Betty came to us in March 2015. She was a transport I had volunteered to pick up in Bakersfield. No transporters were available to split the ride, so my brother Steve, fresh from surgery, agreed to ride along with me. We broke down thirty miles short of Bakersfield. Stuck in the middle of nowhere for nearly 4 hours I was nervous we wouldn’t make it to the shelter in time to pick up the boxer girl that was out of time. Fortunately, the tow truck driver was a dog lover too and he hustled us down to the Ford dealership in Bakersfield and told me of a shortcut to get over to the shelter. At 19 minutes to 5:00 I had a rental car and we raced to the shelter. With 3 minutes to spare we arrived and met the boxer known as “Bakersfield Pendulous Mass.” She was a beautiful girl, but very thin with enormous tumors hanging off her sides. I was afraid that between her condition and her docile nature she might not make it. There was a boxer mix puppy as well, only a few weeks old. We loaded both dogs into the rental and hit the road. The long drive back was not without further incident including getting stopped for speeding and the puppy having a couple accidents despite making several potty stops.
Returning too late to drop the dogs at the vet, we kept them over the weekend. My husband Chris decided “Bakersfield Pendulous Mass” was no name for such a pretty girl, he said she was a real Betty. So “Betty” she became. We called the puppy Stevie in honor of my brother who held him the whole way home. Both dogs had a nice weekend here and did their vetting the following Monday. After Betty’s large masses were removed the foster home was no longer available, so we were asked if we could house her temporarily. I brought her back to our house and she immediately fell in with the rhythms of our home. She sat for breakfast at 7am, she learned the electronic dog door on her first try and she went to the back door every evening promptly at 7pm for her walk. She had a remarkable sense of time – for the remainder of her life she would go to the back door at 5 minutes to 7. If you hadn’t taken her out by then she would come and get you! Her timing was so uncanny that we took to calling her the watch dog.
Betty made it offical in May 2015. This little rascal was now our dog and we set off on many adventures together. Betty loved the mountain air, exploring hotels, going for rides and strolling the farmers market. She even became a poster girl for PetFood Express. Though not keen on it, Betty shared her space with fellow fosters Macy and Mr Mojo. But she loved meeting new people. In fact, Betty never met a stranger. Every new person she met was worthy of her plentiful kisses and undivided attention. Betty had to endure several surgeries to remove multiple recurring mast cell tumors. But the bumpy little pickle was always a great patient and recovered well. This spring she developed a limp that turned out to be caused by a tumor in her spinal cord. She endured a grueling surgery and 3 nights in the hospital, but she was a strong dog and came back to enjoy one last summer with us. Visiting her park became a twice daily occurrence. Cookies, greek yogurt, chicken and salmon became mainstays. She spent many afternoons snoozing on the sofa curled up in a fur blanket. We carried her up and down stairs, puts beds in every room and tried to make her life as comfortable and happy as possible. It is with profound sadness that we said goodbye to her on September 26.
Betty, run free little boo, we love you.
- She could walk upright like a person, her little front t-rex arms holding an invisible handbag
- She had an incredible sense of time even when the clocks changed – dinner at 5, walk promptly at 7
- She was a champion sleeper and snored to raise the roof
- She was always on patrol, guarding the house from mailmen, ups drivers, garbage trucks and pool guys
- She had a love-hate relationship with the vacuum cleaner, leaf blower and hair dryer
- She wouldn’t eat pizza crust but she loved cauliflower and greenbeans
- She had a snaggle tooth that gave her a boo lip grin
- She was a wonderful little dog and we are so lucky to have known her