Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fiona the puppy - update

I haven't had a puppy since I was a kid. I've always had exotic animals like bearded dragons, snakes, birds..Wesley..and of course, my current 47 hamsters (YES! I ADORE the bright, comical little creatures and have a hamster rescue called "hamster haven").

So it's been awhile since I've been immersed in the world of dogs and a lot has changed since the, uh, 1980s. One of the first things I found out is that vets do not recommend rawhide because of the risks involved and because it's so hard to digest. What do they recommend? "Bullysticks".

Now, I've gotten some flak about having to feed mice to Wesley, but really it's more like people just think it's awfully gross. Yes, it is gross. But these bullysticks are a lot worse! Oh, my, gosh. naturally, I asked the pet store owner what they WERE. He's an old friend so how embarrassed was I when he told me! Then he goes and walks through the aisle saying, "Do you think she'd like one of these really big ones or a medium or a small?" I was too speechless to even answer. He handed me two "sticks" that are about 2 feet long, each.

At least now I know we really DO use ALL the parts of the beef. ALL of the parts. The other bits, I discovered while I was in Colorado, are eaten by HUMANS! And people think I am wierd for dealing with MICE? I didn't EAT them myself at least! haha! Yes, there they were on a menu in a pretty nice restaurant - "rocky mountain oysters". Thank God I'm allergic to seafood! (ha).

I took Fiona to the pet store the other day and had her pick out her own toy and she pulled a dried pig's ear out of a bin and carried it up to the register. Only to find out that her brother, Drinian, did the EXACT same thing when his owner took him to the pet store! He also grabbed a pig's ear and carried it up to the register. Wow. A friend of mine has Fiona's brother and they both arrived on the same airplane so that they could travel together.

Fiona is so docile and she appears to think things through before taking action. For example, if she sees puppies playing, she lies down and watches them for a long time - say 45 minutes. She seems to be studying their temperaments or something. She refuses to participate and any time a dog approaches her she won't make eye contact. Stock dogs (dogs bred to bond with and protect other animals) don't make eye contact because they are saying, "I am not a predator. Don't worry."

Then, she'll suddenly seem to make up her mind and will jump up barking and jump into the fray. She does this every time I take her to the local dog park where there's a big, fenced in area for large dogs to play. There's a separate one for small dogs.

She also learns very quickly. She has heeled perfectly and halted at curbs since I first told her how. I never use a collar, but just use a harness, which I barely have to pull on to get her to stay with me or change direction. What a fantastic dog! I remember other dogs being much, much rowdier!

Maybe her rowdier days are yet to come.

I'm enjoying her immensely, although I still miss Wesley. In fact, I keep accidentally calling Fiona "Wesley" and keep telling her she's a "good bird!"....



la isla d'lisa said...

She looks much like a Maremma Sheepdog, which makes sense, seeing as the Great Pyrenees are descendants ... what a little (big) beauty!

kkrock1 said...


After reading "Wesley the Owl" I was so inspired by this story that I wrote a poem about Wesley and a letter of thanks to you. I know you are certainly not able to respond to everyone who contacts you, but I feel certain that you would have let me know if you recieved it. I mailed it to Free Press Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 in April of 09. I will be happy to mail another copy to you at the address you give me. You can contact me at I believe you would truly enjoy reading the poem and letter.

Thank you.

Kimberly K.

Maria said...


Thanks for sharing your Wesley with us! I love owls, not sure why since I have never actually been around them and have no hope of ever seeing any in Miami (where I live). The story made me laugh and cry and wish I had one of my own....if it fed itself!!! Thanks again!!!! Maria