a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: May 1994

Tuesday, May 17, 1994

How I Carefully Chose the Dog--And the Results

Backfill: Posted on Oct 20 '05 from email dated 5/17/94.
Have been doing all kinds of research on what kind of dog i might want to try this time around. Hadn't decided for sure, but thought that maybe an australian shepherd or border collie would be neat.

Waffling on whether to get a puppy again (like Amber was) because they're SOOOO CUUUUTE and you can mold them from day 1; or an adult again (like Sheba was) because you bypass all the destructiveness and frantic training.

Jim was inclined to get a dog from the shelter or an animal rescue place again rather than to find a puppy in the paper. (If we HAD to get a dog; he was pretty sure Sheba wouldn't be happy about it and maybe we should wait til Sheba wasn't around any more.)

Told Jim that when we got back from Hawaii it would be time for ME to have another dog because i couldn't bear to have an empty house when Sheba goes to the great goodie cabinet in the sky. Got back on May 2 and was sick for a week (hate when that happens) and have been trying to catch up ever since, so I wasn't going out of my way to look for a dog.

On Saturday, we had a coupon for dogfood at a different pet-supply store than we usally go to. Turns out when we got there that it's an anniversary celebration & they're having Events and one of the events was the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation being there with all of their adoptable dogs.

We wandered thru, looking & petting & asking questions, and then there in the last cage was a dog that looked a LOT like Amber (who died 2 yrs ago).

So much for all the research & everything.

His name is Remington; he's 9 months old. Appears to be housebroken (we've only had one accident, and that was the 1st day, and I caught him in the act; I'm keeping my fingers crossed). He's half shepherd and half lab (maybe); Amber was half shepherd and half golden retriever, so it could be the same thing here. He's for sure still a puppy, but on the teenage side: pretty much full-grown but really gangly and still a
bit awkward; loves to pick things up & chew on them.

Understands "no" and "drop it" really well. (Thank goodness! I remember with Amber as a 7-week-old pup that she didn't have a clue about "No"-- "Hmm," she'd be thinking to herself, looking at me with that puzzled expression. "Mom made this loud obnoxious noise at me. Wonder what it means? Oh well, think about it later," and she'd go right back to what she had been doing.)

Doesn't know much of anything else, although we're making rapid progress on "Sit." The nightmare is yet to begin, I'm sure. He really wants us to be around him; he hasn't been alone in the house yet. He's somewhat upset when we first go to bed (we keep him out of the bedroom for allergy & flea reasons) but has been sleeping the night thru just fine.

This morning I left him alone downstairs while i went up to get dressed & curl my hair--and everything was quiet. I thought "How wonderful! He's already getting used to me being up here without him! After only 3 days!" Foolish me.

Because then there came the clang of glass hitting tile floor and a crash of other debris. I rushed downstairs--

So when was the last time YOU saw a 50-pound dog standing on the dining table?

We both have a lot to learn.

And Sheba is NOT a happy camper, although I think she's doing a little better every day. I'm pretty sure that we'll all survive this.

Sunday, May 15, 1994

What Have I Done?

Backfill: Added Oct 20, '05

I have the following responses (so far):
  • ZzzzzSnorkzzzzzzz
  • Throb throb throb (headache)
  • Wild hysterical laughter while playing keep-away-tug-of-war
  • Wahhhhh! (When viewing dog who looks like Amber from behind)
  • Ohmigod what have i done to my easy relaxed life?!
  • Wow this is really neat. I've really missed having a REAL dog around.

We Got A New Dog

Backfill: Oct 20 '05
We got a dog. Quite by accident. Went to buy dogfood (for Sheba) and the Nike Animal Rescue Foundation (Narf! Narf!) was all set up in their parking lot with the most desirable batch of dogs you've ever seen in your life. Looked at a lot of border collie and/or australian shepherd mixes, but when I saw the one that looked a lot like Amber, he made the others kind of wash out.

Remington is 8 months old (sort of a compromise between a puppy and an adult); he looks a lot like Amber--claims to be a shepherd/lab mix, where Amber was shepherd/retriever--but he's got a Don Johnson two-day shadow, which Amber didn't. I wanted to call him Donjohnson, but he was already Remington and Jim liked that better, so Remington he'll stay.

Not clear whether he's housebroken (that's a story with a long background that I'll generously omit for now), but I've been taking him out back on a regular basis and he does his thing very nicely. Only one puddle so far in the wrong place and I caught him in process, so we might get lucky.

No other training that I can tell, although he doesn't fight the leash like a never-leashed dog would.

Loves to cuddle. Learned to use the doggie door very quickly after his first view of Sheba passing through it froze him to the spot in astonishment. (Amber never really learned to use it comfortably even after 10 years.)

He's zonked out on the floor next to me.

He really likes Jim (I'm just an acceptable substitute when Jim's out of reach ) and loves to play ball & chase & tug-of-war, all of those things that Sheba never did.

And Sheba seems to be adjusting as well as one can expect.

(Sorry, Barry, no poodle this time!)