Category Archives: Piper

She sniffed out our hiding spot, apparently

I have the box with the extra squeaky Kongs hiding in our bedroom closet. The only access to the closet is through our bathroom, so Piper doesn’t ever go in there because she’s afraid of our bathroom scale (watch the video, you’ll see what I mean). It’s good logic, right? Well, somehow she got a whiff of the Kong scent because she won’t stop whining at the bathroom door.

I decided to let her in (i.e. remove the scale) and sure enough she walked straight up to where the box was. Of course it’s on a shelf so she can’t reach it. And yes, I’m sort of torturing her, but it’s really for her own good. If I give her another ball, she stops eating and sleeping.

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The Squeaky Kong

I feel like ‘obsessed’ isn’t enough of a word to cover the intensity with which Piper goes after the squeaky Kong. If you’re not familiar, Kong is a brand of dog toy. We have found that Piper is so skilled at chewing things up, that buying just any old dog toy is a waste. Though I’ll admit, even with some of the Kongs, she’s able to destroy them within a day or so, if we let her.

Last year for Christmas my mom bought a giant Kong shaped like a football and sent it to us. Wrapped in plastic. In a USPS box. We never even opened the box because we were trying to wait until Christmas but she knew better. She could SMELL the Kong. And she obsessed over that box, she sniffed around it, sat and stared at it. She wouldn’t leave it alone. We ended up opening it and let her go crazy, because after all she’s just a dog and there’s no sense trying to teach her a lesson about waiting until Christmas.

When we buy new Kongs, we have to be stealthy about bringing them into the house. We ordered a pack of four this week from Amazon and I made sure to open the box behind closed doors so she wouldn’t know they were there. We figured it wouldn’t hurt to have extras on hand, because she does eventually destroy them. In fact, we gave her the first ball from that pack of four yesterday, and by today she had already managed to remove the squeaker.

On a normal day, sans Kong, Piper settles down in the evening, and is always eager to go to bed by 11 or so, when one of us goes. Not with a squeaky Kong around! If the ball is there, that’s all she cares about. She’s not trying to go to bed. If she has access to the ball, she’s bouncing it around and chewing on it. When we lock the ball up in another room (as we quickly found to be necessary if anyone wanted rest in this house), she’s sitting at the door, glancing back at us in anticipation. When one of us gets up in the middle of the night, she’s up and eagerly waiting for us to give her the ball. She’s ready at all hours to play with that Kong.

This obsession of hers is a running joke in our house now, and we get quite a lot of laughs out of it. Yeah, it’s annoying because the dang thing squeaks, but we know she’s happy, and that’s all that really matters.

Dogs and delivery drivers

Our dog Piper loves loves loves to meet new people. She’s what I call “aggressively friendly”. When anyone comes to the door, she’s right there yapping and jumping like the crazy dog she is.

Today the UPS driver came to pick up a package we were returning to Amazon, so I had to wiggle through the front door to give him the box. The entire time Piper was jumping at the glass door, just begging to join us. The driver was laughing at her antics and when we were done with our exchange he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dog biscuit! I was so surprised, and I told him thank you. I said she’s really harmless and she’s never bitten anyone, but that the FedEx driver was so scared of her he won’t even come up our driveway.

He said nothing, because maybe he didn’t want to bash the competition, but he gave me a smirky smile that told me he thought that was pretty funny.

I tried to get a picture of her with the biscuit but she scarfed it down too quickly.

Hide and seek with Piper

Our dog loves loves loves to play fetch. I’m pretty sure it’s all she ever thinks about. Sometimes when I go back inside the house she anxiously awaits my return. Only I think she doesn’t want me to know that’s what she’s doing, because she will hide, ever so cleverly, behind the grill. She just sits there with the ball, Peking around the corner. And of course she thinks I can’t see her, with the screen door blocking my view, you know?

Dog demoted

Our dog, Piper, has been really great about not chewing things, generally. We stopped putting her in a crate a long time ago, trusting her to behave while we were gone. As long as we didn’t leave toys or candy out in plain sight, she was doing pretty well. That is, until we brought home this year’s Christmas tree.

I would come home after being gone for a couple hours and she would cower, knowing she had done something wrong. I would quickly look around, and eventually find the remains of a Christmas ornament or decoration. She destroyed ornaments that my kids had each made in preschool, which saddened me, and she came really close to destroying a couple ornaments I spent hours and hours cross-stitching. You have to understand that the ornaments on our tree are not there for decoration. Almost every ornament holds a memory for us. So I was not about to let this dog destroy our memories, one by one. To prevent her from destroying more of our precious memories, we relocated all the ornaments on the bottom of the tree to the top so that she couldn’t knock them down and chew them up.

It worked, in that she didn’t destroy anymore ornaments. However, it wasn’t enough. She was reminded that she really likes chewing stuff, so she found alternatives. One alternative, actually – my shoes. Now these were not expensive shoes, but they were useful to me. I wore them every day, except for that day of course – but that was only because I wore my snow boots – so I guess I’m in the market for a new pair of sneakers.

And, more importantly, Piper has been demoted to the crate when we leave her home alone. The crate we were using before was borrowed, so we had to go and buy a new one, but it’s cheaper than a new pair of shoes, and certainly worth it when you consider all those ornaments holding memories that cannot be replaced. Piper seems to be fine with the change, because she knows it makes us happy. As much as she loves chewing stuff, she really really hates it when we’re mad at her. This way, everybody’s happy. Let Christmas come!

The fruit go everywhere.

Have I mentioned I don’t multi-task well? Not that anyone does, really. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to do two things at the same time. So add in my clutz factor and you have a mess on your hands, literally. I was walking into the laundry room holding an empty laundry basket, a stack of clean towels, and a fruit smoothie. 

And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.

Piper was quick to lend a helping tongue.

I thought I had cleaned it all up, and even thought I had photographed the entire mess. I had not. When I proceeded to work on the laundry I discovered more fruit blend not just on the dryer to the left, but above and BEHIND it. How on earth I had managed such thorough coverage of the laundry room I’ll never know, but I’m guessing I looked like a total spaz trying to save my fruit smoothie and that image alone gave me quite a chuckle. 

I do hope I cleaned up the last of it. I guess if I didn’t, my nose will alert me sooner or later.


Little-big victories

I went for my six-month follow-up with my neuro-ophthalmologist today (that was a lot of hyphenating lol). After reviewing the results of my Humphrey visual field test (flunked with flying colors, you could say), the standard “look straight into this bright light while I breathe loudly near your face” test, and chatting with me for a few minutes, he was ecstatic. Like, over the moon happy to see how well I was doing. He said my right eye had definitely improved. A small improvement, but it’s an improvement nonetheless. That’s the right direction to go, you know? He was very happy to hear that I was running, and feeling good. Maybe he could even sense from the way I was speaking to him that my cognition has improved? I’m definitely more “with it” than I was when I first came to his office in 2013. He even commented that my hearing was improving, even though that isn’t possible post cochlear surgery, but I took that to mean he could tell I was comprehending speech better than before. So yay!

When he walked me out to the receptionist’s office after our visit he stood there, looking at me and said, “Now, you promise to give that husband of yours a hug from me, won’t you? You promise??” (He loves Mike, keeps telling me he’s a good man, which of course I know, but it’s still nice to hear) And I said, yes of course, but I want a hug too. So I gave him a great big hug. Then he looked at me again with this stupidly proud, fatherly-type grin on his face, nodded a few times, sighed loudly, and then turned and walked away. It was the strangest interaction I’ve ever had with medical personnel, but it was beautiful. While I don’t feel a whole lot different than when I saw him six months ago, he sees progress, and that’s good news. Lord knows I’ve had my share of bad news, and I’m always down for some good stuff.

Oh, and to top all this off, the dog didn’t destroy the house while I was gone! I’ve been leaving her out of the crate while I’m gone, for an hour or two at a time. This was the longest I left her out, but she did great! Didn’t chew anything up, didn’t relieve herself in the house, and she seems even more super duper happy when I come home. Now if we can just get her to stop barking at all the neighbors walking by…