Monday, April 09, 2007

The lazy bug has bitten....

Poor Brandy...I've put her bad points out for the world to see, but have not posted any of her good points yet.

You see, I've been bitten by the lazy bug and have not felt up to updating. The lazy bug is very devious and hides in your house, usually in the most comfy chair or in your bed. It bites without warning and the effect of the bite can be fleeting or remain for weeks. The only counter to the effects of the lazy bug is to get out of the chair or bed and move your body as vigorously as possible for as long as you can manage. The venom of the lazy bug hates movement of any sort. As soon as it detects movement, especially the vigorous sort, it oozes out of your pores and dissipates into the air. But the venom of the lazy bug is very strong and if you are bitten as badly as I have been, you will need quite a few rounds of vigorous exercise to rid the body of all the lazy bug's toxins.

If you keep active and maintain your vigorous daily activities, the lazy bug will eventually move out from your home and into your neighbour's house.

Posting about Brandy's good points will resume when I have recovered.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Brandy's Bad Points - Part 2

Brandy has been a little dear this last ten days. It's as if she knows I'm posting about her not-so-desirable points and making it tough for me to do so by being extra good, *grin* but I shall try not to let it get to me.

In continutation,

6. Taking revenge - Brandy hates being left alone in the house. We don't do it very often and never for long. She follows us around the house when we are getting ready, and when I unlock the front door, she starts to howl. When we get back, there is usually a gift waiting for us in the form of a poop or a puddle on the floor. And the poop/puddle isn't in the main areas of the house but in her little 'backyard' corner, on the floor right next to her poop tray. Me thinks its revenge from the little hairy monster for us having the nerve to leave her all by her lonesome self. (But I have got to be honest here and say that in the last ten days, she has not gifted me with an unmentionable in the wrong place)

7. Now this next one is not Brandy's fault at all, and most house dog owners will have experience with it. It' hair, the hair thats been shed and lying all around the house. It's fine, short, flies around a lot and gathers into big hairballs in corners if left alone long enough. Constant vigilant cleaning is required. Just that cleaning is not my strong point. But I wouldn't exchange Brandy for any non-shedding poodle.

Hmm...I have been sitting here for a good five minutes, trying to come up with some more bad points. I did think of saying something about her greed (but she's actually less greedy than my previous dogs and her greed is sometimes cute), or about her poking her nose into everything that's going on in the house (but that's also kind of irritatingly cute). Sigh, I guess I will have to end her bad points at no.7 . I think her being extra good lately has affected my memory after all. Now I wonder if I can come up with 7 good points for her. That will be in my next post.

Brandy looking a little unkempt (my fault, I'm her groomer) but still managing to lie down as if to say this is my patch of white clean floor, go and get your own patch.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Brandy's Bad Points

(Here is Brandy shamelessly asking a family member for food, not that we encourage food giving from the table, but she's ever hopeful)

I thought I would do a 'bad points/good points' post about Brandy. However, since there are so many bad points, I will have to leave the good points to another day *grin*. I also think that I will have to split the bad points into at least two posts (if not more). *Heh heh*

1. Barking - I think this will fall under both the bad points and good points lists. I've mentioned before about her barking madness. It's still bad altho' if I show her a rolled up newspaper, she does get quiet real fast. I don't have to smack her, just show it to her or get her attention by hitting the wall with the rolled up paper. At least something works. I'm sure Mr. Dog Trainer Guru (the one from Oprah whom I can never remember the name) will say that I'm failing terribly at being the pack leader in the house.

2. Fawning at visitors - Brandy is shameless. Once the visitor (repairman, friend, relative, complete stranger) has entered the house, the barking stops and the fawning begins. Everyone is her friend. She jumps to get attention and gets into everyone's way. If you, the visitor, ignore her, she will still stay around but sort of in the background, but if you pet her, she will stick to you like glue, begging for every ounce of attention you can spare her. A little more circumspect behaviour would be nice.

3. Dust licker - This is one of the strangest habits that Brandy has. I've kept dogs for many years and never had one that had this same habit. Put her in a room with a dusty floor and she will go round licking the floor. It's weird. She's definitely not hungry, dust can't possibly taste good, everyone in the house scolds her when she does that, but she continues licking dust every chance she gets.

4. Pedal bin 'nose-poking' - We've got a pedal bin for the kitchen that's just the right height for Brandy to go up on her hind legs and poke her nose into to smell what is in there. We used to throw kitchen scraps in there so that made it extremely enticing for her. Scoldings and smackings did not seem to deter her except that she would try and sneak a peek into the bin whenever no one was looking. We had to put the bin up on a small stool. The bin is back on the floor but we now use it mainly for dry stuff, so no more interesting smells. Once in a while, she does investigate the bin to check just in case someone's forgotten and thrown something interesting inside. You can then hear the cries of "Brandy is 'nose-poking' again".

5. Whining at the vets - It gets embarrassing for me, 'cos I'm always the one to bring her to the vet. We are sitting in a waiting room. There are bits of chatter from the owners and some barks from the dogs (cats are very quiet creatures) but on the whole its fairly quiet. Then there is this whiny sound coming from my vicinity. It goes "hnn, hnn, hnn" (I'm sure I've got the spelling wrong but I hope the sound of it comes across) and it's high pitched and it's loud. The humans in the room usually ignore me and the whiner but the pets will look my way. There are puppies and kittens in that waiting room that do not whine like that. The family says Brandy does that 'cos of bad connotations with the vet's office, you know, the injections.

And when the whiner and I get into the vet's office itself, forget about the shameless 'everybody-is-my-friend' behaviour. Brandy just refuses to look at the vet and doesn't want to be put on the examining table. She just wants to stay in my arms. Maybe my vet should get rid of the white coat and just wear everyday clothes and instead of my coming to his office, he should stop by my house (at no extra charge of course *big grin*). This might solve problem no. 2 in no time 'cos every visitor will be a potential vet then. be cont'd

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Brandy is tough to blog about

When I started this blog, it was actually a test run as I've never blogged before. I wanted to find a neutral topic, be able to post pictures of my blog topic without loss of privacy and tell embarrasing tidbits of my blog topic without fear of being beaten up. *grin* I also told myself that I would update my blog once a week regardless.

Well, Brandy's been a great blog topic. I can write anything I want about her and she doesn't mind. Her pictures are on the web but she's never lost any privacy ('cos she's never had any, haha).

The only real problem I have is finding interesting Brandy-related things to blog about. I don't want to bore anyone to sleep reading my posts. Brandy's days and nights are spent lazing around mostly. She's really a house-dog, actually a 'flat-dog'. The flat is quite big and she's quite small so she gets a lot of exercise running around the flat. When she does get to go out, I have not managed to get the hang of dealing with a slightly mad (mad as in overly excited and not the foaming kind) dog and a camera, there are no photos of her on these outing. I truly admire little Emma (a blog I read about a lovely dog, see links) who does not need to be leashed when she goes out in public.

Even while I'm typing this, Brandy's having a mid-afternoon nap. I can hear her little snores behind me. Ah, a dog's life isn't too bad is it.

But this brings me to the point (yes I know I did woffle on a bit) that it's tough to blog interestingly (I'm almost sure there's something not quite right about the syntax of this sentence) about Brandy when her days are spent lazing around.

I shall have to overcome this 'blockage' in my mind and get back to posting regularly about Brandy. And also learn how to handle a camera with just one hand or teach Brandy to behave outside the house. Hmmm....strike out the number two option there...I will just have to learn to take pictures with one hand.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Glad the festivities are over

Chinese or Lunar New Year is over,.......... wellll...there are actually 15 days to the new year celebrations but the official public holidays and bulk of visitations are over. The first day of the Chinese New Year (or CNY as I like to refer to it) was 18 Feb and we had the 19th and 20th as public holidays. CNY is celebrated by all Chinese, regardless of religion. This is when families open up their homes to relatives and friends and where food (can be proper lunch or dinner but is usually in the form of snacks, goodies) and the exchange of hong baos (small red envelopes containing money and is for children) feature prominently. There is also the reunion dinner on the eve of the CNY where families adjourn to a relative's house for a huge meal. CNY is a celebration of family but friends are very welcome too. Oh and I forgot to mention that a massive spring-cleaning of the home is generally done before CNY.

My favourite part of CNY is the food, I love all the snacks laid out and that goes double for Brandy. The family and I do not feed her any of these but it is the visitors who 'ooh and aah' over her and then drop tidbits on the floor for her to gobble up. She also loves all the attention. She received lots of pets and was duly applauded when showing off her small repertoire of parlor tricks (shaking hands, sneezing, rolling over). She also ran around with some of the young kids.

This is Brandy all tuckered out last night. Whenever I try to take a closeup of her sleeping, she usually raises her head to look at me or at least opens an eye to see what I'm doing. But there was no head rising or eye opening for her last night, not even a twitch of an eyelid when I snapped the shot.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Barking madness

Brandy is a barker. There is no getting around it. She may be little but her bark is loud and strident (like those big old-fashioned alarm clocks guaranteed to get you up even if you've only had an hour's sleep last night). She barks when the phone rings, when the doorbell rings, when family comes home (even when we open the door with our key and not ring the bell),when someone drops something loud in the house, when there is any sort of steady noise (like a car alarm or house alarm) outside the house or when thunder growls. Basically she takes any excuse to bark.

Barking to alert the humans that something unusual is happening is ok but she does not shut up even when we, the humans, acknowledge the event and tell her to keep quiet. She does stop barking once the phone stops ringing or whoever is coming in to the house actually gets into the house, then she is all wagging tail and happy yaps. I have had the phone and the doorbell ringing at the same time and yes, there was barking madness and no, I was not a happy human.

(My sister thought Brandy had green eyes 'cos of all the photos I took when her eyes turned out like this, but it's the camera flash. I don't know why but she sometimes sits like this with one of her hind legs sticking out. I think it's bad posture and have tried to correct her many times.)

We have tried different ways to try and stop the barking madness, scolding her, reassuring her, distracting her, calmly and quietly telling her no, yelling even but the madness continues. I watch Oprah sometimes and she has this dog trainer guru (I forgot his name) that comes on every so often and his approach to dog training is to show the dog you are the boss. He says that pet dogs prefer to be part of your pack and once you've established that, it is easy to train the dog not to bark or jump around wildly. And it seems to work for him. I have a strong suspicion that humans are not the dominant party in Brandy's world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sleeping (a short post)

Brandy sleeps on my bed at night. And she sleeps very well indeed, so much so that when I wake up in the mornings, she is usually still sleeping soundly. And she goes to bed earlier than I do! And she naps during the day too! If I'm not in a hurry, I will leave her and just continue with my morning routine. If I have to wake her, I usually pet her and speak to her and her tail will wag, then I carry her off the bed and put her on the floor. She doesn't jump off the bed 'cos of her bad leg (and I also think she is getting too old to jump around).

Sometimes Brandy dreams. I know she is dreaming 'cos she makes these little whimpering noises or her eyes will twitch or her legs will move around like she is running in her sleep or all three. I wonder what she dreams about.

She usually sleeps at the bottom of the bed but once in a while she will position herself right in the middle of the bed. When I get in, we have a little pushing game (where I push and she stays put) until she gives up and moves to her place at the end. I am glad she is not a big dog as I only win 'cos of the size difference.