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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

News Flash: I learned to play, & we’re all idiots here

August19

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I am 10 1/2 years old and I don’t play. I have never played with toys. I have never chased a ball. I think a whole lot of years ago I halfheartedly ran after a stick a few times, but when I got to it I thought “What’s the point?” and broke off the chase. I think I was filled with teenage angst or something. My Boy says I’m emo.

But tonight, I played! And it was fun! My Woman was hiding in the office on her hands and knees (like a moron, really) and acting like she was going to get us. She was whacking the floor and then ducking back inside the office. Evelyn was acting like an idiot, of course, thinking this was grand. But guess what? I suddenly had this irristible urge to join in. I started yipping at my Woman when she peeked around the doorway. I used my most annoying yip. Then I started wagging really hard and couldn’t wait for her to peek around the door again. It was really rather delightful!

The Woman started singing the Goofy Goober song from SpongeBob, and I wagged again. I just couldn’t help myself. So I guess we’re all idiots around here tonight. And it was fun! When we stopped all the nonsense, I did my combat crawl over to my Woman and we snuggled. That was nice, too. Until she said I don’t smell so good and need a bath. Maybe tomorrow I can find something dead outside and fix that. Just for her.


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Humans are such suckers

March28

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My Woman wrote in the forums here about my roommate Evelyn. She had some weird stuff going on and it seems to be this funky head tremor syndrome that bulldogs sometimes have. All the stuff on the interpipes says it’s harmless and the dog doesn’t hurt and so forth. My Woman is taking Evelyn for a bloodletting just for fun (she says it’s “to be sure Evvie’s ok”) next week. And Evelyn only did it once yesterday and none today, so she seems perfectly fine. I think she was faking anyway.

Now here’s where it gets funny. I also have a Man, you know. This Man does not know it, but he is wrapped around Evelyn’s little spotted paws so tightly that she twitches and he comes to see what she needs. She is such a princess, even if she is an ugly one that snores like an SOB. Whatever that  means. So yesterday my Man and my Woman went to a store. It’s called a hardware store but it’s really not. It’s so much more. It’s kind of like Christmas in a store. I know; I’ve been there.

In this store, my Man was buying something called bolts. Whatever. While he was getting them, he apparently told my Woman to go to their fancy-schmancy dog section (and it’s amazing and huge) and get some dog treats to make Evelyn feel better. My Woman told me this later. This is what she said: She picked out a box of dog cookies and then my Man asked her why she was being so stingy with one measly box. So he picked up another box. And then–this is where it gets good–he picked out a package of (wait for it)…dehydrated ostrich liver! Have you ever? Me neither!!! And damn, these were good cookies! Not that cheap crap she usually buys. These were high-class crap!

When they got home, I pulled my Woman aside and asked her about the shopping spree. She’s not usually like that. But he is. My Man loves to buy us goodies. She told me all this. I asked how much it cost. She said “don’t ask.” Ha! And all because they feel so bad for the poor widdle bulldawggie that has the head bobbles! Suckers!

Very bad day!

March19

First she hauled me into this tub. I refused to help so I made her break her back. Serves her right.

Here she is drying me off. I am very close to biting her. Can't you tell?

She put me on the floor and I tried to escape through the janitor stuff. There is a window there. See?

I refused to move. She had to brush me right there. Again...serves her right.

Back in the car. I hate the car, but I'll tell you it beats the tub. And no I do not smell like lemons or whatever I was supposed to smell like. I smell like wet dog! Hahahahahah!!! Serves her right!

 

 

 

 

CARE package from the Oaktown Pack!

February13

Recently I wasn’t feeling quite right. I don’t know why, but I was tired and not very interested in my food or in doing much. My Woman wrote about it here. She said I didn’t want to stand up to eat and I hadn’t eaten but a few bites in several days. Well guess what? I got a CARE package to help me want to eat again! It came from the Oaktown Pack! And I’m not even a German Shepherd. That is so cool!

The CARE package was made at the Paw Patch Pastry shop and it was full of the prettiest, cutest, tastiest bacon cookies you can imagine. Travis Ray said they are doggie crack, and I have no idea what that means but he is absolutely right! I am so cracked about these cookies! Thank you, thank you, thank you Travis, Austin, Codie,  and even Smokey! And the Man and Woman, Ralph and Martha. You guys are pawesome!

Love, Dakota

My note from the Oaktown Pack

That pretty cookie basket.

Bunch of bacon beauties!

This one is mine.

And a bacon cupcake for dessert.

Cookie coma

 

My Man is coming home!

September21

Hello everyone. I heard some news. They think I don’t understand because I choose to be aloof sometimes. After all, my blog is thoughtful and erudite. I have a persona to maintain. Anyhoo, back in March my Man went away. I never really understood why, but my Woman and my Boy were not happy about it. Evelyn the Embarrassment and I were ok, but we liked our Man a lot. So when my Woman whispered into my ear that he is coming back, I didn’t even blink. But I’m happy.

Dakota’s Top 10 List about his Man:

10. He puts ice in the kitchen water bowl, just for fun.

9. He never laughed when I tried to lift my leg to pee…after my leg was stolen.

8. He makes my Boy leave me alone when I need my space.

7. He walked in the woods with me before the leg elves took my leg by stealth.

6. He installed the dog door.

5. He talks baby talk to me, but just the right amount. Not too much.

4. He makes Evelyn bug off.

3. He was so good to our Spirit dogs before they crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

2. He paid the vet bills.

1. He stopped the car for me when I was dumped!

I was practicing how I am going to meet him when he comes home. Whaddya think?

 

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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.