All in the Family


American Eskimo Dog

Casper was my little hard luck case, with a couple of twists to the story. I adopted him from a shelter in 1998. My ex boyfrined had brought me there to take my mind off the recent passing of my grandmother. Casper was abandoned and neglected, and when I saw him, he was the only dog sitting in the back corner of the pen cowering. All the other dogs were jumping up & down drawing attention to themselves, Casper just sat silent, staring up at me with those sweet brown doe eyes. He had a bright colored ticket on his gate, that I'm pretty sure meant he had been there too long, and didn't have too much time left. I had another American Eskimo at home who belonged to the ex-boyfriend that I lived with at the time. I was familiar with the breed, and I just could not resist. I took him home, and we bonded from the first moment that we spent together. The day I took him for his return free vet check at the shelter, the vet tech chased him around the room to muzzle him befroe lifting him up on the exam table. This was odd to me since I hadn't had any problems with aggression with him, so I asked her why. She said, 'he doesn't like being picked up and he snaps if we try.' With that, I leaned down to him as if i was going to hug him, and as I reached around him, he jumped up into my arms and clung to me like a baby with his head tucked beneath my chin. Wintnessing this, the vet tech teared up and stood back as she stated, 'Oh thank goodness, I think we found mommie'. That little creature made me feel so special, because he picked me as 'his special person', and he trusted me after all he had been through. He used to wait in the window all day watching for my car to pull up when I came home from work. He was afraid of men, but never aggressive. He got along beautifuly with the other 2 dogs, Cookie the other Eskie, and Kuba, the mixed lab/pointer mix. They were a troublesome trio, as they worked together to get into the trash, and I think they helped Kuba move the kitchen furniture so he could sit in the chair and lap up spaghetti sauce from the pot on the table. (The sound of the tags on his collar clinking on the side of the pot was a dead give-away.) Cookie had a thing for humping the couch pillows, Casper had a thing for humping Cookie, or any other dog that crossed his path. Kuba never humped anything, he just ate the couch and tore apart boxes of the candy 'snow caps'. The little white candy specs were strewn everywhere, leaving a trail that led under the bed where guilty Kuba would be hiding. Thumping his tail as if to say, 'i'm so sorry, I'm terribly cute, please don't be mad at me'. That dog was easily 110 lbs, and it still amazes me how he got under that bed. The 3 dogs together were a motely crew, but Casper was my boy. With the exception of the humping, and the barking, (his nick name was bark-zilla) he was a very well behaved dog, and he was so very attached to me. he slept by my feet, and followed me everywhere. If I was gone for any length of time, I was told he was not the same dog until I returned. In May 1999, my ex-boyfriend and I broke up, and I was led to believe at the time that it was temporary. I had to move in with my parents at 24 years old, and was not able to bring Casper with me. I was under the impression that I would be seeing him again soon anyway. That was not the case... My ex-boyfrined disappeared, leaving his house to go up for forclosure, took the 3 dogs with him, and shacked up with another woman. By the time everything unfolded, I could not find him. When I found him, my parents were stearn about not letting me bring my dog into thier home. I had learned about the squallor living conditions at the new girlfriends house, and that was not enough for me to convince my parents to let me go get my boy. Finally in November 2002, there was a change of heart when I tearfully informed them what I found out about Cookie and Kuba, the other 2 dogs in my ex's possesion. Cookie had been found in a pool of blood in the basement, and Kuba had been left to die with cancer having no pain management or medical care. By this time, my ex had run off on the new girlfriend, leaving her with the child they had together, and my remaining Casper. My ex was also not willing to surrender him to me, as he was his last connection to me, and he was making a weak attempt at wooing me back. The Brick town Police dept was kind enough to assist me in getting my Casper back. The girlfriend surrendered him to a tough love officer who brough Casper to me in the back of his police car. Casper was so nervous, he peed all over the back of the mans patrol car. I scooped him up and held him the whole way to the vets office. He was in bad shape. He was 16 pounds under weight, full of fleas and flea dirt, his beautiful white coat was dingy grayish-brown and red. He had split over grown claws, a double ear infection that took him 2 months to recover from, and his tail was chewed so raw, it was bald nearly 3/4's of the way down. The vet and I took care of all his issues immediately. The vet didn't think his tail would grow back from all the damage, but it did and it was a beautiful wagging plume the rest of his life. Hlived with me at my parents house with two little shih-tzu dogs named Fozzie and Bandit. together they frollicked in my parents back yard, and became great furry friends. Casper from that point on was safe, warm, dry, flea fee, happy, loved and best of all, he was with me. In December 2003, I bought my own place. A tiny 640 square foot condo, where Casper and I met lots of new people, and went for walks every day. (That was Casper's only other issue was pulling on the leash. Multiple times, he knocked me on my rump if he spotted another butt to sniff.) Because I had lost him for that period of time that my ex-boyfriend had him, I never took a single moment for granted. In April 2006, Casper woke with a limp, and he wouldnt put his left foot down. I brought him to the vet the same day and the x-ray revealed he had osteo sarcoma. It was the worst possible diagnosis, and it was bizzare for his breed as they typically do not develop this type of cancer. I was told that without the amputation and 5 chemo treatments, that Casper's leg could shatter, and worse, the cancer would spread very quickly throughout his body. The amputation was done May 2nd 2006 and he was jumping up on the couch and bed after a week and a half. He had the 5 chemo treatments, and took them like a champ. He amazed his oncologist with his spirit and his will to play, live and be happy. He beat the odds. Dogs with his disease normally don't survive more than 12 months. Casper lived a very happy spirited life for 2 years. He played, he barked, he slept at my feet, and never had a single flea on him again. This past New Years day, I let him out to do his business. I was still waking up myself, and only wearing a 1996 Meat Loaf concert t-shirt, and a pair of monkey eye shades when my 3-leggeed dog took off like a shot after the neighbors little pikanese. I had to chase him and herd him back into the house in my undies, but not until he made sure my new neighbors saw my morning lack of attire. This past March 30th, Casper was suddenly very tired. The cancer had finally moved into his lungs, and he was too weak to go outside. He still had a great appetite, but could not stand up long enough to eat. I stayed home form work the next day, and had a vet come to my home to release Casper from his cancer ridden body. The clock was ticking from the time he was diagnosed, but that day as the hours and minutes passed by, they seemed to go faster and faster. Family and friends came to say goodbye, and he was so happy to see everyone. Even to the end, he had to give his special people thier special greetings, as he had a different one for each of my family members. One person got the belly all the time, my sister Colleen only got nose licks, my mother got the butt in her lap. I got his hugs. Casper would hug me by pressing his whole body on me as if he was trying to crawl into my ribs, and then he would plop in my lap and bury his head in my arms. At 5:45 pm, the vet walked in the door and my heart pounded, Casper and I both had the same wide-eyed look of fright and 'I cant believe this is happening'. I couldnt breath, my head was spinning. I knew it had to be done, as I could not allow him to suffer. When he was gone, I brought him to the vet for them to keep him for me for the night. The next day in the pouring rain, I drove his body to a crematorioum for animals and waited for his ashes. Casper was a brave soul who conquered his fear of people after being abused, and fought his cancer as if to say, 'Dammit, I'm not ready to go yet!'. I miss him so very much, and I hope to one day find a way to commemorate his life. I find it hard to see the photo of him with Kuba and Cookie now, since when he was here, they were just a picture memory. Now Casper has joined them. I'm sure they met up at the rainbow bridge, and probobly very happy to see him again..... (this was the shortest possible version of Casper's story, there are so many details left out, but I thought I would save that for another time. I hope all you have the time to read this.... Jenni

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Comments (13)
Aug 12, 2008 wolfgirl66
sooooooooooooooo beautiful and sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Aug 12, 2008 wolfgirl66
great pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 3, 2009 bunis
Aug 18, 2009 Phoebala99
Such a beautiful dog, love your dog, great pics, yeah!
Aug 8, 2010 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 15th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jun 15, 2011 madelynk
Her name suits her very well!
Aug 8, 2011 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 16th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2012 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 17th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2013 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 18th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2014 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 19th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2015 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 20th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2016 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 21st Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Aug 8, 2017 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 22nd Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
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