Saturday, June 29, 2013

A CHIHUAHUA IN TEXAS, by Dorrie

When we were in Texas at Aunt Cheryl's house, Mom kept taking pictures of me and also some of Piper.  But she took more of me because (1) I'm her newest dog, and (2) I'm so darned cute.  Piper already said most of the stuff that needed to be said about our trip, but she didn't show you very many pictures of ME, and those are the best ones of all!

Okay, so here I am on the bed where Piper and I slept with Mom.  I like to sleep under the covers, and since there were no cats in the way, I could even sleep between Mom's legs, which is a very cozy and safe place to sleep.



Getting my picture taken makes me a little nervous, and when I'm nervous, I keep my ears back.  That's one reason Mom takes so many photos of me, I think.  She is trying to get one where I have my ears up.


I have a little bit of separation anxiety, so when Mom goes away, it makes me feel stressed.  Every time Mom left our room downstairs and went upstairs, I scratched at the door and whined.  One time I started crying really loud, and Piper starting barooing, and we made a whole lot of noise to show how much we didn't like being left alone.



When Mom comes back, I'm happy, and sometimes I do a little dance and jump up against her leg.  Mom says this is not good manners, but she hasn't made me stop doing it.



Here I am on the bed with Piper.  I love it when Mom rubs my tummy, so I'm always rolling over because it makes me look cute and I get attention.  When Piper saw how much fun I had getting my tummy rubbed, she even rolled over a couple of times, too.


In this picture, I am investigating a pile of bricks.  Like Piper said, there are tons of interesting smells in Aunt Cheryl's yard, and a girl's nose could get tired just checking them all out.


Okay, that's all the pictures of me, but Mom said I should show a couple of pictures of the plants she bought.  These are just some of the biggest ones.  She also bought a bunch of smaller ones.  This first photo has a Bursera fagaroides, an Adansonia za (which is also called a Baobab Tree), and a Pachypodium succulentum.



And in this photo there is a Cyphostemma juttae crossed with a Cyphostemma hardyi.  I don't really know anything about plants.  I'm just saying what Mom told me to say!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

AUNT CHERYL'S YARD, part 2

Here are more pictures of some pretty, and some pretty strange stuff in Aunt Cheryl's back yard.


Water lilies in a tub.
























Chandeliers hanging from the live-oak tree.






















A birdcage hanging from the live-oak tree.


























Lots of sansevierias and a euphorbia.  (Mom told me the names of these plants because, to be honest, I don't really care.  Hahaha!)


























An angel.


























A sculpture that Uncle Juan made.




















Me looking around to see if anything is sneaking up on me!


























Pottery and stuff.

























A turtle (not a real one).





















Can you find Dorrie in this picture?



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

AUNT CHERYL'S YARD, part 1

Well, like I told you yesterday, Aunt Cheryl has a huge yard, which means there are many fascinating smells there.  I wish I could share all the odors I sniffed, but blog technology has not got to the point where I can do that.  So I will have to show you pictures instead.

Here's a photo of me and Dorrie out in the yard, just to prove that we really were there, and that I am not making all this up.  The kind of blue-green thing behind us is the back of Aunt Cheryl's house.


Here's a cactus plant and some other succulents.


Some lanterns hanging from the big live-oak tree.


A forest of turbines.  Usually people put these on their roofs to pull the hot air out of their attics, but Aunt Cheryl found something different to do with them.  They are all fixed so that when the wind blows, they go around and around.


That metal thing is called an impeller, and you use it inside a pipe to move water or sewage along.  We only know this because Mom posted a picture on Facebook, and she said, "What is this?"  Before long, people started telling her what it was.  We don't know where Aunt Cheryl got the impeller, but she wants to use it as a sort of trellis to grow plants on.


Here's a big pot with a frowning sun face.


Uncle Juan has been cutting the stones and bricks and fitting them together to make this nice circle.


This is a statue of Quan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.  Silly Dorrie was afraid of it and barked a few times when she saw it.  We thought she had been de-barked, so we were surprised to hear her bark.  She also got a mohawk all the way down her back.


Here's a blue pot and some plants.


This plant is called bougainvillea.  It comes from South America and Central America.  You can grow it outside all year round in Texas, but in Missouri, it will freeze to death during the winter.


Uncle Juan made this bottle tree for Aunt Cheryl.  She likes it a whole bunch, and she points it out to everybody who comes in the yard.


Behind the bottle tree is this great big prickly pear, which is also called an opuntia.  Prickly pears make big flowers in lots of different colors.  Sadly, they were all finished blooming by the time we got there.


Okay, that's enough for today.  Maybe I can put some more pictures here tomorrow for you to see.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WHAT I DID IN TEXAS

On Sunday, we left Austin early in the morning, and after we drove for hours and hours, we finally got home to Kansas City.  It is about 734 miles from our house to Aunt Cheryl's house, and it takes us 13 or 14 hours to drive all that way.  We could get there faster if we didn't keep having to stop and pee.  Also, the day we first drove down there, we got in some very slow traffic because people were doing construction stuff on the road.  When we came back, nobody was working on the road because it was a Sunday.  So now we know that it's better to drive to Austin on a Sunday.

Here I am standing in Aunt Cheryl's back yard.

The only bad thing that happened to us on the way home was we had a flat tire.  And it wasn't just a tire that went a little bit flat.  It was a tire that got shredded and mashed and torn apart.  Mom called it a "major tire malfunction."

Anyway, we had to stop driving because of our tire malfunction, and Mom called the nice people at AAA.  They said they could send somebody out in 45 minutes or maybe sooner.  But then, just when we were getting ready to wait for 45 minutes, these two men in a big, black pickup stopped, and they asked if they could help us.  Mom said it would be great if they could change our tire, so that's what they did. Dorrie and I had to wait in the front seat while this happened because our crate and a bunch of other stuff got unloaded out of the car so that the spare tire could come out of its hiding place.  Then everything got loaded up again, including us, and we drove the rest of the way home, which wasn't really very far.

I spent a lot of time sleeping in Texas.

But now I'm going to tell you about some of the stuff I did at Aunt Cheryl's house, which was mostly the same stuff that Dorrie also did.  Aunt Cheryl has a really huge, ginormous yard with tons of shrubs and flowers and weird stuff in it.  A lot more plants got put in since we were there the last time, plus the bamboo got taken out.  Gabe and I and Hank used to like to run around through the bamboo, so it was kind of sad that it was gone.  But bamboo is not a native Texas plant, and it is what is called "invasive," so that is why Aunt Cheryl got rid of it.  Now she is just trying to have mostly native plants.

When we first arrived in Austin, it was after dark because we got stuck in a lot of slow traffic on the way through Fort Worth.  Then Mom got lost trying to find Aunt Cheryl's house, so we had to call and ask Uncle Art how to get there.  Finally we ended up at the right house, but it was very dark, and the yard was very big, so we didn't go exploring until the next morning.  In my next blog entry, I will tell you more about Aunt Cheryl's yard.

Here's Dorrie looking goofy.

Dorrie and I both liked to be out in the yard, except that it was really hot out there.  Inside, it was cold because of the air-conditioning, so when we first went outside, it felt good to be warm again.  But then we got hot, so we went back inside where we could be cool.

I wish this collection had some basenjis in it,
instead of mostly Airedales.

Mom and Aunt Cheryl were gone a long time every day, so Dorrie and I slept a lot.  Mom put us in crates so that we wouldn't get into any trouble.  I only had a rug and some newspapers for bedding, but Dorrie got to have a real dog bed.  Mom said I couldn't have a bed because I would just tear it up and eat the pieces, and then I would have to have expensive surgery again.

Mom spent her time in dark rooms, trying to stay awake during lectures.

While the cactus and succulent convention was happening, Dorrie and I had to stay in our crates for hours and hours.  But this nice man named Uncle Juan would come a couple of times during the day and let us out to potty.  Uncle Juan is the person who helps Aunt Cheryl do all the yard work.  He talked to us in Spanish, and he said we were very good girls.

I have excellent pillow-shredding skills

One night, Mom went upstairs to watch a movie with Aunt Cheryl, and I was feeling kind of bored and stressed, so I tore up a feather pillow.  Mom was shocked when she came back downstairs and saw what I had done.  Then she had to go tell Aunt Cheryl that she had been foolish enough to leave me alone with a pillow.  Luckily, Aunt Cheryl has a sense of humor, and she understands basenjis.  She helped Mom clean up all the feathers.  This was hard to do because feathers fly, like birds, which is where they come from.  But if you suck them up with a vacuum cleaner, that sort of works.

The problem with feathers is that they stick to you.

After that, Mom made Dorrie and me stay in our crates whenever she went upstairs for very long.  Well, except one time she was doing her email upstairs, and I tore up the bag that Mom got at the convention.  But Mom didn't really care about the bag because every time she goes to a convention, she gets another bag.

Mom didn't really want this bag anyway.
I was going to stop writing there, but Mom said I should also admit that I wet the bed a couple of nights.  I didn't mean to do this.  The pee just somehow came out of me while I was sleeping.  It's very embarrassing when this happens.  Anyway, Mom thinks I have a urinary tract infection, so she took some of my pee over to Dr. Patricia's office yesterday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WE ARE GOING TO TEXAS!

Guess what!  Mom and I and Dorrie got up really early this morning, and pretty soon we will get in the car and start driving to Austin, Texas.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that we have gone to Austin before, and that it's the place where Aunt Cheryl lives.  My boyfriend, Hank the basenji, used to live there, too, but he had to go to the Rainbow Bridge.  This is the first time I will be in Austin without Hank there, and I feel sad about that.


But here is some good news:  Aunt Cheryl got a new dog not too long ago.  He is not a basenji, but instead, he is an airedale.  Aunt Cheryl does lots of airedale rescue, and so she meets a whole bunch of airedales.  And now she adopted this one, and his name is Sully.  He's pretty young, like maybe three years old, but I don't remember for sure.  Anyway, he was kept out in somebody's yard on a chain, so he had chain wounds around his neck when he was rescued, plus also he was really thin.  But even after all that, Sully turned out to be a really friendly, super-nice boy.  Or at least that's what Aunt Cheryl says.

The worst thing about Sully is that he has heartworms, so he is getting treated for those.  And when you are getting treated for heartworms, you have to stay very calm and quiet.  You're not supposed to run and play, no matter how much you want to, because if a clump of dead heartworms gets into your lungs, it can kill you right away.


So Aunt Cheryl told Mom that Dorrie and I may not get to meet Sully because she doesn't want him to get excited and try to play with us.  But I think Mom will be allowed to meet him, and she can take some pictures and tell us all about him.

But anyway, getting back to our trip, the reason we are going to Austin is not just to visit Aunt Cheryl, even though that's always fun to do. We are also going there because the Cactus and Succulent Society of America is having a convention, and Mom is attending it.  And so is Aunt Cheryl.  Dorrie and I are not going to the convention because (1) dogs are not allowed there, and (2) we think it would be boring.  So the two of us girls will just stay at Aunt Cheryl's house and take a nap while the convention is happening.


While we are gone, our foster kittens will stay at other foster homes.  And our kitty siblings went to Dr. Patricia's clinic for boarding.  Mel went there, too, because Mom thought he was too old for traveling so far.  So it's just the three of us girls who are going to Austin.  We're going to try to drive all the way there today, and all the way back on June 23.  Dorrie was kind of nervous when Mom started packing everything last night, but I told her about Aunt Cheryl's house and that she would have a good time there.  I'm not sure if she believed me or not, but she'll see after we get to Austin.

I think my blog will probably be on vacation during the time I'm in Austin.  If I happen to decide to write something, I will, but sometimes a girl just needs to take a break!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I AM DORRIE! by Dorrie, the Chihuahua

Hi!  My name is Dorrie, and I am a Chihuahua.   I started my life in Dodge City, Kansas, or someplace around there.  Dodge City is kind of famous because it was on the Santa Fe Trail, and also it was a big cow town.  Also there were a couple of guys named Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson who used to live there.  Maybe you have heard of them.    Dodge City is in the southwest part of Kansas, about two-thirds of the way to Colorado, if you are going west from Missouri.  You can get to Dodge City from I-70 by taking the WaKeeney exit and then going south on highway 283.  If you find yourself in Oklahoma, that means you have gone too far.


In Dodge City, I ended up with a group called Pets Miracle Rescue.  I can't really tell you how I got there.  I might have been a stray or I might have been an owner surrender.  Probably I wasn't in a puppy mill because I had already been spayed when I got to the rescue group.  Also, my new mom is thinking that I got debarked because I haven't really barked since I've been at her house.  Mostly I just go "Boof! Boof!" if I'm excited.  I can also whimper and whine and make a really good screeching noise if I need to!

Anyway, in Dodge City, I got all my shots and I also got my teeth cleaned.  Then Pets Miracle handed me over to a group called New Beginnings.  They brought me and some other little dogs to Kansas City.  In Dodge City, it's hard to find adopters for all the dogs that need homes because there aren't enough people living there, so that's why we came to Kansas City.

I may be little, but I cast a long shadow!

Nobody knows how old I am, exactly.  On Petfinder and on Mom's adoption contract, it says I am 5 years old.  But on the paperwork that Mom got from Pets Miracle Rescue, it says I am 4 in one place and 7 in another.  I guess it doesn't matter too much, and a real lady doesn't tell her age anyway!

Mom says I fit in well here because I like to sleep a lot.  My new doggy siblings, Mel and Piper, are also into sleeping, and so are the cats.  A couple of nights ago, I got to meet the foster kittens when they came out of their room.  I wasn't sure what to think of them.  Usually cats are bigger than I am, but these cats were smaller!  I whimpered and whined and danced around while pawing at Mom's leg.  Mom said I should be nice to the kittens, and she watched me like a hawk.  She said a dog killed a kitten here before, and she didn't want that sad thing to happen again.  So I didn't kill any kittens or even chase them, but maybe I will some other time.  I've chased squirrels in the yard, and that was fun, so I know that I like chasing things.


Yesterday Mom and I got to do something very special and adventurous together.  We got up early, and we went to this event called Dog-n-Jog.  There were lots and lots of people and dogs there.  The purpose of it was to raise a whole bunch of money for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, which is where Mom is a volunteer.  I know this is a good cause, but I thought Dog-n-Jog was kind of scary because there was so much noise and so many people and dogs.

Mom took me around and introduced me to a bunch of her friends.  They all said I was really cute -- which is true, of course -- and several of them wanted to hold me.  So Mom kept handing me over to perfect strangers.  Mom hopes all this handling will make me more social and less shy, but she may be totally wrong about that.


Anyway, we went on the one-mile walk, and at first Mom carried me because there were too many big dogs that might have decided to eat me.  Or some big person might have stepped on me and squashed me like a bug.  But after a while, things cleared out, and Mom had me do some of the walking myself.  This was right after she mentioned that other small dogs were walking and not being carried.  Mom pointed out a tiny Yorkie as an example.  So I walked for a while, and when I got tired or scared, Mom picked me up again.

When we were at Dog-n-Jog, Mom ran into her hair stylist, Doug, and his partner, Mike.  They had their two shih-tzus with them, and the two dogs got to ride in a special stroller thingy!  I also saw some Chihuahuas riding in one of these strollers later.  I came home and told Piper about it, and we agree that Mom should buy us one of them.  Then we could go for all kinds of long walks without getting tired at all!


There was a costume contest at Dog-n-Jog, but Mom did not make me enter it, thankfully.  We saw a lot of people with dogs in costumes, including this man with a beard who had two Pomeranians.  At least we think they were Pomeranians.  It was kind of hard to tell.


One thing that happened at Dog-n-Jog was that I got something called a microchip.  Mom forgot to have Dr. Vodraska put one in me, so when she found out that the Humane Society was doing it at Dog-n-Jog, she was very happy.  What she didn't tell me was that getting a microchip hurts because the chip is almost as big as a Chihuahua, and they use a really big needle to put it in.  So I shrieked when they stuck me, but after a while, it stopped hurting, and now I am all identified.


Another thing that happened was that we got our picture taken by a fancy photographer.  Someday we will get this photo sent to us by email, but since I wanted to put a photo of Mom and me in this blog entry, Mom asked one of her friends to take a picture of us.  As you can see, I am looking a little bashful and demur.  This is the way I look when I am nervous, so I looked this way pretty much the whole time we were there.


I was really glad when we finally left, and on the way home, I could hardly keep my eyes open in the car.  Thank goodness I didn't have anything else on my calendar yesterday, because I really needed to get rested up!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

FOSTER KITTEN UPDATE

First of all, I will tell you that we now have 8 foster kittens instead of just 5.  We got the 3 newest ones almost 2 weeks ago.  They are all boys, and their names are Andrew, James, and John.  Mom did not give them these names.  In fact, she thinks these names are sort of boring and they sound like they came right out of the Bible.  Which is why we have been calling these 3 kittens "the New Testament boys."  When Mom told this to Aunt Tania, Aunt Tania said the kittens got named by a lady who only works there on Sundays, helping clean the kennels, and this person is a good Catholic.  So she probably really did think up the names out of the Bible.

Andrew, John, and James

Anyway, Aunt Tania said the New Testament boys are 3 weeks older than our "A" kittens, but Mom finds this hard to believe.  She thinks they are maybe only 2 weeks older.  Or else they might have got off to a slow start in life.  Andrew is the tabby one, John is the bigger black one, and James is the smaller black one.

Within a day after Mom brought the new kittens home, they were playing and cuddling with our other kittens, and pretty soon Audra started letting them nurse, just as if they were her very own kittens.

Audra with Abra, John (or James), Alec, and Andrew

Mom has been trying to keep Audra out of the kitten room a lot of the time because Audra was getting thin and dehydrated, what with feeding all those kittens.  But Audra sits outside the door of the kitten room, and she makes all kinds of funny yowly cat noises.  It sounds like she is cussing somebody out instead of calling for her kittens.

John, Adair, Abra, Alec, and Andrew

We think Audra is trying to be in season again so she can make new kittens.  Of course, we don't want this to happen, which is why we hope Audra's milk will dry up soon so she can be spayed.  Sometimes Mom can't stand hearing Audra being so noisy outside the kitten room, and then Mom opens the door to let Audra go in there, just to shut her up.

Anderson, Abra, Andrew, and Adrian

It's really hard for 8 kittens to nurse when there are only 6 nipples.  Andrew and John are bigger and pushier than the others, so they usually get more than their share.  James is the runt of his litter, and he is so shy that we think he is not always getting enough food to eat.

Left side of Audra: Anderson, Abra, Adrian,
Right side: James (or John), Alec, Andrew, and John (or James).
Where is Adair?  Maybe in the litterbox?

Sometimes Audra wants to eat some of the kittens' food when she is in their room, so she does this while also nursing.  I think this is what they call "multi-tasking."

Alec, Abra, Andrew,
and more kittens on the other side of the Milk Bar.

On Friday night, Mom let the kittens out of their room for a little while so they could explore the house.  They didn't got very far because it was their first time, and they were kind of scared.  Next time, they will probably go farther.

Anderson and Alec explore the world.

And tomorrow the "A" kittens will turn 7 weeks old.  Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you some very good news, which is that Erica and Esmé got adopted yesterday!