Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

It has been a while since I gave an update on ZuZu, my Cavalier King Charles dog, now three years old.

The Cavalier King Charles is an off-shoot of the spaniel family and one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom. They are supposed to weigh in at 13-18 pounds and be the ideal lap dog.

Okay, ZuZu is not the ideal King Charles. She just weighed in at 32 pounds, but that does not prevent her from still thinking she is a lap dog. I just purchased a lush, motorized leather recliner. My idea was to retrain the dog not to jump up on my lap, but alas, this was never to be. Truth be told, I kind of like the recliner bond we have.

Unfortunately, Simon the Siamese Cat also thinks he should have a spot on the Master. This makes for a peculiar setting as I fall asleep, covered in fur.

ZuZu was propped up on my lap last week asleep, when I thought I had perhaps, sweated through my pajamas in the leather chair. No, ZuZu has peed on me. I immediately called for Wife Patti and after a diligent clean-up and shower, realized the dog was acting kind of funny. She looked at me with her sad eyes, jumped into my lap to settled in and…moments later once again I was a sponge to the dog’s incontinence.

Another shower later and a trip to the vet exposed a raging urinary tract infection. The pills, petting and assurance has the dog back on the lap and all is expected to be well. The pills often make her sick, but there are no scowls from her owner when clean-up is necessary, just loving reassurance.

However, the doctor did suggest a weight loss program and cutting back on treats. This is easier said than done with those piercing brown eyes starring straight into your face as evening progresses. She is now on a reluctant diet that is hard on both of us.

ZuZu and the cavalier breed are perhaps the friendliest of dogs with children and strangers. No, cavaliers do not make good watchdogs. They will instinctively jump up and lick an intruder to death. ZuZu is also the most loyal dog, following me from room to room, always underfoot.

Various games must be played daily. The room chase-around, followed by the tug-of-war with a chew toy are regulars. She understands the words pee, poop and bedtime, along with biscuit, bone and cheese.

Once the dog goes out for any reason, the attempts at coaxing ZuZu back in are also a game. She will head for the door, only to stop short and wait until the coaxer becomes angry and shuts the door. She then relents and begins scratching on the entrance in a routine that infuriates all humans.

The dog sheds like there is no tomorrow and no amount of daily brushing solves the flaw. That is why I often write about my favorite vacuum cleaners and their more than daily use.

She sleeps in the dog bed in the bedroom and lets us know if she needs to go out, usually around 3 a.m. Sometimes she wants out of the bedroom, simply to finish the night next to my office desk, or up on my office chair. While in the house, or outside, we are inseparable and that is what I have come to love about this Cavalier.