After adopting six month old Jack from the Humane Society three years ago, we were quickly educated in some new facts of doggy life. Part Pit Bull, part Boxer, part Shar-Pei, and part hound meant that Jack was (and is) a whole lot more energetic than eight year old Black Lab, Shadow. And I do mean a lot more energetic. Think Robin Williams on an overdose of caffeine and speed and you kind of get the picture of what our life was like for the next couple of years. Even our veterinarian was stunned and put him on Prozac for awhile.
In addition to the excessive energy, Jack was also a very headstrong puppy. Time outs in the bathroom were halted after the second try…because he was eating the wood trim around the doorway. Unfortunate but true. He also liked to eat shoes, socks, tissues, the leg off a pair of blue jeans, most of a small tractor tire, one plastic spoon, and a variety of other non-food items. He even tried to eat a pushpin my daughter dropped one day, but apparently thought better of it after the first chew. I’m fairly sure that if someone could check, they would find he’s part goat, too.
Jack in his temporary bed-before he learned to stop eating things that could hurt him
My guy also hates water, no matter what form it comes in (except for drinking, of course). If it’s raining, you literally need two people to get him outside, one to push and one to pull. And then he will baptize our porch rather than spend any longer outside than he has to. Needless to say, our porch has seen more than its fair share of soap and disinfectant. We have to go through the same routine with baths, which he looks upon as cruel and unusual punishment.
The biggest surprise, however, is that he seems to think he’s a poodle trapped in an almost hundred pound body. Why? Because Jack likes sitting on laps. Not all that much fun for lap owners. Especially not for the little ten year old visitor he took a liking to.
So it’s been very interesting being his ‘parent.’ But I fell in love with him the second I laid eyes on him, and that hasn’t changed. In fact, I didn’t really know how much he meant to me until this afternoon.
Jack has some skin allergy issues and, periodically, needs to be treated with antibiotics and Prednisone. So it was back to the vet this afternoon. This was a new doctor in the practice, and one we hadn’t seen before. Without benefit of another skin test, she thought he might have something called mites, and tried a different flea medicine on him. By the time we got home, maybe a five mile drive, Jack was sleeping.
This might not alarm other pet owners, but it sure concerned me. Jack never sleeps in the car. He’s too busy looking out windows, panting like he’s just run ten miles, and crying because he wants to play with every person and animal he sees.
At home, he barely made it out of the car, and then couldn’t walk at all, finally sinking to the grass while I frantically called the vet’s office. She advised us to wash the medicine off his back (no easy task since he was lying beside the driveway), then…if we could get him back in the car, to return to the office so she could check him out.
If. Yeah, right. Jack was getting back in the car if we had to pick him up and put him in ourselves!
Once there, she found that his heart rate was half what it was less than thirty minutes before, and wanted me to leave him for a couple of hours. She promised he would be fine, but wanted monitor him, give him a really good bath to make sure any residue from the medicine was dealt with, and to give him something to counteract the frightening side effects.
Leaving, I felt like I was abandoning one of my kids. I managed to hold off for forty-five minutes before I was calling to check on him, and could hardly wait to pick him up so I could see for myself that he was still breathing.
On the way home I had to keep fighting tears (not cool to cry and drive at the same time). Just the thought of not having Jack in my life hurt. I know that someday he won’t be, but I sure hope it’s a long time coming.
For now I’m just going to enjoy him and be happy he’s home. Even though he’s still acting like he’s a little drunk. That should wear off by morning (I hope!). I might even break my rule and let him sleep with me tonight. Just to keep an eye on him, of course.
Please check out a video that was done for a shelter. The song was written by a brand new friend, and sung by a very old and dear friend. And please, consider rescuing a pet from the shelter, pound and Humane Society. They will change your life…for the better.
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Hi, Amy…it sure was! But it sounds like you’ve had as much fun with Buster as we have with Jack. I have to say that life is much easier now that he’s stopped eating everything in sight. We used to worry if we would have to take him in for surgery to remove some obstruction in his stomach!
We wound up with Shadow, after she wandered away from home. A woman who worked at the pound knew the owners, and knew they were trying to find a home for her because they had to move. Fortunately that home was with us. (and we’re not even going to discuss the stray cats around here, lol, I have a zoo!)
Wow! What a frightening day for you and Jack. I’m so glad that he’s recovering. Your description of your experiences with Jack remind me a lot of our years with Buster, the German Shepherd we took in off the street three years ago. We’ve had a few scares ourselves – as most pet owners have – and I know how gut-wrenching it is. Sometimes I guess we need a reminder of how fragile we are.