Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A correction.

A few years ago, I got an interesting Ask The Maui Monster question about preparing for life with kids. My last piece of advice to him was:

"As for becoming second fiddle, I don't think you have to worry. But just in case, you may want to be extra nice. I, for example, have started spending nights on the floor next to the bed rather than on it, draped over Dan and Tiia. I'm sure this gesture will not go unnoticed when their time comes."

I'd like to redact this, as nothing about it was accurate. I became second fiddle immediately, then third fiddle shortly thereafter. Also, sleeping on the floor? Yeah right.

On a related note, Milo told Dan the other day that he thought he was a cat person. I wonder if that means we're getting a cat?

I can't be fourth fiddle.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Ask The Maui Monster...

Dear Maui Monster...

Your story's inspired me — so much so that I want your vet to be my vet. Also, I don't love my vet. Too many cats. My people are moving next month, so I'm thinking this is a good chance to push them in a different direction. How should I approach this? 

- Dundas Envy

Hi Dundas Envy...

Thanks for the question. And yeah, you SHOULD want my vet to be your vet, 'cause the docs at Dundas West are amazing. And when say amazing, I mean fantabulously, phonmeniminally, stupenditiously amazing.
Dr. Bainbridge (my "family doc") and Dr. Kilburn (lady with the sharp knife)

After my surgery, when Dan was a mess and didn't have the strength or alertness to look after me, the DuWe crew let me hang out there all day for three full days. They took turns chillin' with me on the floor, takin' me out for air and toppin' up those lovely pain meds.

Funny thing about vets: the more you go, the more comfortable you feel there. Not so much with the groomer.

But I digress....

If you want to move your file to Dundas West, here's what you do:

Step 1: Get your peeps to turn on your current vet.
To do this, you have to create a bit of anxiety.

So next time you're in an examination room and your vet comes in, hide under the table and make your vet literally drag you out. Now, it's important NOT to resist. Go limp so your people see the vet drag your "lifeless" body into the centre of the room. Yeah, it's a bit manipulative, but so effective. It's one of those things no one can un-see...like when Dan saw me peeing on a lady's wheelchair.

Anyway, once that image is burned into your peoples' heads, your vet is subliminally tarnished for life. That's not to say they'll rush home to google "new vets," but they'll definitely be open the idea. This leads you to...

Step 2: Put Scott Bainbridge on your peoples' radar.
I credit Dr. B. with turning my people on to turning me on to cheese. That alone should be enough, but if it isn't, here's some more ammo: he runs a kids future vet camp; he always sits on the floor with me; and he's handsome with a great smile.

Of course, your people are gonna need more than that to switch vets — perhaps something so practical or awesome that it's worth the drive to Dundas and Roncy...like the lunch menu at Barque. It's a few doors down. And the name's...well...pretty perfect.

Step 3: Pick a fight at Dog Hill in High Park.
Now, for this to happen, you have to get yourself to High Park...and it's remarkably easy to do this time of year because of the cherry blossoms. But, because (I'm guessing) you haven't mastered speech yet, you'll have to "suggest" a visit. Here are a few ways to do that:

1. Pick a white flower out of someone's garden and show it to your people (upside: easy connection, downside: possible shoe thrown at you by a stranger).

2. Pick a cherry out of someone's picnic basket and show it to your people (upside: where there's picnic baskets, there's almost always meat and cheese, downside: see above).

3. Spell out "cherry blossoms at high park" using individual pieces of kibble while your people are at work (pros: on the nose, cons: same).

When you get to High Park, you'll no doubt get to Dog Hill. No one goes to High Park and doesn't go to Dog Hill It'd be like taking a trip to Amsterdam and not going to the Clara Maria Kaas & Klompenmakerij. Insane, I know.

When you get to Dog Hill, look for the biggest, baddest bruiser and throw down. You'll have to stand in there long enough to get scratched or bitten. But when you do, and your peeps ask the other peeps there about the closest vet, at least one of them'll mention Dundas West.  Of course, your people will remember the name from the all the Bainbridge material you fed them and the circle will be complete.

You'll go there, your people will fall in love, and that'll be that.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Three Like Me!

This is Sydney. She's lives down the street from me.  She's been walking around with a big-ass grin on her face for as long as I've known her. I used to wonder if I'd be the same way. Turns out, I would be.

We got to chatting last night and I got a few pointers. She said the big thing she had to get used to was people feeling sorry for her. And I get it. I have people all over the place feeling sorry for me because I'm on three.

For the record, the only reason anyone should ever feel sorry for me is because I lost my seat in the car.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Shechyanu

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe who has kept us alive, and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this festive moment.

It's Zeddie's favourite prayer. Now it's mine too.

Also, I have to say that I'm a big fan of Zeddie as a name. I workshopped this a few years ago — I didn't get very far.

But when Milo was born and Dan saw Zeddie holding him, it just came out.

Dan's good like that. Not today, though. He passed over the seder reins to Zeddie this year (ba dum). Dan said he was "too tired". That's kinda on me. I put him through the ringer the last few weeks. He normally runs a killer Pesach. Auntie Robyn can attest to that. He will again next year. You're all invited. Seriously...just show Zeddie this post and he'll have to let you in. So let it be written, so let it be done. Boom.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sweet dreams

Dan and I are on our way the park on a gorgeous summer evening. There's a slight breeze, the birds are particularly chirpy and I've finally mastered life on three. We get to the "big hill" and I'm ready for the big test. 

This is my moment of truth.

I sit in front of Dan.

"Water?" he asks.

I don't move. He knows what I want.

He puts the water back in the bag and pulls out the frisbee.

He fires it down the hill. It's a perfect throw. And I'm off.

I push off with back right. I've been strengthening it by hopping in and out of bed. I get a great jump. The frisbee's in sight and I'm keeping up. I dig my front claws into the ground with every gallop to pull myself forward. My front legs are super strong now. And my chest is as big as its ever been. I'm Buff McBufferson. 

I'm tracking the frisbee with hawk-like precision. I can't jump for it anymore so I have to catch it on the fly. But I've done the math: I have to be within seven inches of the frisbee when it's at snout level. That's how far I can stretch my neck forward. I know this because I made Uncle Peter measure it at Passover dinner.

The frisbee hits its high point and it's coming down now. It's spinning counter-clockwise which means I have to approach it slightly from the left so it rotates into my jowl.

I take a quick glance ahead. In a split second, I chart my path. I pick my spot. 83 strides away.

I stretch my neck and kick it into 5th gear. The frisbee's dropping fast but it's on course. And so am I.

This is going to happen. 

Six strides away now.

I open my mouth. I can hear the whiz of the frisbee (the whizbee).

I reach out...


I look up and everyone I've ever loved is at the top of the hill cheering me on. Winston and Kenzo and Ella from Trinity. Winnie-Not-Sookie from the Argyle. Jenna, my first dog walker. And even those two RCMP officers from the ferry to PEI

And then they shower me with cheese.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Day 1 of Three.

Last night was rough. Sleeping was difficult. Getting comfortable was really difficult. But the worst was putting Dan and Tiia's minds at ease because the yelp I make when I'm looped up on pain meds sounds a lot like the yelp I make when I'm in actual pain.

One thing I can say about a drug-induced haze is your life does flash before your eyes. And mine's been great from the word go. Strangely, I dreamed about my birth father, Punch. He's still going strong and I think he'd be super proud of me. 

I think that's it for today. I need to rest now.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A second chance before a second chance

Yesterday didn't quite go as planned: in the best way possible. Instead of becoming a tri-paw I got one last day on four. And I gotta tell ya, it was EVERYTHING.

The surgery was postponed a day because a test came back later than expected. Good news, though: the result showed that the bump on my head (no...not my dorsal fin — the other smaller and far less cool bump) turned out to be whole lotta nuttin'. So we got the green light for today.

But it was a beautiful day, Dan blew off work and we took a little adventure.

We left the vet and walked up Roncy. This crew stopped us to admire my pink, easter-egg adorned bandage and we got to chatting. I hope Milo and Noah have friends like these guys when they grow up — and that they're in school at 2:30 on a Monday.

From there, we went to the subway. It had been a while since I rode the rails, and it was just as I remembered. Of course, I took the opportunity to meet some new people.

Those last two people have two dogs at home. I sometimes wondered what it would've been like to share Casa Yurkenbaum with another pooch. I wonder if all this has the peeps thinking about my heir apparent? I'm guessing he or she will be another French Water Dog. Obviously, Dan and Tiia would have move to the couch — four in the bed isn't an option.

We got out of the subway and went straight for Cedarvale park. I love it there. I didn't always though. Leaving Trinity Bellwoods was tough. But then I got to know the lay of the land. I discovered the back path. I rolled around in a dead animal or two in the ravine. And I made a few new friends. I got to see Jenn, a dogwalker and an OPB (original park buddy) of mine. She's been walking for years and she's had a few of us three-feeters. She always knows exactly what to say. And she nailed it.

"Maui. You're fit. And you're tough. You're gonna be fine." 

I believe her.

After that, I was okay with this being my last four-legged walk.  I'll learn to do it on three. I'll learn to do a lot on three. Pooing should be interesting.

From there, it was a sun-soaked stroll through the hood, and then home to the young'uns.

And that pretty much sums up life with these two. Milo and I love to share space. We're comfortable just being. Noah's right up in there. Both equally awesome.

And then evening...and then morning...and then...

See you on the other side.

BTW: If this is you, I have a few questions.