Friday, December 31, 2010

We Are All Mongrels

While some pounds, such as The Humane Society, are well informed with its canines' history, background, and breeds, many are not. After all, these oft volunteer workers who serve those creatures so faithfully have more pressing obligations than to solve each puzzling pasts of every mongrel, crossbreed, or purebred that enters their care!! When we met Rose at our local shelter, her introduction picture announced: "Beagle X" (cross). She possessed no name, wore zero collars, had no tags, was never spayed. The kindly woman who helped us declared Rose a "Beagle mix", but appeared uninformed of anything else. Four days later, I signed papers, accepted dog toys and Milkbones, agreed to certain terms.... This "Beagle X" was mine!! Shortly following, we drove Rose for her check-up at our veterinarian's office. I asked him what breeds he thought Rose might be and the seasoned doctor chose his words wisely. "She's a Heinz 57." Not that I minded. I was thrilled by the concept of possessing this mutt!! And right fine with her being my very own mystery!! ....Until curiosity commanded me!! I have never handled uncertainty well! Rose is not just a Heinz 57, not just a mixture of undetermined breeds!! She has history, this we know, plus there are certain canines in her genes!! But what? So I cracked open my books in search of who Rose is. Beagle? Definitely!! Her diverse behaviors, temperament, floppy ears plus medium size and appearance comes from that amusing dog!! German Shepherd? I believe so!! There are markings in her fur coat, plus partial body shape which she inherited from this ever loyal breed!! Lastly.... Italian Greyhound!! That canine is held highly responsible for the other part of Rose's body shape, as her legs are slightly lengthy and she looks like this breed.... With floppy ears, the "Beagle" face, black and fawn markings, plus white paws and a white chest, of course!! Truth be told, we are all mongrels, in one way or another. Human. Beast. Nearly everyone holds multiple racial backgrounds!! I am Scottish/German-Russian/Irish/American. And based on photographs of my Grammy's young face, I resemble her!! Good thing she's pretty....

Monday, December 27, 2010

She's a Mutt

A fascinating recent discovery has been revealed to me regarding Rose's breeds. My brother's mother-in-law--who knows about canines--took one quizzical glance at the mongrel after I asked her what, exactly Rose's other breed(s) may be.... And she said Beagle/German Shepherd/Greyhound mix!! I later found that breed in my book.... She is right! Rose looks like the beagle, with a German Shepherd body.... Plus Greyhound! Why didn't I see that? Now, of course, this does make her a hound twice over.... I should have known....

Rose's "First" Christmas

First experiences are eternally special. They mark milestone happenings, momentous occasions which will most likely never, ever repeat themselves. From an anticipation-filled day when you exchange vows with your soul mate, to those joys and adjustments required with adopting a new dog, whatever the season, in life there arrives bounties of such moments. For me, Christmas morning 2010 was an eternally special, milestone occasion. Rose experienced her "first" December 25th. Well.... First as my canine, anyway!! I always purchase our animals gifts to present in bulging, velvet stockings. So I bought two different brands of dog treats--one was pizza flavored, the other was peanut butter and apple flavored--a purple colored pull rope toy, this adorable green frog that squeaks who I named Kermit, plus another home-made knotted sock. I had long ago finished Rose's presents, hiding them in my second dresser drawer, thus her "Beagle nose" ruined any surprises regarding treats every time I slid it open for a t-shirt!! Come Christmas morning, when I entered our great room, my hands clutching her red and white stocking, the secret was revealed!! Rose became excitable, attempting to sniff its foot where her nostrils screened pizza, peanut butter and apple. I unveiled Kermit--she loved "him"--as though a new friendship had just been formed!! Next, I pulled out the sturdy rope. Which she couldn't have cared less for.... It is not competing with Kermit!! Finally, I tore open her pizza flavored treats. She seemed beside herself with bliss, but remembered to "sit pretty" before trying one!! "Good girl!" Then I fed her the peanut butter and apple flavored twisted treats. Mmmm.... Yummy!! She literally snubbed my hand-made knotted sock....

Merry Christmas, Rose!! Thank-you for this amazing first experience.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Interactive Clocks

How eternally remarkable to me that canines can discern time!! In fact, my dog training books advise and empathize placing your canine on set schedules, which the majority of pet owners wisely do. As a result these intelligent, habitual creatures are fully alert when time silently declares "walk", or other significant events within their minds. Hanging upon our great room wall, near the half-bath, is this Audubon North American bird clock. Each hour, it makes a distinctive "song" from 12 different breeds. Rose, being part Beagle, instantaneously determined that the 8:00 AM Eastern Bluebird sings breakfast time; The 2:00 PM Purple Martin means her afternoon meal! Every morning, following our exercise, we sit on the carpeted floor together, I stroking her silky-soft fur. And every morning, she rises to a stand, grows excitable, sometimes bays, plus spins circles whenever its "big hand" strikes!! If I am occupied during feeding time, she'll find me, her tongue licking her lips. Now that Christmas decorations have been up throughout December, we've exchanged the birds with a seasonal musical clock which chimes 12 popular carols. At first, Rose mistakenly thought they were our doorbell, and barked her ferocious bark!! But, swiftly, she discerned which holiday song declares 8 or 2.... And stares intently at the wall, her eyes fixed upon our clock, forehead furrowed, waiting for "12 Days Of Christmas" or "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" to chime!! How remarkable indeed....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Newborn King

~Reader's Request!~

An angel came to Mary;
Said you're having a baby!
And she was shocked by his news;
But God's found favor in you.
Joseph had lots of doubts;
Now their plans won't work out;
Then an angel came in his sleep;
This wonderful wife you should keep!
Soon they had to move away;
Since the couple couldn't stay;
They left their old town;
For Bethlehem renown.
Suddenly, a feeling;
Our Baby is coming;
But every room was full;
Except for this stable!
Some poor shepherds watched sheep nearby;
When an angel flew from the skies;
While scaring them badly;
He told of the Baby!
And a host came, announcing;
Glory to God, Newborn King!!

~Have a blessed Christmas!~

Friday, December 17, 2010

Poop Breath

It was Thanksgiving Day. We were, as the family who possesses a large enough home, expecting several relatives for dinner. Every room had been dusted, cleaned, vacuumed. Creamy mashed potatoes, seasoned stuffing, lust turkey and the likes was cooking. Delicious cheesecake had been baked. Rose, experiencing her first appearance to nearly everyone who would enter through our front door, was scrubbed clean and smelled of fresh scented kiwi berry dog shampoo. Everything ran smoothly.... Until early that morning. I'd taken my canine for her routine morning walk. Up the cul-de-sac, down the cul-de-sac, twice. She partook in her business.... However, I forgot a plastic bag!! Oops. So I dropped Rose off at home, grabbed this spacious grocery sack from our garage, retraced my steps, and picked it up!! When I returned, she was nowhere in sight. Not staring at me through the living room window. Not lying upon our "off-limits" leather loveseat. Not in anybody's rooms. Finally I spied.... The garage door.... Had been.... Left open ajar!! This is another location of our house where she's not allowed.... It's my cat's "domain". The feline's food, plus litter box lives out there.... I called her name: "Rose?" Then I heard a resounding crash.... Which was most likely the noise of her guilt.... She knew she'd been naughty!! Then I witnessed it. The litter box, which needed cleaned, stood vacant of pooh. Her breath declared all evidence. She had raided my cat's droppings!! I was horrified and just plain sickened by this concept!! What impeccable timing she had!! Clocks were swiftly ticking, people were coming over and she now smelled like kiwi berry shampoo, plus.... Poop breath!! Soon afterward, Rose discovered my heavy Winter coat lying carelessly across our great room carpet. And she lay down on it!! Such a loving gesture, as the dark purple coat carried my scent!! Loving.... Yet I was still grossed out!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Social Butterfly

They say that one should be cautious with what he wishes for. Request something, whether colossal or minor, and expect it, they advise. This can definitely serve as truth in life's journey when we pray, for sharing my existence with Rose has proven just that!! While contemplating adopting another canine, there were various uncertainties to consider, plus even more inquiries to answer. Such as those typical questions: Puppy or adult? Breeder or shelter? Male or female? And then the ultimate leap of faith when making such intricate decisions: Temperament. Shadow, my first dog, this beautiful "blond" furred German Shepherd/Golden Retriever cross, possessed many wonderful traits, but being social toward her kind was never among them. In fact, Shadow seemed downright belligerent at times!! When I prayed for Rose's arrival, we were quite particular with our requests!! I asked God to assure that she is a happy, healthy, well adjusted canine. I prayed for no excessive barkers. I requested that she be nothing like Shadow.... Social toward people, children.... And dogs. What's remarkable to me is how God answered these prayers....All of them!! However, they say one should be careful with what he wishes for.... In that case, Rose is extremely social! So very social that when guests visit, she desires more than anything to meet everybody!! So very social that if she spies a neighbor's canine, excitable baying bellows from her vocal chords!! Rose's firm conviction in life is that all of society should be her friend.... "Dog person" or not. And everybody loves her!! One afternoon, we encountered this UPS Deliveryman. He had been scheduled to drop off a package at our address. Being mindful that this profession witnesses territorial canines, I assured him of her social ways. Then, to my surprise, he voluntarily extended his hand for Rose's greeting!! Instantly, she made a new friend!! I got what was requested when we discussed Rose's arrival. God answered our prayers. She is my social butterfly!! Who am I to gripe and complain?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Service Dogs

Sometimes a canine can be far more vigilant than Lassie, and provides his master with loyalty which is 100 percent greater than that of Old Yeller's. There are police dogs, disability service dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, even canines that people train as Autism Service Dogs for children who face daily this oft-common learning disability. Whenever the "canine's" boy or girl acts up, these swift dogs instantly throw themselves atop him/her which results in a calming effect on "their" child. Rose has, what I believe every bit of potential to work alongside such children, sans training!! Because each time I make any sound, a cough, a shout, a sneeze, a scream.... she is present, gazing up at me with concern. One December morning, I grabbed off our great room floor what I thought was "forbidden" human food. We had participated in some seasonal baking the afternoon before, so I figured it must be a fugitive mini chocolate chip. I was wrong!! Instead, I spied this green and brown colored beetle-type bug!! When I picked "him" up, "his" numerous minuscule legs touched my finger!! In utter shock, I shrieked, pitched "him" back toward our carpeted floor, then asked: "Where'd he go? Where'd he go? Where'd he go?" Rose, who was already positioned by my side, grew excitable, became attentive, then stared at me, a bewildered expression across her face. Ready for action!! Autism Service Dogs are, based on my observation alone, traditionally always purebreds. Trainers raise Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds as I've perceived by reading newspaper articles. No mongrel or crossbreed would probably ever qualify. Not that I'm complaining.... I'd never in this world, never in this nation, never in this universe, present Rose to some boy or girl who has autism!! Not when she is mine, so aware of anything I do.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We're The Same

Reader's Note: It appears that I've caught a cold.... So hopefully this post will not be foggy like my brain!!

Sometimes, when a person is sincerely fond of her dog, there are unique opportunities which can produce this special sameness in character as well as temperament. Now, I'm not the type of crazed "Dog Person" who considers Rose my "furry kid", nor do I equalize a canine's life with a human's existence!! Dogs are dogs. Beasts. Lowly creatures. Not children. And people are people!! Honestly however, Rose is my baby--since kids haven't become reality--whom I exercise maternal instincts upon every day!! But we share something together--Rose and me--something special that many human beings lack. I possess a friend who is so much like myself it's frightening, which strikes awe as well as amusement within my heart!! And it causes me to wonder if somehow she was sent to me so that I'm a misfit no longer!! For despite our creational differences we're the same!! Heedless of two feet versus four paws. Despite a fair skin tone versus black and fawn colored fur with snow-white paws. Heedless of fingernails versus dewclaws. For example, we both have Attention Deficit Disorder. (I'm easily distracted; Rose will reverse her "potty stance" because somebody's car door closed!!) Neither of us are afraid to be verbally boisterous!! (My voice can carry far; Rose bays!!) We forgive others. (One afternoon, a friend's two-year old "Wild Child" whacked Rose atop the head with our black hollow plastic baseball bat. "Wild Child" didn't mean any harm.... Cause and effect has yet to process in his brain!! And Rose seemingly understood that!! When "Wild Child" apologized, with hugs as well as kisses, she willingly accepted it, as though thinking: Oh that kid. He thinks he's Tasmanian Devil. But he'll grow out of it.... He's still a young pup, after all!) And on that same note, we share minor short-term memory loss. Plus Rose and I are both mongrels!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


~~Perhaps I have been bestowed a canine with problems far beyond anything we can solve. Maybe Rose was abandoned once in her lifetime. Maybe she is simply a social creature. But that "mongrel-hound" has taught me that if I revolve my daily existence around her, our bond will strengthen in the long run.~~

Few Fleeting Seconds

Experts have, throughout the course of time, researched that stroking your dog's fur relieves stress in both human beings and their four-legged pets. Doing so, these people stated can provide a soothing, serene effect during even life's most arduous seasons. On Wednesday, October 6th, 2010, less than one month after I adopted her, Rose would not only prove this research correct, but she would drive its point home. We were hosting a shindig at our house that evening with several ladies attending. Since there was no men--or canines--allowed, Rose had been staying in my brother's bedroom with him, the cat, and some pre-taped television. Eventually he decided to get ready for bed. Sans my knowledge, she repeatedly stole his couch.... An "off limits" location. Also sans my knowledge, Rose was transferred to another room, abandoned, behind closed door. We were still in the early stages of our transition period, still making adjustments, still becoming acquainted with this dog!! She is not to be trusted alone!! Rose would only be in there for a few fleeting seconds. But during those few fleeting seconds, she would allow herself the time to madly pace our room, grow frantic and.... Have an "accident"!! Once I stepped foot through that door, a surefire odor served my fret as obvious evidence. Upon our gray carpeting was this pile of pooh plus a damp spot where she had urinated. In those few fleeting seconds Rose became fearful, lonely, enraged. And during those few fleeting seconds damage had been done. In the following minutes, I recall emotion conquering me. A dread flowed through my heart that Rose was only one "accident" away from being returned to the shelter where I adopted her, and we had been bestowed a dog who possesses behavioral issues far beyond anything I could even consider solving. Tension brewing within me, we stepped outside. On our front yard, the two of us sat, I petting her silky-soft fur, she staring into the world. Guests were slowly exiting my house. Plus there was still that smelly mess to clean up!! Yet, with each stroke of my canine's fur, the stress eliminated.