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74 lbs of slobbery lovin’

August 15, 2008
tags: ,
Blue

Blue

This is Blue. She’s our greyhound. We’ve had her almost as long as we’ve been married (10 years this past April). She’s a retired racer that we got from the Peoria rescue. She is twelve years old and, while not on death’s door knocking loudly just yet, her health is starting to spiral downward. She’s got arthritis in her hip, she’s had a toe amputated, and the big thing is that she’s developed some sort of neurological issue, a result of which being that she can’t feel her feet real well sometimes. But she still runs a hell of a lot faster than my fat ass can. At any rate, she is more or less on the outside of the normal life span of a greyhound, so between that and her health, she is somewhat living on borrowed time.

Wednesday night she perked up and bounced around like I haven’t seen her act in a long, long while. In the span of but a few hours, we somehow wound up getting her a playmate.

Adam & Franklin

Adam & Franklin

Meet Franklin.

About 10:30 in the morning on Wednesday, my charming and beautiful wife’s equally charming and beautiful sister Denise called me saying she had something she wanted to run past me. One of her friends (or coworkers or something) is moving and can’t take her dog with her, and Denise was wanting to know if we would consider taking her dog. (Denise would have considered it, but they already have a beagle named Autumn, and Denise’s husband Mark pretty much has a one-dog limit.)

Denise tells me this dog is a six-year-old golden retriever (bonus #1) that is neutered (bonus #2), housebroken (bonus #3), is good with children (bonus #4), is good with other dogs (bonus #5), and doesn’t get on the furniture (bonus #6). But I still had some reservations, such as how would he realistically take to Blue (“good with other dogs” notwithstanding), and how Blue would take to him. Then there’s all the variables of does he bark a lot, is he a beggar (I loathe when dogs beg for food), is he a big chewer, does he drink from the porcelain teacup, things like that. So I tell Denise that Dawn and I will discuss it and get back to her.

Then when Dawn got home I found out that Denise had already called her before she called me, and Dawn told her, “ask John”. Basically so if “we” said no, then “I” could be the bad guy, I guess. So we go to lunch with the boys, and we’re discussing it. I stated that I didn’t know what bothered me more: the fact that I had hesitations about it, the fact that I had no real reason to have hesitations about it, or the fact that I was upset at myself for having hesitations about it. So after a few more bites of my absolutely yummy bacon & egg cheeseburger, I literally said “eehhhhh, screw it” and called Denise back and told her we’d take the dog.

So that evening, Denise comes over to pick up Dawn and they go get him. When he got here, as mentioned before, Blue started prancing around like a puppy again, at least relative to how she has been getting around the last few months. I think she was so thrilled to finally have some canine companionship again that she was beside herself. We had a miniature dachshund when we first got Blue, but Heidi wound up dying a few months after we got Blue. (Heidi was a whole cheating-death story unto herself.) Then a couple years later, we got another rescued racer, Willie. Things went great with him for a while, until he developed what I think was basic separation anxiety (at the time, we had such weird schedules and couldn’t really devote to him the time he apparently required; Blue’s always been a “as long as you feed me and let me out to pee once in a while, I’m fine” kind of dog) and he started peeing all over the house.

This kept getting worse and worse- we tried everything from extra walking and “outdoor binniss” time to the belly band (basically a doggy diaper) to crating him whenever nobody was home to pleading with the rescue for any advice they could give us. Finally, one cold February evening in 2005 when Dawn was extremely pregnant with Adam, she pulled into the garage and could smell a strong stench of dog poop emanating from the house, even while still in her car in the garage. Incidentally, Willie and Blue were both crated that evening. Anyway, she went in the house and Willie had taken the king of toxic dumps in his crate and managed to somehow fling it all over the room. There was literally shit EVERYWHERE. Dawn brings Ian in, takes the dogs outside, follows them out, and proceeds to hork all over the patio. (She had morning sickness pretty much for nine months while carrying Adam.) So she’s barfing, Ian’s freaking out, the dogs are spastic, and the room looked like some sort of bizarre doggy ritual had taken place. I was at work and got an email from her stating nothing more than “You have a mess to clean up when you get home.”

So I get home from work around 11:45 or so and, naturally, was stunned to see what I saw. And to smell what I smelled. So I was up until around 4:00 in the morning, scrubbing carpets, scrubbing kennels, washing doggie blankets and pillows, hosing kennels off outside in the snow, and Mr. Clean-ing every surface of the room. That, unfortunately, was the proverbial last straw. Dawn contacted the rescue the next day, and a few days later, Willie was sent to a family that was able to give him a little more attention than what we were able to give him.

ANY-hooze, Blue’s been alone ever since, so when Franklin arrived, she seemed to be tickled pink. Franklin is such a good dog. He’s basically a big baby. He’s just that- a BIG baby. He’s slightly overweight, but then, we should all only be four pounds heavy. He is simply a thick, solid dog. He seems to have done well so far in the two days we have had him. I have seen no piddle spots (even if I had, they could well still be blamed on Blue and her bladder infection), there has been no howling overnight, no barking other than a couple yaps when the garage door goes up, and he seems to like everyone.

He’s naturally drawn to Dawn, and part of that could be because the woman we got him from is divorced, so she was the one to feed him and so forth. He and Adam took to each other immediately. They are already thick as thieves. He’s rather standoffish with Ian so far, but a lot of that is because Ian has yet to pull himself away from his friggin’ Nintendo DS long enough to even notice that there is a new dog in the house. Franklin is warming up to me pretty quickly. I was lying on the floor last night and he came and plopped his big ass on the floor next to me and rolled over to get some belly scritchin’.

Blue’s never been much of a “player”, even in her more spry younger days, so it will be nice to have a dog with which to play ball and what not.

Still, I can’t help wondering, what the hell have we done?! Oh well, it’ll be okay.

Oh, and happy 8th birthday to my big boy, Ian Michael. I love you bunches, buddy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjorie permalink
    August 17, 2008 8:00 pm

    This is one sweet dog!!

  2. Johann permalink
    August 18, 2008 7:10 am

    Thanks- that means a lot coming from a cat person.

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