Tuesday, December 13, 2011


According to Cesar, you must make sure your puppy receives ample exercise.  It engages their minds and wears them out so that they are better behaved.  With Ollie's sharp little puppy teeth, we're all over anything that will keep him calm and less apt to use us as a human teething bone.  Therefore, I've gotten into the habit of walking Ollie twice a day for at least a half mile.  The trick is that I don't always get a lot of cooperation.

Ollie does enjoy the exercise.  The trick is that he wants to do it on his own terms.  He wants to give a good sniff to every rock, leaf, bush and post along our walking routes through the neighborhood.  Of course, the first trick is to get the little twit out of the driveway.  He gets excited when I snap on the leash and we exit the front door.  He'll usually get about halfway down the driveway before he starts trying to paw and eat the leash.  Initially it was kinda cute because it looked as if he was trying to walk himself and he pranced along with the leash in his mouth.  Now it's just a downright nuisance since we've been taking walks every day since he came home with us.  

Once we clear the driveway, he likes to snuffle through the grassy verge on the other side of the privacy hedge that fronts the road.  This is one of his fave places to poop before we head out for our little jaunt.  Then he has to stop and give a good snuffle to the entry gate to the neighborhood as well as each of the ornamental posts as we make our way towards the initial roundabout that shoots off onto a less traveled road where we go walkies.

For the first part of any walk with Ollie, he does his best impression of a mule.  He digs in his heels and pulls against the leash.  If I stop to address it rather than just continue to pull him along in my wake, then he will plop down on his butt as if to say that he aint going anywhere.  

I know passersby wonder why this burly woman (that's me) is playing tug-of-war with a puppy.  How cruel!  It's a war I wage with him every day and I just keep walking until he finally gives up and realizes it's gonna be my way instead of his.  Once that is settled, he happily trots along beside me for the remainder of the walk.

For some reason, Ollie has it in his little puppy head that he can only pee here at our house.  We walk for a solid 45 minutes at a slow pace and I allow him to sniff at will.  However, he never pees.  He will stop and poop and by stop I mean come to a dead standstill and do his business - side of the road, middle of the road, wherever he happens to be standing when the urge strikes.  But not so with the pee.  He'll hold it for the entire walk so that I have to take him around to our backyard as soon as we get home so he can squat and empty his very full bladder for a good 30 seconds.  Isn't that just the strangest thing?  I always thought boy dogs were prone to watering every other blade of grass on a walk.  Maybe it's because he's not a big boy yet and isn't old enough to start hiking his leg.  

Above is a pic of Ollie sprawled on his favorite spot in his doggy area right off the kitchen.  The boiler pipes run under these tiles, so he likes to flop down here where it's always toasty warm when he comes in from a walk in the cold.  What a smart little pup!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Back when the now junior in high school was a little girl, we would listen to a Christmas CD during our commute to and from school.  After a while I was ready to choke Elmo because all he could sing about was wanting a danged hippopotamus for Christmas.  Really?  I don't recall ever seeing a swimming pool on Sesame Street so I have no idea where he was gonna stash that hippo.  And as far as the hippo liking him, too, I assumed the hippo would probably be just as annoyed by his high-pitched squeaky voice as every other living thing on the planet and eat his bright red butt as a mid-day snack.  

The child never tired of that CD so we listened to it on a continuous loop for the whole month of December.  One evening, we were in the house and I heard my little songbird humming the tune of Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad".  After a couple bars, she started singing it.  Darned if those lyrics weren't difficult to understand, particularly in a foreign language, because "Feliz Navidad" had become Fleas Snubeedub.  She happily sang along to Fleas Snubeedub and every year around Christmastime I'm reminded of her cute little misunderstanding of the lyrics.  

You'll have to remind me to write about the George Strait song "Porcupine Prophecy in Arizona"... because that makes so much more sense than the actual words when you're in second grade.

Cracks Me Up Every Time

Nothing says the holiday season so much as the viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  I just love that movie - so many laughable moments... cousin Eddie, Snot the rottweiler, the cat that got fried for nibbling on the tree lights and the squirrel scene.  The first time I saw the squirrel scene, I laughed until I had tears running down my face.  No matter how many times I see it, I still think it's terribly funny.

The one DVD player we have in the house only plays UK DVDs.  I was surprised and pleased to find a UK copy of it at our local Sainsbury's for just a fiver along with two other Christmas movies that really aren't worth mentioning.  Christmas Vacation was the little nugget of gold in the three for five packaging.  

Here is the famous squirrel scene.  Take a watch and laugh like a loon... I always do!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

Last night was a humdinger.  The youngest daughter and I took Ollie out for a potty break after he ate his supper.  In typical puppy ADHD fashion, he kept getting distracted by the holly bush and running right to it.  The problem was that there's a big mud puddle all around it, so the youngest daughter kept carting him out of the puddle.  On about the fourth puddle rescue mission, when we were ready to head back inside, the youngest daughter was hauling the beast out yet again when he nipped her on the hand.  He's just 10 weeks old so it's not as if she lost a hunk of flesh.  However, this daughter suffers nothing in silence or with great fortitude, so she squealed and promptly let him go, whereupon he fell several feet down to the concrete pavers of the driveway and landed with a splat.

He immediately emitted this horrible puppy scream and started spinning around in a tight circle.  I catch Ollie and pick him up.  He stops the horrible I'm-about-to-die hollering but is shaking like a leaf.  The youngest daughter and I head towards the house when the older daughter comes outside to see if we've killed the pup.  Not yet, I tell her.  I'm definitely NOT the person you want to call in a crisis because I'm too busy falling apart.  Seriously - I can't even handle a splinter.  The girls like to poke fun at me by coming up with a hand extended and telling me they think they have a splinter.  It just gives me the willies and makes me feel ill.  

So in true Carrie freak out fashion, I had the girls go get my husband.  Hallellujah - he comes downstairs and commandeers the pup situation.  I was convinced Ollie had broken his spine until my husband had him walk a bit.  Then I was sure that Ollie had a concussion because he fell asleep in the blink of an eye.  When he continued breathing, I gently poked Ollie's sides because I imagined he had some sort of internal bleeding.  

He slept for a bit in my husband's lap while I fretted.  My husband put Ollie in his doggie room (the converted garage) where he got a drink of water and gingerly crawled into his crate.  By then I was just a basket case.  I assumed I would get no sleep with visions of thousand pound emergency vet bills or brain damaged/crippled pups running through my head.  Drastic times calling for drastic measures equaled two over the counter sleeping pills for me.

I woke up this morning and crept downstairs to find a cold, stiff body perky Ollie reared up on the baby gate waiting for me to cart him over so he could take his morning potty stroll.  He seems none the worse for wear, thank goodness.  The new house rule is that the youngest daughter can no longer carry Ollie unless I get some sort of doggie life insurance coverage for him.