Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twelve - It's not just for Days of Christmas

Christmas is only a couple of days away, and it marks Trouper's unofficial birthday. Unofficial because we really don't know what his real birthday is; I only know that we rescued him in 1999 and he was about a year old. Since he's such a happy and jolly fella, we decided that December 25th would be an appropriate day to celebrate his birthday.

What hit me like a load of bricks was that this will be his 12th birthday. Not only that, but in the next few months, two more of my dogs will be turning twelve. YIKES! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?? When did twelve years fly by? (And why don't they act their age, doggonnit?!)

We rescued Trouper from New England Border Collie Rescue. He was almost perfect from Day One. Except for the time he jumped on the island in the kitchen the first week we had him. I guess we weren't paying enough attention to him - it's so easy to ignore the big black and white hairy thing under your feet, and following you everywhere. But it was just that one time; you know how quick Border Collies are to learn and all that...

He never had a stitch of the herding instinct in him, never cared about agility, and (as you can see in the picture) always liked lobbing about, just taking in as much love as he possibly could. It's how he earned the nickname Casanova. People, dogs, lizards, the remote control; you name it, he loves it. He'd lick your face off if you let him. (Good to know: he often eats poop.)

Buster is the next to hit the big 1-2, in February. Even though he's a rescue, we know his birthdate because we have his papers.

He was given up twice before he was nine months old. The second time, he was tied to the rescue's railing and left there. Nine months old! He's just a little, teeny Parson Russell, for heavens sake (who could take down a Grizzly) he wouldn't hurt a fly.

When we picked him up at his foster home, he was very excited (standing on the kitchen counter and all). He obviously couldn't wait to go to a "normal" home. In his previous home, he had been given a haircut (a chop job) by an 8-year-old and was wearing green sparkle nail polish. Poor dog. And who lets an eight-year-old play with a dog AND scissors?

His story is great. The woman who had Buster also had a two-year-old Parson. She wanted to - get this - "switch to Poodles." Well, guess what? I'd like to switch to blonde, but IT'S A DOG, not a haircolor you ignorant piece of crap. Good for Buster. Now he knows what real love is.

A couple of years ago, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. We found a lump on his ribcage, an odd place for it to pop up. Usually this bone cancer appears in limbs, and, usually, it's found in larger breed dogs. His surgery involved removing the affected rib, plus clear margins which meant pieces of the surrounding ribs. The surgery was fairly involved, but he pulled through with flying colors. He then when through some pretty tough chemotherapy, lost his hair (which grew back a sort of apricot color; this pic is pre-op/pre-chemo) and is still biting the ankles of anyone who will get close enough. Only kidding. Sort of. (Good to know: when meeting Buster for the first time, throw him an ice cube. Friends for life, guaranteed.)

Lucy, my little girl, will turn twelve in April. She's a mini-Aussie and she's an R-U-N-T from a breeder. Please don't say the "R" word out loud in front of her. In my eyes, she's THE most perfect dog to walk the face of the Earth. Ever. Don't even try to dispute this.

Anyway. This is the Velcro dog that follows me everywhere. SHE has the herding instinct and uses it every day. Charlie thinks she's the boss; Lucy knows she's the boss.

We tried agility with Lucy; she started through the tunnel. And stopped. Halfway through. Just stopped. And sat down. She wasn't putting on a show for anyone, no-ho-ho. So we stopped agility and went home. She continued herding the boys and is quite content with that as her sport, although the boys might disagree to this very day. (Good to know: Lucy is MY dog; hands off, not kidding.)

So those are my soon-to-be twelve-year-olds. I still don't know where the time went. Or why they still act like puppies!

And this is what Charlie has to say about all of this:

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