Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 27- Pets

From Singles 2011

Growing up we had lots of pets: turtles, fish, cats, dogs, parakeets, hamsters, gerbils, and even a cricket for several months until I accidentally killed it taking it to a "Pet Parade". Then, I graduated from high school and entered a long pet free zone. Eight years. It helped that while a grad students I got to study animal behavior and had a whole colony of ring doves to care for. Plus, I spent time watching rats and lemurs and dragonflies and my roommates had cats. Once I left school and entered my adult life - living in apartments - I had apartment pets: fish, birds (Beaker, Big Bird, Modern Physics, Hope, No-Ears, Watts and Ohms) and gerbils (my favorite being Bob - he was OBESE, but a very loving daddy.) I didn't get my first "all my own" dog until I went BACK to school. Vet School.

I think it is safe to assume that if you've read anything from my blog previously or you just know me, you'll know Zelda. She's our now 14 year old (gasp) cocker spaniel and the queen of our home. But, before there was Zelda, there was Victor.

Victor le bon chien - like Zelda I adopted him as a "grown up" dog. Victor, unlike Zelda, was very grown up. I don't think he knew how to play. He certainly didn't chew anything that was not food. But, he was very, very, very good at cuddling. I spent a lot of time studying with him sleeping on my lap or on my chest. He was obsessed with me. Our love was intense.

Like Zelda, I was Victor's (at least) third home. He'd been found on the street prior to landing in the clink in Columbus, Ohio where he was adopted by a grad student in theater. He named Vic. He and Victor had a "routine" - weekly bath and daily change in bandanna. He didn't have Victor long, however, before he moved apartments and was no longer able to keep a dog. I don't know how people get themselves into these situations. But, lucky for me!

Like Zelda, I have many photos of Victor. He was a cooperative boy. Here, alas, I have only two. You've seen the other recently (First Love). Here's (above) our Christmas card from 1998. (He didn't have white spots - that's dust.)

Victor died in February of 1999. He had DCM with AV heart block. (Don't worry about those particulars - I'm just showing off how cool I am to know vet jargon.) His "resting" heart rate was 36. In February he rested too well. I was at work. I believe he died in his sleep- his heart was just too slow. I was heartbroken. He was my heart and soul for only 3 years - though he probably lived to be 15 or so.
From christmas in brisbane

Zelda came from Carolina Cocker Rescue around Easter of the same year. She was two and filled with LIFE! She's still my "very bad girl" though she doesn't jump as high, any more. She had been called Ebony - but I knew she needed the name of a quintessential party girl.

I had no intention of getting another black cocker. They are so hard to photograph - but the other cocker available at that time, a parti colored boy, ran away from home the night before I drove to Charlotte to meet him. Zelda, however, was waiting for me. She'd been trialed in a house with 2 cats previously - and no one got any sleep that night: the chase was ON! and furious! No other comment was made. She was just "brought home". I had taken some dog treats with me. She was(is) initially a bit timid, but food goes a LONG way to breaking down barriers.

So, two black cockers. I don't think they are hard to tell apart even in photos. Certainly, in person Victor was a bigger dog. Victor had the classic cocker "wiggle butt". Victor had some residual facial paralysis. Zelda has those long, low set ears. Victor looked doleful. Zelda has perfected "disdain". Zelda is a Republican.

I hope that somebody reading this is inspired by my beautiful friends and is moved to select their next best friend from the ranks of the orphaned, abandoned, adult rescue dog population. There's a lot of love out there - and it's already housebroken!

From Singles 2011

1 comment:

NNV said...

The last photo? Zelda. I was testing you.