This is Tina on the left. She is a full Pitt Bull but is tiny. She is about half the size of a normal Pitt. She is just barely over 1 year old and was brought to HART full of puppies. She birthed them in the kennel and just weaned them off her milk. All but one of the puppies has already been adopted.
We took her in as a foster because the woman that classifies dogs tagged her as aggressive toward children and other dogs and as toy aggressive. So she to our home.
On the first introduction to the house she just started wagging her tail like crazy and ran over to me wanting some attention. All of the dogs did their usually sniffs and there was no aggression at all. We had already picked up all of the toys so that there wouldn’t be any fights. She appears to be very sweet and affectionate. She can jump on the bed (which is 3x her height) without missing a stride. She has powerful back legs and ears that are very expressive. Unlike Goof, her ears can stand up and rotate like radar.
Prior to Kira leaving Goof was a great little dog and was incredibly affectionate and fun to play with. But after Kira was gone he started staying with me in my office and started sleeping against me every night. As time has gone on he has turned into my shadow.
When I got Goof I was concerned that he would turn into Mike’s dog because Mike works from home every day and I figured that Goof would decide Mike was his best friend. But it appears that Goof has decided that he likes me over Mike.
Just as I was recovering from being sick and not able to eat, I woke up at 2am with both Kira and Goof laying tightly against me. While it is normal for Goof to sleep near me, Kira doesn’t like to be within 2 feet of anyone and never against them. Both were shivering.
We normally keep the house on a schedule to save energy and let it drop down to 60 at night. But when I checked the thermostat it was down to 53. I pushed the temperature up to 68 but nothing happened. It was 19 degrees F outside.
I put a small blanket over Goof and one on Kira. Goof stayed curled up and slowly stopped shivering. Kira kicked her blanket off and kept pressed against me shivering.
First thing in the morning I called the AC repair company that installed the unit 2 years ago and they said they were booked but would try to find a way to fit us in for an emergency visit. We pay $400 a year for a maintenance contract that includes the cost of any emergencies and adds a bit of priority to us.
During the day we tried various things and found that it we flipped the emergency switch by the unit that it could be brought back to life for about 15 minutes. I didn’t think it was particularly good for the unit to keep flipping that switch. So we found that going to the thermostat and turning it to off for a minute and then back to heat that it would run the same 15 minute cycle. So, all day long the dogs huddled together and shivered while wore long coats and kept cycling the unit. We got the house up to about 63 by 5pm.
At about 6pm the repair person arrived and after about 30 minutes of testing he found that a protective switch was failing and told us that we could keep cycling it without damaging it. We got the house up to 66 but it will drop again. We got out a little oil space heater and have put it in the room with Kira so that she won’t shiver so bad.
I haven’t eaten anything in 4 days but today I finally made some eggs and was able to keep them down. It always messes me up when a dog goes down. Somehow these critters just get to me and I cannot handle their exit. I know what we did for Remy was right. He would have slowly died from not being able to eat. I just hate doing it. I think I get more upset as I get older.
Life is getting a little back to normal for me. For the first time in a week I didn’t accidentally put Remy’s bowl out. Every day this week I have fixed 4 breakfast for the dogs and then fussed at myself for putting a bowl down for Remy. I made some eggs and kept them down. This has been the worst birthday that I can remember.
But life goes on. Goofy McGoofface is curled up under my office chair and Kira is sleeping soundly. It is 26 outside and the house is below 60. It is going to be a bad winter.
I do miss Remy terribly.
The past year has been one of the most difficult that I can remember. The job is at the edge of success and failure and I have gone without salary through out it, not just one but two small tornados hit our house in the summer tearing up the porch and roof, and recently failures of hardware in our production system at work that have kept me working 24hours a day for a couple of weeks have just worn me down. I drive to work knowing that I have no choice but to stay and I drive home wishing that I didn’t have to make the drive. My staff happily takes vacation and leaves me without coverage for customer support so I am working 13 hour days to cover for them. And recently, my phone battery ruptured and melted down losing everything that I had in it. I have backups, but my replacement phone won’t accept the backup.
Tonight I was sitting in my office thinking about what to do about my failed phone and just making myself more depressed when the little orange goofball came running in the room, looked at me, and then jumped on me pushing me and my chair into the wall and knocking over my laptop and a few other things. In the mood that I was in, I would think that I would have just yelled at him, but instead I surprised myself that I just laughed, hugged him, and then wrestled with him.
In all of the problems I have had, this little reincarnation of Darby that I call Goof just seems to be able to break the mood and make me smile when I least expect it. Every night I go to bed and he is somewhere else. Every morning I wake up and he is laying with his back against me and his head on my pillow. He doesn’t move a bit no matter if I toss and turn (which is pretty common) and will lay there silently till I reach over and touch his nose. During the work week I touch his nose at 6am, but on weekends I touch it at 8am. He sits there so silently waiting for his breakfast but won’t bother me till I touch his nose.
When I touch his nose, he stands up, stretches, and then lays on me and chews on my hand until I wrestle with him. Then I give him breakfast. He is the most energetic, affectionate, and patient dog I have seen. Every dog is different, but this one can do bad things and I just fuss, fix, and move on. I don’t do that with the other dogs. Something about this little thing is unique.
I still cannot imagine how someone could throw this little dog away. Yes he is energetic and wants a lot of attention, but he gives back more than any dog we have had. Every morning I find him laying on the bed with his head on the pillow next to me and when I move, he adjusts. When I wake, he is watching me and slaps me in the face with a paw to start the morning. We wrestle and play for a while and then I get up and for my shower and shave and he waits by the door.
I really am happy that this little dog likes me. I feared that I would never have a dog like Kira that liked me and stuck with me, but I was wrong. Goof seems to really like me.
He is just so much a Darby reincarnation that I have to think that this kind of dog personality must exist all over the place. When I walk through the house, he walks with me watching me… literally looking at my face… for direction. When I sit down or lay down, he lays on my foot or finds a way to be touching me.
I am really glad we adopted this little guy. He does get into trouble and he cannot be trusted alone in the yard, but in time I think he will figure out the boundaries. He is only 1.5 years old right now.
I haven’t written in a while as I shut down my server due to security problems with WordPress. Those have been patched so I made the server available again.
Goof is just an incredibly sweet and frustrating dog. He has lots of the personality of Darby but he isn’t nearly as mischievous. He does tear up the plants and he likes to sleep in a little ball under my left arm every night.
During the last week he discovered that there is something under the deck in the back yard. He crawled under and when he came out, his chest and feet were covered with dirt and rock that was used to fill in under the deck.
He did this on Monday and Mike didn’t clean him up. Today was a unique day in which Mike is out recuing a dog and he called to ask me to fill the dog tub with stuff to treat the pooch for fleas and ticks. While I had the hose out to fill the pool, I grabbed Goof and washed him.
I don’t think he has ever been washed. He does have short hair so it is understandable that he doesn’t need to be washed as the fur comes out every season. But in this case he needed to be washed.
He was curiously watching the tub fill and I grabbed him by the collar and then turned the hose on him. He went ballistic and started screaming and wiggling to get away. I held him tight and eventually pinched his back end between my legs as I hosed him down. I got just as wet as he did but he got his first bath.
When I let him go, it was like letting a Tasmanian devil out of a cage. He just started running through the house, around the deck, and just went crazy. He is like a cat in a lot of ways in his reaction to excitement.