Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sookie, our calm, sweet, and well-behaved puppy


If you have visited my and Josh's home, you have more than likely seen a flash of brownish-red and then been attacked with paws the size of salad plates. Meet our chocolate lab, Sookie (the picture is from when we first brought her home). Our darling puppy was a wedding gift from Josh's step-uncle Mark Worsley. The day after we returned from St. Lucia, Josh and I visited Mark's home to have our pick of the litter from 7 precious chocolate and black labs. We chose the puppy who sat the most still, laid calmly in the dirt, and had a bright white spot in the middle of her chest, who Mark and his 3 daughters called "Speck". We took her home and named her Sookie, after my favorite character from the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (which you must read, they're even better than the show that is loosely based on them "True Blood"). While Sookie may have been calm and reserved among her brothers and sisters, she certainly came FLYING out of her shell when she came to our house. She chewed cabinets, destroyed toilet paper, "played" with Ralph Lauren towels, and peed on our dining room floor EVERY SINGLE TIME she when in the dining room.
After about a month of this, Josh and I fenced in our yard and let her reek havoc on our yard while we are at work all day.
This solved most of our problems until recently. Sookie has grown from a 30 lb. puppy to a 65 lb. monster, and she is only 6 months old. When she hit the 6 month mark in the middle of September Josh and I had her fixed, we were told this would not only grant her a few more years of life and better health but would also calm her down a little. The latter was a big fat lie.
Sookie came home from Dr. Gregg's office happy as lark with her incision glued shut, however with hard wood floors and a rambunctious puppy comes slipping and sliding, resulting in Sookie's incision popping open and oozing wonderful colored liquids (if you know me, you know how I react to bodily functions... not well). So after one trip to the veterinary emergency room in which a nurse just simply pushed the incision back together, the incision popped open as SOON as Josh and Sookie came back to the house. The next day Josh took her to Dr. Gregg who stitched the incision shut only for her stomach to swell all up after she had an allergic reaction to the sutures.
After this debacle, Sookie behaved for about a week until this past Friday.
I came home from work for lunch to find Sookie laying in the background CHEWING ON A SAFETY PIN. First of all, the safety pin came from a chair cover that had a split seam, so I had used about 12 safety pins on the inside of the cover to hold it shut until I could either sew it back together or buy another. Seeing Sookie with one of the safety pins I went over to said chair to remove the rest of the pins before she could get them (I've learned quickly that if Sookie does it once, she'll certainly do it again), only to find that all 12 of the safety pins were already gone. I captured Sookie, threw her in my truck and flew to Albermarle Animal Hospital. Mrs. Angie, Dr. Gregg, and several nurses laughed as I told them the story and told me that if the xray showed any pins in her stomach, she would need surgery (because she hasn't cost us enough money already). After it took all the nurses and Dr. Gregg to hold Sookie down for an xray, we discovered that Sookie had managed to chew 4 clasps off the safety pins and swallow them but had somehow managed to avoid swallowing any pins. Crisis avoided and Josh and I are now on poop watch to make sure Sookie passes the clasps.
Most of you know that Josh and I lost our Brittany Spaniel, Mac Daddy last Thanksgiving after his pancreas and kidneys shut down. It was one of the hardest things we've ever been through since Mac had been our baby for only 3 years. Sookie is certainly nothing like our sweet, well-behaved Mac Daddy, but she is definitely helping heal the hole that Mac left in both my and Josh's hearts.
With this, I give you some words of advice: Bitter spray doesn't keep dogs off cabinets and shock collars are God's way of saying that sometimes spankings just aren't enough.

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