As dog communicator extraordinaire, I am compelled to tell my neighbors and friends. Voila!
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.
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.
Doctor: What makes you bark at your neighbor’s Chihuahuas?
Charlee: I don’t know. It must be a reflex.
Doctor: How does it make you feel to see the Chihuahuas?
Doctor: Why do you think you feel irritated?
Charlee: Well, first of all, they wear bandanas all summer and silly kilt-type jackets all winter.
Doctor: Why does this irritate you?
Charlee: Maybe because they seem so prissy. And don’t forget, they start it all – the barking, I mean. They taunt me.
Doctor: How do you think the neighbors feel when the barking wakes them up?
Charlee: Mmm, probably not exactly thrilled.
Doctor: What is your goal in barking? What is it you feel you are accomplishing by barking?
Charlee: They need to know how silly they look wearing scarves. They are male Chihuahuas after all.
Doctor: Do you think perhaps you may be suppressing feelings of attraction?
Charlee: Boys wearing girls’ accessories? Absolutely not.
Doctor: Wasn’t your sister, Bandit, (may she rest in peace) part Chihuahua?
Charlee: She was. But my neighbors are nothing like Bandit. Bandit wore a denim visor.
Doctor: Have you been spayed?
Charlee: I am 10 years old. Is this question even relevant?
Doctor: How old were you when you were spayed?
Charlee: Is this a HIPAA violation? How much is my mom paying you? I think our time is up now. I gotta go potty.
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.
April 4, 2014 – I find this sign discriminatory on several levels.
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.
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.
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.
Charlee thanks all of her fans for their continued support during her struggle.
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?”