Wednesday, August 31, 2011

$14,600 [2008 Honda Fit]

The purchase price of the 2008 Honda Fit, my very first automobile. 

People often ask why I bother having a car in New York City?  Well, other than for trips to the vet and to the Park Slope Food Coop, the car is not for New York City -- it's so that I can get OUT of New York City.  Oh, and so that my dogs can put some phone books on the pedals and go joyriding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

$290.00 [First Strike Soft Bait]

Saturday, August 27, 2011:  The day my animals ate rat poison and almost died but lived instead.

Friday, August 26, 2011

$36.00 [Thundershirt]

Lulu is scared of thunderstorms.  At the first flash of lightning or crack of thunder, she becomes the most pathetic creature.  She just stands there -- ears-down, tail-down -- and shakes.  Sometimes I can ease her tension by putting a blanket over her head, but not always.  She doesn't stop shaking until the storm has passed.  And then she's fine.

You might think this is another post about impending Hurricane Irene, but it's probably not.  Hurricanes bring strong winds and rain, but rarely do they bring lightning (although some do).  The science of it seems to be that most hurricanes lack the vertical wind churning that forms the electrical fields that cause lightning.  Lulu is by no means a fan of rain or wind, but it's the thunder and lightning that really make her freak out.  And we've had a dark and stormy August here in New York, folks -- countless thunderstorms and record-setting rainfall -- and Irene probably won't be the last to pass through.  Poor Lu!

Which brings me to my question:  Does Lulu need a Thundershirt?  Which probably brings you to your question:  What is a Thundershirt? 

Well, for lack of a better description, it's a shirt for thunder -- you know, a thundershirt.

From the website:  "Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt. Thundershirt is already helping tens of thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers." 

You just wrap 'em up in it.  And then commence tranquility.

The Thundershirt's original purpose was to help calm down pups with dog storm phobia (hence the name Thundershirt) but it turns out that it's been helpful in treating a variety of dog anxieties, including leash issues (ahem, Betel).

$36.00 for a size XS Thundershirt.  With the 45-day money back guarantee on every Thundershirt (along with the absolute guarantee that we are in for some more late summer storms), it seems like a good pet investment:  Lulu can wear it during storms, and Betel can wear it on walks, and I get to say "thundershirt" some more.  Win-win-win.

$6.15 [BioBags Dog-Waste Bags]

It's unavoidable.

It's poop.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

$10,000.00 [Expensive Tastes]

Dog Eats 10k Worth Of Diamonds

$10,000 for diamond dog treats, followed by poopy diamonds. Nice one, Honey Bun.

Monday, August 22, 2011

$0.00 [Celebrity Look-Alike Series]

Part Two of the Celebrity Look-Alike Series (Cheska), a gift from my brother:

This follows up on Part One (Lulu), a gift from my boyfriend:

The other posts in the Celebrity Look-Alike Series can be accessed here.

$3.29 [Messes]

Introducing Cheska, a four-and-a-half-month-old Peruvian Hairless puppy, who has been at our homestead for the past week.

Cue paper towels.

Cheska had a less-than-ideal first several months in the world:  born on the streets of Peru, rescued by an elderly couple who decided to bring her to the States, spent a month in quarantine in Costa Rica and then some time with the elderly couple in a small apartment in New York before being adopted by a friend one week ago.  He had to go to L.A. for business one short day after adopting her, so I — who was so encouraging of the adoption in the first place — agreed to care for her while he was away. 

We are on Day 7. 

We have been counting.

Cheska is a bit of a wild animal, on account of her lineage of feral Peruvian street dogs and lack of socialization and training - barking, jumping, erratic on the leash, possessive about people and food, wary of strangers, and approximately 30% housebroken.  Poor thing is also a bit of a mess health-wise.  Like the name “Peruvian Hairless Dog” implies, she is hairless, other than some tufts of hair on the top of her head. But the poor bald fawn is also covered in acne and sores.  She is going to the vet this week, but a Sunday brunch meeting with my vet (and friend) revealed that she probably needs a strong antibiotic and special skincare regimen, along with a skin-scraping to check for mites.

Cheska is growing on us, though, and she has come so far behaviorally in just a week.  She is much calmer than when she arrived and a much better listener.  (And I no longer have to knee her in the chest every five minutes to stop her from jumping and scratching me like I did the first several days, which was pretty terrible.)  We gave her an oatmeal bath and goat's milk lotion rub down, and she wears clothes so that we can more easily be affectionate with her.  She is learning "sit" and getting better at going potty outside and knows now not to chase the catBetelgeuse and Lulu are also helping to teach her some manners.

Unfortunately, she fairly routinely poops and pees in the apartment and in her crate, so we've gone through quite a few bottles of Nature's Miracle, quarters at the laundromat, and let's not forget the paper towels -- $3.29 is the approximate retail price of Viva Choose-A-Size Towels, which, while not being the most environmentally friendly choice, are far and away my favorite absorbent medium for animal messes made by loveable animals.

Challenges with housebreaking are a fact of puppyhood, though, and the most endearing thing about Cheska (other than thinking of her as the offspring of Dobby and Jar Jar Binks) is that there is a puppy inside of there, who just wants to cuddle, chew, and go nuts on a squeaky toy in the backyard.

Cheska is going to be a great dog, but there are going to be struggles to get her there — it’s good that her new owner is up for it.  He is coming for her on Thursday morning.  I will kiss her goodbye on her yucky-but-cute little head and give him some paper towels for the road.  He's gonna need 'em.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

$9.99 [Aerobie Superdisc]

I know this little dog named Betelgeuse who cannot live without a 10" Aerobie Superdisc in her life.

My better, saner half has always wanted a dog who can catch a Frisbee.  Betel may never realize his vision, but she will give it her best shot and will also fetch that darn Frisbee over and over until she collapses from exhaustion.  I could have put any number of videos of her with her Frisbee, but I just chose the most recent.  I've written a post in the past about her love of balls, but the Frisbee is the real deal, numero uno, her soul mate in toy form.

She is attracted to most Frisbees, but the standard-sized Frisbee is a little too big for her.  It's both too heavy (give her a break -- she only weighs 11 lbs.) and too tall (it can get caught on the ground when she is running with it in her mouth).  But the 10" Aerobie Superdisc is a perfect size and so lightweight.  It's one of the easiest Frisbees I've ever thrown, and the plastic is resistant to sharp little teeth, even after a good, loving chew.

The disc costs approximately $9.99, but we've gone through several of these in the last few years.  (The first one was a birthday gift from K to me because we love playing Frisbee, which is the equivalent of monkey in the middle for Betel.)  I think we "accidentally" left one of them in Chicago -- Ahem, Icarus, do you know anything about this?*

And one got "lost" in Pennsylvania -- we're looking at you for this one, Abby.

But I guess that just goes to show what a big hit this Frisbee is for the pups in our life.  Highly recommended for the humans, too!

* Photo by CPE, cribbed from her Flickr

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

$98.00 [Yarn Ball Urn]

Natural Burial Company Yarn Ball Urn

This beautiful urn will be Kitty's final resting place, selected by my brother, W, who spent several years with Kitty when we lived in Chicago.  It's perfect for her.  It's tasteful, the company is socially responsible, and I can put her little Kitty tags on it.  It's also 100% biodegradable so that I can bury her in an appropriate place years from now when it becomes awkward to still have my dead three-legged cat's ashes.

$98.00 with free U.S. shipping - although I hope you never need to buy this for your cat because he or she beats all odds and lives forever.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

$2.60 [Fat Cat]

She keeps saying it's just her "winter weight" and that she'll work it off by hunting house centipedes, but the proof is in the pudding, folks.  Lola is only getting bigger.

She now officially weighs more than twice what Betelgeuse and Lulu weigh when put together.  We're proud of you, Lola, but it's time for you to go on a diet.

Our local pet store recommended feeding her the high-protein, low-carb Abady Complete Beef-Based FAT CAT Formula according to the specifications on the can.  It's a good thing Lola can't read English, or she might take offense to the formula name.  Can you imagine a human diet food being called "FAT PEOPLE FOOD" with a subtitle that reads "helps bring about the best condition possible for ADULT FAT PEOPLE"?  I'm sure it would be flying off the shelves.

A 13.2 oz. can costs approximately $2.60 when purchased individually.  It's a little pricey, and Lola still constantly cries for her dry food.  If we don't keep an eye on her, she'll sneak dog food, too.  (The pups just lay down and watch her do it, occasionally letting out a tiny whine.)

If anyone has any recommendations outside of the Abady Fat Cat formula for a good weight management wet or dry cat food, please leave a comment.  I'm all ears.  And Lola is all blob.  Well, mostly blob.  She still has a tiny head.

$13.69 [Money Pit]

Well, this happened.

This is a ripped up pile of twenty dollar bills.  Four of them, to be exact.

Let it soak in.

The circumstances under which this financial crime was perpetrated are unclear.  My purse, with $80 in cash inside of it, was sitting on the living room floor.  I was in the back bedroom.  I am 99.9% sure that Betelgeuse was the ultimate destructive force, as she has a history of chewing up paper when she's in a good mood.  But these bills came from my purse, and she's never been a bag forager.  So that means either Lulu or Kira, or maybe even both, helped steal the $80 from my purse before Betel thoroughly ripped it to shreds.  I say thoroughly because she even pulled out some of the security threads.

So why is this post not entitled $80.00?  Because it turns out that the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will redeem damaged or mutilated currency.  So the net loss hopefully is just $13.69 for the cost of registered mail postage with return receipt requested.  Unless the U.S. Treasury will not redeem it, in which case I will be out a whopping $93.69.  Thanks, pups.