Saturday, April 24, 2010

Griffin the Raccoon

OK, He's not really a raccoon, he's a Shih-Tzu. Maybe he's a raccoon trapped INSIDE a Shih-Tzu body? That's what everyone that knows him thinks. He's my oldest dog and and the one I have had the longest. (I have also inherited a senior citizen dog or two) but I brought Griffin home 10 years ago. At the time I was the Office Manager at the local Humane Society and one morning when I walked in the door I was greeted by BOB, the guy that took care of the dogs. He told me that "we got another one!" We were always finding dogs and cats tied to the building or left in boxes or just running loose around the building. Once someone drove up to the door and THREW a dog inside. I got up and ran around my desk and the car is speeding down the road and this dog was just sitting there staring at me.
I tell you, that was the most emotionally draining job. I was crying all the time or else enraged at people.
So THAT morning I asked Bob where this one was found and he said the "dog yard". The dog yard was an enclosed grassy play area. The dog-runs had doggie-doors that were pulled open and the big dogs took turns racing outside and running and playing in that area. The whole area was enclosed by a 6 foot fence. Bob proceeded to say how lucky it was that he had gone out there before opening up the dog-runs because someone had "hurled" this little dog over the fence. He went on to say how if he had let some "particular" dogs out, that they would have 'torn up the little guy". So he goes out and comes back with this scruffy little dog.
The veterinarian said he was AT LEAST 2-3 years old. So Bob took him in the back and set up a kennel for him. From my desk I could see that little dog, just sitting there, watching me...long story short, I took him home.
I named him Griffin. Griffin is not a fluffy lap dog. Oh sure, I get him groomed up all cute and stuff and then I bring him home and he goes out into the yard and rubs his head on the ground. He likes to lay out in the yard, not on the raised beds I have out there, but a nice cool DIRT area. Someplace where he can just watch what's going on outside. He doesn't bark at anything but just watches and takes it all in.
Inside he likes to lick things. I mean THINGS. Like a table leg. Not chewing, just licking. Sometimes after all the dogs have been fed, he'll lay there and just "lick" the remaining food. Not eating it, just licking. Sometimes he'll just lick the empty bowl but not like he's hungry, it's just something to lick. Once he actually just crawled into the bowl and went to sleep. He's such a strange dog. I remember this day, I had been pulling up all the tile off the laundry room floor and I turned around and there he was - in the bowl!

I like the next photo, it has Twinkle in it. I think that Twinkle is trying to say
 "What's this DOG doing in our BOWL!"

He also likes getting into the garbage. He was always knocking it over and I'd come into the room and see just his butt sticking out of the can. Even if I didn't catch him in the act he would give it away because he was the only dog that got up when I walked into the room and ran under the table!
I bought a big heavy wooden trash can where you put the bag in and over the edge and set the heavy wooden top on it. But he found if he could get a hold of the edge of the bag, he could pull on that and tip it over.
Then there are the cat litter boxes. I think he thought it was kitty granola because he'd sneak into that box and come walking around that corner like "What!?" and there would be litter all over his face. GROSS!
I remember the time I bought a bag of flour (for paper mache silly! ya know I'm not "cooking" or "baking"anything) and I set the bag on the kitchen chair and left to run another errand. I came home and found white flour ALL over the floor. I screamed "GRIFFIN!" I had only been gone for a half hour! When I finally dragged him out from under the furniture, he had the hair around his mouth and under his chin "pasted" together. Then one day he discovered how to open the lower cupboard door. I now only store canned goods down there but at THAT time I had some boxes of MIXED BERRY gelatin stored there. I came home and was picking up the pieces thinking what IS this stuff? And he comes strolling into the kitchen like "Hey, What's Up?" and his face is colored blue...
He's getting older now and he has a hard time with the stairs. He doesn't try to go to the basement anymore and the cats I believe are very relieved. He loves those cats...maybe too much! If he comes into a room and a cat is laying there, he will run up behind it and try to "violate" the kitty. Most of my cats are male and pretty big kitties. They will usually look at me like "Get this damn DOG off of me!" and then they will turn around, bat him in the head and shake him off.  He will stand there looking after them as if to say..."But I LOVE you!"

 He usually makes it up the stairs to the second floor fairly well but the other day I called him up and he ran all the way up except for the last 3 steps. Then he stopped. It was like he was out of steam and just didn't have the energy for the last 3 steps. So I urged him on but he turned around and went back down and then ran and tried it again. But he was still a few steps short. I was yelling to him to "Wait" but back down he ran again, so I had to follow him and carry him back up.
Sometimes he still runs and jumps with no problem. My veternarian is also an Animal Chiropractor, so I take him in for adjustments.
The other night was a DARK one and as I called all my little dogs inside (I count heads as they troop in)and I was missing one. Griffin. I called and called. So I got out the flashlight and and scanned the yard.
Back and forth, back and forth. THEN suddenly I saw him, I shined the light on him and he was frozen like a raccoon caught in the act!

Then he RAN for it. OH, I forgot he also likes eating Dog poop! He was running like his life depended on it...with a piece of dog poop in his mouth!
That brings me to the BAD breath problem. I mean when a dog is eating shit, it's going to smell like it.
Last year I had a "dental" done on him and a couple of bad teeth pulled. I stuck my head in the operating room as my Vet was about to start and joked "Hey, take good care of that old dog, that's Lily's favorite!"
Lily is my niece. She just turned 15 last week. She's a dog nut just like me and Griffin has been around as long as she can remember. She adores him and picks him up and carries him up against her when ever she comes over. He adores her right back. I always warn her to WATCH OUT, if I'm not sure if he's been licking or eating something gross. So, anyway he's in for this routine dental and I have my good friend who happens to be the Head Vet Technician  in there assisting the Doc. Later, I asked how it went and she hesitated and said fine.
I ask why the hesitation and she said "well, he wouldn't come out of the anesthesia and he stopped breathing and we almost lost him but Doc got him back". I guess there was a few moments there where she and the Doc apparently looked at each other and said "Shit" and went into action and got him back.
I always worry about EVERYTHING and the one time I don't... I never told Lily about that.
So I take my stinky gross old dog into the Vet Tuesday because he is limping again. Apparently he has Arthritis now and I have him on a joint supplement and daily pain meds. While we were waiting for the Doc, Griffin just pees on the floor! This is NOT something he does. The urine looked very dark and I had them test it. They found a bad urinary infection and "crystals" in his urine. So we did an Xray and he has this BIG bladder stone in the middle of his bladder. The good news is it appears to be the kind that can be dissolved with prescription food and medication. As long as it doesn't move and block the flow of urine. Since I work at the Vet clinic, I keep him in the back with me. He's peeing- everywhere and it's bloody pee but Doc said that's part of the process and as long as he is peeing, there's nothing to worry about.


yoborobo said...

Oh my gosh, Cindi - these fur kids of ours. I swear, I think Gizmo is related somehow. LOL! And we call the cat box "Kitty Crunchies" because all our dogs have always tried to get their 'snacks' there. So gross, right? lol! It is always something with these little furballs. :) I hope Griffin is going to be okay. Give him a hug from me. :)) xo Pam

oldblackcatboo said...

Thanks Pam! I know! I complain and complain about the little rugrat and now I can't stop worrying about him! I'm sure he'll be fine!
I'll give him a hug for you (hopefully he hasn't eaten any "yard-snacks lately! LOL!)

Sandy Mastroni said...

oh wow Cindi .. You get me laughing !
They are cute ! I think I like the 'licking' story the best
I think YOU should write a book.
YARD snacks ! Kitty granola ... oh my ... ha ha

oldblackcatboo said...

Thanks Sandy! I'm glad you had a chuckle! I'd ask how your "cleaning" is going but obviously it's going as well as mine (since we are both on the computer! LOL!)
Take care! - Cindi

Suzie said...

I love how each of our furry friends are so unique, with their own little personality quirks. .well, some may not be so little, but we put up with them anyway, because. .we love them. And they do make funny stories! lol

I've rescued kitties and dogs from outside that have been dumped and abandoned, and can tell by their actions and reactions when they haven't had a good previous life, poor things. And some just never completely get over that feeling that they are what I call trash animals. .they've had to depend upon their wits to find food, and to survive. So we endure their remaining bad habits.

I'm sure that Griffin has appreciated his home with you though. .I can tell in his face when he is looking at you, taking his photos.

I'm glad that he made it through his trauma after surgery, and hope that he makes a quick and complete recovery from his bladder stone. It's SO good that he has you for his human.

oldblackcatboo said...

Oh Suzie! That's so great that you rescue little castaways too. I'll never understand how people can be so cruel. But I do believe that a person can't be so heartless without it coming back to them. sigh...but hey, They are the ones that miss out of all that love!
Have a Great Day! - Cindi

Flora said...

I enjoyed your post immensely, it totally reminded me of my furbabies!!!
My poodle Cokie, has the worse dog breath ever,from the day we brought him home, but he doesn't eat doggy snacks or kitty granola, ...none the less I LOVE him and his sidekick Jake, whom he tries to violate too!!?
Theirs is a love/hate relationship...Thanks for making me laugh!!!

oldblackcatboo said...

Flora! I'm glad to make you laugh. I laugh too, later. But at the time all this happens, well...I have to FORCE myself sometimes to smile about it. Thanks for stopping by! I ADORE your work! You are Marvelous!
XOXO- Cindi

PurrPrints said...

yeah 3 of my cats have to be on the ph neutral food to prevent crystals and sontes in their bladders too - I don't know how I ended up with three that way since I always fed them hig quality food and had a water fountain for them and everything - just bad luck i guess. however, the food does seem to control it pretty well - i just wish it wasn't so expensive! :)

Good luck with griffin. Oh, as for whether Jack Gilbert has a blog, I dunno--he's published a couple books of poetry though so you could probably find him in the library or bookstore.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Hi..yep..i started it but never finished...holy smokes...he is FULL of JUICE today...into

this place has been turned upside down...puppy wee wee trays...he pee's on them..then grabs them and runs like the wind... my hair is hanging...he LOVES to "shampoo" into the waterhose today when i tried to he is having a that's all we care about..we are getting such a laugh at watching him...

oh, he's back on the top of the couch.."shampooing" again...well, he sure woke up this place...

took him for a car ride today..he loved it...

loved reading your story about Griffin...hurled that sweet little guy..what is wrong with people...i am all ready worried sick about Teddy's sister Frenchie..she went home to a house of teenagers and some guy with really big white tennis shoes...we are SO CAREFUL with Teddy..they are so fragile...

now he just got the empty toilet paper roll i just sat down and is off...too funny..he is having fun..that's for sure....

and we have about a zillion puppy toys,chewies, biscuits, treats..and all he wants is everything else...

but we LOVE him....

hugs to little louie too

kary and teddy

sassypackrat said...

Oh my the drama you go thru with your fur babies! I hate to say it but Lita used to eat cat poo too. She finally stopped but yuck! She's also a crazed licker so I know what you go thru. Best wishes to Griffin!

MyPinkTurtle said...

Bonjour! Your little Griffin is totally adorable and quite a lucky dog too, judging by the way he is treated at your home. Good for him~! I am sure he will go through this bladder stone in a jiffy and be like a new one once it is gone! Have a great week! Hugs, LuLu

magaly ohika said...

Your griffin is so cute your whole family is adorable!!! You always make me laugh!

You are a great mom to your lovely creatures. Thank you for stopping by you always make my day you always bring a smile to my face. I'm giving you an air hug and love from here CT