A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!
This little cutie pie is Chewy (a Shih-Tzu). We adopted Chewy 7 years ago when she was 4 years old (or at least that is what our Animal Control officer guessed her age to be). Chewy came from an abusive environment and we really had our “work” cut out for us.
Nick the Husky was going on 4 when we adopted Chewy. He had lost his “roommate”, She-ba (a Samoyed) 6 months prior; the only other dog he had known since he was taken from his litter mates at 6 weeks of age. He mourned She-ba for a long time and we didn’t know how he would take to this little girl. He fell in love with her almost immediately…too bad she doesn’t feel the same about him! It didn’t matter to him that he outweighed her by 50 pounds or so, but Chewy just couldn’t “cotton” to Nick. Over the years she’s gotten so she accepts his sniffs and that he wants to lay down beside her and be where she is….as long as he doesn’t get TOO close.
When we adopted Chewy (that was not her name when she came to live with us), she didn’t even know how to play. She didn’t even make a sound! No growling, no yipping, no barking at all. She was such a sad little thing. The only time she made any noise was while she was asleep and she would “cry” in her sleep. We found she was afraid of a lot of things; babies crying on TV, the gas oven (we THINK she relates that to smoke alarms, but not sure), and she could predict a thunderstorm days in advance of it actually arriving. She also was afraid of men when we got her so it was a long time before she took to Dan. The strangest thing she was (and still is) afraid of is GUM! That is correct, GUM..chewing GUM scares her! Even if she sees you unwrap it, she will vacate the immediate area.
Her previous owners did not take proper care of her; didn’t keep her groomed, keep her ears clean, etc. Because they didn’t keep her groomed and keep her hair out of her eyes, she already had “blind spots” at age 4. Currently, because her sight continues to diminish, we have night lights all over the place; our hall way could serve as a landing strip for small aircraft. And we don’t dare move the furniture. She no longer can hear, but she can smell! A marshmallow wrapped in foil, placed inside a flannel shirt pocket from 200 yards is considered fair game to her. She also has/had severe food allergies which apparently had never been addressed so we cater to those needs as well. We wish we could make up for the FIRST 4 years of her little life but do the best we can to make her happy and comfy.
She is a stubborn and determined little thing. And she can make us laugh and bring tears to our eyes at the same time. Chewy is no dummy. One of her favorite things to do is to get off the bed in the middle of the night, wait for me to come to her in the hallway (making me think she wants outside), then she races back and jumps on the bed and is all curled up on MY SIDE before I can even get back! I got wise to this diversion about the 4th time around.
And like Nick, she goes on vacation with us too, although lately she is getting so she doesn’t travel well. We’ve had some very interesting trips with our dogs, but her especially. There are so many memories that I could write pages and pages but I won’t do that to you. One of the funniest things she did on vacation while we were in the van, traveling down the road. I had opened a package of cookies and in trying to open it, several flew out. Chewy was right there to claim the one that landed closest to her. These cookies were about 3 inches in diameter and Chewy’s mouth is about 1 inch! She managed to get that cookie in her mouth and took off to the back of the van, ducking, dodging and going around and under duffel bags, past a confused looking Nick..anyplace she could get to where I couldn’t reach her. I wouldn’t have tried to take that cookie out of her mouth anyway because she would have bitten my hand off at the elbow! She reminded me of a Ubangi tribesperson; I think that is the tribe that has the “plates” in their lips?? As soon as the cookie was gone, she made her way back to her spot on my lap. What a fulfilled look she had…along with crumbs on her face.
Another time, in our kitchen, I was trying to scoop out some very hard ice cream. Chewy was sitting at the end of the counter (on the floor) scrutinizing the situation and trying to look disinterested. I gave a big “heave-ho” on that ice cream spoon and the ice cream that I managed to quarry out flew and landed right at Chewy’s feet. Before I could even THINK to make a grab for it, she already had it in her mouth…sticking out both sides. She made a mad dash to her little “hooch” and kept her back to the world while she devoured her gift from Heaven. I was afraid she’d have “brain freeze”.
Chewy has been “Daddy’s little munchkin” for several years…especially if he has a batch of popcorn. She is showing her age and it pains us when she is in pain and it hurts us to think of her first four years of life and how unfair it was. WE do believe that she had been kicked and thrown before we got her (just from the feel of some of her bones and the way she stands at times). I feel badly that she can’t hear us (or anything for that matter) so we try to cuddle her and let her know how much she is loved. She doesn’t like to be cuddled as much any more because even that apparently is causing her discomfort (yes, we are trying to treat her aches and pains). When she does allow you to cuddle or snuggle, she “purrs” with contentment. And as with all the dogs previous to Chewy and Nick, we say “When these two are gone, NO MORE!”. We ARE the type of pet owners that do know when it is time to put an end to a pets suffering, no matter how difficult it may be. But for as long as we can keep Chewy and Nick comfortable and they can enjoy their lives, go for walks, eat and sleep, they will be in OUR lives and going on vacations with us.