Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reflections of an Old Dog

by Nessie the Monster

Keep your head and tail up and keep running forward and your life will have been full.

My name is Nessie the Monster and I am a Duchess.  The Duchess of Hagg to be exact.  That title was given me when I came to live with WishBone, Duke of the House of Hagg.  He was 4 at the time and I was but a young pup.  What a strong and handsome lad he was.  And stoic and fearless.  I gave him every puppy antic I had in my repertoire and he never flinched.  I remember hearing the staff of the house mumbling behind my back that they were truly worried that something was wrong with him.  I played so hard (and with puppy teeth mind you) that I had ripped his ear causing him to have an operation for 'cauliflower ear'  and his beautiful white chest had turned red with blood from all the scratches.  Yet he was such a gentleman that he never lifted a paw to strike me down.  He just let me play and play.  The staff even took him to my class at school to ask the teachers if there might be something they could do to cause WishBone to stand up for himself against me.  I remember hearing that when the time came, he would.  In the meantime, I remember having much fun at his expense.  

It was about a year and a half later when the time came.  Wow.  I remember the Holy Bejeebers getting knocked out of me.  I was playing as usual and WishBone unexpectedly lifted a very strong paw and made such a terrible growling noise that I thought the sound alone would kill me.  Then that paw came crashing down on my head and the lights went out.  It was a K.O.  But evidently, he wasn't sure he had gotten the message across so he opened his huge jaws and placed them (quite gently) around my head, engulfing me in darkness and fear.  And that noise I shall never forget.  It was a very low, almost inaudible sound emanating from deep within the recesses of his deep  and still bloody chest.  All I could do was play dead and pray that it would end.

When he let me get up, which I was very surprised to find that I could do,  I had a new found respect for him.  Well.  I had to.  I didn't want that to happen to me again.  We became the absolute best of friends and we played together and toured the USA for many years until one day up in Michigan, he died.  I was more sad than I have ever been.  He was my friend and companion.  The staff had taken him away in the middle of the night and came back with only his collar.  When they let me smell it, I knew I would never see him again

Me and my best friend in Michigan a week before I lost him forever.

WishBone and Taylor Bailey Alexander

When we came back to the Palace in our home town, I was so sad and lonely that I sat on the rug by the stair and wailed and cried and howled a pitiful and mournful song.  Everyone in the house was crying with me.  We all mourned together for many days and then one day, we could no longer go on with being sad.  We had to move forward.  It was quieter in those days, but nice and peaceful.  I went about the business of being an only Duchess and did my best to keep spirits up in the house and to make everyone there to feel needed.  Finally, I planned a big expedition and we packed up and went on a long journey for Christmas that year.  We went through Memphis and  ended up in North Carolina.  While I was out walking with one of the staff, I noticed off in the distance another member of my staff playing with what looked like two puppies on a green lawn.  When I approached, both their respective arsses were lifted for me to inspect.  I liked them instantly and hired them to be my Chamberlains.  In retrospect, I probably should have thought about it longer, because I've been sorry more than a few times that I made such a quick decision, but everyone was happy and there was much rejoicing that day.  So we brought them back to the Palace and I had the staff to begin to teach them their duties.

McKenzie Malcolm
They haven't really co-operated in excess about learning how to be dignified members of a Royal Household.  But, I guess I should remember how patient WishBone was with me.  The House of Hagg has not been the same since they came to us.  Where is was once peaceful and quiet, it is now full of life, joy, craziness and frenetic energy at times.  Look here!  Their pictures won't even co-operate and line up properly!  Yes.  Those two have some very bad 'juu-juu' in their blood line.

WishBone, Duke of the House of Hagg and me
Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg
on the beach in Hilton Head

And I do have yet another story to tell of Lord Malcolm eating the 'wrong' thing over the past Christmas holiday.  I'll save that for another day, though.  My main purpose in making this reflection on my life is that it is my birthday today.  I have turned 9 years old.  As I am a dignified dog and try not to call attention to myself, I have celebrated in a quiet way.  No party hats or silly masks.  I'm just thinking of the grand life I've lead thus far.  I've been to Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  I've been blessed to have a wonderful and caring staff and I had the greatest friend in WishBone that a dog could ever hope for.  And now I am blessed with two adopted children that I am doing my level best to raise properly.  (I'm not mentioning Taylor Bailey Alexander the Tailless Cat whom I drove insane.  It was not a good period in my life).

Lord Malcolm and Lady McKenzie at about 3 months old.

Last night, I completed my series of testing to be a Therapy Dog.  I have passed and am awaiting my license.  I can think of no better way to celebrate such a great life, than to share it with others.  I will be pleased to go to libraries and help young children learn to read; and to go to hospitals and give a little cheer and happiness to children and other patients and I won't forget the older generation as I go and 'hang' with them in retirement homes.   As I have said before, Royalty is for Charitable Giving.  We must always give back to our communities in whatever way we can -- even if it is just by smiling at someone.  Remember to always keep your tail up and keep moving forward!  My life has been full and yours can be too!  May your New Year be full of happiness and prosperity and may you find Peace in giving to others!  That is what a dog's life is about!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

The Royal House of Hagg would like to extend our warmest wishes and heartfelt joy in this beautiful Christmas season to all of you who make our lives richer by reading our blog.  We are glad to be able to share our lives with you and our fondest hope is that you can glean valuable information on how to raise a happy and healthy dog in this hectic world.  If you are thinking of bringing a new dog home for the holidays, please be sure to pick a dog based on temperament and personality and not on 'looks'.  Remember that any breed of dog can be a GREAT family dog provided you choose wisely.  The dog needs a family that it's personality can 'fit' into.  (Just like finding a good job--you have to fit)!  Be sure to look deeply and honestly into your  lifestyle and choose a dog who will be a great fit.  If you never get off the sofa, don't bring a Boxer home.  While we LOVE sofas, we need to have a lot of exercise first.  Do some real research -- and be honest!  Some dogs have higher energy levels than others.  And while each breed has certain similarities, every dog has it's own energy level and it's own personality.  The more effort you put into choosing the right dog for your family, the happier all of you will be and the easier it will be for your new dog to assimilate into it's new pack.

Also, a lot of ads are on TV right now asking for donations while they really tug at your heartstrings.  Please!  If you feel inclined to donate, do so locally.  In this way, you can see where your money is being used.  Always check out the rating of the charity you are giving to.  You want your money to help the animals and not the people running the organization.   And if you choose to adopt a beautiful pet for your family, consider going to your local shelter.  Make sure you are able to assess the energy level and personality before bringing them home.  There are so many wonderful animals just waiting for the right family or person to come along and give them a chance.  Many of these dogs end up in shelters simply because the original family were not honest about their lifestyle and they chose the wrong dog.  This doesn't mean that the dog was a bad dog.  It only means that the humans didn't do their due diligence.   And lastly, please be prepared to train your dog and read some books on dogs, yourself.  We are animals living in a human world which we are very willing to do.  It is your responsibility to give us what WE need to live in and to understand your environment.  Please accept our  many thanks for your continued support of our blog.  May you each have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas and much Peace and Happiness in the New Year!

House of Hagg
Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg;  CGC
Lord Malcolm and Lady McKenzie, Chamberlains to the Duchess of Hagg;  CGCs

"Oh dear!  I winked!  Take another picture"!

"Much better.  Thank you.  And a very merry Christmas to one and all"!
"That danged woman put a Naughty Hat on my Royal Head"!
"Oh.  Be quiet, both of you!  Can we never have a dignified picture?  I sometimes wish I would never have hired you Chamberlains"!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Crisp Frosty Day, A Pile of Dry Leaves and the Promise of Hot Tea and a Biscuit

A Flat Out Run
with the 
Bike Tow Leash
and a very
Bundled Up Chauffeur

by the Lady McKenzie

Oh my!  I so enjoyed talking with you last week that I asked permission from the Duchess of Hagg if I could do it again.  And yes!  She agreed!  I'm so happy and overwhelmed and excited to be able to tell you about the wonderful day me and me'brother, the Lord Malcolm had yesterday.

Every few days in winter, when the weather is yet crisp but the sun is shining and the wind conditions are just so, Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg decrees that the Royal Chauffeur bundle herself up and take Lord Malcolm and me'self on a wild ride through the streets of Hagg to check on the status of the commoners living on the properties, and to ensure that they are all conducting themselves in a manner well pleasing to the Household of Hagg.  Normally, we would stop and collect taxes along the way, but because the Christmas Season is for Charitable Giving, the taxes are forgiven at this time of year.

Mike Leon's great invention is simple to attach with no tools

Because we don't have to stop, and because the Royal Hiney does not participate Herself, Lord Malcolm and me'self take advantage of the poor chauffeur.  If the Duchess were following along, you know it would be a much more slow and regal occasion.  But, since she is not there, well. (he he)  WE RUN!  That silly woman we have as a chauffeur cannot get her leg over the bike and her buttocks  on the seat before we are all ready speeding around the first corner!

This is Malcolm running 'round a campsite in New Mexico.  Show off!
Ahh!  There is nothing so good as the smell of wood fires wafting through the crisp air, the sound of rustling leaves as you plough through the damp piles and the cold crisp wind catching your jowls as you tear through neighbourhood after neighbourhood. Running and running, faster and faster. Uphill, downhill;  speeding 'round corners and slowing up only for stop signs.  (It seems we must set a good example for the general public and watch the rules of the road, even though we made the rules and they are ours to break).

I will admit that at first I was afraid of the bicycle and the Bike Tow LeashIt made sounds I didn't understand and I didn't know that it was meant for my enjoyment.  But when I learned what a great device it was, well, I just couldn't get enough!

The Royal Chauffeur does take precautions in extreme cold and extreme heat while we run. She always brings water and a chamber pot (we rarely use these things, but they are there if we need them)and she always smears our feet with a product called Musher's SecretThis is to ensure that our beautiful feet are kept from getting cut or injured in any way. Both me'brother, Lord Malcolm, and me'self love the leash attachmentbecause it allows us to manoeuvre 'round obstacles quite easily and the best part is ..... we can RUN, RUN, RUN to our heart's desire. 

Lord Malcolm.  Getting Praise, of course!  Humph!

Why are all the pictures of me'rotten brother!
Really, the product is worth all the hype I'm giving it because of the safety value. Not just for us Royals but for our Chauffeur as well. She has never had an accident while driving us around no matter how hard Lord Malcolm pulls her.  Oh, my!  But he is a boisterous soul! So in the end, I would just like to say that this leashis a wonderful invention and we, as Royal Celebrities are very fortunate to live in such a manner as to have this wonderful deviceAnd indeed, it does serve a dual purpose.  It allows us great pleasure and fun -- and really! Isn't that all that life is about?  But in case you want more;  it de-pleats our energy level so much that we spend the rest of the day (and sometimes two) lounging and sleeping (and of course, and especially in Malcolm's case) eating.  If you need proof of that, just look at the picture at the top of this blog!

Well, that is all I wanted to tell you other than we had a wonderful time running through the fallen leaves and racing 'round the countryside.  It was good to get back to the Palace and take a cup of tea and biscuits with me'Lady, the Duchess of Hagg in the House of Hagg Pub (the Snugg o'the Pub, more rightly).  Ta!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lord Malcolm's Antics Never Cease

Why Some Royal Families Choose 
to buy
Pet Insurance
a perspective on me'brother by Lady McKenzie

I don't often get the opportunity to speak with the general public mostly because I rarely have much to say and much of my time is consumed with the rigorous duty of running the everyday affairs of the House of Hagg.  I realize that me'wicked boss, the Duchess of Hagg, would have you believe that not much gets done without her constant demands;  but truth be told, she has no idea what a job it is just to keep me'brother on the 'straight and narrow' path.  He is much bull headed, and at times very bossy and selfish.  As you may know, he is a HUGE  animal and is yet, still building his body, as he is not yet fully matured.  He stands staring at his image in the mirror waiting for his "buttocks to fill" and his "chest to drop".  I only wish he would grow into those huge feet and grand head of his.  

His intake around the Palace is as large as his personality.  He consumes more food on a daily basis than the Duchess and me'self put together.  I, of course, am the most demure and petite  of all who live here.   I pride me'self in keeping the most trim and fit of anyone in the House.  The Duchess was once fit, but she has never really been beautiful and fine boned like me and her age is now apparent, such as she no longer goes on extended runs.  It seems she is quite content to walk or if she does take to running, it is for shorter periods than she did when       she was young.  But, as I said before, Lord Malcolm cannot be satisfied with the normal 2 plates of food per day.  No.  He requires much more.  He is served 1 1/2 times as much food as me and fully 2 times as much as the Duchess at every meal and is always looking for an opportunity to snack throughout the day.

In fact, the reason why he is the subject of so much attention in this blog is that he demands so much attention during the course of every single day.  I swear, one would think that he is the only dog living here.  He spends his day doing tricks and making up his own cues (such as the tea kettle boiling) to get cookies and snacks.  It used to be that every time the kettle whistled, we could all come in for a wee cuppa tea and a wee biscuit.  With me'brother, it soon became every time the kettle was filled with water......and soon after, every time any stock pot was being filled.  He is first to show up and demand he be fed.

Lord Malcolm just after he was forced to vomit outside Vet's Clinic

Another way he gets fed is to pretend to bark at something out the window of the Palace.  That's how he manages to keep his job, by the way.  The Duchess thinks he is protecting the premises.  And when he is asked to stop barking, just what do you think happens?  Yes.  That is correct.  He races to the cookie jar and demands a cookie for his obedience. (Well, in actuality, we all race to the cookie jar with him and demand cookies for his obedience). When will they learn that he is playing them all for fools?  And, still, he cannot be satisfied..........

Lord Malcolm has proven over and over again, that he will consume anything.  Why, you remember the incident in which he almost died?  Well.  He recently pulled that little trick again!  The servants were charged with the very important and very complicated duty of decorating the Palace for the upcoming Christmas Festival.  A toy had been placed on the mantle some time ago (to curb my obsessive behavior) and had been kept there so as not to tempt me.  When it was taken down and placed in a box with other toys, of course I found it immediately!  I mean, did that silly woman think I wouldn't find it?  Humph!  Well.  As soon as I found it, Malcolm stole it from me and began to eat it.  Yes.  In the time it took for the decorating committee to get the lights and trim on the mantle, Lord Malcolm had chewed off the end of an indestructible Kong Toy.  

Don't even think about it!  Of course he ate it!  -- Along with a few Styrofoam berries.  What makes this time better than the last, is that the servant woman is constantly checking toys since that last incident.  She found the problem right away and I heard her talking sternly with Lord Malcolm and telling him that she would be ready for him at 5am the very next morning when she expected him to regurgitate the object.

5 am didn't quite make it before me'brother was waking the household with that horrible sound of bile bubbling up from the pit of hell.  All jumped out of their warm and toasty beds, turned on lights, ran for paper towels and disinfectant and waited.  Then it came.  The bile, that is, not the toy.  The servant woman decided to stay up with us (as we were all now wide awake) and leave the Duchess to finish her beauty (Ha!) rest.  It wasn't too long that the sound of regurgitation rang through the Palace again, this time from the Palace Pub.  Still, no toy.

As soon as the hour was decent, a phone call was made to the Royal Veterinary.  The Palace, having made sure upon birth that Lord Malcolm and me'self were covered by insurance, was not hesitant to rush him to the hospital yet again.  In fact, we are covered by Trupanion Pet Insurance.  The Vet, a good man named George Carley, was as distressed as I that me'brother would again place his very large body in such peril.  The good doctor considered all the options and got out his trusty 'roto-rooter' type tool in case the task required fishing it out of the stomach through the mouth.  But the chauffeur insisted on inducing vomiting.   The doctor argued that the object may well be in his intestine by now and vomiting would send it further down.  "No", insisted the chauffeur, "make him to vomit".  So, much soft food was given (and taken gladly by Lord Malcolm) and then he was given a wee drop in his eye.  Quite magically, the piece of kong came floating up with all that wonderfully soft canned food he had just eaten.  The good doctor has now officially saved Lord Malcolm's life two times!  We didn't require the insurance on this visit, but had the object gone into the intestine, we would have needed it to take care of the surgical costs.  It has proven to have all ready paid for itself with the last 2 surgeries where the doctor ended by taking 6 inches of Lord Malcolm's bowel.  In fact, those 2 surgeries, having been paid by the Trupanion Pet Insurance, have paid for the cost of the insurance for both me'brother and me'self for our entire lives.  We are very grateful for the benefits we are afforded by living and working at the House of Hagg.  And again, Lord Malcolm gets all the attention on facebook

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Royalty and Charitable Acts

A Partnership of Giving
by Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg

The greatest thing about being a Royal Pooch is the act of charitable giving.  Especially in the Holiday (from Holy Day) Season, this one thing becomes the fore-front of every act we, as Royal Heinys consider.  We are often asked what we can do for others and after all, what kind of a Royal Highness would I be if I did not get involved with charitable giving?  The only reason to be Royal is to be able to give to the commoners, the workers and the peasants.  I mean, if it were not for them, there would be no one to acknowledge my Royal Highness-ness.  And then, I would have to assume that I would only be a Royal Pain in the......well, you can guess--(and some have called me that behind me'back).  So when I am asked to do something for others, I never refuse.  It is much in our nature to want to please every one of our people, and we do whatever we can to accomplish this.  We consider pleasing our people as  the greatest of all God Given duties.  

A picture taken during the last Holiday Season.  We were asked then to help decorate the Royal Palace but we weren't much good at it.

In point of fact, Lord Malcolm became entangled and was quite frustrated that the lights weren't all in good working order.
Therefore, when I was recently asked by one of the entrepreneurs of our great Land of Hagg,  to try a new product;  I was ever so pleased to be able to do so.  The bonus is that I get to try this Brilliant product for free and then I can tell you how it works.  I can now officially say that the FUR CODE PET ID TAGS are endorsed by the Royal House of Hagg and all of it's constituents thereof; and it is now the Official Royal Tag used by House of Hagg (A Hagg Tagg as it were).  Here's how it works...............

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A 2 Year Old Boxer Boy, A Stressed Out Mom and Agility

Sometimes I wonder why on Earth we do the things we do.  (Any body out there a 'Parrot Head')?  Why would a person put a 2 year old Boxer who is so full of 'vim and vinegar' as Malcolm, into a room with nervous people and dogs, both large and small, running very fast and jumping and people screaming and yelling "yippee" all around the place?  It had to go badly...................................

This is an account of a sporting event Lord Malcolm, m'Chamberlain, endeavored to complete on the week before Thanksgiving, a very stressful holiday.

by Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg

Well I try not to judge.  But when m'Chamberlain, the Lord Malcolm, came to me requesting time away from his duties at House of Hagg (which, I admit, are virtually non-existent) I granted him his leave with the understanding that I was very much amazed that he would place himself in such a situation as to set himself up for grand failure.  Lord Malcolm is quite the Scottish warrior, bull headed type of Boxer who never backs away from a good fight and so, he was very much determined to continue on with this foolish exercise.  ......

Friday, November 11, 2011

Malcolm's Commercial

As you may remember, last June Malcolm was featured in a commercial for a company called Granite Transformations.  I didn't expect that it would take so long for the production company to release the commercial, but what do I know about production companies?  So here we are in November, a full 5 months later.  Believe me, I've been asking and asking to no avail.  Finally!  His big moment has come!  I think he's adorable!  It's not very long but it's really great!  It will take about a minute to upload to your computer but I hope you take the time.  One link is a 15 second commercial and one is a 30 second one.  It's interesting that this comes at just the time when he is ready to compete in his 1st (and mine) agility trial on Nov. 19-20.  But more on that later.

The point is, my little Malcolm is growing up and is a rising star!

So, without further ado, are the links.  

{Vista will not support these videos.  I suggest you use Windows XP}.

Lord Malcolm has requested that I let you know, visitors and well wishers may leave their calling cards at House of Hagg Pub to congratulate him.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Through a Dog's Ear

Calming the Reactive (or A.D.H.D.) Dog
in Lady McKenzie's Case

Any time there is trouble, it is because Lady McKenzie reacted inappropriately.  I live with 3 Boxers who are generally the best dogs in the world.  I know you don't get that, because I am usually telling stories about their mis-adventures.  On a normal day, we get up, eat, play and snooze without issues.  All the dogs get along very nicely together.  Nessie is quite a lot older, so she doesn't put up with overly enthusiastic advances in play, but she hangs in there and many times, she is the one to initiate the play.  Trouble begins when McKenzie reacts.  And she reacts to a lot of different stuff.  Not the common stuff that you would expect, like thunderstorms and lightening, or even the recent earthquakes we've experienced.  No.  She leaves that reacting to Nessie.  (Which is why the Thundershirt is shared between the two.)  And, Nessie is very easy to calm.  Put on the Thundershirt and open the kennel door so she can get in, .......then she's totally fine.

Young Lady McKenzie, on the other hand.........well, she's not so easy to calm.  I have noticed that she does indeed, take a lot of cues from Nessie, which is a big help.  But she is young and many times, she thinks she's got the particular situation in question covered.  For example, when a person across the street walks out of their house and into their own yard, I am alerted.  Or if they pull out of their drive or if a person walks down the street or if the school bus goes by etc, etc, etc.  Ugh.  McKenzie truly wants me to know what's going on in the neighborhood.  Trouble is, when she barks, she is communicating to the other 2 dogs to do the same.  Malcolm always falls for it.  Nessie seldom does.  In fact, yesterday, I noticed Nessie sitting with her back to them while they incessantly barked out the window.   That was a great Calming Signal she was giving, but no one was listening.  See the book 
On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals

Sometimes, I'm at my wit's end.  I have tried the squirt bottle, which stopped being a deterrent long ago.  It is now a treat.  They see it coming out and they run over to me and sit so that I will squirt them.  They try to catch the water.  That would be fine, because they've stopped barking, except when I'm done squirting, they run right back to the barking again, presumably so that I will get the squirt bottle out again and start over.  Exact same thing with the command "NO BARK" and treating for stopping the noise.  They stop barking and sit long enough to get a cookie and run right back to it again. (And no, I don't treat every time).  This time, looking back at me to see if I'll say "NO BARK" again so they can get another cookie.

But Barking is not little Miss McKenzie's only fault.  She hears an airplane overhead and she begins to cower.  She feels a bumpy road under her and she's panicked.  A shadow makes a movement and she looses it.  I've told you before about using the Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment - Navy Blue Rugby (Medium) on her when we go on trips in our MotorCoach.  It actually really helps her a lot.  But not enough to keep her out of my lap.  Also, I don't know when the barking will start at home and I don't usually want to run and get it and put it on her all the time like that.

What I need is a CALMER HOUSE.

Well, I read Victoria Stilwell's Positively Blog (scroll down to find the link ).  She was talking about a new series of CD's she's put out about Canine Noise Phobias. I read about them and did a wee bit of research.  She has collaborated with Joshua Leeds and Lisa Spector.  Joshua is a psycoacoustical researcher who studies the effect of music and sound on the human nervous system.  Lisa Spector is a Juilliard trained concert pianist and is featured in the recordings.  [Joshua has found that auditory cognition in humans, as well as in dogs, is complex.  When exposed to music, the human brain methodically analyzes every interval, rhythmic nuance, instrumental density, and melodic turn.  While testing and writing the book
Through a Dog's Ear: Using Sound to Improve the Health & Behavior of Your Canine Companion
Joshua became acutely aware that many of the same human auditory cues affect canines, as well.  In test after test, dogs showed a preference for the slowest and simplest classical music.]**taken directly from Victoria Stilwell Positively "Calming" CD.**  So, I decided to try 3 of the CD's.

We recently had to go on a short trip to a smallish town in our State so I put the Thundershirt on McKenzie and got ready.  As we were about to leave, the CD's arrived.  Not wanting to waste a minute, I grabbed the Bose CD player and off we went.  Typically, she climbed into my lap.  She was pretty calm with the Thundershirt on, but I wanted to reinforce the feeling.  I started the 'Calming' CD.  It was beautiful and pretty soon, I was hearing sighs and yawns and deep breaths from all 3 dogs.  (It is not recommended that you listen to the CD when driving; however, the bus is huge and there was always Sirius Sattelite Radio for my husband to tune into while driving).  I have to tell you, we hit some pretty bumpy and narrow roads with the wind whipping us about quite a bit.  Wee McKenzie was never phased.  She did look up and around a few times but  that was always  followed by a sigh and her body relaxing.  I made sure to give her good massages as we went to encourage the relaxation.  It was truly quite remarkable.

When we got home, I put the music on at some point again, and got total relaxation from all dogs.  People walked by, school buses came and went, the mailman,......nothing phased them.  All was calm.  Ahh.  Silence is golden.  I have not tried the CD for Thunder or Fireworks yet, but I will.   In these, she incorporates -- very slowly-- the sound of Thunder or Fireworks into the CD.  It starts just music at first, then you begin to hear the sound off in the distance.  It gets louder and closer as the CD plays, but the music is continuous.  She has specific instructions on how to use these with your dogs.  I'm looking forward to trying them.  I have a great feeling I'm going to love them too.  In the meantime, I've found some of Joshua and Lisa's CD's on Amazon along with his book, if your interested.  To order Victoria's CD's, go to her website.  Remember, hers incorporate the sounds of either Thunder, Fireworks or City Sounds along with the music.  Joshua's CD's are for Calming alone.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Chamberlains Are Supposed to Oft'Times Hard to Say...

A Question of Crating

by Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg

When it comes to my staff; they are all over the place in terms of excellence.  My Chamberlains are absolutely THE WORST Chamberlains any well respected Duchess, such as myself, could ever imagine in their worst of nightmare scenarios.  On the other hand, the staff that they have hired (I cannot tell you how fortunate they are) are without question, the most excellent of servants. The woman who they have hired to do the cooking, washing up, straightening, shopping, chauffeuring, and grooming of we, the Royal House of Hagg, is quite exceptional indeed. She takes care of everything so beautifully that there is NO EARTHLY REASON why the Chamberlains cannot take care of the business of the Bed Chamber (their ONLY duty).

Now.  Let us discuss the bed chamber.  I, being a Royal Blue Blood, have a very ornate and comfortable private room which allows me to relax, rest, take snacks, play games and even entertain (with conversation -- please get your mind out of the ditch) certain other Nobles when I choose.  All I ask of above said Chamberlains is to keep quiet and out of the way while I'm asking for my 'alone' time.  It would be nice if they would clean m'privey every once in a wee while, but they leave that up to that woman they have hired.  Heaven's Forbid if she ever takes another job or even worse the Queen herself, find out about her.  She would be whisked away in a matter of seconds and I would be left with a disaster of a staff to deal with.

Just Take a Look at This Evidence of Their Work

Yes.  Now you see what I'm talking about..............

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

3 Boxers and a Dremel

{To be read from Nessie the Monster's point of view....remember; she's a Duchess!} 

Because my Chamberlains were having a big birthday bash, I thought I would get them a present. Not that they really deserved a present.  But even though my name is Nessie the Monster;  I am a GOOD Monster with a very big heart.  (My people love me dearly and I look after them very well).  After all, they (my Chamberlains) do nothing but play sport all day and when they're not doing that, they are usually eating something they shouldn't or sleeping. Heavens Forbid if they ever did their job and actually looked after my estate!  But, after all, they are young and not only that, but they are not the best Chamberlains that a Duchess such as myself could ask for.  So, under the circumstances and because of my benevolence, I wanted to get them a present.

Now.  The question became, {pompous British accent} "Oh deary me!  What shall I get such Chamberlains who all ready have so much and, if they don't have it, they are well-to-do enough (because of my benevolence), to acquire whatever they desire?"  I thought and thought and finally I asked the Royal Chef/Gardener/Cleaning Woman/Chauffeur.  (The House of Hagg has had to make drastic cut backs in staff and some are beginning to complain of being overworked and underpaid).  This much trusted servant of the House of Hagg had a very good idea.  She confided in me that she thought she heard a 'clicking' sound the last time she drove them to their Agility Sporting Facility.  Each time they would run up the A Frame and the Dog Walk (I do not know why it's called a Dog Walk), she could very clearly hear 'clicking' sounds.  She had assumed that it must be their nails.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Our Birthday and We'll Party Like We Want To!

Well! I just don't know what all the 'hoop-la' is! So, they just turned 2. Blah, Blah. All I ever hear is how cute they are and how good looking they are. And now it's how athletic they are and it's their stupid birthday.........I'm so sick of hearing about the twins. It doesn't matter. I'm still the Duchess.
We are so good lookin'! Can someone please pass the cake?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finally! The Servants are Beginning to Speak Clearly!

{Note to Reader:  The following post is to be read with a very pomp0us, hooty-tooty, high and mighty British accent.  Think of a cross between Queen Elisabeth and Jonathan Hunt from Fox News.  It may help to picture them as you read, and I have provided links to help you with that.  All other notes to readers will be in smaller text and enclosed in brackets.}

Every little girl dreams of one day, becoming a Princess.  Those of us who have been blessed (some would say cursed) with this; the highest of social status, Blue Blood Royalty, know the realities of such honourable service to the small people of our most esteemed country. {For information on how to become a Princess, please watch this 4 minute video}.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lady McKenzie and Her 'Light Bulb' Moment

As you know, Lady McKenzie is A.D.D.  (And, No.  She has not been diagnosed by the Royal Doctor--just by me, her faithful and loyal servant).  So much so, that she simply can not focus on any one task at a time.  She can't.  She is wired to keep 20 things spinning 'round in that wee brain at the same time.  Too much to focus on performing one simple task to perfection.  For example, she knows very well how to sit.  She also knows how to spin, run, jump, bark, wait, lay down, play dead and many other various  wonderful activities.  So, when asked to sit, all those other things come first and then the sit.  It's just more fun to show off everything you know all at once.  With all that going on in her brain, she gets really startled by unexpected noises or movements or smells or shadows.  Yup.  She's pretty much a scared- y cat.  So I've had to really work with her to 'get over it' and 'move on'.  If an airplane flies over, she's scared.  If a truck goes by, she's scared.  If a breeze blows a bunch of leaves by, yep, she's scared.  If the teeter moves (which is what makes it a teeter), she's scared.  That's why she was 'held back' in beginning agility.  She got scared on the teeter and would never go back.  Period.  Done.  Not doin' it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"The World is My Buffet Table.......

.......and I intend to eat as much as possible."
 Lord Malcolm, Chamberlain to the Duchess of Hagg

Here ye! Here ye!  An edict from Her Royal Hieney, The Duchess of Hagg.

All Lords and Ladies of the Royal Household 
will eat only those items prepared by the much trusted and loyal
Royal Chef
 and served properly in a fine 'Bone' China bowl

My Chamberlain, Lord Malcolm, who cares for the running of my household along with the Lady McKenzie, has "laid off" (to use the local vernacular) the Royal Food Tester in an effort to save much needed funds in this poor economy.  On the face of it, this may have seemed a good idea.  However, knowing that I myself will place nothing in my mouth without the food first, being tested by a servant (one never knows who might try to take my life by poison), Lord Malcolm did take upon himself this very important position.  This is where the trouble began and, as you will soon see, it grew worse as each day passed.  And it would seem that days were the only things passing--if you get my drift.

So let us begin at the beginning.

It was a beautiful day and I sent the Royal Gardener out to tidy up the posies.  Due to the a-fore mentioned recent cut-backs in our household budget, the Gardener now pulls 'triple duty' as the Royal Staff Oversight Chairperson and the Royal Chef.   Of course, this would lead to one person having to be in two or three places at the same time, which is why I had vehemently argued against such cut backs, alas, to no avail.   It was then that Lord Malcolm decided that he was hungry.  The Gardener returned some 30 minutes later to find that the Celtic Knot throw rug that welcomes guests to our Royal Estate had been overturned.  And she found Lord Malcolm sitting there calmly whilst Lady McKenzie was chewing on the backing tape that prevents the rug from slipping.

Lady McKenzie forfeited her portion of the backing tape and other small pieces were found scattered about and retrieved.  The rug was put back in place and a note was made that most of the tape had not been found.  Looking at Lord Malcolm, the comment was heard; "Ah.  This, too, shall pass".  But it didn't.  It didn't that day, or the next.  Finally, as we were all sleeping soundly, a terrifying noise was echoed throughout the bed chamber at approximately  5am.  It was the horrifying sound of regurgitation.

The servants sprang from their beds, fumbled for the lights and ran to the kennel (er, ahem, bed) from where the sound was coming.  Flinging open the kennel door (er, ahem, bed curtains) and yanking Lord Malcolm away from the crate pad (er, ahem, fine linens) in order that they, those lazy and ill mannered servants, would not have to do a washing.   As it happened, Lord Malcolm did indeed, spit out some vile and very nasty looking and brightly colored stomach fluid.  But after careful checking, alas, there was no tape.  All went back to bed.

...........Repeat the last paragraph at least 3 more times.  ...And only once, did a small piece of tape appear.  But the poor guy could not eat or drink or pass anything that day.  And he continued to throw up at least 7 more times, with no relief.  Finally, I instructed the servant to take him to see the Royal Doctor.  X-rays were taken and anti vomiting medicine was given and it was decided to wait to see if the object would pass.  But it did not pass.  Poor Lord Malcolm never drank a drop of water, nor did he eat or 'pass' anything for another 5 days.  (The Royal Doctor was 'on call' for the entire weekend and even talked with my servant during the Holy Services on Sunday morning!).

He was seen again on the following Monday and it was determined that he would have surgery to remove the tape.  As it happened, the tape was only part of the problem.  Apparently, Lord Malcolm  had also eaten a portion of a rubber dental toy.  It was the shape of a donut with medieval knobs similar to a mace around the edges and a hole in the middle.  The tape of course, had gone through the hole and pulled the toy from the stomach to the intestine where it lodged and was reaking havoc.  Pictures can be seen on the Royal Doctors' Facebook Page.  

Well.  All's well that ends well.           -- Well.  Not exactly.  Lord Malcolm spent the night in the Royal Hospital whilst I kept Lady McKenzie well entertained to keep her mind off worrying about the fate of her beloved brother.  We did have a wonderful and very entertaining evening. ( I must plan another "ladies only" evening very soon).  When Malcolm returned home to us, however, we could instantly see that something had gone a-rye.  He was certainly not himself.  He simply stood there with his head and tail sagging sadly while he kept his back hunched up like a cat.  After again, checking with the Vet (er, ahem, Royal Doctor) it was decided to 'up' his pain medication.  But after waiting out a full day and a half with little to no change, he was taken back to the hospital.

Another surgery determined that his wee body had rejected the absorb-able sutures that had been used, and every where there had been a suture, the tissue had sort of melted away.  The Royal Doctor was forced to take 6 inches of bowel out because of this and they really had to work him over to clean out all the infection.  Peritonitis is a very bad situation and not one to be taken lightly.  Lord Malcolm was very near death.  But he is home now, and resting comfortably with his sister.  And he is on a full road to recovery thanks be to God and His servants at Hunters Glen Vet Hospital.  He was even able to enjoy a bit of sport in Agility Class last Wednesday evening.  

I have removed all carpet tape and replaced with a very expensive and thick carpet pad that cannot be swallowed whole.  I swear, that we must find a way to replace our lost servants so that this never happens again. Lord Malcolm needs an Overseer at all times as his palette is in it's "development" stage.  Hopefully with age, "This too, shall pass".