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Location: Central Michigan, United States

Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bug Tails - "Update - The Stray Dog"

A little more than seven weeks ago, a stray dog entered the lives of my wife and me. We initiated the appropriate "found dog" notices, and when no claims were eventually made for the dog, we concluded that our home would become his too. During that period, my wife, Barbara, gave the young corgi the name of "Rusty" due to the color of his coat of hair. I began to call him by "Bug"; short for bed bug. He liked to jump up on the bed two or three times each night and wander around on my body. So I thought "Bug" to be appropriate.

Having made the decision to keep the dog, we took him to the local Veterinarian for a "dog physical". Rusty (Bug) was diagnosed with heartworm disease; his heart enlarged with the affliction. Well, no choice for us, we opted for treatment.

Following Rusty's three day ordeal of shots and other tests at the Vet's clinic, we went to pick him up and were told then by the Vet, "It is critical that he be kept extremely quiet for at least the next four to six weeks. If not, he can easily die." Okaaay.

Taking seriously the Vet's advice and other instructions, we purchased a wire dog crate, lots of toys for in the crate, bedding and so forth. For the past five weeks that crate has been Rusty's small world. Ours too, in many respects.

Let's go back toward the beginning for a moment.

When Rusty first came to us, I posted here on my blog a short story describing his arrival. The story contained a bit of fiction so I requested critiques of the story. You were all very polite. By email, however, it was suggested to me that I rewrite the story as a dark flash-fiction for submission over at Tribe's. Good idea, I thought. Taking the suggested ideas for the story, I started to write a dark flash-fiction about the dog. Couldn't finish it. You see, I believe in the power of prayer and I also believe in the power of our thinking. Accordingly, it wasn't in me to write a dark story about the young corgi, especially under the circumstances. Sorry.

Back to the present.

Yesterday morning, early, we took Rusty (Bug) back to the Vet for a follow-up treatment (oral this time), and another "dog physical". When we went to pick him up in the evening, we were told by the Vet, "He's done very well. Keep him in low gear for a couple more days then you can let him shift into any gears he wants. He's again a healthy young dog." Thank you, God.

Last night I lie in bed on my stomach, reading a book and eating a Popsicle. My pillow was wadded under my chest and I had laid my book open on the bottom sheet. FRUMP, I heard and felt Bug jump up on Barbara's side of the bed. He trotted over by my head and, PLOP, dropped a dog biscuit onto the open pages of the book I was reading. Bug lie down on his belly, at the top of my shoulder, then proceeded to eat his biscuit. I was still eating the Popsicle.

While we each enjoyed our respective treats, I said to Bug, "Heh, during the day I write the pages of Placemat Crumbs, and here in the night you are making crumbs on the pages I'm trying to read. I'm glad I didn't write those pages about you for Tribe's."


Blogger jason evans said...

What a great moment! :) Very glad Bug responded to the treatment and recovered.

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm so glad to hear Bug is doing well - that's awesome!

As are you and your wife.

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik, for giving us an update.
Lost and lonely no longer.
Many years, Bug, dear pup.

12:54 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Jason: Yes, it was a good moment. Nothing newsworthy for sure. But, it was a damn fine moment.

Sandra: Thank you for both kind thoughts.

2:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Bernita: You are welcome. "Lost" depends on if he will be out walking with me or with Barbara. If with me, we'll probably both wind up lost. "Lonely", yeah, no longer.

2:28 PM EDT  
Blogger For The Trees said...

I'm really, really pleased Bug is doing so well. Animals come to us unbidden (just try to get one to come to you most of the time!) and beg for a home. I got my beloved cat that way. Sherry got her beloved cat that way. Now we have my cat who won't listen to her, and her cat who sometimes but rarely listens to me.

Imprinting. It works.

Glad to see you doing well. Keep at it, I've got a new round of joss sticks burning and koans flying.

2:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Jaye Wells said...

Bug sounds like a great addition to your home. Corgi's are great. Glad he's recovered so well.

5:47 PM EDT  
Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

This is lovely to hear, Erik.

9:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Jaye: Yes, Corgi's seem to be nice dogs. This one is our first. I'm quite impressed so far.

M.G.: Good morning. Thanks for stopping by.

7:18 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Highly readable. Well done.

12:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you, Ivan. Compliments from you are special to me.

7:48 AM EDT  
Blogger September said...

Ohhh, sounds like Rusty is such a sweet Bug! I'm glad he did so well with the treatment. Looks like he's found the perfect home.

1:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you for stopping by. I'm honored.

7:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark Pettus said...

I'm always running behind the pack these days.

I too believe in the power of positive thought, and I'm sitting next to my adopted (he adopted me) stray schnauzer, Champ. Hard not to make sacrifices for an animal that gives so much and asks so little.

Good on ya, Mate.

9:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thanks for the visit.
There is only one period in my life where I didn't have a dog at my side. Military service.
I've never yet had a dog let me down. Only people.

7:24 AM EDT  

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