Monday, October 30, 2006
Rosie Is Still My Staff PickUPDATE: Rosie was adopted on 1/13/07...we wish you all the best fine girl!
Why is Rosie still here? When I took Rosie in to our shelter from Hayward way back at the beginning of June, L. said she would last a long time in adoptions. I didn't believe him. Rosie is a Dalmatian! So what if she is almost 8 years old? Rosie is beautiful and fit and playful and very devoted!
I should have listened.
Poor Rosie sat (and stood and whined and barked and sat some more) in adoptions for weeks in Oakland. Finally, she transferred to Tri-Valley where she found some doggie playmates, met lots of new people, and still continued to be overlooked for younger, smaller, or differently-colored dogs.
Then one day someone noticed a small lump. The small lump on Rosie's neck very quickly became a huge one, so big she couldn't wear a collar. She didn't want to play or walk or even eat any more, so I took her home. Initial tests indicated that she probably didn't have long, and that I should make her comfortable and wait. There was no sense in subjecting an older dog to extreme medical intervention when what she really needed as a home. So, I took her home and fed her amazing yummy food and prepared myself for a long, slow process, including having to carry her up the stairs.
The first night, she was quiet. I thought, so far, so good. The next morning I woke up to find Rosie in VERY bad shape and took her in to see the vets for what I thought would be the last time. I moped around all day, sad for the injustice in the world that a dog this wonderful would sit in a shelter for so long for no apparent reason, and then would die before her forever home came along…but what happened was a miracle. After doing some additional blood work, the vet noticed some inconsistencies in her results and operated for more information--instead of putting her down. To their surprise, instead of cancer as was expected, they found an incredibly deep, inbelievably bad abcess! Rosie never had cancer after all.
What this meant for me (and another wonderful volunteer who took over the third week) was almost a month of flushing drains and hydrating wounds and daily stretches to keep blood flowing and pills to keep up with.
Over the course of the time living with me I discovered that:
- Rosie does NOT like talking birds. The talking TV is fine, but the parrots are not.
- Rosie likes to be the center of attention and the only dog. Rosie despised my cute, young fluffy dogs and said so in so many barks. She has played well with dogs not in her space, but for a forever home, she would like to be the One and Only.
- Rosie likes FOOD. She will do anything for it, which makes her very easily trainable. Rosie can now sit, shake, wave, speak, lie down, and sit pretty. This also means that if I was not watching, Rosie will steal 3/4 of a pizza from the counter and eat it in two bites, making for some very interesting poo later on, like she did at my house. (Adopters should use tie downs like we suggest!)
- Rosie cannot live with cats. Period.
- Rosie is very well housebroken.
- Rosie is very recognizable. I had all sorts of people cross the street to meet the Dalmatian, and not one of them thought she was a pit mix. Even people who are normally afraid of dogs somehow thought that Rosie would want to be petted because she was spotty. Be prepared for this. You will either love it or hate it. I loved it, and I thank you, Walt Disney.
- Rosie pulls. We need to use an anti-pull harness when walking her. Before you take her out on a walk just on her collar, do one of two things: Either become a body builder, or picture me running down the street trying not to get my arm yanked off while Rosie keeps the cat in her sights, all the while clawing at the side walk and barking while people cross the street in the OTHER direction and shake their heads in pity.
- Rosie is absolutely, fabulously, wonderful. Rosie is all dog and all sweet Princess rolled up into one. She may try your patience, but she will also tug at your heart strings.
Posted for Canine Associate, Chris Wilson