Heart Discovers Snow

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Shows, Snow and Carbs

Yes, I still feel like crap — I will not go into details, on the grounds that it’s simply too disgustingly vulgar to go into. Suffice to say? Ewww. As Susan said (I’m paraphrasing) “Sinuses — what is the point?”. Evolution should have consigned them and other superfluous items like the spleen to the junk heap of biological advancement.

Sean is contentedly tinkering with his new lover, XM Satellite Radio. I fully expect this obsession to keep him occupied until spring finally rolls around. Not that I mind – living up here in the middle of nowhere, my radio programming choices have been limited to Christian Radio, Country and Western, and some kind of weird mid 70’s hair rock/dance pop hybrid station (the kind with really, really, really cheerful DJs).

The dogs and I, meanwhile, have been contenting ourselves with calorie loading and making the best of the ten million pounds of purportedly ‘beautiful’ snow that’s carpeting everything I can see.

I’ve been struck with an urge to cook Caribbean and Soul Food – probably not good timing, since my sinuses being under the weather means my sense of seasoning isn’t quite up to snuff. At the best of times, I like a lot more spice on my food than Sean does. Right now, my tolerance for spice is off the charts, mostly because I’m one of those people who season to taste, and I can’t currently taste much of anything.

I cooked Smothered Pork Chops the other night, and added so much white pepper that Sean almost fainted after the first bite. I’m thinking I’d better skip the Scotch Bonnet Pepper in the Jamaican Oxtail I’m making tomorrow. I serve my Oxtail with fried plantain, coconut rice and some cooked purple yams. Warm, filling food for snowy days. Maybe I’ll do some Steak and Kidney pies for next week, although I’ve also been considering Chicken and Dumplings. Two blessedly heat free options, which will please my rather wimpy palated boyfriend…

Heart has discovered snow, and she likes it. She spends as much time outside as we’ll let her – we literally have to go outside and grab her, shivering and snowy, or she’d never come back in the house. She looks awfully cute out there, snowplowing up the drifts with her nose and racing full tilt across the backyard.

Delilah is her partner in crime – the two of them hang out together outside, sniffing snowbanks, eating pieces of ice, and digging for tasty bits of greenery buried under the snowdrifts.

I’d like to say she misses her brothers and sisters, but honestly? After the first few days of confusion (“Didn’t there used to be more of us in here?”), she’s recovered quite nicely and is revelling in being the center of attention.

Dexter is doing well in Michigan. He’s preparing for his new career as a show dog, and gearing up for his ring debut next weekend. Barb and Sue have been fine tuning his urge to eat anything and everything waved in front of his face, in the hopes of turning my ravenous brat into a smoothly oiled showing machine.

Good luck with that, ladies!

If you’re in the MI area, and planning on attending the shows in Lansing, please drop by and cheer him on. Over here in Ontario, I’m getting ready to enter Elliott into some Ontario area shows. If you’ll be at any of those, please look us up in the catalogue and drop on by to say hello after we’re done showing!

Heart and Dexie’s photos are over on Flickr, or down below.

Spring Ahead, Fall Back

Sorry for the abscence — I had sinus surgery last week, followed by a six foot snowfall that knocked out our internet service for days. The snowfall killed off my few measly attempts to nag Sean into getting us back on line, since I really couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for writing, reading or doing much of anything beyond napping and enjoying a pain killer induced fugue state.

Even worse than snow has been dealing with a re occurence of Tessa’s illness from last year. She’s again suffering from seizure like episodes where she becomes distressed and disoriented, falling down and walking in confused circles. Last year, we were told she had ‘idiopathic neuropathy’. This year, it’s ‘Old Dog Vestibular Disease‘ – a malfunction in the apparatus of her inner ear.  While her ‘incidents’ are sporadic, the effects are distressing to Tessa, and to us as we watch her suffer through them. Most painful is the fact that we can’t do anything to help – there is no treatment or cure for this condition. We’re told it’s just an ‘old dog’ thing, as if old dogs should be expected to suffer random, painful conditions on a semi regular basis. Right now, her good times far outweigh her bad times, but I sense in all of this a certain weighing up that will have to take place not too far off in the future, and I simply want to pull her onto my lap, and pull the covers over our heads, and pretend none of this is happening. Not very logical, but since when does love have to be logical?

All of the puppies but Heart have left us, and all of the puppies but Pixie – now re christened Daisy – are doing well. Daisy has suffered a traumatic reaction to one of her puppy shots, and we’re waiting for the rest of the data from her veterinary specialists at the moment. Since possible law suits are involved by us against certain manufacturers who should burn in hell for eternity, that’s about all I can say at the moment on the topic, other than that they should make plans to make this right, or I shall make plans to personally campaign for their ruination.

How far away is spring, do you think?

Dear Mr. Obama – Leave the Frenchies Alone

Dear Mr. Obama:

I know you’re getting a lot of advice right now about what breed of dog to get for your kids, and I’ve seen a few news outlets suggest that you should consider getting a French Bulldog.

Mr. Obama, as a committed owner and breeder of French Bulldogs, I’d like to offer my own advice to you about your choice of dog –  do NOT get a French Bulldog.

Look, I’m not saying this lightly — I have a lot of really, really good reasons why there is no way in hell you should even, for one minute, think of getting a Frenchie. Since I know that you’re a busy guy, I’ve organized them into bullet form for you:

  • Perceived ‘sympathy for France’ will be bad for your image. France is still wildly unpopular with some Americans (remember the whole “Freedom Fries” fiasco?).
  • Frenchies will ruin the White House carpets. Frenchies are notoriously, ridiculously hard to housebreak. Imagine the field day Fox News could have if, one month into office, Michelle has to order new carpets for the entire place?
  • French Bulldogs are stubborn, tenacious, and difficult to train. Forget Barney nipping a reporter – your Frenchie will jump on, bark at, chase and otherwise paparazzi-ize every reporter within a five mile range. A badly trained dog might be used to insinuate you are unable to provide strong leadership – again with the Fox News opportunities.
  • Frenchies are expensive, which could lead to charges that you’re elitist. In this time of economic crisis, no one needs that sort of analogy being made (probably by Fox News).
  • King Edward owned a French Bulldog. This could lead to allegations you’re a closet Monarchist.
  • Toulouse Lautrec owned a French Bulldog. This could lead to allegations you’re pro syphilitic alcoholics. Or even worse, pro Artist.
  • French Bulldogs were favored pets of Parisian Prostitutes. This could lead to allegories about Kennedy and Clinton. Wait, that one might not be all bad. On the downside, you could be perceived as being pro Jimmy Swaggart.
  • French Bulldogs chew stuff, and the White House has a lot of stuff that would be more expensive to replace than the pine broom closet my puppies just ate. If you think Neiman Marcus suits are expensive, try pricing an Oval Office desk.

The best reason for you to not get a French Bulldog, Mr. Obama? It’s because we don’t need the publicity. We’ve already got Ellen, and Martha, and slew of other celebs getting their faces splashed all over the newspapers, usually with dogs that they bought on a whim at a pet store. Our rescues are already swamped, our breed over run with poorly bred, badly tempered dogs that make all of us worry about the future of the dogs we love so much.

So, please Mr. Obama – don’t get a Frenchie. Get a shelter mutt — better still, a private rescue mutt. One of no determinate heritage (although it would be nice if there was a preponderance of Pit Bull in there, just for the good press in it for you and for Pitties in general). A nice little Pibble would be an asset to your kids and to  your peace of mind (the world can be a scary place, and a Pit Bull has nice, broad shoulders for your family to lean on). Just don’t put lipstick on him or her, and it should all work out fine.

Just please, leave the Frenchies alone — we have enough problems as it is.

And then there was one

Slowly but surely over the last few days, all of the babies have been trickling away.

Rumble went home first with Jennifer and her son, and I doubt very much that he ever looked back (although he did look rather sad in his little purple crate).

Paula Roberts, of Windridge French Bulldogs and Bullmastiffs, picked up Miss Butters on Friday. Paula will be co owning Butters with us, and Butters has gone to Paula’s house to keep the lovely Sophia company. As an added bonus, Sophia and Butters are confident that two tiny Frenchie puppies can more than adequately kick the ass of all Paula’s Bullmastiffs – and who are we to say they’re wrong? Apparently Butters has already wrapped Paula around her little finger, which is about what I’d expect from an evil genius of her caliber.

Little Miss Pixie went home on Saturday with her new mommy and daddy. Pixie’s patented “Sadness Stare” was quite effective on them, as was the part where she hid inside the coffee table and refused to come out. Pixie – now named Daisy – is a puppy who likes to take her time scoping out new situations. Luckily for her, I think she’s found parents who’ll be patient with her.

Finally, today saw Bryan and Allison arrive to pick up Thor, and Dara arrive to pick up Jellie Bean.

Thor, who is in all ways a typical happy go lucky boy, made himself right at home on Bryan and Allison’s lap, and other than a few mournful whimpers when he was first put into his crate, seemed happy to leave.

That left Dara, who trekked here all the way from San Diego, accompanied by her mom. The (seemingly endless) drive from Buffalo coupled with snow and the construction on highway six had them arriving late, but it was still a wonderful thing to see Jellie Bean instantly climb onto Dara’s lap like she’d known her her whole life.

The puppy pen, that was crowded with kids not too long ago, now holds only little Heart. She’s been the toughest trouble maker of the bunch, but this afternoon, after Jellie Bean left, Heart finally realized she was all alone.

She explored the living room, stuck her head inside the green tunnel, and even looked inside the coffee table. No puppies. She finally settled for a rousing game of “catch that mommy!” and a nap on my lap, but I think it will take her a few days to get used to being a solo puppy (again).

Poor girl – from singleton to one of six and back to singleton once more. Guess who’s going to get really, really, really spoiled over the next little while.

Photos are over on Flickr, and updates have been promised from all the new mommies and daddies. Me, I’ll be over here, sulking at having to let any of the babies leave home. Ever.