Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reality Check Revisited

A couple of months back I made a post about an activity called "Reality Check" (http://brassbrassiere.blogspot.com/2012/09/reality-check.html). As expected, I received both accolades and criticism. I apparently stepped on a number of toes. The exercise was about me--not any specific person although many saw themselves in this little post.

I was very serious when I wrote that piece. My priorities are my husband, my 87 year-old uncle, my home, my puppies and my closest friends. 

Since that time, I have run across several dog and animal lovers along the way as I travel through social networks. Some have inquired about my four little rescues. I know--this is not food related--well, not exactly. My oldest is highly allergic to beef, and I limit her treats to those without wheat, corn or soy. Food issues are all around.

Well folks, here is part of my reality.

First, meet Mia Michele Horne, aka Mu-Mu for short, a Bichon who came to us at 8-years old. Her family did not want her once they had a child--actually a two year beating Mia with a stick. And, they wondered why Mia would snap--not bite--the child?They would have had her killed if we had not adopted her. We asked the wife to bring Mia to our home and leave her with us. We did not want Mia thinking we had taken her away from the only family she had ever known.

Their loss has been our precious gain. Mia turns 14 on Christmas day. The picture in Rick's lap was taken shortly after we adopted her. He has lots less hair now, but is just as precious and beautiful to me as always.

Just home from the beauty parlor.

Mia loves my recliner, as do all the puppies. Here she looks as though she has a bad perm.

Pretty with her pink bows, asking for a cookie. Notice where she is--yep--my chair sitting on that little square bottom of hers with those front paws just a going.

She is way too cute and very bossy. She knows she has a family who loves her and takes full advantage.

One of my junior executives.

Our first to adopt, but not the oldest, is Tidi McNeal Horne, a little pom. He goes by Tidi and is 12 1/2. Tidi was a puppy mill puppy; we were his fifth owners by the time he was four months old. He has always been a mama's boy. I sort of like it that way. 

This first picture was taken at our store, The Brass Brassiere, where he and Mu-mu went to work with me every day until we closed in 2010 due to my husband's health. Because of his early, sad history, he has always been extremely nervous. During the years we had  both of our mother's living with us, he was on Xanax three times a day. Although he is calmer now, he still would prefer to have been an only child. 

Because of his anxiety, we shelter him from crowds of people and children. A gentle hand and a kiss on his sweet little head usually calms him down when he is upset. One of "our" little rituals is to play "baby boy" in the morning. He turns over on his back and bats my hands with his little paws. He gets a bad rap because his is painfully shy, but is truly a very sweet little boy!

The picture to the right looks like he is graying (and is around his muzle). Actually, after my husband almost died two years ago, I was finishing up a paint job on our deck that Rick had started prior to getting sick. Tidi decided to "help" me. The paint had to wear off of his hair and the pads of his little feet.
Jackson @ 3-weeks

Three's company--Enter Jackson Jeremiah Horne, a terrier mix. I don't about the men in your lives, but Rick needs constant adult supervision. I asked him to pickup Mu-mu's allergy medication at our vet's office. He came home with a 3-week old puppy he had been told was 9 to 10 weeks old. Rick had been told he could bring him back if I did not want him. 

You have got to be kidding me! Did I want him? YES!!! When I snuggled that 12-ounce bundle in the soft spot in my neck, the love just flowed. A hundred dollars or so later following a trip to the local Petco, we came home outfitted with a harness, leash and matching carrier, plus bowls.

This is Jackson today, 17 pounds of pure sugar. His age had been wrong when we adopted him. He was actually about 6-weeks younger than originally thought.

To make a very long story short, he was the absolute worst  puppy I had ever seen. He remodeled my kitchen at 9 months old--yes-- he only weighed about 10 pounds by then. He chewed the ear pieces off my glasses TWICE. The day my  mother was admitted to hospice for the final time, Jackson literally shredded an entire newspaper. My den looked as if we had had a snow inside in Alabama in July.  We have had to have him X-rayed numerous times because of all the missing parts to chewed ball point pens. 

Now at age 4 1/2, he has pretty much settled down, but is still my little politician. He never meets a stranger and works a room like, well, a politician. He is so thrilled when we have guests, greeting each and every one. If I ever run for office, Jackson will definitely be my campaign manager. 

By the way, he sleeps with his head on my left should every night. When he rolls over, he puts his little "arm" over my chest. This picture was just too cute to pass up. I know starching and ironing linens are considered archaic, but I iron my pillow cases and the top halves of my top sheets. When I brought my arm load of warm laundry from the drier, he piled into the middle for a nap while I ironed. Now how cute is that?

The pretty blonde kissing on my husband is Mary Kathryn Horne, our youngest who just happens to be a Catahoula. And, yes, she has a double first name. She was a cute and loving puppy at 2 1/2 months; now at 21 months, she is still loving and pretty, but is also magnificent at nearly a hundred pounds and so sweet. 

We didn't need or want another dog, but our cardiologist suggested I do some volunteer work to keep myself engaged.  So, I volunteered to help our vet get six puppies adopted.  Mary Kathryn was one of the six I photographed, wrote the description and helped advertise for adoption. The vet thought she might have some vision and hearing problems. I should have brought her home that day, but I hoped she would be adopted by someone with children and some land where she could run. I told the vet office that if no one adopted her to call me. I would take her--in any case NOT take her to the shelter where she would likely be put down because of her suspected vision and hearing problems. I phoned at least weekly to check on the pups and to remind them I'd adopt her if no one else stepped up.

Trying to convince "Daddy" she would like a bite of his sandwich.
Again making a long story short, the vet tech did not relay the message, and Mary Kathryn ended up at the [in]human society. Rick out raced the executioner, adopting what they said was a "defective" dog.  When they brought her out to us, we were horrified to see how much weight she'd lost in the shelter. She had lost about 25% of her body weight; all her ribs could be counted and she was very hollow between the hips. Apparently the shelter saves food on dogs they are planning to put down. Her head and tail were down and she looked totally dejected. But, when we put her in our car and cranked the engine, her head popped up along with her long tail. Light came back into her eyes, and she started licking us on the backs of our necks. She was going home, and she knew it. Once home, she ate as though she had never had food before, climbed into my recliner beside me, put a paw across me, and proceeded to sleep for three hours.

A vegetarian at heart. Guess who gets to clean up her mess?
We have had her a year and a half now--she will be two in February.  The 40 pound puppy now weighs almost a hundred pounds.  She is still a puppy at heart and while that can be frustrating as in when she is tearing up dish towels, she is so sweet she can be forgiven almost anything. Her head is high enough for her to take things off the table or counter top without having to climb up. She is one of the few dogs I have seen who loves vegetables. She will eat a cabbage core or broccoli stalk in a New York minute. You have to be careful what you leave on the tables or counter tops, but is a total joy!

Tearing up a dish towel she snagged from my towel basket, hid on the stair landing to shred the towel. As you can see, we spend a lot of time just cleaning up after the pups.

Hanging out in the bathroom with mom!

By the way, Mary Kathryn has been checked by two other vets. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her hearing or sight. Her slightly miss shaped eye is a birthmark. She can hear my husband pour food into her bowl in the kitchen from our upstairs bedroom. I can't do that, and she is the only creature with two or four legs who can hear our kitchen timer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment.