Archive for the ‘Abby-dogg’ Category

My Golden Girl

November 30, 2010

When I got home from the pool last night, Abby was resting in her usual spot on the tile by the door. These days she takes a bit longer to get up but once she makes it, moves around just fine. Last night though, she seemed exhausted by the prospect so I ended up having to help her, which broke my heart into a million pieces. She’s 13 so I’m lucky to have had so many wonderful years with her but I honestly don’t think she was in pain as much as she was just plain ol’ tired. Also the weather was rainy, which I think she felt in her old bones. Like many shepherds, her hips are a problem area now that she’s in her twilight years so at her vet’s suggestion, I started her on Glucosamine Chondroitin. I bought a small bottle on Amazon to see how she tolerated it and she did just fine so I got a big bottle of the exact same kind. Naturally she started completely refusing the pill even when I divided it into 16ths in her kibble. The vet said GlucChon is the best thing for her though so I’m now forced to disguise a meat-flavored pill in a delectable pill pocket, marketed specifically toward pushover pet-owners like me. (Sometimes if I’m lucky, Abby will begrudgingly accept her pill on goat cheese & pesto pizza. ;)) Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One interesting side note is that Abby seems to have figured out if she lays with her front end on the tile and her back end on the carpet, she can use the carpet as traction to get up more easily. I’ve thought about putting something on the tile to help her get her footing but the reason she likes laying there is because it’s cool and she has a warm, wooly coat, even during the summer. I was thinking of trying that stuff you put under rugs to keep them from sliding around, since it has holes and would still allow her to stay cool. Any ideas?


A Spare

October 16, 2010

By the time I got back from MO, my car looked how I’d imagine the inside of a hairball might. My usual technique of covering the backseat with a sheet, carefully tucking here and there, had long since failed, giving Abby ample time to shed a 4″ layer of fluff all over. It was so bad that when I opened any of the car windows, I’d inadvertently create a spinning vortex through which stray fur was furiously sucked and expelled onto innocent passersby. It was time to have The Goose detailed, is what I’m saying and for good measure, I had the carpets and upholstery cleaned too in a feeble attempt to get rid of the muddy paw prints from when I’d taken Abby swimming at the river.

When I bought my car a few years ago, while waiting in the showroom for paperwork to be sorted out, I peeked inside a Honda Element. Because I’m such a messy klutz, one of the first things I noticed was rubber utility mats covering the carpeted floor mats. A salesman explained they could be easily removed and rinsed. I knew immediately that I must have those mats in my car as well. I’m so glad I bought them because my inevitable spills are much less catastrophic, knowing I can clean up in a snap. They add a little bulk but nothing problematic. When I got my car back after it was detailed, things in the floor mat venue seemed a little off but not enough to warrant inspection, that was until yesterday, when I knelt down to see what was going on down there. Much to my surprise, I found an extra carpet mat! It matches my interior but I checked the passengers side and backseat and those mats are accounted for so it’s definitely not one of mine. I can only imagine that some poor sod with a gray interior’d hoopty is missing one of their precious mats. Should I put an ad on Craigslist?

And speaking of cars, last week Moxy and her boyf and I went to a friend’s for a libationary dinner and when we left, found ours had been towed. Moxy had to pay $200 to free her car and I had to pay $225. The extra $25 was a “courtesy fee.” Apparently my back window was down so they covered it in plastic in case it rained. Of course that altruism didn’t keep them from savagely towing my car in the first place. It turns out that we were parked perfectly legally and the towing company was in the wrong. Trust me when I say that I will have the last word along with a swift refunding, compounded by a “courtesy charge” I plan to levy for the energy I’ve expended on this nonsense.

For the dinner party, I made these pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing and they were YUM. Moxy’s boyf said they had “a nice crumb,” which caused me to blush so I slapped him with one of my gloves.

I’m headed to Chicago tomorrow to attend a search engine optimization conference, which looks to be as dull as it sounds. In truth I’m excited for my mini-adventure and plan to see some friends while I’m there. I may even do something touristy, like Shedd Aquarium or an architecture river cruise. Stay tuned for tales from the windy city!

P.S. When I called to make a hotel reservation, I heard “Welcome to the hotel name’s voice activated menu.” I grumbled, “Oh God” and then heard “Please hold while we transfer you to Jose Gobb.” Hee! 🙂


September 30, 2010

Sorry, I left you hanging much longer than intended!

Initially I thought I’d simply worked myself into a tizzy over having the staples and drain taken out. In particular I imagined the drain removal like evisceration, complete with slorpy sound effects. My Mom has had a drain before and assured me its removal wasn’t painful, just an odd sensation. As it turned out, she was right and I could barely feel a thing when the surgeon removed my staples. (My Mom estimated that my drain tubing was about a foot-and-a-half long. Ewwwww!!!) After the appointment, I felt some relief but it wasn’t long before I realized the anxiety hadn’t really gone anywhere.

As several of you suggested, it turns out the anesthesia and pain medicine really threw me for a loop, especially given that I’m prone to anxiety. As usual, it was the worst, most overwhelming feeling in the world and when I’m in that morass of darkness, it feels like nothing’s ever been OK or will be again. It punched me in the face, shoved me on the ground, and kicked me while I was down, just to make sure I got the message.

My Mom wasn’t able to stay in Indy any longer and I didn’t want to be alone so I followed her back to MO, where’s she’s a prof and department chair at a university. Turns out that even when you’re 34, sometimes you just need your Mama.

I wanted to bring Abby with me because I wasn’t sure how long I’d be gone and I love her to bits but the drive was almost 9 hours. Abby’s a frisky 13-years-old but has never been in the car that long and doesn’t have a stellar track record as a relaxed traveler. When I moved to Indy, Abby’s vet gave her a little something to help her stay calm in the car so I called her current vet, who happily prescribed a teensy amount of Xanax for her. There were a few tense moments but overall she was patient and sweet. I was so proud of her! She hung out in the back seat and poked her head between the front seats most of the time, occasionally watching out the window and even trying to nap a few times. She would snooze for a few minutes but mostly stayed awake for the whole drive.

Once I made it to MO, I spent some much-needed time taking care of myself. I took baths, read, started eating regular meals, and even went to water aerobics classes. My Mom and I had lots of good quality time together and after nearly two weeks, I was feeling much better and less anxious.

Abbs and I came home last week so this is my first full week back at work. I’m happy to be back but vastly preferred my life of leisure, minus the gut surgery of course. If I ever have surgery again, I’m going to try to be cognizant of how quickly all the meds can mess with me. I was really caught off guard but am so grateful for all the support from my friends and family.

P.S. You should know that you’ll likely be receiving a gallstone craft for Christmas so put in a request now for what you’d like. Think carefully – one friend first asked for earrings but eventually settled on a dream catcher. 😉

Abby snoozing
Sweet Abby snoozing in the back seat on the way home from MO


April 29, 2010

Jinkies, you guys have been quiet lately. Is it possible my discourse on Eyjafjallajökull wasn’t as interesting as I thought?

Happy girlI took Abbs for a walk last night and her sleuthy snorfling lead her to chow down some oniony-smelling weed. Now instead of having terrible breath, she has terrible oniony breath. It reminded me of the first time I planted herbs. It was the spring of my senior year of college and I had a cute apartment with a lovely balcony that got lots of sun during the day. I put planters of basil and mint out there and excitedly monitored their progress. One warm afternoon, I was taking a glorious nap on the couch with the door to the balcony open and a soft breeze pouring inside. I suddenly roused a bit and could think of nothing but pesto. A big bowl of spaghetti with a hearty dollop of savory pesto, oozing with parm and olive oil. Oooo, nothing had ever sounded so good! I opened my eyes and found Abby right in my face looking quite pleased with herself. I glanced at my balcony and discovered that during my nap, she’d devoured all the herbs I’d planted, including the basil, leaving her breath wreaking of herbaceous pesto. Naughty hound! Needless to say, I got take out that night.


February 25, 2010

Recently before I taught, I stopped to get a drink and beheld something quite odd: a man with a bird on his shoulder. Keep in mind this was in the Technology Building as opposed to, I dunno, the Zoology Annex on IU’s little-known Bahamas campus. I was taken aback but the man simply got a bev and went on his way. He was even wearing a preppy button-down Oxford cloth shirt that matched his bird’s feathers. So odd was this experience that after it was over, I thought I might’ve hallucinated from inhaling printer toner so I asked my students about the Birdman. Several confirmed having seen him as well and on more than one occasion. Having worked at IU and the State to ensure their Web sites were ADA compliant, to cover my bases I inquired as to whether it might be a guide bird, even though that seemed a bit…unprecedented. My question was met with giggles and odd stares. I guess I don’t really mind if someone brings a bird to campus as long as it isn’t disruptive but I can see this type of thing causing quite a stir. And you have to admit that even in the strange world of academia where people use the word “pedagogy” a lot, it’s on the limits of what’s generally acceptable.

I often think how much I would love to bring Abby with me to work. She’s very well-behaved and after casing the joint with some power sniffs, I’m sure she’d just settle down close to me and observe. I know there are lots of reasons why this sort of thing usually doesn’t happen but I’m positive it would make my demeanor and work experience more pleasant. What are your thoughts on critters in the workplace?

Let it Snow

February 9, 2010

Last Friday my work sent everyone home early because of a snowstorm. It was such a joyous occasion, I braved the slick roads and drove directly to a local fabric store. I was on the hunt for some yarn I needed to finish a project and not one to waste an opportunity, I also scoured the clearance section for any gems.

Today we’re in the grips of another potential blizzard and I’m hoping to be released again early. I was supposed to assist a CSS workshop tonight but it’s already been canceled, which is perfect since Lost is on. Have we talked about that yet? This is the final season and I’m chomping at the bit for some heart-stopping, jaw-dropping answers to all the crazy questions we’ve been inundated with over the years.

With that, I’m going to do it up bullet style since all the thoughts streaming out of my noggin are a bit tangential:

  • Did you know that Vanna White has her own brand of yarn? I never pegged her as a knitter but I guess in addition to those letter-turnin’ skillz, she likes to get her purl on.
  • I took Abbs to the vet recently because her ear seemed to be bothering her and she’d had an ear infection a few weeks’ prior. Turned out she had another one but treating it is like trying to drink pudding through a stir straw. During her puppy-hood, she let it be known that she does not like her ears (or paws) to be touched, which is quite a shame because they’re so damn adorable. As such, trying to put drops in her ears is a ridiculous spectacle during which she resists as though I were setting her on fire, only finally relenting at arm’s length by hanging her head to the ground and facing in whatever direction is most inconvenient. If I manage to get a few drops into her actual ear, she then shakes her head violently and huffs out of the room. Still I melt and rush to her side when she scratches her ear and lets out a pathetic, pained groan. Poor bippy’s got me wrapped around her little paw, which should not be touched under any circumstances!
  • A few weeks ago, I made spaghetti with artichoke hearts and tomatoes for the girls and it was a hit. I used half-and-half instead of cream but I think next time I’ll skip it all together because the dish was rich enough with the olive oil and cheese. In the future I’ll also substitute veggie stock for the chicken broth so it’s vegetarian. I didn’t have any chives on hand so I used basil instead, which gave it a yummy pesto-y tinge. Mmmmm!
  • In the late 90s, I got really into scrapbooking and was gifted with a laminator. I haven’t used it in at least 6 years and it’s big and bulky so the time has come for this mother to go to Goodwill. I’ve held onto it thinking I would use it but the rare instances in which it might be useful don’t make up for the pain-in-the-ass of storing it. What I’m saying here is, I need permission to let go of my laminator. Could you be a lamb and tell me it’s OK so I can move on? Theeenks!

Captain Abby

July 14, 2009

First off, can we talk about how adorable my pupper is? I know I’m biased but how can you not love this sweet face?

Abby on a pontoon boat

A friend snapped this pic a few weekends ago during our day on a pontoon boat. While we were docked, Abbs was a bit nervous and pace-y but once we got going, she seemed to LOVE it.

Now on to more pressing topics, like previews for horror movies. Have you noticed that they seem to be getting more and more frightening? I’ve seen several recently that have frankly scared the shiz-nit out of me. (I’m looking at YOU Orphan and Shutter Island.) I think we’ve crossed a line. I can’t make it through these things without nervously patting the Klonopin I keep in my purse for emergencies!

I know I’m a little late on this but I’m completely in love with Mad Men. I’ve seen all of the first season and am buying the second season when it comes out tomorrow, hoping to be caught up in time for the start of season 3 in August. This show is FABULOUS – the writing, the commentary on gender roles, the clothes, delicious Don Draper and curvy Joan Holloway, dripping with feminine wiles and drunk with the power of her sexuality? It’s without a doubt my new favorite TV show. Next up I’ll be watching another series I’m late getting into – The Waltons.


May 20, 2009

Did y’all happen to see Glee last night? It’s a new show on Fox about a fledgling high school show choir and I triple-chocolate-dip LOVED it! A friend and I have a similar idea for a movie screenplay with a Christopher Guest feel, both of us having been unabashed choir geeks in high school. We’ve jotted down a few ideas but watching Glee made me want to get on the stick. It also made me realize that although writing is my passion, early on I somehow concluded I probably couldn’t make a living doing it. Isn’t that sad? I enjoy my Web work but it doesn’t make my skirt fly up in the way subway grates and writing do. I want to put more effort into my writing goals. I’d hate to turn 40 and realize I was so jaded, I didn’t even try. (You can watch the first episode of Glee online here. I thought it was very well written and it turns out the show’s creator is from Indy!)

In other news, my new mattress and box springs were recently delivered and they combined with my sassy bed set seal my status as a proper adult who makes discretionary purchases in lieu of, say, snatching a neighbor’s discarded ottoman and repurposing it as a kitchen sink/bidet. I slept on my mattress last night for the first time and it may seem like a simple pleasure but it felt luxurious and wonderful. The only downside is that the bed is too high for Abby to jump up on now that she’s a senior pup. (If I think about that for too long, I want to curl into the fetal position and bawl for 3 weeks straight.) I tried to help her up onto the bed but she just got nervous and jumpy. I finally gave up and she paced and chirped but still wouldn’t let me help her. Poor bippy. Luckily I’ve found the perfect solution, which isn’t exactly Jonathan Adler-chic but is utilitarian and easily folds flat for stashing under the bed. Next up, I’ll be working on a slew of DIY projects to complete my bedroom’s transformation from Grey Gardens to peaceful sanctuary. (Speaking of, did anyone see that HBO movie starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange? I read about the story, which is peculiar and fascinating. I don’t have HBO and I’m sticking to lighthearted entertainment these days but I am curious to hear what people thought of the movie.)

“Lord, Beer Me Strength”

January 20, 2009

I’m writing this to vent instead of doing what I want to, which is shout and throw poo at a certain smug, self-important jerk of the IT variety. People like him are the reason I’m sometimes reluctant to say I work in IT. I don’t want anyone to assume I’m one of those obnoxious know-it-alls who likes to lord authority over people just because he/she can breezily regurgitate useless trivia like the maximum number of rows allowed in Excel*. This smarmy bastard is without a doubt the most insufferable lout I’ve ever dealt with. True, he may know some arcane Solitaire mods but I’ve been invited to enough parties to have amassed an impressive knowledge of drinking games. SO THERE!

How was your weekend? Mine flew by too quickly, especially since I had to work most of the time. The ginormous, impending Web site launch grows closer and closer so it looks like I’ll be working most every day for the next few weeks. Will you bring me treats occasionally to buoy my spirits? But please none of those new Starbucks tea lattes. I LOVE hot and iced tea but tried one and wanted to hurl.

Poor Abbs woke me up chirping at 5 a.m. a few days ago. I rushed her outside where she became…well…sick as a dog. At one point, she was so exhausted she just laid down in the snow and my heart broke into a million pieces. Fortunately within 24 hours, she was as good as new, save a little pungent gas which can easily be blamed on my ill-mannered invisible friend Norman.

*For the record, it’s 1,048,576 in Excel 2007.

Edited to add: I know my masthead is woefully out of date but until I’m over the hump, can we just pretend it’s still timely? If it would help you maintain the holiday spirit, you’re welcome to give me presents.

The Poo Report

December 17, 2008

A pet sitter helped take care of Abbs the last time I went to Florida. She was very thorough and even left me notes about each of her encounters with Abby, including a log of Abby’s BMs. Having a sense of humor at the level of a third grader, these diaries amused me greatly. I saved them (for my Christmas card newsletter) and recently shared them with my Dad. He suspected the pet sitter had ulterior motives for chronicling Abby’s poos, like some sort of fecal documentation fetish. I assured him that some pet owners would insist on knowing that information, so the pet sitter was just being detailed.

This morning, at my apartment with Abbs, my Dad sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Poopage report

This is an update on Abby’s bowel action. Around noon today, she went forth with glee into the frozen tundra area surrounding her domicile. After a quick pee and a number of sniffages, she pranced about in the area looking for a spot to release her business. Once her said business was complete, she told me she wanted to move back into her comfortable zone. No report will be given as to size, shape, or other characteristics of her bowel movement.