Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One Dog, Two Dog, White Dog.... NEW DOG?

There's a new baby in the house. Wednesday is a 12 week old lab/pit mix who was found under a shed with her 6 littermates. Dear lord, she's giving us a run for our money. She's smart as a whip, though. Completed her first training class with flying colors. Loves to meet new people (because mom always slips them treats to give her) and tries to run up to groups of children because they will pet her belly for endless hours in the hot sun and she just soaks it all up. She's a pistol, and I've never had a puppy before, but so far so good!

She's spoiled us, I think, and I'll never have another puppy because it might not turn out like her and then I'll be disappointed. It's old dogs from here on out!

I have to post some pictures of Sully playing with her. He's so gentle, but they're both so loud.

Today, Sully went over to meet the new neighbors who are big dog lovers. I warned him that he's a bit shy at first outside of the house, but we're working on socializing. They came prepared with treats and he just leaned on them first thing. He was so happy and I was thrilled! What a good boy. He's come a long way.

Also, I'd like to point out that my purebred rescues are not as good as my mutt puppy. The pup and I were at the store getting dog food when a rescue lady walked in to pick up some expired food the store was donating. She cooed over my puppy and asked what kind. I said lab pit mix. She cooed some more and asked if I rescued her. I told her of course! And that my other two at home were rescued, too. I told her where they came from and that they were purebreds, and she went into a huge speil about how purebreds always come first and mixed breeds didn't get nearly enough attention or adoption rates. I told her I'd just adopted this lovely little mixed breed black dog and that I loved all my babies equally and that my purebreds needed homes when I adopted them, too. And now they don't, and they never will again. She apparently agreed to disagree because she gave Wednesday one last pat and walked out. How sweet.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nose to the Snows

Last Monday it snowed. Sully was spectacularly happy about the snow. Daisy was rather upset and wished she could just pee in the kitchen for goodness sake.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bringing Down the House

Sully broke the garage today. He saw something he wanted across the yard and he took off. With only about ten feet of a head start, I thought I could stop him, since he was running right towards me. I stepped in front of his path thinking I would pin him between me and the garage. I was a second too late. He ran past me and took down a pretty large chunk of siding and splintered the corner protector halfway up the garage. Also, my hand hurts. Because he smashed into it. And my leg is bruised. He just went right on his merry way though.

That's when I realized I wasn't wearing my left sock anymore. It was halfway across the yard with a big muddy paw print on it. I don't know HOW he knocked my sock off and took it with him. My foot didn't even hurt.

That dog's crazier than hell. Love him to death, though.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


It's scary to just be cruising along and living your life with your dogs. Sometimes you take them for granted.

I've learned not to do that. I used to sometimes just give my dogs a head pat after I got home from work and then go about my winding down. Not anymore. Not since Daisy's cancer.

When I look at her with her shaved patches and the hair growing back strangely from the chemotherapy and the missing leg, and the scars, I think to myself how I could have easily lost her. Either one of them. How do I know how much longer I have with either of them? With any of my pets?

Working where I work I see a lot of people who didn't think they were coming in to put their dog down. They thought it was another routine visit and then the ultrasound finds a huge mass or the CT shows something ugly. And on the way home I cry for the dogs who's owners chose not to fight something they could have won. I cry for the dogs who's owners didn't cry for them. SOMEONE needs to recognize that those dogs gave everything they could every day of their life until the very end.

So now I make sure that when I get home I scoop up my little dog and give her kisses on her little, shaved, hopefully-cancer-free belly. I make sure I squish my fat man's cheeks between my fists and plant a kiss right on his gross, wet nose. I grind my hands against his huge ears so that he leans into me and his eyes close. I throw the ball across the house for them and I don't care if their nails are scratching up my hardwoods. I'm just happy they are still here to do it.

And when they're gone, I'll be able to look at the well-loved hardwood floor and remember.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How I Wake Up.

Every morning between the hours of 4am and 6am there is a war going on in our house. The dogs always win, but the humans fight hard every time.

At 4am, my eyes snap open as the small dog shakes off her sleep, her collars jingling loudly in my once silent night. I call to her softly hoping I wont wake up the larger dog. Sometimes, on lucky days, she comes to me and I can put her in bed for an hour longer. She's a sucker for cuddling. But then there are those days where she sits down in front of the door to the bedroom. It's open. The door is open but the dogs do not enter. They stand with their toes on the line and they whine and back up. Then they hop forward. Whine and back up. Hop forward. One of them accidentally steps on a squeaky toy. The whining stops. The squeaking starts. The taller human yells from his sleep, "STOP STOP IT!" and the dogs fall into a stupor.

This must mean the humans are awake now!

They leap about the living room until either Ellison closes the door in their face or he takes them out. The dogs always win because at some point, one of us has to go to work.

One night, the night before my day off, I took the squirt bottle to bed. I cuddled it lovingly knowing the next morning would be different. This morning I would not be woken up at 4am and made to stay awake listening to the whines and hops of 122 pounds of dog.

Sure enough, at 4am, the collars jingled. The dogs approached the front line. I was already sitting up letting my eyes adjust to the dark, watching their shapes dance across my doorway. I took moment to orient myself to the larger one's big head. I squirted once. Direct hit! He immediately retreated with a shake of his big body and curled up, dejected, in his bed. The smaller one was harder. I squired and missed twice. The third one was a hit to the side. She took another hit to the butt before she retreated away from the door to her bed.

And from her bed, just out of reach of my weaponry, she whined from 4am to 6am when Ellison got up to feed them.

I have given up on the squirt bottle and we're just back to being the loser humans who are ruled by our dogs.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

There are tons of back-up stories I have for the occasional day that all of the animals aren't being funny. It's rare.

Today there was really nothing good happening. Sully spent most of his day stretching beyond the bounds of his ridiculously expensive, ridiculously huge dog bed and Daisy did the same, in her smaller, less expensive (but still expensive) dog bed. The pigs were both (I hate saying both. Just a week ago it was ALL. A collective guinea pig herd. Now it is two. Two's company, but three's a party.) just squeaking at me randomly and the birds threw their seeds around as normal.

So I'm reverting to a story that is about seven months old.

When we started letting Sully sleep on his couch and not in his crate at night, I was hyper vigilant to any little noise he might make. The smallest of groans would wake me and make me sit up to stare into the living room. Most of the time he was sleeping on his bed in the midst of a good dream. Sometimes he was just sliding off of the couch to grab a drink of water before heading back to bed. I relaxed gradually and was able to get a good night's sleep about a month into the new system of non-crating.

Small noises would no longer wake up. That's when we started noticing the foot prints.

There were muddy paw prints all over our tub. Not every morning, but most mornings. Nothing was missing from the shower, just the footprints. It was not Daisy, of course. These were Sully's paws leaving behind evidence he had no idea he was leaving, and no idea how to clean up even if he did realize he'd left them.

We just chalked it up to the fact that when he got a bath, he enjoyed the shower head. He liked having it sprayed up into his lips. Remnants of biscuits eaten days, weeks, who knows how long ago would coast out of his teeth and lip folds and circle down the drain. We figured he was just in there looking for a good time.

We probably should have just closed the bathroom door and not let him in. But he wasn't getting into anything. And the footprints washed away easily when I showered in the mornings. No harm, no foul.

Until the soap was eaten. Then there was foul. So much foul. Two bars of soap were consumed in less than 12 hours.

I don't know if you've ever seen a cartoon where someone is farting bubbles after swallowing something like soap or... bubble solution. It's comical. You laugh. You never consider that it could be a real possibility until you're in your yard watching your dog poo a stream of snow-white, frothy liquid. For two days.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Enough Cephalexin to Kill a Horse.

Today, Daisy ate 1500mg of the antibiotic that Sully is on. That's 3 pills out of the 6 pills Sully takes a day. Sully weighs 111lbs. Daisy weighs 11.

They said that she would probably have some vomiting and diarrhea, but for god's sake if chemotherapy doesn't make her ill, I doubt that much Cephalexin will!

And so far it's been 15 hours and she's healthy. As a horse. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A place for poo.

Yesterday Sully pooped on the floor. He pooped right at the back door as if he was attempting to will it through the wood and into the proper spot for poo - the back yard. It didn't make it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Enter Blue Dog, September 2007

By the time August of 2007 rolled around, I was two months away from getting married and we were feverishly working on getting our 1920's mill house ready for human inhabitants. Not to mention the animal inhabitants.

Daisy, of course, would be coming with me. Ellison, my future husband, was bringing no animals to the table. That was okay, though. In addition to Daisy I was bringing three guinea pigs and a ridiculously large, handmade cage, and two parakeets. All of these were rescues and could certainly not be left behind at my dad's house. My convoluted menagerie must come with!

With all of that, what makes a seemingly sane person say, "Wow, honey. Since we're moving into a 1200 square foot house with one dog, three guinea pigs, and two parakeets, we should adopt a Great Dane!"

We haven't quite figured it out yet, but we're glad we did it.

We didn't have any particular requirements for this rescue other than it get along with Daisy. And by get along, I mean that it flees in terror when she snarls at it, as opposed to eating her for a snack.

We found a Great Dane rescue close to us and in late August, we went to meet some Danes. The people at Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League were awesome. After Daisy barked her fool head off at the North Carolina coordinator for about 30 minutes we met a few Danes. A few of them were clearly upset (read, angry) by Daisy's snarls and some of them merely raised their hackles at her. One Great Dane, after moving to sniff Daisy's butt, recoiled in horror when my Little White Dog reared up and attempted to snap at him. He ran clear across the horse pasture and jumped into a water trough.

We decided he was the one. We told them we would be back on September 1st to pick him up because we were moving into our house that day. They had already inspected our new house and our fence and were fine with keeping Sully for two more weeks.

When we finally spent the first night in our house, we woke up on September 1st, drove back to North Carolina, and got to pick up our new baby. He was waiting for us. We brought a new collar that was adorned with an autumn leaf pattern and a new tag with our phone number on it. The rescue worker gave Sully a big bear hug (because you can do that with a dog that big) and leashed him for us.

After we were pulled around the yard a bit, we finally managed to grab onto the mirror of our car and wait until he realized he would need to get in it. Before we could open the door, Sully jumped ONTO the car.

Wondering what we had gotten into, we finally got him off the hood and loaded him in properly. We closed the door and I stared at my husband-to-be for a moment. The car was rocking frantically back and forth as Sully paced in the back seat. Without saying anything, we got in our respective sides of the car and backed down the driveway. Sully stared out the back window watching his foster dad fade into the distance.

He finally settled down and laid across the seat as best as he could. I patted his feet and played with his paw pads. I distinctly remember saying, "Look, honey! I'll have no trouble giving him nail trims!"

Sully dozed softly until we pulled up to a Wendys. We were starved and all three of us shared some nuggets once they found someone who wasn't scared to reach through the drive-thru window and hand them to us...

Enter White Dog, October 2004.

The name 'Daisy' implies a certain femininity. A lovely, delicate little flower with a slender stem and petite little petals. Any dog named Daisy should be waif-like. A delicate little lady with a rhinestone collar and a long, well-groomed coat.

Our Daisy is a butch Jack Russell Terrier with a snarky attitude and a penchant for staring deep into your soul, unblinking while you attempt to eat your dinner. She's bulky, all muscle, and while she is white, that doesn't mean she should have been named Daisy. Possibly Thor or Malachi would have worked.

I adopted Daisy while I was still living at my parent's house. We wanted another dog for our Golden Retriever to play with, but we didn't want a big dog. Our criteria was "little dog." But the little dog couldn't have strange eyes because they unsettled my dad. And the little dog couldn't have too much hair because our Golden Retriever had too much already. We probably bypassed a lot of great dogs that way...

In any case, we adopted Daisy. A scared little Jack Russell Terrier who came in to the humane society days earlier. She was huddled at the front of the run with two other terrier mixes. They were harassing her a bit and she was taking it with her tail down. I called my dad while he was at work and told him he should shoot on over and meet her because I think I found our new dog. An hour later he was there and Daisy was gone. He called me to break the bad news.

A humane society worker interrupted him to tell him that the white dog that had been in that run was actually on the news at the moment. She was being featured as the 'Adoptable Dog of the Day' and we could be first in line for her if he wanted to wait around. I was back to the humane society in a flash with our Golden Retriever. They were going to meet first and see how they got along. After they ignored each other for 30 minutes we filled out the paperwork.

While we were getting her tags and paying, people were streaming past trying to find the little white dog that was on the news. I held her a little closer, even though she was already mine. Daisy was scared and limp in my arms. Her whole life had changed. They told us she was three years old and that she had lived outside so she would need house breaking, but that she should catch on fast. They gave us pamphlets and leaflets and a free bag of food. We took her home.