Monday, December 15, 2008

House dogs: a photo diary

This is my bed. On the left is Karma; on the right, the black blob not too visible is Gracie. They were both rescues. We stumbled on Karma five weeks after the death of my dearest friend and companion, Kahlua (below).

Kahlua, a Keeshond, loved snow.

Karma was emaciated, living in squalor in a bad part of town and near death from a massive worm infestation. She was only five weeks old, weaned too soon. We certainly didn't need another dog when we found Karma. But, considering the date of her birth was about the same date as when Kahlua died - November 18 - I felt we had to rescue this sweet little mutt of a cattle dog from the hood. Hence, her name.

She was so tiny when we got her, the girls could hold her in the palms of their hands. It took three months and so many stool samples and trips to the vet and panacur to finally rid her of her worms. I never saw so many worms! The vet said if we hadn't saved her, she would have died.

Then, at four and a half months, she contracted Parvo. More vet bills and worry over Karma.

She's a survivor. And now, she is spoiled. She sits behind me on my bed while I work every day. If I move, she follows me all over the house, wherever I go.

This is Gracie - her "mug shot" from our local pound. Cage # 32. Skinny little black thing who had obviously had a litter of pups shortly before being picked up on the streets.

I am in the masochistic habit of regularly perusing the local pound web site, mostly in search of huskies or other northern breeds that need rescued. But I could not stop thinking about this dog. She seemed to melt my heart with this sad face. So I went to see her one day on my lunch break.

She sat on my lap, timidly at first. I touched her paws, to see if she would react aggressively. She was totally gentle, just looked up at me, eyes bulging, showing the whites.

I left with her in my arms that day. She is a mutt, a black lab cocker spaniel mix we assume. We had her spayed within the week and the vet said her uterus was distended, a sure sign of recent birth.

Gracie has been a blessing - easily the best dog we own as far as pets go. She doesn't bark, is totally house trained and just lays around all day. She knows how to beg from her years on the street. She sleeps with me and follows me from room to room also, just like Karma.

And this is Karma and Gracie doing what they do best:

Karma sleeping curled up behind me on my bed

Karma checkin out the camera. She is afraid of everything!

Cuddling Gracie

Sleep. This is what Gracie does best

Sure, we didn't need more dogs. We have working dogs. But these two are always with me, always loving our family, and making our lives so much happier.

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