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(Repost from March 2009. I think this is my favorite Rocky and Stella post from the old blog. Rocky passed away earlier this year from cancer and Stella passed away last year from heart disease.)

Rocky's not so bad these days but he used to be all about the holes. It must have been that whenever I left the house, he'd think to himself, "That prick left me alone again. I can't believe it. This time I'm really going to show him," and then he'd get to work chewing out one perfect little hole in the blanket or sheet he was sleeping on. It was never like he tore anything to shreds. No, that would be too much work for Rocky. It would be just one hole, maybe two, and that would be enough to satisfy whatever urges were driving him.

When I got back home, I'd find a little circular cut-out lying on the floor and then I'd go searching for the newly minted hole.

He'd work through a blanket over the course of a couple of weeks or a month until it was more holes than not and then I'd have to throw it away and bring out a new one.

Luckily, I had splurged on Rocky's blankets at Valu Village and had bought several of them at once so each cost me maybe only five bucks (that Bambi one may have cost seven) but unfortunately, Rocky went through a phase where it wasn't just blankets.

Here's a cushion that I made a few years ago (yes, I was crafty).

Rocky must've thought it needed some updating because he pulled out a little hole in one corner to register his disapproval. Not big enough to throw the cushion out. Just big enough so that when company comes over and sees it, they're like, "Shit, you've got major mouse problems here." Yes, an eighty pound mouse with an obsessive compulsive disorder.

He also did it to this one ...

and this one ...

The most ambitious Rocky's ever gotten with his hole making ventures was on the sofa.

This was quite atypical for Rocky because he would have had to stand to create this hole and he's way happier lying down on the job.

Of course, being the self centered human I am, I think all this hole making is directed at me but it may not necessarily be so. Rocky may actually be exhibiting passive aggressive tendencies towards Stella. Our house is quite cold at night and the dogs moan and groan if they're not warm so I made some pajamas for them. During the day, though, I take the pajamas off and that's when they can sometimes fall victim to Rocky's assaults.

Here's Stella modeling hers with some nice detailing work from Rocky.

Strangely enough,Rocky's pajamas, on the other hand, appear unair-conditioned.

Rocky's hole making has greatly decreased in the last few months. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe he's come to realize that even though the humans sometimes leave the house without him, they always come back at some point. Or, maybe it's because he's ten years old now and he's just decided to retire his hobby so he can spend less time hole making and more time farting - which is not as visible as hole making but possibly just as bad.

16 Comments to “Holes”

  1. NK says:

    Fred, he probably made the holes in retaliation for making him wear those pajamas!! He must have caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror (or was spurred on to a frenzy by the sight of Stella in her PJ's. I'd say it was Mortification-based chewing without doubt! This story started my day off correctly - with a laugh!

  2. Flossy says:

    Love it!! Laughed my socks off.

  3. Flossy says:

    Fred, also meant to say what beautiful dogs Rocky and Stella were. I became aware of your blog through a recent article in the Star.

  4. Fred says:

    NK, well I have to admit, the colour on Stella's PJs didn't quite suit her but I think Rocky was quite fetching in his brown plaid Farmer Joe outfit.

    Thanks, Flossy.

  5. I think we may have discovered whose been behind those crop circles....

  6. Joanne says:

    Fred, I am willing to bet that you would gladly sacrifice every pillow, blanket, nightshit, etc. if you could have them back for just a couple of hours. You can always get another pillow.

  7. Lynn says:

    The pics of those two in their PJs cracks me up! Rocky always looked so disgruntled--I loved that about him.

  8. Erin says:

    That gave me a much needed chuckle. I would just like to point out that it could have been worse, this is the destruction our Molly once wrought on our couch:

    She passed away this week, so who knows, maybe she and Rocky are off chewing holes in things together as I type.

  9. Fred says:

    Erin, looks like Molly was a real whirlwind. Yes, she and Rocky would've make a good tag team for housing demolition.

    My condolences to you on her passing.

  10. Erin says:

    Thank you Fred. We miss her terribly.

    You're right, I suspect the two of them could have stripped a house down to the studs in one afternoon together! Thankfully she outgrew the chewing, but she left a swath of destruction before that happened: door jambs, the carpet on the stairs, mouldings, table legs, you name it.

    By the way, I love Rocky's little holes, some of them are impressively round.

  11. Flossy says:

    Fred, just got back from having lunch with a friend and I was telling her about your blog....this story specifically about Rocky and Stella titled "Holes". She had a great suggestion...try to get a book published with your beautiful photography of these dogs and their stories as told by you on this blog. I know I would buy a few..what a great gift to give someone who is a dog lover..could just have it sitting on their coffe table. The photographs alone are worth publishing but along with your stores, they are truely priceless. Just think you could also have one of your outstanding photos for the cover, perhaps called Pound Dog Stories. Sure you could come up with a better title. Think about it.

  12. nk says:

    Flossy, brilliant suggestions! Get working on it Fred, along with your job, blog, land purchase...I would definitely buy some! With at least 10 or so guaranteed sales, how can you say no!

  13. Flossy says:

    Thanks nk. Yes I do have brilliant suggestions for a brilliant guy.

  14. Fred says:

    Thanks Flossy, nk, but sorry. The thing is I've looked into this: making a calendar, cards, books, etc. to sell at TAS for fundraising and it comes down to someone fronting a whole lot of money in order to print enough copies (thousands) to get a low enough cost to make it worthwhile for people to buy. There's limited, on-line self-publishing but self-publishing photobooks is too expensive for mass consumption.

  15. Flossy says:

    I was thinking on a much wider scale, getting a publisher, and having it sold across Canada in bookstores....and then you could use your sales to open a sanctuary in Prince Edward County. Too big a dream...but this is how important your photos and stories are....they must reach a much wider audience. First you go national and then this is really a big dream!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Flossy, this sounds like a project for you! Sounds like you have done something like this before? Perhaps a few other blog followers might have some expertise in this area and could offer some ideas/advice? I know I will ask at our local shelter as they put out a calendar every year as a fund raiser and it does amazingly well, especially given the size of our town.I would definitely volunteer at the shelter! I don't think you would find yourself short in that area. Oh dear Fred, are you regretting sharing your idea now! Your nice tranquil haven....Nuff said!

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.