Merlin's Monthly Diary

Year Nine

February 24, 2009

Well, I have officially started my 9th year with Mommy!!

This month both Mommy and I had to go see the vet and get stabbed for blood.  I got to go to good doggie vet and Mommy was forced by her work to go to the bad human vet.  The doggie vet told me my blood was PERFECT (even if my color is all disappearing).  The bad human vet told Mommy that her iron was "dangerously low" and that she should be "very sick" and "not functioning" and that she should "be winded climbing stairs" and "unable to walk from the car to the front door".  Mommy thought this was odd since the vet called to tell her this on a day that she had taken a 4 1/2 mile morning walk with me, then gone up and down the stairs at work four times carrying about 20 pounds in each hand and had also carried a 50 lb bag of dogfood around the store on her shoulder while she got other things for me.  Mommy says this just proves that doggie vets are much smarter than human vets and also only makes her even more determined to avoid human vets unless she really is sick.  Mommy did some research on the web and figured out that she was donating blood too often (every 8 weeks) so to humor the bad human vet Mommy is now taking iron pills and has agreed to cut back the blood donations to every 16 weeks, but she says the bad karma is to fall on the human vet not her. 

I wore my camera to the vet and Mommy really liked
this photo that I took while the vet was examining a part of me that I don't think vets should examine.  I had to go into the back room to have my blood drawn (I'm not very good about being stabbed and extra people need to hold me down) and then after the blood draw I always get weighed and then we go back to Mommy, but when we got to the scale there was a bassett hound taking her good sweet time being weighed and I wanted to go back to Mommy NOW so I barked at her and told her to quit being so vain and hurry up already.  The vet thought it was funny how I didn't want to wait my turn.  Mommy tells me that one of the reasons the vet took my blood was to have my DNA checked for what breeds are in me.  We haven't gotten our results yet, but we'll let you know when we do.  It will be very exciting to finally learn who my parents were!

Other things that happened this month was that the weather couldn't decide what it was going to be.  We had snow, then icy crunchy snow (which made me hurt my leg when I was playing run around in the backyard with Mommy) then it all melted and we had mud.  I had fun running in circles and forming a mud track in grass of the backyard and also at the park.  When all the snow melted Mommy found 27 of my stuffies in the backyard!  It is like I have all new stuffies again.  Then it got cold again and we had snow again!  So now there is snow on the ground, but it is supposed to get warm again this week Mommy says.  This is my favorite time of year because you can play in the mud one day and the snow the next and all the dead things are out and rotting and so much fun to find and eat on walks.

Speaking of walks, on one of our walks to the lake I saw one of the strangest, most exciting things I've ever seen there.  There were four people running REALLY FAST on the ice, but they were hardly moving their feet and they had big branches in their hands and were smacking this funny flat ball around the ice and that ball moved even faster than the people.  Mommy said it was called hockey and the flat ball was really hard so I should NOT try to fetch it or I'd break a tooth.  I think it wasn't very nice of her not to let me play.  I really think I'd have been good at the game and I know I could have turned those branches into wood chips in no time.

On one of the nice warm days Mommy took me on a hike and I saw FIVE BIG BUNNIES!!  I was so very excited I spy hopped and barked and spy hopped some more and ran around Mommy.  I've never seen FIVE big bunnies at once.  Usually I only see one or two.  The big bunnies looked at me and then went back to eating grass, but after awhile they finally did what they were supposed to do and hopped off.  Mommy says when the weather gets warm enough I'll be able to wear my camera on hikes and then maybe I'll get a photo of the big bunnies.

Finally this month Mommy went online and chatted with a pet psychic.  She asked her what my first home was like and the psychic said that I was telling her that I was kicked around a lot.  Not literally, but rather that I lived in a whole bunch of different places and there were a bunch of different people involved in my early life (true I was thrown into the pound when I was about 5 weeks old then I went through two foster homes before I found Mommy and at least 3 people came to see me and rejected me or I rejected them before Mommy came and got me).  Then she said that I was very sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily (true) and that I felt that people yelled at me way too much before Mommy got me.  Then she said that because I'm so sensitive I have tummy troubles a lot (very true).  Mommy asked if I was autistic and the lady said she didn't think I was autistic and I definitely wasn't ADD but that I had trouble understanding what people wanted especially if they raised their voices or treated me rough, even if it is just play rough.  When I don't understand something my feelings get hurt and I tune them out and go inside myself (true again!).

Oh wait!  That wasn't finally!  Finally is really that it was Valentines Day this month and when Mommy and I went to the feed store loading dock to say hi the guys gave me the BEST COOKIE IN THE WORLD!!  It was HUGE, almost as long as my head and very hard so it took a long time to eat.  I thought it was so good that on our return walk I tried to convince Mommy to go back to the loading dock so I could get another one.  Mommy said no so I sat down and barked at the loading dock guys from a block away.  They thought it was funny.  Then today Mommy took me INSIDE the feed store (I don't usually get to go in there because I like to try to eat their cat) and she bought me a bag of those great cookies!!!  I was so excited to be in the feed store that I had to check everything out and I really really wanted a stuffie and a HUGE bully stick, but Mommy said no we were only getting poop bags and cookies.  I helped myself to a couple of the cookies out of one of the bulk bins (the cash register lady said it was okay).  Then when we were paying one of the loading dock guys came in and said, "Hi Mooch!" and ran and got me another cookie out of the bulk bin and told the cash register ladies that I was a loading dock regular and Mommy pointed out how well trained I had them as the loading dock guy immediately ran and got me a cookie when he saw me.  At the end of our walk I insisted on going back to the warehouses to look for birds and mice and then to the loading dock guys.  Mommy told them NO COOKIE because I had had too many already today, but one of my best pals was there and he ran to get me two little tiny dog cookies and said they didn't count because they were tiny.  I barked at him because they were so small.  Mommy said I'm spoiled.

Special Update!!
March 6, 2009

As I told you in my last update Mommy had my DNA tested.  We got the results!!!

To make things fun, Mommy and I set up a survey so people could guess what breeds I have in me.  46 of you guessed my breed and you came up with the following:

84% of you think I'm part Lab
50% say part Flat Coated Retriever
46% think Border Collie
30% think German Shepherd
28% think Greyhound
11% think Australian Cattle Dog
9% think Australian Shepherd
6.5% think Italian Wolfhound and Golden Retriever
4% think Boxer, Pekingese and Great Pyrenees
2% think Beagle, Cairn Terrier and English Setter
Nobody thought I had Yorkie, Poodle, Bulldog, or Basset Hound

Now I could announce what I have in a straight forward manner, but I thought I'd have more fun than that:

It's the Maury Bowwowvich Show

Maury:  This week on Maury Bowwowvich we have Merlin Wylt  who wants to know who his parents are.  Tell us your story Merlin.

Merlin: Well, I was abandoned at the pound in the middle of the night when he was about five weeks old.  I have no idea who or what my parents were.  I have a good life now living as an artist in the midwest with my adopted family, but it has always nagged at me that I can't tell people what kind of dog I am.

Maury:  Well Merlin, we have a surprise for you.  We tracked down a dog who thinks she might be your mother and she has brought along two dogs who she thinks may be your father.  Sally Labrador, Hans German Shepherd,  Jake Border Collie, please come on stage.   Tell us your story Sally.

Sally:  It's a sad story told by many bitches out there.  Nine years ago I snuck out of the house and met up with some dogs in the dog park one night.  I wasn't thinking about the concequences, I was in heat you know and, well, you don't really think then.  Nine weeks later I surprised my humans with a litter of mixed breed puppies.  I know Jake and Hans were in the park that night, and well, if you look at Merlin he looks like he could be my puppy, especially if Jake or Hans is his father.

Jake:  Hey!  If I thought that the puppies were mine I'd admit it, but there were dozens of dogs in the park that night!  I mean she was in heat!  Every intact dog that could get out was there.

Hans:  I don't know why she'd say I was the father.  I'll admit I sniffed her butt, but that's as far as it went!

Maury:  Let's show everyone a photo of Merlin side by side with photos of Sally, Jake and Hans.

Sally:  See, he looks a lot like me doesn't he?  And I definitely see either Jake or Hans in him.

Jake:  Well, I suppose he could be mine, those eyes kinda look like mine, but it doesn't smell right to me.

Hans:  He doesn't look anything like me!  I'm a black and tan shepherd!  Where's his saddle?  He doesn't have any saddle!

Maury:  We gave all of you a DNA test and I have the results right here.  [waves envelope]  Hans German Shepherd, in the case of Merlin Wylt...You are NOT the father!

Hans:  I told you bitch!  I told you!

Maury:  Jake Border Collie, in the case of Merlin are NOT the father!

Jake:  I kinda hoped I was, I got neutered after that night so it would have been nice if I was you know?

Maury:  Our DNA test proved something else as well.  Sally, in the case of Merlin are NOT the mother!

[Audience roars]

Maury:  It seems that Merlin is a purebred mongrel.  According to the tests both his parents were mutts.  All four of his grandparents were mutts.  All eight of his GREAT grandparents were mutts and it is very likely that all of his GREAT GREAT grandparents were mutts!!  The DNA doesn't lie.  Merlin has very slight markers for Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Boxer, Australian Cattle Dog and Basset Hound, but none of these markers are strong enough for there to have been a purebred for at least three generations back.  We can't really say that he is even a Lab mix because even though Lab is the strongest marker in him the amount is less than 12%!  So, Merlin, when people ask, you can tell them you are a purebred mongrel for generations back.


So, that's it.  I am part Lab, German Shepherd, Boxer, Australian Cattle Dog and, (this made Mommy practically fall off her chair laughing) Basset Hound.  There is probably a whole lot more breeds in me but the traces were so faint that they couldn't be identified with certainty.  Mommy says I am "pure dog" and I probably look a lot like dogs looked when they first decided to hang around with people.  She thinks that is why people either think I am the coolest dog they have ever seen or they think I am really really scary.  She says something in my looks must trigger an ancient part of the early human brain that is left over from that time.  Hope you weren't disappointed by the results!

March 24, 2009

As you all know the big news this month is that I got my DNA test results back and we learned that I am a purebred La Gerboauscat Hound!  Okay, I'm a mutt, but one of my fans dubbed me a La Gerboauscat Hound when she read what my mix was.  If you missed that update, check out the past diary entries for the full story of my DNA test.

Other than that, let's see what has happened.  Well, the weather has gotten nice and spring-like so Mommy and I have gotten to go for a lot more walks than we do in the winter.  I have also gotten to wear my camera on our hikes and have taken some good pictures.  You can
see them here.  I have also gotten to bring a whole lot of mud into the house on my paws.  I love tracking in mud.  I especially like jumping on Mommy's bed with muddy paws.

On our normal walks I have found lots and lots of dead things to eat or carry around.  On one walk I stopped at a tree and was sniffing and sniffing.  Mommy thought I was reading my pee mail so she didn't pay a whole lot of attention to me, but what I was really sniffing was that a fox had hidden the back half of a bunny in a hollow part of the tree.  I managed to pull it out and then refused to drop it for a long time so Mommy and I got to walk by the school and a whole lot of other walkers with me looking like a bunny killer with the hind legs and a fluffy tail hanging out of my mouth.  We got a lot of interesting looks let me tell you!

The squirrels no longer hang out in the squirrel tree now that the weather is warmer, instead they are running around the park, so I have to spend my time making sure they all get up into the trees where they belong.  It is hard work.  Sometimes I'll just get them all up in the trees and one of the first ones that I chase up decides to come down, then I have to drag Mommy across the park and chase the bad squirrel back up the tree.  It can take a good 15 or 20 minutes to get every squirrel staying in a tree.

The problem with spring is that the weather makes my joints hurt sometimes now.  I'll be fine in the morning then sore at night and then fine the next morning.  One night I woke Mommy up at 3 a.m. and demanded an aspirin and then the next morning refused to come into the house until she threw the ball for me for 10 minutes.  She says it is like living with two dogs.  I was extra sore for awhile because I got an ear infection.  Mommy thinks I got it from rolling in the rat poop by the feed store.  I'm not sure if that's the case, but it took over a week for Mommy to get it to go away.  I didn't help much because I don't like having the yucky ear stuff put in my ears.  I have learned to let Mommy clean my ears with cotton and swabs since she hasn't actually pulled my brains out through my ear-hole yet, but if you don't have the yucky ear stuff put in it takes longer to get rid of the infection.

Also, I managed to pop my left hip out somehow a couple weeks ago.  I'm not sure how I did it and neither is Mommy, but I had to have a quick visit to the chiropractor so she could put it back in place.  When Mommy asked if I needed to see the chiropractor I ran to the door.  Mommy said, no I couldn't go now because Mommy had to make an appointment for me and then go have something called "taxes" done, but when she got back from taxes we'd go.  When she got back from taxes I ran to the door.  She put my leash on me and I went straight to the garage.  She said, no I had to take a walk to loosen up first so I reluctantly did.  Then when we got home I stood by the garage.  Mommy tried to get me to come in the house while she got her purse and stuff, but I refused, so she knew I really needed the doctor.  Mommy thought I had hurt my RIGHT leg because of the way I was limping, but the chiropractor told her it was my left one that was bad.  When she went to pop the hip back in place she told Mommy it was going to hurt me.  Mommy held me tighter and the vet popped the hip in.  I didn't yipe, but I turned around and smiled my biggest smile at the vet.  She said she was surprised I didn't yelp because most dogs do when she has to do that.  I guess I am extra brave.  When my appointment was finished I went out and jumped up on the receptionist's counter to try to eat the treats that were up there, so Mommy knew I was feeling a lot better.

When we got home Mommy put up her hammock.  She discovered that the mice had eaten some of the ropes over the winter even though Mommy had hung the hammock up in the garage.  She says those garage mice are pushing their luck now, but I know she won't do anything about them.  She thinks they are cute for some reason.  I think they look tasty.  Anyway, Mommy went to lie in the hammock and read and I climbed in with her.  Mommy said it probably wasn't a very good idea because she didn't know if the remaining ropes and her repair job would hold her, much less both of us, and she didn't want to have to turn around and go right back to the chiropractor, but the hammock held and we had a nice relaxing afternoon.

Finally, last weekend Mommy was in the back yard burying a gerbil from work who had died and I was lying in the sun relaxing when Cody the boxer next door came out and ran up to Mommy barking and jumping and jumping and barking.  I walked up to Mommy and stood by her quietly and glared at Cody to try to get him to go away, but he is too goofy to get the hint and he kept jumping and barking.  I was PERFECT and didn't say anything mean to him.  Mommy told me to back off a bit since it was hard for her to dig with me pressed against her and I did.  I was lying a couple feet from her when Cody jumped up and got his front leg hung up on the fence.  He had almost gone over accidentally!!  Mommy quickly shoved him back to his side, but she was worried that that was way too close for comfort.  About an hour later when Mommy was working in the front yard Cody's dad came over and told Mommy that next week Cody and Sadie are going to their grandma's house and they are going to take down the chain link fence between our yards and put up a 6 foot stockade fence instead.  Mommy doesn't like stockade fences because they block the view, but she thinks it is for the best since Cody can't learn to behave like a good neighbor and she'd hate to have him actually accidently end up in our yard.  Also, since the neighbors seem to be trying to have their screen porch fall down naturally rather than fix it she won't have to see the mess that it is when we are in our hammock.  So, anyway, next week I'll have a brief period of time where I'll have a HUGE yard, but Mommy says that I will have to be out on a tie out and not playing in Cody's yard and after that there will be no more fence fighting incidents, although Mommy knows that Cody is going to still run up to the stockade fence and bark when I'm in the yard.  I however will probably not bother to bark back as that would be silly, since there is a big wall between us. 

Because I was such a good dog with Cody I got to go to the now open for the season Tastee Freeze and get a Pup Cup that afternoon!!   We were surprised to learn that they don't give out Pup Cups anymore, instead they give out Pup Cones which are little tiny cones with vanilla frozen yogurt and a milkbone flavor treat on top!  It was wonderful.  I always get the butt end of Mommy's cone, but I've never gotten a cone of my own before.  I ate the whole thing in three bites.  Mommy didn't even have time to lick her own ice cream cone before I had finished mine.  We walked home with Mommy eating her cone and I still got the butt end of hers when she was done, so I think the Pup Cones are a great thing.  Mommy isn't so sure.

April 21, 2009

This month, as predicted last month, some men came to our house early one Saturday and rang the doorbell.  It was the neighbors' fence guy telling us that they were there and about to take down our fence so if I wanted to go out and pee I needed to go now.  Mommy let me out, but I didn't want to pee.  I wanted to talk to the fence guys.  Mommy gave up and called me back in and we got dressed and went for a walk.  When we came back home there was no fence between our yard and Cody's yard and the guys had put in a fence post.  Mommy pointed out that the post was 2 inches too close to the property line and they were going to encroach on our land, when they put the stockade face up so, instead of moving the one post back two inches  the fence guys slowly drifted the posts to the right spot by the other end of the property.  So at the front of the house they are on our property and at the back they are not.  It looks kinda silly, but Mommy is happy because it leaves a hole for the small animals to come and go.  Anyway, they didn't put the whole fence up the first day so the first night I had to go out on a leash with Mommy so I wouldn't run off.  Needless to say, when I got out in the yard on a leash I forgot why I was out there and then Mommy and I came back in.  This was extra fun because that night it was COLD and SNOWING A LOT and Mommy grumbled and grumbled.  The next morning the guys finished putting up the fence, but there was 6 inches of snow on the ground and they didn't want to bother shoveling the snow away so there are spots where the fence is about 4 inches off the ground and Sadie can fit half her body under and Cody can fit his nose under.

Cody decided that if he can fit his nose under he should dig and try to fit the rest of him under too, so Mommy took some of our railroad ties and put them up against the fence to discourage that.  Sadie still barks at everything that passes in the back of their house and Cody still runs along the fence and barks at me and tries to get me to fence fight him, but since I can't see him anymore and I know he can't get over the fence I don't worry about him at all.  I did run up to the fence with the intention of biting his nose when I saw it poked under one of the high spots, but Mommy saw me and yelled no and then put another railroad tie up.  I think if she had let me bite Cody, he might think twice about digging under.

Because of the new fence the stupid feral kitties seem to think their territories have changed so they started having kitty fights in our backyard.  One morning Mommy let me out and she didn't see that there was a grey tabby sitting in the middle of the yard.  I saw the kitty though and I took off after him.  I was about three inches from his fuzzy tail tip for the entire zig-zagged chase around the yard.  Silly cat first thought he could get out through the no longer existant gap at the front of the fence then he ran to the gate and ran under and I just missed catching him.  Later that day when Mommy and I took our walk we saw that tabby across the road and when he saw me he FLEW across the road and to the house of the lady who feeds him.  He hasn't come near our property since.

Then that evening Mommy let me out and there was a grey tabby with white socks in the yard.  I took off after him and we ran a zig-zag course around the yard until he finally went up a tree.  I stood under the tree and barked at him and jumped up trying to pull him out of the tree.  Mommy let me do this for five minutes then she came out to make me come in.  Just as I was about to leave the tree the kitty decided he should climb out to the end of a limb and jump off into the neighbor's yard, but the limb was springier than he expected and he fell off the branch and practically landed on my head!  I was so shocked I didn't think to bite him and he took off and I took off after him and he ran up the corner of the fence and into the bushes on the other side and I ran back to Mommy so very proud of myself.  We haven't seen grey tabby with white socks since that evening.  Maybe he decided another neighborhood might be safer.

Anyway, that night my right rear leg started to really hurt.  I couldn't jump up on the bed and could barely manage to climb up on it.  I didn't want to put much weight on my leg either.  Mommy said I probably pulled something chasing those kitties and she gave me an aspirin and I felt a little better, but it was about a week before I really started to feel more like my normal self.  Since I wasn't limping on the weekend Mommy and I went for a six mile hike, but I was sure tired at the end of it.  We found some new benches to sit on at one spot on the hike and Mommy says when the weather finally gets warm we will pack a lunch and a book and hike to the bench and then have a long relaxing sit-down.  I can't wait for good hikes.

The next week after the hike I was finally feeling good in the hind leg department and was able to jump up on the bed again and put all my weight on my leg.  Mommy was happy and I was too since I was able to play ball again.  Then we took a walk and I saw a bunny in one of the yew bushes on my walk.  I dove into the bush to get the bunny and the bunny ran out the back side of the bush.  So I spy hopped to see where he was going and somehow lost my ballance on my hind legs and fell backwards into the bush and then rolled out sideways and landed "WHUMP!" on the sidewalk on my right hind leg!  When I got up I couldn't put ANY weight on my leg at all and Mommy was afraid she was going to have to take me to the vet (and was wondering how we were going to get the five blocks home), but after a few blocks I could put some weight on the leg and when we got home Mommy gave me an aspirin and went to work.  When she got home I was still very very sore so she gave me another aspirin and we went to bed.  That night I threw up twice so Mommy called the vet and told her what had happened and when Mommy said, "he re-injured his right hind leg" the vet said, "Ya think?"  Mommy was worried that she was going to mess up my tummy with the aspirin, but the vet said it was okay to give me one a day and if I needed two Mommy had to give me a Pepcid first.  Mommy decided to drop me down to one, so I have been a very unhappy limpy dog for for the past week while my leg has been re-healing.  The vet says I am my own worst enemy.

Another thing that happened this month is that Auntie Naomi came into town and didn't come visit me, but she saw Mommy and she gave Mommy a bag with a jar that belonged to Mommy and a news clipping.  When Mommy came home with the bag I knew it was from Auntie Naomi and wanted to look in it for my present, because Auntie Naomi ALWAYS gives me presents, but Mommy said I shouldn't be such a greedy gus and there was no present for me.  She showed me the bag and what was in it, but I didn't want to believe that there was no present.  Mommy put the empty bag in the center of the kitchen table and I jumped up on a chair and tried to take the bag, but Mommy caught me and put the bag in the recycle bin under some recyling.  Then later that night I got into the recyling and pulled the bag out and tore it open looking for my present, but there wasn't one.  I finally had to admit that I wasn't getting anything afterall and I went into the livingroom with a big sigh and sat with Mommy.  Auntie Naomi says she feels like a mean old grump now, but Mommy says I DO NOT need a present every time Auntie Naomi comes to town.

Speaking of people owing me things.  The other day when I went to the feed store loading dock for my milkbone the guys were busy getting something for a customer who was parked by the loading dock.  I said hi to the customer and then I noticed that the back of her car was open and she had a big brand new unopened bag of Farm and Fleet bones in it.  I stared and stared at the bag.  The lady saw me looking and said to Mommy, "Can he have a bone?"  Mommy said I didn't need a bone because the loading dock guys would give me one, but the lady said, "Oh, he needs a bone." and opened the bag and gave me one!  Then the loading dock guys came out and gave me a bone too!  Mommy told the loading dock guys that I was now mooching off the customers and they thought that was funny.  Then the customer and the loading dock guys each gave Mommy an extra bone for her to take home and give me later!  When we got home Mommy forgot she had the bones in her pocket and just draped her coat on the chair.  I didn't forget about them though because I got both of them out and ran off to eat them before Mommy even knew what I was up to.  Mommy is concerned that I will now think that every customer at the loading dock should give me a bone, but so far nobody has had a big bag of bones in their cars.  I've checked.

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Merlin's Diary Year Eight

Merlin's Diary Year Seven

Merlin's Diary Year Six

Merlin's Diary Year Five

Merlin's Diary Year Four

Merlin's Diary Year Three

Merlin's Diary Year Two

Merlin's Diary Year One

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