LEXI 2012 06 16 3 playing hide and seek most recent image at 9lbs 2 oz Lexi today

A little over a year ago, I adopted a scrawny, 7 pound little dog with some matted hair even after the Humane Society had cleaned him up.  I now have a 9 pound 2 ounce, silky haired, mischievous little dog that has given me a lot of joy and a few heart attacks.

I am delighted to show you Lexi’s progress over the last year. 

The top image shows Lexi the day he came home from the Humane Society, a little leery but very self assured.  He came in the door and without any hesitation, marched into the house and inspected every inch, nook and cranny.  However, he spent weeks glued to me, wherever I went, he went, nose no more than 2 inches away from the back of my leg.

Eventually, he started getting some confidence, and would not have to be in the same room with me.  He not only started playing with his toys, but he was initiating play with me.  He now brings me his toys, drops them at my feet, and expects me to throw them to the far end of the house.

That independence also gave me a few heart attacks, proof of which is in the second image.  I called him to go out for a walk, and he had disappeared.  Where could he be, could he have gotten out of the house? 

 After searching and calling for quite a while, I went into my bedroom, and there, between the pillows on the bed I could see a little black nose resting on the bolster.  The image shows him coming out from his hiding place. 

The most notable one was when the car port door did not close properly when I went out,  the wind blew it open, and this black and white blur came running out.  He sat in the cul de sac, looked down the hill, took off chasing something and disappeared into the desert across the street. 

Now, in my neighborhood we have among others, coyotes, rattlesnakes, bobcats, javelinas, a huge feral cat and a report of a mountain lion seen on top of the hill – all of which could make a meal out of him very quickly. 

About 45 minutes later, with the sun going down fast, and after 3 of my neighbors and I had walked and driven up and down the development calling his name, he came out of the desert, then jumped into the car when I opened the door looking very satisfied with himself.  It was one of those occasions when you first kiss them and hug them, and then strangle them!

The third picture shows him a couple of months ago and the last one was taken today.  This is my silky haired, sweet, happy and mischievous little dog after one year of good food, long walks, playtime, and lots of belly scratching who again got a clean bill of health when we went for his annual checkup.  And the tail on the last picture is blurry because it is always in perpetual motion.

Other things have happened over the past year, but those are stories for another time.

What a difference a year makes!


Meet Lexi!

No, he is not a desert tortoise, that is still on the back burner.  

I visited the Humane Society a couple of months ago and came home with Vesper, promptly renamed Lexi.  The Society had named him Vesper for some unfathomable reason, but it was clear, at least to me, that he did not care for that name – he never responded when I called him Vesper.  I thought a change to something that flowed from the tongue a bit better was in order.  So Lexi it is, and he does come when I call him.

According to the Humane Society, Lexi is a Papillon mix – I should also add that there seems to be an awful lot of Chihuahua in that mix.   He has turned out to be a very sweet, friendly little dog that thankfully came home already housebroken.  There have been no accidents at all.    🙂     Lexi is already friends with the Yorkie next door, the dogs (5 very large ones and a Silky terrier) that we occasionally go with on early morning walks in the park, and every other dog and human he has met.  What a pleasure!

 

For the first few weeks, wherever I went in the house, there was a little cold nose bumping into the back of my calf – he did not and still does not really like to be left alone. Things have improved, and he now ventures alone to all parts of the house.

 

 

One interesting thing he did is that when he thought I was not looking, he would pick up a toy and literally tiptoe out of the room.  But as soon as he got to the hallway, he would run with the toy and I could hear him thrashing it and playing with it out of sight.  Did he once live with other dogs/kids/adults that would steal his toys?  Guess I will never find out.  But I am happy to say that he now feels comfortable enough to play with this toys in places where he knows I can see him.

Lexi weighed 7 pounds when I adopted him.  Living on the streets (he was found roaming the streets) even for what I guess was not a very long time does take a toll, specially on a small animal.  When we visited the vet about 2 weeks after adopting him, he had already gained .8 pounds, but the vet thinks that weighing between 9 to 10 pounds would be appropriate for him.  He is now up to 8.4 pounds and seems to have stabilized at that weight.  An increase of 1.4 pounds does not sound like much, but it is a 20% increase in weight from when I first got him.  Other than that, the vet gave him a clean bill of health and it was a relief to hear him say “see you next year”. 

 

 

 

 

 


On the way home today I saw a desert tortoise attempting to cross the road, it was about half way across the pavement.  I made a u-turn as soon as I safely could, and slowly drove, with the flashers flashing, to where I had seen it, while a couple of cars barely missed driving over the tortoise.  With some trepidation, I stopped the car in the middle of the road leaving a bit of distance between me and the tortoise and hoping that no one would rear end my car.  But, that if someone did, the tortoise and I would be far enough to be out of harms way.

As soon as I got near the creature, its head and legs dissapeared into the carapace.  I sweetly murmured ‘hello sweetie, don’t pee on me’ (if you have ever attempted to move a desert torotoise, you will understand my murmurings) and carried it to the side of the road I thought it was heading for.  Obviously, I was wrong, because as soon as it was back on solid ground, out came the head and the legs, and after a swift u-turn, it headed back towards the pavement.  Once again I sweetly murmured to it and carried it to the other side of the road.  Apparently this is what it wanted, because once the head and legs were out again, it made a bee line for the brush.

You may now be asking yourselves about the heading of this blog and what it has to do with helping a tortoise cross the road. 

 The Arizona Game and Fish Department has an adoption program, administered in this area by the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, for desert tortoises that cannot be released back into the wild and I have been thinking of adopting one.  Adoption is not exactly correct, because when one adopts a desert tortoise, one becomes its guardian.  The desert tortoise is not yours, it belongs to the State of Arizona, and one cannot sell it or give it to anyone you please.  If one cannot continue as the tortoise’s guardian, it must be returned to Arizona Game and Fish. 

There are some very strict requirements as to the size and location of the enclosure, the location and shape of at least one artificial burrow within the enclosure, the substrate and the type of plants that can be in the enclosure.  Obviously there are also some very specific guidelines for their diet and water requirements and the importance of having shade during all times of the day for cover is very much emphasized. 

I think I have a good area that is already enclosed that would make a good home for a desert tortoise.  There is a lonely shrub growing there that, if appropriate, could be nurtured back to health, additional plants could be added and it is shady in the mornings and has a shaded area in the afternoon.  I know several people who have adopted desert tortoises and they are very happy with the arrangement.  The question is – do I want that responsibility?

Since desert tortoises are now going into hibernation, I would not be able to adopt one until the Spring of next year.  Plenty of time to make a decision and do some remodeling.