Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Dog's Life

Hi! My name is Chewbacca, aka Chewie. I’m guest blogging this week because my mom is busy working on a book. She puts lots of animals in her stories, and I’ve been in several of them myself. I was also a consultant on the one called Warrior. She says dog bloggers are very popular, but I wouldn't know.
I’m a yellow Labrador of uncertain parentage who got thrown out of a car on a country road as a youngster. Guess my other family decided they didn’t want me anymore, though I’ve never really figured out why. Anyway, after getting run over by a car—which only smeared grease on my back—I decided the highway was not the best place to hang out, so I headed for the woods. It was fun at first, but it was hot and the bugs were biting, and I was so hungry!
I roamed for a few weeks, having no idea where I was going. Most places I went, I got chased away. Nobody fed me. I found some food another dog had left, and he chased me off, too. I’d been a house dog and wasn’t used to fending for myself. I got really itchy on my neck, and I scratched it ’til it bled.
Then one day I was going down a dusty gravel road when a big truck came by. I didn’t have anything better to do, so I followed it. It went down a long driveway to a house back in the woods and stopped. A human lady came out and talked to the driver. Then she went back in the house and I followed the truck out to the field—not too closely because it was dumping sand inside a big pen. After making sure that the sand got spread correctly, I followed the truck back to the house. The lady came out again and looked at me. I think she told me to go home, but I don’t understand humans very well, so I didn’t.
After while, she came out with another dog, and I knew I was gonna get chased off again! He was a golden retriever who said his name was Luke Skywalker and he seemed nice enough—didn’t chase me, anyway, but he was on a leash! Anyway, the lady looked at me again and just shook her head. Then she gave me a drink. It was really hot that day, and I was so thirsty! She pulled a tick out of my ear and looked at my neck. I know it probably looked really bad, but at least she didn’t scream.
Later on, she gave me some food, and I thought I might have a chance, so I stayed the night. The next morning, she fed me again. I was pretty sure she liked me, but when she gave me a bath, I knew I was in! I stayed in the house with Luke after that, and I never had an accident on the floor—though I did steal the occasional loaf of bread, so my mom, as I call her now, started putting it up where I couldn’t reach it. I couldn’t complain, though, because she let me and Luke lick the plates and clean the pans. Once in a while she’d bake a turkey and we’d sit around drooling all day until it was done. Boy, did we have a feast then!
I’ve lived with them ever since. They do odd things once in a while, like bringing trees into the house and putting lights on them, and every summer they go away for a week—which always seems like forever to me! Luke was a good friend, but he would run off and roll in manure whenever he got the chance, and though I always went with him, he was the roamer, not me! I knew what it was like to be without at home, and I always came home before he did.
Luke died several years ago, and I missed him for a while, but I still had the rest of my family—three cats and four humans. I liked to sleep under the bed, and one of the cats always curled up with me. Life was good.
Then one day, I was out chasing a squirrel and something snapped in my back. It hurt really bad, and I know I yelped. I couldn’t walk anymore, so my mom put me in the car and took me to the vet. They kept me for three days, but I didn’t get any better, and I missed my family so much! Then one morning they came and wrapped me up and put me in the back of the truck and took me on a long trip to another vet.
I was there for a long time, and they operated on my back, but I still couldn’t walk. Then my mom came and took me home. It was awful. I had accidents all the time, and I still couldn’t even wag my tail. Then one day, I felt it move. My legs were still weak, but I could move them a little. My mom would put me at one end of the hall and call me for a treat and I would drag my butt down the hall to get it. She held my back end up with a towel and I could walk! One day she put me in the car again and we went back to the vet. On the way home, we went to Steak ‘n Shake and I had a hamburger and fries. It was the best time I’d ever had!
I got better after that, but still had accidents, so I started staying outside more. I liked being in the house, but outside was great, too! There were deer and raccoons and squirrels and rabbits to chase, and every once in a while, I actually caught one! I was better at digging up moles, though, and my mom is always very happy when she finds a dead one. I don’t think she likes moles.
Last year when it was very cold, I got to hurting real bad and couldn’t move. I didn’t want to eat or drink or anything, but my mom started giving me some different pills, and I feel pretty good now, but I still can’t walk very well. I fell in a gully twice this spring, and my mom had to pull me out. I can stand up some, but most of the time I just drag my butt around, though I can run pretty fast if my mom holds my tail.
Nowadays, I sit on the porch and bark at the UPS truck when it comes. Mom gives me a munchy stick whenever she goes to the barn, and I always sit in front of the back door to make sure she doesn’t forget.
There was a deer eating leaves on the apple tree by the garage last night. I barked at it a little, but I don’t chase them anymore.
I’m not looking forward to winter—didn’t much like having to wear diapers and be penned up last year, but at least it’s warm by the woodstove. Maybe I’ll make it through another Thanksgiving if I’m lucky. *sigh* I sure would like to have turkey one more time. Maybe this year she'll give me the whole thing!


  1. Sheesh, Cheryl, this should have come with a warning sign--Tears Ahead. But then, there's nothing like a good cry first thing in the morning.

    Give Chewie a hug and a kiss for me, and don't wait until Thanksgiving to make that turkey. I think you should make him one every few weeks.

    Robin - sniff, sniff

  2. Wow! Chewie really should have whatever his heart desires from this point on just for all he's been through. What a trouper. Please make sure and give him extra hugs and kisses from us. Know for the tissues even though my shirt is soaked.

  3. Yeah, it was a tearjerker for me when I wrote it, too--and so are all the dog stories the rest of you have written. What is it about dogs?

  4. Wow, Cheryl, I loved this. I read parts of it to Consuela who is lying at my feet. Your dogs remind me of Consuela and her long-time companion Roscoe, who died in 2006 after living with us for 14 years. Consuela is 16 and in really good health, thank God. Reading Chewie's story makes me realize how lucky we've been with her. I hope he enjoys many more Thanksgivings.

  5. What a wondeful post Cheyrl! I'm so glad we got to hear Chewie's story :)

  6. Cheryl,
    Aunty is blubbering all over her keyboard. I'm with Robin, BAKE A TURKEY NOW!

    Sweet ole Chewie deserves to lick that turkey roaster.

    I'm always amazed and deeply saddened that people can mistreat animals, especially dogs and cats. :-( YAY for us "animal people" who love 'em and treat 'em right!

  7. Aunt Cindy,
    Now Auntie, would YOU bake a turkey in mid-July? Chewie can't walk very well, but he's healthy! He will make it through another Thanksgiving! Have faith!

  8. Now Cheryl,
    That's hardly a fair question. Aunty NEVER bakes turkey. That's what friends and relatives (or the local supermaket) are for! ;-)

    Glad to hear that Chewie is otherwise healthy. Here's hoping he's around for a good long while!

  9. Cheryl, please read this to Chewis when you get a sec: Hi Chewie Chewie Chewie. Who's a good dog for blogging today? Chewie is! Who's a good dog for telling the bestest story? Chewie is! Does'ems like turkey? Yes hims does! Does'ems want a chew toy? Yes hims does! Does'ems mind sharing a chew toy with Genny? Genny is Christina's very good girl and she gets a chew toy now and will think of Chewie. Genny and Christina are very happy, yes we are, that you have found a wonderful home.

  10. Alright, darn it. I'll bake him a darn turkey in July. And I'm in FLORIDA for heaven;s sake. It's a hundred darn degrees here but that dog needs turkey. If only because he made us all cry. :)

  11. Cheryl, you're gonna be inundated with turkeys for Chewie now. You'll just have to ration them out to him! What a sweetie...he deserves a lifetime supply of poultry, I think:-)

    I think animals have a sixth sense about people who are going to take care of them when it's the animal making the choice. A raggedy little barn kitten at my daughter's old horseback place ran away from everyone else, but I swear that little thing would come running in from the fields the minute she heard the sound of my car. She was the runt and full of worms, and I was soooo hooked. I got my gramma to give her a home (the inn was full at my place), and you'd never know it was the same animal these days. It's very gratifying to see her spoiled.

    Smart Chewie for picking you as a mom! Thanks for having him here.

  12. Okay, okay, OKAY!!!!! I'll bake a turkey! I knew I shouldn't have mentioned the Thanksgiving thing! Even though I've got another deadline...but then, that's my excuse for not doing a lot of things lately. :-)