Bark, Buhbark, Barkity, Bark…
Translation: Hi, where are my cookies?
If it isn’t obvious, this blog revolves entirely around a 10-year-old, 65 lb, atrociously mannered mutt named Faith.
“And squeakies, Mom! Do NOT forget my squeakies!!!!”
Oh, and she loves squeaky toys.
(It seems we have a back seat blogger here.)
“I’m still sitting here you know.”
I can’t say that I’m very out of the ordinary, writing about a pet, there are plenty of pet owners that also think the world would be a better place if introduced to their special fuzzy pals (or feathered ones as seen in one of my favorite blogs: http://www.mrflapper.com/blog/)
In any case, I doubt anyone will really benefit from reading Faith’s blog…
“That’s what you think!”
But, perhaps her daily encounters and child-like (emphasis on child-like) nature will bring a smile to your face, like it does mine.
So let me introduce you to the star of this blog.
This is Faith.
Faith is… Well, Faith is a lot of things. Breed-wise, no one really knows (A genetic catastrophe I’m sure) but by the light of day, she looks more on the side of a Yellow Lab (With ears too small for her head, spots on her paws that don’t make sense and a serious hatred for water). I guess its up to you, dear reader, to decide what you think she is and if it ever strikes me to shell out the cash, I might get some testing done to see what the Wolf-Woman is really made of.
“I’d say perfection.”
I’d say… Well, I better not. Kids might read this.
But I digress.
“That’ll happen a lot.”
Faith also has the extraordinary ability to talk. Usually this phenomenon only occurs when she and several other people are in the room to translate, but yes, she talks.
Anyway, her story is actually a lot cooler than her attitude right now. About ten years ago (I was actually in middle school, can you believe it?)– My mom and I were heading out to pick up some dinner, my dad having to work late. I think, though I feel sick for it, we were heading to Long John Silver’s, but that’s beside the point. Our destination lead us down a dark, poorly lit back road, one that lead passed (at the time) an open area for anything to gallop through.
Mom and I were cruising along, talking and doing the mother-daughter thing, when all of a sudden, this flash of white-yellow comes out of nowhere and right in front of our Van. Despite her speed, it was obvious it was a dog and although there was no telltale thud to indicate we had hit her, my mom was afraid we had. Seeing as she and our big softies and had a zoo of animals at home, it’s not hard to figure out that hitting a dog would be heartbreaking. So, mom cautiously opened the door and stepped out into the summer heat, the light of our headlights barely scratching the surface of the evening dark.
“Puppy?” My mom asked quietly, for about a millisecond it was still and then all of sudden I was face to face with dog I’d never met.
Typically, I’m not afraid of animals, I love just about all of them and if I had a bigger house, a lot of money and a hired hand to feed them all, I would probably have a collection of animals that would make the Arc look like a petting zoo. However, when you’re like, 11 and there’s this rather hungry looking, very smelly, very muddy dog that wasn’t in your car previously, suddenly standing well within your “bubble”, you really reconsider your idea that all fuzzy things are nice. For all I know, she wanted to eat my face off. So as I lunged for the door, my mom leans into the car and yells:
I swear to you, I’ve never seen a dog’s butt hit the ground so fast in my life. As soon as she heard mom’s no nonsense command, her behind discovered the now muddy, gray carpet of the van in a jiffy. Looking at her for a moment, I realized just how on her own she had been. Now that I knew she was not, in fact, going to tear my face off, I saw that she was severely emaciated, ribs sticking out all across her sides, heaving from the run she had just taken, her fur was caked with days, if not weeks worth of mud. And yet, just looking at her, you could see she wasn’t a vicious dog. She was just very tired of running. After further inspection, we found she had an old green collar (also caked in mud) around her neck, that was missing any identification, but did discover a length of nylon rope, still attached to the leash ring… It appeared to have been chewed through, which I can only imagine meant she was tired of wherever she was before.
I’m a genius, I know.
Well, seeing as we’re softies, mom and I didn’t have the heart to kick her out of the van and go on without her. So, despite stinking to high heaven and dripping mud every which way, we carried on with our quest, with an extra passenger. By this time we had to change venues and bought some KFC– Which was fine, until the dog realized we were actually bringing food within inches of her very hungry nose. She was inhaling so hard, I thought for sure a chicken wing was going to come punching through the container. We also discovered that night, that the dog liked Pepsi; seeing as the one cup that passed her face had just little bit spilled on the lid… That didn’t last a second as she slurped it right off.
Mom was sure to hand that one to me, like I was EVEN going to drink it after that.
By the time we got home, we had found out that she could sit, stay and shake. When we got home, we also discovered she doesn’t share. Having put down food for our two dogs and herself, we found that, because of her extended stay in the wild, she had forgotten that although no one was taking it away and she could eat it at a leisurely pace, she wanted to make sure she got it all in one sitting. So, she slurped hers down and then made a break for everyone elses’… Which funny, because at the time we had two fairly dominate males and neither one of them was OK with sharing their food with a stranger.
Mom ended up scrubbing her clean for what seemed like hours. Several refillings of the tub later and the newcomer finally looked like a dog again. Though, mom also spent quite a bit of time trying to scrub spots off her feet that didn’t seem to be budging– Took a minute to realize they were permanent– Add that to the list of possible breeds. When she was finally clean and no longer reeked of months of gross, mom let her run around in the house, getting to know our two boys (Yuri and Ozzie) and letting her play with their toys. Before The Great Bath incident, mom had called my dad at work, beginning her story with “Now don’t get mad…” Seeing as dad had made it clear we were not in need of any more fuzzy friends. When mom finally finished explaning dad wasn’t that thrilled with the thought of another dog staying at the house, even if it was for a short while. His tune changed when he got home early in the morning and mom and the newbie were waiting up for him.
The dog, apparently never having seen a tug toy before was gleefully rolling around, playing with the toy, the thing shoved so far back in her mouth she could barely breathe (or so I’ve heard, I was in bed at this point). She heard the car door slam and knew that someone was there, but of course, didn’t know that he belonged. Whipping up to stare at the door, she waited for whatever it was. When my dad popped through the door, the dog was so torn between protecting the house and her toy, she couldn’t decide between barking or continuing with the toy.
So she did both.
“Boofk.” Escaped her full lips and dad, who as I’ve said wasn’t thrilled about her staying with us said, to which my mom swears to this day he said:
“I think I’m in love.”
The next day my parents called the animal shelter to report her being found. There weren’t any reports matching her description and since she was already so skinny and muddy, it was likely that even if there had been one, it had since been forgotten. That’s when we found out that after 5 days, if no one had come to claim her and we decided she was welcome, she was legally ours. Seeing as there are so many dogs being housed in shelters anyway and the fact that I couldn’t bear to think she’d be euthanized, my parents gave her the go ahead to stay if an owner wasn’t found.
Almost 11 years later. She’s still here. And what a joy.
“You better believe it.”
Shh, I’m telling your story right now. In any case, since five days obviously came and went, we knew we couldn’t continue to call her puppy. After a vet check-up that gave her a surprisingly clean bill of health, we discovered she was probably around a year old when she hitched a ride, so in reality, she wasn’t really a puppy. So we tried to think of cool names, stupid names, old names and significant names. And so we came up with
Because if she hadn’t of thrown herself in front of our van and leaped into our lives, she probably would have died somewhere along the road, with no one to love her,
“And no squeakies… That would have been terrible!”
And no squeakies, you’re absolutely right, Faith.
Now she has a family that loves her:
My girl! I luvz her!
Afenced backyard to play in, plenty of Kibble–
“And Ol’ Roys! I LOVE Ol’ Roys!”
If I were a dog, Faith, I’m sure I’d love them too.
Two big brothers:
My stupid brother, Yuri
The better brother, Ozzie
An overflowing box full of squeaky toys:
So, now you know how Faith came to be and why, maybe her story will be significant to you. I know taking care of a dog can be difficult, but sometimes the rewards are worth it. Faith can be a pain (especially when she gets into the garbage),
“I have NEVER done such a thing… That was always Yuri. Every time… Even if he wasn’t in the house…”
but she can also be a God-send in tough times. I know for a fact if she hadn’t of been around when I moved into my first apartment and schleped through two years at a terrible university, I wouldn’t have made it. So I sincerely suggest, if you think about getting a dog, don’t go straight for the designer dogs (What in hell is a PuggaDoodle?) but check out your local animal shelter. I’d say the majority of the time, mutts can look just as good as a purebred and they certainly appreciate life a lot more, especially if they’ve had it tough all their life. Think about it.
Until tomorrow or whenever we figure out what to write next!
~Jaina & Faith