Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rascal Is Spoiled

Rascal was a stray, a rescue dog, an abandoned dog. He lived with a big pack of dogs, somewhere between 8 to 15, on a farm, before coming to our home. He's a tough little guy.

We love our new puppy dearly. Although he's not as young as some folks with milk breath and can't control their bladders, he still has a lot of puppyness in him that make us smile every day. He is small, so we can't help  but picking him up and carrying him around like a doll, or a trophy.

For Christmas we gave Henry a Cesar Millan dog training book. One morning soon after that, Henry announced, after reading some chapters of the book: "Rascal is spoiled!" We are still scratching our heads to figure out how the little guy went from tough guy to spoiled puppy in such a short time. But then again, what's not to love about the little Rascal and what's wrong with spoiling him? He's earned the privilege in his short life, and it's not like we are expecting him to make it to Harvard or anything.

One day couple of weeks ago we fed Bucky outside, and when I went to pick up the bowl, Rascal ran out with me. The little snitch grabbed the bowl and carried it off. Guess what I did? Run for the camera of course.  By the way if you have an account on YouTube feel free to subscribe to us. I'm taking a lot of videos of Rascal these days. One thing I learned from 16 years with Trinket and Bucky, one can never take enough pictures and videos.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bucky Butters: November 5, 1995 -- January 18, 2011

Put to sleep peacefully at Dr. Larsen's office on a sunny and warm Tuesday morning, at the age of fifteen years and two months, in his mommy's arms, with his daddy looking on. Dr. Larsen was not able to be present to say goodbye. Bucky is survived by his eternally grateful parents, Bill and Vivian, his human brother Henry, and his newly adopted canine brother, Rascal. Bucky was predeceased by his canine brother, Trinket, and canine sister, Macie. Bucky is also survived by his fond grandparents, many human relatives all over the world, and numerous fans among the pug and canine families online and offline.

Bucky was born in the backyard of the Butters family, on a small street behind Whole Foods in Los Gatos, California. On the day he turned eight weeks old, he was sold for $300 "as is" in De Anza Flea Market, with a flea on his belly. He was two and half pounds. As a very wet-behind-the-ears young pup, he ate, pooped (in all the wrong places), harassed his siblings. He promptly doubled his weight in three weeks. As a youngster, Bucky attended no more than three intellectually and physically challenging courses before his parents threw their hands up in the air and declared him "spirited". Bucky loved to play chase, carry his toys around and tease his siblings, and talk back to his parents. He barked at Rottweilers and motocycles, barked at the TV when the door bell rang, barked at the real door bell, barked at dogs on TV and dogs on the computer, barked at real dogs everywhere; he barked when Henry cried, when his humans returned home, when birds chirped, when there was a fly in the house, when chasing butterflies in the backyard, when leaves fell in the backyard, when birds chirped in the neighbor's backyard, when leaves fell on the street, three blocks away; whenever Trinket barked, Bucky barked, only louder.

As a child of digital age and product of high tech parents, Bucky enjoyed fame and virtual belly rubs on the internet. He was a star in the original Pug List hosted on RT66 during the mid and late 90s. Since the inception of this blog, and lucky for Bucky, a less demanding, more maturing human sibling, his mom was able to devote more digital time for Bucky's PR. In his old age Bucky enjoyed increased attention from his friends through Dogs on Thursday, Ravelry Pug Lovers group, and Facebook.

Bucky attended Pugtacular from 1996 to 2010. In 1998 Bucky won the fastest in agility, among the amateur attendees. In 2006 Bucky won the Pug Race, after a decade of trying. In 2010, Bucky was the oldest pug attending the event and had pictures taken by the local paper. Twice in their lives, Bucky and his mom won the second and third place in Pugs and Owner Look-alike. There were other ribbons and stuffed animals that Bucky won and his people lost track what they were for. Since Pugtacular happens right before Christmas, Bucky's winnings have become part of the holiday decorations and they will always remind his family of the rambunctious puggy.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to your local dog rescue organization in Bucky's name will be the best way to memorialize him and benefit other canine kind.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bucky Update - Decisions

Bucky is fifteen years and two months old. He started "getting old" when he was about nine, when he turned into an off-track-bowling-ball on walks. But he never lost his mental sharpness and appetite for food and attention. He injured a disc in his neck when he was ten, so we started carrying him up and down the stairs. He had pancreatitis in June 2009, so we started cooking for him. Winter has been hard on him in the last few years, and we know it'd be a challenge for him to pull through this one. In the past few days he's have more and more difficulty standing up. He has almost no muscle tone left in the hind quarters, so sometimes he topples over. He has no control or awareness of his eliminations. We clean the floors A LOT.

The end of life question is looming. Trinket passed away suddenly, and spared us the most difficult decision. In the ancient days dogs would go off to the woods when the time came. Sometimes I wish we are living in the ancient days, but that would be irresponsible of me, to escape the decision making. 

When is it ever a good time to play God? Does Bucky gain a few extra days in his life because we can't manage to squeeze in another vet appointment between music, sports, Chinese lessons, movie dates? Or are we simply tired of the care-giving and need an excuse to end our suffering? I've always thought we are among the most responsible dog parents, but are we going to live up to our own standard?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Rascal !!

Three weeks ago we welcomed Rascal into our family. Rascal is a Chihuahua Dachshund mix, now about nine months old.

CARE, Companion Animal Rescue Effort, the organization we adopted Trinket from almost 16 years ago, rents a store front couple of miles from our home on Saturdays. So while we are out and about between library visits and video game shopping, we often stop by to visit the animals. On December 11, this little long bodied semi-grown dog caught my sight. He was very calm and quiet among all the people hustling in and out, oohing and ahhing over a litter of very young puppies. We asked about him, took him out of the cage, and the rest is history.

This video is Henry having some special time with Rascal, you can hear Bill's voice in the background talking to the rescue people.

Rascal was a stray in a small rural town about 75 miles from where we live. CARE took him in, and estimated him to be about eight to ten weeks old. They named him Boots because of the light coloring on his legs. They adopted him out to a family very similar to us, with an 8yo boy and two working parents. The new family called him Rascal. A few months passed, the family had to move and returned the pup to CARE. The pup answers to Rascal, so that's what he's going to be.

We are happy to report that Rascal has been successfully living up to his name. On one hand, he's super sweet, cuddly, and seemingly very tame, especially compare to Trinket and Bucky were pups (the racket they made every day!). Then just as we are ready to declare he's the perfect resident, there goes Henry's sneaker; there goes dad's belt; there goes my sock .... My sewing kit has been living on the kitchen counter, because there are always toys to be mended. Rascal has iron teeth, can destroy a squeaker faster than I can stuff it in the toy.

I see a lot of Rascal the demolition expert postings on Thursdays in 2011.

Update: Our friend Sue kindly put up a welcome message for Rascal on Dogs-N-More. Be sure to leave your comment!