Cuja ~N~ Friends

This Page is Dedicated to
Cuja
and our
Companions
of the Past

Cuja
Cuja came to us by way of a friend in June of 1991. Her Husky Mix had mated with a Saint Bernard. After the puppies came, my friend had a very hard time getting the mother to nurse Cuja. The mother would pick Cuja up and throw her in the trash. My friend was frantic and was afraid this puppy was going to die. We decided to take her in. She was about 3 weeks old and could fit in the palm of your hand. She did not resemble her brothers and sisters at all. My husband and I made a bed out of a laundry basket and took turns nightly doing "puppy duty". Cuja was bottle fed every few hours as she had a very difficult time suckling. We finally were able to switch her over to regular dog food at about 6 weeks of age.
Once we got Cuja, we brought her to the vet. The vet told us not to expect Cuja to live very long, as she had many defects. The major one was that her teeth did not come in properly and she was having difficulty eating. Her teeth stuck straight out, instead of down. Braces were considered, but because we were newlyweds with a mortgage, several thousand dollars for braces was not feasible. X-rays showed that she had several misshapen organs and in the wrong place, to boot. The vet said we should not expect her to live past her first birthday, if that long.
Cuja surprised us by not only living past her first birthday, but exceeding the expectations of the vet by more than 10 more. Cuja will celebrate her next Birthday, May 25th. Although she has slowed down a bit, and must eat very soft food and receives medication for reflux daily, she is still going strong. She will not turn down an opportunity to chase any squirrel that dares to place itself in our yard. I have noticed in the last few months that her eyesight and hearing is beginning to fail, and she has recently had a seizure. We expect her to live the remainder of her live, laying in the sun, on the couch, being loved and pampered by her family.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Cuja left us for the Rainbow Bridge in October of 2003.

Gizmo

Tomar's Storm Cloud

We bought Gizmo out of a newspaper. Weimaraners for Sale- $400.00. There were only 2 left and we wanted a Weimaraner, as my step father had raised them when I was a child. One of the Weims was not available due to a hernia so they showed us Gizmo. My stepson and daughter fell in love, at first sight. He was the cutest grey ball of fur with big blue eyes. After signing our contract and plunking down our cash, we brought Gizmo home. 2 days after we brought him home, the breeder called us to find out how our vet appointment went. We had not gone at that point and had an appointment for 2 days later. The vet appointment went fairly well, except for the fact that the vet suspected a distended testicle. He advised us to wait and see. That evening, we tried to contact the breeder. The phone had been disconnected.
Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant with my son. It was a difficult pregnancy. Due to physical constraints, I was unable to train and care for Gizmo as I would have wanted. The kids were pretty much in charge of taking him out and playing with him. Gizmo picked up many bad habits, the worst being, digging through the trash and marking in the house. It was a nightmare. His testicles never fell and we had to have extensive surgery to have him neutered.
Gizmo died during Easter vacation during surgery for a perforated intestine. He was 3.

Diesel

Diesel was the result of my own irresponsibility. An old boyfriend adopted his mother, Bandit, a yellow lab, as a companion for me. Bandit escaped and mated with a neighbors Rotweiler. Needless to say, 2 months later, I was the unexpected grandmother of 10 Lab/Rottie mixed puppies. I did the best I could when it came time for Bandit to whelp her pups. She did very well for many hours and seemed to be able to handle most things for herself, until it was time for the last puppy. She was having difficulties whelping the last puppy. I decided that she may need some help. I reached in and pulled out the last remaining puppy. He was smaller than the rest and he was being born backward(breech?)He was not breathing, but after a few seconds of rubbing his tummy after we removed the sac, he was breathing just like a champ. This was the pup, that was to become my buddy for the next 14 years.
Diesel remained smaller than the rest of the pups, but was powerful as a "diesel engine" when it came time for nursing. He would push right on in with his brothers and sisters, to get his share. I would sit on the floor with the puppies and he would crawl right in my lap and just snuggle next to my belly. When the puppies were old enough, we started to bring Diesel and his brothers and sisters in the yard to play. Diesel always preferred to spend his time sitting next to me.
Now, this may sound like a wonderful heartwarming story, but, like anything else, there is always the downside. I was a college student when Diesel was born. I worked part time at night. Do you realize how much money it costs to raise a litter of 10 puppies? Beside food, you have vet bills for worming and shots. Spay surgery for Bandit and aftercare. I was slowly going broke. The puppies were finally coming of age to go to their new homes. I had found, luckily enough, some friends that were willing to take some puppies, but I still had some that I was feeding at 10 weeks of age. More vet bills and wormings. Finally, I put an ad in the paper. "Free to good Home". Not a good idea! The first person who showed up wanted all the pups that remained. My boyfriend at the time and I just looked at each other. Sorry, this did not seem normal to me. I refused. The remaining 4 puppies, and Diesel were 12 weeks old. We were feeding 6 dogs, Potty training was difficult, the house was beginning to smell. I spent my time going to school and work and caring for puppies. I was tired. I tried another ad in the paper. This time I was lucky. I was able to send my puppies off with families with children, who I hoped would love and care for them, as much as I had tried to. One owner did keep in contact with us for some time, but as things go, I do not know what happened to those babies. Sure it was great fun having cute little baby puppies running all over the house, but I was never prepared completely for when they got older.
Finally the last puppy "Velvet" was adopted and our home was then again our own (after the new carpeting was installed). Diesel's favorite thing to do was to sleep on my boyfriends chest, when he would come back in town from his job as a truck driver. He grew steady and strong. He was very protective of me. He was my friend and companion through a breakup and adapted to apartment living with ease. When I met and eventually married my husband, he finally had a home, with a yard and loved it. He adored the water and would go swimming as often as he could. When my daughter was born, he was the first one to greet the crying little pink bundle at the door with a wagging tail. My daughter learned to walk by holding on to his back and pulling herself up. I remember one night waking up to check on my daughter when she was about 2 and finding out that she was not in her crib. She was curled up in a ball under the crib with Diesel. He was awake and on guard, to protect my little bundle from harm. A blanket was carelessly tossed on her. I don't know if he pulled it over on her or if she brought it out of the crib with her, but I like to think that he was in charge.
This picture was taken the day before Diesel died. My daughter and he were doing the thing they liked to do best. Lounging and talking. Diesel died at the age of 14 from Liver Cancer.

 

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