Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rounding out the Furmily

Himself and I have always agreed that we would have dogs once we had our forever home. We also agreed that the dogs would be rescues. Our first dog together, Jessie, was a rescue and she turned out to be a real sweetheart!

Jessie on bath day

She wasn't a large dog, just a nice, medium size mutt with a huge heart and loads of character. It broke my heart when we had to place her, but she has gone to an excellent home with a fantastic friend and is very happy.

Now that we're in our forever home, and because I'm here alone while Himself serves Uncle Sam abroad, we decided I would get a dog. Please notice the singular. 

Brand new in the house with no fence, I really didn't think I was ready for a dog, but I didn't feel secure (even with my new locks) and there was absolutely no reason why some random dude wouldn't drive up to the front door. In fact, I had a couple random folk turn up on my doorstep and it was rather disconcerting. However, I still wasn't actively searching for a dog. 

Then I stumbled upon a story of heartbreak. Look at this gorgeous lady who has suffered so much: 

She has no teeth, having been kept in a cage for so long that she tried to gnaw her way out. I emailed Himself that night to send him the link and told him I'd be contacting them in the morning. I did, went to meet her, and she's mine. 

When I went to the Animal Control to meet her, the wonderful lady in charge of adoptions, Sandra, offered me a walk-around to view the other animals. I was reluctant, because I knew I'd want to take all of them home with me, but I took the walk. And I saw this handsome young man:

He is SO not a pointer/lab mix. More like a pointer/shepherd/cattle dog/staffordshire bull terrier mix. And he is HUGE! He tips the scales at a modest 70lbs/32kg and can haul me around like flotsam. He is an enormous, goofy, wonderful dog. 

I came home and emailed Himself to let him know I was taking the red heeler and calling her Meisie, a Dutch word meaning "little girl" (pronounced may-see), and that I'd met another dog that would be perfect for him. He wrote back and told me to take both. I had had no intention of having two dogs, I really wanted Himself to choose his own mutt, but he wanted me to have two so that he felt safe with me being out here on the ranch on my own. To be honest, I thought this dog was fabulous, so it didn't take much persuasion. Sandra was delighted at the news! The dog's number at AnCon was 006 and I was hoping for a name based on the Bond character of 006 (Major Jack Giddings) but Himself got to choose the name of his furball, and decided to call the dog Jock. 

As mentioned, no fence, so I had to build a dog pen especially to hold them. The chicken pen here would hardly hold a chicken, so it wouldn't do, but I was time strapped, so I cheated and bought a ready made pen from Tractor Supply. My fabulous neighbor helped me truck it home and set it up, and I was ready for two new additions to the family.

I got the sunshade on sale for only $20 and the two dog houses at a bargain too. I had wanted to get two matching houses, but there weren't any in stock. One makes do.

The dogs hated it. Jock's a jumper, probably one of the reasons he couldn't be placed and he was on top of that dog house faster than you could shake a short tail, and figured out you could use that additional height to jump out of the pen. This led to some VERY fast rearrangement of the pen! Note how the house has been moved right back under the sunshade so that he bumped his head if he tried to jump. I also ended up moving the water bucket to the near left corner to stop him from jumping there. 

Both dogs barked and fussed so much that eventually I dug rope out of a box and used it to tether them to the trees in the front yard, one on each tree. The ropes were long enough to allow them access to the front yard, the front porch, and even into the garage. They were quite happy. While I'm home and can watch over them, they're on ropes. When I leave, I tried locking them in the pen, which they hated, so now I lock them in the garage. They're quite happy. Odd puppies! But as long as they're happy, all good. :)

Jock is as much of a goofball as I suspected he would be, Meisie is the sweetest, most loving little darling. I'm so thrilled with both of them! Actually, Meisie isn't on a rope any more. She actually snapped the rope in an effort to get to me when I walked down to the bottom of the drive without her, but didn't run off, just ran to me. I experimented to see how she would do and she never leaves my side unless I'm inside the house. The dogs can't come inside yet as it's the cats' "sanctuary" until I've introduced them. Jock, on the other hand, doesn't run away, just goes walkabout. He'll slant a glance at me over his shoulder as I call and then run faster to go explore. Brat! So he stays tied up until the fence is up. I've chased him once into the neighbor's property and I've no wish for either of us to get shot, so once is enough! 

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