Does anyone else find poop cleanup relaxing to the point of being almost therapeutic? Or is that just me? I'm not totally sure why, but it must have something to do with a metaphoric correlation of cleaning up all the little piles of crap that happen in life and not letting it multiply to the point of being overwhelming. There's something soothing getting rid of those little land mines, instead of always trying to dodge them. It is like have a good maintenance plan when I'm able to stay on top of it and is just another reminder that if it's taken care of I can't step in it. :) And we all know that makes for a better day.
We were looking for a stud for Silver when we stopped at our friends house who was a breeder. As she paraded the six boys out my eyes immediately caught the curled over tail, short ears and bushy, gruff exterior of one particular dog. I whispered to my husband, “That one has Chow in him. I don’t want him.” A disdain I’d developed towards Chows after witnessing a vicious dog fight as a child that still permeated in me. I absolutely refused to have a dog that I saw as violent and malicious in my home. And so we chose a red and white Husky.
We were unable to locate the breeder at the time of Silver’s heat and in a hasty decision went with another dog from another Husky breeder. Silver did not get pregnant.
The following year we again tried to locate the original dog we had chosen from the first breeder and finally found him with another mutual breeder friend of ours. When we tried Silver with him, they stood and looked at each other. End of story. So when this breeder showed us a litter of Husky pups about 4 weeks old, my mind started turning. With two failed breedings and everything feeling like forced timing, I turned to my husband as we pulled out of the driveway, “Maybe we should just get our own stud.”
We went back the next day to the breeder with the fresh litter of pups. I had my heart set on the black and silver one with a black masked face, only to find he had already been spoken for. Then he held up this little orangish-red male in the palm of his hand and my eyes and heart locked on him. I knew he was the one. The only one. I swear that even in the dark of the night, heaven’s light was shining on him. :) We would pick him up in a couple of weeks when my husband gave him the name Brut, after the cologne.
Months later after Brut’s aggressive personality began to unfold, I came to learn that the Husky/Chow dog that I had shunned in the beginning was actually Brut’s Grandfather, Storm. Storm was half Husky and half Chow on Brut’s maternal side of the family. I struggle for a good year or so with this knowledge because of Brut's dog aggression and finally through Brut and our healing together have come to a peace with it. Who would have thought that a breed I didn’t want in a dog that was my heart dog was just who I needed to heal that terrible tear in my life. Coincidence? I think not.
(top picture-Storm as a puppy)
Coincidence: An act of God that wishes to remain anonymous.
Well folks, after the computer declared war on me and I wrestled it to the ground, I was finally able to upload this sweet little video of the puppies at 11 days old during feeding time. I usually don't like posting long videos, but this is an almost start to finish of feeding time and if you just sit back and relax into it, a little puppy love can start your Monday off just right. I mean how can those cute little faces not? So on behalf of the 24 Paws of Love have a great puppy filled day!!
For me, that's easy. Getting up and down to let 6 dogs in and out all day and night long. With two indoor cats, having a doggie door is out of the question and we can't afford the remote collar ones that just lets the dogs in and out.
It gets really irritating when I'm deeply immerse in something, especially my writing, and can have numerous 'interruptions' of having to go through the entire house to let a dog in or out. Or when the dogs can't make up their minds if they want to go out and turn back around after I sit down only to scratching to be let in again.
IN! IN! IN!
Most of time I'm pretty used to it and it's just part of the deal, but there are other times when it just grinds on me and I can start to lose my cool. So I take a deep breath, tell myself it isn't the dog's fault, scratch their furry little heads and open the door for the umpteenth time that day.
I have found myself in rather deep, hypnotic thought over Pamela's post: The Puppiness Project-It Doesn't Matter How You Learn; Just Learn from her blog Something Wagging This Way Comes. It talk about how we all, dogs included learn differently, pace, style etc., at a point when I am looking back at why we have gone so slowly in meshing the dogs together. And when I play it in my head and see my two packs of dogs it sounds of the hushed, quiet sounds of a symphony that has barely begun the crescendo.
I remember feeling the pressure cap on my head twisting tighter and tighter. I HAVE TO, I HAVE TO, I HAVE TO, the chant pounding through my head. Our dog Blaze, a puppy from our litter, was returned and I felt driven to blend her with our four other dogs, because that is what you do. What other way was there?
After one introductory meeting with each dog individually, I was crushed. All five dogs had lurched and lounge, baring teeth with menacing growls at each other. NOW what was I suppose to do? With everything I knew and read, there was no book or instructions informing us what we suppose to from this point on. The failure in me prevailed.
The four dogs had formed a pack within themselves. Blaze's mother, father and two siblings wanted nothing to do with her except keep her away. We did the only thing we could do, we put up a door to divide the house and kept the dogs separated until we figured something out.
The pressure was daunting. The need to get the four dogs, together with this little girl was drilled into me like breath. What other way was there to do it?
Four months later, Chance, another puppy from our litter was also returned. Another state of chaos took over our household, but there within the craziness was a thread of calm I could not explain that from Chance's unexpected homecoming. Chance and Blaze were best friends because they grew up with a related family. Having them together felt like they home for them. Suddenly like the pieces of a large puzzle it all made sense. Blaze had Chance. Chance had Blaze and neither of them had to be alone again. But it was more than that, it was through Chance coming home that the old beating demands of integrating the dogs began to loosen their grip and we found some relief. Chance was like the angel of peace silhouetting through our home for Blaze and for us. He showed us that laws were meant to be broken and the hope of a new way for us. Why couldn't we live as a two dog pack household? Why couldn't we take our time as we started all over with our new found lives with each other? Who says we can't do it that way?
And as we take each baby step in blending together what is now known as the Front and Back Dogs, this is where I realize that it has taken the thousand earlier baby steps to be able to take this one. It is this gift of learning at our own pace, in our own ways what works for us that I find shining deep within my soul and spirit of who we are as the 24 Paws of Love. And why it may be a little complicated to explain our situation that thread of peace has grown into a strong rope that anchors us together. The communication that transpires is a beautifully orchestrated 6-part harmony that keeps us in tune to watch for the miracles that blossom in our lives. The key for us is not to rush or feel obligated to do something we and the dogs aren't ready for and follow our hearts for the love of our dogs. Chance brought that hope and heart and peace when he came home and gave us the trust to follow all three.
And the miracle continues...
Sometime in the craziness of having Chance and Blaze (two pups from our litter) returned and the need the separate them from the Back Dogs, when things were at there worst and I was losing my hope, spirit and some sanity, I had a dream one night that I opened the front door and all six dogs ran outside together around the side to the back of the house. And that's all I remember, but I've never forgotten it. Someday that will be more than a dream.
So as we take these journeys with our dogs, through our lives together, are you taking mental notes for when you get your next one? I keep thinking about getting my new dogs adjusted to water much sooner for baths, pool play and the lake. I know all dogs don't like water, but I'd like to introduce them to it much earlier than I did with the puppies just to get them used to the idea.
I'd also of course like to teach them to leash walk better at an earlier age. For those that have followed for a while, know how I have grapple with leash walking ever since having Brut and still do. It is another one of those, if I knew now what I did then scenarios that would make life just a little bit easier for the time around.
So what would you like to do different with your next dog?
Brut and I have been through many things together, but the biggest thing is that we have done it together. There is nothing more rewarding than the honesty between us, no matter how ugly the truth may be. The extreme highs and lows are balancing out and our rocky ground has a strong foundation that we both stand tall on. And strange as it may seem, there is a part of me that misses the fluctuation. I know I'm crazy like that and having a case of "if I knew then what I knew now" syndrome, but honestly when I look back at our incredible journey so far and I can't believe we've made it so far, paw and hand together. My husband thought it a little ironic when we took these bath pictures that I was wearing this shirt and thought it rather fitting for Brut and I. I thought so too as we are doing just that.