Welcome Maia

I just adopted Maia from Buddy Dog no-kill shelter in Sudbury.”
She’s 1-2 years old. They say she’s a beagle-boxer mix, but after I was hooked they mentioned that someone might think she had some pit bull somewhere.
She and her sister belonged to a homeless person, who couldn’t take care of them and left them somewhere, where Animal Control picked them up and brought them to Buddy Dog.
She was Mia at the shelter, but I modified it to Maia, because her cousin Orion is a constellation (as well as a mighty hunter), and Maia was one of the Pleiades. Also the mother of Hermes and the foster-mother of another of Zeus’ children, whose own mother Hera turned into a bear.
So far, so good. She was good in the car, and hasn’t destroyed anything, and liked the quick tour of the dog park (with no other dogs) I gave her on the way home from the shelter.

Maia on adoption day


Sammy by laymusic
Sammy, a photo by laymusic on Flickr.

We aren’t quite sure what he is yet — the best thing would be temporary house guest while his real daddy works out his landlady problems, but it might be longer-term than that.

He’s being very good about taking me on walks and helping with the dishes.

Sad news

He wakes up a littleSunny on his last morningAftermath

Sunny’s last morning, a set on Flickr.

Sunny was uncomfortable enough to be saying “do something” yesterday morning, so I made him an appointment at the vet. It turned out that his constipation was caused by a massive tumor in his colon, and we decided to put him down.

These are pictures from after I made the appointment. I don’t have one from his last decision about where to lie down in the examining room at the vets — he was famous for figuring out how to be as in the way as possible, and this talent didn’t desert him at the end. He had a whole room to pick from, including a comfortable blanket in the middle of the room, and he lay down in front of the door to make it hard for the vet to get in and out of the room.

I told him how much everybody was going to miss him, and he ate lots of treats and barked at the vet when she took his paw to put in the solution. And then it was over.

New Camera

Lately, every time I wanted a picture for the blog I didn’t
have my camera, and every time I took a picture with the cell
phone, I ended up apologizing for it. So when Woot had a good price on an Casio
Exilim camera
, I bought it.

It arrived today. It’s a good size for sticking in your
pocket, and seems to take pretty good pictures:


Sunny napping

I always use Sunny for my test subject. Then I noticed the
Birthday cards, and took them too:


Birthday cards


Snow Dog at the Dog Park

[Snow Dog]

Snow Dog

We had a good snow sculpture snow last week, and someone made
this dog at the dog park.

I’ve been researching cell phones with better cameras, and
cameras that fit better in a pocket, and haven’t found anything
for less than $80, which seems frivolous. But I might get
annoyed enough at the great pictures I’m missing that I’ll just
get myself a birthday present.

Sunny eats Pine Needles

My recorder teacher likes decorating his house for Christmas, and has been out of town for a large fraction of the time since then, so the pine garland he wound around his bannister is still there, or was until last night.

While I was putting on my coat to go home, Sunny suddenly started eating it.

I don’t know whether he was worried about the fire hazard to Uncle John’s house, or whether he decided it was the right way to put more fiber into his diet.

The video I took was with my phone in a poorly-lit hallway, so it isn’t going to win any awards for cinematography, but here it is anyway.

Pictures from Christmas in Fall River

They had a tree:

[Christmas Tree]

And a crêche:


They put more energy into decorating than I do, so there are
also things like this mobile:

[mobile of illuminated birds]

They also do a lot of baking. Here’s the baba after its
second rising:

[baba sponge]

I wasn’t in a good position to take pictures at the party when
all 40 people were trying to cram into the living room, so I
don’t have one of Judy
playing Chopin
, but here’s one of our friend Harold playing
Christmas carols:


And here are a bunch of everybody being zonked after the
party. Judy had the best reason to be zonked:

[Judy after party]

Monte didn’t have as good a reason, but if you’d barked as
strenuously as he did at the beginning of the party to make sure
all 40 people knew it was his house, you’d be zonked

Monte zonked

Sunny doesn’t look so zonked, but he is anxious:


My mother, with 80 years of experience throwing parties, hardly looks zonked at


We don’t know why Teddy was zonked:

[Teddy zonked]

Dog park conversation

One of the people I talked to at the dog park last night was
complaining about her neighbor, who, although he lives in a
densely populated part of one of the most densely populated
cities in the country, has decided that he should
never have to hear a dog bark.

Her dog is a very nice labrador retriever, but he does think
it’s his job to tell people when someone walks down his street.
He barks 4 or 5 times and stops; it isn’t that he thinks it’s his
job to bark until someone does something about
whoever’s walking down the street.

In any case, it sounds like the situation is under control.
The neighbor suggested they get one of those electronic collars
that does does something unpleasant to the dog when it barks,
and my friend’s husband suggested that they test it on the
neighbor first.

So the neighbor called Animal Control, who came and explained
to everyone that you can’t remove a dog because it barks
occasionally. The whole neighborhood would have to support
removal of the animal.

So then the grumpy neighbor went around to the neighbors to get
support, and apparently didn’t get any. (There’s at least one
other dog in the neighborhood who barks a lot more than this one.)

But this dog owner is feeling a little guilty for not having
been more sympathetic to the grumpy neighbor. He apparently
grew up on a farm, and the noise level in his current home is
making him very tense and upset.

Sunny takes a bath

I did think while I was doing this that you would enjoy
pictures, but really, it takes at least two hands to give a dog a
bath, and setting up a camera, tripod, and remote control while
you’re doing it would make it even more too much work than it
already is. So you’ll just
have to take my word for it that we both looked wet, and he looked

Sunny and his cousin Monte both got fleas while Monte was
here. Monte’s seem to be clearing up from the Frontline flea and
tick stuff, but
Sunny’s just seemed to be getting worse, and I got a good look at
the infestation yesterday when Sunny was rolling in the grass in
the sunlight, and after that it made my skin crawl just thinking
about it.

So I decided he probably needed a flea shampoo in addition to
the monthly flea and tick stuff.

People at the dog park have spoken well about Laundramutt as a place to
give your dog a bath. They have tubs the right height and give
you aprons and assist you getting the dog into the bath. But when
I called them, they said they weren’t interested in helping bathe
a dog with a flea infestation.

I stopped at the pet store on the way to pick up the farm share
and picked up some flea shampoo. I took Sunny out in the back
yard and tied him to the fire escape and turned the hose on. The
internet instructions suggest wetting and soaping the neck first,
so that the fleas don’t just go hang out around the ears and eyes,
which you’re going to be trying not to get shampoo in, and then go
back and feast on dog blood. So we did that, and then wet the
rest of him, and soaped him, and rinsed him twice, and then I
toweled him off and took him inside and blow dried him.

He spent this whole process looking martyred, and clearly
wondering why I was torturing him, and the rest of the day feeling
miserable because he smelled wrong and his mommy didn’t love him
any more, but he seems to have mostly forgiven me today.

He’s normally a pretty clean dog, and any bad smells he picks
up seem to be temporary. I’ve dealt with skunk smells with a
sponge bath. The only time I resorted to a hose was when I first
got him. He’d spent a month in the shelter, so he had a pretty
strong disinfectant smell, so I hosed him off but didn’t bother
with shampoo. So this is the first real bath he’s had since at least 2000,
so it’s obvious that he thinks it’s not only cruel but also
unusual punishment.

But he’s nice and fluffy, and doesn’t seem to be scratching
anything like as much. He is shaking his head more than usual, so
I probably got water in his ears, or maybe a few fleas took refuge
there. But the flea population should be down to the number that
the monthly spot of stuff can handle.

Dog pill popping party

I went to play tuba in the Wakefield Summer Band last night, and the dogs had a party.

They knocked the bottle of liver-flavored Glucosamine pills off my bedside table, and chewed the plastic. They must have eaten about 100 pills.

Then they both had diarrhea this morning.

[empty bottle from dog pill popping party]

I’m dealing with Monte’s skin problems by spraying him with
cortisone when I see him scratching or chewing on himself. So far
this has mostly trained him to go scratch in another room.