As some of you may remember, we’ve been looking for a new dog for quite some time. Our two current dogs are more than 14 years old. One is blind in one eye, mostly deaf, and no longer able to squat when he poops, or, often, even able to make it outside from the garage. The other is getting cataracts, is about 10-15 lbs overweight, and has bad hips. She has a difficult time getting around, and mostly guards her food bowl, which explains the weight gain. We still love them both, but they aren’t much good for scaring off the coyotes at night or protecting the property while we run to the store (or up to Spokane for an overnight errand).
Because Loki and Freya, these two old dogs, are both rescues, as was Thor, our deceased Great Dane mix, we’re not much into pure breeds. With so many unwanted dogs filling up our shelters, it just isn’t in us to spend $500 or $1,000 on a dog. But then again, some of the shelters can be a bit militant.
We were turned down for an adoption of a large dog who had been a long-term resident of a shelter, living in an 8 x 12 cement kennel most of the day. Even though we had a 4 acre fenced property, and I was home most of the time, they would not let us adopt this dog. The reason? We wanted the dog to be outside/in the garage at night, so it could chase off coyotes and other nocturnal critters. Evidently this was tantamount to animal abuse. Of course they didn’t make the indoor requirement known on their website, or on their adoption form, so we didn’t discover our error until we’d fallen in love with the dog and were ready to pay our adoption fee and take him home (after driving an hour to the shelter – sigh).
We seriously considered a Great Pyrenees, which would have been a good fit with the farm animals. The problem? They bark. ALL THE TIME. We are only about 100 ft from our neighbors on both sides. I’ve lived next to neighbors whose dogs barked all the time. After a while, (especially at 2:00 am) you are driven to want to do very bad things. We LIKE our neighbors. So in the interest of harmony, we decided that a Pyr might not be the right fit.
We brought another dog home on a trail basis, only to have it suffer extreme separation anxiety any time it was out of our sight, and attempt to eat our chickens, not once, but three times. That was a LONG two days. Sweet dog. Not the right fit.
So when we saw an ad on Craig’s List for two Boxer/Plott Hound rescue dogs, we thought…well, maybe. The dogs were two years old. They had been around other dogs, and loved cats. They had been socialized with people since they were 4 weeks old. As an added bonus, there was no adoption fee, other than agreeing to bring them back if it didn’t work out. We decided we needed to meet Rossi and Gideon.
The couple who had rescued these two had also rescued their seven siblings, while they were living in Georgia. The puppies, at 4 weeks old, were sick and without a Mom. They managed to nurse 6 of the 9 back to health (naming them after the characters from the Criminal Minds television show). Four of the six had found homes in Georgia. But then a new job brought the owners to this area, and Rossi and Gideon came with them.
We met the dogs, and loved them instantly. It’s now been about 10 days, and they are fitting in nicely, getting to know us and we them. They bark at cars coming into the yard, sleep in the garage with the other dogs at night, and spend the rest of their time tearing around the yard, chewing up tennis balls, or hanging out with me (we’re in the bonding phase). While they are interested in the farm animals, they are more interested in pleasing us, and back off as soon as we tell them to. Our old dogs, who have always gotten along well with other dogs, are adjusting well (though Freya is guarding her food bowl with more determination than ever).
Even though they are brothers, they don’t look much alike other than the brindle coat. Rossi is a skinny whippet boy who likes to run, and be petted, and have his belly rubbed. He’s kind of the wimp of the two, and is turning into a Mama’s boy – this Mama’s boy. Gideon looks more like a boxer or pit (though genetic testing of one of the siblings indicated Boston Terrier, followed by Rottweiler, and Afghan Hound. No boxer or hound at all. Go figure.). Gideon loves to play and is the more cerebral and independent of the two.
So far, so good, though the cats really don’t understand who these new intruders are and why they are SO curious about them. I had forgotten what it is like to have two active dogs around, after so many years of our dogs slowing down. Maybe I’ll lose a few pounds too.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2012, where we’re miles away from joining a dog rescue group, but sure do understand the power of puppy love.