Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture, except without any pictures of Sheba or Nina

Well, Sheba's run of twenty vomit-free days came to an end this week, on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. On the one hand, this is a new record, but on the other, we were really kind of hoping for longer. Maybe the baby mice she found and ate on Tuesday morning's walk didn't agree with her, or maybe it was the sponge she tore apart on Monday (she didn't get all of it, or even very much of it, but I doubt the pieces we recovered afterward would have been enough to reconstruct the entire original sponge), or maybe we just went a little overboard with the treats Tuesday night. The treats thing seems most likely, but I have to explain that one by way of a story.

Parodia microsperma. Was tagged P. herzogii, but says that's a synonym for P. microsperma.

The husband and I were going to go to Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, because I hadn't been to Frontier in a while, and I needed clay pots. Once we got to Iowa City, though, the "CHECK ENGINE" light came on, and it suddenly seemed like a bad idea to go all the way to Cedar Rapids, so we decided not to. I bought pots at Lowe's and my ex-work, as well as *coughcoughcough* some plants (Agave, Mammillaria, Parodia; photos throughout the post). Then we stopped at the grocery store so I could buy some cactus-repotting tongs -- 'cause you gotta have cactus-repotting tongs -- and when I got back in the car, I suggested that we stop by the animal shelter.

It wasn't that I wanted to get another dog; the shelter is on the way home, and I wanted to check up on Fervor. I can't exactly explain why. I just did. So we went.

Any guesses as to the ID on this Agave? I'm inclined to say it's a variegated A. attenuata, but that's mostly because it's the main Agave I know without marginal spines -- the leaves don't seem wide enough to be attenuata.

He was still there. Got very excited when we paid attention to him, talking to him through the cage and stuff. I stuck my hand through and rubbed his stomach (neither I nor the husband could remember him rolling over for stomach rubs when he was living with us), and he jumped around and wanted to play and all that. I'd been fairly certain, the last time I'd seen him, that he remembered us, but I was less sure about that this time -- I mean, maybe he did, but it's also possible that after five months in the shelter, he'd have been just as thrilled with attention from a total stranger. I don't know.

I hadn't really planned on staying a long time, and I didn't want to have them go to the trouble of getting him out, especially since I knew there was no chance we could adopt him, but the temptation was there. (The husband and I found out after we left that we'd both been thinking well maybe we could take him and he could just live outside some of the time, or maybe the allergy thing wouldn't be such a big deal now that he's not shedding anymore, or endless variations on surely there's some way we could make it work. . . .)

Anyway. So I went in and asked the shelter people whether anybody had even applied to adopt him since we'd brought him back, whether there had been any interest.

Mammillaria elongata 'Pink Nymph,' according to the tag.

And no. It turns out that there has not. In six weeks. So then I felt kind of awful again.

The point of relating this story -- or at least the first reason, because I think there are two -- is that then when we got home, finally, we may have over-doted on Sheba a little, which makes very little rational sense but seemed like the thing to do, emotionally. The emotional logic, I think, was that if we couldn't take care of Fervor, then we'd take extra-super-good care of Sheba. You know, like, love-her-'til-she-pukes kind of good care.

Which in this case turned out to be literal.

Plus I'd given her a couple treats when we left, as an apology for leaving, so it seems likely that the treats are, and maybe always have been, a lot of the problem.

And the second point is, if you're in or near Johnson County, Iowa, and you're looking for a really big but basically well-behaved and sweet dog, I can recommend one. And if you're not looking for a dog, perhaps you ought to be? Maybe? Think about it? I'm really not going to rest easy until someone adopts him.

Fervor, who the shelter people insist on calling "Jebediah." Picture from 16 Mar 2010.


Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

You're a softie, Mr. S., and very kind. Poor Fervor; I do hope he ends up in a really good home soon. I've grown rather fond of him just by reading about him on your blog. It saddens me that he's still at the shelter :(

telipogon said...

Not Agave attenuata, that one. A. attenuata has no terminal spines either, and as you rightly pointed out, the leaves aren't wide enough. My bet would be A. sisalana, though that's a complete shot in the dark. It's rather difficult to ID them while they are young.

mr_subjunctive said...



Tigerdawn said...

Is Sheba picky about treats? For most dogs, the simple fact that you are giving them something to eat is the best thing to ever happen. Even if it is their normal kibble. The doting and excitement and love is the most important part in my opinion. Food is just icing on the cake.

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, after looking through every single Agave page at that had photos, I'm thinking A. desmettiana, maybe? Some plants don't have marginal spines, they all have terminal spines, and the shape is at least approximately the same.

Also can't rule out A. sisalana, though I lean toward desmettiana. It's one or the other of them, though, because nothing else fits.

I am also left with a ferocious desire to acquire more Agaves.


No, she's not especially picky, and I've started keeping some of the regular dry food in my office so I can reward her if she does anything particularly cool. The issue is more that we bought a whole bunch of different kinds a long time ago, either for Fervor or for the husky, and the husband has been bribing her into the crate at night with one particular one of these. It's looking like she can have one of these before bed with no problem, but if we give her three in a single day then she'll puke the last one back up. And one of the other types was also a problem, previously. She may just have an easily-upset stomach.

Anonymous said...

So I looked at my partner, and he looked at me . . . rescue dogs are absolutely my soft spot. Makes no sense since I can barely walk at the moment, but darn it I wish. May Fervor find a loving home and give some family as much joy as my rescues have done me. May the Great Dog Spirit in the Sky look down on Fervor and Do Good.

Jenn said...

Check your treats. Are you using a packaged treat? There is still concern regarding any food item that comes from Chinese manufacture... so if the treat bag doesn't tell you where it was MADE (or disguises the source with some sort of 'distributed by' label) toss them and find something made elsewhere.

I don't trust Chinese greed-mongers not to put melamine and lead in everything they touch. After all, they killed off a bunch of their own country's babies with melamine laced baby formula, what do they care about our pets?

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Oh dear, I wish Fervor would get adopted soon.
Agaves and all succulents would be good plants for you, Mr. S, because they don't need much water and you won't have to drag them over to your watering station very often.

Unknown said...

My dad's dog (black lab) has a sensitive stomach and throws up. It turns out the trigger is small amounts of rich or very appealing food. Both those things have to combine to cause the problem. So a few rich treats on an empty stomach will do it (especially some brands) and licking the bottom of a pot of chicken livers on an empty stomach will do it, but a full meal along with those things won't. A crust of bread on an empty stomach is fine. Maybe that helps?