Monday, January 16, 2012

Bode... Puppyhood Rewound

Today is Bode's 1st birthday!  We know that because it says so on his papers.  We did not know him until later.

Although I like to call Bode a "rescue dog", we actually "rescued" him from a mall pet store.  Mike and I had decided we were not going to get another dog.  We wanted to be a little more free to travel on a whim and things like that.  We knew it would be hard to resist but we tried to keep each other strong.  I'd occasionally mention a rescue dog (never puppies) but Mike would be strong for me.  He'd mention that he really wanted a puppy, and I'd talk him out of it.  Puppies are soooooo much work!

The trouble started with mall lunch.  About once a week I pick up Maria and Cordelia and we meet Mike at the mall for lunch.   After we would eat our lunch we'd wander around a bit.  It quickly became a tradition to take Cordy through the pet store.  It was such fun to see her enjoying the puppies!

One day a Vizsla puppy was there.  He was so cute!  Mike really liked that breed and it was clear that the Vizsla puppy was the main attraction for him.  Still, we remained strong.  We resisted.  Nevertheless, we kept stopping in weekly and enjoyed watching that little cute puppy playing with his cagemates.  As he grew, he went through quite a few cagemates.  When one was sold, another would appear.  He seemed to enjoy them all.

Eventually, though, that cute little puppy started to grow long legs.  The cage he was in seemed to become smaller.  We started noticing that the Vizsla puppy was not as rambunctious.  He often was sleeping or just laying there looking out the glass at us.  He did not have much room to move.  It was horrible.

Then, it happened.  One night in May I had a dream that the Vizsla puppy was losing his spirit.  He was sad!  He was already 4 months old a now he needed rescued.  In my dream I realized we were supposed to rescue him!  In the morning I told this to Mike.  He was supposed to gently talk me out of this crazy idea.  He made a feeble attempt and I dropped the subject.  It wasn't long, though, before Mike said that we could maybe just go to the mall and check on him.

Now, I have to give you a little more background.  Mike's birthday had been earlier that Spring.  Instead of buying him a gift I mentioned 2 things I knew he really wanted, a puppy or a mandolin, and I told him to choose.  By the middle of May, he'd still not made his choice!

When we got to the pet store of course that poor sad puppy was still there.  We asked to get him out from behind the glass and the guy let  us play with him in a little enclosure.  We'd never touched a Vizsla puppy and he was stunningly soft!  I know, all puppies are soft, but Vizsla puppies feel much softer.  They have no undercoat and they are slick and smooth and incredibly fun to touch.  Well, of course you know we had no resistance left.

When we took that puppy outside that day, Mike set him in the grass outside the mall.  He cringed and plopped down.  He was afraid of grass!  His little paws were so tender that when I took him for a walk that first week, they bled!  He was most definitely a rescue dog... an expensive rescue dog!

Bode has continued to be very expensive.  Besides all the things he's chewed up, like every one of our vertical blinds, he's had several runs to the vet with partial obstructions from all the weird things he has swallowed.  Now, we have learned that he will need surgery on both hips.  He was probably the product of an irresponsible breeder and by purchasing him, we helped support the puppy mill business.  I am sorry about that.  I am sorry his hips hurt.  I am sorry he eats blinds, and yarn, and furniture, and rocks, and plastic bags, and newspapers and anything else he can find.  If we'd known all this, perhaps we'd had sense enough to get out of that pet store!

On the other hand, Bode has a bright and happy spirit now.  He loves us and anyone else with unrestrained enthusiasm.  He has given us many, many moments of laughter.  He sleeps well at night.  He loves to go for rides in the car.  He still feels awesome to pet.  He's so pretty we've had people stop their cars when they see us walking him, just to tell us what a beautiful dog we have.  His best friend is Bumblebee.  He greets us with a bouncy wiggle and a dog toy in his mouth.  He is a velcro dog, enjoying life most when stuck to our side.

He's part of the family.

Happy Birthday Bode!