The dog days are over

Bulldog SuperMutt
Today has been a dog day indeed. I mean, every day I wake up to Greyson snuffling at the side of my bed, telling me it's time for breakfast ... so they're all dog days, these days. But on his walk this morning, we met another dog: a darling, half-grown pup of some sort, maybe a lab/pit mix, wearing a collar but no tags. He was running loose - perilously close to a very busy road - and in short, he followed us home.

In the last month or two, we've had two dogs and one cat die on this same road within a couple blocks of my house. I couldn't have lived with myself if this little guy had joined the ranks.

So I let him and Greyson go romping around the backyard, and I called the animal shelter that works with our neighborhood association.* They agreed to take the pup - so we drove him out there, where I felt like a giant heel about handing him over. The baleful look he gave me as they led him away ... it would've haunted my nightmares.

Except.

Later this afternoon, in response to my posting on the neighborhood email list, someone recognized him! A very nice woman called his owner, who rushed home from work to find that yes, his puppy had escaped and gone walkabout. Bada-bing, bada-boom - all's well that ends well and no puppies were hit by cars.


Then later, we kept a dog play-date with a woman in our neighborhood who has a Newfie about Greyson's age.

We met at the dog park, and indeed, he had a wonderful time playing with all the dogs - particularly the Newfie, who out-weighs him by about forty pounds, hahahaha. (Most of the time when he meets other dogs, he's the biggest party present and he can't really cut loose for any rough-and-tumble time. But this evening he rocked his inner wolf and went to town - yet even so, he was gentle with the smaller dogs when they joined in.)

I was very proud of him. He wasn't aggressive, he wasn't shy; he didn't wig out when he got his head humped. He didn't start any trouble, and he made some new dog and people friends alike.

We really are terribly lucky that he's such an agreeable little gentleman. Now if we can just get him to stop puking and foaming at the mouth in the car, we'll be golden. By the time we reached the park, he looked like he was either slurping Mentos and Coke or suffering from rabies.

We realize that his trouble with the car is at least partly severe anxiety (maybe mostly, at this point). For awhile, if we were out around the neighborhood and he saw someone loading or unloading an SUV out the back hatch ... he'd have a panic attack and try to cross the street to run away from it. We assume it's because prior to his adoption, he'd never been anywhere in a vehicle except to the vet or the pound.

Therefore, we're working on getting him used to the idea of CAR = FUNTIMEZ. NO SRSLY - FUNTIMEZ.

So far, so good. We've taken him through the Krystal drive-through for cheese sliders a couple of times, which was met with wild approval - and this jaunt to the dog-park seems to have made his day. His week. His life.

As of late, he's only thrown up on the way to/from the vet. It's not because he's psychic; it's because it's a much longer drive, bless his fuzzy heart.

Anyway, I call it "progress."
And I think we're gonna make this dog-park thing a habit.



* Stray and dumped animals are a known quantity in the neighborhood; a handful of very committed, organized people are really doing their level best to address the situation in a humane and helpful fashion.

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