ARTICLE: HX my interview with liza minnelli. yes, liza minnelli. to read the story: click on this link; log into the site; then come back and click on this link again, and you'll be brought to the right page.
The latest round of foster puppies went back today. Neither my heart, nor my kitchen tile, will ever be the same. So sad to see them go.
(click to enlarge!)
The puppy in the left photo (also on the right in the right photo) lived to be held and carried everywhere, and immediately went limp against anyone's neck who held him. The other puppy, who I believe is part Chow, is much more independent, prefers to sit next to you instead of on your lap. But he loved to be pet, which is good because his fur is the densest, softest substance on Earth. I spent hours watching TV, petting petting petting him.
It was fun having them around. They're healthy now, off to be adopted, gone. NEXT.
PS: If you don't understand this post title's play on Neil Diamond, you need to listen to his music more.
Please don't be fooled by this photo. That whitish-pink thing on the left is not actually a rare species of Pale Thigh Tree, that is my leg; and hanging onto it is not a even rarer species of Pudgy Marmoset, that is a rotund little foster puppy that is presently in my care. He is all alone in the world, so he is a bit clingy. I don't blame him. It's not easy being a puppy.
Reasons I love this dog:
1) He knows what the newspaper on the floor is for. God bless him. However, he does not leave the paper on the floor where I place it; he moves it around the room, rearranging it in a manner more suitable for his tastes. He doesn't shred it, he just redecorates.
2) When he gets upset, he is calmed by the sounds of Madonna's Greatest Hits.
3) He had some GI problems, so to make sure everything is healed and there are no intestinal injuries I'm feeding him a diet of premium puppy food, acidophilus, and aloe vera extract. And he likes it. He told me he wants to explore the possibilities of eating an all-organic diet, so I'm looking into that for him.
4) He is desperately dramatic, and often sits with a paw cocked up, a la a "limp wrist." Just like his foster father.
I'll get a photo of the effete paw when I find my camera. My next test: I'm going to play showtunes, and if he howls along, I'm forming the Miami Beach chapter of POLGA, Parents and Owners of Lesbian and Gay Animals. It's super fun. We'll wear cute outfits and trade grooming tips and let our pets sniff whoever they want to sniff without worrying about what's appropriate.
Three labs, found somewhere, turned in for adoption.
They didn't look like this when I got them. They were somewhat miserable, dirty, skinny little things.
Instead of donating them to the Humane Society, the puppies' rescuer gave them to an organization that pulls dogs from the county pound—specifically, dogs on the "death list"—and finds temporary homes for them until they can be adopted. It's a good idea, in theory. This means the dogs live in foster homes for a while, perhaps for the rest of their lives, because getting dogs adopted is no easy task.
I had these guys for two weeks. Gave them baths, combed out the scabs, fattened up the skinny one whose hip bones stuck out from malnourishment (on the left). Dealt with digestive issues, dealt with loneliness issues. Administered many belly rubs. At the end of two weeks, we have three brilliant, healthy, well-behaved dogs.
And at the end of two weeks...none were adopted. Nobody has been interested, not really.
I can't hang on to them anymore, I am leaving town for a few days, so I had to give them back. The organization put them in a kennel while they continue to advertise them on the internet. I don't see that as fair to the dogs, nor is it an effective way to find families, so I offered to bring them to the Humane Society. But no, they want to deal with it themselves... it's not my choice, so okay...
I don't envision these dogs getting adopted anytime soon.
Etymology: Middle English smert
causing pain, from Old English smeart; akin to Old English smeortan
before 12th century
1: A puppy that possesses the knowledge that, when caught doing something wrong, you should immediately run away and jump onto your two brothers that look exactly like you, and wrestle and roll around until it is impossible for anyone to remember which puppy was the one caught in the act.
July 1: Worked production on "Losing It With Jillian," as the show swung through Miami. I have to admit, if you want to lose weight, there's no need to begin a life-altering exercise regimen. Just get a job on the staff of her show, and you will run around for 12 hours lifting things and carrying things and you will wear yourself out. Sadly, I didn't see much of Jillian herself, just one time when she walked by me; that was disappointing because instead of walking, I had hoped she'd sit on a tray and make someone drag her around while screaming motivational commands through a megaphone. If you don't know what that reference means, you obviously haven't seen her shows.
July 3: Nomi Malone's birthday, 7/3/73, as mentioned in "Showgirls." Or is it really her birthday? Again, if you don't understand the reference, you haven't seen it. And if that's the case, why not? I love this movie and I watched it again for the zillionth time.
July 4: Independence Day! I did absolutely nothing. But that's okay.
July 5: Put everything on high shelves, to puppy-proof my apartment—and welcome the arrival of these black lab mix troublemakers:
Don't be fooled by the innocent glow in his eyes. He just chewed my curtains.
This little guy and his two brothers are currently peeing on every available surface in my tiny studio apartment. They were rescued from the county pound; I don't know where their stories beyond that. So I am foster-parenting them, hanging onto them until they get adopted. Or until Cruella DeVil comes by and says she's going for a darker wardrobe this season. If these pups eat anything else in my apartment that is not served in a bowl, I may donate them to turn them into a nice pair of furry gloves. Just kidding. I love all three of them already and totally dropped a pile of cash on toys.
If you see me wandering about with the dogs, feel free to say hello.
As was mentioned in the earlier post, there are three puppies this time. Usually I limit the operation to only two, as I have only two hands, but these dogs are so small I can smush three together and still have room in my hands to maneuver my apartment/car keys. They each weigh perhaps 1.5 pounds, and they love to lay on each other in complex Twister-like knots. Again, see previous photo for an example.
We stayed in tonight, the dogs and I, to watch the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family and partake in some belly rubbin'. Two of the pups are female; the third (male) is smaller, but feisty, and when he walks he kicks his legs out like a high-stepping soldier. And wherever I go, he follows about 5 seconds later, just to see what's going on.
The females are very meek, although if I put the two of them down and walk away the larger one will bound after me. The smaller one just sits down and cries until I go back and pick her up. She runs and jumps when she's playing, so physically there's nothing wrong that hurts her to walk. She just doesn't like it. I can appreciate that preference. After two weeks with me I predict she will be spoiled rotten, and will have no choice but to live out the rest of her life getting toted around town in the handbag of a lovely Bal Harbour society wife. PS: As a bonus, she has a little underbite. It's the cutest thing ever.
Today, the other two dogs and I practiced coming to me when called. I don't think they can see well yet, they bumped into walls, but we're making progress.
People ask how I do it—how I give the puppies back.
(click to enlarge)
This was on their last day with me, minutes before we left my apartment. The dogs normally whined incessantly, but that last day they didn't make a sound. None of the puppies ever do. They know.
I usually get them at 4 weeks old, but it's been my experience that their eyesight doesn't fully kick in until week 6. So I'm the first mom they really see. I feed them formula, I wean them to canned food and then the harsh reality of dry food that will undoubtedly be the staple of the rest of their lives. But even with the dry food, I mix it up with water or formula so it's easier to chew with their little teeth.
Puppies this young need lots of attention, way too much for the average dog owner. They must eat many times each day. They don't understand how to lap up water. No puppies should ever be separated from their mother before 8 weeks old at least—they can develop deep anxiety disorders that haunt them for their entire lives—so when I get them, I hold them and pet them often, to teach them to be calm and make them better pets for their real owners. If the dogs are messed up in the head, their frustrated owners might bring them back to the shelter and that may not be a happy ending. So I teach them as much as I can, to give them their best shot out there in the world.
We learn to follow without a leash (I am an expert at this), we learn to come when called (this has varying degrees of success, depending on the dog) we learn to not steal food from their siblings' bowls (this...sometimes doesn't stick very well). We learn that when I leave, I will come back, and there is no need to cry or panic.
And then...we take a ride in the car, a ride that is very quiet, and we walk into a building they vaguely remember by the scent. When I put them on the counter, they usually don't look at me anymore, they just look down. And when I leave, I cross my fingers that their new lives will be at least tolerable.
Some of the dogs, I know where they go—their new owners send me photos as they grow, with funny stories. But I can't help worrying...for some, it won't be great. I picture them tied up to a post, in the hot Florida sun, with no shade and no water and nothing to do, adopted by people who thought they were cute when they were young but now think of their pets as a nuisance. Maybe the dogs remember what it was like with me, when things were better, and the blankets in the corner were soft.
I know they don't understand why I give them away—that's why they look at me like this, in the photo above. But there is only a certain amount I can do out there in the world. And there will be more...puppy stores are everywhere, the "puppy mills" keep cranking out too many dogs, idiot shoppers will keep these places in business. I'll end up with a new batch soon.
And when I do, I'll teach them how to drink water and how to pee on the newspaper, or at least try to make it there before there's an accident. Their bladders are small, you can't expect too much. And when they wake up in the middle of the night and blindly wander too far from bed, I'll scoop them up and put them back where they belong, again and again. After doing it once or twice, I think they get lost on purpose, just to make sure I'll come help.