The Chronicles of Ezra
Okay I have a confession to make. I’m just going to take ya’ll down this road with me and I sure don’t expect any pity from any of you, so don’t think that’s why I’m sharing this. I’m just going to be transparent and show you that just because you may know ONE thing (now I’m not sure I even know that) doesn’t mean you know it all! I most definitely DO NOT and don’t lay claim to that. My degree in animal naturopathy doesn’t cover that as it appears to in some medical circles…but I digress as usual. I’ll just say CD (Carolina Dog) PUPPIES are the biggest handful I’ve EVER dealt with. It’s DEFINITELY not something I’d willingly repeat in my advancing years. It’s like being a grandparent trying to raise a toddler – even though puppies of any kind and toddlers are so darn cute. It’s a good darn thing they are too!
I’ve had dogs (animals in fact) all my life. As a child we had mixed breeds, and my extended family had or raised Boxers, Poodles, Pekingese. I even had a GSD for a short while and a Basenji as a child (refer to my book, Animals Taught Me That). As an adult I’ve had Goldens. Danes. A Neo Mastiff – (Shadrach you still DA ONE dude!). An American Bully, King – whom we still have and love dearly. Most were puppies when I got them. King was 13 months and very much a puppy still in his attitude and mentality – and I thought he was tough. I had NO CLUE how EASY he was until Ezra.
Shortly after we got King, we got Schatzie, our first Carolina Dog. She was the most amazing dog and convinced me this was a breed worth looking into and even having again. I used to ask her all the time what she was like as a puppy, because when we got her she was over 7 years old already. She would give me her funny smile whenever I asked her that. Now I know she was being coy because I’ve seen that same look in Ezra’s eyes! Yes, of course she understood every single word I said – she was a Carolina Dog and she spoke perfect English.
As I said, I thought King was a handful at 13 months (just check out blog posts from February 2013 forward when we got him to see what I mean about that) however, Ezra wins the Championship title of Most Challenging Puppy Ever OR more accurately the Velocipuptor!
I had a lot of visions of sugar plums, fairy tales and who knows what else dancing in my head when WE (as in my husband and I – yes he’s owning this too) decided to bring Ezra home to our once, peaceful, calm, CLEAN home. Now I’m officially a BOY dog mom. Yes, there is a hashtag for that! Hashtag #boydogmom and #cray together because that’s how it works. I know because I’m officially one as I just said. Ezra showed up on a Saturday morning – his people brought him here all the way from TN. I was promising King a good buddy, someone he could run with, play with, cuddle with. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Maybe one day.
We’re so grateful to our friend Bre for the red puppy leash she gave us. Ezra is STILL wearing it in the house and slowly starting to sort of, kind of learn how to act in the house without wanting to eat or shred everything – which I don’t and won’t let happen. Yes, I keep it strict like that with any dog that comes to live in our house. Ezra still thinks my body, clothes, bedding, furniture, EVERYTHING is a toy. No matter what we do and I’m sure a major portion of that is me not being strict enough with him. I know some of you are going to poo poo that, but then maybe you don’t care if your stuff is shred or that the dog rules the house? I don’t know. Or you’re just a far better trainer than me. Or a better person, so kudos to you! However, that said I’ve never had this happen before. I know ALL of them have done some yard damage, but once again Ezra wins the title on that too, with Meshach (one of my Danes) a close second. Indoor damage has always been minimal with the exception of my first Dane. I got him with my very first apartment straight out of high school. He ate better than me and he had free reign to terrorize the house. I was a wild teenager right along with him! His story is in my book and also on my podcast which is very appropriately titled I might add!
Here’s the thing, I thought I was an okay dog trainer right? WRONG. I am not. Nope to the nope of nope. Nope. I trained Goldens before you know. I trained Danes. I even trained a Neo. I did NOT train Schatzie, she came to us trained and always strived to please us – she was a dream dog honestly. King was also already trained although he needs work yet I admit and we aren’t vigilant with him on all of it. Of course we worked with them still but Schatzie was SO amazing and well behaved.
I thought I was dreaming when we got her as I’ve mentioned a lot. Not kidding either. I was waiting on another Dane puppy since our boy Meshach had passed already (his story is on his Memorial Page) – that also didn’t happen because King and Schatzie came along, then I broke my ankle soooo no puppy. So I based everything with Ezra on what we knew and had lived with Schatzie. Okay that was goofy as heck because she was SEVEN YEARS OLD already and NOT a puppy!
Naturally reared Carolina Dog puppies (I can’t vouch for the conventionally reared but I’m sure they have some of this too) are strong, agile, FAST, climbers, diggers, clever, plant excavators…and…and…and. I’m fairly certain I’m raising a puppy who is either working on auditioning for Call of the Wild or Cirque du Soleil or BOTH! It’s quite awesome on one hand and on the other I’m wondering what we were thinking. I mean, PUPPIES period are hard, we all know that – cute too though and that’s a good thing as I said earlier. But when you’re oldER and not so sprite anymore yourself, then you get one that is both naturally reared AND with all those qualities, well let’s just say I’m tired and looking forward to him being SEVEN lol…except I’ll be older than dirt then.
Ezra thinks King is his wrestling toy and not much else. King thought that was great fun until Ezra SUDDENLY grew as tall as him – which isn’t very tall considering King is vertically challenged (well as compared to a Neo Mastiff or Dane aight????) – and challenges him in any and every way possible. King just ain’t down wid all that yo. So no interaction between them is ever unsupervised. We supervise all play and interaction with them. Ezra is always supervised both in the house and outside. He’s been getting more leeway outside as he learns his boundaries of what he can play in and with versus what is off limits – except his innate need to dig is ever present. He loves being outdoors when the weather is nice. We live in the desert Southwest so right now in winter it can be snow one day and in the mid fifties the next. Ezra has acclimated from TN to NM really well and rather quickly in fact. He was cold at first in the mornings since the high desert gets cold in the mornings in the fall, winter and early spring. His indoor learning is taking more time as there is a LOT more stuff he can get into in the house. His and King’s supervised play is normally inside because we can better handle things there. Outside it can get quite dangerous and they could get hurt since we have xeriscaped or native landscaping in our yards – no grass. King tore his ACL (CCL in dogs) twice so we don’t want him dealing with that again nor do we want Ezra getting hurt either although sooner or later King will have to put him in his proper pack place.
I just can’t wait until Ezra is a teenager puppy said no one ever – at least no one sane lol!
You see I’m also probably the least patient person in all Creation. That means I’ve had about 2500 meltdowns in the less than 3 months we’ve had Ezra. Poor guy, it’s not his fault. Nope, he’s just being who he is. I take full responsibility for a lot of this insanity. My husband has been able to better manage things because he’s more macho assertive which both dogs seem to respect. King thinks he hangs the moon, sun and all the stars. He’s a total Daddy’s boy. My husband is also a former military guy as well as a very common sense guy. The dogs really do respect him so I’m taking lessons from my husband as well. Yeah I’m a dog wimp I admit it. I have always been this weird animal girl that isn’t always grounded in the reality that animals are exactly that: animals. In this case, carnivore predators. I know that, I teach that, and yet that weird animal girl is always lurking inside me.
My Carolina Dog friends are both laughing at and also nodding in understanding. One friend said in response to my lack of patience comment: “Really???!! Not with animals, though!“. I said, “I only show you all the good stuff. Oh yes with animals, but mostly just with Ezra, lol. If I videoed all of this I’d scare the heck out of all ya’ll! He whines, yodels, and has never ending energy eek!!” She said, “You are making me tear up, I’m laughing so hard!!” Yet she concurred on my experience! We are not imagining this. So why are CD folks so loyal? Because these are challenging, primitive and yet AMAZING dogs!
My friend said when her puppy would yodel (yes, they yodel and it escalates in tempo the longer you ignore it) she’d cover him with a blanket and he’d quiet down and go to sleep. I told her I tried that with Ezra but he figured out how to remove the blanket and continue his Call of the Wild audition. I told her I even tried telling him that he was a Magi when he was wearing the blanket on his head and that made him a wise man. He didn’t bite…well he did but literally NOT the figurative manner in which I’d hoped. He also knows how to wake us up with that yodel at 3 or 4 AM. They don’t sleep. They are nocturnal and dayturnal also. I think they are immortal or something. Ezra has also mastered the squeaky toys and I think he thinks he’s also auditioning for a part in a band, maybe U2 since they use harmonicas.
Soooo, I would only ever recommend a CD puppy now to a young, strong, agile human who loves to exercise ALL DAY LONG and doesn’t like to sleep or nap. Nope to the nope degree Ezra yodels ever so loudly, then barks, “YOU take a nap, woof!” So I say, “well I would and could if YOU would! I can’t just let a monkey with claws and sharp teeth loose in the house you know!” He just wags his tail, then chases it, then runs after another plant outside to rip it out by its roots. Then dig a hole to China. He’s so smart too, he knows what he’s doing. I’m pretty sure we’re being trained – for what I don’t know. He has a plan I’m certain.
This is all part and parcel I’ve been learning from other very dedicated and devoted CD folks (that’s Carolina Dog in case you still don’t know), and as my friend said, “we’re on the crazy train and not even asking the destination!”
Remember, we had Schatzie, yes we did and I think I mentioned she was over 7 years old when we got her right – I never know, I’m really sleepy and tired. I’m a Boy Dog Mom too…oh I did say that. I should say I’m a Boy Dog GRANDMA but I’m the one raising the kids. So we had visions of King having a young Schatzie version of a playmate again but a male. Oh yes, we did envision that. But then he was born a Black and Tan, not a ginger like Schatzie. AND HE is a HE! He wants to be all macho too and even thinks he can take King on. So my sugar plum visions of this sweet, gentle, loving, hang out together buddy pair is not materializing the way we saw it YET. It may some YEAR down the road, but not any time soon! Most people tell me to give it until he’s at least TWO. I know that is true. I know from past puppies. But TWO with Ezra. OY and VEY.
So my tips and also accolades for Ezra, Carolina Dogs, and dogs in general because yes WE are the problem not them. Ever:
*Do your homework before getting ANY breed okay? I mean seriously, ANY breed. Know if the dog is going to work in your environment, your lifestyle, etc. Ezra has changed our lives and rather dramatically. I KNOW God has a plan, and I hope He even has chuckled a bit throughout this diatribe and journey. I hope you have too. However, I also hope you know to do this FIRST so we don’t have to see so many dogs/puppies end up in shelters and rescues okay?
*Also please do note that dogs ARE (all breeds) carnivore predators. They are not furry toys, fur babies, etc. You may call them that but it doesn’t make them that. I am always aware I am living with predators that have different natures and societal needs than we do (well except when weird animal girl wakes up and takes over).
*I realize and know that Ezra needs confidence building. He’s very sensitive so I’m doing exactly that. With calmness, training, interaction and I’m also using YL essential oils with him. I’ll keep you posted on that since I’m doing a 90 Day focus on that with him (journaling it) to see where we are with all of this at the end of that.
*These truly are great dogs. I know without a doubt ONE DAY Ezra will not only live up to his name (see below) but he’ll surpass all and any expectations I have. The thing is, I am being taught patience (which I really do need among MANY OTHER THINGS which I also need). I do often feel like Ezra would’ve been better placed with younger, more active, outdoorsy, hiking, agility people. But he wasn’t, he was placed with us. I KNOW God has a plan and purpose in all of this and I want to see it through. To journey with Him through it all and see what He will do in us and Ezra, and what He’ll do through us as a result. Ezra is raised naturally. He is raw fed. He is loved and while we go through this puppy phase, we will learn and grow…and so will he. I know one day I will look back at this post if I’m still on earth and laugh. I’ll wonder how I couldn’t see ALL of his coming potential. But I WILL speak life over him. I will believe in him and God’s purpose. I know I can do all things through Christ Who is my strength. Together Ezra, King, Donnie and I WILL prevail. I’m not just saying this but KNOWING it.
I’m sometimes sad for Ezra as I feel he deserves better than I think we are able to give him and his needs. But we do love him. We did consider sending Ezra back to TN. We couldn’t, especially when we’d look into his eyes or watch him happily scampering in our native yard after something that caught his eye. Or with glee run full force as fast as he could and then come trotting over to us looking very proud of himself. Or walk with his tail up, head up, ears alert as I
said, “Let’s go, go go!” which is my cue for him and I to go play and walk in our lower native yard TOGETHER – which he loves! He has bonded to us and that is mutual. He is amazing too after all. I feel like we would miss out on all the blessing and growth God has planned for all of us if we gave up (which my fellow CD friend told me many do). Because of Ezra. Check out what his name means: The Amazing Name: Ezra. And Ezra deserves to have as good and natural life as possible. They all do. So we journey on.
We do love him – a lot, even when he’s being what we perceive of as naughty. He is learning right along with us. He is sweet and tender too. He is also very funny. Most dogs are ya know! I’m being stretched (my husband is too) and that always means the heartstrings as well. So I hope you’ll journey on with me through The Chronicles of Ezra AND King, to see what we can all learn and grow in together.
Until next time…
Have a PAWSitively, tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
PHOTO ATTRIBUTIONS: All photos by Dr. Kim Bloomer of her dogs Ezra (Carolina Dog) and King (American Bully). Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved. NO photos may be used without express written permission from Dr. Kim.