Lady Bug
This is my site Written by spcaweb on July 25, 2013 – 10:16 pm

A report from one of Lady Bug’s adopters, Deborah:

Lady and her Ginormous Tongue

Lady and her ginormous tongue

We adopted Lady Bug in the Fall of 2005 (I think).  They said she was about 2 years old, but then, they say that about any dog not a puppy or ancient.  Her name was Lady Bug then and now–she even had her photo in the paper–but I didn’t know that.  My partner, Margo, had gone to the shelter a couple of days earlier and scouted out some dogs she thought I’d like.  But when I walked in, I ignored every single one of them and headed straight for Lady, who sat behind her gate and just looked at me, as if she were thinking, “Where the heck have you been?!”  It was completely love at first sight for both of us.

We describe Lady, or sometimes “Bug,” as a Rottweiler/Spaniel/Beagle mix, but who knows.  She is, as Margo reminds me, “Funny-looking, like she was put together with extra dog-parts.”  Lady does have an extra-large tongue, and a huge belly, with little short legs and a long furry tail.  She has a regular gruff bark that, upon too much excitement, escalates into a beagle yodel.  Sometimes it sounds like she’s an adolescent and her voice is breaking.

Lady asleep on her toy basket

Lady asleep on her toy basket

The main thing is, she is steady, smart as can be, and very polite.  Not to mention, incredibly loving and loyal.  She’s the kind of dog you can take anywhere; nothing will ruffle her calm – except for, unfortunately, things like cats, squirrels, and bunnies.  But she loves long car rides, and even when we took her up to Cuttyhunk Island for four months, she adapted without a hitch.  She is, as we say, a Pro.  A Professional Dog.

My spell-checker reminds me that sometimes Rottweiler is also spelled Rototiller, and that was indeed the case with Lady.  She loved to DIG.  She had over an acre of invisible fenced land full of tunneling moles, and oh did she dig after them!  We had some serious holes in inconvenient places for a long time.  She was incorrigible.  Finally we started putting large amounts of black pepper where she dug, and that convinced her to stop.  That, plus a little growing up.

Lady (center), her brother Chance (right), and adopter Deborah (left) waiting to be served on the Cuttyhunk Ferry last summer.

Lady (center), her brother Chance (right), and adopter Deborah (left) waiting to be served on the Cuttyhunk Ferry last summer.

Lady is built like a draft horse – low to the ground, plenty of muscle and bulk – so if she pulls on the leash, you go with her.  We invested in a no-pull harness (the leash attaches at her chest, so if she pulls, she simply turns herself around) and that has worked well.

Despite our best efforts, and a very heavy coat that hints at some waterdog ancestry, Lady does not like to swim.  The only time she’s ever willingly gone into the water was on Cuttyhunk Island, when we flushed a deer down on the beach.  The deer took off, and Lady (taking advantage of her leashlessness), took out after it, pursuing it across the beach and down the path and across a small lagoon.  Not until she was halfway across did Lady realize she was swimming, she was so intent on catching that deer!  And she swam like a champ, though the deer had a head start and got away.  Even after that, Lady would not swim when invited.  She is definitely a girl with boundaries.

One other thing: Lady is an omnivore.  She eats anything and everything, and is always willing to try new stuff.  A friend’s 3 year old started feeding Lady wineberries off a bush, and Lady quickly learned how to pick her own.  She’s fond of bananas, most fruit, and just last night, ate a Ruby Chantrelle mushroom while I was cleaning a batch, then spent ten long minutes waiting for more.  She has a little weight problem, partly because she’s got a Rottweiler gut on a Beagle body, so she needs a prescription diet food.  But she’s worth it.

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