Category Archives: dogs

Feeling Poorly

What’s got Terri down?  PGD (Pretty Good Dog) is not feeling any too clever right now. A few days ago she yelped when I picked her up and seemed lethargic and in pain. No fever, no vomiting… but off to the vet we went.  I was actually suspicious that she might have eaten a chicken bone or something else picked up illicitly on a walk, and that it was causing internal distress. But as there was no fever or signs of infection, internal bleeding, etc., I was not sure.

Turns out that my poor baby has a bulging disc!  Whether it is completely herniated or just a bit swollen is hard to tell, but anyone who has had a disc problem (hands up, everyone) knows how bloody painful it can be.  So the poor girl is on doggy anti-inflamatories (which, BTW, are designed to be extra tasty to dogs, so she gobbles it with no urging).  She is also supposed to rest, keep warm, and not do any jumping or rough playing.

Well, try to explain to your dog that she can’t play with her friends. This morning Terri was clearly feeling better, so as soon as I let her off her leash on the walking path, she tried to leap up onto the rocks as she usually does. YELP! The disc had other ideas!  PGD stood and quivered for a moment, then slowly picked her way back down to the path, where she pressed herself against my leg and trembled. For the rest of the walk, she avoided running and jumping, and climbed the stairs like an old lady.  Poor dear. Right now she is snuggled up in a fleece blanket, feeling quite sorry for herself.

Lump Watch 2011

Which side?  Terri’s lump has gone down so much that I can barely find it! Hooray to Dr. Ofer! Pretty Good Dog celebrates by finding yet another dead, rotting carcase to roll in.  Ugh.

Fore! The rain has finally saturated the roof to the point where a big chunk of plaster fell off the ceiling of the stairwell, leaving a large diningroom-sized scar and showering the area with debris and rubble. Amir, my downstairs neighbor, helped me clean up. Yikes. More repairs to add to our list!

Miracles do happen: After being locked out of my mail box for almost two weeks, and wasting endless time calling the post office, I happened to be passing by when the post office car was pulling up to our mail box area.  Thirty seconds later, the guy had cheerfully comfirmed what I had suspected—namely, that the box had been locked from inside.  It was, as you can imagine, crammed full of mail.

Long Time No Blog

Let’s get this party year started! Well, 2011 is not shaping up to be much different from 2010, but most of us perpetually self-deluding types are still convinced that we can get in shape, lose weight, and do all those wonderful things (and stop doing all those bad things) that we meant to do at the start of last year.

But never fear. A new year offers a clean slate and a chance to clean out the closets, purge some emotional baggage, and get things in shape again.  For me, the year kicked off with a flurry of errands, paperwork, and other chores associated with being atzma’i (self-employed).

One of those chores was a lengthy confab with my printer, a lovely local guy who goes by the remarkable name Gantos Gantos. (What were his parents thinking?) Gantos is Christian Arab, but of a Coptic sect closer to Greek Orthodox, so he is a tiny minority inside a tiny minority.  He always starts our meetings with a small pot of Turkish coffee and a few pithy sayings. This week I got:

A woman must be able to totally trust two men in her life: her husband and her accountant.

I love it. Reminds me of what Baruch, my accountant, told me when I became self-employed:

אפשר לישון טוב או לאכול טוב
(You can sleep well or eat well.)

Being the straight-laced American, I choose to sleep well, which means that all my paperwork and tax stuff is immaculately above-board, and I make a lot less money. 😦

Soggy Doggy has a lump: Terri and I went to see the ever stoic Dr. Ofer, because I discovered a lump on my little darling. We are awaiting lab results. (Are they still Lab results even if you have a mixed breed terrier?)   Tonight’s rain had Terri digging in her heels and refusing to go outside; I actually had to carry her across the street before she gave up and plodded along, soggy and dejected.  Poor baby.  Meanwhile, here’s the girl with her monkey:
Terri laughs while cuddling her monkey.

Take the survey!  Please help me out. If you haven’t already taken my survey on computer usage, pul-eeeze do so! I need a ton of data within the next week. I need people from different age groups, backgrounds, locations, etc.  It will only take about ten minutes to do. Please feel free to pass the link on to everyone.

Don’t Tick Me Off

Do you want extra foam with your tick?  Despite the monthly flea and tick treatment, Terri still picks up a few hitchhikers on our walks.  The ticks particularly love to latch on to the wiry hairs near her nose, and are difficult to remove.  Terri, despite being a Pretty Good Dog, hates having those hairs tugged or pulled in any way, and won’t sit still long enough for me to carefully remove the offending parasite. In the ensuing struggle, I crush the tick, leaving half of it still attached.

Clearly, ticks taste terrible.

Terri spends the next half hour drooling and foaming at the mouth.  She paces through the house (leaving a sad, wet trail), works her mouth as if chewing gum, and drools some more.

The Year in Statistics

Fun and interesting facts: Yediot Achronot ran a multi-page spread right before Rosh Hashana about where we are as a nation, some demographic data, and some curious trivia, all wrapped around a lovely photo of what is dubbed our most international battalion, part of the Paratrooper corps. These guys range from Sabras (born in Israel) to guys who have only been here a year.  Countries of origin include Guatemala, Ethiopia, France, United States, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Romania, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Scotland.  Each is saying Happy Rosh Hashana in his language. Here’s a part of the picture:

Some interesting demographic data:

  • Our entire nation consists of 7,645,500 people (up 1.8% from last year).
  • 4.1 million (71.7%) are Sabra’im (born in Israel).
  • 5.77 million Jews, 1.56 million Moslem Arabs, and about 315K other (Christians, Druzim, etc.).
  • Life expectancy is 79.7 (men) and 83.5 (women).  (Compare that to 75.7 and 80.7, respectively, from the US.)
  • The most densely populated place in the country is Bnei Brak, with 21,031 people per square kilometer. (Compare that to 4,200 for Gaza!)
  • Here’s my favorite one of all: in the past year, 2.5 million Israelis made international flights.  Granted, many of these are repeat travelers, but stack that up against the US, with a population of 310 million and only 68 million passports issued!  Yes, that is right; only 22% of Americans have passports.  Shocking.

A quiet Yom Kippur: Apart from the usual hot spell that seems to always arrive in time to make the fast more difficult, it was a quiet day.  Terri refused to repent for her many sins, which include lunging, chasing cats, eating garbage, rolling in stinky things, eating cow poo, carrying mouthfuls of kibble onto the bed to eat, horking up on the sofa, and shedding.  Of course, I can’t question the wisdom of Wendy Francisco. May we all have a year with more wagging and less barking.

You Can’t Say That in Korean!

Blind editing, anyone?  Every once in a while, a client needs you to tackle a project that is completely off the wall. This is a great client and I’m not too proud to do annoying grunt work, so I spent a wild few weeks editing books (FrameMaker source) in 18 different languages.  Don’t worry, I wasn’t trying to rewrite anything in languages I don’t understand, but I did have to find and remove a few things, fix references to GUI elements that had changed, etc. When the Korean version got completely corrupted and all the fonts turned into question marks, I spent a nerve-wracking day updating tags to the correct fonts.  Product manager across the hall said, “I like it when you are here, because I learn so many new swear words in English!”  Yup.  Nothing like having FrameMaker crash after a sweaty, hair-raising edit session, to make you really stretch your naughty vocabulary.   

More attack cats: Terri and I had two more run-ins with feral kitties this week. One we managed to get past (although Terri got scratched), but the other was so completely psycho that we turned around and made a huge detour to avoid it.  It is astonishing that a little thing like that, probably barely three kilos, could hold off a dog and an adult human.  Scary kitty!  There was no way to assure her that we weren’t going to harm her kittens.

Hot, hot, hot: The heat wave of last week finally broke, but it is still hot and abnormally humid.  If you turn the AC off, the room instantly turns into a sauna.  The heat has also brought out the bugs, so each morning I have to look around the house for all the various gate-crashers who showed up during the night.  So far, we’ve had a few giant spiders (don’t ask me what kind), a scorpion, two lizards, and several giant mutant cockroaches.  Terri has been pretty useless at patrolling the apartment for these critters, but after our run-in with the scorpion, I decided that was a good thing!

Happy birthday, Angel Dog!

Miss Terri turns three: Poor doggy had a day home alone while I slog back and forth to a client site.  But I got home in time to walk her past the pet store, where she picked out a new bouncy ball and some treats. After dinner, ice cream!