Friday, July 9, 2010

Lessons from Dexter

Dexter's physical therapy program--designed by the dog himself!--relies heavily on playing. He responds to his name and comes when called, but he still likes getting into mischief. Case in point: one evening, Dexter's humans had to chase him through the woods because Dexter decided he needed a longer "therapy" session! He hid behind trees, lay in puddles, and darted around to avoid capture. Dexter obviously enjoys a good game of hide-and-seek.

Clearly, Dexter has learned the importance of recreation. Other valuable lessons he's learned:
1. Don't try to eat a wasp.
2. Live fish are difficult to hold on to.
3. Don't let your humans catch you on the kitchen table. Which is not to say stay off the table, just get down before they come in.
4. You can, in fact, pick fights with dogs three times your size if you show no fear.
5. It's important to guard the food bowl from other dogs, even if you're not hungry.
6. Don't try to eat a wasp. It's still not a good idea.

Some lessons that Dexter's humans have learned:
1. Dexter is fearless.
2. As far as he's concerned, Dexter is the master of the universe. He only plays cute and submissive when he wants to get out of trouble.
3. Dexter has "little dog syndrome"--the bigger the other dog, the more important it is to annoy him.
4. Dexter thinks that eating wasps is a good idea. Multiple stings have not convinced him otherwise.
5. Despite (maybe because of) his mischief, Dexter is fabulous.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dexter the Naughty

According to Dexter's humans, Dexter is "the most loveable, cutest, affectionate, playful but stubborn, hard headed, trouble making creature" in the world. Living with him is like living the movie "Marley and Me," and he's rarely left unsupervised. Here's how Mike, Dexter's human, tells it:

"There have been a few occasions where we both were not at the house, usually for only an hour or two, and Dexter used that time to create Chaos. Despite two broken legs, in casts, a cone around his head and a double latched crate, he still has managed to create more trouble than you can imagine! Three times we have found him out of his crate, casts pulled off, and a trail of chewed up shoes, wicker baskets, computer cords, and purses. Each time we tried something new. Zip ties on the crate door were chewed through and weights against the crate door were pushed out of the way.

"We can only let him out of the crate when he can be directly supervised, with an adult only a few feet away because he refuses to believe his legs are broken, and not to be walked on! I have rigged up a harness with a bed sheet that lifts his back legs off the ground, giving him the ability to walk on his front legs outside to use the bathroom. He is a power house with his front legs, and all he wants to do is run, run, run. We try to keep him entertained with things to chew on, but he goes through the average bone or pig ear in 15 minutes. Last night, he really went all out. Before going shopping, we placed tool boxes and full gallon paint cans all around and on top of the crate to deter and prevent any attempt at escape. We returned just under 2 hours later, to find 2 pulled off casts, 2 gallons of paint in our carpet, and an open crate door and at the top of the stairs sat peacefully (tired from his latest work of art) the little husky puppy, who was now the color of our bedroom walls."

Since this escapade, Dexter's crate has been secured with combination padlocks (no joke!) in hopes of keeping him safe.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dexter the Adorable

Dexter is a very cute puppy!

He's also had a very tough life so far. As you can see in a few of the pictures, he has casts on both hind legs. Here's how he got that way:

"It was 8 p.m. Thursday evening , January 28, when Mike saw a small husky puppy lying on his front lawn. He rushed to pick him up and noticed that both hind legs were broken. The puppy had dragged himself along on his front legs. Horrified, Mike jumped into his car and drove to the Emergency Vet Clinic where the pup was examined and x-rays were taken. He had not been hit by a car, the vet said, and it was obvious that the breaks were deliberate. Both legs were splinted but needed to be pinned as soon as possible. After paying the emergency vet bill of $1,000, Mike took the pup who he named “Dexter” back home to his family. Unable to afford the necessary surgery, he made many calls in the next two days trying to find a group which would help. In the meantime, little Dexter, approximately 10-12 weeks old, was being monitored by the family dog, “Juno”, a one year old spayed female Husky mix. He adored her and probably thought his mom had come back for him.

"On the third day, Sunday, not having received any positive response in regard to financial help, Mike approached the SPCA. We responded immediately. Realizing the seriousness of this case, we decided to have the surgery done and worry about the financial aspect later, although our funds were limited.

"The next day, Dexter was taken to the Regional Vet Referral Center in Springfield where a board certified orthopedic surgeon took over and his leg was pinned. The other leg was not as badly broken and received a new shorter splint and will eventually heal on its own. Today, Dexter is back with his rescuer where he will receive aftercare and TLC. The clinic will monitor his progress closely. Mike and his family have bonded with the spunky, playful little guy and want to adopt him." (SPCA)

Far from being limited by his rocky beginning, though, Dexter is turning into one tough--and naughty--cookie! He loves to run, chase Juno, pounce on his humans, and generally make mischief. I'll add stories and updates on Dexter's progress and antics as time goes on.