The Heart of a Lion

This is Rose Marie Logger:

That’s her full name.  (Our animals have always acquired middle names.  I’m not sure why or how, but they do.)  She’s ‘Rose’ because she nearly gassed us out of my rig on the long ride home after collecting her.  She’s ‘Logger’ because when she first started walking and hiking with Finn and I, she would haul small logs home. Yes, logs.  Not sticks, not long branches.  Logs.  She would find one, manage to get her jaws around it, and drag it home.  It was promptly deposited near the front steps.  Truth.

This is a black bear.  They are native to New Hampshire.

Rose is a small pit bull. It would surprise you to learn that she weighs 50 pounds.  But remember science class?  Can you say dense?  Rose is solid.  The girl has mass.  There isn’t one ounce of fat on her.  Her muscles ripple when she moves.

Black bears weigh between 90 and 370 pounds.  They climb trees.  Their claws look like this:

This morning, as happens every morning, I let my kids out back.  It was 5:30 am.  They did their business, came in and I fed them.  We have a slider and a lovely deck.  Finn has taught Rose how to open the slider.  Since his method wreaks havoc on the screen, I have surrendered and simply leave the slider open.  It’s just easier that way.

I was eating my oatmeal and perusing my teaching notes, when I heard Rose barking.  I went to look.  I’ve learned that my kids bark for a reason.  I pay attention to that.

She was at the far end of the yard.  I wasn’t wearing my contacts.  But I remember my first initial thought(s):  “Why is Finn all hunched over like that”  and concurrently, “Why is Rose barking at Finn?”  Then, it was weird, my mind couldn’t keep up.  Finn was right beside me.  What the hell?

And as Finn streaked by me, I realized Rose was taking on a black bear.  All cohesive thought fled.  Instinct took over.  I ran after my dogs.  Finn’s not stupid and he seemed to know this wasn’t right.  I was far too close to a rather large  bear that was making its way up a pine tree in an attempt get away from Rose.  As the bear began sliding down the tree, I bolted back to the house, yelling “BALL!”  Finn followed me.

As I slammed the slider shut, I watched in horror as the bear slid down the tree.  Rose gave not one quarter.  The bear reared up on its hind legs and Rose reared back, barking.  The bear dropped to all fours and took off, Rose Marie hot on its heels.  I began to cry as I watched my deaf girl disappear down over the embankment.

When she showed up at the slider door, I thanked God as she barreled into the kitchen, all puffed up, stiff-legged and indignant.  As she lapped water from the bowl, she was vocal, talking about it.  I didn’t know a dog could drink water and bark at the same time.  I started to laugh: with relief, joy, and thankfulness.

Our trainer Tom affectionately calls her ‘Meathead’.  Yes. Perhaps. Sometimes.  But I saw a dog protecting all that she loved, all that was hers.  In retrospect, I admire her conviction, her courage, her tenacity.

I’m bacck!

So the company party?  And Isis’ folks?  Both very nice…  And here’s what went down:

Me:  So you’re Isis’s dad.  My husband has told me a lot about her.  Do you have a picture?  this always gets them  She’s beautiful!!  and she is indeed, steel blue coat with a white patch on her face and a white chest

Him:  Yep, she’s a cuddler, that one.  What a snuggle bug!!  this, coming from a guy covered in tatts, shaved head, smoking a butt 

Me:  laughing Yes!  I know!  And you’re not the first person I’ve heard describe them that way!  Snuggle bugs!

Him:  grinning I let her sleep with me on the bed.

Me:  leaning over, whispering conspiratorially, We let Rose sleep with us too!

Him:  Aren’t they great dogs?!

Me:  nodding, yes, they are. But so misunderstood!

Him:  I know.  Poor Isis.  When we rescued her from some guy my wife’s buddy knew- they just kept letting her have puppies and then they’d take them away from her before it was time, breed her again, and then let her have puppies….  I think she’s depressed.  I want to let her have puppies, be a proper mama, and then have her fixed.

Me:  deep breath, give me the right words… Well, she’s got a good home now.  You’ve only had her for a few months and she’s learning what it’s like to be a dog who’s loved.  Time heals.  We’ve had Rose for a year now, and she’s really turned the corner and settled.  There are so many pit bulls that are in foster care or rescues who need good homes.  Puppies are cute, but then they grow up…

Him: slowly nods

Her:  See?  I don’t want her to have puppies.  I’m not sure that will help her.

Me:  You might be right.  If she were to have pups again, that’s more strain on her young body.  You’ll want to find good homes for the puppies, you’ll get attached.  It’s hard to find good homes- you just never know.  What if she had 8 or 9 pups?!  That’s 8 or 9 good homes you’d need to find.

Him:  I see your point.  I’d never want anything bad to happen to them.

Me:  grinning Just love her up, she’s got you guys.  You’re her family, her pack now.  I’d be willing to bet she’ll be just fine with more time.

I hope and pray that they think about it.  I hope and pray they get Isis fixed. It was a nice conversation and I learned something.  I hope and pray they did as well.

Related articles

O’M HEAD

Meet Hailey:Hailey

She is between 1 and 2 years old. I would consider her a puppy; but she’s had several litters of puppies, so she’s a mama and is wiser than her years.

See her ears?  No?  Well that’s because the owner they rescued her from cut them off.  Yes.  They. Cut. Them. Off.  I have no words.

I know I’m already sponsoring Fletcher.  But they cut her ears off!  Who does this?  Based upon her bio at PittieLove I would take her in a heartbeat if it weren’t for Rose Marie.

So I am now sponsoring two dogs. And it’s good.  Truly.  But, O’mhead (as Martha would say) there are so many to save…

It breaks my heart.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire…

This is a blue nose pit bull:

blue nose pit bull pupThey also come in “tan”.  And I’m not sure how one discerns the difference between a blue nose and a red nose.  These two cuties are both classified as blue nose.blue nose pups

Hmmm, still not sure of the difference because, obviously, the name has nothing to do with the nose.  (All of which are brown, or dark gray… just say’n.) But hey, let’s relax, this isn’t the Westminster Dog Show, and that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

The Big Guy came home the other day and reported that the new guy at work had a pit bull.  Very exciting!   Her name is Isis.  The Big Guy has met her and he is in loovvee… but thank goodness he is faithful.  Rose Marie has nothing to worry about – even though she DID chew my brand-new flosser…. and I can’t even go there with her paper addiction.  It’s tragic.  We’re seeking intervention…

this used to be a perfectly good roll of Bounty paper towels…

So, this new guy at work… let’s call him “New Guy” –  tells my Big Guy that his pit bull is also a rescue. Ooh, just like our Rose Marie!  New Guy then begins to narrate Isis’s life story -she was a bred for puppies, they were always taken from her…. er,  which is why he thinks Isis’s depressed.  So he told my Big Guy that he was thinking of breeding her.  Because she’s a certified blue nose pit bull!  He would, counter to her former owners, let her keep the litter and, thus, her ‘depression’ would be cured.

WHOA.  WHOA! WHOA!!  HELLO???? Is anyone paying attention??

First and formost, if Isis, is indeed rescue, no responsible organization would have let her be adopted without her first being spayed  (Liar Liar)  After that, I’ve run out of steam… the other points are moot.  Allowing her to have a litter?  This will ease her so-called depression?  Is this guy the Dog-whisperer?  Is Isis truly depressed?  How does he know?  And what’s with the blue nose pit bull thing?  Does he really believe the world needs more pit bulls?  (Can we just have him check out a local shelter?  What say you?)

On the flip side?  The company party is next Friday.  I’m packing… the Big Guy needs to step aside.  He’s already wandering around the kitchen clutching his head with both hands.  I will try really, really hard not to initiate a brawl.  This may not be pretty… but damn… you may not align and you may not lie.  This breed needs all the honest-t0-God help that’s available.

My mission?  To find out what rescue would let Isis go intact and to educate the New Guy on how much this excellent breed needs advocates.

Now do the Arnold Shhwarzenegger voice here:  “I’ll be bacck.”

Meet Fletcher!

Image

 

This is my new “sponsee”! (now that Marilyn has found her family).  He’s barely 8 weeks old, taken from his mum early, not sure why.  His bio at PittieLove Rescue is hilarious.  Read it.  Doooo it!  He does “random zoomies”.  How cute is that?

Fletcher is the first puppy I’ve sponsored.  I usually graviate toward the older dogs, as they tend to be harder to place… which is frustrating for me because if you want to know a dog’s personality, you need to consider at a dog who’s matured.  

Let’s face it.  Babies are adorable!  (God makes them that way so we will continue to procreate.)  Image

But! They get older and become… (duh, duh, dun…)  TEENAGERS!  ahhhhhhhhhhhImage

With teenagers, you never know what’s going to happen next.  You hope for the best.  You do what you think is right.  But honestly?  Oftentimes you just cross your fingers and say your prayers.  When the genes kick in; anything can happen.  And usually does.  But it’s worse with dogs.  Because, consider this: at least with your 2-legged kids, you know the gene pool.  When you adopt a dog?  No clue.

On the flip side?  Dogs are products of their environment.  If all Fletcher ever knows is kindness, consistency, boundaries, and love, he will be a fabulous dog.  Here’s hoping and a’pray’n that he will!

 

Wonderful News!

Marilyn has been adopted!  She’s found her “forever” home.  I got the email last night.  Marilyn is the second dog I’ve sponsored and I chose her because her name is the same as my beloved mom’s.

My first sponsor was Athena.  She was snow white, had beautiful eyes and huge ears.   I chose her because she was deaf.  Quite frankly, I believe that sponsoring Athena is what helped me begin to heal after Tilly.  I actually became quite attached to Athena.  I sent her a custom made collar from Sirius Republic.  The fabric was called “Rosebud”  and the red would be stunning against her white coat.  I’m glad the folks at PittieLove Rescue humored me and didn’t seem to think I was a weirdo or a stalker.

When you give, when you contribute, when you volunteer- the payback is amazing.  It’s hard to put into words how sponsoring a pit bull makes me feel.  I know I can’t foster because of Rose, so this is the next best thing.  It gives me a sense of helping a wonderful breed of dog that’s been victimized, vilified, and quite often maligned by the press.

Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Mahatma Gandi

 

Reactions to Finn have always been jovial and positive.  Rose often triggers other emotions in people when we walk by.  I’ve never hesitated to take Finn with me anywhere.  But I often consider where I’m going and who will be there before I decide whether or not to include Rose.  She has a responsibility to act as an Ambassador for her breed, so I must make sure she’s never placed in a postion where she could possibly fail.

Finn wins over everyone he meets.  He’s a big-hearted, goofy lab with a ball he’d like you to throw.  Rose won’t win over everyone, but if she changes one mind that’s good enough.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  Gandhi

By Jove I think I’ve got it!

This is what my last batch of biscuits wound up looking like:

IMG_0126

But I felt just ok about the name.  No dog is bad to bone.  They’re all good dogs.  I asked for help with a name and my mother and niece thought that something with “drool” in it would be nice.

And so I bring you:  The Delighted Drool Biscuit Company.  I have to work on a label, but my tagline is gonna be “if there’s no drool or bubbles, we’re not doing our job.”  Because, as you all know, I don’t run this company alone.  I have help:

Finnegan Moose, Regional Supervisor and Marketing CFO

 

Rose Marie Logger, PITA & Assistant to the CEO

Actually Rose is a valued employee.  Without her counter surfing taste-testing abilities, where would we be?

Thanks Mom and Caralyn Ann.  Love you both. xoxo