Sunday, January 27, 2008

Site update and a sad walk

This weekend I accomplished two things. One, I updated the photo album on the Happy Pit Bull website. That took me -- no joke -- eight solid hours of work. I had sixty photos to post! I love getting photos from site visitors, make no mistake. I just wish there was an easier way to get them onto the site.

The second thing I did was take Felanie on a walk. That was extremely depressing. The weather was gorgeous and poor Felanie (and Dozer, too, but he's not dying, so frankly, he's getting a bit less attention) had been stuck in the house for weeks due to cold, wet weather.

So we went out to get some sun and exercise, and that's when I finally realized my dog is getting to the end. I didn't even need the head halter, a "first" in the eight years we've been together. I can hardly even call what we did a "walk"; it was more of an amble or a dawdle. She trailed behind me the whole way, panting and waddling determinedly, but clearly working hard just to move forward. She didn't want to let me down.

At the end of the walk--during which we saw a cat, a train, and some cotton plants, all of which were interesting but not particularly compelling for Felanie--I actually had to help her get over the train tracks to head back home. These tracks are maybe eight inches high. She got over the first rail with a bit of sliding, but only her front feet went over the second rail, and then she stopped and sighed heavily, and looked down at the ground. I had to lift her hind end up over the last rail. This contrasted painfully with my memories of her agility days, when she leapt so gracefully over objects that were two feet high or higher.

When we got home, she had a big drink and flopped down to take a nap. I gave her a gentle pet and a kiss on the head, and told her what a good job she did.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today I caught up with the 21st century

Today I bought an MP3 player. That's right, folks, the nerdy technical communicator, with a home-built computer and more peripherals than she can count on one hand, had yet to join the herd, but today she became a member of the in-crowd.

I guess I should say, yesterday I bought the MP3 player. That would be technically correct, seeing that it is 2:30 AM on Monday morning (happy MLK Day, btw). I have not made it to bed because of the dang MP3 player; it has taken me almost four hours to set up.

First I had to rip a ton of CDs. Then I had to fix my Windows Media Player, which was not only still stuck in version 9 (should have been 11 by now), but had been nonfunctional for months (what can I say, I'm a Winamp gal). By nonfunctional, I mean totally, utterly, uninstall-then-reinstall broken. Then I had to figure out why my computer wasn't recognizing the player. Then I had to watch a few how-to videos to learn how to get the MP3 player and Windows Media Player to cooperate together and transfer the music files without a big fuss (too late for that).

But all the trouble was worth it. Come Tuesday morning, I will be up in the digitals room poring over print-ready pages for eight music-filled hours (most of which will probably be Queen, since I apparently have ten hours worth of Queen and not much else). Speaking of which, if I don't get to bed now, I might sleep right through my precious day off! Laterz...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Selfish? Nah...

Dozer went on a hunger strike, sort of. Well, what he was really doing was just not eating his breakfast. This was perplexing to me, because Dozer usually goes on hunger strike when he feels that he has been slighted somehow, and I was left scratching my head as, each morning, he stood over his filled food bowl and gave me a mournful gaze of pitiful disinterest. Of course, by evening he was so hungry that he ate breakfast and dinner all together, like a starved beast, so it was not a real hunger strike.

I thought, at first, that Dozer was upset because Felanie (who is on medication that makes her pee constantly) had to be baby-gated into the kitchen during the day. Dozer, meanwhile, was free to roam the house, except the bedroom, which I kept closed off because otherwise Dozer would sleep on our bed while we were not home. But that didn't make sense to me; Dozer was the one getting the special treat of freedom, not the other way around. Nothing to pout about there. Then I thought perhaps Dozer realized that Felanie had cancer, and he was so sad about it that he didn't feel like eating. But when he continued to act like a big selfish buffoon during playtime (he loves to yank toys right out of Fel's mouth, and the poor old dog can't do a thing about it), I put that idea out of my mind. He couldn't be that sad about Fel if he's such a jerk to her. (In fact, I doubt either of them has any idea something's wrong with Fel.)

Then one morning, as I dumped Felanie's two pills (one to slow the cancer but increase the peeing, and one to stop the peeing) into her food, I realized that Dozer, who was still waiting for his breakfast, was watching me carefully... and drooling... and licking his lips. I thought he was over his pout, so I gave him his portion of food with a flourish--and the excitement faded from his eyes, and he glared at me sullenly.

It took me a moment to put two and two together. But suddenly I knew how he was being unfairly treated, and I knew why he was pouting. Felanie was getting medication, and he wasn't!

So I took an empty pill bottle, filled it with dog food, and made a big show of taking a piece of kibble from the bottle and dropping it into Dozer's food. The kibble instantly became indistinct from every other piece of kibble in the bowl, but Dozer didn't care. Satisfied that he was also getting a "special treat" in his food (whatever it was), the D gobbled down his breakfast without hesitation.

Score one for Mommy, score... well, score one for Dozer too. Clever, selfish little brat! :)