Earlier this week, the man called me from work to tell me that he had found a lost dog. He wasn't sure what to do with it, but he didn't want to take it to the shelter.
What I didn't know at the time, but I do know now, is that when you take a found dog to the shelter, the owner has anywhere between 2-7 days to recover their dog from the shelter before they put it up for adoption. The time depends on the shelter. ALSO, they will have to pay to get the dog out. They don't just give it to the owner. They will have to pay for boarding fees, per day, any shots they give them (rabies). They might microchip the dog if it isn't chipped, and in some places they will not allow the owner to take the pet before they spay or neuter it. Daily impound fees are also 2-3x higher if the animal isn't spayed or neutered. So reclaiming your own pet can cost hundreds of dollars. Not everyone has a few hundred dollars to drop on this.
We held on to this little pup for about 24 and ultimately found his owner. It was a sweet reunion and worth it for the internet scouring I did to find him. I admit that I was sad to let this little guy go. He was so sweet and well behaved. I committed that we would do all we could to find this guys owner, but I was also committed to keeping him if we couldn't find the owner. I was a little sad when we found him.
Now I have been talking to the man about getting a small dog for a few months now. I love my Max, but he is so hyper and the boys are afraid of him. (its a long story but lets just say they have no good reason for it) However, Jerkface (15 y/o) absolutely fell in love with this little pup. He sat with him, cuddled him, played with him, took him outside. And overall was just comforted by his presence.
Jerkface struggles from depression and anxiety (a story for another day), and it occurred to me that it would be a good thing for him to have an emotional support dog. Someone who can be his buddy, cheer him up and really just get him out of his own head to care for something else. This would also not be too bad for me either. I admit it was nice just having someone cuddle up with me that I wasn't worried was going to turn on me and scratch my face off. (another story for another time)(OMG I have so much to tell you all).
So since this little guy has left, the Man has admitted that it would be nice to get another dog. Something smaller and easy going. Especially for Jerkface. Also Bonehead, who is 14 is afraid of all dogs. He was also afraid of the cats when we got them, however due to their size, and after some time passed, he got used to them. He doesn't engage with them, but he has learned to co-exist. That's all I want; for him to be able to be around a dog without freaking out. I believe that in time, this will happen, the way it has with the cats.
First things first, though. I have decided to enroll Max and I in some one on one obedience classes. I want to feel confident that I can control him. He is about 60/40 in training. He needs some impulse control, and some focused work on basic commands. I work with him daily, but I am not as confident as I feel I should be. So this week is our first class. I figure I'll do a few of these one on one classes and then enroll him in a group obedience class. Once I feel confident, then we will really start looking for another dog. Since I am home during the day, I am the one who is going to be caring for them the most. So I'd like to feel confident that I can handle it.
I'm a researcher. So that's what I have been doing. Researching breeds, how to introduce a new dog, which dogs are best for emotional support, which small breeds get along best with large breeds, etc. I'm not going to be one of those pet owners who brings in someone new without considering how it will effect the pets who are already there.
If I'm gonna do something, I want to do it right, or as right as I CAN.