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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

There’s a right way to babysit, and a wrong way

November6

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You know my pack added a hairless bipawd pup over the summer, right? ┬áIt belongs to my oldest Boy and his Woman. Ugly little sucker, but so very interesting to sniff! It spends a lot of time here because its parents work, and my Woman doesn’t trust anyone else to watch it. I understand. Anyone else would probably leave it in the woods because sometimes it’s very noisy, and sometimes it’s very dramatic.

I do like to lay near the pup sometimes and watch it. I find it fascinating. I’m not sure why. I’d make a pretty reliable babysitter because I’m not interested in its toys. Evelyn would take them and destroy them. She has a thing for toys. I do not.

So I thought I’d show you the difference in how Evelyn and I are at babysitting. One of us actually watches the baby. The other one is a baby.

 


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by posted under Uncategorized | 6 Comments »    
6 Comments to

“There’s a right way to babysit, and a wrong way”

  1. November 6th, 2012 at 9:23 pm      Reply maximutt Says:

    Ummmm…Dakota? Your photo was definitely better!!


  2. November 6th, 2012 at 10:38 pm      Reply anjl Says:

    Okay, so I am thinking that I definately….. would not leave Evelyn with the hairless one!
    I would also like to let you know that I am quite experienced at this sort of thing! I was a very good child care dog until my mom said we quit.
    It would be about half a day’s ride to your place. It looks like you are doing great work but if you need reinforcement….give me a bark!
    Your Pal,
    Bud


  3. November 7th, 2012 at 8:42 am      Reply krun15 Says:

    Is it just the camera angle or does E now weigh 300 lbs and has a 4 foot girth? I don’t think I’ll show this pic to Oberon, he would be frightened by her size…among other things.


  4. November 8th, 2012 at 12:32 pm      Reply wyattraydawg Says:

    Whoooooah! Evelyn, did you take steroids? Wow!

    Dakota, you are definitely doing it the right way. But me, I’d go for the toy!


  5. November 8th, 2012 at 2:07 pm      Reply Dakota Dawg Says:

    Ok everybody, I’m the first to admit that Evelyn is the Queen of Pains sometimes, but she isn’t that big! She is in the foreground, the baby is in the background, so it just looks like Evelyn is huge. She actually has a nice little waist right now. Or so I’m told.

    Love, Dakota


  6. November 21st, 2012 at 7:49 pm      Reply doggiemomma9 Says:

    I am belly laughing at Evelyn!!! Dakota you are such a good baby sitter, it is a good thing you are in charge and not Evelyn!


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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.