The trouble with dogs is that they just don’t live long enough, right? If they weren’t so dang perfect and loving it wouldn’t be so hard.
But I want to talk about the OTHER trouble with dogs, especially rescue dogs. Basically its a crap-shoot, trying to figure out what’s gone on in their former lives. Sometimes you know a little bit of information. Several of my dogs have been formerly owned by older people who could no longer care for them. I really like giving these little dogs a second chance. If they were owned by a “grandmother” sometimes they are very socialized, which is good, since once they get to my house there’s not much socialization opportunity. Other times, like Sophie, I don’t think they ever saw another person. She is still very shy when people come over. Sometimes, like Zoey, they weren’t very housebroken. She was a grandmother’s dog, and then the grandkids decided they didn’t want her any more. I know why Luckily, I have a doggie door, and Zoey has embraced the concept of the doggie door fully 🙂
Now sometimes you don’t know a thing about the dog, like Bess, who along with a male Pug, was just dumped out in the country. But sometimes you get little hints that you don’t pick up on. When I was there to get Bess, the shelter people were explaining to the other couple that was interested in her that it would probably be best to separate her from the male pug, because she tended to “boss” him around a little. Well, I didn’t pick up on that. Bess is VERY bossy. And opinionated. She and Sophie sorted out their differences a while ago, and manage to co-exist peacefully. But then Bess decided that Chloe (young Pug’s) energy level was way too high. While I agree with Bess on the energy level, starting a fight is not how I would choose to address the problem. Chloe took her corrections for a while, and then she decided to start fighting back. We are still working on this problem. Honestly, the only thing that saves them is a typo Shelley made one day, writing “I didn’t know Pugs were so viscous!” Now I laugh about my viscous pugs. But it is tiring to always be breaking up fights. And being a “bully” breed, once they start, it is very hard for them to stop.
Oh, and now we come to the unknown in Chloe’s personality. If you recall (haha, I know you don’t) Chloe was listed on a shelter’s website, and then when I inquired about her, she wasn’t “ready” for adoption. Months later, I was contacted by the foster mother, and Chloe was now available for adoption. My theory is that this foster mother actually wanted to keep Chloe (she gave me a ton of toys and clothes when I picked up Chloe.) But Chloe was raised with NO LIMITS whatsoever, and I think it was just too much for this young mother. Chloe has a lot of energy, and she howls and barks to “direct” you to do what she wants. So we’re working on learning normal acceptable doggie behavior. Of course, taking her for walks helps with that excess energy.
But buying a puppy can be just as much of a crap-shoot as the rescue dogs. Do you remember the story of my going to get Noah? He was the puppy they pictured in the newspaper ad because he was so pretty. Well, I got there, and the people were hosing the patio off. His sisters were milling about, but I didn’t see him, and I asked, “where is the white puppy?” Oh, he’s hiding–he’s afraid of the water. HINT!!!! Noah is a genetically anxious and fearful dog. He acts all brave, and barks at things, but I know that inside he is worried. He is seven years old now, and with a LOT of training and socialization, he is so improved. But I still hear the underlying panic in his voice sometimes.
Well, all this sounds like a lot of complaining, but really its not. I totally love having dogs. I love each of these little people, and enjoy their company. It was my dream as a child to have a lot of dogs, and I guess I’m living the dream. I just wanted to talk about these things–maybe it’ll help another person thinking about getting a dog.
Oh oh oh! Gotta add this blast from the past–ran across it in my archives yesterday–