Back into the fray: The puppy chronicles Day 1
Since the week following Yuna’s passing, we’ve been scouring online for a new dog to adopt. Our home has felt so empty without a dog in the house, and even though our beloved friends have been bringing by their awesome little pup, it’s just not enough. Our requirements are pretty straightforward. No human or dog aggression, no food/toy/treat possessiveness, and no senior dogs…yet. The biggest, of course, is that the dog would have to be very good with kids. We saw a bunch online that looked like they might fit the bill, but many were with rescue organizations who charge ~$400 for adoption. Considering the bills we’re still paying off from both Sophie and Yuna, that’s pretty steep. We turned to local shelters, as their fees are much more reasonable, though the dogs tend to be more stressed due to the environment. After a few false starts, we went down to a local shelter and met a dog they called Cornmuffin. Terrible friggin name, I know, but the dude there said they run outta names every so often and just pick ridiculous shit. He’s what appears to be a shepherd mix, about 40 lbs, and is about 1.5 – 2 years old. He came out sniffing around the room and investigating everything, but when someone started to pet him he instantly stopped and stood still. Even the kids, who were really excited, would pet him and he’d just drop to his back for belly rubs. He was such a sweet boy that we filled out an application, and yesterday we got approved and I brought home our newest little bundle of furry joy!
Meet Egon, our newest little ghostbuster. I brought him home yesterday during a snow day, while my mother-in-law watched the kids. After a little while, I suddenly realized how much I’d forgotten about having a “puppy”. While he’s technically past that phase, we gotta work with some of the puppy things with him. For one, he’s not trained with commands. I mean, he does know sit with limited success, but stuff like ‘come’ and ‘no’ are things he needs work on. He pulls hard on the leash, and perhaps the hardest will be his ‘marking’. He doesn’t appear to be housebroken, but instead of emptying he marks areas with a couple of squirts. I brought him outside and he eliminated both ways so I thought I was good. Then he came back inside and peed on the floor ten minutes later. We also have to crate train him, which will probably be a chore since he seems terrified of his crate. I’m not sure if he fears that we’ll abandon him or something, since he was found as a stray and we don’t know what his history is. Lastly, he appears to be somewhat of an escape artist. He can jump nearly my height, and when I went to bring my fighting gear to the car this morning he blew past me and ran out the front door. I was actively trying to keep him back, too, it just wasn’t enough. So we’ve got some training to do. Oh, one more thing, so we put him in his crate last night and he whined and barked like mad. So I brought the crate into our bedroom, and once the lights were out he did it again. I woke up and read online that the best course of action, if he’s indeed whining because he wants out and not cuz he needs to go potty, is to just ignore him. Dude, it’s after midnight, the Lish and I both have work, this is not the best plan! Thankfully, Lish came to the rescue. EARPLUGS! Slept like the fucking dead after that.
Apart from that, though, he’s awesome! He always wants some love, spent the night on the couch with me playing video games (he lost, gotta teach him those combos!), and he’s amazing with the kids. They can easily approach him and play or pet him, and he loves every second of it. This is the first dog that actually played with the kids in earnest. Yuna would if we were involved, but only then. Sophie and Sully only really played tug games, and we discouraged that with the kids since we like having their arms attached firmly to their bodies. Egon, on the other hand, loves it, and they adore him already. His happy demeanor, puppy energy, and goofy play make him perfect with them. I’m hoping that once he settles in, we can socialize him more with other dogs and get him ready for a new friend.
In the meantime, we’ve got work to do. Before we even think about bringing in another dog, we need to make sure we’ve addressed the major issues. Housebreaking him, teaching him to come and to stop doing things, and being polite on a leash are the main focuses. The realization of all this hit me hard. I didn’t realize how truly lucky we were with Yuna. Never accidents in the house, always great with commands, she was just a terror on the leash and bad with other dogs. I never had to worry she was in another room doing something she shouldn’t be, and never had to worry that she’d run out the front door. She’d just stare at the open door like it was a portal to hell or something. Anyways, because of all this my anxiety launched into the stratosphere today. I’m concerned about how long it’ll take, about him getting into the pool when I’m not home to get him out, about my mother-in-law being able to cope with him when she’s home with the kids, etc. I know it’ll be ok, I’m just fucking mental and don’t handle big changes as well as I should. Lucky for me, this big change is so goddamn adorable, and lets me snuggle with him. Onward towards this new adventure!