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nachos has issues

poor little nachodoggy.


he has allergies.

he has had allergies off and on since we moved from california to north carolina. for a few weeks in the spring, summer, and fall, he licks at his legs to the point that he bites the fur off and he’s left with open sores. the vet calls them ‘hotspots.’

after reading “some of my best friends are germs” in the new york times last month, i am wondering if he just does not have the microbes needed to deal with southeastern allergens, since he was born and raised in the desert of southern california.

last year the vet prescribed antihistamines which i gave him 2x/day for 2 weeks and did nothing at all whatsoever to relieve his itching.

allergies are the single greatest cause of vet visits in the US. he could be allergic anything – though grass is what i suspect. it could be cleaning products, leather, plastic, wool, carpets, corn, wheat, anything. 

it was so bad last week, he was scratching and licking and biting himself 23 hours a day. he wasn’t sleeping. nobody in the house was sleeping. he is not quiet when he is scratching. he slams his feet into the floor. he whimpers. he pants. it’s really sad. i tried to empathize and i imagine it feels like poison ivy, but worse, because he doesn’t know that itching it spreads it. it got to the point i was thinking his misery was so great the kind thing would be to put him to sleep.

but instead of euthanasia, nacho has been getting oatmeal baths! for humans. the same oatmeal baths that helped my poison ivy. i mix the oatmeal and hot water in a bowl and then dump the bowl into a kiddie pool outside full of cold water. every day, nacho takes an oatmeal bath in a kiddie pool in the driveway.  he loves it.

kevin found this stuff online called dermapaw and figured it’s worth a shot. it’s all natural and soothing – it looks like a little jar of vaseline. i put it all over nacho’s legs and belly at bedtime. and then – the best part – nacho wears socks!


every morning the socks are off, but still – it’s pretty cute while it lasts!

i would say his itching has been relieved drastically by these two treatments. after 3 days, it was down about 50%. Today (5 days) it is down about 75%, if not more.  he seems so much more comfortable.

thank you aveeno oatmeal baths and dermapaw!

side note: the title of this is “nachos has issues.” this is what kevin’s 4 year old niece told us when we were talking about how nacho used to be afraid of small children. she obviously was repeating what somebody had told her, and it was hilarious. the same niece also looked at pouncey and said ‘pouncey has a penis.’ to which her father responded, ‘pouncey DOES have a penis.’ kevin & i have adopted both of these phrases – nachos has issues, and pouncey has a penis – into the vernacular. thank you unintentionally hilarious toddlers!


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extreme kayaking

I flipped out of this & got it stuck on a rock in a rapid, lost my paddle & had to walk home. #extreme #summer #swamp #andrea #rapids #swannanoa

saturday morning we went to walmart to buy another kayak.

kevin bought a kayak for himself last weekend, drove up the river a mile or two, and kayaked home. it only took about 30 minutes.

he thought it was easy enough that i would like it too.

i have never been in a kayak. i was wary of the whole thing but after some cajoling and adventure-shaming, off we went with 2 kayaks in the car.

at first it was great. it was a lazy river. not too deep. not too many rocks.

then after less than 10 minutes we came upon rocks and rapids, and i fell out of my kayak.

i was a drowned rat. my kayak was swamped and sinking. the river rocks were slippery. i managed to get to the side, get most of the water out of the kayak, found my paddle and got back in.

i only screamed “I HATE THIS!” one time. kevin paddled over to help me and fell out of his kayak. this was helpful.

back in the slightly swamped kayaks,  we headed downriver again. more rapids ahead, kevin yelled “ROCK” and there was nothing i could do (that i knew of) so i let my kayak hit the rock where it flipped me over and out and got stuck.

there are no pitcures of this, but we can assume it looked like this.


the kayak was wrapped around the rock, stuck. i was waist deep in a rapid trying to get it loose. it was not budging. my paddle floated downriver, gone.

i screamed “I CAN’T FUCKING DO THIS!,” waded down to where kevin was waiting for me and said “i broke my kayak.”

he went back, dislodged the kayak (not broken after all!), stashed it in the woods, gave me the key to his car and paddled his kayak home.

i scrambled out of the woods completely soaking wet,  i passed an older couple of tourists on the trail and as i scurried by she said “oh…OH!” and i said “i fell in the river.” she laughed. i cried.

i soppingly walked a mile back to the car and drove home.


kayak residue 
this is where i left my pants and shoes. 

an hour later a jehova’s witness knocked on the door, i’m sure she was thinking the people who live here need some jesus in their life!

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pouncey sucks pillows

pouncey sucks.

he sucks on his bed. he gets a corner in his mouth and sucks on it. sometimes he falls asleep with his bed in his mouth.

we always say ‘pouncey, stop sucking on grammie’s bed’ (the bed was a christmas present from grammie), but the sucking doesn’t stop.

he isn’t chewing or shredding it, he is just sucking on it. for long periods of time.

i just googled “dog sucks on pillow’ and the conventional wisdom seems to be that dogs who are taken from their mothers too soon may suck on pillows. like sucking thumbs. a security thing.

pouncey was taken from his mother at 5-6 weeks since she was too old to make enough milk for all the puppies.

and now he sucks on his bed instead. 

pouncey eating the dog bed

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speaking of like a bird on a wing

a small bird (wren? sparrow?) just flew into the glass door next to me. 

it crumpled to the ground, twisted and trembling. 

i thought its beak fell off.

after 5 minutes it wasn’t moving, i went to get a broom, and i pushed it with the broom just a little.

it ruffled its feathers and sat up straight. 

it stayed frozen there.

i was pretty sure it was dying and considered putting it out of its misery. smack it with the broom? fling it in the woods? let the dogs get to it?

5 minutes later it up and flew away.

moral: sometimes birds take a little while to gather themselves up after a crash, they are not necessarily dead or dying.