On January 8th I adopted an old Catahoula Leopard Dog mix named Christie from the Pima Animal Care Center here in Tucson. After three different visits without connecting to any of the dogs, this visit, Christie pretty much picked me.
She ran right up to the front of her kennel when I walked by and immediately caught my eye. I talked to her a bit, but I was actually looking for another dog whose photo I had seen on the website, so I walked on. She started howling at me, so I stopped and told her I’d come back in a bit, and then kept going. I thought she was too old and she had some medical problems (you can see the flesh dangling from her throat where she had what I was told was an abscess that had been drained).
The dog I was planning to see didn’t even come forward when I stopped by his kennel, and I kept thinking back about Christie. After going through the shelter and not finding any other dog who jumped out at me, I went back to see Christie and asked a volunteer if I could visit with her out in the socializing area. Christie walked around a moment when the volunteer removed her leash, then came over and sat beside me and did not leave my side. She kept putting her head on my knee. I admit I was sucker punched. So I adopted her.
She has made herself right at home, and thank goodness, despite all my anxiety, both my cats and parrots have accepted her (not exactly WELCOMED, but accepted). I took her to my vet. She had an ear infection, and I was told I should get a consult for the healed neck wound. The infection cleared up nicely with some medication (she hated getting her ears cleaned), and the specialty vet found that what I was told was a wound was more likely a salivary gland problem that drained into her neck. I am to keep my eye on it and if the area refills, the vet will have to go in and close the bad glands, but for now its okay. She also has arthritis and I have some supplements we are going to try before we go the prescription route.
Hopefully the supplements will relieve her pain. She loves to go for walks but she is very slow, so we keep them short and she rests occasionally. She also loves to play, especially with her squeaky toys. She knows sit and lay down, and she is house broken. I’ve left her alone a few times (with a gate in the hallway so the cats can avoid her if necessary) and she is non-destructive (except to her toys and bones). I’m pretty much ready to put the gate in the garage; the cats have put her in her place the few times she got her nose to close to them.
Nekoka, as you can see, remains relaxed even when she’s close. Sassy is a bit more nervous of Christie and has hissed a few times and swatted at her, but Sassy doesn’t back down or run away so Christie is pretty respectful.
The parrots ignore her and she has ignored them, even when they fly over her on the way to my shoulder. I’m being very very careful because even though Christie is pretty slow, those teeth are sharp.
She does love her bones and my goodness I’ve got an assortment for her! She ate through a pig ear in ten minutes but I’m finding some other chew toys that take her awhile to destroy.
She loves kids! My granddaughter Lilith visited and Christie didn’t leave her side. She is very very gentle and attentive, and loved when Lilith hugged and squeezed her. My granddaughter has a big thing for animals – comes by it naturally, I guess
Lilith likes Christie’s bed, that’s for sure.
Christie follows me everywhere, and she is so big she barely fits in the bathroom. Nekoka thinks he is hiding
too cute for words…
Christie and her squeaky toy.