Sunday, August 30, 2009

Petey's New Toy

Have you seen those balls that you put in the dryer to keep you clothes from getting static cling? I'd post a picture but I'm still having technical difficulties. I purchased a set several months ago on a whim. They were on the "As Seen On TV" section of a local drug store, they seemed neat, and weren't too expensive, so I took a gamble. For the record, they are pretty much useless. So, what does this have to do with Petey?

Last night John was sorting through some laundry which was on the bed, and the ball rolled out. He picked it up and was messing with it as we talked. I was in a nearby chair. Petey was on the bed. He loves fresh laundry. He'll follow us from the laundry room when we have a load of freshly dried, warm clothes, so that he can burrow down in them.

Petey, we thought, was waiting for a good chance to burrow. We noticed though, that he was grabbing for the ball as John was tossing it around. When John realized that, he tossed the ball to me. Petey jumped off the bed in an attempt to catch it, as though we were playing Keep Away. As we have already established, I am the softie, so I tossed it to him. He promptly trotted out of the room with it. John commented that we'd never see that ball again.

We went to see where Petey had gone with the ball. He had deposited it on the hearth near one of his beds, where he keeps the rest of his toys. I walked over to his bed, Petey grabbed another toy and ran over to me with it, as if to distract me from the laundry ball. John was right. He thought that ball was his. We won't be using it in the laundry any more. That is unless Petey wants it warmed up to keep with him while he's burrowed in to the fresh, clean laundry.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Petey, the Drama Dog

John and I have noticed signs of aging on poor, pitiful Petey in the week since we've been home. He lost a tooth, his muzzle seems to have gotten grayer and he doesn't seem jump and run so much. One afternoon when I got home from work he didn't run down to the car to get a ride to the back door. He didn't even come down the steps to greet me. He wasn't mad, because he stood up and wagged his little stubby tail. He met me with enthusiasm, just not at the usual Petey level.

We think he has arthritis in his back legs (hips if dogs have hips) that bothers him from time to time so that he doesn't jump so much. We give him baby aspirin to take the edge off. That usually only lasts a day or two then he's jumping and running like crazy again. Initially we thought that was the problem this time as well. Only this time it seemed to last longer.

On Thursday, John had an all day faculty meeting and was up and gone before my alarm went off. When I got up, Petey didn't rush in to the room as usual. Generally, he gets in the bed as soon as I get up. He'll stay there until I'm about to leave and walk me to the back door. He knows just the sad, pitiful look to give me so that I'll give him a treat.

On Thursday, none of this happened. When he didn't come to the bed, I went looking for him. I found him on one of his living room beds all curled up. He raised his head slightly and looked up at me with his most pitiful face. I asked if he wanted to get in the bed and he just let his head flop back down. I asked if he wanted to go out and he didn't respond at all. I thought that maybe he'd come back to the bed once he realized that I was up, but he didn't. I got ready for work and walked through the living room to see if he'd escort me to the back door. He didn't. He just laid there motionless. I went and got him a treat - a whole one - and brought back to him. He raised his head up enough to take the treat and flopped his head back down.

I wondered if my employer would allow a family sick day for a dog. I decided probably not, and went to work. Since John was in the meeting all day, he could not get email, cell phone calls, or texts. I could not discuss Petey's condition with him. I didn't know what he'd been like earlier in the day, but I suspected he'd been asleep when John left. So, I was left to wonder all day. I even wondered how I'd tell Petey's faithful fans what had happened.

When I got home that night, Petey came tearing to the back door and greeted me with enough enthusiasm to make up for all of the missed opportunities earlier in the week. I was shocked. I filled John in on what had happened in the morning. He was surprised. Petey had been up with him, gone out and been his perky little self while John was home. John hadn't given Petey a second thought all day because he was just fine when he left!!!

We are now beginning to wonder if Petey just has my number. He knows I'm the one that gives him the baby aspirins, or benadryl. Maybe he was faking it, thinking I would stay home like a child faking a stomach ache to stay home from school. He almost had me. He did get a whole bacon treat out of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vacation but not for Petey

John and I just got back from 5 glorious days in Miami. The worst part was that we had to leave Petey behind with a 'sitter'. We called and checked on both of them regularly. We had been gone about 36 hours when we learned that Petey had taken up residence in the master bedroom. Initially, I was sad, thinking the poor dog missed us so much that he had to be in the bedroom thinking we'd come back home to go to sleep eventually. I had some evidence to think that might be the case because any time John or I happen to be out, he really ratchets up the search for us after dark. He has somehow decided that our curfew is dark.

Anyway, I didn't feel bad long. One, it is hard to feel bad with all the sand, sun & sea. Two, and much more importantly, I realized that Petey had decided that he was in charge. John often says that to him when we leave together. He believed it and moved in to the master bedroom.

Now, not only did we have to anticipate the wrath of Petey for being left the better part of a week. We had to concern ourselves with the transfer of power!! We discussed and prepared all the way home.

Much to our surprise Petey met us at the airport. He was thrilled we had returned. He was not at all angry and eager to transfer the power back to us. The one thing we know for sure about Petey is that you never know!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Still Battling Fleas

Petey has had yet another flea bath since the last post. We put two C-A-T treatments on him afterwards. He tolerates those much better. He doesn't run through the house like his tail is on fire, but is almost as though he thinks it is supposed to hurt so he gets ready for it. He shakes and lays his ears all back like we are about to chop is head off. Then he seems almost surprised when it doesn't sting. Now if it would just kill fleas...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Petey's Very Bad Week

It started a week ago yesterday. My sister came to town with her two children ages 11 and 8. As has already been established Petey does not like very many humans. Most he only tolerates. My sister is one human that he took an instant liking to, jumping in her lap the first time they met. The children on the other hand are an entirely different matter. They have good dogs that like humans in their house at home, so it is difficult for them to understand that Petey is not like that. They want to be friends, Petey does not. Our theory is that little people just move too fast for Petey. They like to skip and run and jump and often even they aren't sure which way they are going, much less a grumpy old dog. So...

I took him to Mama's thinking maybe the neutral territory would help, it didn't. Of course, I like my sister and her family and wanted to maximize my time with them so I left Petey at home from then on. That way I got in some good visiting time and no one got subjected to Petey's growls and snarls. Unfortunately for Petey, that meant I was not home. That breaks Petey rule number one. He just couldn't win.

Things got worse when my niece and I decided to make supper for our whole family. We had a fabulous time, making pizza with homemade crust and yellow cake with chocolate frosting all from scratch. Petey didn't have as good of a time as we did. He ignored her unless she was giving him treats.

Things digressed even more when the family started showing up!! There were 12 of us dining on the pizza & cake. Poor Petey had to hide under the table most of the time.

My sister and children went back home yesterday, so things were surely looking up for Pete - no so!! When I got home from work last night, I saw evidence that he'd had a bath. John confirmed that Petey had yet another bath, because John saw a flea.

Once he was dry from the bath, Petey was subjected to the further humiliation of a flea treatment. He doesn't quite know the depth of the humiliation because we did not tell him that the flea treatment was for a C-A-T. One of Petey's public suggested cat treatments thinking they were milder. He didn't react as strongly to it, so maybe we've found something workable.

Now John, his number one, is gone on a day trip. Could things get any worse for Petey? Probably.