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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Friday, November 23, 2012

When Life Goes to the Dogs

My life has literally gone to the dogs.

According to a website I found, "gone to the dogs" dates back to the 1500s. When food was no longer consumable by humans, it was "thrown to the dogs."

That said, I know some dogs who may eat better than I do. Have you priced decent dog food lately? Not the filler kind. Not good enough for my dogs, you know. Which is the point of this post.

Angel 2003-2010
I have two dogs. Two years ago, I had three. Two were birth sisters: Hope and Angel. Their "grandmother" told us about them, that her daughter had both parents AND "the girls" as we called them. With one toddler, one baby on the way, and a husband working overtime, four beagles, even miniature ones, was about three too many. My husband and I (and especially "J") were ready for a new family pet. We'd lost Aimee, our dog of 16.5 years about 2 years earlier and felt it was time again.

So, we acquired Hope and Angel. Two of the funniest dogs I've ever known. Angel--the psycho dog. For no apparent reason, Angel would jump up, run around the house, and then return to Point A. Hope, on the other hand, has always had one thing on the brain: food.

What will I eat next?
Hope, looking for the next thing to eat
What did I eat last?
Is there anything in the yard I can eat?
What are my owners eating?
Is what they are eating good for me?
Does it matter?

Yep, that's Hope.

We lost Angel in 2010 to, what we believe, was heart failure. She became weak and simply died. I cried as if I'd lost my best friend. I loved that little doggie so much. Of course Hope became a different dog. Her constant companion of 7 years had left her. I believe she has substituted food for life with Angel.

Then, there's Poodar. Poodar, so named by "J."

I said to her, "Don't you want to come up with a different name?" But "J" insisted on "Poodar" and, I have to admit, it fits her. She responded to it so quickly I have to wonder if maybe "Poodar" wasn't her name before we found her.

We found her about 10:30 one evening. J and I had just returned from Georgia in July 2010. She and her "Dennis Daddy" were unloading the car while I put the things from the car in their rightful place inside. When they stopped bringing things in, I went outside to see what was going on. Sure enough, something had stopped the flow. And that something was a black miniature dachshund, who was starving, dehydrated, had bloody ears and a bloody tail. She was darting down the road, scared silly. I stooped down, extended my arms, and she ran right to me.

"J"with Poodar, Christmas 2010
"First thing we do," I said to "J," "is feed her. Then we bathe her." We did all that and, lo and behold, Poodar slept for a long, long time in "J's" arms. The dog was so dehydrated she didn't urinate for three days. I had called the vet, worried something was horribly wrong, when "J" happily announced that Poodar had finally "squatted."

Poodar was evermore "J's" dog, but after "J" left our home, she became my constant companion. She wouldn't even venture into "J's" room, she was so heartsick at the abandonment . This dog has serious issues, I'm telling you. If I take two steps forward, she does. Two back, she repeats the steps. When I go on business trips and return home, my husband says, "Mom is home!" as soon as he sees my car coming down the driveway. He tells me she jumps up and runs for the door, about as happy as a dog can be!

Every day Poodar sits behind me in my chair. Yes, that's right. While I am working away on the next best novel, or editing one, a little black fur ball is taking up the majority of my executive office chair. I've learned to work while balancing on a fraction of a chair's seat.

Hope, on the other hand, comes in periodically to either 1) tell me she's hungry, or 2) tell me she's hungry and she needs to go outside. Sometimes, she lays down on the floor, wanting to be near Poodar and me (or maybe just hopeful I'll have snacks in here). Which is what she is doing now. Poodar is behind me, covered in a warm blanket. Hope is beside me (not covered because her thick belly is warmth enough!). And both are snoring like dueling saws!

What I'm doing is this: wondering how much longer I have to wait before I can get up to get something to eat. I'm hungry. I have not had my breakfast and it's 10:22 a.m. But if I move, the dogs will want something. Not sure what, but something.

Which brings me back to my life having "gone to the dogs."

Such is life...

2 comments:

  1. Love your pups! Love Poodar's rescue story.

    I totally understand what you said about losing your best friend. I recently lost my rescued greyhound, Pickles, to bone cancer in her front paw. It was difficult to put her down. She was 10. We have Fly, our border collie. She is 14 now and starting to slow up. She took the loss of Pickles pretty hard too. We try to keep her busy. The kids are home for the holiday...she loves that.

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  2. Bless little Fly's heart! When Angel died, Hope was lost for months. Sometimes she'd just stare at the wall.

    She's better now.

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