Tag Archives: shelter pets

The White Dog… Goodnight

Pickle has left us, and our hearts and Augie’s are still missing her. It’s been nearly two months, but I just wasn’t able to write about this until now because it still feels like she’s with us. Many of our friends and family know, and now it’s time to let everyone know—it wouldn’t be right to let Pickle go with no tribute.

The sadness of losing her has been gradually easing a bit the last couple of weeks, and so many memories come up, so much love. There’s so much, too much, not enough to say.

Pickle was nearly 13 and had a lot of health issues: Cushing’s disease, heart problems, high blood pressure, arthritis… and it all seemed to pile up on her the last few months of 2018. She had a stroke on Christmas Eve, and spent the next four days in the ICU. We were able to bring her home on Friday the 28th, and she got to sleep in her own bed one last time. But on the morning of December 29th, she let us know she was done.
She went so quickly and easily, and seemed so very relieved that she didn’t have to fight anymore.

Pickle was a skittish little oddball when we brought her home in April of 2011. She hadn’t been abused, but had been neglected and then surrendered when her parents had a human baby, and for her first couple of weeks with us, she seemed to find it hard to believe that she could pretty much do whatever she wanted now.

It didn’t take her long to warm up, though, and claim her place as princess of the household… and the universe.

And she took a page right out of The Princess and the Pea: If she wasn’t given a cushion on top of a cushion to recline on, she’d arrange her own (often with Augie’s assistance). She required many, many blankies to be piled upon her, and taught Augie about how good that was.




Before Augie arrived, Pickle would curl up in a ball between us in bed, not much bigger than a dinner plate, but would somehow expand during the night until we were clinging to the edges of the mattress. Then she’d move down to the foot of the bed, grunting like a little pig the whole time until she got comfortable there. She’d then wake up in the wee hours, stand up under the covers, and plow her way out, hot and panting. And it would start all over again. And when it was all of us in the bed, the dogs got the lion’s share.

As befits a princess, her preference was to lie abed until about 1 PM. She’d deign to come downstairs late in the morning to be served breakfast and then go out in the yard, but after that it was straight back upstairs for the remainder of her beauty sleep.
When Augie came home about 18 months later, Pickle’s princess status was disrupted by a spunky Orange Dog who seemed to want to always be touching her (gasp!) and attempting to play with her constantly. For about a week, Pickle was not having it. Then suddenly they were best buds, and Pickle started getting a lot more exercise and really came out of her shell.
She learned that binkies were to be played with instead of stared at, the yard was great for romping and wasn’t just a giant bathroom…

…and that there was definitely something to be said for sleeping in a pile of dogs and humans.

The best part was watching her always win at tug-of-war by virtue of being the bossiest, and running around the yard with Augie in the pattern they’d developed, part of which was pretending that the row of trees and plants on the hilly side was an actual barrier that guaranteed immunity from being tagged, even though it was easily crossed.

Pickle gradually slowed down as she got older and some health issues began to appear, and she moved herself to her own bed next to ours and claimed it for her throne. She let Augie share it often, but preferred her own space and would grunt and poke her legs out until Augie gave up and got in bed with us.

But then we’d often wake up in the morning with both of them in our bed, staring us in the face. Best mornings ever.

The last year or so, Pickle didn’t play much anymore, but would still occasionally chew a new binky, remove its guts, and then lose interest once the job was done. But she never lost interest in the Friday Night Treat Ball, and was better than Augie at figuring out how to get the treats out of the ball quickly enough to go “help” Augie get the rest of her treats out, too. And whenever the Scottish binkies from Linda arrived, Pickle reverted to puppyhood and perked right up.
Pickle didn’t love everyone like Augie does, but aside from us, she had a few favorite people and would climb onto their laps when they’d visit, then sit there staring and gently poking them with a paw to indicate that yes, it was recommended to keep petting her… or else. And of course, Dad was always Most Beloved, even when he wasn’t awake enough to realize it.
She wasn’t always the best-behaved dog. But she definitely knew she was special and easily took advantage of us in that… and she deserved pretty much everything she got away with anyway.
Our little White Dog with the orange freckles, the twinkle toes, the pink nose and gumdrop eyes, the beastly breath, the bad habits and stanky face. The snoring princess. The Orange Dog’s and Daddy’s best girl. The spoiled-rotten little alien with the stick legs, chicken thighs, and constantly wagging tail. Pickle Pie, Chicken Leggy, Gigi, Piculier, Twinkletoes, Jickle, The White Dog, Princess. We love you and always will, and we miss you so very much. Our baby girl.

 

“Come back here, you chicken-leg bastard!”

The Pie, 2005-2018





















#TheWhiteDog
#TheOrangeDog
#RescueDogSistersForever
#Love

A Winter’s Rescue Tale

The Orange Dog and The White Dog retell Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.”

For all the dogs and other animals still waiting for their safe and warm forever homes.


YawningDog/The Orange Dog and The White Dog, waiting for snow

 
‘Twas a cold Winter’s evening, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes Winter’s magic would soon fill the air.
That night we were nestled all snug in our beds
While visions of chewy treats danced in our heads.

But soon we crept into our parents’ warm laps;
They’d just settled in for their long Winter’s naps —
When out in the trees there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
Pawed open the shutters and nosed up the sash.
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh with a team of nine deer.


Bill Stevenson/Flickr (altered)

 
Through pine boughs it glided and onto the gable,
Then in through the window, down to the night-table.
The driver turned round and gave us a wink —
‘Twas the Spirit of Winter, yet not as you’d think.
Neither Santa nor St. Nick, no angel or faerie,
But the essence of Winter: stars and snow, crisp and merry.

FlickrAuroraAndTreeJasonAhrns
Jason Ahrns/Flickr (altered)

 
Then a glow filled the room and the shadows drew back —
It came from the nose at the head of the pack.
By this we could see each and every deer’s feature —
Not reindeer at all! But all manner of creature:
A rabbit and rat, a pig and a steer,
Squirrel, fox, and cat and yes, one little deer.
Yet crowning each head, no matter how odd,
Was a set of fine antlers, and each gave a nod.
Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their whiskers, how merry!
Their cheeks were so furry; their muzzles, quite hairy.

But arf! The ninth creature that led through the fog
With her nose all lit up was a little blonde dog.
Her eyes looked like ours! She was cute as a button;
Her shanks were so sprightly, like sleek leg o’ mutton.
She pranced like a pup and sneezed once or twice,
Then shook out her fur, all crystal with ice.


YawningDog/Piglet the Red-Nosed Reindeer

 
Her coat shone like moonlight! Her antlers, so pretty;
Her little pink tongue was all warm and dog-spitty.
Her tail curled so proudly and swept side to side —
‘Twas evident she was enjoying the ride.
Her toenails tick-ticked upon the night-stand,
And each time she leaped, like stardust she’d land.
We reached out in wonder, a curious sniff:
Touched noses with her, became friends in a jiff.
Her glow grew within us and showed us a sight:
Lucky dogs just like us! In warm homes, as is right.


Remi and Wolf, courtesy of Justice Rescue

 
We used to be frightened — neglected we’d roam;
And so many like us still wait for a home.
The memory of that touched our tender dogs’ hearts,
Then the little blonde dog gave a yip — and two farts!
And with jingling of bells and swooshing of tails,
The team turned the sleigh on quicksilver rails.

We saw then that the sledge was filled with our kind!
The spry and the lame, the sighted and blind —
All going to homes filled with warmth and good cheer
For the rest of their lives, to nevermore fear.
Their humans would care for them always, forever.
Good food and good treats — but mistreatment? Never!
We felt in our hearts a great joy that night,
Of love always near, undying and bright.
We crept back into bed with the humans we love,
Cuddled up and entwined to fit like a glove.

SleepyWinterPups
YawningDog/The Orange Dog and The White Dog, all snug in their bed

 
As we fell back to sleep so secure, curled up tight,
We knew everything would turn out all right.
From the sleigh came a bark, a miaow, and a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
We heard in our dreams as they flew out of sight,
“Happy Winter to all, and to all a good night!”

Please consider donating time, money, supplies, or anything you can to Friends of the Danbury Animal Control, the Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS), Justice Rescue, Wildlife in Crisis, or to your local shelter, animal rescue organization, or wildlife rehab organization. Remember that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment.

The Fountain of Youth, Doggie Style


Pickle has had a couple of years shaved off her age! She is now officially 4 years old instead of the 7 the shelter had guessed, and she’ll turn 5 on June 5th, 2011. Our wonderful vet, Dr Aubrey Fitch of Bethel Veterinary Hospital, reevaluated Pickle’s age by  inspecting her teeth and coat and general demeanor. I had told Dr Fitch that everyone who meets Pickle first asks if she’s a puppy, and when I say no they ask if she’s maybe 3 or 4. Everyone has done this. Pickle doesn’t act like she’s older or near 7, and it’s been bothering me that she was stuck with an age beyond her years. Giving her a good exam and taking into consideration how long she was with her previous parents and at both shelters, 4 or 5 is about right.

So if you want to take a few years off your age, go to the vet!