seven minus two equals five

through

09/13/2015  A lot of you will think less of me after this post, but life is what it is and sometimes changes have to be made.

When I moved to Roatan in Nov of 2012 we had a dog, Dooce and a cat, Emmy.

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Dooce. She hated having her photo taken.

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Emmy cat

I took Ems to Roa with me because she is clearly my cat. Dooce stayed home with Bill. While on Roatan I saw a pup get hit by a big truck.

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The day I found him it was rainy and he was filthy dirty. I happened to have a cat litter box in my car so I used that as a bed.

I stopped and grabbed the pup and called the only vet on the island that day and got the pup sewn up. I named him Highway, we now had another dog. Bill came down to get me when it was time for me to go home in March. I took the cat, he took the dog. Our big dog at home wasn’t sure what to make of this crazy thing running around in circles, but she adapted and fell in love with him.

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He is learning who is the boss

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They ran and played for hours on end

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She was playing, really, she never hurt him.

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Highway adored Dooce

Jump ahead to October 2013, we had sold our house and pretty much everything we owned and were moving to Roatan with 2 dogs and a cat. In December of that year our friends were leaving the island and they had 3 dogs they were looking to place before they left. We offered to take Lucky, a big white male. He and Highway and Dooce got along fine.

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Lucky boy

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Lucky, Highway and Dooce on their morning walk

Dooce passed away unexpectedly in Nov. of 2014. It was heartbreaking. She was only 9. Dooce raised Highway, he adored her.

On Dec. 23rd we were at our mechanics when I saw Lola, a beautiful 7 week old puppy. I commented that she was so cute I could take her home. The owner of the shop said, “Lady, you can have her”.  Damn. I had another dog.

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Meet Lola

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She was hell on 4 tiny paws

Lucky never liked Lola, he was snappy with her and he seemed to get grumpier every day. He growled if she touched him and showed her his teeth. Now to be fair to Lucky, he had 2 other mature dogs he previously lived with and he had a good sized piece of property to roam and chase things on. He did not have that here, we have a small fenced area and the dogs go for daily walks but no room to really roam. Lucky was always different than my other dogs in that he wouldn’t allow you to take a toy from him or allow you to touch his food or his body while he was eating. With my dogs I can take food out of their mouths while they eat, I train them that way. I can take anything away from them, even if I have to pry their mouths open to get it. They will not bite me.

We had several instances where Lucky got very aggressive with toys and food, to the point that he bit me on 2 separate occasions. He didn’t hurt me but he let me know he was boss. However, he’s not the boss. I am.

Then we got Frito. He didn’t seem to mind her, she was in her own little world most of the time anyhow, searching for morsels of food or trying to rub her belly on something.

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The day I found her. Her front paw had the bone sticking out of it and was badly infected. She would have died within a few weeks.

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After surgery. What a determined dog, I’ve never met a dog quite like Frito.

What we didn’t know was that she was pregnant and a month after she had her leg amputated she had 7 puppies. For the first month the big dogs didn’t pay any attention to the pups but once the pups became mobile, it was a different story. Lola was in love, Frito wanted no part of her own brood, they had teeth and there were 7 feeders, Highway was ambivalent and Lucky was pissed. It was an inconvenience for him. We overlooked his growing frustrations due to the fact that we were consumed with nourishing and taking care of these puppies.

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A few days before they were born

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Back view, no more waistline for her

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7 gorgeous healthy puppies.

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The first crate

I don’t know if it was the number of pups or the daily proximity of the pups, but they were getting to Lucky. They couldn’t get anywhere near him without him showing his impressive teeth & snapping and snarling at them. Puppies don’t take a hint, they keep going back for more and try as we may we couldn’t be there 24/7. We started having Lucky sleep inside so we didn’t have to worry about him hurting the pups. That was a real pain in the ass for me because he sheds like no other dog ever. I could brush him for hours and not even begin to get the loose hair off his body. We did this to try and appease Lucky, we even started allowing him out front during the day to wander while Bill was working there. He enjoyed that as well.

Also in this time frame Frito and Lola started having fights. Frito, the momma didn’t want to nurse anymore so we were keeping her separated from the pups most of the time so she could dry up. Lola all of a sudden claimed ownership of the pups and if Frito came around and the pups went after momma to nurse Lola got mad and went at Frito. Just keep this in mind…it plays a part in my fragile mental state. Also, remember, I found fabulous homes for 4 of the pups. 7-4=3, which is how many pups I ended up keeping.

{Let me digress just a moment here. I have never before in my life had a pup born in front of me, watched it grow every day, took over bottle feeling when momma stopped nursing, made special formula for them so they would grow healthy and strong, gotten up in the middle of the night and fed them and gotten up at sun rise to take them to potty in attempts to house break them.

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Early morning sky

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Our gift for getting up early with the dogs

This happened for a few months. Bill built a crate, then a bigger crate, then a huge crate IN OUR LIVING ROOM.

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We eventually added a lip to the top to keep them from crawling out all night long.

We were with these pups 24/7. He puppy proofed all the decks and stairs, he built a crate on the shaded porch, barriers to keep them safe, you name it, we did it. These pups consumed us, but that’s OK. We sort of brought them into this world, we wanted to make sure they all had a fair shake. My intention was to keep none of them. Then I decided I had to keep Barrio. It got worse from there. Back to the story.}

There were a few evenings when Lucky really got after one of the pups but none as bad as when Chance was here visiting. The dogs were all out on the porch, Lola, Highway, Lucky and 3 pups. I have no clue what happened prior, but Luck went after Gringo and Gringo howled so loud that our neighbors up on the hill heard him and wondered what was going on. Chance and I ran out on the porch and I was yelling for Bill to come get Lucky. Bill didn’t realize Frito was in the house and when he opened the door to come help me, Frito ran out and she and Lola started fighting. There I am holding Gringo who was so terrified that he was howling and shaking and then he started to pee uncontrollably. All over himself and me. Bill got Lola and Frito separated and then took Lucky and Frito downstairs. I checked Gringo out and could find no wounds other than being traumatized. Me, I was a wreck. 2 dog fights in 3 minutes.

It was at this point that I realized I could no longer do this 7 dog shit. I am NOT superfreaking woman. I had to make some changes for my everyday sanity. That involved #1, finding homes for Lucky and Frito. Yes, I wanted to re-home Frito. I chose Lola as a pup to raise and Frito, well, I could not turn my back on her in that school yard. I would never have been able to sleep having her face haunting me nightly. I saved her life and (unknowingly) 7 others that day but I could not give her the home she deserved due to Lola. When I took Lucky I was hoping to give him as good a life as he had before but he wasn’t digging living here. I think this is what he was trying to tell us all along. I had to make that call.

At this point Lola and Frito could not be near each other and Lucky couldn’t be trusted with the pups. I was talking to another dog friend and she mentioned someone who may be looking for a dog. Funny, I had just met them a few weeks ago. I called her and she said, sure, bring him over. I took Lucky to meet her male dog in early August. We were going to see how it went the first day. I called on my way home from Camp Bay and she said he was doing fine. We agreed to talk in a day or two and I reminded her she could call at anytime if there was an issue and I would come and get him. There were no problems, he’s digging living there! They have a large piece of property for Lucky to guard and a worker who loves him and plays with him all the time. His new owners adore him, we just saw him the other night. He has slimmed down from all the running up and down the hills, he looked wonderful, his coat was beautiful as always and he was in a great mood. What a good feeling because we honestly felt bad getting rid of him but we knew he wasn’t happy; he told us that by his actions and reactions.

One down, one to go. It was hard to make the decision whether to get rid of Lola or Frito. Lola and Highway are inseparable, he lost Dooce, who raised him so he in turn raised Lola.

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2 peas in a pod

Frito was the mother of the pups and a really good dog. Lola and the pups are inseparable too. They follow her everywhere. They are much closer to Lola than Frito.

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Attacking Lola

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They maul her

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Always a watchful eye

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Pseudo momma

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Napping with “her babies”

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Frito got to come upstairs during the evening and play with her boys. Then she had to be separated again and relegated to sleeping downstairs. I told myself her life was still better than it was before I found her despite her not having the life I envisioned giving her.

I made my decison. This morning I saw an ad on a Roatan yahoo group email about a couple looking for a dog. I emailed them a short history about Frito and this is the response I got.

Wow!  She sounds like a perfect fit for us.  My wife is losing her ability to communicate in coherent sentences (due to too many years raising and teaching homo sapiens of less than 12 years of age) and I often can no longer remember if it was Socrates or Robin Williams that said “an unexamined life is not worth living”.  And since I get tired very quickly of watching a four-legged dog run, perhaps watching a three-legged dog run will be less exhausting.

We arranged for him to come meet her. Turns out he has a PHD and an MBA and has been a missionary on the mainland in Honduras for over 20 years. He and his wife recently moved here to help build a school and then retire.

They have been here 1 month and still don’t have a car so he took a taxi and walked up our hill. He liked Frito right away. We talked for a bit and he was ready to take her. He planned to take a taxi home but Bill was going to Eldon’s anyhow so he gave them a ride. I got this email shortly after they got home.

She and I appear to be bonding quite well.  We took a long, relaxing walk along the shady side of the harbor near the house.  She is proving very good to let me know when she needs to take care of business.  She set right next to me as we petted each other.  When we returned, she ate well.  She very much enjoyed the peanut butter as well as the dog food. 

Then someone else posted in the group that they had a dog for him and this is his response:

Thank you for your note.  However, we just added Frito, a three-legged young lady that appears as if she will be an excellent addition to our home.  Valerie and I have a soft heart for life’s underdogs.

I heard from the people this morning that have her and they said she is fabulous, she went for a walk last night and again this morning. I think Frito will be just fine and I know Lucky is a much happier boy.

We now have 5 dogs and a cat. And I’m good with that. I feel that I have let some people down, that I am no longer the dog rescuer. Be that what it may. I tried, but it was too overwhelming.

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Gringo

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Lola

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Highway, the dude

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Barrio, the only one I was originally keeping

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Maxillicious

As I was writing this last night I had 4 dogs inside and 1 outside on the deck (Highway) going batshit crazy barking. I walked to the window to figure out what the dogs were looking at and I heard it before I saw it. There were some pretty awesome fireworks down on the beach, and to top it off, Mother Nature was putting on her own display of pyrotechnics in the way of heat lightning. It was quite a beautiful evening here on the rock. And 2 dogs quieter.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “seven minus two equals five

  1. Walt K. says:

    Don’t let anyone kid you, you are still the dog whisperer, I loved the way you walked us thru how you made your choices on which ones to find homes for. Bless you.

  2. Beth says:

    Deb, You are a good soul, tender Dog Momma, you showed up at the right time in all situations, and gave it your ALL…they are are / were blessed to have you . You have made good choices, found great homes it sounds…Sanity is in your future….Enjoy!
    I love you, you brighten my day every time I read your blog! Thank you! Miss you woman!

  3. Oh, my goodness you have been incredible with all these dogs…I know I couldn’t have dealt well. You have a tremendous heart and have given all of the dogs love and compassion as you raised them. It does sound like they have wonderful homes and are very happy and not having to fight for attention. Haha, sames goes with children some times. Many Blessings to you and what you have done, Deb! Have a wonderful less stressful day 🙂

  4. Suzanne says:

    The dogs spoke and you had the respect to listen. It would have been selfish only if you put your need to be known as the “dog whisperer” ahead of what they needed. Good job!

  5. Thank you Suzanne. Frito was returned to us by the people who adopted her. They felt she didn’t bark enough, I think it was her way to be assured that she would come home. She has never been happier and has proven to us that she is completely content to live downstairs in the guest condo and sleep on the leather futon.

  6. Sean says:

    Hey there! Loved this piece. I just found you through Amanda’s blog, and I will be following avidly!
    Thanks!

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