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I’m writing all sorts of things, including half-finished blog posts.  And until some of those move closer to done, or until my life hits a lull (ha!), here’s some more information about The Dog.

Remember The Dog?  He’s all cute and sweet and we’re working really hard on training, still (and always will).  He’s getting much better at the speed of his response to a command and the length of time he’s willing to follow a command–especially stay.  There are still a few major hurdles, most noticeably “come.”

The biggest change, though?  He now leans.

Yes, leans.  You read that correctly.  He leans into me to be petted.  He never used to do that.  If you remember, or if you went back and read the letter, you’ll remember that I allege neglect on behalf of his first owners.  He came to me loving people, dogs, children, everybody and not knowing what to do about it.  He’s starting to learn.  He leans into me to be petted instead of sitting an arm’s length away.  He sits on the couch with me, with his head on my lap. Sometimes he attempts a 90 lbs impersonation of a lap dog.  At night he curls up, not just on the bed, but next to me.

He’s learned affection.  I almost don’t care if he learns come.



4 weeks ago I brought home the dog (giant puppy really) that you dropped off at our local humane society. He’s great. He’s gentle, playful, kind, and convinced that every person, dog, and child is his best friend. When he came to me he was essentially housebroken, he knew how to sit, and he has learned so much else so quickly (more on that later).  He has been wonderful for me and to me. He greets me in the morning and in the evening. He follows me around the house. He whines when I leave him, which is so sweet and so sad.   He almost never barks. He plays with me and walks with me and is almost ready to go to the office (some of the time) with me. I am so thankful that he came into my life and my home and I look forward to the years we will have together.

The dog I brought home was almost 9 months old, probably 65 pounds, and could rest his chin on my dining table. He barked and lunged at every person, child, and dog we saw. (Thankfully, we didn’t meet any cats or squirrels back then.) He pawed to get attention. He would hold-bite me (no pressure but sharp teeth) if we were playing or he wanted to play. He couldn’t walk on a leash. In the time I have had him he has only three times chewed things he shouldn’t have. All three times, I knew he had been left alone too long. Not once has it been shoes or furniture.

Since coming home with me he has learned not to hold-bite; to walk on a leash; to meet other dogs–most of the time; not to jump on people, at least right away. We’ve crate trained. We’ve added ‘leave it’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, ‘crate’, and ‘eat’ to his repetiore of commands. All in four weeks and before obedience classes. (He’s also gained about 15 pounds.)  And he can still rest his chin on the table, but is learning not to.

You told the shelter that you were moving and couldn’t take him. I don’t believe you. I believe that you never worked with him.  I believe that you never introduced him to other people or other animals.  I believe that you didn’t know how big he would get. And I believe that once you had a 65-70 pound 8 month pup with lots of energy and enthusiasm, you were lost.

Thank you for my dog.  Thank you for taking him to the shelter.  For his enthusiasm and joy and energy.   Thank you for not seeing his intelligence. You gave up a great dog. A handful at times, yes. But adopting him was one of the best choices I have made.
He is sitting near my feet as I write this, amidst 4 toys in various states of destruction and 4 toys that have, so far, survived.

Thank you for my dog.

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