New Dog

Yesterday I went to the Paws Atlanta shelter with Katie to look for dogs. We wound up taking home a near twin of Katie, except he is male.

He is part pit bull, I’m sure (he has a big head), but he has a very sweet disposition despite some unsolicited advances on Katie yesterday. I don’t think he has barked yet. He is extremely skinny right now, but has been eating a lot, so he should be fine. Though I formally adopted him, I consider him to be on a working test for the first week or so. The shelter named him Austin, which is okay, but I’m thinking about Buddy, Buster, or Trevor. Any suggestions are welcome. Katie seems largely indifferent towards him. They don’t play, but they don’t growl at each other. He is very affectionate towards me though.

When Katie and I went to the shelter they said we could go around and look at the larger dogs in kennels in the back. They asked if I had brought someone to watch Katie while I looked at dogs and warned Katie could get freaked out with all the barking. I took her around back anyway and the barking was very intense with all of the dogs barking at me and Katie. Katie just didn’t know what to do. We stayed back there for a couple of minutes before I realized I just needed to take Katie back to the car, not just for her sake, but for all of the dogs. Only a couple of dogs didn’t bark at her. Without Katie, the dogs were markedly more relaxed, but a lot of them still barked. There were probably 40 or 50 dogs, mostly in individual kennels and their names and some statistics were on cards on the gate (Austin’s said “Approximate date of birth: 5/21/04 I’m A Big Handsome Boy Who Is Friendly & Loves To Play. I’m Housebroken & Well Behaved Inside. I’ll Be Your Best Friend If You Give Me A Good Home! I Do Well With Other Dogs, But No Cats Please.”). I wrote down JD, Boomerang, Venus, Baylyn, and Bamba. I was looking for grown females. I thought training a puppy again would be tough and it might be tough on Katie as well having a dog that wanted to play so much.

I went back and got Katie out of the car and took her back to the main desk to ask to see the dogs. While we were in there a large cat jumped out of its unlatched cage and attacked Katie. We hurried outside and waited for someone to put that cat away. Katie is defintely not happy at this point. It turns out the cat was a Katrina rescue. Yikes. But when it wasn’t around dogs, apparently it was very laid back. First they brought out Baylyn, who was one of the dogs that hadn’t barked at Katie. But after a few seconds of greeting Baylyn growled and jumped on poor Katie. Next they brought out Boomerang who it turns out has been at the shelter for a long time. Katie and Boomerang were pretty much indifferent plus she didn’t seem to care much about me either. At that point another shelter person walked up and asked if we had met Austin yet, so I said she could go get him. He was very sweet and friendly, but again Katie wasn’t going to have anything to do with him. We took Katie and Austin for a walk together on the dog trail and Austin was very well behaved, so I figured I would get him. They said he had been found by one of the shelter workers a couple of months earlier. He lived for a month or so with a foster family that had big dogs and had been at the shelter the last month or so. They don’t have much turnover among older big dogs, so they were very happy he had found a home. It takes a while to fill out the paperwork, but not too much later I was driving off with him and Katie.

Despite his description, he didn’t have really good table manners at first (though he was pretty excited). I sat on the sofa and he hopped up on the coffee table. He put his foot in the water dish for some reason and splashed a bunch of water out. But he does appear to be housebroken and will lie down and relax if I don’t pet him. He will jump up on me and doesn’t know sit, but I think he will learn those pretty quickly. He doesn’t growl at Katie, but he did try to mate with her (he is neutered and Katie is spayed, like all shelter dogs) several times yesterday. I thought for a while last night that I would have to take him back (sexual harrassment is grounds for failure of the working test). He must have been reading my mind, because today he didn’t try that again.

He is very bony. You can see all of his ribs, vertebrae, and his hip bones too. But he goes through his food without even chewing. I think maybe he wasn’t eating as much just because he was around so many other dogs. When he sits he kind of sits on the side of his back end, so he may have had problems with his legs at some point. On walks he kind of goes all over and Katie and I are both having to get used to the whole leg-lifting thing. On our walks today he showed a lot of improvement and mostly stayed on my right, which is good because that is where Clio used to walk.

10 thoughts on “New Dog

  1. If you keep this dog, I think you should name him Oscar. You had Clio. I thought you would name a girl dog Emmy.

    One thing you might already know is that you should feed them apart from each other.

    Jake and Radar get along fine until any food or treats are involved. Don’t even risk it. I have a scar on my leg from getting in the middle of one of their situations with raw hide.

  2. We went to playgroup this morning. I wasn’t sure how he would do off the leash and with other dogs, but he did really well, playing with the other dogs more than Katie does (although she played a lot today) and not running away from me.

    There’s no real tension at eating time except that he wants to eat everything in sight. I thought I would try to feed Katie first to establish her as the alpha. Once I tell him “No” he just thinks he doesn’t get any food and then I have to convince him to eat out of his bowl.

    If the name is related to Clio, it could just be Leo. Then it’s a Kate and Leopold tie-in too. That’s probably too similar to Clio, though. Clio’s original name was actually Cleo, short for Cleopatra I guess.

  3. I can’t believe that you aren’t going to name him Oscar which by the way sounds a lot like Austin.

    You might as well call him Kevin if you’re going to think about Trevor.

    I guess my vote would be for Buddy which would be like “Bud the stud” or “Hey Katie, where’s your Buddy?”

  4. Kevin is a pretty cool name for a dog. I don’t know anyone with a dog named Kevin. Plus it goes with Katie. Katie and Kevin.

    I could name him Tony, which would fit with the award theme of Clio, but also match Cleo, i.e. Antony and Cleopatra.

  5. Not only do I think Kevin is a way cooler name than Trevor, but overall it beats just about any name I could think of. You should definitely name him Kevin.

  6. Yes, Kevin definitely reigns supreme of all the other names. I like it when dogs have very people names. Katie and Kevin is really cute. Plus, “KEEVVINNNN!!!!” would be an easy name to call out when you want him to come back to you.

  7. Last weekend Mom and Dad stopped by the house and I let the dogs out in the front yard. He followed Katie across the street and, without thinking, I yelled “Austin!” So Austin must be his name.

    He knows sit now and is doing great on walks. He has had a couple of accidents in the house, but for the most part has been okay. He does pretty well staying on the floor, but I did let him up on the sofa during a thunderstorm since he was pretty scared.

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