It was a very successful “papillon play day” by our special-needs (rescue) standards. Zevon actually played with some of the other dogs instead of pacing the perimeter looking for an escape route. Sydney felt secure enough to venture away from our laps, even in the presence of a small child (he’s especially terrified of children). Gloria not only let a few people pet her, she let us know when she was ready to go home, rather than stressing out and threatening random dogs/people. After days of heat, humidity, and intermittent cloudbursts, we got a glorious sunny day (although it sure doesn’t feel like a New England fall yet). Life is good…
From commentor Folkbum:
Margaret Jane — Maggie — was our snow dog, our solid-white Great Pyrenees, whom we rescued from the Great Pyrenees rescue of Greater Chicago. (http://www.gpcgc.org/rescue.htm) She was a stray, found with another Pyr and a Pyr-golden mix that summer running loose in southern Illinois. She was skinny and shy and sweet as could be; when we sat with her at the rescue kennel, she just plopped her head in our laps and hunkered down. She came to live with us in September of 2003.
She quickly got her coat and her weight back — 75 lbs but she looked much bigger with her puffy white fur. And it also didn’t take long to realize she’d be a handful. That fall, we found that Maggie wanted to go with us whenever we left the house. At first it was kind of cute. But then she started clawing and chewing at the doors and windows. In February of 2004, she jumped through a window trying to follow my wife to work. Luckily, she couldn’t get out of the fenced back yard.
She was finally diagnosed with a pretty severe case of separation anxiety. She was an absolute sweetheart otherwise–calm, friendly, willing to sit and be petted for hours by anyone at all with the time. Until we tried to leave her alone in the house. We knew that we couldn’t send her back to the rescue, because she was unadoptable in that condition. We persevered, because she was young and vibrant and had a lot of life yet to live.
Years of behavioral and drug therapy finally led us to a reasonable, but difficult, routine. Anti-depression meds twice a day, plus a dose of tranquilizer every time she needed to be crated when we left the house, made her life and ours mostly bearable.
And Maggie was still a sweetheart. The neighbor girls begged us to let them take her on walks. She was the darling of the farmer’s market for being so white, so big, so calm. The vet was always grateful to have a dog who didn’t complain about any of the prodding, poking, pushing, and pinching required at her annual checkups. The workers at the kennel where we boarded her loved her, loved playing with her, petting her, having her around.
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I have no idea what is in the air, but my dogs are driving me damned nuts. Rosie in particular. They’ve been walked multiple times, they’ve been fed, groomed, petted, loved, and it still is not enough. Rosie is walking in between my legs pacing as I sit here trying to work, every now and then letting out a sigh to let me know just how bored she is and just how awful I am. Then she sits down on my feet to let me know she is here, and if I move, she growls and grumps. Then, every now and then she will itch herself out of boredom, making as much noise as she possibly can with her collar, looking at me with those damned JRT eyes just so I know she is bored and WANTS TO DO SOMETHING.
I’m trying to get something done with a software package I have never used before, and she’s doing everything she can to make me mental. I have got to get my yard fenced in.
From commentor Comrade Scott’s Agenda of Rage:
I could write a story on Bozo himself. He was dumped along the river here (weekend homes inhabited mostly by assholes) and wandered into town. He had all 4 legs back then. The old guy uphill from us took him in. Said old guy and dog lived in squalor for years. Bozo was allowed to roam around town and had an annoying habit of snoozing in the street.
One day, the UPS truck makes a delivery and backs over poor ole Boze. The leg wasn’t broken so the hope was that perhaps the nerves would grow back. After 8 months of lugging a dead limb around town, it was clear they wouldn’t. So, the old guy, who didn’t have a pot to piss in, went ahead and had the leg amputated and eventually paid off the vet. That was, oh, maybe 7 years ago.
We eventually started taking care of the old guy, Bozo and his two cats. Boze had mange, a hemotoma in one ear, and chronic skin allergies from years of living on ice cream, hot dogs and hamburgers; the old guy loved the dog damn near to death. The missing leg is the least of his problems. He’s also blind in that eye on the same side, again, probably nerve damage stemming from UPS—What Can Brown Do *To* You!
About 4 1/2 years ago, the old guy was finally cajoled into moving out of his house, he was about 79-80 at the time. We promised to find homes for his cats and agreed to take in the dog, our first dog after being married almost 25 years. The old guy went into an assisted living home and we’d take Bozo to visit him pretty regularly. After 2 years, his health declined and he went into a nursing home for about a year. Again, we’d take Boze out to visit him. He passed away earlier this year and is buried in the non-denominational cemetery (the other one is for Catholics only) nearby. When Bozo’s time comes, we plan on cremating him and burying his ashes up there.
A stubborn, loveable dog who’s probably around 12 now and acts like he won’t live to see 13. He loves kittens. We routinely let our foster broods out and he’ll nuzzle them, lick their bellies, etc…after they get over their initial fear of a big dog. Attached is one of the more friendly fosters attacking the old guy. He sucked it up.
A picture of Boghan and the newly acquired Ellie posing in the woods near Cooper’s Rock:
That ear action on Ellie just kills me. She really looks like the kind of dog you see in dogfood commercials.