And so I have a dog... (very long)

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navigator9

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...it seemed like the day would never come, and now it's hard to imagine that it was such a short time ago that I began my search to find him. He came on Saturday, delivered by the wonderful people from HEARTS LLC, http://www.heartsllc.com/ , who transport adopted animals from the south, here to New England. My girlfriend came with me, so that she could hold him while I drove home. We got to the truck stop, and made sure to park so that we could see the truck as soon as it arrived. Then another car pulled up right in our way. I rolled down my window and said, "Could you please pull up a bit, we're waiting for a DOG!!!" The guy laughed, and said, "Yeah, we are too!" So he pulled out of the way, and my friend and I say there, waiting impatiently. We looked around and saw a lot of people sitting in cars, and she said, "You don't think they're ALL waiting for dogs, do you?" Well, it turned out they were, because as soon as the truck pulled in, all these people got out and ran toward the truck. It was amazing to imagine that so many dogs were going to get a home. The doors opened and I said, "Oh my God, there he is!" He was on the top tier of crates , right up against the door, looking out, the cutest one there. With so many people getting dogs, it took a while, but they finally placed him in my arms. He was so tiny and shivering, with his big brown eyes looking up at me. It was amazing to finally hold him.

We drove him home, and I wanted to take him for a walk around the yard right away, so that he could go to the bathroom. It was really cold, and he was too frightened to let me put his coat on, so it was a very quick walk, and he did manage to pee. We brought him inside, and I showed him around, introduced him to the cat, and fed him some supper. I turned my back for a second, and he had finished his dinner and the cat's too! I've since worked out a feeding schedule. LOL After dinner, he curled up on the couch between my girlfriend and I, and went to sleep. A couple of hours later, when she left, I took him out again, and we had a quick walk around the cul de sac. We went to bed early, and he slept under the covers with me.

I usually get up very early, but I didn't want to wake him, so I lay in bed until six thirty, then finally got up to make the coffee. I thought the noises in the kitchen would wake him, but no...he was sound asleep. I had my coffee, watched the news, fed the cat, and he was still asleep. Finally, at nine thirty, I got nervous and woke him, just to make sure he was OK. He was fine, just recovering from his very big adventure. He had breakfast, and we went out for a walk around the back yard, and he peed. This time, he had reluctantly let me put his coat on, but he was still miserable and shivering. I took him out abut every hour, hour and a half, but nothing else. Then I discovered a poop on the floor. So we went back outside, it was really cold, there was slush on the ground, it was sleeting, I was holding an umbrella over him, and he was staring up at me with those big brown eyes, asking "What are we doing out here?"

So I decided to try the potty pads on the porch, figuring that it was still "outside", but he wouldn't have to step in slush or snow, or get wet, so maybe he'd like that better. We stayed out there a long time, but no luck. So then I gave in and moved the potty pad inside to where he had pooped. He usually wants to be right by my side, but I started watching closely when he would stray away, and sure enough, I caught him starting to squat, so I said, "Oops!" and picked him up, and put him on the potty pad. He pooped. :clap: Later on, I saw him head for the back bedroom. I made the Cesar Milan sound, "Chhht!" and he spun around and headed for the potty pad...success! LOL What a good boy. I just don't have the heart to watch him shivering miserably in the cold. We will resume outside toileting when the weather isn't so awful.

I had started to wonder if he could bark. I hadn't heard a peep from him. Then he gave one little yip in his sleep. Yay, he can bark! Then he was sleeping under the quilt on the couch, and the UPS guy came and put a package on the porch. He didn't knock or ring the bell, but Scout started to bark anyway. Good hearing! Then a friend came over and rang the bell, and he barked again. I needed to go to the town hall to get his license, so I figured it would be a good test of leaving him alone with the cat, since it wouldn't take me more than 20 minutes. He didn't seem to have any separation anxiety at all, and when I came back, he didn't bark! He's a genius, this dog. :)

Today, we went for a check up and a meet and greet at the vet's. It was his first trip out in his car seat. I buckled him in, but it almost wasn't necessary, he just sat there like he's been doing this forever, and he didn't try to get out even once. At the vet's office, all the girls made a big fuss over him, and he just ate it up. He let the vet check his temperature, get some bloodwork, do a couple of other tests, and only got a bit fussy when he checked his teeth. A model patient. The woman at the rescue organization had told me that he prefers women to men, and tends to shy away from them. That hasn't been the case, because we encountered a man on the way into the vet's who leaned over and pet Scout, with no shying away or growling at all. And the vet is a man, and she was fine with him, too. We took a little ride on the way home, and he just sat there, resting his chin on the edge of his car seat, looking at the world go by.

Initially, he was shy with me when I approached him. I would take a step toward him, and he would back up a step. It broke my heart. But now, on day three, he just wants to sit on my lap or curl up next to me. He puts his paws up on me when he wants to be picked up. He still has some things that frighten him, like the leash. Just the sight of it, terrifies him. So I try to wrap it all around my hand before putting it on him, so that he can't see the whole length of it, and that helps a little. He now lets me put on and take off his coat without much fuss. I love when he lies down next to me, puts his tiny head in my lap, and breathes a big, long sigh.

He is such a good boy, sweet, calm, smart and loving. I can't imagine a better dog. After all he's been through, I couldn't blame him if he never trusted a human being again. But his big heart has found a way to be sweet and loving, even if humans haven't always been that way to him. I feel so lucky.

The idea of getting a dog was a little scary, considering the fact that I haven't had one since I was about eleven or twelve, but all of the tips and advice I got here, definitely helped me feel more confident. Thank you all SO much!!! And finally, a pic of the little guy, in his fleece lined winter coat, looking just too adorable. :-D He is so perfect, I have to think that maybe my Mimi sent him to me, knowing how much I was missing her. She would do something like that.

Thanks again to so many of you for all your help!

wintercoat.jpg
 

Susie

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He's precious! And I am so glad that you finally got him, and that he is wonderful!
 

shunt2011

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He's so cute! He's lucky to have you to give him so much love. So happy for the both of you!
 

lenarenee

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Hooray! He's sounds quite smart and seems to adapt quickly. I bet it's only days before he feels like this is his forever home!
 

lsg

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Congrats on your new companion.
 

dibbles

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My heart is melting. He is pure adorable-ness. It seems like you two are perfect for each other, and am so glad your story has a happy ending for you both.
 

BeesKnees

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What a handsome boy!! Thank you for sharing such a lovely story with us, and I hope you'll share more about him as you two learn about each other.
 

TeresaT

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Congratulations!! He's darling. Your story has me bawling and hugging my babies. Life without a dog is no life for me. Welcome to the club.
 

CaraBou

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What a perfect match! Happy that both of you will be spoiled for many years to come.
 

navigator9

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Thank you, thank you, thank you all!!! I really appreciate all of your good wishes. And TBandCW, you're right. Rescue animals really are the best. No one will ever convince me that they don't know that they've been saved. They do, and they love you all the more for it. And the thought that I have the chance to take this dog that nobody wanted, and can make him feel wanted and loved, is my best Christmas present possible. It breaks my heart that there are so many dogs and cats out there, just waiting for someone to notice how special they are. Conditions in puppy mills are soul crushing. My little guy may be small in stature, but he has the heart of a lion. A survivor like him deserves a really good life, and I'm happy I can give that to him. I'm sure I will have more questions as time goes on, so get ready! :) And I'll probably drive you crazy with lots of pics, because you have to admit, he's gorgeous! LOL
 

mrsserena

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Post as many pics as you want, I love seeing them, makes me smile to see a rescue dog finding such a great home!
 

dixiedragon

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What a great story! A lovely thing to read first thing in the morning! It's very well written - you should submit it to the organization. They may want to put it on their Facebook or webpage.

You may want to get a treat bag. They are a common item at pet stores (at least here in the US). It's a small nylon bag with a drawstring and a hook so you can hook it on your waistband. Keep it by the door and every time you go outside and he potties, give him a treat.

We have dogs on a heart medication that makes them pee a lot, so we got some hospital bed pads:
http://www.northshorecare.com/north...89ACFQcFaQod_X0BkQ#981=9197&471=1401&881=8980

Some people call them chucks, no idea why? but these are IMO better than puppy pee pads. The puppy pee pads are light so it's very easy for them to get folded over on the floor. Also, these are washable.
 

Seawolfe

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Oh I'm so glad you two found each other! He is ADORABLE! My Max is a rescue and he's my best buddy.
We will need lots more pics!
 

HowieRoll

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I can't tell you just how much I love a good animal story, and this one makes me over the moon for you both - congrats!!
 
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