The Doggie I Asked For……

The Doggie I Asked For……
I asked for strength that I might rear him perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed him more treats.
I asked for good health that I might rest easy; I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.
I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud; I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.
I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful; I was given a clown that I might laugh.
I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely; I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.
I got nothing I asked for, But everything that I needed.

Author Unknown

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spike, for all intents & purposes, was a dog...

All the years of my childhood, we had a family pet - always a dog.  My mother was raised on her parents' large dairy farm and only knew cats as "barn" cats and they were not playful, sweet kittens.  I discovered that during my 10th or 11th summer when I stayed at my grandfather's farm for a month.  Being an animal lover, I found several cats in the barn silo and wanted to play with and pet them.  The cats had other ideas - namely, to tear my hand to shreds!  Stephen King would have used a cat for his book "Cujo" if he had ever encountered demonic barn cats! Unfortunately, that was my impression of cats for decades until I was married and a family in our neighborhood abandoned a wonderful, handsome Tuxedo Persian we named "Spike". 

Spike the Bay Scallop Lover
Though an outside cat from the anxiety caused by abandonment and having to fight for food from a dumpster and sleep under vehicles for some protection from rain, wind and snow, Spike eventually learned to trust us, accept food we offered and to live on our deck in a make-shift "cat house" we built for him until we could coax him inside; he then came to live in the house with us for 9 years, until he passed from cancer at approx. 19+ years of age.  Spike was the BEST cat ever, and my memories of him and Heidi, the little doxie he welcomed when we rescued/added her to our family, are heartwarming and precious.

Puppy Heidi & Spike

Spike came when called (which doxies have problems doing), would run to the driveway to greet us when either I or my husband would come home, never killed or chased birds or small varmints (at which two of my female doxies, Sparkles and Dora Lee excel) and he refused to eat cat food or use a litter box.  He loved the home-made food that Heidi was given and went outside to complete any personal business, preferably in a flower garden or under the deck - and, always wanted to go outside, even during rain, snow or gloom of night.  Apparently, Spike was a reincarnated postman... 

During one particular winter storm when Spike was still an only-furr-kidd, we had a blizzard and were blasted with 18 inches of snow.  Because he loudly began summoning Beelzebub such that would cause Linda Blair in the "Exorcist" to spin her head even faster, paths out the patio door and to the yard immediately had to be shoveled for Spike to do his thing.  This idiosyncracy continued until his last two years on earth - when I again filled a very large container with outside dirt and dead leaves and refused to open the door during yet another blizzard.  After a bit of minor howling from a senior citizen Spike, he found the comfort of indoor plumbing preferable to the elements and would avail himself of the facilities during inclement weather.

Observing Spike on a daily basis confirmed our first thoughts, however - Spike thought he was a dog.  He walked like a Bulldog (hence the name Spike), ate like a dog, patrolled the yard like a dog and did everything our dog, Heidi, did.  Even begging for favorites, which most cats find humiliating and beneath their regal stature - Spike would use the side of the cabinet or chair or whatever was available to mimic Heidi's ability to sit on her hind legs and beg - and Spike did accomplish his own version of this essential trick!  Of course, Heidi was able to sit in that position for days if necessary where Spike would become bored if no treats or raw Niantic Bay scallops were offered within his idea of a sufficient response period.  I mean, as Dirty Harry once said -- "A man's got to know his limitations."

Spike was the perfect companion to Heidi and followed her everywhere.  When I announced sleepy-sleeps, Spike would race Heidi up the stairs, usually winning and casting a definite smirk and silent "ha ha" to his stubby-legged doxie friend.  But his demeanor was so canine that we would almost say we had "two dogs" when asked about furry family members.  They were inseparable and we're positive they're together over the Rainbow Bridge, racing up stairs or catching zzzzz's in a sunbeam .  Just wonder if during the registration process, Spike checked the box next to feline or canine....

Heidi & Spike - always together

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"I Believe I Can Fly", R Kelly

Rocket J. Squirrel-Chaser:

"Super Dox"

I was sitting on the deck, watching the antics of our current five furries and began to reminisce about my dear sweet Rocky, who had passed over the Rainbow Bridge (10/2009).  Rocky, aka "Rocket J. Squirrel-Chaser" was a runner.  We had no fenced area when we first rescued Rocky so he had a 100 ft. run on a trolley line attached to the deck and a very large tree.  We wished he could be a free-spirit as Max and Sparkles were allowed (they respected the command Come) but Rocky was a runner - it is inexplicably instilled in the genes of some dogs.  If left to run free, Rocky would be two states over in 20 minutes, chasing every leaf, every bird, everything that moved.... And, he had been abused, neglected and for most of his first 11 months, kept caged in a cat carrier.  Being born a happy, loving angel, he wore the fur off his tail begging for any tiny bit of attention by constantly wagging and wagging while imprisoned, which only resulted with his fur being bumped/rubbed against the sides of that cage. *sigh*  Fortunately, we were able to rescue him and shower him with love [and NEVER ever another cage] for 13 more years (until cancer took him from us) --- but as with some other abused/neglected angels, there were horrors Rocky was unable to forget.  Having been thrown by kids from a staircase during a game of "catch" and injuring his leg that went unattended (he never received his vaccinations, either), it took me seven YEARS of carrying him up/down the stairs every day to and from the bedroom until he finally stopped shivering and shaking.  Of course, I still cannot forgive them for what Rocky must have endured......
But, Rocky's story had a very happy ending in a loving home, with a brother and sister who adored him.

Max, Rocky & Sparkles
 As usual, I digress with background information from the story-line..... Anyway, Rocky despised squirrels!  Now most dogs and some cats are not overly fond of squirrels but Rocky viewed them as alien invaders and fuzzy-tailed terrorists.  He'd be chillin' on the deck and hear or spy a squirrel and off he would fly!  There was no stealth involved, no precise planning - just raw power and speed!  With the wind beneath his stubby doxie legs, his need for speed would propel him down the two deck stairs across the grass, up the slight incline of the grassy knoll and then he'd shift into warp speed for the straight shot to the large tree.  He would fly like Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the final winning lap every single chase!  The leash part of the trolley-run was just long enough for Rocky to get 3/4 of the way around the tree in time to see the squirrel scamper up, snickering all the way.  The squirrel would position himself on an over-looking branch and fast-flick his tail and loudly chitter his amusement at the futile but not entirely unimpressive battle of the yard warriors.  The decisive edge, however, always remained with the one able to climb that tree.

This battle ensued daily, dozens of times, with never a deviation, never a different tree.  It was choreographed like a Bob Fosse Broadway production and each had memorized their part perfectly.  Often, my husband and I would chuckle (never loud enough for Rocky to hear, of course == that would humiliate him, as any doxie owner knows) and we would remember the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn and how that rooster would torment the yard-dog right to just that one foot beyond where the dog's leash could reach - and then stand there with his imperious attitude, laughing at the poor dog's expense.  However comical, the frustration of the dog was evident.

One day, though, as fate would have it, Rocky was just slightly faster than usual.  The cry-to-action of "Get the squirrel" (similar to "Gentlemen-start your engines!") had his heart racing and his doxie legs pumping for all he was worth.  And just as he reached that sharp corner to round the tree, EUREKA!  He unexpectedly had a mouthful of grey squirrel tail fur!!!!!  Rocky was in the state of shock - never before had he been successful!  The thrill of the pursuit had been exciting enough to sustain his desire for the daily chase (as with many  To have been sooooooo close to actually taste squirrel fur was, well, Rocky would be relating that story over-and-over for years to his furry pals as all those human fisherman do who speak of the big one that got away.  The story undoubtedly developed with a much larger squirrel, a longer chase and perhaps the entire tail being snagged instead of just a fluffy bit of fur.  But, Rocky deserved his victory!!  Max and Sparkles had learned early on to never be in his path as Rocket J. Squirrel-Chaser attempted to set land speed records for four-legged competitors, and for this day, this chase, Rocky had won his Medal of Fur....... RIP, my sweet Rocky.  Your stories live on!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Want any sides with that?

Yesterday I mentioned that Dora the Digger had certainly rid the newly spread mulch and the old (and now destroyed) rose dirt mound of any mice.  Dora is a "mouser" and constantly amuses herself by sitting still-as-a-statute and staring down one of the hundreds of mouse and/or chipmunk holes in the yard.  I believe she's refined the commando/sniper's proficiency of lowering their BP and breathing without their bodies moving.
Well, after dinner last night, I came into the family room to check email and FB and out of the corner of my eye, saw Charlie in one of their beds with what looked like a dark grey mushy toy.  Knowing there'd been no new toys issued from Procurement that day I bent over to look more closely.  YIKES - there was a mouse corpse splayed on the towel and Charlie was grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Doxie.  Of course, upon my sound-barrier breaking screech, Dora Lee went zooming past me on her way out of the room and out of the house before further investigation determined that she was the brains and mouse-wrangler of that covert operation and her cohort Charlie had merely decided the trophy could possibly be taxidermy-worthy.  My husband scooped up the rodent remains with newspapers (might have been the obit pages, lol) and all bedding was immediately hustled to the washing machine for a thorough disinfecting/washing....*sigh*  My little Princess Dora Lee Scarlett (named for the Southern Belle in GWTW) was never going to be dressed pretty-in-pink with a rhinestone collar;  Dora Lee's heart and soul scream Navy Seal and her attire should be camouflage and night-vision goggles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Current Cast of Characters' Photos

Charlie Brown:



Solly-No Teeth:

Dora Lee Scarlett:

Henry the Humble:

Doxie Digging 101

Today was an improvement on the last few days' weather so I thought I'd start refilling the flower beds and fence perimeter area with new mulch.  Not an entirely pleasurable pursuit of one's time but fulfilling when you finally stand back and view your progress.  I actually accomplished one large bed, one small bed, and about forty feet of fence perimeter.  By that time, the MS (mosquito squadron) had bombarded and attacked with the ferocity of the Red Baron aerial dog-fights so it was time for another cup of coffee & more Deet spray which poisons only my lungs. Thought I'd just rest a few minutes.....
It wasn't long before my husband came home and took his newspaper outside to read on the deck.  He handed out "Daddy's home" treats to four of the five furr kidds and asked where Dora Lee was.  Well, I all along had thought she was snoozing in one of the seven preferred indoor beds for that most essential mid-afternoon nap (as opposed to the early afternoon nap or the pre-dinner nap).  When she was not located indoors, I went back to the deck and started scanning the entire dox domain.  Much to my dismay, Dora the Digger was at one of her favorite, Olympic-potential sports == digging holes and trenches that could serve as wild-animal snagging pits!  She had tunneled through at least thirty-five of the forty feet of new fence perimeter mulch, had destroyed a favorite rose bush and its dirt mound (which was now mouse free, assuredly) and had excavated around two large rocks (not quite boulders) in an effort to create a moat or other such water hazard.  When I yelled her name, she at first appeared quite proud of her landscaping efforts then realized mom was not using the "good girl" voice.  Her little legs (ha! puppers pistons when pushing dirt aside) quickly scampered to the opposite side of the yard to the rear of a rather large tree - and she then peaked from behind to see which way mom was actually headed.  I surveyed the damage with sagging shoulders but a hidden smile at her ingenuity.
So, after a futile "No More Digging" reprimand, I donned the garden gloves, grabbed the shovel and small pitchfork and set about repairing all the Dora Damage. *sigh* 
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we'll be playing this little game again, mulch too soon.....

May the Furry Footed Force Bark with You !!

Woofers to all!  We are currently owned by five furry angels:

Charlie Brown, "he's a clown" - adopted 11/2009 and is a black & tan longhair mini dachshund, who wants to be hugged, rubbed, petted and loved so he was deemed too needy and discarded;  Charlie is very comical, the only male who may actually come when called ;  He is the Alpha male but he &  Rudy take turns every evening on my husband's lap, being petted and rubbed and each will howl if the other's time-limit has been exceeded; he's a clever, happy, chuckle-fest with feet; Charlie is 7+ years old;

Rudy Toots - adopted 11/2009 is a red, very curly longhair mini dachshund who was described to me as "snarky" because he has little temper tantrums and needs time-outs;  Rudy can also be loving, gentle and very tolerant of any other doxies brought into his home whether to visit or stay; Rudy believes breathing = barking and enjoys banshee howling in a trance-like state with his nose angled to the sky; he adores squeaky tennis balls and is usually surrounded by a couple dozen of them in the grass (or snow) - he will chase them all over the yard if thrown for him - however, returning the balls is not in his repertoire as he fails to understand the point; Rudy is 6+ years old;

Solly, aka Solly No Teeth  - adopted 11/2009, is a black & white longhair mini piebald whose owner died and the family neglected him then abandoned him on a busy highway in another state at approx. 9-10 yrs old so he developed colitis from the trauma and had to have his few teeth extracted;  his new meds from our Vet have brought him back to life and he has become quite the character;  though he's still skittish from goodness knows what else he endured, he fears no other dog despite having no teeth (the defiant doxie attitude in him);  Solly LOVES "his" sofa and his fleece blankies, protects his area like a commando and tries to average 20-22 hours of safety-zone snoozes per day, inside or out, weather permitting [this also determines if he dines al fresco or on his sofa];  Solly is somewhere between 10-13 yrs old (difficult to determine since he was abandoned and though we first thought him to be on his last legs, he acts like a puppy now when HE deems it time to play);  Charlie, Rudy & Solly were adopted from the same wonderful CT dachshund rescue on the same day, the afternoon before Thanksgiving;

Dora Lee Scarlett, aka Dora the Digger, aka Dora the Diva, aka Dora the Delightful, was rescued 7/2010 from a puppy mill in MO after 4+ years in a horrible cage, so she remains afraid of many things, like loud noises, metal buckets, gruff men & being touched if she doesn't feel a smile in your voice or demeanor - her existence in that puppy mill must have been a living nightmare as she often whimpers in her sleep and must be gently comforted!  Now she spends her days desperately trying to make up for never having grass to roll in, or dirt to dig huge holes in, or space to explore, and by chasing every bird, squirrel, chipmunk, wild turkey and deer;  Dora Lee awakens each morning smiling and wagging her tail; Dora Lee is a sweetheart and manipulates the males with her cunning huntress actions;  she loves to dig and catch mice and will tote them into the house for a tasty snack if not discovered! Dora is 6+ yrs old;

Henry, our most recent rescue 4/2011, is a dachshund/spaniel mix who has visual and auditory problems and is approx. 10 yrs old;  Henry was 1/2 hour from being murdered when his SC Rescue Angel, Amber, saved his precious life; Henry had been woefully neglected and abandoned to the streets, probably due to his age-related health issues - those days and nights must have totally terrified him with his cataracts, diminished hearing and his sweet trusting soul;  Henry now quietly lives just to rest his head by your feet and/or to eat!  He follows his little cousin doxies outside and up/down his ramp to the yard, happy just to still be loved. Henry has Senior status and leaves the barking and chasing and howling to the younger generation - but always gives them his full attention should they need his wisdom....

Our other furry angel dachshunds have crossed the Rainbow Bridge but we'll write about their stories and wienerful lives in future blogs - they were all AMAZING and are terribly missed.....

Thanks for your interest - the furr kidds offer slurpy licks and furry hugs to you all!