Uber cleaning house today, I ran across Storm's old vet records and a picture of her. I know I refer to a lot in my posts and she's not a Doberman but she was what Kim has referred to as my "heart dog".
Her nickname was Fatty, because she was pretty hefty. She was never the crazy, hyper, ready for anything type of Pit like most of her counterparts. From the day I brought her home on Feb 14, 1996 at about 4 months old, she was a couch potato. In fact, there were several times we were convinced she had died, she would sleep so soundly that we could not wake her up!
We were still pretty much newly-weds and serving our first tour here on Okinawa. Some friends asked us to babysit their dogs, a Pit and Dalmation (Storm I and Maynard). Both Mark and I fell in love with Storm I and decided we wouldn't mind having a Pit of our own. Since I can't wait for anything, I immediately started scouring the newspapers for a litter. A couple days later I found an add and went to look at them. There was only one female puppy left and it was obvious she was very ill, I suspected Parvo. I hedged and explained I really didn't want to buy a sick puppy. The woman said she understood and that she had a Japanese man interested in her, if I didn't want her. Since Pit fighting was legal here at the time (or maybe illegal but that law wasn't enforced) I decided to bring her on home, I couldn't imagine seeing the poor pup being used as bait to train others to fight. I paid $500.00 for her - $500.00 we didn't exactly have
I told Mark that she was only $200.00 (lesson learned, never lie to your husband about money) and transferred the rest over from our very meager savings account.
The next day the vet confirmed Parvo. She stayed at the clinic for several days on IV's but did ultimately recover.
Unfortunately, the money we had to pay for the vet bills was more than what we had readily available and I failed to mention to Mark that I had used most of the money in our savings account to pay for her. As luck would have it, our pay wasn't deposited right on time and a check bounced. I'll never forget Mark sitting on the couch, playing with Storm, sayings "It's okay, you're worth it, you were only $200.00" and then to me "we'll just transfer money from savings to straighten everything out". It's funny now thinking about it, I was so young and stupid LOL He was so angry with me LOL. Thankfully, we got everything straightened out financially and Storm recovered well. I learned so many silly lessons like that because of her
She sat with me every time Mark deployed. I was never scared or nervous when he was gone because she was always at my side. She pampered me and babied me when I was pregnant with Jordan. She didn't mind me being moody and completely encouraged me to eat as much ice-cream as I wanted as long as I shared it. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. When Jordan was born, she was so gentle with her. She stopped sleeping in bed with us and took up residence under Jordan's crib. The first time Jordan stood up, she was holding onto Storm's ears for balance. Her favorite spot was under Jordan's high chair and was very good at helping me keep the floor free of crumbs and gooey stuff.
When we moved to Germany, she loved riding the buses with us and even going to the pubs before BSL was passed and banned her from public activities like that. But, she never held a grudge when I put the mandatory muzzle on her for our walks.
After we moved to Minot, it was obvious the cold weather didn't agree with her. She had arthritis in her neck and shoulders and getting around our 3 level house was pretty painful during the winter. To keep her comfortable we worked out an arrangement with my parents. She would spring and summer with us and spend the falls and winters in St. Louis. It worked out very well.
But then one day Dad called me and said Storm wasn't doing too well. He took her to the vet for her annual check up and to see what was going on. The Doc assured my father she was fine, just starting to get old. She was 8 but had always been old for her age. The next day, Dad called me crying, Storm was down and couldn't move, he was on his way back to the vet but wanted to let me know what was going on. She didn't come home from the vet that day. The Doc said an artery leading to her heart had ruptured.
She changed so many peoples minds about Pit Bulls. I took her to my speech class as a demo for a talk on BSL - People that plastered themselves to the back of the wall when we walked in were fawning over her before the class was over. My own parents were terrified that we were bringing a baby into a house with a Pit in it but their fears were completely erased after they met her. In fact, they were just recently able to open there home to a new dog, they miss her as much as I do. She was so clever at getting you off the couch so she could have it - she'd jump on the door to go out just to jump in your spot the second you got up!
I did a lot of rescue work when we were here last time. I bottle fed countless litters of kittens and puppies - Storm was never far from the babies and was always painfully gentle with them. She was so intuitive and gentle.
I'm sorry I've rambled so long - She's been gone 2 years now but it feels like just yesterday my father called me with the horrible news.
When I had the groom shop, she'd meet customers at the door and lie infront of the crates of dogs who were nervous or scared. I swear, she was the doggy Dr. Phil. She had a calming influence on every animal and person she met.
I will always miss Storm - every dog that I ever own will be compared to her in one way or another and I doubt that any dog I ever own will fill the hole left in my heart by her.