As we considered life with a second dog, we had in mind an “older” dog, not a puppy. It didn’t quite work out that way. The dog formerly known as Dante is about 2 years old. Little did we know we would be in for an interesting time.
After we brought the dog formerly known as Dante home a few things needed to be done. I thought Dante was a great name (now I think it is even more appropriate since we’ve entered our private divine comedy), but the Girl had other ideas. She was thinking Hunter, and I know not why. We hit PetSmart to get our freebies and discounted items due to the adoption. We needed a collar and harness as well as a crate. I had not priced crates, and nearly choked when I saw the price tag on the crate. “Free dog” is just like “free hamster” …. never believe it. I was standing in the check out line and she keeps wanting to get the inscribed name tag. I see more money I can’t afford, particularly since we just bought 2 new hamsters, and stuff with them, the week before. The Girl is killing me, even if she’s promising to reimburse me. “Can we hold off on the name tag? Let’s settle on the name first.” Somehow I prevail, which is great because in less than 24 hours the name changed again.
Day one of the Dog formerly known as Dante and Hunter seemed to be going very well, all things considered. He seemed eager to please. He seemed to be very gentle with the kids. It took him a few hours to stop panting, but no big deal. He was a “Visa Dog”- every where you want to be.
Fast forward to the kids’ bedtime routine. First he kept wanting to head upstairs with us. Well, he is a Visa Dog. But a light whack on the bottom and he was racing down the stairs with his tail between his legs. (more on that tail later). He sat in the kitchen while I went back up. When I returned I noticed a clump of aluminum foil on the floor, and some Saran wrap. I’m confused. Amie came down behind me. “Was there still some applesauce bread left?” “About half.” In the immortal words of Inspector Clouseau, not anymore. He’d taken the bread off the counter, opened it and eaten it in the few minutes we were upstairs. No food will be safe! Such, apparently is the peril of a bigger dog.
The tail. He’s missing the end of his tail. Not a bob. It is like someone injured his tail it was removed. Or something. But at this point it is one less part of him to shed. I sometimes call him Sir Sheds-alot. He is a Shed-o-matic like Huck was. Amie is really happy about getting Bob, the robotic vacuum. Thankfully the dogs are not freaked out about it like they are the normal vacuum. Anyway … back to night one.
We’d set up his crate in the home school room while Lulu’s was in the living room behind the couch. I let them out before I went to bed and then put them in their respective crates. It was a Saturday night and should have already been in bed since I had to preach the next morning. I went upstairs, brushed my teeth and went to bed. And the whining started.
I tried to ignore it. Maybe he’ll go back to sleep. It was only a few minutes but it felt like hours since I didn’t have any time to goof around with this drama. I went downstairs to see if my presence would chill Dante/Hunter down. He was fine, for about 5 minutes when the whining resumed with the occasional bark. This was not good.
I had an idea. He shared a kennel at the shelter. Maybe if I moved Lulu’s crate next to his … so there I am in my underwear at midnight hauling a crate trying to avoid scratching the wall because I don’t want to paint it again. Now, Lulu, who doesn’t do well with change like this isn’t wild about getting back into her relocated crate. Finally she reluctantly slinks into the crate and I’m off to try and get sleep.
It was quiet. It stayed quiet. Until I heard a panting dog arrive next to my bed at 4:30 in the morning. I looked to see if Amie had gone down stairs but she was next to me. But she woke up as I try not to scream “What are YOU doing here?!” As soon as she gets up he jumps onto her side of the bed. Oh, she was not happy about that. Downstairs, we discover that the side door has opened up. Nothing else seemed to be displaced, chewed or otherwise destroyed. Apparently he immediately went upstairs looking for us. Soon he was back in his crate and I was in my bed trying to sleep.
We survived Day 1 with Dante/Hunter.
Week 1 has been interesting. He has had the name Cody for over a week. I think we can get the engraved name tag now, maybe. We did have a little scare as he barked at the older son one day, and the younger son the next. It could have been the older son’s head gear or that he was bothering his brother. This is a shepherd mix, and could be protective. The younger son seemed to have surprised Cody and gotten in his face, as if he was Lulu. He’s not, and this is all new to him. But it has been a week since all that, so we are slowly trusting him with the kids alone.
Not the Superhero- a brown dog tick
Then there was the tick. Not his fault. He didn’t ask for the tick but it was not just bloated with blood but laden with drama. I felt it behind his ear but it was hard to see what it was. The Girl assured me he had no ticks. The next day the Girl freaked because it was a tick. It had been over a decade since I’d removed a tick from a dog. He refuses to hold still while I’m trying to gently pull this thing off, not wanting the head to remain burrowed in his skin. Amie was not pleased that I was using her tweezers, so I promised to sterilize them with alcohol. Soon I had the tick removed, and in a bag with alcohol, just in case he gets sick.
He has tried to head upstairs a few times, only to be shooed back down. Not a big deal. He likes to jump, still, and we’re trying to train this out of him. Sometimes I’ll go outside with him and wrestle because he has so much energy. But this is the Girl’s dog, not mine. I don’t want him to attach to me, just listen to me. She hasn’t been so great about the walking and grooming yet (big surprise- and when I told my father he laughed at me).
He hasn’t really gotten any food again. That’s because the leftover baked goods are now placed on the top of the refrigerator. But we are careful not to put the plates on the table too soon since he goes cruising by the table and his nose is at the top of the table. One day there was The Licking, as he got a lick or two in on the Girl’s leftover meal.
But when he’s bored and unattended he tends to chew and or destroy things. Lulu loved stuffed animals and flip-flops. He tore up one of the girl’s sneakers. He ate one of our remote controls rendering it useless and us unable to watch Dish downstairs until the replacement arrives. He tore Lulu’s pretty pink bowl apart. He tore straps off Amie’s old foot brace. We rescued my reading glasses from him. He chewed on the hose nozzle in the back yard.
Has he touched the toy tire out back? No. But he hasn’t avoided all toys. A tennis ball is shredded. The shark was decimated (finally acceptable chewing!). He is still in serious chew stage. He may bankrupt me.
This morning was the hole in the backyard. By the irrigation. When Lulu was a puppy, we had a dust
bowl for a backyard. Now we have a nice, irrigated backyard. The frustration factor is growing because no place is safe. Like a restless 6 year-old boy he often neglects his toys to discover trouble. Thankfully he doesn’t have opposable thumbs and can’t stick anything into an outlet. Or use scissors.
But we kind of like him. Lulu likes having another dog to play with, though they compete for affection. Lulu grew out of the incessant chewing (and resulted destruction). We are hoping he does too. SOON! Before Amie ends up on Xanex!