American Shelter Dog

JD is a true American Shelter Dog. He was brought to the shelter along with his siblings when they were very young. He and his sister, Emma, were the runts of the group and just under 2 lbs. The rescue I adopted him from made sure to send puppy pictures. He was such a tiny, little thing.

 

Working From Home

To help JD adjust to his new life as part of the family, I started working from home more. I have a pretty sweet set up that includes a standing desk and an anti-fatigue mat.

JD really likes the mat.

He definitely helps me stand in unusual ways to keep my legs from getting tired!

First Puppy Injury

Two days after Not Dill Or Grizzly had his first vet visit, he had his second one. Turns out puppies play hard and can get injured. Somehow, Not Dill Or Grizzly had injured his eye.

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Thankfully, the vet fit us in right away. They did a thorough check which involved numbing it, dying it, checking for scratches and foreign objects and lots of flushing. All on a very wiggly puppy. Nothing was scratched and nothing foreign showed up, but we went home with some eye drops that cleared everything up very quickly.

TIP: when putting eye drops in a puppy’s eye – wait until they are VERY tired. I got very good at it.

The best part of the vet visit was it was another excuse to bring Not Dill Or Grizzly to the office. And once again, he loved it. In particular, he was starting to love napping under my desk.

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He also learned that he could let me know when he was ready to leave at the end of the day. He would just pick up his leash and head for the door.

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This vet visit and office visit also marked the day he officially became JD.

Office Puppy

Less than 24 hours after adopting To Be Named, I introduced him to the office. I wasn’t planning on bringing him to work, but a meeting needed to be re-scheduled for his first day as part of the family, and turns out I needed to be at the meeting.

How did he do?

Fantastic. He spent most of the time meeting people and while I was in my meeting, he peacefully slept in a co-workers office. (She insisted on puppy-sitting.)

Everyone had lots of suggestions on what To Be Named should be named. Two of my favorites: Dill and Grizzly.

Dill or even Dill Pickles was a shortened version of his rescue name of Dylan.

Grizzly was to honor Bear. It was an awesome suggestion. The only downside was To Be Named isn’t very grizzly like. But than again, Bear wasn’t very bear like.

To Be Named made another appearance at the office the following week. He had his first vet visit, which meant he got to spend the rest of the day with me at work. What did he do?

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Sleep.
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Carefully watch me in the kitchen.
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Find the best places to chill outside.
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Lots and lots of sleeping.

Needless to say – he was doing well at the office. I think Bear would be a little proud.

Coming home

It was less than a week after the puppy play date that the puppy, also known as AKA, joined our little family.

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River and him spent most of the first night playing. River was so excited to have a new play toy pup to play with. But sometimes, she needed a break. AKA was pretty good at giving her her space. AKA was pretty good at throwing a toy at her and encouraging her to play some more.

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River soon picked up on this trick when AKA needed a break.

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These two meshed really well. AKA even began to mimic River. I think he likes her.

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Puppy Play Date

During the adoption process, a plan was hatched to allow River and TBD to play. I was really interested to see how River interacted with the puppy off leash.

At first, there was a lot of sniffing and following around.

Once they started playing, it was amazing. River matched TBD’s energy perfectly. We then let TBD’s brother, Leo, into the mix. River’s energy level went up a bit, but for the most part it was still really good.  After a little bit, I asked River who she wanted: TBD or Leo. She did this:

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No joke – she went and laid down next to TBD when I asked her to choose.

And TBD responded:

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And he sat down next to her after she did.

They were official two peas in a pod.

The playing continued, and River was in puppy heaven.

But even with two puppies to choose from, River still had her favorite.

 

River’s choice

Sometimes, life surprises you.

I had no intention of adopting another dog so soon. River and I were just starting to settle into a nice routine. We were walking on a regular basis. I was starting to do chores I had neglected for years. Things were looking nice and normal.

I also never wanted to adopt a puppy. Puppies are for the young. I’m old and tire easily. Plus, I don’t have a lot of patience. And puppies require lots and lots of patience.

So, how did This Guy happen?

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This Guy

Well, its all because I started to walk River on a regular basis. We ended up meeting This Guy’s brother, Leo, who at the time was being fostered by a neighbor. River impolitely introduced herself and after the initial commotion, I learned River had no idea how to play with puppies. She was really rough. River and I even ran into Leo again the next day and River was worse. It was like she had forgotten she knew him.

A short while later, River met This Guy’s other brother, Sunny. He too was being fostered in the neighborhood (different neighbor). River did better, but was still really excited to meet Sunny.

And then the day happened when River met This Guy. He was being fostered by the same foster family that fostered Leo, who was now adopted by the family. Both pups had just finished a walk when River and I said hello. River responded the same excited way with Leo, but with This Guy she was different. She let him sniff all over her. He sat down, she sat down. He laid down, she laid down.

I think River was a bit smitten.

Not to mention This Guy was such a chill puppy. He had puppy energy, but it was really subdued. He mostly just sat or laid down while waiting for me and his foster mom to finish chatting.

It was only a couple days later I spotted the pups out for their nightly walk. River let me know they were walking by. I went out and asked what rescue they were with.

A week later, This Guy came home to his new family.

 

Four thousand eight hundred and twenty three (roughly)

Sorry to the regulars who read this (if you are still around). I dropped off the face of the earth for awhile. Keeping up with life just kept me busy.

But, it is time for an update.

And unfortunately, it is sad.

It has taken me way too long to write this. But here goes…

Four thousand eight hundred and twenty three.

That is roughly the number of days that have passed between the day I first met Bear and the day he crossed the rainbow bridge.

He had been doing really well…up until the moment he wasn’t. It sounds sudden, but in retrospect it wasn’t. He had lost his appetite and for a long time I did everything I could to convince him eating food was a good idea. It got to the point he was steadily loosing weight, refusing to eat anything (even freshly cooked meat) and we both knew, my poor pup was ready.

A week before, I brought him in for his regular laser visit and expressed my concern that he wouldn’t eat. They already had a suspicion – they had been watching his declining weight. And over the previous weeks I had dismissed their concerns with enthusiasm for all the new tricks I was using to try to get him to eat. But in reality, sometimes old dogs are just done. On that day, they took me aside and pretty much prepared me – if Bear won’t eat, prepare yourself.

I did. But I also pulled out all the stops. And for a few days, Bear ate. Then he stopped. On a weekend. (Why always on a weekend?) When Monday rolled around, I knew my boy was tired. I had been watching him like a hawk for a little under a week and I knew at that point he just wanted to sleep. I had never seen a truly tired dog until my last weekend with Bear. My heart broke for him.

I tell people Bear went on his on terms. They take that to mean he died in his sleep. He didn’t. But his spirit was fading. His body was fading. I wasn’t going to let him suffer any longer than he had to while he faded away.

Thankfully, during that last week I gave him a few lasts. Including his last time in the snow.

He refused to come inside.

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Bear’s last snow

 

Bear the bear

We don’t do halloween at my house. Not really into it. But I couldn’t resist turning Bear the dog into Bear the bear.

He was less than thrilled with this idea.

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