Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's been a cool minute

Perhaps because there's nothing much to report. Paco's doing well and back to normal activity levels. He has slowed down a bit but I think it's mostly due to age versus leg issues (he's now 7 1/2!). He does favor one leg slightly. It's hard to tell, but if you look closely you can see the muscle mass on one side is about 1/3 larger than the other. Fortunately, his ass is not his defining feature.

We start a new supplement today to see if that helps his overall creakiness, which is barely noticeable now but we'd like to keep it that way.

In the meantime, if you want to see lots of videos of Paco in motion, you can check out our new Youtube Channel, PacoTV. Here's a tease:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Baby's Got Back(hair)!

Last week marked the week Paco's hair finally grew in. I know this for a fact because we just had a barbeque two weekends ago and I was pointing out Paco's surgery line. Faint as it was, it did the trick as he was able to invoke sympathy (and table scraps) from everyone at the gathering.

And then we let him kill the giant unicorn pinata stuffed with tennis balls.

However, I tried to point out the line for visitors this weekend but, alas, it was nowhere to be seen. Not that we're complaining. In fact, this marks a huge victory in his recovery, as we had somewhat resigned ourselves to thinking our little company mascot was going to be naked from the waist down (aka "pants-less") forever.

Instead, it took almost 5 months on the nose to go from bald to beautiful. Check out the results:

Side view

close up (Paco wants you to know it smells like roses, just scratch and sniff)

And finally, annoyance.

It feels good to have our little guy back in one piece!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cover Boy!

So remember a few months back when I announced Paco was selected by his surgeon, Dr. Haburjak, to be the cover boy for their CCL injury flyer? Well, it's now in circulation, woohoo!

Check it out:

If you want your own copy to frame, keep around as bathroom reading material, or use for kindling I'm sure you could request a copy from

Monday, June 30, 2008

Paco Gets Gay

And so do we. At the San Francisco Pride Parade.

We marched with the rest of the BADRAP contingency and won the unofficial costume contest (I say unofficial because I think we were the only ones participating).

Paco walked strong the entire time. Granted, it's not a long parade, but the entire event is pretty tiring for the pooches. Let's just say he slept well the rest of the day!

You can see more pride pix (and a sweet video) here!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bonus Footage

Because Paco's mom is a little bit, ahem, technologically challenged at times, these videos were only recently uploaded and formatted for sharing.

Paco loves to fetch the stick at the lake. He's like a little otter in the water! And he can seriously beat any dog to the stick (just ask Pandora, she's eaten his waves before).

Shaking it off

And this is why Paco needs a bath when we get home (and why there's a brown ring around the tub).

(Okay, shameless product endorsement here: after all the abuse his Paco Collar goes through, it still looks great!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Paco's Vacation

So this weekend Paco went on his first vacation in 4 months. We went to his favorite place on earth, Pyramid Lake (the one just past Reno, not the one near L.A.). It's the place he learned to swim when he was a wee pup and we make a pilgrimage at least once a year. As you can see, he really pops against the natural palette.

I'm not going to give away our secrets, but we have a spot that almost nobody knows about and you're pretty much guaranteed privacy (unless it's a major holiday weekend). The end result was that only two people intruded our solitude the entire time. One just drove by in their truck and the other was a dirt bike rider who stopped for fifteen minutes to explore the rock formations. Other than that, we got to loaf around, and Paco got to relax and swim to his heart's content for days. Well, day and half.

Here are some choice pics:

On top of the rock

Crazy swimming face

(there's a small stick in his mouth, hence the really weird expression)

Showcasing his native style

Group shot with Paco doing his best Zoolander impression

Dirt Face (aka. "Pig Pen")


Feasting like a wild animal

Dead dog after a weekend of fun

Thursday, May 22, 2008


So I've discovered a trick to disguise the fact that Paco is practically naked from the waist down. Just add shirt and, voila!

Studies have shown that the human mind is good at "creating stories" that make sense when there's missing information. For instance, the reason we always fall for the woman getting cut in half trick.

In another study, they had a stranger go up and ask for directions. While giving directions, two construction workers carrying a large sheet of plywood would walk in between the two people and the direction-asker would be switched out for a new person. In almost every case, the direction-giver never noticed the switch, even when the new asker was a completely different race. The theory is that the brain just reasoned away any inconsistency and filled in the gaps. For instance, "Huh, I thought he looked different when we first started talking. Oh well, I'm just unobservant."

So, since I've had Paco in the shirt, nobody's noticed his hairless ass.

[To be fair, it is growing back. . . slowly. There have been two comments in 24 hours to substantiate this. Last night Aaron said, "It's not so disturbing anymore," and today Jane said, "It's looking a lot fuzzier," so we're making progress]

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My dog has no pants

So SFGATE just started a "Pets" section because, you know, pets are important. Since the option to write your own blog was available, I decided to take advantage and write about my favorite subject: Paco.

My dog has no pants.
Posted 5/12/2008 4:49 PM PDT

Recently my dog underwent TPLO surgery. For those of you unfamiliar with our story I urge you to read up on it here.

So, while I commend the medical staff at Berkeley Dog and Cat for prepping us for just about every post-op obstacle out there, they failed to address some secondary complications. For instance, the public embarrassment.

Right now it looks like my dog has no pants.

This was fine when I had to carry him down the stairs, help him walk with a sling, and have him confined to a crate or tie down 24/7. If anything, the fresh shave job emphasized the fact that he was crippled. It brought his pathetic state to a new level and squeezed sympathy out of even the most hardened hearts.

But now we've been cleared for light exercise. This means we get to start taking walks again, Paco can come in the car, and life begins to return to normal. The only problem is that nobody seems to have told his butt the news. It looks as pathetic and naked as before. And the fact his muscles have atrophied due to 6 weeks of no exercise only brings the point home.

Call me shallow, but I take pride in how my dog looks. I keep his weight down, his muscle tone up, and deck him out in fancy collars. When we roll down the street, I'm used to people hanging out the windows and yelling, "That's a nice lookin' dog!" and, if I'm lucky, they add, "and you ain't too bad yourself!"

But that's over now. I see people eyeballing us, as we make our slow return into the public realm of the street. I see their reactions as they take us in, get excited and prime themselves to hoot and holler, and then their faces fall as they try and make sense of the naked behind as it comes into full view. I can only wonder what's going through their heads since, to a lot of folks, the idea of surgery on a dog is ludicrous.

I suppose we have to choice until it grows in. Until then, I think I'll make him wear his pants more often:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Poor Paco

Everyone's going to the beach this weekend. Well, everyone except Paco. After careful consideration, it seemed like a better idea to just leave the little guy at home rather than bring him to his favorite place in the world and then not let him enjoy it.

I swear he can tell. The pout on his face is almost as big as the time I made him get in the Animal Control truck.

Call me cruel but it's still my favorite threat when he's acting naughty. Hey, my mom always threatened to send me away to the gypsies so it's in the blood. . .

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Water Dog

So yesterday we went to the vet for Paco's 6 week post-op check up. Not only was his healing just where it should be, but the doc cleared him for up to 1 hour walks several times a day. . . woohoo!

Obviously, he's not there yet, we'll have to build his muscle back up, but today marked the beginning of our guy's comeback (he was too high from x-ray sedatives to do much of anything yesterday except look pathetic).

A recent road trip to Seattle yielded a genuine cattle-sized watering trough, one I recognized right away would make a perfect Paco sized hydrotherapy tank. Today was a beautifully sunny day so we decided to give it a go. Nothing tells a story like pictures, so here goes:

Jade and Dango moving the tank into a strategic location (aka. out of the way)

Paco suits up with safety in mind

Awaiting the dunk. . . not amused.



The tub fills with water

Paco begins to float and kick his legs

The moment Paco realizes he's floating and trapped



Resignation (notice the lack of frantic splashing. . . he's finally in a groove and swimming steadily)

Putting the whole ordeal behind him

It was so much fun we decided to give Mae Mae a turn. . . what can we say, if you're a regular dog visitor at the studio you are subjected to a certain amount of torture (and my jeans were already soaked).

She has no idea what's about to hit her


In the groove

Paul demonstrating how Mae Mae keeps moving her legs even when levitated above the water. . . what a weirdo.

None of the animals in this post suffered permanent damage and some of them got to cuddle next to a heater the rest of the day.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

TPLO Poster Child

So Dr. Haburjak (Paco's surgeon) called me the other day asking for a favor. Basically, he is in the process of creating a new informational brochure for clients and wanted to know if he could use an image of Paco since, well, he's an actual patient.

I told him I'd call him back after I ran the idea past Paco. It took a little sweet talking, but once I emphasized how many dogs he could benefit by helping educate about the TPLO procedure, Paco reluctantly agreed with the concession that we use a previous image (since his ass is still mostly bald he is being a little bashful about modeling right now).*

Dr. Haburjak agreed to the terms and selected the following image to grace the cover of his new brochure. Keep an eye out for it in hospitals everywhere! (well, at least Berkeley Dog and Cat)

*this conversation may not have happened exactly as described. . . or maybe it did.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


So looking at Paco's hind end the other night I was saddened to see how much his butt has atrophied. He now has the hind end of an old man or someone who has lost a lot of weight very quickly.

I tried to get a good photo but, alas, none could really illustrate the drastic change he's undergone in just a few weeks. I'm confident he'll regain it once we begin the exercise, but we're still a ways away.

Until then, I decided to pay homage to his dearly departed ass. Here's a side view of the magnificence:

And here is a rear view. Note the roundness and the feeling it invokes in you to want to squeeze it:

Lastly, a shot my friend Molly took. I don't know why, I don't know when, but it happened:

(And to those who think dressing an animal only satisfies the whimsy of the owner, I'd like to point out how utterly naked my dog is from the underside. . . almost to the point of being disturbing).

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Paco has graduated from Conehead to Non-Conehead, woohoo!

Yep, our little guy tends to be a compulsive licker/fusser so, heeding the advice of a good vet friend (thanks, Jenny!), we kept the cone on extra long to make it through the itchy-post-suture-recovery-stage. The result? A completely healed dog who has no reason to obsess over his incision site.

Yep, now he can point his mouth towards other things, like fun interactive toys filled with treats like this one:

For those of you familiar with this "indestructible" toy you'll notice Paco has already removed that annoying barrier of a rope (which most normal dogs use to carry the toy around with them). Oh well, who can fault him for taking creative shortcuts?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Paco Pals

Doggie guests are a common thing in our house. Since Paco has been recuperating I've kept his dog interactions to a minimum. . . and when I say "minimum" I actually mean "not at all" since he's prone to getting really, really excited.

Now, we have two special dog guests, Muggy and Lola, that stay over a couple times a week. Their owner is a firefighter, so they get to spend the night when she pulls a late week 24-hour shift (someone else watches them earlier in the week).

Yesterday I was running around getting ready to take the girls on a walk. I'd just pottied Paco and his x-pen was ajar. I started to suit up Muggy but then got sidetracked doing something else (my hair). Taking advantage of the opportunity to go into "forbidden territory", Muggy snuck into Paco's pen and cuddled up with him. I came back to this sight:

It was so cute I left his pen ajar all night and Muggy cuddled with him off and on. . . you know, until she remembered that wasn't really a dog and actually belonged on the bed with the rest of the humans.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Paco Pants

Looking at Paco day in and day out "without pants" was getting a little depressing so we got him some pants. Check 'em out!

(disclaimer: we took off the sling for the pictures only)
Dorky, yes, but at the Target closeout price of $1.48 (yes, one dollar and forty-eight cents), we couldn't resist. Even Pirate approves:

Despite the horrible embarrassment, Paco has been doing quite well. His legs are getting stronger and he's able to move more easily. We've even worked up to assisted walks down the driveway and to the corner a couple of times per day. Look at him go!

Monday, April 7, 2008


First let's clarify, I'm not advocating you perform your own TPLO surgery at home. But for anyone who has ever needed to rehab a dog at home you know it can get expensive for you and boring for the dog, so I'm sharing a few tricks that have been proven life-savers for us.

First is the grocery bag sling:

It's something lots of experienced folks told me to do. Just take a cloth grocery bag, cut open the sides, hem it up and, voila, insta-sling for you and free advertising for your favorite establishment (disclaimer, Whole Foods is not our favorite establishment). Even if you have a plethora of slings around already, it's a good idea to have at least one more in the case of pee-on-the-sling.

Next is the tie-down. Take an eye hook, screw it in your wall. Take a sturdy clothesline material, preferably plastic coated metal wire, attach it to a snap hook, and clip to the eye bolt.

Measure out enough room so the dog can get up and turn around, but not so much they can get any momentum should they choose to break into a run, attach a snap hook to the other end, and clip to dog.

If your dog is at all crafty and has figured out how to tip over an x-pen (not that we know any dogs that fit that description), then the tie down can be your best friend. It also allows you to put eye hooks and beds in multiple rooms, thus creating multiple "rehab stations" so your dog can safely be with you wherever you are. In fact, if you're going to run a multiple dog home or ever consider having overnight doggie guests, a foster, or plan on adding a new canine to your pack, a tie down system can be your best friend. If you don't have some eye hooks already scattered around your home, I highly recommend doing so now.

Lastly, we bring you the "habi-trail":

It gets boring for the dog to be in the same space day in and day out, so change it up! Think hamster cage. Here we see how a crate has been turned in to a cave. Some days we'll make the x-pen larger or smaller depending on what's going on. Hey, if it works for rodents. . .

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


So yesterday we went to the vet for suture removal and 2 week check-up. According to his report card, he's doing great. The incisions look good and he's healing well. His spirits are also in good shape, as evidenced by the fact that he broke out in song the second he saw the vet building (despite the whole tranquilizer I gave him an hour before we left).

I asked if I could see his x-rays and they sent me home with a disk. Despite initial technical difficulties, we finally got these downloaded. Check it out:



I wonder what else happened in surgery as the first x-ray shows his sex as "M" and the second shows his sex as "N". . . one can only assume he went from "male" to "none".