Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Puppy Love.

I am a dog person. Absolutely, positively, 100%. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a gorgeous little puppy to call my own. My wish came true in 2005 when my family got a dog. She was a golden Labrador and when we brought her home, she was ten weeks old and we could pick her up. Seven years on, I still call her puppy and she cannot be lifted by anyone in my family. 

Her name is Biscuit and she resembles Marley, from the book and film Marley and Me. She is notorious for injuring herself and causing mayhem, and she is the topic of much discussion with various friends and family members. 

When she was about 6 months old, she was acting out so we took her to several vets across Sydney and each one couldn't determine what was wrong with her. Nearly every vet she visited told my mum that she should be put down. Mum would come home from the vet appointments crying, because she just couldn't put Biscuit down. She was only six months old, and we had waited our whole life to get a dog.  

Many weeks and expensive vet bills later, we took her to my uncle's brother, Steve, who was a vet. He took one look at her and instantly knew what was wrong with her. She had torn both Anterior Cruciate Ligaments in her hind legs. She needed expensive surgery to repair them. As my mum likes to say, ka-ching. 

She had her left leg done first, as it was damaged the worst, and the right one was done a few months later. She spent about a year fenced off in a tiny part of the house in order to keep her from over-working the muscles as it would wreck the healing process. Finally, her legs were good as new, and she was free to resume being the playful, energetic little thing that she was. To this day, we still have no idea how she damaged her legs, but the most likely explanation is that she was hit by a car. When she was little, she was able to squeeze through gaps in the fence, and a few times we would come home and find her sitting on the driveway. 

A little while after that, we learnt that she had developed Osteo-Arthritis in her front leg joints. It is hereditary, and she had gotten it from her great-grandmother Sam, who was still alive at the time. This meant Biscuit had to be put on Glucosamine tablets, to help with the pain. 

As she got older, more and more disastrous events happened. One night, she was outside in the dark for a while, and when she finally came inside, her face was all puffy and swollen, like she'd had an allergic reaction to something. Just our luck, mum's book club friends were due to arrive at our house in an hour. We rushed her to the vet and I remember sitting in the waiting room of the local vet at 8 o'clock at night, barefoot, and shivering in my oversized t-shirt and tiny pink pyjama shorts. Luckily, she was ok and her face returned to normal not to long after. The next morning, one of us found this weird green fruit thing that was half eaten. It looked like a Choko, and we think that's what it was.

Biscuit didn't just like to chew foreign plants. No, she also liked to chew anything she could find. From shoes to sunglasses to completely destroying her squeaky toys. She also ate her fair share of animals too, including a dead duckling and a rat. 

I also remember her going through this phase where she would knock pot plants off the outside table with her nose. We would go out somewhere for lunch, and we would come home to find a few piles of smashed terracotta, a mountain of dirt and a crushed plant on the backyard tiles. By the time she grew out of this phase, we had about three pot plants left on the table. 

Another phase she went through was pulling washing off the clothes line. Emma still has a bed sheet that has a small tear in it, courtesy of Biscuit. We would walk around to the clothes line and see various pairs of jeans, t shirts or even tablecloths on the ground underneath the clothes line at any given time. She has her own little clamshell pool, which used to belong to Emma and I back when we were little ones. Sometimes, Biscuit would pull the clothes off the line and dump them in the pool, almost as if she was cleaning them for us again. I remember finding one of mum's sneakers in there once, too. She would sometimes do the opposite, and go digging in the garden before pulling the clothes off the line. I can accurately remember finding mum's white skirt on the ground with a nice trail of muddy dog paw prints on it. Biscuit also used to hide the clothes in her kennel. My dad was once missing one of the shirts he wore to the gym, and sure enough it was in Biscuit's kennel. I also remember finding my pyjamas in there a couple of times.

Perhaps the most infamous Biscuit incident, and most certainly my mother's absolute favourite story is the "Chocolate Cake Incident" as we refer to it now. It took place in 2008. We were having some people over one night, so my mum was up until about one that morning making a giant, rich chocolate cake for dessert that night. And when I say rich, I mean it. It could easily feed about 20 people, and contained coffee and loads of extremely rich and very nice Belgian dark chocolate. It is divine! Come to think of it, I don't think she's actually made it since. Anyhow, she decided not to ice the cake as that would take another hour, so she left the cake on the bench and headed to bed. The next morning, Emma and I woke up at about 6am to get ready for school, but I was feeling "sick" so I convinced mum and dad to let me have the day off. I went downstairs and gave Biscuit her breakfast, left her on her mat inside and went back to bed. Em was also upstairs getting ready. After a while, I heard Em go back downstairs and then quickly run back up. She ran into mum and dad's room and was saying something about the cake. Being the curious little one that I am, I followed my mum and sister downstairs. On the floor of the kitchen was a wire cooling rack and a few tiny cake crumbs. Turns out, Biscuit had put her front paws up on the marble bench top and had managed to knock the cake onto the ground, where she devoured the whole thing, baking paper and all. We all looked at her, and she knew she had done something wrong. Mum was furious and locked her outside for a while. Mum then went out to run some errands. Before she left, she let Biscuit back inside and casually let me know that Biscuit would most likely throw up the cake sometime during the day. I am completely petrified of vomit, so as you can tell, I was thrilled at the thought of my dog throwing up while I was home alone with her. 

Thankfully, she didn't throw up, but she did drink an alarming amount of water that day. She kept whining until I took her around the back to her little clamshell pool. This happened at least every 20 minutes. She was very quiet throughout the day and we knew something was definitely wrong when mum began making another dessert for that night. Whenever anyone is in the kitchen, Biscuit is always sitting nearby, with a clear view of the bench. This time, however, she was lying on her mat near the back door, looking miserable and uncomfortable. We left her for a few hours and she only seemed to get worse. Mum called up the local vet, and when she explained what had happened, the receptionists were hysterical. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. Looking back, I can totally see where they were coming from. It's actually quite funny when you get over the fact that she could have died. 

Her vet appointment wasn't until about 6pm, so she had to wait in discomfort for the next few hours. When it was time, mum and I loaded Biscuit into the car and headed to the vet. We were greeted by the hysterical receptionists and I vaguely recall silently shooting daggers at them. Mum and Biscuit were then called in to see the vet and I found myself once again seated in the bleak vet waiting room. Luckily for me this time I was wearing more clothes and they weren't pyjamas. Mum came out a while later and we were instructed to come back in an hour to pick up the dog. It turns out that her stomach had swollen to twice its original size, which explained why she looked like a little furry drum. The vet gave her something which made her throw up the contents of her stomach, and when we came to pick her up, we were told that she had thrown up "rivers of chocolate." It didn't sound at all pleasant. But, when she came out to see us, she looked happy, her tail was wagging and she practically dragged the vet across the waiting room to get a drink of water. 

The Chocolate Cake Story is now a favourite of my mum's and she tells it practically every chance she gets. I've heard it so many times, I even have the hand gestures and facial expressions down pat. 

With Biscuit around, there is never a dull moment. She is crazy and silly, but has a heart of gold and can always cheer me up when I'm upset. 

Just a casual Biscuit selfie.

Me and puppy, after she stole my spot on the couch.

Fun Fact: This was the first picture I ever took on my Mac. 

My baby ♥ 

An old photo of us

I love her with all my heart, and although she turns seven this year, I still call her my puppy.

1 comment:

  1. What a cutie! I have a Beagle that had a rough beginning, but he's still my baby boy at almost 8.

    I could go on & on with the stories about him!

    Biscuit is such a great name, too!