Posted in Pets

Franklin’s Wellness Check

The first week of July, Franklin had his first official wellness visit. We took a recommendation for a vet. It’s a twenty minute ride and, unfortunately, was the same day as a mega thunderstorm. Franklin was less than amused at being in the car that long. But, he held his own.
It was a late day appointment and, because of the severe weather, we had to leave rather early. I wanted to avoid the majority of the storm. This also meant that their were several patients there already- three small dogs and a puppy. The puppy’s owner was more concerned with his phone than us, but, I saw the exchanged glances from the small dog parents. A pitbull had arrived and they were nervous.
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Posted in Pets

Franklin Firsts

It hasn’t been too long since Mr. Franklin joined our home. He is already defying the odds.

They told us he’d never be able to walk up stairs. Truth be told, he doesn’t always walk. Sometimes, he takes them 2 at a time, in a jump.

They’d told us that we needed to be careful with his paws. He was skittish about them and got fearful. Now, he rather enjoys ‘holding hands’. It took a few days. Initially, he’d pull back. After showing him that we would never hurt his big, beautiful feet, he willing lets us pet them.

They told us multiple spots on his body would remain hairless due to injury and the depth to which the ticks had burrowed. As of today, he has regrown the hair over all but the 2 deepest wounds.

They told us his energy level would probably be low and that he may only go out two or three times daily. Well, he walks hourly to keep him moving and limber plus a walk to the mailbox everyday. The last 2 nights, he has broken into a full run with my son on his last potty of the night. Low energy? Yes, he naps, but he also can jump on beds and the couch.

They said he was too anxious to gain weight or sleep properly. He had been hesitant to eat at the rescue, barely eating what was in front of him and scarfing it down rapidly when he did. Now, he is eating the vet recommended 2-1/2 cups daily and sleeps straight through the night. His eating is slowing enough where we can see him chewing and he drinks more than enough water.

They said he’d had no training, was used to pottying where he pleased, that it would be hard to housebreak him. He’s had one accident in the house and it was technically my fault for losing track of time. We took him out hourly for the first 2 days and rewarded with a treat for every successful trip. He is a food motivated learner. It really took 2 days, no crate, to housebreak him.

I take no credit for any of his achievements. I have to put the credit where it’s due. The Lord was with us from the beginning and Franklin, himself, gets the rest of the credit. After having been through so much, all the abuse and neglect he endured, including the not-so-nice pick-up he got from Animal Control, all he wants to do is love and be loved. I can dig that feeling.

If any animal has a right to hold a grudge, it’s Franklin. But, he doesn’t. There’s no anger, no aggression, no bad attitude. He is so thankful for everything he gets. Every treat, every feeding, we get kisses beyond belief and nuzzles. He adores being called a ‘good boy’ and his tail will wag until he’s ready to take flight. Whoever gave up on him/abused him/threw him away like garbage, made an epic mistake. He is AMAZING.

We still have some hurdles. He has nightmares. It’s sad. He’ll curl up and fuss sometimes during sleep. He has no idea how to play. We’re working with a tennis ball and he is now to the point where he picks it up in his mouth then immediately drops it. Hey, it’s closer than we were a week ago. Until he’s ready, there’s a stuffed Lambchop and some chew toys waiting patiently. We’ll get there.

Posted in Pets

More of Franklin

After the visit, we had a waiting period to hear whether or not we’d be with Franklin. I had all my paperwork in order. I researched every article on Lyme I could find. The most promising tid bit that I learned was that he could fully recover with proper nutrition, love, and a low anxiety environment. That was amazing news and something I’d not been aware of previously. We’d been provided with his basic necessities. We felt we were 100% ready.

The staff called on a Friday morning, telling me to ‘Come get my boy.’ We were excited, nervous, anxious- all at once. Before I came in, they told me I’d need to spend a few minutes with the attending vet. My heart sank. But, they didn’t want to explain on the phone.

When we got there, the vet met us to explain. The night before, he’d been part of a walk around the grounds. Coming down a gravel hill, his legs had buckled in the back. He fell. When they brought him in, he was fearful and didn’t want them touching him. I was not deterred. I thanked the staff for all the info. We went in the morning. I had been provided with his basic necessities. So, with a new collar & leash, my son & I walked in. We were more nervous than anyone! Honestly, I worried that he would even remember us. That first day, it couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes together.

The rescue was busy with volunteers and a few people who’d just had to surrended their animals. No judgement, but, it was SAD. I caught glimpses of him as the door would open & close. Finally, I heard the volunteers wishing him well and telling him his new mom was outside. Whether or not he understood, I’m not sure. But, the Franklin who walked out of that cage was a new dog! He was doing the full body wag. Darn right, he remembered us. He ran straight to us for pets and kisses.

They handed me his file which looked much more like a textbook. All his medical info, etc. Goodness! It was a lot. We thanked everyone and walked Franklin out of the resuce to a new life. He jumped in the car. I wasn’t sure what kind of car dog he’d be because I don’t know if he’s been in one other than the animal control vehicle. Regardless, he never looked back. He stuck his nose out of the window, smelled everything, and only let out a noise one time at a traffic light.

To Be Continued……


Posted in Pets

Hey, It’s Franklin!

I’ve always loved dogs. I was devastated to have to start a new life without my fur babies. But, when life gives you lemons, well, you know. Recently, I have been in contact with a number of rescue organizations seeing where I could be of the most help. It’s not always an easy sell, having to explain the nature of my disability. Rescues want, need, help, but they are hesitant to allow someone who may be a hinderance join in.

So, recently, I came across some info about some dogs who needed help. Dogs with a past seldom do well in a shelter/kennel environment. Volunteers do their best. They are passionate and love unconditionally. But, sometimes, there are dogs who are at the point where they need something extra. Something personal. Volunteers can only do so much, especially when they have 15 or more dogs who are starved for attention.

I talked with my son. We agreed that we had the time, space, and most of all, passion, to help. We did the paperwork and went to the organization that needed the most help. They were all pit bulls- pure bred & mixed. We prayed that God would point us in the right direction. A meet-and-greet was arranged. After pouring over the paperwork, we had carefully chosen a few that would be a good match based on needs & size. We aren’t equipped to handle a dog that’s aggressive. That was the main limitation. Looks are irrelevant. But, I can’t have a safety concern with a 16 year old here.

The day came. We went to the facility, armed with open hearts and our list of potential new friends. As my son & I had discussed, we aren’t replacing the two we lost. We were meeting someone new. We checked in with the staff who were expecting us. We began the meetings.

Sitting on the bench outside, friend #1 arrived. He was a beautiful pup, 3 years old, background unknown. He was, however, a ball of energy and a non-stop barker. He had very little interest in new people, just wanted to run. No problem. Friend #2. This beautiful girl was an all black, pure breed. Very sweet. But, she decided to take up residence underneath the bench, out of the sun. We laughed. She was very sweet and had been dumped by an owner who decided she’d served her breeding purposes. Poor baby. Despite her relative shyness, we didn’t feel she really wanted to be with us.

At this point, one of the really experienced volunteers stepped forward. He said he had a very special boy in mind for us, if we’d like to meet him. We were game. Franklin, the volunteer said, had been through it! Poor guy had been dumped at some point in his life, onto a major interstate. About three months ago, someone had seen him taking refuge in a grassy area near the interstate. He was covered head to toe, almost literally, in ticks. He’d had some lacerations on his face, obvious marks from other dogs. Twelve pounds under weight, timid, and scared.

One other thing: he has Lyme disease. Dear God, I wondered, how many trials can one dog withstand? I asked questions, some stupid ones, about Lyme disease. No, he can’t pass it on. No, it’s not to the fatal point so he isn’t a hospice case. I looked at my son who nodded confidently. We did want to meet Sir Franklin. They mentioned that other than these facts, they knew very little of Franklin. I had seen him briefly on their website. But, none of that was listed. We had made note of others. I was guilty of overlooking him.

When the volunteer reemerged, beside him was this beautiful, blond baby doll. Franklin gave us that notorious pit bull smile. He made a beeline for my son, placing his head unto his leg. Then, he turned and looked at me. I was in love. I’ve taught my son how to pet a dog who has been abused in his past, slowly, side of the face. As he began to pet Franklin, angel boy closed his eyes and placed his total trust in us.

To be continued……….

Posted in Pets

A Week of Doggie Drama

Last week was a challenge. That’s the most ladylike way I can describe it. Awful. My dogs have adjusted to one another and as far as they went, there were no issues. I’d been pretty wrapped up in helping our youngest wade through geometry (which he is horribly struggling with). The dogs were fine.

Well, that all changed on Thursday. After lunch, I trimmed both their nails. Obviously, Butter’s are significantly easier than Buster’s. We do his first. After doing hers, we set her down and Buster went over to her. He began licking her ear. Halfheartedly, I told him to stop. He didn’t. In fact, within a few minutes, she was soaked in Buster spittle. Gross.
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Posted in Holidays, Home, Pets

The Chiweenie Ate My Blistex and Other Strange Things From Yesterday

This month has been filled with depression for me. Excluding a few highlights, my son turning 16 for example, it’s been drab. However, yesterday was a real pip.

The day started out filled with physical, whole body pain. My ever faithful companions, Buster & Butter, were attached to my side all day. The funny things began almost immediately. I credit The Lord for knowing I needed a good, strong laugh yesterday. While I was attempting, futilely, to get housework done, I noticed the Chiweenie (Butter) was nowhere in sight. Butter is a hide-and-seek pro. My son & I called for her. Nothing. Finally, I resorted to asking, yes asking literally, Buster. If you ask him ‘Where’s the baby?’ or ‘Where’s the Chiweenie?’, he will find her, no matter what. So, I said, ‘Buster, where’s the baby?’

Immediately, he ran down the hall & stood at my son’s door. Hmm. Odd. No one was in there. I trust Buster so I went in. Turning on the light, I saw nothing. I said her name, she pops up from under the comforter, tail wagging, quite pleased. You’ve won hide-and-seek. Well played, Butter. Well played. The look on her face showed her glee.

I then went in search of my Blistex. Stupid winter chapped lips. I couldn’t find it. I knew where I’d left it. It has to be placed up high. Both dogs enjoy the scent of its orange/mango tube. Reluctantly, I sent a text to the hubs. Where’s my Blistex? A dramatic pause later led to a simple text: The Chiweenie ate the Blistex.

Apparently, when he woke up that morning, he took the dogs out and Butter came in first. While he was tending to Buster, she somehow, some way, launched herself onto the dresser and devoured said Blistex. When he came into the room, she had Blistex all over her face. None was ingested. It just ended up as a furry, Blistex face mask. Wow, just wow. We laughed until we cried. On the bright side, she smelled magnificent.

More doggie fun arrived along with USPS and an Amazon Prime box. This one is all Buster. Saturday night, my husband & I had chosen a few gifts for the pups for Christmas. We have a good grasp on what they prefer to play with. Mostly, they LOVE rubber chickens. We saw a multi-pack of chickens on Amazon and they arrived yesterday afternoon. My husband put the box with various other presents after having opened it. The dogs hadn’t seemed to pay much attention to the delivery.

After dinner, we were all sitting around and someone asked where Buster was. Right on cue, he marches out of the room with the bag of rubber chickens hanging from the corner of his mouth! A circus of running, Scooby Doo style, room after room chasing a dog carrying chickens ensued. Eventually, his plans were thwarted and the chickens were returned to their place. However, 15 minutes later he returned carrying the Prime box. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it. RIP Prime box. He ripped it to shreds as if some more chickens would appear.

We laughed all night. The look on his face was a mix of pride and a ornery grin. Maybe we should have written Do Not Open Until Christmas? Regardless, I know that these two are a gift from God. They make me laugh even when I don’t want to. They make me get out of my funk because they need me to. I love them so much!

Posted in Faith, Pets

Who Do You Yell For When You’re Scared?

When I’ve been in scary situations, usually the first thing I yell is ‘Jesus!’. Not in a cursing way, of course, but as in ‘Jesus, help me!’ Sometimes the danger has only been perceived, but, when I’ve slid on ice with the truck, fallen, or otherwise hurt myself, I yell for My Savior.

That’s why I was quite surprised at myself the other night. Actually, more mad than surprised. It was late. I was sitting on the couch reading with Buster next to me. He began fussing about, sniffing the air and such. I tried to calm him, but he was noticeably agitated.

Seconds late, some kind of bug that I’m calling a beetle hybrid, landed on me. Instantly, I screamed like a small child. But, who I yelled for was Buster. In fact, it was ‘Buster, help!’ Immediately, he leapt from the couch, grabbed the bug (without even nipping my shirt or me), threw it to the ground and ripped it in half.

I was startled. He was quite pleased with himself, even walking to the kitchen for a ‘Good boy treat.’ I gave him one of course. After all, he did save the day (I guess). But, after congratulating him on his victory featuring a fatality (the bug), I begin to think about the whole incident.

On one hand, I was thrilled that Buster had done what I’d always hoped he would. Pit bulls get a bad rep in general, though I’ve never met a ‘bad’ one yet. I had always assumed that if I needed Bus he’d be there. He was. I am grateful. But, it also made me look at myself in a different way.

Why didn’t I call out to Jesus? Was it because it was a very simple, earthly type problem? One I could easily rectify? Yes, it was a very silly problem. It was a less than 2 inch bug that simply startled me- without malice. But, why did I yell for Buster? I was kind of disappointed in myself.

I don’t want to put Jesus in a ‘box’. He shouldn’t only be called on for the big stuff. My initial reaction should have been ‘Jesus, help me!’ True, I believe Buster was a gift from God. He has been my friend, companion, laughter, and snuggle buddy. He has been an agent of joy and peace- both emotions are God-given. But, Buster isn’t the go-to answer. Jesus should be and should’ve been.

So, lesson learned. It made me very conscious of my priorities and taking simple problems to God. I hope, that should a similar situation arrive, my first instinct will be to call on the Lord first. Buster may be a major league protector of the house (& me), but he isn’t the one to take my problems to. Jesus is.