Showing posts with label kep and padua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kep and padua. Show all posts

Sunday, August 10, 2014

little wet wolf

It was pouring rain when we decided to see what Kep and Padua, Baxter's sausagey predecessors who were litter mates, would do if we cried squirrel and released them into the rain.  Padua, riled up and ready, bounded out the door without a thought, while Kep, always a bit more cunning of the two, immediately sensed the impending doom of wetness and stopped at the doorway, a perfect place from which he could watch his brother come back, skulky and wet, some fractional seconds later.

Even though tiny chumley jokes about not pooping in the rain, we have actually been very lucky with our little boy. Rain rarely deters Baxter from the necessities of life when it is required of him, whether he must go out with his dad and poop under cover of a gimungous golf umbrella, or lured by bunny scent that draws him voluntarily across the walkie line, he must stand out in the rain, a little wet wolf waiting patiently for his prey. :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

september september

september september, a time to remember
those we have lost,
yet remain in hearts, like a glowing ember.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

upstairs downstairs

The stairs, I think, must be every doxie's little Mount Everest. Something to be feared yet respected, and something that often ends up playing a role in every dachshund's story at one time or another in his or her life.

Stairs for our first dachshund Digger weren't particularly a problem in the time that I knew him,  but one ill timed jump while playing at the top of the stairs, and we watched him slide down the entire run of carpeted steps in our townhome like a little log being sent downriver.  Our hearts skipped many a beat watching him slide helplessly away from us, but luckily, pride was the only thing that was hurt that day.  It was that very event that helped us recognize the benefits of having a stairwell landing in our next home, so even if a doxie tumbled, they would never have very far to fall.

Stairs were something very new to pups Kep and Padua when we brought them home to our apartment.  Barely long enough to reach the top of each step on their tiny tippy toed paws, both boys quickly learned how to climb up the outdoor stairs to our second floor temporary abode, but downstairs was a different matter.  Fearless Kep learned how to galump downstairs as quickly as he did up, but sweet Padua needed a little guidance from Big Boyfriend, who taught him step by step, paw by paw, til finally puppy Padua built up the courage and rhythm needed to conquer the big scary stairs.  And soon, by the time we moved into the house we now live in, the boys would race up and down the stairs, often skipping a step or two in their never ending quest to best one another.

Baxter, knock on wood, has yet to make his own stair story.  Going up and down the stairs by himself is something we usually discourage tiny chumley from doing, but sometimes the little kielbasa is just too fast for us to catch and carry, especially after he's been home alone and he's anxious to account for everyone's return.   Darting out of the bedroom and blasting down like a porpoising rocket to greet everyone, and then rounding back up to get his kong toy to finish up the last of its peanut buttery goodness.  Even skipping a step or two in the process, like his brothers before him. sorry, no time to waste. can i take a raincheck for the stair rideys? cuz i've totally got places to go and things to do!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

snack ball

Behold the snack ball. Hard, plastic, and oversized, it hardly seems the kind of toy that would entice a curious doxie, til the tummy tantalizing treats within are discovered. Snack ball was a favorite toy for Baxter's granduncles, one that would keep them heartily entertained for hours, nudging it around and around while kibble occasionally dribbled out of it, luring the boys to nudge it even more.

Even after the boys had gone blind, snack ball still called to them like no other toy, still kept them intrigued for as long as we would let them have it. The only difference with blindness, it seemed, was that more sniffing was involved, and sometimes backtracking, just to make sure they gobbled up every last morsel that fell out. Yes, Kep and Padua bequeathed unto Baxter what I thought would be a toy for the ages. Perfect for sewing days when tiny chumley could use an extra little sumptin to do besides giant shirt ball and tummy tanning.

It only took a second for Baxter to realize that there was kibble inside. A couple of minutes of nudging to make him think there must be a better way to do this. Thirty seconds to pop out the yellow core. Then jackpot.

What else ya got for me?, he proudly asked with bright eyes and friendly wagging tail. And, without ever writing it at all, Baxter managed to put a visit to pet store on our weekend todo list.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

tags n wags

A tiny picnic lunch for the little kielbasa, his small reward for being such a patient little boy waiting inside while I bubble, bubble, toiled and troubled my way through another science sunday on the deck, making tags for precious Annie and irresistible Ike.

It's not very often really that I see Baxter reared up on his hind legs. By default, it seems our little boy is perfectly happy staying horizontal, save for the times when he's spied a squirrel in a tree. And that suits me just fine, when I think of all the trouble a little doxie can get into, just by rearing up on his stubby hindquarters. Digger, and the case of the missing porkchop. Kep, who could sit up on his hindquarters for hours if he wanted to, and the time he hurt his back trying, we think, to climb out of his confined space in the kitchen.

The knee high world. The level at which many a doxie might lose his way amongst all those lovely temptations, but I can only hope for tiny chumley, just a happy place to get an occasional picnic lunch.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

block prints

Whew. Something finally back in the Kalyxcraftopia Etsy shop. To be quite honest I had carved these print blocks years ago, and sent hand blocked prints out in two successive years as Valentine's Day gifts for family and friends.

First came Cupid's Helper, based loosely on my remembrance of Digger's old man snoozy habits, a classic pose that I catch Baxter doing even today as a youngster. Second came Duo, which reminds me of Kep and Padua when they were puppies and were learning how to climb up and down stairs. We showed them, step by step and paw by paw, what to do.

Time helped me forget how long it actually takes to make a print with roller and ink, a process which takes much longer than entrusting it to technology. But nothing can replace the wonderful imperfections of handwork, and so yesterday afternoon I reminded myself why it is I don't make a billion prints at a time.

Tiny chumley lurked about while I rolled and spooned and peeled and waited for ink to dry. He sat atop his kitty perch, watching for squirrels and listening to the strange sound of ink squishing about, all while basking on the cozy warmth of his sheepskin and in the comfort of his cashmere lined harness, an experiment to test cashmere's warmth and durability as a lining. I have a feeling he's going to need all the warmth he can muster tomorrow. The snow started to fall in the early evening, and it has yet to stop.

Tomorrow, possibly a lazy day, but otherwise, work on Molly's second harness. And maybe another addition to Etsy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the days of september

I have always liked September for all the things that Mother Nature begins and ends this month. Goodbye, hot muggy weather and blood sucking mosquitoes. See ya, hazy skies and sweaty walks. Hello, cool nights, cheery crickets, and pleasant strolls. Even when I was a kid and September meant school had just begun, I still welcomed September because it arrived with the promise of new television shows and falling leaves.

September's beginnings and endings were always pretty swell in my book, at least up til recently, it would seem. September marks the birth and death of the beloved boys we had before Baxter, and quite honestly, I am not sure how I feel about that.

Kep and Padua were just puppies when we brought them home long ago. Our life was full of new beginnings back then, having just graduated college, just moved, just started a new job, just married. As puppies, Kep and Padua helped my husband and I brave our new world, one pee spot at a time.

With the boys' life spanning over sixteen years, early memories of our boys now come back to me in random pieces. Meeting the boys as little shavers, Kep boldly running with the big dogs, while sweet Padua kept crawling back under the whelping box to continue his nap. The boys galumping out of their crate, both with gigantic balls of fuzz around their necks where their puppy collars should have been, the result of a hard day's work gnawing on each other. They were pals who kept each other company and learned about life just as Baxter does today, one day at a time.

Unlike Baxter, squirrels, not rabbits, were their mortal enemies. The mere mention of a squirrel would rile them up and we would let them dash out the back door in vigorous pursuit. Only rain would stop the boys from venturing out to combat their enemy. Padua learned this lesson the hard way, having dashed out and become thoroughly drenched before realizing that the day's squirrel sighting was a ruse. Kep, who had screeched to a halt upon seeing the rain, was there at the doorway to greet Padua as he skulked back inside in search of drier ground.

We loved and learned much from having these brothers in our lives. That doxies don't mind bobbing for carrots, blowing bubbles all the way til their target was secured from its watery depths. That ripe cherry tomatoes and jasmine flowers are tasty treats to be sought out even when blind. That these memories and more were the memories we cherished, all because they were born one day in September.

As Kep and Padua entered their care-intensive geriatric years, we agreed we would not put down the boys solely as a matter of convenience for us. We thought our criteria firm for knowing when it was time to say goodbye. When they no longer ate. When perhaps one day we would awaken, but they did not.

Such was our mindset when I made the appointment for our mobile vet's house call. A routine follow up visit, I thought, so the doc could tell us that our old men were doing fine, despite Kep's recent tendency to curl onto himself, as though he wanted to nibble at a particular spot on his back, and Padua's intermittent interest in food, which we thought was the result of nausea from his antibiotics.

But same as the day I started my drive home from work and ended it spending three days in the hospital, some days have a way of unfolding in ways I might never imagine. After examining both old men, our vet mustered the courage to tell us what we were too blinded by affection to see. That day in September, sixteen years and a few days after Kep and Padua were born, we made the decision we wished we never had to make. I couldn't even be in the house when it happened.

Two years have passed, yet I am still haunted by that day in September. Haunted by the empty days thereafter where we found ourselves free of routine and unsure what to do with our new found freedom. Our boys were gone, and though they collectively weighed no more than twenty eight pounds, the hole they left in our lives felt more as though it was made by a meteor. Such are the empty days of September, when memories of their passing make the turning color of leaves all the more meaningful.

With September coming quickly to a close, I realize now that September is still the month of changes that I love. No story is complete without an ending. No life is lived without experiencing its ebbs and tides. I miss the boys, yet I am still thankful for the all memories that September brings. I will always remember the days of September.

Friday, September 4, 2009

the pawgiene routine

Okay, I'll come out of the closet. I have a thing for nattily groomed dachshund paws. Our previous two boys struggled too much in their younger years and were too arthritic in their older years to maintain a rigorous nail trimming schedule. By the time they became immobile and we carried them practically everywhere, their paws were like gnarled white boots tipped with bear claws. They did not have nails to be proud of, but both humans and dogs agreed the bear claw look was better than the trauma of frequent nail cutting, and we loved them, claws and all, til the day it was time to say goodbye.

Baxter has been a much easier sell on the nail trimming front, which isn't the same as saying trimming Baxter's nails is easy. Keeping Baxter's nails nubby cute comes with diligence and patience. And an extra set of hands doesn't hurt either. In our earliest days with Baxter, I tried the same bypass clippers that I used on our pair of boys, sticking to the method that worked so well before, of cutting nails while the subject was sound asleep on our sofa. While then ten-month-old Baxter gently made suckling noises to the dreams inside his head, I cleaved each nail in small amounts as a chef would shave a truffle, in hopes of avoiding the painful surprise of cutting into the quick. But two weeks later the inevitable happened, and the jig was up. This dachshund was too young and smart to sleep through anything he didn't want to have happening to him.

I next turned to all sorts of files - ceramic, metal, and emery - for human, dog, and even wood - and finally settled on the alternate use of the coarse side of a human nail file and a diamond cut swedish style foot file. Filing each nail, one by one, all while Baxter laid on his back atop a supportive pillow. Not unlike a day at the spa for Baxter, but incredibly time consuming and exhausting for his human. Surely there was something better for both of us.

By the time I was ready to move on from files, the rotary pet nail tool ads started appearing on tv. I was intrigued and tempted, but leery of overpaying for what might be a scary, loud piece of single-purpose junk. So I drove all over town in search of the Dremel Stylus, a cordless wonder that I knew to be fairly quiet and powerful from having worked with one at a friend's house. A tool that I could use for crafty projects should this whole experiment backfire.

But backfire it thankfully did not. It probably helped that I introduced dremel slowly, and always ended Baxter's early encounters before he had time to consider it foe. For the next eight weeks or so, the dremel worked itself in to his pawgiene routine, a couple of nails at a time. I experimented with various speeds and found that a setting of 2 was too slow to effectively remove nail quickly, and a setting of 4 was too fast and could cause uncomfortable heat buildup if the dremel lingered too long in one spot. I determined that 3 was the Goldilocks of settings, juuust right for Baxter's nails if I kept the tool in constant motion like I should. By the time the dremel replaced all the manual file work, it was clear that one more change to the new process was in order. Baxter's nails would be much better shaped if the dremel-er was not also the person holding the dremel-ee. And thus was born our two person dremel process, with me dremelling away while dad holds Baxter in his lap.

Baxter endures his mostly biweekly pawgiene sessions with begrudging tolerance, though he sometimes likes to test the waters to see what he can do to shorten the experience. He is a dachshund, after all. A curious wet nose too close to the sanding drum, a tug of his stubby paw out from grasping hands. But all in all he's been a good sport with my desire to maintain the cuteness of his paws. I'm sure he wonders what the fuss is all about. They're just paws, he thinks. If a rabbit doesn't care what they look like, why should he?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cleaning House

It's hard to believe that I've had my trusty laptop for five-ish years and that only in the last six months have I amassed so many pictures that the hard drive is now practically full. And yes, a large majority of them are pictures and movies of our boy Baxter and his adventures in this world. I am a hoarder, hear me roar.

And so today as my ability to upload new images comes to a grinding halt, I am forced to spend some time today cleaning and organizing my 80GB disaster house. Some pictures are easy to delete, photos of people whose names I forget but whose dog's name I will always remember, random pictures of cool things that in retrospect just weren't worth keeping. The ill framed, the out of focus. All of it should go, in that I was certain.

My mantra held til I ran across a batch of fuzzy photos of Baxter's predecessors, our boys, Kep and Padua. We got them as puppies shortly after we married. They were brothers that chewed on each other and kept each other company while we worked away from home most week days. Brothers that fought during their teenage years and led the way on their occasional walks. Brothers that loved eating rawhide and sleeping on the couch with us while we watched tv. By the time they became bony whispers of their former selves, they had suffered the gamut of health problems ranging from bad teeth, joint conditions, back conditions, stomach conditions, skin conditions, and blindness. They were sixteen when it was time to say goodbye, just a few months after these pictures was taken.