Tuesday, September 08, 2009


So long since last post!

Oh, I've been SO bad, not posting in FOREVER. I won't pin this on Ender, this is one of his people typing,I'll take the blame fully. I've been reminded by one of Ender and Abby's faithful friends (thanks Blanche!), and I feel terrible that I have not posted in so long. I also realize that the photos are gone - this is thanks to a recent hard drive crash,I'm sure, I will have to figure out how to get those back up there.

Well, let's start at the beginning of the big black hole - last fall.
My mother's neighbours - let's call them George, Jane, and daughter Judy - got a puppy for little Judy. George knew in his heart that every little Judy should have a dog, but had NO clue as to what to do with this dog. They bought a yellow lab puppy, named her Shelby, and built a chain-link pen out behind their pool and left her there. My mother promptly pointed out that this was no way for a pup to be housed. That she needed training, and shelter, and love and attention. But George would hear none of it. He felt that dogs belonged outside. Without training, Shelby quickly became unmanageable - and always knocked little Judy on her butt, because no one could teach her to STAY DOWN. George, Jane and Judy loved little Shelby, that was clear, but they had preconceived notions of how to deal with her, and unfortunately they were wrong. Mom spent a few weeks frustrated with this situation, occasionally, rescuing the little thing from her unsheltered pen during thunderstorms, and bringing the pup into her own house. Mom eventually started asking for the dog - George, just let me have her, Judy can play with her whenever she wants - you can't leave her outside like that - winter is coming - on and on and on. Eventually, George got fed up with Shelby, she had scratched Judy (oh sin of sins, no blood by the way) while jumping up on her. They announced that they would give Shelby up.
Now, at this time, Mom had recently gone through the loss of her recent dog Sunny. And she had gone to the shelter and got herself another dog as a companion, because the loss was so great. Olivia came bouncing into Mom's life, a black poodle-lab cross. Mom was in the midst of trying to situate her new dog to her home, when Shelby landed on her side of the fence. Mom did her best, but it was too much - being thrown into a multi-dog situation is difficult, and she was unsure how to handle it - couple that with the fact that Shelby had never seen the inside of a house before, except for those two brief periods during thunderstorms.
Mom called me in total anguish, sad that she had promised this puppy she'd rescue her, and feeling that she was failing in making good on that promise.
We had met Shelby already, she came over to play with our dogs during a family event, and everyone took a real liking to her. She is petite, very friendly and loving - and so darned pretty! We offered to foster her in a heartbeat - to take the strain of training her off my Mom.
Mom lives about 3.5 hours from me, so we met halfway, in London to do the handoff the friday after Thanksgiving 2008. The plan was to have Shelby all prepped and ready to go back to Mom at Christmas, which we'd be hosting, so Mom was travelling up anyway.
We worked with this new puppy, and Ender and Abby immediately took her in as their own little buddy. They'd play with her, and we'd go for hikes, and all was going swimmingly. She loved to snuggle, and loved furniture! (remember, the inside of a house was relatively new to her)
On a hike in the fall, I heard Abby yelp, and she came running back to me on three legs... it seems my girl had torn her ACL. She had been rather spunky on that hike, and I'm afraid she may have slipped in some mud while rounding a corner. Not a week later and Ender pulled or sprained his knee pretty badly. So, we found ourselves training a puppy, and nursing two older dogs with injuries. It made for an interesting few weeks.
I bought a bow to put on Shelby, so we could "gift" her to Mom for christmas - and when the time came, we just couldn't do it. Couldn't give her up, Ender and Abby both adored her. Shelby even understood that the other two were injured - she'd play with Abby by wrestling her while they were lying down. And we were able to get Ender to play gently with her, so he wouldn't injure his leg further. Couple this with the fact that Mom was recovering from a really bad sprain, and a second dog woudl have been just a whole lot of trouble at that point. Especially a second dog who was in need of training, rigourous play and lots of walks. And, we had fallen in love with her. All these things were at play when we decided to keep her. I had mixed emotions about keeping her - her staying with us meant upsetting my Mom, but I think it was in everyone's best interest to keep her where she was.
We managed to get through the winter - even the portion of the winter where we drove Ender and Abby to Georgetown for hydratherapy for their injuries. A brief note on this: I think this is what healed them - Abby was very good about putting herself on bedrest - and we didn't walk her for about a month. Ender needed more constant attention to keep him still - but with the hydratherapy, both of them recovered and gained their strength back. If anyone needs info on Hydratherapy, let me know - I'll happily refer you to the place we went!
I also think that Shelby brought some happiness and entertainment to the other two as they recovered.
So, our strange little family limped along throughout the winter, and when spring hit, and we opened our pool, we stopped driving for hydratherapy once a week, and we were able to let them swim at home more regularly, and both Ender and Abby healed very quickly.
Shelby took to the pool like a lab to water! She loved it, and it seemed like she'd never been without a pool. Luckily she has not been scarred by her former life. She and Ender compete with one another to fetch toys from the pool, while MiLady Abby prefers a relaxing swim when she gets too hot, and then a massage in the lounge chair.
We just took all three dogs camping for labour day weekend - I will have to post some pictures of that and everything that has happened in the past year - it's a lot to catch up on.
Everyone is happy and healthy. And, I almost forgot, we took in a new cat as well over the past year - so my little family consists of me, Don, 2 cats, and 3 dogs! My house is full of hair, happiness, noise, excitement, and lots of love!

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