Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It is freaking cold here in Colorado and we are breaking overnight low records left and right. It's not just cold during the night, it is almost unbearable in the day time as well. Thankfully, I have a roof over my head and two extremely warm little bodies to curl up next to. Also, my stupid downstairs neighbor must turn the heat up super high because our floor is always warm. Ha, stupid neighbors...have fun paying your energy bill...
Anyway, how cold is it here? Well, cold enough that Pickle's pee froze in the span of less than 2 minutes. I took him out after work and right before I got to the stairwell a guy came in with his dog scaring Pickle into peeing a gigantic puddle. I couldn't move him until he stopped so by the time I got Cooper and Pickle downstairs to where the grassy area is and back up the stairs, the pee had frozen into a little yellow lake. Gross, true, but it is like, -32 with the wind chill. Luckily it isn't humid in Colorado or else it would feel worse.
We didn't really turn the heater on until Sunday but it started snowing and getting to sub zero temps Saturday night/early Sunday morning. We woke up Sunday and found to dogs cuddled up and "shivering" although it was 62 degress in the house. Liars. They have that super thick fur and I know they're just doing that to get sympathy and to sleep in our room again.
Now it is toasty and warm in the house which makes it so much harder for both the dogs and Corey and me to leave. Cooper especially hates the salt they throw down on the sidewalks and cringes, cries, and lays on his back with his paws curled to his chest. Somehow he always manages to step in the only pile of salt and complains about it. Pickle either doesn't care or avoids the salty spots because he hasn't had that problem yet. I thought about buying booties for Cooper but he refuses to walk if his paws are covered in anything; I have to bandage his paws during allergy season because he chews the pads of his feet. It's really pathetic watching your dog limp around after you because his paws are burning from the salt. Plus I hate the looks that people give me because they think I'm abusing my dog or heartless for letting his paws hurt when really, it's beyond my control. I also get super pissed because instead of whining about the pain, Cooper full out screams like a banshee when he steps in the salt. Then he just stands in it lifting on foot after the other and I can't do anything to make him move. It's like he secretly enjoys the pain...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Letting Go

I don't have to worry about Cooper or Pickle dying anytime soon; they are both relatively healthy and well maintained. I am, however, worried about my first dog, Sari. She turned 11 this year and although my brother calls me to tell me what she's been doing, I worry that she doesn't have many years left.
He called a few weeks ago to let me know that a possum was dumb enough to wander into the backyard where Sari was. Sari, the ever efficient killer, broke the possum's neck without getting one scratch on her or spilling any blood. Good girl. It's stories like that that makes me think that Sari has many years ahead of her. She was very proud of herself when my brother went into the backyard and she had her chest puffed out and started tossing the dead possum around. Gross. I remember coming home from school and she would be standing over whatever animal that dared cross her path. She could catch and kill birds faster than you could blink and slap mice like a cat to make them "pop." When my dad moved back to Washington with Sari, she got out of the backyard and killed a cat. To hear him tell the story you would be amazed at her prowess and sadistic nature. She basically tortured the cat until it was begging her to end its life. She chased it, pounced on it, let it go, give it a head start, and repeat the process for about an hour until the cat had little to no energy left.
She's an amazing dog. We got her when she was about 4 months old, ironically on Christmas day. Jindos are not really meant to be indoor dogs so she had to stay in the garage. Then she went to the backyard. I feel so bad for her because she was the most loyal dog anyone could ask for. She would protect us and our property with her life; she knew when you were sad and would sit next to you and lean on you to let you know that she's there, she would be genuinely excited to see you everytime you went near her and it really lifted my spirits to have a dog like her. She had a lot of socialization problems though; we never took the time to properly train her or get her accustomed to people and other dogs. Her prey drive was unlike any other and once she saw something she wanted, regardless of size, she had to go and kill it. Including small children.
I look at Cooper and his spoiled little face and the way he takes that for granted. Sari never got all the organic treats Cooper has, nor did she have as many toys. Cooper will never know what it feels like to stay outside longer than an hour nor will he ever know what it's like to be a diligent dog. I always wish I had Sari here with me although she would be miserable living inside. I just wish I could spoil her and treat her like a queen now that I make my own money and can spend it any way I want.
Corey's dog Sadie is 12 years old. She has cancer and her lungs and heart are filling up with fluid. Her health has been deteriorating for years but his parents keep holding on hoping that she gets better. While I know it will be hard to let a dog go, I don't think I can stand to see any of my dogs suffer as long as Sadie has. She's almost blind, has no energy, moody, is pain, arthritic, and hasn't eaten well for years. Although it would be a sad thing to do, I think putting her down would be best at this point.
Of course I can say that about Corey's dog. I don't know what I would do if that situation was reversed and that was Sari. I do know that Sari would be hundreds of times more miserable if she was suffering like that. Not to be able to run, chase things, kill things, or really, anything would break Sari's heart and spirit. I would want her to go with dignity and grace and not when she is literally peeing herself because she lost control of her bodily functions. I think she would deserve that.
The same goes for Cooper. He has a heart murmur and while I will continue to get that monitored over the years, if his condition worsens then I would have to put him down. I don't want Mr. Man to suffer; he's a good dog in his own way and I couldn't stand to know that my dog is suffering silently alone while I am at work. Plus, he is a bitchy little queen so I know his sufferings wouldn't be silent nor Ghandi-like. He would be screaming and in a horrible mood all the time. I wouldn't want that for Cooper. As soon as that mischievious little twninkle and smirk is gone from his face because he no longer has the energy or drive for life, I would have to make a very hard, tough decision.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I don't know if dogs can really remember anything in their past. I suppose tons of research has been done where mom dogs won't recognize their old litter or what not but I disagree with that. My old dog Sari had puppies a long, long time ago and had a small litter of three, healthy, adorable Jindo puppies; all female. We had one left for the longest time and found a home for her. After 2 weeks, the people who bought her brought her back to us because their older dogs didn't like it and would pick on her and bite her. Sari, for the 2 weeks her last puppy was gone, was super sad and lethargic and didn't have much of an appetite or will to live. As soon as we brought her puppy to the backyard, Sari's eyes lit up like she couldn't believe what she was seeing and her ears went back and she started making these crying noises. Her puppy ran straight towards her, leaping onto her face and digging its snout into Sari's teat area. We only kept her for another few weeks before someone else bought her. But that was the most touching thing ever and it was seriously like something out of a movie. And it kind of proves that maybe they don't forget. True, two weeks is a short amount of time but it could feel like ages to a dog, don't you think? I don't remember anything from two weeks ago...

Sometimes I wonder if Pickle remembers his past life in crappy Iowa on a crappy po-dunk farm out in the middle of nowhere. I've been noticing more and more interesting quirks from him and I have now concluded that as a puppy he didn't have access to toys, rawhide chews, or really, anything to chew on. He doesn't know what to do with toys except sniff at them, won't chew on bully sticks unless Cooper's chewing on one, and is terrified of sticks. He's also terrified of children and men. Corey gets jealous because when we get home from work both dogs come running for me and they always run by Corey. I think it's because I'm the one who gives them treats.

Anyway, I think Pickle really appreciates the things he has in his life right now. I sure as hell spoil the crap out of him and try my hardest in making him feel like part of the family. Whenever I give him a treat he is already pulling out all his tricks before I even get the treat out of the bag. He sits, shakes, high fives, and targets without a treat in my hand. He only sits on pillows and snuggles into blankets but he's too scared or maybe nervous to let me cover him up with a blanket. I think he's enjoying his life a little more; at least I hope so.

Cooper on the other hand really takes his life for granted. He is bitchy and thinks the world should revolve around him and his needs. He rarely sits or does anything even if you do have a treat in your hand. Instead he tries to take it away from you if you're distracted. I suppose he was much more socialized than Pickle but we also got him at about 10 weeks of age whereas we got Pickle when he was 6 months old. Who knows what Cooper could have been like if he didn't find a home for that long.

I just hope Pickle continues feeling like the luckiest dog in the world. I think after all he's been through he deserves a lot of love, peanut butter, and chicken jerky.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sick as a Dog

Poor Cooper is sick, again. I don't know what he ate but it must have been bad. He was constipated Sunday and I had a feeling something horrible was going to happen and I was right. All Monday morning while I was getting for work, Cooper followed me listlessly begging for a pat or cuddle. He even came in the bathroom when the shower was on in hopes of getting one last pat before I got wet. Then he sat miserably on the bath rug while I showered. Eventually, with Corey and I in our normal morning rush, Cooper had to seek comfort from none other than Pickle. Pickle was sitting on the bed watching TV and Cooper sat right below him with his head up. Pickle glanced down and started sniffing and licking Cooper's head while Cooper closed his eyes and grimaced. It was cute to know that when he is feeling like shit, he will ask Pickle for comfort which makes me think that Cooper likes him a lot more than he lets on. Alas, Corey and I had to leave miserble looking Coop and a happy, yet stoic, Pickle.
When I got home last night at exactly 5 PM, I could already hear Cooper screaming in anticipation and impatience. When I finally opened the door, Cooper shot out and started scratching at the door leading outside the apartment. I got the leash on him and he shot out, ran down the stairs, opened the other door leading out the stairwell by himself, and finally found some relief and had diarrhea for a good 10 minutes. Poor little guy. He looked a little better when we went in and I was hoping that would be the last of his stomach problems. Once I finally got the dogs inside, I had to see the destruction and mayhem of Cooper when he really, really, really needs to go out and there's no one home. He had knocked over a chair trying to get our coats off, knocked over mittens drying on the kitchen island, got his leash (not Pickle's) off the hook by the door, and wreaked other havoc trying to distract himself from making a mess in the house. I have to applaud him despite the mess, picking up loose items is a hell of a lot easier than scrubbing shit out of the carpet. Not surprisingly, Pickle got into things too and ate a pen on the couch which means there are now black ink stains on the couch, and chewed up Corey's headset thing for his XBox. Which he is not happy about.
While Corey and I were eating dinner, Cooper didn't beg like he normally does. He sat by himself on the couch staring at us with the most pathetic expression on his face. Then he started whining and carrying his toys around which is what he does always before he throws up. And he did...by the dining room table. Mostly it was just spit and water. Poor little Choo Choo just sat there, completely miserable with watery eyes staring at the mess. If he could, he would have been crying. His ears were limp and he was looking droopy. When we took him out before bed, he had a little more diarrhea and I was hoping he would eat something at this point as he didn't have an appetite for the last 2 days.
Last night while I was drifting in and out of sleep, I thought I heard Cooper scratching at our door. I ignored him and when I woke up, I was greeted with a puddle of diarrhea in front of the main door. Luckily, it was on linoleum so it was relatively easy to clean up. Now I'm afraid of going home and finding another puddle of mess. I hope he feels better soon; I'm bringing home some Gatorade and cooking him some bland rice for dinner tonight.