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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

Dakota takes a turn

February24

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Ok, the Woman is not a dog but she is my mom. I thought she liked me. I like her. But she humiliated me. She wrote a silly thing about making me wear that awful pink thing and then she put pictures here so you could all see how goofy and feminine I look in a pink thing. That is humiliating. So I took over. At least for now. I read how to change the name on the account and put my name on it. It is now Dakota Dawg’s blog. I am Dakota Dawg, and I do not wear pink!

I would like to address Mom’s concerns. First of all–yes, the damn thing itches like crazy. It drives me bananas. If I could take a stick and rub it all over the sore place, I would. It hurts when I lick it, but it feels good, too. I don’t know which to pay attention to, the hurting when I lick it or the itching when I don’t. Mom doesn’t have any idea how awful it feels. She says it will stop itching soon. I don’t know if I can trust her anymore.

And no, I wasn’t being naughty. I was being a dog. Or a dawg, even. I am a wild animal, a creature of nature, and I shouldn’t have to answer to anyone but myself. I know who I am and what I deserve. I deserve to feel better, I deserve to run around wherever I want and pee on anything I feel like. I deserve to bark at whatever time I want to bark. I deserve to have that big pillow on the left side of my bed, and I deserve to have my supper at 4 p.m. sharp. Mom’s getting better about that last part.

This morning I sat on the driveway while Mom did the heavy lifting. I watched her bring in firewood. I was wearing the silly pink shirt thing. I can’t figure out how to get it off. But she did the hard work and I thought about licking my butt. I learned how to prop up against a wall to make it look even lazier. I tried to make it look good. The neighbor’s dogs were mouthing off again and I growled. I haven’t felt like growling for a couple of weeks, but today I did. I thought about running off into the woods and kicking their butts, but I remembered I was doing a study in laziness so I stayed propped against the wall. And growled. And honestly, I also remembered that I was wearing a pink thing and knew I could never let them see me like that.

I found the pictures Mom took of me in the pink thing. The worst part was being betrayed by Evelyn. She just sat there with me and didn’t care that I had to wear her clothes–girl clothes. She laughed at me after Mom put us to bed. She is the worst roommate in the whole world. See? She didn’t help me at all. My eyes are pleading for help and she didn’t care.

Evelyn was useless when Mom put the pink thing on me. I was very disappointed.

I’m not sure if I will lock Mom out of this blog permanently. I have to think about it. She really ticked me off. She has let strangers cut off several parts of my body that were pretty important to me and then wounded my dignity. I’m gonna take a nap and sleep on it. I’ll get back to you.


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by posted under recovery | 4 Comments »    
4 Comments to

“Dakota takes a turn”

  1. February 24th, 2011 at 11:00 am      Reply indi Says:

    Sorry you are so ticked off, Dakota. I kinda like the pink shirt. It looks cozy, at least! Hey, if it makes you feel better, I’m sending you Spirit Indi’s Ruff Wear Harness. And it is red! Strong, capable, assertive RED. I think you’ll like it. I’m going to put it in the mail today and you should have it Saturday. I’m sorry your stitches itch. That sounds miserable 🙁 Hang in there, big guy.
    Love Raina and Spirit Indi


  2. February 24th, 2011 at 11:43 am      Reply etgayle Says:

    hey, remember it takes a real ‘dawg’ to wear pink – think of it as ‘tough love’…it will get better. continue the medicinal napping and this too will pass.

    charon & gayle


  3. February 24th, 2011 at 2:35 pm      Reply CatiesMom Says:

    Sorry about the itching, Dakota. That’s a good thing though, isn’t it? I think that means your wound is healing!

    Riley says: Never count on sisters to save you from humiliation.


  4. February 24th, 2011 at 3:57 pm      Reply monkeybutt-bunny Says:

    YAY for Evelyn! A true monkeydog if I’ve ever seen one!

    Monkeydogs rule!
    Tripawds wear pink stupid things while we laugh!


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What came before

Dakota is our Golden Retriever mix, and he was likely born in February 2002. His full name is South Dakota Watson, and we found him on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in August 2002. The area we discovered him had no homes, no structures, no bodies of water, no shelter. He had his permanent teeth but was still a puppy, so we assumed 6 months was a reasonable age guesstimate. He weighed 12 pounds, which was grossly underweight. Two weeks later, he weighed 23 pounds. He was too weak to eat much so we fed him 6 times a day. Sometimes he would just collapse at his food dish and fall down, and I would have to feed him by hand.

I wish Dakota could write this page because he is the only one who knows the beginning. From his birth until the day we found him, we have no idea what he endured. Well, that’s not entirely true. We know some of it, and other bits we can infer from his behavior. For instance, we know for a fact that Dakota was suffering from malnutrition, sarcoptic mange, assorted internal parasites, flea anemia, dehydration and dental enamel hypoplasia (pitting and staining of the teeth commonly resulting from distemper as a puppy before the teeth emerge). We can infer that Dakota had distemper from the hypoplasia. We can infer that he was deliberately dumped. And we can infer that a man in a baseball cap wearing sunglasses hit him with some kind of stick and chased him off with a hose. Dakota has problems with all of those things.

Dakota has every reason in the world to hate people, but he doesn’t. He’s very mistrustful of strangers, but he is beyond loyal to his family. Once he meets someone and gets the ok from us, he opens his heart to them, too. He is very attached to me, probably because he was isolated (due to the mange) for the first 11 weeks we had him. He had nice digs set up for him in our house, but he could only look at our other 2 dogs and not touch them. I was the one providing all his care during that time, as we found out the hard way that mange can be transfered to humans. To protect our young son, no one but me played with Dakota during those 11 weeks.

Because we feel pretty sure that Dakota survived distemper, and he survived being abandoned, surviving cancer should be no biggie for him.

We know Dakota’s cancer is not an osteosarcoma, and his chest films were clear, one month apart. We are very optimistic about his long-term prognosis in light of those facts. Hopefully we have several more years with him and he will grow old with us, just as he should.

Right after we got home with Dakota, all 12 pounds of him.

Eyes swollen shut, ragged ears, and just as calm as could be.