Once upon a time, a roly-poly little puppy came to live at the CottageLodge. My folks picked him up as he ran down the busiest street in our town, following a bunch of little boys on bicycles. My Mom got out of the truck, scooped up the puppy and told the little boys that they couldn't let their puppy run behind them on such a busy street. Much to her surprise they all looked at her and piped up at the same time “it's not our puppy”. She hopped back in the truck, puppy properly tucked under her arm, and made a bee-line for guess where? Yup, to the home of the biggest sucker in town. That would be me. Oh my goodness he was cute.
This isn't Rooti, but he looked just like this when he was a baby.
Most probably 1/2 Border Collie, 1/2 Australian Shepard as close as we could tell. I notified the animal shelter and all the veterinarians offices the next day in case someone had lost him. It turns out, some awful person had dumped 15 puppies in town. I would guess he was probably 5 to 7 weeks old, and just a fur ball. When we went to the vet for his first shots and check up, they noticed his eyes were sort of odd with mis-shapen pupils. We took it in stride, as it didn't seem to affect him too adversely.
My son was lucky to be able to spend his days with my Mom on her farm, rather than go to daycare. My folks raised miniature horses for a lot of years, so my son got to help her think up pretty exotic names for all the baby horses registrations. So, a few days after the puppy came to our house, little son decided a good name for puppy would be “Rootin Tootin Twister”. Not too shabby a handle for a 5 year-old to pick all by himself! So be it, Rooti for short.
Part of the thundering herd at the farm. Minis are so cute!
Well, I think Rooti's mom was most likely also his grandma, sister, and perhaps cousin. I'm thinkin there was a bit of inbreeding at the place he was born. As he grew, we could tell he couldn't see well at all. He also had hearing problems, he had skin allergies and always itched, and his hips were very weak. Good thing he landed at our house. He wouldn't have lasted a week if he had ended up on a ranch or farm (where most dogs of his flavor should be). He preferred living outside (first time I've ever had an outside dog), had a nice cozy dog house, and everybody loved him. He memorized his way around the yard and did just fine. But, having so many health problems, he was nowhere near as active as most Border Collies are, and he really got pudgy.
Rooti tipping the scales at 78 pounds.
About 78 pounds pudgy. He was sickly, but what a guy. Always happy, never crabby about anything, and even when he was feeling bad he always had a tail wag for you. I fed him good quality dog food, and the amount recommended on the package, but he was f.a.t. Then one day, he was really sick. I took him to the vet and they didn't know if he would make it or not. He had a severe case of pancreatitis. They kept him for about 4 days and sent him home with strict instructions, and canned dog food that smelled terrible and looked like glued together sawdust. He hated it, wouldn't eat it, and wasn't getting well too quickly. I decided I had better try to cook something for him, or he'd be a lost cause.
This is the recipe that saved his life – 1 large margarine container of white rice, cooked in 2 1/4 margarine containers of water. 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, boiled, cooled, and finely chopped. 1 – 32 ounce container of plain, low fat yogurt. 36 ounces of frozen green beans, 12 ounces chopped carrots, 1 large can pumpkin purée. 24 ounces no sugar added applesauce. Stir altogether in a large bowl, and throw it in the fridge. Rooti gets a rounded cup in the morning, and 2 rounded cups in the evening. Glee was also a little pudge bucket (Corgis get really round, and very easily) so she started the home cooked diet with Rooti. She gets a cup in the morning, a cup at night. They LUUUVVV this stuff. It didn't seem like they thought they were deprived at all. And, get this, Rooti went from 78 pounds to 48 pounds. Glee went from 47 pounds to 28 pounds. They both look terrific, and feel much better. Rooti is getting some age related cuckoo-ness, but is probably overall healthier now than he was at half his age. At 15 years 8 months, he is doing pretty darn good for a blind-deaf-bad hipped pooch :). It's a pain in the neck to cook their food, and a bit expensive, but in the long run much cheaper than vet bills, and they are totally worth it! As he got older, he decided he liked being in the house, and has lived inside for the last 4 years. I am very happy about it; it was a big worry when it got cold out, even tho he had an awesomely insulated, strawed, blanketed, sheltered dog house. I would start to fret about it when the temps dropped, and Bruce said gosh, he would sleep in Rooti's house and wouldn't be worried a bit about being cold. (I didn't make him sleep out there ;). Yet)
Sort of posing for me.
You can see his crazy pupils in this pic.
A beauty shot of skinny little Miss Glee.
So the most important reason behind this tremendously long post is that it is getting close to Thanksgiving: PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR DOGS TURKEY SKIN!!! DO NOT FEED THEM BUTTERY PEOPLE FOOD!! If you love them, just feed them their normal diet. My vet said this is one of their busiest times of the year because people love their dogs to death. They feed them things that dogs should not have. If they get pancreatitis, they can die. We were lucky we didn't lose Rooti Tooti, and he didn't even get turkey skin.