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The Amazing RANDYman

Randy BoyAbout 12 and a half years ago, the Good Lord called me to save, and raise, and love, a puppy.

We eventually named him Randy… soon to be known as THE Randall, or Rannyman, or RAND! or Rannel, the WUHBbeeeydog….. my good boy!     My Rannel.

He was a handful from day one.

for starters, Jeff didn’t really take to him. (our older Lab at the time) eventually they got used to each other.

 

But the story goes on.

Yep Randy was a nuisance barker…. (not to me much, but.. for the neighbors, I apologize)

I tried and tried to get him to stop that infernal barking!

It wasn’t so much that he was warning us of danger,  (He was a great watchdog!)   but, more that he was saying hello to all the other dogs in the neighborhood….. and even to me, he would give me a bark-bark when he wanted me…. where are you?  I want a drink.. I’m lonely… where are you…. can we play now?   is it time for food?  I would like a drink… where’s the BALL? and when it was time for bed, he would call out to me,       bark-bark   …    lets go to bed now…

so I would go upstairs and he would follow, and then he would lay down… and go to sleep.

It was like I had to “tuck” him in.  <3

When we went upstate, he had to announce to the whole Mountain, that he was in town, and hello, RANDY’s  here and he’s  King of the Hill!

Oh that Randall!!!

RANDY

 

I always said that when he “goes”….. I will be a basket case.

and I am.          (OK I am better now…)

 

Twelve and a half years of my life with this dog….who was unlike any dog I had ever had the pleasure of knowing. …so special. …..  so different.

and today, we had to let him go.

I don’t think I can ever let him go. He will be in my heart forever.

 

My Randall.

(Many thanks to Dr M. for coming over and helping Randall take the next step in his journey.)

 

flyin randy

Boy could he catch a ball!

 

Here are some ESSAYS I wrote a while ago:

Randy was a cute little guy, little black lab puppy, he was on sale at the pet store because they were going out of business. Our friends Jeanne and Keith were adopting Merlin and we got Randy, they were supposed to be brothers but you’d never know it to look at them: Merlin a big moose and Randy a string bean! There was one little female left that day, we don’t know where she wound up.

So Randy became a handful from day one. Poor Jeff! Our older dog, Jeff, was excited at first to have a youngster around. He soon learned it was going to be a long haul.

Randy quickly took over, once he was big enough to throw his weight around, which he did! He was faster and more aggressive for the ball than Jeff. Well Jeff had seen his day, when he was the king around here and the fastest smartest quickest after the ball…..

At 6 months old it was time to take that trip to the vet for neutering. We’d never had any of our dogs neutered before but we did so on the advice of our vet, Dr. D.

Well it was an extensive surgery with a lot of stitches. We rested Randy (hard to keep a good dog down!) and then went upstate the following weekend.

As usual, we left “the boys” home while we went to the sawmill. When we came back, we were in for a shock! There was blood all over the place! Apparently, Randy had seen something out the window, a deer, another dog, maybe someone came to the door and got him all excited……. He seemed ok except for all the blood and what looked like guts hanging out of him.. so we rushed off to the emergency Vet about 40 minutes away. It wasn’t guts hanging out, thankfully. Turns out he was allergic to the catgut stitches and he didn’t heal properly. There was no damage and the e-vet stitched him up, to the tune of a couple Grand.

Try to keep that dog quiet! What a job that was. So back on the leash he went and he was so sad but, too bad!

One day Randy was rolling around on the floor and I noticed a little lump down near the end of his incision scar…. Turned out to be a testicle and that had to be removed, at no charge! Ok that was surgery #3.

A few months later I came home and found Randy sitting quietly, and obviously uncomfortably, at the back door. He just didn’t look right. I took him outside, all he would do was sit down. Then he threw up a lot of liquid. I knew something was wrong so off we went to the emergency vet in Riverhead. He was miserable, poor guy. I felt so awful for him, I didn’t know what to do, or what he had gotten into!

He threw up again at the vet, she said he had a temperature and that indicated he was in pain, she suspected an intestinal blockage. (he came close to dying, good thing we went when we did!) He went for surgery.

The culprit:  Corncob.

The #1 cause of blockages in dogs- they love the sweetness and the butter! And they are crunchy! But Randy, being a voracious eater, is a gulper and so he must have found a corncob and wolfed it down in a big chunk.

So Randy had surgery to fix the blockage and when I called the next day all I could hear was barking… yep that was the Randall… they asked me to come get him… but I couldn’t until Sue got home from work because her car was lower to the ground….easier for a surgical patient….

I am SURE the staff at the E-Vet was eager to get Randy discharged because of his barking…

So, Surgery # 4! Even more expensive! I had to go get a part time job after that, but thank goodness for credit cards! So I borrowed a crate and kept that dog in it every night for a week. He was good about it, as if he knew he had to be in there… and he went out on a leash every time, which was quite a chore, as we are used to letting them out in the fenced yard. No more of that! Who knows what he might find out there? Acorns?? (the #2 cause of intestinal blockage in dogs by the way) and there are millions of acorns out there!)

All this happened before he was a year and a half old! Thankfully, there have been no more episodes to date and as I write this,  he just turned 6. (KNOCK ON WOOD!) He’s still spindly and wiry and bullying poor old Jeff who is now 11.

Discovery Days: the Pond

 Up at Gramma’s house upstate, there is a nice big pond and Labs….. love to swim, right? Well, Jeff does, and every Lab we’ve ever had did. Randy, well, he wanted to swim, .and he jumped right in, but, as soon as he got in over his head, he panicked, because he started to sink! He flailed his paws around and he had this worried look on his face (he has a very expressive face for a dog) I thought I was going to have to go in and save him! This happened a few times and I stood on shore and yelled “kick your feet kick your feet” as if he could understand me! Well he must have understood, because a light went on, and bingo! all of a sudden he was kicking his back feet and swimming like a pro and once he figured it out, he was in that pond 24/7!

By now I was beginning to wonder about a Lab that couldn’t swim…….

Randy had papers from the pet store but, you never can trust those. AKC registered but… something about that tail of his, and that face … his tail wasn’t a lab tail, it was more of a hound tail, it curved UP, and spindly. It wasn’t feathered like a lab’s tail is either.

His face? Almost like a pit bull in the forehead, but with Lab ears. You just fall in love with his eyes though. What a mug! A very expressive face. Oh but he can be so independent! and that too, makes me think he isn’t 100% Labrador Retriever. He WILL retrieve just about anything you throw for him though. And to think I almost had to retrieve HIM! Oh my little Randy-boy!

 

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Randy in the Pond upstate doing his  thing

 

Discovery Days: Geese

Randy’s very alert and one day noticed Geese on HIS pond. He went flyin’ down there barking up a storm and jumped right in, to chase those foreigners off his pond, barking while he was swimming (how does he DO that???!!)

Well once again, you had to see the expression on his face when they jumped up out of the water and flew away! He spun around and started flailing again, all confused: “what the??? That isn’t FAIR!” And he started swimming and barking after them, but they were long gone.

Discovery Days: Cows

On the Farm behind Gramma’s house, upstate, are cows. They come into the field behind the house daily, almost like clockwork. Big Bad Randy barks and barks!

But they don’t budge, those big billboards that moo! One day Randy stood there barking, (thankfully it wasn’t the Bull,) and the cow, probably curious, started to walk over and investigate this little nuisance noisemaker. Well, Randy could not get out of his own way fast enough! He backed up and got his feet tangled under his haunches and oh it was hysterical as he got behind me, still barking of course!

An overdose of activity

One trip upstate seems like any other, when you do them as regularly was we do. The Dogs travel well, a 5 hour trip is a big rest for them. When they finally get out of the truck, look out! Randy goes on a tear! He races full speed in a big loop around the property, a loop past the barn, then around the pond, sniffing whatever has been there, and announcing to the whole mountain that “Randy’s back in town”. In the still of the mountain air you hear one dog, then another and another around the mountain, answering back.

When Randy comes back he’s ready for supper, and he’ll have a restless night because he’s still got energy to burn.

Next day, he’ll swim, run up to Gramma’s, down to the barn, back to swim, chase a ball, find the cat, sniff, sniff, sniff…. Run, run, run, bark, bark, bark, swim and swim some more….. well one day Randy woke up and his tail was hanging down limp and straight. No wag! I thought it was broken. I felt around, no blood, not sore , he let me touch it and examine it, but it just would not wag. Being upstate and away from the cyber world of information instant access, I got in touch with my sister Karen and asked her to look up symptoms for a broken tail. Well, maybe it could be the anal glands or maybe it could be broken, or maybe it could be…. That the muscles that control the tail will shut down from overuse! And it will usually resolve itself with…REST! Rest?? This dog????? Who has ever heard of a dog wearing out his wag???? I never had, until now! So, here we go again, Randy has to rest! On a beautiful warm November day when I’d rather be outside, Randy had to rest.

So, I rested too!

Close Encounter

One day upstate I had been working near the Gazebo all day. Randy was out and about as usual, I don’t know what Jeff was up to…..  It was about 5 pm and we were finishing up to go out for dinner when we noticed Randy, intensely interested in something……

There was this rock, that wasn’t there before when I was working over there all day…. that he was staring at, with a slow steady wag…..as soon as my eyes focused I knew what it was- a snapping turtle and a big one! What was it doing out of the water?… And as soon as I processed what it was, it snapped at Randy!

I screamed and he yelped- he got bit!

But he was quick enough and he was lucky-he got a deep gash on his nose- that thing could have taken his whole nose off!!!! and what a nightmare that would have been! My poor dog with no nose and horribly disfigured?.. Not MY beautiful boy! I grabbed the dog and had Bob run get a garbage can- put the can behind the turtle and gave it a shove- then took it for a long ride and I DON’T CARE if it had a nest or if it was stressed or what!

It had to GO!

FRUIT HOUND

Randy loved fruit.

No matter what kind of fruit you had, he wanted some.

Bananas  of course, being so fragrant, brought him to you. He’d sit there with those big eyes of his, hoping you’d give him a taste of banana. How he knew, when he was in another room, that you were even thinking about cracking open a banana, I don’t know! But he just knew!

So. Randy and I had a little routine: we’d make the rounds and see what berries were ripe In the garden. We’d start by the raspberries, there weren’t many….. Then go over by the blueberries, he’d be glued to my side….if I found one almost ripe I’d say  “Look Randy!” And give it to him….. Then we’d go by the blackberries….. And then along to the strawberry planters hung on the fence. I hung them up there, because otherwise he’d be in there grabbing the ripe ones before I could! I used to see him out In the yard, hanging around under the blueberry bushes wondering what he was doin…… Ah- HA! He was gettin any ripe berries that had fallen that the birds left behind.

And we used to do this upstate also, when the raspberries were ripe, and the wild strawberries that grow low and tiny right In the lawn……

“Look, Randy, Look!”

And he knew that meant a sweet treat.

He wasn’t such a fan of vegetables from the garden, though he liked to grab a pepper or an eggplant just for fun and run off  with it……

I think he favorite though, was cantaloupe.

A Tasty Treat

Mischief Boy Randy! One summer day I brought home a nice juicy cantaloupe.

Planning to slice it open a little later, I left it on the counter.

Then,  I didn’t see it there.  Hmmmm…..   Good thing I noticed it wasn’t there!

I looked at Randy and he was back in the corner by the door. Hmmm. The carpet where he was was all wet in spots, like something had been dropped there,,,, something juicy maybe? Sure enough, I saw a few little cantaloupe seeds on the floor there. Oh no! but, where was the rest of it? Where was the rind? That’s what worried me, the rind. Because Randy tends to gulp his food down, without much chewing, that rind could pose a problem down the line.

I decided to induce vomiting. I hate to do this… and Randy does too, but circumstances warranted it. It must be done in a timely fashion, before the food gets too far down the digestive tract. I figured I had just enough time, judging by the damp carpet. Now my question was, how much of it did Jeff get into? So both of them got a small dose of peroxide. Just a tiny bit is all you need.  That usually does the trick.

I hate doing it, but what other choice did I have? Surgery? Who would willingly choose surgery!?? Not so much the expense but putting the animal through it….

So, peroxide in, dogs outside and soon enough, 2 dogs give up one whole cantaloupe, slightly digested…… and disaster averted!

Post Script: Randy passed away on 5.26.17 with the help of Dr M, at the age of 12 1/2

He had been having trouble with his back legs (neuropathy) and a tick borne disease, anaplasma.

Who knows what else was going on inside that big lug of a dog!

a word to the wise: keep your dogs at the proper weight, keep them fit, and keep up with the tick and heartworm preventatives!

Randy’s Last Mischief

So… Packer for some reason was spending a lot of time by the shed. An inordinate amount of time… he was obsessed. We thought he had dropped a ball down under it, but we couldn’t find it, nor could we distract him with any other ball or toy.

Then one day, during a lull in the music and other sounds of the neighborhood, I was planting some flowers and I heard an odd sound… wasn’t like any bird sound I knew, but it was familiar, so it caught my attention.. something deep within my brain knew that sound…… KITTENS!

I listened for a while and it was unmistakable…. At least one kitten, (but probably more!)

We had been seeing a cat in the yard for a while now, which was odd because, why?

Why would a cat come into our yard, with two big dogs? We thought it was after birds at the feeder, because we had seen it out in front too, but why was this cat in the back yard so often?

Now we knew.

A few more days went by and every chance he got, Packer was on guard duty by the shed.      He would not leave!

And then it was time for Randy to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and we were all so sad ….

I really think he sent us this distraction to keep our minds off of missing him so much!

That Randall !!!!!

Anyway, once again I was out gardening, the music was on, nice weekend day….and I heard a very loud kitten! There’s Packer by the fence and he’s got a bead on something! I ran over and sure enough, he’d cornered two little kittens. Guess they were trying out their little legs, going for a stroll… following Mama perhaps?

So I named them Boots and Shadow.

(Why not? I knew I couldn’t keep them but might as well enjoy having kitties around for a few days)

Found Kittens 6/2/17

Boots & Shadow

 

 

 

 

 

So Bob helped me get Packer back into the house (Took BOTH of us to wrestle him back in!) and then we got a milk crate and put the kits in it. Now what to do?? We don’t really want to keep cats. We’re dog people. Plus its just to much with Packer acting so aggressive and then how’s Mom going to get in and out with the dog going crazy, its not like when we had B.T. and he found Jacamo and Kimba…. B.T. had such a calm disposition and those kitties took to him like he was their mama. But that’s another story……

Well, Mim lent us a havaheart trap and we caught the Mama, and had her neutered and let her go.

Mama Cat 2017

Bob took the kits for shots at the Animal Shelter but they wouldn’t take them in , too little and had to be socialized too. They judged them to be about 3-4 weeks old. Cute as Dickens!

BUT in the meantime…. There was another kitty under the shed. I had made a video of the kitties, and so I played it, and soon kitty #3 came right out! On a run almost- straight to me! This one was smaller so I called it PeeWee.

PeeWee

We thought we had it all under control – Borrowed Sue’s small dog crate and set it up with a litter tray, and food and water, and a flower pot with a towel in it, and those kits were fine.

Except…. We heard ANOTHER ONE under the other shed!!! Tried for hours to coax it out with the video, no luck- I put the small crate with the other kitties nearby, thinking it might come out, no dice. Then I worried it was stuck under there….. It was getting near dark and I was really nervous. I had a flashlight and thought maybe it would come towards the light…. I was down on my knees in the mucky leaves trying to see it…. Then finally, thru a small crack in the floorboards of the shed, I saw a cute little kitty face…. But still it would not come out!!!

My hero Bob took charge. He got down on his belly and reached in (YUK) and the kitty came right to his hand. So easy!!!   He really has a knack. This one I called LittleFoot. It’s the tiniest of all 4 and it’s a dark gray tabby with a tiny tip of white on its tail. It’s the feisty little one! And loud!

littleFoot

So now we have 4 kitties. We hope to get them all adopted out as soon as possible.

 

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Out of the Woods, and into good homes we hope!

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