Puppy Fever!

Ash and Josie

Puppy Fever has arrived at the office. Much like Spring Fever or the ticking biological clock—the one that makes you want babies—but instead of wanting babies–we want puppies!

It all started with Ash. She got a bee in her bonnet that she wanted a puppy and soon she took to regaling us with stories of puppies. Puppy this and puppy that and at first we paid her no mind, but soon she was showing us oodles and oodles of pictures of puppies, and you’ve got to admit, presented with a cute puppy, it’s hard not to fawn and sigh with joy—even if it is only a photo.

So, before you knew it, Ash had us all talking about puppies. And by all of us, I mean, us women in the office, and even Jack, our sole male, who’s been known to tweet using the following hashtag:

#TheStrugglesofBeingtheOnlyManintheOutreachDepartment

Whew!

Anyway, I swear I’ve seen Jack get all gooey-eyed when shown a video of a sweet little dog frolicking in the grass. And, I don’t believe him for a moment when he says, it’s just allergies.

So, one day, I said to Ash, after hearing her go on and on about a certain Morkie puppy that she really, really wanted (and for those not in the know, that’s one of those hybrid dogs or designer mutts, as I call them), half Maltese and half Yorkie,

“Okay, Ash, let’s go look at your puppy.”

Ash did one of those double takes that you see happen in cartoons, where they look away and then, they look right back at you with their eyes as wide as saucers, wondering if you really meant it and getting excited in case you do.

“WHAT??!” she asked exuberantly. I could hear her heart pounding from across the room.

Clare wants a puppy, too!

“Let’s go! Today at lunch, we’ll go see your puppy, the one you want.”

So, Ash, Clare and I piled into her car. (Trisha was out sick that day and Jack was nowhere in sight, while Laura had already gone to lunch). And, off we went.

Well, we were there in five minutes flat, and it took less than 30 seconds for all of us to fall head over heels in love with Ash’s Morkie.  And, while she went back and forth, trying to figure out whether or not to adopt the little thing, I said,

“Ash, if you don’t walk out with that puppy today, I’m taking her.”

Because suddenly, just like that, even though I didn’t mean to, I’d become another victim of puppy fever!  After all, doesn’t my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel deserve a little companion–a sidekick? Someone who’ll play Dr. Watson to his Sherlock? Rather, a mini-me, puppy-in-waiting?

Well, Ash didn’t get the Morkie that day, but she went back two more times to have a look-see (four times, in all–but who’s counting?). And, she took her boyfriend so he could give his input, and before you knew it the little Morkie was finally hers!

I just love puppies!

So, now Ash has her puppy, named Josefina Calisi. (Yes, Ash and her guy are big fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones.) Or, Josie for short.

And, I still have puppy fever! Clare does, too, by the way, but her roommate, who happens to be her sister, Hannah, refuses to cave to puppy madness.

As for Trisha, who was out sick the day we went to see the puppy, she swore never to leave us alone in the office again, because, as she puts it, she’s the only practical one among us (puppy insanity hasn’t hit her yet, but I figure it’s a matter of time).

Sure, Trisha’s laughing now, but she’s tired of all this puppy-love talk in the office. (This, coming from a cat owner, which is why I take everything she says with a grain of salt.)

Trisha says, had she been in the office that day, she would have told us not to be so impulsive. In other words, someone’s got to be the wet blanket, ahem, reality check.  😉

Jack: The struggles of being the only man in our department. Must be very trying, indeed.

So, what do you think? Should I succumb to my serious bout of puppy fever? Or, listen to Trisha and let sleeping dogs lie?

Luckily, DiDi and Bella from Paws to Talk are going to help me figure this out. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, Happy Fourth to all my American readers! To the rest of you, Happy Wednesday!  May the Fourth be with you!

Laura, seen here at one of our events, is the newest addition to our department, and has admitted a certain fondness for puppies.

A Dog’s Diary

It’s a new year and in honor of it, I, too, have made a resolution. I would have told you sooner, but this is the first time this year that Cook has permitted me to post. Rather cheeky of her, I’d say, seeing how she knows I am a dog with much on my mind. And a royal one at that!

Mind you, my resolution is not as daft as Cook’s plan to read 50 books and see 50 films. From my vantage point, about 12 inches off the ground, her plan is quite over the top. Fifty Fifty? More like Ten Twenty, I’d say, for I don’t think she can handle reading more than 10 books in one year–and even that’s a stretch. After all, Cook does have to see to my needs.

Now, my resolution is much better because it is more realistic. I have decided to keep a diary. I’m calling it, “A Dog’s Diary,” and with any luck, this diary will convey my life story in a fashion suitable for a king.

Day One

Dear Diary,

I am writing from my perch on the sofa, one I rarely leave except to eat or to take my daily constitutionals. It’s a lovely sofa, done up in regal red, most suitable for a dog of my stature. For I’m a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and I aspire to the highest of callings: To one day sit in the lap of luxury, and by that I mean, on the lap of the Queen.

And speaking of the Queen, did you know that this is the year of her Jubilee celebration? Isn’t this splendid news? I am beside myself with glee just thinking about it! Indeed, I could jump for joy, but first I must take my nap. Writing really is such exhausting work.

There! I’m back from my four-hour nap, which was rather delightful. When I awoke, I was hoping it was time for dinner, but Cook has yet to return from…from…well, wherever she goes when she’s not here. So, I’ll just write in my diary until she does—hold on a minute! I hear a truck approaching, which can only mean one thing! Trouble. Must go bark at it at once!

Okay, I’m back. The truck has pulled away. Crisis averted. Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. I was about to tell you how there are few indignities a Cavalier suffers more than that of being made to look, well, ridiculous. After all, as a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, I pride myself in my appearance.

Which is why I insist on going to the groomers once a month. After all, I do not like looking natty. If it were up to me, I’d be visiting the groomer at least once a week. But when I conferred with Cook about this, she muttered something under her breath that, when I start working and earning my keep, then I can go to the groomers as often as I want. Imagine that! A king with a day job. Well, not on my watch!

So, for now, I must undergo the indignity of not looking my best everyday. Most recently, I was humiliated when I was forced to wear this:

I ask you, is this any way to treat a royal? Cook says I must wear this mac when it rains, so I don’t get wet. Pshaw, I say! Until they invent boots that stay on a dog’s paws while he saunters about, there is no avoiding getting wet. Worse yet, Cook is on the prowl for a cap for dogs with a built-in umbrella to protect a dog’s head from the rain. I cringe and dread the day she finds one and makes me wear it. She has shown me a photograph of one that is designed for humans and it looks like this:

I ask you, is this anyway to treat a–oh, dear! For goodness sakes! Another truck in the vicinity. I must get into barking mode, stat!

Cheerio!

Henry the Blogger

If you ask me, my dog, Henry, is getting kind of uppity.  Sure, he’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which means he descends from royalty. And, yes, he also expects a certain lifestyle, one befitting a king. Some might even say that Henry is a high-maintenance dog. But that would be an understatement.

Does this dog deserve a blog of his own? Hmm...

Recently, Henry noticed that there are many dogs out there with a blog, and now he has decided that he wants one, too. But here’s the thing: Henry can’t type to save his life. I don’t know how the other dogs do it, like Lola, Bassa or Uptown Dog. They have great blogs. But, when it comes to typing, Henry is all, ahem, thumbs. I’ve tried to teach him the basics. I figured, if he could type with just one paw, he’d be ahead of the game. But he refuses to even learn, and often ends up just pawing at my desk.

Clearly, this is one dog that cannot learn new tricks. Which is why, last night, during dinner, he asked me to be his secretary.  I nearly choked on my peas.

“I beg your pardon, Sir?” (You need to use words like  “pardon” and “Sir” when addressing royalty.)

Henry then said that what he really means is, he wants me to take dictation for his new blog.  But he doesn’t understand that:

  • I’m pretty busy as it is, and can’t take on yet another project, even if it is for a good cause.
  • He barks his thoughts rather slowly, which in turn, would take me forever to write down.
  • Sometimes I can’t figure out what he’s trying to say. Learning bark language isn’t the easiest, you know.  Like one time, when he said, “Cavaliers make amazing….and that’s how I lost my dignity…if only they fed me better.”

That’s all I could get out him. “Make amazing” what? Crocheted sweaters? Annoyances? And what’s this about losing his dignity? I’ll never know.

So I asked Henry, what he would call his blog if he had one.

“Untangling the Web,” was his immediate reply.

Apparently, he’s under the misguided impression that I’ve been successful with my tangled web of a blog, and so, he wants a crack at untangling it.

“After all,” he added, “Your readers have yet to hear my side of the story.”

His side? “What exactly is your side of the story?” I boldly asked. He shrugged and told me I could read about it in his blog, if he had one.

I then said, “A year ago you didn’t even know what a blog is.” He curtly countered that, a year ago, I didn’t have much of a following, and suggested that it is only when I’ve used photos of him that my readership has seen a spike.

“Not true!” I cried. “You haven’t seen my stats lately!” I then reminded him that he cannot have a blog, simply because he cannot type. To which, Henry said, rather miffed, that it was rather unseemly of me to remind a king of his flaws.

Henry retreats in a huff.

Feeling guilty, I said, “Cheer up, little man. I’m happy to write about you in my blog, now and then.”

He, cheekily replied, it’s the then I’m concerned about. The tall person allows Bassa to blog everyday. With you, I’ll be lucky to get exposure twice a year. I pointed out that he likes Roxy and she doesn’t have her own blog.

Which is when he gave me the stink eye, and retreated to one of his many plush beds, looking a bit despondent.

“Well, Henry,” I said, “Is there anything else you want to add in your defense?”

“Blogs about dogs are trending now, you know,” he said, wagging his tail.

Shaking my head, I went to wash the dishes. Oh, Henry, it seems we are at a standstill.

For a royal dog, he’s quite good at laying on the guilt. In fact, you could say, he’s got me feeling rather sheepish these days. Still, I’m not ready to give in and will have to think about this some more. After all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

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.