Dog Blog

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beau has been with us for a month now.  He is more settled now, I'm happy to say, and we have new sleeping arrangements.  No, not in my bed.  Not yet, anyway.  Although he did jump into bed with me this morning for a brief snuggle after Peaches got up.  I had to repurchase the wire crate from the pet store, only in the largest size, and that's where he sleeps now at night.  The other one was too small for him to sleep comfortably, even though it was supposed to fit a basset.  He's a long, long dog.  He is fine with it and seems to like sleeping in his own den.  Now that his pillow has his own scent, that helped him accept it more readily this time.  

Beau is the first dog I've ever crated, and it's because he had a lapse in house training and made some rather sloppy mistakes on the living room rug.  Long past time to have it cleaned, anyway.  I think something must have upset his digestion because he seems fine now and has made no more messes in the house, even when I leave him out of his crate while I go to the cafe each afternoon.  He sleeps quietly in his crate all night, and then I let both dogs out first thing in the morning.  Peaches has taught him to use the doggy door in both directions now.  He's learning some bowel and bladder control, which he needed to do.

Peaches still sleeps with me all night.  I didn't want to force her to accept Beau into every area of her life with me.  I think there has been enough of an adjustment to be made for an only dog who adores me like she does.  It's been an adjustment for me, too.  I confess I enjoyed our special bond we shared, and I hope she doesn't feel like that has been compromised too much with the new dog on the block, but now that Beau is here, she loves him and so do we.  He is such a sweet, loving boy, but a bit of an attention hog, so I have to make sure Peaches gets lots of attention, too.  No one ever said adopting dogs is easy, and it's not.  I think I finally understand what parents go through with sibling rivalry.    


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yesterday, Beau howled for the first time since I adopted him.  I heard a melodious bay coming from the front patio, which sounded so much like Bubba's voice it gave me a little chill.  Beau was vocalizing at a dog and owner passing by on the street.  He also barked twice to come back into the house.  

At last, after three weeks, he has rediscovered his voice.  Peaches took much longer to find her voice again after being adopted, nearly two months.  I still remember when it happened.  She and Bubba were at the park running around inside the Little League diamond when all of a sudden in her excitement of the chase she let out a rousing Roo--roo!  I don't know who was more surprised at the sound, me or her.

Doesn't it make you wonder what kind of emotional trauma these lost, displaced, discarded animals must experience to cause them to go mute?  It should.  I wish more people would think about that before they dump their canine companions like yesterday's garbage.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Beau has been with us going on three weeks.  I think we're all still adjusting.  We to another dog, and he to a new home with new people and packmate.  He's a very good, lovable boy and loves everyone he meets, but he's a bit needy.  That's to be expected with a dog who probably hasn't had much affection in his life.  He is kind of an attention hog, which makes it hard to give Peaches her due.  I try to give each dog some one-on-one time with me every day without the other one in the room.  I just take him or her into my office and shut the door.  I admit it's been hard splitting my affection for Peaches with a new dog after our being sole soul mates for so long, and I confess that having one dog was certainly easier in  many respects.  She still sleeps in my bed, but of course he wants to be in the bed, too.  Perhaps in time, but I think it's too soon to try that.  My greatest concern in adopting another was that Peaches' and my bond might be compromised.  But she really seems to adore him and seems happier (not bored and lonely), so it's made it easier and caused less guilt for me.  They joust with each other constantly, but he knows to be gentle with her.  He'll just flop over on his side and let her tussle with him.  It's funny to watch.  I need to get my Flip camera unloaded so I can get some footage.

I was wondering if waiting until a dog is five years old to neuter him has any real effect on the testosterone levels diminishing after neutering.  I asked at the vet's.  I talked to the vet tech, and she said it might calm him down some, but it's no guarantee.  This seems to be the consensus of the online info, too.  We'll have to wait and see.  I think I have noticed a change in the last day or so.  I'm sure he'll calm down when he feels more secure in his new surroundings.

He had an accident in the house last night, his first and only one so far.  Our fault.  We didn't walk the dogs in the evening to make sure he was emptied out, and he wasn't let out this morning when he got up.  Also, Beau knows to come back in the dog door when he's let out, but he hadn't made the connection that he needs to go out the door to the back yard to do his business.  Again, our fault because we've been letting them exit the sliding door to go out, not making them use the dog door. We worked on going out the doggie door today.  I hope he gets the idea.  I thought Peaches would teach him by example, but she's not very a good teacher, I guess.  She learned the ropes from Bubba when she joined our household.  Beau tries to barge past her all the time, and she's too timid to take the lead.

When you haven't adopted a dog in a few years (three now since Peaches came here), you tend to forget that there are always going to be hurdles to overcome with each new dog who joins the pack.  We'll get it sorted out in time.  It takes patience, persistence, and most of all consistency.