Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the deluxe home for retired hunting dogs

My dad is a bird hunter. He keeps bird dogs, and has all his life. Most of his bird dogs have never made it to retirement, for one reason or another. Each dog was useful until the day it died. Not so with Recca, who developed diabetes a little over a year ago and became blind about six months after that. This makes Recca pretty much completely useless as a bird dog.

We've been toying with the idea of bringing Recca home to our house, on and off, ever since her diagnosis. We tried it once last summer for a few days, and it didn't go well. She was really active (as working dogs are, of course,) hardly ever sat still, and she was WAY too interested in my cats. And while I am all for taking care of an animal in need of a home, I don't think it makes sense if it creates a lot of stress for the kitties who already live here.

Mom and Dad are away on their annual bird hunting trip out to Iowa, and we decided to give Recca another try. She's almost completely blind now. She can only see light and shadow. The cats are an interesting shadow, nothing more, and certainly nothing she can get close enough to to get her teeth around.
Here you can see her showing interest in a cat hiding under the laundry rack. That's Pepper, by far the boldest of our three cats, and she's close enough for Recca to smell her, but Recca (as you can see) is 'looking' in the completely wrong direction. The cats have no worries.

It's a cushier life for her here. At my dad's house, she lives in a dog house with an attached outdoor run. Here, she's got a cushy memory foam bed, right next to a heating vent. She gets to be a part of family life a bit more. She can wander into the living room to see what the kids are doing, wander into the kitchen to see when her supper's coming.
And she gets to go out. A lot. Because the only problem we're really having with her is that she is pretty much used to getting up from her bed (the dog house) and peeing a couple of feet away, in the outdoor run. Not such a great habit in a house dog, which is what we need her to be if she's going to stay here.

The cats have decided that they can just live upstairs for now. We're going to keep working on the peeing inside thing. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and that other thing? That really momentous thing that just happened all over our country? I'm speechless. I'm so happy that for once the Republicans have their collective tails between their collective legs, that for once they are talking about reflecting on their message and their mission so that they can be more relevant to voters. And I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I'm so happy that they are the losers. For once.

May we get four good years, and four more after that. I'm proud to have helped elect this president.


Granna Judy said...

LOL! I'm certainly glad to see the luxurious bed you have provided for Recca! I do hope the peeing thing works out. Good luck.

BTW, love the picture of Pepper and Recca :-) but it makes me a little sad to see such evidence of her blindness.

Ipo said...

she sure is a pretty dog - what happens if she isn't a good fit for your family?

and yes, happy happy day yesterday!

Anonymous said...

That must be so hard for a dog bred to be active. If she can figure out a new pee routine, she'll be in heaven there I'm sure. As long as the cats don't start taunting her :-)

sandy said...

If she ever needs some other dogs to play with, we can bring over ours. Although the puppy might be a bit much for a blind dog.

ON the way to work yesterday I was listening to an interview with John Lewis and it made me cry. Even if Obama can't get everything done he wants too, I get the feeling he'll be honest about it.