Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 Days of Hathaway - Day 7

No, I don't know where the time goes, but we'll get to 12 days one way or another. This was supposed to be posted for Christmas day. So merry, merry and all that.

I hope all our friends and followers had as nice a holiday as we did. Notice the juxtapositions in the picture between Nina/Hath and Josey/Josh. Yep, the looks on their faces pretty much sum it all up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The 12 Days of Hathaway -- Day 6

Just a picture tonight because I'm tired.

This is Hathaway and his kids sitting on the raft that's about 20 yards from shore at my Dad's house. Hath swims in the lake on the summer, but this was his first time at the raft and he walked on water, so to speak.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The 12 Days of Hathaway -- Day 4

Yes, we're out of order, but we're no longer out of sorts.

The big boy started slowly, but was mostly back to normal by the end of the day. We'll still keep a close eye on him for another 12-24 hours in case it was something toxic, but so far, so good.

And you would have thought that regurgitation followed by nearly 24 hours of continuous sleep is the formula for awakening the superpowers within. When we went for our morning jaunt, both his nose and his hearing seemed sharper.

He was following scents like our bloodhound buddy Lucy and attentively listening like (fill in the blank). Is there a dog breed known for its hearing? Or a superhero for that matter? I think the bionic woman had a bionic ear.

Wait! There's actually a whole list of superheroes with super-hearing (thank you Google, the most powerful superhero of all). Superman tops the list on but I think God wins because He comes in at No. 6 and No. 12, and it IS the season and all that.

Anyway, Hathaway was listening this morning,not to me and my commands, but to what was going on around him. I think he was just happy to be up and out in his world after a day of misery. Call it his new leash on life.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The 12 Days of Hathaway -- Day 5

(We'll come back to Day 4.)

Hath has been sick all day today. He hasn't eaten since Saturday, and didn't finish his food then.
He went right to sleep on Josh's bed when we got home from the dog park this morning, and threw up the cookies he had snacked on. Mr. High Anxiety didn't know I had left the house, didn't come down when he was called by one of his favorite people and was shaking.

He finally curled up on the couch and slept there for nearly 8 hours. He sat up and gave kisses to the kids when they got home, and went outside for a brief walk. When we got inside though, he took a drink and was back on the couch and didn't even open an eye when I yelled "Fumble!" or "Touchdown!!"

In my well-dog book, just about every entry for which listlessness is a symptom is extremely serious and in more than 2 years, Hathaway has skipped maybe one meal. So far, we're up to 3. (FYI -- it also says you can give them Pepto-Bismol for tummy problems.) Josh, who had a similar day earlier in the week, said "Maybe he got my bug Mom." Maybe he did.

In some ways, it's harder than having a sick child because he can't tell me what's wrong. I can touch his various parts (paws, legs, shoulders, belly) to see if they're tender, but pit bulls can be rather stoic. At most, Hath will flinch slightly if something hurts. Fortunately, he didn't.

As the evening wore on, he started acting a little more like himself. He got up and stretched. Had some water. Wagged his tail for the kids and curled up with us for stories. I think he's on the mend, but I won't be sure until I see him eat something.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of Hathaway -- Day 3

OK, I'm cheating a little because I'm going to post twice today, but as long as I get to 12 by Christmas, nobody will know, right?

Our walk yesterday morning was a real turkey. Actually, its highlight was the neighborhood flock of turkeys (16 in all) that we happened upon during our walk.

Hath is usually off leash in the cemetery and I noticed the birds long before he did. But he's not impulsive, and was more interested in watching them than meeting them.

So there we were, watching 16 turkeys and 16 turkeys watching us. Some of them thought about making a getaway over a berm and down a hill, but a scout turkey flapped up into a tree to keep an eye on us and the turkey-in-chief led his platoon in the opposite direction, off into the middle of the cemetery. We walked past the group, the scout turkey in the tree to our right, covering their flank, and the rest heading off to our left. I think they had a vague idea we weren't a threat because we passed within just a few feet of them.

Once we were past the turkey in the tree joined his group. However, the road we were walking makes a loop, and when the flock realized we were passing them again, he flapped up into a different tree. It was fascinating to think that the turkey had an assignment, and it was rather comical to see what was probably a 15-20-pounder balancing on the skinniest, lowest branch of the scrawny sapling.

That road that led us past the turkeys also took us down a hill. Part way down, we heard Canada geese passing overhead and don't you know, Hathaway stopped and watched the geese as they headed southeast, flying in formation.

I don't know if he could link the idea that the geese were similar to the turkeys, but I do know he'd never stopped to watch them before walking through that flock.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12 Days of Hath -- Day 2

Disclaimer: This picture is in no way posed or Photoshopped.

Is there such a thing as doggie porn? Possibly the funniest thing about this photo is that Hath was asleep ... snoring. I felt a little like Larry Flynt taking the pictures, but this one especially does make me laugh.

And it makes me think of Burt Reynolds, circa 1972. Google "Burt Reynolds Cosmopolitan" and you'll see what I mean. Reynolds did a nude photo shoot for the magazine back in his heyday. The pictures should actually show up as part of your Google search. Look closely: Similar pose on an animal skin.

Goodness, that was 40 years ago. Is Reynolds still alive? If not, did "Bandit" (or was he Smokey?) come back as my pit bull?

Now, please note: I am not old enough to remember the Burt Reynolds Cosmo pictures. However, I am old enough to remember the David Hasselhoff Cosmo pictures in which he posed with some strategically placed Shar-Pei puppies. (First thought: Hasselhoff is probably more wrinkly than a Shar-Pei these days.) At the time, much reference was made to his predecessor's pictures.

I don't know if Cosmo is still doing photo spreads like these. I just wish they had stopped before they got to that unknown male model named Scott Brown, now known as U.S. Senator Scott Brown.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Hathaway, Day 1

I was going through pictures recently to make the grandparents their annual kid calendar (oops, I hope I didn't ruin the surprise), and found a bunch of goofy Hathaway pictures that I thought would be fun to post in the days leading up to Christmas.

This one is from last Christmas. He liked to sit at the top of the stairs amongst my step-mom's Santa Bears. This is a pit bull version of "Where's Waldo?"

"There's nobody here but us bears ..." is also entered in a contest on the Bank of Easton Facebook page. It's a benefit for the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Mass. (APCSM), which needs all the donations it can get right now. Hathaway has generously suggested that should he win the gift card prize, he will give it to the shelter as well.

So like the good folks in Chicago, vote early and often. Share the link with your friends.

Friday, December 2, 2011

5 more minutes ...

Hathaway has been sleeping in my son's bed lately. I apparently take too long to wash my face and brush my teeth, so rather than waiting for me to claim my spot in the queen-size, he hops into Josh's twin bed and snuggles in to the fleece Red Sox blanket he finds so comfortable.

Recently, I peeked in before either one of them was awake and they were side by side, both heads -- the boy and the bully -- sharing the pillow. It made me wonder which one of them had hit the snooze button.

Hathaway has always been a good sleeper. On the weekends, when I don't have to be up to make the lunches and herd the children, we sleep in. I still stir around 6 or 6:30, often because a certain furry companion has taken all the covers or all the space. Sometimes he moves, sometimes he doesn't. I usually start waking up for real around 7, fully intent on staying under the covers as long as the dog will let me. So I ask him: "What do you think pal, is it time?"

Now and then, he wags his tail,stretches, gives a kiss and starts to sit up. That's when I know we've got to go. But most of the time, he just blinks those big brown eyes, gives a snort or a snore and rolls over. Giving me at least 5 more minutes ...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catching up

I was making my traditional holiday calendars for the grandparents the other night and came across a bunch of great photos ... of the dog. Not so many of the kids as they start to get older, but lots and lots of the dog.

My mom doesn't mind that one of her grandchildren rarely bathes, has a wet nose, is a quadruped and thinks the world is his bathroom. My step-mom, however, states emphatically over and over that "the dog is not one of my grandchildren!" Of course, this makes my sister and I even more emphatically insist that she is, simply for the pure entertainment value.

The irony is that the dog (mine or my sister's) is probably the best grandchild ever. He'll eat whatever you want to feed him without being picky or complaining. He doesn't want you to chase him around the house all day unless you want to. He's happy just to lay at your feet while you play Scrabble on Facebook or do "research" on the computer. He doesn't fight with his brothers or his friends or his cousins and he doesn't pout. He doesn't leave his stuff all over the house. You can read the books you're interested in and he doesn't hog the TV or the video games.

Of course, he prefers crunching Legos to building with them and he's kind of a sloppy eater. And he can't call to say hello or thank you or 'I got all A's on my report card." He can -- and does -- give just as many kisses and hugs and never gets tired of sitting in your lap.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Aware and enlightened

I had wanted to post something for Pit bull Awareness Day Oct. 9, but Sunday came and went without a minute to spare. So imagine my delight when I found out that October is actually Pit bull Awareness MONTH! Woo hoo.

Truth be told, however, Hathaway and I try to make every day of every month Pit bull Awareness Day so people start to realize how incredible these dogs can be. We have made friends at the dog park and around the neighborhood, at the soccer fields and the pet store. People I have never seen before call out his name and rub his big head. And on Saturdays and Sundays at sporting fields teaming with hundreds of kids and adults, Hath is usually laying on the sideline, watching the action and getting his belly rubbed by child after child after child, or sometimes an entire team at once.

Puppies climb on him and toddlers standing at eye level pluck his favorite ball right out of his mouth and he plays or waits or chases, whatever he understands his job to be at that moment. We have taken the first steps toward teaching him to be a therapy dog.

And still we have moments, like the lady at the dog park a couple of weeks ago in her fancy clothes walking her trendy Lab. As I was talking with my friend Beth, another regular with two small schnauzer types, Hathaway was stretched out in the cool grass, chewing his rubber ball like bubble gum. He wasn't on a leash. He rarely is.

When the woman was about 20 yards away, she waved and very sincerely called out, "Is it safe to walk by?"

Caught off guard (being in a place where everyone knows Hath's name), I looked around for a moment. When I saw it was only me and Beth standing there, it was clear she was asking about the dog.

I waved back and just as politely said "Of course" and turned back to my friend. Beth bit her tongue for as long as she could, so the woman had passed us but wasn't completely out of earshot when she burst out with an "Are you KIDDING me? Did she mean Hathaway?" followed by a few more colorful words.

I just shrugged. It happens -- not all the time, but regularly enough. For some people, it doesn't matter that he is an AKC-certified Canine Good Citizen or how much training he's had. For some people, it won't matter that we will eventually be visiting nursing homes or helping kids to read. They'll hear the word --pit bull -- and the rest won't matter.

So every day, if we can meet someone new or play with another kid, if we can be out around town and in stores, sitting for pats and playing with puppies, we might change one more opinion. That might mean one more dog is rescued and that's why every day is Pit bull Awareness Day for us.