Last night after work we took the pug and the Frenchie to the new midtown dog park, on 28th and C streets, just on the other side of the railroad tracks. The park opened a few weeks ago and is divided into two sections; one for small dogs under 25 lbs. and the other for dogs 25 lbs. and up.
I’m afraid to say that the 11-month old puppy to the left is about 25 lbs, if I had to guess. She certainly could eat her weight in kibble if given the opportunity. Hence the reason why we continue to “puppy proof” and monitor food intake.
Yes, the vet keeps telling us she’s, ahem, fat. Rotund. A butterball.
If you’ve never been to a dog park, and you’re a dog lover, you are missing out. For real. The dogs have a blast and for us human types, stress melts away as the dogs run, chase, wrestle, clown around and mouth tennis balls.
Coco the Frenchie is my second dog. She is officially a mixed breed dog and as far as I know, she is mostly French Bulldog with a little Bulldog thrown in. She is short, stout, compact, jowly, sweet, sweet, sweet, food obsessed, gassy, loving, and mellow. She is the epitome of lap dog and for me, it has been an adjustment. I went from big dog, tennis ball lover to a squatty-body puppy with a nose for treats.
Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself lucky to live in a place where I can have one dog, much less two. And Coco? She came practically potty trained and is a proficient cat/dog door user.
Coco is a “Bossy Bully” (http://www.bossybully.com/) who comes from a breeder in southern Washington state. Darlene, the owner, was kind enough to deliver Coco to the Portland Airport last fall. I met Darlene, her family and Coco in the lobby, exchanged money for the puppy, tried my darndest to listen to instructions and was back on the return flight plane to Sacramento before I knew it. This time, my carry-on was a small, tan, 8-week old puppy in the storage area beneath my feet. Check this out:
I guess you could call this post my ode to dogs, because you see, Coco was not my first dog, as I mentioned. Cody aka Codygirl, the beautiful Golden, lived to be one month shy of her 15th birthday. Not bad for a three-legged, arthritic (stinky), pooch.
This pose hides the fact that one of her rear legs was missing. She lived 4 years without that rear leg and amazed me everyday she did it. Living with a senior dog is pretty incredible. Cody was all smiles when she wasn’t just waking up from a long, long nap.
It was about a year ago that I made the decision. Don’t let anybody fool you, the dogs don’t make it easy on you. I waited for the “message” and the time “I’d just know”. Honestly, it could have happened sooner, or later. The not-knowing was agonizing because there really isn’t a right time. I always thought there would be, but I was wrong.
In this case, the old girl was having problems keeping herself up when eliminating. One day I saw it, the next morning I called the vet and she talked me through it. Yes, it was time and she assured me it was the right thing to do. We scheduled it for the next morning. I didn’t want to put it off, to use a harness or diapers and to prolong the inevitable. I don’t know about you, but I believe dogs have dignity and us humans have a responsibility to make hard decisions about their well being, even when we don’t want to. I owed it to Cody to find the time that wasn’t too soon, and wasn’t too late.
When we set the time, I hung up the phone and cried. I have never cried that hard. I had just 24-hours to bury my nose in her neck, to smell her ears, scratch the knob on the top of her head and look into those sweet brown eyes.
If you want a fabulous vet in Sacramento who does house calls, you need to call Dr. Nancy Weagly because she’s the best. She came over and if ever there was peace, it was during those last few moments as Codygirl drifted off.
Once more, Cody taught me a lesson about life, love and loss. And the aches and pains were no more.
After years of carrying her up and down stairs, administering medications and all the waiting, it seems fitting that we were introduced to a healthy, squatty, friendly, incredibly well socialized puppy called Coco.
It is easy to love her. She runs pain free, jumps fearlessly, plays and enjoys each moment. The future is full of possibilities for this magical little puppy who seems to make even the curmudgeons smile. She is a lovelove doggy.
Here’s to you, Coco McBride. And Codygirl, I love you to pieces.