Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Missy Girl

I have already written about Mama's Boy Monty. I haven't told you about the true guard dog of the farm, Missy.

Missy came into our lives when I contacted a local Doberman rescue. She was much like many of the abused or abandoned dogs. Starved and scared.

She didn't have much faith left in humans. She didn't want you in her face, on her level. Because she didn't trust you. She didn't really care if you pet her or not because she probably didn't understand that type of love. She was just used as a puppy factory machine. When she didn't have a healthy litter, the backyard breeders quit feeding her. We found out months later because Missy was having legs problems after hikes that she had been shot with a shotgun. She has over 80 buckshot embedded in her rear. She keeps on protecting this farm though.

It has been baby steps with Missy. It has sometimes been a struggle. Missy taught me it takes a long time to earn trust and you cannot compare individuals. Everyone has their own story, everyone has their own flaws and everyone has gifts too. She taught me acceptance.

Missy loved her crate when we brought her home. When I'd vacuum or we'd have a thunderstorm, she run and hide in her crate. Her crate was her den, her safe zone. Monty viewed his crate as a prison. When he graduated out of his crate, he never slept in it again. He figured out the bed was much more comfortable. It took months for Missy to even jump on our bed, with tons of coaching from me. Still, today, it's rare Missy will even come into our bedroom unless she's scared or trying to tell me something while I'm sleeping. She only jumps into bed with us when there's a thunderstorm scaring her and once when I was crying really hard.

Monty was the showboat, superstar at obedience classes. It wasn't Missy's cup of tea. She wasn't really excited to be there but she enjoyed the boiled beef heart treats I'd made for her. It always seemed she was nervous and watching her back around other dogs. It was hard for her to sit straight from the buckshot in her ass. Missy could heel perfectly though. She pranced around the ring, "I'm special, I'm shining because she loves me enough to boil beef heart and stink up the house. Your owner is feeding you Beggin Strips???"
I'd come home with raw knuckles because Missy could sometimes get over-excited about beef heart. It was a great bonding experience for her and I. We completed basic and intermediate obedience classes. Missy told everyone that tried to trick her to go through the tunnels,"fuck you". She never ran one tunnel. Too dark, too confined, too scary.

Missy hates squirrels. About four years ago, I was hiking with Monty and Missy and she took off after a squirrel. She'd usually tree it and come running back. I guess she got carried away and followed it too far into the woods. After about 10 minutes, I started getting concerned she hadn't caught up. Monty and I stopped, I called for her. "Missy, Come on girl!" I then blew the "You better come RIGHT NOW!" whistle. No Missy. I kept telling Monty to go find her but like I said, he sticks to me like glue.

I started back tracking, I called and called. For over an hour. I started getting really scared. I decided to walk back to the ranger's house and ask him to take me out on his four wheeler to call for her. I knew him pretty well because I used to hike almost every day with the dogs.

When I was clearing out of the woods to get help, I heard her dog tags clanging. She was panting harder than I have ever seen and she collapsed at my feet. I thought she died of a heart attack right in front of me. Dobermans are known to have cardiomyopathy. She kept on huffing though.

Then, I saw her feet. The pads were torn off and they were bleeding. Some had 1/4 inch of skin hanging from them. I somehow carried her out to the trail entrance and she didn't protest about me invading her person space. No grunts, no struggling when I wrapped my arms around her and held her, I'd have to carry her and then stop for a bit. I screamed for help when I got to the parking lot and ranger got my keys. He drove my car over and helped me load her up. The vet cut off the skin and we had to wrap her feet for a few days. She was more upset she couldn't go for walks with Monty and I during recovery.

Missy is a natural born mother. Any baby animal that I bring inside, she will protect. The kitties and Monty better back away from baby goats or they will get their head's ripped off. Missy adores goat kids. She will cry if I don't let her in their pen. Last year, one doe had triplets in the middle of the night. I didn't find them until the next morning, they were premies and had hypothermia. They were all females too. I brought them all inside and rushed two to the vet. When I came home, Missy was snuggling with the baby in the photo above. The baby wanted to nurse. Missy did not leave her side.

She's learned how to love and trust. She's forgiven but doesn't forget. When it's deer season, she'll come flying through the doggy door shaking with fear at the sound of a shotgun. But she's the first one out the doggie door when she hears the chickens screaming for help because the fox is back. There have been nights that I hear Missy go barking out the doggy door over twenty times. We must have a lit sign over our farm flashing, "Chicken, duck, goose, peacock, BUFFET!" Missy protects. If Monty is feeling especially valiant, he'll stand up in bed and bark.

Monty knows who's boss in this house too. If Monty tries to take take her bone or chewy, she just has too look at him sideways and raise her upper lip.
I think she says, "Monty, bitches rule, dogs drool!"


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Flo said...

Wow, Missy is a lucky girl. But there is a special place in heaven for animals and the people that treat them well.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

Cute story - cute doggies.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Jill said...

You tell some wonderful stories and I love reading them!

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Bolder said...

a wonderful post.

At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, that story brought tears to my eyes...
Lucky Missy, lucky you!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger E-Speed said...

awwe what a sweet pup

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

I don't have a dog but if I had the land for one to run around then I would get one. I believe obedience school is not only good for the dog but for it's owners too.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Dori said...

That was sweet. I used to have a cat that I adored and spoiled. I fed him raw meat--he just loved kidneys and liver. I'd buy beef heart from the Farmer's Market, and cut it up for him. When he was dying of cancer and wouldn't eat, I was desperate to get him to try anything. I bought a beef tongue, which grossed me out so much that I wore rubber gloves to cut it up because I couldn't stand the texture. The things we do for those we love. :-)

It makes me sad that there are people who abuse animals. It's so wrong!

At 9:22 PM, Blogger The Big Cheese said...

I like dogs.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger nancytoby said...

Come back Mojo! We miss you! 2 posts all month!?

Tell us some goat stories!!!

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Mike said...

DId you ever see the Doberman Gang ?

A must see for all Dobi lovers. Did ya get new goats ?

Hope all is well.


At 7:32 PM, Blogger 21st Century Mom said...

Mojo where are you? Hope all is well.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Papa Louie said...

We hope all is well with you. We miss you.

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