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Posts Tagged ‘Dog Story’

This is Me, Elsa

They call me a Rescue Dog but I am really just a dog, a descendent of the mighty wolves of long ago. I actually remember bits and pieces of that ancient time when we depended upon our wolf families to survive. This leftover is a dog who still thinks the family/pack is everything.

I remember my ancient mother licking my face to tell me I was safe and cared for. And I remember roughhouse playing with my siblings as practice for real hunting and fighting. But mostly I remember the “now times” and my first, second and third human families.

My name is Elsa.

I am a little rescue dog with big wolf ideas.

In this life I have some bad memories.

My first human family did not really want puppies so they gave me to a kennel where I lived in a cage. Then a mean couple finally adopted me. I had a home but it was not a happy place because the man hit the lady and made her cry. I would growl at him and bark but he hit her anyway and he hit me too. I think he broke one of my ribs because it still sticks out and I don’t like anyone touching there. I also cringe and flinch if you try to pat me on my head.

The mean couple trained me to never to “go” on the grass. They thought the neighbors would complain. To avoid getting hit or kicked I learned to always go on the edges, on the concrete or gravel even though that was uncomfortable and sometimes hot on my feet.

I never learned to play either because there were no toys in that house. As hard as I tried I suppose I never did anything right because the mean couple ended up leaving me at a kennel. Their reason given was they simply did not want me. I was back living in a cage.

The next people who adopted me gave me back too and said it was because of hospitalization. I never bit anyone but maybe they thought I did. I am not sure why they were hospitalized. Then I was put in a foster program instead of in a kennel. The foster people tried to be nice but they had too many dogs to care for. Every Saturday they took us to a pet store in Virginia where people came to meet us and maybe take us away.

How I hated Saturdays! The noise was unbearable because all the foster dogs barked and cried at once. We were all so afraid of all the strangers and there was this awful smell of fear.

But there was a lady who walked with a stick who came in that Saturday.

They brought her a chair and they took me to a cage that was right next to her. I fought with the two attendants who were trying to put me in there when the lady said, “Please don’t put her in that cage. I will hold her.” And so I sat on-leash, next to the lady with my head on her foot, shivering and looking into her eyes to thank her in the only way I could.

That nice lady was named Dor and she was with another nice one named Emmy. They did not know me and I could not tell them how afraid I am of cars. Cars always take me to another horrible place. But Emmy and an attendant put me in the back seat of a car where I did some serious shaking and shivering. Emmy drove and Dor sat next to me. She wrapped me in her coat, held me close, and talked to me in a soft voice. She said, “It’s o.k. You are going home to a nice place where people will love you.” And she kept stroking my face and my ears like my real dog mother used to do and all the wolf mothers before her.

And I thought, “I will never forget this human. I will never forget.”

We drove for a long time to a house with other people and even a dog named Kota, who was much bigger than me and very very nervous. In fact, Kota turned out to be so nervous, she could not be still.

We went inside but I was sure they would soon take me to another kennel and another cage. I really wanted to explore but there were so many people talking at once and Kota kept running around nonstop. Finally I growled as if I were Mighty Wolf and scared Kota onto a chair with her mistress.

It was a relief to sleep that night in a dark room with Dor and Bill. I slept on a blanket at the foot of their bed and it was heavenly quiet. Everybody left in the morning except for Dor and Bill. Now we three would get to know each other and I somehow knew this would be my forever family,

I think I am as smart as any other dog, but it took a day and a night and some more experiences to believe I had a new home where the humans actually liked me.

Dor was the one human I decided to take care of.

I followed her everywhere and still do.

I sit behind her chair but if she moves I move.

I have been here two years now and all this time she thought I was the one who needed protecting. Even when I bark at strangers she thinks I am afraid for myself.

The truth is, I am protecting HER – not me. I do love all her soft words of praise and love and the gentle petting too. But I know my real purpose is to protect her and my family.

I knew this from the very first moment I heard her say,

“Please don’t put her in that cage. I will hold her.”

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Elsa

Our little dog, Elsa, is not as little as she was when we got her.

I knew she was chunkier.  I had a feeling you know.

And of course, some signs are clear.

It was a very stormy night here in Virginia, and Elsa is terrified of storms.

My first clue that she had gained weight was the “thunder shirt” I got her didn’t fit anymore.  I couldn’t get the velcro closure to close around her tummy.

Thunder shirts are supposed to feel like swaddling and hopefully calm the jitters.

When Elsa is really frightened she looks for a close covered shelter where she can go to shake and shiver.

During one previous storm I had to laugh when she literally flattened herself out and slithered under our bed.  That was when we first got her.  After the storm of course, she slithered herself back out.  I called that acrobatic maneuver The Return-Slither.

Well,  last night, when I was all tucked in and ready for a long sweet sleep, there was a thunderstorm. And this time, sans Thunder Shirt, she needed an escape cave – fast! 

Once again Elsa slithered under the bed.  Unfortunately, I never saw or heard her emerge, even when the storm was over.

There were subtle movements like maybe she was trying though, like the bed kind of heaved.  And then I thought I could feel her trying to turn around under there.

Was Our Dog Stuck Under the Bed?

  • Oh No!  Had Elsa gained so much weight she couldn’t slither back out?
  • I agonized over what to do.  
  • Would Elsa have to spend the night in the dark?
  • I lay there imagining.  Was she frightened?  Could she breathe under there?  Did she feel abandoned?
  • And I lay Sleepless in Virginia, imagining the worst,  and plagued by worry for hours and hours..
  • I couldn’t call to her or I would wake Bill.
  • I dozed and woke and dozed and woke.

Finally at 3AM I thought I heard a little cry so I jumped up, got a flashlight, and determined to wake Bill to help me lift the bed off our poor littlechubby Elsa.

But she was up and out.

Elsa had managed the Return-Slither.

It must have been a struggle though.

And Elsa is now on a diet.

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Elsa Toys

Another Dog Story

Our new dog, Elsa – the one with the split personality – has already generated another blog post.

I never met a dog who didn’t want to play with a squeaky toy but Elsa is the first.

Elsa is different.

Elsa has empathy.

Impossible you say?

Today I purchased four plush toys for our new canine pal and couldn’t wait to get home to retrieve them from the bag and surprise her.

Squeak Squeak! 

Look Elsa! 

Look what I brought you! 

Come and Get It!

Elsa’s response?

She whined!

And she whines every time I squeak a toy.

She also walks away and looks back (sorrowfully).

I think this is a rare sign of Canine Empathy.  Elsa feels so sorry for the poor squealing toys that she will not even touch them, but simply cries for them (or with them).

I may be seeking a Canine Psychiatrist to analyze this.

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I baked more cookies yesterday.  And then it was time to rest.

Bill announced he was going out to get the mail (a mile or so down our unpaved country road).  I was about to doze off when he returned carrying a sweet faced little Beagle, and we both forgot all about the mail!  I wish I had taken a picture but the lost dog looked something like this:

Beagle

Bill found him wandering the road, stopped, whistled, and the pup came right to him and wanted to be picked up.  At our house he had a  big drink of water and then we began our search for his owners.  We thought the Beagle might be a guest dog with a visiting family at our neighbor’s house.”  Not so.

We noticed the little guy had two collars, and while Bill was gently patting him, the pup suddenly began to scream.  I thought he might be injured but then realized the pain was from a flashing choke collar! I think the device was being used as a finding tool since the dog’s agonized barking was so loud it could surely be heard over some distance.

I removed both collars and he stopped crying and buried his head against my legs while I reassured him.  On the inside of one collar was the name and telephone number of the owner. We called and, yes, there were people looking for the little fella.  They came right out and the pup seemed happy to see them.  There were three big men in  neon orange garb who looked like hunters.

  • Bill thinks “Ace,” as we now know him, is well loved since he came and attached to us so readily.
  • I think Ace is part of a hunting pack and does not have the happiest dog’s life.

He didn’t look malnourished but there was a rash in his ears.  Mostly I hated the idea of the shock collar. Using it to find a lost dog may make some sense, but my heart went out to that poor little thing who surely did not understand.  And listening to him howl was unbearable for me.

Ace’s owner was very happy to find him and said, “You will never know how grateful I am.”  He then put Ace in a “dog box” in the back of his truck.   Bill thinks there were other dogs in the box too.  Maybe it was a pack and maybe Ace was glad to be back with them.  I hope so.  He did wag his tail when he saw his owner so that was a hopeful sign.

In the end, Ace was lost and then found, and he may have a Merry Christmas after all.

And this could be A Charming Dog Christmas Story.

But I am not so sure about that.

What do you think?

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Rozie the Beautiful

“To sleep, perchance to dream-
ay, there’s the rub.”

Hamlet (III, i, 65-68)

To Be or Not to Be (Shakespeare)

It has been many decades since I had a colicky baby who turned night into day.  The pitiful wails of a child who cannot tell you what hurts still ring in my ears all these years later.  And even now, if I hear a baby’s cries, I want to jump up and do something to help.  It must be a universal kind of Mommy impulse reaction.

Never would I believe a dog could accomplish the same tugs at my heart.  Instead of the plaintive cries of an infant, our 13 year old dog Rozie PANTS!  No, she is not hot (the first supposition) because it has actually been on the cold side here lately.  She is comfortable because she has an orthopedic bed that I would not mind sleeping on, except it’s on the floor at the foot of our bed.  But she only pants at night.  So?  Big Deal.  Why is that a problem? Dogs pant after all.  I have been told it’s how they perspire.

Well, this panting starts off at a tolerable level and then escalates as soon as we turn off the lights.  Then my husband and I lie abed in a sort of hopeful tension as we hear the panting continue and builds rapidly to what I call “panic panting,” which is the equivalent of the baby SCREAMING!. So, the problem?  The problem is – who can sleep at night?

Using Chair Rungs for Headrest
“I can hardly stay awake!”

Is Rozie in pain?  What could it be?  Is it her stomach?  Is it her heart?  Is it arthritis?

We took her to the vet of course – more than once and more than twice.   An EKG revealed nothing wrong with her heart.  She does have semi-high blood pressure so she’s on meds for that.  Only a touch of arthritis is evident from an X-ray.  The dog is strong “and will probably outlive us,” said our vet, until finally he tactfully proclaimed, “I think this panting problem is psychological.”  Really?

Over the past few months, Rozie has endured our many feeble attempts to help her relax at night.  She conks out and sleeps peacefully during the day of course.  I watch her having her doggy dream-runs with serious envy. “To sleep,perchance to dream” makes perfect sense to me now.

But have you ever heard of a dog on so many potential “cures?”

–          Glycoflex Soft Chews (glcosomine-condroitin) – a general joint supplement – 3 a day

–          Rimadyl – anti-inflammatory – 2 a day

–          Blood Pressure Meds – 2 a day

–          Tramadol – pain killer – 2 a day

–          Composure – herbal remedy for nerves – as needed

–          Forti Flora – probiotics sprinkled on her food to aid digestion as needed

–          And A New One – An Anti-Depressent – for obsessive, compulsive, anxiety disorders – 2 a day

For a strong, healthy dog who is going to outlive us, Rozie is on so many medications at so many daily intervals that I now forget to take my own meds trying to keep up with hers.  I am beginning to believe this all borders on the ridiculous.  There has to be a light side don’t you think?  Well, yesterday I looked up the potential side effects of the anti-depressant and one of them at the top of the list is, “Call your doctor if experiencing suicidal tendencies!”  Who me?  Or the dog?  And I ask you, who should be taking the anti-depressant anyway?

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THE PUPPY’S TALE

“I was a very cute, happy, well adjusted puppy.  One night when I was blissfully sleeping, there was a terrible thunder storm with brilliant flashes of lightning.  Or maybe it was an earthquake or even a tornado.  In any case, at the same time as this event, a big heavy book fell off a shelf and hit me on my head.  It hurt.   My human mother came and comforted me but the pain and shivering didn’t stop for a long time.  And from that day on, I believed the sky would fall on me again and it might kill me.  And I have terrible nightmares.”

Sleepy Rozie

My name is Rozie.  I am an old dog now with a checkered past.  I am a rescue dog and have been rescued more than once.  No one knows my real story though.

I am a big, mean looking canine now, with a ferocious growl.   I can scare big men so I am a magnificent watch dog if I hear you coming.   The problem is I’m usually asleep.  They say that once, when a bear walked by, I just slept through the visit.

It should be noted that in my few waking hours, I am frightened.  I still remember the sky might fall and I watch the windows for a darkening sky or an unusual wind.  Backfires, gunshots, or a twig hitting the window are terrifying and thunderstorms are the worst.  They drive me (and my adopted lady, Dor) into a closet where sounds are muffled and smells are of comforting human clothing and old shoes!  My lady rubs me down with a dryer sheet to reduce static electricity. It feels pretty good but old shoes smell better.   Isn’t that a great idea though?

I am a very old dog named Rozie and still convinced the sky is falling because it fell on me once before, when I was a puppy.   And only my humans can save me.    There is no convincing me otherwise and I still have terrible nightmares.   My adopted humans want to help but all they can do now is hold  my paw through the hard times, and give me all their love.

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This is a Rozie Report

She is a true blue Lassie-type named Rozie.

She will probably never save my life,

nor will she disappear so I can cry, “Rozie, Come Home!”

This dog I love prefers to sleep.

She sleeps all day and all night.

She is sleeping now.

But, sometimes I do wake her up

to add some excitement to her life

like a belly rub or a little conversation.

She was a rescue dog destined for a killing shelter,

saved by my beautiful niece,

who eventually led her to us.

So when I wake Rozie up,

I ask, “Where did you start life? and

Did they name you Rozie? and

How do you like it here with us?”

She rolls over on her back.

I take that to mean she is content.

And of course, there is always the sleeping.

The vet says she is probably 13, old for a

big dog.

So maybe she deserves to sleep.

She’s sleeping now.

I think I will join her.

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