Two years ago today, I adopted Toby. Well, he is Toby now. His first name was Yukon. I like my chocolate labs to have chocolate names, so I had decided to rename him Willy Wonka. But, once I had him home, Willy just did not fit him. So I came up with Toblerone, alias Toby. He was 5 or 6 when I adopted him, so now he is 7 or 8 years old. The vet thinks he acts more like a 6 year old.
GOTCHA DAY — APRIL 9, 2014
Today, Willy Wonka (my new name for Yukon, his current name) came to his forever home — mine!!! I was nervous again (refer to https://9awalsh.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/twitterpated/) getting ready to go. Everything was going wrong. First, I could not remember where I had the address of the foster mom. It was not on my calendar; it was not on my phone contacts; finally found it on my computer contacts. Meanwhile, I was feeling more and more queasy inside. Gathered his new nametag, his new collar, and pliers to put it on at the foster home with his rabies tag. Set the alarm, went to the car, and remembered the leash. It was not where I keep the leashes (because I put such things away after Guinny was gone). WHERE would I have put it??? Found it in the box marked “DOG” in the garage. Being in a rush and jittery, it took me longer than normal to prepare my GPS. I now had 10 minutes to make a 30 minute trip. Called the foster mom to apologize for being late. I don’t remember being anxious about picking up our puppies. But this is a rescue dog. It will be a different scenario for the bonding process. A puppy you can mold. A rescue already has an attitude and possible baggage.
I arrived at the door, greeted by four dogs with Yukon carrying a new pink dragon in his mouth. Sooo cute! I didn’t have camera ready as who would have expected such an adorable pose! We tried to recreate the image, but with little success. The foster mom went through all his instructions. My! She spoils her dogs rotten! LOL He gets ¼ of a can of wet dog food with his Merrick kibble breakfast. At dinner time, either canned pumpkin or plain yogurt is added to his Merrick buffalo meat meal.
He is still being treated for Heartworm, so she reminded me to be vigilant about the regimen. Then we went outside for Gotcha Day photos. The foster mom helped me put the tags on the collar as I am not good at doing such things. Her other three dogs seemed to sense something was up, and they all started barking and being crazy. Yukon was the least crazy, but he was the one she told, “Crate, crate, crate” and he went in. I asked why he had to be crated when he was not the instigator. She said, “He is the easiest one to get in a crate.” LOL. Good to know!
I told her his crate is in my master bathroom along with his food and water bowls. I plan to shut him in the bathroom when I leave the house until I feel I can trust him. She warned me that he needs to be crated or he might scratch my door. Then I suggested using a baby gate in the doorway. She said that is what she did. He scratched the door frame and removed the baby gate!!!! OK! I will leave him in a crate until I can be certain he will be OK left in the house alone by testing with short periods of time and slowly extending it.
It took a couple of attempts, but he finally ran with me and jumped into the back of my car. He was just fine on the way home. She had said he would try to get into the front seat, but he did not. He was very good. Apparently, I was still flustered, because I pulled another boner: as I opened the door, the radio stayed on as if the car was still on. I pressed the button a couple more times to turn the car off. The radio continued playing. I took my stuff and Yukon inside and shut the garage door. A few minutes later I returned for his food left in the car. The car lights and radio were still on. I finally figured out . . . I had not put the car in park . . . AGAIN!!!! It has been a few months since I have done that trick, all because my last car was put in park by pressing the button on the top of the gear shift. I still, apparently, automatically tap the top of the gearshift and think I am done. Nerves. . .
At home, he inspected the whole house. I showed him his water bowl and his toys. He was not interested in the water but sniffed through the basket of toys, though did not take one. We inspected the backyard and he found an appropriate bush for relieving himself. Neighboring dogs were also out, so they had a barking party. I don’t remember Yukon barking at all. Maybe once? Back inside, he settled down a few feet from my desk. Eventually, I heard him wandering and went to look. He was on the loveseat with his paws on the back of it so that he could look out the back window. A couple hours later, I lay down on the TV room sofa, and he climbed up with me just like Guinness used to. He joined me near my desk again, then left. I found him sacked out on the living room loveseat. Since arising, he has been doing his own thing. I noted, at some time, he had checked out my bed. He likes ripping stuffed toys apart. I am worrying a bit about the throw pillows I have around the house. There were none in his former home.
Tonight, I had to leave for choir practice and he had to stay in the crate as I do not know what he would do if left to his own devices. My crate is a bit smaller than his foster mother’s. He cannot stand tall in it. Once our dogs were adults, they only needed the crate for time outs and when the house was on the market. He was VERY happy to see me when I arrived home and eagerly ran to the back door to go outside!
I find that I am calling him “Sweet Pea” and “Guinny” (both names for my last dog, Guinness) more than Yukon or Yukie. I have not started on Willy yet. He is a good boy and not crazy goofy like my others. I wish he had a bit more spirit. Maybe it will come. He has had a checkered life: first owner died on his motorcycle. I am figuring that was less than a year ago; perhaps much less! Then he went to a brother until he was incarcerated. Then to the brother’s daughter who decided she could not keep him. The Rescue saved him just days from being euthanized! He has been in the foster home for only a little more than two months. So he has had much change which could have subdued him.