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Category Archive for 'General Happenings'

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This year, I lost my beloved Baxter.  He was my right hand man.  My little guy.  He’d been with me through all my major adult life changes & now he’s gone.  He always knew what was needed in the house to keep the mood cheery.  It’s a huge adjustment.

Unfortunately, Bentley doesn’t seem to be adjusting very well.  It’s been many weeks and he’s still mopey.  He only eats once every few days, he paces at night.  When I leave him home alone & then come back, I’m greeted with him yowling out the window (before he realizes I’m home) and objects strategically placed where they shouldn’t be inside the house.  He’s never been alone and doesn’t like it at all.

I didn’t think I was going to adopt another dog for awhile.  I thought I would enjoy the lack of responsiblity that came with one dog.  Not that there’s really a lack a responsiblity, just less responsibility than there was with a 14 year old cutie that had a bad heart & needed medication three times a day.  However, I realize that it’s just too quiet without Baxter and it’s unfair to Bentley to make him adjust to being alone when I have to go somewhere.  After all, I can’t take him to work every day, or the grocery store.

So……I decided I would look here & there for a dog that might fit the bill.  I braced myself for a hard search.  It had taken me 5 months to find Baxter & I had no other dog when I adopted him, so it was easier.  Bentley is 7 1/2 years old.  He’s set in his routine.  Baxter & him had things finely tuned.  They knew how to communicate & how to work around each other.  As Baxter aged & his heart started acting up, they played much less and Bentley seemed perfectly happy with that.  He’s always preferred playing with people anyway.  He likes to walk beside other dogs and sniff other dogs, lay beside other dogs, but he really doesn’t want them touching him or **gasp** trying to wrestle him.   A lot of other dogs don’t understand his communication style.  His bark is a little high & anxious.  It’s really not a bark, more like an excited whine/bark combined that he does each time he meets a new dog.  He was sick during his formative years & couldn’t be around other dogs.  It really shows in his communication skills.  Don’t get me wrong, he loves other dogs. He loves being next to them.  He just doesn’t really know how to play with them.  Basically, he’s a little strange for a dog.  When we go to a dog park, he’s happy to run beside other dogs and prance around with his head high, after the customary sniff, of course, but if they try to stop & play, it’s like instant confusion sits in.  It would be quite the task to find a dog who understood him, or so I thought.

Nice Smile!

Nice Smile!

I went to the shelter in the next town (we don’t have a shelter in the town I live in) after seeing a cattle dog mix with missing toes on her front left paw listed on Petfinder.  It wasn’t the missing toes that drew me to her, or the story of how she was thrown over the fence of the shelter’s outdoor play area by someone to cowardly or to broke to bring her in through the front door & pay the $25 relinquishment fee (although, I admit, it helped).  It was the look in her face & her smile.  Now, I volunteer for rescues a lot & know that pictures can sometimes not portray the true dog at all.  I knew I’d have to meet her myself & then Bentley would have to meet her.  Well, long story short, I fell in love with her when I met her.  I took her for a nice walk & then we layed down in the grass and enjoyed a little bit of the afternoon together.  She had the perfect energy level for us.  She wasn’t overly dominant or submissive.  She seemed pretty even keeled.

I knew the next big test was how her & Bentley fit in together.  So I grabbed Bentley and brought him in for a meet & greet, prepared to say No if their personalities didn’t fit together.  To make a long story short, I knew we were good when Bentley sat his butt on one of my legs, his head & body facing left, with a contented look on his face & the toeless pup sat down beside my other leg, facing the right, with the same contented look on her face.  Before they both settled into this position, they spent time sniffing the room they were in & sniffing each other.  Looking at each other curiously, but not intently, when they weren’t right next to each other.  They spent several minutes being confused by each other, with Bentley’s strange vocal communications & the toeless pups awkward gait, but it didn’t take long before they were completely comfortable with each other.  That was all I needed.  I decided she was the one.

She’s getting spayed on Wednesday morning and will be available to come home with us on Wednesday afternoon.  I requested they keep her until Thursday, so she can rest in familiar surroundings on the day of her surgery.  A dog spay is major surgery, & I don’t want to unduly stress her with a new environment.  I’ll re-introduce her & Bentley somewhere neutral, maybe in City Park.  Then we’ll all come home together for the first time!

She's holding her paw up due to the missing toes.
She’s holding her paw up due to the missing toes.

Thanks for reading!  :Mary Ricker

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