard at their leisure are dashing out, getting their “business” done, and racing each other for the door.  Celeste has become very good at hurdling Harley — not jumping over one side and landing on the other but jumping from her butt to over her head — in order to reach the warmth of the house.  And both of these dogs have coats designed for cold weather!  You think they’d be running themselves silly until we’d have to drag them across the yard and up the steps to get them inside.

The one really going crazy in the house right now is Cat.  Because it’s so cold and the dogs don’t want to be outside much, they now want to play with her.  She’s very old and doesn’t like dogs in the first place.  Heck, the only person/thing she likes is Husband and he hates cats.  So now, she’s wandering around the house trying to find new places to hide because all of her old spots have been discovered.  Even as I’m typing this I’ve had to call Celeste into the room and put her in a down-stay so she’ll leave the cat alone long enough to get a bite to eat.  Celeste doesn’t want to hurt her.  I’m not even sure if she really wants to play with her.  I think she’s just really curious about this small blue-grey meowing thing that bats her on the nose when she gets too close and doesn’t want to be around everyone else.

Celeste is a herding dog and Cat is not going to be herded.  We can’t even herd her into her carrier when it’s time to go to the vet.  You have to grab her & turn the carrier up on its end and drop her inside before she claws the crap out of you trying to escape.  When we get to the vet’s, you then have to turn the carrier open-side-down and shake her out of it ’cause she’s gotten really good at spreading her legs where she becomes an immovable object in there.  The first time we did this the vet technician thought we were being cruel and said not to do that.  After trying to reach-in and grab Cat and coming away with enough scratches and bites to where she thought she’d need stitches, the technician took the carrier and shook it until Cat “fell” out (from about 6 inches).  That’s why when we decided to move a few years ago I purchased an inexpensive cardboard carrying box from a major national pet supply store where we could just drop her inside, close the top, and then she’d have a bigger area to escape from once we got to the new house.  Easy as pie.

Harley isn’t paying any attention to Cat.  She’s already tried all of the chasing and playing and getting whapped on the nose.  She’s had three years with Cat and they’ve finally come to an understanding — I don’t bother you and you don’t bother me and neither of us has to shed any blood on Mommy’s new couch/pillows/rug/etc.  They’re finally able to walk past each other as if they don’t have a care in the world.  They do that “as if” because you can bet your sweet patootie when it comes to feeding time or, even worse, when the vacuum cleaner comes out, they’ll tackle each other to be the first through the doorway.  Neither likes it and all of the behavior training we’ve done to get them to at least tolerate the sound of the vacuum still hasn’t worked.

The day is getting colder and now there’s a forecast for ice/snow/mix for our area beginning tomorrow and into Monday.  If it’s just snow, the dogs will love it.  Both think they can burrow under even the tiniest dusting and it’s pretty hysterical to watch.  But if there’s ice, that’s going to be a whole other issue.  They may have four-paw-drive when they’re running, but we all know it doesn’t work on ice.  Last thing I need is them being stupid and one (or both) ending up at the vet’s for either falling off of something or sliding into something else.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Feeling like death-on-toast lets “voices” speak.

Yay!!  Jackie’s feeling under the weather today, so we get to write!!

Who are “we,” you ask?  “We” are the “voices” from her head, and we’re all trying to figure out what to post.

There are lots of things going on — rehearsals for the Community Theatre play; getting the new fence constructed; dealing with the new neighbors behind the house with a pack of dogs that won’t shut up — and that’s just the short list!

However, she’s a smart cookie and has taken her medication for the day plus a flu-fighting kicker.  “We” are still busy with our lists, arguments, worries, etc.  But she’s got a comfy couch and blankets to curl up with which allows sleep to shut us up for a little bit.

This post is just being placed here ’cause “we” convinced her that she could do this and mistakenly promised that as long as she would be able to type somewhat legibly, “we” would help keep the posts coming.  “We” forgot that the laptop works in the bedroom, too….an oversight we stupidly made.

Ooh!!  Puppy Bowl advertisement on TV!!  That’s always cute (though Jackie will deny it) but it won’t be as much fun as the Super Bowl tomorrow.  Gotta make sure she’s ready for the game tomorrow.  Youngest Son is practicing his trumpet.  Husband already did grocery shopping and dealt with the dogs when they barked at someone coming up the drive unannounced.  Now he’s doing laundry.  Harley is laying the in the floor and Celeste is staring at “us” like it’s a mortal sin that “we” are posting online.  And Cat is….well….she’s being Cat and staying away from everyone.

And now Celeste is really starting to stare so “we” are going to go for now.  Nice doggie….putting the laptop away….

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