Wednesday, January 15, 2014

101th Post for My Little Dalmatian

101th post for my spotted fried! WHOO! For this, I'm celebrating our newest addition, Kaiden. He's no dalmatian, but he's certainly a mutt. We have no idea what mix he could even be other than FUN!

As some of you may know, I wanted a dog when we got our first house! We fostered one that didn't work out, and at that point, we knew we wanted to sell the house to upgrade. Upgrade we did, and we knew it wouldn't be fair to a dog between moving and fixing up the next home. OK, I wanted it more than I'm admitting to it, and I tried a few different tactics to get one, but with the upcoming wedding, it would have been too much. Who cares! Chris did because he'd have to listen to me trying to plan while dealing with a puppy. It would have been fun though, right?

I talked to Dom and a few others that I knew were in positions to get inside stories on dogs even though it was before the "approval" stage. I knew it would be a matter of time, but I couldn't help myself. I follow a TON of shelters in the area, and I began to comment on photos of some that came in. While some were SO adorable, I held on to hope that Chris would see one and say, "Let's go take a look." That didn't happen for a few months even with persistence (and annoyance... and possibly aggravation). Anyways, I posted on Kaiden's photo that the AC Humane Society posted WEEKS before we went to look at him, and it was the day they posted it! He looked so cute and very similar to our foster dog so he caught my interest right away! I don't know how he ended up staying there for the time he did because he was so sweet.

The photo that got my interest!
We went to look at him the day I did the hunter pace... what an exciting day for so many reasons! It was right before Halloween, and I met Chris at the shelter to save some time since their hours are strange. All day I was thinking he'd get adopted, but he was still there (and they already had my application... oops). All of the dogs barked and jumped, and Kaiden just came up to the gate of his run and wagged his tail. When they went to put the leash on him to bring him out, he curled and moved towards the ground. It was so sad! We played with him in a small pen, and he wasn't concerned with us or toys... just the food in our pockets. He was a bit shy and mild mannered - a bad and a good? A good and a good? What kind of puppy doesn't want to play with toys? I told myself he just never had anyone teach him how to be a dog, and I knew he'd been there for a few weeks, close to a month. How? He was so sweet!

Since he seemed independent, I was worried that he wouldn't be too into people. Chris and I talked about it and I wanted him to decide so nothing could be blamed on me, and he wanted me to decide since it's what I wanted all along. I expressed my concerns for him being a bit too uncaring about people and toys, but I mentioned the fact that food was a motivator which always makes things easier (Spyder is a prime example). We went with the decision to get him, and headed home to our house with broken heat! We were worried about that and a Halloween party we were throwing, but hey, all good experience for him, right? It was nice to see that the shelter posted our adoption photo on their Facebook for everyone to see! I didn't even get to tell friends before a lot of them saw it on their site so the texts started coming in!

The day we adopted him! Yes, those are riding pants!
The drive home
We set everything up for the dog and let him explore, then we had people over the house right away to see how he'd react. He was a bit confused and didn't have much energy which was both good and bad. I liked that he was chill, but I didn't like that he might be sick or depressed or BORING. He didn't wag his tail much, and he had no clue what to do with toys. He liked the yard and walking/moping around it, but he still wasn't too interested in us. He plopped down and sunbathed and just lounged around in the sun. Cool? We let him be and he eventually came around.
Sun bathing

Day 3 or so, he was WILD! He started jumping, wagging his tail, and getting bursts of energy. We decided it was the perfect time to start TRAINING! Sit was easy, as he came with that almost perfected. We got him in the car and to stores as well as a few different parks to walk and get used to things. He was terrified of wind and leaves, but he's good with those now. He's still getting car sick which is slobbering like crazy (to the point everything is soaked) and vomiting if he's too anxious. He's not scared to get in the car, but the motion must make him sick. He was a bit shy in Petsmart with people, but he quickly warms up. Dogs excite him and he hates that they are on leashes in the store because he just wants to play. We need to find dog parks! He's such a "talker" and loves to tell you when he wants something.

Because they posted the photo of us on Facebook, I decided to tag myself. I read through all of the "good luck" comments and found a post from someone that knew him from the south where he was in Georgia. Long story short, I ended up talking to her, and she fostered him at her kennel/rescue that she runs. He was so great on a leash because of her, and we got his story! He was found by someone that found him in the street with wounds, and they called the shelter which was closed so they sent him to their vet and said, "We'll pay for it!" He went through surgery/sealing up the cuts and had drains put in which is why he was under the care of someone that could provide for him with experience in working with an injured dog. The story was that he was attacked by dogs that "tried to rip his head off", but no one saw it happen. To me, it looks like it could have been an embedded collar because of the symmetry, but who knows. He could have been stuck under a fence or something, too. I'm so happy he went from Georgia all the way to NJ and found a great spot with us. His foster mom is still in touch with us and loves seeing what we post on Facebook! I'm sure I annoy people on Instagram, but oh well!

These are graphic photos so don't look if you can't handle them.

He's met quite a few dogs between pet store visits and friends coming over with theirs, and he LOVES them all! He's warmed up so much and learned so much in just a short amount of time, too! He was a bit challenging for housebreaking and still can't help himself if he "forgets" because he's too busy playing, but he's chill with the right amount of play. He's a testy one and likes to listen when he wants, but his temperament is so willing to please it's unreal. He's got sit, paw, other paw, high five, give me ten, up, speak, stay, and come. I may be forgetting something, but he's come along quickly! We're working on crawl and roll over which he just doesn't get, but I know I do need to get some patience to keep progessing! Below was just two weeks with him in our home (don't mind our soon to be replaced kitchen floor). Yes, I set up the camera myself to get this because I wanted to remember the timeline.

Kaiden and my sister's dog, Penny


When we went to Jamaica, he went to the kennel since we didn't want to burden anyone with his puppy tenancies for almost a week, and we paid the extra to send him to doggie day care where they take photos and you can see the camera of the facility. In the airport in Jamaica, we were watching him run and play and look so happy that it gave us comfort knowing he was in such great care. Now that he's older and more well behaved, we take him to our family's homes, and he gets along with everyone and listens well. Next time we go away (skiing this month and next), he'll be under family watch which is always a better feeling than the kennel because he'll get more attention. I think he wants to come skiing because he's crazy in the snow as you can see from the video above.

I'll refrain from other photos because this is a LONG post, but more will be posted, I can't help myself.
Best friends - Chris & Kaiden