…(by a very small margin) is our Dublin. She turned 17 years old Feb. 27. That’s 119 in dog years!
Actually, she may be older. We adopted her from the shelter on Feb. 27, 1997. The Vet said she was AT LEAST 2 yrs. but could be older. Those first few years of her life were horrific. The shelter told us she was removed from her first home and the former owners were prosecuted for animal cruelty. She had been tied to a small stake in their backyard and used as a “bait dog” to get dogs riled up before fights. The neighbors had finally called the humane society when they saw the owners kids kicking her. The shelter worker told us if we hadn’t adopted her, she would have been put down the next day.
She wasn’t much to look at. Her long hair had never been brushed or washed so she was matted and smelled like…uh…like…well…like a wet, matted dog that’s never been bathed. We took her right from the shelter to the Vet, to the groomers. “She looks like a cross between a Sheepdog and a Bearded Collie” they told us, “but we have to shave her, so she’ll just look like a rat for a few months.”
We took her home and called her Dublin. Why? No other reason then Mark and I were in our Irish phase and she got branded with it. We got right to house breaking her when we noticed a problem right away…every time Mark spoke to her, she would pee a little. Not when I spoke, only Mark. Then we realized that she was terrified of men. Mark’s deep voice was scaring the “pee” out of her. So for the first 6 months, Mark spoke in a fake falsetto voice to her to make her more comfortable. REALLY wish I had a video of that…
It took us way longer to house train Dublin than most dogs. When Mark would get frustrated, “Why is this taking so long?” I had to remind him, “Hey! Be patient…she’s from a Spanish neighborhood. She doesn’t even speak English yet!”
Her hair grew back in nicely and she seemed to really fit in to our Hollywood lifestyle:
And just like that, Mark and I had a family. We became the couple that talked about their dog like their child. She went everywhere with us and did everything with us. We became these people:
We even signed Dublin up for activities. She was in agility classes and obedience classes. I have to admit I held her back in agility class. When I would run her through the course, the trainer would yell at me, “Faster, faster!” I whispered to Mark, “Why is he yelling at me? I’m going as fast as I can.” Mark, trying to be diplomatic said, “Well, Honey…it looks like you could go faster.”
Dublin liked to chase stranger’s feet when they walked into our house. We finally realized she was herding them. So, what do parents do when they have an inkling they’re child may have a talent? We signed her up for sheep herding class! If you have enough money…you can find anything in LA. We drove over an hour each way every Saturday, so our dog could herd sheep.
She was a natural. Took to it like she had been herding her entire life. The classes were really for Mark.
Dublin was our social life. She had playdates at the doggie parks in and around Los Angeles. We took her hiking and climbing:
She loved hats, especially mine:
That is…until our first human child came. Then Dublin had to learn to share us with the new screaming bundle of baby. Jealous was her new middle name:
But pretty soon, Dublin realized that this new “thing” was here to stay. They settled on their places in the “pack” Nate explored and Dublin watched over her “flock”.
Then one day, Dublin tried to jump a fence, not realizing there were steps on the other side. She shattered her left “ankle” and required surgery. Not just set-your-leg surgery, but create-a-new-leg-from-cadaver-dog-bones-crushed-into-a-paste-$5,000. kind of surgery. Yes, you read that right. $5,000. Our insurance wouldn’t cover it no matter how much I argued that she was our “baby”. We took turns “watching” over her while she healed:
Dublin has been with us from the beginning. Through 4 moves; 2 babies and a bearded dragon. She loved us unconditionally and gave us a million-fold in return for what we gave her.
We miss you already, Dub.
February 27, 1995 — March 1, 2012