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Friday, October 21, 2011

T-T-T Teddy and the Cats

{After Hubby read this, I said: "Did you get the title?" This is a man who has loved Elton John's music, including Bennie and the Jets, for as long as I've known him. That's getting close to 35 years. He just stared at me. I could almost see the little wheels in his brain searching frantically for an answer. I patiently (yes, I'm going with that) cued: "Elton's song, B-B-B Bennie and the Jets?" "Ohhh... right...," he slowly answered. No. He still didn't get it. I know him. Hope y'all did.}

Before I begin my “Stories of the Road” (Island! Ha!), I wanted to back up a bit and fill y’all in on our Teddy Buddy Boo Bear. You’ve seen a few pictures of him, but I haven’t shared how he came to live with us. Hope you don’t mind humoring me. Once again.

We adopted a funny/precious/awesome-year-old Basset Hound named Junior soon after Hubby and I married. We loved and cared for him until he was twelve. He got very sick and we were forced to have him put to sleep. With broken hearts, we buried him in the backyard of the home we lived in for twenty-two years. When we moved to the country eleven years ago, it was not only hard to drive away from all those memories, but also from Junior. We made the decision to stick exclusively with cats about fifteen years ago, after having a couple of difficult post-Junior dog experiences.

Our first cat (who Hubby alleged was under a bush in our front yard early one morning as he left for work—I never was completely convinced about that tale)—was named, by 4-year-old TLC, Crystal. We had Crystal for eight years. When she died, we got a cat from one of TLC’s school friends that became Keegan (after Andrew). Keegan was a 6-toed female cat with an interesting personality. Five years later, as we prepared to move Out to the Sticks, we got another kitten, this time a male, from, yep, one of TLC’s friends. She named him Cobbler. We didn’t want Keegan to be alone at a totally new, and possibly scary, place. Keegan was somewhat annoyed that she had to put up with this brash and energetic little fella. Eventually, she grew accustomed to Cobbler—even kind of loved him, in her own way.

Keegan passed away about seven years ago, leaving Cobbler as our only cat/pet. Although my Hubby believed Cobbler had enough entertainment from mice, birds, bugs, raccoons, possums, deer, and bobcats, I always felt he was lonely.

Cobbler circa 2011

I started praying for a dog to find us about four years ago—not the other way around. My Hubby has wanted a Lab for at least that long. I was fairly certain I was never going to agree to a puppy. Last Summer, Mortimer, the cRaZy cat, came to live with us. Compliments of TLC and her Hubby. It was a wise and wonderful decision that all of us have embraced. I knew Cobbler was happy for the company. But when TLC and her Hubby got Henry, my Hubby amped-up the pressure to get a puppy just like him. (Henry is sooo charming!) I had no doubt as to who would be doing the majority of “puppy work.” I am talking about moi. So my prayers for an older dog increased to a minimum of ten a day.

Then the fateful call came in late July. From our friend, Kit. She’d heard of a 4-year-old Chocolate Lab that needed a new home. The young man he belonged to had graduated from college and taken a job out West. He’d be living in an apartment and traveling a lot. His Mom wasn’t going to be able to keep Buddy Bear because of her work schedule. The afternoon we met him, we fell in love. I added two more names—to make him feel more like our own! (And, yes, I usually call him all four names.)

TBBB and Hubby—a nightly Guyfest!
Hubby promises those headphones are for hearing the TV better...
Not to tune me out.
Hmmm.  Suurrreeee.

Soon after adopting TBBB, we took him to our Vet for neutering. It was then that heartworms were discovered. We’d never dealt with a scare like this before. We knew it wasn’t good. Maybe fatal. Since we’d planned to board him and our cats for ten days while we went on our Road Trip, we arranged to have him treated the week before we left. He'd be at the Clinic for seventeen days.

Well, no wonder he was too tired to stand and eat… Bless his heart…

Now that we’re all home (and we truly treasure our Vets and their assistants more than ever!), we have a little less than three weeks left on his six-week recovery time. He seems to be doing great! He goes back for a “day” follow-up treatment next week. We’re optimistic they’ll find he’s healing fabulously. We’re praying that soon he’ll be able to have more of a normal “dog’s life.”

Every Monday through Friday you can find TBBB,
chin on the windowsill, in my office,
 waiting for Hubby to come home. 
He can see his car when he drives up.
Tres touching, yes?

In the meantime, we’re committed to keeping him “quiet,” on a short leash, not allowing him to run, jump or bark excessively. We wish we could make him understand what’s happening. He looks at us with those sad, amber eyes like he’s wondering why we don’t throw him a ball. Or let him chase the cats. Sigh.

Silly Mortimer thinks he needs to climb a tree when TBBB is around.

Although our cats live over at our Barn and are put up every night for their safety, they roam around the top of our hill during the day. I’ll catch them both looking in our windows at TBBB—annoyed expressions on their faces. I know they’re thinking: “What the heck is this? That dog is in that comfortable house? So not fair, People.” (Believe me—they have a hugely fine life.)

TBBB is already immensely loyal to both of us. I think he loves Hubby more. Hubby thinks he loves me more. Hubby usually goes to bed at night before me—at least during the week. Occasionally, TBBB stays in the Great Room with me, watching Grey’s or The Biggest Loser. Two nights ago, TBBB became torn and confused. Then he proved he loves us exactly the same. (I think he totally understands when we’re talking about our ridiculous “competition” of who he likes the best. His eyes are so wise and knowing.) He literally layed across the threshold of the door between our Great Room and our Master Bedroom. As if to say, “I love you both. Period. End of Story and DONE. Sheesh.” I think I’ll start telling people he was born in Switzerland! (Since we don’t know his exact birthdate, we’ve made it our anniversary. We know that has to be very close. All together now: AWWW.)

Besides being incredibly gentle and kind, he’s super smart. I tried to get a picture of him watching The Texas Rangers winning Game 2 last night! (He watches TV all the time. He especially likes National Geographic shows.) By the time I got enough lights on, he’d become more interested in me and my phone.

If you'd told me and Hubby even six months ago we'd have a dog sleeping in our bedroom every night, we would've laughed and said, "Uh, no. Not us. Not happenin'." But there you go. Life is full of surprises, twists and turns. Thank you to Kit! We heart you!!! And thank y'all for your time and patience during The Story of TBBB!

GO TEXAS RANGERS!!! Win the World Series!!!



Autumn said...

I love the picture of Teddy and his 'chin rest', waiting for Dad to come home. And I think when he's recovered, you should let him chase a cat. Which cat would be your choice, but it could be the one you're the most frustrated with at the moment! Kidding, cat lovers.

The Leightons said...

Tee Hee Hee, Funny Autumn! I'd have to choose Cobbler, as he needs the most exercise. And Morty would never, ever, ever let TBBB catch him. Honestly, I wouldn't have to worry about Cobbler, since he and TBBB already like each other. I've tried several times to get a picture of them nose-to-nose. It's tres sweet! I've just not been fast enough to capture that cuteness yet.

You crack me up, You Totally-Devoted-Dog-Clooney-Lover, You!