a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Various Notes and Random Bits

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Various Notes and Random Bits

  • Backfill: July 23 a.m.That Lovely London Scent: Somewhere in the past I mentioned that Tika gets catnip-style pleasure out of my used washcloths. Don't ask me, I'm not a dog. Or a cat. I got home very last Monday night--essentially Tuesday, in fact--washed my face and hands, and crawled into bed. When I dragged out of bed Tuesday morning and turned on the sink faucet to warm up water for morning face-scrubbing, Tika followed me into the bathroom, which is not unusual.
  • What is unusual is that she stopped abruptly below the towel bar, whereupon a slightly stunned or startled look crossed her face. She reared up onto her hind legs and stood there for a few moments with her superb sense of balance, examining the towel bar. Then, ever so gingerly, she took one corner of my washcloth in her frontmost teeth and pulled it, ever so fastidiously, off of the towel bar. She then carried it gently up onto my bed, where she shook it shortly twice, laid it carefully onto the bed, and rubbed her cheeks into it repeatedly for about 30 seconds. Then she was done.
    I was so stunned that I didn't scold her for taking my things from my purview. I wonder what odd or unusual odors I imported from London on the skin of my face? Perhaps it was the London Fog altogether, because when I opened my luggage to slowly begin unpacking, Jake put his nose right in there and analyzed every square inch of clothing and imported product. They usually exhibit no interest at all in my luggage or its contents.

  • Baths: I never bathes my dogs no more. Amber had very oily skin that attracted dirt like--um--dirt to an oily dog coat. Plus horrid flea allergies (this was in the days before those nifty one-spot once-a-month flea repellents). She needed bathing constantly. Sheba's pure white chest and underbelly and legs became grimy often, partly from the metal of her dangling dog tags, partly I'm sure from crawling out from under assorted fences. Remington got occasional baths, usually when Sheba needed one.
  • But I never tried just hosing Sheba down regularly. Rem, Tika, and Jake have all been hosed off frequently, because on warm days in agility it seems like the proper thing to do. In fact, I don't believe that I've ever bathed Tika, and probably hardly ever bathed Jake. I certainly don't think I've done doggie bathing since moving in here nearly 3 years ago.

    But Tika and Jake are shedding miserably, and Jake has started scratching again, so I gave them both baths yesterday in my shower stall--yes, with actualy doggie shampoo. It helped to clump and loosen the fur, and they both look particularly clean and cuddly in the aftermath. Neither were pleased about the process, but they survived admirably.

    Afterwards, I combed them each for about 10 minutes. Which removed about three mattress loads of fur but otherwise hardly seemed to make a difference.
  • Jake's legs: Once again this morning, Jake yelped just after waking up when I briskly scritched his thigh. Often when he's standing or walking slowly, I see his hind legs wobble and slew side-to-side a bit. Something I've seen with my other elderly dogs. How he can be having problems with his legs and still blitzkreig his squeakie in the yard or haul over jumps (although they're all 16" now, not the 22" to 24" he jumped in his prime) is beyond me. What a guy. But I'm cautiously concerned. Pull him from agility or not?
What I'll probably do is not enter him in everything at every trial. Maybe. If I can convince myself to not do so--
Kensington Palace and its front lawn. Think of the agility
you could do in your own front yard if you lived here!
  • Dogs in London: Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens simply seethed with dogs. All cheerful. All well-behaved. All off leash. Playing frisbee or tennis ball, running with their owners, encountering other dogs of similar size and ambition and playing wild games of chase across the verdant expanses-- And British owners are no better (maybe worse) than American owners about picking up after their dogs (saw 3 violators out of 3 observed poops!) despite the parks having their own special private privileged waste containers for doggy poo and nothing else! (Photo forthcoming.)
  • Dogs without me: Housemate reports that, while I was gone, Tika got out the front door once and (as usual) took off full speed across the nearest street. And, as usual, Casey and Jake decided it looked like fun and took off after her. Fortunately they were retrieved still alive. I don't know what to do about this problem. It's a serious problem. I need to do something. I've rambled about this problem before.

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