Well I was ready to start at the beginning this morning - with when Starskey picked me.....but last night we got a phone call. Yeah, another hopeful sighting only this time the dog was in hand. Jeff took the call so all I could do was look on with that huge question in my eyes and my heart beat on hold......Jeff sounded hopeful too when he hung up and told me that Jeromy would call back after he checked the dog's markings and the tags. Yeah, this one still had tags on.
Okay, my heart can beat again but I am not sure that I could breathe until the next call came. Close but no Starskey......the tags were from a vet office in a town 20 miles away. How did he get clear up here? At any rate the fellow was kept inside until a vet check today to try to connect him back up with his owners........I can't even cry sad tears! I can cry mad ones because it wasn't Starskey but I can't cry the sad ones - something just won't let me give up. Maybe his story will let you know why........
Starskey, his mom, aunt and a brother were all owned by a friend of my daughter. We happened to go to that friends house one day because he was getting ready to move and was selling some things she thought I might be interested in. Oh did he have interesting things....I picked up cast iron pots for camp cooking, a rocking chair, table covers for my booth displays at craft shows and stuff. Also got a couple of folding wooden indoor clothes dryers...like my Mom used to have. There was more but I needed Jeff to come back to okay the rest.
We walked near the house and this little black furry thing came wiggling out of a hole in the fence and came bounding over to me.....yes - straight to me! I picked the little fellow up and received abundant kisses while somebody plugged up the whole in the fence before anyone else found it. We all continued to talk and after he settled down some I put Starskey down. He sat on my foot. We walked a few feet to look at some things behind the garage and he walked between my feet.....sat down beside me and stayed there.
I put him back in the yard behind the fence when I had to leave and he just gave me that "look" and whimpered as I walked away. I had not planned to get a puppy that day and no one had intentionally set me up for it either.....except maybe my daughter. I returned the next day with Jeff and the other purchases were approved as well as some shelving picked out for the garage. There was one little puppy barking (if you could call that squeak a bark) at the fence. Jeff asked if that was the pup I told him was so cute......well - yeah!
Jeff reached over the fence and picked him up, receiving a big welcome kiss and lots of love himself. He looked at me and I looked at him and that was that. Starskey would come home with us too, but not before we got a place for him to sleep that was more suited to his size. Our doghouses were all quite large. It just so happened that there was such a facility available as well. It needed a little repair but would work fine to start out with.............The white 5 point star on Starskey's chest meant that the name his mom's owner had given him was going to stick and off we went with a loaded truck and new pack member.
We had never had such a little fellow before so we had some learning ahead of us! It was April and the weather was warm enough for him to be outside days and inside at night. He took to his new home right away. His only problem was that black tom cat that was bigger then he was and it wouldn't play with him....just sat and looked at him from a perch too high for Starskey to get to anyway. I am not sure that Starskey ever really figured out that the black cat wasn't bigger then him anymore...but the cat knew it and teased him anyway....staying just out of reach.
Starskey's early days were spent in an area that included the back deck, some yard and an over sized doghouse full of pillows to snuggle in. He would lay on an insulated pad and sun himself between excursions through the day lilies, wood pile and yard. His very favorite things to do was to ride on the porch swing and take walks. He would lay on my lap on the swing but not for long periods of time....he had things to do. He pulled the sticks from the wood pile, rolled in the day lily leaves, chewed on anything he could find and did just about anything else that suited his fancy. In the evening he would sleep, exhausted, at our feet or in front of the fireplace (that might be going on a chilly night) until we put him to bed in his house kennel with his teddy and a treat.
Yes, you did read that right - his teddy. His first night at our house he was exhausted. The second night he realized he didn't have a brother, mother or aunt to snuggle and he cried. I found a Care Bear teddy in the grand kids old toy box and put it in bed with him. That was all it took. Care Bear no longer has eyes or much of a nose but he is still the bed partner. There is another teddy at the camper that is also still in pretty good shape. Apparently bed partners are more sacred then other stuffed toys because the others got destroyed with great relish.
Like I said - we had never had a dog this little before so we were learning right along with him. Having been raised on a farm Jeff had never had a dog that was allowed in the house. I had been raised with dogs in and out, but mostly out - because we were in the country too. The decision to let Starskey become a house dog was a big one for Jeff and limits were still set. Our floors are covered in dog cushions and beds for him, since he was not allowed on upholstered furniture. He did find that camp chairs and the deck chairs were comfortable and okay for him so he made use of all of them.
When he grew tall enough to get his paws up on the porch swing great fun began....well it was fun for us but I am sure that it was great frustration for him as the swing would move away from him before he could get his back half on it. After a couple of attempts he would either resign himself to lay under it or he'd go find a deck chair that didn't move. A morning swinging session was the rule for the two of us. I would hold the swing steady as he learned how to get himself up on it and then we would sit and swing and cuddle for as long as he was able to keep from getting distracted by a squirrel or a frog or something that needed checked in to.
The bell story will be next.......