Monday, February 8, 2010

Patti Kelly & Mighty

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, I am Patti Kelly and am a retired utility company worker who for about 15 years ran a no-kill animal rescue facility. To occupy my free time now that I am down to one dog and two cats, I started to blog and I just had my one year anniversary. The New Sixty is my blog site and I have met such a wonderful group of people through cyberspace.

My dog is the wonder dog, Mighty. He is an almost male, terrier mix approximately 12 years old. He came to me as a stray so age is a guesstimate. Mighty has two separate appearances dependent on the season. Winter, he is in full shaggy, long hair attire while the rest of the year he is closely shaved and macho looking. I really like the buzz cut look but appreciate his need for the longer coat in the cold.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Mighty and I share space every morning as I have my coffee. Usually I am on the computer tending to my blog duties while he is on the bed quite near me. Each time I roll back in the chair looking for that just right sentence, my hand seeks his head to stroke and I use that time to search for the elusive words. He is a great muse and is frequently the subject of my posts.

What's brewing?

I NEED coffee to make the morning all better but do not have sophisticated taste buds. I sometimes grind my beans, sometimes stoop to Instant but really can't tell the difference. I have been known to rave about someone's coffee only to learn it was the Walmart store brand. However, DO NOT take those two cups of tasty caffeine away from me in the AM. Serve it in a Razorback mug, black and hot, and I am happy.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Not really. Don't know why. I suppose if a tray of donuts walked by, I would snag one but normally it is just me, the mug, the computer and Mighty.

Any treat for Mighty on this occasion?

Aww, Mighty can't have treats due to a newly discovered gluten intolerance. Quite by accident I learned that his frequent idiopathic seizures he has had since I found him were caused by gluten intolerance. Last June, Mighty ruptured the ACL tendon in his knee (this was his second knee to collapse). Since he was on pain meds for a while, I gave him wet food to make it easier on his stomach and to reward him for the painful therapy. Oddly the whole three months of therapy, he did not have one seizure. At the end of the 90 days, I returned him to his dry food and he had a seizure that same day. After discovering which was the harmful ingredient, I now feed him gluten free food and NO seizures. If this helps anyone having the same problem with their pet, that would be wonderful.

How did Mighty come to be united with you?

I ran a no-kill animal shelter for 15 years. People knew where I lived and would drop dogs off in my general area hoping we would find each other. One day a really cute terrier mix stood patiently at my gate by the road. I opened the gate and let him in. Ignoring me, he marched on ahead, past the penned up dogs, right up my gate to the house and waited while I opened it for him. He then sat by my door, again waiting for me to open it. Dutifully I did, he marched in and launched himself onto the couch. That little fellow chose me and let me know in no uncertain terms, he was to be my house pet. I had no say in the matter.

How did he get his name? Does he have any aliases?

I usually let my dogs name themselves. After a couple of hundred dogs take up temporary residence, one loses creativity in names. "Spot" starts looking original. He was tearing around the pasture one day at full speed. His ears and coat were flying in the breeze. "You look like Mighty Dog." I said and he slammed on the brakes and perked up his ears. Perhaps he just thought I was discussing dinner but regardless, I decided he liked the name. He recently earned a middle name that he is now getting called a lot.

While on a recent vacation, I was walking with my brother and Mighty. My brother Jim could not believe how many times the dog could pee on everything he saw over 6 inches high. Jim watched as Mighty managed to squeeze a drop out each time. Eventually though, Mighty just ran dry.

Jim looked at me and said. "I see you have a French dog."

"French dog?" I asked puzzled.

"Yes... pee air."

Well, that totally cracked me up and the little fellow now answers to Pierre as easily as Mighty.

Where is Mighty's favorite place to go for an outing?

I have one acre fenced so he can run free here but he does like new smells and the city park or the National Forest supply those. I try to take him on leash to either place at least once a week.

Tennis ball, stick, Frisbee...?

He gives me a very superior look if I even try one of those toys. He finds no joy, no reason, no sense in retrieving something only to have it tossed away again. He is too much the intellectual for such falderal.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Rabbit, now that is different. That is alive and varies its running patterns. It has smell and one can only imagine it also has great taste unlike a Frisbee. Mighty totally understands the logic of pursuing game. Of course since he is running on two repaired knees, the rabbit has no fear. It is all done in slow motion but he doesn't care. Mighty rules and rabbits run.

What's an ordinary day like for Mighty?

His first thing of course is his morning toilet. The frigid weather lately has really taken the fun out of that. When your belly is only 4 inches off the ground and the snow is four inches deep, anyone can easily see the problem. Everything he holds dear is dragging through the snow. After he hurriedly takes care of business, it is breakfast and then on to the bed to be my muse as I post. He is getting up in years and his bladder retention is not so good, so we go for walks about every two hours. I say walks but all I have to do is stand on the porch and watch. He won't go out without me but I don't have to walk with him. He just wants me within eyesight. At night we snuggle on the couch for a little TV then off to bed.

If Mighty could change anything about you, what would it be?

Those rare occasions when no matter how hard he pleads, nor how cute he looks, I force him to stay home while I galavant.

Who is Mighty's best pet-pal?

Probably Mickey, who is an old cat he has grown up with. Ninety percent of the time they ignore each other but on occasion they have a spontaneous romp like youngsters.

What are Mighty's best qualities?

His slave like devotion and his totally nonjudgmental attitude towards me. He sees none of my faults. God love him.

What's Mighty's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Proudest would be recovering from such severe surgeries and being able to actually chase creatures out of the yard on those bionic knees which are held together with pins, screws and 80 pound test fishing line.

His most embarrassing is still rankling in his belly. I took him to the city park while he was still in therapy. He was on a leash, minding his own business when a 3 pound Miniature Pinscher pounced on him and threw him to the ground. The dog then stood on Mighty's face and shoved it in the dirt. If only it had been a big dog -- and with the excuse of being lame -- he might not have felt the dreadful shame he still carries. But it was an old, white muzzled dog, one third his size and a female to boot. Each time we go to the park now, he looks for the terrible Fifi. He really wants a rematch.

Read more about Mighty and Patti's adventures at The New Sixty.

--Marshal Zeringue