Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Introducing Gus...

Okay, so "Old Man" was what I thought a very fitting and endearing name for the new addition to our household. But in no-uncertain terms, my parents told me it was AWFUL. So, some how Gus kind of fit... The above picture is of Bugenhagen and Gustavus surveying their habitat and guarding the golden squeeky!
The Old Man Gus, is doing very well. He unfortunately had a bout with a tapeworm (GROSS) but 4 pills solved that problem. The vet thought he looked pretty good for an old guy...even though he slopes down in the back, he's got good muscles and otherwise looks pretty healthy. The one lump on his chest is a tumor however, the lump on his neck is just a cyst. He and Bu are starting to get along better and better. They are fighting over prime real estate -- aka my bed -- but are also finally not caring if one or the other gets to be on the bed at the same time! Soon everyone will be out and on the floor, but it has been a way for them to get used to each other.

Gus has the most endearing way of greeting me when I get home. Bu plays the cool dog..."Hey you're back ... were you gone long?" Gus on the other hand, as soon as my car pulls in the garage, starts howling! Once I open the door, the happy dance starts! A great self-esteem boost every day. Routine: I walk in the door and proceed to the other door to the deck and yard. Bu contentedly walks out for a bit of love, perhaps some brushing, and of course time to "get busy." Again, Old Man doesn't quite live up to his name for a minute and bounds around happy to have a person back in his presence. And with a bit of coaxing he wanders off into the yard to "get busy" himself. (I'm thinking his owners walked him more then me...he sometimes needs me to walk into the grass with him to let him know it's time to go potty... hopefully this will end before winter. I'd really like to open the door and let the dogs out without having to find shoes, coat and go with them!!)

All is busy at our house...trying to find a new rhythm to our life and days. And heaven help us we're almost out of dog food!!! Better get to the store tomorrow as my life might depend on it!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Part two -- more photos.

This is Bu and his pacifier pillow -- it's a stuffed dog. The other pillow was thrown out... we'll have to get a new one soon.
We aren't in the shelter anymore Toto! A soft bed for an old man...

Okay, don't you just love that face??? Bu thinks the 2nd dog is something to be jealous of ... silly him.
Sacked out on the floor. Life isn't too bad eh?
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Bu and the Old Man

Okay, so it is like this... Bu makes a TON of friends through our new Great Dane Meetup and Rescue Group of NWO. At one point, I was even kind of sulking cause it felt like he had more friends than I did (We humans have interacted more and are friends now too!) So, this group has grown from just a very few of us like 58 people (65+ dogs now?) in a matter of just a few months. GREAT! We've been having fun. We even "rescued" our first dog and found her an appropriate home. (You have to fill out 3 pages and have references!) But, we mostly were thinking of taking care of great danes who were young, healthy, just finding the right place. And that's where "lil john" aka "the old man" comes in.
This is the "old man" -- He is a black mantle great dane with cropped ears. (Both can stand up, but the one is usually flopped down...which I personally think suits him well.) He is about 9 years old. He was thrown out of a car into a park and left behind. Heartworm positive. Someone took him to the humane society...where he was neutered, x-rayed, and treated for heartworm. Surviving all that is no small task. He was put in a foster home, but the other dog wasn't too thrilled with him so he was back at the shelter. This is where our group comes in. He's not so much of an "adoptable" dog...but what can we say, we felt so sorry for him...a few of the members went to see how he was -- there were questions about what was wrong with is back "alive" he was...what was going to happen. A few of us wondered if it wouldn't have been much more humane to put him to sleep from the stories we'd heard.
Well, Kim and her family went to visit him on Monday -- and he mushed himself right into their hearts. They knew that I said that I *might* be willing to foster him. But, I was pretty clear...I couldn't handle a dog that couldn't walk...who couldn't go up and down one step to get outside..who couldn't get into the car. The Old Man made it very clear he was ready to go with her family and hopped right into their van. That's when I got the phone call saying...want to come meet him? So, I did. And he came home with me.
"Want to go for a car ride?" -- Out the door he went, right to the car and with just a little help with his rear end he was ready to go. So, I guess I did get a new car so that I could have 2 dogs ride in it.

This is Bu and The Old Man sitting on the grand observation deck watching over the land. Bu is a bit stressed out and not too sure what to think of this other 'dog'. Bu is great friends with many dogs, but most other dogs will play, outrun, or at least bark back at him...The Old Man just totally ignores the young whippersnapper. A little love from me, a soft bed, and he's contentedly snoring. Bu on the other hand isn't sure what that is...why he's getting lovies from me...and where in the world did it come from! Other than a bit of jealousy ... and a bit of "why don't you play with me" -- Bu's still a happy dog and will learn to share (I hope!) It sure has made my Bugenhagen turn into a puppy again, desperate to play.

Funny story: While we were at Kim's house (with her 2 great danes, 1 mix dog, and her parent's 2 other dogs...and 3 children) There were sirens in the background and The Old Man started to HOWL this beautiful, deep, baritone/bass howl. We laughed so hard, I was snorting! I promise, I'm going to get that on video before he dies!
And, that's the first part of the on-going story of Bu and the Old Man. He was quite a looker in his day...and perhaps his "happily-ever-after" will be a pretty good story too. If you're interested in donating to our Great Dane Meetup and Rescue -- Let me know! Our T-shirt sales will help defray his, or other great dane rescue vet bills.
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