My Dog is MenoPAWSal

So a couple weeks ago, Sahara wet the bed.

This may seem weird, because dogs are sometimes eager to make our lives hell, and Sahara has a nasty habit of waking me up early in the morning by putting her head on my ear and whining very quietly, but just enough to make me want to break a window.

Right before falling asleep.  Alex is on the bed next to her.

Not my fault, mom

However, she never, ever has accidents in the house.  And she had it while she was sleeping… on our bed.  I discovered it at two in the morning.  When we moved her, there was a big spot of pee, and she looked just as confused as we were.  So we took her outside and she went potty.

Since then, she’s been having to go outside more and she’s been a little lethargic.

Since her annual visit was due, I took her into the vet and mentioned it to the vet.

When I mentioned to the vet about her lethargy and her one time wetting the bed, he asked me how old she was.  I told him that she was a stray in the Alaska bush and we had an inkling that she was between five and nine years old.  At least that’s what the vet in Alaska said.

He saw that she was spayed, and gray around her muzzle, and told me that she’s going through menopause.

What. The. Fuck.

Dogs go through menopause?

Spayed dogs go through menopause?

I was so confused, that the vet decided to explain it to me.

While it wasn’t exactly menopause, spayed females have no hormones so they can lose bladder control, especially if they’ve had puppies before.  I asked my mom if she has bladder problems from menopause and babies, and she told me way too much information, so I figured Sahara was going through something similar.

So, the vet told me that if the bed wetting continues, I should bring her back and we’ll put her on hormones.  Because my menopausal dog was hormoneless.  We had to make her hormonal.

When I got home, Alex asked how the vet appointment went.

Me: Well, Sahara has menopause.

Alex: You mean… meno-PAWS?!

Me: Sure.  Menopaws.  She might have to get hormones

Alex: Will she get weepy and complain that her kids are leaving the house?

Me: I don’t know—

Alex: Is she going to start eating ice cream out of the carton and cry at stupid movies, then forget where she is and get angry with her mood swings?

Me: I DON’T KNOW! I JUST KNOW THAT SHE’S GOING TO BE MOODY AND PEE EVERYWHERE!

So I rubbed Sahara’s belly and reminded her that she probably ate her puppies and that Luna wasn’t going to go anywhere because Luna hates going outside when it’s hot.

Because I’m a damn good doggie mom.

Have you ever had an instance where you found out something that seemed horribly implausable?  Do you have a dog who is at risk for going into menopause?  Any ideas how to take care of a moody dog?  Let me know in the comments!

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The Laziest Guard Dog Alive

I’ve mentioned before how my Sahara is a fairly lazy dog.

Sahara is a German shepherd mix who is mixed with something that makes her a really lazy dog.  Which makes no sense because the top dogs she could be mixed with include Red Heeler, Corgi and Australian Shepherd.  She’s short and stocky, but has the coloring of a German Shepherd. She’s always been incredibly lazy, but within the last few months, we’re starting to realize just how lazy she is.

Seriously, what the hell is she mixed with?

Seriously, what the hell is she mixed with?

Alex and I are on very opposite shifts.  I’m not working right now, just finished my bachelor’s degree, and Alex has to get up at four in the morning for PT, then he goes to work and is home around three.

Sahara is not a morning dog, and she is not a night dog.  Well, she’s kind of a morning dog, Luna is not a morning dog.  Luna doesn’t wake up before the crack of noon, but then she’s ridiculously hyper the rest of the day.

I’m getting off topic.

Sahara, I’m fairly certain, is an old girl.  She lays around the house, she only moves around a lot of we mention a walk, to which after a few blocks she trips you until you start heading home.  When she does go on walks, she walks very slowly, tongue hanging out of her mouth, tail wagging with each step taken.  When we’re home, she lays on the floor looking defeated.

When we went to a dog park in Minneapolis, she just laid on the ground next to Alex the entire time.  When we got home, she looked so exhausted that you would have thought she was running all day.

When I was doing homework last week, Sahara started to get… really annoying.  She kept nudging my arm so I would mess up my typing, she kept climbing into my lap, she even howled.  She was very, very whiney.

I couldn’t figure it out.  She kept running back and forth between Alex and I, and finally, I moved over one more room to sit next to Alex.

Her response?

She laid down near Alex’s feet and fell asleep.

Right before falling asleep.  Alex is on the bed next to her.

Right before falling asleep. Alex is on the bed next to her.

She was trying to get us in the same room so she wouldn’t have to make her guard dog rounds.

I think if someone breaks in, she’ll do one bark and give up.

Worst. German Shepherd. Ever.

 

Do you have pets that do ridiculous things that just confuse the hell out of you?  Do you have any idea what Sahara could be mixed with?  What are the funniest things your pets have done?  Tell me in the comments!

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!

The Ruffest Day: Saying Goodbye

I’ve mentioned that I had a foster dog named Patch in a previous post.  I have been trying to find him a home for the better part of a month now, as well as rehabilitate him because he gets aggressive with food.

Other than the food aggression, he’s been a very loving, and caring dog.  He would sit on my lap, he would nudge me when doing homework to play.  He was always by my side.

Unfortunately, last night, when Alex was feeding him, he attacked Alex, ripping open his hand.

Ouch.

Ouch.

With the bite gushing blood, we decide that we need to go to the ER.  We put Patch in his crate, and rushed to the ER.  They wrapped up his hand, informed us that you can’t stitch dog bites (They can become pockets of puss) and we waited close to three hours to be seen.

During this three hours, we were socializing with other ER patrons, making jokes, and trying to keep the mood light.

After the first two hours of waiting, Alex told me to go home and wait for him to call me to pick him up so I could let the dogs out.

So I took Luna, Sahara and Patch outside to do their business.  Lo and behold, Patch is being overly affectionate.  He doesn’t leave my side outside, he nudges my hand to pet him, and even rests his head on my shoulder when I knelt down like he was hugging me.

It broke me a little bit, not going to lie.  I hugged him and cried and told him he was a good boy and that heaven was just a big farm with unlimited food and lots of squirrels to chase.  He wagged his tail when I told him this, and I choose to believe he understood what I was saying.

I went back to the hospital to see Alex still in the waiting room.  He was surprised to see me back at the hospital, but when I told him that whenever I look at Patch, I start crying, he understood.  So we continued to make jokes.

He gets called back, and they put him on a hospital bed in the hallway that’s far too small for him.

He's just too big for most beds

He’s just too big for most beds

We decided to avoid the topic of Alex’s hand gushing insane amounts of blood and talk about Alex’s need for Kanel Bullar, a Swedish cinnamon roll that I make whenever my Swedish sister in law visits us from Central Louisiana.  They’ve turned into one of Alex’s favorite foods and I rarely make them because they’re incredibly time consuming and we usually end up eating all two dozen of them in one sitting.

Comfort food of choice

Comfort food of choice

I teased Alex that if we ever divorced, he would have to convince his second wife to get the recipe from my cold, hateful fingers.

Alex responded with a snort, “Oh no, we’re ending on good terms so you’ll cook me Kanel Bullars for the rest of my life.  I’ll make you think the divorce was your idea so you’ll feel eternally guilty for it and make sure that you’re making up for it for the rest of your life via kanel bullar.”

I put my hands on my hips, “Oh, so you’ve thought about divorcing me?”

He laughs, “Every time you leave a mess in the kitchen.”

To which he kisses my hand and we laugh.  We always make jokes like this in times of turmoil.

Oh crap, this is every morning

Oh crap, this is every morning

Shortly after, the nurse informs us that he has contacted Animal Control and I had to talk to the woman about the entire situation.  I told her exactly what happened, we found out that we have to have him quarantined for ten days, then after that I can choose to surrender him, to which he will be humanely euthanized, or I can take him home and try to find him a home.

While I wish I could take him home, let him run in my yard, feed him lots of treats, and hold him close for the rest of his life, he’s not my dog.

He was never my dog.

He’s nothing more than a scraggly stray that I tried to help that I can’t afford to keep anymore.

And it’s killing me.

Alex had his wound cleaned and we were sent home.  We ate a bunch of cake to make ourselves feel better after being at the hospital for nearly five hours, while Patch lays curled up on the floor, next to my feet.

I slept separately from Alex that night because I wanted to cuddle Patch one last time, but Patch decided to sleep on the floor next to me, while I pet him while falling asleep.

I woke up to all three dogs standing over me, Luna licking my face and Alex crawling in next to me, giving me a hearty squeeze.

I made us a big breakfast, making a full package of bacon to divvy out to the dogs.

My stomach was uneasy, as we waited for Animal Control to come to our house.  About an hour before Animal Control showed up, Patch went to Alex and licked his face.  The first time he had licked either of us.  Even Alex was shocked at the display of affection.

When the woman from Animal Control showed up, Patch had his tail wagging and seemed excited.  He happily let her put the leash on him and ran out the door to the van.  He seemed almost happy to go.

I choked back a sob, and watched him leave.  He seemed happy to go.

Maybe he knows that it’s for the best as well.  I think that heaven will be a better place for him.

Luna has been sulking in her kennel ever since patch left.  I think she knows that he’s not coming back.

Poor Luna.  Her buddy is gone

Poor Luna. Her buddy is gone

For anyone in the Louisiana area, Patch is being quarantined for the next ten days at the Bossier City Animal Control.  If you think you could rehabilitate him and get hi the care he needs, I think you can adopt him with my permission.  If not, I completely understand.  There’s nothing more I can do for him.

Have you ever had to make a decision that broke your heart?  Have you ever been in a situation where it ended far differently than you anticipated?  Let me know in the comments.

Heffalump For Sale

We recently acquired a foster dog.  His name is Patch.

He's a derp.

He’s a derp.

 

First, let me tell you about Patch.

He was found off of Old Mooringsport Road in Shreveport, apparently a popular dog dumping ground.  A friend of ours saw him and saw that he was a pretty skinny little dude and picked him up and took him to the vet.  He’s severely underweight, but extremely fluffy.

Alex and I are major dog lovers, having two of our own dogs.  Since our friend was trying to sell his house, he couldn’t be showing his house when he had this guy putting his nose in everything.

So we offer to take him in.

He’s an interesting dog, to say the least.  While he’s extremely loveable, he’s also extremely mischievous.

The other day, we decided to grill some spicy sausage.  Alex, who is known to go above and beyond in the cooking, somehow grilled these sausages to look like the picture on the package.  And they were fully cooked.

Pretty sure Alex is a wizard.

But as we were eating dinner in the living room, Patch, Luna and Sahara decide to investigate the last sausage in the kitchen.

Now, I have no idea how he got onto the counter, or how he reached it.  But he grabbed the sausage and swallowed it.  And he took two bites of it.

I called the vet, thinking it would be fine and found out that spicy sausage can kill your dog.  So we take him to the vet.

Since we got him there less than twenty minutes after he ate the sausage, they were able to just give him a shot so he’d vomit.

Lo and behold, he vomited the sausage… in two perfect pieces.  With the grill marks still on them.

I wasn’t even mad anymore.  I was impressed.

Now whenever he wants something off the counter he sits next to it and howls.  I guess he’s asking about it now.

And he lets me put socks on his face to make him look like a Heffalump.

Looking back, I don't think he liked it too much.

Looking back, I don’t think he liked it too much.

Alas though, he is a foster dog.  While he is a sweet dog who cuddles me all the time, he is not our dog.  He doesn’t even quite feel like he belongs to us.

So, internet, if anyone who is within 100 miles of Shreveport, LA, is reading this and are interested in adopting him, or know someone who would be interested in adopting him, please feel free to contact me at transplantedtothesouth[at]gmail[dot]com.  He is free to a good home!

 

Ever have a dog do something that just impressed you when they were being disobedient?  Do you have a heffalump?  Let me know in the comments!

Two Years A Dog

This is a picture of Luna when we picked her up from the no-kill rescue in North Pole, Alaska.

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

About ten minutes after we first met Luna

She had been at the pound for around five months when we came upon her.  You see, my birthday is on Valentines, and the last week of January, Alex told me that since our one year of marriage was coming up and we had only had two fights (HAH! SO MANY MORE NOW!) He said that we were ready to take our relationship to the next step.

He was going to get me a dog for my birthday.

We felt that if we could keep a dog alive, we definitely had a chance at keeping a baby alive someday.  Along with that, I had been begging him since the moment we moved into our apartment to get a dog.  I would spend hours looking at petfinder.com and showing him picture s of dogs that would be perfect for us.  I believe a house is not a ho me without four paws and a wet nose.  Nothing, and I honesty mean this, nothing can lift a persons spirits more than a dog that is happy to see their owner.  For me, it keeps my depression at bay, they get me out of the house, my dogs are my fur babies.  I don’t care if people hate that term, for a person who was told she can’t have children, my dogs are my children.

So when the one year mark came up, and we had been getting along better than ever, he reluctantly agreed to take me to the rescue to look at dogs.

So on February 3rd, 2012, we called the animal rescue and got directions.  It was owned by an older woman, and we found out later she hated military.  Her reason wasn’t unfounded, considering many military couples went there and insisted on getting a puppy, only to bring the fully grown dog back stating they didn’t want to bring the dog with to their next base, or they had a baby and they didn’t want a dog bothering them with the baby.  Since we were looking at getting a puppy, she was pretty rude to us from the word go.

To be fair though, we went into the area where all of the dogs were and took a look.  Military aren’t allowed to have certain types of breeds, so we had to turn down the pit bull mixes, as well as a pit bull/Rhodesian ridgeback mix, and I thought I saw a black tail run through the little doggie door in the husky section.  I thought nothing of it, and she had no shepherds in at that time.

She showed us a 12 week old black lab mix with a white bow tie that was very loving and hyper and I fell in love immediately.  Since we didn’t have the money at the time, she said she would hold the dog for us until the next day so we could get the money so we could get the crate, food and so on.

I skipped to the car and when we got home, I dog proofed our house (we only had a couch and end table at that time, nothing else in our house), and the next morning at ten o’clock, we had the car cleaned out for our new little puppy, some extra money set aside to buy the things needed.  We decided to name her Geisha-niichan, or Geisha for short, because she was so darn pretty.

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

Alex and the original puppy we were going to get

We were so excited to have a black lab puppy.  In high school, my brother adopted a black lab puppy and that dog, who is still alive, has always left a very soft spot on my heart for labs.

So we called the rescue to ask her to get the puppy ready.

She sold the puppy.

To a little girl and her father.

Alex, of course, saw how down I looked and got after the woman for not holding the puppy.  She said she had other dogs and he said he wasn’t interested.  So he took me to Barnes and Noble, where I read dog books with teary eyes and drinking a coffee.

I went on my phone and was looking at petfinder.com, and in there, at the rescue we had visited, I saw a picture of an absolutely beautiful Alaskan Husky/German Shepherd mix.  In the picture, she was shying away from the camera, her eyes were big, and she was only two years old.

I walked over to Alex to show him the dog.

“Do you remember seeing her yesterday?” I asked him, putting the phone right in his face.

“No, I didn’t see her.  Maybe she was hiding in the house?”

She was part shepherd.  For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted a German Shepherd.  To me, they were the ideal dog.  Beautiful, loyal, intelligent, sassy, fluffy.  Everything.  And Huskies are abnormally friendly, which would be perfect for us.

“Come on, we’re going to the rescue.  Now.”

I dragged Alex out of Barnes and Noble, shoved him in the car, and about a half hour later we arrived at the rescue.  The woman greeted us, and we followed her into the dog building.  We walked over to the husky section of the pound, where in a small area there were four husky mixes.  In the back corner, we could see a scrawny black husky with light brown eyes and tan socks.  She looked scared.  The woman pulled her out of there and handed us her leash.

It was Luna.

She was a little underweight, lanky, her head low, her tail touching her belly, and she was shaking.  She had a very athletic build, and the woman told us that Alaskan Huskies were sled dogs, so they tended to be leaner.

“How long as she been here?” I asked the woman.

“Oh, she’s been here for months.  Nobody has taken any interest in her.”

I couldn’t understand why.  She was shy, yes, but she was very obviously an athlete, something a lot of people look for in that area.  She was beautiful, she was shy, she was the only dog in there that didn’t bark.

I was in love.

“Alex, I think this is our pooch,” I told Alex.  He nodded in agreement.

Alex wrote the check for the $100, we were given a leash, and we drove back to Fairbanks.  To PetCo.

Where Luna shit on the sales lady’s shoes.

Then when we finally got her home, she wouldn’t really take any treats, except beggin’ strips.  And refused to eat.  Or approach us.  But would always sleep on the couch.

Alex thought I was crazy for how attached I got to her.  I would get teary just at the thought of bringing her back to the pound.  We had a couple of friends who had a terrier/husky mix that was overly energetic and when they came to visit.  Luna wagged her tail for the first time.

We brought her to the dog park in temperatures at around -20, where she ran for over an hour, refusing to stop.  We had to drag her away from the park.  She didn’t like rawhides too much.

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

Snow! SNOW EVERYWHERE!

After the two week trial was up, we got her paperwork with a letter from her previous owner, which I still have to this day.

I won’t put it on here, but you could tell by reading it that he truly cared for her wellbeing, which is why he brought her to the no-kill shelter.  He left his email and phone number, asking to be contacted when she was adopted.

So I called him, and we talked for a while.  He told me she liked her food with water on it, that she attacked the neighbor’s chickens, as well as her eating his couch.  He told me she never barked, or really made a sound.  She was a very shy dog, even as a puppy.  She had a sled dog mom, she was very well loved, but unforeseen circumstances caused him to give her away.

She was loved, but he had to let her go.  I respect him for that.

I’m sorry I couldn’t have found her sooner, but I did find her.

Looking back now, I am so glad that the black lab puppy was sold.  If we had gotten that puppy, Luna may still have been in the pound.

Since we’ve adopted her, she’s warmed up and come out of her shell.  She sleeps in the bed with us, I wake up to her licking my face or her dropping a rope on me.  She’s still fairly quiet, but sometimes, if she really wants a belly rub, she’ll “moo” at us.  When I’ve been at my computer for too long, she’ll put her paw on my arm and give me a look, which I call her “Shenanigans” look, where she’s basically telling me that I’ve been on the computer too long and that we need some fresh air.

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

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

She’s made me more active.  She’s kept a lot of the loneliness away, and when we adopted Sahara, she’s given us a lot of entertainment.

I’ll have her until her dying day, where a little part of me will probably die with her.

She’s about 4 and a half years old now, healthy as ever.

Since I was once told that I can’t have children, she’s replaced that want with the love only a dog can give.

To her previous owner, you know who you are, thank you.  She has filled a part in my heart that I never thought could be fixed.

Shelter dogs need love too, they tend to love you more.

Luna in Louisiana

Luna in Louisiana

That picture was taken about a week ago.  Since getting her, she has learned how to play fetch as well as tug-o-war.  As you can see, she looks much happier now than she did the first time we took her home ❤

Does anyone have an interesting way of finding their pet?  Any great shelter stories?  I love hearing about people’s pets 🙂

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How The Hunger Games Saved my Marriage: Part 1 (the drive from Alaska to Louisiana)

Just to warn you, this is going to be a loooooooong post.  And it’s only part one of probably three or four parts.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

I think I’ve mentioned how Alex and I drove from Fairbanks, AK, to Shreveport, LA, over the course of two weeks.  My husband is an enlisted man, and we adopted two dogs, as I’ve mentioned on several occasions.  They’re fantastic dogs, and I did not ever have the intention of giving them up once laying eyes on them. In addition to this, military families have a horrible reputation for giving up their pets after leaving a base, and considering my dogs had both been abandoned once before, I knew that they would have broken hearts if we left them.  So because of this, when we found out that we were getting stationed in Louisiana, I had eight months to figure out exactly how we were going to bring the dogs with us.

My husband briefly mentioned how we could find new homes for them considering how expensive it was to ship them, to which I told him he would be divorced and die mysteriously if he ever suggested that again, to which we both looked into the two options of moving our pups.

The little devils

The little devils

The first would be flying them from Fairbanks to Shreveport, to which the military would not help us with, and it would be over $1,000 per dog.  When told this, my first question was “Are they riding in first class?” and when the woman said they’d be in a kennel next to each other in the cargo area.  Apparently they would have a layover in Minneapolis and Houston, then from there in Shreveport.  They would not be flying on the same planes as us, possibly getting there hours before or after us.

This was basically a hell no.

We considred flying to Minneapolis for a few days to visit my family and from Minneapolis, driving down to Louisiana, but flying a dog to Minneapolis from Fairbanks cost about the same as flying a dog to Louisiana.

Once again, this was a hell no.

My husky mix Luna is… special.  She’s way too smart for her own good, and incredibly beautiful for a dog.  As my vet in Alaska put it, “She’s perfect and emotionally damaged.”  She’s afraid of her own shadow, and took six months to be able to approach us in the house for belly rubs. While she’s much better than she was when we first got her, she’s a very skittish dog.

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

Luna is not amused by your shenanigans…. ever

So after much fighting and debating, we decided we were going to drive the 4,200 miles across North America.  Luckily, we were driving in early August so we hoped that the roads wouldn’t be too horrible and we thought, for sure, it would only take two days to get through Canada.  We were planning on driving at least 700 miles a day, just trying to get through Canada as fast as we could.  Maybe stopping to take pictures.  We were going to camp out in a tent every night to save money, bring our miniature gas stove so we could cook eggs on that in the morning and we got a small cooler and I spent two days making sandwiches and getting freezer packs so we wouldn’t have to eat out.  Ever.

Of course this didn’t happen, but we will discuss that later.

Luckily, the military will pay you for driving down, so we bought an SUV, hearing of how the mountain roads are a little rough, loaded up the back, got all the doctor appointments out of the way, got seatbelts for the dogs, and bought The Hunger Games Series audiobooks to listen to throughout the drive.  Thank you Suzanne Collins.

Now, if anyone has ever met me or my husband, you would probably wonder why we would ever need audiobooks.  My husband is the chattiest person I have ever met.  He will talk for hours upon hours and never quiet, and while not as chatty as him, I’m pretty chatty.  My mother has commented how there is never a quiet moment when we’re in a room together.

But when you spend ten days in a car together, there’s a chance that you’ll run out of stuff to talk about.  To ensure that we didn’t stab each other on the drive, we bought the audio books, thinking that those books would be more than enough for the drive.  We even got The Hobbit audiobook to ensure that if we did run out of the first choice books, we wouldn’t be totally at a loss.  We had lots of Christopher Titus on our phones, nearly memorized, and we commented that NOBODY can ever get tired of Christopher Titus.

So my last day in Alaska, I went to my work, hugged all of my previous coworkers, cried a little bit, tried to see all of my friends before I went (and failed miserably, I’m sorry Marissa), and cleaned our apartment to within an inch of its life.  Seriously, I mopped the walls so nobody could say I didn’t wash the walls.  Only to find out they were going to paint the walls and I didn’t need to do that.  We got our full deposit back, and our Landlady hugged us and told us that if we ever moved back to Alaska, we could rent from her again.

We got the dogs in their seatbelt harness, told them we were going for a car ride, and we were off.

We had sedatives for them, but we wanted to see if we could go without.  For you see, they are usually excellent car dogs.

The first two hundred miles in Alaska went very smoothly.  The roads were uncongested, our cooler was fully packed, the windshield didn’t have any chips in it, the tires weren’t flat.  Really, you couldn’t ask for more.

But the dogs were a little miserable.   You see, whenever we took them on a car ride, they expected the dog park for an hour and a twenty minute drive home, followed by a giant rawhide and belly rubs for the rest of the evening.  After two hours in the car, seeing terrain that was unfamiliar to them, Luna looked like life had totally and completely defeated her.  Sahara was in a full blown panic.  She was whining and shaking and trying to crawl into my husband’s lap.  She hated her harness to the point that she twisted herself in her seatbelt so badly that she was stuck and howling.

Oh, no dog was more miserable than Sahara.  Hell hath no fury like a Sahara who is tangled in her seatbelt and homesick.

 

Don't let her misery fool you, she's just looking for attention

Don’t let her misery fool you, she’s just looking for attention

So we decide it’s time to give them the sedatives.  Luna reacts very well to the sedative, being asleep for 12 hours from it, or waking up with hazy eyes and curling on my lap, her face similar to “I love you so much mom.  You’re so awesome.  I love belly rubs. And ears.  My ears are awesome.”  Basically, Luna was stoned out of her mind.  She even had the munchies.  While Luna didn’t really need the sedatives, we knew she was scared and wanted her to feel relaxed and realize that it was just a very long car ride through Canada.

Sahara was not so lucky.  The sedative worked on her for a half hour.  Then she was whining even more.  Being even more miserable than before.  Her expressions were more like “I took a nap, TIME TO GO INTO BATSHIT CRAZY MODE!  WHERE ARE THE BEARS?!  THEY SHALL BE MURDERED BY MY RAZOR SHARP PAWS!”

When we got into Canada, the roads went from smooth and pristine to pothole city.  We went over one pothole, causing the service light to go on in our car.

How we looked and felt considering we were only three hours into the two week drive

How we looked and felt considering we were only three hours into the two week drive

We stopped the car, looked around the car and saw nothing wrong, but the words “Perform Service” kept popping up.  The road was bumpy, we were terrified that we’d get a flat tire, and we were slowed down to a crawl because of all of the potholes.  But not to worry, the potholes turned into GRAVEL ROADS WITH BIGGER POT HOLES with around 80 miles between towns.  Yukon Territory really believes in spacing out their towns.  Occasionally we would see signs for Pie and Coffee, to which we never turned down.
We stopped driving around midnight in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.  A beautiful little town, we stopped at Takhini Hot Springs, and spent ten dollars on a tent site, tied the dogs up outside, blew up the air mattress, and curled up.

To which the dogs began to bark and cry, freaking out that they were being forced to sleep outdoors.  Sahara was a rescue who spent, likely, several months in the Alaskan wilderness with her puppies, so she always liked to sleep inside, on the bed, head on the pillow, between my husband and I.  She’s very particular like that.  Luna tends to sleep on the couch with one leg straight up in the air, tongue hanging out of her mouth, sometimes with a blanket on the lower half of her body.

No spoiled dogs of mine were going to be forced to sleep outside!

Afraid of waking up other campers, we brought them into the tent with us.

Now, please keep in mind, my husband is close to 6’7” and he’s pretty solid.  I’m round, and it was a “4” person tent. The queen size air mattress took up most of the floor space in the tent.  The dogs, of course, had to be in the bed with us.  So a blow up queen mattress, which is actually a full size, a very tall, solid man, two german shepherd mixes, and myself on this TINY air mattress.

Then there was thunder.

There is no such thing as thunder in Alaska.  At least not in Fairbanks.  My dogs had NEVER heard thunder in their short lives.  So they go into a full panic.   Not only did they puncture the air mattress, they almost destroyed the tent, attacking the side while howling and snarling, trying to scare the thunder away.

We were awake at 7 AM, having only gotten a couple hours of sleep, smelling awful from not being able to take a shower.  We decided to not go to the hotspring to soak, and we found a truck stop to have some breakfast.

The story will continue in part 2 of this epic tale of traveling through Canada.

What are your thoughts so far?