Sunday, December 19, 2010

Past pets part 2 and future pets

My family moved to Colorado right before the start of my 5th grade. We again, lived in another apartment until my parents decided that we would live here for awhile. They looked for a house and promised me that I can finally get a dog since we'll finally have a yard to keep it in.

So I did my research. I borrowed or bought every single dog breed book available and spent years reading through them making a list of the breeds of dog I wanted. My parents threw breed like "cocker spaniel," "Alaskan Malamute," "poodle," at me while I shot down their suggestions. "Cocker spaniel? You have to get those groomed; professionally groomed. That's extra expenses!" (In reality, I just plain don't like cocker spaniels. I hate their weird shaped apple heads, their doleful eyes, their clumsy looking paws, and I dunno, they just didn't look like my dream dog). "Alaskan Malamute? They're huge! They have way too much energy and we won't have a yard big enough for it! You hate going for walks!" (Reality: I wanted a Siberian Husky. I love their pale blue eyes and Malamutes just don't have those pretty pretty blue eyes). "Poodle? No." (There, at least I was honest. I think it was my mom who wanted a poodle but again, they don't scream "dog" to me, it screams "priss").

My parents bought a house and after we got settled in we started browsing the classifieds for a dog. I was hoping for a Siberian Husky, Irish Setter, German Shepherd, Samoyed, something that was sturdy enough to endure Colorado winters and a dog that was beautiful and loyal. Again, my parents lied to me. Screw what I wanted and the fact that I spent years of my life extensively researching dogs that appealed to me. My grandpa called (the same one that ate my chickens) to tell us of a friend who has a Jindo that just had a litter of puppies and was willing to sell on to us. WTF? I didn't want a Jindo! I wanted a German Shepherd! Or an Irish Setter!

Alas, we got one of those puppies. She came to us on Christmas day, a tiny shivering pup cowering in the back of her airline kennel. I went with my dad to get her from the airport (my grandpa came too) and the first thing my grandpa says is "Don't stick your fingers in her cage; she's vicious and she'll bite you." As I saw her peering at me through the cage door, I stuck my fingers through. Right as I remembered my grandpa's warning and was trying to pull my fingers back, she scurried over and licked me. And I knew that everything I wanted in my dream dog, I was going to have in her.

She just knew that I was going to be her owner. She was so loyal and quick to learn, she was devoted and faithful and amazing in every way possible. At least to our family; try as we might, we couldn't get her socialized enough and she was so territorial that she wouldn't even let people walk between me and her. If they stared too long, she'd lunge at them. She never gave a warning growl and always attacked first. Luckily, she only nipped at a small child when she got loose and the kid was playing hopscotch in our front yard. At least she didn't break the skin and the kid's mom was totally ok with it (I guess that was the only plus side of having meth heads next door).

I had her for 7 years. Seven years and then my parents split up and my dad took Sari with him to Washington. I've seen her twice since my dad moved, and she's still alive but she's getting really old and my dad being the cheap asshole he is, hasn't taken her to the vet even when I offered to pay.

Everything I wanted to give to Sari, I give to Cooper. In some ways it's because I feel bad and maybe I'm trying to make amends to Sari. I know it's not fair to her, and Cooper is certainly spoiled beyond belief and Sari is still silently suffering at my dad's. When I did see her those two times, she was so excited she started crying and wagging her tail so hard she had trouble standing. Her ears pinned back and you could just see joy in her. Cooper never greets me like that even if I've been gone for a week. He just doesn't care or if he does, he does a really good job of not showing it.

Anyway, she's 13. My brother and I are pretty sure she has at least another 3 years in her.

As for future pets, I still hope to get a German Shepherd. Before I got Cooper, my then boyfriend and I were talking about dogs and I really wanted a German Shepherd but we decided against it since we were going to live in an apartment for awhile. As soon as I can afford a bigger place and if Cooper's not around, I hope to get one and hopefully, he'll have the qualities that I love about Sari and the ones I love about Cooper.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Past pets

For the majority of my life, I lived in apartments. Most of the ones I lived in during my childhood allowed pets but coming from a traditional Korean family, my parents didn't believe that animals should be inside. So while my friends got to go home and play with their kittens or dogs or even fucking guinea pigs, I got to go home to Darkwing Duck and hordes of stuffed animals as poor substitutes for the real thing.
I guess at some point my grandma felt kind of sorry for me, or maybe it was just her greedy insistent ways, but she somehow managed to get two chicks for me from our priest (he raised chickens for fun or something in his backyard). I was ecstatic and as they were tiny tiny tiny, my parents were surprisingly ok with me keeping them in my room in a box under a lamp for warmth. I gave them names, fed them religiously and made sure they had clean water. I thought they would get cold and dressed them up using my mom's expensive silk scarves and of course, they shat all over her scarves. Oops.
Eventually, they started getting big. My grandparents lived about half an hour away and since we went to visit them every weekend, my family came to the conclusion that I can raise the chickens at my grandparent's house since they had a large yard and the potential to fit a chicken coop somewhere. It was ok I guess, after awhile I got annoyed by the shrill peeping noises and they smelled kind of weird and someone told me you could get lice from birds and I was a little wary of my new pets coming too close to me to infest me with their lice. Plus, when i got to visit my chickens at my grandparents' house, we would run around the backyard together and I would push them around in a baby stroller and force them to play house with me. So it worked out, right?
No. One day my grandpa said to me, "Wow, isn't it a nice day? It is so should go for a bike ride or a walk and enjoy the weather!" My tiny 7 year old brain was thinking, "Why yes, it is a glorious day! How simply marvelous! How did I not notice it until now? Fine idea, Grandfather! A walk sounds glorious! Onward ho!"and I went for a supervised walk with my aunt or someone. Coming home, I ran to the backyard to tell my faithful chickens of all the glorious things I saw only to see feathers everywhere and their little heads with their eyes closed on the back patio. My screams could be heard for miles, I'm sure, and I screamed loud enough to scare birds out of the trees.
Lunch: chicken soup. Picture a heartbroken 7 year old sobbing hysterically at the dinner table while her heartless mother plunks down a hot steaming bowl of chicken and rice soup. Fuck you, family.
I didn't have any luck with fish. My uncle bought me a beta fish and it repeatedly tried to commit suicide and I would come home to find it flopping around on the floor. Even when we got a screen for it's bowl, it still managed to try to kill itself. Eventually, it succeeded. I don't think I named it.
I had a hamster. After incessantly whining, crying, pleading and threats of running away unless I finally got a pet with fur, my dad decided hamsters were harmless enough. They weren't villianized as having diseases or carrying the Black Death and to him, hamsters were cute enough. So he took my brother and I to the local pet store and while I picked the cutest and most rambunctious one I could find, my brother picked the biggest and fattest hamster who happened to be sleeping. We brought them home and Surprise! My hamster's a boy and my brother's hamster was a girl and guess who had lots and lots of babies? That's right...Hammie and Harry. I named mine Hammie, so original, I know.
Anyway, we didn't know what to do with them and they kept eating their babies which I found horribly fascinating and eventually, we figured out that we needed to separate the hamsters. Unfortunately, being the cheap asses that my parents were, they refused to buy another cage for Hammie and I was forced to keep him in my aquarium after we gave up on those stupid suicidal fish. Because my hamster liked running, we kept the wheel in his house while Harry slept all damn day and somehow had more babies.
Anyway, long story short, my dad made me keep the hamsters outside on the porch because they were making too much noise and they kept waking him up. Hammie's wheel got stuck on something, so he was able to climb on top of the wheel and make his grand escape into the backyard somewhere. In the morning when I went to feed him, he was long gone and again, the neighborhood got to hear the heartbroken screams and wails of a 9 year old girl whose hamster ran away.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


For about 2 years, Cooper has been on a diet. It was mostly my fault; when I lived in suburbia with no sidewalks as we lived in an area that was constantly being developed, I didn't walk Cooper for as long as I should. So he gained like, 7 pounds which is a lot when you're just a little guy.
For the last 7-8 months, I've been feeding Cooper diet dog food; about 3/4 of a cup a day. I walk him for at least 40 minutes every night and we play fetch and tug of war around the house. Because he was looking kinda skinny late fall, I started feeding him more and now he's packing on the pounds. I wonder if he has a thyroid condition; my mom has one and it is impossible for her to lose weight but she gains it easily. It's the same for Choo Choo, it took about a year and a half for him to lose 5 pounds and it looks like he's gained 3 in the last couple months. I'm cutting back on his food to 3/4 cup a day and see if that helps. As he's due for another yearly check up and shots in January, I will bring up his fluctuating weight and see if there's something wrong with his thyroid. God, I hope not, he already has enough health problems to deal with.
I worry more about my dog's health and weight than my own. He eats Blue Buffalo brand dog food which flaunts that it's "holistic and all natural" with "human grade/quality meats and veggies!" Cooper needs a grain free diet and he really likes Blue Buffalo so it's a win/win for him. I eat like shit; mostly sandwiches and junk food and there's no way in hell I'd spend half a paycheck for a week's worth of food from Whole Foods or some other "organic" place. I also haven't been to the gym since March, but I make sure Cooper gets his daily dose of excercise. I've been getting better about going to the doctor and stuff, so I guess I beat out Cooper in that one. Alisa-1, Cooper-9 million and counting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm watching Fox's dog, Jack, while he's in Texas for work. Jack is a 7 year old cream shiba inu who's pretty mild mannered. Cooper was super excited when Fox dropped him off Sunday night and somewhat excited Monday, but yesterday he wasn't having Jack in our house any longer. First he wanted to play with Jack but Jack was too sad that Fox left him to do anything but mope by the door. Then Cooper tried to dominate Jack which resulted in harsh words from me, a few whacks on his butt, and time out in his kennel. Yesterday Cooper tried to attack Jack (which really is him growling all mean-like in Jack's face and opening his mouth really wide and snarling) and Jack retaliated by snapping at Cooper and I'm worried that he'll draw blood.
I've come to notice that Cooper's just jealous and protective of me. He always positions himself between Jack and me and keeps a wary eye on Jack when I'm petting him. He still doesn't care when we go for walks, but as soon as we're in the house he's herding Jack away from me or trying to intimidate Jack as far away from me as possible. I'm also getting worried because Jack feels more comfortable in my place and is attacking Cooper when Cooper gets in his face. I'm fine with that to some degree because Cooper needs to learn that he can't dominate and rule every dog out there, but I don't know if Jack will actually bite Cooper or not. I know Cooper well enough and know for a fact that he'll NEVER bite a dog or a person because he is just too afraid to do that. He definitely talks the talk but can't and won't walk the walk.
I guess at this point, Cooper definitely has to be the only dog. He gets too jealous or insecure and that creates too much drama for me to deal with. It kinda sucks because his only dog friends are Pickle, Jack, and Leila and Pickle and Jack are along the same lines; too much anxiety and too mellow for play, and Leila is so hyper active you can literally see Cooper getting dizzy from trying to keep up with her. I wish I could find another dog with his energy level that can stand his ground so Cooper can actually play with the dog. Oh well, sometimes things just weren't meant to be.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cooper's 4!!

Wow, time flies! My little Choo Choo is 4 years old today...and in honor of his birthday, he didn't have to wear his bark collar today! Hopefully we don't get evicted...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Yesterday was a nice, kind of cool day so my friend Fox and I decided to go for a hike near Evergreen, CO. He was bringing Jackson, his shiba, so I thought I'd bring Cooper along since it wasn't too hot and I figured he should be ok. I always worry about Cooper and the heat since he has a heart problem and he's just a lazy asshole who hates walking in general. I was prepared to either carry him up and down the mountain or take many breathers until he felt like walking.
Fox came to pick us up and I was a little nervous since Cooper isn't a huge fan of Jack. Luckily, Cooper sat in the back seat while Jack sat in my lap and both ignored each other. Once we got to the hiking area and let the dog out, they promptly ignored each other the entire time. Neither cared who was in front, they didn't sniff each other and get in each other's faces, and didn't try to pee on the same spot that the other peed on.
I was super proud of Cooper for ignoring Jack and every other dog we met on the trail. I was also puffed with pride because the little guy kept up the entire time and not once did he beg me to carry him and not once did he lie on the ground as dead weight making me drag him. He got tired after awhile, but hell, so did I and I was so so thankful that I didn't have to carry him.
I think he ejnoyed the hike. He was so godawful dirty and dusty at the end of it; I wouldn't let him in the house for awhile until he shook himself out enough. But, I was glad that Cooper kept up, glad it wasn't too hot, and glad to know that I can take him out for future hikes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I live half a block from the State Capitol which means there's always police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks that scream by every seemingly half hour. It's awesome and I've adapted to the wailing of sirens to the point where it makes me suspicious if I don't hear that constant noise.

My apartment complex has an interestingly large amount of dogs. There's several on my floor and one of them is this annoying fat beagle. He howls and yowls every time it hears a cop car or whatever with a siren go by. It's terrible, it happens too often for me to think it's funny or cute.

Cooper, my super Cooper, doesn't howl at sirens. He doesn't yap when all the other dogs are yapping in the apartment complex. He marches to his own beat and thank god that tempo has nothing to do with all the other asshole dogs in my apartment.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Cooper has turned into a pretty stellar dog. Took him close to 4 years, but he has been so sweet and caring since the break up. I was crying today, sitting on the floor and talking to Cooper and Pickle because I'm dogsitting for Corey and while Pickle cowered in the back of his kennel, Cooper came out and sat next to me and leaned up against me.

He's been lying down next to me for the last 10 minutes. His head is constantly under my hand and I am so glad that I chose to keep Cooper over Pickle when Corey and I broke up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good dog

Sometimes I don't give Cooper enough credit when credit is due. Tyson and I broke up last Tuesday, but before we did we got in a motorcycle accident on Sunday. I have really bad road rash on my knees and hand on the right side and one of my biggest worries was that Cooper would want to smell and lick the wounds and they might get infected or something.

Surprisingly, he did sniff at them and I was getting ready to yell at him to back up, but all he did was sniff them and stare at me with the most pitying expression on his face. Obviously, I'm really depressed about the break up, I've been crying a lot and just lying in bed. Cooper keeps his space and when he thinks it's especially bad, he lightly jumps up on the bed and lays next to me. I think it's really sweet that he tries to comfort me and I also like that he gives me some space and can keep himself entertained.

He is a good dog in his own way. I have been comparing him to Sari, my first dog, and I never gave him a chance to be himself and accept him for the dog he is and not the dog I want.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Creepy man in a wheelchair

For awhile I thought about enrolling Cooper to be a therapy dog that visits hospitals and old people homes. I mean, he likes everyone he meets and he's an attention whore and for the most part, he's really good at not jumping on people. Then I got lazy and decided that while Cooper probably won't care being that close to dying people, I get uncomfortable around super old people who are hard of hearing because I don't like shouting at them, and I'm also afraid of sick people coughing on me or something germ-y like that.
Anyway, Cooper's been a little dick about going pee pee in the mornings; usually he sleepily wobbles outside, pees, and walks back to the door all with his eyes half-opened. Lately he's been taking his sweet time walking from bush to bush, tree to tree, parking meter to parking meter. As I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, this really annoys me and pisses me off to the point of tears. However, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is a creepy homeless guy in an electric wheelchair.
Cooper's terrified of wheelchairs but especially the motorized ones. I don't know why, but he just is. Thus, this ended my very brief dream of turning him into a therapy dog because he'd scream at the first person in a wheelchair he sees. Anyway, this creepy wheelchair man might also be slightly deranged because everytime he sees Cooper, he speeds up screaming "Puppy, puppy, puppy, puppy!" all while laughing a high pitched hyena giggle. This scares Cooper shitless.
Yesterday morning Cooper had that mischievious gleam in his eye and I knew this was going to take awhile. As soon as we got outside, we both hear a faint whirring noise and "puppy!!!!" It's the crazy homeless man in the wheelchair. Cooper's eyes go wide, frantically runs down the stairs and pees on the bush planted right outside. He never pees on that bush. I can almost hear his little voice in his head: "Oh no! It's him!! Hurry, hurry, hurry pee!" He finished in record time and jumped at the door scratching it in vain all while looking over his shoulder to see where the creepy homeless wheelchair man was.
Now if I can only pay that creepy wheelchair man to roll down my block every morning around 6:45...

Monday, June 21, 2010


Tyson moved in with me for the next 5-6 weeks while he's doing contract work in Denver. So, the two of us gets to share my tiny living space with Cooper who doesn't seem to enjoy the extra attention or company. Cooper's always been a mama's boy and something tells me that he doesn't want to share my attention with Tyson.
Normally, Cooper likes everyone that walks in the door and wants to be their best friend for life. When we get home, Cooper runs past Tyson ignoring him completely while jumping into my legs. He waits until Tyson's hand is centimeters from touching him before he runs off or turns his head. Tyson knows that Cooper's a bitchy little queen but this is starting to hurt his feelings.
Cooper won't do tricks for treats if Tyson asks him to. Cooper won't acknowledge Tyson's presence and whenever Tyson tries to get his attention, Cooper firmly turns his head away from Tyson and stares at me like, "I don't like him in our house. I'm not listening to him."
The weird thing is, when we're outside Cooper wants to walk next to Tyson and gazes up at him kind of adoringly with a smile on his face. I just don't get why he doesn't like him when we're inside. It's not like Tyson invades Cooper's space or anything, but Cooper just seems set on ignoring Tyson until we're outside in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's soooo hot!

I wish Cooper was brave enough to go for a swim. And I also wish he wasn't so afraid of water because it is so hot here and I would love to spray him with the hose but he won't let me. I guess he can suffer through the heat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is Super Cooper with a tulip attached to his collar. He loves flowers. And prancing amongst them. And prancing in general.
Picture taken at the University of Colorado at Boulder
I was trying to get him to drink out of a water fountain. He stuck his head into the stream of water as I turned in on and water gushed into his ear. He's afraid of water fountains now. Oops.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tyson came to visit last week. We didn't have anything planned for the morning so this was our conversation:
Tyson: Want me to help you give Cooper a bath?
Me: No, I don't have any shampoo for him; I'll have to get some and I don't feel like cleaning out the tub.
Tyson: Why can't you use your shampoo?
Me: Well, Cooper has senstive skin and needs that oatmeal shampoo.
Tyson: *Bursts out laughing* Sensitive skin?! Are you serious?! That dog shouldn't even exist...
It's true. Everything about poor Cooper is defective. He has a ventricular defect in his heart, on the right wall, has severe seasonal allergies, food allergies, sensitive skin, and failing kidneys thanks to the ventricular defect. Mother Nature didn't want him to survive and yet, here I am defying her. Take that, you bitch. At least he's neutered so it's not like he can pass his crappy genes to generations of underbred shibas.
**The ventricular hole in his heart is a birth defect; his heart never formed fully when he was born. His parents were actually well bred and his litter was healthy. Cooper just got the shit end of the stick.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cooper watching tv

I can't get mad at him, he's too cute.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tricking Cooper

It's allergy season which means Cooper is itchy, miserable, swollen, and bitchier than normal. Every morning after I take him out, he gets a spoonful of peanut butter with two benadryl tablets hidden in it. Most of the time he eats it without a problem but sometimes, he spits them out or flat out refuses the peanut butter and makes angry face and angry noises at the spoon from the confines of his kennel.
As he isn't that smart, it's pretty easy to trick him into eating it although it is frustrating as hell when you're already running late for work.
Me: "Cooper, want some peanut butter?"
Cooper glares at the spoon: "NO!!! It makes me sleepy!"
Me: "Are you sure? It's good..."
Cooper: "NO! I DON'T WANT ANY!"
Me: "Fine, I guess it's all for me then...NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM! MMM!"
Cooper: "What are you eating? Give me some!"
Me: "Oh I don't know, you said you didn't want any...NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM!"
Cooper: "No, I do, please!"
Me: "Ok" :)
Cooper: "Ohhhh...I'm sleepy..."
Game. Set. Match.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Counter surfer

I don't know what's up with Cooper lately but he's been leaping onto the kitchen counters and dragging whatever food item down and ripping apart the plastic and eating until he's full. Normally, he's never done this and the only time he stole food was if I left it on the ground for whatever stupid reason. It's gotten to the point where I have to lock up Cooper in his house when I leave for work or wherever.

Corey think it's because of Cooper's diet and he's hungry all the time so he tries to steal food. Either way, it's annoying and although I have been feeding him a tad more, I don't think it'll make much of a difference. Cooper is now sick and had diarrhea for the last couple days because of all the food he ate.

He ate a lot of carbs; he ate 3 bagels and a couple slices of bread. As he's allergic to wheat and corn, he is now miserable and itchy and it's probably the reason why his bowels are in such havoc.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cooper farts

Whenever my first dog Sari farted, she'd be terrified and start looking for a place to hide. Mostly because whenever she farted my mom would spray cologne or something to cover up the smell and Sari hated the way the cologne smelled. Sometimes if you farted she would look at you and then at the cologne bottle and back to you and back to the bottle. Silly dog. She also showed shame; like she was embarassed to have passed gas.
Cooper on the other hand, is completely shameless. Sometimes when he farts he stares at his butthole like, "Hm, that's where it came from? Weird..." Other times he groans and lays on his side. Most of the time his butt is facing me and I always get a terrible whiff of it. He is completely unapologetic and if I scold him to get away from me, he gives me a look out of the corner of his eye like he's saying, "Hey, I don't make a big deal when you fart so you hush up."
A couple times he farted and it actually made a tooting sound. The first time that happened he jumped a mile and stared at his butt in wonder like, "WOW!" Then he did that cute little head cock thing and it almost looked like he was laughing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cooper's super...sometimes

I've been feeling down lately thanks to my asshole family. Last night I had one of the worst phone conversations with my dad and he made me cry for hours. Normally when I cry, Cooper gives me this weird look out of the corner of his eyes and slinks off into his house and leaves me alone. He's such a boy...
Anyway, last night Cooper stared at me while I was sobbing on the phone with the most tender expression I have ever seen on him considering Cooper has the same blank eyed stare for every moment of the day. I was expecting him to jump off the bed and into his house but he stood up and sat next to me and leaned his head against me. Well, I think he wanted me to pet him but it was comforting all the same with him leaning up against me. And then another surprising thing happened: Cooper licked my face.
Cooper is not a licker. Sometimes he'll tentatively lick your hand if you smeared peanut butter on yourself while scooping out the last remnants out of the jar. He never licked anyone's face unless they had food on it. So it was weird having Cooper lick the tears and then snot off my face while I tried to push him off. I don't know if he did it just so he could lick snot and tears off my face and if that's the case, I never want him to come near my face again. Either way though, it was just nice to know that Cooper cares about me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A few things I love about Cooper part 1

Cooper has the goofiest run I have ever seen. My first dog Sari would look like a majestic horse galloping across the plains or a fierce and powerful jungle cat bounding across the land. Cooper looks retarded.
His lips pull back into a goofy grin, his ears pin back flat against his head, his mouth flops open and his tongue inevitably drifts to the side, and instead of fully extending his body with each stride, he keeps himself semi-bunched up. His legs flail in all directions, his little tail uncurls, and his eyes bulge out as well. He looks awkward, clumsy, and not at all majestic or awe-inspiring.
Whenever Sari and Pickle ran, they just looked ecstatic and made it look so effortless like they were born to run and run well. Whenever Cooper ran he looked like he was always off balance, goofy, and just plain stupid. He never looked like he got any joy out of running the way Pickle did. Pickle literally looked like he was flying and Cooper looked like a duck waddling around trying to take flight.
Over the summer last year, it rained almost every afternoon. It was miserable and with Colorado rain, you get a drenching downpour of 15 minutes and you're completely soaked to the bone. It doesn't lightly rain and get heavier, it literally pours buckets. I tried to time it because you get about 20 minutes when the skies get all dark and grey before it starts pouring. Unfortunately, one afternoon, I mis-timed our walk and Cooper and I were left in the pouring rain about 6 blocks from my house. Cooper hates getting wet and was miserable looking and was trying to find shelter somewhere. I looked down at him and had this conversation:
Me: Cooper, we're going to have to run.
Cooper looks up at me, squinting his little eyes because of the rain: Run?
Me: Yes, run. Do you think you can do it?
Cooper with a look of pure determination on his face: OK!!!!
So off we ran, 6 blocks dodging traffic and giant rain bullets. Normally Cooper can't and won't run longer than half a block but boy, he was determined that day. So here I am, running in flip flops trying not to slip and hurt myself with my dog flailing along besides me. Man, I'm sure people thought to themselves, "look at that special girl with her special cute."
We finally reach my apartment, run up the stairs, run down the hall, and run into my apartment gasping for air. Cooper is pulling his leash the whole time, still ridiculously energetic. When I finally got his leash off him, he tucked tail and ran around and around the room with this half-crazed look on his face that clearly said, "I CAN'T STOP RUNNING!"
Finally, he calmed down, dropped in that spot, and slept until almost the next day. And that's what I love about Cooper: although he won't walk fast when the weather is nice, or makes you carry him when it's really hot out, he will run in his goofy, smile-inducing way when you really need him to haul ass. And although he looks like a special ed dog when he runs, it's funny and cute and sure, he looks like a retard but he's my retard.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gettin' old

Cooper seems to have fully mellowed out. Thank God. He's just as happy laying on the floor on on the bed watching tv as he is to go outside for a walk. He still loves the snow like no other; that's when the puppy in him comes out. Which is frustrating when you're sick and just want to go back inside but Cooper wants to play in the snow but whatever...
Lately, I don't know if it has to do with his age or maybe he is lonely, but he wants to cuddle all the time when I'm home. He wants to be petted and if you stop petting him, he'll nudge your hand until you resume petting. He used to lay by/on my feet but more often, he'll curl himself up against my side or sometimes, even right next to my head and tries to share my pillow with me. I draw the line there, I don't mind his fur clumps all over my blanket but not on my pillow.
He also performs more of his tricks without a treat in my hand. He high fives with enthusiasm and I find that endearingly cute. He'll even do the harder tricks without a treat. Now only if he'll poop faster...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vet visit

Cooper had his yearly exam last weekend. I am happy to report that Cooper lost 4 pounds and is now a svelte 26 pound shiba. The vet said he can afford to lose another pound or two so he's still on a diet. Otherwise, that was the only good news I got from the vet. Well, besides the fact that he's still heartworm free, free of parasites, and doesn't have giardia or whatever it's called.
His blood work revealed that he has some toxins in his blood from his kidneys and livers not functioning properly. I haven't gotten him to the vet again for another test, but they're recommending I get another echocardiogram done on him to see if it's his heart murmur that's causing the changes in his kidneys and liver. They're not too worried about his kidneys at this point; they think he was just dehydrated at the time they took his blood. As of now, there's no way I can afford an echocardiogram.
So I have to take him to the vet again and get more bloodwork done to see if there are any changes; both good or bad. The animal hospital I take him to is one of the nicer ones in Denver, very expensive and in all honesty, over-priced considering I only talk to vet for 5 minutes and the vet techs for about 10. I wish there were cheaper animal hospitals by where I live but unfortunately, living in downtown, I have very few options. They just make me feel guilty when I decline certain tests done on Cooper when I know he doesn't need it or something.
Which makes me think, Cooper's been acting exactly the same, if anything he has more energy and actually wants to play more now that he's lost some weight. His quality of life doesn't seem to be any different, and he doesn't act/look like he's in any kind of pain. I really wonder how important getting another echocardiogram/additional blood tests are because I really feel like the vet hospital milks the money from their customers while giving back semi-shoddy care. I know as a pet owner you take on the responsibility of a pet regardless of how much it can cost you. You should be financially stable enough to provide the pet with basic care of food, shelter, and vet visits. It's emergency procedures or illnesses that really take a toll and unfortunately, Cooper would be denied insurance because of his pre-existing genetic defect.
I know that if Cooper has renal failure (and heaven forbid that happens) I would not get him dialysis. It wouldn't be worth the hundreds of dollars on getting that kind of treatment for him. I love him to death, but come on, there's a line to be drawn at some point. If he has cancer in the future or even now, I don't think I would treat it. I feel like that makes me a bad dog owner but really, is the quality of life for Cooper going to be worth the hundreds to thousands of dollars in treatment when he's going to be scared and miserable getting that treatment? It's really for our own selfish needs to make a pet suffer through treatment because we're the ones who are too afraid of letting go.
I want him to be happy. I want him to be pain free and since he can't talk and tell me when he hurts, I'm going to have to make that judgement in the end. I'm willing to get more bloodwork and monitor the liver situation, but if the vet recommends surgery or anything like that, I'm going to have to politely decline and and make sure Cooper is as comfortable he can be.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dog sitting, again.

Since David and Mitch are in Argentina, lucky bitches, I'm watching Mitch's dogs while they're away. David's mom offered to watch Leila and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart because I would die if I had to walk and take care of 4 dogs; 2 of which have way too much energy.
Bentley is a whippet, still kind of in that gawky teenage stage in life but sweet and cute as a button. The two absolute worse things about him is 1. He pulls too hard on his leash and while he has a martingale collar, he still chokes himself almost to death and 2. Whenever he sees you, he pees. He's so gosh darn excited that he pisses all over himself and everything around him while he jumps for joy; peeing all over you. Gross.
Izzie is a retired greyhound. I'm not quite sure how old she is; I think she's 8 or something. She's a senior dog but has a lot of energy and pep in her which I guess is good. The worst thing about her is that she poops and pees when she feels like it regardless of how long it's been since you took her out. I had to clean up after her twice and it's not fun at all. And she doesn't even pee when I take her out so I think she's peeing on the carpet and I just can't tell or something.
The nice thing about Bentley is that he's a cuddle bug. He just wants to sit in your lap and love you. And he likes to give kisses which I don't accept because he eats poop. Izzie walks really, really well on a leash and never pulls or zoom down the stairs. She likes to walk by your side or maybe a foot in front of you but she always looks at me while we walk. It's kinda creepy.
Anyway, as sweet as they are, and they really are sweet dogs, watching them makes me appreciate Cooper that much more. I love how he can hold his pee and poop until I take him out. I love how I can read his body language so I know what he's feeling. I love that he doesn't piss all over me when I come home, whether it's because he likes me or is mad at me. I love my little Choo Choo and I am so glad that he's my dog.