Monday, August 17, 2015
Lovely Lucy. Lovely getting old Lucy. The little white fluffy ball. When we brought Lucy into the fold, King Harold was nearing the end. Even though he continued to groom Jules, the best Chocolate Labrador, the Ambassador to Labradors, but I felt that Jules needed a playmate. I also knew I needed the young energy to distract me from my future loss. The death of a dog hits me hard, but I notice that if I have a young one, the impact isn’t as jolting.
I’ve written about my dogs quite a few times, but I don’t think I can write enough about them. I take them for granted more often than I can afford; their little lives are so brief. I do think that I can’t spend too much time with my dogs.
Blame Harold and Maude for the multiple dog trend. I had just lost Kahlua, and I know I have used this picture before. Ah, to be young again. Kahlua was one of those amazing once in a life time kind of dogs. He did no wrong, but he was with me a lot while he was a puppy. I played this game with my supervisors at the New England Medical Center, where they would try to catch me with my dog. I used to hide him on the roof of the building. The Gargoyles protected him.
It wasn’t very long after Kahlua’s death, that rocked my world. I had cats in my family, but the safety net was precariously thin, and the Angels must have realized this as my path crossed with Harold and Maude, two adorable puppies. Harold had a similar German Shep. look that reminded me of Kahlua. Maude reminded Sylvia of her dog Kaftan, a black Labrador. There was no hesitation, but I’ll tell you the transition was extremely challenging. I had never raised two puppies at the same time. I can’t imagine repeating that same mistake. I never could tell who did the chewing, and talk about chewing. They chewed the side of the rental house. They chewed up my Datsun Stationwagon. What didn’t they chew? It was like going from a fine wine to sour grapes. Harold and Maude did mature eventually into fine companions. I had never had a female dog before, so there was a little bit of adjustment. I worked hard at not comparing them to Kahlua. He got a lot of my time, whereas I was a college student while raising H & M. It didn’t help that I still had temper issues to work on, not a good thing for raising dogs. They were well-behaved, but that was because there were consequences. The best part about this pair is that I could walk along the bike the bike path; they’d be off leash of course, the rebel rouser that I am. And if another dog or bike came I could yell sit and they’d drop in an instance, and they would stay there until I gave them the okay.
Harold did grow into the title King Harold, though his sister was the Alpha in the pack. There was something changing with the way Harold was treating his sister. He didn’t groom her very often and didn’t really have much to do with her. She was slowing down. Both had had knee surgeries, but her hips were giving this big fluffy black dog the biggest problem. I can’t believe I took this picture eleven years ago.
Harold always had his sister, and I was worried about the impact of Maude’s impending death for him and for me. Once again, those Angels stepped in. We happened to be in Eastern Oregon visiting Sylvia’s cousin Joe, and he happened to have one last puppy of the last litter they would ever have, and they offered him to us. This is another picture I have used before, but it’s so cute. I definitely have a thing for profile shots.
Another chewer. It didn’t matter that I knew it wasn’t Harold or Maude. There’s a book called Jules Sandoz, my Jules’ namesake, and perhaps I didn’t want to be like Jules Sandoz and shifted philosophies, letting go of the Iron fist approach in dog behavior.
What a grand dog Jules grew up to be. Amazing. So intelligent. I could ask for specific toys, and he would bring them to me. His most amazing talent was tracking a ball that he could not see. I would huck a tennis ball over the dome house, and he would sit and listen to it. He wouldn’t move until I gave him the okay, and then off he’d go, searching in blackberries and other weeds, and it had to be that specific ball. He would search for quite a long time before he gave up, but most of the time he would come back with it.
Jules’ cancer diagnosis and dignified death caught me off guard. Floored. Yes, I still had Lucy, but Lucy was Jules’ dog. Lucy went where ever Jules went. Lucy gave me attention, but preferred Jules. I seemed to click with male dogs than I do females, though Abby the Labby Number Nine has changed that idea.
I knew I needed something to patch the gigantic hole in my heart. Lucy tried so hard. I went to the dog pound and searched online. I wasn’t looking for a puppy even though I’ve only had puppies. I thank my Angels for watching out for me, though this time there was a bit more searching, though I think this just made the magic of Ricky that much more powerful. Thank you Lisa and Save the Pets for saving me. It didn’t matter that Lisa thought that Ricky could possibly be a psychotic. It turned out that we were able to save each other.