Do these shoes go with my coat?Final chapter (for now)...
First of all, sorry this got so long winded. I did think I was as eloquent or loquacious as some of my peers (aka Terri or Meleah) but kinda got into the theme and kept going. I promise, this is my last dog thread for a while. Don't want to make this into some kind of doggie haven.
Dog #4 - We now had this mutt for over 12 years and it's been eventful/intertaining. Did I mention last time that this was "my son's dog"? I figured it would be bond more with my son than me so I was pretty much geared to play a supporting role (wrong). Gleaning something form Velvet, I tried to train Shadow right out the gate. We kenneled him early on so he would learn his boundaries and control. After a few fitful nights, he finally took to the cage well and it eventually became his sanctuary. Whenever my son had his friend over and it got a bit intense, the dog would retreat to his kennel for some peace & quiet. Eventually, we found we could trust him in the house without any real problems. He did have a short chewing spurt, but he quickly passed that phase. To teach him control, I would walk him every morning as soon as I got up and right before bed. Got to be the highlight of his (& my day). Many mornings I would roll over to be greeted by two brown eyes in my face staring me down. He used to get fired up as soon as my alarm went off, but as the years progressed he would not get up until I had one foot on the floor. Start a pot of coffee and we're out the door. Very energetic dog with the propensity to pee on every rock, bush, tree, shrub, stick, and firehydrant in the neighborhood. It amazed me how much that dog could water the block. Not a good running dog. I tried to run with him a few times, but he kept stopping to sniff mailboxes every 15 feet. His favorite spot was to go to the local park and I would let him run off-leash. Funny guy would haul-a## across the park while I stood there and watched. Once he realized I was not with him, he would fly back to me. His favorite spot to this day is to jump up on the playground equipment and look over the park like he was lord & master. Even today he keeps trying to get up (with my help) but his hips aren't quite up to climbing the stairs.
Quirks: Loves to chase squirrels, barks everytime the doorbell rings, loves to go for car rides, tends to jump up on people when he meets you, not a really good guard dog, highly intuitive (knows your mood). He knows when I am mad or momma is upset. Typically, if I am frustrated with something and start using colorful language, he will get up and leave the room. On the other hand, if momma is upset and expressing her opinion at a higher volume, he will come over to her and climb up in her lap trying to console her.
Fears: Hates loud noises (including alpha dog cussing), is deathly afraid of thunder & lightenting, gets paranoid/depressed when we leave for vacation (unless he is going).
Braveheart (during thunderstorm)One thing about this dog is his enthusiasm for life. Everytime I would go out for a while, he would greet you at the door like you were a long lost friend. Even after our recent road trip to the west coast, he was beside himself when we got home after midnight. He doesn't like to be left behind and will mope around until we get back. He did not eat well while we were out and lost about 5 lbs (needed to do that).
Not sure how it happened, but he looks to me as the alpha dog of the pack. I am the one who walks him, baths him, makes sure his bowls are full of food & water, picks up his souvineers and will clean up any "accidents". He is more of a pal and wants to share in your activity. One of my favorite snacks are fig newtons and this dog will go nuts for a few bites (Peanuts was a sucker for Oreos). Of course, peanut butter on a cracker is good for a few good laughs.
Where is this going? Not sure yet. Lately, the poor old man is showing his age. He is still up and active, but he has had hip problems that makes it hard for him to walk. On top of that, he has been diagnosed with Cushing's Disease which affects the adrenal gland. Makes him pant a lot and drink lots of water (leading to more accidents). We have him on medication and are getting him checked out by the vet, but I am uncertain what they can do for him at this point aside of more pills. He's been coughing like an old man on Chesterfields and we had him checked out for other problems and they tell us he has a heart mumer. After a quick sonagram today, appears that he has (to quote the vet) Mitral Valve Prolapse (big term for heart valve issue) - thought only people got that. Now, does he seem down or concerned? Hell no. He is just happy to lie on the tile and stay cool. So far this ain't slowed him down (too much) and we are still planning on keeping him around for many more years. I am glad he is still hanging on.