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Eventually, I will write something about our past few months with Chelsie enduring a double-TPLO surgery. Some of it's been recounted on facebook, but it might help someone out to read about our not-so-textbook version of the surgery and recovery. 

perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
For Rob's Christmas/Yule gift, I commissioned a portrait of Chelsie by the beautiful, awesome & superbly talented Pia Van Ravestein. Here is said portrait in its current place of honor (my camera isn't suited for taking photos of anything detailed, so the colors are not being done justice):


We've got to get it framed, of course. Rob loves it - and it definitely took him by surprise. Usually we swap DVDs - as a matter of fact, I got Kiki's Delivery Service this year, lol.
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
It's a mud puppy!

She wouldn't let me get any good action shots - before grabbing my camera from Rob through a gap in the sliding glass door, she had been running, leaping & sliding in the huge puddle. Once I had camera in hand, it was all still-lifes.

More puddles behind the cut

Read more... )
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
I and Chelsie spent some time this morning playing the towel-snapping game, gallumphing around the living room. Chelsie is pretty acrobatic & will leap into the air to grab at the towel if I wave it around over my head. It's part of how I tire her out - I just stand in one place & pretend she's a marlin or something.

Well, I flapped the towel up in the air, turned my hip into her to block her jump, she snapped at the towel and proceeded to perform a 90-lb Tarzanesque swing off my right nipple, which was firmly locked in her teeth.

I fucking screamed, surrendered the towel, clutched my highly insulted boob in my arm & ran into the kitchen. Why the kitchen I don't know, other than my brain went 'dogbitmynippleoffomgomgomgkitchenkitchenkitchen!!!!!' The pain was amazing, the pain was absolutely demolishing. It hit my stomach, guts and heart simultaneously and I didn't know if I was going to puke, shit or faint, or some horrible super-combo of all of the above.

Rob didn't know what the heck had happened - he thought maybe Chelsie had ripped my arm open, which has happened while playing. He asked if I was bleeding, and I couldn't even look. I stood there while washes of various colors played out in front of my eyes & when my stomach stopped spasming, looked down.

"Oh thank Gods, no blood". Rob asked what happened, I told him Chelsie bit my nipple. He asked, "is it still there?" I opened up my nightgown. "Yup, still there".

I think I got a pretty good idea of the sensations a guy feels immediately after being kicked in the nuts. I will never again complain about my nipples not being very sensitive, either. I can't imagine what that would have been like if they were those super-sensitive nubs of nerves some women (and men) have. It throbbed for about an hour after being bitten, and it's still sore & puffy and has a pair of fang marks at the 1 o'clock & 5 o'clock positions.

In hindsight, it's fucking funny. Total redneck moment. Of course, if I had lost my nipple, I think I would have let Chelsie just keep it. I would have been way too mortified to walk into an ER w/my nipple on ice. "Yup, mah dawg bit mah nipple off while we were playin' fetch". Rob says that instead of letting Chelsie eat it, we could have used it as a floor coaster for a piece of furniture. Maybe as a doorbell cover or peephole cover.
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
Rob & I were sitting on the couch watching eUreka & Chelsie was laying next to me. Rob has a throw blanket w/a pocket for his feet & he had it thrown over himself (it is chilly in here). When the show was over, Chelsie got off the couch & proceeded to attack Rob's feet through the blanket. He didn't want her to chew up the blanket so he put it over the couch back between our heads.

Chelsie jumped up on the couch between us & using her nose, started trying to bury me with the blanket. We play the 'blanket game' with her where we throw a blanket or big towel over her & wrestle her around, and she'll lay down on my bed or the couch & try and pull nearby throw blankets or pillows over herself to initiate a round of the 'blanket game'. So I pulled the blanket over my head & she proceeded to maul me with her nose.

Weird dog is weird. But she's fun to have around.
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
This morning, Rob & I went to bed. Chelsie performed her typical morning ritual of breakfast. She came back into the bedroom very quietly and didn't immediately jump on the bed. Instead, she stood next to the bed, staring a hole in Rob's head (hey, that rhymes!). Rob, suspecting something, stared back at her. He said, "she's got water running out of her mouth, wth?" Then she coughed or sneezed or something & sprayed water everywhere.

I don't know exactly what Chelsie had planned for that mouthful of water, but her hamster-like skills are quite epic. I can only imagine it involved jumping on the bed & then dropping some kind of water-bomb on me or Rob.

Doggone It!

Nov. 9th, 2010 12:37 pm
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
chelsie,catahoula leopard dog,toes
perzephone: (Tree of Life)
I'm casually approaching some serious pathworking via the Tarot again. Starting from the beginning, of course.

I've had The Fool propped up by my bed for the past few days, seeing if it would influence my dreams any, which is hasn't, or if it has I don't remember the dreams. Maybe it's working at some deep, hidden, long-buried portion of my subconscious... (yeah, right).

It dawned on me today that most of the time, when I work with The Fool, all my focus is usually on the Fool himself. Not the environment, not his or her belongings, not the dog at his or her feet. Not all versions of Tarot include a dog with the Fool. In the New Orleans Voodoo deck, it's Damballah and Ayida Wedo's egg, the World Egg. In the Thoth deck, a tiger is gnawing on the Fool's leg. The dog is just an every-day agent of fate. The Fool is going to fall off the cliff one way or the other. He or she may realize at the last minute that their dance is perilously close to a precipice, but the dog will insure that the fall takes place.

Chelsie & her clowning fits right in with the Fool's dog. No matter what you're doing, at some point Chelsie is going to reach out her paw, snag your ankle and trip you. You might be playing with her (apparently, you don't play with a Catahoula, a Catahoula plays with you... as in, you're the toy), or you might be carrying scalding hot coffee into the living room. That paw is going to get you. You can move obstacles (like the unused Gazelle that she's used to pin me into precarious positions) out of the way, to clear your line of sight and make the inevitable fall less painful, but you're still going to fall. Rob says that, on the occasions that the dog has tripped me and I've fallen over, I roll like some kind of big beetle on its back. I try to position myself to land on the most padded areas of my body - my ass & hips. I try not to put my hands out to brace myself, because that only leads to broken wrists and sprained hands. I don't try to fight the fall, either. Gravity is going to do its work. Fighting it only leads to injury, beyond just a bruised pride. I just fucking fall down and try to roll with it.

In many Tarot guides I've read, the symbolism of the Fool is tied to the Biblical Fall from Eden. The Fool is the naive state of grace that Adam and Eve were in before the Serpent and the Tree came into the picture. The dog, of course, is the material world, the Serpent in woolier guise. Instead of being openly tempting though, leading the Fool to his or her demise with bright shiny fruit, the dog is trotting behind, waiting to take the Fool unawares. In Gnostic practices, we had to fall. It was Sophia's mistake in instigating the Fall, but we had to do it. We need the experiences that the material world gives us in order to evolve and progress. In Gnosticism, though, there is a rejection of the material world. It is base, the dross that comes of the alchemical processes. To the Gnostics, it's the struggle to be 'in the World, but not of it' that leads to salvation.

When I look at Chelsie, that dog is in the world and of it. There is nothing wrong with a little dirt, and in fact, it's quite tasty. Her own butt is tasty. We're tasty (just not right after she's been licking her own butt). The dog experiences life by living and licking and sniffing it. She explores everything with wide-eyed curiosity. She looks at things like it's the first time she's ever seen anything like it. Wow! A book! Wow! A pigeon! (Woof! Woofwoofwoof!) Wow! A pair of shoes! Wow! A roach (om nom nom)! Wow! A weed (om nom nom hork hork hork)! The dog trips the Fool to bring the Fool down to the dog's own level; not standing 5 1/2 feet or so above the ground, disconnected from experiences and emotions, but down to about 2 1/2 feet, at nose level with smelly things like crotches and t.v. trays loaded with dinner. If Chelsie falls down (which she does), she doesn't have far to go. It doesn't hurt as much. She knows the earth is her friend and companion, and gravity isn't quite as much of a harsh mistress at that level. She can rise above it all, to catch a ball or Frisbee, or launch herself at the pigeons and doves winging away overhead.

Another thing I've noticed about the Fool in the Rider-Waite tarot is that ledge he's standing on. From the perspective of the card, there are mountains in the far-off distance. It gives the impression that the Fool is truly flirting with disaster. He seems to be quite high up, and if he falls it will be forever. For all we know, though, that ledge could be a step or two. He might be falling two feet down. Maybe that ledge is the undercut bank of some wide river - the river of time, ready to wash him downstream and into the future.
perzephone: Chelsie, Catahoula Leopard Dog mix (loldog)
I'm getting a portrait of Chelsie done for Rob for Yule (from the talented & awesome Moonvoice, of course). It has me thinking about her enough to realize I haven't written about her much.

Chelsie,Catahoula Leopard dog Chelsie is a Catahoula Leopard dog mix, and she's just over 2 years old. Since we adopted her from an animal shelter, we don't know her exact DOB, only that she was about 4 - 5 months old at the time. We don't know exactly what she's mixed with, either, but the shape of her head, her lines & size make me & Rob think greyhound is probably the most likely candidate. We ought to get her DNA tested, just to find out, but a part of me worries that if we find out she's part pit bull it'll make me like her less.

I've been around dogs pretty much all my life. All the dogs I've known have had character, all of them have had weird little quirks & unique personalities, but Chelsie is without a doubt the biggest character of any dog I've known. Most websites that talk about Catahoulas emphasize that they are working dogs. They've been used for hog & bear baiting, treeing 'coons (they can climb trees) & working cattle and other livestock. They're a feisty, active and intelligent breed who need lots of space and 'something to do'. Chelsie is a pampered house dog. I've worked with her on 'sit', 'lay down', 'shake' & 'high five', and she's housebroken, but that's about it. Her primary job, if any, is to keep Rob somewhat saner than if he was stuck in the house all alone all day while I'm at work. Chelsie's been excellent at that because she doesn't want to be left alone. She can't entertain herself for very long unless food is involved. She needs to be engaged, given attention and has to play with someone. She still acts like a puppy, even though she's a little over two. Most sites say that Catahoulas mature quickly & act like grown dogs before they're out of traditional puppyhood - but Chelsie is definitely not. She's still a big baby.

She needs routine in her life & doesn't do well with unexpected change. We have a dinner routine & a bedtime routine. The bedtime routine's been disrupted since I switched from days to graves, and as a result, the poor dog's been sleeping about 18 hours a day. At 'official' household bedtime, I turn off my computer & the 'ding' of Windows shutting down alerts Chelsie that it's bedtime and she goes out. Rob sets up the coffee pot for when we wake up, we both get cleaned up - brushing teeth, washing faces, going to the bathroom, shaking out bedding. When we're done, Chelsie comes in and gets to pick a rawhide chip from the baggy (it makes her deliriously happy to pick her own chewy chip). Rob lays down w/me & Chelsie starts out w/her chip on her blanket on my bedroom floor. When she's done with it, she jumps on the bed to inspect me & Rob. She jumps off & does a round of the house. She comes back, jumps on the bed for goodnight kisses & jumps back off. She goes into the kitchen to her food bowl, gets a mouthful of food, brings it back into my bedroom, spits it out onto her blanket & eats it piece by piece. She does this like, three or four times before she stays in the kitchen to finish her food. Finally she comes back in, jumps on the bed & lays down. If her second blanket isn't set up on the foot of my bed, she will pull it into place & lay on it. I tell Rob every night is a three-dog night because she gets on the bed three times, every night/morning/whatever bedtime is.

At dinnertime, I set up plates for Rob & myself, and we get the tables set up for eating. Right before I sit down, I give Chelsie a little bit of whatever we're having. If it's something like chicken, she will bring it into the living room piece by piece to eat it. It cracks me up every single time because she does it with her dogfood, too. She's like a hamster or something - stores food in her cheeks for later. If I pick up the pieces & throw them back in her bowl, she'll go get them out again & it starts all over. I'm not about to put her food dishes on the carpet, and mats don't work because she'll chew them or drag them around, so the dishes are as close to the living room as the tiled entryway allows, but she still wants to eat in the same room with me & Rob. She is very good while we're eating, but when the plates are empty & the tables get pushed back, she wants her second helping & will sit and grumble at me until I get up and give it to her. If I ignore her grumbles, she will sit on the couch next to me and put her paw on my arm softly, as if to say, "Please feed me for I am starving to death and wasting away and barely have the strength to lift a paw".

If she's acting like she wants to go out, but really doesn't, when I open the door & ask if she wants out, she runs over to the couch & hops up on her spot. If I persist, by walking towards her, she starts pinning her ears back & waving at me with one paw, like, "please, don't make me go out there!" If I reach for her collar, I get the full-on submissive belly-up roll. Sometimes, if I'm on the couch next to Rob watching Netflix or reading or whatever, she'll act like she wants to go out, and once I get up she runs over & gets into the place where I was sitting. Chelsie has also named me & Rob. Rob is 'hrumph' and I am 'hrumph-hrumph'. If she wants to get my attention, she sits behind me & starts making her 'hrumph-hrumph' noise. It's also how she wakes me up if she needs to go out - standing by my bed with her nose in my face saying, "hrumph-hrumph!" For Rob, since we have separate bedrooms and he keeps a gate in front of his room because he doesn't want to be startled by Chelsie in the middle of the day/night, she will stand at his gate & call to him, soft at first & then louder if he doesn't wake up.

She is a paw-y dog. I can see her working heritage in that. When we play she will hook an ankle with her paw to bring her prey down, and both Rob & I have suffered because of that. She also opens doors & drawers, grabs arms and hands & uses her fifth toe to grasp things as thumb-like as dogly possible. She holds things in her paws to chew on them or inspect them. If Rob & I are holding hands, she will use her nose and paws to pull our hands apart, like we're hiding something from her. If I lay on the floor, belly down, and hide my face in my arms or hands, she will use her paws to move my hands and try to roll me over. If she can't get me to move successfully with her paws, she'll grab my hand in her mouth & try to roll me over that way. I don't know if she thinks I'm in distress or if I'm hiding things in my arms. She just doesn't appreciate me laying face down on the floor & will stop at nothing to get me to move. She treats Rob the same way, which is why he won't lay down on the floor anymore. When she plays, she does this thing where she'll act like she's about to lay down or roll over, with her head on the floor & her butt in the air, and she'll push herself after your feet or toes. I've tried to get photos of her doing it, but she sees the camera come out & runs.

With Rob, she's usually just attached to his hip. Her latest game is to sit on the couch next to him & stare at him until he gives her a dog biscuit. They also play 'lazy man's fetch', where he tosses a ball into the air over her head, she catches it & hands it back to him. It takes place in an area about 2'sq, right in front of Rob's spot on the couch. That's why it's 'lazy man's fetch' - no one has to move, unless Rob mis-throws the ball & it ends up in No Dog's Land, which is anywhere near cables or the bookshelf. She's pretty athletic, though - she'll jump her own bodylength into the air to catch the ball. Rob wears these fitted bandana caps (I always called 'em 'Do-Rags' but whatever) & Chelsie will go to great effort to try and snatch them off Rob's head. She's not a big fan of his long hair, either - if he has a ponytail in, she'll try to snatch that off his head, and she pulls his bangs out of it a few strands at a time.

It's not so much the things she does as it is her overall personality. She's a complete clown & we're completely puppy-whipped.
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Last night we fed the snakes. Got Ed a rat. The rat was a bit faster than I was, so when I put it in Ed's tank, it dashed out the door before I could slide it closed. The rat hit the living room carpet - and Chelsie stood there & watched it run under the bookshelf. I pulled the crap out from in front of the bookshelf, got down on my hands & knees & tried to coax the rat out from under it. The rat did actually come out from under the shelf, headed towards me & then changed directions and sprinted through the kitchen.

Right between Chelsie's legs. She watched the whole thing - rat dropped on floor, rat under bookshelf, me on the floor w/rat... and watched the rat run underneath her. Instead of going after the rat, or even startling away from the rat, she just looked down & then back up at me as if to say, "what in the heck was that?"

I tossed her butt outside.

Then later yesterday evening, Rob tossed her a doggy biscuit & it bounced around on the carpet a couple of times, and she had the nerve to pounce on it.
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Chelsie had to get her bordatella booster & heartworm check today. She gets a mild reaction to the bordatella vaccine - lethargy, listlessness, some wheezing & a runny nose. The vaccines always whup her butt. She is not feeling hot at all. I gave her some children's Benadryl a little bit ago and now she is extremely stoned.

The vet said a single child's dose of Benadryl wouldn't help her at all at her weight, but I would rather err on the side of caution - and guess what, doc? A single spoon of children's Benadryl has cleared up the wheezing & runny nose - but her pupils are pinholes & she is randomly waving her paw at various things that only she can see. She should be back to normal tomorrow.

In the meantime, I am letting her lay on my bed w/her chewy.
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This is what I did on New Year's Eve, 2009 :D

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In this part of the world, unfortunately, many dogs are accused of being 'racists'. Or their owners are accused of encouraging them to be 'racist'. It's also mostly black people accusing white people of having 'racist' dogs. I've even heard things from black people like, "Oh, it's the hair products. Dogs hate Jerri-Curl" or "black people smell different in general".

In general, I think it's a bunch of b.s. Yes, dogs do pick up on subtle cues thrown by their owners, so I suppose a racist person, or even someone who was uneasy around someone of a different skin color, might be cuing their dog to be uneasy. But... my mother was racist - our dogs were not, even the ones who were highly protective of her.

Chelsie is definitely not a racist dog. She isn't particular towards any one genre or type of person. Chelsie arbitrarily chooses who she will bark and growl at versus those who aren't all that interesting to her. In some ways, it makes her dangerous. She's unpredictable. She has no patterns or tells. We'll be sitting in the car & a family will walk by - maybe a couple with a baby, or a couple of kids. Chelsie is foaming at the mouth. A little old man will walk by - nothing. A little old woman will walk by - rabid dog goes rabid. Another family with kids - no barkie, a single woman - barkie. Some homeless person panhandling? No bark. Guy in a suit & tie? Bark. A man getting into a car two parking lots away - bark. Some guy putting flyers on cars, including ours - no bark.

This morning, after barking at a guy in a bandanna much like Rob wears, not barking at some day workers... she started losing her ever-loving mind. I'm looking around & there is not a single living soul for blocks. Finally, I see the van next to us. It's from Circuit City or something & has the image of three larger-than-life men on the side of the van. Chelsie was foaming at the mouth & pawing at the car window trying to get at them.

I can rest peacefully knowing that if giants in blue work shirts invade the house, Chelsie will eat them.
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Thank you again, Great Mystery, for sharing the rain with us.

Chelsie just came in from outside - she's soaked. Got up on the couch & tried to burrow her way under Rob's knees. Hee hee.

Ahh, Rain

Jan. 18th, 2010 11:19 am
perzephone: (Default)
Thank you, Great Mystery, for sending rain to us today.

I have also coined a new term - puppy-whipped. Chelsie has Rob completely puppy-whipped.
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Chelsie did not, in fact, eat a safety pin. She ate a fucking embroidery or sewing needle, complete w/thread in the eye.

Somehow, she managed to pass it from her stomach to her colon between yesterday & today, the vet gave her an enema, we walked her around for awhile & nature took its course.

Thank you all for the good wishes - it worked :)

Oh, yeah, as we were leaving Rob's mom house (she gave us a donation towards vet care expenses), driving up the road towards the highway, there were two ravens, one on each street sign at an intersection we passed. The first one gave us a good, long caw.

I like the desert.
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Just when we think we've got the house dog-proofed, the dog proves us wrong.

The dog got into my sewing stuff when we went to the grocery store & ate a safety pin. She also ate a purple gel pen and some of that iron-on hemming adhesive stuff.

Of all the freaking things to eat... we took her to an ER, the x-rays didn't reveal if the pin was open or closed. Tomorrow we've got to consult a specialist who can hopefully remove the pin endoscopically. Been trying to induce vomiting w/hydrogen peroxide, but it seems she's hp-vomiting proof. Usually, when she eats weird crap, she'll puke it up, so that's what we're hoping for.
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I don't know exactly how it started, but over the past year or so, snapping a towel at Chelsie's head has become a game. I think it may have started as me playing bull-fighter with her, waving the towel as she charged. But it degraded into me fending her off with said towel. Of course, this has consequences, one of which is that anytime you have a towel in your hand, she thinks it's an excuse to maul you.

I just learned of an even greater consequence. A few minutes ago, I was making a cup of tea & half-assedly flapping the towel at her, and I hung the towel on the fridge handle. So, out of the corner of my eye I see her slinking behind me to grab the towel off the door handle. I turned around & 'No!'ed her, & she stood there, in half-slink pose, looking at me like, "I wasn't doing nuffin..."

If she grabs the towel on the fridge door handle in just the right way - she'll open the fridge door. If that dog learns how to open the fridge door, next thing we know, she'll be sitting on the couch surfing internet beastie porn & drinking Rob's beer in the middle of the night.

We should have gotten a nice, dumb yellow lab.

Hoo Doggy!

Aug. 29th, 2009 08:44 pm
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We luffs our puppeh! )
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I'm sitting here, alone for a change - Rob went to bed at 10. Chelsie just wakes up & starts growling at nothing. It's kind of really freakin' creepy, too.

I was hoping when we got her that Chelsie would have a hound dog's belling voice, that clear ringing bay... Nope. She barks - deep and loud. You'd think she was a Rottweiler or something with her big chesty bark.

Her growling, though - that's something else. If I had a way to record it I would. I can't even properly describe her growl. It's like no other dog I've ever heard. It sounds distinctly demonic, almost as if she's summoning something from the pits of Hell. When she's done she starts licking her chops as if whatever she said left a bad taste in her mouth. It's hair-raising to be sitting here in dead silence & then she wakes up w/that idling-Harley-Davidson-ridden-by-Beelzebub growl.

I'm trying to think of what I can go stuff in my head. I've got to get blood work done tomorrow, but the earliest appointment I could get was 3:30 in the afternoon, so from 3:30am til 3:30pm, no food. Fuck me. I feel like I'm being held hostage by my doctor - she insists on me getting bloodwork done every 90 days & will only fill a prescription for 90 days & won't refill it w/out the bloodwork. But, she's the only fucking doctor I know of who is open one Saturday per month. To top it all off, I have to get her to sign a release form so I can have the kidney stone removed. I wish I had some kind of mad skills that were useful to the Canadiens so I could become a citizen & reap the benefits of socialized medicine. Pleh.


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Rainbow Serpent Woman

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