Dog Blog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peaches and her favorite toy, Sock Monkey aka "Minkey"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here are a couple of pastels a friend commissioned me to paint of her two basset hounds.  Her Daisy is at Rainbow Bridge, too. All Pat's dogs are rescued, many at advanced ages. 

Clarence was the victim of a vicious pit bull attack.  He was severely injured, and his ear was nearly torn off. You can see the remaining scars on his right ear. Those were healed by a skilled vet, but the emotional ones were healed by an owner with the kindest heart of anyone I've ever known.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today I received an e-mail of the past from Daisy's former mom. I was in Peet's when I opened it. I let out a whoop of laughter when I saw the attached photo of Daisy at three months of age, when she was purchased from Petland, which acquired her from an Iowa puppy mill. Her owner had discovered this photo when sorting through things during a move.

When you adopt adult dogs you always wonder what they looked like as pups. Now I know what Daisy looked like. She was always a beautiful dog with a long, waggly tail. She was just the kind of puppy people fall in love with at a pet shop.  When I saw the photo, though, I thought Deja Vu!   It explains a lot. Evidently, mine wasn't the only hand Daisy gnawed on, and she got an early start at it. That, of course, is not a good lesson to teach puppies. Humans should never be mistaken for chew toys.

In the photo she has that same strange, glazed look in her eyes she always got whenever she exhibited her bad behaviors, and I don't think it was due to any fault of the camera lens. I now am certain that she suffered from something called "rage syndrome," a rare, inherited neurological disorder common in English Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels. This was why she would go off unpredictably. I had no idea of the reason behind her outbursts while I owned her, but I did understand she was quite a few biscuits shy of a full box. Even if I had sought advice from a dog screamer (not a whisperer), I doubt it would have helped with this problem since the cause was faulty wiring in her brain. Thanks be to all the greedy, irresponsible breeders who continue to reproduce and sell dogs with this dangerous disorder to an unsuspecting public. 

Of course, right after I laughed at seeing the photo of the naughty little puppy I never knew, I felt that familiar stab of pain and loss in my heart for my crazy old girl.  Even if she was a nut bag, I loved her all the same. I miss her and think of her often. Love is blind, deaf, and has no fingers.

I am certain that a space is reserved for me at Rainbow Bridge for having lasted with Daisy for the remainder of her life. I'm glad to have this photo of her. There are more to come, I'm told.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Harvest Hounds

Tree of Gold
Apple Hill Autumn

Fall has always been my favorite season. A crisp, colorful remnant of childhood, I suppose. Memories of raking brilliantly colored leaves into a pile (yes, we did that before the advent of the despised leaf blower) then running and jumping into the middle with my first best and faithful friend, Dusty, chasing right after. Cooler days and pretty new sweaters. First days of school and fresh new boxes of unbroken crayons. I remember the much loved smell of those waxy wands of color--periwinkle blue was my favorite. Halloween and pumpkins grinning in witch's moon nights filled with the aroma of mother's supper of something battered and fried beckoning through the window. My joys in the season as an adult are different than a child's, though not much. The youthful spirit of autumn has not died in me, as do the green leaves that fall to earth. It survives in the joyful antics of my dogs.

It's easy to tell when autumn is upon us, and it's not just from the gilding of leaves in the trees and the changing light of shortening days. My dogs herald the season's change as surely as any other element of nature does. I see it in their enlivened behavior, their heightened senses, the joy of a thousand smells. There must be more scents for them to savor at this time of year than in other seasons. Could it be some genetic memory they carry within them of hunting seasons of yore, baying in tune to the hunter's horn among greener fields in the land of their breed's origin? Do they long to track rabbits tenaciously on the trail until they, the rabbit, or the trail finally gives out? Whatever it is, these two canines of mine embody renewed life! They cavort on neighbor's lawns and spar with each other in the most delightful way that makes me laugh out loud. They have their own Dogtoberfest every day in the crisp autumn air, and if I had any grapes to harvest, they'd probably stomp them for me beneath their massive paws into hearty hound wine of the most rare and precious vintage. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

If you are looking for an empathetic healer, look no further than your dog (or cat).  I caught some evil bug that's been making the rounds and took to my bed yesterday.  Of course, Beau and Peaches knew something was wrong when they didn't get their morning walk and I didn't budge from my bed all day.  Both kept looking in on me and stayed by my bed most of the day, even after my husband came home mid-day and gave them their walk.  

Beau is probably the most devoted dog I've ever had.  He worships me!  He never leaves my side, and that was even truer yesterday.  He doesn't usually sleep with me, except in the case of being frightened by a thunderstorm, but last night he was insistent on sleeping in the bed.  I think he wanted to watch over me. Then this morning, Peaches jumped up into the bed and gave me some TLC, licking my hand and arm in the most tender, loving way.  Both were the perfect nursemaids, and it was so comforting to reach over the side of the bed to stroke a soft, warm coat.  

I think all hospitals should let pets visit their ailing humans.  Some do have therapy dogs that visit, but it's not the same as having your own pet there.  I remember when I was in the hospital some years ago, all I wanted was to have my Dolly and Patti bassets with me.  I think I would have gotten out of there much faster if they had been.