Furry Flashbacks – What the…??

During the 17 years that I have been a doggie mom, I have asked, “What the…??” numerous times. Most of the time, I end up laughing and shaking my head. But one time in particular left me thinking that I had lost my mind.

I was heading to the gym, but before I left, I put some frozen chicken breasts (four or five) in a glass casserole dish and set them on the counter to defrost. I slid the dish as far back on the counter as I could and chuckled while I did. I remember specifically thinking, “Rocky’s not going to bother this. He’s too old and it’s too far back on the counter.” (This was pre-Jacques.) With that, I went to the gym.

When I returned home about two hours later, I was greeted with great fanfare (as usual) by Rocky. He escorted me through the kitchen barking and dancing the whole way. I got to the living room and stopped. Something was wrong. I looked back at the kitchen but didn’t notice anything out of place, so I continued through the living room to let Rocky out. I stopped again… I had this nagging feeling. Something wasn’t right. I went back to the kitchen, turned the light on and quickly looked around, but, again, nothing caught my attention. As I turned to leave, it dawned on me. The casserole dish had been moved.

I walked over to inspect it. It was only moved a few inches… but there was now only one chicken breast in it. And there was no drips down the side of the cabinet; no liquid of any kind on the floor. There was no indication of what happened to that chicken. As I stood and looked at the crime scene, it was obvious who the culprit was, but I couldn’t figure out how he did it. I tried to imagine the scene and just couldn’t. For a few minutes I really felt like I was losing my mind. Surely I didn’t imagine putting out all that chicken? Why would I only set out one breast?? If Rocky ate them, how did he get them and a) not make a mess or b) not break the glass dish? Was it Ancient Aliens? Or was I just losing my mind??

IMG_0213The casserole dish was left flush with the back wall on a 2+ft. deep counter top.

I still have no idea exactly how Rocky managed to get to the chicken, but it’s obvious that’s what happened. He, of course, played dumb when I asked him about it. (And don’t think eating all that chicken kept him from eating his dinner!) From then on, if something needed to be defrosted that day, I put it in the sink. I wasn’t taking any chances after that! Oh, Rocky… what the…???

IMG_1332“Missing chicken? I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

Happy Rocky-tober 2015

For our family, October is a special month. Sometime during this month, 15 years ago a puppy was born. This wasn’t just any puppy. It was a puppy that would forever change my life and live in my heart. I witnessed this little puppy get hit by a truck – not once, but TWICE. I watched in amazement as he got up and walked off. And as I rushed him to the vet, my heart melted as he climbed into my lap. This little guy was down, but he certainly wasn’t out – and that’s how he got the name Rocky. That would be the theme of his life. He was able to take the things life threw at him in stride, and while he would occasionally get down, he was a fighter… he was never out.

He was the goofiest, most frustrating, most lovable, most “special” dog I ever met. So, in honor of the “special”-ness that was Rocky, I would like to wish you a Happy Rocky-tober! Be kind to the lost, wounded, and special souls in your life. And always carpe canine!

happy_rocky-tober

Furry Flashbacks – The Time Niko Almost Ate My Friend

A number of our blogoshpere friends know that mid-July is ruff at our house. We lost Rocky on July 14, 2014 and Niko on July 22, 2010. They were both beloved family members. To honor Niko’s memory, I decided I would share one of my favorite stories about him. It still makes me cry – but they’re tears of laughter. I can never get through the story without laughing hysterically. I hope it at least gives you a chuckle.


In the summer of 2000, my dear friend, Shaun*, came to visit. Shaun was a big guy (like 6’5”), very amiable (he’s Canadian, after all), and while quite ornery, he was (and still is) a genuinely good guy. None of that mattered to Niko. For whatever reason, Niko didn’t like Shaun.

One day during his visit, Shaun offered to get groceries and cook a curry dinner at my place. I gave him a key to the house and thought nothing more of it. While sitting at lunch with a friend, I realized that Shaun would be entering the house without me… and I wasn’t sure how Niko would handle that. My friend and I raced back to the house and saw the front door ajar. Before he had stopped the car, I jumped out and started running towards the door. I heard fierce barking and ran faster. I hit the door full force and was stopped in my tracks. The door wouldn’t budge. I was able to poke my head through the crack and couldn’t believe my eyes. There, in the small foyer, was my giant friend crouched down into a ball. Across the room was Niko – ears back, teeth showing. He was not about to let this guy into the house!

Don’t let his smile fool you… He didn’t like strangers coming into his house!

I couldn’t quite process what was going on. There were grocery sacks next to Shaun, and between Niko and him was a large package of chicken. I just stood there for a second not knowing what to do. Finally I shoved my way past Shaun and into the house. I yelled Niko’s name which seemed to get his attention momentarily before he refocused on the “intruder.” After calling his name a few more times and “petting” Shaun in a lame attempt to show Niko that Shaun wasn’t a threat, Niko finally came around and ran to me.

Once the situation was diffused, Shaun, our friend, and I finally started to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I Shaun asked if the chicken was supposed to be our dinner; he said yes. Then I asked him why it was in the middle of the room. He told me that he was hoping Niko would rather eat the chicken than him. Fair enough.

From what I remember, Shaun gave Niko some curried chicken that night which finally won Niko over (or at least helped him decide to be a little nicer to Shaun).

*Shaun isn’t the guy’s real name, but it’s close enough.

Dear Rocky – A Year Later

Dear Rocky,

It seems like forever ago since I last saw you. It has been a year since you crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I still call your name… I still feel the void where your ample presence should be. My heart still feels broken. I still miss you so very much. It has been so hard not to collapse under the sadness of losing you. I have wanted to fall apart many, many times. But I made a promise to you – I promised that I would go, do see, and explore in your memory. I promised to live life every day. And while some days I’m more successful than others, I try every day.

In this past year, Daddy and I (and sometimes Jacques too) have traveled to numerous places around the globe. In each city and each country, we raise our glasses and toast you. At the end of each day or each new adventure, we say, “We think Rocky would approve!” and, my furry buddy, I really do think you would approve.

Whether it’s summoning the courage to wander around a foreign city alone, finding the strength to make it to the top of a volcano, or facing medical challenges with an “it’s going to be what it’s going to be” attitude – I find myself channeling my inner-Rocky often. I try to face life’s challenges with your light heart and your determination. You might not be here in the fur, but you are definitely with me in spirit.

I miss you every day. Every. Day. And I still cry. A lot. But I wouldn’t trade the experience of having you in my life for anything. You brought me such happiness and sheer joy… in life and now in memory. I promise to keep trying, to keep doing my best, and to never stop exploring.

Mommy loves you so much. Forever.

Love,
Mommy

rockyThis is one of my favorite pictures of Rocky. It always makes me smile. He was 5 years old but still acted like a puppy – so goofy and uncoordinated. That was just one of the many things I loved about him.

Furry Flashbacks – Martini Anyone?

(Or… Rocky Gets A Dose of His Own Medicine)

(Or… If Looks Could Kill)

In late 2008, Rocky was having a hard time with one of his paws. He had a lick granuloma that started between his toes and wound up involving his whole paw. (For those not in the know – a lick granuloma is often referred to as a hot spot. It is an irritated area that an animal relentlessly licks causing further irritation/infection and results in a downward spiral from there.) He was visibly uncomfortable and panted a lot. He would even growl at me when I got too close to his paw. One of the main things with a lick granuloma is to break the animal’s cycle of licking the irritated spot, so I tried putting a doggie bootie on him. After realizing that I was going to have to tape the stupid bootie on him to get it to stay put (those things are worthless!), I decided that having a wet paw in an enclosed, not well ventilated bag was probably not the best idea ever, so I pulled out the trusty standby otherwise known as “the cone of shame.”

Now, I don’t want to say that Rocky had this coming, but he did make it difficult for Niko when Niko had to wear the cone. Maybe seeing what it was like on the other side of the cone wouldn’t be so bad for him. Apparently it was. After putting the cone on Rocky, he freaked out and was not happy. He refused to move and would only shoot daggers at me with his eyes. On the upside, once I took the cone off him (which was almost immediately after seeing his reaction to it), Rocky was VERY nice to me and didn’t growl anymore when I doctored his foot.

martini_rocky