Thursday, August 30, 2007

Farewell for a While

Dear Friends,

I will not be blogging here for a while. I am going to spend a few weeks with my pals Ricky Pepper, Lucy and Chloe (pictured below in their lovely yard), their four kitty siblings, fishy siblings and hoomans, Cee and Tee. They have very kindly offered to look after me while Mom and Dad are in Africa.


You can still keep in touch with me via Ricky Pepper, Lucy and Chloe's blog at

UPDATE: Ricky Pepper's url has changed because his Mom and Dad just brought a new Doxie named Sophie into their family! New URL is:

I will be back online towards the middle of September. To all my Jewish pals out there, Shana Tova - wishing you a happy and healthy new year.
To my mom and dad - safe travels, I will miss you!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Middle "Name" and a Cunning Plan

I was tagged by too many wirey friends to mention by name to tell you what my second name is!
I guess as my full name is Axel G Chocholoza Meersand-Slon - I kinda have two middle names. The "G" was bestowed upon me in honor of Mom's very first WFT called Georgie. Mom adored Georgie - she often tells me stories of how Georgie would chase lizards, eat bees, fight the neighbor's dogs through holes in the wall, and most of all, spend lots of time in Mom's family's swimming pool. Mom grew up in South Africa where pools are common - I sure envy Georgie, I have never even swum in a real pool, and I'm two already! Here is a photo of Georgie doing what she loved best:

My other middle name is quite a mouthful to pronounce - Cho-cho-loza is how you say it. Dad can't even say it properly. Mom laughs at him. Mom only uses my full name when she is angry with me! Chocholoza means "sweet little thing" in the South African native black language known as Tswana, spoken by the Batswana people. Mom was very fortunate to be raised by a nanny named Tina, and Tina called Mom her Chocho and often sung to her, a song by the very same name. Mom sings it to me now, but she can't remember all the words...

So there you have it...but sorry, I'm not going to spell out what each letter stands's just too long! I haven't got all day, you know!

But boy, a maltese poodle named Trouble sure does have all day to do anything! And I mean anything. The lucky pooch just netted $12 million left to her in a will by her owner Leona Helmsley! How many Wellness Wellbars and Dingoes could I buy with $12 million? Anyone want to figure that out for me or is it too depressing? I have a cunning plan. Yo, Asta in NYC - try to seek out Trouble and be her friend, then we can divvy up $12 million worth of snacks!! What do you think???

This is going to be my penultimate blog entry for quite a while. I go to my temporary family on Friday night. I am quite nervous, I've been sniffing in Mom and Dad's suitcases and staying close to them both. I know I will be very happy with Ricky Pepper's family, but like anything new, it's a little scary at first...the good news is that you can keep up with my antics by visiting their blog! Mom is very happy about that!



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Movie Premiere

Mom and Dad finally bought a videocamera, so now you will be able to see me on film! In my debut movie, you can see me lust after Daddy's ice-cream cone. The ice-cream truck comes past our house every night - I bark my head off at him in an effort to alert Dad that he needs to rush out and buy one! This is mom's directorial debut - so be encouraging. It took them forever to work out how to get it from the camera onto Youtube. Who knew it took HOURS to upload?


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh no, Bath time?

The vet gave Mom and Dad special anti-itching shampoo, so they decided to test it out on me today, their helpless guineapig! The minute I heard the bath running in mid afternoon, I just knew what it meant, so I stayed downstairs. But then Dad started making all these eating noises and repeating my favorite words, "snack" and "treat" and gourmand that I am, I fell for it, and went up to investigate.

Once they had me in the bathroom, I still thought I could prevent them from catching me. So I crawled between the tub and the inner wall...

But my luck ran out! Dad managed to drag me out, and the rest is history. Bath. Shampoo. Not much fun, even for me, a dog who usually LOVES water. But as I tried to explain when I was hunkered down behind the tub, bathing and swimming are two different things!!!

When it was all over, I was hoisted out looking like a wet (thinner) rat. Oh I am ashamed to show you this photo. I look like a candidate for the Ugly Dog Contest!

After shaking in the shower, running about and rolling on towels, I jumped on the bed and relaxed while Mom blow dryed me. Ah, I do like that warm machine.

I heard Mom tell Dad that I was in for another bath on Thursday, the night before I go on vacation to Ricky Pepper's house!! I'm sure Ricky Pepper wouldn't care one way or the other if I smelt like roses or poopie! Grrr, parents...I'm looking forward to 2.5 weeks of peace away from them!!! heh heh.


Monday, August 20, 2007

The Reformed Escape Artist

We wires are known for being escape artists. Open a door, leave a gate open, and the legend is, that we are gone with the to seek adventures, meet new friends and kill little fury pests.

When I was a wee chap - this described me to a T. If Mom or Dad opened the front door (our only entry point) - I would rush outside, and it would take all sorts of tricks to recapture me (Says Mom: "That is too true Axel. We would have to bring the car around and pretend to take you for a ride or we would have to plow you with treats!").

But I have matured now. I like to stand at the door, gaze out, bark if anyone approaches who I don't like the look of and observe the goings on. Especially if it is hot or wet outside. Don't believe me? I believe the photo on the right is proof enough! I did not bolt after this photo was taken.

God my arse looks big in that photo!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Itchies Progress Report

I have some good news tonite. I think we are winning the war on itchies! The war is being waged on many fronts, and today for the first time I have not been feeling itchy, have not been scratching. Only occasionally, I will lick my paw, but just for a short time. So thankfully, no more socks!

First, I guess the pills the vet gave me have finally kicked in. I am on Temaril P which contains antihistamines and cortesone; and an anti-biotic 'cos some of the self infliced bites were infected. I also take Skin Formula 3V capsules:

Mom has also made changes to my food. I used to eat regular Natural Balance kibble for adult dogs - Mom now switched me to the Duck and Sweet Potato flavor which is the so-called Allergy recipe. She also dropped from one cup at night to 1/2 - so it's official, I am on diet! God help me!

Mom also took our esteemed pals, Mackie and Finn's advice, and switched to a healthier, grain free vegetarian snack called Wellness Wellbar. Let me tell you, I usually hate these organic sort of treats - they usually taste like shit (excuse me, but it's true. Well partly, I do like some shit - duck for eg. - and trust me, it doesn't taste as good as THAT!). But I digress. So Mom gave me a wellbar, and I must admit, they are delish! I can taste that crunchy granola, apples, yoghurt, bananas. It's yummy. Mom found it at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck). The 20lb box was $5.99.

Unfortunately, the less healthy treats have been relegated to the closet until further notice. Mom is threatening to just trash them...but I convinced her that a spell on death row was only fair pending total elimination.

As I explained, I haven't been biting my paws too much - but Mom was in Petco today to get my Natural Balance food, when she spotted something on sale. She stood a while pondering whether to purchase the item or not. She knew I would bite her if she ever tried to use this item on me...but she still bought it! She tried to explain that she would have got a more manly color had there been any alternative and that she was just thinking of my best interests should my paws flair up again, especially while they were in Africa...

Can you believe this? Pink booties!!! If ever there was an incentive NOT to bite my paws, this is IT! I would rather smooch with Blanche the Cat then don those things!

So all in all, if we ignore the booties, I am feeling better. The only negatives really are that my meds make me ravenous and tired. And it doesn't help that Mom has cut down on my meals, deprived me of table scraps and decreased my treat intake. When I am feeling especially desperate, I stand over my empty food bowl and cry. This is usually after midnight when Dad is up and Mom is not. Dad is usually sympathetic and gives me some kibble. When I stare at Mom for more food, she offers me green beans from a can or carrots!! The woman has lost her head!

Here I am snoozing on the's very hot, the meds make me I have been sleeping a lot more than usual...Now that the folks are tapering down on the Temaril, hopefully I'll get my energy back.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Fox in Sox (Part II)

So Saturday I went to the vet. I like going to the vet - I run in there! A nice lady vet looked at my pink skin and scabs caused by my biting myself. She was very sympathetic. She walked Mom and Dad through all the options and settled on giving me anti-biotics and a drug called Temaril P which contains predisone and antihistimines. They also checked my poopie, and horrors, found tape worm in the very early stages. Seems the flea who bit me, gave it to me. I could have done without such generosity. And I got two vaccines. I was such a good boy, didn't cry at all. The vet thought I was a marvel. She also weighed me...but I'm not revealing my poundage..suffice to say I am back on diet.

Despite the pills, I am still itchy. Dad took me back to the vet today in the hopes of getting me a cortisone shot (they worked last year but we hoped to avoid it this time 'cos they aren't the healthiest in the long term). But vet said no, it was too dangerous to mix with the Temaril P. So I have shampoo and creams and we are praying the Temaril P kicks in like NOW!

In the meantime, I have been biting my paws so badly tonite, that Mom and Dad decided to revisit the socks. This time Mom cut an old pair of Dad's socks and taped the socks around my paws. I look silly!

At first, I just sat on the couch and wouldn't budge. Then Mom went upstairs and she cannot go unescorted, socks or no socks, so I ran up with her, and then ran up and down the passage like a wild man (in socks). This sucks! I hope they don't expect me to go out on my morning walk sporting these ridiculous apparitions! Anyone know how I can get these off!!! My life will not be worth living if Blanche sees me in these things!! Email me!

On a lighter note - my astute pals Big Foot Fletch and Maxie sent me this link to the most astounding short video. It tells the somewhat bizarre story of a family in South Africa who have a HIPPO named Jessica as a pet!! After you watch this video, Mom says we look rather banal in comparison! I am not quite sure I would like to share my house with a hippo, but the bull terriers in the video, seem happy enough (except the one who gets stepped on. Ouch!)


Monday, August 06, 2007

The "Other" Nemesis Next Door

For those of you who are avid readers of my blog, you will all recall how last year the horrid neighbor to our right called Animal Control and then the Cops on me for allegedly barking in an incessant fashion. I don't want to dwell on it, but suffice to say that relations are now "cordial" - the parents greet him and vice versa (sometimes). I still scowl at him. I do not forgive him easily for the stress he put us through calling the authorities...

To make matters worse for me - said horrid neighbor has an equally HORRID cat. Now I would like to know why female dogs are called bitches, female humans are called bitches, but there are no such names for female cats? If ever there was a cat who earned the title BITCH, it is Blanche the Cat, spawn of horrid neighbor to our right.

From my earliest days here, Blanche has been nasty to me. She was the first cat I encountered. She would pretend to be friendly, drop to the ground near my feet, roll over in an overt expression of "come and play with me". Then the minute I got near, WHAM, she would jump up and swipe me with her fierce clawed feet and emit this horrible hissing sound! The first time it happened I was a wee pup and I nearly died of fright. Since then, I cross the street to avoid her on my walks and keep my distance. Isn't it funny how horrible neighbor would have horrible cat...
(Luckily Gracie's feline siblings and Pepper-Ricky's feline siblings, were kind and nice, so I don't have this horrid impression of all cats, just Blanche!)

So yesterday, the parents are I were hanging out outside. I had my leash on but I wasn't tethered to the railing as Mom and Dad were right next to me and I never run away anyway...I have matured. I was just minding my business on the sidewalk, when Blanche pounced on the end of my leash and commenced taking it in her paw like she was going to take me for a walk!! I shuddered at the thought!

I didn't know what to do! I looked pleadingly to the parents for help, but they were laughing! Loudly! So I faked bravado, and jumped towards her and (after checking for traffic) ran after her into the road!
And still she persisted in trying to grab my leash. Well, by this time, I was so mad, I growled at her and ran away! I will never understand that freaky feline - was she trying to be friendly or was she trying to ambush me, grab my leash and take me somewhere like the railway tracks down the road. I could totally see her tying me to the tracks. Maybe horrid neighbor has programmed her to commit nefarious deeds upon my "person".

What do you think? I'd especially like to hear from dogs who live with cats!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Solutions to Itchies: the Good and the Silly

So I'm still itching despite trying to wash my paws in that Nizoral shampoo (it did seem to help for a while) and giving me Benedryl. Mom and Dad are at their wits end. I'm keeping them up at night with my noisy scratching or biting.

So the parents came up with DRASTIC SOLUTION #1 (suggsted by my wiry pal Gussie - gee thanks pal!):
Socks on a fox? I think not. Gus's Mom did recommend baby socks, but none were available and they were desperate. So they used Dad's long socks. Dad figured that if they were over my "elbows", I'd be less able to take them off.

Well, I think you'll agree that that was a really stupid idea. I sat still for about 15 minutes too afraid to walk or move. Then I jumped off my couch and got them off in under 10 seconds. I figured if I stood on the end and walked forward, they would fall off. I was right!!

As DRASTIC SOLUTION #1 was a dismal failure, the parents came up with DRASTIC SOLUTION #2: Give the dog a bone!

Now friends I'm sure it will come as no surprise when you hear that this was pretty successful for about TWO whole hours. I forgot my itchies and tucked in to this yummy marrow bone.

I think the parents are intending to shampoo my paws again tonite as they are both red and swollen...that's ok with me as long as they don't put me back in socks!!!


Just when you think you've had the worst haircut in the world...

Thanks to my pals Bobby and Emmy from St. Paul, MN for sending me this photo of a poor wiry girl named Maggie with a WORSE haircut than mine!

Friends - look at that tail!!! What was the groomer thinking? Maybe he wasn't thinking due to the absence of a BRAIN. Or maybe her previous owner thought she bought a poodle and not a wire?

Bobby and Emmy found Maggie on Petfinder. She is only 4 years old and in need of a loving forever home. She is located in Ohio. If you can offer Maggie love (and better grooming) - please click to her Petfinder profile.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'm so ITCHY I could scream!!

Those unbearable itchies are BACK and I can't stand it. All day long I'm forced to scratch, scratch, scratch or bite my paws. Mom and Dad are very sympathetic...they are giving me Benedryl disguised in all sorts of yummy stuff like cream cheese and peanut butter...but I think the pills make me feel goofy, tired like.

Today at a friend's suggestion Mom bought a shampoo called Nizoral - it's an anti-dandruff shampoo for humans, but this friend swears it helped her dogs' itchy paws. So I hear my humans are going to bathe my paws in it tomorrow. I'm so uncomfy and my paws are red - so I'm willing to go along with it. They may also double my Benedryl dosage...great, I'll be a stoner all day instead of just half the day!

But it would go down better if it too would be accompanied by cream cheese or peanut butter. Hint hint!