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Out of the Shadows!

bbdfan
July 4th, 2007, 02:52 PM
Hi Everyone,

Gwen from BHRR invited me to join your forum. Her wonderful husband accuses me of lurking in the shadows because I'm just not an out there kind of person when it comes to posting. I like it in the background where you can read what everyone else is talking about.

So now, I'm coming out of lurk mode, and you all have the dubious pleasure of reading my furry history so to speak. I will forgive anyone who falls asleep :-)!

Ever since I was about three, I have always wanted a big black dog (hence the "bbdfan" moniker) and I was determined to make it happen, but my parents said that I could not have a dog until I had a house of my own, which makes sense now, but not then.

There were some false starts (we won't go into the number of puppies and dogs I lured or snatched off the street as a child for a few minutes of pretend ownership). I lived with my sister while I was going to university and in my last year, she got herself a yellow lab type pup from a farm and brought me back the only black and white pup. Vandal appeared to be a border collie/shepherd mix. My sister said the mother was Dobie looking and the father was a Golden Retriever.

Circumstances conspired against me at that time. Vandal and Toga suffered badly from the runs after being fed bread and milk by the farmer, and my sister began vomitting shortly after they arrived. It turned out that she was pregnant again after giving birth just three months earlier, and she was unable to deal with the puppy smell. I moved home with Vandal, and Toga went to live with a close friend. Shortly after moving home, my dad began to have shortness of breath and chest pain. He went to the doctors several times, but they could not find anything wrong. Then one day, our family doctor made a house call and saw Vandal. He reminded my dad that he is allergic to animals (we all tended to conveniently forget because my dad loves them) and Vandal's double coat did not help.

Coincidentally, my best friend, Liz, had just lost their long time family dog, Casper - a husky/shepherd cross, to old age. She adopted a puppy, Zak - a newfie cross - from the pound. She brought him to meet Vandal that day. Liz was devastated after Zak suffered convulsions and then died overnight. It turned out that the pound had been unknowingly infected with Parvo from a stray and had to be quarantined for at least a month. The vet told Liz that they had to spray down their house and yard with bleach and could not have another dog for at least a month. Liz was worried that Vandal might have contracted Parvo as well. Fortunately, I had Vandal vaccinated for Parvo on the advice of the vet at his first appointment. After some serious soul searching and heart to heart with my dad, I made the painful decision to give Vandal to Liz for her birthday. She lived only a fifteen minute walk away, but I could not bear to visit her for about three weeks - it was just too hard.

Everything turned out for the best. After my initial reluctance, I did eventually see Vandal on an almost daily basis again, then in 1986, Liz moved with me to Toronto, bringing Vandal of course. When Liz moved to Brampton and married, I continued to see her and Vandal on a regular basis. Vandal lived to the ripe old age of fifteen and he is buried in a field behind their former home.

I started the first incarnation of my current job on August 19, 1985, bought my first house in June 1986 and got my first forever dog on August 18, 1986.

I moved back home in 1988 and bought my childhood home from my parents in 1991 and have been there ever since.

It's been my great privilege since August 18, 1986 to have been loved exclusively by four incredible dogs.

Pagan was the first dog that truly owned me - black of course with white on his chest, feet and tail. He was 3/4 Dane and 1/4 Lab. Dad was a massive black Dane and mom was a half Dane/half black Lab from British Ghana.

Pagan was one of those dogs that has great time sense. He always knew what day and time it was. In the mornings on weekdays, when he knew I should be getting up, he would sit by the side of my bed and stare intently at me while I slept. If that didn't work, he would lay his head down beside my pillow, thinking the weight of his head would wake me. If that didn't work, he would breathe really hard at my head, fluffing my hair which always worked. On weekends and holidays, he would never bother me, no matter how late I slept in. Pagan also knew exactly when the mailman and paperboy would arrive. He would run to the front window and sit wagging his tail and within a few moments, one of them would come around the corner into our court. On days that I was home and he was out, Pagan would run to meet them and accompany them on their route around our court (7 houses), but he never left the court.

For years, Pagan seemed to be the only dog in our immediate neighbourhood. In a way, Pagan belonged to all of the kids in the court. They would come over and ask if Pagan could come out to play and he was welcomed at all of their homes. He was tall enough that he could look under the hood while the guys worked on their cars. It's a wonderful legacy that Pagan left behind. Several of those kids grew up to have dogs of their own (mostly black and labs) because of their interactions with Pagan. They would bring them over and show them off and reminisce about Pagan. Even now ten years later, people who weren't into dogs, still remember Pagan and call my current dogs by his name or mention him to me in passing.

For eleven great years, we went everywhere together, if Pagan couldn't go, I wasn't going. Whenever we went anywhere, I was not allowed out of Pagan 's sight and he was never more than three feet away from me. It's always hard to lose the first one. My only solace is that I have his ashes until we meet at the Rainbow Bridge.

My second dog, Sable, was half black Lab and half golden retriever (a deep dark brown, almost black, but not quite, with golden highlights - short haired with white on her chest and feet). She was the sweetest, most intelligent, rascally dog in the world. Sable knew how to give you her left paw, right paw, back paw in English, Chinese, French and German in any order that you asked. For all our life together, the car's rear passenger window was never closed - rain, sleet, snow, hail, thunderstorms, you name it - Sable's head was always hanging out. Everyone loved her for her sweetness. She would visit our neighbours and patiently sit by their doors or look in their front windows until they noticed her and let her in. Sable would bask in the bay window like a huge cat. She loved her agility classes and she could chase tennis balls all day long. My only regret is that I was hers for only five and a half years. I lost Sable to lymphona six years ago. The second one isn't any easier. Her little urn sits next to Pagan's. As a pup, she always liked to be beside him and copycat his actions. I still find it hard to think about her without tearing up. Our time together was far too short

For the past six years, Carbon, a purebred black Dane with a little white on his chest and feet (do you sense a theme here), has claimed my heart. Carbon lost the tip of his tail two years ago in a car door accident - ironically at the vet's. It was a bloodbath with blood sprayed all over the reception area, computers and two examination rooms. He was so happy to see all the ladies and the techs that he just couldn't stop wagging his tail. (Strangely enough, all of my dogs have loved going to the vet's. Pagan always knew that if we drove past Thickson Road, we were going to the vet's and the car would be bouncing from his excitement. Same with Sable. Carbon claws at the glass doors to get in because I can't open them fast enough. Digby gets so excited that he runs right into the glass doors, he just can't wait to get in.) Needless to say, three operations, three weeks recovery at the vet's and several thousand dollars later, Carbon now looks like a massive German Shorthair Pointer.

Carbon used to have a 2 inch long pet black and white dwarf hamster, CJ (Carbon Jr.), who lived in a utility box. When it was on the floor, Carbon would stick his nose in and CJ would stand up on his hind legs and bat Carbon's nose to play with him. Carbon liked to lick CJ, but would occasionally suck him into his mouth altogether and I would have to tell Carbon to spit CJ out, which he did. CJ never seemed to mind. Once he landed in his box, he would just wash himself furiously and then stand up for more. It was a sad day all around when CJ expired after 2.5 years. Carbon searched for days afterwards. We were lucky that we had an independent pet store to visit then. The owners and staff would bring out the cages of hamsters for Carbon to look at. He would sit still as a statute, which was shocking since he's such a bouncy boy, and stare intently at them as they all migrated to his side of the cage and climb the side to stare back at him. Carbon's a sweet, softhearted boy who puts up with a lot from his little stinkin' rat brother.

Three and half years ago, Digby, an overlarge ill-bred purebred Cardigan Corgi with Pembroke colouring and stubby tail, weaseled his way into my life. It was never my intention to have a small dog until at least my mid to late fifties (there was supposed to be another big black dog in there), but here he is, about ten years too early. He was already six months old when he was given to me, nearly full grown in small dog terms. He played nicely and interacted really well with Carbon at first, but as he matured more rapidly than Carbon (2.5 at the time), he became very bossy and jealous of Carbon, but Carbon seems to take Digby's temper tantrums in stride. If I try to discipline the little guy, Carbon always gets between me and Digby. Digby suffers from what I call "little man" syndrome. To prove what a tough dog he is, Digby attacks the biggest thing around - Carbon. When he's happy, he attacks Carbon, when he's upset, he attacks Carbon, when someone's at the door, he attacks Carbon, if I go downstairs or outside, he attacks Carbon. Digby's the bravest dog in the world when Carbon's around.

You'll all be happy to know that I have worked on Digby's "Tude" as Gwen calls it and he has improved greatly and calmed down a lot - almost laid back - though he still has his "Tude" moments. So during the day, they are separated by a little gate in the kitchen. Carbon has the run of the house and Digby has his kitchen, except for Carbon's eating table.

At night, they both sleep with me in our little bunky bed. It's always a race to see who can get into bed first and who can get closest to me. Digby thinks he's a fifty pound cat who should sleep wrapped around my neck! Carbon prefers to have his 180 lb frame on some part of me! They both have the bad of habit of grabbing snacks and eating them in bed after I fall asleep.

That's big picture for now. One day, I will figure out the whole picture posting thing and you will be able to see my puppers as well as read about them.

Thanks for your time - is anyone still awake?

Pagan's definitive puppy pix, Pagan as an adult, Pagan and Sable

meg4050
July 4th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Welcome!! Any pictures? :D

mummummum
July 4th, 2007, 03:51 PM
How interesting ~ I never thought of "little man" syndrome for my grrrrl bridie ~ but, you're right that describes her to a "T". She's not a "small" dog, but she is smaller than her suster and brother.

Okay, now I really want pix kiddo ~ welcome aboard by the way !

mummummum
July 4th, 2007, 03:56 PM
You do understand of course that it will take me about 2 days to read through your history ! And I still want PIO of everybody .......:D

bbdfan
July 4th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Welcome!! Any pictures? :D

Thanks, I attached three pictures of Pagan and Sable for now.

Pagan and Sable, Sable's definitive puppy pix, Sable in her window

rainbow
July 4th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Thanks for your time - is anyone still awake?

HA HA HA ......that WAS quite the intro from a "not out there" kind of person. I think it's the longest one I've read here yet. :laughing: Glad you stopped lurking and finally took the plunge. :D

Pagan and Sable are gorgeous? :lovestruck: Got pics of the rest? :fingerscr

bbdfan
July 4th, 2007, 04:03 PM
How interesting ~ I never thought of "little man" syndrome for my grrrrl bridie ~ but, you're right that describes her to a "T". She's not a "small" dog, but she is smaller than her suster and brother.

Okay, now I really want pix kiddo ~ welcome aboard by the way !

Glad to be aboard. I posted three pictures with Pagan and Sable. Will work my way around the board to post more when I find the right spot.

Old man Pagan, Sable on her picnic table, Sable

rainbow
July 4th, 2007, 04:10 PM
Make sure you post in the Photo Forum. :D

chico2
July 4th, 2007, 04:13 PM
bbdfan,I am glad you finally came out of hiding,I read most of your intro ,it reads like a book:laughing:
Love your great Dane Pagan,just beautiful,like all great danes:lovestruck:
The little runt is a little sweet-heart..
Lucky you who get to live close to Gwen and her pups!!

luckypenny
July 4th, 2007, 04:19 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/welcome/17.gif bbdfan. I'm so happy you joined us...and I loved your introduction. Looking forward to seeing more (lots more ;) ) pics of your lovebutts and reading all about them.

mummummum
July 4th, 2007, 04:20 PM
Okay a little less than 2 days but only because it was twice as compelling.

What a life you have had blessed with wonderful animals.I am hoping that you have pix of Carbon with CJ. :D

luckypenny
July 4th, 2007, 04:26 PM
ps. Hmm, haven't seen any posts by Sean, he's one to talk :rolleyes: :) . Perhaps you can convince Gwen to update her photo thread with more pics as well :D

bbdfan
July 4th, 2007, 04:32 PM
HA HA HA ......that WAS quite the intro from a "not out there" kind of person. I think it's the longest one I've read here yet. :laughing: Glad you stopped lurking and finally took the plunge. :D

Pagan and Sable are gorgeous? :lovestruck: Got pics of the rest? :fingerscr


That's why I stay in the shadows, I've got too much to say about my puppers! Here's some pictures of Carbon as a lanky teen and pup and Digby.

LibbyP
July 4th, 2007, 07:30 PM
WOW, that has to be the best intro ever. Glad you came out from lurking, this forum has alot to offer, and very special caring members that LOVE animals. UUmm I did notice a trend with your... colour choice :laughing: love the pics thanks for sharing

BusterBoo
July 4th, 2007, 07:55 PM
:goodvibes: The most interesting and special intro I have read in a long (very long) time!

Your doggies are beautiful....you are a very lucky owner!!!!

BHRR
July 4th, 2007, 08:36 PM
LP, Sean is not on pets.ca, bbdfan is referring to another board you, she, I and Sean belong too. :D AND you plus Frenchy will get to meet her on the 14th of July too! YAY!

I will post more pictures! I promise! I just need more time in a day!

Welcome bbdfan from me :) and yup! Digby's 'TUDE' is much better! :thumbs up Crates are wonderful training/corrective aid/tools when used properly. ;)

ps. Hmm, haven't seen any posts by Sean, he's one to talk :rolleyes: :) . Perhaps you can convince Gwen to update her photo thread with more pics as well :D

Frenchy
July 4th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Thanks for your time - is anyone still awake?



Yes but only because I only read the big lines :laughing: just kidding , really , I have ADD so can't read long post :laughing: but I can see pictures and OMG loooove love your dogs ! That's what I like about BHRR , all her friends have beautiful dogs :D

luckypenny
July 4th, 2007, 08:55 PM
LP, Sean is not on pets.ca, bbdfan is referring to another board you, she, I and Sean belong too. :D AND you plus Frenchy will get to meet her on the 14th of July too! YAY!

I know :o . Just thought that perhaps we could maybe convince Sean to join so he could post pics when you're busy :o :D . Just a wee bit addicted to photos of the giants.

bbdfan, now not only looking forward to more pics and stories, but to meeting you as well :) .

hazelrunpack
July 4th, 2007, 11:15 PM
That's why I stay in the shadows, I've got too much to say about my puppers!

Well I'm glad you finally took the plunge and got started, then! :thumbs up :D

I didn't think I had much to say at all when I started...and now, less than a year later, I've "not said much" over 5,000 times! :laughing: It can get rather addictive. I imagine that's especially true if you have a lot to say! :D

Loved your intro and the pics and looking forward to more! :highfive: Welcome to the board, bbdfan!

lilmegshepherds
July 5th, 2007, 09:46 AM
Welcome and thank you for the beautiful pictures

marko
July 5th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Gorgeous pix and welcome to the forums!

Thanks

Marko

pags
July 5th, 2007, 11:55 AM
What a great intro!! Welcome to the forum!! And I have to agree -- gorgeous pictures!:)