Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Not to Do With a Bee

Don't eat it. 
Don't chew it.
Don't even taste it.
...It bites back!

Alfie on Charissa's lap; you can tell his nose is still swollen and puffy, even under all his whiskers!

Poor Alfie, he already didn't feel good; then we noticed that he was acting strangely and his whole snout started to swell -- fast.  It scared me that his breathing didn't seem normal, so I called the vet -- only to find that he was out until Wednesday!  Ack!!  We got in to see another vet and pretty soon Alfie got a shot to bring the swelling down. 

Turns out he had an insect sting right inside his mouth -- pretty nasty.  The weird thing is that since Alfie's been sick, we've been supervising him extra carefully outside, and no one knows exactly when he got stung -- he didn't yelp or anything like that.  The first indication we had that something was wrong was him wiping his face with his paws, and rubbing his head on the furniture indoors.  With his furry whiskers, we didn't see anything wrong at first.  But when Charissa took a closer look, she let out a little involuntary shriek...poor dog, his nose was all swollen up on both sides and hard to the touch.  By the time we got him to the vet, poor boy, he was pretty bad off!  Thankfully, the shot worked quickly!

We also got something to help with the tummy issues he's been having...he's had to fast 24 hrs., and now he'll be on boiled rice and chicken for 3 days before transitioning back to normal food. 

closeup of Alfie's soulful eye looking upward
Home-cooked meals?  Can't be all bad!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Alfie's just not feeling quite himself today.  He woke me up at 2:00 a.m. by walking over and licking my arm -- it took me a minute to realize he needed to go outside and be sick.  Poor guy.  This morning he was sick again...I'm keeping a close eye on him.

picture of Alfie laying by the table, chin on the floor, eyes sad

Dogs are pretty resilient, though; I'm sure he'll be fine in time.  Right now he just wants to curl up and snooze as I work at my desk. He always keeps one paw just barely touching my foot. Companionship + rest = good medicine.  Get better, buddy. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Being There

Last night I'm cooking dinner and go to grab an onion out of the little mesh sack in the laundry room.  Alfie's sprawled out by the backdoor, seemingly asleep.  As I pull out the onion, an involuntary gasp of disgust escapes me -- ewww, the onion has rotted and my thumb is sinking deep into brown mush!  BLEAH.  Before I have time to actually say anything, throw the onion away, or complain about having to wash stinky onion goop off my hands -- bing! -- there's Alfie, right by my side, checking it out. 

I swear,  I don't believe it's actually physically possible for a dog to move that fast, or transform so quickly from dead asleep to on-the-alert-high-tailed-snuffly-and-by-the-way-do-you-need-me-to-teach-that-onion-a-lesson?  But there he is, so I guess I have to believe it.

Today, I go to clean our toilet.  Hmmm, our bathroom's out of toilet cleaner, so I go to Mom's.  I knock over a bottle and -- bing! -- Alfie's wet chin is pressed in the crook of my elbow, bright eyes straining to see what's up, are you okay, what fell over, is it good to eat, is it dangerous, can I help?  Pleeease??  And here I thought he was in the front room playing with the kids! 

He's not what I'd call clingy; he's just got this way of instantaneously materializing.  A handy trick -- I wish he could teach it to me!

If friendship means being there for someone...yeah, Alfie's earned the title of "best friend" paws down!

[yawn]...It's nothing, just my special doodle magic...

Hellooo out there!

So, to start by stating the obvious...haven't updated in ages!  Time to fill you in on what's been going on -- and a fresh look on the blog to go with a new season. 

Hey, anyone out there still remember me??

The purchase of our new home went through smoothly.  Now we're proud owners of a great house that, due to much deferred maintenance, falls squarely in the "fixer-upper" category.  There's a lot to be done before we can move in:  new heating and air, new floors and paint, as well as various exterior repairs.  By the time we're done it'll feel like a brand new house!  The great thing is, since it's just a couple of doors down from Mom's, it's easy to supervise the repairs from here.

In the meantime, I've also been busy doing freelance editing work, as well as getting in gear with the new year for homeschool. Things are hopping!

I love the neighborhood -- very friendly.  Of course, people are always more friendly when they meet you out with your dog, don't you think?  This is the first time I have met all my new neighbors, including those across and down the street, before we've even moved in!  Alfie loves his dog neighbors:  Missy the toy poodle on one side, Baxter the Norwich terrier behind us, and schnauzers Winston and Bosley, the self-appointed neighborhood watch, rounding out the field.  Across the street there is little Molly...she looks a lot like a bichon to me although I can't say for sure.   Anyway, you know the type:  a sweet, smiling ball of white fluff.  Alfie mainly meets her out on walks, and he is absolutely smitten!  Two doors down we have Reesie, a sweet but shy Jack Russell terrier who was rescued from an awful life caged as a puppy mill breeder.  It's so great to see her now, happily going for walks and playing in her yard -- what  a difference!

Went to the doctor for a checkup recently and they asked me, Did I exercise?  I said yes; I walk just about every day.  For how long, they wanted to know?...Well, I explained, about 45 minutes to an hour every day -- see, I have this dog...

The nurse grinned as she scribbled on my chart.  "You have a lot to thank that dog for!  You better keep him."

Smile. Couldn't agree more.