I have *always* wanted an Irish Wolfhound, ever since I first heard of the breed. I mean, a dog the size of a pony? Sign me up! I just never had the space....until we moved out here. The *first* thing I did after signing on this house was contact the local IW Rescue, and get on their waiting list. It was....9 months, or so, but worth the wait!
This was the day we brought her home. She was big....but not yet fully grown. She was an owner-release; she "had too much energy" for her original owners. Ummmm. Yes, she was not the typical speed-bump that Wolfies are, but to say she was "high-energy" was a bit of a stretch. She fit into our family like it was meant to be...
This was taken the next day.....before the macaroni incident. I had fixed lunch, then had to run to the bathroom. I wasn't thinking of anything - I just had to go, y'know. I had barely finished, when I heard yelling: "ZOEY! NO! MOM!!!!" I yanked my sweats up and came running, thinking "OhMyGosh, what have I done? I left my babies with this....big.....dog, and she's, she's...." At that point, I saw Himself, up to the shoulder down her mouth. I'm thinking "WHAT? She's gonna EAT Him!!!" (He had just turned 4, so it was a legitimate concern. I mean, the rescue group told me she was kid-safe, but.....IW's are BIG. And so are their teeth. It's very worrisome to see the large teeth gently encasing your young son's arm!)
Zoey, meanwhile, had this look of "Help me!" on her face. When I got the story from the kids, I had to laugh. Seems that Himself decided to get a glass of water. Zoey, seeing food unattended, decided it was fair game. He caught her gulping it down, and wanted "to get it back, Mama!" Zoey didn't even flinch - nor did she EVER offer to bite the kids, no matter what they did to her. (She was ridden like a horse numerous times, she was used as a dragger (1 kid armed with a tug-of-war toy, the other holding on to her tail; you could get a good slide going if you pulled the toy hard enough!), she was used as a "sled dog" a few times (if you put on roller skates, then grab the leash and tell her "Walkies!", you'd be pulled down the street at a pretty good clip. Fun until you lose your balance - but she ALWAYS stopped if the kids fell.).....she was a perfect lady when it came to the kids.
The kids quickly learned that unattended food belonged to Zoey, and they forgave all her "offences".
The bar is 42" tall. Zoey was 1 year old there, and not finished growing. She eventually got tall enough to see over the bar....right about the time the kids quit eating there. :grin: She was a convicted counter-surfer; I had to move the cereal to the top of the 'fridge to keep her out of it. ANYTHING within eyesight was considered hers - which made for interesting food storage!
She was a very silly dog! Up until the last few months, she was always playful, always up for a jaunt down to the creek or a visit to the goats. She was fascinated by the kids - she's the only one of our dogs that we'd let in the pen with them. She *never* tried to herd them, or chase them, or harm them - she just liked to follow them around, or lay down and let them jump over/on her. I think she had figured out that *this* was where her morning milk came from, and she wanted to "get close to it" or something.
She wasn't afraid of the horses - heck, she was almost as big as they were! - and she *loved* walking down to the pastures to check on them. For a couch-potato breed, she was active - always up for a walk. In fact, she ran the local drug-dealers off shortly after we got her - I walked her around the neighborhood to introduce her to the older neighbors (I didn't want them to be afraid if she got out, and I wanted them to know where she belonged). The druggie saw her, told his pit bull to "sic 'em"....the dog ran out towards us, barking. Zoey stopped, looked at me, then "boofed" at the dog..who turned tail and ran. The next week, the guy moved out, lock, stock, and barrel. :lol:
She quickly claimed the sofa as "hers", and wouldn't put up with anyone else taking her spot. With the kids, she simply nudged them aside; with me....she used me as a pillow. :lol:
Every night, she'd do a "bed check". After everyone was put to bed, she'd walk around, shoving the doors open with her nose, and go to the bed to make sure you were where you were supposed to be. I tell ya, having a cold, wet, Wolfie nose shoved into your face was disconcerting! She'd sniff, then "wuffle" you, then move on to the next room. I could always tell when Himself wasn't in bed - she'd softly "boof", and I'd hear giggles. I'd get up and go in there, only to find him in bed with her holding him down, bathing his face. He'd generally stay in bed after that....:lol: I'd go back to bed, only to be startled by another bed check - she *had* to make sure I was in bed!
She always settled down on my side of the bed - surprisingly, she never tried to sleep with me. She had her own quilt and pillow....it was so funny to see her in the morning, the quilt all wrapped up over her forepaws, with her head on the pillow. :grin:
As she got older, she did slow down - a bit. She spent more time lounging around then she did anything else. Usually on the floor, in the most inconvenient spots! I gave up on keeping her off of the furniture - it just wasn't worth it. :lol:
She liked "hiding" under the table - you never knew what yummy stuff was going to fall from Heaven! Especially under the children's portion of the table.....
She was always reserved around visitors - she would come up to "frisk" them, and wouldn't leave us alone in the room with them. I don't know what she would have done if one of us had been threatened - no one was willing to try, just because of her sheer size! The vet said that she weighed about #150 today - I'm kinda surprised, because she had lost a LOT of weight the past few months. We figured she was down to below #100....I guess she did finally break #170 (at 3, she weighed #160, and I never re-weighed her. Why? She was big, and that was good enough for me!)
I have a Wolfhound-sized hole in my heart right now......we took her to the vet. She was fine until we tried to lift her into the bed of the truck - she NEVER told me she was in any sort of pain until then. She snapped at both of us (but was VERY careful to not break skin - she accidently caught S's thumb as he moved her into the bed. I rode in the bed with her to the vet's.....she perked up a bit when the truck started off down the street, but quickly put her head back on my arm. It was a bit of bother to get her into the vet's office - we wanted them to give her the shot outside, but the head vet refused. (So....they muzzled her to get her on the stretcher. I don't know that I'll forgive the vet for that - he said he had to shave her. Ummm....if she's going to be *dead* after the shot, why bother with hygiene? I mean.....never mind) I had promised her I'd stay with her, and I did.....but it was hard. Also, the vet has NO bed-side manner. He's.....well, he wasn't very sympathetic to us, that's all I'll say.)
We're having her cremated. I.....I wouldn't mind burying her out here, but I'm worried that the other dogs might desecrate her grave. it's better this way.....she can be in the house, now.
I....have to copy Herself's "Ode to Zoey" (I typed it out exactly like she wrote it):
When we first brought you home you were just a pup. Even though we had some trouble with you, we never gave up. You were our playmate who liked to run and jump, and when we scratched your belly your leg would go "thump". At night you would sit and bark and howl at the moon, to tell us that bedtime was soon. On lazy summer afternoons we would take down to the creek or pond and then back to your warm couch of where you were most fond. And on cold winter nights you'd warm the house with your delight, as years went by you calmed down and were like a speed bump on the ground. And now that it's your time to fly, we have a hard time saying goodby. And even though your body is here no more, your still with us in heart and soul. You will be remembered.
I....have to go cry some more.