There is a reason I didn’t blog last week and it has to do with not only having extra work on my plate but two VERY special dogs whose joint story I am going to share. Of course one of them is my special Am Bull boy King, and now a new friend, Schatzie whom we believe is a Carolina Dog. Donnie and I are now a two-dog home for the first time in MANY years and we couldn’t be happier!! We may very well be a three-dog home by fall as the Dane pups were born YESTERDAY. In fact it is more like THREE dogs lost but now found.
Join me on this little saga so I can share with you the awesome mystery of how my God works! Some of the details may be a bit off but this is the story as I best recall it. I am also going to bring my faith into this today in a way I never have here so be aware as I aim to never hide it again. It is who I am. And it is the eighth law of health!
About a month after we got King (back in February), a beautiful dog that made me think at first glance was a coyote or even a dingo, showed up in our area. She ran fence with King back and forth. I went out to see why King was making such a racket. I saw this lovely dog come shyly up to the fence and push her nose through the horse fencing so I could pet her. She was so sweet and friendly. Donnie and I tried to catch her but she was off in a flash. She started showing up maybe a couple of times per month until two weeks ago when she decided she was going to stay.
We had gone for a short walk/run with King down into a different arroyo than the one we typically take because we needed the walk/run to be shorter that morning. King and I always run home, so we were way ahead of Donnie. When we got to our road, at first glance again, I thought we were about to encounter a coyote but as we drew closer (and she didn’t run) I saw it was this same beautiful dog. She ran right up to us and put herself into a play bow with King. King didn’t raise a hackle, growl, nothing, he was just happy to engage her! I was so pleased with King because he played with her even though he was on lead.
She came right up to me and let me pet her and that is when I noticed how brittle, dry and and dirty her coat was. I felt so sorry for her. I let the two play as I contemplated what we were going to do – because I KNEW we HAD to do something to help this pretty girl. At the very least we were going to find her owners, give her water and some good, real, raw food and go from there.
When I saw Donnie coming up the road, I ran to him with King and this pretty little dingo girl trotted with us. I KNEW Donnie would want to feed her – he feeds ALL the poor kibble-fed neighborhood dogs as you know.
This went on for about a week – she’d leave and then come back – and each time she came we fed her, gave her water, and she stayed for hours. Finally she started staying ALL day and into the evening, in this unrelenting summer heat, seeking shade wherever she could. I could not stand to see her out in the very intense heat we’ve had here in NM for a while now with no rain to speak of all spring and summer to date. Donnie had looked at her tags to track her owners down but had read them wrong so the vet clinic that had her listed didn’t recognize who she was. Finally I looked at her tags and got the right number – lol, he needs to use reading glasses more often! Donnie called the vet clinic and we discovered that this dog’s name is Schatzie and she lived close by. We called her owners and told them she was coming over daily. They said they didn’t want to chain her (it’s against the law in this city to do so) and would need to find a way to secure their yard. I think that would mean raising their wall and changing their gate, but I am not certain. She would come here, they would call and see if she was here and that would be that – almost daily.
Finally last Monday, June 24th, we opened our side gate as Donnie was bringing in a bit of decorator rock for our backyard since we do not have grass – it’s not wise in the desert to have grass! We let this sweet dog come in the yard.
I then decided it was time for the Furminator! I must have taken a couple of pounds of very dry, brittle coat off of her. She appeared to really enjoy the attention and the brushing not to mention it just plain feeling good. It was then I think that Schatzie decided I was her human – yes she bonded to me rather quickly. I noticed that each day that we fed her, her very plaque-ridden teeth were getting whiter and whiter which is was exciting for me to see! I also noticed that she really needed a bath to help soften and clean that coat as well as a good nail trim – but she wasn’t our dog. YET.
I’ll never forget the first time Schatzie laid eyes on our yard with all the greenery, it was like watching a child get excited over Disneyland! She was so wide-eyed and tail waggin’ happy! She sniffed around – and peed alpha style on all the bushes lol – and then she saw the dog futon. She looked at me to ask permission to test it out of which I gladly gave her. You have would have thought she had won the raw bone lottery!!! She rolled and wiggled all over that futon – leaving clumps of fur behind haha!
We left the gate open so she could come and go as she pleased that day and the next. She would leave for a bit but then come back. At night on Monday we sadly put her out and locked the gate but she nevertheless stuck around until late evening.
The next morning she did not show up to walk with us as she had the previous two days. We thought that her owners must have figured out a way to secure her in the yard. I was happy and sad all at once. Happy because they had been able to secure her but sad because I missed her even though I knew she wasn’t ours. YET. However, not long after we returned, had our showers and breakfast we heard the familiar jingle of her tags against her collar. I was secretly elated! King was outwardly so!!!
Donnie opened the gate and she stepped in, ate some food, played with King for a little bit, and then went right to the futon. We decided to leave the gate open all day so she could come and go as she pleased. She never left. She hasn’t left since. She slept on the patio on our futon for two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday). It was so hot and with all that coat on her I felt so badly for her. We were hosing her off during the day which she loved AFTER the fact not during, but it wasn’t good enough as the intense heat dried her quickly. She was breathing so hard and seemed to be struggling so I felt that I had to do more.
Wednesday night we heard from her owners – they had gone out of town on an emergency but were back. They have a self-waterer and feeder for her. They said they would come get her on SATURDAY! I’ll refrain from making any judgments on that one.
I decided on Thursday that I couldn’t bear to let her stay outside any more, it was just too darn hot. I asked Donnie to call her owners and ask if they would release her to us. They said they would think about it and let us know on Saturday, June 29, 2013.
That evening we gave her a bath which she totally loved – like a huge weight was lifted off of her. Literally it was in fur but I suspect in emotions for her as well. She was being attended to finally. Later I brushed her for about a half hour getting yet another load of fur off of her, and then she came in the house to sleep. She went immediately to King’s bed and made him sleep on the floor lol – it is carpeted. He pushed her out of the bed around 2:30 AM – apparently realizing there was to be no honeymoon hahaha! Just a side note to mention that she apparently has been taught all basic commands and is house and leash trained although I don’t believe she has been allowed to sleep indoors for a long time.
Saturday morning arrived and I had already engaged prayer warriors on Facebook and my personal friends to start praying that Schatzie would be ours. Dog lovers commented and were as adamant and passionate she stay with us as we were. I have some GREAT dog loving Facebook friends!
Saturdays are my day to walk/run the dogs alone and Sunday is Donnie’s. That way we each get one day of rest 🙂 So I set out with King and Schatzie. King kept his eyes on her and in my mind I thought, well maybe I can let him off-lead to run freely with her. She stays close by and he is always just one step behind her at home so surely he’ll stay near her now. That was a horrible mistake and one that could have cost King his life. It is not one I will repeat, ever. Schatzie stays as close as a dog on lead. She comes immediately upon recall whether or not another dog is coming along. Rabbits, quail and other wildlife do not deter her obedience. King is another story altogether.
Within TEN seconds King was gone and out of sight. I ran looking for him with Schatzie by my side. I had never understood until yesterday how easily a dog can slip from sight and be lost forever. I could not see him even though I was right behind him or so I thought. He was simply gone. Then the panic and fear set in. I called Donnie immediately. He had just exited the shower and he later told me he didn’t even finish drying but jumped into clothes, got in our SUV and was on his way to help me with the search for our elusive, cute, determined little bully.
All I could think was what could happen to him: hit by a car, dognapped and used as a bait dog, etc., etc. I was completely beside myself with worry and fear, but Schatzie never left my side. She stayed so close, calm, and alert. I asked a woman passing with her little poodle if she had seen him. I said, “pitbull” and the fear entered her eyes immediately. I said, “he is very friendly” and I told her where we live. That was another fear of mine, that King was so friendly he’d go with anyone.
I started praying and I mean REALLY praying. I told God that if He would bring King back I would never let him off-lead again. I would love him with all my heart all his days. I would not doubt anything about my relationship with King ever again. I also discovered that I love him far more than I realized I did!!! I wanted my sweet little boy back. I couldn’t bear to lose him after losing Meshach and I implored God on that count. I said to the Lord, “I trust you. I am the one who was wrong, please don’t let King pay for my bad judgment. I remember from scripture Jesus praying and thanking You. He did not beg. He trusted! So I am going to do likewise.” I was crying from fear, loss and because I had seen Donnie’s face with the copious tears streaming down. He loves King with all his heart. King is his little buddy. I thought that Donnie would never forgive me this screw up. I can tell you all I was wrong about so many things I don’t even know where to begin!
Within barely two minutes of me praying that prayer, I was heading back towards home again (I had already gone back once to see if King had somehow made his way home but he had not), when I saw Donnie driving down our street. He honked at me and I thought he wanted me to come with him to find King. I started slowly across the field with a heavy heart and Schatzie by my side. Then Donnie got out of the car and started shouting that he had found King!!! I SPRINTED to the car – I outran Schatzie lol! Donnie said when King saw me his little tail started wagging furiously. I ran to the open window and gave him a big hug and he gave me a big kiss! That was THE best kiss!
I was SO happy, with tears streaming down my face, Schatzie and I walked the short distance home as Donnie drove on to the house with King. We had a VERY, VERY happy reunion! King was in my lap kissing me, so very happy. You see he was frightened too. He could not find US.
Donnie was driving by the arroyo and by a very slight chance happened to see King run along sniffing the ground making his way home – or trying to. Donnie threw the car into park, and ran down the hill calling King. King hesitated and would not come, not sure who was calling him I am sure. When he finally realized it was Donnie, he became a thundering, racing bull running headlong into Donnie with a tail that was wagging furiously! He did not stop but just plowed into him with typical bully exuberance!! Donnie was as thrilled as King, and the two had a very happy, emotional reunion! Donnie got King back into the car and made his way quickly back home to find and tell me the GREAT news!
When we got home, Donnie hugged me and told me to cry it out and that all would be okay. He was so forgiving! With King and Schatzie kissing and hugging me, I felt forgiven and blessed beyond measure. I sang God’s praises all morning. Later I had morning Bible study and prayer with my awesome friends, Dr. Jeannie Thomason and Carole Milligan (she owns Meshach’s brother Woodstock) as we do each week. They had been with me through this whole saga praying and hoping Schatzie’s owners would release her to us. So when they heard of the saga with King they joined me in praising God as well!!
One dog lost and then found.
After Bible study came the call I had dreaded from Schatzie’s owners. They said they wanted her back. After nearly a week of leaving her with us, they wanted her back. My heart broke again into pieces. I was sobbing and angry all at once and all over again for the second time that day. I could not imagine letting her go back. But I had to as she wasn’t our dog. I thought what is going on, first I lose Meshach tragically, then I nearly lose King, and now Schatzie too? Why?
Well, my very wise friend Jeannie Thomason, told me on the phone when I called her sobbing, that I had to do the right thing. She made some VERY wise suggestions on how to handle this and how it could all play out. She prayed with me and asked God to soften the hearts of Schatzie’s owners. The interesting thing about all of this was that two more Christian friends, prayer partner Carole Milligan (now a certified carnivore nutrition consultant) and natural rearing breeder, Jaque McHenry (another Christian sister) BOTH gave me the SAME, exact advice Jeannie had! Another friend/sister in Christ, Maggie Putnam also gave me very wise advice along the same line although not as identical as Jeannie, Jaque and Carole’s had been. NONE of them knew what the others had suggested!!! I KNEW that was the Lord telling me how to handle this and the attitude we needed to take. We did that. Donnie and I prayed. Donnie suggested to the husband on the phone that his wife call me after she got home from work and have a chat so I could help her learn how to better care for Schatzie, as well as explain the care I had been giving her in the interim. We set a time for 8PM to talk. They would pick her up today, Sunday, at noon.
At 7:45 PM Saturday evening the call came. They said we could have her. I couldn’t believe it! They just said it would be better for her to stay with us for a variety of reasons. I think I will leave those reasons out here simply because they could serve no good in sharing and all-in-all our personal feelings and thoughts are merely speculation. The best thing is they decided to do the right thing for Schatzie and I am thrilled they did!
Another dog lost, but then found.
And then the icing on the cake? Well after Meshach died, his breeders were broken-hearted along with us. They have such a heart for the breed and love their dogs like their children. Even though they had gifted Meshach to me in the first place, they offered to gift yet another one to us in a future litter.
That litter was born YESTERDAY, Saturday June 29, 2013. Six beautiful fawn puppies. Three girls, three boys. SisCo Danes. I lost my sweet, loving Dane boy Meshach on September 17, 2012. This litter of pups will be ready to make their way to their new homes in September 2013. They were born on a day I lost and found two of the most precious dogs in the world. And now the third one, a Dane boy we plan to name Ezra, was born the same day as we lost and found King & Schatzie. A third one lost and found in another of the same breed.
I learned so much in one day, more than I can say here but I will share a few of them:
* Forgiveness – it is a blessing to give it as much as receive it
* Love is the most important thing over anything this world has to offer
* Blessings come in all sizes, shapes and quantities
* Friends – human and animal – are better any day and by a long shot than wealth, accolades, reputation, credentials will ever or could ever hope to be
*Happiness and contentment are choices that reside in our hearts. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” ~Proverbs 23:7
And the best one of all: God NEVER leaves or forsakes us. He always answers prayer regardless of the circumstances or how things might appear on the surface. It is the waiting on Him that is where the real blessings reside!
UPDATE: We never got the Great Dane puppy we were going to name Ezra. Two weeks after this post was written I fell and broke my ankle courtesy of Ms. Schatzie during a morning run with both dogs. I didn’t think it prudent to try and raise a giant breed puppy, while King was yet young, with me on crutches wearing an ortho boot. So our “Ezra” became “Tobias” and is living a wonderful life with two other Danes and a dog Mom extraordinaire in PA 🙂
Have a pawsitively tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
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PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: All photos copyright 2013 by Dr. Kim Bloomer of King and Shautzie. All rights reserved.