There comes a time in every new marriage in which the two partners must make the most momentous decision of their relationship… the decision to get a new pet. We’d long been thinking of a pet for little Jake, and, slowly, now began to feel like a good time. We looked around, visiting a few rescues and even seeing a baby pup listed on Craigslist. There were stops along the way, too, like when I fell in love with a boisterous pug at the Lange Foundation, who gave me kisses all over my face; but we felt a smaller dog (so as not to outweigh Jake by so much), and probably a mutt (healthier in the long run, you know), were better choices for us.
And one came by, too. Early on, we heard about this one dog — Bean — from some friends; he caught their attention because he was such a twin for Jake. He caught our attention too, with that cute face and shiny coat. So we contacted Pryor’s Planet, the rescue that was housing little Bean. They brought him over to our house to meet Jake (and us, too!). The two pups got along famously from the first, and Bean and Courtney were a pair too; he warmed to me more slowly, but, by the end of the day — Sunday, June 12 — we knew that Bean was the one for us. So he stayed.
At first the new little boy was shy as anything. He’d been rescued from a hoarder, and, we think, abused there as well by men, cats, and larger dogs, so he kept his tail between his legs, backed away from me, and was skeptical about Court. But he also was a love sponge who, given a moment’s feeling of comfort, just wanted to be picked up, held, cuddled, and to give his new people kisses right on the nose. Heck, if you hold him in your arms and cuddle him, he’ll lean back, show his belly, lift his snoot up in the air, ask you to scratch him under the chin, and fall sound asleep right there.
Bean slowly warmed up, slowly became comfortable pooping on walks, and even stopped crying through the night. As a new member in the household, little Bean got a new name — it was finally Charley that stuck. So, introducing Charley:
He’s a little shy, but I know he’d like to get to know you! Just be quiet at first and let him come to you. Don’t chase him: he’ll run behind the sofa, just like a cat, and growl at you from there. But give him a chance and he’d love to sit on that sofa with you!
Also, watch what he gets in his mouth on; he’s used to having to scrounge his food and hoard what he finds! He already found an ancient french fry that was too old even for the crows who frequent our backyard — and the wing of a crow too, come to think of it, both of which he well wanted to hide away for his later use.
Now, of course, one of the reasons we’d gotten the small pup was to maximize the chance that Jake got to continue to be the boss of the house. So far, Charley and Jake had only one big fight, although we’re not yet quite sure who’s #1 in the house. (We think it’s Jake, but Charley has been some sassy lately, and he’s trying to assert himself over Junior!)
So there’s a lot to work out still (like: will Charley be allowed to sleep in the bed?), but Jake and Charley have really started to get along.
They’re even walking fairly well together — thanks, I’ll admit, not to our skill in training (we probably make our pets worse-trained than they came), but to the great guys at I Said Sit, who’ve been working us through our first-ever pet manners class. Jake and Charley both are responding well to the clicker training, and we are too — I just bought us treat bags and little, stinky, bite-sized salmon treats, style choices we’d never made before.
And they’re quite the pair; when I took them to Centinela Feed to get them good harnesses and a y-attachment for their leashes so that I can walk them both at once, the manager ended up talking to me for 20 minutes about how great they both were.
So now our happy family is one bigger. Even more than the decision to get married, this seems like the biggest thing we’ve ever done together. And it’s great, and it makes us all so happy. It’s exciting, and, best of all, we know that a new spot at Pryor’s Planet was opened up for, and taken by, a little Jack Russell who needed a new home the very same evening we got our Charley. He’s at our house, maybe you should get one yourself?