Thursday, March 3, 2016

Several years ago my walking partner was Naomi, and her dog, Dot.  The first time I had met Dot she was loose in the yard when my car pulled into the driveway.  She headed straight to me barking fiercely and I quickly jumped back in my car.  She scared the heck out of me.  Naomi got her pulled away and under control and I slowly put out my hand to meet Dot.

I made sure every time I went for a walk with Naomi and Dot that I had a treat for Dot.  I would take her a scrap of meat, a bone, a milk bone, always something so she would grow to love me.

When we walked Dot sometimes jumped up at me and nipped at my hair or ear.  She was so cute.  If we walked past a mud puddle she would open her mouth like a bucket and drink from the puddle.  She had to poop on just about everything; I’ve never know a dog who liked to poop so much.

Once when we were out by the dam Dot jumped up at me and knocked the lens right out of my glasses.  I watched as it tumbled into the deep water below up.  Oh well, so much for those prescription glasses.

Dot grew older and Naomi had to work more and couldn’t take Dot for many walks so I would arrive at the house and open the door, let Dot out of her cage and we would take a walk by ourselves.  The older she got the slower she became.  Her nails got so long and the last time I remember walking her I knew she was in great pain from the nails.

I felt so bad for her living in a dog house chained to it or in a kennel in a garage.  I wished she had been my dog so I could keep her close to me.

Naomi and her family moved across the lake and I didn’t see them for a while.  She rode by on her bike one day and I was working out in my garden.  She had to tell me that Dot was gone.  I know I cried.  She was such a wonderful dog.  I had so often wished that she had been my dog.

Several years later when I was working as the secretary at school my boss, the Principal, asked if I knew anyone who wanted a dog.  It seems as though his daughter was getting married and the man she was marrying already had a dog and her dog didn’t get along with it.  They were looking for a home for the dog.  He showed me the photo and I couldn’t resist that adorable little face.  I put up the posters and asked everyone if they wanted a dog.
About two months later the Principal told me they were taking the dog to the kennel on Monday if they didn’t find a home for the dog.  I went home and asked the hubster if we could try out the little dog.  He agreed after a very long discussion.

After work on Friday I went with my boss to his house to pick up the dog.  Her name was Jessie and she was three years old.  She had been enclosed in the hallway in the basement and when the gate came down up she bounded.  She saw me and hunkered down and gave me the cutest roar I had ever heard from a dog.

She came close and jumped and put her front paws on their dining room table and I admonished her.  “Good girls don’t get up.  Down.”

I got down and began to pet her and she was such a wiggle worm.  She had to go outside to pee.  I was impressed that she went out unleashed and came right back in.

“Well what do you think?” my boss asked me.

I told him we would give it a try for the weekend.

Jessie got right into the truck and was excited to be going for a ride.  It was to be the first of many, many rides we would take together.

The hubster wasn’t impressed with Jessie.  He said he was pretty sure he was allergic to her.  I took her for a walk and it was not a good sign.  We met a dog and its owner walking and Jessie walked right up and bit the dog.  I could have died.  I explained to the owner that I didn’t own this dog.  I was just borrowing her for a walk.  We got around the block and sure enough another dog came bounding out of its territory and came up to Jessie who tried to bite it.

I was very discouraged.  I couldn’t understand this dog and her aggression.  I realized much later that she was protecting me, her master.

Jessie was very strange with the hubster.  He would get up to walk through the kitchen and she would bite at his sweat pants.  He was not taking to the dog at all.
We went to bed that night and I put Jessie’s little bed beside me on the floor.  I didn’t sleep well that night for worrying that she would have to get up to go outside.  She slept the entire night in her bed.
I worked in the garden the next day and Jessie stayed right by my side.  I was so impressed with this little dog.  We took a walk again and this time she didn’t bite any other dogs. 

Sunday came and I kept expecting the dog’s owner to call me to pick up the dog.  It was late in the evening and I finally called her.  She had misunderstood that I would call her not the other way.  It was too late and I kept Jessie again overnight.

I had to work the next day and so did the hubster.  Jessie would be staying in our house alone all day.  I was so nervous.  What if she ate the furniture, what if she pottied all over the house?  I got home at 4 that afternoon and she met me at the door.  The house was intact, no messes, no potty accidents.  She went outside and did her business.  All was well.
I don’t know if we decided on keeping Jessie or if we just got accustomed to her being around but Jessie stayed with us.  The hubster was probably allergic to her but after a while he grew to love her as much as I did.

I had never heard of a Mountain Cur dog breed before and I didn’t think Jessie was such a pretty dog.  My mind was changed by what I consider a visit from an angel.
My almost brand new dishwasher was not working properly.  I called the company that we purchased it from and asked if someone could come out and take a look.  The next day my doorbell rang and it was a young man who told me his truck was in the shop and he had driven his car.  His name was Brian and he was to look at my dishwasher.  Jessie was beside me and I tried to keep her back but she jumped up on Brian’s knee when he stooped down to check the dishwasher.

I apologized to him and told him I had just gotten the dog and she didn’t have very good manners.  He told me it was all right and proceeded to pet and love on Jessie.  He asked what kind of dog she was and I told him a Mountain Cur.  He said he thought so.  His parents raised Mountain Curs at his home in Ohio.  I was amazed.  He told me that they are vicious hunters.  He told me once his parents were walking one of their curs and a raccoon tried to attack them.  He said the cur took the raccoon’s head into her mouth and killed it instantaneously.  He told me that Jessie was so beautiful.  That there aren’t many blonde curs left.

Well Brian didn’t fix my dish washer but he gave me a new appreciation for my little dog.

A couple of days later, my door bell rang again.  There was a service truck in my driveway and a guy with the name “Brian” on his work shirt.  I was baffled.  He said he was Brian with the company we had purchased the dishwasher from and was here to look at my dishwasher.  I told him about the other Brian and he said he didn’t know anything about it.  They hadn’t sent anyone out from the store.

Brian number two fixed my dishwasher but I was still left astonished.

I got a message from Jessie’s previous owner.  She told me Jessie’s history.  She had been born to a breeder and the breeder was going to keep her to breed puppies because she was so beautiful.  The lady got very ill and couldn’t keep the puppy and so Jessie’s first master had taken her.  He name was originally Dot but they changed it to Jessie.

My Dot had come back to me.  I should have left her name to be Dot but she was used to Jessie and I couldn’t change it.

Jessie is a blonde cur and has a white line down the center of her face which is a white mask.  She has a big white dot on her forehead.  She is a lovely cur.

About a year into our ownership of Jessie she started peeing blood.  I took her to the vet and they determined she had bladder stones.  She had an intense surgery where they had to scrape her bladder because she had so many bladder stones.  She went on a Science Dogfood diet and could eat nothing else. Of course, we still gave her food scraps and treats.
Jessie and I took many truck rides, went on too many walks to enumerate, and had so many adventures.  She wasn’t the lovingingess dog.  She never licked me or wanted to hug.  When I sat in my lounge chair to watch tv she would climb into my lap and sit for ear rubs and butt scratches.

She did eventually end up in our bed.  Once when I travelled to Ohio for a weekend, she climbed into the bed and the hubster missed me and just let her stay, and hugged her instead.  She came to hogging the bed.  She wanted her nose to touch him and her butt to touch me and would not learn to sleep lengthwise.

The hubster had aquariums when we first got Jessie and when he cleaned them she “chased snakes”.  The tube from the aquarium to the sink filled with water and occasionally pulled out a hunk of moss or fish poop and Jessie would see it and chase it to the sink.  It was adorable.  She would grasp the tube in her mouth but never broke it with her teeth.  I think she came to know when it was Sunday and the day to chase snakes.

Another of our little activities was for her to “find her food”.  She was getting too fat because we spoiled her with whatever she wanted.  Her first cup of food she would have to find.  Dad would throw a piece of food into the living room and she would have to go find it.  Or she would have to shake and give a “high five” before she got a piece of food.  We had dog food bits all over the living room.  It was like the Easter Egg hunt of dogfood.

Jessie never really barked a lot but she did roar.  When we got home or if someone came to visit she would do a downward dog position and “roar”.

She was also a tummy rub whore.  When the hubster got up to get ready for work in the mornings he would just have to look her way and over she rolled to get a tummy rub.  Whenever we met little children on our walks she would immediately roll to her back for a tummy rub from them.

Jessie began to slow down about a year or so before we knew she was ill.  Our walks used to be two to three miles but slowed down to the mile around the block.  She got slower and slower and I ended up pulling the dog around the block.

When she first refused to eat we knew something was seriously wrong. She was such a chow hound.  It all started when she came in one evening from being out side in the cold and she was bleeding all over the kitchen.  I stopped the bleeding and found she had lost a toenail on her back paw.  For the next week she limped and then began to refuse food.  I made special food for her out of tuna fish, peas and rice.  I took her to the vet and got an appointment with not our usual vet.  He checked her out and said she had very bad arthritis.  He prescribed a medication for her arthritis.   She ate the medication willingly but didn’t get better.  When she started refusing food entirely I took her back and got an appointment with our regular vet.

She did an ultrasound and found that Jessie had a mass growth on her liver.  She explained that a biopsy of the liver was a complicated surgery and that if it was cancer she had very little chance of surviving.  The hubster and I decided that Jessie wouldn’t go through another surgery and that we would keep her home and make her as comfortable as possible.

She was still able to go outside and do her business but she didn’t eat anything.  I purchased a little syringe and fed her the meds and some babyfood.  She was sick to her stomach a lot and I cleaned up a bunch of dog puke.  I started giving her Pepto Bismol to help with her stomach problems.  She didn’t poop for a good two weeks.  When she did it was diarrhea.

The day came when I could take no more of her suffering.  I was forcing her to eat when she didn’t want to.  She was forced to take medicine that she didn’t want. When she went outside she just wandered as far as possible and I had to herd her back to the house.  Getting up the steps to the front door was a challenge and I had to lift her little feet to get her inside.  She lost so much weight that in the end I could pick her up and carry her.
We made arrangements with our vet to come to the house and assess her situation.  The vet told us that her liver mass was critical and her kidneys were shutting down.  She hadn’t peed in two days.

The vet gave her a sedative and Jessie’s breathing calmed down.  We petted her and loved her and then the vet gave her the injection to end her life.  We were all crying and little Jessie said “Adieu.”

They rolled her up into a blanket and took her away in the vet’s vehicle.  They will call when she has been cremated and they make a little heart with her paw print on it for us.

My heart is broken.  The hubster is a mess too.  He wants to get another dog but I just don’t think I can at this point.  She was such a special little dog for me.

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