Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Anxious Separation

Crazy lady is a "cat person." She lives an independent and solitary life, filled with writing, books and travel. Cats are independent and solitary creatures, who demand affection on their own terms. She feels a strange kinship with those evil tormentors (oops, sorry, CATS). She never liked dogs. Crazy lady used to believe that dogs were needy and stupid. Then, she inherited Abby, a pit & boxer mutt.
The first day crazy lady brought Abby home, the mutt started to bleed all over the furniture, carpet and newly cleaned hardwood floors. Crazy lady flipped out and thought Abby was dying. She took the dog to the emergency room, where she discovered that Abby was "in heat." Did you know that dogs get periods? Crazy lady was clueless. The web did not exist, back then. The vet was very nice about the "emergency visit" and didn't charge crazy lady full price. Instead, the vet took the time to explain doggy menstrual pads and cycles. She also gave crazy lady a couple of books written by Monks. They explained how to raise puppies, and the general characteristics of dogs. Finally, she put crazy lady in touch with a local dog training organization, so she could learn the importance of obedience and maintaining a pack hierarchy in the household. Crazy lady's dog education started the evening Abby was rushed to the emergency room.

That same evening started something else-- whispers from loving friends, who said "give her up." They insisted that crazy lady was insane for keeping Abby. Her kind friends were worried about the stress of having a dog on crazy lady's already hectic life and limited income. Back then, her day job was working for non profits, and her night job was writing $50 stories for horror magazines. Her friends kept telling her, over and over, "You don't owe Danny. He's dead. He would understand, if you gave Abby to a better home."
Crazy lady ignored her caring and concerned friends. Hip dyplasia diagnosed at an early age? Pain management programs for dogs? Acupuncture? $8000 for hip replacement surgery? Zero understanding of the word "no?" A midnight trip to the emergency room because Abby bit her eye? The "give her up" whispers escalated, but crazy lady was stubborn and falling in love. Abby had floppy ears, a wonderful disposition, and a full "body shake"whenever crazy lady walked into the room. Unconditional love was rare, and Abby provided her with endless devotion. So what if she had very little money? Abby had wormed her way into crazy lady's heart.

Then, total destruction of her house-- and crazy lady paused.
Crazy lady clearly remembers the day it happened. She was tired, depressed and worried. She had to work late, and Abby was home alone for too long. The mutt was already showing signs of stress-- drinking too much water, destroying anything left on the counters, eating entire tennis balls, and pulling the sheets off the bed. The Monk books said Abby had separation anxiety, and they gave crazy lady some tips: crate Abby during the day, give her more toys, turn on the radio for background noise. The books warned crazy lady to "never be angry at the dog. Too much time would have passed, and they don't know what they did wrong."

The doggy books never explained how to handle the shock of seeing thousands of pages ripped from novels and tossed all over the floor. Hundreds of books, bought by crazy lady with hard earned money since she was 12 years old, were demolished. First edition Anne of Green Gables, her very own short stories published in Fantasy magazine, and her collection of Freud's letters were completely destroyed. Crazy lady was swimming in shredded book bindings when she walked through the door that fateful evening. She looked towards the living room, and saw her furniture ripped, with the stuffing tossed on the floor. The teak chairs were chewed to pieces, and the computer cables were pulled from the carpet.
Crazy lady sat in the hallway and cried. She called a close friend, sobbing, and asked, "do you want a dog? I don't know what to do." She remembers her friend's response:

"You want real problems? I'm pregnant with twins, HIV positive, my husband can't keep a job, my mother is still clinically insane and locked up, and I can't see my ankles. Stop bitching, clean your house, and kiss your damn dog."

Crazy lady tried to argue. "But I'm not a SAINT--"

"Shut up," said her friend. "You convinced us that you wanted that dog, even after we begged you to give her up. That dog loves you. You are that dog's world. You don't give children back because they have problems. You figure it out, and find a solution that works. You have friends and family that will help you. Just ask."


"Don't be an idiot. What's the damn dog doing, right now?"

"Licking my face."

"Ugh, I can't deal with you, right now. Call me when you have REAL problems!"

Crazy lady hung up the phone. Abby was licking the tears from crazy lady's face and shaking her butt. Crazy lady took her friend's advice and gave Abby a hug & kiss. She got off the floor, cleaned the house, then bought yards & yards of fabric to cover her book shelves and furniture. She hired a friend to walk Abby twice a day; and her parents would visit, to play with Abby and keep her company if crazy lady had to work late. Later, when she could afford it, she started Abby in doggy day care. And, as Abby grew older, crazy lady was able to find a job that let her work from home.

Abby died in January. It was a challenging 14 years for both of them, but crazy lady would never have changed the time she had with Abby. I'm quieter, more of a loner, and more obedient than Abby. But when I greet crazy lady with a "full body wiggle" hello, she laughs. She's still a cat person, but Abby's joy taught crazy lady to love dogs. Because of that mutt, crazy lady loves and accepts me for the dog I am. Thank you, silly dog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Doggy Household Adventures...Bandit's Back!

Seven dogs in the doggy household last night-- including a special surprise...
Bandit! He's the dude on your right, next to my former squeeze Otis. His leg is fixed, and he loves life. Here he is, playing tug with Popeye.
The folks who adopted Bandit returned him on Friday. They didn't want him anymore, but that's okay. They are fools. I LOVE Bandit. I even dumped Otis for this new man in my life! He's gorgeous, studly and a tease. Otis will always have a special place in my heart, but Bandit is my new love. Ah, love...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doggy Household

Day 1
We arrived at the doggy household to find Phoebe, Boomer and Popeye bark a greeting. Wow, I can hear them through the window! I hope they don't break the glass. Crazy lady said something about unloading the car later-- I think she was worried about the window, too-- and took me inside. It was total, complete mayhem. She herded everyone to the back yard, since frantic greetings are always accompanied by the urgent desire to pee.
After the wonderful greeting and pee break, crazy lady unloaded the car and read the instructions. Phoebe and I settled in for a nap, in front of the window. Popeye crawled under the desk, to get a better look at crazy lady. Boomer? He wouldn't leave crazy lady alone! He kept following her around, licking her legs, pawing her butt, demanding his belly rubbed. He finally fell asleep in his crate, and crazy lady started to work.
Three hours later, Boomer woke-up and walked into the hallway. He stopped and peered at crazy lady. His hair was sticking up, and he growled and barked at her! Crazy lady looked away, greeted him, then gave him tripe. Food made Boomer happy. Crazy lady? She kept mumbling, "Just like a man. They have a good time. Then, they wake-up with a 'what the hell are you doing here?' attitude. Geez."
Day 2
Crazy lady is all about schedules. Time alloted for feed, bathroom, play and Popeye diaper changes. She set her alarm, to keep us on a schedule. Sometimes it works, and other times we rebel. Crazy lady can try, but you "can't keep a good dog down."

Ha, ha! I couldn't resist a corny pun! So, crazy lady is learning to take care of a paralyzed dog. Judy left detailed instructions on her web site, and showed crazy lady some tips & tricks in the household. Crazy lady has some experience with cats and humans, but dogs are a different beast (I could have told her that). Popeye is extremely patient with crazy lady. He just sits & watches her fumble with the diapers, and then poops when she finishes putting on his pants! Boomer (of course) was sitting next to crazy lady during the diaper change-- and I could swear he was laughing at her expression! Crazy lady laughed, too. She said, "Babies do this all the time. At least Popeye didn't pee on me!"
Crazy lady has learned to let Popeye play on the grass without his pants, before diaper changes. She finds it helps the "poo situation." She is also teaching Popeye "no" and "leave it." He's a bit of a bugger. Serious little man attitude. He likes his food, he likes his toys, and he likes his play time. NO ONE will get in his way. He growls, snaps, and has temper tantrums. I tried to warn Popeye that crazy lady "takes no crap"-- but he didn't listen. Every time he tried to bite crazy lady or steal food, he had to go through "command exercises" to "lay down," "wait" and "come." He's a fast learner. Really smart. Just like all of us Taiwan dogs!
Day 3
Lazy Sunday. Although Judy said that we take our evening pee at midnight, crazy lady suspects it's later in the evening. Boomer and Phoebe keep waking her up at 2 AM for bathroom breaks! No worries. Crazy lady uses it as an opportunity for a (very) early morning Popeye diaper change.

We, of course, used the opportunity to play.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My New Bed

It's squishy, pale, and form-fitting. I love it! We're leaving to spend the weekend at the "House of Dogs"-- Boomer, Phoebe, Popeye and myself-- while crazy lady house sits for my foster mamma Judy. We're bringing the bed. I don't care what crazy lady thinks-- this bed is coming with us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cooking Mama Killer

Procrastinate here. PETA probably doesn't intend for crazy lady to laugh hysterically, while playing this game. She claims the graphics are "lovely." Sometimes, I worry about her.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hershey found a home!

Hello friends,

I'm happy to report that Hershey found a loving home today!! A single father (Gabe) and his 9 year old son just lost their dog a few months ago. Gabe brought his son and 3 nieces (ages 8-10) to meet Hershey and Hershey was in heaven, rolling around on his back so the kids could scratch his belly - lots of hugs and playing. They'll be taking him to the mountain every Sunday to walk the paths and he's going to be neutered as soon as he's beat the tick fever. I feel very good about his new family – he’ll get lots of attention and love.

(Gabe was referred to me by a co-worker of my best friend (a former veterinary technician) – turns out he lives just a couple of miles from me & welcomes future visits to his home to check in on Hershey any time I’d like.)

Thank you all for spreading the word and offering valuable suggestions to help this deserving kid find a home. This was an amazing experience for me. Never in my life have I been connected with so many wonderful people. Hundreds of people must have received his profile via email or saw it posted on a rescue organization’s web site – a testament to the amount of hard work invested by those who rescue & foster animals to making life better for animals that didn’t ask to be homeless. The power of networking is a beautiful thing.

I appreciate everything all of you did for Hershey. Thank you for having wonderful hearts.

One more happy ending....with so many more needed.

All the best,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hershey needs a home!

Crazy lady has fallen in love. He has short, stubby legs, a giant head, a droopy eyelid, lopsided grin and floppy ears. She really wants to make him a member of our household, but she can only have 1 dog. Those are the rules. I agree with her-- he's funny looking, but kinda cute. Unfortunately, his current rescuer can't keep him, and he may have to go to the animal shelter. And, we know what happens to sick dogs in the animal shelter.
Here's what Lisa, his rescuer, said in an email this evening:

"Well - I took Hershey to the vet for his neuter this morning and he
tested positive for tick fever. I'm running out of options for where he
can stay. He's going to a friend's house tonight, but she's leaving
town on business Thursday.

Oh - not sure if I told you but the Vet deemed him a Lab/Basset mix.
It's all about how his ears are lying. If they're back, he looks Pit,
if they're floppy or held up, he looks like a Lab. One of his eyes is
becoming droopy like a Bassset. He's so darn cute."

Here's his full story:

"A friend of mine found this boy about a week ago in south phoenix
begging for food in a restaurant parking lot. He was very underweight
(ribs and hips protruding), very dirty, had ticks and had no
identification. (We have temporarily named him Hershey.)

He appears to be a Pit Bull/Basset Hound mix (based on his physical
appearance and the sound of his bark) and is probably less than a year
old. I'm guessing he's 25-30 lbs. He is a very sweet boy and just
wants to be around people who will pet him and play with him.

Hershey is not afraid of adults (although a bit shy at first) but is
afraid of children (runs away). Seems to be friendly with other dogs,
although the test case was my Greyhound, who is very patient. He
learns quickly & while he has some typical puppy-like chewing habits,
he has shown zero signs of aggressive behavior. He may have been
abused given some responses to raising of arms or hands, but wants to
be near people nonetheless. No signs of illness - physically very
healthy - looks tons better after just one week of regular meals and a
bath. Normal stools, eating and drinking very well. He barks very
little and doesn't seem to have any destructive habits.

Hershey was likely an abandoned pet who probably spent his time in a
backyard. Leash training underway, but lots of room for improvement.
Didn't know what a toy was at first - now has a blast with chew ropes
and other squeaky toys.

I am confident he'll make a very good pet for someone & am saddened
that our efforts to find him a home haven't been successful yet.

Nether the Humane Society or AZ Animal Welfare League will take him
& recommended the County shelter. My heart breaks at the thought of
taking him there - he doesn't deserve to be stuck in a cage.

We are willing to cover the expense of having him neutered as a
donation to the individual/organization who takes him."

Please contact Lisa if you have any ideas, or can foster or adopt this sweetie pie. Her email is:
And, as always, please "pass the word." Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Contra Loma Park

Some pictures of our time today, running free in the Mt. Diablo foothills. Can you find Madame Isis in this shot?Here I am with studly Boomer, checking out the fascinating smells along the trail:
Sniff, sniff, sniff...a lot of interesting smells!
And tastes:
Overall, a beautiful day with a vibrant blue sky:
Once we returned home, I barely made it to bed:

Food Wars

Crazy lady has a friend who spends her life traveling the world, investigating cultural trends for a major electronics company. Her friend has lived in Tokyo, India, Paris, Montreal, Barcelona, New York and San Francisco. She has recently relocated to London (from Tokyo) because she "was bored" and her company was willing to pay for the move. Her respected research papers have included in depth analysis on toilets, sneezing, and spit. Her company flies her first and business class to many countries, to investigate trends in toilets. Jealous?

For as long as crazy lady can remember, this friend has been sending her pictures of airline food during her travels. Why? Who knows. She is, after all, crazy lady's friend. Normally, the pictures look like this:
Nice, normal pictures of airline food. This morning, however, crazy lady received this delightful image (sic):
Canned fish mouths. What the...? Why? There was no explanation, just a cryptic note about fish mouths and whale fat.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Spooky Santa Cruz Halloween

One of crazy lady's sisters sent these Halloween pictures of Prince A and Princess E. Crazy lady remembers the day they were born, and is shocked at how big they have become! Definitely older, and perhaps wiser.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More from Newsweek II

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Michelle, On the Move

Obama is a Trekkie!

Crazy lady is ECSTATIC. She has just learned that President-elect Obama is a TREKKIE. She originally discovered this delightful tidbit when she read the following quote from "Chapter 3" of the Newsweek article:

"'That's an interesting belt buckle,' he said to Michelle, mischievously. She feigned offense and said, 'I am interesting, next to you. Surprise, surprise, a blue suit, a white shirt and a tie.' Obama grinned and bent down until he was almost at eye level with her waist. He jabbed a playful finger toward her belt buckle, and let loose his inner nerd. 'The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!' Obama squeaked, laughing at his own lame joke as Michelle rolled her eyes."

Then, crazy lady was catching-up on "Wait, wait, don't tell me" podcasts, and heard Leonard Nemoy make this comment about Obama:

"About a year and a half ago I was at a political event, and one of our current campaigners for the office of President of the United States saw me approach. As he approached he flashed me the Vulcan signal....And it was not John McCain."

There is even a group called "Trekkies for Obama" on Obama's official web site. Who knew? Not crazy lady. The woman is out of control. She needs to focus on her writing, and stop with this nonsense. Baby needs a new pair of Santa booties for the frozen nights in Cambridge!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More from Newsweek

Chapter 3

Hackers and Spending Sprees (more surprises)

The gag order continues to be lifted from the press, and we are learning more & more about the inner workings of the campaigns. Firings, fights, death threats, violence, phishing...a fascinating read.

Mixed Bag

Well, it's official. Prop 8 won, and Prop 4 lost. California has joined the ranks of other less tolerant, ignorant folks who believe that human beings can control who they love; and that the legal rights of marriage should not extend to everyone. At least California has rejected the anti-abortion Prop 4. Crazy lady was afraid that she would have to start driving pregnant teens over the state lines. She had already spent considerable time driving young women from Florida to Georgia, during the year Operation Rescue had declared "war on America's abortion clinics"-- and she wasn't looking forward to road trippin' to Nevada. She's feeling old, these days...


Fantastic and fascinating Newseek articles:

Chapter 1


Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Crazy lady is in a good mood. She's still waiting on the final results for Prop 8 (boo!) & Prop 4 (double-boo!), but at least there's hope in Congress and the Executive branches. Maybe the shift in our nation's politics will trickle down to the fools who keep putting anti-abortion and anti-marriage propositions on the state's ballot? Who knows? One can only hope (and fight!) for equality and tolerance.
Anyhow, I was enjoying the morning sunshine and crazy lady's pensive & happy mood. Aren't I gorgeous? At peace with the world? I love mornings.
Oh crap! Do you see it? Do you see the demonic presence sitting on top of the roof, overlooking the sanctuary of my dog run?
It must die.
Holy shruckers, batman! Son of your evil spawn! PLEASE let me purge the demonic presence from my sacred space. Please!
One last look-- perhaps crazy lady won't notice me? The shadows might work to my advantage.
She won't let me leave her side. She won't let me look at the demon. I must stand next to her, and look away from the evil creature that has invaded my sacred domain. I HATE CRAZY LADY.
When we returned to the cottage, I tried to give her a bit of alpha attitude:
But all she did was laugh, and tell me to get off the bed! Win some, lose some, I guess...