Monday, February 26, 2007

if the first step is admitting you have a problem... then lets get this post started by saying:
"Hello, my name is Virginia & i am a dog rescue addict."

There, are you happy?! I've admitted it.
& even though i have put a link to Petfinder on both of my blogs, i'm seriously considering locking myself out of that wonderful site.

It happened like this: last week i was cruising around on Petfinder, you know, like you do. I was looking idly at extra large dogs, cause even though Budgth & Spike make me very happy, i still find myself very much missing the bulk of a large dog in my life. I had been getting a massage two weeks ago, when i was at my Mom's house & the masseuse commented on the large knot in my back, on my left side, just behind my heart. I told her "that's my Barnaby lump" and just started crying.
I really miss that big dog.
I was telling the above story to Lee, my Mom's partner just after i had my massage & Lee just sort of blurted out: "you need a Wolfhound! Or a mastiff. A big dog. You need a big dog in your life again." And then we both got sort of misty eyed.

So, a week or so later, i'm wasting time on Petfinder & i see him: Rufus. A mastiff/lab mix. In Cincinnati. (which for reasons i can't quite comprehend, Petfinder considers local for me. It's 250 miles away people).

I was instantly smitten. I spent hours filling out the online application. I sent bonus pictures. I whine & beg & plead. I do my whole "how can you resist my cuteness and charm" stitchk. And in only two or three days i managed to wear down the poor volunteer who was dealing with my emails. And in the end, i loaded a still sick, road weary Darrell & the rest of my pack into the truck & we set out on a rainy Saturday to "visit" Rufus.

As anyone who knows me could have told you, i fell in love at first site. Even Spike was impressed by Rufus. He's an awesome guy! A huge head, big ol' mastiff jowls, a silky funky coat that seems to be undecided if it belongs to a chocolate lab or a black mastiff. And these funky, slightly worrisome bowed back legs. We haven't determined if they are bowed because he's got some bully breed in the mix or if he was actually deformed by spending the first 18 months of his life mostly in a crate that was too small for him to stand up in.

But, regardless of his heritage or history, this man is 130lbs of cuddle,love, & drool, baby. Just an amazing, lovable mooosh. And he and Budgth are sooo damn cute together. Rufus/Haggis (of course we're trying to change his name: Rufus seems to mean red head and that this boy is not) will lie down flat on the couch or bed and sort of hop about, growling & wriggling as Budgth darts in close to wrestle with him. They wear each other out and then collapse into a big ol' puppy pile. Very cute. We're calling Haggis/Guinness "maxi-me" since Budgth was here first!

Spike is less enamored by this change. He's not sure he wants to give up his status as the "project dog" in our house. So Spike spends his time barking at Haggis, trying to get some sort of reaction from the big guy. But Haggis has the big dog blindness to all things small and yappy & Haggis just keeps on keeping on with whatever he's doing, despite Spike's very vocal objections to the process.

We're forming quite a pack here & it's pretty
damn awesome. I'm really enjoying this expanded dog life & hope that they all 3 work out. Though i must confess, if anyone's not going to make it in our pack it will probably be Spike, who still has issues with human strangers in his territory. Spike is also still fixated on cats, much to Rigel's annoyance.
We're taking the canine members of the pack to Boot Camp in two weeks. That's right. When D & i go down to Gulf Wars the dogs are going to Walton Mountain Canine Camp. This is a boarding and training facility about 40 miles from me. It's run by very cool folks who promise us that they'll not only keep my dogs happy & healthy while we're away, but for a modest additional charge, they'll also train them as well. How cool is that?!

We've told Spike it's his last chance with us. If Kimberly can't get him to behave with strangers (& Fred, who while technically not a stranger is stranger than most) (Fred, in addition to being our self appointed caretaker is also our very wonderful, fantastic, couldn't do without him dog sitter. Who Spike bit. Hard.) Anyway, if Spike can't figure out how to get along with Fred, then Spike is going back onto Petfinder-- we'll become his foster parents while looking for a forever home for him. We've been joking that because he doesn't seem to like men, he's obsessed with cats & he'd make a great squirrel or coon dog that he needs to find a home with a nice anti-social lesbian squirrel hunter who's allergic to cats. Shouldn't be too hard to find, should it?! If you know of anyone who meets this description, let me know, cause i have the dog for her!

In the meantime, i'm going to take a nap with Haggis/Guinness/Rufus etal.
(and of course, i'm happy to take name suggestions for the new big guy). We're also considering Alvin (from the hellhounds in Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job) or Al'am which is an Algonquin word for dog. Or CuMorDubh which is Gaelic for dogbigblack. or.... well, you get the idea.

Naptime for me & the dogs.
over & out for now!

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