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Old 03-09-2005, 04:07 PM
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Sunnypup Sunnypup is offline
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Location: Texas
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Default My NewYears sunshine (pt 1)

I have written before about my dog Hunter. Only in passing as "the dog before Sunny" I miss him today, and so today I will write about him and Sunny and what he meant to my life.
I am a foster mother, in a group home for troubled teenaged boys. I mean TROUBLED. Drugs, alcohol, abusive parents and more have tainted these boys lives forever, painting them with a stigma that will be hard to lose. I love them, much like people who adore pitbulls. They may have a bad rap but under all that negative publicity there are some awesome awesome characters and I see it as my duty to make sure that their voice is heard. But I digress, this isn't about my boys, not really, it is about me and Hunter and eventually Sunny, so but I needed to set up what I do, so that you understand later. Anyway, I live with them, work with them, play with them. I love them, and so does my husband (whom I also adore) BUT you can only take so much of someone you care for telling you that you suck for caring for them. So I decided that since I am not in a position to adopt and my eggs might as well be sold for omletts according to my doctor that I would get myself a dog. I was depressed and lonely (yes even with 7 people running around in your house you can be lonely) and I needed a companion who wouldn't talk back. I got Hunter. I went on petfinder and looked up younger dogs, border collie mixes among other things, just mostly a dog that I could love and would love me back. I went to a couple "adopt a thons" and found some cute puppies but really didn't feel ready to completely sculpt a new living thing into a well behaved citizen, and besides which I knew they would all get adopted in a matter of days since they were puppies. NO, I told myself, I will not fall into the puppy bandwagon, I will adopt a poor hopeless sweet thing that really needs ME. I finally found my charity case in a pet smart a half hour away. I went there looking for a huskey I had seen online who had alreadly been adopted. There he was, sitting in his crate, fur yellowed from rolling around in dirt, barking his goofy head off. I didn't look at him. He was too rowdy I thought, and look at this cute girl over here. Wow she'll get THAT BIG? REALLY? Hmm...moving on. My hubby was standing over at Hunter's crate and the dog was going nuts. His tail (all 14 or so inches of it) was going a mile a minute and he was trying to jump up, which he could not do since he was crated. No one wanted him and he had been at their rescue agency for months. They were near giving up on this one. "we found him at a kill shelter in the city. He was supposed to die that day since they thought he was an akita." An akita? Proposterous, he was border collie and something but definatly not an akita. So cute. Why would someone get rid of him? Well I was soon to find out. They completely waved their adoption fee, gave me a loaner leash, collar and crate until we could get new ones and wished us luck. Shouldn't my first clue have been that none of THEM wanted him? Silly me. I was in love. I had a dog, someone to love me and play with me and everything. I was 22 and childishly bought into his sob story. I would be a good owner I vowed to them. They hugged me and one lady cried. I am a sucker.
Well from the start he was a handful. He was 11 months and the only thing his previous owners had done was house train him (sort of) and teach him to sit. I immediatly enrolled him in an obediance class and took him to the vet. My "free dog" now cost me over two hundered and fifty dollars but I still loved him more then anything. He had allergies so he needed medicine. and HOW MUCH does an allergy test cost? (believe me you don't want to know...I ended up opting out and changing his food and bedding and bought special soap..anyway) The first night of training he tried to eat the only other dog there and we figured out finally why this angel was crated at petsmart when everyone else was out. He was majorly dog aggressive. Hmm. There go the plans for a second dog. Oh well. Training went BEAUTIFULLY and my once unmanageable dog was a great friend that I had wanted. He still didn't have come down exactly but I never took him outside without a lead on so it didn't much matter to me at the time.
My foster kids didn't like him. He nipped their butts when they walked by. He took their food. He didn't do any of those things to me so my conclusion was he just didn't like them. I know better now. They teased and kicked and tormented him when I wasn't around. And he was dominent with them and not with me. ONLY not with me. It was getting bad. I was afraid one day he would bite them and I wouldn't know what to do. I called my trainer but he wasn't around, and I was running out of options. I just kept him with me or in his crate. He still had great fun with me, hiking and running, but he wasn't allowed around others. I found myself wishing I hadn't adopted him. I found myself being selfish, not wanting to be the only one to have to watch him and play with him.
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:08 PM
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Sunnypup Sunnypup is offline
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Default My NewYears sunshine (pt 2)

Funny how things change huh? I got my wish 3 days before Christmas, but it wasn't my wish, not really. One of my boys was bringing in fire wood. I had told them a million times to close the back door or hunter would get out. They told me I should just keep him on a leash all the time anyway, they didn't like him very much anyway. Yeah, I know. He got out. He still didn't have "come" down. I ran to get a treat. He didn't want it. He was having too much fun being outside and running away from me, all smiles. The ground was muddy and I needed my shoes (God why didn't I just run outside in my socks, why?!) As I was running for them I heard the most heart wrenching noise ever. I almost fainted. "SOMEONE HIT MY DOG!!!" I screamed in agony. I ran for the door, shoes forgotten. One of my boys grabbed me and held me back. They always helped me if he got out and 3 were outside when it happened. "You can't go out there" he said. "Don't go out". "They hit my dog." I wimpered trying to not cry in front of my teenagers. I strained against him and wrestled my way outside. A minivan was backing up. "Did I hit something? What's wrong?" the man kept repeating over and over. "I didn't see him!" he proclaimed again and again to me and my boys. Hunter was laying in our driveway, a puddle of blood dripping out onto the ground from his mouth, eyes rolled back, not breathing at all. I'm an EMT so I checked for vitals. None. Maybe I was too shaken. "Call someone" I pleaded, now nearly completely choked by tears. I knew my friend was gone. "I didn't see him" the man kept muttering. "I'm so sorry, is your mother home? Can I talk to an adult?" I AM THE ADULT! The boys called the police. The poor police officer couldn't do anything. The boys (who all claimed they hated hunter) were now all crying and silent. They needed this man to help them, to do something about this wrong, this image of a man who had only ever in their minds caused them annoyance, and the poor officer could only cry with us. He tried to help us the best he could by telling us about his dog that had been hit. Nothing helped. I had called a friend to come be with me. My boys. They knew I what I needed from them. They covered my pup with a sheet, cleaned up all of the blood and made their own dinner. I couldn't eat. I went up to my room and wept bitterly for my friend, whom I had only known for 4 months but had become so attatched to. My husband came home and cried with me, then moved the body to the garage so I wouldn't have to see it in the morning and so that animals wouldn't get to it. The next day with a heavy heart I called my vet and told the news. Could they do anything with the body? The ground is frozen, and now it is only two days till christmas. They can creamate him. Okay, that's fine, no keep the ashes. The trip to the vet was so sad. Hunter loved the car. He had his own special seat and he loved to bark at passing people. Now this would be his last trip in our beat up old jeep. I cried the whole way there and most of the way back. My baby was dead and it seemed like it was my fault. Life would never be the same again. Christmas came and went. Family members didn't "get" my depression (related to a few other difficult events the week before, one being a former foster kid relapsing) and it was hard. Tim (my husband) understood, and wanted to help. We started looking at dog breeds. "They say the best way to help this sort of thing is get a new dog right away." Yeah, okay but I still felt disloyal. Australian shepherds. Hmm. Cute breed. Kinda big but who knows. He found a breeder. Wow, good price. So he called her up and found out that the puppies were in excellent health but the wrong color for AKC. No biggie, my wife wants a friend not a champion. We went out to meet them newyears eve. We had time then and everyone was home so we took the longish drive out to a farm. The breeder was friendly, pups in great condition, mom on the property, everything in order. I wanted a girl. I had decided that to eliminate some of the possible dominance issues.Tim wanted a boy. We got a boy. He was all yellow with one darker brown ear. On the way home we discussed names. So tiny this little one, a miniature australian shepherd. So needy. And just what I needed. He narrowly escaped being named Chewbacca, Frodo, and Gandalf to name a few. I looked at his color, pale pale yellow. I listened to his happy puppy chortles, and held him close as he wiggled and cuddled down into my sweatshirt. "Sunny". "Sonny?" My husband repeated...as in "SON? like this is my child? Eh...I'm not that kind of dog person hun." " NO SILLY, like sunshine. Look at him...wait no, don't look at him, you're driving ! " New years day I carried my new puppy around like an infant barely letting him out of my site while he slept. I have watched him grow into a sweet and playful 4 month old pup, who is now mostly blonde and white, with a patch over his eye. My little Sunny bunny, so smart that he knew just when I would need a friend to come into my life and bring me out of my misery. I am so happy to have him with me today. My New Years Sunshine.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:59 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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Oh Sunnypup, I'm sitting hit crying as I finished reading about Hunter and then Sunny coming into your life. I'm glad you got your New Year's Sunshine!
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:43 AM
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smkie smkie is offline
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I lost one that way..and the only comfort i could take out of the accident was the dog never felt a thing. i was hit in an automobile accident that resulted in head trauma..i never knew what hit me..so i know my dog didn't suffer..the pain is in the heart of those that have lost...so so sorry for your loss..so so happy for the gift of a new life in your home and your heart.
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