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New Family Member - RonO's Ramblings

Mar. 28th, 2008 08:33 am New Family Member

Last night, Tara came home with Rocky. Rocky is a mixed breed, apparently mostly Australian Shepherd, dog. He was previously in the supposedly temporary care of one of her co-workers.

As I understand the background tale {I almost typoed "tail" but that wouldn't work, since Rocky's was docked}, Tara's co-worker agreed to dog sit for someone who had posted on Craigslist {which is why this posting is friends-locked, to keep her from finding this, just in case}. This was supposed to be for just a month. However, after five or six weeks, the co-worker had only had one contact with the alleged owner, who claimed that she'd lost her job and then been in jail over a "misunderstanding about a car."

However, Tara's co-worker couldn't keep him any longer since she had agreed to dog sit for one of the pathologists and couldn't deal with two dogs. So we agreed to take him as opposed to having him go to a shelter (which is what the co-worker told the alleged owner would actually happen).

So, now we have a dog. At this point we are planning on keeping him. My thoughts are that if the alleged owner wants him back, she had better pay the co-worker and us for room and board (at a reasonable rate, or at least cover our expenses) plus for the vet bill that we are going to incur in the next couple of days -- his vaccination record is unknown. I will also want proof that she has a place where she can keep him. According to Tara, her co-worker found another posting on Craigslist looking for a place to keep him for a month.

Ironically, Derrick left yesterday to spend the rest of spring break with his newly returned snowbird grandparents in Rockford, so he only briefly got to meet Rocky. But Derrick loves dogs -- or at least dogs that aren't scared of him. So, hopefully that will be OK. I've wanted a dog for some time, as has Tara. Rocky seems a bit leery of me at times, but is very friendly at others. So the human part of the family seems OK.

Sam, our cat, on the other hand, isn't so sure. Last December Sam and another dog had a brief meeting that went much better, but the other dog was calmer. Rocky seems to be very interested in getting to know Sam -- much too interested for Sam's taste. Unfortunately, I can tell Rocky over and over that "you have to meet the cat on the cat's terms, not yours" but that doesn't do much for a dog that doesn't understand English or higher reasoning.

To help with the situation, I bought a "baby" gate and have put it across the door to my office. Sam is capable of jumping over it (although he seems more likely to jump over it to leave the room that get back in. Conveniently, the gate came with two sets of mounting hardware (which is just eye-bolts) so I can also mount it across the doorway out of our family room, restricting the dog to one room instead of giving the cat a one room retreat.

I also moved Sam's food into my office -- after Rocky went after it almost instantly. There is also water and a litter box up there, so Sam can survive there without too much problem if he has to.

So far we've had a couple of incidents. I think that last night Rocky was unsure about going down stairs so I could let him out before bedtime because Sam had left my office and was being explosive downstairs.

This morning, when Tara was eating breakfast, she let Rocky out (we have a fenced backyard and had already confirmed that the gates were both closed) and tried to find Sam. Sam, however stayed hidden even when treats were in the offering. After she let Rocky back in, she discovered Sam hiding in one of the bookshelves we emptied before the new carpet was put in, and had to do some clever work to get Sam upstairs unmolested -- and she almost had to wake me to get Sam into the office.

When I got up, I found Sam in the closet of my office. While I did a bit of e-mail reading in there, he came out and hopped onto his window seat. I petted him there for a while, and he did purr and seemed content and not too upset. Then I went downstairs and took Rocky out for a quick trip before leaving for work. When I came back in, Sam was standing in the family room. I had let Rocky off the leash (I didn't want to chase him all over the backyard before leaving), so I didn't have any hold when I opened the door in from the porch.

What I hadn't realized was I'd forgotten to close the door to our bedroom, so Sam went in there instead. So I had to pick up a large, fully bushed, hissing and growling cat, and dump him over the gate into my office so I could shut the bedroom door and leave.

Hopefully when we get home, we will not have a destroyed house, nor an injured dog or cat.

Picture of Rocky
The picture isn't great. It took it with my cell phone to get a quick snap. If I get a better picture later, I may post a link.

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Comments:

From:lonotter
Date:March 31st, 2008 01:09 pm (UTC)
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>Hopefully when we get home, we will not have a destroyed house,
>nor an injured dog or cat.

Crate training is your friend. We shouldn't need our smaller crates that we use when camping for a month or two if you want to borrow one.