Tag Archives: dogs

$2,446.96

It’s been a quiet week online for me. The best I could manage in most cases was to hit the like button on some blog posts. I’m trying to post something tonight, but even that is half-hearted.

It all started about 12 days ago. Our female bulldog, Frankie, started throwing up when she drank water. There were no other symptoms, including those of dehydration. She played hard, and drank too much. It happens, and I’ve never owned a dog that didn’t do this a couple of times.

Ten days later this was still going on, and we needed to have the vet check her out. There were a couple of timing problems here, one of which involved payday not happening until today.

The other issue is my work sent me to Moscow, Idaho during the week. This is a long way from home, and involved an overnight stay.

Nothing improved for Frankie, and our vet said he would see her, and we could pay him today. He did an x-ray, and there was something…

No idea what it might be, so another kind of x-rays were ordered. It could have been an ulcer, a tumor, or any number of things.

The barium helped reveal an object in her stomach and throat. He said it looked fibrous, like a sock or something. There was a half day period where the vet thought it might pass, but the clock was against us here.

Our vet doesn’t work Fridays, but he did for us. There are other doctors in the office, and they are all good. Frankie is his patient, and we appreciate him for this. Our most recent update involved the object moving, but not as much as he thought it should. He really didn’t want to do surgery, and gave us the choice.

We’ve been to the emergency vet several times. These people are good, but would not necessarily have the x-rays and diagnoses if we went there in the middle of the night. We reluctantly chose to put her through the surgery.

That turned out to be the right choice. The object was skinny, long, plastic, and pointed. He could not identify it, and we did not get to see it. This would not have passed, and could have led to an emergency situation. (Almost certainly.)

She’s home now, groggy as hell. There is a square shaved on her back from an epidural they gave her. She has a mountain of pills we have to give her too, and a restricted diet.

This is not her first experience with swallowing something, and we have to watch her like a hawk.

I’m not above a bit of speculation, so here goes. If you can imagine her chewing something up first, it sounds to me like it was a piece of someone’s fireworks. These aren’t just for the 4th of July around here. People set off fireworks all year long, and every summer night there are various small pops, and at least a few big sky shells going off.

More than once, I’ve picked up the residue from my yard. If I were to speculate further, I’m not able to cruise the yard before going to work. It’s dark outside. I think there was something in the yard, and she found it before one of us could get to it during the daylight.

I’ll never know for sure, but that’s my best guess.

I usually approach my weekends with a plan, and sometimes a task list. This weekend, I’m kind of dialing it in. I have a post to schedule for a friend, and am waiting for some interview data to come back. Don’t have a plan beyond that.

Oh, “Hey buddy, want to buy a book. I’m trying to raise $2446.96.”

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Back to the grind tomorrow.

Today was my one chance to work on things I wanted. I spent the early hours assembling some upcoming guest posts. Then there were the inevitable bulldog needs. My back started bothering me again, but just slightly. I moved the doggie bed out to the foot of my chair in hopes of avoiding some of the cuddles today. — Didn’t work. I’m fine, but there was a certain amount of twisting and adjusting so I could type.

There must be a dozen Lisa Burton Radio questionnaires out right now, but nobody returned one this weekend. I have a show for this Thursday, but might not have one the week after at this rate. This has become a pretty popular spot, so if you’d like to take advantage of it drop me a line.

I opened my work in progress, and managed about 1700 new words. Of course I deleted about a thousand of the old words, so it’s about a push. I have this habit of reading the last dozen or so pages before I start writing. I find a lot of mistakes this way. I’m also working with some important plants for later payoffs and I want to make sure everything is in place. Plants and payoffs always work that way for me; two steps forward and one step back.

Overall, I killed three people, captured a runaway slave, and set the stage to free said slave the next time I can tackle new words. No idea when that will be, because I have some things going on next weekend. I need to think up some kind of hinkey slave name for this character now. Maybe something will come to me during my commutes this week.

We discovered another piece of pink plastic in the back yard yesterday. That’s one more than we expected. On the other hand, Frankie is feeling pretty feisty and is back to her crazy old self.

Our new oven works just fine. My wife created some kind of beer braised meatballs that were awesome. She added in some mashed potatoes to go along with the extra gravy they produced. We’re pictures of health around here, but we’re generally pretty happy. Hope all of you enjoyed your weekend too.

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A blogging kind of day

I didn’t set any gigantic goal for this weekend. Life has been throwing me curves lately, and plans seemed like a bad idea.

Today was a day to pick something up, finish it, and move to the next project. With that in mind, Lisa Burton Radio is assembled and scheduled for Thursday, and so is the following Thursday. This actually feels kind of good to get ahead a tiny bit. I used to track every questionnaire I sent out, and do appropriate follow up, but I stopped doing that this year. People seem to be benefitting from the interview slot, but they need to have some skin in the game too. There are probably ten or more questionnaires out, but it’s up to them to respond and get back with me. Makes my part of the process less stressful, and that’s a good thing. I’ll be here for you from now on, but I’m not twisting arms to fill the interview slots.

I also spent some time writing, assembling, and scheduling my next post over at Story Empire. It’s up on Wednesday, and I hope it comes across well.

Oh yeah, there is this post too.

Life continues to throw us curves. The range decided to go out, including the oven portion. We’ve been doing without it for a couple of weeks now. Between the barbecue and the microwave, we’ve survived. Now that Frankie seems like her old self, today was time to address our appliance problem.

The old range was original to the house, so seventeen years old. In this day and age, that’s a good run.

The debate of the day was whether to pay for the range or finance it. Holding back a tiny bit of cash seems like a good idea in light of current events. Free delivery swayed us to use our Sears credit card. In event of another emergency, we have a few bucks available, and can make minimum payments if we have to. If everything evens out, I’ll probably take two months to pay it off. That way we get a couple of paydays in there and don’t strap ourselves.

Delivery will happen next weekend. At that time, I’ll probably wake up Tituba, my sourdough starter and christen the new oven the right way.

To her credit, Old What’s Her Face chose a very reasonable range. There was a time when both of us did a lot of cooking. As the kids have moved out, the appeal of a Wolfe gas range isn’t there any more. We wound up with a decent Kenmore electric that matches all the rest of the appliances. Honestly, I’ve always had good luck with Kenmore stuff.

After signing the papers, we walked over to Old Chicago for pizza and beer. We called it an early night, because my wife has to work this weekend. A few Winter Olympics and I’ll figure out what tomorrow has in store. I might even add some new words to my work in progress. Maybe I’ll paste together a new background for Lisa’s Facebook page. I have some new images that might be fun to use as Polaroids on her table.

The dogs are getting some ball time right now. All posts are more popular with a picture, so here’s Otto being a crazy man with his oversized tennis ball.

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Not bad for a flex day

Like all flex days, this one started off with a task list last night. The day started with my alarm dog at about six o'clock.

Otto and Frankie play together all the time now. A big part of this involves him feeling much better. We took more detailed X-rays about two weeks ago, and had an additional expert look at them. He has several problems, but there was concern about one specific issue. It involves bone tissue that is degenerating and regrowing.

Our vet said the possibilities were bone cancer, and a bone infection. The cancer is almost unheard of with a dog Otto's age, and the infection is also extremely rare. He wanted to try an antibiotic in an abundance of caution, but thinks maybe the X-ray simply showed something that isn't there.

Here's the deal, though. After two days of antibiotic, Otto started feeling better. After a week, I have my boy back. He runs around, plays ball, and is acting like his old self. He still limps on occasion, but two weeks ago he was dragging himself across the floor by his front legs.

How the hell does anything get a bone infection?

They've been absolutely crazy today.

Oh, come on guys, you're making me look bad now. They were playing, I swear.

I wound up doing some maintenance on my part of the Story Empire blog, and finished that. About an hour ago, I found even more to do there, but still consider it a win.

I also explored and joined a new app a friend told me about. Something called Triberr, but don't ask me anything about it just yet.

I finished the edits on a 5500 word short story for an anthology, and delivered the edited version to them.

Edits on the Yak Guy Project are finished. I'm going to put it aside for a while to work on other projects. Quite honestly, I'm thinking about submitting it to a publisher. I haven't submitted anything for years, but maybe the hybrid author is the way to go. Right now, I just need time to think about it all.

I got another five star review today for the Second Experimental Notebook. I need to write a third one of these, and they make a great side project. Not just yet though.

First I need more micro-fiction for October. I intended to write one today, but never got that far. I might rough one out while my ballgame is on.

Ah, here you go. See all happy today.

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Buster and Moo, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me in the studio today is a beautiful Jack Russel, Stafforshire cross known alternately as Buster and Moo. “Welcome to the show, and how would you like me to refer to you?”

“Is it okay to lick you, Lisa? I kind of have this thing about holding out my paw all the time and shaking it. Then if you don’t give me a treat I’m probably going to slobber into the microphone. What was the question? Oh, my name. Currently Moo.”

“How did you come to have two different names? Is one an alias of some kind?”

“Ha! Two names? I’ve had, let me see? Six? Maybe seven. There was the one my mother gave me, the one the guy who brought my dad to meet mum that time – she said he smelt of cardboard. Then… sorry, I do get distracted. The people who I was looking after last, before my latest move, called me Buster after the shape of my head being like some film character they liked. That was Sheri. Lovely b… oh sorry, nearly used the ‘b’ word. Female. She’s the only one who I understand, you know? Makes it clear what she wants and when she wants it. Tough, no messing about but clear. Not like her dog, sorry bloke, Dave. Right old temper he has. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a wrestle and a bit of tug of war but how am I meant to know when to stop if he doesn’t say? One minute it’s ‘go on boy, pull’ and then next he’s shouting and throwing me about. Means well but going away, prison, that didn’t help. Made him jealous too, you know? He eats this stuff she doesn’t like. Like icing sugar, up his snout. Weird and makes him all fizzing. They were getting to be a bit of trial, you know so when they said they had to move kennels and I couldn’t stay I wasn’t completely against the idea. I’ll miss them but not so much Dave, not until he calms down, yeah? Then I had to go to this place with cages and noise and it was hell.”

“That’s terrible, and it must be confusing for you. I hope you found some good pet parents to love you.”

“Pet parents? Yeah, I suppose that’s what they think but, Lisa, you have to understand that it’s my job to look after humans. They are just so away with the faeries, never focusing on the important stuff: food, walks, ear fondles, licks, tummy rubs and… did I mention food? Anyway, I was in this internment camp for a week when Landen and Mervin appeared. You could smell their problems a way off. To begin with Landen had a whiff of the Dave’s, you know what I mean? And Mervin was this gangly dreamer who never really says what he’s smelling. Mind you they have a great kennel with its own private park and loads of food – a bit dodge some of it, made me a touch gastric for a while until I sorted out what pate was – and their place is always warm. I knew straight away I had to work on Mervin – I mean you couldn’t feel his ribs, okay? Padded. She was off all the time, something funny to her smells. But walking Mervin was trial. I’d set off, you know, trying to get him to move, if we were ever going to shift his belly, and he’d be moaning at me to slow down but he was the one saying he needed the exercise. As I said, inconsistent, they weren’t like Sheri. I didn’t know what they wanted, really.”

“Wasn’t it better than with Sheri and Dave? Having someone home with you, and you get lots of nice walks, it’s warm, and good food.”

“Yes, but look then there was that thing, that meeting, Caused a lot of problems.”

“How?”

“He likes this park, with this big lake in it. Me too. There’s a café nearby we go to after and share a cake. I think he thinks it’s healthy if he gives me half and I ain’t complaining.. Sorry, drifting again. That’s when we met Sheri.”

“The Sheri who you lived with?”

“Exactly. She cleans in this posh house, on the edge of the park, not that I knew. One day Mervin’s sitting on a bench and I catch her scent. I’d know her from a mile a way. I know these humans get all possessive and worked up about kiddies and roads and all that but this was park, just grass and some gravel between me and her so I set off to say hello. It would be rude not to. I got under this gate and gave her the biggest kiss. Then she met Mervin, when he wanted me back and there was a fuss about the key to the gate and they had a cigarette, not that Mervin smelt of cigs before then and that caused problems with Landen. Mervin fancied Sheri, right off.”

“How do you know that, Moo? No, please don’t lick me.”

“We dogs can smell 240 times as many things as humans so smelling when someone wants a bit of rumpty isn’t hard. She smelt of bathrooms and he smelt of bedrooms. Ha. Joke, yeah?”

“You said it caused a problem? Did Mervin make a pass at her?”

“Make a pass? Goodness, do you read Mills and Boon? No, see Sheri got me to sit, as I would cos she’s like that and he asked for lessons, said he’d pay. She needs the money, right, given Dave found it hard to work being out of prison. So we had lessons, but she knew Dave wouldn’t understand, her with a strange bloke, being the jel sort. And he told Landen he was getting lessons for me but not who with nor that he fancied her, mainly because he wasn’t getting any at home because she was smelling of another dog, sorry bloke. Not that he knew cos he couldn’t smell it like I could.”

“What else can you smell?”

“That stuff Dave sticks up his schnozzle, yeah? Sheri taught me to tell her when I smelt that and other things Sheri didn’t like him using. Landen likes a bit of that, you know?”

“Did you say she was a lawyer? Maybe she had a client who used these naughty things?”

“Really Lisa? How often do you get out? I mean there’s the benefit of the doubt and all, but come on.”

“But wouldn’t Mervin know, if she was using?”

“He wasn’t the sort to notice, frankly, that’s why I had to look after him. That and stopping him getting into trouble with Sheri. You only had to look at his puppy face when he saw her to know what was going on in his head. Poor thing. It all got a bit complicated you see. When Dave found out about Mervin and Landen found out about Dave. Mervin did these leaflet things for Dave – he mended stuff – though Sheri didn’t tell Dave where she got them and Landen found one and called Dave who came round. Of course, I was only being polite when I jumped up at him and he threw me around but I could tell immediately they were both angry at their partners. Landen got all moody and started staying home, something about her job which Mervin didn’t believe. And then I stayed with Sheri for a bit – and Dave was in a right state. I thought I’d be back in that awful place with bars soon as they all started fighting with each other. Dave moved out and Landen had this amazing news, but Mervin wasn’t sure about it…”

“News?”

“They kept saying they mustn’t say so I won’t but it sort of changed everything. And then the police turned up, because of something she’d done, or not done, at work and she wouldn’t tell him and he got upset…”

“Oh my gosh, you poor baby. What are you going to do?”

“What I’m bred for, Lisa. To look after them and keep them together. It may take me the whole book but I will do my very best. “

“Let me give you a big old hug, and see if there are any treats left from Craig’s canine characters. Before we walk over to the cabin, do you have any closing thoughts for our listeners?”

“They’re like all humans, Lisa, just a bundle of complications which if they’d only lick each other a bit more and listen better then things wouldn’t have gotten to be so bad. They’re good people who make things difficult. But they can rely on me. Time for a lick?”

“You can read all about Moo’s conundrum in the book, Buster and Moo, by Geoff Le Pard. I’ll include all the pertinents on the website. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.

“Come on, Moo, let’s go find you a cookie.

“Oh, before I forget, please use the sharing buttons today to spread the word about Buster and Moo. I’m sure Geoff would appreciate it, and Moo would do it for your character when you’re on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Buster & Moo – Blurb

 

 

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

 

Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair with a colleague and then she becomes involved in a police investigation into alleged money laundering and drug dealing at her old firm. She tries desperately to keep the sordid truth from Mervin as events begin to spiral out of control.

 

As the four lives overlap and criss-cross the one constant is their shared love of the dog named Moo. But the problems mount up. While Sheri and Mervin grow close as they struggle to help each other, it is the unlikely alliance between Sheri and Landen that leads to the dramatic climax. However, there is only room for one hero in this story – who will it be?

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***

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

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This 30 story anthology covers many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015

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My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

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Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.

This is available here

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The saga of today

I've been waiting for some news all day. It never came, and so the post I had planned will have to wait for another time.

My wife works at a hospital, and her holiday time has to be shared. She got today off, but has to work tomorrow and Monday. My instructions were to entertain Otto, the dog, for a few hours so she could sleep in.

We had some degree of success with what I call poodle time. It involves him zoning out in my lap and leaving my poor wife her one day to sleep in.

I spent a little bit of time playing pumpkin ball, and since the squeaker has been tusked to death, it makes a quiet toy now. (There on the floor in the picture.)

The sun came up, but at five degrees it didn't seem to make much difference. The world was covered in pogonip. This is a Nevada/Indian word for what everyone else calls hoarfrost.

It really is beautiful, and I spotted a great horned owl in one of the trees around town. I couldn't get a shot of him without too many branches in the way, so you'll have to imagine how wonderful it was. The screens at the local baseball diamond were like thin sheets of ice twenty feet tall.

We decided to spoil Otto by taking him to the pet store. He chose a couple of squeaky bones, and a furry football. Then we stopped by Whole Foods and my wife grabbed a pair of lobsters.

Quiet night indoors for us. New Years Eve has been called amateur night by many, and it's a good time to stay off the roads.

I got a new X-Box for Christmas, and we decided to play with it tonight. Not much fun there. Umpteen jillion megabite downloads are required, and it's been pretty useless so far. I've never owned a gaming system before, so this came as a surprise. Then the controller needed an update, then each game needs an update…boring.

I managed a bit of short fiction, and that has to count as my victory today. That's only a writing victory, and the dog, the pogonip, the nice dinner with my wife are bigger victories.

Hope you are all having a nice New Year's celebration, and be careful out there.

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Trying to get things done

Today was a reasonable day to get things done, I just didn't get as much accomplished as I'd like. I always start off with social media, and I may have lingered there a little too long.

I wound up with about 2000 new words on The Yak Guy Project. I know it isn't all that much, and if I would just force myself I would get more accomplished. Still, I moved it past the 50,000 word mark. This part is kind of fun, because Yak Guy, who goes by Ted is showing some real growth. He's focused on things beyond himself, and taking some genuine risks in the process. Let's face it, at the 50K mark he should have grown a bit by now.

I can tell that I've moved out of the middle muck that I mention on occasion. Getting between the index cards is going to be a lot easier from this point on. As far as the Fool's Journey, I'm about to have him face the strength card. I'm not going to hit it very hard, but he's going to face an obstacle that's always been there in the background. He'll do some things that reflect some of the imagery in the card. I think this one should be more of a demonstration than deep reflection for Ted.

After that, I'm going to have to make some deviations. The whole tarot thing is fun, but for the sake of story, I need to shuffle the deck a little. I need to move the Hanged Man forward, and possibly the Wheel of Fortune. Then there is Justice. I have a character who fits the imagery perfectly, but I don't know if her lesson is required for the sake of the story. Looks like I need to do a bit of research before charging past the Strength card. If I include Justice at all, it needs to weave into the story the right way.

What do you think? Am I deviating from my personal challenge, or making it work? In other words, am I cheating?

I also finished one of my baseball short stories. It ended sooner than what I had planned, but there is a sportscast next that explains some of what happened. I'm going to draw some connections to how spin gets put on a story by the media, lawyers, social media, etc. The sportscast will also have some reflections about human nature as far as competitiveness goes.

In other news, my mother bought Otto a reindeer costume when she was here. It's kind of absurd, and every dog I've ever owned would have chewed this thing to ribbons in short order. Otto likes the damned thing, and whines to have us put it on him. He's a special soul, and nothing like any dog I've ever owned. I've had a lot of bully breeds, but never a 100% pure bulldog before. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a picture of reindeer Otto.

The hood doesn't stay up very long, but it really makes him happy.

Sounds like we are having date night tonight, because Old What's her Face has some commitments tomorrow. We have a ton of errands to run during the day too. Hmm, could be some writing opportunity in there tomorrow night. Sometime this weekend, I have to work up critique submissions for my group. We meet on Tuesday night after work. Maybe I should do that tomorrow night.

This might be the last chance to remind you all to vote. This blog, Entertaining Stories, was nominated as blog of the year by the Rave Reviews Book Club. My novel, The Playground, was nominated as book of the year. Voting is open to the general public, and I'm up against some tough competition in both categories. Here is the link if you're so inclined. Vote Here!

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