About Me

On September 1, 2010 my sweet little muppethead, KiraDog, died. She was diagnosed with Cushings disease in November 2009 and it finally gave way to heart disease and liver failure. I knew I needed another dog to fill the void in my heart and my home so I worked with Furbaby Rescue (where Kira came from) and was gently encouraged to meet a particular dog in need of a forever home. On September 10, 2010 I adopted Conor. . . . This is his story.

About Me (and really, when you think about it, it IS all about ME):

Conor: Gender: Masculine; Usage: Irish, English, Irish Mythology; Pronounced: KAHN-…ôr (English): Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar which means "dog lover" or "wolf lover" also "lover of hounds". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings.

Hi everyone!

My name is Conor. Well, it used to be Bumper but my mom thought it was as silly name (and in a way, so did I) for a grown-up puppy so she re-named me Conor. Conor, now that's a good strong manly-man Irish name, don't you think? I'm quite proud of it myself :-)

Anyway, I'm a "Liver" coloured Shih Tzu and I was about 2 1/2 years old when I was adopted (Mom says my Birthday is July 4, 2008! She's not 100% sure of the right date, but that's the day she picked). I have allergies and have to be careful (pfft!) about what I eat - no wheat, grains, or beef allowed. I'm a rambunctious guy who always seems to find trouble, er...toys, to play with. I like watching the world around me from my perch in the kitchen bay window and love my mom to bits - and even though he didn't really like me much, I also miss SirWillyCat a little.

Characters in my life:

  • Aunt Jo and Uncle Dale: Mom and Aunt Jo have been friends for almost 30 years, since high school. Aunt Jo is a pet person and raised both her kids to love animals. Uncle Dale, having grown up on a farm, had to be converted a little bit.
  • Aunt Diane: Mom's friend and (retired) co-worker. Aunt Diane lives a few doors away from us and we sometimes go to her place for a visit.
  • Miss Eleni: Founder of Furbaby Rescue
  • Miss Nicole: A Furbaby adopter who has two puppers to call her own. She lives in a different town, but close enough to mom they could visit (if their schedules ever let them!) Miss Nicole loves hearing my stories :-)
  • Miss Vanja: Met mom through Furbaby Rescue. They haven't met in person 'cause she lives far away.
  • VetLady: Dr. I. Elizabeth Borgmann, founder of the Whatcom Road Veterinary Clinic
  • Willy: (aka SirWillyCat): Adopted January 7, 1994. Willy died on January 24, 2011. He was 17 1/2 years old.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I didn't title this post 'cause I'm not sure how I would describe this week.

The day after Willy died mom called the petcare place that took care of Kira and was able to bring him directly to them, as opposed to going through the Vet.  The same man who helped mom with Kira also helped her with Willy and told mom to come back in an hour to pick him up.  I went with mom to the place and met the man - though mom says I'm not allowed to meet him again for At Least 10 years!

Mom was sad, though she didn't cry very much.  I got worried when she started to cry and made it Very Clear I was going to do whatever it took to make her stop.  Whew!  She stopped after a few minutes.  Willy is home now so mom isn't as sad anymore.

Tuesday night mom tried to tell me I wasn't allowed on the bed just because Willy wasn't there any more.


"Conor, get off the bed"  "Conor!  Get Off The Bed."  "CONOR!  I'm talking to you!"

Lalalalalalala I can't heeeeeear you - Iz sleeping!!

*heavy sigh*

"Oh Conor...OK, just for tonight then."

Mom finally relented and realized she was fighting a losing battle trying to keep me from protecting her at night.  So she used an old sheet for yours truly to curl up on.

We're now five days into our new routine.  While mom gets ready for bed I hop up and wait at the bottom of the bed while she crawls in.  Then I go to the top of the bed and tuck my head on the pillow.  At this point mom reaches over and scruffs my head.  I roll ever so slightly and get belly rubs (!!) then mom says good night, gives me a kiss, then we go to sleep.  Mom usually finds me pressed up against her hip in the mornings.

This weekend mom washed my NicoleBlankey and she said she's going to put it on the bed for me so I have my own space.  HA!  The whole bed is my own space, mom (or at least, it is when you're not looking...)

Also this weekend mom washed the last of Willy's stuff, his litter box, blankey, food/water stations, etc.  Mom is giving the litter and food to her friend who has six (6!!) cats (holy crap, that's a lot of cats!)  She packed the other stuff all away 'cause she might get another cat some day.  Now, when Kira died mom got me 2 weeks later.  So when her friends were asking if she would get another cat, even though she said no, they all smirked and said, "yeah right!"  So mom said she may get one again, but not right now 'cause she's talking about moving again and says it's easier with only one pet to worry about.

So this week I've tried to be on my best behaviour knowing mom is sad.  I've been cuddling her and giving loves - OH!  I'm allowed in Willy's old room now!  Now that his food and the 'truffle treat box' is gone, that is.

One last thing - the sun came out today and made the outdoors all shiny and bright so we went for a super-long "Let's Go!"  Over an hour and we got to play in the park!  There were kids there and they're moms let them play with me - oh, did I ever have FUN!  I chased, I ran, I jumped up, I barked, and finally, I rolled and rolled in the grass.  Mom kept a 10' lead on me but let go so I could run and jump to my hearts content.  When it was time to head home, she called me over and guess what?  I ran over to mom and jumped right into her arms :-D  She clipped my leash on and then we went home.  I was sooooo tired when we got home I could barely make it up the stairs to flop on the sofa.  Have no fear, I made it, though :-)

Last shots of Willy.  Mom knew he was dying and wanted to capture some last memories.  I also knew he wasn't doing well and when he started meowing, I had to protect my big brother and keep an eye on mom to make sure she wasn't hurting him.  Mom also has some video of giving him scritches - right up until he died he loved his scritches!  This was taken on January 23, the day before he died:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mom haz a sad :-(

And now we are two.

SirWillyCat died last night.

But mom says even though she's sad, it's OK 'cause she got to hold him and love him and pet him in his favourite places (side of the face, mostly) and she sang this silly little song to him as he died.

Willy was 17 1/2 years old, pretty gosh darn old for a kitty!  So for that mom is grateful.  I tried hard to be Willy's buddy, but he always hissed at me.  That's OK, perseverance started to pay off when he let me touch noses a few weeks ago.  I think he knew I just wanted to be a friend when I didn't bark or try to chase him.  Mom says he tolerated my presence, that must mean he loved me too!  I mean, there were presents involved, amiright?

I got to sleep on the bed with mom last night afterward.  She needed me close by.  I'm glad I could help her.  This morning I kept looking for Willy then mom took out the carrier (Willy was safely elsewhere overnight) and now we're going to the Vet.  Mom says he'll be home in a few days to lay on the shelf above Kira.

Mom says she's OK, sad, but OK.  Grateful he died at home and that he wasn't alone when he did go, that is was very peaceful and calm.

But...now we are two.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Toy Box: I'm a toy. In a box.

Dr. Drew?  Dr, Phil?  I think I need BoxHab.

One by one the toys come out, sometimes mom plays with them, sometimes no.  For some reason she won't throw my pigs' hoof chew.  I really wish she would but all she does is jump and yelp when I drop it by on, er...by her feet.  I decided enough was enough with mom always putting the toys back in the box (it's a lot of work pulling them out one at a time, y'know!) that I finally found a way stop her:

I put myself in the box!!!

See mom , now you HAVE to play with me!!!!!

On a much sadder note, after watching Willy deteriorate rather quickly over the past week, I left a message with the Vet.  I think it's time.  He's practically skin and bone, stopped eating (though he will still eat beef jerky, but not even his soft food) and stopped using the litter box.  He's been having accidents and "senior" moments.  I've been cutting out mats, but as soon as I do, another one surfaces and the hair hasn't grown back.  When he walks, he favors one side and stumbles.  I'm thinking it will be this week sometime.

But as much as I know I will cry and be upset, he IS 17 1/2 years old (roughly 86 in human years) and I've had him since he was 6 months old.  I got him a few months after I moved to Edmonton, Alberta from Victoria, BC.  When I moved into my first apartment in Edmonton in November 1993, there was a 9% vacancy rate in the city so they didn't care if you had a horse, so long as the place was occupied and paying rent.  I high-tailed it to the SPCA after Christmas to get a pet.  Cats were OK then.  I've had him with every every move: 7 (!!) addresses, two provinces, heck, I had him before I started my career and now I'm past the halfway mark to retirement!  I was 25 when I got him, now I'm into my 40's.  He's seen relationships come and go; only one he ever really accepted.  Friends and neighbours, 2 dogs, one sofa, a mattress, and at least 4 scratching posts...

But he's a old man now and I think the time has come for SirWillyCat to find a sunbeam under the rainbow and wait.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lifetime Guarantee?

So, mom wears these old sheep skin slippers she got over 15 years ago from a store that specializes in Australian stuff and had a Lifetime Guarantee.  Until they met me.  Mom says that means they are indestructible.


To me, that's a challenge.

Sometimes when mom is walking I try to snag the slippers.  This does not go over too well in our house.  When mom has had enough of me trying to trip her, she'll sit on the floor and let me play with her feet.

(Sorry it's so dark - mom didn't have a lot of lights on and forgets the camera needs a little more light)

The evidence and the guilty:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Finally!  It snowed and snowed and snowed some more last night - must be tons and tons of it out there!  Mom now realizes that I love snow; I love rolling in it, eating it, stomping around in it, just...just...well, it's snow, what's not to love???  Oh yeah.  Shoveling.  But I can help with that, too!

In the between time, I had to trail blaze a new path to the best potty spot in the back yard.  Because it's already starting to melt away, the back yard kinda looked like a puckered quilt.

I know there's a flat spot around here somewhere...there was last night when I came out!

Now that I'm here, how da heck do I gets over there?

This stuff is so deep it's freezin' my dingleberry!  How can I pee with a frozen dingleberry?

Here's a video clip of me trying to get back to the door to come inside - but then I got sidetracked by all the snow...again.  Mom said she darn near missed her whole TV show while I played around in the snow:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Foot is all better....I think

Mom woke up this morning to get ready for work and then wrapped a blankey around herself and curled up on the couch whiel she waited for the coffee to brew.  She said she feels yucky, not like she has a bad cold or anything, but probably the beginnings of one.  She ended up staying home today.  That's OK, it was a treat having mom home all day and I curled up with her while she napped this afternoon.

Mom checked out my foot tonight after her nap.  She said whatever it was that hurt like heck on Friday night must be gone now 'cause it looks normal and I hardly squirmed at all when she ran her thumb through my toes.  She already took that darn cone off at night but made me wear it during the day.  Now she said she's going to leave it off 'cause so far as she concerned, my foot is fine.  We'll see if she's right.

We're not going for "Let's Go!"'s yet - mom wants to wait a few days to make sure everything is OK.  That, and it's kinda cold outside.  Well, not terribly cold like in the rest of the country, but cold enough that the snow that fell a week ago hasn't gone away.  And it's icy, which may aggravate my sore foot.  When I go in the back yard I play a little in the snow; it's like a perpetual plain flavoured Slurpee!

OH!  forgot to tell you I gets mah teeth brushed every night now!  I don't like the brush in my mouth, but I do like the taste of the paste mom uses.  I lick my chops like crazy afterward, you know, to make sure I get every drop of the paste.  Not because I like how smooth and fresh my teeth feel.

Mom saw Aunt Diane last night.  I wasn't allowed to go visit 'cause she was getting ready for a trip.  I'm kinda sad 'cause I really like Aunt Diane and now she's gone for a while :-( .  Mom told me to stop being sad 'cause it's not like she's never coming back and that I'll be able to see her again soon.  I sure hope so.  :-(((

So, my foot appears to be OK, my teeth get scrubbed almost-daily, and Aunt Diane left me.  NEver a dull moment in my world :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Something hurts really really bad, mom.  My foot hurts so much I can't even walk on it, just let it dangle beside me as I tripod down the stairs to greet you after work.

Needless to say, I freaked out when I saw what greeted me after work tonight.  Conor normally runs down the stairs and barks up a storm until I come through the door from the garage.  Tonight I saw him leave the upstairs window and head down...but no barking.  I thought that was odd then when I came in the house, he was holding his back right leg straight out.  I thought he was stretching, but then he tried to walk towards me and the leg was just dangling there, swaying as he stumbled then fell.

I immediately checked him, then picked him up and checked the leg.  No blood, no evidence of a cut or gash, and the leg wasn't broken but when I touched the pads he flipped out.  I ran upstairs, called the Vet and was able to bring him in right away (30 minute drive, though).  Now, Dr. Borgmann wasn't able to find out what exactly it was, but when she shaved his feet and spread his pads, the blood started flowing.  I'm pretty sure it's a sliver of some kind.  The other night when on our walk there was a pile of glass on the road, like a car window had been broken into.  We gave the glass shards a wide berth but I suspect he got a sliver of glass in his foot anyway.  Dr. Borgmann thinks if that's what it is, quite likely he's been licking his foot and made it worse.

So, $113.17 later and Conor is wearing a cone collar and I have fancy medicine gel to jam into his foot 2-3 times a day.  A good chat with Vanja helped calm me down.  The Vet said insofar as emergencies go, this one was pretty minor - But I said how would I know that?  So far as I was concerned for all I knew he had a stroke and was partially paralyzed, or a sprained leg, or whatever...not a sliver that may work it's way out on it's own in a few days.

Oh, one thing that did come out of it is the Vet checked his teeth and two of the front ones on the bottom are loose and he has tartar build up.  I have to brush his teeth every day now.  I had to with Kira so I already have the doggy toothpaste and a spare compact head soft bristle brush.

Screw you mom!  I have a freakin' cone on my head!

So apparently I can't be trusted to keep my foot clean and dry to let the medicine work - I have to wear a plastic bag on my foot when I go outside to pee.  Mom takes it off when we're inside, though.

So screw you mom, I have a freakin' bag on my leg!

Screw you mom!  I have a freakin' cone on my head!

And a freakin' bag on my leg!

The paw in question.

The pads are swollen and there is still some residual bleeding when I put the gel between the pads so there is certainly something in there.  I hope whatever it is works it's way out on its own.

Now, onto something completely different:

Today, January 7, is Willy's 17 year adopt-i-versary!  17 years ago today I adopted him from the Edmonton SPCA.  The card said he was 5-6 months old so he's 17 1/2 now.  He is certainly aging and is fading.  I kind of figured this past Christmas was our last one together, but I take comfort in the fact he's had a very long and healthy life, longer than I ever thought when I adopted him!  I remember thinking, well, 13-14 years tops, maybe...never thought I would have him for 17 years!  He's been a constant comfort and no matter where I've lived or what I've been doing, he's always been there.  I remember when he was 8 my friend (Jamie) described him as a 'geriatric' cat.  I thought, WTF?  He's only 8!  But apparently that makes him a senior citizen...wonder what she would say, now that he's more than twice that today!!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

As promised...

Here are a few Christmas pictures:

I waited (patiently) on mom's lap while everyone opened their pressies.

Aunt Diane made up my very own TURKEY dinner platter!!!!!

Aunt Diane got mom a pressie too, chocolate and puppy towels!

  We went back over to Aunt Diane's the next day and even more TURKEY (!!) then I crawled onto mom's lap while she napped - I just adore my mom :-)


Happy 2011 to everyone!  Happy 01 01 '11 :-)

It's the beginning of a whole new year and I made mom stay up well past midnight.  It's 1:41 a.m. and now it's time for bed.  Mom played Nintendo (Original, I might point out) all day and now her hands are sore.  Actually, the right one looks like a witches claw.  Looks painful, mom.  Dumbass.  Betcha it doesn't hurt nearly as much if you spent all that time playing with me instead!

Upcoming events:

Mom says my feet are "icky" with dirt so I get a mani-pedi tomorrow.
It's Willy's Adopt-i-versary next week, on the 7th.

OK, ok, mom, I know your wrists hurt...bedtime for you then!