Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mork, the Perfect Doggie . . . and other doggie tales

I’ll never forget the first time I saw him – he was with her. She was the yappy one and she was his sister. He was the quiet one with the “still water runs deep” eyes. They were huddled together in the kennel at the Fulton County Animal Shelter.

Agonizing over taking one and leaving the other behind, I quickly phoned my friend and said “Have I got a deal for you”. She got his sister “Chaos” and I took little “Mork” home with me. I remember the big muscular tech carrying him to the front desk; he looked so tiny tucked under this big man’s arm.

Arriving at home, Mindy the cat greeted us with typical “cat behavior”. Eventually, she learned to love this newcomer and it was a common sight to see them snuggled together.

Mork was always the perfect doggie!! I use to brag how he never in his life did anything wrong. Little did I know that someday, I would say that he even died perfectly. He was such an integral part of the family and went everywhere with me even though he never learned to like being in the car. But being the good boy always, he put up with my long trips from Atlanta to northern Indiana and miscellaneous other spots.

Later, looking back over pictures taken during his lifetime, he was there in every corner of my world! Whether it was photos of my friends, family, vacations, trips, little Mork was always there!

When he was about 7, we added Joey, a scroungy, needy, semi neurotic little poodle schnauzer mix to the family. Mork welcomed him, quickly becoming the big brother, the stable one, the one that Joey looked to for direction in these new and confusing surroundings. They seemed to become a unit as they moved in tandem wherever they went. Wherever one was, the other was close by and soon were best buddies!.

And so it was that in February 2005, on a trip with Mork and Joey to Indiana to visit my son and his family, Mork became ill. He often got a nervous stomach when we traveled along with slight diarrhea, and temporary loss of appetite. This seemed different and so just in case, my son called the vet in his town and we agreed that probably since Mork was not a good traveler, perhaps he was just reacting to the trip. He cautioned us to keep him hydrated and it would probably pass. That night, he slept beside me and about 5:00 a.m. I woke to hear the choking sound. Grabbing him into my arms, I yelled for my son
as my precious little Mork drew his last heaving breath cradled in my arms.

It took a while for me to fully understand the gift Mork had given me. First of all, he chose to die while I was with my family who were able to offer me comfort and support.
Secondly, having known the agony of those who make the conscious choice to put down their beloved pets, I realized he spared me even from that. Yes, my little Mork was always the perfect doggie . . . . even in death.

postscipt . . . .
In the car on the way home with Joey by my side, I explained that he and I would need to learn how to be a twosome rather than a threesome. It took a while but I think we are finally getting there.

Grandaughter Carol with Mork on his last day

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Baby the dropoff doggie

It was a lovely Sunday morning in August and I took my first cup of coffee outdoors to sit on the stoop and enjoy. As I opened the door, I saw a big cardboard box sitting on my sidewalk! Peering in the top thru a small opening I saw 'black fur' - Okay, wait a minute, let me finish my coffee here. It's still early and I need this coffee bad! Walking up and down the sidewalk, sipping my hot brew, I pondered "what is in that box" - is it dead or alive? is it wild or tame? Going back to the box for a second peek, the black fur moved - okay - there's the answer to my first question. It is alive. Pulling the flap up for a better view, two little black eyes peered up at me.
It was then that I saw the note taped to the side of the box.

Turning my attention back to the box, I reached down to pick up my little 10 lb rescue. Placing her on the sidewalk, she tottered a bit but managed to walk almost the length of the sidewalk. The rest of my Sunday was spent rocking "Baby" wrapped in her "Winnie the Pooh" blanket that was in the box with her and thinking about what to do. I really did not need to think very much about whether or not I would keep her. Somehow there was an instant connection that felt like she needed us and we needed her. And so . . . . . . dental surgery to fix her teeth made her so much happier. . . . good nutrition including raw foods (veggies in the food processor and raw eggs, meat, yogurt . . . . . glucosomine for her arthritic body . . . . love from her new family including Kita the cat (who has declared herself Baby's protector), Joey the dog - who took a while but now loves her as much as everyone else. The result? A healthy happy Baby who can now RUN the length of the sidewalk and climb three steps on her own!
She even made the Cincinnati enquirer:
We had hoped to hear from Baby's previous owner. I can only hope and pray that he knows how much she is loved and that she is doing fine. In the meantime, Baby is the local celebrity - when we are out walking, people roll down their car windows and call "Is that Baby" Yes, it is and she is doing just fine, thank you very much!!!!