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Friday, February 12, 2010

February Puppies: How I Still Hold a Grudge Against the Pound


We get our puppies in February, near Valentines Day.  I am not really sure how that came about. Sonny was born on December 6, 2003, and Dana was born on December 5, 2008.  So, this week, 6 years ago we got the boy and 2 years ago we got the girl.  A finer brother and sister you have never met.   

With their Dad, at Delta Campground up the McKenzie River.  Dana is a breeze to walk, she goes a straight line and you just guide her with the leash.  She just has to be first, in charge.  That is her goal in life, to be in charge.  Sonny is a different story ... he is all over the board, marking his territory every few steps, and he pulls your arm nearly off.  We never did go to dog obedience.


We got Sonny for each other on our first Valentine's Day.  Cary wasn't so sure about this, but I felt like it was a good idea.  Our friend, Sonny Newport, who breeds dogs and sells houses had brought the puppy by work a couple of times to try and sway Cary.  I walked in one day my new fiance was holding that precious little baby and they melted my heart even more.  Our new little family needed to adopt.  He cost us $400.  We got a discount for naming him after Sonny Newport.

Sonny was really cute; a purebred lab, with 32 champions on either side.  (We never did file the papers, but we still have them.  And, he's not fixed either.  Let us know if you want to breed him with your female.)  Anyway, he was a little needy and a little high strung and took forever to grow up, but he is a sweet dog.  The only thing we don't like is that he will run away for 6 hours if he gets the chance.  Because he is not fixed, I presume.  And doesn't mind when he is on the loose.  If it is in the winter, he limits it to 4 hours, because he gets cold.  He has friends, and makes his rounds.  We get phone calls to come and get him.  From Chrystal.  His name and phone number is on his collar.  Thank you, Chrystal.  Sometimes a nice lady named Cindy brings him home. Thank you, Cindy.

Family members and guests usually prefer Sonny to Dana because he sits still to be petted.

 Our Little Son

 Cary, Sonny and Raymond

 Cary and Sonny near Oakridge

 Me, Sonny and Nigel at Hills Creek Dam


We got Dana from the pound.  We thought we were doing the right thing, and I guess we were, but it ended up being a rather disappointing and frustrating story for the first few weeks.  I will not get a dog from the pound again.

I had been wanting a puppy.  Sonny was very lonely, ever since Raymond had died a whole year before.  Cary finally agreed, so I kept my eyes open for the right one.  I was looking at teacup poodles, but the lady in Redmond wouldn't give me one because of Sonny and an occasional visit from the grand kids.  Besides, they cost too much money.  Then, one day, I found our baby, online at the local pound.  I called the animal shelter, put a hold on her and hurried into Bend.  She was 8 weeks old.

Dana (then Lisa), had arrived a couple of days before, from Christmas Valley.  Her mom was an Old English Sheepdog, and her dad was a Brussels Terrier (like the ones that Jack Nicholson had in "As Good as it Gets".)  She was adorable.  She was also pretty out of it, since they had just spayed her.  (I didn't' realize that immediately though, I thought she might be blind, or anti-social, because she would not look me in the eyes.) They gave her to me and said, here, get to know her in the playroom.  The floor was covered in poop and she was still coming out of anesthesia, so I picked her up and walked around with her for a long time.   Most people who saw her said, if you don't want her, I do.  I wanted her.  She cost $175.00, but that came with her being spayed (way too young for that, in my opinion), her first shots, a chip and a health insurance policy.

I filled out an application and was scrutinized for my ability to parent this puppy.  I felt like I was a criminal trying to prove my innocence.  Really, I am generally the kind of person that they don't even ask for my I.D. when I write a check.  Luckily, my degree is in Early Childhood Education, so I knew how to answer the questions correctly.  Plus, I was able to say that I would be taking her to work with me during the day, which was true.  That helped a lot.  I signed the papers, we left for home, and I worked on a new name.  (I still had a big thing against Lisas two years ago.)  One of my best friends in high school is named Dana Mathews, so I decided that was a perfect name for my new baby.  She started coming out from under the drugs, and was just a perfect little dog.  Yeah, thank you, Lord!  I stopped at Bi-Mart in Bend on the way home and got her some puppy supplies.

At home, Cary and Sonny liked her.  Dana's first trick was to back Sonny into a corner, barking her little head off.  He looked at me, like, I didn't do anything, Mom!  I know, son, she is just a bossy little girl.



Two days later, we got a call from the pound.  They said, watch out, keep an eye on her, her sister has Parvo.  Oh, great.  Our baby had Parvo too.  It showed up a couple of days later. Cary asked the pound if the sister's people could please give him a call so we could learn the outcome of her sister.  The pound said, no, they were too busy having an open house.  He said, you are having an open house with Parvo running rampant throughout your facility?   They said, hey, we have to go now, we are busy.  So, Cary got mad and called up the news station.  He drove into Bend and did an interview on the whole situation.  He was on t.v.  The t.v. station handled it well; they were in a tough spot because they have the pound people on there all the time.  Cary did end up in a meeting with the people who are in charge at the Humane Society, and suggested that they change a few of their policies, including the wording on their applications. 

Cary burned all of Dana's toys and cleaned up any bit of poop outside at home and work.  I washed her stuff in bleach, and we were so sad.  

Come to find out later, Christmas Valley was full of Parvo germs at that time, because the coyotes had it and it was really hard to avoid it.  I have always wondered if the people who brought those three puppies to the pound knew that they were already infected.  It gave the puppies a chance to live, but was a dirty trick to play on the new families, if you ask me.

That is when I learned about the differences in veterinary care.  The emergency hospital in Bend was absolutely wonderful.  They said, please come and visit her at any time.  It will make her feel better.  We are here all night long, call us at 2:00 in the morning if you are up worrying about her.  They were awesome, comforting, and did their job with compassion and skill.  But they were only open on nights and weekends.  

I had to go and get her on Monday morning and take her to another vet.  They said, please do not come and visit her.  It was kind of like leaving your kid in a scary daycare. Then, I found out, too late, that nobody was there all night long.  My baby was in a wire cage with a baby blanket, all by herself, throwing up and having diarrhea.  They finally let me go in and see her on Tuesday afternoon, and one of the nicer assistants suggested that I go and get her a stuffed animal.  I took off the funnel around her head, fed her a few bites of dog food and just held her.  She was so sad.  Oh well, enough of this.  Dana recovered and it cost us $1500, though we did get $500 of it back because of the health insurance policy that came with her.

Dana is awesome.  She is bossy, headstrong, and still needs to learn manners when visitors are here, but I wouldn't trade her for the world.  That girl has my back.

They are our kids.  They are not spoiled rotten, but they are loved and appreciated.  They complete our little family. 

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