Sunday, December 12, 2010

Goodbye Scarlet, Hello ?

Ugh. Just seeing her picture makes me sad all over again. I haven't wanted to blog about Scarlet's sad and embarrassing. But it is what it is.

The puppy, Scarlet, that we were sort of fostering for our neighbor and sort of claiming as our own, died. She died a few months ago. She didn't get the booster shot needed for the parvo vaccine, and she got parvo. It was a very hard lesson to learn--to keep up on pet vaccinations no matter how inconvenient it might be. It was awful to see this extremely sweet-natured dog go from the picture of health to dead in 3 days. We didn't realize it was anything more than an upset stomach until we were too late for any intervention the vet could do to have a positive effect.

Scarlet only lived with us a few months, but we really looked forward to her long and happy life. She was a GOOD DOG, despite the bad rap pit bull and pit bull mixes get. We say goodbye to Scarlet.

As it happens, Scarlet's mother just gave birth to another litter of puppies. [I know, I know, spay and neuter--but it isn't our dog.] 9 puppies. Scarlet's 1/2 siblings. These will be more percentage pit bull that Scarlet was (dad is full blood). Right now they are just little helpless balls of fur and puppy breath. Everybody has their favorites, but it will be personality that trumps all. Our dog Kilo is extremely dominant so we have to be very careful with all new additions. We watch and wait. Sometime towards the end of January, IF there is a pup with the right personality, we might once again add to our pack. [I can hear my mother sighing through the internet!]

My name is Anita. And if I wasn't married to someone who didn't like the responsibility of dogs, I might one day be on one of those animal hoarding shows! [However, I will hope to never again get behind on pet vaccinations. Lesson learned.]


Kait 11:22 PM  

We have a pit bull that's two years old. We got her before we got our daughters, when she was five weeks old and just a teeny ball of fluff.

Someone was selling her as a fighting dog out of a box. My brother bought her for me as a gift. She's the best gift he's ever given me.

Yes, she's a pit bull. She's also 44 pounds of love and snuggles and she crawls on her belly to approach my kids - signifying that they are dominant to her. My girls lay on her and pull on her and walk right up to her and kiss her square on the mouth - she goes with every single bit of it.

Be careful of personality. I know we lucked out. She's a powerhouse. I'd hate to see what would happen if she thought we were threatened because we are her people and she is dedicated. BUT she is also the most wonderful, affectionate, obedient dog I've ever had and I don't worry about her with my kids for a single moment.

Dani Neumann 11:43 PM  

I agree - Pit bulls are great and great w kids if you get a puppy! The bad rap comes from owners not the dog itself I can't talk them up enough if raised properly (which I'm sure you'd do) I hope you end up w one! -dani

whenpigsfly 9:52 AM  

I so understand!! Hee's hoping that one of thoe 9 pups is just the right fit for your family dynamics! I never thought I would be one of those small put-her-in-a sweater- dog type people but I am loving our Westie, Holly. Despite all out jokes about "bait puppies" as a LARGE DOG loving family, we have all grown quite fond of 12# Holly and her small dog persona. IF Pit bulls fit your family GO FOR IT! My brother has has several over the years and all has been very well for them.
Holly would never have been a consideration had our very beloved Aslan been hit by a late night driver and that is something I have not really blogged about yet either. It hurts. We had him for 6 years. When you are "Dog people" dogs are family.

Heather 10:01 AM  

Pit Bull isn't actually the breeds name, it's more of a slang term derived from the fact that these dogs are "bulls" when thrown into a dog fighting pit. The breed is actually American Staffordshire Terrier, although some consider some breeds of bull dogs and terriers as part of the general term "pit bull". And historically, AmStaffs were regarded as "nanny" dogs for the children because of their even temperment and protective nature. :)Even now, Amstaffs rank higher in intellegence and human compatibility that quite a few "popular" breeds! One word of caution though. Check to see about any breed specific legislation in your area. Sometimes homeowners insurance goes up (or does not cover) certain breeds.

You're craking me up with the dogs! I'm telling ya, pretty soon you're going to outpace the Amsbury household! Oh, and I sleep on the couch with Christmas tree lights on ALL THE TIME!

Dani Neumann 11:06 AM  

Pit bulls are great and great w kids if you get a puppy! The bad rap comes from owners not the dog itself I can't talk them up enough if raised properly (which I'm sure you'd do) I hope you end up w one! -dani

A. Gillispie 2:30 PM  

Heather, I know! The difference between you and me is that your dogs tend to LIVE and mine keep dying off! I swear it's like a revolving door around here!

Pits are legal here, and very popular.

Andy and Jennifer 7:25 AM  

Time, time, time; training, training, training. All I would recommend if you do go with a pit mix. If you think that it would be a problem (any dog is a BIG committment, properly training one is a HUGE committment), then I would choose another breed to avoid heartache for the kids down the line.
We have a sweet 13lb Boston Terrier. I love her to bits. We invested a lot of time in her training (classes with us, and with both boys). It's really nice to have a well-behaved, well-trained dog when they are just bitty things, but an absolutely necessity for the big boys!

A. Gillispie 4:27 PM  

I should explain a bit more about the particular situation with the puppies across the street. It's sort of a "no lose" situation. We are able to get to know the pups from a young age. We're able to observe personalities from the time they are being formed. Then, we can choose one that we think will be a good fit. If it turns out not to be a good fit, our neighbor will take the pup back and rehome it--even if it's a year later! She knows our other dogs and their personalities. She knows the unique challenges we have with Kilo (and her dominant personality).

This is also a good situation for us because we know both mom and dad of these pups. They both have incredibly sweet and submissive personalities. I know that doesn't mean the pups will be submissive, but mom and dad do have *something* to do with the way the pups will turn out.

We're hopeful!