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Burst of energy

Today my neighbor with the GSP and Border Collie asked me if we wanted to do a walk down the slough with the dogs and his grandkids who are visiting (3 year old and 6 year old). I said yes!!! and off we went. The grandkids are very dog savvy (their mom is a vet tech) and Dudley was excited to meet them. We had a good walk until we turned around at the end of the slough to walk back. Dudley absolutely lost his mind!!!

He was roaring about, hopping logs (barely) and running up into the bushes on the bank and exploding out of them. The other dogs were confused and the border collie tried to herd Dudley to calm him down. My neighbor said “maybe he’s tracking something?” and then seconds later he said “I think he’s playing!” We had never seen this type of behavior with Dudley, ever! He was just tearing around like a mad dog with the happiest look on his face. Basically running up into the bushes and bursting out of them. It was so fun to watch him but my parent brain was all “oh, that’s going to hurt later”

Now he is crashed out on his bed with the heating pad. It’s so hard…that brief moment of absolute joy that he has to pay for later. It was a moment for me, to see him so happy and just not caring about his missing leg. It made me realize that we have to let them have those moments but not every day. There need to be resting days as well. I know that once I get him doing acupuncture and on supportive supplements, we will have more of the happy dog days. He also went over to my parents house for about 45 minutes of just hanging out, eating snacks with grandpa and chilling out on the floor. They have a wonderful little cottage home with a wood stove so it is nice and warm (love that wood heat!) and lots of fun things to smell. And Dudley is totally The Dude…he just chills and may eat whatever dog food he can get to but he’s good with a nice rug and a warm space.

Getting the tail wags when I get home from work!

So we are just about 3 months in to Dudley coming to his new home. Let me say, he is a cheeky fellow who hides behind this melancholy mask. I keep in constant contact with his foster mom and learn new things as we progress. Yesterday I learned that the Dude likes to have his own private room. His foster mom had two resident dogs and would take in fosters on a regular basis. She is an angel and made adjustments in her life for her dogs that I don’t know if I would be able to do. She really wanted to help Dudley after his amputation and moved from an upstairs apartment to a ground floor apartment just so he would be able to have access to his home. She also found housing that was pitbull friendly so that she could continue to foster and rescue dogs who were considered a risk just because they had pitbull genetics.

I will say that a lot of rescue/shelter dogs will most likely have pitbull in them if they are a mixed breed. I am very fortunate that I live on my parents property and don’t have to worry about this breed specific (not just pitbulls) stigma. I truly believe that a lot of the bad behavior comes from two things…not understanding the breed of your dog and not understanding dog language. Most of the issues fall upon us, as the humans. After my husband passed away, I started to take my GSD to the local spot where people would walk their dogs. Kota was a 110 lb dog with a massive bark and he would throw epic tantrums when I would take him away from whatever dogs he had decided to join up with. He was amazing with small dogs but wary of the border collie and “wolfy looking dogs” He only got in one scuffle with a female husky who was not fixed and whose owner kept her on a long lead because she was prone to going rogue and ending up running around on the mud flats chasing birds. People were always fearful of me and Kota because I kept him on a leash, knowing that he would refuse to go back to the car with me.

I haven’t taken Dudley Doodle out to the local spot yet. We’ve been working on car rides and he’s getting more comfortable with them. Unfortunately, this amazing area where people walk their dogs also comes with a lot of dog parent issues. Dog parks can get weird. It isn’t the dogs, it’s the owners and their issues. You have people who aren’t comfortable with their dogs. People who are hypersensitive with their dogs. I had a guy who had a lab that he was chucking a ball for and even though my GSD showed major issues with a ball being thrown, he still chucked a ball over the bank into the river for his dog while I physically tried to stop my old GSD from launching over the bank to chase the ball. And this person was a veterinarian, thankfully not a veterinarian from the clinic that I go to!

Dudley is so good with other dogs, almost too good. He wants to be friends and play and he is very good at figuring out the dogs that don’t want to play with him. Unfortunately his solution is to run away after the interactions go astray. I have plans to do some work with a local dog trainer who specializes in individual interactions soon. she does a lot of positive reinforcement and works on behavioral issues. From the reading I have done about boxers and pitbulls, you need to go into the battle with a gentle hand.

Dog with 1000 names

One of the fun things about getting a new rescue dog who is also a tripawd is the nicknames! Dudley came to us with a firmly established name that fit him so well! Here is a list of the many names we have come up with based on his character 🙂

Dudley Muffin (the shelter would call him Studley Dudley)

The Dude (from The Big Lebowski), also Dudely, Doodles, Dudders, Duders, Dooders, Dudley Doodle, Duds, Doodle Bug (because when he is on his back, he thrashes about)

And then there’s the stubborn nicknames…because he will give you the eyeball and make you feel guilty about trying to budge a 3 legged dog. No Budge Dud…The Dudley Dig In, Slugley (when he is in a blanket burrito and isn’t going anywhere)

Dudley Do Right, Deadly Muffin ( my nephews came up with that one as well as the next one) The honorable Dudley MacGraham Cracker ( a combination of my nephews middle names. we actually thought the MacGraham Cracker up before we had a dog to adopt)

Bubbers (my go to name for male cats and dogs…Dudley is the 4th or 5th to be called that) Butt butt, another generic term of affection, usually used when giving a good smacking on the rump.

I also use the “git your butt over here” “I can see your tail through the bushes and I know where you’re going” “Seriously, you’re going to hike your butt up the neighbor’s driveway???” “Don’t make me come up there” “You get those leaves and toss them all around” He loves to pee in the leaves and ferns and then dig about. It is the funniest thing ever and I really think it gives him so much satisfaction having lost a leg to toss leaves around and dirt.

I must say, there is something really special about having a “special needs pet” . My little old lady cat is such a character. She is losing her vision and hearing and has respiratory issues due to having a narrow nasal passage. She is the most onery thing ever. Dudley is missing a leg and he is turning out to be very obstinate. When he gets excited, he needs to run. I have to make sure that if he is off leash, I can direct him in the proper direction, like away from the somewhat busy road. I usually do the sweeping arms and say “go, run this way, run like the wind…do your thing!!!” If I can redirect him, he does just fine. Whichever way he is pointing is where he channels his burst of energy.

No boundaries

Tonight I took Dudley across the road down our little driveway that leads back into the forest. Usually he does his evening business and we head back home. Tonight he took it upon himself to hike up the hill to our neighbor’s house with the barky Malinois and just happened to meet the neighbors as they were heading out the door to go to dinner. Dudley barged past them to go inside and proceeded to eat the little dog’s dinner. He is lucky that we have absolutely amazing neighbors who were “sit, stay, hang out, we’ll be back in an hour or so”. Needless to say, we will be dogsitting for them when they travel since Dudley is so comfortable with their dogs and their house 🙂

I guess Dudley is one of those “invite me into your house once and I am a guest forever” type of dogs. The dogsitting is actually perfect as they live perched on the hill above our property. If we go out on their deck, we can see our property down below and I could probably toss a roll of toilet paper down to my parents no problem. Their yard is completely fenced and the only thing I would have to worry about is their fish pond with the massive 7 year old koi. I wouldn’t enjoy having to hoist Dudley out of the koi pond if he made the mistake of falling in. Their house is two levels but the kitchen/living room/sleeping area are all on the main floor for us. I would make sure I had a baby gate up to keep Dudley from attempting to climb the stairs if we were spending time there. So I may be posting pictures of Dudley sitting out on the most amazing deck that overlooks the river soon. The neighbors are retired and do a lot of travelling.

Ok…so this post is a bit tongue in cheek but dogs…we know they have their moments and strange ways of communicating. I apologize if this takes a bit of a PG-13 tone but dogs…

So Dudley is missing his rear leg. As we all know too well, dogs have no boundaries when it comes to butt sniffing and genital sniffing. I just watched my neighbor’s GSP roll in coyote poop 2 days in a row on a walk until he finally managed to eat said poop while getting yelled at by his dad today. Dudley walks on the weekends with my friend’s lovely little long-haired dachshund/pom mix Sophie. Sophie has a habit of being obsessed with larger dogs groins since she is “right there”. Well, I learned that having a male dog who is missing a back leg leads to some uninvited inspections.

Another thought on the bolting…Sometimes he gets so excited when we meet up with the neighbor dogs for a walk and if he is off leash and happy, he goes in the wrong direction, like back to the house which is across a road that has some high traffic. I’ve learned to wait to let him off leash until I can ensure that if he gets the happy feet, he will run down the slough towards the woods. As a tripawd, he builds up that momentum and it’s hard to get him to come to a complete stop. The gait of a tripawd is really fascinating to me especially when it’s in a situation of excitement. There isn’t any stopping on a dime…they are usually a 50 cent piece past the desired stopping point. And I am also learning that there will be short bursts of running ahead and then a slowing point. Dudley does have some grasp of the “wait command” but when you ask him to wait, it involves maybe 5 or more steps before he stops. So that is something to work on! When we go across the road into the woods, I have learned the areas where I put the leash back on sooner than later. I do love giving him the swooping hands in a general direction and saying “Go, run that way!!!” He is so funny with his insistence about scattering dirt and leaves after he pees. And he has discovered the fun of burrowing under ferns along the banks. He is very selective about the areas he has to pee along. I have also caught him leaning up against trees!!!

Every day is a learning moment with a tripawd! I watched Dudley use his back leg to basically pivot around rather than lifting up his back leg to move. And he is more comfortable letting himself sink to the ground if it is needed. I also learned that he can hop up onto a bed that is low to the ground (just a box spring and mattress) with no issues. He chose to do that today when we were visiting my sister’s house. 🙂

Dudley is brought to you by Tripawds.
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