Friday, August 28, 2009

Young Veterinarian

This morning as I walked through the living room I saw Edward stroking Emma's head with the plastic goalposts from his play football set. When I asked, "Edward what are you doing?" He replied, "I'm making Emma feel better."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Devotional Art

I am teaching a graduate level seminar on devotional art this semester. We're exploring the many ways people of the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance used art as a device for channeling prayers, appealing for intercession, and enacting healing miracles. Here's a thirteenth-century manuscript illumination of St. Roch - patron saint of sickness and dogs - which I dedicate to Emma and to all of you who are following her story on the Red Rocket Report. Thanks for your comments and good wishes.

Bon Appetit

Our babysitter had to take the afternoon off today which was probably divine providence. August picked Edward up after his morning of preschool and was able to be home with Emma and shuttle her over to Dr. Olson when he called late this afternoon. He gave her a shot around 3:30 to help assuage her lethargy and when I arrived home at 5:30 she did get up and greet me at the door. She eventually wandered into the kitchen to watch me make dinner and she did perk her ears up several times when I spoke to her. August offered her a lovely bowl of Science Diet throughout the day and she would turn her nose away. I stopped at the market on the way home from work and picked up ground sirloin and rice. As I browned the beef in the pan on the stove Emma raised her nose in the air to take a whiff. I presented it to her on Edward's Sesame Street plate and it didn't look too elegant but it did the trick - she ate most of it.

Abandoning the Sick Bed

Sometime during the middle of the night Emma abandoned her sick bed and jumped into bed with us. When the alarm went off this morning, however, she didn't move - didn't even raise her head. She wagged her tail when I spoke to her but showed no interest in breakfast. She did patiently allow me to administer the syringe of her beef-flavored vitamin supplement and drank some water.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sick Bed

Emma used to follow me everywhere. I would often lose my patience with her because if I suddenly turned around to go in another direction I would trip over her. Today she is not following me around. She spent most of the afternoon laying under the dining room table. She also used to jump dozens of times a day: up and down, on and off the couch and the big red chair and the guest bed in the basement and our bed upstairs. She has stopped jumping. I went out and bought a bed for her and placed it next to our bed. August carried her into it after her evening trip outside and she has been there for the last hour while we are out in the living room. Edward picked out a giant stuffed camel to put in the bed with her. This is so heartbreaking for me and probably for her too. I am seriously contemplating sleeping on the floor next to her sick bed.

Dear Old Dog

Emma is probably about 10 or 11 years old now. Since I adopted her we don't know her exact birthday. She's gotten grey around the chin but has mostly been healthy. But this morning she lost her balance and fell on the way outside. And later this morning she fell again after greeting me at the front door as I returned home from work. We visited Dr. Olson. And he suspects lymphoma... We await the test results and love, love, love her. Edward has offered many hugs this afternoon. He has asked if Emma's leg is broken like Red Rocket's.

Minty Fresh (We Hope)

Red Rocket occasionally suffers from a wicked case of halitosis. To look on the bright side, I rarely oversleep because as he licks my face in bed in the mornings I would rather rise than asphyxiate from the smell. To look at the glass half empty, I have exceeded my grocery budget several times over the past few weeks as I dished out extra money for organic dog biscuits infused with the essence of parsley to control his condition. Edward and I also made a trip to Petsmart to purchase this mint-flavored plastic bone in the hopes of quelling his bad breath.

Sock Thief

Red Rocket is a sock thief. He removes socks from laundry piles. He steals socks that are stuffed inside tennis shoes. And this sock he lifted from my purse. Once again Dr. Freud must ponder if his loss of a foot has led to a foot fetish...

Snuggle Time

On a lazy Sunday morning I was rewarded with two special treats: a Starbucks coffee delivered by August and Edward and four bed buddies!

Fighting for a Lap

Owning "lap dogs" and "lap cats" is wonderful. Every time you sit down there is a warm, furry creature to keep you warm. However, having two lap dogs and two lap cats can lead to sibling rivalry. Red Rocket and Sophie, both being obstinate creatures, refused to yield August's lap one morning and therefore had to share.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Angels and Dachshunds

Red Rocket enjoys a little light evening reading.


This evening as I prepared Edward's bubble bath Red Rocket raced into the bathroom to look into the tub (this is his usual routine.) Edward, however, decided to break with routine tonight and when he looked into the tub declared, "no bubbles!" So Red Rocket and I began the process of scooping the bubbles out of the tub and rinsing them into the sink. We all got a little goofy - here's Red Rocket as a bubblehead!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Mother Ship

During an elaborate session of lego play Red Rocket pretends to be the International Space Station offering docking areas for the smaller shuttles that visit the pink universe.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Labor Saving Devices

Dogs and cats are the best labor saving devices. Who dares to disturb their slumbers by straightening the pillows on the couch or making the bed?

Dog Blog

Red Rocket reads the latest comments posted to the Report. Thanks fans!

Girl Toys

Red Rocket is the first male pet to become part of our family. It's been almost impossible to break the habit of saying, "Have the GIRLS been fed?" "Have the GIRLS gone outside?" To add insult to injury, Red Rocket must play with girl toys such as this small stuffed bear emblazoned with pink roses...

Innocent Looking Yet Clearly Guilty

A beautiful cool morning in Wichita. Sun filters through the crepe myrtle tree to create warm patterns on the deck where Red Rocket sits looking innocent. But he is guilty. Those little yellow Mickey Mouse shoes next to him were set neatly by the back door when I let him outside...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rouge Le Pew

This evening several of the neighborhood boys came by to see Red Rocket. As I picked him up and carried him towards the door to greet his adoring public I caught a wiff of that unmistakable odor: eau du cat poop. August had just finished mowing the back yard and no doubt unearthed some irresistible morsel deposited by one of the roving neighborhood felines that Red Rocket decided he needed to mask himself in. Typical dachshund. So, Red Rocket, after saying hello to the boys, was immediately carried to the tub for a bath.

"Want Red Rocket on My Lap!"

The whole family went on the Starbucks run this morning. Edward yelled, "Want Red Rocket on my lap!" and Red Rocket happily obliged and spent the entire ride there and back on Edward's lap. Why are our pets so well behaved on these outings? We have a special trick...

Attacking Captain Hook

I need to watch Peter Pan again. Didn't the crocodile eat Captain Hook's hook? Or was it an alarm clock that he ate? Or both? Anyway, this morning Red Rocket grabbed the plastic hook from Edward's pirate costume and started chomping away. It was confiscated and a proper bone was substituted.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wii Love Lap Time

Red Rocket is the epitome of the perfect lap dog and his desire to remain in a lap is so strong that he will put up with the greatest of inconveniences and disturbances. Here he is napping while August plays Wii. The flapping hands and flying cords didn't seem to bother Red Rocket one bit.

Potty Training

Both Edward and Red Rocket struggle with potty training issues. We hope that with large doses of love, patience and gentle encouragement they will consistently place their deposits in the correct places. Edward's encouragement also involves a Star Wars laptop that he is only allowed to play on the potty. During a recent visit to the toilet Red Rocket dropped by to offer Edward some peer reinforcement.


This was an action shot of Maggie and Red Rocket playing. I think Maggie was attempting to scale the back of the couch and you can see Red Rocket's ear in the lower left hand corner of the composition suggesting that he was running away after somehow provoking her. Clearly, I need to adjust the shutter speed on my camera to achieve better action shots.

Sous Chef Asleep on the Job

On the weekends I typically spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the coming week. The dogs love to stalk me hoping for an accidental spill or a weak moment when I might decide to throw them a piece of chicken or beef. On this particular day Red Rocket got tired of waiting for a treat and dragged his green dog into the kitchen to use as a pillow while he napped. His nap location, however, was in the "hot zone" so he could jump up at a moment's notice to grab any morsel that might be dropped.