September 30, 2012

Chicken Necks, Cheese, and the Man-Bra

What I like, I like. What I don’t like, is a serious matter. I keep a list of both.

LIKES (not in any particular order)

1. My pals (human and canine)

2. Treats

3. Car rides

4. Swimming

5. Skiing/Snow

6. Off-leash walks and romps (with my friends especially)

7. Hiking in the mountains or on a long, long trail somewhere in nature.

8. Sleeping in on the human bed or snuggled up on the couch in between my moms

9. Cheese

10. Chicken necks

Perhaps no more details are needed after I make the list, but there are two on this list that are particularly wonderful and therefore I must expound on their wonderfulness.

CHEESE and CHICKEN NECKS! As many of you know, I am a picky eater. My moms feed me a raw diet and while I enjoy it there are a few rules that must be followed in order for me to eat my entire bowl of food.

1. Supplements must be thoroughly mixed in — digestive enzymes, glucosamine, denta-treat, vitamin powder, probiotics, coconut oil — if I can see it, I won’t eat it.

2. Don’t try to feed me before noon…I don’t eat breakfast (unless, of course, my friends are staying over and they’re devouring their food then I might (MIGHT) be persuaded to indulge in the morning)

3. I prefer to eat with my humans. If they’re watching a movie in the TV room, then I want to be fed there. If they’re in the kitchen discussing their day over the morning paper or as they prepare dinner, I want to be fed there. I hate to eat alone.

4. If I’m not that interested in my bowl of food (and all those supplements) put CHEESE on it (preferably cheddar though sometimes I like Parmesan). In my humble doodle opinion, cheese was made for dogs and while I don’t always clean up the floor when the humans spill things (unlike most of my friends…you know who you are) I will always lick the dropped cheese (and homemade pasta dough of all things) until the cows come home (pun intended!)

5. And if you really want me to eat — no matter the time of day, the status of the supplements, where my bowl is placed or the availability of cheese) ADD CHICKEN NECKS! Yep, RAW CHICKEN NECKS are my candy. I love them. Lots of people think they are bad for dogs, but actually the bones are small enough not to harm us and raw bones are much easier to digest than cooked ones (in fact, NEVER feed cooked ones as they can make us very sick!).

But raw chicken necks are divine and when I have one in my bowl, I do the happy dance and eat my food like I’m supposed to — with vigor and enthusiasm and a crunch crunch crunch (as chicken necks are super crunchy!)

Sadly, I only get chicken necks for about a week after we pick up my food from The Natural Pet Pantry — that’s as long as a bag of necks lasts — but recently we found out that Fido n’ Scratch carries The Natural Pet Pantry food so I know we’ll be taking more trips there to pick some up for me. Yum Yum Yummy!

I could add one more LIKE, but unfortunately I can no longer participate in FETCH (my 11th LIKE) because of my recent diagnosis of jaw dysplasia. I’m not allowed to play with balls anymore, though I can play fetch in the water with my buoy and that seems to take the edge off my need to race across an open field and leap up to catch a bouncing ball. Well, it sort of suffices…not that I have much choice.

But also have a list of DISLIKES and while I’m working with a doggie therapist to sort through all these rough spots in my personality, there are still things I don’t like much.

DISLIKES (not in any particular order)

1. Lucky from up the street. No one can figure out why, but when we see or smell each other, it’s not pretty. Enough said. (I’m slightly embarrassed about my behavior but I’ll save that for another blog post!)

2. Pills — Yes, they come covered in cream cheese (which I love) and even though my moms are really good about slipping them against my cheek where I swallow them nicely, I hate taking pills. When I hear the pill container open, I run upstairs. Gretchen’s not sure why I run upstairs because once up there, there’s no where else to hide, but just the sound of that pill container makes my skin crawl and so my flight or fight instinct kicks in. Gretchen should be glad that Flight wins out over Fight.

3. Raincoats — I’m a nervous fellow and having anything on me makes me more nervous, which is why I haven’t had much success with a Thunder Shirt — a shirt that’s supposed to calm nervous dogs. No matter the claims, it’s still clothing to me and I do not like clothing of any kind. Period.

4. Thunder/Fireworks — I am not alone in this dislike so no need to really explain it.

5. Cats — I suppose this isn’t so much of a dislike as prey drive, but let me tell you, cats walking atop our fence or sitting on the backyard wall or popping out from behind bushes on a walk is an explosive event for me. Same can be said for squirrels. I have, as Gretchen will attest, little impulse control when it comes to cats and squirrels.

6. Dogs smelling my junk without asking. Dogs should have manners. Many don’t. Those that have horrible manners make me nervous. Very nervous. I’m working on it, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to a dog racing up to me and stuffing their nose where has not (yet) been invited.

7. People who INSIST (despite cautionary warnings) on squealing, with their hands outstretched and pointed enthusiastically at my head — “WHAT AN ADORABLE DOG! CAN I PET HIM?” all the while they are already trying to pet me AND despite being told NO they can’t pet me that way (on my head and enthusiastically) they KEEP COMING! I do not like this. I do not like this. I do not, do not, not!

8. Kibble. Call me strange, but dry dog food feels like an insult.

9. Booties. It’s kind of like my raincoat only worse. I don’t have to wear them often, but when we go skiing or river rafting (so I don’t puncture the raft) I wear booties. Okay, okay, okay…those are fun activities and once I get going they don’t bother me much, but still…when I hear the rip of the Velcro, I run away.

10. And finally, the newest addition to my closet — my Man-Bra or as some would call it, my Bro. It’s not really a bra at all. It’s a harness that I’m supposed to wear so that the leash doesn’t pull on my neck (since I have all sorts of weird head and neck issues). I realize my moms have my health in mind, but seriously, does it have to be so big and cover my chest like a bra? Gretchen says I’m wearing this version because none of the others fit my manly figure correctly. Manly? I think she’s trying to flatter me as she puts a bra on that manly chest, but regardless, I HATE my Man-bra and spend the first 5 minutes of our walk trying to rip it off with my manly teeth.

Or roll around trying to strip if off my back. It doesn’t work, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Here, in fact, is a series of me demonstrating the attempt while Gretchen tried to pose us for a photo. Wobbie and Tyson think I’m nuts!

Where’s Rubin?

I think I see his feet just behind Tyson’s back end?

Are you sure that’s him?

Yep, that’s him…

And despite all that effort, his man-bra is still on!

My friends have likes and dislikes too, but I won’t go into their top ten. Here’s just a sampler:

Tyson: Loves to have his head rubbed (and post eye surgery, Love doesn’t describe his desire for them) and Dislikes his harness (though he doesn’t go to the same lengths I do not to wear one) and now, eyedrops that he has to have twice a day. Poor boy.

Roux: Loves when we come to take her out for a walk (and I should say LOUDLY loves because she sings quite a song) and Dislikes it when someone else’s leash goes over her head (she does the most amazing backwards walk to get on the outside of the line up of dogs we’re walking so no leash is above her head…kind of like a moonwalk…it’s impressive).

And there’s something on Jackson Street Roux dislikes, but for the life of us, we can’t figure out what it is.

Monty: Loves babies  (we always have to stop when we see a stroller) and Dislikes certain sounds (like the electric buzz of the trolley buses).

Woobie: Loves to go go go (no matter where we head, Woobie is always out front) though I should add that Woobie ADORES the new baby in her house and Dislikes stopping…she’ rather just keep walking (or lying at the feet of her mom as she takes care of the baby!) Oh and she dislikes facing the camera…she says she prefers the view!

Paige: Loves racing around the woods scenting out the critters (and I love to follow her) and Dislikes not being in the middle of everything. Oh and she loves to catch things like raspberries…look closely, you’ll see the red berry about to go into her mouth!

Carter: Loves it when Gretchen shows up in the driveway (leaps up and down at the front door) and Dislikes having to walk at Gretchen’s pace and in a straight line (seriously, he covers 8 miles for every 1 mile they walk).

Kali: Loves to bring her stuffed animal to Gretchen when she arrives at the door and Dislikes walking too fast (which yes, makes walking with her brother a challenge…Gretchen calls herself a push me-pull me when walking the siblings!)

Quillette: Loves to come to our house for a visit (and now for a place to hang out while her mom works up north) and Dislikes being told to be quiet (Q is quite a talker when she first arrives at the house!)

We all have our lists and I bet I could spend hours more on this blog, but high on my list of Likes is getting outside for a long walk on Sundays and high on my Dislikes is waiting to get outside for our adventures…so I’m going to wrap this up, head for the front door, and hope to Dog that no one puts on my Man-Bra!

Until Monday!


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