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Grooming Wookie

July 24th, 2017 No comments

I may have accidentally stumbled upon a way to make grooming Wookie less of a battle. Of course, we’ve been down this road before with mixed results. For instance, when I learned that putting her up on the kitchen counter would keep her from running away and she would calm down, I started doing that, but that was short-lived. Giving her treats while grooming her works, but only if Joe is around to do so while I work on brushing her. She eats the treats frantically, however, so I know she’s still stressed out by the process.

The problem is how easily her fur mats once it gets just a little longer. I can brush her in the evening and the next morning there are new what I like to call mini dreadlocks on her legs and near her tail. So of course it’s painful when I try to get them out. I try to hold the fur close to her leg so the brush isn’t pulling and hurting her, but despite having touched her legs, paws, face, etc. since she was 8 weeks old she still doesn’t care for it. Sometimes if the mats are too large I will just cut them off even if it causes her fur to look a bit weird in that spot because it’s easier and less traumatic for her.

In addition, she has watery eyes and gets tear stains. The stains themselves are the least of my worries even though they are unsightly, and I bought some Burt Bees liquid to clean them, but my main concern is how her fur gets very crunchy in that area if it isn’t cleaned and combed daily. She really really hates the comb near her eyes and nose and will nip at it and my hands. She bit me pretty hard last week (although she didn’t break skin) and it really made me feel dejected because I’m merely trying to take care of her and she’s biting me. I know I took it too personally, but it’s hard not to feel that way when the dog you love is biting you.

I have this pair of gardening gloves I purchased years ago to wear when handling Steve the rat. Joe wore them when Wookie was stung by a bee so he could hold her paw while I removed the bee stinger. It dawned on me that I should wear them when grooming her to see what would happen. As soon as I started brushing her legs she of course started biting at the brush, and by default my hands, but since it wasn’t hurting me I kept going. She stopped trying so hard after that. In addition, I had left her toothbrush on the rug and she started chewing on it. She was so focused on the toothbrush that I was able to continue grooming her, even getting some of her muzzle, and she didn’t seem nearly as stressed as she is when Joe is giving her treats. That’s an added bonus since she can eat through quite a lot in one session. On top of that, I didn’t have to put her up on the counter which tends to make her pee from anxiety.

Pretty much the only thing I don’t have too much trouble doing is brushing her teeth because she likes the toothpaste. That being said, it’s really difficult getting her back teeth since I have to kind of hold her down and pull on the sides of her mouth to get back there. Of course those are the teeth that already have plaque buildup so she’s definitely going to have to get a professional cleaning at some point to the tune of $165. Other than the dental chews sold at the vet, I’ve been told Greenies and Dentastix don’t do squat so that explains why even though I give her those I haven’t seen any improvement in those teeth. The vet-approved chews are a) more expensive and b) not nearly as appealing to her for some reason. Figures.

On the plus side, now that I’ve discovered her desire to chew on the toothbrush, I will be using that when brushing her. I just hope she continues to enjoy it.

Also, she was cut very short today. Isn’t she adorable?

I will try to keep brushing her daily even though it won’t be necessary so she can form new associations with the brush and not fear it since it shouldn’t hurt if she isn’t matted. Honestly, I think some of her reaction is just her being sensitive since I can be brushing an area with no mats and she still tries to scoot away or bite.

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Home Depot is Dog Friendly

July 17th, 2017 No comments

Did you know you can bring your dog to Home Depot? I remember reading it somewhere so I called the one near us to confirm and they said yes. So after a walk with Wookie at Community Park in Carol Stream, which we hadn’t visited before but won’t be returning to because it sucked, we took her with us into the Depot to look at transition pieces. We never put one in between the dining room floor and the living room carpet but we need to now that Wookie exists because she was chewing on the carpeting. As a temporary fix we moved the couch back a few inches to hang over the transition and put a throw rug down in the walkway. Unfortunately, not only did they lack pieces that would match the color of the laminate in the dining room, they were extremely expensive compared to the prices at Hobo ($30+ compared to $13 per piece, of which we’ll need two). So we’ll be heading back to Hobo at some point so we can stop using the stupid throw rug which I’ve nearly tripped and killed myself on more than once. 

Honestly, I was pretty surprised when the Home Depot employee I spoke with indicated they have dogs in the store all the time since I don’t recall ever seeing one in all the times we’ve shopped there. Coincidentally, as we were leaving the store a couple was coming in with their Chihuahua. The woman glanced at Wookie in the cart and kinda chuckled. I wonder if they had also never seen another dog there as well. 

Categories: House & Home, Pets Tags:

Wookie VS The Bee

July 14th, 2017 No comments

Wookie was stung by a bee yesterday. Or more like she stepped on one. Just to back up a little…

Last week we paid for a membership to the closest dog park to us which is only a five minute drive from the house. We scoped it out the weekend before and liked that there was a separate section for little dogs. The annual membership is $50 for non-residents (it’s in a different city that borders ours) until July 1st when it’s reduced to half price.

Since purchasing the pass we’ve taken Wookie there a handful of times. The first time there was a group of dogs that met her at the gate and they ran off together which was so cute, but since then she hasn’t been entirely thrilled with the dogs she has met. She is always curious and will sniff them, but she really doesn’t like when they return the favor, and since she hasn’t really played with other dogs before she gets scared when they chase her because she doesn’t realize they aren’t trying to hurt her. In addition, she’s not very fond of male dogs in general although they really seem to like her. One in particular, a mini-Collie named Sheldon, would not leave her alone. She kept running away and finally I picked her up and put her on my lap and he was still trying to get at her. I’m hoping with time she will relax a little and learn to play instead of running away or just going off on her own to sniff around. I joked with Joe that she’s like her mommy – she thinks she wants to socialize but quickly grows weary and would rather be alone.

Overall I like the park because everyone there is friendly and the dogs are for the most part non-aggressive but they haven’t mowed it since we started visiting and the white flowering weeds attract bees. Which brings us back to yesterday. We lucked out and had the park to ourselves so Wookie could run around without being harassed. We spent a good half hour there and as we were leaving Wookie jumped up and yelped, but we didn’t see the cause. In the car she started holding up her right paw but after inspecting it twice I still didn’t see anything so I thought maybe she just sprained it. We stopped at Culvers for dinner which we decided to take home since we could tell she was not feeling well. We contemplating taking her to the vet which was literally across the street and open for another few minutes but ultimately decided against it since there wasn’t anything visibly wrong. Or so we thought.

Once we got home Joe was inspecting her paw closer, which of course she didn’t like so she was getting a little vicious with her biting (note to self: buy a muzzle for these situations). Finally he spotted a dark spot between two of her paw pads so we went upstairs into the bathroom where the lighting was better. We distracted her with treats while he spread her paw and I used tweezers to remove what we then realized was a bee stinger. It was very small, and I’m thankful she didn’t have an allergic reaction! Joe ran to Walgreens to buy some childrens Benadryl and we gave her a small dose. Within an hour she was back to her old self and even putting weight on the paw again. What a relief!

It’s always nerve-wracking trying to decide whether a vet visit is in order. If she was obviously injured it would be one thing, but in this situation we probably would have paid $100 just to have the vet do exactly what we did, so I’m glad we decided to wait and see. Today she’s acting normal except for a little diarrhea she had this morning which may be from the medicine. We gave her a smaller dose than necessary but since she’s feeling fine I don’t plan to give her any more unless her paw swells up.

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Sibling Weekend

June 26th, 2017 No comments

Saturday both my brothers and B’s girlfriend came over to spend the day hanging out. R texted me at 11 am to let me know they were on the way and I timed it so Wookie and I were finishing up a walk when they pulled up. She instantly recognized J and ran around him excitedly while peeing. She did the same for my other brother and R. It was so cute and nice to see her not being standoffish at all.

A little while later we went out to lunch to Bulldog Alehouse. Joe and I paid but it wasn’t bad since we had a restaurant.com gift certificate our friends gave us quite awhile ago.

After lunch we stopped at Half Price Books and then hung out at home for a bit before going to a local park. We all piled into Joe’s Escape so I sat in back between my brothers with Wookie on my lap. On the way back B treated us to some ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I usually get the Vanilla Swirl but tried the Hazelnut and it was good, other than the fact that I suspect they didn’t give me decaf as ordered. It wasn’t marked on the cup as such anyway.

I grilled burgers for dinner and later that evening we played Jenga and Aggravation before everyone left around 10 pm. The time went by so fast even though we were mostly just talking a lot of the time.

R and B are probably going to come over and watch Wookie next month when we have two day-long events to attend. Since they now have a dog of their own R would rather watch Wookie at our place which is fine by me. I know she’s trustworthy and I feel better about her being in my house than hiring a dog sitter who, while I’m sure is safe, is still a stranger. That’s a load off my mind, actually, because I didn’t want to keep Wookie locked up for 12+ hours two days in a row. I think she would be ok, but it’s certainly not nice.

Categories: Family, Fun & Games, Pets Tags:

Weekend

June 12th, 2017 Comments off

My off balance feeling came back with a vengeance recently so that sucks. The back of my neck is super sore and my head feels like it weighs twice as much as normal. Since I’m sick of going to the doctor and getting tests that come back normal I’m just waiting it out. At some point it will go away like my other transient ailments. 

Despite feeling like crap we still took Wookie to a pet wellness event at a local pet store on Saturday to get a bag of freebies.

Joe also shampood the living room carpet Saturday night since I’ve noticed the bottom of our socks getting dirtier quicker even though I clean the house more often and more thoroughly than ever. Having a dog just makes it get dirty faster. We used vinegar and got water to clean the carpet so it’s probably not as clean as a soap would have gotten it but I didn’t want to use the bottle we already had since there was no indication it’s pet safe. 

Sunday we were going to go to the Festival of the Fox but between me not feeling up to walking and how hot it was we opted to skip it. 
That afternoon I called Nicor about a possible gas leak. There was a strong mothball smell in the laundry room and kitchen and after some googling one person said it turned out to be gas. I only called to be safe and they sent someone out to check but everything is fine. This smell seems to materialize every year when we run the A/C so either it is somehow creating the smell or the neighbors are using mothballs. I suspect it’s the latter which sucks because I don’t know how to address it. I have to wonder if it’s the source of my headache and dizziness though. 

Sunday evening we treated E and his friend to dinner at Bakers Square since they were in the area. I haven’t eaten at one in a long time but it wasn’t all that. The reuben I had was pretty good as was the strawberry rhubarb pie but my stomach hated me the next day.  Plus the service was slow. 

Categories: Food, Health, Kids, Pets Tags: