BettaLover1313's Pets: Part II-Herbie
So I'm almost convinced that the white spots I'm seeing on Dragoon is just how the light is hitting his scales in parts of his tank (particularly one part where I typically see him at). Still keeping an eye on both boys though, just to be on the safe side. I have to change 1/2 their water in a bit meaning they both get their bloodworm treats afterwards (oh boy will they be happy!)
Even though it's been almost a year since he passed, I still miss my buddy, my rock, and an all around awesome dog.
We adopted Herbie 6 months after Pebbles passed from a humane society in the county next to ours, we'd just moved to our new home, leaving my grandparents house, and even though I somewhat regret pushing my mom, I needed a companion and protector at home, especially in a new town that I wasn't familiar with and being on my own very often. While looking at the dogs I actually fell in love with a Husky mix named Sparky, but he was already 5 years old, and I didn't want to deal with any more heart ache anytime soon (boy how little did I know then). So we didn't take him out of his kennel to look at him, instead we looked at a little puppy named Sweet Pea, who already had her heart set on the kennel worker, a shepherd mix named Frisbee, who was obsessed with peeing on everything more than visiting with us, a Pit Bull mix named Hope who was just a bundle of energy, and the last dog of the day, Hope's littermate, Herbie, who was interested in us and not as high energy as his sister. My mom and I filled out the paper work and told the staff that we would be back tomorrow to look at some more dogs.
The following day, it was raining, but that was for the better in our minds since we wanted to see how the dogs...or should I say one dog in particularly. First though, we looked at a dog we didn't get a chance to look at the previous day, a Labrador mix named Diesel who'd been abandoned in their park. Diesel though, was too full of energy for us couch potatoes. When we'd taken Diesel past Herbie's kennel though, that boy had the most dejected look I've ever seen on a dog. He grew excited again though when we came back and took him to the room. There, we got the sign we'd been looking for to show that he was the right dog-he rolled over on his back and exposed his belly for a belly rub (we thought later that he saw "suckers" written on our foreheads).
After getting our sign, we spoke with the manager and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our application had been approved (the manager of the time was known for being very strict about adopters). We explained to her that we were very interested in Herbie, and we learned his, and his siblings story:
Herbie had been from a litter of seven, him and his two littermates Hope and Hewie (who'd already been adopted as it said on his kennel) had been left at the Humane Society, not even weaned from their mother. They were raised at the Humane Society and all of them had names beginning with "H" to show they were littermates. The manager stressed that we needed to get a fence since Pit Bull type dogs didn't do well chained to a leash (we'd already been planning on getting a fence), and stressed several other points.
Now this got me and my mom perplexed. We were still under the stereotype of Pit Bull type dogs at the time, but this is where my research on dog breeds began: I got several books and magazines on dog breeds and "Bully Breeds" and I came to have a great love for the breed, not just through reading these books and magazines, but most importantly, I came to love the breed from owning a lovable, smiling bulldozer.
It was a rough start with Herbie, we found that our new pound puppy that was a Lab/Boxer/Pit Bull mix of 6 months of age found his voice as soon as he got home, had separation anxiety for the first several months we had him, and he decided to re-decorate our house (chewed just about everything!). He did go to training and he learned sit, stay, down, come, and leave it, though he only did some of these for treats. However, there was a trick I taught him--Herbie actually knew how to high-five, and he knew the difference between give paw and high-five too. He was a smart cookie when he wanted to be.
However, there were really awesome moments with him too. Walks were our special times where I talked to him about everything and he listened. There was a time we were jogging and I tricked, releasing his leash, but instead of continuing to run, he stopped and came back, checking to see if I was okay and waiting until I picked up his leash and we were off again.
Also, Herbie loved car rides. I can't stress this enough--this dog LOVED car rides, especially once he discovered "shot gun". If he could go on a car ride, he was in paradise, not only because he got treats, but because he got to keep track of his humans.
Herbie was also a sensitive dog, he was a nanny dog when we were sick, staying near us even as we (excuse the vulgarness here) puked into the toilet, he would sit right in front of you and let you cry into his sleek fur when you had a bad day, and he was just all around an amazing dog.
He had his "bad" traits too. Herbie was skittish and defensive of us...as you can guess, not really great traits to combine. This is where some issues came up as well, and I will tell you the one story that goes with it.
I was in FFA during high school, and we had a petting zoo for the elementary school kids "Field Day". Herbie was great with kids, they could pull his ears, yank his tail, slap him wherever and he wouldn't flinch. That day, there was a storm coming, and he hated storms, and a woman came to pet him, camera in hand. I've told you that he was a defensive dog, and skittish. This woman came up on his blind side and he jumped at her, nipping her in warning and out of defense. Admittedly, his nip was still strong enough to break the skin, but it was a warning. No kids saw what happened and the woman seemed to understand. Later I learned that she blabbed to our next door neighbors, one of whom decided to call Herbie several derogatory names (to say the least, we don't speak to them anymore). This neighbor also insinuated that I brought a vicious dog to a petting zoo. As stated above, kids were smacking, yanking, and pulling at him all from blind spots, and he didn't react. It was only when an adult did this that he reacted. I'm not proud that he reacted that way, but he wasn't vicious.
When I started attending college, Herbie started to lose weight, and we assumed it was from depression, the vet agree with us, but when I came home for the summer, he took a turn for the worst, and we took him to the vet again, our usual doctor wasn't in, so we had to rely on the other vets opinions, and there opinion was that he needed surgery after taking an x-ray and noticing a strange lump, and they thought he had eaten something bad.
After surgery they informed us that he the lump had been his stomach had become enlarged, and they had taken a biopsy to find out what was wrong.
Mom and I took him home the following morning, and we stayed with him throughout the day and into the night, but he wouldn't take his meds. We only managed to get the steroid pills down. It was a long night, and we both had to take naps off and on. I woke up from one of these naps to see Herbie spring to his paws and run across the room, I screamed at him to stop, since he still had stitches, and then my whole world slowed down as I watched him topple to the floor in slow motion. I lost all control. My mom was better off, immediately at Herbie's head and giving him mouth-to-nose and telling me to call the vet while pleading with him not to die. After several clumsy attempts, tears streaming down my face as I also pleaded with my buddy not to die, I got the vet who said if we could, we were to bring him in. Herbie started breathing again, and he was dazed. Somehow, my mom and I got a blanket under him and lifted him up and to the car. I sat in the back seat with him, stroking him as he slowly regained his senses.
When we arrived at the vet, the vet on call said to leave him there, and we carried Herbie into the back where the kennels were. I told Herbie we'd be coming back to take him home soon, and Mom told him to keep fighting and that he was loved. I told the vet not to leave him alone, terrified that he would have another fit, or seizure, or whatever had happened at home.
Back at home, we were hopeful that we'd be seeing our boy again, but then Mom got a phone call, and though I didn't hear it, I watched as tears sprang to her eyes, and I really lost it then. I know you've probably read in books about wails of grief, but I'd never heard one, until one was ripped from me knowing that my buddy, my 5 year old buddy was gone, and he wasn't coming home. Mom told me that the vet had left him alone for five minutes, and when he'd checked on him again, Herbie was gone; the vet said it was probably from a blood clot.
My mother and cried all that night. Herbie was gone, we'd left him all alone, just as his life had started at an animal shelter. We both regretted so much-our financial situation that had influenced some of the choices we had made, me not telling him that I loved him when we left, and then our thoughts turned towards the vet, who'd we'd been having problems with for some time now with how their secretarial staff was, and then with how our words and opinions on OUR dog were treated. True, we weren't vets, but when we told them something was off with our dog, they tended to ignore it. We decided then and there that we wouldn't be going back. We liked the one doctor, but one vet isn't enough to keep us there. We knew we couldn't blame them for Herbie's death, but it was the "straw that broke the camel's back".
Herbie wasn't the perfect dog, he had his moments, but he was my buddy, my rock, and I still miss him dearly even though a year has passed since his death.
Pebbles had a quilt made from her bandannas that the groomer gave her when she passed, Herbie had two pillows made one from my mom, and one for me so that we could hug them when we were upset, and upset we often were, but I'll explain that more at a certain betta's "story so far" part. Herbie was our lovable smiling bulldozer who taught my mom and I so much about Pit Bulls and how special a dog he truly was. We were lucky to have him and to have known his love.
Miss you always, buddy...
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal." ~Alfred A. Montapert
My Bettas: Dude-Male Salamander HMPK & Molly-Female Marble HM
My Goldfish: Rory
My Nerite Snails: J & K
S.I.P. Beta-Blue & Black CT//Dragoon-Dark Copper DSPK//Merlin-Red VT