July 10, 2011

Introducing the Newest Member of our Family

The fish died. One of my children won the fish at a Trinity Community Church (when it was known as Vineyard Community Church) Harvest Party coin toss game. Those fish usually last a few days before dying because they are the cheap goldfish used as food for bigger fish. I probably bagged that fish, too, because that year I helped put fish in bags as part of the set up. It outlived many of the $5 golfish that we bought to keep it company. It survived roughly seven years and a cross country move in a big ice cream bucket. But its time was up.

For a while, I have been thinking that our dog, Jacques, needed a doggy friend. He can spot a dog from a far off distance and wants to smell each and every dog. I have to keep him on a tight leash when I see a dog to make sure that he doesn't lunge at them. And there are a lot of dogs in our neighborhood, sadly to say, that don't welcome him. However, true to form, our kids have failed to keep the agreements they made to feed and care for Jacques, mainly in the area of poop pick up. Eric and I have gone back and forth on whether to get another
dog. One morning as I was walking Jacques, I ran into a lady in the neighborhood that I hadn't seen in a while. We started talking about Jacques and the question of whether to get another dog and she mentioned the AZ Poodle rescue group that only takes in Poodles, poodle mixes, bichons and other non-shedding dogs. We would have to feed the dog and love it and take it to any vet appointments necessary, as well as take it to a PetSmart every Saturday. They would pay vet bills. We filled out an application, showed up a Petsmart and received Harley.

Harley is a fairly active dog. He is either a coton de tulear or a maltipoo.
Two ladies in the organization have a difference of opinion on the exact breed. He and Jacques like to play together, mostly in the morning. He LOVES his walks in the early morning
and evening (I wait until the temperature drops below 100 to take him for a walk, which usually
happens about 30 minutes or so after the sun has set). He is a bit mischevious and doesn't know how to beg at the door. This means that we need to let him out every couple of hours. He is quick an
d likes to dart, which means I trip over him many times a day. When we first brought him to our home his hair was badly matted, which is why he is wearin
g a shirt in this picture. The hair on his legs had overgrown his paw, which made him look a little like a Who from the The Grinch Who Stole Christmas fame. He loves to scavenge for food and will pull things out of my purse, jump on the kitchen table if a chair is left away from the table. Or jump up on our leg while we are eating. He loves playing with toys and anything can be a toy--a t-shirt left on the floor or any stuffed animal. He will drop for belly rub with the slightest interest shown to him. This makes putting a leash on him a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, he has picked up Jacques' bad habit of barking when guys enter a room that I am in. As a result, we are trying to extinguish that behavior in both of them with the help of a squirt gun.

Jaques, I think, likes him and is jealous of him. They like to play together, whether it is chase or tug-of-war with a play toy. He also has been appreciating the extra food available, though he gets yelled at if we catch him eating Harley's food. The biggest problem comes when we give the dogs treats after walks. Jacques tries to steal Harley's treat after he has already been given his treat and he is not being as careful in getting his own treat lately. My solution to that will be to make him lay and put the treat on the ground so my fingers don't get nipped. I will probably have someone hold Harley to pull that off.

We have had Harley for two weeks now and a couple of people have shown interest, but no adoption looms. I am hoping that in the next week, someone who wants a medium-to-high energy dog to adopt him because our kids are becoming very attached to Harley. Parting with him will be difficult, even for me. But I keep telling our kids that most of the dogs that we bring in will be here with us temporarily and that we need to show them love and affection while they are with us and be able to let them go, knowing that they are going to a good family.


Marlene M. said...

Harley is so cute! Do you have the option of keeping him?

tandemingtroll said...

We definitely have an option to keep him if we pay the adoption fees. As cute as he is, it might set a dangerous precedent, however, if we adopt the first dog we foster. Plus it will limit us as to how many dogs we are willing to foster. I can imagine fostering as many as two dogs at one time as long as Jacques is our only dog.

Cynthia said...

What a nice thing to be able to do -- help doggies with no homes. He looks like a cutie -- but sounds like a handful. I hope this turns out to be a real blessing to you and your kids.

I have only known one other person to have a coton de tulear -- my old friend Betsy -- so I was interested to hear that your Harley might be a coton.

I did kind of smile at the comment about the kids failing to keep their agreement to take care of Jacques. I think that's something just about every parent in history has had to deal with. I'm sure they were completely sincere at the outset, but kids tend to have ADD when it comes to unpleasant tasks.

Hope you continue to have fun with your dogs.