Sunday, May 23, 2010
I had intended to write about all the improvements we have made in our new home since we moved. Granted most of them were done long before I started this blog, but I wanted to show some of the work involved with taking on a home of this size and location. Nonetheless, that will have to wait for a future entry. I am going to write a bit more about RJ and include more cute puppy pictures. I would say it is because of an out pouring of requests, but there were none, so here it is anyway.
His current name is RJ. There are quite a few reasons for this. He looks a lot like the best dog I had growing up, Rebel. I considered Rebel Junior. He also has some mannerisms of my aunt's dog, Josh. One of the reasons I had to get a dog now was because of the death of my sister, Rosalind. I needed something to love on and I couldn't be with her. I guess I got hormonal or something, but it became very important for me to find a puppy. I had thought about getting a girl dog and naming it in some way after Roz, but I loved this dog and he is a boy. No self-respecting boy dog would like being called Pinky or something girly like that, so I settled on RJ. Her initials are RJJRY, but I stuck with RJ to honor Roz and Rebel and Josh. It works for me, now I have to convince the dog to come to his name....or rather his initials.
Now I know a dog is a long term commitment, so I didn't want to get just any old dog. I also had to keep in mind the cats. They would not like any interloper, so I had to get a young dog that would be cowed by their irritability and not chase them. I also preferred to get one from a rescue shelter. I would never buy one from a pet store as I would not want to contribute to the puppy mill industry. There is an animal rescue in the nearby town of Fincastle. It is called LAP for the League for Animal Protection. We have gone there off and on since we moved here. None of the animals quite fit the bill for us. We had always had Golden Retrievers and loved them, but we wanted a different dog this time. All our Goldens had ear problems, in part because of the long floppy ears keeping a moist environment in there, so we wanted a dog with pricked ears. Lee and I both love German Shepherds, so we were looking for a mix that was predominantly German Shepherd. We didn't want a pure bred as we hate what the breeders have done to the hind legs. In order for them to look more powerful they have bred them to slope down in the hind end and this has caused a lot of hip problems.
So now we have a German Shepherd mix. The problem with this is we have no idea what is "mixed" in. He is obviously mostly GSD and hope the rest is some sort of retriever rather than some sort of pit bull! So far he is happy-go-lucky and sweet, so we figure whatever it is, it is a good mix for us.
RJ loves to go to the barn with us in the morning. At first he hated to get put in the Mule and he wouldn't get in the back, but now he hops in and rides with a big smile. When he gets bigger and more trustworthy I will work on getting him to hop in the back, but for now he steps in on the floorboards and either rests his front feet up on the seat or he hops all the way up on the seat and we have to scoot him over in order for us to fit!
RJ is very cautious around the horses. he doesn't bark at them, other than the first time he saw them running to the fence to be let out for dinner! Now he just stays to the side and keeps a cautious eye on them. They are BIG and their feet are HARD. He runs happily around the barn when I am working and eats horse poop when I am not looking. I would advise all visitors to avoid getting kissed. As an aside, he has also discovered the never ending porcelain bowl of water we keep in our bathroom that is just the right height for RJs so I mean it....no face kisses!
We are working on decorum in the house. Rhett is very curious and comes around, but does not let RJ get too close. Ashley is still avoiding him and stays up on bookcases most of the time. We lock the dog in our room at night and the cats out. The cats have always been locked out as they think 3:00 is a wonderful time to wake us up and cannot be convinced otherwise. So they have the run of the house when we sleep and whenever we take him to the barn or when we put him in the crate, which we do when we leave the house. I try to only pet him when he sits and is quiet...thanks to the advise from the Dog Whisperer! I am using a lot of his principals for training this dog.
He seems to be potty trained. On the other hand, we take him out a lot, so maybe we are the ones trained!
Mostly this post is to show the cute puppy pictures and so you can oooh and aaaah over the puppy and I can get on with writing about other things. But like any proud mommy, I love this dog and I want you to do so, also! The biggest hardship so far is the fact that I have to vacuum a LOT more, now. Mopping will also have to be stepped up. Of course I could blame it on all the "kids" that came for Tara's graduation. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Blame them!