That's Fitzy! That's her Nose. Nobody nose the trouble I've seen, nobody nose like Daisy!
Daisy is eight years old now! Fitzy has been with us since Daisy was five and a half. Fitzy was only one year old. How sweet!
Sweet for who? All of us actually. Daisy is loyal as the day is long. Fitzy is hungry as the day is long.
We feed her. We feed Daisy. Well.
As a puppy, Daisy was well fed, like clock work...with love. Mostly, we all gave her praise in the form of love and attention and lots of heavy petting! Life was good for Daisy.
She herded our kittens, she met the kids at the school bus..."where are the kids?" would have her running to the bus. She was obedient and well mannered. The only thing that got our sweet Daisy in trouble was her enthusiasm and loyalty!
She would get on the school bus occasionally....she was always eager to learn...it's no wonder! As a puppy, she went to Montessori....she was there for circle time at the end of the day and she was T.J's "sharing".....she was only a a few months old....and even then her school attendance record was five star....with praises from the teacher and she got along well with the other kids.
She came everywhere with me. She came everywhere with us as a family. She attended the kids' baseball games and wore team shirts....(Grace made sure that she was always well accessorized!)....and hats. She went to soccer games. She went to Lacrosse Games throughout Connecticut. She's been to sleepovers at friends' houses. She's been to late night parties and barbeques. She has been to meetings of all kinds.
Everyone knows Daisy....everyone loves her. We can count on her and her loving ways. She stays up late to wait for everyone to be tucked in. She has her own special bark to let us know that one of the kitties are outside and need to come in for the night. She stays on duty if Biff is out of town. She checks on the kids before she sleeps by my side of the bed. She does lots of extra duty.
She had many trips to Long Island...to visit family. She stayed at Gramma's while we all went to the pool...including Gramma. She stayed with our family friends.....the family who shared their Golden Retriever, Monroe, with me and the reason I ached for my own Golden. She kept them company while I visited my mom in the hospital. She always accompanied me to Fairfield University to visit my niece, her cousin. She's stayed up late studying with her cousin, Claire.....oh! she's Grace and T.J.'s cousin too. She's been to beaches everywhere. She made friends with the ice cream man in town....who drives with his own loving Golden on board.
Life is still good for Daisy. Just different.
Fitzy, Fitz, Fitzgerald....we love her too. Just as every child is different and has their own individual spirit and style, our dogs do too. Fitzy didn't have the same start in life. While a Golden through and through, she didn't get the same puppy time as daisy. She lived with a family with four children...under six. She was always crated....not the same way as Daisy who loved her safety of her crate...it was her own niche....it was her haven...it was her home. Fitzy was locked up. Jailed in her crate. We don't think she was served meals....rather, she jumped for food tossed from high chairs. We think her meals were a challenge.
Enter Fitzgerald....to our home. Adorable. Sweet. With "needs", the family told us. She just needs more than we can offer, the third family who had her for a week told us. The first family had 4 kids. The second family was different. it was a woman who ran a day care....not much time to train her....certainly a bit chaotic for her...only a puppy, with day care needs of her own. The third family was an empty nester couple with a well mannered dog of their own....they worked all day...Fitzy needed more than they could give her.....
They came to introduce us. A dog friend of mine had heard we were thinking of a second. She had these folks call me. It was August. We were home from The Cape. The woman said if we didn't take her she would have to call Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue to try and find her a home.
Adorable. That face. That soft fur. That sweet smile. That eager look. That need...she had to be saved. We were the ones. We could make a difference!
Biff said, "But....will she be a Marley?" No, I told him. We can train her. She just needs attention. She just needs time.
True. That's just what she needs....still. Adorable. That face. That soft fur. That smile. That eager look. That need...............she still needs.
FOOD. always. anyway. anyhow. anyplace. anywhere. FOOD. Motivation is food. Food is motivation.
When motivation isn't food, Fitz is motivated by love....rather, needy for love. Lots of love.....lots and lots of love. More love. Lots more love. Lots and lots, more and more LOVE.
Daisy needs love ......as a reward. Fitzy needs love.....always.....and, did I mention she has a few separation issues. She could and would be a lap dog if we let her. She would be in between Biff and I at night...if we even let her upstairs.....she would probably take the best pillow....and roll on the most fluffy of comforters. This dog, Fitz, has needs. BIG NEEDS.
I see a little bit of me in both dogs.......o.k. probably lots and lots of me......lots and lots and lots of me.
Only I don't leave my family for food. Any food. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyhow.
Maybe for lipstick, but certainly not food. T.J. tells a story.....We were walking into Kate's house for Easter....Kate is like my sister....one of my best friends of my life......since college......forever......as we walked to the door that Easter Sunday, I said, "WAIT! Where's my lipstick? I need my lipstick!" Biff, Grace and T.J. all answered, "Just go in!"......apparently, in my moment of hysteria....me, without lipstick upon entry!....i did say, "NO LIPSTICK? I would sell my children for lipstick!".........those words have been tossed back to me ever since. O.K., maybe a lipstick, but not food.
Daisy has many stories. Some of her stories are about running laps.....never for food. I don't even think she has ever eaten a lipstick. She sits for a treat, sure.....but she wouldn't sit for a lipstick!
And then there's Fitz, the other dog I love so much...actually, we all do.....it's just different. Always different.
She is always up for a good meal.
Biff used to do a stop, drop and roll set up....to get stolen food away from Fitz....only it was more of a RUN, SLIDE, TACKLE, SLIDE! oh, it was exciting all right, just a tad disruptive during dinner. We began to question who was the crazy one....Fitzy or Biff?
Biff has come a long way since then. So has Fitz. Actually, Fitz isn't able to have food near her.....ever....unless it's hers. Nevermind teaching her to "LEAVE IT!"...been there....she didn't do that.....o.k. maybe one time....or two.....just never when she is already in the process of eating....a marshmallow, a lipstick, a shrimp, cups of yogurt,a shell, a sock, a Starbucks coffee, a Dunkin Donut's coffee, a water, an orange juice, butter, a bag of fresh bagels or cup of coffee at home.
She has taken lunch from two big guys eating at the beach....innocently sitting on the porch of the old red abandoned beach house.......they looked like they didn't know what hit them...as i grovelled, they were so stunned, they just smiled and said not to worry. They were in shock, surely they had never seen anyone or anything the speed of Fitz on a mission.......
She has taken Biff's dinner off the table as he pivoted to get his water.
She has eaten a whole quiche from Whole Foods while en route home from the store.
She has eaten our corn and fruit on our way home from our local farmstand.
She has had my morning coffee.
She has had our cereal.
She has eaten so many Burt's Bees Lipsticks that I began to think she was honestly using them as breath freshener.
She has run through our neighbors' house in quest of food.
She has run to another neighbors house for the barbeque....and gone in the door to look for more....they thought it was "Cute"....so she keeps trying to go back.
She has gone to another neighbors' house and jumped in the gramma's fancy car with the grandchildren to eat up some fallen cheerios.....that neighbor didn't even like dogs....now I'm sure she's scarred for life.
She has gone to another neighbor, up the road, and had to have a ride home....since she had no leash....she left that home!
She ran off at the beach to follow the scent of some senior citizens little cocktail hour, with civilized wine and cheese and scotch and sodas and vodka and tonics and lots of chips and cheetos and.........not for long! Even with the name Fitzgerald, apparently drinking doesn't interest her.....but the crackers and cheese and cheetos and fritos did! All I can remember, is the $#&*)&^%&#$^&$())_&*&%^&$#@#@ that came from the distinguished looking gentleman's mouth......I cried on the way back to the car.
She began to run after our other neighbors' chickens, which caused Daisy to run towards the chickens to stop Fitzy from going after the chickens and caused the neighbors, our friends (although tested many times) to run out after their chickens and our dogs...creating a little chaos on an otherwise quiet morning.
She has gotten us kicked out of my mom's nursing home.
And there's more.
Just Friday, I took Daisy and Fitzy to the Farmer's Market, on the town green. I had already taken some wonderful greens to the car. The market was wrapping up for the day, music still playing....it was winding down. I had both dogs leashed. Too bad for Daisy as she doesn't usually need a leash. I had to keep Fitz from tugging. She had lots to smell. SNIFF. SNIFF. tug...tug...tug....tugggggg. Finally, I sat down with them. Fitz was draped across my legs. Daisy sat proudly at my side. Nice. This is how I could finally teach Fitz.....every week at the Farmer's Market...she would learn ....just by the exposure....even if a little late in her life....this could be the thing to help!
That's when the fisherman from Stonington tossed an empty clam shell across the lawn. Fitz jumped up and ran towards the shell....Daisy followed....to check up ....or cash in on the find.......I held tight. I had the leash.....barking Daisy.....rolling and "summersalting" along....they got to the empty clamshell.
We had gathered a crowd! A thank you to the fisherman was all he needed to be encouraged to toss a couple more.
Then we walked to the car...quietly. People stopped to pet the adorable smiling dogs. I waited at the car for T.J. to meet me......he had been
"laxin' " with friends...he was having a little stick time with some lacrosse friends and was on his way to the car. Friends stopped to chat. They petted the dogs. We talked. We petted.
The dogs and I sat quietly at the back of the car with the rear open...listening to the last of the music...people watching. That's when T.J and his friend arrived.....hungry. As we talked about food, Fitz jumped out of the car and began laps around the last of the market and the folks at the end......laps and laps....running and running more laps. T.J. was off and running after. I ran. Daisy ran....and finally, T.J. did the famous tackle...the family version of stop, drop and roll. He did the run, jump, slide, tackle and slide version......and he caught our Fitz!
The boys went to the pizza shop for dinner. The dogs and I drove home. Maybe it would take some more time for Fitz to learn. Surely, it was taking us time to be trained.
I fed Daisy and Fitzy. Again.
Now the pair work together. Fitz makes a mad dash for the food. Daisy barks to send us an alert. While we reprimand Fitzy, Daisy scouts the area to see if there's anything that Fitz might have missed! WAIT! Our innocent little Daisy....well, it's hard to be the good one all of the time!
Devil Dogs...partners in crime!