New Dudley adventures

We got a new bed and a new roommate in the trailer. I bought a “bagel bed” for Dudley although a little apprehensive because of its shape and worrying about his back leg getting caught up in it. He sleeps curled up and my previous dog beds were such a waste of space since he was only sleeping on half of the bed. The bed seems to be working well for him and he has his beloved blankets and heated blankets so no complaints so far.

We moved our 13 year old “shop cat” into my trailer for the winter after my 18 year old cat passed away. I bought a bunch of pressure sensitive heating pads over the past 3 years and Joey cat is so happy to have a warm spot to sleep and windows to look out. Dudley is not so happy about having a roommate but his only grumble is that she doesn’t even think about looking at his bed. They are doing just fine, he is currently snoring away in his bed while she is crashed out on the couch and her heating pad.

Dudley continues to amaze me with how awesome he is. I think I need to keep a close eye on his claws on his remaining back foot and keep them trimmed short. We had a little walk yesterday with my sister’s husband, the youngest nephew and Dudley to the corner store. My sister’s husband had never walked with Dudley and wasn’t familiar with his gait. I told him to walk ahead of us, as Dudley goes slow and sniffs everything. Let me tell you, people were driving by us and staring at Dudley, unsure of why he was walking so oddly or just realizing that he was missing a leg. My sister’s husband was worried that Dudley needed to poop because of how his back end was, I realized that he had never seen Dudley do an actual walk somewhere. I said “you should see him run off leash….it’s something else!”

We actually had a fun dog walk moment with another dog that got Dudley all frisky. He got the zoomies and was spinning around with a huge grin on his face! And to see a tripawd with the zoomies and spins is so fun!!!

I do not regret ever adopting a tripawd. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. He is wonderful with my mom who is in her late 70’s and also so good with my young nephews. We do acupuncture treatments once a month and he is amazing with them. He educates so many people who would consider amputation to be a reason to put their animal down because of the sheer thought of losing a limb. You just have to adapt as your pet adapts. And to see the joy that they have towards life…we could all take a lesson from them.

This is what joy looks like

Our early morning walk at the LNG tank…My friend and her dog were a little late joining us and this is Dudley running to greet them 🙂 We drove to Portland at 3 am to pick Dudley up from the transport van, so she has seen him at his worst and his best.

The pack digging in the sand along the fence line surrounding the gas tank. They use all of the sediment from when they dredge the river as fill dirt so there’s lots of shells, etc.

Lots of boats out in the bay and on the river. I shouldn’t say this, but September through November is the best time of the year to be at the Oregon Coast…make sure you have a hoodie or a windbreaker though…and dress in layers, it will go from cold morning to warm but windy afternoon.

the sun trying to make its way through the early morning fog

Tripawd rudder

The tail of a rear amputee tripawd…pardon the furry rug!

Dudley uses his tail as a rudder, it is almost always leaning to the side of his missing leg. It is so interesting to see the way that they adapt so quickly. We walk with a group of dogs on the weekends who know Dudley quite well. There will be a little bit of posturing but no fights. Dudley is really good at flipping around so he’s facing forward if he’s done being inspected and is really tolerant. We’ve run into a few intact males and no issues, if he feels dominated, he will just remove himself from the situation, with a few growls and warnings, but he mostly says “peace out” and moves on.

He is such an amazing dog..and after a year of having him in my life, I am so grateful. I knew that adopting an amputee would be a journey, but he has taught me so much. He likes to sidle up to a bank and pee on the brush…he will look like he’s having a seizure but actually he just needs to have his head scratched on the side his leg is missing. His groin has 2 different colors depending on whether you are looking at the amputation side or the remaining leg side. The hair is growing back in odd ways, he’s a short haired dog but he has little “feathers” on the end of his meat stump (that’s what we call it)

People are so amazed at how mobile he is…he really is the happiest boy ever and will run up to our pack walk friends with the biggest grin. I can see how his body is changing with the adjustments, his front is massive and his waist is tiny. He has definitely bulked up in the shoulders over the past year. He still slows down after about a mile of walking but he will take breaks and actually refuses to go any further but won’t go back to the car if the pack leaves without him. He will just wait for them to come back. He’s better with riding in the car, he used to cower on the floor boards but now he will sit up and look out the windows and willingly gets into the car to go for a ride. I have to lure him off the bed sometimes, but he doesn’t stress pant. I think that we could do an hour or two drive somewhere if we needed to.

He really is the dog I needed…after losing my beloved senior GSD. He truly hasn’t met a person or a dog that couldn’t be a friend…which amazes me, considering where he came from off the streets. He endured some pretty horrific conditions but he never lost his faith in humanity and dogs. And the funny thing is that a lot of the dogs from the area he was rescued from have the same outlook. They haven’t given up. They have a adoption facebook page and everyone loves their dogs from the rescue.

1 year Gotcha day (minus a leg)

Dudley’s adoption day was September 3rd…Labor day weekend one year ago. I was very fortunate to have a friend who was willing to spend 6 hours driving to Portland to get him (round trip)…we drove in her car and I did the 3 am drive for most of the way because she doesn’t have good night vision. It was a big event for me, I don’t drive on the highways or freeways and I get very anxious dealing with traffic. I had a friend who lived in Portland who was able to pick Dudley up if there were any problems with the drive time and she met us at the drop off site.

We were waiting in the parking lot of Target at 6 am with my friend and this transport van pulled up full of barking dogs. There were about 6 people waiting besides us to get their cute adorable puppies and then I stepped up and said “I’m here for Dudley” He was the stressed out dog who rode in the crate behind Dean (the driver) and he was just a wreck…whale eyes, dry nose from panting for 2 days straight. The 3 hour drive home, he kept trying to stand up and wanted nothing to do with us. Once I got him to our property, he marched up the ramp and barely gave me time to scoop my blind cat off the dog bed.

It took a year for him to feel settled…he is the most stubborn dog ever but he has just started showing signs that he knows he’s home for good. He is finally comfortable in the car and has started to sit up and look out the windows. He grunts and squeals when he knows that we are going to meet up at our dog walking spot.

I feel sad knowing that he spent so much time at the rescue waiting…I know he was so loved but I’m sad that he was passed by because he is just the most amazing dog. You all did good when you rescued Dudley and Boomer, as well as the multitude of other dogs. Dudley is everything that they said he was on the site I found him on…good with cats, kids, dogs, people. Our regular group that we walk with has 5-10 dogs and Dudley loves them all!!! He is quite the charmer <3

He still has his quirks but they are mostly between him and me. I’ve learned his language and his triggers…he absolutely hates being forced off his bed to do something if it isn’t his idea. That will be a behavior we will work on during our next year together. He postures as a tough guy but I am going to work on getting him comfortable with me saying “Up Up…” and him getting up and going out the door.

He is amazing with my elderly parents…he takes a little daytime walk with my mom and hangs out with my dad while I’m at work. He’s good with their cats and is so tolerant of my nephews. He’s not a super cuddly boy but he will tolerate snuggles and stare holes in the back of my head from the comfort of his bed while I am at the computer desk…and both sets of my neighbors who have dogs love him so much that they fight over who gets to take him if I need a dog sitter.

Every day that we are able to go out in public, we are able to educate people that both rescue dogs and dogs with a disability are potential forever home dogs. Amputation is not the end of the world…Rescued is not the end of the world. Being a certain breed or having those genetics is not the end of the world. They have love in their hearts and want to be loved. I guess the thing I’ve learned from Dudley is that it takes time, sometimes a lot of time…this has been a good year and we have both learned a lot from each other.

cougar shenanigans (my brother, not me)

Part of our cougar deterrent costume

So my little brother is an avid kayaker, like one of those crazy kayakers who scouts creeks by himself up old logging roads. He posted this on Facebook a few days ago and made me spit out my coffee with his adventures.

“Today was an interesting day.

I was riding my bike down a logging road to go kayaking and I came around the corner. There were a couple deer in the road. They were totally uninterested in me, staring down the hill. I thought “that’s odd.” I gave them a minute, then tootled the horn on my Tiny E-bike. They bolted into the woods.

I continued down the road and saw a few more deer in the clear cut to the right boogieing away from the road.

After I went around the corner, I thought “there’s someone behind me.” I stopped and turned around and there was a cougar about 40′ away in the bushes sitting down, staring at me. I calmly got off my bike and grabbed my pepper spray and tested it off to the side of where I was standing.

I’m guessing because of my age she didn’t have much interest in me. I did some aggressive bear posturing and huffing.
No Effect, same blank quizzical stare.

I threw some rocks, she stared at me even more quizzically.

Then I tootled my bike horn non stop, Beeeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!
Success! If you’re obnoxious enough no one wants to be around you.

Later, I stirred up a yellow jacket nest, and maced the shit out of them (And Myself). That shit would be tasty on some tacos!
Not the yellow jackets though….”

It started me thinking about what I would do if I ran into a cougar (which could very likely happen) when Dudley and I do our evening slough walk back into the woods across from my house. I found a good sturdy branch that had fallen alongside the road and then a few giant skunk cabbage leaves where we turn around. I know that if we ran into a predator, I would most likely have to be the defender…especially since Dudley loves everyone and everything. So I fashioned my impromptu costume out of two giant skunk cabbage leaves and a big stick. I think we will be good if we run into a cougar, probably get the same reaction my brother did 😀

I have discovered now that the blackberries are getting ripe, I can pick blackberries while Dudley decided to take a break…so I will need to bring along a blackberry container as well. I can leave that by the blackberry bushes since they are closer to the house but my “walking stick” can’t be left along the slough as my neighbors will pick it up for firewood on their evening walk. A few years back, my husband was leaving sticks in the road back into the woods so he could see if cars were going back there. The sticks kept disappearing and he was convinced that Bigfoot was stealing them. Turns out it was the neighbors who were picking up our sticks and using them in their fireplace. My neighbor said “there was just this perfect little pile of sticks along the road”

Living out in the woods, it’s all about improvisation. My other neighbor was telling me about a yellowjacket trap he saw on youtube that he’s going to try out. chicken cutlets attached to a board and then flipped over a tub filled with water just below where the chicken cutlets are with a little dish soap added to the water. Apparently the guy that tested his homemade trap got 700 wasps as opposed to the 200 that the store bought traps caught.