A lazy day in the life of Blaze and Diamond

It's been a lazy day...or at least a lazy afternoon. I sat down and drifted off to sleep after spending the morning on some housework and errands. I woke up to find that Diamond (who had been asleep all curled up in "her" doggy bed) had somehow spilled out of her bed onto the floor. And she seemed quite content to have done so! Blaze was sleeping quietly on the ottoman at my feet. I had to snap a pic of Diamond. I looked over at Blaze, only to get the "I was watching TV until you started with that camera-look"! LOL!


Puppy Innocence

It's raining in Texas today. I had forgotten how long it had been since we've last had rain until I took Diamond out in the rain. I grabbed her leash and a big green umbrella and off we went. I laughed so hard when we started down the sidewalk and she was so interested in this big green umbrella over my head! She just kept tripping over herself trying to keep an eye on it! I laughed the entire way.

On another upside, Blaze is healing nicely. He has a scar on his bottom eyelid, but everything else seems to be healing well...including his feelings!


The healing

I'm so very happy that I took Blaze to the vet. He is healing wonderfully thanks, no doubt, to the care and medication he received. Halfway through the antibiotics, he is now off of the pain medication. He and Diamond are back to playing again, but I have to watch to make sure it doesn't get too rambunctious. He is sensitive about that side of his face, but I don't blame him. I'm just pleased that Blaze is getting well!


A hurt for the heart

I took Blaze to doggy day care yesterday, one of his favorite things in the world. Each day as Thad leaves for work, Blaze gets excited and waits by the door...hoping that this will be a doggy day care day. We do it so that he can play and socialize with other dogs for 1/2 day about twice a week.

I picked him up at 2, only to find he had just been "bitten" by another dog. It didn't look too bad, but I called the vet to see what I should do. Within 2 hours, his face was swollen and still bleeding a bit more than I felt comfortable with at the time. I took him to the vet. She found 2 puncture wounds in his jaw (she had to shave the side of him face so that we could care for it and monitor for infection) and a slice to his lower eyelid. The good news is that his cornea does not appear damaged.

The bad news is that it hurts...lots. Poor little Blaze keeps pawing at it. He's on painkillers, antibiotics, and an antibiotic eye ointment. I have to press on the most serious puncture wound several times a day to make sure it drains, clean it with hydrogen peroxide, and cover with an ointment. The shaved area makes him look so pitiful. And Diamond doesn't know what to do! She knows he is hurt. But they still want to play. Unfortunately, I can't let them right now...and it's driving them both nuts.

So, here I sit with two puppies separated in crates whining to play with each other. The whole thing just hurts my heart.


Why can't he share?

I just know that is what Diamond is thinking! I was working at the computer when I heard a different kind of bark from her. It was short and sharp and pitiful. Translated, I now know she was saying, "Mommmmmmmm, make Blaze share!" As I look over, Blaze has taken over the smaller dog bed. He has left poor little Diamond out in the cold. I laugh, tell her she'll have to work that one out on her own. A few minutes later, this is what I find! She's cuddled as close as she can get, seemingly happy to just be close to her bed...and Blaze.


Two Happy Puppies

True Happiness and Contentment.

Diamond Girl

Diamond has been with us for a month now; she's 4 1/2 months old. It's so fun to work on her training, especially when Blaze catches wind of it. I work with them separately, but sometimes he'll see me working on something with her and wants to help! On the first day we had her at home, Thad and I were eating pizza and I swear Blaze explained to her that they were not supposed to beg while we were eating. He kept moving her back with his body. To this day, neither of them beg or whine or bother us when we eat.

Diamond has grown so much! She had learned most of her basic commands...except that she won't sit unless she is facing me and looking right at me (checking to make sure I have a treat, no doubt!). She loves playing on her wobble board, and is a pro at the Nina Ottosson Pyramid toy. It dispenses kibble when they tilt it over and turn the opening down. She actually eats her breakfast with this...working for her food! I've learned that Corgis get bored very easily, so we use this to keep her mentally stimulated.

Growing up Blaze

Today, Blaze is 8 months old. It is funny because his still so much the puppy, but has the appearance and power of an adult dog. He will come bounding down the stairs and jump into my lap like he is a tiny little guy. Unfortunately, he isn't! He will cuddle right up in my lap (as best a 24 pound Corgi can when he think he is still a little 12 pound puppy) and watch TV. He is so in love with Diamond. Oh, they "fight" and steal things from one another on an hourly basis as puppies will. But he is her ever-vigilant protector. We took her to the off-leash park for the first time this week. All was going well until another dog tackled her. Blaze saw it happen. He tackled the poor little dachshund and then chased it away and around and around. Diamond just came over, stood between Thad and I, and watched it all happen.

Blaze and Diamond at home

The first few days were traumatic. Mostly for me. I don't know how I ever found the time to work! And I don't know HOW we lived for over a year without a Corgi in our home! The laughter and smiles these two bring is immeasurable. I have learned to sit back and laugh. You know how kids look at their parents with grandchildren and say, "Those aren't the people who raised me."? The same could be said of us now. I so regret how I short-changed Lucky when he did something silly and I couldn't see beyond the mess. Honestly, I appreciate Lucky and what he taught me over the years. Lucky didn't have any puppies, but Blaze and Diamond are his legacy...we care for them because Lucky taught us how!

And then there were two...

After much contemplation...and seeing the same little girl repeatedly on the internet, I decided to inquire about her. A sable and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi from a ranch just outside of San Antonio, Diamond was such a cutie! It took a few days, but we finally heard that she was available! Thad agreed that Blaze needed a 4-legged friend, and so the plan was to meet Miss Diamond in Waco. As her first family readily told us, Diamond loved to play with the cats on their ranch. I didn't doubt it after her first response was to hiss at poor Blaze immediately upon meeting him. But they warmed up fairly soon, and we loaded two puppies (Blaze then 7 months and Diamond almost 4 months) into the backseat of the car (with me right in the middle) for our trip back to Dallas.

A growing boy!

Blaze grew and grew over the next few months! He made friends at Doggy Day Care, visited the off-leash dog park, and was ready for Basic Obedience Training. I lost my job...another retail store falling victim to the economy. Blaze and I went for lots and lots of walks. He still went to Doggy Day Care once or twice a week. On the days that he didn't go, he was miserable. Where were all these friends? Even long walks just didn't seem to make up for the excitement of Doggy Day Care. And so I started looking...for another little Corgi to add to our home. I just didn't know if I could do it; could I handle TWO puppies at once? One was already a lot, but I just wasn't sure about two little ones.

Hales Blaze of Glory

Blaze was 3 months old when we brought him home. He came from a little ranch just north of Paris, TX. I would jokingly say my husband took me to Paris for Valentine's Day. Well, he did. And I got the very best Valentine's Day present! Blaze is a gorgeous tri-color Pembroke Welsh Corgi. When he was little, he had a cream-colored heart on his rear! We were so not prepared to bring home a puppy. We had to stop and get a crate, food bowls, food, leash, collar...everything he needed for his first night at home. He was such a little ranch dog. He had never worn a collar or leash, never gone up and down stairs, never been in a crate, and wasn't completely housetrained. Blaze was a sport! He mastered stairs in 2 days, collar and leash on day one, and slept all night in his crate the very first night. And our vet was astounded that he only took 5 days to completely housetrain at such a young age. He is so very smart!

How it all began...

I blame this all on my darling husband. When I met the dear confirmed bachelor, he had a dog...Lucky. We always thought Lucky was a mixed mutt...Pembroke Welsh Corgi mixed with lots and lots of attitude. Lucky had protected my then-boyfriend, mostly from dating and girlfriends. From Lucky's perspective, a girlfriend around could be nothing but trouble...especially for him!

Lucky had been rescued. He was found wandering around an apartment complex. He would disappear for a few days at a time as someone fell in love with his beautiful face and proud demeanor. But love would wane to displeasure as dear Lucky would snap at them as they bent down to pet him, or tear through sets of blinds, or eat their furniture and anything else that could bear the brunt of his frustrations.

Until Thad saw him again one day. Could he (the confirmed bachelor) make a commitment? Commit to this beautiful dog who needed him (truth be told, Thad needed Lucky as much as Lucky needed Thad)? Thad first took him to the animal shelter, just in case someone had lost him. After the mandatory 3 day wait, Thad went back and brought Lucky home. I've heard it did not go well. Lucky would pace all night, through the vertical blinds, and whine. After all, he had been taking care of himself it the great outdoors...why was he stuck in this apartment? He settled in, learning to trust that Thad was taking care of his best interests. Over time, it became apparent that dear Lucky must have been mistreated at some point. Getting over that was something that took years to overcome.

Over the next few years, Lucky's life changed. Thad moved from Texas to Tennessee, Lucky had his first airline flight and ran off a few errant girlfriends along the way. Until I came along. Much to Lucky's initial dismay, I loved the human he had adopted. Oh, he didn't make it easy. In fact, he scared the living heck out of me more than once. And it didn't make things any better that I was a CAT person...not a DOG person. I'd already had to make an ER trip once in my life because of a dog. I didn't really understand them. But I loved Thad...and Lucky was a part of the package.

Not only did Lucky get me as the part of the "Let's Be a Family Package", he got an 8-year old boy. Geeezzzzzzzzz...I just know he was thinking that THIS was worse than a girlfriend. Lucky managed pretty well in this newly-formed family. Oh, there were moments where we all worried. Like the time Lucky decided that this little boy was a little too close to his face, and promptly pierced his ear. Or when we came home to find Lucky standing on top of the dining room table eating a chocolate Garfield...and living to tell the tale. I can remember being frustrated by these things. Easy to do when you have two adults working 50 hours a week, a small child, and all that life entails.

We took Lucky on our grand life adventure from Tennessee to Missouri to Florida then Texas. He handled every move easily, to our surprise. More importantly, he was our son's protector and best friend. When day care was for babies, Lucky was waiting by the door when the bus dropped off our son. I never had to worry that someone would come in and hurt him; I knew Lucky would not allow it! Over the years, there were times when Lucky was the one who needed care by our son...and he would clean up when he got sick, or make sure he was fed when we were late, or walk him if we were out of town.

Time goes by so quickly. The 8-year-old was 17 when he left for college. Thad and I continued to work. Lucky waited on us every day. As he got older, boarding him left him tired and confused. Even taking him on daytrips made him car sick. We decided no more...we would not travel if we had to board Lucky. We never really knew Lucky's exact age. The vet estimated it when he was young. At 16 years old, we noticed that Lucky was slowing down. Even taking him for a walk was a task; he just did not want to go. Lucky was sick. Very sick. We thought it was old age, and in many respects it was. He had been treated for arthritis, but this was worse. We took him to the vet. She said he only had days left. We made the decision that we would not allow him to suffer or die alone. We set the time and took him in together. We held him, fed him chocolate, and walked him to Heaven's Door. And we cried.

We came home. And we cried. The heartbeat of our home was gone...how could we have not known how much Lucky gave to us? We swore we would never, ever go through the heartbreak again. Ever. And every day, we cried.

Lucky's cremains sit in an elegant urn on our mantle, along with a photo and his collar. We thought about him every day. And our hearts ached. Over a two year span, Thad and I lost our fathers, he lost a brother, we lost our beloved Lucky, I lost 2 jobs, and I lost my best friend. It was the last one that broke the camel's back.

After crying for days, Thad saw me looking a puppy pictures on the internet....Pembroke Welsh Corgis. It had been more than a year since Lucky had gone, and it wasn't the first time I had actually looked at puppies. Every time, Thad would say, "No. Absolutely not. Never again." That day was different. It was the day before Valentine's Day. Thad saw the puppy I was looking at...a little tri-color...and said, "If you are going to get one, you had better do it quickly before I change my mind."

And that is how Blaze came along!