Morning Open Thread: Clover

From commentor Joe F:

This is Clover, a ten year old Wheaton Terrier that I rescued almost three years ago from a euthanasia via gun shot on a farm in upstate Connecticut. He is as sweet as he is adorable and has brought light to not only my life, but the whole neighborhood that I live in; I cant walk down the street without someone yelling out from a passing car, “Clover!!” I don’t get so much as a second look.
Well, January 20 was his birthday and unfortunately it appears as if he suffered a canine stroke or perhaps even a brain tumor. He became disoriented and began pacing incessantly, while emitting heart wrenching wimpers. It may be the end for this little guy. He is in the care of the vet and has made fractional progress, but today may be the day that I have to make a decision to spare him any further pain, which will create an enormous hole in my life. Apart from the neurological damage, he is fit as fiddle, so if we can get by this, there is no reason that he cannot resume a perfectly healthy life. I have a meeting at ten am this am to consult with the doctors.
I can tell you about his purring, snuggling, leaning and smiling, but I think the pictures tell the whole story. The one with the sunlight was not photo shopped in anyway and truly represents his divine nature.
He is a rescue dog in the truest sense because it was his love, companionship and outright wackiness that was the most important element in my recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. It would have NEVER happened without him around and I am having a hard time imaging what life might be like without him, so I felt compelled to reach out to a site that so properly gives animal their due. Please pray for the little fella, this world is a whole lot better place with him in it and he aint done spreading sunshine.
My neighborhood practically has the flags at half mast and I can feel the many prayers from everyone, but more could not hurt.
I would be grateful if you would ask your wonderfully compassionate readers if they might spare a thought for the Pooh-Bah of the Pooh Bears.
Thanks in advance for any and all of your thoughts.

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Shameful? I’ll Show You Shameful!

I think it is shameful no one has adopted this fellow yet (click to enlarge):


My dad just sent over those pictures of Yogi, so I thought I would use some cute factor to calm everyone down a notch.

The backstory- last Monday, my dad was driving to town (we both live in a small town in the middle of nowhere- and no, I live down the street, not in their basement), and on his way he saw what looked like a dead dog lying almost on the road in the other lane. He couldn’t stop because there were cars behind him and this was a curvy country road, but he did slow down and the dog didn’t move. An hour or two later, after he had finished at the grocery, he was driving home, and the dog was still there, so he pulled over. He was just assuming the dog was dead and was trying to pull it away from the road in case it was someone’s pet, because it would be horrible for someone to find their beloved pet mutilated on the side of the road, run over repeatedly, because no one gave enough of a shit to help your loved one out.

As he was reaching down to move the dog, the dog lifted his head and looked at my dad. Dad was mortified, because he had thought it was dead and was really upset he had just left it there for an hour or so. He ran to the car, got a blanket, covered him up and rushed off to our vet (Harry, an old family friend, who is pictured holding Yogi). The dog had some injuries to his hind quarters and will take some time to recover, but basically he was ok.

Dad says he is a super sweet dog, and I think you can tell that just by the pictures. His hair is very silky, and he is not a shedder, and he is very well behaved according to all the cute veterinary assistants, who have been showering him with affection since he got there. Apparently, he has his own cage at the vets, but they just let him wander around, and he has had no problems with any of the other visiting patients the last two weeks, so that would suggest an even temper. Soooo, if any of you are looking for a for life friend, Yogi needs a good home.

And for those of you keeping count, that is now the third dog who has thrown him/herself in front of one of the Cole men on an abandoned road and been rescued in the last 6 months. They must see us suckers coming a mile away.

BTW- I thought he should have been named Possum because he was playing dead, but the girls liked Yogi. I love the Marx brothers mustache he is rocking…

Jurassic Bark [Updated!]

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings

A dog, ‘Leao’, sits for a second consecutive day, next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the week’s catastrophic landslides in Brazil, at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero, on January 15, 2011.


UPDATE: Click here for a link to a photoblog of Leao.

UPDATE 2: Courtesy of commenter DJShay12 (and Google Translate):

The pooch Caramel, now days beside the grave of the lady, Maria Cristina Cesario Santana, who died as a result of heavy rains that hit the mountainous region of Rio last week, won a new home on Sunday. Adopted by a family of Barra da Tijuca, the dog is not the only one to wait for the owner even after his death.

According to veterinary Andrea Lambert, a member of the Special Committee of Animal Protection of the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) who rescued Caramel and other animals that were left homeless because of rain, stories like this are very common. – The pet has a lot of loyalty – he explains. – The owner ends up being the reference for everything.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, Skye Terrier Greyfriars Bobby statue got a trophy after spending 14 years guarding his owner’s grave until his own death on January 14, 1872. Similar story to the movie Always by your side (2009), starring Richard Gere, in the the dog Hachiko always going to spend years at the same time a train station waiting for the owner who died.

[via The Daily Dish; Photo by Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty]

Early Morning Open Thread: A Life in Dogs

From commentor Stuckinred:

My wife and I started dating in the mid 90s and in 1996 she went to her home in Virginia to see about getting one of the cocker spaniels from the line her family had bred for many years. She came back with this funny looking little black fur-ball and I thought, “What in the hell is this, some kind of little frou-frou poodle”? She named him Raven and it didn’t take long for the scamp to win me over. He was the happiest, most playful little critter I had ever seen. Every dog I had up to then had been a ball or stick chaser and he was no exception. By the time I went up to “meet the family” he was a full blown retrieving maniac. My future mother-in-law, who had his litter-mate, Smokey, had never seen a cocker that would chase down a tennis ball thrown 50 yards and catch it on one hop! Raven was amazing and quickly became famous around town as I took him nearly everywhere I went. He loved people, kids, and most other dogs. It was interesting to learn what bad reputation cockers had as biters. Many people would ask if it was safe for them or their kids to pet him as he wiggled away. There isn’t time to capture the many great adventures we had with Raven. Eventually his name somehow morphed into Boo-Boo and one day a lady asked us his name. We answered, “well, his name is Raven, we call him Boo-Boo but he will answer to Stinky”! She replied, “My vet told me that if a dog had more than one name he was truly loved”. I couldn’t argue.
Life sped by and we often talked about getting Raven a pal to hang with. My job had me commuting an hour a day each way so we had a neighborhood kid come in and play with him after school. Suddenly my work situation changed and I began to work from home so we thought less of the need to get him a buddy. Then, seven years ago this week, on our daily walk to the bakery, we came out with our coffee and saw a tiny 5 lb ball of white fur sitting next to Raven outside the door. We looked all around and saw no evidence of where he had come from so I put him in my pocket and we took him home.
It took a few days to figure out a name for the new pup. Osa sounded good because he looked like a little bear but, somehow, it didn’t stick. Finally we hit on Bohdisattva, a fine name for a flash of white light like he was. We decided to crate train the Bohdi loosely following the “Monks of New Skete” regimen that included taking the little guy out every two hours to let him become accustomed to the crate as his home and going outside to take care of bidness. Most of the time Raven would just go out the doggie door so there was little occasion to observe him but that changed with the crate training. As I was taking them out I started to notice that Raven was struggling when he pooped… I took Raven in for an exam and the vet said, “I’m not sure how you picked this up but Raven has an anal carcinoma, you have caught it early and it is treatable”.
This led us into a world that you have to experience to really understand, no books can do it justice. My wife and I studied our options and, since we had jobs and no kids, decided to go for the whole ball of wax. That included a two month stay at Auburn’s Vet Med School for surgery, chemo and radiation. After the first two weeks we were allowed to pick him up on Friday afternoon and had to have him back on Sunday. During the week we would talk with a Vet student who was assigned to him on a daily basis for reports on his progress. We were pretty unprepared for the toll that the various procedures would have on him. He lost a great deal of weight and was so weak when we would get him that he was like a little rag doll.
I could go into great detail about the roller-coaster we rode with Raven’s fight but I think I’ll tell just one story. We learned quickly that there was a limit to the effectiveness of pain meds for dogs and we reached it quite quickly in his post-treatment stage. After hounding the vet for something to help him we finally found some tranquilizers that allowed him to get some rest. We had planned a weekend party and thought that the commotion would be too much for him so we gave him a pill and put him upstairs. Somehow someone went to up visit him and he ran down the stairs into the fray. He was so happy to see people and his little stub just wiggled and wiggled as he jumped from person to person to get some lovin! It was then that we realized part of what was brining him down was how bummed out and worried we were. He really turned the corner that day and his condition improved day-by-day. It’s common to talk about people and critters fighting the good fight and Raven fought one of the best. He survived for two and a half years after the treatment and, if we figure one dog year is seven people years, he was quite the success. We relied on our vet to advise us when it was time and, as it had to, the day came when we had to let him go. We sat on the floor with him and held him as he slipped and, while it still hurts today, we know that we did the second best thing we could do for a dog that day. I made a monument for him from a wheel barrow turned up with a little shelf in it and we lit a Mexican votive candle for him every day for a year. What a pup he was.
You often hear of dogs who lose a partner dog pining away in sadness but we never saw that in the Bohdi. He took his place as the only dog and seemed happy as a clam with the attention and the sole ownership of the ball. A couple of years after we lost Raven I somehow decided to call our vet to ask about reputable cocker breeders in the area. The response I got was “oh, would you come out and look at this little girl we have, someone dumped her in a box on our doorstep in the middle of the night and she needs a home. My wife and I talked it over and said, “we need to decide before we go anywhere near this what reason we might NOT take her”. The only thing we could come up with was if the Bohdi didn’t cotton to her so off we went. We arrived at our vet and, as luck would have it, they brought this beat up but beautiful little black cocker right out of the same door that Raven had come to us when we put him down. Seeing her literally took me to my knees, my wife put her hand on my shoulder and said “is it too soon”? It was not.
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Early Morning Open Thread: A Work in Progress

From commentor Gus:

I’ve decided that you need a counterbalance to all the heartwarming stories of good rescued pets. This is Sherman, our rescued cockapoo. We were looking for a dog to assuage our guilt at leaving our other dog home alone (or with just the cat who has no interest in him). We saw him on Pet Rescue, and he sounded adorable. They mentioned how he loved to give kisses and how he loved to play with socks.
We went to his foster home and while he was immediately friendly with my wife, he barked at me and backed off when I tried to make friends. When the foster father came in the room, though, he went up to him with tail wagging. The foster parents assured us that he initially acted the same way toward the foster father as he was acting toward me. He got along with our dog, so we decided to take him. As the fosters predicted he warmed up to me fairly quickly (after three days of barking and growling), and soon we were buddies.
Six years later, he’s still a work in progress. He has proved to be very territorial. Our next-door neighbor used to bring his dog into our back yard to play with our other dog, but Sherman growls and barks ferociously when he does, so no more. He bit a friend once and has nipped at others shoes, which for a long time kept us from having company. The sock fetish that we initially thought was so cute borders on an obsession. He has ruined numerous pairs, and when the snow melted after the first winter we had him, we found the back yard littered with socks. We now make sure he doesn’t bring anything in the yard when we let him out. We’re also a little smarter about bringing people over, so he hasn’t bitten or nipped at anyone in quite some time.
His separation anxiety, though, has never been completely cured, and we still come home to find the odd puddle on the floor. He is a champion counter troller, and we have found numerous empty bread bags, potato chip bags and even butter wrappers on the floor. His favorite snack is cat puke, and if our cat hacks up a hairball in the middle of the night, and he can’t get to it he whines and paces until I wake up and clean up the mess. He chases our poor 14-year-old cat (the best cat in the world) no matter how we try to break him of it. He still knocks over the garbage if we don’t put a weight on the top of the can. He was obviously as poorly socialized with dogs as with people, since when we come across other dogs on his walks he often growls and has nipped at a couple of them.
Last summer he came up lame in both back legs. Diagnosis was torn ACL in each leg. $4500 later he’s doing much better.
Whew! What am I forgetting? Oh yeah, God, how I love that little guy! He’s so sweet and loyal. Yes his list of issues is long, and after a long day at work, I’m not thrilled to clean up a pee puddle or pick up the strewn contents of our garbage can. But when I come home his tail wags so hard his whole body is moving. As advertised he dispenses kisses constantly. He loves to cuddle, and when you pet him right he absolutely moans with pleasure. My wife recently asked me if I would adopt him again, knowing all we know about his neuroses and issues. I didn’t hesitate to reply yes.
So to all of you thinking of adopting, I say choose carefully, be prepared for the worst, and don’t adopt if you’re not willing to put in a shitload of work and a lot of love.