As I was milling about the house last night and thinking about this little old blog, it hit me that I hadn’t given a decent Pupdate in a long long time. At one point, the most popular thing about the Bear Feed was posts about my dog, because let’s face it – he’s hella more interesting than I am.
For those of you new-ish to the Blog (I’m talking to you, Dean, just to see if you are paying attention). I am talking about Auggie, also known as Auggie the Doggie, AugDog, Pooper, Pooper Dooper, Farty McFartFart, Dummy, Buddy, and legally known as AKA Fullthrottle’s Gold Rush King. You may get a few other names I use for him as we go along, but you get the point. Auggie is a purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier, important to know because that officially classifies him as an ‘aggressive breed’ in California (more on that later). He came into my life a little over seven years ago just weaned from his momma and has been pooping up my life ever since.
For the most part, there isn’t much to update about Auggie, he’s just chill. Little Dude abides. When I work, he has his routine. We get up, he does his business, he sleeps all day, I get home, he does his business, I give some belly scratches, and then he sleeps on my bed in the places least comfortable for me. He’s always been a fan of looking out the window, so I have pushed a recliner into one corner allowing him to get up the three feet to see out the big windows. Occasionally, he needs to protect me from the evil delivery people or evil squirrels or evil dogs that barked at him first; but otherwise, normal days are normal. When I am around the house, it can be more of a pain – because SleepyPuppy needs to follow me everywhere and that means he can’t get in his 20 hours of sleep a day. Plus there is the constant need to tell me to let him go outside even though he just went out 20 minutes ago.
Auggers is generally healthy too. This year marks the first year he is (in dog years) older than me. He had a shoulder issue a couple years back, a bone chip that the vet suggested was degenerative and something likely we need to watch for as he goes along. Oddly enough, the best thing to help this is for him to be a sports fan. Because Augolicious loves the Green Bay Packers, he wears their jersey all the time (or at least, I put him in the jersey). This actually helps apply pressure to joints that could degenerate. Occasionally, I will see a limp or a hitch in his step suggesting he’s feeling pain, but he’ll try to hide it as long as he can. Other than that and a weird yeasty thing in his ear that was itchy (and he would tend to miss and hit his eye leading to a couple days in the cone of shame), he’s doing pretty good.
Where people do worry is the time I have been spending away from him. I’m not heartless, I worry about that too … a lot. That being said, it’s a little bit par for the course. For the most part of his life, I used PetSmart’s PetHotel to board him. I started using them in Alaska out of sheer convenience. They were the closest boarding facility to my house, literally a half-mile away. We did all our pet shopping and we practiced a ton of our dog training in those aisles. They loved him there at that South Anchorage branch, too – and I am not just saying that they would send an announcement over the loudspeakers when Auggie came in to be boarded so they could all greet him. After we left Alaska, it just became a safe choice. As a national brand, I can rely on each location to have his vet information, background, and contact information without much concern. Plus I knew their rules. Because Auggie is an “aggressive breed” (I can’t “quotation mark” that phrase enough, mind you), PetSmart has restrictions – the biggest is he can’t play with other dogs. So, he just has to play one-on-one with a human (kind of a lose-win if you ask me). When I lived in Boston, I didn’t have a PetSmart handy, but I drove around with him everywhere … and I mean EVERYWHERE … so when I did board him it was at a local pet hospital where they still loved him (one girl would always do the “Auggie Butt Dance” to mimic the way he gets fired up when seeing people he likes but still has to walk).
Thing is, it’s not the place I keep him. It’s the amount of time I keep him there. Auggie spent nearly half his time in boarding in November and December. In one of my previous posts, I said goodbye to a dear friend. I went to the friend’s funeral, but the one thing that almost kept me from going was that I had to put Auggie back into the PetSmart after less than 24 hours being out, and that’s after week after week after week. I was so worried about it, I took a minute to talk to one of the PetSmart people if I was causing any red flags. I had been in there enough that while I felt I could trust him to be honest with me. What he said has stuck with me:
“It’s not the amount of time people leave their pets here. It’s the people themselves. We know Auggie enough that we know you enough. And we’re not worried about you.”
So, that’s the news of Fuzzball. Feel pupdated now.