My Best Friend is Grey- Book Five

FOG'S VET BILL- THE FINAL RESULTS

Gail and Fog report on Dog Country Fair in Central Park-LLOONNGG!!

Gail's Fashion Faux Paw

"There she is, Miss America........."

Fog's Thanksgiving

The Last Housekeeper

Fog is a Pet--ty Criminal- NYPD issues Summons

Fog gets more legal advice

Fog Gets a Private Concert

Fog gets bit

Fog Gets a Bad Report Card from Robin

Subject: FOG'S VET BILL- THE FINAL RESULTS

Date: 10/9/02 3:18 AM 

Dear Friends,

Well here are the results of Fog's final vet bill..........drum roll please!!

Gipsyjet is the winner, guessing $4000. The actual amount was $3967.50

I must offer an explanation, however. If Dr. Shapiro had charged me what he was entitled to, the cost would have been $9000-$10,000, in which case Nancy's guess of $10,000 would have been the closest!

All in all, Dr. Shapiro did not charge for the following:

9/18/02 surgery $900.

9/21/02 surgery $900.

9/30/02 removal of necrotic tissue (local) ?

15 days veterinary care @ $55 per day $825.

retail price of antibiotics (he only charge me his cost) ?

I'm still overwhelmed that he did all of this work for FREE!!

Everybody say a big thank you prayer for Dr. Shapiro!!

XO Gail & Fog

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Subject: Gail and Fog report on Dog Country Fair in Central Park-LLOONNGG!!

Date: 10/20/02 5:41 PM 

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we attended the First Ever Dog Country Fair in Central Park. It was organized by the Central Park Conservancy (a bunch of Ladies Who Lunch and raise money for the Park) and PAWS, a group of Central Park Dog owners. It was held in the Park on the basketball courts near the Great Lawn and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The weather was cool and a little humid and a bit overcast, but still quite good. The entrance to the area had a huge arch made of red, orange and yellow helium balloons, so you couldn't miss where the fun was being held. Fog wore his patchwork scarf sent to him by LeeAnn, Beau and Sam. My friends Carol and Aline came along, and they had no dog, so I borrowed Gus the GWP (his dad had to work) so that they would have a "date" too. It was a 30 block walk from my house one way.

We had such fun at the activities, demos music and games. There was a live band, fronted by a Veterinarian, and it included a pet lawyer, a vet tech, a tropical fish specialist and I think a lab tech. They were called "Pet Rox Benefit Band"

The Fair was organized so well. The band would play during the demos, and when they took a break, the MC, who was a professional trainer, would take over and teach us tricks or lead us in a game. SADLY we arrived to late for the My Dog Will Eat Anything Contest. Each dog's owner was presented with a plate of food samples, varying in difficultly. The leader instructed which to offer first. when you dog refused a food, he was OUT. The foods were: carrot, apple, cherry tomato, olive, and several others (there were 10 total) and finally a hot pepper. Fog would have won that easily.

There were information booths and children's books, dog toys and treats for sale. Everything was donated, with all proceeds going to the Doggy Drinking Fountain Fund. There were $5 raffle tickets for sale, and zillions of great prizes in the raffle- an Oil painting of your dog, Six week group training classes, a weekend stay at a Vermont Bed and Breakfast, Day of Beauty at a Doggy Salon, Doggy gift baskets, 2 tickets to the Daily Show starring John Stewart, a weekend stay at the Canine Country Ranch for your dog, and on and on.

We also participated in a group lesson where our dogs learned a trick-Wipe Your Nose. Everyone got a piece of masking tape and a treat. You put the tape on your dogs nose, between his eye, and when he uses his foot to swat at it, you tell him "Wipe your nose!" and reward him.

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Subject: Gail's Fashion Faux Paw

Date: 10/23/02 2:53 PM 

Dear Friends,

I recently bought a "new" jacket on Ebay to wear in the Park in the morning while walking Fog. It' s a red & black buffalo check wool jacket that buttons up the front and has a collar. It looks like the type of jacket we would associate with hunters. The jacket is covered with embroidered emblems. There is a Weimaraner patch, Smokey the Bear, the American Rod & Gun club, the NRA, Jew Jersey State Sportsmen's Club, and on the back a large round patch of Captain Sparks Rod & Gun Club of Kelflavik Iceland. All the patches are very colorful and I think that the effect on me is very whimsical and "camp."

Well, I have noticed that since I have been wearing the jacket, dog owners in the park that don't already know me won't talk to me, and draw away!!! (I think most people don't really understand hunting and just automatically think that it is "bad", and this is what I am experiencing. Until I came here and started to learn about the extensive training involved and the bond between dog and handler, etc., I didn't appreciate it myself.)

Well, I have come up with a solution for my Fashion Faux Paw. I have bought a few yards of black and red buffalo check flannel, and I'm going to make Fog his own matching "hunting jacket". I even found a red cotton fabric with black paw prints on it that I can use for lining. I'll put the more "controversial" emblems on HIS jacket, like the NRA one, and a few of the Hunt Club ones. People may not want to talk to me, but few can resist his charm, no matter how un-PC his apparel is!!

XO Gail & Fog

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Subject: "There she is, Miss America........."

Date: 10/20/02 

Dear Friends,

When Fog and I visit the health food store, he waits outside with his leash tied to a parking meter. He always has company because there is a Korean Nail Salon next to the health food store, and the sweet little Korean manicurists love to come outside and admire him.

One day last week, one of the girls told me that they all think that Fog is so beautiful , that among themselves, they have nicknamed him "Miss America." Isn't that the cutest thing you ever heard? When I told her that he was a boy dog, she was so embarrassed, and put her hand over her mouth and laughed shyly. It was very endearing. The manicurists are so little and Fog is so big, when they squat down next to him to hug him he towers over them!

XO Gail & Fog

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Subject: Fog's Thanksgiving

Date: 10/27/02

Dear Friends,

I think Fog has had the best Thanksgiving in the History of Thanksgivings.

We began yesterday morning by strolling to the park Fog wearing his corduroy Jacket lined in flannel. It was only 28 degrees, but it really wasn't so cold- it was a sunny day and there was no wind.. The streets were lined with people who had come to town to see Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. There must be a new parenting method going around, because we observed that every family had a blanket spread on the ground and the kids were instructed to STAY ON THE BLANKET. They could move around , but just STAY ON THE BLANKET. I thought that this was particularly funny, because I read this as a training method for DOGS in the book "Urban Dog." The author had 3 Weims.

Anyway, every single child had a doughnut or bagel in his/her hand!! Every doughnut was at Fog's nose level. We had no choice but to attempt to navigate this mine field of temptation, because the park is on the opposite side of the parade route from where we live. I shortened up on Fog's leash and wrestled him all the way across Broadway. Our passage was heralded by shouts from the kids, "Look, Mom, a doggy!" "Look, that dog has a coat on!" It was like a wave that started and then preceded us!

It was such a relief to finally make it to the other side. Once Fog got off leash in the park, he behaved like a real terror. He has been grabbing Leopold, his blue Weim friend, by his collar and throwing him on the ground every time they play. He does it so much that Christophe has to remove Leopold's collar. Yesterday, his little friend Honey, who is about 25 lbs and looks like a honey colored fox, grabbed the tail of Fog's coat and hung on for dear life as Fog tore thru the park chasing Leopold. Honey clung onto the coat and flew thru the air behind the two Weims. I removed Fog's coat, but the mad play continued.

When it was time to go, we had to weave our way thru the same crowd of food laden parade observers on the way home, but his time they were sandwiched together on the sidewalk like sardines.

Fog had breakfast, and around noontime my cousin and her boyfriend from Boston came for a visit. Fog was thrilled, because the more folks in the house the better he likes it. (It is good to have a big pack) He didn't even feel bad when we left him behind to go to lunch, because my roommate Aline began to cook for her DB and SIL, who were coming to visit. While we were gone, he watched Aline make 2 sweet potato pies, and some mashed potatoes. Of course he got generous samplings of them.

Aline also inflated the extra bed for her DB and SIL, and made it up nicely with blankets, quilt and pillows. Fog thought that she made it for him, and gave thanks by falling asleep on it. When the DB and SIL arrived, there was a great amount of sniffing and lashing of guests (with the long tail). Yippee, luggage to inspect , handbags and knapsacks to stick his face into, and more people to play with!!

To protect the pies cooling in the kitchen, I advised Aline to block the doorway with several dining room chairs. Fog promptly jumped over them with the greatest of ease. That got him banished to the bedroom for the duration of the dinner. (The only low point in an otherwise perfect day.)

When I returned from dinner out with one of my friends, I took Fog to the park for an extra evening playtime. Lucky dog, his buddy Leopold was there, along with a Dalmatian that had one of those red balls that lights up and makes noises! What fun!! Fog took it away from her immediately and monopolized the toy until Christophe wrestled it away. Bummer!

No matter, because he got to play for 2 hours in the park! By the time we got home, it was 11pm and DB and SIL were lying in Fog's new inflatable bed, under the blankets and comforters. That was okay with him, he just jumped in right between them and dropped off to sleep. He stayed there all night long. Sniff! I felt a little rejected.

Today was the usual orgy of leftover turkey, but it was still very exciting because the DB and SIL are still here, so the pack is still quite large. In addition, Fog has charmed SIL into wanting to adopt a Weimaraner!! She and DB are asking all types of questions about the breed temperament, training, exercise requirements, etc!!

And now for the outrageous grand finale!! As we were returning from our evening walk, our Pakistani doorman, Mo, asked if Fog liked turkey and if he got enough for Thanksgiving. I told him, yes Fog LOVES turkey, and he can never have too much. Well, Mo explained to us that the co-op board had given him a turkey as a Thanksgiving present. Mo's wife really doesn't want to cook it, and it is also Ramadan, so they are fasting during the day and only eating at night. She doesn't want alot of extra food in the house. She told Mo to give the turkey away to whoever he pleased.

And that is how Fog came to receive his very own 18 lb Empire Kosher Turkey.

XO Gail & Fog

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Subject: The Last Housekeeper

11/29/2002

Dear Friends,

We saw Christophe and Leopold in the Park this morning and they told us this story:

Christophe bought Leopold one of those massive thighbones at Petco, and Leo was really enjoying proudly carrying it around the apartment strutting his stuff.  They have a sweet little Spanish cleaning lady that comes every 2 weeks.  When she saw Leopold with the giant bone, she was horrified, and asked Christophe what kind of animal it came from. 

Christophe smiled and told her in Spanish, "Oh, that was The Last Housekeeper."

XO Gail & Fog

PS-Christophe said that the housekeeper said "Dios Mio!!" and crossed herself and started praying while she was cleaning the apartment.  It AMAZES me that she didn't quit!!

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Subj: Fog is a Pet--ty Criminal- NYPD issues Summons

Date: 12/28/02

Dear Friends,

Well, it has finally happened- Fog has a Criminal Record. We are hanging our heads in shame.

As we were leaving the park this morning, I was calling Fog to come to get on his leash. He was having a fine time playing in the snow and completely ignored me. Then he did the Top Worst Thing Ever-he ran across the street in the park. Fortunately there was no traffic for miles, but that is no excuse. I had to get him to come with a cookie. Just as I was putting the leash on him, New York's Finest rolled up on us in their van-four officers!!! The little blonde lady officer called us over, and said, "It is after 9 o'clock your dog is supposed to be on his leash." I said, "Yes I was just calling him." She motioned us over to the van and sat down inside. I thought she was going to take Fog away!!!! She explained that it is a recent pet peeve with the police department that dogs are running into the street and causing traffic accidents, so they are cracking down. : (

And then she got out her summons book.........................

Fog is in violation of Section104, Criminal Court Offense: Dog Off Leash.

Mummers must appear in Criminal Court (ACK!!!!) on Feb 3 2003.

While she was writing the ticket, Fog was trying to hop in the van. The officer smiled and said, "He doesn't have to get in." Then, in a soft voice, so the other men officers couldn't hear, she said, "I'm going really easy on you, so you make sure you show up, and just tell the judge that you didn't know the rules of the park." I asked her what the fine would be, and she asked one of the other cops, who said, it is usually $40, but it is up to the judge. The lady officer winced apologetically when she heard him say $40. (I was relieved, thinking this was going to cost $200) So we got our pink summons and thanked the officer for her advice and came home, feeling humiliated, but grateful that it wasn't worse.

Now we must plead guilty and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court.

: *** (

Will it help to present Fog's diploma from Obedience school? LepLawDawg, where are you??????

Deeply shamed,

Gail & Fog (why didn't anyone ask me to pose for mug shots?)

PS-Our friend Christophe says we are going to be in court with all the other nuisance-to-society types like the public urinators and drunks.....EEEEWWWWWWW!!!! OMD- I just realized that I have to go ALONE- Fog won't be with me to charm his way into a reduced fine!! Oh nooooooooo!!!!!!!!

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Subj: Fog gets more legal advice

Date: 12/29/02

Dear Remy's Mom,

Thank you so much for all your hard work and legal advice!! I will call the Court Clerk first thing on Monday and ask if I can pay the fine as you advised.

It says in capital letters on the summons that TO PLEAD GUILTY YOU MUST PERSONALLY APPEAR AT THE COURT AND LOCATION SPECIFIED ON THE FACE OF THIS SUMMONS. So I have a feeling that I may still have to appear. (I'm scared!) I'll let you know what the Clerk has to say.

Thank you so much for your help!! You have been VERY generous with your time, and we are very grateful.

XO Gail & the Misdemeanor

>Thank you so much for all your hard work and legal advice!!

No problem. Glad to be of service to Fog and his Mummers.

>It says in capital letters on the summons that TO PLEAD GUILTY YOU MUST

>PERSONALLY APPEAR AT THE COURT AND LOCATION SPECIFIED ON THE FACE >OF THIS SUMMONS So I have a feeling that I may still have to appear.

Most of the time they put that on all summons to any court because they want to make darn sure you show up. And they can issue an order for your arrest if you do not show up. So I would still call the clerk and ask if you can do this ahead of your court date. It can't hurt and all he/she can say is no. Big deal. Then you go to court and get to hear all the bizarre excuses people will make.

>(I'm scared!)

Please do not be scared. Real court is not like all that crap you see on the movies and t.v.. Just be polite, respectful, bring enough cash to pay the fine because they usually don't take personal checks (I would bring $100 just to be on the safe side since they may tack on some court costs), and tell the truth. Dress nice, too. Some people will show up wearing trashy clothes and it is very disrespectful to the court. I have seen folks show up in tank tops and daisy duke shorts before--incredible. Absolutely no home training! But I know you would never do that.

>Gail & the Misdemeanor

I think Fog is probably a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature! But he is very funny anyway! Let me know what happens. : )

Remy's Mom

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Subject: Fog Gets a Private Concert

Dear Friends,

Most of you know by now that Fog and I have a roommate, Aline. She works in a financial office by day, but is here in New York to get her big break in the music industry as a song writer and performer. Aline took care of Fog while I was i Florida, and they are totally devoted to each other.

Friday Aline came home with some great news!! She had auditioned last November for "Showtime at the Apollo," a talent show that originates weekly from the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Well, to her surprise, they called her back on Friday!!!! She will be a stand-in during the week of January 17-23. If any of the scheduled performers cannot make it, she will have her chance in front of a live audience on national TV!!!!! Please pray for a flu season so someone will get sick!! (Heh, heh, heh!!!)

Last night Aline was practicing in her room- she wants to work on a few songs so that she is so comfortable with them that she can performhift around a little and then fall asleep again.

Aline said that she was performing for him, with all her gestures, which are not choreographed but must be rehearsed all the same to feel natural. She said that it was much easier to sing to him as her audience than to sing to a pillow, especially since his face is so expressive.

This afternoon Aline was practicing again and Fog went looking for a front row seat! It is very funny because he makes no response to the television, cd player or radio, but he loves a live performance!!

XO Gail & Fog

PS- you can hear Aline too-just grab your Weim and click here! www.AlineVida.com

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Subj: Fog gets bit

Date: 1/9/03

Dear Friends,

Fog got bit by another dog in the park yesterday morning. He was just standing around sniffing when another dog ran up to him with his teeth bared and snarling, and attacked him. going for his throat. Fog spun around and tried to return the attack. He was snarling too. I tried to get them apart but they hop around so fast. It was over in an instant. The other dog was a mixed breed named Mobesly. His owner was very upset and apologetic, and she called him away, but she didn't leash him so he came back and made a second attack. She came running after him and threw the cup of coffee she was carrying aside and got right in between them. I was afraid that SHE was going to get bitten. Again it was over in a second and she put Mobesly on his leash and took him away. I leashed Fog and took him away to play with me only, since he was full of adrenaline. He had all his fur up on his back and was upset, but as soon as we left the field and went to another field he settled right down and played fetch with me, smiling.

A woman came along with her Jack Russell puppy, and Fog played gently with her. Then he snuck up next to the owner in a stealth move, and grabbed the cheese Danish she was eating. That was her introduction to Fog. We saw her today and Fog made a Beeline for her-she is forever a marked woman now!

Next a nice man came along with his little dog -- it looked like a Skipperkee. Fog went over to meet the dog, who was just nosing around, and Fog sniffed him and then lifted his left and peed on him!!!! I was SO embarrassed. Luckily his aim was off and he missed the little guy. The owner laughed, but I'm sure he was relieved.

With all these high jinxsobentadine (povidone iodine), which Christophe told me about-he said they use it in battle for war wounds-it disinfects but does not sting-he says it feels cooling-and also does not "fuse" the wound. He said it is often used in C-sections. He told me to put it on several times a day and use it liberally. This morning the wound is healing very well, but Fog is acting aggressive towards unknown dogs on leashes today.

Christophe and another friend Richard said that they had both seen this dog Mobesly attack other dogs in the park, so we will be watching out for him in the future.

I had wondered if I should take Fog to the vet, but 2 of the friends said that the vet would only clean the wound and treat it with hydrogen peroxide as I did, unless it was a very big wound that clearly needed stitches. One friend said when his dog was attacked, his vet instructed him to put hot compresses on the wound 3x per day for 5 minutes at a time to draw out any inflammation, in addition to treating it with hydrogen peroxide.

I think he will be back to normal by tomorrow-he seems fine now and when Aline heard that he got bit she said "That bastard!! (referring to the other dog) He is just jealous because you are so beautiful!" Then she proceeded to give Fog some left over blueberry pancakes and a few bits of turkey hot dog from her dinner. LOL!!!

XO Gail & Fog

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Subj: Fog Gets a Bad Report Card from Robin

Date: 1/31/03

Dear Friends.

I was up at 6:30 this morning to finish a pattern for Ralph. I am so busy I decided not to take Fog to the Park this morning, he had a brief walk around the neighbor hood instead.

Robin called at 8 and wanted to know if I could go to breakfast, but I told her I didn't even get to go to the park with Fog. When she heard that Fog missed his park time, she offered to come and take him to the park. Isn't he a lucky boy??

Robin turned up shortly, and I put him in his corduroy coat, and the last words I heard her say to him were, "Now I'm not going to have any trouble out of you, right?" That gave me a strange sense of foreshadowing. I have been reading those Suzanne Clothier books that Catherine has recommended. Hal may have recommended them too. Suzanne talks about how your dog is very sensitive to your attitude. I have noticed that if I get heavy handed with Fog, he responds by pulling and acting out. If I relax with him on leash, he relaxes too. He will still run for a bagel, but there is not the constant power struggle that there is if I am thinking about "Being Alpha Being Alpha." like a drill sergeant. I was thinking about this as they left.

An hour later they returned, and Robin was fit to be tied!!! Fog had been Very BAD. When I asked what he had done, Robin said "EVERYTHING" He had dragged her down the street, practically dislocating her shoulder. He had chased birdies. He had pulled trash out of the trashcans on the street. And that was all before they even got to the park.

Once they got to the park, Robin let him off his leash. He promptly leapt over a 4' fence that is protecting a newly seeded lawn. The parks workers get REALLY mad at you for this. Fog loves it because it gets him a lot of attention. Strangers actually go "oooo!! and "AHHHHH!!" A stranger came up to Robin and asked her if she taught him that because he was so graceful.

When Fog jumped the fence, he must have taken an extra deep breath, and his coat popped open, so as he was dashing around on the lawn it was spinning around his neck like a hula hoop. Robin went over to the fence and hollered at him to GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW. He responded by trotting over to her and refusing to jump back over the fence. He stood on the other side of the fence, sniffing it while she yelled at him. Then, before she knew it, Fog lifted his leg and peed on Robin's coat and shoe!!!!! Then he ran away!

I tried VERY hard to keep a straight face and look sternly at Fog (who had his ears back in a very submissive position and was pouting like he was terribly misunderstood) and look sympathetically at Robin, but she was raging and sputtering so much and Fog was looking so dejected that I had to laugh!! I don't think that Robin will be Fog sitting again soon!

XO Gail & Fog

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