Thursday, August 20, 2015

herbie, maybe

After we said goodbye to B at the end of December, we decided that we would try to take a break from being dog owners for a while.  We weren't sure how long we would last - we were only dog-less for three months between losing H's first dog Y and bringing B home - but we thought we should give it a try, take advantage of not having to hurry home after work, go away for a weekend without booking a kennel.  We did okay with that for a while ... until one of H's co-workers, who volunteers for a local rescue group, started emailing him photos of new arrivals to the rescue.  We hemmed and hawed for a while, then completed the application and underwent the home visit.  Last Saturday, we stopped by one of the rescue's foster families and brought Herbie home with us for a test run.

Herbie loves belly-rubs

Herbie is a 2.5 year old mutt, part basset hound/part who-knows-what.  He is equal parts cute and funny-looking, with short legs (but not as short as most bassets).  He doesn't have those long basset ears or droopy jowls. I think he looks like a dachshund on steroids.  He is super-sweet and friendly; whenever we walk, he is just positive that every person he sees wants to be his new best friend.  He apparently likes other dogs too as he went to daycare while at the foster home.  He loves walks and has yet to be tired out by them - those little legs move really quickly.  Those legs don't move AT ALL when he doesn't want to do something, however.  That's when Stubborn Herbie comes out, in all his basset hound glory.  (He is small enough at 38 pounds that we can pick him up and move him, so being stubborn only gets you so far.)


He's pretty smart - has learned the phrase "you wanna go outside?" already - and we have already learned not to leave food unattended.  For the first couple of days he wouldn't jump up on the furniture but now, since he is acclimating and relaxing a bit, he'll hop up on the bed, wriggle around and then give a look that says, "Now what are you going to do with me?"  He unabashedly sticks his nose into any gap in any fence we walk by and he is definitely a city dog since he prefers to walk on the sidewalk rather than grass or dirt.  He doesn't like plush or squeaky toys (thank goodness) but loves one of B's hand-me-down nylabones.

More snoozing (he's a good sleeper)

The first few days with Herbie haven't been completely glitch-free, however.  He had an upset tummy, likely due to stress and a change in dog food, so the first day he was home alone (locked in the mudroom, thankfully) was a bit messy when poor H got home from work.  Since then we have been crating him and that seems to be working a bit better.  A neighbor has told us that he hears some barking during the day although when we come back in the house, Herbie sits quietly in the crate, waiting to be let out.   It is important that he is comfortable being home by himself and not stressed by it.  His former family had a stay-at-home mom and so this is all brand new to him.

Those eyes!

At this point, because of the uncertainty of his being able to tolerate being alone, we are still fostering him.  We would really love for it to work out because he seems like such a sweet boy, and we miss having a dog in our lives, but we need to make sure to do what's best for him.  We hope that means us.

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