Mundane

I’ve gotten more than a few requests lately about how well the personal life is going. I’ve also gotten a couple alarmed messages asking if I had quit blogging. And I got one very sweet email from a long time friend. (Brian, I’m getting to your email I promise!)

On the home front, things are good. Actually, things are awesome. My life is on a good streak right now! Things with Shawn and I are excellent. Of course, life is pretty simple most days. We work, we come home, play video games, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s mundane bliss. hehehe. In other news, Shawn recently went permanent with his job and got a fat raise with stock options. He is very happy to finally have the weight of being a contract employee off his mind. And they’ve let him know recently how much they appreciate him as well. He has begun to settle into the company and be a part of it vs just going to work at a job.

As I mentioned previously, I’m finally debt free. I’m working to keep it that way too. I caught up on 6 years worth of back taxes and I’m getting money back. The checks have started to roll in. Apparently, they send you a check for every year instead of one check. I owed California for a couple years and sure enough, I got 3 checks and a bill. hehehe But the stress and worry over that is gone. Yay!

Cooper is still sassy as ever. His daily worries revolve around food, treats, and how often he can sneak up on the coach. His ever present skin issue has him back on antibiotics for awhile. Beyond that, Daddy is trying to stay on top of keeping his nose, ears, and tail clean and stink-free.

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No, I haven’t quit blogging. I’ve just been super busy this last month. I’m still here. I don’t always blather about insignificant topics like I used to as they usually end up on social media. I save the blog for lengthy rants. My long time friend Brian recently sent me a very heart-warming email about his experience w/my blog over the years. Almost made me cry. I’m glad that people enjoy coming here for my nonsense. Lawd knows I’ve come a loooooong way in the last 11 years of doing this. As always, I write first for me but I also write knowing others read what I share. This has never been a popularity contest and hopefully never will be. I seem to be one of only a few left from the old blog crew though. I miss some of the other blogs.

So there you have it. A down and dirty update. More to come.

Grace

Striking a pose
Striking a pose

And just when you thought you’d seen enough posts dedicated to the Cooper Pooper, here’s another one.

Ain’t he just adorbs in this pic? So regal, so graceful, so elegant…NOT! Don’t let that smile fool you. He is the farting-ist, smelly bulldog you could ever meet! Even with a very strict diet, he routinely stinks up the place. heehee

Otherwise, he doing quite well these days. It doesn’t even seem like it’s been 3 years since I rescued him (and he me). He is coming up on his 6th birthday in May.

I’ve mentioned several times my concerns about his future health. Bullies are prone to health problems, but being white makes Cooper even more so. So far he is still doing well.1 Other than his ever present sensitive skin, he has only shown small signs of developing arthritis. It seems minor and does not need medication as of yet.

Since he loves being under the covers anytime he is allowed in the bed, I’ve taken to throwing one of his blankets over him at night before he goes to bed. He looks so cute all tucked-in in. And make no mistake, he loves it.

I’m starting a new vitamin/supplement regimen for him soon. He already eats really healthy, but I am hoping to be as proactive as possible. I want my Pooper to have as much quality of life as quantity as he moves into his “golden years.”

  1. Bullies that are over-bred can die sometimes as early as 6 []

Leave

It is probably a good thing I am not a parent (of a human child). I can barely Cooper Smilestand to leave Cooper alone when I go on trips, I’m not sure I’d be able to with a kid.

We’re traveling to LA this weekend and I’m already sad that I have to leave him behind? I haven’t even left yet!  Granted, he is in good hands w/his Uncle Carl, but that isn’t the point. We would take him but our hosts already have a dog and I’d hate to cause them undue problems if they didn’t get along.

We went for a nice walk today and played on the floor for awhile. He got all his wrinkles (and ears) freshly cleaned so he wont’t be a burden to his Uncle. He is currently passed out from his walk and will probably not even notice I’m gone for awhile. lol We’re back on Monday so I’m not even gone that long. I’d probably be one of ‘those fathers‘ if I had a kid. hehehe

I’m headed to pick up Shawn from the airport and we are driving down to LA to see his two besties.

Hot

So I deal with a lot of dog in car calls in my line of work.  I also have a beloved animal that I would never ever let intentionally suffer. And of course, I do a lot of volunteer work the local SPCA. Considering the temps outside here today, I thought I’d pass along some helpful info. 

First, it is OK to leave your dog in your car in some circumstances. Second, it is NOT OK to leave your dog in your car inmost circumstances. 

Just follow a few basic rules and you and your beloved pet will be good.

1) Always make plans that do not include having to leave an animal alone in a vehicle for more than a few minutes. If you plan accordingly, the likelihood of you putting your pet in danger will be very low. (Going into Safeway to shop for an hour or two is NOT a good example.)

2) When deciding if it is ok to leave your animal in your car for a short period of time, add 20 degrees to the temperature outside. If you would leave a child in the same temp and be ok, even for 15 mins, then it is ok for your pet.1

3) If you are ever in doubt, don’t do it. If it is that close in your mind, error on the side of your beloved pet and don’t do it.

On the flip side, what should you do if you are concerned about an animal left in a vehicle?

1) Vehicles are not air-tight. Even if the window is rolled up, the animal is in ZERO danger of suffocating. I hear this one a lot. While it may contribute to a given situation, it is not enough to cause disress on it’s own. 

2) Unless you know of a specific ordinance in your area that indemnifies you from harm, you are not exempt from liability if you break into a strange vehicle. Committing a crime to right a crime doesn’t protect you. You should call your local non-emergency police number or animal care agency for guidance. They will in return make the necessary response or referrals. 

3) While you personally may not like it, legal conditions for ‘in distress‘ have to be met before drastic action can be taken. Again, make an effort to know local ordinances or use option 2 above. An excited/barking/whimpering animal is not enough on it’s own to be considered in distress. In very general terms, ‘distress‘ means the animal is in danger of injury or death if no one acts to intervene. 

If you have ever hopped into a baking hot car, you know from experience, it is not a comfortable feeling. Do not inflict such punishment on your companions. They are defenseless against such things and depend soley on you for their care. 

  1. The caveat is if you’re stupid enough to leave a child in an obviously too hot car for 15 mins or longer, don’t breed or own a pet. []

Cooper

Cooper is doing well. He is approaching

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Nap Buddies

his 6th birthday. Can you believe it? My little pooper is all grown up now. I hope all the love has washed away those bad memories of when he was young and left alone. Bullies aren’t overly bright but they do have long memories. Anyway, I’ve been very pleased with his progress and continued health. He has yet to develop or even exhibit any major health problems that bullies are prone to. Thank the stars!

His hearing is still good and has shown no signs of declining. He has issues with certain tones but that hasn’t gotten any worse.

His skin, of course, is an every present concern. Being white makes it worse. We did discover that letting him go longer w/o baths makes combating his skin issues easier. His natural oils help ward off the never ending staff flare ups.

He did manage to hurt himself a little bit recently. We occasionally let him on the bed in the mornings. He likes to hop up and curl up with us. Some days though he’ll get overly excited and the moment he thinks we are getting up, he’ll run and jump and land on the floor. He managed to strain a muscle or ligament the last time he did it. He earned himself a few days of minor limping. He’s better but he just gets so excited at times he forgets he isn’t super dog. hehehe We’re actually thinking of lowering the bed to prevent it. Of course, this means making even easier for him to get IN the bed.

Beyond his misadventures, life is good for the Cooper. He still brings me love and makes me laugh every day. You can see from the pic, he still loves his naps. Shawn still finds it hard to believe he doesn’t suffer when we are gone. While the Coop certainly wishes we were home, he routinely sleeps pretty much the whole time. Hell, he pretty much sleeps the whole time even when we are home. If he isn’t begging for a treat or slobbering on our legs, he is usually asleep.

Stat

Sooooo, in all the domestic bliss, I forgot to mention I’m moving into year 11 of this here blog thingy. Eleven years. Other than masturbation, I don’t think I’ve kept up with anything in my life that long before. (You laugh, but I am not joking.) All these years later and I’m still at it. Granted, not as fast and steady as I used to be, but that is ok.

I was pleasantly suprised to see I still get a decent chuck of blog traffic, even with my lower postings as of late. Ironically, posts about Cooper often get the most hits.1 Google has updated their analytics engine and it is truly amazing the scope of data they capture now. Most of my traffic is still direct, meaning people load my feed or come directly to my site. This one stat was the most surprising and humbling. Thanks for reading my madness. Really, I’m tickled people still enjoy my rants. Sadly, Brettcajun is STILL the best referral source within the blogosphere. How that dirty cajun manages it is beyond me. A big surprise was Joe.my.god’s blog. Apparently, I’ve been getting a ton of new referrals from his blog. I read him daily (and so should you). Towleroad made the top 10 for what I think is the first time ever. I attribute the later two gains to my increase in comments on their sites. My lack of interest on FB has to be captured somewhere.

Out of social media referrals I got another surprise. I get almost as many clicks from Google+ as I do FB. Twitter is a very distant third. FB used to dominate this area. I’m glad to see a more even shift as I continue to use FB less and less. When I factor in the referrals between blogger and plus, Google dominates.

My keywords are always a hodge podge as my blog tends to jump all over. Let me just list the top 10 for the past 30 days …

Eye problems behind a computer
vision problems optometrist
SF Moby
Moby zipper
Sex with Moby
Grindr Rules
Gubbmint
adult archives
Ok porn
bloggers in SF

Yes, that is the top 10 ways new vistors have found me in the last 30 days. lol To be fair, the ratio drops significantly after Sex with Moby. The latter I assume relates to the other Moby btw.

Yeah, I continue to blog and yeah I know it’s probably considered passe now but I never did respond well to peer pressure. Le blog continues to enrich my life and is my chronicle in attempting a life well lived.

  1. Being upstaged by my own dog! The nerve. []

Still

I guess my delay in blogging as of late has led some to think I have quit all together. No, still at it just distracted by life. It happens.

The CT scan went fine. I won’t know any results until I meet with the doc again, probably next week.  Hopefully, I’ll have a better answer and treatment for my lovely eyeball. I’ve been noticing ever so slight changes to my vision and not for the better. What I used to only randomly notice is now causing slight changes in the way I see things. I’m still far from my every day vision being affected but still concerning. The doc’s office is supposed to call this next week for the follow up appointment. I can clearly see the difference in the alignment in my eyes now as well.

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Continuing in random updates, things are still awesome at home. The Pup (Shawn) and I are doing wonderful. Contentment is a very good thing. I never thought I’d be this content in life. I simply cannot imagine life without him.

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Cooper is still sassy as ever. He has successfully worked his magic on Shawn and won him over. I don’t think Shawn was 100% sold at first but he is now. heehee He routinely points out one of Cooper’s many adorable faces. Anyway, other than his ongoing skin issues, Cooper Pooper is doing exceedingly well.

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I am STILL trying to get my fat ass back into a consistent gym schedule. Afore mentioned contendedness has affected my motivation to go to the gym in a big way. lol There are worser things I guess. So I’m adding the dreaded cardio into my routine and trying to get back down to where I like to be weight wise. The motivation has been coming back, albeit slowly.

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I still have things go blog about. Almost daily I’m like, “I should blog about that” but I get distracted and move on to other things. lol I guess it is good that life is busy and keeps me focused.

Chip

The beloved Cooper is microchipped. He has been since I rescued him. It gave me peace of mind knowing this. But, it never dawned on me to check to see

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if the chip had ever been updated. I assumed the shelter would have done that. Turns out the assumed I did it. The ensuing drama fest is a lesson learned.

It all started with me trying to download an app for my phone to track Cooper’s health and med history. Most of the apps I tried out had an option to include a pet’s microchip number. This got me to thinking about Cooper’s chip and I decided to call the original rescue shelter to see if they had updated his chip after I rescued him. Turns out they had not. So I had him all this time and his chip was never updated. Yeah, I know right?! lol  It turns out that the shelter didn’t actually chip him, the original breeder did. This was why they didn’t update the chip. They could have mentioned that little tip at the time but whatevs.

Anyway, I then discover that chips aren’t issued by just one company but several and none of them use the same format. I’m bouncing around the web trying to figure out which of the 9 companies owned his chip. I finally track it down and then discover they want the act of Congress to update the chip. lol  Which I guess is good because no one could just randomly change the chip info without me knowing. I had to go thru a lot of hoops to get it though. They wanted not only a copy of the original adoption paperwork, which I still have, they also wanted records from the vet showing he’d been treated with me listed as the owner. Since the adoption paperwork didn’t have the shelter’s logo or letterhead, they had to send me a letter showing that I had in fact gotten Cooper1 from them. Funny side story, when I reached out to the shelter, I happen to reach the lady I originally dealt with. She remembered little Cooper almost immediately. She was very happy to help and that Cooper was doing so well.

I also learned that Cooper is actually a year older than we thought. So instead of being 4 this June, he’ll be 5 on May 16th. The original breeder had at least listed his birth date when they chipped him. During the discovery process, they revealed the original chip date and the listed birth date. This isn’t necessarily bad news. It gives me a little hope as I’ve been worried he would start developing hereditary issues.2  Knowing he is a year older now gives me a bit of relief as 3-5yrs is about the range when problems start to develop. So far Cooper is doing well. He does have a little tone-deafness but it isn’t bad at all.

So now my monster is all up to date. I’ve made sure his chip data is accurate. And he’ll be celebrating his 5th birthday this May.

  1. Norm was his original name []
  2. White bullies are often very prone to health issues, primary amongst those are blindness and/or deafness []

2013

Well, 2013 turned out to be an amazing here for me. It was a time for personal reflection on past mistakes. It was a time of emotional and financial recovery. It was also a time of joy and happiness.

The year started rather ho-hum. Nothing bad or good, just rather uneventful. I switched shifts at work for a software project. This put me on day shift, which I lamented repeatedly. Ironically, the timing of my assignment was instrumental, even if I didn’t recognize it at the time.

As time went by the year just got better and better.

There is, of course, my beloved Cooper. He always brings me joy. His unconditional love is a constant light in my life. I will never understand how anyone could abandon such a wonderful animal. Being a special needs dog only makes me love him that much more.

Of course, unless you never read my madness, there was my meeting The Pup. Knowing each other online for years, this was our first year to meet in person. I believe that life brought him to me. The coincidences and alignment of occurrences were all too obvious to ignore. My time on the project gave me a lot of flexibility to visit back and forth while he was still living in Phoenix. I truly believe I was meant to be with him. He has taught me the meaning of true love and what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. I eagerly anticipate our future together. I simply cannot imagine my life without him.

My finances came together and are well under control again. I’m still carrying a debt load but knowing I’m on top it takes a huge stress off of me. It will take a couple years to get it down to what I want but getting a consolidation loan most definitely helped. The interest was slightly higher than what I wanted but I can apply for a refinance in a year so I’m pleased.

As always, I struggle to be better than I am. It is not a NY resolution as much as an approach to life in general. The struggle continues. This past year didn’t test me as much as reaffirm my growth in this area.

I won’t miss 2013 as much as look back on it fondly. I am excited to greet 2014.

Grown

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Everyone has been asking about the Cooper. He is doing just fine. As you can see, he is sitting pretty and feeling good. We’ve had two years together this past November. What started out as a abandoned and unloved puppy has turned into a loved, valued, and wonderfully well adjusted bully. He is back down to a slim 62 lbs. And while learning to enjoy the life of leisure and comfort, he is still very active for a bully. Not to mention, having a toy been that is constantly being replenished. Update – I may have to start watching him with squeaky toys. He usually will chew the squeaker till it pops out and then ignore the toy. One toy recently we never found the squeaker so he may have taken to just eating it. The next one I’ll be watching….

We have noticed his hearing is a little off. He hears ok but has a lot of trouble triangulating where the sound is coming from.  While I’m hopeful, it won’t surprise me if he develops real hearing issues as he ages. I’ll still love my deaf monster as much as I possibly could if it happens. Beyond that, his skin is a constant battle to keep healthy. He is very prone to staff. Not surprising but still a frustration. Luckily, that is all so far. as he moves into adulthood more issues could pop up, but for an all-white bully, he is remarkably healthy so far.

Anything new still scares him at first but he is much less skiddish these days. He has become bored with the MUNI cable cars, skateboards, pigeons, and random recycle bins. They seem not to have the same “oh shit, hold onto the leash” fascination as they did previously. He knows the neighborhood pretty intimately now. He often times figures out where we are going just by the route we take to get there. hehehe

His life is easy but structured. He gets his meals, treats, and breaks pretty much on time consistently every day. I’ll probably be able to eliminate is mid-day pee break in this next year as he has mastered the art of holding it. The only mishap was once while I was gone, he peed on the floor for attention. Well that and every so often he’ll just randomly barf up his entire lunch. He proceeds to eat it a second time but it tends to leave a sticky stained mess on the carpet, which always needs attention.

I will admit every time he hacks or coughs I freak out a little bit. Apple guy and I discovered Spike’s cancer that way and I’ll always be scared the same will happen to Cooper. Of course, so far his hacks are always after food so once the irrational fear passes reason sets in. Just the thought of Cooper getting sick moves me to tears. I love him so very much.