New Year’s Greetings

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

2013 was a big year here in Crystal Haven. Clyde’s book, Pall in the Family, hit the shelves and our tourism numbers went through the roof! We are so pleased that people want to spend time with us in our little town. And although I don’t like to be the kind of person who says, “I told you so,” I knew that Clyde’s story would draw new visitors. Who doesn’t like a story of secrets, murder, mayhem, and dogs?

Some of my clients were kind enough to share their holiday spirit. You might remember these two from the Webkinz affair. I still haven’t quite cracked that case…

And here is Astrid, wishing everyone a Happy New Year! She’s thrown the party of the year and must have gotten some help with those hats…

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Stay tuned in the new year for more pet stories, and some follow-up with old friends.

Thanks to Barb and Melissa for sharing their pictures! ~de

Hectic Holiday

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

As I’m sure you are aware, the holidays can be brutal. Everyone running around trying to get ready for their winter holiday of choice. It can be exhausting. My fingers are cramping up from all the knitting I’ve been doing. Then there’s the baking and decorating and wrapping.

I was called to see Tanner this week because he seemed “withdrawn” according to his family. You may remember Tanner from this post and this one. He lives with two small children which doesn’t always translate to the type of relaxing life he desires. It seems he has taken over the kid chair and won’t give it up. His owner called in a panic because she brought the chair home from the store and was planning to hide it before the kids came home from school. Tanner wouldn’t budge.

“I love this chair! It’s perfect for me,” Tanner said.

“Um, Tanner?” I said.

“I was starting to feel really neglected, but this just proves I am still top dog around here.”

“Tanner?”

“Before those kids came along I got all the best stuff. But this chair is the best present ever!”

“Don’t you think it’s a little small for you?”

“Small? No.”

“But you can’t stretch out. You have to curl up in a ball.”

“Yeah, that’s the way I like to relax.”

“What about your nice big bed, over there?” I pointed into the other room.

“Yeah, the girls can have that one. This one is right where the action is!”

The owner began casting desperate glances in my direction and tapping her watch.

“The kids will be home soon, Tanner.”

“I know! Wait until they see this!”

I decided to accept defeat. I told the owner to buy  something else for the kids and let Tanner keep the bed.

Thanks to Kris and Tom for the picture ~ de

Sibling Rivalry

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

I was asked to meet with Francesca again. You may remember her from this post. You can see from the photo that she was in a serious mood that day.

“I ‘ave asked you to return to my abode in the ‘opes you can ‘elp me. I do not believe in zees ‘pet psychic’ thing you claim. ‘owever, I am despereet.”

I asked her how I could help. (I had been warned that Francesca’s life has changed a bit since the family obtained more dogs – three to be exact.)

“I theenk you are aware of ze way things are around ‘ere. I am zee princess and I ‘ave my family very well organized. Zey buy me clothing and take me everywhere wiz zem. I even assist le daddy at ‘is work – ‘e relies on me so much.”

I urged her to get to the point as I could hear the pack of newcomers barking outside.

“Well, I ‘ave shared my lovely ‘ome wiz ozzer animals, wizzout difficulty.  As you can see ze ‘orse knows who is in charge.”

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But ze new ‘brozzers’ as my family likes to call zem, are ruffians of the worst sort. Just look at zem! Zey are despicable.”

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“Zey like to dig in la mama’s garden, and make such a ‘orrible noise whenever zey see a bird or a squirrel. But worst of all, zey say I am a spoiled princess and will not listen to my commands. Look at what zey did!”

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I mentioned that the new dogs were just puppies, and she certainly would be able to take charge of them once they calm down. And that their antics only serve to show how well behaved she is.

“Per ‘aps you are correct, pet psychic. In fact, I am feeling a bit better. I will put on my new lovely sweater and go outside to begin my training wiz zem. Zey need a lot of work.”

I encouraged her to assert her alpha status as the older, more experienced canine.

“Oui, oui. Zat is true, but mostly I am ze leader because I am still ze favoureet of le daddy. S’il vous plait,  don’t tell my girls – I don’t want zem to become jealous of me.”

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Thanks  to Patricia, Steve, Alexandra, Mackenzie, and Delaney for sharing their photos! ~de

Fashion Sense

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Olive, she’s been on the blog before, here. I met with her to follow up on the bone-hiding behavior. She had her own agenda.

“I LOVE this family and my kids. I would do anything for them. I hate school days when they go away ALL DAY LONG. I watch for them the whole time. But sometimes I have to do things I don’t like. Like this.”

I pointed out that lots of dogs wear scarves and sweaters and enjoy it.

“It’s not the clothing I object to, it’s the style. Look at me! Do I look like I can pull off a pink scarf?! I’m really more of a ‘winter’ based on my coloring. Maybe a nice red, or black and white checks. But pink? I’m not a ‘spring’ or ‘summer.’ It just doesn’t feel like it’s ‘me.’

The girl really likes pink, so I put up with it. I wish the boys would share their scarves. They have some lovely jewel-toned options that would complement my coloring and my personality. Maybe you could mention it to them?”

I asked about the bone-hiding behavior.

“Bone? I don’t know what you’re talking about. If they say I’m hiding my bone, it’s not me.”

Thanks to Kali and Troy for their picture! ~de

The Power of Denial

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

This is Tanner. We’ve met him before, here. You would think that being caught “red-handed” as they say would guarantee an honest confession. You would be wrong.

Me: What happened to the bag?

Tanner: This bag? I thought they left it for me to play with. Those kids hide all my toys and all I have left is an empty bag.

Me: What happened to the food?

Tanner: Food?

Me: There was food in the bag.

Tanner: No.

Me: You’re saying there was no food in the bag?

Tanner: Food?

Me: Tanner did you eat all the food that was in the bag?

Tanner: Bag?

This started to feel a lot like conversations I have had with my niece, Clyde. It’s a clever technique designed to frustrate me to distraction. I have found the best way to deal with this is to step away and come back to the topic when they least expect it. I will try to get a confession at a later date, maybe after a walk and some treats…

Thanks to Kris and Tom for the photo! ~de

Sports Injury Part 2

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In which Violet Greer talks to animals.

Now that the blog tour frenzy is over and Harriet has relinquished control of the blog, I thought I would follow up on Rowdy and his injury. I had the opportunity to check in with him on day five or six after his surgery. Things were not going very well. The family asked me to talk to him again and explain that he had to stop licking his incision.

Some dogs are pickers and they just can’t leave a cut or itchy spot alone. Rowdy is one of these. As you can see, when I met with him, he was wearing a collar designed to stop him from reaching his surgical site.

“I don’t know what has gotten into these people,” Rowdy said to me. “First, they take me to that crazy groomer, then they carry me around the house for days (which I really don’t mind, because there’s something wrong with my leg), then they buy me a new ridiculous collar. I like the old collar. This one is too big.”

I tried to explain that the collar was there to stop him from causing an infection, but Rowdy is not the most intuitive dog I have ever met. He kept insisting that his family had lost its collective mind and that there was something wrong with his leg that they were ignoring.

He perked up a bit when I asked him about his new toy.

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“I love presents, especially squeaky ones! Maybe you could tell them that there’s something wrong with my leg.”

I’m die-(t)-ing

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In which Violet Greer talks  animals.

This is Duchess. Her family asked me to intervene when their normally haughty but active cat began lolling around on the patio. She had been deemed healthy but overweight by her vet. This was day two of her diet.

Knowing she could be skittish with strangers, I approached cautiously. She opened one eye and peered at me quickly.

“Go away, we don’t need you here.”

Well, some cats are friendlier than others. Usually, when they realize I can understand them, they have a lot to say. I explained that I could help her talk to her family.

“Tell them I’m dying,” she said.

I was already irked, so I told her she wasn’t dying, just hungry.

“Look at me! I can barely move. Even if they decided to feed me, I wouldn’t be able to get to the bowl. I’m so weak, and dizzy, and I feel tingly all over. This is the end.” She meowed pathetically.

“Oh, get up. You’re fine,” I said.

She picked her head up a fraction of an inch. “Is that the can opener I hear?”

I shook my head, the family wasn’t helping by feeding her in the middle of my session.

Duchess hopped up – as if a miracle had occurred. “See, I told you I didn’t need you.”

Thanks to Jamie Chavez for sharing her photo