I got up this morning and in the spirit of Thanksgiving (which is next Thursday) I made peanut butter cookies. I had the cookies cooling on the counter and had pulled the last batch out of the oven and set the pan on the top of the stove. I went to the bathroom and in moments I heard the familiar sound of paws on the counter. I ran to the kitchen and she had already stolen 5 and a half cookies. I scolded her and she peed everywhere and kept trying to make up. Mike anticipated my anger and temper and came running down with the intention of protecting her from me yelling at her. But Raven is so innocent and has such a sweet face that I just couldn’t bring myself to do more than shake my finger at her and fuss.
I really think that my reaction is muted because of Darby. I use to get so angry at Darby that I would lock him out of the house or lock him in his cage. I would yell at him and if he was terribly destructive I would spank him. And this happened just 3 weeks before he died… that has haunted me. I have thought for a long time as to if a smart dog like Darby was unhappy here in the house because I tried to impose rules on him and when he violated them he got punished and in the extreme case, got a smack on the butt. So, I think Raven reminds me so much of Darby that I can’t bring myself to treat her like him for fear that she will pass and I will never get to apologize or make up.
So, Mike arrived and I was just scolding her. He was harder on her than I was. That surprised me. I do like this little dog, and I do feel like she is an opportunity for a second chance to deal with Darby’s soul. But that choice has fortunately been taken from me. She has been adopted.
Well… Mike went on a hike and not 5 minutes after he left I hear the crash of metal and I go to the kitchen to find pans and various cooking utensils all over the floor with Raven frantically licking everything that she had pulled from the sink. Yes, I had put all of the utensils and bowls from making lunch and cookies in the sink and she had retrieved them. I scolded her… but now I had a delima. I was about to go out and cut brush in the yard. But I couldn’t possibly leave her in the house free.
So, grabbed her by the collar and took her to the basement and locked her in the cage. I hadn’t put my shoes on yet, but I left her in the cage. She barked her head off… sounded just like Darby… just was barking. No howling or whining… just barking. I put my shoes on, and then went outside for about 2 hours and cleared brush.
When I got inside, I let her out and she just mauled poor Remy. I took them outside to let her run some energy off. In the process, I got a ball and threw it for Clifford. But he was being possessive and wouldn’t give me the ball back. So, I backed him into a corner and spent 10 minutes convincing him that I should have the ball. I got it, and promptly put it away after fussing at him for not giving it to me willingly. All the while, Raven stood there watching the events and just seemed really intrigued by the interaction. She is a smart dog… she learns by watching… and I suspect she will take a ball and see if I force her to give it back.
But that opportunity won’t come because she will go home in a week. This morning when I was in bed, she came down from Mike’s room (she sleeps up there with Remy) and jumped on me. I had gone to bed at about 1:30 and I already had the covers over my head. She started digging at the covers to get to me. Then got distracted by some noise and left…only to return in a few minutes and continue digging at me. I eventually rolled over and played with her till she got tired and fell asleep beside me laying on my chest.
I will miss this little dog a lot. She is a counter surfer… she gets up at 6am and demands play time for about an hour, and she gets into everything. I hope the new owners realize that if the house gets quiet… she is up to something… Treat her like a 2 year old.
A big part of me wants to keep her but logic steps in and says that she will not let me make up for Darby and she isn’t a replacement for Darby. He died in a terrible way through our negligence and it haunts me every day. But I can’t let my own guilt for Darby’s death affect the reality that Raven is too much for me at this age and she deserves and needs a better home than I can give her.
Still… I have to put her up there with Roxy. Yea… remember Roxy. I loved her and was about to adopt here when I took her to an adoption event. No-one had told me that she had a good application. So when her new owner showed up and took her, I just cried as they drove away without me getting to say goodbye. She peered out the window at me as they left. I never saw her again and I never went back to another adoption event. I still get teary eyed thinking of losing Roxy. I won’t let myself get that way with this little dog.
But… when I am ready for another Roxy, Darby, or Raven… I feel confident that the dog and the personality will be there. After all. If Roxy, Darby, and Raven all have this same personality that makes me fall in love with them… then another will come along… I hope.
I got a call from the new foster for Roxy at about 7pm. She said that Roxy was doing well and they spent the day in the park and just doing stuff together. She said that Roxy had not tried to mess with the cats but that the cats were scared to death of her. Everything she described indicated that Roxy was adjusting well to the new home. She said that when she got home and put Roxy’s crate together and put it beside her bed, Roxy immediately went in and knew it was her place. She said that Roxy slept silently the entire night and didn’t get up till 7:30am on Sunday. I told her that was a big change since Roxy made me get up at 3am every morning and then again at 5am.
I really didn’t need that call. I got all sad again. I was weepy till about 6pm on Saturday after losing Roxy. When Mike got home I asked him if he knew that Roxy was being adopted. Mike had insisted that I go to the adoption event with Roxy on Saturday because I had said that I was thinking about it. Mike latches on to things you say that correlate with things he wants and then pushes for you to follow through. So, he was innocent in that he didn’t know that Roxy’s new adoption was completed and that they would take her on Saturday.
only 2 weeks…exactly 2 weeks…that we fostered Roxy and in that short time I
fell in love with her. Unfortunately for me, Roxy got adopted and went
to her new home today. I didn’t realize that the home inspection had
been done yet and I didn’t know know that the new person adopting her would be
there today. I took Roxy to the adoption event and this very nice
woman came up and asked if I was Scott and I said yes, and she sat down beside
me and pet Roxy. I had a feeling that she was the new adopting
person. I never even caught the woman’s name. She was very
nice and she was concerned over how much I adored Roxy. I think she
had been forewarned that I was attached to the little pooch.
asked if she was the adopting family and she said yes. I got a little
sad but concentrated on getting the paperwork and getting her
transferred. Inside I was crying my eyes out. We got the
paperwork done and went inside and got her a new collar, leash, bed, crate,
food, bowls, and toys. I just focused on getting the new stuff for
Roxy. I got her all checked out and took Roxy to her car, loaded her
up, and said farewell. I left in a hurry as my eyes were watering up
and I started to cry. By the time I got back to the petco, tears were
streaming down my face and I was doing everything I could to just return the
cart and escape without being seen. Mike caught me and didn’t really
know what to do but he knew I was leaving. I hurried to my truck and
sat there and just fell apart. I could barely see and started the
truck. I wiped my eyes and started home. I cried the entire
way home and cursed every person on the road. When I got home I just
fell apart. I have been crying for the last hour and cannot
I have to be the biggest wimp in the world. I
sit here shaking like a leaf with tears streaming down my face. I am
trying to understand how this little dog was able to get to me so
quickly. I think it is because she had the same personality as Grendel
and was as soft and cuddly as Grendel.
a shihtzu mix that I got in 1991. She was a pure bred shihtzu that my
vet helped me get from a breeder that had a bad batch of puppies. She
was slightly deformed such that her ears didn’t sit right and stuck up a bit,
she had a 1/4 inch overbite, and her back legs were crooked. She was
dumb as dirt and it took years to get her moderately house trained.
She would have accidents occasionally if you didn’t watch her
carefully. But, she was the most loving and co-dependent dog I have
ever seen. I loved her so much. She loved to be carried
around cradled in my left arm like a baby and would fall asleep in my arms
whenever I held her. I could carry her everywhere and she was
perfectly calm. If I put her down, she stayed right by my
side. She trusted me and adored me.
day before Thanksgiving in 1999, I came home from Costco with a load of
food. I had left Grendel and Jafo (my other dog) in the back yard
(fenced of course) as I was only going to be gone for a short time.
When I got home, I walked around the side of the house to call the dogs and both
Jafo and Grendel were on the back deck. They came running as fast as
they could, and when Grendel was about half way to me, she just stopped and fell
I dropped anything I had in my arms and ran to get
her. She was laying there like a limp rag doll and I picked her
up. She didn’t move and it was like picking up a toy. The
little dog only weighed about 12 pounds. She was not breathing, her
tongue was blue, and she wet all over me. I pushed on her little chest
hoping that I could get her to take a breath, and after what seemed like an
eternity, she gasped for air, and started to move. She was likely
disoriented and she wiggled erratically. After holding her steady for
a while, she seemed to recognize me and she calmed down.
Being that it was a holiday, I couldn’t take her to the vet
so I just watched her closely through the holiday weekend. As soon as
the Vet opened, I took her to the vet to be checked out and they said that she
had a heart attack. They said that a specialist for pets would be able
to take her in the following Wednesday, so I took her to the
specialist. I liquidated $4000 of my Sprint Stock options at about $60
each and paid about $2000 for a sonogram and more for various other
bills. The conclusion was that she had a malformed heart valve and as
she got older she developed a heart murmur and was weak whenever she exerted
herself to much. They put her on 3 medications to help control the
buildup of fluid after the heart attack and they said that she would live for
maybe another year.
Mike was not living with me at
time. He moved in a couple of months later in February of
2000. Mike has a PhD and a MD in Neurology. He understood
everything the doctors had said and when he moved in, he would get out his
stethoscope and listen to hear heart and tell me to adjust the medications based
on the sounds of her heart. Through this constant adjustment, we kept
Grendel happy and alive for another 3 years.
Shortly after all
of this happened with Grendel, the telecom industry went belly up and all of my
stock options with Sprint became worthless. Had I not paid for
Grendel’s medical issues with proceeds from the sale of options, I would have
lost them anyway when things fell apart. So, there are certainly no
regrets on having all of that treatment work done on Grendel.
So, back to the reason that I am writing about
Grendel. In April of 2002, Mike and I bought this house in
Middleburg. It was more than either of us could afford alone so we
split the mortgage 50/50. Sprint was going down hill fast and my
division was in the process of being eliminated. On August 9, 2002, I
was laid off from Sprint with a very nice package and a non-compete
agreement. Over the 2.5 years since Grendel’s heart attack, the
medications were becoming less and less effective and she was developing fluid
in her abdomen. She was shaped like an egg and the Vet could do nothing but draw
the fluid off monthly. This was rather painful for Grendel and she was
now looking like she wasn’t enjoying life. So, I made the difficult
decision and had her euthanized on August 14, 2002. Mike was out of
town on Business travel and did not return till the weekend. I was out
of work, and so there was no-one to see me cry for 4 days straight. I
just couldn’t stop crying. Every time I turned around I missed the
sound of this little dog wheezing along behind me. Every night I
missed the sound of the little dog honking during fits where she couldn’t get
enough air. To this day, my eyes water and I get sad whenever I look
at a picture of Grendel or write about her like in this entry.
Kira is a wonderful dog, well mannered, doesn’t destroy
anything, and is a good companion. But she doesn’t give a rats ass as to if I
exist or not. She hangs out with whoever is closest and she doesn’t like being
pet. She doesn’t want to be held, and she pretty much does her own thing.
Quite the opposite of little Grendel. So, here comes Roxy, with all of the
personality of Grendel, loves to be held, is soft as cotton, and seems to love
hanging out with me. Roxy reminded me of Grendel in almost every way… the big
difference… Roxy was brilliantly smart. She wasn’t house trained because she
had never lived in a house. But in 2 weeks we had already gotten her partially
house trained and taught her how to use the doggy door.
as I sit here crying my eyes out, I have to wonder if I am crying over Roxy or
crying over Grendel. It has now been about 2 hours of crying and I guess I am
running out of tears. I just keep picturing Roxy…every time I left her to get
paperwork, she pouted and when I returned she got so excited…and when the new
owner pulled away in her car, Roxy sat in the back seat struggling as best she
could to push her face through the glass window to get to me. The little dog
seemed to truly recognize and care about me. I really miss that! I really miss
a dog that really truly loves me.
Thanks for reading…I
won’t be fostering another cute lovable dog for quite some time. This one hurt
way to much.
Well, I haven’t seen an email about the home inspection yet so maybe they didn’t get around to it due to the snow and ice. That is just fine with me as I am really getting attached to this little dog. I was feeling sick today and so I came home from work at about 1pm and worked from home. The rest of the dogs slept in the bedroom but Roxy laid down right beside my office chair and just watched me. Occasionally she would get up and I would let her out and then she would want to play ball or tug on a rope. When Kira plays with the rope, I have to give her undivided attention. If I am not looking at her while tugging, she will stop tugging. That is not the case with Roxy. I can type with one hand and tug with the other and Roxy is just as happy as can be. After a while she gets tired, and just curls up beside my chair. An hour later it is time to go out again, and we repeat the entire series of events again.
I will probably go to the adoption event on Saturday. My illness that has prevented me from going for the past 3 months is more under control and I think I can sit there for 3 hours without getting sick.
Roxy is so funny in the ice. She has almost no toenails and so she has to walk on the pads of her feet and slide around. Instead of walking gingerly like Kira and Remy, she runs like a puppy. Everything is all out and when she gets to her destination, she spreads her legs out wide and just slides like a cartoon pup on ice. When she stops, her feet run like crazy without her moving and she eventually starts coming back toward me. We threw the ball after work today and she just loved it.
She loves being out in the snow and ice and just seems to marvel in the strangeness of the yard covered in ice. I went out in the back yard with my shoes with rubber soles. I was able to walk up the hill and she bounded around like a puppy following my every step wondering where I was going and why we were going up the hill. When I got to the top, I sat down on the ice, and slid back down the hill. She watched this for a moment, cocked her head sideways, and then came barreling down the hill as fast as she could. She spread her legs apart, and just slid down the hill at the same rate as me. The entire time she was sliding beside me, she was looking at me as if to show me that she was the expert on the ice and that I was nothing more than a amateur.
When we got to the bottom of the gentle slope, she started running back up the hill while looking back to see if I was following. So, I followed her back up the hill and she waited patiently at the top while I struggled to get to her. We slid down the hill again and she was as graceful as could be. This time, instead of riding down forward, she adjusted her stance so that she gently turned sideways and then a little more so that she slid down the hill almost perfectly backwards looking straight at me as she controlled her speed to stay in perfect sync with me.
What a fun little dog to have around. I hope the adoption falls through. I won’t derail the adoption process, but if it falls through on its own accord, then I amm going to adopt this little dog.
Oh crap…I just got an email saying that Roxy had a pending adoption and that all that it was a good one. They just need to do the home inspection in Arlington. I hold out hope that the home inspection doesn’t work out well. Arlington doesn’t seem like the place for Roxy since she is so energetic. Where will she get her exercise and since she has such a weak bladder, how can the family possibly take her out for a walk every hour. We will see. There is a nasty storm of snow and ice headed our way this evening so maybe the home inspection will not get done and I can hang on to Roxy for a while.
Roxy and Remy play continuously now. They are like bear cubs rolling around on the floor all the time. Roxy always initiates the play but Remy seems to be having a good time. Well, till he gets tired of it and then he runs out the doggy door. Roxy hasn’t figured out the doggy door so she gets stuck inside when he runs out. Pretty smart of Remy to figure out that he is safe outside.
Roxy has grown accustomed to sleeping in a crate by the bed and knows the crate to be both her safe place and her place for when she is bad. She has accidents every day and you have to take her out ever hour if you don’t want to have a mistake in the house. When she has an accident, and you fuss at her, she looks down at the floor and then skulks back to her crate and lays down. It is perplexing that she seems to understand that it is wrong, but cannot seem to avoid having the accident.
It appears that Roxy’s only big failing is that she has a weak bladder. If you don’t take her out every couple of hours she will have an accident. We have had at least 2 a day since bringing her in. She doesn’t like to go outside alone so when you put her outside, you have to walk out to the grass with her or she will not do her business. The night before last, she wet her bedding and completely saturated the crate. When Mike let her out because she was restless, she went outside, and then came inside and had an accident on the his bed. She clearly knows that it is wrong as she immediately runs and hides, but she doesn’t seem to be able to control it.
With that said, I think it is a matter of slowly working with her to train her. It may be that she was an outside dog and never had to hold it so she never learned to. She can clearly go an entire day without wetting and she knows to wet outside. So, maybe it is just training. In any case, she is such a wonderful dog that it is next to impossible to get mad.
Remy seems to have really taken to Roxy as they seem to play continuously. They are close to the same age and Remy has so much extra skin that Roxy just tugs and plays with him. They roll around like bear cubs and growl. It is so fun to watch and really quite funny when he or she does something goofy and gets surprised by the results. Remy is definitely getting a lot more play time with Roxy around. Kira won’t have anything to do with Roxy at play and just avoids the situation.
Unfortunate for me, it appears that Roxy has a very good application so she probably will not be around here much longer. My eyes tear up whenever I think about her leaving. This surprises me because we have only had her for a week. I just love this little dog like no other. Some family is going to be terribly lucky to get this little dog.
Roxy is quite the energetic little dog. She has such a great personality and is always on the go. She doesn’t destroy anything, but she isn’t house trained. We are working on that. Last night we were playing in the basement throwing a toy and on her return trip, she jumped up on the old couch and got really still. As soon as I realized what she was doing I fussed at her and she got all sheepish and ran upstairs with a trail of marking her path. She got to her cage but the door had swung partially shut so she cowered in front of her cage. When I got there she let loose and made a puddle. I put her outside and then cleaned everything up. When I let her back in, I fussed at her and she ran to her cage where she stayed for about 15 minutes.
This morning Mike let her out at about 7am and fed all of the dogs. I heard the sound of a horse running down the hall and I looked up just in time to see Roxy leap from the door of the bedroom to the bed. She did a somersault in the air and landed perfectly on her back right beside me and she just started wiggling like crazy while I scrubbed on her tummy. He flopped around like a fish out of water and chewed on my hand, licked my face, and ran the other dogs off the bed. Once she was there alone she pounced on me and started playing tug with my hand. She doesn’t bite down at all and just loves to play tug. Suddenly everything stopped…she got real quiet, and then started chasing her tail. Snap, snap, snap would go her teeth and then she would catch the end of it and fall over on the bed wiggling and rolling around. When she would lose her tail, she would jump up and stare at it as if she were stalking it. Then into a frenzy of spinning while snapping at her tail until she caught it again. It was so funny that I was just laughing out loud. She eventually tired of this game and decided that her paw was much easier to catch. She would stare at her back paw, and seem to move slowly as if stalking it and then she would lunge at her paw and bite it. This was much to easy of a catch for her, so she grew bored with it and started chasing the tail again.
This is just the sweetest dog I have ever seen. She makes Remy look conventional. I can’t believe anyone would have given such a sweet little dog up. She is just a bundle of joy and next to impossible to be mad at. I am really falling for this dog, but I am making sure that Remy and Kira get lots of attention so that they don’t feel left out.
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 12:49 PM
Well she pee’d again. A lot, and it was still warm when I got to it.She
knows she did something wrong (hopefully she realized it wasthe pee) as when
I yelled at her she tucked tail and ran. Like Kiraand Bones she is
‘sensitive’ and all you need to do is fuss at her.But be ready for her to
pee if you (but more on that in a minute).
I was upstairs working on the
GE machine, I was up there maybe20 min. I gated her downstairs as I did not
want her peeing atthe top of the stairs again. They were all quite
downstairs. I camedown and she jumped of the bed (where she was lying next
toRemy) and greeted me. It was not till I went into the bathroomto
brush my teeth that I saw the spot…. at least it was on the bathroom rug,
right in front of the shower, it looked like a smallspot, but when I went to
clean it up, it was a lot of pee… I soakedit up, wetted it again with the
solution, and soaked that up, itshould be fine.
I took them for one
more short walk/run around the front yard before I left (~10:15) and she
squatted right before we went back inside.She went right into the cage so I
think she should be fine as long as she is not left too long.
the ‘she pee’s if yelled at’. I set out my bowl with cereal butheld off on
adding the milk as the dryer was about to finish. I madesure I pushed the
bowl back from the edge. Well while I folding mypants, I heard the ‘clink’
of the bowl so I ran in, caught her in the act,yelled “Roxy NO”. Well she
tucked tail and left a stream across thefloor…
I think she will be
fine once she gets the ‘schedule’ down and knowsto come get us and where the
door is, etc. She did poo on the morningwalk, and I ran her pretty good so
she’ll be tired. I already have her off leash… she gets so much more
exercise that way. While Dick did not say that was okay, he did tell me
that she doesn’t take off and whenever she gets out of the kennel she just
stays next to you.
At 3am I had to get up to go to the bathroom and so I let Roxy out to go outside. She stood at the door and paced back and forth wanting in. She experimented with coming in the doggy door but was nervous and didn’t get through the door before making a noise that scared her. I let her in and she thought it was play time. I had to force her into the crate to go back to bed.
At about 8am I got up and let Roxy outside. She stood on the deck looking in. I had to walk outside onto the deck and stand there at the edge before she would pee. She seemed to know exactly why she was out there but she wanted someone with her. I let her back in and she went running through the house as fast as she could looking for other dogs to greet.
Feeding time was quite the site. I gave her food first so that whe wouldn’t try to get near the other dogs and she went crazy eating as fast as she could. She inhaled the food and sounded like a pig while eating. Grunt grunt, snort, grunt, snort snort. Man, I thought Kira ate fast, but Kira wasn’t half done by the time Roxy was done.
Roxy has the softest coat and looks like a cross between a shepard and a lab but she is fully black. Her legs are really thick as if she should be a much larger dog but she is small and probably weighs less than 50 pounds. She knows how to play ball and will chase anything you throw and bring it right back to you. If you pet her she just flops on the floor and shows you her belly. She is still in her puppy stage so she is completely submissive with all of the dogs. She plays with everything, sniffs anything new, and follow people around with a happy kind of look.
This dog is going to be a handfull with all of this energy, but she has such a wonderful personality that you just have to laugh at her. Much like Remy, it is hard to be mad at her.
Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2007 9:51 PM Subject: Roxie, a bit longer email
First off she has gas… I am hoping it was all the treats at the adoptionevent, that would do Forman in as well.
Second, she is a nut, but not a bad nut, so that is not an issue (yet).
I gave her a bath. I filled the tub with a little over a foot of water,enough to bucket over her while standing next to her. Well I lifted her inexpecting to be upset, but as soon as she was in, she went nuts, spinningaround, sticking her nose in the water and then flinging water all over,rolling on her side, she was having a blast. Needless to say the bathroomwas a little worse for wear and I was a ‘tad’ wetter than I had wanted tobe. Toweling off was just as fun for her, it was all just play time, sheloved it, rolled all up in it, chewed on it, flipped over on the floor.There seems no end to her energy.
She’s clobbered both Remy and Kira, and by clobbered I mean landed on, theyboth took it well and play back. Kira does like to play, just not when shewants to rest. So Remy is taking the brunt of Roxie’s energy. She justflattens him, rolls all over him, pulls on his fur (good thing he has somuch loose skin), etc. I was in talking to Scott, and they were tearingaround on the bed, Remy took off down the hall, Roxie caught up to him halfway down it, and they slid the rest of the way down the hall with her on hisback…
She is also a little excitable (who would have thought) and she pee’d whenScott got home, not a lot, but enough. We took her right out but she wastoo excited to do anything. A half an hour later, she did pee when I tookher back out. She has not figured out the dog door yet, but she has taken alarge interest in it when the other dogs ‘disappear’ through it. She gotclose to it but the slapping noise scared her when the flap closed afterBones went out.
Hmm, only 3 fosters and this might be a foster failure. Scott is alreadytalking about keeping her. We’ll see how he feels after a week of HIGHenergy dog.
If you have the time and want to hear some of the other antics of our pupstake a look at http://www.hyulp.org/blogs/ I should add this email as afollow up post.
I woke up this morning and decided it was OK to have another foster dog. It has been sufficiently long since Foreman left that it is OK now. I had meetings today in Reston and so I told Mikey that he could bring home Roxy. Roxy is a black lab that is cute as can be and is less than a year old. She is a bundle of energy and very lovable. Her hair is very soft and somewhat longer than Kira’s.
When I got home from the meeting at about 9pm, Remy and Kira came to the door to greet me, and Roxy soon followed. She stopped and growled and then saw that the other dogs were being pet so she jumped in the mix. As soon as I started petting her she wet all over the floor. I just had to open the door and she ran outside. After letting her in, she started playing with Remy and just pounded on him. She jumped on the bed and would leap off the bed on top of Remy. He just collapsed and started playing. I really like her and would love to keep her. We will see.
Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2007 8:41 PM
Subject: Roxie (or Roxy), quick update from her fosters
So far so good, its only been 2 1/2 hours but that is enough to know if sheis going to fit in with the rest of the pack or not. Bones (my grumpy 13year old chocolate lab) sniffed her once, and that was all the interest hehad in her. Roxie seems to know to leave him alone, which is very good.Kira (4 year old chocolate) and Remy (3 year old yellow) both like her,although she needs to learn to leave Kira alone when she is under either ofour desks (that is her space).
I know we all get a lot of mail, but I don’t see everyone and people alwaysask how it is going so I figured a fairly quick email was in order.