Zorro Dog

Zorro is one of those chi/JRT mixes who manages to capture the best parts of both breeds with very little of the bad. One of those traits is his love of vertical take-offs and landings. He can, when inspired, jump higher than my shoulder, and while that may not sound like much since I’m only five feet tall (exactly), he’s only 7.5 INCHES tall.

He likes to jump up and down from our bed, which is fairly high, as we have a thick box spring on the frame, and a pillow-top mattress on top of that. There’s a chest at the foot of the bed that makes a good step, and sometimes we find him curled up on top of it, but he almost never uses it to get up or down.

A couple of days ago, he fell off the bed, and I thought I heard a dog-bone sort of pop, but he didn’t squawk or anything, though he did begin to limp on that leg, a leg where he already has a problem knee. The limping continued, with no signs of pain when I manipulated the leg or hip, and I began to wonder if my dog was just acting out for attention. (He affected a limp when the pet sitter was here last Christmas.) He’s also got a stage six heart murmur, so when limping was accompanied by his dry hacking cough for the past two nights, despite drugging him like crazy, we went to the vet.

Here’s the result:
His heart is marginally worse (it’s enlarged, but it has been for a while). His blood pressure is a little high, but not dangerously slow. He’s at his higher summer weight (9 pounds) because it’s been too hot for walkies (108 today). The cough, the vet thinks, is allergies/cold/irritation, and rather than give us more cough meds, he wants us to try benadryl.

His leg, OTOP (on the other paw) is not so good. He basically blew out the ACL on the side with the bad knee. There’s a surgical fix, of course, but because of Zorro’s heart condition, the vet advises against anything invasive, especially since anesthesia would be required. They are uncertain it is worth the risk putting a 14-year-old dog through that.

So, we have canine narcotics (tramadol – it’s $1 / pill, and we have 15, but that’s a 60 day supply for a dog this small), and we’ve been told to keep him still as much as possible but that there will be a degree of healing, though we should expect that he’ll always run on three legs, even when he begins walking on four again.

The people who were leaving as we came in had one dog in a trauma collar, and had just put down their other, and were in tears.

We got off with drugs and a $140 bill.
We were lucky.

Journey to the Center of the Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

It’s completely geeky to admit it, but I have a thing for Brendan Fraser, even if his website is woefully out of date. It’s even more neglected than this blog has been lately. Dusty, cobwebby, and sort of forgotten, but still nice to visit from time to time. Anyway, true confessions time: He’d totally be on my freebie list. If I had one. Which I don’t.

Needless to say, this summer has been a feast of Fraser at the movies, what with Disney giving us a new version of Journey to the Center of the Earth, which was cute, but a bit too short and not terribly well written (well, I had to see it. I’m a Jules Verne fan too.), and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor which also needed some script help, I thought (the prologue was long enough that for a while I thought it was a short film called “Exposition.”), and Rachel Weisz has been replaced by Maria Bello (who brought a fresh interpretation of Evelyn), which was disappointing at first, but then wasn’t, after all, but it was still a great escapist romp.

We saw Journey…, the same weekend we saw Mamma Mia. The same day, even, and we saw The Mummy last night at Studio Movie Grill, combining it with dinner. (Their turkey burgers with sweet potato fries are really good, btw.) I was surprised that The Dark Knight was still selling out shows, and that Step Brothers was sold out – it’s on my list of “movies I would gouge my eyes out before paying to see,” after all, but I recognize that many people like sophomoric humor. I don’t. I never have. I don’t like slapstick, and I also don’t like animation. A lot. Especially animated slapstick.

In any case, the theaters were full for both Fraser films, and our fellow audience members were into both films. Last night, especially. I like it when a film can make the audience respond with cheers and laughter, when it really is engaging enough to trigger the willful suspense of disbelief and when you find yourself applauding at the end, even though you KNOW it’s a film and no one can hear you.

This isn’t a review, so much as a ramble, and one of the topics I wanted to address is that my affection for Fraser’s work has to do with his finesse at playing against type. We expect someone who looks like him to be a perfect action hero, but he brings just enough silly that his performance becomes, not a pale imitation of folks like Harrison Ford (as Indiana Jones), but an homage to them. He has this great knack of being just a little bit bimbo-esque but with intelligence in his eyes.

And yet, he also has range. Go rent Gods and Monsters or The Quiet American if you don’t believe me.

In any case, I’d recommend Journey to the Center of the Earth for the tween crowd and their parents, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor for pretty much anyone, and I’m not just saying that because I really like the setting of Shanghai in the ’40s, either.