September 7, 2011
OK, so little Miss Mercedes is really coming along. She has a very cute personality and on days when she has to stay home alone, she is very playful when I return! She will run around the chairs and table in a circle, with one of her toys in her mouth, just daring me to chase her! I chase her a little bit one way, then we go the other way, then back again. On those rare times when I almost catch her, she turns up the speed and gets away! If I want to be really ornery with her, I will take another toy and I’ll hold it up off the ground and dare her to come and get it! She will drop the toy she has in her mouth and jump up to get the toy I am holding, then run off again! She will stop, turn, look at me, lunge toward me tapping both front paws on the floor as if to say “Come on! See if you can catch me this time! I dare you!” All I have to do is to make a slight move toward her and she is off and running! If I don’t follow, she comes back and tries again, “Come on! Chase me! Play with me!” She is so cute!
Since I get tired easily, I had to devise a method of letting her know that play was ended (I’m tired). So, I taught her baby sign language for ‘all done’. She is a fast learner and when I do the sign for ‘all done’ she immediately takes her toy and goes and gets in her bed! She is usually tired,too!
June 26, 2011
Mercedes is adjusting very nicely… she has calmed down considerably — so much in fact that I even noticed it! She knows when she can’t go with me to do errands and when we go ‘bye-bye’ she sit nicely in her seat (with her harness on) and sometimes looks out the window, sometimes looks at me. She waits paitently in the car, too. I think she figured out that she can be nice in the car and go with or she can stay home alone….
March 31, 2011
I thought that Mercedes was Bichon Frise breed of dog and that is what the shelter was told and they agreed. Well, I could finally have her groomed the other day and the groomers told me a little more about this white ball of fluff. This was her first groom.
Mercedes doesn’t like to have her face hair wet. She is starting to come to me after she eats so I can wipe off her face! So, I thought that I’d have her face shaved fairly close so she would feel more comfortable. Well, a Bichon has a rather broad and somewhat flat snout. Poodles have a long narrow snout. Mercedes had so much hair around her face and neck that I thought that she was pure Bichon, but after her new groom, it is apparent that she has Poodle in her. She has a classic poodle snout, but the sturdy body and cute ‘curved over the back’ tail of a Bichon. They also told me that she had had at least one litter of puppies. My Mercedes had been a Momma! And because of the abuse, I suspect more than once. I think they probably used her as a breeder to make money. No more!
The poodle in her explains why she insists on having her face wiped off after she eats! And is why she is so meticulous about keeping her paws cleaned off as well. When she came home with me from the shelter her toe nails were so long that her paw pads couldn’t touch the ground. The hair growing between her toes and over her paws was over two inches long. I couldn’t even see her collar for all the six inches of fur growing all over her body. And she couldn’t even see because of the fur covering her beautiful liquid black eyes. Within a few hours of coming into my home, I took care of some of those things as best I could until she had her first beauty day. But now she is the beautiful animal that God created her to be.
March 29, 2011
Well, Mercedes is now a part of my family. We are having a learning curve here on adjusting to each other. I have been listening to the audio books by Caesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer. He has some very valuable insights that I have had to employ with this shelter rescue dog.
Poor little Mercedes was abused. I was able to figure this out through some of her behaviors. When she does something wrong ( and believe me she knows when she has been bad) she goes and hides. When I went to get her out of her hiding place the first time, she growled at me and so I explained to her that I was not going to hurt her, that no one was going to hurt her anymore and that she can come out when she is ready. It took her 2 1/2 hours to come out from her hiding place and ask to watch TV with me. the next time she was bad she went and hid again, but this time, she came out in about 20 minutes. The last time she started to go and hide and then stopped short and turned around and came right to me. I could actually see her thinking and working through the process. “OK, I’m not supposed to be on the bed unless I’m invited. But I jumped up there anyway. Now she wants me off the bed, I was bad. I’d better go and hide before someone hits me. OH, she loves me, she doesn’t hit me. She doesn’t even yell at me. She just firmly tells me to get off the bed. I am safe. I think I ‘ll go and tell her I’m sorry.” And then she comes over to me and lays down and rolls over and all is forgiven and my little Mercedes has learned another lesson.
And then last night, when I quickly reached down to pick her up, she quickly blinked her eyes shut and flinched. Wow. An animal wouldn’t have flinched unless she had been hit before more than once. My poor little sweet (sometimes) girl. Someone must have been really mean to her. I cuddle her and reassure her and give her lots of affection. She has come a long ways in a short time. And I love her.
March 4, 2011
Back home on Monday afternoon, I decided to take a little rest after my long trek over the hill. “Well, I’ve been gone all day,” I thought. “So I’ll just check my email real quick before I lay down.” Nothing there so I decided to look at the Oregon Humans Society’s web site to see if perhaps a cute little ball of fluff came in.
I actually had my hand on the mouse to close out the site as I was quickly scrolling to the bottom of the last page – disappointed but glad to be able to take a little rest. AND …. there she was ! ….. second from the bottom. Suzy. A ball of white fluff with two eyes in there somewhere behind the cute little black nose. My heart started beating faster, my mind racing, trying to figure out if she really was available and now what do I do to get her?
I went back and reread her bio, jotted down her ID number, clicked around the site to find the phone number and called the shelter. Yes she is available, just came in today, there are no holds on her. I decided to go and see her, but the shelter is on the other side of town and now it is rush hour.
Grabbing a very quick bite of early dinner, and refilling my water bottle, I rechecked the directions and got in the car. She was still available when I arrived and she & I had a ‘meet and greet’ in a large private room designed for just that purpose. She was perfect! Since she had not been spayed yet, I couldn’t take her home that day but I could put a non-refundable deposit to hold her until she could go home. I knew that I would change her name since she was going to have a new life . I watched her carefully during our time together and when I called out the name ‘Mercedes’ she stopped her explorations and looked right at me! So that was settled, her name is Mercedes. She is a Bichon Frise which is the breed of dog that the Spanish explorers would take with them on long voyages and they are often pictured in Goya’s paintings of Spanish Royalty. And so my new little doggie has a beautiful Spanish name to go with her beautiful spirit. I immediately paid the additional $15.00 fee and signed the papers and told her that I’d see her the next day. And I left. I was tired when I arrived home.
The next day, Tuesday, I kept my promise and drove the 60 miles to see her again. But she wasn’t in her kennel when I arrived. My Motherly instincts kicked in and I went back to the front desk to find out where she was. She was on a ‘meet and greet’ with another family! I was so upset… She is my dog! They informed me that until she is formally adopted after her surgery that they can still continue to ‘show’ her and can also put two more ‘holds’ on her. When the attendant opened the door to the room that she was in (with the other family!), I said “There she is; that’s her!” Guess who came trotting over to the doorway? Mercedes. Yes, I am sure that she remembered my voice from the day before! She is a very smart dog! I told the attendant “Please tell that family not to get too attached to her. She is my dog and she WILL be going home with ME as soon as she can leave.” That dog was not going to go home with anyone but me!
I waited for the other family to be finished with MY DOG, and then I got to sit with her again and hold her and sing to her and talk to her. We had some more bonding time together and I got a lot of my questions answered. I told her goodby and the next time I’d see her, she would be going home with me. “Now get in your bed and go to sleep, Mercedes. I’ll pick you up on Thursday.” She had surgery scheduled for Wednesday and I would not be able to see her that day as she would need to rest quietly ‘in the back’ that day and night. I could complete the adoption process when I came to get her on Thursday.
February 24, 2011
As you know, I have been looking for a little Bichon or Poodle mix puppy. I say puppy, but I am really wanting an older dog… maybe around 3 – 8 years old. I have just missed out on 3 dogs over the last month and so when I saw one online last Friday I made arrangements to go and see her on Sunday.
Saturday night I cleaned the house one last time, got the new dog bed ready, got the doggie dishes out and set up in their own special spot in the kitchen, laid my clothes out for the next day and went to bed early so I could get up and go to early church before I went for the meet and greet scheduled for noon. I cleared my Sunday afternoon schedule so I would have all afternoon getting acquainted with her.
Sunday morning, I got up early and checked my emails before church and there it was –the disappointing email. The person could not meet with me that day. Oh she gave what she thought was a good excuse, but it raised another red flag with me. Yes, I had a couple of red flags go up during my previous contacts (phone & email) with her; but I persevered because I wanted a little rescue doggie.
She told me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to see the dog, that I could drive over 2 hours to see her to Longview, Washington. I took her up on this challenge and we made arrangements to meet the following day – last Monday.
Monday morning dawned bright and cold and beautiful and I was ready for the trek to another state! I had asked a good friend who lives in Longview to meet me for the doggie meet and greet and he agreed. I am so glad that he was there to give his input and just to listen to what I was trying to process. Well, this dog was a mess. She was covered in fleas, filthy dirty, had an infected breast, and growled at me! The rabies tag said that she was a tan and black yorkie terrier, not the white bichon that the person had stated online and to me personally. Needless to say I did not take the dog and I was glad that I had paid attention to those red flags.
My friend and I had a great visit over lunch and after lunch he insisted that we stop by the local Humane Society to look at the dogs there. After looking at the dogs, we stopped by the front desk to ask about the rescue person that I had been in contact with . As I said her name to the lady at the front desk, the Shelter Director stopped short in his conversation with someone else and turned toward us and came over to answer our inquiry about this private rescue person. He took us over to his private desk where he told us an earful about the deplorable conditions at that private rescue where the dogs were kept. Then he took us to the 2 private parts of the Humane Society where little dogs were kept! No match, but a much better feeling about the way those dogs were cared for and treated.
I bid my friend good-by and got in the car without a doggie, for the drive home. As I mentioned the ride was beautiful and the friendship fun, so the day was not wasted at all. But I was tired when I got home!