Gummy Bear          Twix         Aikman          Jackson

 


 

Twix

 

Below is the Story of Twix. Parts to be added as they are remembered or as they occur.

 

Cleaning the Dishes

With us since September 7th, 2005

 

The Story of Twix

 

 

Part 1: Getting a New Dog

 

New dog TwixIt was May of 2005. I just earned my Masters degree and moved up from Texas to live with my Fiancée in Buffalo. We moved in together in her tiny apartment while we were waiting to close on our first house.  Stressful, yes, but we got through it. After closing on the house, we moved in towards the end of June. Now Veronica has brought up the idea now and then of owning a dog but we wanted to wait until we were living together (basically she didn’t want me to get a dog without her). I grew up with dogs around the house. We had a toy poodle, Rocky, while I was a kid (nasty little thing) and then my sister had some dogs while she lived with us (Claude who would mosey around and Jimmy, a wiener type dog, short fat and cute). Veronica never had a dog before so this would be a new experience for her. So we decided to get a dog, but I convinced her to hold off until I had a job and received my first paycheck. She was in her second year of medical school and we were living mostly off her loans at the time while I was looking around.

 

Two of a KindI had a geology degree but I could not find anywhere that would hire me, either because I was over-qualified or not qualified enough. So eventually I found myself doing credit collections. I know, not the dream job of most Americans, but it paid the bills. So I got the job on August 15th and the first paycheck came in on September 2nd. And true to her word she was at the SPCA before I even got off work. So I show up to the SPCA, with check still in hand and I went to find her. Well she was just finishing up getting the paperwork done (where since I was not there it was all in her name) and we went to go look through the dogs.

 

The first row had some cute puppies and a lot of barking dogs but nothing that really stood out to us. The second row was more of the same, deafening barking, and jumping dogs. We were starting to get a little discouraged but we kept on walking through. By the time we got to the last row, towards the back, we saw a two year old, short haired, black and white, husky mix, who was not barking and who jumped up on the door and tentatively slid her head into position for us to pet her. Well we just fell in love. We took her outside for a walk and I could tell that she had a playful streak in her, which I was excited for, but she was still very timid in her surroundings so we decided right there to adopt her.

 

We told the people we wanted Snickers there, they pointed to the dog in the next kennel over and we’re like “noooo, this one” pointing to our dog. And they were like no, “That’s Twix”. Well it turns out that she arrived about 15 minutes before we did to the shelter with a group of dogs from Ohio and they were all named after candy, Snickers, Twix, and Rollo, and the name signs were a little confusing. Well since she was a new arrival she still needed to be spayed and get her vaccines so we had to wait the long Labor Day holiday weekend to take her home. So we placed her back in her kennel and left, getting excited to be new dog owners. On our way out I wished another couple, a father and daughter who were looking around, “good luck”. He said “Thanks, but you took our dog.” She really was the best one there.

 

Well the surgery took place the next Tuesday on the 6th, and we ended up taking her home on the Sept 7th, still a little woozy and in pain from the surgery and drugs, but she was cute and she was ours.

 

 

Part II: Getting Acclimated

 

So, for the most part Twix acclimated pretty well with us and us with her. She does not have some of the fantastic stories that Aikman left us with but she has a few good ones of her own. When we first brought her home it was immediately evident that we were her saviors. We could not walk out of a room without her following us wherever we went. She would curl up in the hallway when we went to the bathroom. She would curl up on the couch when we watched TV. And that is how she was for pretty much the first several months to the first year that we had her.
   

When she first arrived we were told she had come from another pound in Ohio and that she recently had just given birth to puppies. She also just got spaded so she was not in the best of shape. She looked depressed but she still devoted every ounce of love on us that she could. But then Veronica had to go to school and I had to go work and Twix was left home alone. This would not have been such a problem but she had an extreme case of separation anxiety. So we decided that she should spend the day down in the basement. It was a mostly finished basement and had a TV and a couch, so she could lounge around during the day and if she had an accident it was OK because the floor was tile and it would clean up easily. Other than the couple of pillows I lost to separation anxiety nothing bad really happened. She was already house trained so that went off without a hitch. She would freak out when we left and be in a state of utter exuberance when we returned but we slowly convinced her that we would always come back and the freak outs became less and less. She still bounces around when we return, 5 years later, but we have grown accustomed to it, and look forward to it now, a kind of over the top welcome home.

Game Time

 

When we got Twix Veronica immediately set out to find clothes to dress her up in. Unfortunately (or fortunately in Twix’s case) she could never find anything large enough to fit a normal size dog. Everything we found came in mini form for all those mini “dogs”. But she did find a jersey that looked like it would fit her. Well Veronica is a bit of a Bill’s nut and the colors matched pretty well so we got it and squeezed it onto her (see picture to the right). Well over the next couple of days we noticed that Twix was acting strange. It couldn’t be the jersey. Why would it be that? Well after I managed to get the jersey off of Twix she was back to her bouncing around self. It turns out the jersey was so small on her it was suffocating her or something so she couldn’t move. Poor dog. Well we reached a compromise and shredded the jersey to a point that Twix could still wear it and it wouldn’t strangle her.

 

When Twix had to go out we would have to walk her from the side door of the house to the backyard since the gate was about 10 feet from the house. So we would let her out and she would run around, sometimes we would run around with her. And she would stay outside until she was ready to come in. At that point she would stand next to the gate and look for us in the window where we could see her from the kitchen. Well when the weather started to get nicer we would let her out for longer and longer periods of time. And then we started to notice that instead of wanting to come in she would just stand and stair up into the trees at the back of the house (see picture below). After watching her do this for a little while she would start to run back and forth along the fence, all the while looking up. We realized she was chasing squirrels that were running along the telephone wires and the trees back there.

 

Squirrel Time                 Squirrel Time

 

So one day we saw in the store a stuffed squirrel. And we thought it would be a perfect gift for her. DuelBut we didn’t want to just give it to her. We wanted Twix to think she caught one of the squirrels. So when we got home we placed it in the fence and let her out. Well she ran around for a little while, did her usual search routine around the yard to make sure nothing was out of place, then she noticed it. She stopped dead in her tracks and slowly crept up to the fence. She sniffed it for a second then ripped it out of the fence and shook it around. That was when it started to be her new best friend and carry it around everywhere. Whenever we came home from being out she would run to the door and greet us then she would go fetch the Squirrel to show us. It became her new best friend. Wherever Twix went, Squirrel went. They became inseparable. She would snuggle with it in her sleep (see picture above) and she would just carry it around from room to room. All I could ever thing of was Pookie from the Garfield cartoons.

 

One of the things that is great about Twix is that she loves to play. She is definitely a fighter as well. So when we fight it is a no-holds-bar, all out fight. She will snarl and snap and anyone passing by would think that she is mauling me, but she has never injured me. She will bite your hand but never bit down. When we first got her Veronica was a little afraid because she never had a dog before so I showed her that it was OK. Twix was not going to hurt her. So I put my hand in her mouth and I grabbed onto her lower jaw. Twix struggled and got my hand off of her but I showed Veronica that it was no big deal. Pretty quickly she came to be rough housing with Twix just as I do.


Drugged DogAbout a year after we got her we had to take her in to the vet to get some blood work done. Well we quickly realized earlier that she was not the vet kind of dog. She refused to even enter the vet. When I finally coaxed her into the office, it was a struggle the entire way to the scale and then to the exam room. When the vet examined her everything was going ok, until he decided to take a blood sample to test for heartworm. Well even with 2 nurses and I holding her down we could not take a sample. She would not hold still. So the doctor gave her some tranquilizers. We waited a little bit for them to take effect and we tried again, still to no avail. So the vet decided to give her the good stuff, the kind of stuff that knocks you on your ass. We waited a little while and after a struggle that she was still able to put up we finally got the sample. After that we went home and we gave her a treat for being such a good girl, at which point she just passed out holding the treat in her mouth (see picture to right). That is one of the funniest pictures of her because you can see her eyes are all bloodshot and she doesn’t even have the energy to eat the treat.

 

 

Part III – Life with Twix

 

Cuddling with the Puppy
In general, living with Twix has been fantastic. She is an energetic dog who loves to play, but she is getting up there in years. When we first got her, she had to sleep on the floor on her bed. Then slowly we started to let her hop up on the bed on weekends and cuddle with us. After we got Aikman, we still allowed this to happen, just not all of the time. After we moved to Utah, this changed, which I will get into in a bit. With bringing Aikman in, she was very put off by this. She was grumpy for many months afterwards and wouldn’t play like she used to. But slowly she started to get used to him and although I don’t think they ever became the best of friends, I think she had a grudging respect for Aikman and missed him when he was gone. She eventually reverted back to her playful attitude and would even try to get Aikman to play. The funny thing is, is that I don’t think Aikman ever really had the opportunity to play before so Twix and him played in two very different ways. It was like a round peg trying to get stuck in a square hole.

 

After having Aikman for a few months we packed up the whole family and moved from New York to Utah for school and work. During the trip Veronica and I both drove our own cars so we would take one dog each and switch them throughout the ride at pit stops and on different travel days. It was fun, having a nose nudge you as you were driving. Although Aikman usually would put himself off in the back of the car, Twix would lay her head on the center console, hoping to get some love.


About 6 months after we finally moved in to our house in Utah, we were out shopping for some dog food and stumbled upon a pet adoption fair going on. Well this led to the newest addition to the family (at the time), Jackson. With the addition of Jackson, Twix went back to her moody self (she really doesn’t like change). And she stayed that way again for a few months. However, the addition of one more dog created a sleeping problem. Twix PosingWe had a dog bed on one side of the bed for Twix and the other side for Aikman. In order to put in a new bed it would have to be at the foot of the bed and Jackson was a super anxious dog and that just wasn’t going to fly with him. So what we ended up doing was allowing Twix up on the bed all night long, for every night. She has been sprawled out on our bed ever since. And although she usually gives me my ample room (probably because I will just slide under her) she often ends up laying on Veronica, providing her with her own personal heated blanket (much to her chagrin).


After Twix got acclimated to Jackson being around, there was one more big surprise in the works; Gummy Bear. We knew that the dogs would have to get used to have a toddler running around so we did our best to prepare them for it by pulling on their tails and pushing them around. And although I think it worked in the end, we always worried about what Twix Tummy Rubwould do, because she is a rather surly character at times. It turns out that even though she got grumpy as usual, which lasted far longer this time, she never snapped or got annoyed at the kid. For the most part she just ignored or avoided her. Letting the kid pet her and after a bit of trying, letting the kid give her treats and love. Gummy Bear was never in full “torment the dog” mode, so that was good, but in general Twix would tolerate her presence.

 

Lately the surly, grumpy Twix has switched over to the lovable, snuggle Twix. Now, whenever she can she nuzzles up to me. She will often come and stand next to me while I eat dinner and nudge my hand to pet her. And even if I’m not petting her, she will just place her head against my side under my arm while I eat. She has almost returned to her playful puppy stage, and has been in this mode for a couple of years now. It is nice. Age is starting to take its toll on her though. A few times I have taken her on runs with me. The last time I tried was for a 5K run. On the final half mile of the run, she was done. By this point she was not only walking but I literally had to pull her just to make it back home. She only does running in brief sprints now.

 

               Twix and Husky