Hi, Everybody -
Danny told me about this forum and how much support there was here for the stories about my little puppy Roo. When I saw for myself, I was amazed. I'm so grateful to all of you for caring so much about Roo. I never really knew a Golden Retriever well, and in her all the beauty of the immense spirit of these dogs shines through.
As I write this, Roo and I are in Boulder, Colorado. As Danny mentioned in a post, the place I happened to rent in Vermont was strangely situated right where about a dozen (or so it sounded) people went to shoot in the forest. I rented the place because it was supposed to be extremely peaceful. It was, as you can imagine, pretty hard on the little Roo girl.
When she was in Boulder two months ago, she arrived at a new level of happiness. Especially because of one small lake where lots of dogs go to swim, she was able to meet and play with lots of dogs. She had just experienced water in nature for the first time a few days before, and playing with dogs not long before that. The combination of the two? Well, you're all more experienced Golden people than I am, so you can imagine how happy that made her. What a deep satisfaction that brought to her kind, damaged soul.
So I brought her back. We got a late start on Friday because I was bitten by a deer tick and had to get some doxycycline to prevent Lyme Disease from taking hold. We drove 500 miles Friday and stopped at Clarion, PA. Staying in motels is hard on Roo. Se gets very frightened. That place was harder than most, because it had two big mirrors in the tiny room, to make it appear bigger, and that spooked her. I always worry about setting her back.
On Saturday we covered about 800 miles. Roo is the perfect shotgun rider. Never a complaint. Every once in a while, lying in the passenger seat (she's tiny for a Golden, and can curl up on the front seat of my tiny Scion), she puts a paw on my thigh and presses down. When I look over at her, she is gazing at me, right in the eyes, unblinking. Boy. Does that ever hit me hard.
Saturday night we stopped in Sweet Water, Missouri, at a Rodeway. It was clean and quiet, and yet, that room, for some reason, really terrified Roo. I had to get some sleep, though, so all I could do was get her out of there as early as possible in the morning.
After another 750 miles on Sunday, we made it to Boulder. It was dark, and that made it harder for Roo. She definitely has problems with the dark. I have to leave night lights on for her. The first night - last night - she slept under a little table. When the sun came up, she hopped up on the bed.
Today she got her reward. We went back to Coot Lake, and Roo expressed pure joy - ebullience, genuine happiness - for two and a half straight hours. I've never seen her smile so much, prance and pounce so much. From the moment she arrived there and recognized where she was, until a last sunset dip that she couldn't resist, even though she was shivering by then, every minute was filled with happiness for her.
So, we're here in Boulder. I'll try to find a place that will be easy on her. And I believe that with her strength of character, her basic dog-goodness, that she will prevail. I see her getting better all the time, in spite of the fact that she has a hard go of it every day. Someone did some bad things to her. Things that, frankly, I'm not bighearted enough to forgive. I don't have any sympathy for people who abuse animals. When someone abuses a young puppy, I'm not sure that that person has anything left to recommend him to the world. Every morning, when I see Roo wake up, I can't help thinking about how she was hurt.
Well. Thank you all again for caring so much about Roo. And a special thanks to Danny for his big heart. I hope you all have a chance to visit the facebook page, where I post updates about this sweet puppy. Before too long I'll set up a web site - a suggestion of Danny's that makes perfect sense - and limit the facebook stuff. But for the time being, you don't need an account there. They make it look like you do, but you don't - you can just scroll down to the stories and pictures. The address is http://facebook.com/thedogintheclouds
Take care - and I'll be back, because I can use some guidance and I bet this is the place to find it.
Roo Kahoo, AKA Junior, & Brian