Friday, March 19, 2010

And he looks just like Ellen Page

Meet Jammer.
I apologize if you just fell over and thought you had died from how cute he is. Please know that I feel your pain. It happens to me multiple times every day. He is painfully adorable. And his personality matches. He's just super.

Hold on, though. Before you run out and get one of your own, you should know that I've cried almost every day since we got him a week ago. Having a new dog is HARD.

Go on - all you dog owners out there can snicker away. Laugh at the poor girl who wanted a dog and didn't know how hard it would be. No, seriously. Laugh. I deserve it. I'm not sure what I was thinking, and the babe kept telling me - It's going to be hard. And I was all, we're not getting a new puppy. He'll be housetrained. It won't be that hard.

She's been so good about not saying I told you so.

So we got this little 21 pound guy from a rescue organization in rural Virgina. He's a schnauzer mix of some sort - we've heard various theories about the other part of him, but for now we're just willing to settle on adorable. He's about a year old, and over the last month, he's been with a family that gave him up for economic reasons, in a shelter, with a foster, and now with us. He came to us "crate trained and house trained" and with the name Jammer, which we love. This is what he looked like the night we got him

Still a cute guy, but he smelled like a room full of wet mangey dogs. That grooming was a lifesaver.

So, here are a few of the things I've learned in the last week about adopting a dog:

1. When you stop at petco on the way home, don't give the dog some random treats he's never had before. He'll throw up in the car.

2. When people say that an adopted dog will have a transition period, what they mean is that he WILL DEFINITELY have a transition period. That means YOUR dog, not just other dogs that other people adopt.

3. Transition period does not mean 2 or 3 days. Also, it might involve your dog crying/howling/barking/whining when you leave, which might involve you crying/holding your breath/feeling panicked when you leave.

4. When a rescue organization tells you that your dog is housetrained, plug up your ears and sing la la la la la la so that you can't hear them. If he is in fact housetrained, then you'll be delightfully surprised, but if he isn't, it'll just be what you expected.

5. Your dog being smart may or may not be a good thing. It might mean that he's going to learn to sit really quickly. It might also mean that he's going to learn to move the bottom out of his crate so he can poop on it and shift it out from under him while he's home alone.

6. Not getting a puppy doesn't mean that you're relieved of the need/duty/obligation/compulsion to run home at every possible moment to check on your dog and see whether he's still crying/has pooped in his crate/has peed in his crate/is still as cute as when you left.

7. When you get a new dog who's been in a shelter situation, he might have some issues - like maybe worms. Or an infection on his little man part.

8. You can fall entirely in love with a dog even when you've spent about an hour cleaning his ample poop out of the tiny crevices of a poorly designed crate.


just jenn said...

i never had a dog until 'buddy' came to us from a local shelter. he had to be carried down the steps of our rowhouse for the first week because he was too afraid of our male neighbors to go outside. or, possibly, because i had no idea what i was doing with a dog and my g'friend, conveniently, went out of town on business. did i mention he weighed 60 pounds at the time?
10 years later, he's still laying under my feet. happy times with jammer!

Virgin In The Volcano said...

Adorable. And with some work and patience, you'll all be fine. We've rescued neurotic, troubled dogs my whole life and it does get easier eventually, I promise.

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