December 27, 2006

Happy Holidays!


We have a new holiday tradition here at Casa wormie/Lola: the Christmas Cayman (or, if you prefer, the Noel-igator). You can see it under there under the tree (it was Lola's present this year).

Please note that it is not a Christmas Crocodile.


note: I'm sorry this is a little late - I *thought* I had posted it on Christmas Day, but I guess not.

December 21, 2006

Parking is a Serious Issue...

...even at the doggie dermatologist.

Parking in the Southland


December 06, 2006

Deck the dog...

...with faux holly, Fa-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. :)

Lola's holiday collar

Lola has new holiday collar ($5.50 at Old Navy).
And, no, Lola has not gone punk - the shaved patch is from her allergy skin test last week.

Note: I couldn't use the flash b/c it's reflective...and I was too tired to get perfect focus.

November 28, 2006

What are you thinking, Little Girl?

Deep Thoughts

Note: This picture is pre-allergies. She's on a new medication for her allergies; it's called Atopica. It's been working well so far. She's on a half-dose right now - she's a little itchy once in a while, but it's not that "scratch-scratch-until-she-peels-skin-off" itchy.

November 21, 2006

The Big News

It's official: I own a home! (or, at least a mortgage). What that really means: Lola has a yard! A little one, but...yay! A yard!

It's a fixer-upper and I will chronicle the fixer-upping on another blog, Assorted wormieness...and I may also randomly comment on life in general. :)

An update on Lola meeting Kaylee (not that Kaylee ) & Lola's allergies will be forthcoming later this week.

November 10, 2006

No Halloween Costume This year

I had much fun last year dressing Lola as a pirate for Halloween. Between work and "the potentially big news," life has been exhausting the last few weeks and so I was not able to dress Lola up this year. Super-sad! I had some good ideas too (hula girl, Mrs. Colbert, and Dancing with a Star). Well, you may see one of those next year. I feel really bad about that, but I promise something fabulous for the Holidays. :)

November 07, 2006

Lola is Special, medically speaking

Lola (or more specifically, her anatomy/biochemistry, I suppose) seems to delight in stumping my vet (and keeping my creditors in the black). First was her urinary incontinence and you all know that ended with me taking Lola to a doggie "innards" specialist. Lola has had some itching on her paws and on her face; the itching on her face evolved into some irritation, accompanied with a little swelling that comes and goes every few weeks. They checked for mites & she seemed mite-free; the itching on her paws was due to allergies & has gone away with some allergy pills. The vet said her face showed the "classic" symptoms of allergies with a secondary infection. Antibiotics were prescribed. They didn't help. More antibiotics were prescribed. They didn't help.

Next, he thought that maybe it was food allergies so Lola was only allowed to eat hypoallergic dog food (luckily available in venison which is what she likes) on a trial basis. (It might take 6-8 weeks to see an mprovement.) That's right, no treats or chicken or bits of whatever I was eating. It was a sad day in our house. Seven weeks of that have not helped.

She was scratching her face so bad the last few days (she even ripped some skin off her face) that I took her in this morning. The vet said, "She should have gotten better by now. I think it's time for a specialist." So yes, Lola now has to go see a doggie dermatologist.

Apparently, only specialists for my girl!

I've been meaning to submit her DNA to the doggie DNA database, so maybe it's a good thing that I keep forgetting about it. Now, I can include details about her resistance to meds.

I just want her to be okay. :(

Also: there might be big news early next week... :)

October 23, 2006

Another sleeping girl...

Taking your lead, J, here's another sleepy girl


That's Lola with her head under Red. (Have I ever mentioned how Lola saved Red from the evil clutches of the vertical blinds?) She uses Red to shade herself from light and other distractions when she needs a nap. The first time I saw her do that, I was a little afraid she'd smother herself. But she's fine. :)

October 16, 2006

Stalking the Hunter

During our morning walk the other day around the grad apartments across the street from my building, Lola came upon a kitty - a pretty, tiger-stripey kitty. The kitty was pretty unfazed by Lola. Lola could NOT believe the kitty was not running away. Then Lola barked at the kitty. ["Mom! It's a kitty! Look!"] And the kitty Still Did Not Run. I eventually had to drag Lola home. Cuz, you know, Lola gets "focused."

Later that afternoon, we again around the grad apartments across the street. Lola sniffed & sniffed, hot on the trail of Something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the kitty again. Lola kept sniffing, oblivious to the kitty. We took a few steps and the kitty took a few steps. Lola kept following The Scent. The kitty kept following us. Silly kitty. :)

October 04, 2006


I stood out in the hall, waiting for the elevator, when one of my neighbors came up the steps and passed by.

She said, "You look naked!" Then added, "without your dog."


September 29, 2006

Mighty Huntress is She

As we walked last night and came upon the corner, Lola snapped at something in her no-fly zone and injured it. (I guess all our tennis-ball-catching has honed her hunting skills.) I barely got a glance at it (something in the nature of a grasshopper or a preying mantis), since Lola proceeded to try to eat it, and I tried to drag her across the street away from her prey. Once across the street, she planted her butt down, staring back at her fallen prey with a big grin on her face and Did Not Want To Move. It was so cute.

She was sooooo proud of herself the rest of the night. :)

September 23, 2006

In Memoriam

Lola has lost two fur-pals to mental illness this past year...

Grim - thank you for sharing your home with Lola. We know that was not easy for you.

Indy - you were Lola's first and only Valentine, and a very sweet boy.

You will both be missed.

September 11, 2006

Adult Entertainment

I received a letter from Lola's regular vet a few days ago. Apparently, the new owners of the building next door to them (a defunct Shakey's Pizza) have petitioned the city of Pasadena to open an establishment for "adult entertainment" (some incarnation of strip club). You know, I pretty much a live and let live kind of person, but it seems like a terrible location - it's very residential, near grade schools & next to several family-friendly businesses like my vet's office (who are known to give school tours several times a year). Residents in that part of Pasadena are fighting it - not just to stop the strip club, but to have the city adopt a code requiring adult entertainment businesses be at least 500 yards from a residential area (similar to what was adopted in The OC). Interesting.

I read the letter to Lola & this was her response:

You decide what that means. :)

September 07, 2006

Can I Have Some Hummus?

[Sorry for the long delay since the last post. I have no idea how so much time passed so quickly. It's not Lola's fault - she's been doing interesting things; I'm the one who's lame.]

I don't like red peppers per se, but I do like the flavor they give to food (if that makes any sense). In fact, one of my favorite things is roasted red pepper hummus (Trader Joe's or Athenos - both are yummy). I needed a snack the other day & grabbed a bag of blue corn tortilla chips & the roasted red pepper hummus and planted my butt on the couch. At the sound of the crinkling of the chip bag, Lola quickly came over to see what was in the bag. Oh, she knew it wasn't the "Opening Hefty Zip-lock Baggie Sound of Something Truly Wonderful Like a Chicken Jerky Treat," but a crinkly sound apparently intrigued her enough to see what "snack-age" might come her way.

Me: No corn tortillas for you, young lady.

Lola sat, sniffing the air, really curious, but never demanding. (She's awesome like that.) Translation: Can I have some of that?

That was the same look she had given me when I had eaten grapes in front of her for the first time; I had offered her a piece of one which she had promptly spit back out.

Me: I don't think you'll like the hummus, sweetie.

I know my girl likes garbanzos. [They will always be garbanzos to me. I didn't know they were called chickpeas until I was in college.] But I felt that the roasted red pepper hummus would have too much of a kick for her taste.

She shifted a little, still sniffing curiously in my general direction, trying to be polite, but frustrated that she wasn't getting some of what smelled yummy. Translation: Can I please have some of that?

Sigh. I had a quick internal debate between my mother's "you should try everything once" food philosophy and my "I don't want to clean hummus off the rug" philosophy. Then Lola gave me The Look. You know, the super sad puppy look with brow furrowed & sad eyes, where she's clearly wondering what she could have done that was SO wrong as to deserve the punishment of not having blank - fill in the blank with whatever you are eating at the moment.

Me: Alright. But you're not gonna like it.

I put some on my finger & she licked it a bit tentatively. Her eyes lit up, her tail wagged and she shifted in place again, as if resisting the urge to snag into the tub of hummus in my hand and politely waiting for more to be offered. Translation: That's nummy! More, please.

Oh, yeah, she liked it. Hm. I wonder if I should give her meds with hummus now instead of Easy Cheese. :)

Lola health update: urinary incontinence seems under control; allergies+possible bacterial skin infection are back. She's got quite a few bug bites, too, that have irritated her skin.

July 19, 2006


Originally uploaded by wormieness. the only thing to do on a hot day.

July 18, 2006


This is all the stuff Lola is currently on - mostly for her urinary incontinence. (The link will take you to a good, succinct summary of the problem and the types of meds used to treat it.)

Left to Right we have...

Phenylpropanolamine (aka, Proin) (Dose: 3/day) It's an "alpha-adrenergic agonist" which means that it helps the bladder sphincter by telling it 'hold it more'.

DES (Diethylstilbestrol) (Dose: started with 1 every two days for a week and now is 1 per week) It's a type of estrogen; it's not clear why this works (See the link above about urinary incontinence for more details).

Imipramine (Dose: 2/day) It's an anticholinergic, which means it helps the bladder fibers relax and store urine. (It does this by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.)

Lipiderm (1 or 2 per day) This is a vitamin & fatty acids(fish oil) supplement to help with her skin & coat. Lola's coat always seemed a little dry (even with good dog food) & her skin is sensitive. (I tried adding the liquid version to her food, but she would have none of that.)

Hydroxizine (Dose: 2 tablets, 3 times/day as needed) This is for Lola's allergies (which seemed to have hit her hard this year).

Antibiotic (Dose: 2/day for 10 days) She's been on two types of antibiotics in the last 2.5 weeks. The first one was prescribed because her paws were a little raw from the allergies. The second was prescribed for a cut on one of her paws. I have yet to figure when or how she sliced her paw (though I'm starting to suspect a nail I discovered sticking through a piece of threadbare rug. Stupid apartment!)

Easy Cheese Just like me, Lola will eat just about anything smothered in cheese. :) And it really is the easiest way (for me) to give her her meds - no fuss, no muss.

This combination of meds seems to be working for her urinary incontinence. [If they hadn't, my vet said, the next thing to try would have been collagen injections on her bladder sphincter - how very LA. :) ]

She's very good about taking her pills (as far as she knows, she's getting cheese for doing nothing more than looking cute). However, she's a complete brat when I've tried to put neosporin or Bactine on her cuts/wounds.

She now has some itchiness on her jaw - I thought it may be allergies, but it appararently not (the hydroxizine helped with the itching, but it didn't seem to go away like her other allergy symptoms). It's probably a bug bite (She continues to chase flying bugs like she's the mightiest of fly hunters.) She's going back to the vet next week about that.

July 13, 2006

Lola, honey, you are not a kitty.

This is the conversation we had (in my head):
Me: Lola, honey, that's a cat toy.
Lola: So? The ball smells good. Like a kitty. And the tail is fluffy. Like a bird. And the rubber tip is fun to chew, too. I'm keeping it, okay?
Me: Okay.

Note: she was playing with it, then looked up at me when I took out the camera and gave me her "Mom, no more pictures!" look.

July 11, 2006

Lola, are you blogging again?

What do you think she was up to? :)

July 02, 2006

Update: Lola Likes...

Some additions to the Lola Likes list (in no particular order):

Bananas -small pieces given by hand (the mushier, the better)
Yoplait's Strawberry yogurt (she likes other flavors, too, but this one seems to be a favorite)
Barbara's Bakery raspberry fig bars (she luuuuved these)
Barbara's Bakery Puffins Cereal (peanut butter)
fruit-a-freeze fruit bars Coconut

June 28, 2006

Paging Nurse Lola

When it comes to people, Lola can be aloof and also terribly sweet. When I first got her, she was being all aloof & cool. I knew in my brain that she didn't know me & I knew it would take time for her to think I'm okay people, but a little part of me worried that she'd never warm up to me. (It can happen.) Now I know that she's just super-aloof; she doesn't demand attention, at least not like most dogs. Now I know that her aloof exterior hides a really, really sweet doggie...she just needed to learn how to show it. About two weeks after I got her, I came down with the flu - I rarely get a cold or the flu, but this mutant uber-virus got me good & wiped me out. The first time I had a flu-induced cough, Lola came over to me, her face the picture of worry. It was such a sincere look that I could not doubt that she cared. She understood that I couldn't walk her too fast or for too long. And every time I had a hacking cough fit, she came over to see if I was okay. She'd come up close & study my face (maybe checking if I was still breathing?) until I told her I was okay.

The other night I lay on the couch watching a movie & Lola was in Her Bed. I got the hiccups and Lola came over to me, looking very concerned. Her brow was furrowed, worried that something might be very wrong with me. Another hiccup and she jumped up on the couch (which she never does unless I tell her to - I didn't "train her"; she's just polite). Another hiccup & her face was right up to mine. Perhaps she was ready to give me mouth-to-mouth if necessary. :) I reassured her that I was okay & she lay down next to me for a while - I guess until she had assured herself that I was reallyokay.

Now I guess I should teach Nurse Lola how to dial 911.

June 21, 2006

Hot in the City

It's been pretty hot in Pasadena over the last hot that apparently Lola's butt was hot:

Notice how she turned away from the camera; she was not ashamed of her hot butt - she saw the camera & was avoiding the flash. She's very media savvy.

June 18, 2006

Desert Dog - Joshua Tree 2006

Lola and I were invited to go Stargazing over Memorial Day weekend by some very nice folks, Paul & Mary. Paul & Mary have a house in Joshua Tree which is both perfect for stargazing and for chasing desert critters. Lola ran around chasing quail & other birds, flies, chipmunks, bunnies and God knows what else.

Here's Lola...



... and digging...

At one point, I watched Lola swallow something...whole. I'm not sure what it was - a bird or maybe a chipmunk? Yes, Lola is a mighty hunter. She was pretty pleased with herself. Since we've been back, she's been more excited about "hunting" things (like squirrels & flies). I think she's trying to hunt her breakfast every morning now. Silly pup.

Here, she's longing for the one that got away:

Thank you, Paul & Mary, for the stars & the hunting and thank you, D & Wes, for the good company. We both had a very good time.

May 27, 2006

Aside: Save the Ducks!

...clearly they are all that stand between us and the alien invasion. Read the story here.

(What does this have to do with Lola? Well, it's the news story that aired while I was writing the previous post - that counts, right? You can watch the video here. It's the default video right now, but as the days pass, you may have to scroll through the choices.)

May 26, 2006

Dog Park!

Sorry for the lack of posts - all my fault, not Lola's - work was kinda busy.

I took Lola to Pasadena's newest dog park today (sorry, no pictures). Unlike last time, there were no chipmunks or birds to distract her at this park and plenty of nice dogs to play with. The majority of the dogs there played politely and, more importantly, introduced themselves politely. Lola doesn't like dogs to smell her face for very long & most of the doggies at the park sniffed the face briefly then went right to smell the butt. Lola very quickly assimilated.

She stuck close to me for a bit, so we walked around...then tennis balls were thrown & dogs were running and she looked up at me with her big doggie smile. ["Mom, can I go too?"] "Go on," I encouraged, and off she went to run and smell butts, er, I mean, make new friends. She chased tennis balls and did a pretty good job of bringing it back - not right to me, but close enough!

She seemed to be immediately smitten with one of two Bernese mountain dogs that arrived a little after we did. She particularly liked racing with them up and down.

Lola has shown some jealous tendencies when it comes to other dogs coming close to me, but she had no problems with the dog park doggies who came over to say hello to me (or to get skritches).

She did not like the slobbery water bowl, but other than that, I think she had great fun today.

Tomorrow - we return to Joshua Tree (or, as Lola calls it, the place with the bunnies).

April 28, 2006

Feral Parrots are a Lola Favorite

Walking around the neighborhood, Lola stopped to watch a tree. I soon made out a parrot in said tree and thought, 'Wow. A parrot. Probably, an escapee.' Then I saw another one. And another one. And another one.... It was a whole flock of parrots. Lola thought they were fabulous. Two days later on the Colbert Report, Colbert profiled a Congressman from Pasadena (part of a continuing series) and in his blurb about the district, he noted that Pasadena was famous for its feral parrots. Feral parrots! It's true! They're even mentioned on the city's website.

Since then, we've seen them quite a bit (especially early in the morning when they are rather vocal). Lola seems to like them a lot. I daresay, she's infatuated with them. When they are nearby, she doesn't just stare at the tree (as she usually does). She starts sniffing at the overhanging branches. She barks at them. And when the fly away, she runs and leaps after them.

I think she wishes she could fly. :)

April 17, 2006

Lola visits the Dog Park

at the Dog Park

(click picture to view a larger version)

That's Lola at the Dog Park. She's just sitting there, patiently waiting for the chipmunks and birds to come to her (or perhaps trying to figure out how to go to them). We tried to play with her. Other dogs tried to get her attention. We could distract her for about five seconds with a tossed ball, then she'd go back to that corner. ["Mom! There were chipmunks there!"]

Silly pup. :)

Napping with the Grandfolks

My parents were here for about a week visiting Lola. By day six, they were all pooped:


April 04, 2006

Quick Update: Word from the Radiologist

The word is Lola's plumbing is okay. Yay! Her (mild) incontinence is now more and more likely to be the result of her spaying. They are not sure why this happens (though it is relatively common), but they believe it's related to hormonal changes which trigger loss of bladder sphincter muscle control. The vet said we had the choice of the next step: (1) put a scope up her girly parts to make sure her girly parts (and associated hormone stuff) is okay or (2) try the Proin again, but this time it will be supplemented with estrogen. We opted for #2. Once she starts on the pills, it will take 4-6 weeks to see if they are effective.

Lola & I would like to thank you all for your concern & good wishes.

March 26, 2006

Green Badge of Courage (or, Imaging Round Two)

Last Tuesday, Lola went back to the specialist for more fancy imaging. Radioactive dye was used to map her kidneys, ureters & bladder. (She has no super powers as a result. For now.) A urinary catheter was also inserted; this required putting her under anesthesia. The anesthesia part made me a little nervous (as anesthesia should), but she's fine. The tests showed that her ureters were a little far apart than what would be considered normal, but they appeared to connect to her bladder properly. The vet is consulting with a radiologist to determine if they were a "little far apart, but still normal" or a "little too far apart to be normal".

Her right foreleg was shaved when they put the IV in and later wrapped in that fantastic fluorescent lime green bandage. :) Lola spent almost 12 hours there and endured it all well. She was a little cranky when I picked her up, but I would be too if I hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours.

March 18, 2006

Razor Burn (or, Imaging Round One)

[Life is busy. Sorry for the lack of posts. I promise to do better.]

I just wrote this detailed post about Lola's mild incontinence problem and it evaporated into the ether. Grrr. I guess you will have to wait for another post detailing Lola's diagnosis and prognosis about her incontinence b/c I'm not gonna re-type all that now. Borrowing a bit from Stephen Colbert, I will say...

What you need to know:
Lola had her belly shaved for her uber-ultrasound. Here's Lola's belly before the ultrasound...

and after...

(if you look carefully, you can see her sexy spaying scar). [Note: the areas on her skin that look dirty are not - her skin in those areas is a different shade. Go figure.]

And yes, her belly was all prickly, but I rubbed it anyway. :)

February 27, 2006

My Tropical Dog

Here's the culinary evidence:
  • She luuuves white rice with black beans (a Cuban staple & my favorite food in the whole world)

  • She likes ice cream

  • She loves coconut ice cream.

  • She likes mangoes. (just like Bobby)

and today I can add:
  • She likes kiwi fruit.

That's my girl. :)

February 16, 2006


Yesterday was a momentous day for Lola. She played "chase tails" with the other doggies at daycare! Yay! Lola has played with the folks at daycare, but not with the other pups. Oh, she has lounged about with other pups and watched other pups play, somewhat unsure of how to join in (or barked at them to chill out). She has even run around outside. But yesterday, finally, she joined in the fun. She chased tails and they chased hers. Yay!

February 10, 2006

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I love watching Lola sleep, partly because I know why she sleeps. Sometimes, she is poopy-tired after a day of play at daycare or after playing with me. On warm days, she likes to take a nap after our afternoon walk. A nap is also good after a particularly satisfying meal. Sometimes, she falls asleep while I rub her belly, and she will sleep with legs in the air.

I have seen her dream, too. Her legs twitched a little and I'm certain she was chasing something in her dreams. Was it a squirrel? A bunny? A kitty? Or was she just running free, at full gallup, the way we sometimes do together?

When she sleeps, it is because she is happy.

[sidenote: next post won't be sappy ;) ]

January 21, 2006

One Year Anniversary

One year ago today, I took Lola home for the first time.

One year ago...I'd met Lola a few days before, for only a short while - an hour at most. As I drove to her foster home in Sherman Oaks, I hoped she would remember me (though I doubted it). I hoped she would like her humongous bed and my messy apartment. I hoped she'd like the pretty red collar with the matching leash I'd gotten her - a pretty collar for my pretty girl. I still wasn't sure whether to call her Lola or Luna or if another name would seem more appropriate.

I'm not sure if she remembered me, but she was nice as she always is. She didn't mind me putting on her new collar. She gently ate some sliced turkey and ham from my hand. I found the spot on her back where she likes to be scratched. Her foster family said goodbye to her and I attached a leash to take her out. She was thrilled that I wanted to take her OUT.

I took her for a short, squirrel-filled walk then to my car. Understandably, she didn't want to get inside. Not even for chicken. I debated whether to carry her myself (would she bite me?) or to ask for help from the foster family. They are nice folks, but they are elderly so I went with choice #1. She didn't give me too much hastle, squirming just a little. As I closed the door, she looked a little concerned. I was ripping her away from a man (her rescuer) whom she loved and she didn't understand why. I told her it would be okay. We were going home. After ten minutes, she fell asleep on the backseat.

That night, we had a lazy night at home. I walked her quite a bit - she was so happy when she was OUT, I couldn't help it. She ate the chicken & turkey that was offered but passed on the dog food (unsurprisingly, since I'd been winning her heart with turkey slices throughout the afternoon). Several people stopped to ask my what kind of dog she was and to tell me that she was very cute (even with dirt & grime on her coat) and that kind of attention made her a Lola and not a Luna.

One year later, I know she loves her bed; it's her favorite place to sleep, nap, lounge and get belly rubs from me. I know she likes her collar - the sound of it jingling in the morning means we are going OUT and that's always good. Her fancy leash is on her shelf in the pantry - we only use it for special occasions. We spent a quiet day at home and played a little "Pseudo-fetch" in the apartment. The weather was perfect today, and I took her out a few more times than usual, just cuz. She had chicken with her dinner and now she's lounging in her bed, just waiting for our evening walk, no doubt. Which reminds me - I better go dig up her fancy leash.

Happy anniversary, baby girl.

January 09, 2006

SoCal Lola

Apparently, Lola likes The OC.

She's also been known to watch Teen Titans. :)