Poor poor Gertie! Gertie has been in our lives for SIX MONTHS now and she hasn’t made it on the blog, whoops! We adopted Gertude Elliott-Bair on February 24, 2018. She’s a little white Frenchie, or French Bulldog if you happen to have been living under a rock over the last few years. February 24th is Heather’s Dad’s birthday so she was almost Billie, but it didn’t seem to fit.
Here’s the story of how she came to us…
Heather had been wanting a second dog for years, and I had been resisting. She’s the lover/dreamer and I’m the asshole/stick in the mud. I accept myself for who I am. Anyway, I started getting into and began perusing Petfinder (where found Mozey) and scouting all the local rescues. We went to meet a few dogs, and even did a weekend trial with Stefan (yes, STEFAN) who was NOT a good fit. Poor Stefan was a runner and had me leaping fences and yelling at cars the two times he bolted out our front door. No bueno. Since I felt super guilty about that failed trail, I stalked the rescue’s FB site and can tell you that Stefan found a home, one I surely hope comes with a ton of land for him to roam!
Cut to a few months later. My good friend Sarah’s mom breeds French Bulldogs and, while I was in NYC on a business trip, she called to tell me her mom had a dog she was giving away and that I was at the top of the list if we wanted her. You see, Gertie has a heart murmur, which made a normally multiple-thousand-dollar puppy free. Apparently, Gertie was promised to a family, and when she was offered free-of-charge due to her health problems, the family decided not to take on the added challenge.
After seeing her photo, I went through all of the levels of decision making…
Step 1: That will never happen.
Step 2: Tell my wife, just so I don’t feel guilty about making an executive decision without her.
Step 3: Call Sarah, is this real?
Step 4: How long would she live?
Step 5: FaceTime with said puppy and immediately commit to being her life-long family and picking her up the next morning.
I think Sarah texted me on a Tuesday and four-pound Gertie was in our laps, driving to her forever home on Saturday. Weird how that happens huh? Gertie is my first-ever puppy, and holy shit. Just, holy shit. Well, so much shit. And pee. And oh my lordddd so much the adorableness. That about sums it up.
I used to always say that puppies didn’t need me. Everyone loves a puppy. Let me give a home to the old, haggard dogs or weird bat-like mutts. Oh wait, I did that. And plan to again one day! But, I have to say I am glad to have gone through the puppy process. I’m not sure I’ll do it again, but DAMN was she cute.
There were a lot of unknowns when we took her home. If her life would be shortened by her heart problems, or if the murmur would close up as she aged, as it does in a lot of dogs and humans, or if it was just NBD, business as usual.
—At her 8-week appointment, right after we adopted her, the vet said her murmur was at a 2-3 on a scale of 1-6. So, semi-bad, in vet-technical-smart-people-terms.
—At her 12-week appointment, they said it was a 1. NBD mode. We celebrated!
—At her 16-week appointment, they rescinded the earlier good news and said it really was a 2-3 still. Knowing this, they would not put her under anesthesia to spay her until we got an echocardiogram.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to take her to one of the “big cities” within a 2 hour drive, as our vet claimed, to see a specialist. We were able to drop mad cash right in our own backyard on a doggie cardiologist. Keep it local folks. There, we were thrilled to learn that the type of murmur she has doesn’t impose any health risks, need for medication or increased anesthesia risk. HUZZAH!
As I sit here writing, little Gertie was spayed one week ago today. We also had her nose done, because, we have standards. No, really, our vet recommended she have nair surgery to increase the flow of oxygen and decrease the pull on her gastric system that happens when you suck air through a straw your whole life. Frenchies are adorable because they have smashed faces (not really a great thing) but they also have very small nostrils – so we had those puppies widened so she can live a better life. While we were dropping mad cash (again, I say, keeping it local) we also had Mozey put under to have a surgery we’ve been putting off: to fix a broken tooth and remove a growth on her eyelid.
So yes, both of my children have stitches in their faces right now. And sadly, they are both pissed about it. I feel like a real parent, with two expensive kids who currently hate me that i”m completely obsessed with. I guess that’s a true sign of (dog)parenthood!