Cows, Itchiness, Karma-Crim-Krama

Tyler has learned to scramble up on the couch. He’s a huge cuddler, but a cuddler with a mischievous side. He likes to bring a toy to chew and then cuddle up with me. Every so often he’ll reach over and bite my sleeve, to see if I’m paying attention.

Right now he’s cuddled up beside me with a toy he picked out at Petsmart yesterday. We were there looking for medicated shampoo and lidocaine spray for his itchy skin.

One of Tyler’s favorite older toys is a black, white and brown cow:

Yesterday, he rifled through a bin of brightly colored toys and selected this one:

The cowball. Basically, it’s a ball dressed in a cow suit. Made in China. I always imagine stuff like this is made by Chinese prisoners who wonder what the hell is going on — why do Americans want rubber balls dressed in cow suits?

I am amused that Tyler seems to like cows, and that he picks toys in a color palette to match his own markings. Even more amusingly — the toys and Tyler match the decor in our living room.

A few minutes ago, as we sat on the couch, he paused in his games with the cowball to watch a YouTube of Lino doing the exit from kukkutasana. Tyler started paying attention when he heard Lino’s voice. Hilariously, he started whimpering during the close-up of Lino doing nauli during the pose. I couldn’t agree more.


I’ve been trying *everything* to try to solve Tyler’s skin issues. The antibiotics that the vet prescribed don’t seem to be doing anything at all. Guess it isn’t staph.

Quite honestly, my concern is partly selfish. He wakes me every morning at 3 AM with his frenzied scratching and biting. So basically, I haven’t slept past 3 AM for the past 6 weeks. I am very tired.

I’ve tried topical lotions: hydrocortisone cream and spray, lidocaine spray, aloe vera, shea butter, coconut butter, medicated shampoo. I’ve tried dietary changes: a grain-free kibble, EFAs. I’ve tried medications: benedryl, antibiotics. I’ve even tried environmental changes: hypoallergenic laundry detergent.

Last night, though, I tried something new. A colloidial oatmeal bath. Usually when Tyler gets a bath, he splashes around and is restless. Last night he just sat in the oatmeal bath and rested his head in the crook of my elbow as I leaned over the tub. Oh, and he enjoyed drinking some of the delicious oatmealy water.

And then he slept straight through to 5 AM.

Thank God.

Still seems a little itchy this morning, but MUCH less than usual. And I want to try an oatmeal bath myself — my hands were REALLY soft after I gave him his bath.


Plans for today include a Saturday practice. I have been reading Matthew Sweeney’s new book, and want to try the Simha Krama sequence.

It’s really fun to read Matthew’s writing. Since the workshop in July, I can imagine his voice when I read his words, and it’s very amusing to hear it all in an Australian accent.

Had a crim practice yesterday at the Anusara studio. Well, crim by Ashtanga standards. A-okay by karma yoga standards: I went at the request of a co-worker who wanted to check out some yoga studios. She’s new to yoga and wanted to try some local studios. I told her about this place and went as moral support.

It was fun, we laughed, and I discovered she is a natural backbender. Very exciting to see someone who can bend backwards really easily. She’s a huge extravert. I always wonder if extraverts tend to be more backbendy than introverts. Anyhow, it’s clear she’ll be game for Ashtanga, and I think primary would suit her marvelously (so she can get the forward bend thing worked out). Amazingly, it occurs to me that there are no led classes available in this area at this time. There used to be at least a few to choose from in different parts of town.


And I leave you with a dose of cuteness: Tyler and The Cowball


8 Responses

  1. Have you ruled out Tyler’s diet as being a source of the itchiness? My dog was really itchy, and it turned out she had an allergic reaction to wheat. Once we switched her to Lamb and Rice, her coat vastly improved… but the journey to find out what exactly she was allergic to was not a fun one.

  2. We’ve definitely ruled out grains — at this point he is on a grain-free diet. I keep wondering about all of the other stuff he eats, though — he eats any fruit or vegetable he can get ahold of, peanut butter, eggs, yogurt…

    The oatmeal bath really seems to have done the trick, at least in the past 12 hours… I’m going to keep soaking him in oatmeal and see if that’ll solve for the problem.

    His dad had grass allergies when he was a puppy, but grew out of them. I’m hoping that’s what’s going on here.

  3. Haha, are you going “Vinyasa Krama” like Cody asked?

    As you probably know by now, I have great, great love for the Simha Krama.

    It sounds funny to read, “soaking the dog in oatmeal,” but I hear you there, my father’s biz while I was a kid was grooming dogs. I’ve seen all kinds of stuff.

  4. Funny you commented as I was busy writing a new post about Simha Krama. Yeah, I seem to be under the spell of the Crim Guru! Gosh, what a terrific series SK is! I’m impressed. What do you think would happen if someone (not me, a friend of mine! 😉 ) did it every day?

    I wish he’d make an audio version. It was so much easier doing Chandra Krama when he walked us through it verbally. It’s hard to look at pictures and breathe at the same time. Gee, I sound like Jessica Simpson…

    LOL! You’ll have to share some of your dog stories. The cybershala seems to be on an animal story jag these days.

  5. To be honest, I think you’d find that some of the Intermediate backbends would retreat and others would advance. I use Simha Krama as a prep for dropping back, and it’s brilliant. It is also way, WAY cranking up the ease and joy of my Padmasana. Matthew told me that someone said to him that SK is “the Kapotasana sequence” but I have yet to notice a drastic change in my Kapo. You’ll notice, in the hip opening sequence, that it’s probably also good for building foot-behind-head.

    And YES, to the way that Ashtanga builds a big Urdhva Dhanurasana; we TOTALLY forget this when we’re practicing solo or only with other Ashtangis.

    Dog stories: I’ve seen flea soaks, big ole ticks removed, matted puppies de-matted, backyard dog fights hosed down, skunked dogs bathed in V8, and a thousand cases of dogs and emergency runs to vets, dogs carried bodily to ponds while heat stroking out, all sorts of things.

  6. I can see the kapo aspect in the sequence, for sure. All those ustrasanas with different arm articulations — heck, the arms in the salabhasanas and lunges and even the gomukhasana, for that matter. Lots to learn about opening (and articulating) the shoulders in there. And then all the lotused backbends for learning about the front of the hips. Those seem kapo-related to me.

    Or maybe I’m just projecting. 🙂

    Still, my thought today is that it seems like a good sequence to play in tandem with the first third of second (fun to write that!).

  7. gosh dangit….still having skin issues???? I will rack my brain and see if there is anything else I can think of.
    Glad the oatmeal bath is offering some improvement.

    He is so cute and I just love your stories:)

    Did he start his puppy classes? I thought you mentioned you had enrolled him(??)

    Say hi to The Cop 🙂

  8. Oh for heaven’s sake.

    I’m glad his coat is getting better, poor little guy.

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