Friday, October 31, 2008

It's a Thin Line Between Being an Angel and a Devil

One minute you think you are an angel (or a devil)...

...the next minute the roles reverse.

Yes, we did go to Petsmart today to buy the puppies outfits. We were tired of the court jester collar that Couper has worn the last 4 years. Besides we "needed" an outfit for Godiva. Thankfully the Halloween outfits were marked half off already. They needed the space for their Christmas displays which now only take up 30% of the store.

But that is not the worst part. Not even close. See, we also bought a Halloween costume for our lifesize dachshund figurine (yes, we have one of those - doesn't everybody?). She stood guard by the door...

I have this uneasy feeling that the CEO of Petsmart has us tracked electronically and anytime we walk into one of his stores, he has his butler bring him a lobster and a bottle of Dom Perignon.

Happy Halloweiner from the Poop.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Make A Run For The Border

One of the advantages of having dachshunds is that they cannot reach any food in the kitchen that we don’t drop on the floor. My sister has labs and if food isn’t put on the back edge of the counter or the very middle of her island, it is in serious danger. Try as he may, and he does, Couper cannot jump up to our counter or island to snatch the leftover chicken. We know that he is not adverse to taking a sip of beer or milk when he can get it off the coffee table.

Our weak link is the kitchen table. The dogs cannot reach the kitchen table on their own, of course, but the chairs are certainly doable and they could reach from there. To our knowledge, they have never tried this. We like to think it is because our puppies are well behaved and would never go somewhere they knew they didn’t belong. More likely it is because the chairs are swivel chairs and they somehow decided that the dangers of jumping on them outweigh the rewards of what is on the table.

Until recently.

A day before Couper’s sixth birthday, Couper’s Mommy brought home a taco and a bean burrito from Taco Bell for lunch. She sat down at the kitchen table and had just finished her taco, when she got a call. She left the table for only a minute to look something up on the computer. When she returned, she found Couper, back paws on the chair, front paws on the table, helping himself to the remnants of her taco; some lettuce, some sour cream, some taco sauce, maybe some meat – the normal outflow from a Taco Bell taco. Upon seeing this, Couper’s Mommy shooed him off the chair. The bean burrito sat there untouched.

It is impossible to tell what got into Couper's head. Maybe he had been planning this for years and with the wisdom and athleticism of turning six, finally figured out how to get onto the swivel chair without killing himself. Maybe he has practiced jumping on the chair before, without our noticing. Maybe the lure of Taco Bell was just too much and he went for it.

However, if you work in the Taco Bell marketing department two things should be apparent:
  • Now that Chihuahuas have gone big time with a movie and all, maybe it is time for a dachshund to be the spokesdog of Taco Bell. Couper is available and his salary demands are reasonable.
  • Bean burritos must be awful. That a hungry dog, taking a chance on injuring himself and getting in big trouble, would rather eat taco remnants than a full bean burrito is not a good sign. Your only hope is that my Little Buddy is his Big Buddy’s Little Buddy. I wouldn’t eat a bean burrito on a bet. Maybe he hopped up there and asked himself, “What would my Big Buddy do?” (If Couper does get the Taco Bell spokesgig, we will spin this differently – “Taco Bell: Our taco fixins are great”. “Taco Bell: Bean burritos; door stops or caulk – you decide”.)
In the end, even though Couper has had tummy troubles lately, he did not get the runs from his little adventure. We have learned that we have to pay more attention to what we leave on the kitchen table, especially since we have since replaced our swiveling kitchen chairs with much more dachshund-jumping-friendly four legged chairs. Finally, we learned that bean burritos are safe around dachshunds and likely deadly for anybody else. I’ll take the chalupa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fixed??? I Didn’t Even Know She Was Broken

Godiva got spayed last Wednesday. We knew this day was coming from the day we got her. All along I figured it was no big deal; that when the day came, we would just take her to the vet, get it done, and go on with life. I figured it would be easy for me because Godiva is a female dog. I would not have the cringing that a male has when a male dog gets fixed.

It turned out to not be that easy.

We got Couper at 11 months. One of his two previous owners had the good grace to have him fixed. Never having had a dog prior to Couper, I have not had to deal with this issue until now.

My first shock about all this is how young puppies can be when they get fixed. I never really thought about this before. Godiva just turned six months old. If you apply the 7:1 dog to human years ratio, she is 3 and a half in human years. Maybe it is just me, but 3 and a half seems a bit young to be worrying about reproductive issues. It was only a couple of months ago she started walking without falling down. It seems like a day and a half ago.

I also began thinking that maybe Godiva should have puppies. She is a beautiful dog and apparently has some championship lineage. Every once in a while when she sits, her posture and attitude looks like a show dog (this may only be through a daddy’s eyes, I have no idea what makes up a show dog – I assume not biting the judge’s fingers would be one criteria). We are way too lazy busy to show her, but maybe somebody who got her offspring could. She has papers (not AKC, as they do not recognize piebalds), maybe it could happen. At the very least, she would have tremendously cute puppies.

Finally, this is major surgery. I don’t want to go into details, but it certainly is not “snip snip”, like with a male dog (cringe). The old joke, “What’s the definition of minor surgery? Surgery that happens to other people”, also applies to other people’s dogs.

However, after doing research, spaying seems like a good idea:

Females also tend to be better pets if they do not experience oestrus every six-to-nine months. Heat cycles bring hormonal changes that can lead to personality changes, and oestrus females must be confined to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Repeated heat cycles may subject the reproductive system to uterine and mammary cancers as they age. Some bitches experience false pregnancies that can be a bother to deal with and uterine infections that can be fatal.

We certainly do not want our little puppy having personality changes due to going into heat every six months. It sounds like PMS on steroids. We sure don’t need any more of that around the house. (Couper’s Mommy just hit me. I’m lucky it wasn’t her oestrus, it could have been much much worse).

(Completely unrelated side note:

With today’s overuse of the word, one sometimes forgets that a female dog is called a bitch. When I first read this article, I snickered, “Huh huh, he said ‘bitch’”. I actually looked to see if the article was written by 50 Cent. But once I got used to the fact that the author was using the word in its proper context, it reminded me of one of my favorite Simpsons scenes:

The family is driving home from church/Sunday School:
Marge: So, what did you children learn about today?
Bart: Hell.
Homer: Bart!
Bart: But that's what we learned about. I sure as HELL can't tell you we learned about HELL unless I say HELL, can't I?
Homer: Well, the lad has a point.
Bart: Hell, yes!
Marge: Bart!
Bart: [singing] Hell, Hell, Hell, Hell, ...
Marge: Bart, you're no longer in Sunday School. Don't swear.
Yes, I use any excuse I can to throw in gratuitous Simpsons quotes).

I also love this quote from another spaying information site:
Veterinary medical scientists are working to develop a "pill" or some other convenient method of birth control for pets. There are now several medications on the market that can be used temporarily to keep an animal out of heat.

At present, other than confining your animal, the sure way to keep your pet from mating is to have it surgically neutered.

Our little Godiva barely listens to us when we tell her not to chew the furniture, or our socks, or rip apart baskets, she sure isn’t going to listen to us if we sit down and have a little talk about the birds and the bees; especially if she is in heat. So in the end, for your dog, sex education and birth control do not work; it is the permanent chastity belt or puppies.

So in the end, even though I was a little sad about it, I accepted that having the surgery is best for Godiva (and for us - we're not only too lazy to show dogs, we are too lazy to breed them as well). The surgery went well and she recovered quickly. So, for all you male dogs out there, our little girl is officially off the market. Go howl elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Couper!!!

The Poop wishes its inspiration and founder, Couper, a very happy sixth birthday!!!

How do we celebrate Couper’s birthday?

We play, and have presents, and eat yummies, and have special dinner, and have cake, and have a parade…

Pretty much the same things we do every day, except there’s cake.

Some people have a birthday weekend. If you are lucky, you may have a birthday week. Since Couper’s birthday is the first day of the month, Couper gets a whole birthday month. If it were up to me, he would have a whole birthday year. Nobody deserves it more.

Happy Birthday from Big Buddy, Couper's Mommy, and Godiva!