Sunday, September 30, 2007

My First Day

Koobuss tagged me and asked me to regale you all with how I came to live with Mom and Dad in Philadelphia. It began thus...

Oh, before I begin, a shout out to Di, Mom of Gracie - if you are reading this please email Mom cos she emailed you and your address bounced. Thank you.

And now back to my story. As you know, Mom grew up with a wire in South Africa named Georgie. In her honor, G is my second name. Axel G Chocholoza. Mom loved Georgie with all her heart and soul for the wonderful 15 years she graced her life. The year she died, Mom left home to live in Israel and then 6.5 years after that, she came to America. She knew her life was not stable enough in all those years to get another wire, so she held off until she met my dad in 2002 and they moved in together a year before they got married (shhh, don't tell anyone), to a little rented house next to a very big park. At that point, Mom said to Dad. We are ready for a dog! Dad was into it too, but he had NO choice in the decision of what breed of dog to get. Mom had her heart set on another wire fox terrier.

But how to find one? Mom, being a web person, went online first and located what seemed like a decent breeder in Mass. She even paid the deposit. Around the same time, Mom joined the Fox Terrier Network and leart from them that this breeder was not "Kosher" if you get my drift. So taking their advice, Mom bailed on the deal and yadda yadda yadda, found a good breeder named Bob, through the Fox Terrier Association of America. Bob told them that in about 2 months there would be a litter, and there was a good chance we could get one of the pups. Mom was overjoyed. I do believe she did a jig that day.

Fast forward to July 16, 2005 - a day before Mom's birthday. The happy parents-to-be drove to Valley Forge to meet me. I was one of four pups, the only boy. My Mom's name is Pompi and my Dad is Sir Walter Raleigh. Here I am with my sisters - I am the one on the far right, I was always bigger than my sisters:

Of course it was love at first sight for Mom and Dad. But it was touch and go whether Bob would part with his only boy - but I think he liked Mom and Dad so much, that he relented. Before leaving, Bob stripped me on the grooming table.

One thing I do remember, that when Dad was holding me on the way to the car to go to my new home, I wiggled and he dropped me...on concrete, on my head. The parents were beside themselves, though I was absolutely fine! From then on, Mom and Dad held me very tight!

So that dear friends are my humble beginnings. Not that exciting I know, I was lucky, I was never a rescue and I've always had a safe and loving home. Hey, in that photo above, see my tail, it's straight...yet somehow within 6 months, it had curled and noone can explain it! Maybe it's the same curious thing that gives me skin allergies...something in the air here makes me itch and my tail curl? Hmmm.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Handsome Dude (with beard)

Finally. Finally. I actually look like a wire fox terrier for the first time in a long long time. Yesterday morning, Mom and Dad dropped me off at Pooches Choice salon for a much needed haircut. When they collected me at 3pm, they were so relieved and delighted to see what a great job was done upon me. I don't look like a shnauzer. I don't look like a poodle. I look like a handsome young wire fox terrier, which ladies and gentlemen, is precisely what I am!

As you can tell, my coat is far from perfect, but we are on our way. My colored parts were stripped, the rest of me was hand scissored. After a few more of these groomings, I'm sure my coat will be wirey and my colors will be vivid. It just takes time to undo the damage wrought upon my dogness by PetStupid. I must say, I do love my beard - I look like my dad now!

But best of all, without all that superfluous hair, I actually look THIN! Mom called me skinny butt!! Woohoo. Do you agree?

After my long day, I was dead tired. I just curled up in my favorite positions on the couch and went to sleep, a very happy dog at last.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Farewell Mr. Scuffy

Tomorrow is a big day! I am getting a long overdue haircut! I'm sure you all remember the ghastly haircut I got the last time when PetStupid Grooming lied to Mom that the lady-who-knows-handstripping groomed me, when in fact I was given to a hopeless apprentice who didn't know what the heck he was doing. As you recall, I looked bloody is a reminder:

Thank God hair grows and grows! That last haircut was on July 10 - so my hair has grown really long and Mom calls me Mr. Scruffy. Of course, we are not going back to PetStupid - instead we are going to a highly recommended (Thank you Bebe) salon called Pooches Choice here in Center City Philadelphia. The groomer there, Lee, has several hand-stripping awards, so hopefully when you see photos of me tomorrow - I will look truly wonderful! (Mom says I better given what this little exercise is going to cost!) While I am away, a company is coming to steam clean our carpets just in case there is something in them making me itch!

In the meantime, here are the BEFORE pictures so you can see how I look now:

I can barely see out my eyes I'm so shaggy. I don't know if you can tell, but good news! My allergies are a bit better - my skin is less red (Thank you to all my friends for your wonderful, caring comments left on this blog). I think that cortisone shot finally kicked in. It must be that 'cos the weather has not cooled down, if anything it's been MORE humid! I still bite my paws and legs, but I don't itch as much as I did last week. Mom is a tad nervy the stripping/scissoring (only my back is being stripped to get my black back) will somehow irritate my skin, but I think I'll be okay. My appointment is for 10am and I don't expect to get out of there before 4pm. Keep paws crossed. If I come out looking hideous again, I may have to run away to New York City and hide out in Asta's apartment (no-one knows me in NYC and it's quite near by for me to hitch a ride). Is that okay Asta? If you like I could help you eat all your birthday presents! Tee hee.

Finally, I want you to meet some of my pals. As you know, I prefer to hang with the big dogs - but I have some little dog pals too. When P my dogwalker picks me up every day, I often get to walk with these buddies - Basil who you have met before (a Cairn Terror) and the two Pugs, Maggie (tan) and Sam (black). Sadly, Maggie left our neighborhood today to live in another state 'cos her parents had a baby and couldn't cope with two dogs anymore. Poor Sam, he must feel sad, he's never been apart from Maggie. Me and Basil will have to be extra kind to him in the coming days...In the photo, we are all waiting for our treats, it's the only time we calm down!

And lastly, I have a new niece - Daddy's sister had a wee baby girl on Tuesday - Devon Delaney - I haven't seen her yet, but hope to when she is a little older. I like little humans.

See you all tomorrow - hopefully I will look like a handsome daredevil!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Itchies Update

Well Mom was so worried about my red splotchies, that her and Dad shlepped me to the vet man yesterday, eventhough it was Yom Kippur. Mom reckoned God would understand. Interestingly, the vet who owns the clinic is Jewish and he was working too! Maybe people who help animals are holy enough already?

So he examined me and told me I had hives. He said he recalls being in vet school in 1978 and being told that absolutely anything could cause hives. Luckily by the time I got to the vet, the worst of the hives were gone. I got a cortisone shot in my bum as the vet assured Mom and Dad I needed it and it was safe. So I'm keeping paws crossed. So far I am still itchy but no hives. I have had a shot before a year ago, but none of us can remember how long it took to "kick in".

Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes. And thanks to Ricky Pepper for offering me a health sabbatical in their home.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Could I be allergic to HOME?

While I was staying with Ricky Pepper, my allergies did not flare up and I was fine. No itchies! Now that I am back home, they are back with a vengeance and worse than ever. Mom is so upset - we can't figure out what is making me sick like this!

Today Mom was horrified to notice red welts all over my chest and legs. My whole body is red and blotchy and my eyes are very red. I am so uncomfortable. Look at my skin!!

Mom hasn't used a new shampoo or laundry detergent. She doesn't shampoo the carpets, only vaccuums. I am eating the same food. So what could make me suffer from allergies here but not at Ricky Pepper's place? Am I allergic to the city?

Despite it being Yom Kippur, Mom went to the store at 10PM after synagogue to buy me Benedryl as suggested by a wirey friend. I took one but no improvement yet. Mom also changed all the bedding and turned on the aircon to cool me down because my body feels hot. Mom thinks I may have to go to the vet again I took my last Temaril P pill...

Please pray for me and ask the Rainbow Bridge Gods to take away my horrid red blotchies and itchies. I'm a good boy, I don't deserve to suffer so.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Hi everyone!
I am back from my vacation with Ricky, Lucy, Chloe and Sophie! I had a very good time as you saw on Ricky's blog and their humans treated me so well! If I can't be home with Mom and Dad, then being with them is the best place I could ever have wished to be. So a very big THANK YOU to them all for two weeks of hospitality and kindness!

Just when I'd given up all hope of ever seeing Mom and Dad again or of going home - I saw my temp Mom packing up my things. I got so nervous I couldn't eat. And then we were all upstairs on Monday evening and I hear the doorbell ring. I started to bark at the top of the stairs but then I heard someone yell, "Hey Axie Pax!," and well I thought my heart and head would burst with joy. I recognized that voice. It was my Dad!! I went tearing down the stairs and threw myself against the screen door. And there were Mom and Dad! They opened the door and we all fell about doing a joyous reunion jig! Oh my friends, it was too wonderful to do justice in words!

Here we are courtesy of Ricki's blog at the moment of reuniting (Mom says to please excuse how hideous she looks - she'd been awake for 30 hours straight!):

We then said our goodbyes and thank you's and off we went, back to our little house on the edge of the big park. Oh happiness it was to run up my familiar front steps. To jump on my couch. To sniff the errant mouse who cannot be caught. To luxuriate in the love of my mom and dad who evidently missed me very very much. I cannot stop smiling. I am just so happy to be home.

Yesterday Mom and Dad did not go to work. Dad took me on a mega 3-hour walk and swim in the morning and Mom took me out later and then to the park to play with my pals who had missed me too. Mom and Dad worked hard the rest of the time unpacking, doing laundry etc - they've hardly had time to download their photos and videos - but here are a few to enjoy:

Mom and Dad at the Pilansberg Nature Reserve - they stayed with Mom's parents at the Bakubung Lodge and saw animals that included a leopard (rare!), elephant, giraffe, zebra, hippo, rhino, buck, warthog, wildebeest, baboons, monkeys etc...

I got a bit jealous when I spotted this picture of Mom hugging a miniature shnauzer named Arial that belongs to her friend's brother. But then I knew that the only reason Mom was looking so happy and hugging her so tight was because she was thinking of ME all the time!

So it's good to be back online, it's good to be home. Life is GRAND!