Friday, January 27, 2012


Wait, what? Oh no he didn't!
Girl, tell me all about it. You deserve better, by the way

Monday, January 23, 2012


Every once in awhile, something clicks and the universe presents something that’s supposed to be in your life at that moment. I had very few of those moments but I really feel like it was Fate that I got my dog, Sari.

She died last year at the age of 14. She was loyal, stubborn, courageous, smart, and incredibly intuitive. I didn’t think it was possible for anything to be that attuned to my feelings but she was. She used to sleep right below my window on summer nights and I would whisper her name and hear her “Woof” back and hear the sound of her claws scratching the stucco as she stood on her hind legs to try to look in my window.

She was head strong and stubborn and only wanted to learn “Sit” and “Down” but she knew things I didn’t think dogs could know because it just seemed like common sense or just common courtesy. She never stepped on us, even as a puppy, she never tripped us up when we walked her, and she never jumped up on us. She did other things too, which I guess are good traits of a guard dog, but she protected her humans as well, not only from outsiders but from each other. If she thought my brother and I were playing too roughly she’d saunter over and nudge us away from each other while yapping in a really annoying, high pitched yap. I just thought all dogs would be like that and I took that for granted, especially with my current dog who steps all over you (and it feels like he aims for the super fleshy spots or your bladder) and won’t protect me at all.

She just wanted to be near you and I remember spending hours sitting on the back porch steps with her leaning against me and we would watch the clouds roll by. I remember lying out in the summer to tan and even though it was 100 degrees outside, she’d lie on the blanket next to me panting heavily just so she could touch me even though I tried to get her to sit in the shade. She would try to lick us faster and get frustrated because she couldn’t and she’d just end up holding your hand in her mouth while her tongue massaged and drooled all over your hand.

I would come home from college and she’d act like a puppy again. She wasn’t that old, but my mom said she got a little mopey and depressed when I left even though she had my brother. When I went home, we’d play for hours in the backyard and just sit on the steps like we used to. I’d sneak whatever we ate that day so she can have some yummy food and when my mom wasn’t home I’d cook Sari meats and eggs.

She remembered me after years of not seeing her, worrying about her. I’ll never forget that spark of recognition in her eyes as she saw me and the way her head lifted up and it looked like she was smiling. And she was, and she was crying as she hopped around as much as her arthritis let her as she strained to get close to me. Just thinking about that brings tears to my eyes; the strangled sobbing bark as soon as she realized it was me, the way her ears pinned all the way back, how hard she wagged her tail so her entire back half was wriggling, the second she caught herself before she jumped up on me, the humble crawl and roll on her back when I finally reached her, the way she attempted to pet me too, and the way our high pitched squeals of glee mingled as one loud voice of pure happiness.

And that’s how I’d like to remember her. That spunky, stubborn, loving dog leaping off the steps of the back porch, paws tucked under her like she’s about to take flight.

Friday, December 2, 2011


I'm such a hipster, go ahead and make fun of me. Aside from concerts, I rarely take pictures. Cooper's my only subject outside of Bright Eyes, Alkaline Trio, Matt & Kim, Mumford and Sons, Manchester Orchestra, and so forth.

Cooper sleeping

Cooper just being so gosh darn pretty

Cooper wearing my ring

Cooper trying to sleep

Come to think of it, I don't think the first picture is done with Instagram. Whatevs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


There are times when I'm deliberately mean to Cooper and I tease him with treats and his toys. Sometimes I poke him when he's asleep and try to discreetly trim his nails. But all in all, I really love that stupid, stinky dog and I make sure he knows it.

He might not understand words. It's all noise to him but everyday I tell him that I love him, I tell him that he's beautiful or handsome depending on the day, and I tell him that I know he tries and I appreciate him.

And maybe it has something to do with the fact that I grew up and struggle with extreme low self-esteem that I have to make sure he feels validated because I don't get enough of that myself. I know how it feels to be underappreciated or feel like I don't matter and that's something I never want Cooper to feel.

Hopefully he gets that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Walking Cooper

I moved a few months ago and the difference of 6 blocks is quite amazing. I live in what feels like suburbia as there are 500 other people walking their dogs at the same time I'm walking mine. All of them have their dogs on flexi-leads or no leash at all which I think is dangerous as there are several busy roads every block. Not to mention a leash law but whatever...

Cooper usually does a fantastic job of ignoring every dog he encounters. After talking to the vet about why every dog hates Cooper, I make an effort to make eye contact with a dog's owner so I can say, "My dog doesn't like other dogs in his space." Not saying he doesn't like other dogs, he sometimes does, but I don't want to stress him out when it's pretty obvious that he doesn't want to make friends.

He used to like other dogs. I made the mistake of taking him to a dog park a few times and he ended up getting mobbed by every dog in there. They started chasing him, which he liked, but then he got his head stuck in the fence because he wasn't paying attention and that's when all the dogs swarmed him and attacking his hind end while he screamed and tried to get away.

The most frustrating part of that experience was that the other dog's owners stood around not doing a damn thing while I tried to pull off the mutts without getting bit. Luckily, all that happened was they pulled some loose fur out but Cooper was traumatized for life.

I know, I could make him relax and be more comfortable but I'm not going to. He isn't aggressive towards other dogs and I just don't want to stress him out or put him in a situation where the other dog could turn agressive and attack him. Maybe that makes me a bad dog owner, but I'm really putting Cooper's feelings of safety and his well being first.

As it is, when we have to walk on the same sidewalk with another dog that is straining on its leash trying to get to Cooper, I walk between them. Mostly because it's easier to sue someone when their dog bites you rather than your dog, but also because I'm willing to get hurt for my dog. And that's how much I love him. And it actually happened last week, a dog took a pretty good nip at my thigh trying to get to Coop and gave me blood blisters and broke the skin. Oh, I didn't sue the owner or anything, I just gave her a dirty look and made sure I wasn't bleeding too much. She didn't even apologize and in hindsight, I wish I at least told her off.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday!

Cooper is 5 today! Time does fly...

He is still a little itchy from allergies but it doesn't seem as bad as it was a few weeks ago. The weather has been nice and cool and that seems to help more than anything. His winter coat is growing in so that's covering up the super pink spots and his fur is growing back on his knees.

I got him one of these bad boys for his present and he really likes it. It's way cuter than a Kong and it actually does smell very pleasant, almost a vanilla scent. And a part of the proceeds goes to helping some random cause, I wish I paid attention when I picked one out but I'm happy with the green one I got him as it goes to preserving nature or something to do with nature. I thought the blue was for prostate cancer so I decided against it; not that I don't think prostate cancer isn't worth donating to, but apparently it goes to helping homeless animals. Damn. He likes it though, the opening is a lot smaller than a Kong so either you have to really tear the treats down to tiny strips or I just fill it with kibble but it takes longer for Cooper to get everything out. The squeaker isn't that loud, but he never really bites at squeaky things anyway. Overall, I give this toy a 3 out of 5 because I doubt Cooper will destroy it, it is more challenging for him to get treats, smells awesome and proceeds help out society. I don't like that the food holder area doesn't hold as much as a Kong, it is really hard to smear peanut butter in there, and because it's that rubbery-texture, it picks up every particle of dust and lint and I'm constantly rinsing it; although Cooper doesn't care about that.

Anyway, Cooper's still super. I hope he stays healthy and it looks like I'll end up taking him to get another echocardiogram sometime in the near future to make sure his heart's still ok.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vet visits

Cooper's allergies have been bothering him so two weeks ago I took him to the vet. Normally, Cooper was on Temeril-P but this new vet told me that the steroids in the drug can cause kidney and liver failure. Cooper has been on and off Temeril P for the last, 4-ish years and this was the first time any vet mentioned that it could cause liver and kidney failure.

This freaked me out since Cooper already has enough health problems as it is. I wouldn't want to put the poor dog on dialysis and alas, if he had renal failure, it'll probably be the end of him.

So the vet gave us a 2 week trial run on Atopica. For the first week, Cooper seemed ok. He didn't have diarhea nor did he throw up, his poops were a bit softer than normal but still looked like his normal poops.

After the first week though, his allergies got really bad. I don't know if there were more allergens in the air or what, but he was scratching and rubbing himself raw. He started losing fur aorund his eyes and he was missing a lot of fur from his chest. His paws seemed ok though, he wasn't chewing on them like he did during past years.

So we went to the vet again over the weekend and for once, I got the same vet that examined Cooper the last time. We are putting him on a mild steroid and antihistamine regime. The vet recommended that I give him the steroid pill every other day, every two days with antihistamines in between. Hopefully this works and as I took out a month's supply, I hope the weather cools down so my poor little Choo Choo isn't so miserable.

On an interesting side note, I asked the vet why every dog Cooper encounters want to attack him. Walking Cooper is a nightmare because every dog, big or small, lunges at him while snapping their fangs while Cooper dutifully hides behind me. The vet said it's a shiba thing (and Chows and other more primitave breeds). Apparently, most dogs like to pay attention to each other and shibas like to ignore them and that pisses off other dogs. Go figure, my diva dog will not pay attention to the lesser creatures.