Dog Days of Summer…and spring…and fall…and winter…

I’m a big fan of the Weary Parent: Parenting Teens and Tweens blog, because she helps poor, helpless geek moms such as myself come up with new and clever ideas for keeping teens and tweens safe, healthy, and occupied (i.e. out of trouble!).  This summer, she has had an ongoing resource called “Camp Weary Parent“, with a new theme for each week.  This weeks theme is “Camp Weary Parent Goes to the Dogs,” so that got me thinking that since we are also heading into the Dog Days of Summer, this would be a good time to tell you a little bit about the least techie members of the Topsy-Techie family:  Frisky and Squat. 

Yes, Frisky and Squat are their real names.  They didn’t mind me breaking the anonymity “claws” on their blog contract, because they currently are looking for television advertising spots for pet food, and could use the publicity.  These two mutts, and they are mutts in the truest sense of the word, are the joy of the Techie household.  They bring us more fun and laughter than any Youtube video ever could, and they are almost as useful.  Here is their story….

Frisky was a birthday present for H-T on his fourth birthday.  We had recently purchased our house, and it just so happened to come customized with a full .75 acre fenced in back yard!  Imagine H-T’s glee!  He had been terrified of dogs up until the age of about 3 1/2, and would run screaming down the streets of any neighborhood audacious enough to have one of those terrifying beasts in its midst.  But magically, almost overnight, this terror turned to curiosity.  Then curiosity turned to felicity.  Then felicity turned into greed, as in “I want me one a’ those doggie things!”  So, for his birthday, we headed over to our local no-kill animal shelter, where a cage of Black-Lab style pups and their adoring mother were waiting for us.  We looked all around the shelter, but there was one puppy whose eyes didn’t seem to stray away from H-T during our whole visit.  She was black, she was precious, and 45 minutes later…she was ours.

Oh boy, were we unprepared for the life of puppyhood.  This dog has a serious oral fixation.  During her teething stage, she would sooth herself with anything and everything chewable, including our power cords.  We lost an electric blanket, a lamp, and a radiator in the course of about two weeks.  We were busily researching how to cure her of this cord obsession, when her cure came in a slightly more overt package.  From one of her favorite hiding places, under H-T’s bed, one evening, she got hold of a lamp cord that also happened to be still plugged in at the time.  H-T, sitting on the bed at the time, was literally levitated as Frisky hit the box springs with a  “jolt.”  Poor girl’s nerves and pride were shattered for some time, but our electrical appliances were safe and sound from then on.

Unfortunately, like most addictions, Frisky’s oral fixation didn’t go away, it just transferred.  She has had a lifelong  attachment to calories.  Doesn’t matter to her if they are in the form of scraps lovingly tossed in her direction, or crumbs that have been lost between the stove and cabinet for six weeks.  She just must have something in her mouth at all times.  Our neighbors have a compost heap, which is up against the back side of our fence.  Frisky has figured out how to get her huge paw through the smallest opening, and pull it back with an old egg shell or banana peel attached.  It is really quite impressive.  Unfortunately, it is also quite unhealthy. 

Last June, we went away for the day, and our precious girl got out of the fence.  We live on quite a busy road, and she had very little experience with cars, and she was struck.  We found her, in the middle of a thunderstorm, curled up under our neighbors bushes.  The animal hospital gave us the grave diagnosis that she had a broken leg, a broken pelvis, and some internal injuries.  Because of her size (she was about 115 pounds at the time – – 25 pounds overweight), they said we might have to put her down because carrying her in and out for bathroom breaks, etc, would probably be too taxing on us.  Too taxing???  This is our dog we are talking about!!!  So, for four weeks, I put beach towels under her rear abdomen, to support her weight, and marched her in and out on her front two legs to the front yard at least four times a day.  I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my back is still recovering from the trauma. 

The vet suggested putting her on a strict low-cal diet, at that point.  My back and I heartily agreed. Over the last year, she has lost quite a few pounds.  We are cutting back on her daily food amounts, and have started buying her only the diet version of her favorite kibble.  We have also tried to stop feeding her from the table or throwing her scraps as I cook.  This is all under control.  What we haven’t figured out yet is how to keep her out of the neighbor’s compost pile.  There are some truly fattening morsels those kind folks are throwing out just within paws reach!!  

She is strong again, though, especially for a nine-year-old.  She runs and plays and looks for crumbs at every turn.  She is our beloved, Frisky…and we love her dearly!  Stay tuned for my next post when I will introduce you to the most lovable but chemically imbalanced member of our family….Squat.



2 Responses

  1. Frisky sounds like a larger version of our fur-baby, Zoe.

    Zoe is also a calorie hound. My mom dog-sat for us last year, and during one phone call she was lamenting that Zoe hadn’t hardly touched her dog food and was quite lethargic. She assured us that she wasn’t giving her any scraps at all, and I replied “My God, she’s starving to death! She only eats dog food as a last resort!” 😀 She very much feels that dog food is beneath her, and will *only* touch it out of necessity.

  2. Oh, if that dog could’ve talked, don’t you know she would have been giving your mom the what-for!!

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