Two Years A Dog: The Desert And The Moon

My last post was extremely heart wrenching.  It actually caused me to cry while writing it.

So, in order to keep my sanity and to make myself realize that I didn’t completely give up on Patch, I shall tell you all a very heartwarming, and somewhat funny story.

I first must admit that this story is about three months premature, however, I figure it’s appropriate.  This is the story of how I found the third love of my life.

As you can imagine, Alex is the first love of my life.  He is my husband, my best friend, my soul mate, and my partner in crime.  He supports me, he is my rock, and if I were Morticia Addams, he is my Gomez.

While we were dating, about four years ago

While we were dating, about four years ago

The second love of my life, obviously, is Luna.  I wrote a post about her in February about how I had had her for two years and how she’s just the perfect dog in every way because, well, she just is.  But she is kind of defective since she doesn’t bark and she hates peanut butter.

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans.... ever

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

Also, she’s kind of cat like.

The third love of my life, the one this post is about, is my condensed shepherd, Sahara.

Here’s the picture of her that was on Petfinder.com.

Painfully cute, right?

Painfully cute, right?

Let me tell you a bit about Sahara’s background.

Back in October of 2012, Luna had made it abundantly clear that she needed a friend.  She had a friend across our apartment complex named Bailey, who was a husky/terrier mix.  A cute little thing, she looked like a mini husky, but was a little stockier and a lot slower than Luna, which was great because they would play for hours and get very, very tired.

But when our friends went on vacation or a few weeks, Bailey went to a boarder and Luna had no playmate for three weeks.

When I used to walk Luna in Moose Creek, I would never have her on a leash because it was fairly uninhibited.  There were people, yes, but most of the houses were on an acre of land, and sometimes we would walk on the abandoned railroad bed back in the woods.  We saw a lot of moose, but they left us alone if we left them alone.

However, this particularly chilly October day of 5 degrees with a foot of fresh snow, Luna, with her crazy sled dog paws, decided to take off half way through our walk.

I was not dressed to be hiking through knee high snow.  I didn’t even have socks on.

When I got home, I was hoping that Luna was at the apartment.  Alex just got home, and I tell him Luna ran away.

He gets out of the car and we start walking around the complex, calling out for Luna.  She has this nasty habit of never coming when called.

After about forty five minutes, I decide, for the heck of it, to go to our friends apartment.  The apartment was divvied up into sections, and each section had its own entrance.  For instance, I was in the B section, and our entrance was only for those living in the B apartments.  Our friends lived in the J apartments.

I walk over to the J section, open the door, and see Luna laying in front of the door, ears back, eyes dilated and just looking overall pathetic.  I couldn’t even get mad— she missed her best friend Bailey.

I put her leash on and walked her back to our apartment.  Since we had rescued from the no kill shelter in North Pole and didn’t want to risk running into the woman who disliked military, we decided to head to the Animal Control in Fairbanks.

We had been discussing getting another dog.  Luna was my dog.  She still is.  Luna isn’t overly affectionate with Alex, but she is with me.  She would always lay at my feet, when I go to bed before or after Alex, she always crawls into the bed with me.  When she wants to play, she always puts the rope in my lap first— it’s just how it is.  She’s a little more like that with Alex now, but that first year with her, she pretty much wanted nothing to do with Alex unless he was going outside.

This bothered Alex, because he had a dog that didn’t really attach to him.

We argued about what kind of dog, and he wanted to get a pug.  He thinks they’re hilarious, I think they’re annoying in large doses.  I told him we should get another German Shepherd mix, like Luna, and he said maybe.  He wanted to get a toy breed though, since toy breeds are just that much easier to take care of, but I told him we’re either getting a real dog or no dog at all.

I thought this was fair.  I just like bigger dogs.

We agreed to see what kind of dogs were at the pound, but not to adopt any dogs that day.

However, he grabbed his check book anyway, you know, just in case he changed his mind.  We brought Luna with so Luna could be the final decider.  We wouldn’t want a dog that Luna hates, since it would be her new best friend.

We get to the pound in Fairbanks and they’re actually a little short on dogs, having only 20 dogs total at the pound.

For us, not a big deal.  We walk through and find a lot of retired sled dogs, all in the ten year old range who are just lazy and happy to not have to run twenty plus miles a day.  While the dogs were nice, we knew that Luna, who wasn’t even three years old at the time, would drive these retired dogs insane.  It’s like putting a teenager with a ninety year old in the same house together.

There was a one year old female pug that was howling at Alex, to which he pointed at me and said, “HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT ONE?!”

Ridiculous for a pug, right?

Ridiculous for a pug, right?

I couldn’t understand his want to have such a noisy dog.  The dog next to the pug, a 140 pound black german shepherd, was barking at us quite a bit too.  He had just survived four bullets to the head and was hardly scathed.

Now THAT is a tough dog.

Unfortunately, he was very noisy and more than double Luna’s size, and we only had an 800 square foot apartment.  While he was a nice dog, you can’t have a dog that’s ridiculously loud in an apartment.

When we are nearly done looking at the dogs, convinced we’re not going to get a dog, we see this really heavy set looking german shepherd mutt.

She only stands to about my knee, she’s 50 pounds, and when we take a closer look at her, we realize she’s severely underweight.  The reason she looks so chubby is because her chest is the size of a barrel.  Never, in my life, had I seen a dog with a chest cavity so large on a dog so small.

She didn’t bark at all, she just had a big goofy smile on her face, her tail slowly wagging.

She was a dog’s dog.

Alex fell in love immediately.  I thought she was cute, but I reminded him that Luna was the final determiner.

We ask the woman working in the back to take her out, and we take her into a room where we can meet her.  She practically bites off our hands eating the treats.  She’s sniffing everything, but she’s got a very cute waddle like walk.  We notice that her stomach skin is really loose with stitches.

“Oh, she just got fixed.  She also recently had puppies, which is why her skin is so loose.”

We got to learn her back story.

She was found off 40 mile Chena Hot Springs Road, by herself.  For those of you unfamiliar with Fairbanks, Alaska, this is an area where there’s no towns and very few houses from 10 mile Chena Hot Spring road all the way to Chena Hot Springs, which is at mile 56.  She was 16 miles from the closest  house.

Apparently when she was called in, Animal control whistled to her and she came running to them, happy for attention.  She had udders, but no puppies in sight.  Alex and I speculate that she ate them since she eats everything.

This, obviously, tugged at our heartstrings a bit.  She was very affectionate with Alex.

The final test was to bring in Luna.

Alex went to get Luna from the car and brought her into the pound.  Luna, obviously, was a nervous wreck since she spent the better part of six months in a pound.  The new dog began to hump Luna the second she came in the room, to which Luna didn’t move.

We saw this as a good sign since Luna didn’t try to rip her throat out.

The Animal Control woman told us that they named her Sahara, since she has so much dark orange fur with a black saddle.  I figured this was perfect since I already had my Moon, I figured that I would now have my Desert.

We picked up food for her at Cold Spot Feeds, got her some rawhides, and brought her home.

We took her on a long walk outside, lasting close to an hour, and once we brought her inside she pooped on the carpet.  And peed in the bedroom.

She did this for two weeks.

No matter how much we walked her, she refused to go potty outside.  We would walk for close to two hours sometimes to get her to go potty outside, but as soon as we got inside, she’d make eye contact and poop on the carpet.

When we took her to get her stitches out, it took four people to hold her down to get them out since she had a lot of fight in her.  We then learned about Alpha training and started doing that every day.

I don't think she minds...

I don’t think she minds…

After a couple of weeks, she became a very complacent dog, never barking, no longer humping Luna into submission, and stopped having accidents pretty much completely.

Alex got his wish too.  He got a dog that was his.  Sahara likes me, don’t get me wrong.  But she never lets Alex out of her sight, and she’s kicked me off the bed on several occasions to be closer to Daddy.

So happy to be held by Alex

So happy to be held by Alex

She also had this habit of destroying my house.

UGH!

UGH!

Unfortunately, she is a lot older than we realized.  She’s got quite a bit of gray around her muzzle now, and each passing year she gets lazier and lazier.  Usually she gets her exercise by watching Luna run around the yard.  Sometimes she’ll jump out to try to catch her, but usually, she’ll just lay down next to us, her tail slowly wagging, enjoying the scenery before her.

She’s a really good sport.  We can dress her up, give her a bath, hold her like a baby, and she is usually just happy to have the attention.

Sahara, the happy reindeer!

Sahara, the happy reindeer!

To Sahara, the third, but always equal, love of my life.  May you live many more happy years.

Sorry this was so long, but I hope that this was heart warming, considering my last post was long and heart wrenching.  Not all pound dogs are lost causes!

What’s your story about your dog?  How did you come to get your pet?  Do you dress up your dogs to ridiculous proportions?  Tell me in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Two Years A Dog: The Desert And The Moon

  1. I almost got a cat that Debbie from More than Sweet Potatoes found, but it was so lick-y with me. And I don’t think I am ready for the commitment of a pet. And I wasn’t sold on him.

    You and Alex are so cute together!

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