A Dog’s Life Part 1: Portrait of a Lady

July 20, 2008    By: Kristen J @ 7:25 pm   Category: Life

Last December, much to Geoff’s dismay, we (the children and I) brought a new addition home to the J household. It was a tiny, cute little Rat Terrier that, after much debate, we decided to name Fui (pronounced Phooey). The Rat Terrier breed is very similar looking to the Jack Russell, but with a smaller head and finer facial features. Our dog is black, tan, and white which is commonly referred to as a “tri-color”. Fui is mostly black with a white belly and legs and the occasional tan spot. He looks like he is wearing a little Zorro mask and cape. Duh…we should have named him Zorro!

(If any of you can figure out where the name Fui came from, I will give you the title of “Most Awesomely Awesome” here at the Thang for the month of July. You are ineligible for this award if one of the J’s has previously told you the story behind Fui’s name).

To Geoff’s credit our family does not have a good history with dog ownership. The first dog we adopted was an old and super stinky poodle named “Lady”. We ended up with Lady after her owner passed away. He had been an elderly man who was not well enough to take the dog out to relieve herself so Lady was in the habit of doing her business wherever it was convenient. By the time Lady came to us whatever potty training skills she may have had were long gone.

The day we brought Lady home we discovered that not only was Lady smellier than a boys locker room, but she was also incontinent. I noticed that after I let her jump up on the foot of my bed so she could bond with the family. The bonding session quickly ended when the bed suddenly became “damp”.

Soon after the “bed incident” we took Lady to the vet where we were given a plethora of medications to cover all of the ailments currently plaguing the old gal. Suddenly she became more work than my 3 toddlers combined. Lady lived, or shall I say convalesced, with us for about 8 months at which point I was 6 months pregnant with baby number 4 and in the midst of an intrastate move.

One day towards the end of Lady’s time with us I heard Geoff shouting from his office, “The dog is loose again!” He rushed out the door and down the hill just in time to witness Lady being hit by a car. After several days at the animal hospital, and a big vet bill, she came home with a huge cast on her front leg. I was worn out but still determined to give Lady my best.

Her first night home I set her on a big Costco dog pillow and settled her in for the night. The next morning I went to check on Lady only to discover her bed surrounded by a little urine moat. It looked like she had hung her little bum over the side of the bed and just let it go all night long.

I was upset to say the least. With tears in my eyes I told Geoff that on top of being pregnant with number 4 and trying to get our family moved, I didn’t have the energy to be a power chair for a geriatric dog. After a short discussion we decided that it was time for Lady to move on and we were lucky enough to find a wonderful poodle rescue in the country that was willing to take her. Not long after that we loaded up the moving truck and headed off to Arizona.

Stay tuned for A Dogs Life Part 2: “The Duchess”


  1. See, that’s what I am talking about. Another classic post is born. This has everything–action, incontinence, and a urine moat(!).

    I put my foot down for a bunch of years and was successful in keeping my wife from getting a family cat. She grew up with cats her whole life and really wanted one (we had a dog and were cat haters at my house growing up). I finally relented and said she could get a cat. In classic “give an inch” fashion, she brought home *two* kittens with some story about how they were brothers and couldn’t be separated. Anyway, one of those cats turned out to be constantly nervous and no amount of training could stave off the nightly “marking” of the house. Various medicines and procedures were tried out, but in the end that cat found out that it prefered to live outside. Never once, in all of that, did I consider the possibility of a urine moat. Awesome.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 20, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  2. I know, the moat was truly an awesome sight.

    I’m not a cat lover but I would have tried it if it meant my kids could go on to live a happy, pet filled life.

    Unfortunately Geoff is very allergic to cats so that was never an option.

    Comment by kristen j — July 20, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  3. Unfortunately Geoff is very allergic to cats so that was never an option.


    Comment by Jacob J — July 20, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  4. fui pero?

    When my wife and I first got married, I said Pets or Kids, now my kids want pets and I have totally melted, my wife however, has not. So no pets for us (Though I keep threatening to sneak one home)

    Comment by Matt W. — July 21, 2008 @ 7:18 am

  5. Just wait Matt. She’ll melt when your kids come home from school one day and in a quivering voice say, “Today, at school, we talked about our pets and I had to tell everyone I didn’t have a pet.”

    Unless you’re Geoff and you say in a hardy voice, “Just tell them you have 3 pets, 2 little sisters and a little brother!”

    Comment by kristen j — July 21, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  6. Matt W. (#4):
    Your kids will move out one day whether or not you have pets. When do you want your wife to move out? If the kids (and you) need a pet fix (to fill their desire and to remind yourself why you had your original opinion) just animal-sit the in-laws’ pets.

    Comment by mondo cool — July 21, 2008 @ 8:54 am

  7. My wife uses the old “Will you clean up all the poop?” Tactic. It’s pretty effective, since I am at work a lot and poop sitting around in my house for 8 to 10 hours waiting for me is somewhat up-appealing.

    Mondo, Sadly the 4yo knows te difference between borrowing and owning a pet.

    Comment by Matt W. — July 21, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  8. That’s why we have a fish…I used to want a dog but now I realize that I think they are stinky, dirty (outside dogs) and a lot of work. Plus I seem to have developed an allergy to dogs AND cats so we’ll probably stick with fish for a while! :) Oh and I know where Fui came from! Dang I’m ineligible.

    Comment by flip flop mama — July 21, 2008 @ 10:44 am

  9. You piqued my curiosity. I googled “fui” and the fourth listing was a reference to Fui Vakapuna, a BYU football player. Any connection? Now I’m wondering why I’m googling pet names of people I don’t know.

    Comment by Hal — July 23, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  10. Ok Hal you now have the title of “Most Awesomely Awesome” here at the thang for the next 30 days.

    You are correct, he is named after Fui Vakapuna the BYU Football player. Congratulations, I know how proud you must feel right about now.

    We opted to name our dog Fui Vakaboomboom though.

    Comment by Kristen J — July 23, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  11. Cool.

    Comment by Hal — July 23, 2008 @ 5:51 pm