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.

Replaced

I was talking to a friend of a friend a while back who lost his dog recently. He was amazed when I shared how quickly I got Cooper after Spike passed.1  He said he just couldn’t bear the idea of another dog yet.

Like me, he was afraid of getting another dog for fear of betraying or trivializing the love he had for his previous one. After Spike passed, I too could not bear the idea of another dog. If it weren’t for Apple guy I probably still wouldn’t have another dog. Honestly, I think I would have closed my heart to the experience and moved on.

I explained my situation was slightly more complicated than his. His life is currently very stable with a minimum of drama. Not so much for me back then. I was extremely depressed over the recent break-up and my financial crisis. Also still living with my ex kept the wounds fresh and open. Getting Cooper was extremely therapeutic for me and saved me from more downward spirals. Out of all the memories (good and bad) I have of Apple guy’s and my time together, picking up Cooper will always be one of the brightest. It often outshines the pain and bad memories. I’ll always be grateful for him for it. He recognized it w/o me seeing it and it was the most unselfish caring thing he ever did for me.

He literally had to goad me into it. I was against the idea and resisted pretty much up until he filled out the app online. By the time the application completed and we were waiting for an answer, I was beside myself with anticipation. The idea had taken root and I couldn’t let it go. It was all I could think of and I’m sure Apple guy was more than a little annoyed that I kept asking if he’d heard anything. Finally, I couldn’t wait any longer and started emailing them directly. lol

Fast forward to the big day, it was truly love at first site when little Norm (his name back then) came bounding into the room. He was so energetic, alive, and just happy to be the center of attention.2  There wasn’t a seconds hesitation on my part. He came home with us that very day. That little monster saved me in ways he’ll never know or even understand. And my new love for Cooper has never once diminished my feelings for Spike. I see now how silly it was of me to think I could ever replace him. The care, love, and support Spike was shown at the SPCA vet center is also the primary reason I’m a volunteer there now. So even his passing inspired me in ways I didn’t expect. And now I can help other animals even if I can’t bring them home.

After sharing my story, we were both in tears and hugged over it. He said afterwards he still wasn’t ready but he had now decided to rescue another dog later on. I guess at that time he was even unsure if he could ever own another dog. It made me smile knowing my story helped him.

I found out yesterday he has started the process of rescuing a new dog. It’s been 5 months for him and he said he’s ready. I was very touched that he reached out to me just to let me know. He lives local and has started his search at the local SPCA as well as other shelters. He has 3 dogs that he is deciding from.

On a total side note, Maya, the bully I mentioned a while back, got rescued pretty quickly. I knew she wouldn’t stay long at the shelter. She was barely there two weeks and someone took her home!

On a second side note, my neighbor three doors down is dealing with end of life care for his doggie. He is 16 and his physical health is declining. He has some spine issues and lost a lot of mobility in his back legs. My neighbor got him a doggie assist wheelchair (think of training wheels for a dog) and it’s been helping. He is also on a very strong drug which is helping but it’s only a matter or time now.

I hope I can be there as a friend for my neighbor when the sad day comes.

  1. It was just over 3 months []
  2. The latter still being his favorite! lol []

Review

Let’s look at the week in review shall we?

Woke up an equal citizen, liked it.

Forked over a grand for the cruise, sort of liked it.

Got an offer to do porn, declined (again).

Smashed my finger at the gym, ouch!

Got an offer to do a porn star, accepted.

Got blurry vision at work, annoyed.

Said the L-word repeatedly, to Cooper.

Finished 3 projects at work, none of which were due.

Told I was going to hell, replied – I’m earning my ticket.

Cut up 6 old shirts into gym shirts, yay!

I’m 3lbs away from breaking 200 lbs again, very excited.

and…

Discovered dog vomit dries into a crispy stinky mass, not pleasant.

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How was your week?

Three

Little Cooper turned three this past weekend. We’d originally planned to celebrate on Sunday but the day was rainy and Cooper was in one of his mellow moods so we called it a lazy day on the couch together. He also got extra treats and a rare night sleeping in the  bed with Daddy.

I know I’ve blathered on about him here plenty. I can’t help it, I’m a proud pappa. To say he has settled into his life with me would be an understatement. He is happy and enjoys the life he lives. His only complaint would be Daddy doesn’t let him eat like the pig he would like to be. lol

He inspires me in so many ways and never ceases to make me laugh. Be it his run and flip back scratches in the morning, his “Speedy Gonzales” style runs, or just the soulful loving look in his eyes, the dog is a wonder to have around. Of course, looking at the picture you’d never believe he can run like a cat when is motivated. lol

It was because of him1 that I decided to start volunteering at the local SPCA a while back. I’ve given plenty of time, energy, and money for humans in my life. It’s time I devote some of my energies to doggies. I see so many wonderful doggies in the shelter, it can be heart-wrenching at times. It also makes me angry that humans can be so callous or uncaring for their animals. The abuse and abandonment really sets me blood on fire at times. But, I get to help out in many ways. I spend time with the dogs, I help feed and walk them. I just spend time letting them know some humans do care. The SF SPCA is a no-kill shelter which makes it all the better that so many people give up their time and love to help the dogs. And while it can be sad at times, overall it is a wonderful experience. Seeing someone go home with a new pet is quite joy-inspiring.

On a side note, The shelter just happened to get a bully recently. Bullies are special needs dogs so they usually end up with specialty orgs that deal specifically with the breed. Anyway, I nagged the staffing coordinator to let me see her even though she was still in quarantine and not really open to be visited.2 Her name was Maya and so sweet. She was malnourished a bit but otherwise in good shape. Like most bullies she was immediately ready to give/receive attention. So sweet and affectionate. She was in good shape w/few visible signs of problems that are prone to bullies. I honestly don’t think she’ll be in the shelter very long. I’m just hoping I get to spend one more day with her this coming weekend. If not, I’ll be happy she got adopted, but I so want to love on her some more first. I posted a link to her profile on my FB and Google page.

And as always, if you are considering getting an animal, rescue don’t buy. At the very least, check out the rescue shelters a few times before you decide to buy one. Chances are very high you’ll find the type of dog you want that really needs a good home. You’ll also spend a lot less money rescuing vs buying from a breeder.

Anyway, I’m getting off on a rant and not my point. Cooper is an adult now. He has not exhibited any signs of eye or ear problems yet. White bullies are very prone to deafness and/or blindness. While he does have some issues with certain tones, overall he hears (and sees) just fine. I’m hoping he stays that way, not that I would love him any less regardless.

We move into his third year optimistic and excited about the future together. I don’t know how I’m gonna survive 10 days w/o him in November when I go on vacation. If I could afford it, I’d bring him with me. He’d steal all the attention of course. lol

  1. and Spike []
  2. All dogs/cats get quarantined when they first arrive to test for infections/diseases before they get put in with the other animals. []

Crapper

This week hit the crapper at full force. As previously mentioned, 2 1/2 weeks worth of work got summarily wiped out on Monday. Tuesday I got the bad news it could not be recovered. Cooper bashed his eye into an Agave plant and almost blinded himself. A douche bag on FB sent me a message whining about my motivational gym check-ins. Surprisingly, after my very public reply he no longer follows me. Tsk, tsk. And the last two days have been completely unproductive from either hardware or software problems. I was tired of “If this or If that” logic statements anyway.

But all is not lost. On the flip side, one of my moons must be in the right “house” this month because I’ve been getting a lot of attention. Happily, that part of my life has been busy and a welcome distraction. Between the gym and my other exertions is it any wonder I dropped another belt notch?1  It has gone along way toward preventing me from telling our developer exactly how far up his anatomy I wanted to shove my foot.

I’m glad it is Friday and am actually considering libations of the alcoholic persuasion tonight, after the gym of course. I didn’t go down two belt-notches to blow it on booze belly.

I had planned to go see Superman with the SF Movie Bears this next Wednesday. Sadly, schedule conflicts have ruined that as well. I’ll have to try and sell off my ticket. I’ll probably end up going this weekend instead. I am not a big fan of remakes of remakes of remakes but the previews looked really good. We shall see.

Cooper appears to be fine. His eye is still bothering him but it’s already healing and there doesn’t seem to be any damage to the eyeball. As mentioned, said plant will receive a “makeover” this weekend.

Ok, that’s all my bitchin for now. Happy weekend hookahs.

  1. Ok, I’m showing off a little. []

Eye

So Cooper being his normal silly self ran into the thorns on the enormous agave plant in our backyard tonight.  The moment he finishes his business he loves to bolt and run all the way to the top of the back stairs. Tonight as he bolted, he hit the plant. He didn’t yelp but I could tell something was wrong as he stopped mid gait and bent down low for a second. He then proceeded to run like normal.

I cleaned the wound and thoroughly examined his eye. Not only did he cut his eyelid he managed to actually nick his eyeball. There is a slight scratch on the lens. Now that I’ve had a few minutes to stop freaking out, he seems ok. While you can see a tiny scratch, he doesn’t seem to have actually done any real damage to his eye. There’s no leakage or deformation…thankfully.

I was almost in tears hugging him with relief. God help me if something ever happens to him I’m gonna be a total mess. Anyway, I’m gonna let him sleep it off and see how he looks in the morning. He’s gonna get a rare treat and sleep with daddy tonight. If anything looks worse in the morning, we’ll be off to the vet. He doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort at all so I’m breathing a cautious sigh of relief.

The plant will receive a thorough butchering this weekend. I’d just as soon rip it out but it ain’t mine. I can guarantee it’s leaves will never droop low enough to ever hurt Cooper again though.

Weight

Playing with the title from my last post. So, I’m back up to 198lbs. And since I’m now down TWO belt-notch on my britches, I’m assuming the weight gain is muscle vs fat. hehehe  Last Friday, I inadvertently grabbed a pair of jeans I hadn’t worn in awhile. And by awhile, I mean I haven’t worn them in over 3 years because my fat-ass wouldn’t fit. Imagine my surprise to discover later in the day they were my skinny jeans! Needless to say, it made my Friday. I’m still a few pounds away from dropping comfortably into a new pant size. One, I like my pants to fit comfy, not super tight and two, wearing tight pants can lead to a false muffin-top. And we can’t have that!

I’m still battling my little belly pooch though. That fucker is holding on for dear life. I have reached a point where the weight loss just from eating better has stopped. I guess I’m really gonna have to do some sort of cardio if I really wanna get any leaner. And speaking of cardio, I dusted off my pair of rollerblades the other day. The skates are practically brand new. I bought’em right after I moved to SF and then promptly stopped using them. Yes, I know it’s probably not cool anymore but when did I ever care about that? Skating is an excellent full body and cardio workout and I love doing it. Before moving to SF, I’d spend an entire afternoon skating. Anyway, I did a pretty decent job remembering the skill but need some practice.  Cooper apparently loves my skates! He chased me up/down the street several times before he finally got tuckered out. I’m beginning to think I may have to actually invest in a skateboard for him. There are plenty of spaces here where I can take him and not worry about his safety. Hell, the MUNI yard in south of Market is just one big ole empty parking lot during the day. And they recently repaved so it is super smooth.

I switched to a new routine at the gym with mostly super-sets. OMG, I left the gym this week feeling like my chest was truly baked! I almost never leave feeling that way on chest day. My muscles adapt pretty quickly and I always have a need to find creative ways to tax them more. The super-sets are most definitely helping. The down side is trying to do super-sets on different benches in a very busy gym. I may have to move my workouts to later to make it work. So far, it hasn’t been too difficult but I think I’ve just gotten lucky so far.

Child

Someone asked me the other day if I considered Cooper my child. The conversation wasn’t overly serious so this random question took me by surprise in that I didn’t really think about my answer. I just said no. Which surprised both of us. More on my surprise in a moment. The friend followed up with, ‘Hmmm, I would have thought as much love you show him you’d see him that way.‘ Well, I was flattered he could tell I love my dog but I was a little perplexed at the implication that I could only feel the depth of love for a human. And for many that might be a natural assumption but it wasn’t one for me. After I thought a little more about it, I still don’t perceive Cooper as my child. He is more of a companion in my eyes. Do I love him any less? Absolutely not. I love that dog as much as could ever love a child. Just because he isn’t human shouldn’t devalue his worth or my capacity to love him. I know so because I would easily do harm to someone to protect him. I would sooner punch someone over Cooper than anything said person could say to me about myself. That to me is a fine determinant on how much I love my 65lb munchkin.

I guess when I first got Cooper, I did sort of perceive him like a child. I still refer to myself in the 3rd-party as his daddy. In many ways, you might perceive an animal as an eternal child because they always need looking after. So the parent-child aspect can be present but I don’t think it necessarily has to encompass the love we feel for our pets. I can tell you as Cooper and I have bonded and time has passed, I do not see him as a child. He is my friend and companion and I couldn’t love him anymore than if he were human. The latter is the surprise for myself.

I’ve had pets off/on most of my life. I grew up on farm and had tons of animals around me all the time. But until I met Spike when Apple guy and I first got together, I’d never felt the depth of love for an animal before. I loved Spike more than any animal before him and still miss him every day. It broke my heart when we had to put him down. And part of the reason I didn’t want another dog was because I was afraid of betraying the love I had for Spike. Now I see how silly that was but being heartbroken can affect one’s judgment. And I consider myself fortunate Apple guy badgered me into getting another dog. I’ll always love him for bringing Cooper into my life. I don’t mind admitting I love Cooper even more than I loved sweet Spike. It doesn’t mean I love Spike less. I came into Cooper’s life early on and he is growing up with me. Spike was a full grown adult and already had his bond with Apple guy. Not to say he didn’t love me but it’s just different. Spike will always be the dog that taught me I could love an animal.

And this makes me wonder what changed? Why am I suddenly more capable of loving an animal so strongly whereas before I wasn’t? Was it because I grew up on a farm knowing most of our livestock was food? Did I form detachments to prevent myself from getting hurt when I lost a pet? No, we never ate pets of course, but what is a pet to me might be food to someone else in another country. The separation in our minds is what I’m referring to here. Then I wonder if maybe the misery of my childhood somehow blocked it. Even as a young adult I never loved my pets like I did Spike and now Cooper. My 20’s were about survival for myself. Maybe it was an extension of the block from childhood? When I met Apple guy my life had definitely settled down quite a bit. I’m guessing mostly. I can’t really explain why things shifted. Maybe I just grew up.

Adult

Cooper will officially be 3 years old in June. And he is definitely moving into adult-hood. One of his recent changes is a lack of urgency. He has always been a bit eager. Sometimes he’s even a bit too eager. I’m sure being left alone a lot by his previous owner didn’t help that. Up until recently, he’s always been very anxious when I’m leaving or just moving around the apt. He’ll immediately jump up and walk around with me to see what I’m up to. In public, he’s always pulling to be with me or bouncing around sniffing, peeing, or being nosey. As he gets older he is certainly moving away from that.

These days he tends to take his sweet time unless I push him along. lol He doesn’t mope but he just isn’t rushed. I think it is a sign of his continual adjustment to his life with me. He realizes I’m not going to leave him and if I do leave him at some point, he knows I’m coming back. He doesn’t fear being left so no need to stay under my feet. I’m happy about that of course. Many of our regular haunts, he walks in and just plops down in his usual spot until I’m ready to leave. At Starbucks, it is right in front of the pick up spot. It has a slight in cut and he fits there perfectly without being in the way. At the bagel shop, there is this weird little cubby spot in the front counter as well. Once again he plops down until I’m finished eating and/or called to get up. Same with the post office. lol He is very used to the route we take to places in the hood. He still gets a bit rambunctious at the dog park at times. He always seems to want to try and dominate the big dogs.1  Otherwise, he pretty much ignores the dogs and runs around marking everything.

He can still get pretty worked up but for the most part he is mellowing out pretty well. I bet as he ages he turns into a big snoring cushion. lolol Mark my words, he is realizing very quickly how good his life is and he is taking full advantage of it. Regardless, I love my companion and he loves me. It brings me untold joy to know he loves and enjoys his life.

  1. I have NO idea where he gets that from! lol []