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Zoey as a puppy, Sept. 2011

Zoey as a puppy, Sept. 2011

Zoey drives me crazy sometimes. So does Anja, but not nearly as much.

Zoey’s latest annoying habit is reverting back to her puppy days. She’s about 2 1/2 now, but has started doing things that I thought she was finally over. Like jumping on people. Or running around the house like a madman, messing up all my rugs. Or eating poop. (Why?!)

Today, I came home to find that Anja had thrown up her food in her crate. I think she was actually aiming for it to be outside her crate, but I’ll leave the details there. So while I cleaned that up, I left her in the living room and let Zoey eat on the deck right outside the door where I could see her. I figured I would let her back in as soon as she was done eating so she wouldn’t roam around the yard, eating nasty things on my watch.

Except Zoey inhaled her food and ran off in the mere seconds I looked away to finish cleaning. When I called her to come back inside, she didn’t come right away and I knew she was up to no good. I was right.

All of this was about 5 minutes after I walked in the door after putting our trash and recycle bins by the curb in freezing rain. I was still in my raincoat, cleaner in one hand and paper towels in the other, and not all that happy.

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So I’ve been thinking …

This must be how God feels sometimes. He watches us do the same stupid things over and over, make dumb decisions and go back to our old ways. Yet He’s quick to forgive and loves us anyway.

I’ve told people before that it’s a good thing Zoey is cute. Otherwise, she’d be outta here by now. I get so angry sometimes when I find that she’s done it again. I tell her “no, bad girl,” pointing to what she’s done and put her in her crate.

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But when I let her out, she looks up at me with that face and the one brown eye and it’s so cute I can’t stand it. I can’t stay mad long and I love her anyway.

Anja is the same way. Friends have told us she could be in an ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan singing in the background as she looks at you with those big brown eyes. When I’m mad at her for something, she just looks at me like, “What?” Or she’ll lean her head on my knee when I’m sitting down and nudge my hand to pet her, knowing full well I just told her to lay down.

Good grief. One dog is a spaz, and the other one is needy.

But I love them anyway.

Anja Zoey collage

Zoey’s adventure

Super trooper

Back in February, Zoey decided to go on a mini vacation. During a trip to Home Depot with Pete, she randomly jumped out of the car window and went running down the side of the highway — a busy highway during lunchtime. He ran after her, but she’s quick and got away from him. He frantically drove around looking for her with a woman who asked if he needed help, and shortly after, I left work to join him. Zoey was gone for 30 hours before we got a phone call that someone found her. (Thanks to LuckyPet.com for the awesome stainless steel name tag.)

During that time, however, Zoey ran into a steel cable by the side of the road and damaged her eye. After months of vet visits, eye drops and pills, we decided to have her eye removed two weeks ago. It was a tough decision — she’s only a year old — but there was no hope of the detached retina reattaching, plus she had glaucoma and I don’t think she could see out of it. Not to mention the expensive 6 drops a day we had to give her. It broke my heart to drive her to the vet that morning — a long 45-minute drive to Polkton that was a third of the cost as a Charlotte specialist — and I almost cried but didn’t. I knew she wouldn’t miss the eye, but still. I felt bad for her.

So here we are two weeks later and her eye is healing nicely. It looked like she’d been in a fight when we first got her back, with stitches sticking out of her face and a big red knot where her eye had been, but she’s just as spunky as ever and hasn’t been running into things. (Well, she does run into some things with the cone of shame around her neck, but we’ll blame that on the cone.) The area around the eye had to be shaved before the surgery, too, but it’s coming back and doesn’t look half bad. She’s a trooper. Plus she winks!

I’ll post more pictures once the stitches fall out.

Everything but the white picket fence

Two Fridays ago, Pete and I took in a second dog named Anja. It’s Russian and pronounced “Ahn-ya.” She’s basically the opposite of Zoey, which, although we love Zoey to pieces, has proved to be a really good thing.

Zoey: hyper, often ignores owners, walks in zig zags on a leash, chews shoe strings

Anja: calm, listens well, easy to walk, leaves stuff alone

Zoey is just like a little sister, too. She picks fights by pushing Anja and biting her ears just to see what happens. Well, maybe human sisters don’t bite ears, but you get the picture. In fact, Zoey is at my feet right now, trying to get Anja to play. Anja is laying here like, “Yeah, whatever.”

We try spraying Zoey with a water bottle when she misbehaves, but I think she’s getting used to it or just really enjoys mist in her face. She probably thinks it’s refreshing.

Before we got Anja, we briefly talked about getting a second dog so Zoey would have a playmate. When a co-worker told me about Anja, we decided to meet her. Her owners actually lived in Indian Trail and left her in the yard when their home was foreclosed on. 😦 Neighbors took turns feeding her for three months before a guy in Charlotte took her in. He couldn’t keep her, but he was so nice in giving us things like a crate, dog food and a collar. So far, the only downside is her aversion to bathing. She hears us calling her from the bathroom and goes and hides in Zoey’s crate.

So there it is: me and Pete and two “children.” Now all that’s missing is the white picket fence.

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