Category Archives: Pets

Il gattino di Kahuku

Frankie-1

The composer and diva.

Frankie is composing an opera, Il gattino di Kahuku and is in a ferment of constant creation and rehearsal. First thing in the morning, she works on “Sto morendo di fame.” She experimented with the key and has settled on Squall Major. This is followed by the recitative “Mi elevare ora,” staccato con sentimento, accompanied by acrobatics which always bring down the house. In fact, this morning she experimented with hooking her claws into my shorts as I was trying to put them on, which certainly brought down the pants. This may not make it to the finished work.

The opening aria.

The opening aria. Note the pathos.

She then leads the rest of the cast in the Breakfast Chorus. The big dog, as always, maintains a dignified silence (that is, a basso so profundo that it is beneath the range of human hearing); the small dog, our alto, cavorts on her back legs, performing amazing backwards jetés, and the boy cat, the tenor, leaps onto the kitchen counter, is grabbed and thrown off, leaps again, is thrown again. All this time Frankie leads the company in “Miao miao adesso” or, in the small dog’s case, “Yip yip adesso,” come un rondo.

Basso and soprano in Act

Basso and soprano prepare for Act 2

Act Two is a true innovation in opera, as it is entirely in mime. The cast weaves along the floor, barely avoiding each other. The big dog collapses first, on the floor under the computer desk. The small dog makes sure Frankie has cleaned her plate, then stretches out on the big dog’s bed. The boy cat disappears and Frankie, after running from my shoulder to the keyboard and back again, curls up in the in-tray and falls asleep.

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Triumphant conclusion to Act Two.

After a few hours Frankie rises to perform “Gioca con me,” insistentemente esigenti, directed to the rest of the cast, turn and turn about. Eventually the boy cat knocks her over, holds her down, and performs acts of cleansing upon her best left to the imagination and not to the operatic stage.

The scene for which the opera was banned in Boston.

The scene for which the opera was banned in Boston.

She takes them stoically, like the classical heroine that she is. She makes her escape and reprises the opening aria as “Ora sono morti di fame,” frenetica ad alta voce.

Our tenor.

Our tenor

The fourth and final act commences with yet another reprise of the opening aria, this time reconfigured as “Sto davvero morendo di fame,” staccato e bellicoso, followed by another round, “Anch’io,” from the rest of the cast. The tenor then takes center stage to perform “Muoio, muoio di disattenzione,” while the soprano weeps. The tenor moves offstage sadly, and our splendid diva commands the stage for the denouement. She performs the aria “Filato giocattolo piede palla di punta” dancing piqué allegro before finding a nearby basket of yarn and diving face-down into it. The applause is tremendous.

All in all, a most satisfying operatic experience. This critic is advised that the work itself mutates slightly from day to day, so multiple viewings are recommended.

The Continuing Adventure of Cricket the Small

1/16/2015

So this walked into the house tonight via the cat door, all maybe 6 from Galaxy6 419 pounds of her. Off to the vet tomorrow to see if she’s chipped. So far the cats don’t like her and neither does the dog, but she seems grateful for a warm place to sleep.

 

1/17from Galaxy6 430

After the bath. I think I like this dog, and Peggy does too.

1/19

I put a “Found Pet” notice at Craigslist and have received one reply, but am still waiting for that party to offer proof that the dog is hers. We shall see. Other than that, nothing.

1/21

We saw the vet this morning. The dog weighs just under 6 lbs. and may not be pregnant, but just malnourished. No parasites in the poo. Bloodwork being done.

I also learned that I can call the local Humane Society and put in a “Found Dog” notice. I did that, sent them a photo, and let them know that I would foster her and, if nobody legit claims her, I want to adopt her. If someone legit does claim her, they have to pay me back the $200+ I just laid out at the vet’s for the visit, meds, blood work, etc., plus boarding charges while she’s with me. That should weed out the non-serious claimants. I have the feeling that nobody’s going to claim her.

I broke down and named her. She’s Cricket. She and Abby are curled up, touching, on the indoor dog bed. Life’s good.

1/21

If any of you have an in with St. Francis, I’d appreciate any petitions in behalf of my little Cricket, who lost it from both ends this evening and couldn’t walk straight and kinda had tummy spasms. She is spending the night in the capable hands of Dr Aaron and his staff, and I should learn more of her condition tomorrow.

I don’t limit the request just to St. Francis, I’ll take good thoughts from anyone to anyone/thing.

It’s not fair, to have fallen this much in love with a critter this fast.

1/22

The news so far: Cricket is still with Ali’i Vet and will spend today there, too. After receiving IV fluids and some anti-nausea meds, she settled down and is, today, showing some appetite and good spirits.

As to the cause of the problem, they rushed her blood work and found that she is both severely malnourished and tremendously anemic – the doc said she’s working at 50% of her blood capacity (?) which shows that she’s been out in the wild for at least a month. The fact that she has adapted to this, somewhat, goes to show that she’s a tough little girl.

Although no worms were detected in her stool, Dr Aaron thinks he feels tapeworms in her guts. She has lots of fleas. So the current thinking is this: I gave her the first dose of de-wormer, per instructions, yesterday. This caused the stomach and intestinal upset and, given her weakened condition, the upset put her in shock. It’s lucky I was there when it happened; lucky the clinic was, by chance, open late; lucky that I wrapped her in a warm beach towel and hustled her down there.

All things being equal, she will continue to improve. They are carefully de-worming her, and she’s on a frequent diet of a special anti-nausea dog food mixed with chicken baby food (er, food for human babies made from chickens. No, wait, baby food made from chickens intended for human babies. Not human babies made from chickens, and not food for baby chickens). A little giddy, am I? Well, yes.

1/23

Doggie news: Cricket is still at Ali’i Vet. They’ve been deworming her, with considerable success, and she’s eating (as one of the vets said) as if she owned stock in the dog food company. I should get her back tomorrow afternoon.

1/24

She’s back! And tired. And expensive.from Galaxy6 443

1/25

I picked her up at the vet’s yesterday – an 80+ mile round trip, but worth it. She has been de-wormed most emphatically, rehydrated, and well-fed. Still no idea what caused the incident, since the prescription dewormer I gave her is very gentle; no indication of anything wrong with her innards, either. She is still losing the bloated belly, so I think she wasn’t pregnant after all, or if she is, it’s early enough along so that once she is fully healthy, I can have her spayed and she won’t have physical problems.

I took this tired 6 pound couch-potato to the vet, and what I got back is a spunky, bouncy little girl who is not afraid of anything, including the vacuum cleaner. She dances on her hind legs when she’s really excited. She remembered me (something I was a little worried about) and nuzzled right up. I don’t have a car-seat harness for her (something I have to get as soon as my SS is deposited), so she tried to help me drive home. It’s not safe, of course, but it was kinda fun to watch her interest in the passing scene.

I took the Craigslist notice down. This, damn it, is *my* dog.

1/27

I can report that she’s a whole different doggie. She bounces backwards on her hind legs as I fix her meals, she wags so hard that the tail really does wag the dog, and she won’t get more than a couple of yards away from me without prancing back to make sure I haven’t disappeared.

We’re headed back to the vet in an hour for more blood work, and a stop at the local pet/nursery/tchotchkes shop in the hopes that they have a car-seat harness small enough for her.

1/28

We’re home from the vet with preliminary reports on the bloodwork. Her protein levels are up, and her red blood count has almost doubled, although it’s not near normal yet. They’ll do the other tests this evening at their lab, but as things stand its all systems go for Cricket the Wonder Dog.

She may be going into heat. She’s still not healthy enough for surgery so for the next 3 weeks I get to be the Fearsome & Terrible Duenna. Those who know me well can now fall over yourselves laughing.

2/4

The last bloodwork results are back. White cell count up to normal, red cell count not there yet but rising, urinalysis shows no problems (so she really is unhousebroken). Monday she woke up looking as bloated as she did when she first showed up, lethargic, the whole thing. Worried hell out of me. Tuesday I woke to discover her back to her bouncy enthusiastic self, and a truly tremendous poo on the lanai. I don’t understand how she manages to hold that much inside her, I truly don’t.from Galaxy6 605

This should give you a clearer view of her progress.  Fattening up nicely; soon she will be dinner size.

 

2/14

Doggy update: Cricket continues to be a delight. I left her and Abby inside yesterday (grocery shopping) and when I came back, Cricket was waiting at the livingroom window. Then she rushed to the lanai to make sure I really was coming. Then she raced to the front door and performed some first class Cavorting, including the mid-air body twist and the Upright Vertical fling at a yard (at least) from the floor. I wish my hands hadn’t been full — I wish my hands weren’t so shaky that I can’t take a decent video.

I think she may be over being in heat, so I’m going to take her to visit our friend Judy at Ali’i Vet just to make sure. If she is, then I need to call the Humane Society, where I registered her as being fostered, and tell them I want to adopt — and she will be legally mine! Judy tells me that they will help with the cost of neutering and having her chipped.

2/18

Doggie update: I have been taking both dogs with me to the Tuesday afternoon knitting group. Cricket gets passed from hand to hand and cooed at, while Abby has learned to relax among a group of chattering women and accept pets from anyone offering them. However, Abby does *not* like riding in the car. She huddles down into a foot well and tucks her head in.

Earlier this week Abby seemed to be having a hard time breathing and yesterday she was off her feed, so I thought I would leave her home and let her rest. I patted her and told her goodbye, leashed Cricket, and took her out to the car. The minute I had the car door open, Abby rocketed into the front seat and huddled down on the pedals. It was only by great persuasion that I was able to get her into the passenger side, where Cricket joined her. The two of them rode happily to the community center, Abby found her place under the table in front of my chair, and Cricket was cooed at. Then back into the car and home, no problems at all.

I think that Abby is coming to appreciate having a companion animal in her life.

2/21

Such good news! My sweet, damaged, reticent dog Abby has, since a few days ago, made it a habit to join Cricket and me in the living room in the evenings. She makes herself comfy on the couch, which most dogs do, but Abby doesn’t. And tonight, for the first time, she brought one of her heretofore ignored soft dog toys with her, mouthed it gently, and has gone to sleep with her chin atop it.

The semi-feral girl cats took off a few days after Cricket showed up, although they pop in late at night to eat. But yesterday Pudge showed up late in the evening to rub herself against Abby before fleeing, and this afternoon CJ swaggered up to me on the lanai to treat me to a good long session of purrs, bellyrubs, and ecstatically stretched claws. They both look sleek and well-fed and I have new hope that they will rejoin us inside someday soon.

Life is good.

2/23

Doggie update: Cricket is back at the vet’s. She’s been bloating up for the past few days, off her feed (unless she gets wet food) and passing poo that I will not describe, out of respect for all of our stomachs. I should get a call in the afternoon, after they’ve done a bit more bloodwork. Am hoping that they don’t have to take her to their big clinic in Kona for ultrasound, etc.

So back to work, if only to keep from brooding about this.

2/24

Doggie update: Cricket comes home tomorrow. The ultrasound was inconclusive, which is bad because we don’t have an answer, and good because it didn’t reveal a Vile Condition. Her protein levels are back in the basement and no one knows why. Nor do we know what causes the accumulation of clear fluid in her belly. Her GI tract is pretty irritated.

So we’re trying a high-protein low-fat diet, antibiotics for the GI tract, and a steroid, with luck short-term, to see if she responds well. The steroid will cause her to drink more water than normal and pee it right back out again, so my continued efforts to housebreak her will be … interesting.

Abby misses her almost as much as I do. The cats, not so much. They’re cats.

2/25

Cricket is home, happy to be here, and pretty strange-looking. They extracted about a cup of liquid from her belly, but some of it slipped out subcutaneously so now she looks like a very miniature cow with a lop-sided udder. The liquid should be reabsorbed with time. She is also a patchwork of shaved places. But she’s happy to be home and we’re happy to have her (except for CJ, who has been sleeping during the day with Abby and with me during the night. CJ took one look and departed. I’m hoping she’ll be back).

Prednisone and two types of antibiotics, and special food. Current guess is that she ate something while she was out on the lava that played merry hell with her GI tract. Depending on how she reacts to treatment, she may be on a small dose of prednisone for life, but apparently the staff was hiding her meds in little dogfood meatballs and she gulped them on down, so dosing her won’t entail any drama.

She clocks in at 6lb 2oz, and should gain a bit more as her innards settle down.

She spent an hour sleeping in my lap and when she woke, she left a wet spot on my jeans. Not pee, more of that clear liquid they suctioned out of her belly. So I rushed her down to the vet (and, of course, Abby had to come because if Cricket gets to ride in the car, then Abby insists on riding in the car). Turns out it was not an incision leaking, it was more of the clear belly liquid coming out through her skin. Very odd, but I saw the vet gently pinch a section of her belly, and it got wet. Who knew? All is well.

2/26

Doggie update. Cricket continues to improve. Her subcutaneous spill is much reduced and I feel confident enough to have started the crate training.

One odd side-effect of all this trauma is that she is shedding little flakes of skin. I suspect that after the belly stretching and reduction, she is getting rid of unwanted skin. I’m hoping she can teach this trick to me.

3/4

Doggie update: 6 lb 9 oz, a 7 oz gain from last week. For someone Cricket’s size, this is considerable. Her skin is still flaking a little, from the bloating they said, but it seems to respond well to brushing and she adores the attention. I’ll take her in on Saturday to have her nails clipped, since they are black and I can’t even guess at where the veins are.

. In the mornings Jack joins us for breakfast. He looms over Cricket, but she ignores him. When she doesn’t ignore him, he gives her that Superior Cat look and she backs off. May I say that I love this? I do.

3/13

Doggie update. It’s hard to get a photo of her when she’s not cuddled up tight or being used as Abbyfrom Galaxy6 605‘s headrest, but here she is. Her eyes are bright and clear, her skin is tightening and clearing, and she feels solid and strong under my hand.

Master Jack is not perturbed by dogs, especially dogs weighing less than he does, so they have arrived at an entente cordiale — she doesn’t make any moves toward his food, and he ignores hers. The other two haven’t yet learned that the best way to handle her is with threats, so they tend to fly and she tends to chase them. We’re working on that.

 

5/15

In answer to questions about how Jack is taking all of this: he and Cricket conspire together in the evenings to keep me in my chair. Abby lies on the couch across the room and looks at us as though we are nuts.

5/19

Doggie update: I think I told y’all that the Humane Society agreed to pay to have Cricket spayed, since I first fostered and then adopted her. The Society sends in a group of vets and nurses and they do wholesale neutering and spaying one day a month. I made the appointment through our local vet.

Dr. Aaron saw Cricket’s name on the list and pulled her from it, because he’s not yet convinced that she’s strong enough yet. He had blood tests done and, sure enough, her protein levels have hit the bottom again — the reason that she looks tubby in recent photos. So starting tomorrow, she’s back on prednisone, perhaps long-term.

And that’s why I love Ali’i Veterinary Hospital.

from Galaxy6 646

 

 

The non-GMO cat.

6/15/2014

Unsettling event just before dusk yesterday. My neighbor downslope (makai) lives in a shack and has decorated the entrance to his driveway with signs that say KEEP OUT and KAPU and NO TRESPASSING and VIDEO SURVEILLANCE and other indications of a bright and well-balanced mind. A few months ago he and some cohorts brought in a humongous amount of soil, dumped it, and have been growing vegetables. He is, so far, a nice guy: we wave at each other and all is copacetic. Recently he seems to come by only every other day to tend the garden, and the rest of the time the place is locked up tight. Between his place and mine is an unimproved lot, lava, and a few scrawny ohi’a trees, so we have a clear view of each other.

Further background: Jack, my beloved tuxedo cat, has become an escape artist and flees the house when given a chance (if that chance comes when he is not napping). I thought he spent his out time wandering around the property, rolling in the red cinder, or exploring under the house, but apparently this is not the case because yesterday the neighbor came by to say that the black and white kitty was digging up and messing in his garden, and could I please make him stop because he’s trying to go organic and non-GMO. I assured him that I would, but after he left I got to thinking. If he’s not there during the day, how does he know it’s my cat and not another one? And even if he does recognize the cat (and I have no argument with that, per se), how does he know that it’s my cat? If he’s not there much of the time, how does he know where the cat comes from and goes to? Aside from the fact that having something dig up your vegetable garden sucks, how does being non-GMO fit into this? Does he believe my cat is an agent of Monsanto?

Which leads to this upsetting thought: if he does indeed have surveillance cameras, does he have any of them trained at my house? And this even nastier thought: is this all just chemo-brain talking? Burny said that when he was on chemo, he had a moment at the post office when he was convinced that the guy in line behind him was planning to kill him.

I lay awake for much of the night watching this carousel of curiosity and paranoia before coming to a partial solution and drifting off to sleep.

I already have the beginnings of a screen growing between our properties, but it is taking its own sweet time. Once the bedroom floor is finished and peace is achieved in the house, I will ask Steve to dig a planting ditch along that side of the property, we’ll fill it with planting mix, and I’ll put in fast growing vegetables: pole beans, climbing tomatoes, peas, etc. I saw a nifty idea on line: a gardener drilled holes in the bottoms of old gutters and mounted them on tall braces and filled them with strawberry plants. If I did that here it would be like maintaining a buffet for the birds, but I could cover it with netting and that, too, would help obscure the sight lines between the two properties. Maybe some cherry tomatoes would like to hang out there, too.

And, regardless, I’ll foil Jack’s escape efforts, for fear he’d end up an ex-kitty. Which would break my heart.

Quick trip on the Way-Back Machine

I think I forgot to tell y’all about my new dog. I adopted her in November of 2013.

Her name is Abby. It was Missy when I adopted her  at a Petco adoption fair. She was two, and a terrier mix (at a guess). Story is that she and a number of other dogs belonged to an old lady who couldn’t take care of them, or herself, anymore. The dogs passed to the old lady’s son, who mistreated them and finally turned them over to KARES, a local dog rescue group. She has been fostered since then. She’s about 25 pounds and brindled all over.

She’s tremendously shy, and for the first 24+ hours refused to eat or drink, but that apparently has passed. She leaves the cats alone (I think they scare her). She’s great at heeling when we take walks, but today I stumbled over some rocks rather noisily, and she almost bolted (thank God for the leash) – tail between her legs, ears pinned back, a look of absolute terror. It took me a few minutes to coax her back to me and let me pet her and tell her what a good dog she was — then she firmly led me back home, up the stairs, through the slider, and to the bed, which has become her safe place. I’d really like to get my hands on that “son” and a pile of rocks long enough for him to learn what it feels like to be on the receiving end of terror.

But despite all that we are making progress. I give her lots of love and praise, and she is slowly but steadily relaxing. She’s a young dog, and it’s early days yet.

In the time since then, she has gradually shed her paralyzing shyness — now she’s just shy — and has been a great companion and friend through the cancer treatments and life in general. I’m very happy to have her.

Abby-web

My birthday mouse

My birthday mouse.

My birthday mouse.

I have been neglectful, I know, so here’s a catchup going back to April of 2014.

4/26/14

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes — they are much appreciated. I don’t want to make y’all jealous, but I must tell you about the great present I have received, unexpected and certainly unimagined.

First, you must know that I took a shower late last night. No, wait, first you must know that my hot water heater sprung a leak sometime on Thursday, not a major one but enough to depressurize the tank and cause the hot water to disappear. And I was fairly desperate for a shower because — no, you don’t need to know that part. Anyway, my man Steve, the best handyman on the island, came over Friday morning and diagnosed the problem and went away to another job, and I bought the required replacement copper hose, and he came back in the late afternoon and made everything better, as he always does.

So, after the hot water heater was fixed, I decided to finish my nightcap and watch the rest of that episode of Deadwood.

OMG, Deadwood! Luckily HBO on demand lets me download all previous episodes so I am about mid-way through Season 1, at an episode a night, entirely entranced. I think the woman who plays Calamity Jane is the same woman who plays Brienne on Game of Thrones; Timothy Olyphant has been weaving his way through a lot of the series I am currently entranced by … Does anyone else hear echoes of McCabe and Mrs Miller in this show?

Anyway, I finished Deadwood and my nightcap. Oh, you should know that I had neglected to eat much of substance during the day, which is a paltry excuse but the best I can do and still remain within the realm of truth. And I took my shower.

Another thing you should know: Jane the Cat (now named Calamity Jane — Jane is such a useful, flexible name), anyway, Jane likes to, erm, abscond with things, which she then hides under my bed. I have in recent weeks rescued the cat bed, my shower sponge, a towel… So last night, while I took a long, hot, soapy, relaxing shower, Jane removed the bathmat and hid it under the bed.

I am striving to get a photo of Jane making off with towels and cat beds. She does it by creeping under the item and then sneaking off across the floor like a mammalian hermit crab, a hermit cat if you will. Since the cat bed is often occupied by cat toys, it really does look like she has taken possession of a snail shell hosting a colony of underwater critters.

So, she removed the bathmat. I rinsed, reached my towel, dried off, stepped outside of the shower to dry my feet, and instead of stepping onto a nice, warm, dry, grippy bathmat, I stepped onto cold, wet, slippery tiles, and down I went.

I yelled, cursed, finished drying off, and rolled into bed. Awoke at 5:30 am with a punishing sinus headache, called off the long-distance workshop I was scheduled to lead, took a couple of Ibuprofen, and went back to bed. Woke a couple of hours later, went into the bathroom, turned on the light, and voila! Calamity Jane had given me a mouse for my birthday!

My friend Richard Lupoff has said that life is the process of losing one cherry after another, and at the age of 66 I have lost my black-eye cherry. The swelling is going down, it doesn’t hurt too much, and I’m giving myself a 66th birthday present by going on the wagon. It seems the least I can do.

 

The misadventure of the little not-so-white dog

Maisie

Maisie

Knowing that I was sad at losing the Big White Dog, Judy at Ali’i vet suggested I might want to take on a puppy, so Peg and Burny and I went down the look. Sweetest little thing you ever saw, wriggling with delight to meet us, and just crawling with fleas. The runt of the litter. So despite my common sense, how could I resist?

My aunt Ruth and uncle Floyd kept a series of chihuahuas, and while this one was by no means a pure-bred it was certainly a member of the clubs. Ruth’s and Floyd’s chihuahuas specialized on stealth ankle attacks and, if you evaded those, they used the needles they kept in place of teeth to attach themselves to your pants and get dragged around the house, muttering hateful threats and imprecations. And each one was as big around as a bologna. A big balogna.big bologna

I brought her home and de-fleaed her, and cuddled her, and she made much of me, and we had a fine old time together Maisie 4-14-13 #2 until a few days went by and she started to chew her way through what remains of my wardrobe, through my shoes, through furniture (I still have teethmarks on my computer desk) and, eventually, my patience. We found a home for her with a pack of chihuahuas, who welcomed her with glad little yips. And I went back to missing my cat Jack.

The Adventure of the Big White Dog.

As most of you know, I continue to make my living as a Trademark Paralegal, still working for Carle Mackie Power & Ross albeit at quite a distance from Santa Rosa, CA, due to the marvels of the Internet and the kindness of my employers. Much as I love Sonoma County, it was becoming unbearable to live there.

I have set up an office at a corner of my bedroom. A louvered  window is just to the left of my desk and, to the left of that are the large sliders that lead to the lanai. The weather, these past few weeks, has warmed reliably into the mid-70s so I keep the slider open and the screen closed, and enjoy puffs of warm air as I peer at the monitor and type away.

On March 29, as I sat diligently working, something outside caught my eye and I saw a huge white dog walk by. I’ve seen cats amble along the lava but never a dog, so I watched him for a moment and went back to work. A few minutes later, something caught my eye again and I looked over to see the huge white dog on the lanai. He sniffed about for a moment before we established eye contact.

I have been accused of exaggeration on occasion (patently untrue) but you must believe me when I say that unless there is a Saint Bernard in the neighborhood, this must have been the largest dog on the island. He looked like a full-grown Lab, creme in color, that someone had been feeding very well indeed. He surely weighed close to 125 pounds. I told him to go home. He grinned at me and stayed put. I went out and he backed off a step or two, but came right up when I held out my hand and nuzzled into my leg. His coat was not only glossy, it was brushed and healthy, and he was obviously friendly.

I did what I always do when faced with puzzling situations on this island: I called my sister, who has rescued a dog or two, or ten or thirty, in her life. She  came right over and agreed that this was, indeed, a huge friendly white dog, undoubtedly somebody’s pet although he had no tags. She suggested I come over for dinner, to give the dog a chance to go home, and that if he was still around in the morning I could take him to the vet and see if he was micro-chipped. Dinner was, as always, delicious (my sister is an amazing cook) and the big white dog was waiting on the lanai when I got home. I put out a bowl of water and some towels for him to lie on, and came inside.

Then, of course, it started raining. Hard. He was deep in a corner of the lanai well protected from the wet, but, well, it was raining. Really hard. And really, he was a big, handsome, friendly white dog. So I opened the door and let him in, and in he came. He was so fat that when he flopped down on his side, the fat flopped down beside him like a second full-grown Lab.IMG_0004

 The next morning, Judy at Ali’i Vet scanned him and found a chip which she traced to the Kailua Kona Humane Society. They said he’d been adopted from them, but that he’d also been turned in as a stray a month ago, and retrieved by his owner. Somebody cared for this big white dog, but wasn’t keeping an eye on him. He cozied up to everyone who came in, wagging his tail like mad and making goo-goo eyes, and keeping close to my side. We got phone numbers for his owners, but they didn’t pick up. I said I would take him home with me, and call the Humane Society to come pick him up on Monday — he was already in their system, so I pretty much had to although I decided that if his owner didn’t show up, I’d adopt him myself. I bought cans of expensive diet dog-food and took him home.

Blanco

The ottoman is the one on the right.

 We had a fine week-end, this big white dog and me. He wasn’t particularly athletic although he did his best to gallumph around the front yard a couple of times; he came when I called; he let it be known that he found the rations good but a mite on the skimpy side; and he curled up beside the bed at night and snored – and it felt so good to have another living creature in the house. I made plans for walks to help us both lose weight, and I played with names for him. From the way he hauled me around on the leash when we saw the vet, I thought to call him John Deere. The name Kielbasa also crossed my mind. My sister and her partner suggested Sumo.

 Then, Monday morning, the animal control officer called to say he was on his way, followed closely by a call from the dog’s owner, and both of them showed up at about the same time. No question but that the dog (whose name turned out to be Blanco) and the guy were close. The animal control officer and I grilled the guy, and he convinced us that Blanco had escaped through no fault of the owner and had been terribly missed, and Blanco convinced us too, so the animal control officer gave them both a ride home. I waved goodbye to the big white dog as they pulled out of the driveway. The owner thought I was waving at him, but I wasn’t.

And then, and then, came the adventure of the little white dog.

Jumping through hoops for Hawaii Ag.

First hoop: a new rabies vaccination and certificate. $$

Second hoop: blood sample off to a special lab in Kansas to do a titre test for rabies. $$$

Third hoop: wait 120 days from the titre test for permission to bring Jack to Hawaii. This date comes up on April 10th.

Fourth hoop: the vet manages to dig up a copy of the original 2006 rabies vaccination certificate for Jack. Hawaii requires proof of at least two.   Adobe Animal Hospital — they are the best!

Fifth hoop: fill out the Dog & Cat Import Form.

Sixth hoop: learn Alaska Airline’s requirements for traveling with a pet and comply with them.

Seventh hoop: make airline reservations. $$$

Hoops 1-7 cleared!

More hoops reported as they are overcome, but it looks like come May 1st, I will be flying home with the cat o’ my heart. In the meantime, more practicing patience. I hate practicing patience. You’d think that after all this practice I’d be better at it, but no…

 

Waiting for Jacko.

Up to Kailua (againmarta & jack) today to straighten out the confusion with HELCO, and do some shopping. It’s a 100-mile round trip, so best to stack up the errands. This time my needs were minimal, but I was lured into the pet aisle and ended up buying a litter box and litter and dry food and a case of wet food and a dry food bowl and a wet food bowl and a water bowl, and I miss my cat so damned much I could howl.

Pretty Poppy is staying with The Respondent. I miss her, but she’s happy with him and there are lots of dogs on the island in need of a good home. I’m in no hurry, though. I just want my cat.