A Real Doggie Treat
Despite being clearly disinterested in taking a photo, he's a real gem. He's quiet, he's playful, he's calm, he's friendly, he's just a peach.
Bacon is part coon hound, part beagle. We got him at the Central Missouri Humane Society just a couple of days ago. We went there wanting to look closer at a whippet mix named Dozer who was a gorgeous brindle color, but it turns out he had the attention span of a (insert whatever animal has the shortest attention span) . We then looked at a pit bull at the prompting of an employee - despite the usual misgivings, Honeybee was a real sweetheart, super nice and really friendly. We just couldn't get ourselves to commit to a pit bull, though.
So then we decided to look at a couple of coon hounds, whimsically named Bacon and Sausage. We fell in love with Bacon first, but then fell in love with Sausage as well. They even played really well together, and we entertained ever so briefly the idea of taking both home with us. Practical thinking won out, though, and we decided we liked Bacon a little bit more. He was already fixed, so we got to take him home right away.
We also got to spend a lot of pretty pennies on him. I knew having a dog wouldn't be cheap, but I didn't know how expensive some things would be, like food, a bed, a crate, and flea/tick prevention medicine. He's worth it, though. I guess.
So, what have we learned in the first couple of days?
- Bacon loves squeaky toys. If it makes a good squeak, like the red soft toy or rubber ball we got, he loves it. If it doesn't squeak or makes a weak squeak, like a couple of other toys we got, he's out. HE even seems to be a bit scared of them, which is weird.
- Bacon loves to be close to you. If you're sitting on a chair, he'll get up and put his front paws on you. If you're on the floor, he'll stand over your lap and sidle up so his sides are touching you.
- Bacon likes to chew. He's not a destructive chewer yet (knock on wood), possibly because we've been able to keep an eye on him. He's gone after our Wii remote charger and his own bed a couple of times, but we've managed to intervene before any real damage was done. We hope to get him away from chewing anything but what we want him to chew.
- Bacon loves the soft bed we got him, and has slept really well on it in our room both nights. We also got a crate to which we plan on acclimating him. It'll mainly be for when we're away for an hour or two or for when I'm sleeping during the day. Otherwise, he'll be allowed out and about.
- Bacon loves walks. He's really curious and likes to smell everything, and really perks up if he sees another dog or a person. He's also a budding Houdini - he slipped out of his colalr a couple of times, so we had to tighten it.
- Bacon is a good leash dog. He doesn't choke himself crazy trying to run ahead like Trissy used to, and he responds really well to gentle tugs if you want him to go a different direction with you.
- Bacon doesn't go to the bathroom much. I'm guessing it'll be a bit more regular when he gets more used to his new home, but for now he usually doesn't go but once or twice a day. Maybe that's normal, too - it's our first dog, so we don't know.
- Bacon got his first bath last night and did really well. I don't know how much he liked it, but he didn't try to escape. He didn't like it when Tamara tried to blow-dry him, probably because of the noise.
- Bacon didn't let me sleep yesterday. When he wasn't prodding me with his nose and trying to jump on the bed, he was chewing a squeaky toy or out of sight. That made me nervous, not knowing his chewing tendencies, so I moved to the couch to try and nap. That made me more accessible to his wet nose, so eventually I gave up. After a work meeting, I put him in the laundry room (where the only thing he could chew was his toy) so I could get a couple of hours of sleep.
- Bacon can sit on command, but it usually takes a lot of prompting.
We love Bacon a lot already, and hope to train him to a) not think couches or beds are for him (we may do something where he can lay on a pillow on the couch, but not the couch proper); b) not beg at the table (help us with this by not feeding him from the table); c) kill moles (maybe a pipe dream, but man, that would be handy).
Unexpected aside: I've been feeling anxiety over the last couple of days, and I can't help but think it's related to our new family member. I don't know what it is, or from what it stems, but it's there. I know I worry a lot about Bacon chewing stuff or doing things we don't want, but so far he hasn't really given those worries any justification. Maybe it's just the new sense of responsibility or the quick and drastic change to what had become a very comfortable routine for Tamara and me. I don't know, I just hope it goes away really soon. Maybe it will as Bacon and I get more used to each other.