I've been so busy lately, that I just couldn't get to writing a Thanksgiving post. But, I'd still like to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoyed the holiday. :)
First ..I will just say that last January, we had to put our dear German Shepherd, Bob down. It was so unexpected. He would've been 10 in May and was the perfect picture of health for his years. He was a great weight, white teeth, strong with lots of energy, shiny coat and no apparent arthritis ..something shepherds are prone too. And so it was a major shock when he took suddenly ill, couldn't get up onto hind feet and within minutes had a stroke. It turned out that he had a hemangiosarcoma , a canine cancer ( vet said that shepherds, retrievers and rottweilers are prone to this disease) that caused him to have a tumor the size of a volley ball off his spleen. The vet said there was no way we could've known and that the tumor was concealed because of how the German Shepherds ribcage is so long. (I think that was it. I know it was because of his internal structure) Our son first noticed that he was sluggish and thought it was the new food I had switched him to, but I knew it was still a quality food. I thought that he was getting up there for a large dog and maybe had arthritis starting. Then the weekend before, he seemed to have a fever and I thought maybe it was Lyme disease, because he had it when he was younger. I did not feel any sense of urgency and he was scheduled to be seen on Tuesday. But then everything happened on Monday.
We were all so upset. I was so devastated, I could not keep my afternoon uro appointment, nor could I follow through with surgery later in the week. And the office staff was so sweet. They gave me a Christmas ornament which was a German shepherd dog with angel wings. I've had it on my kitchen hutch all year and now it will soon have a prominent spot on our Christmas tree. :)In our family ..our pets are family members. Our other dogs were medium in size and he was the largest. You miss all your pets ..but I found that a large dog really has a presence in the house and it seemed even more obvious that he was no longer with us.
Needless to say, I felt guilt over not responding sooner, but the vet assured me that once this is diagnosed it is too late and they usually only have 8-12 weeks to live. Our son noticed he was sluggish in early December ..around then ..and so he had another 6 weeks from that point. And we would not have opted for chemo or any extraordinary treatment. I think with an animal ..it is about quality of life and I would not want them to suffer additionally with treatments and side effects if it would not have a good outcome. I think sometimes we people do it for us, because we don't want to let go. I went through that with another dog we had. I questioned his perfect checkup in May and he said that unless he did routine x-rays on every dog at risk for this disease ..there was no way to know.
And he was one strong and loyal dog. The Saturday night before he had the stroke ...he heard me running to something and concerned and he jumped right off son's bed and came all the way out to me. he was an awesome dog and so handsome too. We still miss him and sometimes still ..I expect to see him around the house.
Good ol' Bob ...you were an amazing dog that blessed our family in so many ways. It wasn't just that he was our dog ... we were truly his people. :)
I think sometime in the future, I will do a series on the different dogs we've had ..how they came into our lives and talk about them. I just need to gather some pictures. They all have a story. :)
Anyway, about a month ago, I called a local pound telling her that I was interested in getting another dog. I told her about our dogs and what I we liked regarding looks and personality/traits. We would adopt an adult or a puppy. Whatever felt right for our family.
And not long after, she called, stating she had the perfect dog for us. She was found without identification, wandering around and they had kept her the required amount of time for someone to claim her. And she let us take her home for the weekend to see how she fit in. She is so well behaved, that she had to have been someone's pet and so I asked if they were sure they couldn't locate the owner. She said that so many people just abandon their pets, especially now with this economy.
They called her Beulah. :)
On her paperwork it says German Shepherd/Rottweiler and they figure about 9 months old. I am not so sure about the Rottweiler part as she doesn't seem that she will be as large as either breed, unless she is younger than they are estimating. I see the shepherd markings though and her back is very similar to Bob's. She's pretty. Unlike a shepherd she has slightly droopy eyes, medium sizedfloppy ears and little wrinkles up on her forehead. She has a strong bark and when she gets insistent about what she wants ..she howls kind of like a hound dog. And so I wonder if she has hound in her or do some dogs just do that sometimes? She's both pretty and cute. :)
We called her Bella for a couple of days and then I decided on Faith. Faith because I think it is a positive name. A reminder to have faith that things will work out, faith in God or faith you can succeed. Faith is good to have in your life. Faith. :)
After calling her Faith for awhile, Mr SeaSpray said we should call her Annie for Little Orphan Annie since she was wandering alone out there. I think that would be a great name, Annie ..but we had already been calling her Faith and she was responding. Faith Annie. :)
But it wasn't all smooth sailing on the home front.
Some of you know how I use pot roast to lull Mr SeaSpray into not contesting going out for the Christmas tree. Every year, he knows exactly the day we are going to get the tree and yet acts like I just sprung it on him and will be tearing him away from the Superbowl or something. So, I know he loves meat. And I also know that when he smells the aroma wafting through the house ..especially when he first comes in ..that he is likely to be more agreeable.
So before picking up the dog for the trial weekend, I ran into the store to buy a big pot roast and all the the other food to go with it. The house smelled really good, the roast was perfect ..and he didn't eat any of it. I think he is on to me. I guess it works for Christmas trees, but not living creatures to be responsible for.
And so when he came home from work the next day, he was still annoyed at me and so I apologized and clarified that I could take her back Monday. I told him I vaguely remembered him telling me not to bring a dog home, but maybe I had selective memory about that.
He responded with "Yeah ...I THINK so!"
But after that he seemed fine and it was obvious that he liked her and so on Monday ..I just went up to sign the papers and pay the pound fee. And so the SeaSprays frolicked with Faith all week.
And then this discussion ensued on Sunday morning:
I was surprised to see myself in a disagreement with Mr SeaSpray this morning over the dog.
I had planned to go to the 11 0'clock service, but he was also going to be at his mothers and so I casually asked, "What should we do about the dog?"
"I don't don't know. That's your problem."
"Well, I am going to get a couple of tension baby gates. We need them anyway for the baby."
"I told you I didn't want a dog. I don't want the responsibility."
"What?! We DISCUSSED it when we were in Chris' room last Saturday! Remember? I apologized and all the things I said?"
"I know you like a book. You're shrewd." (at least he didn't say I was a shrew. And I'm NOT.) "You knew bringing her here was getting her in the door and I couldn't say no."
Now we moved from the kitchen into the family room. Voices moderately escalated in response to each other.
"You KNEW I didn't want a dog!"
"But I told you she was a trial. I could have brought her back on Monday.!"
"You KNOW you wouldn't have wanted to!"
"Well yeah ..but I WOULD have!"
"And then I'd have to hear all about it!"
"Well yeah ..I'd be upset ..but I would've brought her back. And so now you see her with RESENTMENT?!"
"I told you I didn't want the responsibility. Now I have to get up and take her out. And clean up the yard."
"Well I am taking her out all the time. You don't have to. Just let me know if I don''t hear her." (I admit, I didn't offer help about the yard) "Besides ...all week ..you have been affectionate with her and coming to me,telling me all the funny things she's done ...like she's one of our KIDS when they were little! And when I tell you funny things, you smile. You LIKE her!"
Now ...in the mean time ...as we are having this "discussion" ...I was hearing a gnawing sound. I knew it was her. I knew she was very close to me ..lying on the floor ...just to the left of me ...gnawing something ...really working it. But I was so engrossed in our "discussion", that I never looked to see what she was gnawing on.
Then, after Mr SeaSpray and I settled down, I reached for my cup of coffee and happened to look down at Faith ...and to my utter dismay ...the entire time we had been having said "discussion", she was gnawing on my rocking chair ..the part of the rocker that juts out in the front ..so it can rock.
Mr SeaSpray bought that chair for me when I was very pregnant with our first born son. I wanted to be able to rock him to sleep in his room. And I used it for our second son too. And our granddaughters. And very soon ... we will be have a baby boy as our newest addition into our family. :)
My girlfriend's daughter gnawed on the arm slightly when she was being held, while we were all busy talking. :) It has some other marks and needs a little wood glue on one of the rungs. It has acquired "character" since we gave it a home over thirty years ago. If this chair could talk ...oh the stories it could tell. If being the operative word here. If the chair was not discreet because we all know ..discreet rocking chairs ..don't tell stories. I'm just saying ..and digressing. ;)
I am very sentimental about the chair.
Anyway, Faith (our new dog ..well older puppy), had chewed down into the middle, and splinters of wood were lying all around the the damaged part of the rocker. I can't believe I didn't look down at her even one time. *Sigh!* And I think MrSeaSpray was secretly amused. I saw the glint in his eye.
Then he said "It's old anyway."
"Old?"! I then proceeded to tell him why it is important to me.
I think I can sand it ..not sure. And put some kind of stain on it, but I won't be able to get it to look as good or match. It won't be the same as the other side. I suppose it will be a funny story someday, that I will tell with the same fondness I have occasionally told people how my dear friend's daughter chewed on the arm of the chair. Heck ..I already am with this post! :)
So ...instead of getting into the shower, I was caught up in this "discussion" and now there would not be time to go to church. I walked back into the kitchen to get a second cup of coffee. MrSeaSpray came in and asked, "Aren't you going to church?"
"Church? After our fight, I don't have time to get ready to go to church."
"We didn't fight."
"What?! YES we did!"
So ...we did our separate things for the next few minutes. Then, before he left ..he gave me an extra hug before he totally let go of me.
I am going to bake him some Thanksgiving Pumpkin cookies, so he can snack on them during football or whenever if he wants too. I actually made up a basket of them for church Friday afternoon and he was disappointed I wasn't leaving any for home too. I usually do, but I wanted to fill the basket I was using.
Update - 18:00:- he was absolutely enjoying the dog when she jumped up on the couch with him and was cracking up when she kept trying to lick his face. He likes her. She has this amazing personality. :)
Update -November 29th: We are all in love with this wonderful dog ...including Mr SeaSpray. Son's friends, our relatives and my friends ..all really take to her. And we even let her on our furniture and bed. We just don't do that, but there is something about her that just wins us over ..completely ...almost like sI think she would be a good therapy dog to bring into the nursing homes. And she is s-o-o-o playful. She lives to play. She takes your hand in her mouth and gently mouths it. Not sure why she does that. But she never bites down hard. She does the funniest things and even seems to talk to us when she wants us to play and we don't want to at the moment. Faith is also cute, pretty, gentle, smart, obedient and just so many things that most people would want in a dog. Not the chewing though. She got MrSeaSpray's slipper and one of my shoes, a baby rattle, cat toys and other things. I constantly have to take things from her.
But, she also loves to play with her toys. She's hilarious when she tossed things in the air for herself and runs around with them. She's brought a lot of joy and laughter into our home. And healing too.
Faith is so special ..it feels like she was hand picked by God just for us. :)
P.S. And this past weekend ... Mr SeaSpray put a furry cat ears headband on her to show me. He has never done that with any other pet. He laughs at all of her of her antics.
Need I say more?
I rest my case.
He LIKES her. I bet he already loves her. :)