Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dog blogging

Dragged the teen out of bed this morning for breakfast/cartoon duty with the younger two, so I could get in a run with the dog. The teen's going to be crabby all day, but... too bad.

It's been a few weeks, so it was just short run. A couple of miles (1.95 miles, 9:15 pace) with Peter T. Dog, sunshine and the sounds of birds and not-too-distant rush hour traffic. Yea!

It was a tiny bit of good exercise for the both of us, and a much needed bit of peace and quiet, away from noisy children and teething puppy.

That's right, I said "puppy." Clifford, intended to be Peter's packmate. Pete's been mopey since coming home from his two weeks in the country with dogs, cats and horse. A younger dog is supposed to give him a bit of zip to keep active and happy in his old age. It's worked well for my mother's dogs over the years, and the vet suggested it last year. The final straw was last week, when I was reading Radley Balko's blog. The kids were passing by the computer while I was on his normal Sunday dog blogging. It was a puppy blogging post. In looking at the cute photos, my little girl read the story about the puppy being a pal for his older dog. The lobbying began.

The intention when we visited the Atlanta Humane Society (no kill shelter) was a 6-12 month medium dog, preferably female. Found the perfect dog, 6 month old Annie, a beagle/terrier mix. Went back again the next day with kids & Pete, to make sure the two dogs got along as well as the first day, and to bring her home. That's when we met Clifford.

At 2 months old, he's bigger than the almost-grown Annie. He's a Collie/Shepherd mix, so has quite a ways to grow from his current 20 pounds. In fact, the general consesus was to purchase a crate for a future 70 lb dog, but not to be surprised if we have to go larger by the time he turns one. He's teething. He's so young that housebreaking isn't going to take until he has bladder control. He likes to flip over water dishes and play in the puddle. He's not good on a leash yet, as the older puppy was. He's on antibiotics for an upper respiratory thing, and for the minor infection at his sutures (post-neuter). And, did I mention he's teething?

He's an absolute sweetheart. Playful, but not in a crazy way. Sleeps through the night, as long as his crate is by my bed. Pays attention when Peter backs him down with a sneer for too much ear/tail nipping, so there's been no growling or big dog bites. Only a couple of messes in the house over the last week, mostly due to children not quite knowing the signs of when a puppy goes from general sniffing to sniffing for a spot.

As for perking up Peter T. Dog, it seems to be working. He's now happily herding Clifford in loops around the house and yard a few times each day, instead of just napping in a sunny spot. (I make sure he still gets some time for peace and quiet in his nap spot, sans puppy.)


Kevin said...

Great post! I volunteer at AHS, so it's cool to see where our guests end up when they go to their "forever homes" at last!

Slamdunk said...

Congrats on a win-win situation for everyone.

We thought about a new dog (our old friend passed away several years ago), and had to keep a 1 year old retriever mix for a month or so while an elderly family member recovered from surgery. The dog was good with the kids minus the food stealing, but we learned that we just aren't ready for a puppy yet.

I hope Peter T. enjoys the mentoring.

mappchik said...

Kevin, Thanks! And thanks for volunteering at AHS. I would love to do that when the kids are older, but cannot imagine how I would resist bringing home my part-time charges... and not just itty-bitty animals. I almost asked for paperwork on an adorable fuzzball of 5 yr. old cat while there.

SD - Dogsitting is a great way to test how ready your family is. I hope you do get a chance at some point - as it sounds like your late furry family member was a wonderful companion.

We couldn't have handled a puppy with babies either. Peter T. was over one year when we adopted him, and has always been gentle, as well as an exceptionally polite (only word I can think of that fits) dog, which made him a perfect fit with little ones.

Jeff G said...

Cool and congrats - not only did I come here via Radley's site, but my wife and I also just adopted a puppy from AHS! (I work about a block away here in Atlanta, as it happens.)

I don't really have much else to add, other than good luck and have fun with the little guy. He looks rather cute paired up with this "big brother"!

mappchik said...

Thanks Jeff.

Congrats to you & your wife on the new furry family member, too!

Erin said...

We adopted a 16-pound beagle mix that turned into a 70-pound German shepherd mixed with a beagle's ears. But we love him, and he really did bring some pep and spark to the last few months of my hubs' childhood dog, a Jack Russel mix.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.