Julienne's Story

One Monday morning in 2005 as I drove to work, I saw the most pitifully thin little dog. I opened the car door to offer her a crust of toast, and she was so desperate that she jumped right into my car. I figured she wasn't house broken and she probably had fleas, so I drove back to the house and set her up with food and water in the garage, then called Randy to let him know what he would find when he got home. Randy said no, it might get too hot in the garage, take her inside and set her up in the basement. So I did.
When Randy met her that evening, I assured him that I wasn't suggesting keeping her, I just needed to find a rescue facility for her. Randy said no, we were keeping her. So we did.
We were scheduled to leave on an RV trip that Friday. Since she wasn't housebroken, I said I would find someone to watch her during our vacation. Randy said no, she was coming with us. So she did.
She did have a couple of accidents but we didn't mind. We put her on "The Program", which meant she started gaining weight right away. She was so happy to have a home! Sugarbaby, who had just lost his beloved big-brother Runt, wasn't sure what to do with her at first. He sat on top of a kennel and watch her bounce around like a maniac for a couple of days. Then he got down off the kennel to play with her, and from that day on he was her big brother and BFF. 

Julienne has never been "bright"; even in play she's a bit goofy. She would play hard awhile, come over to sit on my foot to rest, then get back into the fray.
I noticed that Sugarbaby's beautiful tail wasn't as full and fluffy as before; I discovered Julienne was grabbing a mouthful of tail and hauling Sugarbaby around, backwards. And he let her, without making a single bark! The only tiff they had was when it came to sharing Sugarbaby's favorite toy, Squirrel. Sugarbaby wanted to play with Squirrel while Julienne wanted to disembowel it. That led to some disagreements.
From the very beginning Julienne knew she could count on Sugarbaby. When I put them in our fenced backyard, they would play around awhile then come sit on the porch together, butt-to-butt. They just liked to be in contact with each other.
Julienne loved Randy so much, and for a long time she would pee when she greeted him. It was her way of saying "please love me" and she wasn't secure enough to stop it. In those days I got off work before Randy, so when he got home I would let her out to greet him in the yard. Randy would pick her up, hold her out until she ran out of pee, then cuddle her and bring her back in. This went on for 2 years. She eventually stopped, with one exception. If it had been awhile since she saw our brother-in-law Tomm, she peed a little when she greeted him; she had a crush on Tomm.

She also peed when she was scared, and in those early days, a lot of things scared her. Sometimes she would forget everything she knew, which was scary for all of us. If we asked her if she wanted to go out or if she wanted a treat, usually the answer was "YES!", but sometimes she would look panicky, roll over on her back and pee on herself. We honestly think her rough start in life damaged her brain. We just worked around this. If she got on our bed (which she wasn't allowed on at that time - not housebroken), getting her off was tricky. We didn't want her on the bed but if she thought we were upset, she would roll over on her back, ready to pee. She was like a loaded pee gun ready to go off!

Oddly, despite her ability to generate pee in moments of stress, she never particularly wants to pee in the morning. She is a world-class pooper, but if I let her, she would skip peeing and just come back inside.

Her other 'thing', which she never grew out of, was that when she was stressed, she paced in left-handed circles. Over and over and over. Never a right-handed circle, only left. Apparently she was left-pawed.

When we moved into the RV, Julienne and Sugarbaby continued to be best friends. They were always together - goofy little Julienne and her calm big brother.
Her relationship with Missy was more problematic because Missy has a cat's natural confidence and Julienne had no confidence at all. Sometimes when Julienne was in Randy's lap, Missy would jump up and give Julienne a stare; before Randy could stop her, Julie would get down. Eventually she got to the point where she would move to the side, ceding the lap to Missy while staying with Randy.
In her youth she could run like the wind! She would race in a big figure 8, running like a small greyhound, kicking up dust behind her. We were very careful where we let her off leash because, frankly, we didn't trust her to be smart enough to know she had to come back. 

Julienne remained on "The Program" and was never hungry again. Randy kept everyone well fed, and provided special treats!
Julienne was such a daddy's girl. She liked to sit next to Randy or on him, lean into him and stare up at him until he looked at her; then she would lean her little head against his heart.
She had short legs so on a walk sometimes she fell behind. This lead to her favorite way of sight-seeing - on Randy's shoulder. She saw a lot of the country that way...maybe she was smarter than I gave her credit for! She traveled this way in the desert,
National Parks,
on the beach, 
and when it was cold outside.
She hated the cold. In the summer when I let her out, sometimes instead of peeing she just lay down to soak up the sun. When we were in cool weather, she dressed in style!
Julienne could not imagine a world without Sugarbaby. Unfortunately she had to.
When Sugarbaby passed, Julienne grieved as much as we did. Her muzzle turned grey, she  stopped running and didn't even want to go for walks. We hoped that when we got Shorty it would bring her out of her depression. It didn't; she just resented him for not being Sugarbaby. It was six months before she would play with him even a little. Eventually she became closer to Shorty but she never let anyone take Sugarbaby's place in her heart.
But she did perk up. She loved to go on short walks and chase rabbits and squirrels. Her favorite way to warm up was to snuggle next to Randy, either on the couch or in bed (she had bed privileges as soon as she got housebroken). Her "program" included morning treats (with her daily medication for seizures) and evening treats for going to bed. She liked those so much that she insisted on going to bed at 7:30; how she learned to tell time is beyond me, but she never missed. She played a little with Shorty and got along with Missy. They were a solid little pack and if one of them was gone (vets, walks, etc), the other two fussed about it.
But time took it's toll and our little girl got to the point where she couldn't enjoy life. We had promised her we would never let her suffer again and we had to keep that promise, even if we needed to break our own hearts to do it. Today Julienne is at her true Forever Home, running figure 8s around Sugarbaby. And we are trying to figure out how to live without a darling little girl who only knew one thing, and that was to love us.

No comments:

Post a Comment