Geordie Resurrected!

Okay, I just had to go there with that title. He did get bitten by a serpent—a rattlesnake I have no problem with naming “Satan”—on Easter day, so I just couldn’t resist the Biblical reference. You can see the bruising on his snout from where the devil got him. (Satan got away. I never did find him. I’m sure that’s symbolic of something. Or maybe animal rights activists read my last post and swept in in the middle of the night to save the evil snake.)

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It’s been pretty crazy here. He’s still very sick, but it looks like he’s in the clear. The first night when we brought him home, nobody knew what to do. We weren’t as prepared as we thought we were. We ended up taking him back to the animal hospital to get further instructions. We learned how to force feed him with a syringe, which isn’t fun for anyone. The good news is just a few minutes ago I got him to eat something on his own. I really hate trying to shove things down his throat after all he’s been through.

Geordie has improved my life drastically, so now I feel I should be there for him. I’m feeling mothering tendencies I didn’t think I had. He’s turned me into an absolute fool…and by that I mean one of those obnoxious mothers who talks to her kids in that horrible screechy high-pitched voice. That’s me. That’s what I’ve become. At this point, I have no shame. And besides, Geordie seems to like it..at least I haven’t heard him complain much.

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37 thoughts on “Geordie Resurrected!

  1. He’s a sweetheart, I’m so, so pleased for you, for him, for all who love him. He’s back, he’s sore, but he’s eating. Wonderful news. My own medium sized 15yr old furry one had (yet another) tumour removed today, and is wagging her tail despite the stitches. She’s been with me through thick and thin, so I can empathise massively with you at the moment. *beams a smile their way*.

    – sonmi and the furry one upon the Cloud

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  2. Good news!
    I find your hatred for that snake a little bit irrational, though. If a falling branch would have hit him during a storm, would you hate that branch and burn it for punishment. If he had an accident with a machine, would you take a hamer and punish the machine? I think snakes are not intelligent enough to qualify to be subjects of punishment. I can understand the emotional reaction, even that you might not want to be rational in this matter, but what does the philosopher inside you think about this? Or is that a forbidden line of thought 🙂

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    • Totally forbidden line of thought! 🙂

      It’s funny that you should mention machines and such getting punished. When I was a little girl, if some inanimate object hurt me—maybe a table corner that I ran into—my mother would yell at it and beat it. I knew it was stupid, but it always made me feel better. Maybe that explains my vindictive nature.

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  3. Good to see him recovering. I think this is the first picture I recall of him just sitting there, which I’m sure is from the lingering sickness. Hope he gets back to his old self soon.

    One thing about the snake, is that Geordie will probably be hypervigilant himself toward it, at least in the spot that he was struck, assuming he even goes to that spot anymore. (My Geordi once got an electrical shock from being near the part of the house struck by lightening. After that incident, she’d go to the opposite side of the house whenever it started thundering outside.)

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    • Yeah, he doesn’t just sit still for the camera very often. It’s usually really hard to get a non-blurry photo of him.

      I think you’re right about avoiding that location. He doesn’t seem to be moving in that area of the backyard when I take him out on a leash. Still, I know hunting is very much in his nature…he’ll continue to poke around I’m sure. It won’t be fun, but I’ll have to take him out on a leash at all times, unless we can figure out something. Still, I’m okay with that! I’m just happy to have him back.

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  4. That’s awesome news! I’m really glad he is risen. 🙂

    I agree with SAP. Dogs are really good at being more careful after going through a painful event. Especially the smart ones, and since he understands pointing he sounds like a smart one. Our Beauchamp has learned to avoid situations that have burnt him in the past.

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    • I hope he’s learned from it! It’s an unfortunate way to get rattlesnake training…if he’s trained. I won’t take any chances. I’ll keep him leashed in the backyard and elsewhere around here. He won’t like that too much, but I’ll make it up to him by taking him to the park more often.

      I just love the name Beauchamp!

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  5. Praise Dog, for He has Risen! XD

    They’re like life-time babies in how they depend on us. (I often wonder what they make of our ability to control light, food, water, basically their world.) Having one be sick is really tough!

    They do take their cues from us. Something to think about in terms of his recovery and how you behave on future walks. Geordie no doubt picks up on how you feel about things.

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    • I wonder about those things all the time! I equate it to what it was like to be a child. Everything just happens magically and rarely do you question anything or appreciate anything. Lights, food, water…they just show up. Toys and candy (for dogs, treats and walks), now those are something of value. Of course, those are the two words Geordie knows so well that we have to spell them out so he doesn’t get the wrong idea. I think he’s actually catching on to that.

      I have this very specific memory from when I was in kindergarten and there was a girl in the 2nd grade who fixed my hair for the photo. “How can anyone possibly know how to fix hair?” I thought. I just remember thinking that she was impossibly old, so far advanced in everything and that it would take forever for me to get there.

      So true about my behavior. He responds really well when I yank him back from a bush and say “No” in a deep voice. I sometimes forget the deep voice thing, which explains why he obeys daddy a little better.

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      • Yeah, pitch of your voice does matter. (That’s why I pitch mine high when meeting new dogs!) Consistency is really important, too. Never give a command you don’t follow through with. Dogs catch on if commands don’t always mean it.

        I learned a new trick with Sam. Instead of “No!” as a shut-down command, I found myself making a “Sshhhhht!” sound — kinda like the Enterprise swooping by but more preemptive. I didn’t plan it, just a habit I fell into.

        Rather than try to train myself to use the official “No!” (’cause I’m an old dog and don’t learn new tricks goodly), I just went with the non-word.

        I came to like it. The high pitch of the “Sshhhhht!” cuts through background noise, and it’s quite distinctive from normal sounds I might make.

        I’ve always like the idea of hand gestures and noises as dog commands. Just makes it more fun for me.

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        • I like the idea of a sound instead of words. Geordie tends to respond well when I want him to stop doing something and I use a lower pitch. I rarely use it, so when I do he knows I mean business.

          The problem is always us, not Geordie. When we first came into the house after the hospital, he kept looking at us questioningly like, “What are the rules here? What’s going on?” He could tell something was different, but didn’t know what. Unfortunately, we were very inconsistent. We weren’t supposed to let him outside, but the second he came into the house he had to go and ran toward the door. We didn’t think he’d be able to run like that. We wouldn’t let him out and we had this mad Woody Allen-style dialogue about what to do: “Let him out!” “No we’re not supposed to!” “Get the piddle pad!” “He’s not supposed to be running!” “Get the leash!” etc. Meanwhile, he was freaking out too and he hid in some corner to go potty. This all happened instantly. Then he came out terrified and we chased him around trying to reassure him, but he thought we were mad at him. Then we let him outside because he was still freaking out, then he went potty again, then I had to chase him down because in the midst of all this chaos I didn’t have time to get the leash on him. Then I felt really stupid for letting him run around like that when he wasn’t supposed to be moving much. Then we locked him in my office and I stayed with him until 2 am and tried to keep him still. We had piddle pads all over the room, but he didn’t understand that and walked around them. He went over to the office door eager to be let out, but I wouldn’t let him out this time, so he went all over the floor—the one place there was no piddle pad. He freaked again. It was just awful. (Awful for me too because I had to clean it all up and I got very little sleep.) The next day we got the cage for him, but he still won’t go potty in there. Finally, we’ve found the solution. We put a very lightweight leash on him that he can drag around with him (he doesn’t seem to mind it) and now we let him go about the house as usual, except at night when we put him in the cage. I’ve become very attuned to his noises when I sleep and I know that if he’s sneezing and circling in his cage at 5am, it means he has to go. (He never wakes up that early ordinarily. He usually sleeps in with daddy.) So I open the cage, grab the leash and we make a mad dash for the back door. Finally things are starting to settle down around here! You really do have to know the rules, that’s for sure. They respond well if you know what you’re doing.

          He’s such a good boy! He used to run away from me if I tried to clean him before coming into the house, but now he knows the routine and he just stands there waiting for me to do it. He even makes it easier for me by pointing his butt my way and he doesn’t pull his tail down like he used to. It’s amazing. Our last dog was much more devious about everything. He’d even hide his pills somewhere in his mouth and spit them out later! Geordie is so eager to please us. I feel so lucky to have such a great dog. (BTW, he’s doing much better today. He’s almost back to normal except I have to feed him by hand still.)

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          • They can be amazing in how they learn patterns, and understanding that seems key to getting along with them. (On the other hand, watching a dog handle a new situation tells you a lot about that dog… and a bit about its owner(s)!)

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          • It’s true…the truth comes out in those moments. Looks like Geordie’s just all around awesome, and we—his owners—could use some work. 🙂

            I actually didn’t want to get a dog. My husband’s been begging me for a long while now, and I finally said okay. I thought I’d be the one enforcing rules and such, but the truth is revealed—I’m a sucker. The only rule that I’ve managed to keep is no feeding Geordie from the dinner table. We sometimes reserve a little something for him and give it to him later in a different setting. He just sits quietly under the table, but doesn’t beg. Sometimes he sleeps there. Sometimes he’ll grab a toy and play with it there, which is just cute. He’s just been so well trained there’s hardly anything for us to do. It’s terrific.

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  6. I talk to my cats in that high pitched voice too. I think it’s a human (or female?) universal for “talking” with babies. So glad to see the wee one on the mend. And maybe (eventually, a long long time from now) you will be able to forgive the serpent for doing what came naturally.

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    • Yeah, I think that’s the female baby-talking voice. Oddly, I never use that voice on children or babies because I just don’t find them all that cute. I fully expect tantrums and obnoxious behavior with them, and I think it confuses them when I don’t automatically find them cute. Sometimes they’ll end up playing adult just to get my attention, and then I might find them cute. But only if they do a really good acting job. 🙂

      Oh, I suppose I’ll forgive the serpent…so long as he stays out of my backyard!

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      • Yes, I save all my maternal feelings for my animals. With very few exceptions, I find children tedious. Especially if they are loud and boisterous. I like them after they have reached the Age of Reason, say 30 or so 🙂

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        • Ha! Yeah 30…I don’t know, I’m 32 and I’m not sure I’ve reached the Age of Reason yet. Although I did just write “32” and wonder, “Am I 32? Or 33?” I really wasn’t sure for a second. Maybe by the time you forget your own age you’ve reached the Age of Reason, or at least you’re past the tedious tantrum phase.

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          • I think I stopped keeping track after 25 when I could no longer buy the “douze vingt-cinq” card, which allows you to buy train tickets for really cheap in France. I kept telling myself I’d go back to France before 25, but I never did. After that, my age was “too old to buy the douze vingt-cinq card.”

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          • In Korean culture, the big year is 60. Back in the day before modern medicine, you were lucky to live that long. There’s a big celebration on that year and all the younger people have to show respect and you get to lord it over everyone and boss the kids around and all that fun stuff.

            But why wait? I’d say 50 is a good opportunity to make it a treat again!

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          • That sounds like a good plan. It makes getting older a lot easier to take! In fact, you should become an “ajumma” and then you get powers of control over others not unlike those bestowed by the ring of Gyges.

            “Ajumma are the women who will shove you out of the way like an NFL lineman in order to get a seat on a bus or subway. They are terrors alone, but in a group they are unstoppable. Add some alcohol and/or music and you’ve got a party on your hands that will keep the neighbors awake all night.”

            http://www.liminality.org/archives/94/

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajumma

            I worked with an “ajumma” at a sandwich shop. We worked well together, but that was only because I knew my place in the hierarchy. It’s really very different from the way things are here. She was quite pushy and infuriatingly slow, but I had to respect her high standards for food presentation. Everything that came out of that kitchen looked like a work of art. This was all interesting given that I don’t speak Korean and she didn’t speak English.

            My mother always taught me that if I don’t treat the older women (women especially for some reason) with respect, there would be hell to pay. I always thought this hierarchy was ridiculous, but now I’m seeing it teaches certain lessons that we don’t have in our culture…and besides, you have something to look forward to in old age!

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          • I agree that our culture devalues what older people have to share, which is experience, memory and wisdom. When I think of how foolish I was as a young person, I am thankful to have developed better judgment, and hopeful that it will continue to improve 🙂
            That is fascinating about the ajumma. I don’t think we have them here–except maybe in NYC 🙂 I like the idea of assertive older women who demand respect.

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          • It takes a culture to make an ajumma, that’s for sure. They not only demand respect, they expect it, like queens. Of course, you have to have the ajumma costume of brightly colored mismatched clothes and the ajumma perm. A large visor and a terrifying frown helps a lot. Young Korean women tend to be quiet and respectful, but the second they hit 60, that all changes and they can say or do whatever they please. This is a bit of a stereotype, but one that strikes me as pretty close to the truth. You can actually see the power in their eyes when they look at you like “You don’t know AN-Y-THING.” And that look actually is powerful. Even as an American fairly outside of Korean culture, I still find myself shutting up and paying attention. Then you get all sorts of practical wisdom: How many times to wash the rice, how to tie a knot in thread with one hand, how to slice a mango, etc.

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          • There is even a mode of dress and a hairstyle? I think it would be great if more American women had this. Then we would all look forward to turning 60. And I like the practical knowledge part too.

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          • Indeed there is! I believe the visor is meant to shield from the sun…Koreans don’t want to be dark skinned because they fear it makes them look working class. The strange mismatched clothes? I have no idea what that’s about, but it does seem to be a thing. The ajumma perm is so very real. My mother had one and I kept telling her she should just grow her hair out because it would look better and would require less maintenance, but she insisted that when you get old, you have to have the short hair and the perm. I couldn’t make sense of this at the time, but now I get it.

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  7. I just got back this minute from a 2-week trip Tina, and I had to see what the news was with Geordie Bear as I’ve been wondering and hoping for the best of course. So, phew! Great stuff, and I’m glad your ordeal is over. Sending love to the little fella from here in England. Hariod.

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    • Thanks! It’s been such a relief. He’s back to his old self, I’d say fully recovered. I can barely believe it. He got to go to the park today and we found out he’s a water lover. He jumped right into the pond! Fearless little guy.

      He appreciated your love and ear tickle, BTW.

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      • ‘Fully recovered’ – that is quite brilliant news. I can barely believe it either Tina! I think it’s pretty unusual that any dog will jump straight into water upon a first encounter, so I think GB has now proven he’s a lot tougher than he looks – bless him.

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