Play ball

I decided to get out the newly purchased red/orange doggie tennis ball in hopes of wearing him out a bit!  He was really excited when he saw it in my hand.  I’d tried to play catch inside yesterday and then thought better of it…too many places for the ball to get lost under something.  So out to the backyard and zoom, he’s off after the ball.  He ran back towards me with it and stopped 5 ft. away, where he proceeded to start nibbling at the nap on the ball.  I called him to me and thus we proceeded to play “ball” sort of….   I’d throw it, he’d run after it, I’d call him to me and he’d run back with it and cruise up to me, but with no intention of letting go of the ball.  So it became a game of finessing the ball out of his mouth by sneakily grabbing hold of his collar while pretending I was “just” going to pet him.  After a while he started getting the idea and if I was fast enough in grabbing hold of his collar, he’d loosen his jaws a bit while I acquired the ball.  He’d be looking up at me out of the corner of his eye during this as he grudgingly let go.  He really does like to run and chase the ball though!  As the “game” progressed he’d roll on his back while I tried to get the ball.  Totally hysterical



One more time...

Got a phone call from my lawyer’s office this morning.  I cannot believe what I'm feeling right now.  I have literally waited and lived for this court date for the last almost 3 months.  It has been the overriding focus of my life.  It seemed like forever to wait (after the last 3 court dates were cancelled on me) and now it's within a week's reach and poof!  

It's good to have a dog.  As I walked out ready to beat the living daylights out of a beam in  the garage with a hammer, I, of course, ran into Mr. Bunny Ears.  I bent over to pet him and I just broke down in tears.  Sat down on the steps and just cried.  Mr. Ears decided I need a bath and proceeded to lick my legs, arms and hands as I pet him.  It reminded me of a saying I included earlier in my blog:  "There are no words or gestures as reliable as the administration of dog paws."  

You know, something like this always seems to happen just when I feel I'm getting back up on my feet and feeling motivated...the rug gets pulled out from under me...CRASH!  And I know I shouldn't let someone else's behavior, etc. affect me, but 4 years of grinding and you get very worn out.  Bye for now, I'm going to bed.

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In order to get Mr. Ears accustomed to being outside in the run or yard by himself, he spent the night in the run all by himself.  He was totally quiet.  I woke up at 2 a.m., 3:30, 5 and again at 6 for some reason, maybe unconsciously checking on him.  At 6, since I was awake, got up and fed him on the back porch and went back to bed.  I slept till 9:30.  It felt so good. Mr. E. was great. 

I threw some clothes on and decided to give him one of the tiny chicken treats from the neighbor across the street as a reward for his behavior.  He’s very smart or is finally remembering how to “sit” for a treat.  Next, we’ll work on “down”.

Took liver sausage out of the fridge for Mr. Ears’ pill.  To say this dog is food-oriented would be an understatement.  I’ve had no trouble giving him the meat-wrapped pills for his kennel cough because he was so focused on the next one that he didn’t bother to feel the pills hidden in the “treats”!  So far, both ground beef and liver sausage have worked great!

After this morning’s pill, I wrapped the liver sausage in its baggie placing it on a shelf in the fridge.  Before I could blink, Mr. E. lunged, grabbed and ran with his prize…an 8 oz. chub package of liver sausage dragging between his paws!  I tried to catch him but he was like greased lightning!  Thank goodness this house is small and his prize rather large.  I cornered him in the front entry area.  His little mouth was like a bear trap on the baggie of goodness!  I actually had to cover his nostrils in order to relax his grip even a smidge so that I could pry it out of his mouth.  Finally, success, but he still lunged after it!  Yikes!  It was like a little land-piranha!!  Totally hysterical!  Of course, I can say that now, having pried the liver sausage out of his vise-like little mouth!  Boy, he was fast!



Bunny Tails/Tales

I almost forgot to tell you about my shower experience. The first morning I had him, I peeked out of the shower and one of my shoes was missing so I sped up the showering fearing the worst for the shoe.  I looked out a few seconds later and saw him delicately holding the other by the strap and waddling with it between his legs right out the door.  I quickly rinsed and opened the shower door only to find him sitting right where my shoes "were"!  He had moved them to the hall, so he could sit there!  It was hysterical.  Then, yesterday afternoon, I couldn't find him.  Turns out he's discovered he can fit behind the toilet under the tank where it's very cool!  



Dogs, TV & Weather

Still no name for the doglet.  We went to the vet for his check-up today and all is well.  He did however object to the rectal thermometer...can't imagine why.  This freaked the tech out.  The tech, a big tough-looking dude, was actually afraid of him.  Turns out the first dog he was bitten by was a Corgi!!  Amazing.  With all the different breeds out there, he gets chomped by a Corgi!!!

He (the Corgi not the tech…heh, heh, heh) does have to get his teeth cleaned, so now the poor little guy will have to be knocked out two times.  Once for neutering and then again for teeth cleaning since I have to have him neutered at the pound.  So silly that my vet can't just do both.  Anyhow, the vet said he looks good but needs fattening up since he's only 23 lbs.  Frankly, I'm going to let him stay on the leaner side since I’ve read that Corgis pork up easily…especially after being neutered.

A friend forwarded a link she received and I’ll try to attach it here.  It is totally hysterical!  I couldn't stop laughing...out loud!!  I’m glad I grew up with the kind of television I did. It’s so different than that of today, I really feel lucky.  Reality shows don’t interest me; I already have enough reality in my life.  Modern Family is one of the few really good shows out there today.  Of course, I do speak from a limited spectrum since I can’t afford cable or satellite.
The weather here must be addressed here.  It is so freakin' fabulous that it's truly bizarre! Absolute heaven!  I know we'll probably pay dearly for me opening my mouth about it...you know, the universe hearing me and all.  We'll have temps of 100+ for Aug/Sept/Oct & Nov just to balance it all out! Hope not. 

Mr. Ears must have been very deprived of attention in his previous home.  I bought a ball and a little rawhide chew on sale (kind w/ a knot on each end) and he looked at me as if to say "...and now what?  Am I supposed to do something?"  Very Siberian-like, although in the Siberians' case it's more like "...you want me to go get that AND bring it to you?  YOU threw it, get it yourself."  Mr. Ears is more confused...he did finally pick up the rawhide and walk around with it.  Here are two pictures of Mr. Bunny Ears cruisin' the bed.

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Mr. Crack-up

About once a month a nearby grocery store has beef shanks for $1.79/lb.  So yesterday I picked up two.  I usually make things like this in a dutch oven on the stove or in the oven.  But, since it was warm (not too bad, but still, it IS summer) I decided to use the slow cooker.  Now, you’ll recall I haven’t used that thing since the Thanksgiving turkey breast failure of last year.  I’m hoping this will work out.  I cut up the onion, then remembered I had red potatoes and a turnip in the veggie bin along with carrots and celery.  I pulled the bags of carrots and potatoes out, setting them on the floor before picking them all up for cleaning and chopping.  I turned around and set some potatoes on the counter only to see bunny face going at the pile of veggie bags on the floor with a crazed and frenzied look.  OMG.  I had to fend the little critter off!  It was like he was suddenly possessed by the vegetable demon.

The Corgi having a good laugh.  He’s so expressive and gets so excited that he shakes all over!  He just cracks me up!
Wine-Braised Beef Shanks for One with Leftovers for Lunch

      1/2 cup Dry red wine
      1/2 cup Beef broth
      2 tablespoons Tomato paste
      1 teaspoon Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence
          (depending on desired taste)
      3 Garlic cloves, chopped
      1 teaspoon Salt
      1 Turnip cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      1-3 Red Potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      3-4 Carrots, sliced
      3-4 ribs Celery, sliced/chopped
      1 Onion, chopped
      2 Beef shank steaks (about 1.5 lbs)
      2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
      Note:  You can adjust the vegetables to your taste.  This is a very forgiving meal!  The vegetables act like a rack for the meat as it all cooks.

Combine wine, stock, tomato paste, herbs, garlic and salt together in slow cooker.  Add turnip, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.  Place the beef shanks on top.  My slow cooker is oval, so the shanks fit perfectly, side by side.  At this point I ground a bit of gray Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper on top of the beef.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-5 hours.  Test veggies for doneness with a fork.  When they’re tender, it’s time to take meat and vegetables out.  Place them on a plate and cover with foil.  Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan.  Whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of cold water together in a bowl.  Whisk in a little of the cooking liquid and then whisk mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 3 minutes.  Spoon over meat and veggies and enjoy.

I must say this came out quite well!  Very tasty.

If you don’t mind extra dishes, you can brown the meat in a pan with a bit of olive oil before putting in the slow cooker.  I haven’t found it necessary.

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I'm home!

So far, he’s a very mellow dog other than having little periods of shaking when the 2 big labs in the back house bark at him through the fence.  But he seems to be getting used to it here.  He follows me everywhere and sits under my legs at my desk.  

I really can't get over how tiny he is even though he acts like a big dog! He seems to be fairly well house-trained, thank goodness!

Found out a little while ago that he's fine with people and kids and the dog across the street (even though they couldn't really "meet" nose to nose)...his smidge of a tail wagged so hard that the whole rear end of the pup went along with it when he saw Brandy (the dog)!

He also got to meet the landlord, property manager and their electrician yesterday due to the fire in the plug on Wednesday, before going to pick the pup up!

Around 7 p.m. last night, the neighbor across the street and her 3 boys came over with a bag of chicken treats and a little welcome card for Mr. C (Corgi).  The boys are ~ 3, 4 & 6 I'm guessing and really wanted to pet him and give him a treat so I let each one do that and they were tickled!  They're going camping for a week.

He slept under my bed last night. I know because I could hear him snoring and snorting!

And, I forgot how nice it is to have a little crumb catcher! He’s very good about taking the pills. I wrap them in a little ground beef and he woofs them right down.  Liver sausage also works.



It’s homecoming day!

My friend drove over and we drove to the pound.  Hopefully for the last time in a long time.  The plan was that she’d sit in the back seat with the dog on the return trip just to play it safe.  We waited about 25 minutes, then filled out paperwork and paid.  We were then sent to meet an attendant who would release the dog and so off we went with a sick little Corgi, 2 bottles of medicine and lots of paperwork.

Unfortunately, because of the kennel cough, he couldn't be neutered, so he was released to me on a "trust deposit" and I will have to bring him back within 3 months to have him "fixed".  



Little Miracles...

So there are little things called miracles.  Rosa called me in the morning to tell me quite excitedly that the Corgi was still there.  Turns out that his 3 week stay in the pound gave him kennel cough and he had been put in quarantine!  Yay!



...then again, maybe not...

Called up at about 3 p.m. to ask if the dog was still unclaimed.  At about 3:30 I decided to drive over and see how he was fairing.  The first time I saw him, he looked very unhappy.  So I walked through the building he was in (stray males) but couldn’t find him.  So I ask someone who was handing out vaccines and she thought he was in Bldg. #2.  Walked over there, inside and out.  Then I walked through all the other ones (for a total of 5 long buildings) inside and out but couldn’t find him. So I went to the office and waited in line for 20 min.  He's in B-225.  Ok...not really.  Walk around some more.  Snag a woman in uniform.  Oh, he's over here...not.  So she does just what I did and walks all the buildings inside and out; then goes to check the computer.  Then goes to the vet's building.

Okay, 2 hours have passed.  She goes into the office.  You can see where this is going can't you...?  After 15 minutes (I can see her going to and fro between the computers and master office) she comes out.  They can't find him.  She says that the owner could have come and picked him up.  I asked how if there's no record?  Turns out if the owner info isn't in the computer (how did they contact the owner if no info) then the paperwork may be waiting in a pile to be entered in the computer (yeah, sure...).  She's very sorry.  But I will be called and notified if they find him and he can be adopted she said...yeah, sure.  I was so annoyed but she was very nice and double checked to be sure they had my number.




Called the pound to see if the Corgi was still there or had been claimed.  I spoke to someone in the office who said the dog was still there and that I’m first on the list.  Hope!

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0 for 3

8:30 a.m.
Rrrriinnnngg……boy, I’m glad I didn’t pick up; it was a woman from the pound calling to tell me “the dog I wanted was unavailable.  That they had found a chip and blah, blah, blah”.  I just marvel at the staggering inefficiency of the government.

On the other hand, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s all a sign. 

So here I am still 0 for 3.



The Tale of 3 Tails that got away…

So I pulled into the pound parking lot at the appointed time, having called at 2:30 just to be absolutely SURE the Corgi was still available.  I waited in line for 50 minutes.  Finally got to the front desk...hmmm...there's a problem.  Turns out in the a.m. when they were going to neuter the dog, they scanned it and found a chip.  So they would have to try and contact the owner, which they hadn't even begun to do yet.  So they hold it for at least 10 days to try and find the owner.  After that I can have him.

As I drove home I just kept thinking...why do they put chips in the dogs if they don't bother to scan them upon impound?  Why wait until they're about to give them away?  I'm really missing something here. 

SteeeRike Three.



Taking a Step

Just when you think all is lost, you find a glimmer of light.  After quite a bit of thought, I decided to skip the systems where one has someone else in control of one’s future.  I set off for the LA County pounds.  Often referred to as shelters, I really can’t wrap my mind around calling them that.  This is just my opinion, you needn’t agree or disagree.  I picked one that is known to have a high kill rate.  I’d visited this one twice before going the previous route used to find a pet.  After several more trips I found a cute male (the pound listed it as Sheltie/Pomeranian which is a stretch) with a happy disposition.  Actually I found 4 dogs in all.  To make a long story short I put my name down for one that was available in a few days.  I wasn’t totally sold, so 2 days later I went back.  Did I mention, that I really love Corgi’s?  Well I do.  They remind me of short Siberians!  Four cages down from the one I had signed up for, and that I couldn’t find, was a red and white male Corgi.  It was so sweet.  I proceeded inside to check on the one I’d put my name down for but they’d made a mistake and she was spoken for.  So I put my name down for the Corgi who can be taken home on 7/9 (vs. the 7/12 on the paper on his run).

It just dawned on me; this is the start of my new life! I’m taking the first step in “my” life. This is not a last vestige of a former life that is lost forever and I’m no longer “waiting”.  “Waiting” has been how I lived my whole life. Well, if I’m going to ever have to live in my car, I’ve decided that I need a dog and I may do what some older people are doing…buy a used RV and live in it. Travel here and there, staying a while in each spot. Who can say?

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Clear and Sunny but Inside...

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
                                       It’s learning to Dance in the rain



Passing Thought

If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going...you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty! ~ Jeff Foxworthy


It takes all kinds...but really?

Well happy flaming fourth.  After several months of looking into adopting a dog, visiting the various local shelters and pounds, I think I have finally found a perfect little companion.  It's not like I've never adopted an adult dog before; I've done it 3 times and had no problems.  While extremely difficult, I've resisted the urge to get another Siberian because I know from experience that one needs 2 or they simply get too bored and then can become destructive.  The source of my future pal is was Petfinders.org (or rather one of the organizations that fall into their website).

The dog I found is a Sheltie/Pomeranian mix and Amanda (name changed) is his “foster” parent.  Since first talking to her about adopting Dresden (name changed), she has been rather indecisive about giving him up.  She has kind of an English accent and no force at all in her voice, very wishy-washy sounding, like she can’t make up her mind...ever.  The first phone call was comprised of her telling me what a problem the dog was, which is the antithesis of his bio on Petfinders.  She went on to tell me how the last time he was placed, he dug at the carpet and door when the couple left him in a room and went out.  I pointed out, that you don’t just lock a dog who's new to your home in a room that way.  She then went into how she sort of thought he might need a companion dog like she had.  I pointed out I was home pretty much all the time.  "Oh."  It was as if she really didn’t want to give him up.

So the next weekend, I drove down to Anaheim Hills (1.75 hrs. one way) to see him at a Petco event.  I was sure if she met me she’d be fine.  All seemed to go well and it was agreed that I’d pick him up this weekend.  I spoke with her last night and she would email directions when she got home.

This morning there were no directions in my email.  At about 8:40 the phone rang.  Note that I'm just getting ready to leave (after I call for directions) and go pick up Dresden.  It's Amanda.  “You know I’ve been thinking about it and I really think Dresden should go to a home where there’s another dog”.  I was so annoyed with her idiocy at that point that I said, “You know, Amanda, you shouldn’t be “fostering” Dresden.  You just need to keep him because you really like him and can’t part with him.”  She says: “Well, maybe…” (voice drifting off).  I’m thinking: “You think? You stupid twit!”

As I said, I've adopted dogs before this and can honestly say that this experience of attempting to adopt a dog has been an extremely discouraging and negative one.  No one wants to let them go. The Corgi rescue people are a strange breed (two of them for sure).  The rest of them are several cards short of a deck (my opinion based on my experience).    You know, it's not the personalities of the dogs one has to worry about it's the handlers'!  And now you know why I chose Dresden for the fake name of the dog...the bombing of Dresden.  Yes, this is what it must have felt like if even just a smidge.  Heck, it's July 4, let's just blow up everything that means anything.  I HATE JULY 4.

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