The first one’s my favorite

Phoning it in tonight… tired from work and visitors. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow in the States! David’s mom is here and is cooking a dead bird. I made a pumpkin pie and Emmy the dog stole a loaf of bread from the counter, bread crumbs from the trash, and pearl barley and rice noodles from the pantry. Everyone plays a part… kind of glad I’m escaping at work most of the day.

Enjoy these cards from and don’t eat too much mash (that’d be mashed potatoes)

Pink footie socks

This is a post about hygiene and personal space, if you ask me.
It’s about protecting relationships and appearances, if you ask David.

We let Walter sleep on the bed, but I’m very particular that it must be on top of the comforter. He stays between our feet. I do not allow dog hair in my sheets! But since David sleeps many hours later than I do, and he has no ability to keep the blankets in any sort of order (he does everything, even sleeping, with flair), and he tends to wrestle with Walter when he wakes up, sometimes I come home to find some dog hair on the bottom sheet near my pillow. This annoys me and grosses me out, but the best I can do is remind my messy sleeper to please pull up the covers and clean the sheets when I find dog hair on them. I am good about keeping the bed made but I can’t help what Mr.-Sleeps-Till-Noon does. (I’m tempted to train Walter not to get on the sheets because I think the success rate will be greater than training David.)

So yesterday I came home and found the covers in a tangle and decided the dog hair involved warranted washing the sheets. But when I pulled them back to take them off the bed: fuzzy pink footie sock-slippers way at the bottom of the bed! Except we don’t own any of those.

Now, another woman might assume her honey was having relations with a pink-socked woman while she was away at work. But I know David well enough to know he hates pink in a way that he would actually pick another person to have an affair with! The obvious answer came to both of us: the dogsitter.

Is anyone else as grossed out by this as I am? She sleeps in our bed and we didn’t know and slept in it too!

I could go on about how this probably came about and her general habits and all that, but the point is EWW don’t sleep in someone else’s used sheets! I’m sure Walter thinks it’s great. David is afraid it will be too awkward to tell her not to sleep there and she might be upset and not dogsit for us anymore. So he wants to be all passive-aggressive and just plan on washing the sheets when we get home from our trips!

Plus, when we give her the socks back (she always leaves something here), won’t she assume it’s ok to sleep in our bed since we didn’t say anything?

Am I crazy?

A pic of the new pup in the armchair

Off to Offaly for Amy and Emmy

We brought home Emmy a few days ago!

She came from Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary in County Offaly. David and I visited a few weeks ago and we went back with Walter this weekend to see who he liked. Turns out he didn’t care too much so we got to pick!

More info on Emmy’s page at rescue website

She is a bit shy but definitely has a silly side showing. She has claimed the honking octopus toy and carries it to whichever bed she decides to use–often hogging most of the couch! She likes David best and performs well as a footwarmer under his desk. Walter and Emmy are pretty much ignoring each other (which beats fighting) and I hope they will play together as they get to know each other. She will be three (two? trying to figure out this tattoo registry stuff) on December 1 and supposedly was given the racing name Coolarne Chancer, though I don’t think she ever raced. David keeps trying to call her Coolio but I have to put an end to that. While Emmy is a cute name, it’s awfully close to my own! Not sure if we’ll keep it.

After the first day she’s following me around too so at least she doesn’t only like David. She is a very sweet dog.

I felt it was time to have a new friend for Walter, but Casper’s ghost stays close in my mind. That made it hard to bring home Emmy. I’m sure we’ll develop a lovely relationship but I feel like I’m betraying “my” dog a little right now. Maybe Emmy honking the octopus is channeling when Casper played with it too.

Paws crossed

Ms. Arliss the Cranky had another surgery yesterday for an abscess in her jaw area. I’m thankful she has such good “staff” who drove her all the way to Ohio State to see a special exotics dentist. Last report was she did well… time for the recovery phase. Bunny abscesses aren’t easy to deal with but she’s bounced back before! I hope I can see her over the holidays and bring her an 11th birthday present.

Aww, she’s so sweet! That’s because she wasn’t completely awake from anesthesia when I took that picture a couple years ago…

New pig in town

I have adopted a piggy! But I haven’t met him yet.

Janie, Frisco’s buddy, passed away a few months ago. She wasn’t even sick that anyone could tell. 🙁

Well, Mr. Frisco was lonely so we found him a buddy through EARPS. Chowder is a bigger boy but it sounds like they are getting along! Mom and Dad are Keepers of the Pigs while I’m gone. Frisco likes when their doggy visits, but we figure he’d like to talk to a pig more. They even have a double pigloo.

Hopefully I’ll see a picture of them together soon!

Happy Halloween

I’m thankful it’s not political season here. We are able to watch NBC nightly news and Daily Show on TV, though we don’t see them every day. Mostly we hear on Facebook that it’s time to vote again. I admit it didn’t even occur to me to figure out absentee voting. Anyway, we don’t have any political ads to tire of, and I can’t believe it’s been two years since the US Presidential election.

I saw some humorous signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity at

I haven’t carved our pumpkin yet, and David says he’s getting candy for trick-or-treaters at the store now, at 5:30 on Halloween night. I had just planned to keep the light off! Halloween seems pretty popular here, with lots of decorations and everyone talking about parades and parties and fireworks. I have been incredibly lazy this weekend and barely got out of the house. Our biggest excursion was to the pub yesterday, the only way I could get David to join Walter and me on a walk.

An hour later the candy is gone. We’ve already fallen back with the clocks so the kids are panning for candy in the dark. It’s keeping Walter busy barking at the doorbell! David became crazy razor blade man and gave out apples when he ran out of candy. This place might be the 1950s but I hope they don’t still eat strangers’ apples.

Tripod Vegas

Ms. Vegas bunny has been through quite a lot lately. After infections in both feet that spread badly in one leg, she had her rear left leg amputated just over a week ago. We considered her senior age and ongoing upper respiratory issues, but her wonderful caretakers in the States said she still had the will to fight and a lot of life in her, so we opted for the surgery. It was apparently the right decision because she seemed relieved to be rid of the pain after surgery and her other foot is getting better with attentive care. Vegas still isn’t up hopping around on her remaining leg, but she scoots around her enclosure, eats well, grooms constantly, and the surgical site has healed great, so we have high hopes for her future. At some point she needs to learn to get that other leg back under her and hop on it, but it’s bandaged right now and probably hard to manage.

We were able to do a Skype video call tonight so I got to see how she’s doing. She was lounging like nothing happened! Hopefully she’ll be up and hopping soon. I feel far less worried about her knowing she has such capable nursing staff!

When is July over?

I feel like carp. I mean crap. That is an excellent illustration of one of my ailments, bizarre goings-on in my arms and hands that keep me from typing well. Sometimes it hurts to use the computer and that in combination with other crappy health stuff means not a lot of updating here. I have thousands of pictures to present but I can barely scroll through Facebook.

Vegas bunny is quite ill and is having a ridiculous surgery on Thursday. I’m worried about her.

This month sure sucks so far. Next!

1. The hydrangeas here can’t pick a color. I know they vary based on soil acidity, but the variety here is amazing and often occurs on the same plant.
2. I don’t think these were the intended diners when the pet store put out this dog food.
3. General Tso’s Tofu
4. The thing that trims the hedgerows
5. Stuffed portobellos and campers
6. Walter lounges

Moving on

It’s been a weird week, a combo of sad and reflective and sick of work and then doing ok until someone asks How are your dogs? I had been managing Casper’s terminal illness for months, but the last few weeks became more urgent and sad. She went from playing with Walter to having to be syringe fed in a matter of days. There was actually some relief when I made the appointment and spent the day with her last Monday, but counting down the hours and then being unable to explain to Walter where she went was gutting. Then when I finally got myself under control a few days later, I felt guilty for not being a wreck 24/7 and wondered how her life had been shortened by moving her to Ireland and changing her diet and even stuff I did five years ago. Despite knowing it was coming for months, it all seemed to happen so fast. Even cuddling with Walter just doesn’t measure up. Casper was my heart dog and he is not and as much as I love him, we don’t have that connection.

In the end David and I were with her, and I tried to make that decision when her days were more bad than good, and I know it was the right thing. Still sucks though. We are already remembering her quirks in a happy way, though. I wonder when I will see another doggy love nibble or nosing of the radiator or the fun police again.

I do want to thank everyone who sent kind words here, on Facebook, and through email… I appreciate them very much. Even if I’m a little more animal-focused than most people, I’m comforted that others recognize how important the bond can be (and so many of you are dog people that I know the feeling is understood).

Tried to keep ourselves busy the last few days… we went to a surprisingly well-attended concert in the pouring rain last week, Chicago brothers Hypnotic Brass Ensemble who were opened by a Nigerian group. They played at Charles Fort just up from our house. I think most of the people there had bought their expensive tickets ahead of time or they wouldn’t have braved the ridiculous weather. We were given free tickets so it was more of an adventure to us! David gave up before I did; we had all our fancy technical rain gear on, but mine’s all new and his seems to have lost some of its waterproofness over the years. Rain pants FTW! I love them.

Kinsale in better weather this week

Yesterday the weather was better than at the concert (though not exactly good), and we reattempted a hike in Co. Tipperary in the Galtees to Lake Muskry. We took Walter there a few weeks back and discovered it was mostly through sheep country and dogs aren’t allowed. Would have been nice for my fancy Hiking in Ireland book to have mentioned this fact… at least now I know to expect dogs not being allowed just about anywhere we want to trek. He’s a good dog but I can see why farmers wouldn’t want a dog among their livestock, plus they might shoot him or leave out poison, and that’s just not fair to chance.

Anyway, the wind howling through the valley hurt our ears but we trudged through the sheep paths and made our way up a ridge where there was a corrie (lake) suspended in the hills. It was a neat hike and we’re glad we went, but we didn’t do the whole mountain loop because it was just rather crummy out. The sheep were skittish when we got near and some of them can really run fast! David got to play with his backpacking GPS for the first time. The maps are too expensive but at least it can keep a trail of breadcrumbs running so you know how to get back.