The First in a Series
I have had dogs for many years probably going on twenty now. Faced with dog issues over the years, I have been forced to become quite a creative problem solver. If you are squeamish, easily nauseated or bothered by bodily functions this is not the post for you to read!
It all began with my first dog Tippy. She was a Maltese/Shihtzu cross. Tippy was an extremely high-strung dog. She barked at anything. She spun like crazy when she saw me or someone else she loved. I loved that little dog fiercely. She saw me through many emotional times. We were inseparable. She went to work with me and she was my faithful every where I went. She went to graduate school with me, travelling across Canada to Kingston, ON.
Tippy had a major issue in life – she mostly refused to drink water because somehow she would aspirate it and spend several hours reverse sneezing. So Tippy ate ice, lots of ice. She would come running and spinning whenever she heard the ice tray crack. I could not leave a glass with ice in it unattended as she would knock it over to get the ice. I would have little wet spots on my carpet wherever I lived.
Tippy would also get little dog butt. Basically if the hair gets too long they get a ‘cling-on’ and if not caught quickly enough it can get pretty gross. I learned pretty quickly to not add water! In these cases, scissors are your friend. It is important to cut all the hair (and everything else) off. I have no idea how many times I cleaned that dogs’s butt over the ten years I had her.
Then there the KONG. Tippy liked to play non-stop. She played with the huge blue and white kong. She would get it and I would have to play tug of war with her to get it back. Lots of times she would end up off her feet growling all the way. She would play non-stop! She also liked to sit on my chest. When I sat on the couch she would jump on the back and then descend and sit on my chest. This was a bit of a problem because she was a bit of an alpha dog. I often joke that I wrote my master’s thesis while playing kong with Tippy and when we were not playing she was sitting on my chest.
Tip had many nicknames. One that really stuck was ‘Tippy the Tiny Terrorist.’ She was a bit aggressive towards other dogs and she ruled the house. If I had her today, things would be very different as I know a lot more now. Once other dogs accepted that Tippy was alpha dog it was all good. She did enjoy playing with them. One in particular stands out – Shilo. Shilo was a large likely Belgian Shepherd cross and Tippy loved to play with her. Her favourite thing to do with Shilo was to grab her tail and hang on. She would end up swallowing a lot of long black hairs that I would then have to pull out of the other end. I really loved my dog!
Tippy was very important to me. I will forever be grateful to my friend Gale who entrusted her care to me. Tippy was the centre of my world for her entire life. She saw me through so many life challenges and transitions. She passed away in November of 2000. Tippy, you were a very good dog and I miss you.
*A little note about the origins of this series – I was sitting with Zoe and I was draining about the 5th boil/abscess on her back. It occurred to me that I do some gross things for my dogs. Be assured that I love them dearly. I know that I get way more from them than I give. I think this will be fun!