Dogs & Such

Hi! I feel especially terrible about my latest vanishing act, since the last post I wrote was about finally getting COVID. I didn’t mean to make y’all worry that I died of the new plague or something. I survived COVID and all I got was a lousy sinus infection that wouldn’t go away. It took a couple of months to feel entirely normal again.

Since last I was here, my dog died. I know! It absolutely killed me. This is the second dog I’ve had to put to sleep in only 5 years.

The pit/shepherd I had before this dog spent two years going downhill as I tried everything I could to save her from the cancer that was eating her insides. I decided I wouldn’t do that again. It cost thousands of dollars to try to save her, and ultimately, I had to put her down anyway.

This time, it was two weeks from the time I first noticed symptoms until the final farewell. She was in the early stages of renal failure. Once the internal medicine specialist (Yep, a specialist did an ultrasound–I never said I didn’t try to save her) told me that it probably wouldn’t get better even with intensive treatment, that made the decision for me.

It broke my heart again. She was only 5 years old and I had her for 4 years. Putting an animal to sleep is never easy, but it was even worse that she was so young. The only consolation is that her last 4 years were as good as any dog’s could be. She had people and other dogs who loved her. She got to run her heart out at the dog park. She went to Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, and spent a week at a dog ranch. She had a good, albeit, short life. She was the best girl. I miss her.

So, I limped through a couple of weeks heartbroken and bereft of a dog. I cannot stand not having a dog. Particularly because my sister has one, which made it even harder. In my family, when we lose a pet, our solution is to get another one. We don’t see it as replacing the pet who died, since they’re all irreplaceable anyway, but more like filling the vacancy.

I got my shepherd mix at Los Angeles Animal Services, which is a government run, high-kill shelter. We were lucky that she ended up being a sweetheart since my sister’s dog, to put it politely, is a mean bitch. She is not very nice to strange dogs in her house and she’s very possessive of food, toys, and even people. It took a month for my shepherd mix and my sister’s dog to even be in the same room without fighting. Because I couldn’t expect to get lucky with a sweet adult shelter dog a second time, against my better judgment, I decided to adopt a puppy since they generally fit into households with adult dogs better. The last time I had a puppy was in 2011 and the trauma is still fresh, so I didn’t relish the idea of getting another pup.

I figured I’d never be able to adopt a puppy from the shelter since those are always the first to go, so I looked at the many animal rescue organizations around Los Angeles. From experience, I know that these rescues have very stringent adoption policies. It’s a good thing ultimately, since they don’t want dogs going to the wrong homes, BUT I also know from experience that they don’t like the cut of my jib. While I am an experienced dog owner who grew up with dogs and has had 4 dogs of my own (now 5), 3 of which were puppies (now 4), I also rent a townhouse that does not have a private yard. I paid a $1000 dog deposit, so I’m very much allowed to have a dog, but these rescue organizations don’t seem to care about any of that.

When my pit/shepherd died of cancer, I filled out the long adoption forms for several local rescues and they never even got back to me. They saw rent and no yard, and flat out ghosted me. That’s when I went to the shelter. When looking to adopt this time, I was about to fill out all those forms and be ghosted again, when I saw this:

The next morning, I was standing in line at the shelter before the doors even opened. A week later, I picked her up after she was spayed. In California, you are not allowed to take possession of a dog from the shelter until they are spayed or neutered. I’ve had her for just over a week now and she’s just the cutest pain in the ass.

I couldn’t keep the name the shelter gave her, because Cinderelly is just… well… uh… nope. So, after a long list whittling process with all my friends and family, her name is Suki, pronounced sue-key. Suki is the English spelling for the Japanese kanji 好き meaning liked or favorite, but with a different pronunciation. In Japanese, it’s pronounced more like ski (skee). 好きです (anglicized: sukidesu, pronounced like skee-dess) means I like you, which I’m sure will end up being of her many nicknames.

When I adopted her, the form said she was 3 months old, but when they spayed her, they changed the estimate to 5 months, which makes more sense to me since she’s rather large. When I adopted her, she was 33 pounds; when I picked her up, she weighed 42. She put on 9 pounds in a week and her feet are enormous. She’s going to be a big girl.

I’m happy to report that after only 3.5 days, my sister’s dog accepted her as a play buddy. They’re not best friends yet, but they’re well on the way. She’s also good with my 16 year old cat who will outlive is all. Mostly she just ignores him.

She’s a very clever girl. She’s already mastered the stairs, learned sit and come, and I’m teaching her down and leave it. Housebreaking is going about as well as can be expected. Sigh. I’m taking her to her first puppy training class in a week.

Here she is on her ride to her forever home:

And making herself at home after her stitches healed:

How have you been?