Friday, February 20, 2009

Five Minute Friday #8 and (NSR) Happy Birthday Bandit!

THIS IS MY 100th post! How awesome is that?!!

Warning...gushing NSR dog story...if you're just looking for the card, scroll down to the bottom!

Yes, I'm one of those crazy dog people. I don't dress up my dog all the time but I do buy silly little headbands like this one and take embarrassing pictures of him. He's amazingly tolerant and will actually fall asleep with them on. I've got a whole collection - antlers for Christmas time, bunny ears for Easter, and this one for his birthday, among others like devil horns.

This is actually an old picture, from 2 years ago, when I had...yes...a big birthday party for my dog.

And, John, while he may not always know a good card when he sees it, does write pretty nifty music and he wrote a pretty funny song for Bandit for his birthday.

Wanna hear it?

So yeah, probably the only dog alive who had a party and his own personal song written about it. I'll pause while you stop laughing.

Done? OK...good, then I can continue.

Here's the story. Bandit should not have made it this far. At the time we were celebrating his 10th birthday because that in itself was a huge accomplishment. In fact, just a month before his party he was hit by a car and walked away, nearly 100% fine. (It probably helps that he's about 120 pounds.)

Anyway, his story begins back when I lived in upstate NY and I rescued him from a local kill shelter. The local police department wanted him for a police dog because he showed early signs of high intelligence but, luckily I was on the list first. He is indeed a very smart dog. I know, I know...most people say that - just like most people think their kid is the smartest - but for a dog, he is quite sharp. He's got a pretty extensive vocabulary and can even shake with both paws!

He was abandoned at the shelter on a cold winter day. They named him Brutus but that got changed pretty quickly. I'm not sure what he went through before I got to take him home but I think he was tortured somehow. He's always had a few very quirky things that I can't otherwise explain. He HATES water for anything other than drinking. Seriously, he will walk around a puddle and hold going out for more than 24 hours if it is downpouring. He can't stand anyone touching his feet. I tried very early on to touch his feet, knowing that would be important later on for nail trimming but he always freaked. And he HATES the kissy sound. You know, most people when they see a dog make that kissy sound to get their attention? Well, he hates it. Moving on...

I brought him home and he was the cutest little thing you ever did see. Look at those feet! The shelter said he'd probably get to be about 70 pounds...yeah...when he was 6 months old!!!

He was the cutest, friendliest little guy ever.

Fast forward about 6 years. Somehow, we're not exactly sure, he ruptured his ACL. But that went undiagnosed by an incompetent Army vet for quite some time. We changed vets since the Lyme medication he was on wasn't helping (because even though he did have Lyme, it was his ACL causing the leg problems, not the Lyme) and found out he was actually injured.

We ponied up the money for the surgery to fix it, about $6000, and we got him his bionic leg. The basically made a new ACL from wire. Eww. It was a pretty painful and traumatic surgery and really ever since then he's never been the same. Relatively soon afterward he started picking fights at the dog park and then snapping at people...people he's known his whole life.

And then it got worse. The snapping turned into real biting...biting people, sending them to the hospital. Most people would have put him down at that point but I couldn't and my vet didn't recommend it. He's basically got a loose wire in his brain. He's not vicious but the best we can tell is he's a little mentally unbalanced. We've tried doggie Prozac and a whole host of homeopathic and pharmaceuticals and nothing really helped. Well, more accurately we can't exactly tell because it's not like we can get him to or want him to try to bite people. He's unpredictable and that can be bad when he's as big as his is. So, we just learned to take precautions. We don't let him near anyone when people visit and he gets muzzled when he goes outside of the yard.

We're lucky that the people he has bitten have been close friends and nobody that would try to force him to be put down.

But, a dog with his record, is very lucky to still be alive. He's dodged cancer, thyroid issues, misdiagnoses, Lyme Disease, ACL surgery and being hit by a car (while we were out for a walk...he was on his leash AND we were in the crosswalk!!!) and lived to tell about it.

That was the reason for the celebration two years ago.

He's definitely declined in these two years. He doesn't get around very well anymore. The arthritis and weakness from his leg injury is too much for the weight of his body. We've installed a ramp so he can get in and out of the house, because he can't handle the stairs anymore. He's gotten grey in the face, much more sedate and just overall has just slowed down.

It's sad to watch. We manage the pain for him - he's got 4 different pill boxes! But, ever since he came home with me he's had a really good life. He eats better than most people I know. He gets a whole foods human processed dog food for him! But, it is still sad to see him get old. He still has the spirit of a puppy - he still wants to play but he doesn't have the stamina for more than a minute or so.

He's been such an important part of my life and I can't imagine my life without him. He even outlasted my marriage! HAHA!

But, no sadness for today! I'm just glad he's made it another year. I did a little photo shoot of him in the yard the other day and made these cards to send out to the people who attended his party two years ago. I needed them to be quick and simple so I could make a bunch of them. Enter Five Minute Friday!

The base is SU! Sahara Sand and I matted the picture with my last precious sheets of SU! Cranberry Crisp. I should have pulled a Meredith and stocked up with like 25 packs. *grin* The strip of DP at the bottom is from Sonburn and is called Plaid Puppy (on sale now!) and that is where I pulled the Cranberry Crisp from. I stamped the One of a Kind in Palette Noir directly on the DP. Lastly I tied a quick knot in the Paw Print Twill and that was it!. This twill is really easy to tie and is surprising soft for printed twill. That's it! 5 minutes - TOPS!

No party for Bandit this time around but I did order some yummy treats for him!

Happy Birthday, Bandit!

Thanks for stopping by and indulging my little story of my big puppy...

Oh yeah, I've added lots of new goodies in the store this week, including new Our Craft Lounge,, glimmer ribbons and SEI papers so make sure to go check it out!


Meredith said...

Happy Birthday Bandit!!! You are much loved (even though I've never been able to actually touch you *wink*) and Elizabeth TOTALLY adores you!!!! She has the card up in her room so she can look at her friend Bandit all the time :)

OH and I didn't stock up on 25 packs of Cranberry Crisp.........that was Cool Caribbean that I have a TON of...but I do have a few more cranberry crisp if you want some, just let me know :)

Donna said...

HA! I love it that he tolerated the hats I wish our Shelby did. It sounds like Bandit lived against all odds and for a long time leaving you with so many happy memories! I love the card you made! great picture of him and YES, he sure was a cutie pie as a puppy!!