Friday, January 2, 2009

Of Dogs, Cats, Skimpy Tops and Falsies

(Picture left: Chance -- No Poofy dog is he!)

A new day and a new year.

I am glad to see the old one go, though on a personal level I can't complain too much.

As long as one is blessed with a roof over one's head and reasonably good health, it is a good year.

Chance came into my life this past year and the little feisty Pomeranian with the funny teeth, fierce protectiveness, excessive cockiness and cute as a button facial expressions never fails to bring a sense of amusement and fun.

Tina, my other dog has remained thankfully healthy, robust and enthusiastic despite her advancing age. (About 13.) With my human daughter now grown, married and living in Utah, the two dogs have become my "kids."

Cats too, are my constant companions. Granted, the cats I presently have were originally rescued with the hope and intent they would eventually be adopted. But, in a tough cat adoption climate where most cat seekers seem to demand kittens, long-hairs, declaws or exotics, I find that more than a year after their rescues, 12 cats are still with me.

The number is certainly more than I would like or consider comfortable and reasonable.

But, I have more or less given up hope that my present felines, charming as they are, can or will be adopted.

Though comfortable and friendly with me, most of the cats are shy and skittish around strangers, as they were originally rescued as strays. My cats consist of mostly peaceful brown tabbies, two black and white tuxedos, one semi feral orange female (Maria) and one extremely athletic and rowdy tortie (Dulce) who along with her tabby sidekick, Hillary loves getting into trouble, knocking things down and driving me crazy. Aside from those things, Dulce and Hillary are actually very sweet and affectionate kitties.

My life is a constant battle against pet hair in my apartment. I can vacuum one day and find little mountains of hair all over the place the next, particularly in the corners. I literally have to get down daily on hands and knees, like a bloodhound trying to hunt down criminals in mostly fruitless pursuit of the constant wayward hair balls.

Particularly since adding Chance, the Pomeranian to my home, has the war against pet hair become truly hopeless and unwinnable.

"Beautiful little puppy boy" may be a feast for my eyes and soul, but his long and dense hair is a nightmare in my apartment.

I think if I could somehow package and market all the hair and soft down I brush out from Chance along with that I try to grab from the floor, I could become a millionaire by providing "down" stuffing for pillows and warm winter jackets.

And indeed the dense and full coat on Chance must be incredibly warm!

No sooner did the clock ring in the new year when I took Tina (and now) Chance to Central Park for the annual "New Year's Midnight Run."

Though the event is intended for those die hard runners who shun Times Square in favor of a moonlit run in the park on the big night, I have made it an annual event for the dogs and me.

No, we don't run with the human pack, (since I am not a runner and the event doesn't welcome dogs), but the fact there are people in the park at that hour, along with a small fireworks display makes this a fun event every year.

Of course this year the temperature was a very brisk (to say the least) 17 degrees with zero wind chills. A thin layer of ice covered the now very sparse grass.

But, you wouldn't know any of that by watching Chance and his girlfriend Tina run in the park like it was the most glorious Springtime day!

I don't allow Tina off her retractable leash at night because of her penchant and fascination for wanting to seek out and chase raccoons. (I never claimed Tina was particularly smart.) But, Chance (lacking "herding" or hunting instincts) simply loves to run for its own sake and is very good about staying reasonably close to me and coming when called.

And boy, does this (supposedly) "ten-year-old" Pomeranian love to hop and speed like a bunny rabbit! Who says Pomeranians are "powder puff" or poofy little dogs who can't compete with the best marathoners or get their paws dirty?

He may look "poofy" but Chance is actually quite the rugged and athletic little dog!

He's also quite the "guard dog," too. So much so, he would put most Rottweilers and German Shepherds to shame.

A few days ago the doorbell rang. It was the mailman delivering my daughter's belated Christmas present to me.

Furiously barking, Chance ran to the door and was all set to do battle with whoever dared to enter!

Blocking Chance from bolting into the hallway and attacking the mailman, I carefully opened the door.

"Package for you, Ma'am" the postal worker uttered fearfully, while hastily handing off the package to me.

A few minutes later, I anxiously opened the package to discover a bunch of items from "Victoria's Secret." Two very skimpy little tops and a whole bunch of small pads to be placed inside bras (I think they were called "falsies" in the past).

Hm, what is my daughter saying to me? I wondered. That I need breast implants? Or that I need to dress more like Britney Spears?

The whole thing was quite perplexing. I was suddenly feeling very self conscious about my 34 B bust measurement.

Apparently, I wasn't "measuring up" in my daughter's eyes. -- That, and she thinks I dress too much like an old lady. Hm, how am I going to squeeze into these doll size, little skimpy tops?

Just then, Chance started to once again go ballistic. He ran to the door barking like the banshee from hell.

It was the mailman again.

"I think I gave you the wrong package."

"Oh gosh, I already opened it. Give me a minute to put the stuff back."

I hurriedly shoved all the falsies and skimpy tops back into the package, opened the door and quickly exchanged with the terrified mailman.

A young and very petite oriental neighbor stood at the top of the stairs with an anxious and embarrassed look on her face.

Equally embarrassed, I apologized and then slunk back into my apartment to open what were more appropriate gifts from my daughter: A cooking pan to cook in and a sapphire bracelet to look pretty in.

As for the falsies and skimpy tops? Hm, I'm wondering if it was Chance who wanted me to have those? (He certainly acted like it!) Hm, what's the little poofy dog trying to say to me?

I think 2009 is going to be an OK -- or even good year! -- PCA



Anonymous said...

Hey Patty - Happy New Year.
Have you tried the "Furminator" brush? I got one for my cat and dog - they are pricey - about $40. Using it every other day, especially on my cat, has almost reduced the amount of hair in my house. It is a miracle brush.

skdean53 said...

I second the "Furminator" suggestion--with 2 Lab shedding-machines, 4 resident cats (Sabrina, my one-eyed foster, has yet to be adopted after months in foster with me and seems that she will become my fourth permanent cat) and a seemingly endless stream of foster cats, the battle with pet hair is one I also battle daily. I have Furminators in all 3 sizes. Mine were bought at a discount from the shelter where I am a volunteer, but they can also be found on e-bay and some other websites at discounted prices. There is a similar product, I believe made by Bamboo called the FurBuster which is similar and much less expensive, available at Wal-Mart and Target. I don't think it works quite as well, but it does help keep shedding down, and animals seem to tolerate it pretty well. (A hint--do your first session outdoors--I got a full garbage-can of hair off my 2 dogs the first time)!! After the initial de-shedding, a weekly or semi-weekly brushing makes a huge difference.

And enjoy your new cooking pan and bracelet!! The unexpected "gift-exchange" could prove to be an icebreaker with your neighbor, and one you can laugh about for a long time to come!

Best wishes to you for a healthy and happy New Year. I also hope and pray for all of us in shelter/rescue that 2009 shows some progress toward stemming the flow of unwanted animals so that some day the services that we provide will no longer be necessary.

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