Some of our dog news is good, and some not so good. Hollis – whose name we discovered is really spelled “Jalis,” is doing great. He loves being a house dog, and Nock and Louie are both oddly fond of him – oddly because neither of them, at the ages of 12 and 14, has much tolerance for puppy antics, but both seem to like to play with Jalis, who plays very nicely with them and only occasionally rolls Louie. He’s not so great on his recall when he’s outside and gets his puppy feet on, but we’ve found that by running through his whole string of names, something usually makes him respond. Sometimes he comes to “Jalis,” but sometimes he answers better to “Mico” or “Lico” – with Mico being monkey in Spanish, which is what Julio sometimes called him, and Lico being how Julio’s two-year-old son said Mico. We also call him Camo Dog, which usually earns us a look of disgust, and sometimes Jingle Boy, because we’ve forced him to wear a bell both so we can hear him in the bush, and when he starts to do something naughty like try to sneak into the kitchen or other No Dog Zones.
Our not-good dog news is that we had to put down the Ruckus Twins, Stout and Beli. We’ve been battling tick fever and demodectic mange with Stout since May, and instead of getting better he’d been getting steadily worse. Not only had he lost most of his hair and become very itchy and uncomfortable almost all the time, but the joints in his hind legs were damaged to the point where he had trouble lifting his hocks and ankles off the ground, and he could only get up the steps to the porch if he had a running start. His eyes were always infected and had become very cloudy, and we don’t think he could see much. The vet said he had virtually no immune system, and looked like a 10+ year old dog, and if we didn’t put him down, some illness would have killed him before too long, with much more suffering than euthanasia. Our difficult decision was what to do with Beli, who was completely dependent on Stout, didn’t get along with any of our dogs or other dogs we’d tried to introduce to her, wasn’t very stable mentally, and also had mange although it was controllable since she didn’t have the tick fever. Written like this, I guess it doesn’t sound like such a hard decision, but we had a very hard time putting down a dog that looked and acted physically healthy enough, even though we knew she was too unstable to live here without Stout or be re-homed where she might not be treated too kindly and might not get her mange medication. So, the Ruckus Twins are now buried together in our back field near Recona and Mel, and we’re hoping that they’re both feeling better on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.