Category Archives: Babygirl

Their Only Fault, Really…

He's-Got-That-Loving-Feeling-W

He’s Got that Loving Feeling…

“Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull ~

It’s turning out that grooming day, or spa day, as we like to high handily call it in the Burch house, it becoming eventful. Eventful in ways I would rather avoid.

As coincidence would have it, the last two times “spa day” has fallen on each pet’s yearly physical. As I recounted in an earlier post, when we picked them up last time, we were told it was critical BabyGirl, our little Rain Man in a dog suit, have her teeth cleaned.

Boy was it ever critical. Tall & Handsome called me on the way home after he picked her up from her dental visit and broke the news, “They pulled 17 teeth.”

Now, those of you who know me really well will know the next sentence was the occurrence of a minor miracle – I was totally and utterly speechless. For about 45 seconds as images of a puckered face BabyGirl flashed through my head. You can read that post to see how BabyGirl and mom survived the outcome.

So, when we sent Watson and BabyGirl off for their grooming a couple of weeks ago we knew it was time for Watson’s yearly. No problem, just a formality to get out of the way.

Oh, wait – did you hear that shoe anvil drop? Yep, there was yet another surprise waiting when T & H picked our pups up after their “spa day”.

Now, for a little background let me preface with this – we rescued BabyGirl in 2012. She was about two years old at the time. As hard as it is to believe she will be with us four years this coming September. This makes her about six years old.

Watson, our Wonderkin, came to us two weeks shy of his first birthday in 2006. On August 30th he will turn 11 years old. As I type those words not only can I not believe it, but I have an overwhelming urge to go into denial mode because there’s a day in our future I can’t even begin to think about. I’ve even told T & H we need to start a Schnauzer Slush Fund to prepare for that day, because I just don’t know if I can survive without another Wonderkin.

So, T & H walks in the door with two transformed pups – all groomed and looking dog show quality. He on the other hand looked like a man searching for something, and he was.

The right words to tell me what he had to tell me. Oh, snap.

He said, “The vet wanted to talk to me about Watson before we left. Watson has a heart murmur.”

What I felt was indescribable. No, that’s not true. I wanted to rend my clothes, sit in sackcloth and ashes, weep and gnash my teeth and then sit Shiva – and I’m not even Jewish (well, maybe a tiny bit somewhere in my ancestry).

You see this little dog has been more to me than a dog. I know everyone says that, but he really has been. He’s been my friend, my buddy, my pal, my entertainer, my protector, my encourager, my confidant, my child and my angel unaware.

I had that once before in my Ladybug – my little English Cocker Spaniel. I never thought I’d have something like that again.

But, Watson has been that and in some ways has “gone where no dog has gone before”. He’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever known in my life.

T & H and I thought we were smart when we started spelling words to keep him from knowing what we were saying. Watson was smarter when he learned what we were spelling.

If I’m sitting on the bed with my laptop working on something and the timer goes off in the kitchen, he jumps down off the bed and heads to the kitchen ahead of me.

He’s crazy about Granddad, my Daddy and will greet him at the door with such excitement – screaming and carrying on like a teenage girl at a rock concert. And, then, they scuffle.

Like any “child” Watson has had his adventures and misadventures – many I’ve recounted here in this blog.

For instance, Watson is a chocolate bandit. Yes, I know! Chocolate is bad for dogs! Try telling that to the Jack Sparrow of the Schnauzer world. He’s managed to eat my one and only remaining Godiva milk chocolate and coconut truffle – and look punch drunk satisfied, sated, happy and not one iota guilty. He’d do it again in a New York minute. And, I’ve caught him mid-bite with a brownie bite in his mouth. He did have the good common German sense to let it drop out of his mouth. It was a pitiful sight.

But, like anyone with charm and charisma – you just can’t stay upset with him very long.

He’s the perfect companion for me, a person who battles chronic illness and disability. He helps me do it with humor, style and cuddles. He senses when I’m having a really hard time and then, like I tell T & H with humor, Watson becomes like a big hairy tick attached to my side.

How do you face the absence of that in your life? Roughly.

Right now Watson’s heart is compensating for the murmur and the vet said he should be fine unless he becomes listless or starts coughing a lot. For now, he seems as right as rain. We are choosing to enjoy each day as a good day, and so far it has been.

It is because of the men in my life I have a love for dogs. My Papaw had dogs and my Daddy made sure we had dogs when we were girls. T & H brought Watson home to me when Watson was two weeks shy of his first birthday.

I could extol the many wonderful qualities of dogs. I’ve always said there’s no mistake that dog is god spelled backwards – they are His ministering angels here on Earth. But, I am finding…”Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really…”

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Daddy, dogs, Grief, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome, Watson

Out Damn’d Spot!

“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say!”  ~ Lady Macbeth, Act 5, Shakespeare ~

Feb 10 2014 copy ae edit

Look at this face! Could there be many things more adorable than this?! Innocence and sweetness oozing from those little dark windows into her soul.

Well, let me tell you something, to paraphrase Bette Davis, “Fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

I have written about the journey Tall & Handsome and I began when we rescued this little pup back in September 2012.

I am totally enamored with Miniature Schnauzers and one day we had dropped by Pet Smart to pick up some pet supplies. A local pet shelter was at Pet Smart facilitating an adoption day. I saw a forlorn and quiet BabyGirl (the name she took to and adapted as her own after she moved in with us) pushed to the side.

She was pitifully laying in a cage. The only thing that would have made it more heart wrenching would have been a Sara McLaughlin song playing in the background.

I told T & H, “Honey, that’s a little Schnauzer.”

In a really loving and sweet way he told me I was crazy and she was a Benji dog.

She came home with us that afternoon and the bumpy ride began.

We discovered right away she had been so grossly mistreated it would be a while before we would gain her trust.

And, it was a while – a REALLY long while…

We discovered she had these little switches that turn on and off earning her the title “RainGirl zipped up in a dog suit.” Yes, a little canine Dustin Hoffman.

I was slightly vindicated after her first grooming, because, abracadabra, there was a Miniature Schnauzer!

baby-girl-went-to-the-beauty-shop_thumb.jpg

She began to really take to me and “mark” on me. I was becoming her person. You have not lived until your adoring dog follows you to the bathroom EVERY time and sits and looks at you adoringly while you take care of business.

It can be slightly unnerving…

BabyGirl made it obvious she was not overly fond of men. But, she had just began to warm up to Tall & Handsome when one day he was walking her in the back yard and he bent down to pet her on the head.

Saying she spazzed out would be an understatement. It was back to square one for those two, and it’s still tenuous to this day.

She is getting better and we see many improvements.

But, sometime back we began to notice she was emitting this odor. When I say odor, I mean ODOR. Like in Shakespearean portions.

The kind that would drop a herd of cattle dead in their tracks.

We knew she emitted this funky odor when she was frightened – we called it skunk juice and wondered if she was part skunk – I know, I know – I told you it was a bumpy ride.

But, this was different. It NEVER went away. We could have her groomed, we could bathe her ourselves and the pall of that stench hovered over her.

We felt like Lady Macbeth, but instead of “Out d*mn spot” it was “Out d*mn stench”!

Then in late February she went in for a routine grooming and when we picked her up they told us they were running a special on dental cleaning and BabyGirl REALLY needed her teeth cleaned. So we scheduled it for March 10th.

Well, fasten that seatbelt! When T & H picked up BabyGirl they told him they had to pull seventeen (17) teeth! Yes, that’s correct 17 teeth were pulled.

Just like in humans, bad teeth can cause dogs a lot of problems. In BabyGirl’s case they said it could be genetics, lack of proper nutrition when she was young or any number of things that could have happened to set things in motion before we adopted her.

Unlike humans, the missing 17 teeth will not and has not affected her desired to eat. She still revels in the “room of food” also know as the pantry where their food bowls and water bowls await them (her and Watson the Wonderkin) daily and they each get treats and biscuits designed to promoted dental health.

So, FYI, if your furbaby ever starts smelling like one of the Walking Dead, and you feel yourself going Shakespearean – get the vet to check their teeth out. There may be something rotten in, well, doggie land.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Animals, Babygirl, Dental Care for Dogs, dogs, Life, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Tall & Handsome

Provide Them with Food, Water, Shelter and Affection and They Will Think You are god, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Owners of dogs will have noticed, that if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god.”  ~ Christopher Hitchens ~

Babygirl, Watson and the Snow

We’ve had Babygirl now for about a year and a half. And it has been 18 months on one big learning curve full of ups, downs, curly-cues and banana peels – as in Three Stooges slap stick – wooo, wooo, wooo banana peels.

Just to refresh your mind – Babygirl is the adorably cute and photogenic Miniature Schnauzer in the above picture. Her “brother” Watson, our first Schnauzer is standing behind her at the bottom of the steps on the driveway.

Let me tell you – these two little dogs are as different as they look – like night and day.

I laugh every time I look at this picture because Babygirl looks like a WWE wanna be wrestler. And that’s, so far from who she is. She is still so skittish even after 18 months we find it unbelievable. She’s almost afraid of her shadow.

In the picture she actually has snow caught all up in her beard making her look a little menacing, but she’s not. We’ve had two snow events here in Alabama within two weeks of each other in late January and February and during that time Babygirl discovered she was a snow gourmand.

Babygirl and her smorgsborgd

Babygirl at her smordgasbord

Yes, you are seeing exactly what you think you are – Babygirl is “brunching” off the snow that covered our outdoor firepit. How convenient for her it was at the perfect level – mouth level.

She has come far in the 18 months she’s been part of the Burch family. Her little tail spends most of its happy little time up and not plastered to her backside in fear or displeasure. She happily avails herself to the food and water bowls – and Watson’s, too. As a result she has filled out and when she trots around the house she has a little diva sway in her walk. She is quite fond of treats, too. Marshmallow is a very special word in our house – it causes spasms of excitement – who would have “thunk it”?

But, as far as Tall & Handsome goes – well, the jury is still out on that one. We can all be up on the bed in the evening before our fur babies have to go to their “condos” (crates) for bedtime. T & H and I will be watching a little TV, reading or spending some time on the computer. Watson has no problem whatsoever establishing his rightful place, which is usually between T & H and myself. Babygirl usually lays at the foot of the bed down by my feet.

Should T & H get up and walk around to her side of the bed or room, Babygirl gets up and moves to the head of the bed next to me. When T & H nears her “personal space” it’s like a giant asteroid is hurtling towards Earth – a major red-code-get-out-of-the-way-emergency.

We still would like to meet the guy or guys in a dark alley who abused this little dog and made her so fearful of men. There isn’t anyone one Earth who has a softer heart for animals than my T & H.

Babygirl still has a few other issues that discombobulate us from time to time. Take for instance her ability to jump up on the bed. She learned in no time flat – like a high speed race car going from zero to 60 in three seconds.

Then one day a switch went off in that little mind of hers and ZAP, she no longer could do it anymore. A few days later the switched tripped again and ZAP she was hopping up on the bed again. About two weeks later ZAP – yep, you got it she started riding the short bus on how to get up on Momma’s bed. I am now her enabler and the ONLY way she will get on the bed.

And, then there’s that digestion thing. For such a dainty, girly looking little thing, this little dog could blow the walls down burping.

You have not lived until a dog jumps up, looks deeply and adoringly into your eyes and then burps. You can hear her across the house. It rocks your world – not… We won’t talk about those methane emission either or the fact that if T & H needs to pick her up for some emergency reason she emits some funky fear pheromone that rivals the best bloodhound or skunk. It is so odoriferous it strikes fear in the heart of a grown man…my grown man in particular.

She still gets rattled suddenly and will do that “running in place, getting traction, trying to get away thing” when startled. After 18 months of peaceful living you would think that would have stopped. Nope, not so far, but, there is less of it.

And, there is progress. T & H says quite often, “Honey you saved that little dog and she knows it. She is your dog. She adores you. She is a one person dog.”

I don’t really know what to say because T & H is such an animal person. Babygirl doesn’t know what she’s missing out on by being a “daddy’s girl”.

But, he is right. She is my dog. She follows me everywhere and I do mean EVERYWHERE. Let me tell you, life is not complete until you sit down on a toilet – even to just rub foot cream on your feet, and a little brown eyed dog pops up beside you and stares lovingly and adoringly into your eyes. Sometimes I’m like, “Really, Babygirl, you want to do this NOW?!”

She has gain courage in her quest to go where I am. Therefore she learned to trek up and down the stairs so she could go to the quilt room with me.

Courage, one step at a time. That’s all it will take and who knows where she will be 18 more months from now. But, I do know one thing. What Christopher Hitchens said is true. I have fed her, watered her, sheltered her and given her love and affection and when she looks at me I can see I am her everything – for lack of a better word – her god, her provider. (T & H does the same thing and hopefully one day she will see this in him, too, and not continue to unjustly reject him – hummm – what a word picture we have here.)

It made me think – about the word pictures. Where do we look for our needs, concerns and worries? Do we look up? Or are we on a hamster wheel spinning, spinning, spinning wearing ourselves out? We do have Someone to look up to, also.

Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’ ~ Matt. 6:26 ~ NIV

© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


 

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Filed under Babygirl, dogs, Matt 6:26, Miniature Schnauzer, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, Snow, Snow in AL, Watson