Saturday, June 25, 2011

Houdini, Alive and Well...

Last night was a long one. It started out as any other night, but soon became a long drawn out nightmare. Macy, the innocent beloved puppy, has taken to sleeping in Julie's room. It's more spacious and Julie seems to sleep on a schedule similar to Macy, going to bed kind of early and rising around 6 AM. Me, I read until all hours and sleep in most days, so sleeping with Macy is really an inconvenience because she climbs on top of me when she awakens for affection and to let me know she has to go out. I stumble to the door, stubbing toes on the way and let her out, hopefully before she starts her early morning barking routine and waking the neighbors.

Last night, after Macy beginning her night in LJ's room, got cast out. I heard barking, then 3 loud high pitched yelps, then nothing. About 30 seconds later, I found Macy scratching at my bedroom door. I opened it and she thought it was time to play, although the clock said something about 1:30 AM. I had just turned off the light and dozed off. She came inside and was pleased as punch to see me and began jumping all over me. I finally got her settled down and she wanted out, but she had nowhere to go. She had already burned her last bridge. She finally got quiet after some severe yelling of, "Go lay down" and some aggressive NO's! About 5 AM she got me up to let her out. When doing so, I passed her new crate laying on the living room floor and noticed that the entire front of the crate was missing! It was laying down inside the crate itself.

Evidently LJ, in desperation, put little Macy into the crate and evidently Macy had taken some classes in engineering and it was mere child's play for her to figure out how to escape. In the picture that you view at the top of this post shows some pieces of wire hanger that I rigged, in order to keep Macy from collapsing the cage and escaping in 3 seconds flat! Who ever dreamed that I'd spend time trying to outsmart a puppy and lose?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Old Menagerie...

When something works it's way into your memory, for some unknown reason, only the good parts exist. We tend to forget the bad. We call it human nature. So when Paul called me last week and told me it was time to put his investment back to work for him and that my inactive business being there is costing him money, I offered to close it down entirely and toss out the old Airport Enterprises sign for good.

No he replied, that's not what I have in mind. Why not go back to work and try to make a go of business again? Well, Oprah did retired leaving a big gap in my afternoon... Hmm.... I wonder if I could pull it off again? So began the idea of going back to work. Last Thursday I attended an auto auction and gained knowledge of the current market trends and values. I made some phone calls and actually bought a truck to resell. By the way, if you run into a guy named #25 running around, tell him I've got his truck!

Yesterday, now that LJ is home from travelling around the countryside, I felt confident that it would be okay to drive my truck down to Paul, my mechanic to get a few things done to it. This is where my story begins.

Paul is sort of a character on his own. He portrays himself to be the silent strong type, due to his size. He's about 6' 4" and rather muscular. About 45 years old, without a hair on his shaved head. The only picture I have of him, shows him covered in grease from working on cars. Paul is the victim of every con artist that ever climbed out of his car. He doesn't seem to have that built-in feature in his brain that says, "Hey, wait a minute"! So Paul continues to be the victim of everyone that comes along that wants a piece of him and he already owns 2 time shares!

Enter Steve. Steve was hanging around about 10 years ago, and made Paul promises that he could make Paul a lot of money if he just gave him a try. Steve claimed to be a mechanic and was also going to be Paul's manager. Steve lasted about 4 months and one day just disappeared. I was pleased, since I spotted Steve as a bullshitter from the start. Well, guess what? Steve is back and is going to head up Paul's new body and paint division. It seems that Steve is tired of working for other people and is going to make him and Paul both rich. When I first spotted Steve, he looked familiar, but he had gained about 30 LBS and turned completely gray and went from 38 to an unkind 48. It was almost as if he'd never left. I was invited into what used to be my office and I said, "oh, there's my old desk and computer". Steve replied that they're his now and the computer is going into the trash, it's junk. Well, I don't have to tell you how I felt. It was almost like he's never left.

I decided not to stay for lunch. I had intended to have lunch with Paul and find out what he was expecting from my going back to work and to leave the truck with him to sell. The lunch turned out to be a figment of my imagination, even though I had called ahead and planned this. Ready to go to lunch were Paul, me, Steve, his 17 year old son that was only a head of hair, from what I could see, Paul's brother Steve was coming down. Steve, Paul's brother is a convicted felon that did his 20 plus years in prison for murder one. Now he is a worthless drug addict that lives off the fat of the land which means Paul and his mother. Paul's mother was also to be in attendance, but she was asleep in the second trailer. Paul's mother acts like she's my date every time I see her, which was once about 15 years ago. She's NOT!

I told Paul, there's no reason to awaken sleeping beauty and we can just have lunch another time. I left. I wanted to call Paul back and tell him to throw Steve the con man out on his ass, but I minded my own business. Paul will find out soon enough. Similar to Superman, I try not to change history!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Houdini Dog...

I never really watched a lot of kids movies when I was a kid. I was more of an outdoorsy type, more interested in sports and friends and staying active, so sitting in front of a TV watching Lassie was not a priority. So begins the saga of the Houdini Dog.

If you read the last post, you realized that Julie and I searched the lands high and low for the perfect dog and came home with Macy, the Doberman/Shepard mix. She's 10 months old and pretty much house trained with the exception of an occasional yellow stain that appears on the carpeting. When it came time for her to be alone, Julie and I discussed it and she was for giving her the run of the house and letting her get used to it. In my eternal wisdom, my theory was that by locking her in Julies/Macy's room where Macy sleeps cuts down the area of destruction from 8 rooms to simply one. Good reasoning, right?

So in preparation, I brought all of Macy's toys into the single bedroom, gave her plenty of water and even brought in her uneaten breakfast, in case she got a little hungry. Now the room has double doors. One is secured in place and the second one swings freely. The two doors, when asked to, open into the room. In other words, when you're standing inside the room, you have to pull the doors towards you to open them. Knowing that Macy was not afforded an opposing thumb, I felt that she would have a hard time exiting that room without the intervention of at least an ape. Then, I went to the junk drawer and looked for something to secure the two handles to each other, just in case the circus was in town and an ape escaped. I found one of those big, thick rubber bands, the kind you pull off of Broccoli clumps, from the grocery. I gave her a couple of cookies as a peace offering and went about my business, which was to pick up a truck that I had bought. I anticipated being gone about 90 minutes and was.

Fast forward 90 minutes and with my new truck parked in the driveway, I entered through the front door and to my surprise and dismay, there was Macy as proud of herself as could be. She jumped up on me and wagged her tail like there was a parade in front of our house. Time for an investigation.

While walking back to LJ's room, I thought could someone have broken into the house and let little Macy out? OR, was this a Houdini Dog? There on the floor was the thick rubber band snapped in two. Hmm.... and there under her door was a throw rug that Macy had literally ripped to shreds. Upon further investigation, I found that this throw rug was connected to the carpeting that was in LJ's room. In fact this WAS the carpeting that used to be in LJ's Room! Macy had single-handedly unraveled the Berber carpeting. There, long 8 foot strips of it fanned out across the room and I'm not a re-weaver. Holy crap! This is the puppy from HELL!!!!!!!!

A friend suggested I go to Costco and buy one of those big pictures and place it over the holey carpeting and she'd never know, but I felt that might be the wrong approach. Now, here was my dilemma. Do I tell LJ and chance ruining her vacation or just let it play out? I let it play out. LJ called and texted and wanted to know how her little puppy was and didn't even hint at a problem until day 5 when LJ was coming home. Now was the time! In a brief conversation, the topic of Macy came up and I threw it into the end of a sentence. Like, everything went pretty well with the pup with the exception of a little carpet trouble. I was hoping that might go right over LJ's head, but no, she caught it immediately. Carpet trouble, what kind, she retorted? I said, "Oh, when I had to leave on Friday to go pick up my truck, she ripped a little carpet". Oh, that's nothing, that carpeting needs to ripped out anyway, answered LJ. I said, good because Macy gave it a head start! That was the end of the conversation. WHEW!!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Macy is MY Puppy...

As you can see from the above picture, I'm on love. Introducing Spacy Macy, the goofiest 10 month old puppy in captivity. Wait till you meet her. It was love at first sight. Here's how it happened.

I was in my trusty recliner watching some silly afternoon movie, when LJ came out of her quarters toting her computer. "Look at that face, how can you resist it"? I took a look at the 8 week old puppy that was up for adoption at the Arizona Animal Welfare League, then read below it, where it said "Pit Bull" and that's all it took for me. Done. Not getting a Pit Bull that I'm sure we could easily fall in love with, then have it outside sunning itself when the neighbors 6 year old child walks up and gets attacked. Not for me, no Pit Bulls. However I realized that LJ had the puppy blues and needed a quick dose of puppy breath. I told her I could be showered and ready in 20 minutes, to get ready to take a ride.

Many years before I adopted a pup from AAWL and although the pup didn't work out, the people and the organization were wonderful. The dog was a psycho and attacked children without provocation, but that's another story. We wasted no time in going south on the freeway to AAWL. The strangest thing happened though. We could not find a dog that seemed to fit. Most were Pit Bulls or Pit mixes and after about 30 minutes, we realized this was our second attempt and nothing that seemed to fit. Julie even got bitten by a wolf in Chihuahua clothing! She had the most shocked look I'd ever seen on her, when she pulled her finger out of little Paco's cage.

The folks at AAWL referred us to other adoption places and we found ourselves heading south to the main location of the AZ. Humane Society at 19th Ave and Dobbins. Now that's a long ride. We finally found the place and it was large and well kept with a polite staff of volunteers. We headed out and naturally the first dog that LJ fell for was a Chow-Chow. Again, horrible reputations for aggression. We agreed it would not be a good idea and moved on. I think we were on our second row of incarcerated pups when I heard a scream! It was the Lovely Jules, as she laid eyes on this goofy looking over sized puppy that was just all over the place. Macy, a 10 month old Doberman mix is about 22" at the shoulder and weighs about 65 LBS. It appeared that she had just grown and was tall and lanky and didn't know what to do with her size yet. She jumped up on her cage and couldn't get enough affection from us. I really didn't know what I was looking for until I saw her. Yep, she was a keeper!

Whoa, wait a second. Macy was a 3 time loser. She was turned in at the shelter as a new born and adopted out. Then she was returned again for poor behavior. What "poor behavior" could a puppy do? Chew? Poop? Cry? Well, when you adopt an 8 week old puppy, you expect that. Next she was adopted out by an elderly couple and they returned her for jumping up. Yep, that's normal too! She been locked up in the "joint" now for about 2 weeks and things were not looking too good for her. I can cure jumping up. It just takes some time.

Okay, we decide jointly to take home this dog. That's when LJ announces that it's my dog and she will sleep in my room and LJ doesn't want the responsibility of a puppy. Spacy came to $93, including tax and license. I charged it on my card while LJ stood there pretending to shop for a cat, they were on sale! We packed up MY new puppy and I drove while Spacy Macy sat on Julie's lap all the way home in the car. Then Macy ran around the house like a maniac while Jules laughed like a hyena enjoying herself. Then LJ fed MY dog, after which she went outside to do her business, (Macy, not Julie) and took her into her room where MY dog is fast asleep in Julie's bed alongside LJ and I really can't tell who is snoring louder.

Yep, Macy is MY puppy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Going to the Puppy Prison...

It had been about a week since the loss of Pawpaw. LJ has been moping around the house staying pretty much to herself, so when I asked if she were ready to go to the Arizona Humane Society, I saw a definite sparkle in her eye. I knew she wanted to get another dog, but wasn't sure if she were quite ready. She gave me a definite maybe. The next day rolled around and she came back from an early morning shopping trip and asked if I still wanted to go? Sure, I was already showered and all I needed to do was put on some long pants.

When we arrived at the location, you would have thought they were giving away cash with each dog, from the looks of the parking lot. There was a 3 car line waiting to go into the lot! Not a parking space to be found, so after 2 trips through the lot, I decided to look for a spot on the adjacent street. After pulling into one that looked legal, we exited the car and before we got 5 feet away, a lady walked up to us and told us we couldn't park there, that was where the ambulances like to park when they bring in an injured animal. I briefly pointed out that it look like a legal spot. She agreed with me that it was legal but not convenient for them. LJ and I looked at each other and moved the car.

We wound up parking about 2 blocks away. Now why is it that when you go ahead and park that far from a location, when you walk past their convenient parking lot there are always 5 new parking spots, right by the front door? Oh well.

We walked past the parking lot that was formerly so packed and realized it was the free neuter or spay clinic. There we tons of people just waiting to get their chance to see the vet, along with their pets that were not destined to ever be parents. Finally we found the front door and entered, passing 2 perfectly good parking spots, but I digress.

There wasn't anyone to greet us, so we just walked back to where the incarcerated dogs were kept. For some reason we got the feeling we had just entered a puppy prison. We walked along a narrow pathway and several dogs came out to greet us. Each pup had a story. LJ became pretty animated with lots of ohhs and awws. Oh look at this little guy, he's soooo sweet. She reached into several cages and tried to pet some of them. Tails were wagging and LJ's hands were soaked with puppy licks. About 5 dogs into our search, we ran into Lucky. Lucky must have been trained in playing the emotions of the potential adoptive parents. He wagged his tail so hard I thought he was going to fall down. Then he raised his front paw and stroke LJ's hand and Julie looked at me melting and said, "This is the one"! While Julie was planning on what we needed in order to bring him home, I was reading Lucky's biography. Hmm.... let's see here. Lucky is a barker and gets along with other dogs, cats, men, women, and children, most of the time but sometimes gets a little moody. He was returned to the shelter by his previous adoptive home after about 3 months because he had attitude problems...........Whoa! He's a jumper and escaped over a 7 foot fence and has been known to dig under fences, as well.

As I pointed out this information to LJ, I reached in to pet Lucky, when he curled his lips and growled and snapped at me, exiting to his outside run. All we did was look at each other, LJ and me, when LJ said, that would have been a mistake.

Next was a felon named Sparkie. Sparkie was a Terrier/Pit Bull mix, uh oh! Next, we came across a rather sedate dog who seemed to just be content laying on his blanket, so we read about him. His name was Homer, a mixed hunting dog. Homer was found and brought into the rescue by ambulance. He had been hit by a car and the damage to his leg was so severe it had to amputated. Ohhh, poor baby...

On the way out Julie said goodbye to Lucky, briefly explaining it was his attitude and I swear he flipped her a puppie finger that she completely missed.

On the way home I gave her about 10 more minutes of the great value of owning a Great Dane, but LJ held firm about, "No Great Danes"! Damn...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exotic Coconut...

So I'm cruising along one night watching TV and reading a little, when I get an important notice from the dating service that Exotic Coconut wants to meet me. Well, to say that I was honored was an understatement. I'd never met any coconut let alone an Exotic one. So I hopped online and went to my fate. My first reaction was one that was shock. This looked better than the usual old hag that flatters me with attention. That's when I noticed that it said she was 5' 4" and 102. That's pretty thin, right? Wait, 102 wasn't her weight, it was her age! Seems like there's always a catch to the online beauties. She can't be 102 and look like this, so I assume she's joking and really doesn't want to disclose her age. In addition, she had some other pictures that were quite flattering. I wrote to her and we began a dialogue.

It turned out that in spite of her somewhat youthful look, she was really 61, but that's fine, I'm 65. She offered me her phone number and told me that after 4 PM, she would no longer be on call for work and to call. I did. Turned out that she just moved here from Wisc. and was recently divorced from a man that was 41 and she went ahead and explained what a total asshole he was for about an hour. Hmm...... A bit jaded, I'd say. She lives in a foreclosed home for free while a friend of her ex-husband is renovating it, has no furniture including no bed, but does have 3 rescue dogs and had to put down four others this past year due to old age. She was a retired Maricopa County Deputy and had a career in law enforcement, but was doing "other" work currently. When I asked her what sort of work, she got rather testy and would not tell me. So naturally I assumed she worked for the CIA. On a scale from 1 to 10 on conversation, I gave her a 3 or 4. We didn't speak again, but I emailed her that I'd like to meet her, thinking I'd give her the benefit of the doubt considering she had just moved, gotten divorced, lost 4 pets recently and had no real job. Those are a lot of tough things, after all. She told me that she had to work Saturday until after 9 PM, but was free on Sunday. I replied that Sunday would be fine and no pressure and perhaps then she will tell me about her secret job? Immediately she shot off another email full of capital letters. That's SCREAMING in online chat. She told me that her secret job is none of my business and why do I insist on continually asking? I replied only 2 words. "Nevermind Sunday!"

The Patient is Always the Last to Know...

If you read this blog, you probably know that my "procedure" from last week was aborted due to my level of Potassium being a little too high to safely be put under anesthesia. When the doctor left me there sprawled out in my chorus line outfit, he said "We'll be in touch with you to reschedule" and he waived goodbye. The very following day, I got a message from his less than adequate "head of surgery scheduling", a little girl named Monica. Her message was to be sure to get new lab work done within 1 week of surgery. That was it. I then waited for her call to schedule me. Two days later, a woman named Annie called and said she was scheduling me and to return her call. I did but it went directly to voicemail. I've since left her 2 other messages, but she seems to ignore them.

Yesterday I got a message from a recording to be sure to show up on time for my "post op" appointment for Friday, the 3rd of June. How can I have a post op appointment if I've not had the procedure done yet? Today, I called to cancel that appointment that I never made and the phone operator asked if I wanted to also cancel my appointment for the 7th of June for surgery? What, I have no appointment then either. So do you want to cancel it too, she asked? What time is it for and where, what hospital? She explained that she cannot give me that information, I need to talk to Monica for that vital info. I was transferred to Monica and it went directly to voicemail once again. She still has not returned my call.

It appears that everything is scheduled and ready to go except no one has bothered to tell me, the patient. Here is another thing that is bothering me. As I laid on the gurney last week, wearing nylon tights and a hospital gown, with my arm out waiting for the IV that was going to put me to sleep, is that when my Potassium level spiked to 5.9? No, everyone knew that ahead of time from my lab reports and no one bothered to make the decision to cancel it until everyone including me, was terribly inconvenienced. Would you go forward with a doctor who's office is this disheveled? It really doesn't say much for him. Rant over.