Once more (with caution)

There’s a prolonged heartbreak to loving a senior dog and bearing witness to the sunset moments along the way.

When the muzzle starts to gray

When you switch to mature adult food

When you add supplements

When he doesn’t want to play fetch for as long

When the muzzle starts to silver

When he’ll run after the ball, but not bring it back

When gray appears across his body

When medication is daily

When you realize you haven’t heard his voice in months

When his hearing fades

When you can’t remember the last time he ran

When he doesn’t bound after bumblebees

When the arthritis requires alternative treatments

When long walks become walks to the corner

When it becomes difficult to get up

When car rides are stressful

When yoga mats provide runways through the house

When he can no longer walk up the stairs

When he no longer wants to be carried upstairs

When he restlessly wanders, day and night

When you dredge his dry food into a mushy puree because he no longer has teeth

When he no longer sleeps on your side of the bed

When he occasionally has an accident

When he wears a diaper

When his breathing shifts

When he wears a diaper and a wrap

When you coax him into the yard for fresh air

When you startle him awake and for a moment he doesn’t know who you are

When you try to clean him and he reacts in fear

When he nuzzles your hand with the full weight of his head

With Zozo, there wasn’t a Big Sign. We had to choose the moment for him after weighing the ever-growing list of little signs, hoping that wasn’t too early or too late. Knowing that the air and energy and routine will never be the same again.

Today, he had a full breakfast and wore on a clean, jaunty kerchief. He followed us around the kitchen. He took a couple disco naps. It was a good morning. And then Dr. Abi from Lap of Love joined us. Zozo ate chocolate cake icing with redi-whip. He finally, finally could relax.

Our comedy guy. We love you. Thank you for being ours. Tell MJ we’re ok.

XI

This is Zozo. He is 11 years old today!

Favorite food: Peanut butter, shredded cheese, pizza, crispy french fries, and anything you’re eating

Favorite thing: dad. Paws down his absolute favorite

Favorite place: the couch, under mom’s desk, half under the bed, camp, walking beside Godiva

Dislikes: noises, outside, strangers, horses, my little sister, mom’s hairspray, the oven, delivery men, britney spears, etcetcetc

Wordless Wednesday: one trip, two stops!

things i “barked at”* this weekend, by zozo

*they say “barked at”; i say “defended them from.”  we apparently have to agree to disagree.  (i’m right).

SATURDAY:

-momma leaving for class
-the mailman
-dad leaving for work
-momma unlocking the door
-the mailman
-mums’ arrival
-momma and mums leaving for the store
-momma and mums returning from the store
-the neighbors
-the neighbor boy’s friends
-nothing
-the gate swinging in the wind
-dad coming home from work

 

SUNDAY:

-birds in the yard
-momma going out for coffee
-momma coming home with coffee
-mo’s car
-mo
-mo’s shoes
-momma and daddy leaving
-nothing
-nothing again
-dad walking up the stairs
-dinner
-dad leaving for a meeting
-bubbles in the tub
-the neighbor dog out for a walk
-dad coming home from his meeting

 

I SAVED THEM!

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In the neighborhood, in the neigh-bor-hood!

March 2017

About a year ago, I started running.  Voluntarily, with nothing chasing me.  I bought good sneakers that fit my orthotics (my knees have history) and a Wind Breaker and a little belt in which to keep my phone for music.  I used the Couch To 5K app to help me get started. If you were around my neighborhood, you’d see me jogging and walking and jogging and walking and huffing and puffing three days a week.  I did it for exercise and to help prepare for a musical I was in last summer.

(To be clear, I tried to take Zozo with me.  He wasn’t having it.  It could be I was too slow or he was too interested in pooping when there were no cans around.  Either way, opportunity lost.)

I hate running.  I struggle with it, but I keep at it.  I like the fresh air.  I like reporting back on homes for sale or new lawn decorations.  But mostly, I like that I get a chance to see neighborhood dogs.

Bradley is a handsome Sheltie who trots his dad along.  When he sees you, no matter how far off, he sits and waits.  His dad waits, too.  You may not pass Bradley without petting him, for he will follow you until you pet him.  Sometimes coming and going, I get some Bradley love.  Bradley’s dad gets a lot of interrupted walks.

Ariel is a German Shepherd with the largest ears I’ve ever seen.  She moved into a house as a puppy, and it’s been amazing to watch her grow into her feet.  Her eyes are amber. When her dad walks her to the local middle school to collect her human siblings, she’s off-leash, focused and disinterested in sharing the sidewalk.  Disciplined. So disciplined.

There’s a dog– sometimes two– that live in a house one street over.  I refer to this dog as Evil Dog.  I think his name is Storm.  I’m not sure.  He’s a fence charger and a jail-breaker.  From out of no where, he’ll come charging the fence, barking at passers-by, not at all phased by the beeping of the electric fence collar his owners have on him for extra restraint.  Maybe I’m being unkind– I suspect he’s lonely, bored, or poorly socialized– but he scares me to death every. damn. run.  (One time he hopped the fence and walked to Home Depot.  He was found in the plumbing section.)

A Burmese Mountain Dog broke away from his tweenage companion and knocked me over, stood on my legs and licked my hair.  The crackle of a changing voice screaming “MOM”, “HELP” and “HE’S JUST A PUPPY” was heartbreaking.  When I realized I wasn’t being mauled to death, we all calmed down and had a giggle.  And then I cried the rest of the way home.  Run cut short.  (They have a fence now.)

The long-haired Chihuahua.  This little thing, wearing a bedazzled orange harness, came running yap-yap-yap out of an open garage and chased me down the street.  When I turned back to him, he put his tush down and hushed.  I walked towards him and he backed up, turned around and started towards home.  I resumed my run and he resumed his.  I picked up my pace and flipped a corner.  I have no idea where he went, but I hope it was home, along the sidewalk.

There’s a beagle who guards a neighbor’s chicken coop and generally hangs out in the middle of the street.  He’s a weirdo.  People just drive around him, or get out of their cars to shoo him home.

There’s an older Korean gentleman who walks his cat.  I want to make friends with him.

 

Report Card

January 16, 2017

I suppose I shouldn’t laugh?

Resolve! by Zozo

get out moJanuary 1, 2017

I was asleep before midnight, which is okay because that meant my last pit stop happened before the fireworks started.  No #ZOverreacting!  A-plus for me!!

Here is what I will work on this year:

  1.  Keeping my cool and trying to bark less.  This may take some effort.  And treats.  Lots and lots of treats.
  2. Working on my fitness: more reps with tennis balls, eating more vegetables and less pizza.
  3. Learn something new.  I am getting old(er), but I can still get better.  Maybe a new trick or skill or something.
  4. work on some new jokes.  The old ones are losing their shine.
  5. Get out more.

 

What are you going to do in 2017?

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Me with some lovely ladies and dad at Pints 4 Paws.  Being a dork.

Snugglin’

This is pretty much how they used to snuggle together.  He’s settle and she’d interlope. 

Tonight, he curled up in her place and shifted the pad around. And sighed. 


He hasn’t settled there since she left us. Maybe it’s ok now?  

Keeping Cool

July 2016

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.

why must you torture me with “wait”?

 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.

Dorothy Affect, basement version

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.

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Tell us!  How do you stay cool when it’s hot outside?  What are some things we should try?