Roo's Gotcha Day

Well it doesn't seem possible that it's been one year since our scared little girl curled up uncomfortably on the car's back seat as we drove home from Superior, Wisc.  We were beside ourselves with worry as it became apparent that she was terrified of Ted.  She refused to eat or drink and when she did ingest something, she refused to "go" even though she was walked several times each day.  She almost never seemed to relax.  She was in emotional crisis.  She was afraid and miserable and so were we.

Now a year later, Roo has come out of her shell and is a full member of our family.  I know I am tempting fate but she is so good.  She does not counter surf, eat socks or eyeglasses or remotes.  If you are eating a sandwich or some ice cream however, you'd better watch your hand at all times or you will discover that the food has disappeared.  We've only heard her bark twice but she does yip and squeal in her dreams. She has turned into quite the groaner, whiner, sometime growler.  We are beginning to understand what all these sounds mean.  For so long she was absolutely silent. She isn't much for toys but does like the squawking chicken that someone gave her.  Forgive me, I can't remember who it was.  She enjoys gnawing on the set of deer antlers she found on one of our forest walks last Fall.  She loves watching for all manner of birds and deer and squirrels.  She enjoys her daily walks though she dislikes walking in cold pouring rain - but then that's not my favorite thing either.  She positively LOVES snow.  Falling snow, blowing snow, fallen snow, hard packed snow, fluffy snow; makes no difference to her.  She loves running in it, on it, tunneling through it, digging holes in it, lying on it, grabbing bites of it and throwing mouthfuls up in the air...she makes us laugh out loud!  She wags that tiny stubby tail of hers and we're so used to it now that "Normal" Airedales look a little funny to us.

Our cat, Oliver, came to live with us in October.  He is now 10 months old.  He and Roo are great pals.  Oliver considers it his duty to make sure Roo has a good face washing daily.  Roo doesn't mind this at all.  Roo concerns herself with the welfare of both her companion creatures.  Upon returning from a long walk, she goes over to Caesar's bed (our toy poodle) to make sure he's still "with us".  C.C. is 18 years old and spends a lot of time sleeping.  Then she looks to see where Oliver is.  After the proper greeting, and all being right with the world, she'll settle down.  Oliver, for his part now, seems to understand that Caesar cannot hear and sees very little. Consequently Oliver has appointed himself chaperone when C.C. goes out to piddle. Actually this aids Caesar as he sometimes loses track of where the door is.  He watches Oliver and doesn't stray.

Roo is very afraid of the noise of the clippers, so we groom her with scissors.  This she doesn't mind and is actually quite patient during the process.  She enjoys the combing, brushing and the "furminatoring".  She also detests having her nails cut.  She yells as if we are murdering her but afterwards all is forgiven.  She seems to understand it must be done.  We both give her treats afterwards and praise her to high heaven.  This part she really likes.

Every week or so we still notice slight behavioral changes as she becomes more confident. Just last week she began to run to the door in greeting when Ted returned from town!  Also just within the last few weeks, she'll get up with me around 3 a.m. if it's really cold and it's my turn to put wood in the stove.  Guess she feels she needs to supervise and make sure it's done right.  She continues on the special food that our vet recommended.  This has completely cleared up her gastro problems which had made her quite sick several times.  She gets daily brewer's yeast, flaxseed oil and a multi-vitamin.  A few times a week she gets some of Ted's kefir.  Her ultimate treat is a peeled chunk of apple and she also enjoys the Vet treats we purchased for her.

She and Ted are such good friends now.  She sits with him in his chair and they do the crossword puzzle together, debating which word is the right word and where it should go. I'm not kidding.  When I work at the drawing board in the loft doing art work, she sleeps under my desk on my feet.  I guess this is her way of making sure I keep at it.

Once again Ted and I send thanks to all of you who made it possible for Roo to be a part of our lives. Barbara, you knew that she was the one for us.  Sandra, you were her foster Mom and loved her so much and Bob you took care of her too and coordinated our adoption.  We thank you for answering questions and for all the follow-up to make sure all was well with us and that Ruby was getting along alright.  She has such a sweet personality.  She's kinda' mellow but can be goofy at times.  She makes us laugh and we love her.  She fits us to a tee!  We feel very blessed to have her!

Hugs and Great Nose Pokes:(By the way, Roo is a terrific nose poker, especially when I am trying to get dressed in the morning to take her out.  She also likes to lick my toes when I'm trying to put on my socks.  Try doing that in the morning without laughing!  She also races Ted to his chair to see who can get there first. Guess who wins most of the time.  What a hoot!)

The Burgoynes in NW Ontario, Canada
Vicki and Ted,
Caesar, the elder statesman toy poodle (I like the other 4-legged creatures as long as they remember who has seniority here.)
Oliver, the 10 month old cat (I am so happy not to be alone anymore. I love the warmth of the wood stove, I love my people and I love my dogs dogs) and last but not least...
Roo, 5 years old (I get lots of hugs and kisses from T. and V. I like it here. I have three beds, two 4-legged creature friends, lots to eat, long daily walks, my own fenced yard to play in and loads of love.  I think I'll stay.)

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Should you have any comments on/or criticisms of this story or desire to contact its author, feel free to email conniecam@worldnet.att.net.  We always appreciate hearing from both uprights and downrights. Thanks for reading!