Hot Dog, Cooling Off #haiku

Petey is almost the perfect dog – almost. Good with people, kids, other animals. Minds well (most of the time), doesn’t chew on or tear stuff up. He is lovable, loyal, and fun. But he can’t resist the temptation to escape from our fenced yard; no matter many how places we fix, he finds or makes new escape routes. 

He is also very averse to the heat. But has no inhibitions on cooling himself in the most convenient – if not dirty – place he can find. He demonstrated that, which brings him down to almost perfect, this afternoon after a run around the yard – outside the fence of course – and then taking a nice “dip” to cool himself before coming back inside. 

Yeah, he earned himself a bath post-dip. 

little dog not made
to take the heat of summer
run to mud puddle

Quickly Stop Bleeding Dog Nails: a pet grooming tip

For years I’ve done all the grooming on our dogs. The last year or so my wife has begun to help since it can be quite a task on me. But she won’t touch toenail clippers; she doesn’t even like to be home when it’s that time. Why? Because of the risk of cutting the nail too short, into the quick, and causing it to bleed. It is at least slightly painful to the dog and fairly stressful for them and you. The bleeding, depending on the dog and the cut, may stop fairly quickly and easily by holding pressure on it with a cotton cloth or the like. But more often than not its good to take more than that to stop the bleeding; thankfully the pain seems to stop long before the blood. 

Although I’ve done this for years (I was a manager at a pet store in my early 20’s and cut a lot of cat and dog nails and trimmed more than a few bird nails and beaks) I still am a bit apprehensive about cutting my dogs nails despite my experience doing it. Even though I hate to hurt any animal, I really hate to cause pain to my own “fur kids”! Usually I can accomplish the task without incident but there are still the occasional mishaps, like happened this week, prompting this post. 

Before I go any further I want to make a couple of points. 

  • If you are not comfortable doing this don’t do it! Pay a professional to do it for you; you’ll save yourself more in stress and angst than the monetary cost. 
  • I am not claiming I invented this idea. I came up with it and have been using it for years. But that doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t had the same (bright) idea.
  • I only use scissor-style clippers. The guillotine-style are more apt to crush/break the nail making main or bleeding an even greater risk. 
    Scissor-style nail clippers

    Scissor-style nail clippers


There are products on the market made specifically to stop the bleeding caused my cutting into the quick (or there were years ago). When I worked at the pet store we sold and used styptic powder. It is essentially a powdered form of the styptic pencil men (and women I reckon) use to stop the bleeding after they cut themselves while shaving; the pencil burns – I know from my own use – so I assume the powder does, too, though it only does so for a short time.

One day at the pet shop I cut the quick on on of our puppies whose nails I was trimming. We happened to be out of styptic powder, both in our grooming supplies and on the shelves. And this pup would not stop bleeding no matter how long we help pressure on it or what we used to do so. Suddenly I had an idea: Superglue! It was used in combat situations to close wounds and by sports trainers so why not try it on the pup?

After a quick walk down a few storefronts (we were in a shopping mall) to a dollar store I brought the superglue back to where the pup was and got ready to try out my idea. I cleaned the blood off with a clean paper towel and then applied one drop of the glue on the tip of the bleeding nail. I then quickly applied pressure to the glue with a cotton ball for about 20 seconds. After the short wait I gently peeled the cotton ball off, leaving a small piece “glued” to the end of the nail. No more bleeding! The idea had worked just as I’d hoped. And I’ve been using it for 20+ years since.  

Superglue and a cotton ball

Superglue and a cotton ball

 There are a couple more points to keep in mind when using this tip.

  • Be prepared. Have the superglue and a cotton ball or three ready, at your disposal, in case you need them. If you’re not ready you’ll end up in a frenzy, searched for the needed supplies, and cause yourself and your dog more anxiety.
  • Have the glue tube opened and be cautious as you do this. Gluing your finger to the dog is not as fun as it sounds. Funny, yes; fun, no.
  • Superglue dries in the absence of oxygen by a chemical reaction (feel free to search the interwebs if you want to know more the specific details of the reaction). This reaction produces heat so only use as little as you habit to; one or two drops should be plenty. I once accidentally got a big glob on my thumb and then squeezed my index finger against it and this produced a lot of heat, enough to hurt and leave a blister! So, again, use it sparingly.
  • Use regular superglue, not gel.  The gel, I my experience, is easier to over apply and makes more heat. 
  • And buy a brand name; you don’t want to “chance” how a generic brand may react, not working well or worse causing more heat reaction, and possible pain. 

As with any first aid-type situation it’s better to have the needed items (and know how to use them) and never need them than to need them just once and not have them (or know how/be prepared to use them).

I hope this idea and article are helpful to you. If you choose to cut your pet’s nails there’s a good chance you’ll have occasion to use it. 

Family collage

What is Bliss?

Bliss, not a word that I use particularly often. What is bliss? Well, I reckon it depends on who’s answering the question. According to the dictionary bliss is:

supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment:
wedded bliss.
Theology. the joy of heaven.
heaven; paradise:
the road to eternal bliss.
Archaic. a cause of great joy or happiness.

A cursory search for #bliss on Twitter turned up many different ideas by many different folks, such as these:

And that is only a few examples.

Christmas Day 2014

Family photo from Christmas Day 2014

Family collage

A collage of the family.

To be honest, I don’t think I have really ever thought about it before now. There are several things that come to mind and almost all of them involve my family. There’s no doubt that some of my happiest memories/occasions occur with/around them.

Then there are our “fur kids”, whose company brings me a lot of joy and company. And also a good number of laughs – and sloppy dog-kisses!

Our fur kids

Clockwise from top left- Gypsy, Jack, Petey, and Morkie, who’s crossed the Rainbow Bridge now.

But let me be honest, no matter how much I love and enjoy my family, furry and non-furry alike, there are times when they cause angst, interruption, and general chaos. And if you don’t ever feel similarly some times you’re either a much better person than I am – or a fibber! LOL

After considering the given definition and the varied posts and tweets I saw I am all the more affirmed in my theory that the answer is very relative. However it doesn’t answer the question “What is bliss to me?”  I think my answer would have to be the me time I get.

Haiku photo collage

A few of the haiga you’ll find on the blog.

Several mornings a week a wake to an (almost) empty house; the dogs and I don’t work or go to school. 🙂  It’s on these mornings I have my time, time of reflection, time of meditation, time of, well, bliss I reckon. Weather permitting, I’ll load up a pipe, brew a fresh cup of coffee, and head outside to our covered deck. Here I enjoy my pipe, my coffee, and the sights and sounds of Creation. This is the time I connect with God, in prayer and meditation and through the study of His Word. It is also the time when I write, edit, or come up with ideas for writing, be it poems, haiku, lessons. etcetera, this is when most of it happens.These precious hours, filled with quiet contemplation, just me and the Lord, this is my bliss.

My pipe, coffee, and writing; a blissfill morning

My idea of bliss: quiet time with my pipe, coffee, and God.

Morkie: Tanka Tribute

It’s hard to believe
Five years since you had to leave
You’re missed every day
Thankful for the time we had
And for the memories glad

I was so upset the day I had to take my little buddy Morkie to be put to sleep I couldn’t recall the exact date; it was on March19, 2010 (I looked up the post I’d made when we lost him to know for sure). But I vividly remember the day he came into our lives – September 5, 2000. 

He had been sent to the shelter some months earlier; his owners were old folks and when one died the other went into a “home” and Morkie and his sister went to the pound. His sister was adopted but Mork wasn’t. A few days before his “time was up” one of the workers called a rescue group about an hour away and they saved him. 

At that time I was doing some volunteer website work for the rescue. During a batch of updates I came across Mork’s photo and bio and left him off the update list, opting instead to show him to my wife. His bio said he was older, seven at least, and hated men and could be a little snappy. But we liked him. 

I called the lady that ran the rescue, Theresa, and she tried to talk me out of coming to see him: he hates men, especially balding ones (should I have been hurt by that comment? LOL) and had already been adopted and returned – twice! I said we’d be there to see him in person the next day. 

It was a solid hour drive to get to the rescue and we were all excited to meet Morkie: me, my wife and two kids. Theresa met us at the door and warned us again about how he was and how she was concerned it just wasn’t going to work; I simply told her he hadn’t met the right family yet – he hadn’t met us!

We went inside and saw him cowering in a far corner; Theresa has a dozen or more cats waiting to be adopted and he looked like they’d take a swipe or three at him. I sat down about six feet from him, gently laid my cane aside – another concern she had – and reached my hand toward him. It took about two minutes before he came to me, gave me a good sniff-over, and sat right at my feet. I petted him gently, all while Theresa stood with her mouth agape in astonishment. He came home to his forever home that day. 

Morkie had a good 10 years with us, doing whatever he pleased, whenever he pleased, which wasn’t much. But he sure enjoyed plopping himself in one of our laps and being petted so that was his primary activity. 

Mork had what we think was a stroke one night around 10:00; he was a pitiful sight that long, dreadful night. I stayed up with him all night, holding, petting and talking to him. And crying because I knew it would be our last. 

In the morning I took him to the vet. There was nothing to do but let him go peacefully; he had suffered enough and wouldn’t last much longer as it was. The vet asked if I wanted to be with him when he “did it”; I didn’t even pause to think before I told him, “Of course I do, he deserves that”. Holding him, saying we would be going home soon seemed to comfort Morkie; he knew what it meant when we were out and I told him it was “time to go home”. And soon he was home again, for the last time. But not before a long, tear filled time spent in “the room” after he was gone. 

All this came rushing to my mind as I read about the newest Carpe Diem challenge “experience” last night. From seeing Morkie’s photo and bio to wrapping him for burial, he gave me quite a few experiences, running the gambit from funny to very sad. This is one of the last photos I took of Morkie; he always “chased the sun” moving about to nap in the sunshine, as he was doing here.  



We have three dogs, all of which are part of our family. Each one has his/her own unique personality and “quirks”, if you will, not unlike people really. Yesterday I wrote about Jack, our “middle” dog; today you’ll meet Petey.

Our youngest dog is Petey; he’s a Shih Tzu and is about four years old now; we found him as a pup, running loose in heavy traffic, and quite literally rescued him. Since no one came forward to claim him he ended up staying with us.

Petey is really a great dog – with one glaring exception: He likes to escape from our fenced in yard by digging and then sliding under the fence. And he has almost an innate ability to know when it is time for us to leave and he does his best to turn a “potty break” into an escape every single time; talk about frustrating!

Earlier today I began to write a haiku about his irritating habit. As luck would have it, I later saw that this week’s primer at Haiku Horizons was “free”! Coincidence? I think not. Here’s my 17-syllable description of Petey’s way of getting free at the worst of times:

He knows it’s time now
As we prepare to depart
Out the door he darts

Sometimes he gives in and comes home before we leave, sometimes we trick him into it. And other times he’s too smart and hardheaded to get so we find him sitting on the stoop out front by the door waiting patiently for us on our return, which seems to be some kind of victory for him, from the way he acts. What a dog, that Petey!