Dog Blog

Monday, October 19, 2009

Beau has been with us just two days now, and he has already blended into his new home more smoothly than I could have imagined.  It was my main worry and caused me some lost sleep through this whole adoption ordeal.  I have adopted difficult dogs in the past or ones that had unforeseen health problems, some of them fatal, so there are many concerns when adopting pets from shelters.  I am 100% in favor of rescue over purchasing from breeders and pet stores, but the reality is that you don't always know what you're getting.  Mind you, you don't know much about dogs that come from most breeders, either.  Daisy was a pet shop girl and puppy mill dog and, God rest her, she was my worst dog ever. 

The Stockton dog pound was not a facility that does any real health or behavior assessments prior to putting their animals up for adoption.  However, they do inoculate incoming dogs for Parvo, Distemper and Bordatella (kennel cough) .  Other than that, it's basically adopt at your own risk, and the fee was quite high compared to Sacramento shelters, which is why his former owners wouldn't pay up to redeem him.  Beau has thus far cost me about $600 (adoption and neutering, plus blood work and dental, etc.) compared to Peaches adoption fee at the SSPCA of $100.  Beau would have cost me nothing to adopt at the SSPCA because he is five years old.  But who's complaining? What would you be willing to pay for complete devotion and unconditional love?  That is priceless!  

The Stockton staff did not even know whether he was neutered.  How could you not know that? All anyone had to do was check out his undercarriage.  His prodigious baggage was pretty hard to miss.  I understand that they are underfunded and understaffed, as are nearly all shelters in this economy, but I was fortunate that Beau is every bit as friendly as he seemed in the dog pound.  Of course, dogs usually put their best paw forward in the hope of getting sprung from captivity and almost certain death, but what I saw was what I got in his case. 

I also worried that Peaches might resent his presence because she has become so extremely bonded with us in these past seven months since Bubba has been gone.  She was enjoying her top dog status, although I sensed she was lonely without canine company, which is partly why I decided to take on another dog, even though having one is definitely easier and less costly. Also, there are just too many pets now in need of good homes.  I couldn't NOT adopt a dog.  I have taken great pains to do things right this time with proper introductions, giving her extra attention, and not varying our routines so she does not feel slighted in any way.  

We got the sleeping arrangements sorted out quickly, thanks to Beau who has chosen the dog bed on the floor where Peaches sometimes slept.  I think she was just keeping it warm for the next occupant.  I bought a wire kennel to keep him contained because I had no idea whether he was housebroken.  He is, and he wanted no part of any more cages, so I'll be returning that apparatus.  Peaches prefers the chair she inherited from the former top dog, Bubba, and she has kept her throne with no challenges from the new dog.  

Peaches accepts Beau as a pack member and is beginning to like him.  There has been a lot of flirting and tail wagging today.  She has hardly played since Bubba died and mostly lost interest in our old games with Foxy Loxy and Sock Monkey.  It was just no fun any more.  Even chewing a chewy wasn't much fun because there was no competition to make it interesting.  She clearly enjoys hanging out with Beau in the backyard and taking her walks with another dog, like before with Bubba.  Dogs need to be around their own kind, just as humans do.  We'd get awfully bored and lonely if we never had anyone else to socialize with.  Most single dogs get that at dog parks, but of course Peaches is not a dog park fan (neither am I).  It will be interesting to see if she is any bolder with Beau at her side.  We can't take him for a while, though.  He's still healing from his surgery.  I'm trying to keep him quiet, but it's hard.  He's an energetic dog.  

Beau adores her and us.  He has totally accepted his new family and does not seem to miss whoever was in his former life one iota.  And they do not deserve to be missed.  They abandoned him to probable death without a second thought.  I'm so glad I found him.  He's brought much happiness to us in such a short time.  After mourning for Bubba so long, we needed some.



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