Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yesterday, as I was driving with Krissy and Chris, Happy, Bogie and Tulip, to walk in the park, I started telling them the story of the Crying Dishwasher's dog named Rajah who lived with them for fifteen years. The story is on his blog, but the gist of it is that when they picked up the dog at what I presume was a pound, they were told that he had a little problem -- leaping a ten foot fence every night and reappearing on the doorstep in the morning. When they got him home, they left him inside to go get dog food and he was gone when they got back, having torn a hole in the screen. As the Dishwasher put it, he lived his life not being contained. I think it's a great story of a family who was owned by this adventuresome dog...and there's a nice photo of the very alert Rajah who looks the tiniest bit like Happy, Krissy's dog, who they found somewhere on the streets of L.A. The look of a dog who knows what it wants...

Of course K & C both said -- here you go again, telling us a morbid story. The dog died! 

Well, yes, but the dog lived sixteen years! Fifteen with the Dishwasher. A good life for Rajah.

Maybe I told it because of Lolly, Chris's dog, who is almost nineteen, a Staffordshire terrier who doesn't do much now except sleep and pee on newspapers and lie in comfort under covers, her big head with a black patch across one eye sticking out. She is covered with pink bumps and lumps, her eyes are getting glassy, she's hard of hearing and much adored.

Anyway, my telling the story of Rajah prompted them to talk about finding Ella on 9/11, a wreck of a dog that had crawled into a slight incline by the road and was, it seemed, preparing to die. Chris went to get the car and Krissy stayed with her. They took her to the vet who said -- well, if she lives through the night....   And she did. 

They had her for three years, three months and some number of days. She already had cancer when they got her, nothing to be done about that, and she leaked for all that time. Krissy washed the sheets every day. But the dog got them and they got the dog, who fit in perfectly with Lolly and with Krissy's dog, Pacco, who had been rescued from a dumpster in an L.A. studio.

Pacco was his own story with Krissy going to great lengths to  keep him way beyond the time he should have gone. Love of her life.

And there's Happy who should be a lesson to us all on how to get what you want by insisting, sticking your nose in and pushing. I wish I was up for a role model, but it's too late for me to follow her lead. My habits are established, but I do admire her persistence. What's interesting is that she's smart, so I can train her to follow me up the stairs and not push all the other dogs out of the way. As long as Krissy isn't around. Krissy let's her do anything and it's very funny to watch Happy pull her on the leash as they race across the park after a squirrel. Sometimes Happy runs free, races back and forth, totally happy in spite of a heart murmur she supposedly has. She's fast as lightening on short, squat legs, maybe part Jack Russell.

I'd just received an email from Joy, who runs the animal rescue place where I got Tulip this early summer. I'd e-mailed her a couple of photos and, in her reply, she mentioned that Tulip had been a mass of knotted hair, was unable to walk, skin and bones when they got her. They had to sedate her to shave her down so they could see what kind of dog she was. That explains why she won't let me trim her bangs and why she bit my finger the one time I tried.

Anyway, I also told K&C about the NPR program I heard, an interview with the guy from the New York Times who has done the investigative work about water, the environment, and why it's important to filter tap water. I haven't been following the series, but there's one more large article to go and then, I suppose, it will be a book. But the reason a person should filter tap water which is, possibly, fine to drink has to do with the fact that the chlorination process leaves a bi-product that causes bladder cancer in a small number of peopler. I also wanted to put in a plug for the fact that bottled water isn't necessarily pure so stop buying it cause all those bottles are just going into the landfill or floating around in the ocean and that's an avoidable shame. So, they said -- oh, no, another horrible story. Is there going to be a third? You can't go beyond that. 

So, the addition to this story is that today, when Krissy and Chris went for a walk, they found a filthy little male Shih Tzu with a sore, pink rear, brought it back, washed it upstairs here and then showed me their prize when I got back. He's adorable, even wet and worn. And he's tempting. But they put an ad on Craig's List and someone is coming over to meet him tomorrow who can afford to take him to the vet, have him altered and cured. But, oh, he's such an easy little dog, smaller than Bogie, love of my life, pale gray and white, with that same calm disposition and he allows himself to be bathed and touched. 

Tulip, I hope you're reading this!

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