Remember

March 25, 2009

bearThis is a picture of my beautiful chowchow brother, my Kuya Bear. It has been a year since his spirit/life force has moved on. I miss him everyday.

Last week, we went to the beach, which was one of his favorite places in the whole world. He loved the feel of the ocean breeze on his face. This is the first time since last year that we have gone back. We brought his ashes with us.  Near the ocean’s edge, amid the salt breeze that he loved, our family remembered with love Kuya Bear’s intelligent and strong-willed, but always kind and generous  spirit.

I know that my brother is always with us, but that day, I felt his presence keenly.

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Kuya Bear’s spirit was very strong near the water.  Mom put his ashes down on the sand, and the Pacific reached out, but stopped short of touching him. Kuya Bear loved the ocean, but he always liked to keep his paws dry.

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Principesa was always a little afraid of the water. She was braver about getting near the waves when Kuya Bear was with her.

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Kuya Bear was the heart of our family, and we are forever grateful that he graced our lives. It is because of him that Principesa and I found our family. His legacy will live on in our hearts, and in the other rescues who will become part of our home.

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Sssspring isssss here!

March 23, 2009

We had a lot of rain (for Los Angeles, that is) followed by sunshine, so the trails are much greener. That means that the trails are less dusty, and the weather is warmer, so we can hike longer. Pretty soon, the trail will be ablaze with wildflowers.

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Unfortunately, the rain and sun combo meant that tall, soft grass is growing as well. According to my internet research, this also means that the rattlers are out. It’s only March, but we already encountered the first warning of the year:

Whoa! I knew to back away quickly from that clump of grass. Principesa froze beside me for once, instead of pulling off like she usually does.  That sound clearly meant, I’m here and do not bother me! I sure appreciate the warning, Mr. / Ms. Rattler. Don’t worry, I won’t bother you.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Principesa: Uhh, Tex? What’s going on?

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Tex: Hi Principesa! Since Dad put soft bedding in your crate, I thought I’d try it out too and we could share.

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Principesa: Haha, very funny. Get out.

Tex: Aww, sis. C’mon, you’re supposed to share. I want the soft bedding too.

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Principesa: I’m telling you, Tex. There’s room for only one bitch in this crate. So what’ll it be?

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Principesa: Ahhh. Much better.

Looking for new vet

January 25, 2009

Principesa and I both had some boo-boos these past two weeks.

One evening last week, Principesa came in from the yard with a scrape on her muzzle and little tears at the edges of her ears. She wasn’t crying or anything, which was unusual, since she’s, umm, how should we say this? She’s not shy about letting you know how she feels, especially if she’s in pain.

Anyway, the cuts healed nicely and she’s back to her old tricks (see pic below). We still don’t know what she encountered in the garden (maybe a mole?).

Now, me. Mom and Dad took me to the vet this Wednesday evening to get a little bump on my groin checked out. My vet said it was most likely irritation from a tick bite, nothing serious. But he recommended a cortisone shot so I would stop licking and further irritating it.

So my vet came back in with two syringes, which mom & dad thought was strange. But Dad had to hold me, and Mom had to comfort the Principesa who was fussing around. Why was she doing that? She wasn’t getting shots.

We then rushed home, since the evening rush hour traffic was already building up. At home, my lethargy and total lack of energy was quite noticeable.

That’s when dad noticed the vet receipt, where we were charged not for a cortisone shot, but two vaccines (bordatella and DHPP) and they freaked out. Mom called the vet, got the assistant since my doctor had left for home. She told them of the time two years ago when I got a round of vaccines and a few hours later, my head started shaking. This was when I had just joined the family, and mom ‘n dad didn’t know my history. My vets in Texas had no idea what was going on, and somehow, I just rode it out. But since then, mom ‘n dad made it a point never to give me more than one vaccine at a time (esp with dhpp), and I always got my shots in the morning, in case there was an emergency.

“Well,” the vet assistant asked, “did you tell Doctor Vet about these reactions?”

“No,” yelled mom. “We didn’t know he was being given vaccines!”

The assistant said that the vet would call us back. Instead, we got another call from the assistant, who said to give me Benadryl to ward off a reaction. Mom said no way, asked for info to the nearest 24-hour vet just in case. She and dad took turns checking on me thru the night. But by the next day, I was fine, back to cavorting around with Principesa.

Mom says that this incident was disappointing, because we always had a good relationship with this particular vet. But he works for a national chain of vet clinics, and in the past few months, mom says the quality of service has gone down. Some of the partners had left, and he’s been seeing more patients and seems more rushed. He seemed tired when he saw me, and he was seeing patients at the rate of one every 20 minutes. Maybe that’s why he ended up giving me vaccines without consulting mom ‘n dad

We’re looking for a new vet now, probably someone with a small private practice who doesn’t have to fill a quota of patients. I feel bad we have to leave, but mom says the trust has been broken, and no way we’re going back.

Any tips on how to find a new vet?

Mom is pretty mad at herself too for not being more assertive in questioning the vet (“Hey, doctor, why two syringes for the cortisone?”), so this is a gentle reminder for y’all out there as well.

Oh, a final thing. I never did get the cortisone shot, but the little bump is now gone. Everything is back to normal in the Tex household, as you can see below:

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Chow!

True Colors

January 21, 2009

Still happy from yesterday, y’all.

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progress

Windy Hike

January 18, 2009

Weekends mean looooong hikes. Yipee!

Let’s go!

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This grass smells interesting.

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Shhhhh.  Can you spot the coyote?

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We had pretty strong wind gusts. You can tell by the Principesa’s windblown ‘do.

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You mean we can’t go in there? Why?

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That was a great hike, wasn’t it, sis?

It sure was, Texie.

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Back home. A tired chow is a happy chow.

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Wee Ones on the Trail

January 4, 2009

I meet a lot of really cool folks on the trail, like other dogs and squirrels and the occasional snake. There’s also a coyote cousin who looks very much like me. We only see him from a distance, and mom and dad affectionately named him “Coyote Tex.”

But wee things on the trail are interesting too. Hey, aunt goodbear, these ones are for you:

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Whoa! What is that? It was walking all alone in the middle of the trail.

Here’s a close-up:

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Don’t worry, I left him/her alone. No way am I messing with that bug!

Chow for now, folks.

The Joy of Text

January 3, 2009

Happy 2009, everybody!

I’m excited about a project I’m working on. It will be a regular feature of my blog. I love to read and will write about books that feature dogs.

Some upcoming titles:

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (click on the book pic to read an excerpt)

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Melancholia’s Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship by Alice A. Kuzniar

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The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

I’m also looking forward to The Philosopher and the Wolf by Mark Rowlands.

principesa-readsIf you have any titles to suggest, please let me know. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the joy of Tex(t).

This morning

December 29, 2008

A good breakfast

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To power us up for the morning hike.

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Get ready, get set…

December 29, 2008

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Go! Hello world. Here we come.