Showing posts with label Fur kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fur kids. Show all posts

Friday, March 8, 2013

On Aging Dogs

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Turbo has been in our lives for the past 5 years and 3 months. On the first day that we brought him home to San Francisco, we took him to Fort Mason to run around and play. The spry little 1.5 year old took this as license to take off running and ignore any of our pleas to return. We had to run breathlessly to catch up with him in fear we'd lose him to the horizon. And that set the tone for our life with Turbo. These days, he's doing less running but just as much ignoring of anything we request as he ever did.

I've recently noticed that my active boy is cruising right through middle age and into senior territory. I can trace the graying hair around his eyes with my thumb. A long walk will wipe him out for the rest of the day and a trip to the beach puts him in a three-day coma. His arthritic joints are really suffering; he licks at his shoulders and elbow joints incessantly, no matter how much glucose and rest we force upon him. I've noticed that when it gets dark, he gets jumpy at the lights from passing cars, just one more thing to add to his list of fears and anxieties (joining the ranks of German Shepherds, Huskies, flies, bees, skateboards, floating fuzz balls, loud noises, vacuums and us leaving and never, ever returning again in the five minutes we left him alone).

My friend recently lost her sweet dog after a long and happy life. It has caused me to reflect on the longevity of my own furry friend. He is endlessly frustrating and has been a challenging dog, to put it nicely. But I love this guy to the ends of the earth. He has come so far since we found him. What was once an aggressive, fear-anxiety driven dog with separation anxiety issues has become...well, a lesser degree of all of that. The aggression is gone, replaced with heavy sighs while he lays his 70 lbs. across our laps. He has become a wiggly, giddy, food-obsessed dog that just wants to be a part of the family.

I had huge anxieties around the transition that would come with Keagan's birth, and with minor hiccups along the way, the two of them have become buddies. Turbo follows Keagan from room to room when it is playtime and I've even sneaked up on the two of them cuddling on the couch. This warms my heart to know that Turbo has found his place in the family and Keagan has the experience of a first dog with who he loves to share his toys. "Turbo, look! Buzz Lightyear!"

The idea of Turbo not being around has started to fill my mind, not because he is unhealthy or showing signs of demise. Its the little details, the aching joints, the graying eyelashes, that make me pause and absorb the fact that I need to enjoy every minute of this guy while he is here. It is a raw gut punch to think of the days where he will simply fill the pictures on our wall and not the empty space in my lap. For now, I choose to think about the fact that there is a doggy life vest at our in-laws pool just waiting to be worn this weekend and how I can't wait to see the slobbery grin that accompanies.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Sick Day With Turbo

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I've been feeling under the weather all week long. I kept thinking, "Ugh. I have no outfit photos for the week." This is because no one wants to see me in yoga pants or Uggs. It's not cute, it's not fashionable and combined with a runny nose, it's just plain sad.

The only one happy about my home-bound situation was Turbo. The guy would not get off of me all day long. My one reprieve from having 70 lbs. of perpetually-shedding fur on my lap was when I got up to grab lunch. I came back to the couch to discover him fast asleep in what can only be described as Superman-mode. His extended paws and half-closed eyelids were twitching while he was deeply dreaming (about flying, I assume). I may have been feeling bad, but at least I was thoroughly entertained, cuddled and loved.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful


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Thanksgiving is over, but I still hold an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Obviously, I'm thankful for my loving husband and my sweet little son, but I thought today I'd target the space in my heart where my bulldog resides.

Turbo came to us in December 2007. We were the third owners in the first year and a half of his life. He wasn't neutered, he was aggressive towards other alpha dogs, and he was afraid of everything. We are fairly sure he was beat in the past, indicated by some early cowering when objects like tennis rackets or brooms were lifted around him. Separation anxiety has always played a part in his demeanor, even after the 3+ trainers we've hired over the years. He doesn't do well off leash because he doesn't listen, he is stubborn and sometimes he will plant his 70 lbs. down on his hindquarters and refuse to walk. He has pushed our patience to the limit on many occasions.

And then I look down as he sits among the beautiful fall leaves while he looks up at me with a wide doggy grin on his face, his eyes reflecting nothing but love. I can see the gray forming around his left eye and his black wet nose seems to become more pale with age. I notice that he doesn't like to walk at the fast pace he once did, dragging me behind him on his way to his next adventure. Instead, he likes to plop down and stare up at me with a face reflects the happiness I feel when it is the two of us hanging out together. When I plop down beside him to give him a big hug, he rests his big head on my shoulder, his little lifelong quirks on hold for the moment.

Then he goes spastic and bucks me off because he spotted a fly and flies are his kryptonite. He is crazy, this one. But he is my middle-aged baby boy and I can't imagine life without him.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Sniffles

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Oh, hello there. You thought you had escaped me, right? No. There is no escaping me.

These are the pretend conversations I imagine Turbo is having with me when I wake up from a flu-nap only to see this square in my face.

Expecting Chic will be back next week. I have the flu and I have a wedding to attend this weekend. Perhaps next week I will entertain you with pictures of me all dolled up in a dress with a bright red, chapped nose. I know. You can't wait.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Save the Babies and Bulldogs First!

I have many things I obsess over on this blog. Fashion. Functionality. Bulldogs. Let's combine the three for some joyous results, shall we?

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 Dog life vest: Paws Aboard Neon Yellow - size Large

Turbo is wearing the latest in high fashion floatation devices. The neon yellow vest from Paws Aboard provides visibility and comfort, while the mesh bottom allows for a cool circulation. Neon and mesh - so IN this season. For a mere $28, it provides the security and safety required when you can't pay close attention to a weak-swimming bulldog because you are too focused on keeping your squirming son in your arms.

Plus, it is hilarious. I literally danced with glee when I saw this:

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And then I nearly peed my pants laughing when I saw this:

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He was too tired to swim anymore, yet too stubborn to actually get out of the pool.

Typically, I'm not one for dogs in clothes. But dogs in life vests? Apparently, I'm sold.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Professional Relaxation

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When I said I was relaxing this past weekend, I meant it. But clearly, I had the privilege of learning the art form from a professional.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Art of Relaxation

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Happy Monday, everyone. May your week be as stress-free as Turbo's everyday.