Monday, January 27, 2020

Day Three In The Continuing Saga Of The Dog De-Honkerer

Sunday morning, with Farmer H away at his Storage Unit Store, I had the house to myself. I can turn the TV volume down then. And undistractedly peruse the innernets on HIPPIE.

I was kicked back in the La-Z-Boy, watching an old episode of Hoarders with a guy who had 150 acres full of old cars and trucks and buses. I would have turned the channel, except I heard him say that he had invented the electrical system of the Space Shuttle Challenger inside that old bus over there. Whether this was true or not, I never found out, even though I watched that whole dang episode!

Anyhoo...I was distracted by a noise on the porch at the end of the house by the BARn. It sounded like furniture moving, sliding along the wood. Huh. That was curious. About five bouts of the sound. And THEN I realized that it was Marley, coughing less like a goose, and more like sliding furniture. So an improvement, I'd say.

As I left for town, I noticed that the two leftover squares of grease bread in the bowl for Marley were gone from the kitchen counter. So I assumed Farmer H had given them to Marley with honey. He's not one to randomly give out treats to the dogs.

When I got home from town, Marley ran into the garage. Waited at my door until I got out of T-Hoe. I was wary of another fight to the almost-death, so I didn't close the garage door behind T-Hoe. Then I saw Jack on the porch. I got out, and Marley stood to greet me, not jumping up with his muddy hairy-again paws. He trotted to the people-door, and I let him out. Jack was on the side porch with Juno, so Marley thought better of it. Waited on the door jamb.

I went through, closing the garage door, and shooing Marley with my leg away from the people-door so I could close it without trapping him inside. Jack darted to the top of the steps, growling a warning. I praised Jack for being such a good dog (to not kill Marley), and Marley sidled away past Copper Jack on the brick sidewalk.

At the kitchen door, I managed to give the three main mutts a treat of chicken breast bones and grease bread and stale saltines. Marley was conspicuously absent. But the point IS: at no time during this homecoming did Marley honk! Like maybe the cough is gradually going away.

I need to remind Farmer H to dole out some more honey on the grease bread that I saved.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

One Creature, Late And Small

Farmer H was given orders to dose Marley with honey three times a day for his goose-honking cough. It's not rocket science. Farmer H didn't have to pass the petCAT, or whatever the prospective veterinarian version of an MCAT would be. All he had to do was get some honey down Marley's throat. Marley is the kind of annoying little critter who will dash up and swallow something he ASSUMES is food, rather than waiting to make sure.

When interrogated grilled quizzed consulted on Marley's dosage Friday evening...Farmer H revealed the following.

"Before I went to town, I took some honey out there. Marley didn't want it."

"Didn't want it? He eats ANYTHING!"

"I tried to give it to him in a bowl, but he turned his head. So I tried to make him lick it off my finger, and he wouldn't. I stuck my finger in his mouth and kind of wiped it off. So I guess he got some."

"When did you give him more?"

"That was it."

"Well...he's supposed to have it three times a day. So now he's behind on the dosing schedule. I don't know if ONCE is going to make him feel better. But I'd sure never stick MY finger in his teeth! I don't trust ANY of our dogs to eat out of my hand. They're snappy! So afraid someone else is going to get it first. I hope you washed your hand!"

"I did."

"I bet if you put it on a tiny square of bread, Marley will eat it. For the bread!"

Well. Farmer H tried that on Saturday morning.

"I took it out there, but Marley didn't seem like he wanted the bread. I dumped it on the porch. I guess he ate it."

"Huh. More like one of the other dogs found it and ate it."

I discovered mid-morning that Farmer H had taken out a WHOLE SLICE of bread. Seriously. I didn't think my instructions were that complicated. So I called him at his Storage Unit Store.

"I know! I'm making chili before I go to town. I'll have some grease bread after frying the hamburger. I KNOW Marley will eat the grease bread!"

Good thing I was right there when Farmer H came home. I had half a hot dog bun soaked with hamburger grease. I cut it in four pieces. Told Farmer H to get the Honey Bear, because I heard Marley honking by the kitchen door when he came in.

"You can probably call Marley into the laundry room, and give it to him there. He'll run right into the house. Then Juno won't get upset."

"I ain't callin' him into the house. Here. Give me a bowl."

So, with one square of greasy hot dog bun in a bowl, with about half a tablespoon of honey on top, Farmer H opened the kitchen door. Marley was right there, ready to dart in. Farmer H stuck the bowl in Marley's face, and he hoovered that bread like a competitive eater swallowing an oyster. Before Juno even knew what happened.

There is more grease bread waiting by the back door. Whether Dr. Farmer H can dose Marley as instructed remains to be seen.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

I Play One On The Innernets

Since I diagnose my own quasi-illnesses on the innernets, I figured I might as well give Marley a virtual checkup. I have come to the conclusion that Marley has kennel cough. The main clue being the sound he makes, which matches up info on a search for "why does my dog sound like a goose?" Okay. I didn't type that. I just did "dog cough" and saw that as an option.

Apparently, it can be caused by a bacteria, and is highly contagious. Or also by cold weather, or doggie asthma, or I don't remember others. Since Marley has been penned up, and not around other dogs until AFTER the cough, I figure he didn't catch it from another dog. However, it WAS a cold night before the day Farmer H reported Marley's cough. So I'm thinking that's it.

Despite sounding like he's knock-knock-knockin' on death's door, it seems that according to the innernets, Marley will likely make a full recovery in three weeks or less. Without treatment. That vets are usually not inclined to prescribe stuff for it. Heh, heh. I bet the innernets didn't do a vet survey! They have to make their money somehow!

Anyhoo...I was correct that you shouldn't give expired human cough medicine to dogs! I must be a genius, ya think? While some sites recommended garlic and lemon juice, others declared that garlic is toxic to dogs, and that vitamin C is also not good for them. The one thing that seemed agreeable was HONEY.

Not a lot of honey, but 1/2 to 1 full tablespoon, 3 to 4 times a day, for a 30-50 pound dog. I'd say Marley is about 10-15 pounds. So doesn't need much. Not that it would hurt him, probably. Farmer H said he'd give Marley some honey. I said "NOT ON MY SPOONS!"

Anyhoo...I don't know if Farmer H did the dosing or not, but last I heard of Marley's cough, around 5:00 a.m., it was not as forceful. Maybe he's gradually getting over it. Maybe the 100% humidity from all the mist and snow and fog acted as a natural humidifier. Maybe he was not as barky since he spent the night on the end of the porch in a spare dog house.

I think Marley is probably going to be okay. I'm not as worried now. I need to check with Farmer H about the honey. We have TWO honey bears, each half full, from just not using honey, and from Genius buying one as an additive for Farmer H's homemade beer.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Perhaps A Telling Picture

As you recall, I'm sure, T-Hoe has a tire problem. It's been brought to the attention of the self-proclaimed management. On Tuesday, I had a warning that tire pressure was low. So I took T-Hoe by the Sis-Town Casey's when I was over there at the bank to get coins for my daily 44 oz Diet Coke addiction. I shot ten pounds of pressure into that low tire.

Wednesday, Farmer H and I went to the city, so I didn't drive T-Hoe. Thursday, I hopped in, headed to cash my big scratcher winnings, mail the boys' letters, and get gas before more snow moved in on Friday. The warning light was on again. T-Hoe's left rear tire had lost 10 pounds of air in two days! I guess I didn't park with the leaky section down against the garage floor!

Anyhoo...I did my Devil's Playground shopping. When I came out of the store at 3:00, big flakes of wet snow were falling. The temperature was 35. I wasn't worried. I only had one stop to make, for my magical elixir. I figured I'd be home before the weather worsened.

Then I remembered that I still had to put air in T-Hoe's tire. I could steal a little FREE AIR from the Gas Station Chicken Store. The Sis-Town Casey's air hose had been occupied when I stopped for gas, pre-snow.

Let the record show that large flakes of wet snow are just like raindrops. Only prettier. But just as wet. I was soaked by the time I stole my FREE AIR. It didn't help that I had stopped with the valve stem all the way on the bottom of the tire. Like, exactly the 6:00 position. I climbed back in and pulled forward, to put it at the top. No need to stand on my head and pump in air that is being mashed out as soon as it enters.

Here's my view out the window as I'm leaving the FREE AIR theft scene.

You have to look closely to see the streaks of heavy snowflakes zipping by, against the background of the garbage dumpster behind the Gas Station Chicken Store.

That's kind of my opinion of Farmer H right now.

Let the record show that it was 32 degrees here, and 31 when I got home ten minutes later, with the road covered by snow.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Major Breakthrough In Human-Canine Relations

Wednesday, Farmer H and I left for the city around 8:30. We were gone most of the day in A-Cad, to cash in my major lottery winner, and stop by the casino for lunch (heh, heh), and some Goodwills. It was nearly 4:00 when we got home. The dogs dashed across the yard, all excited to see us. They never know if we're coming back when we leave together, in the morning, in A-Cad. Too many Oklahoma trips have made them concerned.

Marley was running loose, because Farmer H let him out Tuesday morning, and couldn't find him at put-up time. Not a big deal, because the pen with his house and food was open, so he could return.

I'm wary now when Marley and Jack have access to each other. Just last week, there was another fight, when Buddy (of Badly Blacktopped Hill fame) stopped by, and cursed Marley when getting out of his truck. Well. You might as well wave a red flag at a bull. Jack does not suffer such nonsense, and that was his cue to attack. Farmer H sweet-talked Jack off the ledge, and Marley scurried to his house. Farmer H said to try this strategy for future kerfuffles.

Anyhoo...it takes me a while to get out of A-Cad and limber up from the ride. Marley was all over my already-exit-ed leg. Jack and Juno and Copper Jack were milling around after having chased a squirrel into the woods. Of course Farmer H had to bellow,

"NO! MARLEY! GET DOWN!"

"You just told me not to say anything bad to Marley! To praise Jack. And now YOU are going to get Marley killed!"

Farmer H shut up. Marley went under A-Cad. Jack trotted over spoiling for a fight, all muscle-y and stiff-legged, with his tail curved up over his back.

"Aww. There's my little Jack. What a good boy. Good dog, Jack. You're my buddy, aren't you. Come on. Let me pet you."

Jack put his feet up on my leg. After a couple pats, I pushed him away and got out. Jack put his feet in A-Cad, sniffing around. I patted Juno, who had crowded in for the grand reunion. It was then that I noticed

COPPER JACK JUST INCHES AWAY, POKING HIS BLUNT NOSE AT MY HAND!

What in the Not-Heaven? This dog has snubbed me for TWO YEARS, even though I feed him snacks on a daily basis. And now, in all this commotion, here he was, offering me an olive branch?

I turned the back of my hand to him. Didn't extend my arm. Copper Jack touched his rubbery black nose to my crepey (called CREEPY by The Pony) skin. I took this as an invitation, and stroked his broad head, then patted his shoulder. I might just have a new buddy.

Yes, it was a major breakthrough in human-canine relations. As for canine-canine relations...not so much.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Protecting Hillmomba, One Creature At A Time

It's a tireless, thankless job, but somebody has to do it. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom goes out of her way to protect all living things (and some inanimate objects) from Farmer H. It's kind of like a first-time babysitter supervising a toddler. You know something is going to happen, you just don't know what. So you're ever-vigilant, on the edge of your La-Z-Boy, ready to jump in.

Tuesday noon-time, Farmer H entered the Mansion. He was wearing his Carhartt coat against the 25-degree temperature, both hands in his pockets.

"I let Marley out this morning. He has a cough. Sounds like he has the croup! So I thought I'd give him some cough medicine."

Out of his right pocket came Farmer H's hand, clutching a box of children's cough medicine, Devil's Playground brand, grape-flavored, like we used to give The Pony when he was sick.

"I found this expired bottle over in my storage unit stuff. I came to get a spoon."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"You can't give HUMAN cough medicine to a dog! Marley is a little dog! You don't know how much to give him. It's expired! It's for HUMANS! You're not giving that to him. Marley might need to go to the vet. I'm sure he's never had any shots."

"Okay. I won't give him the cough medicine. I just thought it might help him. We'll see if he's better in a couple of days."

Seriously. Farmer H used to do errands for an old man who lived up the street from my $17,000 house. He said that guy took his DOG'S medicine, to help the pain in his legs.

I'm pretty sure species shouldn't intermedicate...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Surely She Wasn't Apologizing On MY Behalf

Mrs. HM has a bee in her bonnet! It's not a fired-up late-July bee, all agitated and aggressive. Only a first cold-snap bee, buzzing lazily, not happy, just a little ticked off.

Monday, I went to the local Hillmomba Casey's, to cash in scratchers. It was 2:00, 23 degrees, overcast, and not a busy time at Casey's. Two cars were at the eight gas pumps. A Frito-Lay panel truck was parked off to the side. And NO cars were in front of the store when I got there. One pulled up as I walked inside.

One clerk was working. A lady was scanning her card. Another lady waited behind her, and then me. A guy came in the door after me, but I didn't notice where he went. The Card Lady paid and left. Next Lady only had two items. Paid cash, left. I handed my two tickets to the clerk, who scanned them, and asked if I wanted more. Yes. I said the three numbers of the tickets I wanted. She tore them off, and rang them up. Handed me the tickets and my $5 change. Easy peasy, right?

"I'm sorry for your wait," the clerk said to the guy behind me as I left the counter.

Hold on there, Sister! Surely you were not implying that I held up the line! I am a CUSTOMER, by cracky! Probably spending more than that guy behind me. Who had the good manners to tell her "Oh, that's all right." Why in the Not-Heaven would the clerk apologize for his wait? He wasn't even behind me when I stepped up to the counter for my transaction.

I know the clerk was trying to give good customer service. She was very polite to me. No heavy sighs like I get at Orb K. My bonnet-bee is more concerned with the perception that I was the reason for the guy's wait. It's not like he was a vendor, from the Frito truck, and had to stand off to the side while I did my business. I see them at the Gas Station Chicken Store, and let them go ahead of me. This was a regular customer. Same as me.

WE ALL WAIT! It's called taking turns. That's what happens in a line! How else are customers supposed to keep that store in business? How are they supposed to pay for their merchandise? It's not like I bought a pack of gum, and had to try three different credit/debit cards to complete my purchase.

Anyhoo...maybe my bonnet-bee is not really all that agitated about the WAIT comment. Maybe it's more about the couple minutes I was sitting in T-Hoe, sending a text to The Pony, and seeing the cranky clerk arrive for her shift.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I'd avoided this Denizen of Convenience. She always has an expression like she smells something bad. Anyhoo...she climbed out of her sedan, and started up the sidewalk. Right in front of T-Hoe,

SHE BENT OVER AND PICKED UP SOMETHING AND PUT IT IN HER POCKET!

I'm pretty sure the Denizen of Convenience picked up my rightful penny.