Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Introducing Rocky Road, aka ROADIE!

Meet the reason I’ve been pulled away from my painting for a few days; his name is Rocky Road, and we call him Roadie.

Roadie came as a stray a while back to a friend who lives in town. He came looking for a handout but what he found was a true dog lover who did her best to find his owners or a new home for him. My friend Kelly and her husband called him Bailey Blue, and gave him a home while they sent out flyers and took him to their vet to see if he had a microchip (no!), sent out e-mail blasts to friends and family, and even put him on Craig's list. They already have a senior lab mix named Shelby who has arthritis and two artificial knees and she would tire easily and get grumpy when Bailey Blue wanted to play and play and play and play. So a couple of weeks ago Kelly called me and started off our conversation with, “Y’all are dog lovers ... right? ...”

Even though I kind of suspected what was coming next, I (noble individual that I am) did not hang up on her. (LOL, Kelly, if you’re reading this.)

What she proposed is that maybe Paul and I could provide a foster home for the stray while she continued to look for a permanent home. So, even knowing that once we met the little rascal we’d fall head over heels in love and never let him go, I said yes, but we already have a Bailey and a Blue, so we’d have to come up with a different name for the newbie.

So on her day off from work, Kelly brought him over and helped me introduce him to our pack, one by one. I let everybody out in the back yard, except big Andy, who I took on a leash out to front yard where Kelly was standing a good distance away from the house with the newcomer. They met very cordially, touched noses gingerly, and did the usual canine I.D. checks, then we walked into the house together. After a few minutes Andy started getting agitated that there were strangers in the house, so I made him go out in the back, and I brought in Trixie, who is the alpha female (after me, of course) of our growing pack.She LOVES company, and didn’t know who to be more excited about, Kelly or the dog. After a few minutes I put Trixie back out and I let in, one at a time, Buster and Matilda, who were very curious, but very timid and kept their distance, Sophie the Drama Queen, who barked and barked at the newcomer from a safe distance until I let her back outside and finally our big Blue, who, sure that it was my Mom and Dad who were here, barreled down the hall and into the parlor to get hugs. When he realized that no, this was not Grandma and Grandpa but A TOTAL STRANGER, and not only that but A TOTAL STRANGER WITH A STRANGE DOG, he went and hid behind the sofa.

After a while, Kelly said a tearful good-bye to Roadie (as we came to call him on about the 3rd day, after trying a few names that didn’t quite fit) and I let all the dogs in, one by one, ending with Andy, whom I kept beside me on a leash while we all sat in the parlor with Roadie. He was excellent at making friends, advancing little by little, but lying down or rolling over on his back whenever any of the dogs acted afraid or skittish of him. Eventually, after about half an hour or so, everyone started napping in various places around the parlor. Even Andy relaxed enough for me to feel comfortable letting him off the leash.

Later that day, supper went very smoothly, with Roadie’s eating place established at the end of the hall between kitchen and back porch, while Trixie and Andy were in their usual places in the kitchen and the redbones in their places on the back porch. That evening Trixie was the first to break the game-playing ice, and she and Roadie had a good wrestle on the den rug. And now, finally, we have a dog who will actually fetch a ball more than two times in a row. Here’s Roadie after an early morning game, relaxing at one of our “dog cooling stations.” These days, even as early as 7:30 a.m. it’s already close to 85°F!

And, just as I expected, after a couple of days my husband suggested we call Kelly and tell her to stop looking for a home for Roadie because he was “one of us now.” Now, after a little over a week, Roadie is fitting right in like he’s been here the whole time. We went for his first visit to our vet yesterday, and though I thought he might be an Australian Shepherd mix, the doc says that if he’s not a pure bred Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog (formerly known as a Catahoula Cur), he’s close to it. His head shape, coloring, body type, tail and eyes are all typical of this rare breed, and he’s probably about nine months old.

Roadie’s First Free-For-All

Here are some pictures of the first time Roadie joined in on a family free-for-all in our back yard, about a week ago.

The match is initiated by little Matilda, who issues an invitation to Andy.

Soon Trixie, Blue and Buster joined the action.

Here come Roadie and Sophie!

Roadie makes a surprise lunge at Blue as Blue advances on Andy! Excitement abounds!

Matilda goes for one of Blue’s hind legs! The crowd goes wild!

Wow! What action!

Matilda is holding her own amongst the big dogs ... what a trooper!

Suddenly the free-for-all separates into two camps:
Sophie and Matilda vs. Blue, and Roadie vs. Andy!

And then, as quickly as it began, the game is over, Trixie heads out to the yard with Roadie on her heels (Trixie and Roadie have become BFFs); Matilda heads for a drink of water.

So ... what do you think of the new kid?

Well, I don’t know where he learned his stuff,
but you have to admit he’s got some killer moves!


Kelly Winters Byers said...

You are so awesome! Although it doesn't take much to love Roadie, you love him with the beautiful heart God blessed you with for everyone you meet. I know God put you in my mind that day because He knew your home & Trixie needed Roadie. He is such a great boy! I can't wait to visit and see him with his new crew. I still miss him so much but Shelby Rae is happy to have her throne back to herself.
Don't forget me when you need a babysitter :)

Lots of love-
Momma Kelly

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Hey your friend Karen isn't as green as cabbage looking (Scottish saying lol)she knew Roadie would fit in just peachey with the rest off the family. What a face...looking forward to the paintings featuring Roadie, who has landed on his feet in the best new forever home :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new addition to your family. You are such good people to have so many dogs. We have two and love them to pieces and can't imagine life without animals. They are truly gifts and really add life to life. . .

Big Al said...

...four...five...six, seven. Wow, one more and you may just become a Jeff Foxworthy joke. :o ;)