A New Family Member

Meet the newest member of the family.

 

We had given Spartacus to his new owner on Monday and found this sweetie on Thursday. There was an ad on craigslist for a huge litter of puppies on the North Shore. They were half lab and I was definitely interested. Jason agreed to check them out and we had a beautiful drive up the North Shore at Sunset. So pretty.

 

There were 8-9 puppies and we had a hard time deciding. Well, we didn’t have any trouble eliminating the ones who looked like full labs because they were HYPER. They kept jumping and biting the kids clothes. Then we see our puppy with her brother, sitting quietly in the corner. We loved how calm they both were with all the chaos going on around them. So it came down to the two of them. Sweet Pea proclaimed she wanted a girl, but Jason wanted a boy since he would be huge (his paws were enormous).

He chose to go with Sweet Pea’s wishes.

Her name is Nalani. She is a shepherd and lab mix We decided to with a Hawaiian name for Hawaiian dog. It means heavenly calm. And it suits her so far. She is sweet and smart. She is pretty calm. She plays hard for 20-30 minutes and then sleeps for an hour. She has caught on to house-training in an unbelievable amount of time. No accidents in the house, yet. She loves to cuddle, which is probably because she was from a litter of 10 and used to a warm body to play or sleep with..

We have all fallen in love with her and we are so happy she joined our family. Jason especially, he finally feels he’s got a “man’s dog”. haha

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Poor Spartacus.

According to my annoying neighbors, the ones that live in the town home we share a wall with.. the ones where when the husband is gone, she walks around with no pants on and long t-shirt on.. and some other stuff I won’t mention on a public blog.

Those neighbors, who told us when we moved in to not talk to them or expect us together with them because they aren’t social people. (for real, that is what they said).

Those annoying and weird people insinuated that my husband and I are bad dog owners. This is long, bear with me.

You see, Spartacus is an adopted dog. He was surrendered at the Humane Society. He is two years old. He is well-behaved for the most part but he does have some bad habits. One of these habits include peeing on the patio, before that it was peeing in the house. Another is escaping our yard. When  only four pounds, it is easy to escape a fenced in yard.

My theory is whoever had him, spoiled him rotten and let him pee anywhere. And I believe they also believe he lived in an apartment or town home without a yard. He refused to do his business in the grass for weeks. We would have to stand there for 20 minutes waiting for him to pee. You put him on the patio and he’ll pee and poop all day.

Which is nasty.

Anyway, sometimes I do not have time to give him all that time to go potty, so we would fence him up in a baby gate like this

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We would move it around yard every week. Eventually he learned to jump and climb over it. I should have taken a video, because it was hilarious, but disappointing. He would jump and then pee on the patio or escape and run to the front door.

I would also gate him up at night if Jason was not home because I don’t want to step into piles of pee or poop. The reason why I don’t crate him is because he barks and whine, and his crate is located beneath Charleigh’s room which distracts her from going to sleep. She would beg me to let him out. In addition, I’m not willing to step in dog pee on the carpet.

So we had to come up with a new idea. I decided to buy a stake, buy a 20 foot cable and give him free reign of the yard (but unable to reach the patio). I would hook up the dog 20-30 minutes a time.

The problem is, he barks. The whole time. He has severe separation anxiety. His bark isn’t that loud. It is not one of those high-pitched yippety yappaty small dog barks that annoys the hell out of everyone. It is kind of hoarse sounding, like he has a sore throat.

No one has complained, mainly because if your windows are closed, you can’t hear him. We can’t even hear him when he is in the yard and the sliding glass door is closed.

Enter, our whack-job neighbors.

I get a knock on my door, and to my surprise it is the people who won’t even wave to us when they pull in their driveway.

The husband asks if we could keep our dog from barking. I tell them I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was bothering them. BUT then, his wife interjects saying that is left alone outside, all the time. We never give him water while he is outside. That I leave him out all night.

Neither are true. If the dog is going to be outside longer than 20-30 minutes (say we run an errand and don’t want to shut him in the laundry room or crate) we put water out there.

He has never been outside all night. Never. Not even close.

Then she tells me he escapes, and I explain that is why we had to buy the stake. Then she tells me that is mean.

Then, she STARTS CRYING. Telling me how bad she feels for my dog. That he is not supposed to be outside, which I replied “He’s a dog, dogs go outside” (maybe not HER dog, but most dogs do) They do not have any children and something tells me that they think dogs are like children. Not in my house. We love our dogs, but they are animals.

Yes, my dog is treated so badly.

He has two dog beds.

He sleeps, plays, and eats all day.

He gets treats every day.

He gets bathed 1-2 times a week, at least.

He has playmates who are willing to play with him whenever I let them. (they sometimes play with him TOO much and he needs a break)

He cuddles with me on the couch every night.

He gets to get on the couch!! (he is non-shedding and that is the only reason why)

Sweet Pea asks to walk him every day.

The kids “accidently” drop their food on the floor, so he gets yummy people food all the time. (unfortunately)

He takes naps with my daughter.

He has it really rough. It really is too bad that we are such bad dog owners. Don’t you feel bad for him?

She calls him “her baby”. She is his mommy, according to Sweet Pea.

The only reason they hear my dog is because they leave their windows open 24/7. If it bothers you, SHUT YOUR WINDOWS. It’s only for 30 minutes, max. I find it annoying and I’m not going to let him bark a lot. I hate hearing dogs who bark constantly, believe me. But I have two children, they take priority over my dog. Their dog might be numbero uno, but not in this family.

Sometimes though, dogs are going to be outside. It is a way of life.

As I am typing this, Spartacus is cuddling with Sweet Pea on the couch. He really has it rough, too bad he has to go outside for 60-90 minutes a day.

For the record, we haven’t been letting him out as long, most of the time. He still gets let out every 2-3 hours, but I try and get him when I know he is done doing his business. A part of me is hoping he’ll learn that we will get him and eventually he will stop barking  all the time while outside. I’ve never met a dog who doesn’t like to chill out in the sun every once in a while. Spoiled puppy.

Meet, Spartacus

All four pounds of him. Seriously, he is TINY.

Love at first sight.

He is a Maltese that we found at the humane society. He is 2 years old. I’m not sure why his previous owners gave him up. The shelter had no information. They told me that he was dropped off, and the owners didn’t say a word.

He is mostly house trained. It is something we are working on. He doesn’t have many accidents in the house. We finally got him going outside in the grass, but he still wants to go on the patio. We are spraying bleach out there constantly. We’ve only had him a week, it something that will take some time.

He is, mostly, very calm. EXCELLENT with the kids. He loves to cuddle, as most small dogs like to do. He loves going on walks.

Hanging out with Sparty in his bed.

And he thinks he some big Doberman or something. It is hilarious. If he hears a noise at night, he starts growling and barking. If someone walks on the sidewalk, he barks at them the whole time. One night he came flying up the stairs when one of the kids started crying. He checked out all the rooms then came to sit beside us.

Sweet Pea loves him. It is not OUR dog, he is HER dog. We are hoping to eventually get him completely house-trained so he can sleep in her room at night. I know she would love it. (Don’t worry, when Bubby gets older and we move back to the mainland, we’ll be getting another dog that is a little more manly for Jason and him. haha)

She loves him.

Overall, he seems to be a great fit. It wasn’t much of a disruption bringing him into our home, he has adapted great. Hopefully he will bring years of happiness to the kids.