Monday, March 30, 2009

Brew-baker. Brew-tus. Brew-ster.

Yep, I knew it wouldn't take anyone long to guess ..... my friend Lisa from Georgia not only guessed, but got his name right as well, based on my post label from the "dog lumping" entry.

Introducing the newest member of our family (which is now closely starting to resemble a zoo around here, although I did put my foot down FIRMLY at Brayden's request for a pet rat yesterday ...)


Blaine and I had always said we would have two dogs .... we bought Barley and then, quite frankly, just got lazy. Too much food required, too much maintenance, too much brushing, too much vacuuming .... in all honesty, the primary deterrent, in my opinion, was that there would be TOO MUCH POOP in the back yard.

Barley seemed perfectly content being the only dog for our family. She got plenty of attention and love, but a funny thing happened .... after we brought Blackie the cat inside and made him a house-cat (which by the way, is still going swimmingly) we realized how ..... how .... how .... how pathetic and lonely Barley must really be!

She would try SO HARD to play with the cat, and the cat was all, "Hummph. I am superior to you. Go away." It was quite ridiculously sad, actually.

And we realized that although we love Barley dearly, she was spending a large number of hours each day, mainly while the kids are in school .... alone. Sad and lonely. So we decided a playmate was in order.

Wow. This was pretty much the best decision we ever made.

We went to the local no-kill shelter and explained we needed a dog that was good with kids, good with other dogs, AND good with cats. Kind of a tall order, but we were hopeful. We had taken Barley with us, and the first dog they brought out promptly growled at her, and was so (head)strong I could barely control him on a leash. Sorry, "Chester", you weren't the one for our family.

The next dog they brought out seemed nice enough, the kids liked him, there was no obvious dissension between he and Barley .... but I don't know. It just didn't feel like "the one" ..... so, keeping "Ronald" on our maybe-list, we asked for one more.

Then they brought out this guy, who they were calling "Walter". I doubt he's full-blood, but at least looked mainly like a chocolate lab .... calm, gentle, leash-trained, didn't lick, didn't jump, sat quietly and let all of us pet him .............. granted, he and Barley didn't have much to do with one another, but hey, by that point she had discovered the pond at the dog park next door and she wasn't having anything to do with ANYONE who wasn't throwing a stick in for her retrieve time and again. So we played with "Walter", watched him interact positively with the other dogs at the park, watched one dog lump a lot of other dogs, and decided we would give it a go.

And so we brought Walter home, re-named him Brew, and promptly fell in love.

Kellen asked, "What is his middle name?" And I replied, "Ski". Yeah. Because we're still classy like that.

Our vet says he's about two years old and in good health .... sadly, he had spent the last five months in the shelter, and they had no idea how long he had been in the pound before that.

With only a few accidents he appears mostly house-trained (hey, you can't be angry when they haven't figured out where the back door is yet) and the first few days he was extremely calm.

The shelter had a 7-day return policy, and at the end of the 7-days, I announced to the kids, "Well, I've decided to keep Brew because he's better behaved and return Barley-the-spaz!"

Now, almost two weeks later, he is definitely coming out of his shell. The tail is wagging all the time, he initiates petting, and is playing more with toys .... although he still completely cowers if anyone raises a voice, which makes me wonder about the life he had before the pound (and makes me cringe a little on the inside ....)

Best of all, he and Barley are fast buds. Wrestling, jumping, running, playing tug of war ....... it's been a great reminder to us that two dogs are better than one, everyone needs friends, and our only regret is that we didn't do this months ago.


We've noticed, as he's coming out of his shell, that it appears they didn't feed him much at the shelter. I mean, how else could you explain hunger like this:

A book:

A whole set of books!:

A boot:

And the age-less, time-less classic ...... the dog ate my homework:

(Yep, that's Kellen's "creative paper doll project" due this week .....)

Needless to say, yesterday afternoon saw us at Petsmart, buying some additional, more appropriate chew toys. And thinking perhaps we shouldn't leave them inside the house without direct supervision.


M said...

He's sooooooooo cute...definately a dark ale Brew! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Brew is adorable. Good luck with getting him more appropriate chew toys. We have had two labs in the past 20 years. Our black lab chewed the siding off of our house.......THREE times!! Our yellow lab, just turned 5 earlier this month, and you never know what you are going to come home to. We have learned to not leave anything within his reach...especially paper, or he makes confetti and has it all over the house!!

Pam D said...

He is so handsome! How in the world did a gorgeous dog like that stay at the shelter for 5 months? (unless... um... maybe he literally ATE the folks who tried to adopt him out of house and home? nah.). Our sweet Blackie is really good about not chewing, UNLESS it's on the floor, in which case it's hers. So when an important business fax skidded off the end of the machine and landed on the floor, it became a dog toy. A very weak, wimpy, shredded dog toy. Poor Kellen... first he has to MAKE a stupid doll and THEN the dog eats it?

vgsmom said...

He's really cute. Glad he's fitting into the family so well.

The Foster Home said...

I am still cracking up at the name, LOVE IT!! Hope life with the two dogs continues to go well.

shara said...

Ah- what a cutie! And love the name. How can you be angry when you are yelling, "Brew Ski! You shredded my ...." I have wanted another dog for awhile, but it isn't feasible right now. We did get our dog Parley a couple of kittens about 2yrs ago.

Brew looks like he is loving life, and in the pic it looks like the life in him is being squeezed out threw his eyes w/ love. :)

Denise said...

Kristie -

Brew is a great looking dog! Hurray for you rescuing him! He looks very happy and I am sure will have a great life at the Escoe house!

Anonymous said...

Brew"ski" is so cute!
I know they can be pricey but... Dingo bones one a day have worked well for our dogs you know it's the price of the bones or new shoes every other week.We have 7 kids 4 dogs(3 in the house) 1 house cat,many fish and 2 mice.Why do we have mice? Cause my tree huggen' daughter had to rescue them from snake food.Please anybody give me some rat poison PLEASE.

Ryley said...

How adorable!! I love him.. Thanks for saving him...

Love him so much..

The Running Girl said...

I'm so glad you rescued Brew. And your description of him coming out of his shell is just how Roscoe was. Calm at first, but then really came out of his shell. But at our house, it's Tank that eats the paper. I just said the other day, "we really could use the excuse that the dog ate the homework". I'm glad to know Tank isn't the only one to eat paper. Many happy years with all your animals!

Anonymous said...

We adopted a 4 year old lab 11 years ago. He's still going strong, but to this day we cannot leave him unsupervised in the house. He knows how to open the pantry and has greeted me at the door covered in wheat flour, along with the entire first floor of our house. We love him dearly, he is otherwise very well trained, so we either crate him or leave him with some of our other dogs in the fenced yard when we are gone. Congratulations! Debbie E.

karen said...

awww he is so cute. I told Jeff we needed a playmate for Meg, but he does not agree. He thinks one destructive dog is enough.

Anonymous said...

I think you are wonderful giving Brew a home and getting him out of his jail cell. I wish everyone would go to a shelter and grab them up some puppy lovin. He is awfully cute even though he may be a little bit of a chewer. Congrats on the newest member of the family.
Your Alaska (almost, only 75 days) buddy.

Anonymous said...

OH...I am so happy for you all, esp Barley. A little bit jealous too. I can't wait to get dogs this summer...maybe I should let Kenny know this is a real plan. Not sure he is aware of it yet. Kenzie's favorite saying right now is "goggie, bite, ow". Don't know why, but it cracks us up! She has no fear of dogs, but says they bite. She does know kitties bite ow, when you whack them and pull their tail! Not like it stops her. Maybe she is generalizing...she is briliant, you know! :) Have fun with them. Hope we get to meet them some day soon!
:) Kim

gorillabuns said...

thanks for reiterating my desire to NOT get a dog.

DeborahB said...

Awww, the Brew-meister is adorable! And I wish I had a nickel for every item one of my dogs chewed up. I could retire AND put the 3 girls through college. And if they haven't chewed it, they've peed on it. Anyway, I digress. He's really cute! Good luck with him and keep everything off the floor!!

Anonymous said...

I generally don't like dogs, but.... that is one enchanting-looking dog.

And the name! Love it! Enjoy you're new addition!


Cozyflier said...

He's a cutie. When we had a new puppy, she ate a book that belonged to the school library! Had to pay $35.00!

M&Co. said...

I love me the labbies! We foster for the lab rescue here. It give our labbie a friend without all the responsibility.

Word to the wise: Build a fence around the CH&A unit if it is accessible to the labbie. Just trust me on this one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, he's cute!! And I feel guilty. We have 1 dog...our other dog needed to be put down last year after living for 18 years. (long life for a big dog) It was a difficult decision and our lone doggie is lonely, I know. She sleeps all the time now but begs for the kids to play with her, which they do, but not enough for her. BUT she is NOT a social dog with other dogs at all. She growls and tries to bite at them. The only reason she accepted the dog we had to put down last summer was because this dog was the 2nd! The other was the first dog we had so as the newbie (many years ago) she had to learn to fit in! But still...maybe if we got a puppy? Congrats on you new addition...very sweet looking!
Patricia, GA

Amanda Cohen said...

Kristie! Good for you for rescuing a dog from the shelter! I just loved your story about Brew...and I love his middle name even more! =) The dog is just beautiful and I am glad he is fitting in well, except for eating things he's not supposed to! You have a beautiful family!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I bet they forgot to tell you that Labs *sometimes* will chew things up! He is so cute! We have been Lab people since our first dog and we have kept two since they are outside dogs (indoor/outdoor kennel, free roaming of the property with an underground fence etc. . . no chain and dog house.) They are sooo much fun to watch play ~ but. . . They was that chewing incident where the mouse was inside the siding on the house and well, she had to have the mouse. On four different corners of our house AND my husbands outbuilding (read:barn). Oh, and the countless bags of garbage they have tipped and torn apart. Then there have been scores of shoes, toys, balls, gloves. . . Ahh, good times for all! Good luck with the whole chewing thing! Our male Lab is named Brutus Buckeye (goes by Brutus, Bruty, hey you, STOP)
Tammy in Ohio

Anonymous said...

He is beautiful! As a rescue volunteer myself, I'm so happy to hear that you rescued Brew from a shelter. He will be forever grateful (once he stops eating your stuff!). :) Way to go, Escoes!

Gayle in AL

Jordyn said...

Congrats on your new addition!! He is gorgeous!!

I'm a firm believer in having more than one dog. My first Golden had separation anxiety so we got her a friend and never looked back. It was one of the best things we've ever done.

Laura in Michigan said...

You know, rats are exceptionally smart and easy to take care of.... and if you can get past the tail, they are very sweet to hold and cuddle. And did I mention smart? My son had rats for many years. I still miss them.


I wish my dog ate paper. She hearts plastic.

Brew is totally adorable, how nice for Barley to have a partner in crime... errr... friend!

Alisa said...

He should be the poster dog to get people to get dogs. I want one-
(um did I say that?)

Dianna in Louisiana said...

What a lucky, handsome dog Mr. Brew is. We recently adopted a beagle mix pup, Henry, who is pretty spastic like your Barley and a chewer like Brew. Good thing he's so stinking cute............

Have you ever given your dogs pig ears? I thought my brother was joking when he said that he bought them for Henry, but you should have seen the little rascal's reaction to them...... he was in Heaven!