May 23rd 2009 11:47 am
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On January 17, 2005, my husband and I were at the animal shelter in San Diego, California. We were there to renew our Sandy's dog license. I had waited until the very last minute, so it was either pay a fine or go to the shelter. Never go to the shelter unless you have room in your life and heart for a new family member.
While the clerk was working on the paper work, we decided to walk around and say hi to the dogs. Big mistake turned blessing! In an 8 foot by 4 foot kennel was a lonely looking brown dog. His name was Ty at that point. There was nothing remarkable about Ty except he looked like Sandy. We sat down on the floor and talked to Ty for a little while, then like so many other people, we walked away.
Only I couldn't get Ty out of my head. After going through 2 more rooms, I looked at my husband and told him I really wanted to meet Ty. He agreed, so while he went to get help, I returned to Ty's kennel. I told Ty that unless he was mean to us, he was going home with us. I scratched his head the best I could through the chain link kennel, until the guy came to take Ty to the meeting area.
We followed Ty and the shelter worker into the meeting area, where Ty immediately jumped up and gave us both kisses very soundly and squarely on our lips! We were HOOKED and completely in love in that moment, the rest was just idle chatter and play. Ty was made for us, but we still had Sandy and 3 cats at home to think about. My husband went home to get Sandy while I spent time with Ty.
I asked the shelter worker if he knew how Ty did with cats, and he took me and Ty into a little room. He picked up the weirdest looking thing I had ever seen! It was some sort of toy on wheels that had been covered with real cat hair. Ty didn't give the thing the time of day so the guy said Ty got along well with cats.
I then sat and waited for Sandy and my husband. It was late in the day, and I was told we could come back the next day for Ty. NO WAY was I leaving him there one more day! I decided we were going to adopt Ty, and he would get along with Sandy and the cats, like it or not. After all, he did well with the other dogs there, and he passed the cat test! I went to the front desk to fill out the paperwork.
I was pleasantly surprised when they told me that because they thought Ty was 7 years old, he would only cost half of the normal $70.00 adoption fee! Woohoo!! Ty and I could go shopping at the San Diego Humane Society store in the adjacent building with the savings. I adopted Ty, got the licenses for both him and Sandy, and off we went.
While walking across the courtyard, I called my husband and told him we now had 2 dogs. he was just as happy and excited as I was. I bought Ty a pretty blue collar and leash, and treats for both dogs. Ty and I then went out and walked around the courtyard waiting for Sandy and my husband.
When I saw our car pull in the parking lot, my heart skipped a beat. I was hopeful that the 2 dogs would get along, and nervous as to what I would do if they didn't. Sandy saw Ty and immediately liked him. Ty saw Sandy and immediately decided he needed to mount her to show her he was going to be boss. Well, once Sandy almost bit his ear off, Ty figured out pretty quick who was going to be boss. Sandy and Ty became close and fast friends.
Once we got home though, the cats that Ty was supposed to be okay with, well that was a very scary moment! Ty went after them and tried to eat one of them, literally! Returning Ty to the shelter, where I had learned he had been for more than 6 months, was out of the question. We set up an are for the cats that Ty couldn't get to, and 3 weeks later they finally started becoming friendly.
Next order of business that first night was Ty's name. We decided Diego would be a better cuter fit with Sandy. He picked up on his new name rather quickly, and even seemed to like it.
Over the next few months we spent a lot of time at the Dog Beach in San Diego, and dog parks in both San Diego and in Arizona. We watched Diego go from an over weight sloth to a svelte running machine. The 2 were amazing together. Sometimes it was as if they ganged up on us, each going to opposite ends of the dog park to poop at the same time. They made quite a name for themselves with their personalities and antics!
In December of 2005, we had gone camping with both dogs. Diego had issues with men carrying anything, so when the ranger approached, Diego jumped up and grabbed the paper from him with his teeth. It was very scary, but no one got upset or hurt. Once the ranger was gone, I patted Diego's butt and told him I didn't like his behavior! Diego looked at me and then left the tent. He gave me a look that spoke a few choice words, and kept walking. I was walking behind him pleading with him to come back. The ranger stopped him, laughed and then Diego and I walked back to the tent. He made it very clear that if I was going to spank him, he wasn't hanging around!
When we moved to Oregon, we started doing foster care for other animals. Our first litter of kittens were bottle babies, and Diego was terrorfied of them. We found this funny, the dog who tried to eat the cats was now genuinely scared of the tiniest of cats. He was afraid of them, but boy was he protective! He wasn't going to let anyone else mess with them.
Over the next year or so, Diego began to really enjoy taking care of kittens. He got very good at cleaning them and playing with them, even allowing them to use him as their jungle gym!
Diego grew further into our hearts, and blossomed into the best dog ever. Everyone in our vet's office loved him, asking how he was doing, even when I had called or was there for another animal. Diego was very much like their dog as well, he was just that awesome of a dog.
On August 8, 2007, we thought we were saying goodbye to Diego. He was very sick, but with love and prayers and a great vet staff, we were able to enjoy Diego's love for a little more than 21 additional months.
Last Tuesday we found out that our beloved Diego was sick with Lymphoma. We were told he likely had a month, maybe 2, and that the vet had seen one cat hold on for 8 months. We were saddened, but hopeful that Diego's last days would be happy.
The lymphoma ravaged Diego's system with a vengeance. Within a week he was too week to walk more than 10 feet on his own. Yesterday it was as if every last bit of strength he had was gone. We knew it was time, and set up at appointment for today. We carried Diego into the vet's office. I had decided days ago that one of Diego's last memories was going to be of us feeding him chocolate candy. Chocolate was one of the things Diego always wanted, but was never allowed to have. I grabbed some of the bite sized Snickers from the candy dish in the office, and I started feeding them to Diego. We saw a sparkle in his eyes that hadn't been there for days. He quickly learned the crinkly sound of the wrappers, and he was really enjoying his chocolate. Everyone had a blast watching him eat his chocolate, having a laugh at how happy he was.
Once his last piece of chocolate was eaten, the vet gave Diego a sedative. Diego slipped peacefully over to the Rainbow Bridge, with a smile and chocolate on his lips!
We miss him greatly, but now Diego is happy and whole. He is running and playing and probably eating more chocolate!
September 7th 2007 8:23 pm
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Yep, you read that right!! Today I went to see my friend, the vet! Yes, I LOVE going to the vet!! He is a very nice man, AND he has a lot of pretty women working for him!! It doesn't hurt that most, if not all, of those pretty women are in love with me and tell me how handsome I am!! What male is his right mind wouldn't want to go to this vet with this staff!?
Anyway, as soon as Mommy parked the car I was excited!! I KNEW where I was!! I could hardly wait to get in to see my girlfriends!! YEP, they were excited to see me!! I was not so happy with one, when she took my temperature!! I mean we aren't even dating and she is married, and she got up close and personal there....I got over it though when she rubbed my chin and told me how good I was and how handsome I am!!
She then took me back to the treatment room to have blood drawn. I know, MOST dogs, people too for that matter, would NOT think this was a good thing, but again my pretty girlfriends are involved!! You see, one of them pokes me, and another 1 or 2 HOLD me!! After it is all over, they ALL love all over me!! The loving part FAR makes up for the negatives like pain or removing my blood!!
So then the first blood test had a problem, and they had to draw more blood. You know by now that this also meant WAY more loving from a bunch of pretty girls!! Who cares about needles with pretty girls around??
So then about 20 minutes later, my friend the vet came out with a HUGE smile on his face for Mommy and Daddy!! They were very happy to hear that everything is normal or close enough to normal that I don't have to come back in again unless I get sick again!!
Hmmm, I thought that was horrible news myself, what will I do without the pretty girls doting all over me?! Mommy made me happy again when she said she would take me there once a month to weigh me!!
I know I am not normal when I say this, but I LOVE MY VET!!
September 3rd 2007 9:51 pm
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Well, Mommy and I have been VERY lax about updating everyone on how I am doing. Mommy knows I am okay, but she is just still afraid. I go back to the doctor on the 10th, and then hopefully I will be able to update my page here fully!! Till then, know I am doing okay, still taking pills, BIG ONES, with every meal and twice a day!!