Thursday, April 23, 2009

My third dog.

My third dog. When my old dog Daisy got older we got Spike to keep her company and perk her interest levels up. At first she was not convinced that another dog was what she needed and a mad Jack Russell from the rescue did not fit into her well run life. Once she had literally licked him into shape he realised that resistance was futile. She would pin him down and hold is entire head in her mouth and growl gently. I was terrified but he just went all soft and puppy like. They would then sit together and she would look lovingly at him and he looked very proud. As Daisy was getting older we decided on dog three- not to replace Daisy but to be there for the wee lad when she died. We thought we would have four or five years when we got Marleen. She was a loved but neglected dog. Her previous owner could not cope with the her and her new baby. The dog had been chronically over fed and under exercised. She was so overweight she could not get in and out of her dog bed. She could not groom herself without rolling around on her belly but could never get to her hind quarters. She weighed 12 kilos when she arrived; she is now 6 kilos. She has become the most sweet lovely active dog and Daisy loved her from minute one.
After two years Daisy got cancer. It was very swift. She had one tumour removed then a year later she got an unrelated cancer and her lungs were full of pea sized tumours which could be suppressed with chemo but would kill her eventually. I saw the fear in the old girls face when it hit her- we had had a great day in the park and she got a little weary on the way home. She ate her dinner then just slept till bedtime. When I took them for the last walk around she was very tired. I had to carry her outside. She was panting and was in such pain. I gave her painkillers left over from the surgery. As soon as they kicked in she wanted to cuddle and even played a little. We took her to the vet and we got the worst news. No hope. I came home with her on the bicycle with her in the trailer. The pain killers were working and when I looked behind I saw her happy smiley Staffie face looking back at me with her ears flapping joyously in the wind. The next day Herrad and I took her to be euthanasied. Howl!
Marleen stepped up to be the top bitch and after a few days Spike stopped looking for Daisy when Herrad got off the tram at night. We will always miss a character like Daisy but life goes on. Spike and Marleen have become an inseparable and devoted partnership and are a daily joy. We planned to get another dog about now. We wanted to get another dog from the rescue and give it a good life- it worked with my Spike, he was in three homes before he found someone mad enough to keep him and he is now such a lovely little companion.
I have been watching more television than I consider healthy. I have not abandoned it entirely like some of my friends but at one time watched about two hours a week (soccer mostly). Since Herrad and I have been stuck at home more we have got the habit again. Most times choosing a channel is more pain limitation than searching out gems. Animal rescue programs (Philedelphia, Houston and Phoenix) appeal to a couple of old dog lovers like us so we watch Animal Planet re-runs of five year old reality tv. It has convinced me of one thing: I do not want to take another dog in this situation. So much of the neglect on the tv is from well meaning over committing. When I got sick (pneumonia) last year Spike and Marleen were going bonkers for lack of walking and general attention. I guess I would not have the two dogs we have now if I knew we would be living with MS as well. It would not be fair to bring another dog into this uncertainty. Yet another bit of MS shit. I am so glad other people have the companionship of their pets to help them get through a day with MS. I see how a bit of dog love can get Herrad smiling again on a bad morning and I hate to think how fat I would become if they did not walk me!
I would encourage anyone thinking about a new pet to try the local shelter first.


Herrad said...

Hi Richie,

A big hug and all my love,


Cranky said...

Richie - thanks for telling us the stories of Daisy, Spike and Maureen. Spike and Maureen are so lucky to have been rescued by you. I can't agree with you more about how much dogs add to life, especially the lives of those confined to their homes.