Happiness is a Warm Puppy…

…and a Cool King


photo credit: Monica Medina

Oliver Twist, our Maltipoo puppy, is almost three months old! And, in case you’re wondering how the little tyke is getting along with the Master of the House, aka, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who descends from royalty, you need wonder no more.

Turns out, these fellows are as happy as can be. Two peas in a pod. Actually, more like, two pigs in a pen. In other words, they’re getting along just peachy!

Or, as Henry would say, “We are treating each other with the respect and civility befitting a royal of good standing. That would be me.”

So herewith, some recent photos of the dynamic duo in action, showing how they spend their day. After all, the proof is in the pudding!


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Julienne Aquino


photo credit: Monica Medina

Until next time!

Meet Oliver Twist

Editor’s Note: Lightning in a Jar will return. In the meantime, you can catch up on the installment series by visiting the High School Years page.
This week, Henry, my Cavalier King Charles who descends from royalty, has written a post about our new arrival.

Oliver Twist is so much healthier now, which is good news for Henry. Or maybe not.

Cook says I’ve been remiss in not revealing something of significance, but if truth be known, I saw no point. After all, why stir up news of a troubling nature?

Yet, Cook says it’s not troubling at all. It’s wonderful news, she adds, a tad too happily.

Ahem. I beg to differ.

It seems we have a new addition to our household. A Maltipoo, of all things. Of course, as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is the only descendant of royalty (and of sound mind) residing in this abode, I ought to have had the power to veto bringing in a new soul, even if the soul in question is an orphan, rescued from the ravaged streets of our fair city.


When Oliver Twist arrived, he was underfed and ridden with Sarcoptic mange and roundworms.

But alas, Cook seems to have forgotten that little fact of my lineage, and left me unceremoniously out of the loop the day she decided to take the imp into our home. Make that, my home.

Naturally, I would be delighted with the arrival of said dog had Cook brought him here to serve as my footman. One can never have enough, you know, particularly when one has none at all. Thus, that would have made sense, especially when you consider the rascal is always underfoot.

But, there you have it. That is our, ahem, splendid news. Oh, did I say splendid? I meant disastrous.

Oliver Twist is the name he bears. Cook says it’s an homage to a hooligan from a Charles Dickens novel.  I wonder if that other Oliver would have given me a case of mites. I’ll never know.

Young Oliver Twist arrived to our familial tableau weighing a mere 1.75 pounds, about the same amount as one of my meals. Hmm. Not that I’m getting any ideas, mind you.

Cook says a man of questionable circumstances, no doubt, with a nefarious look in his eye, was selling the ragamuffin on the streets–practically in the gutter. Feeling bad for the scamp, she took him in, only to discover Oliver, at four weeks (not eight weeks old, as she’d been told), was undernourished and laden with a slew of ailments. One of which was passed on to me. Bloody mites.

Thus, Cook was duped and royal that I am, I had no choice but to suffer in silence as I took the medicinal cure that awaited me.

Feeding time!

Feeding time!

And now, it’s been nearly four weeks since his arrival, and–blasted!–he now seems to be thriving. Nothing like a little R&R I’ve always said, which is something I myself strive for every hour of every day.

The rapscallion is slowly gaining weight, and getting perkier by the day. Confound it. I despise perky. He’s rather a bit of a bloody nuisance, too, and insists on playing with my handsome, feathery tail, and on pulling at my leash.

Oh, the things a royal must bear. Noblesse oblige, I suppose.

Not a word to Cook, but first chance I get, I’m teaching young Oliver how to be my footman. That is, once I figure out precisely what it is a footman does. There’s still hope for him yet.

Incidentally, speaking of Cook, she has added two videos here of the boisterous lad, so that you can see what a bother he can be. Frankly, I don’t understand what Cook sees in the little fellow. Perhaps you can tell me?

Henry’s Medical Pickle

Quick! I need to figure out fast how to put Henry on my health insurance plan.  Apparently, in my ongoing effort to maintain the standard of living in which this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has become accustomed, he’s costing me a fortune. So I’m wondering, can I claim him as my spouse or partner?  After all, he does tend to nag me a lot.

Yes, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is high maintenance and très demanding when it comes to matters of health. The way I see it, if I can’t figure out how to add him to my plan, then I may need to take out a second mortgage on my home.

One recent Saturday morning, while Henry and I were on our usual morning constitutional, I saw red. And by that I mean, I saw blood in his stool.  Naturally, I panicked, pretty sure it was a sign of impending doom.  Driving like a mad woman to the veterinarian’s office, I was sure the end was near. Luckily, the receptionist knows just how important this little fellow is to me, so despite being completely booked, she squeezed Henry in right away.  Which means, about two hours later, it was Henry’s turn to see the doctor.  After all, time was of the essence.

Poor Henry took it on the chin. And on the rear, too, as he was made to endure an intense examination as well as a series of blood tests, feces sample, and X-rays. Not to mention the questions that I had to undergo. They sat me in a corner, in a dimly lit, windowless, exam room, with one lamp dangling over my head, and asked:

“When did you first notice the problem?”

“How long has he been acting lethargic?”

“Is he getting enough sleep?  Enough water?”

“What have you been feeding him?”

“How did he seem to you last night? Last week? Last month?”

“Where were you on the night of the 28th?”

“When exactly did you realize you had failed Henry?”

The vet, leaving no stone unturned in his attempt to discover what was wrong with Henry,  determined that my dog was 10% dehydrated.  Ten percent. How could I have let it get this far? Not sure, but I figured that the lack of water must have gone straight to his tail, because it was slumped down like a wet pig down his backside, curled underneath him with no plans to wag anytime soon.  Not wanting to take any risks, for the next hour, Henry was put on IV, with a special supply of liquids that resembled Gatorade.

I was sent home with a case of veterinary approved dog food, to keep him “regular,” and three different medicines—including antibiotics—to be taken for the next two weeks.  The cost for all this?  A mere $469.

And when the results came back what did he have?  Not much, but a momentary lapse in good health.  Turns out, my Henry is a survivor!

Fast forward three weeks and it’s time for Henry’s annual physical and shots—Distemper/Hepatitiis/Parvo, Bortadella and Rabies.  Overall, Henry gets a clean bill of health, although the doctor does see telltale signs of gingivitis, tartar and, perish the thought, periodontal disease.  Which is why, the doctor says I must bring him back early next year for an all out cleaning, which involves having to put him under. Projected costs for a teeth cleaning? About $300.

Cost for the physical? $160.  It would have cost an additional $80 if I’d said yes to doing a blood panel, but I figure we’ve seen enough blood for one month.

I know some people have two or more pets, and frankly, I don’t know how they do it. It’s all I can do to stay afloat with just Henry.

Which is why I’m in a medical pickle.  Next time open enrollment comes along at work–and I think it’s coming up soon–I’m going to sign him up. Maybe, I’ll list him as my dependent, which technically is true, for I’ve yet to see the boy nail a job. Yep, that’s what I’ll do.  He’s my son. Yeah, that’s the ticket.