Monthly Archives: December 2008

So I Got Her a Coat

It was 18 degrees outside this morning. I felt absolutely guilty about taking her outside, but when she’s gotta poo, she’s gotta poo. So I took her out. I took my little boy looking rat dog out in the 18 degree weather so that she could pee and poo. And she did, with a quickness. But when we got back to the house, she completely ignored me. She wouldn’t eat. She barely looked at me and when she did, she had this pursed lipped cock-eyed look like she was not happy with me. Her anger was obvious, but I wasn’t sure why she was mad. Maybe it was because I didn’t allow her to chase after every squirrel that crossed our path. Maybe it was because out walk was cut drastically short. Maybe it was because it was 18 degrees outside and I had all her hair cut off the day before. Whatever the reason, she was mad and she was doing all she could to make me feel bad about it. When I was ready to leave the house and go to work, she started shivering. She must have learned the art of the guilt trip from the queen, because her little sad faced shivering act had me feeling like the worse dog parent there ever was. As broke as I am, I walked out of the house resolute in the idea that I had to buy her a coat today, no matter what. And I did.


Isn’t she cute?! I’m proud of my $15 Target purchase. I opted for practical instead of cute. This red little number by Boots & Barkley is water repellant and has light reflector trimming on the back. It also has a little zipper pocket on the back. I’m not sure what that’s for. Maybe I’ll use it for an extra house key or a little treat for her. And to top it all off, my walk-the-dog-coat is red with light reflector trimming too! We’ll make a cute little pair walking down the street in the artic cold.

Somebody help me. I’ve bought clothes for a dog.


Now She Needs A Coat

I took Matilda to get groomed today. I wanted her to be spiffy and clean before I took her home for the holidays. More importantly, I wanted her nails trimmed so that she wouldn’t leave scratches in Mom’s floor.

Matilda usually looks a little scruffy, and I like that. It fits her spunky little personality. This is a picture of her after she rolled around on the couch.

After her haircut today, she looked like this.

Doesn’t she look pitiful? I think she looks like a little rat dog. This cut really accentuates her gray eyebrows and moustache. Makes her look like a boy. She looks like an old English professor.

The groomers did this to me last year. It was a different groomer, but in the dead of winter they gave my baby a summertime haircut. She looked like a pitiful little boy rat dog in all of the holiday pictures. This year will be an unfortunate repeat.

My sister’s dog will be at home too. He’s a 15 pound Yorkie. He’s got a beautiful long coat.

I hope Matilda doesn’t feel self-conscious.

I don’t believe in doggie clothes, but it was in the mid twenties here today. Matilda is 11.9 pounds. She needs every bit a fur she can get to keep her warm. Now, she needs a coat.

What Could’ve Been

A couple of months back, I took Matilda to the vet because she was having some serious stomach trouble (that story is best left for another posting). The vet that saw us had seen us a few times before. The first time she encountered Matilda she exclaimed that she knew her. It turned out that she and her husband had visited the shelter when Matilda first arrived there. She wanted to adopt Matilda and her husband wanted to adopt a beagle. Her husband won. During this visit, I asked about the beagle. She told me that they had to put the dog down because they found a huge tumor in its belly. They hadn’t had the dog for six months. I felt so bad for her and her husband, but I was very glad that the shoe wasn’t on the other foot.

Happy Birthday (Finally)

November 30th marked the end of Matilda’s first year with me, and since I don’t know when her true birthday is, I decided to use that date as her birthday. She turned six or seven, I’m not sure which. We didn’t do anything special. I actually treated it as any other day. I’m not a big believer in doggie presents or doggie cakes, doggie outfits or doggie costumes. But now I’m secretly thinking about what I might get her for Christmas because I feel a little guilty about not celebrating her birthday.

A year ago, I was going through a serious transition. The man that I believed to be the love of my life was gone. I was moving from one house to another. Work was crazy. Money was short. A few “friends” were showing their true colors. I decided that the best stabilizer for me would be a dog. My friend, Lee, thought it to be a bad idea. He was worried about the time and money involved in caring for a dog. He had some legitimate concerns, but at that point, I couldn’t hear legitimate. I only knew that I needed something or someone that needed me. I needed to be able to focus on something other than me. Unconditional love wouldn’t hurt any either.

I began to scour the internet for a dog. When I found her on, these were the photos that were posted of her.

She looked like a scraggly demon dog with her out of control fur and her flash-effected eyes, but there was something about her eyes in the second picture that I fell in love with instantly. I had previously fallen in love with another dog at a different shelter, only to find that someone else had filed their application before me. This time I would not be denied. I immediately emailed an adoption application to the Animal Resource Foundation (ARF). I drove about 30 minutes in the rain to go visit her at ARF. She was being kept in the director’s office because she had had a run in with one of the other dogs there. When I walked in, she was curled up in an old chair that looked like it was once in the parlor in an old Victorian house. I picked her up and sat with her for about 10 minutes. She trembled almost the entire time. When I left, I knew that I wanted her, but I was a bit nervous about the whole idea. She seemed so frail. The next day, I actually thought about calling ARF and telling them that I had changed my mind. But there was something about her eyes in the second picture that told me she was my dog. A week later, she was mine.

We’ve had a few health mishaps, but for the most part, our life together has been quite enjoyable and enlightening.

Another Funny Self Realization

I pointed out Matilda’s picture on this blog to her just now. She stared at the picture as if she knew she was looking at herself. She stared really hard. It was kind of funny and quite interesting at the same time. Now she’s just staring at me, begging me with her eyes to get off of the computer and show her some love. Or maybe she just wants some of the sweet potato pie I’m eating. LOL.


Matilda just got livid with another dog. She was sitting in my lap while I was working on my other blog and began to bark incessantly. It was absolutely outrageous. She was upset with the dog that she saw in the window. She was barking at her reflection in the glass. Hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Sorta

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day that Matilda came to live with me. I’m working on the story of how I found her, but in the meantime, here is a story I wrote about the first time Matilda got sick. Enjoy!

Feb. 15, 2008

It all started with a cough on Wednesday morning. And this wasn’t your ordinary cough. It was a dry, nasty sounding cough. Sounded like an angry goose. Occasionally, the end of the cough was accompanied by something that looked like the head of a cappuccino. Matilda was sick. She’s my first dog and I was scared that if I left her at home to cough and gag all day, I might come home to a dead dog. At 7:42 a.m., I called the vet in a panic. She agreed to see me at 8:00. My vet is 20 minutes away in Easton. Suddenly, my decision of what to wear to court that day became trivial. I threw on my stand-by black pants and a purple cardigan set, grabbed Matilda, her bed, her leash, my coat and bag, and ran out the door. Not the best day to forget to put on deodorant, but thankfully, I had a stick stashed in my desk drawer for just such occasions.

And we’re off – at 70 miles per hour, at least. Thank goodness the troopers that patrol the area know my car. I was passed by two of them that morning.

The coughing was the most painful thing I’ve ever heard. And it was persistent. “Lord, please don’t let my dog die in this car. Don’t let her throw up or choke. Lord, I am thankful that she’s a dog and not a child. Thank you for not sending me a child yet. I couldn’t handle it. Not by myself. I’m freaking out because my dog is sick. I can’t imagine if this was a child. Please keep my dog alive, Lord.”

In the moments between the coughs, I was all about the logistics. “Okay,” I thought, “If we get there at 8:00 and they see us by 8:05, I’ll be outta there by 8:30 at the latest. I’ll drop off Matilda at the office and then get to court by 8:45. I’ll only be 15 minutes late. No problem!”. The best laid plans….

We get to Easton at about 7:58. We’re on the bypass because my vet is on the side of town that’s furthest from my house in Cambridge. With about a mile to go, we get stopped by a traffic light. Once it turns green, I put my foot on the gas and nothing happens. And of course, the coughing begins again. For whatever reason, I didn’t panic. I pushed the gas pedal to the floor and my car maxed out at 25 miles per hour. I calmly put on my hazard lights and began to pray – again. “Please, God. Please just let us get to the vet safely. That’s all I’m asking right now. Please just get us to the vet safely”. Oh, did I mention that it was raining?

There was one more light we had to get through before we got to the vet. “Please, Lord, let the light be green.” And it was, but I needed to turn left. There was one oncoming car, that I’m sure was speeding, but got out of the intersection before my car completely died. We were able to get through the intersection and pull into the vet’s parking lot. We coasted into a parking space. It was 8:03. God is good.

I scooped up Matilda and ran into the vet’s office. They called us back within 3 minutes. After an examination, they determined Matilda has kennel cough – it’s kinda like the croup or bronchitis for humans. It’s transferred from dog to dog by a virus. She got it when I dropped her off to be groomed a couple of weeks ago. I will never take her to that place again. They prescribed an antibiotic and told me that if the cough got too bad, I could give her Robitussin. Who knew dogs could take Robitussin? Chris Rock’s daddy was right. The ‘Tussin will cure anything!

We left the vet, and I thought that maybe, miraculously, my car would start. And it did! But it wouldn’t hold the charge. I called Ellen, and she came to pick us up. While I was waiting for her, I called the only auto shop that I knew in town. They told me they would come to tow the car later that day. Ellen arrived about five minutes later. I dropped Matilda off at the office, grabbed my files, and ran down to District Court. It was 8:50 when I arrived.

The day only got better when the auto shop told me that they wouldn’t be able to look at my car until the next day. And the piece d’resistance – I started my period a day early.

Thursday begins with the coughing. Still pretty bad, but she’d only had one dose of the antibiotic and no ‘Tussin. I picked up some generic Robitussin during lunch. It’s actually called “Tussin“. Hilarious. By 4:00 that afternoon, I still had not heard anything about my car. When I called them around 10:30 that morning, they told me that my car was scheduled for the afternoon and if it was the alternator, like I thought it might be, they would be able to fix it the same day, no problem. When I called at 4:00, they told me it was not the alternator, but a lack of pressure in the fuel pump. Somehow, their schedule got backed up between the morning and the afternoon, and now, all of a sudden, they wouldn’t be able to begin work on my car until Monday. Uh, I don’t think so. So I started calling around to other shops that people in my office have used. I found one that could fix my car on Friday. Hallelujah!

Today is Friday, and after an unexpectedly contentious morning in court, I called to check on my car. It had just been towed from the first shop to the second. Within the hour, they called me back to say that the first shop correctly diagnosed the problem and quoted me a price, including parts and labor of $508.62. I’m now waiting for the call that says, “You’re car is ready, ma’am.”

Oh, and for the record, dogs don’t like the ‘Tussin.