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 whole set of books!:
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.