Monday, August 17, 2015

My apologies. If I may, let me blame it on the dog.

I'm sorry to be getting going so late. About two weeks ago, Rosey brought home a red labrador (maybe with a little pit bull mixed in, I don't know dog breeds much) from her work where it was obviously a drop-off along the road. I don't know how old it might be, except it still has puppy qualities and seems to me to have quite a bit of growth left in him before he tops out. When we got him, he was emaciated, scarred a bit from other dogs, and mostly frightened of people. He has a deathly fear of long pieces of wood like brooms (he freaked out when I went to sweep the back deck), so he was probably beaten with a stick by his former "masters."
After this morning I can make a guess as to what his former master looked like. We were waiting in the car outside the animal clinic where he is to get neutered today (he's been attempting the rape -- fairly successfully -- of the other male mutt dog we have). People were coming and going from the clinic door, dogs were coming and going with them, none of which excited his reaction. Then, a big old white guy of about thirty years, a Bubba with a huge beer belly and a beard came out of the door and INSTANTLY the dog (who I have not very originally dubbed "Red") began to growl and as the guy got closer he began to bark an attack warning. He's NEVER done that to anyone or anything since we've had him. It was all I could do to keep him from throwing himself against the window glass. He REALLY doesn't like bearded, beer-bellied bubbas, not one bit.
He has responded well to firm kindness since we've had him and he has bonded with me. He also, more recently, now misses Rosey whenever she leaves the room, whining sometimes until she returns. The only thing that's interrupting his successful training is his hormones. Time, discipline and love should take care of the rest. He shows every evidence of being highly intelligent, much more so than our other obese mutt, who responds to nothing and no one (he was dumped on us without warning as an adult rescue dog by my oldest daughter -- don't get me started). The females in my house also interfered with his remedial training and he is now useless except as an eating machine that sleeps most of the time. I call him variously "Sluggo," "Butthead," and sometimes "Nert," which is short for Inertia.
Anyway, Red had to be NPO before the procedure and the only way to guarantee that (since it has been raining and there are pools of water in the yard AND like all lab pups he's been chewing the wood off the back of our house) was to keep him inside overnight, which meant a lease with my hand attached to the other end. This pinned me in place in the upper level (he also seems to have an irrational fear of doors and refuses to go through them willingly). Consequently, I did no posting early this morning and didn't enable the comments until Rosey got up to take my place this AM. The dog had to be at the spay and neuter clinic by 0730 and so, on about one hour's sleep in my case, we got him there and the place was crowded. They sure do a land office business in deballing male dogs. At a hundred bucks a pop (counting shots and what not) we couldn't afford it but Zoe fronted us the money. Certainly the dog couldn't go on without being altered, not in our house.
So that's my excuse -- the dog "ate" my posting time. I'll go back and pick him up at 4:30 this afternoon. When I get a chance, I'll have Zoe take a picture of him and I'll post it in these pages. He's a pretty dog, I'll tell you that, with a sweet disposition.


Arkindole said...

Dogs (not black types) are good for the mind--carry on. More need rescued from dirt bags. The lowest of the low are animal abusers--I suspect Obama has his episodes.

Rusty Gunner said...

Mike, dogs are family, and family always comes before us moochers-off-the-free-ice cream-machine.

CowboyDan said...

Rusty, you must go to Dickey's BBQ. There's better Q out there, but free ice cream is free ice cream.

They send out coupons on Mondays. That must be their slow day.

Sedition said...

Hang onto him as long as you can. We have to take our old time buddy in tomorrow to be put to rest.
It's ripping my guts out.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, I read Mark Levin's book, "Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish" only because our dog had died after 9 years of love and service. Hunting trips were especially memorable. Enjoy the blessing of this pup, and may you out-live his 10 years of service and joy to you too. Our prayers and financial support are with you also. Walsenburg, CO. does what it can.

Anyway, my daughter insisted that Bobby, a chocolate lab, be buried with a copy of Rudyard Kipling's poem, "The Power of the Dog."

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--'ve given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

G. Byerley

Anonymous said...

@Sedition, how sad.

Anonymous said...

I love my dog a lot. I rescued him in Dec. of 2012. Someone had abandoned him at the vet's office. I had him neutered soon after. The vet offered some pain medicine for the dog, so I took it and gave it to my dog, as prescribed. Willie Nelson sings a song in some commercials recently. It goes like this: "You're my buddy, my pal and my friend. And it will be that way until the end". The expected longevity of my dog and of me are nearly the same, as far as estimated time of death (the end). I think that song matches my feelings for my dog pretty well. But, I think about my dog every time I hear Willie sing that song.

Sedition said...

Great post G. Byerley.
I ain't even gonna lie to you...I cried like a little bitch.

Anonymous said...

@Sedition, Truly, I'm sorry for your loss.

Unapologetic American said...


If the dog is chewing it's either that he's still teething (getting his permanent teeth) or stressed. If it is teething ice cubes or a giving him a frozen wet washcloth to gnaw on will help relieve the discomfort. Should "stress" be the cause try to comfort him, from the way you describe he's bonding well but the addition of a few toys, a stuffed animal with squeaker, pull rope, or large ball to roll and wrestle with, specifically for him, may solve the problem.