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I think my pug, Bubba, may be losing his hearing.  As I mentioned the other day, he seems out of sorts lately, drifting off for long stretches as if deep in thought, no longer bounding into the kitchen at the merest sound of the refrigerator door opening.  Today, he exhibited atypically calm behavior in the face of two things that always used to rile him up in the past: 1. A barking dog, and 2. Sara Jessica Parker.  We were out for a walk when we happened by the home of one of his neighborhood enemies, a yappy yorkie who went absolutely berserk as we strolled along.  For his part, Bubba was oblivious.  Granted, we were across the street, but in the past he would have reacted.  And then, later today while Akemi was watching her DVD’s and the theme to Sex and the City came on, Bubba didn’t even notice.  A month ago, the opening notes would have set him off, barking and howling at the t.v., his canine fury rising at the onscreen sight of Sara Jessica Parker in her pink tutu.  Today – nothing.

Okay, he IS an older dog (11 this September) but the change in him has been sudden and dramatic.

1My other, older pug, Jelly, meanwhile, has problems of her own.  She is almost certainly deaf (has been for quite some time) and her hip dysplasia makes it very difficult for her to get around, so I’ll often find myself chauffeuring her up and down the stairs, onto and off the bed, out to and in from the back yard.  Despite her obvious discomfort walking, she’s in very good spirits, vocal and waggy – but she was decidedly less so the other night.  She was sitting on her usual perch atop the pillow beside me when she decided to turn around and get comfy.  She shifted, obviously misjudged the room she had, and ended up tumbling off the side of the bed.  Fortunately – or not – instead of hitting the floor, she ended up getting wedged, upside down, between the mattress and the night table, crying out until I was able to rescue her.

Clearly, my dogs are getting old.

1Except, of course, for my french bulldog, Lulu.  She’s always on!

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food!  Check out this excerpt from Michael Moss’s Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked UShttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine…ichaelmoss&_r=0

Along those same lines, secrets of the sugar industry: Sugar industry’s secret documents revealed

Hey, reality t.v. junkies!  5 Depressing Realities Behind Popular Reality TV Shows  Next thing you know, they’ll be saying that Mystery Diners show is faked!

It’s Mistress Elvira’s School for Wayward Vampire Children.  What did you expect?  Norway teacher fired after children taste her blood

Bill’s dead.  What a relief.  Now we’ll no longer be bombarded by his annoying tweets.  No, wait!  A Way to Post and Tweet From Beyond the Grave – WSJ.com

9 Dead Authors With Insanely Active Social Media Accounts 

‘These things right here are worth $5 million!’ Jennifer Love Hewitt wants to …  What, exactly, has to happen that would require the insurance company pay off Jennifer Lopez’s 27 million dollar ass insurance?

Er, is that Zombie Jughead?  Archie Takes on the Undead

30 thoughts on “March 10, 2013: The Doggy Update and News of Note!

  1. So sad to hear about Jelly and Bubba’s struggles. But they’re so lucky to have you and Akemi looking out for them. We all know you’ll do everything possible to keep them healthy and happy.

    Lately, I’ve been slammed trying to keep my job. My company bought another company, and usually we keep our jobs and the poor folks at the other company loose theirs. Not so lately. We’ve been dropping like flies. I’m the oldest in my department, so I feel like I’m in the crosshairs. The next couple of months should be interesting.

    I haven’t been able to keep up as much as usual, but I was wondering about all your projects. I know you’ve been frustrated at the slow pace of commitment, but what happens if more than one of your projects gets off the ground at the same time?

  2. I wonder if that staring into space thing Bubba does has something to do with the ringing that’s sometimes heard as hearing flees.

    The NY Times article is interesting. I don’t mind so much that moguls are trying to come up with super-tastiness. I mind that the conventional wisdom on healthy food is so off that so many won’t see a health difference when they eat what’s believed to be a healthy diet versus an unhealthy diet and will never realize how much health they are actually entitled to.

    So, eat some Lunchables or a whole-grain muffin – it doesn’t make a difference.

    The part about the baby carrots being an innovation around the idea of snacking contradicts what I’d previously read. What I read said that there were a lot of rejected carrots when only long carrots were sold and you couldn’t dispose of them all in animal feed because — orange overload! Someone got the idea to put the unmarred, straight segments into a potato tumbler. It was thought they’d sell as a second grade of carrot but it turned out to be runaway popular. There are lots of ready-to-eat foods in the produce aisle so I’m going to lean toward the “snack” idea not being the innovative clencher to the article it presents itself as.

    I know a couple more reality show disappointments. On the house hunter shows, the participants have to have already closed on a home before they shoot any footage. On the Supernanny-type shows, things pretty much go back to how they were before.

  3. That Lulu! She is such a young rebel. Wearing clothes and playing with skunks! I never knew my last dog had gone deaf until I came home one day and caught her sleeping on the couch (where she was not suppose to be.) She didn’t hear me coming, and after that she seemed to never hear me. I also figured out she had been sleeping on the couch, while I was gone, all her life. I never knew it. Dogs are like people. They get old and require special care or aides. But you are an awesome doggie daddy. They are so lucky to have you. You will take care of anything they need. After 31 years of having a dog, I’m still learning about them and how to take ultra care of them. You, my friend, are a natural.

    So does Bubba like Sara Jessica Parker or not?

  4. It’s sad when pets start to get old and even sadder when they know their time’s almost up and try to get the message across into our thick skulls, trying to say goodbye,, but we keep misunderstanding until it’s too late.

    Book-wise, I’ve come across a fair Australian author who writes action novels (some are pretty thick books). Matthew Reilly, his name is. Not sure if you’ve read any of his books before.

  5. Sudden deafness could be a lot of things– worth having checked out. It is hard to see them aging. As Bette Davis said, old age ain’t for sissies. But watching others, including our pets, age is harder still.

  6. In AKB48 news — no, not THAT AKB48 news, my daughters are enamored with the AKB0048 anime. I can only imagine how captivating it is for girls who are more familiar with the band and can understand the words.

  7. hey Joe,

    any chance you’ve ever read George Saunders? you might like him given some of your past likes – especially the likes of Christopher Moore. Saunders has found a great balance between sci-fi/realism/and absurdity and could be up your alley.

    just thought i’d throw the suggestion your way. if you read him, hope you like him!

  8. You’ve always done right by your four legged buddies, so at least they are enjoying as life as much as is caninely possible. And Bubba’s affliction does not actually seem to be causing him any pain, so hopefully both he and you will be able to adjust smoothly.
    Thanks for the updates, now off to a busier-than-usual workday, one of those where we don’t have time to run calls and get what is needed done(but somehow manage to do both anyways)

  9. Awwww….poor baby doggies! *hugs and kisses for Bubba, Jelly, and Lulu* Love your doggies Joe. 🙂 Just keep showing your love for them, and keep them happy. As doggies get older, they need more TLC. Give them lots of attention. Lots of belly rubs are in order. 😉

  10. I don’t have the inclination or time to waste on reality shows. I keep waiting for honest-to-goodness well-written, directed and acted shows to come up and hoping that they won’t get cancelled after a ridiculously short time by equally if not more ridiculous power-hungry executives (network and sponsors) who feel that they have something to prove….thus, paving the way for even more ridiculous reality shows and overacted sitcoms – just another step in social engineering and dumbing down of the population, I feel.

    To be fair, some might have some interesting and funny situations and could fill some empty time, but seriously???…. every second show?

    And while I’m on another rant, I don’t like the new Canadian Sci-Fi logo or the new direction they seem to be going…. another sell-out, I fear. Where is the SPACE? and I don’t mean the space around me.

  11. RE BUBBA: You’ll have to come up with another plan to compensate for the deafness… How about setting up a red light to come on and off when the doorbell rings.. and a green light when it’s kitchen/eating time – Of course the lights should be in the dogs’ most common living area. Just a thought.

  12. Trying to do this on my IPhone and I don’t think my comment posted. Patrick is at the dentist and they have to knock him out for his teeth cleaning

    Sucks to get old no matter what your species is.

    I do think they found the “bliss point” in Girl Scout Samoas. Hard to put them down.

  13. Jovanna: We are big Mathew Reilly fans here! It’s more of an adventure series though. I’m not sure it’s Mr. M.’s cup of tea. Have you read any of James Rollins? He’s in the same genre and we love his books too.

    Laura: Thanks!

    I’ll second what Ponytail said: But you are an awesome doggie daddy. They are so lucky to have you. You will take care of anything they need. After 31 years of having a dog, I’m still learning about them and how to take ultra care of them. You, my friend, are a natural.

    Bubba’s a lucky dog if going deaf is his only health problem. You’ve been through much worse. Just keep giving him extra attention and he’ll be fine. Maybe, he needs time to adjust? It’s really sad seeing a pet go deaf and blind. Hopefully, he will keep his eyesight.

    I saw some of those stories online. Weird stuff!

  14. My long passed dog Nugget (Scootchy McNugget, my wife named him), a Shih Tzu, would go ballistic every time he saw Ed Bain, the local weatherman. It started when we were following a bus in our car and on the back of the bus was a huge picture of Ed Bain, staring at us. He growled constantly until we passed.

    I’d never seen a dog react to a picture of a person before. After that he would go nuts when Bain was on TV doing the weather report. I felt the same way.

  15. I’m reminded by @another_voracious_reader that the author John Sandford has written a number of books that I’ve enjoyed. I don’t think they are as good as the Pendergast series, but I think they are pretty good.

    Generally in the mystery slash thriller genre, he has written two series around connected characters, one about Lucas Davenport who works for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension after he is forced to resign from the Minneapolis police force.

    Another series about a man called Virgil Flowers who works under Davenport.
    Flowers is described as being somewhat hippy like, his father was a minister, Virgil tends to read the Bible before going to bed and contemplate his place in the universe as he drifts off to sleep. He likes sleeping around with women and tends to see the better side of any women’s attributes, rather than focusing on the flaws. Virgil writes for fishing and outdoor magazines on the side, and fishes when ever he has the chance. Both Virgil and Davenport have a propensity to violence, Davenport more so, Virgil tends to feel badly about it later.

    And another series under his real name, John Roswell Camp called the Kidd series then republished under his pen name Sandford when he really started selling his Prey series.

    I’ve found them to be a good series of books, all of them, he’s a fairly prolific writer. The characters are interesting, often surrounding the seedier side of Minneapolis and Minnesota as the men try to find some serial killer or criminal who’s gone berserk and is on a killing spree while on the run.

    I’d recommend you give one of them a try, perhaps something from the middle of his series. I don’t recall any specific book standing out, perhaps because most of them are named in the form ‘blank Prey’ although a few were better then the rest. I wouldn’t classify them as Great, unfortunately. Good to pretty good.

    1. I’ve “read” I think, 3 of the Sandford books. Because I have about a 45-60min. or more commute twice a day, I’ve been scouring the thrift shops for some good reading material. Unfortunately, the “who-dun-its” of all kinds are very popular. I say, “unfortunately” because I would like to see some sci-fi audio books, but they’re really scarce… much like the TV shows (ahem… ). I don’t even know if there are many audio sci-fi thrillers made, but hope springs eternal.

  16. To Mike from Canada
    …He growled constantly until we passed.

    I’d never seen a dog react to a picture of a person before. After that he would go nuts when Bain was on TV doing the weather report. I felt the same way.

    You growled too? 😀

  17. Oh! Joe! Just remembered some great books.

    Robert B. Parker’s western series:
    Appaloosa
    Resolution
    Brimstone

    By far the best books he ever wrote. I generally don’t read westerns. These I loved, and kept and have read twice. I read the first, listened to the rest, then found Appaloosa on audio and re-listened to the series all over again.
    A lot of people dislike his other detective books. Personally, I like them, but his Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch series is simply in a class of their own. Interesting characters, interesting stories, interesting settings. Well written, well paced.

    I strongly recommend you try Appaloosa at least. I believe I read it after I watched the movie. The book was far better, and I liked the movie as well.

  18. Mike from Canada: I’ve listened to a few of John Sanford’s books. Love them! His characters are so tenacious and dogged. The last book of his was a character I wasn’t familiar with, Jake Winters. It was called Dead Watch. I enjoyed it but I like his Lucas Davenport character better.

    Joan001: I listen to audio books (Mp3, Cd’s) while I’m working. Have you tried the library? I have found a few Sci-fi authors there. Robert Heinlein (Red Planet, The Moon is Harsh Mistress), Isaac Asimov (Robot series) and a few of Ron Hubbard’s books. You’re right though, they don’t have an abundance of Sci-fi selections, at least around here.

  19. Poor doggie babies! It’s heck getting old. My vet was explaining at our last visit that dogs suffer from presbyopia (you know, that thing where every year you have to keep holding birthday card farther and farther from your face when you are trying to read on it) just like people as they age. I guess hearing loss can effect them, too. Your pups are lucky to have you.

  20. Fred McGregor
    David Hewlett looks like he’s lost a lot of weight. He looks almost gaunt. I hope it’s just a love for jogging or such and not health problems.

    Tam Dixon, Joan001
    My local library has downloadable library ebooks or audio books, they used to have more but at some point the company they use seem to have significantly reduced their pickings.

    I agree it’s difficult to find good books in the genre I like, but I’ve also expanded what I’m willing to read/listen to. I got a Kindle, it’s the earlier model with keyboard and audio output that allows you to have a book read to you. It takes a bit of getting used to, it doesn’t do pauses properly and sounds robotic. I like the kindle for reading because I can adjust the font to the size I need. Great for aging eyes.

    I do prefer listening to audiobooks, I can do it while doing almost anything else, washing dishes, making dinner, walking the dog, while in the hot tub, although I put the kindle in a ziplock bag and take it in the hot tub as well, in case I fall asleep and drop it. It seems to be a lot faster too. Using my Ipod or Kindle I can set it to read slow, normal or fast.

    If it’s fiction, I listen to it fast, if it’s non fiction, I tend to listen to it normal or slow so I can get a better grasp on the subject.

  21. Mike from Canada

    …My local library has downloadable library ebooks or audio books…

    I live in small-town Ontario and haven’t been to the library in about 3 or 4 dogs’ ages (when the kids were small). I’ll have to re-acquaint myself and see what they’ve got and if they’ve discovered hi-tech yet – good idea…

  22. Joe,
    Saw this and thought of you. You should demand royalties from Rolls Royce for naming their newest car after the SGA villains you created (It’s up to you to then share with the others on the SGA production team). Hah.

    http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/wraith/

    PS, glad you decided to continue blogging, I enjoy reading your musings.

  23. Aw, poor puppies! Maybe Bubba can try the Carrie Diaries instead. Do pugs get wax build up?

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