Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dog Days

We have had a busy couple of weeks thanks to this little girl:

This is our new Boston Terrier, Jovi. (Named after Bon Jovi's song Runaway) A friend of mine called me right before Christmas to tell me that she was taking her son to school one morning and as she was loading him into the car, a dog decided to jump into her car and refused to leave. She ended up driving her son to school with the dog riding along. When she got home, she asked around the neighborhood and no one seemed to have lost a dog.

As soon as she told me that it was a Boston Terrier, J and I had the same thought: That dog cannot go to a shelter! My friend kept her for 3 weeks and tried to find her owner with no luck. She called me a few weeks ago and asked if we wanted her.

Now, we didn't want her to go to a shelter...and my friend couldn't keep her as she has a houseful of people and animals as it is, but we had one main problem....this girl:

This is our 10 year old Boston, Blair. Blair is not what you'd call a social dog. In fact, she is the exact opposite of social. She puts up with our two cats, but mostly because they stay out of her way. Her AKC name is Princess Blair of Essex...and she takes the Princess part to heart.

She has about 100 toys (that can be found strewn across the house at any given time) sleeps in the bed, under the covers, and won't allow anyone or anything to come within 5 feet of us without growling and or biting said anyone.

She has really only bitten one person, my nephew, but not for lack of trying. She isn't mean per say (although my sister would disagree) she is just REALLY protective of her humans. In her defense, she did bite my nephew because he was teasing her and got right up in her face when she felt she was protecting me. I still think the trip to the ER was unnecessary, but my sister will disagree. ...loudly.

It deserves mentioning that this was probably 6 years ago that she bit him and my nephew is over it. In fact, he stayed with us for a weekend this past October and he and Blair bonded. When he left on Sunday afternoon, Blair pouted and grieved for a couple of days. We think she thought he was her new "toy" and she kept looking for him in the spare bedroom and laying by the spare bedroom door looking said. But I digress....

We brought Jovi home with much reservations. We just could not not try.

The first night was not fun. Jovi is about 15 months old and just a puppy really. She came in a little skittish and a lot bouncy. She immediately wanted to be friends with Blair. NOT happening.

Both dogs stayed on their leashes and Blair growled and barked and made a general nuisance of herself. As for Jovi, she responded by peeing on the carpet. We were off to a great start...

Day Two started off on leashes again, but after a bit, we took them outside and off leashes. Jovi, who had already bonded with my oldest cat, Sasser, tried to bond with Blair. NOT happening.

Jovi spent a good part of day two on the stairs:
Finally on day three, Blair got the idea that Jovi was not going away anytime soon. (Poor Blair is so not use to sharing her humans!) They started sniffing each other and Blair growled and tried to nip Jovi much less.

On Day Four we took a trip to the vet for shots for both girls and to have Jovi checked for a microchip. (She didn't have one obviously!)

I must take a moment to say I love my Vet. My first job, from the time I was 15 until 18, was working for the local Veterinary Hospital. This was 25 years ago, but one of the vets I worked with then, Terry, is still at the practice. He is the only one I let touch my dogs unless it's an absolute emergency. He is an awesome vet and a good friend....and he never laughs at my neurotic Dog Mommy Emergencies...much.

Anyway, if you have no experience with Bostons, here's the thing...there is a 50/50 chance that they will have an allergic reaction to vaccinations (and dust mites and many other things if you judge by Blair!) So we get the dogs shots, heartworm tests, etc. I wasn't too worried about Blair having an allergic reaction because she just got her Rabies shot...I was more concerned about how Jovi would react...big mistake.

Apparently Blair is allergic to the rabies vaccination when previously she only showed a reaction to her distemper vaccination. Fifteen minutes after we got home, she started drooling...then this happened:

Poor old girl puffed up like a balloon and broke out in hives all over her body. Like I said, I'm use to this, it happens every time she gets her vaccinations. Normally, I just have Terry give her a shot of benadryl with her shots to avoid this, but like I said, I didn't expect it for just the rabies shot.

Well, J is NOT use to this. He's never seen her have an allergic reaction. He flipped out. I swear, if it wasn't so touching how much he loves this dog I would have laughed for a good hour over his reaction. I was working and he was bringing her over to me every 2 minutes. Here is a sample of our conversation:

Him: Does she look worse or is it just me?
Me: Just you
(2 minutes pass)
Him: Are you sure, it looks like she has more hives...or is it just me?
Me: Just you
(2 more minutes)
Him: Seriously, I think her left eye is more swollen than her right? Look. Look. Is it just me?
Me: Just you
(this time he waits 10 minutes)
Him: I think she's getting worse again.
Me: For the love...

Now, keep in mind, I had already given her 25mg of benadryl. I knew she would be fine. After about an hour of this pestering by J, I finally gave in and told him to go ahead and take her back up to see Terry to get a shot of benadryl and some cortizone. Sheesh, good thing we don't have kids, we'd probably have to have a pediatrician on speed dial..or on retainer.

The funny thing about this whole story is that Jovi never had a reaction. Then, a week ago, I'm working again and I hear J say "Hey Kell, you need to look at this" Dang if Jovi's face hadn't started to we go again! Best we can figure she got bit by a bug or something because one minute she was fine, the next minute - puffy, drooly allergic reaction.

I gave her benadryl, but of course J had to take her to see Terry. I refused to go again. I know Terry was probably laughing his butt off at us. Of course he didn't say anything other than: We need to stop meeting like this.

So, to wrap up this epic post I will fast forward to today. I am happy to report that Blair has almost accepted Jovi into the family and they are even able to both sleep on the couch together without too much bickering. Admitedly this took A LOT of floor work with J and the dogs. Everytime Blair would snap or growl, J would make them both lay down and rub their bellies:

Jovi is the sweetest dog ever. Other than the fact that she has had a few accidents in the house (which is to be expected with Blair bullying her around) and having a "toy issue" (Remember those 100 toys? Well, apparently they are ALL Blair's and she won't share very easily) and one other tiny problem she fits in our little family quite nicely.

The tiny problem? Um..when we got her she was in heat. Of course, since my friend who found her and kept her for 3 weeks has an intact Pitbull, we have a small (and when I say small, I mean HUGE) fear that she is pregnant, but we are taking it day by day.

If you've made it this far and want to hear more about our furbaby family, hop over to my new blog that recounts our insanely crazy life with our 2 Bostons and 2 ancient cats: B is for Boston.
Hoping to have a crafty update soon!

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