I've got a new dog!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike Frezon, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    My wife and I picked up a new dog from a local rescue group today. It's very exciting.

    We currently have one dog (mostly my wife's dog). Our current dog is a mix between a cocker spaniel and a long-haired daschund. She's a little princess who we got nearly ten years ago as "my" yellow lab was in declining health.

    We had been "in the market" for a new dog for awhile now and had actually looked at a few other rescue dogs but didn't feel the connection. Until today.

    Here's Moses (on our car ride home):

    [​IMG]

    Moses is 6 years old. He was left behind by a deceased owner. He is an overweight Golden Retriever.

    What's going to be cool for me is that I've had some health issues recently and have just been cleared by my doctor to begin some light exercise. That means walking...so, Moses and I will be able to begin an exercise regimen together. We will start together walking and hopefully build up to where we can run together.

    [​IMG]

    The only potential hitch as we welcomed Moses into our home today is the reception he'll be getting from Kelly (our other dog). As I mentioned earlier, Kelly has been the lone little princess in our home for many years and a second dog will be quite an adjustment for her (as it will also be for my wife and I).

    Things haven't been too bad today...but there have been a number of territorial squabbles.

    I would welcome any stories/advice from dog owners who have introduced new dogs into their households with pre-existing dogs.

    This is Kelly:

    [​IMG]

    We did learn today that Moses has a "thing" for stuffed animals. It's kinda like learning to "babyproof" a house again for new grandchildren!

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I love Moses. He looks like a long-haired version of my Sandy. After losing her, I won't have another.
     
  3. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    Moses looks awesome. After you said he had a "thing" for stuffed animals I immediately thought of Wilfred..."Close your eye Bear"
     
  4. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    As a long time Humane Society supporter I thank you for rescuing a pet! That is one cute dog. Hopefully, your dogs will become best friends. It is usually easier for dogs to adapt has they are pack animals by nature.
     
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  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Yes, kudos for being a rescuer! Moses looks like a lovely dog.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks. Our other dog, Kelly, is a rescue dog, too!

    There are SO MANY beautiful dogs available for adoption it doesn't make much sense to go any other route for a companion dog.

    And most rescue groups do such a great job of making sure the dogs are going to good homes. They are great places with which to do business.
     
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  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    This happens to be a cat household here, and we've learned the same thing -- that there is no reason to go any other way.
     
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  8. Adam Gregorich

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    Congratulations Mike (and Moses)! We have been a two dog household for a long time, and have introduced two new dogs to the queen bee this year as we have two pass away this past year to (cancer and a car accident). You need to make one of the dogs in charge or Alpha. Pick one and stick with it. That dog will get fed first, treats first, petted first, etc. Once the dogs see that you have established a pecking order things will be OK. If one of your dogs is naturally dominant that is the easiest one to make in charge. All of our dogs have been rescues. I recommend http://www.petfinder.com/index.html

    [​IMG]
     

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  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    There's nothing more expensive than a "free" animal ;)
    Congrats on the new (sub)-woofer! He's a handsome fellow and sure to be a good walking companion.
     
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  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Moses is very cute. Almost makes me want a dog. ;)
    Congrats, and good walkies!
     
  11. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Beautiful dog, hopefully a wonderful addition to your family. I probably wouldn't even be alive if it weren't for dogs. Got my first one in 1995, died in 2007, bought a black lab a year later. They proivde so much comfort, companionship and just plain love. They will absolutely adore you, usually.
    For my second dog, I tried to do the good thing and rescue a dog. Even after all the screening, temperament testing and general getting along with people I tok atoy poodle/terrier ix home.
    I love animals, and don't want to be the negative poster here, but that dog literally hated me. Would snap, bite, growl, shed little cotten puffs of terrier/poodle hair all over the hosue, maybe due to stress. After about a month I had to return it and he ended up going to a wonderful older couple who love it, and have no problems at all with it.
    I guess the positive things were that he did find a new home, just not me, and since nothing was refundable, the older couple got a free dog with me paying all the fees.
    My third dog, the black lab came from neighbors nearby, got her at eight weeks, and we've been best friends since day one for almost four years. That's the kind of dog I want.
    If anyone does get a puppy or other non-rescue dog, be prepared to take a lot of crap from you friends, but just remember you will be the one untimately living with it, so find something you will enjoy.
    A bit of trivia: it took me one day to housebreak my dog. She also learned in two days to open the gate to her crate and wait patiently for a treat when she saw me getting ready to leave the house. This took no training from me, she recognized the pattern and immediately caught on. I also used to think that dogs catching frisbees took hours or days of training. Mine caught her first frisbee on the first throw, zero preparation, I think it's just natural that they like to catch flying things. Certain breeds can be very intelligent
     
  12. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    Beautiful dog you got there Mike! Both of them! Hope everything works out for the "princess".
     
  13. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    She should fit in just wonderfully. The territorial squabbles will work themselves out in time, they're still in the phase of deciding how they'll like each other and who's boss.
    I'd love to get a second dog just to give my black lab a buddy to keep her occupied when I'm at school or out of the house. My only holdback is that I've read they become to attached to each other, I get demoted to the guy who feeds them and makes them behave. The intense friendship I've developed with dog #1 may disappear, and it's something I'd dearly miss. Not positive it's true, but I'm reluctant to find out.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well...

    I return to this thread with heavy heart.

    Several days ago we had the Rescue Group return and take back Moses. While everyone who met the dog fell in absolute love with him, he turned out not to be a good fit for our household. It was an interesting lesson for us to learn and I thought I'd share it with others.

    Dogs can be (oversimplified) broken into two different categories: dominant or submissive. Our existing dog, Kelly, is a dominant little dog who has ruled our roost on her own now for many years. For his first couple of days in our household, Moses rather calmly co-existed with Kelly. But as he started to get more comfortable in our home--realizing he was probably going to be here for awhile--he came out of his shell and started to exhibit his true personality. And his traits lead him to be a dominant personality as well.

    So, there would be times when Kelly would try to put Moses in his place only to elicit some aggressive behavior in return and then, vice-versa, Moses would try to assert himself in the pecking order only to be told "not so fast" by Kelly.

    While none of this was a problem when I was home--because I tend to be the real "alpha dog" of the household (deep voice, no-nonsense attitude), these conflicts would escalate when my wife was the only one home and created some uncomfortable situations and concerns that this new, huge dog could hurt her smaller, older dog.

    The Rescue Group (Peppertree Rescue, for anyone in the Albany area who might be interested) has been nothing but terrific throughout the situation. I can't say enough nice things about them and how they've gone out of their way to help us understand what's going on. They sent someone to evaluate the situation who quickly summed up what was going on and what could be done. While we were told that it IS possible to work through such pairings, it would be constant work--with no guarantees that the two dogs would ever co-exist comfortably.

    It's hard, in a single post like this to explain the complexities of all the different situations that popped up, but, eventually the sad decision was made to allow Moses the chance to be in a situation where his personality would be allowed to shine through and not be constantly challenged by the interaction with another pre-existing dominant dog.

    I'd be more than willing to explain further or ask questions that people might have about the situation. I'm not sure I've explained it real well.

    So, we are back in the market and have already met a couple of other dogs and look to be meeting more in the future. Moses has set the bar rather high now in terms of finding a dog that's going to give me the kind of relationship I'm looking for. But we aren't in any rush and will know the right dog when we find him. And now, as a result of having had the situation with Moses, the Rescue Group has a much better idea of what kind of dog would best fit into our situation.

    I'll be sure to report back here when there is good news about a different new dog making its way into the Frezon household.
     
  15. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Sorry to hear things didn't work out. Moses was such a cutie it's hard to imagine him being aggressive, but I guess it's canine nature at times. Hopefully you find a new friend that's a better fit.
     
  16. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Sorry to hear this, even though I know the dog you finally end up with will put everything right again. Our relationships with our animals run pretty deep, and it doesn't take long to find yourself completely attached to one, so it's very sad when something like this doesn't work out.

    (We had such a situation here for a short time, and what resolved it wasn't as nice as being able to send Moses to another good home. The original "alpha" actually had some health problems we didn't know about, and died -- coincidentally, to be sure -- but so soon after the new guy came into the house that we felt all the worse about it.)

    Rescue organizations are the best, and it sounds like you have a great one. All will be well.
     
  17. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Screenwriter

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    Mike,

    That is a bummer - but I know exactly what you are talking about. We lived the same situation, more or less, about 20 years ago. 2 males, both sweet as can be on their own terms, but both determined to be the alpha. It escalated to the point of blood letting at one point and I was too afraid of what would happen to my wife the next time they went at it and I wasn't around. A difficult, painful choice was made.....sorry this happened to you but it certainly wasn't anything you could really change.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, everyone.



    Christopher:

    While I'm terribly sorry you went through a similar scenario so long ago, it is also comforting to know that others have gone through the same thing and that there is validation that it is a problem which cannot be easily fixed (even thought it might seem so on the surface). Thanks for sharing your story.

    I still look at those pictures of Moses and think--if only it could be fixed. But it can't.

    Ah well. Another dog will present itself soon.
     
  19. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    So sorry to hear things didn't work out.
    As mentioned above, I got a rescue dog, but there was no dominant/alpha problem to work on, it just flat out hated me. Hard to understand since I've always gotten along well with all dogs I've met or taken care of while owners were gone. This guy must ust have had a rough life.
    Sad to say, but it kind of ruined me on rescue dogs. I eventyally got an 8 week old black lab puppy and she really had no choice except to bond with me and learn the rules. That was 3 1/2 years ago and she is adorable, I'd never give her up.
    Something will come along and you'll all get along, just takes some time. The rescue people will hate me for this, but you might consider a puppy. They are yours from day one and can be trained the way you like.
    Don't be to depressed over this situation, rescues don't always work. You will click with right dog and do very well together.
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Actually, Stan, one of the people with the Rescue Group opined that a puppy might be a good fit for our current dog...saying that our dog would likely be comfortable with a young pup she can boss around and which will grow up knowing that she's in charge.

    And, rescue groups also sometimes have puppies for adoption too.
     

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