Category Archives: pets

Grandma Pug, her physical, and my healthy distrust of cats

“Be right back,” the vet tech says smiling as he closes the exam room door. No, you won’t be right back. Just tell me about how long I’ll be waiting on you. You have no intentions of being right back. The lies begin.

And with that, Doug leaves me and Thatcher in the sixty degree exam room with it’s distinct funk and cat posters. I look around. We got a cat room. Now I have to deal with this anxiety-ridden pug in a cat room.

(I hate cats. I have nothing against “cat people” but I do not trust cats. A cat scratched me right underneath the eye when I was little. Granted, I was trying to pick it up. But I don’t think aggravated assault was an appropriate reaction. That cat tried to blind me. Ever since them, I’ve despised them. They are small demons here to do the dark work of Satan.)

Now I can focus only on my irritation with this cat breeds poster (aka Demon’s Notebook). Th pug can focus only on the impeding indignities of an annual exam. The butt probe. The shots. The bright lights to the eye. The new vaccine that gets squirted in her nose.

She knows what’s coming. She’s sweating. I pick her up and notice the wet under her little pug arms. I put her down. Gross. The smell of urine covered by the smell of ammonia (thanks for using a component of urine to clean urine, vet office!!) has hints of dog body odor.

And I forgot my phone. Surprising because my phone is literally attached to my hand.

I look at the magazine rack. Only a Better Homes issue from September 2014 and a book of pithy cat quotes called Cataclysms.

Hard pass.

Still waiting. I attempt to give Thatcher a treat. She looks at me with utter disgust. I’m complicit in the rapey things that will happen to her when the vet tech comes back. She looks down at the treat then up at me. You eat it. It’s probably paleo and you love that shit, she seems to quip.

I swipe two lollipops for the kids from the same area of the desk. (I would swipe more human pops  after the tech shows me the price for the “senior dog” annual exam.)

Doug finally returns. He explains the pricing for the physical. “It’s more than last year’s $140 because she’s a senior now.” We prefer “pug of a certain age,” I think to myself.

Doug has questions about Thatcher. Eating, pooping, drinking, sleeping. Yes to all. Heartguard medicine. “Yes, from Sam’s club,” I lie. The actual answer is that I bought the three month supply last year and didn’t follow up. She’s a healthy weight though. I congratulate myself on being an awesome dog parent.

Doug picks up Thatcher . He winces when he feels the sweat in her armpits. Yes, Doug. She’s afraid. The tail is down. The sweat is up.  I ponder if I should have dabbed some essential oil on Thatcher before coming.

I tell Thatcher it will all be okay. Another lie. She looks back at me forlornly. She’s no Fulbright scholar but  knows why we are here. The only way to tell if you are healthy is to stick long doctor’s office q-tips in you. I’m sorry.

So I wait. And I wait. Just me, this cold room, and this cat poster. Now I’m sweating too. I blame the cats on the poster. Kill Doug, the Bombay with the golden eyes seems to say. And now I’m casting out demons.

The pug comes back. She is happy it’s over. Doug says she did great and I just shake my head. I’ll never actually know what goes on when the tech leaves the room with my dog. Maybe Doug took Thatcher to be hypnotized by some cat demon underboss. And now she’s under a spell. Thatcher circles the legs of the chair so excitedly that she strangles herself and starts coughing. The cat poster snickers. A spell indeed.

An overweight pug. Not quite a fur balloon just yet though.

Finally, the doctor comes in. I like her. She sits on the floor with the dog instead of making Thatcher scramble on the metal table. She comments that Thatcher is a healthy weight and looks more like 8 or 9 years old rather than 11. These, Thatcher knows, are the best compliments any female can get. Thin and young-looking.

The doctor even comments that most pugs  look like ottomans by 11 years old. A pug ottoman is such a delightful image that I am momentarily distracted from the evil cat poster.

The rest of the appointment goes well. We look at Thatcher’s gross skin tags. Harmless but I’m still convinced they could be her twins (a la My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Then I check out. I write them a big fat check for the rapey things they did to my supermodel pug. And we both leave feeling icky.

 

 

 

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Goodhousekeeping Pet Costume Contest

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I entered Thatcher in the Good Housekeeping Halloween Costume Contest. You can vote for her here. However, the contest is set up as random battles. I spent like an hour on Monday night voting and looking for the pug with no luck. She’s won over 850 battles though. If she wins the whole contest, Thatcher will be in the magazine and C.K. and I get a trip to Colorado.

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The Prime Minister

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This is the perfect “prime minister” picture of Thatcher. She looks very aristocratic. She looks like she could run a country, definitely a small country like England (teehee). She might even be able to run Westchester. (The pug looks a little fat in this picture though. She’s really not fat. She’s just lumpy like that when she sits down.)
C.K. even did a drawing of the picture with PhotoShop.
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Pug Hut

thatcher in her hut

We bought Thatcher a nice dog bed when we got back to New York. Usually I buy the dog several cheaper beds over the course of a year. This time we opted for a nicer, more expensive one. Thatcher has a penchant for ripping up her beds and flinging them around the apartment so it never made sense to buy her something nice. However, now that she’s two years old, I figure it’s time to entrust her with a “big girl bed.”

So we got this great igloo bed. She can climb inside, curl up and take a nap. We showed her how to use it. And for the first few nights she slept inside with no problems. But now, things have changed. I guess she doesn’t like the confinement of the igloo bed because I find her taking the time to squash the roof down and lay on the top of the igloo. Oh well. I think it’s because she puts off so much body heat so it gets too warm in there. Thatcher was a space heater in her previous life.

In the picture above, I made her go inside the bed just for the photo (hence the look of bewilderment on her face).

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Escape from L.A.

It’s our last day in L.A.

thatcher in luggage(2)Our flight is early: 7:15 am on Virgin America. I like to fly early when going from LA to NY because of the time change. You lose five hours of the day flying and when you go from west to east, you lose even more time, three more hours to be exact. We’ll get in at 3:50 p.m., just in time to wash up and have dinner at Gino’s, a mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in my hometown. They have THE BEST food. What they lack in sophisticated service and atmosphere, they make up for ten-fold with their yummy pastas.

I can’t wait to get home. We’ve been here a year and a day. I’m ready to start a new chapter of our life. I’ll be directing a musical this year, working with Preston’s administration, finishing my book and securing an agent (fingers crossed on those), and probably starting back at Fordham. I have five classes of my second Master’s completed so I want to finish. Hopefully, all of those credits are still good. My first Master’s, also from Fordham, is in English. Now this one will be in Adolescent Education. I believe it’s an MST (Master’s of Science in Teaching). Didn’t think teaching was a science though. I’d say it’s more of an art form. But whatever.luggage

It’s no coincidence that I titled this post “Escape from L.A.” Kurt Russell is one of my favorite actors. Overboard. Captain Ron. Backdraft. Big Trouble in Little China. He’s been in some classics. I know Kurt Russell would want us to escape from Los Angeles. He seems like a a good egg.

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Eclectus Parrot Harness

We bought Sonja, one of our eclectus parrots, a harness/diaper with an attachable leash. She really likes to walk around on the floor (I personally think she’s jealous of the pug) and sit at the door to the apartment. She even makes a mock-barking sound as she peers out of the screen door.

Sonja also enjoys playing with the pug’s toys. The pug doesn’t dare try to take it away from her. Sonja is clearly the alpha-female.

The little harness wraps around her wings and has a little pouch to catch her poops. She has yet to poop in it and spends most of her time trying to get it off. *fingers crossed* Hopefully, she’ll get used to it.

(If you are interested in learning about these birds, this site is very informative.)

I’ve got some pictures…

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My pug looks like King Kong

Well, a little bit. We were watching King Kong today. Actually, we were watching Big Brother After Dark and it came on afterwards. We joked how when the pug is angry, she looks just like King Kong. That got me thinking about what other characters she looks like.

Below are a few pictures…

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Dog Park

I wish my dog knew how to play fetch. Thatcher just runs after the ball then brings it back and hoards it. The dog park we go to is full of tennis balls because of the adjacent courts. So, I throw a ball, she tears after it, then trots back and lays in the shade. She kind of misses the point. I even show her when there are labs at the park–see, that’s what you do. you get it and then I throw it again.

“A Pug’s Life”

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Santa Monica WTF moment

I have a lot of WTF moments in Santa Monica. Oprah has “A-ha” moments. I have WTF moments. More proof that I’m not Oprah.

As I walked the dog today, she was about to poop when she got distracted by a homeless guy in purple hot pants (shorty-shorts) who sang “Livin’ on a Prayer.” At first I was pissed that he distracted my dog who is so fickle about where she does her “bizness.” But I couldn’t stay mad at someone who wanted to share Bon Jovi with the world.

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My dog owes me $130

Because $130 is what it cost to bring her to the emergency room late this afternoon. I took her to the dog park and she was playing and running around just fine. Then another dog (Willow, a bulldog) came and Thatcher started acting weird. She wouldn’t chase her ball and she just sat down and wouldn’t play. Then she started shaking and her tail was between her legs. I walked her home and the behavior continued. Lots of shaking and looking weepy and tired. I got scared so I called the vet. She had collided with two dogs today and I thought she threw something out of whack. But then I thought, this dog plays with much bigger dogs and has sustained many collisions. So I thought she might be sick. The behavior was just so unlike her. I picked up C.K. from work and we took the dog to the ER in West LA.

Turns out she sustained some soft tissue damage (probably). Maybe it was during the collision today or maybe it was one of the many times she’s jumped off the coach. But, it’s nothing some pain killers and anti-inflamatories (sp?) can’t cure.

So I say that she owes me the money because after all that acting up, she’s totally back to her stoooopid self. She’s barking like crazy. Jumping off the couch and bumrushing the door when she hears someone. AND…she didn’t even finish her ice cream with the meds in it.

I’m a crazy doggie mommy.

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