Friday, November 19, 2010

Pickles' First Day

Well, Pickles is home from the SPCA where she was spayed.  We waited in the hallway for her to come from recovery (as there were many people there to pick up their pets) and when she did, she was just sort of walking until she saw me.....the she bounded up to me and started licking my hand.  We walked out of the hallway and into the reception area with people saying what a cute dog she was and talking to her but Pickles paid them no attention.  Then out of the door, down the steps (which she did with no problem) and to the truck.  I opened the door and she tried to climb in but that was after she stood up and put her front paws on the rear bumper.  Then it was the ride home.  Pickles is a good car-rider as she sat in Donna's lap in the rear seat.  She put her butt right under Donna's arm but moved her front all around.  She even bopped her nose on the window; I guess she hasn't see one before. 

When we got home, the "Welcome Home" sign was on the fence and she had her own photographer!  Photos were taken and then it was time to sniff the yard but as she was doing that, the neighbor's dog began to bark but that was not a problem as Pickles couldn't hear her.  As Pickles was exploring the yard, she went into the "poop garden" and peed.  Now, let me explain what the "poop garden" is.  The whole yard is, basically, a patio except one side (maybe 20 square feet) that is covered in mulch where we plant all of our plants in containers.  When I was lazy, tired, cold or whatever, instead of walking Maddie, I would just let her outside and she went to the "poop garden".  I was thrilled that she went without any direction to the garden because it shows that her nose works and she's picked her own outdoor location for her business. 

Pickles and her rope toy.
 Going inside was like it was her home.  She sniffed around a bit then went right to the empty water bowl looking for water (kinda not prepared there, huh?).  She had some water then went exploring and found her crate, the den and dining room then we gave her the rope toy which I know is going to be her favorite because she didn't put it down!  When she played a little tug-of-war, she grunted like a piglet then growled.  Later, after some more exploring, she had an accident and threw up but that was from the anesthesia.  I went to work but came back later as two friends from work (no names but they know who they are) brought Pickles a welcome home gift: a little ball with legs and a squeaker!  We noticed that Pickles wouldn't sit down and began to wonder why then we discovered that the floor was a little cold for her.  Donna got her a blanket and put it on the floor where she stayed until she went to bed.

So far so good.  She seemed to adjust to the house and the family pretty well and has started to learn not to bite.  When she bites, we quickly take our hands away, place them across our chest and turn away from her and she doesn't like that too much.  When we start petting again, no biting...just kisses. 

Tomorrow is her first full day with us and I know it's going to go great.  She's not a puppy so there should be no chewing on stuff but it doesn't matter because, in some places, Maddie beat her to it!  I think Pickles and Maddie would have been fast friends and inseparable and I think Maddie approves.


Pickles now has a Facebook page so go be her friend! Adams

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is the Deaf Dog

Well, that's easy enough.  The deaf dog is Pickles who is a four month old pit bull mixed breed dog that was rescued by Richmond Animal Care and Control.  Pickles was found tied to a tree in someones back yard and was taken to the their kennel.  And as you might have guessed, Pickles is deaf.  How did we come to adopt a deaf dog?  Well, it's kind of a long story. 

In December 2009, we had to put our mastiff, Maddie, down.  She was in really bad shape, she couldn't walk and for the last three weeks of her life, I carried her outside to go to the bathroom.  One night, while carrying her out, I tripped and almost dropped her but she landed rough.  When I picked her up, she bit me and that is when I knew she was in more pain than I had thought.  We had tried alternative medicine (acupuncture, Chinese herbs etc) but nothing seemed like it was working.  After some soul searching, I knew what I had to do.  Maddie's normal bed was in the dining room and she really liked laying in "the way" but we brought her into the living room with us and lavished her more than usual with love and affection. 

On Saturday, December 12, 2009 I had some friends come to the house and we played with Maddie all day until the vet arrived.  Just after 2:30pm, Maddie slipped quietly to sleep surrounded by family and friends.  There was no more pain, no more yelping and she was at peace.  I, on the other hand, was inconsolable.  I couldn't drink enough that day to make the hurt go away and I couldn't drink enough the next day to make me forget the day before.  I didn't think I would ever want another dog and for a long time, I didn't.  Maddie is the canine love of my life and will never be replaced.  I miss her to this day.  She was our child.

Now, fast forward to September 2010.  We began to look at for another dog.  Nothing really seemed right until we found an Australian Sheppard mix at Richmond Animal Care and Control.  Donna faxed an application to them and I went there the next day but we were third in line for her.  Something strange though:  we didn't like the name Animal Control gave her but couldn't think of another.  A friend took me to the back to see the Sheppard but in the meantime, I saw Pickles.  She was in the cage above the other and was sleeping in a room full of barking dogs.  My friend (she knows who she is but I'm not putting her out there) said she was deaf and had been there for about a week.  She told me of how deaf dogs don't really get adopted out because of their disability.  I listened then went to work. 

I called Donna and told her about Pickles and thought it might be nice to get both of them so the hearing dog could help out the other and she agreed.  I emailed my friend to let her know.  We didn't hear from Animal Control the next day so I went by after work and was told because we were third, we didn't get the Sheppard but my friend told the staff (not putting her out there, either) about us wanting Pickles so she just shifted our application.  I played with Pickles for a bit and thought she was wonderful!  I went home and we talked it over and decided Pickles was the one for us.  The next day, Donna and I went to Animal Control and played with Pickles for a while and she was misbehaving a bit but really caught on fast when we diverted our attention from her and we could tell she was smart!  Her eyes were bright, she was happy and there was no hint of the life that she was rescued was like that part of her didn't exist.  We were in love! 

That night consisted of researching on how to train a deaf dog and the raw diet (thanks to Tom).  The next day, we bought some things like a crate, toys, brush, shampoo and all natural treats and food (commercial dog food is full of grains, corn and other stuff that dogs just CANNOT digest and is not good for them).  So now, our house is all ready for Pickles and we couldn't be happier!

But why did a deaf dog tug at my heartstrings so much?  It's because of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that comes on every Christmas.  If you remember, there is the Island of Misfit Toys where the toys that no one wants go to live.  Not too many people outside of my family know this but, at Christmas time, I buy broken Christmas ornaments just so they'll have a home for Christmas.  I've done it for years and have quite a few broken Christmas ornaments hanging on the tree.  Just things that no one else wants but deserve a good and loving home.  That is why Pickles, the deaf dog, touched me.

Stay tuned for more on Pickles!