I was walking Cleo through this dockside-type neighborhood that had a particularly unique problem.
Lots of homes had pools in their backyards that weren’t far from the canal itself, which you would think would be pretty swell – especially because dolphins were very common in this neighborhood, but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as ideal because said dolphins had a nasty habit of coming out of the water and flopping around on people’s patios while they were trying to sleep!
I first noticed it as only the sound of a random thud on concrete, and then finally saw a large, grey shape that every so often would make its presence known to the poor lady who was trying to sleep in her home. It quickly became clear that the flopping wasn’t so much due to being fish out of water as much as it was simply dolphins being a bunch of assholes.
It was like a game to them – they’d dive out of the canal into somebody’s pool, then flop onto the patio for a bit, then back into the pool – to the point where sometimes these tiny pools would have multiple dolphins in them at the same time.
At one point Cleo got off her leash and was curiously walking along the edge of the pool, almost slipping but catching herself several times, until she finally just fell in altogether. I thought she was going to be able to swim out, but there were three dolphins in that particular pool and one grabbed her, so I had to reach in and pull her free.
Luckily she was ok in this particular dream, though, and after sympathizing with the neighbors who were being kept up all night by these dolphins, we finally went on our way.
I used to be such a fish tank guy!
I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t have at least one tank either in my bedroom or somewhere in my apartment when I moved out. I’ve always loved fish, but for some reason in the last couple of years my discipline for maintaining them has significantly faded.
Case in point – I haven’t fed my fish by hand in … two years? … because after buying one of those automatic fish feeders for going on vacation, I came back and said, “Why spoil a good thing?!” and just let the robot take over what I as the responsible pet owner was supposed to be doing all of that time!
Hey, in my defense, my care had started slacking at that point anyways, so at least the robot would remember to feed them every single day!
But that said, I’ve been seriously thinking about getting rid of the tank in my office – it’s all green and nasty, and most of the fish that were in it are now dead, and when I’m too lazy to keep it filled, the filter starts to get really obnoxious once enough of the water has evaporated from it.
It’s not just me – Sara’s tank has been sitting out in the garage since we moved into this house and that was two years ago! We actually talked about turning her tank into a Lego fish tank with blue bricks on the bottom for water and various fish swimming all about. That technically never happened, either, but it would’ve been a neat idea.
The problem is, I enjoy fish in passing, but I have no desire or discipline or time to actually do the upkeep required to not have a green and nasty fish tank sitting in the room. And that’s sad because it really shouldn’t take much – I’ve got a super nice filter that should rarely need changing if everything is maintained right, and with the auto-feeder on food duty, really the only thing left is to occasionally scrape algae off the sides and dump five gallons of fresh water to replace whatever has evaporated from it every couple of weeks.
…both of the latter of which, I do not do.
So earlier today, I was finally ready to just pull the plug. Sara even asked me about it a day or two ago if it was time to just admit that we weren’t fish people anymore, so when I was sitting here trying to write and the incessant sound of water dumping out of the filtration pipe because the water level is down 6″ in the tank had pushed me to my last nerve, I got up and instead of grabbing the bucket to get more water, I just flipped the power switch to turn everything off.
Mind you, there’s still an algae eater in there somewhere … I actually think that he’s the only one left because the other two died recently … and we saw him enjoying their remains at his leisure. But I honestly didn’t really think much of it, that is until Cleo came running into my office a little while ago, stopped dead in her tracks, and made a bee-line for the darkened fish tank where it was pretty clear that she knew something was up…
For some strange reason, Cleo has always liked my fish – I guess when we adopted her, she became a fish person, too – but she would always come in and put her nose up to the glass, and I eventually put a little storage box there for her to step on so that she could see better into the tank. She didn’t really care for the other ones, but that algae eater for some reason … we ended up nicknaming him Cleo Fish just because she would get so excited when he was out and about, and so mad when he was hiding in his cave and she couldn’t see him!
I guess the TL/DR of this blog post is … I need to become a better fish tank owner because I’ll never hear the end of it from the dog if I euthanize that one stupid fish. 😕
I sometimes feel bad when I have to yell at Cleo for going crazy about seeing another dog.
Just now, she was looking out the front window – something that she does a lot during the day – and a couple of people were walking their dogs by on the sidewalk. The problem is, she gets super-duper-crazy excited when she sees pretty much any creature with more than 2 legs, and when she does this, she turns into this hyper psycho dog that starts clamoring and scratching at the window like she was being starved for oxygen or something! 😯
My main concern, mind you, is that one of these days she’s going to break the window, which would be a problem two-fold because a) I have no idea how one goes about replacing a window, and b) no doubt broken glass and such would be somewhat bad for Cleo, too, considering that once she breaks the window she’s likely to go flying through it en route to whatever caused her to assail said window in the first place!
But physical damages aside, sometimes it also makes me wonder about her psychologically because when I inevitably have to go up and usher her away from the window, amidst all of her shaking and yelping, I can tell that she’s certainly distraught, which from my imagination falls into one of two categories:
- She’s just super-duper excited because she wants to run and play with whatever she sees outside, regardless of whether or not it would actually be interested in playing with her.
- Or what if she’s freaking the fuck out because she hardly gets to see other dogs and so when she does, it’s this incredible mindfuck of having been kept in captivity for years and just now learning that there are other creatures out there that look just like her!
I mean, think about it if the roles were reversed – if you stayed locked up in the house all day with only a window to the outdoors, and maybe occasionally you got to go out and play with other humans, but your memory was really short so you don’t always remember those times, when you saw another being that looks just like you walking past on the other side of the glass, wouldn’t you start to wonder what in the hell is going on and begin to question everything about your so-called happy life that you’ve ever known?!
Granted, maybe I need not worry about that being the case because it’s not like Cleo has ever attacked me as her captor after piecing together dogs’ place as man’s pets or even so much as licked me to death to know the truth about what lies beyond the front window in our family room. It’s just that ever since we got her a couple of years ago, I’ve always been curious about what she thinks and what she remembers and how she learns. She’s not like the fish that I’ve had for most of my life where they pretty much just bob around and be fish – she’s learned a surprising number of words, most of them relating to food and her getting to go on walks, and she reacts differently to different people that she knows.
It makes me wonder what else goes on inside that furry, little head of hers … aside from the food-related thoughts … I’m pretty much on top of those already… 😛
Normally this is where I would insert a cute picture of my ever-growing little puppy, but today is not a day for cute pictures because she’s sick.
Granted, she’d still look cute in said pictures … most likely too cute, in fact, that you probably wouldn’t be able to handle it. The combination of too cute/feeling sorry for sick puppy is likely more than any of us could bear in a photographic setting, so for this time I’m just going to save the lot of us the hassle and just use my meager words…
Cleo got pink eye over the weekend.
We were pretty lax on Sunday, mostly just laying around playing video games after my in-laws headed back home. Cleo slept a lot and we didn’t really think much of it because she had a 4-legged companion to play with for the last couple of days, but we did notice that she seemed to be getting an unusual quantity of eye boogers while she slept … like literally one of us was wiping them away every 30 minutes! By the end of the day, we started to notice that her one eye was getting pretty pink and eventually she started pawing at it, too, so we knew that something was up.
So yesterday afternoon I took her to the vet and bizarrely enough, I learned that apparently dogs can get allergies just like people do! It was news to me, but the doctor said that between the pink eye and how she’s been licking her paws (among other areas) a lot, this is about the age when they’d start to develop that sort of stuff, so there you go.
We left with about $40 worth of special shampoos, along with an antiseptic spray for her paws and some crazy ointment for her eyes which she really doesn’t like much at all! I’ve never really had to deal much with allergies – I think my sister has some, but I either avoided it or just used excess quantities of Kleenex to get me through the season. Not sure how it works with dogs, though – I’ve yet to see her pickup a Kleenex without shredding it, so I guess we’ll just have to see where things go once the pink eye goes away… 🙁
Sometimes I’m actually pretty impressed on just how smart my little puppy really is.
For example, we just got back from our walks that haven’t been nearly as frequent as either of us would like as of late. Nonetheless, she knows all of the signs to look for when we might be going for a walk, and I’m not talking about when I grab her leash. No, Cleo knows that when I grab a certain pair of shorts and go into the bathroom, that that’s a hint, and when she sees me reach for the bottle of talcum powder, that’s a hint.
And when I’m putting on my tennis shoes?! Oh holy christ, that’s most certainly a hint that we’re going on a walk very, very soon!
Today was even a step further yet, though, because I was putting my shoes on at my computer desk, which I’m wont to do, and I couldn’t help but notice that when I focused on just tying my shoes, Cleo behaved herself and waited patiently, but if I’d reach for the keyboard to check Facebook first or something, she’d go nuts and start whining, much like she does pretty much any other time she thinks we’re on our way out the door!
I guess I was impressed that she keyed in on when she knew I was doing something for her … now if I could get her to follow suit for the other signs that we’re going for a walk instead of just whining like crazy until we’re out the door! Then again, I suppose she’s still learning, but it’s still kind of neat to be able to observe that she is learning. 😉