Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to me!!!
Six weeks seizure-free!!!

Now THAT is something to celebrate!  I honestly don't know why she's been seizure-free for so long.  It's the longest stretch she's ever had (5 1/2 weeks was the previous record and that was back when she first started having seizures - about 1.5 years ago now.  Maybe it's her diet?  Or the season change?  Her allergies have been better lately too, which I suspect is seasonal.  Or maybe still related to the increase in Phenobarbital a few months ago?  Who knows.  Everything about epilepsy seems like a bit of a crap-shoot sometimes. Regardless, I'm not complaining.  And I'm trying not to hold my breath for too long waiting for the next one...

So while I can't explain it, it's probably the best Christmas present I could get!

Iris says she'd rather have the present hidden under tree since waiting until tomorrow could take FOREVER!

Just in case you haven't seen enough of the red dog today...  The company I work for makes virtual tours out of 360 degree panoramas.  Every year they take a pano of the entire staff to send to clients as a Holiday Card.  This year's card was shot during our the Holiday party:

I'm also certain that Iris wishes we had parties at work more often.  I know she was getting plenty of handouts from my coworkers, but it's only once a year so everyone should get to enjoy themselves!  Even crazy dogs.

Today's Laugh

I saw this post on Craig's List and thought it was too funny not to share.  Just in case it gets flagged and taken down, here's the text from the post.


Please help! (Anywhere!)

Please help! After two long years of being on a waiting list for a dog, we have been notified by breed rescue that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children up for adoption this weekend!

They are described as:
One male -- his name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained and gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.

One female -- her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training. Shouldn't take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them. That is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

PS - If you laughed or understood the seriousness of this posting, please repost it in other areas of the country as well as continue to repost it. It doesn't matter how quickly it was flagged (this has already been flagged twice within a matter of hours in Worcester) the point is that SOMEONE SOMEWHERE will have read it and thought about it for a minute. Maybe that person will look at the pets they are rehoming and reconsider giving them away or dropping them off at a pound. Maybe they will help counsel someone that they know is doing it. Keep the silver lining in mind, otherwise those of us in rescue will succomb to how incredibly morbid the whole situation is and we can't risk any good people giving up. I can't take credit for this posting, it was in the Best Of Craigslist section but this can and should be applied to EVERYWHERE and I think that the original poster would take it as a compliment to see that their ad helped someone along the way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ode to the Red Dog

I meant for this to be a Thanksgiving Day post and even typed most of it up a few weeks ago, but I just haven't had a chance to get it posted.  Regardless, I think the entire holiday season is a good time to be thankful!  I've been thinking a lot about how much my little red dog has grown and I just recently remembered something I was told only a few months after I adopted Iris.

One of the first things I did with Iris was a beginner pet obedience class.  All of the dogs in class were adults and many were rescues.  During that very first basic obedience class, the instructor told the class that for most dogs it takes three weeks to get used to a new environment, three months to get used to new people, and three years to really bond.

Iris is seven now and the past summer was our "three year mark."  I remember thinking that strangely enough the three weeks and three months adjustment periods actually seemed pretty accurate for Iris.  But three years seemed like an eternity.  Well, it turns out that three years isn't an eternity.  It's actually pretty fast.

Fast forward three years, and here we are today.  The reason I've been thinking a lot about my crazy little red dog is because it just feels like in the last six months we've finally found the same rhythm.  Even though I didn't believe it at the time, the trainer who said "three years to really bond" just may have been right.  At least for me and Iris.  Sure, I've loved this dog for last three years and she's been my constant shadow, but it wasn't until recently that I think we've found the same tempo.  Ok, maybe I shouldn't say that I've loved her for quite three years.  You want to know my deep dark secret?  I really thought about returning her to the shelter.  She was crazy.  I mean, I wanted a fun dog.  Not some insane, aggressive nut job.  I felt like I was in way over my head with this crazy dog who exploded every time someone new came through the door, and exploded every time an unfamiliar dog was near her, and exploded every time she got stressed out about any little thing.  I just wanted a perfect agility dog and I somehow ended up with this crazy thing that ran back and forth and back and forth through the house all day barking at everything that moved outside.  The problem I kept running into is that as Iris' behavior problems were becoming more apparent, she was also opening up into a sweet cuddley wiggle butt.  When she wasn't being crazy.  Which was most of the time.  But I'm crazy too and I didn't want just "a dog."  I wanted Iris.  Just, it needed to be Iris with a whole lot less crazy if we were going to make it work.

And then it seems like all of a sudden (three years later...) she's really settled down and blossomed into a wonderful little dog.  I couldn't ask for a better companion.  I don't know if it's her getting older or us settling into a better routine, but in just the last few months I feel like I actually have the dog I was wishing for.  So many of her issues have melted away.  She's leaps and bounds better with strange people than she used to be, including strangers coming into the condo.  She comes to work with me regularly and sleeps quietly under my desk.  She no longer barks at everything outside the windows (I think mostly because she isn't allowed to look out the windows anymore, but she knows that rule and only rarely attempts to check the windows).  She's good on a leash and even gets to go hiking off leash.  Honestly, the only "issue" I would say she still has is being reactive with other dogs.  And while she's still a bossy bitch, she's far better than she used to be.

I look down at my little red merle shadow and I can't imagine that at one point I was seriously considering returning her to the shelter.  So my crazy-head red dog, here's to three years and hope for many more!