Friday, April 13, 2012

My Amost-Puppy

While I was away, I had a baby.

I didn't actually give birth to him, that was the hefty task of another poor soul. No this baby was of the canine variety and came to the SPCA at only five weeks old.  Meet Tikki, a Rat Terrier/ a deep slumber and as stinking cute as they come.

In the shelter world, being a puppy that young is many times a quick death sentence.  They are too young to adopt out, yet if they stay at the shelter, any number of illnesses will most likely kill them due to their weak immune systems.  Many shelters opt to just euthanize puppies under eight weeks old if a foster-home cannot be found. 

Luckily this little guy was transferred from that shelter to ours, where foster homes are a little easier to come by.  Of course he showed up late in the day on a Friday and I had the weekend off so I thought,  "I can take him. I have the next two days to dedicate to this little dude, by Monday I'll have found a foster home for him."  Some version of this thought was texted to my husband as some version of a permission request...albeit a very loose one. 

Every week after that he would remind me of my original permission request by re-reading that text to me followed by the exact date and time it was sent.  I would just snuggle the puppy that had just peed on his socks and smile, squealing something about how cute he was.  What a sport.  Remember when he let me bring these cuties home?

Aren't sleeping puppies the cutest? Straight from heaven...

During the month that we had this precious little angel/devil, we learned quite a bit.

We learned that we can't assume just because he peed two minutes ago on the potty pad doesn't mean he's not going to pee again less than two minutes later on the couch. 

We learned that sleeping is done during the day and night time is for hot laps around the living room along with chewing on our faces, fingers, and toes under the covers with a mouthful of razors.

We learned night-time crate training will induce hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours (count 'em, eight) of the most earsplitting crying and wailing.  Multi-million dollar idea...sound-proof puppy crates. 

We learned that when you cave to puppy crying and let them sleep in bed with you they will leave you little presents to roll over onto and will fall out of the bed at least four times per night. 

We also learned that puppies can be one of the most exhausting yet rewarding and fun experiences a couple can share.  Getting ready to have a real baby?  Get a puppy.  It will prepare you better than any book or amount of advice any person can give you.  I don't even have a baby yet and I know this.

A month in a puppy's life amounts to a good year in the human world.  They do a ton of growing and maturing physically.  Watch the ear progression here...

A couple days after I got him home.

Lord have mercy, that little face could bring peace to the middle east.  He was such a roley poley little guy.  Notice how his ears prick up and then fold down.  Then, about two weeks later, look here as they start to get bigger and the tips are making their journey up!

 Another two weeks in and they are standing up front and center and threatening to take over the world, or at least his head.  At one point they were starting to bend backwards and that's when I knew we had a bad case of "chiears" (aka Chihuahua Ears) on our hands. 

At the current date, his ears are still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in this world. 

After trying with all my might to explain why it would be a good idea to add a puppy to our family, I came to terms with the cold hard reality.  The cold hard reality is very often my husband.  He's very reality driven and many times snatches me from up in the clouds and brings me down to real life, kicking and screaming.  I love him for it. With both of us working full-time and some vacations coming up as well as the fact that we're renters and finding a place that allowed one dog was hard enough, I realized...with some help...that it just wasn't the right choice and wouldn't have been fair for the puppy. 

If I couldn't keep him, it was time to find the perfect someone who could.  There were a few parties interested that came through the shelter but none I felt particularly great about.  It was really stressing me out because this little guy was my baby, my fur and blood, and I wasn't about to let him go to anyone I didn't feeling 100% about.  

It was a fateful day when Bert met Tikki.  Bert works and lives at the barn I board my horse at.  When Tikki got out of the car one morning and started tearing around the grass with the coordination of a new-born calf, he won his dad-to-be's heart.  Bert already had a little Jack Russell Terrier named Mable who was getting up there in years but when she met Tikki she instantly turned into a puppy again and they started body slamming and tackling each other like littermates. 

After a weekend trial run, it was clear Tikki had a new home...and a new name!  "Tikki" became "Wiley", which fits him perfectly.  Not only does he now have a wonderful doting dad, a new sister and the run of a whole ranch, but I still get to see him almost every day!  I'm seeing him grow up into a happy, well-adjusted, friendly, and well-behaved young man who's got the kind of life I could have only drempt of for him. 

To be perfectly honest, being able to hand over the pooping, peeing, crying, mouth razors, sleepless nights and endless energy to someone else and in turn gaining my sleep and sanity back was quite a relief.  He is where he belongs now and I was just the catalyst that could make it happen. 

Happy trails little man...see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breaking the Chain

Happy 2012 everyone!  Yes, I'm wishing you a happy New Year on April 11th, that's the way of my world.  My blog world that is...I'm returning from my yearly break.  You know, like the ones I took here and then again here about a year later.  At least I'm being consistent in something right?

But no really, I don't just blog because I want people to read my weird thoughts about my weird life.  That's actually on the verge of scary.  What I really want to be able to do is look back when I'm 95 and remember the time my dog ate my favorite shorts or the story behind my broken ankle that is now arthritic (I'm fast forwarding to when I'm old remember?), or look back fondly on songs I liked or books I've read.  I realize that by taking these long breaks I'm totally putting a hurt on my story book of life.  This is all very much assuming that I can even remember my name at 95. 

It's time to get back on track.

So, while I've been gone I see that my following has tripled.  Get that, TRIPLED!  It went from one faithful reader to three.  Those are some powerful stats.  I aim to quadruple by the end of the year.  Who's with me?  ~crickets~

Since we last spoke things have been buzzing with work.  I'm now the assistant manager at the Santa Cruz SPCA and it continues to be the job of a life-time.  I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive to be making a living doing something I LOVE.  I'm blessed.  Just to remind you, I'm greeted every morning with smiling faces like this...

and everyday as I leave the furry kids behind I'm sadly bid adieu by faces like this...

It's not healthy.  Plain and simple.  But I love what I do and I do what I love.  Oh and by the way you just met Dazzle and Stanley, currently available for perpetual cuteness.

Because of the cute factor I almost ended up with a second dog recently after "fostering" a young puppy.  What was supposed to be a weekend gig ended up lasting about a month. Fostering is such a joke and I will never do it again because all it does is send me into a whining fit of "I want to keep him!" which in turn sends my husband into a terror induced coma out of which he emerges with a lot more sense than me.  Stay-tuned for a post dedicated to "Tikki," my almost-puppy-that-I'm-glad-my-husband-talked-me-out-of.  It's a doozy.

Thanks for not hurling rocks at me as I crawl out of my hole and yet again enter the blog world.  At this point though, I assume the lack of rock throwing can actually be attributed to the fact that no one is there to throw them.  Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is there to hear it?  I'll just leave you to ponder that...