Age: 6 Years
Foster Home: Ray
Update: Louie was adopted in July, 2005. Click here for a wonderful story about how Louie's forever home found him. The picture below shows him on his first night in his new home.
Louie lived a grand, wonderful life, and crossed the Bridge in early summer 2010. His person wrote: "It has been twelve days now since we said goodbye to Louie. I had no idea I could feel such profound sadness. Somewhere inside me there is also deep gratitude for having the privilege of sharing nearly five years with my buddy. I just need to keep digging at that gratitude until I can hold on to it in order not to sink away. All dogs are very special but I cannot begin to express how special Louie was. This is my best attempt for now: "You know how there is some music you really love, but then there are those few rare pieces that touch something more deeply, something ineffable? Louie is one of those songs playing in my soul. His harmonies will sing, his rhythms will beat in my heart forever."
As hard as it is without him, I would do it all over again a thousand times. Life will never be the same without Louie.
09/05/2005 Here's a note to tell you about some of Louie's farm experiences this past week. I think we can officially consider him a farm dog now. Louie rolled in cow poop and then ate some. (This is obviously not encouraged, but he likes it A LOT). Louie stood nicely while Dustin held him around the neck in a gentle hug because two wayward cows were crashing through the fence and into the yard. (GOOD DOG!) Louie stepped off the Tomorrow River Trail (an old railroad bed turned hiking/biking trail) briefly and when I called him back, he had ever-so-faint eau-de-skunk on his head. (Close call). Louie and Sam walked right up to a big badger (!) and literally smelled it last night just before dark. I was so scared I sweated, but I called both dogs off and there was no trouble. (Badgers smell musky). Louie has a new trick of dancing and sort of howling when we come home. It's his "Good to see you" greeting. (Cute dog).
People in town are starting to comment on what a beautiful dog Louie is, how good those two dogs are, and what a nice young man (Dustin) that is who walks those two dogs. (Makes a mom proud, and a little teary-eyed too). This information comes second-hand through a friend of a friend of... etc. It's a small town and people like to talk. I'm now known as "that girl who walks the dogs."
On the not-so-cute front, Louie gets really worked up about spots of sunlight on the floor and wall. He whimpers and paws and bites the floor and even barks at it. It's kind of entertaining, but I feel bad that he gets so frustrated about it and now he has managed to bite holes in the carpet. I'm not worried about the carpet, as it is old and gross and needs to come out anyway, but I don't want him to eat it. He tries to eat the toys he rips up, so we have stopped giving him soft toys. But ....
Things that Louie likes to eat that are good for him are bananas, melon, grapes and carrots! Sam is insulted when offered fruit as a treat, but Louie thinks it's great. I'll be taking carrots and grapes for reward treats when we go to obedience classes coming up soon. Low-cal treats for the big dog. Sometimes I fondly call Louie "Fat Dog," just like I sometimes, with affection, call Sam "Dumb Dumb." Dustin would always get mad when I called Sam dumb, and now he is defending Louie when I call him fat. Dustin says, "He's not fat, he's normal. Sam's just skinny because he worries about YOU too much." The underlying meaning here is, Dustin is pleased that Louie is affectionate with him and not so reliant on me, as Sam is. Sam was supposed to be Dustin's dog, but Sam glued himself to me from day one, even though I tried at first to discourage it. Now Dustin has the dog he didn't get with Sam. Louie lies at Dustin's feet when he's on the computer, playing his guitar, playing video games, whatever.
We are roofing the house this weekend. What a rotten job. I doubt that I'll have time, but I'll try to get video of the dogs running in the field. Louie tries to herd us. Sam got a little tired of the herding the other day and side-checked Louie. He actually rolled him over. Louie was fine, other than his pride was a little hurt. He had been too aggressive with Sam, and Sam let him know. So Louie got up and decided to herd me instead. I let him. He only wants to do this in the field, so he must have been a working dog in his original home. Anyway, when we get into the big field where we walk sometimes, I always run with the dogs and Louie barks and circles and cuts and has a high-old time. The first time he did this was the first time that I thought he was really showing his exuberance for being a dog. I'm still working on that sheep idea with Mark.
7/27/ 2005 Things are going well, with the exception of the fact that the cat won't come out of the basement and Louie is pretty obsessed with wanting to stare at that door. I got between him and the door tonight and told him a firm "no" and he backed off, but he keeps going back. We'll keep working on it. I've had to clip the leash on and lead him away several times. Other than that he is a good, smart dog. Dustin had the dogs on a 2 mile walk this morning, then I took them for 4 miles this afternoon and Louie was really good, even off leash for a little while. He and Sam will get to be friends eventually. They just ignore each other right now but they have been trotting side by side on walks and look quite handsome together. A little boy on a bike stopped while we were coming back through town. Louie put his chin on the boy's leg. He sure knows how to work a crowd. Louie met the pig next door today and went bananas. He did not like the pig. He was barking and snarling and pulling on his leash. I made him sit and then told him "all the way down" which he has responded to a couple other times when he was doing something unacceptable (like wanting to chase a car). He did not respond this time because he was so worked up about the pig. I had to push him down by the back of his neck. He didn't get snippy with me about it, and he stayed down until I verbally released him. So I think that's a major success. No big deal if he doesn't like the pig. It's in a pen that he can't get at, and we can avoid the pig when we go next door to visit.
We played "flashlight" last night. Louie LOVES to chase the flashlight beam. It's really funny to watch him. He also is really fascinated with the water drops he slops on the floor when he drinks out of his dish. He cocks his head and gives them the big BC stare. He stared at a patch of sunlight on the wall for 10 minutes this morning.
He has been good with the chickens. I won't be able to trust him in the yard loose with them without constant monitoring, but we can handle that. He actually spooked today when one chicken decided to fly a little. Dustin said it was pretty comical. Louie has been sleeping on his pillows next to the bed and seems very content with that. He puts his chin on the bed in the morning to wake me up. It's nice to wake up a warm fuzzy face! Sam has been sleeping on the bed and there haven't been any turf wars, so that's a relief.
Friday there is Relay For Life walk for cancer fundraising at the school in town. I had signed up to be a walker, so I'm going to take the dogs in the evening when it's cool. If there are too many other dogs and Louie doesn't like it, I can always run him home.