“To lose the approbation of my dog is a thing too horrible to contemplate.”

The weatherman said sunny and warm today, mid 70’s. Right now, though, it is damp, dark and chilly with a strong breeze. Later Gracie and I have to go to the dump, but that’s it for chores. At the vets yesterday, I found out Gracie has gingivitis. We knew she had gum issues but it hadn’t gotten to gingivitis before this. Now she is on antibiotics which only cost me $110.00. The other choice was surgery to cut away then cauterize the gums. Before my eyes flashed a bill well over a $1000 so I went with the lesser of two financial evils. The vet said Gracie is in good health and has plenty of energy. She got her ears cleaned and her nails cut as well. Despite being a crazy dog, she abides getting those done quite calmly. I think it always surprises the toe cutter.

When I was a kid, our dog was a boxer named Duke. The only shot he ever got was his rabies shot every couple of years. There were no well dog visits back then or heart worm treatments or Advantix against fleas. My father would douse him with flea powder periodically or give him a bath. He ate horse meat, a component of dog food back then. There were no natural or healthy foods for dogs. Leash laws didn’t exist back then either. Duke was a roamer, and he knew his way all over town. You might have heard this before, but it’s a great story worth retelling. Duke was uptown and found my grandmother. He followed her right into Woolworth’s and while inside he lifted his leg on the comic books. The manager wanted to know whose dog it was. My grandmother said not a word as Duke really wasn’t her dog, but when she left the store almost immediately, Duke followed, a dead giveaway, but my grandmother never looked back. She wasn’t an animal lover, and I can only imagine the embarrassment she felt. To the rest of us, it was just a funny dog story. Duke lived to be fifteen. He was a great dog, stubborn as they come but protective and loving.

I can’t imagine being without a dog. Gracie is always happy to see me. That boxer stub of a tail goes so fast back and forth it reminds me of helicopter rotors, and I half expect her back-end to go air-borne. Sometimes she puts her head on my arm, looks at me and gives me her please eyes, the look which says a treat would be nice. I seldom refuse. She and I are in constant battle for alpha dog. I always win, but she is never happy about it. She sits then talks back to me. There is no mistaking her tone, and it always makes me glad dogs don’t talk.

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26 Comments on ““To lose the approbation of my dog is a thing too horrible to contemplate.””

  1. im6 Says:

    Speaking of dogs…. That’s not fair. I wrote this before you posted today’s musings.

    I thought maybe something would have been written about this by now, but nothing so far, so I guess I’ll take it upon myself to offer a few opinions about “Last Tango In Halifax.”

    Okay, I’ll just say it. I was disappointed. Maybe even more than just a little disappointed, too. Oh, I’ll continue to watch — at least for a couple more episodes, but if it doesn’t get better…

    I really wanted to like it. It had gotten such good reviews (both here and elsewhere), but then maybe that is the problem. Maybe I was expecting too much. If you make promises, you’d better deliver and LTIH didn’t deliver. They should have developed the rekindling of the romance a little better. Maybe more emails where they learn more about their pasts and there’s some real anticipation about their finally meeting again in person. It all got a little too Hallmark Channel for my tastes. It seemed contrived. It was rushed. And don’t even get me started on how the first episode ended. One “date” (if it was even that) and they’re engaged! Ridiculous.

    Why the fuss other than it was about characters who are seldom shown any more? The acting was fine, but it really needed a rewrite. Then another. Makes me sad because I was really looking forward to getting wrapped up in a story again. This certainly wasn’t it.

    Since I hate to end this on such a negative note, I’ve decided instead to link to the wonderful ‘Last Tango In Paris’ Ballad from the superb soundtrack by Gato Barbieri:

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      I haven’t watched it yet which is why there are no comments. This morning I watched older shows which have been in y DVD for a while. I’m getting closer to the more recent. I loved you segue into your view!

      I’ll let you know as I’ll try and get to it this afternoon sometime.

      I’ve never heard this before. Thanks!

    • Hedley Says:

      im6
      Hopefully I didn’t oversell LTIH. I really wanted you to like it

      All the characters have a major role and the engagement was actual. The writer’s real Mother and her new husband were brought together through a website called “Friends Reunited” and married immediately.

      Episode three is the “darkest” of the six, you might want to skip ahead 🙂 . So you know, they are currently filming a second series.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        I still haven’t watched it. I did a few errands and just didn’t turn on the TV yet. I’ll let both of you know what I tthink.

  2. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Funny you should post a dog topic today…just got back from an interview with a woman who will make her 9 week old bulldog into a therapy dog. The darned pup is extremely people oriented and seems afraid of no one. This makes him a good candidate…

    And yes, I tried to get a quote out of the dog…but all he did was try to sniff about and untie my shoes…

    Waving from Jersey (where it is hot and humid)…

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Coleen,
      Gracie is afraid of nothing and loves the world but she is a jumper. If not for that, she would have been a great therapy dog.

      I think you should count yourself lucky a 9 week old tlk doesn’t talk!

      Waving from the cape which still is cool and cloudy!

  3. Hedley Says:

    Our Maggie the Westie blew her ACL and tore her meniscus on her rear right leg. We were left with little alternative but to have a repair operation which we did four weeks ago. We are now in the rehab process as she alternates between skipping and hopping.

    As you know Maggie and I have something in common inasmuch as I managed a major break in my right leg

    Last night, the terrier who loves to wander, decided, in spite of my demands, to head for a neighbor’s house where two of her chums reside. So I am in pursuit, clutching birthday cards, yelling and kicking of my birkinstock sandals (bought in Gelsenkirchen, Birgit) and limping after a skipping three legged terrier.

    She made it to the neighbors patio, settled and was carried home with some indignation on both our parts.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      That happened to one of my cats way, way back, and I too had no choice but to have surgery for her. I was told to keep her quiet and not jumping. As if….

      Both of you can do rehab and therapy!!

      I had to laugh at the picture of you chasing Maggie and Maggie moving on and ignoring you. I know about dogs who run and ignore all please to come.

      Poor Maggie-all that running and still nabbed in the end!

      • Hedley Says:

        I am tracking England in the Ukraine this afternoon and waiting for the big one from Columbus Ohio tonight between the USA and Mexico. So much at stake this evening, it should be a crackerjack game.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        I will periodically check into that game.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Well, I guess Duke had an opinion about comic books and he just had to let it be known.

    My father’s dog was also named Duke. He was a spitz type but my father always called him an Eskimo dog. Considering that he was only waist high to my 5 year old self, I think he would have been too small to pull a sled even with other dogs to help. 🙂 He ingratiated himself to my mother, who was afraid of dogs, by standing guard over me in my carriage when she put me out on the porch. Then he promptly got a black mark in her book by licking all the frosting off a birthday cake she had made for my father. Duke was afraid of thunder and other loud noises. He didn’t go off the street unless we took him. He always knew where we were and if he showed up, we knew my father was looking for us. He was a great dog.

    I cannot imagine life without a dog. If I ever have to go into communal living for some reason, I will be very sad not to be able to have a dog.
    Perhaps I should get Rocky certified for nursing home visits. He loves to meet and greet people. I think he may have been a salesman or a politician in a previous life. 🙂

    It’s dank and cool up here, too. The weather man said 84ºF for a high today. I think we’re about 14º short of the mark. 🙂

    I have no errands but I need new flowers for the front steps and haven’t seen any that I like. It’s looking bare out there so maybe I will go on safari to find something.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I love the licking story. I can see that bare cake in my mind’s eye. Duke stole a defrosting roast off the counter. My brother and I got it from him and tried to smooth out the teeth marks. My mother never found out.

      Duke always ran when my father called him usually in the morning when he was following kids to school. My father would curse, get in his car and get Duke.

      Gracie is too wild for rest homes. She still jumps on people, a bad Boxer thing. She does bring one of her toys to every visitor, and I think that charming.

      We didn’t come close to the prediction either. I’m glad as I like today.

      I’m laughing as we used to call it going on safari too when my mother, my sister and I went riding around to see what we could happen on.

  5. olof1 Says:

    We actually got some rain today, the ground feels a bit damp and that’s it 🙂 Still fairly warm here too.

    We haven’t had rabies here for over a century or so so that shot was never needed, but we always gave them the shot against canine distemper (I do hope that’s the right name, it’s what google gave me 🙂 ). Dogs ate anything back then ab´nd I think they were healthier than todays dogs. Now there are so many kinds of food that I wonder what they are doing?

    Orvar need something to fatten him up now so I think I’ll add some butter to his food. Something they always did back in the days when a dog had been ill or needed to gain weight.

    None of my dogs ahe ever had any mouth problems, they’ve had everything else but not that 🙂 Fleas are rare here but my dogs get fox scabies each and every yearv instead 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      You have had a really warm summer, and it seems to be lasting longer than usual.

      They find rabies in skunks every now and then, but not in dogs who are required by law to get the shot. It is the right name as I think Gracie gets one too. I also think pure bred dogs are over-bred so the lines get weaker, less immune to diseases.

      This is the first dog I’ve had with a mouth problem. The vet says it is common but it hasn’t been for my dogs. Only one of my dogs ever got fleas, and she had one, only one. She was biting her foot, and I found a flea. I think because boxers have such short fur fleas aren’t attracted to them. I’ve had more ticks than my dogs!

  6. Bob Says:

    As you probably realize from my posts that we are a dog family. Our greyhounds all had bad teeth. I think it’s because they were retired racers and good dental hygiene doesn’t improve speed. Both of our greyhounds had gum disease which they inherited from me, or at least we had that in common 🙂 The treatment we choose was to just have the vet remove their back teeth. They didn’t mind at all because they could gum dry dog food better than my wife’s grandmother. We have been giving our dogs a monthly pill that prevents heart worms and also acts as birth control for fleas. Since we put our first greyhound on that medicine over 15 years ago we have never seen a flea. Greyhounds are very sensitive to chemical insecticides so the pill was a wonderful alternative.

    When I was a teenager in Queens NY we had a dog named Sandy. He was a mixed breed and like your dad we only took him to the vet to get his annual shots. He ate the cheap store brand dog food and we sprinkled him with the flea powder weekly in the summer. It only reduced the fleas. He lived to a ripe old age and died peacefully in his sleep without fancy food or expensive well dog visits to the vet.

    I think that every man should get a dog before he gets married. He would then learn how to share his affection and take care of another being which is good practice for being a husband and a father. The world might have fewer divorces if men tried out living with a dog first. Or, they might not get married and just have a friend with benefits arraignment with a woman to take care of their other need. Believe me marriage and children are expensive but divorces are even worse. Dogs are cheaper and more loyal 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I did know you were a dog family, but I didn’t know they were greyhounds. My neighbors have had three, and they love the breed. The vet said she would cut the gums in surgery, but Gracie hasn’t been bothered by the gums so until she is I won’t have her get the surgery. The pills will deal with the gingivitis which gives her bad breath at times. No fleas on my dogs either. I think the short fur isn’t all that inviting.

      You exactly described Duke’s life and I figure the lives of all the dogs we grew up with-nothing fancy and no well dog visits. Boxers only have a life span of 8-10 now.

      I love having a dog. I never felt afraid by myself even before I got a dog, but her barking is great to hear as I think it would scare anyone. Dogs and other animals love affection and return it unconditionally. I am horrified at some people treat animals. I would make their punishment the same as they did to the animal.

      • Bob Says:

        When I was a kid I always wanted the dog on the bus. My dad, who didn’t like pets, told me that they don’t make good pets because they are too hyper. Of course, he didn’t know what he was talking about because he didn’t want to encourage us and talk my mother into getting us a dog.

        One day about 16 years ago we saw a TV show that showed us how retired racing greyhounds made great pets and how many of them are killed each year by the racing industry. We have had two of them and they are wonderful dogs. They are quiet, they don’t bark much, they are very calm couch potatoes and they make wonderful companions. Other than the fact that you can never let them off a leash, they are great dogs. Some of them have been cat adapted. Otherwise they don’t know the difference between the mechanical rabbit and kitty. The only bad thing is that they are very prone to flatulence and they make large piles in the yard. It took a lot of years, but I finally got to have a dog on the bus. Greyhounds have everything a man desires, a big chest, a narrow waist and a tight ass 🙂

        We have now downsized to a dachshund. He is kind of like a short legged greyhound. There are Italian greyhounds but they look like they would break if you bumped them during the night. I don’t think I have ever seen a straight man walking an Italian greyhound 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        They have outlawed greyhound racing in this state so unless they are brought from elsewhere for adoption, I doubt I’ll see any walking with their owners.

        I know my friends loved their greyhounds though a couple weren’t housebroken. It took a while to get the dogs acclimatized to the house, but it was worth it for them. They were such gentle dogs-always on the couch when I went to visit. Finally they got to live the good life!

      • im6 Says:

        When I was in junior high, some new neighbors moved in next door. Shortly thereafter they moved in a bunch of greyhounds to live in their back yard. We were told they were breeding them for racing. Their home was right outside my bedroom window. Those damn dogs never shut up and never stayed still. I hate greyhounds. (Sorry, Bob)

      • katry Says:

        im6,
        I totally understand why you would not like greyhounds. Some dogs bark like crazy here, and I curse them

  7. Bob Says:

    The sad thing is that the greyhound rescue groups have done a great job lobbying states to outlaw greyhound racing. Now the industry has moved off shore.

    We have a large rescue group here in Dallas run by a retired airline pilot. He and his wife went to the track in Juarez Mexico several years ago and decided to visit the racers in the kennal after the last race. They happened upon the workers dispatching the losers by inserting an electrode in their rear and having a big time turning on the juice. The pilot and his wife rescued several dogs that night and started a rescue operation here in the US. In places like Mexico citizens have few human rights so how much does the government care about dogs. In the third world money talks and everything else walks.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I know there are rescue groups here as my friends used to go to picnics with other greyhound owners. That was where they got their third dog. A lady had to give hers up and they took the dog, a lovely female.

      I am sorry for animals used for sport. That’s their value-winning. Beyond that they are worthless.

  8. Beto Says:

    Best Friend

    The joy explodes from off the couch
    My bitter day assuaged
    Though I am torn with worldly pain
    My puppy’s heart is gay
    And like the Savior of our souls
    Wicks off the mantle coarse
    My dog loves me as He who came
    With all its heart and force
    But as the passing days wheel on
    And to the earth returned
    The collar and the bowl remain
    And lesson hard is learned
    It’s for ourselves alone we mourn
    For we are left behind
    Until the ones that left us here
    Return in Glorious kind

    • katry Says:

      Beto,
      I hope to see all my best friends again. The pain of losing them lasts a long time and is only eased by adding to the family,by adding a puppy filled with energy and so much love.

      I worry about my Gracie. My last two boxers were 8 when they died and Gracie will be 8 in November.

      • Beto Says:

        I don’t know Gracie but I know how she is. How life pours from her like a cornucopia. I love Boxers.
        I wrote a children’s book titled “The Puppy With The Green String” about a Labrador. It languishes waiting for an Illustrator.
        In it, a big Boxer named Taz falls in love with the Puppy and sits guard for her when she’s in the back yard; Peering through a big knot hole in the fence. They would kiss each other through the knot hole.
        If any stranger had entered my yard while the Puppy was alone, Taz would have responded viciously I’m sure.
        I get misty thinking about the thought of Gracie passing.
        I love Boxers.

      • katry Says:

        Beto,
        I grew up with Duke, a brindle Boxer like Gracie, and I can’t imagine having any other sort of dog. Her tail goes so quickly I sometimes expect her backside to be airborne.

        She is healthy so I have hope that her life will be longer. I too get misty when I think about not having my Gracie.


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