Lupi was our third dog. She was a tri colored hound mix; we were originally told beagle but we're more inclined to think Walker Hound based on her size.
Around fall of 1998 (our first year at the Palmyra house), we saw an ad in the paper for a beagle mix that urgently needed a home. We decided we could easily handle a third dog, and emailed the rescuer (who was, I think, with the Animal Rescue service, an organization that now seems defunct). Thus began our first, and very strange, experience with animal rescue.
We had an extended back-and-forth conversation with the rescuer via email (the rescuer was deaf and thus we never communicated by phone). Arranging to drive to Hilton to meet the dog at the home where the dog (Lupi) was currently being kept, we were told she was 6-8 years old and healthy. We were never told why she wasn't working out with the current family. When we got to the house, we were surprised to find that:
- she was not really a beagle, being over 50lb
- there were no adults at home when we arrived, only some teenaged children of the current owners
- the rescuer herself did not ever show up
Having driven a very long distance to get there, we decided just to take the dog with us since the kids were familiar with the situation and did not object. We figured we'd get in touch with the rescuer afterward.
I'm still not sure to this day what happened with that rescue. The rescuer was apologetic about not arriving, saying there was some conflict. We never did sign any paperwork.
We were shortly to understand why she might've been given up, though. She was nearly constantly leaking urine, mucus, and blood. Our vet (Dr. Krause) seemed to think she was in heat and that spaying would help. When he opened her up to perform the procedure, he found that she had a tumor the size of a softball in her ovaries. He was so startled he actually took digital pictures of the inside of our dog and showed us afterward. She also had a smaller breast tumor which was taken out at a later date. Fortunately, this cleared up the hormonal problem and she was fairly healthy for quite awhile after that. Dr. Krause seemed to think she was closer to 10 than 6-8, though. It seems suspicious that the rescuer's vet thought 6-8 and healthy, given the obvious health problems with this dog.
Behaviorally, she was also a bit messed up. We thought at first she was deaf because she never gave a clue she could hear us calling her. Turns out she was just ignoring us--our first taste of foxhound stubbornness. She also had a tendency to wander off into the woods if we didn't watch her, which fortunately never lasted too long. Once she came back with blood up her muzzle and forepaws--apparently she'd gotten into a deer gut pile left by a hunter and gleefully finished it off. Another time she somehow wandered off in foot-deep snow. Paul went wading out into the waist-deep ravine thinking he'd heard her howling, but she ended up leaping across the snow across the field behind him. The rescuer later told us of her wandering from previous homes and turning up miles away, once lying on her back in someone's yard, looking dead but really just sunning herself. Over time she became very friendly with us. She became a favorite at Dr. Krause's office for her trusting and patient personality.
Icky was still a puppy, less than a year old when she showed up. She was happy to treat him like her own puppy. She had obviously been bred, having very pronounced (and 9!) nipples. This isn't to say it was all snuggling and coddling...they spent hours wrestling in the house, the yard, on walks, wherever. They were good buddies.
Unlike the little dogs, Lupi was a bit large for sleeping in the bed. A very thick bed at the foot of our bed suited her. Whenever the community fire siren went off in the middle of the night, she would always start up her low 'oooooooooo' howl, which Icky and usually we would join into with her. She was terrified of thunderstorms; if we didn't run her outside just before, she would inevitably pee wherever she was sitting.
As time went on Lupi became less likely to wander off; she followed along with us off-leash when we went on our extended walks. That is, unless she heard gunshots, and then *she* was off like a shot to go home and hide under something. Otherwise, she liked laying around the yard.
By February of 2001 she had slowed down a lot and was peeing a lot more than usual. It turns out her kidneys had started to fail. We put her on Hill's K/D and then U/D, but she was only able to make it to June, when we finally had to have her put to sleep as her kidneys almost completely failed. It was a sad day for all, including the vet staff and for Icky.
- Tricks: can't recall, maybe sit. Otherwise, not really.
- Liked: sirens, woods, walking, food
- Disliked: gunshots, thunderstorms