This is a guest post from the Dog Ma, letting you know, with great sadness, that Her Holiness the Dolly La Ma left this incarnation Tuesday evening, March 6th 2018, at around 10 PM California time. It happened at home, was sudden, unexpected, and her period of suffering was dramatic, but mercifully brief. The cause was a “Hemmorragic Pericardium Effusion”. For now there are no words. I will follow this post shortly with a video tribute. May she rest in heavenly peace.
Thought I’d be back sooner, dog-blogging, but guess what? The Dog-Ma brought home another dog!
Here we go again. This happened to me once before. First, she puts me in the car and we go to a weird place, and I meet a dog. You know, sniff his butt, hang out for a bit, nothing major.
Next thing I know, that butt I sniffed is coming through MY front door!
Hello? Excuse me? Do I get a vote here?
Do we live in a democracy, or what?!
That was Gadget. Now it's one month since the other new guy got here, and there’s too much to tell. Frankly, I’m a bit exhausted, so I’ll give over the rest of today’s blog to the new kid and let him tell you his story.
See you round,
I like you, do you like me?
I know I said that already, but that’s just my personality.
Hi! There, I did it again.
So I’m running around, right? I’m like sniffing, and peeing, and looking for stuff. I’m super-hungry. Like, ribcage showing, “can we get a dog a snack or what!” hungry. My fingernails are getting way filed down by all this running around. I’d love to find more grass somewhere.
I’m trying to stay out of the way, but there are cars everywhere. I’m in traffic, out, so I grab some sidewalk and start running.
Then out of nowhere, this car stops, and a lady hops out.
She says it in this super-happy voice, and I’m like, “Do I know you?!”
And she’s like, “Good boy! Good doggie! Hi Sweetie!”
This was confusing, but not in a bad way, so I stopped running.
Next thing I know, the lady’s gone to her car and come back with something in her hand. She breaks off a piece of it and throws it at me.
I back away, because ya know, maybe it’s a bomb. But then I catch a whiff.
I’m down for that and slink forward and gobble it up and start to run away again.
“Hey, Sweetie, GOOD boy!” This lady is really excited, and she lobs another peanut butter bomb in my direction, so I’m like, “OK, if you’re throwing it away.”
We go on like this for a while. Meanwhile, the lady has jumped into her car to put on blinking lights and there are still all kinds of cars whizzing by, but we’ve got kind of rhythm going with the peanut butter thing.
She gets out a plastic thing that doesn’t smell like it would taste very good, and starts talking to it. “Where? How far is that? OK. Thanks.” She doesn’t use her happy voice for the plastic thing, so I’m starting to feel special.
But then, wham, the lady tosses this rope-string thing over my head and gives it a tug, and tries to pull me towards her car. The nerve of some people! I buck like bronco. “Whoa!!!” I tell her, “I thought we were friends!” She drops her end of the torture device and goes back to giving me peanut butter and bits of bread. “Well alright then,” I say.
The lady sits down on the back seat of her car, so I have to get a bit closer to get the peanut butter. Then she’s like reaching all around, I don’t know what she’s doing, but then she finds something. Fruit I think. And starts crunching on it. Apple! She takes a bit and feeds it to me. I’ll tell you a secret about me, I love apples. Carrots are OK too, but apples are friggin’ awesome.
So now I’m really into getting closer to the car, because she keeps moving further onto the back seat so eventually I just climb in so I can get more apple. I’m nervous, but more hungry than nervous.
She slams the door behind me, and I’m like “Cool, it’s quiet in here, kinda cozy, and I can eat in peace. The lady starts rubbing my ears, and I’m like, “Nice!”
She drives me to a place nearby, all the time talking into the plastic thing, and the plastic thing is talking back now, “Take a left and go 200 meters, then take a right.”
I give her a big kiss and then she leaves me at that place.
“Hayward Animal Shelter,” it’s called. I’m there for two weeks, which is alright, but no picnic. Even though Emma and Vanessa, I think that was their names. They were super!
Then the lady came back with these two other dogs. A German Shepherd who’s a little standoffish but smells divine, and a young frisky guy I could see might be pal-material. He’s just a few months older than me.
Me? I’m coming up on one year of life. I am filled with youthful exuberance. YEAH!
So, the lady took me home.
It’s been a month now and I have to say, mostly it’s been awesome! Treats like you wouldn’t believe. Kibble three times a day! Walks all around. Dog park. I jump on the bed and the lady chases after me screaming. It’s great, except I don’t know what is up with those laundry room stairs, but I am not going down there. Nuh, uh.
The little guy’s scrappy. We play dawn to dusk. The shepherd and I go for tandem fetch, but she still won’t play one on one with me, even though I’m making an idiot of myself bowing to her all the time. But she’ll come around. They always do, because I’ll tell you one thing about me: I’m loveable.
I went to the vet today 'cause I had a thingy on my back. The Dog-Ma thought it was probably one of those sebaceous bumps dogs get. They're nothing to worry about, but the Dog-Ma likes to be sure about these things. This one was tiny, and that's exactly what it turned out to be.
Some other details:
The Dog-Ma called on Saturday to make the appointment for Monday, no problem. The visit took about half an hour, no waiting. It cost the Dog-Ma $68 dollars. If anything had been wrong and cost more than five hundred dollars, her insurance for me would've covered all of it. That insurance costs about $25 a month.
Dog meds are cheaper, too, the Dog-Ma tells me. Sammy, who lived with the Dog-Ma before I was alive, used to get four times as much thyroid medication as the Dog-Ma herself, for a quarter of the price. Same med, but eight times more for humans.
The Dog-Ma is nudging me now, trying to get her paws on the keyboard so she can talk to you about the need for fairer, more decent healthcare for humans.
I kindly remind her that this is my blog, and politely suggest she back off.
Meanwhile, during the visit to the vet I got to sniff a few folks and had several, weird-smelling treats. Gadget came along for moral support, or to get treats for himself, not sure which.
Nothing more to tell. Besides, it's nap time.
Turns out that today, March 13th, is National Napping Day. But Gadget and I like to nap every day.
The Dog-Ma loves “Murdoch Mysteries.” She loves most mysteries, especially the ones that adhere to the golden rule of having a dead body on the first page, (or if it’s TV, in the opening scene.) But she especially loves “Murdoch Mysteries,” the long-running Canadian series based on the novels of Maureen Jennings. She loves it for its turn of the century Toronto setting and the terrific cast, especially the charming constabulary sidekick George Crabtree played by Jonny Harris, but above all, she watches it for the magnificent Victorian costumes created by costume designer Alex Reda, and worn by the lovely Hélène Joy as the progressive feminist character Dr. Julia Ogden.
All that being said, she’s had one complaint over the ten years of the show: A shortage of dogs in the plotlines. There was an episode that had a sinister dog fighting ring as a backdrop, and it was frankly so well done it was scary! But where’s the dog cozy? The story that uses a canine character to show us the softer side of the detective? Well, she suffers no longer. Episode 11 of Season 10 is now available in the States on Acorn TV & Amazon, and its title “A Murdog Mystery” says it all. The star of the show, besides the wonderful Yannick Bisson, is a female yellow lab named "Pistachio."
In general Gadget and I love it when the Dog-Ma watches TV. She’s available for snuggles, and there’s generally not much to worry about when she’s got her feet up. Below is a clip of Samantha Bond, the actress who played Aunt Rosamund on "Downton Abbey", One of her all time favorite shows, whose dogs I'll talk about another time.here on set for Murdoch Mysteries. It’s a chance to see those costumes the Dog-Ma goes so nuts for. Me, I’m good with any old collar as long as it’s not too tight, and don't mind going au natural either, truth be told, but the Dog-Ma won't let me out of the house without I.D. Given my history as a stray, who can blame her?
Also below is a picture of the show’s star Yannick Bisson with his dogs, a boxer named Mack and an English bulldog named Duke. The Dog-Ma wants me to add, “As if he weren’t cute enough already!”
1. Stay out of reach. I know this sounds obvious, but you have to be a bit subtle about it. You can’t just defy your person openly. If you go tearing off over the ridge chasing a bird, you could end up with your off-leash privileges revoked. Just ask Gadget!
I’m just saying don’t get within arm’s reach. A crisscross pattern in front of your person works well, or a long loop around. I like to think of it as keeping my options open.
2. “Lose” your ball. That’ll buy you five minutes righter there. More if it’s an expensive, squeaky ball. Careful not to really lose your ball. Then the joke’s on you.
3. Find a shady spot to rest. This is a tricky one. It could make your person think you’re tired and need to go home, and then they’ll want to leave immediately. But on the other hand it could make them feel worried that you’re over-tired, and then when you go back to running and playing, they’ll be relieved, and let you run and play some more.
4. Get your person to have a seat. Do this by circling a bench a few times, or lying down under a picnic table. You’re saying, “Relax, take a load off. Why go home and sit when you can sit on this comfy bench here in this lovely park?”
5. Be adorable. Prance for joy. Delight in your surroundings. Smile at your person appreciatively. You could even consider breaking rule number one and come alongside your person for a pet, just one! You’re saying thanks. Thanks for this really long walk in the park.
Bonus Tip: When it's time, admit defeat. You'll get points and maybe even get a treat when you get back to the car. Try to think ahead.
Video Demonstration: Please note the technique here, not too close, but never too far. The Dog-Ma would like me to add for all you ladies out there, this works pretty well on the male of your species too. Be alluring, sometimes be available, sometimes aloof, in just the right combination.
I don't know about humans, or what they call "politics." Dogs fight over two things: Resources and Territory. This video illustrates my point. In it, I have a stick. I am happy with my stick. Gadget comes and takes my stick. I am unhappy. I bark loudly. The Dog-Ma finds another stick. She throws it for me. I am happy again. Gadget is happy too. I have a stick. Gadget has a stick. All is well. The End
"Doc Martin" is one of the Dog-Ma's favorite shows. It's set in a beautiful little village on the coast of Cornwall, England, which I'm sure would be a fun place to sniff around and run on the beach. It's a sweet, romantic show. The character Doc Martin hates dogs, but Martin Clunes must be a great actor, because really he loves us. He even has a whole 'nother show about dogs called "A Man and His Dogs" that you can watch on Netflix, and he narrated a show called "Britain's Favourite Dogs." But here's Dodger from Doc Martin. A Jack Russel type, he reminds me a bit of Gadget, you know, always getting into trouble. Right now Gadget's chewing the edge of the carpet and I bet the Dog-Ma's going to have to stop writing to go tell him to stop. Yep, told you so. -Dolly La
In honor of German Shepherd "Dolly-La", who left us in March of 2018, this blog will continue with thoughts on the dog's life from Dolly La's best friends, "Inspector Gadget", (a pint-sized papillon mix), and "Hayward", a black lab found roaming lost on the streets of Hayward. Edited by their "Dog-Ma," writer, Lisa Houston