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Old dog, new tricks

Dakota gets his 3rd chance at age 9

Well poop…missed my ampuversary!

August20

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I think I may move out. My Woman has been way too distracted lately and she just told me tonight that we missed my 6-month ampuversary! Doggone it, that’s not right. She seems rather casual about it too. When she told me and I started to cry a little, she told me to buck up because I don’t have bone cancer. Like that makes it any better! So I had a different cancer, and I have a great chance of living till I’m old–big frickin’ deal, right? Am I right? Somebody give me an “amen!”

My ampuversary was on the 11th, for crying out loud! She missed it by almost two weeks! And now she’s reading over my shoulder and telling me to get over it. She says she has a lot on her mind. Honest-to-dog, I think she’s lost her bloody little mind. Weasel. I am not happy. Evelyn peed on the laundry room floor last night and I was disgusted, but now I’m thinking I’ll pay her to do it again. I can tolerate the odor if it’s for a good cause. What a b*tch. And I don’t mean Evelyn.

Well, to update anyone who cares (do you hear me, Woman?)–my big summer event was the posture-and-yowl fest at Wyatt’s place. I wrote about it, but it’s still the highlight of my summer. We did that Fort Collins shindig, followed by over the river and through the woods to Wyatt’s house. Criminy, what a ride. I got to watch Evelyn try to eat Wyatt. She is very embarrassing. Right now she’s eating a moth. Anyway, summer moved forward.  I had two different house sitters recently. Both involved men, which just ticks me off to no end. I do not like men, and the Woman knows that.

I really feel like I’m doing nothing but complaining, but this Woman has been so unsatisfactory lately. Sending men to babysit me. Okay, in all fairness, the one who babysat me in June was pretty decent. I did make him wait four days before I let him touch me, but that seemed fair. It was that or pee on the floor, and we already know I’m not the one that does that. This guy gave me shoulder and neck massages, and they were excellent. I did not want to let him know how blissful they made me, but he found out. He told the Woman, of course. He had some magic fingers. I think I even drooled.

So most of my summer has been spent sleeping (medicinal naps, Gayle) and watching chipmunks. I think they’re amusing. Evelyn wants to kill them, but I just think they’re silly. Besides, they get so worked up over the tiniest little things. And in a couple of months, it will snow here and they’ll lose their tiny little minds and I’ll be warm and cozy. So why should Evelyn care since she’ll be cozy, too? Well, I think maybe the chipmunks have bigger brains than Evelyn. Maybe that’s why.

Oh, and speaking of chipmunks, my Boy has this great idea! He has been telling the Woman he wants to make chipmunk jerky! Isn’t that the most awesome thing ever? I hope she lets him. She said something about it being disgusting and messy and not worth the trouble, but I think it’s fantastic! I’ll let you know if it happens. I know she’s taking him out tomorrow to get something called an “airsoft rifle,” and he said “jerky, here I come.” The Woman laughed so it might be a joke, but I’m going to check this out and stay hopeful. I have no idea what airsoft rifle means, but it might be fun. Or not, since it involves the Boy and he frequently scares the poo out of me. Not on purpose, you understand. I’m just a bit of a sissy.

I think I’m starting to ramble so that means I’m tired. It’s probably been at least 15 minutes since I got any sleep so I should definitely rest up. Evelyn is already snoring. My Woman is folding her laundry. My Boy is watching more ridiculous Japanese animation and laughing out loud. I think it turned out to be a pretty decent evening, even if they missed my big day. Oh well, maybe it is okay to act like I’m normal. Normal is fine, isn’t it?

Love, Dakota


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All kinds of yummy goodness…and barf, too

February27

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So last night my Woman and my Boy had pizza. She said that because the day before was my 2-week ampuversary and we didn’t do anything special, we would have a pawty last night. I had gone to the v-e-t and found that I am losing weight on my diet, so it seemed the perfect time for pizza! Evelyn and I split a slice. It wasn’t enough and we told my Woman that, but she acted like she didn’t hear. In fact, when Evelyn got right up in her grille to tell her about it, my Woman pushed Evelyn away and told her “bugger off.” That’s not very nice.

I took over then and rammed my head into my Woman’s leg over and over, trying to get her attention. She said “you’re getting back to your obnoxious self, Dakota” and told me to lay down. That’s not very nice either.

Then today I remembered that it’s almost the end of February, but it’s still February. We all know what February is, right? Girl Scout Cookie Time! I found where they’d hidden the cookies, and Evelyn and I both tried to get it open, but then my Woman saw us and took the box. Turns out my Man bought them this year and he only bought what he likes, which are Thin Mints. Well, we can’t have those because of the chocolate. My stupid Woman got us some crunchies, like she thought that would be any kind of acceptable substitute. I ate mine, but I also made a rude gesture behind her back.

That's my attempt to get it open.

Evelyn was more aggressive but alas unsuccessful.

 

When I first had my leg stolen by stealth and extreme ninja skills, my Woman was putting yummy squishy food on top of the hard stuff. She started slowly taking that away last week. I noticed. I did. But without opposable thumbs, there’s not much I can do about it. Now Evelyn and I both get chicken broth on our hard stuff. And my Woman told my Man last week that when this hard stuff is gone, she isn’t going to buy any more of it. She said she’s going to start vomiting on us! I mean, oh my dog! This woman I trained so well to be my perfect Woman is going to hurl on me! So when she barfs on me the first time, I’m going to put out a bulletin here and ask for a new family. If anyone else out there is getting barfed on, please speak up before it’s too late! If we join together, we can stop this madness. She even said it with a smile on her face. I need a new Woman.

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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.