We Named Him Diesel

I heard your story about Sprite and wanted to share mine about our pup. In March, 2000, we went to the Pinellas County animal shelter in hopes of finding and adopting the perfect dog. The manager told us to hang in there for a week as he had a litter that was hot and they would arrive within that week. The puppies mother was shot by some kid with a cross bow and shelter volunteers were raising the pups in their home. They were golden brown in color, part Chow and part Shepard with a generous amount of moody but intelligent Terrier. They would probably grow to be around 60 lbs. Just right!

The manager called me on the day the puppies were to arrive, we were there, when the car arrived and helped to welcome all six of the 8 week old puppies to the shelter. After watching them for an hour or so, one small male seemed to be dominant. This guy ran everybody else off when he wanted a drink from the water dish. He blundered his way through the crowded puppy pen, at will, and pushed everyone out of the way to do it. Yes, this was to be our dog. We paid the shelter and took him home with us.

When he arrived at our home, this 6 lb pile of fur went around making everybody tow the line. The cat was simply an annoyance while he was bent and determined to take my wife’s place in the pecking order of the house. We named him Diesel and he lived up to his moniker. I was safe and he had no designs of making me submit to his will but everything and everybody else was subject to a surprise attack or relentless toying. He was one lovable mess.

One morning, 3 weeks after his arrival, we woke up and found Diesel’s left eye was enormous. I went into a rage thinking the cat had scratched his eye. Our vet was blocks from the house and I put the cat in her carrier and somehow didn’t kill her before getting her to the vet and instructing them to de-claw her. I would pick her up later, maybe much later, maybe never. The vet went to work on Diesel’s eye and after much study declared the problem to be glaucoma. There was nothing he could do but sent me to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist in St. Pete Fl.

Diesel and I arrived at the Veterinary Ophthalmologist office later that night at his first available appointment. There was nothing he could do either. He indicated that the left eye was gone, the dog was in tremendous pain and the right eye would experience the same fate in the not too distant future.

We thought of everything we could to save the dog. We talked to several doctors and even considered getting a Seeing Eye dog that would show him the ropes as only a dog could do. Nothing made sense. He had 2 options, live in pain and blind or be put down.

I refused to put him through that so I took him back to the shelter. I couldn’t even talk as I was choking and sobbing. Finally, I told an assistant working at the shelter that there was a dog on the front seat of my car that needed to be destroyed. Diesel knew what I was doing so, he took a wiz on the front seat of my car as a sort of personal reminder. I drove it for another 2 years and when I sold it, you could still smell the urine.

We decided that since we wanted a dog, we ought to try again. Two weeks later, we were back at the shelter. The manager told us that 2 of the pups, both females, from the original litter had contracted Kennel Cough and had been isolated. There they were, in the back of a small painted concrete enclosure. They both looked just like Diesel. One was slightly more dominant than the other so we selected her. By then they had grown to almost 13 lbs. With a deep breath, lots of fear and high hopes, we took the dog that was to be named Caleb, home with us. Biblical text tells us that when the Israelites were going into the next area, they sent 12 scouts out to spy on the land. 10 of those scouts came back shivering in their sandals while Joseph and Caleb were ready to take on the inhabitants, just like God told them to do.

Caleb was adopted in April of 2000. She’s 8 yrs old now and has arthritis. Someone forgot to tell her she is a dog and she is content just being a part of the family! Dinner for Caleb is at 5:00 every night. At 5:01 somebody gets nudged toward the dinner dish. We don’t know where she keeps her watch. She goes out on our pontoon boat with us, plays with all the neighborhood kids and has reached dizzying heights of spoiled and laziness. The dog is so intelligent that we can’t get away with anything around her. She’s fiercely protective and has a growl that will get your attention, in spades. She likes everybody and wouldn’t know what it was like to be on the outs with anyone. She’s never attacked anyone and has never needed anything more than a stern word to get her back on track when stubbornness takes over. She’s a happy pup and we’re happy to have her.

Dave From Florida