This is not the blog I was hoping to write ….

Parker, my French Bulldog managed to get out of our front gates Thursday before last.

I blame myself of course, but it was an accident.

I replay that if I had not chosen to wash them, and blow dry them, and then put them on the drive way to have a wee and a what ever else, so that they would stay clean and I could bring them back in to the house to sleep, then this would never have happened.

I kick myself I did not just take them to the groomers.

The gate had been acting a bit “broken” and had been repaired.  But repair guy needed to come back and to the final “gate is not broken.”  He didn’t.

My friend had offered to fix the gate – and I had said “no” because I did not want to be the person who is always having favours done for.  I knew “gate guy” had to just pop along and sort it out.  Would take him 15 minutes maximum,.

We were using a short chain to secure the gate, and you needed to hook the lock on the closest link of the chain to keep the gate firmly closed.

Any way due to a series of happenings, the gate was left wide enough for Parker to get through.

Dexter – my Boston Terrier – is such a skinny arse he can fit through all the security gates.  After dog washing I took a quick shower and I was trying to put warm things on to go and let them in.  I noticed Dexter hanging outside my sliding door gate, and he just had this “funny” look about him.

I was no worried, I just thought he was acting “odd” because he had just had a bath and been subjected to a hair dryer.  And now was being made to stand outside.  I could see the contempt written all over his face.

But there was something else.  Something about his look that made me wonder if Timmy might be down the well.

At that moment, I just got a funny vibe – how many times must Timmy fall down the fucking well?  I shot out the room and called for Parker.  He did not come when I called and I realised the front gate was ajar.

My friend Judith dropped everything and took off at a speed down the road calling for him.  Running in her jammies.  And screaming.

I went to check kids were being watched, got in my car and off I went to search for him.  Our suburb is not very big – we drove around.  The thing that stood out for me was that the neighbourhood dogs were not barking.

It was silence.

If I walk my dogs, each home’s dogs run out to swear and basically make obscene gestures to my dogs.  This is normal.

If my dog was walking around the ‘hood, the dogs would be barking.  They weren’t.

I consoled myself that he had probably walked into someone’s home, parked his bum securely on their couch and was getting the spot behind his right ear tickled in just the way he liked it, and he was snorting in appreciation.

I was concerned.  I was not beside myself with worry.

I firmly believed he was warm and comfortable and that the person who had him would take him to Panorama Veterinary Clinic in the morning, to be scanned.

I reasoned that they did not realise that the Vet was open 24/7 and would do it in the morning.

I managed to cancel my meetings and my interviews for the next day – there was only one I could not cancel.

I was sitting in the meeting and I saw the phone ring and it was Alana (Aidan and Alana had the sire and the dam of Parker’s) – there was a very fuddled few minutes of conversation where I believed that Parker was injured and he was at a vet.  And as I ran with this premise I realised the tone of Alana’s voice did not match the “happiness” of your dog being slight injured and just at the vet.

In my madness I could not hear what she was trying to tell me.  I kept thinking I needed to just pop along to Tygerberg Animal Hospital and fetch him – he was injured.  Not ideal.  But not that bad.  Right?

I just could not hear what she was trying to tell me.

Then the penny dropped.

It was a slow penny, but the drop was earth shattering for me.

I could not continue talking to her.

I had a candidate infront of me, that I needed to finish an interview for.  I tried my best to appear professional, and get it done, say thank you, and then burst into tears as I sat with my head on the table.  I might not be permitted to McDonalds again.

Lori,the breeder called, and I sobbed.  I felt like my little heart had been ripped out of my chest via my cornea.  Lori – remained sane – she said she would meet me at the vet.

I wanted to see Parker one last time.  I wanted to push my face against his fur and breath him in.  For the last time.

I wanted to call him my chunky little monkey and tell him how much I loved him.

I couldn’t.  He was in too bad a condition for me to see him.  Lori suggested I remember him for the way he was and not go through the trauma of seeing him now.

I understand he is “just” a dog.  I get it.  I get that he is not one of my children.  I understand all of that.  But for me he was one of my children.  In his snorty, affectionate manner and his big brown eyes that seemed to just understand me.

Parker was there when Kennith told me we were getting a divorce.  Parker was there when Kennith told me he was moving out.  Parker was there when I realised that Kennith had moved on and was dating.  Like not casual dating but boyfriend and girlfriend dating.

Parker was there to cuddle against me, listen to me sob and rest his big head against my chest.  He didn’t ask me to explain, he was happy to lie against me and when I looked like I was sobbing a bit harder, then he just moved in closer – usually until he was lying on my head or my chest.

In his eyes he knew my pain, and he knew that all I needed was a cuddle, a love and a little bit of snot from his big nose to drip on my hand.  He just knew.

I am bereft and I am still inconsolable.  I try to talk about Parker and then I burst into tears.

I know he is a dog, but he is not “just” a dog – he was Parker, my guy, my chubby chubbs, my guy.

 

{I do want to say thank you to all the people who shared the post about Parker being missing.  People I did not know or have never met made the effort to send me information about where to search and what to look for.

People I have never met phoned vets on my behalf, reposted my “lost dog” onto various pages on Facebook.  I received so many emails of support and encouragement from people, again, who I did not know.  People who understood and understand what it feels like to lose a dog.

I can’t thank everyone —- but if you are reading this, and you are one of those people who just see the distress in others and get involved to try to help, thank you.  No, not just thank you.  But thank YOU!}

 

Parker is gone.  He will not be coming home again.

 

Dexter stealing my heart on day 1

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Parker and his dad Yoda — Parker has his tongue sticking out.  Yoda is wondering who needs to pay to get out of this situation.

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Parker licking Isabelle to death ….. such a dangerous dog

 

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Parker doing what he does best ….. sleeping and snoring …..

 

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Dexter and Parker … who said that French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could not live together ?  Them’s wrong.

 

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#bringmydoghome

Interrupting the regular broadcast programme on this blog……… with this important announcement

I realise this has nothing directly to do with my blog – bu, but dog rhymes with blog, so really it is not that far a stretch.

Me = sitting and crying snot and tears.

I am sharing this – in the hope that by the end of the day I am no longer making snot bubbles and my dog is back home.

Parker, my French Bulldog got out of my front gate last night (18 June 2015) around 19h00.

We are situated in the Plattekloof/Parow/Northern Suburbs area of Cape Town.

Spent several hours looking for him.  I am under the impression he has just walked into someone’s home.  He is hang friendly and will make himself comfortable anywhere with anyone.

There were no dogs barking in our neighbourhood, and they always bark if someone is walking around and especially if a dog walks past their respective gate.  So based on this Magnum PI approach, I figure he is sitting in someone’s home sharing their couch and snoring.

I am beside myself with worry.  The word anguish does not even hint at it.

Parker, is a French Bulldog, he is micro chipped, a fully intact male, mainly white, with red/fawn markings on his face and a bit on his side.

Last seen in Plattekloof 2 {Parow,Northern Suburbs, Cape Town} area around 19h00 on the 18 June 2015.

If you know anyone who has picked him up, or someone in the area who could have seen him, or someone who just happens to have a new dog ……… please share this post — I can be reached on celeste@happyhelpers.co.za

Please help me #bringmydoghome

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The one where my dog shat himself ….. and then I screamed DON’T KILL MY DOG

My car is still in for repairs — to the tune of R65 000.00 and change.  As mentioned before, VW Caddy’s are not designed for plowing fields.

Well, you live and learn new things each and every day.

I found out my dog Parker gets violently car sick.

How did I find this out?  You may ask.  On the R300, like you do.

I was driving to Pringle Bay – I decided to take the dogs along, because the kids were not with me.  And because I am scared of the dark, and my dogs make me feel better when I am faced with a large wall of blackness.

Any the ho. I thought this would be a nice leisurely drive. I would stop along Clarens Drive and take selfies of me and the dogs, you know doing cool stuff.  That is how I imagined it.

Reality unfortunately did not receive the memo.

FORTUNATELY. I had placed blankets on the back seat of the car (the hired car) and I put the dogs in and off we went.  I knew something was a bit off when Dexter jumped into the front seat with a look of suprise on his face.  He is a Boston Terrier – guy has huge freaking eyes, for him to look more surprised you must know something big is going on.

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I look at the back seat and Parker – the French Bulldog – has evacuated his bowels, and is now proceeding to try to empty everything out of his body cavity via his mouth.  Onto the back seat of the rental car.

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Of course I am swearing like a drunken sailor —- and it leaves me no choice but to swerve controllably from the right hand land across three lanes and come to a halt on the side of the road.

I do not wish to knock anyone who has real estate anywhere along or near the R300, but shall I say that of all the places you want to stop your car – alone – the R300 is seldom a good choice.

Which probably explains why they do not have those concrete picnic tables and chairs that were ché cool in 1984.

I turn the engine off, and try to assess the damage.

The damage is a large amount of runny shit and a fair amount of dog vomit, which is only being exasperated by the fact that he is now lying in it.

Cheese and rice.  I try and scoop up what I can —- yes we have all scooped up shit and puke, don’t act like you have never had to catch some from your child …this is similiar, it is just a dog and in my car.

I then realise I need to grab a plastic bag from the boot as I need somewhere to safely store the now shit soaked blankets.  I get out the car, careful to only open the door a fraction because the traffic is barrelling down on me.

A fraction is pretty much all Dexter needs to exit the vehicle and go and stand in the lane of the oncoming traffic.

Fortunatey – because it could not get much worse, he froze and just stood there.  As I would have done had three lanes of traffic being headed to me at speeds in excess of 120 km/h.

The way I solved the problem was to flap my hands around hysterically – not dissimiliar to how they do JAZZ HANDS in fancy dance routines.  I also screamed MY DOG, MY FUCKING DOG, DON’T KILL MY DOG …… I am not sure what helped, the screaming, my hysteria, my improvised dance routine or the rather large eyes of Dexter, but traffic managed for the most part to try and swerve around him.

I eventually sat on the tar and tried to coax him OUT OF THE THREE LANE HIGHWAY.  How the hell that dog got out of there and was not killed, or me killed is still a mystery.

Get dog in car.  Have a small yet powerful crying jag.

Go to the boot, get plastic bags – get back into car vacillating between screaming at Dexter for being so stupid, and then kissing him and telling him I am so grateful he is alive all whilst trying to cram shit covered, and now dripping puke, blankets into the now what seem like really small plastic bags.

Just as I am really up to the my elbows in all things chaos, three police vehicles pull over.  These guys climb out armed to the hilt.  I had a vague sense they were expecting more than a hysterical woman in a car and two dogs.

He knocks on the window.  I can’t hear what he is saying as the traffic is so noisy.  I am still a bit hysterical, and I cannot work out how to get the rental vehicle’s passenger side vehicle to roll down.

I have no idea what this guys assessment of the situation must have been — my guess is he was radioing in for backup, or at least some sort of sanitary control vehicle.

I eventually find the go down window button —- now bearing in mind I am still moving between crying, laughing with happiness and retching —- I am trying to say “I am fine”  and I have huge panda eyes of mascara and no doubt a bit of shit on my shirt too.

He does not look convinced.  He leans over and says “Ma’am are you okay?”

Me: Yes ….. I had a bit of a dog incident….

Him: You know you shouldn’t park here …

Me: *glancing around at my surroundings as if I had just noticed I was not parked in the scenic part of town” … yes, I know, my dog just shat himself and puked, and then the other one nearly got run over in the road …….

Him: *possibly removing the safety off his gun* …. are you okay?

Me:  Yes …. dogs you know …. *I sort of shrugged like that would make sense*

Him: *leans over and looks at the dogs* ….. do you need any help?

I am wondering then if it would be okay to ask the nice policeman to help me clean shit and puke of the car seats ….. my guess is his idea of public service is not going to go that far…

I eventually compose myself —- try to appear like I can control a vehicle and two dogs, and merge back into the traffic.

Parker then continued to puke the entire way to Pringle Bay.  Eventually he was not puking so much as trying to disengage his liver and spleen.

It is really difficult for a French Bulldog to look sad — but Parker looked like death.

Clearly I did not do any selfies, no stops along Clarens Drive — and now I need to get a full valet before I return the rental car.

Otherwise it was a really lovely drive.

 

 

 

 

Pug Rescue South Africa {Guest Post}

I do like all things dogs —- and I really like people who work so hard to rehome and rehabilitate dogs ….

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The purpose of Pug Rescue South Africa is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home Pugs in need, irrespective of their age or breed standard.  We also offer a sanctuary to Pugs and other small breed dogs who are not adopted.

In the past three years we have rescued in excess of 500 Pugs, four  Maltese dogs, a German Shepherd, a Miniature Schnauzer, a Boston Terrier Cross, a few Spaniels, a St Bernard, two Pitbull puppies, and some cross breeds, around South Africa.

All funds received by Pug Rescue SA are used for the care of the Pugs in rescue and being fostered around South Africa, with the majority of the funds being used for veterinary care.  No funding is used for administration purposes and the only salaries we pay are for four kennel hands and one cleaner.  All other functions are conducted by volunteers.

In order for us to keep doing this, we host a number of Fundraising events throughout the year across South Africa.

Our next event will take place in Cape Town on the 6th April at John Graham Primary School (Milford Road Plumstead) themed Pugs Bunny’s Easter Fair from 11am till 4pm.

Guaranteed to be loads of fun with fantastic merchandise for sale from our Pugtique and Pugs Pantry, delicious food and cool drinks on sale, sweet goodies and games for the 2 legged kiddies and of course activities for the 4 legged kiddies as well.

We will also run a competition for the best dressed Pug Bunny and owner, so dress up your beloved Puglets and bring a heart full of love and smiles and come support our wonderful cause.

R20 for adults and R10 for children will get you in. Any pet food donation will be welcome 🙂

You can contact Taryn on 079 697 7634 or Jess on 082 551 1926 for any other information.

Visit www.pugrescue.co.za or like us over on Facebook  Pug Rescue South Africa.

All socialised, non-aggressive dogs are welcome.

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What you’re really saying ….

choose-your-dog-breed

Black Lab

“I’m generally a pretty normal guy.”

Chocolate Lab

“I’m generally a pretty normal guy…with an edge.”

Jack Russell Terrier

“I grew up in the 90s! I still collect Pogs!”

Pit Bull

For the last time guys, my penis is totally normal sized!”


Bloodhound

Homosexuality is a sin!”

Australian Shepherd

Homosexuals need our support!”


Shih Tzu

“I’m gay!”


Standard Poodle

“My son’s gay.”


Puli

“I go to surprisingly great lengths in the name of irony.”

Old English Sheepdog

“My imaginative, latchkey-kid son is in need of a best friend.”


Mutt (Adopted)

“You bought from a breeder? Oh I guess I just like to be part of the solution, that’s all.”


Mutt (Purchased)

“I’m very easily swindled.”

St. Bernard

We call our basement ‘the rumpus room!”

Rottweiler

You kids wanna see a dead body?”


Chihuahua

“I bought it for my daughter to teach her responsibility but…well, you know how Chelsea is.”


Chinese Crested

Fuck it!”

The curious incident of the dog on Saturday …..

I have written about our dog Annabelle.

She is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was born on the 1 January 2001.  The amazing thing about her is that she went missing for nearly two years – and then showed up at a Vet on the other side of the peninsula.

She was fitted with a pet ID tag, and she had appeared at the Bergvliet Vet and they had called me to tell me they had my dog. As I had just left my home, and my “new” dog Dexter, I was a bit perplexed to understand how it was possible he had turned up in Bergvliet.

The vet receptionist then used a tone of voice that one often uses when speaking to a very young child, or a person with diminished mental capacity and explained that my dog Annabelle was at the vet and I should collect her.

I tried to explain that Annabelle was dead and went missing nearly two years before in Parow — and that the dog could not possibly be Annabelle.

Speaking in single syllable words the receptionist told me to get my shit together, and my red and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier was standing in her reception, and that I needed to fetch her.

I dutifully drove through and cripes there she was.  Fatter, older, greyer – the both of us.

I put her in the car and she came home, and sauntered in like she had never been gone.

Dexter who was the new dog, was a bit confused.

It was very much like a scene from The Bold and the Beautiful where the woman has just remarried, and on the first day of her honeymoon, her dead husband, who had died in a plane crash in Sierra Leone, shows up at the door, and there is that awkward moment when you are not quite sure what to serve for dinner – or who will sit at the head of the table.

The last few months Annabelle has got really old.  Her joints are swollen and she struggles to get up and down our stairs.  She has also lost all bowel control, and messes in the house – which for her is very unusual, she has always been a very well trained dog.

Even for short periods in the house she would wee or poo – and it became a bit of a challenge to have her inside.

Eventually we kept her outside and that was also not fair. Crappy to have one dog allowed in, and the other not.

I thought maybe it was because the weather was colder, but even as it got warmer, she looked like she was in permanent discomfort.  Her joints were swollen, and we also could not have her inside without her weeing or pooing within the first 5 minutes.

At the end of the last week I decided it was time to “let her go” – I did not want her as outside dog.

I was concerned that she was getting so crouchy and snapping at Dexter, and my concern was that because she was becoming moody and erratic it was a matter of time before she snapped at the kids.

The final thing that tipped the scale, was that if she could not be in the house with us, then what was her quality of life?

I asked Kennith to take her to the vet on Saturday morning at 09h00.

I did not want to be there – I know she would not have been in pain, or scared, and she would have just gone to sleep.  I knew it was more an emotional issue than thinking she would be traumatised.

The house is a little bit emptier without her, and when the back door is open, I still expect her to come sauntering in …. ‘night ‘night Annabelle …..

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Dexter … has truly lost the last shred of dignity he may have once possessed …

Hills Pet Nutrition South Africa is running a lovely competition.

It is an opportunity to brag a bit with your dog or cat, and if you have a patient dog that does not mind embarrassing himself totally you can whack some pink bunny ears on him – and he really bedazzles the room.

Hills Pet Nutrition will donate a meal to a needy animal for each photograph entered, each LIKE on their Facebook Page, and every vote cast.  Easy as that.

You vote, a doggie or a cat gets food.

Please pop along to : https://www.facebook.com/HillsPetZA?sk=app_433967206653426&app_data=%7bAction%3a+%27View%27%2c+Data%3a+30901%7d

If that does not work search for Dexter or Boston Terrier.  Or vote for one of the other dogs/cats on the page.

This is the image you are looking for – I do want to say it was hard getting the ears on Dexter, but actually it wasn’t.  And they fitted him perfectly.

It made me suspicious that he might have been wearing them before.  He does have the “please gd kill me now” look about him.

Silly little bunny boy!

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New LIKES of the Hill’s fan page (www.hillspet.co.za/facebook) and new followers on our Twitter profile (www.twitter.com/HillsPetSA ) and retweets from 1 August 2013 to 30 August 2013, 10am will be counted for this charity donation. The number of LIKES and followers as at 1 August 2013 at the start of the competition and at the closing date of 30 August 2013, 10am will be noted and the difference calculated will be added to the number of photos entered, votes and shares – this number will represent the number of meals we donate.

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Good people those folks at HILLS.

I think I caught Dexter watching p.orn

We are going to be having a chat this evening when Kennith gets home, about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate.

It is such a difficult discussion to have with your dog.  But I am so glad I caught him and can chat to him about what he saw, how it will make him feel, and that those feelings are okay.

But not on my laptop.  Or on my desk.

Silly boy!!

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Boston Terriers rock ….. and they are so damn cute!

I really adore Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs.

I have a Boston Terrier and they are as ridiculous as they look.  I am fairly sure that something in their breed makes them deny being a dog, and a small dog at that.

Dexter {Carogan I’ve Gotta Feelin} does not know he is a dog.

When he is with other dogs, he does not realise he is only yay-big *indicates hand height from the ground*  Dexter takes it upon himself to take on much larger dogs in a “hey, hey, you, come and say that over here ….GRRRRRR” kind of way.

I think most people feel passionate about their dogs, no matter what breed they are.  People who have Boston Terriers are nuts about them.  Obsessed nuts – they post photos of their dogs.  The best part is I can look at photos of Boston Terriers (and French Bulldogs) all day – I while away hours in this fashion.

The Cape Town Boston Terrier Club have a very active Facebook page. They do incredible work with regards to rehoming Boston Terriers, and trying their darndest to get dogs out of puppy mill situations.

Good folks over at the Cape Town Boston Terrier Club.

Check them out if you are thinking about getting a Boston Terrier, or would like to adopt one.

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Crushing on Dexter …..

We all know I am obsessed with Dexter.  Our dog.

He is named for the character Dexter Morgan, in the series “Dexter!”

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I am seriously one Xanax away from starting a Dexter Blog.

I am nervous about starting one, because I think when you start writing a blog from a dog’s perspective, and whose highest point of his day is to lick his balls, and biting Annabelle’s nose.

There is a good chance that the blog is going to be a bit more labour, and a lot less love.

I purchased Dexter through Caroline van Deventer, who is a breeder and lives up country.

I had done a fair amount of research on the breed at the point of approaching a breeder, and had seen them at shows, and spoken to a few Boston Terrier people.  I prefer to get my dogs via breeders, as I usually have aspirations of dog showing.

I am not knocking anyone or making judgement or suggesting you change the way you acquire a dog for your home.  If you feel strongly about people getting their dogs through shelters and so on, really that is fine.  My choice is just a bit different.

And here is the key.  It is my choice!

I chatted telephonically and via email to Caroline, and at the end of the day I had to trust her decision.

I had just gone through a 2 – 3 month process with another breeder, that in the end resulted in me cancelling the puppy, and walking away from the arrangement, so I did start this process thinking “well, this may not go well.”

Caroline was professional thorough and like a good breeder was a good resource for advise and suggestions on Boston Terriers.  Dexter was sent to us in a crate and we collected him at the airport in January 2012.

Dexter had managed to shit the crate full — like spray painted the walls in faeces.  I did think this was rather fitting considering his name, and considering Dexter Morgan also started off in a cargo crate sprayed with bl0od.

I posted a picture recently and showing progress on my “dog training” with Dexter through Cape Province Dog Training.

What you can’t see is the other dogs and distractions happening off to the side.

Dexter was following a “stay-sit-stay” command, and I was showing off a bit by dropping his lead.

I am meant to step away from him, and he is meant to remain in the sitting position for a full minute, until I return to his right hand side and release him from it.

Four weeks ago, I would not have believed there was a hope in hell of this ever happening.  So I can’t quite hide my excitement when “dog training” actually appeared to be working, and for a short moment in time, I realise I was in deed the pack leader.

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Dexter is a fine looking lad, and even by Boston Terrier standards he is quite a hottie!

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Caroline posted this picture of Dexter when he was a wee puppy —-

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How freaking cute is that??

Boston Terriers … t-shirts that rock!

This is probably my fav0urite t-shirt in my cupboard.  I purchased it from Shannon McGovern who runs a Boston Terrier Rescuing and Re-Homing Scheme via Facebook.

I don’t wear t-shirts.  But I LOVE this t-shirt – I could wear it every day, to anything.

Kennith is heading to the States soon.   I have instructed asked him to put anything Boston Terrier into his suitcase for me.  I am just assuming there will be Boston Terrier stuff lying around in every shop.  Because it is the United States.  That is where Boston is.

Well, I sort of hope.

I do love all things Boston Terrier.  If you ever come across anything Boston Terrier related that costs just a bit less than a kidney on the black market, do let me know — or add it to my Xmas Stocking!

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Dog Shows and Boston Terriers

I have Dexter who is a Boston Terrier.

I have been a Staffordshire Bull Terrier person for years, but two or three years ago, I thought I just need “less dog.”

I love Staffordshire Bull Terriers, but they get into your car and they become the car.  They do not so much get on the bed, as take over the bed.  For my household, it just became less than ideal with three kids and a dog, I needed a breed that was easier for my life style.

Staffies are not known for their ability to blend in with other dogs, and this is really problematic as we often head to Sandbaai and my mom has three dogs, which means I always have to leave my dog at home.

Any the who, I adore French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers.

I contacted a breeder about a Boston Terrier (actually I contacted several).  We hooked up and she had a litter (her bitch clearly, not her personally) and discussed Dexter with me (Carogan Ive Gotta Feelin).

I received him in January 2012, and he is gorgeous.  Dexter has been great, he is such a character, and really easy to throw into the car and take him pretty much anywhere.

I also love dog shows.  No really I do.  It is just one of those things I really love. I love ring stewarding, I love watching dog shows, I love having a dog taking part.

The idea of getting Dexter, was so that there was potential to show him.  I started showing him recently and so far he has done really well – he has been shown in the Puppy class and I have been really proud of him.  He does unfortunately think he is Cujo at a certain point of the show, which is not ideal, and is pretty much when everything goes pear-shaped …. fast.

I took him along to the West Coast Kennel Club Qualifying Show on Sunday, 4 November.  The idea was to leave the kids at home, and me head to the show with Dexter.  Isabelle saw me trying to leave and there was no way she was going to let me go anywhere.

I had to take her along to the dog show – Kennith is on a business trip to China/visiting is his other family.  Taking a young child to a dog show by yourself is sort of an okay idea in principle, but not a not great idea in application.

I walk in to the show ring, and Isabelle is running behind me screaming MOMMY with tears running down her face.  I could not calm her or get her out of the ring, so I just continued to show Dexter with a child SCREAMING running behind me.

Dog shows are meant to be really serious affairs, and one shows one’s job with a certain measure of seriousness.  One wants to win after all.

There I am walking around the ring with my dog, whilst my three-year old is running behind me screaming.  We did a triangle, and Isabelle ran behind SCREAMING doing a triangle as well.

Other than that, Dexter won Best Puppy and Best of Breed for his Breed. Of course he bombed out in the Group Competitions — he is just not a group competition kinda guy.

My dog bit my child …

Dexter is a really lovely dog.  He has such a goofy expression that you cannot but love him.

That being said he has one or two serious behavioural issues.

1.  He sprinkles his urine for no apparent reason.

He could be outside for 72 days, you let him in, and 5 minutes later he will take a piss.  It has if he has been holding it in so he can put urine in your home.  He never pees on a surface that is easy to clean, he will pee on the corner of your pot drawer, your curtains or on your shoe.

2.  He takes a crap in the most bizarre places.

Again adding he has unhindered access to the great outdoors.  He will be outside for ever, walk right in and take a crap.  Never on an easy to clean surface, but right in the centre or your prized zebra skin, or in this week’s case, right in the centre of Isabelle’s bed!!  Crap and a giant piss!

3.  He is brilliant with the kids, but will growl at them now and then – when he is eating something he thinks they might want, or when he is sleeping and has a really good spot.

We teach our dogs from the time they arrive in our house that humans (even small humans) are permitted to touch them and take food out of their mouths. Dexter is find 85% of the time, but then for the remainder he growls and his hackles go up.

I am not one of those people who refer to my dogs as my children.  I used to, and then I had children.

I now understand that clear line between the two. One you can lock in the kitchen when they irritate you, the other you can’t.

So I treat dogs as dogs, I understand the pack mentality, I understand that they behave a certain way, and I can get all Caesar Milan on your arse.  Really got it.

Dexter has become my kryptonite.  I understand what he is doing is wrong, but I am absolutely powerless to stop him, because I do not understand why he does it, and also does things in a non-consistent way.

I buy the dogs a hoof each to chew.  Annabelle (our Staffordshire Bull Terrier is 12) – I decide okay let me put her outside with the hoof, as she will eat Dexter if he comes near her whilst she is chewing it.

I put her outside – also because she is standing at the backdoor asking to go out.

I leave Dexter inside and he climbs into the dog basket, happily chewing the hoof. First time he has had a hoof, so it took him a few moments to grasp the point of eating a bovine’s discarded foot!

Dexter in box.  Isabelle (note the dog and child have similar names …. long story) anyway Isabelle sees Dexter and walks over to him to give him a hug.  Dexter thinks Isabelle is after the hoof and takes a bite of her arm.

It nearly broke the skin, and I was amazed by the bite pattern.  Dexter is a Boston Terrier, so their bite is totally ridiculous.

But back to me and said SCREAMING CHILD.  Isabelle is screaming like someone stole her Nuttella sandwich.  I look at Dexter and the communication between my eyes and his brain was: “You little shit, I am going to kill you!!”

I did not kill him, though for a moment (if you add the crap on the bed to the week’s mix) I was seriously considering giving him away on gumtree.

I really really think if he has bitten her in the face, this conversation would be different.

I really love my dog, but cheese and rice I love my kids a lot more.  I really have a lot of work to do with Dexter, but I can promise you if he ever bites my child again, I am so going to gumtree his arse!

Dexter if you are reading this – and I know you log on with my password, take this as your FINAL WARNING mate!  You are very cute, but you will still be cute stuffed with sawdust on my TV cupboard.  You my friend are on probation!!

It appears I can train three children, but not this dog …

Dexter is seriously doing my head in.

When he arrived he spray-sh&t everywhere.  I felt really sorry for him, as no one likes a splatter bum, so I took him to the vet, and changed his food and tried not to get upset when he kept sh&tting on everything.

But now his tummy is fine – but the bugger keeps crapping inside.

He can be outside for 4 hours, I open the door, he says hello, and once he gets past the bum-wagging (he does not have a tail) he finds a textured spot to go and take a crap on.

Our entire house is tiled or laminated flooring – but Dexter does not poo on the easy-to-clean smooth surface, he constantly puts his crap on the carpets or the skins on the floor.

I am nearly at my wits end with him.  I so want him to be an inside dog, who can lie around, smoke a cigar, make coffee, and when he needs, go out the gate and take a dump in the garden. I dream of that day.

But instead I have take-a-dump-Dexter crapping on everything when ever he is inside.

I think I would be far more impatient with him, if he was not so goddamn cute.  With that face and those googly eyes I can nearly forgive anything.  Nearly.

Run away. Run away. Come back. Come back Annabelle.

I like my daily dose of normal.  My daily dose may appear chaotic and crazy to others, but is my normal, and the result is that my mind can tick off the “normal” every day.

If there is a shift or you take away a key element, or add something extra, I am likely to have a little spin out.  And this is the reason I make lists.  I always have a list, and I like to tick my things off my list, as then it makes me feel “in control” and that I have got it all buttoned down.

This morning I am driving to work.  Traffic is shocking.  My phone goes off, I hear it ring, but cannot attend to it and navigate an interchange.

I hear my phone beep a phone message.

I smile.  I love people who sms me a message, rather than leave a long fangled phone message.  I do like sms people.

I am in traffic, and in neutral. ,I dig my phone out.  It is an sms from a vet in Bergvliet saying “Hi we have your dog.  Thanks Carol St Francis Vet Clinic 021 712 0357.”

Hmm, I am thinking Carol is tucking into the tipple a bit early this morning.

I just left home.  My dog was there, and Bergvliet is several miles from Parow, even for a fast dog that might be bending the time/space thing a bit.

I call Carol – Carol tells me she has my staffie.  My brain is trying to compute.  I try to explain to her I do not have a Staffie.  She re-explaining to me that actually I do have a Staffie and she is at their vet.

I am starting to speak to Carol like she is a special needs person, and I am really to busy for these rather bizarre phone calls.

So she goes “I am sure microchips don’t lie.  We have your dog Annabelle, it is a red and white Staffie….”

Annabelle went missing about a year and a half ago.  I ran ads, I contacted vets, I put notes on Facebook, I cried, I worried, I felt terrible.  I healed.

I am floored. Once my brain started working, I decided to re-aim my vehicle towards Bergliet, and sure as sh*t there was Annabelle.

Older, fatter, but still Annabelle.

She looked at me like I had just come back from the shops, after buying some wine.  She was not going to tell me where she had been for the last year and a half, and instead decided to pant and leave saliva all over my car’s front seat.

Anything can be forgiven the day you get back from the dead.

I brought Annabelle home and explain that I had moved on.  I had mourned her death, I had got a new puppy.   Dexter looked at her and his hackles have risen, there appears to be an usurper in his midsts.

As my friend Joyce says, it is the dog version of the Bold and the Beautiful, where the dead husband returns to find his wife has now remarried … and has a new family … because in the Bold and the Beautiful, dead husbands and dead dogs always come back.

Moral of the story: Microchip your dog/cat.  That shit works.

The one where the puppy shit was a problem …

Pepe is our maid.   She has been with us for more than 4 years and she is what keeps me remotely sane for the bulk of the year.  There are a few months where even Pepe can’t help me, but that is another story.

I regularly preach the gospel of “Hire a full time, sleep in maid, if you have a child …. really do, it will save you hours at paeds and somehow life will have more meaning.  Really!!  Really.”

I have waking nightmares that she might leave me, and I regularly look at her with a twinkle in my eye because I love her so very much.

I really depend on her for all things that are good in the world.  If it was not for Pepe I might have shot someone or myself, long, long time ago.  She is my sanity, or at least the thin thread that keeps me tethered to it.

Dexter is our new dog.  Dexter is 8 weeks old.  Dexter has the shits.  Dexter has not learnt to poo outside.  Dexter is still learning.

Pepe appears not to like Dexter. Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.

Dexter poo, because that is what puppies do.  It is not a Dr Seuss poem it is just the way it is.

Our entire house has tiles or laminated wood, so there is no carpet – cleaning the floor is not exactly challenging.  Pepe has decided to leave it – the poo – until I get home.  From work.  At 6pm.  To runny, on it’s way to be dried shit.  Which I know has been there since early morning.

This has been going on all week, and I am a bit at my wits end.

Pepe’s job is to look after the kids, and to look after the house.  What ever that entails.  But she has decided that Dexter is not “her job” and anything he does is left until I get home.

Seriously?  Yes, seriously.

Contrary to popular belief I hate confrontation and will avoid it at all costs.

Mr CBT gave me a handout after our Monday session on the difference between non-assertiveness (basically avoidance) vs assertiveness vs aggression.  I think if your doctor starts photocopying notes from his doctor book then it is time to maybe start focussing your attention on an issue.

I know I avoid confrontation, and the problem is that it leads to anger and frustration, because I feel like I am standing mute in the corner.  I see the thing or the issue that drives me crazy, but I just cannot speak out.

All the right words are in my head.  But I look down, purse my lips and say “okay” when actually I mean “NO, NO, NO, hear me…” but I don’t say anything, and this clearly compounds the fact that “you” cannot hear me.

I explained my pepe-versus-dexter dilemma to Kennith last night.  Kennith is a take charge guy, like Captain Underpants, but with a slightly larger belt buckle and less shiny underpants.

Kennith spoke to Pepe and asked her if everything was alright, and if there were any issues.  She said no.  He then asked her what is the issue about cleaning up after Dexter.  She said it was not her job.  Not her job.

I sipped wine in the tv room, and turned the sound of “Ridiculous Large Cake Bake Off” <<or what ever it is called>> up louder so I could act I was not listening to any of this.  I just wanted it to be all unicorns and rainbows and not puppy shit and unhappy nanny-who-keeps-me-sane-who-I-am-terrified-will-leave-me.  Can you say co-dependence?

Kennith chatted to Pepe. I thought great that issue is resolved.

I woke up this morning with a spring in my step, and an almost smile on my dial.  I spoke to her this morning with a certain chipper, high-pitched tone in my voice.

I went to work.  Pepe sms’d me: “Don’t forget to buy milk and your dog has poo’d in the bathroom.”

I thought cool, I will buy milk, and thanks for the poo update.  Strange, but okay …..

I get home from work today.  Go in to the bathroom, and there is the poo that Dexter made this morning still there.  I am like WTF!  I go outside and the poo’s he has made on the paving outside the door is just lying there.

I clean up the poo and wash down the paving.  I purse my lips.  And then I get angry.  And then I realise I actually can no longer stand in the corner with my mouth closed.

I go and pull an old job description out.  When Pepe joined us we had two dogs.  Part of the description was to take them for walks, and all sorts of other things including cleaning up the yard after them, as I did not want flies-on-poo near my children, or near me for that matter.

I have no issue cleaning up my dogs poo – I have an issue cleaning up your dogs poo.  But I do not want flies on poo then on my kids, so if there is poo in the yard, clean it up before it becomes a health hazard.  Simple enough.

Dog poo’s, you see it, you clean it up.

But right now Pepe refuses to clean up after Dexter.  It is not her job.  So I get home from work, and then I face old dog poo, which has been there all day.  So now a rather simple issue, has become AN ISSUE.

Today I decided that this is now an issue that I can not look past.   Possibly because I rushed in, dying to go to the toilet, I was trying to, Isabelle was opening the door, I was looking at the mound of shit in the bathroom that had been there since the morning, Connor was hanging through the window and talking to me … and I just kept thinking “Can I not make a shit in peace …. is that really to much to ask??”

I pulled out an old job description, explained that actually it is “her job” and really there is dog walking and all sorts of other things that she no longer does, but that is not the issue.  I need her to do this, and why is she getting her back up against this.  It is one dog.

Today I just need her to clean up after Dexter.   She can leave him outside all day, really that is fine, but if he happens to stumble inside, then seriously clean it up – why leave it on the floor until I get home?  If there is a point then I am seriously missing it.

On Tuesday Isabelle starts school,  so from Tuesday there will be no kids at home.  Taking care of a puppy seems like a fair swap for three kids, or am I missing something?

Pepe got thin lipped and looked at me with disdain.  I began to gesture and repeat myself.  I tried to remain calm and remember that if I go hummmmmmm and put my fingers in a circle shape on my crossed knees it will be okay ……. I really tried … gawd knows I tried …….. I failed, but I tried.

I decided to make the final point: “Here is the old job description, go over it and see that your job does include cleaning up after two large Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who are no longer here, now I have one puppy.  This is part of your job.  Read it.  If I come home tomorrow and this problem persists, I will issue you with a verbal warning and then we can go from there.  I don’t want to.  This is such a stupid issue to sour our relationship after all these years, but I am not going to do this any more.  Go and think about it.  Talk to me if you need to, but tomorrow evening if I get home and walk in to this again, I will give you a verbal warning….. and that is the end of it”

I think I might have repeated the same phrase about 12 times.    I was nervous, and confrontation really makes me uneasy and bumble like the village idiot.

She glazed over at one point.  I slid the job description over, and did my best to give her a look of firm resolution – rather than whimpering fear that I felt.  I suggested she read through it and if there is an issue raise it with me in the morning.

Fk, I really do not want to lose Pepe over a stupid dog.  But seriously, I need to get out of the corner, stop covering my mouth and say what I need.

<<Please bear in mind that I am trying my utmost to restrain myself and not sms Pepe and tell her I am so sorry, and please will she accept a kidney she can sell, and I will pay her triple, and hire someone to come in and pick up the doggy poo, and I will rub her back with body butter, and I will plait her hair, and please, please, please for gawd sake do not leave me ….. or something to that effect ….>>

Introducing Dexter ……

I have been on a “get a dog mission” for several months.  I uh’med, I aa’hed, I rethought it.  I drew up a list.

I have been chatting to a breeder in Pretoria for a little bit about a litter she has, and about getting a male from her.  I like dog shows and my thinking was to look at a dog that I could start showing again.

We have had Staffordshire Bull Terriers for years, and I truly adore the breed.  Since we lost Annabelle, I really have not quite felt like getting another Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  I kept waiting and thinking “okay I will feel like a SBT soon…”

Part of it was, I think, that Annabelle was a real handful, and I think helped to jade me somewhat to the breed.  We have had several SBT and some were gentle giants, but then we had Annabelle.  Annabelle was like Robbie Williams on TIK in a small room, with no access to money and a dealer waiting to be paid …..all of the time.

I do feel a bit “embarrassed” about changing my breed, as I have been a staunch SBT supporter for years.

On Friday Kennith and I went along to SAA Cargo and collected Dexter.

Dexter is a Boston Terrier, and his eyes are so big I think he has 300 degree vision without having to move his head. He is only 8 weeks old, so he has not quite mastered the many facets of life and his funny legs at the moment – his ears sort of shoot off in different directions and pick up the landing signals from Cape Town International Airport.

Poor guy had a runny tummy in his crate, and what met us was not the that milky sweet smell of a puppy, but rather a rather forlorn looking puppy covered in his own faeces.

Since then, there has been a fair supply of faeces and urine.  Not always deposited in the garden.  Saturday afternoon I seemed to get some in my hair, which was somewhat disturbing, but the thing with faeces (and baby puke) in your hair, is a good shampoo and a really strong body scrub and you feel much better.

Dexter has managed to poo spray the entire house and Pepe is about at the end of her tether with him.

Thank goodness he arrived with a bit of a gutsy temperament.  I was concerned he would be sitting in the corner and shaking when he was faced with our family – but he seemed to take it in his stride.

This morning I went to say hello to him, and I was really chuffed he had poo’d on the paper.  Dexter was also really excited, and wagged his bum so much he fell over into the runny poo, and the more I tried to move him away from it the more he stepped into the runny poo.  The final moment was when I pushed him out of the runny poo, and he jumped up against my white towels.

Meet Dexter.  Affectionately referred to as Mr Stinky Pants.

We have very strict rules about dogs NOT sleeping on beds ….

The dog that got away ….

Dogs, kids, paintings, lavender – all falls into a similiar category for me “Project!”

Once I decide on a course of action, I make a list, tick off what needs to be done, and it is on like Donkey Kong!

I started the year not wanting a dog.  I sort of warmed to it in the middle of the year.  We dog-sat Satan’s dog mid-year.

I decided I was happy never having a dog in my home. I rethought the thought.  I researched.  I mused.  I sat and day-dreamed.  I obsessed.  I decided I was very keen on a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier.  Or one of each. Or two of each  <<ssshhh don’t tell Kennith>>

I saw some lovely French Bulldogs. I gasped and sighed.  I will have to wait for the next litter to be considered.

I started chatting to breeders about Boston Terriers.  There was nothing available until next year.  I met a breeder who had a litter.  We spoke.  We emailed.  I named him Dexter.

I was very excited.  Money changed hands. Promises were made. I bought a puppy bed and some puppy food.

The “relationship” went sour.  My money was returned.  I mourn the “loss” of Dexter.

I am back on a waiting lists.

This year will not be “The Year of the Dog” in our house. Kennith suggests we pop down to the local rescue society and pick a dog up.  I have said no, I feel strongly that I want a specific breed from a specific breeder.

Kennith shrugs. I appear resolute.  We do not talk about “getting a dog” to the kids, we talk in code “when will the package arrive?”

So, no dog this year.  I am very disappointed about the nearly-our-dog-Dexter, but I will just need to wait it out like a patient potential dog owner.

I have started internet dating … and I think I have met someone ….

It’s been more than a year since we had a dog in our house.

I have never been dogless.  I have been legless, motherless, and sometimes senseless, but I have always had a dog.

We babysat a dog earlier this year.

I really would like to tell you it was a good experience. I really would.

I got very angry that a family had probably had this dog, and given it no discipline.  They decided to move (probably to get away from the dog).  The dog then got passed along to a variety of people, but the dog really was too much dog for anyone.

I really want to find those original owners and make them listen to Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” on a loop so their ear drums bleed.

I felt so bad for this dog.  I called a dog behaviorist and thought I would take it on the chin and keep the stupid and annoying dog and train her.

I have never met a dog I hated. I hated this dog.  Like day-dream-about-hate.

Towards the end of our “dog-sitting” time, I started wondering if I could kill the dog myself.  I also thought that maybe I could just leave the gate open and the dog could just run away.

I blame the original owners who did not love this dog enough to teach it manners.  They in theory should be found and slapped.  Hard.  With a spade.

Basically they metered out a death sentence for Maya.  And they made me totally shift my thinking regarding ever taking in a “rescue dog” (hate mail email address is along the side, feel free to drop me any hate mail you would like, really!)

In the end, the dog was poisoned.  Not by me, but clearly by someone who had slightly less patience than me, and maybe needed a bit more medication.

So that was my experience with a dog this year.

It jaded me to “thinking” about getting a new do in our house.  I really was not up for it.

I thought about a dog a few months back, but was not ready.  Flash backs of the black-bitch-from-hell kept playing through the VCR in my head.

A few weeks ago, I thought I might be.  Maybe it was a hormonal imbalance, maybe I missed a pill that day.  Who knows.

I started looking around and looking at what I wanted in a breed, and one thing led to another.

I decided that I wanted a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier.  Then I realised I loved both breeds and I want both.

Recently online I met Declan.  I call him Dexter.  I love the sound of Dexter.

I sometimes say his name out loud in the middle of the day, to no one in particular.

I find Dexter very handsome and he makes me smile and giggle a bit.

I get excited every time I get an email from his mom.  I am quite “in love” with Dexter, but I am trying to act more aloof than I feel.

He comes with his own bowl, lead and collar.

I must confess I am quite smitten.  The only problem with internet dating is that you really do not know who you are talking to.

Dexter could be a 6-year-old Maltese Poodle, with bad breath and a hernia, masquerading as a Boston Terrier!   He could be.

I need to meet Dexter at the airport on the morning of the 18 November …… he comes with a box, as all good dates should.

His mom has asked me to deposit a large wad of money before she sends him, which makes me suspicious that our relationship is not founded on true love.  It has made our relationship a bit less “magical” than it was before.

I am still meeting him at the airport on the 18 November!

French Bulldogs …. I want I want I want … please may I have?

We went to view this litter of 9 French Bulldog puppies on Sunday morning.

We took Connor with us, and left the two girls at home.

It would have been totally chaotic with all three kids and nine puppies we were not allowed to touch.

I would have been so busy slapping little hands that I would not have had a chance just to sit in the drool and grunts that are French Bulldogs.

Oh my giddy aunt, my heart skipped a beat.  I gasped what I saw this lot.  I do think puppies are cuter than children … they just are ….

I like puppies as much as the next person, but freak, there were nine little monkeys here and I could so easily have snatched one and put him in my camera bag.

The mother was Hannah, but what was even more divine is that there was a puppy from her first litter, and she was a brindle bitch and just under 18 months – she was absolutely divine.

The litter is 4 weeks old.  The viewing is so that we could be introduced to the breeder and they could make a decision we were special enough to take home one of these special puppies in about 6 weeks.

It was a bit like going to a popularity contest with a few dozen people and not sure exactly what the criteria was for the selection.  But still hoping that what ever it was you got chose.

You want to be polite to the other people there viewing, but you realise they are direct competition.

Just like that.

I have to go so I can stare at my cell phone and wait for it to ring!!  Breeder please call me and tell me I can choose a puppy …. please call ….. please call

More photos can be viewed through this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/celestebarlow/