Each of our five dogs has its own sad-sack story and that’s why they joined our household.
Ellie is an orange, short-haired something-or-other with a broad head and face somewhat reminiscent of a pit bull except she is small and weighs only about twenty pounds. Her most distinctive traits are her bowed rear legs and an unnerving tendency to fall over unexpectedly when she loses her balance. In the past few days, we’ve also discovered she may have epilepsy.
She showed up at our front gate a year ago in bad shape, emaciated and with a nasty infection in her right eye. She acted very submissively, almost pleadingly, whenever Stew or I approached her. So naturally we felt sorry and took her in and after a few hundred dollars worth of antibiotics, spaying and shots, she joined the gang.
Roxy, a hulk of a mutt that weighs about sixty pounds, was found on the streets of San Miguel by someone at a nearby ranch. Someone must have seen in Roxy a way to make pesos, perhaps because she had the looks of a Rottweiler or some such, but she was abandoned at a few months old when it became clear she was not breeding material.
One thing Roxy and Ellie share, though, is that both are missing their tails. I cringe to think they probably lost them Mexican-style, with a whack of machete when they were a few weeks old. Roxy also had part of her ears cut off.
Their missing tails make their enthusiastic greetings all the more touching—they wiggle their one-inch stumps and part of their rear ends.
Roxy and Ellie also have become BFFs, or Best Female Friends.
A couple of days ago during our morning strolls in the fields near our place, Ellie just keeled over on her side, panting frantically. Stew tried to pick her up but she wouldn’t respond, until about five or six minutes, she walked a few more steps and fell on her side again. A friend suggested those may have been epileptic seizures.
Stew asked me to bring the truck so we could bring Ellie home, so I left with the other four dogs. But about fifty feet on the way back, Roxy noticed Ellie was missing and ran back to where Stew and Ellie were waiting. Roxy sat there looking at the two and wouldn’t leave.
When I arrived with the truck, Stew put Ellie in and Roxy jumped up too and kept sniffing Ellie on the way home.
Was Roxy concerned about Ellie? Did she sense something was wrong? How did these two completely different sorts pair up?
I have no idea how dogs forge their own links to other dogs, except each one has a distinct personality. I don’t believe dogs “get upset”, “hold grudges” or poop on the carpet to “get back” at their owners.
Their brain cycles are not that complex and revolve more around unquestioning loyalty and love for their owners, which is why they become part of our families.
Our big white Lucy is clearly the leader of the pack; where she goes the others follow.
Domino, the only male, spent the first eighteen months of his life at the local shelter, mostly in a cage. We think he has a case of PKD (Post Kennel Disorder) and has only recently calmed down. He remains a loner whose main trick is to sit and offer one of his paws whenever anyone approaches. His idea of play is not to chase one of the other dogs but to roll on his back, feet in the air, howling merrily, all by himself.
Felisa, the smallest of the group, is the most attached to Stew and me, wagging her tail in a circular motion at the smallest provocation. She may be the most hyperactive and often gets on Roxy’s nerves who communicates her impatience by letting out a basso profundo growl that sounds like the idle on a Harley-Davidson.
All and all, a happy bunch, complemented on workdays by Félix’s own mutts Palomita and Luiso, the latter one of the dumbest and laziest dogs I’ve ever encountered. It’s tough not to like him, though, character defects and all.
9 thoughts on “A case of puppy love”
You two are clearly good dog people. Kudos. I've never had a dog in my life, but were I to get one it would be a standard poodle, the big, non-yappy one.
Some very lucky dogs you have there. Is the epilepsy treatable?
Oh I love this!
If you'd had a dog during your formative years, you could be a liberal. Right now, though, I can't imagine you sauntering around Pátzcuaro in the company of big standard poodle. That image just doesn't resonate.
We need to take her to the vet. I've heard of dogs with epilepsy but don't know how it is treated, if at all.
Well, good for you! Thanks.al
Standards are big, manly dogs. They aren't the little yappy poodles women love. And if you don't cut a Standard's hair like a poodle, it doesn't even look like a poodle. They're hyper-smart too.
Felipe used to be a liberal. And on matters of actual policy (vs rah-rah headline stuff) I'd bet you two are far more in agreement than not.
If cost is no object, Angell Animal Medical center in Boston has a head of canine oncology according to my friend, “G.” If that's the case (and I don't doubt it) they probably have the world expert on canine epilepsy too. So get thee to Boston, and Ellie will get the best care on the planet. Saludos,Kim GRedding, CAWhere we'd simply like the cat to stop fooling with the laptop.