Pet-Peeves: When AJ takes his suckie toy and guts it.
Favorite Toy: Yellow ball with a noisy maker inside, and it bounces REALLY HIGH!
Favorite Food: It used to be socks until big people started using the hamper all the time, goose eggs, dried chicken "nugguts"
Favorite Walk: Along the tall fence in back of the house where the 'possums hang out.
Best Tricks: No tricks.. just being the funniest, most clownish furkid we've even known!
Arrival Story: Who is Bubba? He's a Golden Retriever, a 3-year-old product of backyard breeding, and from what I was told by our Vetâ€™s technician, Bubba was from (at least) the 14th litter of an 8-year-old momma who could no longer perform natural birth; hence, a caesarean section. The momma was unable to nurse the three puppies in this last (and final) litter and the owner (a real JERK) told the Vet to put them down because he didnâ€™t have time to hand raise any puppies. The on-duty technicians asked, and received permission to take the three puppies and try to raise them.
When the puppies were about a week and a half old, I took one of my dogs to the Vetâ€™s for a regular checkup. Vickie, who worked there, told me she had something to show me. She left the room and returned cradling a tiny brown ball of fur. My hands reached out on their own to accept the tiny puppy as Vickie explained his history. I asked her what was going to happen to the puppies and she said that she and Jennifer (who was helping Vickie raise the puppies) were compiling a list of people who wanted a puppy. I immediately asked to have my name placed on the list. That evening, Vickie phoned to tell me that my name had been placed at the top of the list to receive "pick of the litter."
After deciding which puppy would be joining our family, I returned to the Vetâ€™s office almost every day to hold the puppy so his scent would be on me and my clothes. Back at home, I let my two adult dogs, AJ (Golden Ret.) and Bernie (Border Collie) sniff my hands and clothes as I told them it was their new "baby brother." I felt that it would, hopefully, allow them to become used to the scent of the new puppy and maybe they would be more accepting of it.
One day, as I was mulling over a name for the new baby brother, my hubby said, "Call him Bubba." It was perfect, and from then on, the puppy was known as Bubba.
When Bubba was three weeks old, Vickie asked me if I thought I could take over his care. I jumped at the chance, and so Bubba arrived at his new home with a goodly supply of bottles, baby formula, plastic potty cloths, stuffed toys and what became one of the best puppy raising tools of all time, a child's play pen! What a life saver, not to mention a pacifier for me when Bubba needed one of his frequent "time-outs!"
Bio: Bubba was integrated into our dog family with no problems. He was bottle-fed a special blend of powdered milk and slept in the play pen next to my work table. A large stuffed toy was his surrogate momma and Bubba "nursed" on it even when he outgrew the playpen and was eating solid food. Eventually, the stuffed toy started coming apart at the seams. It was laundered and repaired many times until it was unrecognizable and needed to be discarded. Little did we know just how much that old stuffed toy meant to Bubba. He whined, pawed at us, chewed up and ate socks (which were "recycled" out in the yard) and was a general pest, not only to us, but to our other dogs. AJ "babysat" him, Bernie tolerated him and to keep peace in the house, I bought more stuffed toys for Bubba. When he was tired, bored, sleepy, in trouble, etc., he would then turn all of his attention to either one of the stuffed toys or mouthed/nursed at AJâ€™s ear (which we have never been able to discourage him from doing). His stuffed toys became what we called "Bubbaâ€™s suckies" and they did serve one good purpose because Bubba never chewed on any furniture, he always hunted for one of his suckies when a "need" arose. (I've found that large, stuffed, fleece football toys last longest and are easiest to launder.)
Bubba is different from any other dog that I've ever known. He is clownish, pushy and figures out how to get my attention in unusual ways, such as:
One night, I was kicking back in my chair and really getting into reading the daily newspaper. Bubba was playing in the floor with a tennis ball in such a way that I could tell he was REALLY bored. After awhile, he began pacing back and forth, back and forth. I ignored him. He walked over to me and stuck his nose into my face. I ignored him.
Things got quiet for a while and then SUDDENLY, *WHACK!!!!! Right into the back of my newspaper! It startled the heck out of me, and there was Bubba, standing tall, with his front feet on the foot stool, staring at me with a very steady and firm look. Hubby was laughing like crazy and said that he had watched Bubba sneak over to the footstool, gently place his front feet on it and then, lifting a front paw, he whacked the back of my newspaper!
Needless to say, I got up from my chair and followed Bubba to the front door. When I opened it, out he shot, straight over to his suckie toy that was lying on the deck. He picked it up, turned and re-entered the house, plopped down into middle of the living room floor and proceeded to "nurse" on his suckie toy.
Puppies raised by humans are frequently much different in attitudes from those raised by their own kind. Along with assertiveness, food aggression is a problem and Bubba was "first in line" when that trait was handed out! Then there is the alpha mentality from being hand raised and spoiled rotten. In November of last year, both of these traits reared up in a most ugly fashion. Suddenly, our sweet (soon to be 3-years-old) Golden was starting bloody fights with 6-years-old, AJ. (The border collie, Bern, had been the alpha dog, and had passed on the year before, leaving an "opening" for top dog.)
I was shocked at the change in Bubba and especially on one occasion in which I was attempting to force the (now) timorous AJ into the yard and up the stairs past Bubba. Poor AJ didnâ€™t want to be anywhere near his former buddy. I reached out to Bubba to shove him out of the way from where he was standing on the stairs at eye level with me and blocking AJ's path. Bubba suddenly growled furiously and directly into my face. I reacted immediately and shouted "NO!" right back into his face while taking a swing at him, which, by the time my hand reached him, all I connected with were the hairs on the end of his tail as he turned to flee up the stairs. I was right behind him, yanking off my shoe, which I threw at him, missing (of course) and sailing it over the porch railing.
By the time I reached the top step, Bubba was at the back door, trying to get into the house. We had a stare down as I explained in no uncertain terms that what he had done was NOT acceptable! When he finally averted his eyes from mine, I turned and went into the house, taking AJ with me.
The next day, we took a trip to the Vetâ€™s office for a checkup on Bubba to rule out any physical problems. The Vet studied Bubba carefully, and observed him for about a half hour, She had three suggestions: contact a behavior consultant, make changes in feeding habits and our actions with Bubba, or find a new home for him where he would be the only dog.
We couldnâ€™t give up Bubba, so we began immediately in making changes, which were: feeding both dogs out of eyesight of one another, both in "sit" positions before entering or exiting house, and no more dog treats tossed into the air for the dogs to catch... oh yes, and absolutely no more tossing goodies to dogs from our dinner plates. Bubba made a complete turnaround! It was amazing how quickly he "agreed" to the changes!
Life was once again easygoing until this past December, when late one night, Bubba began throwing up. I stayed up all night with him, rubbing his tummy and holding him close after each upchuck (and sometimes, during an unannounced upheaval). I called our Vet and left a message that I was bringing in Bubba early that morning.
X-rays showed a blockage in Bubbaâ€™s intestines which meant immediate surgery (with an incision from "stem to stern"). A man's very large sock was removed, along with 6 inches of Bubbaâ€™s infected intestine.
Bubba recovered completely, has not reverted to his former aggressive and obnoxious behavior and AJ is no longer fearful of being in the same room (or on the same planet) with Bubba.
(The other male puppy is still with Jennifer, the woman who helped raise the litter. She's a groomer and owns "The Barking Lot" next to our Veterinary office in Sebastopol. The other puppy, a female, lives with the Veterinary's mother.)
1. Bottled-fed puppies need to be disciplined just as their natural parent would have done.
2. Just because sweet little puppies don't have a real momma, it doesnâ€™t mean they should get away with being stinkers.
3. No matter how cute, cuddly and sweet, the puppy will soon be an adult, and if itâ€™s extremely spoiled as a baby, it will eventually be a BIG spoiled baby, with larger teeth.
4. Patience, patience, patience.
6. Place all socks in the laundry hamper.
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah... It's SPRING and boy oh boy! Have I been having FUN!
Mom and dad had a tractor come in and dig up a GREAT BIG piece of the field and then they spent DAYS out there on their knees playing in the dirt. After they were allll finished playing, then they put up a dumb fence.. hahahaha.. like it would keep THIS superdawg out! I can FLY when I want to .
That dirt inside the fence is so soft and fluffy, I love to run through it and leave deep footprints in all those rows and little mounds that mom and dad made JUST for me!.. Although, I'm getting kind of tired of mom taking me out there and pointing to the fence and saying, nononono...
I heard mom telling dad that I'm gonna have veggies growing between my toes from all the seeds I've picked up from playing in the "garden", whatever that means..
ahhhh, life is good. Lots of crows to chase and dad even bought me a new suckie toy 'cause that dumb AJ keeps killing my suckies. I think AJ's jealous.
Hey there doggies! I hope you all got some turkey, 'cause AJ and me didn't get any.. Mom and Dad were away for the big TDay and they didn't bring any food home, so we got stuck with ol' boring dog food...
BUT, that's not what I want to tell you!
I think my mom worked some magic on me and HYPONOTIZED me!! Yup.. I really think she did and I'll tell you why..
This morning when I woke up, I was laying at the top of the bed with my head on dad's pillow (he had left the house already). Anyway, when I woke up, mom was already awake and she reached over and patted my head. Now, I don't really like to be touched hardly ever, and then, only on my own terms. I usually move away from hands, but this morning, I wanted my belly scratched so I rolled over on my back. Mom petted my face for a little while and then gave me a couple of belly scratches, but you know where the ribs stick way up in the air? Well, mom put her hand there and then did something strange.. she kinda "rocked" me back and forth, real slow and real gentle. She didn't talk and talk and talk to me the way she usually does to me and AJ in the mornings. She just rocked me real easy back and forth, back and forth. Pretty soon, I was getting so relaxed that my feet and legs were just hanging in the air.. and then I closed my eyes. That's when mom noticed a real funny look on my face. I heard her telling dad later that my lower lip relaxed so much that my bottom teeth were showing, but not my top ones!
I was soooo relaxed, at least, that's what mom said to dad, and then after awhile I yawned, and rolled over on my side. But then, I rolled onto my back again and mom started rocking me again. I musta went "out" real fast, 'cause I don't remember anything. Mom told dad later that I did the same funny thing with my lower lip. She said that she has never seen me so relaxed before in my adult life. Mom said she just kept rocking me real easy-like for a long time and then I started doing something funny with my mouth. I still had my eyes closed, but started licking my right front leg and mom said it seemed like I was working my mouth the way I do with my suckie toy..and then I yawned and woke up.
Dad says mom hypnotized me.. yup.. that's what he said! Mom said that I'm really a strange little (little?? Ha!) doggie and that she has gotten so much enjoyment out of "studying" me.. whatever she means by that..
Mom let me and AJ out into the field for our potty run and when she called us back, only AJ returned. Mom whistled for me, but I couldn't get back to the house. She even got out the cookie can, which makes my feet run like the wind when I hear it rattling, but I couldn't return.
That's when mom got worried and she went in to the TV room and told dad that "Bubba is gone and you'd best go look for your dog".
Dad put on his shoes and got the big 'ol flashlight (the one that shines for about a mile). Mom got the other flashlight and they headed out to the field. That's when I started barking like crazy for them! I tried to tell them with my barking that I had been kidnapped by aliens and tossed on the other side of the fence down by the Laguna. I barked and barked, to let them know I was safe but they still needed to save me!
All of a sudden, dad's light shined right on me, where I was on the other side of our fence! By this time I was hysterical (hoping that they would believe the story about the aliens). Mom was mad, I could tell by the names she called me.. poop-head, butt-head, dern dog..well, you get the drift..
Dad tried to get me to jump over the fence, but I was just too weak from all the excitement and could only run frantically back and forth, while continuing to bark out my story about being kidnapped. Dad has arthritis in his hands and was trying to lift me over the fence. Mom was still mad and yelled at me to get my butt over that fence! Geesh.. I don't think she believed my story.
Anyway, by this time, I knew that dad's patience was running low, so I managed to hook my feet on the fence and crawl over.. *WHEW.. (almost left a main body part on the top fence wire, too, but mom didn't care).
We got back to the house and hahaha.. I STILL got my bowl of milk, but first I had to listen to mom tell me what a bad bad bad boy I was.. ho hum, I've heard THAT one before.. Today dad and I went back outside and he hid in his shop and watched me. He is SOOO sneaky. I wandered over to the fence and stood and looked at it. Then I slo-o-owly looked over my shoulder one way and then slo-o-owly looked the other way to see if dad was watching me, but I didn't see him. So I placed my feet on the top of the fence and was JUST ready to leap when dad yelled! YIKES! *BUSTED!
Dad's been working at the fence for the past few hours, now. He's raised the top at least two feet.. *rats...