My husband Peter and Miss Martini had quite the love affair. I was never able to compete with her long slender legs and silky black hair. The fact that she also smelled like buttered popcorn when she slept, made her even more captivating.
Martini, a black Chihuahua mix rescue, had several nicknames including “teenie”, “Bella bean”, and “the wife”. She was incredibly territorial about anyone being near Peter, especially me. So she became “The wife” and I (happily) became number two. She lived to be nineteen years old and passed away in 2013. We still miss her bossy (yet loving) attitude.
Peter wasn’t always a dog lover. When we first met, he was living in L.A. and I was in San Diego. I would pack up my dogs (Warhol & Sushi back then) and fight traffic for hours to see him on the weekends.
After a couple of treks north, he said, “do you always have to bring the dogs with you?” STRIKE ONE.
After living together for a few months, he asked, “do the dogs always have to sleep in the bed?” STRIKE TWO.
Thankfully, there was no STRIKE THREE and Peter FINALLY “got” the magic of dogs. He noted that he never had dogs as a child (only family cats), so it just took him awhile to get used to my fur babies. Lucky him, because I remember thinking (secretly), if you don’t love my dogs, you don’t get to love me.
Of course now, Peter is simply the best dog dad and we’ve had so many wonderful pooches over the past 21 years. But I still like to give him hell for those first few months of dating. For his 50th birthday (back in 2006), I made him a book of dog photos — photos are of him cuddling our dogs. And yes, they still ALL sleep in the bed.
Thinking of adopting a senior pet? Here are some great tips from * Petcurean.
· Keep them active: Exercise helps senior pets maintain a healthy body weight, and it helps slow the degeneration of joints from arthritis. Walking is excellent exercise. Swimming in a heated pool is also an excellent way to maintain joint mobility.
· Ensure they get proper nutrition: As older pets are less active, they need fewer calories. A high quality, limited ingredient diet is a great way to maintain weight in older pets, while addressing and sensitivities and ensuring they get the nutrition they need, like Petcurean’s Go! Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe for dogs. Dogs with joint problems may benefit from supplementation with glucosamine or fish oils.
· Practice good dental hygiene: Dental care is just as important for pets as it is for humans. Dental disease is painful and may make eating difficult for your senior pet. If your dog won’t tolerate you brushing its teeth, consider dental treats, or dental toys designed to help keep the teeth clean and healthy. Teeth cleaning by your veterinarian will also help to maintain oral health.
· Provide an accessible home: Older dogs may develop arthritis or other joint problems, which can make it harder for them to get around. You can help by providing ramps to help them navigate around the house, get up on the bed, or get outside. Orthopedic pet beds may help keep your pet comfortable and relieve pressure on the joints.
· Love them up: Nothing tells your pet that you love them like a good belly rub or ear scratch. As your pet ages, physical contact is more important than ever. Every moment you have together is precious, and increasing the physical connection between you will strengthen your bond immeasurably. Maximize every opportunity for bonding with your pet – you will both be glad you did.
“8 Reasons To Adopt A Dog” by Petcurean
Video: The Petcurean Story
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If you live in the San Fernando Valley, you can purchase Petcurean at Maxwell Dog on Ventura Blvd.
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* Full disclosure: I am being compensated for these Petcurean blog posts. Please note that I would NEVER promote or support a product I didn’t love or use. For example, you won’t see me writing about baby clothing or cat toys. Woof.
More photos of my dogs.