Monday, February 7, 2011


All Willie wanted was to be by your side and he loved to cuddle. If you stopped moving for even a second Willie would try to cuddle whatever part of you was touching the floor. When I was watching TV he`d try to sneak up on the couch, and if I didn`t let him he`d just sleep on my feet or up against the couch. He hated being alone. He would cry and cry and cry. He despised the kennel and would howl at the thought of going in it. He was an older dog, and I'm not sure how he came into the foster system but we agreed to take him in. When the woman dropped him off she was laughing, saying he sounds like a pig. She wasn't joking. He actually sounded like a pig. I think he had some sort of nasal passage issue so he was constantly grunting. And not in the cute way a short nose dog like a pug or a bull dog does, it was a constant grunting with each breath. And he was some sort of beagle/basset hound mix so he had a big long nose to grunt from. We didn`t discuss names long. We went right to Wilbur, an obvious reference to Wilbur the pig.  He was also the first dog to fall utterly in love with my boyfriend and not me. He liked me fine, loved me too, but absolutely adored my boyfriend. He followed him around and snuggled up close whenever given the chance. I was a bit jealous. Most the dogs loved me the most! I`m the one feeding them, walking them, and spending the most time with them so generally I`m at least slightly favoured. I was becoming accustom to a constant shadow. Suuuurre it wasn`t a competition but it made me feel good to know my efforts were being rewarded. And it was an easy way to get Ryan to help out more - ``If you did more they`d love you more too!`` Willie went straight to Ryan, and stayed stuck to his side. Ungrateful little jerk dog.

I mentioned his extreme distaste for being alone because it presented quite a large problem, as we soon discovered. His nose problem was tolerable during the course of the day but at night this dog would snore. Now I grew up with a dad that snored, and he snores LOUD but this I couldn't escape. He just wanted to sleep in the bedroom with us, and was very well behaved, but we couldn't sleep with him in the room! It was like out of a cartoon, where he sucked you in and shook the room. We tried putting him in the spare room for a night. Made it all comfortable, had nice warm blankets, and stuck Bruise in there with him. He screaming and howled for hours before my desperate roommate made him a new sleep spot in the downstairs bathroom. Even then we could still hear him. It hurt my heart to hear him cry. Here he was, the sweetest dog in the world, and older dog that was probably just thrown out of a loving home, and all he wanted to do was to sleep close to his new beloved foster dad. We couldn`t keep him alone like that so I made a new plan - fall asleep before him. I also developed a new skill for sleeping with the pillows blocking out most of the noise.  

Willie trying to cuddle, Bruiser being a devil dog

Thankfully for my sleep schedule and sanity, we only had Willie for a short time. Maybe a week, maybe two, but not long at all. A lady applied to adopt him and came to meet him the next morning with her two young sons. They loved him immediately and wanted to adopt him on the spot. Willie was great with the kids and bonded with them right away. I think he liked boys more - thats the only way I can make myself feel better about the whole loving Ryan more situation.. Generally I don`t like such fast adoptions, I like a meeting and then take a few days to let the family think and be sure its a good match. No rash decisions when dealing with a pets life. Seeing how Wilbur was an older guy, and had the grunting issue, it was kind of a now-or-never situation and they were a perfect family for him. And let`s be honest, I love my sleep. I agreed to the adoption, but asked that they come back later that night so I could get all the paper work in order and they could ready their home. The mom agreed but the one little boy started crying at the thought. I told him Willie was officially his dog but we just needed a little time to say goodbye, and he understood. The poor little dude was just heartbroken at the thought of being separated from his new friend for the day. It completely broke my heart but once the mom told him it would give them time to pick out a collar and new toys he relented. Told me I better not change my mind on him. Since I had never been threatened by a child before I like to think it was cute and not kinda scary. When they came back that night he rushed over to show me Willies new goods and as he sat on the stairs Willie came and sat in his lap. It was too cute. Willie definitely chose his family and as far as I know he`s still living happily with them.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Six weeks old - Look at those paws!

Puppies. If they weren't so freaking adorable no one would ever go there. Some are easier to raise then others. Some are a compete piece of cake. Not this puppy.

My rescue took in three puppies a few weeks before Christmas. I agreed to take one. I had a few fosters under my belt at this point and the holidays were coming so it was a good time to take on a challenge. Besides, usually puppies get adopted the quickest and considering Christmas was just weeks away I didn't think we'd have him long. The woman who was dropping off my new puppy called and to give me her ETA and mentioned the one pup slated for my house was a bit chubby. Shannon and I got out a pen and paper and started brainstorming names. By the time he got to my house we had filled the page full of potential names for little guy. When the woman handed him to me I realized her definition of chubby was "ridiculously gigantic in every way." Six weeks old? That poor mommy dog! He had HUGE ears, a long nose, a big round belly and GIANT paws. Right away I knew the first name on our list, Bruiser, was a perfect fit.

The first little while he was a perfect gentleman. We were progressing very quickly on the whole potty training thing to only occasional accidents when we took too long getting him out. He learned sit and shake paw almost immediately. He followed Lexi around like her little shadow, and as she was with Nibs, Lexi was a perfect role model. He was a typical puppy, always getting into things he shouldn't, but he was doing really well. I'd take them for walks and he was so good I wouldn't have even needed a leash. On our long offleash walks he was rarely out of sight. Being a young little guy at first I'd only have him walk for maybe 20 minutes then I'd carry him, or if it was really cold, I'd zip him up in my jacket with me and continue walking so Lexi would get her exercise. On the way home I'd usually make him walk the last ten minutes to guarantee he'd be tuckered out by the time we got home so I would have at least an hour of sanity while he slept. This was all fine and dandy except for the fact Bruiser grew like a weed! Each walk he got heavier and heavier and although I was increasing his walking time he was still just a puppy. I didn't want to cut the walks short for Lexi's sake but jeeze! It got to the point he didn't fit under my jacket anymore so on the chilly days I'd have to carry a little blanket to wrap him in. What can I say, he was a bit of a princess. He had little weirdo habits like that that he insisted on sticking to no matter how big he got. He'd do something once, like it, and then he was hooked. One day I thought I lost him, couldn't find him anywhere, then I remembered the night before my boyfriend and I let him sleep in our room over night and my boyfriend saw him head under the bed to sleep. So I look under the bed and find him like this:


He slept that way until he didn't fit - which wasn't very long. And even then he kept trying, sometimes just sticking his nose under. After Christmas we still had him, which surprised everyone. He was adorable, super friendly even though he was a little shy. Now that he was almost three months his true colours began to show. He was a little terror and he was good at it. He knew he was adorable and used it to his advantage. And it's not like he didn't know the rules. He was still a perfect little gentleman most the time, but if the mood striked he'd turn to the dark side. For instance, I had a decent amount of nice shoes for a struggling college student. By the time Bruise left I don't think I had a un-chewed pair left. He also had a weird habit of sneaking silently away and pooping in the spare room. He NEVER peed in the house, that was like blasphemy to him, yet no matter how many times we'd get him outside he just liked to sneak to the spare room. But that was him, always sneaking away to do bad. I considered tying a bell to his collar for awhile, because it was honestly such a sneaky move. You would focus attention on something else for just a second and he'd pick up on it and make his move.

He grew and grew. His ears eventually stood up, which made him look more hilarious. He was going to be huge but man oh man was he a little wuss. When meeting new people or a new dog he would hid behind my legs and peek around me until he got a good look, then (usually after a good push from me) he'd go say hello. We had one couple finally come to meet him but I didn't like them for Bruiser almost immediately. He was going to be a big boy and as such I thought it was reasonable to say he was going to need a lot of exercise, not just a romp in the yard but a decent walk at least a few times a week. This couple was perfectly nice just not the a right fit for Bruise. They were quite a bit over weight, stunk of cigarette smoke and when I mentioned the whole exercise thing they laughed it off, with the man rubbing his giant belly saying "don't we all need some exercise nowadays" and his wife going from laughing into a coughing fit. Not going to happen. I was a complete shoe collection invested into this dog and I wasn't giving up. Thankfully a week or two later a young couple came to meet him and they were more Bruise's style. And they fell in love right away. We let Bruise go with them and the guy even promised to keep singing Bruiser his favourite tune - the "Blue's Clues" song with Bruisers name instead. He'd go crazy for that song I swear! We saw Bruise again like a year later at the dog park and he was a big boy. Not just tall but thick, and not fat but all muscle. And still a wuss, hiding behind his new daddy whenever a new dog would come to say hello. And still a devil dog, but this time around he had a larger set of teeth. They told us how when left alone one day Bruise ate their floor. Like ripped up the floor. What did the new owners have to say - "Well we were going to put new flooring in anyways, he just made us stop procrastinating." Awesome.