Friday, November 18, 2011

Rock, Hard Spot Part Two

Buddie Pic
 If you haven't read Part One, you might want to get caught up.

Sunning in the garden

Well, I thought I had a direction for Part Two, but the anonymous comment (who are you oh thou who has been following me for years? :-) made me want to respond.  But I'm not ready to answer the questions yet, because ... I'm not there yet.  To put this out there is really very difficult for me, because I miss them so much still, and I admit it - I feel guilty.  I felt uncomfortable writing sometimes, because I used to write about them ALL the time, and for me to continue to do that, without being very clear with the truth...  I did not want to explain over and over again - it's hard.

 I used to blog about the dogs more than any other subject.  I've got over 3,000 pictures of them in the computer.  They used to have quite the following, too.  They talked, and I transcribed.  A group of us used to chat about them on Delphi, way back when.  Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I loved my dogs.  Jeremy, Cindy, Theresa, Ben, Paul, Michael, Kathy, Cheryl, Steve, and everyone in the apartment building where I used to live in Idaho. Hell, I even had to fight City Hall one time in order to keep them, since one was allowed only 2 dogs when within city limits.

 They came to me shortly after my son moved out, so they filled up that empty nest thing going on.  They were hell on wheels for the first 2 years, but eventually, they bonded with me, and they did that thing that dogs do - that unconditional love thing.

I loved to watch them together.  They were so close and so in tune with each other.  I have a series of pictures I've been wanting share, but couldn't until I get this post done, cause I knew I'd get asked how were the dogs doing.  And I dreaded answering that question. 

Ohhhh Ben....
Muttin was a she-devil thru and thru.  She was a liar and a thief with no conscious what-so-ever.  She would get in trouble and either stare me in the eyes, talk back, or let Jeffrey take the blame.  He had enough guilty conscious-ness for the both of them!  He'd hang his head in shame, even tho he hadn't done anything.  She's been known to slap a boyfriend, and her meaning couldn't have been more clear.  We were laying on the bed, and he'd given her a slight tap on the nose for licking him, and she sat still, staring at him, while he tried to talk to me.  Her staring was a bit un-nerving tho.  Finally, when he looked away from her, she reached out her little paw and slapped his hand right back. And then ran away!  It was the running away that killed me - she KNEW she'd be in trouble.  It was sooo funny and soooo cute, and it was obvious she was saying "Don't you slap me, BUD".  And she said "bud" in a drawn-out way, like Buuudud.

Her favorite position - looking down at Jeffrey
She was petite, slim, and I swear she'd diet, because she used to get out of the fenced back yard every. single. day. She'd crawl under the neighbors fence.  Jeffrey was too big to get thru.  

I loved her so much.


Jeffry was more burly, muscle-y, barrel chested.  He was so much more earnest and honest then Muttin, and had the sweetest look of concern on his face most of the time.  I used to worry that he could have had an ulcer over all the shennigans his sister got into, and dragged him along.  He loved to play under the covers, and he snorted.  He once tried to make friends with a spider on the wall, and was heart-broken when Muttin callously ate it. He wanted to be a nurse when he grew up.

I loved him so much.
I think the thing that touched me the most about them was their trust in the world.  Trust was a hard concept for me, but I could see it in my dogs, and perhaps learned from them.  They had never known a harsh hand.

In my high school years, I had a dog, named Tobie, who had been abused.  It took ALOT of time before she trusted me.  She would cringe if a hand came too close to her, or when voices got raised.
Muttin?  She'd get right in the middle of it, and participate, adding her 2 cents by slapping, barking, or just wagging her tail happily.

Hiney is probably on the bed, but next to me where he can't be seen.  Everyone got along.  I'd wake up in my SINGLE sized hospital bed to a sea of animals sleeping with me.  I never had a problem sleeping alone because of them.  They liked my music, and cuddled up when I read.  One of them taught me the value of all creatures, great and small - even spiders.  The other one reminds me of myself - eating spiders

They lived in a completely happy and safe little world and shared their exuberance for life in such a joyful (and sometimes irritating! way)  Even tho they suspected Jeremy was out to murder them, they loved  him too, much to his great irritation. He had developed an unnatural aversion to dog hair once he hit his teens - so bizarre! 

They were so uncomplicated, yet brilliant.  So interesting to watch.  They were as different as night and day, two completely individual personalities.  Muttin scoffed at the mere idea of training.  She'd sit next to me while I worked with Jeffrey, and call him names, while refusing to  to learn anything from me.  I'm tellin you - those first two years were hell.  I'm surprised that Jeffrey didn't suffer from low self-esteem because of her taunts.

One time, Jeremy had brought home a huge bunch of fresh flowers from Seattle.  I put them in a vase next to  my bed, and they smelled delicious.  That night, I woke up to Jeffrey growling low in his body, and he would not stop.  It scared me, as he rarely did that, and history had proven when he did growl, I was to pay attention because something was wrong. 
 Finally, I got up and turned on the lights, hoping the axe murderer wasn't looking in the window.  Jeffrey was growling at the flowers.  I had to take them out to the kitchen, but he lay awake for a long time, vigilant about making sure they didn't walk back in the door. They could have been attack flowers for all he knew, and he was the protector.

Guess who invited herself in?  

Our back yard looked like I lived in a trailer park with all the junk I had to use, trying to reinforce the fence line, because of Muttin's escaping every day when they were toddlers.  One time, I enlisted the help of my son in rebuilding Fort Knox Not, in hopes of finally containing Muttin in our own yard.  We moved bricks, logs, dog houses, boards and cinder blocks against the fence line to block her, and I seriously thought about mixing up a batch of cement.  Jeremy didn't understand.  He'd plug up a hole, and I would have to say, nope, she'll get out of that, put another brick there just so and maybe I better mix up that cement just to be sure, and he said, , "Mom, she's not Wonder Dog".

???  Hmphh.  Easy for him to say - he wasn't living there anymore.  

Oh my.  Wonder Dog herself watched us with GREAT interest, and as I looked at her, I lost all hope of ever containing her.  She was casing the joint, and even giggled when she saw me looking at her.  When I looked over at Jeffrey, he sure hoped our efforts were going to work this time, cause he was tired of being home alone all day while his sister cavorted around the neighborhood.  He was able to watch her from our large bay windows in the front of the house.  It was hard to be the protector, if those you are protecting are flaunting their freedom by standing in the middle of the street and you can't get to them!

You'd had to have seen it for yourself - the 4 foot cyclone fence, with another 3 feet of chicken wire, an 8 foot tall piece of plywood blocking one part of the fence.  Even the 12-inch garden fencing, laid flat on the ground along and under the fence line, so she wouldn't dig.  Then all the bricks, logs, and cinder blocks stuffed into the holes that she somehow managed to dig.  She'd get out, into the neighbor's back yard, and dig a hole under his fence to get out.  I'd come home and she'd be sitting out in the middle of the cul-de-sac, and ohsohappy to see me.  And quite full of herself, I might add.  For two years, it never got old for her.  She would bark her fool head off at anyone who drove into HER cul-de-sac.  Thankfully, none of the neighbors got upset with her, saying she was soooo darn cute about her shenanigans - they even enjoyed my frustration and misery.  I needed to quit my job in order to devote myself full-time to the problem... the mystery of how in the HELL was she getting out?

Thankfully, Jeffrey became quite good at telling me that she had escaped again.  I didn't consider it tattling, as he was being a responsible brother, concerned about her safety.  He got a butt load of criticism from her about it, tho.  
Finally, one fine day, both Jeremy and I witnessed how she got out.  She was jumping straight up 8 feet over the 8 foot high plywood, scrabbling with her feet up the last few inches, and OVER she went, into the neighbor's yard.  While I contemplated on how to fix the problem, Jeremy ran to the computer to look up How to Train Frisbee Dogs, and Win Frisbee Championships.  We were going to be rich!

On the spider incident, Jeffrey had been staring at a spider on the wall for quite some time.  He wagged his tail, barked occasionally, putting his front feet up on the wall, trying to reach the spider.  He was wagging his tail at a spider!   It was touching.  Muttin, sitting in a chair, watched him with disdain in her eyes.  She seemed to think playing with spiders was beneath her.  Until the spider fell to the floor, that is.  She pounced, and ate it.  Jeffrey was truly shocked, and wouldn't speak to her for hours.

Another story, set the scene:  Muttin was laying on the carpet with a bored look on her face.  Jeffrey came in with a cool twig, bone, toy, ball, gum wrapper, leaf - you get the point that the main thing is that IT is a COOOL thing, and he had it and she did not.  Being the sweetheart that he was, tho, he would drop it in front of her, hoping she would play.  She just looked at him, wagging her tail limply, feigning interest for one second, and then look away.  He'd roll over it, bark, snort, and bard again.  Muttin would close her eyes.  He gave up and walked away.  Suddenly, Muttin would spring to life, grab it and then chase after him.  The point was made very clearly - she had the cool thing, and he did not.  He fell for it every. single. damn. time.

Bitching about Muttin behind her back

And so, now you know.  I loved those puppies.  So the question becomes ... if I loved them so much, why did I have them put down? 

      And then came Annie. 

This comment from Anonymous is exactly why I've had such a hard time talking about my dogs.  If you've read my blog for years, don't I know you?  I will be happy to answer in the next post coming up - cause there is a Part Three, and your comment is a perfect segway!  Thanks for reading, and no snark accepted.  :-)

"Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you'd had them put to sleep. I have followed your blog for years and the sagas of Muttin and Jeff. For some reason, I was under the impression you rehomed them. What was the reason you gave for having them put down? Can one just arbitrarily have their pets put down for convenience? Just curious, no snark intended. "

To be continued

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