Category Archives: Milestones

Chloë Scales New Heights

New mattress, new problem

New mattress, new problem

After talking about it for months, Mike and Heather finally got a new mattress. Good for them, but did they think about me? They may be more comfortable, but do I get to sleep in it any more often? No, I don’t. And that’s not the worst part.

This mattress is thicker than the last one. That means it’s higher off the floor. And that means I need to be an Olympic high jumper to get up there, whereas I could vault from floor to bed top from a sitting position, no problem, on the old one. Since the new mattress arrived before Thanksgiving, I have gone splat against the side of the damn thing on several occasions. Even eating several cases of Wheaties (which wouldn’t be so bad as long as it they were covered with milk and bananas) won’t get me enough boost to make it over the top. I doubt even performance-enhancing drugs would do the trick.

Solution: Proper positioning.

Solution: Proper positioning.

Even using my personal Stairway to Heaven is not as easy as it used to be. The top step of my unit now leaves me several inches short of the goal. Luckily, Heather figured out how to re-position the steps (two inches from the side of the bed and even with the foot) to give me the maximum efficiency for speed and angle. I can make it to the top of the bed with ease, but I still need to get a running start. Getting down from the new mattress via the steps is a breeze, as long as I can stay clear of Heather’s dresser when I hit the floor.

But getting down is still the tricky part. I am not supposed to jump off the new bed directly to the floor, ever, because landing hard like that is going to eventually be bad for my delicate dachshund back. Why didn’t Mike think about this inherent danger to me before he brought this new mattress into MY bedroom?

Victory achieved.

Victory achieved.

So far, I’m coping. I’ve heard NO JUMPING more times in the past couple of weeks than I have in the rest of my time on earth combined. Heather, especially, and even my good friend Lynn when she came over to stay with me last week, have kept harping on it, trying to make me learn. We’ll see if this loud, Trumpian campaign works, or if somebody comes up with a better solution. In the meantime, I know I can get away with bed-jumping on Mike’s watch, since he never pays attention to anything. Yahoo, I’m flying, just like Peter Pan!

 

 

Chloë Receives Birthday Gifts

I generally don’t like to make a big deal of birthdays (although if readers dig back to Februaries past, you can see some past violations!), and so I didn’t expect much at all (if anything) this year for birthday #6. But lo and behold!

In the morning, I got an extra-large Frozen PBB from Mike and a birthday greeting from my vet that even has a dachshund in it!

Dear Chloe,
Sniff Sniff…Do I smell birthday cake?
Happy Birthday!
Stay Healthy! Be Happy!
Sincerely,

Your Friends at Elliott Bay Animal Hospital /

And then…

 

Buzzie Bee, still in box

Buzzie Bee, still in box

Wow, I never expected presents like those.

Bliss didn’t last long, however. I knocked the buzzing out of Buzzie Bee in less than 20 minutes. Now I’m left with a trio of mute Mushabellies to take care of. But don’t worry; I’ll survive.

 

Chloë Gets Seasonably Wet

In my last post I groused about how early darkness threw off my routine, and I didn’t like it. This time I’ll add the other thing I hate most about fall: The weather. True, this fall has been unseasonably warm so far, but I knew that sooner or later that El Niño effect was going to kick in. Over the past couple of weeks it rained sideways a few times, and those strong winds make walking harder and the trails and sidewalks messier with fallen leaves. Even so,  once I get out in the rain, I just try to tolerate it as best I can and then dry off afterwards with vigor. At least I don’t wimp out with weird costumes like the poor dogs in this picture that one of Heather’s co-workers sent her.

2-Dachshunds in the Rain

 

Pathetic. They look silly, and what difference will these rain coats make? Unless these dachshunds were completely and tightly wrapped in plastic like sausage from Costco, there is no way the moisture and dirt from the ground isn’t clinging to their wet little bellies that hang exposed mere inches above the ground.

No clothes for me. I embrace the rain.

Rainy day hike

Rainy day hike

Fording Big Creek

Fording Big Creek

in the rain forest.

In the Quinault Rain Forest.

Mike's Tingley rubbers ad rain pants

Mike does the old soft shoe in his Tingley rubbers and rain pants

Of course, getting me dry and clean afterwards is the necessary epilogue to every rainy day walk. As I said, I don’t suit up in rain gear from head to toe like Mike does, so even after I’ve shaken myself off outside the front door, when I get inside the house I can be soaked.

Messy Mutts Mitt

Messy Mutts Mitt

For this extensive yet still delicate drying job, we have been auditioning the Messy Mutts Mitt so graciously donated by my Uncle Bill, a.k.a. Mr. Pickle (maybe there’s some kind of cross-marketing deal going on?). Unfortunately, unlike my longstanding endorsement of Visi-Ball and my own line of autographed Whiffies, this product and simply I haven’t clicked. The “twin-sided chenille grooming mitt” might be OK for some lap-dog or a chihuahua, but a soaking, squirming dachshund needs the old-fashioned,  two-handed, oversize-terrycloth-beach-towel approach — still the most effective drying method for the first pass, BY FAR. And since I use the front of Heather’s mother’s living-room chairs or the Oriental rugs for my self-service secondary and tertiary drying, by the time I circle back around to Mike to apply the Messy Mutts Mitt, it has been rendered totally non-essential. And the MMM is simply not large or absorbent enough to ever become my go-to equipment. Not even a Messy Mutts Mitt on each hand could top the towel.

Sorry,  Messy Mutts Mitt, no endorsement deal for me. The tried-and-true terrycloth towel prevails again.

At least the forecast for Thanksgiving weekend is dry. That will keep the carpet cleaner so it will be easier to see any random food that might fall on the floor.

 

Chloë Turns Five with Her Bros

Frank, Stanley and I quietly passed our fifth birthday in February. Sometimes when my brothers and I get together, we wonder what happened to the other two boys and three girls in our litter. Not for long, though.

We met the guys as usual near the park’s south parking lot, and the three of us sniffed butts and rubbed noses for about 15 seconds to renew acquaintances before I got a strong scent of rabbit and took off into the underbrush.

Stanley burrows

Stanley burrows

Frank and Stan were more interested in chasing their ball, anyway. Stan was still into harassing me whenever he got the chance, while Frank was his usual aloof self, considering pouncing after rodents much more fun than paying attention to his sister.

We had not seen the boys in quite a while, and I was happy to see they have slimmed down a lot. Eating a different kind of food, we heard. More exercise, too, from the look of them. They’re looking more like linebackers than offensive linemen these days. Both were decked out for the Super Bowl in Seahawks gear. Their owner-mom told Heather I would be a 2T (toddler) if they wanted to get a onesee for me. Thank goodness I didn’t see Heather running out to Fred Meyer before the game. To me, Super Sunday just means more crumbs on the floor than on a normal weekend. Crackers, cheese, that kind of stuff. Sounds super to me! My day turned out better than the game did, too.

Frank in uniform

Frank in uniform

After we took  a short walk through the meadow with the boys, they had to run off to another activity, but before they left they kinda posed for pictures. Mike tried to get the three of us together for an official fifth birthday photo, but from these shots, everyone will be able to see who pays attention to instructions and who does not. What goes on in those large heads of theirs, anyway?

Frank, Stanley and Chloe

Frank, Stanley and Chloe: Ready for action

Chloë Gets Her Own ID Card

Last week, on a really rainy day, Mike and I drove all the way up to Shoreline so he could get a new driver’s license. I waited in the damp, chilly car while Mike went inside to pay the fee and have his photo taken.

“What about me?” I thought, lying there in the front seat under a sleeping bag. And lo and behold, within a few days word came that our vet had installed a new system for communication and record-keeping. How neat is it to have all of my sensitive medical information available at the flick of Mike’s fingers! Even better: It had a template that Mike used to make me an ID card:

Chloë's ID Card

Chloë’s ID Card

Now, some might ask why a dog would need an ID card, but I see it making me seem more official, and providing me possible entry into the world of government surveillance and intrigue. Why not me?  I have watched enough episodes of The Unit and NCIS with Heather to know all the procedures and lingo needed to be a spy dog. Certainly my excellent olfactory skills give me a big nose up when it comes to tracking suspects. And I’m pretty sure there is currently no canine component to any of the three NCIS (Washington, Los Angeles, New Orleans) crews — and I should know, since I’ve sat through most of those episodes with Heather six or eight times at least.

Being a secret agent spy dog might be fun. We could use a little excitement around here that isn’t related to the Super Bowl.

 

Chloë Passes Her Annual Physical

Waiting for the vet

There was good news and bad news from my annual trip to the vet this week. The good news, of course, is that it’s my first trip to the vet since my last annual physical. Frank and Stanley, my brothers, are there all the time. My predecessor, Heidi, was at the vet several times a year for one thing or another. Me? Once, for my annual physical and shots. I guess I’m in pretty good shape, eh?

My personal physician, Dr. Aimee Kimmel, apparently agrees. In her hand-written report, under “General Appearance” she wrote: “Adorable girl.” And almost needless to say, next to “Mouth, Teeth, Gums” she scrawled, “beautiful teeth!” (With an exclamation point!) During the examination, in fact, she looked at my teeth and told Mike, “Awesome job.” Hey, don’t praise him, Doc: only my personal compliance makes my dental hygiene and grooming possible, and I may revoke consent at any time. I am a dachshund, after all.

Don't touch me there!

Don’t touch me there!

My compliance even extended into Dr. Kimmel’s examination and injections, of which there were four, which must be some kind of record. for one appointment. After the first two shots, Mike and I were instructed to walk around the block for a half hour before I could get the next two shots. I guess a little girl like me can’t consume too many drugs at once without ODing.  Anyway, I was well-behaved and barely flinched at any of the injections. When they clipped my nails a little close, however, that was another story. I let out a couple of ear-piercing yelps for the techs back there, just for show.

Sadly, the nail clipping wasn’t the only bad aspect of the physical. Nor was it having my temperature taken (and no, they didn’t attach something to my ear to do it), nor was it having my anal sacs expressed (you don’t want to know what this entails).

No, the worst part came first: the weigh-in. On the same, walk-on scale in the lobby that registered 18.1 pounds a year ago, the numbers stopped spinning at 18.6. Not bad for a 4-year-old dachshund, you might say. Dr. Kimmel, however, was quick to bring it to Mike’s attention, because 18.6 is a full half-pound more than my weight a year ago. “She’s not overweight,” Dr. Kimmel told Mike, but even though Mike agreed with her, I could smell the wood burning in his evil noggin. I’m not certain whether Mike will cut my rations or just reduce the number of between-meal treats he slips me every day. Either way, I fear my halcyon days are over, and an era of belt-tightening about to ensue. I am feeling hungry already.

Tale of the Tape

Date Age Weight Notes
4/1/10 8 weeks 5.8 pounds Elliott Bay Animal Hospital (EBAH)
4/23/10 11 weeks 7.75 EBAH
5/7/10 13 weeks 8.75 EBAH
5/21/10 15 weeks 10.3 EBAH
6/11/10 18 weeks 11.6 EBAH
7/1/10 21 weeks 12.3 EBAH
3/29/11 1 year, two months 17.1 EBAH 1 year exam
9/23/11 19.5 months 18.8 EBAH exam for nose spot
3/30/12 2 years, two months 17.5 EBAH 2 year exam
9/11/12 2 years, eight months 19.0 EBAH for ear infection
9/25/12 2 years, nine months 18.6 EBAH for ear followup
4/2/13 3 years, two months 18.1 EBAH 3-year exam, lobby
3/31/14 4 years, two months 18.6 EBAH 4-year exam, lobby

 

Chloë Turns Four with a Flourish

Frank and Stan upend Chloë.

Frank and Stan upend Chloë.

Frank

Frank

I got together with my brothers Frank and Stanley the weekend prior to our fourth birthday. It’s still good to see them, but it’s not the raucous good time of our youth. Not more than once or twice in an hour do the boys gang up on me, and I generally know how to steer clear of their shenanigans.  Besides, Frank is far more interested in rodents than he is in rolling me.

Stanley

Stanley

My birthday, Wednesday, Feb. 5, was celebrated as a holiday in Seattle and throughout the Northwest.  But instead of heading downtown to the big Seahawks parade, Mike stayed home with me and plied me with special treats, including a real veal shank that he brought all the way from Tampa. I pretty much ate the whole thing.

And if that weren’t enough of a treat, when we returned from our afternoon grocery shopping, my UPS guy had dropped off a package for Mike and two large Milk Bones for me. That’s the kind of service I’ve come to expect from UPS.

Chloë at 4

Chloë at 4

Lest we forget that there’s a lot of puppy left in me, I capped off my fourth birthday by surprising Mike with a flying leap as he was unzipping me from my downstairs crate, knocking him over and brushing my tooth against his forehead. No big deal. When Heather noticed Mike had another scab on his forehead, she assumed Mike had been to the dermatologist again. Just another brick in the wall, I guess.

And beyond my friskiness, I have obviously retained all of my puppy charm and good looks. Here’s living proof:

Mike and I were walking near the water tower when a car pulled over next to us at a stop sign, and a woman rolled down the front passenger’s window. “Is that a wirehair?” she asked. When Mike said I was indeed, she opened the car door and extended her hand toward me. “She’s so cute!” she squealed. The male driver and two girls in the back seat rolled down their windows, craned their necks and voiced their agreement. “We have a wirehair and a longhair at home,” the woman said as I sniffed her fingers. “How old is yours?” Mike told her I had just turned four. “She’s so cute!” she repeated, and at that moment I actually licked the hand of a stranger that didn’t even have a treat in it. Heck, I was close to jumping into her lap in the front seat and going home with them.

Chloë's new business card.

Chloë’s business card

Another car pulled up behind theirs, however,  and she had to close her door. Then the  car turned left and sped south on Viewmont Way before Mike had a chance to hand her one of my business cards. I was certain the gentleman in the driver’s seat was a noted Hollywood producer and his wife was his talent scout. It might have been my big break.

Oh, well; I still have Hurby to suck on.