Tag Archives: Pets

Grab a hankey!

I ran across this video from Argentina this week. It is extremely powerful and moving.

Advertisements

Good bye to a good dog

We had to say goodbye to our 14-year old Labrador Retriever, Casey, last week. Casey had been failing for some time. His cataracts left him mostly blind and we really don’t think he could hear a thing anymore. He had a bad case of arthritis in his back legs. As a pet owner, you always hope you will know when it is the right time to put your pet down — not too soon, but not too late either. We think it was Casey’s time.

Casey in 2009

Casey in 2009

We adopted Casey in January 2003 from a lab rescue group in Atlanta. We had driven to Atlanta and spent the night so we could be at the “adoption day” event bright and early. Casey won Mrs. Poolman’s heart when he leaned up against her leg and just slid down her leg to lie on his back in a definite “Please scratch my chest” pose.

As it turned out, Casey wasn’t the brightest dog in the animal kingdom, but he may have been one of the sweetest. That was one of his two definitive personality characteristics. He loved children. When he was still spry enough to go on walks, I used to joke that he was the post popular kid in the neighborhood. Small children would literally run out of their houses, calling his name. When we stopped, they would hug is neck, and he would respond with a big slurp on the child’s cheek.

His other defining characteristic is that he loved to carry things around in his mouth. He rarely chewed anything, but he had a real oral fixation. Shoes, stuffed animals, you name it. If he could pick it up, he would carry it. He wasn’t really a very good retriever, because, although he liked to chase and fetch, he didn’t want to give up whatever he had. He loved rolled up newspapers. They were the perfect size and shape. The highlight of his day was to fetch the morning newspaper from the front walk. He was known around the neighborhood as that well-trained dog that fetches the newspaper. “How did you teach him to do that?” We hated to tell people that he just came that way.

Shortly after he came to live with us, my brother- and sister-in-law came to visit us. Brother-in-law was carrying some luggage in from his car and his home newspaper was dangling from his hand in its plastic bag. They had not met Casey before, so he was shocked when Casey came running up from behind, jumped and grabbed the newspaper right out of his hand. Casey pranced around the yard, tossing the paper up in the air and very proud of himself.

It wasn’t all cotton candy and unicorns. He had a strong storm anxiety and on one occasion managed to eat the better part of two couches and a down comforter.  That doesn’t even count the numerous rainy nights we were kept awake by his whimpering and pawing.  And the last year or so hasn’t been easy.

All in all, though, he was a great member of our family for just over 12 years and we will miss him.

Mrs. P finally gets her lapcat

We have been adopted. It’s official, or at least as official as a cat-adoption can be. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a stray/abandoned/homeless black male cat started hanging around our house a day or two before Christmas. After we ascertained that the cat was definitely not the neighbor’s cat, which we originally thought, Mrs. P took him to the vet and had him checked out, shots, etc. If he wasn’t our cat before paying the $300+ vet bill, he sure was afterward.

Since then, Zorro and Mrs. Poolman have developed quite the mutual admiration society. Mrs. P goes out to the garage to smoke. Zorro is frequently hanging out there anyway, but if not, he comes trotting through the pet door to the back yard and gets in Mrs. P’s lap. Neither of our “regular” cats will do this, and this has been a source of constant frustration to Mrs. P, who wants a “lapcat.” This Zorro knows who is buying his Friskies.

Mrs. P and her new boyfriend.

Mrs. P and her new boyfriend.

We had a close call last week. While I was on my way home from work, I got a call on my cell phone from an older woman who started off with “Oh, you are a real person, not a machine.” Huh? She told me she had a black cat that had disappeared a few weeks previously when she was in the hospital. She had been at the vet and picked up on one of the various “found cat” notices I had spread around a few weeks ago. She thought Zorro might actually be her “McPheron.” She came over to the house with her adult son. However, she couldn’t definitely ID the cat as hers. Also, on the phone, she could not ID two distinctive physical features of Zorro that she would definitely have recognized if he were her cat. Mrs. P was not at home at the time, so I was not very encouraging about letting her take off with Mrs. P’s new cat. That is, not unless the cat just jumped into her arms and started licking her face, which he most definitely did not do.

 So the cat came back…and stayed.

This and that

No, honey, that smoke detector is not a kitchen timer.

 Earlier this week, Mrs. Poolman made us tacos for dinner. This is usually a fairly easy, mistake-proof meal. Not this time. Rather than heating the taco shells in the oven, like we normally do, Mrs. P decided heat them in the microwave.

 “What is that smoke I smell?”

I pulled the taco shells, that were “spooned” together, out of the microwave. They were still combusting! I stuck them in the sink and hit them with the dish sprayer. A large cloud of steam later, the “blaze” was extinguished. I’ve heard of hot Tex-mex food, but really!

 We always have soft tortillas around, so we just had soft tacos that night.

 Actually, this just makes us even. A few weeks ago I saute’d some tilapia for dinner. I used a new spice mix, not knowing it was heavily salt-based. The fish filets were virtually inedible. I’m not a great cook, but usually my meals at least can be eaten. Not that night.

 *   *   *

I understand the reason behind Amber alerts. But is it really necessary to send the same alert out to my phone every few minutes all night? The other night, my phone was hopping with an Amber alert from Tampa, more than 300 miles away. I had to turn the phone off just so I could get some sleep. Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose? Duh.

 *   *   *

It’s tough running a small business, but sometimes when I see how some businesses treat their customers, I don’t understand how they can keep their doors open at all. Last December, we contacted a local pest control company about some unwanted pests in our attic. We called this company because they handle other termite inspections and because someone close to us works for them. The pest control guy came out for an inspection a few days later and said he would be back the next week to seal off the attic and set some traps. Two months later, we hadn’t heard back from the guy. When we finally reached him, he confessed he “forgot.”

 So he sent one of his minions out to seal off all entrances to the attic, but he had forgotten to bring the traps.

 “No problem, I’ll be back on Thursday to set the traps.”

 Of course, he never came. Meanwhile, we got a bill for the incomplete service.

 After continuing to hound than, we finally got the rodent boy to come back out last week and set his traps — four months after we initially called. He is supposed to come back this week to collect whatever (hopefully nothing) that has been caught. We’ll see.

 *   *   *

And speaking of unhappy experiences with local merchants, we took Sammie the dog and Sid the Tailless cat to a groomer this weekend to be trimmed a little. Both are long-haired and desperately needed it. We went to a groomer we had not used before. I don’t know what the groomer was thinking. Sammie was cut down fairly close. Sid was practically shaved.

Sid the Hairless (as well as tailless)

Sid the Hairless (as well as tailless)

He looks like a little piglet with the head of a lion. Poor thing. Fortunately, Sid doesn’t really seem to care how funny he looks. His “sister” Penny, however is another story. She has been hissing at him ever since he got home yesterday afternoon. Quite the critic she is. Fortunately, Sid is an inside cat, so sunburn won’t be a problem. Otherwise…

I don’t think we’ll be using that groomer again. Duh.

A well groomed cat

Our large (16 pounds) silver Manx cat, Sid, hasn’t been taking very good care of himself lately. He has slacked off on his grooming, and the result is the long fur on his back became just an impossible tangle of matted fur.  This isn’t the first time we have had to intervene with Sid’s grooming issues.

Mrs. Poolman finally found a groomer who could handle Sid’s problem and left it to me to get him there and pick him up.

Sid the Tailless with his new look.

Sid is not a big fan of being messed with, being placed into a carrier. He is a master of the spread-eagle “I’m not going!” move. Our technique is to turn the carrier up on its end; hold his front and back legs together; and allow Sid’s significant weight help lower him into the carrier. The funny thing is, once you get him confined to his carrier and into the car, he becomes resigned to his fate and is fairly well behaved.

Sid’s “sister” Penny

I dropped him off at the groomer across town yesterday morning and picked him up after work. The groomer said he behaved himself.
The funny thing happened after we got home. His “sister”, Penny, acted like he was a stranger. She hissed and growled at him. I don’t know whether she didn’t recognize him (He didn’t look that much different.) or was commenting on the new haircut, but it took most of the evening before Penny stopped acting strange.

The dogs, on the other hand, didn’t notice the new “do” and didn’t care.  No surprise there.

 

Who let the cat out of the bag?

Mrs. Poolman and I had a busy weekend. Sunday was all yard work, but Saturday involved a grueling trip to a “shot clinic” and two movies, one very good, the other very bad.

We started off with a trip across town to a shot clinic for our menagerie of pets – two dogs, Casey the Lab and Sammy the Mutt. We also included the two cats, Sid and Penny.

Even with the two of us, it was a lot like work. The shot clinic was very popular so we had about a 45 minute wait. The two dogs were totally excited to have the chance to be in the same place with so many other people and pets. The cats were less so.

We really didn’t want to put both cats in the one carrier that is large tough to hold them both. When loaded with 30 pounds of feline, it’s awkward and heavy. So instead, we put Sid into a relatively small cat carrier and Mrs. Poolman borrowed an idea from my brother-in-law for a way to transport Penny – a mesh, drawstring laundry bag. It really worked. Penny was not happy about the whole idea of being carried around, transported in a car and getting her shots. But with the mesh bag she could see out and was reasonably well behaved.

There is a cat in there.

"All right. Enough with the fun. I'm outta here!"

It was a good plan. If you have cats you need to transport, keep it in mind.

Free the whales!

I’ve been off the net for a few weeks. To be honest, I haven’t been posting, nor have I been reading many of my blog friends. More catch up later.

I’m on the road this week, and taking a break between meetings to check my email. I ran across this news on Huffington Post that jolted me out of my blogish lethargy.

Flipping out over his day in court.

PETA is suing Seaworld on behalf of the Orcas, claiming they are victims of slavery. Gotta love it! And they seem to do it with a straight face.

It would then naturally follow that hunters and fishermen are murderers. And I guess I’m a cannibal for the bacon and sausage I had with breakfast this morning. (I’m not saying no one has ever called me a “pig,” but I don’t think that is what they meant.)

And what about our gang of two dogs and two cats? Should I fear a slave revolt in the Poolman family?

If orcas have rights, they must also have the same responsibilities, I suppose. I’d love to see them try to take that Seaworld orca that was involved in the death of his trainer a while back to court on charges of negligent manslaughter. That would be worth watching on Court TV!