July 4th Photo Shoot

Tildy hates to look into the camera for a picture. She much prefers the looking off to the side and into the distance pose.

Here are the shots from our quick phto shoot to commerate the 4th.

Happy Independence Day, y’all!

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Lost in the Snow

We got about two and a half feet of snow this weekend.  Snow for a little dog owner is no fun because the dogs have a hard time finding a spot to take care of their business.  After the first day in the snow, I dug a place under the bush out front and a patch of grass in the lawn for Tildy to do what she needed to do.  Apparently, neither spot was good enough and she decided to hold it for two days.  Craziness and amazing at the same time.

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Yesterday, I had someone clear a path to my car in the back yard.  That was all she needed to feel confident in the snow.  It must be scary when the ground gives way under you and you sink so deep that you have to hold your head up to be able to see.  Now that she had a path and could see dirt and grass, we no longer had a problem.

This morning, when we went outside, it was 12 degrees.  I was deterred, but Tildy was determined.  She pulled me to the end of the back yard and then started barking frantically.  There was a black puppy in a purple knitted sweater.  She started barking like crazy and then hid behind a tree.  I picked up Tildy because she has the tendency to go after other dogs that we encounter.  I think she was a street fighter in a previous life.  As I scooped her up, a light brown pit bull mix came up from behind me.  Tildy started talking trash and the dog started walking towards us.  When I told him to stop, he listened, so the fear in me was calmed.  He then walked back to the end of my yard, peed on my trashcan, and took a dump in front of it.  Tildy growled and I stood there in disbelief.  After he was done, he looked at me as if to say, “Now this is mine.  Whatchu got to say ’bout it?!”, then he nudged the puppy and they both walked off.

Just when I thought they were gone, they both doubled back and decided to check out my yard.  They walked all the way to the front yard and then looked up and down the street, probably trying to find their way home.

Tildy and I walked all the way to the river and enjoyed the solitude of the frozen park.

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On our way back, we encountered a father and daughter, both yelling , “Peanut!”.

“Which one is Peanut?”

“He’s a brown lab.”

“Yeah, right”, I thought.  “That’s a pit bull if I ever saw one.”  I told the father about my experience with the two dogs.  He told me that they had found the puppy, but were still searching for Peanut.  I asked where they lived and told them I would keep a look out for their dog, and I walked back to my house.  For some reason, I decide to look under my back porch, but I didn’t see Peanut.  Since it was so cold, I figured I’d go in the house and just watch for him from my front window.  Just as I walked up the steps to the door, Peanut popped out from under the porch.  I don’t know how I missed him when I looked under there.

Now that I knew his name, he responded to me in a non-threatening way.  I was able to get him to follow me a block and a half down the street.  It was obvious that Peanut knew that his house had a fence around it because there were two houses along the way that had fences and he stopped to sniff around them.  The last one he sniffed must have smelled familiar to him, because he laid down in front of the fence.  Coincidently (or maybe not) his house was directly across the street from that house.

I was able to get him up and delivered him to his home.  His owner was so happy that he cried.  He was on the phone when he answered the phone and hollered, “He’s home!”  A truck pulled up with two crying women inside.  They both thanked me profusely.

I had carried 12 pound Tildy on this entire journey and now she was started to feel heavy and I was sweating, but was very happy.

Matilda’s Take on the 3 a.m. Chicken

My Person took me to The Place That Always Gives Me A Shot last week. I hate that place. Every single time I go there, they “ooo” and “ahhh” over me, and then they take me to the back and stick a needle in my hind parts. I absolutely hate that place and I don’t understand for the life of me why My Person insists on taking me there, but I have to admit, I usually feel better afterwards.

This trip was a little different. They took me to the back and put a mask on my face. The next thing I knew, I was fighting hard to wake up from a really long nap. I don’t know what those people did to me while I was sleeping, but I woke up feeling like someone had slipped me a mickey. I could barely keep my eyes open and I felt like my head weighed 20 pounds. I kept going in and out of sleep really fast, just like when My Person is watching that tv show with the two funny cops and the little boy that she watches over and over and over again. I can never stay awake for those shows and I don’t know why she keeps watching them. They show the same shows all the time. I’ve been with My Person for 56 years now and I know I must have seen the one where the little boy kills the bird about a thousand times. But I digress.

Anyway, My Person came to pick me up and take me home. I started whining when she grabbed me and I didn’t stop until we got home. When we got there, I immediately ran to my food bowl, but it wasn’t there. Didn’t she know that I would be hungry? I hadn’t eaten anything for a really long time. She made me wait while she opened a can of the mushy food and heaped a couple of spoonfuls into my bowl. I was so hungry that I basically inhaled that serving and she gave me some more. I was soooo hungry. My Person had chicken and green beans for dinner. I was successful in guilting her into giving me a couple of green beans. She always shares after I give her the staring hungry eyes treatment. She’s so easy. We relaxed on the couch while she watched her junkman show and the two funny cops and little boy show and then we went up the steps to go to bed. It was about that time that my mouth started to hurt. It hurt really bad.

I started whining again, but this time I could tell that it really worried My Person. She looked sad and scared, so I cuddled up next to her, but I couldn’t stop whining. I tried to tone it down, but the pain would kick in and I’d get loud again. I finally fell asleep.

The next day, My Person left for the Work like she always does. I hate the Work. She always seems to be going there and she always leaves me behind. Of all the days, couldn’t she stay home today? I really needed her, but she went to the Work anyway, so I had to take care of myself. First I napped a bit. Not sure how long I was out because I still felt woozy from the day before. At some point the gurgling in my stomach woke me up. This was a really loud gurgling and I knew something bad was going to happen. I jumped down from the bed because I know how mad My Person gets when I get sick on the bed. I tried to find a good spot in the pile of dirty sheets she left outside of the bedroom that she forgot to put in the washer for the third day in a row, but the hard floor made it a bit difficult. Then I noticed that she left the door open to the other room that has a bed in it. I jumped up on that bed and as soon as I did, I got sick. I threw up right in the spot that she lays down in when she naps in that bed.

When she came home, it took her a long time to figure out what happened that day. Instead of getting upset about it, she petted me on the back and kissed me on the head. People are strange.

That evening, I didn’t eat dinner after our walk. I didn’t even beg her for any of her dinner. Plus, all that she offered me was the same stuff that I had thrown up earlier in the day. I just wasn’t hungry at all. After she watched her two funny cops show, we went to bed.

The next day was Saturday; I know that because she didn’t have to go to the Work. She woke me up that morning, which is odd because I’m usually awake long before she is. She made me go for a walk that morning. I could’ve stayed in bed. I really just wasn’t interested in doing much of anything. When we came back home, so offered me some more of the stuff I had thrown up a day or so ago. I refused. I was hoping she would realize how stupid she was being, but it didn’t seem to sink in. I mean, if you had thrown up your favorite food, would you want to eat more of it right away? No? I didn’t think so. I don’t know why she thought I would. Maybe she just wasn’t thinking.  Then she offered me bacon.  I wasn’t interested.  Bacon was too crunchy and my mouth hurt.

Our evening walk was pretty short because I didn’t have much energy and I really didn’t have any business to take care of. When we came back to the house, she offered me the same crap AGAIN. Poor Person. She’s not always the brightest, but I love her just the same.

In the middle of the night, the hunger pains kicked in and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I got up to sniff around at the snacks that she left on the bed for me, but when I did, I fell over. She immediately woke up and asked me what was wrong, like I could respond to her. I could barely hold my head up and she was asking me questions.

She picked me up and ran down the steps. She opened the cold food box and pulled out that same jar of food and those same smashed sweet potatoes. Had I not already proven to her that I could not and would not eat that mess?! I sniffed at it and turned my head, and fell over on my side. I was so weak. I hadn’t eaten anything in two days and I had no way of telling her that my stomach wouldn’t let me touch the food she was offering me. I felt the room start spinning and water started falling out of My Person’s face. She kept telling me that she loved me and asking me not to die. Die?! Was I dying?! Was that why I couldn’t stand up? Was that why the room was spinning? Good grief, My Person, please offer me something else to eat! She sat there rocking me like a Little Person and telling me that if I was ready to go, she would be ok. Ready to go? Ready to go where? I just need something to eat, lady! You must have something else to offer me. She picked me up, opened the cold food box to put the food away. Please give me something to eat! Just as she was closing the door, she stopped and pulled out a long container. She sat back down on the floor and put me down. I fell over again. I just didn’t have the strength to stand up. She picked me up, placed me in her lap, and offered me something to eat. I sniffed at it. Chicken! I didn’t have the energy to show her how excited I was, but I ate that chicken and looked at her, asking her for more. She kept giving me chicken and I was so happy. After a few pieces, my mouth started to hurt again, so I didn’t eat any more. We went back up the steps and went to bed.

The next day, she cooked me some chicken. It was much better than the stuff she had given me the night before. I still had the wobbles, but I figured that the wobbles got me chicken, so it was all good.

That evening, I was feeling much better and was quite excited about going outside. We hadn’t gotten very far when I fell over again. This time, I ended up right on my hind parts with my front legs up in the air. So embarrassing. She picked me back up, took me inside, and gave me some more chicken. Then we went outside and had a good walk. I got tired on the way home, so she carried me.

At this point, I think I have trained her to give me chicken whenever she thinks I’m feeling bad. She’s so easy.

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3:00 a.m. chicken

Matilda got her teeth cleaned on Thursday.  All went well and she only had to have two small front teeth removed.

The vet told me that she came out of the anesthesia very well, but when I picked her up late that afternoon, she was still woozy and had difficulty keeping her eyes open and holding her head up.  I was a little concerned because I’d never seen her like that before,  but I chalked it up to a combination of her age and the anesthesia,  so I just kept a close eye on her.

During the ride home, she started this sad, pathetic, pitiful whining cry.  It was gut wrenching.

She was very hungry because she hadn’t eaten since 5:30 the night before, so she scarfed down half of a can of wet dog food.  I’ve never seen her eat that much at one time.

After she ate, she started whining again.  This time the severity of it ebbed and flowed.  It lasted all night.

When I left for work on Friday morning, she started whining again and would stop when I came over to pet her.  After the third time, I explained to her that I had to go to work, but that I would be back soon.  She looked at me with those sad, pitiful eyes as if she understood.  The whining stopped and I left.

I came home early that day.  She could barely hold her head up and could care less about going outside.  She refused to eat.  Later that evening, I found that she had thrown up everything she ate on Thursday.

Saturday was more of the same.  When I found that she had no interest in bacon, I knew we had a problem.

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That evening, instead of watching the world go by outside of our window, she curled up in my lap and stared me in the face.

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In the middle of the night, she drank some water and showed some interest in the snacks I left out for her.  When she got up to approach the snacks, she fell over.  I swooped her up and ran down the steps to the kitchen.  I took her food out of the fridge and sat down in the middle of the floor.  I begged her to eat her food.  She refused. I begged her to eat some sweet potatoes. She refused.  As she tried to walk away from me, she fell over and didn’t try to get up.  She looked at me with her tired and sad eyes and I couldn’t tell if she wanted help or was saying goodbye.   I gingerly picked her up, craddled her like a baby and rocked her back and forth as the tears streamed down my face.  I told her I loved her and begged her not to die over and over again.  In between the words, a deep gutteral moan would come as I tried to catch my breath and pull myself together.  Finally, I told her that I hoped she enjoyed her time with me and if she needed to go, it was okay.

I stood up and put her food back in the fridge.  Right before I shut the fridge, I remembered some chicken I had cut up a week ago to make chicken salad.  I grabbed the container and sat back down.  It had been two days and she hadn’t eaten a thing.  This was my last hope.  When I opened the plastic take-out container, the crackling sound made her ears perk up and she turned her head to see what I had.  I said a little prayer and broke off a teeny bit of chicken.  She ate it!  After seven or eight pieces, she was done.  She was still pretty wobbly, but I felt a lot better.

She ate pretty well on Sunday.

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She refused the sweet potatoes and the pill of antibiotics, but ate all the chicken.

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I thought we were out of the woods, but when we went for our evening walk, she fell over before we could get out of the yard.  I scooped her up and ran back into the house.  She ate another half bowl of chicken and was ready to go.  She did okay on our walk, but couldn’t make it all the way home.  I had to carry her for most of the way back to the house.

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I’m praying that she’s on the mend.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet…”

About a month ago, Tildy and I spotted something quite out of the ordinary on one of our morning walks.  A pair of black rabbits seemed to be out for a morning hop.  The two were clearly together because they followed each other.  They weren’t afraid of the neighborhood cats, so I figured that they were early morning regulars or domesticated pets.  When we first saw them, they were moving away from us and were too far for me to get a good shot.

Earlier this week, I was able to get this shot before they hopped away.

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The few times we’ve seen the rabbits, they’ve always been on the opposite side of the street.  This morning when we came upon them, they were leaving our side of the street.  By the time I was able to snap the picture, they were back across the street.

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I don’t think Tildy saw them, but she certainly smelled them and it drove her crazy.  She started walking in circles, tracking their scent.

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She was completely oblivious to the cat watching her. (See the rabbits way in the background?   I imagine them watching and laughing at Tildy as she’s running in circles after their scent.)

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I let her play Elmer Fudd for about 20 minutes before I stopped the madness and took her home.  It was a funny morning.

War or Peace

Tildy and I took a walk in the drizzling rain this morning.  I noticed a cat crouched under a bush and was shocked to see that he was sharing his shelter.

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See that bit of gray on the left.  It’s a bird!  I couldn’t believe it.  They were both so still and peaceful.  I was struck breathless.  I started to think about all of the problems of the world and thought that if these two could coexist so peacefully, maybe there is hope for humanity.

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Right after I snapped this picture,  Tildy took notice and scared the cat away.  The bird didn’t move.

That made me think that maybe this wasn’t so peaceful.  Maybe the cat had maimed the bird and it had no choice but to sit there with the cat.  Maybe the bird was a prisoner and soon to be breakfast.

Either way, it made for and interesting morning.