Real Giardia = Fake Grass

Josie, little poo nibbler that she is, got giardia twice in two months, so we decided to restrict her outside time to the front porch unless we’re standing directly over her, watching to see she doesn’t eat poo or grass. It shouldn’t be forever, but apparently this is a bad year for giardia.


I bought a rug made of artificial lawn.

I used the fencing that we used for her puppy pen, and I find that little square of green with the white fence hilarious.

It has quite a stink, with the rubber backing, but one day in the sun lessened it considerably, and reviewers say that a week or two should air it out completely.

Musette doesn’t care about the stink, or maybe she likes it.

I think cats are essentially paint huffers, with their love of burying themselves in packing peanuts, etc. Musette actually walked across our floor while the polyurethane was drying, and we have the barely visible prints to prove it.

If we decide we don’t want to use the rug anymore, there’s no reason we can’t install it outside. We have a terraced area that it would fit exactly.

Looks pretty real, doesn’t it? One thing to know about artificial grass. Real grass feels cool on a hot day, because of the water evaporating out of the ground. Fake turf can get hot in the sun. We have an awning for the front porch, so it doesn’t matter.

P.S. Musette isn’t fat, but she is older, so she spreads more, doncha know. Also, fur.


In Defense of the Puppy Purse


This is a Fundle. Pricey but awesome. I got mine on sale.

Until you’ve owned a 3.5 pound dog, you don’t appreciate how often you need to get it off the ground. I’m not saying you shouldn’t walk your dog. Obviously you should walk your dog. But there are times when there are reasons not to. Rather than ramble on about how people don’t ask parents why they have their kid in a stroller, I’m just going to list some of these reasons.

  1. You’re in a crowded area (such as a Farmer’s Market), and you don’t want your dog to get stepped on. Because that could kill it.
  2. The ground is dirty/muddy/full of chemicals, and you don’t want your tiny dog licking all that crap off her paws and burdening her organs with toxins. Because that could kill her.
  3. You’re in an area where you know there may be big dogs off leash. Because they could kill her (even by trying to play).
  4. You’re in an area where coyotes may come out of the bushes. (Do I need to say it?)
  5. After a walk, you’re going to a store where they wouldn’t want the dog on the ground, but it’s too hot to leave your dog in the car. Usually store people won’t say “boo” if you’re wearing your dog.
  6. Hot pavement.

Another thing people like to joke about is how unhappy Chihuahuas (in particular) look when they’re in a purse. Here’s the thing: all Chihuahuas have “resting boredom face”. If you see a Chihuahua with a big open grin on it’s face, it’s because that dog is warm. Like many animals, Chihuahuas’ mouths naturally turn down when they’re closed. Ever seen a rabbit look overjoyed?

It’s the same principle. In addition, Chihuahuas squint to show pleasure and affection. The combination of downturned mouth and squinty eyes makes them look bored and unhappy, when they’re actually content.

Finally, many people don’t understand the temperament of companion dogs. These aren’t shepherding dogs. They don’t long to dig, or retrieve, or run, or fight. They were bred to love humans to an extraordinary degree, and all they want is to be with you. That kind of love is like the best drug in the world. Until you experience it, you don’t understand the impulse to have it everywhere, and that includes the post office. Especially the post office.

One final thing. A dog that is relaxing in a sling or purse, not making any noise or attempting to get out? That’s a well-behaved dog.

Josie and the Vet


I took Josie to the vet today for her distemper vaccination and also a heartworm test. She barked at another dog in the lobby (not uncommon) and shook like a leaf (quite uncommon), but she made nary a peep when the thermometer slid in, and she went off with the doctor without any whimpering. While she was gone, however, I heard quite a lot of high-pitched dog crying. The vet came back with Josie resting over his arm.

“Was she a little drama queen?” I asked.

“Hmm? Oh, no. That was another dog. She was perfect.” He filled out Josie’s vaccination form and then looked down and realized he was still holding her. “I guess I should give her back. She’s so light, I forgot she was there.”

As for weight, Josie has been 3.5 pounds her entire adult life. She’s had a very active spring, however, and is well-muscled, so I thought she might be a little heavier. I put her on the platform scale and told her to sit.

“Three pounds, eight ounces,” the receptionist announced.

So there you go. She’s nothing if not consistent.


Post-bath fluffitude.

Josie O had her third experience with the hair dryer today, and I think she finally appreciates the value of warm air blowing on her little shivery self. I did a much better job of cleaning her ear fringe and bib than I have in the past. Best she’s ever looked, I think.





Fluffy, and also wuffy.

Josie O wasn’t always keen on brushing. When she had her puppy coat (thin and cottony), she preferred the Li’l Pals slicker brush with widely spaced, rubber-tipped wires that didn’t feel prickly on her skin. When she got her adult coat, those rubber tips started to pull on all that hair, so with more fur to protect her skin, I switched to a fine wire slicker brush with no tips – the JW Pet GripSoft slicker brush. Musette la Plume, my cat,  has the same brush and loves it.


Give me that windblown look, please.

I feel pretty.


Time to play now.

The first brush she would tolerate.

Josie’s adult brush. Both my pets have the cat version, but I’ve linked this photo to the dog one.

Take your Vitamin D(og)

You’d need a big glass of water to swallow me.

Owning a dog has a lot of health benefits, but here’s one that surprised me. According to an article in Time, it appears that a little dog dust may protect kids from a common respiratory virus that can lead to asthma.

Working with mice, the scientists found that exposure to house dust from homes with a pet appeared to protect the mice against a common virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which infects the lungs and breathing passages and is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. (In adults, it usually causes run-of-the-mill cold symptoms.) Severe infections in infancy are linked with an increased risk of developing respiratory problems like asthma later on.

And here’s the kicker – it’s not breathing dog dust that helps, it’s eating it.

The researchers then examined the microbes living in the protected animals’ guts, and found that the types of bacteria they harbored were different and more diverse than the bugs in the RSV-infected animals guts.

What do gut bugs have to do with asthma? Potentially a lot. Researchers are discovering that the microbiome, as it’s known — the vast community of good bacteria and viruses that live in and on the human body, including in the intestines — not only play a vital role in basic bodily functions like digesting food, producing vitamins and fending off infection, but may also contribute to the development of chronic conditions and diseases like obesity, cancer and asthma.

You can read the whole article here:  Why having a dog may keep kids asthma free.

I have to issue a warning: Chihuahuas, while my favorite dog breed, are not suitable for small children. To a Chi, a grabby toddler is like a cross between Godzilla and a threshing machine.

The people, the people!

Angel Joe (my husband) is working just off the Pearl Street pedestrian mall, so I decided to take Josie O on a walk to see him. Dogs aren’t allowed on the mall proper, but there’s a ton of people on all the surrounding streets, and Josie LOVES people. We even got pulled into Zing salon by Joy, the owner, so we could meet the people there and also Francois, her toy poodle. He weighs exactly the same as Josie: 3.5 pounds. (I swear I will get better about taking pictures.) Anyway, Joy says I should come back and have some of those tinsel strands put in Josie’s tail. Since it’s only $15, I might do it. I doubt Josie would notice, and I like sparkly things.

Anyway, she met lots of people at the salon, and walking, and in Joe’s office. She was in heaven. The problem came when I tried to walk back home.

Me: Come on, we’re going home.

Josie O: But the people are back there! I can hear them!

Me: Let’s go, Josie. Don’t be a goober.

Josie O: I don’t know what that word means! The people, the people!

It doesn’t pay to drag a Chihuahua. They don’t give up, there’s the risk that their harness will come off and you’ll have a loose dog, and people look at you like you’re a monster.  We were about ten blocks from home. For eight of them, I would put her down and she would try to go back the other way. Luckily, 3.5 pounds is not much to carry.