339. The One and Only Miss Biscuit

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFUL VOTING for my somewhat unconventional “Grandmother Dearest” entry in the Consumer Cellular essay contest. Thanks to you, in spite of its 7 weeks over-late entry in the contest, apparently, it appears that you helped place it among the top 100. Not a semi-finalist yet, but so far, so good. You’re a good and noble person – I’ve always said that.

Also, thank you if you’re one of those helping this week while my son Matt and I are struggling with some of his medical issues and appointments. 

Pitching in for today’s blob. once again, is my granddaughter Gretchen (Warden) Stark.  Gretchen is offering one of the pet stories I asked for.  

Before she tells the story, I need to explain that just before the pet entered her life, Gretchen had been suffering the fear and trauma of living as a stalking victim. Stalking victims do not enjoy an easy life. There are no carefree days for them. The animal Gretchen is going to tell you about helped strengthen her during that ordeal. 

Here’s what she wrote:

For my 21st birthday, many years ago, I asked my parents for a dog. Not just any dog – a red Doberman to be exact. 

I had never had a Doberman before, but I had done a lot of reading and found myself attracted to the breed’s strength, loyalty, and intelligence. 

As I had just gone through a traumatic experience that left me afraid to leave the house, my parents thought a dog would be a positive influence in my life. I could take the dog with me in the car when I was forced to go somewhere alone, and a dog like a Doberman would require plenty of exercise outside of the house as well. Not to mention that the appearance of a Doberman can be intimidating to unwanted visitors.  I found that very comforting. 

We started looking, and came across an ad in the local newspaper for a free red female Doberman named Della. She was 10 months old and had been rescued from a neglectful household by a couple of well-intentioned senior citizens. They ended up having to place an ad to re-home her because she was simply too strong for them to walk on a leash and was displaying some destructive tendencies. I thought this must be my dog!

My parents and I went to visit Della and we were all stunned by her beauty. She was so regal and elegant —  as she ate shells and rocks in the couple’s backyard. She was beautiful and clearly out of control. We took her home. She broke out in dandruff from the stress of the move, began emitting gas that was enough to make a person flee the house, and she had terrible diarrhea (obviously from all of the inedible objects she had been compulsively ingesting). I loved her! 

We had to re-think her name because Della just did not fit. My parents and brother and sisters suggested lovely names to suit her beauty — like “Victoria”. I really liked their suggestions, but I wanted a name that would match the personality of my awkward, nervous, moody, gassy companion. I chose Biscuit.

Besides her intestinal distress and desperate need for Head and Shoulders for dogs, Wow!,  did she have a personality. 

She was not afraid to make clear when she was hungry, thirsty, bored, or whatever,  by pressing her head heavily in my lap, the high pitched whining, the quick pokes in the face with her cold nose, and many more VERY effective attention getting techniques. If each of these techniques failed, she moved on to more dramatic cries for attention including pulling up the carpet, chewing on anything, eating her way through the wall in the hallway, swallowing toys, swallowing socks, stealing food, and locking her jaws around any other forbidden object. 

Our vet got to know Biscuit right away, and maintained a close, personal relationship with her throughout her life. It is amazing how many objects passed through Biscuit, but, unfortunately, some got stuck and required surgery. She also was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and was put on different food, which cleared up her dandruff and hair loss. 

We participated in lifelong obedience classes as well as dog agility training to burn off some of her endless mental and physical energy. Somewhere along the line during all of our visits to the vet and dog classes, she began to trust me. 

She became an entirely different dog – well, almost entirely. She never could resist the desire to steal a sock, a Subway sandwich, or anything tempting within reach, even in her old age. She followed me around like Velcro. Everywhere I went, she went. If I went to the restroom, she was right outside when I came out (that is if she didn’t force her way in with me). 

She forced me to be the boss, because she craved leadership. I had to be strong physically to wrestle with her when she was disobedient, and I had to demonstrate confidence to compensate for her insecurities. 

I started to realize that with her neediness, moodiness, demand for exercise, and incredible need for control, Biscuit distracted me from my fears. 

We were running in the neighborhood (even if she was really pulling me down the street and bloodying my knees at first), attending classes, she was waiting in the car while I ran errands, and in the process she was giving me my life back. 

I went back to college, and completed my degree. Oftentimes Biscuit came to school with me. I also moved to my first place alone, with Biscuit. of course. 

I lost Biscuit three years ago, and it was one of the most painful things I have experienced. She was 7 years old when I had to put her to sleep. Besides her thyroid condition, she developed incontinence as she aged, as well as Wobbler’s disease. She was able to live comfortably with each of these ailments, but began developing tumors. I had one tumor surgically removed, but she did not recover well from the surgery and developed numerous other tumors. She began to suffer, and, painfully, I knew it was selfish to keep her alive only because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. 

I didn’t know what to do with myself without her, because we were a team. I realized even though she would no longer physically be with me, she would always be with me in spirit. She was truly a blessing in my life and I believe she is my guardian angel. I still hear her occasionally —  a high-pitched whine or one of her signature snores. I am looking forward to seeing her again one day. 

I thought it would be impossible to get another dog after the relationship I had with Biscuit, but soon found that without a Doberman there was a huge gap in my life. While I know Biscuit can never be replaced, I don’t think I will ever live without a Doberman because I have fallen in love with their loyalty, dedication, strength, and intelligence. 

Joe and I have two Dobermans currently, a male and a female named Colt and Whiskey. We also have an English Bulldog named Tyson.


It takes a lot of effort to maintain these high-drive and high-energy dogs (with the exception of Tyson who requires minimal if any effort) but all three are worth every second!! ” 

Thanks for again contributing today’s blob, Gretchen.

 And good for you, Biscuit!  I hope you’re living it up in an special place in heaven where treats are a specialty


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3 Responses to 339. The One and Only Miss Biscuit

  1. C Ford says:

    I was excited to read Gretchen’s story but saddened to hear about the ending. Sometimes we have to deal with it as each dog is different. I understand how you felt as I was in your shoes five times, three unexpectedly. I am happy you found three more dogs to love, though! That reminds me that I have a special “Dog’s Prayer” that my mom gave me a long time ago when I had my first dog. I shall look for it and send a copy to you, Aunt Patti!

  2. Linda Lewis says:

    Dear “Aunt Patti” I hope you share the “Dog Prayer” with Pat so that she can include it in one of her precious dog blogs. And Gretchen, thank you for sharing your experience so that others may see what love and helping others does to overcome our fears. Biscuit helped doberman’s earn a higher rank on my list of beautiful pets.

  3. A relative says:

    Biscuit was the neediest, most beautiful, most obsessive dog in the world. She did bring out Gretchen’s leadership skills all right! Biscuit looked tough but she was really insecure and nervous. If you were walking her on the trails by our house and another dog approached she would back up crashing through the bushes to escape meeting them. And Biscuit always went after our underwear and socks. She would grab them and tear around the back yard in a game of keep away that we HAD to play because if we didn’t catch her she would EAT them and be right back at the vet again. One time I came home from a long day of work and Sean, Elizabeth’s husband, was over for a visit. He was preparing Margaritas for everyone in special salt rimmed glasses. I sat down in the chair and he handed me my drink and Curt handed me a plate with my delicious meatball sandwich from Subway. Biscuit was halfway across the room with her head in Gretchen’s lap when meatballs met the eyeballs. She dived in for the meatball sandwich and threw my Margarita into the air. It all happened in seconds. She swallowed most of the meatball sandwich in one gulp. I am sure she is laughing about that in doggie heaven. But we all grew to love Biscuit’s intelligence and sense of humor too and she did help Gretchen through a very rough patch in life.

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