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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: US
Current location: retired to MidWest
Member since: Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:15 PM
Number of posts: 5,949

About Me

Still an ardent Irish-American Catholic damnYankee Yellow Dog Democrat socialist after all these years. (cue Simon music) Army brat and wife for many years, now have been on the loose far longer than I was married. After my two red chows died, I took in a mini-beagle cross that I named Molly Maguire, thinking she might need a good Irish name like my original real one. Later she got a baby sister, a smooth-coat JRT I named Brigid after the greatest of the ancient Celtic goddesses. My great-grandfather and his son fought for Michael Collins and barely made it out of Ireland one step ahead of John Bull. They slipped over to Wales for new identities and then forward to the States for a fresh start. That makes me second generation of illegal but certainly justified immigrants. There are precious few people to whose defense I fly immediately, but the list includes Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama even when I disagree with him - it happens! - and living Irish patriots Gerry Adams and Martin \\\'Mind Your Kneecaps\\\' McGuiness. I pray earnestly for a united and free Ireland rescued from all official British occupation, with every square inch of alleged \\\'ancestral lands\\\' now held immorally and illegally by the invaders returned to the rightful owners. Irish-only rule for Ireland. No foreign masters anymore! I find it passing strange when Brits chide ME about \'interfering\' in Irish politics!

Journal Archives


While I appreciate your compliments, I know I'm not doing anything you wouldn't do yourselves under similar circumstances and some of you could probably do more.

Pictures will have to wait at least awhile until my Friend returns from yet another trip out of town. She's the one with the camera. Mine gave up the electronic ghost awhile ago, and since my laptop's almost 7 years old, it may not have long to 'live' either. I can (because I must) do w/o pictures easier than I can go w/o internet access. Our local library has it, of course, but they don't allow most interactive sites unless governmental because they're so worried about hacking and malware. You also have to use your alloted hour all in one piece, which poses a problem for me since I tend to dabble in short spurts as my day allows.

Last but hardly least, in this small town the local library serves as a sort of casual town hall, and people think nothing of leaning over your shoulder to see what you're doing. I understand it's considered friendly interest in this flyspeck burg, but it makes me wanna go DI (drill instructor) on them. They'll comment freely too, as if we were all around their kitchen table. At times I've wondered if I didn't die and wake up in a bowling alley on championship night, the racket's that deafening. Had no choice when I first moved here and had to wait a week to get home internet installed. Before the week was up, it had begun to dawn on people that loud debates at my elbow were disconcerting, so they started to pipe down. But even so, the last time I logged onto the library computer, no less than 5 women tiptoed up and collected in a knot behind me, which turned out to bother me more than the usual tumult. So I stood up slowly, turned to face them, and with a too-polite smile and tone of voice asked if there was anything I could do for them.

It took several heartbeats for that to sink in, but when it did they all walked away a few feet and turned back to their own business - which happened to be discussing my bad manners at a volume that would carry to the moon. Now they won't speak to me at all anywhere, most give me the stinkeye in fact. Even at church. Culture clash for real. I'm normally a very friendly and outgoing person, but I don't offer all my business for public fodder everywhere I turn. Here online, we're inviting confidences and that's totally different.

Anyway, it amounts to my not having a camera at the moment and afraid to buy one until after I can replace the laptop. Sometimes it growls when I turn it on, and that can't be good. But the previous recipients of Brigid had the gall to make Friend promise to send pictures and I must report Brigid's progress to assure them she's got a good home. I'd cuss a little in Irish about that, considering the near-dead condition in which she arrived, except I'm scared someone might translate it for Skinner and then he'd rightfully be after MY skin! Molly Maguire and Brigid need momma too much for her to indulge herself that way, so she'll keep her mouth mostly shut.

We're having 2 snowstorms here back to back, and Brigid refuses indoor pottying, so out we still have to go every 2 hours except at night. The snow's so deep now that I started to shovel a path along the previously dog-approved potty trails so she can stand it. She goes out wrapped up so thoroughly that she hardly looks like a dog at all. And don't anyone worry - I tell her several times a day that she's a Democrat dog just like Molly, so she'll know which way to vote if we ever move to Chicago. Would you believe a lot of people here don't find that idea funny?

You should try raising a half-bobcat kitten

I used to want a margay until we got Sawbuck. He was a wonderful pet but still had a wild streak. We all had wonderful posture because you could never tell when he might jump on top of your head for a ride. If his perch wobbled at all, he'd dig in his claws. He loved to sleep on top of the refrigerator, and no matter where you chose to eat, you'd better keep an eye on your food. Sawbuck would snatch it and run even if you'd fed him to the gills a few minutes earlier. If it belonged to someone else, it was fair game. And shut him in a separate room while you tried to eat? Fergeddaboutit! Couldn't stay mad at him, though; he was too affectionate and even got along with the dogs.

Six weeks old when we brought him home, he bumped against the dobie's jaws several times to teach him how to carry him. The first time I saw those huge jaws open and enclose Sawbuck's head, my heart nearly stopped. But that continued for several months until the kitten no longer wanted the favor.

Incidentally, we picked up Swee'Pea on the highway near a military base. Several other vehicles had stopped, people who seemed to know each other, but he got very angry at their approach. I bribed him with bologna and he hopped right in the car after I lay on my back on the ground and bared my throat to show him I meant no harm. He wasn't vicious natured, just scared. The notice I put in lost and found said only: 'Found. Something. If you lost it, phone xyz and identify it yourself if you want it back.'

That along with my license plate they must've seen made it fairly easy for one of those guys to find us way out in the boonies. One day soon after, a white truck with the windows rolled down came inching up my driveway. I stepped out of the house with Swee'Pea, and he ran full tilt at the truck in silent attack mode. He tried to jump through the window, but the men very quickly yelled bloody murder and rolled up all the windows. They backed up the truck with Swee'Pea (or 'Max') still trying to break in. I was afraid he might follow them to the highway, but he came back once they left. Thank goodness they never returned.

Long story short, Swee'Pea never barked. Never. He'd bump my hand and whine when he wanted something bad enough, but that was all. Finally one day he got so frustrated that he grabbed my hand in his jaws, turned it over palm up, placed his throat over my pulse point, and silently vibrated his throat muscles. That's not normal dog behavior - I realized my Swee'Pea had been trained as a jungle night patrol dog, apparently by someone he didn't like very much. This was during 'Nam. For weeks I was terrified officials might come for him, but they didn't and later I decided those guys didn't want to admit their carelessness.

Anyway - that was the dog Sawbuck taught to do a mouth carry!

First make sure...

... that it isn't ringworm. I made the mistake of reaching down to pet a cat one time, not wearing my glasses and I couldn't tell it had ringworm until too late. I thought it was just scruffy. I jerked my hand away immediately, but the damage was already done.

That said, I agree with others that the problem's likelier a skin allergy of some sort. You might try spraying the area with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. The cat won't like you for awhile, but it won't lick the wound either.

Very Interesting Reply

Another of my favorites is Joel Siverman's Dogs in the City. I loved that tv show, which of course showed that owners need more education than their pets. A shame it didn't last too long, at least not on network tv, which is all I have. But I'm sure there are related DVDs.

I don't know how long Brigid spent with her littermates in general, but at least she had her brother until yesterday. I'm told he's much taller than her, so she had no chance to turn into a bully. At least for now, I watch Molly closely with her to make sure the innocent play doesn't get too rough. Molly only outweighs Brigid by 4 times. She's starting to show dominant behavior but still not rough or dangerous, and Brigid doesn't seem upset. Both know my negative-buzzer sound means no, a word I don't like to use too much.

The most exciting misadventure of my bike riding life came when a loose blue heeler decided to practice his instincts on me as I flew down a hill. He came running up out of nowhere, grabbed my right heel, and kept trying to yank me off the coaster bike. No bad intent that I could tell, just instinct. And highly dangerous at that speed. W/O hand brakes, I had a devil of a time staying upright and stopping. When I did mange, he practically tried to jump in my lap, he was so friendly. Made me think seriously about elbow pads and a helmet in case I ever did have a wreck. I've already been dropped on my head too many times one way or another!


My apologies. I hope everyone understands how groggy I still was when trying to describe both dogs' stats. Molly Maguire does indeed weigh a trim 20 lbs but she only stands 12" at the shoulder. My eyes were still crossed from exhaustion earlier. Now after another nap and a pot of coffee, I weighed and measured Brigid herself. Very carefully this time, no estimates! She's almost 9" at the shoulder and weighs all of 3 1/2 lbs. Her hipbones stand out like a scrawny bovine's.

But after lunch and a long break outdoors, she toddled around a lot better than before. She climbed the low porch steps herself. I think I'll measure her on Sundays and weigh her every day, maybe keep a written record until I consider her in good shape. Her ear's better all the time, too. The pinkness on her muzzle and right ear (both white) has faded by at least half. I put tea tree oil drops in the ear. Betadyne works well too, but nothing beats tea tree oil.

We also passed an important social milestone. I fed both dogs lunch outdoors and kept Brigid on a leash meanwhile so she couldn't crowd Molly. But I purposely gave Molly more than usual, knowing she'd leave some. When Molly finished all she wanted, I turned Brigid loose to run scarf up the scraps. Molly just wagged her tail fondly and let her finish it all off. So if they're not going to fight over food, they're not likely to fight over much else either. When Brigid wanted to climb back in my lap, I petted her but didn't pick her up. She whimpered a little but then turned back to playing with Molly. I don't want her to think of me as her only source of love. After all she went through the first 10 weeks of life, she could easily have lifelong deep-seated neuroses, and it's part of my job to lessen that by encouraging as much canine bonding as possible. Molly will be a better doctor for her than any human could.

So we all had a lovely couple hours outdoors this afternoon (storm due tonight) and when I brought them back in and put them in the baby bed, there was little fussing. They knew they had a chunk of venison coming as a treat, and now they're snuggled together in a tight little ball, sleeping it off w/o ANY sedatives. Molly's used to a lot more free time indoors, but that would be unwise with Brigid until she's thoroughly comfortable in there with company. Molly doesn't seem to object so far, either. In a few weeks it will be used strictly for one noon nap, bedtime, and when I'm gone - which is very rare. I walk around the corner to church, and I won't even be going this week.

On Tuesdays I have a lady who drives me around on errands for 2 hours. That's when I'll buy a few bags of puppy food to substitute for the adult kibble Brigid gets now. After she fills out and quits growing, back to adult food. The additives I use all year more than make up for puppy needs, but I want Brigid to gain weight as fast as reasonable considering where she's starting from.

Did you folks know that when some of the starving prisoners were liberated from WWII concentration camps, they died from the sudden abundance of food? That's why I wanted to take it slow at first with Brigid.

Thank you

...one and all at DU for the encouragement, and mostly for the shining examples you set.


MM and I both are lucky to have Brigid. This morning I'm no longer seriously concerned about Brigid's surivival. I wound up with only about 4 hours sleep last night, but even though I'm old I'm also retired and can catch up easier than a career person. Last night Brigid woke up and hollered for another potty break, which I couldn't refuse. But with good nutrition and emotional reassurance, I'm sure she'll sleep through the night very soon. MM came from a very good home at the same age, so it was different for her. She never once got me up at night. No night terrors either.

Those eyes

... are already starting to sparkle. She's fond enough of Molly Maguire already that when they're both in the baby bed, she's stopped screaming. In fact, right now after lunch before I crash for a nap, they're both curled up together in one of the half-suitcase beds, snoring away. So I'd better finish up online and crash too before it's too late.

I have great faith

... in the power of names, especially the ancient Celtic ones. I was a tree hugger even as a child before I understood very much directly.

I imagine he is

... although Friend spared me the sight of him. She said he's bigger and takes after the boxer mom. When I first held Brigid, I could tell she doesn't weigh over 3 or 4 lbs. Since MM stands 20" tall at the shoulder, I'm guessing Brigid at maybe 14" or 12" at least. 3-4 lbs's not enough for her at 10 weeks old! After such a deprived start in life, she won't ever grow as tall as her particular genetics would've suggested. But she will fill out, I guarantee you that!

Since Brigid never puked or anything last night and her ear infection looked better this morning, I went ahead and fed her what I'd consider a half-day's ration for her weight instead of just a few bites. We all stayed outside for an hour afterwards and she seemed to be handling it okay. So this afternoon and evening each she'll get another half-day ration. I'll have scrambled eggs for dinner tonight and give them some too, along with the regular kibble and venison. Brigid was still too weak today to jump in my lap or even take the very low porch steps alone, but I bet in a few days she'll be doing both easily.

Molly Maguire's so happy to see Brigid that she runs circles around her and even leaps over her, trying to stir up a good game of chase. I'm letting Brigid off leash in the fenced yard now while I'm around, and I saw her try to stagger off and follow when Molly would run away.

In a couple weeks, weather permitting, I should be able to let them stay out for longer periods entirely w/o me. At some point I'll need a break! Gotta rest up for the spring gardening season, which keeps me outdoors a lot. By then I expect Brigid will be able to give Molly a real run for her money.
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