Saturday, April 12, 2008


One January afternoon a friend stopped by for coffee. Rob told us about his appointment the night before and mentioned that the family had puppies. He said the mother dog was a Shih-Tsu and the father was a black lab. There were four pups that looked like black labs and one with long light hair. The woman had advertised them and had no responses, so she was taking them to a shelter over the weekend. He said the pups were in a doghouse outside and she had to drag them out for him to see. Our friend asked if we were taking one and Rob told her that we were at our limit of three. Soon he left for an interview.

Around nine that night Rob called to say he was on his way home and asked casually if we had any puppy food. I had an idea of what was coming. A bit later he called to say he was around the corner and to meet him in the garage. I knew what was coming.

She was eight weeks old and not very pleased with either of us. She had spent her entire life in a doghouse and her only contact with humans was when someone put down a pan of food for the puppies. She was dirty and had a number of ticks attached. She was, however, delighted to meet Monty and he was just as happy with her. They were only eight months apart in age and were best friends from the minute they met. He lets her eat from his bowl and if he has something she wants, she'll take it right out of his mouth. No other dog or human can get away with that.

We had trouble coming up with a name for her. She reminded me of Wolf Blitzer somehow, but I didn't want to call her either of those names. Finally, over a bottle of wine we came up with Morgan and have since added Magoo. She is Legacy's Morgan Magoo.

Morgan has always been shy due to her lack of early socialization. She also suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. The most common symptom is her licking. She will lick anything, wall, furniture, the floor, the other dogs, us or herself and once she starts, she can't stop. She will lick herself until she licks the skin off and still won't stop. She sometimes has needed to wear protective gear to protect her from herself. Barking can be another problem. She will bark at something in the yard and she just won't stop, even when the offending cause has been removed. We have been able to keep the behavior under control with medication.

Morgan loves to sit in the window and watch for squirrels. She is a strong chewer and can destroy a stuffed toy in minutes. She is also a fierce competitor and if we throw a ball or a frisbee, she will beat the others to it. She loves to play in the water and although she was afraid of the car and would get sick while riding, she wants to go whenever we go and has taught herself to be a good rider.

In May Bentley became very sick. He was having trouble getting up and down by himself. It had become very difficult for him to climb stairs and we kept the stairways blocked so he wouldn't fall. He'd been taking medication for arthritis and pain for years and it finally caught up with him. he started vomiting blood and passing blood in his stool. Of course it was a Saturday afternoon when this all started and our vet clinic was closed. We called his vet at home and he turned around and drove back to town. Meanwhile, I sat under a tree with Boo and tried to keep him calm while I felt anything but calm. We thought we were going to lose him.

They were able to save Boo. They got the bleeding under control, but he could no longer take anything for his pain. We located an acupuncturist who agreed to help him. Since Bentley couldn't go into the office, he received his treatments in the back of the car and we would sit next to him and keep him company. This time it wasn't a canine acupuncturist and the treatments weren't as effective. His condition was also much worse by now, but it did offer him some relief from the pain.

No comments: