Dog Days

by angeliska on July 30, 2009

We adopted a puppy! Well, she’s six months old-
but that still counts, right? I was walking past the
Austin Pets Alive adoption station after work the
other day, and she caught my eye.
She’s super wiggly, and thus really difficult
to photograph- especially if you want to be in
the picture with her! I have lots of blurry
nose-licking shots of us now.

May I present: Prinzesse Grrizelda!
She came with the name Zelda, which we like-
so she’s that for short. As in Zelda Fitzgerald
and let’s not forget Zelda Rubinstein
who portrayed the seer Tangina in Poltergeist!
Clearly, she’s a Prinzesse because her favorite spot
is the velvet loveseat. How fancy- ooh-la-la chienne!
She’s part German Shepherd, part something else-
probably black lab, with pointy ears and big feet.
I love her soft black coat with silvery smoke frosted shadows
on her haunches, and the white star over her heart.

I fall more and more in love with her every moment.
She’s super-lovey, incredibly sweet natured
and curls up in the bed with her head on the pillow!
I was so relieved to discover that she’s good around people
and the other animals. For the most part she’s remarkably
well behaved. That is, except when left to her own devices..

There has been one casualty since Prinzesse Grrizelda’s arrival:
R.I.P. Granny Wolf – she was gifted to me after the hurricane,
and provided much joy and comfort in those dark days.

She will be missed. Most especially by Rusty Jacknife,
who did like to bite her snoot- though not as much as some!

I found this bit of evidence (her eyeball!), which I shall make into jewelry.

The crime-scene: Zelda’s nest of destruction, which we discovered
after coming home from dinner the other night. The first few days
were fine, but I think she was feeling a bit cooped up, and had
some separation anxiety being away from us. She made this
little party palace with our dirty socks and underpants,
unspooled balls of twine, chewed on pill-bottles,
shredded boxes, smashed perfume bottles,
and yes- chewed off Granny Wolf’s face!
I mean, I guess it’s lucky that she has other heads-
(regular Granny and Red Riding Hood under the skirt)
but obviously, I always loved Granny Wolf’s face best.
Oh yes, and she also devoured a big box of dates
and then the next day vomited all over the house.
Something like 17 piles of dog barf- in the bed, too.
Welcome to having a puppy! You know you really
love your dog when you look at them after all of
this and just want to cuddle them anyway.

Thelonius still has not regained his sight,
though he is adjusting admirably.
It’s been so hard for us to accept.
As far as we can tell, he has
Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) syndrome.
It’s a hereditary auto-immune disease
where the T-cells attack the pigmented cells-
everywhere. When his little black nose started
turning white, we realized what we were dealing with.
He’s on a lot of medication, but seems to be doing better.
We are hoping that having a companion will be good
for him, and he likes Grrizelda, though sometimes
her antics make him curmudgeonly and snappish,
though that’s to be expected from any 9 year old dog.
He’s the smartest, most wonderful dog in the world.
I am so proud of him for figuring out the world
all over again, without the benefit of vision.
He’s a damn strong dog- I love him so.

Look at these gorgeous pups! I am such a lucky lady,
to have such marvelous canine companions.
Growing up, I was never a dog person- I always had my kitty
(Oh, don’t click on that link unless you want to cry!
I just re-read it after all these years, and bawled my eyes out.)

I liked dogs, but I never pictured myself having one of my very own.
When I was staying in New York years ago, I got really lonely.
I found I could relate to people’s dogs better than with the people
themselves. The people were closed off, tense and in a hurry.
Their dogs were always open, excited and happy to see me.
Visiting with stranger’s friendly dogs was one of the things
that got me through that rough autumn. I realized how
wonderful they are, how loyal and how brave.
Grrizelda’s happiness and relief to have finally found a home are palpable.
She was found wandering way out in the country, dumped
on the side of the road most likely. How could anyone ever do that?
Her training’s going well- she’s a smart dog, and already is
getting all the basic commands. I’m going to work really hard
to make sure that she develops into an incredible dog-friend.
I feel like I’m ready now. I think she’s the one I’ve been waiting for.
Tell me your puppy tales, please! Have any useful tips for us?
I’ve been reading a lot, and learning so much-
but there’s a lot of information out there.
I think I need a really solid book- any recommendations?
Thanks in advance, sweet folks!


Sweet sweet pups! Reading about Thelonius still makes me so sad, but I am glad to hear that he is adapting well. Must be so scary to have that happen as an animal, and without being able to understand why. :<
I want a dog SOOOO bad, but in our teeny tiny place it just isn’t an option. Hopefully when we move somewhere much bigger and better.
For now I am happy being a turtle mama.

by lau on July 30, 2009 at 2:40 am. Reply #

Oh they are a pair! Sweet Thelonius for accepting Zelda so quickly. Absolutely adorable!!
For a second, I thought you had an elaborate fur headband on in the second photo … duh, its Zelda’s ear … πŸ™‚
Oh, I can’t tell you all my puppy tales, because they would make you cry again. I will say this … I miss him to this day, think about him all the time, and its been 22 years since he went to the Happy Hunting Grounds … dear old Pups, he was my best friend!

by Susanne Lynette on July 30, 2009 at 3:15 am. Reply #

AW! What a beauty. I just found your blog through tamera/verhext.
Perhaps a raw diet would help your dog that has the blindness problem – it can be miraculous.
The book “Kats on Dogs” by Jon Katz is really wonderful. Crate training is sooo great when done properly. My doggy is crate trained and it’s fantastic – she is a small breed (Chinese Crested) and has no seperation anxiety – her kennel is her safe zone – her den. She always goes in there if she wants to hide or sleep (unless she’s on the bed). The book goes over that, by the way.
Also the books “Give Your Dog a Bone” and “The BARF Diet” may give you some great insights ^_^ I am going to put my wee pooch on raw soon – just like me!
Good luck with your pooches πŸ™‚

by Lorra on July 30, 2009 at 3:45 am. Reply #

We love this book: Toward the Ph.D. for Dogs: Obedience Training from Novice Through Utility by Robert J. Martin. Easy, common sense training that helps you use your dog’s own natural instincts in training. Our dogs through the years have been and are deliriously happy and well-behaved, a necessity if you love big dogs, as we do. Your new puppy is wonderful; I love her long wolfish nose and sweet eyes!

by Lin McCoy on July 30, 2009 at 6:08 am. Reply #

Sweet sweet pups! Lucky for me, Charlotte has a tiny mouth, tiny barfs, and tiny poops. She’s never chewed up anything of mine, but she is very jealous of boyfriends and will kick them out of bed!
here is a photo of dear little puppy kins!

by Amelia Valentine on July 30, 2009 at 6:11 am. Reply #

beautiful dogs!!
I read an article recently about how when dogs lose their sight, their thought process might go something like this: “Huh, it’s nighttime all the time now. How about that?” and then they promptly stop worrying and figure out how to track squirrels using their other senses…

by alita on July 30, 2009 at 6:35 am. Reply #

Awwww.. the two top photographs are so terribly sweet. I love the magic amalgamation of her brown and your blue eye. Cute! x

by Suzanne on July 30, 2009 at 7:24 am. Reply #

hello dear girl!
oh, the myriad of beautiful shoes and pretty things i have lost to the curious teeth of new puppies! our pup, princess, once ate my very most favoritest pair of mary janes EVER. and our other pup, pippi, once chewed up an entire antique couch cusion!
tiny little mr. p was a rescue dog, surrendered from a home that just didn’t care anymore…he is afeared of brooms and magazines and that breaks my heart! i can’t read a periodical in front of him without him skittering away every time i turn a page. i don’t know how people can ever give up on animals and just turn them loose. πŸ™
victoria stilwell has the best training methods for dogs that i’ve come across–
we’ve learned so much about how to communicate with our canine friends from watching her shows!

by katinka on July 30, 2009 at 8:44 am. Reply #

Oh, Zelda is a beauty. Look at the shiny black hair and her sleek nose. I used to have a Police-trained German Shepherd. They are such loyal pet companions.
When I first read the name I thought of the video games but I like your lovely Fitzgerald thought also.

by Misha/DawaiOser on July 30, 2009 at 9:14 am. Reply #

ooh! I may be able to reconstruct Granny Wolf’s face (remember when I found my Lamby’s eye and had to reconstruct his face?…due to lil’ 6 month old Arrow). Zelda is more than beautiful and I can’t wait to meet her. I miss Noodle Boots an awful lot and sometimes cry that I can’t be near him. On the bright side I may soon become a puppy sitting Auntie (fingers crossed) as Miss Dana Kitten may soon be getting a pooch πŸ™‚ I love all of you and miss you dearly.

by Whiskey Deer Wolf on July 30, 2009 at 10:41 am. Reply #

awww, look uh’dem ears. canis vespertilionidae
thirsty, grrizelda?

by whelky on July 30, 2009 at 10:49 am. Reply #

Wow! Congrats! She looks beautiful~

by Nix on July 30, 2009 at 10:52 am. Reply #

What Beauties!!!!
I recommend renting some DVD’s of The Dog Whisperer. Or maybe you can watch for free on the TV or online???
He helped tremendously in balancing out my pup. Instead of coming home to find my abode looking like a tornado just hit, I come home to a very mellow, smiley-faced friend.
Pure magick!!!!
Best of luck!!!!

by roseycakeface on July 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm. Reply #

AHHHHHHHHH. Adorbs. & you make me laugh so much. I can’t wait to see you again!

by Gala on July 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm. Reply #

i love her! + r.i.p. granny wolf.

by charity on July 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm. Reply #

waahhhh i love them both. poor thelonius, though he looks perky enough! this whole post made me teary, i don’t know why!

by verhext on July 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm. Reply #

how wonderful. i love my starflash so much she’s everything to me.
when she was a pup i used hard boiled eggs to train her. she still loves them a couple times a week i also add lots of fresh veggies to her hard food with some olive oil. she is tres soft and shiny.
they kind of look alike and my pup is
a aussie sheppherd / greyhound/ coyote mix.
oh when she was a baby and biting to teethe i would wimper like a hurt puppy if it hurt me and leave the room for a few minutes so she knew i would not play if she was biting me. it worked great.
good luck with your lovely dogs.
from suzie and starflash.
here’s my baby girl.

by suzanne on July 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm. Reply #

Are you sure she is not full Shepherd?
I breed German Shepherds for years,
and to me (by the photos) she looks full black shepherd, they can have a touch of white or tan.
Whatever she is she is lovely. You have two sweet dogs. Cheers.

by TROGET. on July 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm. Reply #

your puppy is beautiful….i love her ears…she’s like a fox and a coyote wolf!!! πŸ™‚

by Heather Ortiz on July 31, 2009 at 7:45 am. Reply #

Your pretty face, and your dogs ear over your forehead, with your big blue eye lined up with it’s brown eye is just flawless! You two look like you run in the same pack in some enchanted forest!
I read that past blog post on your beloved cat years ago… and I admit I cried and cried, relating to it through my own very aged cat that would soon follow the same path. It was bitter-sweet reading it, and it helped me prepare for the inevitable.
One Puppy Tale I have to share is this:
I used to babysit a friend’s little old man dog, Willie, who was blind in one eye for sure, and maybe partially in the other. Willie would hang out with my large young LuLu, They were an odd pair that learned to enjoy each others company.
I would give LuLu a big raw hide bone and Willie would get a small one. Each bone proportionate to each dog. But Willie always traded bones and big LuLu allowed it. Willie ended up with a raw hide bone the size of his own body and LuLu had a wee little thing that disappeared in her mouth.
I’m sure your sighted dog will eventually be very helpful to your blind dog as it matures and they get to know each other.
Oh you make me laugh with descriptions of dog barf and the pile of dolls, underwear, etc!
I just took in 5 kittens from the street (I already have 3 big beastie-cats and my total is now 8). Many practical people warned me of fur balls, puke, blah blah blah…I can tell you understand how to roll with the punches and actually find humor in it all- that’s great!
I really enjoyed this blog post!

by Sue on August 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm. Reply #

Your hairy children are Divine!!!!!!!
Someone commented on raw diet…this is amazing my animals responded beautifully. Luna will be 14 and her arthritis and bladder issues have improved tremendously. So easy too if you find a store that carries frozen patties (Natures Variety is great)
Best of Luck!

by Rose on August 2, 2009 at 6:03 am. Reply #

I was browsing around the other day and I saw the second photograph. I thought at the time how beautiful you looked in it and, after thinking about it for a while, I decided I should say so. So I just did.
No ulterior motive or internet weirdness, promise.

by Verian on August 10, 2009 at 8:28 am. Reply #

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