Friday, October 9, 2015

I love fall and Joey's 16 year adoption anniversary

Hi friends,

As you know from my last post (and other posts in October of previous years) I love fall.  What's not to love?  Cold nights, warm days.  Gorgeous new england foliage everywhere. Pumpkin Spice everywhere.  Funny though, now that I've mentioned it I can't think of anything pumpkin spice I've eaten recently, but it sure sounds yummy!

So my card today reflects this fun sentiment.  It's a great all purpose card to send to a friend to just say 'Hi.'

So, today I thought I'd write a little about our darling dog Joey.  We adopted Joey in the fall.  He was born in August, so I'm guessing we got him in October since he was 8-10 weeks old when we got him.  He is still going strong.  I'm amazed at how he is still doing great given his age.  In dog years he is now 112.

First let's talk about Joey the puppy.  Both Bob and I grew up with a family dog.  My dog was a character and we had him all through my childhood.  Bob had a dog who was a big part of his childhood as well.  So, when Sarah was 10, we decided to get our family dog.  It's funny, I did not even know I was a 'dog' person until we got Joey.  We chose to get a shelter dog and Sarah and I went to the shelter nearby and originally had thought we would get a medium size dog (like a small lab or retriever) but when we arrived they had just gotten this adorable dachshund/spaniel mix.  We fell in love when we met this adorable, tiny ball of black fur.  Joey came home and I took over the major responsibilities of walking and caring for the puppy.  I remember him being a pretty easy puppy, but maybe my memory is blocking out all the accidents and whining.  We did not crate Joey at night and from an early age he took to sleeping on one of the kids beds.  For some reason my memory is that he mostly slept in Eric's bed, probably because as Sarah became a teenager she probably shut her door at night and blocked him out.

Joey experienced all the joys and miseries of being a family dog.  Yes, he came out with his on walks in the park, yes he enjoyed attention and ball throwing from the kids and his friends. However, he also suffered the normal dog atrocities when young boys are in the house (and the parents weren't watching closely what's going on.)  The worst I heard was that Joey would go for 'rides' in a laundry basket down the carpeted stairs.

Or that the young boys discovered that if they left a starburst on the floor with the wrapper on, that Joey would eat it.  Sigh.  Somehow he survived.  Maybe it made him stronger, but it definitely explains why he cowers in the back of the room when Eric's now young adult friends stop by!

Joey has survived several house moves. I think the move from the Salt Box house to the Colonial was the hardest.  He had spent his puppy-hood in the salt box house.   At the Salt Box house we would take him to walk in a field nearby that was next to a dairy farm.  We all laughed that Joey would be afraid of the cows and we'd have to walk on the other side of the trail or he would start to run the other way.

Then it was on to the new house.  I remember trying to take him to the new house to help him acclimate.  He hated the new house.  All he wanted to so was sit in the mini-van.  Without furniture and stuff (that smelled like us) he felt the new house was quite uncomfortable.  But then, when the furniture was gone from the old house, he didn't want to be there anymore and scampered to the mini-van.  I think in his mind that was the only safe place.  Then to make matters much, much worse, shortly after moving into the Colonial a new puppy arrived on the scene.  Joey was not at all happy to have Tank move in.

Tank was the adored new puppy and the only part of his life that got better is maybe we modified his food to puppy chow, but even that only lasted for a year.   Now don't you all go feeling so so sorry for poor Joey.  On the scale of good dog lives, Joey's got it pretty good.  Two walks a day.  Two meals a day. Sleeps on Eric's bed every night (Tank sleeps in a crate) and a dog companion to hang out with when the house is empty.

I didn't really think Joey would survive the move to the condo, but so far he's managing just fine. They are 'city' dogs now.  The condo is in a city, on a busy road and it does have an impact on them. When we go to the lodge up in the woods, they get to be country dogs, but Monday-Friday, they are truly 'city' dogs and have to walk on the city streets and only get to play in the small fenced yard.

Frankly I think Joey likes the city life.  He can sleep (a lot) and he can watch the mailman and pedestrians out the window.  He isn't much into long walks anymore and he hardly plays with balls or sticks so that's not especially appealing to him.  He is mostly interested in staying warm, finding a soft spot to sleep on and getting his two square meals every day (and maybe a dropped piece of bacon every now and again.)
He's gotten quite a bit of grey fur now that he's a senior dog.  The other physical thing he has is a giant fat blob.  The first time we felt Joey's uni-boob we all freaked out and thought it was a tumor. 
The vet confirmed it was just a strange manifestation of fat on his chest.  You really have to feel it to appreciate it's grossness.  It's large (covers his entire chest area), hard (no give to this at all) and protruding.  When he gets a hair-cut you can see it very clearly and it's not a pretty sight.
Joey gets around pretty well. The only real challenge we face with him now is that he has started struggling to go down the wood staircase.  The vet said his eyesight/peripheral vision is starting to go, so he has trouble with depth perception.  The wood stairs are not forgiving so after his 3rd fall, Bob and I installed the baby gate.   He can go up to the second (or third) floor but only if we are with him.  I usually carry him down the wood stairs.  He seems to be hesitant at the top and allows me to pick him up.

It's a minor inconvenience to Bob and I.  It's quite funny watching me try to step over the baby gate with my work clothes on (heels and a pencil skirt don't do well with a hurdle!)  It's mostly inconvenient to Tank.  He has not mobility issues at all and now he's confined to the lower level while we are at work.  He'll get over it.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Make it a great day.

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