Beautiful, Beautiful Boy


Have you ever been so sad that you felt like throwing up? So sad that you could barely breathe — and couldn’t think?

It is October 7, 2017. 10/7/2017. If you add up the numbers in 2017, they equal 10. If you add the month and day, they equal 17.   10/7/10, 172017. But I can’t find any meaning in those numbers.

I can’t find any meaning in the past forty days.

menwaldo2

me with Waldo

It was a little longer ago than that, when Waldo stopped wanting to take daily walks with me. That was our thing — walkies. He and I did 1-4 miles a day, depending on the weather, and it was our special time together. Then, one day he said “I’m not walking any more,” and he said it so clearly, that I listened. I didn’t think a whole lot of it. We figured that he was getting arthritic. He was ten-and-a-half years old, and he’d had two ACL surgeries before the age of three. He was also very very large: nearly 100 lbs of lean, gorgeous muscle. Looking back, that was probably the first sign that something was going on.

Waldo was a beautiful boy. We could never really account for his size. He was much bigger than either of his parents. Dalene had his DNA done, and it said he was Boxer and Border Collie, with a little Australian Cattle Dog thrown in. None of them are large breeds.

We lost our beautiful boy today to Hemangiosarcoma: a fucking bitch of a fast-growing cancer that shows no real symptoms until it’s too late to do anything about it.

waldo14wks_sm.jpgHe was pampered his whole life. He only ate the best food. He went to the groomer. He was on heartworm preventative. He was always up to date on his shots. He went to the dog park. He went to doggie daycare. He went camping. He was a ride-along dog. He had a big yard to run and play in. We doted on him. He loved to be hugged and cuddled and kissed. He was a gigantic baby, and so gentle that he let the small dogs in the house boss him around.

How did he get this cancer?

He had half a dozen nicknames. He was Wally and Walrus and Smoosh. Scoobs and Moobie, and Moosh. He was Border Collie brilliant. He could learn how to do anything we showed him, and taught himself to do a few things besides. I’ve never seen another dog teach himself to bounce a tennis ball and catch it. He was an excellent communicator.

waldo_sleep1Waldo and I didn’t like each other much when we first met. Over the years, though, we fell deeply in love. I didn’t think I would ever love a dog the way that I had loved Dillon, my heart dog, but my love for Waldo surpassed even that. He was always happiest when Dalene, and he, and I were together. When we played fetch, he would take turns, bringing the ball first to her to throw, and then to me, or vice versa.

When Rocket joined the family, Waldo would take a mouthful of food out of his own bowl and put it on the floor next to him for Rocket to eat. He loved little dogs, and I think that he thought that he was a little dog, too, the way he would beg to sit in our laps.

naps

Lammy Lamb, Waldo, Rocket Boy and Maria, chillin’.

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. . .” – John Lennon

In August, Waldo started to get fussy about his food. He had a loose front tooth, so we thought that maybe his teeth were hurting him when he ate. We took him in to the vet, and he seemed fine except for his teeth, so they did a dental and removed six of them. He seemed to feel a lot better after that.

Last week, Waldo began having trouble, and not managing to pass anything that looked like his normal stool. He seemed less interested in food. I watched him for a couple of days, checking his gums, and inspecting his poop. I was concerned that he might have a blockage, because he had taken Rocket’s rawhide one night and swallowed it whole. That was something he’d done many times in the past, and it had never caused him any trouble, but when he drank water one morning and then vomited it all up, I was concerned enough to take him to the vet.

update

He didn’t have a blockage. He had pancreatitis, and it was making him nauseous. It was also causing him considerable pain. Over the next three days we did further tests, and found that he had a mass on his spleen, enlarged lymph nodes in his chest, and an abdomen full of fluid. Not good.

We put him on meds to help with the symptoms. I cooked him some chicken and rice and he ate well yesterday. Then very early this morning, he started this weird panting. Short huffs. I gave him his morning meds, and we went out. He was walking with a hunch: the sign of a dog in pain. He passed a little stool and then slowly walked around a little bit like he was going to try again, but then, he looked up at me, his legs wobbled, and he collapsed in the grass.

I have never felt so completely helpless. He was too big for me to pick him up, so I knelt down next to him and stroked him and told him how much I loved him. How special he was. How handsome. How smart.

Finally, I coaxed him to get up, and he gingerly walked back to the cabin.

We tend to grow dogs old. We’ve had over a dozen dogs, and only one other lived less than fifteen years. Three of them lived to be eighteen. Two of them lived to be twenty. Ten-and-a-half years is not long enough. Not for two people who were very much in love with the beautiful boy.PICT1391

Waldo was exceptional. He didn’t deserve to suffer, and yet he had been suffering silently. We weren’t willing to put him through one more moment of pain for us, so we consulted with the vet, and decided to let him go. I held our beautiful boy, and he went peacefully, my kisses and tears on his gorgeous face, my heart in his paw.

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster’s gone
He’s on the run and your mommy’s here

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It’s getting better and better

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait to see you (come of age)
But I guess, we’ll both just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a long way to go but in the meantime

Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

– John Lennon

me and waldo cover

Would you like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof? We have vet bills up the yin yang. We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we are still trusting Ainsworth foods),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send. Donations can also be sent via Paypal to yelodoggie@yahoo.com

We also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof

 

 

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How Much Crating is Too Much? After the New OAS Book, Some Thoughts on What Constitutes Over-Crating of Dogs


When the truth surfaced about the Olympic Animal Shelter in 2014, I was sickened at the thought of all of those dogs living in crates all day, every day, for years on end – and the admission by the Shelter’s owner that he only fed them all a couple of times a week.

I recently had the opportunity to read Laura Koerber’s book I Once Was Lost but Now I’m Found; Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue, which tells the story of how the truth was brought to light and how the 144 dogs were finally rescued. I recommend it highly to anyone who loves dogs – and especially those who advocate for them.

I also recommend this linked post by Tamira Thayne, which discusses crating:

Source: How Much Crating is Too Much? After the New OAS Book, Some Thoughts on What Constitutes Over-Crating of Dogs

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Books: Underwater Puppies & A Dog’s Journey


UNDERWATER PUPPIES by Seth Casteel

Rating: 2 paws

Seth Casteel obtained fame with his best selling underwaterphotography book Underwater Dogs in 2012. His photos of dogs diving for balls and toys took social media by storm. They offered a perspective on dogs that we rarely see. His book Underwater Puppies (Little Brown and Company 2014) is an attempt to expand on his initial success.

It’s a photography book of puppies. Underwater. What’s not to love about puppies? The dogs in the book are adorable, many of them are rescue dogs. But I had a bit of a problem with Underwater Puppies. While a portion of the photos are reminiscent of the photos in Underwater Dogs, with puppies diving after toys, a great many of the photos are not. Many of them are just puppies submerged in water. . . for no apparent reason. And that’s what I had a problem with. Casteel is a member of the rescue community, so I cannot imagine that he put any of the puppies into danger for his photos, but it’s hard to remember that when you see some with wide fearful eyes, or the bubbly underwater splash of them being dropped into the water. I found those photos uncomfortable to look at. Maybe they weren’t in danger, but some of them look under duress. I want to reach in and fish them out and tell them it’s going to be OK. Maybe that’s just me. Certainly, your mileage may vary.

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 16, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0316254894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316254892

Seth Casteel is an award-winning photographer and an established member of the animal rescue community. Casteel’s work has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, The Washington Post, among other print media.

 

A DOG’S JOURNEY by W. Bruce Cameron

Rating: 5 Paws

journeyNew York Times and USA Today best selling author, W. Bruce Cameron, delights readers again in this sequel to A Dog’s Purpose. Bailey is back: as Buddy, Molly, Max, and Toby. Like its predecessor, this is a moving and heartwarming book. In A Dog’s Journey, Buddy finds that his purpose is to take care of Ethan’s granddaughter, C.J, which he does through several different lives with unwavering devotion. Once again, Cameron leads the reader through the ups and downs of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a dog, and gives us some insight as to why dogs are so loving and loyal. If you loved A Dog’s Purpose, you will love A Dog’s Journey.

 

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0765330547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330543

W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog’s Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.

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What Does it Mean to Love a Dog?


This is Jeb. He is a senior hound who belongs to a friend’s adult granddaughter. I’ve been told that she loves him.

Img06_08-04-2017

These are Jeb’s feet.
jebs feet
Jeb’s been struggling for awhile now. The family has considered putting him down because he can barely walk and he has trouble getting to his feet. Oddly, no one had considered having his nails clipped, or taking him to a vet.
When D and I were made aware of Jeb’s situation, and it was clear that no one was going to do anything, we put our dogs in daycare for the day and drove the 40 miles to Jeb’s house. We knew that he could barely walk because his overgrown toenails were making it painful to walk. We were told we’d need a muzzle for him, but we clipped on his leash, refused his “pinch” collar, and helped him into our van. Then we drove the half mile up the street to the nearest groomer, and had a talk with the owner.
Really. A vet and a groomer, only a half mile away from Jeb’s house. The cost of a nail clipping about the same as a twelve pack of beer.
We took Jeb inside the groomer’s and spent the next twenty minutes holding him still, encouraging him, and supporting him, while he endured the horror of the groomer cutting his neglected nails back. Almost every one of his nails bled. He howled when the quicks were cut. He never tried to bite any of us. When the groomer was finished, she charged us double.
Jeb walked out of the spa. He jumped into the van on his own. We gave him a bunch of biscuits and told him how brave he was, and we took him home.
Maybe we shouldn’t have done that last thing. But, they say they “love” him.
My friend, Colin, once imparted this bit of wisdom to me: “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.”
What does it mean to love? Doesn’t it mean that you care about what happens to the object of your affection? If it’s a living thing that you love, whether it be a potted plant,  a goldfish, or your child, doesn’t it mean that you provide the necessities to not only keep it alive, but also keep it healthy? Doesn’t it mean that you want it to do well? To not just survive, but to thrive?

So why is it different when it comes to a dog?

What does it mean to love a dog? I’ve heard people say they love their dog, then keep him chained alone and ignored in the backyard. I’ve heard people say they love their dog, but keep her penned and unsocialized in the basement. I’ve heard people say they love their dog, but never vet him — not once. These are not examples of love, they are examples of indifference; the opposite of love.

You don’t have to take your dog to daycare.
You don’t have to feed him the most expensive food.
You don’t have to let him sleep in bed with you, or buy him a kuranda bed.
But the deal is that if you say you love your dog, you should know what that means — and it means that you have to take care of him.

rocket dog
You have to see to his medical needs.
You have to provide his necessities for survival: food, water, shelter, affection, companionship, mental stimulation – those are the basics. If you were missing any of those things in your own life, you’d find it unacceptable, and if you love your dog, then anything less is unacceptable for him, too.
You have to keep him safe.
If you say you love your dog, love your dog.
It’s not rocket science.

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thanksWould you like to offer us a helping hand here Up on the Woof? We are always looking for coupons for certain items we purchase for our dogs on a regular basis. If you have Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons (we are still trusting Ainsworth foods),  Cesar coupons, Bil Jac Frozen coupons, or milkbone coupons that you will not be using, please save them for us. Contact me if you have some to send.

And if you come across an errant box of Purina Busy HeartyHides for sale on amazon or ebay, for God’s sake, send them to us!I also have a wishlist of items that we just can’t afford, but would make life a whole lot easier. It has recently been updated. Click the link below to view.

Things we need Up on the Woof

You can also donate to help us buy the stuff we need, if you are so inclined. (Donations can be sent via Paypal to: yelodoggie@yahoo.com

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