Thursday, September 24, 2015

She's a Beauty

We got a dog.

We fostered through Secondhand Hounds, and were looking for a dog that met our criteria so s/he could become our forever pet. It was so hard to choose! There are so many dogs in need, so please consider fostering if you have room in your heart and life for a pet.

There was Bishop, a sweet older gentleman who was perfectly trained in every way...except he's 70 lbs. We looked at Rusty, but he had issues barking, which wasn't a behavior we wanted to work through with a beagle mix. There was a beautiful lab/mastiff mix who was kicked out of the house when his owners had a baby, not for any behavioral reason, they just thought he was too big to be around the baby. He was too big for us too, but we felt so badly for his situation -- he literally hadn't been let back into the house since the baby came home from the hospital. There was Wesson, such a cute face, but as a 50 lb. pit bull mix, I couldn't see how our girls would be able to walk him.

And then there was Beauty.

She was a returnee -- she had been a foster, was adopted and within a week returned by the family who said they realized they didn't have time for a dog. She is also a pit bull mix but only 35 lbs fully grown, house trained, crate trained, good with other dogs, loves people and loves to snuggle. She has issues with separation anxiety and needs work on heeling when walking, but we thought we could work with that if she was already crate trained.

What a beauty she is! Her eyes are absolutely captivating and show such intelligence. We picked her up on Saturday, September 12th, which we've decided will be her birthday.

When we met her at Secondhand Hounds office, she was exceedingly excited and jumping all over the place. I had suspected that when the last family said they didn't have time for a dog that perhaps they didn't have time for a high-energy dog, even though the organization wouldn't call her high-energy. And at only 1 years of age, she still has a lot of puppy energy in her.

We brought her home and let her explore. Then our family took her for a walk to the local vet office, because we'd forgotten to grab the food that they had given us. They had no idea what brand she'd been getting fed, so we had to start from scratch. It was slow at the vet's office that afternoon, so one of the vet techs visited with Beauty, looked at her teeth and weighed her -- 34 lbs. On the website it said she was 30 -- if she had been, she had been very underfed when she came in!

She got home and was still very excited, so Wayne took her for a 4-mile run.

She came home from the run and immediately fell asleep. You could tell that she wanted to stay awake because her eyes kept opening, kind of like a little kid who insists he's not sleepy as he's nodding off. I'm sure she was so excited to be in a new place.

After her run and her nap, she was perfectly behaved, a little less rambunctious and excited.

Each day since, she gets multiple walks a day, and we've settled into a routine of a run or a trip to the dog park every two or three days. With this amount of exercise, she seems to be settling in just fine.

We are working with her on heeling when on a walk, which has been a bit challenging. We had a dog behaviorist over to help us, and we're making progress. You can see in her eyes how intelligent and eager to please she is, I'm sure we'll get her there.

And so you have it.

We have a dog.

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