Conducting research on bed #3.
"No!" is a word I hear a lot and I have learned it has several different meanings.
Most of the times, the word is strongly said to me and it means I have to stop doing whatever it is that I am doing because they don't like it.
Sometimes, it is pronounced as a long sound, something like "Nooooooo..." and it means that what I was about to do is something mommy and daddy don't like, so I should forget about it and go do someething else. Sometimes they scream it as loud as they can and this means they are too far from me and I can continue doing what I'm doing until they get close. Other times is a bit more confusing. They get home, see the results of my research and in a kind of crying voice say "Noo..". What research you ask? Well, let me explain.
I am one lucky dog, my parents buy me lots of toys so I can bite. Some of them squeak when I bite them, some of them don't, some of them are hard, some of them are soft. If you leave me with a toy long enough, I will get very curious and wonder: What is it that makes it squeak? What is it that doesn't make it squeak? Why does it feel like that when I bite it? What's inside? Are there many things or is it just one? I must know. It probably sounds like a cliche, but I believe what's inside is what counts! And so, I embark in several hours of research, where I carefully open the object and start removing its contents. When I conduct research on my toys, they don't seem to mind, they don't say the "No" word. But, when I do it on larger objects, my bed for example, the crying "Noo.." can be heard. I really don't know why.
So far, I have had 3 beds and they have all produced the same result: a kind of cotton thing is inside of them, and it gets easily attached to my mouth, it is light and tasteless. My parents don't like to see these things all over the floor and they don't like how the studied objects look afterwards, so they throw them away.
Bone! Gotta go!
Right now we are 4. Yes, 4 dogs in one apartment. My sister Lola and me, and since late January, Blackie and Brownie. We were 5 for over a week. My mommy brought in 3 little puppies all of a sudden. She said they were like me, stray dogs. She found them somewhere around our home, looking for food in the cold. One of the puppies, her name is Spray Can, was adopted very soon so I didn't get to know her well. Her 2 brothers are still with us. So, here we are, 3 previously stray dogs who ate garbage for survival. (Only 3 because Lola was never really on the streets) And guess what? We all like our dry dog food!
It wasn't always like this, as I mentioned on another post, it took me a long time to get used to this kind of food. My parents kept on trying to find a brand I would like. They tried everything: imported from Canada, the US, Australia, and so on. They tried some brands with lots of "benefits" for dogs. For example, to make our hair shinny, to help us digest better, to improve our breathe and a bunch of other things. Also some "gourmet" kind of thing: with organic vegetables pieces from the valley of I don't know where, "carefully selected for your dog's health". Grrrrr, to me, they tasted worse than the stuff I used to find on the streets, and would prefer to be hungry for a whole day or 2 than eating it.
I think another reason my parents decided to keep on changing brands was because of some... side effects. I'm not proud of this, but, some of those brands made me expel intestinal gas through the anus (read "fart"). Badly. You wouldn't hear it, you would just smell it. It wasn't making anyone happy and when they had to pick up my poo it was even worse, I could see their faces twisting around! Not my fault! It was the food.
Anyways, a few months ago, they finally found it, the perfect dry food for us. You see, since we were suddenly 5, they ran to the supermarket and got whatever was available and looked reliable. Another international brand, yes, but it turned out to be cheapest one. I won't tell you the brand but I can tell you is a yellow bag. So, we discovered we like cheap stuff! even the 2 puppies, who had just arrived, got adjusted to it in a day! Really hard to imagine, if you ever adopted a street dog you would know that all we want is human food.
Don't get me wrong, I still beg for eggs and apples, but, I don't mind eating my dry food anymore, even without any meaty wet food.
So here is a tip: Don't let yourself be guided by all the "benefits" of some imported brands, we sometimes just like the basic simple stuff.
Another tip is to check which brands have been approved to be sold in China. As it turns out, MOST OF THE BRANDS OUT THERE ARE BEEN SOLD WITHOUT THE REAL PERMISSION, which means they have not passed any test. So, becareful. ICVS Asia wrote on its website (2010) that there are 7 brands legally registered in China:
- Royal Canin dry dog and cat foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation)
- Purina Pro-Plan dry dog and cat foods (manufactured by Nestle Corporation)
- Purina Dog Chow and Cat Chow dry foods (manufactured by Nestle Corporation)
- Purina Friskies dry cat food (manufactured by Nestle Corporation)
- Whiskas dry and canned cat foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation)
- Pedigree dry and canned dog foods (manufactured by Mars Corporation)
- Cesar canned dog food (manufactured by Mars Corporation)
A cat! Gotta go!
Last week I really didn't have time to continue with my story and I have a very good reason. We have to fast forward to the present and continue later with how I got from the Hutongs to my actual home.
Last Sunday, something unexpected happened. My mom took me out for a walk around noon, and after a few minutes I saw my dad walking into the compound, holding a kind of bag. When he got to us, he put it on the grass, opened the zipper and Isabela came out. She was such a beautiful puppy; smaller than me, walking in a cute clumsy way white with some brown highlights on her back. I liked her immediately! My dad put her back because she started to cry (she wasn't wearing any jacket and it was very cold) and walked towards our building. I got a bit scared because I thought for a moment that I was being replaced, I started crying but since my mom stayed with me I figured it would be ok.
When we got back home, she was walking around the apartment, sniffing around, checking everything. She was my sister, my parents said, and I was happy about it. I went to her and we started playing, bitting a bit (sometimes too rough for her), running a bit, chewing stuff, I borrowed her my toys (which I NEVER do) and late at night, I even let her have my bed! I slept on the sofa in my parents room instead, they let me do it to show me they were not replacing me and I was still their baby. It was a great Sunday.
On Monday, we played around again, but something was a little different, in the morning, she had diarrhea. It got worse and worse through out the day and by night time she was already doing it almost every hour. I even heard my mom saying that there was blood in her poo and I could hear Isabela coughing and sneezing. My mom said she thought she had a cold and will take her to the vet next day.
On Tuesday, I heard my mom talking to my dad on the phone, then she rushed to get dressed, got me dressed and we went to the vet. Isabela was there with my daddy, and he didn't seem happy, on the contrary, he seemed very sad. The vet had discovered Isabela had Distemper, they kept talking about a virus and although I couldn't understand what the fuss was about, it worried me. They were talking about "putting her to sleep" and I thought that was strange, I had given her my bed so why would a 3 months old puppy like her need to sleep at the vet's? A few minutes later, they put us on some tables and gave us injections, 3 for me, and 7 for her. It hurt me just a bit, but she was crying so much. This distemper thing can not be good I thought.
After that, we were not allowed to play together anymore, she was placed in an area in the living room where I could not go in, she was trying to come to me to play, but every time she did it, my mom would put her back. She wasn't eating and was sleeping a lot. I felt very sleepy too, and tired, like I didn't have energy anymore, it was caused by the injections I heard.
She was still in a bad condition the next day and after we came back from the vet with our shots, Isabela was this time put aside in another room and now we were completely separated, she was crying and every time I saw her in there, unable to come out and play, and sick, I would cry too. I was so sad.
At night, my parents didn't sleep much. My dad slept with me and my mom stayed up all night with Isabela, who was having a very hard time breathing and didn't sleep all night. My parents were very sad, I saw them crying during the night..
On Thursday, she could hardly stand up or walk. We went to the vet's again. He checked Isabela and said she was not so bad, but that since she was little, not eating with respiratory problems and without any previous vaccinations, her chances of living were just 10%, puppies don't really survive this disease apparently. Then, my parents said they will "put her to sleep". I thought that was a good idea considering that she didn't sleep the night before, but they seemed so sad with this decision. Another doctor came inside the room and for some reason I knew there was something wrong. I hid under the sofa where my parents were sitting and didn't want to come out. When I saw they were taking Isabela out of her box I calmed down a bit and came out. Then, they placed her on the table, shaved a little part in her leg, and the doctor gave her a shot. I didn't know why but this made me feel really sad, maybe because my parents were crying and telling Isabela how much they love her. She fell asleep a minute after her shot and her breathing problem was gone and she seemed so peaceful, as beautiful as always. Then, the doctor and a nurse carefully wrapped her, along with her blankets and her new jacket, in a kind of cotton diaper, then put her inside a plastic bag. Now I understood, she was not going to wake up, ever.
We walked home after my shots, just the 3 of us. We arrived to the apartment and they started to put everything she ever touched in garbage bags, toys, my bed, blankets..., the doctor instructed them to do so, otherwise this virus will attack me severely, too. They are cleaning the apartment now with a mixture of detergent, water and bleach, bleach is the only thing that can kill this virus, for full 2 weeks, my parents will be cleaning like this. They removed the carpet to have it disinfected and won't put it back until at least 3 months have passed (the time it needs to be virus-free) and they are bleaching all the clothes they wore since Isabela arrived the first time, also the pillow cases, bed sheets and who knows what else.
"She is in puppy heaven" my mom said, "where she can run with a lot of energy, play all she wants and be a happy little girl'. I really hope so.
Woof! for my beloved sister, Isabela.