Wish Watching In Northern California
Promised myself I'd let myself post an intro once I got the blasted income taxes in the mail. Got them in the mail yesterday, but was out of the house the entire day.
My husband's beloved Am Staff is eleven and we're watching her go from geriatric to ancient. We will be grateful for every day we have with her, that's certain, as she's been one of those remarkably special dogs that makes you really happy you opened the door the day she happened by. SODA has facial nerve paralysis on one side of her head, and some Cushing's, too, though not severe enough for the vet to think the risk to benefit is there to medicate that. (Involves using drugs that destroy part of the adrenals. There's the risk that too much of the adrenals may be destroyed.) She can't get up on the bed by herself anymore, and can't even jump down. Still, she's in no apparent pain, still plays with her daddy, still talks for the biscuits (though she can't sit pretty--sit up--anymore), and does all of her usual doggy things, just at a reduced rate. We'll cherish every day we're allowed to have with her here, and then look forward to meeting her at the bridge. Maybe days, maybe months, maybe even years; it's obvious the vet didn't think she'd still be here now when she originally contracted the facial paralysis a year ago.
SODA was fine with the dog I already had when she happened along. Holly, also a stray, was a setter mix of some sort and SODA always respected her as senior and alpha. When Holly passed we took SODA to the pound, hoping to introduce her to another dog we might have join the family, and it immediately became apparent that SODA was not interested in having another dog around. She'd been so extremely good with Holly that we really didn't see it coming that she would simply not at all be willing to accept any other dog. I had Holly fourteen years after she happened along, and lost her to cancer.
Before Holly was a Keeshond mix, Cinnamon, who my mom pursuaded me to pick up from her prior home to keep "just until" I visited my mom next. Well, Cinnamon was adult, fully housebroken, and really pretty well overtrained, which made her really easy to have around (except, of course, for the fur). So I kept her. I'm not certain what she had; the vet theorized cerebral hemorrhage. In any case, I was (again) forced to make the tough decision when she, a decidedly food motivated dog, started walking past her food bowl, stopped eating, and, finally, became unable to find the water bowl.
Before that was Sugar, the Doberman I had as a rescue, literally a junkyard dog, as she'd raised a litter of pups in a junkyard with seven other dogs. She was the dog I had when my son was born, and is the genesis of my longing to have another Dobe. Sugar came to be in constant discomfort from what I now suspect was CVI. We finally had to help her move along to the bridge.
So, with hubby's blessing, even though I have pointed out to him that there's huge risk of breed specific disease, I am hoping that God will refrain from sending along another dog for me to rescue once SODA passes, and will allow me to obtain a Dobe. I'm retired now--the family joke being that I've become a housewife the hard way; by retiring into the job--and have the time to rear a puppy.
My mom showed and bred Skye Terriers, having bred a number of AKC Champions as well as the first two Skyes to receive their CGCs. Roundabout, that means I have a speaking acquaintance with the concept of "reputable breeder" (and a clear understanding of how totally non-profit reputable breeding to improve a breed is). I have fallen in love with a certain breeder's dogs, and am hoping to be able to establish a relationship that will cause that breeder to have an interest in selling me a companion pup when that time rolls around--after SODA moves along to the bridge. Despite my exposure, it remains the case that I have a greater interest in things like obedience and agility than I do in conformation showing. I respect those who have the dedication to to it, and appreciate the passion any righteous (not to be confused with self-righteous) breeder has for their breed--I just don't have a desire to do that part myself.
Wish watching is what we used to call it when my mom's ancient, rescued Chihuahua would sit in the sun and stare fixedly at a lizard for long periods of time, just as though she could have chased it when it finally decided to move. RIP CindyLouWho.
So this is a very long way of saying I am wish watching and hoping that I will be able to have a well bred Dobe as "reward" for having shown the patience to live contentedly with rescues and strays for the last nearly thirty years. Meanwhile I am spending a lot of time reading about the various breed specific maladies, with an especial interest in the tragic DCM and CAH & copper toxicosis. While reading up on those things I came across the Rottie study indicating hugely increased risk of osteosarcoma with early spaying/neutering. That has really upset my apple cart as I've always been inclined to spay prior to a first season. On the other hand, if the purebred dogs are factored in, osteosarcoma is a front-runner as cause of death among any dogs in my family, especially large breed dogs.
It should be good to be Dog.