Wednesday, February 1, 2012

7 Days Later...

He picked his name.  It's a good thing he picked it because I wouldn't have picked it as a name.  Not based on my want of an authoritative, god-like name.  I really wanted Apollo.

His name is Buddy.

Silly me, I didn't want the hassle of having to train a puppy.  I didn't want to have to go through house-training.  My diaper days are over.  I thought getting a 2-year-old dog from Cascades Humane Society would give me the opportunity to save a dog who was already well trained from being euthanized.

I was wrong.  And right.

He was not well trained, but we saved him from being euthanized.

The past seven days have been... so many things.  We spent the last ten years without a dependent who depended so much.  And Tequila was ten years old.  She was beyond the puppy-play stage when she passed.  So now, our whole house is in an uproar!!

We have to make a lot of assumptions about Buddy's past because no one really knows his history.  We know that he loves running around the house and has an amazing amount of control.  Even with three guitars on stands in the dining room, he hasn't knocked one over in his rambunctiousness.  And he is rambunctious!  So rambunctious, in fact, that we've decided to keep our visitors to a minimum until he adjusts to his new home.

I was never one for "crating" my dog, but I gated Tequila in the nook off my kitchen (in the last house) for bed time and when I wasn't home.  It felt more...humane. But crating your dog, I've learned, is not considered inhumane or cruel.  As a matter of fact, many dog specialists recommend it and consider it a "safe zone" for the dog.  It's their spot.  So we bought Buddy a crate on night 2 in our home.  He even went into the crate willingly.  Without complaint.  Every night since then has been a challenge, but he hasn't gotten vicious in his resistence.

He's an attention hog who's very mouthy.  He doesn't bark a lot.  But when he wants our attention, which is most of the time, he'll bite at us.  Initially, we weren't sure if he was being vicious or if he was trying to play.  Our oldest daughter, who seems to have grown a bit afraid of him, is a primary target for him.  Even if she's sitting on the loveseat calmly, he'll nip at her. 

That's one of the many reasons we've hired Jackie Barnes of TLC Dog Training to help us.  We have a family training session scheduled in mid-February.  This morning, Steve and I took Buddy over to her house for doggie day care and some basic training.  We spent 15 minutes there with him while he was getting acquainted with her house and her two Rottweilers, Tango and Ammo.  We walked out of her house feeling fabulous about our decision to hire her and confident that she'll be able to help all of us adjust.

I also learned a little about Buddy when I took him for his first veterinary appointment on Monday.  I chose Kibby Park Animal Hospital.  I've met Dr. Owings in the past and liked her.  The location being close to our home and store were bonuses.  Having a friend give them a rave review solidified that decision. 

Buddy seemed to know the layout when we got there.  After getting him into the exam room, the staff recognized him.  Someone had brought him in to be scanned for a microchip because they found him wandering the streets.  It is my assumption that Buddy did not, at that time, have a microchip.  He was taken to the Jackson County Animal Shelter, where he was vaccinated, neutered and microchipped.  He was never reported lost by his previous owner, so he was rescued from there by the Cascades Humane Society.  I don't know the whole procedure.  It's very likely that Cascades Humane Society decided they wanted him before he was vaccinated, neutered and microchipped.  What matters is knowing that he wasn't reported missing.  And to a dog that was probably with that owner from puppy-dom, it probably felt a bit like abandonment.  We realized quickly that adopting Buddy was much like adopting a teenager who's been in and out of the juvenile home all his life. With so much turbulence in such a short time, there's bound to be a lot of issues to work out and a fair amount of time will be needed for the trust to grow between him and us.

Night one, Steve said to me, "I just want it to be noted for the record that I didn't want this."  He meant, of course, the dog and the work we went through on the first night (alone).  About two nights later he said, "I want to revise my previous statement and say that I opposed the decision to get a dog, but I just couldn't say no to you."  (aaawwww...)  I want you to know that Steve has spent a ton of time with Buddy, working on some training (even basic commands like sit and stay need work), exploring the back yard and taking Buddy for a walk each day that he has been in our home.  Steve claims he didn't want a dog, but he so obviously loves him already. ;-)

We're all ajusting on so many levels.  We're excited. We're anxious. We're happy. We're bruised. We're learning.  We're growing.

Seven days into our lives with Buddy, I'm exhausted.   And the future looks positive!


  1. Awww. . . what a GREAT blog posting! The pictures are adorable & the tory promising. Buddy has found himself a great home with an awesome "pack"! I look forward to hearing more on the positive adjustments.

  2. Spending my first day with Buddy has already told me so much about his personality, he is a fun loving pooch with some pretty common behavioral mannerisms that we as humans find unacceptable at times, high energy, over excited, and fearful at times. These are so very common for a young dog that is just so HAPPY to have a new territory with a new pack. He has ran and played all day with Ammo and even Tango joined in on the fun, tomorrow Buddy will meet yet a new friend from Marshal Michigan, Red, a lab/plott hound mix that has came from a very similar background into a very loving pack....