Our New Forever Friend

Today, life changed a little bit for us.  This was not an expected change but it has definitely been worth it.  When I told Gracie of the great new change in store for us, she couldn't wait.  She unpatiently waited till Daddy drove into the driveway and then stood a the door waiting.

Last week, I told you all that we were adopting and we were so excited.  We had known about our new dog for about two months before I told you all.  We have carefully planned and could hardly wait.  This was not something we were jumping into because I already had my hands full with two little ones so a puppy was out of the question.  A full grown, well trained dog was just fine.

Then Saturday came and we got a call that put my stomach in turmoil.  The dog would not be able to come into our home because there was no inexpensive way to get him from Texas.  The carefully laid plans to get him here were now not possible and even with lots of hard work on my sister's part, there was no way to get the dog here.  Sunday, the decision was made...we were not going to be adopting after all.

I began to do a quick search around here to see if by chance there were any dogs that needed a forever home.  We found a few at our local Humane Society and had plans to visit there today.  Again, our plans were shattered when some other things came up.

Today, while waiting for husband to come home, I just decided to look again at a local online "swapmeet" where people either sell or giveaway their items.  In the free section, a Boxer/Black Lab had just been listed - not even 10 minutes before I looked.  It also just happened that my husband was just 3 minutes away from the home that the dog was staying.  The family was desperately looking to find a "forever home" for the dog that they had owned for three years.  In just a couple days, they were going to take him to the pound because they just couldn't take him to the place where they were moving to.

His name is JD and he is now a part of our family.  My husband brought him home so that we could do a "test run" for a few hours with our home, children, and entire family.  It didn't take us long to determine that JD would be a perfect fit.  Gracie loves her new friend.

JD is very sad and I would love some tips on how to help him.  He is an incredibly well behaved dog and we couldn't be more thankful for the beautiful "new boy" in our family.

If you are great with dogs, I would love to hear your thoughts.  He is very sad, has never had a consistent food diet, and is very thin even for a Boxer.  What is the best way to get him accustomed to our home?


Lindsey said...

I'm sure you know this...but its all I could think of when you asked for help.....LOVE LOVE AND MORE LOVE!!! Once he realizes he can trust and depend on you....he will return the love. If he doesn't already follow you everywhere...make sure and call him to go in the kitchen, bedroom, living room etc with you. (if he's allowed). Both Boxers and Labs are extremely smart....so he'll catch on to the Coe household quickly!!! Good luck and ENJOY your newest addition!

Meg Hitt said...

love, comfort, a good bed, his own space.
I'm a sucker for bringing home strays (much to my husband's dismay)--my parent's black lab is one I got from a similar situation as yours--where her owner was a young man leaving to go to the Phillipines to be a missionary--she, too, was headed to the pound the next day unless I took her then and there. Also like yours, she had never been fed consistently(by nature of having a college guy as an owner) and was 45lbs when we got her when she should have been around 60-65lbs. We joke that she's half lab/half scaredy cat because even after 3 years she can still have moments when she's very timid but most of the time she's a regular tail-wagging/ ready-to-please/ will-chase-a-tennis-ball-to-the-end-of-the-earth lab! Here's what I learned from integrating her to the family:
put his bed and a basket of his toys in a corner somewhere that can be totally "his" space to retreat to if need be--either when he's tired, kids are bugging him to death, or he's just over-stimulated with his new world. You'll have to watch to see where this space should be--whether it needs to be completely away from people like the laundry room or a back bedroom or if he still likes to be able to watch the comotion but just not partake in it all the time then maybe the living room or den is the best place. Tell the kids that if he goes and lays down on his bed that means he wants to be left alone for a while and to leave him alone. When he wants to play he will certainly come find them. He probably needs a protein rich food like Eukanuba lamb rice formula or something like that to start with. It can get really expensive so I used to mix it with the cheaper stuff. two things I suggest more than anything else: 1) get a Furminator--it's worth every cent! 2) get him a couple of KONG toys--just go to Petsmart/Petco and ask for them--they are the top selling dog toys--and are awesome! Hope this helps some.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! We adopted an adult dog who was very sad at the beginning as well. She had been with her family for 2 years and then they just left her. She was scared to death and didn't event seem to care that we were there. We just let her settle in at her own pace. After about a week she started caring about us and now less then a year later she sleeps in our bed and cries of excitement when we get home. It will just take the dog a little bit of time to know that you are his new home that will love him and care for him and never get rid of him. I also have fostered 20 different dogs and had a similar experience with others taking a little bit of time to settle in.


lfhpueblo said...

Dogs can get confused moving from one home to another. They don't know who is the Alpha Dog and what place they have in the new home.
Right away you'll minimize some of his confusion if you let him know your You (since you'll be home with him more hours of the day then anyone else) is the Alpha Dog (that is just the name Dog Trainers give to the person in charge). One way to get him to know this is to be the one to take him for walks on a leash, everyday. I know that can be hard if you are taking care of the little ones too, but it's beneficial to both of you, it develops a bond between you and the dog. He needs to know he'll be played with too. When the little ones are napping would be a good time to play a fetch type game with the dog.
Make him some sock toys with your families scent on them. They need to smell on you to get real used to you.
Give the dog about a month to adjust. It may be hard to see him sad, but each day it will be a little less. The trainer we got our guard dog through, said it takes animals about one month to adjust to new owners.
I was giving our guard dog, gentle hugs around the neck and kissing him on top of his head. I petted him frequently. Told him what a good dog he was, how handsome, etc., they don't always know what you're saying but they understand tones of voice.

katy said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family. He'll adjust with lots of love.