We Welcome a New Family Member to the Rhose Household! #MFRWAuthor #newfamilymember
I was going to write about something else today, but something happened over the weekend that changed my mind. I have a little story to tell you. No, it’s not a romance, or at least, not the kind I typically write. There is no to-die-for hero. No spunky heroine looking for Mr. Right. This is a love story that falls closer to home. Actually in my home.
We’re not goat people…
But my granddaughter, apparently, is.
I didn’t share the story of July 2013 when Igor the pygmy goat came to our little farm (and the attack rooster left!) to the delight of our granddaughter, Andee, who lives with us. Igor, or Iggy as we call him, thinks he’s more dog than goat. Maybe it’s the dog kennel he lives in? Whatever it is, he takes every opportunity to invite himself inside when the doggie door is left unrestricted and he’s not in his pen. Of course, we show him the way back out and close the door at those times. The ‘real’ dogs don’t like him inside, though he’s never had any ‘accidents’. LOL
I am a horse person 🙂
Nor did I share in November 2013 when Apple the blessing pony came to live with us–for the same reason, to delight the grandgirls. Apple has become a best friend to my 22 year old quarter horse, Sonny. He needs a companion in his old age and adores Apple. They look like twinkies almost. Don’t you think so? 🙂 She belongs to all five grandgirls, but mostly to Andee who cares for her. It took us several months to find just the right pony and we’re very happy with our blessing pony. Both she and Iggy are members of the family now.
And I’m a Cavey pet
In January 2014 I got Giggles, my guinea pig (or cavey), and Andee decided Giggles needed a playmate, so in June she got Gizmo with her own money. Sadly, in September I lost Giggles at ten months old. I really miss her, but Gizmo still thrives as the smallest member of our little farm menagerie. 🙂
Jetta, who has been with Andee since both were babies, is getting very old. This past summer Andee realized (as kids will do eventually) that her old dog, who is nine, as is Andee, will inevitably die–sooner than later. She began to worry about when Jetta takes that trek over the Rainbow Bridge. What will happen to Andee? Who will she hug at night? Who will she confide in and cry on when Jetta leaves her? Then it occurred to her, and us as well, that she needs a puppy to learn from Jetta now, while she’s able–before Jetta leaves her.
But we’re especially dog pets
Mind you, we already have five small dogs, including Jetta, but only Jetta is hers. Then she decided she needs a bigger dog, one that can run and do things a small dog can’t or won’t do, or that an old dog can’t. Though Jetta has done fine all these years, she’s slowed way down lately. I’ve wanted another big dog for a while anyway, to guard the property (from the safety of the fenced yard, of course), so her wish was good timing. We’d get an outdoor dog, but one who can also come inside.
A Husky was her choice. So in the fall we began the search. Any dog we got did not require papers or stupendous bloodlines. It wouldn’t matter since ‘she’, whatever dog we got, would be spayed as none of our dogs are bred anyway. We are not breeders, we are family members of various species.
Since Santa didn’t bring a red Husky with vibrant blue eyes, it fell to me to come through. My first choice was a rescue baby. I found the perfect Husky over Christmas vacation. She was almost one year old. The age was important. We did not want to go through that chewing, potty training, nuisance stage so had decided an eight month to one year old would fit our needs. Besides, it’s easy for cute puppies to find homes, something untrue for many older dogs. I did a lot more research of the Husky breed. I need to know what I’m getting into before I get into a situation I may not be able to get back out of, or get an animal out of with a positive outcome
What I learned horrified me in a funny way.
I think most people think of Huskies as cute or beautiful fluffy dogs like this (and you have to look at these pics to understand the hilarity behind my horror! LOL) http://ow.ly/I6UdN . And they are beautiful or cute, depending on their age.
But they shed. Yeah, okay, stop laughing. I know most dogs do shed. I know that.
But not like THIS!
Again, you have to see this to get it!!! (and since I don’t own these pics I’m just linking to them)
After showing Andee similar pictures and explaining that the breed goes through what is called “blowing coat”, or “blowout”, at least twice a year, and in warmer states– like Oklahoma where we are–some “blow” three times in a year…and that really blows! Pun intended. 😀 We agreed that a Husky may not be the best breed match for our family. After all, we were looking for a new family member who can be inside or out. I’m not cleaning up all that hair!! O-O
There was another negative of that breed for us. You see, we don’t have a six foot fence to keep one in. All of our dogs are more likely to go through a crack than jump a three foot fence. But Huskies do jump, and dig…bad…like ten foot long, two feet deep trenches in twenty minutes bad– and like to run. And run, and run, and run, and… *deep breath* You get the idea. 😆 So, no Husky.
Searching for just the right new family member
Last Saturday, Andee came home to ask if she could have a puppy from some of her friends. Knowing the people, they live right up our road a few houses, I hesitated taking a dog from them for a couple of reasons. One, I know them and how they care for their animals, we want a healthy one. But the other pressing reason was the puppies are eight months old already. Yes, we were open to that age, but I don’t want to get a puppy that is old enough to run back ‘home’ every time it goes outside since they do live so close. We went through that with one of our own puppies years ago that we let a neighbor take. Less than a week later he ‘came home’ several times…in two days. Another no for that dog.
The right breed is very important
Choosing the right breed of dog for your family is critical. We decided we’d try to find a mixed breed of Shepherd and possibly Heeler or Border Collie in the blood. Intelligent dogs, all these breeds, good with kids and, typically, with other animals, too. We checked all sorts of rescues and humane societies in our area, but they didn’t have what we were looking for. By now we’d come to the decision a younger dog is better than a one year old (bad experience along the dog search line with one of that age). We wanted one we could mold and train to our needs and grow with Andee. I still dread the puppy phase, but we can’t have everything, I guess. lol
But finding ‘the dog’ was becoming a real disappointment. By this time last week Mr. Rhose and I were leaning toward no dog at all. Yes, it broke her heart, but she learned it pays to be patient when you want something specific.
And just when we were ready to give up…
And by now you’re probably ready to give up as well. But keep reading. You’ll be happy you did!
Out of the blue Sunday, my daughter called to ask if we would be interested in a German Shepherd-Blue Heeler+Boxer mix. Three months old. Okay, I absolutely LOVE Boxers! Have owned three over the years. But they are highly active, and these days I’m not so much. But this pup was mixed with two more stable breeds so how bad can it be? She’s younger than I preferred (that chew/potty thing) but one look at a picture and I was in love and I knew Andee would be too. She was also the runt, which was why I chose her over the larger sister. An hour later daughter and I met up with her friend from high school and met our new family member.
No, she’s not the rescue fur baby we wanted, but I’m okay with that this time. Now, before anyone decides to lecture me on the positives of a rescue animal–there’s no need. We have a rescue baby with Lucy, our 7 yo chi, and she wasn’t our first over the years. For myself, I would have held out for another rescue dog, but sometimes those aren’t the best kid dogs and this one is for Andee, not me.
It took three names in two days before Andee hit on the one she felt suited this precious little girl. So I’m thrilled to present Moxy Roxy.
As you can see, upon first meeting Roxy, Andee didn’t like her new baby at all! 😆 Sorry it’s so blurry, I think it was the wind.
Monday she’d already killed her first squirrel. But no worry, I was able to resuscitate it with a crinkly plastic inside after she ate the squeaky thing and dug all the cotton stuffing out of it. LOL Not really, Wednesday night she decided to dig the squeaker out of wherever the heck she’d hid it to play with it again. It went into the trash so she doesn’t choke on it.
Tuesday she proved she’s quite the gamer when she took on an Angry Bird that attacked.
That night she took on Andee. Dirty fighter. She favors hair-pulling.
One of my first rules was she is not allowed on the couch as a puppy because when she’s bigger she’ll want to get on furniture and I have to fight daily for my chair with Mr. Rhose’s boy chihuahua, Spike, as it is. My rules will be followed and obeyed!
Unless it’s this one, apparently. I can already see where this is going by day three.
Okay, so I knew by day two, when Andee played with both her babies…on the couch. 😀
At least the two pooches get along. That was a big concern with any dog Andee got.
L-R: Jetta, Andee, Roxy
A cat rules the roost
Ah well. We love our babies. And hey, Roxy even gets along with the cat, and persnickety kitty doesn’t seem to mind the new dog either. Though they aren’t best buds, they co-habitate peacefully. Today I found Trouble sitting on Roxy’s crate, with the dog inside. See why her name is Trouble? What cat taunts the new kid? LOL
(this picture is not that moment)
Oh, and that chew-potty thing? Yeeaah. No. She is trying to eat my custom, hubby-made coffee table! She also had two accidents Wednesday, one of each. I don’t think they were accidents so much as her trying to prove she doesn’t have to go outside…like a dog. The reason I think this is because both times I had just brought her in from a potty trip. *sigh*
And so it begins…
So, with that, you’ve met most of our fur babies. Thanks for visiting, and I apologize for this extraordinarily long post. Thanks for hanging around to the end. You might as well leave a comment since you read the WHOLE thing! 😆 What is the best age of a new dog, or cat, for you? Do you find your own age has anything to do with that all important decision? I know I do. 🙂
I hope you’ll come back next Thursday, when I have a writing post planned. Go figure. LOL