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Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Thunder and lightning is frightening oh my!
Last night we were fast asleep and then about 2am...POOOWWW! We must have jumped a foot out of the bed, but mom and Betty went back to sleep—or so they wished. This storm crept up on me as I sense a storm even before it gets to this state! So I started pacing and panting and shivering like I always do during storms. Everytime there was a flash of lightning, I tried to get close to mom, but she pushed me off the bed. "Go away," she said. "If I want to be in a vibrating bed, I'll go to a cheap motel." She sounded so angry at me. She does this tough love thing with me. She doesn't sit there beside me and hover over, rub me, and tell me it's going to be okay. She knows that only reinforces my craziness, or so she says. So she leaves me alone during a thunderstorm to stand there and be miserable. It's so unfair. She showers me with love at other times. I guess because I'm being "good" at other times. But when I'm afraid, why can't she hold me and tell me it will be okay? "I've tried that Cali," she says, "but it really doesn't help you understand. I want to praise you for your good behavior." I say, "I'm upset and worried, I can't help it." I want to add, "Ms. psychologist dog behaviorist answer me that!" But I could never say that to her.

She got up and turned on the light and Betty was lying in the middle of the bed out of it. Mom was grumbling as she tried to make a cushy place for me on the floor, but it didn't work. Then she went downstairs to the kitchen and I was all in between her legs and that made her even more angry. Betty got up and followed us downstairs, she gets away with being under mom's feet even if mom trips and falls over her, she laughs it off and says, "Watch out little Betty." Geez. Then Miles comes out of his pimped up crate downstairs with a big dog bed shoved inside. He should have his name in gold-plated letters over the entrance. Poor guy, he was suffering from birthday hangover and wondered what the heck was going on. Once in the kitchen she pulled out the magic little pill box. Last year she took me to the vet during a regular checkup and talked to him about my storm problem. He said that he had a magic little pill that would calm my anxiety and make me be good so that I can somehow show myself that I can be good during a storm and then mom can pet me. Fuzzy logic at first, but it does work. He said to give it to me 30 minutes before a storm hits, she does, and it does calm me down. I don't shiver, pant, and whine. I actually do manage to sit still so that mom can enjoy the storm and me. Last night though, she didn't care about timing. When we got to the kitchen, she popped that white pill into half a hotdog bun and I swallowed it whole.

We went back upstairs and she brought another dog bed up with her and told me to lie on that. She went back to sleep, and I got out of my bed and snuck over to hers so that I could be closer and I was very still. She somehow sensed that I was near and put her hand on me to see if I was okay since I was being calm. Or maybe because I was being good.

Sweet dreams,

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Gee, I'm three!
Na na na na na na na na today is my birthday! Mom had a lot of errands to run today and she left the little monster sister of mine AT HOME! She left Cali and Cookie too. Usually I'm the zookeeper and get the run of the house when she's gone, but today she held the door open for me, and I looked at her like "whaaa?" She had to say "come on, I want to go now!" I was out the door making a run for her car waiting for her. She asked me to come back so she could put my spike collar on. It's not really a spike collar since the spikes are glow-in-the-dark rubber cone things on a black rubber strap, so it enhances my bulliness in a cute and playful way, much like myself.

She took me into one of her favorite stores—Lowes. In fact, I went to two different locations. We went to one shopping plaza with a Lowes and I went into that one. Girls looked at me and smiled. Then we went to McDonalds and she let me have some fries and even some of her chicken sandwich. I take it so softly she said. She even said I was "perfect". She told me that she has a friend who has asked mom, "how can she live with such perfection?" Awww shucks this boy man says. So anyway, after we had driven out of the shopping center, she said she'd forgotten something, but we'd go to another Lowes closer to our destination. So later on we arrived at the other store and mom was looking for a fan because it's been hot lately. There were a couple of employees standing around a shopping cart, and the lady told mom to put me in the cart. I was like a dancing baby in a crib while everyone was looking down at me and smiling. I did my best dance and when mom said that I can make strange alien sounds, I performed some of those too. People do love me. I'm just cute is as cute does my mom says.

Then when I got back home, dad came in with the McDonalds bag—four hamburgers! I think I might have gotten one and a half. And mom teased him again about eating the pickles that rub next to the meat and he's a vegetarian! Now I'm stuffed and lying flat out on the floor with my plastic bone-in Tbone steak—a favorite. That and the white tube one with gook in it.

Until next post,
Miles ^..^

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Friday, June 18, 2010
Press the panic button
I have to admit I get so many privileges (like asking Google how to spell that word). I get to be on mom's lap a lot. I get a bunch of treats (but I know that she makes them really small so that I think she's giving me a bunch of them). She lets me do so many things with her. I even get to see if she's drinking a chardonnay or a moscato. Almost everytime mom gets in the car, I get to go too. I even get to go inside some of the places that she goes, like the bank. I put on my best show. I wriggle around and do my cashew dance. If you look really closely you can see my nub for a tail move. I pop my ears back and forth, close my mouth tight so that my cheeks get fat, and when I'm looking my most adorable during my "look at me" dance, I play keep-away. When someone tries to bend over to touch me, I run to my mom's leg and stand up pleading to her with my sad eyes to pick me up. I break mom's heart over and over with my sad face as I softly grip her legs with my paws. I have velcro-itis. When people do manage to catch me and pick me up, my ears go into a strange position—not backwards or forwards—but to the side, the fear in my eyes is gut-wrenching, my teeth are clenched tight, and my whole body freezes. All I can do is look for mom. It bothers her to see me so stressed. But I know mom loves it that I'm just her little monster.

The other day mom was getting ready to get in the car and go on errands. She left me in the car. She said she'd be right back, but I guess I lost my hearing during my panic attack. She left the keys in the seat. I noticed on the keychain is a black thing with buttons, one being a red panic button. So after a few minutes of desperately waiting for her to get back to the car, I pushed that button because I was panicking, so I figured that was the time to press that button. Whoa. That sound made mom move faster than Cookie running with something in her mouth she's not allowed to have. It worked. She was back to the car—and me—in no time. I'll have to remember that trick even though I didn't realize at the time the power of that button. Which proves that I truly am mom's little monster.

What ways have you learned to get your human's immediate attention?

Until next post, don't panic.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010
Pet therapy
Several weeks ago in May, mom had gone to North Carolina because her dad was in the hospital. He was very sick, so mom flew down to be by his side. Everyday we would email her a photo of us to lift her spirits. All of us sent her a photo that we thought would make her smile, and we captioned the photos with something clever because that really makes her laugh. In one photo (left), Betty was asleep in a big dog bed we call "the Foof" which is really a human thing...but we see it as the biggest, tallest, coolest dog bed in the world. So she was all curled up like a donut in it and we labeled it: "Do-nut disturb". You can hardly see me on the left.

That time she was gone for a week and we missed her. Betty even got to go to work (see previous post) and she had her very own photographer taking pics of her commuting to work, riding in the elevator: "Third floor please", and sitting in a chair at a barbeque joint with a co-worker sharing lunch. We think these cheer-up methods brightened her day after she had spent several hours with her dad. She would write back to us saying how her dad held her hand so tight that it turned blue, or how he smiled at her, or how he tried to say something to make her giggle like old times. We like to think we do the same for her in a small way. We lie on her legs and feet, or arms, and she moves us because she says we "cut off her circulation". We know we make her giggle. And we smile at her too.

On Sunday, June 6, mom received a phone call early in the morning. I was cozied up to mom, Betty was on her chest, Cali was on the Foof, and Cookie was on the couch. We all sensed the silent storm approach. The telephone rang with its thunder, and with it brought the rain of tears to her face. We were in the space between strange dreams and being fully awake, just like her. When the phone rang none of us had that groggy look. Not one of us. We always sense a storm, even the silent ones. When a real thunderstorm approaches, mom gives Cali a little pill to ease her anxiety. All we could do was look up at her with our sad faces. After she made the travel arrangements on the phone, she disappeared into the basement and looked through hundreds of photos and put some of them in a pile. Betty is the only one brave enough to venture down those stairs and she watched her look through a box and another bag of photos, and then another box. She put those selected photos in a folder and came back upstairs to be with us. Later she went through another box and put those photos in the same folder. We all sat by her. Then she went upstairs to pack her bag. We got nervous that she would be leaving us. When the suitcase was at the door, we knew she was going away again. 

A few days later mom called our dad. We heard him say, "don't worry, I'll figure everything out". Several days later he came home in a very blue car instead of the red truck, and we were a bit confused. The next morning he brought his suitcase out and then we really got nervous! He packed up the car and then put a collar and leash around my neck and did the same to Betty. We were going to see mom! I asked if Cali and Cookie could come and he said that a friend would be over later in the day to take care of them. We were relieved. We drove all day. We arrived down South that night and mom greeted us at the door! Those three girls I get to see from time to time were there too. That night we slept in her lap as she wrote a letter on her laptop and finished a really nice photo album with some of those same photos in it.

We didn't see mom much the next day. She would dress up and leave and we'd stay in her old bedroom for a couple hours, then she'd come back and let us go outside. Then she would change clothes and leave us again. Even though we didn't see her much during the short time we were visiting her, we were with her for a reason—for support. When she looked at us and smiled or held us tight for a few minutes, we could see her sadness melt away for those few minutes. 

Later that day, we saw them both packing up and filling the car full to the point we didn't know if we'd fit. We were traveling again and this time back North. You can see that Betty got to ride shotgun with mom. Once we got back to our house, I made sure I let mom know where Cali was and Cookie too. That night and all the next day, Cookie was very clingy to mom. Cookie knew somehow that mom was sad. We can sense things you know. Our job is never done.

To dads here and gone, happy Father's Day
Miles ^..^

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is a site dedicated to the memory of a special chocolate lab whose nickname was "chocolate peanut"...and now we (2 frenchies and 2 shorthairs) carry on her spirit of grabbing life by the paws...check in on us often as we have a lot to say

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