I have three dogs–all rescues. Abby is 7. She was kept in a cage for the first 9 months of her life. My vet called me and told me I needed to go get her. I had just lost a beautiful female Mini Schnauzer named Holly. But I told him at the time I was done–no more puppies. I had Holly’s half-brother, Flop, and I was going to stay with one dog. Too much heartache. Well, Flop got so sick from missing Holly that he developed diabetes. When Doc called me and told me to come and get this puppy, I said I would go over and see her. She was terrified of people. When I picked her up, she tried to bite me, and she shook the whole time I held her. She was so cute and so pathetic that I had to take her home. I asked Doc why he called me. He said he knew I wouldn’t hurt her.
Well, Abby is still a challenge. She’s the only dog I ever seriously thought about trying to find another home for. She has a lot of issues. But I love her, and I was afraid someone else might hurt her or kill her. Yes, she’s that difficult. She is seriously never still unless she is asleep. When she gets excited, her whole body shakes furiously. She is totally stubborn and refuses to try to learn commands. But she’s incredibly smart, and it took her about three seconds to figure out the puzzle game that I bought recently. And that face!
When I moved to Colorado, I had Abby and Flop in tow. The move was too much for Flop. He spent more time in the animal hospital than at home. They could not get his diabetes regulated (he had been on insulin for 2 years). Eventually, it was obvious that he had no quality of life. The morning he wouldn’t eat, I knew his time was coming. I took him to the emergency room and they kept him overnight, but he did not improve. I had to make the decision to sit with him while he was euthanized. The whole clinic was in tears. He was a favorite of the staff–his tail wagged constantly, right up until he took his last breath. Once again, I swore I would not get another dog.
After Flop died, Abby would go upstairs, hop onto the bed, look into the mirror and cry. It was another heartbreak. I started to look for a puppy because I was afraid she would get sick like Flop did after Holly died. I called around about Mini Schnauzer puppies (they are hypoallergenic) and one woman I called told me about a neighbor who had one puppy that they left outside all day and night in an enclosure with no grass–just dirt–and a small dog house. She said she had talked to the neighbor, and she apparently didn’t really want the puppy. She gave me the number and I made arrangements to go see him.
He was 6 months old, and I would have brought him home even if I didn’t like him. I called my vet on the way home and told him I was bringing him right there because I didn’t want to take him home if he was not well or had any problems like worms, etc. Amazingly enough, he was healthy and had no issues. I named him Fred (don’t ask my why–I have no real idea). His big problem is that he is very clingy. He wants to be the only one who gets any attention, and he will shove the other two out of the way. I’m sure he got no attention where he was.
For 5 years, it was me and two dogs. Then, when I retired in May, I decided I would foster dogs in need. I went through the home visit and the background check, etc. Then I went to pick up my first foster. When I got to the shelter, the foster coordinator asked me if I would meet a different dog from the one I was going to pick up. She brought out this little ball of white, fluffy fur. Buttercup (what I named her after my neighbor came over to meet her and said “What’s up Buttercup,” and then The Princess Bride was on TV that evening. It was a sign, but I digress…) was so cute, but it was obvious she didn’t know what to do with people or other dogs. They think she is part Bichon Frise and maybe some Poodle? Hard to tell…
This poor puppy was a stray, and there’s no telling how long she had been out on her own. She had a burr in her front paw that was infected. They estimated she was about 6 months old, and she had not been spayed. They needed someone like me who could take her in for her surgeries and check-ups. Of course, I brought her home. She wouldn’t let me near her, and she stayed away from Abby and Fred for the first day–until the evening. She all of a sudden jumped up on my lap and looked into my face with her so cute eyes–and when I petted her, I could feel every rib under all that fur. She had her surgeries, and I was prepared to have to give her up when someone decided to adopt her. Then, on her last post-surgical check-up, she contracted kennel cough, and of course my other two got it. All three ended up on antibiotics. By the time everyone was well, Buttercup was just part of the family, so I adopted her. She has food guarding issues, so that’s a bit of a challenge, but we deal with it. She also hunts bugs, rolls on them to kill them, and then eats them. I’m guessing that was her protein when she had no one to feed her.
Having three dogs can be tricky. I only have two hands, and when they all want attention I have to use a foot or an elbow or something to make sure they all get some love. Luckily, they tend to play themselves out to the point of exhaustion, and then I get some time to relax.
I am grateful that I have these three little sweethearts to keep me company. And I’m thankful that they ended up in my home. Challenging as they all are, I wouldn’t want them to be anywhere else!