Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Battle Scar

If you have read the "French Manicure" post you know that Hank visited Dr. Olson yesterday for dewclaw care.  While we were there Dr. Olson, being the responsible veterinarian that he is, gave Hank a quick once-over.  I noticed that Dr. Olson stroked and examined a spot over Hank's right eye where some fur was missing and I explained that it was a battle scar inflicted by Rachsie.  Perhaps he was skeptical that a 9 pound dachshund could best a 65 pound chocolate lab but play sessions in our house are rough and tumble.  And as a recent follower of the Red Rocket Report who visited our home noted: "Hank instigates."  In this action shot Hank taunts Red Rocket with the amputated front leg from a stuffed camel toy...

Vase or Face?

One of the most famous pedagogical images for art educators is the "vase or face" illustration which challenges students to ponder their perceptions of positive and negative space.  Is this a picture of two people in profile against a white background looking at each other or is this a white vase against a black background?  One evening as I prepared lesson plans for my Introduction to Art and Design class Red Rocket and Rachsie contributed to the effort by reinacting the famous "vase or face" composition.

French Manicure

Those followers of the Red Rocket Report who are avid fashionistas know that one of the latest trends in personal adornment is the French Manicure where the bed of the nail is left natural and the tip is painted white.  Since I want my dogs to reflect the height of contemporary fashion and sophistication I will share that yesterday I delivered Hank to Dr. Olson and he was given a stylish French Manicure.  At least, that version sounds more elegant than the truth...  In actuality, Hank mangled his dewclaw.  For those of you unfamiliar with dog anatomy the dewclaw is like a thumb - it's that funny looking nail/claw on the side of a canine's foot/leg.  In some breeds the dewclaws are surgically removed when a puppy is spayed or neutered because they can cause problems.  Case in point: Hank.  Hank is a typical boy who loves high speed chases, leaping against trees and fences, and flinging himself with abandon around the yard.  And like most boys, sometimes the fun means we get hurt.  At some point on Sunday afternoon Hank tore his dewclaw.  I suspect it may have gotten caught on the fence when he jumped against it to greet the new dog who has moved in two doors down.  I know it hurt.  It hurt me just looking at the twisted, torn claw.  And anyone who has had a hangnail or who has ripped one of their own nails knows that it is a constant nagging hurt.  Throughout the evening Hank would lick at it and after he fell asleep August and I tried to clip it so that it wouldn't catch on anything and rip further but Hank squealed in pain and we had to stop.  So on Monday morning we headed to Dr. Olson's.  Hank, auditioning for the Academy Award, held his paw limp and refused to shake for a treat (he shook for treats at home but apparently felt he needed to put on a show for the ladies at Dr. Olson's).  The treatment was amazingly simple: a little numbing spray for the pain, a nail clip and file, and then - the most amazing part - application of superglue to encase the nail and hopefully prevent further snags.  This glob of superglue has hardened into a lovely white shell around the end of Hank's dewclaw and Dr. Olson says it will probably stay in place for several weeks.  Do you think we could market this technique to upscale nail salons?  I can see it now: Henri's DuClaw Miracle French Manicure.  Anyway, Hank has gotten some relief from the procedure and we hope he doesn't have to have his dewclaws removed but we'll keep a watchful eye and a tube of superglue.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bred for Better than This

I know that Hank loves us and is thankful for the loving home we have given him. He shows it. The other night he jumped up in bed next to me and collapsed, exhausted, from one of his typical energy-filled days. Moments later he lifted his head and looked over at me, thumped his tail wildly for a moment, and then collapsed again to snore loudly beside me. But tonight I wondered if perhaps Hank misses some small element of his former hunting dog life as he spent 45 minutes stalking a fly buzzing around our bedside lamp. Surely this is a poor substitute for a mallard or a pheasant? Surely skulking around the bed from nightstand to nightstand lacks the vigor of bounding into a lake or across a field? Surely the texture of a fly in one's jowls disappoints when compared to a fleshy, feathered mouthful? Or maybe with a tummy happily stuffed full of premium dogfood, rawhide chews, liver snaps, and table scraps snatched from a kindergartener the fly is like a rare French delicacy capping off a multi-course meal?
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot Dog

It is 101 degrees at 5:00 PM. Hank demonstrates the keen intelligence of his breed by laying over the air conditioning floor vent in the kitchen.
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Cat for Dinner

Oh dear, I fear that after posting this picture no one will want to come eat at our house ever again. What can I say? I have classy cats who crave fine china and linens...
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The Puker

It is a few minutes after midnight. Hank has just returned the chicken breasts he stole earlier in the evening. August cleaned up the mess, came back to bed, turned to Hank and said, "You are still loved."
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Friday, August 13, 2010

The Prisoner

This is what happens when you eat two large chicken breasts off of the platter on the top of the stove... We still love you Hank; you're lucky I had a can of chicken breast meat in the pantry.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

It was 106 degrees in the shade today in Kansas. We haven't had rain in weeks and the grass has turned as brown as Red Rocket's fur. The dogs are only allowed outside for a few minutes and the minute they come inside they all head for the watering hole. Edward noticed that the water tank was empty and climbed up on the counter all on his own to take care of his dogs!
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Monday, August 9, 2010

King of the Hill

A picture of Red Rocket in his favorite spot: atop a heap of pillows!
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