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Sunday, January 18, 2009

1 adult, 2 children, 3 cats, 1 dog and..

...I must be outta' my fucking mind!!

At the end of February, it will be a year since adopting Schwartz.

In this time, he has shit and peed himself happy repeatedly in numerous spots around my house (and just to remind me that he still isn't completely housebroken, he took a shit in my dining room this morning), it was discovered that as a younger puppy, he was hit by a car and has a metal plate in his hip with rod and wires down one leg to keep everything attached and has had countless other health issues. As a first time dog owner, this past year has been a learning experience to say the least!

For those of you who've followed my blog for awhile, you know about Schwartz's loss of fur which turned out to be from a food allergy. His skin looks better although there's still some break outs occurring, almost like he has severe acne. Minimal fur regrowth is apparent but very slow and more of his fur has actually thinned out in other areas as well. When the allergy first developed, his previous diet caused him to be ravenous, he couldn't wait for his meals and he was eating them in less than a minute and then looking for more. Since starting him on the newer, high quality food, his appetite is back to normal with him taking his time eating his food throughout the course of the day. Because of the balding issue, I have not taken him to day care in some time now especially since we're in a serious cold patch right now and this particular area of skin is affected by the cold.

One other observation I've noticed for awhile now, is that he's lonely. While the kids and I spend as much time with him as we can it doesn't seem to be enough. He looks sad when we have to leave and it breaks my heart. In this year, the cats have learned to simply tolerate him. One out of the three cats still hisses at him fairly regularly when Schwartz gets too close and none of the cats have warmed up to him enough to dare cuddle with him. Even so, Schwartz doesn't give up his natural instinct to try to play with them and as doofie as he can be sometimes, he's not stupid and understands that the cats just don't care for him.

For some time now, I have thought about getting him a playmate. I've really been back and forth with it because, frankly, it's just not in my budget. Day care is great for socializing him but it's just not practical with the economy being in the toilet and with the amount of money I spend on that, having taken him two times/week in the past, spending the money on adopting a dog would equal the same amount I'd pay for two weeks worth of day care. Of course there's everything else that goes along with owning a pet like health care, food costs, grooming costs, etc. but the positive certainly outweighs the negative when it comes to full-time companionship.

So I'm thrilled to announce that as of 1pm today, Schwartz has a new full-time playmate!

The adoption happened very quickly. I saw his photo on our local Humane Society's website on Friday night and went in yesterday morning to check him out. He's been at the shelter for almost two weeks and no one before us showed an interest. The decision to adopt him was immediate. I spent ten minutes with him but knew within the first minute that I wanted him.

His name is Jasper, formally Jack. I changed his name because I didn't want him to have the same name as the devil child living directly across the street from us. From what I understand, when you change a dog's name, you should try to make it sound as familiar as the former so they are not entirely confused, that's why I kept the J-A part. Even so, he is confused which I suppose is normal and I'm sure it will take a few days at least before he starts recognizing it.

Onto the details...Jasper is a 1.5 year old Lab/German Shorthaired Pointer mix, probably more Lab than Pointer. The only recognizing Pointer features are his head and coloring. Everything else is Lab. His tail is Lab not Pointer and I haven't seen him point yet but then again, I've only had him here for a little over an hour! He is extremely overweight and will no doubt have to be put on a diet although the way he and Schwartz have been playing, he should lose all his excess weight in about two seconds! He's housebroken, knows minimal commands, seems to be good with cats and since the cats are used to having a dog around, seem to be okay with him, he has a great disposition, very sweet, very high energy and too fucking cute for words!

By now you're probably wondering WTF he looks like. Well, I gave you the description above which is all I can leave you with for now since he won't sit still long enough for me to snap a picture! Gimme' a week, I'm sure things will calm down by then!

Because we already have a dog, he and Schwartz had to have a "meet-and-greet" to make sure they'd get along before I could take him home. He also had to have a cat test to make sure he would deal well with cats and he passed. Jasper and Schwartz had a great first meeting and I can't even begin to tell you how excited Schwartz is to have a friend to play with! They are both so exhausted right now, I'm certain they'll both sleep well tonight.

I definitely have my work cut out for me. The people who owned him previously spoiled him rotten and most definitely did not train him at all. He knows 'sit' and that's it. For people who had him since he was a young puppy, I'm truly appauled they didn't take the time to teach their dog the basics. At first, I will have to take him for solo walks because he doesn't know a thing about walking, which side to stay on, etc.. He's all over the place and when I led he and Schwartz out of the shelter today, I'm surprised I didn't fall and break my neck with how caught up I was in their leashes!

The adoption happened very quickly. I saw his photo on the Humane Society's website on Friday night and went in yesterday morning to check him out. He's been at the shelter for almost two weeks and no one before us showed an interest. The decision to adopt him was immediate. I spent ten minutes with him but knew within the first minute that I wanted him.

Fortunately, the vet I take our pets to is open on Saturdays and I called them and they faxed the requested information right over to the shelter. By 3:30 yesterday afternoon, our adoption had been approved.

Now, here's some interesting news about Schwartz...

The people at the Humane Society remembered him and couldn't believe how amazing he looks! I was told that he and his litter of brothers and sisters were brought in as young puppies and that they were just very messy, ugly-looking puppies!

Anyway, that's the scoop for now. I will keep you posted and the minute I get a picture of 'the boys' I'll post it here!

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Anonymous Giggle Pixie said...

Awwww...I'm excited for all of you and so glad that Schwartz has a new playmate! Can't wait to see pictures!

January 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

You've done a wonderful thing, Gertie, and I'm really happy for Schwartz and Jasper. Yes, dogs are work, but they give it all back in doggy love.

January 18, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous metalmom said...

The payoff will be tremendous and you know karma is cool. Schwartz and Jasper are lucky to have a mom like you!

January 18, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

Congrats on the new dog!

January 19, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

OMG. You are insane!! Lol. Two dogs is a lot more work, I can say that from experience. I wish you all of the best of luck and good for you for adopting! I just lost my dog and the temptation to add a second is overwhelming.

January 19, 2009 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Koolio said...

GP, I now have a pic of Jasper now I just have to find the time to post it!

Charlie, somehow I knew out of everyone, you would approve of the adoption the most! ;)

MM, thank you! I try to be the best mom and dog mom I can be!

BS and BC - thank you!! I'm excited about this new challenge!

Leave, insane? You of all people know I don't claim to even come close to sane, lol. Sorry to hear about your dog. You lost one not too long ago, it must be difficult for you. Take it slow and don't get another dog so quick! Enjoy your time with the little one.

January 19, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger WavyDavy said...

I can hear the doggie conversation now. Schwartz whispers to Jasper, "No, seriously, it's cool. Go ahead and crap wherever you want. She'll clean it up. Trust me, it's a win/win for everyone." Jasper says, "I'm gonna like this place!"

Seriously though, you really are a good person. Congrats on the new dog. If Schwartz (and Jasper) could say "Thanks!" I'm sure they would.

January 20, 2009 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

Koolio-Well I wasn't going to go there with the insanity thing. Lol. I am not getting another one. My younger dog prefers to be an only dog so I'm going to see if his behavior improves. Good memory, I lost my other dog 3 years ago in February. I commend you on all of your rescues and I wish both dogs lots of fun and good health and you as well!

January 20, 2009 at 8:25 PM  

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