Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary TRex

On the 21st of March, 2009 (a Saturday) I attended my first and only puppy mill auction.    TRex was up on the table, not being bid on and my friend Michel had gone for a bathroom break.   I sneakily stuck her number up in the air and bid on TRex for their minimum bid of $25.    Nobody else was interested, and we all have a pretty good idea what happens to a dog that doesn't even earn $25 at an auction.     I am sure if I hadn't bid on TRex, he wouldn't have seen the dawn of another day.    On our way home, I volunteered to foster TRex because I was the one that had decided on getting a dog we weren't planning to have.  

It was not an easy road with TRex for the first while.    First of all, JTK was out of the country on vacation with his Dad and Step Mother in Taiwan so I had TRex in my house for a few days without JTK around.   After Joey came home, TRex absolutely HATED him and just barked and barked and barked and barked at him.    (Turns out TRex doesn't like male humans too much)   I also had another foster that came from the same auction, a 12 year old pug named Daisy.   Within a  couple of days being at my house she went into heat and Mr. un-neutered TRex was obsessed with mating with her.   The other dog that I fostered from that auction, Scooter, ended up developing parvo.   He was hospitalized for a week and came back home with me.   Unfortunately, he didn't make it past a couple more days.   I've heard that's common.   I left for a couple of hours and I came home to TRex shaking Scooter's dead body in his mouth.   It was a horrific sight and since I didn't really know TRex, I thought he killed Scooter and I admit I hated TRex with all my heart.

I dropped Scooter off at the vet that day and had him cremated.    I couldn't even look at TRex for days.  I fed him and gave him a home but I didn't want anything to do with him.     I would just walk past him and ignore him because I had so much anger toward him and I didn't want to say or do anything unkind.    Then one day I looked into his eyes and I realized that if TRex had done this thing that is so horrible in a human's eyes it really isn't surprising in the dog world.   TRex came from a place where he fought to eat, drink, mate and even live.   If he targeted the "weak dog" in the pack I couldn't blame him for that.

Before you get too wound up, though, now that I know TRex there is no way in the world he could have killed Scooter.   I've seen TRex get into a number of fights with other dogs and he's tons more bark than bite.  He hardly ever connects, and if he does it's in a cowardly nip on the back and not in a death lunge at the throat.     No way in the world did TRex "murder" Scooter as I had first thought.   Now that I know this dog, there aren't many things in my life that I'm more sure of than that.   He has a sweet and gentle heart - see how he cleans Tina's eyes for her daily??  Much to her dismay.  ha

TRex slowly became more and more "normal".   He slept on the floor next to my bed for the longest time.   I kept a big, thick blanket there and would literally cocoon himself into it.   I would occasionally pick him up and let him get in my bed, but he was so beside himself with joy and excitement about being in my bed that I couldn't get any sleep.   He was insane.    One day I took a nap, and I was so tired I was able to fall asleep quickly and get TRex to calm down too.     Success!  But I still didn't want to share my bed with him because he still got wound up.    I would sleep with him on occasion and then one day he learned how to jump on the bed.   There was no going back from that day.  

TRex is a constant presence in my bed at night - snuggled under the covers whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall!   That's where he also sleeps during the day when I'm gone.    I used to make my bed, but I've given up because TRex will destroy it to snuggle under the covers.  Now I "tidy" it up and make sure it's loose enough to crawl under.    He still likes to cocoon himself, though, so there are many days he jumps off the bed when I get home taking all the covers with him.    Here he is, right now, behind me on the futon.  I keep sheets on the futon and he's managed to undo them so he can curl himself up in them.   Heck .. it's raining outside for goodness sake. 

When I first got TRex, he would wheeze a lot, he was overweight and he had (and sitll has)  a "pimply" chin.   I would call him a NERD and everyone who heard me would get after me, thinking I was being rude or mean.   But, hey, I'm a nerd too so it's definitely a term of endearment and not an insult.   TRex still has his pimples, he's lost a bunch of weight and he only wheezes when he's particularly distraught.  He's definitely a different boy - but you can see those pimples!   You can also see in this picture how his little lower lip caves in a little because he has no teeth.   Doesn't he have the most expressive eyes and  face?   I think it's because he's seen a lot in his little life.

Today he was at PetSmart and Bridgeton and you wouldn't believe the number of people that commented on how cute he is - how cool he looks, etc.   When I used to take him to events I could only take him alone because he is SUCH  a handful.   He would bark at every man within eyesight, he growled and barked at other dogs, and he couldn't be put in a crate.   He does not handle crates well at all - he paces, he barks, he whines, he gets himself so worked up he's in a panting frenzy.   All his front teeth are gone and the other teeth are all "filed down" and I'm convinced it came from chewing constantly on his crate.    Today he let a man pet him, he sniffed politely or ignored other dogs BUT he still flipped out in a crate. ;)   Baby steps, right?  haha     I was worried someone was going to adopt TRex, the foster than nobody has really been interested in.   EEKS.  :)  This picture is of him at another event, chillin in Virginia's chair after she got up. 
Now I love TRex .... warts or pimples and all.   I think he is one of the sweetest and most loving dogs I've ever been around.   TRex absolutely, definitely, most positively loves me.   I don't think I've ever felt so loved by a dog like I have been with TRex.     He loves me and I love him and I make sure to spoil him whenever I can.   This picture will likely horrify some people, but around the holidays (you can tell by the table cloth, dishes and TRex's red & green sweater)  I let TRex up on the table to eat the leftover peas.   One of the other dogs must have been especially mean to him or I felt sad for him, but he got to STAND on the table and eat peas.  hahaha    He must think he's in a different dimension considering the change he's had in his life! 

Puppy Mill Dogs have a chance - but only with someone that will give them all the time and love they need in the world.   I was so happy last fall when we passed Proposition B.   Nw that our dear elected officials have decided to gut it,  I am so upset.  I can't even convey my feelings because I have never been so upset about something like this in my life.   I am so disgusted and so disappointed ...  people have no idea the hours and hours and hours of time people spent to even get the damn thing on the ballot, much let get it passed.  

I sent an email to the bastard that sponsored one of these bills and told him I hope he spends his afterlife being treated exactly how he's allowing dogs to be tortured in Missouri.    I imagine I have now been put into the database of "animal crazies" but I don't care.    If any of these people had spent two years with TRex to see how long and hard it was to get him to be a "normal" dog they would be just as sad as I am.

TRex is one of the lucky ones - now we need to keep working to get as many more out as we can.   If you haven't, contact Governor Jay Nixon and implore him to VETO SB 113.    You know what's especially horrible about this bill??  It prevents the people of Missouri to rise up and work to get any type of legislation on the ballot again about puppy mills.    Not only our they ignoring our voice from last November, they're also silencing us for the future.

Office of Governor Jay Nixon

P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222

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