Charlee Survives Finals Week

Thanksgiving 2014: Selfie with Mom and Cousin Morgan

Thanksgiving 2014: Selfie with Mom & Cousin Morgan

First of all, I extend sincerest apologies to family, friends, and blog followers for my hiatus during fall semester. My workload has been grueling. Despite that, finals are over, and I survived! And, I should even make the Dean’s Honor Roll (although I am a little concerned because the professor in my “Javelinas: Danger! Danger!” class put test questions on the final pertaining to things we never even discussed in class and which could not be found in our textbook). Whatever. Right? Anyway … my classes were as follows:

“Lizards of Arizona”

“Poisonous Snakes Indigenous to the Southwest”

“How Arizona Heat Can Heal and Kill”

“Javelinas: Danger! Danger!”

“Advanced Communications: Barking vs. Public Speaking”

As you can see, I had a full load. But, my mom made sure I had plenty of good food, treats, walks, baths, adventures, air-conditioned quarters, and a clean bed. (Dad made sure I had plenty of TV time.)

Anyway, just wanted to thank everyone for not giving up on me. I hope to be graduating soon and able to write more often after that.

Happy Holidays!

Cheers,

Charlee

So, I Got Hurt This Morning

It all happened on my second walk around 8:30 a.m. My neighbor’s nine-year-old daughter was walking her two dogs. Technically, these little dogs are called Papillons. But to me, they look like long-haired Chihuahuas. And I hate Chihuahuas.

So, I barked. I may have barked a lot. Anyway, my mother was trying to pull me back, as I may have been a tad bit aggressive and feigned an attack on them. It just seemed that way. I mean, I would never attack, especially when the nine-year-old daughter and her mom always pet me and give me presents.

Anyway, I fell off the curb and howled. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt. And, it was my bum leg.

“What have I done now?” I wondered, as my mother bent down and tried to examine the damage. I, of course, would not allow her to help — at all. Remember, Chihuahuas. I have a duty to continue barking as I intermittently howl in pain.

So, Mom just picked me up and carried me home, scolding me (rather unsympathetically, I would say) along the way. I was still barking. To any observers, it probably appeared as though I was a naughty dog.

So, we get inside. The leg does not seem to be broken. However, I have a dangling, bleeding dewclaw, and it hurts every time I move. My mother Googles “dangling dewclaw.”

“In case of bleeding, call vet.” Oh no! The vet?

So, she called the vet. Closed. (Hooray!!! 4th of July; Independence Day; a holiday!) Oops. Celebrated way too soon because my mother then called the Emergency Animal Clinic and described the situation. (Why, oh why, does there have to be an Emergency Animal Clinic?) They wanted to take a look. Of course. Why not? Let them take a look. Ugh.

So, my mother (my dad is always gone in the summer, and she has to do EVERYTHING) carries me to the car and drives me way up to the Emergency Animal Clinic at Scottsdale and Williams.

Did I mention that I hate going to the vet? You know what happens, and it did. Yes, the thermometer in places it just shouldn’t be. Anyway, guess what you do with a dangling, bleeding dewclaw.

“Oh, well, we will just spray some antiseptic on it, and yank it out.”

I nearly pottied on the floor. They were going to “yank out” the nail. Oh my goodness. I started panting. My heart rate skyrocketed. “Yank?” Sounds onomatopoeic. What a terrible thing to do to a dog all because of “Papillons.” (And did I mention that they had barked first? Really, they did.)

Sigh. I am at home now … recuperating. The vet said bed rest for five to seven days. That’s like telling my mother to go on bed rest … IOW, not happening. Energetic. Can’t miss anything. I mean, there are lizards and baby quails and a baby dove even.

Yes, and those awful Chihuahua lookalikes. But, I’m not one to hold a grudge. In fact, I can hardly wait until my mid-afternoon walk. I just hope no one notices my bandage.

Excerpts from Charlee’s Diary

March 25, 2014 – I just hate being 10 years old. My legs aren’t what they used to be. I lost my footing and fell, hurting my bum front leg. It was more embarrassing than anything because my toenail scratched the hair off the bridge of my nose. I am considering rhinoplasty, but the best plastic surgeon my mom knows is in Manhattan. I don’t think I could get there and back without anyone noticing, especially with my nose bandaged. And does rhinoplasty even repair lost hair on the nose? I wish I could quit staring at it in the mirror.
Oh, My Nose!

April 4, 2014 – I find this sign discriminatory on several levels.

No Pets Allowed?

No Pets Allowed?

April 17, 2014 – Those Farmer’s Insurance commercials are funny. The bear on the motorcycle … still chuckling.

April 24, 2014 – So, I was reading The Wall Street Journal today and saw an article about a cat café in New York. Apparently, cat lovers can go and eat, drink “Cat’achinos” (whatever) and adopt homeless cats at this cafe. I really feel for a homeless animal in New York (even a cat, I suppose). Still, I don’t think I want to go to Manhattan for a rhinoplasty anymore.

Charlee’s “Pack-a-Day” Addiction

Just a quick update for those wondering about Charlee’s recent three months in rehab. Charlee’s addiction continues and, in fact, has increased to over a pack a day. While she has attempted to overcome the desire, those chicken-covered rawhide treats from Trader Joe’s have consumed her.

I Need Another Rawhide Now

I Need Another Rawhide Now


Fortunately, we have seen some slight improvement during the past week with the official start of lizard season. Chasing lizards at high noon seems to be the only diversion from the delectable chicken rawhide treat addiction.
Gonna Catch a Lizard

Gonna Catch a Lizard


An Unsuspecting Lizard

An Unsuspecting Lizard


Charlee thanks all of her fans for their continued support during her struggle.

Charlee at the Vet – A Dog Poem

To the vet this week I went with Mom for my annual check-up.
Initially, my tail-wagging thought was: “Hooray! An adventure with Mom!”
But, unfortunately, once inside did I recognize sans aplomb
The scent of needles and sound of desperate dogs’ “yups.”

“Oh no!” I whined as I turned (tail uncurled) towards the door.
“Get me out. I want out. Out, out, out – out and now.”
My mom tried to soothe me, but I wondered, “How
Could she love me and to this place me lure?”

"Get me out. I want out."

“Get me out. I want out.”


“I can handle this,” I coached myself. “I really am a smart dog.
I write poetry, right? I can do math, too. I even have my own blog.”
So, how does a smart dog survive at the vet? Just think of a way to hide!
Outside, outside, outside, of course, but an option is not outside.
Do the Polka Dots Hide My Spots?

Do the Polka Dots Hide My Spots?


Beneath two polka-dotted chairs I hid – convinced my spots would blend.
In walked the vet, something in hand, and with a mesmerizing tone,
Coaxed me from my hiding place with a large box of milk bones.
Then came that dreaded booster shot, shattering my state of Zen!

Lured by a box of milk bones? Yes, and impetuously, I did not even read,
If they were organic and gluten-free, as my mom always does for me.

The irony of my imperfect rhyme is that while I am a smart canine,
I ate humble pie, thinking it was a treat, while I got a shot in my behind.

Charlee’s Top 2013 “Pics”

A Wounded Paw

A Wounded Paw

Water Tastes Better from SBUX

Water Tastes Better from SBUX

Mac-too Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Mac-too Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Mac-too Snatching Gumdrops

Mac-too Snatching Gumdrops

The Paparazzi

The Paparazzi

Holiday Tea at the CBTL

Holiday Tea at the CBTL

This FaceTime Is Amazing

This FaceTime Is Amazing

Hmm ... Not the Best Hiding Place?

Hmm … Not the Best Hiding Place?

A Mocking Dove

A Mocking Dove

Love My Grand Jack

Love My Grand Jack

9/11 Memorial - Human & Canine Heroes

9/11 Memorial – Human & Canine Heroes

One Day I Will Catch a Lizard

One Day I Will Catch a Lizard

Charlee & Mr. Bill

Charlee & Mr. Bill

Backside of Charlee's Business Card

Backside of Charlee’s Business Card

Curb Walking

Curb Walking

Charlee & Her New Blog

Charlee & Her New Blog

Farewell, Dear Mackie

Farewell, Dear Mackie

The Birth of Mac-too

The Birth of Mac-too

My Rawhide Is Bigger

My Rawhide Is Bigger

“Still, Sparkling, or Tub?”

The Water Cup

The Solo Water Cup

When Charlee was a puppy, she became fascinated with the bathtub faucet and its seemingly magical power to provide water. In fact, she would sit beside the bathtub and bark until someone (yes, I) came running to quench her thirst with the bathtub faucet water.

One day her dog sitter, not yet speaking “Charlee,” left a note: “I think Charlee wants a bath. She sat beside the bathtub all afternoon, barking at me.”

I finally bought red plastic Solo Cups, filled them with bathtub faucet water, and placed them beside each bathtub. “Et voilà!” I thought with satisfaction. (Admittedly, after filling Solo Cups for nearly 10 years now, I often think that was one of my less brilliant problem-solving initiatives.)

Why do I share this anyway? Well, having the privilege of wearing golden handcuffs during much of my career, I have eaten at some notable restaurants over the years. While I appreciate fine food, the Muleshoe, Texas girl in me cannot help but take note of the disdain with which many fine dining establishments sometimes offer water. Yes, water.

“Still, sparkling, or tap?” the server asks, often with an exotic accent and slight grimace before offering the “tap” option to ensure you feel uncivilized (despite being clad in haute couture) should you be pondering “tap” as your choice. Next time I encounter hauteur for not choosing the $12 water, I may just pay a bit of homage to my quirky Charlee and ask, “Got tub?”

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog?

What began as a simple adventure last Thursday ended with enlightenment. Allow me to explain.

Charlee had just returned home from an outing with her dad. Apparently, she found the outing rather disappointing because she immediately ran over to me and did her little dance, i.e., several 360-degree twirls, indicating she wanted something (or more accurately, wanted something more).

Having only a few errands on my agenda, I asked Charlee, ”Do you want Mommy to take you on an adventure?” That obviously was the right question because she ran over to her chain and tapped it with her nose. So, off to The Home Depot (conveniently located next door to PETsMART) we went for a product return now four weeks procrastinated (two birds with one stone, n’est-ce pas?).

The Home Depot's Spacious Carts Rank High on Charlee's List

The Home Depot’s Spacious Carts Rank High on Charlee’s List

Since our home renovations began back in July (yes, we are now in the fourth month after a brief hiatus during August), Charlee has become quite a celebrity at The Home Depot. She likes their spacious orange carts because she can take a nap if the mission there hits a time-consuming snag. Anyway, the return clerk greeted her, petted her and gave her an Alpo Snap. Charlee thanked her with a generous head nuzzle. “Aw. Is Charlee a therapy dog?” the clerk asked. “Mine,” I replied promptly. “Saves me thousands,” I added.

With that errand completed, we headed next door to PETsMART. This particular PETsMART is not Charlee’s favorite because it has a pet daycare and boarding facility, both of which concern her. (She has abandonment issues because I traveled extensively for work over a 10-year span.) Anyway, last Thursday, she wanted out of the store.

Needing to compensate for a rather disappointing PETsMART workout, we power walked the 15-store strip mall as we do in the cooler weather. Generally when we do this, we stop at Fry’s Supermarket, where Charlee jumps on a bench and takes a short breather before heading back to the car. But, not this past Thursday …

Instead, Charlee headed right past Fry’s to the front door of Barnes & Noble, pulling me towards it with determination. “No, Charlee. No dogs allowed in Barnes & Noble,” I said. Charlee, usually one to behave immediately, was insistent that we go inside and sat down on the pavement in front of the door, staring up at me expectantly. “Charlee, no dogs allowed,” I repeated firmly, as she was blocking the door where patrons were gathering. “There’s a Starbuck’s inside,” I explained, knowing without a doubt she totally understood me and the rationale for her outdoor confinement. “Now let’s go.” She obeyed then, albeit reluctantly.

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog? Pshuh!

No Humans Allowed on Planet Dog? Pshuh!

As we walked slowly back to Fry’s for our short rest on the bench, I felt obligated to alleviate the disappointment I was so certain Charlee was experiencing. “Just think,” I said, trying to cheer her up, “maybe humans are not allowed on Planet Dog.”

Charlee looked at me as though to say, “Of course, humans are allowed on Planet Dog. Who else could we train so well?”