Bare Lee Fits came into my kennel at The Woodlands with a bit of an open wound on his shoulder and a timidness that may or may not have been associated with it. He arrived with 3 of his brothers and one of his sisters, and they were very well bred. (His brother even said so. His name was Well Bread.) A mighty fine group of babies, and Craig and I set about to get them schooled on.
All but Bare Lee. His boo-boo needed attention before he could do much of anything. That was Craigs job. He also needed to happy up. Ah, there was my job.
Craig had seen me at work on timids before and pretty much left their happiness to me. He never said “Hey Betty, happy up this dog”, but it’s what I do. So while his brothers and sister went on to sprints and schools, Bare Lee basked in the glow of antibiotics and a life of leisure.
Hmmmmm…. a guy could get used to this, and he did. He also got very used to being the center of my world. As his wound healed, his confidence grew and he began to be a bouncy happy young fella. Yup, I do love it when my dogs happy up. Little did I know.. I was creating a monster. He was literally drenched in my attention, and by the time he was well enough to go out with the rest of the boys, his enthusiasm was just about explosive.
In fairness, the whole litter was highly enthusiastic. DoughBoy (which is what I called the aforementioned Well Bread) busted 2 of my ribs with his face one day, just because he was happy to see me. These were vibrant (and very large) boys, and while I wasn’t expecting it from DoughBoy, I was used to catching Bare Lee in midair when he launched his enormous self at me.
I learned a lot about doggie mentality with Bare Lee. My first concern is (and should be) the safety of the whole kennel, so it seemed right and proper to hurry this brute to bed as quickly as possible before he hurt anybody. 3 days of that, and I had an unhappy dog again. Damn.
The Kennel Boyfriend is not allowed to pounce me. I’m not very big and being pounced can hurt me badly, which we learned from the busted ribs incident. But my dog was unhappy, and I just can’t have that. Ok honey, you can pounce me. But please don’t damage me, and I’ll let you play if you keep your feet on the floor most of the time. Deal?
Apparently it was an acceptable arrangement and my handsome spotty boy happied right back up. Then, of course, there was the issue with his leash manners.
Um… he had none. Absolute zero. I know without a doubt that Craig stuck me with Bare Lee every chance he got, and he was certainly within his rights to do it. I had made this heathen, and he was mine to tame….. if taming could be accomplished. So there I’d be with my assortment of dogs to weigh in, and one of them would invariably be Bare Lee.
WAHOOOOIE!!!!!! WHAT’S THAT? WHAT’S THAT? WHAT’S THAT? LET’S GO OVER THERE! AND THERE AND THERE AND THERE! KEEP UP, DAMMIT! AREN’T GUM WRAPPERS FUNNY? WHAT’S THAT? HEY A SHRUBBERY!!!!!! I GOTTA PEE! I GOTTA PEE NOW! A TOAD!!! RIGHT THERE WHERE I DON’T WANT TO PEE ANYMORE!! HOW COOL IS THAT? IT JUMPS, IT JUMPS, IT JUMPS… IT’S BORING. OOH, THERE’S A PERSON WHO WANTS ME. WHY’S HE WALKING AWAY? I CAN CATCH HIM!
Bare Lee dragged me everywhere. I’m thankful for fences, bcause without them I have to believe I’d have been carried off to some final frontier. Or an asylum. But I loved that dog.
For all his whirlwind joie de vivre, my Bare Lee wasn’t a stellar performer. We’ll recall here that Boyfriend-ness doesn’t require this. The too bad part, of course, is that such a beastie is likely to go race someplace else. And so it happened with Bare Lee. I kissed his sweet head, told him to be a good boy, knew that he would ignore this advice completely, and watched the hauler carry him away.
The empty spot he left in the kennel was quickly gobbled up, and my hands were busy with the new arrivals. Beauties, each and all, with quirks and sillies and needs that I could fill. Bare Lee, my darling heathen, didn’t need me anymore… or did he?
On a whim one day, several weeks later, I googled him, just to see if there was anything to see. I had no idea where he’d gone, or if he was even still racing. And I do lousy searches. There would be nothing, I was sure of it. And I hit the enter key.
I shall never doubt Google again.
I found my Bare Lee at his new racing venue, where it appeared that he was in “rest mode”, and sent a screaming message to a friend, who loved him too. “I FOUND BARE LEE!!!!!” I didn’t know if she was even home. In an instant, she responded. “WHERE?????” I gave her everything I had (which wasn’t a lot) and she worked her end. Neither of us was in a position to adopt him, we were both hundreds of miles from him, but we were hell bent to get his local adoption group interested in him. Oh please, oh please…..
I don’t know what strings were pulled, what promises made, and I really don’t care…. because a few days later, I got an email from a woman I didn’t know. His brand new foster mommy declared that she was delighted with him. “He has one speed, and no brakes!” That’s my boy, alright. I apologized for his terrible manners. She forgave me. “Oh no, he’s wonderful! Don’t you dare be sorry!” And in the weeks that followed, she shared his adventures with me. I clung fiercely to every word, laughed my ass off and cried happy tears. My sweetie boy was in the very best of hands. And then….
“He’s adopted!! They love him to bits!” And she directed me to his adoption page, where his smiling happy family surrounded him in a photo.
My Bare Lee. In the arms of people who loved him.