Monday, May 17, 2010
It's been a crazy couple of months here at Poodlevania, and I've been having all sorts of guilt feelings about not posting, so I am making myself do it...not that I feel like posting is a burden, but you know how it is when you get out of loop of doing something on a regular basis, it can be hard to climb back on that horse. (Mixing the metaphors here!!)
Anyway, I have a small surprise for you...actually about 17 pounds of surprise...and the even bigger surprise is that it's not black. Let me introduce you to the newest member of our Poodlevania family: Hollywood (yes, the name has been changed to protect the innocent!)!
It's all The New Hotness' fault. He'd been moping around since the Rickety Fat Dog left us at the end of February, with nobody to play with. The Goldfish tries, but he's blind, and that makes it a little hard to see when someone is trying to play with you.
One Saturday afternoon, I took the plunge and went on petfinder.com, which is the most dangerous website on the planet...so dangerous that I won't even hot link it here. It's impossible to go on that site without wanting to take ALL of them home with you. I put in some search terms and up popped this little guy...who is not black, but was a miniature poodle, which I thought the New Hotness might enjoy having someone closer to his own size.
I wrote to the rescue organization and inquired about his availability, and he was being fostered in Memphis, which is about 4 hours from here. I provided references, which were checked, and the next thing I know, me and the Poodle Nanny (she who house sits while I travel) are off bright and early one fine Saturday morning in April to meet his foster mom and bring him home.
I took The New Hotness with us to make sure it wasn't a case of "hate at first sight," and it was a very uneventful trip over...no snapping turtles to save or speeding tickets to acquire. I had seen his picture on the website, and he looked a bit scruffy, but usually they are groomed by the time a new person gets a foster dog. This is what hopped out of the car and into my car...um, not so poodle-like, is he? I was starting to wonder if he really was a poodle, when his foster mom started telling me how much he liked water--tried to eat it as it came out of the sprinkler and tried to climb into the shower with her...how very strange, because all the poodles I have owned, regardless of the fact that their original ancestors were bred to be freakin' water retrievers, have hated water. The Fat Dog would be beside himself whenever we opened the pool each summer, because he was convinced that we were voluntarily dunking ourselves in an acid bath.
The New Hotness seems to be overjoyed, because finally, there is someone newer on the totem pole than he, and he spent a lot of time trying to "dominate" (i.e., air hump) the new guy...who seemed to ignore it for the most part.
I waited a week for him to get used to his new digs and trying to get pictures of this dog, who is camera-shy to the nth degree...which is where I got the "Hollywood" moniker--he doesn't like the paparazzi. He tries to hide every time you take a picture of him. The one above was taken when he was cornered by the backdoor and had nowhere else to run.
At the end of the week, I explained to him that Poodlevania had certain standards to uphold--stop laughing, because I know there aren't many standards around here, but the ones we have are important!--and that he was going to have to look like a poodle. He just gave me the hairy eyeball and proceeded to roll over and present his belly to be scratched.
So, off he goes to the vet, which is where our groomer is. Every time I have been in there on a weekday morning, there is no one in the lobby...I seem to miss the drop off before work crowd. Except for the day that I take ol' H'wood in. There is a lobby full of people, and they are all giving me the stink eye for letting this poor animal's coat get in such a matted state. I felt compelled to announce to the room at large that I did not do this to him, that he came this way, and he was a rescue dog. Miss M., the groomer, came out and started looking him over, shaking her head. I allowed that I knew it was bad, and that she had carte blanche to do what was needed doing...it's hair, I said, it will grow back. She said she would do what she could and carted him off into the bowels of the office.
About 4 hours later, I head back to pick him up and meet with the vet to get her opinion of him. Miss M. brought him to me in one of the exam rooms, and y'all, I almost cried. She is an amazing and talented woman to have take the fuzzball on 4 legs and turn him into this poodley wonder! (The "ol' trap him by the door" trick was the best I could do on getting him to stand still and letting me catch him in his new-found glory.
I had fully expected him to be completely shaved, and it was almost overwhelming to look at how pretty he was after Miss M finished with him. We were trying to decide exactly what color he is, and we finally settled on dark apricot, although in some spots, he borders on red. Kind of reminds me of the first boy I ever fell in love with--a red-head.
The vet checked him out, said he needed a little dental work--he had a funny little underbite and showed his bottom teeth all the time (that got taken care of about 2 weeks ago, when she pulled about 8 teeth that were problematic). We also wondered about the tattoo on the inside of his back right leg...it's a series of letters and numbers...and the rescue lady told me that she had tried to trace it, but had no luck. He also came microchipped, and they tried to find his owner through that method, but they hadn't registered his chip (which reminds me that I need to do that!).
Tattooing is not uncommon with dogs, with the tattoo being in the ears or on the inner leg. There's registries of hunting dog tattoos and breeder tattoos, and I tried finding his number as well. I did learn that it's probably better to tattoo on the leg, because when some dogs get stolen, their ears get cut off to remove the evidence of a tattoo. Personally, I think anyone who does that needs to have their own damn ears cut off, as well as some dangly bits of their anatomies.
(And, it's just my luck to get a dog with ink, and I've still not gotten the nerve up to get my own tattoo. (shakes head))
After the shearing, Hollywood has developed a whole new personality. He runs, he growls, he destroys toys, and he's just a little bit rougher than The New Hotness is accustomed to, which caused him to snap at Hollywood a few times. Now, we have settled into a period of studious ignoring, with the occasionally lapse into playing the Poodle 500 through the kitchen and great room. I'm really hoping they warm up to each other more, because I don't want The New Hotness to be any more freaked out than he was when the Fat Dog passed. The Goldfish turned 15 last week, and I know that every day, every week that I get with him is just bonus.
I'll be better about posting, and I've got a couple waiting in the wings that I've already got written in my head. I'll leave you with one last shot of Mr. Hollywood, who I managed to catch in delicate moment, not unlike a real member of the paparazzi!