Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Elvis Has Left The Building...

More specifically, he's left the rescue -- All Terrier Rescue out of Aloha, Or.

Ace & I decided a month after Belle's death that we were ready for another dog. We'd been eying Petfinder for a while, and the tug was there. The biggest concern was getting a dog, then "abandoning" it (in our home, in the kennel with Izzy) by going to work for hours. So, Ace took a look at the vacation calendar at work, and found the first two-week time frame he could -- this week & last week. Two weeks ago, he decided to add Saturday, May 10th; most adoption events are Thursday evenings & Saturdays at local PetSmart stores.

We actually started (after I got off work at noon) at the Petco by our house; no adoption event was going on there, so we went to Tanasbourne PetSmart. Not one dog stood out for us... Off to the one in the Cedar Hills area. I got to talking to the foster mom of a mini Aussie, but he was kind of high-maintenance (required meds and constant watching for seizures; that wouldn't work with our schedules and would not be fair to the dog). Then, we went to the one by Washington Square Mall.

The first dog we got out of the crate was Ava, a pure black Aussie mix, about 50lbs. Ace had been eying her on Petfinder, but when we tried to introduce Izzy to her, Ava nipped her in the nose. Ok, then; that's not going to work. Ace & Princess took Izzy off to the side while I slowly walked the aisle of stacked crates (so sad, but necessary for the adoption event). A few were pretty cute, but too large. A few were pretty cute, but incessantly barked at me. One was the perfect size (smaller than Izzy), laying down, and stared at me.

I asked what breed he was & how big? They said, "Corgi, Basset Hound, & Lab, we think. Two years old, about 35lbs." I knew he also had Pit in him; it was obvious in his face... but I let it go & asked to see him. He was quiet & gentle, and seemed to like me, so I asked to take him to the open area with us & Izzy. They both did well; sniffing, licking, etc. We were told he had been fixed (they'd had him about 10 days at that point, and got it done when he got to Oregon. He also had an impacted testicle & a hernia, so they removed his stitches before we took him home.) I asked his name. It's Elvis, because of his Hound traits. Ace bent down to pet him, he snuggled in close & licked his face. "I think we've just been picked," he said.

We came prepared; already had the full adoption fee on us. The paperwork was filled out, we got him a new collar, food & water dishes, a leash, some treats, & food. The note on the desk as we filled out paperwork said that they come with a collar, leash, & small bag of food (all of which, in our opinion, was crap). There was also a note that said professional training is required (which we think is a bit silly considering we've always trained our dogs). Among the papers in our folder was a donation reciept for the amount of his adoption (unexpected, since we usually adopt from the local shelter, but YAY). We got him home, and he seemed curious, sniffing all corners of the house. Every time one of us got up from our chair or the couch that evening, he followed.

The next day was Mother's Day; I spent most of it on the couch in my pajamas, watching HGTV & DIY channels, while Princess catered to my needs (snack, lunch, a card game, etc). Ace went to the store to get steaks & asparagus for our dinner (my request). We also worked on potty (he had one accident in the house, which we caught quickly), "sit", "off", & "down" (yes, off & down are different commands), and figuring out how to get him to leave Izzy's food alone (still working on that one).

Monday, we took him to the vet for a once-over. She agreed he's part Pit, part Corgi &/or Basset (hard to tell without testing), and probably only very little Lab, but put "Corgi mix" on his official paperwork. By the look of his teeth, he's 2yr (which coincides with the rescue's opinion), and is full grown. She also told us that if we wanted to switch him to our current brand of dog food, that's fine with her (and maybe that will cure his food-"curiosity"?). When we were done, she told us that the visit was free because he was a rescue (awesome!), so we only had to pay for his microchip.

We then headed over to Petco to get a few more things, and sign up for classes. Originally we were going to do just the six-class set, but after talking to the trainer, and having him for two days by that point, we decided his stubborn behavior could use a pro's help; Ace signed up for the 12-class set, which also comes with a AKC Certification. Last stop was the Animal Control for his license.

Some quirks --
1. He's chilled a bit on following you around everywhere (only a little bit, though), but will wait at the garage door when either Ace or I go in to the garage.
2. He likes to follow you into the bathroom (note to visitors to my home: if you don't want him in there with you, close the door all the way).
3. He responds well to gentle guidance/tone/foot nudge/treats/etc, but is skittish if you make sudden or "scary" movements.
4. He's not been properly trained, so even though he's 2yo, he's still VERY puppy-like in behaviors. He will nip &/or jump when excited (we're working on that).
5. He likes to run laps in our backyard (cute) but if you're back there with him (which we are for now, to supervise) he's likely to run INTO your legs; move out of the way or risk being smashed into by a stocky dog (all muscle, btw).
6. He doesn't yet know the difference between his toys & bones, and our shoes. We can only assume that his previous owners gave him old shoes to chew on? The command for that is "not yours" (although Ace uses "Nachos"... lol), taking it from him & putting it back where it goes, and giving him something that is his.
7. He not only barks (so far, only a few times), but he also howls (which is both a Corgi & a Basset trait). It's cute & not very loud, but he can go on & on, so we will work on a command for that (probably "quiet" or "hush").
8. He is VERY responsive to treats (which is why we're doing all 12 classes; the first six are treat-based, the second six are weaning off the treats).
9. Found out today he barks/howls when left in the kennel during the day (I left for an appt about 1/2 hour before Ace was up; he didn't like that! lol), but he will have to get used to it.
*I'm sure there are more but that gives you an idea...

So, we've had him 10 days, he's been checked by the vet, he gets along with Izzy, and he's had one professional training class (plus lots of training at home)... Yup, we love him.