My World of Parkinsonian Delights

Posts tagged “german shepherd

I Still Make a Damn Fine Cup of Coffee!

As I slide into my second decade with Parkinson’s disease, the list of things I can no longer do is much longer than the list of things I am still able to accomplish.

But I can still make a DAMN fine cup of coffee!

Thanks to my Cuisinart espresso maker, I make a “wake you up with a kiss and a slap” cup of DELICIOUS coffee.  I don’t futz with the milk steamer.  (Here’s a shortcut for you — thank me later.)  I fill a shot glass with flavored creamer, nuke it for 45 seconds, and there yuh go, pardner!

I am generally up before Gail in the morning, so I try to have all the fixings in place so I can poot out that first cuppa coffee for her within minutes of her arising.  I fear what would happen otherwise.



Dogs. Everywhere. Dogs.

We have a dog infestation.  They’re everywhere.  You go to the kitchen and get yourself a cup of coffee?  BAM!  There’s a dog in your chair.  And if you notice, she is doing everything in her power NOT to look at me.  Because if Raven LOOKS at me, then she must acknowledge that I WANT to SIT in my CHAIR.  If she DOESN’T look at you, then she can claim culpable deniability — however that works in “dog politics.”

But, eventually, I reached my chair, put down my coffee cup and asked her, very politely, to “get down.”  Which she did.  Instantly.

"You made me MOVE!"

She hopped over to the couch, plopped down and put her face on the arm of the couch and gave me THIS look.

Now, I’m generally hardened to this sort of thing.  I’m not easily affected by the dirty looks I get from my dogs because there are so many of them I get every day.

But for some reason, this look cried out for attention.  So I pet her, stroked her fur and told her what a good girl she was.

It wasn’t enough.

Raven wanted a kiss.


A Dad does what a Dad has to do!

Kissy Kissy Kissy!

Our other dog, the German shepherd (or Dingo, we’re not really sure) Shiloh remained above it all.

Or below it.

"Nobody can see me cuz I'm HIDING!"

It’s a Saturday morning at the Schmalfeldt Dog Ranch, where temps are forecast — again — to reach the 100 degree mark.

I hate summer!

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Late Start, Great Night

I had a great night’s sleep, but I got a late start this morning cuz I overslept!  (I know, 7:20 am hardly seems like “oversleeping” to many of you, but I’m usually up by 6 or 6:30.)  Had to hurry out here to do my morning e-mail sorting for the Patient Recruitment effort at the Clinical Center… deadline, 7:30 am.  I was a little past deadline.  But nobody died.

See, the thing is… it rained last night.

Our brave and noble German shepherd, protector of life and property, has now become afraid — of RAIN!  The sound of rain outside sends her into panic mode.  And when she’s sequestered for the night in Doggie Gitmo (where she must sleep because poop and pee are easier to clean off linoleum than carpet), she tries to climb over the gate, knocking crap over as she does so.

I came out at a little after 10 and brought down the voice of doom.  That’s when I saw that there was ALREADY poop on the floor.  This dog had JUST BEEN OUTSIDE, had shown no inclination to poop.  (“No thanks, I’ll just poop on the floor after you go to bed.  More comfortable that way.”)

Gail — gentle soul that she is — came out to clean the poop, and decided to sit with Shiloh until the storm passed.  She ended up sleeping on the couch all night.  So there was no Raven (our border collie — or black bear, I’m not sure) flapping her ears at 5:30 am to indicate the need to use the yard to wake me up and I slept straight through.

So, I’m alllllll refreshed.

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Happy Anniversary, Shiloh!

It was four years ago today that Shiloh joined the Family Schmalfeldt.

My sister “who must not be named” told us that her daughter’s boyfriend had a puppy from a German shepherd couple, and there was only one left.  Raven, still a young adult at that time, was very needy.  She followed me and Gail everywhere demanding constant attention.  So, we thought, if we drove out to Wisconsin and bought this puppy, Raven would have a companion and they could play with each other.  Funny how that worked out.

When we were at “she whose name I’ve forgotten” house, we went to bed that night with Shiloh in her crate.  Shiloh did not LIKE the crate and made these ungodly noises that no one has ever heard being made by a puppy before.  We let her out of the crate and she took that as her excuse to climb all over the bed and play and try to look through the blinds out the window and jump on us and bark, so we decided… to hell with trying to sleep.  We got in the car at about midnight on the morning of July 3rd and started back home.

Gail and I divided the driving (she sat in the back with Shiloh until I needed a nap, then she drove while I sat with Shiloh).

"Get lost shorty. They already GOT a dog!"

When we got home that afternoon, Raven looked at Shiloh with an expression that said, “What in God’s name are YOU???”  That turned into barely masked hostility.  She never did anything to hurt the baby, but Raven wanted NOTHING to do with her.   Shiloh, for her part, was as bold as brass and scared of NOTHING.  (This is the same dog who is now cowering under my legs because the neighborhood idiots are setting off fire crackers.)

Until the next day, when suddenly Shiloh was Raven’s baby and she wanted to take care of her.

When our vet first saw Shiloh a few days later, the first thing she said was, “Oh, sweetie.  Don’t worry.  You’ll GROW into those ears!

A lot has changed since that time.  And as far as giving Raven a companion, they BOTH follow me and Mom around demanding that SOMEONE throw the damn ball.

We love our girlies!

Who ARE you people, and why are you in my house?

Poor Sleepy Shiloh!

Poor sleepy Shiloh!  Our 4-year old German shepherd isn’t allowed in the bedroom when we’re sleeping.  It’s not because we don’t like her or because she’s a bad dog or anything like that… it’s because she’s just so damn ANTSY!

She walks from bed to bed, she wants to lay where Raven is laying, so Raven moves and now she wants to lay where Raven is laying NOW and on it goes… and she takes great pleasure when SHE can’t sleep of putting her cold, wet nose on whatever part of your body is exposed.  It’s all a big game to her, so we had to banish her from the bedroom.

Then she started peeing and pooping in the living room.  So now, at night, she’s banished to Doggie Gitmo in the kitchen where she has a water bowl, a food bowl, and two thick, comfy pads — one atop the other — to sleep on.  She still poops and pees in the kitchen as the mood strikes her, but linoleum is much easier to clean than rug.

As of the last couple nights, she’s been protesting this state of affairs.  She will knock something off one of the kitchen ledges and look guilty when you come out to put it back.  Then, she waits until you’re back in bed and almost asleep and she starts with the “wurf” which becomes a “WURF!” which becomes a “BARK!”

When Gail came out night before last to scold her, Shiloh just laid there on the floor wagging her tail looking at her as if to say, “That’s OK, Mom.  Get it out of your system.”

So, last night, DADDY came out to talk to her after the second “WURF!”


If you know me, you know I can still muster a very deep, growly, scary voice.  I didn’t touch her.  Didn’t have to.  It was the “voice of DOOM!” and she knew it.  She curled into a tiny ball on her bed pads and didn’t make a sound the rest of the night.

During the day, she’s allowed into the bedroom.  And she’s a good girl.  The only problem is, if the bedroom door is open, Raven goes in there too, and she barks to wake the dead and bring down all doom on ANYTHING that moves on the street in front of our place.  Shiloh stays quiet when people and cars go by.  But if she sees a CAT!  All bets are off.

Ever hear a German shepherd SCREAM?

Raven is a loudmouth.  But during the night, she’s as good as gold.

Maybe if we melded the dogs somehow… but with our luck, we’d get an antsy dog that barks at everything that moves.

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