My friend Des’s sweet little boy has severe asthma and the dog was making it much, much worse. The doctor told her it was best to rehome the dog for the sake of his breathing and I saw her post his picture on a few facebook pages.
We had already planned to foster a rescue dog and figured now was a good time. I contacted her to let her know we were interested but to let him go to anyone who could get there before me. A few people interested couldn’t take him and so he was still around. I wanted to make sure we were both meeting him at the same time and at his own house. I had talked with her before about him and she was very forthcoming with the pros and the cons of his personality. Great with kids and dogs, stays in the crate, only like soft toys.
Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, is a staple at this house so we knew we had to take him for a walk. Living on base, Des’s house was the perfect location. As soon as we stepped onto the sidewalk kids went whizzing by, strange noises came from bikes or scooters, cars drove right next to us and through it all he was unfazed. Great.
I made sure DH was there with me the first time I met the dog. He was rescued during a deployment so there was no way to know if his skittishness around males was from a past abuse or just confusion as to why a strange male was suddenly allowed in the house- or a combo of both. I wanted DH to be there to make sure the dog was ok with him. Any trouble and he was a no-go; he seemed perfectly fine.
He came with a plastic crate and we were told he sometimes had to be locked out of it so he would be around the family and not inside of it. None of our dogs growing up ever had a crate so it’s my plan to get rid of that. We shall see.
The crate went into the truck and Des’s DH picked up the dog and put him in; he apparently freaks out if not in the crate for car rides.
Getting him home was fine, he was quiet, and we couldn’t tell much more because the crate is opaque. To cement the relationship between dog and man, as we were told he follows Des around (and therefore probably me also), I had DH take him for a walk while I unpacked his stuff from the truck. It was at this time I managed to lose control of the full dog bowl and toss it all over the inside of the truck and out on to the driveway. What a mess. At least it was dry. The dog did not want to walk without me (aw!) but he did just fine.
In the house he checked out the lower level. We kept the leash on him just in case, an idea from the Dog Whisperer. Using the leash we were able to convince Tanner to go upstairs and check out the rooms up there but he headed right back down stairs, where we unhooked the leash. I knew to limit him because nervous dogs can be overwhelmed with so much space.
He spent most of the time in the crate. By the time we got him home it was dark out and we thought nothing of letting him out into the backyard. On base they have a good space of grass or rock. Here was have three steps and then a pool. He went right out the door and into the pool on the wading deck, up to his ears. Poor thing, it was cold out.
I yelled into the house for DH, who was upstairs, to bring towels. I dried off the dog with lots of rubbing but managed to miss his neck which became obvious when inside, the dog kept putting his head on my lap, wetting my pants.
He is inquisitive but so skittish. I did notice Tanner looked for DH when went out to pull the truck into the garage. Definitely a good sign.