I found him, one Monday morning, huddled outside the door to my office. He was in rough shape. He looked like he hadn't seen food or water for most of the weekend, and I thought to myself, "He'll be a gonner, if someone doesn't do something for him!"
Twelve hours later, when I was leaving for home, there was a tiny bundle, huddled under my car, looking worse than ever, and whimpering piteously. I really didn't want to, but I slung him in a cardboard box. I was going to drive to my niece's house and quietly slip him over fence. She is a sucker for street waifs, and I figured she'd wake up in the morning and find she had an extra dog. Halfway to her house, I suddenly remembered that she was away, and her animals were being kenneled! I couldn't leave the little fellow there with nobody to look after him, so I took him home. Surely, someone would agree to take him?
He was so infested with fleas he had lumps of flea eggs and other nice things encrusted all over his body. He stank. I cleaned him up as best I could and doctored him with every known anti-flea preparation I could find. The fleas went away. He was rotten with mange, and I took him to the vet and explained where I'd found him. They doctored him with everything dogs are supposed to get, and the mange eventually went away. He peed and crapped everywhere in the yard. I was forced to apply the rolled newspaper a couple times. That seemed to work, until the November rains. It seems he preferred not to dampen his feet. I ranted and raved and he hid under a bush in the garden with torrential rain pouring down on his head for a couple hours until I relented and went to find him. I don't know if he's learned his lesson, but so far....
My Mum gave him a name. She officially named him Dot·com and he sometimes even turns his head when called. He's a wicked little boy, and he wears his ears at a rakish angle. I don't know what breeds went into the mix to produce him but I'd have to say he's at least 40% piranah. You go near him and those little puppy-teeth will cut you to ribbons in seconds! I gave him my old friend Mr. Orange to play with (pictured) and after nearly five years of faithful service around my house, poor Mr. Orange was shredded in less than an hour. To sleep on, I gave him a towel that was so old it must classify as a family heirloom. He refuses to sleep on it, but he chewed it full of holes, and if you so much as think of touching that towel, he'll chew you full of holes too!
He's a picky eater. He loves orange juice and strawberry milk, but won't touch sausage and rice. He barks loudly and scratches on the door until you wake up in the morning (very early). He won't stay out of the house. Anything he finds on the verandah (even the furniture) he drags out into the yard, and anything he finds in the yard (sticks, stones, leaves, the odd dead bird) he insists on dragging into the verandah. He makes a daily pilgrimage to my neighborhood junk-pile and always drags back something unpleasant.
He's the most confounded, cotton-pickin', miserable, disobedient, destructive, bitingest, wickedest, sharpest-toothed little puppy there ever was!
But I guess he's my dog, now!
Dottie is the most popular item on my web-site. Why, I can't say, but the majority of the mail I receive is inquiries about his health and requests for extra pictures. So, here are a few more photos of him, all grown up!
He's now (February 2002) 17 months old, and he's a handsome boy! Black and white. Look closely and you will see there is a little salt in his pepper. A very close examination will show some chocolate brown in the black.
He is a clean puppy generally, never smells bad (except for his farts which are eye-wateringly foul!). He is fiercely protective of the home, barking and growling at anybody that goes by. Unfortunately, he's a bit of a scaredy-cat, and runs away hastily if anyone challenges him. He is extremely affectionate with those that can befriend him (french-fries from Chefette will help). He doesn't get ticks or fleas very often.
He likes to walk on the beach and makes a bee-line for any topless girls he sees. (I did not teach him to do this. I just got lucky.) He loves going for a drive in the car, and wherever he goes he has to thoroughly examine (and squirt upon) every rock, twig, leaf, etc, that he encounters.
He is still a disobedient, destructive, wicked, sharp-toothed little monster. He pedals a bicycle when you scratch his tummy. He insists in lying down in front of the refrigerator, so you can't get in, and when you shift him and open it, he sticks his head inside to see if there is anything he can nibble.
He loves to play games. With a ball, or a stick. Or the cushions off the sofa. His favourite game is to bite me, hard, then run off grinning before I can smack him (he always wins that one).
He is a happy little puppy. His tail wags often, and vigorously. And I guess that makes me happy too.
Another year has passed (now February 2003) and Dotty is still my most favouritest dog ever. He is as wicked as can be, but has discovered how to turn on the charm so as to get away with his wickedness. He continually plays tricks on his daddy, and his daddy constantly falls for them ;)
Dotty likes nothing more than a trip out into the country. When released from the confines of the car he runs all over the place, investigating everything, and trying to befriend everyone he meets. This can sometimes come as a bit of a trial to strangers who have no particular desire to befriend a strange dog! He is constantly trying to make friends with those very large doggies he finds staked out in the grass. You know, the bovine type doggies? Heh!
When I take him to fly model aircraft he gets into the spirit of the occasion! Here he is playing dead after a strafing attack by a WW-I Sopwith Pup (not, alas, mine!).
He is a very affectionate fellow, and he prefers to lie, not at your feet, but on your feet. And if you're reading when he wants to play a game, he will come and rest his head in your lap. Ignore him for a few minutes and he will quietly say "Ruf!". Continue to ignore him and he will raise his voice slightly and say "Rr-ruf!. If you're lying on the sofa he might come and stand on your chest while doing this!
I generally don't feed him from the table. But that doesn't stop him from trying! He has perfected this poor-little-starving-puppy expression and he sits politely at your feet and practices it on you throuought the meal. And if it is something that he particularly likes he slobbers and drools and licks his lips suggestively. He will eat almost anything, so long as he sees me eat it. Apples, bananas, cakes and so forth as well as sweet peppers, breadfruit, salt-fish and rice, baked potatoes, guava jelly on bagels, anything! Except dogfood, of course...
He really is a sweet puppy! Okay, so he's over two years old, but your baby is always your baby, right?
And now, The Dot is three!
He's developed some interesting grey tufts on the back of his ears, and he's a little more substantial around the middle, but my boy is still the sweet puppy he always was. He's ultra-cuddly, quick to jump into bed with you while you are reading and wriggle around until he has the best position in front of the fan!
Mischievous, curious, too smart for his own good. Here he is, pictured standing on his daddy and enjoying the sunshine. Sometimes he runs in from outside, and when you go to stroke him, his sleek black fur is hot from the sun.
On a cool morning, he will jump into bed and burrow into the bed-clothes until he finds a warm spot. On warm nights he demands ice with his water. Or strawberry milk -- he likes strawberry milk!
Dot-man is a great dog, very affectionate and lots of fun to hang with. Sometimes he's too affectionate! Here are a couple photos taken when I was lying on the ground, taking close-up photos of my big, red Fokker for use elsewhere on this site.
I never reject his affections, but Yeeeeech! He can be extra slobbery when he wants to and if he catches you unawares you need a shower by the time he's done. He particularly likes giving kisses when you're all sweaty and salty! Ewwww!
Everyone loves him, where ever I go people ask how he is and when I'm going to bring him to meet them again. As we drive along, people in other cars or at the side of the road smile and wave, and it isn't me that they're happy to see! When he goes places with me everyone is thrilled to see him, and people are always bringing or sending bones and other delicacies for him! He gets a steady stream of fan-mail from his internet admirers, and despite my every efforts to spruce up the rest of my website, he is the most popular part of the site.
He's a wonderful boy, and I think I'll go out and play with him now!
On the 7th of September 2004, we were struck by Tropical Storm Ivan. That was Dotty's fourth birthday.
Thankfully, the storm was not too violent. But in any case, Dotty refused to let it get him down! I couldn't persuade him to stay inside, and every time I went out to make sure that all remained secure, that little fellow came out too, and cavorted around in the wind!
This .MOV file (4.3 meg) shows Dotty appearing unexpectedly, in the middle of a short sequence taken to capture the effect of the wind on the trees. Dotty appeared in three or four other videos taken that day, looking somewhat bemused at the wind, but quite happy to play in it!
Meanwhile, Dotty has become very fond of model aircraft. He loves to watch them flying past, he loves to go and help recover those that make emergency landings, and he loves to assist in their construction. So far, he has not attempted to fly one himself, but he is keenly interested in the entire process.
Here are two photos of The Dot watching closely as a new model is constructed, and inspecting an airframe in an advanced stage of completion:
A keen observer, Dotcom loves to visit our cliff where we fly slope gliders. He stands fearlessly with his toes hanging over the edge, looking out over a 200 foot drop, with his ears blowing back in the force of the Atlantic breeze, and watches gliders sliding past. He loves it!
My boy has become a seasoned traveller. He doesn't appreciate me going anywhere and leaving him behind! He puts on a happy face and begs to be taken along. I am quite glad to take him everywhere, but not everyone is pleased to see him when we arrive! Oh, but it's hard to deny a cute little face like this:
My boy likes travelling on the road so much, he spends a lot of time in the car. He jumps in there when ever he feels like it, and sometimes it's hard to get him out. If he even suspects that I'm going somewhere (like if he sees me getting dressed) he goes into the car and 'hides'. Here is a picture of him, sitting in his usual seat, waiting for th journey to begin:
You can tell the car is standing still. if it were moving, his head would be out the window and his tongue and ears flapping for all they're worth!
This guy is such a loveable puppy, when he goes to the vet for his annual checkup, the entire staff at the clinic stop work to come and play with him. He has the snuffliest neck and the slobberiest tongue of any dog I know!
People say the Dotster is getting gray. I don't see it. He is still a fun-filled young puppy to me! But perhaps they're right. Sometimes when he gets up after an afternoon nap, he seems a little stiff in the joints for a few seconds. I guess he is getting old, but I don't like to think about it.
In a months time (September 2005) he will be five years old. He and I have been inseperable since he was aged four weeks. And there is some interesting news to relate about my son:
Dotty is a daddy! We heard the unexpected news from the people who live two houses away from my mother's house. Dotty has often been to visit his Granny, and it seems he slipped over two houses a while back and the next thing ou know -- seven black-and-white puppies!
I am trying to get photos of at least one of his progeny, but he isn't actually in the best odor over there right now, so I am trying to be very diplomatic about the whole thing. In the mean time, his interest in model aircraft is as strong as ever. Here he is, sitting by the airstrip, watching for machines to come in and land:
Dotty has odd ears. They are not the same. This gives him a sort of lopsided look at times, but I consider it to be an endearing quality.
Dotty's sixth birthday has just passed. He spent it quietly, at home, with his Daddy and his Granny. He played in the garden and enjoyed many tasty treats, but for the most part, he snoozed in the sun, and allowed himself to be the target of much tummy-rubbing and neck-snuffling. Here he is, in the kitchen, with a large smile on his face, because he knows that his Gran can be very generous with the cheese to happy doggies!
Look how gray his face has become! I hardly notice this, as a rule. He is much the same fun-loving boy he's always been. His joints are a little arthritic these days, but he can still go from curled up asleep to full throttle with barking in the blink of an eye, at the distant sound of the postman's bike!
He's really a loving fellow, and has taken a great affection to his Granny. (The cheese may have something to do with it.) He loves to have his head snuffled, and he puts his paws up in her lap (very carefully!) and 'fleases' her gently with his teeth. The Love-puppy will walk over and start rubbing his head on your legs when he feels for some attention, and will curl up and go to sleep with his head on your feet.
He doesn't much like thunder & lightening. When he detects stormy weather, which he can do much sooner than the MET office, he comes and sticks to you like glue!
Dotcom goes with me practically everywhere. He prefers to ride with his head out the window. I guess he likes the feel of the wind in his hair! I'd love to get a photo but I can't figure out how to go about it...
I can't imagine how I would have managed the last seven years without him. He is the most affectionate, loyal, and devoted creature I have ever known. He is a little grayer in the face, and a little creakey in the joints, but he is still the bestest doggie his daddy ever knew.
Here is a nice picture of him (and his ugly Daddy), taken while visiting his Granny's house. See that smile? He is a happy dog, and loves just about everybody. Except Postie, who get's a serious telling off every time he visits the house. Dot can detect the sound of Postie's bike about ten minutes before Postie actually arrives.
He likes to get involved in whatever his Dad is doing. When dad goes into the workshop, Dottie is a serious under-foot menace. He has to 'help' with everything. Eventually, I may be able to persuade him to go and lie down in one corner and just watch. Here is a photo of him lying on some sawdust.
Sometimes he goes to sleep, and before you know it, he is under a pile of sawdust!
And he still likes to travel. He is a seasoned motorist, usually going miles with his head out the window. (Some day I am going to capture that on film, but I have not yet figured out how!) Occasionally, he decides it's time for a road-trip, and he gets himself into the car and won't come out until! On more than one occasion I've had to take a spin around the neighborhood, just to appease his need. Here he is, waiting in the car.
What he likes to so is to snooze. Very close to his Daddy. Here is a photo of him leaning against my knee, as I sit on the floor. He likes to be close, and if I move to another spot, he will move as well.
Actually, what he likes best of all...
...is to rest his head on his Daddy. He uses my feet as a pillow all the time. And I really don't mind at all, because I love to have him right by my side. There are places I go where he isn't allowed, and I always regret when he can't be with me. Because he is the bestest doggie in the whole wide world and his Daddy loves him!
Dotty has just enjoyed his ninth birthday. He is now a grey-faced boy, but he's the same sweet, loveable puppy he always was. This photo was taken the day before his actual birthday.
We held a small party for his birthday, up at the club. There was good food and drink, including some nice cuts of pork babrbecued specifically for the birthday boy!. Quite a number of Dotty's friends were present to congratulate him and have a drink with him. There was even cake! But of course, no chocolate icing for a doggie, so we enjoyed orange cake instead.
Dotty is a very sociable fellow. If you sit at his level, he will walk up behind you, and stick his nose under your arm. A nudge or two will persuade you to raise your arm, and when you do he will slip under, so you can give him a hug. He does this with all his pals, not just his Daddy! He also gives hugs. A Dotty-hug involves his putting the top of his head against you and moving it from side to side, rubbing his head and face against you. If you're lucky, he'll even give kisses! Wet, slobbery kisses...
A fine day was had by all, but of course even the best party must come to an end. And none too soon, because my sweet birthday boy was all tuckered out. When he got home he went straight off to bed!
And so another year has passed... and another year begins. Nine is not exactly old for a doggie, so I hope for many more birthdays to come. Dotty's physician says he is in excellent health, every possible care is taken for his happiness and wellbeing. And that's a good thing. Because he is his Daddy's bestest boy!
We've had another birthday, and the guest of honour enjoyed cake and pork chops and (his favourite beverage) strawberry milk.
Actually, his friends look forward to his birthday party every year, and always enjoy having a slice of cake with him! I think he actually prefers the pork chop, but it's hard to tell. He actually seems to enjoy eating cake, but never eats too much. Perhaps he's just watching his weight?
Snuff's is big favourite with the ladies and also with kids. But he gets on well with all the lads too, and greets guests in a very friendly manner.
He is the snuffliest, snuggliest sweetest, most affectionate, loving little boy you could ever imagine! He also loves to get into trouble and is a dirt magnet. Here he is, investigating a quacking sound heard coming from the pond. He was in quite a state when he was done!
When you're reading in bed, late at night, with him laying beside you. Then his big brown eyes slowly open to look at you, his tail gives a single wag, and those brown eyes slowly slide closed again. Magic moment. Quality time.
In the third week of May in his 13th year, Dotty became ill. Blood tests and X-rays were done, and he was found to have conjested lungs, and also a large number of small bladder stones. His arthritis also picked that very moment to flare up badly. He was medicated to clear the conjestion, and to relieve the pain in his hips. For a couple of days he seemed to brighten, but he wouldn't eat and so he returned to the doctor.
His meds were increased, and again he brightened for a while, but still, he didn't seem to be recovering as well as hoped. On Sunday afternoon, I placed him in the car and took him to our club in the country. This was one of his favourite places, and many of his best friiends were there. He brightened considerably and enjoyed his afternoon, but that night it was obvious he was near his limit.
The following day was a Bank Holiday and the clinic was not scheduled to open, but I persuaded his doctor to see him the next morning. He deteriorated furthur during the night, but next morning he went on IV fluids, painkillers, glucose, and whatever he needed. More blood tests were run, and that is when we realised the true nature of the problem.
Dotty's kidneys had failed. The resulting build-up of toxins had been making him very ill, causing everything from stomach ulcers and probably even making his arthritis unusually bad. His doctor struggled thruought the day and night to flush the poisons from his system and jump-start his kidneys. But it was not to be.
On the morning of May 21st, 2013, at the age of twelve years and eight months, Dotty slipped away. He was pain free and comfortable, but brave and strong as he was, he just couldn't fight any more.
Dotty's passing leaves an aching hole in my heart, because I loved him. In fact, everyone loved him, because he loved everyone.
As his daddy, I tried every day to give him the best life I could. That included plenty of physical love. Patting and stroking, cuddling and snuffling, rubbing his feet, tickling his ears, pulling (gently!) his tail, scratching his tummy. Someone else may have been able to give him a bigger house to live in, or more food to eat, but nobody could have given him more love than I. And no creture on earth could have given back more love than he did.
Everyone who loves their dog says he's the greatest dog ever. The difference in my case is that he really was the greatest, most affectionate, funniest, snuggliest, naughtiest, cuddliest, smartest, strongest, bravest, handsomest, sweetest boy ever.
He ws the bestest doggie in the wholey, widey, world, and his daddy will always love him