I Want To Believe

I want to believe.

I want to believe all kinds of things.  FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY Dexter was born, and I wanted to believe I was getting a superstar agility dog with a big brain and a superfast body.

Well, he’s fast all right.  And most of him is big (ears, legs, hugs, LOVE), but not so much his brain.  I feel like I am living with an alien sometimes, as we so do not speak the same language (I speak English – usually angry – and he speaks Crashing Cutlery and Burning Rubber).

I want to believe that at the ripe old age of 4 years, he’s on the cusp of a breakthrough (his brain will evolve, or come out of hiding or whatever).  Agility class last night proved me wrong.  For the record: THERE IS NO FIRST WEAVE POLE IN DEXTER’S WORLD.  It’s not his fault, the thing just does not exist on his dimension, so suck it judge.

He’s a lunatic.

I love him.  I hate him.  I’ve never had such diametrically opposed feelings for the same creature at the same time as I do for this dog.  I cannot imagine life without him.  I cannot help but imagine what life would be like if he had two brain cells to rub together.

But one thing I am sure of; he’s my family.  He’s part of our whole big retardodog soup.

Happy Birthday Dexter “Long Stride” Morgan.  If you do not put me in an early grave (fists clenched, mouth for eternity screaming a long “WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!”), I raise a frisbee to another 14 years of crazy making together.

There is no Winter in this photo because he was hiding from me beneath my truck.  He was hiding from me because he was afraid I was going to chase him around the acreage hitting him with a dead chicken.  This is not because we have turned to vaudeville as a way to amuse ourselves, it’s because the f*cker killed one of my chickens this morning and I tried to beat him into mangy goat meat with the corpse.  Alas, the chicken was very small, and Winter is very fast.  Foiled again.

Anyway.  We’re baaa-aack!  You missed us, apparently, judging from all the posts and emails.  My apologies for disappearing from the face of the earth … I just was not feeling the blogging thing.  For no real reason other than my job consists of me training, exercising, talking about and writing about dogs.  When I come home, I scowl menacingly at my own crew and don’t want to train, exercise, talk about or write about them or any other dog on the planet.

I’m too vested in my job, maybe.  I don’t want to analyze it.  Shut The Fuck Up.

No no, I wasn’t speaking to you. I was speaking to her.  “Her” being Shut The Fuck Up.

She is my latest “I take my work home with me” project.  About 3 months old, she was found locked in the fenced ‘Small Dog’ dog park one morning by a woman when she went to take her dog for a romp.  All by herself.  No other dogs or humans in sight.  I toyed with calling her “Coyote Bait” instead of Shut The Fuck Up, but then I tried to put her in an XPen and leave the room, and the set o’lungs on her sealed her name fate.

At work we call her Hopscotch, and my boss says I am NEVER EVER ALLOWED TO INTRODUCE HER TO CHILDREN because I might say the wrong name by mistake.

Can you guess what she is?  I mean, besides an Olympic gymnast.

Or the Terrier’s Plaything.

Maybe she is your next little agility dog?

Don’t be offended by her name.  She was almost “Pisses On Dog Beds.”

And speaking of next agility dogs, I guess Kieren is going to be mine.  I had three – count ’em, THREE – applicants for Kieren who vanished into the ether halfway through the adoption process in the last month, so I have effectively given up on trying to find him a home.  He’s still listed as available, in case a MIRACLE happens and someone actually comes along and adopts him, but in the meantime, I have started training him in agility, so that he’s not rotting away in the back of my SUV.

The Satanist has dubbed him “The Better Dexter” which tells you all you need to know about the trajectory of Dexter’s agility career in the years to come.

In other news, someone put a hole in Wootie, but it healed itself.  The hole probably vanished into the HUGE LAYER OF FAT that he is sporting this summer.  The older he gets, the lazier he gets, so the fatter he gets.  He’s going to be 100 lbs by the time he’s a senior.

His brother suffers from the same affliction.  But he’ll have to get fatter at Auntie Jen’s place, as that’s where he’s going to live for a while.  He bit Dexter the other day, so The Rage is intensifying (although what I erroneously interpreted as Dexter being trapped under the bed turned out to actually be a contest for who could claim Under The Bed rights first, and whoever gets under there doesn’t want to leave lest their nemesis plant their flag in that spot.  It must be the coolest spot in the house, because now that the weather is not so smoking hot, the contest to claim it has abated somewhat) and I am sending TWooie away to give Dex a break from being bullied.

Piper is going bald.

Had her first ever hot spot last year.  Got another this summer.  No idea why.  I got ahead of this one quicker though, as I was prepared for it, so I didn’t have to shave her whole back end like I did last summer.

And Tweed’s having his toe removed :(

His cytology came back as nothing alarming, just inflammation, so we did a second round of powerful antibiotics in case it was a foreign body that didn’t get expelled the first time.  No dice.  Then the good Dr. Bowra wanted to do a biopsy, just in case.  But after some thought, I decided that if the biopsy DID show something and we had to remove the toe anyway, I was paying for twice the procedures AND he would have to go under anaesthetic twice, something I am a bit loathe to do in an old man dog of 13.  Plus, he will Not Leave The Growth Alone and he keeps making it bleed, so I am going to bite the bullet and just sacrifice the toe.  And my credit card.

The good news is it hasn’t slowed him down any!

Hopefully the same will be said after he is short one digit.

Even when it’s boring around here it’s never boring!


  1. Funny, Shut the Fuck Up is what my husband calls Giz! What are the odds? :)

    Re: Dexter — I wonder if he has canine ADHD? Is there doggie Ritalin? Or perhaps an SSRI? Maybe his brain chemicals are just off…

    Glad you’re back and no dire events kept you away.

  2. Good for Better Dexter – I mean Kiernan! And how is Springaling doing, the little star dog?

  3. Wow, we are having almost the same issue here. Our oldest collie has a wound on her toe. She wouldn’t stop licking it. So our vet put her on one antibiotic, and then another…neither helping her. And while on the antibiotics, she has had to live in a cone. Today we went for an X-ray, and are waiting to hear the results. We aren’t sure if there is a foreign body embedded in the wound, if she had developed cellulitis, if its a soft tissue carcinoma, or if it involves the bone. I haven’t wanted to post much on my blog, because I have been so worried. Holly is only 7, and we lost our first collie, Lad, to cancer when he was 7 years old. But when I read your post, I had to comment, because It sounds like you are going through the exact same thing.

  4. As a mother of two daughters, I know how frustrating Dexter is. Over the years, no matter what I have tried to interest my daughters in, they are totally not interested. Whether it’s science, history, knitting, quilting, favorite books from my childhood, they shut down and ignore me completely. And they’re blood relations. Lol. One daughter became religious and one joined a sorority. They are who they are.
    I tell them my dog is the daughter I always wanted, she is always happy to see me, she listens and she doesn’t borrow the car. Although I couldn’t get her interested in agility either.

  5. Glad to see you back, I missed the beautiful photographs, especially now that I’m living without a dog. My condolences for your chicken and for Tweed’s poor toe. Happy birthday Dexter, and congratulations to you for surviving the dog soup! Maybe one day in the future you will look at Dexter in surprise and realize that he used to be much more of an alien…

  6. I think StuFu is a terrier chi mix… maybe border, maybe anything wirehaired. Sure looks like Benji. (and I gotta love her ‘bell bottoms’ – is that a trim?)

    You’ve totally earned your Kieran but somebody had just better adopt Winter. Fer reals, you have an overload of dogs. Funny you keep trying to bring home dogs that are smaller and smaller… That won’t work. They are all pure dog, and they will snare you if you aren’t careful.

  7. Nice to see you’re back! I haven’t been feeling the blog thing lately either, so I get it. Sorry to hear about all the troubles. How old is Piper? Our white shepherd started getting hot spots the last year or two of her life (which was cut somewhat shorter by her severe hip dysplasia). I suspect as they get older some dogs are just more prone to them.

  8. The Food Lady says:

    Well, too be fair – Shut The Fuck Up is just a work foster. Those will come and go throughout my career, because I care about my job and the dogs that make up my job. I have never had plans to keep Kieren, and would still adopt him out if a home came along that didn’t *poof* disappear into the cosmos part way through the process. I have tried to rehome him with several friends, who are all full of dogs already, or just plain don’t want him (even though he’s pretty perfect) :( As for Winter – I don’t really want to keep Winter. I luff him, but I have not been in the market for another dog for a long time. I expect to lose a couple through attrition in a few years, as much as that reality sucks, and when that happens I have plans to get a puppy, but by then the WooTWoo will be old as well. However, rehoming Winter is going to be tough, because Winter is very attached to his sisterwife Springaling, and then there’s the whole separation anxiety thing that puts people off.

    And if things don’t improve with Dexter/TWooie, and/or Dexter is demonstrably happier without TWooie, I could (painfully) rehome him. Some little old lady who just wants something to snuggle with could make his whole life complete, I expect. He would miss Woo, but Woo can take or leave him.

    I already know I have more dogs than most people consider sane. I like them all, but don’t really want this many. If I end up with this many because I can’t find homes for some of them, this is what I’ll live with, but don’t for a moment think I would choose this many, or that I’m hoarding dogs. I know my limits, and I know my ideal number. If I didn’t, my life would be remarkably different after FIFTEEN YEARS of rescuing dogs!

  9. Happy Birthday, Dexter! Hope the Maturity Fairy brings you a big batch o’ brains!

    Good luck Tweedles with the surgery, hope all goes well and you heal up real fast.

    Hope StFU finds a home. Border terrier/chi? Hope you can place Keiran, too.

    Stop licking it, Piper.

    Drop it Winter! Drop it I say! Damn dog.

    Congrats on 15 years of rescue. Take care of yourself.

  10. Maria Shanley says:

    We don’t really need another dog, and it’s a long way to Wyoming, so can’t help with the “dog soup”. However, some ranchers here have discouraged chicken-killing by attaching wire between a fresh chicken corpse and the electric fence (predator gets zapped when it touches the chicken). Have heard of it working on dogs, coyotes and one fox. Electric chickens don’t taste good, apparently!

  11. Yep. Hear you loud and clear.

    We have a separation anxiety foster right now too… she’s intense when she’s worked up. (all 9 pounds of chi/something/maybe italian of her.) I totally get it.

  12. If Twooie is a cuddler by nature, he WOULD be happy as an only dog with a semi-active senior citizen. And would make the senior happy in turn.

  13. Happy Birthday Dexter! I think it’s an awfully nice birthday present for Kieren to give Dexter–taking over his agility spot, I mean. That way Dexter’s free to just enjoy the frisbee playing, free of the dreaded weavepoles! Hope that Twooie’s vacation helps the pack jive a bit better. Thanks for the update, FoodLady, and best of luck to Tweed and his toe and Piper and her bald spot!

    I think ShutTheFuckUp is a border terrier, or at least a border terrier mix.

  14. Auntie Jen says:

    STFU is a slinky. I am not sure why this is even a question?
    And TWooie may or may not gain weight depending on his foraging abilities. We have no dog food here, only hidden treats like flour and coffee grounds and toilet paper and green apples – sometimes dogs get fat and sometimes they get lean….

  15. What is your preferred number of (owned, not counting foster or work) dogs? Mine used to be three but now I am thinking two.

  16. Janice in GA says:

    Wow, 4 years on Dexter already! Happy birthday!

    I’ve been thinking about you & Tweed a LOT, since my Jasper started having toe problems. He had a toe biopsy last Thursday. We’re waiting on results. Best wishes to Tweed for an easy surgery & quick healing!

  17. Yeah, I’m thinking Border Terrier mix, as well.

  18. The Food Lady says:

    My favourite number of dogs is 3, but I don’t mind having 5. Five is an okay number for me as I have time for 5, and it means I always have someone up and coming as someone else is retiring. But in an ideal world, I would likely have 3. That would mean 10 years before a puppy though, and I’m not sure I can wait that long. I want a lurcher in the worst way ;-) And one day I want an Italian greyhound!

    Shut The Fuck Up is actually a lhasa apso mix. Underbite, easty westy feetsies and body longer than it is tall! Quite the funny little mix. If you google Lhasa Apso X Jack Russell, you’ll see lots of her :)

  19. First – I’m glad you may be keeping Kieren , but sorry that Winter needs to find a new home, and that Twooie is “taking break time” away from home. I’m sure that, per usual, you will manage to do the right thing for all concerned. – and you DO seem to manage better than most of us! It’s been 4 years since my girl BC Casey died, and I finally decided that *maybe* this was the summer to bring a puppy home and that *maybe* my 12.5 year old, sometimes fear-aggressive male BC Skye would accept a little girl…. Well, that lasted 17 days. The puppy was confident, jealous, and massively time-consuming, and Skye was depressed and I felt like I was throwing him under the bus. So… the puppy went back. I clearly do not have your patience and dog-sense!

  20. FWIW… I think Kieren is more handsome than Dexter! ;)

    I CAN’T imagine living with this many dogs. I have two (aussie & BC) and have my hands full. 8 dogs like that, I’d go insane. :)

  21. Christina says:

    I share your obsession with lurchers; my lurcher is hairy-faced, though (and not so insane as my current mystery lurcher, though I owe the obsession to her).

    Oh, Dexter. I’m sorry. Good wishes for Tweed!

    Why hasn’t anyone else asked what is up with Piper’s eye? Need to know …

  22. The Food Lady says:

    Hah! Nothing is wrong with her eye. It’s Dexter spit – that stuff lands hither and yon as he splatters it about in his frantic wanderings!

  23. Christina says:

    Hahahahah … THAT is funny!

  24. Welcome back! I have missed the photos and your sense of humor. I was just telling someone the other day she could always drop her dog off in a dumpster…we are both fans and all the long-time fans will know the reference. Tee-hee.

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