Simon says: He is thankful for puppy dog eyes because they get the humans every time
I just found out that this week is National Dog Week.
Officially it started on September 18th and dates all the way back to 1928.
So, in honor of this very important week, I thought I would share what I love about being owned by dogs.
1.They always know how to turn a frown upside down
2. They’r’e good at appreciating the little things
3. They understand the true meaning of cruisin’
4.They never let me forget who’s the queen of this castle
5.They’re too smart for their own good sometimes
6. They’re good at putting up with their humans’ ridiculousness…no matter how many costumes we put them in
Don’t forget to share what you love about your dog or dogs in celebration of National Dog Week!
“Leave my dog’s butt out of this!”
There’s this crazy phenomenon going around. I’m not sure if it’s new or not. Maybe it’s just relatively new to me. I say relatively because I was introduced to it quite a while ago, but passed it off as a singular event because it has not been repeated . . . until this past weekend that is.
It goes like this.
You’re on a lively walk with your dog. He or she is behaving wonderfully. You look before you cross the street. You pass by friendly people who comment on your good dog. You feel good. All of a sudden your dog performs a normal bodily function. He or she poops. You take it in stride, pull out your disposable plastic bag, turn it inside out over your hand, and set to bend over to pick up the mess. Unfortunately, that’s when the poop HITS THE FAN!
What do I mean?
Well, a ne’er do well human being passing by takes it upon themselves to perform their self-imposed “civic” duty and yell at you to “Pick up the poop!”
That’s right people. Poop-shaming is alive, and it’s real.
It’s happened quite a few times when Theresa and I have taken Simon and Rosee out on their daily walks with people from inside their houses and driving in cars passing by taking it upon themselves to tell us what to do with our dogs’ output, despite the fact that we are already taking care of the problem.
And it’s not like our dogs are relieving themselves on someone’s well-maintained, pristine bed of crisp green blades. They go in public parks, in street gutters, and in empty desolate fields that are scattered around our hometown. Theresa and I are always very careful to make sure that Simon and Rosee go in places that don’t disturb the people around us. And considering all of the “waste” left in our public parks for weeks, you know until the city gardeners come and clean everything up, I feel pretty good about the way in which our dogs “go” in this world.
It’s just other people that don’t feel so great about it, unfortunately, and decide to impose their will on us otherwise unsuspecting good people.
Poop-shaming, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good thing.
Take last weekend’s jaunt for example. We are walking past an EMPTY field (one, mind you, that is already full of dirt, weeds, and every other piece of trash that exists—and is one that the City cleans up every few months or so) when Simon decided he needed to relieve himself. As I waited for him to finish and prepared to pick everything up, plastic bag already overturned on my hand, a lady pulled up in her car and decided I needed more “motivation.” She yelled not once, but twice to “Pick up the poop!” She proceeded to sit in her car and stare at me for a good few minutes. I refused to do anything with her creepily watching me, but after she yelled the second time and I actually heard exactly what she said you better believe I started walking towards her car asking her what was wrong with her?!?! Of course she took the coward’s way out and drove off as fast as she could. You know, so she didn’t actually have to deal with the consequences of her mean action, she just left that for me. Lucky me, right?
So, if my general audience doesn’t mind me taking a few lines to address all the poop-shamers out there. If you feel the need to poop-shame me, then do me a favor. One: Don’t yell at me. Two: Don’t yell at me. If I see my dog poop and walk away from it without doing anything, go ahead, say something, if only to put your mind at ease and feel like you did something productive during the day. But when I’m being a responsible pet owner, with a plastic bag on my hand, bending over to scrap the ground of excrement then DON’T YELL AT ME!
I have absolutely NO PROBLEM walking right up to you and telling you exactly how much better my dog’s poop smells than the vitriol you are spitting out at me at the moment.
You’re so-called civic duty is being wasted and I would hate to take that away from anybody else. Because, as of right now the poop is not on my face.
Whew! Thanks for that. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it out.
Anyway, for those of you who have ever been shamed or might be shamed don’t worry. It’s their problem, not yours. You know you are a responsible pet owner, so don’t let others three second judgments get you down. Ignore them, and keep on walking. I know, I know easier said than done, but it is so not worth getting a stomachache over a complete stranger, especially when you’ve got an excited and happy pup that has already moved on.
Learn from me! And don’t accept poop-shaming!
I know what you’re thinking! (Seriously though I am a mind reader, in case you didn’t know)
You’re probably thinking: What happened to Rosee?
I get it, I do. I mean, it was only a little over a week ago that Monica posted a story about Rosee having a bad case of hives, and now here’s a picture of Rosee in a cone with a cast on her leg. So, what Happened?!
It turns out, despite what stereotypes would have most people believe about Pit Bulls, Rosee is no match against the ordinary house cat. You see, last Tuesday evening Rosee decided it would be fun to chase Orion (the cat, who is not an ordinary cat at all, by the way) through the kitchen. Orion, of course, was too smart for a silly old dog to catch him—cat’s rule, dog’s drool!—and ran away to his bedroom, which is actually my bedroom, but semantics. However, as I went over to get Rosee after checking on Orion I noticed that she began limping. She would not put her back right leg down, and was holding it up whenever she was standing or walking anywhere.
So, in case you’re keeping score its: Cats 1 Dogs 0.
Now, we were concerned about Rosee’s leg because she wouldn’t put it down. We weren’t too worried though because Rosee has strained her leg before and it turned out to be nothing more than just that, a mild strain. According to the vet (when we took her at the time), she just needed about a week of rest and she’d be fine. She was given some anti-inflammatories to help with the pain, but there was nothing more to do than wait for her to heal. Unfortunately, this time was different. The next day Rosee was still not putting her foot down, and something told us we just couldn’t wait. Fortunately, Rosee’s annual check-up was due and so we thought we might as well take her in for her annual vet appointment and get her leg checked at the same time. Two birds with one stone, you know?
Luckily, we were able to get an appointment for that Friday. Of course, at this time I was convinced that the vet was going to think we were terrible pet owners considering that she has strained her leg in the past, just went in to get treated for a bad case of hives the week before, and was now needing to go in for a bum leg. I was seriously doubting my abilities as a pet owner. Either that or Rosee was much more fragile than I ever thought.
Still, I was trying to remain positive and hoped the vet would tell us that she sprained her foot and just needs a week or two of rest like he did before.
The vet did not tell us that.
It turns out Rosee broke one of her toes in her back right foot. The vet was actually surprised that she didn’t react when he was first feeling her leg and foot, and instead just lay on the ground letting him feel and bend her foot. After taking an x-ray of her whole leg and foot he saw that the bone in one of her toes was pretty much broken in two and just hanging in there. So, one cast, a prescription for anti-inflammatories, a prescription for sedatives, and one head cone later Rosee was finally headed home.
We were given very strict instructions for Rosee. For the next 6-8 weeks (no, you didn’t misread that) Rosee’s foot will be in a cast with weekly visits to the vet to ensure that her cast is working and doesn’t need to be rewrapped. She’s basically on bed rest for the next two months (yikes!) and we have to keep her as quiet as possible, which just seems impossible (especially with Simon around), hence the sedatives.
Then, as if all this wonderful news wasn’t good enough for one day, Rosee somehow ended up getting her entire cast off her foot that afternoon while my family was out running errands. It didn’t matter that she was tethered to her bed, and had her cone on so she couldn’t actually reach her cast with her mouth. She still managed to get her cast off with no issues. Luckily, the vet was able to squeeze us back in later that afternoon to replace her cast.
What’s the teaching moment here? Rosee may be a Pit Bull, but despite all the stereotypes she’s really just a delicate flower.
When the parents are away, the dogs will play.
Originally, I had a completely different post planned for this week. In fact, I even wrote most of that other post (which I’ll share next week), and I was pretty happy with how it was coming along (I can be a bit too much of a perfectionist sometimes). Then, today something happened. It was unexpected, obviously, and quite upsetting. It even inspired my Pawndered Thought for the day, and the most surprising thing was that it had really nothing to do with Rosee or Simon. (I know this blog is dedicated to all things dog, specifically if those dogs are named Rosee and/or Simon, but I felt the need to share this particular experience.)
You see, what happened today had to do with a cat. It’s a cat that I see almost every morning on our daily walk, and she would always be playing or laying around with her three kittens. The cat and her kittens had made their home by a garden shed that was located in a local elementary school’s garden. Every morning we (me, Monica, Rosee, and Simon) would walk by the school’s garden, and notice these four. Unfortunately, today as me and Monica were driving by after running some errands in town we passed by and saw the cat lying in the middle of the road. It was apparent that she had been hit by a car and that it had happened recently. We immediately pulled over to see if the kittens were okay, but we were unable to see them anywhere. I suspect that they were hiding underneath the garden shed and just too scared to come out. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. It was dumb, ridiculous, senseless, and should have never happened. Not only was it a school zone, so cars should not be driving that fast anyways, but it was pretty much right next to an intersection so cars would be just taking off. Therefore, if a car was coming down this particular road, they should have been able to stop or swerve out of the way. Yet, none of this happened. Instead a car hit this cat and just kept on going.
I must admit that at this point I was disheartened. I felt let down by my fellow humans. I wanted to yell at someone, and demand an answer for what happened. My brain couldn’t comprehend the fact that some people seem to care so little, even though studies show that the majority of drivers will try and hit an animal in a road rather than swerve to avoid it. So, I did what any normal person would do. I went to talk to my mom. I needed an ear to listen, and possibly a shoulder to lean on.
Afterwards, I felt better, meaning that I didn’t feel the urge to cry. Yet, I was still feeling let down by humankind, and it didn’t help that I was having one of those days. The kind of day where every person I encountered seemed to be inconsiderate or just plain rude. I mean I try my best to have faith in the goodness of others. Usually, it’s not hard. All I have to do is look around my neighborhood and see how almost everyone leaves a bowl of food and water out for the neighborhood cats to know that there are people that do care. Still, some days it’s hard to hold on to this hope, and today was just one of those days. Simon and Rosee did their best to cheer me up, and neither one complained when I smothered them with hugs. They really are the best medicine sometimes.
Then my mom called. She said that she went driving by where the cat was and stopped to see if she could see the kittens. While she was there a man came out from one of the houses from across the street, and he took the time to move the cat from out of the middle of the road. He took care of this cat that wasn’t even his. He didn’t have to, and nobody expected it, but he did. He cared. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so bleak.
Earlier today when I posted my Pawndered Thought it wasn’t necessarily meant to be optimistic. It was a thought in reference to someone’s callous action that cost three kittens their mother. However, I realize now that I shouldn’t give up so quickly. There are caring people out there. So, I’m going to end this post by saying Thank You to all caring people out there. Thank You for loving your animals, and for taking care of them.
It’s Throwback Friday (again)!
You know, back when I thought walking my cats was just like walking a dog.
I thought since I had reviewed a pet product for the backyard this past week I would continue the theme of achieving backyard feng-shui with dogs. Plus, I wanted to write a happier post because sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in the negative experiences of life, and it’s important to remember the simple pleasures. Also, Earth Day was this past week and what better way to celebrate than to talk about nature.
Now, I have to admit that gardening has never been a favored past time of mine. I’m not really an outdoorsy person. I don’t care for bugs, or getting dirt beneath my fingernails. However, after having dogs, particularly big dogs, learning to love the outdoors has been a must. I think I’ve adjusted pretty well as I now look for interesting and fun places to take Simon and Rosee. During the week we all go on daily walks, but over the weekends it can be nice to go somewhere different. Luckily, there are a few nearby trails that we can go to and walk or hike, and we live fairly close to the Sacramento River where we like to take Simon and Rosee when it’s warm so they can swim. Well, Simon likes to swim, and Rosee likes to splash along the edge. Being outside is one of the main places Rosee and Simon like to be. They love to bathe in the sun, stretch out in the grass, and take naps in the sand (when we spend a day at the beach, of course). As a result, I knew our backyard needed to be dog-friendly. At the same time, the backyard did need to at least look appealing for humans because it’s still our backyard after all. Fortunately, my mom loves gardening and took charge.
The first order of business when it came time to create a dog-friendly backyard was to put in grass. Originally, our backyard did have grass, but after years of redoing and rearranging things we were left with barely any grass. Then once we adopted Simon it was decided that it would be easiest to put all new sod down. Now, it might seem easy to put sod down, particularly given the size of our grass area. The truth is that this past fall we put down sod in our backyard for the third (and hopefully final) time. I do have to say though, that the reason the past attempts at trying to grow grass in our backyard had nothing to do with the dogs. The first time the sod never quite took to the ground, and the second time grubs developed. Fortunately, the grass seems to be doing well this time around, which is good since it is the main place Rosee likes to lay while we play fetch with Simon.
The second concern to address was greenery. Finding the right plants and flowers to put in the backyard can be a bit tricky when there’s dogs involved. Mostly because Simon and Rosee have a tendency to sample the greenery, and therefore it became important to ensure that any plants we put in were dog-friendly. There is a list on the ASPCA website of safe and unsafe plants for animals. Personally, I find this site and the list sort of confusing and somewhat difficult to navigate, and mostly end up searching for a few more websites/posts/blogs that offer relevant answers. Yet, it is there. Hopefully, someone else will have better luck with it than I have had. Originally, simple plants like pansies, impatiens, alyssum, and rose moss were planted, and they seemed to do well. They were hearty enough to stand up to the dogs walking on them, and looked pretty. We also tried planting some basic shrubbery, but those never quite worked out so well. Rosee had a tendency to continually chew on these plants, and Simon liked to encourage this habit of hers by digging them up. It’s quite funny now that I think back on it, although at the time I was far from laughing. Nevertheless, through trial and error we found which plants worked (by that I mean which plants Simon and Rosee left alone) and which ones didn’t.
The next concern, let’s call it the 2.5 concern because it developed as a result of the second concern, was how to protect the plants from Rosee and Simon. The dogs enjoyed digging up and eating the plants, and if they weren’t doing that they would run over them when they were playing. I know I did say that the plants we chose were pretty hearty and stood up to the dogs’ giant paws, but we still wanted a way to keep the dogs out of the plants the best we could. Initially, we put everything in pots so that the dogs couldn’t actually step on anything. However, this didn’t stop them from digging up the plants. Enter: the wall.
The wall was an idea that we got from an outing to our local Orchard Supply Hardware one day last summer. It’s made out of cinder blocks, and steps down to an opening in the middle. We decided to build up the wall three blocks high so it didn’t completely block the view of the plants and it was low enough so someone could sit on it as well. The wall is a pretty awesome addition to our backyard because not only does it keep the dogs out of the plants, but it looks beautiful and it helps showcase our plants.
While we do have some planters (made out of leftover cinder blocks) that run along the side of the walkway, the main area of plants is that corner, which is now made into a focal point with the help of the wall. Most recently, we had to put in the front gate because Rosee liked to run through the middle for fun. I swear she grinned every time she did it.
The fourth and final concern to address was to find pieces of furniture that was comfortable and useful to humans, but usable by the dogs as well. There is a swing for the humans, and two dog houses for the dogs.
A gazebo was added for some much needed shade, and two giant utility boxes were put in for storage, although they now serve double duty as the dogs like to sleep on top of them in the afternoon.
So there it is: a journey through our backyard. It’s taken a few years of experimenting and experiences to get things right and an awful lot of replanting the plants that Rosee and Simon decided to dig up, but ultimately I love our backyard and so do the dogs.