Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday and Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is approximately Dozer's birthday. This year, he turns 11.

While I was at the pet store this week buying dog food, I decided to get a few new toys in honor of Dozer's birthday and also to replace the toys I've recently thrown out after they reached the end of their useful life.

Tough dog toys are necessary, but expensive, investments for two large dogs. I really hate plopping down $10 on a toy that claims to be tough but falls apart within the first two minutes of use. If I pay more than that, I expect the toy to last for several months. So I tend to buy dog toys rarely, and carefully.

I was really excited to see a lot of new "tough" dog toys on the shelves these days. One in particular caught my eye: Starmark's new Fun Ball. Starmark is also the maker of Dozer's beloved "Blue Toy." They are both made with the same soft, yet tough, rubber-gel. And you can put food or treats in both. But, whereas the Blue Toy is cylindrical, the Fun Ball is round and definitely more Dozer's style.

"I love it for its ball-like qualities, not for the boring old dog food inside."
"Mooom! Llama Pinata is in my waaaay!"
I also bought two stuffed squeaky toys. One was a Yankers snake. You may or may not remember Dozer's old Yankers alligator toy, which withstood quite a lot of abuse and lasted for almost a year. The other toy is a Tuffy's bone. We have had a variety of Tuffy's toys, such as Ring Toy, Octopus, and Tug Toy—some of them lasting longer than others.

I handed out the new toys to Dozer one at a time. He kept coming back to me empty-handed. Finally I asked him, "Where are the toys?" He led me into the living room, where I suddenly realized poor old Dozer was no longer "top dog" in the house:

"Eh? They're not all for me?"
Even one year ago, Dozer wouldn't have stood for this. The toys in the house have always been his. Period. Star was allowed to borrow them on occasion, but Dozer controlled when and where and how she got to touch them.
"I don't get it. Earlier, there was food coming out when I did this."
Times, they are a-changing. Happy birthday, Dozer!

And Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blind snake

We had a visitor the other day: a blind snake. He/she was enjoying some spilled water (or dog drool?).

Blind snakes are tiny snakes that look like earthworms. They eat ants and other little insects. We see them outside in our garden mulch most of the time, but once in a while they get in the house. Because they're so tiny, they're really difficult to catch without squishing them. But I got this one outside without incident.

We finally have cold weather, but no real rain to speak of.

Star in coat, under blanket. Space heater not shown.
Dozer's thyroid levels are still low ("for a dog of his size" says the vet), so we are going to raise the dose. But you can see that the thyroid meds have given him a bit of zing back. OMG, he's playing with Star!

I've just signed a contract to work for a "Big Four" firm when I graduate. Byrd and I are both pretty excited that I'm finally going to be a financial asset. Sadly, it looks like I'll have to stop fostering and volunteering for a few years, because I'm never home anymore, and it only gets worse at Big Four.

I'm also going to need to find some help for the daily updates and duties over at StopBSL. Giving it up is out of the question. But I've been late to class a few times while slamming out alerts, and I really should be focusing on studying, not worrying about updates. What a dilemma.