Monday, November 15, 2010


I have a dirty little secret to confess...I have dog envy.  Not envy for different dogs in my life, but envy for dogs that I could take anywhere and introduce to anyone.  Dogs that like, no, love other dogs and people.  Arwen likes people, and only dogs she can dominate, but it's always a gamble with her.  Nyxie...well, you all know how well Nyxie plays with others.  She is coming around to the fact that all people are not murdering thieves bent on our pack's demise, but rather a signal for treats and yummy goodness!  In her deep chocolate eyes, dogs, are still not to be trusted.  In fact, her rule of thumb is to bark as menacingly and ferociously as possible to dispel these canine interlopers.  How dare they exist in her universe!!

Needless to say, going to the dogpark is an adventure of epic proportions.  One might ask - why bother?  Well, we don't have a yard of our own and after having taken Nyxie the week before last with no incident and actually enjoying my dog as other people can enjoy their dogs, I was again addicted.  I loved taking her when she was a wee pup and I miss those times spent with her running about, off the leash.  So I decided to try it with both girls -to give them a bit of much-needed run time.

Getting the 2-headed beast out the door and into the car is the first leg of my perilous journey.  They scramble for 1st out.  Nyxie will then conform to me, walking loosely while Arwen hurdles forward.  It must be quite the sight...I shudder the think about a dog or an unsuspecting squirrel dashing into view just as I'm reaching the car.  The trip to the park is heralded by panting - hot, wet panting.  Nose prints on every inch of glass, save the windshield, mark me as "that crazy dog lady".

Thankfully, the park is nearby, only a few miles from home and we pull into the parking lot.  I was hoping the threatening rain clouds would keep the regulars away, but no such luck.  There are several people lounging about on the benches, casually watching small dogs in sweaters sniff about the yard closest to the parking lot.  Now I understand using the closest yard (there are four separate areas) - after all, the point of going to the dogpark is to allow your dog to play with other dogs.  This assumption based of course on the premise that your dog is a well-socialized member of canine society.  I only hoped for a yard.  A fenced area in which they could run freely.  But to get to one of the unused yards, I would have to pass the closest one.

We decided to wait in the car.  There, Nyxie was fed treats when she stopped menacing the other dogs through the window and was able to sit quietly, albeit nervously in her seat.  A first step to safe exposure conditioning.  When the heat of the panting and the fading sun's rays was too much for a parked car, I left the lot and drove a few miles, allowing the girls to calm down after seeing all the canine excitement.  They must've thought I was cruel for not letting them play..."But mom - we just got here!!"

Just as I had hoped, the skies began to open and big drops fell hard.  "Yes!  Now I can go to the dogpark!"  Undoubtedly not what most dog parents say when the rain starts, but with my 2 miscreants, I have to be super careful.  Just as I suspected, everyone was clearing out.  All but one lady with a rather large Shar Pei mix in a far away yard.  Maybe we shared a dirty little secret...

Texas cold fronts move in fast, like within a half hour fast.  We arrived to rain, but temps in the 70's.  The clouds were rushing in and even the hawks flying above seemed eager for cover, giving up hopes of fat little chihuahua meals.  We made it to the farthest yard, I unleashed the beasties and they ran like the wind.  All their pent up energy and mine dissipating with the rain and clouds.  Their ears flapping, tails flying, legs pumping.  Grace and beauty unleashed!  My misfit dogs ran and ran, sniffed and read the signposts left by others before them.  After a short time, the rain fell heavier and the winds picked up.  Cooler now, bringing with them the expected cold front.  The temperature was dipping into the 60's.  The girls panted in tired relief, energy spent, tackles and bitey face over, they settled under the awning by the water fountain.  They were done.  No need to stay longer.

"No worries, mom!  We'll be back soon - when's it supposed to rain next?"  My girls are a work in progress.  They are slowly tolerating more and more out of their comfort zones.  They are evolving and growing, as I am, too.  I don't have dog envy...I have yard envy!!    


  1. I have dog envy for dogs that are obedient and listen. I hate to confess it but it makes me laugh because I really do envy people that have breeds that are obedient. My recent pet therapy training class has reminded me how I wish I had a german shepard instead of a bloodhound :)

  2. Marge used to be a dog park dog, but that changed after a couple of bad incidents (some at the park, some not). It definitely must stink not having a yard. What about buying a 50' leash? Marge has a BLAST on hers (though it might get complicated with two dogs!)

    Any way, I'm glad the rain came and your pups were able to play!

  3. I understand your envy. Half of my 6 can't be around other dogs. We don't have any dog parks around here to run free, but understand about waiting for those rainy days. (We have plenty here :) Those are the days I know no one at the regular park and I can take them through the trails with no hassles. Those are some of the best times.

    So glad they got a chance to run and play. They look happy. Paws crossed for more rain!!

  4. I envy so many other dogs too! I envy they are smart, cute, good at agility and tricks, good at recalls and other OB stuff... I envy others a lot!!! But I still love my own dogs very much and think that they are not too bad either : )

  5. Thanks for the tip about warming Phantom's food. He is so picky, I have tried that, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If he thinks something is HOT, forget it, he won't touch it. He is right now enjoying Nature's Variety's raw organic chicken patties - not sure how long it will last , but for now it is one thing he will eat.

    Have a great week.

    The OP Pack Mom Kathie

  6. I'm so glad that you ended up having such a great time. It sounds like the dogs had a great romp!

    Thanks so much for talking to your vet about K's infection. We are now pulling in CSU vets for consultations. We're asking them to analyze the most proximal part of the amputation (they amputated at mid-carpal bone but didn't analyze the carpal sample). That will give us more insight on whether the infection had made it past K's toe and into the higher part of her paw. We're also asking the lab to tell us the relative severity of the infection in the different parts of the paw. All of this is pointed toward figuring out if the infection was moving up her forelimb. If it was on the move, we'll need to be more aggressive.

    The bacteria is extremely rare around here. It's "serratia liquefaciens". A closely related bacteria "serratia marcescens" is more common but still not super common. For that reason, we're consulting a veterinary microbiologist from CSU - to find out if we need to do anything super aggressive to stop the bacteria (e.g., IV antibiotics instead of oral).

    Given your interest, I thought that you might like to know those details that I haven't been putting in my blog because most people wouldn't be interested.

    Thanks so very much!


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