Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

Sweet Sweet Olive

September 4, 2010

In 2004 I was a depressed and lonely woman in a strange city half way across the country from the place I considered home.  My solitude was intentional, a product of the denied grief of a lifetime and two all too fresh deaths.  I rented a two bedroom duplex and hid there, rejecting the idea that a good life was worth the effort.  I mentioned off handedly to a coworker that I thought I needed a dog.  She brought me an adoption booklet from her vet’s office and there, about halfway in was a picture of my heart’s dog, Olive.

She was called Duma then, by the ladies that ran the rescue she’d been living at for six months. She’d been found wandering the streets of northeast Georgia alone and hungry.  She seemed easily startled and they soon realized that was because she could not hear.   She was camera shy, so in the picture her face is turned back towards the camera over one sholder.  She’s standing still for the photo, but you can tell she doesn’t like it.  She’s doing it because she knows these nice people want her to, and she usually does what nice people ask.  I knew she was my dog before I even read the caption under her picture.  I thought she was all soul.  It turned out she was also very largely joy.

Olive, named for the sound a deaf friend made when he said “I Love You” quickly became the most important piece of my life.  She was waiting for me every morning when I got out of bed and in the afternoons when I came home.  She was so horribly shy at first that she couldn’t stand to see me leave the room without her, and followed each of my steps.  Though I was still deeply sad and anxious, I got up on weekends to make sure that Olive had a walk.  The desire to let Olive see more of her own kind got me out of that crappy apartment to the dog park, where I began to see more of mine.  Her oddball tummy made me search out good food for her, and realize what I was eating myself.  And then that day when the bottom finally dropped out, Olive sat between my legs in the floor while I held on to her for hours.  She was what I gripped when I decided to go ahead and try the climb.

She became the friend that would walk beside me across half a country, down 100 pounds, away from a life I was designing to be free of anyone I loved enough to weep for, and towards the courage to find the one I live today.  Olive gradually made me remember that the flow of love is worth the pain it brings with it, and that despite my many faults I am a person who loves well.  She found the heart I tried to throw away, and brought it back to me.  That was the only thing she ever bothered to fetch.

More than six years ago she found a woman alone, with a stale and blank face.  This morning my kind husband told me that he loved me and took our two month old daughter from the room.  I held sweet sweet Olive against me and she took her leave.


Spirit of Aggieland

January 29, 2010

Even in the cold cold north, one man shows his Aggie Spirit.

Jeffrey honors the 12th man.

Olive is suddenly grateful for her undercoat.

They DO like each other!

October 16, 2008

Olive hates her picture taken, but she hasn’t figured out the cell phone camera yet.  Jeffrey has no such issue.

Olive and Jeffrey learn to share

Olive and Jeffrey learn to share

Tar and Dogs

August 6, 2008

Just in case your dog ever winds up with four paws full of road tar, know that ample amounts of Permatex Fast Orange (without pumice) will clean the worst of it up.

For the love of all that is holy,

July 19, 2008

don’t try to make my liver treat recipe out of beef livers instead of chicken.

It worked out pretty well eventually, but I had to use excess hot water to get the meat pureed, and work extra hard to get it all processed without loosing a hand. (Only one small cut!) The house still doesn’t smell quite right.

However, I did manage to make the treats drier, which was my original intent.  I added another half cup of cornmeal, and a whipped egg.  The batter turned into a workable dough which I pressed into a 13X9 inch baking dish, scored, and baked for about 2½ hours at 250ºF.  Jeffery spent those two and a half hours, plus the time it took to build the dough neurotically running into the kitchen, whinging,  licking the backs of my knee, and running around the house like a loose ping pong ball.

The original recipe can be found here:

Older Dog

June 24, 2008

Olive is about six years old now. There’s a little eyebrow of white in the brown smudge over her right eye. While I read and swing in the back yard, she usually lies prone in a patch of sunlight instead of dashing around crazy after her arch enemy the squirrel. She’s slower to jump in and out of the car, and there’s some new sort of dignity that beams out of her on the rare occasion that she makes eye contact.

Olive. Photo by Andy

Olive at 7.

Every so often though, she’ll be hit by something and turn back to her silly young self. Olive has the least decorous run of any dog you’ll ever see. I call her The Dorkhound, when she does this. She’s a little swaybacked, her head bobs up and down from the shoulders, and her ears flap while she goes. This is all capped off with an open mouth that seems to grin. Finally she’ll get so excited that she’ll spin in a galloping circle and eventually fall over herself with glee. It’s rare, but she still does it, and when she does there’s no trace of the burgeoning old lady.

I’ve noticed that with Jeffrey around, Olive takes on a few more personalties. She’s at first Stodgy Olive, annoyed by the rambunctious whipper-snapper of a puppy. Next she’s forgotten herself and started playing wildly, this is Young at Heart Olive. She spins, lunges, runs, and whirls. After a bit she tires out and tries to call time, but Jeffrey (Jeff Vader as I’ve nicknamed him) doesn’t get that. It takes Big Strong Olive to get her point across. That version never lasts long, and is a pretty difficult character for her to adopt.

Its both wonderful and sad to see her interact with a young dog. She’s much more vigorous when Jeffrey’s around, and seems like more of a dog somehow instead of a person. They roll around all over each other and vie for more attention.

He highlights her age though. Jeffrey’s getting stronger and more powerful by the day. Soon Big Strong Olive will be unrecognizable next to him. I’m guessing that as time goes by, she’ll sit beside me and watch him play, and join in less and less. I know I’m anthropomorphizing, but I somehow think she’ll feel older and more fragile.

Jeffrey (The Dude)

June 8, 2008

Andy’s new pooch.

Liver Treats

June 6, 2008

This is maybe the nastiest thing I’ve ever made, so I made it in Andy’s kitchen. He locked himself in the office at the point that the liver paste exploded onto the wall.

2 lbs chicken livers
½ cup molasses
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup corn meal
½ chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp garlic powder

Boil chicken livers in just enough water to cover, until they turn grey. Drain. Puree livers. I used a stick blender for this. My mistake (for the record: Andy told me so.) was in not using the blending cup that came with it.

Add remaining ingredients to puree. Stir until combined. This will be an extremely thick paste. Spread into a greased 13X9 inch baking dish. Bake at 250ºF for 30 minutes. Cut into bite sized squares. Bake an additional hour. Turn out of pan and allow to cool. The treats will be extremely dense, but not totally dry, so they won’t keep forever. Freeze.

Both dogs seem to like them a lot. I tried one myself, but I’m not yet ready to discuss the experience.

Hazel the Basil

May 2, 2008

Hazel is my 7 year old bob-tailed tabby. I picked her up at an animal shelter in College Station, Tx. I had no intention of adopting another cat that day, but here she is anyway:

That day at the shelter all the other kittens were snuggled up in large litters in their cages. Hazel was in a cage all alone. She stood with both front arms thrust out through the bars of her jail screeching to be let out. As soon as I opened her cage she jumped lightly onto my chest, snuggled herself under my chin, and started to purr. She came home with me that day.

As soon as she got out of the carrying case, she hopped into the litter box and had a pee. Then she took a few crunches of Nero’s kitten chow, looked me fully in the eye, and walked off to do her own thing. From that point forward, she had almost no use for me. Perhaps once a day she’ll sit close to me and talk in loud meows, and allow me to pet her for about 30 minutes. She has only settled on my lap twice in her entire life. She does do that thing where she looks me in the eye and then blinks slowly, opens her eyes and looks back at me. I interpret that as a form of kitty love. If allowed in the bedroom, she’ll sleep a few feet from my head. I often find small lizards and bugs in my shoes that she has placed there.

All of my pets have nicknames. Her’s include Hazel Basil, Hazel Marie, and Hazel Von Pissyface. Please don’t tell here about the last one. God knows what she’d put in my shoes.

Lounge Singer Kitty

May 2, 2008

Nero is my 7 year old Siamese mix cat. From a malnourished one pound kitten with mange, coccidia, tape worms, fleas, heart murmur, and a mystery skin condition he turned into this 19 pound accordion cat with slight neurosis. Yes, he is bulimic. Yes, he will dig his claws into your scalp so he can nurse on your hair. Yes, for years he liked to bring me little presents of trash (and once, a live cockroach) in bed. He’s really sweet though.

This is his Lounge Singer look: