Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Day in the Life as Millie's Mom

Imagine my surprise as I am vacuuming my kitchen today when I looked up to see this....dripping, wet mud prints all over my floor. I'm just glad I hadn't gotten around to mopping yet (well, wasn't even planning to mop until...)

Not sure why it even surprises me anymore. Notice the mud-stained towels drying in the background. We've gone through about 10 this week. Millie has more towels than Brent and I combined!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not Quite Grown Up Yet

OK, so I spoke too soon yesterday when I said that Millie was all grown up. She is in fact 10-months old on this date, but has managed more than once today to prove to me that she has not yet outgrown her puppy ways.

Case-in-point #1: Still Muddy

I took these pictures after the THIRD time I cleaned her up today from getting in the mud. The pictures do not do justice to the amount of mud caked onto her legs. We barely even have any mud in our back yard right now (Brent filled the one big hole we do have in the yard and installed temporary fencing around it to keep you-know-who out of it), but Millie managed to not only find other mud, but also to get it all over her. Three times. All I can say is thank God for the water hose and her loving to be sprayed down by it. Otherwise, I'd have red clay all over my house (more so than I already do). No towel alone could ever remove that Georgia red clay from her thick white fur.

Case-in-Point #2: Damn Puppy Teeth

The past few weeks, she has definitely re-entered a heavy chewing phase. Not that it ever went away to begin with, but it had gotten a little better. I've tried to keep her gnawing at bay by giving her lots of rawhides and toys. Still, she prefers things that cost much, much more money than that. Like, for example, my glasses. Mind you, this is pair #2 that she has demolished. The good news it that I think I salvaged the lenses, so hopefully I will only have to pay for new frames. And, since she ate my last pair, I was smart enough when I purchased these (one month ago, by the way) to buy the cheapest frames they had. Insurance won't pay for them this time though, so it's "real" money now. Which leads me to case-in-point #3....

Case-in-Point #3: Time-Out for Bad Behavior

When she outgrew her crate, we knew we still needed a safe place for her to stay when we were not home. Safe for her and safe for us (see Case-in-Point #2). So, Brent built a custom gate (we haven't stained it yet) and we made our laundry room her new "kennel." Fortunately for her, she is rarely in it because I'm almost always home and she has proven (so far) that she can behave during the night and sleep in her dog bed next to our bed without causing too much damage throughout the house. But, on occasions like today when she cannot seem to behave herself, it serves as her Time-Out zone. I put her in there after discovering the eye glasses incident, and the fact that, afterward, she could not tell by my tone that she was in trouble and tried a variety of other tactics like biting me, jumping on the couch and harassing Bailey. That behavior landed her in time-out, where she still sits as I type. Mind you, her kennel is complete with big fluffy bed, a handful of toys and a giant bowl of water, so she is not suffering too badly. But, every few minutes I am hearing the miserable groan of her wanting to be out. Hopefully that is the sound of her internalizing her bad behavior and vowing to never do it again.

I know, fat chance.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

When we took Bailey in for her annual shots last month, our vet told us many things we already knew. The main thing was that the tumor he removed just last year from the inside flap of her ear (which tested positive for cancer at the time-but no spreading) had returned...three times the size.

For us, there was no question on whether or not it had to come off again. Mainly because, well, let's just leave it at the tumor was super yuck and causing even more super yuck issues in her inner ear as far as cleanliness and odor goes. Left alone, it would continue to grow and potentially spread to the rest of her body. And continue to create more super yuck.

Our vet has performed countless surgeries on Bailey and her tumors, so he knew that, despite her age, she was a good responder to anesthesia, had never had adverse reactions or any trouble waking up. So, we all agreed to proceed with the surgery. The unfortunate part was in order to get the needed full-centimeter of clean tissue around the tumor, he would have to cut out part of her ear.

Like most dogs, especially Basset Hounds, Bailey is not vain. Cut out a part of her ear? No problem. For us, we were a little more concerned about that aspect-- her infamous shorter-than-average but still perfect to us Basset Hound ears might now be lopsided. But, with her health taking priority over her looks, we quickly put our vanity aside and never thought twice about having it done. We had no idea what to expect when she emerged from the surgery. My thoughts immediately went to an Easter card someone once gave me:

Would that be our Bailey?

Fortunately, her story ends happier than that of the chocolate bunnies. She has a small sliver of her ear cut out, but it is in the back part and it folds over naturally, so if you did not know, you couldn't tell.

And yes, she can still hear us just fine. And the rattling of any paper, and the sound of the pantry opening and the sound of Millie trying to sneak her food. So, we are all good!

From Little Pup to Grown Up

Last week, while Millie was taking a break from chasing birds, terrorizing Bailey and digging holes in my backyard, I thought she looked really cute guarding her coveted cupcake toy (like she ever doesn't look cute to me), so I took her picture. When I was loading the photos into my computer, I couldn't help but notice I had taken a similar picture in the same spot back in January, about seven months ago. My how she has grown! In my mind, she is still that little 12-pounder, even though now she is topping out near 60 lbs.

She turns 10-months old tomorrow--it's crazy to think she is almost one already. Time flies!