Friday, December 3, 2004

A Dogs Story

  I've gotten a few comments and emails about my puppy, Paco.  (OK...maybe he's not a puppy, but I call him that anyway.)  So...here is the long dog story.  6 years ago, my first dog and best friend, BooBoo passed away.  He was, in all seriousness, my best friend.  Always there for me, no matter what.  Even if I was in a bad mood and yelled at him...he would still come up and nudge me to say 'It's ok, Mama' and suddenly, this little furry dog made all of my troubles go away.  He was a cock-a-poo.  Soft and fluffly...I brushed him all the time, and he loved to be brushed.  He was my first pet, and I got him when I was 16 and he was 4....from the pound.  I guess you could say he was my first baby.  Even when I had my own children, he was STILL (and always will be) my baby.  He was so protective of me...barking and baring his teeth, even at my husband if my husband looked at me the wrong way.  :)    When BooBoo was 6, we got Peeky.  She was a Pekingese mix....and she was silly and goofy.  If you could think of any one person she would remind you of....she was Goldie Hawn.  Silly was the best word to describe her.  She was running down my street while some boys were throwing rocks at her.  I was outside and called to her with a piece of sandwich in my hand.  I opened the door and invited her in, and the rest is history.  She could make anybody laugh with her expressions......although she and BooBoo didn't get along that well.  He would always growl at her and show her his teeth, and she would always hide under my papa-san chair, because she could fit under there and chubby BooBoo couldn't.  :)  When I got married and moved, my babies went with me.  We moved to my husband's parents house.  Imagine 2 non-dog people...letting me have my babies IN THE HOUSE.  In their eyes...dogs were outside animals.  I can only imagine their horror that I not only shared my pillow, but my food with the dogs.  LOL  The funny thing was.....these two non-dog people...fell in love with BooBoo and Peeky.  BooBoo had this habit of sleeping on a persons' feet.  He wanted to make sure he knew where you were.  My father in law loved that.  He told me he once had a dog as a child who did the same thing and BooBoo reminded him of his own childhood dog.  Then...my husband got military orders to California.  Off to CA we all went.  Jesse, me, a baby, and 2 dogs.  (Travelling with two dogs is not my idea of fun, I must say.)  We were in CA for 7 years.  In that time, Peeky went blind, and had two cancers removed.  She was still sweet and silly and playful, and when our vet suggested we put her to sleep, we indignantly told him what we thought and marched out the door.  Why a professional vet would want to put a vibrant sweet young dog to sleep only because she was blind was beyond offensive to me.  She learned to adapt.....and the funny thing was...BooBoo, who had only tolerated her before...became her eyes.  Whenever she would get up to go anywhere, he was right beside her.  If she would be about to run into something, he would lean his shoulder into hers a bit to redirect her.  Or...he would put his body in front of her to protect her..so she ran into him and he took the brunt of her weight so she wouldn't get hurt.  Even with 2 kids by then, these were still my babies.  :)  We got a transfer out of California after being there 7 years...to Florida.  Soo....there we were...travelling with 2 kids, 2 dogs.  Arriving in FL was a challenge because we did not have a hotel that would accept animals, so we had to have a guy in  Jesse's new squadron take them.  That was one of the most awful times for me.  I had never been separated from them....and I know they were upset too because neither of them would eat.  :-/  After we had been in FL for about 2 years, BooBoo went deaf.  Yeah...imagine that.  A deaf dog and a blind dog.  LOL  I don't think either of them noticed, though.  After several moves, and a few years in FL, they started showing signs of getting 'old'.  Peeky started yelping every time she tried to lay down.  We found out she had spinal problems and they were hard to fix.  The chances we not good for her.  One of the most awful experiences is deciding to put a dog who has been there for you to sleep.  It's like sacrificing a child.  I knew I had to for her sake because she had been such a good dog, I couldn't let her suffer, but the experience was awful.  When we came back from having her put to sleep, we cried.  For weeks.  BooBoo walked through every room looking for her, whining.  It was...just awful.  He never stopped looking for her.....and one day when we were out...he got out of the yard.  We came back...to find him missing.  We were both in a panic...because he was old and deaf.  One of the older neighbors down the street stopped us as we were walking the neighborhood and told us he didn't know it was our dog and he had dropped the dog off at the Humane Society.   Yep...there I was in front of a bunch of people.....crying like a fool to have found my BooBoo.  A few years later, BooBoo started having problems too.  He lost bladder control...he got irritable....and I know he had to be in pain, because this dog was a saint as far as patience goes.  We took him in and the vet told us he was in a lot of pain and really needed to be put to sleep.  I knew that, in my heart, but loving him so much was.....ugh.....I tear up even now thinking about the decision.  We agreed and the vet went back to get a syringe to administer the shot, and I kept petting BooBoo and teling him I loved him...all the while, he kept licking my face like he was saying 'It's ok, Mama...it's my time....'.  When the vet came back in, he held BooBoo and gave him the shot.  He held BooBoo until BooBoo passed on.  That was one of the most horrific things I have ever experienced.  A stranger holding him as he passed on.....without me holding him.  (This is one of the hardest things for me to think about, let alone write about......it's like the pain and sadness comes back like it was yesterday.)  When we went home, there was a quiet sadness that was in the house for a very long time.  We had had them both for so long that not having them around was just.......strange.  not normal.  I had vowed to Jesse that I was never going to have another dog, because I didn't feel that I could love another dog with the purity that I had given BooBoo and Peeky.  Especially BooBoo.  He understood, and for a long time, we didn't have any animals.  Then, a year later,  we bought a house.  Our own house with a huge yard.  This yard begged for a dog.  I resisted.  I couldn't.  Then, one day, I was watching Animal Planet.  The show was Breed All About It, and I fell in love with the Great Dane.  Me...who was onlygoing to have 'chick dogs'...fell in love with this great big beastly dog.  We talked.  We researched.  We researched more.  and we decided that a Great Dane would be a good thing for us.  We called a rescue organization for Great Danes and the lady put our name on the list.  Three hours later, she called us back.  We thought it was just more questions about our family or house or something, but instead, she said "I have a young Dane who I'm wondering if you might want to take a look at...?"  Of course we said yes, all the while thinking we hadn't even purchased dog food or a dog bowl or a collar or leash.... We went to a small antique store....thinking that we HAD TO have gotten the address wrong, but no...there was this puppy.  4 months old.  He was shy and scared...off by himself.  The lady told us about him......that he had been chased down a highway by some man trying to hurt him.  That he had been abused.  That he was very scared...not housebroken.  But...why didn't we see for ourselves if we liked him.  I went up to him first.  He didn't look at me.  I sat down next to him, and talked to him softly.  He still didn't look at me...or wag his tail.  I leaned down next to him and whispered to him.  He closed his eyes for a minute and then.......he licked my face.  He was so scared that he was trembling, but he licked my face.  I scratched him and kept sweet talking him until he decided I was pretty alright.  Then came the rest of the family......and kids...oh man....he was digging the kids.  I mean, hey...most dogs love kids.  Kids are the promise of treats dropped from the dinner table......peanut butter faces to lick clean..... SO....we took him.  That day.  In our very small car.  heh heh....here's the visual.  2 kids and a baby in a car seat in the back.  Me and Jesse in the front.  No room anywhere.  (hey, this is an Acura Integra....it's not your family sedan!) So, guess where he sat.  Yep...in my lap.  The whole long trip home......snuggled into me.  Now keep in mind that even as a puppy, a Great Dane (or Great Dane/Lab mix, which is what Paco is) weighs alot.  We got...an awesome dog.  He's accepted training well.  He's a wonderful protector to the whole family.  He's a really great snuggler.  He's goofy and playful, but he's still a couch potato.  I love him to death and spoil him rotten.....and now, I think he needs a buddy.  We tried to get a playmate for him at the Humane Society, but they are very ...umm....picky (is that a nice enough word?) about who gets a pet or not.  Personally, methinks they abuse the power a bit much, especially considering how much we would spoil our animals, but they said since Paco was a big dominant dog, that we had to bring him into meet any potential buddies.  We found one, a Golden.  Young, sweet, and simply beautiful.  She would have been perfect for our family, but....of course, when we brought Paco into the Humane Society, he got all upset by all the dogs barking at him...and tried to jump at them to play...but since he's a big dumb dog, he didn't know his performance would be evaluated by someone who didn't know how dogs are supposed to play.....and we were told that he was too aggressive and we couldn't have a dog.  umm.  ok.  aggressive?  the dog who hides under the table if we look at him disapprovingly?  He's dominant, but not aggressive.  At all.  SO....now we are looking into getting a puppy, whom he will tolerate without much interest, and a puppy who will grow up knowing the big old oaf laying on the sofa (umm...I meant Paco, not the husband...LOL) is his personal playmate for life...   Forgive me for making a long long story short(er) and leaving out details, but...you know......<g>  the journal entry can only be so long....  but THAT'S.....my dog story.... sorry to have bored anyone who wasn't interested....  :)

4 comments:

  1. That was a very interesting story...I really wish you much luck in finding that perfect puppy for your family...it will happen!!

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  2. I had a Siamese cat that was hit by a car when I was about 10, he was more like a dog than a cat, he would come when I called him and sleep between my legs at night, my mom and I cried for about a week after we burried him in the back yard.  I also had a tiger kitten I got at the pound about 10 years ago, come to find out it had feline leukemia, it really hurt to have her put to sleep, she would get up in the bed at night and sqeeze in between Bunny and me pushing us apart to squeeze in as deep as possible, smart kitten, lol.  It's so easy to get close to pets with their unconditional love.

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  3. we of course as you know have four dogs each one I told my hubby needed a playmate. when we went thru wood stock .......... they ahd us meet at a doggie park where it would be neither dogs territory. becuase Pepper is dominant dog and alpah. So we were told by my vet to get a female since Pepper was a male and alpha dog. So that may be an idea for you. I m just now getting back thru some of your posts. Lori

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  4. Dogs give such unconditional love, and dont care if you look like crap on a bad day! lololol Nice journal, Cheryl from Mass~

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