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1800 Dollar Dog
by collette mcfarland
09/25/06
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1800 Dollar Dog


Cuzn Buzz was partially named by my nephew. We had the name Buzz already picked out and when Nick visited one day he asked if this was his new cousin. Hence, Cuzn Buzz.

The first time I met CB he was pulling a cord with a large lamp attached to it across a room of yapping, prancing, active puppies. I was in a puppy mill. I realized this after the woman took me to the back to select a baby. There were dozens of cages stacked on top of each other, filled with bitches feeding their pups. The bitches wouldn't let your hand near them. They were absolutely breeding material only. I was totally shocked and wanted to leave. No way I was going to take anything from this breeder. She was inhumane and no telling how the puppies would be.

But...as I was leaving it was then I noticed my soon to be valiant CB with his lamp pull toy. Head held high, not discouraged by his three-pound weight and the size of his trophy, happily convinced he had done something to be proud of.
I couldn't leave this brave little child here. I offered to buy him. At first the breeder insisted he wasn't for sale, she was going to use him for production but some how the money I offered her reached it's destination, her pocket and I left with my rescue project.

My female shitz-su, soon to be CB's wife rejected him instantly. Then she rejected me. How dare I bring another participant into our relationship? It was perfect, just the two of us with the occasional exception of my husband who she used as a sparing partner. For a week I was ignored and CB was shunned. Eventually though he was allowed semi participation in her live. He was never fully appreciated by her but at least she allowed him to eat and breathe and sleep in her castle and she kept me on as the hired help. What good is a castle without serfs?

The first time CB and NIkki were intimate was the last time. Nikki reproached Buzz so badly he never attempted to violate her again. She had him cowering in the corner for hours. But the union produced four babies, one of which remained with us who we named Leftie because he was the puppy that was left over! My family had grown by yips and yaps.

Buzz still holds his nose high in the air as though trying to touch the sky with his nostrils, just like it was when he initially caught my attention. He's the last to return to the house after going outside and his son waits for him at the front door. As Buzz eagerly passes Leftie, Leftie pounces on him for taking so much extra freedom. Buzz, nose pointed up, just brushes past, letting the reprimands fall off his back.

I once had a waterbed mattress. Now I have a regular mattress. Cuzn Buzz is responsible for this switch. I noticed the edge of the bed was damp one morning. I erroneously suspected Buzz relieved his bladder there. But... water continued to soak through the sheets. More water than would fit in the half-cup size container that CB possessed. I discovered a hole in the liner as a result of Buzz's nails digging up a comfortable mound. The regular mattress is actually much better for me than the floaty, swishy predesessor.

Now, he's not totally incapable of bad manners. My first night back from a particular vacation I laid in bed reading, head on my pillow with Buzz, Nikki and Leftie up with me. Suddenly I heard a whizzing sound. Turning my head slightly I caught "Mr.-Boy-am-I-mad-you-went-off-and-left-me", Buzz letting go full stream unto my pillow, inches away. Some say he would have just been a fading spot on the wall by now in their homes, but with my sick sense of humor I found it hilarious. What a way to demonstrate being pissed at someone!!!!

Hopefully I never leave anything in my car after I get home. If I need to go recover something, three furry projectiles bound past me and launch into the passenger seat ready for an excursion. So, it's around the block and back again. Then they all vault out the driver's side to disembark. One day, Buzz stayed stationary. "Come on Buzz, the rides over." Nothing. I reached over to give a persuasive tug. Nothing. Stroking my hand down his back to his tail I discovered the hair on the end was closed in the door. He was shackled, but not hurt. I had to laugh while his soulful eyes admonished me.

I suspected Buzz's hearing was going, but it was confirmed one day when he was in front of my car and I blasted the horn at him. He didn't flinch. Dogs yards and blocks away howled, but not Buzz. From then on, I used hand motions to summon him. He knew what each wave of my wrist meant. It meant to come in or go out. Of course, there was also a motion that indicated treat time was here. He memorized them perfectly.

Now, one day, a month after his wife died suddenly, at thirteen and a half, I noticed Buzz having trouble with his hind legs. They wouldn't hold his weight but he seemed pain free. I took him to the vet, crying uncontrollably, I couldn't take another death. I feared he had had a stroke and I'd have to put him down, but was relieved to learn it was "just" a knee problem. It could be fixed for a mere 1400 dollars. Buzz was worth it.

All systems go, Buzz was deposited at the hospital and under went knee reconstruction. I wasn't allowed to see him for a day before surgery because he was a non-happy camper. He'd never been caged. Never. Then I had to let him adjust to his recovery for a few days post op. When I was finally allowed admission to see "my" dog I felt and heard my heart explode. He lay there, listless, sore and non-interested in life. The ICU he was in was loaded with barking, angry dogs. This is the first time I recall being grateful he'd lost his hearing. He'd never get any rest if he heard the catter-walling taking place. There he lay, his snout inches from his favorite, undisturbed meal. His shaved hind leg was enlarged and multiple shades of ugly. I never felt such remorse in my life for subjecting someone to this misery. I went home more hurt than the patient.

Weeks of rehab followed where he stayed at the hospital. The doctor had a bariatric chamber that was used on Buzz twice daily. I got to come by every night and take him outside and retrain him to walk but he couldn't come home till he used all four of his legs. He could only gallantly use three legs, and he used them to hobble to my parked car. He wanted to come home!!!

Finally. He was home for the nights but we returned him everyday to the hospital, like taking a kid to day care, for continuing therapy. This mighty prince, who never liked being caged, voluntarily entered his confinement and patiently waited for my return each day. He had some variety in his life now and could walk again. The final bill was 1800 dollars for a thirteen-year-old dog. It was worth it. That was only four months ago but it seems longer. The happy, eager- to-be-fed and walked pooch that meets me at the door every day was worth it. The excited face that jumps up at me at treat time was worth it. I was with him every step of the way. I experienced his pain and recovery.

Kind of reminds me of another story. A man found me in a puppy mill, the world, and bought me, with his blood (that cost more than 1800 dollars or the lifetime of maintenance). He saw my potential and took me home. He stayed with me through my faults, health and illnesses. The entrees and treats he feeds me are in his word. When I get deaf to his voice he finds other ways to communicate (His sign language is hitting me on the noggin with a two by four.) When I get pissed off I don't know if he laughs but I know he still accepts me. He wouldn't throw me against a wall or replace me. He knows anger is a part of our frame and should occasionally be honestly expressed. And I can't wait to see him everyday, like Cuzn Buzz's enthusiasm to see me at the beginning and end of a day I look forward to my time with Jesus.


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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