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It’s. So. Hot.
Summertime in the suburbs of DC always swelters. Humidity. Tourists. So much gross.
To keep cool this year, we’re relying on our old stand-bys:
Frozen Nibbles: Zozo will do anything for frozen green beans and/or banana slices. We put them on top of his dried food or use them as treats after short trips outside. He’ll wait (im)patiently for them when we come inside.
When he was younger, we could sate him with ice cubes. As he’s aged, he’s less interested in them. But frozen treats seem to do the trick.
Basement dwelling: it’s like we have an adolescent human boy. He lurks in the dark corners of the basement, drawn out only by promises of food. It’s cool. It’s dark. Quiet. There’s video games and instruments. He loves it. And he’s reluctant to come up or share the couch. Or he’s under it.
Close crops: like it or not, we cut off all of his fur for the summer. His shaggy, flat black coat is unbearable in the sunshine and heat. He’s groomed closed to his skin– so close that you can see how white his belly is. And it makes me laugh when he’s sleek and skin-y.
Water sports: Zozo loves to swim. Loves it. He like to splash and paddle and chase balls. We don’t have a pool at our disposal, so we often take him to Old Towne Pet Resort for a dip and a bath.
Tell us! How do you stay cool when it’s hot outside? What are some things we should try?
Remember these two?
I’ve heard from our friends from Alley Cat Rescue, and they have a great update for us:
Diamond, the Staffy-mix with the derpy tongue on the right, has found her forever home. Three weeks ago, Diamond’s forever family fell in love with her toothy grin and goofy nature and brought her home. AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
Bud the lab-mix (on the left) is more… particular about his humans. Here’s what that means: he needs a seasoned/experience dog owner. He likes some humans more than others. Just like you (human, reading this post) don’t like everyone, dogs are also occasionally picky about their human companions. That’s ok! Alley Cat Rescue partnered with the ASPCA of Anne Arundel County, and Bud and his waived adoption fee have been transferred to them. He’s working with a trainer every day while he waits for his best-match family. You can read his profile here.
We’re so excited these two are doing so well.
February 1, 2016
When we moved into our house so many years ago, we worried that Zozo was lonely. That he needed company when we were out of the house. We thought he could use a companion’s example to follow when his social anxiety acts up. And so, we brought MJ home.
When we let MJ go in late December, we again worried that Zozo would be lonely. That his behavioral challenges would become exacerbated in her absence. We had no idea how we would manage his grief along with ours.
For the first few days, he would look around for her: at meal times, in the yard, when he hopped on the couch for some snuggles. The house is quiet and still. It’s cold without the constant pittie shadow-slash-lap-blanket.
Long story very short: Zozo is amazing. Yes, he’s anxious on-leash without her example. Yes, he still barks at noises outside tgat we cannot see. He’s also silly and chatty and affectionate. He’s enjoying the one-on-one with the humans. He hops on our bed for pre-lights out snoozing. His goofy personality is on display. We’re dressing him in his jaunty kerchiefs and bow ties (ok, I’m dressing him). It’s as if he’s coming out of his shell again.
It’s helped our mourning to laugh at him… with him; to enjoy being just us three. He asks about her. He sleeps with her crate towel. We’re finding a new routine, the three of us.
January 15, 2015
Guest blog. No intro needed, but please share especially if you’re in the DC area.
Sometimes forever does not mean forever. That’s a hard lesson to learn in life in general and even harder, for me, when it relates to animal rescue.
Barkbox knows us so well!
February 27, 2014
I’ve had the opportunity to work from home recently, due to illness and snow-tastrophies and general boss-omeness (that’s “boss+awesome” for those of you who don’t fluently speak Kari).
It’s a privilege to work in my pjs, with snacks and coffee and couches in easy reach. And puppy snuggles.
Yes, during those days when the living room/kitchen counter/office/hammock becomes my command center, our furbabies are (mostly) ideal coworkers.
Zo typically camps out, moving between napping (The Dorothy Intervention of daylight hours)
and participating in conference calls. That is, he’s a snoring, adorable mound until I unmute the phone to participate in a meeting, at which time he growls, grumbles, and provides a rousing soundtrack to my conversation. He’s also great at interrupting people who drone on and on…What can I say? He’s got mad skillz.
MJ takes advantage of the human-at-home-which-means-no-crate time by lounging on her puppy-approved end of the couch.
She also pops over to my workspace, to sit and stare. And judge me. After which she gives a big, huffy sigh and wiggles away.
Inevitably, something adorable like this happens, which I only discover when I try to stand up and ruin the sibling-love moment by falling over them.
Helpers to the end!
When Zozo was a puppy, James and I agreed- we made a pact!- that we wouldn’t give him food from the table. There’s too much that’s not good for his stomach, we said. We don’t want to encourage bad habits.
Athena was already spoiled by nibbles of corn chips and burnt french fry bits from Five Guys. We had a second, temporary rescue cat that would snatch whole cheeseburgers from plates and try to make off with scrambled eggs.
So with Zo, no meant no. Except for maybe just a corner of a pancake (“He asked if he could taste it!”). Or a bite of pizza crust (“No, see, it fell on the floor and he got it before I could pick it up!”). Or baby carrots and green beans (“There are vegetables in his dry food. See, there’s a picture on the back by the ingredients of what I think are veggies.”). Or inches of apples. You see where this is headed.
When MJ came home, we redoubled our efforts. No people food. None. She wasn’t interested in food anyway, so fine. She was, however, interested in smelling it. We’d make dinner and she’d pad around the kitchen, snout in the air.
“What are you choppin’?”
“What’s that you pulled out of the fridge?”
“Is somethin’ bakin’ in the oven?”
“Can I smell the soap?”
Snout up, snout down, snout where it doesn’t belong.
Zo would hang out under the breakfast bar, waiting.
Because he knew. He could sense it. It was in the air, like the warming naan or the baking chicken or the dishwasher detergent. Mama’s weakness.
If there is something plain, unseasoned and ok for furbabies, Mama will share. That’s the number one household rule: Mama always shares.
Our dogs don’t beg. They don’t whimper or whine if we’re eating and they’re not. But they line up, bums on the floor in a perfect sit, and accept an offering like communion. And then they scoot away. If there’s nothing for them, they get a treat and then retire to their beds. It’s now routine.
I’m a failure. Terrible, terrible failure.
Is there anything, dear readers, you promised you wouldn’t allow as a furparent that’s completely gone out the window? Am I alone?
Our little girl is coming along nicely. Yes, she’s bull-headed and pushy and choosy with her crate-training. Yes, she can leap clear over the top of her baby gate and make herself comfortable on the couch. But she’s sweet and loves to snuggle. She barrels into closed doors at the right speed and oomph to pop them open so she can investigate the happenings on the other side. She wags her entire body.
And Zozo is amazing. He’s patient and kind and ignores the little girl until she needs to be yapped into line. He shows off his cues and proves to be a great big brother and occassional alpha.
Individually, they’re wonderful. Together, they’re their own little wolf pack. It’s delightful.
We’re excited to introduce MJ to the people and places we love to take Zo. We call to schedule her for a bath.
“How old is she?”
“Oh, almost 8 months.”
“…Hold on…. (hold muzaq).. I’m sorry, we don’t groom Pits.”
“Oh, but she’s very sweet and has never shown any signs of aggression. She loves kids-“
“Sorry, no Pit Bulls.” Click.
This happens with the daycare we like to take Zozo to. The Yappy Hour. I begin noticing people avoiding our pink bully as we puppy-lurch down the road (our leash skills could use some work). MJ doesn’t understand; she just wants to shimmy and play and give kisses.
I find myself shying away from admitting she’s Pit-mixed. “She’s Catahoula with some kind of American breed– boxer maybe.” It’s a lie no one falls for. She may be gloriously speckled, but her snout is all Pit.
And I feel like a coward for betraying her heritage.
Gradually, when I call to make plans for spa days, daycare, boarding and training, I start the conversation off with the following phrase:
Do you have breed restrictions?
The question becomes part of our vernacular. The answer? Unsurprising: can’t, no pit bulls.
We became one of those families. We’re young, living in the suburbs. We have two rescue dogs. One is a Pit Bull. Obviously we’re dangerous drug dealers or thugs and criminals, and she’s vicious.
And that’s when I get mad.