Friday, August 5, 2011

Pets and Preparation

P-daddy and I are animal lovers. While I've always been more of a cat person, he is a true dog lover. And they love him too. We've talked about getting a dog, but we have concerns about shedding, about how the dog and Pooh will get along, and about the possible size of a pet in our fairly small house. As we consider moving internationally, pets raise other issues - if we don't take them, will we be able to find a good home for them here? If we do take them, how will they adjust to the move, not just the travel and possible time in quarantine, but also just to the difference in life in general? Despite having traveled extensively, neither of us has dealt with carrying animals across country, and certainly not across international borders. We'd love to hear about this from anyone with experience!

But, we want Pooh to grow up loving dogs and being comfortable with them, so we want to start getting him used to them now while he's still young. His daycare provider has a large older dog, who is very calm, lovingly referred to by Pooh as "Casey Dog". They get along great, with no problems. We'd love big dogs around, but Pooh is currently only about 30 pounds, and while he's pretty sturdy for a little guy, he's no match for a 70-pound furball! We are not convinced that all dogs will be as calm as Pooh's beloved Casey Dog.

Our current solution: fostering puppies for a local animal rescue group. Our city animal shelter euthanizes dogs and cats when they've been there over 30 days, or whenever the shelter is full. So they have EU lists going several times a week. We figure that by fostering puppies, Pooh will learn how to handle dogs and be comfortable with them, especially if they grow with him. This is Midnight, the first dog we fostered:

He's a mix of Lab and German Shepherd, and is super-smart with a great personality. We hoped to keep him for a while, but he was snatched up at the very first adoption event we took him to, about 10 days after we got him. P-daddy was quite sad and upset, since he'd been hinting (without my realizing it) that we should just adopt him ourselves. But too late, he's moved on (to a great home with a big yard and 2 boys ages 4 and 6 to play with).

This week we got our second pup, christened Elvis by a shelter volunteer. Can you tell why:

He's a Lab mix too (are you sensing the beginning of a pattern?) and is pretty sweet as well! He'll be even better once he's potty-trained...

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