The ifetch too and Joy

I bought my younger dog, Joy, an ifetch too for Christmas.Yesterday we tried using it with her. My middle son, Conrad, helped with putting balls in it. Joy did not grasp the concept of what was going on. At one point she stuck her nose in the ifetch too to try to get back the ball he had just dropped into it. I made three videos of them with the ifetch. I will post one of them here.

This morning I put the ifetch into a chair. I taught Joy one summer to put the ball she fetched outside into the lawn chair. If I can get her to understand what is going on, I can train her to use the ifetch. She seemed to realize the machine was throwing the balls today. That will be today’s lesson. I’ll play with her and the ifetch in the chair a few more times. I’ve asked Conrad to record me putting the ball into the machine and Joy watching and running after it. When that is recorded, I’ll add that video to this post as well.

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The Hidden Pill

I think my dog gets as angry with me when I hide a pill in her treat as I get with her when she finds it and spits it out. She seldom finds it, but when she does, we both stay angry too long.

She has Arthritis. This expensive, expensive pill will help her pain.

She foolishly spits it out.

I vow not to ever buy more. I lie. She always gets another bottle of them when what she has runs out.

But it galls me to see her ingratitude.

She hurts so bad that once in awhile, she falls down. She looks at me in consternation when it happens.

I tell her “Get up”, as if it’s fine and nothing to worry about. Sometimes I help her up.

Her pill lies beside her plate, spit out again for the second time.

I am angry and so is she.


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We Baby Boomers made it easy for you until we couldn’t any more.

Now it’s our fault your easy ride has ended?

Point taken.

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McCalls Restaurant

I often take McCalls Restaurant buffet food out in one of their take-out cartons. It’s a white styrofoam container with divided sections. I always get more ¬†items than the number of sections, so my lunch resembles a casserole by the time I’m done.

Today I saw they had turkey and dressing and gravy and I got a little excited. I’m an older person now and sometimes have some coordination problems.

There was a young man who seemed to be following me around the buffet. He made me nervous on top of my already excitedly shaking hand. I don’t usually spill anything, but today was different.

He was peering over my shoulder at “what are those green looking things?” he asked the attendant. I turned and told him they were fried okra before she could figure out what he was referring to. In my excited state, I flung two of them into the mashed potatoes. “Now they’re in the mashed potatoes”, I told him.

He stood there as if deciding whether he wanted any of those “green things” while I tried to manuver the gravy ladle that was under a low hanging lamp and impossible to tilt . . . there went gravy all over everything in my container. Good thing I like it.

When I finally got home and took out my container, the bag it was in had gravy in the bottom of it. All the contents had slid to one side of the container and now it really was a hodgepodge mess.

If I see that man in McCalls again, I’m going to either eat in, wait until he’s filled his plate, or turn around and leave.



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Joy, the puppy who was brought into my home to lift the spirits of my grievning dog, is now learning how to be my dog.

My sons spent most of the time with her and she learned to play and she thrived. I made sure she was fed and watered and asked if she’d been taken out? That’s was most of my interactions with Joy.

She became stuck here with me on September 20. This was her reaction:


This broke my heart. Did she truly think she had been abandoned and everyone who loved her had moved on. Ahem . . . hey, girl, have you ever noticed ME?

Joy has always loved to chase balls and bring them back to whomever threw them. After a few hours of looking at this behavior, I found some of her tennis balls and began to bounce them on the floor close to her. She got up, took them back to her spot by the door and laid back down.

Eventually she had all her balls in her grieving spot.

Then I began to take my toe and roll a ball away from her. She’d get up to get it and then go lie back down.

I could get her to move, if I’d start to open the door she was lying against.

She had little interest in anything.

Eventually she had to go out and I went with her. I love being outside. She wasn’t that fond of it. However, I talked to her and showed her things in the yard.

I fed her. When my son was here, she ate more people food, I suspect, than dog food.

Now she was getting mostly dog food. One day I boiled chicken and cooked rice and she had some chicken and rice, which is something my vet recommends, especially for my old dog.

I sat in the floor with her and talked to her.

It has taken time. Now she is back to wagging her tail and being happy just to be alive.

Grief can suck the life right out of you. I don’t know if she will continue to be bonded with me so strongly when my son returns, but for now, she is happy being my dog.

My other son was here the other day. She ran to greet him when he came in, but she surprisingly ran back to me and leaned up against me while wagging her tail. I took that as a good sign.


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How Many Words

How many words can a dog understand? I saw the number in an article somewhere sometime but can’t remember the scientific number.

My young dog, Joy, is learning new words daily.

I wasn’t ready for a puppy – or another dog – after my beloved Magic died, but Magic’s daughter was stuck in grief and Joy, the puppy I brought home, got her out of it. Good girl.

My three sons seemed to enjoy Joy and played with her. The dog I still had left, Blackie, helped to housetrain her as Joy would do whatever Blackie did, when Blackie did it.

Recently I’ve spent much more time with Joy. I talk to her a lot and find it amusing when she cocks her head to the side when she hears a word she recognizes.

She knows my oldest son’s name and when I tell her he’s coming today, she’ll take a seat by the door to wait. She knows he’s here long before I do. She alerts me with her barking and greets him as he opens the door.

I am trying to train her to love the outdoors like I do. She’s learned the word “Behave”. It’s what I tell her when she barks at the neighbors or anyone else she shouldn’t bark at. Strangers? Bark away. That’s your job. I wrote about a silly man who was selling something and thought it was a good idea to reach across Joy’s head to hand me a pamphlet.

I’ve written a lot about Joy.

She’s recently begun to spell. If I ask my son if he’s taken her O-U-T, she stands up and heads for the door with her tail wagging.

I believe animals are far more intelligent than we give them credit for.

My dogs can not only understand my words, but they have trained me to know what some of their actions mean.

Has your dog trained you to do certain things?



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Guess Who Had A Birthday Yesterday

It was my youngest dog, Joy.

I got her after my dog, Magic died. I still had Magic’s puppy, Blackie, and all Blackie did, day after day, was lie in Magic’s spot in the blue chair with her head on her paws doing nothing. Blackie was ten years old.

I couldn’t help her. I tried. Finally I thought if I got her a companion, she might perk up. Someone I worked with had a sister whose dog had puppies and I got one of them.

Blackie was not happy to see me walk in with the puppy in my arms, but when I put her down by the blue chair and she sniffed at Blackie, Blackie got up and jumped down and walked away.

Hey. Progress. Blackie moved.

The puppy continued to try to play with Blackie. All her efforts were rebuffed, but with the optimism of youth, she continued to try.

The puppy, who the children who owned the mother dog had named “Joy”, began to imitate Blackie. When I’d toss Blackie a bite of food, she’d catch it. Joy tried to do the same thing and seemed as happy about missing and getting it up off the floor as she was when she’d actually catch a bite. But practice makes perfect, and eventually Joy was also catching the bites.

I took them both out at the same time and Joy would run up to see what Blackie was doing when Blackie “did her business”. It would make Joy squat happily right beside her.

Yesterday was Joy’s sixth birthday. I had given Blackie a 16th birthday party last month. I’d actually forgotten Joy’s birthday until it popped up in my facebook memories.

It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve had her six years now.



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