Monday, April 1, 2013

Enough Already! Mouthy Monday

Tim says, "Janet?! You are thinking too much.
Stop it and go ride your horse, you have a clinic to get
ready for!
(we still have slots for horse and rider combos)

Cindy D sent in this story Mouthy Monday--

I'm always tickled by a great rescue story.

The Christmas Gift.

This story happened almost exactly one year ago.
At my house we had 2 dogs. We had just lost Dugan, Tom's old Collie a few months before.  It was a hard blow for Tom as he and Dugan had been together for many years. Dugan went everywhere with him. They were buds.
Truthfully except for the part of missing Dugan terribly, it was kind of nice only having 2 big dogs to care for.  I really had no intention's of looking for another.
The two dogs I had left came from my Mom.  She has been showing and breeding labs since I was a young girl, and is now one of the top breeders in the country (you can see her website here) and is very very particular about which of her dogs get bred.  Both of mine were dogs that had very minor genetic defects.  Even minor defects eliminated them from the gene pool so they got to come and live with me.  They are Mason and Smarty Pants.  Mason is deaf and Smarty has a minor heart defect.
Anyway back to my story...
The way our house is set up, is a big chain link fenced dog yard off the back of the house, and then a drive through gate going back into the pasture. Then we have a man gate on the side that goes to the open front yard. The person who put these fences up, did not do a great job, all the gates are crooked, and chains (around the poles) are required to keep the dogs from getting out of them.
A year ago someone who will remain nameless (her initials are Cindy D) went through the big gate and forgot to rechain it.  My very bad horses, with eagle eyes, immediately saw their chance to get into the dog yard where all the best grass is.  All they had to do was push on the gate, pop the latch, and walk right in.  So naturally while they were all in there filling their big fat bellies, the dogs also saw their chance to escape the confines of their yard and go on a little walk about.
My neighbor saw Smarty trotting down our road and got him and put him back in the yard.  She did not realize that the big gate was open, but luckily he chose to stay in the second time.  I suspect that there were horses between him and the gate and he still is leery of them. They are awfully big ya know.
Animal Control picked up Mason about half a mile from our house.  He is microchipped and so they called me before they even had him back to the pound.  I got there right away (in hopes of not having to bring home a dog that smelled like the pound) and they told me to go back and find his kennel and bring them the paper off the door. 
So there I am strolling through, just minding my own business looking for my big fat yellow dog.  Of course it makes me sad to see all those dogs there, but I am pretty much a Labrador girl so it kind of makes it easier for me to keep walking....until I saw this:

Now here is what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Old dogs do not very often get adopted.  The paperwork on this dog said he was 5.  If that dog is 5 then I am 20 (I haven't been 20 in centuries).  I knew that this old guy didn't stand a chance. 
I stood there for a minute, he barked at me, but then wagged his tail.  I talked to him, he sat down and wagged some more.  I went on to find my dog, but could not get that face out of my mind.
When I asked, they told me he was a stray.  I said, "You know that dog isn't 5 right?" 
They ignored that question and went on with the paper work on Mason.
 I asked how long he had been there. 
"Not quite 2 weeks"
He would not be adoptable for a few more days.
When I got home I told Tom about him, he reminded me that we didn't really need another dog.
I showed him the picture.
He frowned at me. 
I said, "People don't adopt old dogs"
He frowned again.
He said, "Do what you think is right."
I struggled with this decision for 2 days.  What if he doesn't get along with the other two?  What if he has medical issues?  What if, what if, what if.  What if no one else adopts him?  No one is going to adopt a dog that old.
I went back to the pound and they let me take him out for a walk.  I said "sit" his butt hit the floor.  I said, "down" he laid down.  Hmmmmm this dog was some body's bud.
He had an elbow that was gnarled and twisted, which caused him to limp. He had the classic rear end of a dog with hip displaysia. His teeth were rotten and his eyes were full of cataracts.  Yet he wiggled and squirmed like a puppy when I scratched his butt, and then he smiled.  You a dog smiles.
I finally decided the right thing to do was to give this guy a forever home for Christmas. 
I paid the fee and took him out to the truck. I said, "Do you want to go for a ride?" 
He jumped in.
We named him Butch and he smelled like the pound.   I took him to the tub and said, "get in the tub." He jumped in the tub!   Once he had a bath and smelled ok, I let him meet the other two.
That part didn't go so well.  Controlling three intact males can get a little dicey when introductions are first made. There was a lot of fighting and growling, and lots of me trying to distract with cookies, and all my dreams of saving this dog started to go down the tubes. 
I could not let him outside without the other two with out a fight starting.  While I was gone to work I had to keep him in a separate kennel up by the house.  I could bring them all in together but had to watch them constantly. 
I cried each time I had to break up a fight. I didn't know what to do. I could not take him back.  It was just a mess.
Christmas morning Smarty got sick.  Emergency visit, days and days of trying to figure out what was wrong (turned out he swallowed a pacifier from Tom's grandson and had to have it surgically removed) but in the midst of that, I had just made another attempt to put them all out and saw poor sick Smarty sitting at the door with a sad and scared look on his face and Butch was in his face snarling, growling, and trying to provoke a fight.
I admit it, I snapped.
I went out and laid into Butch.  "YOU...STOP...FIGHT...ING...WITH...MY..DOG!!!!"
That was it.  I have never had to say a harsh word to him since.  I have never had to break up a fight since, they all share one big dog house, and are best friends.  Sometimes he and Smarty lay right next to each other.  Butch is the one dog I can leave in the house all day when I am at work.  He goes down each night and lays with my son Simon.  He stays there all night. Ne never gets in the trash, he never once has had an accident in the house. He is the only dog that comes when I call.

When I brought him home and took him in for his first check up, I said to my vet, "This is not a dog I will pour a lot of money into."  In less than a year, I am pouring money into this dog.  He has an infected eye, and 400 dollars later we are still trying to get it healed.  We buy Rimodyl for him all winter, he gets special vitamins and joint supplements, and the works.
He is such a special dog. I cannot imagine how nobody claimed him. How could you not miss a dog this wonderful? If he got out today, I would not stop searching till I found him. So in my attempt to give the gift of a new life to a dog, I found that God gave me the biggest gift of all.
I truly believe that God had a hand in helping me to the pound that day.


Becky said...

What an absolutely beautiful story. I've always wanted to adopt an old dog from the pound - I still may, some day.

Also, Mugs?

You know that picture you have of Sonita's eye glaring at us?

Dude. Tim looks just like her. And I'm paying money to have him glare at me, too?

appydoesdressage said...

What an awesome story, there are some awfully messed up shelter animals but it always melts my heart to hear about the ones that are SO grateful to be out they will do anything to show it.

mugwump said...

No. He'll be all sweet and handsome with you guys. It takes several years to get that look.

Anonymous said...

There are a few things that make my butt cringe about this story, but lets just go with how happy it made me that this big ol love found a home where he is accepted and treasured!

mugwump said...

You know, anon -- 100 butt cringes a day keeps those Wranglers looking good.

Dehda01 said...

You know, if that were true I would be a supermodel;) working at a vet clinic gives me far too many butt cringes...

shadowlake2005 said...

Wonderful story, my feel good for the day. Thank you for the warm fuzzy feeling.

Helen said...

The son is terribly cute too! I've got one just like that (imagine the same picture but with a pugalier).

gtyyup said...

Good story Cindy D...always love happy endings. What a sweet boy you have!

KD said...

Thanks !

Heidi the Hick said...

I love this!

bassgirl said...

Yipes! Those eyes would scare a wild Mustang into submission. I must say that Tim's photo looks just like what he sounds like in your stories.

Greenie said...

he looks like my in-laws dog (insert -pouty eyed awe face!!!!!) He's 4 now and his face is just starting to go white.
Boogie head (aka bear) was dumped out in the country and showed up at the school. None of the kids new him or who he belonged to, neither did the neighbors so mil ended up keeping him. He was a royal booger head until he turned 2 but he's a saint now. When my 2 year old daughter wanted to play outside at their house last summer she had 120lbs of giant yellow guardian following her everywhere. She shares crackers with him at the table and can cram just about her whole arm in his mouth checking out his teeth and tounge. She lays down with him to cuddle.... Man it just blows your mind when you think that these dogs were tossed out.

Beatrix said...

The more I read over this story, the more I was hoping it would say "april fools! (except the parts about rescuing the geriatric dog!)" at the end. :/

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Well I guess if the worst I do is cause a little butt cringing and someone wishing it was an April Fools joke, then the damage was minimal.

Guess ya can't make everyone happy.

greenie said...

I don't know why on earth people re getting butt cringes and thinking this story is a joke... That's bizarre... Good for you taking him in when so many others would have just kept walking.

Unknown said...

Well truth be known, when I read back over it and look at some of my really bad grammatical mistakes...I cringe a little too. But then I remind myself, that most of my writing is done on the fly and this originated from my own blog, where I make the rules, and if I don't feel like going back and double checking my grammar, I don't have too. :-)

In case anyone is interested, Butch is still doing quite well for being as crippled up as he is. He has taken to spending most of his time in the basement by the fireplace. When he wants to go out, he barks so we can let him out the basement doors. Less stairs is always a plus for him. He has days where he doesn't want to move much at all, and I wonder how much longer he will be with us. It breaks my heart to think of losing him, but at least I know that his last years were good ones.

I finally got off my butt and took the other 2 to obedience lessons, and am proud to say that all 3 come when called now. Of course, they don't really go out off leash, simply because if they choose to out run me, they can. But at least now I know that if I can get their attention I can get them back.

Brandy said...

Love stories of oldies being adopted. My canine love of my life dog died in 2009 and I was devastated. I had no intention of looking for any other dogs for a long time- my dog had been too perfect and I felt none other would measure up. Well several months later I found out about a dog that had been owned by someone I knew. She had acquired the dog when he was a puppy and before she was married. She got married, had 3 kids, got divorced, moved in with new boyfriend and his 3 kids (6 kids in the one household) and the now 12 year old Jack Russel didn't handle it well. He started urinating in the house, and growling at people (mostly the children I imagine). She abandoned him in an old barn where no one visited for days. This dog had spent his entire life sleeping under the covers on his owners bed every night, and now was living in a barn by himself. I got in my car, drove the hour long drive and picked him up. I had him not quite 4 years and hard as it was to imagine I loved him just as wholly as I did my previous dog, albeit differently. I also spent a lot of money at the end of his life. I was very pregnant and about to have my first baby and he was receiving about 4 different medications daily. Everyone kept asking if I was worried about labour, and really all I was worried about was if the person scheduled to care for him would get his medications right, and sit on the floor with him while he ate (picture me taking 5 minutes to get down, and back up doing this 2X day). I will adopt an oldie again in a heart beat. I wish I'd had him longer but I KNOW that he had a great end to his life, and that I was lucky he came into mine.

shadowlake2005 said...

Cindy D, thanks for the great update. I'd be one of your dogs anytime!

FlyinOnTime said...

Ok, I give. I don't want to stir anything up but I keep wondering, what about this story would make someone cringe? I'm not much of a dog trainer, so I don't even see anything wrong. Just a cute story to me. (I bet this comment gets some cringes too!) lol

Anonymous said...

Well, three un-neutered males in the house make me say "Why??", for one thing...

Unknown said...

3 intact males...why? That is a really good question Wyo Quarter, and truthfully I do not have a good answer. I've been pondering this question for 2 days now, trying to come up with a good reason why and I can't.

I guess part of it is because I grew up in a breeding family, so having a few un-neutered males around is normal to me. I know how to deal with it. Since, they get along wonderfully, & they do not get to roam the streets, it has not ever really been an problem.

BUT with that in mind, it has been on my to do list for a long time now. Longer than it should have been. So then I have to ask myself, why do I keep putting it off?

Well I guess it keeps falling down low on the priority list. Things like swallowed pacifiers,eye infections, mystery lameness in my mare, a years worth of hay for 4 horses, wrecked trucks, hospital bills, teenagers and life, keep taking financial priority over have surgery on 3 dogs that isn't really necessary. I guess if not having them fixed was a problem for me then it would take priority, but it isn't, so it hasn't...yet.

As we plan our move to Arizona, though, I know that our dog yard is not going to have the super security that we have now. (6ft chain link fence with hot wire around the bottom)I am adamant about my dogs not indiscriminately breeding, and I concerned that the 3 ft fence may not keep that from happening.(even with a hot wire) Your question was absolutely valid and for me, brought to light that I need to bump this up the priority list. Whether or not I will bother with the old guy, I do not know, but the younger ones, for sure, need to be done.

So thank you for cringing, and thank you for saying why. I really needed to hear that today.

wyofaith said...

So only the first anonymous comment was mine, but your extremely gracious response deserves a response as well. I did question the intact males, especially because they have two genetic (I'm totally assuming here) problems that are in my own mind, pretty major. Deafness and a heart issue to me are pretty big. I understand that that is why your aunt sold or gave you those animals, but why keep them intact? Right here is where your response goes, and I get it. Time, money etc. I can understand that. Life. Also, maybe I am totally wrong about the deafness, maybe it was cause by external circumstances, we had a dog that was kicked in the head by a cow and it destroyed his hearing. Still a lovely dog, just deaf on one side!
I am sorry if I hurt your feelings with my comment. Would have been better if I had just kept it to myself, I can see. :) It was just my personal assumptions on your personal decisions. Your response is what makes me enjoy this blog and it's readers. I will try and monitor my own comments a little closer next time.
Not a grammar issue at all!!

wyofaith said...

Ok, so reading that over, sounds like I am whining and overreacting about keeping my comments to myself- darn the internet!
What I mean is this- I commented when I didn't have a lot of time. I should have just kept it to myself until I could have explained myself a bit better and there wouldn't be all these questions on what I meant. That's not fair to say I have a problem with something and then not go on to say what that problem is. And I'm gong to say again that I really respect your response. The fugly blog has left a lot of us with a knee jerk response of, oh boy, how is this going to be blown out of proportion? I admire your maturity! :)

Anonymous said...

Getting a little worried here Mugs - where did ya go??? I hope everything is okay. I hope it's just busy or writer's block.

Anonymous said...

yes, hope you are ok. . .

oldredhorse said...

Also hoping Mugs is ok, I keep checking here to see and the void is a bit concerning.

Unknown said...

Wyofaith I only got one thing for you.


Its all good!

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