a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

It’s been 1 year since I adopted Smokey. He has 2 different birthdays (Feb and April) on his old vet records so we don’t know when his actual birthday is or his age (2 different years). So this means I am using his adoption date as his birthday and I decided on his age (6) :)

On January 27th 2014, my ex and I went to look at 4 dogs, all available through NorSled (where we adopted Shadow.) I brought them with me so we could see how Shadow interacted with the dogs. He was going to have to be friends with him (or her) so best to have him help interview too!

Smokey was the first dog we met as he was in the Woodland area and the rest were in the bay area. So we met him on the way down. When I walked in and met him and hung out with him for a short time, I instantly loved him. He was not black & white, like all of the others I was going to see that day and he was not as fluffy as Angelus and Storm or Shadow and we had no idea of his mix beyond husky and/or malamute mix. But he was the sweetest guy ever. I left there to go look at the others to make sure I wasn’t just taking the 1st dog I met since losing Stormy in August but I knew I loved him.

Met 3 other fantastic dogs who were all gorgeous, lovable, sweet and needed homes but Smokey stayed in my mind. So after all day of driving and meeting dogs and foster moms and dads (and frankly I think Shadow was getting stressed thinking he was being dropped off somewhere!), we decided to stop and eat for the 1st time that day. Buffalo Wild Wings. Mmmmm.

I sat there thinking how would I feel if I drove home and didn’t get Smokey – and I felt immediately sad. So we called the foster mom and told her we were coming back to see him again – this time letting Shadow have more time with him. We took Smokey and Shadow for a walk along with the foster mom – who I think was sad to lose Smokey (she was originally going to keep him but that didn’t work out for non-Smokey reasons).

That was it – I decided then to do it. Signed all of the paperwork, wrote a check and loaded him in the car. Had Shadow in the backseat and Smokey in the back back. I think Shadow was starting to wonder what the heck. But he did get along best with Smokey as well. I think he was most happy I didn’t get the girl husky as she was half his size but kept kicking his butt as female huskies are likely to do!

First night in his new home!

First night in his new home!

Got home around 11pm. Smokey was pretty stressed – obviously. New house after stranger took him away from his mom of 11 months. We woke up 3 or 4 times during the night. I was worried he had to go potty, but I think he just wanted to walk back to his old house.

It took a few days for him to calm down a little and settle into a routine but I’m good at routines :) Angelus and Storm trained me. He still gets stressed when his routine changes. But he has settled into a pretty darn calm and happy guy :) And honestly, he has been a dream. How anyone could have not wanted to keep him (and hurt and abandon him) is beyond me. He had gone through several homes and all this proves to me is that people generally suck and most probably have no business being responsible for a pet rock. But I’m a wee bit cynical.

After losing Angelus and then Storm, I was pretty sad for a time there. Now, I am happy literally every day. And I hope he feels the same way. I’m pretty sure he does. :)

His 1st snow! 1/30/14

His 1st snow! 1/30/14

1st beach visit at Mavericks! 2/14

1st beach visit at Mavericks! 2/14

Full of smiles :)

Full of smiles :)

Snow fun with Shadow 1/15

Snow fun with Shadow 1/15

Happy Birthday Smokey Dokey :)

His daily adventures can be followed at http://packdog.com/smokeydokey

And anyone can donate to NorSled. These people work endlessly to find northern breeds homes from bad (and sometimes VERY bad) situations and need every penny: http://www.norsled.org/how-to-help/

Storm can TOTALLY do a duet with Mishka!!! He is a great singer too!

I need to get my new iPhone 4 so I can video Stormy when he sings :)

Today was Storm’s first ACTH Stim test since we started him on his medication. These tests are performed frequently (monthly-ish) when a dog is first started on medication for Cushing’s. And then once the dosage is figured out (due to these tests), they are quarterly. We get the results back tomorrow to see if his medication is altered.

The test is a timed test. A blood draw is done 4 hours after he gets his morning medication dose and then he is given a synthetic ACTH and then another blood draw 1 hour after that. Then he can go. When I brought Storm in at 10:15am it was 4 hours post medication. The vet said “oh, you can take him in an hour or so. And he seems to get stressed when he is here alone. So if you have any local errands to run, or want to grab coffee at Starbucks, he should be ready around 11:30am.” Uh-huh…is this because he howls the entire time by chance? Sigh…what a goober…

So I ran a couple errands and got back there a few minutes early. When I walked in….yes…that was howling I hear….One of the nurses said it will be another 7 minutes until they could do the blood draw and then he could leave. I was in the waiting room when a woman walked in with a husky who looked a LOT like Storm. She was actually bigger than Storm which is odd for a female husky. But same coloring and sweet brown eyes. Her name was Lucia and she is 11 years old.

We were talking about huskies and she mentioned that she saw Angelus out in the car and my license plate (it’s husky centric) and she said she also had another one at home. A 3-yr old male that was a rescue. She said she and her husband were in New Orleans on vacation and saw a husky in a very small fenced in yard completely shaved. You do NOT do that to a husky. They actually went to the house and the owner told them he did it because of the heat. He told them that they got the puppy for their son, who saw “Eight Below” and wanted a husky. The fact that adults make decisions like this is beyond me. You want to get a dog? Be responsible for another living thing in your home? That is dependent on you for life? Then do so knowing that. Research breeds. Understand what you are getting into.

Once the puppy grew up and was a big dog, they felt he was too big for the house so he stayed outside all of the time and their daughters had chihuahuas and they didn’t get along with the husky. Dogs are pack animals. They need a pack. Why would you get a dog, a part of the family, and keep him locked outside all the time? Oh right…you suck.

So the couple said – we will take him and give him a good home. And the they did. They cashed in their return airline tickets and rented a car and drove back to California with him. Where he now lives inside with plenty of outside yard privileges and his new sister Lucia. Plus he gets a lot of people and other dog affection along with being able to be inside when he wanted. And I will say, it was the one good thing the previous owners did. At least they let him go to a new home and life.

The old owners never even had him fixed (don’t see why any responsibility would have started there..) so they had him fixed and he settled down a bit. The original owners bought him from a breeder in North Carolina but never registered him with the AKC. It was too late to register him now but she was able to speak with the breeder to get his parents’ eyes and hip information which was all good.

She said he is the sweetest boy. A big mud monster – loves to dig. She said her female huskies have never done that. Really?? My 2 boys LOVE to dig. Assumed it was a husky thing not a gender thing. He eats dirt (yes, my guys do this on occasion too.) But mostly just wants to hang out with his people. She said he gets a bit drooley when left alone. She thought it was a result of him being alone so much in the past, that he got nervous about it now.

Truly a happy ending to his story. And a very awesome thing that these people did. Awesome. She said it seemed like the absolutely right thing to do when they saw him there. Amazing that they took the initiative like that. Made me smile. Made me believe in the goodness of others. Also made me sad to think how many other stories there are like this that don’t have the good Samaritans.

I feel if people cannot take care of their pets, or treat animals badly, this says a lot about them as people. Dogs just love their people. They just want to be loved in return. But even when you don’t, they keep loving you. I sure wish people deserved this…

I love my huskies.

And I love the northern breeds in general. I want to see them all in happy, loving homes like my guys are. But yhey are not the best dogs for some people. And unfortunately, sometimes people are attracted to their beauty and don’t do any research on the breed to find out if they (the dogs) are right for their (the people) lifestyle. They require a lot of exercise and people time. And some people just suck. So there is a need for animal/dog/husky rescue. This organization is for NorCal so of course I support it even extra amounts!

Even if you can’t send them a cash donation, they are also part of a cool recyclable program!

NorSled is now participating in the EcoPhones Recycling Fundraiser program. EcoPhones pays up to $300 per item that we submit!! Help us without spending any $$$$’s or time.

There’s nothing to buy and nothing to sell. We simply ask that you and your friends donate your consumer electronics to NorSled:

* Cell Phones
* Ink Jet Printer Cartridges
* DVD Movies & Videogames
* Portable DVD Players
* Laptop Computers
* MP3 Players
* X-Boxes, Sony Playstations, Wii
* Digital Cameras & Digital Video Cameras (DVRs)
* Digital Picture Frames
* Portable Navigation & GPS Devices (Garmin, Magellan, Tom-Tom)

So if you are around here, or know anyone who is, and have any of these items and was going to get rid of it anyway – please contact NorSled. Here is the link:

http://www.norsled.org/helpus.html

And you should look at the adorable guys and gals they have looking for new permanent homes! :)

Got home after work and an after-work hike around 8:30pm. My huskies have been at home all day by themselves. I have come to the conclusion that I have more separation anxiety than they do as I missed them all day long and ditched an after-hike dinner to rush home and see them. Certainly more than my older dog, Angelus, who I know loves me to death but also is pretty husky-like and likes to stay a cool customer :) (Although he did run up, ears back, tail wagging with kisses when I got home :) ) The feeling of all that love coming at you when you walk in the door is pretty darn awesome :)

Angelus is, was and always will be, my guy. On his first night with us, first night away from his doggy mom and siblings, I slept on the floor with him in the kitchen (he was 7 wks old  – not potty trained yet.) That first weekend we picked him up, I was sick but I stayed with him the entire time – hanging out in the yard, walking him, sleeping by him.  He is my bud.  But he was not prone to hugging and skooshing – I had to break him down by constant hugging :) Now he’s like ‘fiiiiinnne…..as long as no one is looking.’ Unless it’s the pre-walk/breakfast morning time – then he is a huge love bug (or if you have chicken in your hand!)

My younger guy (by 1.5 yrs) is Storm. Hoth Stormtrooper officially with the AKC :) He loves his momma.  I guess it wouldn’t be far off the mark to call him a momma’s boy. He cannot let me out of his sight for very long. He follows me room to room at home if he notices I’ve been gone from where he is after a short while. And he waits for me by the door if I leave him at home.  I love the fact that he loves me so much but want to make sure he still has fun and is happy even if I’m not there! But I don’t think he truly does/is…

When he was a puppy he was supposed to be my husband’s dog (in hindsight this was like allowing your kid to get a pet ;) ) He wanted a puppy who loved him as much as Angelus loved me. I told him that with pets, they respond to who cares for them the most. Since I took care of Angelus 99.9% of the time, of course he loved me more (he better!!) To be fair to husband, he did start the puppy process by caring for Storm all of the time. He fed him, walked him, took him to work. I was not allowed to carry him to bed (I carried Angelus down to bed every night until I simply could not physically – he weighed like 60lbs!), feed him, skoosh or hug him. He was husband’s puppy!

Then Stormy got hurt. He crashed into a Rottweiler at the dog park and got up limping. He shook it off but then over the next week, he started limping more and more. His knee was never the same.  It would pop out (called luxating patella) and back in. So we found the best surgeon and got him his surgery. The first weekend was going to be tough as we have 2 flights of stairs in the house and Storm needed to be carried or at least helped using the doggie sling to go potty. And then hung out with to monitor, etc.  He got his surgery on Thursday and we picked him up from the hospital on Friday morning. He hung out in my office with me that Friday.

On Saturday morning my husband said he was going for a “quick surf” at Ocean Beach and then would be home to help with Storm. I asked him not go.  He said he “had to” – was “really good surf”.  Fine….(this is girl code for’ it’s not fine but I’m not going to argue about it’ – men should really learn that.)

About an hour or hour and a half after he left I get a call…he hurt his knee surfing, had to be helped from the water and could barely walk/drive home. And stairs were going to be hard, needed to go to a doctor, etc. Nice.   He wasn’t eaten by a shark so I felt justified in being more annoyed by the fact that I asked you not to go and you ignored me and now you were hurt just enough to be a pain in the a**.

Sure enough. He hobbled in. Doctor would tell him to stay off his leg. Possibly needed physical therapy, blah, blah….Of course, this also meant that he couldn’t help me with Storm.  Like carry the 50lb dog up and down the stairs or in and our of my car…for the next 6 weeks or something.

So I took care of Storm from that day on. He came with me and Angelus to work now. Stayed with us in my office. I took them for walks by myself. He became my dog. I cared for him when he was hurt.  He knew it. Very simple in the dog world.

I know he loves his Dad. But he can’t live without, or stand being apart from, his Mom. These guys mean the world to me. They make every day a good day. :)

You can follow their exploits on twitter: @mr_angelus and @stormdevil

Or on dogster:

http://www.dogster.com/dogs/114743

http://www.dogster.com/dogs/114778

This is Storm with his cast on and a pic of Angelus & Storm together (they don’t do THAT often!)

Storm with his cast

Storm with his cast

Storm & Angelus

Storm & Angelus