Friday, February 1, 2013
"My Pets" Written By: Liz Hall, Founder of Pain Sufferers Speak
These are my family's furry babies! Our Beagle is named Daisy May, and we call her May May or Baby May as she is a perpetual baby girl who loves to snuggle under blankets and be a lap dog. She is shy with all strangers and very gentle with everyone. Zippy B, or BB Boy (Zippy Billy Badass is his complete name, but I can't very well go around yelling that at the park!) is a super energetic mutt who loves to zip around our backyard and makes friends with everyone he meets. If you are well liked by Zippy, then he will offer you his "paw of friendship". If you are one of the chosen few, you should feel very special as this "paw of friendship" is usually reserved for only the four of us who live with him. Both are "rescue" dogs in their own special way.
Daisy was a Christmas present "gone bad" as Texans like to say. When we picked her up from a farm, she was sick, had been diagnosed with failure to thrive, and was clearly the runt of her litter with her puny size. In my husband's car, she remained still and quiet in my arms and fell asleep as we drove back into town. When we stopped to pick up my car, Daisy remained still and quiet in my daughter's arms until we arrived at our house. She has remained small and is only 19 pounds today. Our vet says she is the smallest full grown Beagle he has ever seen. A woman had ordered Daisy from a breeder who was expecting a litter of pups. She wanted the cheapest one as a surprise companion and Christmas gift for her son. According to the woman, she chose "Daisy" for her name after her son never bonded with Daisy and refused to name her. She also admitted that her son left Daisy out in the rain and cold with no available dog house. Daisy was fed with all their other farm animals including other dogs, and, clearly, she had missed some meals. She had apparently been kicked as we could not touch her sides for a several days without hearing her yelp in pain. Within 2 weeks of moving in with us, she had almost doubled her weight and was a happy, healthy and playful puppy! Daisy was super easy to train since she was so eager to please us. She never outgrew her bad habit of woofing down food without chewing so we say, "Daisy May has an unhealthy relationship with food." Daisy came into our lives when she was only 12 weeks old and now she is 10 years old.
We were Zippy's 5th home in his first 2 years of life. He literally whined by our front window for 3+ hours after the woman left him with us. He was 15 lbs underweight and had been forced to live in a cage for 12-15 hrs per day. This resulted in him never learning self control. He came to us mysteriously afraid of loud noises. A starter gun went off near a park we visited once, and he ran to hide behind my legs and started shaking all over. He is also "not okay" with fireworks. They still make him so nervous, he literally hides behind our back porch love-seat rocker and presses himself into the wall of our home directly behind the rocker. He will only agree to move when we open the backdoor so he can run immediately inside. He also came to us with an another mysterious "issue" that our vet explained during his first visit. Zippy would not let us touch or even pet him near his hips and hind quarters. If our hands got anywhere near his tail, he would warn us with one loud huffy bark and run away. The vet said he was castrated by binding or cutting off his testicles which is a common practice, unfortunately, and extremely painful. It took him nearly 2 years to quit caring what we did with his hind end. Now he never huffs or barks at anyone and seems to have completely gotten over whatever happened to him. Zippy came to us wild and hyper and jumping on us and everyone he met. Now he is quite the gentlemen in his "tux". His markings, and their color and placement on his coat, make him look all dressed up in formal wear. He is the only dog I have ever met who does not eat the very moment you put food in front of him. In fact, sometimes he eats a little at a time all day long. Since Daisy is a gifted thief, Zippy has to guard his food bowl, but this is natural for our stately sentinel. He guards the backyard as if on duty and paces back and forth on our back porch carefully watching and listening for any small movement or sound from the yard. It rarely snows in Austin, Texas but the one time it did with Zippy here, he bit the snowflakes before they could hit the ground as if he was dealing with an invasion from the sky. He never jumps on anyone anymore and has learned and mastered his own self control. Zippy was a 2 year old teenager when he trotted into our home, and is a full grown dog now at 6 years.
Both dogs have their own beds and do not sleep with any of us. However, whenever I have been on bed rest recovering from surgery or having a bad pain flare, my furry babies snuggle with me and sleep right next to me on my side of the bed. My husband and I only had one dog at a time while we were growing up. After watching Zippy get Daisy in better shape while they chase each other playfully around the yard, we will always own 2 dogs at once. This way they can be buddies and always be there to keep each other company whenever we leave our home.